Cleansing the doors of cinematic perception... for a better now

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

LL/LL: Through the Peeping Glass

Mining a bit of the sleazy tabloid feel of STAR 80 and WONDERLAND with the lost Lenore/Laura Palmer surrealism of FIRE WALK WITH ME, the images from the "last of Lindsay" photo shoot (see below video) for the in-development INFERNO are disturbing in their implications of an as-yet innocent Linda Lovelace being roped into a hotel g-bang by her rough trade husband, Chuck Traynor. When you consider that poor Lindsay was on her way to jail when this photo shoot occurred, prior to any actual filming of the story, and that scraps of the sexually turgid script are apparently all over the internet, I get uneasy, doomed, wretched feeling we're all going to hell, just from a video about a photo shoot! In its own way, this little video teaser is already a perfect slice of Hollywood at its most self-reflexively turned-on and remorseful about it at the same time.

Considering he's done only one other film, 2008's YOUR NAME HERE, its perhaps unintentionally revealing that the first thing on the poster you read is "Mathew Wilder's Inferno," as if implying he's the impresario-exploiter of the piece, the Chuck Traynor to Lindsay's Linda. And what does that entail? Maybe he's just distinguishing the film from Dario Argento's INFERNO; I hear the script's good, but does that earn Wilder his headliner marquee status?

The big star of the video of course is Lindsay; her expressions in the photos betray a staggering talent and a wounded soul: regret, excitement, ambivalence, and even disinterest in her own welfare. Anyone who's ever been in love with beautiful, young, tragically self-destructive woman will inevitably have that familiar feeling of their heart dropping to the floor and breaking into a million shards. It's almost enough to make you go and sin no more.

Life imitates and heals art as, right in the middle of a photo shoot re-creating this ground zero of lost innocence, two smart, talented ladies sit and talk, capable lionesses in a den of wannabe poachers and hyenas, the sidelines a blur of slavering and snapping paparazzi. Supplying the light to the shadow, the always amazing Kim Morgan does the interviewing as Lindsay--her voice raspy and thoughtful-- explains how she reads the character of porn star Linda Lovelace. On her own blog, Sunset Gun, Morgan notes of the experience:
Thoughtful, funny and good, Lohan depicted her shoot, which were essentially, stills from the movie (written and to be directed by Matthew Wilder), with impressive, shifting emotions, gritty strength and intense poignancy. As photographer Tyler Shields snapped the dramatic pictures, based on an especially sad moment in  Lovelace's life, it was fascinating to watch her go in and out of character.
When it was all done, Lindsay sat on the bed with me while I asked questions (and here, simply listened, like a therapist), and she talked quite easily about the sadomasochist relationship of Lovelace and Chuck Traynor, at one point saying the script reminded her of her parents. Yes. She has been through some things. (Read full piece here)

Like myself, Kim Morgan is a staunch defender of Lohan's right to be wild, pointing out that the same bad behavior in men (like Colin Farrell, for example) only gets a winky smirk from the press, while a girl like Lindsay is crucified and condemned as if by a nation of tut-tutting moral committee matrons:
I don't care what so-and-so movie writer from whatever newspaper or Web site feels about Lindsay's partying or sexy lifestyle (there's a strong strain of misogyny in this kind of critique), the real question is, can she act? If critics assessed Jack Nicholson for his off-screen behavior, he might not have the Oscars he so richly deserves. (KM)
That's a good point, and the answer is yes, she can act up a storm. The misogyny thing is tragically true. In her own way Lindsay is the Richard Burton of her hour, but girls aren't allowed to be bedrunken titans, only coy and pretty and if they want Oscars they have to wear false teeth and shoot skeevy Florida johns; they have to bow and suffer before the pervy desires of evil men rather than looming tall and true and as fucked up as they wanna be. All phoenixes must first be ashes and these days they use special phoenix-retardant urns to keep the vengeance from spuming forth.

Thus INFERNO could be Lindsay's THE WRESTLER, or it could be her I KNOW WHO KILLED ME PART TWO, and maybe a lot of that will depend on sexist preemptive judgment and maybe not. Either way, Lindsay's due some respect from the sneering hordes, whatever the role. And who will play Lindsay playing Linda and re-enact this photo shoot in 40 years? Will the self-reflexive merry-go-round of glamorously tawdry recreations of scuzzy moments in adult film history ever come to its crashing halt or will it just get more dizzying? Your honor, I was not even her first lover.

1 comment:

  1. I kind of like her, certainly don't think she deserves the prosecution she gets as opposed to, say, Mel Gibson. The video was good, at least.


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