Wednesday, May 19, 2010

In Haste: The Man Who Fell to Earth

Director Nicholas Roeg has convinced me that he is indeed a great fan of the human body. Furthermore, and slightly more intriguingly (whenever I want to utilize a more fashionable word than 'interesting', 'intriguing' always is the first place my brain looks for a satisfactory synonym... though I'm not sure it is any more affective than interesting. They both suffer from overuse and blandness), he also appears to have an obsession with inter-cutting unrelated images. In the case of "The Man Who Fell to Earth", he seems to be content in inter-cutting together an entire film of unrelated (and unrelatable) images.
I shall not spend time analyzing the feature, though I did find one short scene towards the tail end of the film that may have caused itself to remain with me.

After the dreaded government takes captive David Bowie's alien body, they begin conducting experiments (as the evil government must always do with aliens, apparently). Earlier in the film we are shown that Bowie's eyes are actually some sort of contacts that camouflage his true, alien-cat-eyes.

When the government decides to take an x-ray of Mr. Bowie, he insists that he must first take out his contacts before they zap him. Unfortunately, the Bowie body is too drunk to remove his contacts in time, and Uncle Sam sneakily snaps the invisible photo. Bowie then exclaims that now he'll never be able to get the contacts off, the idea being that the x-ray melted the lenses to the cat-eyeball.

This brief scene stands to me as an intriguing (there it is!) analogy for certain life experiences. Some experiences are like x-rays that seal themselves to our being. Once experienced, it becomes a part of us. Society tends to take this view of virginity. Once that threshold is passed -- once experienced -- it can never be undone... or so I've been told.

That's an interesting (sorry 'intriguing') idea, I think. Experiences aren't just viewed from some metaphorical observation tower, but unite their essence with our own. They forever change us. They melt our masks onto our skin.
Interesting, intriguing stuff.