Saturday, June 8, 2013

"I simply am not there"

"There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman. Some kind of abstraction. But there is no real me. Only an entity, something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours, and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable, I simply am not there".

Quite a few products and scented things in his cabinet in this infamous scene. Care to identify them?


  1. Anonymous19:32

    I cannot concentrate on perfume watching this, sorry.

  2. LOL, all right, I know lots of people have a crush on him. :-)

  3. Olivia15:23

    Haha! you beat me to it. I was going to comment "wait...there are other things in this clip? I hadn't noticed...."

  4. Anonymous16:12

    He has a "killer" body. ;0

    That movie freaked me out but I couldn't stop watching it.

    I saw YSL Pour Homme in that cabinet.


  5. It's L'Occitane shower gel of some sort--I think I read Patchouli, but not sure. The cabinet has some kind of Lancome goo in it, and I think that's Phytoplage on the center shelf. YSL Pour Homme on the close ups. Lotsa French stuff for an American Psycho.

  6. Olivia,

    a Saturday distraction for our readers. :-D

  7. Dawn,

    funnily enough, those sort of bodies "do" nothing for me personally. (I can admire the toil and discipline that goes into them, but they don't...well...uh...well...) ;-O

    I do agree that Bale is compelling to look at though, for reasons of presence and acting.

    I was totally freaked and totally fascinated as well; it's not often that you see that much hysteria in a male specimen, coupled with that coldness (the business card scene is also stellar in that regard)

  8. Melissa,

    very well done!!

    (haven't spotted the Lancome myself, off to look again)

    I do see a Caron Eau (Fraiche) in there (clear bottle with pepper studs on it), some Romeo Gigli (?) and I think a pot of Embryolisse (fun stuff!!)

    It's rather pointed in the novel how brands & names stand for a person's personality and upon re-watching the clip I thought once more whether our own fixation with perfume names/products is something analogous; standing as a meme of self, I mean.

  9. Anonymous20:45

    never saw the movie, but love the quote and the clip. also christian bale - who carries off the narcissistic narrator voice beautifully in this clip. love how informative the character is being about his skincare routine - before his mask slips a little and reveals his emptiness.

    date a narcissistic man and have a narcissistic mother and you will recognize this pattern. eventually. it may take you decades to realize what they are really like. ha.

    should i see this movie?


  10. Anonymous20:46

    oh, lots of YSL pour homme in the cabinet. couldn't tell what the shower products were.


  11. C,

    exactly, you zoomed into all the significant aspects of the clip (and yes, YSL pour Homme is a significant aspect of it!!)

    American Psycho is like a train wreck in the good sense: you just can't draw your eyes off it, even though it's so scary (not a train wreck in the sense that it's badly made). The scary scenes aren't that hair-raising to me (if one is a bit conditioned to thrillers; it's certainly not a splatter) though rather violent, but the psychological analysis and unfolding of the empty shell that is Bateman is absolutely disturbing, chilling really!!
    I love the role of Chloe Sevigny in this one; a little human warmth, the perils of which is unforeseen.

    Bale plays narcissistic abso-fuckin-beautifully. The sheer rage at being "beat" is also amazingly rendered, perhaps the most scary being that all his entourage is composed of empty shallow shells of humans. Watch"the business cards scene".

    The Brett Easton Ellis (sp?) novel is also very good, if a bit tiresome in the endless brand-dropping, but of course the latter is the whole point: a consumer specimen,, divested of all human compassion and empathy.

  12. C,

    sorry about the narcissistic man and mother (well, not sorry for your mother, obviously, just that the narcissism annoyed you).
    Sometimes, I find narcissism is the refuge of otherwise fragile souls; they can't make the world how they like them to be, so they have a heck of a time focusing on how to make their own self how they like it to be. Perhaps it's therefore a manifestation of a need for control.

