Monday, November 16, 2015

Penny Dreadful Season 3

The first image has been released for Season 3 of Penny Dreadful, ten episodes of which will air in 2016. Uh, yea, that's Patti LuPone holding Vanessa 's head in her lap; LuPone portrayed Joan Clayton, aka, "the Cut-Wife," aka, the abortionist, in Season 2 for an episode and was burned alive for being a witch, which she was. Returning as a regular member for Season 3, she is now playing Dr. Seward, an American psychologist employing an "unusual method" in helping Vanessa overcome that which she battles. Now, we know there is an actor who has been cast as Dr. Henry Jeckyll, yes, that Dr. Jeckyll of Robert Louis Stevenson fame. Why is that important? Duality. One character becoming two different people, like Jeckyll becoming Hyde, or Brona becoming Lily, or The Creature becoming John Clare, etc., means that we can still look at Dr. Seward as being a (literary) incarnation of the Cut-Wife, to whom Vanessa became quite close; but this is literary, not religiously, as the show is firmly rooted in the universe of Vanessa's Roman Catholicism, re-incarnation as some religions view it isn't going to be a metaphysical option, however, because the name "Vanessa" itself means "butterfly" in the Greek--which is part of the opening credits of the film with all the insects--as well as referring to a "brotherhood," which the group led by Sir Malcolm could certainly be described as being; but the English origin of "Vanessa" means "literary invention," so the film celebrates the literary inventions of all the authors of both penny dreadful novels and the great writers like Wilde and  Stevenson. So, Vanessa's head on Seward's/Joan's lap could be seen as an act of birth since Joan was an abortionist (she killed babies rather than being a mid-wife who helped with the delivery) and now, in this "literary incarnation" she is more the mid-wife. Note that Vanessa is in a fetal position. There are really only two colors in the image: white and black. Since both colors have a connotation of death, but their body language suggests birth, an "old" Vanessa is dying, and a new Vanessa is being born, or the weak parts of Vanessa have died and the virtues are being resurrected in an even stronger stage of her spiritual development. Fans of the series may recall that, when we last saw Vanessa, she burned the Crucifix and turned out all the lights in Grandage Place, slipping into darkness after looking out of her window. It's not so much that Vanessa is sending Jesus to the burning flames of Hell, rather, that's an expression of what Jesus Christ has just done to her, rather literally, as she confronted the devil and overcame her foe. But once a level of spiritual development has been completed, the next one awaits us. The darkness into which she slips isn't the darkness of hell, but it is the "dark night of the soul," however, we can and probably should expect that at least some rest will be granted to Vanessa, just as we first saw her peacefully walking through the snowy park at the start of Season 2 before encountering Helen McCrory's verbis diablo. There is more we could discuss with this image, but I have to finish Spectre, so enough of this for now. 
I am still working on Spectre. When there is a film this great, and this in-depth, it's overwhelming to try and get a post of this magnitude up, so I deeply apologize for the delay but I will get Spectre up, I will. I all ready have tickets to the Wednesday night double-feature of Mockingjay Part 1 and the debut of Mockingjay Part 2, so that will take at least a day for me to get up after I have seen it, but this will be worth the time to invest in it. I also saw The Peanuts Movie and it was perfectly enjoyable! I hated the little Scratosphere,.. propaganda thing at the start, but it was surprisingly deep and, as always for those of us who grew up with The Peanuts gang and the music, much needed nostalgia that was deeply appreciated on my part.  
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner
P.S.--Have you figured out yet why Blofeld/Oberhauser isn't wearing socks?