Wednesday, May 27, 2009
LIFE AS WE SHOW IT: WRITING ON FILM Contributor Elizabeth Hatmaker's Film Journal, Final Day. "The Bride" (1973), directed by Jean-Marie Pélissie
"It's hard to figure out what's relevant and what's not relevant" a
hip young man, probably a cult film fan, says to a chubby smart-girl at a wedding.
Well, these are times of confusion and changes, right? observes an off-screen
onlooker. I'm not confused, the smart girl says
"That's because you aren't relevant" says the young man.
Alouette plays in the back on accordion and later the same young man
offers the same observation to a thinner girl. The father
of the bride is appalled at festive banality. There's a lot of grab-ass
happening at this wedding, union wages, wedding clothes.
In a previous scene, the bride shows the strangely
isolated house, all canted angles w/o need of camera
to a fiancé who’s clearly a creep. I imagine the entire
film was built around the idea of this house, like a house in a dream that
you think you lived in, unfinished
with rooms you can’t remember being there
and you can find it on the map
next to places that you swear exist
like the Winchester Mystery House that
seems to exist next to a mall. A house
to shoot awkward porn
Of course the camera operator can hardly help but
not cant the film after this house.
The bride, she crazy. Some idiot gave her a chicken once, the father
of the bride begins to tell the groom.
This is after he's
cheated on her
at the wedding, she's
slashed his hand in proxy, made a
spectacle of herself with blood,
and run away. Both of us are MIA
in 2009, blurred
Luckily the father in the law
has a good sense of humor, the kind of
dad that these confused times require and
even he isn’t enough
even when the post
on sill of
ghostly architecture isn’t enough,
when your everydayness
is on the screen
like blood from a minor injury or
wasting yourself on something
The bride torments us w/some blood,
not much nudity,
No surprises here to a polka rhythm.
And this is my fourth day of no real surprises
or strange ones that don't seem to amount to much,
the lumpen in proletariat.
I worry about the crazy bride
missing and bloody, coming as we both have
to the wavelength of bad that's not even interesting
or hip for party conversations and, let me ask you, when
did this all fall off the map, when
did the stuff of it stop refusing
to our current sadness
of relevance? I think it matters.
There are a number of people who think that
slasher films have a rhythm, a dead body per
a certain number of minutes; time to talk, grab,
go to the can, etc. A book I read claimed
that it’s the Passolini-esque elements
that matter in “vernacular cinema.” It’s hard
to train failure, though.
The movie quavers over the top, then settles
into an oddly comforting ending, both
the bride and her untrue husband
dead together always. Like dreams I’ve had in which
I’ve suddenly had a random lover and been pleased
and thought that the situation wasn’t any worse
than anything else that might happen. Like my
best appropriation of otherness,
feeling the image
of other bored people.
I bought all of the films I reviewed at Best Buy where
any idiot can find them for cheap. Hours and hours
of endless movies for less than $10.