So this week was the start (in effect) of my MA. My head is always crammed full of ideas, not always with a plan of how to execute them, but I never let that stop me.
However due to the late notice that I was indeed on the MA course I was, for the first time, seemingly without a plan. That all changed however with a visit to the cinema last Monday evening. I had what I can only describe as a “eureeka” moment when watching the Fincher (in my mind) masterpiece, Gone Girl.
I had an epiphany (my husband thinks I have far too many of them for them to be “epiphanies in the classic sense) that I should put myself at the centre of my MA. To make the project an intensely private experience whilst at the same time being completely public and, for want of better words “in your face”.
I had 2 main ideas. Both heavily influenced by my experience of disability. The first, a very public examination of disability and sexuality, involving casting many different sexual organs of both sexes, including disabled and “able” in a variety of media and leaving them to degrade. I had got no further than that.
The second idea involved a multi media, multi sensory ,fully immersive installation experience that reproduces the affects and emotional turmoil experienced as part of my Generalised Anxiety Disorder. The seemingly “normal” appearance of me in my wheelchair as opposed to the torture I feel inside every time I leave the house in a panic attack like state that can last for hours at a time and for seemingly no reason.
I have not completely decided on how to go about this: film, photography, light and music are all likely to play significant roles. As is the use of space, or the lack thereof.
As part of my research I have been reading Slavoj Zizek: First as Tragedy, Then As Farce and his look at our post-capitalist society.
Watching, BBC4’s series Sound of Cinema. A wonderful look at how music and sound shape our cinematic experience. Great attention was paid to the synth loving work of Vangelis and Walter Carlos. But the most interesting part was an interview with Clive Mansell (formerly of Pop will Eat Itself) and the discussion of his famous collaborations with Darren Aronofsky. In particular the soundtrack for Requiem for a Dream and his use of what Mansell terms:
to create the “soul” of the film. Because, in Mansell and Aronofsky’s vision the film is indeed a horror film with the monsters being the everyday characters inhabiting this nightmarish vision of urban life and addiction.
It was particularly interesting how this “monster music” was re-orchestrated for the Lord of The Rings. Thus showing how different interpreations and tonality can create a completely different atmosphere. From “monster” to “hero”.
I also watched the Capote penned classic, Breakfast at Tiffanys. I do love this film but it is not just the great cinematography, the rich colours, the wonderful soundtrack with the Mercer/Mancini penned classic Moon River. It is the amazing script. The lead character’s obvious mental illness that she chooses to ignore. The inability to cope with everyday life and the powerful relationship with fantasy that is an everyday part of Golightly’s life. It is a refreshing look at mental illness and the need for pretence and for keeping up appearances that is a part of everyone’s life to a greater or lesser degree.
Of course there is a fairy tale ending, shown not only in image but also the re-orchestration of Moon River, but we shall choose to ignore that little bit of Hollywood in an otherwise amazing work.