Thursday, April 5, 2012

This is the Girl (Roman Hollywood)

(What happened on Mulholland Drive?)

(The first shots in Mulholland Drive are of a car crash--the lightning flash of spirit and matter . . .)

(. . . Followed by a shot of two cops representing the Twin Towers)


"Can there be another movie that speaks as resonantly — if unwittingly — to the awful moment that marked our decade?... Mulholland Drive is the monster behind the diner; it’s the self-delusional dream turned into nightmare."

(A dark-haired girl emerges from the wreckage--she has lost her identity . . .)

"It's strange calling yourself."

A voice from the silence (the call to adventure)

The Well of Souls

Voices of the dead

"According to Islamic tradition, the hole in the area of Los Angeles is referred to as the WELL OF SOULS. It’s said that the VOICES OF THE DEAD can be HEARD with the SOUNDS of the RIVERS OF PARADISE."

The rabbit hole: "Life in Hell started in 1977 as a self-published comic book Groening used to describe life in Los Angeles to his friends."

Naomi Watts -> Jennifer Connelly

JC "descended into hell . . ."


How I Found JC in the Well of Souls and What I Did to Her When I Found Her

Jump They Say

The Hanged Woman: "Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out."

Detective Maxwell Hoover (Nick Nolte) and his partners Coolidge (Chazz Palminteri), Hall (Michael Madsen), and Relyea (Chris Penn) are called to investigate a suspicious death of a young woman found at a construction site. The evidence shows that every bone in her body is broken. A coroner deduces that she looks like she "jumped off a cliff," although there are no cliffs nearby. The woman is later identified to be an aspiring actress, Allison Pond (Jennifer Connelly). ("Mulholland Falls")

(She's lives on in the silver screen of Diana's mirror . . .)

(The director in Mulholland Drive is making a sixties-throwback film. Marilyn may be gone, but it's always 1962 in Hollywood, where the Voices of the Dead are heard.)

(Sounds of the Rivers of Paradise)

She thought I had guessed long ago. It was (with a mischievous and melancholy smile) such a sensational name. I would never believe it. She could hardly believe it herself.

His name, my fall nymph.

It was so unimportant, she said. She suggested I skip it. Would I like a cigarette?

No. His name.

She shook her head with great resolution. She guessed it was too late to raise hell and I would never believe the unbelievably unbelievable—

I said I had better go, regards, nice to have seen her.

She said really it was useless, she would never tell, but on the other hand, after all—"Do you really want to know who it was? Well, it was—"

And softly, confidentially, arching her thin eyebrows and puckering her parched lips, she emitted, a little mockingly, somewhat fastidiously, not untenderly, in a kind of muted whistle, the name that the astute reader has guessed long ago.

Waterproof. Why did a flash from Hourglass Lake cross my consciousness? I, too, had known it, without knowing it, all along. There was no shock, no surprise. Quietly the fusion took place, and everything fell into order, into the pattern of branches that I have woven throughout this memoir with the express purpose of having the ripe fruit fall at the right moment; yes, with the express and perverse purpose of rendering—she was talking but I sat melting in my golden peace—of rendering that golden and monstrous peace through the satisfaction of logical recognition, which my most inimical reader should experience now.

She was, as I say, talking. It now came in a relaxed flow. He was the only man she had ever been crazy about. [. . .]

"So you betrayed me? Where did you go? Where is he now?"

She took from the mantelpiece a concave glossy snapshot. Old woman in white, stout, beaming, bowlegged, very short dress; old man in his shirtsleeves, drooping mustache, watch chain. Her in-laws. Living with Dick's brother's family in Juneau.

"Sure you don't want to smoke?"

She was smoking herself. First time I saw her doing it. Streng verboten under Humbert the Terrible. Gracefully, in a blue mist, Charlotte Haze rose from her grave. I would find him through Uncle Ivory if she refused.

"Betrayed you? No." She directed the dart of her cigarette, index rapidly tapping upon it, toward the hearth exactly as her mother used to do, and then, like her mother, oh my God, with her fingernail scratched and removed a fragment of cigarette paper from her underlip. No. She had not betrayed me. I was among friends. Edusa had warned her that Cue liked little girls, had been almost jailed once, in fact (nice fact), and he knew she knew. Yes . . . Elbow in palm, puff, smile, exhaled smoke, darting gesture. Waxing reminiscent. He saw—smiling—through everything and everybody, because he was not like me and her but a genius. A great guy. Full of fun. Had rocked with laughter when she confessed about me and her, and said he had thought so. It was quite safe, under the circumstances, to tell him . . .

