taking on the TZ disaster
and male dominated Hollywood
in the twilit and allegorical film art
of Kathryn Bigelow
by Gary W. Wright
Little did Kathryn Ann Bigelow know that the year of the release of her first film would be the Last Good Year of film art. For the following year film art was changed forever by a helicopter crash that killed illegally hired child extras Renee Chen and Myca Le and actor/director/writer Vic Morrow around 2:20 am in the early morning of July 23, 1982 on the George Folsey jr. produced John Landis set of the twilit, allegorical and Frank Marshall executive produced and Kathleen Kennedy associate produced Landis, Joe Dante, George Miller and Steven Spielberg film TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE (1983). However, while Bigelow may not have consciously known of the impending disaster, her first film was one of many pre-1982 films that contained unconscious memories of the future that anticipated the TZ disaster. For a combative, despondent, disaffected and embittered spirit was noticeably already present in her steamy and sultry first presciently twilit, allegorical and original indie docufeature film THE LOVELESS (1981), co-directed and co-written with Lafayette “Monty” Montgomery, and released on August 7, 1981.
“We’re going nowhere-
Curiously, given that the film was being created by two first time film artists, the film began with an unusually confident and silent crane shot of a biker with no name-played by Willem Dafoe-standing at the side of the highway after relieving himself, combing back his greased hair, buckling up his jeans, putting on his black gloves and sunglasses and then mounting and starting up his red and white Maple Leaf flag coloured 1948 Harley Davidson Hydra Glide motorbike in the first of many times this lone and lonely biker would be linked to the red and white colours of Canada in the film to implicitly affirm his link to a Canadian film artist and then, to the sound of the allegorical and Stray Cats evoking Eddy Dixon rockabilly theme song “Relentless” (1981), and with a right turn that implied his anti-hero rather than his Evil status, roaring back onto the highway and off into the newborn morn, fittingly, given that this was a first film for two film artists, all in one long and unedited tracking crane shot. Soon after, a titillating encounter with a prostitute in a ’55 Thunderbird-played by Jane Berman-whose flat tire he changed implied that the biker with no name and his red, white and true hog was implicitly linked to David Cronenberg. For the prostitute resembled Brian Linehan, who had a bit part in the fourth and all too aptly named allegorical Cronenberg short film CRIMES OF THE FUTURE (1970).
After this gleefully ribald encounter, the biker with no name roared off down the highway on his iron steed again like a gunslinger with no name riding his horse down a dirt wagon road, giving a neo-Western ambience to THE LOVELESS. A neo-Western ambience that was implicitly affirmed by the arrival of the nameless biker in a small, equally nameless and dusty truck stop town in the middle of nowhere, Georgia, a dusty town that evoked the dusty small towns in all good Westerns. Here the biker with no name was soon joined at the local diner by three bikers on Harley Davidsons led by the twitchy Davis-perhaps linked to Amos Poe given the film’s allusions to the allegorical Poe film UNMADE BEDS (1976), and played by rockabilly artist, Robert Gordon, who not only created much of the film’s cool rockabilly soundtrack but had also played the hitman in UNMADE BEDS-with his Debbie Harry evoking and implicitly linked peroxide blonde temptress girlfriend, Sportster Debbie-who reminded us that Harry played Blondie in UNMADE BEDS, and played by Tina L’hotsky-and the tall, dark and handsome and possibly Francis Coppola linked LaVille-played by Lawrence Matarese-who quickly dubbed their brooding and implicitly Canuck lonely loner buddy, Vance.
After waiting around for a while, an allegorical Nancy Lee and Clyde Otis written Diamonds tune called “The Stroll” (1957) heard in the allegorical, Ozian themed and implicitly Ralph Bakshi roasting George Lucas jr. docufeature film AMERICAN GRAFFITI (1973) was suddenly heard playing on the diner’s jukebox. Fittingly, as the song played, the bikers were joined by their straggling biker compadres, the implicitly Lucas linked Hurley-played by Phillip Kimbrough-whose implicit link to Lucas was later affirmed by a drag race he won on his Harley with a Wolfman Jack resembling guy (played by Edward McDuffie) in a 1955 Chevrolet 210 car that evoked the closing climatic drag race involving a Wicked black ’55 Chevy and a ’32 Deuce Coupe at the end of AMERICAN GRAFFITI-and crash scarred Ricky-played by Danny Rosen-who was possibly linked to either Irving Forbush or William Friedkin.
Significantly, these implicitly indie and New Hollywood film artist linked bikers and their favourite girl were treated by the sparse Georgian locals with a fear and loathing that eerily anticipated the outraged fear and loathing that audiences dumped on Folsey jr., Kennedy, Landis, Marshall, Spielberg and their disappointingly and infuriatingly sympathetic friend Lucas after the TZ disaster, given the overall consensus that the TZ disaster could have been avoided if Landis and his crew had been more safety conscious, the furiously embittered conviction amongst some audience members that Chen, Le and Morrow had been deliberately murdered by Landis and their snuff murders made to look like a snafu accident in a sneaky snuffu film, and by the equally outraged fury over the decision of Lucas to reach out to his friends Kennedy, Marshall and Spielberg and hustle them off to England to work on the twilit, allegorical, Ozian themed and CGI enhanced film INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE TO DOOM (1984) to escape testifying at the subsequent TZ disaster trial .
In fact, Bigelow and Montgomery eerily anticipated the TZ disaster in THE LOVELESS. For in an ominously moody voiceover (VO) at the beginning of the film, Vance noted that “…you never can tell on a day like this. Things could be going jake one minute, then presto! Before you know it, you’re history”, words that all too aptly summed up how quickly film artists like Folsey jr., Kennedy, Landis, Lucas, Marshall and Spielberg fell out of favour with audiences after the TZ disaster. In fact, the use of the Dirty Thirties slang word “jake” for ‘okay’ openly linked the film to Landis via “Joliet” Jake Blues-played by John Belushi-in the allegorical Landis film THE BLUES BROTHERS (1980). A black and white film within the film that saw a driver lose control, roll over and crash trying to set a speed record on a desert flat seen in the town’s motel lounge shortly before the end of the film also ominously anticipated the fatal helicopter crash in the TZ disaster. Indeed, the film cut off to groans of dismay after getting caught up in the projector as the camera moved in for a close-up of the mangled wreck, ending the film within the film as surely as the TZ disaster ended the New Hollywood era. Thus, it was presciently fitting that the wistful New Hollywood wannabe Landis and his older producer partner, Folsey jr., were implicitly linked to the wannabe biker rebel son, John-played by John King-and his gas station/garage owner father, Buck-played by Ken Call-in the dusty town.
In addition, David Lynch was also implicitly roasted in the film in the form of the tragicomically biker hating middle-aged father and ironically uptight “model citizen” who was actually the local crime boss, Tarver-played by J. Don Ferguson-in the first of many implicit roasts of Lynch in the film art of Bigelow. Curiously, Tarver was gunned down in the motel lounge in the gunslinger evoking end by his androgynous, rebellious and Carrie Fisher resembling teenaged daughter, Telena-an androgynous look that evoked the androgynous kid at the end of CRIMES OF THE FUTURE, and played by Marin Kanter-implying that Lynch would kill himself trying to take on New Hollywood with his surreal and dreamy moving paintings, something that almost happened when Lynch tried to sweep away New Hollywood and the TZ disaster and kick off a new era of daylit film art with the twilit and allegorical moving painting DUNE (1984). Indeed, the allusions to the allegorical Lynch moving paintings ERASERHEAD (1977) and the implicitly Cronenberg and Sir Ridley Scott addressing THE ELEPHANT MAN (1980), and the resemblance of Tarver’s younger brother, Sid-played by Bob Hannah-to Jack Nance, who played Henry in ERASERHEAD and Nefud in DUNE, affirmed the implicit Lynch roasting intent of THE LOVELESS and anticipated two Lynch works to come that alluded to the film.
Significantly, the film’s commitment to fearless film art for film’s art sake was on the wane in 1981, as the rebel boomers of New Hollywood increasingly gave up on that dream and turned to commercial film art with its endless sequels and ‘franchises’ like the 1977-1983 computer graphic imagery (CGI) enhanced STAR WARS Classic Trilogy, causing resigned audiences to give up on the dream of higher film art, too. However, commitment to film art that was about higher goals than making blockbuster loot quickly returned after the TZ disaster, when outraged audiences rose up against and turned their backs on Folsey jr., Kennedy, Landis, Lucas, Marshall and Spielberg and turned in revenge to more serious and artistic indie film artists like Bigelow, Cronenberg, Lynch, Luc Besson, James Cameron, Alex Cox, Jim Jarmusch and Stanley Kubrick.
In fact, Bigelow and Montgomery also anticipated that Lucas would fail to deliver the goods with the presciently twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced, Ozian themed, implicitly Spielberg roasting and Lucas executive produced Richard Marquand film STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI (1983). For after gunning down her father, Tarver, in the motel lounge, Telena killed herself with the same gun while sitting in a car in the parking lot, in the end. An eerily fitting death, indeed, for it ended an era in that nameless truck stop Georgia town as surely as the equally deadly TZ disaster would soon end the Skyrocking New Hollywood era. Thus, it was also ominously and eerily fitting that after the suicide of Telena, the anti-hero bikers roared out of that truck stop town on their iron steeds and off into the night in another long and confident tracking shot that evoked the opening confident tracking shot and brought the film full circle-literally, as the brooding lonely loner Vance noticeably waited for the rest of the implicitly American film artist linked bikers to gallop off on their Harleys before eventually blasting off in pursuit, as befitting a biker implicitly linked to Canadian loner Cronenberg-for the roaring sight and sound anticipated the sound and fury of the TZ disaster that would soon send audiences and film artists of the day roaring straight into the Twilight Zone.
Significantly, Bigelow did not have long to enjoy her fearless anonymity, as the following year the fearless, beautiful and implicitly Bigelow linked Octopussy-played by Maud Adams-teamed up with Roger Moore’s equally fearless and knowing Commander James Bond in India to hunt down and kill the implicitly Folsey jr. linked Kamal Khan and the implicitly Landis linked Gobinda-played by Louis Jourdan and Kabir Bedi, respectively-for all of their twilit sins in the twilit and allegorical John Glen film OCTOPUSSY (1983), released on June 10, 1983. How fitting that the eponymous Octopussy resembled and was implicitly linked to Bigelow, for the sight of the fearless, wily, beautiful and curvaceous Octopussy and her army of equally fearless, indomitable, beautiful, curvaceous and acrobatic Amazons attacking and defeating Khan’s male security force, in the end, reaffirmed that a new age of equally fearless, wily, indomitable and beautiful female film artists were indeed storming the Temple Theatre and making it their own, at last. At any rate, Bigelow and the rest of the emerging female film artists were best to take close heed of the film’s concluding message, for ‘Professor’ Bond ably and openly demonstrated that lusts for blockbuster fortune and glory inevitably led to deadly blockbuster bombs, in the end. Significantly, on June 1, 1984, almost exactly a year after the release of OCTOPUSSY, Walter Hill also implied that he did not miss the eerily twilit prescience and fearless confidence of THE LOVELESS, for he alluded to the film in his twilit and allegorical film STREETS OF FIRE: A ROCK AND ROLL FABLE (1984).
“It’s so much better going nowhere fast.”
In fact, Hill implicitly linked Bigelow to a singer with the Bigelow, Hollywood and Telena cadenced name of Ellen Aim-played by Diane Lane-singing the twilit, allegorical and desperately upbeat Jim Steinman written tune “Nowhere Fast” (1984) with her band, the Attackers-played by Angelo, William Beard II, Stuart Kimball and John Ryder, respectively, although the song was really performed by Fire Inc.-in the film’s opening number at the Diamond theatre in a neon lit and implicitly neo-Fifties New York. Fittingly, given that the desperately upbeat “Nowhere Fast” was an open reply to Vance’s furiously despondent observation that he and the rest of the bikers were “…going nowhere-fast!” that he spat out at the end of THE LOVELESS, Dafoe soon showed up at the Diamond at the head of the “blockbuster” Bombers biker gang as their leader, Raven Shaddock.
Significantly, it wasn’t long before Shaddock, his second-in-command, Greer-played by Lee Ving-and the rest of the “blockbuster” Bombers angrily stormed the stage, beat up the Attackers and various audience members and kidnapped Aim. As the mayhem out in the street as Shaddock, Greer and the “blockbuster” Bombers made their escape with Aim evoked the mayhem on the streets at the end of the allegorical Landis films ANIMAL HOUSE (1978) and AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (1981), the implication was that Shaddock, Greer and the “blockbuster” Bombers symbolized Landis, Folsey jr. and their compliant crew on their episode of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE and that their cruel capture of Aim symbolized the twilit grip that film art had been caught up in since the TZ disaster.
As Aim was rescued and Shaddock defeated by her implicitly Lucas linked ex-boyfriend, Tom Cody-played by Michael Pare-in the ice pickin’ and two fisted end, a climactic fight that took place between brooding and burly Bombers-one resembling Dan Akroyd, one of the few film artists who continued to support Landis after the TZ disaster, affirming the implicit link of Shaddock to Landis-and resolute police and citizens, Hill implicitly hoped that Lucas would defeat Folsey jr. and Landis and free film art in general and that of Bigelow in particular from the TZ disaster, the Twilight Zone and the dread allegorical Zone Wars and kick off a new era of CGI enhanced film art with another Skyrocking film. Indeed, the fact that the film’s bumbling cops evoked the equally bumbling Modesto cops of AMERICAN GRAFFITI and the bumbling robocops of the eerily and presciently twilit and allegorical Lucas film THX 1138 (1971); that the neo-Fifties look of the film and its rock n roll soundtrack evoked the rockin’ roll and wistful Fifties nostalgia of AMERICAN GRAFITTI and THE LOVELESS; that the determined rescue of Aim evoked the equally determined rescue of Fisher’s Princes Leia Organna in the allegorical, CGI enhanced, Ozian themed and implicitly Spielberg roasting Lucas film STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE (1977), and that Cody’s address at 838 Hurley Street linked him to the implicitly Lucas linked Hurley in THE LOVELESS affirmed the film’s implicit and hopeful Lucas addressing intent.
Alas for the implicit hopes of Hill, as Aim and the Attackers teamed up with the a cappella group the Sorels-composed of Bird, B.J., Lester and Reggie, played by Stoney Jackson, Mykel T. Williamson, Robert Townsend and Grand Bush, respectively-
and brought the film full circle singing the closing twilit and allegorical Steinman written number “Tonight Is What It Means To Be Young” (1984)-performed again by Fire Inc.-Cody walked forlornly out of the Diamond and off into the neon lit night, in the end, a lonesome sight that presciently anticipated Lucas also fading away that year after the irreparable harm done to his reputation by the STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI disaster, by the Great Divorce from his wife Marcia soon after, and by reaching out to protect and work with Kennedy, Marshall and Spielberg on the infuriatingly dumb INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM-which implied that the rescue of a group of Asian boys and girls symbolized the rescue of Chen and Le so everything was fine now, audiences should celebrate, eat their popcorn and buy lots of movie tie-in merchandise!
Curiously, on June 8, 1984, Ivan Reitman implicitly roasted Bigelow in the implicit form of Gozer haunted and Gate Keeper possessed New Yorker, Dana Barrett-played by Sigourney Weaver-in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced film GHOSTBUSTERS (1984). Significantly, two years later Cameron also possibly linked Bigelow to Science/Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley-played by Sigourney Weaver-in the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced, Ozian themed and implicitly Dante, Kennedy, Marshall and Spielberg roasting indie docufeature Zonebuster ALIENS (1986), released on July 14, 1986. As for Bigelow, the neo-Western ambience of THE LOVELESS clearly appealed to her, perhaps because she was born and raised south of San Fran in the dusty city of San Carlos. For a sensitive but steely-eyed neo-Western spirit returned when Bigelow teamed up with “Wild” Bill Paxton-who played the irrepressible barkeep, Clyde, in STREETS OF FIRE-to make clear that the fearless confidence, darkness, despair, disaffection and violence of THE LOVELESS were not characteristics of Montgomery and implicitly address Lucas again in the tenth anniversary year of the release of STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE in her first solo and even more fearless, confident, uncompromising, original, twilit, allegorical, CGI free, Ozian themed, neo-Western and truly steamy and sultry indie docufeature film, NEAR DARK (1987), released on September 12, 1987.
“See ya in Hell!”
Curiously, NEAR DARK began with a close-up of a mosquito greedily sucking blood from someone’s hand or forearm, a mosquito that looked like an ironically and humourously tiny version of the huge, nasty and implicitly Wicked Witch of the West linked alien Queen Mother in the twilit, allegorical and righteously furious Cameron Zonebuster ALIENS (1986), which had implicitly been a righteously furious reply to the twilit and allegorical Dante disaster GREMLINS (1984), produced by the insidious twilit cabal of Kennedy, Marshall and Spielberg. However, before the tiny Wicked Queen Mother could enjoy its drink, a hand casually and unceremoniously squashed it, implying that Cameron and ALIENS and his film art were going to be just as casually crushed and gleefully roasted by Bigelow and co-writer/co-producer Eric Red in NEAR DARK. Curiously, the hand turned out to belong to a nameless, handsome, wholesome and implicitly Scarecrow linked young man-played by Adrian Pasdar-whose cowboy hat, blue jeans and boots implicitly affirmed that the neo-Western spirit had returned to a Bigelow film.
