December 23, 2008

Unwritten Letters Part I

In my file cabinet I have several folders dedicated to letters. There is a section for letters received, a section for unsent letters, another for half-finished letters, and one labeled 'unwritten letters' containing fragments of letter ideas.

In the spirit of the Unwritten Letter file here are a few of the unwritten blog entries I started over the last two years... partial ideas for posts. Here are a few I wish I had fleshed out. I can't recall writing most of these and have no idea how I was planning to finish them off.

It's 1951.
You're directing Clash by Night, a B movie but things could be worse. Marilyn Monroe is starring. No need to push her down the stairs as you had done to Peter Lorre.
It's been twenty years since M, seventeen years since defying Goebbels and losing your wife to the Nazis. The Americans will come to know you for The Big Heat, but that's two years away and eight years after that you'll direct your last movie. A horror flick. For the next 16 years after that you'll try to make another film but will never will.


guy bullet pants: I'm gonna call that bitch Happy Meal.

guy puffy jacket: Grins is fine enough for me.

guy bullet pants: I got it. We call him Emoticon.

A modest proposal. It's not a stretch to say that museum websites are generally, terrible. They are over-designed or under-designed, are often overproduced, and generally lack the very thing people are coming to find within them- pictures, audio, and video of the items within the said museums. Instead of all the Smithsonian and MOMA and everyone else reinventing the wheel with each website, why not spend some money to license a version of flickr that can be customized for all museums. Include all the normal flickr-like features substituting institutions for users, but with organizational levels beyond mere commenting and single institution-set making. Give it depth. Allow for scholarly documents to be attached to images. Allow wiki-style editing of explanatory text as well as official texts. And allow connections to be made between objects/images. Allow users to curate collections, and allow any and all organizations that play by certain rules to join.

The best images I think are sensual, not sensual in the libidinous modern sense of the word, but in the original meaning of the word... that they provoke the senses and give us shorthand for experience... (Aside: Milton coined sensuous to avoid the sexual overtones that were attached to sensual, but sensuous was also soon co-opted as shorthand for infused w/ sex)... Sometimes all I need to get through the day is one great image, something to hang onto before I close my eyes at night. Here is today's image:
[there was no image]


I walked into the kitchen tonight and found my wife sitting alone at the table and upset. "What's the matter?" I asked. She tells me the story of 3 young friends of friends who died in a car accident, one was killed on impact, 2 others were burned alive while people tried in vain to rescue them. I noticed she was holding our new baby's socks. "You raise a child for twenty years and then THAT?" she said quietly.

Sometimes it takes half a lifetime to think of a retort. Twenty years ago today after a longish hike in the Welsh countryside I walked into a pub and met a man who said

posted at 01:31 AM by raul

Filed under: night musings


12/23/08 11:32 AM

How incredibly intriguing!

12/23/08 11:47 AM

love these. my unfinished diary entries are more like that "tunafish on rye made me sick last night", "ate three burgers at fatburger. feeling bloated"

12/23/08 03:26 PM

made me think that all great art is half-baked...

12/24/08 12:27 AM

I think you should finish 2007.01.29 ...I want to know what that man said.

12/24/08 09:02 AM

Oh, these are maddening! What was the image? What did the Welshman say? We'll never know... However, to show that I am a long and loyal blog reader: you did finish the one from 3.16.07 -- I hunted back through, and it was on April 5, 2007, called Snowglobe. That one stuck with me.

12/25/08 07:52 AM

Great stuff. Am impressed that you've actually filed these away somewhere. Most times you can't really return to something creative and "finish" it w/o changing it into something "new".

12/25/08 09:00 AM

the one about your wife and your "new baby's socks" is quite amazing...

12/25/08 12:42 PM

I wouldn't add a thing Raul. Sometimes the best writing is the one that lets the reader fill in the blanks. These were great.

01/08/09 04:04 AM

It's late and I can't sleep and am adding to my huge file of Letters Never Written Due To Procrastination and Avoidance.....

I love 2008.7.16. It's like one of those actor exercises, except for film directors. Can you imagine?

"You're Hitchcock about to leave England for this new picture deal with Selznick. You hate the SOB but you really want to be famous. Now: go say goodbye to your studio producers, secretaries and canteen ladies...."

"You're Orson Welles. You're stuck in South America and have been up 36 hours straight filming the Rio de Janiero carnival. You receive a telegram informing you that the whole ending to Ambersons has already been reshot and recut with your actors and your editor. Now Joseph Cotton is on the phone for you...."

Just curious - are these handwritten notes or drafts your computer saved?

You must have finished the entry about your wife and the socks because I think I have read that before....

01/08/09 12:26 PM

Ms. Watt! We never did that big friends & family picnic we had talked about. Maybe in the Spring

I do these little director exercises in my head all the time when watching movies with colorful directors. Breaks the suspension of disbelief but is really fun for me. I mean how can you watch a Hal Ashby movie and not wonder about the guy behind the camera?

Generally if something is longer than a paragraph it's from a notebook. Short little snippets are written/saved on the computer or even the iphone (although that's mainly for my tweets).

Someone else pointed out that I did finish that other entry a few days later. Once I write them down I tend to forget them...

11/15/11 09:29 PM

i'm the creator of ... i just did a vanity google search to see if maybe any one wrote anything about my animation.

i sure would love to read what you were going to write about it sometime.

thanks for watching it :)

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