Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner
|Is the flag of the Confederacy really offensive? No, nothing is really offensive, because "offensive" is a reaction. I am a Christian, I could easily be offended by Andreas Serrano's Piss Christ but I'm not offended: this piece reflects Serrano's spiritual state, because he can't insult God, he only demonstrates what is within his own soul, not how God actually is; likewise, the Left, in being "offended" by every single thing, demonstrates that they have no backbone or priorities, that they don't believe in free speech or the right of others to have any freedom; they only believe in their own weakness and want everyone else to suffer for it. So there is nothing offensive about any of these statues or symbols, there is only the power grab being waged by the Left, and unfortunately, they are winning it. For example, they want the names of presidents removed from a memorial because they owned slaves and in Brooklyn, there is a push to rename streets at a army base named after Civil War generals.. Civil War-era monuments are being torn down in a Hollywood cemetery because "some" activists are offended by them. So far, The Trump Administration's Interior Department seems to have the right, balanced idea and is refusing to remove the monuments. In Baltimore, however, the female black mayor had crews remove four statues overnight; no one knew it was going to happen, so how about that for democracy?|
|The statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia, which was recently gratified with Black Lives Matter. A further advantage for the Left in removing such statues is, they are mostly white men, who were immortalized by white male artists, so when a invasion of conquest takes place, the conqueror will eradicate the art and cultural symbols of the conquered so they forget who they are and what their history is (for example, the English did this with the Welsh and Scottish). This is exactly what the Left is doing with American (capitalist) culture and identity: the capitalists proudly remember that we fought against slavery and for the Union, whereas the Democrats fought to keep slaves and for dissolution. They realize that looks bad, since they want to get blacks to support them, so they are doing away with the "cult of white men" by getting rid of these statues, as well as showing signs of their power by achieving whatever they want. It is difficult to take Black Lives Matter seriously when they are obviously so ignorant of such an important era of their own history, and if they argue that the Democratic Party of the Civil War was in the past, then so, too, was slavery, and the idea of "modern day reparations" is just as ludicrous.|
|And this is from NPR and PBS.|
|Rey wears a gray, formless cloak; why? Gray is the color of ashes, so it symbolizes both penance (from dust we came, to dust we shall return, let me do penance for my sins by pouring dust and ashes all over myself as a sign of humility) and the color of the pilgrim, because pilgrims would often go on a journey in penance and to seek after greater holiness. The site they are at, Skellig Michael (which we discuss more below) is a holy site--in reality and the Jedi universe--so the idea of a pilgrimage is suiting. Why is it so formless? What do we really know about Rey? Costumes are meant to communicate to the viewer about the character, but the film makers are keeping Rey "under wraps" (like the wrap she wears) so we aren't going to be allowed to know much about her, at least at this point. |
What about her staff? The staff, or rod, is a sign of strength: not only strength because she has been disciplined by the rod--think of how hard life was for her at the junkyard settlement on Jakku; so life has disciplined her, but that discipline has become her strength, it makes her less vulnerable and less afraid ("less afraid" is carefully chosen, in spite of what you may think of my writing skills :) she's still afraid, quite afraid, but she's all ready been through so much, she knows she is also tough). Unlike Kylo Ren (Han and Leia's son) Rey hasn't been pampered and given ego boosts, telling her she's going to be a great Jedi someday, knowing that her uncle and mother are galactic royalty and her father and his wookie heroes of the Resistance,... Rey has grown up, literally, in the desert, so the desert we see in the image above (rocks and salt water) is a comfortable and familiar surrounding; she isn't going to need a babysitter the way Kylo Ren obviously did.
Rey's hairstyle is quite interesting,... even bizarre. Completely pulled back, that suggests discipline, again, she is disciplining herself in her thoughts: she's not going to gush to Luke, "You are my hero! You are the greatest legend EVER! Can I have your autograph?!!? What about a selfie?!!" There are three "pony tails" (in spite of a better description) and, given that this is such a holy site, I would suggest the hair being parted into threes is a sign of her thoughts of God (Holy Trinity) and she realizes how important this temple is and she wants to make the most of it. In other words, she's not just her for the Resistance, for the galaxy, but she's also here for Rey. Now, look behind Rey: it's like a stone bench, which is probably what it is, but it also looks like a bridge, very much like the stone bridge we see The Mage on when she and Arthur discuss what he holds back and why he can't use Excalibur in King Arthur: Legend Of the Sword and, given that the lightsaber is also a sword, this connection isn't out of the question. In other words, Rey acts as a bridge for Luke to go from exile to the forefront of the Resistance once more. The problem with bridges, people walk over them, and this suggests that Rey's relationship with Han is going to look cozy and warm compared to her relationship with Luke.
