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As a means of underscoring the perversely boring anti-style of TGDD, I want to take seriously the inevitable (and for some, heretical) comparison between Mailer's film and David Lynch's Blue Velvet.
In terms of cinematography, when the camera in TGDD tracks or pans, it is rarely for any particular aesthetic effect, but only to keep a character in frame (for instance, Tim's movement throughout the house in the opening shots).
When style flares up in TGDD is always as a hapax--an isolated, one-off occurrence demonstrating that a more aggressive formalism was indeed possible, but was just not a direction the filmmakers opted to pursue.
The film version of TGDD is no different, but in place of Tim's colorful first-person narration we get the utter transparency of Mailer's cinematic style.
In TGDD, on the other hand, jouissance is stage center, a place Mailer's characters fully inhabit--"the norm" so to speak.
The same can be said for the viewer of TGDD: it turns out that the film cannot deliver the excess enjoyment we anticipate, but in the process of discovering this impasse, jouissance nonetheless overtakes us, albeit in a different form, as camp.
If TGDD is a universe of jouissance, where the superego has stepped aside and enjoyment has free reign, Dougy returns to his son at the beginning of the film (which is really the end) to rein it all in.
(4.) However anachronistic, it is worth noting the exchange between Jessica Pond and Lonnie Pangborn at the Widow's Walk in TGDD seems to be very much in the mode of David Lynch; it could appear without any inconsistency in a scene at the Great Northern Hotel in Lynch's television series Twin Peaks three years later.
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