If you ask anyone, I bet they have an opinion about art. What makes it art, why we should call something art, or not. Whether art is important to us as individuals, groups, or as a culture, and should we invest in it, for the future of all those things?
Another thing that may or may not come up is whether you can call something art that is fleeting, there a moment and then gone forever. Some would say no, if you can’t hang it in a museum or lock it away in airtight chambers for preservation, the it’s not art. Gardeners would probably disagree. I consider those guys to be artists. What you didn’t? Think about it. They are painting only with the final image in mind, seeds have no color. They carve in living branches, making art from trees and plants. A flower blooms, and then is gone, but the beauty of that moment lives on in the hearts and minds of the witnesses.
Maybe after, you get together with some friends to talk about the beauty of that moment, and one of you makes a meal to mark the occasion. Cooks are artists, too. They paint memories on your tongue with spices and the perfect application of heat, or not to heat, depending on the meal. Their art is fleeting as well, but also remembered, and recalled with the most vivid of descriptions.
I have a broad definition of art, that does not require the agreement or validation of another. Nor does it have a time limit to qualify. I see art in a sunrise over the ocean, and in the curve of a stranger’s face, whose name I will never know, but whose shape will inform my imagination when I make a new character, or create a new fictional world.
Today, I honor the street work of David Zinn. So fleeting it is heartbreaking, and still too good to miss. He shows us the magic we thought we lost as kids. He reminds me what it can be like when every corner is the one around from adventure, and most of all, to keep our eyes open, so we don’t miss even one beautiful thing.
Chalk Drawn Adventures
David Zinn Website
(Photo credit: Saban Films)
This is not a film for everyone, but it can be a good time for anyone. I have been waiting to see this movie for almost two years. Waiting, not so patiently, as it opened around the world. As the cast and director toured Europe, visiting beer factories, whisky distilleries, and drunk singing A-Ha’s classic 80’s hit, Take On Me at the top of their intoxicated lungs, before sweetly bullying the DJ into switching to ABBA, and then “closing the place down.”
After every video of each interview/event I was torn between giggling madly at the crazy fucks who made this film, and shaking my fist at the sky, because it always takes so damned LONG for a Skarsgård flick to make its way out to the public, and then to a location near me.
For a summary of what this film is about you can visit IMDB. This isn’t the place where I give you a blow by blow. No, this is where all the information I picked up over the last two years bubbles over, and I shout out my questions to a silent universe, and a blissfully ignorant Hollywood staff.
In other words, consider this the abyss looking back into me. I know that I will not get my answers, and I hate that, but few reporters asked any of them the kinds of questions they deserved, which are good and original ones, that would reflect the film they made, and the great time they so obviously had doing it.
This is me, shouting into the dark. Only the questions are new in this experience. I shout into the dark a lot.
Alex: It looked like so much fun to do the car scenes. How much of the awesome stunt driving do you get to do?
John: This script goes full on fuck everyone ten seconds into the film. (Congratulations on that, btw :)) What was the catalyst that set you off on writing this dark little piece, and was there anything that you took out of the final cut, because even you thought it went too far?
Michael: You said in a recent interview that you were amused to be suddenly considered a dramatic actor, when in fact you had years of drama under you belt. How much is Bob like you, and what made this a part you wanted to play?
Alex: Glen Campbell. Before? Now? Forever?
John: In your opinion is society better off or worse off due to political correctness?
Michael: What was your favorite line/scene from the film, and why?
Alex: You said, in recent interviews, that Terry has, “no moral compass.” In the film, we see him act in ways that indicate he does indeed understand right from wrong, at least in some circumstances, why do you feel he is without any moral compass?
John: What value does a story like this bring to the world today, if any, and if not, what does it bring?
Michael: Thank you, for teaching Alexander that to pay a compliment to someone how has just complimented you, seems disingenuous. I’m sure he meant the kind things he said to you about your performance and working with you, because he seems like a nice guy, but I think that the comfort level you must have, to be able to bust his balls like that, is why the bromance in WOE worked so well. Can you tell us about when you realized that you could have that kind of rapport, ad how that shaped the work you did in building the relationship we see on screen?
Some criticized this film due to its language, situations and lack of political correctness. I respect that, and would only mention that things don’t go away because you refuse to look at them. Just something to think about.
Guys, I cheered for you, questioned your ability to hit the broad side of a barn from three feet away, longed to drive that fucking blue car myself, and rediscovered my childhood appreciation for Rhinestone Cowboy. I loved that song, with the kind of dedication only a small child can summon. It was great to remember that, thank you.
Alex, the dancing was marvelously in character, I thought, and while I understand what you wanted to do, it still worked for the character you created. John, the wit was sharp, dark, and memorable, and Michael, I loved Bob, and his relationship with his wife. This was a movie worth waiting for!
One last thing. If there’s a sequel, I’m calling dibs on the role of the blue popsicle. Please, and thank you.
When they finally get around to releasing the Blu-ray/DVD in APRIL (YES, I SAID APRIL—FOR THE LOVE OF GOD—WHY????—available for preorder now) I will get mine then. Meantime, you can see it on Amazon, pay per view.
I once lit the world on fire by declaring in a post that art is whatever you do that makes your soul sing. It makes me smile even now, even though there were some rough moments where people tried to argue with my opinion, which is impossible to do. You can argue with facts, but spewing anger and epithets at each other because you like peanut butter and I prefer chocolate, so to speak, is wasted energy.
My opinion is still the same. Art is whatever you do that makes your heart sing.
Up to now, most, if not all, of my art recs have been centered on what most would consider the traditional definition of that word, like photography, painting, digital art, etc. However, this week’s rec is the Mark Duplass movie, Blue Jay.
(Poster links to IMDB site for movie for a sample and additional information)
IMDB summary: Meeting by chance when they return to their tiny California hometown, two former high-school sweethearts reflect on their shared past.
Mark wrote the script and stars in the movie with the amazing Sarah Paulson, probably most famous for her many roles in American Horror Story, though she packs a resume that showcases her incredible talent.
This is an incredibly intimate film, in all the best ways. People often confuse intimacy with sex, so let me clear, I don’t mean sex. There is a kiss and miss, but the words, and the emotions these two bring to life are deeper, and more meaningful than what some couples share in an entire life time. The chemistry is perfect, their interaction is superb as it burns you down and takes you back through memories of the life you once had, or always wished you had. It was like sitting by a stream on a quiet summer, day and letting the flowing water hypnotize and soothe you.
There is nothing I didn’t love about this wonderful film. It’s streaming on Netflix now, and if you have some down time this holiday season, I recommend spending it with Mark and Sarah. You can hear their souls singing in their performances, and in his writing, and to me that makes Blue Jay a piece of art.
If you like it, share it with your friends and tag Mark on Twitter @MarkDuplass, and show him some love. All artists love kisses and shiny things, and need those things to encourage them to keep putting themselves out there.