Monday, March 9, 2020
Commentary on Trevor Lynch's Review of THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY & PURPLE NOON — Why the RIPLEY Tale may be more Relevant to Our Times than BRAVE NEW WORLD & 1984
Trevor Lynch(aka Greg Johnson):
It is (Anthony) Minghella’s best-directed film: an unapologetically Eurocentric, absolutely voluptuous vision of Italy at its most beautiful and America at its civilizational peak.
Not sure what that means within the context of the movie's setting. LA DOLCE VITA lifestyle on display seems more exotic and eccentric than Euro-centric. What is Dickie(Jude Law)’s main passion? Jazz. Most of his worldly gods are black, and he has no sense of responsibility, no sense of obligation except to oneself. The only thing that is sincere about him, apart from his genuine love of fun, is his feelings for his fiancee.
Otherwise, he's all about unfettered individualism and self-indulgence, even as he mooches off his respectable workaholic father. In the novel, his passion is painting, but in the movie it was changed to Jazz, which I suppose is more cinematic and exciting for the soundtrack. Tom Ripley is another moocher, or a moocher of a moocher. Dickie and Ripley are perfect avatars of the soulless new Western Man. The post-war boom was certainly not the civilizational peak for it elevated materialism and ‘self-actualization’ as the highest goals of life. By the way, it is a terrific movie, one of the most intelligent to come out of Hollywood.
An odd thing. Even though THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY is superior(or at least equal) to PURPLE NOON in just about every department — in acting, script, plotting, RIPLEY is superior, and in cinematography, it holds its own — , PURPLE NOON is the greater film, the one with classic status. Why would this be? Because cinema is more about magic than data. In its parts, THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY is hard to beat as suspense, thriller, mystery, and even dark romance. The acting is only adequate in PURPLE NOON and the plotting is perfunctory. There isn’t much to Ripley's psychology as Alain Delon plays him. Still, PURPLE NOON has a mesmerizing quality lacking in THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY. The ‘remake’ is more like a maze, the Rene Clement film is like a dream. You have to follow every twist and turn to make sense of THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY and enjoy it — and it is immensely enjoyable –, whereas you can forget about everything and drift away with the romantic daze of PURPLE NOON.
Still, two remarkable works based on the same novel. Rare in cinema for a novel to produce one good movie. But two is a charmer.
Another fine adaptation and with Warren Beatty as a budding star with real charisma(before he got a bit sappy) is ALL FALL DOWN, an early work by John Frankenheimer.
In arts & sciences, there is no rational way of listing achievements. And in film- even less so.
That’s why it’s not a rational argument. I said, based on ‘objective’ criteria, THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY is the better work. It is a polished well-oiled machine that runs smoothly from start to finish. It's like a perfect mechanical shark. Also, it offers much food for thought. If we go down the checklist of technical wonders, it’s hard to beat THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY.
And yet, there is a quality to PURPLE NOON that works like a daydream, especially with its bronze glinted images, Delon’s quiet intensity, and the tone of fatalism in the otherwise sentimental melody.
Clearly, THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY was made as a middlebrow art film — one of the best of its kind — , whereas PURPLE NOON was made as a star vehicle. The latter’s priority was to make Delon look devastating, and boy, did it ever succeed.
Another thing. THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY is pretty high on verisimilitude. As outlandish as the plot is, we can believe we’re watching real people in real places in a real time in history.
In contrast, there is an added layer of fantasy to PURPLE NOON because Frenchmen are playing Americans. The effect is almost surreal, like a mirage.
Critical reputations change over time. Purple Noon has a 39-year head start.
THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY got pretty good marks when it came out, and it is still probably a much-respected movie. (In contrast, no one seems to care much about THE ENGLISH PATIENT anymore.) However, it may be problematic for two reasons in the Current Year. Ripley is a homosexual psycho, an arguably 'homophobic' detail that may offend certain well-placed people in the arts and entertainment. While Ripley is presented with empathy(at times bordering on audience identification as his daring feats play to the closeted-striver in all of us) and is far from being a flaming stereotype, in our day and age when globo-homo is like a substitute religion the notion of a narcissistic pathological homo psycho may not go over well.
