I tried writing last night, but the site was down. Therefore, my absence on day No. 6 of my 69 doesn’t count. “You could have written in Word and pasted the next day when the site was up again,” you might say. I could have. But I didn’t.
In any case, I was going to speak in riddles. “If riddles consist of one or two words, then tonight I’ll summarize my night in riddles.” That was going to be the first sencence. I planned it when I sat down in front of my computer and dragged my chair forward in writing position.
But now, I want to speak about Julius Shulman. I saw Visual Acoustics last night. It’s a documentary on the famous architectural photographer, who died at 98 in the infamous Summer of Deaths of 2009. I wasn’t that interested in architecture or the movie itself when I first read about it, but I only included it in my email to Randy as an “honorable mention” of the movies we could go see last night. (I suspected that two hours on Beethoven’s life might not interest him.) Luck had it that he chose Visual Acoustics. Bummer, I thought, as I closed my inbox. I had had one of the longest weeks of my life thanks to work and I had been looking forward to doing something pleasant, not sit in a long lecture about boring buildings.
The cool thing is that that’s not how it turned out at all. In fact, ten minutes into the documentary, I was enthralled. I felt like I got to enter the mind of a master, to see through his lens, understand firsthand what he was doing. Like a two-hour internship more useful than housekeeping at any summer-long stint at a publishing firm.
And Shulman himself was such a character. Bold, not afraid to be judgmental, hilarious and spirited as an old man, and never afraid to take chances, do what he thinks and say it, unconcerned whether he is wrong.
It got me thinking, beyond photography and architecture, to human nature. I know I’ve often not taken a stand in my head, simply because I’m uncertain that at any point of time I will know anything for sure. I can’t tell you right now that love is pure, for example, because I can already picture myself married and unhappy, sitting in a gloomy living room, thinking back on the moment years ago that I made that assertion, and now deciding I’ve changed my mind and now side with science, realizing that love is but a trick of nature, a figment of your imagination that gets you to mate and continue life.
But that’s irrelevant. Back to photography, I loved the film. I’d like to see more. More photos, more films, more topics “I care nothing about.” Sometimes you’re just surprised at what you discover.