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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

From Roger Ebert's journal… a 2,500 word history of self-image

Ebert cracks wise over the bludgeoning banter between he and Gene Siskel through the years as a way of getting into his history of body image. Like many recent entries in his blog, there are zigs, zags and fruitful diversions, and the 2,500 words may be his most adventurous yet. 7eb2006-thumb-200x254.jpgThe tone and mood vary, but a taste: “I am so much a movie lover that I can imagine a certain (very small) pleasure in looking like the Phantom. It is better than looking like the Elephant Man. I would describe my condition as falling about 17% of the way along a graph line between the handsome devil I was at the ripe tender age of 27, and the thing that jumps out of that guy’s intestines in Alien… I resemble the Phantom, but only to myself. I wear a bandage wrapping the general area of the Phantom’s 1925 troubles, although good doctor David Reisberg and his colleague David Rotter of the University of Illinois at Chicago Hospital have just given me a test run of a handsome new prosthetic that will allow me to retire the Mummy look, and then Bob’s your uncle. So to return to my opening question, what does it feel like to resemble The Phantom of the Opera? Not like much of anything. I rather avoid mirrors. I do not dwell on my appearance. I have bigger fish to fry. Nor do I mope about fearing that my cancer might return. If it does, it does, and that’s what she wrote. At Pritikin they have a truism: “If you don’t die of anything else, sooner or later you will die of cancer.” We all nod thoughtfully.” [Rude jokes, video and myriad musings at the link; the self-portrait before Ebert’s surgery is from the entry.]

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“I don’t believe in the Nietzschean notion that what doesn’t destroy you makes you stronger. You see these soldiers come back with PTSD; they’ve been to war and seen death and experienced these existential crises one after the other. There are traumas in life that weaken us for the future. And that’s what’s happened to me. The various slings and arrows of life have not strengthened me. I think I’m weaker. I think there are things I couldn’t take now that I would have been able to take when I was younger.”
~ Woody Allen

“Hitchcock films the story with a wide-eyed, astonished, fascinated, and disturbed camera stare that seems to shudder and tremble every time Hedren is onscreen. Even the director’s cameo—in which he watches Hedren walking down a hotel corridor and then turns back to look at the camera, shamefacedly caught in his own leer—suggests his self-aware sense of visual carnality. The images offer an extraordinary swing between blasts of heat and an eerie chill, sometimes bringing the two together. Even the film’s exterior locations have a fluorescent buzz that captures an ambient sense of derangement.”
~ Richard Brody on Marnie

 

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