lundi 30 juillet 2012

Movie Buff #3: Yo También 

Yo, También, a film by Alvaro Pastor and Antonio Naharro

What a movie! What a moving movie! It deals with the story of a friendship verging on love between a man with Down's syndrome (Pablo Pineda) and a woman with bleached hair (Lola Dueñas). It's brilliant, subtle, moving, funny. Characters are great, and way beyond clichés. The film avoids no touchy question, especially regarding disabled persons' sexuality, but deals with it with immense decency and tenderness. Yo, También is never creepy, always surprising. Daniel is an extraordinarily complex character, who is educated and blessed with an irresistible sense of humour and self-derision. But he faces all the rejections his physionomy inspires, while inside he's so "normal", so like anyone else. He has needs, desires, aspirations, fantasies. But he's more than average, that's for sure. He's sensitive, intelligent, childish, manly, outspoken and respectful.
As for Laura, she may suffer from no disability, but she's an outcast, maybe more than Daniel can be. She sleeps with every man she meets, desperately. She carries her sadness along with her despite her beautiful smile. She's got no relatives, or so she says. But the script makes us sense that she escaped some sort of violence when she left her father and brothers to live in Sevilla at a very young age. We guess she was the victim of incest on the part of the father. Nothing is ever clearly mentioned, but everything is crystal clear.
This is the force of the movie: respect, decency, subtlety. Things are unveiled little by little, as if not to break Laura altogether. And thanks to her extraordinary friendship with Daniel, we watch her inner strength grow, her self-respect appear.
Yo, También is a beautiful movie which adresses taboo issues such as the possibility of sexuality and love for the persons suffering from Down's syndrom and how society resents it, even the most comprehensive circles within it. Furthermore, we are particularly sympathethic to Daniel's quest for normality. For he was made normal by the constant stimulation of his mother. His fate reminds us of the Valladolid controversy, over the existence of a soul within Indians. We have to bear in mind that what Daniel faces is nothing less than xenophobia. The fear of the stranger, of the strange man, of the freak. His brother gives one perfect example of this: "No woman with 46 chromosomes will love you. Yet, these are the women you're always attracted to. Why don't you go to women like you?"
That's the point, no one is like him. He expresses it to his mother: "Why did you make me normal, why wouldn't you leave me as I was?"
Because maybe he would have been happy like that, like the "imbécile heureux", the happy fool who as no idea of how harsh his condition is and who can find love among the likes of him.
Daniel is in a sort of limbo. Trapped between intelligence, insight and physical appearence. But what is great about the film is that we sense that everything is possible for him. We don't want him to give up his search for true love. And the script seems to go this way...
But nothing is sure, it's up to Daniel now...

mardi 24 juillet 2012


J'ai remarqué que Lana Del Rey s'inspirait beaucoup de Marilyn Monroe pour ses photo shoots. Je dis "elle" parce qu'elle maîtrise son image à l'extrême (réalisation de ses clips notamment) mais je suis bien évidemment consciente que son staff doit lui suggérer voire lui dicter bon nombre d'idées lumineuses.
Comme celle, donc, de prendre pour exemple les photos de son aînée. Je ne peux pas affirmer qu'il a "copiage" mais avouez quand même que la ressemblance est frappante. J'en veux pour preuve le petit comparatif ci-dessus. Et encore, je suis certaine qu'il y a davantage d'exemples. 
D'aucun pourront y voir la marque de l'absence totale d'originalité et de profondeur de Miss Del Rey, mais moi j'y vois un hommage à Marilyn, et aux stars de années 50/60 plus généralement. Le style de Lana, ses clips artisanaux et malins (comme "National Anthem" dans lequel elle revisite le couple Kennedy), son physique retouché tellement hollywoodien, tout chez elle concourt à en faire une icône rétro. Je trouve ça intelligent et bien fait. Car même calibrée comme elle l'est, la chanteuse a ce je-ne-sais-quoi d'insaisissable, de mystérieux, de furieusement glamour en somme. Et ses chansons entêtantes au possible sont de très bonnes facture, il faut bien le reconnaître. Elle y ajoute même un soupçon de littérature en s'inspirant du poème "I Sing The Body Electric" de Walt Whitman pour sa chanson éponyme. Pas étonnant que ces ritournelles deviennent des tubes appréciés autant du grand public que des élites "indie-hype".
Vous l'aurez compris, j'adore Lana Del Rey. Sans la comparer à mon idole Marilyn Monroe qu'elle est loin, très loin d'égaler, je trouve qu'à l'instar de cette dernière, il se dégage de la belle un charme sulfureux et une intelligence qui vont bien au delà du cliché de la starlette "marketée" et éphémère.

