F•usic is a section I do at the end of each month in which I curate a selection of (F)ilms and M(usic) that I’ve consumed and loved over the period, writing a short creative appreciation of each work.
Something a little different this month. I notice in these roundups that there is often throughlines to be found in my interpretation of whatever I’ve been consuming. So this time I’ve ran with it, there is F•usic as usual later in the post, but first a piece of creative writing inspired by some of the throughlines I noticed this month in 3 separate works of art (later mentioned).
CHAPTER I: ETERNAL
At last, the girl is here. She lowers her cowl and begins to scowl up at the great beast.
A monument, it barely moves, yet the world seems to ebb around it as if it were a pantheon built tall and solemn upon an ocean: pine trees weep and bow to the hooves, wind attacks thick communities of fur, the clouds parts for its horns. Even the orbed midday sun loses some audacity, dims.
– I have searched for so long.
– I have searched far and wide to find you.
– But I have searched for longer than that.
– We all have.
And she tells all: of love and bloodshed; of hope and confusion; of blind folly and blinder sincerity. She tells of how massacres were recorded in tomes, and re-recorded indirectly for decades after, and how nobody was allowed to forget.
And how from the annals of history people were born, pulled screaming and bloody from scripture, raised in sacred words and taught in the whispers of the past: building blocks upon an immutable podium that sagged from the weight of elapsed time, and moaned from the aches of the individual.
She tells of how one day, when the Gods had grown wrinkles, when Atlas began to stoop, they had decided to burn it all. In agonising frustration, claustrophobia, and inexorable, desperate searching they had destroyed every word, every cold blameful fact, every soft, forgiving note, every shining expression. They had hoped that as the cinders rose into heavenly voids, their past would become a hushed myth between the sun and the moon and emancipation would open up before them like bright, Eden plains. And they hoped to begin anew.
And she tells of how wrong they were. Of how the fires turned to magma, cementing the permanence of it all, how it revealed the tattoos upon their souls and made even weightier the burden of their search.
And so she had been sent. And so she had searched.
– I was sent and I have searched for you and I did not know what I was searching for but now you have been found.
– So tell me.
– What have I found?
And the beast lowers its head, casting darkness over the earth and it inspects the girl and she sees pain and wisdom and joy, weathered into the swimming iris. And finally, the beast speaks.
– I am searching.
– I am searching eternal.
Blade Runner 2049 – Within cells interlinked. A sleek, monolithic sci-fi tome that feels like a deep, bassy swansong to ideas of old. Shadowier, slower and less talk-y than its predecessor: 2049 provides swathe-y, atmospheric rivers of blood and snow, ponderous and inexplicably mournful. It rejects the analysis of the first, opting for a cast of characters that are mostly, if not entirely circuitry and drops the mind-body problem to instead search for love, purpose and souls. On the precipice of a world where explanation reigns supreme, only abstraction runs boundless. “Here lies film”, the futurist elegy to cinema’s ineffability… as titanic and melancholically resolute as a full stop.
Inglourious Basterds – A film about history, a film about film. Pulled from the collective subconscious, Tarantino parodies our darkest moment, brandishing a knife that carves blame into history like his protagonists carve swastikas into their victims’ foreheads. He understands cinema’s power, uses it and hates it; going all the way in anger and confusion until the film collapses in on itself in a great, fiery inferno. His unbridled masterpiece.
Watchmen – And from the ashes…
In our post-everything landscape, Alan Moore finds that the human condition persists. In inky, noir brilliance he paints a tale of self-made Gods with the minds of men, weilding agency of a designer alongside a worldview built by childhood trauma and philosophy. The Comedian uses Camusian absurdity to excuse his brutality, Moore quotes Nietzsche in the issue where we discover the reasons behind Rorschach’s nihilistic individualism and Dr Manhattan sees the cosmic strings that tentatively hold us together, viewing humanity as a mere arrangement of matter. These are the type of Gods that would create a race of replicants and then flee, these are the type of Gods that would attempt to destroy the past to begin again, these are Gods with Gods.
CHAPTER II – TRADITION
Neō Wax Bloom – Iglooghost
Surely what makes up the rapid raves of Akira‘s Neo-Tokyo, or perhaps the soundtrack to Mario’s more coked up nights off. With feverish imagination and unforgiving energy, Iglooghost produces a candy-flipped rollercoaster that revs up the next idea before the previous has concluded, rocketing your ears down breakthrough after breakthrough of a neon chipmunk tunnel. Very fucking fun, very fucking good.
The Story of the Eye – Georges Bataille
The most fucked up work of fiction I’ve ever consumed; details in festering hallucinogenic lunacy how mind mingles with matter like a toxic cloud over the most porous of surfaces. Will need a few more reads to truly grasp… when I can stomach it.
Un Homme Qui Dort – Bernard Queysanne and Georges Perec
“I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.” – Jack London
A wakeup call. Confrontational, stirring and direct: The Man Who Sleeps poetically reveals the entitlement within nihilism. Who are you to drop out of all this? Who are you to sit and judge? It’s all bullshit, undeniably futile, but though love and pain and action are futile; so too is indifference, so too is neutrality, so too is refusal.
I would rather wade through the bullshit and fight for glimpses of gold, for fragments of sanguinary, truthful life than resign to the wind.
Written by Caleb Carter