Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Here we are idling into the new year. Sydney is enjoying the most glorious weather of perfect days in the high twenties and a light onshore breeze with not a hint of any heavy humidity. And the nights are mild and somehow soft, windows wide open, lying under a single sheet, the ceiling fan on a slow revolve. The frangipani in the front yard has just started dropping its flowers, heady white whorls with yellow throats, mostly onto the footpath over which it hangs.

Everything and everyone seems to be moving in slow motion, even at the pool, where we swim each morning now.

There's few films worth going out for but last night we settled for Melancholia which at least sounded interesting and had ruffled a few feathers one way or another. It was entertaining, in that I didn't fall asleep, and I suppose well enough acted, but not one premise, not one character (well, except for that Charlotte Rampling mother, whose biting dismissal of marriage cut through the rest of the dross) and especially not the self-conscious self-indulgent art direction had any impact on me at all. And as for its metaphysics, well there wasn't any. I thought it a load of crap. I even thought the editing was rubbish, and I don't often venture there. Oh, yes, the sound track. Over and over and over, T & I, till you wanted to scream, like Mum did when I was my Roy Orbison phase: Turn that damn thing off will you.

Note to self: you still haven't seen The Eye of The Storm - Charlotte Rampling, Geoffrey Rush, Judy Davis at al and Fred Schepsi bring Patrick White to the screen with great acclaim - no mean feat that.

(Charlotte Rampling as Elizabeth in The Eye of The Storm)

This wasn't helped I'm sure by arriving just a few minutes before screening into a nearly full (small local) cinema with a few empty rows at the front (beyond my neck let alone eyes) and scattered singles throughout. I spotted two seats up the back - one on the aisle (seat 1), then a popcorn eating young male (seat 2) with crossed leg extending into seat 1, then the other empty seat (seat 3). There was no option but to take a stand. I approached him to see a glass of wine on the floor of seat 3. "Is that seat taken?"I ventured. The head moved sluggishly to one side with no attempt to rearrange himself or his spreading person. "Then, I proposed, it seems the options are we sit either side of you, or perhaps you could move up one". "I'd prefer neither" he shot back. By this time heads had turned, and blessedly one of the gay couple (seats 4 and 5) rescued the situation with "We'll happily move along for you". K got to sit next to the unhappy chap and I was next to the happy gay fellow, or is that fellow gay, who slept through most of it, his boy friend rubbing his arm.

One of the more memorable films I've seen lately (at home on video) was the surprising, in fact startling, "Requiem for a Dream". I was surprised, startled, because I'd forgotten the book on which it is based was by the man who wrote "Last Exit to Brooklyn" (that rattled even the British establishment in the late 60s), and knew nothing of Hubert Selby Jnr's (1928 - 2004) story. Some of it is here.

It is a potent and beautifully made film about the curse of existence - attachment - the curse of the ego. Needs. In this case, stretched into addiction, of the less legal kind. No less cruel or destroying than legal addictions, they are all much the same, a wicked disguise of the truth that is our essence - these things will not fulfill.

Here is Hubert Selby Jnr interviewed by Ellen Burstyn, the film's star (might I suggest you give him time, there are some messages worth waiting for)

Should he interest you, the rest are follow-ons on youtube, easy to find.

Meanwhile, in another exploration of attachment, here is the very special Yvonne Minton (I saw the child at the mother's breast - Act 2 Sc 2 Parsifal - all attachments bring suffering, even a mother's for her child):


marcellous said...

Happy new year. I'm surprised you have been so urban!

wanderer said...

Urban commitments turned out to be a blessing! Back in the country now for a short spell.

Happy New (Dragon) Year.