Ktismatics

18 February 2008

Body Double by De Palma, 1984

Filed under: Movies — ktismatics @ 3:29 pm

bdouble vampire

bdouble voyeur

bdouble mirror

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103 Comments »

  1. One of the few DePalma’s I haven’t seen – despite being a self-proclaimed “fan” of his work. Carlito’s Way is still my favorite, but the clinical quasi-sensibility of half of his work (including the Southland Tales media analogue, Redacted) makes him compelling on every damn day.

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    Comment by seyfried — 19 February 2008 @ 12:57 am

  2. My first reaction to Body Double was entirely negative: derivative, smirky, misogynistic. But why? It’s clever, funny, psychological. And it didn’t take me long to realize what was blocking my view. A few years back I tried to start a movie group. The first movie I picked was Blow-Up by Antonioni. Just about everybody hated it. Meanwhile I had also gotten a copy of De Palma’s Blowout, which is an homage to Blow-Up and also Coppola’s The Conversation. Ooh, we loved Blowout, De Palma is great! responded a couple in the movie group. Now they had never seen Blow-Up before and found it boring. So I’m thinking: how can you like Blowout, which is over-the-top American violence, the climax occurring in Philadelphia at the 4th of July for God’s sake, and not like Blow-Up? And I’m thinking: there are people who like De Palma’s movies at face value as sheer entertainment, without even recognizing where they come from or what he’s trying to do. I tried to do a second session of the movie group, but no one said they could host it. Okay, I’ll do it again, I said. Someone had said they wanted to see some contemporary Japanese films, so I selected After Life by Kore-Eda. By the time the next session came around every single person had found an excuse not to come.

    So De Palma is intimately connected to yet another of my little disappointments in life. And I’m picturing people watching Body Double as a straight-ahead entertaining slasher-porn movie and loving it, without giving any thought to the Hitchcock movies on which it’s based. But now that I’ve analyzed myself I’m prepared to get over the past and move ahead.

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    Comment by ktismatics — 19 February 2008 @ 10:27 am

  3. Since you haven’t seen it, Seyfried, I’d say that Body Double is an excellent case example of what Laura Mulvey is talking about in her essay “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema,” which Traxus links to in his piece on There Will Be Blood at Culture Monkey. Briefly, Mulvey distinguishes between the scoprophilic pleasure of voyeuristically and passively looking at a fetishized object (a naked woman, say) with the more active, ego-involved, sadistic pleasure of watching a pornographic narrative. In Body Double Jake is an actor playing the role of a vampire. The first screen grab is how the movie begins: Jake is rising from his coffin with a thirst for blood, but he can’t get himself up — he’s frozen with this ludicrous expression on his face. The vampire holds fetishistic fascination for his victims, making him ambiguously male, androgynous really. But the vampire also has to act, to take advantage of the hypnotic spell he weaves around his victim in order to feed. Jake likes to be watched, and he likes to watch; what he can’t do is ACT. So the movie is about Jake’s transformation from a passive voyeur into identification with the proactive sadistic male snuff-film star.

    Now all of this plays as a parody of Hitchcock movies, especially Rear Window and Vertigo, in a way that’s really hysterical. But, as I said in my last comment, I can picture people watching this movie who don’t make the connection with Hitchcock or psychodynamic film theory, and who just get off on the sex and gore. And then I suppose you can watch Hitchcock through De Palma and decide that Alfred was just a sadistic voyeur wrapping his misogynistic perversions in art.

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    Comment by ktismatics — 19 February 2008 @ 11:05 am

  4. And I’m thinking: there are people who like De Palma’s movies at face value as sheer entertainment, without even recognizing where they come from or what he’s trying to do.

    That’s a funny story, Ktis. And you’ve got a legitimate point in the above statement, but for reasons that so many people could get into something like Blowout, I’d think they would have an off-ish feel for some of his other work. And not just in the typical “Hitchcock-stalking” manners. People will say, “Well, I like it, but something felt off. It’s too obvious that ‘he’s there.’ Why’s that?” This is what I’ve typically found with people who watch something like Carlito’s Way or Black Dahlia – films where he strangling the first narrative and making it omniscient for all the ‘wrong’ reasons. He does it in Carlito’s Way; the camera appears to transcend Carlito, witnessing the world with “the eye of a coolly observant God who knows and understands things that might elude any one character.” So, where Scarface goes down in hip-hop lore, Carlito’s doesn’t. Btw, I never see DePalma as a “parody” as Hitchcock. That’s too harsh; he worships him!

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    Comment by seyfried — 19 February 2008 @ 11:55 am

  5. “I never see DePalma as a “parody” as Hitchcock. That’s too harsh; he worships him!”

    Parody is of course a keyword around here, but I suspect Dejan is too downhearted about Kosovo to engage right now. Blowout could be seen as a “cover” of prior movies, updating the look and feel of Antonioni and Coppola in order to appeal to a broader contemporary audience. Body Double is too goofy for that, the plot too contrived and corny, the blood and sex held at too much of an arm’s length to be really hot. It’s an homage to Hitchcock, but it makes no effort to improve on the master. We see the 360-degree spin shot from Vertigo twice in Body Double, and if you know the original source it’s a great visual gag; if you don’t get the joke it’s just B-movie pulp. Blowout could be seen as a protracted goof too I suppose, with the whole movie being about John Travolta getting a good scream to patch into the slasher movie he’s the sound man for. But I don’t think so — it really is an adventure movie, juiced up to Hollywood standards.

    Okay, now I’ve got to put Scarface and Carlito’s way in my Netflix queue.

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    Comment by ktismatics — 19 February 2008 @ 12:35 pm

  6. First things first:

    “but I suspect Dejan is too downhearted about Kosovo to engage right now.”

    Rightfully so.

    I think we’ve got completely different interpretations about the the DePalma/Hitchcock relationship:

    “These examples illustrate how I like to view the Hitchcock criticism: as a conversation between two filmmakers—one who has been absorbed into history and memory, and another who uses certain of the elder filmmaker’s techniques and themes as a prism through which he filters his own sensibilities. As with the best conversations between artists, this is a love/hate relationship, typified by the two examples above and several other De Palma mentor/protégé associations: Michael (Cliff Robertson) and Amy (Genevieve Bujold) in Obsession, Eriksson and Meserve (Sean Penn) in Casualties of War, Margo and Carter Nix (John Lithgow) in Raising Cain, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and Jim Phelps (Jon Voight) in Mission: Impossible, among others.

    Conflict is inherent in all these characters’ relationships, and I think it is, in subtext, De Palma addressing his own relationship to the filmmaker who inspires him most. That this filmic conversation continues, and is constant throughout De Palma’s career, is not something to criticize, but to use as another route to understanding both the filmmaker’s work and the intrinsic role inspiration plays to any artist working in the medium they love. ”
    http://www.sensesofcinema.com/contents/directors/03/de_palma.html

    I’m going to re-visit Obsession – his most blatant Hitchcock homage – soon, so I’ll be able to juice some thoughts of my own.

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    Comment by seyfried — 19 February 2008 @ 12:53 pm

  7. “I think we’ve got completely different interpretations about the the DePalma/Hitchcock relationship”

    I’ll have to get back to the essay you linked, but I’ll say this: if I’m to regard Body Double as a serious adventure movie framed in Hitchcockian terms through which DePalma filters his own sensibilities, then to me the movie fails. It’s too preposterous, the supposed moments of tension too transparently laughable, the main character’s self-discovery too shallowly self-serving. Watch it yourself and see if I’m being too cynical. The only way I can regard Body Double as excellent is if it’s parodic. And I’ll comment on your linked article after awhile. And maybe I’ll put up another screen shot with high ridiculousness titer.

