Yesterday was a beautiful spring day, and on the theory that there will be more of them (it’s really my non-existent grandchildren that are going to suffer the most from radical climate disasters), I went to see Satantango, the Tarr Bela (as they say in Hungary) film about the dissolution of a collective farm; all 7.5 hours of it plus two 30 minute breaks. I can report that 1) my ass held out, and 2) it is an absolutely amazing film. I had walked over the Brooklyn Bridge to get in shape for spending all afternoon and evening in the dark; I brought snacks and liquids for the long haul, and the breaks actually made the “day” long length very digestible. I missed the lunar eclipse.
It’s a dark, rainy film, with a grim and brutal view of life, but it’s still spellbinding, for all that time. I’d rank it as one of the great film-going experiences of my life. There’s tremendous amount of time in it, literally, chunks of real time, the very thing missing from most films; such a contrast to the usual frenzied storm of contemporary Hollywood montage, where speed and flash take the place of coherence and human connection.
Speaking of human connection: upon my return home late last night, I had an email from the Photographer. I wrote too soon about the Curse of the Wesleyans being broken, since it took a week to get a response from her. I’d left a couple of messages; finally, being a big fan of definitive resolutions, I sent her an email asking her what was up. She didn’t think we were a good match. I didn’t understand her reasoning, but that’s immaterial, since one person’s mismatch is all it takes. I just wish I didn’t have to do all the heavy lifting to find out about it.