Halloween (1978) sex as death, indicated by pumpkins and breasts.

Rev., Nov 1, 2018.

Note: there would be a nudity warning were it not for a self-censoring bad print used in analysis. HH, 2019.

A few notes on watching, this year, a Spanish version of Halloween (1978) on youtube, because I didn’t have a TV. And what this revealed to me is that, for the most part, most of the time, on mainstream TV showings of it, we get a censored version. Not a lot is cut out, but enough is cut out to change the pungency of the movie, as it is quite amazing, but true, that showing a few breasts can change the whole demeanor of the movie.

So, what triggers Michael early on, in the 1963 flashback, is that, apparently this is after trick or treat, because he still has his costume on, and part of it, his mask, was tossed on the floor of his room upstairs, for him to pick it up at the kill point, is that he was annoyed and upset that his sister, rather than looking out for him, invited her boyfriend over, and, then, she immediately only paid him attention, then, even more liberal for 1963, they go up to her room for a quick fuck, with the boyfriend coming down the steps surprisingly quickly after, and then he goes up, filled with a loathing for knowing what they were doing, or with wonder at what they were doing, and thinking the worst of it. Now, this means that when he gets a knife from the kitchen drawer, he is commenting on his household, and that there is something going on it that he does not like, that threatens him

0 0 0 1this view, as he comes through the dining room, means that he sees domestic rituals as empty and ghostly, devoid of meaning; somehow, she and her actions have emptied them all out, it upsets him

0 0 0 2when he comes in by the spot where they began to get into it, making out, there is an inference here of two pareidols, echoing the couple intertwined in a way that imitates the whole piling up pillows to make it seem like a body is there, but also that the couch has become contaminated by outside and grownup sex

0 0 0 3there is also a picture in that room, right over where they were making out, before they turned off the TV to run upstairs and turn on sister

0 0 0 4not surprisingly, it looks to me like either a Delacroix or Matisse bit of orientalist fluff, a shapely woman in shirt and pantaloons striking a provocative pose with her arms over her head

0 0 0 5in this area, Delacroix

0 0 0 6But of this gentler, more family appropriate sway in the hips and figure, the snake form

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Then he gets to the stairs, up which he knows she is, there is another painting to act as a breadcrumb to cause his mind to continue on in its mad drive to go up there

0 0 0 8This is a winter scene

0 0 0 9its quick switch to cold from the hot nature of both the odalesk picture and the fact that he knew that he had just passed the place where they were making out, which he saw them doing, wondering what it was, makes this as it were speak to his cold rage, the spot he saw the boyfriend bouncing victoriously down the stairs from his quick fuck, now the cold spot of her turned-offness after the heat, it is a good subtle effect. Now, for some reason, though this is part of it, and then even exaggerated in part two, I latched onto the fact that the camera closes up into the flesh of the interior of the pumpkin in the beginning. Moreover, this flesh is only visible by way of a carving, that is, the pumpkin was “killed” to make it a jack o lantern (there is also a destroyed jack o lantern, and then a carried replacement, later in the movie). I think this then represents Michael’s relationship to the body, and to its interior spaces, that is, to sex, he is overcurious and wants to get going with it, but too young, so he fixates on the body of his older sister, who must be senior year high school at least if she is fucking in 1963, and what this means is that the movie as a whole also is only replaying that title sequence by closing up in on the flesh of the soft body in front of Michael’s eyes. What this means is that, not to get too Freudian, when he stares up into the darkness of the staircase, that darkness, all of it, represents her private parts, her intimacy, the magic world of her nakedness which is taking place in his life right on the other side of her bedroom and bathroom doors, and driving him literally crazy

0 0 0 10from this, the stair then is her private parts, projected by his curiosity

0 0 0 11it seems he must have been doing this sort of peeping around his sister and her nudity for some time, because, in the scheme of things of how peepers make exciting meaning and arc of plot by sightings, the light through an open door means that the door is open, which means that he is going to be able to see through the door, to see her naked

0 0 0 12notice now that he finds his clown mask at this spot in the passage in and up, I don’t recollect if the boyfriend had taken it to play a prank on her then tossed it off as he came up to get serious about having sex; or if it was left there by Michael earlier when he was coming down from the candy party after Trick or Treat, a period of time which demands, symbolically, a death of the ghost represented by the kids costuming, but here is could also, in the momentum of the approaching moment, represent his little boner, which has now become excited by the possibility that the open door offers

0 0 0 13and now he is even more titillated by the fact that there remain clothes that she flung off while stripping to have sex in a classic impulsive ritual of clothes doffing to add to the propulsive excitement of as if falling in a spin into the getting laid in a bed, this is a classic trope. Also note, that as it is now seen through the pumpkin eyes of the mask, or the mask eyes, things are more concentrated, we have moved to an intenser stage, a crisis is upon us

0 0 0 14what does this mask-eyes mean, POV wise? He has approached the site of the murder with one POV, straight on; but, now, to close up, he has to come in on her in another, more intense POV. Why? On a simple formal level this could be an adjustment of the line of sight to indicate that the optic lens is screwing in to a tighter close-up, the equivalent then of a menacing hand come from afar to close in in a startle moment over one’s face or view. But it might also mean something else.

Earlier this year, I argued that the Caruso cave votives took the form of tiny models of the cave because they had a double two-way purpose. On the one hand, the votary wanted to leave a thank you note that was pleasing, or algamata to the gods, and thus thought it flattering to create an image of his or her experience and report by it and all its models that it was good and worthwhile and appreciated. At the same time, it is conjectured that in an incubation in a cave to have sight of a god or nymph in dream with attendants about to induce dream or by disturbance or massaging of it in the course of the night create intense dream moments maybe even taking on the character of a nightmare, that there would be from this epiphany some elements of it that were well beyond the comfort zone of the viewer. So, a second purpose of the votive, and the reason why it is diminitivized, as if seen through the turned-around telescope, is that the votary also, as well as thanking, wanting to bid good riddance to the god, and distance him or herself from it, never to return.

