Tag Archive | lostfilmsofthedabara

cosmic dream radio (hazel and the pony-tails)

Owl has recorded a dream which belongs to HAZEL.

As long-time readers know, I love to watch the lost films of Theda Bara because they no longer exist.  My favorite is called HER GREATEST LOVE in which Theda plays HAZEL.

The movie is very obscure and I’ve yet to figure out what really happens.  In fact, I don’t think  I’ve actually seen the entire film.

But I know that this song belongs to HAZEL.

Owl says this dream is not cosmic dream radio: it’s arcade fire on radio earth.

Great, I say.  More messages on fire.  !?!

Listen:

 

hazel_schoolsteps_ponytail

Owl records my dreams.  You can hear them all here.

Movie Night! Her Greatest Love (2)

Another scene from my favorite movie (so far) HER GREATEST LOVE!  This scene might follow the previous one, or it might not.  This movie does not confine itself to orderly arrangements of space and time, which makes it extremely realistic, but difficult to transcribe.

movie night in the obelisk

movie night in the obelisk

In the previously transcribed scene, HAZEL discovers the white-eyed BOY with his arm around a pony-tail GIRL.  Evil forces gather, cosmic libraries are ransacked, and to her shame, HAZEL sprouts wings.  A spaceship-like car, summoned by the mirrors of pony-tail girls, aligns an inescapable magnetic field around the boy.  (Click to read Scene 1.)

HER GREATEST LOVE

SCENE:  An abandoned farmhouse, winter, late afternoon.

(Winged HAZEL on dilapidated porch watches a lone wasp buzz about its empty nest, a massive wad of wood pulp and spit stuck beneath the eaves.  Stunned and slow, it crawls inside.)

(HAZEL slips through boards into the familiar house.)

(Inside, a center hall of half-open doors.)

(HAZEL walks the wide hall like a time-traveler, her warm breath an animation in the dim, slumbering cold.)

(Doves depart their rafters.)

(HAZEL touches a door and disappears. )

(An empty room.  Large mullioned window.  Floor glittered with broken glass. )

(Panes of late-light waver on the crumbling wall.   One pane contains a dappled disk in which a tiny shadow furiously whizzes like an electron in an atom cloud.)

(Because, on the sill,  a glass bottle, like a distilling flask, refracts the last low bit of wintry light.)

(HAZEL picks up the bottle.)

(CLOSE UP:  HAZEL’s face, distorted by the glass bottle, peers inside.  Fluzz.  Tiny tinny whir.)

(HAZEL shakes the bottle into her palm.)

(What flizzles the glass shaft into her hand?  Compound eye black as a nugget of tourmaline?)

(It relieves itself of its confinement, elaborates its miniscule wings.)

(Meanwhile, moonshine, a derelict joint.   Pony-tail slips mirrors into a coin slot.  Subsequent narcotic arousal accompanied by whining ache from head to bowels.  Stupefying desperation to clutch something warm.   Pony-tail skips and spins like a lousy record.   The silence machines: semblant somnambule.)

(HAZEL looks up, out the window.  Nightfall.   Stars arrive like spectators.)

INTERTITLE
FROM WHENCE FROM WHERE THEY SOON SHALL COME.

(Blasting glare; light slashes in.   Squint and shield.   Mullions reel over walls, ceiling, floor–black bars, skewed panes of shrieking light.)

(HAZEL shrinks from window.  Equine insect whizzes round about round about.)

(HAZEL and the tiny horse bottle fly urgent eye-to-eye.)

(HAZEL closes her eyes and opens her mouth as in AAAH.)

(Whiz.  Swerp.)

(HAZEL closes her mouth, convulses.)

(Outside, the spaceship car.)

(Its open door slams shut.)

END OF SCENE

Movie Night! Her Greatest Love (scene 1)

In MOVIE NIGHT I wrote about my proclivity for the lost films of Theda Bara.   I just watched HER GREATEST LOVE, a film made in 1917 which is now considered lost.  In this film, Theda played Hazel.

