February 26, 2006

Murau's Tabu

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A few hours ago I got back from the Goethe Institute where I watched the silent film Tabu by FW Murau with live piano accompaniment. I went to the screening alone, thinking that perhaps a short break from working on this screenplay might help me re-focus. But then I ran into a few old friends at the screening who invited me out for dinner afterwards. I politely declined, saying I had to rush home and get back to work on the screenplay, and now I'm home and staring at the computer screen, not really making any progress, wishing I had gone for dinner before re-entering this struggle between my artistic temperament and my desire to have more discipline.

Tabu is such a beautiful film, so simple and cruel and sad. I'd sort of like to read a 'post-colonial studies' critique of it's racial politics but I will not procrastinate working on the screenplay further by searching the internet for just such a document. There's a moment near the end of Tabu where the male lead is swimming and swimming, trying to catch up with his lover who is being taken away by boat to be sacrificed to the gods, and he finally catches up with the boat and grabs the rope and the villain (not really the villain, more the village elder) calmly cuts the rope without even so much as looking down at it and the male lead keeps swimming but he can't catch up to the boat a second time and soon he gets tired and drowns. Murau is so good at those utterly precise images of otherworldly cruelty.

Working on this screenplay, full of witty dialog and more dialog, is such a stark contrast with the poetic silence of Tabu. Limitations really do add something.



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February 20, 2006

Some comedians

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Some comedians are actually funny while others are not. Would it be correct to say the comedians who are not funny are actually not comedians? It would not be correct. Both the funny and unfunny comedians still fall within the larger category of comedian.

Let us then take the hypothetical situation of a comedian who was trying not to be funny. Could such a comedian still be said to be a comedian?

[Unfinished]



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February 12, 2006

On Double Consciousness

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Simply giving people ‘the information’ will not suffice, for it is a central characteristic of the modern world that we are able to live in a state of highly advanced ‘double consciousness.’ For example, you know driving a car contributes to the depletion of the ozone layer but, for a whole variety of reasons (convenience, status, because everyone else does it and therefore it seems normal, etc.) you continue to drive regardless. Some degree of such double consciousness is an absolute necessity if one is to survive in the contemporary world, undermining it completely is simply not an option. However, how do we open up a dialogue with this mental reality, can discussing it forthrightly be one way of re-opening questions which currently seem closed?



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February 6, 2006

Ideologues Want It Desperately

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Fucking right wing scuzzballs simply want it more badly then the rest of us, aren’t plagued by the same doubts, the same suspicions of power, don’t anticipate the desperate hangover backlash that inevitably follows each new success, believe in their ends absolutely (perhaps only as an overcompensation for a neurotic insecurity which is equally absolute) and, this being the case, will continuously find ways of gaining power at all costs.

Here on the other side we’re all just a little bit nervous, not sure which next move is most likely to give the desired result and which next move is most likely to just completely fucking backfire. This puts us at a clear disadvantage. And just like the classic T-shirts: ‘Drummers Do It With Rhythm’, ‘Truckers Do It While… (I don’t know… while driving trucks I suppose.)’, ‘Environmentalists Do It Without Polluting’; future Salvation Army T-shirt racks will feature faded ‘Ideogolues Want It Desperately’ logos but (and this is only a fear) I suspect the scuzzballs will sadly not fade away as well.



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