Saturday, March 31, 2012

March, In Retrospect (6.2)

March, In Retrospect (6.1)

March, In Retrospect (5)

March 14th. Having a little surrealist fun with cc and a. Hmm, I should probably connect the three pieces, though I'm not sure... is one allowed to intervene like that? Anyways. I'm calling this "Evil Witch with Pumpkin".

March, In Retrospect (4)

Lovely concert, crappy photos, as always. Sorry.

March 9th. Maria Răducanu with Pedro Negrescu (contrabass) & Sorin Terinte (piano) in Bistriţa, at the Synagogue.

March, In Retrospect (3)

Anca Hirte | France, Romania | 2011 | 86'

I have yet to sort through the emotional experience that was watching Teodora, pécheresse. All I know right now is that what the director intended and what I've seen on the screen are two different things. I just hope it will be out on dvd at some point because this is one of those films that I need to see at home, alone.

March, In Retrospect (2)

March 7th. As I was getting closer and closer to the mall, after what felt like a genuine urban hike (because I had the bright idea of walking all the way from the train station to the mall - that's how much I resent the thought of taking a bus by myself), I heard a bell tolling. Yes. Because across the street from the mall there's a tiny church, which I hadn't noticed before. So my mind immediately shifted towards Vanessa Veselka's Zazen. My little urban hike now took the proportions of a pilgrimage to the box-mall-church run by the Church of Enlightened Capital.

"Walking into the box-mall-church always feels the same. Like something really bad has happened and no one inside knows."

March, In Retrospect (1)

Infinity Net / Self-Obliteration No. 2 (1967)

The day I got that postcard from m, Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Net was sitting there, on top of a pile of unread books, just waiting for me to say goodbye to Madame Bovary. (Not exactly a synchronicity, but still a tiny bit unusual.)

From Yayoi Kusama's autobiography, Infinity Net:
My desire was to predict and measure the infinity of the unbounded universe, from my own position in it, with dots - an accumulation of particles forming the negative spaces in the net. How deep was the mystery? Did infinite infinities exist beyond our universe? In exploring these questions I wanted to examine the single dot that was my own life. One polka dot: a single particle among billions. I issued a manifesto stating that everything - myself, others, the entire universe - would be obliterated by white nets of nothingness connecting astronomical accumulations of dots. White nets enveloping the black dots of silent death against a pitch-dark background of nothingness.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Hunger (en bref)

I feel like I should have seen The Hunger Games in a movie theater full of screaming teenage girls. Instead, I've seen it like I prefer to see movies on the big screen - in an almost empty movie theater. Not surprising for a first 2 p.m. screening at the former Republica, though. The quietness of the movie theater was actually very appropriate because, unexpectedly, The Hunger Games is a very quiet movie. At a certain point I realized that they had barely used any music.

This is one of those strange cases in which I've read the book before seeing the adaptation. It's also the reason why I find it quite difficult to conclude if the movie can stand on its own or not. It is a solid effort, there's no question about it. But I keep wondering with what eyes I would have seen the movie had I not read the book.

The movie's biggest weakness is that it cannot be separated from the marketing campaign. The excessive marketing campaign. I wrote a bit about that for DV. Fortunately, the movie lives up to its hype. But that wasn't my concern. My concern is this: what is the value, how do you measure the value of a movie which is so enslaved by its marketing campaign?

The Hunger Games is really the first YA franchise I can allow myself to enjoy from start to finish. It has its flaws. I'm not going to ignore its flaws. But despite its flaws, I can still say I love it. And no, I'm not going to file it under "guilty pleasures". Fuck "guilty pleasures".

I'm really glad I went to see The Hunger Games (even though that implied taking a very slow and dirty train). The trouble is: I already want to see it again. Meanwhile, I think I'll challenge myself to write a series of posts on different aspects of The Hunger Games. Yeah, I know, there's already a ton of stuff written about it, more stuff being written right now. But I need to write sth myself because I feel like I don't get to properly digest all the pop culture I consume.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Why Be Happy

source: Granta

Jeanette Winterson, for Granta Audio:

P.S. I've already pre-ordered my copy of Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal in paperback. 20 days to go.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I Carry Spines

(If I could add this video to my favorites 100 times, I would.)

