Furthering my previous post on “places that cannot be left” (“The Captives of Longjumeau” and The Exterminating Angel), I remembered the book Krabat which I read as a child, about a young boy who winds up in a mill from which it is impossible to escape. Everyone who tries to run away wades through swamps all night, only to find himself (at dawn) back at the gates of that very same mill.
And by coincidence, yesterday, I watched the absurdist/surreal film Woman in the Dunes. Its male protagonist is trapped by local villagers into living with a woman whose life task is shoveling sand for them.
Borges’ “Kafka and His Precursors” mentions Léon Bloy’s story “The Captives of Longjumeau“, which, in the words of Borges “relates the case of some people who posses all manner of globes, atlases, railroad guides and trunks, but who die without ever having managed to leave their home town”.
This reminded me of Luis Buñuel‘s film The Exterminating Angel, in which the guests of a posh dinner party are, for some inexplicable reason, psychologically, but not physically, trapped in a house.
Wondering if someone else had noticed the similarity between these two plotlines, I googled “The Captives of Longjumeau” and “The Exterminating Angel” and found A Reading Diary, a book by Alberto Manguel which lists fiction in which “time is suspended”, where “places cannot be left” (what I was looking for) and the opposite, “places cannot be reached.”
And so it came about that yesterday I watched Bitter Lake and for the first time I was disappointed by Curtis’ work. It struck me as a conspiracy theory film lacking a culprit. Arty and well executed, but a conspiracy theory nonetheless.
So I googled “conspiracy theory” and “Adam Curtis” and found “The Loving Trap“[above], a Bitter Lake spoof by a certain Ben Woodhams who described Bitter Lake as the ‘televisual equivalent of a drunken late night Wikipedia binge with pretension for narrative coherence’.
I see Woodhams’ point but remain a loving fan of Curtis’ work.
Over the last seven years I have been compiling the Jahsonic 1000, a list of thousand songs I would put on a mixtape if mixtapes were that big. I finished the list a while ago but I only recently made it into a YouTube playlist you can listen to here.
The Jahsonic 1000 (2007-15) is a list of 1000 songs compiled by Jan Willem Geerinck. It was started early 2007 as the World music classics category and concluded in November 2015. Every time Geerinck heard or remembered a recording which he thought fit to be in the Jahsonic 1000, he added it to the category. There were no second thoughts.
The list is not hierarchical and needs to be listened to as a gigantic mixtape put on shuffle, or alternatively, played alphabetically.
Neil Young and Lee Perry are the artists with the highest frequency: both are featured 8 times; they are followed by Serge Gainsbourg (6), Stevie Wonder (5), Herbie Hancock (4), James Brown (4), Kraftwerk (4), Nina Simone (4), Peggy Lee (4), Sylvester (4), The Kinks (4), The Rolling Stones (4) en The Velvet Underground (4).