K.C. Fox 2
- 95 Films watched
- 7.9 Average per month
- 1.8 Average per week
2020 Releases Older
Reviewed Not Reviewed
Halogencore movies are stories of corporate intrigue and malfeasance, told from the point of view of characters on the "outside of the inside" — low-level apparatchiks, functionaries, subordinates, and middle managers, navigating crisis from the periphery of real power. They usually take place over a short time frame — day,…
Halogencore movies are stories of corporate intrigue and malfeasance, told from the point of view of characters on the "outside of the inside" — low-level apparatchiks, functionaries, subordinates, and middle managers, navigating crisis from the periphery of real power. They usually take place over a short time frame — day, or a night, or a weekend — and against a ticking clock. They are not stories of lasting change, stunning revelation, or dramatic reversals of fortune. They are stories of beaten-down people acquiescing to or negotiating compromise with power. The "victory" of a happy ending in a halogencore movie is not that power has been toppled but that our compromised hero has manage to survive inside the machine without being crushed.
As the name suggests, halogencore movies feature lots of flourescent lighting and nighttime city shots. The action is largely officebound.
Halogencore movies have some obvious antecedents: 1970s paranoia thrillers; 1990s legal thrillers (which were not un-paranoid themselves); the work of Steven Soderbergh and Michael Mann, for aesthetics and themes; Glengarry Glen Ross and some other Mamet for the crisp macho dialogue and the way it's used to cover up hollow compromised lives; the latest generation of Le Carré adaptations, all about bureaucratic failure and ass-covering. Movies about journalists share some themes, moods, and visuals with halogencore, but are too often about outside-outsiders uncovering and publicizing malfeasance. One possible exception is Shattered Glass, which is about malfeasance within a publication.
For now, the canon of halogencore is Michael Clayton, Margin Call, and The Assistant. What else might qualify? Dark Waters picks up the mood of halogencore very well, even if its time frame is too long and its prospects too optimistic. High Flying Bird covers a day in the life of a slightly peripheral figure trying to navigate corporate crisis, and certainly gets the look right. Someone suggested Compliance, an eerie thriller that's not about a bank or a law firm but is about power and command and middle management in the context of workplaces, and is filled with the right kind of creeping dread.
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