Ktismatics

12 January 2008

A Corpse in Eastern Promises (2007)

Filed under: Movies — ktismatics @ 10:58 am

[I previously posted on this movie, but my erstwhile collaborator encouraged me to write a portalic piece about it. I’m working from somewhat old memories, so I have no quotes or screen shots to illustrate the idea.]

Russian mobsters must like to carve up bodies, because they do a lot of it in Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises. The knife, not the gun, is the weapon of choice. We watch two men’s throats get slashed: are the gaping red wounds emblematic of castration, or perhaps the carving of a vagina into men for whom the loss of manhood is more important than the loss of life? Or maybe the horizontal gash across the larynx is a double of the mouth — open, breathless, silent. Nikolai Luzhin gets tattooed with the gang’s markings: it’s part of a symbolic transfer of allegiance, from the family of one’s birth to the mob family. Most importantly for the story, though, the tattoos make it possible for a rival gang to mistake Nikolai for his boss’ son, who bears the same permanent markings of identity inscribed in his flesh. The tattoo isn’t just a marking of identity; it’s a medium of communication – or in this case, of intentional miscommunication.

Early in the movie we watch Nikolai snipping off the fingertips of the first throat-slashing victim so that the body cannot be identified – again, carving up the body prevents the communication of identity. Not until much later do we find out that the body did carry information, but the message isn’t borne in the flesh of the corpse. When the police pull the body out of the Thames they discover that Nikolai has written a note to his boss and stashed it in the body’s coat pocket. But his boss isn’t a mobster; it’s a Scotland Yard chief. It turns out that Nikolai isn’t really a Russian gangland thug; he’s an undercover agent of the British police.

We saw Nikolai convey a message on paper before. Early in the movie he screws a whore, presumably to demonstrate his manhood but mostly to pleasure the mob boss’ voyeuristic son, but afterward he writes a note on a holy card and hands it to the young woman: it’s a contact that will help her escape the mafia’s clutches. And we know that another young prostitute’s diary has fallen into the hands of Anna, a nurse who attended to the delivery of the Russian girl’s baby. The diary names the mob boss as the father of the girl’s child — a written testimonial that he raped a minor, evidence that can put him away.

This is the way we do things in the West: we write things down on paper and tuck these notes into the pockets of our clothing; we speak to one another or we choose to remain silent. In a word, we are civilized. The Easterners don’t just keep silent; they cut each other’s throats. They don’t just write messages; they tattoo them into the flesh. They are a barbarian horde inscribing their rude corporeality into Western culture. By means of a floating corpse, its throat cut and its fingers snipped, doubly silenced through bodily violence, but carrying in its pocket the pen-and-paper communique of one civilized man to another, a message at once so fragile and impermanent and yet ultimately so powerfully dominant, we are transported through the portal between East and West.

In Eastern Promises Cronenberg extols the strength of the Western symbolic order. The Russians are corrupt: they aren’t shown as being in decline but rather as never having risen above the direct, corporeal, beastial expressive register. Nikolai’s manliness in the Russian mob world is all physical, almost iconically so, pointing backward to some primal image of man. But at the same time it’s feminizing, subjecting him to bodily mutilation and perverse voyeurism by the leaders of the pack. As a Western man Nikolai is kind, just, subtle, more androgynous in a traditional sense but more powerful and masterful than his Eastern self.

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65 Comments »

  1. Actually my impression was more that Cronenberg sees the Russian mob as the Western Unconscious (what dr. Zizek would describe, albeit hypocritically, as the Western attitude to places in the Balkans like Serbia or Macedonia – the poorer republics) sort of like in History of Violence the ”light” and ”dark” America belong to the same Moebius strip (see Shaviro’s for reference). But this is not the really new thought in the movie, something else interests me… but wait until I complete the whole writing this week as part of my academic application.

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    Comment by parodycenter — 13 January 2008 @ 7:29 pm

  2. Unconscious in the sense that human consciousness is a thin layer sitting on top of a primitive primate brain. That’s how I saw Cronenberg’s History of Violence: civilized behavior is driven by the same struggles for survival and dominance that enabled our earliest prehistoric ancestors to thrive in the evolutionary environment. The Russians in Eastern Promises are the more primal culture — physical and brutal. The English aren’t just more sophisticated: their mastery of symbols and their subtlety are more powerful, enabling them to dominate the primitive, apelike Russians. To defeat the Russians the Westerners have had to harness the beast in themselves, channeling the innate dominance instinct into more effective, more civilized means — that would be the History of Violence connection, and certainly it’s there. But I think there’s also a sense in which the Westerners in Eastern Promises are kinder, more concerned about others’ welfare — more civilized in a humanistic sense, rather than just the more dominant humans.

    But actually there are no fully English characters in the movie. England is represented only by its architecture, its automobiles, its pavements. The Scotland Yard chief is efficient, skillful, machine-like. Anna is half-English, half-Russian, and her father who lives with her manifests her Russian self: emotional, familial, loyal to the traditions. Anna is a transitional figure, civilized and technological yet (still) loyal and emotional — she drives not a car but a motorbike, a machine that still exposes the body. Nikolai is a generation behind her in making the transition from East to West. But the English have perhaps gone too far, losing affect in the pursuit of symbolic efficiency/efficacy, dehumanized. There’s a thin strip of humanity between the beast and the machine, where both cognition and affect/body have a place.

    You, Parodycenter, being a transitional figure between East and West, can perhaps relate more closely to the characters in this movie. Your comment to the post brings erudition, but it also stimulates the competitive affect: “see Shaviro’s for reference,” “this is not the really new thought,” “wait until I complete the whole writing.” This sort of approach calls attention to the repressed violence of intellectual discourse, its sophisticated perceptions and nuanced use of language camouflaging the dog-eat-dog world of smart people trying to kick each others’ asses and dominate the hierarchy of smart people. I’d say that you as Parody Center make a concerted effort to bring about the return of this repressed competitive violence among intellectual bloggers. But what about the humane kindness, which so often seems either disguised or purged from Parody Center’s interactions? I know it’s there, and I value it. Are civility and mutuality just a smokescreen, intended to keep the competition off-balance while we’re preparing to cut each other’s balls off?

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    Comment by ktismatics — 14 January 2008 @ 6:31 am

  3. Are civility and mutuality just a smokescreen, intended to keep the competition off-balance while we’re preparing to cut each other’s balls off?

    No, but they’re secondary: But it’s not that we’re trying to cut each other’s balls off, but rather trying to enlarge them–for mutuality, you know…

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    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 14 January 2008 @ 9:39 am

  4. Lolz.

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    Comment by ktismatics — 14 January 2008 @ 10:49 am

  5. But what about the humane kindness, which so often seems either disguised or purged from Parody Center’s interactions? I know it’s there, and I value it. Are civility and mutuality just a smokescreen, intended to keep the competition off-balance while we’re preparing to cut each other’s balls off?

    Sexually speaking Clysmatics there’s nothing less exciting than a whimpering Christian bottom, THAT’S WHY. I believe in an explosive mix of porno and academia, as you well know. And I’m not ”competing” with Shaviro at all, I accept his work unreservedly. Though yes the parody’s strategy is to invoke the hidden competitive resentments of the participants because that gets their brains sharpened and as you know they have produced their best thoughts when attacked by the CPC. This is just principles of good debate and I don’t know why you’re trying to read a hidden meaning into it. Must be your OWN jealousy and repressed evil.

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    Comment by parodycenter — 15 January 2008 @ 9:05 am

  6. That’s the spirit, Parodycenter! The aggressive sexuality of intellectual debate! Have you designed any tattoos that might identify people as, say, fuzzy dialecticians or irresolute pseudo-Lacanians or PoMo prevaricators?

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    Comment by ktismatics — 15 January 2008 @ 9:48 am

  7. Admittedly dad I sometimes think that your performance, which is that of a Quaker psychotherapist with endless patience for people’s shall we say idiosyncracies, might often fare better in terms of disguising malevolence than my direct and rough and tumble approach. You’re more like Viggo Mortenssen this way and I more the revolutionary type that would get beheaded for blurting things out too fast. Might be related to my astrological sign, Aries namely. On the other hand I am too much fo a bottom to be as unforgiving as Jonquille, who also incredibly enough manages to sell his anal content to sophisticated audiences – certainly the workings of a virtuoso composer in its own right. I like the idea for the slot badges, especially for those amongst the slots who pride themselves on their versatility!

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    Comment by parodycenter — 15 January 2008 @ 1:35 pm

  8. Yes, you’re probably right. I felt slighted by your comment to my post, suggesting that yours was going to be superior, and also that you regarded Shaviro as definitive, which irritated me a bit since I’m expecting you to talk about what I have to say, not Shaviro. Sorry for analyzing you YET AGAIN in a retaliatory vein. I’d rather talk about the movies than about either one of us. I look forward to reading your observations on this film when you get them finished, and wish you well as you put your job proposal together.

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    Comment by ktismatics — 15 January 2008 @ 5:41 pm

  9. Before I leave myself behind, I feel the urge to share… Though my post identifies what I see as a contrast that Cronenberg makes between East and West in this movie, a contrast that presents the West as more civilized than the East, I don’t personally believe that it’s true, nor do I have any way of knowing whether Cronenberg believes it’s true. In the reality that exists inside the movie, criminality, mysogyny, perversion, violence, etc. all occupy the Eastern side of the divide, along with incomplete mastery of the symbolic order. The film would have been less politically and racially suspect if the hemispheres were reversed — if, say, the story had been set in Moscow and the gangsters were English. It might even have been a more interesting movie had it been made that way. It surely would have been a tougher sell to a Western audience that already associates Eastern Europe and the Middle East with primitive evil.

