Grey Film: Lttlslr
illustrator Diego Soprana
LTTLSLR is a biography in fragments. The movie opens in blinding white. A masculine voice says off screen, “The body is a battleground.” The screen progressively fades to silver.
Lttlslr is in his mid-twenties: stocky, hairy, fluffy black beard, side-parted short hair, shaved back and sides. He has piercing black eyes; when he looks straight into the camera he looks both shy and arrogant. He is wearing a silver earring on the right lobe, and a silver stretcher on the other. He’s at the tattoo parlor. The room and its décor are silver. The camera reveals him, beginning with the hands. He’s having the word cock tattoed on his right-hand knuckles. The tattoo artist looks exactly like Lttlslr, just older: he is wearing a silver jumpsuit with silver sneakers and silver latex gloves. Lttlslr is wearing a silver foil short-sleeved button-down shirt, buttoned up, sleeves rolled, light grey transparent Bermuda shorts with silver metallic boxers underneath, heavy silver boots, white socks with silver stripes. As the tattoo artist draws, a montage of images—some slower, some faster—begins: Lttlslr is alone, naked on the sofa, wearing silver briefs, watching Scorpio Rising on the TV in a dark room lit only by the screen; his right hand slowly dives into the briefs / silver-painted wrestlers fight furiously / close-ups of mercury drops / a glittering disco ball. Tattoo done, Lttlslr gets up wearing mirrored aviator sunglasses, lights a cigarette with a crystal-encrusted lighter and walks away, followed by dolly movement to the right.
The tattoo parlor is magenta. Lttlslr walks in. He is wearing an oversized pink short-sleeved tee with a pleated pink kilt, pink boots and white socks with pink stripes, wide matte pink leather cuffs and a diamante necklace decorated with ruby stones. The stretcher on the left lobe is metallic pink, the earring on the right a pink cabochon. His hair is cut into a bowl, like a monk; shaved back and sides. The tattoo artist is in total pink: short sleeved shirt, jeans, no socks, wingtip brogues, latex gloves. Lttlslr sits on the chair; the artist starts composing the word war on his left-hand knuckles. As the camera zooms in on the needle piercing skin, the montage begins: Lttlslr is in the army, a young recruit among young recruits, all wearing pink camouflage / the showers: Lttlslr is making out under the water with a fellow soldier, both wearing pink swimming trunks /a young Lttlslr at home, in a pink gingham shirt, welcomes his father back from work; the camera focuses on the father’s biceps, where a giant bull’s head tattoo unfolds in glistening pink glory / Lttlslr is walking under the rain in a short pink raincoat, hair died pink, black beard, wearing nothing but black boots with pink laces. The flashbacks/forwards stop abruptly. The tattoo is complete. Littlslr leaves the room.
The tattoo parlor is inky blue. Lttlslr is wearing a blue sailor top, metallic blue running shorts, white socks with blue stripes, blue boots, his arms wrapped in blue and silver chain bracelets from the wrist to the elbow. His hair is cut into a graphic, asymmetric fringe. The tattoo artist is dressed exactly as before, but in blue. Lttlslr sits on the chair, the camera lingers on his left arm and stops on the back of the hand: he is having an anchor tattoed. Lttlslr lights a cigarette. A movement in his shorts: he is excited, and laughs. Rain starts trickling down the window. The montage begins: Lttlslr is a toddler, in a pool / he is a young boy, swimming / he is having a wordless fight with his father / he is having a panic attack / he is entering a sex club through a glittery blue door. Once the anchor is done, Lttlslr gets up, wears a sailor cap, grins, and goes away. The door is glittery, like the sex club’s.
The tattoo parlor is glistening gold. Lttlslr wears an oversized gold lurex poloshirt with baggy gold leather bermudas, a huge gold chain at the neck, a gold hoop earring and a gold stretcher. His commando boots are gold too. No socks. The tattoo artist, in gold, is wearing a jumpsuit, sneakers and latex gloves. Lttlslr sits on the chair, lifts his shorts and the artist starts drawing two panthers on his knees. The camera lingers on the gold metallic needle. The montage begins: a glittery tempest / scenes from a wild party / Lttlslr is arm wrestling with a friend, and wins / Lttlslr is in tears / Lttlslr is in love / Lttlslr walks towards glistening sunlight in an orange field, spraying glitter over the fruit / Lttlslr falls on the grass, laughing. The tattoo is done: Lttlslr walks away.
The tattoo parlor is blinding white. Lttlslr walks in. His hair is cut into a buzz. He wears a white ostrich feather bomber, a white baseball hat, silver mirror sunglasses, a long white shirt-tunic, short white socks, white commando-soled brogues. Ornate knuckledusters partially hide the tattoos on the hands. He takes away the bomber, and slowly proceeds to unbutton the shirt, until he is only in his white jockstrap. He reclines over a white chaise longue, like a shrink’s. The tattoo artist, in a white shirt, white jeans and white penny loafers, quickly shaves Lttlslr’s chest, then starts drawing the portrait of a sailor all over it. We can see both pain and excitement in Lttlslr’s expression; his jockstrap barely contains a hard-on. The montage starts: a silent procession of monks in white robes, Lttlslr leading it / a birthday party: Lttlslr opens the gift from his mom, a white jockstrap (the one he is wearing); he cries in happiness / a mountain of salt / Lttslr irons white bed-linens, then makes his bed / Lttlslr in a white tee, lightning a cigarette. The tattoo is wonderful: a medallion, like an old painting. The artist walks away. Lttlslr gets up and gets rid of his jockstrap. He is now naked, save for socks and shoes. He walks away. Dolly movement. The scene is now pitch dark. Lttlslr enters the room; when he closes the door the screen becomes completely black. We can only hear his footsteps as he walks closer. “A voice comes to one in the dark. Imagine,” he says. That’s all we hear from him the entire movie. It is the same voice we have heard at the beginning. The movie ends.