River of no return

How many takes?
She was very sweet. She was a comedian. She was very shy. She was fuck me. She was very uncomfortable. She was convinced, she was not very sexy and pretty. She didn’t have an aura of sexiness about her. There was some magic about her, she would play at it. She would burlesque it. She seemed like a lost child. It seemed to her like Alice in Wonderland and she could not believe it. Anybody was very serious about her. She really felt she didn’t have the inner qualifications to fulfil the image of a sex goddess. She thought that the whole thing was a lie, because it was not her. She would never feel worthy. She was very very difficult. She was vulnerable. She was weak. She was teary. She was struggling. She was falling apart. She was hurt. She was an addict. She was needy. She was difficult. She was in pain. She was adorable. She was drunk. She was nice. She was childlike. She was late. She was lovely. She was hanging on. She was calling me. She was calling everybody. She was caring. She was unprofessional. She was sexy. She was beautiful. She was funny. She was doing the thing that was wanted of her, she was not doing what she wanted.

Tarkovsky drowning burning

It is a strange feeling a movie being an organism that becomes part of you when you watch it and it remains with you afterwards. You are familiar with it but there is an element of unexplainable and the issue is of something that is not emptied. It is not just series of breathtaking images put on screen to take the viewer to another place. There are movies to entertain and bring instant pleasure, this is something else which is extremely difficult to point out without sounding an ecstatic fool stating the obvious, the brilliance and beauty there is, divine and timeless, but still rooted in time and place, to us. It is not extraordinary to hear male voice of critics, those who watch and love movies and so often disregard the feminine side there is clear and strong but somehow invisible for the male. To me it is loud as is the dogs barking in the fog and the sound of heels in a church where woman of the film is slowly walking like moving in a mystery and learning to know it. It also is not unusual to hear male directors say they did not realise how powerful the female protagonist really is for the female viewers. What is this woman doing she who walks like a queen into something ancient like a tourist, in to the old refusing to kneel down and pray and refusing to want the same which she should be wanting naturally. A surprise for her is how she is not able to perform the same rituals as those to whom it comes naturally, how out of touch she is. In the face of what kind of movies get made nowadays it is ironical to state harsh critique for Nostalghia. In many cases of movie critique subjectivity is speaking. Art is sensitive to the word of experts who give their final say and I have found the official standings on films often biased and unfair. Being judgmental towards something so delicate and precious is almost blasphemy as it is easy not to look. Is there same disinterest as there is disinterest and underestimation towards the feminine altogether I wonder. The public believes the experts. Experts know best. They have authority. To have faith in experts is one kind of religion we should learn to be more critical about. Pay attention the woman is driving and stops because she chooses to have a walk.

My attempt is to be as analytical as possible. What it is I am watching. As much as there is room for objective analysis in art and for Tarkovsky, there is emotion and devotion to his art and much of art analysis and critique have personal liking and opinions weighing in on the whole of what is being said about a piece of art and the artist. Nostalghia (1983) and Sacrifice (1986) are often said of being less good and artistically not as high in artistic quality, innovation and expression as Stalker (1979), Mirror (1975) and Andrej Rublev (1966) which all bring in front intensity of faith and religion in Russian culture and thinking, which was at Tarkovsky’s time an atheist country. Russia being an intensely macho country where worshipping the Mother of God hasn’t faded. The nurturing mother has important task and nurture especially which is part of the sacred. Highlighting the female for Tarkovsky functions as Ellen Ripley in the Alien movies. Her power is under serious doubt and seen as fragile, but she has it anyway and she uses her power to save the world.

Nostalghia struck me as it highlights the feminine, how faith is part of our bodies and what we see, how we look, the divine is in the feminine and there is the unbreakable link to nature, women’s desire to be mothers and have faith to the unknown, or not. To my mind the film is an exemplary exploration to how much one is master of one’s destiny and how the modern brings in and strengthens the conflict between nature and man, conflict between the sexes is a constant battle. For women to have a mind of their own is the modern and natural, they do their thing, the question is what is the thing of women, with women, what is theirs to have, for them. With the modern something happens to the collective, ideals and to the common good towards which to be nostalgic about is fair. Something happens to the individual in this process, the estrangement, loss and loneliness, an inner and outer conflict, a disaster. Question is what do we become? To be an organic part of nature bearing children, being a child and finding harmony there in simple things may be too simple there where there now is very little space for the harmonious and simple things. Choosing to be a traditional mother, a figure part of the sacred or a modern independent woman who has a say over her body and what she does, whether she believes or not, is liberty woman is not willing to back away from.

