a cure for insomnia

Friday, June 1, 2012

DP and I accompanied some friends last night to view a documentary at LACMA about the painter Gerhard Richter. Elvis Mitchell, a film critic and public radio celebrity, introduced the film by saying, "You're in for a real treat!" He went on to say it was remarkable how the filmmaker was unrelenting at times. That she held the camera on her reluctant subject and patiently waited for his reaction. "You're really gonna squirm in one particular part," he said, which made me (throughout the entire movie) keep thinking is this the squirming part???  Is THIS??

Not ten minutes into the film I saw a head bobbing in my peripheral vision and turned to see that the older lady sitting next to me was fast asleep. I elbowed David and gave him a get-a-load-of-that head point and thought ha ha! I caught that lady sleeping! Well. Not five minutes later karma's boomerang came back around. And it sprinkled sleeping dust on its return trip.

Unfortunately, while there were some really beautiful parts watching Richter in process in his studio, overall I found the film a cure for insomnia. It was such a quiet movie, subtitled and with no narration, and there were long stretches with no dialogue where the camera would just hold on an abstract painting for like 30 seconds. And then someone would start speaking phrases in German that sounded not unlike a spoken lullaby.

I kept trying to stay awake for the special squirming moment and decided that the only squirming I would experience was trying to find a comfortable sleeping position in my movie seat.

When we got out into the lobby afterward:

Me: "Wow. What a movie, eh?"

DP: "Yeah. I thought it was spectacular. Riveting."

Me: "Huh. Really? Which part?"

DP: "I loved what he said about not believing in gimmicks."

Me: "Hmmm.......remind me??" (SINCE I WAS SLEEPING)

He loved it, bless his heart. I suppose I'd have enjoyed it too it if I'd had a few shots of espresso on hand. Either that or a fluffy pillow.


P.S. We had dinner at Ray's and Stark there at LACMA and I cannot recommend it more. They gave us homemade Oreos with the check!

P.P.S. The pictures above are of the Chris Burden installation 'Urban Light' in the LACMA courtyard. So pretty:)

P.P.P.S. David is not a permanent part of the installation.

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