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Saturday, March 9, 2013


Joaquin Phoenix - A Master Actor

The reviews have all stepped into "the psychological swamp of interpretation." Warned by Foucault and Sontag they didn't listen.

This is where Lancaster Dodd played by another master actor Seymour-Hoffman goes to break down Freddie Quell's defenses: mother; father; incest with his aunt; The Girl; etc.

Phoenix has played him as BRAIN DAMAGED
When did it start?

 Maybe with a forceps birth popular at the time? Head injuries from accidents or beatings as a child? Intensified by ingredients (paint thinner, photography chemicals) added to his alcohol concoctions intensified it.

Slurp Slurp!
The Inscription of the Body described by Nietzsche in his Genealogy of Morals and elaborated upon by Foucault and Baudrillard and portrayed by Phoenix leaves no doubt.
Contorted Posture AgainHold It Right There!

Lancaster Dodd is the "therapist" who is always fascinated by the patient s/he cannot cure. But he does love Freddie. The best Freddie can do is mimic his master and mimic social skills until the narcissistic rage of brain damage surges uncontrollably.

(This was also true of Phillip Garrido after his motorcycle accident in high school. He was not a monster. Just brain damaged.)

Hunched Shoulders, Contorted Arms

The New Wounded: From Neurosis to Brain Damage (Forms of Living) [Hardcover]

In discussing trauma, Malabou introduces the plasticity of the brain. A new self emerges to assimilate the trauma and adapt to reality. This is Freddie Quell

To psychologize and interpret according to Freudian theory is not going to work. This damaged person has developed a strategy for living.

There is no way he can be cured. He is unfixable. His strategy for survival must be honored. To label him an alcoholic is a mistake, an easy way to explain him.

In the last scene where the woman is straddling him naked and he begins to process her, telling her "she is the bravest girl he has ever known" is saying what Lancaster Dodd said to him during his first processing. He is repeating, mimicking, perseverating. The endless walking back and forth in the final processing scene is emphasizing this repetition. Freddie's Inscription of the Body does not change during this scene, although his face lightens.

Perseveration is the symptom most noted in brain damage. We will see Freddie Quell perseverate again and again.
Explosive rage, the rictus grin, lopsided smile, the facial contortions, and the contortion of his shoulders, neck and arms, which we see in the beginning scenes where he masturbates facing the sea with this restricted, contorted posture and we can surmise he has repeated this act, in this posture for a lifetime.

His Rorschach Test when each ink blot is replied to with pussy and pussy and cock, in which every ink blot is seen as sexual. This is a primitive reply to the Rorschach which indicates brain damage. 

It's a Pussy Not Batman

Joaquin Phoenix has correctly read the character of Freddie Quell.

1 comment:

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