God's Little Acre

God's Little Acre
Lord, make way for gold

the girlfriend experience

the girlfriend experience
chelsea's work

Trash Humpers

Trash Humpers
broken, faked, MADE

Monday, April 6, 2009

Brewster's Millions __laughing at and with commodities

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LU10Oiz-wY&feature=PlayList&p=27754B841E90D23D&index=0&playnext=1

I saw Oshima's Pleasures of the Flesh for the first time yesterday. I couldnt shake the thought that it was like Brewster 's Millions by way of Vertigo , which sounded pretty goofy. Hoping to clear up my mixed thoughts, I revisited Walter Hill's Brewster's Millions. Hill subverts the normal linearity of the narrative tracking poverty to wealth. Hill's images are complicated by a temporal collapse within the individual frame. Each shot is an image of a poor man coinciding with the image of a man who has accumulated an excess of wealth. A fractured temporal palate where the road to wealth implodes on the path back to poverty, or vice versa. A rather traditional mainstream comedy radical for inverting American inventiveness. Creating wealth; an idea made visible in his ingenius ruses to give wealth away. That visibility is doubled in the inanely repeated attempts to design the room he could die in.
Pryor's physical presence is eager and clever, an affability under constant threat from a pathos that can't be smiled away. Opening the film is the singlular sight of him playing minor league baseball. Closing the film, about 10 minutes before the end, there is a shot that frames his Cubs jersey hanging in an empty closet, encased in dry cleaners' plastic. Are all identities tied up in commodity fetishism? Do we purchase our societal roles ? His uniform is branded with the "Cubs ; a stigma that also indexes his societal goals. Perhaps it reveals the entire 'plot' as a conduit, a baseball play . All of this desperate machination, these "proofs" of worth that Pryor's Brewster must exhibit, are really just the inventiveness that is necessary to play the game; whether that game is baseball, American history, or the role of an African American Man, it really makes no difference. Wealth remains the goal, but now it is achieved by emptying and backtracking. All the commodities wealth can accumulate are revealed as shallow ciphers. In the world of Brewster, commodities are obtained to become poor, or rather, almost wealthy. Lacking money signifies a crisis in temporality-- a frozen moment in wealth, the moment we can pause between attaining and getting rid of material commodities.

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l'Interieur

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