Dear C,

Thank you for your remark below:

"I am sure reading Tolstoi from his parables to his Maximum Opus, War and Peace is certain to evoke things that are dear to all of us. He is subversive without doubt, and  you will be a better person for having read him."

That was a response to my raving about a diary by Andrzej Zulawski a film director and a novelist (1940-2016).  The diary which rebels against almost everything and pulls no punches against the established cultural flow is appropriately titled "Nocnik".  This polish word means a night chamber but could also as a neologism be taken as the night notes (reverse to the diary -  etymologically based on daily activities.)  This term night chamber/nigh notes evokes dirt and waste since that's what goes into the potty.

Madman Zulawski, to keep with the chamber potty meaning, delivers plenty of shit and obnoxiousness in talking about his lovers, family and colleagues and writers or filmmakers he doesn't like.  Yet he gets away with that because, when not being an asshole curmudgeon, he dazzles with above the scale perceptiveness, brilliance and depth when riffing about politics, history, books and films.

A remarkable read.  A truly subversive intellectual, who cherishes subversiveness,  truthfulness and daring of Tolstoi as a thinker, philosopher and a sophisticated story teller.


Shallow metaphors

"Parasite"- with its best visual metaphor.

In “Parasite” a character ironically tosses remarks “it’s metaphorical” usually at some lame configurations or objects.  Does it come from the filmmaker trying to diffuse a possible criticism of his film, which is one giant, lame and tired metaphor?  Yes, I am probably one of a dozen people on the planet who doesn’t go nuts about the tile.

The story reads and looks like a calculated rendering of a Marxist theory about a class struggle.  Such a simplistic juxtaposition of rich and poor, cartoonish rendering of the social sides and tired and predictable attempts at grotesque could pass in the 19th century.  Nowadays, at least to me, they feel cheap and boring.

The only interesting character in the Parasite is the father with his slowly brewing evolution.  In this respect he chimes with the main character in the original “Old Boy”, one of my favorite movies of all times.  Even though the former is a grotesque and the latter a thriller they both use several common stylistic elements - downstairs/upstairs, capturing, release, panoramic windows, wide angle tableaux, unexpected violence and more as well as attempts to enter the tormented souls of their heroes.  I like the freshness and intelligence of the Old boy narrative technology.   Granted, grotesque doesn’t have to be profound, but doesn’t have to be superficial either.