Hollywood’s apparent mistrust of the rich has always been cynical and insincere. Rich people know that an effective way to part poor people with their money is to produce a commodity that also seems to hate rich people. A commodity can’t actually hate anything of course. But the rich people who produce them certainly want us to think it can. And in the past year, when everything other than the most mindless Marvel bullshit struggled at the box office, studio executives are more than happy to lean into this tried-and-true trope.
Comparisons between Protomartyr and the Fall are so commonplace they’re almost trite. Almost, but not quite. Joe Casey inhabits a great many of the musico-poetic roles that listeners loved in Mark E. Smith: sarcastic ambivalence that could unexpectedly give way to sincerity, a talent for the vivid grotesque, the aura of a madman carnival barker harnessing the existential circus.