Tuesday, July 31, 2007
via work/space, via Touch, we find a "taxonomy of dashed lines" that prompts me to recall my own little invention (maybe someone's done it already; i don't know).
i like the way you enter a nice, fresh hotel room and see that triangular-origami move the housekeepers have made on the toilet paper roll. when i have guests, i do the same in the guest bathroom. i try to do it just for us (and use the roll that's under the sink so as to avoid making the origami move every time someone uses the toilet; rarely does my husband get what i'm going for, however, and so i have to redo my taper more often than i'd like).
so i was thinking that i could create a toilet paper roll that had a "built in" triangular shaped edge. here, in the image, above, the dashed lines represent the "tear spot," which is to be used for creating that lovely tapered effect.
apparently, there is a little invention already out there, the meruboa, which claims that "just pulling a lever makes the head of toilet paper triangle."
i'm not alone. there are a lot of people who like this little move.
i still like my idea. there is, however, the issue of keeping the edge from looking cheap and serrated, but i imagine that i might find a sophisticated paper-maker who can finesse the job.
since Dave Pollard has done such a nice job of summarizing --my apologies for the scary clown or harlequin -- if that's what it is -- image/nightmare that heads up the post; maybe it's just my coulrophobia, and maybe you'll be fine with it, and if so, go here for more (it's worth it).
here is a brief bit from an Amazon review (by Sami Meittinen):
Keith Johnstone is a visionary in the field of improvisation theatre. His concepts of status hierarchies are ground-breaking. They show that humans, like animals, are at ease with each other when the underlying status hierarchy is understood and undisputed.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
recently i watched Serenity (had enjoyed many of the Firefly episodes) and learned that the term "shiny" is not my own unique move. i guess i knew that, but i'd never seen it normalized within a paritcular discourse as it was in Serenity. ironically, i recognized it when (Adam Baldwin as) Jayne (a fairly macho character, if only bunglingly so) speaks of weapons; i'm not happy about that, but there it is. i may have heard super-hunk Nathon Fillion (the ship's captain, "Mal") say it and wish the association could be more easily located there (some of you will know what i mean). here is a pretty nice fan site.
more importantly for readers here, the "shiny" of which i speak is about my attempt to tidy up by categorizing my links. it's interesting to see how they measure up; clearly, i spend a lot of my time thinking about or pursuing work in film (via the sheer volume of the "film" links emerges the "clearly").
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Sunday, July 22, 2007
image by kaja dutka
Friday, July 20, 2007
i am a little concerned about this poster, however, its crowded composition, which is often a tip off to something that's overdone. i keep hoping that Anderson's "magic" won't fade or wear off or implode. the American Express commercial worries me in this way, although it's actually very good, for an advertisement . . .
so but what isn't a commercial? i think i have faith. i hope.
one of the funniest lines in a Wes Anderson film is, for me, when Steve Zissou (Bill Murray in The Life Aquatic) is looking at the video of the albino dolphins who run "reconnaissance," swimming w/ his ship. Zissou is asking his tech crew member if the dolphins can hear/see and generally check up on the activities of other characters on the ship. the technician pushes a button or two on an antique-looking keyboard, ostensibly asserting a command. nothing. the dolphins swim about with their camera/tech gear mounted to their happily unrepsonsive heads. Zissou watches silently. says, "son of a bitch, i'm sick of these dolphins." timing impeccable. comment unexpected and subversive regarding cultural coding pretty much compressed into our dna. i mean, who hates dolphins? it's dry and very, very funny. Murray's delivery perfection. watch.
this calls forth a dolphin story. first, you have to know that i don't win many things. that damn Presidential Fitness Patch they used to give, drawings, awards, roles. but. when i was young, maybe 5, my parents took me to a Florida managed fun facility called Floridaland; this was pre-Disney, which we actually visited before it was Disney. my father had heard the rumblings about this giant park soon to be built by "a crazy man" near Kissimmee (i remember entering the town and trying to read the Welcome to Kissimmee sign -- sounding it out -- and being sort of enchanted by the name; what did it mean? it felt like something very personal, unlike Disney later felt/feels to me).
