Acting-Out Politics

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

Contradictions Of Secular Spiritual Individualism – When Non-conformism is based on Private Perspective World View

Swann begins to think he loves Odette after he dissociates her from her actual body – which is desirable and thus detestable – by confounding her with Botticelli’s Zipporah from the Sistine Chapel… or with Vinteuil’s sonata. Only then can he see this ‘ruined flesh’ as a masterpiece in a gallery’, and thus makes love to her as if she were an artistic masterpiece… ‘the idea that she was nonetheless in the room with him… ready to be kissed and enjoyed, the idea of her material existence would sweep over him with so violent an intoxication that, with eyes starting from his head and jaws tensed as though to devour her , he would fling himself upon this Botticelli maiden and kiss and bite her cheeks’.
Julia Kristeva, “Time and Sense (Proust and the Experience of Literature)”, Columbia Univ. Press, 1996, p. 27

Sadism is an aestheticized erotic.
Leo Bersani, “The Freudian Body (Psychoanalysis and Art)”, Columbia Univ. Press, 1986, p. 54

When I was offered “Un Amour de Swann”, I didn’t hesitate for a second. I accepted without the reading the book again. …I saw images in my mind’s eye: a man wandering at night across the boulevards, from one bar to the next, in a feverish state of euphoria, searching for a woman who constantly eludes him. …One afternoon, he subjects her to a long session of questioning, he tortures her with his jealousy and takes enjoyment in his own suffering.
Volker Schlondorff

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Volker Schlondorff (on the left) and Sven Nukvist (in the center, sitting) are preparing to shoot a crowded scene.

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Schlondorff helps Jeremy Irons (Charles Swann) not to slide out of the proper mood in an emotionallydifficult scene between Swann and Odette (Ornella Muti).

Charles Swann puts on his Knight‘s Armor

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Growing fixation on Odette, this “chaste beauty trapped by men’s lust in the den of money-sex cohabitation”, makes Swann lose alertness of a dandy and unintentionally expose his indifference to his mistress the Duchesse de Guermantes (Fanny Ardant) by tactlessly telling her that “if she wants” they can meet in the evening. She swallows the insult but she will be back to this in due time.

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Charles Swann starts his mission of saving Odette de Crecy from being a “sexual maid-toy” of the rich.

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Charles suffers because this “dirty-handed Madame Verdurin (Marie-Christine Barrault) pretends to helping Odette by fixing her up with that Jack in the box de Forcheville”. Infuriated Charles couldn’t even ride home and decided to follow his carriage striking the shrubs with his stick as if it were a sword.

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Duke and Duchess de Guermantes who heard about Swann infatuation with “that harlot”, straightly tell Charles that while they’re fond of him they could never invite “her” to their place/palace.

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Charles and his magic confidant, adviser and helper – his magnificent bureau with doors of refined wood which are like archangel‘s wings which he opens when he needs to draw money for Odette. Charles is not a business person. He treats money as a magic tool to acquire beautiful things without which life is not a worthy enterprise. Charles is an idealist of money and a guard of disinterested but expensive – sublime dedications.

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Evening after evening Charles tries to pull Odette away from Madame Verdurin’s company, stepping deeper and deeper into their common destiny. Does he, with his Jewish origins, think at this point about his progeny with Odette – his future children ennobled by the beauty of their future mother?

Charles’ obsession-compulsion with investigating Odette’s sexual life

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Duchesse de Guermantes is almost in love with Swann – as we see, she has her human moments. Here, she is noticing how he, in a room full of guests, is looking at a melting candle, as if, he in this instant unconsciously identified with the dying candle, feeling that his very existence is meaninglessly thawing amidst empty life.

UN AMOUR DE SWANN
Baron de Charlus (Alain Delon) is trying to impress the Jewish boy whom he has chosen for homosexual conquest with all the friendliness of a libertine and the persistence of a liberator working for the Cause of equality between men.

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De Charlus is Charles’ dedicated friend, challenging interlocutor and spiritual twin. Like Charles, de Charlus is a “fighter for equality of humankind”, but, like in Swann’s case also, this equality is a call of the soul, a matter of sensitivity, of existential taste – not a conscious credo formulated ideologically or politically. For him it could be an unforgivable vulgarity to reduce the flowering of his personality into dead – political determinants. Our knights – Charles and de Charlus are spontaneous worshippers of human wholeness, of the human personality in its holistic aspect, of the human as a drop of godly. For Swann this yearning for equality inside equal belonging to humanity was a question of saving the feminine beauty from world’s corruption, but for de Charlus it was a matter of a homosexual togetherness celebrating equality of men of different nations and social classes. For both it was a matter of their spiritual incompatibility with the social reality. But for both this ideal of equality included the necessity of converting the very objects they wanted to rescue – the prostitute into a lady for Swann, for example, or heterosexual young males into homosexuals, for de Charlus. It is the religious element (within their secularly spiritual aspirations) rooted in their organic megalomania.

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A particular area of Odette’s life which inspires the dark curiosity of Charles Swann is her alleged lesbian prostitution. This point is especially difficult for him to bear. Here, we can start to suspect that Charles, indeed, considers Odette as future mother of his children and is very vulnerable to the suspicion that she can be genetically not suitable for motherhood. He dreams to be completely confident that the nasty rumors about Odette don’t correspond to reality, and she feels this ongoing duel between his belief and his disbelief in her lesbianism, and masterfully uses it to dissolve the “dirty rumors” without trying to disprove them – without stimulating his irrational fears.

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Chloe (Anne Bonnent) is a very young prostitute whom Swann visits in the brothel for one purpose only: to get from her information about Odette that he was told she has.

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To make Chloe talk Charles pretends that he wants her sexually, and he performs quite well to obtain the information he is after. But extortion of information via sexual means works problematically, like extortion of information through torture. So, Charles is not sure at all did Chloe tell the truth or not and what exactly she said. It is, probably, good to mention, that he substantially overpaid Chloe (for what? – Sex or information, everything is mixed here – his desire to disprove the evil rumors, his morally good nature, his desire to confirm Odette’s sins to get rid of his obsession with her, ambiguous intensity of his suspicions, and his hope that Chloe will say the truth if she will feel that she is appreciated sexually). While having intercourse with Chloe Charles was smoking a cigarette and formulated his questions to her with legalistic precision. Here he wasn’t a Knight of psychological wholeness anymore – his phallus was moving to culmination while his mind was playing detective and the objective scientist. His conscience was wisely silent according to its circumstantial nature. Visiting the brothel didn’t alleviate Charles’ agony of suspicion, but, may be, it put him on the road to ignore it – to stay with his desire in spite of everything.

