META-NOMAD

Ivan’s Childhood

“War is no place for children.”

 

Ivan’s Childhood sits as a blueprint for Tarkovsky’s career, with an idea towards accessible spirituality and metaphysics, towards the il y a and dread of existence. One strikes one foremost, as with any Tarkosky film is the imagery, a sublime mixture of intensly humane images, contrasted with striking, quasi-abstract death-imagery.

Ivan, a 12 year old Russian boy, whose family, we learn, has been killed. He had joined a partisan group and had attempted to cross the front line into Soviet territory. He is captured by the Soviets and installed into the war effort, his small physique and swiftness his beneficial attributes. A stoic and contrarian boy, a boy pushed temporally into the realm of man prematurely, allowed access into a chaotic masculine space before one should be. His attitude allows him to fit in.

Ivan’s dreams are interspersed througout the film, the viewers gut directed towards near overdrive as one forgets Ivan’s childhood, accepting the film’s plot as truth-of-the-matter, normality forgotten, for peace cannot exist in wartime as such neither can the innocence of childhood. For a directorial debut one quickly realises Tarkosky is working from a different plane, one where the hidden, the shadowed and the mist no longer exist as a limitrophe, but are brought to the fore and Ivan’s present emotions are laid bare; amongst the half-lit swamp, the suffocation underground and the rumble of flares overhead. Which each glowing terror a moment in Ivan’s future is destroyed, physically, metaphorically and metaphysically, which each act of violent-self a piece of childhood cannot happen.

Ivan attempts to cross the river, back from where he came, an attempt at the impossible, attempt to become what one was, to erase the past. As such Ivan becomes lost in the swamp, in the mist, in the gases and gunfire. We are to find out about his fate in the final scenes of the film. As the Third Reich is overthrown, papers on the floor of an ex-Nazi government building show that Ivan was hanged. We are shown the room of execution. And then cut to a dream, Ivan playing a child’s game on a tranquil beach, all the while a dead tree sits waiting, amongst the frollics and fun there lies the metaphysicl truth of the matter, the childhood lost, tainted and never returned.

Tarkovsky seems me a director one should begin at the beginning with, one shouldn’t start with his magnum opus’ as I feel the emotion and imagery may in fact be too much, it may seem kitsch almost, when in reality it is the utmost calculated spirit and mystery. All Ivan knows is war, without hope of a childhood, born into war and his life is of war. Violence, horror and survival is all he knows and in certain respects all he will (now) ever know, a life scolded by the war. A tension between a sweet yet dangerous nostalgia – that of what is childhood is meant to be – and the reality he is within. Nostalgic dreams become nightmares; the impossibility of normality is true horror. Ivan’s loss is pure, dead loss, a side may have won, but no -ism, -opia or -ology can redeem the death of a child. A vacuum of meaning where there should be enjoyment exists in the total now, it has happened and as such the celebrations at the end of the film fall flat; Somebody won, it has ended, he is dead, hate is no-more…but what of our Ivan? What of a child? This can seem to be empty sentiment, the typical “Think of the children!”, but Tarkosky’s presentation of such a statement retrieves it from its mutation as something used. No longer are we to think of the children as a thought to get us to act, we are presented with the children, the innocence, but we are presented with a narrative complete, as such we are simply to witness what has been and attempt to learn. Ivan was gone as soon as he heard the first bomb fall.

Ivan is mad, that is a monster; that is a little hero; in reality, he is the most innocent and touching victim of the war: this boy, whom one cannot stop loving, has been forged by the violence he has internalised.” – Jean Paul Sartre (http://people.ucalgary.ca/~tstronds/nostalghia.com/TheTopics/Sartre.html)

Capitalism & the Undead P3: Invest in Death

LAND OF THE DEAD (2005)

Zombies-become-factual, a part of everything, worming their way into history. Media, life and the undead merge into a slurring chimera. Walls are utilized for a single purpose, as their half snapped bones grind against the concrete, shins slide upwards into architectural-hate.

“There’s not time for funeral arrangements…
…cites are under siege.”

A new form of consumerist-reason is born, those that buy are correct, consuming is right, material is justice, awoken from a glitter-free slumber into a mass. The false-designs of tinkering idols blueprint the direction of a gut-hungry collect. One can’t make sense of a world they themselves own, the alive meander to-and-fro, wandering for their purpose.

Meaning becomes even more fleeting in the face of the undead, whose meaning is so clear, to feed, to eat and consume, only. A world created only to be deconstructed into miniature versions of itself, a little plastic-earth, blended into a fine powder and cast into nothingness.

Fireworks flying high, their bright lights gather the hoards into an indecipherable static. The noise, the dynamism, the tunes, the colours all help when it comes to moving a crowd, rolling around the circuits, causing…pleasant non-thought.

The collective enraged, others to left and right in pain, a leader emerges with a lack of what to say. Grunting and groaning, and as such they understand, they know pain, they know groans and moans, so the they continues their pursuit towards becoming a hedonistic-material-singularity. Remnants of feudalism fall from their rags, a circular modernity protecting originality, relics of wood, tin and steel barricade the future of the past.