    Where do you write these observations about other movies — Marnie, Obsession — since you don’t have a blog?

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    Comment by ktismatics — 19 February 2008 @ 1:23 pm

  8. Fair enough. I just think for all the tangible Hitchcock intertextuality, motifs, framing, etc ad nauseum…he’s playing more of a role of a giddy necromancer than a conceited lecturer. For all I know Body Double breaks this propitious bond, and Hitchcock plays the role of the scoffer. But as in something like The Bonfire of the Vanities or The Untouchables, he’s recalling Hitchcock for clinicalness, obsessed with how Hitchcock’s atmospheres galvanize tension and pathos. Perhaps I’ll have a different reading of Body Double.

    ‘Where do you write these observations about other movies — Marnie, Obsession — since you don’t have a blog?’

    Memory and word documents, currently. I need to get re-organized.

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    Comment by seyfried — 19 February 2008 @ 1:48 pm

  9. I added another image from the movie, this from the first big “climax.” The dude with his back to the camera is wielding a HUGE power drill, presumably to break into a safe. Down below is the heroine, and he’s just about to drill her to the floor. His first attempt to do her was thwarted when he reached the end of the power cord and the plug pulled out of the wall outlet. She starts to run away, trips, and (of course) knocks herself out. The drill dude plugs himself back in and tries again. She wakes up, sees him looming above her, and I swear she smiles before she grimaces.

    “Giddy necromancer” == that’s pretty much what the Melanie Griffith character accuses Jake of at the end of the movie. He’s more that than a “conceited lecturer” for sure — I just found it to be a funny movie rather than a scary one.

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    Comment by ktismatics — 19 February 2008 @ 2:51 pm

  10. Well, obviously people wielding power drills to murder heroines has to have a bit of comedy. I just don’t think you’ll be able to hide behind this sort of jocularity when you get to his other works. Okay, sure Carlito is funny for how it is meta, but DePalma doesn’t disguise – as it looks like here – his fascination with points of view (and omniscience). Nevertheless, DePalma’s genre mobiles always flicker with campiness, intentional or not.

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    Comment by seyfried — 19 February 2008 @ 3:14 pm

  11. dad im working round 18 hours per day – long live capitalism! They did see the fire of my inspiration, but they’re making sure they milk every cent of my middle class salary out of it. don’t even have time to report fully on it, but will do so hopefully shortly.

    the misogynism complaint against de palma has its root in the wimman’s inborn stupidity whereby she fails to see the satire of the porno industry, in which melanie griffith is both more intelligent, sexier and has more personality than any of the wimpy male voyeurs and obsessives not to mention that being tippi hedren’s daughter she is cast as what would have happened to her mother if she didn’t bump into hitchcock. furhtermore the male protagonist is obviously completely schizophrenized by women, and in this sense at their mercy. *quote from absolutely fabous: ”that magazine is denigrating women” Patsy: ”what do you mean, SHE is holding the whip!” but i think also the great sympathy de palma shows for the resplendent deborah shelton, one of the several most beautiful women to have graced the screen in the 80s, her turmoil under abuse, clearly tells you de palma is not out to hurt women, but to provide a dissection of male society’s violence. i love this movie totally and could overanalyze it for hours were it not that i actually have to sleep. however tomorrow i am working for home and have more time to send comments.

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    Comment by parodycenter — 19 February 2008 @ 6:20 pm

  12. what’s interesting is how de palma takes hitchcock tropes and amplifies them viscerally, we must consider this in deleuze’s terms by the way; the movie reaches brilliance not in the moments of splitting, but in those tableuxs involving elaborations of hitchcock’s scenes of haunting (here the scene in the beverly hills shopping center). when the camera begins to move so fluidly that at one point the miseenscene comes to life and reaches perfect synergy with the characters.

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    Comment by parodycenter — 19 February 2008 @ 6:24 pm

  13. clysmatics it’s uncanny the first photo could just as well be of you unable to decide between your numerous professional options, while the slide with jake looking through the telescope could be jonquille coercing you into the parody center’s web of malevolence.

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    Comment by parodycenter — 19 February 2008 @ 6:26 pm

  14. Holly, Melanie Griffith’s character, is the most healthily self-assured character in the movie: she’s a professional, she enjoys her work, she handles her own career. But she falls Jake in an unprofessional way, sacrificing the money shot because she’s so carried away by the passion of the moment during the porn shoot. And she does get manipulated in an unprofessional way, putting herself at the mercy first of Jake (by going to his house presumably to make a movie deal, then of Sam. And she’s also guilty (of being the body double) and she needs to be rescued. In the end Jake stands above Holly who has fallen back into the grave. So Jake has played out the male fantasy of judge and savior, while taking on her agency as a desired object who can also act. He becomes her double in the grave, because now he can get up while occupying the bottom position.

    Deborah Shelton’s character is entirely passive and masochistic, a psychological co-conspirator in her own murder.

    As long as I regard these roles as caricatures I can see the misogyny as parodic. But toward what end — to expose the stereotypic female role in the movies, and how the female’s job is to affirm the male’s virility? But then some of the female fetish-value has to get absorbed into the male, who is vicariously watching himself performing these actions on screen, and the actor is aware that he holds fetish value for the male watchers. So this traditional cinematic male role derives some of its power from incorporating the female and from being the fetishized object of the male gaze. You end up with androgyny, like Jake in his vampire costume.

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    Comment by ktismatics — 20 February 2008 @ 5:33 am

  15. Melanie Griffith’s performance in Body Double is just excellent; she is a real feminist character, this meant without irony, and that cockteasing smile is unparalleled. She did do WORKING GIRL later, also a swell performance, but for the rest the industry killed her talents early on. Her cooperation with John Waters (CECIL B DEMENTED) though shows you where her affinities lie.

    Yes to all that however I think the new moment is the end of the movie: we’re back in ”reality” whatever that means, but when the camera starts rolling, the camera lingers unusually and fetishistically on the breasts, and continues when the blood (from the vampire’s bite) starts flowing, spiraling into yet another obsession, yet another endless stream of blood and sex and exploitation. now ”reality” turns out to be just another layer of ”fantasy”, it becomes impossible to distinguish between parallel realities. this is the point where the film’s PoMo Splitting points to the future, to the current developments, although I don’t yet have the words to describe how. The word ”doubling” is crucial surely but then meant as multiplication instead of fracturing.

    DePalma is famous for his courageous clashes with Halliwud censors, and I think he did the exaggerated murder scene with extra brutality as a way of saying I don’t give a fuck about your Hayes code. I think another point was to show Phallic violence, which permeates the film and the porno industry. Hence the scene is only misogynist outside of its context, I would say; if you read it literally, as what you see on the screen.

    You’re absolutely right: I think Jake gets to know his female self, and you see that in the grave, when Griffith becomes HIS body double.

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    Comment by parodycenter — 20 February 2008 @ 6:55 am

  16. And Clysmatics do note Pino Donaggio’s music in the scene when the mysterious woman is playing with herself for the camera. GREAT STUFF.