Look to Rey's left and, from our perspective, behind her: on our left there is green and growth (life and new hope) and on our right there is rocks and barrenness; this is utilizing the landscape to illustrate what we find in these two characters. Rey is young and full of hope, but Luke is old, craggy and barren. Whereas Ben Kenobi had stayed on Tatooine to watch the progress of Luke, and made use of the desert for his own personal growth and advancement as the years passed, Luke choose this barren planet to escape responsibility and probably even blame, so Luke's heart has hardened, however, with Rey, she is what Luke needs to become that Jedi hero once more: hope.
|Skellig Michael is dedicated to the Archangel St. Michael, whose name means, "Who can compare to God?" It's fitting, therefore, that Luke would retreat to such a place, as he is, very much, like St. Michael and his nephew, Kylo Ren, like Satan: so favored but who fell so low. Why was this such a good place for monks dedicating their lives to holiness? This is one of the great paradoxes in Christianity: we are meant to become "living stones," but we can also let our hearts become "hardened" with sin to where our hearts are no longer natural, but like stone... so how do we manage to become the living stones? To be a living stone means you are rock solid in your foundation of beliefs: you are solid in believing in the importance of love, for example, and you are advanced in practicing patience. A "living stone" is not going to chip easily when the world turns hard on you and makes your journey difficult. On the other hand, we harden our hearts against love and relationships when we have been hurt, and don't want to suffer anymore; then our hearts slowly become filled with poison which causes our hearts to die. Rocks also have a tendency to symbolize sin for this very reason of "hardening our hearts" against God and our fellow man. For someone training in holiness, however, the rocks can become a symbol of how to be tough, dedicated and purge yourself of softness which might cause an aversion to discipline (like sleeping in, or skipping prayers, not fasting or staying comfortable instead of mortifying the flesh). So, just as the Force symbolizes balance in the universe, we can see how delicate the balance within our own souls can be.|
|This has been released as the "nuns" who care for the Jedi Temples on the island where Luke resides; according to sources, they don't really like Luke being there. They can communicate with him to some degree, but they wish he would go away. This seems utterly bizarre to me, and I simply don't know what to make of this.|
|This is an interesting poster: whenever a face is hidden or covered, or we don't have access to it, it's a sign of mystery, that we cannot have access to that part of the person/character/thing, even though we know it's there (for example, in a portrait when someone stands in profile, the artist wants to communicate that there is something inaccessible about this person, mysterious and unknowable). We see this with the doll in the poster above and the left side of the face; again, as we have had opportunities to note, the "left" side of something has always been considered evil (the left hand of Dr Jeckyll (Russell Crowe) in The Mummy, Strickland's left hand (Michael Shannon) in The Shape Of Water, and Solo and Illya looking to their left in the poster for The Man From UNCLE, among other examples). The wooden lid to the box is very interesting and introduces and element of "play" into the poster which--given that this is a doll and dolls are meant to be "played" with--is entirely appropriate. On one hand, we see the wooden box as the packaging of the doll but because it's a wooden box, and it was created to be a reminder of the little girl who died, the box also becomes a coffin. Deconstruction tells us that such "play" with words, images and ideas, where you can't really decide on what something is (is it a box or a coffin?) is inherent in all words, sometimes it's just easier for us to pick out than other times. I suspect we will see this "ambiguity" (not being able to decide between "A" or "B" what something is or means) throughout the film: for example, we see the "ghost" of Bee, the little girl who died, with her back to the door when Bee's mother enters and wants to know if it's Annabelle or not; the "girl" sets at a child's tea party set and pretends to be having a party with her animals. Food and beverages in a scene always mean that it is us, the viewers, who are being "served" something to digest: in other words, we are the stuffed animals sitting at the table, the film is the party, and the tea and other refreshments are the meaning and purpose of the film you and I are being asked to "digest," to engage and really understand (like everything here at the Fine Art Diner). Another good example of this is Clary (Lily Collins) in The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones, when she keeps making this symbol, and then she "draws it" in the foam of her coffee with the sugar and she doesn't want to drink the coffee; why not? Clary doesn't really want the symbol "clarified" and she doesn't want to digest what it means to her that she keeps making it.|
The reason this "play" on words is so important is because of something Janice says in the trailer we examine: the evil one is haunting her because she is the "weakest." "Weak" is a generally negative connotation, at least in America, because being "weak" implies that you can't take care of yourself, you are helpless, a victim; in Christianity, however, we are supposed to brag about being "weak" because it is the weak that God chooses so people will know it is God doing great and mighty deeds and not the person who is merely God's instrument, so what is the difference? Janice uses "weak" in the social, political and economic context of today to describe herself, and this is exactly what the devil and socialists want: look at yourself as being weak, crippled and helpless; Janice is probably also the weakest in her faith (or one of the virtues, like hope--even though we see her wearing green--humility, Christian love, etc., and it is likely we will see the same type of weakness in the Mullins). God wants us to become weak along the path of humility: I don't do anything; I am not the one writing this blog, for example, it's God. I can't come up with a single idea on my own if it is not for God granting me the Grace and gifts to see and properly use this knowledge to glorify Him (I am not bragging that I am a perfect example of Christian humility and weakness, but just trying to use an example). When we realize that we are mere humans and can do nothing on our own, then we are weak, and when we are weak, then God is happy to work in us and through us, because we glorify Him rather than glorifying ourselves (or even some other person or thing). There seems to be a dramatic lack of prayer in these trailers which have been released so far, and even though we see people holding the Crucifix, it's almost like they cover the Body of Jesus--which is what gives a Crucifix its power--rather than revealing it, which might be the whole answer as to the sin Samuel and Esther Mullins commit.
