Wednesday, June 02, 2004


Subject: Noir
I'm on vacation. Another rainy day, and I've gone for #6. It's been less than a month.

Maybe it's the fact that while this show manipulates my emotions so deftly, it still leaves me wanting it to happen again. I've had my emotions manupulated by many movies, yet they've all been either transparent and shallow, or too harsh and I don't want to repeat the experience again. The movies I've latched on to in my collection, I think I've been able to maintain an intellectual distance from them -- deconstruct them before they destruct me -- that's why I'm still able to watch them over and over again.

But Noir. It's built of simple ingredients. The visual cliches of televised Japanese animation. A handful of musical scores in various combinations, not composed directly for any given scene or event. The camerawork & mise en scene of European Film Noir. There's not much that, in retrospect, couldn't be considered predictable, cliche, or otherwise style-over-substance on a cursorary viewing. But something about it is allowing me to project some of my self on to it. Something is allowing me to be drawn into it's little world, into the drama and lives of the characters, and it's leaving me a puddle of... tears. Tears, from me. Not hard for a manipulative movie to bring after a few drinks (the ending of "A.I." being pretty notable in that regard), but after repeated viewing... After feeling it as deeply every time I watch it...

What's going on? What is this show symbolizing in my self? Why do I always think about it? Why am I compelled to spend every spare moment watching it, researching it, seeking out any experience that can be associated with it? Close my eyes and it's "Canta per Me" and Kirika's sad, longing eyes.

Is it jealousy? I so very much want to be able to achieve this very thing. But I feel so lacking in talent; I recognize it so readily, yet know, to my core, that I can't produce such a thing on my own. Like the Salieri character envying Mozart in Amadeus. That's the only way I can describe it, even though I really felt no connection to that movie (Amadeus) in particular.

This is too much information. But, there it is. An answer to the question in my previous post: Is a "girls with guns" cartoon bringing on a premature midlife crisis? I guess so.

What talent I've been able to survive on in the "real world" has been to recognize solutions out of "big-picture" problems, and while I feel stymied by this crisis, I think part of it is that I really don't want to acknowledge the answer this time. I've been so "comfortable" with the lakeside home and the Jaguar and the Cuban cigars that my current soul-emptying career has bought for me that I have a hard time bringing myself to the possibility that I should just abandon it. Abandon it how? With what? For what?

I'm on vacation. And vacation is supposed to let me recover from these sorts of thoughts and let me get back into the mindset that makes me a well-behaved corporate drone. But they're just getting stronger, and I'm not coming up with any course of action to remedy that one way or another.

I just keep watching Noir over and over again, like some sort of descent into madness.

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