dimanche 7 juin 2009

we accept you, one of us!

Diane Arbus: "Jewish Giant at Home with His Parents in the Bronx, NY, 1970."

I have a politically incorrect fascination for freaks. I had a phase when all I would do is sift through the google links to search terms such as "human freaks" or "Victorian sideshows". This might sound like I'm gloating about how quirky I am, but it's really more of a guilty confession (especially considering I want to do graduate medicine and one day specialise in psychiatry). One place I've enjoyed prowling through at my university is the medical history library, a place where I can sit and not be disturbed whilst I pour over dusty Gothic volumes on the legends and myths surrounding "monsters" and "freaks" (my favourite parts are the medieval woodcuts of bizarrely conjoined siamese twins). 

I think Diane Arbus summarises mine (and I imagine most people's) fascination towards freaks perfectly here:

"Freaks was a thing I photographed a lot. It was one of the first things I photographed and it had a terrific kind of excitement for me. I just used to adore them. I still do adore some of them. I don't quite mean they're my best friends but they made me feel a mixture of shame and awe. There's a quality of legend about freaks. Like a person in a fairy tale who stops you and demands that you answer a riddle. Most people go through life dreading they'll have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with their trauma. They've already passed their test in life. They're aristocrats."

A movie which I have been eagerly hoping to see one day is the notorious 1932 classic "Freaks". Has anyone seen it? What did you think?

Tod Browning's Freaks (with free ebook!)
Freaks, Todd Browning, 1932

3 commentaires:

Revilo a dit…

The only thing I really know about it is simply that it is the origin of the "one of us, one of us!" quote, as I presume you know, given it's the title of this blog post.
But for me, that knowledge makes it worth watching without any other incentive.

sunni a dit…

our nomination for that hypothetical movie night perhaps?

Yarshk a dit…

It's like looking at picture of Gore. Though less elegant. Actually it's not at all like looking at pictures of gore. nvm