Wednesday, August 02, 2006

King Kong

Last week I saw the most recent remake of KING KONG. I liked it better than I'd expected, except that I agree it's too long. The first hour of the three-hour film shouldn't have been required just to get the human stars to the island. I found Ann's gradual shift from fear of Kong to sympathy for him believable. The motif of communication between two "people" of different species without a common language is humorously illustrated by Ann's diverting Kong with her vaudeville act.

KING KONG is quite explicitly presented, of course, as a re-imagining of "Beauty and the Beast." In this version of the fairy tale, there is no possibility of a physical relationship between the human heroine and the Beast. In fact, on the romantic level, Ann has a human lover. The affection between her and Kong remains purely a friendship bridging differences, not an erotic love. Yet this film is already closer to science fiction romance than the original classic, in which the Ann character remains mostly terrified of Kong.

Could this love story be transmuted into a romance? Or do their differences render it too close to bestiality? If you were retelling the story, could you find a way to give Kong and Ann a happy ending? Aside from the question of eroticizing their relationship, what happy ending would be possible for Kong, other than returning him to his island? Once having experienced the sympathy of a human friend, would he be content in his former bestial existence, viewed only as an object of horror?


  1. We made the formless blob relationship work, right? We can manage this, too.

    Even in my rapacious depravity I couldn't figure out a way to beat the bestial aspect. Since her heart has gone where her body can't follow, some type of non-traditional relationship seems appropriate.

    Kong is returned to the island, with Ann. Ann then cultivates physical relationships with island folk in various combination of number and gender, with Kong as voyeur. They'd be using sex as a vehicle for intimacy, just not in the traditional sort of way.

    Hmmm. I think that's still pretty depraved.

  2. Depraved by our standards, maybe, but this is a different culture, right? :) Maybe Ann could allow Kong to act as a protective foster-uncle to the children she bears during this life of polyamory. Their love would be sublimated into the rearing of a new generation that would enjoy a more harmonious relationship between the tribespeople and the prehistoric beasts on the island.