Here’s what I did: I double-exposed a roll of film. I am the first person in recorded history to do this with photos from both Tucson, Arizona, and Chengdu, Sichuan. If by chance there’s anyone else out there who has managed this feat, contact me. Maybe we can form a club. The story goes something like this: maybe 5 years ago, I was in Tucson with my brother and our father. The black and white roll of film film I exposed on that visit then mysteriously disappeared. Flash forward to when I was clearing out my apartment in Los Angeles to move to China, and there was the roll of film under the sofa, where the cat had probably hidden it. I stuck it into my airline luggage and brought it to China. However, since the end of the film was still sticking out of the cartridge, I was suddenly filled with doubt about whether the film was a fresh roll or waiting to be developed. Long story short, I exposed it again. In the back of my mind, though, I knew.
The result was some rather ghostly images, a couple of which you see here, of Chinese buildings with desert cactus seeming to sprout out of them. I guess they come under the category of “accidental art.”
Last night I watched Bicycle Thieves again for the first time in many years. It was a perfect night – cold and damp – to sit in my cozy study, wrapped in a quilt with hot tea, watching an Italian neo-realist film on the computer screen. I wanted to cry several times, especially when the young boy trips and falls down in the rain, and then again when his father thinks he has drowned in the river. It took me back to days long ago, in Chicago and Washington, D.C., when I would haunt revival movie houses, watching films like this in double or triple features. Get out the popcorn. Here’s a short movie clip from YouTube.
A few of my favorite blogs
My new fave blog is Orangette, by a writer and foodaholic who has a way with words that I want to emulate: personal, conversational, and filled with passion about the things she’s passionate about. Read it right this minute:
brieuc75 is the blog of a (gay) Parisian man who just loves high fashion and marketing. I get a kick out of his photos from parties, shopping sprees, and fashion shows.
City of Sound – all about cities, design, architecture, media, music, etc. Things to make you think about. I envy his reading list – if only I had access to some of those books here in China.
I think I’ve previously mentioned Celeste Heiter, who taught English in Japan, published a couple of books, and blogs about film and food; she creates whole meals based on a film’s theme or location.
Anything but monochrome
Here are some pics from the same roll of film as above, but without the double exposure thing going on (at least I don’t see any cacti here). A little photo place in my neighborhood will develop black and white negatives, but the prints they make are done by color processing. The added color can be interesting, as you can see.