The other reason is PURPLE NOON was released at a legendary time in film history. Oddly enough, Rene Clement, the director of the masterpiece FORBIDDEN GAMES, had long been viciously attacked by New Wave critics. He was pigeonholed as an old-fashioned stuffy ‘films of quality’ director. And yet, he made one of the most fabulous films to start the decade and, if only for a brief moment, he made the young turks eat their words. I wonder if PURPLE NOON had any influence on KNIFE IN THE WATER(dir. Roman Polanski) that came out two years later. At any rate, PURPLE NOON belongs to a class of films that came out when Cinema Mattered. In 1960, Cinema was appealing and exciting as the art form as yet least touched by modernism(thus spared its worst excesses) and yet also one that was most fertile for modernist exploration. It was both the virgin and the fresh whore of the art world, perhaps best exemplified by Luis Bunuel's VIRIDIANA. It was there to be undressed and violated. Other more traditional art forms such as literature, music, painting, and sculpture were already old whores as far as modernism was concerned. They'd been used and abused.
Frankly, it sounds entirely too gay for me. I get enough queer this and queer that that I can not avoid, wading through the sewage that is contemporary culture.
It has a homo character but the movie isn’t ‘gay’ in the tutti-fruity sense. It’s not BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN or some such 'Propart', or propaganda masquerading as art. Also, it shows the problems of homosexuality as a personality and emotional quality. Even if Patricia Highsmith didn’t mean Ripley to be homo — maybe she secretly did but didn’t want to publicly and all-too-stereotypically associate a homo with psychopathy, being a homo herself — , THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY is one of the most astute and penetrating movies about the homosexual personality. It hints as to why there are so many homos in Wall Street, Washington DC, Hollywood, Las Vegas, and etc. Homos tend to be naturally vain & narcissistic and are obsessed with surface allure and impressions. It’s no wonder that homos became darlings of the rich elites. Homos crave the good life and cater to the affluent class and sophisticates. Instead of demanding higher wages and more benefits as a group like the grubby working class does, homos find ways to inch their way into the privileged world as talented individuals, fawning over and deferring to the ‘better’ kind of people. If Ripley had grown up in the 2000’s, he would have made it to the stars. Homos will go to hell and back in service to the rich and powerful. 10% of DC is homo! All those self-centered politicians know that homos will work 24/7 to be part of the in-crowd. In that regard, Ripley is an interesting case study of homo personality like the Will Patton character in NO WAY OUT.
Personally, I can’t stand ‘gayish’ movies either. But THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY is not ‘gayish’. It is a steely study of how a certain kind of personality will go to any length to live the dream. It’s sort of comparable to SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION, which is pretty good but falters at the end with a bit of sappiness.
I still haven’t seen BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN and PHILADELPHIA as I have no stomach for 'Propart' in service of 'sacralizing' deviancy or degeneracy. But when a movie is honest and truthful, it can be about anything or anyone, from the finest saints to the worst sinners. MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE and C.R.A.Z.Y are two genuine works of art about homos.
TTMR is a wonderful movie. But Matt Damon is just not that attractive. IMO he is not a romantic lead.
Here’s the thing. Matt Damon is pretty attractive in an All-American way. Indeed, if the movie didn’t star Jude Law, Damon would come across as far more handsome. But there is the beautiful Law, who is to Damon what gold is to bronze. Next to Law, Damon looks downright plain and homely, almost like Elizabeth Warren done up as a 'man'. But that was the desired effect, the sense that there is always something better, brighter, shinier. Ripley can never be truly content because he’s never satisfied with good-enough. 'Enough' is not a part of his vocabulary. He is faithful to one thing only: The Superior, for which he will dump and betray whatever he has at the moment. He always has his eye on what is better, and there is better than better and better than better than better ad infinitum. No matter what he has, he will always strive for more. He’s greedy for aesthetics or suffers from 'aestheticitis'.
Aren’t we all reading into it too much? I mean, this is a crime fiction. A good crime fiction, but still a genre fiction. And crime fiction characters are always schematic, they’re paper-thin.
As T. Lynch said, a lot was packed into the movie. It wasn’t merely an adaptation but an expansion of Highsmith’s characters and universe. Highsmith was somewhere between genre and serious literature. Her writings could be enjoyed on both levels. There’s obviously a lot of intelligence in her conception and execution. She could be cold and surgical but also playful and amusing.
Most crime fiction characters are schematic, but this is true of most of anything. Even most characters and plots in serious literature fall into broad categories. After awhile, they seem pretty familiar and repetitious despite the sincerity and personal investment of the authors. Consider all those serious personal literature about some city person who returns to his/her small town and blah blah. Such works may be true to life, but they've been done to death.
