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Pictures of Doors on the Stairway

Discussion in 'Sunnydale Cemetery' started by Priceless, Jul 29, 2017.

  1. Priceless

    Priceless I didn't forget y'know

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    I've just watched Same Time, Same Place and I have questions :D Any thoughts about the meaning of the pictures of doors going up (or down) the stairway at Buffy's house? Are they just Buffy's decorating choice, or do they have a deeper meaning?
     
  2. DeadlyDuo

    DeadlyDuo Scooby

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    Haven't they always been there?

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Priceless

    Priceless I didn't forget y'know

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    I never noticed them before :oops: I thought the way the scene was filmed, with a wide shot (I don't know if I'm using the correct technical terms here) of Willow climbing the stairs, instead of focusing on her back as she goes up, meant that the pictures meant something, because they were so prominant.
     
  4. TriBel

    TriBel Scooby

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    Don't take this the wrong way but there's nothing in a film or TV scene that doesn't have meaning. I can't remember about the pictures - I've never looked that closely. I do know Rhonda Wilcox mentioned them in an essay (possibly in "Why Buffy Matters" - if I can find the reference I'll put your mind at ease! :). Wide angle exaggerates depth- close-ups can cause distortion and make the familiar seem strange Seems right for this episode. Add that to DD's comment that they've been there for a while and it shows the extent of her displacement/enstrangement - so it might be the shot that's important not the content. Probably evoking Freud's unheimlich or uncanny - fitting given she ends up in a womb-like cave.
     
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  5. Last Watcher

    Last Watcher Tweed Icon

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    Sineya
    You never know with the Buffy sets. There have been numerous 'in jokes' hidden on the set over the years from posters & graffiti about a band one of the crew liked to pictures of Moloch on the wall in 'The puppet show', and an anti-violence poster on the wall in the locker room in 'Beauty & the beasts' that read 'Most women aren't attracted to dead guys'....or even Willows Scoobie-doo lunchbox.....
     
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  6. TriBel

    TriBel Scooby

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    Doors definitely signify. She knocks on the front door (locked) then goes in the back door. It's quite a long tracking shot from there and it takes us past the four pictures of the doors. It cuts to the landing. She goes into a bedroom with Buffy's name on it (but actually, I think it might be the room she shared with Tara) and there are three doors in shot. We get Willow's POV - she goes to the window and Tara's shooting is recalled. We then see photos of the Scoobies and a list of their phone numbers. She then goes downstairs in response to a noise she thinks is someone coming through the door (it probably was but she can't see them). Closed doors (I imagine) figure issues she hasn't dealt with yet. They're repressed or suppressed fears, wishes, desires. Some she'll actively bring to consciousness (open the doors) but there may be others that remain repressed but, nevertheless, surface in disguised form in her actions or her speech. Windows are always significant - they're transparent so we see out but they protect us from the outside (in Tara's case they didn't). Windows also frame what we can see - we have a view of the outside but it's partial. Photos are weird (I hate photos of people - I only photograph empty streets and buildings). They capture a moment in time and because what's in the photo had to be there in order for the photo to be, they ratify existence. However, because they turn the real into an image that people can look at and understand in different ways, they have the death of the subject in them - the subject becomes an object. If the photo is of a dead person, it evokes three different tenses or time frames (the Punctum of time). So a photo of Tara evokes. She is alive. She is dead. She is going to die. Barthes says we turn photos into art to tame their madness - I tend to agree with him. Bedrooms are associated (amongst other things) with dreams. There's a series of oppositions going on conscious/unconscious, presence/absence, seen/unseen, present/past and I think it's blurring the boundaries between the two states - so - yeah - uncanny. I'm making all this up - except for the photo bit. Thanks for making me watch it again. God - that demon is creepy!
     
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  7. Priceless

    Priceless I didn't forget y'know

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    @TriBel I thought it was odd that Buffy would have her name on her bedroom door. Has it always been there? It's an odd thing for a grown woman. It was Joyce's room, then Willow and Tara's, so is she marking it as finally hers, as in she's finally grown up enough to have the main room? But of course she doesn't have it for long once the potentials arrive and she moves into the basement. between you and @Stoney, I feel like I'm getting a right education :D
     
    Stoney: I'm not sure what I've done, but I love chatting with you too. :)
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  8. TriBel

    TriBel Scooby

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    Argh! I have to catch a train! I think we're fated never to have a sustained conversation. I'm still preparing a response to your last one. I'll catch up with you later!! My lads were at Manchester Comic Con yesterday - I have to take the opportunity to poke fun at them - it's a mother's right!
     
  9. TriBel

    TriBel Scooby

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    Change of plan - and sorry for the confusion. What follows is stream of consciousness - I'm thinking as I type. I wondered whether it had been Joyce's room. So Buffy is marking her mother's room as her own? Tara and Willow (mostly Tara?) performed the mother's role while Buffy was dead. Buffy was a reluctant mother to Dawn for much of S6 (is this right - am I being unfair? It's probably more complex than this - it must have been conflictual). She acknowledged at the end of S6 that Dawn had grown - everyone remarks on it in this season (well, Spike and Faith do). So Buffy's role as a mother is redundant. This can be both a good thing and a bad thing - it frees you up but you lose part of your identity (all of your identity if it's the only role you've ever had). But Buffy had too many responsibilities - too many identities.

