Thursday, February 20, 2014

I was a Male Yvonne DeCarlo

Settling with the Dust

Emerging from the confusion of traffic congestion and automobile exhaust, like life from the primordial soup, some of Jack’s (at first light, later much darker) Creatures, in what look like elaborate Mardi Gras costumes (all masked in feathers, wire and beads,) mill about the smoked filled kitchen section of his Greene Street loft, lounge on the sofa and eat peanut butter just like regular folk.

The contrast here is very low: the images seem conjured from the woodstove smoke itself, coaxed into being by the craftiest of destitute masters.

One dark clad figure with an open umbrella and equally dark, black painted or charred, six foot tree makes her difficult way in through the door from outside.

Various fans visit Jack’s version of the Dream Factory, while Jack lounges and plays with his right eyeball and lid.

Scattered about the studio are various stiff charred bodies that look like they may have been cast from the hollow forms they found beneath the surface of Pompeii.

A nurse helps keep the fans at bay with a whip until one of them pulls Jack’s favorite curved dagger from concealment in her black silk jacket, and he is forced to intercede, if only to adjust the trajectory of the blade.

The final images of the remains of a once fancy hotel or movie palace being pulverized into dust are particularly poignant, again presented in low contrast, the images themselves seeming to disintegrate while being watched.

As much of I was a Male Yvonne DeCarlo was once part of a much longer film called No President, it’s appropriate that they should be shown together. In some ways this almost serves as a (mock) documentary of the longer film’s making. No one was ever better at combining the mundane with the mysterious, or of revealing and exalting the mystery of the mundane.

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