If you're wondering why I haven't blogged in over a month, it's because I've been depressed and woefully uninspired. Not that I haven't encountered inspiring things (and people) on a regular basis, but there is a logjam between my head, my heart and my brain that somehow is preventing me from writing, at least not easily or very coherently without a lot of pain and anguish involved.
And I'm a bit crabby that no one asked me for my Top 10 anything. Actually, I don't really care. Yes, I do.
I think this blog from now on, or maybe just for right now (did I mention indecision is an issue, too?) might consist of interviews (I'm still a good talker when it comes to that and the filmmakers I wrassle with are, as well); highlights of overlooked festivals that are displaying some bespoke, thoughtful and engaging programming in overlooked places; and, if you're lucky, more poetry or song lyrics or odes to my cute, but overlooked, belly button. Let's just hope I don't pull a Jack Torrance my first winter in Berlin.
To tide you over and appease my blogging network from dropping me, here's a poem I wrote that is an ode to this dreary, dark season: (ahem)
I want to slow these days--
a sun oblique, pale
brittle dawn to dusk.
I want to linger on the southern slopes
foraging like a brown bear
after roots, berries, and honey stumps
of autumn's last red camp.
Something in me slows against my will--
heart, fire, and hunger.
The past fills up and holds the
most proportion of brightness.
And there is nothing to do for it
but shuffle into my cave
worrying round and around the shadows
until I slump down in a long winter's sleep.
If only it were that bear simple,
to lie down in darkness,
to wake in a new season of light,
and know exactly what is necessary.
And in more exciting news: Posted here soon will be a wonderful chat I just conducted with Los Angeles-based filmmaker, Jeff Malmberg, creator and director of Marwencol, a small documentary that is, thankfully, not being overlooked, and has taken the critics and viewing audiences by storm with its inspirational story of one man's mission to rebuild his life. This film, I would imagine, will appear on many top 10 lists this year. It certainly would have been on mine if I'd been asked to supply one. So stay tuned for the soothing sounds of Jeff Malmberg.
And to wrap up this strange post, in more great doc news, you can now own two of the most fabulous nonfiction films to come out of the US of A in a while courtesy of Carnivalesque Films: Darius Marder's grossly overlooked Loot, and Bradley Beesley's slightly less overlooked (it's all relative), Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo. Seems like team Carnivalesque is busy building a very impressive roster of films--kudos.
Oh wait, here's another poem you might like called The Art and Science of Guilt:
Upturned faces of ponds, lakes
wear thick-skinned masks now,
and the rifle crack of splitting trees
is heard; approaching another century's
end, nearer life forms burst
in sudden monstrous spasms
of growth, and distant mountain
ridges vanish in smoke,
reappear in sulfuric haze;
it is summer's end, not
the world's. Surely as snakes shed
their skins whole, the seasons
will turn sweet or bitter,
sap and blood will sleep and rise,
and we will drift from shadow to sun
again, crying out like hawks on the hunt.
Together in tribal darkness we forgive
the actors and ourselves: nothing
except the movies works. Uncountable
layers of space flattened on a screen
deliver up inner-outer union:
exotic home, familiar dangers pure
and depraved, unjudging, unjudgeable.
From the first scene to last tracking shot,
we dream of going from movie to movie,
It turns out I'm still inspired by the movies, after all. Happy holidaze.