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Charles and de Charlus share with each other their amorous burdens.

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It is impossible to understand Swann without taking into a consideration him as an introspection artist. His noble goals, his ethical agonies, his mistakes, his dignity and his vulgarities become a matter of his analytical contemplations. His writings completing his impressions and generalizations liberate him from disquieting uncertainties and fear of death.

Charles Swann’s life battle for liberation of feminine beauty from existential serfdom nurtured by society

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Odette instinctively understood that Charles is really, heavily in love with her, but her difficult life always dependent on sellers and buyers, and on the necessity to pay for everything with her body without losing independent smile, makes her vis-à-vis Swann to be permanently on the stage of trying to impress him and manipulate his reactions.

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Odette thinks about one thing – to marry a man as rich and as gentle as Swann, and how not to let him slide away from the hook of her femininity. We cannot reproach her – in a world that exists not for living but for surviving, she at least not cruel, she just calculates her future – she just wants it to happen.

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When Charles is with her, Odette becomes melancholic, almost depressed, inert and passive as a thing for sale. The closer to the marriage the more silent she becomes.

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For Swann love and sexuality are overburdened by metaphysical connotations complicating the game of mutuality and making it less natural. Charles needs rituals to feel intimate. He invents them with poetic intensity, like we see here, the symbolism of arranging orchid on Odette’s corsage as a touching the heart of beauty itself, and later…

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… touching it with his blasphemous lips. As an object of Charles’ aesthetic-metaphysical rituals of approaching beauty as a goddess, Odette becomes not already just passive but solemnly so. It is, as if, the web of Charles’ grace in treating her creates a repercussion in her soul. She starts sincerely play role of what he wants her to be.

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Odette learns from Charles that her beauty is not just for exchange for currency, but that she, indeed, has something sacredness in her, some spiritual value. She learns that she is noble not as a human being, a woman but as a metaphysical value.

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Charles is touching the breathing metaphor of Odette’s beauty – the pilgrim meets his sacred place. The sacred object meets its worshiper. Unique happiness still exists.

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Odette cannot believe that meeting between those who need one another is as earth and sky, as darkness and sun, as silence and wind, as flesh and spirit, is taking place.

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Even during sexual act, even when Charles is close to the culmination, Odette, although everything is already clear to her, cannot resist of asking him to marry her, even while earth doesn’t need to ask sun to show up. Sun will. Schlondorff makes us see Charles-Odette sexual act “without hands” not as a human intercourse but as a work of art, as a realization of metaphysical dedication, as an act of worship.

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Botticelli’s Zipporah is for Charles Swann prototype of Odette de Crecy, her role model that Charles has invented for her and gave to her as a cosmic gift. Odette becomes a painting. Painting becomes life.

Life was not lived in vain

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Charles’ spiritual knighthood made him healthily tired and prematurely old, but one of his mistresses of a long past Duchesse de Guermantes became, as if, a beautiful monster with super-human power. He spent his spiritual energies, but she greedily accumulated her own human dissatisfaction.

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Charles Swann became more human as a result of his spiritual alchemy – worshipping metaphysical perfection in a humiliated human being Odette de Crecy. But Oriane de Guermantes became more artificial and powerful because only in power can be hidden her satisfaction.

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Old and sick Charles Swann honestly contemplates his satisfying life.

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This shot underlines that Charles is lost in a world that (while he was occupied with his noble and elegant pursuits) has become more mechanized, rude and noisy, more excited and profaned by survival. The natural ground beneath his feet has disappeared by the artificiality of predatory industrialization. The knight became suspended over the ground.

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But Charles and his friend Charlus can still talk about their attempts to find meaning in their lives. Their swords are transformed into canes.

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Charles Swann and Baron de Charlus discuss their lives and death. Charles’ worship and protection of feminine beauty and de Charlus’ cult of men’s equality and brotherhood liberated them from their psychological dependence on society and fear of death (usually cheaply “balanced” in a form of yearning for power and more wealth).

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Charles and de Charlus talk a lot about love as a great ordeal and a great liberating experience and as a wonder magic of realization of freedom – love exists for partnership with it, for learning dignity. But are our aristocratic friends really free? And were they really able to reach liberation even in the most spiritual moments of their lives?

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The charming Charles Swann, favorite of the high society, personification of spiritual aristocracy, man of letters, an elegant bachelor and notorious ladies’ man, a collector of cultural rarities and works of art encouraging spirit of sophistication, was a Jew from a wealthy family who was free of any tasteless dogmatic religious fixations. His cultivated, megalomaniacal but sublimated unconscious shined with his need for ethereal and unchangeable – eternal values. Swann was the carrier of, and an appendix to his unconscious like a knight’s helmet to its plumage. Why did this unconscious need a woman from Botticelli? – Because it couldn’t accept human body – this material illusion, mortal, decaying, fragile, fussy and awkward form of life, and it suggested to its shell – Charles Swann, to feel the same. For Swann to love what is hopelessly mortal would be like to love dirt, dung and puss – a necrophilic or even coprophilic perversion. Aestheticism is a necessity to be able to continue to live. Swann’s shocking sexual contempt towards the human flesh Schlondorff underlines in the brothel scene when Charles obsessed with Odette’s rumored lesbian proclivities questions the young prostitute recommended to him as an informant, while being involved in sexual act with her.

Being compared with Botticelli’s personage was for Odette an equivalent of beautification for the Catholic. Except in Odette’s case what was beautified is not her personality but only her body. Schlondorff and Ornella Muti make it for viewers painfully clear that Odette is not only emotionally flat, but innocently vulgar. Still, they make us compassionate towards her while emphasizing her helpless dependence on Charles’ wealth and status, but her emotional manipulation of him complicates our sympathy. Schlondorff doesn’t allow viewers to have an easy way out. In relation to both characters, Odette and Swann, we are stuck between compassion and disappointment, and this is probably how Schlondorff wants us to be positioned in relation to ourselves crucified between psychological survival and self-disrespect.

