Snow and Coffee

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Black and White / Contax 159mm / creative fuel / Kodak Tri-X 400 / travel

Faraway house. Kodak Tri-X 400, shot on Contax 159mm.

Window, snow, shadows. Kodak Tri-X 400 shot on Contax 159mm.

Icy Juniper branch – Contax 159mm, Tri-X 400

Morning coffee. Kodak Tri-X 400 on Contax 159mm

“Oh, climate change is causing the end of the world.” Oh my God. Anyone who talks like that does not understand the grandeur and the power of nature. To imagine that we can make a change in it is so absolutely absurd.
Camille Paglia, rockin’ the boat.

To spring snow and blizzards I say, let’s have another round of coffee. A good cup of hot black coffee magnifies the splendor of the snow, no?

If you’re flaring your nostrils, hang on: start with this opinion piece from 2007. Then read/watch Camille Paglia’s recent interview with Tyler Cowen for the quotation in context.

Recently ingested

One of the pleasures of reconnecting with old friends, I find, is the opportunity to gather creative fuel. In Cambridge, MA, conversations with my hosts M. and N. reignited my eagerness to tackle a project I’ve put on pause for too long. In their company, I also watched two exceptional movies. Incidentally, both films were shot in black and white. I wonder what Camille Paglia would think of them.

Embrace of the Serpent

2015, dir. Ciro Guerra
Immersive, consuming, and imbued with a quality that is difficult for me to articulate. In short, it is set and was filmed in the Amazon. I know of no other film that offers this perspective, with this much sensitivity, insight, and soul.

Just as various pieces and people have been pointing me towards the works of William Blake, I think it’s high time I read Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.

Watch Embrace of the Serpent (pre-order via Amazon Video) or pre-order the DVD
Official site
+ Read after watching: this article in milk

* A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

2014, dir. Ana Lily Amirpour

– Is it American? I asked.
– Sort of, said M.
– Not really, countered N.

We saw it one night in the living room, projected against a pale yellow wall. It was sensual, tense, moody. I understood why M. had wanted me to watch it free of context or expectations.

Ana Lily Amirpour apparently isn’t a fan of Jim Jarmusch (she wears David Lynch and Alejandro Jodorowsky t-shirts) but I find it easy to make the association. The silence, coolness, and tension in A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night made me recall Stranger than Paradise – which in fact was the last movie I’d seen projected against the same pale yellow wall, a few years ago.

I may write a future post on movies of this ilk.

Stream or download A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (via Amazon Video)
+ Official site
+ Ana Lily Amirpour’s Top 10 movies (via Criterion)

Camera: Contax 159mm + Zeiss Planar T* 50mm 1.7
Film: Tri-X
Lab: The Darkroom in San Clemente, CA

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