This is my favorite Bara movie so far.  I may transcribe more of the scenes.   In my opinion, years of non-existence have increased this film’s power–it seemed so relevant to me today!    Changes in viewing technologies between 1917 and my obelisk also deeply affected my experience of the film…in this case, my experience of the plot.   The inter-stellar resonance introduced by the image transmission process became the epic content of the film.

my viewing technology

Here’s scene one!

HER GREATEST LOVE

SCENE:  Exterior of  library on small-town Main Street.

(HAZEL, eyes upon earth, arms around books, approaches.)

(Her worsted wool coat, blue, true blue, because she is.)

(CLOSE-UP: HAZEL looks up, revelatory lustre of dream-dark eyes which see which see–)

(–gang of her peers in which a white-eyed BOY laughs, his arm around a pony-tail GIRL.  His coat?  Blue, like forsaken, because HAZEL is.)

(White-eyes spy HAZEL, quickly evade.)

(Jocular jostling.  Elbows jab ribs.  Pony-tails spray fiber-optic fountains of static.)

(CLOSE-UP:  HAZEL’s face, unable to appear OK.)

(Meanwhile, the library portico where vestal virgins bear lamps to light the way.)

(Meanwhile, arithmetic problems of distance, angle, pace, demand immediate solution.)

(HAZEL, eyes upon earth, continues toward library.)

(Obstacles.  Boy legs stuck in soft shoes, pocket-books full of mirrors, the glare of lip-glossed smiles.  Pony-tails hum with electrical potential, wisps stray from rubber bands, filaments for electrocution.)

(HAZEL, at last upon library steps, stumbles.  Her books spill.)

(Behind her, chirping girls barred and flickering like a television frequency intermittently received.)

(Above HAZEL, the library pediment, engraved:)

HAPPY IS THE MAN THAT FINDETH WISDOM
AND THE MAN THAT GETTETH UNDERSTANDING

(.)

(HAZEL gathers books, feels absence of white-eyed boy’s arm upon her.)

(Where arm is absent, bruises swell to welts which pop, pierced by sticky, keratinous extrusions that tunnel out of her back.  Bow-shaped shafts.  Unfurling to horrific span & splendor.)

(CLOSE-UP:  HAZEL’s eyes shudder shut as wings test themselves: open, closed.)

(Passionate shame.  Ludicrous endowment.  Appallingly displayed.)

(Meanwhile, the eternal heaps of uncataloged books, frenetically searched by the light of stars.)

(Meanwhile, consonants excised from penciled passages, admitting nebulous vapors amongst wide a’s, arched e’s, long o’s.)

(Meanwhile, forgotten charts of starry populations fall from flipped pages: monsters, beasts with wings from where, from whence they soon shall come…)

(HAZEL beneath pediment, monstrous winged beast, bereft of white-eyed boy.)

(BOY disconnects himself from pony-tail GIRL, hands trembling as if he would weep.)

(Compacts rapidly issue from pocket-books.  Crystal blue eyes retro-flash signals through the recesses of mirrors into the far regions of space.)

(Pony-tail GIRL tilts her head coyly, smiles all mother-sweet, enforcing blithe, oblivious complacency.)

(A car, chrome-cased like a spaceship, approaches at a super-sonic speed.  All pony-tails flare in a unified direction, aligning the inescapable magnetic field.)

(Ionic dusts assemble, obfuscating judgment and vision.)

(CLOSE-UP:  One half of BOY’s face twitches, involuntarily.)

(CLOSE-UP:  HAZEL opens her eyes.)

INTERTITLE
EVIL FORCES CONSPIRE.
THE EMPIRE IS DIVIDED.

ONLY LOVE CAN TOPPLE THE IMPENETRABLE WALL.

EARTH’S ONE REMAINING HOPE.

(Musical interlude.)

(Silence machines begin.)

