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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

~ dog related cinema

Since Sunday, I’ve been doing the bare bones, eating, taking the child to school, napping, eating again, putting the child to bed. These days. even a moderate expenditure of social energy impacts on me for many days hence. Unlike, I’m sure, powerful, well-seasoned campaigners like Nurin and Emma de Clario.

Seeing Dogs in Space afresh was a surprising pleasure. It was fast moving, it didn’t sag and, strangely, it seemed a far better film today than it did at the time. Perhaps current audiences [by that I mean me] are more accustomed to films without a strong narrative spine.

The documentary We’re Livin’ on Dog Food was utterly fascinating. It returned me to the early eighties a lot more efficiently than the fictionalisation. Footage of the freshly squeezed Ollie Olsen and Rowland Howard [then of The Young Charlatans] daubed in makeup, bursting with romantic sensibilities and dreams of glory, was just wonderful. The two were to go their different ways, one to the North of the Yarra to pursue hard-edged no-quarter-given industrial mayhem, the other South to inspire a more flamboyant generation of post-punks, including my band The Ears. The film was a box of memories as complete as anything like that could ever be expected to be. Pierre, who was sitting a few seats down from me, ought to have been interviewed. He was one of the few key figures who didn’t get sufficient mention, and the film would doubtless have benefited from his wit and his bitchiness.

Sometimes, I wonder if the medications I take are disordering the functions of my amygdalae which, I am told, are the seat of emotion. There is a section of the documentary in which I describe the circumstances surrounding the death of my girlfriend Christine. My reaction was a kind of stunned fear or horror, as if some dark uniformed figure was about to enter the theatre and call me out. Over the intervening decades, the grief I felt at the time has attenuated to a keening note on the wind. What remains is a statue of sorrow rather than the sorrow itself. They say time heals all wounds, but I wish … not so completely.

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3 comments:

Marshall-Stacks said...

Don't Look Back.

Chris Boyd said...

When was the Christine interview done, Sam? Ish?

I know what you mean about statues... I visited the grave of my best friend on the 30th anniversary of her death, late last year. (She was 19, I was 18.)

Bizarrely, the grave seemed to have been dug up anew. A tangle of old plastic flowers and a big ugly mound of crumbly clay. It was a fucking mess.

All that seemed to remain was the (tired?) ritual of remembrance. Wondering/knowing what a great mother she would have made. Wondering if we would have still been friends. (Only a handful remain from that time.)

Ghosts only of ghosts.

Sam Sejavka said...

Just a few months ago, Chris.