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    Comment by parodycenter — 20 February 2008 @ 6:57 am

  17. …so the grave is a PORTAL here I would say

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    Comment by parodycenter — 20 February 2008 @ 6:59 am

  18. “now ”reality” turns out to be just another layer of ”fantasy”, it becomes impossible to distinguish between parallel realities.”

    This happens too at the end of Blowout, but it’s posed as a tragic moment, where Travolta can’t help but exploit his loss. But here in Body Double the whole show might be a Wizard of Oz fantasy, a method acting trick Jake invents to get himself up from that coffin. And it’s a happy ending for Jake, where he finally gets to fondle some real breasts. But they’re Jake in character fondling the body double’s breasts. I did like the ending.

    You’re right: doubling, not splitting. Jake takes on multiple selves in order to achieve his cinematic success: the fetish value of the beautiful neighbor, the sadistic aggression of Sam, the sexuality of Holly Body — all superimposed on the bland and fearful Jake.

    The grave is portal for sure. Death and doubling always went hand in hand in Hitchcock movies; doubling would always collapse onto itself or nullify itself, resulting in death. Here death is the stage where the doubling takes place, over and over, redoubling, until something unprecedented emerges.

    “I think Jake gets to know his female self, and you see that in the grave, when Griffith becomes HIS body double.”

    Yes. I got a kick out of the ending scene, where Melanie and the lead actress are watching Jake fondling the body double’s luscious breasts, and Melanie says to her, “you’re going to get a lot of dates after this.” That whole murder scene, where Sam is going after his wife with the power drill, and you get all these close-ups of her with big eyes and full lips saying “No, don’t” while she’s more or less waiting for the drill bit to make contact. And the big dramatic music. Oh, also, the “Indian” is so obviously a bad make-up job, right from the beginning it’s going to be someone else in disguise.

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    Comment by ktismatics — 20 February 2008 @ 7:53 am

  19. I’m reading the essay on DePalma that Seyfried linked to. Here’s a quote”

    During his early years, De Palma experienced an event that left with him a sensation of intense terror: his two brothers were playing and young Brian hid behind a refrigerator and got stuck; eventually, he had to cry out for help. Evidently, this event reinforced the inferiority complex De Palma felt toward his brothers, and added to it the fear of being humiliated for losing control.

    This scene is played out by Jake in an acting class, but he can’t cry out. Sam, watching, tells the acting coach to stop it, that he’s humiliating Jake. This inability to escape humiliation is what makes Jake the perfect foil for Sam’s little scheme. So we have to infer an explicitly autobiographical theme in the movie. If Sam is Jake’s big brothers, is he also Hitchcock, a role model for how to make use of the passive-aggressive internal conflict artistically, again and again?

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    Comment by ktismatics — 20 February 2008 @ 10:14 am

  20. Re that drama scene there’s tons of things to discuss regarding Trauma. The Trauma, here, appears unsymbolizable, but also to have ontological status. But the ending makes me think of surplus, of that MORE, that comes regardless of everything. Like Almodovar’s passions. The end is wrapped up, the actor has undergone a ”catharsis”, gone through the portal, and yet something remains, the blood keeps dripping, insisting.

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    Comment by parodycenter — 20 February 2008 @ 11:00 am

  21. But here in Body Double the whole show might be a Wizard of Oz fantasy, a method acting trick Jake invents to get himself up from that coffin.

    Yes that’s the PoMO part: reality is fantasy is reality. The border between them porous, etc. But the ending takes you to another level: in between reality and fantasy. The camera lingers on the breasts in fetish fashion, as if to give this situation ontological status, and the music is disturbingly creepy, suggesting something deeper than the camp B horror context. There;s something OFFKEY about it, isn’t there?

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    Comment by parodycenter — 20 February 2008 @ 11:03 am

  22. While there’s lots of trauma in the movie it’s all melodramatically physical — the psychotrauma has to be inferred and guessed at; it’s not really part of the movie per se. I’ve been interpreting BD as a movie about acting, but I suspect it must also be about directing. Jake plays roles in the films-within-the-film, but we also see the directors of these films: the Dennis Franz character, the acting school teacher, the porn director, and most importantly Sam as director of the “reality” performance going on in the house across the way. Jake tries to act the part of a porn director, but he fails to carry it off, admitting the ruse to Holly Body. He wants Holly to help him unmask (figuratively, then literally) the director of the show in the house across the way — which she does. The discovery that Sam is directing a performance in his own home with his own wife must suggest something about DePalma’s personal traumas, and the task of unmasking who really was behind it all, whatever it was, that made DePalma feel humiliated in real life. But we’ll never know from the movie itself.

    “Something offkey” — it’s related to Seyfried’s complaint that I’m categorizing DePalma’s movies as knockoffs or parodies. The fit isn’t perfect; there’s something left over. And this blood that continues dripping down the body double’s right breast as the credits roll across the left one (as I recall) — it’s an ending that doesn’t quite end. And we don’t see the source of this blood any more — it shouldn’t be flowing so freely if Jake the vampire is drinking it from her neck. Is something going wrong up above the frame? I take your point.

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    Comment by ktismatics — 20 February 2008 @ 2:23 pm

  23. Ktis, maybe we can just settle on pastiche, k? Or at least, that’s the way Jameson would have wanted it.

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    Comment by seyfried — 20 February 2008 @ 2:30 pm

  24. There’s no conflict between you and Seyfried really – as dr. Fossey once pointedly remarked, the best parody is dead serious about its subject matter. Yes I am talking about the fact that blood keeps flowing, even though provisionally there was a climax and a resolution – Jake conquered his fears, became more macho or whatever, continued his business… it is at this point that De Palma goes beyond psychoanalysis and into Deleuze I think.

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    Comment by parodycenter — 20 February 2008 @ 2:47 pm

  25. “The discovery that Sam is directing a performance in his own home with his own wife”

    He also ACTED, and decisively so, in his own staged production, drilling down to the real things as it were.

    Now Seyfried, you’re bringing in the cited experts again, which always sets me back a pace or two. I think you’re just miffed that we haven’t announced *SPOILER ALERTS* as we’ve gone along. It’s an advantage of having your own blog — at least you’re somewhat familiar with the subject you’re posting about.

    Says Jameson: “Pastiche is, like parody, the imitation of a peculiar or unique, idiosyncratic style, the wearing of a linguistic mask, speech in a dead language. But it is a neutral practice of such mimicry, without any of parody’s ulterior motives, amputated of the satiric impulse, devoid of laughter.” That’s not quite a fair assessment of Body Double, in my opinion, because I do think the satiric impulse is vital to it. Mind, I’m not saying he’s satirizing Hitchcock; rather, he’s using Hitchcock content and stylistic elements to satirize the slasher genre. Slasher movies are always derivative, and here’s DePalma deriving from the master in order to take an already over-the-top genre WAY over. And I really do believe he’s doing it for laughs. He’s also messing with the uncertainty between reality and deception that’s part of the genre and forcing it outside the frame, making the viewer decide if s/he’s watching a real slasher movie or a parody of one — and he leaves that mystery unresolved, he never unmasks himself. I understand there are others who see BD as a quirky but straight-ahead thriller, so maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m just too prone to laugh at any slasher movie, regardless of the purported sincerity of intent. Someday, after you see it, you’ll have to let me know what you decide. I’m prepared to be argued out of it. Does Jameson have anything to say about Body Double in particular?

