Sunday, September 26, 2010

The past week: on Monday, went to the lab for bloodwork, couldn't do it on Friday when i went to the doctor's because i got a flu shot. Missed the screening of "Poetry" because of that, but went to the screening of Gaspar Noe's "Enter the Void". Attempted feature-length "trip" movies aren't my thing. What can i say? I also didn't find it visually very distinguished: it's a far cry from (say) Jordan Belson or the Whitney Brothers or Harry Smith. In the evening, TCM showed a number of movies which have been recently restored, so i caught Fritz Lang's "Secret Beyond the Door" and Joseph Losey's "The Prowler".

Tuesday finally made it to the NY Film Festival; caught "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives" and "Certified Copy". Wednesday, i didn't go in because i tried to finish writing, and it was supposed to rain; the week before there had been a tornado which went through Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island (some areas still have no electricity) and i was a little freaked out. But it turned out TCM was having an Erich von Stroheim day, so i watched "The Merry Widow" (it's amazing how von Stroheim was able to turn Lehar's operetta into another one of his Ruritainian anti-romances, like "Blind Husbands" and "The Wedding March" and "Queen Kelly"), "Greed", "Friends and Lovers" and "Five Graves to Cairo". And yes, it did rain, and at one point it was pretty severe but the rain passed rather quickly. Thursday, i went to see "My Joy" and "Of Gods and Men".

Friday the screenings were "The Social Network" (a packed screening, but for some reason, i must have some sort of avoidance sign, because there were five empty seats around me) and Godard's "Film Socialisme".

When i came home, i found signs on the subway, announcing the problems with subway service on the weekend. No R service in Brooklyn. So i decided to stay home. Thought i'd watch "The Hurt Locker" but Showtime (as it often does) kept breaking up. I had already seen it but wanted to check whether or not it was as tightly directed as i remembered. It was. But i turned to watch "Wrangler: Anatomy of an Icon"; i saw it from a screener sent by TLA, but it seemed a little different. (The screener was not the final cut.) Then i watched "The September Issue".

But i was in a daze. What happened was i was sent an online journal, which was supposed to have the transcript of a lecture i gave at the Freie Universitat Berlin. But the transcript was a total mess, because i wasn't asked to proof it, and the transcript is riddled with errors. Quite simply: it was supposed to be a lecture about the Judson Dance Theater, and every other name is spelled wrong, or else there is an approximation, because the person who did the transcript doesn't know the names. So the point of my lecture (which is about accuracy and alternatives, i.e., if you're researching a phenomenon like the Judson Dance Theater, don't just stick to the same names again and again, if you do a little research, you'll also find other names that will bear investigating) is lost, because the transcript is totally inaccurate! And the person who did the transcript doesn't seem to understand what the problem is. He doesn't understand how my reputation as a "scholar" has been ruined because of his sloppy work. It makes it seem as if i don't know what i'm talking about, because i can't get the names right.

But this seems to be par for the course with people under 30 nowadays: an incredible arrogance, a feeling of entitlement. He thinks he can use my work, even if he has reduced it to utter rubbish, and no, there is no payment, and no, he did not have my permission to record the lecture. But he thinks my lecture is something that will help him in terms of his "career", but he's just ruined mine.

Ok. So that's why i'm upset. And also: i spent five weeks actually writing out my lecture (when i delivered the lecture in June, it was extemporaneous, and i went through a lot of information that i knew fast). The reason it took so long was that i went and did a lot of research, because i knew that (say) Yvonne Rainer in her many writings and interviews, or Jill Johnston in "Marmalade Me" or Sally Banes in her books "Democracy's Body" or "Terpsichore in Sneakers" would have information which would back up my claims. And i was right. (For example: one of my points was that Yvonne Rainer's piece "We Shall Run" was not simply a "running" piece, it was more like a precursor of something like Paul Taylor's "Esplanade", because it was running in very complex patterns set to music, and Rainer herself says that in an interview she did with Lynn Blumenthal.) So i was very careful to make sure that i could prove everything i was saying. And now this transcript (which i did not do) makes a hash of my work, and sets me up for ridicule.

Once again!

Why does this always happen to me? I know why: because i'm an idiot!

But watched "Inspector Lewis" and "Dexter" tonight. Both of them were really sick: Larry and i loved them!


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