Thursday, March 09, 2006

Wall Art

Is it possible to find something so utterly perfect to hang above your couch, yet have absolutely no means of acquiring it?

See Exhibit A:

I don't care for their music all that much. A little bit of My Bloody Valentine with a hit of pretentious folk, the usual grating sounds of modern emotion. But the cover. My Lord! the cover. You see, my name is Lily, yes? and I come from a family of commies! It captures me so well, this art. You know, both sides of me, two whole sides. Like, it totally shows how complex I am as a person because there is something bigger than all of us and we just have to, like, go with it. Can you say supernatural intervention? or was that two trends ago?

Of course, I can always DI(M) and collect some wartime propaganda during the Cultural Revolution years and make a collage, but that takes time. Time that I don't have. Because my grandma doesn't like to be reminded how she had to take care of 6 kids and the government she wasted her youth serving kicked her out of her house. But she does like to remind me how she jumped the wall and threw her kids over so they could continue living there in secret. Or something like that. I zoned out after "and your granddad's fingernails were pulled out with pliers." Delicious, just delicious. Now I can go tell all my friends my grandpappy had it worse than Guantanamo detainees because his outfits were limited to Mao suits whereas suspected terrorists get to choose between flashy orange and buck nekkid.

I'm not even going to read over this entry because I haven't slept since the Tuesday before Saturn's rising and have no memory of yesterday. No, no. Wait. I remember. Watched David Snow's experimental film "Wavelength". You know, I can appreciate films that deal with form rather than content, but if you were forced to sit through a 45-minute long zoom-in with an increasingly piercing sine wave gobbling up the soundtrack, you'd ... I don't know what you'd do, but I know you wouldn't be here reading this now. You'd be out in Camp David, playing with yourself, and content with your own cultural ignorance because if that's what highbrow consists of, you'd rather start a war.

I did comment on how the same technique or, in a broader sense, idea could be translated into a commercial vehicle (which could be argued is the case for most early experimental cinema, really). Michelangelo Antonioni's "Blow-Up" is the perfect example of this parallelism. As the camera focuses on a tinier and tinier aspect of the grainy image, the context of the story simultaneously changes. So although the off-camera space is very much real, upon ever closer inspection, the previous frame becomes moot and the new frame becomes the new reality. In "Blow-Up" the story (and thus, the analysis of the picture) progresses from: Park scene -> illicit affair -> woman -> corpse. Whereas in "Wavelength", Snow is able to ignore all distractions by continuing down his telephoto path and refusing to submit to the narrative: Moving into loft -> sound of man stumbling into the room -> discovery of corpse by inhabitant.

Film criticism is very cerebral, but only in retrospect. The films themselves are frustratingly slow and overload the senses with epileptic flickering and colour distortions. So whenever I am forced to give an opinion on them, I always say, "No, not very fond." But if you were to ask me to explain why, I would end up giving you a scholarly rundown that concludes: "... so it was successful in achieving whatever it went out to achieve." That's because being bright means never allowing yourself to have a dumb day. Or you'd risk making strangers happy.

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