Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Grantville, USA, Part 3: "I'm Every Woman"

part 1 

part 2

Reflections of Kelly in

The Naked Kiss (1964)

a film by Samuel Fuller

There's a lot more going on in Grantville, USA, than a run-of-the-mill boy-meets-girl, boy-and-girl-fall-in-love, and boy-pops-the-question narrative, which we've all seen and read and heard about so many times, along with the all-too-predictable sequel a decade or two later on down the line: aging cad and hag file for divorce, go to the mat for custody of the kids and, above all, the manifold possessions acquired over the course of the spiraling vortex from bliss to hell that their marriage eventually became.

It turns out that Kelly, the former-bald-prostitute-turned-orthopaedic-nurse and blonde-haired central protagonist of our not-so-little tale, has a lot more to offer Grantville than simply the ability to make a husband of the town's heretofore most eligible bachelor, Mr. Grant.

When Kelly first arrived in Grantville, it was not immediately obvious what a female-rich environment the town really was, perhaps because so many loafing menfolk, including Captain Griff, seemed to be hanging out at the bus depot scoping out new prospects. Meanwhile the respectable womenfolk were all away tending to baby carriages, caring for sick children at the hospital, designing and producing wedding dresses, or purveying bons-bons to the well-off gents who left their wives in Grantville to make their way across the city limit line to Candy's place.

Like a Leibnizian monad, Kelly reflects and refracts all of the women of Grantville, USA, embodying their qualities, aspirations, dreams, and desires, in addition to having already surmounted the dilemmas and challenges which any one of them might ever face. Kelly is not only a lover and future wife. She is a sister, a daughter, a mother, and a confidante. All it takes is a pick and a hammer, or a bit of hermeneutic exegesis to crack open the Platonic Form of Female Geode which Kelly truly represents. 

Look closely at every child in every baby buggy in Grantville and you will find tiny images of Kelly reflected off their every cell. Kelly was born just such a little infant, with no character traits to speak of. Instead, she grew slowly over many years and was shaped by her environment along the way.

Kelly learned to play and smile and to trust adults who were her earliest and sole sources of a concept of morality.

By adolescence, Kelly may have had a fling or two and found out that she was no longer just a daughter but a potential mother as well.

Having achieved the freedom and independence of adulthood, Kelly may have succumbed to the temptations presented by the superficially glamorous world of wine, women, and song.

Kelly's one true love may have let her in the lurch--whether intentionally or not.

Career or Family? Kelly may have determined at some point that "You can't have it all."

Or perhaps Kelly, an intelligent woman, realized at some point that it was her particular choice of profession which precluded the possibility of a normal family life.

When Grant entered her life, Kelly's world seemed to transform from black to white overnight.

to be continued...

Note:Using the open source program AndreaMosaic, the above collages were built of combinations of 523 screen captures of Kelly taken from the film.

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