Acting-Out Politics

Weblog opens discussion about the psychology of Bushmerican style of behavior.

Among other mini-narrations in “Dodes’kaden” Kurosawa depicts the existential predicament of a homeless father-son family. The obvious – physical pauperization is only part of this family’s impoverishment, but this “obvious part” is a metaphor of pauperization of the human soul. Our culture forgets about the human (including children’s) existentially spiritual needs. Physical poverty of the father and child in the film signifies the spiritual – “holistic poverty” of our today’s Western societies which are feeding the souls of their children and adults with (artificial) high-tech fodder.


Here, we see father and his child together, when father’s mind-and-heart is occupied with architectural competence of his professionalism – something which his son cannot connect to – so, while listening to his father’s specialized verbal constructions he has to learn to concentrate on them as some kind of phantoms instead of focusing on his own existential needs. It’s like in today’s societies financial elite is concentrating on getting technological power, and the decision-makers require from the whole society to be occupied with high-tech toys (like iPad, Smartphones, video games, etc.), which seduce and entertain the population on the one hand, and manipulate and disable the holistic human mind on the other. In Kurosawa’s film the phantoms of father’s highly professional mind are plans for construction and images of houses of the future (as beautiful as unreachable in their beauty).


Step by step the child became hypnotized by father’s imagination, like today many children and adults while walking along the street are fixated on their cell-phones so completely that they forget to look around at traffic.


The beautiful enigmatic gate to the future (which father’s meticulous imagination invents for his son) became for him an irresistible call to create. And he feels himself a prophet leading his son to a blissful future. Kurosawa is underlining here how technical science in today’s societies functions like powerful prescientific utopia.


How beautiful this gate to the future paradise is! But with growing pauperization of the population today will the future children of immiserating be able to enjoy it?


The job of the little son of our high-tech architect is to find and to bring leftovers from the Tokyo restaurants.


The little boy is quite a successful collector of leftovers – kitchen people rarely refuse a child asking for food


The father “built” a luxurious house of the future not for himself nor for his clients, but for his son. Appreciate not only the humanism of his dedication, but the caring intentionality of his creativity.


Exhausted by the intensity of his creative concentration, the father never asked himself the question – will his son be able to grow up to live in this kind of a house as soon as the actual conditions of his growing up are so disastrous? Do today’s American astrophysicists ask themselves similar questions about the conditions of human life on the earth, while they enjoying their salaries provided by the taxpayers living under austerity regime, not by luminous creatures from another worlds impressed by earthly scientists’ curiosity and daring minds?

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After the father ate almost without noticing the food, he, as usual quickly returned to his topics of the houses of the future. But pay attention to the face of his son – his little mind is already kidnapped by his father’s interests. That’s how American technical science students are kidnapped from life by being seduced by the issue of future jobs and salaries and by the beauty of technical science. They are less and less interested in studying humanistic sciences (which are melting away before our eyes).


The child became fascinated, overwhelmed with his father’s imagination, like today’s youth with technical toys and future unlimited prosperity


Father’s architectural scientific phantasy became for the son more beautiful and more real with each day, like the very might of technological artifacts of Western civilization more and more irresistible for the young people who dream to be in charge of robotic power and friendly commanders of robots.


But the father has never thought who, besides his son will live in the houses of future constructed by him. If to ask him he, probably will say something like that everybody will be welcomed.

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The little boy became ill not only emotionally – by being burdened by the seriousness and the weight of his father’s imagination, but by food poisoning


Father had an experience of being sick because of stale food, but he, basically an optimistic person, believed that his son will become better. Beside, his son also said in front of people nearby that he will be ok. It’s like some parents believe in the sacred power of guns and cannot imagine that their child can be killed by a fatal casual bullet release.


When the child, precious to the father’s heart, died, the father felt that he must give to his son an exceptional present.


Here, we see the swimming pool which the father has constructed in his imagination to the eternal memory of his dead son. The incredible quantity of private swimming pools as a part of today’s life style seems to have inspired Kurosawa to create this image.

