The film, a photographer's canvas, begins with a wash of black because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light. In photography, light is the driving force. The eye which turns from a white object in the light of the sun and goes into a less fully lighted place will see everything as dark. That's why the eye does see more clearly when asleep than the imagination when awake. Look at walls splashed with a number of stains, or stones of various mixed colors. You will be able to see in these the likeness of divine landscapes, adorned with mountains, rivers, rocks, trees, great plains, valleys and hills in great variety; and then again you will see there battles and lively postures of strange figures in violent action, expressions of faces and an infinity of things which you will be able to reduce to their complete and proper forms. In such walls, the same thing happens as in the sound of bells, in whose stroke you may find every named word which you can imagine. If the photographer wishes to see beauties that charm him, it lies in his power to create them, and if he wishes to see monstrosities that are frightful, ridiculous, or truly pitiable, he is Lord and God thereof. The artist sees what others only catch a glimpse of. Photography is concerned with all the ten attributes of sight; which are: darkness and light, solidity and color, form and position, distance and propinquity, motion and rest. The photographer who shoots merely by practice and by eye, without any reason, is like a mirror which copies everything placed in front of it without being conscious of their existence. He who can copy can do, but he will produce pictures of little merit if he takes the works of others as his standard. The worst evil which can befall the artist is that his work should appear good in his own eyes. I have offended God and mankind because my work didn't reach the quality it should have. Art is never completed, only abandoned. Every now and then go away, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Details make perfection, and perfection is not a detail. A master knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add -- but when there is nothing left to take away.
Be ever mindful, dear Sir, that not all pretty faces have pretty intentions and not all lone travelers are lonesome. Gingerly she began placing the gimcracks away, and stood slowly, in a most refrained way. She was in the process of straightening her sundress and trying to appear not to notice him when she caught his attention and his foot found the brake. The car skidded on the gravel for a few feet before coming to an abrupt stop almost kissing her knees. She bit her full lip to resist the urge to grin, cut her obsidian eyes and lowered her delicate chin. The introductions were short as she was so exhausted and overcome from these hours on the road, helpless and stunned. He rose valiantly to the call of shining knight, scooping her up into his chariot to her carnal delight. And as he began to load her things from the ditch, she watched his muscles dance beneath his shirt and began to savor this latest hitch. Little did he know, this clueless stranger, that nothing going through his mind was a mystery to her. She knew what he was thinking, she knew that he was like all the others. A bee drawn to her nectar, not keen enough to realize that the more beautiful the flower, the sharper the thorn. She took great care to assure that her hem rode up just enough to keep him distracted, to shake him a bit, for his nervous chatter was quite revealing. He was not a knight after all, that much she knew. He would prove his worth eventually, his true colors would show and she would be free to take control. He never saw the glint of the blade, as the stars blinked as to not witness and her dagger set him straight. And so, dear knight of the road, take care when a sweet hitchhiker attracts you on the crossroad -- your name might already be written on Hell's gate! ~ Francesca
The moon rests en utero waiting for her to release the night. Dusk hangs heavy and exhausted long beyond time for the day’s retirement. She lingers in purgatory between ambivalence and confidence, only willing to liberate twilight when her powers feel strong and her courage is high. She makes her choice carefully. It must be an unfailing ride to ferry her into the depths of darkness, for it’s there that broken souls step out of their own hell and find solace in the crowded shadows. She wraps herself tightly in her coat and contemplates the pounding in her chest. It is not fear, but anticipation. Longing to reach the place where she’ll find peace in opaque dreams. Hidden from the prying eyes of those that would judge her. Removed from the tight grasp of those that would tame her. She turns the wheel to her lunar guide and blossoms like the moonflower in eventide. ~ Francesca
It is as important where a young man begins his journey with daydreams, as when. Fantasies spawned in youth, with lily pad squatters croaking out nature’s secrets, stir the imagination and set a boy to wonderment. The depths of dark ponds hold the mysteries of life, none of which can be seen by the naked eye. Yet, the agile mind of boyhood finds caverns and creatures seemingly not of this world, not of these times. Silver scaled beasts diving and darting. Snake tailed salamanders lurking amongst the brush, glimpses of color against a black and white backdrop. The hum of a dragonfly, off on a mission, carrying precious information to woodland allies hidden nearby. The mystique of hard shelled guardians that rise to the surface in calming silence to offer a warning, stay up top to avoid the marsh monsters. As you can see, fishing for whales is not easy work, with their tall tails spinning even taller tales. The riddles of the life of a man begin with a boy, a pole, and rickety boat. ~ Francesca