A hack cannot rise above formula. A professional can take formula to the next level as superior entertainment. An artist use formula as material for his own ideas and visions. When Orson Welles got his hands on the pulpy material of LADY FROM SHANGHAI and TOUCH OF EVIL and when Roman Polanski added his touch to CHINATOWN, they made art out of what otherwise might have been junk. Same with Akira Kurosawa with HIGH AND LOW. It’s based on a second-rate crime novel(KING'S RANSOM by Ed McBain) but works at the uppermost reaches of middlebrow art, the next best thing to high art.
Also, most people are predictable. Most lives are schematic and routine. Most psychologies are bland and boring, fixated on nonsense — how else do we explain the popularity of soap operas, Oprah, Howard Stern, and etc? Most people are little more than rational animals. While works of art may be profound about the human condition, there is nothing profound about most of human psychology.
We are not talking here about Balzac, Stendhal, Eliot, Tolstoy, Verga, Lawrence or Hamsun.
Works like VERTIGO and THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY are interesting in that they operate within the realm of(or between) myth and reality. Traditionally speaking, serious literature tended to be about real people rooted or trapped in the real world. There may be a lot of truth in such works, but most people don’t care for(and can't handle) too much truth. Too dense, depressing, or heavy. And therein lies the popularity of genres and myths. And yet, losing ourselves in fantasy would be too unreal, childlike, or irresponsible. We don’t want to replace reality and truth with idiotic TV shows, ludicrous movies, and pop music titillation.
But then, there are movies like STRANGERS ON A TRAIN(dir. Alfred Hitchcock) and TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A.(dir. William Friedkin) that are outlandish enough to be larger-than-life and sensationalist and yet also brutally conscious of reality's limits and karma. It’s that tension between escapism to fantasy and bondage to reality that makes movies like VERTIGO such tantalizing topics of discussion. They open up the psychological space between the dreamy and the dreary. Also, it is revealing about the very nature of psychology. Even as we live in reality, we don’t always think in terms of the real but of the ideal, even the fantastic. Too much of the unreal leads to neurosis or, worse, schizophrenia. But too little of the mythic would make life drab, dull, and depressing. Given the emotional nature of man, he is most sane and healthy when he navigates between fact and fiction. In other words, man has to be slightly 'insane' to maintain his sanity, just like the immune system needs some degree of germs to remain vital. It is why dreaming is so important to one's mental health. Bare facts of existence are pretty dull for most people, and even for the rich and privileged(and otherwise blessed), there is the looming fact of death(with no chance of return) and the sheer meaninglessness of the universe. Therefore, our minds need to be distracted or carried away by some measure of ideals, dreams, or fantasy to lubricate and radiate our inner lives. Of course, too much fantasy turns cancerous, which is the problem of the 21st century, one where culture in Japan revolves around cartoons and ideology in the West revolves around '50 genders' and 'empowerment' by tattoos and green hair.
Life must be based on reality but strive toward 'ideality'. A puritanical rejection of all things fantastic leads to the kind of severity shown in BABETTE’S FEAST. But excessive indulgence in fantasy to the point of losing one’s bearing on reality leads to decadence.
Serious literature speaks to us less and less, especially due to the rise of electronic media. Prior to electricity, lives were centered around other people, conversation, and community. It was about person-to-person contact. It was about people being confronted with (local)reality all around. If you were in a cold dark room, the reality of the cold dark room could not be denied. And townsfolk's cultural life revolved around church meetings, daily conversations, and various forms of social gatherings. There was no radio or TV one could sit next to all day and all night as distraction from the dreariness or loneliness of life. One had to form social bonds, get involved, or busy oneself with lots of work to stave off the boredom.
This world of 'too much reality' came to be reflected in serious literature. Still, the element of fiction made it more eventful or adventurous, or at least different(even if not much happened in the story), from the life one knew and was stuck with. Furthermore, in a world prior to electronic titillation, it didn't take much to engage the minds and senses. Even a slow-moving novel, folk tune or piece of classical music, or painting exhibition could be welcome relief from the sheer 'nothingness' of existence. A mere picture book could be wondrous to behold for children in the pre-electronic era.
But with the rise of radio, movies, TV, video-games, and internet, people can easily tune off reality and be captivated by an over-abundance of ever-shifting and always disposable images and sounds. Now with smart phones, they can carry this fantasy around them everywhere. So, modern psychology is closer to the mode of insta-myth than ever before(and it will become even more so with the rise of virtual reality technology). This is a dangerous development for mankind, but it is the defining cultural trend. Indeed, one wonders if globo-homo could have gained so much ground if not for the fact that so many people’s main sense of ‘reality’ comes from electronic TV shows, movies, and music videos than from actual reality. When celebrities, the objects of idol-worship, say ‘trannies are next to godliness’, it has tremendous appeal to the masses who are more immersed in pop culture than in real culture.
