A Dangerous Woman / The Woman Who Needed Killing

Final version released to public and glued to walls:

Scrapped initial draft version tucked in archive:

1929.  Object lesson in how differently images appear, how they sit in our skulls, depending on the accompanying text.  There's nothing of the pulpy noir pleasure, that slight sense of oh sure, a bit regressive, but sure it's cool in the latter.  That smile is a death's head.

And more, we don't forget the fact that the final title was used does not erase the fact that outside of the shimmer field of catsuits and sniper rifles and inside the vast world of those whose lives are hard and who often look like it: a woman who is considered dangerous, for near any reason, will be considered structurally as the woman - the target, the one as opposed to an other, the marking the shift into a precise targeting of a general set -  who needs killing.  Whose killing can be excused as a killing, that which was justified but which simply happens to those who are dangerous.  (The word danger is derived from the word for power of a lord or master: those who are dangerous are those who take on for themselves authority without asking nicely enough for it.) In short, for all the slight gasp at the gaucheness of Paramount coming close to writing something "unacceptable," the titles carry the barest of difference.  We bear the rest.

No comments: