Re: RARA-AVIS: Kiss Me Deadly

From: Patrick King (
Date: 11 Dec 2007

--- William Ahearn <> wrote:

> I'm not being sarcastic but I think you missed the
> point of Blow Up. It has nothing to do with Welles
> or
> Chandler. It may be a spoof of how Heisenberg's
> principle entered the pop mentality. If you watch
> Antonioni's other films, you will see a
> non-resolution
> in many of them and L'ventura perhaps most famously.
> One could argue that no murder occurred in Blow Up
> at
> all. So how can you solve a non-crime? What has that
> to do with Chandler or that over-rated,
> self-promoting
> hack named Orson Welles (sorry, I had to stick that
> in)?
****************************************************** I'm not saying that Blow Up is specifically a spoof on Chandler or Wells expect to the extent that they represent western story telling. Its a spoof on the Euro/American story line in general and the mystery genre in particular. It sets the viewer up to expect certain things we always see in stories of this type, then deliberately doesn't deliver. No murder? Well, he goes back to the park and discovers the body. But when he comes back the third time, the body has disappears in some unconventional way. I mean, an ambulence doesn't take it away, nor do the police come and tape off a crime scene. So most likely someone came back for the corpse and disposed of it in some other fashion. Of course, it doesn't matter to the movie because Hemming has already moved on to other concerns, never revealing what he learned, whatever it was, to anyone but us, the passive observers.

Blow Up is successful exactly because it forces the audience, whether they want to or not, to examine what they, themselves, bring to an entertainment: Their beliefs, their expectations, their prejudices, and their desires. When Hemming fights like a deamon to keep the broken neck of that extrememly cheap guitar he catches in the rock club, then casts it away when his pursuers give up, that's the whole film in a scene. What is important? Even someone's death is of no significance really, except to the extent the lawyers, judges, police, and prison guards can make a living from it. Hemming tosses the corpse away just as surely as he tosses the guitar neck.

Patrick King Patrick King

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