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    Comment by ktismatics — 20 February 2008 @ 2:55 pm

  26. Deleuze in the sense that there are immmanent impersonal forces at work that move the characters and the story along, that are the real agents, and who don’t stop when the director yells “cut!”?

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    Comment by ktismatics — 20 February 2008 @ 2:58 pm

  27. PoMo parody per Linda Hutcheon contra Jameson.

    The beauty part is, I’m now a much bigger fan of DePalma than I was before. Even at the end of BD I thought it was a ripoff, but the more I’ve reflected and discussed the more I’m persuaded that the guy has something going for him. I shouldn’t have been so quick to mail the DVD back to Netflix — should have watched it a second time.

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    Comment by ktismatics — 20 February 2008 @ 3:02 pm

  28. Deleuze in the sense that there are immmanent impersonal forces at work that move the characters and the story along, that are the real agents, and who don’t stop when the director yells “cut!”?

    Yes and more concretely forces immanent to the BODY; the camera’s fetishist gaze on those tatters is like Andy Warhol’s shot of the Empire State Building. If you watch long enough the body will start to bleed for real… bleed over, like the tongue protruding out of the videodrome.

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    Comment by parodycenter — 20 February 2008 @ 3:20 pm

  29. I really shouldn’t be here at the moment but to hell with it.

    “It’s an advantage of having your own blog — at least you’re somewhat familiar with the subject you’re posting about.”

    Ouch! I’ll still watch the film; afterall, I can’t say I’ve ever been ‘shocked’ by DePalma or watch them for deliberately expositive reasons. Just look at Carlito’s Way: we find out that the hero is befallen in the first scene!

    Personally, I like PC’s Fossey quote. We’re on the same sandy bank, sweetheart.

    But it is a neutral practice of such mimicry, without any of parody’s ulterior motives, amputated of the satiric impulse, devoid of laughter

    Although, hasn’t that vessel already been sunk – I recently am reading Ballard’s Atrocity Exhibition where you see this first-hand: Why I Want to Fuck Ronald Reagan being passed around like a congratulatory intellectual study, e.g.

    All this reminds me of the failed Psycho replication, and how Van Sant saw that doing ‘everything the same’ just wasn’t enough. The laughs had been there all along, presumptuously. DePalma obsessively replicates Hitchcock in this same manner, seemingly searching for the clinical potency that the Master of Suspense inherently seemed to possess. I guess you get pastiche – aside from the post-modernist death of parody – because he’s trying to do his best to ‘keep things in line’. I don’t know. Suddenly, BD (rather, you’re reading of it) seems to not fit anything I’ve heard of DePalma.

    Plus, PC’s Deleuzian reading loses me completely, all while seductively drawing me forth like the Videodrome signal.

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    Comment by seyfried — 20 February 2008 @ 3:24 pm

  30. Seyfried, Ktismatics’s official nick is Clys.

    And Clys I think you’re right, De Palma is a natural satirist – I saw a DVD extra of CARRIE once where he was delighted when Piper Laurie, another actress with a great sense of humor, entered Carrie’s room as Carrie was dressing for the prom – in PINK – and said: ”It’s red” (the script consultant wanted to change the line treating it as a material error, but to de Palma’s delight, Piper insisted that the line remain unchanged, because it perfectly reflects her hysterical Bible thumping schizophrenia) And the porn parody in BD is great, esp. that video Holly does Hollywood.

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    Comment by parodycenter — 20 February 2008 @ 3:25 pm

  31. Now Seyfried using those initials PC which makes it sound like political correctness is a brilliant piece of parody in itself, darling. I think it’s time we let Jonquille enjoy your ass. You’re ready!

    I believe dr. Zizek wrote (and in a rare, almost miraculous instance I agree with him) that the remake of psycho would have worked if the movie was altered JUST SLIGHTLY, because then you would get the Moebius strip effect *of superimposition just as in MULHOLLAND DRIVE. A fourth dimension, a depth, would be inferred from that slight crack between the original and the copy. The movie was done more like a cover job, hyper-realistically ”enhancing” the original, and this is why it flopped. I mean beyond the terrible performance of that dyke whose name escapes me, but who ended up dumping Ellen Degeneres as only a wyman does in a story that resembles NOTES OF A SCANDAL.

    Is there a Seyfried Doppelganger, some Siegfried, roaming about, because I thought I just added your blog to my roll?

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    Comment by parodycenter — 20 February 2008 @ 3:30 pm

  32. I’ve interchanged Dejan, PC, CPC…eh.

    “I think it’s time we let Jonquille enjoy your ass. You’re ready!”

    Like Marnie, one recalls the fear of red; the drop of ink on a blouse equating the fear of one’s own sexuality. This sort of line quietly invokes the same.

    The movie was done more like a cover job, hyper-realistically ”enhancing” the original, and this is why it flopped.

    You’re right. And, likewise, the reason it was sounded off as a complete failure. But isn’t that the sort of confirmation Van Sant wanted?

    Is there a Seyfried Doppelganger, some Siegfried, roaming about, because I thought I just added your blog to my roll?

    I don’t think so. Wait–that’s the up-and-comer, soon to be erased for something else. CLYS is grandfathering me in that aspect.

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    Comment by seyfried — 20 February 2008 @ 3:41 pm

  33. Plus, PC’s Deleuzian reading loses me completely, all while seductively drawing me forth like the Videodrome signal.

    Come to me, Seyfried. Come to Nikki. Don’t make me WAIT.

    Thus the Deleuzeuze reading is that the film ends with a shot of a headless body containing gorgeous tatters and blood flowing down the body in a hot shower. Behind it, despite the cartooniness of the B movie shoot, is seriously creepy music, which creates an offkey sense of discrepancy between what was just shown and what is suggested by music, and DURATION (the shot is unusually long). Ergo, it’s like Deleuze’s theories of the time-image, where the image’s materiality sort of ”shines” or ”emanates” this Affect. I ascribed the same function to the camera in Body Double, which you can observe in most De Palma movies. Since the parodic characters are totally flat, and the narrative is just a set of borrowed cliches, it is the camera that drives the film (Drives better to say). The camera is the Drive.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 20 February 2008 @ 3:44 pm

  34. Quite an ingenious trailer, by the way

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 20 February 2008 @ 3:51 pm

  35. Like Marnie, one recalls the fear of red; the drop of ink on a blouse equating the fear of one’s own sexuality. This sort of line quietly invokes the same.

    Thanks for the compliment, sweetie.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 20 February 2008 @ 3:52 pm

  36. *Seyfried’s scalp penetrates the the protruded lips of his computer screen*

    “I ascribed the same function to the camera in Body Double, which you can observe in most De Palma movies. Since the parodic characters are totally flat, and the narrative is just a set of borrowed cliches, it is the camera that drives the film (Drives better to say). The camera is the Drive.”

    That eerily supplants up a myriad of DePalma pieces I’ve read in my short lifetime. Well put!

    Like

    Comment by seyfried — 20 February 2008 @ 3:53 pm

  37. Clys there’s more to Trauma here; Trauma is ontological, as k-punk said; the attempt to discover the ”hidden meaning” behind the facade of things merely leads to a radical rip (the ending of the film) whereby it turns out it’s just another parallel reality, neither ”here” nor ”there” (like the Venetian blinds in the beautiful trailer, endlessly rotating, collapsing the inside and the outisde Moebially); strangely I also sense a link with BLANC – the two films strike me as very similar in tone, and in their examination of the obsessive neurosis?