END OF SCENE

HAZEL in HER GREATEST LOVE

HAZEL in HER GREATEST LOVE

vamp

Those of you who regularly read know that I occasionally watch movies in my obelisk (here’s how I do it).   Most of the movies I watch no longer exist.  They star Theda Bara, she for whom publicity agents invented the word “vamp”.  To be a vamp, as I understand it, an odalisque must possess magnetic powers of attraction coupled with:

1.  stagnant, voluptuous  repose: to immure a fascinated victim in slavish inertia, resulting in his eventual decay

2.  seductive evasion: to lure an obsessed victim into fruitless pursuit, resulting in his eventual collapse

An exceptionally gifted vamp might employ a combination of the two to completely destroy her man.

It is a lot of work to be a vamp, something they don’t teach you on screen.  Imagine yourself submersed in sultry repletion, an abysmal vortex into which all light, love and true happiness are absorbed.  Your insidious repose, your oppressive sensuality and its opiate effect on your victim,  inspire an image: an enchanted, dismal swamp.  You are quite smitten with this simile  (yourself as swamp) and are seized with the need to write it down.  Immediately.    You scramble across the bed for your notebook and your feather, scribble some words, pick up your scissors, pop open a new pot of glue, and before you know it hours have passed!  Hours have passed in happy absorption and you’ve made a brand-new scrapbook page!   You smile,  satisfied.  You look up from your creation, eager to share it with your fascinated victim, only to discover that he, in his boredom, wandered away.

It is hard to be an enchanting, dismal swamp every minute of every day.  It demands focus and self-sacrifice.

Your formerly-fascinated victim will never get to see your scrapbook page –which you were, after all, really excited to share with him–because he will sail off and smash to smithereens at the first sound of sirens.   If he survives the rocks, they’ll turn him into a mute, docile pet, fed on mangled sea-claws, vicious taunts, and the occasional nauseatingly arousing caress.

But I meant to tell you that I am making my first movie!  It will be epic, an odalisque crashes to shore and all, aLL ALL IS LOST.  Except…

It’s also low-budget: it was shot entirely on paper.   I hope it will make sense.

Because of this movie, I don’t have a scrapbook page to share.  But I do have a movie still.  In this shot I am not a swamp.   However, I am in something that looks like one:

Thank you for looking.  Thank you.

–The Odalisque

Movie Night! Gold and the Woman

In MOVIE NIGHT I wrote about Owl & I’s proclivity for the lost films of Theda Bara.   Last night we watched GOLD AND THE WOMAN, a film made in 1916 which is now considered lost.  In this film, Theda played Theresa Decordova.

movie night in the obelisk

GOLD AND THE WOMAN

SCENE: A motel room.

(Blast of light.  Cataclysm.  Two glaciers collide, slip, cleave, crest, peak, lock in angular apex.)

(A wrecked ship, its cruciate mast.)

(Wash to white.  Fade to shadow, deeply creased.)

(THERESA crawls out of bed, stumbles towards camera.  Small table, paper box, golden lamp.)

(Drawl of her gestures in acquisition of fag.  Lit.)

(THERESA smokes.  Posture, as if figurehead of pagan font.)

(Emerge spiritous smoke.)

(Dry, white vesper in darkling room.  Drift.)

(Chin down., eyes up, THERESA.  Speak:)

INTERTITLE
“WHAT DO YOU OFFER?”

“I WANT PEARLS, SPILLED THROUGH MY FINGERS,
GOLD, STUFFED IN MY PURSE.”

(Ice heaves.  Mast erects.)

(MAN rises from bed.)

END OF SCENE

This movie inspired me to make a piece of paper-doll porn:

Movie Night! A Woman There Was

In  MOVIE NIGHT I wrote about Owl & I’s proclivity for the lost films of Theda Bara.   Last night we watched A WOMAN THERE WAS, a film made in 1919 which is now considered to be lost.  In this film, Theda played Princess Zara.

movie night in the obelisk

A WOMAN THERE WAS

SCENE: A corporate board room, high above the metropolis.

(Bird shadows from birds, out-of-frame, move through otherwise spare room: shiny, long table.  carpet.   chairs.)

 (ZARA at wall of glass, looks out.  Revery: sweet gag petal wad swallowing torn flower.  Rosy fumbles.  Tissue.)

