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Telluride, Colorado 7:51am, Mountain Time

02.09.13
3 min
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Actually I have to go. It is the last day of the film festival. 8:30, I have a breakfast meeting in the Sheradon on Colorado Ave. The internet here in the Ice House is very slow. Later there is a picnic in Town Park. Tomorrow at 6:00am a bus will get us to Montrose airport, where the charter will get us to New York. In the charter I will have time to write about the 40th Telluride Film Festival in the mountains of Colorado. Her are some images, if they upload:

This is the new Werner Herzog Cinema for 650 people. The rest of the year the Werner Herzog is an ice skating venue:

One more thing. This is a fruit I have never seen before. A cross between apricot and plum, the Dapple Dandy Pluot:

It’s sunny every morning and there is rain and thunderstorm every afternoon, so I bought this hat in the angler store: (not to put on outside the US)

Now it is 12:14 Mountain Time and I found out it is Labor Day. I just went to a Q&A for the Cannes winner “Blue Is the Warmest Color”, also known as the lesbian porn, or “La Vie d’Adèle – Chapitres 1 & 2” –– directed by Abdellatif Kechiche,  with Léa Seydoux, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Salim Kechiouche, and Jérémie Laheurte. The film is really good. And really long. Everybody complaines about the sex scenes. But the sex scenes are very good. Sex and art are hard to show in movies. Léa Seydoux plays an artist in the film and her art is really horrible. But the rest is very good. Why are there no mobile phones in the film?

Here they are with my friend Colin MacCabe translating the French (Léa Seydoux in a RUN DMC t-shirt):

and here is the poster:

It’s 5:10pm Mountain Time. I just had lunch with Salman Rushdie. Colin is a very old friend of his. Salman told this nice strory about Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast. First of all it is “movable” not “moveable”, a mistake they took from Hemmingway’s notes because the book was published after his death. It’s full of Hemingway’s personal accounts, observations and stories of the 1920s in Paris.  “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”

More tomorrow:

Mei-Lun Xue
People

Sitting at Luigi Zimmerman waiting for Mei to take her to Lichtenberg. She wanted to see a concentration camp, and I don’t feel like it and I don’t have the time. Actually, I have never been to one, not to Dachau, not to Sachsenhausen, not to Auschwitz. Maybe I should go – and Mei would be the perfect person to go with. Too bad she is leaving Berlin tomorrow. She is on a trip through Europe. She was in Italy before where she did research on the illegal chinese workers, and will go to Paris where she used to work for Louis Vuitton. She just got her Master`s from Princeton. “But I cannot build a building”, she says with some pride. I know her from a few years ago, before she left Berlin because it was too slow, had too little energy, made you lazy and content, as she said then. She was working with Bobby and me on the 80*81 project – and when we met her again last week for lunch at the Mozzarella Bar, corner of August and Joachim in Mitte, she said that Berlin had not changed. Which is not true: We used to have lunch at Culinario, corner of August and Tucholsky. Some things have changed. And Mei acknowledged that. The same people, she said, just more famous. We had a coffee and headed off to Don Xuan Market in Lichtenberg, a glimpse of the future, the largest Vietnamese market around. Mei freaked out when she saw a huge blue warehouse with the words Bubble Tea written on it. So this is home 2013, this is belonging. She could not believe I did not know what Bubble Tea was. (It has to do with Tapioca, I guess.) Then we wandered along the rows of useless, ugly merchandise trying to make sense of without using the tool of irony. It does not work. Without irony you end up with the sense that here capitalism is unwinding right infront of your eyes. We had noodle soup with chicken, and it felt like fall. What is next for Mei? She might go back to Walla Walla, she said, where she grew up, to be close to her parents and work in a factory that builds all the artworks for people like Matthew Barney. Walla Walla. I always loved that name.

A Farewell to Politics

02.09.13
2 min
Post

This is too good. The new week starts like a new week should start: You see the enemies and you know them. Go, move, vanquish. What happened yesterday in German politics was an excercise in boredom – which translates as contempt for democracy because it is the duty of politicians to at least pretend that they care what people think. They have to vote for them after all, for God`s sake. But what does Angela Merkel do, in this TV duell watched by, they say, 15 million viewers: She is her most authoritarian, she is cold, she chides the Greeks again and again for not being German, she points to the mistakes of the past to find a reason for the spanking of the future, she behaves like the kind of kindergarten teacher that you would hate your whole life long. And Peer Steinbrück, the real reason why I will not vote September 22: He pretends to be different after voting again and again with the chancellor on the desastrous Euro rescue or whatever plan which through exessive austerity strangles the southern countries, he does what social democrats usually do, he refuses any vision of how things might be differenz and hopes that people like him because he says at least things will be less bad with him. And what do the newspapers and radio stations and bloggers and the people at Facebook and Twitter discuss: If Stefan Raab, who was part of the polit bureau-like four person team of journalists blarring their questions at the two candidates, was the actual winner?! Enough! There has to be room for the new. This is a farewell to politics.

Hilton Als
People

When I met Hilton, we were both theater critics and we felt let down. By the theater. By much of what we saw. We sat in a Bar next to the Deutsches Theater, I don*t remember if we had left the performance early or were still to go to the performance or just kept on talking long enough to forget about either of these options and delve into what life has to offer to people who are not content judging what they are served – it was the Böse Buben Bar in Mitte, which is so ridiculous a name that it will always stick to my mind, just as the shock of hearing Hilton talk, his voice calm, his thoughts audacious, this man, this boy, so big, so elegant, the most unlikely of all mirrors, the hunger for knowing, for beauty: and art as the medium to find what he is looking for. He uses the theater, which he loves, to tell a story he could not tell otherwise. It is a story about himself that is split up into as many roles as the theater has to offer from antiquity to Off-Off-Broadway. And quite a story it is. His was a spectacular rise, from paperboy at the Village Voice to the theater critic of the New Yorker, and you could always feel this edge, in a positive way, a sense of self-confidence on the one hand, and rightly so, look at this master of insight and observation, and still, and still, what if?! Maybe that*s the difference, between him and me, what if?! He stayed, with the theater, with the New Yorker, I left, the theater. But when I think of him sitting at his desk (do you still have that very small apartement, Hilton? where do you actually write? do you have an office at the New Yorker? or do you sit in restaurants, what you do so much and so well, and write there?) or talking to the students whom I very much admire to able to learn from Hilton, then I know that what he did was right, not only for him, but also for the theater. I can see him, in his little ship-wrecked kind of way of moving strolling along 42th Street or more likely through the Village, always on his way. We can be glad to have him, in all his beautiful ambivalence about things, people, love, art. Is this a portrait of myself? But as which one? The self as a constant meditation, without any claim to authenticity: This is what Hilton will show us here, for the next 60 days. A questioning of the roles, the images, the games we are offered – and the freedom which is our’s to refuse, deny, choose whatever we want to be.
Photo by Sarah Shatz

Telluride, Colorado 7:51am, Mountain Time

02.09.13
3 min

A Farewell to Politics

02.09.13
2 min