    In looking at the portality of the floating corpse I’m identifying one point of overlap between contrasting realities as they exist inside the heterotopic space of the film itself, rather than in the larger society within which films are financed, made, watched. That’s the nature of my larger portality project: to identify alternate realities inside the film itself. If this were a Bible study my portality project would be a form of “lower criticism,” trying to make sense of the text within the context established inside the overall Biblical reality rather than critiquing it from “above,” as a sociohistorical product of human culture. So, e.g., a lower-critical interpreter can speculate about why Yahweh, the creator of all people, encourages the Israelites to slaughter the occupants of Palestine as they cross the Jordan into the promised land. But to propose that the writers of the Biblical texts were inventing a divinely-sanctioned rationale for nationalistic militarism is to move outside and above the textual reality.

    In identifying Parodycenter as a “transitional figure” I was engaging him from inside the cinematic reality of Eastern Promises, as if he was a less civilized, more primitive, more apelike character who has gone to the West either to improve himself by Western standards or to infect the West with his Eastern corruption. In doing so I was staying “in character” inside the movie’s reality. I was also messing with Parodycenter for my own amusement. In doing so I have, either inadvertently or maliciously or both, played into the blurring of realities in blog exchanges that I’ve been trying to set aside for the sake of more ingenuous and transparent mutual engagement.

    So in conclusion, I apologize again, Parodycenter: I don’t regard you as a product or representative of a more primitive culture, as a transitional figure between primal and civilized man. Or at least I don’t regard you as any more transitional than I am.

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    Comment by ktismatics — 16 January 2008 @ 7:31 am

  10. So in conclusion, I apologize again, Parodycenter:

    Darling, don’t pay attention to his apologies, he just feels guilty and when his mood changes he’ll say whatever gets him off the most just like anybody else.

    Goddam it, Clysmatics, can’t you just stick to your guns sometimes. You don’t have to be a straw in the wind, with attempts to be politically correct with one breath and adventurous in another. In no time, you’ll be writing febrile entries about ‘fragile aporias’ that are likely to mimic N. Pepperell’s delicate mussel-shell rainbow-writing….Dejan doesn’t care if you’re aware that Serbia has beauties that are not quite the same as the accomplishments of Paris and London, and if he does, he’ll just have to deal with it in a more creative way!

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    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 16 January 2008 @ 11:42 am

  11. Fragile aporias? I like portals better.

    Partly this mea culpa is related to my Genesis 1 project. I wrote a book that interprets the Biblical creation story as if it was a “first contact” science fiction story, where the primitive Semitic nomads are exposed to the symbolic order (call this “light,” call that “darkness,” etc.) by purveyors of a more advanced, godlike civilization (e.g., a Mesopotamian trading party). I was able to envision the origins of modern civilization taking shape inside the portal opened up by this alternative interpretation. When I wrote the book I proposed that Western civilization attained dominance because the Judeo-Christians took more seriously the idea that man is a creator of the symbolic order, as per Genesis 1 where man is created in the image of the gods. In doing that I let the portal expand outward to encompass the whole world, rather than letting it stay self-contained as an alternative reality like a fiction. I’m thinking now that it’s a mistake, that I ought to rewrite the ideas in that book as part of a fiction. I don’t know if that makes sense in terms of the self-centered reasons for dandling fragile aporias on my knee — besides making nice to Dejan, of course.

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    Comment by ktismatics — 16 January 2008 @ 12:20 pm

  12. Portals can be aporias. I don’t care what they’re called, I just know I can do them, but not quite as interested in the talky kinds you and Dejan are. Those are all right, but I don’t find them as keen. For example, you and Dejan can talk about a single movie endlessly and even Arpege will reluctantly cooperate (however relucantly and in the past.) These portals are very microscopic.

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    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 16 January 2008 @ 2:43 pm

  13. It’s why I keep believing it’s time to write another book instead of talking so much about other people’s. I just watched Tarkovsky’s Stalker, which is portalic in the extreme, and I could certainly write about it, what it might mean, and so on. But for him to have created this portalic thing without fully knowing what it meant even while he was doing it — that is a portalic experience in its own right, and the thing you have to show for it at the end might mean nothing more to anyone else than a piece of mussel shell. What I have to do is persuade myself again that it’s worth the trouble. Part of doing that is to stop writing these posts and comments, and also to stop talking about stopping writing them. But I end up writing something about Atonement even without meaning to. I won’t post about Stalker — maybe that will be something.

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    Comment by ktismatics — 16 January 2008 @ 2:52 pm

  14. Clysmatics, don’t be so hard on yourself, yesterday I typed up the first typed drafts of the beginning of the 3rd and 4th Books of my new book, and even had ‘Stalker’ out of the library. The trick is rather to just make sure you are favouring the original work, then you can use all this as recreation and a form of pleasant fantasy. I mean–I’ve got ‘Stalker’ out of the library right now, and will watch it in the next few days, and also ‘Inland Empire’, which they talked about for 8-10 months, I’ll watch that in a few minutes. This will get Dejan’s fixations out of the way for me, because I’ve developed, as a result of my own books and the way the new one got finished in rought draft at JFK when my LA flight was delayed December 17, a resistance to films which surprises me. I think my first two books are a primer on how to get regular cinema-sensation in real life, so I now find the better sensation on the streets than I do in the movies. Naturally, since I wrote about how to do this, I am the first one to learn how to do it, but it’s dangerous. But what I was trying to say was a ‘film resistance’ took me much longer to develop than a ‘television resistance’, in which I’ve long been uninterested (I did watch a bunch of ‘The Sopranos’ on VHS, and a few ‘Queer as Folk’ and ‘Sex and the City’ (Sopranos worthwhile, the others horrible, but I find the internet so much of an evolved television that I haven’t kept with any of the things like ’24’ or ‘the office’ or whatever the trendy things are.) I do understand your difficulty, because I’ve had to work through it, too. for awhile, you might have a strong resistance to the blogs like I have had, but now that the blawg war has been concluded enough so that I’m not worried about secret attacks by the Qlipothians, I just do some of the blawg things, like watching ‘Inland Empire’ as a social nicety–in much the same way that Dejan ought to put Michael on the friggin’ blawgroll, but thinks he has to arrange himself fussily on a wing chair and compose a doily…c’est ridicule. I didn’t mean you might not have interesting things to say about ‘Stalker’ or Dejan’s other faves, but I won’t have much. I am not so emotionally involved in them, and ‘History of Violence’ was very good, but it’s not a part of the Deep Fabric of my life. I fully intend to watch ‘dreamgirls’ over the weekend too, and most of the ‘au courant’ things, now that I found the DVD on my pc,courtesy of Dejan. A few things I’ll skip: I don’t care about what Helen Mirren did in ‘The Queen’, because the real-life one is continually amusing, but otherwise, I do not find these films all that plangent and all that trenchant. You are right to save your emotional investment for those things, and after awhile you won’t feel invaded by the blawgstuff and can just take a little piss here and there like I do….

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    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 16 January 2008 @ 7:51 pm

  15. Plus, I just read the first 25 pages of Mickey Spillane’s ‘I, the Jury’. Never have read this master. Not as beautiful as Chandler or MacDonald, but good anyway. Have you seen ‘Kiss Me Deadly?’ very good treatment of Spillane onscreen. I want to re-watch it.

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    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 16 January 2008 @ 7:53 pm

  16. I’m glad your book is going well, and that you’ve found a way of engaging the world in a new and satisfying way. Do you regard this book as a personal expression or a contribution to the world or both? I liked Stalker quite a lot, more so than Solaris — the laconic pace works more effectively and the visual mood is hypnotic. Certainly David Lynch must have paid close attention, which you’ll observe if you watch both Inland Empire and Stalker. I too use the public library as a source of DVDs, though I’ve just about exhausted Boulder’s interesting selections and have lately subscribed to Netflix.

    But I need to develop some momentum on my longer-term writing, which means I resent these other worthies that clamor for my easily distractable attention. I have no permanent aversion to movies or blogs — more like the need to dry out temporarily for specific reasons rather than swearing off the stuff forever, as you’ve discussed lately.

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    Comment by ktismatics — 16 January 2008 @ 9:52 pm

  17. “Do you regard this book as a personal expression or a contribution to the world or both?”

    You ask the cutest questions.

    I hadn’t realized that Inland Empire is the region including Palm Springs and Twenty-Nine Palms. There was some talk about Pomona, also a part of the region, in that particularly loathsome scene on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I suppose I can find out later if David Lynch has a star on the Walk of Fame. If so, he’d want it to be just like everybody else’s, one can be sure of that–not like the one in this film. The San Bernardino Mountains I’ve seen but I haven’t been in any of the towns of Inland Empire like Riverside or Palm Springs. Inland Empire borders L.A. County and Orange County.

