Once in a while?

This also got an airing at Nine Worlds over the weekend. Its the missing song from Rocky Horror Picture Show.

I love it. It has, for me, a wistful quality about it that next to nothing else in the show has.

It also throws an interesting light backward on the preceding scene which is nothing more nor less than a double rape, played for laughs.

For me, this scene suggests an ambiguity not just to Brad’s relationship with Janet, but also with regard to his own sexuality. I think it may have been cut because it slowed the action, shifted the film’s balance too far to the serious and was perhaps just too difficult.

Or maybe i’m just over-analysing.

Who knows?

Oh. Well, maybe you do.

Anyone who has thoughts, insight or knowledge into why this scene didn’t make it through the final cut, please feel free to send them to me.

janexx

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About janefae

On my way from here to there
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2 Responses to Once in a while?

  1. Whilst I know what you mean about the preceding scenes, I think they’re just a little more complex than that, for two reasons.

    First, in each, there’s the moment of discovery and confrontation followed by consent; it’s not clear that very much has happened before consent is given, so that leaves us with two questions. Would Frank have carried on if he hadn’t been detected (i.e. what was his intent?). When consent is given in that kind of context, should the preceding actions still be read as rape/sexual assault? It’s easy to say yes, but that would mean including all sorts of real world situations where those who would then be read as victims don’t see it that way at all. A generous reading would say that, having already flirted with each of the, Frank expects to be discovered and expects to receive consent. Of course, this doesn’t mean that it ceases to be problematic.

    Second, I think Frank’s actions in these scenes need to be read in the context of his actions elsewhere in the film. At this point, Brad and Janet have already seen him kill Eddie, and have taken that in their stride (or have at least been prevented, by their middle class sensibilities, from being so rude as to admonish their host for killing someone in his own home). Frank is a larger than life character. If we take him literally, he’s a monster, but we are invited to relate to him as somebody who doesn’t really exist on the same scale as other people. His actions may be dramatic, but we can still connect with his loneliness and frustration. In this regard, he reflects the popular stereotype of a cross-dressing bisexual man in the ‘fifties. Rather than apologising for and downplaying queer sexualities, the film challenges us to see Frank as a person and to care about him in all his monstrousness.

    I think this makes an interesting contrast with the Brad we see in this song, which we also get little hints of during the floor show. Simply put, it’s the only time when Brad doesn’t come across as an asshole, the only time he seems genuine. Although there is an implication (in ‘Touch-a-Touch Me’) that Janet is bisexual, and although she is challenged over her right to be promiscuous, she doesn’t face anything like the same risks that Brad does. The very fact Brad asks her to marry him at a wedding might be read as implying that it is, for him, primarily about doing what everybody else does (after all, he wants Dr Scott’s approval).

    Having watched ‘Psycho’ again last night, I can’t help but see the shadow of Anthony Perkins’ troubled performance in Brad. Not the split personality serial killer thing, but the poignancy that Perkins brought to that role because of his struggles with his own sexuality.

    Ultimately, I think the success of Rocky Horror – socially as well as financially – comes from its ability to engage with people who start out frightened of all these issues and subsequently, if only for a little while, believe that it might be possible for them to be themselves, wherever on the spectrum of sexuality and gender they sit. To do that, it has to maintain its upbeat tone, its energy (even using camp humour to mitigate the bleakness of Frank’s final song). This song brings it too close to the real world and makes it too dark. It might arguably make it a better film, but it wouldn’t have been able to help as may people that way.

  2. habibilamour says:

    They should have kept it in for the subtext regarding Brad’s sexuality.

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