Film Noir Persona and the Afterlife

Film Noir Persona discusses the afterlife here on earth while preying on Vladimir at church, and makes an astonishing announcement followed by disturbingly quoting a song

Film Noir Persona, welcome back to The Sewers, we congratulate you here and now. How does this evening find you?

It finds me searching.

That’s a lame start.

Indeed, we are all lame in a way, we’re all flawed in one way or another.  A man who’s lame, shall run. A man who’s deaf, shall hear. A man who’s blind –

I see. So you’re still attending services at this undisclosed church in search of Vlad, the diamond.

Lemmie ask ya something, sweetcheeks, when your time comes, will it be heaven or hell?

Ah –

When I asked Rita this question, you know what she said? That flame of a woman, she said, ‘well, that depends on how long you gonna keep talking, you handsome bastard’. That’s Rita. She’s gonna let you have it if you don’t shut up. So what’s your answer, toots? Is it heaven or hell for you?

What was Rita’s answer?

I’m asking you.

You asked her first.

You act like you got something to hide, green eyes.

Honestly, I think we’re all going to hell, if one believes in heaven and hell and all that.

Coz we’re all born in sin –

No, because we all did things we regret, we all hurt others –

Nah, nah. That’s not it, toots. that’s womanly thinking.

Oh? so surely you can relate.

I wish I could. I wish I could think like a woman. After all, a woman was the mother of Christ. She gave him life so he could die for our sins.  But I’m just a man. A temporary being living the shadow of a heavenly creature whose essence relates to the eternal more strongly and deeply than mine ever could.

What would that creature be?

Rita, of course.

So are we to understand you’re more into female-nature religiose glorification kind of sexism than your regular sexism? That’s some really sad progress you’re making, I must say.  


Forget it. so which will it be for you? Heaven or hell?

I’m glad you asked, toots. for me, it’s neither.

Finally. Because faith is for the weak of heart, right? you’re just attending all these services to find Vlad, the diamond. You’re a lone wolf, a stray cat, a non-believer in the streets of New York, that jungle of concrete with smoke rising from the manholes and everything.

You’re paying attention, I’ll give you that. but that’s not what I mean when I say neither. You see, all that talk about the afterlife, it’s got me thinking. When you have blood on your hands, it won’t wash off, not even when they hose down your corpse in the morgue. It’s red in your dreams, that’s what I’m telling you, when you dream it’s red. Your hand.

Your right hand?

Let’s not get into specifics there, inspector.


What I’m trying to say to you, green eyes, is that there ain’t no afterlife.

I know!

There is the shadow-life. The life of the meantime. The life that coincides. The afterlife, you see, is right now, at the same time that is now. Heaven and hell are just names for this coinciding state, this shadow-life.

I think I lost you.

What I’m saying, and try to keep track here, skipper, is that once you gave it a thought and decided it’s gonna be hell for you, then you’re already there, you’re already living it, right now. You might not even notice, but if one is going to hell, then one already is in hell.

Hmm. You mean emotionally?

God damnit, that’s some classic womanly thinking right there.

Why won’t you go fuck yourse –

I’m trying to say that we all pay for our sins here on earth. now you might say to me: ‘listen, you unbelievably handsome motherfucker, I’ve seen some nasty chumps, some crumbs, some highbinders, being sinful and unjust, and they’re living the life, having champagne for breakfast while petting their freshly shaved cats and eating monkey brains for dinner. So how can you say,’ that’s what you’d ask me, ‘so how can you say, you dirty dream a dame dreams late at night, that people pay for their sins in this life?’ and to that I will answer, ‘listen, sweetcheeks – ‘

Can you get to the point please?

‘listen, sweetcheeks, a man can only live his shadow-life, his present after life, once he’s made aware that someone died for his sins. For only in this death, in His death, can one truly live’.

I need a drink.

And lemmie tell you something, toots. the only thing you can know is that you’re going to hell. Hell is the only afterlife you can live right now. Can you yourself realize you’re going to heaven? No. a human can only understand he’s going to hell. So once you’re in possession of this understanding, you are already in Hell. On earth. it’s happening right now. What church preaches is the intermediacy of the afterlife, its being here and now constantly. Now here’s something the weak of heart truly cannot handle.

Hmm. That’s umm… ah. Well.

Yeah. it ain’t easy to grasp. It eludes you; it flickers at you, it makes the sound of a saxophone filled with wet toilet paper, and then disappears. Just like Vlad, sweetcheeks, just like Vlad, and Vlad’s around.

You are an eerie man.

That’s what they say to me, sugar, that’s what they all say.

So, putting all this aside –

You’d like that, wouldn’t you? but you can’t put it aside –

Sure, so, the diamond? Are you getting closer?

We’re as close as a police car chasing a runaway bride in a minivan, you can count on that.

Alright then. Well, ah, Goodluck to you.

Oh, I forgot to mention, we’re getting married, Rita and I.


Oh yeah. Gonna chain myself to that woman like a man planning to jump into the river and never come up. Now I’m sorry to tell you skipper, I’m sorry to break your little heart into pieces.

I –

Now I don’t wanna see any tears here, green eyes.

It’s really –

I’m sure you’ll find a decent chump to make a lady of you, one day soon.

Alright. Will you marry in church?

Don’t do this to yourself, toots, you don’t really wanna know all the details, it’ll only hurt you more.

Alright fine.

It’ll be alright for you, one day a decent man will make a decent woman out of you.

Well we congratulate you –

Don’t cry now –

And wish you all the best –

Don’t you cry tonight –

And good luck to you!

There’s a heaven above you, baby.

Oh Jesus.

Right back attacha, toots.


* For more info and Alterviews with Film Noir Persona

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