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Thread: Portrait Of An American Family Visual Parallels

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    Default Portrait Of An American Family Visual Parallels

    Seems a bit fucking obvious when you think about it...




    Portrait Of An American Family artwork & Marilyn Manson as Jackson (with Asia Argento) in The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things.
    I am not sure how closely Manson was involved with production for the film, but you'd think his working relationship with Asia would have made them communicative enough, so I wonder if Manson had a strong input in some of the imagery from these scenes. Jackson is dressed exactly as the Father is on the record sleeve, same hair, trousers, wifebeater (literally), everything, even down to Jackson sitting and drinking similar cans of lager in his recliner. When in front of the TV, Jackson also watches a Televangelist show, which not only reflects themes from Portrait, but also Manson's face in the TV screen both inside and on the back cover of the record - "God Is In The TV".
    Manson has discussed the details of other role aesthetics, I remember him speaking about his moustache in Jawbreaker several times around the release of the film, and the producers of Party Monster said he went to the trouble of arriving at the audition for Christina with his own false breasts. So on that basis I think it's feasible he could have had a hand in how Jackson looks, maybe even some of the set for their house, it's incredibly close to the Portrait sleeve (the wood panels and lighting), I don't imagine that escaped his attention at all.
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    Everyone knows I go in to a teenage-style daydream at the mere mention of In This Moment's Maria Brink, but when I saw this the first thing I thought was how early-era Manson it is with all the dolls. Even the skull looks like the one in POAAF.



    For comparison, here's an early pic of Pogo with one of the mutilated dolls that often adorned the stage at the time.

    Last edited by The Empirical Guy; 07-21-2010 at 04:09 AM.
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    Because I enjoy histories of any sort, and because the Manson image comparison is great, I'd love it if you were able to add further notes or miscellanea surrounding the Jagiellonians Alexandra. As I know a lot of people agree, it's not necessarily proof of some grand Mansonian connect-the-dots when similarities like this occur, but more the linear proliferation of symbols and aesthetics through timelines. It's always interesting and should be elaborated on I think. A great catch in any case, and thank you for sharing.

    Here's something I think everyone will enjoy, and I can't believe it seems so obvious now I've looked a little closer. There are a few pictures, (including a Spooky Kids group shot seen in The Long Hard Road Out Of Hell), where Madonna Wayne Gacy sports Jester-like face makeup, which I believe was based on John Wayne Gacy's clown "Pogo":-



    Although there are slight variations, the colour and general effect is enough to convince me this was the intent. There is a picture I have seen online that I think was from a documentary on Gacy, and I have also seen it in a criminology book. It splices the "Pogo" face with Gacy's mugshot, this may also be why only half of Madonna Wayne Gacy's face is made up.



    Any thoughts?
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    Yeah that's awesome. It could be half and half because of the Gacy photo, or it could of also been the Madonna side vs the Gacy side. Either way it's cool.

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    Check out this parallel between Michael Jackson's video for, 'Leave me Alone' and Manson's own video for Dope Hat. I find it hard to believe it wasn't a direct inspiration.

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    Boy this thread is old. Hope its still ok to post here. And this thread is barely toched upon. Which actually is a good thing given the overreaching/overanalysing going on here. But what else are these kinds of websites for, right?

    I love the irony of a Marilyn Manson fan also enamoured with the Michael Jackson figure. In fact, I mucho enjoy the irony in any Manson fan also being a fan of Michael Jackson after his death. Nearly everyone hated him, thought he was a child molester and such. And suddenly he dies and we're comparing Manson videos with Michael Jackson videos.....

    If they kill you on their TV, you're a martyr and the lamb of god
    Dope Hat was based on the old Willy Wonka movie and they did what they could in the early 90s with the video. It had nothing to do with Michael Jackson. Oh, and the head is Charlie Manson... another big inspiration for not only the album and everything leading up to it but the band and the persona themselves. Hmm... funny.

    MW Gacy being named after John Wayne Gacy I think makes the point toward the clown obvious. They were going to make the cover of The Manson Family Album a picture of the clown of John Wayne Gacy. But when they changed the cover, it was a clay model of the family of the creator of an "American family". Which is why I think it was kind of "left-field" that the cover is based on some old movie or something.

    And OP only touched on two of the characters in the cover, he seems to be forgetting about the other 2--the CHILDREN--hense the "American family." And the two on the couch are the parental units of said family. Not teenagers..... Though I believe the one on the far left of the cover is intended to be a teenager.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manson15Marilyn View Post
    I love the irony of a Marilyn Manson fan also enamoured with the Michael Jackson figure. In fact, I mucho enjoy the irony in any Manson fan also being a fan of Michael Jackson after his death. Nearly everyone hated him, thought he was a child molester and such. And suddenly he dies and we're comparing Manson videos with Michael Jackson videos.....
    Perhaps you don't understand the term properly, but I'm confused, how is it ironic? It would only potentially be ironic if Manson's message were somehow directly opposed or contrary to whatever Jackson stood for and may have done in his private life, but that's clearly not the case. Since inception, Marilyn Manson has always toyed with the theme of child abuse or young sexuality, especially on the debut album and Smells Like Children. It's virtually implicit in the two texts, not to mention having a later role to play on EAT ME, DRINK ME. That, in conjunction with analysing the media and how it adulates people for their personal lives as much as their art, makes Michael Jackson a perfect study in Celebritarianism. If fans are able to spot similarities between the two artists along the way, then it merely bolsters that notion. The point of these topics is also not to outright suggest that things are linked somehow, but to observe parallels whether intentional or not, for enjoyment.

    Besides, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory was released in 1971, perhaps Leave Me Alone [1987] and Dope Hat [1995] were both influenced by the film...

    They were going to make the cover of The Manson Family Album a picture of the clown of John Wayne Gacy. But when they changed the cover, it was a clay model of the family of the creator of an "American family". Which is why I think it was kind of "left-field" that the cover is based on some old movie or something.
    I'd advise reading that post again. I didn't suggest that The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things was the basis for Portrait Of An American Family's cover art, which would be impossible, considering the film was released in 2004, ten years after Portrait. I did however, suggest that there was a neat comparison to be made between the visuals on Portrait's cover, and the mise-en-scene in that shot from the film, which as I noted, actually stars Marilyn Manson.

    OP only touched on two of the characters in the cover, he seems to be forgetting about the other 2--the CHILDREN--hense the "American family." And the two on the couch are the parental units of said family.
    Yes, and if you'd seen The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things or even read about it, you'd know that the story is about a dysfunctional, white trash, 'American Family'. The themes correlate, they don't have to be undeniably linked, which is why it's about observation, not 'over-reaching'.

    Generally in Evidence, the consensus is not to prove outright that a visual source was the direct inspiration, or that Manson definitively borrowed from said source, but simply to observe these 'parallels' as amusing or intriguing coincidences within entertainment. Occasionally you come across something that absolutely must have been a direct influence, but for everything outside or in between, it's more fun just to explore the observations.
    "the Serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which
    the LORD god had made
    "

    m e m e n t o m o r i . p o s t m o r t e m


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    Something interesting to add, Manson's character molests Asia's character's son while having him dressed as Marilyn Monroe. So, it's pretty likely that the parallels were intentional.

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