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June 26, 2009

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Sonny Bunch

You know what...that's a very interesting comparison. I'll definitely have to revisit my Criterion Blu-ray this weekend...

(That being said, the comparison only really works if you consider Bowie's character in "The Man Who Fell to Earth" a schizophrenic: certainly a reasonable reading of the movie, but decidedly unromantic. And I'm all about the romantacism.)

JF

I'm pretty sure I thought of this movie at some point yesterday on a barely conscious level, after the news came. It's a resonant comparison, more so when you compare Newton-as-alien to Jackson-as-Thriller-ghoul and Jackson-as-Moonwalker-Transformer/spaceship/thing, and so on: MJ's popular persona regularly suggested somebody only pretending to be one of us.

TMWFTE tends to come up in my thoughts, regardless of context, because it's a fascinating, rich movie. I do have caveats with it, Candy Clark's cartoony, annoying performance probably the chief one, but that and some minor frustrations with passages where Roeg's style doesn't entirely work aside (which seem inevitable because of the kitchen-sink-ish nature of his experimentation), I regularly get the urge to go back to it.

D Cairns

That's a really interesting reading, and I'm now convinced it's what was intended. As a fan of Walter Tevis's novel, I couldn't work out why Roeg and Mayersberg changed the scene in the book where Newton has his eyes X-rayed. Since Newton can actually see X-rays, he goes blind. In the movie his contact lenses fuse with his eyes, which lacks the logic of the novel, but ties in beautifully with a reading that says he never really had contacts or alien eyes or any of that to begin with.

I'm not sure how to explain why Candy Clark wets herseld when she sees him in alien form, though.

LondonLee

Or why we have to see Rip Torn's cock.

JF

@LondonLee: Or why we have to see a girl grab it and say "Hello."

But whatever, wacky sex is a constant in the whole Roegian equation. It's not always absolutely necessary per se, but it's always done in cinematically interesting ways.

As for Candy Clark micturating in her undergarments, if you're going to read Newton's being not from 'round here as metaphorical that whole sequence is probably a fantasy.

colinr

"I'm not sure how to explain why Candy Clark wets herself when she sees him in alien form, though."

Because she sees something so shocking it completely overwhelms her, mentally and physically. I love that scene and the way it continues with Clark's character trying to accept that she "Married a Man from Outer Space", but eventually cannot contain an instinctive and overwhelming revulsion against the 'other'.

"Or why we have to see Rip Torn's cock."

Because he's a hot, sexy man with the pick of the young female students!

Seriously though Torn's character is as conventionally sex driven as Bowie's is unconventional, and that is perhaps as good a way to show it as any, especially when you intercut Torn's sexy/aggressive lovemaking with the sylised Samurai performance Bowie is watching that makes him ill. At that point the sheer squishy physicality of sex and violence are new and quite overwhelming to him, though it will only take catching up on some TV with a drink or two to get up to speed! Newton experiences the world through a medium - through alcohol, through television rather than first hand, through sex toys (e.g. the gun play) rather than abandon. Torn, as flawed as he is, doesn't need that intellectualisation. That's one of the reasons that I like the film so much as well - the idea that even without the literal alien the film is showing the disconnect between the body and the mind and the way they are constantly in flux in humanity, the way they battle against each other and sometimes negate the achievement and joys of the other.

The only certainty in life is that there is never really a happy ending if you hold on too tightly to your past or think too much about the future - you'll be destroyed in the present if you do.

runescape gold

You better slow down,don’t dance so fast.Time is short, The music won t last.

LondonLee

Actually I quite like Rip Torn's cock. Let me re-phrase that, the sex scenes in MWFTE (despite all the growling!) are from a time when people would take their clothes off in films as if it was the most natural thing in the world and audiences didn't think anything of seeing adults having sex on screen.

I think the "it's all a fantasy" explanation for Clark wetting her knickers when she sees Bowie as an alien is a bit of a cop-out trying to make a theory fit and damn the evidence.

JF

@London Lee: That's why I don't buy into that reading.

Jason M.

Speaking of Rip Torn getting naked, and taking us even further off topic, has anyone here seen the movie "Coming Apart"? Torn plays a psychiatrist who films his patients (and himself) from a concealed camera rig in his apartment. The movie is ostensibly the footage taken from these sessions. And surprisingly enough, the movie works, and is quite compelling.

As for Roeg's film, not sure I buy the Bowie/Newton as delusional billionaire reading, but something definitely resonates in that respect there, and the two shots above are more than a little eerie.

Devoirs

MICHAEL JACKSON WILL BE GREATLY MISSED!

JACKSON WAS AN ASSET TO AMERICA!

JACKSON’S MUSIC IS SPECTACULAR!
_____________________
SCANDALS! SCANDALS! SCANDALS!

DANGER! DANGER! DANGER!

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“In her suit, Margie Schoedinger states that George W. Bush committed sexual crimes against her, organized harassment and moral pressure on her, her family members and close relatives and friends. As Schoedinger said, she was strongly recommended to keep her mouth shut. . . . Furthermore, she alleges that George Bush ordered to show pressure on her to the point, when she commits suicide” (go to Google, type “blog of drizzten Margie Schoedinger,” and hit “Enter”).

“George [Bush is personally complicit] in the death (murder to be precise) of my friend Margie Schoedinger in September of 2003. Determining the exact whereabouts and contacts of . . . George Bush on September 21 thru 22, 2003, should be entirely lacking in difficulty” (Leola McConnell—Nevada Progressive Democratic Candidate for U.S. Senate in 2010).

McConnell is correct: Bush applying pressure (continuously criminally stalking Margie Schoedinger) purposefully to force Schoedinger to commit suicide does in fact constitute murder where it culminated in her death.

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(There are thousands of copies of the information above on the Internet. Please feel free to go to any major search engine, type “GEORGE W. BUSH IS AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS CRIMINAL STALKER” or “George W. Bush continuously criminally stalked Margie Schoedinger to the point that she could not get away from it, and she committed suicide in desperation to escape: he murdered her” or “George W. Bush applying pressure (continuously criminally stalking Margie Schoedinger) purposefully to force Schoedinger to commit suicide does in fact constitute murder where it culminated in her death” or “George W. Bush murdered James Howard Hatfield by continuously criminally stalking Hatfield to the point that Hatfield could not get away from it—purposefully to force Hatfield to commit suicide—and Hatfield committed suicide in desperation to escape,” hit “Enter,” and readily find hundreds of copies.)

(Please feel free to go to Google, type “GEORGE W. BUSH IS THE WORST PRESIDENT IN U.S. HISTORY blog of Andrew Wang,” and hit “Enter.”)
_____________________
Andrew Wang
(a.k.a. “THE DISSEMINATING MACHINE”)
B.S., Summa Cum Laude, 1996
Messiah College, Grantham, PA
Lower Merion High School, Ardmore, PA, 1993

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