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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Vanity Fair Interview:Rob Pattinson 3-11

Most Rob fans don't like this interview but don't seem to know exactly why except for the fact that many redundant questions are asked.

Foucauldian thought looks at it from a different POV. In Foucault's 1974-75 Abnormal Lectures at the College de France he goes into great detail about the genealogy of confession beginning with the Inquisition. In Western Civilization the Roman Catholic Church began persecuting heretics in the 12th century continuing until the early 19th century.

Confession was afterward initiated to probe the minds of members of the church by their village priests and began to be incorporated into the hierarchy. Eventually confession landed on the psychoanalyst's couch where it continues today. The practice is widespread and completely accepted in our modern times. Confession is the accepted prevailing Discourse for the interview. The confession is to be extracted from the interviewed object by the interviewer subject. Extracted confession is the important term to be understood.

"...when I join the nosy chorus asking if his on screen love mirrors his relationship in real life," Pattinson says laughing, Are you asking me if I'm really a vampire?

"As I wait for an answer, Pattinson literally starts squirming, Yes. Um. No, not really, he says, It's pretty hard to...It's just very traumatic, he says cryptically."

The interviewer is asking whether he is fucking Kristen Stewart. Confession was initiated to probe sexuality to root out the heresies of Catharism and along with analysis sex continues to be of prime interest in interviews and on the couch. Vanity Fair's interviewer is extracting the confession, a Discourse that began in the 12th century. The interviewer is also torturing Pattinson as she waits for an answer while he squirms.

It is clear that she has made him uncomfortable and has no intention of doing otherwise.

Going back to his first response, Are you asking me if I'm really a vampire? he is expressing his feelings unconsciously. Switching from a Foucault reading to Lacan we can invert his sentence: I am asking you if you are really a vampire. Yes, Rob, you are telling the interviewer she is a vampire and the interviewer really is a vampire. That is exactly what you are saying. To extract a confession you must be pierced, crushed sometimes, and the confession pulled out, extracted, from the unwilling but complicit object that is being tortured, however politely and according to custom. An analyst trained in Lacanian listening will hear what he is saying. (Remember Bush 1 and his astonishment at the bar-code? Bar being the name his wife is known by. Read Diane Rubenstein for a long discussion on this.) But Rob is squirming because he has not heard what he really said and so instead of sitting calmly he is squirming.

And the bitch doesn't stop. "I mean, are you very intense about each other?" Oh, I don't know, "he says finally." She's really cool. Even before I knew her I thought she was a really good actress. Like, I saw Into the Wild, and I thought she was really good in that. ....And then he goes on to say that when all this is over things can go back to some sort of normality.

Baudrillard has interesting things to say about the interview situation, especially since he has given many of them. Essentially he says that what he has said about the hostage situation applies to the interview. The interviewer and the interviewee are in complicity.

Rob is complicit in this interview. He is allowing himself to be tortured. When asked the same kind of question by her recent Vogue interviewer, Kristen replied, That's not my job. She didn't squirm, she responded assertively, a tad aggressively in fact, as the interviewer had no right to be trying to extract a sexual confession out of her. Kristen is not complicit, so with her the hostage analogy does not apply in quite the same way.

Ramping up confession and torture please turn to my review of Inglourious Basterds Part 6 posted down on this blog. It's from the very first scene of IB, another masterpiece by Tarantino. An excerpt:

But back to the first scene of IB. Landa knows and he could just simply have his officers rape the farmer's daughters, torture them in front of him until he tells, shoot them all, whatever. But no, he sits down to drink a glass of fresh milk, chat a little over tobacco, and squeeze more fear into his victim. Because the farmer knows he knows but hopes he doesn't. His careful performance is perfection. His eyes get stony with protective cover. He sweats and Christoph Waltz watches with pleasure and he tightens his hold. They speak English, so the Jews underneath won't understand. He reaches a climax where he tells him ever so charmingly that he will take his family in for interrogation or he can just indicate with a nod where they are hiding. The French peasant is known for his astuteness, and this one needs no prodding. He knows what will happen to his young and beautiful daughters. He knows the Jews down below are doomed anyway. Now he is being asked to become a collaborator, to sully his soul, to do such a despicable act that he will forever torture himself afterward. (Think Sophie's Choice.) Now this is violence. He is asking him to be Judas. His reward is not 30 pieces of silver, but the safety of his daughters. He can berate himself the rest of his life by weighing the two alternatives and BTW Corrie Ten Boom had Jews hidden in her house walls and wouldn't tell and she and her family and all the Jews went to a camp. But that's another story.

