It’s placing to observe this in such shut proximity to Andrew Dominik’s “Blonde,” one other story of Hollywood predation centered round a fictionalized, brutalized Marilyn Monroe. For my cash, “Immortality” has much more to say in regards to the voyeuristic nature of the movie digital camera and the leering male eyes that look by it. We watch Marissa in varied states of vulnerability and undress (intercourse and nudity are main elements of the primary two movies, particularly), generally inspired by Marissa however inevitably coloured by the ability dynamics of the boys she works with. In so doing, we perceive the carnivorous approach Fischer and Durick take a look at Marissa and see it mirrored in ourselves. As our eyes scan footage of her frame-by-frame, otherwise you click on on an uncovered breast to match-cut to a different scene of the identical, it’s arduous to not really feel complicit in that very same consumption.
And Harlow, very similar to Dominik in “Blonde,” is hardly immune from criticism on that entrance. Whether or not Marilyn or Marissa, each figures revel within the transgressive nudity of their topics underneath the guise of critiquing the male gaze that hungers for it so ravenously.
Beware: main spoilers for a elementary layer of “Immortality“’s gameplay follows.
However what makes “Immortality” extra elusive (and consequently extra gripping) is that aforementioned third layer, which lies past the skinny veneer of celluloid that separates actuality from the films. It’s delicate at first, that low, bassy thrum that performs over particular stretches of footage. Cease the tape and roll it again slowly, and one thing akin to a bounce scare comes; the place Marissa stood, you see a mysterious lady (a haunting, revelatory Charlotta Mohlin) in her place, slinking by the body like a serpent. Her phrases are enigmatic and spare however communicate volumes, particularly as you apply the identical trick to increasingly clips, uncovering the darker, anguished aspect of Marissa’s life 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 inventive course of and her place in it? Blissfully, this aspect of the sport makes room for each interpretations.
By means of Mohlin’s staggering efficiency, anchored with centuries of ache and damage, comes “Immortality”’s most stunning moments. This culminates (for me, a minimum of, you may view the proceedings in no matter order you want) in a gut-punch lip-sync of Lou Reed’s “Sweet Says”—a mournful love music about transgender lady Sweet Darling, one among Andy Warhol’s “superstars” (a determine who himself floats within the periphery of Marissa’s New York artist world).