Significantly, the young cowboy with no name was soon driving his battered blue pickup truck down a dusty country road as the sun set in the distance, evoking the sunset that kicked off the healing Ozian summer night at the beginning of AMERICAN GRAFFITI and the sight of a frustrated young Luke Skywalker-played by Mark Hamill-watching two suns setting on Tatooine at the beginning of STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE, the first of many allusions to both films in NEAR DARK. Indeed, the fact that the title of NEAR DARK looked and sounded like STAR WARS, the original title for the first episode of the Classic Trilogy, reaffirmed the film’s implicit interest in Lucas. This implicitly linked the nameless cowboy to Lucas rather than Cameron, an implication that was reaffirmed after he drove through a small town that evoked the small town in THE LOVELESS and parked his pickup truck outside the local saloon. For outside the saloon, the nameless cowboy met two young men, one in a baseball cap and another in a cowboy hat, who both resembled Jedi twins of Cameron-played by Leo Getter and Gary W. Cunningham, respectively-freeing the cowboy with no name to be implicitly linked to Lucas. Just as significantly, no sooner had one of these implicit Jedi Cameron twin friends dubbed the nameless cowboy Caleb, then Caleb wandered down the sidewalk to talk up a beautiful and deceptively sweet and innocent young blonde-played by Jenny Wright.
Significantly, this androgynous and implicitly Glinda linked blonde was as petite as Fisher, resembled young Skywalker and revealed her name to be Mae, reminding us that STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE was released on May 25, 1977 in another implicit affirmation of the link of Caleb to Lucas. Persuading Mae to go off for a drive in his pick-up also affirmed the implicit link of Caleb to Lucas, for the sight and sound of the cowboy hat wearing Caleb and Mae in the cab of the truck evoked the sight and sound of the cowboy hat wearing and implicitly Bakshi and Wicked Warlock of the West linked Bob Falfa-played by Harrison Ford-driving around Modesto with an assortment of Wicked Witches in his fittingly Wicked black ’55 Chevy in AMERICAN GRAFFITI.
Alas for Caleb Colton, not only did Mae’s blonde hair and youth implicitly link her to twilit New Hollywood, Wright herself was linked to the twilit and disastrous year of 1982 forever via her role as a brash and raunchy teen groupie in the allegorical Alan Parker and Pink Floyd docufeature animaction artbuster PINK FLOYD THE WALL (1982). Even worse, the bewitching Mae turned out to be a vampiress whose bite caused Caleb to begin his transformation into a vampire. Significantly, this vampiric nature accentuated Mae’s androgynous appearance and the sexual role reversal seen throughout the film. For Caleb was always more attractive and emotional and weaker than Mae, making him appear feminine and Mae masculine. The sight and sound of Caleb on his knees drinking blood eagerly from the hand of Mae while she stood and writhed and moaned in ecstasy affirmed this role reversal, as it evoked the sight and sound of a woman on her knees giving oral sex to a man.
Unfortunately, Mae also caused Caleb to get caught up in her gleefully violent outlaw vampire gang whose lust for blood implicitly equated with a lust for blockbuster profits as the vampiric gang was comprised of the implicitly Spielberg linked Severen, the implicitly Marshall linked Jesse Hooker, the implicitly Kennedy linked Diamondback-whose name evoked the Diamond club in STREETS OF FIRE-and the implicitly Dante linked Homer, played by Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Jenette Goldstein and Joshua Miller, respectively-reminding us again that Lucas had destroyed his reputation foolishly working with Kennedy, Marshall and Spielberg on INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM, a film alluded to in NEAR DARK.
However, after some violent misadventures with the outlaw vampires, Caleb and Mae managed to escape them and return to the Oklahoma house of Caleb’s implicitly Great Oz linked father, Doctor Loy Colton, DVM-played by Tim Thomerson, who also linked the film openly to the twilit and disastrous year of 1982 via his role as Dr. Knute Lanyon in the allegorical and implicitly Landis roasting Jerry Belson film JEKYLL AND HYDE…TOGETHER AGAIN (1982). Here, with the help of Dr. Colton, Caleb and Mae managed to cure their vampirism with blood transfusions. Whole, healthy and human again, they joined forces with Dr. Colton and Caleb’s implicitly Dorothy linked kid sister, Sarah-whose name evoked Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor in the twilit and allegorical Cameron Zonebuster THE TERMINATOR (1984), and played by Marcie Leeds-to face down and defeat Hooker, Diamondback, Severen and Homer, with the help of burning and purifying sunlight, in a neo-Western showdown that saw Caleb ride his horse into town from his father’s ranch like a resolute Sheriff to take on the vampire Evildoers.
Thus, given that Caleb and Mae freed themselves of vampiric disease and triumphed over the outlaw vampire gang, in the end, Bigelow implied her hope that Lucas would also come to his senses and terminate his friendship with Kennedy, Marshall and Spielberg lest he be taken over by his Dark fortune and glory lusting Side and trapped with his film art in the deadly Twilight Zone near dark…forever-a chilling warning indeed, and one that all film artists were wise to heed in 1987. Unfortunately, Lucas, Cameron and other film artists did not heed the film’s implicit message, and so remain trapped in the dread allegorical Zone Wars we do to this day.
Curiously, the outlaw vampires not only came across as a more violent version of the outlaw bikers of THE LOVELESS, but were played by actors who had starred in the first three films of Cameron. Indeed, Henriksen had played police chief Steve Kimbrough in the presciently twilit and allegorical Cameron film PIRANHA II: THE SPAWNING (1982), linking the film again to the twilit and disastrous year of 1982; Henriksen and Paxton had played LAPD Detective Hal Vucovich and a punk, respectively, in the righteously furious T1; and Goldstein, Henriksen and Paxton had played Colonial Marine Vasquez, Bishop the android and Colonial Marine Hudson, respectively, in the even more righteously furious and implicitly Dante blasting ALIENS. Significantly, this interest in the Zonebusting film art of Cameron was not missed by Cameron, who soon met and married Bigelow after getting a divorce from Gale A. Hurd, producer of ALIENS, T1 and the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced Cameron Zonebuster THE ABYSS (1989).
Significantly, sparks may have started to fly between Bigelow and Cameron when she rejoined Goldstein, Henriksen, Pasdar, Paxton and NEAR DARK editor Howard E. Smith-who was also editor of the fourth Miller episode of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE-and had some serious fun implicitly affirming that a new era of female film artists had arrived by playing a fittingly fearless, grimly mischievous, cowboy hat and serape wearin’ and cheroot smokin’ leader of a posse of equally fearless female bounty hunting gunslingers who evoked Octopussy and her female army in OCTOPUSSY on the determined track of an infamous outlaw-played by Paxton-in the twilit, allegorical and CGI free Cameron music video for the twilit and allegorical Paxton, Robert O’Hearn and Andrew Todd written Martini Ranch tune “Reach” (1988), released on January 16, 1988 and alluding and implicitly responding to BLADE RUNNER, the allegorical Sergio Leone docufeature artbuster THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY (1966)-indeed, Bigelow’s gunslinger resembled the equally fearless, grimly mischievous, cheroot smokin’ and cowboy hat and serape wearing gunslinger called Blondie (played by Clint Eastwood) in that film-the twilit and allegorical Landis film, THREE AMIGOS (1986) and the twilit and allegorical Cox film, STRAIGHT TO HELL (1987).
Of course, given that the music video took place in a tumbleweed Western town filled with iconoclastic characters like STRAIGHT TO HELL, the implication was that Cameron was roasting Cox in the implicit form of Paxton’s infamous outlaw in “Reach”. However, when Bigelow’s Woman With No Name arrived in town with her posse, she slid a DVD into a player in the saloon that played a wanted video of the outlaw on the tv that evoked the video profiles of the four-or was that five?-Offworld replicants that had infiltrated Earth at the beginning of BLADE RUNNER, suddenly implying that the infamous outlaw symbolized Sir Scott, rather than Cox, perhaps for possibly linking Bigelow to Nexus 6 replicant Rachaell Tyrell-played by Sean Young-in that film. Perhaps inspiring Bigelow to focus on another quick drawing female gunslinger when she teamed up again with Red and Smith and made another implicit attempt to break free from the dread allegorical Zone Wars and kick off a whole new decade of daylit film art in the Nineties and implicitly address Cronenberg and Reitman to boot in her next fearless, confident, twilit, allegorical, original, violent, neo-Western, Ozian themed, CGI free and truly relentless indie docufeature film BLUE STEEL (1990), released on January 26, 1990.
“Dawson’s gonna tear him a new asshole.”
Intriguingly, the film began with the camera point of view (POV) moving down a narrow hotel or apartment hallway towards a loud argument between a man and a woman in one of the apartments as the opening titles flashed on the screen. Significantly, the third title was “A Kathryn Bigelow Film”, which implicitly affirmed Bigelow’s confidence that she was maturing and succeeding as a fearless film artist. Thus, it was fitting that immediately after that confident declaration, an androgynous female police officer with no name-played by Jamie Lee Curtis-appeared from behind the camera and moved down the narrow hallway towards the apartment with the argument. Ironically, however, the scenario evoked not a Bigelow film but a similar scene that saw Max Renn-played by James Woods-walking down a hallway to a room in the Palace Arms Hotel in Toronto while an argument raged in another room in the presciently twilit and allegorical Cronenberg film VIDEODROME (1982), openly linking another Bigelow film to the twilit and disastrous year of 1982 and to the film art of Cronenberg. Significantly, however, the androgynous female police officer resembled Reitman rather than Cronenberg.
Curiously, while failing the domestic disturbance-with the Caleb and Mae resembling young man and woman involved played by Markus Flanagan and Mary Mara, respectively, a link to Caleb and Mae affirmed by the blue light that the apartment was partly bathed in which evoked the blue light seen throughout NEAR DARK-which turned out to be a police academy test, the implicitly Dorothy linked Officer Megan Turner-a fitting first name, given that she was as androgynous in appearance and as masculine in attitude as Mae-still passed overall. Soon Officer Turner was given badge number 88552, sworn into the ranks of the New York Police Department (NYPD) and allowed to be a gun toting neo-Western ‘deputy sheriff’, implying the hope of Bigelow on one level that she had also left behind the indie film artist underground and joined the ranks of the mainstream but still indie film artist. Indeed, the close-up shots of the revolving bullet chambers of a NYPD standard issue Smith and Wesson .38 Special that were intercut after the police academy test with the rest of the opening titles affirmed her implicit link to film artists. For the revolving chambers evoked a revolving reel on a film projector, implicitly equating shooting a gun with shooting a film.
Alas, Officer Turner was soon put on probation for shooting dead an implicitly drugged up and out of control grocery store robber-played by Tom Sizemore-on her first shift as a neo-Western deputy sheriff. Even worse, the Landis resembling and implicitly linked and implicitly Wicked Warlock of the West linked New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) gold trader, Eugene Hunt-played by Ronald Silver-stole the grocery store robber’s .44 Magnum gun and used it to shoot a number of innocent victims, carving the name of Turner in the shell casings of the gun’s bullets to imply that she was the serial killer. Luckily for Turner, however, she was later made an honourary NYPD Homicide Detective to help out with the film’s desperate hunt for Hunt.
Significantly, the detective badge number Turner was given affirmed her implicit link to Reitman and the implicit interest in Landis in BLUE STEEL, for 7878 reminded us that 1978 saw the release of the allegorical and Reitman co-produced Landis film ANIMAL HOUSE (1978). Her subtle link to red and white Canuck colour combinations-particularly at the beginning of the film-reaffirmed her implicit link to Reitman, reminding us that the implicitly Cronenberg linked Vance was also subtly linked to red, white and true Canuck colour combinations throughout THE LOVELESS. In addition, her love of snow and her cranky, police hating and Mordechai Richler resembling and implicitly linked father, Frank-played by Philip Bosco-reaffirmed her implicit link to a Canadian film artist. Det. Turner’s implicit link to Reitman was reaffirmed when she was paired up with the Cronenberg resembling and implicitly linked and implicitly Tin Man linked NYPD Homicide Detective, Nicholas “Nick” Mann-played by Clancy Brown. For not only did Reitman produce the allegorical Cronenberg films SHIVERS (1975), and RABID (1977), the name of Nick Mann evoked that of Venkman-that is, Doctor Peter Venkman, played by Bill Murray-in GHOSTBUSTERS.
Curiously, Officer Turner also unknowingly developed a romantic relationship with the crazed and serial killing Hunt, whose implicit link to Landis was affirmed by the fact that the surreal way Hunt’s murders were filmed evoked the equally surreal and violent nightmares that plagued the implicitly Kubrick linked American lycanthrope victim, David Kessler-played by David Naughton-in AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON. The film’s allusions to THE BLUES BROTHERS and the sight and sound of Hunt standing amongst the traders in the New York Stock Exchange-two of whom resembled Reitman and Landis and Reitman pal, Dan Akroyd-and trading along with them also evoked similar scenes in the NYSE in the twilit and allegorical Landis film TRADING PLACES (1983), also affirmed the implicit link of Hunt to Landis. In addition, a nighttime helicopter trip that Hunt treated Turner to before she realized that he was the serial killer that she was hunting openly evoked the fatal helicopter crash of the TZ disaster.
Thus, given that Officer Turner spent the film hunting down and outing Hunt as the serial killer and then gunning him down with a fittingly twilit trio of bullets in the duelling neo-Western end like Telena gunned down her father at the end of THE LOVELESS, Bigelow implied that she disapproved of Reitman’s implicit roast of her in GHOSTBUSTERS and his support for Landis before the TZ disaster. Indeed, the fact that Hunt’s lawyer, Attorney Mel Dawson-played by Richard Jenkins-resembled and was implicitly linked to Murray, who not only co-starred in GHOSTBUSTERS and the allegorical Reitman film STRIPES (1981) but starred in the allegorical Reitman film MEATBALLS (1979), reaffirmed the film’s allegorical intent. In addition, given that Mann was badly shot by Hunt near the end of the film, Bigelow also implied that she was unhappy that Cronenberg had openly supported Landis after the TZ disaster, affirming his support by appearing in a cameo in the twilit and allegorical Landis film INTO THE NIGHT (1985). This implication was affirmed by Officer Turner’s badge number, for # 88552 openly linked her to 1985 and to the twilight and disastrous year of 1982.
Allowing Turner to gun down Hunt, in the end, may have also been Bigelow’s way of allowing Curtis to atone for her sins for working with Landis, given that Curtis appeared as Ophelia, the hooker with a heart of gold, in TRADING PLACES. Indeed, the fact that Phoebe Hoban noted on her visit to the set of BLUE STEEL that Curtis was singing a song between takes that was a light hearted tribute to BLUE STEEL to the tune of the allegorical CCR song “Bad Moon Rising” (1969) affirmed that Curtis realized that the film was implicitly roasting Landis on one level, as “Bad Moon Rising” featured prominently in AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (Hoban, Premiere, 45-6, 52).
Of course, the sight of a rare woman in the NYPD gunning down a man, in the end, also implied the hope of Bigelow that a rare female film artist like herself would succeed in the male dominated film world. Thus, the presence of the implicitly Akroyd linked Assistant Chief with the Kubrick evoking name of Stanley Hoyt-played by Kevin Dunn-was fitting, for Bigelow soon implied that she was going to follow the inspirational lead of Kubrick and pragmatically fuse her indie artistry with the commercial blockbuster in order to create artbusters like Kubrick. Indeed, as Bigelow is quoted as saying at the time in an interview with Clark Taylor for the LOS ANGELES TIMES, “…I’ve had very limited access, in terms of audience, finances, options, and in film making, you have to justify the expenditures with wider audiences in order to continue. So I want more access” (Taylor, Los Angeles Time Calendar, 28).
For his part, soon after the release of BLUE STEEL Luc Besson implicitly linked the fearless, confident, lean and art and violence luvving Bigelow to Anne Parillaud’s equally fearless, confident, lean and art and violence luvving Nikita, a violent street punk transformed into a secret French government assassin who gave up on her stressful and violent life, in the end, which appeared to be Besson’s implicit way of stating that the stress of being a successful film artist would prove too much for Bigelow, causing her to give up too and leave film art to the guys in the twilit, allegorical, CGI free and Ozian themed indie docufeature film LA FEMME NIKITA (1990), a film released on February 21, 1990 whose implicit Bigelow roasting intent was affirmed by allusions to NEAR DARK and THE LOVELESS. As for John Badham, he implicitly and admiringly linked Bigelow to the beautiful, fearless and sharp shooting brunette veterinarian, Doctor Rachel Varney-played by Joan Severance-in the twilit and allegorical film BIRD ON A WIRE (1990), a film released on May 18, 1990 that saw the implicitly Landis linked ex-criminal, Rick Jarmin-played by Mel Gibson-triumph over the insidious and implicitly Spielberg linked Eugene Sorenson-played by David Carradine-an implication affirmed by the film’s sarcastic allusions to INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM.
Significantly, Lynch also implicitly weighed in on Bigelow that year, as the sultry rebel rocker look of THE LOVELESS returned in such twilit and allegorical Lynch fare as the TWIN PEAKS telemoving painting series (1990-91)-a series released on April 8, 1990 that implicitly linked Dana Ashbrook’s Robert “Bobby” Briggs to Bigelow and Gary Hershberger’s Michael “Mike” Nelson to Cameron-and the openly Ozian themed and Montgomery co-produced moving painting, WILD AT HEART (1990)-a film released on May 19, 1990 which saw Bigelow implicitly linked to a topless attendant (played by either Valli Leigh or Mia M. Ruiz) of the implicitly Cameron linked lady lovin’ gang leader, Mr. Reindeer (played by William M. Sheppard), Dafoe return as Bobby Peru and Dixon return as Rex. An implicit roast of Bigelow and Cameron that implicitly inspired Cameron to roast Lynch in turn in the implicit form of the dread T-1000 “liquid metal” Terminator-played by Robert Patrick-and implicitly toast Bigelow in the the fittingly fearless form of Sarah Connor-played by Linda Hamilton-in the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced and Ozian themed Zonebuster TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY (1991), fittingly released on July 1, 1991.
