NABOKV-L post 0015229, Wed, 9 May 2007 13:59:39 -0400

Marilyn Manson's "Heart Shaped Glasses" & Lolita ...

Sunset Gun <>

Dolores On The Dotted Line

I don't appreciate my literary and cinematic masterpieces messed with,
even via an obvious Marilyn Manson music video.

First off, I don't care that 38-year-old Manson is dating
one-step-from-20 actress Evan Rachel Wood (who was impressive in 13).
Big deal. Plenty of pushing 40 (or older) musicians, actors, directors
and dentists find new love with much younger women. Hell, Humphrey
Bogart fell for Lauren Bacall when she was a fresh 19 to Bogie's 46. And
let's not forget Charlie Chaplin, Roman Polanski, Oliver Reed, Elvis,
and Jerry freaking Seinfeld who once dated a 17-year-old. Seriously, if
Jerry's beat you in the shock department then you better re-think your
idea of subversion.

But Manson and Wood seemingly love flaunting the age gap via her
ubiquitous Lolita-esque heart shaped glasses and his new song and video
(starring Manson and Wood), not surprisingly entitled, "Heart Shaped
Glasses." Reportedly, the title inspired Manson after watching Kubrick's
movie, in which a sunbathing Sue Lyon takes James Mason's breath away. A
teeny-bopper vision in her bikini and heart shaped glasses, Lo's mother,
played by Shelley Winters, memorably utters "my cherry pie" to Dolores
Haze's smirky smile. Mason is immediately smitten.

It's a hilarious, subversively sexy and weirdly heartbreaking moment,
and one so iconic that yes indeed, the film's poster used that very
visage. We all know it. And though I'm going to give the 38-year-old
Manson the benefit of the doubt by guessing he's probably seen Lolita
before (honestly, if you know anything about movies, you went through
Kubrick's canon by the age of 25, and for some of us by the age of yep,
19), I'm wondering--is the scene lost on him? Does he understand how
much control Lolita will have over Humbert Humbert? Does he remember
that Lolita's true love is Peter Seller's Clare Quilty? Does he recall
Lolita's hausfrau status at the end of the film (and novel) while she's
barely out of her teens? And the guilt and heartbreak Humbert feels for
her (much more underscored in the book)?

And again, can he grasp the fact that in Nabokov's genius novel, his
"light of my life, fire of my loins" was a mere 12-years-old? And in the
movie, her age was raised to a scant 14? Though Humbert's love for
Lolita is more complex than just the desire for young flesh, Evan Rachel
Wood would be yesterday's papers to Hum-Baby.

So the real point of this post? Methinks Manson needs to bone up on his
Nabokov and Kubrick before throwing around his "edgy" Lolita references
in regard to a young actress of legal age. And I know, I know. Lolita
has become a common appellate to any woman vastly younger than her mate,
regardless of her non pre pubescent status. And yes, it's a fantasy one
indulges behind closed doors, or at strip clubs via exotic dancers
donning the favorite and incredibly tired Catholic School Girl get-up.
And yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm being way too literal concerning a music video
that has barely anything to do with Nabokov or Kubrick. But, sorry. I'm
just sick of those heart shaped glasses being worn by someone other than
my beloved young Sue Lyon.

And while I'm not suggesting Manson should have sought out say, Dakota
Fanning, I'm just saying that he's not achieving what he so
desires--shock. Sure, sure. The video ends with coitus and blood! And he
snaps photo's of his beloved in a speeding car while she holds a knife
(which just made me think of that crazy and much more daring scene in
Berry Gordy's Mahogany during which Anthony Perkins takes near death
pictures of a terrified Diana Ross while their car is careening off the
road). But it's so. damn. forced. And there's nothing provocative about
forced shock.

Marilyn Manson needs to read more. The Annotated Lolita might explain a
few things. And he should listen to some Nelson Riddle. The vastly
sexier and strangely more dangerous "Lolita Ya-Ya" song is a good one to
begin with. Let's all listen and watch, shall we?

Posted on May 09, 2007

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