    Very much ‘Mulholland Drive’ (The Decomposition). Strange to watch this two days after ‘A History of Violence’. It will be interesting to see if I find Cronenberg to have evolved like Lynch did from ‘Mulholland Drive’ to the expensive unremitting solipsism of ‘Inland Empire.’ I doubt it, because ‘A History of Violence’ is both a great film and also a good one. After about an hour and a half of ‘Inland Empire’ I wondered if we’d finally come upon ‘the great film that doesn’t even manage to be a good one’, because at that point it became boring almost beyond belief, is about David Lynch and absolutely nothing else, unless the inspired casting of Jeremy Irons–somehow his presence, not usually terribly welcome by me, cuts through the hypnosis by giving the most extraordinary sensation of ‘slumming’ by appearing in this film–is seen as a kind of symbol (and not all that strong either, since it reeks of a sort of stereotyped fashionableness) which alone is capable of anchoring the film to reality. He’s anything but noble (and would like the idea of slumming here even if he wasn’t thinking about it), and has always had a tendency to a cool sleaziness, but his opening appearance is very interesting, wherein he sports a smile that seems to be an attempt to look like David Bowie; it almost succeeds, but instead looks like a more contrived English-decadent type, later on has a Lucifer look. It was a mistake to cast him, because he adds a sort of punctuation to these Boiled Witch’s Brew. I don’t think he wanted to ‘disance himself from the proceedings’ due to his own sleaziness, but his natural excellence as an actor (which you see especially well in ‘Betrayal’ with Ben Kingsley and Patricia Hodge) makes this happen anyhow.

    I noticed in those credits at the end which try to win you back if you had lost interest hours before, and yet fails to do so, that Laura Dern was the co-producer. This made me wonder if she made as much money from the film as Irons did. He got second billing, and has a tiny part. The movie is 3 1/3 hours of Laura Dern, who is a sort of interesting PoMo Joanne Woodward in the earlier scenes before the movie becomes aggressively stultifying and virtually suffocating–when she is chewing gum in one of the shorter early scenes in which the movie is still discrete from the rest of what it gets stewed into later. When there are nothing but long shots of Laura Dern’s face (even though these begin shortly into the film, when she resembles Cybil Shepherd somewhat for awhile, when it is still interesting and hasn’t started to putrefy), you see why Bruce Wagner was talking about her as a cameo character in his novel ‘I’m Losing You’, as she is ‘disgorged’ from her psychiatrist Calliope’s office. Wagner, a smart but coarse and extremely vulgar novelist, says ‘well, not quite as big a thing as schmoozing with the Dalai Lama, but still in its own way…something….’ And Calliope’s patients talk to her about their conflicts about where or where not to vacation…although that hadn’t been Laura Dern per se, one imagines her 5 years later ‘vacationing in her own face’ in this film, as if she had a film face that was capable of doing a remake of ‘Queen Christina’.

    It’s hard to say, but I would imagine Irons was not especially highly paid by now for this work, as he has not been really hot since ‘Reversal of Fortune’. After an hour and a half, there is this serialization of images so unbelievably inconsiderate and altogether unnecessary–those endless table lamps — that ‘Last Year at Marienbad’ seems like Mozart in its sparklingly clean and economical presentation. Long black scenes when they aren’t just dark, and I thought it was going to be even longer, because there is an accompanying disc. I thought there might be more movie than one disc could hold, but finally, on the hundredth black scene of 10 seconds each, the movie ended. It was thoroughly successful in making one think it would never,ever end.

    Laura Dern as Antoine Doinel–and with enough masks in this film alone to make up for all the years Lynch didn’t put her in any of the films. Will the same happen with Kyle MacLachlan? Will Isabella come back to form a haunted Repertory Company.

    John, do you realize how few people know that Inland Empire is a region of California next to Los Angeles? He can only have called the film that because of Palm Springs.

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    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 17 January 2008 @ 12:05 am

  18. “You ask the cutest questions.”

    I’m prepping you for the book tour. Also the question is posed implicitly by a character in Stalker, known only as The Writer. His answer, as you might expect, is “none of the above.”

    Now that you’ve forced yourself to sit through IE I’ll be curious to see whether you can stomach Stalkers. Stalkers, slow and moody like IE, is more clearly about something. I will, of course, cede the floor to Dejan about why your response to IE is completely wrong. I’ve seen it twice and liked it better the first time, which wasn’t the case for MD. I will surely try it again at some point. I agree that it’s more about David Lynch and the movie biz than about Woman, though I think Lynch is also interested in the blurring of identities between the actress, the image, and and the roles she plays — a continuation of his MD project. I also see IE as a cinematic analogy to abstract art, a series of portalic episodes loosely linked together through sort of stream of consciousness free association. It does immerse the viewer in a monotonously oppressive affect throughout the proceedings — maybe that’s what hell would be like once you get used to it. I didn’t know about Inland Empire being an area of CA until after I saw the movie.

    “I suppose I can find out later if David Lynch has a star on the Walk of Fame.”

    Here’s a photo we took of LYNCH’S HANDPRINT AT CANNES. It’s like the rest, though larger than most. I like that the prints are raised rather than sunk into the concrete — as if the stars are reaching up from under the ground.

    I watched Jeremy Irons recently in Being Julia. He and Annette Benning were both excellent, though the movie was ordinary in most respects. Still, it was pleasing for Benning, occupying the Margot Channing role, getting the best of the Eve Harrington character. Curiously enough, Jeremy Irons plays a theater director in that movie as well — also the husband of Benning’s character, like Bill in All About Eve. The director character in MD was also a rather sleazy type, and it was strange for that guy, whoever he is, to appear as an actor in IE.

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    Comment by ktismatics — 17 January 2008 @ 7:33 am

  19. ‘The director character in MD was also a rather sleazy type, and it was strange for that guy, whoever he is, to appear as an actor in IE.’

    Good point, but no, it’s not strange. Almost everything was transplanted from MD. We’ve moved from ‘Death and Transfiguration’ to ‘Death and Decomposition.’ If one hasn’t seen it without overt clues–that this is a more elaborate, more expensive sequel to MD, which is obviously David Lynch’s peak, easily his best film even though it is primarily a collection of cliches about Hollywood put into a classy-looking container–there are Ms. Haring at the end (and perhaps before) and something about Naomi Watts’s voice, or maybe she was in it for a second too.

    IE is like a designer product–chic, flashy, incredibly over-produced and expensive, and delighted about its ability to be rotten to the core. All the intertextual associations have evolved and rotted since Mulholland Drive: Even the shot of the Hollywood Sign in IE has none of the cold beauty of the shot with the helicopter (I believe) of the sign in MD. It’s already like ‘stale mayonnaise’, to use Tom Tryon’s description of Los Angeles on a warmish smoggy day. Even with all the discussion, I had never picked up that we would have yet another picture about somebody ‘getting a part’ in a picture, albeit he surely chose a more obvious B-list actress, because MD made Naomi Watts a major star. Laura Dern has been around a lot longer and is still not a major star–she’s David Lynch’s property. So he can use and abuse her and finally when Irons tells her how ‘marvelous’ she was in the Hollywood Walk of Fame scene, with the Asian girl talking about her blonde-wig friend and the bus to Pomona, she walks out, all ‘moved’ and depressed, especially after A-list actor Irons kisses her B-list actress in the mouth. All those hotel rooms with the table lamps for whores belabor the point endlessly that was still ‘standing up’ in MD.

    It’s technically an impressive achievement, of course, and I guess now I think it’s about an hour of it in which it’s still more or less ‘vertical’, rather than an hour and a half. There’s something technically and technologically striking, but not more than that, about the smooth modulation into the 2 hours of holes and labyrinths, when the movie exults in its clever decomposition. There are even cheap shots to make it scary like a horror film, so that the film could be called ‘The Screwdriver Murders’ or rather ‘Teh Screwdriver Murders’, or Laura Dern as the battered woman talking to the shrink (or shrink-type thing-man) with all the ‘fuckin’ this’ and ‘fuckin’ that’, and talking about how the lights come on at the end of a film in the theater. They never come on in the film, so this is meant to molest the audience and make them uncomfortable; it did do so enough to make me turn on a lamp so the lighting would be different no matter the tyrannical instructions given to the audience on how to watch this film. And then you can see that all of David Lynch’s love of darkness, especially as in ‘Lost Highway’ and IE–but here it is more technically accomplished and savvy–is what you are getting.

    I am glad I watched it, because it has made me re-evaluate all of Lynch’s work. And it makes it impossible not to see this as the logical outcome of the rest of it, so that all of his films now seem less profound to me. They have a strange combination of the hokey and pretentious, but with IE all of the hokeyness is centered in Laura Dern. It would have required a much more intense and strong actress to inhabit those frames, and a more intense and strong actress probably wouldn’t have done this part. It’s all insider stuff, all self-congratulatory, and has a self-propelling decomposing element that is meant to kill off all dynamism–exactly the opposite of what Cronenberg seems to be after in ‘A History of Violence’. Remarkable that you used the title of this post ‘A Corpse in Eastern Promises’, because IE is itself a corpse. The meanness of the song and dance stuff, with its low but slightly higher energy than what has preceded it, in the closing credits, also does not really bring relief to the funereal proceedings, and reminded me vaguely of ‘Fame’ and ‘Flashdance’. ‘A History of Violence’ goes on in the mind as to what it might be after the final scene at home with the family, but the closing credits are like an announcement that the next thing David Lynch might make is a spectacular film version of a Broadway musical. How could he continue in this vein after making a film that is like an Embalming Process? Do shots of a headstone for 18 hours like Andy Warhol’s old movie of the Empire State Building? The trendy appeal of Lynch has never been clearer than with this film. He often does use a more ‘above-ground’ type of actor in a smallish part: Hope Lange in ‘Blue Velvet’, Ann Miller in ‘MD’, and Jeremy Irons here. It would be sadistic if it didn’t backfire: These are the actors who prove that Lynch has become ever more skillful with this production of the super-cheesey. With this film, it just begins to seem sick, and not at all romantic. I wouldn’t watch it a second time, nor would I watch any of Lynch’s other films again, because they all make sense now as being a part of some over-produced lower-middle-class esthetic which wants to be romantic until it becomes celebrated. At that point, it wants to just become trendy and fashionable, like a ‘becoming-boutique movie’, and this is what it does do. I also recall ‘Wild at Heart’, which has Nicholas Cage, a pretty good actor, but he was already somewhat established and is anyway a Coppola. Even there a kind of ‘beige light’ is required. Real sunlight is never allowed in a David Lynch film, exception being the Hollywood Sign in MD toward the beginning, and even that is meant to be cold.