Curiously, Bigelow also implicitly replied to WILD AT HEART and fused NEAR DARK with THE LOVELESS when she teamed up with husband and executive producer Cameron, Sizemore, Smith, James LeGros-who played a “teen cowboy” in NEAR DARK-Chris Pedersen-one of the extras in REACH-and Michael Rauch-co-producer of BLUE STEEL-to develop her own artbuster style and implicitly toast Lucas and roast Lynch again in the fearless, twilit, allegorical, violent, Ozian themed, openly neo-Western and slightly CGI enhanced indie docufeature artbuster POINT BREAK (1991), released on July 10th, 1991.
“I definitely got a feeling on this.”
Curiously, the film began with the sight and sound of a surfer with no name riding the waves in silhouette against the presumably setting sun. This graceful and peaceful sight was jarringly intercut with the discordant and violent sight and sound of a gung ho and implicitly Scarecrow linked young FBI trainee referred to only as Utah-played by Keanu Reeves-carefully shooting his way through shotgun and handgun drills at a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) shooting gallery at Quantico-one target resembling and perhaps linked to Bigelow-and noticeably passing the tests, unlike Turner at the beginning of BLUE STEEL, implying that the confidence of Bigelow was increasing. Significantly, this FBI shooting drill brought the two weapons of choice of all good Westerns into the picture to immediately and implicitly affirm that the film was another idiosyncratic and fearless neo-Western. Passing the shooting drills also allowed Utah to successfully become an agent of the FBI.
Sent to the FBI HQ in Los Angeles, we quickly discovered that the full name and title of the successful new recruit was ex-college football star FBI Special Agent John “Johnny” Utah. Significantly, his name and profession reminded us that Kyle MacLachlan played the equally clean cut, eager beaver and implicitly Screamin’ Stephen King linked FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper in TWIN PEAKS, implicitly linking Utah to King or Lynch and implicitly affirming that Lynch would be roasted on one level in POINT BREAK. Indeed, the name of Johnny Utah also evoked that of MacLachlan’s Jeffrey Beaumont in the twilit and allegorical Lynch moving painting BLUE VELVET (1986), reaffirming that Lynch was being implicitly addressed on one level in POINT BREAK and that Utah was possibly linked to Lynch.
However, Utah’s possible link to Lynch disappeared when the new FBI Special Agent was welcomed to the FBI field office in L.A. by his belligerent, facts, figures and “data crunching” loving and Cameron evoking supervisor, Ben Harp-played by John C. McGinley-he was immediately assigned to work in the bank robbery squad with the older, seasoned and implicitly Coppola and Cowardly Lion linked veteran, Angelo Pappas-played by Gary Busey, who was a good choice for the role as he had played the wild and implicitly Lynch linked indie surfer, Leroy Smith, in the presciently twilit and allegorical John Milius docufeature film BIG WEDNESDAY (1978). As the sight and sound of the eager beaver Utah and the seasoned Pappas working together evoked the sight and sound of Lucas and Coppola initially working together on various films at their American Zoetrope film production company in San Francisco in the late Sixties and early Seventies and then reunited briefly and wistfully in the late Eighties to implicitly roast Lynch in the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced and Lucas executive produced Coppola film TUCKER (1988), the implication was that Pappas and Utah were linked to Coppola and Lucas. Indeed, a fast food girl-played by Shannon Brook-who waited on Utah at one point and looked and sounded like Mackenzie Phillips, who played Carol Morrison in AMERICAN GRAFFITI, affirmed the film’s implicit interest in Coppola and Lucas, as Coppola was the executive producer of the second Lucas film.
This implication was supported by the fact that the graceful and silhouetted surfer with no name who was in his element surfing off Latigo Beach in L.A. and was intercut with the sight and sound of Utah carefully shooting up the gallery at Quantico slowly turned out to be the freedom loving, implicitly Lynch and Great Oz linked and possibly bi-sexual martial artist and mystic surfing for surf’s sake outlaw, Bodhisattva aka Bodhi-played by Patrick Swayze-reminding us that Lynch was based in L.A. Thus, it was fitting that Lynch was implicitly linked to a surfer, for this graceful surfing sight reminded us of the mystic and devout sandworm riding Fremen of the desert world of Arrakis and the offworlder, Paul “Maud’dib” Atreides-played by MacLachlan-who became their equally mystic and visionary leader in DUNE. And so it was not surprising that Bodhi also slowly emerged as the leader of the quartet of bank robbing surfers-the other three members being Roach, Grommet and Nathaniel, played by Le Gros, Bojesse Christopher and John Philbin, respectively-dubbed the “Ex-President’s gang” for their fondness for wearing the rubber masks of Carter, Ford, Johnson and Nixon, the American presidents who had watched over the early years of New Hollywood, to disguise their faces during their robberies.
This made the Ex-President’s gang, who used the proceeds from their twilit 27 robberies over 3 years to fund their surfer for surf sake’s lives, the latest anti-establishment gang implicitly linked to film artists in a Bigelow film. Their fondness for robbing banks reaffirmed the implicit link of Bodhi to Lynch, reminding us that Peru and Sailor Ripley-played by Nicolas Cage-tried and failed to rob a bank in Big Tuna, Texas while wearing nylon stockings to disguise their faces at the end of WILD AT HEART. In addition, allusions to the eerily and presciently twilit and allegorical Sir Scott film BLADE RUNNER (1982), particularly during the shootout at the house of a rival and more violent surfer gang, also implied that Bigelow and Cameron were roasting Sir Scott in the form of Bunker Weiss-played by Pedersen-in the film, perhaps for also implicitly sympathizing with Lynch in the twilit and allegorical film SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME (1987). Two other members of this rival gang, Warchild and the Union Jack short favouring Tone, were also implicitly linked to Kubrick and Tim Burton-and played by Vincent Klyn and Anthony Kiedis, respectively.
Thus, the sight and sound of Special Agent Utah driving around L.A. in his fittingly neo-Western 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1 and going undercover as a local surfer and tracking down, infiltrating and ultimately triumphing over Bodhi and the rest of the Ex-President’s gang-and saving his androgynous, feisty, fearless, Mae evoking, MacLachlan resembling and implicitly Dorothy linked little surfer girl sweetie, Tyler [played by Lori Petty], who ironically evoked Maud’dib’s equally feisty, fearless and implicitly Bigelow linked Frewoman sweetie, Chani [played by Sean Young], in DUNE-while Pappas died supporting him implied the hope of Bigelow and Cameron that Lucas would return to the Temple Theatre and triumph over Lynch with another great film. Significantly, this concluding triumph also reaffirmed Bodhi’s implicit link to Lynch, for the sight of Utah allowing Bodhi to bring the film full circle and to kill himself trying to surf a blockbuster once-in-fifty-years wave off Bell’s Beach in Australia-actually, off the coast of Oregon-at the end of the film evoked a large wave curling over a Caladan beach-or perhaps a future terraformed Arrakis-at the end of DUNE, reminding us that DUNE had been a blockbuster failure for Lynch, as well. Indeed, the fact that before surfing the blockbuster wave Bodhi and his fellow bank robbers had failed to successfully rob their last bank openly linked Bodhi to financial failure, and, hence, implicitly to box office failure.
Of course, the sight and sound of Bodhi destroying himself surfing that last blockbuster beast of a wave also reminded us that the Dark Side Evildoer also usually destroyed themselves in the film art of Lucas, reaffirming the implicit link of Utah to Lucas. Indeed, the elemental Ozian theme of the film affirmed by the sight and sound of Bodhi and Utah surfing in Water, skydiving through the Air, and of Utah chasing Bodhi after a bank robbery through Earthy city streets after Bodhi used a gas pump at a gas station as a makeshift flamethrower and engulfed the latest stolen Ex-President’s gang car in Fire also brought Earth, Fire, Air and Water into the picture, reminding us that AMERICAN GRAFFITI and the STAR WARS Classic Trilogy shared the same elemental Ozian theme to reaffirm the implicit Lucas toasting intent of POINT BREAK.
And so Lucas and Utah walked away from Bell’s Beach and the FBI into a Forceful destiny that was somewhere in between Bodhi’s emphasis on instinct and Harp‘s emphasis on facts and figures, a perfect way to sum up the implicit new artbuster journey of Bigelow, a journey somewhere between the artistic instinct of Lynch and the righteous Zonebuster fury of Cameron. Indeed, the fact that POINT BREAK did not end in a shootout-or, more likely, a torrid kiss n makeup luv scene between Bodhi and Utah that would have amply affirmed that both men were truly wild at heart given that a barely restrained and either bi-sexual or fully homosexual ardour that put sexually charged new meaning into the word “manhunt” noticeably threatened to explode with volcanic passion whenever the two men were around each other, particularly when they lay entangled together after the final parachute jump-affirmed that Bigelow was point breaking away into heady new artbuster territory with the film. And so audiences implicitly agreed with the implicit artbuster journey of Bigelow, given that POINT BREAK was her most successful film to date.
For his part, Alex Proyas implied that he was also struggling to cope with Bigelow being a woman for he implicitly linked her to a male superhero in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced film THE CROW (1994), a film released on May 10, 1994 that was based on characters created by James O’Barr and also evoked STREETS OF FIRE, complete with another rockin’ soundtrack, in the tenth anniversary year of that film.
“They’re all dead
They just don’t know it yet.”
Significantly, the film began with the Bigelow resembling and implicitly linked rock and roll hero, Eric Draven-his name evoking Eric Red, the co-writer and co-producer of NEAR DARK and co-writer of BLUE STEEL, and Tarver of THE LOVELESS, and played by Brandon Lee-being knifed in the chest, shot in the back and tossed out a penthouse skylight to a fiery street below one fateful and fatal October 30th Devil’s Night after he tried to stop his fiancée, the Sofia [SCC] Coppola resembling Shelly Webster-played by Sofia Sania-from being beaten, raped, and murdered by another four man and adrenaline addicted outlaw gang that evoked the Ex-Presidents gang in POINT BREAK, a gang perhaps best called the “Fire It Up” gang given its fondness for arson and led by David P. Kelly’s implicitly Cameron linked and psychotic T-Bird. Curiously, as a crow spirit guide was unable to take Draven’s soul to the next world due to the trauma he had suffered, the crow spirit guide brought his soul back to his body, allowing him to crawl out of his rainswept nighttime grave one year later on the next Devil’s Night and avenge the death of Webster as the eerie undead Crow, a love for love’s sake campaign that evoked Bigelow’s commitment to film art for film art’s sake to reaffirm the implicit link of the Crow to Bigelow.
And so, with the help of the crow spirit guide, through whose eyes he could see, the implacable and unstoppable Crow wreaked revenge like an undead and ironically Joker resembling Batman, as grimly and wryly violent and mostly impervious to retaliatory hits and gunshots as the undead vampires of NEAR DARK, killing T-Bird and the rest of the Fire It Up Gang one by one, including Michael Massee’s implicitly Marshall linked Funboy and Angel David’s implicitly Spielberg linked Skank. The Crow also hunted down and killed the kingpin who had ordered the murders of Draven and Webster, a conscienceless and loot lusting creep named Top Dollar who was implicitly linked to Burton given the film’s allusions to the twilit and allegorical Burton films BEETLEJUICE (1988), BATMAN (1989), EDWARD SCISSORHANDS (1990) and BATMAN RETURNS (1992)-and was played by Michael Wincott-as well as the implicitly Landis linked Grange-played by Tony Todd-for all of their twilit and/or blockbuster sins. Indeed, the sight and sound of Top Dollar falling off a cathedral roof to his doom after the final showdown with the Crow, in the end, evoked the sight and sound of the implicitly Cox linked Jack “the Joker” Napier-played by Jack Nicholson-falling off a cathedral roof to his doom after the final showdown with the implicitly Lucas linked Bruce “Batman” Wayne-played by Michael Keaton-at the end of BATMAN, affirming the implicit link of Top Dollar to Burton. Allowing harmony to return to the world and Draven to embrace the ghost of Webster back at the cemetery before both returned to their now peaceful graves.
Thus, with harmony returned in this life and the next but Draven and Webster unable to return to life, in the end, Proyas implied that ten years after the art of film had been rescued in the implicitly embodied form of Aim at the end of STREETS OF FIRE, pure film art for film art’s sake had been killed so dead by film artists like Burton and Spielberg with shameless filmmercials like BATMAN, BATMAN RETURNS and the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced and Ozian themed Spielberg filmmercial JURASSIC PARK (1993) with their massive movie tie-in merchandise campaigns and naked lusts for blockbuster loot-a naked lust for beastly blockbuster loot that Top Dollar summed up too well when at one point he chortled happily “…greed is for amateurs!”-more serious and dedicated film artists like Bigelow and Cameron and the hated Lynch would not be able to save it, like Draven was not able to save, or revive, Webster, in the end.
Curiously, Besson returned to the Temple Theatre later that year and implicitly roasted Bigelow again and Cameron in the implicit forms of the violent and drug dealing DEA agents, Willie One Blood and Stansfield-played by Willie One Blood and Gary Oldman, respectively-in the twilit and allegorical Besson film LEON: THE PROFESSIONAL (1994), a film released on September 14, 1994. Not long after, Burton also implicitly likened Bigelow’s dislike of Lynch to the cranky relationship Lisa Marie’s implicitly Bigelow linked Maila “Vampira” Nurmi had with Johnny Depp’s implicitly Lynch linked Ed Wood jr. in the twilit, allegorical and implicitly Lynch roasting animaction artbuster ED WOOD (1994), a film released on September 24, 1994. As for the now divorced Bigelow and Cameron, they did their best to dispel the gloomy prognosis of Proyas when they teamed up again with Sizemore and Smith and returned to L.A. to implicitly and confidently affirm Bigelow’s commitment to the artbuster, completer her Lucas Trilogy, roast Lynch again, and reply to the ’92 re-release of BLADE RUNNER with her biggest and most fearless and confident film to date, the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced, Ozian themed, violent, moving, memorable and controversial indie docufeature artbuster STRANGE DAYS (1995), which first screened on September 3rd, 1995 and was inspired in part by the allegorical Jim Morrison tune “Strange Days” (1967), first song on the equally allegorical second recording STRANGE DAYS (1967) by the Doors and the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced literary art of William Gibson, including the short stories “Fragments Of A Hologram Rose” (1977) and “Johnny Mnemonic” (1981), and the novel, Neuromancer (1984), wistfully linking the film to the Skyrocking year of 1977 and the Last Good Year of film art.
“Time to get real,
Significantly, after musically and CGI enhanced intros for Twentieth Century Fox and Lightstorm Entertainment, the film began with a neon green Twentieth Century Fox title on a black background, a neon purple Lightstorm Entertainment Production title on a black background-curiously implying that the film was more of a Cameron film than a Bigelow film, as Lightstorm was the film production company of Cameron-and a neon red STRANGE DAYS title on a black background, establishing the neon fever dream palette of the film. Then followed a neon yellow title on a black background placing the film in L.A. at 1:06:27 of December 30, 1999, a digital time that evoked the title of the allegorical Lucas docufeature indie student film, 1:42:08 (1966), in the first implication that Lucas was being implicitly addressed in STRANGE DAYS. Indeed, the neon yellow digital clock increased by four seconds to 1:06:30 to affirm that the Fource was with the film, affirming the film’s implicit Lucas addressing intent.
Then the screen went black, and a voice asked, “You ready?”, and another voice answered, “Yeah. Boot it.” At that point, a close-up of an eye of a man filled the screen, evoking the close-ups of one of the eyes of Draven whenever he saw through one of the eyes of his helpful crow spirit guide in THE CROW. This eye close-up also evoked a close-up of an eye seen at the beginning of BLADE RUNNER, as if immediately implying that Bigelow and Cameron had seen the ’92 re-release and as they left the theatre remarked upon the fact that the film’s haunting and beguiling visuals and equally haunting and evocative soundtrack by Vangelis were in complete contrast to the film’s incomprehensibility and many plot holes and decided on the spot to recreate BLADE RUNNER and this time make sure that it had no plot holes and made perfect sense, adding a reply to THE CROW, in time. The fact that BLADE RUNNER also took place in a future L.A. and also implicitly addressed Lucas in the form of cynical and world weary ex-LAPD Blade Runner, Rick Deckard-played by Harrison Ford-also allowed Bigelow and Cameron to reaffirm that Lucas was being implicitly addressed in STRANGE DAYS.
Then began did the feverish first person point of view (POV) experience of a perhaps Besson linked young man-played by James Muro, and voiced by Ron Young-who was the third member of a twilit, quarrelsome, violent and obscenity spewing trio of young Caucasian men-the other two being Spaz Diaz and Lane, played by Paulo Tocha and David Packer, respectively-wearing nylon stockings on their faces to disguise their features as they robbed a Thai restaurant, a robbery that audience members were individually drawn into and made complicit in due to the first person POV. Of course, these three wild robbers evoked the equally wacked out Fire It Up gang in THE CROW, a link to that gang affirmed by the fact that the robber POV evoked the ability of Draven to touch a person’s head and see and experience what they had seen and experienced in THE CROW, implicitly affirming that on one level Proyas was being addressed in STRANGE DAYS. In addition, the twilit trio of restaurant robbers evoked the sight and sound of the bank robbing and equally masked surfers of POINT BREAK and the sight and sound of Peru and Ripley wearing nylon stockings on their faces to disguise their features as they robbed a bank at the end of WILD AT HEART, affirming the implicit interest in Lynch in another Bigelow film. Significantly, this first person robber POV playback also evoked the first person POV of a serial killer-played by John Coppolino jr.-whose murders were highlighted by eerily twilit music that evoked the TWILIGHT ZONE theme in a low budget indie exploitation film called CO-ED FRENZY (198?) that kicked off the eerily twilit, allegorical and implicitly Lucas addressing Brian DePalma film BLOW OUT (1981), reaffirming that Lucas was being addressed in STRANGE DAYS.