    Perhaps we have to think what is unthinkable for most of us - Mothers and Fathers have sex (it's the Primal Scene - the moment the child realises he/she is not the most important thing in the mother's life (the father is the third term that intervenes in the mother child dyad - no need to go down that road. Female child wants to have the father's baby - discredited theory but still relevant). Okay - go with sex. Buffy = Joyce = Mother. Giles = Father (for Buffy) = Husband (for Joyce). Is it something to do with Giles - the Potentials need his Watcher skills for more than she does - so they move into her room? When Giles returns she goes to hug him but the Potentials intervene between them. He betrays her trust by distracting her when Wood is trying to kill Spike. (BHF! - me swearing in exasperation). In LMPTM - the last thing she does is shut the bedroom door in Giles' face! Look carefully at the end of First Date. There's the moment when she goes to Spike instead of Xander (so X out of the picture). Wood sees it and realises there's something between them (so W out of the picture). But, the second to last scene is important. Giles gets annoyed, waves the drawings he's made and walks out of shot by going through the door to the living room (on the right). We hear his footsteps as he goes. There's a cut, we hear footsteps and Spike emerges from the left through the door that Giles left by. They're both wearing similar colour clothes (khaki green jacket/shirt). This is when she tells him she wants him to stay - not just as fighter, but also as father figure (in as much as she needs one but you can read this as "watching her back") AND as lover. (Yay...go Spuffy!). I always thought the scene in the basement with Spike/Buffy/Wood was odd. In GiD she says "I'm showing him our operation. (Beat) Us." She didn't need "Us" - it's covered by "our". God...that lad is thick! Actually, he's not thick - he's just being very, very careful not to misread the situation or give the wrong impression that he takes it too far. Consciously or unconsciously, I think she's signalling her desire for him and just how significant he is in her life.

    It's a very convoluted response (work in process) and I might change some of it but not the fundamental premise. The use of unconscious devices destabilises fixed meanings. She does change her priorities - why doesn't she spend her last few evenings with Dawn - but not in a nasty way. Her friends are still terribly important - it's just that they don't perform the same function they did earlier - it doesn't devalue the friendships in themselves. This is why Whedon's girl power needs to be in inverted commas. Her friends still empower her but she's a woman - not a girl.

    Re - "education" would you like to come and tell my students that? They just give me looks of incredulity, laugh and walk away - I think they humour me. Seriously, it's a pleasure being here - I've learned so much from you and others. :)

    PPS. I think there are other reasons for conflating Buffy/Joyce but they're more complex than the above.
     
  10. Priceless

    Priceless I didn't forget y'know

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    You say that Tara acts mainly as the mother to Dawn, but it is Tara that leaves the home, and has 'weekend visits' with the child. Echoing Buffy and Hank's relationship maybe. Although Tara leaving Buffy's house is probably because Willow is Buffy's friend, it could seem Tara took on both parental roles and Willow took no parental responsibility, rather Spike appears to share the responsibility with Tara. Do we see Willow do any parenting?

    The idea that the Potentials take Buffy's room because they need Giles more than Buffy does makes sense . . . even shutting the bedroom door in Giles' face after LMPTM. She moves from upstairs bedroom to basement, from needing her parent to needing her lover, moving from the bright and light upstairs to the darkness of the basement.

    Spike is Buffy's 'partner', for me he's literally her other-half, so it's no surprise that she spends time with him rather than her friends or Dawn. Partners usually do supersede family, they become your family and often replace previous family. Willow and Xander choose to spend time with their other-halves rather than Buffy or Dawn
     
  11. TriBel

    TriBel Scooby

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    The Tara/Willow bit I'll have to revisit. I agree with everything you've said in the second part BUT avoid the "other half" metaphor like the plague. Let them be each others 45% (which doesn't actually roll off the tongue). Without the space, it's an illusionary completion (obviously, in real life you can say what you want!). It's the lack of completion that provides the dynamic - it's interesting Spike refers to Dawn as "little bit" and when describes his soul as a search for the "piece that fit".

    Digression - and yes this is digression (I think) - so apologies. I went on line to check a Thomas Aquinas quote and found these:

    “If it were not for some [divine] power that wanted the feminine sex to exist, the birth of a woman would be just another accident, such as that of other monsters [= a dog with two heads, a calf with five legs, etc.]” So - what the hell? Stop killing the monsters - let's identify with them!

    "According to the medicine of his century, which, of course, Thomas did not correct, woman was an incomplete man, a half-baked male" Ah...the cookie analogy!

    "it has been said that "man and the sun generate man".” Bear in mind when he says man he means man. I always knew light was over-rated.
     
