Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Freudianily Surreal Small Screen Oddity

Watching the biopic Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story I couldn't help but freak my shit out a little bit watching Sherilyn Fenn (as Elizabeth Taylor) and Ray Wise (as Mike Todd) get lovey dovey alternating with going to fisticuffs, which until Mark Todd was killed in a plane crash they (Liz Taylor and Mark Todd) had a passionate marriage. The biopic was a Twin Peaks reunion, only MORE surreal. In Twin Peaks, Ray Wise played Sherilyn Fenn's father's attorney. And considering that there's all this weirdo daddy daughter stuff in Twin Peaks for multiple lady characters and their fathers, this seemed Freudianily creepy and poetic. It's possible that the significance of how surreal this is can maybe less impressive if you're less of a Peaks fan, but if you are, these images are super surreal. Although Fenn and Wise don't share an immense amount of screen time together in Twin Peaks, the fact that they're both is it makes these moments in the Liz Taylor biopic weird and awesome and kind of pop culture-y-mashy-uppy in a way that is always interesting to me.

Fenn (Taylor) & Wise (Todd) being lovey.

Fenn (Taylor) Wise (Todd) fisticuffs!
Peeled off by Debbie Reynolds (Judith Jones)!

...and back to lovey...

What I really wanted to find was Liz Taylor's reaction to Fenn playing her because she was still alive when the movie was made. I have seen the Lindsey Lohan Liz & Dick movie and was surprisingly touched by it. Yeah, yeah, kitsch kitsch rotten tomato and all that but whatever! I liked it. So sue me. I did see that there was another Liz Taylor biopic with Helena Bonham Carter on BBC4 from what looks like about a year-ish ago. I guess I will have to go watch that one too. It's not even like I'm a huge Liz Taylor fan though I do have an appreciation for her. I did read her book Liz Takes Off about weight loss, and let me tell you...the recipes are super gross! I only got it because I like a preposterous celeb autobio. But I liked all the memoir-y stuff in it. I have seen a number of her movies so I guess, well, I'm noticing that as I lay all this out, I'm realizing that I guess I kind of know a lot about her now. How did that happen? Oh I know! My sister-in-law did some video installation art performance thing where she appropriated pieces from a variety of Cleopatra performances from different movie versions of Cleopatra, including Taylor's. This got me on a Cleopatra roll, where I added a ton of Cleopatra movies to my Netflix queue (this was before Netflix was prominantly streaming) but since my queue is so long, by the time the movies got there it was like three million years later, and I was all, "Oh, I see I was going through that Cleopatra phase when I put these in my queue." Putting stuff in my Netflix queue was like this reverse gestating period, where I'd put something in the queue and then by the time I "had the baby" (ie: the DVDs arrived) it was like forgetting about a baby I "conceived" (as in, getting interested in the movie).

But really that is all neither here nor there. The most important thing, what I REALLY found awesome from the Sherilyn Fenn-Liz Taylor biopic was how amazing Fenn was. She played such a wide range of ages in the film, convincing as all of them and so compelling to watch.

Well, OK, actually, the most, most, most important thing about this particular biopic was that I could capture this particular screenshot of Ray Wise as Mark Todd looking suitably creepy with two dogs:

One chants out between two pooches, dogs walk with me!

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