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

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

No Measure for Projection

reposting this blog piece from 2011 ..keeping brilliance of Toback alive.

I could not tell you how often one gets inspired by watching an episode of Intervention. Common or random? I'm just not so sure. I tend to give too much weight to coincidences and the plethora of connections. Anyway, I recently had this happen to me. The episode seemed just like 2 to 3 chapters out of an awesome novel I'd shamefully only half read, having lost track of it three months ago. And both the television show and the book were now causing me to make further connections with 2 of my most recent movie revisitations.

The episode was titled " Latisha ', and getting inside her world for 60 minutes broke my heart. Her crack addiction kept her worldview obscured by a cheery veil, elevating her self image to 'Queen of the streets' in the fabulous ghetto of her diseased existence. The episode broke the mold of A + E 'reality' drama. The producers and director actually filmed with two lenses; one a lens of clarity, the moments of intoxication and cocaine psychosis embarrassingly clear. The second lens used was that of Latisha's own self protective or rather self projective denial. A sort of denial that is, mostly by the nature of both the disease of addiction and the nature of crack cocaine, narcissisticly destructive; self perpetuating by delusions of self importance.
This projection colored my sense of Latisha's experience of her world. It allowed me the escapism of her highly stimulated thought process and the momentary joy of her imaginary relationships.

I'd recently been chipping away at William T. Vollmann's :" The Royal Family", a sprawling dissection of genealogy and stratum of San Francisco pimps , whores, and the Unicorn of this particular zoo, the elusive "Queen of the Whores", aka "Africa."
Vollmann's male protag is haunted and degenerate. He is a noirish detective by way of a Proustian sad sack, dropped into a transgressive, insular world of fucked up folk. He is one half romantically haunted by a dead lover and one half digging progressively deeper into the mud of the royal whoredom; eventually projecting his obsessions on a whore who Judy Bartons herself into his deceased love.

How did anything strike beyond the obvious remembrance of the cool novel I'd failed in finishing?
What this television episode and this post modern novel share is a quality that also appears in films, though usually sweatier and involving pacing or the cover up of something like a heist or a murder.
This distorted self projection and fucked up self will is something of a germ. Infecting the host it leads to secondary diseases, such as compulsive behavior and addiction, be it gambling, alcohol, drugs, what have you. In films, lucky for us, it also results in projecting a world of their own diseased thinking's creation, one that is entertaining while illuminating, as well as insane, colorful and full of constant heart pounding danger.
I'm thinking of the sweat on Nomi Malone's face in SHOWGIRLS. She is three different things and they are also one and the same: victim or pursuant of Capitalism, a dancer who is a wannabee star, and an Addict. Not a surprise when in the film's fourth quarter she is revealed as an ex junkie, and we see her come alive when she does blow.
Her sweaty forehead and bugged out 'star' eyes are demonic and bothered, a distinct image yet mere mutation on the aloof vacancy in James Caan's eyes in THE GAMBLER. Any interiority ironically revealed through voiceover and the occasional sound bridge.
Both figures drawn here are playing the losing card. How can Nomi ever gain status and respect without stealing them? And how can a human being, as Ivy League as he may be, ever beat the Numbers?
In a classroom scene, Caan's collegiate professor speaks in a Psych or Philosophy class about intangibles such as Desire and Will. Things that , for Caan's alter ego of nighttime degenerate gambler find reflected only the simplest materialist games. The only expressions of emotive power and psychology in the film are those of people in Caan's world..those gangsters affected by the hustler's life and the family members distraught by Caan's risk and loss. Caan, meanwhile, remains a blank mirrored screen, and antithetical to a Nomi Malone, his own wild inner process is laid bare only by the measure of how others respond to his madness.
The film illuminates his disease by showing him as leading almost two entirely different lives. His battle is built around shame and a destructive belief of self grandeur, each fueling the other.
These filmed losers are lovers and their hatred of self and desperation to be loved is made visible in neon gemmed manicures, headdresses, coke nails, maternal robberies, and Atlantic City betting benders.

