It is the end of the year according to old Papa Gregory, whose astrologists jiggled the anomalies of the existing calendar and came up with a special one just for him, with which we’ve been shackled the last 400+ years. So another New Year is here, and in turn the promptings to summarize the one past. Here’s anecdotal evidence of mine, mixed in with other items of personal note.
The above were mostly done while recuperating from this, a disk extracted in April, requiring some horizontal time and afterwards some physical therapy, done in Matera, and then Ginosa, in the south of Italy. Thanks to their medical system this did not bankrupt me, indeed hardly costing a thing. Grazie, Italia.
And then endless photography, of which here’s a very tiny sample:
And being of that age, some friends slipped off the planet, at a distance, and discreetly, so saying, “So long, it’s been good to know you” wasn’t an offer circumstances gave. Wish I could have.
On a happier frequency this year saw some nice things for people I know. Friend Edoardo Albinati won the Premio Strega here in Italy, the highest literary award Italy has to offer, so in the company of Cesare Pavese, Primo Levi, Umberto Eco, Elsa Morante, Alberto Moravia, et al. Not bad company. The book has a mere 1,250 pages, of which with my limited Italian I have so far read 250, which is more pages of a novel than I have read in the last 20 or 30 years. I will finish it in the coming months, as my Italian is taking great leaps forward for taking the effort. And as the book is quite interesting, it isn’t hard work, but a pleasure.
The other oblique pleasure is that Nathanial Dorsky in the last year and more has been trotting around the globe for screenings of his work. In Spain, Portugal, France, the USA and elsewhere. As Nick’s films are remote from the commercial world, and he has never done the film-biz hustle and promotional stuff, it has been a joy to see the world, as it were, come to his door. His work is as deep as his modesty.
Finally closed in on finishing one film, Muri Romani II, an HD new version of the 2000 film of same title, minus the “II”. And shot and am working on another film, Manahatta, hoping perhaps to wrap it up in the coming year. Also editing Piccoli Miracoli, shot way back in 1996-2001, of my daughter Clara when I was raising her; hoping to finish by May. And Marcella is editing Again and Again, a long documentary shot 5 years ago, which should end up as two films, one 80 minutes or so long, the other perhaps 3 or more hours. It’s about Korean choreographer Eun mee Ahn, as she develops a new work. Aiming for a March finish for the shorter version, longer one by summer.
Along with these things, did a lot of writing, mostly for my blogs, listed at the end of this, which also have many photos, and other things, if interested.
Moved to Italy in late February, we were in Matera and Ginosa until October, and then moved to Caucana, Sicily – near Ragusa – living a 3 minute stroll from a nice beach. I went walking on it most days, where it offered up quiet little philosophic pages for me to contemplate.
For the coming year we’ll move back to Ragusa, a small but very nice apartment in the center of the city. We think to stay 6 months – Marcella to work on Bojagi and other sewing projects, and finishing the editing on Again and Again. She’s also shooting a film on several musicians she met, perhaps a documentary portrait. I hope to finish editing on the films mentioned, and if the spirit strikes, perhaps shoot some kind of long film there, with local people. Also to paint/draw and lay out a book of poetry and several photo books – maybe to have on-line. If the plot works out, we hope to head to a festival in Korea at the end of summer, and then on to Japan for one there. Then to the USA to travel 6 months seeing friends, doing screenings, and shooting more for a film essay. Perhaps a swan song.
Best for 2017 !!