  13. Anonymous21:39

    hi, elena,

    i think i will check out the movie (love to watch christian bale - he is so complex).

    narcissism is an interesting thing. it seems to come in various degrees - and maybe we all dip into it at times, i don't know. even someone with narcissistic personality disorder (not a full-blown narcissist) is unable to have normal, feeling relationships. they are the ones we wind up getting into relationships with because they are very charming and witty and fun - at first. it's not until you get close to them and begin to see the fault lines in their made-up worlds that you realize something's wrong. and woe to you if you dare point out the cracks in their reality. they punish you for that. probably because you are undermining the only reality they know - the one they've made up.

    i don't know if they were fragile to begin with (it starts in early, early childhood). perhaps this was their coping mechanism gone haywire. or maybe they are souls here to create something that doesn't work well on this planet, or perhaps this is their karma (and that of those who deal with them). they don't seem fragile in adulthood, in fact they attack and defend with some vigor.

    they mimic your emotions, and make the expressions and gestures appropriate to the situation, but do not actually feel anything. it's all an act. with some, it's like watching an alien learn to behave like a human. eerie as heck. some of them know they don't feel anything, and will say so. believe them.

    what's interesting now with my mother is that she is losing her memory - so her made-up reality is slipping, and she's having to make up new ones all the time. it must be draining. but she will not admit to the memory loss, so no one can reach her to help her with it. it's a little sad, but a narcissist doesn't feel things the way a non-narcissist does - i'm not sure what they feel, if anything - so she may not be sad in there the way we would be. it's all very interesting, that's for sure. all we can do is love and support her and witness.

    i only put this stuff about narcissism out here in case someone else is dealing with a narcissistic personality. if you are in a relationship with them, they tend to make you think you are the crazy one for feeling the way you do, for noticing the inconsistencies and the lies, when actually you are the sane one, because you do have feelings, and you do see their lies. there are probably lots of relationships with the narcissist-codependent dynamic going on. if people knew more about it, they could avoid falling into them.


  14. C,

    a truly endearing and from the gut post and I thank you sincerely for your candor.

    I admit I haven't had the benefit of your experience of close proximity, so my tentative attempts at explaining the whys is just that: tentative attempts and probably wrong too.

    You certainly shed new light on this and I do hope that readers who browse see your enlightening comment.

    You know, I think the creation of a mock pleasantry, a sympathetic facade of ourselves, sometimes feels like the only sane thing to do when our mind is slipping and we feel helpless and alone, as do people who are insecure or advancing in years. It's certainly tied to some sort of manipulation, but on the part of the one who's doing it it all sounds logical and sane I bet. Which of course proves that there is some disturbance, something not quite functioning's a fascinating thing to contemplate, to be sure, though tiresome I'd think when personally involved.

    And sometimes there is an innocent element to it, a little hurt turned into defensive mechanism. One male in my entourage has had such a crush on a popular local actress (her heyday coinciding nicely with his own prime) that he has created a tale of having known her personally thanks to his "position" (which is a truthful position) and going out on dates with her 30 years ago. He tells and retells his story, each time embellished with one more saucy or smart detail. In one drunken stupor he admitted he has been saying it for so long "I'm even beginning to believe it myself". *sigh*

  15. Anonymous08:21

    Christian Bale's gift for transformation is best appreciated by comparing his American Psycho sculpted torso with the craggy anorexia of his The Machinist persona.

  16. Anonymous01:10

    someone needs to introduce your friend to the object of his crush! that would be intriguing. of course, it might also pop the fantasy balloon.

    his embroideries don't seem to harm anyone, per your description, and long as he realizes he is fantasizing out loud, it doesn't seem to be a problem. he doesn't seem to be trying to convince anyone but himself! it's kind of sweet in a sad way.

    wonder what would happen if he wrote down his fantasies - he might have a novel in there!


  17. Anon,

    more respect to him (and a few fellow actors) for actually ruining his figure like that. It's all very well to build a killer body under a contract and with the help of the best nutritionists and trainers (and hundreds of actors jump at the chance claiming "it's all for the art") but it's different when you're turning "uglier" (too thin, too fat etc) for a part, no? So few have the guts to go there in this industry of "glamor & surface".

    The Machinist was a weird little film and eminently watchable, despite the frail frame of Bale.

  18. C,

    that's a good idea about the novel. He's a senior and with lots of time in his hands.

    As to meeting up the object of his crush, alas the crush has self-mutilated herself on the surgical bed by now to an unrecognizable mess ( think they're different in different places and then they do things like that and prove you wrong...) and even he recognizes that what he's hankering after is his youth.

    Yup, harmless fantasies and things that deep down he knows are on the sphere of the unattainable; perhaps this is why ~Edith Warton-style~ they hold such a fascination?


Type your comment in the box, choose the Profile option you prefer from the drop down menu, below text box (Anonymous is fine too!) and hit Publish.
And you're set!

This Month's Popular Posts on Perfume Shrine