Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Sclordvid Boinkum Resmerrit Siitz

Last night watched the documentary LYNCH, supposedly about Lynch's process particularly during the creation of Inland Empire. It was okay, kind of disappointing, as the directors seemed bent on coming off 'artsy' as opposed to just portraying Lynch in his habitats. There was a lot of random decay over the shots, cuts to bugs and weird noise, all just masking the subject and more annoying than illuminating, but overall, you can't hide Lynch's humor and talent for moving into nothing: he could talk about most anything and make it great. Plus there was a decent amount of him building, conjecturing, figuring out architecture, making up, painting, etc. A rental, for Lynch diehards, but not a must.



One of the things Lynch talked about was making a point to say that, in essence, that there used to be a big stigma that to make art you had to suffer, and that in creation there must be some pain invoked etc., but how this was completely untrue he thought, and that the more centered, the more happy and clear-headed you are, the more you can aim and get into the 'pool of creativity' (I love how he talks in such new age ways sometimes and makes it something to smile about rather than cringe), and that really the most ideas and most innovation often comes out of a pure state, and of happiness. That seemed right on to me, and a point people often dodge.

He also talked a lot about the particular process of Inland Empire, and how he had pretty much no idea what he was doing on any given day of shooting until he got into the room and faced the moment and began to souse out what was there. There's a moment in the film where Jeremy Irons calls with interest about the film, and Lynch kind of explains how he really doesn't even know what Irons will be doing, but that he'll be there, and you can imagine Irons's head as all these Lynch-words are coming in. At one point he says something about being simultaneously ecstatic and depressed as hell about not knowing what the film was going to turn into, and that he had never worked this way before.

I think I've been working in this mode a lot in the past year, with the same kind of weird ecstatic about it. Hearing him discuss things ideas helped me realize why it is I like Inland Empire so much, maybe even as my favorite of his films: the pure sense of unknowing and exploration seems right there on the screen, even for the characters, even for the actors, who are in the face of this kind of moving mutation, never really knowing what they are rubbing against.

Day before, we watched Abel Ferrara's BAD LIEUTENANT, which features Harvey Keitel as a crooked cop addicted to heroin and sportsbook: I really liked it a lot. I don't know how I hadn't seen this, but if you like very bleak, seedy movies with Harvey Keitel acting as pretty much the ultimate dirtbag, you should check it out. It's free on Comcast On Demand right now, at least in my area.



I have no idea why they put Keitel naked on the movie poster looking like he's ready to get his anus ate. I swear it's not dude porn.

Last night with visiting friend in car we were coming out of Decatur and at a stoplight this guy motioned for me to roll down the window, he looked like a young businessman on his off day, it was wet a little, we were both behind cars at a stoplight, when I got the window down he laughed and shouted, "Don't these people know it's Monday and not Sunday?!?" It was not clear in any way what he was referring to, he looked at us some more, he said, "Hey look what I'm listening to!!!" and turned up the music in his car to ear-splitting, it was Weird Al's EAT IT, he looked at us with his teeth, we drove off.

Anyone else who wants to try to win Justin Taylor's book I am closing it at the end of tonight. Give a go.

17 comments:

KEN BAUMANN said...

good post

Keith said...

i also heard "bad lieutenant" was amazing from a friend a few years ago. and then, like many movies i hoped would blow me away, i just thought it was ok. i liked it, but it didn't blow me away. it's a movie i want to check out again though.

i do remember one scene in the kitchen where i think his girlfriend's shooting up. i think the camera's static but there's a lot of drugged up weird shit bliss going on, and the shot was really powerful.

i think i left you a drunk message the other day. i was in bad shape. then my key broke off in my door and pop a lock came, and then i forced the dude to have a beer with me. i think he was kind of scared of me. i would've been.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

yeah i had absolutely no expectation of bad liutenant going in, so i was pleasantly surprised. i dont think its worth overhyping.. but a good watch i think

haha yeah i got your message, you sounded in the zone, hilarious, i have been ignoring my phone all week like a jerk

clarkknowles said...

Bad Lt. made my soul hurt. Whatever happened to the good Lt's man? Seriously though, I felt like I was infected with something after I was done watching. Not a film for repeated viewings.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

agreed, it's a face eater, ouch.

Keith said...

yeah, maybe that's why i had such a hard time with it. if it's too depressing for me, something's wrong. and i don't think it was, but there was just something that didn't sit right with me. but it'll go on my list to actually watch again.

i was totally in the zone. it was pretty ridiculous. now i'm formatting poetry submissions and trying to get ph.d apps started and rocking, which is nice.

i ignored a lot of my calls too. plus i probably wouldn't have remembered the conversation anyway, so you were smart not to answer.

BlogSloth said...

One of my students (a freshman woman) is obsessed with Jeff Goldblum. It is odd.

The Man Who Couldn't Blog said...

show me your mouth.

Michael Goroff said...

I thought "Bad Lieutenant" was pretty neat and visceral, but I thought it was trying too hard, like "How can we make this gritty and depressing? Oh, let's make him addicted to heroin, sex, AND guns, and then have a nun get raped and killed." Like, okay, that is some taboo shit, and it was kind of like, "Well, okay?" And Harvey Keitel has this thing where he overacts. But I liked the part where Jesus appeared and Harvey kissed his feet.

Jason Jordan said...

"there used to be a big stigma that to make art you had to suffer, and that in creation there must be some pain invoked etc."

Have you read Joey Goebel's "Torture the Artist"? It explores this topic in a fictional setting. Quite good, I think.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

it definitely had some 'over the top' but i thought it worked in the context. usually i am critical and yet i felt good about it, mostly because i like keitel and i like his edge in it, it works i think, all things considered

Brandon Hobson said...

The guy at the stoplight with the teeth...this should be a scene in your next book.

Eunuchsblues said...

Abel F used to "do" porn. Actor, not director. This was the fact that lead me to seek this movie out when i was fourteen.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

the jesus scene is indeed awesome

jereme said...

blake you are triangle choking me into submission with all these Lynch movie posts.

i've seen parts of them in the past but always turned them off out of boredom. I will try to be 'open minded' and watch Inland Empire.

I liked what you typed about Lynch's concept of art and suffering. It vaguely reminds me of Abraham Maslow's 'theory of human motivation', but motivation theory delves deeper than the creation process and suffering.

My enjoyment of Abel Ferrara vacillates. "Kind of New York" I loved, "Bad Lieutenant" I thought was okay and "The Funeral" is where I waved goodbye to his films (out of boredom).

The ending in "The Funeral" was interesting though.

Harvey Keitel and his little Keitel were tough shit when "Bad Lieutenant" first released.

People discuss it to this day, however, not with as much fervor.

Vincent Gallo's "The Brown Bunny" dethroned "Bad Lieutenant" in the penis shock value a few years back.

I want to drink fermented elk blood during the Buffalo winter with Mr. Gallo.

it is fun to dream

jereme said...

I meant "King of New York".

"Kind of New York" is probably a bad Lifetime movie of the week.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

i couldn't get into king of new york that much, though this was years ago. i should try again.

the funeral, despite having every name actor in imagination, was a piece of shit. i dont think i made it to the ending.

gallo, though, yes, gallo is the master