Friday, July 29, 2016

You don't remember this place being paradise, but how it did change!

Once there was only one person on the Earth.  This was like paradise.

For the sake of companionship, another person was made.  Love came between them, and that was the start of the whole mess.

All that pesky gratification.  Eating fruits directly off the trees.  Amazon mailing farm-fresh produce in cartons through the UPS.

Love's indecent sisters is jealousy.  And did she run wild.

One would think, if the place was so perfect, why was there a serpent, but then I don't know either.  It was said the serpent was not loathsome of fearsome as the one's in our own age, but beautiful.  So it too was window dressing for paradise, perhaps eating of lesser creatures when they came out of balance in overcrowding.

Lets get back to the gratification.  Sloth and gluttony, two easy sins that don't often require much effort, or even any dark emotions within the heart.  So simple, so easy to just sit there and eat the Chips Ahoy or the Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream.

Its so easy.  And in the ease of sin, we find a forbidden glimpse of that old paradise.

Eternal torment comes later.  Worry about the bridge when you come to it.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

the doomsayer element in film.

The doomsayer is usually portrayed as an old man.  In reality, there were oracles and witches and voodoomen about that had a secret knowledge that people required.  In dreams, there is the anima/animus figure, in men represented by an old woman shrouded in darkness.  That is in Jungian terms, age for wisdom and darkness for how the truth of that figure is obscured to us, the viewer.

In the previously mentioned Wes Craven films(Last House On The Left, Hills Have Eyes, and Nightmare On Elm Street), there is a doomsayer only in Last House On The Left.  He had a sense of exactly what was going to happen, and he was heading for the hills himself, but only too late.

Friday the 13th had the figure of the aimless Ralph, a somewhat nutty old man on a bicycle.  His wisdom may have been nullified by circumstance.  But he was right nonetheless, no matter how crummy his clothes or bicycle were, no matter how inarticulate his speech.  Those people were doomed, just like he said.

Like he said to their startled faces.

Perhaps the greatest of the prophetic Doomsayers, for me as a horror fan, is Doctor Samuel Loomis in Halloween, as portrayed by Donald Pleasance.  He knew what was happening, bought a gun, and went in and got his hands dirty cooling out the situation.  Now one can argue, that by injecting himself as the hero in the end, that he is not a doomsayer, but a hero, like a lawman of an old cowboy epic on the trail of the villian.

But the moviegoing public and John Carpenter kept Jamie Lee Curtis as the center of that universe, that she is the hero for even surviving the horror.

Keeps the plot going.  Got a lull?  Toss in a cryptic warning that eats at the edges of the bright sunlight of day: the night is coming; make ready yourself for doom.  This was the exactitude of Friday the 13th, though there were early kills, too, but this contributed to perhaps the solidity of the mass of the film, as an extra element in the sauce of summer camp story: that we never forget and feel at least a sense of dread, if not outright Spider-sense tingles.

Friday, July 22, 2016

a visual device for writing. look at this crap.

Insane isn't it?

The above is a very crude diagram I spent a minute or two drawing. It is to be used to help me sort of put of together a story as a mechanism, being like a machine, turning a source material into something else entirely by the time one has read the story.  Input one thing, the machine modifies it and something different is output, like the light bulb, with its electricity outputted as light.

In my most abstract brainstorming is any of my stories thought of as a mechanism or machine.  The accompanying visual has a rendering in letters:  mfx7m.  I have fun in my writing, thinking in the abstract, using pictures to simulate the process, like the very opposite of Henry James talking about picture in writing, as in not describing a scene but making a picture that illustrates a rather abstract concept of the working of a story: the action.

The shapes of the various lines are created with crude letters, with adds an extra dimension, a physical codification, along with an order, but as we see in this depiction, the output is dispersed as light but continuing on along in a circuit.  That dualism is a conundrum whereas the individual outputs are themselves depictions of many different things in metaphor.


The operation of a light bulb.  The incandescent kind, that is.  I goes classical in my diagrams that I may be understood easily.  Better to show a filament electrified into a discharge of brightness than some excited gas in a newfangled bulb.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Do the Wrong Thing: Dallas Sniper compared to Spike Lee films

To the chief, Barry O: the people are indeed divided.  Don't be fooled because you are surrounded by people that think like you.  Just look around honestly.

