SPINAGE, SIGNAGE, AND THE SPACE BETWEEN
I’m feeling like I’m not really in the world today. Really. More spinage in the diet might help. Brown sugar’s good, but it lacks requisite iron. It’s OK though – I’m feeling contented. Or formed.
I learned some things about the difference between form and content last night and about the difference between movies and film. Me mate Cam’s a film maker. He borrows the means of production of films. It’s not making movies – it’s a calling that’s got way more of that art stuff in it. We watched Why Can’t I Stop This Uncontrollable Dancing, and had a chat, both before and after. I realised what film is – it’s got nothing to do with movie-ment as such. It’s about a surface on a surface. That’s certainly what Dancing is – a surface that wrapped me closely in empathy and understanding. Dangerously closely, Ronnie. ‘She’s left-handed. My God, I’m falling in love. What’s the chance? Oh, that’s right, she’s not really real. Really?’ Saved from that long shot. Or, should I say, saved from that long take. Dancing is a feast of long takes – real time happening in real time – open attention where you have choices about your attention and you get-to-have-to make those choices. Patience. Engagement. Encounter. Not as a moment but as flow. The time to take the time to rhyme.
We, the evening’s remnants of the People’s Cinema, wondered afterward at Crumpets just what it would take for the dominant Hollywood form to become the 12 minute take. A discussion accidentally edited by the fact that the bottle store next door was being smashed and grabbed. ‘Yes officer, we saw who dunnit. Twas four well dressed cougars. Yes officer, all of them white. No officer, that didn’t strike us as strange – performance art comes in all shapes and sizes these days.’ Think Rumsfeld. Or Gerry’s plan for his latest performance piece called ‘Straightening the Avon’. Watersports eh? – just go f#ck a mountain why don’t ya. We continued musing on the psychotechtonic defibrillations and ensuing psychopathic endorsement of disaster capital – what an exceptional exception opportunity is Canterbury – until the glaziers arrived. My dole hit my bank account and we ordered another round of short blacks – Crumpets do the best in Wellington.
The conversation turned to Cam’s new suits – more than slightly OCD perhaps but very snappily dressed, and as we lamented the closing of The Modern Miss, I wondered if something like Urban Dream Brokerage could help make use of the Moray Place space. We talked a little more of Gerry and the Transformers – no long take empathy there – just get rich, quick fix, invisibly edited stomping around on the plains Amongst the Machines, and while running a dole vs. coffee budget in my head, I had a policy idea. ‘Can all the benefits. You can’t be unemployed. You can’t be sick. Can’t be invalid any longer. You have to be an artist – a bene-fitter – one who makes good. Every week we’ll give you some money and some paint ‘n glue – whatever you fancy that you believe will create value.’ I blurted out. (By the way, this will work.) The new WINZ slogan could be something like “Grab a Sharpie and sort your signage out”. A few doors down from People’s Cinema there’s a nice piece that I had an encounter with the other day. I stood grinning, swaying slightly for 12 minutes, as its motionlessness enveloped me. It’s a simple one: “Better Graffiti Better Living”. Less Movie. More Film.
This article was first published in POINT issue#35. 10-16.JUL. 2013