Suicide (Fallen Body)

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On May Day, just after leaving her fiancé, 23-year-old Evelyn McHale wrote a note. “He is much better off without me… I wouldn’t make a good wife for anybody.” Then she crossed it out. She went to the observation platform of the Empire State Building. Through the mist she gazed at the street, 86 floors below. Then she jumped. In her desperate determination she leaped clear of the setbacks and hit a United Nations limousine parked at the curb. Across the street photography student Robert Wiles heard an explosive crash. Just four minutes after Evelyn McHale’s death, Wiles got this picture of death’s violence and its composure. The serenity of McHale’s body amidst the crumpled wreckage it caused is astounding. Years later, Andy Warhol appropriated Wiles’ photography for a print called Suicide (Fallen Body).

Les Fenêtres, Charles Baudelaire

  Celui qui regarde du dehors à travers une fenêtre ouverte, ne voit jamais autant de choses que celui qui regarde une fenêtre fermée. Il n’est pas d’objet plus profond, plus mystérieux, plus fécond, plus ténébreux, plus éblouissant qu’une fenêtre éclairée d’une chandelle. Ce qu’on peut voir au soleil est toujours moins intéressant que ce qui se passe derrière une vitre. Dans ce trou noir ou lumineux vit la vie, rêve la vie, souffre la vie.
Par delà des vagues de toits, j’aperçois une femme mûre, ridée déjà, pauvre, toujours penchée sur quelque chose, et qui ne sort jamais. Avec son visage, avec son vêtement, avec son geste, avec presque rien, j’ai refait l’histoire de cette femme, ou plutôt sa légende, et quelquefois je me la raconte à moi-même en pleurant.

Si c’eût été un pauvre vieux homme, j’aurais refait la sienne tout aussi aisément.

Et je me couche, fier d’avoir vécu et souffert dans d’autres que moi-même.

Peut-être me direz-vous: "Es-tu sûr que cette légende soit la vraie?" Qu’importe ce que peut être la réalité placée hors de moi, si elle m’a aidé à vivre, à sentir que je suis et ce que je suis?

See, kes vaatab väljast lahtisesse aknasse, ei näe kunagi nii palju asju kui see, kes vaatleb suletud akent. Pole sügavamat, salapärasemat, viljakamat, varjatumat ega pimestavamat asja kui küünlast valgustatud aken. Mida võib näha päikese käes, on alati vähem huvitav kui see, mis sünnib mõne aknaruudu taga. Selles musast või valendavas avauses elab elu, unistab elu, kannatab elu.
Üle katuselainete silman üht küpses eas, juba kortsulist vaest naist, kes ei käi kunagi väljas, alati kummardumas millegi üle. Ta näost, ta rõivaist, ta liigutusist, peaaegu ei millestki olen koostanud selle naise eluloo, või pigem tema legendi, ja mõnikord jutustan seda nuttes endale.

Olnuks see mõni vaene vanamees, oleksin koostanud tema eluloo niisama hõlpsasti.

Ja ma heidan magama uhkena, et olen elanud ja kannatanud teistes.

Võibolla ütlete mulle: "Oled sa kindel, et see legend vastab tõele?" On’s sel tähtsust, milline on reaalsus väljaspool mind, kui see on mul aidanud elada, tunda, et olen ja mis ma olen.
 

Väikesed poeemid proosas, Avita 1999, lk 86
 

A man looking out of an open window never sees as much as the same man looking directly at a closed window. There is no object more deeply mysterious, no object more pregnant with suggestion, more insidiously sinister, in short more truly dazzling than a window lit up from within by even a single candle. What we can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what we can perceive taking place behind a pane of windowglass. In that pit, in that blackness or brightness, life is being lived, life is suffering, life is dreaming….

Above the wave-crests of the rooftops across the way I can see a middle-aged woman, face already wrinkled–a poor woman forever bending over something, who never seems to leave her room. From just her face and her dress, from practically nothing at all, I’ve re-created this woman’s story, or rather her legend; and sometimes I weep while reciting it to myself.

Some poor old man would have sufficed just as well; I could with equal ease have invented a legend for him, too.

And so I go to bed with a certain pride, having lived and suffered for others than myself.

Of course, you may confront me with: "But are you sure your story is really the true and right one?" But what does it really matter what the reality outside myself is, as long as it has helped me to live, to feel that I am alive, to feel the very nature of the creature that I am.

Hugo

hugo

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It’s like a love letter to movies, and Martin Scorsese sure loves movies. He has used the latest technological advances in movie making to bring us a tribute to the earliest days of public dreaming.

