John Walker's Electronic House

by on Aug.06, 2004, under The Rest

There’s a thought in my head, still taking shape. As the parts begin to slot together, it reveals more of itself, as I get closer to realising what it’s about.

I saw Before Sunset tonight at the Little Theatre in Bath, with the same group as Monday night when watching the original. It’s a very clever film, delicate and honest. Incredibly honest. Deceitful at first, because people so often are. And so even in this, honest.

During both films I have reached for a pen to write down ideas. In the first, I couldn’t find paper, so covered my left hand in notes. During tonight’s, I couldn’t get to my pen without my cinema chair making a terrible creaking sound for too long. The first film’s thoughts were a metaphor I will crowbar into something at some point, and an idea for a film that I think might actually be quite good. Although ridiculously hard to write well. Tonight’s was more of this lingering unformed thought beginning to make some more sense.

As with all jumbled thoughts, it’s not quite in English, but it goes something like this: I’ve realised that I’ve stopped noticing the texture of things.

It’s almost literal. As I watched Linklater’s careful photography of Paris, I was excited by the intricate pattern of flaked paint from the rustic walls of the stairwell the two characters climb. Or the lighting every time the tourist boat they ride on passes under a bridge (also, how if I were in that peddalo, this boat would have been the enemy, but that’s not so relevant). And her flat… oh, that flat. So beautifully detailed, so much to look at and take in. And yet a large, one room flat with a wooden floor and white walls. But noticing all this, loving how careful Linklater had been to show me all this, I realised that I only ever seem to notice these things on film.

Which is terrible! I think I’ve become lazy in my routine. I’m watching, rather than looking. Just scanning the surface details, rather than absorbing. That’s no way to go through life.

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