February 6, 2006


Now narrative is a story, not logic, nor ethics, nor philosophy. It is a dream you keep having, whether you realize it or not. Just as surely as you breathe, you go on ceaselessly dreaming your story. And in these stories you wear two faces. You are simultaneously subject and object. You are the whole and you are the part. You are real and you are shadow. 'Storyteller' and at the same time 'character.' It is through such multilayering of roles in our stories that we heal the loneliness of being isolated individuals in the world.

- Haruki Murakami


"What Chekhov was getting at is this: necessity is an independent concept. It has a different structure from logic, morals, or meaning. Its function lies entirely in the role it plays. What doesn't play a role, doesn't exist. What necessity requires does need to exist. That's what you call dramaturgy. Logic, morals, or meaning don't have anything to do with it. It's all a question of relationality...

"The stone you're carring there is a Chekhov's pistol. It will have to be fired. So in that sense it's important. But there's nothing sacred or holy about it. So don't worry yourself about any curse."

From Kafka on the Shore


jean said...

the unreal is not necessarily unnatural

andrea said...

neat quote from haruki!!!

to talk on a tangent- this is why i don't like miranda july's famous film. all 1 of them. and stephen & i have tossed this back & forth with each other (he feels the same way)..

.. film is a COMMUNICATIVE medium. i don't hate the sheer "fact" that miranda july made her film and that it was released & distributed to the public. i love that it even exists.

and there are plenty of movies/films/reels in the world that deserve hating. but i simply don't like her movie because it's popularly known as "the indie of the indies". that's 1 of the things i hate about it! i know that miranda july is/was an "art student" (!!! ??).. and she's pretty well-known in several "circles"... as a 'performance artist' (blechhh!!!).. as a 'sound artist' (less "blechh", but still.. yuck!!)..

i simply don't like 'her work' because i don't think it's so good at all. i think it's composed of several wonderful elements, but this fact doesn't keep me from hating on it. which i do, very loudly & noisily. i'm not even sure that i like her, from one human being to another. i mean, if, in some fictional world, she & i were standing in the same elevator alone with each other, i WOULDN'T take the opportunity to be purposely rude to her. but i would def not PRETEND that i liked her movie.

couldn't even recognize her face at resfest!

have you finished "kafka on the shore"? what do you think of the story? what do you think of murakami, these days?... i gave it to a friend for his birthday, but i haven't read it.

andrea said...

to sum it all up for me: "i hate pretension!" who doesn't?

andrea said...

p.s. remember when we were walking around hayes valley and we talked a little bit about murakami, jean? this was in december. we compared him & wong kar-wai to each other.

i don't hate either of them... but lately, i do find them both a lil bit pretentious. not too too too pretentious. all i can say is that they both exhibit styles that are EASILY copped. and because of this.. i don't think that either of them are too too unique in the world. they simply were able to climb to the top of the industries' ladders... and get published/distributed.

how do you define the line between 'pretending'/pretension and... faking/copping/stealing? stylizing? what do you think?

p.p.p.s. speaking of w.k.w. ...i hear from my dad that he has been "tapped" to direct/write a movie about the aftermath of "hurricane katrina". not shitting you. adrien brody would be the lead. much to stephen's delight. i like him, too.

p.p.p.s. i love chekhov & ibsen! (but i only know them because of high school english class!!)

jean said...

my "kafka" summary is on the linked page.

about pretention -- i get the feeling anyone who claims outsider status (murakami being an 'outsider' in the japanese lit world, since he was, early on, scoffed at by giants like mishima, tanizaki, etc) seems sort of pretentious at face value. but, i don't believe that distancing your work from earlier currents means you are pretentious inherently; just that you want to do something different.

as for july, i can't say whether i liked her film or not, but i like her attitude -- i find it refreshing.

i'm not really feeling you on the pretention = imitative thing. or the easily-imitated = lower value thing. you will have to explain and justify a little more. there are certain things that bother me about both (very male-centric) murakami and wong, and, sure, talent never simply 'rises to the top.' but, i'm a die-hard murakami fan, so you'll have to try a little harder to knock him in my mind.

i hope you can clarify your reasoning, bc i hope it's not a case of disliking something to react against popular hype.

andrea said...

no no no... i'm sorry. i'm a very UN-clear person in general... and i don't incline to express myself, clearly.
and blogs are the last place i attempt to clarify my reasoning. blogs are a bad collision of unclear expression & short attention span.

ok- i like murakami very much, too. i love the books that i have already read- at least i love most of those. to clarify what i previously typed: the "male-centricity" does bug me. actually- it didn't even begin to bug me until you & i talked it over. and to relent a little- i will back down and admit that i do feel "reactionary" against this male-centricity.

also- i was completely UNAWARE that those more eminent or elderly japanese authors scoffed at Murakami. i guess that they consider themselves the "elder statesmen" of their field!

as a trashy chinese-american, i tend to neglect these facets of japanese-japanese culture (instead of japanese-american culture). i tend to forget that Kurosawa, too, was practically blacklisted by his own nation. and i tend to forget the EXACT reasons why it is difficult to even LOCATE a print of a film by Naruse Mikio.

hope that clarifies a few things. i'm sorry that i've been so unclear, lately. i suppose that i've just gotten lazy when i type. when i put a [/] between adjectives, i don't mean to equate the 2 adjectives. i'm just too lazy to AVOID using the [/].

p.s. Come see a Naruse movie in Berkeley!! i'm going at least TWICE this week!

jean said...

i was talking to my boss about film festivals -- we were talking about the hundreds of niche festivals in LA (example: 20th century Japanese family films festival). he was starting to make LA sound so much more appealing than the bay area (CRAZINESS!) and, i have to admit, it IS, in that respect ... being an industry town and all ...

(yep, san francisco's also an industry town -- tech sector!!)

andrea said...

industry towns!!!

yep- i was reading the Chronicle's biz-ness section this morning... oh media- so informative. and so self-absorbed. i'll post the articles into delicious, soon.

anyway- i know exactly what you mean about the niche-y film fests. come to think of it- i think i like L.A.'s take on Niches more than i like S.F.'s! go figure. however, i haven't been to almost ANY film fest in L.A. something to put on my to-do list, i guess.

really, though- S.F.'s niche-film-fest scene is the niche that captures my attention. NOT L.A.'s. It's most likely because we're in January/February now. Film Fests Galore!!!

resfest happened in autumn. and i wonder if resfest will ever get to places like... cambodia/kampuchea? i wonder if i will like the idea of that, or not...


jean said...

why do SF's film fests capture your attention more? the turnouts are sad ...

if cambodia has a huge urban center, maybe it will go there sometime. i would wonder if any submissions from cambodia have been accepted, more than if the festival would go there -- and that would only be an indication that some cambodian filmmaker's work fits into res's editorial themes ...