3/12/14

All things bad


The True Detective finale got it right. The series was about the relationship between Cohle and Hart (coal and heart!) and the last episode resolved it. The extent of the serial killer's murders was too expansive to depict literally so the writer and director employed metaphor -- an image Lovecraft and Philip K Dick readers would catch immediately -- and in that moment the crime story transcended its genre. Which, in my humble opinion, makes great crime/noir stories great. Think Kiss Me Deadly when the suitcase exploded.

The ritual of the Yellow King was a portal to another universe of parallel evils courted by all the characters. Rust carved the figures of victim and spectators out of beer cans. Even Marty's daughter when she played dolls arranged them in the same voodoo circle: she was toying with an opening to all things bad. It was no accident that fornication led to both Marty and Rust's downfall: Rust took Maggie from behind and the final straw for Marty's marriage was fucking a prostitute up the ass. Everyone fell into an opening, and the opening changed their lives.

Sexuality is not gender, and some critics have commented that there should have been "more" female characters in True Detective. Which is true. Instead of a triangle between a female and two male leads it could have been between three women, or a group of four female friends. Perhaps there could have been some light comedy to it, too, and better product placement. But that would have made it a different show.

3/2/14

To the end


My definition of an artist is someone who gives people permission to do something that they've never done before.

I don't meant the critic's fantasy of violent innovation or breaking ground or breaking the glass ceiling but the tiny shift by degrees that comes from real lovers of the form copying and mimicking their own heroes and repetition (think: the blues) and, as a by product of that, causing the machinery of creation to skip a gear and go slightly out of control.

If the work and the creator survives, everyone else working in the field sees that they can take things a little further, and from that point onwards is faced with the choice of whether or not to develop it.

(There's another very middle-class idea that what makes art great is how much work goes into it. I tend the other way: look how much hasn't.)

Alain Resnais made Hiroshima Mon Amour and Last Year At Marienbad and after that, film would never be the same. Ever. Ever. Ever.

2/28/14

12/12/13

Why we work

 
Pretty much everything that ever inspired me to become a writer right there. Although I don't know if I could work with that view. Opening titles from Columbo, 'Murder by the Book' (1971), c/- @columbophile.

12/10/13

Paris 1213





The Mythiq27 exhibition opened in Paris this week. The art by Invader and Rero and my accompanying text are shown above and there is a short movie of the exhibition in total here.

Mythiq 27 is an anthology of art and texts about 27 musicians who died aged 27. Curator and editor Yann Suty asked me to write about Kurt Cobain; I went into more detail about the project earlier here and here.

You can see more photos of the book launch and the opening night on the project's Facebook page and of course there is a Twitter feed.

Suty's project uses the tensions between obscurity and fame to meditate on the short time we all have here. Viewing its collection of dead celebrities, fragile street art and clipped transmissions from a distance lends it an even greater ephemeral quality.