22 September 2009

Once Upon a Time ...

My favourite film is 'Once Upon a Time in the West'. I watched it again recently and, yes, I cried at the crane shot as Claudia Cardinale arrives at the train station. And I remembered the inexplicable smile on the face of the boy who bullied me at school when we see Fonda laughing in the flashback. This time around, I listened to the commentary and discovered that the film was written by Bernardo Bertolucci and Sergio Leone by putting together ideas from all their own favourite westerns.

At first I thought, plagiarism. Then I felt somewhat panicky - did my favourite movie exist at all? And somebody pointed out to me that, yet, it moved me more than many so called 'real' things in my life.

And I began to think how all movies are made up of the movies that went before them and how all art 'refers' to something, just as all language refers to other language, just as my name does ...

Where does the 'real' thing actually exist. The real movie, the real Tom Ryan? Does, as Lacan would have it, the signifier represent the subject for another signifier?

I find that confusing too but also inspiring. Welcome to my blog and feel free to blunder along with me on this path.

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