Monday, July 8, 2013

THAS: LIFEFORCE WEEK: DAY 3 - The Most Romantic Scene

The schedule for the remainder of LIFEFORCE WEEK as foreseen:

DAY 4 - 'Converging of Elements During the Insane Asylum Episode' + "The Passions of 'Lifeforce'"

DAY 5 - 'Back to Formality: Caine's Heroic Escapade Through London'

"... Tom struggles with the question of how much of himself he wants to give to Space Girl, and whether or not she justifies the sacrifice—a question that's decidedly answered in a hot, gothic sex scene that Bava would've surely applauded."

- Chuck Bowen, Slant Magazine Lifeforce Blu-ray Review

I usually pride Hooper in his most delicate and fragile scenes, but this frenzied tryst scene is instead blunt and passionate, explicitly (and specifically) performed, and literally ravishing in the most poetic sense of the word: the scene's "sex" is sublimated by the sheer disturbance of its intense romance.  Velvet colors, beautiful garments (before disrobe), the pleading cries of its alien/human pair ("You're giving me your life!"; "Carlsen, be with me!"), an assortment of the more ineffable expressions of lovemaking.  Nothing coy or editorialized about the scene, and the actors commit to a pure concept, a pure idea, or a pure emotion that is their codependency.  Lifeforce's most romantic scene, Hooper is a filmmaker who truly believes in the ideas and emotions he puts on the screen, not placed second to how first he can enhance or fabricate it, then spinning it into so much cotton candy.  A believer in mining the range of cinema, Hooper shows he can make a romance scene a romance scene.

"May is so amply displayed, partially, for a simple reason: She's a beautiful woman, and this film belongs to a genre with a history of showcasing beautiful women in lurid scenarios that are meant to titillate predominantly male audiences. Hooper manages to satirize that convention while indulging it, all without succumbing to hypocrisy, because he shoots May with an authentic reverence for her beauty. A former dancer, May gives a graceful, authoritative performance that affirms the film's governing concerns." - Chuck Bowen

The scene ends with a striking sense of positive, oddly earthy triumph: a shot of May almost beaming as the passionate thunder continues to roar behind her - one last, single, calming thunder stroke reverberating to anticipate the seamless cut to black, completely in pattern to the lucid strobing light of dreams.  A pregnant moment plunges us in total blackness (the plunge from dream).

No comments: