karen meisner (_stranger_here) wrote,
karen meisner
_stranger_here

struggle for unreachable words


Tilda Swinton, from her second State of Cinema address, San Francisco, 2006:

Can I be alone in my longing for inarticulacy - for a cinema that refuses to join all the dots? For an a-rhythm in gesture, for a dissonance in shape? For the context of a cinematic frame, a frame that - in the end - only cinema can provide. For the full view, the long shot, the space between... the gaps... the pause... the lull... the grace of living…

The figurative cinema’s awkward and rather unsavoury relationship with its fruity old aunt, the theatre, to her vanities, her nous, her beautifully constructed and perennially eloquent speechifying, her cast iron – corset-like - structures, her melo-dramatic texture and her histrionic rhythms. How tiresome it is, it always has been. How studied. The idea of absolute articulacy, perfect timing, a vapid elegance of gesture, an unblinking, unthinking face. What a blessed waste of a good clear screen, a dark room and the possibility of an unwatched profile, a tree, a hill, a donkey...

How I long for documentary, in resistance - for unpowdered faces and unmeasured tread - for the emotionally undemonstrative family scene - for a struggle for unreachable words, for the open or even unhappy ending? The occasionally dropped shoe off the heel, the jiggle to readjust; the occasionally cracked egg; the mess of milk spilt. The concept of a loss for words. For a State of Cinema - as the state of grace that it affords us - in which nothing much happens but all things are possible, even inarticulacy, even failure, even mess...




tilda swinton painted by john byrne

Tags: art
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