How much my admiration does justice to his art or does it cloud my judgment is probably a footnote. What is there on film that one senses, sees, feels, smells, hears, thinks, imagines via Andrey Tarkovsky’s movies as they are so packed but delicate, light, fragile and alive. Maybe that is it the moving part, essential aspect in his films how alive they are, how much emotion there is without frivolous nonsense as people in his films are sick of nonsense, sick of grandiose and sentimentality. There is sincere interest in human existence and how we experience, why feel the way we do and be trapped by feelings, how these personal experiences can be shown and be understood by others as the same. That is the true strength there, will to understand and look what is so felt, what is subjective and universal, the universal emotional to be understood which today is one difficulty we face as we are like images not revealing multiple dimensions on screen. How and why we can try to understand the other and be compassionate. Interesting is what makes a movie scene and an image sincere is the flaw, mess, ruin of ours. So much so that we believe in it and identify with it, absorb the view as if it was something to breath.

Fragility in a scene where a man holding a short white candle protecting its flame begins a task that seems irrelevant and pointless but is far-reaching. He has stepped inside an empty pool and begins to walk with a candle from one side to the other. Bottom of the pool is rocky, he takes careful steps. He touches the edge of the pool with his hand like it was a game as he begins and walks to the other edge trying to keep the flame burning. He fails a couple of times as the candle goes out, his frustration shows, he is seemingly tired and exhausted but he must hold on because he is determined and must keep the candle burning as he walks to the other side of the pool. He finally manages at his task gently holding the candle as it was his child, protecting it with his hand and coat as if he grew old while completing his task and died after having placed the candle on the edge of the pool and left it burning. It is an emotional scene, exhaustively beautiful, slow, painful for the viewer, grounded, vividly depicting a state of mind, an any man’s effort which is so packed and painful viewer feels the torture of failing and trying again and relief of succeeding finally as if it was a physical sports exercise. Close-up to the hands and the candle, heavy breathing.

I experienced Nostalghia as something which very few have been able to achieve on film for me. A personal astounding voyage into details which speak via femininity and a child, there is no one like Tarkovsky and his vision and it makes me wonder why so. Is it the extreme conditions of banning and spying on citizens, a doctrine of political that has no place for mystery and belief to the invisible, something hovering in the air is an escape from Social Realism and banning God. Tarkovsky’s movies speak the spiritual, spirit rains down and over endlessly or burns violently which happening is viewed on film by actors and me outside, what is there to see is a miracle of nature, to get soaked in rain is a spiritual happening like being baptised again and again and denying the divine is the ultimate crime against people and the spirit. The power of his films and this particular film is something of rare kind but still very everyday and everywhere, suffering and beauty of suffering, what becomes of suffering, what is to suffer, how to overcome this conflict and what does it make of us. Nostalgia is what all feel when looking back, the subjective view and what we remember is only for us. To share that personal view can be impossible, the subjective experience in time. Viewing breathtaking images of landscapes and historical buildings longing for release from the modern machine and finding momentary joy has such heaviness and weight it is unbearable as is the beauty in Tarkovky’s movies. All is beautiful because all comes from God, all is light as all is heavy. How can we show our respect towards what we have and what is?

You can watch the film without knowing what the story is. That it was made over 20 years ago is almost irrelevant, but telling. There is something to the point that the woman is an interpreter and the male protagonist is a writer doing research. We are drowning and burning in the very same way as tragically, suddenly and sadly, watching people go by, who are they the couple asks. To be in search of and inquisitive has a purpose. Things happening around must have a reason. Times are in contrast to the slowness and pace, massiveness and weight of nature feels like a landslide taking us by our feet and pulling us down with the freezing stream. We are still protesting as we were then and remain completely dissatisfied with the ways we are managed, screwed and administrated, expected to accomplish, make, go by the book and be going somewhere as the taxi is waiting, luggage is packed and we are moving ahead somewhere forward not back in time but into the future. Not staying put, refusing to rot but still rotting as the houses and ruins in the film do. Rain comes through the roof, puddles become ponds on the floor and man wades and paddles in clear water inside ruins where there are landscapes, rivers and hills, bottles collecting the rainwater and a dog looking at the camera. Sounds and images are of beauty that is constantly being made by nature, humans wetting their shoes and clothes as they do not have any choice but go in and get wet. In Nostalgia there is fog and rain throughout all of the movie, sudden blink of sunlight lasts only a few seconds and it rains again. People don’t complain about the weather but they are in pain and in inescapable situation brought by their bodies, nature and other people, unbearable. Some go crazy which seems to be the sanest and most obvious thing to do. Don’t go with the flow, follow your own nature, if it is yours, if you understand what it is, if you know how to look and what really is beautiful, what is beauty of yours.

