Occasionally, I write original stuff and post it here. More commonly, this is where I store pictures of art, museum exhibits, film stills, and other stuff I find interesting.
PAIN RAGE ARRRRRRRRRRG
AMONG THE WHISPERINGS AND THE CHAMPAGNE AND THE STARS.
by Chad Perman
I can’t handle how quickly modern culture moves. Mostly, I’m simply ill-equipped—needing time to think and reflect and sort out one’s thoughts feels dangerously close to being a handicap in the digital age. But at the same time, I’m in no way immune to the seductive pull of an ever-happening right now, with all the excitement and escapism that provides. I feel the tug of it, but also the need to pull back, Which in the end only leaves me with a kind of free-floating anxiety, an indecisiveness that effectively manages to keep a thing like contentment forever off my plate.
When I saw The Great Gatsby with my mother on Saturday, as part of our early Mother’s Day date, I had an experience with the film that was interesting to me, and I wanted to write about that: how the film I saw was in no way the film I had expected to see, and about how that happens; how I had ended up at a place in my thinking where I had basically already decided I would hate the film before I’d ever seen it; how I had ended up getting the whole thing so completely wrong and how nice that felt, but then, also, how quickly I started to distrust my own judgement on the thing I’d just seen— seemingly because of how I’d felt about it before I’d seen it—and how I started being defensive in my liking almost immediately, despite the fact that there is absolutely nothing wrong with going to a movie on a Saturday afternoon, being swept up in it and marvelously entertained, and that just being that.
But first, before I wrote, I wanted a little time to think more deeply about all of this, to reflect and explore various threads of my experience before trying to pull together an entire essay on The Great Gatsby.
Yet, less than an hour later, I was at the computer trying to write it. And not because I was ready to write about it—I absolutely wasn’t, and have the internet equivalent of a trashcan full of crumpled up paper to prove just that—but rather because I felt I was up against some kind of cultural deadline, and had to get my oh-so-important ideas out into the world, immediately, or risk missing out on the Gatsby conversation altogether. Because the conversation was already going on, all around me. Within 24 hours of the film’s release, it had already been through both critical attacks and then a backlash to those attacks; within 48 hours several insightful thought pieces about the film were already out, and soon after, the weekend box office reports were released, which kicked off another round of debate and conversation about what the film was and if it had succeeded or not. And then the film opened the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday. For about five days, the internet was obsessed with The Great Gatsby. But soon, signs of Gatsby-fatigue began to set in; people were getting tired of hearing about it. Clearly, the time to have a relevant opinion about the film has just about passed (I mean, James Franco has even written a review of it at this point). As always, there are new things to talk about—Is the new Star Trek movie any good?—and the internet is ready to move on. But the internet is always ready to move on, and that’s not necessarily a good thing.
Ok, fine. I need to get over myself and see this.