Friday, December 3, 2010



 Whatever I photograph I always lose.

Michael Powell is the acclaimed director of sixty films. I am now the proud purveyor of one of the legion. Peeping Tom. It's pretty much about what it sounds like. Peeping. That is, peeping with murder.

The film studies a deep case of scoptophilia - a condition of sexual perversion based on visual stimulus. Our quiet protagonist suffers deeply. 

We are never really given an understanding of this man who wields his camera. We know he is a serial killer, but every time we see him on camera, he appears to be such a mild mannered shy lad, that we expect that he is far viler than any mere murderer, or that somehow he is innocent the blood he sheds. This style slyly pushes us to consider if this poor sap is nothing more than a boy on strings.  In a few pivotal scenes, we are also given insight into our scoptophilic's past. His father appeared to be someone in the type of a B.F. Skinner: the form of a mad scientist who leverages his children for his own curious consumption of ideas. 

If our main beau, of whom we somehow manage to pity and seek personal refuge for, was intoxicated, perhaps hypnotized, and most assuredly Pavlovianly conditioned to be become this heinous monster, then his evil doesn't originate with him. His evil is not his own. It was instilled into him, presumably by his father. 

But what of this father figure? Is it simple enough to simply put the blame on him? Isn't that just a snip bit too lazy? After all, we got to view our serial killer day after day until we came to some understanding of his origins. This father doesn't have that luxury. If he were here, perhaps in a Peeping Tom Prequel, would we learn from whence his evils came? Would we discover some moment of evil's inception into his heart and mind? Would we not too pity him? Perhaps his mother beat him. Perhaps the age of tyranny goes up the ladder one more generation. Perhaps.
All this talk of pity, responsibility, and origination brings forth a conversation of robotics. Are we nothing more than the sum of our experiences? I am aware that that is a very cliched question, but I ask it for a good reason...

I was making faces in the mirror the other day when I noticed: when I pull back my lips I look like a mix between a terminator and a predator. It felt like some sort of preview of my skull's form. I saw myself then as something other than human. Something robotic this way comes.

The picture doesn't really do the sensation any justice.

Anyway, the point of the story is: a robot is just a friend you haven't met. Yeah, that's the point.

No comments:

Post a Comment