As thick smoke-grey rainclouds descend over the city, I realise I've been watching these clouds for ten, maybe twenty minutes. Looking out the window sitting at my desk, the book in my hand thoroughly ignored as I watch these clouds drift and descend. And for some reason I feel like I'm watching a film. My own version of James Benning's Ten Skies, perhaps. Rain comes after many minutes, hard and fast, and soon the mightiest of thunderclaps makes me jolt slightly. I'm in a kind of visual-meditative reverie, and I wonder how much cinema has contributed to the desire/ ability/ werewithal to simply watch and listen for a long period of time.
I was recently in the mood to watch Tsai Ming-Liang all over again, and queued up The River. Had to stop after a while, as the protagonist's mysterious neck-pain made me focus too much on my own recently-operated shoulder. It wasn't that it reminded me of my pain - it just made me aware of myself rather than being taken out of myself. Cinema does not have to be taken as a palliative, and I'm not condoning pure escapism, but sometimes the viewing experience is uncomfortably jarred if I'm reminded of my own physical self. I can recall trying to watch horror films with brutally nasty hangovers, and it is simply the worst kind of spectatorial experience on the planet. For hangovers, you need comedy - sometimes stupid lowest-common-denominator comedy is the best for a mind-dsearing hangover. Somehow laughter eases the pain - horror, especially icky body-horror, is just a reminder that your body feels like it's going through some kind of meat-grinder. And being hungover can be massively depressing, so horror ain't the best of medicines. I remember watching Night of the Living Dead by myself, totally hungover, when I was much younger and incredibly stupid. A bleak bleak experience, I can tell you.
I'm still waiting for the pleasure of seeing a film by Nathaniel Dorsky, but in the interim I've found this great interview with the filmmaker. There's three segments, here's your starter for ten.
ENTREVISTA CON NATHANIEL DORSKY (I) from Revista Lumière on Vimeo.