And so, the power of myth counts for more than ever before. Most people today simply can’t sit still and absorb 'too much reality', the kind that is all around them in the form of people, places, and things(that don't turn on to emit sounds and images designed to make people forget the who, when, and where of their existence). This is why, even when people go on nature trips, they carry their TV’s and smart phones. They need diversions of fantasy and escapism from the burden of reality that stubbornly remains as it is, oblivious to the whims of visitors.
In that sense, THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY is a very timely movie. It’s like a proto-vision of the globo-homo future that came to be. The world Ripley lives in is less fantastical than ours. There are movies and record players to be sure, but it’s still a world where maturity, sobriety, fidelity, and responsibility are prized. TV culture has yet to completely take over the global mind in the movie's setting.
And yet, Ripley is psychologically ahead of his time. Being homo, he has a penchant for fantasy and artifice, the preference for the ideal over the real. He loves art and wants the world to conform to his aesthetic vision and tastes. He wants Dickey’s view of their ‘friendship’ to conform to his own. Also, Ripley is passive/aggressive like so many homos and Jews. On the one hand, he’s so ingratiating and eager-to-please, almost like a dog or servant. And yet, beneath the smile is the guile, the ruthless determination to have everything go his way… or else... like with the Jew Suss of Veit Harlan's movie.
In that sense, we are living in Ripley’s World. Jews and Homos used passive/aggressive means to gain access to power and then to totally take over the power, and they are now using mass media, deep state, and entertainment to hoodwink all of us that black is white, male is female, illegals are dreamers, censorship is ‘free speech’, and Russia is behind Donald Trump(and Bernie Sanders as well). Reality be damned. Reality and all of us in it better conform to their preferred ‘ideals’.
Jews and Homos love the power of molding reality to whatever they please at any given moment. While reality is objective, we all experience it subjectively, and that means the control of mass subjectivity will shape our view of 'objectivity' as well. Jews and homos are less interested in what is true and false than in the power to mold what is 'true' and 'false'. They insist on wielding the mallet over our minds made malleable. Our sense of outrage mustn't be rooted to any particular principle or perception but shift according to the dictates of the ruling elites. If Jews want us to hate A and love B, we must bark at A and roll over before B, but if Jews change their minds and decide we must love B and hate A, we must bark at B and rollover over before A. We mustn't possess any autonomy when it comes to worldview and morality. Like dogs, we must be (1) childishly emotional and (2) subservient to Jews/homos. Thus, whatever Jews and homos demand at the moment, no matter how contradictory it may be to an earlier demand, must be the latest topic of outrage and hysterics. There is to be no truth or principle of independent of the Jewish Will and Agenda.
So, when Jews and homos assert that a man who wants to be a woman is truly a 'woman', that 'new normal' piece of factoid is of secondary importance to the real prize, which is the power to mold our minds anyway they choose. After all, if Jews and homos can make us believe in fantasy as truth, what couldn't they fool us with? What matters most to Jews and homos is not that we believe in any particular thing as immutably true but that we believe as 'true' whatever they tell us is 'true' at the moment. The only 'essentialism' we must honor and obey is the infallibility of the globo-homo-shlomo media and academia in determining the fashionable outrage of the Current Year. It's like Consumer-Morality. In other words, if Jews and homos say 'trannies as godly', we are to nod in agreement... but then, if Jews and homos change their minds and assert that 'trannies are sick and wrong', we are to change our minds instantly. Jews decree, Goyim agree. Jews say, Goyim obey. It is easier to feel moral passion than think with moral logic. As most people cannot think morally, they outsource the thinking to the powers-that-be of the Jew-and-homo-run media and academia that supply the Outrage-of-the-Week over which the masses go into hysterics.
Like Ripley, Jews and homos will come at you with a smile and plead with you to agree with their ‘modest’ and ‘humble’ views, but if you refuse their offer, they turn into spiteful judge and jury who will stop at nothing to bring you down. So, Christian bakers who refuse to bake ‘gay wedding’ cakes must be sued and destroyed. And, all those craven and cowardly ‘conservatives’ do NOTHING because in our Riplean world, Jews and their proxies the homos hold all the cards and can bring anyone down. Not only do a lot of 'conservative' politicians have skeletons in their closets but even clean ones can be relentlessly smeared as 'racists', 'sexists', 'anti-semites', or 'homophobes', which is enough to ruin anyone's career these days. If the Jew-run media and Deep State could nearly bring down a president with false claims of 'Russia Collusion', imagine what they can do to the little fish.