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 20 February 2008 @ 4:04 pm

  38. Seyfried I didn’t mean you don’t know about the subject DePalma, which clearly you do — I meant the subject Body Double, though if you read enough people writing about it it’s almost as if you had seen it. The Deleuzian reference — Deleuze comes up in discussion quite a lot, in the context of Lacan (Anti-Oedipus, by Deleuze & Guattari) and also of immanence. In Anti-Oedipus D&G talk about “schizzes and flows” surging up from the body, inscribing the body as they shoot out into the world. Blood as flow, teeth/knives/drills as schiz — these forces, primal and unconscious, DRIVE individuation and motivation. If you’re already up on this stuff, regard this review as useful background for anybody else who happens to be following along with our conversation.

    And you absolutely do not have to call me Clys.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 20 February 2008 @ 4:09 pm

  39. Hardly, up on this. In fact, hypothetically, Deleuze seems like a curious way to approach Marnie (which I’m struggling to nail), as opposed to the dry, self-defeating (“there’s too much already there! It’s too easy!”) Lacanian methods I’ve attempted to employ thus far.

    And you absolutely do not have to call me Clys.

    Lol, I won’t. Bored, I googled Clysmatics and got this:
    “http://parodycentrum.files.wordpress.com/2007/10/klysmatics.jpg

    Ktis will do.

    Like

    Comment by seyfried — 20 February 2008 @ 4:18 pm

  40. But Seyfried, Marnie also has an unintentionally parodic ending with that fake background and the intensified Romantic-Freudian ending, so Body Double kind of grows out of that.

    The image was a cartoon I was planning to start, a buggery of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory where Clysmatics appears as a demented anal dad ridding children of their constipation.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 20 February 2008 @ 4:23 pm

  41. “strangely I also sense a link with BLANC – the two films strike me as very similar in tone, and in their examination of the obsessive neurosis?”

    Absolutely — both films are premised on the hero’s difficulty in getting it up, both heroes resolve their difficulty sadistically — though, as we’ve discussed, the sadism in BD is deferred and distanced (sounds like Derrida’s definition of differance.

    The venetian blinds — did they appear in any Hitchcock trailers I wonder? They look pastiched from somewhere but I can’t remember where.

    Regarding trauma… What’s the psychodynamic archetype behind sadism? In BD Sam becomes a kind of father figure for Jake — he protects Jake from the mean drama teacher, then puts him up in his second house. Then Sam encourages Jake to form an obsession with Sam’s wife = Jake’s mother. But Sam, instead of threatening Jake with castration, re-castrates his wife and demands that Jake watch. Eventually Jake identifies with Sam the father, enabling him to take on the active castrator role.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 20 February 2008 @ 4:27 pm

  42. Eventually Jake identifies with Sam the father, enabling him to take on the active castrator role. – Yes and so far so good, classic Hitchcockian psychoanalysis. Just like Sean Connery destituting Marnie subjectively. But THEN, but then, there is that long lingering shot of castration, that won’t go away. Which means that the traumatic condition is ontological rather than just psychological.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 20 February 2008 @ 4:31 pm

  43. (perversely, almost as if blood were flowing from Venus’s breasts)

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 20 February 2008 @ 4:35 pm

  44. By the “long lingering shot of castration” you refer to the now-notorious blood-dripping scene behind the closing credits to which you’ve called our attention. Ontological how? You mean that there are schiz forces slicing through the world, forces of violence without motive, Deleuzian, like Chigurh in No Country for Old Men?

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 20 February 2008 @ 4:37 pm

  45. http://k-punk.abstractdynamics.org/archives/008467.html

    Like the later Body Double , Obsession has a glutinous, heavy, slow-motion feel; it seems to be filmed almost entirely as a dream sequence. (That is what partly what makes Body Double , which ought to be just trash , queasily compelling: it is unreal, patently so, but that unreality has an odd consistency, the consistency of an involuntary private fantasy, and you’re kept watching this film about voyeurism by the guilty suspicion that you are voyeurising De Palma.)

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 20 February 2008 @ 4:39 pm

  46. You mean that there are schiz forces slicing through the world, forces of violence without motive, Deleuzian, like Chigurh in No Country for Old Men?

    Yes that’s what I mean. It is ontological because the headless shot elevates it to the status of an abstraction that neither belongs to diegesis nor to ”reality” but to the plane of immanence. The Country for Old Men just arrived in Holland and I will get back to you on that, if I ever manage to pull out of the hysterical work schedule.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 20 February 2008 @ 4:44 pm

  47. in another place punk said: a discomfort that arises in part from his incapacity or unwillingness to temper his excesses and make a ‘Good’ film … Often, we find ourselves asking, should we be watching this?, as if sensing that too much unconscious material has been revealed).

    And this ”too much unconscious material” is what I am referencing, although I do not have the punk’s command of English to put it quite as succintly…

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 20 February 2008 @ 4:49 pm

  48. It’s an interesting thought, that we’re voyeuristically peeping at DePalma’s sick mind, so maybe my laughter is a defense mechanism disguising my embarrassment. I haven’t seen Obsession, but K-Punk’s description reminds me of Solaris. Didn’t you mention K-Punk earlier in this thread — I can’t find it now.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 20 February 2008 @ 5:01 pm

  49. K-punk is the selfproclaimed No 1 De Palma apologist in the world, and I consider myself No 2 though it’s not the first time that my dark Doppelganger throws me off the throne, and I still haven’t forgiven him for supporting the slovenly Zizek and not writing a single word about Serbia in his entire opus, making it impossible to seal our brotherly love into eternity wows. I do not remember myself where I first mentioned it, but in any case the Obsession article is a fair summary for my money.

    In other news, Pakistan is already discussing the possibility of going independent. If you’ll remember my theory is that the self-management disaster and that 1974 constitution will end up throwing the whole world into Yugoslav type disintegration.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 20 February 2008 @ 5:05 pm

  50. The Venetian blinds come from Saul Bass’s opening titles for PSYCHO, but that’s not the point, because unlike Bass’s, which I think stood more for cutting and splitting, these blinds rotate, and perform more as the comb-vision in BLANC, collapsing the distinction between who’s watching and who’s being watched. It’s meta meta instead of just meta.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 20 February 2008 @ 5:11 pm

  51. Clearly moving off of important shit now, but I heard a guy talk who’d been to Pakistan recently say that Benazir had cut a deal with the US whereby, in exchange for giving the green light to US military presence, the US would force Musharraf to share power with Benazir and be his popular front. But Musharraf didn’t like Benazir and so stood by while the Islamists and nationalists, who didn’t like Benazir’s deal with the US, whacked her. So then Musharraf starts dialoguing with the Islamists, but it’s too late — the Pakistanis blame him for Benazir’s assassination. And now after the election Benazir’s widower and party are collaborating with the Islamists openly, seriously pissing off the US. What to do? Invade unilaterally? Carve off Balochistan, proximate to Afghanistan and purportedly Bin Laden’s hiding place, and also oil-rich? In light of Kosovar independence it should be a piece of cake to set up Balochistan as a new state with a pro-West government.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 20 February 2008 @ 5:15 pm

  52. “But Seyfried, Marnie also has an unintentionally parodic ending with that fake background and the intensified Romantic-Freudian ending”

    Yes, the faux-notion that Connery’s “destitution” of Marnie has ultimately prevailed. That Mark’s hyper-controlling/’taxonomizing’ of Marnie has ultimately given Hitchcock (via Connery) some sort of gratification. I had completely overlooked the portrait-like harbor – the same one that had lingered after Marnie’s first visit to her Mother’s home.

