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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


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