I did not regret going to the Cinematheque this afternoon to view the Berlinale, particularly, Frieder Schlaich’s “Three Stones for Jean Genet,” with Patti Smith narrating. Who is Patti Smith? Ja asked before we left home. Of course, I did not tell him I knew all about Patti Smith from Sheilfa, I miss that old witch. Later, I'd realized Ja and Patti Smith are born the same year, and yet, they never heard of each other. Ja lived in a totally different world, where Patti Smiths could not exist. Patti Smith believed rock and roll belongs to the people, not to the rich and famous rock stars. Ja hated rock and roll, whether or not it belonged to the people. I loved to think of people like Patti Smith at the time when I was already freaking out of my daily routine, where some people simply suffocate me. So, I did not regret viewing Un Paraiso, either; painful, absurd and shocking; I did not regret even that other story about a teenager wanting to buy Marc Jacobs sunglasses, I did not regret any of the stories at all; despite Ja, mumbling out loud in the middle of Marc Jacobs, “I’ve wasted my time here, what kind of movie is this, it’s just like a play you produce in class, where nothing is happening, the story is not going anywhere.” I covered Ja’s mouth, so he asked. “Let’s talk when we’re outside?” Outside, he said, I don’t have your intelligence to understand those stories, I could not perceive meaning from them. I sighed. I would have said, I don't have the intelligence to understand my life. I could not perceive any meaning from my daily grind. But I said instead, “Only because you've grown up to expect the story has a beginning, a middle and an end.”
Was it Marguerite Duras who said you can begin your story anywhere?
“Your stories begin at the beginning and end at the end," I told Ja. "You adhere to Aristotelian unity. You even design your life in that concept of unity, mistaking it for truth. You believe in the Order of the
Universe. You believe in the Absolute Truth and Absolute God, You cannot accept a movie
that defies this sense of order. That's why, you freaked out.”
Friday, November 28, 2014
Asia Climate Journal has been presented at the Society of Asian Journalists (SAJ) gathering in Manila, which finally prompted me to check if the magazine has already come out. When I opened the page, I was delighted to see the picture that the editors chose to go along with my story. The rest of the articles in the journal give me a glimpse of what is happening around Asia, particularly in the advent of climate change.