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That is, the votive exists in a nexus, between inside epiphany and outside remembrance of it, and in that nexus there is a spin of both positive and negative views encapsulated in a strange little work of art in which reduction of the memory to a diminutive form takes all the sting out of it, allowing then of this distancing. In the same way, this diminutivizing would explain why it is that so many ancient or folkloric rituals end up getting reduced to things kids do in culture. After a time, we want, even in our observance, to distance ourselves, so we diminish them. Thus, at Halloween, in Trick or Treat, children serve as representatives of the ghosts we want to keep away from our homes, those ghosts we appease with gifts, like we might any ghost or demon, a sacrifice, to calm them down and satisfy them for a time, and then we feel safe again. But because child sacrifice is no longer allowed we have the ghosts present only in the diminutive form of the children, and materially only in the form of their costumes, that element of spirit in or around them that night, and then we appease them by giving them candy, and for that they go away and leave us alone in our good luck. Finally, to finish off the evening, the children have a candy party in which they count up their booty and no doubt engorge themselves on it so that they grow heavy and maybe even sick to the stomach for that then through them to instrument, by way of the deviousness of candy offering, cause at last at the end of the crisscross all the ghosts to cross back over. One of the things that has always confused me about Halloween (1978) is the timing. But it turns out that there is daylight Trick or Treat because that was the thing then, in the 1970s, after a scare of bogeymen putting razors in apples. Then, that means that, later in the movie (see my other piece on Halloween). the reason Tommy is still in his costume is that by the time Laurie arrives he has already had his candy party and thus expelled the bogeyman and it is only then that there is a dysfunction which causes trouble. It would also seem that by this model Laurie’s strange carving of the pumpkin, and procession of it through the living room, after it was all over, is a closing event of the day, to, as it were, carve out an outlet by which the ghosts could leave. Or something like that. But, the point is, Trick or Treat is us adults creating a votive offering to the ghosts to appease them to keep them away, but we reinforce that with diminutivization, just like the Greeks did with their models, to make sure that a nexus exists that distances that danger for good. Thus, just like the Caruso cave model, Trick or Treat is a votive ritual to thank the gods but also keep them at a distance. For this reason, then, I think the raccoon eyes, to target eyes, the two-eyed mask eyes is also a nexus formation, it brings an apotropaic dimension into the POV, it screws the iris tighter so that the boy is not looking at the same time that he is looking, he knows he should not be looking (like peeking through one’s fingers), but he can’t help it, so it is a push-pull mechanism, which tells us crisis time has arrived.

And, then, it is no surprise in the uncut version that the first thing he sees in his mask-sight is his sister’s breast, naked, her sitting naked, sitting pretty after sex too, at her boudoir mirror. She does not see him at first, so it is clear shot of her breast, her nudity, it is forbidden. If he has been in fact peeping on her, this might be his very first breakthrough into full on nudity; worse, nudity he knows has only just a few minutes before been involved in fucking, so the hairs on the back of his neck are excited-outraged by this sighting. It also formally equates his mask-sight with her bosom

0 0 0 15there is no question, however brief the glimpse, that he is seeing her breast, not just side boob, or a slice of it, but a full view of it in profile, strong

0 0 0 16this, then, almost immediately after he has switched to mask-sight, turns him on, and since he is a little psycho turning on means, immediate repression of the sexuality of it, to turn into an impulse to conquer and expell it all as dirty, so he expresses his desire to fuck her too by slashing her. And notice now, just as I have said of the scene with the roots in the forest in Evil Dead, the POV of the mask sight as he gets closer almost microscopically choreographs a sex act, of intercourse, her body now is placed right between his eyes, in his control and grasp

0 0 0 17then he sees her nude crotch, sitting there, entirely exposed, no doubt an excessive bonus, and he profiles it to the sheets, dirty with the fact that she was just rolling around on them having disgusting dirty sex (it is unclear from the existence of any towels if she has showered after or not, but in the logic of the sex scene as related to a woman at a boudoir that would’ve been involved, still, for him, she is filthy with the smell of sex)

0 0 0 18and, again, in the uncut version, there is no question, this is pretty daring for its time, a full on crotch shot (usually, in horror, signifying death)

0 0 0 19and then, only then does she see that he is there, and start yelling at him, but to do so she pivots around on her chair and so in yelling at him gives him, but not us, a full on frontal view of not only top but also bottom and that is yet another step in the phases of complete stripping bare that the male monster requires to bring a sex act all the way through to the end, so we have moved to actually, paralleling the sex we did not see, having the sex

0 0 0 20and then he strikes, and in striking, this in the uncut version only, we see that he has cut directly to her breast, and we get, however blurred in this bad youtube version here, a full on shot of her full breast, so this like copping a feel

0 0 0 21and as she attempts protective action, she only squeezes them more together, making them a bigger target

0 0 0 22and there is absolutely no question that Carpenter formally reinforced the attack mode of the raccoon target eye by giving it a target it has hit, her nipple in the middle of her rather large breast

0 0 0 23and then the two eyes of the mask sight meet up for perfect formal intercourse, as it were, with a double breasted frontal shot of all her sexuality, for him to destroy it

0 0 0 24then, in that sequence, under the rain of stabs, she twists and turns, almost as if in a sex scene, here displaced to

0 0 0 25and most surprising to me, in a shot I have never seen until this Spanish version this year, the whole sequence ends with her a dead odalesk on the floor, her arm falling over her breasts, entirely exposed to him, almost a sexual pose, and then her leg lifted, for a full on view of her crotch, that is, this is an orgasm shot, a completion of sex, a full conquest shot of the woman satisfied by sex, but in a thanatopic inversion of it

0 0 0 26and again, full on breasts, quite ample

0 0 0 27and again, as if lingering for a moment, victorious

0 0 0 28the surprise theatricality of this shot makes one think of other damsel in distress shots, both carried by monsters, as in The day the World Ended (1959)

0 0 0 0 4or as laid out, like in The Marquise of O (1976)

0 0 0 0 1the archetypal image, of course, coming from Fuseli, the Nightmare, which this is; and which then also strongly suggests that in his action, this event itself has turned Michael into a demon beyond the human (this later copy, with suggestion that mask-sight is related to the horse’s white eyes, the approach of it)

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and then he pulls out, and the stairway going down is still a sign of her intimacy, but he is “detumescing” down it, and out

0 0 0 29and then his parents whose intercourse and sex gave birth to him, but which remains un-believable, literally, to a child, especially then when sex ed was so poor, they appear in his POV mask site, as if sperm and egg in an educational film; and the movie flips back out now from the POV to the standard set shot to see in frozen tableaux that Michael in fact was dressed in his after candy party costume and he has a knife as if the carver of the pumpkin for the night, in that ritual; but what he has chosen to do, out of rage and outrage at the fact that his sister was having sex, and he did not know what that was, but that it was dirty and she was guilty, for that, the ritual of carving is transferred to the sacrifice of a human being by way of stabbing her nude body to death, a perfect regression to ancient form of the stage of the ritual of sacrifice that I, in fact, now believe is underscored in prototypical space by the rationalized modern form of the candy party and some ritual to close it (in this case, the strange carving of the final pumpkin as if to end it with that—an odd thought that somehow the memory of the Michael Myers case, like its taboo presence at a house in the town, twisted the rituals of the day in Haddonsfield to act out a repressed remembrance of the horror of it all in a distorted candy party ritual that featured a final carving of a pumpkin at the end of it all, to close the whole ritual of the crossover of spirit and body).

So, strange, I have watched the scene many times, but only if you see it with the breasts involved, do you appreciate the degree to which Michael’s stabbing is an inversion of his sick curiosity over his sister’s sex, and his disgust at the betrayal of his fantasy of her for having disgusting dirty sex with some boy who is just using her, so he sees her nude and for that reason kills her, to purify himself of his rage and feelings of corruption, in her presence (acknowledging the theory that producer Moustapha Akkad brought an honor killing idea into the mix). But, then, this whole sexual sequence seems to parallel a ritual of the encounter with ghosts and spirits on Halloween, and the two are nicely folded into each other here.

