An excerpt from an e-mail I just wrote after seeing the film Patience (After Sebald), a film by Grant Gee about the writer W.G. Sebald and The Rings of Saturn. I felt this was worth sharing because I ended up circling around the way I normally do when I write on Hecho/Visto, and also there was a circling-back-and-connection-making theme that I found in Patience:
I was supposed to read The Rings of Saturn in January, as my holiday read because I was going to London and then parts of Ireland. I was there for three weeks during December-January, and thought it'd be an appropriate read as research about a story I wanted to write about a pilgrimage last year, and I thought since I was heading over to England, it'd be... appropriate? Anyway, I ended up reading Portrait of the Young Man As An Artist for many, many, many other reasons, but I'll be sure to pick The Rings of Saturn up tomorrow!
More specifically about my experience watching Patience - I felt like I was in a dream with all sorts of signs, mixed in were all of these conversations and experiences I've had recently, like I was being pointed in a certain direction, which I feel might also consistent with the film and book's DNA- this sort of opening your ears and eyes to the the patterns and hints life throws at you... Convos include, but not limited to the following topics: Lots of Lacan, lots about the conflict between individuality and inevitable interconnectedness with others, also this feeling of wanting to go somewhere unfamiliar this summer for a long enough time that I forget where I am.... And so many other things, but those come to mind the fastest. But yes- I love that the film ended up consisting of what I imagine to be the DNA of Sebald's novel... the meandering, linking connections, and this kind of philosophical/psychological spirituality (what a lame label, but bear with me). It was a terrific journey.... Oh, also the part about Sebald being unclassifiable is something I personally connect to, mostly and kinda obviously, because that's been a sort of motif in my own life.
I had just seen Gerhard Richter Painting [at Film Forum] a couple of days ago, and there's an image in that film that stayed in my brain... It's one of a couple of images that inspires Richter, and it's of piles of bodies having been gassed at one of the concentration camps, with people standing nearby them, very business-as-usual like. I felt like it could have been an image in Patience. It's significant for me, and I think even purposeful, to make that connection between my last experience in that same theater with the image in the Richter movie and the images in Patience... part of this continuous investigation of I don't know what exactly yet. In a kind of Sebaldian turn of events, I saw the Gerhard Richter retrospective during my aforementioned stay in London this past January. Doesn't sound very important, but I think that for some reason it might be!
An extra note: I realized after posting this, that the novel resulting from Sebald's walk is very similar to a Richter painting. Both are profound examples and inspiration for how I feel I should not only make art, but lead my life: responding, meandering, getting lost, stopping to look, listen and make connections and following directions you have an uncontrollable and inexplicable affinity to.