Monday, July 31


I was channel surfing.
Something on Link Tv looked and sounded familiar.
It was Chris Landreth's film on Ryan Larkin, the animation genius.
In the late 60's Ryan Larkin was nominated for the Academy Awards for his film called 'Walking'.
Sheer genius.

I'm feeling tired after watching the film and the documentary about the film.
Drained out.
Ryan Larkin now lives off the streets.
He became a dipsomaniac somewhere along the way and now lives off the streets.
They said, this is the worst thing to happen to an artist.
Landreth's film has these half fleshed characteres. The face is only half. That's it. Only flesh on half the face and the other half, it doesn't exist.
Extremely poignant.
It doesn't feel like a film.
I guess it really isn't.

It's the truth staring right back at you.
Like looking in a dirty mirror. All your horrors looking at their reflection, that's what you are.

How often does a documentary about one single person leave you in tears?

His face quivers as though he's talking but the words really come out only 7 seconds later.

He begs on the streets. And he says nonchalantly, the most often asked question is, 'why don't you get a job?' and he tells them to either leave their spare change or just move down the street.

In the end Landreth goes to show him the film. Goes to show Ryan a film about him, based on actual interviews and characters generated from the interview. Life and art intermingling and who knows who's imitating whom?
Ryan was left speechless after watching it.
His last words in the documentary?

'Well, I guess I want out'.

I feel caterpillars under my skin

This morning in yoga class I made a friend.
We're meeting up on Wednesday for dinner. I offered to help cook and bring dessert and some wine. Looking forward to it, should be lots of fun. I was feeling really enthusiastic about everything till earlier this evening. Just watching this film has managed to completely drain me out. How does one accomplish that, as a film maker? Does the film have to be as close to reality as possible?

Like you were watching the person's life itself?

I'm listening to my favourite Dylan song sent to me by a kind fellow blogger. If you're reading this, thanks again!

Alright then, my last week here has begun. Next week this time I will be nowhere. It's really something like that. The total time I'll spend travelling is I don't know what, but it translates to 30 hours. I'm reading Bolivian Diaries, part of the bigger Motorcycle diaries of Che Guevara that were not included in the film. It's intriguing.

( 10 minutes later)
I think I know how I feel after watching the film Ryan.
I feel as though I were driving down a beautiful highway and it began to rain. It was a harbinger, I drove on and the rain became almost fierce. I couldn't see clearly and the wipers were having a tought time fighting the force of the pouring rain. And I saw something red on the other side of the road. 7 seconds later I realised it was a body, rolled up backwards, from an accident.
Yeah, that's how I feel.


Zofo The Hermit of Wandering Thoughts said...

must have been an experience watching the film... sounds scary ..but then that is life.. it kicks you everywhere like a football and sometimes pushes you deep into the gutters of humanity.l.and yes after that happens anyone would want out ..won't they..

so which DYlan song was it??

GhostOfTomJoad said...

But this is also pretty much what happened to Syd Barrett as well, isn't it? Except that, luckily, he didn't spend his last days on the street...but in his mother's basement. Of course, the other point of departure is that Barrett walked away from it all.

I hope the fimmaker's intention here wasn't as much to sensationalise as to actually tell the story b'cos I think many American documentary filmmakers tend to do that. The one example that comes to mind rightaway is that Michael Moore fella...more self-serving than anything else, I thought.

On the other hand, this is precisely what good films do, isn't it? They affect you deeply.

coyote said...

If you have the opportunity, Fingers, try to see the short animated films that Ryan Larkin made for Canada's National Film Board, back in the late 60's or early 70's. (They're part of a deluxe DVD edition of Ryan.) Some look rotoscoped -- but he drew them all cel by cel, freehand. They, too, make you feel like crying -- and dancing and laughing -- all at once. They're pure genius, and every time I see them I can't help thinking what horrible sad waste it is that he didn't/couldn't continue with them....

Fingers said...

Hey Zofo, the song...'tonight I'll be staying here with you'.

Ghost, the film maker specifies severl times during the film that he isn't trying to achieve metaphysical, superhuman triumps. He's just making a film about a person who was a great animation film maker. Tht's what he says. I suppose it is a selfish act, you're trying to do something becuse you want to, ad there is another person's life involved in it. But at the end of the day, it's a film.
And this I can say after having a long helpful conversation about it with you!

Coyote, Ryan Larkin's films are pure genius. I seeen a couple of them. They really looked like they'vee been rotoscoped but it's all hand drawn. That's why he's a genius, because he figured out exactly how the human body moves, while at the same time, being able to retain the sense of wonder and amazement.

That's why this particular film and the documentary were so disturbing for me, because it was about seeing a creator as great as Ryan, go down an abyss.

Sagar said...

I think I know.