Posted on Sep/4/’14 – “Dodes’kaden” (1970) by Akira Kurosawa by Acting-Out Politics

Posted on May 26, 2012 – Akira Kurosawa’s “Dodes’kaden” (1970) As Anthropological “Map” of Human Psychological Condition (Kurosawa’s Contemplation on the Living Art of Archetypal Crystallization) by Acting-Out Politics

Two dreams (“Communist” and “American”) with one essence – human happiness is a result of unlimited satisfaction of material needs – plentiful and pleasant food, a castle over one’s head, sexual pleasures and leisure(s), our caprices and vain desires, and fight for fame, wealth, power, etc. Soviet communists “respected” despotic commanding authority and weakened and “suspended” the importance of culture, but the American wealthy elite (through their conservative political servants) got rid of (serious) culture completely – they reduced it into mass culture – that of consumption of entertainment, amusement and fun.

The auteur of the “Sweet Movie” Dusan Makavejev as a joyous genius of cinematic thinking represents this common dream of super-prosperity (as over-satisfaction and through this overstimulation of our material needs) through the metaphor of consumption of sweet substances – extra-sugar in the food and alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, pleasures, satisfactions, life’s “sweetness”, need for success and sweet foam of fame, possessions and ownerships and extra-wealth and -power over others. In his film Makavejev compares the dreamers of sweet life from East European proletarian branch and the Americans who create and act out such dreams, and shows how these two cultures are different and similar in their structuring human “sweet dreaming” and sweetened reality of human life with similarly destructive results. Soviet ideology of Communist prosperity (made of sweetness) meets American mass culture (made of symmetrical sweetness) on the same sweet battlefield of reciprocal defeat by their common dream.


Anna Planeta (Anna Prucnal), the captain of the timeworn “Karl Marx” ship crawling along Amsterdam’s canals with several tons of sugar and assortments of sweets on board, and a sailor lost in time and space (Pierre Clementi) from “Potemkin” (a ghostlike personification of the ghost of communism) – are both settlers in sugar-dream. The tamed mouse we see on the top of the sailor‘s head is a symbol of human body as an appendix to human dreams (which after being shattered are capable of resurrecting again and again).


An irresistible lover ready for sugar-love


Sexual act inside the sugar (as a proto-drug of happiness) should have the power of archangel wings in their sweet Christmas toy incarnation


As we’ll see soon even perfect – even perfumed orgasm, as our heroes have just experienced, can precede not only the paradisiacal calm but also the insatiable dreaming about an inexhaustible wealth of pleasure


Blend of Coffee and sugar promises repetition of sexual bliss, but sugar as a symbolic substance (mainly ideological, as the most Russians discovered it during the seventy years of Soviet domination over life) or “proudly opened” to mass consumption (like the American super-consumers know so well) is not a reliable benefactor – it keeps knife behind its back.


Strange, morbid curiosity can follow the sugary excesses of sweet life, which can stimulate even more greedy desire for more sweetness. It’s the same with our relation to moneys which only look different from sugar.


After multiple ecstasies (produced by sexual avalanches created by the sugary proto-drug), reactions of the Capitan of the sugar-ship and the revolutionary sailor are like that of typical consumers (dreamers about unlimited consumption) – it is like people’s inert reactions on “global heating” – instead of becoming alerted and cautious, they more and more want one thing – stimulation of a mindless and kind-less exploitative consumption of nature.


Coffee mixed with sugar can, by perverse association in human unconscious, unexpectedly refer to the mixture of sugar and blood. Red army soldiers (consumers of the very idea of communism) and consumers of everyday sweet life feel almost identically without any understanding of what’s going on with them and what will be the price.


Alchemical wisdom of mixtures consumed by the tireless consumers will create new entelechy – new energy of life and death for future super-generations! Bloody sugar or sugary blood will become the main pleasure of deadly life and lively death.