    Anyway, Palm Springs is what ‘making it in Hollywood’ is all about for many in the industry. It is interesting that the term ’empire’ is meant to mean something more familiar and universally understood than the fact that the film succeeds in being about a chic bedroom community extension of Hollywood. This makes the film lavish, when it is seen as a special kind of provincial-elite thing, but it’s more like ‘Xanadu’ in Citizen Kane (or just San Simeon itself) than it is like Orson Welles’s film ‘Citizen Kane’. It’s a complex trinket, and endlessly playable-with by those who like its ornaments, but I just see it as the kind of thing you can do when you’ve got all your connections in order, it’s related to things Robert Altman sometimes managed to do, but just as often failed. Still, Altman’s films did seem to finish themselves off at the end of themselves instead of spreading themselves like a virulent malady until you see where it all leads in IE.

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    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 17 January 2008 @ 10:47 am

  20. but it’s more like ‘Xanadu’ in Citizen Kane (or just San Simeon itself) than it is like Orson Welles’s film ‘Citizen Kane’.

    I’m glad at least a tiny bit of the Truth managed to get across through all that vitriol – and I know to a great extent you’re paying me back for not liking HAIRSPRAY enough – it IS indeed like being inside the Xanadu, or the room of mirrors at the end of ALL ABOUT EVE. You also perceived very well the way the film morbidly self-destructs on purpose, and that’s precisely because the baby that is supposed to be born – Nikki Grace – for this reason or another can’t be born. WENT THROUGH THE MARKETPLACE, AS IF HALFBORN, the Gypsy woman (Colonel Sherbert) said. The movie is about abortion, so you don’t exactly expect it to be suspenseful. I think the comparison with THE THREE FACES OF EVE stands, and Laura Dern’s face references Joanne Woodward, although I am more reminded of the TV series SYBIL (starring also Woodward) where Sally Field splits into 17 personalities and all this is finally related to her psychotrauma of sexual abuse by the mother. I also initially didn’t like the first hour or so of the film, the part with the corridors and the menacing film noir lamps, but after seeing it, it suddenly all came together into one amazing sticky puzzle about Female Narcissism or Female Jouissance or whatever. I think actually even ”boredom” works quite well as it interrupts the hyperventilating flow of images we face on a daily basis, forcing us to look and search and look deeper…

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    Comment by parodycenter — 17 January 2008 @ 12:02 pm

  21. “We’ve moved from ‘Death and Transfiguration’ to ‘Death and Decomposition.’”

    I hadn’t thought of it that way, but you’re right. You’ve provided an excellent review of this movie. Decomposition is central to MD, and there’s a sort of rebirth following the Hollywood & Vine death scene in IE. But MD is a vibrant drama, as you say Lynch’s best movie by far, and for me one of the best in the last ten years. It doesn’t just recycle the Hollywood cliches — it also transforms them fantastically and tragically. I don’t insist that fictions have strong stories, and a movie that focuses more on mood and tone than on character and plot doesn’t automatically make it a loser. The self-conscious artiness is something I liked about IE, even as it veered into directorial egoism. But in a way the movie itself decomposes, its rebirth being less a resolution and more a continuation of the endless torment the Laura Dern character undergoes throughout. And the feel of it is so relentlessly oppressive and morbid, like it’s taking place not in a cranium or a womb but in a crypt. Even the finale seemed more like an interlude: after the song-and-dance number is over poor Laura has to get up out of her chair and return to Lynch’s Limbo for the next 10,000 years. “so this is meant to molest the audience and make them uncomfortable,” you say, and you may be right — a vicarious masochistic identification with Dern as the victim of Lynch’s cinematic masochism. It remains to be seen what Lynch does next: is this, as you say, an inevitable trajectory into the tomb, or is it a transition, an exercise that may lead to something more up to the standard he set in MD? Blue Velvet too reveled in sick masochism, and I found it compelling. Samuel Beckett wrote everything from the perspective of the just-barely-alive, but his narrators had incredibly dynamic imaginations. Morbid masochism filtered through transcendental meditation might finally lead to utter immobility. I’ll be interested to read your reaction to Stalker and the mood it conjures.

    Is it just me, or does everything eventually return to a discussion of Inland Empire? If Dejan is following the proceedings he’s probably being sorely tempted to abandon whatever constructive activity into which he’s immersed himself and re-enter the IE labyrinth. Good for him that he’s restrained himself.

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    Comment by ktismatics — 17 January 2008 @ 12:06 pm

  22. Looks like I spoke too soon about Dejan’s self-restraint — he put in his comment while I was writing mine.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 17 January 2008 @ 12:08 pm

  23. “Is it just me, or does everything eventually return to a discussion of Inland Empire? ”

    It will probably stop now, because I don’t think it worth discussing at length and everybody else has seen it. Dejan, I LIKED the FIRST HOUR, not the dead part that followed for two endless hours that was where you were all of a sudden half-born…”the part with the corridors and the menacing film noir lamps,” is NOT the first hour, but rather the endless rot that occurs after they stop, bored with having to keep talking about it with ‘movie cuts’ and such tedious things.

    Clysmatics, you like the ‘self-conscious artiness’, but I thought it was really pushy and invasive. I am pretentious enough to like Robbe-Grillet’s novels, from which I’m sure Lynch learned a lot about serialization (Mikhail and Co. have a post on Boulez’s 1st Sonata, which is high modernism and serialization, somewhat like what R-G does in books like ‘La Maison de Rendezvous’ and ‘Projet pour un Revolution a New-York’. Saul Bellow made a silly speech accepting his Nobel Prize about the menace of Robbe-Grillet. I wonder if he got Richard Gere or another of those absurd political Oscar-presenter/acceptor people to write it for him. But Lynch is at all times in IE IN YOUR FACE, he MEANS to insult the audience, he has EARNED this right. It goes beyond being a clever technique, of which he is not even nearly the greatest master, but rather into his own deep hatefulness.

    “It remains to be seen what Lynch does next: is this, as you say, an inevitable trajectory into the tomb, or is it a transition, an exercise that may lead to something more up to the standard he set in MD? ”

    I think he will do a remake of ‘HELLO, DOLLY!’ and insist on being paid a billion dollars for it, use Damien Hirst for the sets, and have Laura Dern in the title role, and Barbra Streisand as Mrs. Molloy–demoted from her previous starring role, as if he could do the same thing that was done (beautifully) when Jane Greer was brought into ‘Against All Odds’, the remake of ‘Out of the Past’, one of the most beautiful of all the noirs, and one of the many, many great films Robert Mitchum brought to life with his astonishing presence.

    One thing that I re-viewed a few years ago that I had thought was poor upon first viewing is ‘Secret Ceremony’, with Liz Taylor, Mia Farrow and Robert Mitchum. It goes back to 1970 and he calls Liz a ‘cow’ in it. It’s a marvelous film, and Liz and Mia are also very good in it, this was before Mia had time to delve deeply into the joys of cheap neuroses and get roundly and deservedly paid back by Woody Allen for what she did when she decided she had to have Andre Previn, and fuck his songwriter-wife, Dory. Mia is a ‘good person’, of course, just a little off the wall. I’ll admit she was terrific in ‘Broadway Danny Rose’.

    IE probably is imitating ‘Purple Rose of Cairo’, the best film of Woody Allen’s I’ve been able to get through, although I liked it no more than any of the others, and I LOATHE ‘Annie Hall.’

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    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 17 January 2008 @ 2:00 pm

  24. “although I am more reminded of the TV series SYBIL (starring also Woodward)”

    No, that stars Cybill Shepard, who Dern has to fall back on as well as Woodward.

    “I think actually even ”boredom” works quite well as it interrupts the hyperventilating flow of images we face on a daily basis, forcing us to look and search and look deeper…”

    I knew that was coming. It forced me only to re-assess David Lynch’s work. He is stoned on his own solipsism. Cronenberg in one single film ‘A History of Violence’ has done more than Lynch in his entire oeuvre, but I am grateful to him for making IE, because I wouldn’t have realized that the others, including the ones that are much better, are still SLIGHTLY less lofty than I thought!

    I will indeed watch ‘Stalker’ this week, and look forward to getting ‘Eastern Promises’, probably in about 3 weeks. Tonight I watch either ‘The Fabulous Baker Boys’ or ‘Dreamgirls’, whichever is less Embalming-Fluid.

    IE is not about abortion per se, it is about decomposition and putrescence.

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    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 17 January 2008 @ 2:09 pm

  25. “when Jane Greer was brought into ‘Against All Odds’, the remake of ‘Out of the Past’, one of the most beautiful of all the noirs, and one of the many, many great films Robert Mitchum brought to life with his astonishing presence.”

    For those who don’t know this film, I needed to specify that Greer had been the star of this film, and she played Rachel Ward’s mother in the remake, which I also think is very good, but many don’t.