In that sense, THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY is more telling of where we are than George Orwell’s 1984 and Aldous Huxley’s BRAVE NEW WORLD. Ripley didn’t merely best those around him. Ripleys of the world took over the culture by sucking up to Jews, the most cunning and ruthless group in the world. Minghella's movie offers a glimpse into the proto-globo-homo psychology that insinuated itself into every corridor of power and privilege. The homo mindset, with its combination of vanity, narcissism, obsequiousness, bitchiness, soft/effete qualities, sharp/predatory tendencies, sophistication, cynicism, curiosity, and cunning, slithered in snakelike into the crevices gnawed by ratlike Jews. With Jews as their masters, homos were made the master-servants over the rest. Indeed, the current hierarchy is Jews at the top, the homos at the next level, and then the rest. Of course, blacks are allowed tremendous symbolic value, but when it comes to the actual operation of the Power Realm, it's the Jews and homos. Dickie eventually tired of Ripley the pest, and wanted nothing to do with him. But unlike Dickie who lacked for imagination and ambition, Jews realized the full potential of how homos could be utilized to serve and spread the neo-gospel of globo-homo-shlomo all over the world. With the proper incentives, the Ripleys of the world will do anything for their masters for their piece of the pie. So, next time you wonder about the kind of people who run the Deep State and what makes them tick, you could do worse than to watch THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY(and NO WAY OUT) for clues.
Of course, it's true that many more people with managerial positions in the Deep State are straight white males and females than Jews and homos. So, why do Jews and homos matter more? Why do they hold the aces and jokers? It's because whereas whites in the Deep State are merely well-credentialed and well-positioned professionals, Jews and Homos have been 'sacralized' and thus glow with false holiness. Also, whereas whites are merely eager to work hard and prove their worth as individuals, Jews believe in the sacredness of their tribe and have powerful personalities with which to push through their tribal-supremacist agenda; and homos have an incessant and manic urge to be the center of attention as the favorite servile bitch to the master class and as the nasty over-bearing son-of-a-bitch to those below them. Homo political psychology is to take it up the ass from the master and stick it in the ass of the inferior. It's no wonder that THE FIGHT CLUB the movie was based on a novel by a homo. Homos have a lot of psychological fight in them as they're always on the lookout for who-fuc*s-me-in-the-ass and who-do-I-fuc*-in-the-ass. Normal Male Sexuality is far simpler in thinking and attitude. Straight male psychology thinks, "I fuc* the woman" and is thus more one-dimensional in its sense of sexual hierarchy. Man is the master, the woman is the bitch. In contrast, a homo man sees himself as both someone who uses another man as a 'bitch' and as someone who is a 'bitch' to another man. This passive/aggressive quality has made homos more adept at climbing the ladder as social elevation requires not only alpha qualities but lots of beta ass-kissing, something that many straight men are unwilling to do out of sense of pride. But homos know, "You must kiss ass to kick ass."
Intensely hierarchical, homos have a naturally aristocratic mindset that is pathologically servile to the superior and equally pathologically haughty toward the inferior. Of course, ever mindful to climb higher, even as homos go out on a limb to demonstrate their loyalty, they secretly gather potentially damning data to be used to blackmail their current masters into becoming their de facto servants, or masters-in-name-only-and-in-fact-owned-by-homos. Along with THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY, another film that tells us much about the Psychology of Striving is THE SERVANT by Joseph Losey. BRAVE NEW WORLD and 1984 are presentations of future worlds as all-powerful and permanent. Their systems and ideologies govern every aspect of life, and one gets a pretty good sense of how they operate. We can discern the blueprints and the inner-logic of their power.
But if the 21st century teaches us anything, it is the sheer instability of power, values, and 'truth'. Nothing seems to be set in stone, and everything seems to be shifting in a state of flux in terms of technology, borders, demographics, morality, icons and idols, and etc. Then, what matters is not so much the idea or even the system but WHAT KIND OF PERSONALITY WITH WHAT KIND OF PSYCHOLOGICAL PREDILECTION is most likely to make its way into the corridors of power. The psychology of the rat, snake, and weasel. The Jews, homos, and cuck-cynics like Peter Strzok. That factor, more than any set of ideology or principles, may be the key to explaining why the world is the way it is.