back at Floridaland ( i just found a sort of tragic website -- tragic if you love themeparks, which i do not, but still tragic in the shabby yet hopeful appearances -- w/ pictures; see http://www.lostparks.com/ or, more exclusively pertaining to Floridaland, http://www.gethep.net/road/floridaland.html ) . . . we watched a little dolphin show in this sort of pathetic brown pond. i think we sat on something like little league-type bleachers. there was a very cheerful and exhuberant MC w/ a tinny sounding mic, and he was calling out for a volunteer. i honestly do not remember raising my hand; maybe my parents did. they once volunteered my sister Carrie and i to participate in a rodeo event -- we were sort of horrified about going to the rodeo, but we were kids, so no amount of resistance mattered. had to pay to enter this HORRIFYING event where you have to try to "catch" a young bull by securing him about the ears and/or tail. i was, like 4. seriously. terrified. definitely "a supposedly fun thing i'll never do again". recalling my Floridaland adventure presents me with a far less traumatizing -- magical, actually -- memory. somehow i was chosen. someone walked me down to a little platform and i was then led into a tiny boat, a simple paddle boat without a motor. the motor, you see, was a dolphin, a very obedient dolphin who swam once or twice around the pond, pulling me behind. did i wave, parade-style? was i afraid? no, i think i recall something like pleasure, but i don't recall exactly how i felt about it. i think that somewhere my family has some super 8 footage of it (which, needless to say, i would love to have). somehow, thinking about Wes Anderson's work, this scene comes back to me as filmworthy.
from the lost theme parks site, a bit about the dophin show (notice the trainer's resemblance to Doris Day): "And what western town is complete without its... porpoise show? Here Floridaland jumped back to the Florida theme. Note the small, ground level lagoon and platform . . . their budget is once again showing."
notice that in both the picture above and in this one, we see some -- oh, i don't know -- manifestation of a long-cherished dream that plays out as a fascination with using one's legs to prop up hoops through which dolphins jump. what to do with that?
so but, Wes Anderson. sept. 29th. hopefully, the anticipation -- not unlike a child's excitement prior to a trip to something like Floridaland or Disneyworld or whatever -- pays off. i have faith.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Sunday, July 15, 2007
this is the tiny toy prize i got from a box of sushi-inspired bandaids i bought at the airport in State College, PA. i think it's actually a tiny eraser for a very small pencil.
image taken w/ my cell phone. sadly, you can't make out fine detail on the suckers.
so after my retreat, i went to Atlanta to see my sister and her husband. i was a little out of it because i felt i had been sort of protected by Alfredo, Alfredo's cabin, his dog Maggie (was it?) and our shared committements ( i think we sort of did fall in love, but we kept it all very cool and worked separately on our stuff; plus, the absent fulfillment fed my self-pity angle -- in the most therapeutic terms -- it was about humility, the kind of humility that allowed me to love being a waitress all those years. i loved refilling a cup of coffee). so now i'm in Atlanta, and the first thing Carrie and Frank (ha!) do is take me to see Blue Velvet. i think i made it to the Frank/gas scene before i, a.) asked for the keys to the car, b.) asked the theater manager for a refund (he gave it), and c.) sat outside, shaken, until Carrie and Frank emerged, elated, vibrating with pleasure over what they'd seen.
i. did. not. understand. i think i was a little angry. and i was fearful for my stay in Atlanta, which wasn't so bad but was difficult.
years later, i watched Blue Velvet and must admit that i did not feel a sense of belonging in the supercool club of viewers (many of my friends) who considered it a work of genius. the film still disturbs me in a very non-pleasurable way (mind you, i like a somewhat disturbing film. but. not. this). later, i enjoyed Wild at Heart and fell MADLY in love with Mulholland Drive (see earlier post on the Lynchian homage to Godard). still waiting to see Inland Empire.
i understand cinematic violence, how it can do things that are not wholly w/out merit, how it's problematic to cycle notions of causality between a film and actual scenes of violence. but i don't deal well w/ cinematic violence at all, and so i miss out on discussions of the brilliance of some of Lynch's work and, say, Quentin Tarantino. still, there is violence done well (ach, that rings crudely in my ears), and so Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction work whereas all Kill Bill iterations were/are just awful, un-processable in any pleasurable way. i hear friends talk of the brilliance of Grindhouse and can't bring myself to it. heard that as a filmmaker i must see Sin City . . . didn't finish that either.
