A film directed by Todd Haynes, I’m Not There (2007) is on the surface an exploration into the psyche of Bob Dylan, but underneath this it is an exploration of the psyche of the 1960s — and underneath that an exploration of the human psyche itself with its archetypes and complexes alive, personified, and driving the meat of the body in varied directions. In playing with the layers and personifications of one human psyche, Haynes is able to depict the Postmodern inconsistencies of today’s society.
Monthly Archive: December 2014
Draupadi weeps. She says, “O King, my heart burns when I think of wicked Duryodhana dwelling comfortably in our palace at Hastinapura having exiled you to the farthest forest. Without doubt he delights in our misfortune. Seeing you squatted here on grass while remembering your jeweled ivory throne, I feel such anguish I can scarcely behold you: your body smeared with rough river mud when once daubed with finest sandalwood paste; your wardrobe once costly silk, now deerskin and tree bark. How may I bear seeing you, once tended by countless servants and now scouring the forest for food?”
Descartes culminated as much as innovated. Concerned with clarity of thought — or “purity” of consciousness, per Susan Bordo (17, 81, 88) — Descartes held that erroneous perception and understanding (including religious conceptions of “God”) derive from “prejudices” having “their origin in a hyperabsorption in the senses” (ibid., 91). Indeed, Descartes viewed the “prison of the body” as the essential component in humanity’s incapacity “to perceive clearly and distinctly” (ibid., 89), writing that an infant “has in itself the ideas of God, itself, and all such truths as are called self-evident… [I]f it were taken out of the prison of the body it would find [such truths] within itself” (Kenny 111).
The way the duo exudes contempt for each other in that silent first scene, actually a prelude that ends with him thrusting her to the floor, you might well assume you’re watching the bitter interplay of a Zeus and Hera. Indeed, as the story progresses, you might well feel confirmed in this — or you might be inspired to adopt a slightly more subtle view, that perhaps the rivalry unfolding before you runs replete with the unhappy maneuverings of Aphrodite and her cuckold Hephaestus, fuming as his bride consorts with an upstart Ares.