Scratching the Celluloid Surface of Sam Harlow’s Hollywood Lament Immortality | Computer games

It is striking to see this in such close proximity Andrew Dominick‘s”Blonde,” another tale of Hollywood predation centered around a fictionalized, brutalized Marilyn Monroe. For my money, “Immortality” has far more to say about the voyeuristic nature of the film camera and the roving male eyes that peer through it. We see Marissa in various states of vulnerability and undress (sex and nudity are major components of the first two films, especially), sometimes encouraged by Marissa, but inevitably colored by the power dynamics of the men she works with. In doing so, we understand the carnivorous way Fischer and Durick view Marissa and see it reflected in ourselves. As our eyes scan footage of her frame-by-frame, or you click on an exposed breast to match the clip to another scene of the same, it’s hard not to feel complicit in the same consumption.

And Harlow, like Dominik in “Blonde,” is hardly immune to criticism on that front. Whether it’s Marilyn or Marissa, both figures revel in their subjects’ transgressive nudity under the guise of criticizing the male gaze that so voraciously hungers for it.

Beware: major spoilers for a basic layer of Immortality‘s gameplay follows.

But what does Immortality” more elusive (and consequently more poignant) is the aforementioned third layer, which lies beyond the thin veneer of celluloid that separates reality from the movies. It’s subtle at first, the low, bassy thrum that plays over certain stretches of footage. Stop the tape and slowly rewind it, and there’s what looks like a jump scare; where Marissa stood, you see a mysterious woman (a haunting, revelatory Charlotta Mohlin) in her place, slinking through the frame like a snake Her words are cryptic and sparing, but speak volumes, especially when you apply the same trick to more and more clips, revealing the darker, despairing side of Marissa’s life as an artist.

Is she something supernatural, the living embodiment of the Greek Muses? Is she the metaphorical expression of Marissa’s sublimated frustrations with the artistic process and her place in it? Fortunately, this element of the game leaves room for both interpretations.

Through Mohlin’s dizzying performance, rooted in centuries of pain and hurt, come “Immortality’s” most beautiful moments. This culminates (at least for me, you can watch the cases in any order you want) in a lip-sync Lou Reed“Candy Says” – a mournful love song about transgender woman Candy Darling, one of Andy Warhol‘s “superstars” (a figure who himself hovers on the periphery of Marissa’s New York artist world).

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