Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Stuff from an Old Notebook #16

Notes from a Zen film retreat at Upaya Zen Center, April 2010


Narration comes in where a viewer might grow bored.  The everyday is intensified in a way that takes the eye a moment to adjust. The bows of ships resemble shells and molluscs. The eye first goes to large objects, then we note as figures enter, dwarfed against the ships, or strip mines, or warehouses.  It is like looking at a Chinese landscape painting.  And we too are dwarfed, dehumanized.  No one person is sure of the scale of the system that drives all this.  There is beauty in the shots of tires and freeways, the eye finding relief in the curves, after all the shots of sharp metallic edges.  

Li Po, Tu Fu, and a hundred other poets, whole histories, folklores, cultures gone.  They defined China, and the places that defined them are soon to be gone.

The rhythm of the hands of the old women in the factories.  There is memory in those hands.

On the turntable:  Charley Parker & Miles Davis, "Historical Session"

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