Best Shot: Black Narcissus
Rewatching Black Narcissus made me remember that there are so many beautiful shots in it that I’ve ignored, making me change my mind constantly. ‘Questions’ like this must be answered honestly, deciding on the film’s best shot without rewatching.
I’ll write some more.
The blossoms, to my memory, have also had their close-ups in Broken Blossoms, The African Queen and Howards End, and to a lesser extent, The Age of Innocence and I am Love. Black Narcissus and the other movies mentioned used blossoms as a way to make protagonist/white subject position home in a place where they’re a fish out of water.
These shots, lasting a total of ten seconds, also marks the spring time, after cabin fever sets into the converted convent and everybody hates each other. Watching those blossoms makes me feel like there’s hope in the settlement, that the land has a history before the nuns came, that it’s home. It is up to debate on whose home it is, however.
Or maybe I just like blossoms. Does that make me less of a man? The answer – yes. Also, I am easily amused by colourful things.
Then, of course, Sister Ruth (Kathleen Byron) has to ruin everything, as she always does. Then again maybe the blossoms foreshadow Sister Ruth’s sexual awakening, or a time when she can finally act as carelessly as she wants.
Related Articles (can’t believe I forgot to put this in. Sorry, Nathaniel. :S)
- Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Black Narcissus (filmexperience.blogspot.com)
Seminal Television: The Rejected
Yes, half of the cast of Mad Men was given the red stamp last Sunday, but I wanna talk about the half-rejected. Like the brassiere ad campaign that Pete Campbell (Vincent Karthesier) has to handle, which is contentious specifically because the print makes the model look Puerto Rican. As Pete says ‘I don’t care if she looks like a Puerto Rican. Puerto Rican girls buy brassieres.’
And Sharon, the black model Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) meets in the youthquake. The girl’s parents don’t know. I’m really crossing my fingers that Peggy gets the ovaries to ask the girl to model for one of the products that SCDP work for. Don’s feeling risky this season, maybe he’ll bite too. Also double rejected in the room is Joyce, brushed aside both by Peggy and Life Magazine.
Also, the secretaries of SCDP took their powder room problems to this focus group. What went wrong here? Smaller sample size? Also reminding everyone that Peggy has been a part of focus groups like this too. When she was on the secretaries’ side of the mirror, she managed to wow Freddy. I guess girls like Peggy only come a generation. Allison’s problem is not her problem indeed.
White boys get rejected too. Ken Cosgrove (Aaron Stanton), who, despite of his great client list, rejected in SCDP ‘s inception. It’s funny seeing and listening to him being the abrasive one, since that’s pretty much Pete in 1963. Ken’s over it though, telling Pete about the ‘the worst…retards in the same room’ of McCann Erickson. In between those superlatives, he tells Pete about his mother being a nurse, Ken representing the other half of SCDP who isn’t born with a silver spoon.
Moral lessons suck, but I like Joyce, Sharon and Ken’s getting-there survival stories, becoming the unsung heroes of this episode.
- MM@M: Jean “Peggy” Seberg (filmexperience.blogspot.com)
Seminal Television: The Good News
The fourth season of Mad Men seems to concentrate more one character pointing out who’s normal and who’s not. The earlier episode, Bert Cooper (Robert Morse) laments that the Civil Rights are the beginning of a descent in America. This episode, it’s the cast donning and taking off their little veils. Joan’s (Christina Hendricks) body looks medically fine despite her past. Her coworkers and her husband still thinks she files cabinets, she still thinks he’s an incompetent doctor foolishly going to Vietnam. But she’s close the door quietly or smile, because she doesn’t like repeating herself.
Don Draper’s (Jon Hamm) first wife Anna still thinks she’s healthy despite a broken leg. He and Lane Pryce (Jared Harris) see a B monster movie in a theatre where ‘hand jobs’ go on. Also, Fake Lenny Bruce makes fun of two men who apparently shouldn’t be sitting in a table together. ‘Wall Street, does it bother your parents that he’s so ugly?’ The periphery penetrating the centre. Lane Pryce responds, ‘We’re not homosexuals, we’re divorced.’ At the same time, I wondered why it would have been more shameful to be the former than the latter.
Later, Lane and Don’s whores come in. The comedian greets them with ‘They’re not queers, they’re rich.’ Gross. Lane points out how well Candace knows his kitchen. ‘She does not go to Barnard.’ Don’s joke, as well as the one by the comedian. also touches upon the good old mad Men theme that things aren’t what they seem. But that doesn’t stop other for figuring each other out.