Landscape organizes everything within sight.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Breasts in the year 1972

He rescues her from the farm where she is doped in drugs and being sold as a piece of flesh among the cattle.

Once they are safe in the city hotel, he gives her a dress whose bust is entirely sheer.  Totally unaware of social mores, having been raised in an all-girl orphanage apart from the world, she is totally unashamed of her nudity.  A hero in the classical style, he is nonplussed.  He answers her questions as she dresses.  They enter the hotel restaurant to the shock of the older women patrons.  An older man patron ogles her until he turns around, glaring not at the patron but at the patron's elderly female partner, who blushes.  Our couple is finally left alone.

As the film progresses, we begin to understand the political landscape in which such different perspectives on nudity and the female body are possible.  The Anglo-Saxon residents of the countryside are taking back political power, having realized that the cities are falling prey to inter-immigrant warfare.  Immigrant women -- including those of Irish descent -- are considered chattel to be raised in a state of nature. 

Women in a state of nature are totally unihibited with respect to their bodies.  This perspective characterizes both the slave women sold as cattle and the women of the highest caste married to the political rulers, but not the middle-class women in between. 

The Anglo-Saxon women are happy to have the immigrant women sold off into the sex trade; they themselves maintain classical aristocratic power, seducing multiple partners, playing them off of each other, and securing their future in the form of gold reserves in Swiss accounts, yachts, and factories. 

One film's slice of the world, circa 1970. 

I am watching this film: Prime Cut, starring Sissy Spacek, Gene Hackman, and Lee Marven. 

And I am wishing that I had a seminar on gender interested in these questions. 

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Blogger Scott Paeth said...

I thought sure you were describing a Russ Meyer film! Huh. What an interesting description. Probably won't put it on my netflix list though.

7:39 AM  

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