Monday, December 29, 2008

WHAT A FOOL BELIEVES

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I came across a good anecdote from a follower of G.I. Gurdjieff. Please read. It's a good'un:

I had just arrived at the L.A. airport and was waiting for my friend to pick me up when I noticed my cell phone was missing. The next thing I noticed were the swirl of emotions - loss, worry, fear, sadness, and worry that often arise when I lose something.

My friend would not be picking me up for half an hour, so I sat down in the baggage claim area and began observing and inquiring. Once I was aware of all the feelings I asked my favorite question: "What would I have to believe to feel this way?" I've seen that feelings are always generated by some belief.

It took me awhile to identify the belief: "I shouldn't be a fool." The loss of the cell phone had triggered that belief. "Clearly," my mind said, "you were a fool to lose the phone and you shouldn't be a fool." The negative feelings automatically followed.

Then I questioned that belief and looked for the real truth. When I told myself I shouldn't be a fool I became defensive, fearful, self justifying, trying to look good, trying to hold it together, worrying about what my wife would say.

"So what's really true? I am a fool. I lose things all the time. I SHOULD be a fool! After all, I certainly am sometimes, there's no escaping that. And realizing that I am a fool is certainly more liberating than denying I'm a fool. "

All of this flashed through my mind in a few seconds. And the feeling of gloom lifted, being replaced by a sense of joy and freedom. Everything in the airport brightened. There was a little two year old boy throwing a plastic water bottle to the ground, shrieking in glee and kicking it around the airport. "Well there's someone who doesn't mind looking like a fool!" I thought.

The little boy and I were just the same at that moment - full of joy and life, fools with no care of what anyone thought of us. I laughed and laughed and laughed.


—Robert Middleton

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Meshes of The Afternoon (1943)



I saw this recently at the Tate Modern. I never saw a Maya Deren film before for some reason. Out of curiosity, does anyone know the location of the house in this film? I know it's in the Hollywood Hills somewhere. I'm curious to see what it looks like now.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Something I'd like to share

I originally saw this video at a screening a few years ago and it really stuck with me.
The reason for my loving it most likely has to do with the fact that it combines two themes I have always held in high regard: dance culture and somnambulance.

Mark Leckey—Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore


I'm in London now. More on this soon as I recover from its inclement weather.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A DREAM ABOUT ME AS A PIZZA PAINTER

A dear friend had this dream about me last night and described it in these terms:

So I had this dream last night...

You called me in the middle of the night and said "hesse, I need you to come out to LA and help me with my art opening." Without wasting a momentI got out of bed, went to the airport, and got on a plane. When I got to your studio in the valley you told me that you needed me to transport one of your paintings to the show. And what your painting was was a pizza. A real pizza with cheese, mushrooms, sauce. You said it was real important that in the process of transporting the painting that nothing be moved, as it was the most delicious painting you'd ever made. At no point did you refer to the pizza as a pizza. It was always "the painting." I said sure, whatever you need. Then you said that the painting was too precious to be put in a car, so I would have to carry it on foot to your mom's house in Hollywood. So you gave me one of those big pizza spatulas, slide the pizza on it, and I started walking.

When I arrived at your mom's house I knocked on the door with my head and your mom's friends let me in. And once I stepped in the house everyone screamed "Pizza's here!", and started in on the pizza, crowded around me so much so that I couldn't even see what I was holding, all the while while screaming "Don't eat the painting! Don't eat the painting!" When finally everyone pulled away I was able to see the deconstruction that they did to your painting, and terrified of what your reaction would be, I dropped the painting and got the fuck out of there.

So, I am here to apologize for ruining your show...

Where's My Cheese?

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I need some more doe, yo. If you find a pot of money, please give it to the squirrel delivery service. Any squirrel will do. They are unionized.



Rosebud—Money

Friday, December 5, 2008

Diary of a Madman......on Jury Duty

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7:30: Entered the courthouse, single-file with the others.

7:53: Our ‘host’ talks for awhile; she let’s us know there's no escape unless you're a doctor or very, very old. I fill out forms.

8:01: I scan room looking for ‘people like me’. I see one woman on the other side of the room, citing her shabby-chic haircut as the giveaway.

8:03: I see a man who’s not like me, but I envy his mustache as it is curly and Germanic. I picture him with a goblet eating mutton.

8:04: People are stone silent in purgatory, save for a few conversations barely within earshot. They are always about other jury duty stories. Why do people think it’s interesting to share these stories for minutes at a time?

The conversations tend to go something like this:
My buddy in Buttfuck, Oaklahoma needed an excuse from court because he had an appointment at Fantastic Sam’s to get a haircut that day. I mean it took him hours to get an appointment and the judge still would not grant him an excuse!


10:01: There was a surprisingly engaging orientation ‘speech’ by a judge. She told us that we were not “special”. She said Federal court judges sit in this room sometimes, as do people such as Harrison Ford. She told us that the idea of a jury was started over 1000 years ago in England by “people and their neighbors” .

12:00-1:30: Lunch at the Disney Center. Thumbed through books at the broke-ass MOCA’s bookstore.

1:31: I really want to leave. I really want to kill someone.

1:32: Amused at man on my left who looks sort of like Captain Lou Albano sans the rubberbands.

1:35-3:00: Naptime.

3:01: Execute me, please.

3:30. They let us go....early!



Freedom '90—George Michael

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Donald Cammell toe

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No, the title of this posting is not a desperate pun. Well, actually it is, but it's NOT entirely out of place.

I just watched Donald Cammell's last film, Wild Side (1995), which was "completed" shortly before his suicide in 1996. The film was originally re-cut without Cammell's permission by his producers, hence the quotes. The version Cammell had intended has since been restored. When it originally came out, in its inferior version, it came and went and was widely panned by critics. Maybe in reaction to the butchering of his film, Cammell took his own life—but not immediately. His wife later wrote that he asked her to hold a mirror up to him so he could watch himself die.

This anecdote, like the title of this posting, is not entirely gratuitous either as Wild Side seemed especially preoccupied with power, death, money, sex, and fetish, especially of the foot sort. These themes, among others not mentioned or not even perceived yet due to a fetus-stage processing of this film, are deftly woven together, giving the narrative a languid sensation. This is strange because the film is basically a caper/suspense drama. I would think this is an oil and water type thing, but it really worked!

Like Cammell's earlier film, ">Performance (1968), wherein Mick Jagger played a rock star slash mafioso, this film took these themes and explored them in a rather poetic and unconventional way.

The camera work isn't spellbinding, and the story itself, or the plot, isn't what drives this film. On the surface this flick looks like any B level fare you might expect on Showtime at 3am, but it's remarkable for subtle reasons I cannot describe. In fact, it would be better described by a fire hydrant at this point as I can't be succinct for shit.

Just watch this at some point, at least for the pulchritude and chemistry between Anne Heche and Joan Chen. Vavoom!