The Sacred Juggalo Aesthetic: A Family Underground (2009)

Posted by Charles Reece, March 28, 2011 01:03am | Post a Comment
juggalo family arm tattoo

"Look at us now," Joe lamented in his often moving 2003 autobiography, Behind the Paint. "We're still scrubs. No Grammys, no Hollywood parties, no celebrity appearances, none of that. We just don't count. Even after selling 5 million albums, we just don't count. It's in our blood. For eternity, we're gonna be the fucking underdog. No matter what happens."
-- Violent Jay on being Hip Hop's homo sacer, from the LA Weekly interview

At the two extreme limits of the order, the sovereign and homo sacer present two symmetrical figures that have the same structure and are correlative: the sovereign is the one with respect to whom all men are potentially homines sacri, and homo sacer is the one with respect to whom all men act as sovereigns ["sacred in the antithetical sense of the word now all but lost to us, ... accursed, at the mercy of all."].
-- Giorgio Agamben, quoted by Hal Foster

For it is the original exclusion of homo sacer, Agamben contends, that authorises the sovereign and ‘founds the city of men’; this act forges ‘the originary “political” relation’. 
-- Foster explaining the foundational role of scrubs, ibid.

The Kim Novak Aesthetic

Posted by Charles Reece, August 8, 2010 10:11pm | Post a Comment

Kim Novak tended to specialize in the objectified woman role, where the character's arc was more about mirroring the leading man's desires than any self-determination. This is true of at least 4 films featured in The Kim Novak Collection: Picnic (1955) has her casting off the constraints of being the hometown beauty queen to live a life of vagrancy with William Holden's former star athlete turned shiftless loser. In Bell, Book and Candle (1958), she's a witch who's willing to lose her supernatural powers for the love of a good man played by Jimmy Stewart. Having been cruelly mistreated in a former marriage, she falls for the much older Fredric March as a substitute father figure in Middle of the Night (1959). And although Frank Sinatra's philanderer makes no promises in Pal Joey (1957), she's just sure that he'll get used to the idea of fidelity. The one exception here is as the titular character and real-life actress in Jeanne Eagels (1957), who's willing to use anyone to become a star. Eagels castrates the men in her life as she rises to the top, but because her narcissism is so thoroughly rebuked (showing her drug addiction, alcoholism, malaise and early demise), the film reassures Novak's other characters that they made the right choice. For a proper critique of the beautiful feminine spectacle, of course, we have Vertigo (1958).

[W]ith her head of writhing snakes, huge mouth, lolling tongue and boar’s tusks, the Medusa is also regarded by historians of myth as a particularly nasty version of the vagina dentata. 
-- Barbara CreedThe Monstrous-Feminine: Film, Feminism, Psychoanalysis

More to the point of this post, Alfred Hitchcock demonstrated along with Creed's Medusa that hair can be really frightening, and nowhere is this more evident than in the coiffures forced upon Novak. Her stylists had one of two choices: go with the short hair she wore outside of the movies, or give her attachments. These mudflaps made for the worst hairstyles seen on a woman in film since Jean Harlow. And, as was the case with Harlow, we're supposed to think of glamor, rather than trailer park. Hitchcock played the shorter, urbane style against the terrifying mullet (Madelaine the ideal versus Judy the something to work with), but in Picnic we're supposed to think of the above as luxurious. As Novak explains in an extra, she doesn't have thick hair, so she tended to trim the add-ons to fit her hair better. That plan didn't work so well when her extensions were supposed to be cascading out of the window. On the other hand, the styled version wasn't much better:

It's too close to this monstrosity. And was Jeanne Eagels' knotted mullet really a style back in 1910?

I like the cut in Bell, Book and Candle; it goes well with capri pants. But someone decided to give her a brown wash, which looks like she spent too long in the swimming pool:

Which thankfully doesn't so much matter in black and white:

And, finally, she was given a faux-hawk for Pal Joey:

Disney's Counter-Aesthetic: The Abstracted Sleeping Beauty (1959)

Posted by Charles Reece, April 11, 2010 10:07am | Post a Comment
sleeping beauty book

Couch Art

sleeping beauty magic smoke

sleeping beauty maleficent magic

sleeping beauty dream fog

sleeping beauty thorns

sleeping beauty maleficent magic

sleeping beauty maleficent magic

The Jigoku Aesthetic: Hell as Excessive Specular Mediation

Posted by Charles Reece, March 8, 2009 08:42pm | Post a Comment









jigoku hell

Try not to hate

jigoku hell

Love your mate
Don't suffocate on your own hate

The Return of the Real Aesthetic: Friday The 13th 3D (1982)

Posted by Charles Reece, January 31, 2009 04:54pm | Post a Comment
The quarrel over realism in art stems from a misunderstanding, from a confusion between the aesthetic and the psychological; between true realism, the need that is to give significant expression to the world both concretely and in its essence and the pseudorealism of a deception aimed at fooling the eye (or for that matter the mind); a pseudorealism content in other words with illusory appearances. -- André Bazin, The Ontology of the Photographic Image

friday the 13th 3d title

[Please note: Ontological Enhancement Device (OCE) is required for the proper reception of the life-enhancing images that follow. Click on images for full lifeworld experience.]

If kids played baseball on the street, this is what it would look like:

friday the 13th 3d baseball

Or if housewives watched TV, this is what it would look like:

friday the 13th 3D housewife

I'm told that smoking reefer is something akin to the following:

friday the 13th 3d joint smoking
friday the 13th hippies pot

Before September 28, 1987 -- when the holodeck went online -- kids used to do this:

friday the 13th 3d juggling
friday the 13th 3d yoyo

I always felt the problem with Max Ophüls was that his objects lay dormant on the screen:

friday the 13th 3d couple
friday the 13th 3d truck on bridge
friday the 13th 3d books
Did Robert Bresson ever achieve this level of realism?

friday the 13th jason kills with cleaver
friday the 13th 3d boy victim
friday the 13th 3d hippie electrocuted

Jean Renoir
is famous for using depth of field, but he's "quadrophonic" vinyl compared to the 5.1 surround of the following:

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