I’m back. Not as a critic but as me. I find it so hard sometimes, I have trouble opening up. Part of me thinks that if people can pay close enough attention to my work they’ll be able to find some way into me. It’s so like me I guess, my chosen form of self expression coming with inbuilt mediation to keep any audience at arms length.
It’s not like knowing me is any form of privilege, I’m a fucking disaster. I decided a while ago in that way that seems so clear to young people that as I had nobody to share my secrets with I shouldn’t keep any. I should allow the world to partake of me and then I would become part of it.
I know now the benefits of secrecy. It ain’t just your own truths you gotta try to keep out from those places they would burn so bright as too irritate others’ eyes. It’s everyone’s. and when all you’ve got is the world there’s no shaded place to keep all the loose pieces safe.
What I’m saying is that I might not be available, but I’m here. I hope that can be enough.
I been reading the Sidney Lumet memoir/textbook Making Movies. I seen like his hugest flicks, the ones everyone seen. Network, Dog Day Afternoon, 12 Angry Men, Murder on the Orient Express (1974). This book makes me wanna check them all. Probably should too. He comes across a man of outstanding empathy and perspicacity. The writing is intensely focused on his personal experience, and yet his experiences are the way that I dream filmmaking to be. I just need to make it a full time thing somehow.
Seriously: Read this book.
I started working full time again recently. It is an unsustainable way of living and I can feel it killing me. I do not earn enough to be put through it. we are so committed to making life unlivable it is a wonder the whole world is not yet dead. My leftist resentment only grows.
I am in pain so much of the time. This world has contrived it so that the ones most able to escape are the most visible. I try to be content with what I have but what I have is small and lonely. I do not wish to be set atop the world, that would be equally as crushing, I just want to fully let the air out of my lungs maybe once in a while.
I don’t think I’ve properly relaxed in anyone’s arms for years.
The end of last week I watched Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush. I had learned about it in my GCSE history classes and all that shit. The western expansion I mean, not the Chaplin flick. But it’s those opening shots. I’m fairly sure Herzog stole them for the credits of Aguirre, the Wrath of God they’re so good.
It held me, and going through it i would realise. I have seen Tom and Jerry do the eating shoes gag; I saw Abe Simpson dancing the Oceana Roll; Brad Silberling covers the cliff edge house in A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004). you know Chaplin was this whole thing but you don’t expect him to be iconic until you actually see him in action. I gotta catch more.
A sidenote, I was initially watching this on Filmstruck UK because their service just launched over here. They don’t quite have the capability yet. Steaming speeds are so goddamn awful I watched the second half on a low res youtube stream and it was a more pleasant experience. I’d give them a while to catch up.
My review of Alex Garland’s Annihilation will be up soon but this is a weird week for film in general. I’ll probably do Tomb Raider too I guess, maybe The Square. Who knows if I’ll be able to face Mary Magdalene or Peter Rabbit. That’s two disgusting prospects and there’s more appealing forms of self harm available.
That’s it for the week. I’ll be around and longing for connection. I’m sure y’all can find some way of getting in touch.
I’m on Letterboxd now too if y’all wanna follow me there. Just search for Esther Warren, I’ll be there.