Bodies and Faces/Passages and Rubens

Passages is a v good fuck-about-and-find-out 3-hander. Was it Agnes Varda who said that film is all about faces? If it was she said it better, but ever since I heard it I notice it, both in film and as a qualifying aspect of television. It’s not just about size of screen, or rather the size of screen is clearly a cause of the historical importance of the face in cinema so that it is an intrinsic aspect of film, film as method, film as perception, film as definably different from television.

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A Spain Diary – Day 1: The Museo de Bellas Artes, Sevilla

On holiday in Cádiz. Flew out yesterday, and I’ll try to keep this blog updated throughout.

The trip was a little contended; a 3am wake-up call, a glitch in the taxi system, late arrival at a busy Gatwick, and on getting to Sevilla Santa-Justa station at 10:15am, the discovery that all trains to Cádiz were fully booked for the day.

There is a sort of failure of moral hazard at play here – Renfe reimburse all of the ticket fee if you cancel well before the planned trip (I think 3hrs?) and 70% if you cancel up to five minutes beforehand.

What this means is that people will book in advance, even if they’re only thinking of going, and of course this is what I myself should have done. The other thing it means is that if you keep refreshing the site, tickets come up as people cancel. And indeed I managed to get one for four o’clock.

What this meant was that I had time to kill in Sevilla: it is by such trials that God tests his truest servants.

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Untitled

Sometimes phrases or sentences ring round your head for a long season, with meaning beyond that apparently contained in them.

A few years ago, the line ‘I spent that summer in the pursuit of an idea’ was like a flickering compass needle, impelling me to a way of thinking, acting and being. The line itself was from Agnès Varda’s Ulysse, and the method of Varda is exemplary. An idea may be present in the flicker of an image in a photo, or a memory, or an object, or an event, and Varda’s pursuit is neither gentle nor assured exactly, but a mixture of both; she is sure in her method, allowing each moment or object its proper place, neither forcing it nor holding it too loosely. Her simple brief descriptions of experiences and encounters show an easy ability to navigate the realm of feeling. It is as if she is holding in her hands, in her mind, a rare, delicate living thing, and treats it with deep care and interest. It is the tone of an expert, long practised at what she is doing.

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2022 Redux

2022 has been a bit of a dog.

Alright let me pour this little cognac and break it down for you1 I just discovered that this is in fact a 2021 joint, but you remove it from my significant 2022 listening over my dead body

Screenshot 2022 12 20 at 18 27
Screenshot 2022 12 20 at 18 28

My conclusion at the end of the year is that I’ve been suffering from a form of anhedonia and chronic, mild/medium, depression. Drink took up more of a role than it should have, I think to tackle the anhedonia, which led to considerable fatigue and ofc probably made the if-that’s-what-it-is anhedonia worse. My social manner was careless, sometimes borderline deplorable, and discouraging to forming new acquaintance, my already middling intellect very weak2 its natural state is C-, it can reach fairly high on occasion, but this year dragged relentlessly at a skiving, bedridden U. It was something of a relief to realise, 2/3rds of the way through that this seems to be a mode i go into from time to time, much of my teenage years for instance, which the natural intellectual ebullience of teenage years mitigated. but as i get older it feels more existential, more a symptom of decay rather than personality, emotions wan to the point of expiry, still protecting a battered and beleaguered heart by rolling up in a ball, cutting cords that should not be cut. Viva Las Vegas.

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Facts are of the schoolboy’s world

The following section, from Erving Goffman’s essay On Face Work, understood in political terms, is a lot more helpful than explanations provided by those who generally appeal to facts as being a trump card (‘appealing to the referee’, or ‘speaking to the manager’).

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