In Charles’ noble desire to save Odette (personifying for Charles’ unconscious the archetypal beauty itself) from the lust of a “fallen” society (saving Botticelli’s Zippora from pre-aesthetic and pre-philosophical lust of the gonads) was always present the denial of her humanness. Schlondorff ends the film with the image of Triumphal Arc – where new social types – petty bourgeois with small offers, money-worshippers, pop-homosexuals and gigolos, prostitutes, pick-pockets, wanderers with hope for casual opportunities, were grouping, while Madame Swann, previous Odette de Crecy, are passing forward. She conquered her way through Triumphal Arc. Swann will die soon. He innocently helped this new epoch to flower – the epoch of wars incomparable with previous ones in history, of the growing contrast between rich and poor, of commercially propagandist mass culture of pseudo-prosperity, and of bloodless destruction of high culture which was so dear to the heart of Charles Swann and his friend Charlus.

Charles, like Baron de Charlus, were both almost never occupied with the future, but exclusively with the present – where they were trying to correct the injustices and cruelties of their epoch and yet keep their superior social status intact, and, in a sophisticated way, even reinforced. Their game was, indeed, logically challenging – how to be just, progressive and decent people and in the same time not to lose their socio-economic privileges. They were able to be simultaneously good and bad (about their goodness they were perfectly conscious of, but their badness was a result of existing social tradition they were not responsible for), they assimilated their goodness into their identity while projecting their badness into the inertia of society and history. In their own self-image they were carriers of a new, more modern, more democratic worldviews. And this was partially true, and this partial truth was precious and progressive. But in the pockets/caves of their unconscious they were… monsters of self-indulgence, individuals unconsciously motivated to get more back for their generosity. They self-asserted in the very moment they gave, they made humanism a personal caprice, their very wisdom was condescending, their very democraticity was patronizing. In the moment they converted – women (Swann) and men (Charlus) into love, they felt like religious missionaries converting pagans into “real faith”.

When Oriane de Guermantes looks at Charles who through Vinteuil’s sonata was feeling his life melting like a thawing candle, we, the viewers, identify with Swann’s sensitivity towards his/our mortality and his need for meaning of life to neutralize death. But today in the West we, inhabitants of post-democracies, have lost taste for a sense of a collective future and for the necessity to rationally/reasonably control our societal destiny. Today, the very concept of a humanistic progress is disappearing from national debate. Schlondorff emphasizes how social projects of a highly intelligent and educated people like Swann and Baron de Charlus were limited by their private tastes and didn’t include any socio-political intentionality. Their noble deeds in their private relationships produced unintended socio-political consequences. What started as the noble efforts of gifted aristocrats was appropriated by the bourgeois predatoriness and by a mass culture of degraded and simplified thinking about life.

Charles and de Charlus’ ideals were that of refined and sophisticated philistines. They, indeed, were intellectual and ethical/etiquette-ical elite among the aristocrats and colorful and scientifically and philosophically inclined individuals. But their personal decency and extraordinariness of their personalities of creative eccentrics were, as if, alienated from their epoch and its future. They were like isolated spiritual monads amidst the indifference and cruelty of the surrounding life. Raoul Ruiz in his “Time Regained”, depicting de Charlus during and after the WWI, found Proustian material a little more sympathetic to the brilliant types among the French aristocracy.

“Swann in Love” provides a preciously rich symbolic visual characterizations of the characters’ psychology and relationships – “playing orchids” ludicrous euphemistic syntagma Odette and Swann created for their sexual intercourse, or the fact that conversion of the beloved is added as a necessary to the idea of “disinterested amorous togetherness”, or Madame Verdurin’s compulsive laughter demanding almost medical intervention, and Madame Cambremer’s body movements in accordance with the rhythm of the music, or when Swann, as if, identifies his life with the melting candle under the influence of Vinteuil’s music, and many more examples.

Swann and Charlus are much more refined, sensitive and humanly talented than we are today, and still they are wrong, although, may be, less so than the best of us today.

Posted on Jun, 29 21012 –   Raul Ruiz’s “Time Regained” (1999) – Five Marcel Prousts (The Psychology of Existential Understanding) by Acting-Out Politics

Dogmatic Parents’ Suffering and Their “Gay” Children’s Fragmentary (Technical) Understanding Of Their Own Humanity

Everybody can easily understand the shock, panic and despair of the parents of their gay/lesbian children. Many of them have been hearing for decades from their clergy dogmatic/authoritarian assertions/verdicts about human “sexual life”. How else could they react on the revelation that their boys and girls, their primordial love and responsibility, who are closer to them than anybody else ever will be, are “not like their parents in the basic human reactions?” The question here is not so much negative opinion about such parents on part of their peers by common religious beliefs – the first thing ringing in the unconscious of those parents traumatized by their offsprings’ “betrayal” is that “if their children are gays it means they themselves are not straight enough!” But, may be, even more horrifying for the religious parents of “gays” is that the prospect of their salvation is suspended when they heard from the stuttering of their shamed children the monstrous words and saw their turned down faces and avoiding eyes. To lose the prosperous eternity should be extremely traumatizing experience for anyone in the place of such unlucky parent.

The traditionalist religious positions about human sexual function are based on dogma, not on scientific analysis. Official religious opinions are communicated by authoritarian statements and “verified” by loyalty to the authorities, not by rational thinking. Authoritarian communication tends to have a strong totalitarian component (it is oriented on common standards; it doesn’t follow the democratic principles of argumentative discussion and pluralistic picture of human being). On the other hand, the children of traditionalist parents, who are grown up in formal democracy with its legalistic procedures and mass culture (installing in human soul consumerist self-centeredness and instant gratification), where authoritarianism is masked by consumerist “choices” and totalitarianism by pleasure of identification with goods, services, images and pop-stars, despite their suffering for being “not typical”, are having their own dogmatism, in this case liberal by its nature, not conservative like their parents have.

To understand liberal dogmatism as it is applied to the issue of “gay” youth, is more difficult than the comparatively “elemental” dogmatism of the conservatives. New American generations grow up in a situation when people more and more react on the world not from their psychological wholeness but through psychological fragments oriented by people’s instrumental interests. Intense socio-economic development in the second part of 20th century and cult of material prosperity and private success made us think in instrumental terms, not in terms of disinterested encounter with the reality. With the rising of education costs and reduction of humanistic education (in comparison with technical one), with reducing job opportunities for college graduates with degrees in humanistic disciplines (liberal arts), the conservative decision-makers stimulate a specific world-view and manner of perceiving life through technical approach to reality that defines the world in an over-certain, over-dry and functional/instrumental manner. It is from this thinking style the younger generation got the tendency to reduce understanding of human personal life to sexuality, of eroticism – to sexual sensations, sexual behavior – to sexual practices, and sexual practices – to gender choice. People started to think about love relationships as its surface which they take for its essence.

