Giovanni Boccaccio, "Dekameron"

"Kes ei teaks, et inimestele on vein Cinciglione, Scolajo ja paljude teiste arvates väga hea asi, kuid kahjulik sellele, kes palavikus on? Kas me hakkame nüüd ütlema, et vein on halb, kuna ta on kahjulik neile, kes palavikus viibivad? Kes ei teaks, et tuli on surelikele väga kasulik ja koguni hädatarvilik? Kas me hakkame nüüd ütlema, et tuli on halb, sest ta põletab maju, külasid ja linnu? Ka relvad kaitsevad neid, kes tahavad rahus elada, ja ometi toovad nad sageli inimestele surma; iseenesest pole nad kahjulikud, küll on aga nad seda inimeste tõttu, kes neid kurjasti tarvitavad. Rikutud aruga inimene ei mõista ühtki sõna kainelt ja nagu tal mingit kasu pole sündsatest sõnadest, nõnda saavad sõnad, mis ehk päris sündsad pole, õige aruga inimest sama vähe määrida kui pori päikesekiiri või maa peal olev mustus taevailu. Millised raamatud, millised sõnad, millised tähed on pühamad, üllamad, auväärsemad kui pühakiri? Kuid eks ole olnud küllalt neid, kes seda valesti tõlgitsedes ennast ja teisi hukatusse on viinud? Iga asi iseenesest on millekski kõlblik, kuid halva tarvitamise juures võib ta paljudele kahju tuua."

I have been told

I have been told
Make verses: it is no concern of yours
how the machine lubricates its bolt,
how the machine finds its nut.
Is the human being your only interest
And liberty the only flame that burns?

Other things are more important: delicate
lampshades and jack-o’-lanterns, hearth, doorbell.
Is that weakmindedness, the life you study
really worth burdening the heart?

When the newspaper appears, you will know who you were,
try to withstand some twenty winters more.
Try to withstand some twenty years more!
When the newspaper appear, you will read who you were.

Try to withstand some twenty winters more
without letting the soul’s scraps be deadened.
And when for the last time you have risen,
not to worry, we will have forgotten
your only, your lifelong prayer.

juhan viiding juhan

He was a strange tormented figure with a wry sense of humour that comes out in his succinct poetry.

D E R L E T Z T E M A N N The Last Laugh (1924)

Jannings’ character, the doorman for a famous hotel, is demoted to washroom (bathroom) attendant, as he is considered too old and infirm to be the image of the hotel. He tries to conceal his demotion from his friends and family, but to his shame, he is discovered. His friends, thinking he has lied to them all along about his prestigious job, taunt him mercilessly while his family rejects him out of shame. The man, shocked and in incredible grief, returns to the hotel to sleep in the bathroom where he works. The only person to be kind towards him is the night watchman, who covers him with his coat as he falls asleep.

Following this comes the film’s only title card, which says: “Here the story should really end, for, in real life, the forlorn old man would have little to look forward to but death. The author took pity on him and has provided a quite improbable epilogue.”

At the end, the doorman inherits a fortune and is able to dine happily at the same hotel he used to work for.

despair

In einem Jahr mit 13 Monden stars Erwin Spengler as a man desperately in love with his business partner. He decides to have a sex change operation, becomes Elvira, but this fails to attract the love of his beloved. Instead, the new "she" finds a series of damaging relationships and betrayals. Fassbinder uses harsh color, asymmetrical sets, a dissonant sound track and alternating narrative techniques to evoke the pain of Erwin/Elvira in a film that stretches the boundaries of conventional storytelling.

By the end, Elvira’s fate is of little shock yet you hope that somehow she can pull out of it. Neither fully a woman or man, Elvira lived her life in a personal, painful hell; unable to be truly loved while pouring herself out until nothing remained. Fassbinder sympathizes with Elvira yet is never maudlin about it; we never forget that she lives in a world of her own making yet still we have to root for her because there’s no reason someone so seemingly good-hearted must suffer such abuse and rejection all in the pursuit of genuine love. Perhaps that’s the final point to be made.

No matter what it is a film that is not forgotten easily, whether one wishes to or not.

 

In A Year With 13 Moons

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Clark et Pougnaud

clark-pougnaud10

«Little Terence», 2000

Husband and wife team Virginie Pougnaud and Christophe Clark met and began working together in 1998. Their work revolves around personal isolation, portraying quiet moments of life by creating miniature constructed worlds in their Paris studio. Pougnaud creates miniature painted theatric sets which Clark then photographs and combines with photographs of real figures. “Our pictures evoke solitude, which inhabits any human being confronted with life. It looks like a frozen instant of isolation, no matter how many people appear in the picture. Atmospheres are essential. We take the models around make-believe miniature worlds. Each time a person is performing a slice of life.” Bridging the gap between painting and photography, these digital assemblages create surreal images that are ‘worlds unto themselves’.