I have been thinking about falling bodies. bodies falling on and off screen. Bodies falling on a battlefield also. How to express this movement, a sudden submission to gravity, to the void? Giacometti's sculptures do that, by offering a perfect balance between the two opposite positions, between the vertical and horizontal axis. This is why I find them so moving. Pure physics. In Cinema 2 Deleuze writes that Modern cinema can be described by a single sequence of a body sliding against the wall in a series of movements; bodies falling in slow motion in Godard's films and in real time with Rossellini. It is a question of falling well or falling badly.
Today I saw two woman collapse. First one was laughing as she fell, second one collapsed without speaking. Her fall was already anticipated by yesterday's bad weather. I do not know if in fact it happens to her every day, on the same busy junction of Kings Cross - a perfect place to collapse in every respect, unnoticed while everyone's looking.
In a second episode, she was standing in a queue holding a plastic cup in one hand. Free coffee in the supermarket is a joke but everyone takes advantage, including myself. So, business as usual and suddenly she is on the floor, laughing, her feet barely touching the freshly moped supermarket floor. I did not see how she fell. I imagine she would have fallen almost with an intention, leaning against the coffee machine and sliding slowly, her head to one side, hands outstretched.
In fact I only ever see woman collapse. I know man do too, but I've never seen it. They collapse in the Westerns for example, after balancing on one foot for some time.
In Godard’s films bodies are falling frame by frame, touching things, touching each other, taking their time to collapse. ‘Please take your time to collapse’ - a notice on the actor's dressing room door.
The Day after Tomorrow
The dog was dying.
It was dark brown with a miserable snoot, dry and wrinkled. His hind legs were tangled and his body curled in a semi circle, so that at first I could not see where the blood was coming from. On a closer inspection, both legs had multiple fractures and his left eye was bleeding (or was it the tears?). I could not see an immediate point of impact to his head.
I was bending down for some time, examining the creature in great detail. When I lifted my head I felt dizzy, my blood was flowing to my temples and knocking against my skull vigorously. I have to point out that not even for one second did I feel pity or considered administering medical help (yes, yes, I am, I once was a doctor! but this is completely irrelevant; besides, my licence had been removed few years ago, when the government changed). Why should I have helped anyway? Even in an unlikely event of survival I had nothing to offer (I am indifferent, remember? I cannot even look after plants).To this day I remember few details: the dog's bleeding eye (left one), his calm face and a silence, not a single howl (that is why I stepped on his leg in the first place).
I turned around and tried to conjure in my ...s eye the images of my long anticipated departure from this wretched town. I see myself now, on a station platform, a leather satchel in one hand, a hat in the other, hurrying towards the train. This image was strangely soothing to my aching head. What was I thinking bending down like that? I am prone to a high blood pressure, I knew I was!
I just read what I have written. who am I kidding? The violence in me was never this complete. I was always in between, more towards the indifference, even apathy; some sort of relaxed attitude towards life, towards everything…An image of me lying on my back, eyes closed, floating, floating, floating, floating, floating in the Sea.
I barely walked for 100 meters when I turned around and started running. To my astonishment the dog was no longer there. I examined the ground with a torch (I always carry a torch in my waistcoat pocket) : no blood, not a single stain. The pavement was wiped clean by the morning snow, that has been melting slowly, slowly, slowly, silently. There was something disturbing in the sudden disappearance of the snow, as if the winter was in a rush.
This morning my body, that stupid mechanism good for nothing except accurately measuring the temperature, already anticipated tonight’s events, before I could even pronounce a sentence ‘ the snow is melting'.
I think I can stop here. I have not written everything but I feel that I have written enough. Besides there are the time constraints. The notes, I shall keep them, for the reasons you might find trivial.
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