What for psychological wholeness would be a particular amorous relationship, for the technical mind becomes a gender choice. What for the psychological wholeness would be the understanding of the concrete relationship as characterized by its uniqueness becomes rigid, almost obligatory behavior as determined “by our genes” or “our nature”. The consequence of this “technical” definition of personal relations is the appearance of rigid classificatory categories of human being, which rarely existed in history before when there was heterosexual and homosexual behavior, not homosexual man and woman as the opposite of heterosexual man and woman as a type of people. Today, we have “gay” and “straight” human beings where particular relationships are essentialized into a specific human nature.

This difference makes the gay youth suffer from the burden of having a particular nature and being doomed to have a specific identity, comparable with German Nazis’ style of qualifying Jews as not belonging to the common human nature because of their “specificity”. Today, human realities determined by fragmentary (technical) mode of thinking about life (instead of the one that corresponds to human psychological wholeness defining human behavior without reductive, impersonalized and biologized pseudo-exactitude). “Gays” and “straights” don’t exist. These labels misname just different kinds of personal relationships. Today’s tendency to essentialize “object choice” in human love is, it seems, a defensive reaction, a lack of courage activating the need to refer human emotions to unconditional authority of “genes” with god-like certainty in its determination of human behavior. Gay-straight labeling is “liberal” equivalent of conservative religious or secularly political dogmatism and authoritarianism (in a sense that gays appropriate this conservative label with masochistic pride).

Real democratic approach to the problem of homosexual love will be not to hide behind labels that refer to “nature” as to god/absolute (transforming condemning label into positive one). Real democratism will be in fighting with labels that reduce human beings to their biological foundation. The “pride of being gay” is like “pride of being Jew or Black or White (as the skinheads feel it)” instead of taking pride in being human – a creature with human intelligence and the right to live, to love, to flourish and be respected.

What Was Bacon’s Intuition Of Emotions In His Protagonists, That Created His Stylistically Unique Figurative Distortion?

According to Jung, the distortion of art is not an expression of the destruction of the artist’s personality, rather the artist finds the unity of his artistic personality in destructiveness
PsyArt (Journal for the Psychological Study of the Arts)

… that man who paints those dreadful pictures…
Margaret Thatcher about Francis Bacon

When I made the Pope screaming, I didn’t do it in the way I wanted to. I was always… very obsessed by Monet… I wanted to make the mouth, with the beauty of its color and everything, look like one of the sunsets or something of Monet, and not just the screaming Pope. If I did it again, which I hope to God I never will, I would make it like a Monet
Francis Bacon

Bacon admires Duchamp and has returned often to the text of a 1958 lecture in which Duchamp discussed the role of the unconscious in creativity: “All the decisions in the artistic execution of the work rest with pure intuition and cannot be translated into a self-analysis… In the creative act, the artist goes from intention to realization through a chain of totally subjective reactions.”
Hugh Davies and Sally Yard, “Francis Bacon”, Abbeville Press, 1986, p. 83

Images are coaxed and commanded from the supple medium with materials ranging from Brillo pads to cashmere sweaters, as brushes are joined by rugs, cotton wool, sponges, scrub brushes, garbage-can lids, paint-tube caps, the artist’s hands, and whatever else Bacon can find in the studio… He often impetuously hurls pigment at the canvas. Thick impasto coexists with thinned washes of pigment and raw canvas, and sand and dust are occasionally used to give texture to the paint. A few works of the 1980s are veiled in in the haze produced by applying paint with an aerosol spray.
Hugh Davies, Ibid, p. 113 – 114

I think if you want to convey fact, this can only ever be done through a form of distortion. You must distort to transform what is called appearance into image.
Francis Bacon

I would like my pictures to look as if a human being had passed between them, like a snail, leaving a trail of the human presence and memory trace of past events, as the snail leaves its slime.
Francis Bacon

If in Picasso his characteristic figurative distortion could be inspired by his concentration on human suffering, the paradigmatic case of figurative distortion in Bacon can be his concentration on the emotion of horror (like in “Businessman 1”), or “post-apocalyptic” greed (like in “Study for the head of a Screaming Pope”), experienced by the protagonists of his paintings.

Francis Bacon, “Study for a Portrait” or “Businessman 1”, 1952
Francis Bacon, “Study for a Portrait” or “Businessman 1”, 1952

Bacon’s “Study for a portrait” (or “Businessman 1”) is a painting where behind the painter’s distortion of the protagonist’s face we see horror as archetypal emotion overwhelming the “businessman”. This emotion becomes the creative justification for the distortion as artist’s stylistic reaction.

The “businessman“, it seems, is horrified by the world and simultaneously by his isolation from it (he is covered by the glass box like Bacon’s endless, like the history of Catholicism, popes). The most horrifying objects of our fixations and passions are those we are most afraid of and equally afraid to lose. Isn’t prototypal of these objects life itself? As much as our “businessman” fears life he fears being isolated from it. He needs life to live and, simultaneously, to make profit on it. He is afraid to be “abandoned by life” but is doomed to destroy it while following imperative logic of amassing profit on its body. It is like to be able to live only if you have cancer, while without cancer you are dead. The “businessman” has to find way to live and, simultaneously, to destroy life by transforming it into profit – that’s why he is horror stricken: from one side he is afraid of losing life making him alive, but from the other his Lord Money never could allow this “existential slavery”. In short, we cannot be envious of the businessman’s situation – his soul is being ontologically torn apart, and he never knows how to act in his own name. It is like to be alive but unable to live. Bacon’s businessman is like a child of the very antagonism between mother-life and father-profit. And he is forever orphaned by their breakup.

When, today, we observe the neocon-businessmen and feel how far they are from the normal condition of human beings (who are naturally equipped with compassion for other humans and with the ability for emotional identification with otherness co-existing with our natural proneness for self-aggrandizement) we wonder how they could come to the condition of wanting and planning for austerity for the majority of people belonging to the same nation, and cutting medical benefits for the needy, elderly and children of the low wage hardworking poor. How many steps does it take for a human being to lose internal, immanent humanity! Bacon in his “Study for a Portrait or Businessman 1”, as if, is showing us the onset of this process of psychological degradation of the profit-worshippers.

