Saturday, March 18, 2006

Friday, March 17, and a full day of movies.

Went to screenings at ND/NF: "October 17, 1961", "In Bed" and "13 Tzameti". The first was an impressive docudrama on the events of the infamous night when the Parisian police attacked Muslim protesters; the second was a Chilean portrait of a man and a woman, in bed after a sexual encounter, as they try to talk to each other; the last was a "thriller"... every year there's one of these "brute" films ("Man Bites Dog", "Irreversible") which is supposed to show... exactly what, i'm not sure.

And then onto "Drawing Restraint 9", Matthew Barney's latest opus. Which brings to mind the difference between the film world and the art world.

Larry pointed out that in today's New York Post, there were at least two items on the gossip pages (Page Six by Richard Johnson) about people we know. One was about the theft of a sculpture showing Charlie Finch from the Armory Show; the other was about Nica finally getting collaborators for the bio she's been working on about her father, Nicholas Ray. She's going to work with Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain. Since one of their books is about Punk Rock, and another of their books is about the porn industry, this subject should be right up their alley, because everything that Nica's ever found out about her father... AGH!

Oh, well, most directors are monsters anyway, and so what? What so many people can't seem to understand is that you can love the work, but the person who made the work might be worse than slime, and that's ok. The artist is under no obligation to exemplify a moral hero, because ethics are not aesthetics. And meeting someone doesn't prove a thing: i've met a lot of directors over the years, and (of course) they're going to be gracious, especially if you're interviewing them or writing about them or whatever. It's like of course my experience meeting Douglas Sirk (and his wife) was very pleasant. But i didn't have to work with him. A lot of people (including Piper Laurie and Susan Kohner) had terrible experiences with him. And it's not the same for everyone. Hitchcock literally terrorized Tippi Hedren, but he was very nice to Eva Marie Saint and Janet Leigh. It's like child abuse: in most cases, the abusive parent will select one child, and that is the child always beaten, tortured, etc. (That's why Social Services can be counted on to fuck up: they'll look for a "general pattern" of abuse, and ignore the signs of ONE child's abuse; in most of those cases, there are always many children in the household.)

But after seeing so much in the last few days, have a lot of thoughts about the changes happening in movies now, the collapse of space because of digital, the difference between the film world and the art world, the idea of "the visionary" and the need for people to connect to "the sublime", etc.


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