|Originally when I saw this teaser, I was very concerned about a certain element of the doll's characteristic: the limited edition. Why? That means it's more valuable, and if a socialist were making this film, the "value" (as in monetary value) of the doll would be a sign of "possession" and someone wanting the doll because it's valuable, so they are "possessed" with "possessing material goods," we saw this in The Conjuring and the mother's desire to have their own home. (While the first film, The Conjuring, was pro-socialist, Annabelle was pro-capitalist, as was The Conjuring II: The Enfield Poltergeist, and I expect Annabelle: Creation to be pro-capitalist as well.|
How do I arrive at Mr. Mullins being a "god figure" in this clip? There is a lot of light, coming from the right side of the screen; light, especially natural light--but it doesn't have to be--indicates illumination from within. His back is to us, so we can't know who this is, although we have some idea; we know it's a craftsman because we see all the parts, pieces and tools; there might also be the idea that in heaven, we are like the dolls which God puts together. Unlike the doll maker we see above, however, God gives us a heart, a soul, and a mind along with free will, so we are not empty. Socialists, on the other hand, contend that we are created empty because we are animals, not the children of God. I am guessing, but I could be wrong, that the Mullins' sin is idolatry: they worship their little girl over worshiping God who created her. This would be an apt sin to examine because people who worship their material goods (and we aren't talking about building an alter and offering incense to a car or a great set of gold clubs) because they have an unhealthy amount of love/desire for those material goods, are easy fodder for socialists who claim that getting rid of material goods will make society a better place. No, it won't, only worshiping God and giving Him the credit due Him will make society better, because our hearts will then be balanced and natural instead of loving things in an unnatural way.
On a different note, we know that Mr. Mullins' name is "Samuel," which invokes the prophet who anointed both Saul and David; Samuel was an only child of his mother, Hannah, and his name means, "God has heard," because God heard Hannah's prayer asking for a son,... Mrs. Mullins' name is Esther, after the queen. Esther was originally born "Myrtle," because she was meant to bear fruit, like the trees we will discuss below; "Esther" means "star" but can also mean "hidden one," which we certainly see when she puts on her fake face piece. Both of these names we will need to keep in mind so we can "mull over them" and understand why the film makers chose these two Biblical names for their characters.
|We will probably have to watch this film several times to even begin to capture the majority of details being offered for our "intellectual consumption" in Annabelle: Creation. Let's take a look at this seemingly unimportant transition scene. First, in the top image, we see the bus pulling onto the Mullins' property; so? Notice how dusty it is? That's a sign of the desert, where nothing grows, there is no Grace (it seems the Mullins are good people who wanted to do penance for their sins, however, there is something they have held back or won't let go of which continues to separate them from God). Please notice, on the right side of the top image, the dead trees: dead trees symbolize sin, because where God is, good things grow (You know a tree by the fruit it bears, and every tree is supposed to bear some sort of fruit, even if just shade, so trees which bear no fruit are dead because of the root of sin). However, on the left side of the house, the trees are alive because there is some sin nurturing them to grow. Again, notice how dusty it is and the "desert conditions" which are the opposite of the Garden of Eden.|
Janice's bad leg is her left leg. Legs symbolize our "standing" in society, so either Janice feels she doesn't have any standing in society, and that cripples her, or she let's her bad leg keep her from having a standing in society (or, of course, something else entirely the film will introduce). But watch for how she got her bad leg and how she responds to it.
