Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sorry, wrong redhead

In which our Diva was planning to blog about something else entirely today, but...

First, the good news: As mentioned in this Fangoria interview with director Mark Vadik, Cyrus: Mind of a Serial Killer will be the closing feature at the Atlanta Horror Film Festival on August 15.  There's a bit of a kicker in the fact that it'll be in a city where I'm going to be (for Dragon*Con) just three weeks later, but it's still pretty cool.

Google Alerts are really handy for letting me know about things like that article. Then there are the... less useful links it turns up.  On today's interwebz, pretty much as soon as you have an IMDb page, you start turning up on all kinds of goofball "celebrity" sites. The one with my horoscope and biorhythms and stuff is particularly entertaining. Mostly, though, they're clutter.

In any case, most of these things are automatically generated, including the ones that pull bits of text from various places -- say, random celebrity names and assorted porny keywords -- and splice them together into bogus metadata to lure you to a page and infect your machine with malware.  At first, I thought the link that had my name and "show her left tit" in the same sentence was one of those. Then I realized that (a) the sentence made sense, and (b) it was describing a particularly intense scene in Cyrus.  There's just one... no, actually, there are a number of problems with that. But the first one that sprang to mind was that I'm not in that scene.

The link checked out according to my virus-protection software, so I let curiosity get the better of me. And yep, it was exactly what it sounded like, to wit, a site (I trust you'll excuse me for not linking it) collecting video clips of nudity or near-nudity from assorted sources. (It's apparently the updates from a particular day, which I assume explains why it randomly runs the gamut from an actual porn star's artificially enhanced full toplessness to a few frames of a Doctor Who companion's upper thighs under her fluttering nightshirt.)

Now, we all know The Internet Is For Porn. I think about that every time I hear or read a comment from an actress about how she chooses whether to do nudity in a role. The most common litmus test is whether it's integral to the story.  (Which is perfectly reasonable, if unavoidably subjective. I'm not saying there's no such thing as a story that can't be told effectively without it, but I personally think they're rarer than people tend to think.)

That reasoning is solid as far as it goes, but it only goes as far as you can rely on the story to remain intact. And these days, that's until about 24 hours after the pirated DVDs hit the streets of Bangkok or wherever. After that, congratulations! Your bits have almost certainly been yanked out of context and thrown up in sloppily-constructed virtual galleries for the convenience of any bored guy with an internet connection and a roll of toilet paper. Which is a very, very different transaction with the audience from the one you had in mind.

Thus it is that, in this particular instance, an actress who worked her ass off in an emotionally and physically exhausting role has one of its most disturbing moments amputated, its significance reduced to a glimpse of aureola. And, just to top it off, labeled with a caption identifying it as someone else entirely.

Funny thing -- Jill Sandmire was the one to note that there were four red-haired women among the principal cast: herself, Anne Marie Leighton, Patricia Belcher, and me.

Four quite distinct women, or so we concluded during that idle conversation between shot setups. But apparently we're interchangeable to some virtual voyeur who's only interested in our bits.

Stay classy, pal.

No comments: