Saturday, 29 August 2009

I'm goin' deaf

Since my expensive headphones broke, I've had to use a variety of cheaper earphones... I usually hear music at a very high volume... The result of this is that I'm goin' deaf...

My hearing is steadily deteriorating... This was exacerbated by my stubborn insistence in watching three movies on three nights by the trot with these cheap ear phones...

My hearing was worsened by attending the cinema a couple of days ago... I went to see Tarantino's latest Inglorious Basterds... The film was dazzling to me... I was going to write about it in the forthcoming review regular, but decided against it as I already reviewed a film in the previous post... The downside of attending this monumental event was that my hearing was damaged to further degrees... Not only do my ears ring now, they ache too...

The worst thing is that one of my favourite musical acts of all time, Kayo Dot, are going to Lancaster for a weekend... My mother's side of the family live in Lancaster... I have a dilemma here: should I go and have the best experience in my lifetime or should I have my ear drums burst, rendering me as deaf? Maybe these two things will coincide... This is the first time Kayo Dot coming to England, and I've been eagerly anticipating their arrival for a few years... I read something about the support group that went along the lines of "I hope your ear drums won't burst". :/

I was going to post about this in the forthcoming 'My State of Mind' post, but thought otherwise as it is such a major issue in my life that I must devote a whole post to it.

I'll miss sound when it's gone. :(

Sunday, 23 August 2009

My school year book

Everyone I went to high school with is Dead - Mr. Bungle

Another summer rolls by
And I can't help but feel pain
All those familiar faces
Come back to haunt me again
Whether I hated their guts
Or hardly knew them at all
I always felt far away
Beside them there in the halls

My yearbook keeps me informed
My yearbook keeps me in line
Its an obituary
Gives me a concept of time
We've graduated and grown
From a real world once our own
Yet we have proven them wrong
By dropping off all along


I often browse facebook/bebo/myspace pages from people that used to attend my school... I do it with feelings of anger, hate, spite.... I often look through my school year book, and there's a quote from each student... Amidst all these inane comments is a quote I culled from Frank Zappa: "Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible"...

Monday, 17 August 2009

My bedroom walls 2/2

This is part 2 of the previous post. I decided to subdivide this topic into two posts as it would have been a bit too much to have it all in one big post. It would have also been too time consuming... Thanks to Sofia and Ryan for replying instantly to the previous post, too. :)

Unfortunately, the images seem to be a bit too big to be viewed fully. If you click on them, you're linked into the full thing, however.


This is a photograph my father framed for me of John Coltrane performing live around 1964, I believe, when he was at the peak of his powers. Coltrane is my favourite saxophonists and one of my favourite musicians. This image is astounding in itself even if you know nothing of the artist.

This is a shirt of the national team of Chile. The shirt is from 1998, a glorious era when Chile where doing spectacularly well, with players like Zamorano and Salas. I often wore this shirt while playing football as a young boy. Displaying this shirt on my wall is a reminder of great times, a treasure that ignites nostalgia.

This is a painting by Willem De Kooning. Out of all the abstract expressionism I have come across, he is my favourite. His paintings are like strange landscapes one comes across in dreams - images that don't mesh together in any logical kind of way but are extremely captivating. My parents bought me this as a birthday request, but this is the only painting print of his that's available for sale.

Underneath De Kooning I have a painting by Hiernonymus Bosch. There is so much going on in his paintings; you can look at them for 2o minutes without getting bored, discovering new facets contributing to the whole. He was a surrealist way back in the 16th century, predating the surrealists from subsequent generations by centuries. Bosch opens up the human head and exhibits our interior world. Fascinating.

This is a painting by Don Van Vliet, otherwise known as 'Captain Beefheart'. I got this painting as a birthday gift, and I deeply grateful to my parents for getting it for me. Van Vliet is a truly exceptional person.

Underneath the Van Vliet painting, I have two literary lists. The one on the left is my 'Top 10 Books' list whilst the other one is a record of all the books I read in 2008. I was up to a lot of reading that year. :)

This is an obituary of writer J. G. Ballard. Not only is he one of my favourite writers, but he has been an extremely significant figure in my life. During my psychotic episode, he was the light at the end of the tunnel... I've always felt some sort of 'contact' with him, so the news of his death came as a disappointment to me. I used to have a photograph of him on my wall (where the Godard image is now) and he died on the day I took that image off! I felt obliged to put this obituary on my wall to compensate for that. He also died a day after I finished reading his last novel Kingdom Come.

This is a little bit of art-work my sister did for me as a Christmas present. She researched into Willem De Kooning when she was told that he is one of my favourite artists. My sister is very, very gifted at art and she has done lots of other paintings and drawings which are very impressive.

