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December 1, 2015

3 weeks ago, I decided I would read 0 books in December.

That’s 1.76 times as long as I’ve ever gone without reading books, but it feels like a bridge I have to cross. I think I know why, but I could be wrong.


Around that time, I realized that I’d been watching more movies than usual, and decided I would do even more as the year winds down.


Spouse has been shooting videos for a while now. I think perhaps I will begin shooting my own, possibly as soon as 2016. (So hard to tell, in the beginning of a new interest, when I’ll finish the gathering information stage and be ready to plunge into trying stuff.)


At the start of 2015, I resolved to prioritize finding movies with women leads, and/or main characters that are people of color.

Only once I began listing directors, then screenwriters, on my Reading Lists, did I consider that perhaps they should be diverse as well.

(Apart from autistic characters, when I was first in Learning Everything About Autism mode this summer) I did not try to find neurodiverse characters, QUILTBAG characters, or disabled characters, largely because I didn’t think of it. There have been very few of the above in the movies I’ve seen this year.


Spouse took a film class in college years ago. We had interesting conversations, then, about the things he learned.


Now that I’m a writer and a poet, I watch movies differently. I don’t necessarily think that I could write, say, dialog better, but I’ve definitely seen scenes where real people would not possibly say the things they are made to say. Or, the screenwriter… seems to hate women, even if his movie contains mostly women. The types of ambition women are allowed to not just show, but have, are very different than the types men are allowed.

And yet… in some ways, I’m still mainly a visual artist. And if you look at my photographs, I’d estimate 95% of them… don’t include any human beings in them. That other 5% is probably 4% crowd shots, Spouse, and selfies, plus 1% miscellaneous.

If I’m around people I know (that are not Spouse), I may take candid shots (rarely). The instant I notice someone posing, I stop the shot. I’m only interested if your attention is elsewhere.

(That’s how I prefer shots of me as well, but Spouse is rarely paying attention when something cool is happening with me. I’ve learned I have to take selfies at those times, or there will be no record of them.)


Elements that improve my enjoyment of a movie, especially a mediocre one: animals that are characters.

Once I began looking for them, I realized how rare they are.

Even better would be trees or plants as characters, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that.

Sometimes the setting is a character, and I tend to like those, especially if the place is beautiful. New Zealand, and the Alps, are 2 I’ve seen done well recently. In fact, the movie with the Alps also had a weather phenomenon that was kind of a character, and that… was really cool. Good movie too. {Clouds of Sils Maria}

How could a river be a character?

How could animals that are naturally occurring in the setting become characters?

I think this might be one of those “design problems” that is also a philosophical/spiritual issue —how do I use Art to show what my life is? I’m intimately connected with nonhuman beings, some of which are not ‘alive’. Supplying them ‘dialog’ is nonsensical. I don’t control them (nor do I wish to).

This is “design” at all, it seems, because it’s my old dilemma of… I want organically unfolding nested (fractal) “patterns” of real organisms that aren’t scripted by me. That is, no repeats. No control. And yet, somehow, Art.

What’s possible?


There are also human beings, though. Could they be “characters” but unscripted as well?


I care about human beings. I cry during movies (or while reading books). I feel what people I care about feel.

Could I ‘make’ someone feel a particular emotion? How?


What am I trying to do?

I don’t know yet. That’s why I need this new form, to explore.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 1, 2015 13:45

    You might like Marie Menken’s “Moonplay”, as well as other pieces of hers.

    • December 1, 2015 16:23

      An interesting woman artist I’d never heard of, and she was Lithuanian-American – bonus! Thank you so much.

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