Businessman, relatively a young fellow in a suit, suffers from his isolation not only from the external world but from the human emotions which have become irrelevant to him and can be even harmful for efficient business calculations and “profit above all” sacred principle. It is, as if, he doesn’t have enough air inside his glass box. Today the neocon business people including politicians are those who were able to survive a lack of “human air” inside the box of their business calculations and have managed to get rid of everything inside their souls that were holistic psychological resources capable of controlling the robotic reactions based on the psychological fragments (organized by purely technical intelligence to the neglect of the human and natural contexts of the technical reasoning).

The question – how to become able to want austerity for the population at large so unconditionally – can be answered by the difference between Bacon’s first painting above and his second one down below.

Francis Bacon “Study for the Head of a Screaming Pope”, 1952
Francis Bacon “Study for the Head of a Screaming Pope”, 1952

In the very difference between the two screams lies all the difference between horror and (cannibalistic) greed – between horror of human world mixed with the horror of losing it (quite a human condition) and, on the other side, overcoming this horrifying ambiguity when life is in permanent process of being exchanged for greedy consumption. The difference between two screams of the human soul is that between human agony of starting to lose soul – and becoming a creature which feels confidently without it. It is the difference between being and consuming, between still self-reflecting – and robotic (abstract), cannibalistic consumerism.

Bacon’s “Study for the Head of a Screaming Pope” shows, as if, the pope of business, a new human condition of becoming not already super-human (which is perverted – aggrandized form of being human), but a-human, non-human, human clone, reemergence of humanity as robotics of money/weapon.

The screaming pop’s shout is, simultaneously, intimidating and paralyzing. It is, as if, the first phase of digesting, it is opening the mouth to hypnotize through awakening horror in order to cannibalistically swallow.

If the first screaming is still inside human frame of reference – a pre-apocalyptic, apocalypse-opening experience, the second screaming is apocalyptic and in this sense – post-apocalyptic one. It is consumption through destruction, consumption as destruction – a post-individual function which only the giants of industrialism, military-industrial complex and of global financial manipulation are capable of – transformation of (human) fear of death into a giant predatory ghost. It is a completely impersonalized and dehumanized predatory greed free of moral or psychological hesitations. It is a scream-inhale – consumption of stench and juices of killed and decomposing matter.

Bacon is a paradigmatic artist – interested in finding the holistic truth about the universe we all live in, but he is among the minority today, when too many artists adopt a sterile perception of reality – to make it look representative and intriguing for the sake of their popularity and commercial success. They ignore the fact that critical – negative element in our creative perception is necessary to make the artist’s picture of reality structurally sustainable and semantically complete in its openness. Oriented on truth, not on success (a democratic period of Western history he was lucky to live in, provided him with success because of its interest in and ability to tolerate truth), Bacon, amid the gardens of democracy and greenhouses of consumerist prosperity discovered a horrifying seamy side – apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic predatoriness, which we today, in the 21st century, are noticing more and more in our economic and political behavior.

Francis Bacon (1963)
Francis Bacon (1963)

Even psychological ugliness is elevated by Antonioni’s art (with its orientation on truth and the ethical impossibility to scapegoat what is a part of the reality) into monumental forms of objective historical process. Even protagonists who are not too attractive as human beings, with all their personal imperfections and moral flows signify a certain socio-political configurations which have a certain grace – what lacks in reality Antonioni adds through his aesthetics. Antonioni’s America is processes without participants. People are carried by abstract movements even when they are trying to act not typically (then they are like chaotic currents of energy in the wrong places). Antonioni’s America is mobile and nomadic but its mechanical dynamism is inert, as if, static. People permanently move in cars/trucks and planes to reinforce their relevance to the space. But if they reach the points of the “wilderness”, they mark it by the stamp of their ownership. Only Mark and Daria, youthful, sad and beautiful, are doomed to deviate from their routes because of their economic and political outsider-ship that ends up costing them too much.

In Antonioni’s America people can identify with the good and yet create evil but they can never personify good or evil (there are no personalities to carry good or evil in a sense of taking responsibility for their actions). Antonioni objectifies people’s prejudices and behavior and dissolves the human emotions into his epical vision of societal life. Good and evil co-exist, more – fused with one another inside the very system of living, the very structure of social relations. In this spliced form they found a way to avoid their identity – to live outside themselves, because then what is important is effectiveness, not goodness or evilness. When efficiency and effectiveness of the action is everything, good and evil as its components become irrelevant, lose their recognizable shapes. When effectiveness of the efforts becomes the superstar, evil becomes polished as “trying hard” entrepreneurship (Lee Allen, the boss), good as a feeling of sympathy and empathy (Daria) and human identity as being lost and wandering without direction (Mark). In this situation when good, evil and human (pre-economic) identity, are impersonalized and projected outside, civilized and democratic life is barely possible.

Daria/Mark is the universal archetype of human potential for love that is not realized because of indifference and a-moral/functional violence of the very organization of life in society and its position toward youth and love (as hopelessly outdated categories). Mark and Daria are superfluous in a system of effective socio-economic transactions where even love starts with the competence to financially provide for love. Daria is saved from becoming an efficient conformist by the highest possible cost – the death of her beloved. By watching the film we trace in detail how a country of success destroys its own Romeo and Juliette. Mark is killed by the bullets shot by the robotic cops, and Daria is doomed to make anti-consumerist “revolution” in her imagination.

Zabriskie Point | Michelangelo Antonioni (1970) PART 1/12

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Already in early seventies for Antonioni was clear the archetypal role of fire-arms for establishing and rooting of American psyche. The scene inside a gun shop in the beginning of the film serves as the film-introduction not just to American life, but to American narrative, American plot and American taste for life.

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The definition of American citizen is provided by the position he/she occupies in relation to the name of his/her bank. In this shot we see the main character (Mark), who doesn’t have a bank account. Mark’s body covers the word “America” as a part of the bank‘s name – by this visual image Antonioni shows how Mark’s status in his country is problematized not only as a respectable person, but as a citizen. By this shot we already can understand that Mark’s destiny is in danger.

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We see here the meeting of rebellious students where political passions are trying to balance itself with intellectual logic of rational self-assertion. There is no place for disinterested thinking.

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The board of the directors of a mega real estate corporation discusses business proposals, plans and dreams of the board’s boards.

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Encounter between the two main characters of the film – Mark (a person with self-dignity in spite of being in a situation of a “bum”) and Daria (a person who prefers to love than to be with a super-human boards of the board of directors) – is rather sexually-existential than erotically personalized. Viewers are encouraged to compare this couple with heroes of Bresson’s “Devil, Probably”.