Sugar-lover is transformed into sugar-corpse! The poor ghost of the sailor from Potemkin! Poor European children visiting Anna Planeta’s Marx ship full of sweets! Poor consumers of sugar as proto-drug of consumerist super-indulgence! Poor people who have lost their spiritual nature – who think that it’s possible to live by the despotic and never satisfied material dreams. Their spiritual nature was, of course, already repressed by the traditional religions – they were skillfully made to serve both – secular and religious powers. But today their very “sugary” dream to become one of the privileged and wealthy has transformed them into servile conformists to those who have the power of decision-making, because they… identify with their bosses and leaders and serve them with hate for those who’re as much dissimilar with the creators of propaganda, as with believers in it.


“Communist” dream meets “American” dream in Dusan Makavejev’ extraordinary film, horror film on the one hand and hyperbolic comedy on the other, which people of different countries continue to watch even when they don’t feel that they really understand it.

Posted on July 28, 2012 – Dušan Makavejev’s “Sweet Movie” (1974) ) – Two Corrupted Revolutions – “Socialist” and Mass-cultural, and Their Repercussions by Acting-Out Politics

Posted on July 4, 2014 – “Sweet Movie” (1976) By Dusan Makavejev by Acting-Out Politics

The marital bed can be the place for emotional and bodily equality in love. But it can be, as it’s depicted at the beginning of the film, a place of worship for one participant and of self-aggrandizement for the other, when one party is, as if, the altar in flesh while the other – a pilgrim of the adored/worshiped one. This first, “marital” scene of the film provides the first contour of its main topic: relationship between gods and human beings (people who unconsciously play gods, and people who adore and admire them). According to Godard, people in intimate or social situations reproduce (without being conscious about it) the archetypes of the relationships between humans and gods (between human humans and human gods). Those who’re prone to be involved in relations with their unconscious images of gods (human humans) tend to project these images onto another people (making them into or confirming their megalomaniacal regression into, as if, god-like figures). Human gods need not only to be admired – they are dependent on those who admire them. Human humans need to emotionally worship human gods, while human gods ontologically feed on, as if ambrosia of this worship.

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Camille is very happy with Paul, especially during long lazy mornings, when their marital bed becomes the center of the universe – place for meticulous worship (of Camille by Paul) without ending.

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Paul’s love for his wife is hooked on glamour of Camille’s physical beauty. If in the previous shot the director concentrated on their love as a tender, delicate worship, in this shot Camille is shown as not only having been attended, but appropriated, handled, and this style of worship has for her its own delight.

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When Paul (Michel Piccoli), in order to dissolve the ephemeral tense situation suggests to Camille (Brigitte Bardot) to go ahead with Prokosch-the overpowerful movie-producer (Jack Palance) in his luxurious car, and he’ll take a taxi and join them very soon, that’s when she started to feel that Paul “doesn’t love her”. In this moment she expresses her “goddess” essence – she feels existing only when she is the object of admiring and jealously alert attention. She is not a “thing” to be put into the car of a wealthy man.

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Camille feels ignored, abandoned and “betrayed” by Paul who didn’t play the jealous and “hurt” husband according to archaic scenario by which we humans have lived for millennia.

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Camille sees her husband, as if, for the first time – as indifferent towards her and “cowardly and servile” with Prokosch as a man of a higher social standing. She feels that Paul is ready to give her to the producer for the sake of his career. She became cosmically infuriated, as only goddesses can be.

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Camille has become, as if, blind and yearning to see again – she feeling isolated from the warmth and passion of human worshipful adulation is searching for ontological anchor. But without human idolatrous dedication (in which she now, after Paul’s “betrayal”, is radically disappointed – human men are too weak for serious dedication) she is doomed to wander without a psychological home. May be, she already dreams to be found by the person of a godly glory which she blindly imitates herself? May be, she will meet just another human god.

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While looking for Camille around Prokosch’s villa Paul “by chance” sees her and mighty producer in an obviously kissing situation – Paul is visually reduced to be what traditional men always were: idolatrous spectators of gods’ play. But, can it be that now Paul is watching his own play (with gods as protagonists)?

