Saturday, 8 October 2011

Chris Port Blog #316. Family Resemblances: Wittgenstein, Women and Piglets (also Heartbeat, Eisenstein and Baz Luhrmann)

© Chris Port, 8th October 2011

For Wittgenstein’s  ‘Family Resemblances’ see

For an example of Eisenstein’s intellectual montage see

Women and piglets (and Heartbeat and Baz Luhrmann for that matter) require no further research…

A few years ago I was marking a Film Studies research project on Baz Luhrmann while half-heartedly trying to follow an episode of Heartbeat out of the corner of my eye ( Multi-tasking can lead you into some very strange woods…

While pondering whether Baz Luhrmann ( has anything interesting to say (no, he doesn’t), I took a wrong turn in Heartbeat. I mistook the subplot (something to do with missing piglets) for the main plot (something to do with a woman being stalked in misty moonlit woods).

Assuming that the woman was merely searching for the missing piglets, I thought the ominous piano chords slightly over-dramatic. But I was gobsmacked when (for Eisensteinian effect) the director intercut major screams of the woman grappling with her stalker with minor squeals of a hapless farmer grappling with a wriggling piglet.

What the f**k was going on? Was this a homage to Soviet montage? Or some Freudian reworking of a particularly dark Walt Disney film? I briefly paid Heartbeat a wary new respect. I briefly wondered whether I had under-estimated Luhrmann. But (on both counts) I was, of course, wrong.

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