7:03 pm 664 notes
Cy Twombly - Autumno (from his series Quattro Stagioni a cycle of four paintings representing the four seasons) (1993-95)
6:27 am 1 note
On a bright morning in February I went to a pub in south-east London to interview Lou Doillon for ELLE.com. We walked straight into each other, actually: she, closing the pub door behind her as she popped out for a cigarette, me attempting to hurry to what I hoped was the right location. And there’s something about interviewing a story-teller, a natural talker who can’t keep her thoughts to herself, and a happy one at that, that is so life-affirming and reassuring. “Life is just a sweet fairy-tale now,” she said to me about four times over the half-hour and by the end I found myself grinning moronically, agreeing with her entirely. Like a fairy-tale hero, she does kind of cast a happy spell on the day, with such a balanced view of the light and the dark in the world that leaves you convinced that life is short, yes, but it can be so sweet, and that maybe laughter is the way to make the most of it. I left and walked home in the sunshine with a smile on my face. Also, her album is quite good, too.
6:23 pm 86 notes
FREE: The New Inquiry’s Special Supplement on Spring Breakers
Agreed in a patch of late evening sunshine on the Regent’s Canal today that if you do not see why Spring Breakers is worthy of analytic thought and criticism past “The aesthetic is different from other Harmony Korine films, with which I am also familiar”, then you are that uniquely bad breed of hipster born without capacity for critical thought. Read this, escape that grim fate.
Pitch Dark, Renata Adler
What a book. Told so languidly in such long sentences, Adler’s Kate Ennis (or is it Adler herself? Her own naming changes at will within the story) stands at a juncture in her personal life, on the verge of the end of an intense affair. We have all been there. Maybe not the affair, but certainly the crossroads: those times we have to wait for someone else’s actions to push the story forward, to turn a corner that we cannot turn alone.
The novel is packed with repeated refrains; one of them, my favourite, is “You are, you know, you were the nearest thing to a real story to happen in my life.” Murmured from lover to lover, we assume, it’s almost the opposite of How Should a Person Be?’s ‘He was just another man who wanted to teach me something!’ Rather, it is the admission that we don’t always make our own lives, fully. We live with the consequences of the actions of those around us. Maybe it’s foolish to think otherwise. Maybe that’s not the point of the book, though. I’ve come to be focused on it in all the female-written novels I am reading this year - the idea of making a life independently, independent of men, and then that Joan Didion thing about self-respect coming from taking responsibility for your own damn life. It’s everywhere: it’s Girls, it’s Reena Spaulings and the Bernadette Corporation, it’s the Amy Hempel that makes everyone realise where they didn’t take enough responsibility in their own lives. It’s a handy, popular tack to take in women’s arts, certainly. But maybe it isn’t everything in reality.
What I did like, through the darkness and the ‘nightmare writing’ as Muriel Spark terms it in the afterword, was the humour. The entire middle section, titled ‘Pitch Dark’, deals with ‘the Irish thing’, where Kate goes to an ambassador’s residence in the west of Ireland, intending to relax, and instead meets deception and strangeness at every turn. The trip escalates into a manic flight across the country under the cover of darkness with a truck driver (a ‘teamster’, according to the wayward American), trying to make a flight at dawn to escape the horrible country. I am under the impression that this section was supposed to be serious, dark, intense. Granted, att times the big spooky house even reminded me of Shirley Jackson’s Hill House. But no real spookiness stuck, and instead I had to find the bewildering actions of each of the Irish peasants, frankly, funny. But then, that’s the thing about nightmares and one’s deepest fears: when repeated, sincerely, to friends, they sometimes elicit giggles more than the pat on the shoulder you might be waiting for. And we are back at that crossroads, waiting for the actions of others.
Maybe she doesn’t sell magazines, but I am going to buy this.
— from Speedboat, Renata Adler.
5:29 pm 1 note
— Casting Director James Scully (via spring1999)
7:53 pm 240 notes
On Packing to Leave, August 31st 2012
Three piles of documents and ephemera on my floor, divided as follows: rubbish, business and memories. Did I think it would be easy to do this, to carve up and divide the rubble of a year away from home? To choose which bits to remember - bank statements, business cards, invitations and letters in familiar handwriting?
What do I want to remember? The smell of olive milk hand soap, the crisp November night when we spilled our guts to each other on a bench in the dark and forged a friendship, a night of furious dancing between strangers in Joiner’s, the clean grass under my sweating toes in hot summer in Victoria Park. Slowing to a stop on Blackfriars Bridge at midnight, alone, to breathe in the city in its fat splendour, rich, full, teeming and breathing, heaving its mass around under and over ground all day and most of the night. The joy of coming home to find a letter in his writing in my postbox, hands jittery as I ran up the stairs to rip it open. The urgency in our kissing when I came to meet him at the airport (and the knot of nerves in the pit of my stomach I had on the train there.) And after he would leave, living on rice and beans and sriracha for a week because we spent all our money on burgers and beers and buses around town. The genuine giddy excitement of buying a new magazine, even moreso when it left you broke, and the silly pretend-boredom of yet another magazine party that your brokeness brought you to. I always felt excited. I always felt alive. Even when it wasn’t wholly good - as life so often is and so much more when you are away from your family, your friends and your favourite man - and when I felt down-and-out and on the wrong track, I still breathed deep, filled my lungs with hope, my veins pumping it around my body. The city made me fat and teeming, too, brimming with myself, out of all known scale.
January was spent getting the latest issue of Bon International together and ready for print, and I’d be lying if I said some of the best of February was spent celebrating the issue itself. I think it’s quite beautiful, but perhaps I’m biased here. I interviewed Californian-London menswear designer Shaun Samson about streetwear and San Diego gangs. Also check out the wonderful Fashion Talk panel, made up of Yasmin Sewell, Fred Butler, Imran Amed and Charlie Porter and chaired by Bon ed Daniel Bjork.
I interviewed eight young Dublin men about what they wear to work and why — the outcome, I think, was that nobody wears a suit unless they’re into wearing suits, and then they wear them. But by and large dress-codes in the office are out and what’s in varies from tweed to chinos to studded leather short-suits.