Archive for July, 2010
The following dreams/ daydreams are new to me and worth noting:
I am on the Tokyo subway and a very strong woman next to me takes me back to her apartment. She makes love to me, I want her to take care of me intensely, I want to be dismembered, I call her master, I live in a little 2 room hotel room waiting for her. I have a laptop. Everything is very clean. It’s japanese. I am glad someone this wealthy can care for me. I feel like I understand her deeply.
I am in this coney island fair grounds type of place, the booths are our houses. Lily and a friend are eating lunch on a counter, behind them a man is about to clamber over me on the bed, his cock is huge. He begins to piss in the bed. I like the smell of his piss.
Child bearing people always weird me out. 30 somethings seem to fling to the idea of becoming domesticated wage slaves just as they discover the kids younger than them no longer think they’re cool. As lifestyles go the weirdos that have kids compete quietly to raise the best child while attempting to instill them with values that the first fanatic hipster waving a Hunter S. Thompson book at them in the hallways will destroy over the course of a couple joints. But the thing is… they just don’t give up. The domesticat seems unable to convince anyone except themselves that they actually made a difference in their child’s life. The later point has been further revealed stastically a delusion as children really do pick up their preconceptions in the school yard, the mall, and of course through the seminal practice of sexting a bedrock of Generation Q or whatever’s growing social conscious. Expect tele-dildonics to explode in the near future as eroticism, brushed alumuinuim, and key strokes the brain will see as perfectly adequate avenues to pleasure. I don’t think these kids will even look at each other’s bodies and when will be more interesting in each other’s individual rig.
But child bearing is the focus of Tokyo Sonata a somewhat big name attempt to create the luscuous surrealism of Hirokazu Kore-eda. It doesn’t quite fail, but only because it reveals so much about the increasing Japanese obession into weird Japanese obessions. While Kore-eda’s own Airdoll takes on the bizarre maid cafe fetishes of tokyo’s lonely geeks, Tokyo Sonata’s quary is that most prestigious of objects The Salary Man. Played with baby faced aplomb by Teruyuki Kagawa, we watch him quite quickly fall from Salary Man to homeless. Now the catch of course is Kagawa never tells his family he’s unemployed. This being the Japanese moment of weirdness in what would be an odinary sacking. What the film implies is that the infantalized state of the main character isn’t a result of being unemployed, but rather a condition brought on from years of empty employment. The main character is consistently asked through out the film what are your skills, he never quite knows. He entered the business world in an era in which men were simply paid more because they were obviously going to be venturing into the homestead. The film explores such patraichial whims with an eye that consistently points towards their absuridy. The wife in the movie consistently becomes the more composed of the characters, not given to sudden break downs or joining foreign militaries. The movies’ major problem is that it attempts to break out into a surrealism familar to us from writers like Kobo Abe, but missies the ascerbic aspects of the commentary, it implies that somehow modern Japan is less sexist than the salaryman generation, an idea which is true, but the patriachy still exists, just in a different guise. Air Doll might be a better look at such male desiring as it takes a sex object and humanizes her, it manages to capture the peculair conceptualness of Abe or Murakami, but misses the conclusions and expansiveness of commentary that those authors provide. Sonata isn’t a terribly flawed film though and is still probably worth seeing, it’s just not the greatest piece of Japanese cinema floating around at the moment.
Chris Nolan’s film have always shown that peculair obsession with reality bending paradoxes that make the movie into a possibly Borgesian meditation, but while The Following managed this feat, his ascent into blockbusterd has been a somewhat difficult chore of managing an enquiring intellect with the needs of an big budget blockbuster. Inception is definitely not his best film. While it traces the somewhat interesting idea of placing an idea into someone’s head it contains the same corporate airheads of The Dark Knight, loses the complexity of its successor, but it’s also that the entire idea of such vast interiority has simply become cliche. Existenz, The Matrix, and even oldies like Flatliners explored the potential paradoxes of such shared realities in a manor that might make Inception seem a little cliched. While Nolan retains a firm grasp of suspense, the film does reveal itself rather well, it simply lacks the logic of a dream. It’s as if Nolan forgot that dreams have been the subject of intense speculation since the dawn of mankind, the chinese pondered their subconsciousness’ visions well before there even was an idea subconscious, the greeks wrote about them, the romans left dream diaries, and of course Freud, perhaps the best inceptor of ideas of our current past, found in them the exacting stories that made psychanalysis valid. But Nolan seems to have forgotten all of this, if one were to be the victim of Nolan’s dream machine one would know one was dreaming simply because the dream would act remarkably like a hollywood action film. If Nolan intended to make a movie that places the sigils of hollywood into the subconscious in order to bring about commentary on our shared reality of Freudian gunfire and high speed chases I don’t know. The film also sets up a peculair premise, a group of dream extrators are paid to insert an idea into a CEO’s subconscious there for changing his self in such a manor to benefit another corportation’s interests. Such an idea implies that memes have an almost existential agency in the composition of the self, an idea that’s certainly contestable, but Nolan offers us no commentary no arguement on why an idea eminating from inception is so much more powerful than say the already existing social structures that comprimise and striate so much of ourselves to begin with. Memes are often infectious, but only a few have the power to touch as many biological viruses like the flu. Ideas are in fact rather brittle, they often carry a few steps from the interior to the exterior before dying in the senses of their recipitent. Granted that Nolan’s characters have the atom bomb of psychoanalysis, the ability to interact directly with the ego and id, but this film misses the curiousity that people would have at such an invention, if we could share dreams I can assure you, I would have little interest in corporate secrets, but rather like the characters in flatliners, I think I would simply interested in what makes each world tick, the fragmentations of the conscious, and just how warped symbolism can become. Just imagine neurologists studying the effects of drugs on dreaming, girlsfriends sharing intimate fantasies with boyfriends, the potential for such a machine to warp identity as we all become aware of how different we view the world. While the limits of finance and time might keep us from sharing dreams in film, Nolan was given a beautiful opportunity to do so, it just turns out he dreams action cliches and guns… lots and lots of guns.