November 05, 2004


I watched Black Narcissus last night, a nun drama, starring Deborah Kerr, who is a kind of beauty that is not made anymore. It's from 1947, the lighting and sets are bazonkers, and because the nun's are stationed high atop a mountain in the Himalayas, there is a grave, exacting and dramatic WIND that pushes on them and their long flowing habits at all times and rope belts all over the frames at all times.

Like all great, or even mediorce, movies based on the tribulations of a religous order, the meta-plots and dialogue are all about shame, and sex and capitalism and placing your libido and capitalist thirst and desire in the benevolent paws of the Lord. You turn your back on your youth spent fox hunting in the Irish countryside with your wealthy parents and turn to much more spiritually signifigant things -- like farming potatoes and trying to beat Jesus into alcoholic American dandies who mind the local bureaucracy, or macho generals who dress and act like Liberace -- and then writing tear stained letters to the Reverend Mother for advice, or slamming bibles on tables for extra punctuation when pleading with a truant, faithless nun. What a fun job!

Save for Deborah Kerr, the nuns lose their shit entirely via their god-lust, or their untameable human-want. Then, after the heart-warming string of cameos by little tiny white Himalayan pack ponies, we learn that nuns with lust in their heart die violently, good girls are forever lonely, men with lust in their hearts stay drunk in their feather caps and the noble savages cannot be conquered, they just run around giggling and keep washing their clothes in the river just like before the white people showed up.

Posted by Jessica at November 5, 2004 03:21 PM | TrackBack