Soundtrack: A Napster/ Morpheus rave-up I compiled a while ago—it features a number of tracks by Peter Parker (the band, not the guy), live Ramones, the Muffs, Cadallaca, Subbluecollar, live Fastbacks, a colloborative effort by Joan Jett & Bikini Kill, & two versions of Kim Deal’s supreme triumph—“Full On Idle”

Okay, I really have to try to keep this short tonight, because I’m playing Bridge in the morning!

We saw Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation tonight, and I’ll tell ya—it was brilliant! A worthy addition to the great tradition of anti-“empowerment” films that begins with Frank Capra’s work (epitomized by It’s A Wonderful Life). Personally, I think our culture needs as many doses of this philosophy as artists who share the worldview are willing to produce, because the “Stella Gets Her Groove Back” school of writing/filmmaking/you-name-the-artform is in the ascendant! We’re so obsessed with freeing ourselves from worldly constraints these days that it seems we’ve lost sight of the idea that you only truly get outside your “discursive system” (i.e. “reality”) by dying. Honest works of this type—such as Chopin’s The Awakening and Ridley Scott’s Thelma & Louise, at least don’t attempt to camouflage this crucial fact, but they’re still “empowerment fantasies” and I really dislike them.

I don’t want to go into Lost in Translation in too much detail, because I imagine most of you haven’t seen it yet, and I think all of you should! Suffice it to say, Bill Murray is incredible, and Scarlett Johansson is, if anything, even better—and together they create some of the most expressive dead-pan love-scenes I’ve ever witnessed on film… More than anything, this movie is about why we need other people—and it’s not to fulfill our desires. It’s to remind us that desire is, by definition, unquenchable, and, in fact, untranslatable. And that’s not a bad thing. Think about it—there are a lot of ways to fulfill oneself sexually without the aid of other people, but there’s no way to recreate the feeling that is triggered by proximity to a person that you find overwhelmingly attractive, but who, for whatever reason, is sexually unavailable. If you make sure to breathe in the gusts of possibility in these ghost-moments, and resist dragging undead intuitions into the world of social relationships (where they take on a monstrous cast), then you’re in for one hell of a great life… My favourite scene? (Without giving away the context and destroying your enjoyment of the film) The moment when Charlotte steps into the elevator and is replaced onscreen (at a strange angle) by mirrored sliding doors…

good night friends!


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