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    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 17 January 2008 @ 2:18 pm

  26. Jonquille, about the HOLLYWOOD sign, you’re totally right, it should have read HALLIWUD!!!

    Clysmatics I noticed in Jonquille’s book as well she has a very good intuitive sense and her analyses are unique for being more about the way she FEELS the movie, than her cerebral reaction to it; I think this is indispensable as a method. To that end one does indeed feel putrescence throughout Inland, it’s an evil universe after all, contaminated by prostitution and exploitation, although I’m not sure I understand what exactly UPSETS Jonquille about it other than the fact that she’s more comfortable in the bright moods of a musical? Or is her upset a sign that Lynch’s malevolence did work on her, despite all the denial?

    Jonquille you senile queen, Woodward played in SYBIL not Shephered here check out this link http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0075296/

    Whatever concrete part I found boring, I found a good one hour of the film boring, but as the images would come back to me unexpectedly realized that the film somehow works retroactively. It is a very different form from conventional narrative cinema, even Mulholland is incomparable really despite being quite experimental as a story.

    I find the complaint against Lynch’s solipsism, resting usually on the idea that he’s ”repeating himself”, quite inopportune. It would be like saying that Rembrandt was not supposed to use the same colors in his paintings because that would be ”repeating himself”. Usually people who don’t have anything to say, artists who haven’t discovered their style, endlessly search for ”newness”. When you have something to say you should repeat it as much as possible because people hardly ever listen.

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    Comment by parodycenter — 17 January 2008 @ 2:38 pm

  27. The film did make me remember that in my next-to-last trip to Hollywood (in December 2005), a good-looking guy I’d met before–barely a year before and at the same place and had given him a necklace from Tahiti because I thought he was funny–told me he came to the hotel as often as he could, that he was from Texas but now lived in ‘the Empire’ and made some mention of Palm Springs. The term is not used that often by Palm Springs residents themselves, because they are the richest and don’t really want to share their identity with the rest of the cities of Inland Empire. That was the first time I’d heard of it, therefore, and I suppose the film was just being made about then, or just completed. Some time later, I think it was well after I came back to New York, I remembered that I had met him previously and talked to him at some length both in summer, 2004, and winter, 2005. That I wouldn’t remember while we were talking the second time is very strange and had never happened to me. I think he may have been on something the first time; the second time he flatly came to my room and asked me to fuck him (I didn’t, of course, or I would have remembered him.)

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    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 17 January 2008 @ 2:42 pm

  28. My favorite Woody is BULLETS OVER BROADWAY, with that unforgettable diva performance from Dianne Wiest, ”Please don’t speak” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lL-BV2SSXtQ
    and I like THE MIGHTY APHRODITE as well.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 17 January 2008 @ 2:45 pm

  29. http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0111932/

    An extraordinary coincidence. I never saw either one, but Dern has an easier time doing a B-list Woodward than she does a Cybill Shepard, because that is very extroverted even though more a sort of B-Plust List. Ms. Shepard thinks she’s A-list, but it was Bruce Willis who gave ‘moonlighting’ its walking papers and went on to show his excellent flesh for about 15 years.

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    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 17 January 2008 @ 2:46 pm

  30. “When you have something to say you should repeat it as much as possible because people hardly ever listen.”

    Precisely. I only wish Lynch had something to say that would not have acted retroactively on all his previous work, which now all seems relatively cheesey. Comparing him to Rembrandt is pitiful, but it doesn’t surprise me. How else can you continue your masochistic tour of Holland by means other than comparing one of their great masters to David Lynch, an overrated coprophagy-admirer?

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    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 17 January 2008 @ 2:49 pm

  31. I’m not sure I understand what exactly UPSETS Jonquille about it other than the fact that she’s more comfortable in the bright moods of a musical?

    Quit being such a hysteric. ‘A History of Violence’ is not a ‘bright-mood musical.’ Attempts to involve ‘Hairspray’ in this are not very bright on your part. Poor thing.

    “Or is her upset a sign that Lynch’s malevolence did work on her, despite all the denial? ”

    Very Warszawa Klein…

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    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 17 January 2008 @ 2:53 pm

  32. Here’s something good… In the closing scene of IE somebody lip-synchs Nina Simone’s Sinnerman: sinnerman, where you gonnna run to all on them day; I run to the rock but the rock won’t hide me, I run to the river but the river is bleeding, etc. This is an old Negro spiritual based on the Book of Revelation’s description of the Apocalypse:

    And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (Rev. 6:12-17).

    I wrote about this song and its Biblical reference in a POST last March. So yesterday I watched Tarkovsky’s Stalker. Maybe two-thirds of the way through the movie there’s an interlude where the Stalker, lying by the water, hears a woman’s voice — is it a dream or a hallucination or a Presence? — speaking a mystically enigmatic message, at the end of which she laughs and the Stalker opens his eyes. And as I’m listening to this voice and reading the subtitles I recognize the text: it’s Revelation 6, verses 12 to 17…

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    Comment by ktismatics — 17 January 2008 @ 5:20 pm

  33. Good that you noticed, too, Clysmatics, that it was all said before in Tarkovski, to which any number of Western vedettas including Lynch can only aspire, their talent notwithstanding. It’s just the spiritual superiority of Byzantine culture, I’m afraid. I keep telling you that tradition is far from dead, as the RUskies still hold the only hope for art cinema to continue in its glorious path – people like Aleksandr Sokurov.

    Yes Jonquille I spent days and days j/oing to that pool scene in COLOR OF NIGHT: take me, Bruce, take me; Bruce has the goodies! Hell he still looks good, I must admit, and that other advanced age stud Clooney, never mind the hoopla, is just too plastic in comparison.

    I would agree that Dern is ultimately not that much of an actress, but for Lynch’s surrealist purposes, her gummy face is perfect, and in INLAND she projects the right dose of vulnerability without seeming strained. It’s not A-list but it’s a good B-list level. To hit the A-list she would have to look much better than she does, and she looks like Popeye’s Olive. Her mother Diane Ladd is A-list though, as you might have noticed from the WHERE DRIMZ MAKE STARZ AND STARZ MAKE DRIMZ scene: the best surreal silver screen bitch of them all. It’s hard to top a mother like that, and no wonder Dern has Oedipal issues which surely must be the reason she joined David Lynch.

    Clysmatics I think I know what the senile queen is complaining about, there is a sense of branded leftism ™ in the film: from the deliberate Marxist absence of makeup to the worn-out ”Grombi” coat she wears, it’s all geared towards the alternative artyfarty scene…a little bit too much for even my taste, and you know I sympathize with the artyfarty scene too much for my own good, Clysmatics. It appears as though less educated or pretty people can’t have the type of problems that Dern is undergoing.

    I just know that the snob in you Jonquille would fall for that Oxford-branded ”artistocrat” Irons at some point in your life. I did wet my pants a bit at him in this excellent Louis Malle film, with Juliette Binoche, the title escapes me but he was sleeping with his son’s future wife, which ended up killing the son and Miranda Richardson delivered a tour de force in the last minutes…ah yes, DAMAGE! It was about all the ways the Unconscious can fuck you up. Irons was highly erotic there, especially due to his bariton verging on bass. In INLAND though he looks more like dr. Josephina Kugelmessalina than the true aristocat, Comrade Dominique Fox.

    Ladies excuse my absence of notable contributions, I am really busy with all these application processes running and also am trying to write up academic-sounding texts for that teaching post, including the Eastern Promises. On the bright side once I’m done there will be a ton of material to discuss and we might even want to reconsider doing that group sex blawg. With Le Colonel Sherbert strategically avoiding confrontation* note if she thinks this will be a way to bail herself out she’s dead wrong, Childie Vu producing very little text and the Kretinoma-Sherbert-Warszawa Axis of Evil totally dysfunctional, there isn’t much to parody these weeks.

    Jonquille

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    Comment by parodycenter — 17 January 2008 @ 7:54 pm

  34. Clysmatics just wrote on Eastern Promises. I think Mortenssen is a kind of a Spinozian/pantheistic deity who on the one hand defuses Christian binaries (the psychoanalytic role he plays for the homoerotic context within the Russian mafia) and on the other hand functions as a Drive, malevolently channeling all kinds of affects. It is this double-sidedness that makes him Spinozian, I think. I wonder if we could relate this technically to his tattoos. I think the film in the end optimistically tries to implode the binaries that are obviously looming as the society around the protagonists almost falls into a fundemantalist civil war or a mafia feud, but the conclusion is thankfully not one-sided and suggests also that there will never be a resolution. I was not at all happy with the clumsy representation of the Ruski mafia, although on the other hand I realize the mafia is just as much cyborgian as the rest of them and in this sense a hyperreal parody of the real thing (so a realistic representation would be undue).

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    Comment by parodycenter — 19 January 2008 @ 6:40 am

  35. If Viggo is deity then he transcends the structurational binaries, but this transcendence surges up from immanence in the drives and affects that propel him forcefully into the vortex? Maybe so. When Cronenberg reveals Viggo’s undercover-cop identity as a surprise twist, I presume it’s intended to demonstrate the reasons for his anomalous do-gooder behaviors toward the whore, toward the baby, toward Naomi. To propose alternatively that Viggo is simultaneously and equally the cop and the mobster, and that both poles are reconciled/transcended in Viggo? I might have to see the movie again. But in getting the mob boss arrested he is able to ascend in the mafia hierarchy, so his cop identity also helps him in his mobster identity. Maybe it’s my Western bias that causes me to see his cop self as the real Viggo.

