Big Cityi is utterly, typically and epitomatically a Hollywood stu
pidio product. As it happens its internal economy also has nothing in common with the symbolic system currently prevailing ; the two worlds share little and communicate poorly, so I don't expect the film is in any way comprehensible to contemporary audiences. Instead of trying to brace that incomprehensibleii, unrepresentablre chasmiii frontally, then, let's approach it obliquely, such as for instance through the ever-delivering device of the "weird"iv.
So, for indiscernible reasons the film is pervaded by... the Romanian language. Just the language, alone, bereft of the corresponding culture, approximate sounds floating soliloquously through the great soundstage voids. I'm not kidding, either, somehow they got Spencer Tracy to almost enunciate "loveste mai tare" while the French-born, British-buried Luise Rainer is obscurely (the word itself is never mentioned, it's always "in my country") Romanian in a most unromanian wayv and spends most of her screentime perorating on the topic.
Also, the brawl (transparently the one raison d'etre of the entire production) is presented in purely aesthetic terms, with the New York City mayor sitting in judgement of the quality of the ballet unfurling before his eyes. It's like an orphanage left without supervision for a season : the (rare) females retired in comatose stasis while the boys just trash the place a-rumblin'. I hear that's what college life was like back when in Biden's day.
Finally (not that there couldn't be more), nobody goes to bed 'till the woman promises things as to the minimum quality of the impending fruit of her womb. "It'd better be a boy" [because what the fuck are girls even for, srsly now] doesn't, in the logic of the piece (and of the place) translate any specific will or desire besides the very simple "must be this tall to ride", it's the ready equivalent of "I don't want any cars with less than four wheels" standard insistently presented to the slick used car salesman by the despairing customer. There's gotta be some limits, naimean ? (And no, a black boy would certainly not do -- even a girl would be better than that).
What can I say, here's a thing that your great-grandfathers (all four of them) definitely saw (and likely sang along and clapped along with) which meanwhile somehow became opaque to your best efforts -- just like their way of life became intangible to your heartiest exertions. Weird coincidences, right, the world is fulla them.
Ye ken ?———
- 1937, by Frank Borzage, with Spencer Tracy, Luise Rainer, Charley Grapewin. [↩]
- Ever wondered what'd be the difference between reprehensible and incomprehensible ? [↩]
- Yes, I'm aware you're immersed & well marinaded in this very peculiar fantasy whereby hollow words devoid of meaning, like "rational" and "democratic" (not to mention "scientific") coallesce like lamb bones in a reduced broth left overnight into a very aspic-firm promise (made by the absent god to you personally, I'm guessing ?) that nothing may ever be outside of your own representation of things that are. Nevertheless...
Nevertheless that's not how either phenomenology or gnoseology actually work ; and besides, the current catholicism, for all its (resurrected) pretense to universality, absolute correctness and perfect chain of custody, stays what it always ever was (and at the very most ever could be) : a dingy little faith, observed by the lazy and the dumb, for lack of anything better to do with the vanishingly little at their disposal. Just another facet of matriarchy, let's say, and leave it at that. [↩]
- No, nothing's ever "weird" in any deep sense. Exactly like skid marks aren't much of a thing besides the mark left behind the passing of cars, "weird" is just the wound where your subjective notion of the self and its factual experience fail to mesh. What did you think weird was ? [↩]
- Who the fuck ever heard of "the four blessings of womanhood : husband, friends, home and offspring", is this some early reform Judaism lulz or what the actual cuck! [↩]