Velvet Buzzsaw: The Art of Kill

Jeremy Bellman , Contributing Writer

Netflix’s latest original film, “Velvet Buzzsaw,” is a satirical thriller that explores the world of art critics consumed by greed, fame, and materialism. The film centers around Morf Vandewalt, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, a prestigious and extremely harsh art critic who interacts with several other art critics and owners that are just as criticizing and arrogant. Their lives take a dark turn when one of them uncovers a series of paintings created by a mysterious man who just recently passed away. Suddenly, Vandewalt and all his colleagues want a piece of the late man’s art who, unbeknownst to them, is haunted and cursed. As they begin to spiral down a chilling path of greed and fame over the dead man’s art, the paintings suddenly come to life, and takes the lives of all those who were obsessed with it.

Interestingly enough, “Velvet Buzzsaw” is not meant to scare audiences and make them turn away in fear, but rather to make them think of the concept presented in the film. The movie not only explores the themes of obsession, greed, and materialism, but it also unravels the idea that people should not be so critical of other people’s art. In the film, one artist, who was once renowned in his earlier days, gave up drinking for the sake of his health. After he did that, the quality of his art went down, or so that is what the critics say. We are forced to ask ourselves: does the health of an individual matter less if his new art does not please supercilious critics?

According to a study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, individuals become more depressed and anxious when they go on social media and online platforms. This is due to them comparing themselves to others and feeling substandard.

“Critique is so limiting and emotionally draining,” said Gyllenhaal’s character in the film  This illustrates the idea that we live in a society today where people constantly criticize each other and themselves because of the standards placed upon us by the media and our peers. Individuals today have high expectations for what it means to be beautiful, to be a man or woman, or to be talented. The message “Velvet Buzzsaw” tries to communicate is when one has nothing on their mind but greed and fame over happiness, then those lives will not only be empty, but they will also be taken from them if one does not appreciate their own art for what it is.  

What people should realize is that one’s happiness and health is always much more important than the approval of others. If people were to share what they love and create what they are passionate about without thinking of what others will think, then they would surely feel a weight lifted off their shoulders. Netflix’s “Velvet Buzzsaw” is now streaming and everyone should view it so they may experience what happens when you mess with killer art.