Fellini (was Re: How was your Labor Day weekend?)
Subject: Fellini (was Re: How was your Labor Day weekend?)
From: email@example.com (Vadim Temkin)
Date: 6 Sep 1995 22:44:44 -0700
In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Richard Jasper <email@example.com> wrote:
>Fine, thanks. Most of it, anyway.
Sunday and Tuesday I went for four movies of wonderful retrospective
_Tutto Fellini_. Three of them I saw one way or another (_Satyricon_ on
LD, _Orchestra Rehearsal_ and _And the Ship Sails On_ with bad Russian
voice-over, from bad print in second-run movie house back in Minsk).
_Roma_ was a new one for me. I almost forgot how Fellini (well, any good
art) affects me.
I have more crap than I can deal with at work, relationship at home is
getting sour, I am tired to death, I count hours 'till my vacation in Spain
(and at the con) - and just few minutes into imaginary, not-even-pretending-
to-be-real world of Fellini... I feel free, I know that everything outside
the Castro theater is so insignificant, so bearable, so forgettable - and
the real life is on the screen (actually, in my head). The great thing is -
it stays with me after I leave the theater - I can face the world again.
I tried to analyze why I have this reaction. Well, now it sounds funny to me,
but when I was 16 Roman and Greek works provided for me so necessary gay
reading materials. There weren't any skin magazines in Russia at that time,
nor pornographic novels (gay or straight doesn't matter). I scavenged anything
I could find in the Byelorussian State Library. For visual stimulation -
article on Mapplethorpe in something like "American Art", few dozen issues
of Sports Illustrated with occasional picture of swimmer, or diver. I remember
article about Greg Louganis - even now my gaydar doesn't work too well, but
I had no doubts about Greg then - he lived with his "manager"? - excuse me!
And reading - obscure novel _Wings_ of almost forgotten Mikhail Kuzmin (1907
edition - the only one at that time), Andre Gide (editions of 1930's when he
was big friend of Comrade Stalin), that's about it in contemporary literature.
Which leaved me with Arabian Nights (excellent full 8 volume Russian academic
edition) and with Satyricon (Petronius Arbiter's one, not Fellini's), plus
whatever else was translated to Russian from Greek and Latin (probably
everything was translated - not everything was re-printed in last half a
century though). It was wonderful time - in the library I'd have my physics
books (Feinman, or Landau), and the volume of Ovid's Metamorphoses and
Latin Epigrams - hours would fly away, I wouldn't need anything more.
The apotheosis of the art saving my sanity was my three months long stint in
the Army. Red Army and poor me didn't mix together quite well. I had
extraordinary shift every other day (by regulation they had to give me a
normal day after each extraordinary shift, that was the only rule of military
regulation which worked for me - all other worked against me). And I survived
without a dent. The only thing I remember from that time are Dostoevsky books
I discovered first time after mandatory in high school _Crime and Punishment_.
All of these came to my mind, plus the pity that I missed my favorite
_Amarcord_, and no regrets on WHY I missed _Amarcord_ - I went to Howard's
memorial dinner the previous day. It reminded me that Arne mentioned _Amarcord_
as the favorite Howard's movie, and what a beautiful art was the dinner, and
what a beautiful art was Howard's life.
All this blurred together, and Seneca's "Vita brevis est, ars longa" doesn't
even give a taste of this thing which is blend of life and art, where the work
and the home are less real than the painted sunset in _E la nave va_ [here,
I used it, it sounds so much better than _And the Ship Sales On_], and where
two thousand years old parody of love story resonate with my life today.
P.S. May I get a cabable membership card now?
P.P.S. I hope my next boyfriend (not that I am over with my current one!)
will like European movies - the two I had/have so far hate subtitles. I
guess I should have it as a requirement. On the second thought - why wait?
Arne, would you marry me?
Vadim Temkin (firstname.lastname@example.org)