Significantly, after robbing the restaurant, the POV robber fled upstairs to the roof of the apartment complex housing the ground floor Thai restaurant to evade police. Here he fled with Lane across the roof from pursuing police officers-noticeably linked to neon yellow-and a supportive LAPD helicopter, evoking the sight and sound of Draven running across rooftops as he fled a pursuing helicopter after shooting up Top Dollar’s gang headquarters and killing Skank in THE CROW and the searchlight of the supportive LAPD helicopter that evoked the one piloted by the implicitly Lucas and Scarecrow linked LAPD Officer Frank Murphy and his implicitly DePalma and Cowardly Lion linked observer partner, Richard “JAFO” Lymangood-played by Roy Scheider and Daniel Stern, respectively-in the eerily and presciently twilit, allegorical, Ozian themed, CGI enhanced and implicitly BLOW OUT addressing John Badham film BLUE THUNDER (1983), reaffirming the film’s implicit Lucas addressing intent.
Unfortunately, this robber POV unexpectedly ended with the robber falling to his death off the roof as he evaded the pursuing police and their supportive helicopter. Curiously, while this death recalled another rooftop chase that led to a police officer-played by Fred Graham-falling to his doom at the beginning of the allegorical and Ozian themed Alfred Hitchcock film VERTIGO (1959), it also reminded us that after being shot by the Fire It Up gang, Draven was tossed out of the main window of a loft apartment to his death before returning to life as the implacable and avenging Crow at the beginning of THE CROW. Significantly, the death of the POV robber also evoked the death of the Wicked Witch of the East at the beginning of THE WIZARD OF OZ, affirming the implicit Ozian theme of the film and opening wide the gates to the healing elemental and Ozian spiritworld dream.
A POV dream, indeed, for when the violent and disharmonious POV ended with the death of the POV robber, reality returned as some sort of headset was furiously and frantically ripped off the brunette head of a sharp dressed and good looking young man who turned out to be a lovable and implicitly Scarecrow linked lunk with the Johnny Utah cadenced name of Leonard “Lenny” Nero-played by Ralph Fiennes-who was outraged by what he called a “black jack” clip. However, and tellingly, while supposedly miffed that the black jack clip led to the death of the POV robber, Nero was not so miffed that he did not buy this black jack clip from the Skank resembling but implicitly Landis linked and gleefully amoral clip dealer, Tick-played by Richard Edson-for a reduced price due to its deadly content. Significantly, while Nero and Tick argued about ethics, and the ominous shadow a helicopter evoking rotor turned slowly in the background of Tick’s garage, it was noticeable that Nero resembled John Travolta’s implicitly Lucas and Scarecrow linked Philadelphia based indie film sound man, Jack Terri, in BLOW OUT, implying that Nero was linked to Lucas.
Indeed, Nero’s implicit link to Lucas was reaffirmed when he left behind Tick and cruised in his Benz-the TZ disaster linked license plates of LN 237 of the flash Benz throwing more doubt on his dislike of snuff recordings-through the fiery, riotous, tense and worried soldier and tank and APC and police officer filled streets-streets flickering with the neon palette of the film, now joined by neon blue, with the police linked to neon yellow again, establishing their colour for the film-feverish streets with bikers rolling in and helicopters thundering overhead of an L.A. hoping for the best but preparing for the worst in the upcoming December 31st New Year’s Eve celebrations, riotous and fiery nighttime celebrations that evoked the equally fiery and riotous nighttime October 30th Devil’s Night celebrations in THE CROW, the riotous and fiery streets in STREETS OF FIRE and the more peaceful and harmonious Liberty Day celebrations in Philadelphia at the end of BLOW OUT. For the sight and sound of Nero driving restlessly alone in his car listening to music and to a DJ evoked the sight and sound of Paul Le Mat’s implicitly Great Oz and Walt Disney linked John Milner cruising the equally restless and riotous night streets of Modesto in his ’32 Deuce Coupe Yellow Brick Roadster listening to rockin’ roll and JD DJ Wolfman Jack in AMERICAN GRAFFITI, and the sight and sound of Robert De Niro’s implicitly Lucas linked Travis Bickle cruising the decadent nighttime streets of New York in his Yellow Brick Taxi in the allegorical and implicitly Lucas roasting Martin Scorsese film TAXI DRIVER (1976).
When he wasn’t driving, Nero desperately peddled more POV clips of what turned out to be experiences of people that were recorded “…straight from the cerebral cortex” on black market wireless Superconducting Quantum Interference Device (SQUID) headsets, SQUID headsets that could also playback the experiential clips with the help of equally wireless playback decks like Nero had inadvertently done with the black jack robber POV clip that kicked off the film. Significantly, Nero emphasized to potential buyers as a selling point that playback users could not be hurt in any way by the experiential playback they experienced with the SQUID headsets even if the playback was a black jack clip, as the SQUID recordings were not reality. This dedicated hustling and bustling reminded us that Lucas was also hustling and bustling at the time to sell equally realistic but fake CGI to audiences, film artists and studios, emphasizing as a selling point that CGI could pull off dangerous stunts and explosions that looked realistic but did not kill people as in the TZ disaster, reaffirming the implicit link of Nero to Lucas. Indeed, the fact that Nero was adamantly opposed to sanctioning or selling fatal black jack SQUID recordings affirmed that he wanted SQUID recordings to enhance and promote life, like Lucas wanted CGI to enhance film art and save lives on sets.
Tragicomically, and completely unlike Lucas, Nero also tried to persuade people to wear SQUID headsets and record experiences for him-particularly sexual experiences-that he could sell to addicts known as wireheads. At any rate, these SQUID headsets evoked similar experience recording devices encountered in the literary art of Gibson, including the apparent sensory perception (ASP) decks in “Fragments Of A Hologram Rose”, the superconducting quantum interference detectors (Squids) of “Johnny Mnemonic” and the simstim of Neuromancer. Significantly, the sight and sound of Nero peddling playback disks and playback recording opportunities, scenes that linked him to neon red, was suddenly intercut with the sight and sound of a beautiful, scantily clad and implicitly Glinda linked young female prostitute linked to neon blue-played by Brigitte Bako-frantically running down the concrete stairs into the Union Station subway station, evoking the sight and sound of Deckard in implacable pursuit of the renegade replicant, Zhora-played by Joanna Cassidy-in BLADE RUNNER.
Hot on her heels were two homicidal LAPD officers, the Reitman and Arnold Schwarzenegger resembling Dwayne Engelman and Burton Steckler-played by William Fichtner and Vincent D’Onofrio, respectively. Curiously, however, despite these resemblances, the sight and sound of these two officers chasing a young woman into a subway station evoked the sight and sound of the implicitly Cronenberg linked Helm and Richter-played by Michael Champion and Michael Ironside, respectively-chasing the implicitly Lucas linked Douglas Quaid aka Hauser aka Brubaker-played by Schwarzenegger-into a subway station in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced Verhoeven film TOTAL RECALL (1990), possibly linking the officers to Schwarzenegger and Verhoeven. Or, since the Paris subway system featured prominently in the twilit, allegorical and implicitly Lynch addressing Besson film SUBWAY (1985), perhaps the two psycho LAPD officers were linked to Besson and Verhoeven-or was that Besson and Reitman? At any rate, the two LAPD officers also evoked the robot police officers who chased SEN 5241, SRT and THX 1138-played by Donald Pleasance, Don Pedro Colley and Robert Duvall, respectively-in and out of a station in the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system in THX 1138 in another affirmation of the implicit Lucas addressing intent of STRANGE DAYS.
Luckily for the young woman, she managed to evade Engelman and Steckler and escape on departing subway train 523-natch! Soon after, around 4:05 am, she left Nero a telephone message just before he arrived at his one-bedroom bachelor pad in which she identified herself as Iris. Her name evoked Iris-played by Jody Foster-in TAXI DRIVER, in another affirmation of the implicit Lucas addressing intent of STRANGE DAYS. Significantly, a tv screen played the message as it was spoken by Iris and identified her phone number as 213.555.8947. Like the license plate of Nero’s flash Benz, this phone number linked Iris to the fateful numbers 237, reaffirming the film’s implicit interest in the TZ disaster and the implicit link of SQUID recordings to the CGI that was hoped would prevent more such film set disasters. Unaware of the danger Iris was in because she hung up before he could pick up his phone, Nero was soon bathed in neon red light, affirming that neon red was his colour for the film, and blissfully lost in a SQUID recording that saw him roller blading with and then making love to his faithless, red haired and implicitly Spielberg and Wicked Witch of the West linked ex-girlfriend, Faith-played by Juliette Lewis-a singer who evoked Aim in STREETS OF FIRE and whose unusually undeveloped figure suggested a person who had not grown up and left behind childhood. The fact that Faith was met first in playback also implied that she was as unreal, ephemeral and phoney as the playback clip.
And dangerous, for the sight and sound of the neon red Nero moaning and writhing in ecstasy while he used the recorded playback instead of enjoying real experiences implied that being a wirehead was a dangerous addiction, for he acted like a heroin user high on the latest rush to the main vein-making Nero a SQUID runner? Since Nero was implicitly linked to Lucas and Faith implicitly linked to Spielberg, Bigelow and Cameron also implied that they were warning Lucas to be more wary of CGI and working with Spielberg on CGI enhanced films like JURASSIC PARK, for fear they would cost him his vital humanity and the vital humanity of his film art. This latter implication was affirmed by all of the film’s allusions to AMERICAN GRAFFITI and THX 1138, as the two finest films Lucas ever created were mostly post-production visual effects free.
Significantly, Nero was also unaware that as he blissed out on one of his favourite SQUID recordings, a sight and sound that evoked the sight and sound of Terri listening to sound recordings over headphones throughout BLOW OUT, his reflection was silently seen in a mirror in his bedroom on his sinister left. This reflection reminded us that in the film art of Richard Rush, a character’s reflection in a mirror or window was always the subtle sign that a character was leaving behind the right path and heading down the wrong mirrorworld path. Or doubly wrong mirrorworld path, in this case, as in the playback Faith and Nero were seen pondering their reflections in a mirror in the pad of Faith-!yipe! Luckily for the character, this decision was not irreversible, for the common sense of the real world character could still prevail over their dangerous mirrorworld double and bring harmony back to their life, in the end. Only time would tell if Nero would have the common sense to make up for his decision to playback the SQUID recording of Faith, who was implicitly bad news, and triumph over his dangerous reflection.
Speaking of bad news, the sight and sound of Lenny being woken up later in the afternoon of December 30th by Fox News-complete with its familiar trumpet fanfare-reaffirmed his implicit link to Lucas, reminding us that Lucas made the STAR WARS Classic Trilogy with Twentieth Century Fox. Not surprisingly, Fox News first touched on the extensive army and police preparations for New Year’s Eve ’99 in L.A., clearly worried that the upcoming New Year’s Eve “…party of the century” could send L.A. down the dire path leading to the hellish L.A. of BLADE RUNNER instead of ushering in a brave new millennium of healing, harmonious, daylit and Skyrocking CGI enhanced or CGI free film art. Then the newscast turned to the breaking news of the shooting murders of a twilit trio composed of the crusading, righteously furious and implicitly Cowardly Lion and perhaps Spike Lee linked rap star, Jeriko One, his bandmate James “Replay” Polton and the Diamond Club and Diamondback evoking prostitute, Diamanda-played by Glenn Plummer, Malcolm Norrington and Anais Munoz, respectively-a twilit murdered trio of one female and two males that reminded us that one female and two males composed of Chen, Le and Morrow were killed in the TZ disaster. Curiously, these tv news segments also recalled the Philadelphia tv segments that followed the life and death of Presidential hopeful and Pennsylvania Governor George McRyan-played by John Hoffmeister-in BLOW OUT.
Soon after waking up, Nero went to a nearby restaurant called the Coral Lounge to make a playback deal with the implicitly Kubrick linked Keith-played by Joe Urla. While the sale did not materialize, we learned from Keith that SQUID headsets had been developed to replace bodywires, which played a pivotal and deadly role in BLOW OUT, but were now illegal. Curiously, Keith was scared off by Nero’s best friend, the private investigator Max Peltier-played by Sizemore-who revealed that Nero and himself were both ex-police officers, reminding us that Deckard was an ex-LAPD Blade Runner. Significantly, the discovery that porno SQUID peddler Nero was an ex-Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Vice Squad officer ironically reaffirmed his implicit link to Lucas, reminding us that the Force was no longer with Lucas in 1995, and that police officers implicitly symbolized successful professional film artists in BLUE STEEL and that indomitable J.D. Jedi Knights implicitly symbolized film artists in the STAR WARS Classic Trilogy. As for Peltier, he was a curious figure, for the allusions to BLADE RUNNER, BLOW OUT, BLUE THUNDER and WILD AT HEART implied that he could be implicitly linked to either Badham, DePalma, Lynch or Sir Scott. However, as Peltier was the good friend of Nero and Nero was implicitly linked to Lucas, and Lucas was not a good friend of Badham, DePalma, Lynch, Proyas, Scorsese, Sir Scott or Verhoeven, it was unclear at this point in the film which film artist was implicitly linked to Peltier. One thing that was implicitly certain was that Peltier’s colour in the film was neon purple, for as he talked to Nero at the bar of the Coral Lounge a young woman was seen over his sinister left shoulder wearing a colourful top with purple patches on its shoulders.
Significantly, Nero also met Iris here, who tried to tell him that she had inadvertently witnessed Engelman and Steckler killing Diamanda, One and Polter and had recorded the murders of the twilit trio via SQUID headset, which is why she had been chased and almost killed by Engelman and Steckler and why she was so desperate to contact Nero. However, spooked by the arrival of other police officers who reminded her of the two psycho robocops after her, Iris fled into the neon fever dream night before she could tell Nero her troubles. However, before Iris did, she left the playback disk containing the clip of the murdered twilit trio in Nero’s flash Benz for him to find and view later.
Curiously, here at the Coral Lounge, Nero also met his resigned, frustrated but faithful, loving and implicitly Dorothy linked bodyguard/chauffeur friend, Lornette “Mace” Mason-played by Angela Bassett-linked to neon green, establishing her colour for the film. Significantly, while sensitive and emotional, Mace was, as befitting someone with a nickname that evoked mace spray and medieval spiked clubs, stronger, tougher and more grounded and knowing than the more attractive, emotional and weak Nero, linking Mace and Nero to Mae and Caleb in NEAR DARK. In fact, Mace was the most formidable and beautiful female character yet in a Bigelow or Cameron film, the embodiment of the unusually masculine but heterosexual Bigelow and Cameron woman. Mace also evoked the tough, knowing and indomitable Molly Millions in “Johnny Mnemonic” and Neuromancer, as well as the equally tough, knowing and indomitable McCoy-played by Amy Madigan-and how she helped another implicitly Lucas linked character, Cody, rescue Aim, the singer evoked by Faith, in STREETS OF FIRE. Significantly, the name of Mace also reaffirmed Nero’s implicit link to Lucas, for it had been known for years that in the original script for the STAR WARS saga there was a character named Mace Bindu, who would shortly appear as J. D. Jedi Master Mace Windu-played by Samuel L. Jackson-the head of the twelve member Jedi Council in the STAR WARS Tragic Trilogy.
Significantly, soon after linking up with Mace, Nero was driven by her in a black Chrysler New Yorker limousine to the St. James’s Club & Hotel. Here Nero met his old boss at the LAPD, the Morrow resembling and implicitly linked and implicitly Tin Man linked Deputy Commissioner Palmer Strickland-who evoked Pat Hingle’s resigned and long suffering Commissioner Gordon in BATMAN and BATMAN RETURNS, and played by Joseph Sommer-and helped Mace pick up the friendly and amused Mr. Fumitsu-played by Jim Ishida. Then he got Mace to drop him and Mr. Fumitsu off at a raucous club called the Retinal Fetish, a club whose riotous interior flickered feverishly with the neon blue, green, purple, red and yellow palette of the film, reminding us that the film was an advanced master’s class in the lighting of sets and scenes. The club evoked a club called the Pit in THE CROW and roared with live punk music, which reminded us that the film’s twilit rockin’ punk soundtrack-how fitting that Deep Forest’s “Coral Lounge” (1995) clocked in at a twilit 3:27 on the incomplete CD soundtrack-evoked the non-stop rockin roll of AMERICAN GRAFFITI as well as the non-stop rock n roll of STREETS OF FIRE and its dark and despondent tenth anniversary rebuttal, THE CROW-some of it live in those three films, as well-an original, raucous, riotous and sometimes live rock and punk soundtrack that also evoked the original punk soundtrack created for the twilit and allegorical Cox film REPO MAN (1984), another raucous and riotous L.A. based film that was alluded to in STRANGE DAYS.
Infuriatingly, the management of Retinal Fetish also allowed neo-Nutzis in cages to burn books, a scene that evoked the twilit, allegorical and implicitly Francis Coppola addressing Spielberg film SCHINDLER’S LIST (1993), which co-starred Fiennes as the Evil and implicitly Landis linked slave labour camp commandant, Amon Goeth, to affirm the implicit link of Faith to Spielberg. The implicit reminder of Coppola was reaffirmed by the sight and sound of mostly young women dancing in cages set high above the throng while clips from various black and white noir films played on the walls, for all of this reminded us that film clips from the eerily prescient and twilit Coppola docufeature indie film DEMENTIA 13 (1963) were played on a New York club wall before beautiful and beguiling Barbara Darling-played by Elizabeth Hartman-began dancing in a glass box high above the patrons in the allegorical Coppola docufeature indie film YOU’RE A BIG BOY NOW (1966).
