The trailer for Love Object is false advertising (unless you get meta about it)

Posted in Sermons on September 7, 2010 by nicholasnordlinger

So Love Object was a fairly recent, above par horror movie starring that one guy from Dexter. Here’s the trailer:

So what is this film clearly about? An evil, living sex doll, right? It’s some sort of kinky retelling of Child’s Play or something, right? Wrong. There is not one bit of the supernatural in this movie (unless you count a purple rash that every sex doll user gets as supernatural. I’d just blame the manufacturer.) The entire story is about our protagonist, Kenneth, going slowly insane as he obsessively tailors his sex doll to appear more like his crush from work (and eventually vice versa) and worries that the doll is going to kill him in jealousy.

It’s an effective horror movie, and perhaps much better (and scarier) for not delving into fantasy, but you have to get over the initial realization that there’s not going to be any Chuckyesque carnage.

However, the most important line in the movie comes at the peak of our protagonist’s insanity as one of his victims begs him for mercy saying (in reference to the sex doll) “she’s not real!”

To which Kenneth devastatingly replies:

“just because she’s not alive doesn’t mean she’s not real.”

So perhaps the trailer wasn’t lying after all. Maybe the doll is a living monster. Maybe anything we fetishize, any Love Object, becomes an extension of our own madness.

A Very Brief Introduction to the proposed Church

Posted in Sermons on September 6, 2010 by nicholasnordlinger

The Church will be open to anyone and everyone. There will be films projected on the outside walls so that passersby may be drawn in (light permitting of course). These films (projected on the outside walls) will be family friendly (e.g. Henson, Miyazaki, 90’s animation) so as not to pose any symbolic violence to the community. The films played on the inside will, however, not necessarily (or perhaps ever) be “family friendly.” As a cleric, it is not my place to stop wayward children from wandering in, and any trauma they experience from the films they see inside may serve well in their personal development, but I recommend parents regard entry into the interior screening room of the church (which, also, may not be the best place for children in that I expect/project that it will be characteristically filled with smoke) as a religious act of Confirmation, the outside walls being a baptism and Sunday School of sorts. The interior of the church will be a large screening room with a variety of seating (e.g. couches, comfy chairs, standard theater loveseats etc.) Films will be shown one after the other, often with fifteen to thirty minute intermissions between. Appropriate music will be played before and between film showings (e.g. during the intermission between Tetuso: The Iron Man and Eraserhead, the noise music of Merzbow will be played, and before a screening of Do The Right Thing Public Enemy’s Fear of a Black Planet will be played in its entirety)

There will be three bathrooms on the interior of the church. Male, female, and Q. Or M. Or Z. I haven’t for certain decided on the third bathroom’s label yet but I am certain that any truly accepting church (particularly one of Cinematic Oblivion) must have a third bathroom for anyone who is not cemented in the male/female gender binary. All three bathrooms will have small T.V. screens in them with the featured film playing (synchronized timewise, of course, with the interior screen) so that bathroomgoers do not miss any of the film. These bathroom TV’s are a crucial feature of The Church (I have always found the necessarily missed minutes of films in cinemas an obvious design flaw of movie theaters/the human bladder) as it is near impossible for any audience member to go an entire screening without using the bathroom (remember, double features, triple features, sometimes even day or night long marathons are the main staple of the church).

I believe that it is also crucial that all screenings at the Church be free. Make no mistake; this is an anarchist theater that refuses to participate in the capitalist relationship on religious grounds. Like any church we expect tax-exempt status. We will survive on the generous donations of our congregation. These donations will not always come in the form of money, sometimes all we need is someone to help out, give a little time or energy to the Church.

The Church is a place of worship and oblivion, so everyone must follow their own spiritual path. Come in and stay for five minutes, or sit down and stay for five days. All that matters is that you respect the church. Come in and drink a beer, smoke a blunt, come in with a tab of L on your tongue, or come in sober as a judge, your state of mind is yours…yours…yours…for who else should your state of mind belong to?