one friend was at the Sundance Filmmaker Labs when Martin Scorcese was there (it's simply unacceptable to say it, but i'm not a big fan of his films but enjoy tremendously hearing him talk about filmmaking). apparently, at that time, Scorcese was asked about the violence. he said something like, "there are 2 kinds of violence in the world. i choose to create violence on film," which is pretty good. but i still struggle w/ it.
it may be about the lens i bring to violence, having experienced a fairly nightmarish violent event in my 20's. some ghostly affective residue hovers over/around/through (Grover?) my experience of cinematic violence; i simply can't take it.
i began this post as a way of talking about Lynch's work with Transcendental Meditation. i remember trying to "astral project" when i was a pre-teen. my parents had bought some books (this was in the early-mid 1970's), and i read them, which lead to other, similiar books, and i was completely taken with the idea of "flying" about, disembodied spirit vibing out pleasurably and travelling to places where real life would likely never take me, like the lobby of the hotel in Amsterdam, where David Lynch talks to the press about TM, that fabulous old-world mirror framing his disucssion:
but i'm also thinking about what "diving within" may mean. because i'm not sure i've ever done it, although i do meditate (spotty and infrequently), but maybe i'm just "not doing it right," . . . although i recall feeling *almost* as though i was elevating toward that magical astral highway, but then my mind's voice would recognize it -- "i'm doing it" -- and find me laying in my bed, not elevating in the least but playing a game in which i am seeking to escape my body, my life. i'm all for it, especially at certain times when my body/my life are not cooperating with my sense of the "pure bliss" that TM and other meditative techniques promise. but so.
i'm not writing to be (or because i want to be) skeptical. i can't help it. it seems naive and dishonest to avoid it. i'm writing to say, more hopefully, that i want to use meditation in the ways Lynch describes; i want to transcend. i want the kind of expansive experience certain interactive art projects are after. it's problematic, however, this belief in and desire for transcendence (?)
but the wanting has got to be -- is surely -- worth something.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
i'm pretty sure that there are many philosophical "reasons" for not wanting to vibe with this book, but i can't buy into them in this moment. i picked up Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity (Tarcher/Penguin, 2006) last night at Borders, where I began reading, there, in the store, started reading (wearing, i might add, sensing it's vague relevance, serious frump -- grey-striped tank top, baggy drab olive shorts, clunky dansko clogs . . . hair in a messy ponytail, crooked glasses "resting" on my un-made face) and i fell in love.
this morning, i read Lynch speaking on Eraserhead, "my most spiritual movie" (33) and his search to discover what helped the sequences to cohere (maybe "cohere" isn't exactly it, but he does speak of seeking "a key"). he says, only slightly surprisingly, "So I got out my Bible and I started reading. And one day, I read a sentence. And I closed the Bible, because that was it; that was it. And then I saw the thing as a whole. And it fulfilled this vision for me, 100 percent." And then, what makes this passage so precious, Lynch adds, "I dont' think I'll ever say what that sentence was" (33), and I sincerely hope that he doesn't even as he has sort of obliquely (i hope) constructs my desire to hear it.
even more magical, for me, is the chapter (they are very short chapters, pithy and to the ambiguous but rhetorically effective point) on fear. Lynch talks about working on a film set, about the need to abolish fear, which is so often vibrating ghostly beneath the surface of my experiences on film sets; in fact, i'm at the point in my "acting" career where i'm ready to forget about the attempt, however sad my acceptance of this decision has been/is. it's simply too soul-demolishing (which may not be all bad -- my soul has massive fields in need of destruction and re-animation). recently, the stress of even a simple audition for what would have been a charity case piece of work (little $ or recognition . . . i just wanted to work) sent my stomach into fits of rage from which i am only now emerging (2 months after the fact). and it's sooo sad because there have been (inmylittleactingclass) moments of what i can describe confidently as transcendent joy, illumination, and a precious feeling that i'm getting close to getting it right in terms of my performance . . . and even a sense that it *is* (the work) about more than my ego (is that even possible?). maybe i'm just awful, but i don't think that's exactly it. but so, rejection, absent validation, and a feeling that i can never be tiny enough to be in any filmic event . . . it's all just destroyed my dream, mysillylittledream. and here is why Margo Martindale is my heroine and why her performance in Paris J'Taime wrung every fluid from my body and deceptively ethereal cloud of "good sense" from my soul as she presented them to me fresh and shiny and new and sort of sad but still shiny. so but anyhow, Lynch says, of fear and its destructive force on the set, "If I ran my set with fear, I would get 1 percent, not 100 percent, of what I get. And there would be no fun in going down the road together. And it should be fun. In work and in life, we're all supposed to get along. [here is the stuff i simply adore] We're supposed to have so much fun, like puppy dogs with our tails wagging. It's supposed to be great living; it's supposed to be fantastic" (73) (emphasis mine).
