Alamar is not a new movie (2009) but it’s worth seeing if you’re craving a vacation, love the ocean, have/know a young child, remember being a young child or believe there is magic left somewhere in the world.
Perhaps I should watch the end of the movie before writing, but have loved Erik Enocksson’s soundtrack since I first heard it. The soundtrack led me to the movie (DVD) which is quite a challenge to get. Farväl Falkenberg is a Swedish film that will take you back (maybe) or perhaps mirror where you’re at. Depending on your age. The film’s stars are in their twenties. And adrift.
In our society — most societies — being adrift is not a positive. There was a time maybe in the ’60s when that spirit characterized the Nation, at least in the media, if not the lives of most. But driftiness has never gone away really. Facebook, Twitter, and tethering gadgetry seem to run counter to being adrift, but can super-size one’s sense of being apart by holding up a relentless yardstick of connectivity, or lack of. Either way, sometimes you just want to turn it all off.
I go off on geographical tangents. With music I’ve been transported to Iceland with Sigur Ros, authors from South America like Jorge Luis Borges, and lately with film it’s been Asia.
It’s been a bit hit and miss, Tokyo Drifter, in Black and White was a little dated, and Hiroshi Teshigahara’s crime drama Pitfall was cool, in a way. But the gems are Thai director Pen Ek’s “Last Life in the Universe” and Wong Kar-wai’s film “In the Mood for Love.”
And beyond film, Asia has been pulling the center of the economic universe to the east, the Far East. And with that comes all else — culture, politics, and the ability to impose a world view different from one we know here in the States. The Economist dedicated the December 13th issue to the region and the New York Times served up a sober assessment of the state of the States, China and the United States the day after Christmas (follow the link).
I’m hoping Art serves as a basis for our future relationship with Asia as Commerce looks shaky.
For several reasons, mostly the armchair adventure aspect, my current favorite magazine is Geographical published by the Royal Geographical Society in the UK. It’s what Outside magazine would be if it didnt have to pander to advertisers.
I was reading my favorite magazine and out dropped a piece of direct marketing, but not for sunglasses or a new Toyota Landcruiser, armchair favorites, but for Bhopal. I don’t know. I thought the whole thing had been solved, but really it was simply off my radar.
It’s not. The stories are heartbreaking. And though Union Carbide was responsible for the clean-up and somehow transfered that responsibility, the end result is that the abandoned plant is sitting there like Chernobyl. Reeking and killing. In any event the magazine Georgraphical is well worth reading, the link to Bhopal.org takes you to an organization that is helping, and I think help, from Americans, makes sense. We need to check our capitalist ambassadors from time to time as earnings aren’t all that matter.
Artist Walter Schels explores what lies ahead for all of us in a series of striking and haunting before and after portraits. Read here at The Guardian.
Rita Schoffler, 62
February 17 2004
Rita and her husband had divorced 17 years before she became terminally ill with cancer. But when she was given her death sentence, she realised what she wanted to do: she wanted to speak to him again. It had been so long, and it had been such an acrimonious divorce: she had denied him access to their child, and the wounds ran deep.
May 10 2004
When she called him and told him she was dying, he said he’d come straight over. It had been nearly 20 years since they’d exchanged a word, but he said he’d be there. “I shouldn’t have waited nearly so long to forgive and forget. I’m still fond of him despite everything.” For weeks, all she’d wanted to do was die. But, she said, “now I’d love to be able to participate in life one last time…”
The most successful (important?) living artist Damien Hirst is selling his Golden Calf. The work is part of his ongoing rumination on death which I suppose is obvious, as it is a dead animal in formaldehyde, so not so very abstract.
I’m not certain what one can tell about the world at-large by the person nominated as “best artist”. But, if dollars are the measure, Hirst is today’s “it” artist and has been for a decade or so.
Want to own it? Be prepared to write a check for $16 to $24 million if you’re looking to add Calf to your living room. Death is a curious theme to ride to artistic stardom, but one which is universal, it touches everyone. But, it’s an experience we can not share directly…so it’s the anti-experience of social media, and while media reports passings pretty routinely, how we “see” it or if we see it at all varies widely. For instance, we know lots of people have died in Iraq, but what have we seen.
I have no idea if this is any of Hirst’s motivation in his work, but if Art leads culture, we may “see” things differently in the years to come.