Monday, December 6, 2010

Whether or not to 'enter the void'

I've been up since 5 am this morning, but only because I went to bed early last night. I've been recording sounds of birds calling to each other in the quiet morning air. Just beautiful. It's barely light ~ the sun will not rise until 5.51. I'm still thinking about the Sir David Attenborough narrated documentary Birds of Paradise screened on ABC TV last night, which focused upon the exquisite courtship dances of the colorful male, who seduce and mesmerise the female of its species by engaging in delicate and intricate footwork, head bobbing and feather displays. It's difficult whilst watching not to acknowledge the complexity of the animal world. I was also fascinated by the fact that many New Guineans where the Bird of Paradise is found, not only wear the feathers of this bird on their head dress, but actually mimic bird movements in their ritual dances. It's horrible to think that some of the species is under threat of extinction! Whilst I've been writing this, sunrise has bled across the sky. Actually, bled is probably the wrong word, although the sky did sport a beautiful red glow just before dawn. Speaking about red glows, I remember being really annoyed with the persistent color of red that permeated the film Irreversible (Gaspar Noé, France, 2003) and made it difficult for me to see what was happening although who could forget the horrific rape scene. I mention this because I'm contemplating whether to see Noés latest film Enter the Void (2009) in which he employs visual affects to disturb consciousness. The film runs for 2.75 hours, which means that I'll probably need a break midway from all that sitting. 7.22 am now, still plenty of time to decide.
The following was actually included in my blog post in October, 2009, but I thought I'd repost it because it links in with what I was talking about this morning and I quote from myself:
'Last night I attended a lecture delivered by Barbara Creed, in which she contextualised sexual displays and rituals by various bird species (footage gleaned from David Attenborough) alongside similar displays by women in Hollywood films of the 30s and 40s. Barbara argued that not only were women portrayed as beautiful, fecund and essential for propagating the human species (showing the influence of Darwinian thought on cinema), but were purposefully dressed or displayed (often in flower shapes, holding or wearing fruit, or as part of a interwoven pattern) so as to be perceived as part of the complexity of nature. I was interested in how in a number of instances women were augmented in such a way that they became icons of excess that bordered on the grotesque. Barbara Creed's new book is entitled: Darwin's Screens: Evolutionary Aesthetics, Time and Sexual Display in the Cinema (MUP Academic Monographs, 2009)'.

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