vendredi 20 juillet 2012

Baby, did you forget to take your meds*?

Sabin Corneliu Buraga, Schizophrenia

I have to take my medication, if I don't I go crazy, I go mad. I see things that don't exist and there are terrible consequences. I have to take my medication, without it I get scared. I see shadows on the wall, creatures on the ceiling. Arrows from nowhere pierce my skin and I fall to the ground. If I don't take my medication, I get terrified, petrified, terrorized, paralyzed. I can't move a limb, I can't breathe no air. I can't grab the telephone, 'cause I can't move no limb.

I can't make no decision, if I don't take my medication.

When I get scared, I curl up in my bed. There's sweat on my face and a veil upon my eyes. I can't breathe no air, I can hardly speak. My medication is all I have to get me out of the crisis, to bring me back to the surface. I am so scared. So scared of everything, every little thing. I shiver and tremble and shake, I am out of breath. It's exhausting, you know, to get back to the surface. Some people don't understand. They don't have to struggle to get up and stand steady on both legs. No vicious snake is eating up their stomach, liver and heart. No huge dragon is hovering over them. My medication keeps the dragon away and the snake asleep. It keeps it to the ground. He can't do no harm, 'cause the pills turn off the light, and he's afraid of the dark. That little bastard, he keeps quiet. He goes weak and lets go of me. He turns back into the despicable little worm he is, and from then on he's nothin' but a light weight I can cope with.
So people, I'll keep on with my medication, 'cause I don't want no dragon spitting fire before my face. I want no heavy snake to wrap himself around me and force himself upon me. So I'll try not to care about ignorant remarks and bossy persons who've decided I'm too fragile to know better. I am damn fragile I reckon, but I am damn strong too. 'Cause I've been fighting my dragon for years, and I'm still here to tell.

*The words are from Placebo's song "Meds", which I'm sure you've recognized.