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Antonioni’s macro-representation of American sexual revolution

Posted 27 Nov 2010 –   Michelangelo Antonioni’s “Zabriskie Point” (1970)* – Abandoned, Corrupted, Suspected, Misjudged and Sacrificed – American Youth in Times of Post-democracy by Acting-Out Politics

“Yojimbo” can stylistically be considered as a “study” for his “Sanjuro” made a year after “Yojimbo” (with the same main character played by a unique actor in the history of cinema Toshiro Mifune). But thematically it is quite an independent film that concentrates on the specificity of economically determined fight between rivaling groups of entrepreneurs with taste for semi-legal or just outright illegal strategies of self-enrichment (the types we are today in the 21st century know only too well). Kurosawa uses a tiny provincial city in Japan of 19th century as a setting for metaphorizing up-to-date behavior of international cast of predatory money-makers.

Like we today (after invented wars and financial collapses) Kurosawa in “Yojimbo” thinks what to do in a situation when pathological greed of the financial decision-makers endangers the life of human populations. Again, as we are today, Kurosawa was disappointed with the traditional idea of “revolutionary transformation” of a corrupt society – the experience of Soviet Union and Eastern Europe is enough to discourage us from this path. Instead, Kurosawa offers in his two films a vagabond samurai Sanjuro as, in essence, a role model for our hope. Instead of “revolution” as a strategy for social-psychological transformation of life Kurosawa offers “non-participation” in multi-corrupted system of living, when the hero is morally pure enough to punish sins of both sides.

Sanjuro is an outsider by moral reasons. This status (under-status) “of not belonging” to either of competing economic groups colors his personality as a moral alternative to those who while being horrified by the cruelty of the system are doomed to participate in its everyday rituals because they share many of its conventions, prejudices and vices. The intensity of “Yojimbo’s” critical energies joins the elaborateness of its analysis of today’s formal democracy’s vices and obsessions hidden under the beautiful make-up of its proudly humane ideological pronouncements.

“Yojimbo” isa rare example of a “not-violent film with a lot of violence”. It is impressively differs from Hollywood’s representation of violence. Like in “Yojimbo” and in Hollywood and Hollywood-imitation movies the violence can be created on both sides – positive and negative, but in Kurosawa’s film the positive hero is completely human – with humility and modesty and without charisma and shining bravado, while in purely commercial films a “good guy” is enveloped in mythological toga of super-hero. The negative characters in “Yojimbo” is also without fairy-tale aura and extremely realistic and “modern”, while in pop-movies they are shaped to be hated by viewers to the degree of providing audience the catharsis of murderous pleasure connected with identification with villains’ murder by a tremendously good guy. When Kurosawa shows justified violence he never glamorizes it, but where violence is not justified it is shown rather not as violence per se but as greedy and calculative emotion of those who use violence just to achieve their goal of grabbing more power, money and admiration. In this sense, Kurosawa’s film is a research into the nature of inter-human violence.


Watch Akira Kurosawa – Yojimbo in Entertainment | View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

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This shot can be taken as an introduction to the film – to the reality of 21st century wars (human arm as a pork-shoulder).

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Sanjuro’s identity is always self-effacing – for him self-pride through names and titles doesn’t exist

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Competing powerful/wealthy/greedy men are always behind economic-political national and international conflicts in the modern world. Armies follow politicians, politicians – the wealthy/greedy. For this reason Sanjuro Kawabatake ‘s position is to let the strong people to act out their mutual hate for one another – let them wipe each other out and leave the world alone in peace. To achieve it he indirectly recommends the viewers not to allow ourselves to be tempted to become servants of the political and financial elite – slaves for the sake of self-enriching/self-promoting. The composition of this shot suggests that the task of any intelligent person is not to become an employee of the power/wealth and always be neutral to their plebeian fight of greeds (which will crash everything on their path).

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Sanjuro is ready to fight against both competing sides even with a casual weapon.

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The local policeman is appealing to Sanjuro (as soon as he walked into the city) not to lose the opportunity to “make extra cash” on hate between rivaling sides and later to pay him a little for a good idea.

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Misery of the policeman, who is ready to serve whoever has a chance to enrich himself (here as a bodyguard), is comically emphasized in this shot.

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Sanjuro is trapped because of his “irrational” compassion towards “good people” (who are prone to underestimate the omnipresence of “evil”).

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Unosuke’s superior technology of warfare is neutralized

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Sanjuro is liberating the town from rivaling businessmen and their “private militaries”.

Posted on 8 Aug 2011 –   Akira Kurosawa’s “Yojimbo” (1961) – Spiritual Maverick In Between Rivaling Powers  by Acting-Out Politics

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Ingmar Bergman and Gunnar Bjornstrand (Pastor Ericsson) during the shooting of “Winter Light”

“Winter Light” is the second part of Bergman’s “religious trilogy” (the first, “Through Glass Darkly” – 1960, and the third, “Silence” – 1962). In the first film, the basic (for achieving enlightened life) human abilities – to love without psychological defensiveness and to be vital without de-sublimation, which together as a sacred combination make human beings spiritual creatures, leave the existential circumstances of human life and retreat to “heavens”. In the third film of the trilogy “god” (the form in which the unity of human love and human vitality takes place outside life) has “died” and human beings have to start from the beginning. But “Winter Light” depicts the situation when “god is silent”, and human beings slowly grow towards understanding that it is up to them to return their libidinous energies back into the (earthly) life to reassess and reposition their ability to love. In all of the films of trilogy Bergman’s points about spiritual life are mediated by the scrupulous psychological analysis of the characters – psychological and spiritual realities become aspects of each other.

Winter light is a metaphor of light of love/vitality in a condition of being distant from human life. The film depicts the Christian faith of seven characters – Pastor Tomas Ericsson and the six parishioners of his Church (three men and three women). Each protagonist‘s faith is cinematographically described as uniquely created by their individual intelligence and will in the unique circumstances of each of their lives. Bergman approaches each character’s religious belief as a sacred reality, as a precious creation. Some of the personages he personally admires, some he respects and others are objects of his “loyal criticism” that is full of empathy and good faith.

The frankness and gracious intensity with which the director depicts the human destinies and encounters between the characters are overwhelming, as much as actors’ performances making each individual soul radiate its own truth. Each personage is represented as having been formed by life and human history, nothing is fabricated in order to entertain or sentimentally please the audience. With all seriousness, the film is so congruent with the nature of human emotions that it’s taken inside the souls of the viewers as naturally as air by our lungs.