vibing w/ a slightly more subdued affect is the final vignette from Paris J'Taime, mentioned above. I wanted to include a bit of a review that gets at a sense of it: "Paris, je t'aime ends on an unexpectedly wistful note (though it could also be hopeful, depending on your perspective) with [Alexander] Payne's "14ème Arrondissement." Margo Martindale, a middle-aged American postal worker, wanders around the city alone, detailing in a voiceover what she did during her vacation in awkward, self-taught French. [. . .] It's not sexy or stylish or glamorous or any of the things you might assume Paris would be before going there. But of all the segments that comprise the film, it comes the closest to depicting honestly what it feels like to fall in love" (Christy Lemire, AP).
sadly, the trailer, available at the website, shows one microsecond from "14th Arrondissement" and instead features more of the bits w/ the bigger stars (the cast lineup *begins* w/ "Natalie Portman," who is neither alphabetically nor in terms of talent, the main attraction, alhtough she is good, fine, but. just. not. "it."). and this is tragic because some of the more allegedly luminous stars' performances are less than ideally enchanting from a film wanting to be about the city known to enchant. i won't name names, but i do find this missing tribute to Martindale's superb and moving work to be, well, fairly disenchanting. note: it is beyond easy to find images of NP on the web. however, even at imdb, it's incredibly difficult to find images of Margo Martindale. this is somehow quite sad.
so, but thank you Alexander Payne. thank you, David Lynch.
Friday, July 13, 2007
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
i was being serious. but it is funny, and it's true that that's how my life in Utah frames up my viewfinder. because there were quite a few younger actors in the group, i simply assumed . . . and it's likely that our teacher was speaking at least in part about nudity, but i'm more certain now of what she meant (or, i'm more certain now of what it meant/means to me).
it may take forever to figure out what one is about. that's okay. i'm glad to have a strong sensation of knowing (epistemophilia) at 44 . . . feels as though i might now do something. maybe not The Most Important Something but something i can feel very good about. and this is not to say that i have not done things i've felt good about; i felt good about publishing in College English, even if my article was not universally loved, read, or recognized. i felt GREAT about my first documentary film, proposition 1984, and i felt fabulous about my little cellphone movie, metro.
here is a moment. a moment i find shortfilmworthy. @ PSU, full belly, post-luncheon (god, how i hate the word "luncheon"). peaceful. post-Marilyn Cooper's talk. questions. answers. vibing out on the conceptual. then -- people asking questions about theories of complexity and chaos and wondering if ANYONE, ANYWHERE had written about these things in terms of pedagogy . . .
. . . that was fun. i did. not. say. a. word. here's what i was thinking as i sat, exquisitely unable to speak or move or slink away from the moment:
1.) no one has read my article.
2.) no one likes my article.
3.) no one knows i'm here.
4.) everyone is avoiding mentioning my article because it's horrible (it's, um, not ?).
5.) i should cite myself.
6.) i should not cite myself.
7.) i should not say a word (see #4)
i think that i must re-create that moment. i wish i could hire Margo Martindale (see Paris J' Taime and her sublime performance that immobilized and expanded me both at the same time . . . i was a blathering mess of crazy and soul-refining tears). maybe i will do it. write it up as a short and contact her agent. obviously.
Monday, July 9, 2007
. . . this is me, drinking champagne in my strapless white gown.
