Sunday, January 7, 2007

In this week's New Yorker, there is a really nice piece by David Denby about the future of film. I am in love with this sentence, which I have italicized in context:

And there never was a golden age in which art or great entertainment poured unremittingly from the studio gates. The majority of movies at any time are junk. From 1953, we remember “From Here to Eternity” and “The Band Wagon” and maybe “The Big Heat,” but not “The Redhead from Wyoming” or “Guerrilla Girl.” For most people, memory itself is a kind of revival house in which only the most vivid things survive.

That sentence really struck me when I read it earlier today, one, for the cleverness of the analogy and, two, for the truth of the statement. I was reading this magazine, lying on my back on moist grass on a hill in Central Park today. I was lying on this hill in just a t-shirt, my head propped up by my sweatshirt, the sweatshirt not being used since it was absurdly seventy degrees today, about forty degree warmer than it should be this time of year.

After reading for a couple hours and once the sun had lowered enough so that it was no longer so warm, I put on my sweatshirt and wandered through Central Park, through the Ramble, past the Boathouse, through Bethesda Terrace, and to the Mall. The sky was absurdly gorgeous at this point with the lowering sun and this promenade has a ceiling of twisting, barren American elms. Most of today, I was still feeling a little brain dead from having drank so much last evening and this stupor was the perfect mood in which to encounter this scene. I marvelled at these twisting branches, leaveless and stretched before the blue, pink, and gold sky of late afternoon, with a slowness and an earnestness that I do not think would have been allowed under my normal caffeinated speedy state, oddly the lack of hyper-consciousness the thing that enabled a consciousness of this scene. These tree branches were saying everything to me. I had Van Morrisson playing on my headphones and he was saying stuff also, and though he moved me incredibly so, he still did not do so as much as these branches. In that revival house, memory, this is what survives from today, not all the other sights, so many in total, that constituted today and every day, but these tree branches. Those, and the puzzling juxtaposition of a Shakespeare statue and a Columbus statue anchoring the base of the Mall, the two of them placed facing across from each other.

No comments:

Post a Comment