The Psychotic, the Bad and the Ugly

23/04/2012 in Alexis King, Classic, Drama, Thriller | One comment

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Other film essayists might reach for a holy trinity firmly founded in a Roman form of Christianity within Joel and Ethan Coen’s 2007 neo-western; No Country for Old Men.

The Coen Brothers No Country for Old Men

Something alike to; Tommy Lee Jones’ Sheriff Ed Tom Bell as the father, Josh Brolin’s Llewellyn Moss the son and Javier Bardem’s Anton Chigurh the holy ghost or even being likened to the devil or made the personification of the ‘anti-christ’.

These corrupted assertions and ‘bedtime story’ movie interpretations of what a mere man is are bunk in no small part because they are predicated on the grossest of lies as to what Jesus Christ is to then know anything of an opposer or of those who would wholly embody this kind of dark energy.

But then they would be because they are offered from the same consciousness that this very film is attempting to show us is impaired. However, alike to the conception behind that trinity we are being shown renditions of the same energy in various phases.

The key lies in the identification of Woody Harrelson’s Carson Wells as a 4th phase, and this unlocks for us that what we are watching is a rendering of the cycle of the sun; more specifically the dark aspect of the sun since none of the characters are truly benevolent.

Moss is the rising. Although unsteady in this west Texas world of criminality he is becoming and clearly has all the determination and energy to ascend and maintain, yet alike to the climbing sun he will only go so far.

Chigurh is the midday sun. Savage. Intense. Relentless. Pure.

Ed Tom Bell is the setting representing something that was once as vital and back in the wilder days of the west equally violent but is now in decline.

Wells is the descended sun at night indicated by his ‘retirement’. He is completely aware of Chigurh and his ‘principles’ with this intimate knowing making him both a shadow and an adversary.

So the Coen brothers present the timeless story of good versus evil that is at once one of duality and at the exact same time merely a perpetual wheel in motion, one wheel, its just that like all great story tellers they invert and disguise it masterfully through the art of film.

Here’s how…

Josh Brolin as Llewellyn Moss in The Coen Brothers No Country for Old Men

No Country for Old Men presents us with the notion that ‘Every fortune leaves a trail’. So, for this analysis, and as much as this writer is able to discern, lets take this at its word; that word being every.

It might easily be recognized by the majority that an earthly fortune be represented by riches, though this is relative. Where for Llewellyn Moss a bag of 2 million dollars would be so described, for some people, and beyond the fiction of cinema, this would be peanuts for others it would be meaningless.

To dispense with any stratification, lets take for example those who would covet the biggest piles of gold. For in so doing their actions, seen through a much more intricate, much older mirror are those we see swiftly consuming Moss.

The Coens are tipping us the wink as to what possession of the ultimate material fortune must entail, and the effect that the actions and consolidation methods of an earthly elite have had in extant pursuit of such a thing. Chief among them; psychopathy.

Once the psychopaths path is set they are not for turning, they will instead compound lies and falsehoods regardless of the cliffs they plunge over, who or what they take down with them or what consequences arise.

The very concept of consequence is not acknowledged, only more instances, opportunities and catastrophes which after time take on the illusion of being as natural, even intended.

Learning via empathy to knowledge is exchanged for mimicry by acute observation and emotion destroyed in favor of sensation to achieve only maintenance and survival.

With this in mind lets address the fact that Moss is no less psychopathic than Chigurh, merely less adept.

Josh Brolin as Llewellyn Moss in The Coen Brothers No Country for Old Men

Amongst other actions in support of this we witness Moss leaving a dying man to perish, opportunistically taking a large amount of bag money from a crime scene, trading his own wife’s life for that money, animal slaughter, seemingly being unaware of the death of his own mother, continuing to attempt to face Chigurh down, to threaten and shoot at him, unknowing of who he is who he represents or who else might be proceeding in Chigurh’s wake.

Moss’ confession to military service at border control is the only passport he needs to be re-admitted from Mexico back into the United States. Being a survivor of two tours of the ritual slaughter of young men that was the Vietnam war, his government operative psychopathic training and credentials intact might also be an allusion to his being a possessor of the ‘hero gene’.

We see then in Moss the aptitudes favored by those who covet things material. For the real world elite seek this first and foremost beginning from amongst their own gene pool in a centuries old distillation of such inherent qualities.

Should one not be chosen for succession by the ordered process of heirarchy contained within Roman, royal or banking elites then force, often deadly and even against nearest kin, has been easily dealt to overcome obstacles to eminence.

Napoleon, Hitler, Mussolini and most recently Mitt Romney have sighted providence as their guide or would be. Hitler’s alleged ideology including open reverence for the black sun, embodied in the inverted swaztika; the broken cross, and it is this deadly energy that appears to prompt Chigurh’s actions in a kind of dutiful obedience.

