Sunday, 22 September 2013

Separate and Ideal

Come on.  Come on!  Come here with me.  I have kept a seat for you.  Yes, yes, make yourself comfortable.  Good!  Put your drink away, and switch that phone off, the film is about to start.  Now look straight ahead...

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

The Flower Called Nowhere

All the small boats on the water aren't going anywhere.
Surely they must be loaded with more than simple matter. 
Floating on top and gracefully tending to the same pole.
All the small boats on the water going nowhere...

Is it true that none of them will ever break free and sail?
Feel the night is made of rocks, the stagnant mass.
Is it true that none of them, will ever break free and sail? 
Break free from the stagnant things left in obscurity.      
Left in obscurity...

All the faces with their eyes closed giving a smile.
Weightless like a body that would vacate to its own light.
Is it true that none of these contented happy faces       
Will not ever hear a cry, won't hear a cry?

Is it true that none of these contented happy faces       
Will not ever hear a cry?
Filled with love not with desire, love not desire...

Is it true that none of these contented happy faces       
Will not ever hear a cry?
Filled with love not with desire, love not desire...

All the small boats on the water aren't going anywhere.
Surely they must be loaded with more than simple matter.
Floating on top and gracefully tending to the same pole.
All the small boats on the water going nowhere...

Is it true that none of them will ever break free and sail?
Break free from the stagnant things left in obscurity...

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Friday, 6 September 2013

Bad Ideas

Charles Barr has something very interesting to say, though he says it rather crudely.

What seem to be problems outside him are in reality projections of his own conflicts and repressions… [H]e sleepwalks through the film.  His treatment of Frieda is unconsciously sadistic…  Witness Robert’s actions in exposing her to his family and to his community while the war is on, with no smoothing of her way; in arranging for separate bedrooms…; in leaving his teaching job because of the gossip, and [sic] act guaranteed to double her guilty feelings; in bringing her ‘accidentally’ into a series of awkward situations, for instance to a public space where his sister is making an anti-German speech, and to a cinema showing concentration camp newsreels.  The moment he does tell her that he loves her, and kisses her, her brother abruptly appears on the doorstep and turns out to be a fervent Nazi who accuses her of being one too.  Irresistibly, he comes over as a figure conjured up by Robert himself, and his own feverish acceptance of the accusations –‘I wish she were dead’ – as a way out from his own conflicts and fears.  His fear of growing up, away from his own family, his own town, his own school where he has returned to teach; his fear of women; and his fear of thinking.  He seems never to have dared to think about the question of Frieda’s relation to Nazism, any more than has the community, which swings between blind prejudice and blind sentimentality.

The melodrama of the climax is a release in that it at last plays out the masked emotions of the story in a full-blooded way…  [However] there is little sense that the hero will have learned from his nightmare, or that the lessons of the experience can be integrated into his personality, and the film ends with the drawing of the cosy humanist moral (BFI Notes.  My emphasis)

The giveaway is the reference to repression.  Professor Barr interprets the film within a Freudian framework, which although highly illuminating – the explanation, by appearing to be insightful and profound, shows us the power of dogma - is wrong in this specific case.  The psychoanalyst, locked up inside his own adamantine theory, is too rigid and unsubtle to uncover the nuances that make Robert Dawson human. 

So come on, let’s take a peek underneath his couch…