V.104 Cinemagoing

Seagulls plot arcs over the door
over the hot cars. Here memory
is so thick it feels like human
history has culminated

Pearl and Dean a mythologic
aspect. Kids leapfrog the bollards
like I once did, like I hope my
kin will again. A welcome twist.

Let the end of times have no grip
on ideas that build themselves here –
like popcorn in its cabinet
which is hot with old emotion

Or the tickets which are paragon
of what exchange could be – given
a projectionist with a just wage.
Here shines paper, now go through here –

Here is the event, the dark room
where people wait, quietly pray
and laugh, and then titles, silence –
Materialism of light –

And after, that feeling of loss
of what has been gone through, firstly
then the door with star shaped handles
The carpark night’s warm gradient

Watching Scraps: La La Land and West Side Story (2021)

I was going to see West Side Story, and I had a bit of time earlier in the day, so I thought I might put on La La Land to see how it’s aged.

Always, around, the posters, the crowd, in the background. When Emma Stone goes into the restaurant, she slips through time slightly, caught by a melody. Potent icon of a lost time, attractive to romantics, the jazz piano solo. Trying to escape the grind, or be successful at creating a kind of special creation, having the cake and eating it.

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Watching Scraps – Nightcrawler

1 – A business school manual grew legs, and eyes, and became Lou Bloom. This means that somewhere in the world there is someone who saw this movie and thought that Lou Bloom was an American hero. A manic capitalist.

2 – The moment when Lou Bloom first reaches into the accident-event to change things, improving the shot, the frame of the film itself gives a small shake, bringing the second, invisible camera operator into the world of the film. It nudges you into realising that your titillation is the aim of this film, just as Lou Bloom’s footage aims to titillate the viewers of the Los Angeles early morning news. You are the ones making all this possible.

3 – Lou Bloom is part of the fourth, neoliberal, emergency service – those who capture the image and pin it onto the wall with its red thread. Who arrive after the accident and try to sell it.

4 – The shot of Riz Ahmed’s (Rick’s) profile, lying on the road looking up, and then the fade to the cityscape of Los Angeles. He lies dead over the city, making the symbol of the society that sacrificed him; a good, and desperate man. This business mindset is to blame, and he should haunt them above the horizon as the clouds of wildfire smoke do.

5 – We end with the big expensive watch, the eternal desire of the business guy. The watch, a sign of having made it. I have the big watch, the metal wrist. Tick tick tick. Look at my watch, it doesn’t care about you. And with the induction speech for the internship, the boss=psychopath identification is complete.

6 – Does the film want us to interpret it materialistically? It shows us the broadcast towers again and again, as if it wants to say – this is what is wrought by these metal towers. An almost Lynchian feeling. But that is obviously too simple. As the vans of the new business drive off, into the sustained American nightmare.

Aphorisms XIV

Pronouns again – A teenage girl bought the airfix. “Did she?” says my friend. But here is a place where I might say ‘they’ – uncertainty again being the aspect relevant to explaining why. I don’t know them…

*

Can there be a superlative without the disgust of the ordinary? Yes. In fact, that is a prerequisite. It’s not the difference from the ordinary that makes something superlative, but a superlative relation of that thing to us, experiencing it. And the disgust of the ordinary, the ranking, the military etymology often slides in surreptitiously at the back. It may seem stupid to say that the best film has no relation to other films by that fact, but it is stupider to say that any film could satisfy the language game of suiting the squirly set of conditions for bestness taken in the tool like sense. The best tool for the task does that one job better than the others. But a film without an adjective, has no one task. I guess it’s a classic example of language going on holiday.

*

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Watching Scraps: Magnolia

In Magnolia, abusers are forgiven their crimes by frogs falling from the sky. This means that it answers its own question about the coincidence or not of events with a resounding dollop of ‘everything is chaos’. Or it must be a sort of redemption story, having this Christian vibe. But who is redeemed? We are given reasons for some of the abusers’ behaviour, but that doesn’t constitute a redemption. Breaking down in tears is not a redemption, nor is a phone call. Dying is not a redemption, nor is admitting to wrongdoing. Redemption is the hard work that comes after the realisation of wrongdoing, and the apology.

Watching Scraps: It Happened One Night & Alien: Covenant

What happens one night? Well, Cary Grant’s lead decides to stalk a lady on the night bus. His intentions are pure, of course, because in this universe, sex only exists under very specific conditions.

She’s just too stupid to get along! He carries her across the country, and in the process, she falls in love with him. He isn’t sure whether to reciprocate at first, but then he decides to make a 3 hour drive to New York, write an article of several pages, and then return to the motel in another epic 3 hour drive, before she wakes up, to accept her love. And would you know it, he doesn’t quite make it in time!

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V.40

The night stretches out ahead like
an endless action scene. With duds
the faceless attackers scream, wait
their turn and then run straight at me

so I can deck them with a punch.
But there are so many of them
waving their arms and raising guns
just in time to be knocked back down.

It seems there are infinite shapes
that falling onto the floor takes.
I toss and turn in bed and breath
comes shorter. “Loneliness! You fool!

You should not have approached me. Now
I will teach you the meaning of
pain! Take *that*! and *that*! Now you see,
you should have brought reinforcements!

*hi-YA*! *hi-YA*! Why don’t you speak!
Get up, loneliness, I’m not done
with you yet *KAPOW*. Ah, greetings,
pain, I knew you would crawl in soon.

Our dark past ends here! Pathetic!
You don’t stand a chance against my
FIST! *WHACK* Stop smiling, how dare you”
and on until I fall asleep