In Jean Luc-Godard’s
La Mepris, Brigette Bardot runs a roster
of each of her body parts for Michel Piccoli, her
Do you see my feet
in the mirror? Think they’re pretty?
You like my ankles? And my knees, too?
I really like your knees.
And my thighs?
Your thighs, too.
When every part of her
body is done, she concludes, “then you love me totally.” To which
Piccoli replies, “I love you totally, tenderly, tragically.”
I want to extend from
this love of body parts. For me, desire is not just for body parts
but the entire world through those body parts. It cannot remain hidden
inside the body.
That desire creates an abyss and simultaneously leaps unencumbered like an
springing a fountain of images.
The shape of a scar on
a lover’s body may be like flowers, their eyes like lit-up buildings.
Cat, an animal that always stands behind people on raised parapets, is
like the lover who
always follows us with eyes glowering with tapetum lucidum.
The shadow of an absent lover can be hairy and fanged like a dog, while
the screech of
malignant birds at dusk as well
as whorls of dark clouds portend doom.
Desire supports the exercise of image-making
because the other is
always exclusive. We know them only as fragments and we understand
them only through metaphors. As the Lady Day,
Billie Holiday, sang once, “I’ll be looking at the
moon but I’ll be seeing