The House That Jack Built (2018)


Russell Jack (Matt Dillon) is the engineer/architect who escapes from the world and from himself by killing and building the house of his dreams with the bodies of his victims.

Russell Jack (Matt Dillon)

“And the difference between an architect and an engineer?” Architect draws houses? “And an engineer?” Also draws houses? “You call that a difference? An engineer reads music, an architect plays music if that’s something your limited brain can process.”

What about your house? By God, you cannot convince me that the idea of your first house being torn down was, in any way, satisfying. Do you claim that it was built to be torn down? “No and I’m sorry to say that it happened no less than three more times that I started construction and then became doubtful. It was difficult to create the house that I had dreamed of. The material didn’t do what I wanted it to do. The houses I had drawn had already at the very first detail, something banal not to say ordinary, about them.” Isn’t that what in art you would call epigonism? Your great talent only reached so far you, artist of all times.

“Albert Speer invented ‘The Theory of Ruin Value’ by examining the Greek and Roman ruins and constructed his buildings using both weaker and stronger materials so that they, in a thousand years, would appear as aesthetically perfect ruins.” Which fortunately were smashed to atoms in mere few years after their construction. Hubris is punished by nemesis if I may use an old-fashioned expression.

I just have one question. “What’s the question?” Wasn’t there something about you building a house? Wasn’t Jack going to build a house? “Yes. I… I… I was… trying… but I didn’t get very far.” I can see it’s going to be a bit difficult to get that house built, but perhaps another one. Think, Jack, after all you are an engineer and call yourself an architect. I’ve been told you have an interesting theory about the material which you claim has its own will. Find the material, Jack and let it do the work.

Your house is a fine little house, Jack. It’s absolutely usable.

Color palette


The Surrender to the Labirinth

“Nobody believes that they can overcome the labyrinths by escaping their difficulties.” (Italo Calvino, The Challenge to the Labyrinth)

“Great is the charm of the labyrinth, its severe inclination to ask absolute questions, and together to put them in an indirect, elusive, almost playful, clever, infantile way. Every road is a road, but it is also a hallucination, a road towards a goal, so it seems, but since the goal, what it is, is never achieved, except that in the case of a further road, it is possible that every road is a deception, a giarda, an arcatura, to suggest, thanks to a lying ideogram traced in the darkness, that after all it would be wise that I did not move at all.” (Giorgio Manganelli, La palude definitiva)

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