(it's actually my niece, fiona. if you've been to this web space, you've seen her before. she is in this image capturing an affect i wish i could inhabit right now.)
after the plenary session this morning -- briliant Jimmie Killingsworth and Geoff Sirc -- a man approached me, a man who had been in my session yesterday. he asked how i was feeling. he knew i had been ill because we had changed order of the presentations -- thanks again to fabulous and really smart Susan Wells and Chrisopher Carter -- to let me go first because i was not feeling well, courtesy of delta and all-around performance anxiety. so he said -- honestly, i think he was actually trying to empathize w/ the problem i was addressing in my paper, but it came out so wrong -- so he said, "film doesn't really have a place in academics." said he sees it as more a part of an "MFA" program . . . which is, what? not academic? not rhetorical work? and again, not academic? i suppose i could see his comment as wanting to align my film w/as "art," and that's nice. but still.
also, during the session: the delightful Lillian Bridwell-Bowles wrote me a note during one of the other talks. this was after my talk when i went to sit in back because i didn't think i'd make it through the whole thing; she wanted to comment upon what i'd done, to say that she thought i need not have argued, that my point was self-evident (she said this in the most supportive terms; we simply agree, and i think she was also sort of getting w/ my sense of dilemma about how slow we are being to take up this work).
but so, thinking about this morning's comment ("film doesn't belong in academics" -- FDBA) i am again reminded that, yes, i do have something to argue. i may simply shift now to making my arguments via my films, and maybe, if i have time to make them really good, i can advance the project (or just infuriate the FDBA tribe like they frustrate me; oh, agonistic rhetoric, you).
or write the damn book and get a better job.
or, do like Godard said and engage in making "the real political film," which he imagined as "the home movie." that's fabulous, engaging intensity and language and reserving a sense of its efficacy absent a public audience. somehow, i want to vibe on that for a while.
heading down to lunch for more insults :)
around 5:30 a.m. i was thinking that, as Anne was saying last night, there may be something troubling/problematic about affect (the term i'm assigning to her reading of certain kinds of experiences we inhabit as we participate w/ certain kinds of digital art, pieces that invite an audience to experience it through the body and to highlight that visceral experience as part of the work -- "Osmose" is one example). Anne wondered about the extent to which we support/validate/promote *certain* affects with certain gaming practices, namely, violent ones.
in talking to Dennis about Massumi's problematically "free-flowing" affect that is beyond or somehow distinct from language/discursive practice, i began to see that emotion ("managed intenisty") may represent the discursive method by which we engage ethically (and promote ethical reflection upon participation in/with) with certain kinds of expression events (production, spectation, and participation). when Lynn Worsham writes about emotion as "managed" or constructed, i read a critique that wants to move us beyond affect to, simply emotion (these terms are rough; it's early, and, well, the conceptual slippage is high). but w/ Anne's reading and Dennis' discussion, i'm seeing something far less sinister in emtion as Massumi's intensity "owned and recognized" . . . something far more promising in emotion as managed intensity, despite my desire for unmediated affective experience, a desire i continue to, um, desire . . . a desire i want to insist upon as necessary. i'm thinking that this managed intesity (emotion) may be most promisingly willing to invite reflection/contemplation within social networks (which are in many ways, dynamic, self-organizing systems and therefore capable of "managing" emotion, given particular forms of ethical socialization/structuration). in short, it seems to me that it's this complex networked conflict between affect and emotion that seems to make ethical human conduct/social "contracts" or codes possible, thereby enabling aesthetic experience even as we discourage or self-organize for ethically responsible (i.e., nonviolent) participation in expression-events (violent gaming, provocative imagery, etc.).
none of this is new to anyone, i'm sure, but i'm feeling a greater appreciation for these distinctions as they relate to our abilities to experience aesthetic pleasure even as we ourselves distinguish certain kinds of aesthetic pleasure as more or less desirable (and as we "train" ourselves and possibly others -- conscientiously or rather more unwittingly, via circulation -- to make these distinctions repetitively).
this now seems to me to be far more the point in art/textual criticism; an ethical project rather than "merely" power moves to control the event/object/aesthetic experience (or gain fame).