Now, the issue of sex, of course, comes up at both the planned babysit visit by Annie to have sex with Paul, and then the fact that PJ Soles and Bob get the house to themselves, so they go have sex upstairs in the master bedroom. I have mentioned before how weird it is that they are fucking in someone else’s bed in someone else’s house, and it does not bother them at all. But, then, it kind of does, because they need, nonetheless, to create, if not a romantic, then a “their space”, inside the remote space, to make them feel, for the time of their sex, at home. So, in typical movie cliché of Icantwaittohavesex rushing to have sex, they tear off their clothes and let them fly on the floor. This is what I call a clearing out, where somehow in order to make the sex work you have to clear out from you all the mental reservations and worries of the world, but also any physical restraint that might prevent your body from taking in in full the exciting escalation of the action and thus carry it on through by a growing momentum of interaction to full on orgasm, and successful sex, in the logic of the sleepover one night stand world. So, yes, they do toss their clothes all over the place

0 0 0 0 5and their clothes are draped on the bed, as if to say, this is, for the time being, my territory (the shirt on post as a herm)

0 0 0 31now a curious touch is the lit pumpkin. Where might it have come from? How did it get there? Again, I have noted there is a certain time curiosity in the carving of the pumpkins in this particular town’s ritualization of the events of the day, with their ancient ghost-appeasement roots. Normally, a jack o lantern would be carved beforehand to sit outside on one’s porch on Trick or Treat night to not only keep ghosts at bay, to scare off evil in an apotropaic way, but also to show by a sign that this was a house that was participating in the ritual, as it does in, for example, Lincoln, NE, where not a third of the houses participate. So, in addition to its deep apotropaic function, it also signifies an intercession votive, come in, we are participating. It may be, then, that after it has served its function for outdoor Trick or Treat some people brought it in just for fun for the sake of the party for it to say it is party time and this is still Halloween. I imagine Soles fetching it from the porch and taking it upstairs to simply say that, it is still the holiday, and we are, by this sacred sex, participating in the human sacrifice ritual evasive form of sacred sex. That, then, is why a pumpkin is placed next to the bed. But then, it could also signify, as per the preceding, her carvable flesh, her smiling happiness at having sex, her body heat, so it serves as a kind of signifier of teenage sex too. It does seem to smile and even make faces as, when they roll about, they partially obscure it, for it to almost as if an avatar of Michael as a child, but this time in a sex positive way, to gaze on the sex

0 0 0 32and one must say their movement in the sack is a bit odd, at one point, he rears up, the pumpkin smiling

0 0 0 33then he kind of separates from her, as if concerned with something other than her breasts, sweating right beneath him

0 0 0 34but there is an amazing formal separation or pass on in this shot, from the pumpkin, to another presence it might already have suggested, as in his moment of pulling off, as if there is a problem, or the classic getting into it, but, then, feeling some presence haunt them (though usually it is the girl who balks), we see (and this shot too, I think, is rarely shown, as it seems that most TV versions of the movie cut this scene as it shows too much of the up and down and in and out of intercourse), we see a passing shadow of Michael Myers, and he just walks through the scene, like a shadow over their sex!

0 0 0 35It is as if he is the Nemesis, the god of carnage, to warn youth, do not have sex, bringing trouble getting it up to boys, for that purpose

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then, oddly, the moment passes, and he gets back into it and then it is in this attack that he seems to get back what he lost (my guess is that for a brief moment it seemed to him his dick was not getting hard enough to function, but then it recouped); and in this we see some breast nudity from Soles, they really get into it, it is presumed, by the movement of the bodies and the blankets, that orgasm is had by both; and then he rolls off, happy, satisfied, and as he rolls off, we get the fullest shot we will, also cut, of PJ Soles’ breasts, as if to speak to the happy girl, happy in sex, satisfied, relaxed, that is, her after sex in precisely the same position vis a vis the having of it as his sister was in Michael’s attack

0 0 0 36it is also to be noted, as if in an involuted micro-formalization of the scene, her nipple is quite hard, and her breast is heavily profiled by the pumpkin, indicating how hot she is, but also that the pumpkin, the gaze of the world upon her is, as it were, biting her nipple

0 0 0 37and then they have a smoke, with more casual, aftersex shots of her nipple, indicating presumed assumed normal intimacy of bodies, even if they are just horny teens

0 0 0 38then when he goes off to get a beer, she never to see him alive again (this also then a survivor view), she snuggles down in in life comfort and satisfaction of just having had her brains fucked out, as the language was back then

0 0 0 39and, then, the prankster arrives at the door. The prank is made believable or plausible by the fact that they are in fact soiling some other people’s sheets, they are rudely having sex on the sheets of the master of the house, they didn’t wash them, or put a new set on, they just jumped in, so this is kind of jokey acknowledgement of their journeyman or interloper status (oddly, this Halloween I saw some ghost idease, someone had a New Yorker cartoon of a husband discovering an unfaithful ghost wife, and the ghost the woman was caught with had escaped detection by becoming the bedsheet (this could be an old joke)

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then in Trick or Treat itself there was an inflatable display where an owl sat on a ghost tree, that is, a tree form, but it was a ghost). Also, he did play with his glasses, and put them on after sex, so this might be a ball spike joke to say how much he liked it, since he put his glasses on after sex too

0 0 0 40she clearly, given the fact that she had previously put up a pumpkin to give them some atmosphere, seems to interpret all this as an overture for round two, because she drops her sheet and asks him if he sees anything he likes, even if he has just spent a good amount of time with them, boys, a few minutes later, they are all good to go all over again, in the uncut version she does show a lot of chest, and a hint of nipple

0 0 0 41and then he is not him but Michael so she gets testy and bails out for the phone where, with more show of nipple, her second sex act comes in the form Michael likes it best as, a murder with a phone cord

0 0 0 42Michael’s experience with seeing them having sex, and then that they put a pumpkin up to light the way, imprints on him an idea of how people have sex today so to counter it in his thanatos version, sex equalling death, he comes up with the tableaux of Annie, whom he has taken from in the car up to the bed, to place there, then he has placed his mother’s tombstone, which he stole from the cemetery, and he has put the pumpkin here, and, also, by the way, disposed of PJ Soles and Bob in the closets, and this is his statement of “for me sex is death, and I will always only want to kill those who like my sister had sex around me in a way that entirely screwed me up by exposing me to it all way before I could know what it was” or something like that (the Freudian version of fetishism being a child sees thy parents having sex, thinks it violent, looks away, wherever the gaze falls, thy fetishize)

0 0 0 43all in all, then, an uncut version of the movie discovers a few more intricate wrinkles in the wiggle room that Carpenter wove around his little drama, and in so far as these make clearer the inversion of sex with death, but death choreographed on the model of sex; and in so far as the ritualization of it, as if an ancient rite, clarifies that this sex ritual is a variant on the human sacrifice aspect of the end of the Halloween ritual, which in Haddonfield takes the form of carving a go-away pumpkin at the end of it all, and Trick or Treat and kids just being the nexus psychopomps to carry it on in a diminutive way that does the job so that the danger cannot come back to us–all of this once again, on yet another level, enriches a viewing of this really very careful little masterpiece of filmed horror.

