Archive for April, 2008

Matthias Weischer

Last 3rd of April the Zeit Magazine featured a photo of Matthias Weischer in his atelier. This photo was taken by Ben Rinner. And what a great photo it was! It has been on my mind ever since… I might have come across the physical Weischer somewhere in the Spinnerei but didn´t pay so much attention.
Now, he has entered my universe, in this very strange way, through a picture filled with promises of fiction. In it, he is crouching and clamming to the window´s grid like a watching or a falling bird, trapped in and looking in the direction of the light coming from the outside. Maybe he is waiting for the very last ray of light to fly away.
One wall shows one of his paintings and another a floating buoy which, one reads, he brought back with him from Italy, where he has spent the last months painting.
Looking at the picture I cannot decide if he will take off soon or, if he is waiting to be saved!

Matthias Weischer, the human bird, quietly observing something we cannot see ourselves… is he trying to break free of his cage or, is he paralyzed by his own sense of “madness” or, too overwhelmed by what he has discovered that he cannot even move? Will he grab for his safety buoy or just simply take the plunge?

April 21, 2008 at 8:16 pm Leave a comment

The Misfits – John Houston (1961)

A group of people come accidentally together, as so often happens in life. Some are conscious of their misadjustment, others are just lost without even noticing it. Marilyn Monroe plays the role of a disillusioned divorcée, looking ahead for an uncertain future and having one single condition in mind – that companionship and love may finally be a part of her life.
Doubting what her role in life is, she becomes the magnet bringing together three problematic men carrying their own traumas and for whom “the rules of the game have been changed”; a cowboy, the last of a kind whose way of surviving faces endangerment, a rodeo boy keen on hurting himself and battling with the troubles which result from his relationship with his own mother and, a lonely man carrying the guilt of the loss of his loved one. Marilyn is a free spirit on her turn, stuck between child and womanhood as she hesitates to have children herself, for she knows how fleeting the rules of love are.
They are the misfits, fragments of people, pieces of a puzzle that doesn´t fit together. Without having a clue about what to do next, Marilyn discovers her part as real life unfolds. Of all, she has the clearer view, she doesn´t reflect on what to do but simply does it. She finds her role: she is needed and she belongs somewhere because she is needed. She is the entertainer, the problem solver, acting as a mother for the three men – what an irony for someone who fears having kids and what a relief for someone who started out just as lost as the others! She becomes the glue holding all the wrecks surrounding her. Though frighten and insecure at times, she is the laughter and light where the men turn to, expecting approval, incentive, love and advice. She is not a revolutionary figure, just the contrary, she fulfills one of the classical roles of what is expected of a woman.
“The Misfits”, with a screenplay by Arthur Miller and featuring Montgomery Cliff, Clark Gabble and Marilyn Monroe among others, is marked by a series of strange coincidences. It was Clark´s and Monroe´s last appearance on screen, the tumbling down of Miller and Monroe´s marriage took place meanwhile. All the off screen problems somehow show in Marilyn´s rather unbalanced performance, at times engaging and at other times totally weak. It seems she was very moody during the shootings, it was difficult to conciliate her ego with Clark´s own ego, and it is said that either she showed up drunk or not at all on set.

What is Monroe, I often wondered. My fascination started with a photography exhibition I saw in New York. I bought a little postcard that has been following me through the different cities I´ve lived in so far. She is the laughter and the tragedy one is attracted to, she describes something of the male gaze that I would finally like to understand.
On my postcard she is young and joyful, she is leaning forward as if challenging you directly in the eye – fortunately in this two-dimensional image she cannot speak for her dissimulated voice always gets on my nerves. Marilyn´s voice, unlike what a voice usually does, doesn´t bring us closer to her, on the contrary! It reminds me of make up powder and grandma´s perfume, its artifice orchestrated to the last detail, in opposition to a sincere voice, which for me would be the grand voice of Callas, in whose flesh we can already sense the forthcoming tragedy both on life and stage; to be admired and feared from distance but still feel like a total failure in what the smallest things of life, which other people seem to manage so easily, concerns.
Monroe cannot be simply explained as a puppet. Perhaps the known tragic events and facts of her personal life are the ones disturbing her image, continuously taking our sleep away as we do not know what to make out of her.
Anyway, Capote was a great admirer of Monroe and made Hepburn´s life miserable during the shooting of Breakfast at Tiffany´s, for he wrote the part having Monroe in mind – the one and only luxury doll in his mind.
In The Dogs Barking, Capote describes Monroe the same way as Holy, as a slob, divine, like a banana split or a cherry jubilee. He says: „ But true to type as aspects of the Monroe are, she is not genuinely of the genre, she is too untough to be; moreover, she is capable of sensitive concentration always the secret of making any talent work, which her does: the character she performs, a waif-figure of saucy pathos, is sound and of convincing charm: very understandably so, since there is a small difference between her screen image and the impression she privately conveys – the appeal of both personalities stems from the same circumstance: that she is an orphan, in spirit and actually; she is stained, and illuminated by, the stigmata of orphan-thinking: while trusting no one, not very much, she labours like a fieldhand to please everybody, she wants to make of each of us an affectionate protector, and consequently we, her audience, her acquaintances, are flattered, pitying, aroused“.

Marilyn is a fake blond and on this point I´ve got to hand it in to K.G., for he is right. Success comes from knowing how to manipulate one´s medium the best possible way!