image ("city sqare," by Alberto Giacometti. 1948)
Sunday, July 8, 2007
i can not believe how stressed out i got before this PSU presentation. i am starting to think that inasmuch as i want to argue for the desire for/valuing of affective intensities of filmmaking as rhetorical work (and thus to do more of it, in classrooms, out . . .) the stakes feel too high. i have given hundreds of conference *papers* and not felt this much anxiety. i *love* that i am invested and that it feels important; it drives me, the work. maybe the problem is that i so want to produce for my audience (and for myself) The Moving Aesthetic Experience (i do) . . . and somehow, there it is. desire. desire to produce or otherwise participate in the moving aesthetic experience, especially so if it moves beyond traditional academic discourse, beyond traditional *anything* (why do i want that? do i think i'm special? no. my ideas superior to received tradition? my vision transcendent? no.) . . . Geoff Sirc said to me, after my talk and after some generally lovely praise for both the film and the paper, "why do you so dislike your words?" . . . which is both a fair and very good question i'll continue to worry. because i want to.
this had better be it. usually, when i travel to a conference at a city of interest to my husband, mike (aka, "my crew"), mike comes along too and is there to do his own thing but also to help me w/ carrying equipment and all around mental/moral support. here i am at the Nittany Lion Inn . . . PSU, home of Joe Paterno, football coaching legend. you should have heard the young Chem freshperson/"mensa kid" (literally) who sat next to me on the plane when he began to talk about how people here consider/revere/worship Joe P. wow. so but mike didn't come along this time because he's teaching, it's pricey, etc. i've done this alone plenty of times. it was a mutual decision (mike is fabulous), i'm an adult, blah, blah . . .
so i'm alone, carrying a lot of tech stuff (and had to cram purse-type things in w/ my other stuff, so no purse, which is really awfully and embarrassingly disorienting), and wouldn't you know that on this trip, i get a little sick from nerves (all day) and need about 5000 bathroom emergency trips (sorry) and that in Atlanta, supposedly a 2 hour layover, we are asked to change gates SIX times (not inspiring confidence that anyone in the airline knew what they were/are doing) and leave 2 hours later than planned (none of this helping said nerve/stomach/headache/stress issues), and no mike around to calm me as he so often can and does. a lovely woman chatted w/ me at one of our gates, and she loaned me her cell phone to let me call home if only to connect to a friendly voice because i was down, a little panicky. ick. oh, so why no cell phone? some weird resistance; we use one, sparingly, between us, and plus it costs less for mike to call me (roaming charges) . . . that may have to change. but then i started thinking about how completely childlike i was being (still, i'll defend it because this was a horrible day -- just. too. much.) . . . about how my line home has created a dependency that's troubling, about how, when faced w/ seeking to get by and possibly even to connect w/ strangers, i was delightfully surprised and ended up by chance talking w/ Laura (the cell phone loaner) and her daughter Brittany (who joyfully told me about her trip to Florida and even showed me her bandaged foot -- a coral incident) and Elizabeth, who is at this conference; she helped me by talking w/ me about the conference, her paper, film and rhetoric, as we were waiting at what would turn out to be our last gate. yes, she helped, but by this time i had taken a prescribed (for nervous stomach issues, which often present on stressful days like yesterday) robinul forte, so i was chilling out and my internal organs were righting themselves (why can't they behave?!).
8 hours sleep (w/ earplugs . . . noisy kids), and now i'm up and ready to go see what's what, who's who, etc. i present later today, at 5:00. this should give me time to try to have a decent lunch of some lean protein (no food yesterday . . . even my beloved Delta-feature treat, those Biscoff cookies, weren't making my life happy, like they usually do), time to go get into the flow of the conference, and generally see that life is okay, even mine, even though i had thought about turning around and heading back to Utah during one very low point in Atlanta. so i'm here. it could be cool.
none of this speaks very well to my web space's theme. i am mostly up, feeling okay, and needing to share. if you've indulged me so far, why? (and thanks).
note: i use this showerhead image often; it seems to remind me/us of something a friend told me long ago, "everything is fixed in the shower." reductive, yes, sometimes feeling exactly right, also yes. plus, i love this showerhead. so simple and clean and bright . . . something i'm going for . . .
