February 22nd, 2004


Cheese Feast

It wasn't that delicious anyway. I'd eaten one already. The weekend, decidedly lazy and located within these walls, was sufficiently low key to allow a brief slip into processed foods or, namely, The Chicago Town Pizza Triple Cheese Deep Dish Pizza that was on special offer. Just some unimpressive cheese in an unimpressive pastry. Oh well. I wrote a song yesterday for the first time in about six months. It came out fairly easily, but there was a price to pay. The said pizza was forgotten in the oven while I worked out the lyrics and upon later examination it had turned into something else entirely. Happiness, or maybe relief, at having written something tempered by the look of the evening's meal. The cheese dried and cracked, shrunken into what looked like deep fried worms. It was very nasty. Too nasty to look at for long. It was the Dorian Gray pay-off. You get to write a song, but the dinner goes Cronenberg.

TS Eliot may indeed have claimed April as the cruellest month, but I'd never go to a bank and ask them for advice on when I should best go on holiday. This is proving a very testing period and I shall be glad to see the end of these 29 days. I shy from posting on these emotional issues. I haven't entirely so far, but it's easy to write in ever-declining circles. Suffice to say that Friday made me lonelier than I had been in a long time. So, you get a song out of it. I'm unprepared for the level of payment currently being demanded by the songwriting faeries though. Well, I think I sorted out the problem dating from earlier in the week, but the this then met its that and even watching Chinatown for the nth time didn't cheer me up particularly. It's Worlds Vanish rather than Worlds Collide over in the Sarmoung constellation. Astronomers have witnessed the death of a star recently at the hands of a hungry black hole. I myself could see that there was less light in the night-sky. But, as I have mentioned before, it's a question of scale.

So, the only other thing to do is write about the intersection between Chinatown and Once Upon A Time In The West. I was watching the latter in bed and fell asleep as it looped around for the second time with the audio commentary. Christopher Frayling (it seemed) at one point was mentioning about how he was uncomfortable in the real world and was glad his job was over and he could return to the French countryside away from the modern entrapments around him. As he said this, a secret section of the film was revealed; the same dusty landscape and half-built town but with futuristic vehicles driving around on it. It has been there all the time but hidden from us. I didn't manage to check this section again outside of a dreamstate.

They are similar as films in certain ways and they are both films I have watched on acid, now I think about it! The operatic slowness of Once... really does suit it for that drug. It's harder to follow the story in Chinatown if you've not seen it before though and half the time you're looking at Faye Dunaway's face and thinking it has a very unpredictable shape. Anyway, the films are both favourites of mine. They're films that are a return to earlier genres (western, detective/noir) from a modern cinematic perspective. They both deal with issues of the changing nature of the world and the role of capital within that. The casting also plays on cinematic associations and references (Henry Fonda, John Houston, etc).

I watched Il Gattopardo this morning, Visconti's period piece about the Sicilian aristocracy. It's a masterpiece of Euro lip-synching. Is Burt Lancaster actually speaking Italian? Is Alain Delon? Is Claudia Cardinale even? Am I?

Sunlight for a while in the Stamford Hill avo.