Monday, 13 October 2008

Films: The Beast. One of the most bizarre film fantasies I've ever seen. Can't really be compared to The Holy Mountain, but what can? No such outrageous visual imagination, under such complete control. No such luck.

Syndromes and a Century. Can't find the exact translation of the Thai: I believe it means 'Light and Century'. Interview with the director Apochatpong Weerasethakul: he's fascinated by people in light. In the first half it's mainly natural, and in the second, indoors, artificial. Nothing much happens, which means that lots happens. As he says, there's a lot of plot, but none of it leads anywhere. A lot of long takes of nothing very much. The interaction of the people, and their lives, is very charming, engaging. A lot of mirroring: at two interviews (with a different interviewee) the dialogue is the same. A group of boys in a corridor, one stoops to tie a shoelace: a group of girls, one stoops to tie a shoelace. The outdoor sequences are very natural and charming: people surrounded by vegetation: contrasted with the aseptic corridoors and rooms of the hospital.

'Worldly Desires' included on the DVD. A film crew are filming in the jungle a girl pop group singing about their parents' love: they also seem to be filming a couple searching desperately thru the jungle for a tree(?) The image of the couple, isolated, usually framed in a viewfinder, stumbling thru jungle, contrasted with the casual relaxed existance of the crew.

& he doesn't use professional actors, for much the same reasons as Robert Bresson. & it works. No sense of performance.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Carieres d'ochre: the dust sticks. People's pants are coloured if they sit down. Something sticky, clay-like, although really it is sand. Altamira earth is actually greasy, rather than powdery.

Monday 1 Sept. Lightning on the horizon last night, but a clear night so full of stars I'd not seen since Bonnieux 10 years ago, waking thru dawn. Magic, meaning that is way outside mundane experience. Walking in intense dark with the stories of the stars. New moon soon. Later, thunder in the distance, but Monday dawns clear, warm autumn suchshine, coffee in Rustrel. Leaves beginning to yellow on the plane trees.

Ochre in the blood: ochre is iron, iron in the blood, blood-red. Strenth is iron. For 100 years ochre and iron supported this area.

Good to be able to live out of doors again.

Wednesday 3 Sept. The little laugh at the end of the dance. After Milonga it is a bit different, the laugh of having kept something together?

Antibes has beconme a state of mind, always pesent, sometimes more so than at other times, always the same, olluted, restless, over-run, planes drone overhead, and still it is desirable.

Lightning flickers on horizon of
a night intense with stars my feet
swallowed by intense darkness:
all that brilliance, stories potential in my mind.
Owls drift screeching over lichen ancient oaks
new moon soon.

Thunder rumbled round the tents at night
but no rain fell. Listening to D'Angelis.
Morning clear and bright, sun hot.
Campsite grove, dry leaves flicker in autumn wind.

Red, big-bellied man in turquoise sea:
'It was very hot until the 28th and
turned stormy since'. Chatting in the sea will soon be

Thursday, 9 October 2008

30 August: Gordon Douglas at the Lambert (Avignon). Couldn't contrast more with Twombly last year. All darkened windows, tinted deep or closed over, not a direct trace of a human hand, video, 'slogans' on the walls, old film posters. A hermetic, closed-in world: unlike the coloured marks of Twombly that invited in the light, the videos present a fragmentary vision, unless you watch for ever. The big main upper rooms, normally overlooking gardens from big windows, the windows covered over and just two big video screens with close-up of an elephant walking, close-up of the feet. Fragmenting, and a bit lost in the gloom. It's called 'Where are the keys?'

31 August. Red squirrels playing around the campsite trees, too wary for me to photograph them. No side effects from an evening of tasting the best Cote du Rhone. Packing in the morning.
29 August: Waking and leaving the house at first light, thinking for no apparent reason of L'Intrus, and noticing suddenly that the main character is very much the inverse of Jean-Luc Nancy, on whose medical condition the film is based. & he dies, tho Jean-Luc Nancy is still alive. So much the inverse that it must be intentional. So much of that film reamins mysterious, but it is so assured and certain of itself it reamisn clear. I'd been talking to Chris about it at the Dome, so I'd been thinking of it.

Three weeks at the Dome, each week one dance stood out, a dance with a parner I hadn't met before and who turned out to be 'foreign': an Argentinian, a Frenchwoman and an Italian from Palermo. The latter, this week, we went straight into energetic valse. She seemed very sure, and we danced close. Didn't seem to speak much English. I hadn't seen her there before and didn't notice her again. Wonderful that a happy time can arise between cmplete strangers who have no linguistic communication.

Dance is special. Kate immersing herself in a seriously tough ballet course over the summer. Interesting. She really values strength in herself and other women. My impresssion tht really tango to her isn't much of a challenge. I wonder about working that hard at it. Performing requires great discipline. Perhaps the creative side of tango just isn't amenable to that kind of pressure and training. You need to be absorbed in it continually so the mind remains occupied by the music and movements, but I wonder if hours and hours of training really can make a better dancer. I propose to find out this winter.

Lyons, after an hour or so of upland farmland and forest, rolling felds of cattle. A relief to have sunshine after the last month in the UK. New prints taking forward what I found in the 'Worlds' but opening it out and simplifying. Opening, the paper as part of the area. Perhaps silkscreen vegetation overprinted with wood figure.

Dances that end with a little laugh, and those that just finish. The laugh is the release of tension, but it's not a stressed tension, the opposite. Attention, and the pleasure of finishing something together. These are always the best dances. A sign of emotional involvement, and it's usually reciprocal. As if you've spent the last three minutes holding your breath.