Thursday, July 5, 2007
in an earlier post, i shared my sense of the intertextual relationships between Godard's Le Mepris (Contempt) and David Lynch's Mulholland Drive. the connections coalesced for me (many of which i had been sort of nonconsciously vibing on throughout my viewing of LM) in LM's final line, delivered by Godard playing a film director who says (in French and translated by the on-set translator portrayed in the film w/in the film) "silenzio." when we find traces like these, moving from one film or expression-event to another we recall or manage in our consciousness, it's beyond description, the experience of it, the high (i wish i had a better word. better not to speak of it?). it's like this other experience i keep having.
so now, thinking about the expression-event i'll be presenting at Penn State next week, a project that wants to be "merely" a film absent contextualizing discourse or Deleuzian "order-words" (but can't; i'm not an idiot . . . i'm about the desire for it), i'm thinking about silence . . . been thinking about it all along. and i'm reading Cheryl Glenn's Unspoken: A Rhetoric of Silence and blissing out on Walter Murch's explication (in Chion's book) of European contempt for the development of sound in film and thinking about the (frequently) disambiguating functions of sound (in film and far beyond) . . . and something is coming together, something that is bringing me back to - or for the first time - my sense that the book i want to write much more than the historical-review-type book i've been "working" on (not that much) is a possibility and a desire and a space that i want to inhabit.
so it's been a pretty good morning.
and i'm thinking that there is something to consider, especially in light of the digital filmmaking going on in some composition and/or rhetoric courses, and i'm looking at the Final Cut Pro timeline and the ease w/ which i can manipulate sound and silence, and i wonder if we (those of us who teach rhetoric and composition studies and writing and whatnot) realize the potential to do important and pleasurable and powerful rhetorical work via image and especially, i'm thinking, sound, silence, and just how easy the multi-track nature of working in fcp can be toward enhancing the intensities of our expression-events.
below is an image of a basic fcp timeline. the top (above the dark middle line) is for video tracks (you can import video, stills, etc, and you can layer or superimpose image and/or text and video and do pretty much everything). the bottom tracks are for audio. the line breaks you see in the horizontal color fields indicate where an image or video or sound file begins and ends (or where you've cut one in editing with the razor tool, pretty much my favorite thing; this is also where you would insert whatever sort of dissolve or transitional move you want to make; i have learned that overuse of the cross dissolve is embarrassing, btw). working with the video and audio tracks, we create what Michel Chion refers to as an "audio-vision" . . . retrieving sound, or revaluing it compared to the primacy of image in film (as does Murch in his famously poetic proclamations, esp prgphs 8-13) emphasizing the ways in which film meaning/experience is contingent upon the relationships between image and sound/text (or silence, . . . which is/can be so powerful and moving in film).
this is all so basic. and not.
. . . and then, it's probably been written (anne, cindy, gail, jeff, johndan, geoff, . . . ??)
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
here's the deal: born w/ one kidney, it's a mess. when they found that i only had one, they said it looked blocked and that i needed a procedure (not as neet as the endo . . . huge incision. that was 15 years ago). i shopped around for doctors who didn't think that i needed the procedure and found them (the kidney *function* is pretty good, they said, and still do). but i can't help thinking that i need to fix it "for real" and that maybe function will improve, or at least not degrade with time. so now, years later, it seems time to correct the problem, especially as this is my one and only precious kidney. essentially, the problem is that it narrows where it connects to the ureter, pressure builds; it's ultimately not good, and i worry about it all the time. the narrowing of my ureter is a bit higher than the one in the photo; see in the photo a gradual tapering from kidney to ureter? mine's not like that. picture instead an overfull balloon on a very tiny string. we're going for something closer to that gradual tapered look (it could be as simple as a haircut!).
i need to schedule it for a time when i can take just a few days (recovery is, luckily, supposed to be pretty fast). not sure when i'll do it. first, a check w/ my nephrologist and maybe a test or two.
Monday, July 2, 2007
i don't understand mac-the-ripper.
i may just run my film through my dv cam, like always. i can't stand projecting w/ the mac and having to look at stuff from the desktop. this really shouldn't be an issue. maybe it isn't, and i'm simply naive. stupid.
i'll cop to all of it.
so since really sophisticated technology is making my brain hurt, i'll move on to some low tech fun -- more from Flight of the Conchords: