a face perceived
Who is Roy Cocteau? Published his first book of poetry at 19. Well received but poorly read, which is usual for that scene. Contains the line "love is born of a face perceived but never really seen" ...which seems to be the basis for his whole theory of art. Oh yes? What would a rocker like me know about art? Tell you, people see only what they wanna see. Cocteau exploits this in his paintings -- leastways, the ones I've seen. He reduces everything to shapes, so the form is symbolism, creates a common visual language. Detail is not the issue, just shape. Theory is that people navigate by shape, move in near abstraction. A blindness of convenience, a tension between the inner and outer worlds, being and nothingness. Same with music, and I know a bit about music, even if some folks think I write doggerel, think in country cliches.
He wrote an opera too. Don't know it. Guess French intellectuals do that, as their heads are always in the past. Americans have short-term memory, a convenient amnesia which is good for their free-market economy. Pop culture is the repetition of an idea without the need to know where the idea comes from. The way things go down today, sometimes I'm thinking we're just part of a long-distance relay, pickin' up the baton, running with it. Rip-off is a convention, not a crime.
More I learn about Roy Cocteau, the more I'm thinking he's an artist of apocalypse. Some of these guys who write on him say he's a classicist disguised as a surrealist. What's that? Sounds like The Sex Pistols dressed up by a Prof in Media Studies 300. Admit I haven't seen his movie Blood of the Beast although I've heard so much about it recently, feel like I have.
Parisian poet finds his young wife's body, thinks he murdered her in a trance. Entombs her body in a statue in his garden. Makes one for himself, calls the pair Orpheus & Eurydice in a romantic tilt towards mythology. Meanwhile revolution is coming down in the streets and Paris is burning. The Poet, always trying to contact his dead wife by trance immersion, is unknowingly setting fires & torching buildings himself, i.e. the Louvre. Suspicious citizens enter his garden, break open the statues... find the body of the real killer entombed as Orpheus. The Poet recognizes the killer as Artaud, an unsuccessful suitor and fellow member of the Society of Gethsemene, a cult concerned with the afterlife. Blamed for both deaths, the Poet flees into the burning city....
Well hell. That's apocalypse. Existence as a grand catastrophe in preparation.
Won at Venice... unreleased in North America.
Poetry: a religion without hope.
Makes me wonder. Makes me wonder about this movie and what my role really is. Said I'd give them a week... una semana, amigos.
7. the digital oasis »»