Blow Job (1980, aka dolce Lingua, Italy) and extreme situation point of view in griefstruck musing on the death of a lover (related to the Blind Spot hypnagogic effect).

Rev., Sep 19-Sep 20, 2019.

Note: nudity included.

Until recently, I believed that what I am going to call extreme situation POV, or ESPOV, was limited to the movies of david Lynch. In fact, I argued that the only way to make sense of the hypnagogy of Mulholland drive (2001) was to think of it as his imagining what the dream of a suicide looked like in the head of the dying diane on that bed in apartment 17 in the movie. That would be an example, then, of extreme situation ESPOV, that is, a movie told from the perspective not only of a single POV, but even more extreme, a single POV frozen or locked into a standpoint or startpoint of a particular situation or event. But, now, I see that there was a giallo movie which was based on a telling from the point of view of a girl when she got hit by a car at the beginning. And, now, with Blow Job (1980), I find that Alberto Cavallone is dealing with an extreme version of extreme situation POV, and the ESPOV is, that, earlier in the movie we see a couple, Stefano and diana, in a hotel room, she is quite eager to have sex, he is upset by the management trapping him, threatening to confiscate his car, for him to pay the bill. Then, we cut to an image of a distraught lady upstairs, directly over them

0 0 1then, she goes out the window

0 0 2they are shocked that she first hits their window, bloodying it

0 0 3they rush to the window, nude, but then he has an idea, this is a distraction, let’s clear out of here without paying, so they do

0 0 4then we go through the whole movie, where at the end, they have a fight, he trying to save her from the witches, or whatever it is they want of her

0 0 5but she goes out the window

0 0 6then, after a few more runarounds the witch breaks a mirror, says

0 0 7then we flashback, and see, shockingly, that it was diana that went out the window, and everything on screen since then was a movie of his mind trying to cope with what he had just experienced, and in fact dreaming up a whole rationale for why maybe she did it, or why he should get over it

0 0 8this is certainly an extreme example of ESPOV, extreme situation point of view, that is, it is an imagining of what is going through his mind in response to the suicide of a girl he’d been with on the road with for about a year. As with Martins’ movie Hellish Flesh (1977) this is another movie which finds in the unsettled crawlspace and wiggle room of life on the road, moving from place to place, a mind worrying about who or what he happens to be sleeping with at that moment. But, then, for that, we must ask, how does Cavallone communicate to us the clues that we are not watching what is really happening to him, but we are watching the scenario devised to exonerate himself by the man who experienced the suicide of his hotel girlfriend? We have to look for visual clues, then, as to how, by what trope or theme, Cavallone communicated to us that what you see is not what you are getting.

The first thing to be said is that I think the eponymous blow job happens with Sibilla, the witch, apart from the castle, in this scene, where we do not see the blow job because it is pictured way at the end of a tunnel in another room; and, then, too, she swings around to the camera so that her buttocks block the camera from seeing it. It is, I think, in this sex scene

0 0 9Then, we have to assume that as a result of this being controlled by witches that this to them is sacred sex, which means that sex acts, in escalation of intimacy or consumption of each other into each other, mean something, symbolically; so one can assume that there is a scale of importance in acts, and that a blow job meant a greater degree of transformation than a regular act of intercourse. Since this also makes more of a body part that cannot be shown on screen in soft core, this means that the buttocks is the displacement of that action. This might be why, when Stefano comes back to the castle, he sees not only a woman done up as an ostrich getting it from behind.

0 0 10but, as he comes in, there is a man he has seen before, and he has leaned a nude woman up against the wall, her feet up on the wall, her head down on the floor, for him to then inscribe a circle on her buttocks, then kiss each cheek

0 0 11One would hope that he was not engaged in some sort of coprophiliac play and the circle is made of feces, but that is certainly a possibility at this late, manneristic stage of Italian giallo, but, then, he just kisses her on each cheek

0 0 12then the woman from below smiles on him, Stefano, and I think that is, in fact, diana

0 0 13and it is the shock of seeing her submit to such a sexual perversity, as if having lost all pride of self in the body, the body in fact merging with the undifferentiated whole of being, that causes him to at last flashback to see that in fact the woman who jumped out the window was not a woman upstairs from them, which was an uncanny idea in any case, but diana herself, sick of him.

0 0 14This then would explain why when the woman who goes out the window lands below the camera lingers on the fact that, somehow, the fall disemboweled her, and all her guts are out

0 0 15which they comment on in conversational shock up in their room, it’s spaghetti, it’s a mess, it’s terrible, all mortality salience indeed, so, during that, diana can’t bear to think of it, so vomits in the bathroom sink, still in the nude

0 0 16this, then, posits, in a general sense, that the diana we see hereafter is not actual diana but either his thinking to himself why diana would do that, what drove her to it, thus she is an avatar of wondering in his mind, try to mind read her mind; then he is also trying to put together a scenario where by thinking back he imagines moments or things he might’ve missed which told him that they were drifting apart and he is unsure how he missed them. So, she stops being diana, a character, that is, a cult figure; and becomes diana, ex voto, an image of her after death, in which, making an offering at her death, he tries to figure out why she did it, and the movie consists of his mind trying to come up with that scenario. Then, of course, it would be amusing if as a man he could only come up with as it were an effigy of her consisting of the parts he liked best of her, which he would say was her ass, her cunt and her breasts. So, this is a radical view of a man trying in his limited way to imagine why she would kill herself. The question, then, is, do we, physically, get any clues of this ESPOV distortion in the movie? In fact, we do.

The first strange scene that tells one one is not watching an entirely conventional movie, but that a visual imagination is at play, trying to make cinematic point, is when Stefano is in bed, in the hotel, making calls; she is in the bathroom brushing her teeth, then, she comes in on him, eager to continue to just be high and have sex, and we are shown her trying to do that by being coy by crawling around on her knees around the side of the bed.

0 0 17she crawls around to the other side, her bottom fills up the screen, this is rare, in movie visuality

0 0 18then not getting a response from that side of the bed, she comes round the other side, all of this on her hands and knees, subservient, fun, playing.

0 0 19then she gets up over him, in the full enclosure of her crotch and breasts, but he continues to be unresponsive

0 0 20then, in a completely rare shot, she steps up over him, pussy over his face, putting him entirely under it, in the everyday casual nature of two people nude in bed together, and he is in the world of it, complacent

0 0 21but since he is still ignoring her, and given that she might be high, and wanting sex, and feels she is being ignored, it might be that in retrospect, this is his imagining of what state of mind she was in, when we see the woman upstairs, who is really her inside her head.

0 0 22then, I draw your attention to the unreflecting, glaring mirror. What this means is that what you see on screen is not a reflection of whom you see on screen, but that some other power is at work, outside the shot, and this force is splatting in a nightmare.

