August 19th, 2004


Tonight Kim went to the movies with Susan to see Guy Maddin's The Saddest Music In the World at the El Con. It was only playing this week and, never having seen one of his films and having had them recommended to her most heartily, Kim felt the urge to overcome her tiredness. On the way home, she called me to to say that I absolutely had to see the 9:55pm showing. She got back at 9:30, handed me the baton in best Olympic fashion, and sent me on my way.

I only missed the first minute or two. The remainder was fabulous. Kim told me that it was like Man With a Movie Camera mixed with Fassbinder. Not a bad description. I saw more really early cinema from the teens, including lots of references to German Expressionism, especially The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. And there were so many recreations of classic stills from the likes of Dreyer, Murnau etc. I loved the faux decrepit appearance of the images, the way that "damage" was figured both in the storyline and on the film stock itself.

On the way back, I listened to Kristin Hersh's most recent solo record The Grotto for the first time. It was the perfect post-cinematic cordial. What I want to know is how and why the El Con ended up showing something so inaccessible to a mass audience. Makes me feel better about Tucson. But there was something eery about watching The Saddest Music In the World in a multiplex, even if it is one that reserves a few screens for "art house" releases.
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