Welcome To The Bitchery

My paper. It is done. Funny Beowulf images incoming.

At this point I no longer have feelings about whether it is good or not. It is done. And I am free from this hellish semester.

I no longer know what is real. Funny, given that's basically what I was writing.

I'm going to bed now. I'll give you guys a paragraph, though. It's stupid and potentially brilliant. Mostly stupid. But the movie's kind of stupid, so that's a given.

After Grendel comes the greatest example of the simulacrum in the film: his mother. Grendel's Mother is a shapeshifting monster who predates the old gods, and she makes clear through this ability her role in the story. Since the entire film is shot through motion capture, it provides the simulated imitation of live actors, a simulacrum which, as it teeters on the edge of the uncanny valley, appropriately lends itself to this story of monsters and heroes who create monsters. Grendel's Mother, the shapeshifter, takes this facet of the story to yet another level. While she may appear to be covered in gold and wear stiletto heels, she is in fact made of liquid, amorphous gold and her feet are stiletto heeled. Yet, they can be anything she wants them to be; because she is a shapeshifter, her golden skin and stiletto feet embody the simulacrum of the artificial, the natural's imitation of artifice. Better, since the film is motion-capture animation, she is the artificial simulacrum of the natural's own imitation of the artificial natural: a simulacrum thrice over, the third derivative of Angelina Jolie following the pattern of Angelina Jolie : Jolie (motion captured) : Grendel's Mother : Grendel's Mother's shifting form (including the simulated appearance of Jolie, an infinite regress). The extrapolation need not stop there – Grendel's Mother's forms are infinite, and the degree of simulation extends beyond what is readily apparent. Taking the extra-filmic material to include the manuscript, the translations read by Zemeckis and anyone else in the cast, crew, or writing team, and any reproductions of the film material outside the confines of the film (such as this image), the implications are clear. The life of Beowulf extends infinitely in all directions, at all points as a simulation of a prior version, an infinite palimpsest of simulacra.


Share This Story