Friday, July 15, 2011

Aggressive nonparticipant*

music: Tasseomancy - Heavy Sleep

And could it be that in this passivity I shall find my freedom?

C'est d'ailleurs la grande force politique de Duras de s'être concentrée sur des gens perdus qui, parce que perdus, déboussolaient aussi le monde à leur entour. Ce que la cinéaste invente à ce moment-là grâce à ces sociétés de quasi-fous, ce n'est pas l'idée que la folie est révolutionnaire, mais que la perte (et la passivité suprême qui conduit à la perte) est la révolution, que c'est ne rien faire, ne rien être, qui provoque la ruine de l'ordre ancien du monde.
Stéphane Bouquet, «Marguerite Duras, Mai en silence» dans Cinéma 68

Okay. I'm Dostoevsky. You're Anna. We're writing The Gambler. Take my dictation. Who's ever written the great work about the immense effort required in order not to create? Intensity without mastery. The obsessiveness of the utterly passive. And could it be that in this passivity I shall find my freedom?
Slacker (Richard Linklater, 1991)

*****

TV is. We Are. Imagine Yourself.

Slacker (Richard Linklater, 1991)


So, uh, what is this... some kind of psychic TV-type parallelism?


Well, we all know the psychic powers of the televised image. But we need to capitalize on it and make it work for us instead of us working for it.

Like how?

Well, like, to me, my thing is... a video image is much more powerful and useful than an actual event. Like back when I used to go out, when I was last out, I was walking down the street and this guy came barreling out of a bar... fell right in front of me and he had a knife right in his back... landed right on the ground. And I have no reference to it now. I can't refer back to it. I can't press rewind. I can't put it on pause. I can't put it on slo-mo and see all the little details. And the blood, it was all wrong. It didn't look like blood. The hue was off and I couldn't adjust the hue. I was seeing it for real, but it just wasn't right. And I didn't even see the knife impact on the body. I missed that part.
Slacker (Richard Linklater, 1991)

This segment of Slacker drew my attention for several reasons: it's probably the weirdest of them all (I didn't get one thing: okay, the guy is nuts, but why does he have a tv taped to his back?); it says a lot about our visual culture; the guy might be labeled a hikikomori *grin*; I saw this on Monday, and earlier that day I was taking silly pics of my tv while watching Roman Coppola's CQ on MGM, so yeah... I am a character in Richard Linklater's Slacker.

CQ (Roman Coppola, 2001)


(* "Aggressive nonparticipants" is the phrase used by Criterion to describe the generation portrayed in Linklater's Slacker.)

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