I’m kind of embarrassed about the piece I just posted, the one about Touch of Evil, because the movie’s directed by Orson Welles and I not only think Orson Welles is a fascinating guy, I consider him a kind of hero, and now I’ve got an opportunity to write about one of his few movies on the List and I can’t really think of anything to say. Certainly nothing interesting. And it feels ridiculous to come here and write a follow-up post where I just lament the quality of the first one—the responsible thing to do, in this case, is to go back and improve the blog post that’s causing me such heartache, make it interesting or propulsive or pack it with facts—do something.
But I just can’t.
I wanna move away from it. Not just the post, but the subject.
And for some reason, when I think now about how taxing it was to get through that post and how much I’m lamenting it, I keep thinking about this particular afternoon in my sophomore year of college when I went with my then-girlfriend to a restaurant across the street from campus, called El Rey de Las Fritas, and the food was great and the vibe was great and the company was great but I remember we were eating in a bit of a hurry, because I had to get her back to her parents’ house on the other side of town within 90 minutes quickly, and the urgency of the moment was making us kinda quiet, even though we were smiling a lot and everything was fine.
We just…weren’t talking. And the silence was underlined with stress but also a kind of contentment.
I ended up getting her home in time and there was never really any question that I would get her home in time…there was just something about the existence of a deadline, of an obligation awaiting her, that cast a shadow over the whole experience.
It’s also making me think of the many religious people I’ve known in my life for whom the Bible (it’s usually been Christians) is the foundational text of their life, they know it backward and forward and they love it to pieces, but they don’t seem to feel any inclination to ever preach it. And sometimes, despite their familiarity with the text, they can’t preach it. Their spirituality is just so internalized that it doesn’t seep out in words.
Welles isn’t my religion, but I do think that there’s something about his talent that resonates with me in a place that’s beyond words. Like I’m still digesting his work and influence and figuring out what it means to me. What I do know, at this point, is that I’m not relating to the work itself so much as the story of how that work was made, and the story of the man himself. His genius and self-sabotage.
Anyway. Let the shoddiness of my movie-writing be a testament to some kinda spiritual journey, sure.