April 21, 2008 at 7:48 pm Leave a comment

The Nomadic Condition

Clara Luzia – Morninglight

I sometimes wonder about what is it that keeps you moving… maybe one keeps searching for a long lost place which doesn´t really exist, except in your own head, though you can´t prevent yourself from having the feeling that there is more out there for you than this, this actual this, which is so little compared to what you dreamed or what you imagined for yourself. And you just keep the search going… And you just realize along the way, how much you´ve learned and grew. Though sometimes you also doubt. Is one just looking for a place to belong? Will one really find it?
Tom York says “I´m all the days you choose to ignore. I´m in the middle of your picture. You´re all that I need!” I lived the feeling that I belonged somewhere but I was wrong because I was alone in this feeling, left unchanged before change. I am like Holy Golightly, the time to start buying some furniture still hasn´t come… And I am looking forward to all the surprises and new starts that figure ahead!
And I thank you for this sweet and exciting feeling of leaning against the back of my seat in a plain just before take off (even if you don´t get me and I wish you did)!

April 17, 2008 at 12:32 pm Leave a comment

To the attentive 3 followers of this Blog :))

To K.P., D.L. And M.B.

This Toilet has been OUT-OF-SERVICE.
But I´m back!

„So much this I know ´til the time has come
did you imagine you could ever be so strong
and watch your fear just turn into relief
and see you doubt become your own belief
though tears don´t come to cross your grief away
tears will help to keep your needed pain

so come on now come on now child
you´re here just a while
so come on now come on now child
you´re here just a while“
(Beth Orton, Central Reservation, Pass In Time)

April 17, 2008 at 12:12 pm 1 comment

No One Belongs Here More Than You – Miranda July

Selected quotes:

“We met twice a week in my apartment. When they arrived, I had three bowls of warm tap water lined up on the floor, and then a forth bowl in front of those, the coach´s bowl. I added salt to the water because it´s supposed to be healthy to snort warm salt water, and I figured they would be snorting accidentally. I showed them how to put their noses and mouths in the water and how to take a breath to the side. Then we added the legs, and then the arms. I admitted these were not perfect conditions for learning to swim, but, I pointed out, this was how Olympic swimmers trained when there wasn´t a pool nearby. Yes, yes, yes, this was a lie but, we needed it because we were four people lying on the kitchen floor, kicking it loudly as if angry, as if furious, as if disappointed or frustrated and not afraid to show it”.
The Swim Team in No One Belongs Here More Than You, Stories by Miranda July

“This pain, this dying, this is just normal. This is how life is. In fact, I realize, there never was an earthquake. Life is just this way, broken, and I am crazy to hope for something else”.
Majesty in No One Belongs Here More Than You, Stories by Miranda July

“I had made everything just horrible enough to bring Theresa´s sadness down to the next level, and I joined her there. It was a place of overflowing collaborative misery, and we cried together, We could smell each other´s shampoo and the laundry detergents we had chosen, and I smelled that she didn´t smoke but someone she loved did, and she could feel that I was large but not genetically, not permanently, just until I found my way again”.
It was Romance in No One Belongs Here More Than You, Stories by Miranda July

“My mind ballooned with nervous fear. I looked at Pip and for a split second I felt as though she was nobody special in the larger scheme of my life. She was just some girl who had tied me to her leg to help her sink when she jumped of the bridge. Then I blinked and I was in love with her again”.
Something that needs nothing in No One Belongs Here More Than You, Stories by Miranda July

April 9, 2008 at 6:15 pm Leave a comment

Haruki Marukami – Norwegian Wood

“Tell me how you could say such a thing,” she said, staring at the ground beneath her feet. “You´re not telling me anything I don´t know already. “Relax your body, and the rest of you will lighten up.” What´s the point of saying that to me? If I relaxed my body now, I´d fall apart. I´ve always lived like this, and it´s the only way I know how to go on living. If I relaxed for a second, I´d might never find my way back. I´d go to pieces, and the pieces would be blown away. Why can´t you see that? How can you talk about watching over me if you can´t see that?”

Haruki Marukami, excerpt from Norwegian Wood

April 8, 2008 at 7:48 pm Leave a comment

On Memory- Haruki Murakami

“Memory is a funny thing. When I was in the scene I hardly paid it any attention. I never stopped to think of it as something that would make a lasting impression, certainly never imagined that 18 years later I would recall it in such detail. I didn´t give a damn about the scenery that day. I was thinking about myself . I was thinking about the beautiful girl walking next to me. I was thinking about the two of us together, and then about myself again. I was at that age, that time of life when every sight, every feeling, every thought came back, like a boomerang, to me. And worse, I was in love. Love with complications. Scenery was the last thing on my mind.
Now, though, that meadow scene is the first thing that comes back to me. The smell of grass, the faint chill of the wind, the line of the hills, the barking of a dog: these are the first things, and they come with absolute clarity. I feel as if I can reach out and trace them with a fingertip. And yet, as clear as the scene may be, no one is in it. No one. Naoko is not there, and neither am I. Where could we have disappeared to? How could such a thing have happened? Everything that seemed so important back then – Naoko, and the self I was then, and the world I had then: where could have they all gone? It´s true, I can´t even bring back her face – not strait away, at least. All I´m left holding is a background, pure scenery, with no people at the front”.

Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

April 8, 2008 at 7:31 pm Leave a comment


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