0 0 23thinking about this, at the time, I connected it with the same form in Wangechi Mutu’s sculptures at the Met, the circle on her forehead

 

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but then in a subsequent FB post related it to the splat, the form of the splat, meaning that the nightmare is not a reflection of the self, but of an invasive force. What I really mean by that, as I then experienced waking up from a “nightmare” of a sort the other night, is that, sometimes, when you wake up you experience the Blind Spot, or Ephialtes’ disc, this is what consciousness upon waking remembers of the content of the nightmare, which is nothing in the core of it, it is a blank; but then it struck me that the nightmare must’ve been about my current issues, and for all that all the worries came rushing in, and I wanted to block them out, but they came in in the form of lightning bolts flashing around the edge of the Blind Spot, but as just worries in vigilogogy taking on a highly intense form, almost a panic attack (Joyce said, “History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake,” this would be the form of that), so the Blind Spot is here, after the second ephialtic leap, in vigilogogy (ie sleepy wakefulness).

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I call this the Blind Spot, but more formally it is Ephialtes’ disc, it comes from the splat, second time up, it then has that fixed solid form, it blocks out memory of the actual nightmare, except that one is consumed indirectly by lightning flashes of worries of the issue it was likely related to, to be swamped in emotionality. I first noticed this sort of “eye” when Hurricane dorian stalled over the Bahamas last month, and its entire eyewall was a wall of lightning

0 0 27how it looked from below

0 0 28This was the graphic, but with lightning signs all around it

0 0 29This a picture from later on

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Thus, the graphic of the Blind Spot vigilogogic formation is a solid disc blocking out the previous content in a reflective-repelling glare; then it is surrounded by lightning strikes which represent the inferences of consciousness of what the nightmare was all about, due to the nature of all the worries swarming about it (this analysis confirms that the Blind Spot on Wangechi Mutu’s Seated (2019) is the form that a nightmare woken up from by the figure takes, then her sinuous striped form IS the lightning of concerns and worries nonetheless had, but controlled by the unreflective disc. This then would make sense related to the lore of the caryatid, originally a slave prisoner made to hold up the building of the victor, thus blocking that out, then being strained in a state of worry in perpetual labor)

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This would also, back in the movie, relate forensically to the stain of blood on their room window, how could a body bouncing off of it from a floor above make such an impact impression? it seems more likely to be the result of a gunshot spatter in the room, as she went out from here. This is likely viewed as the leap after the first splat, the second splat being death.

0 0 32Thus, there is a certain body language and body topos in the creation of the mental architecture of Stefano trying to imagine why diana would commit suicide. And it might be fair to imagine this movie as Actaeon trying to imagine why diana would send his hounds against him, for him having despoiled her unseen purity. So, in that logic, the buttocks symbolizes that what you are seeing is not what you are seeing, you are seeing the buttocks side, the backside of the screen, what you see on the screen is cover. This would then explain the clear path from diana showing her backside early, before suicide, then saying goodbye to him in an extreme ritualized form of him imagining that moment when she was being spunky, but he was distracted, so the buttocks counts. More so, that she was crawling around at the side of the bed. I have argued that the “under the bed” space is connected to the lattice as a body lies on it in the center of the third level of hypnagogy below. I have also placed Telesphorus as the dream guide who resides in dwarf form under that bed, to lead you on. In my construct of the Night Mirror I also argue that there is a loop whereby on the energy of a morning storm dream (there was thunder this morning, but it did not play), you can come in under the figure of the bed then come up through her to save her or yourself. In the movie The Green Man (1991, BBC) I argued that when in a second stage nightmare Albert Finney walks gingerly along the side of the bed he is skirting the under the bed space to find by the Narrow Path a pathway across the top of the REM state to the Far Place gained access to by way of the Cursed door.

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this, then, is here precisely communicated by this very rare shot. This is, more or less, HIM trying to imagine “where she was at” that might’ve lead to her to act impulsively in that moment, and go out the window.

0 0 34Then, too, in his imagining, there is an immediate lightening up to a more rationalized view of the same, she is the one who vanishes down the back hallway

0 0 35she is the one who drops all her worldly possessions down too. I have argued that bed sheets in giallo fused with them on laundry lines to create a field of evasion, in light dream, then, on par with dust sheets in haunted houses. But this is really a tighter twist of him thinking about her coming nude around the side of the bed, this is the bed sheet now all tangled up into a rope, a classic trope, to then communicate that all that happens from that material lead is also land of counterpane dreaming

0 0 36then she runs

0 0 37but this is only him taking that thought thinking about what she was doing, and, now, after slightly rationalizing it, swinging it round under a thought of “she’s dead” how did this lead to it, does this illustrate the moment of her snapping, impulsively, to jump?

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then, of course, we have the magic encounter with the witch at the races. Diana is not there, at first, but he is, admitting he is basically confusedly fantasizing a what if? thinking of how by some miracle he might’ve alleviated the situation to make things better for them, so she wouldn’t have done it.

0 0 39But then he is pulled up short again by another I cant believe she’s dead moment, seeing death himself on a motor cycle look back at him, then death shuts down their car, so he has to absent himself, to go get help, leaving diana in a dream, with the witch.

0 0 40then it is communicated that, mentally, in his grief, he is now under the bed too, looking up, and imagines diana in bed, but, now, resentfully, worrying if she was getting anything else, she is with another, and a lesbian witch too

0 0 41sex that for the first time brings her crotch into the picture, as her pants are unzipped, and the witch puts her hand down them.

0 0 42In terms of body topography it is quite clear that what his mind musing on all this most misses about her is sex with her, which would be symbolized by her pussy, which means, in 70s movies, the bush. Having established, in the pornomorphy of the movie, that the buttocks is the primary channel through which his post-mortem under the bed imaginings of her are going to dwell, since that is somewhat unsightly to talk too much about, except in that one true laugh-at-him scene at the end, where diana laughs him off as a fool, this tunnel vision is transferred to her crotch, and, in the symbolism of 70s movies, to her bush (70s slang for pubic hair). There is a lot of bush in this movie, for sure. It is all but a spelunking operation in bush. It has to be accepted that, one, as I mapped out years ago, bush came to represent “total nudity” as it was a clear cut visual sign that the woman in question on screen was not toying with you like a stripper by not showing you what you think you were seeing, but she was in fact actually totally naked. Then, it became an exoticized trope place related to all sorts of things from cats, to bats, to jungles, to caves, to whatever, earth goddess symbolism. It could be argued that whilst the text of the movie will soar into all sorts of otherworldly rhetoric, all of this was wasted on Stefano who mostly misses her sex. The pussy is also somehow associated with death, or, again, it is the thing most missed by her death, she shows her bush in this shot

0 0 43then sees death behind her (note again the glare of the lamp, blocking out sight)

0 0 47later, under the guise of a patriarch

0 0 48the witch, again, drops to crotch

0 0 49later, with a lot of mumbo jumbo, taken aside by another witch, he is conquered by bush

0 0 50when the sex scene which leads to the eponymous blow job starts, it starts with bush, conquering, setting the tone, laying out the landscape of it

0 0 51he is entirely in its thrall (this echoing on the opening scene in the hotel bed)

0 0 52when the blow job comes it is like sending the phallus into the bush, or the body of the female in a different way; exactly at the moment when he is given his blow job, I think, the witch, back at the house, arrives by carryall into the party

0 0 53as the bush still rules back at the cave

0 0 54now diana lets loose, as does the camera, focusing on her bush

0 0 55it is rare to see a nude dance in a movie, all the angles.