Intriguingly, as Coppola was an old friend of Lucas rather than Badham, DePalma, Hill, Lynch, Scorsese, Sir Scott or Verhoeven and Peltier was an old friend of Nero, there was now a possibility that Peltier was implicitly linked to Coppola. This possibility increased when Nero met Faith, transformed from a natural look seen in Nero’s earlier playback session into a sexy, heavily made up, clingy dress wearing and long neon red haired siren, and her new boyfriend, the implicitly Lynch and Great Oz linked manager, Philo Gant-played by Wincott-at the club, surrounded by Gant’s bodyguards, the implicitly Burton linked Duncan, the Riddler evoking Joey Corto and the Harley Quinn evoking Cindy “Vita” Minh-played by David Carrera, Nicky Katt and Louise LeCavalier, respectively-and Wade Beemer-who resembled Grange but acted and dressed like Don Pedro Colley’s SRT in THX 1138, and was played by Michael Jace. For Gant and Faith resembled the implicitly Cameron linked Count Dracula and his famous and implicitly Ireland linked victim, Lucy Westenra-played by Oldman and Sadie Frost, respectively-in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced film BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA (1992).
However, unlike the vampires of BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA, the reflection of Faith appeared in mirrors. For when Nero confronted the faithless Faith in the club’s dressing room with its emerald green walls after watching and listening to her perform the twilit and allegorical PJ Harvey tune “Hardly Wait” (1995), curiously mostly bathed in the neon blue light of Iris and the neon green light of Mace as she did, Faith was almost always seen in a mirror, often with Nero as in the playback tape Nero had enjoyed earlier, implicitly reaffirming that she was on a dangerous mirrorworld path, as well. Dangerous indeed, for the scene ended with the camera zooming in on Faith so that all that could be seen was her dangerous reflection in a mirror sneering at Nero and snarling at him that their relationship was over, implying that Faith had been completely taken over by her Dark Side.
Significantly, after leaving Faith, he ran into Peltier on his way out of the club. During their short talk, neon blue and purple were seen in the background behind Peltier, implicitly affirming that neon purple was indeed his colour for the film and curiously linking him to the neon blue of Iris, revelations that quickly turned out be important. For after Nero left the Retinal Fetish and was being driven home in the back seat of the New Yorker by Mace, he experienced a SQUID clip that had been given to him by the wheelchair bound double calf amputee, and, hence, implicitly Tin Man linked and John Waters resembling, Tex Arcana-played by Todd Graff-when Nero paid him a visit upstairs in the THX 1138 control room that oversaw the neon light and the projection of film clips on the walls of the Retinal Fetish. Curiously, Nero had in turn passed on a free playback disk to Arcana that he had made up specially for him, one that featured the POV of a man walking along Santa Monica beach on a beautiful sunny day. Soon an equally beautiful young woman-played by Honey Labrador-ran by the POV beach man, a sight that evoked the sight of Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed-played by Sylvester Stallone and Carl Weathers, respectively-running along the same stretch of beach in training for the big climatic fight against the Wicked Clubber Lang-played by Mr. T-in the eerily and presciently twilit Stallone film ROCKY III (1982), openly linking the film to 1982.
Alas for Nero, this clip revealed that Iris had been tracked down, raped and murdered by a stealthy and unknown man in a ski mask seen in the dangerous reflections of the mirrors of the room next to her hotel room at the Sunset Regent that he used to enter her room via the balconies. Significantly, this brutal and rapacious murder was also filmed with a lens that gave the nightmarish sequence a purplish tinge that implied that Peltier was the rapist/murderer. Curiously, this rapist/murderer POV black jack clip also evoked the murders committed by the POV serial killer in CO-ED FRENZY at the beginning of BLOW OUT and the brutal murders of three young women-played by Nancy Allen, Deborah Everton and Maureen Sullivan, respectively-by the equally stealthy, psychotic and Robert Duvall evoking Burke-played by John Lithgow-throughout BLOW OUT. This rapacious murder also evoked the equally brutal rape of the implicitly Madonna linked Laura Palmer-played by Sheryl Lee-by her father, the implicitly Spielberg linked Leland Palmer-played by Ray Wise-midway through the twilit and allegorical Lynch moving painting TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME (1992) and the rapacious murder of Laura by Leland at the end of that film. Last but not least, this brutal rape/murder evoked the equally brutal rape of Webster by the Fire It Up gang that led to her death at the beginning of THE CROW.
Significantly, with her blonde wig off during her rape/murder, Iris suddenly resembled the irritating and implicitly Toto linked Carol-played by Mackenzie Phillips-in AMERICAN GRAFFITI and Princess Leia in the STAR WARS Classic Trilogy in more affirmations of the implicit Lucas addressing intent of the film-and the Ozian theme of the film, as the death of Iris made her the implicit Wicked Witch of the East figure of STRANGE DAYS. Thus, with the resemblance of Iris to Carol and Leia and her rape/murder captured on black jack SQUID playback, Bigelow and Cameron implied that embracing CGI would not just rape but kill the vital humanity of the film art of Lucas. Not surprisingly, Nero was shocked and traumatized by this twisted black jack clip that recorded the rape/murder from the perspectives of both Iris and the implicitly Peltier linked rapist/murderer as both Iris and the Evildoer were wearing SQUID headsets, forcing Nero and male audience members to experience the lonely and painful horror of a brutal rape/murder. In fact, as with the initial POV of the restaurant robbery, the POV of the rape/murder of Iris drew in all audience members, whether male or female, and made every individual male and female complicit in the shocking rape/murder of Iris, implying that Bigelow and Cameron felt that audiences were just as complicit as Lucas in the growing CGI enhancement that was raping and murdering the vital humanity of film art.
And so the blackjack clip of Iris shocked Nero so much that he left behind his dissolute despair and tracked down her rapist/murderer through the strange hours leading up to the climatic millennium ending and beginning New Year’s celebrations with the help of Mason and Peltier, whose “helpful” scenes again ominously linked him to neon purple, preparing us again for his outing as the rapist/killer of Iris. Nero also dropped off to see Faith at the loft of Gant, the abstract paintings on the walls of the chain smoking and blues playing Gant reminding us that Lynch was a chain smoking and blues lovin’ painter as well as a moving painter to affirm the implicit link of Gant to Lynch.
Leading to another wakeup the next afternoon on December 31, 1999 with another neon yellow digital readout that began at 2:27:50 pm and increased another Fourcefull four seconds to 2:27:54 to reaffirm the implicit link of Nero to Lucas. Significantly, Nero was woken up by a call from Peltier, the differing 2:20 digital readout on the phone linking him to the fateful 2:20 time of the TZ disaster and to the equally fateful number 23 via the telephone number 213.555.9393. And then after talking to Peltier, Nero set off again with Mace to track down the murderer/rapist, a twisted trail that led to a repo yard and the playback clip of the murders of the twilit trio that Iris left in Nero’s repo’d car, and a desperate battle with Engelman and Steckler for possession of the incriminating clip. Significantly, this desperate battle led to Mace driving the limo off a pier and into the harbour to evade the two psychocops and put out a fire they had set on the car, forcing Mace and Nero to swim to safety from the car, evoking the even more explosive sight and sound of Draven sending a taped to the driver’s seat T-Bird off a pier in his eponymous ’73 Ford Thunderbird to his fiery doom in THE CROW, and the sight and sound of the Cameron anticipating Cameron-played by Steve Railsback-driving a Dusenberg off a bridge into a river and struggling to swim free at the end of the eerily and presciently twilit and allegorical Rush film THE STUNTMAN (1980).
Eventually, after recovering from the violent encounter with the psychocops-and after the twisted trail led to a Tick who was rewarded for his black jack loving and peddling sins with a SQUID fried brain back at his garage in the only scene where a cover of “Strange Days” (1995) by Prong and Ray Manzarek was actually heard in the film-Mace and Nero confronted Faith back at the Retinal Fetish where they finally got the truth about Iris before heading off into the downtown core of L.A. to experience the party of the milleniums, a sequence with many different musical acts that evoked the different musical acts in the partay in the twilit and allegorical Francis and Sofia Coppola docufeature short film LIFE WITHOUT ZOE (1989), the second of a trio of short films set in New York and released under the collective title NEW YORK STORIES (1989).
At this point, the third neon yellow digital display flashed on the screen, noting that it was now 11:09:48 pm and increasing another four seconds to 11:09:52 to reaffirm that the Fource was indeed with the film. And soon with Nero, for he tracked down the rapacious killer to room 2203 in the Westin Bonaventure Hotel, a fateful room number that evoked the 2:20 am time of the TZ disaster on the fateful 23rd of July of 1982. Significantly, the rapacious murderer did indeed turn out to be Nero’s neon purple linked and literally backstabbing best friend, Peltier, a “friend” so completely taken over by his Evil and dangerous mirrorworld reflection that Nero first saw Peltier’s split double trouble reflections pointing two guns at him in two mirrors in the bedroom of room 2203 after he discovered the silent and SQUID fried Gant on the floor wrapped in a bedsheet before he turned and saw Peltier standing alone and pointing one gun at him in the bedroom doorway. A literally backstabbing and implicitly Nikko linked “friend” who quickly killed the SQUID fried Gant in a way that evoked BLUE VELVET to affirm the implicit link of Gant to Lynch, and who then revealed he was as bald as THX 1138 underneath his SQUID receptor hiding wig, and so callously determined to kill Nero as he had killed Iris that a desperate battle broke out between Nero and Peltier that ultimately led to Nero dropping Peltier off the balcony of room 2203 to his dwindling doom in the tense but celebratory street below. Significantly, seeing Nero send Peltier falling to his doom in front of all of the New Year’s ’99 revellers below reminded us that Terri hunted down and stabbed Burke to death after he murdered his third female victim, sweet Sally-played by Allen-as Liberty Day celebrations and fireworks exploded around him at the end of BLOW OUT, reaffirming the implicit link of Nero to Lucas.
Significantly, this fatal fall also evoked the despairing suicidal leap of Dracula’s beloved princess, Elisabeta-played by Winona Ryder-off the top of a tower of Castle Dracula in the prologue of BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA, which made it fitting that the fall was preceded by an unusual and short refrain of orchestral music composed by Graeme Revell, the composer of THE CROW, that evoked Wojciech Klar’s Main Theme for BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA to affirm the implicit link of Peltier to Coppola, who, ironically, had implicitly roasted Lynch in his films even more than Bigelow and Cameron. The fatal fall also evoked the fatal fall of the even more Evil and insidious Emperor Palpatine-played by Ian McDiarmid-at the end of STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI to reaffirm the implicit link of Nero to Lucas and the fall that killed Top Dollar at the end of THE CROW, as well as the fatal fall of the first person POV robber in the black jack SQUID clip Nero experienced at the beginning of the film, bringing STRANGE DAYS full fatal circle.
Soon Engelman and Steckler also died, perhaps Bigelow and Cameron’s implicit way of hoping that either Besson and Reitman, Besson and Verhoeven or Schwarzenegger and Verhoeven crashed and burned for their sins, as the raucous crowds rioted and battled the police, evoking the equally riotous college students battling National Guardsmen at the climatic conclusion of the allegorical and implicitly Coppola addressing Rush film GETTING STRAIGHT (1970), reaffirming the film’s implicit interest in Coppola and Rush. Shortly after, Nero gave up on his ill advised dream to reconnect with his lost and lamented love, the faithless and Wicked Faith, who was revealed by another nasty playback clip found in room 2203 to have been in twisted and truly Wicked sexual league with Peltier, a dream of linking up again with Faith that had clearly been in the wrong since the mirror image of Nero had silently appeared as he blissed out to that SQUID playback of Faith at the beginning of the film. Instead, Nero finally dropped SQUID runner fantasies and embraced the loving reality of Mace, reminding us that after Cody dropped Aim and walked forlornly out of the Diamond at the end of STREETS OF FIRE, he was soon given a ride by the real McCoy.
And so a symbolic Lucas fell down the vertiginous heights of true love with the Afro-Queen of his THX 1138 hologram dreams, holding on and kissing her passionately, a healing Ozian kiss that brought harmony back to the world and was the only truly luvving and sincere sight in this hateful and cynical film, after the calmed down but still exuberantly pumped L.A. crowds came together and chanted and cheered the New Year and decade and century and millennium in and Lori Carson lovingly crooned the twilit and allegorical Carson and Revell tune “Fall In The Light” (1995), a soft, sweet, sad and wistful song that was notably but reassuringly in contrast to such a dark and violent film and that strengthened the ecstatically eucatastrophic ending, an ending that featured the fourth and last neon yellow digital display that began at 12:02:42 and progressed four more seconds to 12:02:46 to reaffirm that the Fource as well as the neon yellow linked LAPD were with the film and Nero and Mace, as the camera POV drifted slowly up for some more implicit Skyrocking adventures into a sky filled with jubilant circular confetti and streamers whose blue, green, purple, red and yellow colours reaffirmed the film’s palette one last time, now joined by black, white and orange.
And so Bigelow and Cameron implied their hope that Lucas would leave behind his strange days of collaborating with Coppola and Palpaberg and promoting the fake reality of CGI enhanced film art and return to the true indie path of slight CGI enhanced or completely CGI free docufeature indie film art and knock off Badham, Coppola, Hill, Lynch, Proyas, Scorsese, Sir Scott, Spielberg, Stallone and Verhoeven with an allegorical and completely CGI free docufeature indie film like AMERICAN GRAFFITI or at least an allegorical docufeature film that would use CGI sparingly and break the world of film art free from CGI addictions, the TZ disaster, the Twilight Zone and the Zone Wars forever, ushering in a daylit, life affirming and Skyrocking new millennium of film art in style. And so Lucas did not do that with his uber CGI enhanced STAR WARS Tragic Trilogy, a trilogy that failed just as badly as the Classic Trilogy and the Indy Trilogy, affirming that for Lucas, the dream was, indeed, over.
And so Bigelow and Cameron released their Great Wild Film, a film that challenged viewers by breaking taboos and leaving them changed and more thoughtful like Coppola had done in his eerily and presciently twilit and implicitly Lucas toasting and John Huston roasting allegorical docufeature indie film APOCALYPSE NOW (1979), or as Kubrick had done in the allegorical and implicitly Old Hollywood roasting docufeature and prototypically artbusting indie film DR. STRANGELOVE OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB (1964). And so, and alas for Bigelow and Cameron, audiences did not embrace and hold on to the true faith in and the true love for film art embedded at the core of this controversial but fine and memorable film, and it died in the Temple Theatre. One wondered if the implicit link of Peltier to Coppola troubled the subconscious of audience members, given that in reality Coppola was not a backstabber but the biggest supporter of Lucas both before and after the TZ disaster and was probably only being implicitly roasted due to the implicit link of Cameron to Dracula in BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA, reaffirming that STRANGE DAYS was primarily a Cameron film rather than a Bigelow film.
However, despite this setback, the dream was breaking open for Bigelow and Cameron, allowing them to have a major influence on a new millennium of CGI free and CGI enhanced film art in open defiance of the gloomy ending of THE CROW. Indeed, with its innovative screenplay, inspired performances, striking visuals increased by the film’s neon fever dream palette, crisp and clear cinematography, innovative set, costume and makeup design and original and often live rock and punk soundtrack interwoven with the symphonic score of Maestro Revell, STRANGE DAYS made clear that Bigelow and Cameron were poised to have a huge impact on the new millennium. Though noticeably without a significant Bigelow woman, as STRANGE DAYS was the last time a woman as physically assertive as Mace appeared in a Bigelow film.
As for Verhoeven, he curiously and implicitly likened the rivalry that had developed between Bigelow and Lynch to the rivalry between two Las Vegas showgirls, the tall, assertive, pugnacious and implicitly Bigelow linked indie dancer, Nomi Malone-played by Elizabeth Berkley-and the shorter, Sherilyn Fenn resembling and implicitly Lynch linked headlining dancer, Cristal Connors-played by Gina Gershon-in the twilit and allegorical film SHOWGIRLS (1995), released on September 21, 1995.
“I hate you.”
Indeed, the film’s allusions to NEAR DARK and WILD AT HEART and the presence of MacLachlan as Stardust Hotel Entertainment Director, Zack Carey, the man caught between the two feuding showgirls, affirmed the implicit Bigelow and Lynch addressing intent of the film. The resemblance of the climatic dance routine to the live twilit and allegorical Lynch moving painting INDUSTRIAL SYMPHONY NO. 1: THE DREAM OF THE BROKEN HEARTED (1990) also affirmed the implicit interest in Lynch in SHOWGIRLS. The presence of Stardust choreographer, Marty Jacobsen-played by Patrick Bristow-reaffirmed the film’s implicit interest in Bigelow and Lynch, as Marty resembled Montgomery, Bigelow’s co-writer and co-director on THE LOVELESS and Lynch’s co-producer on WILD AT HEART.
Curiously, Malone’s vengefully violent triumph over the brutal and implicitly Cameron linked pop star, Andrew Carver-played by William Shockley-also presciently anticipated a future triumph over Cameron at the 2009 Academy Awards ceremony. Thus, given this implicit interest in Bigelow, it was fitting that Ishida and Plummer played Mr. Okida and James Smith, respectively, in SHOWGIRLS, given that Ishida and Plummer had played Fumitsu and One in STRANGE DAYS. Just as curiously, Terry Gilliam closed the cinematic year by implicitly likening the tragicomic attempt of Bigelow and Lucas to prevent the vital humanity of film art from being killed by CGI enhanced blockbuster beasts to the equally tragicomic and failed attempt of the implicitly Bigelow linked and sympathetic psychiatrist Doctor Kathryn Railly-played by Madeleine Stowe-and the distraught, shaven headed, THX 1138 resembling and implicitly Lucas linked future time traveller James Cole-played as a boy by Joseph Melito, and as an adult by Bruce Willis, respectively-to prevent a deadly plague released by the implicitly Cameron linked mad scientist Dr. Peters-played by David Morse-from wiping out most of the vital humanity of planet Earth in 1997 in the twilit, allegorical, madcap and CGI enhanced animaction film 12 MONKEYS (1995), released on December 18, 1995.
