This week on the podcast, we unpack a polarizing film from a controversial filmmaker and ask the question: “How do you define art?”
THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT (2018)
Carolyn tackles the polarizing psychological horror film, The House That Jack Built, by provocative Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier. Notorious for a Cannes response that included both a standing ovation and hundreds of walk-outs, this challenging, disturbing, and daring film offers a lot to talk about. Let’s get into it! – Stephanie (Editor-in-Chief)
SHOW NOTES FROM HOST CAROLYN SMITH-HILLMER:
What is the first material that comes to mind when you think about building a house? I bet Jack’s materials are better…
Jack (Matt Dillon) is a serial killer who, over a 12-year period from the late 1970s into the 1980s, commits numerous murders in the U.S. state of Washington. Utilizing Dante’s Inferno as a metatext, the film is structured as a series of flashback vignettes relayed by Jack to the Roman poet Virgil, during which Jack attempts to make an argument for his crimes.
As always, this episode offers a deep dive into the film with plot-by-plot analysis. So, be sure to watch The House That Jack Built before listening if you’d like to avoid plot spoilers. Currently, it’s available to stream for free on Tubi.
ABOUT THE SHOW:
The Final Girl on 6th Ave is a weekly show where host, Carolyn Smith-Hillmer, dissects an arthouse/elevated horror film. Each episode includes a detailed play-by-play of the film itself and a subsequent deep dive into the thematic elements and symbolism. Because elevated horror is sometimes viewed within the horror community as pretentious, Carolyn makes sure to use her down-to-earth tone and unique perspective to make these films less intimidating for the casual horror viewer and less ostentatious for the genre lover.
Listen to more episodes on the show’s website here.