    “so Body Double kind of grows out of that.” — through Griffith, no doubt. Although, BD seems like some sort of a Hedrenesque revenge of sorts.

    Like

    Comment by seyfried — 20 February 2008 @ 5:16 pm

  53. “Comb vision” — a new technical cinematic term to characterize indeterminate or gestaltist POV.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 20 February 2008 @ 5:18 pm

  54. Well Clys you might just as well have summarized Serbian history in the 1990s!

    But did you take a look at the Lefty Farty blawgosphere? It’s a total disgrace: not a single posting on Kosovo, except for Qlipoth’s belated but admirable publication of the old VPRO documentary on Milosevic – which by the way you might want to take a look at because it’s very faithful to reality.

    Noone seems to know or remember that Josip Broz Tito was one of the key creators of the UN system as we know it today and the supranational organizations are therefore to a large extent based on the Yugoslav constitution (the self-determination principle was the heart of self-management). As you can see this right to self-determination is being used to conquer territories, and this is what I meant when I said that in Eastern Promises you can glimpse just what kind of an ”eastern promise” awaits when all those repressed nationality issues come back to the surface!

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 20 February 2008 @ 5:21 pm

  55. I was just looking at a map of Yugoslavia and how thoroughly it’s been “Balkanized” piece by piece. What value does Kosovo offer the West? It’s very poor — do they have oil? They’ve got a coastline for shipping at least. Is Serbia entirely landlocked now?

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 20 February 2008 @ 5:26 pm

  56. What value does Kosovo offer the West?

    There are plentiful ores and water in Kosovo, but that’s not the point, the point is that it’s a crisscrossing of all these important geostrategic and political routes between Europe and the Middle East, as well as that Serbia is Russia’s greatest Orthodox ally apart from Greece and this is why Serbs must be exterminated. I just didnt expect them to be so arrogant as to actually HIJACK Kosovo, because you will see this is a death sentence to any hope for peace in the coming century.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 20 February 2008 @ 5:33 pm

  57. I had completely overlooked the portrait-like harbor – the same one that had lingered after Marnie’s first visit to her Mother’s home.

    I think De Palma takes that unintentional excess, that surplus, and takes it further, which makes him one of the world’s most important directors in my view. I am very curious about the new documentary on Iraq, which mostly garnered rave reviews, and while on the subject, looking forward to Romero’s new reality TV type installment of the zombies.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 20 February 2008 @ 5:36 pm

  58. Actually something like CLYSMORAMA strikes me as appropriate, with the theorist seeing a Hole in every shot of the film.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 20 February 2008 @ 5:47 pm

  59. And I suppose I identify myself with Melanie Griffith in leather, purring with a semi-ironic, semi-slutty smirk on my face to the alluring Craig Wasson, ”You like to watch… makes you hot, doesn’t it?” And then as I begin to unzip my micro-panties: ”Makes me hot too”

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 20 February 2008 @ 7:47 pm

  60. Speaking of micro-panties, let me be extremely brief: The preceding discussion of Body Double could readily be transposed to an analysis of the Cultural Parody Center.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 21 February 2008 @ 7:48 am

  61. It certainly pleases the CPC’s narcissism to have you analyze our stylistic method – assemblage of the world’s top satirists mixed with explosive politico-sexological scatology and interactive parody – into what will probably one day transform into the material of the book you’ve been wanting to write. The best thing about blogging is this meeting of creativities, as I tried to tell you before, helping you out of your periodic blawg fatigue syndromes.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 22 February 2008 @ 12:05 pm

  62. helping you out of your periodic blawg fatigue syndromes.

    I know it, everytime Clysmatics gets his feelings hurt, I want to go pet him and pat him–unlike Angelina Paulina, who wants to make a career out of grudge-holding…clysmatics is so cute I don’t have any idea why you’d mistake him for a Dad, and he probably wonders about that from time to time too.

    Like

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 22 February 2008 @ 12:54 pm

  63. I was just telling CLYS about shot number 2, which looks like you’re coercing him into our intellectual cruising den, but curiously it was Seyfried who found his repressed homoerotic impulses addressed; I can’t promise darling but I will try to loosen him up more.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 22 February 2008 @ 12:58 pm

  64. clysmatics is so cute I don’t have any idea why you’d mistake him for a Dad

    Clysmatics is quite like the hero of BODY DOUBLE – or maybe the Viggo Mortenssen character in EASTERN PROMISES – he’s so deeply perverse actually that he’s like an androgynous Moebius strip. As soon as you’d turn him macho, he’d switch back to sissy; this elusiveness might be his power, his Viagra, his Salvation.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 22 February 2008 @ 1:09 pm

  65. I have a hard enough time mistaking myself for a dad.

    I can’t believe the CPC is back in the business of flogging blog intellectuals. These targets will never make you rich and famous, unless of course someone transforms the whole spectacle into a major motion picture, but then the auteur might never acknowledge the true source of inspiration.

    This particular phase of ktismatics afterlife is suiting me fine. I don’t have to write posts, but if someone comes along to chat I’ve at least seen the movie under discussion.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 22 February 2008 @ 1:59 pm

  66. well Clysmatics if you think that your country’s intelligentsia’s esteemed opinion on Kosovo is insignificant vis-a-vis the political future of America, you’re wrong, because it is mostly the intelligentsia, and not the peasantry, that steers a country’s future – all the Marxist egalitarianism notwithstanding. The sealing off of the American mind starts at universities, not on the iPod. I am not looking to get rich and famous, especially not with the Parody Center – and I have a job now that oversaturates my need for making creative things – this is a political and a cultural battle against mainstream insanity, because don’t doubt it for a second the Emperor has gone insane.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 22 February 2008 @ 2:18 pm

  67. Oh you know what I mean.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 22 February 2008 @ 2:32 pm

  68. I see that Moscow is saber-rattling now, saying they might have to resort to brute force in order to get the respect they deserve. But Serbia is saying that these riots are a travesty and must never happen again. Do you think maybe the protest was in part a token demonstration, inasmuch as the pro-Western faction won the election? Or do you think the narrow election victory reflects a deep divide within Serbia? I think Russia is going to be the loser in this showdown in the short run, but I have no idea how the alliances will reshuffle. Both Europe and the US seem to want to isolate Russia, but meanwhile there’s China, loaded with money and ready to deal with anybody without concerning themselves very much with political differences. I can see Russia, its population dwindling and its infrastructure crumbling, fueling the Chinese industrial machinery.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 22 February 2008 @ 3:02 pm

  69. These targets will never make you rich and famous, unless of course someone transforms the whole spectacle into a major motion picture, but then the auteur might never acknowledge the true source of inspiration.

    Oh, would you please quit the fuck pretending you know how to be nonchalant among your myriad Mood Collections…realize your limitations, so I won’t keep mistaking you for Barbra Streisand’s mother.

    Like

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 22 February 2008 @ 3:06 pm

  70. This particular phase of ktismatics afterlife is suiting me fine. I don’t have to write posts, but if someone comes along to chat I’ve at least seen the movie under discussion.

