Thursday, April 23, 2009

Draining the Blood Until it's Safe

Twitter Sonnet #11

To-day's drinks were wine, water and green tea.
Obviously I ought to have had gin.
Four years one box of staples lasted me.
Had to do odd things to laugh with Ed Wynn.
The grey cat just left me a mouse outside.
Dreamt I was at a dark Disney gift shop.
My teeth don't look like I have known fluoride.
But Blackbeard would likely call me milksop.
Twilight teaches teens seductive boredom.
I am beset by surplus of oolong.
Get diff'rent kinds of teas and just horde 'em.
I do miss, I must say, Edward Furlong.
Foresee founding of combined Denny's church.
Manifestation of man's final search.

I watched the Rifftrax of Twilight last night--it was my first time seeing Twilight in any form, and while I essentially knew what to expect, the enormity of the blandness filled me with an awe like unto the first glimpse of the Death Star. The Rifftrax guys are funny, but it's hard for good talent to compete with the spectacle of lifelessness that is Twilight. Shots and ideas were borrowed wholesale--from Dracula catching Mina's perfume in the Coppola movie to the tree jumping in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. There's nothing wrong with borrowing from other works of art--Dracula borrowed heavily from Belle et la Bete and several vampire movies, but Twilight borrowed to feebly prop up its lifeless existence. It truly is The Undead.

From the apparent inability of its leads to feel anything to the evasion of the most viable and interesting themes of vampire romance, having to do with compulsion and morality. One might say that as a work aimed at teenage girls, it's sort of indecent to attractively portray girls falling for killers in any truly challenging fashion. So why even go this far? Probably because there's an unprecedented amount of violence in the mainstream while kids are still maturing roughly at the same speed--what passes for a three dimensional world for people is a two dimensional surface. Like being trapped in the phantom zone from the Superman movies.

One thing the Rifftrax guys missed was what I could swear was a combination Denny's/church in the background of one shot. I tried finding it to-day to get a screenshot, but I couldn't take watching for very long, even skipping around. I guess it'll have to remain a legend.

I mentioned cinematographer Jack Cardiff passed away yesterday. Here's a segment from Black Narcissus, one of his films with Powell and Pressburger. They created a sort of violently beautiful impression of the Himalayas shot entirely in England, mostly at Pinewood studios. The flashback sequence of Clodagh's life in Ireland at 4:10 is especially beautiful.

The whole movie's viewable in high quality through this playlist.

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