In contrast to Moss he is the finished psychotic article. Ideal. Polished. Efficient. So dissociated is he that he views events, even those by his own hand, seemingly far beyond his control, at best a coin toss and even then the victims choice.

Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh in The Coen Brothers No Country for Old Men

Duty then, in turn, is a further recess for the psychopath providing the perfect harbour from the raging seas of responsibility. Monarchs speak of duty, as do military zombies and Nuremburg Nazis.

Chigurh, as an agent of providence, a man following a ‘rule’, repeatedly asks that his victims ‘call it’. This is akin to the necessity for Jason Patric to invite the head vampire over his mother’s threshold in Joel Schumacher’s The Lost Boys (1987), after that choice to acquiesce all bets are off.

Becoming accustomed with regularity to psychotic movie murderers, often in guises other than contemporary men, such as cyborgs, orcs or mutants we have become subconsciously accepting of the psycho-pathology of some apparently more benign ‘screen idols’; our real world political ‘leaders’, the CEOs, and other cultural icons that one might more appropriately refer to as the ‘peoples champions’.

Few will ever physically meet those in current positions of control yet in our remote access reality, and since the dawn of TV, they can see them, hear them, feel they know them, build up misplaced relationships with them and this has become integral since an actor was cast, within 1 year of this film’s setting, in the role of President of the United States.

As such a baby holding, charming, grinning, quipping, auto-cue reading, suit wearing, often bloodline connected lieutenant to the elites is made less the psychopath to our conscious awareness despite the reality of their being infinitely more lethal than any celluloid super soldier, diaphanous android or film flailer.

On the surface Moss and Chigurh would appear to be motivated to their actions autonomously just like the ‘peoples champions’ of our world, but in both cases a higher hand manipulates the puppet, not least existentially in the case of the film characters via their actor’s portrayal and the Coens’ direction.

Tommy Lee Jones as Sheriff Ed Tom Bell in The Coen Brothers No Country for Old Men

So what of the the other half of our cycle of the Black sun of psychopathy through the border towns of 1980s west Texas, the Autumnal Sheriff Ed Tom Bell, and the agent of concealed office Carson Wells?

Again one only has to look to the proxies of the elite in the real world to find reflection in those who are perhaps not born to psychopathy, but who learn it.

The ones who undergo initiation to orders, swear oaths of office, become ministers, those who wear badges or undertake secret rituals in clandestine groups to assist perpetuation of the lie, where not allied through blood they offer allegiance through doctrine, dogma and willing.

The psychopath in uniform is the flagrant operative of the state or corporation and is therefore contracted, sponsored or privately hired. Ultimately these are pyramids within the same larger pyramid atop which are the insane figureheads of a millennia old lineage of psychopathy, made ‘leaders’ by their recognition of ‘advantage’ to be had over others by manipulation of them, systemic control of them, eradication of them.

The one saving grace for the operative is that they are not permanently physiologically altered by their indoctrination and it is often only their ignorance and compartmentalisation that keeps them bound.

Being such an agent, incidentally with authority higher than any police, Sheriff Ed Tom Bell states that “…he (Moss) has seen all the same things I’ve seen and it’s certainly made an impression on me“, suggesting that they might in some sense be kindred.

As he makes this observation Sheriff Bell re-enacts the same steps as Chigurh in Moss’ trailer, sitting in the same seat, drinking the same milk, framing his silhouette against the same window to reflect on the same TV set, at once linking all three men in one pathology.

They are one, they have all seen the same things, they are all party to the same self betrayal.

Josh Brolin as Llewellyn Moss and Kelly MacDonald as Carla Jean in The Coen Brothers No Country for Old Men

Moss merely has not the experience of Bell nor the clinical efficiency of Chigurh, and Bell can’t speak of Chigurh because he knows nothing of that which goes on before him.

Conforming to film orthodoxies Moss is the far from eloquent, trailer park dwelling, everyman protagonist, mainly monosyllabic of his actions and motives and in fact mostly silent, and so is perceived in accordance with the audiences trained responses to cinematic archetypes to be; ‘the good’.

Alike to Clint Eastwood’s various iterations of the man with no name, the man with no words seems always, in both the world’s of Texas and the western, to be redeemable by the viewer’s moral projections onto such verbal reluctance.

By contrast Chigurh is patently maven in his violence, less hesitant to murder and quicker to repetition. This diffusion does not halt at his acts either as we are presented with repeated instances of salient articulation with both victims and near victims.

Are the actions and the utterances mutually exclusive when an archetype is presented that draws an audiences marker for the antagonist, the evil doer, the bad? (This combination of atrocities and discourse alone would cite Bardem’s potential as Bond villain for Skyfall)

Further, it also raises the most chilling aspect of Chigurh’s fierce and glaring type of psychopathy. His type of mental processing and subsequent behaviour is such that it blinds even the professional critics of film forcing them to look away to escape routes to explain in ‘other worldly’ terms his nature.