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That’s how a window becomes for humans a window to the heaven that is instantly transformed into human hell. But even gods can make mistakes when, as Camille who is angry at Paul – they forgetting that humans greedily need them and that they exist for the sake of being seen and loved by humans. Then gods get the mistaken idea that they’re able to love each other (without humans). And then, according to Godard, they “lose their faces” (as we see it in this shot). For human gods a kiss can be more dangerous than Apollo’s arrow or Zeus’s anger.

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Without human audience and human overzealous dedication, human gods are in immortal danger – they don’t know what to do with one another. Paul (Michel Piccoli) has lost his wife (Brigitte Bardot), but will he be able to live without gods – without their power, wealth, glamour and ideal (idealized) image for human identification? Will we be able? Not likely, as soon as we’re bombarded in the mass-cultural media by the (artificially) glamorous images of strength, beauty and wealth, images fixating us on our narcissistic worshipful emotions.

Posted a review on July 8, 2014 – “Contempt/Le mepris” (1963) by Jean-Luc Godard by Acting-Out Politics

Posted on April 27, 2013 – Jean-Luc Godard’s “Contempt/Le mepris” (1964) – Psychology Of Human Obsession With Super-human by Acting-Out Politics

Example Of Extra-diegetic Characterization Of The Film’s Personages By The Director

The context of what we see in this shot is the sudden return of Charles Swann after a long separation from his friends Duke and Duchesse de Guermantes by the reason of his marriage to courtesan Odette de Crasi (the act by which he put himself outside the Duke and Duchesse’s circle – what it means is that they stopped to invite him to their events). Years before his return Swann travelled and worked on his manuscripts, and now he brought to the Duchesse some curious materials and souvenirs from various countries. The main reason for his visit was the fact that he became terminally ill and worried about the future of his daughter – he wanted to ask de Guermanteses not to abandon her with their patronage.

Charles, Duke and Duchesse started to talk about his illness, and this gave chance to Swann (Jeremy Irons) and Oriane de Guermantes (Fanny Ardant) to shift from his illness to the issue of human death and that could give Schlondorff the idea to create this amazing shot, where both heroes, as if, are looking at death, as if, feel its inevitability. It is the difference between how Oriane and, on the other hand, Swann are looking at their deaths makes this shot so exceptionally expressive.

Indeed, what is the difference between how the Duchesse and Swann perceive their corresponding deaths? Charles is already prepared by his illness to accept the inevitability of the end. He, an exceptional person with a scholarly scope and ties with arts is too concentrated on meaning and spirituality to exaggerate the importance of fleshly life. And yet we feel fear on his face, but fear which doesn’t contradict humility, the one without a smallest glimpse of self-immortalizing hope. It is, as if, Swann’s intelligence is a guard of his humility (and his humility a guard of his intelligence). And he wants to see, to experience his final moments – he keeps his monocle alert.

The duchesse, on the other hand, is stiff with her mobilized emotional alertness as self-protection, as if death is a rapist. Oriane covers not only her heart, but her breast – is what she defends the heart of her breast or breast of her heart? Is what she unconsciously defends her life or her very femininity? Is the white glove an obstacle for death? Oriane is still healthy and incredibly rich – and she will try to protect herself against death. Oriane’s neck is strained so strongly, as if it is her skeleton mobilizing itself against the end. Her posture is such, as if she could be only raped by death. She knows that at the end she will collapse, but only in response to overwhelming power.

If Swann is masculine but soft, soften by his wisdom, Oriane is tremendously attractive, even for death, to be sure, and hard – she will resist until she is not broken. Masculinity can surrender (in advance of defeat), but femininity is prone to live through it.

Posted on Jan 5, 2015 – “Swan In Love/Un amour de Swann” (1984) By Volker Schlöndorff’ by Acting-Out Politics

Posted on Oct 24, 2014 – Volker Schlondorff’s “Un Amour de Swann/Swann in Love” (1984) – Two “Knights” Fighting for Their Peculiar Ideals and Lost in A Chivalry-less World by Acting-Out Politics

Here we are witnessing one of the most surrealist composition of a shot in Fassbinder’s “Chinese Roulette”. Fassbinder is not showing in his films (obviously) “bad” or (unambiguously) “good” people, as it’s natural in movies of totalitarian countries where criteria for defining human “badness” or “goodness” of a movie character or a person in real life are simplistic because the ideology of the ruling elites eliminates from the picture the reasons and the nature of criminal, deviant, sociopathic or just bad behavior or, conversely the civil, humane, polite, peaceful and rational ones. Fassbinder as a person with democratic sensibility shows the problems of human life without any authoritarian/totalitarian judge-mentalism, because for him the task of democratic art is exactly to depict and express the psychological and social etiology of human behavior, its roots and its environment.

