"!" [Hollywood Blues] July 2013 - Page 40

The fragmentary and episodic composition of the lines also has a bearing upon the simultaneous suggestion and disallow of ‘the disaster’ as fetish. For, whilst the ‘dialogue’ might prompt a spectator to attempt (consciously or otherwise) the construction of writerly narrative(s), perhaps with a visual, imagined dimension, attempts at coherence are likely ruptured by lines that undermine or contradict ones earlier delivered. Finally, the fetishistic quality re?ected in the endless production of Hollywood disaster movies and the broadcasting, uploading and viewing of footage of real-life events, ?nds its critique in the unchanging pace of …Blues. The sense of relentlessness that accompanies the quick?re delivery of individual lines, from beginning to end, aptly mirrors the unending cultural appetite for the hyperreal disaster. Here, too, there is only repetition of the pre-existing, without cessation, closure or catharsis. There is only one aspect of …Blues that might be deemed to problematise or undercut my latter point: the several occasions, that occur during the ?rst and third acts, on which the performers’ voices, in unison, shout ‘Help me!’ or ‘You got to help me!’ or ‘Help! We need help!’. Amidst the ?urry of lines, many of which pertain to bodily risk or injury (‘Is there a doctor?’; ‘This is an emergency’; ‘Bring all the medical supplies you can carry’), the cry for help from seven real bodies invokes a sense of desperation where the other, Hollywood sound-bites produce amusement, conceivably derived from the experience of hearing familiar lines delivered in a de-familiarising, actorly and parodic form. In these unsignalled moments of unison, it appeared that the tropes of the hyperreal, so insistently suggested, are punctuated by something else — by something evoking lived experience — the live bodies, alone on stage, apt to lampoon the self-consciously Hollywoodesque. Hurricane Katrina Day by Day National Geographic 40