Thursday, December 16, 2010

Real Ducks Don't Wear Shoes

Twitter Sonnet #213

Plesiosaurs drag kings to the lakebed.
Footmen helplessly drift up to the moon.
In the priest holes, modern secrets are said.
Mystery cake's fed to the exiled loon.
Angelic vanity sticks to a card.
Flooded Hallmark vomits wrapping army.
Purple ribbon flutters past a drunk guard.
A cafe keeps a lost paper Emmy.
Red shoes reward the inquisitive girl.
Fake feet shroud the shameful reality.
Cotton candy around cyclone eyes swirl.
Bad veins shoot a sparkly polarity.
Skin grafts supplant lumps of melted whale fin.
Jellyfish monitor the scallop's sin.

Look what I got last night;

Red ballet slippers in Second Life, almost exactly like the ones in The Red Shoes. I was hanging out at Ingenue with Amee when Betty Doyle, the owner of Ingenue, showed up and I was finally able to ask her where to get the shoes I saw a model wearing in one of the display pictures for one of Betty's dresses. Turned out to be a place called SLink, which also has prim feet, which I found myself compelled to buy. They're not perfect, but as you can see they're an improvement compared to the default (on the left);

Last night I also watched Klute, which Iain had recommended to me. Iain is big into 1970s independent film, something I feel like I've only just scratched the surface of. Klute wasn't bad, and I was intrigued to see another example of a tsundere outside of anime/manga, in this case in the form of a call girl named Bree. In the movie's best scene, Bree explains to a psychiatrist her conflicted feelings about Detective Klute--Bree had divulged that she enjoyed her work as a call girl because it provided her with the safe vantage point of sex without exposed feeling. But she finds she's falling for Klute and is disturbed by her compulsion to sabotage the relationship to get back to the safe, familiar state of numbness.

Bree doesn't seem much like a real call girl, partly because Jane Fonda isn't very good at playing anyone but Jane Fonda--she really doesn't play Bree any differently than she played Cat Ballou. But she is really good at playing Jane Fonda--it's sort of eerie when an actor can deliver lines with such conviction and exhibit believable signs of internal reactions and yet be so fundamentally ill matched for the character they're portraying. It's a bit like how I've come to feel about Maggie Gyllenhaal in Secretary. Fonda's basic aura of confidence contradicts the walled off, insecure person she's portraying. She comes off more as an anthropologist stationed in a call girl's skull--the recordings of her with her psychiatrist or with her Johns are constantly analysing in depth the nature of the profession in terms of contemporary ideas of free love, contrasting them with traditional morality and the psychological impact of intimacy and casual sex. It's a movie that provides value a lot more through what it tells than what it shows.

Blake Edwards, who I just learned died yesterday, directed Breakfast at Tiffany's ten years earlier than Klute, and Holly Golightly was a much better crafted call girl character. Her love interest, though sort of boring in comparison to Golightly, is also a more interesting and flawed character than Klute.

I think Klute gets its title more from Detective Klute as a central aspect of Bree's dilemma than from any prominence of the character himself in the movie. In fact, Klute is barely a character at all--all we really know about him is that he is from outside the city, and he seems very innocent, practical, and invariably right. He exists entirely as a foil for Bree, and in this sense the movie seemed to be strongly influenced by a traditional morality. Bree sort of references it when she teasingly asks Klute if the "sin" of the city people like her had rubbed off on him at all. There's therefore something kind of incidentally disturbing about their romance, and his position as an authority figure there to straighten out her life. He is the unerring, pure male and she is the woman, stained with sin and ill equipped to handle her own life and emotions. There's something somehow religious about it.

I liked how Klute looked. It's interesting going from watching French New Wave and Italian Neorealism in the 60s to seeing how they influenced American cinema in the 70s.

To-day's ducks;

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