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Producer, Sam Raimi (scraping Jewish ridiculousness onto deserving upstate WASPs):
Cast: Kyra Sedgwick, Natasha Calis, Jeffrey Dean Morgan
I am here in the Nth draft about to insult this movie, expressing my initial hatred of it, but now I can’t resist, don’t want to resist, a visual quote.
the possessed daughter
Once the horror starts to encroach on the merely horrible the movie starts to leap and bound. I spend a few hours in a studio once where I brushed up business with an artist whose husband was filming a commercial. By the time I left the camera had still not successfully focused on the product: cake on plate, bottle of shampoo, whatever the damn product was. The crew fussed with the focus infinitely.
The reason I remember ordering The Possession was to check out Kyra Sedgwick, Kevin Bacon’s wife – we all know him: how come I don’t know her? The reason I stayed with the film beyond a couple of infuriating minutes centered entirely though on the teen lead, Natasha Calis. How long did she have to hold that look on the swing before they got it just so? and got the nymphet-line of her hip just so? I’d never heard of Jeffrey Dean Morgan either: TV experience more than movies, I don’t watch TV, I watch a lot of movies. His nose turned up a little bit. The casting of the daughters included upturned hoses too: and as I saw the coach’s ex-family abuse him, gratuitously and encore, I wanted to see the dybbuk bugger the girls up the nose with an incandescent phallus. But no: not only was the dybbuk female, but Natasha Calis proved to hit her marks on the sound stage to perfection. Acting has reverted to what modeling for a painting used to be: holding still, not breathing, all day.
Hate mail turns to celebration. The girl is riveting.
OK, why did I so hate it?
Many’s the movie in which I pray that the entire cast of characters dies and burns in hell ASAP. Why did I order this ghastly movie? For the horror genre? (which I’ve come to have an uneasy truce with?) For the producer whose Spiderman is such a marvel? For the cast? (Except for Kyra Sedgwick I’ve never heard of any of them.) (Doesn’t prove much, I live under a rock, deliberately.)
No, some DVDs promote quickly to the top of my queue, some bump their way up like marsh gas. By the time such bubbles their way I’ve likely forgotten what prompted me to chose it back in the murky past, my memory-sight becoming as unreliable as my regular senses. In this case however I remember very well why I chose it: it’s a Kevin Bacon associate. I’ve known and loved him, forever: wasn’t it time I discovered who it was that he married? who’s this Kyra Sedgwick? and why should we care?
Well, I very quickly didn’t care. Her character was hateful: and her daughters cloned her to perfection. So where’d her pussy-whipped suffering schmuck ex-husband come from?
Dybbuk Divorce Court Cast:
Daddy, a basketball coach.
Mommy, a self-centered pussy-whipper.
Daughter, a clone. Daughter2, clone2.
Mommy’s boyfriend, a salt-in-the-wound Dentist
Dentist uses even teeth to torment Daddy.
Daddy visits what had been his house, his home. There’s his wife(ex), daughter(ex), daughter2(ex), dentist. Daddy wants his stuff from his office: home(ex) office(ex). Mommy says his stuff is packed in boxes in the hall, labeled. Daddy whines couldn’t he have packed his own stuff from his own office?
Mommy says “It’s not your office anymore.”
Now once upon a time Daddy could have knocked Mommy into tomorrow and gone, but Mommy made things so that Daddy didn’t want to knock her into tomorrow. Adam couldda. Eve couldda. But they didn’t. Till the state was invented. Now it doesn’t matter what religious magic you invoked at a wedding, who’s married to whom, who owns what, what she owest is up to lawyers, judges, cops. This year Mommy knows the cops will back her: so anything once Daddy’s is now her’s (after it’s the state’s, and the court will support her …
Unless. Unless there’s another fly in the ointment.
Enter the Dybbuk. Hooray. Did we ever need a deus ex machina.
See? Daddy loves Mommy in this case, and Daughter, and Daughter2, Daddy is civil to Dentist, unconditionally.
Mommy doesn’t love Daddy, or Dentist, but Mommy does love Daughter and Daughter2, they’re really her’s.
Hollywood has long come up with higher powers buried in the back yard: an Indian burial, something older and more authentic than the WASP kleptocrats in the mayor’s office. Sam Raimi is astonishing: here he comes up with a bunch of Jews, in Brooklyn, side curls, yarmulkas, tallits, and all.
The Excorsist gave us an evil occupying spirit from Christian superstition; Raimi gives us a woebegone disestablished Jew, a female!
Wait, I’m dropping balls, spraying balls, maybe I’ll get it right next time.
No, come in on another tangent:
When I was a kid the morality that I absorbed from the culture around me like osmosis to a frog was: daddy might have a little money, but any such money was daddy’s: daddy didn’t owe anything except to the tax man. Any money that wifie had, or son, or daughter was an allowance, given by whim, it was not obligation.
No, no: in The Possession daddy owes the alimony, wife and daughter owe him a kick in the balls.
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