Cleansing the doors of cinematic perception since 1987

Sunday, January 13, 2008

She was some kind of anima

I never knew Vampira in person. But I can write about what she meant to me as an anima. Jerry C. Kutner writes that he once gave Maira Nurmi a copy of Jung, and she realized "I am an anima." What better anima for the growing consciousness of any lad drawn towards the dark, monsters, old horror movies, death, sex, sex and death entwined in one dark goddess? In real life a true Hollywood legend who palled around with Brando and James Dean, starred in Ed Wood's Plan Nine from Outer Space, and introduced the concept of a "horror hostess" later stolen by Elvira, she was some kind of an anima indeed. She was a myth brought to life, which is something Brando and Dean both embodied as well, the rare artist who is able to subsume their own ego into the collective and become archetypal myths while living... to become themselves as art.

You can see some of that in Daneil Day Lewis' role in THERE WILL BE BLOOD. That's the closest thing to real mythmaking the screen has seen since James Dean, John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe, Vampira. Nurmi was the most mythic perhaps... a figure that looms large as inspiration behind the scenes, like Neal Cassiday in the work of the beats. A true pioneer of Goth, she stripped the dull patriachal rationalizations away from our favorite black and white horror films, she became a context through which to enjoy them, she embodied all that was best in them, that Kali archetypal force, that ground zero of desire, where sex and death, desire and fear, swirl together into one 17 inch waist.

1 comment:

  1. It's hardly a coincidence that There Will Be Blood recalls George Stevens' Giant, a film anchored by James Dean's comparably mythic performance.