Sunday, 13 April 2008

What is it with Hungarians and black and white film? Directors and cinematographers from that part of the world filled Hollywood in the 1930s and established film noire. & now Bela Tarr. I was totally gripped by Werkmeister Harmonies. Everything a film shouldn't be these days, slow, long, in black and white -- and no CGI. & yet completely riveting. You look more intently at something slow, you watch more closely. Long, long takes... where is it going? & yet only one take seemed over-long, the rioters marching thru the streets... and yet that had it's point, in sudden activity, the shocking senseless destruction of a hospital.

So, the madness of civil unrest. All this against the background of the corpse of a giant whale brought into town for show, and a musician working to retune instruments to the harmonic scale... A very charming interview is included in which Tarr makes clear that film shouldn't tell stories, can only show what is in front of the camera, the details of everyday life. Definitely no allegories. But the slowness invites to to dream, to expect, imagine meaning.

The tango week. At least one achievement: I led ganchos convincingly in L&R's class. The Dome that evening more chaotic than usual. E commented on it while we were dancing, and O left early saying it was too bewildering for her. A lot of couples standing still on the spot doing little, or engaged in furious spins. & almost everyone else dashing around maniacally. So it wasn't very pleasant for dancing. But I had an excellent evening at the Welsh on Friday.

Cherry blossom in the garden. Apple blossom about to burst. Planted out lettuces: plenty more planting to go.

Wayne Macgregors's Entity at Sadlers Wells. Very intense, it exists very much in memory as an entity, it's own reality, logic, rules, language. A fascination with the possibilities of bodily movement seemed to drive through it. Perhaps a bit lacking in range: intense, with tenderness and violence closely linked, throughout. But great to watch, great even just to watch those young wonderful bodies simply walking on or off stage.

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