I just watched a beautiful film by Street Etiquette called Slumflower. I was drawn to it by a few stills I'd seen on tumblr, ad it really is a beautiful film. It's about a budding botanist who lives in "ugly" public housing but manages to find beauty in it and uses his love of beauty to sort of mentally escape his bad living circumstances. Beauty times infinity.
All images belong to Street Etiquette
Wednesday, 25 May 2016
Thursday, 12 May 2016
In my last post I said I wanted to be a cosmophage like Susan Sontag, and eat the world. I am regularly overwhelmed however, by how much the world has to offer. The first image that came to mind was that of the posh glutton in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. But then another image, from one of the most intense scenes in movie history. came to mind: Bruce Bogtrotter vs Ms Trunchbull's cake in Matilda.
TW: MILD FOOD/BINGING METAPHORS AND IMAGES
Monday, 9 May 2016
1. Stumbled across this video essay on French New Wave cinema. Fascinating. 'The directors of the French New Wave were the original film geeks'. Not using the techniques of their predecessors because they felt it didn't reflect their experience. Not being different for the sake of it, but to develop new techniques to show that things could be done differently.
2. Finished Olivia Laing's The Lonely City. It's brilliant. I've been trying ever since to find a way to describe it. Not just the book but the experience of reading it. When I first opened the book and saw the epitaph: "If you're lonely, this one's for you.", I cringed and felt embarrassed. But as I read I found myself fascinated and touched by Laing's mix of personal experience, cultural criticism and art history to talk about loneliness in a way that I could not only really relate to, but a way that also allowed me to understand the reasons behind that initial feeling of embarrassment. She writes about art and loneliness, the Internet and loneliness, death and loneliness. It was as moving as it was intellectually stimulating. I put stars next to several books in the bibliography. Thank God there was a bibliography.
And while there were what I would call "aesthetic" moments, I didn't find it trite or think it took away from the book, the fact that there are playlists of clips and music Laing put together on youtube. It wasn't distracting at all. And what's more it broke a sort of spell for me. I want to be better at what I do so badly that sometimes I'll go a little bit extreme. When I was still thinking a little superficially about the link between art and loneliness, I was prepared to follow these artists footsteps in isolation in order to make better work. It's strange, it did not make me want to do that at all. However, it also didn't make me want to force myself to be a far far more social person in order to avoid a life of social isolation.
Maybe I will quote the only self-help-esque part of the book:
I don't believe the cure for loneliness is meeting someone, not necessarily. I think it's about two things: learning to befriend yourself and understanding that many of the things that seem to affect us as individuals are in fact a result of larger forces of stigma and exclusion, which can and should be resisted.
|Andy Warhol eating a burger|
|David Wojnarowicz, Rimbaud in New York|
3. Reading Wayne Koestenbaum's My 1980s and Other Essays. Learning about writing styles, what an essay can look like, what a poem can look like. Learning about the kind of writer I want to be. Learning about the kind of person I want to be. I want to be a cosmophage too. I want to eat the world.
Favourite 'moments' so far
'Let me be excited about the objects that I choose, not the objects that cultural czars choose for me'
- Frank O'Hara's Excitement
'The aesthete's radicalism: to be multiple, to make multiple identifications; to assume fully the privilege of the personal...'
- Susan Sontag, Cosmophage
'If I berate myself in public, will you, reader, reach enlightening and recognise your superiority? Self-laceration - masochism - is a respectable rhetorical strategy.'
- Advice to the Young
Will re-read Frank O'Hara's Lunch Poems. Sudden memory from 4 years ago now, of Keston Sutherland reading from Lunch Poems in lecture, and me, surrounded by 300 other literature undergrads, overwhelmed and crying silently. I was so frustrated and excited. Cursor hovered over send button for ages. I had written an email to send saying how much I was affect by the reading. Didn't send it. I think I sent an email later about a lecture he gave on Marxism.
|Frank O'Hara in 1966|
4. I'm going to Dublin next week. Strange chain of events. Saw a post on Tumblr about Wes Anderson. Got the urge to art direct my life again. Fought it. Wrote about it:
'So yeah. I'm doing it again. Wanting to aestheticise and art direct my life. And Wes Anderson set it off again, of course. And I want to sped money on kitschy things and have... adventures. He always gets me. I remember when the short films for Prada Candy came out and I really had to resist the urge to go a buy that perfume.Then booked the tickets. Just an overnight. Alone. Was terrified, still am, even though Ireland is only "over there". Where in Dublin should I go?
Nice bookshelves with interesting books on them. Cameras. Socks. Uniforms. Adventures. Muses. Creativity.
Too much time spent wishing instead of doing.'
5. I'm so hungry. Have been mistakenly snacking and overeating but it's not that kind of hunger. I want to eat the world.
Disclaimer: none of the images are mine except for the first one and the image of the text from The Lonely City
Tuesday, 26 April 2016
1. Kilo Kish. Music videos. New Album out. This interview in ILY Mag. Beautiful. I like the way these videos end so abruptly. It's slightly jarring.
2. More fitting room selfies. The only photos I really take anymore. After buying a pair of shorts I think I own a piece of Adidas clothing for just about every part of me? Kind of. Am I Stormzy yet???
3. Reading. I actually finished White Girls a couple of days ago and it's everything. It's everything. I'd really love to write like that. Hilton Als, you're a genius. I bought PAPER even though it had Lena Dunham on the front and I'm not really about her. My favourite interviews were the one between Leandra Medine & Diane von Furstenberg, and the one with Jacob Bernstein (Nora Ephron's son). Lessons learned from them: You need to communicate with people to write authentically. You can turn the bad things that happen to you into art. Now reading Olivia Laing's The Lonely City. Which is fascinating and moving. Also, I still carry Good Morning, Midnight around with me.
4. I bought a lipstick. Just trying a ting. It's got me some compliments. It doubles as blusher. Well, for me it does. Blush? I don't know make-up. I learned what correcter is today.
5. Planning to fangirl-stalk Pres. Obama with my friend while he was on UK visit. Had to go work instead. Damn you, large department store I cannot name on here! Damn you!
img sources: stills from Kilo Kish music videos. All other photos are mine