As for Besson, he implicitly had the implicitly Lucas and Cowardly Lion linked flying taxi driver Korben Dallas-played by Willis-triumph over the implicitly Cameron and Bigelow linked Wicked Evildoer Jean-Baptiste Emmanuel Zorg and Zorg’s secretary-played by Oldman and Sibyl Buck, respectively-in the end of the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced and Ozian themed film THE FIFTH ELEMENT (1997), released on May 7, 1997. For his part, Verhoeven implicitly linked Bigelow to the fittingly fearless and commanding Star Force Pilot Trainee and then Captain Carmen Ibanez-played by Denise Richards-the one true love of the implicitly Lucas linked Sixth Mobile Infantry space marine, John “Johnny” D. Rico-played by Casper Van Dien-and had Capt. Ibanez inspire the implicitly Sarah Polley linked Lieutenant Stack Lumbreiser-played by Amy Smart-to equal success in the Fleet in the twilit, allegorical, exuberantly ultraviolent and CGI enhanced film STARSHIP TROOPERS (1997), a film released on November 7th, 1997 and whose implicit interest in Bigelow was affirmed by the return of Brown as the indomitable, again implicitly Cronenberg linked and brain bug besting, Sergeant/Private Zim.
On May 15th of the following year, Gilliam also implicitly responded to STRANGE DAYS and implicitly roasted Bigelow again in the implicit form of a disgruntled waitress-played by Ellen Barkin-at the North Star Coffee Lounge in Las Vegas who was tormented by the implicitly Coppola and Lynch linked Dr. Gonzo and Raoul Duke-played by Benicio Del Toro and Johnny Depp, respectively-in the twilit, allegorical, madcap and CGI enhanced animaction film FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS (1998), an implicit interest in Bigelow affirmed by the North Star Coffee Lounge’s evocation of the diner scenes in THE LOVELESS, and the appearances of Busey as an all too lonely Nevada Highway Patrol officer and Goldstein as a Vegas hotel maid. On October 1st of the same year, SCC also implicitly roasted Bigelow in the implicit form of Grade 7 Queen mean girl, Chloe-played by Audrey Heaven-in the twilit, allegorical and docufeature indie short film LICK THE STAR (1998), perhaps in retaliation for the implicit link of her father to Peltier in STRANGE DAYS. For his part, the sight and sound of the implicitly Bigelow, Cameron, Hamill and Lucas linked Susan, Sam, Bill and Steve-played by Natassja Kinski, Billy Zane, Michael Biehn and Rob Schneider, respectively-trying and failing to successfully murder Susan’s implicitly Coppola linked ex-husband, Paul Holland-played by Adrian Paul-implied that Landis was roasting Bigelow and STRANGE DAYS in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced docufeature film SUSAN’S PLAN (1998), a film released on October 29, 1998 whose implicit allegorical intent was affirmed by the film’s allusions to STRANGE DAYS.
For their parts, Lana and Lilly Wachowski implicitly linked Bigelow to Trinity-played by Carrie-Anne Moss-and had her help Neo-played by Reeves-and the rest of the last embattled remnants of humanity prevent their vital humanity from being terminated by the CGI enhanced blockbuster machine world in their twilit, allegorical, Ozian themed and CGI enhanced Neo-Western film THE MATRIX (1999), a film released on March 31,1999 and whose implicit Bigelow addressing intent was affirmed by the film’s allusions to NEAR DARK, POINT BREAK and STRANGE DAYS. SCC also implicitly roasted Bigelow again that year in the implicit form of teen cad, Trip Fontaine-played by Josh Hartnett-in the twilit and allegorical indie docufeature film THE VIRGIN SUICIDES (1999), released on May 19, 1999. As for Besson, he implicitly and literally roasted Bigelow in the implicit form of Joan of Arc-played by Milla Jovovich-in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced indie docufeature film THE MESSENGER (1999), released on October 18, 1999 and whose implicit Bigelow addressing intent was affirmed by the film’s allusions to LA FEMME NIKITA and STRANGE DAYS.
All of which no doubt inspired Bigs to team up again with Smith and THE LOVELESS co-producer A. Kitman Ho and, curiously, reach out to Polley as if in a nod to Verhoeven, reassure audiences that she could indeed make a film whose title had more than two words and syllables and end the decade the way it began with another implicit roast of Landis on one level in her most complex, mature, thought provoking, fearless, CGI free, uncharacteristically feminine and unusually unoriginal film to date, the twilit and allegorical indie docufeature artbuster THE WEIGHT OF WATER (2000), released on September 9th, 2000 and inspired by the allegorical Anita Shreve novel The Weight Of Water (1997), which was an implicit twentieth anniversary year reply to the allegorical and implicitly Kubrick addressing King novel The Shining (1977) with a dash of the allegorical King novel Carrie (1974) thrown in for good measure.
“Love is never as ferocious
as when you think it’s gonna leave.”
Significantly, the film began with a haunting and surreal montage that accompanied the opening titles-with the third title again openly and proudly declaring THE WEIGHT OF WATER a Kathryn Bigelow film-a surreal and haunting montage that evoked the allegorical film art of both Lynch and Guy Maddin and implied that Bigelow was addressing one or both film artists in the film. Images appeared and disappeared in bubbling blue water like ghosts, first a floating white shroud, then a wooden barn or house, words being written on white paper, a Portsmouth newspaper article about a tragedy in the Isles of Shoals off the coast of New Hampshire and King’s Maine, a small cross on a falling neck chain, the ghost shroud again, the handwriting of one Maren Hontredt, the ghost shroud once more, more handwriting, a map of the Isles of Shoals, photocopied pictures of an ax and a Caucasian man with black hair, eyes and moustache, accompanied more and more by the sounds of a woman singing in Norwegian and a David Hirschfelder soundtrack that evoked the soundtracks that Angelo Badalamenti had composed for Lynch since BLUE VELVET. Then the water disappeared and a full moon appeared in a cloud scudding night sky that evoked the full moons seen high in the night sky of AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, accompanied by the sound of a mob of angry voices.
A timely evocation of AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, for soon nineteenth century police were seen leading a shouting man who resembled Landis and the man in the photocopied picture in the opening haunting montage through an angry and shouting crowd to a horse drawn wagon. This outraged beginning recalled the ending of all good monster movies, with the mob of angry villagers with torches and pitchforks chasing the latest allegorical incarnation of Frankenstein or the Werewolf out of town, this time through their dark and moonlit town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Then the man was put on the wagon, and the wagon rolled away. Then the miserable man was seen in jail, where he was visited by a young and twilit trio of two men and one woman composed of a young couple and a lone man, all blonde Norwegians, and the miserable man was identified by the woman as the perpetrator of some unknown crime, before the woman fainted.
Curiously, the scene then shifted from 1873 to the present, where we met the implicitly Lynch linked poet, Thomas Janes-played by Sean Penn, who openly linked another Bigelow film to the twilit and disastrous year of 1982 via his role as Jeff Spicoli in the twilit and allegorical Amy Heckerling film FAST TIMES AT RIDGMONT HIGH (1982)-and his photojournalist wife, Jean Janes-played by Catherine McCormack-who began a film long VO at this point. The two were driving off to meet the younger brother of Thomas, the blonde and Cameron resembling and mplicitly linked Richard “Rich” Janes-played by Josh Lucas-who had promised to take them on a cruise on his sailboat, the Antares, off the coast of Maine and New Hampshire that would include a stop at Smuttynose Island so that Jean could investigate the murderous tragedy on that particular island in the Isles of Shoals for an article, murder shrouded islands that evoked the equally dark and murderous islands of Nublar and Sorna, part of los Cincos Muertes archipelago off the coast of Costa Rica in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced Kennedy and Marshall produced Spielberg films JURASSIC PARK (1993) and THE LOST WORLD (1997).
Arriving at the dock and clambering aboard the Antares, Jean and Thomas met not only Rich but his beautiful, sexy and sensual new girlfriend, the Bigelow resembling and implicitly linked Adaline “Smokin’” Gunne-played by the fittingly surnamed Elizabeth Hurley-who was slowly revealed as the secret adulterous lover of Thomas. As sparks quickly began to openly fly between Adaline and Thomas, the sailors reached Smuttynose Island and headed ashore on a Zodiac outboard motor boat. Curiously, while examining the foundations that were all that were left of an old house that was central to the dark saga on the island, Jean heard voices and saw visons that linked her to Maren and the murders. This link became open when Jean left the others and took shelter under a large rock on the shore, imitating Maren who we saw in an accompanying flashback seeking shelter at the same spot under the same rock after the murders, perhaps implying that Jean was a reincarnation of Maren.
The scene then shifted back to 1876 and to a trial, where we discovered that the despised, jailed and Landis resembling and implicitly linked man was Louis Wagner-played by Ciaran Hinds-a frightened German bachelor, who was believed to be the murderer who had killed two young Norwegian immigrant women, the beautiful Hollywood evoking blonde, Anethe Christenson, and Maren’s older sister, the implicitly Spielberg linked brunette, Karen Christenson-murders that evoked the murders of Diamonda and Iris in STRANGE DAYS, and played by Vinessa Shaw and Katrin Cartlidge, respectively-on Smuttynose Island in 1873. Here at the trial we also discovered that the twilit trio that visited Wagner in jail were Maren and John Hontvedt-played by Polley and Ulrich Thomsen, respectively-and Maren’s brother and Anethe’s angry, despondent, handsome and Hamill resembling husband, Evan Christenson-played by Anders W. Berthelsen. Significantly, Anethe and Evan were as good looking as Adaline and Rich, creating another Hollywood evoking couple in contrast to the less good looking and cigarette smoking Thomas and Jean Janes and the pipe smoking and equally normal looking John and Maren Hontvedt.
At any rate, over much of the rest of the film, we saw and heard Maren give her testimony, creating another film long VO that alternated with that of Jean and that alternated Maren’s late nineteenth century experience on Smuttynose Island with the late twentieth century experience of Jean, implicitly linking the two women. These alternating stories also linked the two eras, a link openly made by the Antares, which evoked the wooden sailing ships of Maren’s era. Significantly, telling the court how she arrived at Smuttynose Island, we noticed Maren wearing a scarf on her head and clothing that made her resemble the young Dutch woman in the allegorical Johannes Vermeer painting “The Girl With The Pearl Earring” (1665), implicitly linking her to painting in particular and art in general. We also saw and heard how Karen arrived at the island after the death of the patriarch of the Christenson family in Norway, how Wagner arrived soon after, and how Evan and Anethe Christenson soon joined them all.
Significantly, we also saw Wagner hit on and be rebuffed by Maren and Anethe, leading him to be banished from the island by the angry John, a banishment that implicitly gave Wagner reason to secretly return and kill Anethe and Karen. However, eventually we also saw how Maren actually murdered Anethe and Karen like a despondently furious and vengeful Carrie White or axe wielding Jackie Torrance, for Maren was angry that Karen revealed to Anethe that as a youth she had had an incestuous relationship with her brother, Evan, and in fact, was still madly in love with Evan. Curiously, this surprising incestuous revelation reminded us that Luke and Leia unknowingly kissed and hugged one another in an amorous way in STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE and STAR WARS EPISODE V: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK before they realized that they were J.D. Jedi twin siblings in STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI, implying that Evan and Maren were linked to Luke and Leia. Thus, the nightmarish sight and sound of Maren stunning Karen with repeated blows over the head with a chair and then strangling her to death after killing the beautiful, blonde and implicitly Hollywood linked Anethe with repeated chops with an axe implied that Bigelow felt that Lucas and Spielberg had killed themselves and their film art, probably with CGI enhancement, given the film’s allusions to JURASSIC PARK and THE LOST WORLD and the implicit link of Maren to Maddin.
Significantly, when the film finally returned full monstrous and climatic circle to the murders of Anethe and Karen at the end of the film and we discovered that they were committed by Maren and not by Wagner, the murders were intercut with the sight and sound of Thomas drowning trying to save Adaline, who was deliberately allowed to be swept off the Antares into the surging ocean during a storm by Jean, perhaps because she wanted Thomas to drown trying to save Adaline due to the revelation of his adulterous relationship with her. Certainly, the fact that Jean saw a vision of Maren as she floundered underwater after diving in guiltily to save Thomas implicitly affirmed the link of the two women and implied that Jean was as much of a murderer as Maren. And so the drowning of Thomas reminded us that the implicitly Lynch linked Bodhi died in the ocean too at the end of POINT BREAK, linking Thomas to Bodhi in a way that reaffirmed the implicit link of Thomas to Lynch. This howling Atlantic storm also evoked the howling Atlantic storm that pounded another sailing boat in the twilit, allegorical and implicitly Lynch supporting Sir Scott film WHITE SQUALL (1996), reaffirming the implicit link of Thomas to Lynch and implying that Bigelow was perhaps replying to WHITE SQUALL on one level in THE WEIGHT OF WATER. Significantly, the fact that Wagner, who was found guilty of the murders of Anethe and Karen at the trial, was held at a prison called Thomaston before he was hung right around the time Thomas drowned also linked the murders of 1873 to the death of Thomas in the present. And so the film art of Bigelow, Cameron and Maddin implicitly lived on in the implicit forms of Adaline, Rich, John and Maren, while implicitly died did the film art of Landis, Lucas, Lynch and Spielberg in the implicit forms of Louis, Anethe, Thomas and Karen.
Curiously, a vital humanity triumphed over the beastly blockbuster machine in the form of the triumph of embattled American submariners led by the implicitly reborn with the STAR WARS Tragic Trilogy Force Lucas linked Lt. Andrew “Andy” Tyler-played by Matthew McConaughey-aided by the possibly Bigelow linked secret service spook, Hirsch-played by Jake Weber-over German submariners led by the implicitly Cameron linked Kapitan Wasser-played by Thomas Kretschmann-and a German destroyer and its crew at the end of the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced Jonathan Mostow film U-571 (2000), a film released on April 17, 2000. Then Sir Scott kicked off the new film year, century and millenia by implicitly linking Bigelow to FBI Special Agent Clarice Starling in the twilit, allegorical and implicitly Cronenberg addressing film HANNIBAL (2001), released on February 9, 2001.
As for Lynch, he implicitly linked Bigelow to the car accident surviving but amnesia suffering mystery brunette sometimes known as Rita, Diane Selwyn or Camilla Rhodes-played by Laura E. Harring-in the twilit, allegorical and CGI free moving painting MULHOLLAND DRIVE (2001), a film released on May 16, 2001 whose implicit link was affirmed by the film’s allusions to NEAR DARK, POINT BREAK, SHOWGIRLS, STRANGE DAYS, SUSAN’S PLAN and THE WEIGHT OF WATER, including a prominently placed reproduction of “The Girl With The Pearl Earring” to affirm the film’s implicit interest in the latter film. Encouraging Bigelow to return to Nova Scotia where she made THE WEIGHT OF WATER and focus on anti-hero Soviet submariners rather than Norwegian immigrants as she sailed boldly into the brave new millennium of CGI enhanced film art and implicitly replied to U-571 with her biggest, most fearless, CGI enhanced, original, relentless and commanding twilit and allegorical indie docufeature artbuster to date K19: THE WIDOWMAKER (2002), released on July 19th, 2002.
Curiously, an opening title proclaiming K19: THE WIDOWMAKER a Kathryn Bigelow film was not seen at the beginning of the film, perhaps in deference to the moving real life nightmare that inspired the film. A film that began with Captain Mikhail Polenin-played by Liam Neeson-charging through the crowded and labyrinthine hallways of the new, bigger and more powerful Soviet nuclear submarine, K19, as it lay in drydock finishing construction and leading his crew through a nuclear missile launch drill that failed. Curiously, this full throttle and dramatic beginning evoked DR. STRANGELOVE, OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB and the allegorical Kubrick film PATHS OF GLORY (1957), implicitly linking Capt. Polenin to Kubrick. However, the sight and sound of the beleaguered Capt. Polenin and the young and inexperienced crew of the K19 failing the launch drill due to a badly constructed submarine also evoked the sight and sound of the equally beleaguered Commander Akiro Mitamura-played by Mifune Toshiro-and his young and inexperienced crew of the Japanese Type B1 submarine, the I19, failing to achieve their own military goals due in part to their badly constructed submarine throughout the presciently twilit and allegorical Spielberg film 1941 (1979), possibly linking Capt. Polenin to Spielberg.
Significantly, this possible link of Capt. Polenin to Spielberg was increased by the arrival of the more experienced Capt. Alexei Vostrikov-who, curiously, was linked to allusions to AMERICAN GRAFFITI and THE ELEPHANT MAN as he arrived on the scene, linking him to either Lucas or Lynch, and was played by Ford-who was sent by Moscow to command the K19 after Capt. Polenin and his crew failed to carry out the test. For the sight and sound of Capt. Vostrikov quarrelling bitterly with Capt. Polenin over the course of the rest of the film about following orders, even if those orders put the lives of all of the crew members of the K19 in danger, evoked the sight and sound of Cdr. Mitamura quarrelling bitterly with a German naval observer named Captain Wolfgang von Kleinschmidt-played by Christopher Lee-throughout 1941. However, despite this animosity between the two captains, with Capt. Vostrikov on board, the K1941 finished its construction and left port on its maiden voyage.