This is a list of 15 records that I wrote when I was 15 years old and got published in The Wire magazine! The list also has a plug to my website which then displayed my musical recordings. Unsurprisingly, no-one visited the site. :)

Here's a shirt of Fernandez Vial, which I also used to wear to play football with. I explain what Fernandez Vial in my previous blog post.

I usually have nothing on this wall, but it currently has yet another item of Fernandez Vial memorabilia. I'm thinking of putting a more traditional painting on this wall to create an equilibrium with the more modern stuff at the other side of the room - maybe Monet or something, I don't know yet.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

My bedroom walls 1/2

This is the first of 2 posts where I am displaying my bedroom walls. I was originally going to display it all in one big post, but I have subdivided it into 2 posts because the photographs totalled up to a number of 25. I shall post the rest of the photographs tomorrow.


This is what the the walls looks like from afar....

Now, peering in....

This is a photograph of me aged 8 next to my hero Themo Lobos. My father organised a special event where he came over and spoke to the students of my school. And he stayed over at our house for 3 days! Imagine that! He was my hero and I got to know him and he stayed in my room! I'm holding up a copy of Bromisnar de Bagdad, one of the adventures from the Mampato series.

This image is a compendium of Themo Lobos' characters... He gave my family this when we went to visit his house in 1999... The words in the speech bubble read: "Con mis mejores deseos y gran amistad para Richard King y su encantadora familia"... The words in the little rectangle are "Saludos para Simon y Laura!"

I cut this photograph from a newspaper article... It is a photograph of Anna Karina and Jean-Belmondo in Jean-Luc Godard's Un Femme Est Un Femme. Cahiers du Cinema was a publication Godard was a initially a critic for, and it was a centre for the French New Wave.

This is a photograph of one of my favourite writers, Julio Cortázar. He was an iconic writer (and this is an iconic photograph that's usually associated with him) who became one of the main participants of the Latin-American boom that emerged in the early 1960s. His novel Rayuela proved to be a book that opens up many possibilities to a number of readers. His short stories are considered to be amongst the finest in the form and to be put aside Poe and Borges. Next to him is a clown figure one of my cousins gave to me after her visit to Mexico.

Underneath Cortázar is a small wooden ornament I bought in a Cafe in Valparaíso in Chile during my last visit there. It has a small quote from Cortázar's short story La Noche Boca Arriva that reads as "A un metro del techo de roca viva que por momentos se iluminaba con un reflejo de antorcha."

Here is a photograph of Jorge Luis Borges, smiling. Next to him is an extract of his short story El Aleph. In the extract there is a description of a protagonist viewing an object that encapsulates everything on earth - infinity. I believe that Borges is my favourite writer of any sort.

Here I have VINYL of Trout Mask Replica by Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band. I have reviewed this record previously on my blog and it is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of my favourites. It is very difficult to listen to, but once you penetrate into its topsy-turvy world it is marvelous. Yesterday, my parents had a party to celebrate their 25th anniversary and my mother's 50th birthday party, and one of their friends (who I'd never met before) is a huge Beefheart fan, and he went up to my room where I excitedly showed him my vinyl and he explained that his was worn-out and old. :) Next to Trout is a little replica of Fernandez Vial kit, the football team I supported as a boy. Unfortunately, at the moment they're down in the dumps... They're bottom of the third chilean division. :(

This is a photograph of Igor Stravisnky... I have passionately heard his compositions avidly... He is my second favourite composer (after Bartok :)). He was one of the main figures of the 20th century, and pioneers of modernism of any sort. This photograph is a great representation of his work - the piano looks large and phenomenal!

This is a card of Luis Bunuel's Phantom of Liberty. The card came with a boxset of his I own. The film is rather peculiar, bringing together a number of unrelated vignettes together... Bunuel was an excellent director, and one of the most eccentric characters of the previous century.


Tomorrow I'll post part 2!

Thursday, 6 August 2009

4 new short stories

Around July-November of 2007, I was at my pinnacle of my powers. I had found my voice as a writer, and I was producing short stories. Unfortunately, this spiralled out of control and I found myself in mental hospitals. After being discharged, I found it very difficult to create writing of any sort. Anything I did write turned out to be innocuous and hollow.

Around the beginning of 2009 I got myself organised and, with great effort, disciplined myself. These new short stories are my first proper attempt at writing since my post-psychosis period.


Penis Woman

Here is an attempt to produce something even more repugnant than my 'David Crapper' play - something to go beyond the bounds of depravity. It could be seen as a companion piece to 'Vampire Woman' as it is very similar in form and structure. With this miniature I'm attempting to get people to face their repressed thoughts, to bring it out to the open - to confront ourselves with little care for how morally outraging it may be.

The Desolate Valley

This short story interweaves three narratives that run simultaneously. The premise starts off as a relatively conventional 'thriller' with an officer chasing a convict, but it soon morphs into something completely different. Interspersed among these features are aphorisms from a mysterious man, but he soon starts to speak more. There's also a bit of sex thrown in for good measure. Initially, this was inspired from Juan Rulfo's El Hombre but, again, progressed into a completely different vision.