“Chinese Roulette” in a blasphemously abridged form is a film about an early-adolescent girl with an angelic appearance but with an extraordinary mind, and (even more about) her parents, a wealthy and glamorous couple, who feel guilty that their child is physically crippled. While watching the film we start to understand that the problem making Angela’s parents to suffer is not just having a crippled child, but that having such a child means for them a personal fiasco and, therefore, is a sign, that they’re not perfect, that they have a basic flaw in their very ontological nucleus. More, step by step we understand that Angela’s mother – Ariane (Margit Carstensen) and her father – Gerhard (Alexander Allerson) got, just because their daughter is physically crippled, an ontological inferiority complex of a devastating power. A crippled daughter looking like an angel (as Angela, indeed, is) was for them an additional – final blow, as if, Creator’s laughter at them. Ariane and Gerhard feel as a rotten tree, as if damned in their very nature from the beginning. Angela had to try to help herself – to invent her own psychotherapy and she even tried to psychotherapeutically help her parents to understand the irrationality of their behavior. This is the meaning of the film’s sujet.

The equivalent in US of the 21st century of Angela’s parents’ psychological predicament can be the situation when a person feels that he is not successful enough to respect himself and be really respected by others – that in spite of the fact that he whole life was crazily trying but is not a billionaire or at least a full-fledged or “full glass” millionaire, that Mr. Smith or Mr. Smooth or Mr. Speck are ahead of him, that his career is in shambles instead of souring high up like a missile or drone, etc. In short, it’s here, in this semantic spot of human aspirations and despair Fassbinder created a shot like the one we offer here to the viewers’ attention. The director not really laughs at people like Angela’s parents – with megalomaniacal psyches, but he is expressing his tormented amazement about the existence of people like them, about their precious personalities. For Fassbinder it is an enigma of human pathology that it is possible instead of helping their daughter to live and find herself, – to keep themselves in front of themselves as a priceless broken vase, self-admiringly and insufferably self-sufferingly.

We see in the still how Ariane and Gerhard suffer – not because their daughter is cripple, but because their “genetic superiority” is shattered (American version of the same psychological context will be – “financial superiority”). We see that the director has a bottle of liquor closing – as if smashing Ariane and Gerhard’s faces while they are looking at each other crying together in public – when they confess to one another about their love. The misguided achievement of their moral selves is that they learned to love each other in their very failure, not in their triumph. But they never will learn to love neither for achievement (typical solution), nor for failure to achieve (obsessive solution), but to love for life itself, for unique possibilities of human relationships, for otherness of another people.

Yes, Ariane and Gerhard never will overcome their trauma, never will go out of it – to forgive themselves and their god. Even failure for people with megalomaniacal complexes is too big and too important – they cannot stop emotionally gluing to it. They will continue to try to aggrandize even what for them is their very fiasco. They will not be able to help Angela and themselves to focus on life together. We see on the right of the shot – Ariane’s face distorted by her megalomaniacal suffering (as big as the cosmos). She made Angela’s crippleness the failure of the universe. Ariane’s super-human suffering is reflected by the configuration of glasses and crystals in a luxurious family house.

Posted on Jan, 6 2015 –   “Chinese Roulette” (1976) by R.W. Fassbinder  by Acting-Out Politics

Posted Dec 25, 2011 –   Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s “Chinese Roulette” (1976) – Parental Perfectionist Expectations (Placed on Their Children) As a Target of Child’s Rebellion by Acting-Out Politics

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Bertolucci avoids direct (didactical) critical characterization of the main characters in the film because to do so would be an authoritarian gesture which is beyond an intellectual artist’s style (enough psychological harm to the movie-viewers especially the young people is done by mass-cultural contrast between hero and villain, where both are, as if, designed by propaganda posters).

