Bobby George

Journal

February Excursions

 Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson

 

February was a bit of a slow month. June said it's the worst month to make any drastic decisions, as there are so many wanton factors at play: the festering changing of the seasons, the afterglow of the New Year, etc. 

I'm not sure how much I actually subscribe to those insights, but it's pretty clear in putting together this list that I didn't set aside or carve out enough time to read, watch and listen.

I blame February!

dave hickey.jpg
 
 

Books

I absolutely devoured Dave Hickey's new collection of essays on art and democracy, called Perfect Wave.

His essay on "A World like Santa Barbara", for example, with it's barbed indictment of this strange phenomenon of suburban youth killing each other, was felicitous, provocative and deeply unsettling.  

Here's the paragraph that lives with me still.

Oddly, perhaps, his voice startled me out of a certain malaise that I believe has come to override our culture: an intellectual complacency coopted and preyed upon by fake news - a level of perceived seriousness so easily and readily debunked, that you're left wondering how it could ever be on display.

His essay on Walt Disney was equally stirring.

Here's Hickey:

 

"Walt thought we were going off to the planets and the stars. It turned out we were only going offshore, off the books, and off the balance sheet."

 
 

Sentences like this jar us into a reality we might not have realized we've already accepted, but one that doesn't have to be settled upon indefinitely. 

One of the things I appreciate the most is that his opinions and cool interpretations, while they may be denunciations of wrongdoings and misguided adventures , they are enunciations for us to follow our own sense of righteousness.

Hickey's curiosity and strength of view is courageous. It's replete with a certain call to arms, a call to action, an incitement to take up art.

Here's the short list for the month: 

  • A Thousand Plateaus & Philosophy, Henry Sommers Hall
  • Welcome to your World, Sarah Williams Goldhagen
  • The Mind's Eye, Henri-Cartier Bresson
  • Perfect Wave, Dave Hickey

 

 The Florida Project

The Florida Project

 

Movies

The Florida Project has all the makings of a modern day Rear Window. It's particularly disturbing, rank with a certain self-professed and honest awareness - it speaks to us from a distance that feels way too close. 

There was a scene in the Avett Brothers documentary that touches me still - the pain and misery that is poured into a song which later brings so much joy and happiness and resonance. It's a bittersweet moment.

I was also really touched by the little documentary on the work of Elsa Dorfman, directed by Errol Morris, and the exquisite and undeniable largeness of her life-size prints. 

Here's the rest of February list:

  1. Mark Felt

  2. Phantom Thread

  3. Altered Carbon (10 episodes)

  4. Only the Brave

  5. Cloverfield

  6. David Letterman with George Clooney

  7. LBJ

  8. 12 Strong

  9. Winchester

  10. Avett Brothers Documentary

  11. The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s portrait of photography

  12. The Ritual

  13. Thumper

  14. Mute

  15. Blood Runner

  16. Game Night

  17. The Bachelors

  18. The Florida Project

  19. 6 days

  20. Darkest Hour

  21. The Crooked House

 
Bobby George