Cinemascopes: Gemini

May 21 – June 21

CINEMASCOPES (cinema + horoscopes) approaches film through an astrological lens, and vice versa. Published in seasonal instalments, the series explores how astrology can be made intelligible through film, and considers how the energy of each astrological season might be applied to how we watch and make films.

So I’d been trying to write this all month, and felt I had no idea how to pin Gemini season down with regards to film — I found its energy very difficult to articulate. Here is what I started with — a list of Gemini film practitioners.

Agnès Varda
Angelina Jolie
Vincent Price
Colin Farrell
Yorgos Lanthimos
Morgan Freeman
John Cho
Marilyn Monroe
Nicole Kidman
Annette Bening
Pam Grier
John C. Reilly
Carey Mulligan

At first, I couldn’t find any organising principles or connections amongst this random bunch. But by the time I finished this piece, I think I got somewhere. See what you think. I don’t know. It’s fucking Geminis.


Chaos

Geminis are known for being chaotic in various ways. I guess Angelina Jolie, Vincent Price, Nicole Kidman, Pam Grier — and maybe Marilyn Monroe and Colin Farrell — are like scary hotties? (On this: Rough Cut’s own scream queen Eliza Janssen is a Gemini — do Geminis just fuck with the abject and freaky?)

Maybe it’s part of the whole duality thing — so try your hardest to tap into whatever ‘chaotic’ means for you. Find your shadow self and embrace them.

(That said, a lot of Geminis also struggle to keep their anger in check. Please recognise the difference between being the ‘fun’ kind of chaotic and being genuinely unhinged/hostile, à la the tethered folks in Us.)

GEMINI INSPIRATION

Angelina Jolie with her freaky blood stuff is textbook Gemini.

KEY QUOTE

On if she misses being a ‘bad girl’:

“I’m still a bad girl.”


Duality

This is the desultory ‘Geminis = twins = duality’ section; the obvious stuff. The general assumption here is that Geminis have ‘dual’ personalities or sides of themselves. Duality doesn’t have to mean being inconsistent or two-faced, though. It can mean flexibility! Gemini is a mutable sign, allowing them to accommodate and adapt to changing situations.

More broadly, ‘duality’ also links Gemini to communication — like, two-way exchanges of ideas. (Gemini’s ruling planet is Mercury, the planet of communication.) Whatever area of film you’re in, being flexible and honing your communication skills this season won’t hurt.

GEMINI INSPIRATION

Gemini actress Bria Vinaite in The Florida Project (2017). She goes from being a sweetheart to getting into fistfights and sticking a used pad on the window of someone who’s pissing her off. Maybe not the best communication skills, but she’s got the duality down.

KEY QUOTE

With her on-screen daughter, watching a house burn:

“Aren’t you excited? This is so much better than TV!”


Lightness

Perhaps on account of their chaotic nature, Gemini is the most commonly (though unfairly!) disparaged sign — just google “Gemini slander” for a taste. But what about the Geminis who seem sweet, like Carey Mulligan and John C. Reilly? Or Marilyn Monroe, who has been characterised as scary and sweet (Gemini duality!)?

In fact, lots of Geminis have a playful vibe — see Agnès Varda; the aforementioned Farrell; or John C. Reilly and Cho. The Netflix sketch show I Think You Should Leave, helmed by Gemini comedian Tim Robinson, is a recent example of some truly chaotic-comic energy. Take inspiration from this aspect of Gemini energy, and infuse your work with a lightness; a sense of humour.

GEMINI INSPIRATION

Comedian Richard Ayoade is a Gemini! He’s also the director of The Double (2013), a film that is literally about doppelgangers (a.k.a. twins, a.k.a. Gemini). In characteristic Gemini-duality form, he’s also written a book titled Ayoade on Ayoade, in which he purports to interview himself.

KEY QUOTE

From Ayoade on Ayoade:

“[The title’s] weakness is that it suggests simple duality, as though there are only two sides to me. And that is insufficient. There are at least seventeen sides to me. If anything, this book should be called Ayoade to the Power of Seventeen. But I don’t want to alienate people who don’t have the mathematical knowledge that I do.”


In closing – ?????

Gemini is an air sign — ruled by the slippery quicksilver planet of Mercury — and I was initially convinced that I’d never be able to grasp its elusive, weird energy. But in writing this, boiling Gemini energy down to its duality; its chaos & lightness, I was able to find a little clarity. I hope you did, too!

All I can say is: go a little nuts, embrace duality, and don’t take yourself too seriously. Gemini season will be over soon, and things will make sense again.

Recommended viewing: The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017). Director Yorgos Lanthimos, and lead actors Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell, are all Geminis! Nowhere is the ‘chaotic neutral’ aura of Gemini season so evident as in the slightly deranged, darkly comic stylings of the Greek Weird Wave. Start here for the highest levels of Lanthimos-Gemini saturation and keep going.

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Ivana Brehas (a.k.a. Joaquin Shenix) is a writer and filmmaker living in Naarm (Melbourne). She has written for Dazed, Much Ado About Cinema, The Big Issue, 4:3 and more. She is currently completing her MA in Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing at the University of Melbourne. Contact her at www.ivanabrehas.com.

Ivana Brehas

Ivana Brehas (a.k.a. Joaquin Shenix) is a writer and filmmaker living in Naarm (Melbourne). She has written for Dazed, Much Ado About Cinema, The Big Issue, 4:3 and more. She is currently completing her MA in Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing at the University of Melbourne. Contact her at www.ivanabrehas.com.