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When A Movie Poster Contains Multitudes: An Existential Investigation

By Petr Navovy | Think Pieces | December 8, 2016 |

By Petr Navovy | Think Pieces | December 8, 2016 |

‘He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.’ — Friedrich Nietzsche

‘Prepare to crack up’ — Blazing Samurai

As we age, the sublime nature of existence — of pure and simple being — can sometimes be easily forgotten. The banal obstacles that we must deal with day-to-day, and the necessary routines we develop to continuously overcome them, pile up. They can be hard to ignore. They can become all-encompassing, if you let them. But how do you reconcile the banal nature of routine with the sublime magic of existence, of experience? Crucially, how can you even separate the two? Life, itself, that’s the gift, and though it may not feel as such, the boring has as much validity as the exciting. Necessary chores vibrate with as much vitality as once-in-a-lifetime adventures. Doing the dishes after a long day working in the office can be just as much of a pulse-pounding narrative as an evening’s bungee jumping after a day at the pizza tasting plant. You just have to tell it properly. As Sartre said: ‘This is what I thought: for the most banal even to become an adventure, you must begin to recount it.’

What am I talking about, I hear you ask?

I don’t have a fucking clue. I’ve been staring at the poster for Blazing Samurai for the past four days and the gears in my head, loose and booze-addled enough as they were, have turned to sludge. There is fluid coming out of my ears. I have travelled the curves of this gigantic orange furry arse crack for millennia and all axes are upended, uncertain.


I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe.

Pear-shaped felines in fields of endless white.

I glimpsed sumo thongs riding higher and higher into the shadows of oblivion.

All those moments will forever scar me, like wedgies in pain. Time to die.


Why am I here? What roads led to this? What roads indeed! Roads are like rules. We carve them into nature bringing harsh discipline to the wild. Straight line violence slashed into a chaotic, perfect ether. Roads are rules. We carve both and we follow both. Some are better than others. Anton Chigurh knew: ‘If the rule you followed led you to this then what good is the rule?’ Indeed, you mop-haired, dead-eyed scary fuck, your deadliest weapon clearly wasn’t the portable cow-head-pop-omatic. It was your words. Some rules are better than others. Some more useful than most.

Prepare to crack up.

Prepare to CRACK up!


Hello Kitty is not a mute. We see her. She is mouth-less but her mind rages against its cage. It rattles with meaning, with wordless terror. We hear her. Prepare to CRACK up! Those eyes. Those eyes have seen things, and as you gaze upon them they gaze right back. The abyss gazes back. Right into your eyes. The thing about Hello Kitty’s eyes is she’s got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll’s eyes. Doesn’t even seem to be living at all. But there is life, drowned in terror and a fat ginger cat’s sweat though it may be, it persists. It, uh, finds a way.

‘They sweat through their paws, cats, not their back!’ goes the pedant’s cry.

They do, they really do. Not this one though. This one is voiced by Michael Cera, and it’s called Hank, and it’s not even a cat.

Is it?

Nobody knows.

There are cat characters in the movie, but Hank The Dog is not Hank The Cat. Is the poster of Hank The Dog? You’d think so. You’d assume so, him being the main character and all — but assumption, said the man, is the mother of all fuckups.


Prepare to CRACK up!


When I was a child I used to like to wander the countryside at night. I would gaze up at the stars and contemplate infinity until my neck would ache. The whisky would help with the pain. It would also distract from the snapping jaws of incipient existential dread brought on by the unblinking, sparkling eyes of the vast uncaring cosmos.

Childhood — a time of wonder.

Blazing Samurai — ‘loosely inspired by the 1974 comedy classic Blazing Saddles. That films director, Mel Brooks, has an executive producer credit on Blazing Samurai, and will voice one of the characters.’

Blazing Samurai shares pedigree with Blazing Saddles.

Prepare to crack up.

Furthermo-… Shit, did you hear that?!

What was that?

Excuse me for a second, a shadow moves in the dark outside my window.


August 2017.

Prepare to crack up.


Petr Knava
lives in London and plays music