MOVIE SCENES FEAT. COFFEE
This tumblr speaks to me in a special way.
Just a glimpse of the Mother of Sighs. Pretty, ain’t she? Reminds me a lot of the scary person behind the dumpster in Mulholland Drive.
Suspiria (1977), directed by Dario Argento and co-written by Argento and Daria Nicolodi, starring Jessica Harper, Alida Valli, Udo Kier and Joan Bennett. Suspiria is the first of the trilogy Argento refers to as “The Three Mothers”, followed by Inferno and The Mother of Tears.
Mater Suspiria: Mother of Sighs
(Originally written as a Filmpipe review)
It’s amazing the number of milky white fluids there are in this movie.
My friends and I used to have a weekly Fucked-Up Film night. Each week, one of us would bring something to the table new to the others, and when it was done, would shout, “Top THAT!”
This was how we discovered Holy Mountain, Inland Empire, Forbidden Zone, Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter, and Gozu.
Gozu was the last one. No one could top it.
Director Takashi Miike has been called the Japanese David Lynch. I can see that. Parts of Gozu are as teeth-clenchingly disturbing as Eraserhead, and as confusing as Mulholland Drive. Of course, this is served up Japanese-style, and we know how weird that can be at the best of times.
Reportedly, this movie has mythic elements, a retelling of Japanese mythology: a modern-day Japanese Ulysses (I don’t even know if I mean the Greek myth or the inpenetrable novel by james Joyce). More fucked-up than America’s version, O Brother, Where Art Thou? Waaaay more.
Let me try to give you an idea:
The protagonist is Minami, a junior Yakuza who is ordered by the boss of his Yakuza crew to take Ozaki, an older Yakuza “brother,” to a Yakuza disposal grounds in the backwater town of Nagoya. Presumably to be killed.
You see, Ozaki is bug-nuts insane, which is bad for business. In an early scene, Ozaki claims a chihuahua is a trained killer of Yakuza, and procedes to batter it to death, finally swinging it around his head on its leash and splatting it against the window.
On the way to Nagoya, there is an accident, and Ozaki is killed. Minami tries to bring him to Nagoya anyway, but once in the town, the body of Ozaka mysteriously disappears. The locals prove unhelpful, and increasingly bizaare.
On his quest to recover Ozaki’s body, Minami meets a trio of transvestites who run a restaurant, and who, it is implied, jerk off into the food. He meets a half-albino who seems to want to stay cuddled up to him. A Yakuza boss who riddles like Gollum in the cave. An old woman who clearly wants in his pants (especially after she spies him bathing, and says he has a “Fine and Dandy” unit), and who tries to get him to drink her breast milk.
And then it gets weird.
And they all lived happily ever after.
You’re welcome for the nightmares.
This movie doesn’t exist because it’s fun to watch. No, what’s fun about it is inflicting it on your friends. Watch them slowly come to realize just what you’ve done to them.
I’m sure they’ve done something you want to get back at them for.
This is Scix in the Back Row, a bit worried about the glass of milk he was just served.
Gozu: (極道恐怖大劇場 牛頭 ＧＯＺＵ, Gokudō kyōfu dai-gekijō: Gozu, literally: Grand Theatre of Perversion and Fear: Cow’s Head) (2003) Japanese, directed by Takashi Miike.
Inland Empire (2006) directed by David Lynch, starring Laura Dern, Justin Theroux, Harry Dean Stanton, Grace Zabriskie, Jeremy Irons and Diane Ladd.
I feel like I didn’t watch this, I survived it. I have no idea what’s going on. I have an idea the whole thing may be a sort of near-death hallucination, but that doesn’t even begin to explain it. One of the common interpretations of Mulholland Drive is that the whole story is a fantasy in the mind of a woman in the process of killing herself. Very The Incident at Owl Creek Bridge. The same could be an explanation for this movie, but it’s more confused than that.
Mulholland Drive has two levels, basically, but Inland Empire has many more. If it’s a fantasy, or the brain’s last gasp before dying, it is unclear which variation of reality is the “real” one. Is it the homeless woman bleeding out in the alleyway? She seems the most likely candidate, but it doesn’t quite fit.
This movie is like a math equation where the parentheses are miss-nested, and the levels get confused with one another. Or a bit of HTML with the <open> and </close> tags are paired wrong. The levels bleed through — and not just when you look through a cigarette-burn hole in a piece of silk, and not just when you dream.
There is time travel in this, too, somehow. The woman near the beginning who says “Brutal Fucking Murder” in one of the previous screenshots even sets the movie up, saying she gets confused between yesterday and tomorrow. Laura Dern’s character seems to flip beck and forth, and in and out of the movie world, and, I suspect, is also one of the Rabbits, who, I suspect, are dead people waiting in limbo for something. Godot, perhaps.
Lynch’s red curtains play a role, so otherworld influence is almost certain. Maybe it all makes sense if folded properly, like the fold-in pictures on the back of Mad Magazine. Only, folded through many more dimensions, within the space of the White Lodge.
This is Scix in the Back Row, making this face: