(reblogged from my livejournal because I’m lazy)
I was wondering the other day…
Do fathers ever become strangely attracted to their daughters because their daughters remind them of how their wives used to look back when they fell in love and made babies?
And then suddenly, I was inspired to make a film (if I actually made films). It would be about a father who has lost the enthusiasm and vivacity for life he once had. He has an estranged wife and daughter who lead independent existences. Slowly, as his daughter becomes an adult, he begins to notice the innate sensual qualities of the maturing teenage woman, and then subsequently also notices the similarities between his daughter and how his wife once was when she was young. He would grow infatuated with his daughter as a symbol of passion and as a means of bringing himself back to his own youth, when he had a purpose, dreams, and could fall in love. Then, by falling in love with his daughter as the symbol of his wife from the past, he would then have a rebirth of affection for his wife, and the two would live happily ever after…
…just kidding. Because we’re all secretly perverted and also addicted to tragedy, the movie would be a much bigger blockbuster if the dad develops some sort of sexual relationship with his daughter, and then gets either killed by his vengeful and jealous (or protective) wife or sent to prison at the end.
Now, I realize this sounds almost exactly like American Beauty (we all know the daughter’s cheerleader friend is really a symbol of the daughter, or at least feminine youthful sensuality in any case), so we need to change it around a bit to preserve originality. Perhaps we could turn this into a psychological thriller two-fold. On one hand, it explores the father’s deep, dark descent into the perverse world of incest and pedophilia. On the other hand, the daughter’s psychological element could also be developed. Perhaps she was given a Christian upbringing, and then as she got older she began to lose faith. As a result, her life would feel empty and vapid. Then, as a result of a desire to reconnect herself with something metaphysical and greater than herself, she starts to see her father as not only her father, but as her creator, and by extension as God. Then, in order to realize her own sense of worth, she would start to have delusions of herself as a Mary figure, and would begin to believe her role in life is to bring about a son through conception with her creator/father. Thus, she would willingly enter into a “divine” sexual relationship with the man she worships as her powerful creator, who himself is set on worshipping the pinnacle of feminine sexuality through his daughter. Maybe to make this even more dysfunctional, she could find out she’s pregnant after he’s been convicted of child rape and incest.
And hell! – Why not just make it a two-hour pseudo-porno with only one sex scene at the end? The trick is to make it a giant sensual crescendo from the relatively flaccid and melancholy beginning to an end where all of our own deep, dark perverse desires are thrown out onto the screen in the greatest sex scene to happen since The Watchmen.
Now here’s the trick as a film maker: in spite of the evident psychoses in the characters, it has to be a genuine love story. This is a huge challenge because no morally conservative American is going to condone a love story about incest and pedophilia. Yet I would want it to be beautiful and convincing. I want the father to be a tragic and inspirational hero, not a morally bankrupt molester. The father would be a good man, lost in a world of unjust and arcane moral standards. Why shouldn’t he be able to have sex with his daughter? Why shouldn’t he be able to have sex with an underaged woman? I mean, clearly she loves him back in that way… who defined incest as incest and pedophilia as pedophilia anyway, and why are they bad?
Now, of course I’m not seriously asking these questions. But that’s the thing! – I would want the movie done in such a way that audience members, leaving the theater, are asking themselves these very questions while feeling sympathy for the father and indignation for his fate, and only when they’re a hundred yards from the parking lot do they slam on their brakes and yell, “What the f*ck did I just watch?! Holy God!”
Only then would I know that I have truly made it as an artist.