Sunday, July 6, 2008

A Metaphysical Quickie

We like our Kirk/Spock slash, sure, [click on My Somber youTube video to the right] but no one ever said Kirk didn't enjoy the girlies!
Especially the green ones.
Here below, Star Trek's "The Gamesters of Triskelion" (one of the freakiest BDSM episodes) hooks up with a few lines of To His Mistress Going to Bed, by John Donne (one of the metaphysical poets, like Marvell).
(Tip to Manfred.)

Hey, I'm getting faster at this. Took about 30 minutes to put the pix & words together. Of course there's no music, so listen to a few minutes of "Stand on Zanzibar" [post below] while you read this, for the appropriate spacey feel.

Oh, and the whole scrumptious poem, from Donne's pre-Church days--(before all those "no man is an island" sermons)--is to be found here.


ddip said...

This is very funny! without music to key the viewer to a specific mood, it feels very comedic--Kirk even looks as if he's participating in a gag, although I guess he often looks like that, doesn't he?

Rudyinparis said...

Viewing the somber vid on YouTube and then reading the comments after... you mention a new appreciation for Wm. Shatner's acting, after looking through oh-so-many stills... I'm curious... what do you mean by that?

Love it all, by the way, but as I'm about as familiar with ST as the Metaphysical poets (know only "the grave is a fine a private place," etc.) I feel quite unable to provide commentary, other than: You Rock!

fresca said...

Sister: It *is* funny! I mean, Donne's original poem is a riot. On purpose.
And yeah, Kirk's smirky expressions often add to the funniness.

Which leads me to Shatner's acting, Rudy.

What I'm about to say may be obvious, but I never thought about it before, being soooo much more caught up all my life in the printed word, not stage and screen:

Looking at thousands of still photos of the Star Trek episodes, it really came home to me that this show was made by a bunch of humans who walked on to a sound stage every day, covered in thick makeup, wearing ill-fitting costumes (you can really see the wear when you see them up close, over and over), and working with little bits of pretend buttons and stuff.
The ST set varies very little, and there's not a lot of set dressing: it's often basically just a blank stage.

So, what made it work was the actors' heart and belief and skill in making this dead set come alive.
Half-hearted acting would have made it all as flat as the gray walls (and gee, I never notices how much of the show takes place against gray walls).

Of course this is true of all acting, but there's something especially seedy and make-believe about sci-fi that makes it extra vulnerable, I think, to falling flat, to letting the viewer see it's all just pretend.

And, boy, if there's ever an actor with heart, it's Shatner. He never falters, so far as I see, even with the most putrid scripts. There will be 10 stills in a row of him against a gray wall, for instance, and he infuses feeling into almost every one.

So, while people mock his cheesy acting, I believe it is actually what carries the show, which so easily could have degenerated into...oh, some of those other forgettable 1960s shows, which I've forgotten.
It's not a style of acting that suits every kind of story, but Shatner and Kirk's was a marriage made in heaven.
(This is not to negate Nimoy, who brought a parallel dignity and quietness against which Shatner's emotiveness shone.)

"The grave is a fine and private place" is Andrew Marvell, so you got that right!