Study Guide

Julia Kristeva Files

Rough notes for my Horror Movie Script, very loosely based on my book The Severed Head: Capital Visions

Tentative titles: Head Case, Bed Head, Off with your Head! (would have to be a musical version), What my Head Said, Headie Kruger

  • Must find decent setting… Academics trapped in a linguistics department all weekend? Analysts in an abandoned institution? An "art film" that edits together an endless string of decapitations?
  • Perhaps a period piece about Henry VIII, Charles I, Mary Stuart? Something myth-based about Medusa? A cave man film about the skull cult—something à la Clan of the Cave Bear? The whole John the Baptist/Salome thing has been done to death. Scratch that.
  • Who doesn't love a good French Revolution film? Perhaps can get Sofia Coppola to do a sequel to Marie Antoinette—you know, all that guillotining?
  • Check out site about top ten movies about decapitation.
  • What's my point? What's my point? Severed heads are everywhere… you just have to look.
  • Prefer a dramatic piece to a documentary project that traces the history of beheadings—however fascinating that may be to me.
  • Inspirational scenes include that one in Apocalypse Now when Marlowe arrives at Kurtz's compound and finds all those heads on sticks—that gets me every time! Not sure I want to go down the whole savage/Africa/cannibal route—might get in hot water with the multiculturalists. It's one thing to be accused of being a multiculturalist—another to have them breathing down your neck!
  • What about The Night Porter, when Dirk Bogarde seduces Charlotte Rampling by giving her the head of that nasty prison guard? (May not want to go into Holocaust territory—a bit too much horror).
  • What message am I trying to convey? Too obvious just to tell people that their heads are important—brains, mouths, faces are crucial to our identities as individuals. La la la.
  • Note to research: How do cockroaches and chickens survive after being decapitated?
  • My agent told me I have to think of the market for the film. I hate getting mired in all of these filthy money matters. I am an intellectual—but it would be nice to earn extra $$$$. Truth of it is, who sees movies about decapitation? Men ages 16-40, probably. Ugh. That means I will have to pimp out all of those images of abject women. What's a horror movie without some gratuitous scenes of female sexual abjection? Now I'm really in a pickle. Plus, that crowd identifies way more with castration than with decapitation, and I just can't go there.
  • Back to square one: Something with decapitation that also shows the importance of the mother-child bond? Could be a tricky sell.
  • Can definitely see product tie-ins if I choose to go the Medusa route—although that has also sort of been done by Donatella Versace, Crystal Head Vodka, and others.
  • May have to scrap all of this and do a live action about Madonna and Child and just accept that it's going to be really, really indie.

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