0 0 56center of everything

0 0 57then the more extreme dancing, touching herself below, or the witch touching her, now, the touch of death

0 0 58afterwards, the witch with one eye burnt closed now also shows her bush to him, the final ta da (this is after he runs off, feeling that Diana, up against the wall, insulted him)

0 0 59then she takes control in a way that seems somewhat compromising to him, he lays back

0 0 60but then he can’t get it up (the witch is very disappointed)

0 0 62then back at the house he has a fight with bottomless diana in the bathroom, she goes out the window

0 0 63all of this posits to me a body topography in close-up on the bed in the lattice, as such

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that is, he is basically trying to imagine some scenario by which this might’ve made sense; so, in denial, he posits a rethink whereby they are hijacked by a witch, that witch is a lesbian who steals diana away from him, she fills her with all sorts of ideas, that then drives her to suicide. But, all the while, he cannot help stopping himself, a hundred times, thinking it through, but, damn, she’s not here anymore, there is no more sex with her; thus by way of the innerds of the corpse of the suicide on the ground he imagines the buttocks as the body part that sent him into this deep dream state but when all the subplots seem to all be being lead through a tunnel of bush to force upon him the idea he cannot believe, she is dead, he at last sees that having thought this through through her body, he comes to understand that she is dead, and he must go on. It is, like I said, without working it out any more than that, an extreme situation point of view, an ESPOV, this is his imagining of why it happened or how it might been avoided going through his tortured mind thinking of their time together and all of it because so immediately at a time when their sex life was still the basis of everything, framed within a repeated disbelieving shout of realization that he is never going to make love to her again, so he keeps falling, and falling, to at last come face to face with death. It is a very good example of extreme situation point of view, indeed.

De Chirico’s dream mis an scene, a preliminary mapping of his hypnagogic world.

Rev. May 19, 2019.

Note: “Ophthchthony” is an invented word to account for the fact that after a figure-eight formation of a double nightmare, one might experience a third stage, consisting of sleep paralysis, in which case one can gaze down through the “surreality” of dream to the truth shot far below. This structure, which is fairly common in dream-based movies, is here applied to art. Ophth “means” seeing, chthon “means” the darkness, seeing through the darkness. See previous post, Summer 2018, on Chthulhu Mansion (1992).

In working out the various reasons why de Chirico’s various styles, past his classic style, the style that made him famous, in my view are every bit as rich as his valued work, the issue is that of mis en scene. As I apply the term to painting, I argue that especially scenic paintings have mis en scene based on interiority, or the projection of interiority onto the exterior world. If interior, as in de chirico’s case, while the painting and his painting it might exist on a vigilogogic level, it is easier if I just argue that all of it somehow relates to the interaction between viglogogic and hypnagogic, in the manner in which I dealt with the work of Jasper Johns (see previous post). By mis en scene in this context, I mean what I did with Neo Rauch, with Johns, with others, that, somehow, the painter found a way to delve into many different states of dreaming or reverie, and, doing that, soon found that he could go from space to space, and create a series of paintings based on the mind-travel to this or that place in the dream formation. What this means, generically, is that if I take his whole oeuvre, then I can place various works depending on how they relate to the vigil-hypnagogic whole, and whatever the arrangement amounts to, that will be his mis en scene, over the course of his career.

ch 1but the fascinating thing about de Chirico is that it looks like he also found some places based on dynamic agency dream theory, that is, he experienced, for example, nightmares, night terrors, and even the ephialtic leaps back to thinking he was awake, he experienced the paralysis of that state, and, then, somehow, he stared down into his world and saw it differently, down at the end of the telescope.

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thus, while it is tempting to say that this painting is just a picture of the village of dreams, moving out below into the glass onion, both in hypnagogy

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That is, like this

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that is, to see it as a picture of crossing over, the tower represents the central core, of wakefulness, now cast into the background, the train is moving along on the narrow path of dream from core to periphery, still in the waking state, then the distance is the crossing over, then, once you get over, there are some conjure figures, always seen out of the corner of the eye in that zone, including a conjure statue or mannequin in the middle, and then the arches recede up to us either side, down into the glass onion, to complete the picture. It kind of works. However, the problem is that the tower establishes that it all happens in the central core of the psyche, that is, this is where de Chirico’s paintings take place

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once you begin to move through adjunct space, things are centripetal, moving away from the center, toward the periphery, and you cannot, in fact, get to a quiet center like he paints in in his classic work. So, how did he get here? The answer is that the only way to get there in my way of thinking at present is to have gone, off or precanvas, into a triple-nightmare formation, to end you up in the third leap spot, up on the lattice ledge of vigilogogy gazing down

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then, by the dynamic wake of it, there will be in the background, a windup residual effect projected on the matter by the first splat, then a second windup by the second splat, to suspend one between sleeping and waking, or being unable to tell, and, then, it is paralyzed, which accounts for the uncanny stillness of his art, drifting down over it, and, finally, he sees it by way of “ophthchthony”, by peering through a telescope at things that are small because they are far away, but things which are very highly chiseled and quite clear what they are, in this setting, because he is “seeing through the darkness” to their truth. In this formation, then, de Chirico painted in his classic style centralized pictures of the passage of ophthchthony through the darkness into dream, to, invested with the monumentality of the core, the stillness of the paralysis, the distance of the gaze, the backup of the leaps from sleep to waking, making it both, all these are characteristics of this amazing type of painting, a true, rare dream formation painting, a painting, in fact, of ophthchthony. Then, when he chose to paint variations, he just rotated his gaze around in that space. It looks like he also made use of time of day to get variation

ch 7Then, the first variations, I posit that, situated in three depths, based on the norms of space, fore, mid and background, but with the understanding that this distancing also looked UP back into the telescope of the ophthchthonic gaze, and, for that, he felt there was more weight above, than below, and this changed the pictures.

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for example, when the tower in the center becomes more foreboding and oppressive, such as in this painting

ch 9This is that

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that is, it is painted, if not literally, then conceptually, from at the base of the visual plane, on the hypnagogic lattice, looking back up into the ophthchthonic scope. This causes more foreshortening, and vertical degree of sight, things up top look more ominous, so take on a more formidable tower form, and then that means the distance between it and the view is wider, meaning he can fit a village in there; then the statue in the square is more imposing, vertical, silhouette, and so it goes, it results in this kind of painting. You are looking UP at the painting painted in ophthchthony, but it is looking down still at you, and there is that in the painting, it gives it a heavy, looming feeling. At present, when I deal with this looking up, I have identified a few forms of it in the context of the Night Mirror dream formation, but this straight looking back up into the direct core of ophthchthony, at present I just call it a splat view, and, in so far as it is view added onto to the view that formatted the whole painting (so the painting is a view, re-viewed from a different place it was originally conceptualized from, thus binocular), it is a re-view, a self-reflecting nexus in the process, if not in the mapping of the painting.

