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Klim Gerasimov
Klim Gerasimov

Body Heat 2010 Hollywood Movie 2

'Scars on scars' said Avery [Bill Hurt] Your scars are your life.' Not just a line from any old horror film, this is actually the line that Norton [Sam Rockwell] reads to himself as he looks at his various scars on his face. It's a line that Avery remembers clearly and he remembers it only too well. He remembers watching his father die in a hospital and how it was the look on his face that always haunted him, the look of an old man who's undergone the most terrible tortures imaginable and yet still has such tremendous vitality in his face. And that's how Avery envisions himself as the movie begins, on the operating table at the age of 40 where his plastic surgery succeeds in disguising the fatal disfigurement. But his vitality is not the kind of energy that the new face has. No, he's a living death, a shell who walks, talks and eats, but who will never be able to enjoy life because he has the scars on his face which are his life. His scars are his life.

Body Heat 2010 Hollywood Movie 2

In a sense 'Body Heat' is a reaction to the aesthetic direction taken by the independent European filmmakers who have come to prominence in the past decade or two, namely the thrillers and violence that are often politically motivated or nominally satirical, where the worlds of gangster and war are overlaid with art house sensibilities. 'Body Heat' does not aspire to this territory: the film's atmospherics are gloomy and ambiguous, it lacks stylistic or thematic pretension.

While we were on the subject of Office Killer it is worth saying how annoying it is that the movie is accompanied by a gallery show. Gallery shows are now seen as an extension of the arts, both being for exhibition as well as sale, with galleries being especially popular as a means of popularising a painter, although art dealers and art museums have also long been part of this. From the outset the exhibition and the film have worked at cross purposes. The show itself seems designed to provide an exclusive coup de coeur for the wealthy. The gallery itself is a long, boxy room with bulky paintings on the walls and the soundtrack makes one think of a body-parts dissector. Naturally and predictably the show becomes an auction, although it does not function simply as a sale. The point is to sell the posters which depict the central players in the fictional life of the gallery (dramatised in a hellish staging that recalls the surrealist staging of After Hours by being efficiently lit and offered no ambience). The Posters are for sale, one for $1 million and one for a colossal $3 million. They are sold to the highest bidder, any of whom has to go to the other room for the remainder of the show to get a piece of art whose provenance is carefully scrutinised. Finally, the night of the auction the owners invite the most important celebrities in the city to bid for what is seen as the most important piece in the show. Even the auctioneers, if they have been told that their art is about to go for $3 million, are surprised.


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