watched and loved this film often. it was strange seeing it on a large screen for the first time. seeing all the dirt on the carpet floor of the apartment. the crumbling wallpaper coming off the walls. the dust on the objects. the ashes of the cigarettes next to the ashtrays. the film had a new tonality, displayed a yet unnoticed distress and porous lostness. the figures seemed like flamboyant dandies when i saw them small, grand in their refusal to work and love and live according to the patterns, rash and coquet. they still were. but surrounded by all of the dirt and their visibly aging bodies, the felt poverty and inaptitude, the morbidity of their games, the dust on the old film copy, the few crazy people that had come to the cinema on a saturday evening to watch this almost 4 hour long film, the silences between the character's words, the size of their faces in the darkness of the cinema, the film had a gravity that i had perceived as lightness before. painful watching the film. sad but all the more touching, seeing the fragile, clairvoyant poetry of the negating peripheral figures crushed by the weight of worries and lowering insanity. guess that is what makes them beautiful, how lucidly they know of death. of the existing death in the conformity of unfelt, copied lives and their own death. such a strange thing, a film that can can make you love and fear its figures at the same time.

parastou forouhar


my side of the mountain

by Jean Craighead George

The book follows Sam Gribley, a 13 year old boy from New York City, who chooses to reject urban life, and runs away to his great grandfather's old abandoned farmland in the Catskill mountains to live off the wilderness. He brings with him a penknife, a ball of cord, some flint and steel, 40 dollars he earned from selling newspapers in the busy streets of New York, and the knowledge he gathered reading books about survival.
When he finally gets to the Catskill Mountains, he slowly begins learning the practical aspects of wilderness life, applying the things he read while preparing. He perfects the best ways to fish, starts to orient himself, and learns to forage. He burns and chops out a hollow in a huge hemlock tree to serve as a shelter. He hunts, lays traps, and manages to capture and tame a baby peregrine falcon who he names Frightful, who helps him catch small animals.
As summer passes, gets used to living off the land. He makes new clothing out of hide, builds a bed, and prepares for winter by laying in preserved food, firewood, and building himself a clay stove to keep warm. He becomes accustomed to the wilderness and befriends several of it's animals, including a weasel which he names The Baron, and a raccoon he calls Jessie Coon James. He sometimes walks to the nearby town to do research at the library.
Time passes and people start to notice the living presence in the forest. Sam has a series of visitors, including Bando, a professor who got lost while hiking in the forest. Bando and Sam become fast friends, and teach each other things about the forest and about life. After Bando leaves to go back to his university for the fall, Sam encounters a young reporter who wants to find out about the rumors of a mysterious wild boy living in the forest. When Sam lies and pretends to be someone else, the reporter quickly figures out that Sam, clothed all in hand-stitched deerskin, is the "wild boy." Sam agrees to let the reporter come back the following spring and learn from him in exchange for not telling the world about where Sam is.
At the end of the book, Sam's family comes to find him, having been worried since he left. His father has decided that since he can't stop Sam from running away to the woods, the entire family will move there, build a house, and try to farm the land. Sam is disappointed at the idea of giving up his tree-home and living a more normal life, but his parents tell him that that's the way it has to be until he's 18.
(summary from wiki)

the thread

Originally published in LIBERATION November 16, 1981 by Serge Daney

The director Jean Eustache was found dead Wednesday/Thursday night in Paris.
The death of Jean Eustache shocked but it didn't surprise. His friends said he was suicidal. He held on to life only by a small number of threads, so solid that one thought them unbreakable. The desire for cinema was one of these threads. The desire not to have to film at any cost was another. This desire was a luxury and Eustache knew it. He would pay the price.
It's not much to say that he was born to cinema with the Nouvelle Vague, a little bit after it, but with the same refusals and admirations. It's not much to say that he was an "auteur," his cinema was mercilessly personal. That is to say, mercilessly tied up with his experience, to alcohol, to love. Filling up his life in order to make the material of his films was his only moral code but it was a moral code of iron. The films came when he was strong enough to make them come, to bring back what he made in life.
In the thread of the desolate 70s, his films succeeded one another, always unforeseen, without a system, without a gap: film-rivers, short films, TV programs, hyperreal fiction. Each film went to the end of its material, from real to fictional sorrow. It was impossible for him to go against it, to calculate, to take cultural success into account, impossible for this theoretician of seduction to seduce an audience.
The audience was with him once, when he made the most beautiful French film of the decade, THE MOTHER AND THE WHORE. Without him, we would have no face to set to the memory of the lost children of May Ô68: lost, already aging, talkative and old-fashioned. (Bernardette) Lafont, (Jean-Pierre) Léaud and especially Françoise Lebrun, her black shawl and her stubborn voice. Without him, nothing would have remained of them.
An ethnologist of his own reality, Eustache could have made a career, become a good auteur, with fantasies and a vision of the world, a specialist of some sort in himself. His moral code prohibited it: he only filmed what interested him. Women, dandyism, Paris, the country and the French language. It's already a lot.
Like a painter knowing that he'd never quite finish, he never cased returning to the same motif, using cinema not like a mirror (that's for the good directors) but like the needle of a seismograph (that's for the greats). The public, one moment seduced, would forget this perverse ethnography that had the bad manners to keep coming. An artist and nothing but an artist (he didn't know how to do anything except make films), he held to the contrary the speech of an artisan, simultaneously more modest and proud. The artisan weighs everything, evaluates everything, takes on everything, memorizes everything. Thus Eustache worked.
One year, some Moroccan friends had organized a complete retrospective of his work in Tangier. A strange idea. A brilliant idea. All the reels, the heaviness, the age, the rust, the incredible number of kilograms that THE MOTHER AND THE WHORE represents were put into a diplomatic case, crossed the sea and found themselves in front of assiduous Moroccan cine-clubgoers. Would Eustache come? It was difficult to make him leave Paris, we thought. But he came and remained two days. The projection of the Eustachian opus took place, outside of time, for this audience, unprepared for all these stories of sex and desire, of the French countryside and the fauna of Montparnasse, was disconcerted. Eustache would disconcert them even more. His mildness, his patience and his manner of responding to questions with an indecipherable mix of irony and gravity, surprised everyone.
Tangier wasn't Paris nor the port cafes the Closerie de Lilas, but we searched for a late bar to have a beer and talk about cinema. Eustache spoke of his masters, with whom he didn't compare himself, of Pagnol and Renoir, these other artisans who came before him. I will never forget the way in which he made them live again in his language, shot by shot, with his accent. It shocked but didn't surprise. Eustache resembled his times too much to be comfortable. He ended by losing. Too bad for us.


elsa morante

elsa morante and alberto moravia on capri


face painting

action by Wiktor Gutt and Waldemar Raniszewski during the Rockowisko 1981 rock festival at the Hala Sportowa in Łódź.

mouneer al-shaárani