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Showing posts with label THEAGENTAPSLEY. Show all posts
Showing posts with label THEAGENTAPSLEY. Show all posts

Sunday, 24 January 2016

The questioner hadn't seen Peter Greenaway's film (but Greenaway didn't listen to the questions anyway)

When Peter Greenaway came as a guest, with Eisenstein in Guanajuato (2015)…

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2015 (3 to 13 September)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)

24 January

When Peter Greenaway was a guest, and his film Eisenstein in Guanajuato (2015) was his platform…

For Rocketina - a kind and thoughtful editor, and supreme encourager - in fondest memory of Charlie

Some propositions :

1. It is ‘possible’ that Peter Greenaway (‘PG’) spoke at some length, when introducing Eisenstein in Guanajuato (2015) ('EiG')

2. Possibly, at such length that the screening that followed EiG had to be delayed by around thirty minutes

3. The questioner (so called for reasons that one may guess at) (‘AJD’) could be known to the present writer (@THEAGENTAPSLEY)

4. It is conceivable that AJD may not have watched any significant part of EiG, other than, say, the last ten minutes (less significant, one might imagine, without the rest of it ?)

5. During the ensuing Q&A (hosted by Bill Lawrence (‘BL’ / @Billlawrence)), it might have seemed that PG was, again, talking at those who (with the possible exception of AJD) had just seen EiG - apparently simultaneously inciting, and condescending to, those who had chosen to be there by saying (in the manner of these propositions) that they might have seen his film The Draughtsman's Contract (1982) ?

6. Some might assert that, whereas PG could have seemed, just before AJD's engagement in the Q&A, to bait his audience for not embracing a revolutionary form of cinema that employed more than the field of view occupied by the screen¹, and for not doing more than sitting immobile in front of it, EiG itself was, even by PG’s unusual standards of - and approaches to - story-telling and marshalling of cinematic material, a largely conventional film

7. When, at around this point, BL noticed AJD’s hand raised, he could have interpreted it as someone who was rising to the invitation that he had put out for people to respond to PG’s directly challenging words to those there - as to whether the time for watching films in this way had passed, and they should be embracing the type of new cinema that PG was strenuously urging on them

8. AJD may well have apologized to BL, clarifying that he had not been intending to offer such a response, but, if so, simply wished to ask who would come to such a cinema (to which, perhaps, no one else added anything - even if that might not have implied tacit assent ?)

9. If so, well knowing where he was (some guests, being much in demand and often tired from travel, do not immediately recall the present location), PG indicated that, for that reason, he had expected more of the people there - this, maybe, in several minutes further of urging for his thesis ?

10. At this time, it is likely that AJD took the opportunity to put his substantive question to PG, probably :

Q1 If, as one suspects, you are having a conversation with Mark Cousins², in this film, what is the nature or content of that conversation ?

11. When he started, PG seemed to be replying, for he immediately agreed, and without reservation, that he was having a conversation with Mark Cousins : yet, since he apparently turned this locution into a list of people (including Borges³) with whom he was ‘having a conversation’, and (in a long answer) never went near the question again, AJD would rapidly have had to draw the conclusion that PG either chose not to address what had been put to him, or did not even comprehend the reason for being asked it²

12. Despite perhaps not having seen very much of EiG, would AJD not have been intrigued by this mention of Borges³, a writer whom AJD much respected, and would he have been able to resist testing whether there was any substance behind PG's mentioning Borges' name ? :

Q2 Since you mentioned Borges, are you willing to tell us in what way his work informs your film, and so how it should be part of our understanding of it ?

13. One could possibly reinterpret proposition 11 (above) to guess what answer anyone present derived, to this new enquiry, from what PG went on lengthily to assert - and whether AJD, renouncing the struggle⁴, collapsed in despair…


¹ PG repeatedly referred to a specific angle of view as that in front of the spectator : was it 110 degrees ? (If so, the residual angle, to make a complete rotation, is 250 degrees.)

