The antique room at the Academy of Fine Arts. Copenhagen. 1824. Ditlev Martens. Danish. 1795-1864. oil on canvas.
Balthus, Window, Cour de Rohan, 1951
“I never discuss the plots of my films. I never release a synopsis before I begin shooting. How could I? Until the film is edited, I have no idea myself what it will be about. And perhaps not even then. Perhaps the film will only be a mood, or a statement about a style of life. Perhaps it has no plot at all. I depart from the script constantly. I may film scenes I had no intention of filming; things suggest themselves on location, and we improvise. I try not to think about it too much. Then, in the cutting room, I take the film and start to put it together and only then do I begin to get an idea of what it is about.”
Stills from L’avventura
I think a shot that I am really interested in right now is that view you get from riding the Metra from the south side up to the city, when train dollies diagonally past neighborhoods from about a story above, giving houses and yards a slightly artificial look, as if they were only models in a diorama.
Clearly this is impossible.
But there are things that can be done. We can get on a neighbor’s roof. I once knew someone with access to a cherry-picker truck. Or.
Or, I could just build the dioramas. Often in dreams, I am floating above a map of the United States. Daniel is sleeping in the passenger seat. I know I have to be home in the morning for work, but the roads lead through long winding states. Do we go through Texas? Do we go north? Do we sleep in Lincoln? Orange Nebraskas. Where is Madison in a green Wisconsin? Am I lost in Lacrosse? Do I want to go home? I am on I-94 through Idaho where the mountains are deep green and I take the Volvo over 70, 80 miles an hour because Daniel is asleep and the road twists and my insides levitate with the speed and it feels like a video game but that is the memory not the dream, and in Montana the mosquitos die like a rain storm and at night the oil wells are on fire and suddenly there is a church in the dark.
I am alone over south Tucson by the gas station my mother walked to every day while she was pregnant, above the telephone lines. A dust devil twists silently.
I might need a macro lens.
Days of Being Wild (阿飛正傳)
Wong Kar Wai (王家衛)
Teshigahara Hiroshi, The Woman in the Dunes (1964)
The Mirror (dir. Andrei Tarkovsky — 1975)