lundi 16 juillet 2012

Tears For Fears

Alex Hubert, Angel Tears

Tonight I ckecked my bank account on line. I got paid. Usually I don't get much but this time I got an even thinner pay. 230 euros to pay the rent, bills, and eventually eat something. 
I'm not the girl who spends around every cent she doesn't own. I'm just a person filled with anxieties and fears of all kinds, the biggest of all being running out of money and have no roof above my head. So I called my Dad in tears and asked him to lend me some money. I could feel that big ugly guilt in my tears. The ugly guilt of not being perfect. The far-rooted guilt that makes you feel like a criminal. And the degrading guilt of having to beg.
I'm usually very careful with money. Cause I know I own so little. Rent, bills, food, laundrette and there's nothing left. I know I shouldn't digress from the path of budget if I dont want my head to be held underwater. But one day I got ill. Anxiety. My anxiety became stronger and stronger until it turned into dread and into panic. I simply couldn't anymore.
 I have a treatment for all these anxieties. I have regular appointments with my psychiatrist. We talk, he asks me questions I try to answer, he gives me clues to handle day-to-day life in spite of my psychic disorder. I'm on the road to recovery. Or so I think.
But what is tricky about these fears is that they come without warning. They push you to the ground and hold you there for hours or days. Then they release the pressure, and you can be back to "normal" again. You can get up, use the bathroom, you can fix your breakfast. You can make plans, you can go to the doctor and explain to him that you spent the last three days in bed, afraid of anything, afraid of everything. Too afraid to move a limb. Too afraid to go to work. He signs the sick leave form for you. And the next week you resume work.
Except that one night, anxieties come back. You weep, you cry, you sob. You wait for the morning, praying to get some sleep. You get some at 6 am, when you're supposed to get up for work. And you just can't. And you manage to call the doctor again, because all the thoughts you think terrorize you: "Pills...Take a whole lotta them. Endless sleep and you're done with sufferings, Sweetie. Pills. You have enough of them to die peacefully".
Doctor again. His warm voice tells you to rest, for "insomnia is the worst thing". He gives you more pills.
"See you in a week Miss". He signs the sick leave form.
Pills are working remarkably well and I sleep like a baby. But I feel sad because my best friend met a girl. Then I feel awfully sad because he dates her. Then I feel obsessed with his having a girlfriend and I'm scared to death he might forsake me and I can't take that out of my mind and I'm so desperate I don't go to work.
"Doctor?" I tell him my story and he gently scolds me when I ask for the sick leave form. "This is the very last time I sign that paper for you. You must go to work. Work is good for you. Work prevents obssesive thoughts from turning over endlessly. Work is real, and you need reality. And work gives you money, Miss. No one can live without. So I want you back there next week."
He's right. Work gives me the reassuring life I need. A roof over my head, pastas in my plate, paid bills and money left in the bank. I have to face the demons that come in the early hours and make me stay in bed because I can hear them and feel them hovering over me. I know these demons are only myself. I know I have to fight myself and win the battle if I don't want to be a pennyless madwoman for the rest of my life.
Wish me luck, next week begins tomorrow.

lundi 9 juillet 2012


Photographie de Yusuke Nishimura.

 Il est 5h30 du matin et je suis là, les yeux ouverts, comme un con. L'Autre est là. J'entends sa respiration. Elle respire tout doucement. Etonnant pour une femme qui, le jour, crache les insultes comme des flammes, crie, se plaint et m'emmerde. Mais la nuit elle se fait silencieuse, elle respire à peine et dort à l'autre bout du lit. Son corps est droit sous le drap. Je ne sens même pas ses longs cheveux chatouiller mon épaule. Elle est loin. Et je n'ai pas envie de m'approcher de son corps endormi. Elle me repousserait de toutes façons. Et puis son corps est tellement sec! Sa peau a la texture d'un gant de crin. Je me garde bien de lui en faire la remarque, elle passe tellement de temps à s'oindre de crèmes hors de prix.
En fait ce n'est pas vraiment un problème de peau... C'est l'amertume, l'arrogance, la médiocrité. Ca la ronge et l'enlaidit. Elle est pourtant très belle. Mais elle est terne maintenant. Elle vieillit et se rabougrit. Elle devient conne. Elle l'a peut-être toujours été et je le découvre peut-être seulement maintenant. Je ne sais pas. Ca me fatigue de me poser la question.
Ce matin, j'échangerais volontiers cette madone glaciale qui dort en silence dans mon lit contre le petit ronflement d'aise d'une jeune femme aux courbes chaudes. L'Autre me refroidit. Même nos ébats ne compensent plus son mauvais caractère. Elle ne me fait plus l'effet d'antan. Je vois sa beauté et son allure, mais elles ne me touchent plus. L'indifférence gagne tout mon corps comme des fourmillements. Je la baise juste pour assouvir une pulsion. Je la prends le plus fort et le moins longtemps possible. Je ne la caresse plus et l'embrasse à peine. Sa peau m'irrite. J'ai besoin d'imaginer une autre femme, une femme aux grands yeux. La chaleur m'envahit ainsi et je peux contempler ma compagne avec un peu plus de désir. Mais sitôt la fin de l'acte je voudrais la voir disparaître. Qu'elle quitte ma couche et s'évanouisse dans la nature. Car elle redevient elle-même et n'a plus aucun éclat. 
J'ai l'impression qu'elle pense la même chose de moi. Dans ces moments-là, je me demande avec plus de force que d'ordinaire ce que nous faisons encore ensemble.