Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Remembering "Doppelherz"...

This is yet another analysis of Manson´s work upon request and this time we cover a little lost jewel known as "Doppelherz", a companion DVD to 2003's The Golden Age of Grotesque.

Well, I was in the mood of pulling out this short film from the vaults anyway. The Golden Age of Grotesque was, by far a labour of love that celebrated visually, literally and musically a 'forgotten´era known as Weimar, heavily influenced by the glamour of Hollywood, as well as other art movements like Surrealism, Dadaism and Expressionism. It lasted about 14 years. This was the time between at the end of World War I in 1918 and Hitler's rise to power in 1933. It was recognized as a "Golden Age" due to its prolific writers, philosophers, artists, film makers.

The Golden Age of Grotesque evoked it in a whole new way, preserving the vision of the Weimar years and combining it with that of Manson's and its view of this modern age. The fans gladly nickanmed these works as "Entartete Kunst" or "degenerate art" term used by the Nazis.

The short film lacks a meaning or purpose, faithful to what was proposed in Dadaism, but some visual aspects of it are really worth comenting. Even some ideas are still used in Manson´s most recent albums.


Manson sits in a dark room putting face maks and later on makeup evoking what was known as Blackface. This was a term used many in minstrel shows in the Vaudeville days. Most of the time they were white people imitating or exaggerating the fisonomy of black people.

What´s surprising though are the similarities, although they´re not listed inspiration from another character from the British series "The League of Gentlemen" named "Papa Lazarou". It was known later by Manson himself that the characters looked almost suspiciously alike so he offered to change it, bearing a set of crooked Mickey Mouse ears. The Blackface were accompanied by a Whiteface and became part of Gottfried Helnwein´s exhibitions.

Blackface and Whiteface, the dark and lighter sides

Papa Lazarou bearing Blackface makeup
Example of a Blackface comedian in Vaudeville shows

The next part is followed up by a hunting in the middle of the night in a Jaguar Limousine to catch a very unusual set of Siamese twins apparently joined by the spine. The suit of these twins bears similarities to the art of Hans Bellmer another German artist of the time well-known for his disturbing images of dolls. However, we can also list the work of Austrian painter Egon Schiele, specially for his perverse images of prostitutes as in Sitzender weiblicher Akt, 1914, where her genitalia is exposed. Schiele´s work has also been referenced as a notable inspiration for MTV´s animated shorts, Aeon Flux.

Manson takes the Siamese twins back home where he becomes fascinated with his prey. It is interesting to notice that the 'creature´moves in a similar way to that of a spider as shown in these visual examples, such as mOBSCENE and Phantasmagoria.

The Siamese twins ´joined´ by the spine.

Another pair of twins from mOBSCENE

Wight Spider, a recent watercolor by MM.
A blue girl imitates the legs of the spider, from "Phantasmagoria".

The rest of the film shows random frames taken from Helnwein for promotion for The Golden Age of Grotesque at the time that this phrase is heard:

"our commercials should be faster, because we are all just slow guns, waiting to have our triggers pulled."

so we don´t whether this part is a coincidence or intentional to insert the images for a split second as if these were the 'commercials´that he´s talking about. This reminds us about the use of subliminal messages to capture more attention.

Still from Gottfried Helnwein´s photo session, evoking a painting
by Manassé named "Dangerous Passion"

As Manson explained, the use of the Mickey Mouse ears is meant to mock a symbol of our childhood that was considered in its time "degenerate art", while it has been known "unofficially" that Disney has used hidden messages in their own movies for years. So this part let´s think for a moment who is a worse influence or the real enemy.

"love your enemy, because love is the enemy".


Manson does a voice-over which technique reminds of the Dadaist and Surrealist styles which was known as psychic automatism, as described by André Breton. While the phrases are completely random and as the ending credits of "Doppelherz" imply, some of these words were used in the next albums such as Eat Me, Drink Me and The High End of Low".

i am a vcr,
a funeral of dead-memory waste
i'm a vcr,
a funeral of dead-memory waste
you can see it on my face
i'm a vcr funeral
of dead-memory waste
you can see it on my face
this phrase was used as part of the lyrics in "Slutgarden", from the Golden Age of Grotesque.