In the bottom image, we see her dress is green, and the bus is green, too. This is important because the Mullins' truck we see--just as their daughter gets run-over--is green and Esther Mullins wears a green dress just as Janice wears a green dress in this image above. "Green" symbolizes new life, and hope, or that something has gone rotten and is no good. Is Janice a metaphor of Esther Mullins and the sin Esther has harbored in her heart all these years? There is a very good chance of that, but it's not necessary.
Now, on a different note, Janice's best friend, Linda, portrayed by Lulu Wilson, was recently in another horror film, Ouija: Origin of Evil, which I am confident is a pro-socialist film, unlike the first Ouija, which was pro-capitalist. If you have time to watch Origin of Evil, I would suggest you do before Annabelle Creation because the casting of Lulu is likely meant to invoke that film (when the demon-as-Bee stands at the window, and Janice comes up behind it and the girl says, "You help me, I'll help you," and then it turns to show Janice its real face, that looks nearly identical to the demon we see in Origin of Evil, meaning, the Annabelle creators wanted to make commentary on Origin of Evil and did so by creating a bridge of reference with the casting of Lulu.
|This film is going to be loaded with symbols. Let's start with the image above, seeing as this is a "fateful moment" in the film. Their truck is green, so that means their "natural vehicle" as a family unit is hope (vehicles symbolize the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit is the Will of God, and we go where God wills and then green symbolizes hope and new life); there is a problem though: they have a flat tire. This means, and I am sure the narrative will supply it, that there is something within the lives of the Mullins family which causes them all ready to be depressed (even before their daughter dies) or not completely cooperating with the will of God. In the foreground is a mailbox; why? Mailboxes hold messages, and in this scene, we are being given a "message" from the film makers if we are smart enough to collect it. I will pick up on this theme in the body of the post, however, we need to point this out here: is it the oncoming truck that kills the little girl, or is it the little girl running out in front of the truck that kills her? Do you blame inanimate objects--like the truck--for taking the girl's life, or that the girl made a mistake and went on the road that is meant for trucks, not little girls, and was accidentally killed as a result? Socialists will say, "It's the truck's fault: if there were no trucks, then the little girl would still be alive," because socialists want to do away with the personal freedom vehicles provide; capitalists, on the other hand, who believe in free will, will argue that the fault lies with the little girl because roads are made for vehicles not for playing, so she was somewhere she wasn't supposed to be. In America, we have seen this argument with guns and gun control. Later on, we will discuss the line of Linda (Lulu Wilson) who says, "This doll is hurting Janice!" and drops it into the well; can the doll hurt Janice, or is it the presence haunting the doll?|
In the second image down, when Esther Mullins sees "Annabelle" being transformed into the demon and she drops the Crucifix, we briefly see the shoes she wears: red. This should have sent off alarms, dear reader. We know the color red symbolizes the appetites, because our blood (which is red) is the most valuable thing we have, so we are only going to spend our blood on what we crave most in life: either we will spill our blood (red) for someone we love, or we will spill their blood to appease the wrath we have against them. Shoes symbolize our will, because our feet take us in life where we want to go the way our will decides where it is we want to go. So, as we watch the film, we will have to decide, did Esther Mullins agree to let the demon enter the doll because she loved her daughter so much, or because she was mad at God for taking their daughter away (remember, in the trailer, she says their daughter was "taken" from them)?
In the bottom image, we see what will surely be an excellent device in the film: the face mask of Esther Mullins. Besides indicating that she has become a "doll zombie" like our discussion above (because the face symbolizes our identity, and part of her identity is fake) it's also on the left side of her face, like Janice's bad leg, and the flat tire on their truck in the image at the top. Just as Esther has lost a part of herself in the battle against the Annabelle doll, so, too, has Samuel, even though his "sacrifice" might not be so obvious (like he quits making dolls, so he loses his professional identity, for example; I don't know if he does quit making dolls, this is just an example of a possibility).
|This is the real Annabelle doll (on the left) of which the real Lorraine Warren speaks in the opening featurette of this post; on the right is the Annabelle doll created for The Conjuring, when we were first introduced to her. For analysis on the differences between the two dolls, and why the one of the right is so incredibly different from the one on the left, please see The Devil's Hour: The Conjuring, at the very bottom of the post.|
|Fire plays out on several levels of the film, so an image like this, when we see The Man In Black reflecting fire in his eyes, looks for a "companion," a symbol linking itself to something apparently different, but sharing a common thread of meaning. Jake's psychologist, during the meeting they have, does this with the drawings Jake makes and the night Jake's father died, so when this has been done at least once for us, we know it's an invitation to continue doing it throughout the rest of the film.|