Friday, October 14, 2011

Tommy 3: Factory Girl

3. Ball Bearing factory

After a very violent plane crash juxtaposed with Captain Walker broken portrait we now see shiny, silver balls.

Diorama Five
- Nora is now in a brightly lit ammunitions factory. Just as a diorama artist would not be able to use real ammunition, Ken has taken stout plastic, silver tipped crayons and has the women for the war effort filling them with... pinballs? Ball bearings? We use must our imaginations here. With brilliancy Ken utilizes the classic "Rose the Riveter "  dutifully "mucking in for the common good"  vibe.

The first vocal begins (appropriately with Pete singing a blistering "Captain Walker") as we see an oddly made up messenger with a classical ballet gait approach Nora. As a child I always thought this was a very elegant woman with a moustache. She certainly has a regal bearing and on closer examination of the screen caps it is clear she is made up to accentuate her cheekbones with soot while giving her an androgynous look (above and below right).

The news is delivered and an undone Nora faints with grief and shock. The silver balls fall all around her symbolising her anger as well as foreshadowing the story to follow. She is in the factory working for the war effort after all and the war just wounded her sanity and as we will come to see her good judgement (or at least the little she has built up as such a young person). In pulling down a thousand silver balls, Nora is saying "might as well take at least some of it with me". Ineffectual as causing chaos on a work site may seem here. yet, in this era we all know that it is now a common place occurrence to see people shoot up and/or destroy where they work once tragedy and/ or hardship over takes their senses and personal lives.

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Blogger par.nordstrom said...

Factory girls , bearded ladies . //Amanda: ´As a child I always thought this was a very elegant woman with a moustache. ´ Aye, & sorta likewise as a 4 yo Nordstrom fell in luv wid neighbourin factory gal. Who happened to have ( more or less )a FRANK ZAPPA moustache.( She was 15 )( & dis was looong before lady razors . ) . Nordstrom was passionately enamoured ( & who can luv more passionately dan a 4 yo ? )( Her beard didn´t worry N. da least.) ( In fact, N. thought twas quite... interestin . )When Nordstrom´s dad took him on his knees & explained dat Rebecca was waaay tooo ole & if dey were gonna get married, dey´d have to wait for at least TWENTY yers, Nordstrom cried & cried & cried . & maybe he´s cryin still ...?

4:34 PM  
Blogger grace said...

The silver balls worked perfectly.

10:07 PM  
Blogger grace said...

I also thought the bearings, were symbolizym for the "pinball".

5:48 AM  

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