Flesh by Paul Morrissey

1167 WordsJun 18, 20185 Pages
In the first scene of Paul Morrissey’s 1968 film Flesh, the viewer is taken on a brief journey through the streets of New York City. The perspective taken is that from a passive observer looking into the life of the main character. The camera does not tamper with the images nor try to impose new meaning on them – we see the sequence of events as it actually unfolds. Throughout the film clip, a main theme is centered on the banality of the protagonist’s existence, and his restless state is reflected within both technical and organic aspects of the clip. The opening shot looks like it was taken with a handheld camera, as it is somewhat shaky and we can hear a background noise. We are introduced to the character right away. We see a…show more content…
He is looking for something or someone that will complete him, so he talks to strangers and acquaintances hoping to have a breakthrough. His quick gazes are similar to the quick cuts of the camera – again, he is restless, unsatisfied. The cuts and jumps are representative of how everyone is traveling in a linear direction beccause they know what they want – they are walking with a purpose. The cuts are chaotic, like his character. Everyone that he watches is going on with their lives, walking briskly past him, but he stays in the same spot because he is in limbo – he can’t move forward with his life because he doesn’t know what he wants. His ambiguity is also demonstrated at the very beginning of the clip – the first image we see of him is a reflection, which signifies an unclear and murky sense of self. Perhaps other people shape him – he is a reflection of their wants and needs, and this is how he lost himself. A reflection is not true reality, however, and he is not going to find himself by looking to other people for validation. Although the focus of the clip is on him, he is still somewhat passive and shows a lack of control. Another important theme in the clip is homosexuality. The male character is objectified, like a woman would be in a typical movie scene. The gaze is projected onto him. We also see two characters that seem to engage in a romantic touching sequence, which might be some sort of foreshadowing. The protagonist only speaks to men

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