Thursday, January 07, 2016

The final, at least something closer to it, is here

Another section. Something I've wanted to do for 20? years. This made it easy. Looking for a translation I remember, I didn't find it. But I found Philip Roth.
For the profundity that is achieved not by complexity but by clarity and simplicity. For the purity of the sentiment about death and parting and loss. For the long melodic line spinning out and the female voice soaring and soaring. For the repose and composure and gracefulness and the intense beauty of the soaring. For the ways one is drawn into the tremendous arc of heartbreak. The composer drops all masks and, at the age of eighty-two, stands before you naked. And you dissolve.
The perfect Shiksa Goddess is a Nazi. A song by a Nazi, sung by a Nazi. The end of an illusion, of a dream and a nightmare. The end of the Reich. And the last of old Europe.

To be clear: the song is high decadence, a form devolved, a few notches about kitsch. It's not Mozart, or Beethoven; it's nostalgia, high mannerism. [update: See Thomas Mann and David Bowie, above.] Kafka laughed reading his stories out loud to friends. The first time I saw the scene above I couldn't help laughing. I still can't. Self-awareness mixes the tragic with the comic.


A start.

Something about process. All of the footage obviously is off the web. The sound from the screen capture is external, from the computer mic. I downloaded the videos and used the sound files synced up to the captured image, putting individual video files in the editing timeline where necessary to sync image and sound, and then removing them, but leaving the sound. When you put a small format video into a large format timeline the image becomes is centered automatically. I left the second repeated Godard image in because looking at it while I realized it connected specifically to the Kubrick, the animation, and box/grid imagery, and monocular and binocular vision. It's not a new gesture; it's a trope. It I didn't think of it until I saw it. Not knowing what to expect, I saw something and used it. Art and invention is mostly observation. I don't "create".

The question for me at the moment is whether my manipulation of Godard, to make say him what I want him to, is too tricky. It's never a question about whether my work may or may not represent morality, immorality, humanism, anti-humanism, nihilism, etc. That I'm trying to craft something for an audience is the sum total of my requirements. Questions of whether or not that audience is large or small, what I'm aiming for and whether I succeed or not will be answered and re-answered over time.

What is certain is that the model of philosophic art doesn't spread beyond its core audience. The poetry of academics as academics simply does not last. It assumes too much and is not seen in the future to have described what has become the past. The Wire and Breaking Bad were not made by college professors. Whether anything I do is good or not, is too arcane or just bad, is irrelevant. Whiggish art describes intent, and original intent works for art no more than law.

New tag for Kubrick. And one for Baudelaire. I'm surprised I hadn't made one earlier.

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