What you won’t find in this essay: A really clever, insightful thought that combines the three parts of my above subtitle. I wish I could do it, really. I wish I were creative enough to analyze the divine, Lacan, and cargo pants in one seamless line of thinking and come up with a brilliant conclusion, but my mind hasn’t gone to those heights (or depths). Rather, as Michael and I sat down to watch The Crucifixion, which is partially based off real events that happened in Romania in 2004, I had a hodgepodge of thoughts about the film. My mind wandered from (novice) applications of Lacanian theory to the film, to my own faith, and how the film made me think of it, to early 21st century fashion, and how it deviates just slightly but perceptibly from what we wear almost 15 years later. To be honest, then, the three things are only connected in the title; I doubt these subjects will connect in the essay. But after finishing The Crucifixion, I had no idea where to begin writing, and these three elements of the movie came to mind. That said, I’ll begin this semi-foreboding essay-journey. Continue reading “Watching “The Crucifixion”: Thoughts about Lacan, Divinity, and Cargo Pants”
I have a self-imposed challenge as an avid horror viewer: I must find an exorcism movie that truly terrifies me. Huddled with a group of giggling 12-year-olds when I was in seventh grade, I watched in near-disbelief while Regan spewed unthinkable profanity and did immodest things with a crucifix in The Exorcist. Assuredly, I was not old enough to watch the movie without being flung into a shock-provoked state of uncomfortable laughing fits (a twelve year old is hardly mature enough to take those scenes seriously), but something about that reaction seems significant when I reflect upon exorcism films almost 20 years later: Namely, the film was shocking, unorthodox, compelling – and indisputably ground-breaking for the era – but The Exorcist, along with, I think, every other exorcism film I’ve ever watched, has never really scared me. I find them interesting, and essential from the standpoint of someone who makes it a (humble, wage-less) second-living to know and review horror fare (albeit for a small number of readers), but for some reason I’ve always found ghosts a lot scarier. Don’t get me wrong: conceptually, the devil is terrifying (to the extent that I believe he exists, at least), but films rarely do justice to the horror of the demonic. The Vatican Tapes, a fairly average film, was no exception to this trend. If you like exorcism movies, it may be worth seeing, at least for comparative purposes. But, there was a small, hopeful part of me thought I might feel afraid during The Vatican Tapes. As it turns out, I did not. Read my discussion below (which, admittedly, has some spoilers) to find out why.
Tonight, after a dinner at the Public House, Michael and I headed to Erie’s Warner Theater on 8th street to watch Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho on the big screen while the Erie Chamber Orchestra sat under the screen, playing the score. The experience was phenomenal. Watching musicians play the opening score while credits splashed across the screen was so exhilarating I got chills. Of course, one pivotal musical moment happens during the infamous shower scene, but the music was similarly arresting when the last remains of Marian’s car sink under the swamp, and when “Mrs. Bates” turns around, and we see her “in the flesh.” (Or, if I may, in the lack of flesh). In fact, I never realized how beautiful Psycho’s score was until I saw it produced by a live orchestra. Continue reading “We All Go a Little Mad Sometimes: Examining Evil, Psychosis, and Human Error in Psycho and Other Films”