This is the literary equivalent of imploring that they, the directors Coen, having brought each viewer’s and critic’s life path to Chigurh ‘…don’t have to do this‘.

Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh in The Coen Brothers No Country for Old Men

In a movie that in every other aspect is paired down and stripped of stylistics or artifice these kind of supernatural eulogies to demonic proportions belie the fear that is instilled in the possibility that such a figure might after all be merely human. A human demonstrative of very evident aspects of this earthly experience that abound for those who have eyes to see, and therefore are part of each and every one of us in this world.

Likewise Chigurh’s dogmatic consistency is no puzzle, no confusion that doctrine begets morality however contorted, no surprise that only a logic so imbalanced would have made conscience and empathy its first victims. This self murder teems in humanity to a greater or lesser degree, it is simply that in Chigurh it has been unbound, and continues to be so.

Movie lore would place us under the impression that Moss & Chigurh are opposites just because they are antagonistic only now we see that this is not true. Although all four of the main sun aspect characters are really one, it is Carson Wells who is a more truly oppositional rival to Chigurh.

The psychopathy of Woody Harrelson’s Carson Wells presents immediately we learn that without much deliberation he will willingly come out of ‘retirement’ and accept agency to retrieve the money. By so doing to incite a man who by his own definition is comparably as lethal as the ‘bubonic plague’.

Wells is a man who remembers “…dates, names and numbers“, a man appearing to act for a clandestine agency, maybe even of the government, whose office is hidden on a secret floor of a Houston tower block, that appears itself to be engaged in the very drug deal gone wrong AND who have made a grave error of judgment in employing Chigurh to retrieve the money originally.

Do we need more evidence than for Wells to ask Chigurh, a known commodity to him unlike to the ignorant Moss, and at the point of a silenced shotgun, “Do you have any idea how goddamn crazy you are?”

Woody Harrelson as Carson Wells in The Coen Brothers No Country for Old Men

To most viewers Chigurh is clearly insane, Bardem’s ultra expressionless hyper-controlled demeanor and relentless and frequent crimes convince us immediately of this, but does Wells’ question, its timing, and his being a direct shadow of Chigurh portray a person any less deranged?

Chigurh does not answer this question because he cannot. What psychopath can empathise to picture themselves mad?

By now we have become fully immersed in the indoctrination torrents of secondary psychopathy that are loose like a Pit Bull pursuing us as we go on the run through the Coen Brothers lone star state.

These being, but not limited to, moral relativism, social Darwinism and eugenics.

The presentation of a cast of characters that were you to be offered any one of them in reality through first hand experience or even via media reports would undoubtedly leave a person petrified or at the least intimidated belies the relativity that through the cinema screen such perceptions are transmuted to those of intrigue, fetish even admiration.

Social Darwinism is made evident through Chigurh’s survival. Seemingly beyond the black out, he goes un-apprehended, unpunished, unchanged. On the surface this would support the facile premise for ‘survival of the fittest’, as all around him others perish.

Though most often at his hand making him akin to ‘top predator’, about him gangsters, lawmen, immigrants, women, the opportunistic, the retired, the lascivious, the diseased, drop like flies. Justification enough for the social Darwinist as evidence of their ‘impurity’.

Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh in The Coen Brothers No Country for Old Men

Bardem himself yielded in interview that he conceived of Chigurh as a man who had never had sex and was disgusted by the ‘fluids’ of the human body, implying a kind of twisted hyper-morality, perhaps even a proto trans-humanist perspective.

In our techno-tronic environment that we are constantly implored to believe is ‘natural’ and original, like the western is to movies, yet is increasingly far from it, what warped sense do we use to define those who appear ‘fittest’ for survival within it?

Do not in fact exponents and adepts of the natural fallacy abound throughout religion, politics, corporations, law, medicine, media, technology, surveillance, food, fashion and more?

If the sport is deceive, manipulate, defraud, extort and murder would those on top of their game see themselves as anything other than champions, advanced, premier, destined, even divine?

The seeming ‘selection’ at the hands of a clinical murderer might frame No Country for Old Men as a kind of eugenics commentary still appropriate if the word old is displaced equally by ethical, immoral, ignorant, timid, uneducated, introspective, immigrant, intuitive, conscientious, lawful perhaps any limiting belief offered in an adjective. For the only logical conclusion of the actions of the eugenicist is to eventually kill us all.

Along with people the psychopath must destroy anything akin to goodness. He cannot accept favours or kindness or anything akin to Love. This must be subdued at all costs as it has been annihilated internally. The simplest way to do this is through trade or exchange so as never to ‘owe’ anyone or to be in their debt.

