Friday, May 30, 2014

May 30, 2014



May 30, 2014

I’m curious to know what my last day on this planet would be like, for instance, would I spent time at home reading, or would I go out for a long walk in the neighborhood, maybe dropping by at the local fish n’ chips shop to get some lunch.  I often dream at night of the perfect magazine stand, yet in reality, I never came upon such a printed version of utopia.  As a child I accustomed to roam over the magazine stand in Hollywood, thinking that it was just an incredible inventory of publications, but the truth is, the one in my head, is much better, way better in fact.  Often I would wake up from a marvelous dream of such a place, that had comic books from every part of the world, and of course the quality of the printing varies from country to country.  But by touching the pages of these comics, I felt I was touching the actual culture of that specific country.  As I got older, I got into record collecting, not necessary due to its music, but more of the case that these objects were produced in a certain time and in a specific place. I never travel, yet holding a publication or an object like a record takes me to that country of origin.  I never know for sure what that culture is like, but I imagine a world that is totally suitable for me.



I have always been fascinated with Paris, but it is a city that I never went to, but I have in a sense through its literature and films. I can be only thankful for Léon Gaumont, starting the first French film studio, and therefore leading me to Paris through the films of Louis Feuillade, who was my first introduction to the great city.  The city of lights for many, but through my aesthetic it became a city of shadows, and when I hear the word “terror” I immediately think of Paris.  It was much later in my life where I saw Agnès Varda’s “Cléo from 5 to 7” which was another version of Paris, seen through the eyes of perhaps someone dying, or at the very least, a major change will take place, and spending the day taking the images and sounds of that city, as if it was the last day.   As I get older, that film stays with me the most, I think owing that I am more aware, in one day, I will not be here anymore.


I like to think of myself as being more refined as I get older, but the truth is I desire chaos.  I’m motivated by emotion, passion, and need.  Life in a funny way is like a movie studio in the times of Irving Thalberg.  The “boy genius” who controlled the finances and studied the commercial market of production, by having sneak previews, to measure the opinions of the audience before the film is made public, is a world that I find disgusting.  As he studied balance sheets, this act alone caused him to fire Erich von Stroheim over the length of “Foolish Wives.” For von Stroheim, the aesthetic is everything, for Thalberg, yes aesthetic is important, but it's not everything. Making art and specifically making movies is a crap game in a dark alley at its best, but a talented gambler knows the odds and the landscape of the game and where it taking place.  Erich only knows the passion, and therefore is driven to have the images in his head on the screen, at all cost.  The ‘all cost’ part of the deal is where von Stroheim and Thalberg parted, like the Red Sea.



With respect to my publishing, I’m totally on the side of Erich von Stroheim.  I loathe the idea of budgets, or anyone sitting me down and giving yours truly a lecture on economics.  If I have a choice of being tortured by a thousand cuts, or go directly into the sun, I choose to wear sunglasses and head towards the heat and brightness that are life.  Nevertheless, till then, I walk among the shadows.
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