Thursday, November 11, 2010

Videodrome: "Long live the new flesh"

Maybe I'm just really behind, but I just saw Videodrome for the first time and I did not get it. It felt like the first time I read Kerouac: am I just not cool enough? Is there something I'm missing? Roger Ebert described it as the most unpleasant movie he had ever seen, so should I take solace in the fact that I'm not alone? There's just something about a rotting vagina in the middle of someones stomach and a fleshy handgun that looks like the ugliest penis I've ever seen that makes this film a real turnoff.

There are things I find really fascinating, like the fact that some kind of sexual connection develops between people and their televisions, and it's a really prescient concept considering how addicted we as a culture are to reality television and over-stimulation. Now rather than just being, pardon me, fucked by our televisions, we're fucked by our cell phones and Internet access. But the film was just so bizarre, that I know I would need another ten viewings just to begin to grasp its messages. Maybe I just don't like to be made to feel like an idiot. Like Shirley said a couple of weeks ago on Community, "Some of us have to go to work in the morning. damn."

But I don't have to go to work. I have to go to my film theory class and sit there silently while everyone else brings up Marshall McLuhan and the effects of video on the culture. And I'll be the only one still hung up on the chest-vagina, wondering if I missed something in the reading, trying to figure out why they get it and I don't. So thanks a lot, Mr. Cronenberg. You've made a nice girl from the suburbs feel lousy over your "medium is the message" nonsense. Ebert and I'll just keep hissing from the back of the theatre.

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