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  12. Priceless

    Priceless I didn't forget y'know

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    Before they are moved into the Safe Zone;

    Spike - 'Slayer, this is daft. I dont want you doing time for me'

    Buffy - 'That's sweet. But you're only only part of it, an important part . . . but also, this is wrong. And I'm not gonna run, or hide, or avoid it. I'm going to stand up and fight it, and protect those who can't. Which . . . is what being a Slayer is all about'

    Spike - 'I mention lately that I fancy you a bit?'

    I think it's the mission and being The Slayer, that complete's Buffy, and her acceptance of her role is what her journey has been about. But for Spike I always thought it's what Buffy represents to him that makes him complete. Buffy is his mission. He has his soul, he has family, which I think is what 'the bit' (Dawn) represents to him, so what more is there for Spike?
     
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  13. WillowFromBuffy

    WillowFromBuffy "My bowling shoe fetish is not the issue here."

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    In Bargaining, you could argue that the stairs and the doors symbolise Buffy's decent from Heaven. It is mostly the stairs, though :p
     
    GwenRaiden: This joke TRIED to go over my head, but my reflexes are too fast and I caught it!
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  14. TriBel

    TriBel Scooby

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    Do you think some of his initial problems came from the conflation of Buffy/Slayer? He'd killed Slayers in the past but not known them as women. In the early seasons and even in 6 (I think) he uses Slayer as a substitute for her name (I'm sure there's something very profound to say about synecdoche / metonym but I refuse to use words I can't pronounce). In season 7 he only uses the tern "Slayer" 6 times throughout the whole series and mostly to describe her job. I think he underwent an epiphany of sorts getting the soul and managed to untangle the two - realising his hatred was for the Slayer and his love for Buffy. He seems much more comfortable using the term Slayer now so what you say makes complete sense. :)
     
  15. WillowFromBuffy

    WillowFromBuffy "My bowling shoe fetish is not the issue here."

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    I think you are partly right. However, I do not think Spike hates the slayers. In fact, I think he respects them and sees them as a mirror of himself. He falls in love with Buffy, because she was the slayer he could not kill.
     
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  16. DeadlyDuo

    DeadlyDuo Scooby

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    The doors were always there though, it wasn't like they just hung up some pictures of doors for a shot. You'll probably find Joyce bought them as a set of 3 at a store just because she liked them and thought they looked pretty.
     
  17. Priceless

    Priceless I didn't forget y'know

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    From what we see on screen, Buffy seems to be the first Slayer Spike has really communicated with other than on a physical level. In Fool For Love we see that though he and the Chinese Slayer talk, they don't understand each other. In the scene with Nicki, they don't appear to speak, instead Spike is talking to Buffy. I don't think it's that Spike has never seen the Slayers as women, it's that Buffy is the first Slayer who has seen him, communicated with him, as something other than a killer.

    They are new to each other. Spike is possibly the first soulless demon Buffy has ever talked to and not tried to kill, when they made their true in S2 and Buffy is the first Slayer Spike has really spoken to, even opened up to, telling her of his love for Man Utd and dog racing. I guess it comes back to 'we hate what we don't understand' and we only come to understand through communication? (This is me making it up as I go along:))

    I agree. I think he admires and respects their strength and their calling. I think he sees them as superior to himself, that's why he is so proud when he kills them, he feels that he has beaten a better opponent. That's why he follows Buffy so easily, he believes her to be 'better' than him in ways that he thinks are important.
     
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  18. TriBel

    TriBel Scooby

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    Okay - I'll go along with that. So it's a professional relationship rather than a personal one? And drinking the blood of your competitor makes you stronger? Sounds very Darwinian (or Spenserian). It's also very much an endorsement of corporate capitalism. Bit like Anya who's gone from a proto-Marxist to playing the market. This is a bit tongue-in-cheek - criticism based on political economy isn't my thing - but I think it's a valid observation all the same!
    --- Double Post Merged, Jul 30, 2017 ---
    B***** Southerners - coming up here and supporting OUR football team. With an accent like his he should be Arsenal. Why bother with all that "I don't love you Spike"? Just get yourself a City shirt girl - you wouldn't see him for dust (OMG - pun not intended!). ;)
     
    Priceless: Prawn sandwich brigade, that's Spike :-)
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  19. WillowFromBuffy

    WillowFromBuffy "My bowling shoe fetish is not the issue here."

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    No, except maybe the bit about Darwinism. The law of the jungle and the sea :p
    /this
     
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  20. TriBel

    TriBel Scooby

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    Ignore the reference to the capitalism etc. The comment was meant to be more than slightly facetious (I should really keep my mouth shut - certain attitudes don't travel well) but it's just made me think. Darwin's theories were so plastic they taken up by the left and the right. Via Galton they form the basis of Eugenics - particularly apt given what's happening in the S11 BtVS. Also, here's the whole thing with Vikki and the new vampires. Also, someone (I can't remember whether it was Vikki or the rogue slayer with the Pink Mohican - Simone?) had a rant about adapt or die. Willow's right - everything connects (if you're desperate enough). :) That's all I can recall about Natural Selection - anything else I had stored away has been displaced by images of James Marsters' head-tilts. ;)