The catastrophe of the centre, whispers and shy-smells of Americana ring-around-a-nostril, adverts as anaesthesia. To re-watch a tinny-pop and conclude those outside are better off. The undead chained, used as props, toys and entertainment, merciless skin-beatings of those who cannot feel. Flesh-computers all programmed to the same channel. Flecks of skin fall and burn.

The alive cast into slums of their own creation. The dead inherit everything. Invest in death, it’s on the rise.

“They’re just looking for a place to go.”

The guards say as they let the undead walk away, away from their line of fire, away from their attention, and away from their critique. The final moment of a race, uttered by a mercenary. To forget the terrors, to allow assimilation of the barbaric. Sing a tune of admitting defeat, for give me your commercials and pass on by.

28 WEEKS LATER (2007)

A sequel, a real acceptance towards the love of their own-kind. Seated in a cinema are 200 watching a mirror. The joke covered in flesh. Comedic-organs begin to spew cackle-blood.

Anyone alive is a rat. The living become sub-living and dwell in dark wet homes. Board them up and let in no light, we must remain silent and create nothing from now on, eating the remains of us. And as originality is pushed closer to sin the whimpers of mankind only get quieter.

We force-feed forgotten slop into out top-holes, this is what we have to do now. The present is no longer our own, taxed-past, saturated-future, death-markets, the trading floor is filled with screams, meat-tubes wailing, skin-sacks decrepit, ash-filled memoirs; evolution erasing its mistake with organic-malware.

They will vomit into your sockets. Thick clingy blood-sputum swinging into your being. A powered wretch flinging spew at and through humanity, infection-loud. Membranes and nerves caress the virus; a new organ, a viral-contained, a sociopathic-flesh-bowl. It. Hates. You.
Rural is broken, peace is no-more, alone-forgotten. They will not stop. Over horizons and through stages, searching for more and little and only to feed. Get this through you skull, they need, need, need, need, need, need, need, until death.

“…a supermarket, and even a pub.”

Your new home allows their churches. Your first mistake was in believing you’re better than them. You cannot see but the virus has become more than blood, a transcendent-infection. Beyond purpose into its own linear creation of new modes and types. New ways in which to be the same.

2 & 3 now identical to 1.

Your walls filled with crosses, and your crosses surrounded by walls, yet neither help. The infection shall traverse. In the beginning there was only the means to get to this state, to erase the past and exist in stagnation, forever.

“Target everyone at ground level.”

To be above is the truth, is to win, is to conquer and succeed. To look down upon the dead with a scorn from hate itself, death from above, Charlie-anew, two clicks east is death stage 1. Flame-death. Charred corpses continue their stroll.


WORLD WAR Z (2013)

Hence forth it shall be a crime to forget one’s animality. Becoming animal in front of morality. Ethics burns and you win. The news plays over and over and over, nothing new, still the same, they’ve been here for years, existing in stasis, shielded by a nothing-known.

Law overthrown by desire once again, A rush towards the true needs, and the medication begins, prescription, toxicant, relaxant, ants all around, scurrying directions. This Friday seems black, the darkest weekender, a perpetual-hangover: pure survivalism reigns, bacteria-wolves float.

The new breed are crack-animals. They will kill themselves for the opportunity to consume. Hurl oneself off a building for the bite of a doughnut. Rapidly and continuously punch concrete for the chance of a snack. Snap your bones and use them in dip, plunge your eyes from their sockets and roast at 140C, invert your jaw and digest your own teeth, swallow your tongue, drink sick, suck shit through a straw; lunge head first through a never-ending stream of nonsensical hedonistic trinkets, each taking an irreplaceable part of you as it goes by, you do this not because you want to, but because you want to. Or death.
A disintegration of matter. A reversion to tribe. Become-undead. The consumer is the one who makes the noise now. I AM HERE, FEED ME. The demands of the consumer must be met in fear of suffocation from state. They ask for nothing more than a decaying simulacrum. New skins applied to replications of fun. Happiness packaged. Emotional programming for 5.95 a month.

“There is nowhere to evacuate to.”
“You can’t make a dead person sick.”

And so they simply exist. If you’re sick they do not want you, you wont be nutritional, you’re worthless and dying, dying therefore worthless. They will trample their own for 1 bite. Give up everything for a taster. Principle deconstruction = food.

A flesh-shell of humanity, gaunt in posture, presiding over a land that once had direction, claiming it their own. Aimless noises fall from their mouths towards a nothingness of hope for their cause. Fields saturated with tight-spined cadavers. To be living is to be in flux, to be mobile, to be fortified and silent, at once to be attacking and defensive, silent and loud, alive and dead. A glimpse = inside. To be alive now means to become invisible and need-not-exist. Deflect blood-spew for hope of mouldy crumbs.

Note: I wanted to continue this series for a part 4, but, zombie films after the 90’s very quickly descend into consumer-repetitions, conveying the same boring message over and over. A boring zombie-action-flick feedback loop fed into the mindless.
FYI: originality of the undead will die with Romero.