Just another ghost in the machine.
This tumblr is science, world affairs, video games, technology, cinema, electronic & rock music, art, nature, writing, language, and introspection. Summary: the profound to the absurd.
Kredu tiujn, kiuj serĉas la veron. Dubu tiujn, kiuj trovas ĝin. -André Gide
Monument to Andrei Tarkovsky, at the entrance of the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography in Moscow, Russia.
— Andrei Tarkovsky (via no-s-t-a-l-g-h-i-a)
Marina Abramović, “An Artist’s Life Manifesto” (via surbeat)
Without being familiar with the context, I think I understand this. Two artists have the potential to co-create their worlds so deeply and densely, that they risk annihilating each other via the intense, metaphorical radiation and tidal forces generated in that process and entangled mass of connections. One possible (fictional) example of this would be Cobb and Mal in Inception.
That’s pretty disciplined to me—living primarily in service to one’s art. But we also hear the other myth: that you must live yourself out.
You know the cliché: You’re out on the town, you’re doing drugs, you’re drinking, you’re running on the walls, you’re pissing on the fireplace. It’s a cliché. Often you run into artists who live that life—and at one point, you find out that they’re not actually producing that much art. They’re living the life of the artist without the work.
If you live the kind of life that [Ingmar] Bergman does—spending long hours in solitude, working with your art—sometimes people use medicine to smooth things over. They drink or take pills or whatever they do in order to deal with the painful sides of this. But so do people who don’t produce art. It’s not like only artists drink to cope. Doing so doesn’t make you more interesting or creative—and it may even destroy you.
Bergman wrote down an interesting story about a young actress who was teasing him for being too controlled—that he was not wild enough, and he didn’t drink enough, and he didn’t do this and that enough. And he says, well, she ended up in an insane asylum without teeth in her mouth, 50 years old. That’s what she got from living herself out.
We can separate artistic pain, the experience of feeling deeply, from leading a painful life. One is not a requirement for the other. What’s interesting about Bergman—he shows you can use your demons to pull your way through life. You can use them for good things instead of trying to let them destroy you. He wrote a diary every day of his life, and quotes can be read in the book called Images. One entry in particular captures the idea about the link between pain and creativity:
Here, in my solitude, I have the feeling that I contain too much humanity.
Solitude, I think, heightens artistic receptivity in a way that can be challenging and painful. When you sit there, alone and working, you get thrown back on yourself. Your life and your emotions, what you think and what you feel, are constantly being thrown back on you. And then the “too much humanity” feeling is even stronger: you can’t run away from yourself. You can’t run away from your emotions and your memory and the material you’re working on. Artistic solitude is a decision to turn and face these feelings, to sit with them for long periods of time.
It takes the courage to be there. You run into your own pettiness. Your own cowardice. You run into all kinds of ugly sides of yourself. But the things that you’ve experienced in your life become the writing that you do.
— Dorthe Nors, on Ingmar Bergman, solitude, and artistry
— Andrei Tarkovski (via armix)
I left Mexico for artistic survival. If I had stayed, I would have been forced by the government, who control the movie business, to direct TV shows or commercials or infomercials for the government.
A clip from Terrence Malick’s upcoming film, To The Wonder.
I’m always struck when a new Malick film rolls around, struck at how curious and spontaneous the camera is compared to everything else out there. Sure, one of the main concerns, like any serious movie, is composition—aesthetics—and that’s never missing in one of his films. But, in addition, the camera is also always searching, always moving in unexpected ways and to unexpected places, not content to stand still and observe statically. The abstract voice-overs pose the questions, and the camera looks for answers. It’s almost like this model of a curious artist’s mind’s eye: scanning, shifting viewpoints. It’s an awesome kind of philosophical dialogue anchored by raw emotion. He has to be the most intuitive of filmmakers alive today. This is also reflected in how he finds the narrative while editing, and not prescribing it prior to or during filming.
You hear stories about how all these big name actors who sign up to work on his films end up not appearing much in the films, and their egos are hurt because for some reason they didn’t expect it would happen to them; or they complain about how they’re not the center of attention in scenes because the camera will suddenly veer off to observe something else happening in the surroundings. Well, that’s because of Malick’s method of filming a ton and finding some manifest narrative throughline. That, to me, is more appealing than most of the stuff out their in cinema.
—The Rifle's Spiral
the shins - rifle’s spiral
My personal, totally subjective pick for Favorite Song of 2012. Mainly because I can’t comprehend how words can be this poetically rendered in a catchy pop song. James Mercer has a way of phrasing that makes it seem like his songs talk about a world separate from ours, but in a way that seems like it is the most natural thing to talk about.
Playboy: Much of the controversy surrounding 2001 deals with the meaning of the metaphysical symbols that abound in the film — the polished black monoliths, the orbital conjunction of Earth, Moon and sun at each stage of the monoliths’ intervention in human destiny, the stunning final kaleidoscopic maelstrom of time and space that engulfs the surviving astronaut and sets the stage for his rebirth as a “star-child” drifting toward Earth in a translucent placenta. One critic even called 2001 “the first Nietzschean film,” contending that its essential theme is Nietzsche’s concept of man’s evolution from ape to human to superman. What was the metaphysical message of 2001?
Kubrick: It’s not a message that I ever intend to convey in words. 2001 is a nonverbal experience; out of two hours and 19 minutes of film, there are only a little less than 40 minutes of dialog. I tried to create a visual experience, one that bypasses verbalized pigeonholing and directly penetrates the subconscious with an emotional and philosophic content. To convolute McLuhan, in 2001 the message is the medium. I intended the film to be an intensely subjective experience that reaches the viewer at an inner level of consciousness, just as music does; to “explain” a Beethoven symphony would be to emasculate it by erecting an artificial barrier between conception and appreciation. You’re free to speculate as you wish about the philosophical and allegorical meaning of the film — and such speculation is one indication that it has succeeded in gripping the audience at a deep level — but I don’t want to spell out a verbal road map for 2001 that every viewer will feel obligated to pursue or else fear he’s missed the point. I think that if 2001 succeeds at all, it is in reaching a wide spectrum of people who would not often give a thought to man’s destiny, his role in the cosmos and his relationship to higher forms of life. But even in the case of someone who is highly intelligent, certain ideas found in 2001 would, if presented as abstractions, fall rather lifelessly and be automatically assigned to pat intellectual categories; experienced in a moving visual and emotional context, however, they can resonate within the deepest fibers of one’s being.
I don’t even have to look at the credits or anything to know if David Lynch directed any given episode of Twin Peaks. His vision and weird flourishes boldly stick out. Example: episode 2.2 when Donna, Maddy and James are sitting in the floor singing some kind of insane, bizarro retro pop song (sounds like something Lynch would be involved in these days!) Or episode 2.1 and the entire, absurdly brilliant scene between the old room service guy and Agent Cooper after he was shot. Or episode 2.2 when Donna starts Laura’s meals-on-wheels route and comes across the David Lynch mini-me kid and his cream corn magic tricks. Now, contrast that with episode 2.4—directed by a Todd Holland—and the horrible fight scene at the end between Josie’s cousin Jonathan and Hank Jennings.
It is in the contrasts of quality like the above that results in the de facto recognition that Twin Peaks’ enduring legacy is mostly a product of the visionary artistry of David Lynch.