Monday, July 31, 2017


installment # 1

Twin peaks

Currency watches us, we don't watch it. Its eye holds court on its back side.  Standing tall, it stares back as we cast it out into the world.
If the Pyramid on the dollar can be imitated,  then value is in moral question. Who is a fraud and what is real? Nothing material, neither paper money or gold,  holds the weight of moral fiber. So if we try to see money, here is a wilted bill, a single, foreign eye staring at US, refusing our focus, and multiplying constantly.
Toward Enlightenment; Holy Third Eye

And so it is.
One pyramid, one (third) eye, one dollar: , two pyramids =  two dollars, two Sherriff Trumans, two or more Agent Coopers,  =  TWIN PEAKS.

Empty symbols proliferate in the symbolic world of TWIN PEAKS.  The earth beneath it is the solid soil; Northwest America.  Lying in between the symbolic and the ground is the dreamlike construction of creative thought, a story told through an inner search.

Lynchian narratives turn that eye inward, rebuking the materialism of wealth and the holy dollar. Like the zenith of the dollar's pyramid, the third eye is as much a point and as much a foreign singular. It is uncanny in that it is like the others (the other two eyes), yet it is also wholly alien.
This is the eye that surfs the waves of inner reflection, sometimes rolling us along minute ripples for tens of minutes or episodes on end.  Other times a cascade of storming water explodes emotionally or literally (as in an exploding head or corpus.)

"REPRIEVE FROM PAIN."  Move "BEYOND THINKING."  These are two benefits claimed by the official TM (Transcendental Meditation) website. 

Center Eye is The Third Eye

The ecstatic emotion that thundered throughout the original TWIN PEAKS series also defined the film TWIN PEAKS:  FIRE WALK WITH ME.
The lightening storm of connectivity and impetus that is experienced in creative thought comes amidst a long, often otherwise quiet creative journey.
The narrative experience of David Lynch's TWIN PEAKS:  THE RETURN  follows that same course.

"The time has come for you to seek The Path.  Your  soul has set you Face to Face with a Clear Light, and you are now about to experience it in its Reality, wherein all things are like the Void and Cloudless Sky."  -- Agent Cooper, TWIN PEAKS. Original Series, Season 2.

Third Eye Blind
David Lynch's narratives  primarily trace the reactions to things that happen.
The reasons and causality are poetically tracked, abstract elements of sound and and of sight coexist with threads of sitcom normality.  My experience of TWIN PEAKS the series , TWIN PEAKS:  FIRE WALK WITH ME the film, and TWIN PEAKS:  THE RETURN series , is melodrama meeting the meditative mind.
In TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME we track Laura's increasingly desperate search for reprieve from the pain that is occurring in her life.

The psychic pain of her father raping her instigates a road of building ecstasy:  the ecstasy of seeking sexual partners, the ecstasy of ego (being the beautiful girl on campus), the ecstasy of cocaine ingestion, and the ecstasy of sobbing in sudden sober moments when something is scary and threatening you.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Cinema of Pure Capitalism- Making Everyone into a Winner or Loser

In Pure Capitalism there can only be losers and winners. The Cinema of 2016 encapsulated this extremism.  The powerful or adored win, the others lose. Losers in the Cinema of 2016 fought hard and scrappily against their oppression/demons (CHRISTINE, I, DANIEL BLAKE, WHITE GIRL) but to little or zero avail.





Some films featured both winning and losing protagonists, highlighting the power or success one envied in the other.


Stone's character starts out as the loser, but by the end her fame eclipses the brief level of success of Ryan Gosling, and  her love for him wanes.

Gosling's character does not seek fame, but money as a means to an end. The $ Machine mocks his goals, and he is ultimately punished for his love of another person and his love of music over money.



Lorna's Silence

Lorna's Silence
spirit interrupts

the girlfriend experience

the girlfriend experience
chelsea managing the business


cutting through the walls