+ my (unimpressive) goodreads page

Monday, March 5, 2012

3 Women

(I took the photo at Casa Pogor, when I visited Iaşi, for the film festival, in October of 2010. The record is "Lucia di Lammermoor". I'm afraid I don't know which recording this is, though. The quote is from Madame Bovary - Emma goes to see "Lucia di Lammermoor" with her husband and they run into Léon.)

(I'm not an opera fan, so it should come as no surprise that the only Lucia I'm interested in is Maria.)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The List

Today I've seen Le monde vivant, which I can only interpret as a love letter to Bresson. Elaine Castillo wrote this wonderful text, using Le monde vivant as a starting point. About the film she says:
I think I’ve read critics describe Le monde vivant as indebted to, if not a kind of slanted comic remake of, Bresson’s Lancelot du lac. If it is kindred to Lancelot du lac (it is another red and green film, at least), it’s only as a negative image of that film. What’s red in Lancelot du lac is green in Le monde vivant. What’s wounded, what’s killed in Lancelot du lac, comes back to life in Le monde vivant.
"It's only as a negative image of that film." And this takes me back to those Kafka/ Godard quotes found in Vila-Matas's Chet Baker piensa en su arte. "How can we advance if we are left with no contradictions?", this would be a rough translation of that last phrase by Godard.

And then, this other thing EC says in her text - "I like that second image also because you can see all the soda. Hello! It’s America." - reminds me of a note I've made while watching another film that's on my list, Altman's Thieves Like Us. In this film, Coca-Cola becomes synonymous with America. Lolita is a film/book I often associate with Coke. Also Baby Doll, a bit. But I don't think there is any other film besides Thieves Like Us in which the bottles of Coke are so prevalent, so obviously juxtaposed with the idea of America. Maybe it's why I have trouble giving it up - I associate it with American films, with American pop culture. I take a sip of Coke, I take a sip of pop culture.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Un corridor tout noir

Dès le commencement de juillet, elle compta sur ses doigts combien de semaines lui restaient pour arriver au mois d'octobre, pensant que le marquis d'Andervilliers, peut-être, donnerait encore un bal à la Vaubyessard. Mais tout septembre s'écoula sans lettres ni visites.

Après l'ennui de cette déception, son coeur de nouveau resta vide, et alors la série des mêmes journées recommença.

Elles allaient donc maintenant se suivre ainsi à la file, toujours pareilles, innombrables, et n'apportant rien! Les autres existences, si plates qu'elles fussent, avaient du moins la chance d'un événement. Une aventure amenait parfois des péripéties à l'infini, et le décor changeait. Mais, pour elle, rien n'arrivait, Dieu l'avait voulu! L'avenir était un corridor tout noir, et qui avait au fond sa porte bien fermée.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Godard, via Vila-Matas

Es un aforismo que Kafka escribió en Zürau: «Lo positivo nos ha sido dado al nacer. A nosotros nos toca hacer lo negativo». También se puede traducir así: «Hacer lo negativo aún nos será impuesto, lo positivo ya nos ha sido dado».

Al cineasta Jean-Luc Godard le gusta ese aforismo porque dice que no hay que olvidar que las imágenes del cine proceden de negativos: «Hoy en día, con los vídeos y la informática, el negativo ya no existe; no tenemos más que el positivo. Pero lo positivo lo tenemos ya al nacer. Si nos quedamos sin contradicciones, ¿cómo haremos para avanzar?».

Godard me hace pensar en todos esos fotogramas en los que las almas cándidas creen ver la realidad tal como
nos ha sido dada, cuando, de hecho, la realidad no puede aspirar a la plenitud si no cuenta con su correspondiente contradicción y negativo.
- Enrique Vila-Matas, "Chet Baker piensa en su arte" in Chet Baker piensa en su arte: Relatos selectos