Friday, February 08, 2008

Les heures importantes sont les heures immobiles. Ces fractions du temps arretées, minutes quasi mortes sont ce que tu as de plus vrai, ce que tu es de plus vrai, ne les possédant pas, n'étant pas par elles possédé, sans attributs, et que tu ne pourrais " rendre ", étendue horizontale par-dessus des puits sans fond.

The Crystal Method

Harder to see in the original print than the Turin shroud, at the Cinémathèque Française a Philippe Garrel/Nico diptych, a double bill you never stop paying, La cicatrice intèrieure – Le berceau de crystal dedans/dehors, though impossible to tell which is which, firstly an inner scar that’s all exterior, bleached and blasted lunar desert, a far gone fata morgana taking flight into medieval dreams, ashen limbo of broken and bewildered light harrowed by asthmatic harmonium arpeggios, ’68 fall-out, half-life to live, white horse, black sheep, black ship: props for a Norse saga on acid, autistic meanderings of the eternal Garrelian deménage à trois, pale knight (Pierre Clementi), belle damnée (Nico), child in the ice manger ‘in naked honour clad’ clinging to a hank of fleece and Garrel infantile and deranged in red leather trousers, death valet parking for an end of the road movie, keeper of the car keys, flayer of the carcass…

And then, cut to interior, doll house anhedonia, the Langlois museum, in every dream palace a host of dead souls, Le berceau de crystal, study in the diminishing eternal returns of our lady of delay, Garrel dragging the Warhol factory aesthetic back through tallowy glooms of European art history – Caravaggio, Rembrandt, De la Tour, the paint it blacker school, counterpoint to an endless procession of plans fix, white powder light of Nico’s face, tarnished ambassadress of the opium room, reading, sleeping, smoking, reciting bad poetry, Holbein anamorphosis in reverse, a bloat of skull set adrift on the dark river of Ash Ra Tempel’s narcoleptic organ dirges, with Garrel the uninvited ghost, strung out in velvet like a rive gauche Joey Ramone. Sure, the drugs don’t work, but then they’re not supposed to: quite the opposite, they open us to the worklessness of pure time. Or whatever. While outside it’s 1975, sub-Dali dredgings of the psyche that launched a thousand prog-rock bands on the Lethe, the sun-dappled kitsch of jeunes filles en fleurs (Dominique Sanda, Tina Aumont) steeling themselves for the raincoat brigade, all this somehow redeemed (doomed) by Garrel’s camera, caught up in a struggle for crumbling beauty, a period to be revisited with terrible cold-eyed lucidity in J’entends plus la guitare.

Meanwhile Le berceau de crystal pre-emptively opts for the suicide solution, the Cinémathèque slowly empties and for the devout it’s back to the “dross” of youtube and 4th degeneration dvxes, circular ruin of a pixelated Hamlet endlessly treading his weary coil out on the silicon flats of laptop insomnia. Until the next outing, though you almost hope the shroud will be too stoned (immaculate) to show up.