Well, Cue—they all called him Cue—

Her camp five years ago. Curious coincidence—. . . took her to a dude ranch about a day's drive from Elephant (Elphinstone). Named? Oh, some silly name—Duk Duk Ranch—you know just plain silly—but it did not matter now, anyway, because the place had vanished and disintegrated. Really, she meant, I could not imagine how utterly lush that ranch was, she meant it had everything but everything, even an indoor waterfall. Did I remember the red-haired guy we ("we" was good) had once had some tennis with? Well, the place really belonged to Red's brother, but he had turned it over to Cue for the summer. When Cue and she came, the others had them actually go through a coronation ceremony and then—a terrific ducking, as when you cross the Equator. You know.

Her eyes rolled in synthetic resignation.

"Go on, please."

Well. The idea was he would take her in September to Hollywood and arrange a tryout for her, a bit part in the tennis-match scene of a movie picture based on a play of his—Golden Guts—and perhaps even have her double one of its sensational starlets on the Klieg-struck tennis court. Alas, it never came to that.

"Where is the hog now?"

He was not a hog. He was a great guy in many respects. But it was all drink and drugs. And, of course, he was a complete freak in sex matters, and his friends were his slaves. I just could not imagine (I, Humbert, could not imagine!) what they all did at Duk Duk Ranch. She refused to take part because she loved him, and he threw her out.

"What things?"

"Oh, weird, filthy, fancy things. I mean, he had two girls and two boys, and three or four men, and the idea was for all of us to tangle in the nude while an old woman took movie pictures." (Sade's Justine was twelve at the start.)

"What things exactly?"

"Oh, things . . . Oh, I—really I"—she uttered the "I" as a subdued cry while she listened to the source of the ache, and for lack of words spread the five fingers of her angularly up-and-down-moving hand. No, she gave it up, she refused to go into particulars with that baby inside her.

That made sense.

"It is of no importance now," she said pounding a gray cushion with her fist and then lying back, belly up, on the divan. "Crazy things, filthy things. I said no, I'm just not going to [she used, in all insouciance really, a disgusting slang term which, in a literal French translation, would be souffler] your beastly boys, because I want only you. Well, he kicked me out."

Roman Polanski is Dom Cobb?

"Cobb was implicated by his wife Mal in her death in a letter she filed with their attorney; as a consequence he's a wanted fugitive who can never return to his home."

You . . .

"Forget it, Jake . . ."

". . . it's Roman Hollywood."

The Empire Never Ended

Nicki Mirage

"I've learned that death is not the end. . . . Come to Nicki . . ."

(Some girls are "waterproof" . . .)

"Polanski had asked Geimer's mother (a television actress and model) if he could photograph the girl as part of his work for the French edition of Vogue . . ."

Diana's mirror

Ruth: I never knew what death meant. I used to think it meant “lost” [or] “frozen.”
Ray: It means gone. She’s gone.
Ruth: What if she isn’t? What if she’s still here?

(A Ghost Writer for the Empire?)


De Raptu Proserpinae

Claudian (lat. Claudius Claudianus) was a Roman poet . . . His most important non-political work is an unfinished epic, De raptu Proserpinae, whose three extant books are believed to have been written in 395 and 397. ("Claudian")


Ronan, possessed?

(A living simulacrum)

Scottie: You played the wife very well, Judy. He made you over, didn't he? He made you over just like I made you over. Only better. Not only the clothes and the hair. But the looks and the manner and the words. And those beautiful phony trances. And you jumped into the Bay, didn't you? I'll bet you're a wonderful swimmer, aren't you? Aren't you? Aren't you? And then what did he do? Did he train you? Did he rehearse you? Did he tell you exactly what to do and what to say? You were a very apt pupil, too, weren't you? You were a very apt pupil. Why did you pick on me? Why me?... I was the set-up. I was the set-up, wasn't I? I was a made-to-order witness.... I made it. I made it. So this is where it happened. The two of you hid back there and waited for it to clear, and then you sneaked down and drove into town, is that it? And then, you were his girl, huh? Well, what happened to ya? What happened to ya? Did he ditch ya? Oh Judy, with all of his wife's money and all that freedom and that power and he ditched you. What a shame! But he knew he was safe. He knew you couldn't talk. Did he give you anything?

How to Survive a Long Fall

Resurrexit vere

Papa Ratzi

Caught in a bad Romance (the Spinning Wheel)


"You and me could write a bad Romance"




"Syria's 'Princess Diana'": Corrupted by the system?

The Mystery-Play

(In Mulholland Falls, John Malkovitch essentially plays Dr. Strangelove--the head of the Atomic Energy Commission . . .)

(. . . He believes in the necessity of sacrificing girls on the Holy Wood in order to keep the wheels of the American Empire running.)

Being John Malkovitch

You've always been the director . . .

Hipster Hitler



Herr Direktor

(Welcome to Hollywood)

The King Kill (igne natura renovatur integra)


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