² In 2012, Mark Cousins (@markcousinsfilm) had given a Q&A after his film What is This Film Called Love ? (2012), made by Cousins on the spur of the moment (and with the resources available) in homage to Sergei Eisenstein (and his time in Mexico), when unexpectedly in Mexico City for a few extra days.

³ Jorge Luis Borges (24 August 1899 to 14 June 1986) is an Argentinian author, poet, literary critic, editor, and translator. He writes in Spanish, and, from 1955 to 1973, served as Director of The National Library of The Argentine Republic (Biblioteca Nacional de la República Argentina).

⁴ A phrase that always brings Kafka much to mind : 'Beschreibung eines Kampfes' ('Description of a Struggle') was one of the few works published in his life-time (in Betrachtung (1912)).

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Saturday, 10 October 2015

For World Mental Health Day 2015 : Where, in me, is Kafka’s Josef K. ?

More views of or before Cambridge Film Festival 2015 (3 to 13 September)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)

10 October, World Mental Health Day

A personal vision of trying to relate to the experience of breakdown / psychiatric challenge in the form of ongoing existential / spiritual self-examination

This is not [meant to be], on #WMHD2015, @THEAGENTAPSLEY talking about others as if about the self (or vice versa)*.

Rather, it is more in the nature of a confession, of trying to be honest and open about what breakdown, and admission under section (circa 21 April 1996), deep down meant and felt like, and still does, just now when the feeling of how I act, and have acted, hypocritically can be keen, as here :

If needed, here is a paragraph from Wikipedia®'s summary of the plot of The Trial**, by way of partial context for those Tweets :

K. is visited by his uncle, who was K.'s guardian. The uncle seems distressed by K.'s predicament. At first sympathetic, he becomes concerned that K. is underestimating the seriousness of the case. The uncle introduces K. to a lawyer, who is attended by Leni, a nurse, who K.'s uncle suspects is the advocate's mistress. During the discussion it becomes clear how different this process is from regular legal proceedings: guilt is assumed, the bureaucracy running it is vast with many levels, and everything is secret, from the charge, to the rules of the court, to the authority behind the courts – even the identity of the judges at the higher levels. The attorney tells him that he can prepare a brief for K., but since the charge is unknown and the rules are unknown, it is difficult work. It also never may be read, but is still very important. The lawyer says that his most important task is to deal with powerful court officials behind the scenes. As they talk, the lawyer reveals that the Chief Clerk of the Court has been sitting hidden in the darkness of a corner. The Chief Clerk emerges to join the conversation, but K. is called away by Leni, who takes him to the next room, where she offers to help him and seduces him. They have a sexual encounter. Afterwards K. meets his uncle outside, who is angry, claiming that K.'s lack of respect has hurt K.'s case.

NB Looking back, in that way, to sectioning in 1996 (and again in January 1997), there is no intention to suggest that anyone else does feel, or ought to feel, twinges of conscience that are tied up with their experience of mental-health issues or services.

However, for me, conscience / awareness of feeling a fraud seem in the midst of what happened then, now, and everywhere in between.

If I see a spiritual or existential dimension in my own issues of mental health, it is for me to see or, more likely, pretend to myself that I am aware of it, when largely I keep it well hidden (at least from myself) : it is all in relation to wanting to work out my paranoia, and why I can, so easily, find accusation in comments, words and texts (mainly from memory, though also in recollected things that people said or wrote, and what they meant / whether they really meant xyz)…

Coda :

And remembering may be, for some, to do with learning not to forget... ? :


* As one of Beckettt’s authorial voices says somewhere (in The Unnamable, or is it Company ?), When I say ‘I’, and having addressed the question whatever / whoever ‘I’ is (and he digresses, as I do, in the fashion of Laurence Sterne’s principal narrator, Tristram Shandy) he goes on to say just that : when saying ‘I’, he does not intend to talk about someone else (as if it were he).

(Molloy, too, certainly mentions that he may lapse into talking of himself as if of another.)

** Kafka wrote the (incomplete) novel in German, entitled Der Prozeß.

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)