Tuesday, April 01, 2008


I am slowly recovering from my pained existence and today being my day off, I decided to stay in bed the whole morning and after having lunch, decided to watch a DVD movie. For today, I chose FUR: The Imaginary Life of Diane Arbus.

Nicole Kidman floats like a feather in this beautifully produced take on the life of acclaimed American photographer Diane Arbus. Although Nicole hardly resembles Diane (that huge Rolleiflex camera dangling from her neck looks too heavy for her fragile frame), she gives the project its much needed sensuality and coquettishness that suffuses the film with the required mystery, darkness, and loneliness that may have produced the kind of photographs that shook the world - the everyday man and the hard life that is New York.

Robert Downey, Jr. plays the role of Lionel well. A fur-covered neighbor who lives upstairs, he is responsible for opening Diane's world into the bizzare: giants, prostitutes, siamese twins, nudists and the retarded - people whom the world have chosen to ignore.

I was hoping this new life for Diane - that of taking her own pictures - would be a liberating experience for her, but she decided to end it all at 48 with barbiturates and, for better measure, by slitting her wrists (not featured in the film). This was in 1971.

I don't know what artists like Diane really want with their lives. Apparently, self-expression is never enough. There seems to be something with slitting one's wrists, shoving one's head in an oven, or filling one's pocket with rocks and sinking into a river that makes these acts so attractive. These days, in order to achieve immortality, one must be willing to give up one's life. How ironic.

No comments: