JUST ABOUT GLAD
Watching Martin Scorsese on Inside the Actors Studio, I couldn’t help but just be struck by his fire and passion. He’s one of those creators that when he talks about his art, he gets you excited to create, reinvigorates your own artistic passions. (In comics, conversations with Mike Allred, Paul Pope, and Steve Rude have elicited similar effects.) The man also seems both pleased and baffled by his own work. There was a humility to his acceptance of the praise, and often a curious wonder when asked about specific elements of his movies. Like if he was asked about why he chose to do a specific shot, his eyes would take on that look that said, “Hmmm, good question,” and that he was extremely curious about the answer himself.
I love listening to him talk about movies. I wish he were on every DVD. I wish someone would put him in an intellectual boxing ring with Peter Bogdanovich so that Scorsese could pummel him into crumbs. Bogdanovich is a minor talent with a massive ego, and his supposed historian work ends up being about how his tastes and connections reflect on him; Scorsese is a major talent, and while he personalizes his histories of film, he does so by telling you how the movies effected him, as well as their meaning in the overall gestalt. If you haven’t seen A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies, you need to seek it out. It could be the most important DVD you’ll end up owning. (And here’s hoping they’ll eventually release his follow-up on Italian cinema, and that he’ll do more in the series.)
I’m back on Rayearth. Volume 5 has a ton of new characters that got introduced briefly in Volume 4, and each pause makes it more difficult to start back up, because I have to dig through the books to figure out who is who again. The most frustrating? The twins Tarta and Tatra. I have to remember that Tarta has the top knot, Tatra’s hair is flowing, and that a simple case of one finger moving faster than the other could easily switch the two.
I’m not too thrilled about my Rayearth deadlines being moved forward, since I have to launch myself immediately into Clamp School Detectives in January. There is a universe at work in the CLAMP books, and it looks like I am going to be working on a lot of the interconnected ones, the ones that take place in the same world as Angelic Layer. In fact, apparently a Layer tournament takes place in one of the future issues of Chobits, which I think my editor, Jake Forbes, is actually rewriting. Part of me almost feels precious enough about the characters that if it’s Misaki doing the battling, I’d almost like to write her dialogue. But I guess if he throws in an “Eeks!” I’d be happy with that. (Of course, James Lucas Jones stole “Eeks!” for use in a recent letters column…plagiarist thief! He doesn’t think I am watching, but I am!)
But, anyway, all my deadlines have been moved up, and I have to have everything done by the end of the month, as opposed to January 20. In fact, the first Clamp School Detectives is due even earlier than that. I’m going to be busy.
Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt has given me a lot to think about in regards to the portrayal of relationships and the dissolution of the same in The Everlasting. In particular, watching the two characters tear each other apart at the center of the film, and the subtle and gradual blending of truth and lie as love is destroyed. It’s a fascinating picture, paralleling this very personal breakdown with the tensions inherent in moviemaking, as the money people and the creative people clash over what should be put on the screen. (Tying in with Scorsese, he apparently had a hand in Contempt’s original U.S. release, and also spoke on Inside the Actors Studio about how the current process of “development” in the creation of a movie is destroying the form.) I highly recommended the new Criterion DVD edition. I have yet to dig into the second disc of extras, but I can’t wait. They look meaty.