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    Comment by ktismatics — 19 January 2008 @ 10:21 am

  36. “although on the other hand I realize the mafia is just as much cyborgian as the rest of them and in this sense a hyperreal parody of the real thing (so a realistic representation would be undue).”

    It’s curious that some people insist on how ‘everything is already cyborgian’, though, as I said on your site, and don’t think of it as a ‘hyperreal parody’. Maybe Cronenberg wanted to do this, but ‘a realistic presentation would be undue’ might refer only to him and others involved with such things. It’s true that cinema and TeeVee and becoming-cyborg are meant to be the latest and most trendy things to do. It doesn’t seem to occur to the people complaining about these developments that they must still have a choice in some of them, and that what it may equal is an actual preference for the cyborgian. Nick Land of Hyperstition is pretty overt about liking the idea of living in a sci-fi period, instead of being merely a part of the ‘sweep of history’, despite the fact that both of these phenomena depend for their ‘excitement’ by their complete depletion of everything people seem to be upset about losing. Well, they can lose it all they want, I don’t have time for other people’s neuroses.

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    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 19 January 2008 @ 10:25 am

  37. But in getting the mob boss arrested he is able to ascend in the mafia hierarchy, so his cop identity also helps him in his mobster identity.

    Well that’s exactly like Deleuze’s God: both a mob boss and a cop, both good and evil, but neither a mob boss or a cop, neither good nor evil. In the last shot, shown with a bottle of vodka and nearly crying, he did gravitate towards a kind of a lost humanity – reminding me of Paul Verhoeven’s ROBOCOP, in which the robocop remembers the time he was human. I liked the ambiguity of that ending.

    Jonquille I responded at the Parody Center, here I will add that it’s not a matter of choice. By living in the network society, you’re already machinized. When you buy a Pepsi from the dispenser, you’re servicing the Machine, you are its corporeal extension. This may not have come down to the level of nanotechnology and limb replacements YET, but I am 100% sure it will. Everything points in that direction.

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    Comment by parodycenter — 19 January 2008 @ 12:11 pm

  38. I see that some scientist recently figured out a way to clone an ordinary human cell and turn it into an embryo. The immediate value of this technology is the possibility of generating stem cells without having to harvest aborted fetuses. However, it also makes it conceivable that some day we can all have real-live clones of ourselves. Eventually neural scanning technology will get down to the level of individual brain cells and synapses, so that it will become possible to map out someone’s entire brain contents and store it in a computer hard drive. Then you could live forever: an eternally replaceable body outfitted with a complete cognitive download of all your memories.

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    Comment by ktismatics — 19 January 2008 @ 2:33 pm

  39. Then you could live forever: an eternally replaceable body outfitted with a complete cognitive download of all your memories.

    This shit is all in Kurzweil’s ‘The Singularity’, which Dejan thinks he knows without reading, but doesn’t. You are behind as well. You should read the crap so you can start listening to some of Mikhail’s music downloads while reading horrible blogs, and when you’re tired of this, you can get out your old cassette recorder and listen to Rosemary Clooney singing ‘Suzie Snowflake’ and ‘Jingle Bells’ like I did this afternoon. The sci-fi people are incapable of effecting such acts without becoming homeless.

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    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 19 January 2008 @ 4:36 pm

  40. Eventually I could live forever in multiple cloned copies of myself, each having different experiences, acquiring different competencies, then periodically a centralized memory dump would be performed on all my clones, and the composite memory could be downloaded into each of us, so that we’d all know everything each of us found out… Unfortunately all this technology is probably a couple thousand years into the future, so I’m afraid we’ll miss out on the fun. I used to have a Rosemary Clooney Christmas compilation with Suzie Snowflake on it, but it may have been purged in one of our recent moves. I loved her in that 4-part harmony singing Snow, with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye and whoever that skinny dancing girl was in White Christmas.

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    Comment by ktismatics — 19 January 2008 @ 4:45 pm

  41. Unfortunately all this technology is probably a couple thousand years into the future,

    I certainly hope SO..Kurzweil, thanatophobia sufferer par excellence, swears that we have only to wait until 2029, and even a few baby boomers will get full-time immortatily. Sounds perfectly dreadful. But I was interested that Sprint Nextel is closing stores and laying off people. Usually you hear of something that is at least as related to olden digital things as with Circuit City. Now, even the half-there stores that do wireless are closing, in favour of doing their business full-time online. The Writers’ Strike is all about loss of money from new media as well, isn’t it? I haven’t kept up with it, but it looks like producers are trying to figure out ways to outmode some more things. It’s things like this that make Kurzweil’s efforts–which are highly scientific, even if his sensibility is juvenile sci-fi–seem to be coming true..I didn’t really know until the last few weeks that CD’s are already more a thing of the past than the evidence would have indicated. Kurzweil though audiocassettes were just a ‘tease’, but CD’s have ended up having a life-span that is not much longer, since cassettes started out in the 70s.

    I heard Rosemary Clooney in 1986 at the Blue Note. She was solid professionalism and still had all her voice then. in the 90s and 00s till she died, she began to have shortness of breath and the sound was sad. Her obesity became monumental, and when she died, I thought she must be almost 90, but she started out and was very famous very young. A true American great, though, and I’m glad I got to hear her live.

    Like

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 19 January 2008 @ 5:40 pm

  42. “I’m glad I got to hear her live.”

    The immortals of the future will not have had that experience to look back on. Will not have had — that’s one fucked up verb tense.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 19 January 2008 @ 10:20 pm

  43. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalker_(film)

    In case you don’t know the tragic history of this, although you probably do. This was only the second film I’ve ever watched that didn’t have the English subtitles–and this one you could not follow without them. The other was ‘Two Women’, the old Sophia Loren Oscar-winner from the early 60s–not knowing Italian didn’t prevent you from understanding almost everything in what is a conventional narrative.

    I watched ‘Stalker’ like this, and won’t watch it again now that I read about it afterwards. This is truly ‘becoming-animal’ or even ‘being-animal’ to just watch what are for a long time beautiful sepia images and then color ones that seem pastoral for a long time and remind one of much simpler films done on low budgets in the 70s and 80s by Americans or anybody else (also some aspects of Terence Davies films, like ‘Distant Voices, Still Lives’, which is a beautiful memory of Liverpool, but not arcane), and then you get to what are obviously scenes filmed in heavily polluted water and you have these actors going through them. I don’t get this, but even before I read about the people who died as a result of the film, you can tell that there are these chemical-factory sorts of contaminations later in the film. Even before that, the men seem to be decaying even while the bucolic countryside (it turns out to be Estonia) is beautiful. From what I could tell thus far, only the actress who played the Stalker’s wife is still alive.

    What is most interesting about this is that you get a very specific sense of Russia, which I can now see has a character I thought I only imagined: You could get part of this in the old Soviet funerals of Brezhnev and Andropov, this ‘hidden fulfillment of the West’ sensation. Since I was a mere ‘animal’ watching it, I could imagine actually being there, in a thoroughly alien place, and the only thing on my mind ending up being how to survive a little longer as I degenerated with each passing moment, unable to communicate with anything or anyone. It was enough to see the extraordinary images and hear the Russian, I am not concerned with their ‘philosophies’. There’s that French film ‘L’Ange’, which I saw in the early 90s, a few years after it was made, at Film Forum, which was frame-by-frame and very complicated. I’ll look up who the director was–quite brilliant as well. I also saw that Inland Empire is totally digital video and Lynch will never use film again.

    In other news, Arpege Chabert is regrouping and bringing gentle Communist tutelage in her new TeeVee series “MY FOUR EUNUCHS”. This stars not only Arpege-Gorgon Chabert, but also Eine Kleine Kretinoma (who is learning slowly that Sibel Edmonds really would believe in 9/11 truth conspiracy theory just like Chomsky would if she was as smart as Qlipoth Toilet-Spa Frequenters), Roger Klein-Limited, Childie Traxus (writing about the Singularity at his other blog, Culture Monkey and talking to his mother Arpege Klein),and, of course, Warszawa, making a fashionably late appearance. This is all about how to capitalize on the sub-prime ‘n’ stock market problems, to spread fear and huddle up with the Phallic Mother.

    http://lecolonelchabert.blogspot.com/2008/01/capitalism-crime-story.html#comments

    http://culturemonkey.blogspot.com/

    https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=5402817794172038757&postID=6287619670500215579

    Like

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 25 January 2008 @ 9:53 am

  44. like ‘Distant Voices, Still Lives’, which is a beautiful memory of Liverpool, but not arcane)

    This Davies film is very arcane, because so sad and personal, but not difficult. ‘Stalker’, without seeing the subtitles, reminded me of three things 1) Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’ 2) the fact that I have somehow never been interested in Beckett and no longer care that I’m not 3) Ma Nuit Chez Maud, the very talky black-and-white late-60s film of Eric Rohmer. I think I meant ‘not abstruse’, which ‘Stalker’ definitely is.

    Like

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 25 January 2008 @ 9:57 am

  45. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083559/usercomments

    Yes, it’s Patrick Bokanowski. Some of the commenters said it’s very difficult to find, but it’s brilliant as well.

