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Tuesday, 4 January 2011

House of Leaves - The Navidson Record - Part II

Part 2 of what looks to be a straightforward academic treatise on the Navidson Record again starts with Zampano asserting that the film is genuine and not a hoax, as many claim. All the while with Johnny Truant's assertion earlier on that the film doesn't even exist. Nice and confusing already. And here I am waiting for Cthulu to come bursting through the floorboards. Don't judge me. 
The Navidson family are introduced as they move into their new house and seem thoroughly normal. Because you never have horrific stuff happening to the crazy prepared people, do you? The children generally approve, although the son seems to miss the sound of traffic, and the classic argument of work versus family is brought up in Will's relationship with his partner Karen. So far, so very normal.
Navidson's method of filming is described and brings to mind the word "auteur" which is used for certain acclaimed directors; there is something very individual in the type of film used, the position of the cameras and the editing of shots that can change the tone completely. I guess it brings up the idea that what you choose to exclude in film and other types of media is just as important as what ends up going into the finished product. What I suppose I mean to say is that I thought it was kind of touching.
Zampano then describes two short moments at the beginning of the film that emphasise the family ties, particularly the bond between Karen and Will. While both very touching examples of love within a couple, I thought that the children were kind of neglected from Zampano's analysis, like they're there simply for plot purposes. We'll have to see how that pans out. The second extract is linked to a 2 1/2 page long footnote from Johnny Truant about a tall tale he told some drunk girls one night at a bar and somehow linking that to the fact that his water heater is broken, like the one in the second clip described from the Navidson Record. Phew. Quite how this fits in, I have no clue either. In any case, despite the largely sweet nature of the clips, both Karen and Will's behaviour is demonized by the media and a mysterious woman named "Delial" is mentioned.
Overall this chapter seems designed to leave the reader with the impression that while they aren't the perfect family, they are damn well close to it. And it seems almost a shame to think that within a few chapters at most they'll most likely be witnesses to horrors unimaginable. But then when was it ever said that bad guys left families alone?

Signing off,

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