July 4th, 2003

2020 lack of vision

furry friends/strange dolls

On Wednesday I arrived a bit early at Bicester so sat down on a crash barrier outside the railway station a chapter away from the end of the book (Urn Burial by Robert Westall -- quite good, I shall try and sell it to someone listlessly buying Colin Dann books, I think) to waste twenty minutes before the meeting. A twitch of movement caught my eye and I looked down and there was a rat, fur and tail, its nose barely an inch from my shoe, claws clenched on the tarmac, you-can't-see-me still. I met its shiny black eyes for a moment, then must have made a small movement, because it broke and ran like the clappers back across three metres of open car park and under a fence. What made it do that? Come out all the way across open space to something dangerous and big as me? Surely not the lemon and poppy-seed muffin in my pocket, that was wrapped in plastic. Maybe I just smell like food.

Anyone who was expecting to see me at the Port Mahon last night for Kimya's gig, sorry, there was a evening fight, and Takeshi Kitano's Dolls won (andypop went to a gig from the same tour, so you can get that from his journal). I'm very glad I went to see Dolls; it was wonderfully (un)familiar and extremely artifical, Takeshi's usual brutality more diffuse, random, saturating the story landscape. Everything is picture-postcard beautiful, the people look blank and beautiful and are astoundingly dressed (all the costumes are by Yohji Yamamoto!) and the settings (though real) look like tiny theatre sets; an overreal, crystal beauty. The camera's eye (and the plot) is halting, discursive, close and distant, like a room seen through the bottom of a glass. It tells a kind of myth-cycle of the modern city, built from the stories you spin when you see something inexplicable (yet created by human hand) and wonder how it came about. (More on Artificial Eye, including the story of the Bound Beggars.)

I like this photo.

And the Picky Picky Game has spawned a Greek chorus of sausages.
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