Then, there are others, where he closes in, and just views it all from across the square. It still has that stillness that I think can only originally have come from sleep paralysis in the eldritch process, it still has its “miniaturization,” or micropsia, that is, looking at it from afar, from the telescoping effect of ophthchthony, it still has that unreal color, it all looks like a truth shot at the bottom of a third attempt to get to it, but, spatially, it is narrower, less vertical, on a sort of upward diagonal

ch 11I place it there

ch 12then, finally he goes right into the town

ch 13And this I place here, solidly in the glass onion level of hypnagogy, with shadow playing at the entoptic realm, all up close, but still in the core ophthchthon space

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somehow, in his mind, de Chirico was able to accordion out the stages of vigilogogy and hypnagogy, somehow he knew about the structure of nightmare, and the way it affects seeing, he knew about sleep paralysis, and its effect on the body and sight, and he could incorporate it all into a centralized style of painting, at the core, characterized by the core ophthchthony, but, then, calibrated to different moods and tempers by parsing it according to the allowable measurable distances in the mis en scene. This is abstract, but, if I was to parse the spaces from line to line, to every other line it can interact with, then go up and down the scale, I could, but I will call all this intra-core, or intra-ophthchthonic views of his core work, and for now leave it at that. Within the central core classic space of his art, he was able to create a great deal of variety for knowing that he was constantly operating within ophthchthonic space inside the telescope, but, then, telescoping hypnagogy to vigilogogy, from lattice, glass onion and entoptic levels, to each of those above, and this was the sum total of the set of relations that he was able to work with in this core art of his.

But I want to move on to the fact that, in addition to staying in this core, and being able to move back into it at any time in his career, from now on, he also ventured out from it, into adjunct space, and, thus, into the various dream formations I write about more often than the core, including the ambient and maybe even the sentient, which I will study next. These will entail first of all, determining the basic agency of his work, in order to argue that he felt he had to go out into adjunct space because he wanted to recreate his world in the ground of a different agency.

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But while he can and does spin about variations within the silo of the stillness of ophthchthony, he also seems to step aside into an adjunct space, to look back at the space from an angle outside of it. This one, The disquieting Muses, the POV seems to be out to the side, seen in close-up from there. They are on some sort of roof, and the slant of the sun comes from the right behind your right shoulder. And yet they still retain that “stillness” the eeriness of which I think he only got and was able to get in the paralysis of an episode of ophthchthony (or remembered from germinating episodes, I am not saying he could only paint while having an episode).

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I place this here.

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that is, his mind could only to get to that state by splatting, after a blockage of ophthchthony, out toward the Ambient zone; but, in this case, in my view, stopping in the place that lies past the village of dreams, the twinfire zone, just as it crosses over, but then he looks back. In this scenario, while still in the de Chirico truth-seeing stillness, the emphasis has shifted from gazing holistically on the eerie stillness of it all, to dealing with an array of symbols which one is invited to push around, just as one does in the light sleep stage I call the glass onion, where it is you push around symbols, and just repeat it, over and over again, and the Presque vu of it is created by the stillness. What he sees out here is, however, just as “still” as his core work, precisely and only because he knew the path from one to the other, and stayed on it, carrying the magic to the periphery.

Then, also in the “foreground” but from the side are paintings in the same vein, but with a different mood, of a darker or more melancholy quality, such as The Song of Love

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And I place this on the other side of the dream state, it still has that quality of ophthchthony, as if a truth shot, but it is more cryptic and crepuscular, so for me that comes in with the other side, Chthon, but, again, in the glass onion, entirely of symbols

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but then there are moments when he goes back to the moment of the splat itself, and situates his mind there, and, as if in a meta state, comments on the generation of his own dream-state painting; and this one, the double dream of Spring (1915) is double because it involves BOTH the ophthon and chthon sides of bounces from the splat to a truth shot, and he arrests his mind there, at the top of the REM state, for a bit.

ch 20And in works like The Anxious Journey (1913) he can and does go into the darkness of the Chthon zone, fallout from the sight of truth

ch 21And on each vector he, of course, made many, many variations, and, note the irrelevance of dates, he found, could return to and find again all of these places, at all points in his career, his mind just moved from one to one.

But, for that, then, I argue that all the paintings that he did within the fallout zone of the original fall of his work, the nightmare drive, to then by an event of ophthchthony see into the truth of things, represented by the uncanny stillness of his cityscapes of his mythical truth town, all of this happened in the hypnagogic realm.

But, then, there are even greater variations. I noted in review of a movie or two that there are other spaces within the hypnagogic, depending on how the mind got there, that can become the site, mentally, of painting. One thing that he does is seem to move as it were into a building on the plaza of his town, to simply arrange things in a more concentratedly symbolic, but utterly glass onion manner, we are, then, in an interior. Such as in the Melancholy of the departure (1913)

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I sense a different Stimmung here, it is not the paralyzed awed stillness of the paintings in the zone of ophthchthony, but offers a more searching, piecemeal, investigatory gaze, you pore over and explore. This, then, is not in the zone, or in any fallout from it, but situated as if in a false-ophthon space as I mapped out for when a daimon takes over, trapped in a place in hypnagogy got to only by some circuitous route. As such this I suppose for the other side, Melancholie, Hermetique (a herm against danger too).

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as such

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But, then, something else happened, and, in this, I mimic what occurred in my own exploration of hypnagogic space. He discovered a larger scope of conceptualization, and this had to do with mood and the degree to which agency is intensified or released by a mood in a particular Stimmung. To make a great generalization, arguing that all of his painting in the classic form is hypnagogic, all of it also is cult art, that is, though mysterious, and sometimes problematizing the space, all of the paintings that have that original stillness caused by a truth shot borne of a telescoping of ophthchthony in his work, all seek to return to some pure, mysterious, alive past. All are imbued, by the crystal gaze of truth, with a serene nostalgia, a longing, a cult desire to find ground and safety in a mythical place before time.

But, then, as he lived with this world, somehow, he also began to realize that every time he picked up a brush, he was not duty bound to return to that pure prototype space, but that that space somehow had, by the process of his work, come forward in time to involve even his painting today in it, that is, it had brimmed over out his classic work, to allow for wider swings of dream. Moreover, each of these swings had a different agency. So, in a body of work much deplored as less serious, he learned that his world had a road that could lead to a beach and on that beach things of a sort could happen, and, bounced out from his original splat nightmare, it would be composed of elements of it, but let loose along a much freer and more open liminal space, crossing over into the easy-flowing atmosphere of the Ambient zone of dream. And this is what happens in, for example, Alexandros (1935).

ch 31Though the symbolism of the painting is traceable to origins back in town, the horse has emerged as a symbol of a new force, and then they are in an entirely marginal, ambient zone, a seashore, at the end of his mental world. I place this here.