    Like

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 25 January 2008 @ 10:02 am

  46. Thanks, Jonquille — I didn’t know about the likely poisoning of cast and crew on Tarkovsky’s Stalker. The stalker’s house looks out onto what looks like a nuclear power plant, and the whole environ was surely selected because of its industrial putrescence. I was captivated by the movie, in which the Zone seems to offer hope, God, truth, etc. but is at the same time a kind of tomb world. Lynchian before Lynch. Tarkovsky left the USSR after making this movie — was he trying to capture what he regarded as the decrepit hopes of the Brezhnev-style soviets that might (or might not) emerge from the stagnant and paranoiac toxicity that Russia had already become? I don’t know Tarkovsky’s politics, though I do see his consistent Russian Christian mysticism haunting all his movies. I presume he defected for ideological reasons, but maybe it was for artistic expression. It is remarkable that the Soviets would allow a movie like Stalker to be made and distributed.

    I’ve been following the utopian discussions at Culture Monkey, but otherwise have been weening myself gradually from blog crawling. I will, however, check out the links you were kind enough to supply. This seems more like Parody Center material though, so I did some minor editing to bring your comment into editorial conformity with the 50s midwestern sensibilities of Ktismatics. Since Ktismatics is gradually sinking into Zone-like abandonment, however, the only person likely to be offended is you, for tampering with your polemics.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 25 January 2008 @ 10:39 am

  47. Yes, I just put the links there to make it official. Of course it’s not for you to do anything with, they’re just all so childish. It seems predicated not on helping the powerless, but rather pretending that the powerless are powerful, which is fantasy-land and is a symptom of people whose psychological makeup consists of chafing at the bit 24/7.

    Superficially like Lynch, but Lynch is very artificial, and when you realize it’s all digital, it even removes much of the interest in single frames. This film is much more beautiful, and horrible as it sounds, the horror of the toll it took only adds to the power of it. I was surprised as well to find out how the Soviets would operate sometimes–as in this process. They were not easy to deal with, but the reason we can’t imagine most of it is that we were never privy to what was going on on a daily basis there. This is the fascination and beauty of the Soviet Union, I am now discovering. The whole USSR seems now less a Marxist experiment that was carried out and had a fairly brief life history, than a heavy bondage sequence defined by the Iron Curtain. It was always ‘liftable’ in old things kept over from the White Russians like ballet, although even the Kirov and Bolshoi dancers were treated like absolute shit if necessary–and I think most of the famous defections were for personal reasons: The dancers themselves could veer further from tradition than they could in USSR, but there was even a tradition among Soviet ballet dancers which I’ve been recently discovering, and which went beyond being merely ‘Russian’ so as to constitute a specifically ‘Soviet style.’ This tends to the mannered quite often. I recently discovered a dancer on VHS doing the Black Swan in 1986 with the Kirov named Galina Mezentseva, and she was literally the most brazen Black Swan I’ve ever seen. I’d never heard of her and was watching this collection of Kirov performances the other night for another dancer. I saw her get going to the familiar music, and I could not believe what a brazen Odile she was–enough to make me think that her Odette would NOT work, because her talent would be toward the over-refined and mannered. The people at Ballet Talk mostly disliked her until she was toned down by the Balanchine favourite Suzanne Farrell in 1989, in a production of ‘Scotch Symphony’ for the Kirov to perform in New York. But Ms. Mezentseva was literally REVERED and WORSHIPPED among the Russian and especially Leningrad schools. They were all surprised that I had a taste for this dancer who had a nerve to get out there and be just as primitive (however exquisitely refined) as she was determined to be. The result for me was easily the most provocative and evil Odile I’ve ever seen, but ONLY Russians and one Spanish guy liked her besides me. All the Americans and Europeans thought she was over the top, but none of that influenced me at all. I don’t care about attempts to recapture exact ballet or musical or operatic tradition precisely. That was most breathtaking during the birth and early years of these old pieces. To see someone go into an old work and breathe fantastic new life into it, with the longest and most mesmerizing arms you ever saw, was worth it to me, even if it only gave you a fragment. I told them I don’t expect ‘complete, ideal Swan Lakes’ at this point they are no different from Godot, in their unlikelihood of happening.

    The point being–it is hard to penetrate still, because it used to be nearly impossible to do so–but now there can be real probing into Soviet styles, which I may want to do some of in various fields. Such a contorted and controlled system was bound to produce some fascinating and exotic expressions from time to time, even if the living conditions were absurd. Soviet Exoticism is a very real thing, and interests me. People who can do something so incredibly unnatural on such a grand scale, and with the idea that there is something ‘better’ about it, have therefore created circumstances in which exraordinary perversions of everything will automatically occur. I find these hypnotic and interesting. The ghostly qualities of ‘Stalker’ are part of this, and it must be extraordinary to walk down streets of Moscow if you know when the Soviet architecture was built. I’m sure there are already thousands of Soviet-era connoisseurs and I’m going to look these up. There was not, as far as I know, the wholesale destruction of artworks of the past such as occurred in China under Mao, Of course they left the Forbidden City, and the Great Wall. Why? Why didn’t they destroy all of it? I wonder if much of the pianist-wrist-breaking and intellectual-murdering was for show of power. Of course, the pianists’ wrists were not broken in USSR: they have too great a tradition of piano playing and composers like Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff’s concertos for piano, but intellectuals were forced to go on and ‘live out their dogmas’ rather than sit around and talk about them in theory circle-jerks all the time–all in the name of Noam Chomsky. I think I can understand why even Hitchens and that kind of reaction to Chomsky would inevitably occur. Not everybody is into this down-freak bullshit. The Marxist bloggers are, of course, thrilled about this latest development, while pretending that it was an ‘unfair treatment’ of the mortgage-holders and ‘was planned.’ This is just as ridiculous as saying that the mortgage-holders should be ‘more literate’ about there ‘terms’ as Bush said. It doesn’t make any sense for these Hard Marxists to be talking about the mortgages at all in any moralizing way, because it all comes under the umbrella of capitalism, and payments these people can’t make, so they lose their homes. After all, there is the not-small matter of interest, and none of the mortgage-holders were interested in how wickedly capitalist all this interest collecting was: They wanted to get a private house of their own, and some of them did manage to make it work. Others didn’t.

    Like

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 25 January 2008 @ 11:16 am

  48. “Since Ktismatics is gradually sinking into Zone-like abandonment, however, the only person likely to be offended is you, for tampering with your polemics.”

    [Insults deleted — ED.]

    Like

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 25 January 2008 @ 11:19 am

  49. Oh well, you may be right. They’ve become comfortable with being virtual creatures, but do look for any means to vilify anyone else–perhaps that’s the only moment at which they remember they exist outside their Blogging Fellowship. Nevermind that there is no economy at all within a blogging community, and that makes a pure fantasy (Jodi has been talking about internet fantasies being lived out; of course, people have been doing it for some time, the RPG’s are then used as models by the ‘smart bloggers’. But that is why it was necessary to defeat this particular group and keep them in their place.

    This kind of thing is especially odious: “Now, in some ways my heart is filled with pity for all mankind, and I shed a pious tear every once in a while – but another side of me says, go for it! Let slip the angel of vengeance in the country that couldn’t say no to slaughtering Iraqis and is even now peacefully ignoring the increase in bombing sortees – now there’s real real estate destruction for you.”

    That’s from Roger on Arpege’s blog, and it means nothing, it’s just filler for the day, means to get off on some more blogging-flotsam. He is one of the most difficult cases, because he has the look of intelligence and erudition and the thirst for loser-hood, which he claims to have achieved (or at least he calls it ‘failure’.)

    Anyway, delete anything, I don’t care. I do think you are too afraid of things. They support nations which behead and dismember and put no emphasis whatever on Iran’s crimes or Pakistan’s. They want ‘the laws of these countries’ respected, because the essence of this group is a self-hatred that defies all expectations. They are addicted to it.

    Like

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 25 January 2008 @ 11:51 am

  50. “All the more reason to realize it was just cowardice on your part then. You must be scared of almost everything.”

    Hmm, would I delete this insult if it had been directed at someone other than me? Yes. Therefore…

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 25 January 2008 @ 12:09 pm

  51. All right, I tried to make nice with you, and I wrote a couple of good posts. If you’ll delete everything I wrote this morning, I’ll leave you and Dejan for good. That’s a promise.

    Like

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 25 January 2008 @ 12:14 pm

  52. No no, I just wrote the one joke response in the midst of doing something else. I’ve been reading your informed and trenchant observations about Soviet and Russian ballet, which positions you in aesthetic realms beyond my ken. I admire your awareness even though I’m not prepared to respond in an informed manner. I’ll be back later.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 25 January 2008 @ 12:19 pm

  53. Okay, that’s cool and good to hear.

    Like

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 25 January 2008 @ 12:21 pm

  54. You see, that’s the problem of the internet–you really cannot tell much of what someone is trying to express. Almost all of the affects are eliminated. You’re trying to be diplomatic insofar as is possible, but at least I save you the time in demonstrating that those of us who have tried that route with the Qlipothians have only aroused their natural self-righteous brutality. They expect one to welcome this, because they have positioned themselves (at least in the case of Arpege and Leninette) to be the brutal Soviet-style bosses that, despite their claims to the contrary, are always necessary when your goal is never more than replacing a privileged group with another. It’s a normal response to lack of privilege, and masochistic privileged types get all dewy-eyed about it and say ‘Go ahead, have your way with me, so that I can be punished for my manifold sins and wickedness.’ Then wake up surprised they are low on the totem poles of both their friends and enemies.