Soon the captains and crew bested the earlier failed missile launch drill by firing a non-nuclear test missile in a memorably realized and CGI enhanced eruption of indomitable digital force, the blockbuster bomb roaring into the sky on a pillar of fire like a massive bullet fired from a gun. Unfortunately, not long after the successful launching of this test blockbuster bomb, the K19 itself almost turned into a blockbuster bomb when a CGI enhanced pipe rupture almost led to the meltdown of the sub’s nuclear reactor. As a determined and CGI free effort by the two determined and quarrelling captains and the desperate crew to weld the pipes needed to cool the reactor with fresh water, save the submarine and prevent a nuclear explosion that might have inadvertently set off a nuclear war between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. was ultimately successful, Bigelow implied her belief that CGI enhancement would simply create spectacular but soulless and mindless blockbuster bombs if a film lacked the vital humanity, the intelligent and imaginative scripts and the able directors like Bigelow, Cameron, Kubrick, Lucas, Lynch and Spielberg that were needed to inspire the equally determined, and, at times, desperate, members of the cast and crew to rise to the challenge needed to create a fine and memorable work of feature film art.
Or did she? For Ford’s Captain Vostrikov also linked the film to the STAR WARS Classic Trilogy via his luvable and scruffy indie Corellian pirate rogue, Han Solo, while Neeson’s Captain Polenin linked the film to the STAR WARS Tragic Trilogy via his equally luvable and scruffy rogue Jedi Knight, Qui Gonn Jinn, in the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced, Ozian themed and implicitly Cameron and Spielberg roasting Lucas film STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE (1999), implying that Bigelow was actually roasting Lucas as she implicitly did in THE WEIGHT OF WATER for failing to bring the Classic Trilogy to a triumphant trimax with STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI and also failing to kick off the Tragic Trilogy on a triumphant note with STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE, an implication affirmed by the film’s allusions to U-571. Or was Bigelow actually implicitly addressing Lucas and Spielberg in the implicit forms of Vostrikov and Polenin, given that the sight and sound of the Soviet submariners standing on the deck of the surfaced K19 to escape radiation poisoning late in the film evoked the sight and sound of Nazi submariners standing on the deck of their surfaced German sub late in the eerily twilit, allegorical, Ozian themed, implicitly William Friedkin addressing, Lucas executive produced and Marshall produced Spielberg film RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981). If so, Bigelow was actually warning Lucas and Spielberg not to give up on the vital humanity of their CGI enhanced film art like Vostrikov and Polenin refused to give up on saving their crew and their SNAFU plagued submarine in K19: THE WIDOMAKER.
Then again, the sight and sound of the medium height and build Capt. Vostrikov teaming up with the taller and leaner Capt. Polenin throughout the film also evoked the sight and sound of the medium height and build Captain James T. Kirk-played by William Shatner-teaming up with the tall and lean Science Officer Spock-played by Leonard Nimoy-in the voyages of the storied Enterprise, implying that Bigelow was actually roasting the many allegorical and sometimes CGI enhanced STAR TREK films and telefilms in K19: THE WIDOWMAKER. In addition, K19: THE WIDOWMAKER constantly evoked the equally embattled Second World War German submarine crew of the presciently twilit and allegorical Wolfgang Petersen docufeature film DAS BOOT (1982). This linked another Bigelow film to the twilit and disastrous year of 1982, a link reaffirmed by the presence of Ford as Capt. Vostrikov, as Ford played replicant hunter Rick Deckard in BLADE RUNNER. Thus, this dual link to 1982 also implied that K19: THE WIDOWMAKER was a twentieth anniversary meditation on the TZ disaster, the dread allegorical Zone Wars and the CGI that had been feverishly developed since 1982 so as to use realistic post-production CGI visual effects in order to avoid dangerous on set special effects like those that led to the TZ disaster, a grim meditation that implicitly hoped that film artists would not forget the vital humanity of film art in the CGI enhanced age.
As for Mark S. Johnson and the Marvel Bullpen, they implicitly linked the fearless Bigelow to the equally fearless martial arts warrioress and super assassin, Elektra Natchios-created by Frank Miller for Marvel Comics, fittingly arriving on the scene the same year that Bigelow arrived on the scene in DAREDEVIL #168 in January 1981, and played by Jennifer Garner-in the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced and implicitly Richard Kelly roasting super satirical film DAREDEVIL (2003), released on February 9, 2003. For their part, the Wachowski Sisters again implicitly linked Bigelow to Trinity-played again by Moss-in their trimatic, twilit, allegorical, Ozian themed and CGI enhanced films THE MATRIX RELOADED (2003) and THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS (2003), and had Trinity again do her best to help Neo-played again by Reeves-prevent the CGI enhanced blockbuster machines from destroying the last remnants of vital humanity on Earth-and in film art.
Sir Scott also implicitly linked Bigelow to lonely grocery cashier, Kathy-played by Sheila Kelley-and cheekily had her marry the implicitly Lynch linked Roy Waller-played by Cage-at the end of the twilit, allegorical and implicitly Lynch addressing film MATCHSTICK MEN (2003), a film released on September 2, 2003. Then Rob Bowman implied that he was impressed with DAREDEVIL and Elektra, as he also implicitly linked Bigelow to Elektra-played again by Garner-in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced super satirical film ELEKTRA (2005), released on January 8, 2005.
“Legend tells of a unique warrior…
This warrior is a woman.”
Indeed, in a black t-shirt and tight blue jeans, with her long auburn hair tied back in a pigtail and her hands on her hips, the fearless and commanding Elektra looked like Bigelow’s twin commanding and fearless sister-and was just as comfortable with violence. Finally, Bigelow was allowed to be both a woman and a warrior, unlike in THE CROW, though Elektra was linked to the Crow as she too had died in an accident but been returned to life by her blind and implicitly Cameron linked ‘kima gun’ martial arts mentor, played by Terence Stamp, an elektrafying return to life that probably symbolized the help Cameron gave Bigelow on POINT BREAK. The CGI crow created by the implicitly Spielberg linked and Evil Tatoo-played by Chris Ackerman-whose eyes Tatoo could see with as he tracked down Elektra reaffirmed the link to THE CROW, reminding us that the Crow could also see through the eyes of his faithful crow companion and spirit guide who also flew around tracking down the killers of Shelly for Draven. The resemblance of Natassia Malthe’s Evil Typhoid to the implicitly Bigelow linked Ellen Aim of STREETS OF FIRE also reaffirmed the implicit interest in Bigelow in ELEKTRA.
For his part, Terry Gilliam implicitly linked the fearless Bigs to the fittingly fearless trapper, Angelika Krauss-played by Lena Headey-in the twilit, allegorical, madcap, Ozian themed and CGI enhanced animaction film THE BROTHERS GRIMM (2005). Richard Kelly also amused himself by marrying the implicitly Bigelow linked Republican Senator’s daughter, Madeline Frost-Santaros-played by Mandy Moore-to the implicitly Lynch linked Hollywood action star, aspiring film artist and fourth dimensional rift time traveller, Boxer Santaros-played by Dwayne Johnson-in the equally madcap, twilit, allegorical, Ozian themed and CGI enhanced film SOUTHLAND TALES (2006), a film released on May 21, 2006. In addition, Ben Affleck implicitly linked Bigs to reluctantly intrepid Boston Private Investigator Angela “Angie” Gennaro-played by Monaghan-in the twilit, allegorical and CGI free docufeature film GONE BABY GONE (2007), a film released on September 5, 2007 that affirmed that it was implicitly addressing Bigelow on one level by allusions to NEAR DARK, POINT BREAK and STRANGE DAYS.
For his part, Christopher Nolan fittingly had the implicitly Bigelow linked, Crow resembling, gleefully demented and remorselessly violent Joker-played by Heath Ledger-battle the Cameron resembling and implicitly linked Bruce “Batman” Wayne-played by Christian Bale-battle for control of Gotham City like Bigelow and Cameron battled for control of the Temple Theatre in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced super satirical docufeature film THE DARK KNIGHT (2008), a film released on July 14 2008 that affirmed that it was implicitly addressing Bigelow on one level by the film’s allusions to LA FEMME NIKITA, POINT BREAK, STRANGE DAYS and THE CROW, and the return of Fichtner as the manager of the bank robbed in the film’s opening robbery. How fitting that the Joker showed up near the end of the film dressed as a female nurse, given Bigelow’s fondness for linking male film artists to female actresses in her film art. As for Bigelow, she implicitly wrapped up her Lynch Trilogy in winning style and returned to the neo-Western spirit of her early films when she teamed up again with Fiennes and Sam Spruell-who resembled Lynch and had played a Soviet submariner in K19: THE WIDOWMAKER-and exchanged Soviet submariners in ineffectual radiation suits for American soldiers in equally ineffectual bomb disposal suits in her next fearless, twilit, allegorical, original, CGI enhanced and implicitly Lynch addressing indie docufeature artbuster THE HURT LOCKER (2008), released on September 4th, 2008.
“Want a cigarette?”
Curiously, the film began with jumpy and twitchy digicam footage from a rolling bomb disposal bot checking out a suspicious object on a Baghdad street during the rotation of Bravo Company in Iraq, recalling the similar jumpy and twitchy digicam street footage that had Grace Zabriskie’s implicitly Glinda the Good linked character walking down the street of a posh L.A. neighbourhood at the beginning of the twilit, allegorical and CGI free Lynch moving painting INLAND EMPIRE (2006), implicitly affirming from the outset that Bigelow was addressing Lynch again in THE HURT LOCKER. Indeed, Sergeant William James-played by Jeremy Renner-affirmed Bigelow’s implicit Lynch addressing intent, for the ultra indie, unpredictable, iconoclastic, hands on and cigarette and heavy metal loving veteran bomb disposal defuslinger on his first tour with Bravo Company in Iraq evoked the equally ultra indie, unpredictable, iconoclastic, hands on and cigarette and heavy metal loving blockbuster bomb veteran Lynch throughout THE HURT LOCKER.
Indeed, the film’s allusions to INLAND EMPIRE and MULHOLLAND DRIVE and the desert locations and the bomb disposal suit James wore affirmed the film’s implicit interest in Lynch, for the locations evoked the desert world of Arrakis and the suit evoked the battle suits of the Sardaukar, the Imperial terror troops, in DUNE. The sight of James managing to survive every potentially blockbuster bomb defusing fiasco he had thrown at him in the Iraqi streets in one defuslinging duel after another and living to return to Iraq for another tour, this time with a Delta Company that anticipated the next implicitly Landis addressing Bigelow film, also affirmed the film’s implicit interest in Lynch, reminding us that the quirky Boy Scout from Arrakis somehow managed to survive every blockbuster bomb he released on the Temple Theatre-particularly DUNE and TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME. Last but not least, the unfortunate Iraqi civilian forced to become a suicide bomber who was the last major defuslinging dilemma of the first Iraqi tour of Sgt. James reaffirmed the implicit Lynch addressing intent of THE HURT LOCKER. For this Black Suit Man-played by Suhail al-Dabbach-resembled the implicitly Kubrick linked Wicked Phantom-played by Krzyztof Majchrzak-whose insidious machinations infected INLAND EMPIRE.
Significantly, despite failing to successfully defuse the padlocked suicide bomb vest on the Black Suit Man and being caught in its explosion as he ran away, Sgt. James managed to avoid dying in the end, unlike previous implicitly embodied incarnations of Lynch in Bigelow films like Bodhi and Janes, and unlike his possibly Sir Scott linked predecessor, Sgt. Matthew Thompson-played by Guy Pearce-who was killed in the explosion that kicked off the film. Curiously, the sight of James eventually rousing himself and picking himself up also reminded us that the implicitly Lynch linked Fred came back to life after being shot down at the end of SUBWAY, Besson’s implicit way of hoping that Lynch would also come back to life with a successful film after being gunned down the year before by the failure of DUNE. Heck, Bigelow even allowed James to outlast the implicitly Lucas linked British mercenary leader-played by Fiennes-and Brian Geraghty’s implicitly Spielberg linked Specialist Owen Eldridge, who was knocked out of the Zone Wars after being ‘accidentally’ shot by James. James also survived an exuberant drunken fight back at the barracks with Sgt. JT Sanborn-played by Anthony Mackie-an exuberant fight that evoked the real fight in the legendary first “allegorical” Bigelow short film THE SET-UP (1978). Thus, it was fitting that the title of THE HURT LOCKER evoked the surname of William Hurt, for he played the naïve and unlucky Ned Racine-a name that was almost an anagram of ERASERHEAD-one of the first cinematic characters implicitly linked to Lynch in the allegorical Lawrence Kasdan film BODY HEAT (1981).
This implied a slight change of heart on the part of Bigelow and a grudging and only slightly sarcastic nod from one painter turned film artist to another for the zany resilience of Lynch, and an ironic nod at that, given that STRANGE DAYS and THE WEIGHT OF WATER had done as badly, or perhaps even worse, in theatres as DUNE and TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME, and a hope that his dreamy and surreal moving paintings would hold up and perhaps evens outlast the films of Kubrick, Lucas and Spielberg in the long run. An implicit change of heart in a high calibre film that the august Academy implicitly agreed with, for its members awarded Bigelow six Oscars for THE HURT LOCKER for Best Director, Best Editing, Best Original Screenplay, Best Picture, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing, allowing Bigelow to become the first of many fearless female film artists to win the Best Director and Best Film Oscars. Significantly, the Best Director and Best Film Oscars also allowed Bigelow to best Kubrick at his own artbuster game, for Kubrick never won either Oscar.
Curiously, in the “triumph” of the implicitly Bigelow linked Cambridge, MA bank manager, Claire Keesey-played by Rebecca Hall-over the implicitly Cameron linked blockbuster bank robber, James “Gem” Coughlin-played by Jeremy Renner-Affleck implied his delight that Bigelow had triumphed over Cameron at the 2009 Academy Awards ceremony at the end of the twilit, allegorical and CGI free docufeature film, THE TOWN (2010), a film released on September 8, 2010 whose implicit allegorical intent was affirmed by allusions to POINT BREAK and STRANGE DAYS. Disney and Marvel agreed, implicitly linking Bigelow to the fittingly fearless, indomitable and Elektra evoking Asgardian warrioress, Sif-created by Smilin’ Stan Lee and Jolly Jack Kirby for Marvel Comics, and played by Jamie Alexander-in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced Kenneth Branagh super satirical film THOR (2011), a film released on April 17, 2011. Cronenberg begged to differ that year and implied that he was puzzled by Bigelow and her fondness for violence, for he implicitly linked her to the sadomasochistic patient/analyst Sabina Spielrein-played by Keira Knightley-in his twilit and slightly CGI enhanced allegorical film A DANGEROUS METHOD (2011), released on September 2, 2011.
At any rate, no doubt buoyed by those six Oscars for THE HURT LOCKER that validated and strengthened the persistence of her fearless and commanding allegorical vision, Bigelow teamed up again with THE HURT LOCKER writer and co-producer Mark Boal and returned to the embattled Middle East to complete her War Is Film Trilogy-or was that the Film Is War Trilogy?-and her Landis Trilogy with another desperate hunt for a killer implicitly linked to Landis as in BLUE STEEL and THE WEIGHT OF WATER in her next fearless, twilit, allegorical, original, violent, CGI enhanced and neo-Western indie docufeature artbuster ZERO DARK THIRTY (2012), released on December 10th, 2012.
“Well, you certainly have a flair for it.”
Not surprisingly, and as at the beginning of K19: THE WIDOWMAKER, there was no title at the beginning proclaiming that it was a Kathryn Bigelow film, no doubt in deference to the serious nature of the film. A serious nature affirmed by the sound of real and moving recordings of the cell phone voices of passengers of the hijacked 911 planes and of employees trapped in the burning towers of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 that played over a black screen at the beginning of ZERO DARK THIRTY which enhanced the docufeature style of the film. Curiously, as sounds of voices or music playing over a black screen at the beginning of a film was also a famous characteristic of the allegorical films of Spielberg, including JURASSIC PARK and DUEL (1971), Bigelow signalled at the start of ZERO DARK THIRTY that she was sending a message to Spielberg, perhaps in response to the twilit and allegorical film LINCOLN (2011), which had implicitly linked Landis to President Abraham Lincoln-played by Daniel D. Lewis.
Indeed, when the desperate hunt for Osama Bin Landen-played by Ricky Sekhon-finally led to Bin Laden being tracked down to his Pakistan compound hideout at the end of the film and killed by a Navy SEAL team that evoked the machine gun toting and shooting Nazis demons in a memorable nightmare suffered by Kessler in AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, it was noticeable that Bin Laden resembled Landis more than he did Spielberg, implying that Bigelow had not thought too much of the allegorical implications of LINCOLN. Thus, it was fitting that one of the two stealth helicopters that dropped the SEALs off in Bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan crashed during landing, as the helicopter crash evoked the fateful and fatal helicopter that crashed in the TZ disaster. The resemblance and implicit link of detainee Hassan Ghul-played by Homayoun Ershadi-to Landis arch-nemesis, Kubrick, and of detainee Abu Faraj al-Libbi-played by Yoav Levi-to Belushi also affirmed the film’s implicit interest in Landis.
Significantly, and as in BLUE STEEL, the hunt for the implicitly Landis linked killer was led by a woman, a smart and sensitive but strong and steely CIA spyslinger with no name who was simply referred to as “Maya”-Sanskrit for “illusion”, and played by Jessica Chastain-who was as determined and indefatigable as NYPD Officer Turner and FBI Special Agent Utah in POINT BREAK. Curiously, like Megan, Maya also resembled and was implicitly linked to a Canadian film artist throughout the film, in this case Polley. Indeed, the sight of Maya dressed up in disguises including head scarves and wigs to protect her identity when she questioned Al-Queda and Taliban detainees affirmed Maya’s implicit link to Polley, reminding us that Polley was an accomplished actor before she became a film art director and that she wore head scarves in her role as Maren Hontvedt in THE WEIGHT OF WATER.