The film addresses Christians of various denominations, as much as people of other beliefs and non-believers with equal authority, and is an icon of not only a philosophical, but a humanistic cinema.

The film confirms that Bergman’s cinema is made for 21st century even more than it was for 20th century.

“Winter Light” can be taken as a proof that the media-brothers – theater and cinema, can collaborate together in love and friendship, balancing human existentiality and mentality, when visual symbolism of camera angles, composition of shots and geometry of peoples’ movements and postures can accompany melodies of human emotions sung by the actors’ souls.

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Bergman is encouraging Gunnar Bjornstrand exhausted by the contradictions of Pastor Ericsson and his attempts to balance it.

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Bergman is ready for Ingrid Thulin’s (Marta Lundberg) improvisatory suggestions which may change their interpretive perspective

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While shooting of “Winter Light” Ingmar is warming up in the middle of Swedish chilling winter

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Pastor Ericsson is trying to overcome the extreme theological doubts of his parishioner Jonas Persson (Max von Sydow) – (in the center). In the right corner we see (in profile) Jonas’ wife Karin (Gunnel Lindblom). While trying to help Jonas Pastor tries to address his own, not as extreme but much more radical doubts.

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Does Pastor’s work require honesty or rather ability to unburden and pacify the parishioners’ souls by almost any price? Often Tomas tries to find a compromise between the two positions, but sometimes, as a decent person whose humility puts a limit to his confidence, he doesn’t know what to do and what to say. It’s these moments of helplessness make the Pastor a refined and spiritually mature believer. This shot depicts one of such difficult moments in Tomas Ericsson’s duties when he, as if, is transformed into his hand which is, as if, lost weight, lost confidence and cannot either expressively gesticulate nor rely on his office desk. The Pastor should be a human being – Bergman, seems, suggests here, and until it is true, and representative of religious authority is not transformed into a microphone producing propagandist clichés; we have a hope to grow in our faith.

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It is the church sexton Algot Frovik (Allan Edwall) who is able to help Pastor to overcome his torments connected with his responsibility of a Pastor in relation to his parishioners. People accept authoritarian position of the church (power aspiration that builds a nest within the very Christianity), but is it right for the spirituality of the Pastor to participate in this power? Frovik shares with Tomas the alternative way of feeling – that of the existential parallelism between Christ’s and human suffering as the essence of Christian message.

Posted 22 Jun 2013 –   Ingmar Bergman’s “Winter Light” (1962) – When Existential Spirituality is Retreated (Became Aggrandized) to the Heavens by Acting-Out Politics

“Through Glass Darkly” is the first film of Bergman’s religious trilogy dedicated to a hypothetical moment in the history of human existential sensitivity when, as a result of disappointment in their own psychological condition, human beings develop a need for a relationship with God. Geographically and historically a universal setting of rural Sweden became the place where Bergman analyzes the specific constellation of human intimate relationships that gives birth to God.

Karin, daughter of a fiction writer, wife of a physician and elder sister of a teenage brother, is looking for existentially spiritual relationships and is frustrated by the father’s inability to understand her (he is always over-occupied with writing new book), by the husband’s inability to love her (he cares about her in obvious and didactic manner) and by the incestuous encounter with her brother (vitality and emotional openness is not enough for human soul).

By the incredible power of her character and by her rare gift to expect spirituality to be present inside the very circumstances of her life she constructs the God of her needs and voluntarily accepts the psychiatric label for her condition. Her god is what her father, her husband and her brother cannot be (father looks at her through his new texts he is trying to improvise, husband perceives her through psychiatric jargon, and brother will do anything she wants without differentiation between important and not, between substantial and casual).

Karin is a personification of human genius that disagrees with the absence in human relations of that which is fully present in God.

The characters of the film including Karin herself are all extraordinary in their own ordinariness, in their very weakness of being irreparably human. But Karin wants her humanity not just recognized and attended but celebrated while her family members exchange theirs for its conventional social equivalents (social position, fame, success, stability, competence in everyday rituals, partial satisfactions).

The acting is based on particular relationships between actors and their characters (between Bergman, actors and characters) which are empathic and without any familiarity and sentimentality. It is like people in democracy should treat each other – without projective immediacy with which Hollywood actors, for example, play their characters, but with a sensitive distance of genuine love and interest. Acting of Harriet Andersson (Karin), Gunnar Bjornstrand (father), Max von Sydow (husband) and Lars Passgard (brother) should be analyzed and taught to students-future actors.

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Karin hopes that her younger brother will be able to accept the god of her construction – a giant with a soul that is as vast as the sky, and her yearning for recognition without limits and mutuality without distance.

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Eroticized ritual of worship god that Karin created. This and the following shots of Karin’s erotic union with god are unique because of their emotional power, pantomimic versatility and exactitude of Harriet Andersson‘s acting directed by Bergman. Karin’s ritual of coming to union with god through worship starts with the recognition of worshipper’s sense of self-worthlessness – her horisontality of lower species under the magnificient verticality of god.

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Eroticized ritual of worship god 2 (Karin’s desire to be as vertical as god is connected with her sensual arousing.)

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Eroticized ritual of worship god 3 (the next phase of the attempt to unite with god according to Karin is psychological “self-beheading” – becoming free from scepticism, reservations and doubts in order to be absolutely dedicated to the one she worships.)

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Eroticized ritual of worship god 4 (sensual awakening triggers a somatic response which in turn activates Karin sexual sensations)

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Eroticized ritual of worship god 5 (of course, Karin doesn’t mean the presence of anything sexual in her ritual of worshiping god – for her it could be unforgivable blasphemy. But the intensity of the emotions takes the body with itself).

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Eroticized ritual of worship god 6 (whatever Karin’s sensations are she sees only his face, that of her savior, master, her groom, her beloved, the one she lost when she was born and whom she found again).

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Eroticized ritual of worship god 7(not just physical orgasm, but melting accords of ontological orgasmic awakening that like aurora borealis coronates the culminating ritual of worship of god).

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Eroticized ritual of worship god 8 (when unity with god is reached, body and soul, concrete sensations and their repercussions, past and future, being and non-being, destiny and non-destiny still have the shape of universe’s culmination when god and worshipper become one).

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Eroticized ritual of worship god 9 (the ritual ends as it began – human being returns to its immanent condition – be bodily and emotionally spread onto earth under the sky of god and under the sun of god’s radiance. The wisdom worshipper carries with herself after the ritual ends is lesson of humility – god doesn’t share his knowledge and power, and human extraordinary sensations end with god’s departure. Do these sensation also belong to god?)

