London Update and Meta-Documentary Video
For three weeks I have been on a break. Currently, I am staying in a hotel in London, discovering the joys and snags of the city.
- I saw a 'modern' adaption of Titus Andronicus. It sucked ass: tonal problem, disjointed, cheesy, the jokes did not land, utilization of meta-humor flopped.
- I saw a modern-ish adaption of Twelfth Night. It was great.
- I saw Romantics Anonymous, perhaps the most sappy love story play I have ever seen. Two French chocolate-makers fall in love and correct their flaws through one another. In the end, they end up literally flying. Brilliant use of meta-humor and magical realism.
- Experienced the Basquiat exhibit in London. Could not keep my mind off a girl in a red beret, who was furiously sketching something in her loose-paged journal. Impressed by how much art Basquiat put out—I read the John Berger description of Basquiat's work. Should "Basquiat" be italicized? I do not understand it.
- We walk in groups of three, meaning undoubtedly one Chris Barclay is prone to get sucked into a trip with two other girls to the "Lush" store in London. And then two clothing stores. And then a vintage clothing store, which is apparently different. I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing such a different world—in Lush everything was vibrant and safe and soft and comforting, and I had ample time to really think about this comfort and what it all means, as in socially-wise
- Visited the British museum, learned about ancient Siberian 'Scythian' warriors.
- Asked if there could be an equation to find other equations, as in like with AI almost. Remembered Pemulis quote about how math is the only sure thing in the world, the only thing you can really, unequivocally trust.
- Read past page 778 in Infinite Jest. Cannot stop reading. Except to write this post. Because I haven't written a post in a while. I have been using my post-writing time for reading IJ.
- Rode on a train and admired a girl's (one of the Lush-visiting girls) bullet-journal. Each page is decorated and taped and cut through and drawn on and written upon and the thing is beautiful and fully her.
In less recent news I've gotten into Reed College.
How crazy is that!?!
This has undoubtedly been the shortest post ever, but I will add more.
I've neglected my weekly posting. I will probably neglect my weekly posting. I predict that perhaps this may lead to the inevitable downfall of the entire blog. Or I'll just re-pickup the regular weekly posting :)
The video is ready. I have labored much over this product.
I'll do bullet-point explaining, since I guess this is an update post, and not a real post.
- The self-referentiality or self-reflexivity (if there's a difference) in the video is meant to convey a more honest approach to filmmaking. Sort of like cinema verité, it ditches the "fly on the wall" method in trade for a more realistic "this is for-sure a video that I, myself am making, of me." It also allows for distancing myself from the project at key intervals, and results in sometimes humor.
- The weird narrator voice after the introduction was inspired by "An Oversimplification of Her Beauty" by Terrence Nance. His narration has probably a lot of thought put into it. Mine sounds cool, and has a point—probably—although I am unaware of it. I put it in to show homage to Nance, and also because I thought it'd be a good tool to demonstrate that the video is in fact a reflection of the trip. Also it's a robot voice because it sounds a lot deeper (literally) and more sophisticated than mine (I recorded my own narration of that same paragraph 4 times and tested it out. It sounded just off-putting and detracting.)
- The mix of humor and sincerity is sort of an inter-narrative (no, wrong word, interwoven characteristic?) idea that symbolizes how in the trip—in my attempt at encapsulating the trip—I could not only put in the cool mountainscape views, or the funny dialogue with friends, or the traffic noises and visuals alone. It had to be a mix—the trip itself was itself a mix of these things. At points during the trip, I was looking out a train after reading my book, questioning my own moral integrity. At other points, I was making "do you know da wae" memes with the boys at 11:00pm at night.
- ^ the mix of "high and low class" art blah blah is postmodern, or something
- The lack of context was intentional to give the viewer a feeling of confusion. "They're laughing, I don't get the joke, I wasn't there." To be honest, it wasn't intentional, but it does sort of reflect the idea that no, you the viewer weren't there, and probably don't get the jokes not only because you don't have context, but you weren't there in the moment experiencing this. It brings light to that, and says "it's ok that you weren't there, we're attempting to get you to understand my reflection of this experience I had. You cannot possibly understand entirely, but you can sort-of understand, and that's good enough for me" :)
- The music is sublime, and is on my "Wholesome playlist" on my spotify: chrisbarclay10
- The ending, where the images flash by, symbolizes how fast the trip seemed to go by, and how hard it is to hold onto one memory at a time since they all almost blur past. It calls back the feeling that everything is constantly moving (recall the clip of the trains moving, and suddenly we're in a subway car moving the opposite way and slowing down before landing at our second interview.) The interviews are the only really grounding moments, just as in reality spending time with friends at the hotel was really the only time we felt like we weren't moving (even lunches/dinners were in flux, as we always had somewhere to be afterwards.) In a way, this video was my way of holding onto all these memories.
I promise not to let this portfolio die anytime soon. I finished Infinite Jest, and am doing crazy reddit/wikipedia/online/book/academic-essay -related research. I've started Brief Interviews. I must re-read IJ. Not now, though. Also, school's started back up! Second Semester seeeeeniorrrrrr! Alright that's it for me for now!