To be surrounded by water, be in water, face the inescapable flooding, wetness of clothes and hair. Woman sitting on a bed drying out her hair with blow dryer at a comfortable hotel among other guests who wander around bumping into each other at the corridor just as you, but not as poor as you, not as lost as you, not as wet as you, not as tired, not as out of their minds. There is no union, no true meeting, no coming together, people go their separate ways asking what is happening, not knowing is one cause of suffering. To dry out and never get dry is what tires people out to the limit of setting oneself on fire standing on a statue. Warmth comes from a bottle. Hotel guests are free to take refreshing and rejuvenating baths while a crazy homeless man goes around the pool in wet shoes. He is a poet, listen to what the poet says. Water is safety and saviour. It is about birth, divinity, life on earth, a cold shiver, death, drowning, drinking, listen to it. This is not a desert as it is not dry, maybe dry of joy. Life lies in the water with divinity which becomes at birth in opening the dress of the sacred mother from which birds fly out after a prayer is spoken to become a mother, please bless me. Candles are still the warmest of all to be protected at the altar melting bringing in light lighting up the place and prayers of women who wish to become mothers and those who are graciously blessed are with those who await. We are in water also at birth, our reflection is in the water, our becoming happens because of water.

To embody beauty and the divine, the sacred and the spiritual is what Tarkovky’s movie Nostalghia does. It is the main theme for him which enlarges itself as his movies are few and monumental pieces of art finding out spirituality and the killing of it. Significance to a movie fan is as massive as historical paintings and buildings have, what are we without knowledge of history. Hair on a woman is the same as vegetation moving along with the stream of water in which there is a fallen statue of an angel. It makes one think every breath taken and held, hold breath and breath out, think about breathing, how the water feels on one’s skin and how that statue does not feel a thing, it does not know where it is. Russia is always there even though the movie happens in Italy. Italy seems the same as Russia, people are the same, beauty, meaning and purpose of religion, ruins, history, sentiments, sentimentality, there is something so similar that it is all one. Fight is the same, poverty is the same, suffering and relationships, problems do not differ. What is the desert here and why? The crazy man in the movie shuts off himself with his family in their home for seven years in isolation. They were rescued as if they had wrecked a boat at sea and been saved in the last minute, a mega spectacle of saving a family. With such small size Tarkovsky paints a profound image where Beethoven is only too pompous and royal, imperial and full of himself, played when something important happens and must be paraded. Beethoven and the equestrian statue on which to climb and set oneself on fire alone with a canister of gasoline while other protesters watch, the burning man falls to the ground. He was the crazy man and now he is dead. Statue remains.

Andrei meets and befriends a strange man named Domenico (Erland Josephson), who is famous in the village for trying to cross through the waters of a mineral pool with a lit candle. He claims that when finally achieving it, he will save the world. They both share a feeling of alienation from their surroundings. Andrei later learns that Domenico used to live in a lunatic asylum until the post-fascistic state closed them and now lives in the street. He also learns that Domenico had a family and was obsessed in keeping them inside his house in order to save them from the end of the world, until they were freed by the local police after seven years. Before leaving, Domenico gives Andrei his candle and asks him if he will cross the waters for him with the flame.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nostalghia

My interest in Marilyn is interest in how the dilemma of gender culminates in one person so perfectly

What is spoken of her and why. What do people want to know, what is of interest for anyone in a beautiful woman. What do we pay attention to and why she is seen via her sex which seems to dictate all she can do, how she can be and must do, how she must do to make an effect. She is an effect, a special effect on the set. That is her purpose. Her value seems pretty infinite despite she is ripped off her value as a multi talented person. Her value is partly in the tragedy of not having achieved enough professionally that she is diminished no matter what she accomplished and modelled to be something  to which she contributes voluntarily because it seems she had no other choice. This no other choice to succeed but via the sexual part of a blond shell is part of the puzzle for me. To have a lot but be limited as an artist by the system and the way women are seen.

Those are the terms to succeed is like a plan given. Do as you are told and this is what is wanted of you. This is what the public wants to see, you are for yes only (I mean eyes), to pleasure others. Why is this what is thought the public wants or are we so simple-minded it really is what we want? It puzzles me still although it is clear in a way that the public is infinitely narrow-minded and seeks to be entertained in the simplest of ways. That is also what gossip is all about. That is also the trap in to which entertainment industry constantly steps: repeating the same imagery and narrative which is luring, attention seeking, fabulous visually and repeating the gender roles and stereotypes as if nothing ever changes, and yes things do change slowly. Something else than the real life and not so much.

