Tuesday, March 29, 2011

13th century hershey's kiss helmets


Last night I watched the 1938 Eisenstein film Alexander Nevsky, and I have to say, I haven't felt a work of art initiate such a wave of depression and anxiety in a long time. Maybe not since Time Rider in junior high, when I realized how bad movies can be, the same summer I wanted to be David Bowie but knew I was really more of a Gary Burghoff type. This was a bummer on a different level, and the only way I can put it is that this movie reminded me of a Rank and Bass holiday cartoon, made under the creative and financial supervision of a psychopathic, totalitarian dictator. Hard way to keep a career alive! A long essay could be written on the erotics of 13th century military helmets but I will leave that to some wise-ass in film school. You got your bucketheads, your Hershey's Kiss hats, your heavy metal horned devil masks (proto-Conan The Bavarian), and your black porpoise penis poppers. Stalin must have been getting some serious dictator wood at the private screening. And as for the Prokoviev score, how do you soundtrack four minutes of Teutonic soldiers drowning in broken ice? You gulp laudanum and have the cellos saw away, that's how. Throw in some codified hatred of spirtuality and clergy, and you have a real treat on your hands. Glad the sun is coming out on Thursday, and glad for the creative freedom that many people have--not all. Which is a good reason to watch this movie.
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