The Prostitute's Customers

With this short story I am trying to bring different viewpoints to the same subject. The first character writes absolutely atrocious, poetic musings. The second character is a pretentious, wannabe intellectual whilst the third character is straightforward and shows little emotion. This short story is interesting in its conception and how I originally envisioned it, but when executed it is futile.

Poetry Reciter

Similar to Jame Joyce's A Little Cloud, with a tragic character who yearns to write poetry but is incapable of doing so due to certain circumstances. This is an attempt to produce something which is both poignant and ironic...

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Review #3

Vivre Sa Vie; Written and directed by Jean-Luc Godard

During his French New Wave period, each film Godard made was twice as daring and experimental as the one that preceded it. This ultimately culminated with Weekend where he reached a point where he could not go any further, as the ending slogan END OF CINEMA attests. After this film, Godard renounced conventional film-making by disparaging his previous oeuvre as 'bourgeois'.

With his fourth picture, Vivre Sa Vie, we see in embryonic form his strategies to approach camera shooting differently. Each frame is portrayed alternatively to what would usually be deemed as 'conventional' by Hollywood standards. The film commences with two characters' filmed from their backs, and continues to use these unorthodox techniques throughout the rest of the picture.

The film is presented in a series of 12 tableaux. The twelve scenes are preceded by a title detailing the location, characters and a summary of what occurs. The central character of the film, Nana (Anna Karina), is a woman who drifts into a life of prostitution in order to pay her rent. By structuring the film into 12 parts suggests that it is an essay on aesthetics as well as a serious evaluation of prostitution.

The film is extremely moving. The starting point to Nana's demise into prostitution is when we see her watch the silent film The Passion of Joan of Arc, with tears running down her face as she sees a charater approaching death (if you look to the right of my blog, there is a picture of this). The audience goes through what Nana goes through - a vast scope of different emotions

Nana is constantly seeking throughout the film. The conversation she has are what often propels the narrative forward, where she keeps attempting to obtain answers and revelations. This is perhaps paramount in a conversation she has with a philosopher, which covers a wide range of themes. She keeps delving into a dark underworld of exploration, and the viewer is thrust into it along with her.

Godard's most famous aphorism is "You need a beginning, a middle and an end - but not necessarily in that order." This is evident in Vivre Sa Vie with its fragmentation. The narrative is subdivided in such a way that the individual scenes can be taken apart from the film and viewed separately as individual works of art in themselves.

Anna Karina is a beautiful woman. The camera is always centred around her, and the whole narrative is centred around her character. She is the quintessential Godard actress, and this is perhaps the only Godard movie which revolves solely around her.

As always, there are plenty of allusions to other works of art. The film commences with a quote from Montaigne and draws on other writers like Zola, Poe and Baudelaire as well as directors like Robert Bresson. Despite his rabid radicalism, Godard is deeply indebted to convention. He draws from the past to assemble a new, unequalled vision. Vivre Sa Vie is a movie that finds Godard with a fully-developed, distinctive voice.


Next year in A2, I'm going to have to research a subject for Film Studies... I know that my research is going to be centred around Godard, but I don't know for definite which topic I'm going to study about him... I've got the remainder of my summer to think about that.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Saturday, 1 August 2009

My state of mind #4

I am at the zenith of my powers: I have the house to myself for a week and a half. During this time I have done everything which is usually impossible to do without getting interrupted. I can read for hours without anything getting in my way, I can watch movies at 2 AM at full volume and I can enjoy and savour solitude.

I usually get depressed when I am awake during day time, but when night-time comes I get inexplicably exhilarated. During the beginning of July I felt pretty depressed, but over the course of the days I have reverted my sleeping patterns so that I can stay up during night time, and I have felt much more better and positive.

I started and finished William Faulkner's Light in August and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can see where all the latin-american writers from the boom period get their inspiration from to structure their novels. I have now started Paul Auster's The Invention of Solitude. I just finished the first section 'Portrait of an Invisible Man' and I will begin 'The Book of Memory' soon.

I have been watching a movie every night. I'm viewing DVDs from my Werner Herzog and Luis Bunuel box sets as well as revisiting the epic The Second Heimat.

Some astonishing women appear in my dreams... My best dreams are often ones where mysterious, enigmatic women appear and take me into strange landscapes from the hidden depths of unconsciousness...

Moving from Chile to England when I was 11 fucked my life up... The change of landscape had an indelible effect on my brain... If I hadn't moved from Chile I wouldn't have had a psychotic episode, and I wouldn't be such a fuck-up.

I wake up, I read, I wank, I write, I watch a movie, I go for a late night walk, I dream... This is what my days have been like... I've got unmitigated freedom to do all these things without interruptions, obligations and the presence of my parents!