A while ago in this post I mentioned the movie Darling starting Julie Christie as a movie that is a great example of an emotional vampire Cluster B type in action. She plays Diana Scott, nicknamed “Darling,” and she’s a pure narcissist through and through. Christie won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in this movie.
I mention the movie again because Turner Classic Movies is repeating the movie tomorrow, Monday, March 26, at 10 PM Eastern time. I again highly recommend that you DVR it and watch it to see how many of the themes of this blog are so wonderfully illustrated. Also, for those who were felt very strongly about my recent post on pickup artists, ask yourself what a PUA would have done when encountering a “Darling” in his life.
One thing I think this movie captures well is how even among “pure narcissists” there is still a hierarchy, and even a monster like Diana can find bigger monsters that are more damaged than she is.
This blog describes the movie wonderfully, and the post is short enough that I’m going to reproduce it in its entirety, with all due respect to the original author.
‘Darling’ has been an interesting film for me to experience over time. When I first watched it, years ago, I felt as if it were my duty as a fan of the Swinging Sixties era to see it. I was initially curious about the film since Julie Christie ehad (deservedly) won the Best Actress Oscar for it in 1965. This was the breakthrough performance that made her a bona fide English star. John Schlesinger directed it, so it had to have some depth. But I wondered at the time what it all meant. I wondered what the point of it was.
After watching it again recently, whatever I hadn’t grasped before was abundantly clear. The character of Diana Scott in ‘Darling’ is anything but what the title suggests. The film manages to show us there are Diana Scotts, of varying degrees, in our world – both then and now. Diana is someone whose only talent lies in getting whatever she wants.
She admits to it early on as she describes her life – that even as a child, she was always someone who was picked for things. She is incredibly self-centered and opportunistic. There is absolutely no meaning in her life other than to get satisfaction in some way. Every moment of her existence and in every experience she has with other people is reduced – by her – to simply being about her. Every relationship she has must service her own needs. Not once in the entire journey we take with Diana Scott does she think about someone else’s feelings. She is, in fact, one of the most deplorable, selfish and unattractive female characters in movies.
Julie Christie plays Diana Scott with a very believable but chillingly singular beat. She may have varying emotions, but she maintains the same rhythm no matter what the situation. ‘I, me, mine’ is her mantra. It is understandable that decent people can be taken with her, since she has a childlike charm and innocence. But there are moments when it’s staggeringly evident that Diana Scott is nothing short of a monster.
Diana Scott’s journey is one that allows her to go from London housewife, to mistress, to famous actress, to a European princess. Perhaps all of the visions or hopes that any attractive woman might have ever had for herself, Diana Scott manages to experience in her lifetime. Yet she is never grateful and she is never happy. Even she doesn’t seem to realize it, as she alters much about herself when she retells her story in voiceover for a magazine article. And at the end of the film, despite her every questionable act or behavior, no one in the public is even aware how void of humanity this woman is when they see her photo on the cover of a magazine and pick up a copy. To the outside world she has lived a charmed life and she is darling. It’s chilling to think how many successful (or simply famous) people today might fit that very description. Now I see where Schlesinger was going with this. ‘Darling’ speaks volumes about people who incessantly seek attention, validation or power. The vehicle is a thing of beauty, but it’s sad and pathetic story.
Comments are closed on this post. After you see the movie, if you want to discuss it, go to the post where I originally mentioned the movie, over here.
This is going to be a regular feature on the blog from now on, like homework assignments. Whenever I see a movie that I think discusses human nature very well about to air on television, I’ll make a note of it in a post and open the floor to discussing the movie.
I’m not exactly sure why, but I find older classic movies are much better to use for analyzing human nature, even though the average modern person likes to stereotype them as less sophisticated and Pollyannaish and politically incorrect. I think perhaps the political incorrectness actually freed them to be more emotionally honest, although I don’t want to endorse the increasingly trendy worldview of believing that everything that is politically incorrect is automatically true or worth saying, or that everything politically correct is automatically bullshit. Honestly, that worldview is becoming as dogmatic, oversimplistic, cliched, and intellectually lazy as the knee-jerk bleeding heart liberal one.