Posts Tagged ‘art’

Nymphomaniac vol. II – Lars von Trier

Nymphomaniac_Lars_Von_TrierBeing free is being lonely. Always.

Nymphomaniac is all about freedom. Free sex, free speech and free will versus hypocrisy and bigotry; the nymphomaniac says it clearly. Seligman’s digressions are nothing but digressions; the nymphomaniac says that clearly too. But overall there is still a major digression to her story – the parallel between sex and art.

There is nothing true about sex and art if they’re not free. So ultimately is about the profile of an artist in relation to his own art. It’s reflective, descriptive and didactic. An artist’s statement we’re learning about while having fun and getting sad for it implies loneliness, the loneliness of the one who cannot bargain, cannot compromise and cannot lie.

Art is just art (?), words are just words (?) and sex is just sex (?). The question marks only indicate the billions of possibilities to relate to these statements.

The concepts are pure but when human nature is involved purity becomes mere abstraction. Art is seen as crap or vice versa, words are never really understood – not by the one uttering them and even less by the one listening to them. Sex is taboo, side dish, religion, sport or anything else you wish to add. And there’s morality to blur it even more and there’s false morality to make it all opaque.

We’re all different, says the nymphomaniac, so there is no possible way to fit the boundaries of morality to protect each individual’s freedom. Some have less freedom than others.
The nymphomaniac would erase all rules and morality and would leave us all to be guided by our own consciousness. Those who can refrain themselves from harming others when there’s no punishment in sight deserve an award.

She is both naïve and cynical. An idealist.

And so is the artist who probably feels less free than any other individual in the society. Or the one who feels less free becomes an artist? But the ideal public who could fully understand and accept the work of art as it is does not exist or it exists in a percentage that will always leave the artist unfulfilled and misunderstood.

“Lascia ch’io pianga
mia cruda sorte,
e che sospiri la libertà.
Il duolo infranga queste ritorte
de’ miei martiri sol per pietà.”
G.F Handel

Junk, out!

C’mon chums, let’s make it a new year’s resolution to stay away from junk entertainment. All the easy reachable thrills and kicks we can get from it we can find in real entertainment and arts. We don’t need to read the critics’ and historians’ books to enjoy valuable literature, music, cinema, painting, sculpture, architecture. We need to read those books in case we are so puzzled by the big delight that we feel the need for guidance.

All we need to do, actually, is to expose ourselves to value. Feed our eyes and ears with it and they will eventually learn to make the difference between junk and art. We just have to look around and further than we’re used to and treasures will pop up. We should never stop questioning our good taste, we should never settle for what we’re used to. Not in entertainment and while we’re at it, we should also stay away from junk food and junk people.

Junk entertainment, junk food and junk people are a waste of time and time is what we don’t have. Time, the only thing we’re really short on.

We are exposed to junk, we’re infested with it. It takes an effort to avoid the spread of the infection and to cure the infection. Junk entertainment, junk food and junk people – here’s the trinity that numbs the brain, the body and the soul. It renders us lazy.

It is stupid and pathetic to get lazy when it comes to enjoying what’s beautiful, healthy and good, isn’t it? That’s what junk does, numbs us and makes us too lazy to seek and enjoy the real McCoy in everything.

So, let’s do our daily brain and soul push-ups, find out what’s really entertaining, beautiful, healthy and good then take a hedonistic dive in it.

Time – Kim Ki-Duk

Another terrifying love story is unfolding in Kim Ki-Duk’s “Time” that opens brutally with a plastic surgery. Plastic surgery embellishes and restores youth at least for a while. But it can also be used in a more dramatic way for a more dramatic purpose. Kim Ki-Duk, as always, finds the extreme way to make his point.

Plastic surgery is used here to change (not necessarily to embellish) one’s face completely to keep a relationship alive, to keep love fresh. It is an ultimate, desperate attempt to save love from fading away, to keep alive the sexual interest, this wanderer.

They say time is a healer, and that is right. Time is also a killer, and that is also right. Love is a game and games are played by children, right? Children enjoy games to the maximum, then, in time, they get bored, very bored, right?

All lovers are riveted by their lovers just as children are fascinated by their toys and games. For them time is suspended, history has stopped and eternity is the only thing that matters; the “forever and evers” are dancing in crazy circles with the “NOW!” But time, this low-profile thief, has not stopped its slow and sure pace during love’s celebration and went on corroding the enthusiasm, the playfulness bit by bit, day by day.

Kim Ki-Duk puts his main male character on a mad run after the lost lover. But he is actually looking for something not someone; the feeling, the one that switches on eternity. He is looking for that feeling everywhere, in everyone, because “we’re all humans” right? Anyone can be “the one” if she would only awaken the enthusiasm in him. Then his lover comes back with a changed face, with a different name. They meet each other they even like each other…

Then Kim Ki-Duk starts slapping us. Roles are changing and now she has to run and look for him everywhere, in everyone. Hide and seek is a thrilling game, isn’t it? She is also looking for the feeling that, in her case, the right answer would bring: “How does my hand feel?” she asks obsessively waiting one answer only: “Feels like the right fit for my hand”. Her quest becomes unbearably desperate and the outcome is another slap that whirls time that seemed so goddamned linear.

The only place where love rides along with eternity is art, is the only place where it can escape time’s mill. The characters are constantly visiting a sculpture park – its theme is love and its different stages – they keep coming back, contemplating the everlasting lovers, the everlasting “forever and evers” they’re longing to utter but which they can never keep.

Fortunately is not their fault is just time passing by.

Stardust Memories -Woody Allen

The artist sits in front of a white canvas, an empty piece of paper, a silent musical instrument. What to fill it with? Where do all those colours, sounds, words come from?

We have the sweating artists, who have the skills and not always the idea and they torment themselves in front of the empty surface. Then we have the artists with the ideas but not the skills to transform them in a work of art. Then there are some persons with love for art, with an extraordinary brain activity and probably with hearts broken too many times.

Well, these are the artists that cannot be anything else, but artists. They pour their life into their work and the result gives them back their life anew. It sounds like therapy.

What is the inner source of a work of art, which is just a surface open to the most hilarious misinterpretations? It may not be very important, maybe the hilarious interpretations are more interesting than the initial idea.

But here we have in Stardust Memories an ars poetica and it seems like Woody Allen’s whole process of creating and living is disclosed. It could be quite embarrassing to face the artist in such a cruel light. Woody Allen is merciless to himself but merciful to us, he keeps our smile active although his heart and brains are bleeding. The director gives us the inner sources off all his creation.

Haunting memories of past relations, misplaced feelings pour over the artist while he is confronting the world admiring his work. It really sounds like any other Woody Allen movie. But this time the hell of creation and dealing with personal problems blend in an almost nightmarish universe. There is a big resemblance between this confession and Fellini´s 8½. There is definitely no copying. In Fellini`s work we can feel the artist´s light heart towards all his haunting characters and ideas. This gives him the power not to make a comedy out of his confession. Allen cannot confess without being ironic and this is a proof of him being much more miserable.

A perfect work of art comes out of a perfect quest for equilibrium, comes out of perfect mistakes, and perfect illusions. Artistically he wants to take the express train, in life he accepts the cheapest one, he loathes as an artist and he calls that “not a compromise but getting lucky”. Oh, how much illusion in this too, and he knows it; the suffering will never end, but he also knows that his art will see him through the day.

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