What Martin Scorsese’s Hugo Taught Us About the Grandfather of Science Fiction Film, Georges Méliès

Silent movie director, inventor and magician Georges Méliès is easily the grandfather of science fiction film.This turn-of-the-century film maker is a very important part of Martin Scorsese’s new movie Hugo, you could even argue that this entire movie is Scorsese’s love letter to Méliès. Hidden inside Hugo are loads of real-life facts about the grandfather of science fiction. Here is everything we learned about Georges Méliès, tucked away inside a movie about a train station orphan. In Hugo, a little boy makes friends with a grumpy old toy salesman, played by Sir Ben Kingsley. With the help of a gorgeous automaton, Hugo discovers that the poor old toy peddler is actually the famed director Georges Méliès. And along the way, we learn a lot of stuff about the real-life innovator of silent film.

Méliès was a silent movie-making machine. He directed over 500 films (most of which he starred in, or at least made a cameo in). Sadly, many of these films were lost to time and misfortune. You probably know him best as the man who launched a rocket into the eye of the moon.
 
In order to catch all the light necessary to make his films, Méliès build a glass-enclosed stage outside Paris in 1897. He also constructed almost all of his props, sets, and costumes, equipping them with tricks he learned as a magician. At one point, Méliès was rumored to have housed over 20,000 costumes.
In order to add color to his movies, Méliès and his crew hand painted every single frame.

Painting his film was just one of the many experiments Méliès conducted with film. In fact he came across the "stop trick" cut — where he stopped filming and removed someone from the scene, so they seemed to disappear when filming started up — accidentally! Using his inventor know-how and magician skills, he also helped pioneer such film trickery as the dissolve and the double exposure.
The main automaton seen in Hugo is not the only wind-up creature Méliès made, but sadly very few of them survived.
 
The main automaton seen in Hugo is not the only wind-up creature Méliès made, but sadly very few of them survived.

Released in 1902, Le Voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon) is the first ever science fiction film.
 
As time wore on, tastes started to change and the wildly theatrical Méliès-style films were no longer a hot commodity (sadly, Méliès never really mastered the art of the narrative). Instead of adapting with the times Méliès lost a bundle and was forced into bankruptcy. The French government began to melt down films for silver for the war effort. Méliès sold off his films to be burned and used as boot heels for soldiers. Other bits were recycled into new film.
 
Broke and almost completely forgotten in 1925 Méliès sold toys at the Gare Montparnasse. This Méliès dedication site perfectly sums up exactly how bizarre that is: "This is roughly equivalent to finding Henry Ford working the Autopia at Disneyland." He was there for about seven years, until (much like in the film) he is discovered by the film editor of the Ciné-Journal who helped him revive his career with press, galas, and re-screenings of his work. They even managed to find many (but nowhere near all) of the films that had been destroyed.

Director D.W. Griffith once said of French filmmaker Georges Méliès, "I owe him everything." Charlie Chaplin described him as "the alchemist of light."

Preisner on Budenmayer:

“Many people ask me about him. When Kieslowski shot the movie, he originally wanted to use some of Mahler’s music, but this proved too expensive to licence. He asked me to compose something original in Mahler’s style, and we were looking for the name of a composer – something different, something to be taken seriously as ‘proper’ music. Both Kieslowski and I liked Holland, and the name Van den Budenmayer looks as if it comes out of Holland, so we chose that. Afterwards, we got thousands of questions about Van den Budenmayer. We gave him my birth date but 20 years earlier and he even started appearing in music encyclopaedias! At one point, someone wanted to take me to court accusing me of stealing his music! Nowadays, if I write bad music, I accredit it to him!”

Van den Budenmayer is a fictitious 18th-century Dutch composer created by Preisner and director Krzysztof Kieślowski for attributions in screenplays.Preisner said Van den Budenmayer is a pseudonym he and Kieślowski invented “because we both loved the Netherlands”. Music “by” the Dutch composer plays a role in three Kieślowski films – The Decalogue (1988), Three Colours: Blue (1993) (Song for the Unification of Europe – its E minor soprano solo is prefigured in the earlier film The Double Life of Veronique (1991), where circumstances in the story prevent the solo from finishing), Three Colours: Red (1994).

Charlie Chaplin

The only unjust thing about life is the way it ends. I think that the true cycle of life is completely backwards. We should die first, get that out of the way first. Then live in an asylum until we get kicked out for being too young. Strap on a golden watch and go to work. Then work for about 40 years until you’re young enough to enjoy your retirement. Then you can enjoy it worry-free. Drink lots of alcohol, have many parties and then go to college classes. Then school, have plenty of girlfriends. Become a child, no responsibilities, then back to being a baby in Mother’s arms, then back into the uterus, pass the last 9 months of your life floating… And then it all ends with an Orgasm. Wouldn’t it be perfect?