May 18th, 2005

Salt Precaution

12 Vertigos

To-day I bought the new special edition of 12 Monkeys. Here's a movie I haven't watched in . . . I'd say it's been at least seven years. That seems strange to me because I was absolutely gaga about it when it first came out. Actually, it's an important movie for me for a number of reasons; it's the first Terry Gilliam movie I ever saw. Its soundtrack was the first source from which I heard Tom Waits, and I replayed "Earth Died Screaming" constantly, years before I ever bought my first Tom Waits album.

More importantly, the movie opened up for me a new facet of fiction. I loved Star Trek and Star Wars and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. 12 Monkeys was the first time I understood why sorrow could be a part of great art.

The whole time paradox thing was something I was familiar enough with from Star Trek--12 Monkeys was for me like the same song played at a different tempo, with different aspects emphasised. I knew and understood the lyrics, considered them part of my identity as an observer, so I was pulled like thread by a needle through fabric into a new understanding.

So, yeah, it was a very important movie for me and I haven't watched it in forever. And now I have a different perspective on it. Which is more interesting because the movie contains a scene of the main character, Cole, watching Vertigo, remarking how he'd seen Vertigo as a kid, but that he had a different perspective on it now because he was a different person.

And so, since I've since seen Vertigo, I can spot the references to Vertigo in 12 Monkeys--notably the scene in the theatre lobby where music from Vertigo is playing while Cole first sees Kathryn Raily in her blond wig and grey coat. He's reminded of his dream, and I'm reminded of the scene in Vertigo when Kim Novak's re-made over in blond with grey coat, and she's revealed bathed in neon light, in much the way Madeleine Stowe is. In fact, on IMDb trivia, it's pointed out that in Vertigo, it's an actor named James with a character named Madeleine, while in 12 Monkeys, it's a character named James with an actress named Madeleine.

The whole thing gives me a touch of, well, vertigo. Especially as in recent times, Vertigo as been as important a movie for me as 12 Monkeys was for me as a child. I could go on to make something of the fact that 12 Monkeys is a much newer film, though it impacted me first, in much the way time's twisted for Cole as he sees the end of the movie when he's a child . . .

Oh, but I am too sleepy for this stuff.
  • Current Music
    "Little Rain (for Clyde)" - Tom Waits
Salt Precaution

Keep vertigoing.

The weirdness continues.

While watching 12 Monkeys last night, an actor playing Madeleine Stowe's superior at the mental institution looked familiar to me. I looked him up on IMDb and saw that he was Frank Gorshin who, among other things, played The Riddler on the Adam West Batman television series. Going through his filmography, I noticed he's the only credited crewmember for a 1997 film called Threshold, which I twigged on as it's also the name of one of greygirlbeast's books.

Anyway, to-day I read that Frank Gorshin died yesterday.

Will it end there?
  • Current Music
    "Cactus" - The Pixies