 (A bird hits the glass.)

 (Delicate fracturing.)

 (ZARA touches finger to crystalline cracks.)

 (ZARA abruptly turns to door.)

 (PAGE enters with cart.  Tea is served.  PAGE departs.)

 (Upon tray, an unmarked letter.)

 (ZARA reads: decry whisper lonely embrace–)

 (-reclining lovely abandon–)

 (-creased marker remind no–)

 (Despair.)

 (CLOSE-UP: hand-writing.)

 I hope you will let me come to your court from time to time.  As the wind comes.  Then goes.

 (ZARA’s mouth opens as in O.)

 (Sob.)

 (Sobs.)

 (Sobbing.)

 (Subside.)

 (Crumple wretched paper note.)

 (CLOSE-UP: ZARA’s tear-streaked face tightening like puddles freezing o’er with ice.  Her upper lip curves like an archer’s bow:)

 INTERTITLE
“I HOLD NO COURT BUT WITH BIRDS ON THE WING.
IF THE WIND COMES, I HAVE SUMMONED IT.
IF NOT, I HAVE BOTTLED IT.”

 “BEWARE.”

(VIEW FROM DOOR: ZARA drinks tea.  Shadows assemble.  Thousands of birds gather, hovering, outside.)

END OF SCENE

Publicity Poster for A WOMAN THERE WAS

Publicity Poster for A WOMAN THERE WAS

Movie Night! Under the Yoke

In MOVIE NIGHT I wrote about Owl & I’s proclivity for the lost films of Theda Bara.   Last night we watched UNDER THE YOKE, a film made in 1918 which is now considered lost.  In this film, Theda played Maria Valverda.

movie night in the obelisk


UNDER THE YOKE


SCENE
:  Forest, early spring.

(Gnats, infinitesimal murmuration, in a shaft of light.  )

(Cinnamon ferns, sporing.)

(MARIA upon forest floor, drowses.)

(Around her body ephemerals flower in visionary time-lapse.)

(Lured be.  Hepatica.  Bloodroot. Dicentra Cucullaria.)

INTERTITLE
LADY, LADY, BOREAL BE.
WITHOUT IS NOT THROUGH, THROUGH IS NOT TOWARDS.
LIFT UP YOUR SKIRTS!  BESTOW YOUR FAVOR.

(CLOSE-UP:  MARIA within corona of ephemerals.  Encroaching ominous bar-shaped shadow. )

(Muzzle slides under chin, nuzzles soft of throat.  Presses.)

(Lurid be.  Hepatica.  Bloodroot. Cucullaria. 

(VIEW FROM TREES: MAN stands over MARIA pressing rifle to her throat.  Their bodies at ease.  Hers, langorous, as if rising to the surface of a pond.)

INTERTITLE
BOUND HOME.  BOUND.  BY CREEPERS AND THORNS.

(CLOSE-UP: her eyes.  Ineluctable weary.)

END OF SCENE

Movie Night!

It’s movie night in the obelisk!

I sometimes watch movies in the obelisk.  The movies I watch are always full of stars (see above).  I’m particularly fond of the lost films of Theda Bara, because there is no extant footage.   I like films that make me think.

When I’m in the mood for mindless entertainment, I watch the films of Theda Bara.  They are SO melodramatic,  reminding me of my life if my life was filmed through a lens that reversed everything, like relationship and character.  Also, my life has never been so black and white.  I prefer a 19th or even 18th century palate, preferably in oil.  Odalisques, in general, are best rendered in flesh tones, unless you are Matisse, who, though he drew many odalisques in color, could quintessence our curves in a single voluptuous line.

Theda Bara’s eyes are often voluptuously lined.

The owl always watches movies with me, which is fortunate because owl eyes are very receptive to low-light.  I always know what’s going on in the movie, thanks to Owl.

I’ve made a new category called “Movie Night!” and will start scrapbooking our favorite scenes from the movies we watch.

The movies we see never in any way resemble the publicity materials Owl finds in the world-wide-web.

Strange.

–The Odalisque

Theda Bara & bird

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