Film Micrœview #410: Maps to the Stars (2014)

02.23.2018 § Leave a comment

Rating: Good.

I was not particularly excited to see this one. I love Cronenberg quite a bit more than the next guy, I think, but I’m just not that into stories about Hollywood people. Maybe it wasn’t marketed quite right or something but I definitely had the impression that it was a bit more standard fare. But it was Cronenberg through and through. Supremely disconcerting, detached and cold, a quiet labyrinth of crystalline mystery, a slow-motion rape by a scientist. Julianne Moore was friggin amazing. Maybe I will go back and see A Dangerous Method now too, since I wasn’t too excited about that one either.


Dream 538: Suspicion

02.23.2018 § Leave a comment

In Denver, with older single gangster. That one time zone difference from extremist California coast really seems to make an impact with getting anywhere in the world nearly instantly, especially when the airport is essentially up on a nearly-mountain hill in your backyard. I’ve carried his grill plate along to the Nine Inch Nails music video, which is taking place in a series of snaking drywall corridors. Reznor dances past the gangster into my face assuring me he does not suck cock, which is strange because I’ve always thought Reznor was pretty okay with such things, but whatever.

I realize I forgot the grill at the video but the gangster apparently got it back without letting me know about my mistake; the other audience defines it.

Karin’s photographer wants to go more risqué, eliminating the middle-man from her shoots. Sure, why should I care what he does, it’s rather simple, you just don’t… well wait, he’s asked me this before hasn’t me, which is kind of weird, perhaps a sign that he thinks it’s more complicated, in which case maybe I should be worried what he’s up to?

Dream 537: Hotel Doc

02.18.2018 § Leave a comment

Documenting hotels. One has two options: take a pic oneself, or take a pic of a representative who must then take two of the hotel on behalf of one.

Film Micrœview #409: mother! (2017)

02.16.2018 § Leave a comment

Rating: Good.

I can’t help but walk out of Aronofsky movies feeling a bit ambivalent. I loved his work when I was a kid. I remember when The Fountain came out, my friend and I got super, super, fucking high — this was, you know, back when I could count the number of times I had ever gotten high on my fingers and toes, and it was still possible to get insanely motherfucking high — and saw The Fountain together, and in the narratively kaleidoscopic climax, imbued with just enough emotional tissue to trigger the profundity nerve, got our minds blown to oblivion. And then just a scant few formative years later, after I had gone through film school and/or grew up and/or I wasn’t high this time, I saw it again, and got super embarrassed, because sure, it’s a nice stunt and all, but meh. So even when I leave an Aronofsky film feeling exhilarated and astounded, I’m immediately concerned that I’ve just had some super white guy-y emo-trippy wool pulled over my eyes.

Now that a bunch more Aronofsky films have come out, it’s clear that he’s a one-vision pony. Literally every one is about someone losing their grip on reality until they end up killing themselves in some amazing way. Am I right? Which has helped a bit with this conundrum. Because I no longer go into an Aronofsky film expecting him to turn my worldview or at least cinematic potential inside-out. I just go in like I would to a new Meshuggah album: there’s probably going to be some cool new polyrhythms, maybe even a new polyrhythmic trick they haven’t pulled before, but basically it’s just going to be some more polyrhythms, it’s going to be bombastic, dark, and about reality itself. So I can let myself feel impressed and satisfied with his work, contained within these bounds of recognizing that he does one thing pretty damn well, iterates on it just enough, but is pretty much not going anywhere big.

The principal holds here. What we have here in “mother!” is not a plumbing of the horrors of artistic or of religious thought, but of their intersection. It gets into the mind of God, exploring how His jealous needs are underlined by greed. It was one of the most epicly feminist movies I’ve ever seen, in that it portrayed the fundamental biological fear of males that they are sexually unnecessary beings, the fear which drove them to invent fairy tales of creator gods with phalluses. On one level this was about the quotidian patriarchy: the artist-muse tradition in our entertainment industries, sexism in our spiritual leadership, and the emotional labor burden transference in our nuclear families. On another level it showed the destructiveness and the patheticness of men who have never and will never possess or create the crystal of existence, for penetration is inherently impotence, the soul of women is timeless, boundless, transcendent, encompassing.

Film Micrœview #408: Paterson (2016)

02.11.2018 § Leave a comment

Rating: Good.

As one expects from Jarmusch, an understated American hymn. I didn’t realize Elmes did the cinematography until the credits, which amused me because at one point I had the thought that I was watching something like as if David Lynch were to have a pleasant dream instead of a nightmare.

The mystical Japanese man at the end was rendered okay through the “excuse me… ah ha!” moment and the contextualizing with the Abbott and Costello yellowface clip (and Jarmusch’s oeuvre). Laura looks like her. Everett *is* an actor. The black barkeep knows all about Abbott, outta kick Everett’s black ass. Paterson won’t get a smartphone and he won’t get a TV. Paterson elbow bumps Method Man. The only other white characters are the little girl poet, maybe the homeless man Paterson gives to, and the white thugs who threaten to dogjack Marvin. Marvin is definitely Laura’s dog. Just as he tips over the mailbox every day, Marvin’s eating of the secret notebook will be recovered from (and happen again and again). “I don’t like you Marvin,” drops with brutality. Laura doesn’t feel so much like a character as a foil to Paterson; even Everett and the barkeep feel more like characters than her. That said, their relationship and its quiet dishonesty and suspicion is almost a character itself. What does it mean that Paterson gets so much street cred, is uber-sympathetic, even heroic, and has no complaints?

Anyway, the water fall was beautiful. I learned some about poetry. The film kept my girlfriend and I talking for some time. It constructed cinematic time well. The fashion wasn’t as good as Only Lovers Left Alive, but did you expect it to be? Driver is pretty solid, as I’ve come to expect from him. Overall a subtle, worthwhile picture of community and creativity in America.

Dream 536: Jimi Coco never ages

02.09.2018 § Leave a comment

Jimi Coco never ages.
Junior high kids party bus.
So tired. Crawling back up.
Back area of shop.
Broken twisty pencil. Mom put it back.
Drawers extra.
Weird trees. Rocks. Is this part of Istanbul?

Fat kid.
Expensive gear.
Tackle. Let him into corner.
Mom and others coming up stairs.
Red light. You can’t see, even from inside.
Cover with black peg.
Shooting them blind.


Dream 535: WD40

02.02.2018 § Leave a comment

Looking up a ridge at a corner of a mountain, a shaggy dog laying across it.

A term for a photographic effect, something unexpected, such as in a bank ad, you have a triptych, and there is no continuation of any imagery from one panel to the next except along this one stretch where on one side it’s a dog’s frontside and the other side its like a camel’s backside as if they’re the same animal but across two worlds.

In a diagonal restaurant (very thin, bending sharply between a bar and the wall with windows on the other side of booth) Vince offers Karin and I some WD-40. I initially accept, but then decide to wait until after the meal, so it spends more time on our skin out in the sun when it’s most effective, and so that we don’t have to worry about it getting on our hands and then in our food or mouths.

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