My interest is in how someone is talked about. What becomes of this tale which is continued, passed forward. What is the story people like to give, they believe it themselves, what are their motives, what is the truth and what are the reasons for telling the story. Who knows the truth and who is a reliable witness. Because what is being said and what is the reality can be very different from each other so much so that surreal is the reality. What people believe is the truth is bound to bias and what is wanted to be seen as the truth. How personal experience of someone is true and what is the value of telling this personal view forward.

A person who is dimensional but does not show all of her dimensions is infinitely interesting obviously applies to women. To believe women are able to achieve excellence takes work for some men and women. Simplicity and less are easier to believe to be true and accept than someone who is much. Much is difficult to control and tolerate.

Act of bomb shell

Something began with Mae West continuing to Jane Mansfield and Marilyn Monroe to whom many blond big breasted beautiful women in limelight are connected. The biggest role for Norma Jean Baker was Marilyn Monroe and it was not bad acting at all. Marilyn Monroe perfected celebrity performance live act. How could anybody say she was a bad actress? Stupidity, clumsiness, unaware flirting supposed weaknesses of female sex embodied as a childlike doll, inabilities, drunkenness, forgetting her lines and singing. Who is she like when she is like that, why do we tolerate her like that, let her do what she does and adore her, are endlessly interested in her still? Was she doing what she was told to do, to act nice and look beautiful, smile, wave, walk, be perky bubbly adorable magnet. If you are not smiling you are troubled and rumors get wings, there are pictures of you with wrinkles on your forehead, hand on your face, face looking sad, you distant and depressed-looking. Sad beauty is not fun. She is pathetic and it is time to find a new one who will entertain us with her moves and nonsense kind of puppuppiduu and I love you’s. Is she on medication, does she do drugs, why does she drink? What is her problem? How can someone so beautiful have such problems?
That she is a manipulating calculating bitch who knows what she is doing turns the thing of childish stupidity around and her more of a product of her own doing. She is like a victim but she does it herself. Nobody is forcing her to become the sex bomb other than herself but sex bombing is the way for her to be seen and get ahead in her career. She gets to be noticed. There is interest in her, she is wanted to be seen, perform, asked to TV-shows, interviewed. What is the interest in with whom she is having sex? Sex is what gets us to be interested in her and how she is sexual in front of us, what she is daring to do and behaving ways most of us wouldn’t dare in public. To look at someone who is daring is a turn on, exciting and fun, a riot kind of boost. She is crossing a limit, stepping over and looking what happens.
Then we do not know the whole story and we start inventing what is she like and why is she doing what she does, what is her motivation, what is her problem, is she talented at all, what does she have what others do not. She is using us for her benefit, isn’t she? Seduction of come look at me, look what I have got, would you like to touch and have a piece of me, dream of me, just look at me. Tragedy is when sex bomb cannot be anything else even though she would like to. We don’t want her as anyone else but as that posing body wearing a tight dress and smiling face which is eternally youthful white pure but dirty underneath. All is told but nothing is said. Something remains the same and is like a circle. White blond bleached retouched lifted up tightened squeezed into erased immortalized repeated over and over again. Is she in trouble, is she the trouble, what did she do, who does she think she is? She is nothing and everything, she is diminished and made big. What a contrast and battle to have. How is it possible to stay in that role, keep that pose, keep that white and that form of body?

Manipulative force of movies: What are movies wanted to make us think?

Are movies like malls where we can wander and pick things of our choosing up in a chart, pay and leave happily for having found what we came for? What are our reactions to movies, especially to those which get a lot of advertising and space in media. Do we expect something of movies we choose to watch? Enjoyment, escape, dreams, stories, anything else? A surprise or something specific which we are paying for not to be disappointed but leave the theater content and entertained. Movies play an important role not only as something to be shown in theaters and on TV to pass the time but something very complex, maybe more than meets the eye. The help to create an empire of merchandise, news, extra on top of the cake and it is fun to make movies, I’m sure. So I am not spoiling the fun, I am just wondering visuals among which we live, power of business and how well organized can a machinery to make profit be. Are visuals used making our perspectives more narrow? Our possibilities in making pictures, thoughts of what can be done, why something is done and what is good?