So, Bertolucci being a director different from the commercial movie-makers (he feels obligation to express something serious in his films, not just entertain the audience and confirm the viewers’ prejudices) is trying to explain in “The Dreamers” the psychological condition of the young people-the heroes of the film – first, through depicting the psychological structures determining their behavior and secondly, by providing bold visual images which can help the viewers’ understanding by cognitively challenging their perception.

An example of such a cognitively stimulating images is presented in the still above. It is not too easy to spot, but the viewers who are successful will be on the path to understand Bertolucci’s concept of the three main characters of the film. The two people we see here – Isabelle (in the center of the bathtub) and her brother Theo (to the left of the shot – seen from behind) are French teenagers, a twin brother and sister, who have a crush on each other, which has been going on for years without any resolution. To the right we see Matthew, an American boy whom the twins have befriended not without a particular plan (which they already shared with him up to this point of bathing nude together) to use him as a sexual ersatz. In other words – sentimental aspect of love between Isabelle and Theo is their business, but Matthew will be privileged to deflower her as a sign of his friendship with both of them, and by this the twins are liberated from the necessity to violate the incest taboo (this violation, probably, could make them both so guilty that it would spoil their love and life). The point here, according to the logic of Bertolucci’s imagery is not, of course, that the French twins must stay sinless, but that in order to help them Matthew has to participate in his own psychological alchemy, which while being much more widespread in today’s world, practically common behavior, is not less, and may be even much more psychologically problematic than incest. If incest is not just incest, but also love and, therefore a holistic experience, then sex without love (sexual fixation is exactly Matthew’s situation in his relationship with Isabelle) is psychologically de- and im-personalizing.

While looking at the shot we see how young people are indulging in the séance of innocent nudity. And here is Bertolucci’s strange (cognitively challenging and stimulating at least for some viewers) image. We see knees of Theo, we see knees of Isabelle, and we see Matthew’s one leg with a monstrous artificial bulb of a knee, a leg which doesn’t really look like a human leg, but rather like a prosthesis or like a wooden surrogate. What is Bertoluccci up to? What is he expressing here?

Posted on Feb, 6 2015 –   “The Dreamers” (2003) By Bernardo Bertolucci [NSFW] by Acting-Out Politics

Posted on Sep, 28 2011 –   Bernardo Bertolucci’s “The Dreamers” (2003) – Why Contrary to Herbert Marcuse’s Hope, Young People Are Not Able to Change Society by Acting-Out Politics

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This semantically efficient shot with the characters of Neame’s film is not only a prelude to the plot – a kind of an exposition before “the action” will start, but something like the director’s “introductory statement” about the tragic penchant for (and pathological fixation of our species on) bloody clashes as intrinsic part of human nature and our historical destiny.

We see the three main characters of the film (sitting right in front of us) – the three senior officers of the battalion, who are preparing for war. No, it will not be one of wars of the type which countries (through their political and military leadership’s calculations) and their military forces will act out with optimistic bravery and pride. Ronald Neame’s film is dedicated to the depiction of an intra-battalion war – the one between two colonels – the present battalion commander and a new one, who is expected to appear not later than the next day and who in reality will arrive even earlier.

The officers (obviously, concentrated on the arrival of the new colonel and what it will bring to the life of the battalion and how they should react) are Major Jock Sinclair, the acting colonel (Alec Giunness) – in the center, Capt. Jimmy Cairns, adjutant (Gordon Jackson) – at Jock’s left hand, and Major Charles Scott, second in command (Dennis Price) – at Jock’s right hand.

The point of the shot, it seems, is – how predictable wars are, not necessary in their results, but in behavior of war protagonists, how routinized the nature of human battles and clashes is, and how deeply “extreme fighting” is rooted in archetypal complexes of human psyche.

