Memoirs of an Angel (2014) and other recent works – an evening with Bruce Baillie

Snapshot 2014-04-25 19-37-49
7:30 pm/monday/april 28th/2014
black hole cinematheque/1038 24th street x linden/oakland

A night with Bruce Baillie (in person), premiering parts from his final three-part, major work, Memoirs of an Angel, as well as screenings of other selected films from his life.

Memoirs of an Angel (Remembering Life)
Part I, Salute. Entr’Acte. Cavite. Parts II and III, Night & Light, in-progress.
(Bruce Baillie/2014/31mins/digital projection)

‘ – with the purpose of enlightening contemporary audiences who have tended to view the recent work* from a superficial, linear or literal point of view.’
‘Metaphoric imagery, implicit language of simple, yet universal …Joie!’

*(Part I, Salute, has seen a limited, temporary release,
while this, M. Baillie’s final work, remains in progress).

‘Beginning with children at dusk, flocks of starlings in flight, birth, sea, and the title, My Last Masquerade, lyrical film artist, Bruce Baillie’s declared last film will be in three parts, Salute, Night, and Light.’

‘From my recent interview, a few of the thematic elements as projected by l’auteur:
Introduction of the element of illusion (masquerade). Imagery of war – documentary, the movies, and the author recording himself, self-consciously in uniform! One cannot here avoid an implicit reference to the Bhagavadgita; the warrior, Arjuna and Lord Krishna in Dharma combat on the battle field, as metaphor for the human dilemma in confrontation with the world of time/space, illusion of opposites, attachment to the merely transcient, etc.’

‘Memory and memoir commes toutes les choses, Gautama Buddha’s “ten-thousand things”. Angel of the mind, essential memory, Mind of mind prior to all sentiency, Truth abiding in fiction, the necessity of language, The Word, and so on. Le facon de parler, le langage concret, la langue langeur. L’image prosaique – the perfect medium – in parallel with the apparencies of everyday reality. Narrative, l’histoire, l’Art.

‘Some further keys to the work in progress from M. Baillie’s voluminous notes of the past 15 years:
Cantos 9, Part III: “Crossing the river of my preferences”.
Cantos 10, Part II: Spes una mundi perditi (Sole hope for the lost world – Th. Merton, “Learning to Love”).
Cantos 11, Part II: (With images from a village in the Philippines of laundry blowing in the afternoon wind). “Ancient banners of mortality blown by the heavenly host!”.
Cantos 5, Part II: “In the Night, with none other than the Light that burned in my heart.”
– San Juan de las Cruz.
Cantos 3, Part III: “And the remnants of the world were renewed by children, and it was called Paradise”.’

‘Here, the film’s form’, I continue (M. Joyeux), ‘is deliberately conventional, i.e., non-abstract, yet the imagery is essentially connotative, transcendental in nature, or simply poetic, describing human necessity to identify itself. This, mes cheres, is our author’s purpose and final touch, le pointe du verite – the touch of truth! Something to leave you – le Monde – a veritable last word as to the universal Why, Who, What, concealed in ordinary language, so to speak, as in being what it/one appears to be. It is not of the form yet does lie within. Poetry concealed within the word, yet not the wording itself. The Word manifest in mere prose. De Chardin’s noumenal wed with phenomena, Light in night. Memoirs from Les Anges!”


free and open to the public

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