For reasons, I have aborted the trip to Lisbon. It is the fourth time in my life that I cancel a trip to Lisbon, I don’t know why it happens like this. I remember that Alain Tanner movie called in the white city: “When I walk I think about a lot of things. Very interesting things.” This was said by the protagonist played by Bruno Ganz, a fugitive sailor who wandered the Portuguese capital without major complications. That and little else was the film. I, however, once again will not go to Lisbon. They can wait for me sitting down. I have never liked that city. I’m not interested in your poets either.
Paris also has me fed up. I’m up to the hat of culture. Unlike Spain, France is a more or less literate country, but Parisian culture is pure marketing and in some areas it is even more stupid than here, where it has less room for development. The Palais de Tokyo, for example, hosts one of its usual exhibitions of wrecks, rags and dirt to “become aware” of something. Cultural management is a den of thieves. Urban art, meanwhile, has ceased to be a protest and now aspires to embellish the outdoors, to make it beautiful, an obscenity that is sometimes aggravated by the author’s signature, even his internet address. The counterculture no longer exists. Banksy: artist or vandal? Mess!
In short, something is wrong in this well of rationalists, there is no doubt, something is wrong everywhere. Globally, France is the world’s third largest arms exporter; particularly at breakfast, I find that something ominous governs the character of this easily spreadable butter, a wicked, almost Austrian quality. I’m running out of here.
under the volcano
Time does not stop. Albert Serra, the most Frenchified of Spanish filmmakers and consul of an unlikely Catalan cinema, has presented these days in Barcelona the film that will premiere the first week of September, Pacificiona thriller bloated and colonial, linen, mosquito netting and sunset, where Benoît Magimel plays a bit of Gerard Depardieu and another bit of Marlon Brando. The movie, between the mangrove swamp and the orchard, is a journey to the end of the night that hallucinates about a plot that is also miserable, but very beautiful: that of a man who waits.
This leads me to think that almost all the films that interest me deal with a man who waits, which amounts to the same thing as a man in despair. In any case, Serra has chosen to subject his to the technical process of inflating it to 35 millimeters, not only to make it look like a movie, but also to make it so in these times of miniaturism. Because Pacificion it is of a brief and modest poetics entrusted to the density and the net weight of its images, which abound in the purpose of the author’s entire filmography: the pataphysical mockery of the world. It is, therefore, a film of resistance, which is known to be possible only under the protection of “culture”, since the public, neither the Spanish nor the French, is going to be willing to support a similar cinema, based on whim and the ambiguity.
Men who wait and men who run, that is where the two most important figures in movies are contained, the nudes and the chases. That is my notion of cinema. The occasion of the chase in a film is almost a declension of the plot, it is the film physically personifying itself. The chases are tropes that traverse, cross, pierce and traverse the films, following the timeline until a character breaks free, goes around a corner and throws off the one who is running after him. The nudes, meanwhile, are more expressive than any dialogue and are a go where the film covers, for which you have to undress, bare at least the soul, not stand.
Truffaut, whom we mentioned yesterday, did not believe in nudity in the cinema, it seemed to him an anecdotal matter, but there we have to amend the page. In the nude, the film permeates our intimacy and gives us access to the nonsense that we are. Am I explaining myself? The sex and violence of a lifetime. A film that lacks those two sister energies, which even in the sweetest comedy should beat, is not even good for eating cats.
The importance of the nude understood in this way, I believe, began with the lunch on the grass, that painting by Manet. It was 1863 and there had been many nudes in the history of art related to mythologies, muses and nonsense, but this was the first time that it was presented without any context or justification other than itself. His peculiarities were to mark the future of painting: next to the naked woman on the grass there are two dressed men who are indifferently talking. She looks at us. We don’t see anymore. It is what is called a rapture.
A train and a newspaper
I have finished reading the memoirs of Bulle Ogier (which he co-signs with Anne Diatkine, cultural journalist at Libération), entitled J’ai oublie, and that I doubt whether to translate as “I have forgotten” or as “I no longer remember”. Ogier is an actress whom no one here knows and few in France remember. Her filmography is associated with Jacques Rivette, Werner Schroeter, Buñuel and Marguerite Duras, but also with Alain Tanner, who made her famous with The salamander in 1971. Mother of the ill-fated Pascale Ogier, she is married to Barbet Schroeder, another interesting director who sixty years ago founded, with Éric Rohmer, the mythical production company Les Films du Losange, cradle of the new wave that today, and this is a coincidence that now comes the text, co-produces the movie by Albert Serra.
In the book, Ogier talks about the important things, which are the unimportant things, and says, for example, that after each theatrical performance she feels beautiful for two hours, a temporary plenitude that must be the result of escaping death every night. He also talks about terrible things, but I am not in a position to remember them because they are intimate and overwhelming, they remain in his book. Besides, it’s too late.
The pedestal fan has been there all night like a stunner. He turns and moves his head from left to right in a tasting panorama. The gesture seems human to me and I try to find out the mood, the idea, but I can’t find the adjective. I stop writing and leaf through Eloy Fernández Porta, who in his last essay, the black shoots (what a good title) writes the following about anxiety: “Discipline, self-demand and effort will make a few people happy and psychologically destroy others.”
The warning lingers and hammers at my brain as I watch the bathers play naked au ballon by Picasso, which is my wallpaper this summer, which is already due.