To be equal you have to add or subtract
And I have never liked math

part of this sentence has a similarity to that of "Burning Flag" from Holywood (in the shadow of the Valley of Death)

Multiply your death,
divide by sex,
add up the violence and what do you get?
part of these lyrics were used and rearranged on "Are You The Rabbit?" from 2007´s "Eat Me, Drink Me":
I am a kickstand in your mouth

The insurance won't cover this
The insurance won't cover this

could someone please autograph
the frontal lobe?
could someone please autograph the frontal lobe?
the insurance
will not cover this 
The Mercury symbol is ´autographed´? close to where the frontal lobe should be

I´m a kick stand in your mouth

And i´m the tongue´s slamming on the brakes
Pull the choke in
Pull the choke in as hard as it will take.
All your pictures are getting dirty
I don´t want anyone else´s hand on my gears.
And i´ll choke on all the diamonds, like a vulture, on your face.
So ask your self before you get in,
I know the insurance won´t cover this.
Are you the rabbit or the headlight?
And is there room in your life
For one more breakdown?

The young are too senile
The young sieg heil
Sieg heil refers to a Nazi salute usually followed by the phrase, Heil Hitler. A pun of this chant also appears on the song from The Golden Age of Grotesque "Doll-Dagga Buzz-Buzz Ziggety-Zag".
I'm bulletproof bizzop and swing heil and

I don't really care what gentlemen prefer

I want downloadable suicide
I want a newer version
I want downloadable suicide
I want a newer version
I want downloadable suicide
Version I don't know
Version I don't point know
Version I don't point no
Version I point the gun at me
Version I don't know
Version I point the gun at me point Oh oh oh oh oh
I want downloadable suicide
This part is similar to the lyrics in "Vodevil" extracted from the same album:

VIP ADD TRD violent shiny hate crime
"Total Requested Dead" it'sVersion point (less) downloadable suicide.The only ones left standing are the ones not demanding

This isn't a show, this is my fucking life
I'm not ashamed you're entertained
I'm not a puppet
I am a grenade
I'm not ashamed you're entertained
I'm not a puppet
I am a grenade

The part, "point a gun at me" also appears on "Burning Flag":

you can point your gun at me

and hope it will go away
if god was alive,
he would hate you anyway


This isn't about music

This is about the difference between you and me

This part is also similar to the lyrics in "Vodevil"

This isn't music and we're not a band

We're 5 middle fingers on a motherfucking hand
This isn't music and we're not a band
We're 5 middle fingers on a motherfucking hand

Yet another:

We have reached the end of history

The only thing left is cosmetic changes
We have reached the end of history
The only thing that's left is cosmetic changes

See how this idea is similar to a journal entry called "Putting Holes Into Happiness" that appeared on Manson´s website back in March 3rd, 2003:

In the meantime, try to stay conscious. We are sitting in the EMERGENCY ROOM waiting for the doctor, a newly elected aesthetician, to come and pronounce his diagnosis. The grotesque, malignant cancer that is our expressions and our views is no longer the disease. We are being told that the sounds and images of art are now the symptoms of the creator. We as the artists, are now considered unhealthy and incurable.
So as you can see, the ´script´ to Doppelherz seems more like a manifesto of the new era, resembling the ones made by André Breton named Le Manifeste du Surréalisme

Psychic automatism in its pure state, by which one proposes to express -- verbally, by means of the written word, or in any other manner -- the actual functioning of thought. Dictated by the thought, in the absence of any control exercised by reason, exempt from any aesthetic or moral concern.

Many other things said in Doppelherz are just a reflection of the impact Marilyn Manson´s work in society. Not every single thing is explained here, see if you can figure out other amazing facts.

WATCH "Doppelherz" now...

Thanks, Judith!


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