So this nice polite well thought of interviewer for Vanity Fair is really in collusion with her more violent comrades in arms. She has performed an evil act. It is transparent and condoned and accepted by all and sundry. It is even published and paid for.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Archetypes of Beauty:Rob Pattinson, Hedy Lamarr, Greta Garbo

Rob Pattinson in Car in Rio
I think that beauty offers two categories:the beautiful and the archetype. The archetype is Other, otherworldly, timeless, somehow austere and pure, androgynous. Beauty obeys fashion and fashion for faces changes with the time and era. Liz Taylor just misses being in the archetype category but only in my opinion. Ava Gardner? Very close. James Dean appears to just miss if you look at him next to Pattinson. This classic and timeless face is rare.

All three are recognizable I think. Garbo stopped going out as she aged because she was so disturbed when people were so disturbed by her aging. Hedy Lamarr lived her last 40 years worrying about her rent. Lamarr invented the concept of frequency change for coding messages in World War II. It is what allows wireless and cell phones today but she never made a dime from it. Sontag considers Garbo's face vacant and we all know what zillions have said about Pattinson.

For more about Hedy Lamarr that will surprise you:
http://tinyurl.com/6jc6k4h "Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid." - Hedy Lamarr

Lamarr is right if you read this remark through Baudrillard. An image stripped of all meaning, all cultural baggage is only pure appearance. The enigmatic object looks at the camera lens as the lens looks at it. The object does not pose, provide meaning, the object simply is there. Few faces are able to do this. Hedy is saying she is not there. Her intelligence, her self, her feelings, her thoughts, her anything just disappears. She is not there. She is just standing there like any object:stupid. A tree is stupid as is a rock as is the sky.

Edward is standing there stupid then. Only his face, his vampire face, looking at you with The Gaze.

Deleted Ending for Vanity Fair Film with Reese Witherspoon DVD
Garbo was so perfectly beautiful. More beautiful than beautiful; therefore,hyperbeautiful. Is hyperbeautiful the same as archetype beauty? I think Rob's hyperbeautiful face was what got his scene deleted from the Vanity Fair film. Reese Witherspoon looked as if she were in drag next to him. The men all looked dead. This deleted scene was to look at cloning and Death. That could not be allowed.

This type of beauty is closely allied with Camp. On Sontag: The Androgyne is certainly one of the great images of Camp sensibility. ...the haunting androgynous vacancy behind the perfect beauty of Greta Garbo. Here, Camp taste draws on a mostly unacknowledged truth of taste: the most refined form of sexual attractiveness (as well as the most refined form of sexual pleasure) consists in going against the grain of one's sex. What is most beautiful in virile men is something feminine; what is most beautiful in feminine women is something masculine.

Beauty is not negotiable since its radiance simply emerges irrespective of any efforts made to deserve it, and no one can offer it its equivalent. Its annihilation it must perform itself. (Baudrillard - Cool Memories 1980-85 p. 96)
And another beautiful male archetype of beauty

Antonin Artaud - Beautiful, Tortured, Mad, Genius, Delirious, Perfect

Friday, March 04, 2011

Vanity Fair March 2011 cover Rob Pattinson

An old-fashioned young man went fishing one day. He caught a huge fish. It was so big and heavy that he had to sling it across his shoulders to carry it home. It became an Albatross around his neck just like the Ancient Mariner. It was as tough as shoe leather and had vicious teeth that could bite him, tear him to pieces and even kill him. Did he catch the fish? Maybe it caught him.

Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea caught a gigantic fish. In bringing it home it was eaten by sharks, torn apart day after day. Until when he came home, only the skeleton remained, all goodness stripped from the gift from the sea by the sea.

Jesus carried his cross, beaten and bloody and was nailed on it. A sacrificial willing victim to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah.

Steinbeck's Kino opening oysters day after day at last found the Pearl of the World. Unable to exchange it for its worth he threw it back into the sea.

There is only one world. You have only one life. Neither one of these can be exchanged since there is only one. Baudrillard calls this Impossible Exchange. However, Virtual Reality can steal both of them. Baudrillard calls this The Perfect Crime.

The young man found a girl. As David in the film David and Lisa says, "A pearl of a girl."