This is evidenced both by Chigurh’s self suturing and his insistence to purchase the boy’s shirt with which to fashion a rudimentary sling for his compound fractured arm, rather than have to face his own emptiness at not being able to reflect the boys compassion to give.

These in turn are a mirror of Moss’ earlier purchase of a jacket from a youth at the border crossing and premature self discharge from hospital rather than readily accept and be thankful for any help.

Josh Brolin as Llewellyn Moss in The Coen Brothers No Country for Old Men

In fact money, as the blood flowing through the veins of the current paradigm, is the most ubiquitous and ambiguous of corruption mechanisms.

As an abstract parallel the, unlawful, requirement to hold a license in the United Kingdom to watch TV is a psychopathic control mechanism, taken as the viewer’s acceptance to receive everything that the issuer deems themselves judge and jury then to dispense. For the BBC, the only entity that is the beneficiary of these license fees, and its equitable title holders, this is covenant.

A psychopathic entity will achieve their intent or call in their debts or trespasses according to their own scales of justice upon those who they deem ‘accountable’ sometimes fraudulently, and in No Country for Old Men frequently and with lethal force.

As such the highly controlled, intelligent, logical, and organized psychopath and psychopathic institutions will steal the march on the hapless, even another more opportunistic psychopath and being free of all conscience will engage in behaviors and acts that the ethically attuned individual or movement, even possessed of some questionable morals, will resist.

Through their fragment of the film makers mirror then, the Coens reflect to us the obfuscated protagonists and their methods from our own world, not least by setting their allegory in the political homeland of 2007’s big rooster, himself a card carrying member of the insane in-club.

Sheriff Bell’s deputy; Wendell states on surveying the desert scene of corpses that “Its a mess ain’t it Sheriff” to which Tommy Lee Jones’ gnarled lawman responds, perhaps to all of us beyond the confines of the silver screen “If it ain’t it’ll do til the mess gets here“.

For that is what the psychopathic elites have left us with; a mess.

Josh Brolin as Llewellyn Moss in The Coen Brothers No Country for Old Men

In so doing what is it that these entities have needed to make obscure in their pursuit of total planetary dominion? What do they seek to destroy through this systematic eradication of the ethical man replaced by the dogmatic one? What truth have they exchanged for lies? What nature do they counterfeit with science?

What of the trail left then by an infinitely larger fortune? One so fantastic and unfathomable as to make the idea of material wealth pale in comparison?

The kind of thing that for those fortunate enough to realise it makes the pig pen of materialism fittingly positioned in the farmyard mentality that it remains held in.

What could it be, so powerful, so true, so evident that if it takes this much intricacy of ongoing insanity to hold down can only be magnificent when it is set free?

We only need citation of Sheriff Ed Tom Bell’s dreams to sum up perfectly. Both contain his father.

In the first his father has a large sum of money for him that he never receives. Material wealth. For one can only take possession of that which comes down from the ether if you first make a man a god. By so doing you create the very foundation of the lie, that which can never be achieved, and so must and does elude Bell in this dream.

In the second his father was ‘… goin on ahead and that he was fixin to make a fire somewhere out there in all the dark and all that cold and I knew that whenever I got there he would be there‘. Warmth, light, life, comfort, home, trust, love, and the possibility of redemption.

Tommy Lee Jones as Sheriff Ed Tom Bell in The Coen Brothers No Country for Old Men

If Bell represents the dying sun and in the dreams relates to his father, then who must his father represent?

Akin then to Anton Chigurh being no demon, nor any real world megalomaniac an anti-Christ, merely men, sick men, but men nonetheless, no man is, ever has been, nor ever will be a God.

At least… not in the way that you mean.


Available at Amazon

No Country for Old Men (2007) – Directed by Joel & Ethan Coen.

Images courtesy of Paramount Vantage & Miramax Films.

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Do they make us do it?

18/03/2012 in Alexis King, Cult, Drama | Leave a reply

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What is consciousness? What is now? What is then? and What is still to come?

Jake Gyllenhaal as Donnie in Richard Kelly's Donnie Darko

If we can see the past in our minds can we also see the future?

If the future is not set and there are many alternate possibilities, perhaps infinite, how do we see this future?

In dreams? Recurring Dreams? In visions? As feelings? When drunk? When high? Under hypnosis? During bouts of “mental illness”? All around us in the “super-reality”?

How far ahead can we see? Seconds? Days? Years? All of them? Simultaneously?

Who can see? Is it only the few? Or are we all capable if we choose to look without fear?

And if we can see, can we change what we believe or are told might be coming by the choices that we make?

Scene from Richard Kelly's Donnie Darko

Unlike the past which becomes memory and experience once we choose to travel through that particular channel the future’s possibilities are a blur, they overlap, they diverge and converge, misguide and deceive only achieving sharp focus in the moment, and then gone, the decision made, they are instantly past at light speed.

