Spool Five

Journal - Lovely message and Lonergan movies

Dear Gopherspace,

It’s been a while since my last update. I’ve been busy at work.

I received a lovely email from gopher user f6k about how my phlogs about teaching in Korea reminded them of their own time teaching abroad. It’s so nice to feel there are others out there with similar thoughts and similar love for this wonderful protocol.

f6k’s gopherhole (in French and English):

=> gopher://shl.huld.re

I watched Manchester by the Sea for the first time last week. It’s an incredible movie. Years ago, I watched Margaret, by the same director/writer. I really, really loved that movie too. Both movies deal with the theme of ’tragedy’, although Manchester By The Sea is more direct about it I think. It’s a difficult movie to watch. The chemistry between Casey Affleck and Lucas Hedges makes the movie something exceptional.

I can’t remember Margaret too well, but I feel it was a totally different vibe. I definitely want to go back and re-watch it soon. I remember it being a lot more ‘cryptic’ than Manchester by the Sea was. In Manchester, the tragedy is clear and brutal and there’s no turning away from it or no way to come to terms with it. It just ‘is’. But with Margaret, the tragedy seemed a little more ‘classical’ (Greek). Maybe it was just due to the editing/structuring of the film (I’m pretty sure I saw the ‘shorter’ non-directors-cut version), but there were more ellipses, more empty space, more of a sense of something ’larger’ at play, just out of reach of the characters’ understanding.

I remember at the time being fascinated with the main character, and her lack of an ’entry* point in terms of trying to understand her. I mentally made a list of some other female leads that were similarly inscrutable:

  • Morven Callar from Morven Callar

  • The alien from Under the Skin

  • Victoria from Victoria

These are all fairly recent movies, and I feel there is something quite contemporary about these kinds of representations of female leads. They seem to reject both classical cinema’s objectification of women, but also modern, ‘progressive’ attempts to portray uncomplicated/powerful/liberated female leads. There were similar, inscrutable women in classical cinema too, like Jeanne Dielman, etc. But, again, there also seemed to be something political going on in those representations. There is a book by Stanley Cavell called “Contesting Tears” that I’ve been told deals with this topic. I’ll have to read it at some point.

Sun Apr 18, 2021 - 409 Words

Tags: journal