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Monday, May 30, 2011

The Oscars Have become a Simulacrum - Cloning - The Inscription of the Body

This is in no way meant to denigrate fine performances from the past. But we are no longer there anymore. No one wants to go back to wearing corsets. Why do you want to look at women who do on a screen? Just producing a reality that is gone for the purpose of selling and consuming nostalgia.

Who can take them seriously now. They give them for stuttering, ballet dancing, walking on your knees to be short (Jose Ferrer in Toulouse-Lautrec), being deaf (Jane Wyman), being deaf (Matlin who is), singing (Reese Witherspoon, drunk (Ray Milland), a boxer, all sorts of highly specialized skills that professional people have in their chosen professions but that actors and actresses (I like the sound  of the word  actress), have to laboriously learn and acquire for a role to be realistic. Gaining weight, losing weight, all sorts of deformities and disabilities, extreme sports, etc. Oh and let me add all the CGI and special effects.

These are all literal acquisitions to create the illusion of reality. Since when does the production of reality require illusion? When it has disappeared, that's when. Inception, Social Network, Hanna, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, are four wondrous films requiring only superb acting rather than tricks. Rob Pattinson's girlfans (all ages), want to see him do tricks to do character parts in the future. Aren't there any fat actors, skinny ones, dancers, singers, blind and deaf ones?


Obviously they haven't understood any of Cronenberg, nor Cosmopolis. Cronenberg has repeatedly addressed this theme of technology interfacing with the body. Have you watched his films? All their dreams and wishes for Rob in the future are, without exception, for roles that are completely retro, the production of reality taking place in linear, historical time. If you understand Cosmopolis why would you want that for him?

Here's an exceptionally informed poster at robsessed saying just what I just ranted against.

nikola6 replied to themselves


Johnny Depp in Edward Scissorhands, Sweeney Todd and Alice 

In Wonderland. Do you suppose his fans had shit fits over how 

he buried his beauty for those roles? Or were they in awe?

Nicole Kidman was unrecognizable in The Hours and won the 

Oscar for her efforts. And yes, Elizabeth Taylor in Who's Afraid 

Of Virginia Woolfe? She aged herself 20 years and got fat to 

play the 50ish Martha (Bette Davis wanted the role). How 'bout 

Ralph Fiennes burnt beyond recognition in The English Patient?

I could sit here and type out examples all night. Personally, I 

can't wait for Rob to shave his head or put on the weight when 

the role calls for it. I want him to knock those critics on their 

asses. And they're especially rough on "pretty boys". Pretty boys 

almost always have to ugly themselves up in order to gain a little 

respect. Critics didn't start to take Tom Cruise seriously till he 

gained the weight and shaved his hair to play Ron Kovic in Born 

On The Forth Of July. When did George Clooney win his Oscar? 

When he gained 40 lbs.

Rob's fans best prepare themselves. Or...sit his "character" roles 

out. Which is what I would call...a fair weather fan.
This is Hollywood's preferred method of CLONING! Get it! 

Taylor Lautner is a recent example. This is really about the destruction of beauty. The destruction of illusion. Who in the fuck wants to watch that! Look at DeNiro now for crissakes! Is that what you want for Rob?  And Elizabeth Taylor deliberately destroying her beauty and then going under the knife to try to get it back. Madness. Oh and Matt Damon's body after Bourne.

The Inscription of the Body:

Modern society is perverse, not because it has tried to repress sex and succeeded only  in producing deformed expressions of the sexual instinct, but because of the type of power it has brought to bear on the body. Far from limiting sexuality, it has extended its various forms, penetrating it with its power..... those identified with certain places (the home, the school, the prison - (my addition:Hollywood producers and actors) - all correspond to precise procedures of power. They are extracted from people's bodies, from the infinite possibilities of their pleasures, and frozen into a particular rigid stance (read Taylor Lautner). (Michel Foucault The Will to Truth-Alan Sheridan p. 175-6)

As Foucault demonstrated at length in "Surveiller et Punir" it is these micro-mechanisms of power that, since the late 18th century, have played an increasing part in the management of people's lives through direct action on their bodies: they operate not through a code of law, but through a technology of normalization, not by punishment, but by control, at levels and in forms that go beyond the state and its machinery.... We must free ourselves from this image of power as law and sovereignty, says Foucault, if we are to understand how power actually operates  in our technologically advanced societies. Foucault has two aims in this proposed series of studies: to show that sex - an area where, above all others, power seems to function in terms of prohibition - is not, in fact, subjected to power in this way and, second, to formulate an alternative theory of power, 'another grid for deciphering history'. 'We must at the same time conceive of sex without the law and power without the king.'(Sheridan MFTWTT 183)

.... Power is ubiquitous, not because it is able to assemble everything under its invincible unity, but because it is produced at every moment, at every point, or rather in every relation of one point with another. (Sheridan MFTWTT 184)

 Power is everywhere: not because it embraces everything, but because it comes from everywhere...One should probably be a nominalist in this matter:  power is not an institution, nor a structure, nor a possession. It is the name we give to a complex situation in a particular society. (Foucault's History of Sexuality 93)
This inscription of the body penetrates the organs, the muscles, tendons, cellular structure, skin, blood flow, heart rate,  in fact, the entire body outside and in.

To demand that an actor gain weight, lose weight, etc is to exert a certain kind of power over the body by capitalistic entities is to inscribe the body, to change it often permanently and this is demanded now if one is to inhabit the skin of the character.  It is clear none of these people have seen Grotowski or Yoshi Oida become fat, thin, starving, old, a child, crippled,  weeping, laughing hysterically, sexual, repulsive with thousands of faces at each moment and all before their eyes while they are just standing there in front of you. This recent emphasis on the literal is mind boggling. Wanting Rob as Eric Packer to work out until his chest is excessively barreled is sheer stupidity. Yoshi Oida could stand there before you and create the illusion of a huge barreled chest in minutes. What is this obsession with working out?

And why are Rob's fans so in thrall to this absurd and controlling ignorance of the suits?

The Hollywood suits hate Robert Pattinson.  Rob has adulated Cronenberg in public at the Golden Globes. They hate Cronenberg who pokes fun at them. Rob did not come up through the ranks. He did not serve his time. He did not proceed by slow progression (linear time ghosting) to achieve stardom. He does not espouse all that they hold dear. Instead he reads, for crissakes. Books! Can you imagine that! He talks about them, he talks about auteurs like Godard who sticks his finger at commercial films. Even his own that succeed he sees something wrong with them. Robert Pattinson is here because of one seventeen year old girl who said, "It has to be Rob." "She threatened me," says Catherine Hardwicke.