What if we could Master these channels? Moving freely forward and back, trying out different time lines and possibilities, experiences, lives even?

What then?

Is this in fact already the case?

Are we then still as Men or is this to adjoin with God?

Scene from Richard Kelly's Donnie Darko

Donnie Darko asks all the questions, but if we are to provide the answers we must stop doing what THEY make us do?

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Donnie Darko (2001) – Directed by Richard Kelly.

Images courtesy of Pandora Cinema.

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Seen and not Herd

13/11/2011 in Alexis King, Drama, Romance | Leave a reply

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When a voice-over is used in film I often find myself asking… why?

In many cases we are being presented with the inner world of a protagonist making confession in contrast or sometimes complementary to the activity we are watching that cannot be conveyed in a simultaneous visual. Think Ray Liotta in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas (1990).
On other occasions it is simple narration like a storyteller providing transition from scene to scene or time to time, like Morgan Freeman in Frank Darabont’s The Shawshank Redemption (1994), a device borrowed from as far back as Shakespeare and beyond.

In the worst of examples it is used to condescend to the audience upon the assumption that you are too ignorant and unsophisticated to understand the subtleties of the piece and in so doing not only does it undermine the skills of the actor but makes an attempt at being definitive and therefore authoritarian.

Then there is the voice of God.

Todd Field’s Little Children (2006) manages to capture the essence of the latter two of these uses for voice-over in the most magnificently irritating fashion.

Kate Winslet and Patrick Wilson in Todd Field's Little Children

The brilliance of a film like Donnie Darko (2001), not dissimilar in its sleepy neighbourhood setting or its unseen shadow character issues to Little Children is that at no point did director Richard Kelly attempt to define what you are watching or each character’s ‘point’, ‘motivation’ or ‘moral degree’.

Field by contrast has Will Lyman interject his chocolate and rum soaked baritone frequently but neither to enlighten nor from the perspective of a character made manifest visually and so from a disembodied position seemingly apart from and apparently ‘above’ this world he furnishes us with at the least a pulpit definition of the narrative and at worst an attempt at ordaining a divine righteousness.

So, what is that code?

You are all helpless little children who just can’t manage without big daddy.

The morality ‘bed time story’, conveyed through this voice over, completes its fable at the end of the film, when select characters realise the error of their ‘errant’ ways and appear to ‘grow up’.

Kate Winslet as Sarah in Todd Field's Little Children

This kind of preaching of adherence to a social code of peer pressure so imposed upon the neighbourhoods of middle America to a wider audience not conditioned to it in their everyday life, exposes the apologist sympathies of Mr. Field and writer Tom Perotta.

Kate Winslet’s hopeless romantic is condemned to a marriage with a man in love only with business and commerce, a man disconnected from humanity by an existence spent attempting to enslave people to consumerism by the sorcery of ‘branding’.
In apparent punishment for her being adjudged the archetypal “bad mother”, she will be made to accept a life with the kind of person, almost logically given his corporate habitat, who becomes at first titillated and then obsessed by a character who only exists to him as a result of the technotronic world.

Patrick Wilson is perpetually hounded by wife Jennifer Connelly to enter the already over-populated tomb that is the United States legal profession while she makes a seemingly upstanding living from, amongst other unknown documentary topics, re-traumatising the bereaved children of war dead soldiers and exploitatively filming it for our ‘infotainment’.

Jennifer Connelly as Kathy in Todd Field's Little Children

Again, almost as a punishment for his extended play time that has continued into his adulthood, and culminating in his apparent relenting when he dares to take to a skateboard, an activity that is the exclusive preserve of no good dropout anarchists, Wilson must not be allowed to succeed in his bid for freedom.

Jackie Haley’s ‘demon’ pedophile only finds redemption through self-mutilation, in apparent acknowledgment that if you cannot use your equipment in a responsibly adult manner, you don’t deserve to have it and in echo of the media alarms and the more draconian repeater character’s suggestions throughout the film. Yet there is only suspicion and suggestion not proof of Ronnie being a genuine threat to actually harm.

In a wider sense this presentation of a character to suggest that the threat to the exploitation, molestation or potential abuse of children will only come from a lone individual, a stranger in the neighbourhood and not from a far more pernicious source like within the family or via institutions and organised networks systematically operating to serve the sick proclivities of those at the highest levels is appealing all the more to a current and ubiquitous media misdirection for what is child abuse and who are the genuine and most frequent perpetrators of it.

Sadie Goldstein, Kate Winslet, Ty Simpkins and Patrick Wilson in Todd Field's Little Children

‘Responsible’ Connelly and orthodox Edelman escape any moral comeuppances, whilst Noah Emmerich’s child shooter ex-cop Larry exits stage left a veritable hero.