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that is, with the original ophthchthonic drop, splat and bounce out as premise, by that dynamic carrying the ruins of classical culture, and references to it, out over the hypnagogic into the further out Ambient zone, at the level of the lattice, since the body exists here in bodily form, we are out in the perimeter of his world. And because it is so ambient, and flowing, and the space circulating under his feet, that accounts for why the horse becomes the symbol, and why the horse has such amazing manes, and why things are so loose and open, he just is able to let his mind run out on the beach as he imagines it at the edge of his internal dream world, I will call this site, lateral to the lattice, in Ambient space above the zone of Ophthon (because bounced out), The Perfect Beach, and for a good deal of time, de Chirico spent his time in mental relief on the perfect beach, another one, The dioscouri on the Beach (1934)

ch 33The fact that de Chirico was obsessed with the Dioscuri, if I recall said to be the patrons of the small Greek town he was born in, suggests that there is a structural twinness or twinfire form in his work as well.  In that regard this ambient space might also have meant to him that once you pass over into it everything doubles, as well as becomes more profuse and flowing. This would suggest that the bounce out to this zone passed through a twinfire trapping (recollecting that I make no claim that this is what happened in his particular formulation of the arrangements) and thus he saw Ambient space as a circulation of doubling space

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it is the free flowing quality of these spaces, the easy arrangements of forms, that interested me when I saw them. They can multiply, to populate the zone, they have a touch of cult intent, but, by and large, they are more intercessional, as if they are taking you somewhere, all is adventure, like in Puritan and Centaur in a horse fight on the beach, he can, like Virgil in the Aeneid bring in anything

ch 35He can go minimal, abstract, just a scene of two horses by the beach

ch 36Or go off into pure Greek myth legend pictures, like Perseus, to be hung in a magical beachhouse by his beach

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And, in my view, with the previous, he also goes to even a further out point, he leaps out into the Sentient. Though I reserve the sentient zone for far whirring noises like winds or whispers, spinning wide around the conceptualization of mindspace, it is also true that in his mind the myths of old might’ve spun exactly as if unspoken whispers and lore and tellings and the like way at the far outside tinnitus of his mind. And, for that, he felt that if he went to a place, far out on a beach, then, he could also pass out into the sentient space.

ch 38And it is out here that he could in his mind revisit mythical spaces, and, vis a vis, still tethered to, his original ophthchthony, still find a certain stimmung, way out on a place in Thessaly, The Bank of Thessaly, where he was born, in these mysterious pictures, indeed, there is a certain how-did-I-get-here? do I really want to be here? feeling, like stepping onto a beach unknown in Jason and the Argonauts (and Apollodorus describes how the first thing the Argonauts did every single time they stepped onto a new beach was makeshift an altar to thank the gods for survival of the last leg, and isn’t this votive a model for mythic art?); there is, then, a touch of danger, but a willingness to encounter it, if there is more of deeper cult feeling, or truth to be got there, like a truth got as per the mission given you by a story like the golden fleece; then you go in, and in this far zone we have an apotropaic/intercessional/cult, prototype compound impulse that is, still, in his mind, an uncanny transposition of his original idea

ch 39Then, too, there is the stormy dark, Chthon side

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As such

ch 41But while these might be trophy works, on site, exulting in a mental return to a world of adventure which, on the premise of his original vision of his truth, in the core of the quiet town, exists as a counterpart, there is also, then, another possible pivot in this universe. Just like in a myth, he can bring these things home, that is, back into town. And he represented this return of the adventurer in the form of a recreations of the forms reduced to objects or symbols held in hand by abstract figures, sometimes literally functioning only as mannequins, and by this means, see them in a more placid and distanced way, relics of the great adventure, returned to becoming symbols for in-town life consumption, like The Archaeologists (1927).

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As such

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Thus, these counter from previous discovery, and have an entirely folded over feeling, as if part of his world brought back, and they also for me have a much more easy-going and even generous spirit, and to me they are the equivalent of votives left at sacred sites, or trophies made of objects from the trophy in a war, back at the temple offered as votives there, they have a very charming, touching quality, these were the works that I responded to last summer (2018).

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When I was trying to figure out why after a night of incubation votaries would have miniature model votives, what I call genre votives, made for them, after leaving, at the Caruso caves (Larsen, Greek Nymphs)

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and, here, in the 20th century, was EXACTLY THE SAME THING!

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And, then, like in The Return of Ulysses, it is almost as if he is making of his little interior space, his space of reflection, little children’s games of pretending, setting up a battle of lions and tigers and bears (like we used to play in the dark in our bedroom), a perfect little miniature world of the adventuring spirit of other of his paintings made good. The feeling of these paintings is so different from the stern, serene, discovery of cult truth in the core town site pictures, these are welcoming, playful, fun, votive paintings, offerings, to be painted when in a generous, or thinking-of-times-past mood

ch 48Then, too, the level of variation, how much could he bear to remember, to bring back in, how generous was he feeling, any given day, this is where the stimmung comes in (as, for example, various themes of pornography are made to accommodate various states of arousal or what you can bear on a particular day). So, here is another Ulysses, but this wave back into town brought with it much, much more of a beachside painting; so it also has in it a fantasy or counter form of the easy intercessional impulse of the free and easy beach paintings (even more interesting, he played with space, as this seems to be a house at the beach, with his ambient liminal scenery right outside the window).

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After a time this approach became more nexus-oriented and by that I mean in his mind he shifted them into the in-between waking and dreaming space I call the Luor, he probably had a name too, and, for that, they become like the nexus room, also where I situated, conceptually, the Caruso cave models

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To, as it were, as a turnstile, manage the movement from one zone of his world to another

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and then, without going into it, he found he could do this shift from exterior to interior, and back again, over and over again, with the gladiators, the wrestlers, all the temples, maybe even the horses, it all could flow in and around in the circulation of his mental passage in his dream world as he concocted it over the course of sixty years painting.

A final word about another group of paintings. If, on the model of the previous, after a while he could just “visit” a “place” in his world, without having to go through the whole derivation from the original truth shot–the fall, the splat, the bounce, the spin, the spin back, the return–he could just go to, for example, a place outside the village of dreams in the entoptic zone, as it drops to the glass onion, and that is, where, for example, I place the Mysterious Baths paintings, yet another place he discovered, which kept some of his uncanny spirit in it, he says it right in the title, a Visit to the Mysterious Baths (1935)

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And these I place here, right transitioning out of the back parts of the village of dreams as it crosses over into the glass onion, but farther out, almost as if crossing over into the ambient, for its space to be able to spread about at the edge of things like a leaf fort or the like, this too.

ch 54I imagine I could, in fact, encyclopedically place pretty much every painting de Chirico ever did, as happening somewhere in the internal hypnagogic world I have generally mapped out. There are places even I have not yet discovered, but, this is how it works. The reason he could be so prolific, and so changeable, changing from body of work to another on a dime, making chronology all but irrelevant in his work, and making art history’s preference for the original “surrealism” body of work over anything else he painted ridiculous and jejune, is that, as he worked it through, but most of all, after he had, indeed, an experience of a triple bounce nightmare that lead him by a telescopic vision down to the truth shot of his soul, ophthchthony, he was free to, given this key to explore all of the mysteries of feelings lurking in his mind. As I have tried to map out in movies, so in de Chirico, he was a hypnagogic traveler in the world of the mind, and made a record of every place he ever went to, leaving us a full mapping of a space and spaces in the mind that very few of us, alas, ever knowingly get to visit.