Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I know

Why does this actress not appear naked in I Know Who Killed Me? There are at least a half-dozen scenes that would have played less wonky if they hadn't been avoiding exposing the very bosoms exposed above. Is director Chris Sivertson just that big of a wuss?

Now, we all know that it really won so big at The Golden Raspberry Awards, because people don't approve of the lifestyle choices made my Lindsay Lohan. I'm certainly not jumping in to state that I do approve of them, but I do feel uncomfortably certain that the public's disapproval is significantly greater because she's a young woman, and that the kind of tabloid berating that she - and, of course, others - get for being irresponsible young adults is showing itself to be extraordinarily counter-productive...

Well, no, it's proven incredibly productive at selling magazines and greatly exacerbating their extent emotion problems, which in turn sells even more magazines. As such, people genuinely feeling the behavior of these people should be "fixed" in some manner seriously need to take themselves completely out of the cycle of judgment. Anything less than that and you remain part of the problem and something of a hypocrite.

Back to the subject at hand. Am I saying that I Know Who Killed Me is good? Not really.

I wasn't, I must say, at all interested in this movie until I heard buzz, some definitely positive, comparing it to a giallo.

And it is certainly as convoluted as a giallo and it struggles to be as audacious, but that's where it falls short.

Now, I'm a big fan of art in which the artists really lean into what they're doing. As a side note, check out Director's Commentary: Canned Ham by Greg Ferrara in which he praises some high points of actors leaning into their performances. Italians are great at leaning into what they do. It's kind of the stereotype and not without reason.

I Know Who Killed Me largely fails to really commit to what it is. It's too tied to modern mainstream/Hollywood conventions of realism and storytelling. I don't know if that's a failure in the script or if it's significantly a fact of the editing. I suspect it plays all the way down the line. A movie with a five minute striptease in which the exotic dancer in question removes not a single item of clothing is afraid of crossing some boundary.

I find myself continuing to ponder and appreciate bits, however. After over an hour of some of the most terrible, atrocious, God-forsaken attempts at modern guitar and/or techno music I've ever heard, the movie finally gets some decent enough discordant piano as the climax draws in. I'm fascinated by the potential meaning of the guy at the strip club who sniffs the tip of his cigarette after the stripper takes a seductive drag from it... Not the end, which might have offered the scent of her lipstick or spittle or some other personal sign of her, but the tip, which would just smell like, well, very strong tobacco smoke.

And while her lack of visible nudity is a mistake, an occasional distraction, and probably a sign of the kind of lack of full commitment from her and her director, there's a shot of Lohan's bare - but not fully shown - breast during one sex scene in which it moves in a way that seems strangely more intimate than one is used to in cinema. If the people involved had found more ways to capture that, they could have been on to something.

As a final note, as I put up the picture, I'm oddly ambivilant about Lindsay Lohan as Marilyn Monroe in "The Last Sitting". I prefer the profile pictures in which she looks less like Marilyn Monroe because, well, she looks so little like Marilyn Monroe that the exercise comes off as silly when taken too seriously. I like that there's something decidedly real about her, even in this airbrushed, commercial art context. Her nose is an unusual shape. Her breasts are big and kind of bulky over just being full and perfectly perky like so many models these days would have.

And strangely, that's what captures the similarity to the original pictures, which themselves capture something more human about Marilyn Monroe than most do, which is I think part of their enduring charm.


r_sail said...

Well said. Across the board (okay, I haven't seen her movie, but the rest... yeah!). Especially your comments about her and Monroe's photoshoots.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Her breasts are big and kind of bulky over just being full and perfectly perky like so many models these days would have.

Tis true. For such a young girl they seem decidedly droopy almost. Kudos to her for doing this and not allowing public perception to hold her back.

And I'm still not sure how you managed to squeeze a link in there to my post but kudos to you as well on creative linking.

Neil Sarver said...

Sail, thanks. I'm glad to hear it.

Jonathan, I struggled against the word "clumsy", but that felt potentially offensive to someone, so it hit the cutting room floor. I meant it with all due respect and kindness. I kind of found the clumsiness or droopiness or whatever specifically sexy.

And I didn't think my link to your post was that out of the blue, but then my mind draws its own connections sometimes. It's a terrific post either way and seemed to pointing to.

Jonathan Lapper said...

No, I didn't think it was out of the blue, just a creative connection.

And I love the label at the bottom, "boobs."

Adam Ross said...

As someone who used to look forward to Playboy's celebrity pictorials (before being disappointed), I have to say I'm very impressed with Linday's set. I love the fact that she doesn't look like a model, and that she was willing to show the world this fact. In Playboy's celebrity pictorials, you rarely get a good idea of what they really look like with all the odd props, lighting and poses.

Here's hoping LL revitalizes her career on late nite Showtime.

ARBOGAST said...

Isn't it funny how seeing someone naked can sometimes make you feel more kindly towards them?

Neil Sarver said...

Adam, I completely agree. I think there's something very compelling about what people really look like that's missing in too much commercial photography these days.

It turns out that, as a human being, I'm attracted to, compelled by and otherwise interesting in other human beings. Their humanity itself.

Arbogast, absolutely!

ARBOGAST said...

Hmm... "absolutely" goes really nicely with "Arbogast." I wonder if I should change my blog name to "Absolutely Arbogast." Doesn't it just sing?

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