Not a soul in the world could be in despair when glancing at the fabulous stage des Folies Bergère. It is the locus of nocturnal pleasures drawing the artists, the men, whose masculinity filters through to the performers on the thick curling smoke of their cigars. The theater is smoldering, and backstage this season’s guests, the American Ziegfeld 'Line Dancers’ are warming up supple, nimble limbs. With much laughter, the women anticipate the enticement, excitement and jazzed-up fun that they command with their infinite, boot-clad legs showcased by the black silk stockings. Plush red skirts are expertly used to provoke the men, stir them into a feeding frenzy. Madame Suzon, Manet’s favorite Folie, walks through the disarray of undergarments, perfume, costumes and partially naked girls, receiving sultry smiles as she passes. Women share the sensuality, fuel it, feed it. They prepare to deliver the promised experiences, tastes and flavors of the night. The penetrating bass sounds of the orchestra work them up to the point that as Offenbach beats they synchronize, dance, scream with a passion that elevates Orpheus’ lover from the Underworld on his behalf. Yes! They all can dance the ‘Can-Can’ in Picasso's 'Jardin de Paris' but not Madame Suzon. She is the vendor of drinks and love and passion and she is the perfect illusionist. She removes her clothing and so slowly loses herself as she slips into the professional persona of the star of the Folies. Her corset tight - tighter - 'for she is the quintessential personification of Warhol’s shapely designed Coke bottle and eyes the British 'Big Cat Jag' that just drove in. She smiles knowing she won’t be denied because she is to the Folies like Polaroid is to color -- and hers is the original taste! ~ Kalahari
Cicciolina takes you on a journey of revenge, lust, and sacrifice. What many would see as a stunning young woman turns out to be a cunning vixen, rotten as an apple hung too long on the tree well into fall. Left by her father too early in life, the victim of men and their lecherous eyes, scarred from years of broken hearts and lies, our darling Cicciolina takes to the road. With her suitcase in tow she hunts, patiently, innocently - driven by a well-calculated plan. Taking a man's car, his heart, and much more to make peace with the pagan Gods who haunt her night after night. Every lover a lamb to the slaughter. The roles were reversed and the wolf now slayed. A quick flick of the wrist and the tables turn, she claims his heart, his soul to burn. Sadness and anger the fertilizer for her growing orchard of mistrust, deceit, and revenge. Revenge upon the entire species. The pedal to the metal, every mile adding to her intoxicating allure. In search of an oblation, a sacrificial lamb to cleanse her dark soul. If you have wheels that catch her eye and a selfish hunger that you can't disguise, be warned, you will be next to find the burn that comes from meeting her rope. The rope that bound it all, that kept her secrets wrapped up tight, was the one thing that onlookers could see but few could truly know just how special it really was. Much more than a rope, a trusted tool, a friend to the end. ~ Francesca
"I’ll stop wearing black when they invent a darker color!" There was an immediately perceptible vitality about her as if the nerves of her body were continually smoldering. She smiled slowly and, walking through her husband as if he were a ghost, shook hands looking him flush in the eye. Then she wet her lips, and without turning around spoke to him in a soft, coarse voice: “If you want to be safe, go back to your tiny house - the night sky is not for you. The road is life, if you want to be torn apart, let’s go and you will be broken open and devoured, set ablaze in my fire not leaving well dressed, in finely-threaded clothing that keeps out the cold. I will leave you naked and biting in the backseat. So, come to me, and be healed of the unbearable white and black of all that you are. I will become a raging river, and spill myself upon your thoughts, can you love me under the starry sky, shaved and smooth, my skin like liquid moonlight?” Perception is everything and she drove him to distraction as he intimately pictured her in his dreams. She is the quintessential instinctual criatura and her style is her expression. Her style is her silent speech, a certain flow of mind-to-skin that must be understood. Black has it all, white too, their beauty is absolute. Her style is her sentiment, it is what she shares, it’s those intimate words she shares every time she looks into the mirror -- or every time she looks at her photographs.
Ordinary women never appeal to one’s imagination. No glamor ever transfigures them. One can always find them, obtainable everywhere, at all times. No mystery is in any of them. They show their stereotyped smile and their fashionable manner. They are quite obvious. She takes a drive today, time to emancipate. From her handbag she takes a round gilt compact with violets on the cover. She opens it, unclosing her other self, and runs her fingertip around the corners of her mouth, left one, right one; then she swivels a pink stick and dots her cheeks and blends them, changing her shape, performing magic to herself. Pink on the cheeks; black discreetly around the eyes, as red as blood as black as ebony, a seamed and folded imitation of a magazine picture that is itself an imitation of a woman who is also an imitation, the original nowhere, a captive princess in someone’s head. Even an immaculately crafted porcelain doll could not have been as lovely. Beauty is given to dolls, majesty to haughty vixens -- but mind, feeling and the crowning grace of fortitude are the attributes of an angel.
Old carousels would liven things up a bit by releasing various-colored rings down a wooden chute on the outside of the roundabout. If you timed it right, you could reach up and grab the ring at great risk to life and limb, naturally. You could redeem the ring for prizes like a free ride. The thing with kids is, if they want to grab for the gold ring, you have to let them do it, and not say anything. If they fall off, they fall off, but it's bad if you say anything to them. Here they are again, folks! These wonderful, wonderful kids! Still struggling! Still hoping! As the clock of fate ticks away, the dance of destiny continues! The marathon goes on, and on, and on! How long can they last!? Round and round will people be compelled to ride on a mindless, manufactured merry-go-round rotating around its own axis. For without it, the edifice of an industry built upon grievance and excuse-making is destined to collapse. Little world, full of little people shouting for recognition, screaming for love, rolling world, teeming with millions, carousel of the hungry. Is there food enough? Wheat and corn will not do! The fat are the hungriest of all, the skinny the most silent. You can't escape from the past with a carousel 'cause the seasons they go 'round and 'round. And the painted ponies go up and down. We're captive, we can't return we can only look behind and go round and round and round in the circle game -- 'till the last horse is shot.