The resemblance and implicit link to Gilliam of CIA colleague, Dan-played by Jason Clark-affirmed the implicit link of Maya to Sarah, as Polley played the feisty and indomitable girl feminist, Sally Salt, in the twilit, allegorical, madcap, CGI enhanced and implicitly Cameron roasting Gilliam animaction film THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN (1988). Indeed, Dan’s resigned torture of detainees at a CIA black site affirmed his implicit link to Gilliam, for the tortuous scenes evoked the torture that took place at the Ministry of Information Retrieval in the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced and madcap Gilliam animaction film BRAZIL (1985). The implicit link of another CIA colleague, Jessica-played by Jennifer Ehle-to Canadian film and telefilm actor Mary Walsh, also affirmed Maya’s implicit link to Canada. The resemblance and implicit link of a CIA director-played by James Gandolfini-to Akroyd; of the first Islamabad CIA director, Joseph Bradley-played by Kyle Chandler-to then Prime Minister Stephen Harper; of a national security advisor-played by Stephen Dillane-to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau; and a deputy national security advisor-played by John Schwab-to Prime Minister William King reaffirmed the implicit link of Maya to Canada.
In addition, the resemblance to Cameron of one member of the SEAL team that raided Bin Laden’s safe house in Pakistan and killed Bin Laden, in the end, and the resemblance of another SEAL to Canadian golfer Mike Weir also affirmed the film’s implicit interest in Canada and its film artists. The fact that Justin-played by Chris Pratt-was the name of another SEAL and that he had big plans for his life after the raid was also significant, anticipating the decision of Justin Trudeau to run for head of the Liberal Party and for the position of Prime Minister of Canada after the release of ZERO DARK THIRTY in 2012. An implicit interest in Justin Trudeau reaffirmed by Maya’s fellow CIA Agent, Larry-played by Edgar Ramirez-as he resembled JT. Thus, with Maya proving to have the courage, confidence, creativity, intelligence, determination, fire in the belly, patience and resilience to overcome stress and loneliness and lead the successful and male dominated hunt for and the assassination of the implicitly Landis linked Bin Laden, Bigelow implied her hope that Polley would also have the courage, confidence, creativity, intelligence, determination, fire in the belly, patience and resilience to overcome stress and loneliness and use her mastery of allegorical allusion and illusion to trump male dominated Hollywood by ending the dread allegorical Zone Wars with her film art and kicking off a daylit and Landis free new CGI enhanced film art era-and implied her own hope that she would trump male dominated Hollywood as well with another fine and fearless film like ZERO DARK THIRTY.
For his part, perhaps impressed by that six Oscar haul for THE HURT LOCKER and the Best Sound Editing Oscar awarded ZERO DARK THIRTY, Sir Peter Jackson implicitly linked Bigelow to the impetuous and violent King of the Mirkwood Elves, Thranduil-played by Lee Pace-throughout his epic, twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced THE HOBBIT trilogy (2012-14), making for yet another male film artist flummoxed by Bigelow and trying to explain her away as being really a man disguised as a woman-HaW! Shane Black also implicitly linked Bigelow to biology wiz Maya Hansen-played by Hall-in the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced and implicitly Jason Reitman roasting super satirical film IRON MAN 3 (2013). As for Bigelow, she implied an interest in my Zonebusting website and myself when she returned to the Temple Theatre as executive producer of the twilit and allegorical Matthew Heineman film CARTEL LAND (2015), released on January 23rd, 2015.
“I believe what I’m doing is Good,
and I believe what I’m standing up against
Significantly, CARTEL LAND was an implicitly classic case of a shrewd film artist noticing that real life people and situations could be used to convey an implicit allegorical point in a documentary film as in a fictional feature film. In this case, Heineman implicitly noticed that the righteously furious uprising by the citizens of Michoacan state in south-central Mexicio that led them to form a spontaneous citizen’s defense group-Las Autodefensas-to beat up, expel or kill the members of a violent drug cartel, the Templar Knights-Los Templares-that was infecting their state with drugs and violence evoked the equally righteously furious and spontaneous audience uprising that swept Lucas and his Jedi Knights from their pre-eminence in the Temple Theatre after 1982-83 after Lucas made the mistake to sympathize and work with Kennedy, Marshall and Spielberg after the TZ disaster and to release the STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI disaster the following year. Indeed, the fact that the Las Autodefensas uprising was initially led and inspired by the tall, patrician, handsome and grey haired Doctor Jose Manuel Mireles Valverde affirmed the implicit intent of the Hollywood cadenced CARTEL LAND, as “El Alzado”-Spanish for “The Fighter”-evoked and resembled Cameron, reminding us that Cameron had led the anti-Lucas Forces since the arrival in 1984 of T1. The presence of the short, heavy set and thickly grey bearded and mustached Estanislao Beltran Torres reaffirmed the implicit intent of CARTEL LAND, as “Papa Smurf” evoked Coppola, the best friend of Lucas, and had a nickname that openly linked him to the blockbuster loot lusting movie and television tie-in merchandise madness that prevailed in the early Eighties prior to the TZ disaster.
The sight of Dr. Mireles languishing behind bars in a prison cell at the end of the film after being arrested by the police for his leadership in the people’s uprising also implicitly sent a message to Cameron to look out, as he could join Lucas on the chopping block if the people ever turned against him. An implicit and imprisoned message that must have been viewed with grim satisfaction by Bigelow. For in his travels across Michoacan state to inspire the people to rise up and kick out Los Templares it was noticeable that the married with children Dr. Mireles fell in love with and flirted openly with a chica bonita, reminding us that it was in part a relationship that Cameron developed with Linda Hamilton on the set of T2 that led to the divorce of Bigelow and Cameron.
Significantly, an admonitory message was also implicitly sent by Bigelow and Heineman to outraged post-TZ disaster audiences in CARTEL LAND, warning them that they too could succumb to blockbuster lusts like the film artists they railed against. For over the course of the film, we saw and heard the citizens of Michoacan transform from the righteously furious and determined Los Templares terminators of the Citizen’s Defense group to the officially recognized, pardoned and newly established members of the Federal Government’s Rural Defense Force and then, alas, to the latest drug cartel in Michoacan. Indeed, the cartel members seen secretly making crystal meth overnight in the desert darkness of Michoacan at the beginning of the film turned out not to be members of Los Templares, but rogue Rural Defense Force members when the film artists returned full tragicomic circle to that sequence at the end of the film. Nascent cartel members of Las Fuerzas who were also implicitly linked to North American film artists, as the official Rural Defence Force baseball hats given them by Los Federales sported the flags of Canada, Mexico and the United States.
Significantly, the sequences in outraged and determined Michoacan state were intercut with sequences set along the rural and unpopulated Arizona-Mexico border. These sequences featured an obdurate, determined, self-appointed, lean, mean, gaunt and grizzled lone warrior named Tim “Nailer” Foley who voluntarily patrolled the lonesome hills and valleys along the ambiguous border zone between the U.S. and Mexico in his desert combat fatigues and with his trusty AK-47 and his black lab at his heels in a righteously furious and one man attempt to detect and stop the insidious infiltration of the U.S. by the Mexican drug cartels. Intriguingly, these border patrol sequences evoked the even more obdurate, determined, self-appointed, lean, mean, gaunt and grisly lone film “scholar” known to some as the Gardevil, and his own voluntary patrol of the ambiguous Twilight Zone between truth and lies in the fiction and film art of the dread allegorical Zone Wars in an equally righteous attempt to stop the insidious infiltration of the Temple Theatre by twilit and CGI enhanced Hollywood blockbuster beasts.
Indeed, the resemblance of “Nailer” Foley to Henriksen, which affirmed the implicit link of Dr. Mireles to Cameron, and the fact that his surname evoked J.D. Foley, the sound man who in the late 1920s figured out how to synch everday sounds like footsteps and opening and closing doors to film art by pragmatically screening a new film and making and recording these sounds as they happened on screen so as to help Universal Studios make the transition into the age of the talkies, creating a new field of artistry in the world of film art that is called Foley Artist in his honour to this day, reaffirmed the implicit link of “Nailer” to film art and the implicit Gardevil addressing intent of the border patrol sequences of CARTEL LAND.
Ironically, Patty Jenkins implicitly linked Bigelow to the fittingly tall, commanding and fearless Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons-played by Connie Nielsen-and mother of Princess Diana “Wonder Woman” Prince-played by Gal Gadot-in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced super satirical film WONDER WOMAN (2017), a film released on May 17, 2017. For her part, SCC implicitly roasted Bigelow and Burton in the forms of Amelia “Amy” Dabney and Union Army Corporal John Patrick McBurney-played by Oona Lawrence and Colin Farrell, respectively-in the twilit and allegorical film THE BEGUILED (2017), a film released on May 24, 2017. Then an implicit interest in the poor ol’ Gardevil and allegorical documentary film art returned when Bigelow travelled from Michoacan to Michigan and teamed up again with writer and co-producer Boal, Mackie, co-producer Megan Ellison, co-editor William Goldenberg, production designer Jeremy Hindle, sound designer Paul N.J. Ottosson and co-executive producers Greg Shapiro and Colin Wilson-all from ZERO DARK THIRTY-on her next fearless, original, violent, twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced indie docufeature artbuster DETROIT (2017), released on July 25th, 2017.
“You haven’t got everything,
if you haven’t got love.”
Significantly, the film began with a prologue composed of a series of colour and truly moving paintings by Jacob Lawrence of the Migration of Americans of wholly or part African descent from the southern to the northern U.S. in search of jobs and civil rights over the course of the Twentieth Century instead of opening titles, including one proclaiming a Kathryn Bigelow film, implying that the lack of the latter was now a modest new direction for Bigelow. Then the film truly began with a police raid of an unlicensed after hours club in the black section of Detroit in the fateful and TZ disaster anticipating early morning of July 23, 1967, a raid that irritated disaffected onlookers in the street and led to a riot that caused the streets to be filled with police officers and National Guardsmen who evoked the Iraqi police officers and soldiers and U.S. soldiers who filled the streets of Baghdad in THE HURT LOCKER. Significantly, however, Officer Frank-played by Chris Chalk-the police officer who led the raid, resembled Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) co-director Cameron Bailey, implicitly linking the film to Toronto. Indeed, two of the club patrons arrested in the raid resembled Donovan Bailey and Ben Johnson, affirming the implicit interest in Toronto in DETROIT.
The film then revolved around frustrated Ford assembly line drone and aspiring pop singer, Larry Cleveland Reed-played by Algee Smith-lead crooner of the Dramatics, an a cappella group who evoked the Sorels in STREETS OF FIRE. Curiously, just as the Dramatics were about to follow Martha and the Vandellas-played by Zurin Villanueva, Anissa Felix and Amber Owens, respectively-onstage for their first live performance at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, the theatre was evacuated and closed due to the riot. Seeking sanctuary in the Algiers Hotel to escape the fiery streets, Reed was soon caught up in the snafu events that led to some of the hotel occupants-including Aubrey Pollard, played by Nathan Davis jr.-to be shot dead by three Detroit police officers, Demens, Flynn and Krauss-played by Jack Reynor, Ben O’Toole and Will Poulter, respectively. Significantly, the name of Aubrey Pollard evoked the names of two teachers I worked with over the years as a Library Technician at Streetsville Secondary School in Mississauga, ON, implicitly linking me to Reed. Indeed, the red and white dress of Karen-played by Kaitlyn Dever-one of the other occupants of the Algiers Hotel who went through the deadly and nightmarish events with Reed, evoked the red and white Maple Leaf flag of Canada yet again in a Bigelow film, affirming the implicit link of Karen, Pollard and Reed to Canada and its film artists and “scholars”.
The fact that a security guard named Melvin Dismukes-played by John Boyega-got caught up in the nightmare at the Algiers Hotel with Karen, Pollard, Reed and the rest also affirmed the film’s implicit interest in the poor ol’ Gardevil. For Boyega played Finn in the Disarvelass STAR WARS Trilogy, evoking my interest in Lucas and his film art. The subsequent trial that led to Demens, Dismukes, Flynn and Krauss being found not guilty of murder also affirmed the film’s interest in the Greater Toronto Area. For the trial of three white police officers and one black security guard evoked the three white and one black Ghostbusters in GHOSTBUSTERS, and their subsequent trial in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced Reitman film GHOSTBUSTERS 2 (1989).
The sight and sound of the poor ol’ Lardevil being so shattered and disgusted with the nightmarish events at the Algiers Hotel and with the twilit trio of white officers being found not guilty at the subsequent trial that he abandoned his pop star dreams and devoted himself instead to a quiet life of gospel singing at a local church also affirmed his implicit link to me, as I abandoned any dreams of becoming a film artist after the TZ disaster and went on to a quiet life as a LibTech. The fact that I was linked forever to July of 1967 as I was born on July 4 1967 just north of the border from Detroit in North York, ON also reaffirmed the implication that Bigelow was sending a message to me with DETROIT. Thus, Bigelow implicitly toasted my quiet life or roasted me for choosing a quiet life instead of a life in film art in DETROIT, depending on how one chose to interpret the allegorical intent of the film.
At any rate, this curious and ugly film often came across as a retrospective of the film art life of Bigelow, as the unrest that broke out in Detroit after police raided the after hours club on July 23, 1967 and that resulted in three deaths at the Algiers Hotel evoked the twilit ambience of most of the film art of Bigelow as a result of the three fatalities of the July 23rd, 1982 TZ disaster; as it occurred in the U.S. in the rebel past like THE LOVELESS, a film whose implicitly American film artist linked bikers laconically insisted that they were from Detroit; as it had a period Motown soundtrack that evoked the rockin’ soundtracks of POINT BREAK, STRANGE DAYS, STREETS OF FIRE, THE CROW and THE LOVELESS; as it had rioters battling the police and national guard in the streets of fire with another beleaguered black security guard stuck in the middle as in STRANGE DAYS; as it had psychotic Detroit police officers who evoked the equally psychotic Engelman and Steckler of STRANGE DAYS; as it saw young American men in uniform face off against a much larger hostile city population as in THE HURT LOCKER; and, last but not least, as it saw the torture of suspects as in ZERO DARK THIRTY. As for the haiku loving Taika Waititi, an implicit interest in Bigelow and the poor ol’ Gardevil returned in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced Waititi super satirical film THOR: RAGNORAK (2017), released on October 10th, 2017.
you have no idea what’s possible.”
Indeed, Hela, the Vampira and Wicked Witch of the West evoking goddess of Death-created by Kirby and Lee for Marvel Comics, and played by Cate Blanchett-who overwhelmed the hapless defenders of Asgard with carefree abandon and took over the implicitly Hollywood linked city with a familiar commanding fearlessness to become its new Queen after she was released from imprisonment by the death of the implicitly Kubrick linked Odin-played by Sir Anthony Hopkins-was implicitly linked throughout the film to the reigning Oscar winning Queen of Hollywood and her equally violent and death dealing film art throughout the film. This deadly, fearless and commanding implication was affirmed by the sight and sound of Hela crushing Mjolnir, the mighty and phallic hammer of her implicitly Cameron linked younger brother, Thor-played by Chris Hemsworth-with an ironically cool and casual insouciance at the beginning of the film, reminding us that Bigelow took the Best Director and Best Picture Oscars from Cameron and AVATAR in 2009. Indeed, the allusion Thor made to POINT BREAK at one point openly affirmed the film’s implicit interest in Bigelow, Cameron and their film art.
Significantly, Hela even had the cool courage to take on the huge, cranky, all CGI and devilish Surtur-voiced by the John Vernon evoking Brown, who also openly linked the film to Bigelow by way of his role as Det. Mann in BLUE STEEL-when he was resurrected by Tom Hiddleston’s implicitly Spielberg linked Loki, in the end. Curiously, Surtur was a nasty and fiery character whose eagerness to destroy the old Asgardian order and start a new era evoked the equally subtle and bull-in-a-China-shoppe Zonebusting antics of the poor ol’ Gardevil, implying that a part of that sub-genre of the dread Zone Wars wryly referred to as ‘Cinema Garite’ was THOR: RAGNORAK. Indeed, to implicitly affirm that possibility, Gardevil and Ragnorak were both eight letter three syllable words with three letters for both the first and second syllables and two letters for the third syllable.
While understandable, given that most of her violent films had died in the theatres, making Bigelow the Goddess of box office Death, indeed, the lack of financial success of the twilit and allegorical docufeature film art of Bigelow was more than made up for by the high and fearless artistic quality of her films. And how grimly ironic that Disney, the studio that ultimately released the film, implicitly linked Bigelow to Hela, given that the Mouse House allowed Kennedy to remain as head of Lucasfilm/ILM when they were purchased from Lucas in 2012, despite Kennedy being one of the four people most responsible for the deaths of Chen, Le and Morrow in the TZ disaster and a woman who had spent her life producing and promoting beastly blockbuster filmmercials for movie tie-in merchandise rather than true film art for film art’s sake like Bigelow, making Kennedy the true Wicked Goddess of Death. Indeed, Bigelow had never had any fatalities on her action packed and stunt filled sets, affirming her commitment to life rather than death. A commitment to life that made it fitting that Zack Snyder soon implicitly linked Bigelow again that year to the towering, commanding and fearless Amazon Queen Hippolyta-played again by Nielsen-mother of the implicitly SCC linked Amazon Princess Diana “Wonder Woman” Prince-played again by Gadot-in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced super satirical film JUSTICE LEAGUE (2017), a film released on October 26, 2017.
For his part, Gary Ross solemnly and implicitly linked Bigs to Deborah “Debbie” Ocean-played by Sandra Bullock-the leader of an all female gang of robbers in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced film OCEAN’S 8 (2018), a film released on June 5, 2018. However, beastly blockbuster loot lusting criminal was also not Bigelow as not abandoned film art for film art’s sake no matter how much criticism was hurled at her had she, affirming that a beautiful and Good Goddess of Life who implicitly triumphed over Kennedy, Landis, Marshall and Spielberg in her film art and refused to be defined and limited by her sex and chose instead to go boldly where no female or male film artist had gone before like the shy and sensitive but commanding and steely-eyed neo-Western artbusting filmslinger she was, and one best known as…the Fearless.
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