    If you need to email me sometimes, that is all right. I got pissed at you once, I remember, but you did let us do a lot of the best Theaters of War over here before the censors had to crack down…

    Like

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 25 January 2008 @ 12:27 pm

  55. http://gawker.com//the-cruise-indoctrination-video-scientology-tried-
    to-suppress

    You must watch this if you haven’t seen it. He’s much more out of his mind than ever before, and they have put the little ostinato from ‘Mission Impossible’ on there. In his mindless zeal, Cruise hasn’t even seen the contradiction of using such a motif for what he is essentially claiming to be ‘Mission So Possible It’s Fucking FOREORDAINED.’ He probably knew that most people wouldn’t remember that far back (almost 10 years–enough to kill anybody but an elephant, I suppose.)

    Like

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 25 January 2008 @ 12:36 pm

  56. I guess the 90K titles in Netflix’s vaults don’t include either L’Ange or Distant Voices, Still Lives.

    Regarding the mortgage fiasco I have scattered, non-systemic observations. I don’t think mortgage interest payments should be deductible from income — it establishes artificial incentives to invest in that particular sort of asset. That the Congress and the President could come together at the White House and come up with a bilateral economic incentive package intended to get people to spend more seems like exactly the wrong direction, since people were already spending beyond their means. Bailing out the banks and their investors is the bigger project i.e. by lowering interest rates and increasing money supply — again rewarding the overly greedy banks who overextended credit in anticipation of ever-increasing home prices as collateral. Cutting off funding from the war is the thing the Congress couldn’t make itself do, pretending that their hands were tied by Bush’s veto power, which is bullshit. That half a trillion might have come in handy for other uses, plus a lot more people would be alive who are now dead.

    The Cruise link doesn’t go to the right place. I watched part of his Scientology speech before and had to stop, partly because he presents himself in such a creepy fashion generally speaking and partly because he didn’t seem to be saying anything of substance. But I might try again if you get me the right link.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 25 January 2008 @ 1:37 pm

  57. It seems Scientology took it off yesterday and then others got a copy of it and it was up and then taken down again. I’m glad I saw it though, it was very revealing, because he’s not at all effective. You don’t sound like you want to see it anyway.

    The war is beside the point in this case. That you might want to think about it is another thing. Obviously, people getting quick cash is okay if it’s cash from tax rebates, for the purpose of their spending it. Since the Fed can create new money anyway, they have to think of something to keep a big economy going, moralizing about the war in relation to credit crises is for the indolent. That’s so obvious you’ll see that even some of the most vile won’t be indolent about this–it’s not in their interests to have a failed economy. It doesn’t matter about the guilt tripping, the banks have to be bailed out, this isn’t some sentimental bullshit. Banks are always greedy.

    Like

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 25 January 2008 @ 5:13 pm

  58. Maybe I see. I don’t have any sense of glee about people losing their equity in a housing market downturn. I don’t know whether the high-end market is being hit disproportionately hard, but I suspect the downturn is hurting the working poor as much as anyone. And I certainly don’t relish the collapse of the housing market as a kind of revenge against a warmongering nation, like the fundamentalists who regard AIDS as divine retribution against homosexuals. That said, I don’t see how a tax rebate to increase consumer spending is going to help people whose problem was a loss of savings. That the Fed can create new money is how the banks are going to get bailed out: they’ll benefit from lower interest rates by being able to borrow Fed money for cheap, whereas the defaulted homeowners are still going to be out of luck. I’m reminded of the post-9/11 bailout of the airlines, who after taking the federal money proceeded to lay off tens of thousands of workers. No doubt it had to be done in response to declining sales, but the bailout money benefited the shareholders rather than the workers.

    Also, remember the savings and loan crisis? Here’s the intro from the Wikipedia entry:

    “The US Savings and Loan crisis of the 1980s and 1990s was the failure of several savings and loan associations in the United States. More than 1,000 savings and loan institutions (S&Ls) failed in “the largest and costliest venture in public misfeasance, malfeasance and larceny of all time.” The ultimate cost of the crisis is estimated to have totaled around USD$160.1 billion, about $124.6 billion of which was directly paid for by the U.S. government, which contributed to the large budget deficits of the early 1990s. The resulting taxpayer bailout ended up being even larger than it would have been because moral hazard and adverse-selection incentives compounded the system’s losses.

    “A taxpayer-funded government bailout related to mortgages during the S&L crisis may have created a moral hazard and acted as encouragement to lenders to make similar higher-risk loans during the 2007 subprime mortgage financial crisis.

    “The concomitant slowdown in the finance industry and the real estate market may have been a contributing cause of the 1990-1991 economic recession. Between 1986 and 1991, the number of new homes constructed dropped from 1.8 million to 1 million, the lowest rate since World War II.”

    This was the fiasco in which GW Bush’s little brother Neil played a key role. As an officer with the Silverado S&L in Texas he helped orchestrate the subprime mortgage stampede throughout the middle of the country. To bail out his failed company alone cost taxpayers over $1 billion.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 26 January 2008 @ 1:20 pm

  59. I don’t see how a tax rebate to increase consumer spending is going to help people whose problem was a loss of savings.

    It won’t help them very long, but neither will it hurt them. To us, these amounts don’t seem like much, but I am reminded of when this was done before, and someone wrote up something somewhere (maybe the Times or Voice) about how this seemingly small (to us bourgeois types) amount seriously does make a difference to very strapped people. Maybe only short-term, but short-term has always to be considered quite as much as long-term, if only because we live in both of them. For some other bourgeois who parade their deep caring for the underprivileged (obviously I don’t mean you), they would do well to realize that very small amounts of money to us really are sometimes even huge to the poorest people; if they cannot realize this, then their endless bullshit preaching about evil capitalist genocidalists is of no use to the actual poor.

    Good analogy about no need for thinking in terms of vengeance for a war-mongering nation with no need for thinking (like Falwell, God don’t rest his soul–shit, Larry Flynt outlived the fucker! wheelchair and all! even Courtney Love is still alive! and she was good in that movie too!) that AIDS was proper vengeance for sexual promiscuity.

    I saw ‘The Fabulous Baker Boys’ the other night. Michelle Pfeiffer doing the small-time circuit as lounge singer with even smaller-time pianists the Bridges Bros., but she skips all the realism when it’s time to get all minxy across the piano with ‘Makin’ Whoopee’. No country-club circuit for Michele. And she did all her own singing too. I think she is one of the most incredibly gorgeous women who ever lived–and a much better actress than she’s usually credited for being, although they did nominate her for Best Actress in 1989 for this.

    Like

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 26 January 2008 @ 2:21 pm

  60. But this is certainly important: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/27/business/27subprime.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&hp

    I am startled at how much of what caused much of this has been done only since 2005, and that reports of exception loans were made as recently as Jan., 2007, without reaction. The speed is taking over so many things that it really comes as little surprise that there would be many people willing to ‘believe in’ making these teaser rates work for their personal situation. This investigation on what the banks were up to is probably just more of what they have been legally allowed to do for some years–idiotic things like approving a credit card charge, claiming that not approving it might cause the customer ’embarassment’. This is just appalling, and I can even remember one time not getting a charge approved as recently as 1999, and I certainly preferred that than getting some over-limit charge–such practices are disgraceful, and they will have to be addressed.

    Something I saw on Tuesday, walking up 8th avenue about 30th St.: At a Chase bank there was a handwritten placard, little different from a middle-price restaurant, funky sort, advertising ‘today’s specials’, and this was begging customers to ocme in and get fixed mortgages at 5.5 %, etc., I have never seen anything like it and Chase is not one of the publicized failures (at least not of this week or last, with Citi, BoA, and WaMu, I believe, being the main big banks thus far, Merrill, too, yes, that was same day as Citigroup.)

    Like

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 26 January 2008 @ 3:05 pm

  61. Patrick have you heard anything from Dejan lately? I tried to send him an email but it came back return to sender, no such address.

    Dejan, are you out there? Have you gone into seclusion?

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 1 February 2008 @ 7:59 am

  62. What’s your problem, he was posting here yesterday. He hasn’t released my last 3 responses to the Pfeiffer thing, in which I dissolve our relationship, I think finally. I am simply not interested in talking about movies this way, and you should be sufficient for him, although you seem to pull away in a different sort of way. When he has to do things offline, he does them and says little about it; when someone he becomes attached to online does things, he feels as though he’s been slighted. He has to be included in everything, even though none of us really knows each other. There are internet junkies everywhere. One day goes by, and you’re worried about him? Once I didn’t comment on his whole blog ONE WHOLE DAY before Xmas and he was freaked.

    Like

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 1 February 2008 @ 10:42 am

  63. Either he changed his email address or his email server is down. I’ll try again tomorrow if he hasn’t surfaced by then.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 1 February 2008 @ 11:13 am

  64. Either he changed his email address or his email server is down. I’ll try again tomorrow if he hasn’t surfaced by then.

    I got a job and had to run a number of preparations suddenly because at the same time some debt came from the tax office. In the meantime didn’t pay my internet bill so it will take a while before I get reconnected…won’t bore you with administrative details. I do have access from cafes and at work I will have my own laptop connection, so we won’t be cut off. If you have something urgent you can always use dejancica@hotmail.com. My excuses for the sudden interruption.

    Jonquille I am sick and tired of hearing about the ”internet addiction” and I didn’t complain that you had a break in writing, more that you disappear whenever I’m gone, which makes me feel like you don’t really want to visit me; and that HURTS.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 1 February 2008 @ 12:29 pm

  65. “Jonquille I am sick and tired of hearing about the ”internet addiction””

    I don’t give a fuck if you’re sick of it, you act as if we were having some affair, and we’re NOT.

    Like

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 1 February 2008 @ 1:05 pm


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