Looking at colonel Sinclair’s face we are diving into the very psychology of fighting – we see the iron determination to crush the opponent, mobilization of human psychological resources necessary for this task – of human heart and soul, and calculation of the strategy for its realization. We see on Jock’s face, how the whole human emotional palette can be recruited by the human mind for battle. And we are overwhelmed and sometimes subdued by the intensity of existential theater of the reality of the human nature in fight.

Capt. Jimmy Cairns, on the other hand, is rather the rarest exemplar of a military person. He is not a man of fight, but of fairness and justice – more exactly, he is a man of fight for justice, in a world of battlefields where fight for the most part means one thing – elimination of the enemy. Jimmy is a person with… a democratic sensibility right in the midst of an authoritarian social structure. He thinks that various people have to be able to co-exist with and respect one another and he knows how to resolve conflicts reasonably. Jimmy knows how hard he will try to keep justice alive in the very heat of the clash, but he is also aware that he most likely will not succeed.

And, finally, Major Charles Scott, the second in command, a person whose fairness is balanced with loyalty. Charles Scott’s task is, in a way, the most difficult and the most congruent with being a military officer as the ultimate identity of a fighter. In the still above Scott’s moral burden is the heaviest – he has to make the decision/he already made the decision for everyone involved. It’s up to him to finalize the situation. We see him looking at life as if it’s already after the resolution, like people during the war try to see peace which will come after the war. His gaze tells us, that in this moment, when technically everything is still in the future, he has already strategically killed and “buried” the opponent of his friend Jock Sinclair.

The two low ranks we see in the second raw, are piper Adam (Keith Faulkner), to the left, a pettily smart survivalist, and CPL. piper Jan Frazer (John Frazer), to the right – the self-sacrificial knight of loyalty.

Posted July 2014 –   “Tunes of Glory” (1960) by Ronald Neame  by Acting-Out Politics

April, 19 2011 –   Ronald Neame’s “Tunes of Glory” (1960) – The Sunbeams of Military Machismo: The Perverse Beauty of Internalized Militancy by Acting-Out Politics

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The famous painter Johan Borg (Max von Sydow) is going through a frightening creative crisis – he is losing control over the personages of his paintings – objects of his own inspirations (beings he himself made alive). His wife Alma (Liv Ullmann), whom we see in the still above, desperately tries to help her husband, but doesn’t know how. She knows where Johan hides his diary and wants to get more information about his predicament to help him better. When Johan left to paint on nature, as he does every morning, Alma decided to secretly read his diary, but her discretion as a decent person makes her hesitate. It’s in this moment we see her. She wants to go to take her husband’s diary, but she stops herself – she knows that Johan hides his thoughts connected with his work and sketches of the models he modifies in his paintings. She is on her way to his diary, but she forces herself to stop. How do we know this? By her “unoccupied” posture, by hesitating position of her arms and hands, but mainly, by “self-contradicting” position of Alma’s legs.

We see her standing, but her legs are, as if, walking. She is, as if, artificially de-posing herself. The hesitation of her legs makes them, as if, twisted by doubt, not straight. Her legs, as if, not straight because she has contradictory intentions. Her whole body is a contradiction in action. To express in front of camera the ambiguity of Alma’s intentionality in this moment demands de-straightening of her legs. Can we imagine any commercial Hollywood director showing the leading female star with legs which cannot brag to the whole world about their impeccably straight shape? But for Bergman it is much more important to express the truth about the heroine’s psychological condition in a certain moment, than to emphasize her straight legs. Even in the tiny moment of action we see here, there is a drastic difference between commercial movie-directors and serious artists like Bergman or the difference between a female movie-star making grand success with her legs and other appealing visual spots – and a real actresses like Liv Ullmann. The permanently moving in time truth of life is barely compatible with (and if combinable – prevails over) the posing body’s appeal for success.

Posted on Nov, 11 ’15 –   “Hour Of The Wolf” (1968) By Ingmar Bergman by Acting-Out Politics

Posted on Sep, 23 ’15 –   Ingmar Bergman’s “Hour of the Wolf/Vargtimmen” (1968) – When People Cannot Differentiate Between Internal and External Worlds And Then Take One For Another by Acting-Out Politics

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