Some days there will be well-paired double features and triple features (e.g. the previously mentioned Tetsuo & Eraserhead, Jisatsu sakuru & Noriko’s Dinner Table, Back to the Future & Primer <obviously another good one might be all three BTTF’s>, Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade & The Company of Wolves, Star Wars Episodes 4,5 & 6, Hellraiser & Hellbound, Psycho & Dementia 13, Chan Wook Park’s vengeance trilogy etc. <I will probably do a whole other blog just spouting a proposed theater schedule>) other days we will simply show a single, albeit very long, movie (e.g. Once Upon A Time in America, Love Exposure, Novecento, Satantango, Shoah etc.) and still other days we will participate in full days (or even more than a single day if need be) of cinematic oblivion (e.g. Clown Horror oblivion, Stanley Kubrick oblivion, Anime oblivion, Bollywood oblivion, Werewolf oblivion, Sion Sono oblivion, Tarkovsky oblivion, found-footage oblivion, Marxist oblivion etc.) I will expand on the specific schedules and spiritual ramifications of these oblivions in later blogs.

We will also screen T.V. shows, usually committing to showing the entire series in a single run. I would love to treat Paranoia Agent as one 6-½ hour movie. In fact, were this Church to be in operation currently I would most certainly organize a Satoshi Kon oblivion to honor his recent passing.

So the sad truth is that this Church doesn’t exist, there is no building, no screen, and no wealth of films to project. At this moment I am the soul member of the parish. But I carry cinematic oblivion with me everywhere I go, with every film I watch.

There is an abandoned Albertson’s down Channing Road at the ghostly vacant Edgeware Shopping Center here in Palo Alto, CA. Sometimes I pull up next to it in the evening, smoke a cigarette and stare at it’s white walls, dreaming of dancing images, of gathered families, and of the few daring filmgoers slowly edging their way inside, considering confirmation into the Church. It is a dream that I do not currently have the money (damn paper) or business skills to bring into reality, so I will keep the faith with this blog, sharing The Church’s views on genres, auteurs, and specific films, as well as illuminating the possibilities of the actual Church’s existence.

A Very Brief Introduction to the Idea of Cinematic Oblivion

Posted in Sermons on September 5, 2010 by nicholasnordlinger

The drive behind any religious commitment is personal aesthetic, and when one has found the tingle of divinity that best suits them they submit to this aesthetic. The word Islam, for example, means submission. Christianity and Judaism are both built on an Original Sin myth which bends shame/guilt(philiacs) to that aesthetics’ rule. I believe that submission to an aesthetic (be it crosses, stars, or crescent moons) is natural, and is the first step in the quest for oblivion.

One of the most common aspects of any religion/belief  is oblivion.

Christians speaking in tongues, Muslims mass chanting the Koran, the Sun Dance of the Cheyenne, the peyote rituals of the Huichol, dancing or singing, eating or drinking, or fasting…into oblivion…into exhaustion or utter trip, when the body and the mind are worn and see God.

I like movies.

Like the Cheyenne will dance, like the Muslims will chant, like the Christians will jabber, like the Huichol will munch, I will watch movies. Long lost is the attention span that can best a double-feature, but every night I conceive a new perfect pairing, or even a triple-feature, or a good 4 to 7 hour movie no one will give the time. When one truly submits to the guidance of the church it can be divinely rewarding. Imagine the faith it requires to submit 4, 6, even 10 hours of your life to the silver screen. Of course the particular films shown and how they are arranged/presented is extremely important, and I believe I am fit to guide the believers and hold a position in the cinematic parsonage. I want to gather together in a dark room, burn our trees or tobacco leaves, drink our brews and teas, let the light of the projector dance, the sound surround, our laughs and screams echo with tact and timing. Let us, the congregation, watch films all night until we are red-eyed, and wander out into the morning light, sick with oblivion.

Concerts, clubs, and raves have long held the monopoly on modern-age (seemingly)-secular oblivion seeking. Movie-theaters are far too tame for a crazed film cleric (like me). Also, money is art’s kryptonite.

I propose a Church of Cinematic Oblivion. All screenings will be free. Marijuana and tobacco may be smoked inside during all shows. You may come in any psychological condition as long as you respect the church.

That will be the only rule.

Please Respect Our Church

As you would any house of God.