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August 22, 2004

A Glimpse into the Grey Room

A few days ago, while falling asleep, I passed through one of those rare stages of lucid dreaming when you're not only aware that you're dreaming but can actually witness the somatic mechanics producing the dream. While I was lying in bed, I could feel the dream scenery growing out of my bodily unrest. My pulse was enhanced by a sort of visual feedback which became a succession of light and dark which became passing concrete pylons I was watching from a moving train. Borges, quoting Coleridge: "If a tiger would enter this room, we would feel fear; but if we feel fear in a dream, we fabricate a tiger." Dream factories all.

August 21, 2004

A Walk Toward the Pilman Radiant

Saw Tarkovsy's "Stalker" again recently. Once more, I liked Artemyev's cold, rich music, the landscapes of industrial terrain vague, the slowness and long silences, some moments when the field of vision seems to be filled with frozen time. The dialogues are not that grand, but maybe that's intentional. Sometimes I had the impression that Tarkovsky wants the camera to assume the position of the eye of God, which, of course, is only interesting under the premise that God doesn't exist, that "God" is just an outside view on humanity which the dead, non-human eye of the camera can provide. My favorite moment occurs when they fall asleep on the river bank, and the camera and the black dog hover over them. All of a sudden, their bodies, especially the professor's face, look incredibly strange, as if they were themselves the extraterrestrial miracles they've been looking for.

Both Artemyev and Tarkovsky took such an awful dive after they got co-opted by capitalism. I'd consider "Offret" an atrociously bad movie, because Tarkovsky in that phase of his life really got Bergmanesque religion, univocally and terminally. And Artemyev got Mikhalkov, which is even worse.

August 5, 2004

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

(A hypertext haiku)

Here's one candidate.
Here's the other's M14.
Interesting times.

I feare Thou played'st most fowly for't

Just saw "Macbeth" by Orson Welles, which reminded me of some "Flintstones" episodes. A big bad faith anachronism, steeped in not altogether ineffective Wellesian expressionism. The whole set is made of big stony furniture thingies designed to look archaic. Everybody's wearing silly helmets and triangular shields that look like traffic signs. The good guys also have some sort of cross attached to them and the bad guys haven't, do I see a symbolism there? Everybody is forced to speak with a Scottish accent which mainly means that they rrroll the "rrr" with arrrchaic grrrandiosity deep down in theirrr highland thrrroats. Welles, of course, plays Macbeth. With his silly helmet on, he looks like a bearded and bedazzled Statue of Liberty in furs. In symbolic moments, he walks up and down the stairs a lot. Basically, the movie suggests that the play is about the character of Macbeth and nothing else and all Macbeth ever wanted was to become Orson Welles, the problem being that he wasn't intelligent enough to pull it off. Actually, it's an interesting movie, it just doesn't work. It's weird that nothing ages so fast as movies about the far future and the archaic past. They use the wrong lenses, I think.