It’s placing to look at this in such shut proximity to Andrew Dominik’s “Blonde,” any other story of Hollywood predation targeted round a fictionalized, brutalized Marilyn Monroe. For my cash, “Immortality” has way more to mention in regards to the voyeuristic nature of the movie digital camera and the leering male eyes that glance via it. We watch Marissa in quite a lot of states of vulnerability and undress (intercourse and nudity are main elements of the primary two movies, specifically), occasionally inspired by way of Marissa however inevitably coloured by way of the facility dynamics of the boys she works with. In so doing, we perceive the carnivorous manner Fischer and Durick have a look at Marissa and spot it mirrored in ourselves. As our eyes scan pictures of her frame-by-frame, otherwise you click on on an uncovered breast to match-cut to any other scene of the similar, it’s arduous to not really feel complicit in that very same intake.
And Barlow, similar to Dominik in “Blonde,” is hardly ever immune from complaint on that entrance. Whether or not Marilyn or Marissa, each figures revel within the transgressive nudity in their topics beneath the guise of critiquing the male gaze that hungers for it so ravenously.
Beware: main spoilers for a basic layer of “Immortality“’s gameplay follows.
However what makes “Immortality” extra elusive (and as a result extra gripping) is that aforementioned 3rd layer, which lies past the skinny veneer of celluloid that separates fact from the films. It’s refined to start with, that low, bassy thrum that performs over particular stretches of pictures. Prevent the tape and roll it again slowly, and one thing corresponding to a leap scare comes; the place Marissa stood, you spot a mysterious girl (a haunting, revelatory Charlotta Mohlin) in her position, slinking throughout the body like a serpent. Her phrases are enigmatic and spare however discuss volumes, particularly as you observe the similar trick to increasingly more clips, uncovering the darker, anguished aspect of Marissa’s lifestyles as an artist.
Is she one thing supernatural, the residing embodiment of the Greek muses? Is she the metaphorical expression of Marissa’s sublimated frustrations in regards to the creative procedure and her position in it? Blissfully, this part of the sport makes room for each interpretations.
Via Mohlin’s staggering efficiency, anchored with centuries of ache and harm, comes “Immortality”’s most lovely moments. This culminates (for me, no less than, you’ll view the court cases in no matter order you prefer) in a gut-punch lip-sync of Lou Reed’s “Sweet Says”—a mournful love music about transgender girl Sweet Darling, considered one of Andy Warhol’s “superstars” (a determine who himself floats within the outer edge of Marissa’s New York artist international).