It would appear then that this story is asserting an idea that adulthood be less about growing to any genuine maturity or self discovery than about conformity and falling in line.

So whether we write in a diary of our longings for love, run to our mummy when we need help, want to just play with the boys or bully those weaker, because we in turn are subjected to bullies, should your behaviours fall within the narrow defined parameters of the group-think you are good to go.

If not you will receive a smacked bum from Uncle Sam.

Available at Amazon

Little Children (2006) – Directed by Todd Field.

Images courtesy of New Line Cinema.

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Sexy Super Dupers

09/10/2011 in Action, Alexis King, Blockbuster | Leave a reply

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This is mega budget muck.

It attempts to sell a female audience on the same ‘fight or die’ and look good while you’re doing it, double bind sophistry that was tried on the male of the movie going audience in 300 (2006) but far less seductively.

One reviewer of Sucker Punch said that ‘… I felt like the characters were like chess pieces being moved around a board’. So what does this say for the audience who are meant, in any movie, to identify with the protagonists?

On the surface the strap-line (You will be unprepared) and the voice over (You create this world), even Scott Glenn tripping out the lie (sic) ‘If you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything‘, would all have you believe you are being shown that the power of your imagination and the will to fight are the route to freedom.

These are intentionally mixed messages that are offering a glimpse of something and then snatching it away again.

Sweet Pea, Baby Doll, Amber Eyes

First of all, unprepared for what? What are the producers perhaps trying to tell you is coming? What do they want to try to sell you on having to ‘fight or die’ in response to?

Secondly, it is true that ‘you’, create this reality, but by placing this message, hidden in plain sight in an otherwise preposterous movie scenario and delivered from 2-dimensional characters more at home in a video game, the waters are more than muddied.

The average audience member would no doubt leave the theater dismissing this reality as fantasy having been bombarded with scene after scene of pointless, vapid ‘action’, and having no feeling for those involved and whether they lived or died.

And who gives a shit about ‘Baby Doll’ anyway?

Her ‘abusive’; stepfather is a music video stereotype, she is no more engaging than a porcelain faced equivalent, and do you actually ‘feel’ her at all?

Perhaps ultimately we are intended to accept that she, and therefore you are no more than a veneer, a post-human shell, an automaton and utterly dispensable. When she and Rocket, ‘sacrifice’ (a recurrent elite theme) themselves, who cared?

Interestingly, the one character who is allowed to escape is the same character who would have preferred to stay trapped, and earlier states that she has made ‘sacrifices’, in the past for her sister.

What is most troubling is alike to the sickening scenes of blades and guns put in the hands of the 11 year old Hit Girl in Kick Ass (2010) to portray multiple murder, Sucker Punch continues the theme that savage destruction as apposed to creation is cool.

If Baby Doll can imagine her way free, why does she choose gory, dark and murderous scenarios?

Madam, Blondie, Rocket Eyes

The launch dates of this movie worldwide fell between March 27th 2011 and April 27th, overwhelmingly within the 0 and 29th degree of celestial longitude known as the zodiacal sign of Aries. The date of first release being in Argentina on March 21st the time of vernal equinox or the beginning of the rites of spring, where growth and creation is reborn to mother earth.

So ask yourself if it was an accident of scheduling to choose such a time to unleash worldwide an $82m blockbuster with the central visual of female perpetrated devastation, and why?

The answers lie in the fact that there are a collective of film makers, who want to sell women further into a hatred of the celestial creative power of the female present in their very biochemistry, more powerful in the emotional, psychological and spiritual sense than is the masculine, and in the wider occurrence of the spontaneous creation of nature itself.

In this movie we sense an allusion to the power of the creative imagination of Baby Doll, but what we are shown is repetitive imagery of females destroying akin to the masculine energy at its most imbalanced.

By so doing the makers of this film project into the minds of the audience, males included, that what is powerful and evocative is killing and what is even more powerful and even more alluring are ‘sexy’ young females who destroy things.

This is the big lie and it is YOU the audience who they are laughing at as they make you the victims of their Sucker Punch.

Available at Amazon

Sucker Punch (2011) – Directed by Zack Snyder.

Images courtesy of Warner Bros.

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Guns in Movie Posters

28/09/2011 in Action, Alexis King, Commentary | Leave a reply

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One of the greatest unsung stars in the movies, overlooked at awards time, but our favorite heroes’ best supporting act when the heat is on, ladies and gentleman please put your hands together, then up, for… the gun.

