Monday, May 11, 2009

The Passivity of Taxidermied Birds of Prey

Last night's tweets;

The white cat followed me to the mailbox.
Never count out the Anthony Perkins.
From 1960 he still fucking rocks.
Cleans up better than a pack of napkins.

My sister's had this idea of Psycho being the perfect Mother's Day movie for a long time, and last night she, my mother, and I sat down to watch it. It'd actually been a couple years since I last saw it--and here was another example of a character who'd done something bad getting punished much worse than she deserved. It's a perfect symphony of tension--Marion's a responsible young lady doing something bad for the first time in her life, she's sloppy about it, and she knows it, and her conscience makes her paranoid the whole time. But none of her fretting could prepare her for Norman Bates. And it turns out the mentally disturbed individual is the only one who really cared about Marion's transgressions--in this way only are she and Bates united, as they connect briefly over supper about how everyone has moments of "madness". But while Marion has the wherewithal to pick up the pieces and begin crawling her way out, Norman can only respond to ugliness in himself and others by destroying and shutting down.

The movie's just a nice story about people running away from the difficult things and the kind of strange hell that can create. It's like a relay race of madness as Marion hands off to Norman halfway through the movie. Despite some motions to place Sam and Lila and Martin Balsam as protagonists in the latter portion, Norman easily remains the central character rather than a point of conflict. He just shows so many layers, like when he talks to the detective--his lies are visible, and the odd angle on his tilted head as he shows Balsam the ledger emphasises his difficult position. He's simultaneously oversensitive to danger and peculiarly cool in the face of it--the essence of psycho, man.

I'm not sure if I managed to fall asleep early last night, but I did force myself to wake up at 1pm. Hopefully this is my first step into a larger world, as Obi-Wan would say.

I'm thinking within the next couple days I might even have time to see the new Star Trek movie. By all accounts (except Roger Ebert's), it's turned out rather well and I don't guess I can go on being a self-respecting Trekkie without seeing it.

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