starring Adam Driver, Greta Gerwig, Don Cheadle, Raffey Cassidy
written by Noah Baumbach, based on the book by Don DeLillo
directed by Noah Baumbach
by Angelo Muredda "Everything was fine, everything would continue to be fine, would eventually get better, so long as the supermarket did not slip," says professor Jack Gladney midway through White Noise, Don DeLillo's satire of contemporary middle-class American family life tested by catastrophe. DeLillo's protagonist is marvelling at the grocery store's capacity to endure unaffected in the face of a transient disaster that's hit his charming town, impressed by how the so-called "airborne toxic event" that's blown through (and now over) his community has, if anything, only enhanced the store's unnaturally perfect wares, which always seem in-season no matter the time of year. He could just as well be marvelling at the elasticity of DeLillo's novel, which holds up in the face of the ongoing global catastrophe it prefigures in many ways, a pandemic that briefly forced westerners to interrogate their insulation from the kind of suffering they normally watch on television.