As I said in my previous post (below) it's hard to be objective about Tippi Hedren when she looks so much like my beautiful, brilliant friend, Lucy Blodgett (check out Lucy's blog, Florence Feathers, here). In the above photo you can see a side-by-side analysis. Lucy moved back to LA this year and I miss her very much!
1.) My friendship with Lucy mirrors that of the great psychologist, Dr. Hannibal Lechter and his FBI pal, Clarice Starling. (this analogy applies only to Silence of the Lambs not the subsequent sequels and prequels).
2.) Diane Baker plays Senator Ruth Martin in Silence of the Lambs and is the sexy sister in Marnie. Her character in Marnie could easily have grown up to become the Lambs senator; sub, meta and inter and otherwise-textually speaking.
3.) Marnie and Clarice and Lucy all share several characteristics that offset them from the Diane Baker paradigm - the most critical one is an absence of father. Lucy's real-life father, the very cool and beloved actor/writer Michael Blodgett (he played Lance Rocke in Beyond the Valley of the Dolls) died in late 2007. In the fictional parallels, Lucy Westenra's dad "died some years ago," Marnie's dad abandoned her before she was born and Clarice's dad was killed when she was only eight. In each case there is thus perhaps an increased vulnerability towards older men who possess charm, intellect, virtue, grace, and who display tendencies towards drug addiction cannibalism, vampirism and self-aggrandizement.
4.) Hannibal and I are also alike in that we instinctively connect with our leading ladies--and in trying to do so "find ourselves" if you will, and become like spiritual advisors, gurus, or wizened Gandalf-like counsels more than vampiric hypnotists per se, but in each case we still embody a certain amoral evil. Dracula does after all kill for food, and beneath Connery's interest in "taming" animals is a strong altruistic urge (he gets them to "trust" him). This all stems from having stared death in the eyes for that big realization that only selflessness and anonymous good deeds carry any karmic currency (see also Magnificent Obsession or Amelie). "Once you've lost everything you can achieve anything" and "Why so serious?" like Thelma and Louise, the Joker, Tyler Durden and Marlon Brando in Last Tango in Paris, we abandon self-seeking behavior to better watch world burn and love all the creatures in it (not necessarily in that order).
5.) Lucy (Westenra) is also the name of Dracula's first victim in the Bram Stoker novel. And Dracula is my childhood hero, and--like Lucy B and me--a Pisces. Lucy is usually portrayed as blond while Mina Harker is a brunette. This bears out the Diane Baker/Tippi split - and also the Betty/Rita split in Mulholland Drive, and the Morganna/Dawn split of my great unpublished novel, Dr. Twilite's and the Black Sheep Dip of Death.
6.) If you actually read Stoker's book of Dracula, you find out it's really a platonic love story between Mina and a boatload of Victorian-era dudes. If I was Connery in Marnie, I would have married Diane Baker and then just hung out with Marnie on weekend crime sprees... cause we has Victorian ethics.
7.) Kuersten family friends the Hartmans had a dog named Tippi--a medium size shepherd-esque mutt--when I was three I almost fell down the stairs. My parents were at the bottom of the stairs and couldn't reach me in time, but Tippi was down there with them. "Go save him, Tippi," they said. Tippi went running up the stairs and pulled me back; he saved my life. Even my dog-hating dad loved Tippi And yes, it was Halloween and I was in my Dracula costume. Coincidence?
8.) Paranoia vs. Pronoia - there's a school of thought called "Pronoia" - the opposite of paranoia, where one is always observing signs that some unseen force is guiding them towards goodness and perfect love with the divine aspects of the whole assimilated Self. This positive mental illness infects me as a writer, which is why I'm always seeing the interwoven personal connections between the movies I see and my own life in that moment. Like when you think something right before the character onscreen says it. Like shrimp, like a plate of shrimp (That's from Repo Man)
So there you have it, my pronoiac celebration of the sunny young blond west coast Lucy to my brooding old dark east coast Dracula. I love you Lucy, my "Bloofer Lady" with a Tippi touch! She pulleth me back from the steps of clear waters, and I leadeth her into the woeful city to eternal life. Let this be my hideous, still-beating valentine...