Tuesday, June 15, 2004

2 + 2 = 5

1) Jack Nicholson and Philip Stone's scene in The Shining.

What's that over-used Nietzche quote? You stare into the abyss and the abyss stares into you? Something like that. On Saturday, I found myself watching Kubrick's The Shining after 3 Tequila shots and 4 beers. To say it scared the living bejesus out of me is an understatement. I have always been fond of the movie, but found it a bit of a haphazard mess.
Not this time. On Saturday, I saw a perfectly controlled laundry list of every human fear imaginable. Scared of the dark? Check. Scared of wide-open spaces? Check. Scared of your father? Check. Scare of being a father? Check. Scared of pale, 7-year-old, British twins? Check. Etc.
And when Jack started having that conversation with Grady in the bathroom... I convinced myself that Kubrick had somehow found a portal into the darkest depths of Hell and was forcing me to stare it down.

Need an illustration? How about this exchange:

Delbert Grady: Your son has a very great talent. I don't think you are aware how great it is. That he is attempting to use that very talent against your will.
Jack Torrance: He is a very willful boy.
DG: Indeed he is, Mr. Torrance. A very willful boy. A rather naughty boy, if I may be so bold, sir.
JT: It's his mother. She, uh, interferes.
DG: Perhaps they need a good talking to, if you don't mind my saying so. Perhaps a bit more. My girls, sir, they didn't care for the Overlook at first. One of them actually stole a pack of matches, and tried to burn it down. But I "corrected" them sir. And when my wife tried to prevent me from doing my duty, I "corrected" her.

God jesus in heaven help us.

2) David Byrne's "Glass, Concrete & Stone" from Grown Backwards.

Written for Dirty Pretty Things, Byrne distills an immigrant's experience into a lovely four minute pop song. As usual, he throws all sorts of odd imagery and metaphors into the mix and delivers something that's funny and sad without being fussy and obvious.

3) Sonic Youth's "Little Trouble Girl" music video (dir: Mark Romanek).

A creepy, androgynous Nosferatu Jr. runs around a futuristic office building while Kim Deal's sandpaper/honey harmonies rub up against Kim Gordon's monotone. The imaginary Pitchfork review? It goes like this: Yummy avant-pop. An 8.7.

4) David Chase (as imagined by Pierluigi).

I'm on Tim's turf here, but I gotta give a shout out to PL for his portrait of Mr. Chase slowly losing his shit over Deadwood. I imagine the Chase of PL's fantasy is all alone in a dark room, sipping cognac in a high-back chair, a Bach concerto playing softly on the hi-fi. He pretends not to care that he got served, that Milch hasn't just trumped Tony as an allegory for present day humanity... but he does care. There's just nothing he can do about it. And he's gonna weep/drink himself to dawn.

5) www.stereogum.com

What other website will you find Replacement downloads, the latest Britney Spears gossip and pics of Lindsey Lohan's bare boobies? Oh that's right, the one, the only, www.stereogum.com. Oh and it's named after a lyric by AIR. It couldn't get much better.


At 8:07 PM, Blogger Dashiell said...

Pretty video (as usual) by Romanek, but um, the song is boring and i started to count the lines and wrinkles in kim gordon's face.

At 11:36 PM, Blogger Joshua said...

I'm glad you've finally met the abyss's stare. The more I think about it, the more I'm sure The Shining is Kubrick's best movie.


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