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Karin’s husband Martin (Max von Sydov) perceives Karin’s need for love the size of the universe as a problem of imagination having gone astry, not as a problem of her frustrated existential needs.

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Martin’s suffering about Karin’s “departure” to “another galaxy” doesn’t impress Karin – his human feelings are in her perspective too awkward, too miserable and unimportant to reach her.

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Whatever words Martin invents to make Karin “return” are in vain. She is turning away from “our“ world in full consciousness. According to the terms and rules of our times the place she is leaving for is the psychiatric hospital. She no longer wishes to live with those she once loved.

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This shot represents Karin’s confession to Bergman, to the viewers, to anyone who can be willing and able to understand her and what she did as a human being in a human way without stoning her.

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Minus, Karin’s younger brother, feeling guilty for sexually submitting to her emotional despair, is confessing to their father about what happened. Why didn’t he refuse? She wanted it and he wanted to help her. He thought it was her way of asking him for help. The task of the father in relation to his son is to save him from morbid feeling that he has committed the ultimate act of transgression and from blaming himself, as his task with Karin is to take away her guilt for her “betrayal” of them all, Martin, himself and Minus. There is no betrayal here, just the tormenting insolvability of human destiny, when human beings try so hard to be decent, and if they hurt others they always hurt themselves as well. Bergman’s film shows the disappearing specie – people who hurt themselves when they hurt others.

Posted 28 Nov 2009 –   Ingmar Bergman’s “Through A Glass Darkly” (1961) – Passion for the Spirituality of Living  by Acting-Out Politics

“Lancelot of the Lake” is a demythologized version of Arthurian legend, a kind of “King Arthur” for adults. Bresson focuses on the love affair between Lancelot and Queen Guinevere and on Lancelot’s destiny after his return to the “Round Table” without the Holy Grail.

The knights in the film are shown as quite “modern” in their sensibility; their aspirations are similar with ours today – dreams of power and glory and working on development the talent and courage to achieve it. Lancelot’s mistakes are that of Western civilization in the beginning of 21st century, while Guinevere is a role model for us in her critical stance against the culture of rivalry, competition, wars, heroism and exceptional achievements. Bresson’s Guinevere is not only “early feminist” of our civilization – her Christianity is humanistic and based on sacredness of love.

In Bresson’s film as a radical deconstruction of traditional values, human beings are shown as if hypnotically submerged into the sticky atmosphere of habitual ways of feeling and acting. People follow the call of cultural archetypes somnambulistically, to the apocalyptic end, with a full honor of their high moral grounds – with believes in abstract idolized ideals, dedication to them and self-sacrifice for their sake. With a stylistic clairvoyance Bresson exposes the spiritual experiences of warrior-knights as a vain and self-aggrandizing quest for final invulnerability and ontological plenitude, and their orientation on valor and heroism as a childish naiveté with machoistically masochistic flavor. Bresson debunks morality even of the noblest among the knights, people as Lancelot as a loyalty to the group with a shared fetish (their common goal) and identity, their concept of beauty as a profane aestheticism of banners, knights’ colorful tights and horses’ saddles, their idea of glory as a worshipful sacrifice of their own and other people’s bodies, and their understanding of mastery as an expertise in battle.

While the radiant spirituality is mocked by Bresson as the shining of armors and weapons, only among the exceptional female characters we can see a perspective on psychological maturity and existential spirituality, but by the price of women’s cultural infertility and isolation. Guinevere’s attempt of love Lancelot – to find an alternative to her husband, egomaniac and warmonger, is ended in defeat. King Arthur’s militant values are victorious, and Lancelot moved by the honor of military comradery, returns Guinevere to Arthur. Peasant old woman who successfully nurtured Lancelot’s wounds after the decisive tournament is seriously disappointed with knights’ infantile militancy.

It is the horses’ eyes and the shy sound of their neigh – “obsessive” motif of the film – become sign of ontological home, unrecognized by people obsessed with and betrayed by their dream of possessing power over otherness, life and death (the dream our culture today shamefully and tragically shares with Lancelot, Arthur, Gawain and other knights, except with so much more destructive capability).

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Film poster of Bresson’s film with King Arthur (on the right) and one of the “greatest knights” in history and charismatic person – Lancelot

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Quest for the “Holy Grail“ wasn’t like searching for mushrooms or berries with tournaments in between – it was uninterrupted war between rivals for getting the grail with Christ’s blood – not only a symbol of immortality but remedy from mortality.

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The path towards glory and ultimate invulnerability to death (immortality) leads from one fight to another, and courage and will for victory reward the soldiers with success. Victory is glorious but death is honorable. Victory and death, Glory and Honor are twins. To die with one or another in your grip is equally worthy and deserves admiration here and god’s reward after.

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To lose in the battle your head means to keep your heart. But to lose on the battlefield your head and your heart means to keep your soul. The “knight-soldiers of Christ” can never lose. People dedicate to them their songs. But Bresson’s film is an exception – it’s not only not glorifying the Round Table. It deconstructs it as a moral and cultural perversion of anti-humanism under the banner of religion of love, that we today share with its knights.

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Impressively looking – noble, machoistic, courageous, with positive aura and even intelligent – Gawain (on the left), Lancelot (in the center) and Arthur

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The real hero of the film is its heroine – Queen Guinevere who, by sincerely loving Lancelot, tried to change the direction of her kingdom away from the endless wars to peace, prosperity, nurturing life and human will to live. But she overestimated Lancelot – she thought that his honesty and sincerity and absence of envy and meanness are enough to pull him away from fight for power and passion to win. But he remains on the side of fight not because of evilness, but because of… goodness. He joins Arthur against the common enemies because he choses military friendship over love for woman and peace. He prefers personal immortality to love, the masculine sharing of power to contemplative life of peace.

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Guinevere has to be returned to Arthur – the dream of her life: to be liberated from Arthur and all that he represents, and to stay with Lancelot is shattered. Her world is darkened, as it’s shown in this shot. According to Bresson, Guinevere was the carrier of feminist values many centuries before feminism was established. But today many feminists have come to just imitate men in their aggressive careerism. Did they achieve pacification of the atmosphere of life inside democratic countries and in the international arena?

Posted on Aug, 28 2012 –   Robert Bresson’s “Lancelot of the Lake” (1975) – Critical but Still a Too Flattering Reflection of Today’s Condition of Western Culture in Mirror-Lake of its Past by Acting-Out Politics

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