    Now aren’t you jes’ Mistah Hottie of 2008…he ain’t even got to write no mo’ posts…ain’t NOBODY gon’ tell ole Mistah Clysmatics what he can and cannot DO!!! In this sense, Clysmatics is exactly like Monica Lewinsky.

    Like

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 22 February 2008 @ 3:08 pm

  71. So Jonquille, you’re saying I’m not capable of writing this movie based on the Parody Center, that my talents are too limited? Or are you and Dejan the authors of this movie?

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    Comment by ktismatics — 22 February 2008 @ 3:18 pm

  72. Like Monica Lewinsky? I don’t get it. Oh, here’s something I read today — Raymond Chandler used to refer to Veronica Lake as Moronica Lake.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 22 February 2008 @ 3:20 pm

  73. Wikipedia entry on Barbra Streisand: “Her mother, Diana, a school secretary, did not encourage her daughter to pursue a show business career, opining that Barbara was not attractive enough, and encouraged Barbara to learn to type.” No, my encouragement is quite the opposite: make animated films, write books, abandon these theory bloggists and go after bigger prey!

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    Comment by ktismatics — 22 February 2008 @ 3:29 pm

  74. So Jonquille, you’re saying I’m not capable of writing this movie based on the Parody Center, that my talents are too limited?

    Why no, darling, I don’t think either of us even knew that’s what you meant.. we’d love for you to write the screenplay for us to star in in your spare time, in between your correspondence courses…I think your talents as a Volunteer Worker are a Perfectly Lovely Idea, as we say on Park Avenue…

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    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 22 February 2008 @ 3:30 pm

  75. abandon these theory bloggists and go after bigger prey!

    We’ve heard all this before, dear, all this Positive Sales Course Pitch. But we are dedicated Artisans and Craftspeople, and we do not let a Job Go Unfinished!!! It goes against the ideals of the National Honor Society, of which I was once president, then impeached because of getting a D in Conduct in Homeroom…

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    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 22 February 2008 @ 3:32 pm

  76. Jonquille did you see that even the gifted education professionals in the local school district aren’t interested in my services? I’m too pessimistic, it seems. Do you think maybe they were just looking for an excuse to kick you out of the Honor Society presidency? My wife too held this lofty position at her high school in rural Virginia.

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    Comment by ktismatics — 22 February 2008 @ 3:34 pm

  77. I was fascinated recently to read about Ricoeur’s “hermeneutics of suspicion,” the leading practitioners being Marx, Nietzsche and Freud. Also, I observed that in his most recent post Shaviro commended Traxus’ interpretive acumen.

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    Comment by ktismatics — 22 February 2008 @ 3:38 pm

  78. Seyfried, how come I wasn’t alerted to the blog launch? I had to find out about it on your pingback at the Cultural Parody Center. Come to think of it, how come I didn’t get a pingback here, since you referenced my “post” also? And will you still be Seyfried, or are you Eidola now?

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 22 February 2008 @ 4:43 pm

  79. I sent you an email, no? [/homoeroticism ;)]

    “And will you still be Seyfried, or are you Eidola now?”

    Seyfried; just enough to keep the fading German blood inside of me. Or well, aside from the second-cousins: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1086543/

    Like

    Comment by seyfried — 22 February 2008 @ 5:33 pm

  80. I wasn’t aware that the launch was imminent. I’m not at all pissed that I had to find out through a secondary source, which happens to get a lot more hits than I do… No really, I’m very happy that you’ve begun with such verve and nerve. I’ll add you to the blogroll immediately.

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    Comment by ktismatics — 22 February 2008 @ 5:43 pm

  81. Well, I’m just matriculatin’ my way on down the blogrolls, aren’t I? Likewise, I’m surprised at the absent pingback, but don’t postulate that this means that start of any sort of consistent posting habits…I just wanted something there.

    “I’m not at all pissed that I had to find out through a secondary source, which happens to get a lot more hits than I do”

    Lol. I’ve probably gave him the last 2,000. There really is NOTHING substantial about Kosovo out there.

    Like

    Comment by seyfried — 22 February 2008 @ 6:03 pm

  82. There’s a post at Lenins Tomb now on Kosovo — link through CPC.

    Homoeroticism? Don’t flatter yourself — although if you bear any family resemblance to your cousin I might be interested.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 22 February 2008 @ 6:40 pm

  83. Clysmatics, it’s usually art that flows out of your everyday experience (your friends, work…a walk along the lake) that turns out the best, because your experience is unique and nobody else has it. I know I could never launch a multi-billion dollar academic parody enterprise, but I learned SO MUCH in the process of parodying that I’m using those ideas for my work, for example. I think you’re still trying to think in boxes while the Zeigeist is MIXAGE.

    One needn’t know anything about politics to understand why Kosovo is significant. It’s a neuralgic spot, like Iraq – there’s only a few in the world. Tinkering with such spots automatically causes ripples.

    Russia is impoverished, yes, but Russia has the energy that the West doesn’t, do you get it Clysmatics? And the West needs to steal that. I can think of any number of ways NOT to steal it, and build cooperation instead, but the criminal and voracious policies of our world leaders won’t allow it. They have to go for the savage option. For this they will pay, I’m just completely sure, because of the Russian mentality. Russians when pushed up against the wall do not decide to COMPROMISE, they go all the way and they blow themselves up together with their enemy.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 23 February 2008 @ 12:36 am

  84. “I’m not at all pissed that I had to find out through a secondary source, which happens to get a lot more hits than I do”

    Seyfried, Clysmatics apparently got bored of getting only second-hand visits feeding off OUR stardom, so he welcomed the opportunity of daddying you as his less experienced son. It also sounds like he’s trying to drown his self-inflicted masochistic depression by advising US on how to make millions in the blawgosphere, which is only made more ludicrous by his continuous attempts to become a PEOPLE HELPER (while at heart he is a writer with a distinct voice, hampered by Viagra-induced impotence). Just how pathetic this is is something you’ll have to decide for yourself, but I would say it’s pretty pathetic, sort of like an upmarket version of Hemingway;s Old Man and the Sea unable to face the whale.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 23 February 2008 @ 12:56 am

  85. No I meant an upmarket remake of Old Man and The Sea where the Old Man faces a dolphin instead of a whale.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 23 February 2008 @ 1:04 am

  86. And thank you Seyfried for seeding that Kosovo information. The thing is with 200,000 people in Belgrade (relatively) peacefully demonstrating, it’s the kind of grassroots energy that should be taking place IN AMERICA, but in America apparently all they can do is regurgitate the intricacies of socialist movies and the Trotskyan legacy of self-determination, issues namely which have absolutely nothing to do with the reality on ground. I am pleasantly surprised that Leninini had the integrity to half-assedly admit that he was wrong; for a Leninist oriented Marxist there isn’t much more to hope for.

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    Comment by parodycenter — 23 February 2008 @ 1:07 am

  87. I know I could never launch a multi-billion dollar academic parody enterprise, but I learned SO MUCH in the process of parodying that I’m using those ideas for my work, for example. I think you’re still trying to think in boxes while the Zeigeist is MIXAGE.

    Exactly so. Clysmatics is trying to shove what he thinks is a subtle puritanical work ethic up our asses, and he ought to know we are not interested in barbed wire.