As it is always in action movies there is good vs. bad, probably the most used juxtaposition as is the all mighty solitary hero and heroine against a mass of ordinary folks who cannot keep up the speed. Heroes and heroines can make a good story with turns that interest a crowd enough to pay to see it, if that is what is enough. What interests to such extent that up to repetition story of all mighty hero has to be told similarly repetitiously with similar kind of twist as American fathers bond with their sons by throwing ball? That a movie makes a blockbuster as planned and how a concept of blockbuster movie is so luring that it over and over again finds viewers making hundreds of millions of dollars? One can question the buzz around it but one can hardly stop it. Just like that, impossible. We are in a whirlwind of media and its choosing of visuals. Is it too obvious and more importantly are we as viewers and consumers that obvious? So it seems. To see something that could actually happen but is bigger than we are, still somehow within reach, attractive as a fantasy and a dream, maybe not as every day scene in real life but saving first America and then the World. Something already may be lost.

What do viewers witness or are viewers being used?

Jurassic Park never lit me in any way but here are couple of interesting articles concerning women in science, role models and movies, how movies impact the viewer:
http://bitchmagazine.org/post/in-praise-of-jurassic-parks-dr-ellie-sattler “ When the park’s power fails to come back on as expected, she doesn’t sit in the emergency bunker waiting for rescue. She makes a plan and grabs a walkie-talkie, heading out to find the power switch.” 
http://www.vulture.com/2015/06/jurassic-world-feminism.html

 

To be a woman of action does it still mean denying femininity?

As it happens women who pursue work that requires/means physical stress measured as getting dirty, sweaty, working with your hands wearing overalls, mask and gloves, lifting things, moving and making something that needs one to work with whole of body adding problem solving to work are thought to lose something of their femininity. Rationality and innovation with capable hands is for some reason not something women have. Idea of what women are and can be still lives in the 20th century dragging behind infuriating. Women who are doing something that is not traditionally their area to work at, to be expert at without question is seen obscure like an absurdity in every day. Strangely work for women which is to be for some reason clean, neat, ‘easy’ and allow cute clothes is really an invention of the modern times and place that used to belong to upper class women who at best did nothing but things that were strictly theirs for some reason by nature, by their gender and by their class, so a privilege. Nowadays to me privilege is to be able to do work that one desires to do and most people want to work. To be absolutely idle to which we in our easy living fantasy dream about, is hopefully just a dream and an impossibility. Those unemployed rarely are happy about their idle existence.

Nature is regularly referred to when talking about women. Women are physically weaker than men and division is made clear what are chores for women. Strength and power are male characteristics physically and mentally which as such is an appalling stereotype and false. Men feel attacked and put down when women enter work that traditionally is labelled for men. This I have experienced many times myself. My work effort as my capabilities are diminished and questioned over and over. Here applies again the strange truth how people do not believe other than their bias and what they think is true. That unchangeable solid truth of theirs is so unwavering it can be changed only by huge amount of proving, maybe not even then. How slowly our world changes even though our technological advancement is rapid. Even those who have high degrees in science to my surprise are very biased what comes to women in science and art. That slowly movable wall strikes as what the fuck is it there for. Such highly educated people who hold dear the world order of theirs where just to have a Ph.D. is enough to tell how knowledgeable, refined, correct and justifiable they are and see their points of views unchangeable and undeniable. Offence is to follow, no doubt, when questioned.

What is hip and cool and why do we pay attention to the at the moment hip and cool phenomenons and trends knowing they do change all the time and the most hip and cool are those who do their thing disregarding the fashion of hip and cool? Do you know what I mean? For example making applications for the sake of making applications is a now-thing, but it is probably over quite soon, because who actually needs them. More important would be to ask why be hip and cool when you can be thoughtful, innovative, active maker, do many things in your life disregarding do they make you a fortune, things that have other kinds of meanings than what they appear outside and not do because it is your place which is decided by others but because you want to.

To my surprise younger generations to me are very often not taught to do basic chores at home at all. If it is so that parents do every day nuisance such dishes and cleaning for their kinds, boys and girls, how does it change our world of work? Will we have maids to do those inconvenient things that are dirty and low, unappreciated work chores? Robots?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/soraya-chemaly/what-exactly-does-its-a-mans-world-mean_b_7454660.html?utm_hp_ref=tw “It’s a shame our society generally fails to teach girls to have higher expectations and boys not to feel threatened by their realization. The worst part about people’s responses to the suggestion that we find ways to address women’s needs in public spaces was the reality of many women’s low expectations and desire not to offend anxious and angry men.”