Vaginal davis didn’t like it so i expected to hate it. A few things, is a foil to the wrestler surely, in fact the two could be said to be a couple. Wondering why the body is volatile in arfonsky people bleed, get staple gunned, its as if survival in the gritty and unfashionable metropolise he films eternally requires the body to decay. The market is made of concrete and is always running up against the sinew of the body. The body is something to be forced and becomes a double for the way we compromise ourselves that modulation of identity that we do to fit into the market, the bwo is buried deep in black swan and the striations that keep the selves in check warp them and perhaps thats how we end up swans.
Swan is a nerotic body it owes something to matthew barney’s cremaster series although both barney and arfonsky are of the generation raised on the biological metaphor, we never had to be shocked by quanta or struggle to understand rhizomes. Swan is sadly confined to linearity, unable to be broken into the multiple organs and orfices that cremaster expunges, it is rather linear film thats banging against the strictures of film, afronsky’s ideas need a new meduim least they burst in borroughesian boils and vomit the straight and narrow vectors of time image into nes games.
Like the wrestler it is filmed in the same cheap light, the camera feels slightly out dated like arfonsky wants us to think about home movies or worse feel confined, again the diy quality of the image only reinforces the idea of the film bucking against some the constraints of time, we keep expecting it to burst into some celestial butterfly, sadly it remains enclosed, but this bleakness is what we love to endure, arfonsky is an unrepentive fatalist perhaps because his films chronicle the brutalism of libertarian style markets or perhaps because class is that strict, that confining but i’d like to think that arfonsky has caught a peculair flaw in the way we’ve come to think of identity. His films make us aware of how much in the self is innate and how much we can not repress, change away, move into constructs, in this they call on the death drive. His characters have accepted a reaponsibility to change their interior due to the exteriozaations of another. The gruff sparseness of his image becomes the protoganists interior exteriorized creating a peculair paradox of the victim’s pain becoming the quality of the film, although that pain also seems to stem from the other characters. Film makers have made duration as grating as arfonsky, but that exact grit if the film is part of its addiction, we long for his repression . The sparseness of the image though brings up back to the dualism of swan and the wrestler, both films are about making fictions and the limit of the body. Do stories destroy the body? If they don’t the market will.
Entry filed under: media.