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    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 23 February 2008 @ 10:57 am

  88. “he’s trying to drown his self-inflicted masochistic depression by advising US on how to make millions in the blawgosphere, which is only made more ludicrous by his continuous attempts to become a PEOPLE HELPER (while at heart he is a writer with a distinct voice, hampered by Viagra-induced impotence). Just how pathetic this is is something you’ll have to decide for yourself, but I would say it’s pretty pathetic, sort of like an upmarket version of Hemingway;s Old Man and the Sea unable to face the whale.”

    lol! That is hilarious, time Clysmatics got told.

    Like

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 23 February 2008 @ 10:59 am

  89. No I meant an upmarket remake of Old Man and The Sea where the Old Man faces a dolphin instead of a whale.

    Could be a great Saturday Night Live.

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    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 23 February 2008 @ 11:00 am

  90. for a Leninist oriented Marxist there isn’t much more to hope for.

    He should therefore thank us for even noticing, since it’s mildly admirable but NOTHING really except an admission of HIS OWN GUILT!

    Like

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 23 February 2008 @ 11:02 am

  91. Okay, I TRIED to help you guys, but what thanks do I get? So fuck it, let’s move on. Part of the great value of the Parody Center’s helpful service is that there’s always some sort of TRUTH embedded in your performance, histrionic and offensive though it may be. This too could be said of certain movies, perhaps even most movies. But there’s also performance, entertainment value, even spectacle if you insist. A lot of film interpretation comes from psycyhology: Freud, Lacan, even cognitivism. But now we’re recognizing that there’s a blurred distinction at least in internet personae between the selves and the performances. So I’m thinking: what if you circled back around and brought cinematic interpretive perspectives into psychological praxis? You would watch people and interpret them as if they were movies: part truth, part performance, part special effects and trompe l’oeil. Not directors or actors in movies, but movies, the cumulative product of many agencies and immanent forces working through them. The value of the psychologist-as-movie-interpreter is to provide a kind of technical service — script doctoring, perspectival framing, etc. — that tweaks these movies toward being a little bit better: more entertaining, more meaningful, more complex, etc.

    In my first novel the main character is some sort of psychological practitioner who takes over for another guy who’s quitting, packing up and heading for Lisbon. This “mentor” offers the main character some advice: don’t be a helper; once you start thinking of yourself as a helper you’re finished. I still think that’s good advice, and I appreciate your reinforcing that message.

    “I think you’re still trying to think in boxes while the Zeigeist is MIXAGE.”

    You have know idea; you speak from ignorance; you haven’t read my books. Other than that bit you’re generally on target. So what? I already know these things. I am part of the performance, part of the mixage. Excellent: I tossed out some lines indicating I was ready to assume my role, which I have now fulfilled, as have you. Let’s all take our bows.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 23 February 2008 @ 12:04 pm

  92. “I tossed out some lines indicating I was ready to assume my role, which I have now fulfilled, as have you. Let’s all take our bows.”

    No, we HAVE, Clysmatics.

    You have NOT. You gotta long row to hoe…

    Honey, you have LIED all the way down the line…

    Like

    Comment by Jonquille de Camembert — 23 February 2008 @ 12:43 pm

  93. Yeah well whatever.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 23 February 2008 @ 1:00 pm

  94. The US’s approval of Turkey’s ground incursion into Iraq testifies to the double standard in a really flagrant way. Here’s Kosovo getting Bush’s recognition even before the State Dept. does it — a violation of protocol — and then there are the Kurds, presumably the US’s biggest allies in Iraq, getting invaded by Turkey because the Kurds want to establish their own homeland. What a bunch of crap.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 23 February 2008 @ 1:30 pm

  95. Clysmatics how could I have read your books when I don’t HAVE THEM? I read some of the synopses, and I told you they were good. But a synopsis is not the same as a book. And yes I know you’ve been using mixage, so I have no idea why you continue drearily insisting that we now turn all po-faced and start some kind of a Clysmatised Roger Ebert enterprise without any healthy BITCH FUN to fill in the breaks and the blanks?

    When Bosnian Serbs today said they would require independence as well if the EU makes unreasonable moves in Kosovo, the EU responded that’s a breach of the security contract in Bosnia, as if Kosovo’s independence weren’t a breach of the UN charter. Meanwhile Russia said, and I do think they mean it, they will use brute force if necessary, because the terms posed by the EU and the UN are those of brute force.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 23 February 2008 @ 10:41 pm

  96. Exactly so. Clysmatics is trying to shove what he thinks is a subtle puritanical work ethic up our asses, and he ought to know we are not interested in barbed wire.

    While all the while he doesn’t want to admit that he’s always depended on the kindness of strangers. Speaking of which Clysmatics has a lot of Jessica Lange in himself, I just thought.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 23 February 2008 @ 10:47 pm

  97. While all the while he doesn’t want to admit that he’s always depended on the kindness of strangers. Speaking of which Clysmatics has a lot of Jessica Lange in himself, I just thought.

    Just a final note to point out that that’s as of today out of today. I’m sure you’re going to be a great sensation, turkeys, as you forward to the realization of ‘It’s not about you. It’s about people who are not you’. Join Cum Ba Ya hands with Arpege Bin Laden and continue enjoying Bad Sex.

    Like

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 24 February 2008 @ 10:33 am

  98. out of today should be ‘out of date.’

    Like

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 24 February 2008 @ 10:33 am

  99. “No, we HAVE, Clysmatics. You have NOT. You gotta long row to hoe…”

    I wasn’t referring to the entire long-running series, just this particular installment. I’m like a bit player, a character actor who shows up every few weeks, the beloved but bumbling uncle like Uncle Billy in It’s a Wonderful Life.

    I don’t understand the Jessica Lange reference — that she’s lovely and charming? pleasant but sort of bland? It’s out of date now anyway so I guess it doesn’t matter.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 24 February 2008 @ 11:05 am

  100. I would say lovely and charming, then suddenly, without explanation, pleasant but bland, but I am specifically referring to her role in FRANCES, which could be your new gay name if you got tired of Clysmatics.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 24 February 2008 @ 8:34 pm

  101. Haven’t seen it, but there’s this:

    “Lange’s performance in this film is amazing and is truly a tour-de-force. As Frances Farmer, she is both fragile and volatile, erupting in furious emotions in the asylum scenes and projecting a heartbreaking vulnerability in quieter ones. Lange later said that “the anger and rage I had to build up and sustain throughout nearly four months of shooting nearly killed me.” She appears in almost every scene of the film and her characterization is riveting. The range of emotion in some scenes, like her speech on the staircase to her mother before leaving once again for the institution, could be a textbook example for young acting students.”

    I’m not sure I’ve got the range that’s called for here, but thanks for the compliment.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 24 February 2008 @ 10:08 pm

  102. FRANCES is a very good film about the corrupt psychiatric establishment in 1950s America. It is also a great study of mother-daughter pathology, and what makes it distinct is Frances’s inability to escape that pathology, despite having several outlets, including her lover, and enough talent and intelligence. The musical score is tremendous.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 25 February 2008 @ 3:55 am

  103. “The musical score was tremendous.”

    I was happy that the song from “Once” won the Oscar. Compared with those lame Disney production numbers from “Enchanted,” the performance by the Irish guy and the Czech girl was touchingly earnest and romantic, and the song itself was so much better than any of the competition. I liked this movie a lot, surprising myself by my own corniness. I remember writing about it in a comment several months ago, shortly after we returned from Europe, along with my moment of existential alienation as I walked out of the theater into the new and shiny and empty parking garage of America my homeland.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 25 February 2008 @ 6:44 am


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