The best action movies pop with Glocks, fantasy adventures fizz with .45s, could a thriller unfold without seeing a barrel revolve and who isn’t best in the west without a Winchester? So its hard not to reminisce of our all time favorite firearm scenes, you know, the ones where we had so much gun…

Movie Poster Guns 1

You will be acquainted by now with Jules Winnfield’s associate Mr. Nine Millimeter. Michael Corleone did come out of that toilet with more than his dick in his hand. It is this writer’s duty to inform the reader that Private Pyle has a full magazine, and that it is locked and loaded. You did say hello to his little friend didn’t you? A bullwhip just isn’t the weapon of choice when faced with an expert scimitar. Oh, whoops Hans…no fuckin’ bullets…

Our most testosterone fueled lone guns are synonymous with a particular steel all their own.

A Magnum .44, the most powerful hand gun in the world is not standard issue for the San Francisco Police Department. A license to kill on behalf of Her Majesty’s Secret Service is preferably undertaken by Walther PPK. 12 Gauge auto-loader, .45 Longslide with Laser sighting, Uzi 9mm; any one of these is ideal for home defence. So which’ll it be?

Movie Poster Guns 2

So maybe you just ain’t all that ‘trigger happy’, guns are frightening for you or you don’t ever want to get your hands dirty. No problem, you can hire a person who will.

Just put up a little collateral and you can get Vincent to work a night shift. Want a man who never misses? We got just the guy, well, Sorter… Even if you don’t have a lot of money for the job, there is this one Italian guy who will work for a glass of milk, and he’s totally professional.

If you want to get paid and have less scruples, the government is always on the look out for someone to fire their guns.

They might send you overseas and give you a spot in a CH-34 Choctaw, where you can show the local people how to get some. But that’s a luxury, more likely someone is going to be shooting back at you as you and your buddies try to make it out of a boat and onto a beach, across a few blocks of Mogadishu, or over a bridge. Is that one too far?

On occasion they won’t want it known that you work for them, to them you are just an expendable, an asset, so they may drop you into a meat grinder to do their dirty work, where you might find yourself capping off 200 rounds and then a mini-gun, full pack, and hit nothing. Which would be great if the game happens to be Russian roulette.

Movie Poster Guns 3

Perhaps you prefer to stay at home for your money.

Sure, no problem after your training day you’ll be a street king, one of the ‘G’ men, an untouchable in no time. You’ll have a chance to swat every lucky punk who dares to show his colors, and should you ever have to bring the heat and face off against any public enemies, dead and ex-presidents or other low life residents of L.A. it’ll all be kept confidential.

Now, there will be the usual suspects reading this who feel a true romance, lock stock, for the other side of the gun game.

These are the Bonnie & Clyde types who probably listen to K-Billy’s “Super Sounds of the Seventies” on a weekend, the boyz ‘n’ the hood little caesars with their scarred faces, who like nothing more than to spend a long good Friday, from dusk til dawn in Chinatown. Who would consider them more than a menace to society?

Movie Poster Guns 3

As we pull back the hammer so we roll back the years, back to a time and a place where it’s every man’s sovereign right to bear arms, no matter if that man was good, bad or ugly and you’re a daisy if you do.

A time where there were law breakers and peacemakers and a place where some men rain dance, some dance with wolves or you might watch the sun dance. That’s right, a real wild bunch. A world where should the legend become fact, they print the legend, so if you are a shootist, consider yourself unforgiven then fill your hand you son of a bitch!

There have, of course, been times when the barrel of the gun is the straight man to the barrel of fun.

Would Rupert Pupkin have been the ‘King of Comedy’ without a big hand? Would Sean have seen the dead off without blowing their heads off? Where would the other guys be without that… OK that one was a… wooden… gun. Let’s just say that if you mark that frame an eight, you’re entering a world of pain. Tackleberry!!!!

So if there is any lingering doubt that the gun has become a star, a leading light, a shooter to be shot just check out a movie poster coming soon to a billboard near you…

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The father, the son and the holy goat

12/09/2011 in Alexis King, Comedy, Romance | One comment

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Four Weddings and a Funeral is a lethal celluloid contagion.

From the onset of its initial tourettesian symptoms to total epidemic outbreak before our very eyes, it convivially transmits its “single beyond 30” anxiety virus.

John Hannah as Matthew & Hugh Grant as Charles

The prognosis can therefore only be that of an imminent post Oxbridge social death throughout its audience if one is not delivered by the swift ministering of an antidote of vows.

Peer beneath, or for the strong in constitution only, remove the mirth soaked bandages to reveal a putrid self-immolation cut deep into the side of English film in the hope that transplanting a pound of flesh across the pond might yield in return an extra investment dollar or two for more of the same regimen.

A diplomat’s gambit. A Blairite Bounty. A head boy’s ploy.

The afflicted writhe and sweat desperately for 2 hours as we look on with our sadistic desire to rubber-neck their suffering.