But some people make division policy.  And I don't mean Trump; I mean Barry O himself, fostering class division through dreams of income redistribution.  This is a polarized path and poisonous to thoughtful moderates; if given a choice, they would deny that snake oil and go for a GOP option that is stated milder, regardless of the real details(because not many of us watch CSPAN or read bills that go through congress).

But, Abaddon, where does Mookie and Tina come into this?  Well.  There are no games anymore, because they are angry at the boys in blue and they are in the streets protesting.  Spike Lee would approve, I think: the taking to the streets for equality.

All this nitpicking over accidents.

The hands were together on 9/11, but they have since pulled apart thanks to a concerted effort by the two-party political system.

Put your hands by your hips.  Make a fist of your left hand.  Now we will refer to that as a potato, as in a "hot potato".  Progressive.  The people that put the Constitution on the back of the working man, make him run, then observe that as a moving target: the yellowed paper scampering along stuck to a union member.

Make a fist of your right hand, and we will call it a hot potato, too, but hot in a different way, hot for personal responsibility, not blaming the system, not seeing accidents as something more.  Obstinate.  Conservative.

The crescendo this time is the angry man hijacking the protest movement for his own designs of mass murder.  Micah Johnson was our Remy.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Rasslin' with Bergman.

I've seen a lot of his work.  I understand him better than Fellini, but like his Italian counterpart, Bergman could often be insular.  It is to be wondered if he captured so much his life in codified form in his work.  Often his characters played very flat, with a scant hint of torment; they played almost stoic and monkish, from the Seventh Seal to the present case in point of From the Life of Marionettes.

I can see his appeal among film students and younger adults in a certain flattening of feeling, as such the youths can be sometimes be numb to the things around them, appealing even to the counter-culture in his stoicism, that it expressed is cool, almost bored.

In From the Life of Marionettes, photography is off and on, dialogue is off and on; with so many believing Bergman dialogue brilliant, he chews a lot of scenes with musings of nothing consequential.  In such a sparse film, faces, eyes, noses, lips of actors are to express something, and in that I wonder how much is lost between the decades and the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean.  Most importantly, in Marionettes, we are treated to a long diagnosis of our hero by a psychiatrist, which is essential, giving us the clear indication that other attempts to hint at his state in scenes, frankly fell flat.

I did however like the plot of Virgin Spring, even if the camera was lazy and did not foster expression.  It was so emotionless, stoic like Max Von Sydow.

Friday, July 8, 2016

The Virginal Survivor in Horror Movies.

Wes Craven matured into the idea of a Virginal Survivor with Nightmare On Elm Street, but therein the concept was not pure because of the realization and empowerment of the Virginal Survivor in the climax; Craven did this on his own terms then, and before making the virginity of the leading lady an openly discussed topic in Scream, even stating in words erroneously that virginity was requisite for survival.  Before Nightmare, Craven made all of his heroines endure rape, and where the first dies a slow death from a gunshot, the next takes revenge and survives(so therein is a sub-arc in Craven's work, a progression from a Bergman off-shoot to the development of his own empowered heroes/heroines with gadgets and booby traps actively taking revenge on the monsters).

It was not sex that precipitated death most often in Friday the 13th films, but vulnerability expressed in nudity-of which the first film features a game of "Strip Monopoly".  Then in that universe, it was not virginity, but prudishness or morals that saved the leading lady, leaving her safely tucked away until the climax, tucked away while her friends are murdered.  The FBI, in luring Jason out of the woods, sends a female agent to the shower for bath time, which draws Jason Voorhees near like a big electromagnet.  Bill Lustig's Maniac gave us vulnerability murders, even staging one scene in a subway bathroom; this film is a monolith of the sub-genre, seemingly spawning out of its own universe with it own dictates, its own rules, though it observes, establishes or upholds, largely, the trappings of the sub-genre while yet maintaining focus on the disturbed main character.

What we see most often now is not necessarily a virginal character, but a tormented, introspective heroine.  Surviving or even killing the monster is a validation or just good therapy, so in the modern vernacular, the woman becomes a long-haired beautiful Beowulf, at first seen as Thelma from Scooby-Doo, and at-once an anti-hero surpassing the stripe of the great cowboy and cops and robbers and road films.