Empty Days

Saturday, September 25, 2004



Joe Gould's Secret.

What a fine fine movie. Finally gods had pity on me and sent me a little food for the soul after a couple of days of aridity. Ian Holm, who is one of my favorite actors out there (The Sweet Hereafter), fills his character to the last nuance - it's a feast to watch this guy, especially in such a complexe gaping role as this.

In fact it's a study of a certain type of inner tragedy, folly, and dereliction that forces some individuals to live a life of misery and glory all at the very same time. The man is clearly mad - and brilliant - and hopelessly doomed - and loving. Quite an impossible man in fact - almost barely human and yet fighting to stay human.

I've met such people - they're full of emotion, they're open, they're hopelessly broken, they cling to life, they trust, they lie, they love. They usually end up in the looney house because that's where they essentially come from in the first place - from a world broken into madness, that can only be lived and never understood.

Basically it's about the truth of life and just how much lies it sometimes takes to just survive to that truth.

There was another film dealing pretty much with the same type of personality - called "Henry Fool" (directed by the famously marginal Hal Hartley) - which also dealt with art or myth as the saving lie and force of life - and personal inspiration.

When you run into such people in real life you are always their fool because you are too dumb-by-birth so as to be willing to see through their blossoming lies all too soon - and yet those wanton fabulations are so much more vivid than your own little idea of reality. It's madness, yes, and the looney house looms in the background - but your own backstage is nothing but a vast feckless prison. So? Hope and desperation - all in one package.





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