Bodies twist their macabre networking dance, voices deliriously gibbering in a series of public school stammers and sickening approbations in the hope of securing an appropriately shod foothold, even one rung higher on an illusory ladder of influence to escape this bedlam and congregate on some promised and sunny upper class outpatient veranda of association via marital inoculation, or at worst to undergo a course of co-habitation.

A diabolical union was thus transmuted from political origins recombinant with the dramatic to conceive a virulent chimera, this un-proposal to create thereafter a much deadlier and far more unholy special relationship. Cinematic and beyond…

Available at Amazon

Four Weddings & a Funeral (1994) – Directed by Mike Newell.

Image courtesy of allstarpics.net.

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Medicine & Duties

12/09/2011 in Alexis King, Classic | Leave a reply

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This is the Great of Britain in spades.

Spades of international soils that get dug over to root an Empire which at this point in history was perhaps close to apparent implosion. All the ingredient and quintessentially British qualities that hold it in place are here represented by each individual character.

But what is outward is only a reflection of the internal. Here we see the incarcerated, broken psyche of the people made anthropomorphic. Such peoples group communities, make nations that base empires, so for every character in the film also consider every real person’s corresponding and shattered internal world.

Sean Connery as Sgt. Maj. Joe Roberts

Sean Connery as Joe Roberts exudes REBELLION in every muscle fibre, the literal force of the self, the force for truth, of genuine change for the good. In this battle for the heart & mind that between them govern the spirit to fashion the soul of a man, he has equal rank to the opposing forces who seek to contain him and in time redirect once more his vitality to their ends.

Alfred Lynch as Pte. Stevens

Alfred Lynch’s Stevens provides SACRIFICE. His innocence makes him weak to fight and so easy to destroy. This outrage to morality can only spark an impending sense of “something must be done” which must manifest to be the catalyst to any wider change.

Roy Kinnear as Pte. Monty Bartlett

Roy Kinnear’s Monty Bartlett sweats COWARDICE from every obese pore. But rather than punish this child like fear, it is it’s very presence that must motivate courage to guide the weak, not to exploit or abuse them.

Jack Watson as Joe McGrath

Jack Watson’s Jock McGrath is stony faced DUTY. The constant inhibitive, gnawing voice of ‘do what your told, ‘don’t make waves’, ‘keep your trap shut’. But like any stoic, you know there is a real problem when even they are moved to action.

Ossie Davis as Pte. Jacko King

Ossie Davis’ Jacko King is INVASION, A false rebellion by the narcissistic extrovert and libertine pseudo self, literally represented by his storming of the Commandant’s office; the enclave of power. King’s racial identity represents both the oft touted fear of immigrants to the British Isles, of their misunderstood intentions and their differences, and of the ego encased shadow self that steps in first, puffed up by any and every crisis. The “King” simply must be heard.

Norman Bird as the Commandant

Norman Bird’s flummoxed Commandant bound up so much in the red tape and systemic nature of what is class to the British, that from his privileged and power holding position he is blinded by it. He has been compartmentalized, anaesthetised, and DIVIDED. So easily and regularly is he sated by distractions of the senses. Even when his ivory tower is literally stormed he appears to wish, in mumbling desperation, for business as usual as soon as possible, perhaps belying what is preferred if one is to call oneself British. To be blissfully unaware that of which one is part.

Ian Bannen as Staff. Harris

Ian Bannen’s Harris has the detached black and white of judiciousness. Part of the system, but playing the game with an INTEGRITY evidently all his own.

Ian Hendry as Staff Sgt. Williams

Ian Hendry’s Williams makes a vicious calculated, and perpetually sadistic INSURRECTION that illustrates what happens when power is actually in the black hand of the psychotic, the megalomaniac, the unsane. Murder, disorder and chaos. A perpetually fertile ground from which he may seize centre stage as the deluded purveyor of solutions to his own inept calamities.

Michael Redgrave as the Medical Officer

Michael Redgrave’s Medical Officer is the moral and reasonable liberating force of COMPASSION, driven of the desire to make things better.

Harry Andrews as RSM Wilson

Harry Andrews’ RSM Wilson is lock jawed, stiff upper lipped DISCIPLINE, to preserve the status quo even to the detriment of his own position. Unable to comprehend change after decades of unchallenged unchanging methods and practices he remains doggedly rigid and unyielding.

These heated elements put under extreme pressure, reflect the wider Second World War, or indeed any war, through the fractured spirits of the people forced into conflict with each other. The sovereignty upon which the sun is said to never set will inevitably find that there can be single moments in time where the truth will come close to putting pay to the lie, yet without the spirit of rebellion being genuinely fostered will we one day actually get to experience a true victory, one not then subsumed by the constantly fueled and ubiquitous pairing of encroachment and tradition.

Carry on then.

Available at Amazon

The Hill (1965) – Directed by Sidney Lumet.

Images courtesy of Metro Goldwyn Meyer.

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