Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Lost Highway (1997) Review

What does the Black Lodge see when it sees us? A labyrinth of doors and exits? Loops and circuits in spacetime fissured and joined, continuous until discontinuous, unidentical at every point yet self-similar? A network to transit, an environment in which to be and to become.

What is noir? Like, what does it do and how does it do it? Noir is about unequal informatics, of landscapes that shift and dissolve based upon their inhabitants and their relative positioning to each other. Noir is the set-up and the execution of the set-up. The set-up necessarily precedes those who enter into it but the set-up is not a set-up until someone wanders in to activate it as such. Noir is a function of perspective wherein one landscape looks like another landscape depending upon who is looking at it and how it is being acted upon. Some characters in a noir inhabit both maps simultaneously so their landscape looks like maps on top of maps. There are those whose position in the landscape obstructs and channels their sight so that they cannot see the whole of the landscape. This is another name for everyone. The act of seeing and moving-within triggers responses and shifts in the landscape and the map of that landscape becomes newly available, refreshing itself, but in the process of refreshing itself it changes. It is no longer the same landscape, the same map. The old landscape and the old map are deleted, unsaved, unreturnable to. A series of discontinuities. It is not that the looker gets a higher-resolution or 'truer' version of the landscape, but in turn receives a succession of landscapes for each time they become reoriented, which in turn alters the who that is looking. At no time will the landscape, the map and they who are looking be commensurate or equal to each other. This is a process of a continual entering-upon and exiting-from to a place that looks the same as what was left but could never have been and will not be from now. That which looks is a vantage-point, a beholder, a fulcrum, an integral part of the landscape, that which retains a map in its mind until the map is redrawn. When the map is redrawn the holder of the map is redrawn and the landscape dissolves and reforms.

This is a series of channels and locks for the coursing of momentum, inertia, desire. What is the impetus and also the medium? The impetus and the medium is Mystery.

Noir is composed of shadows. Shadows are composed of obstructions to light, that which is hidden or unseen, occluded or unknowable or knowable only by other means.

We are coextensive with the landscape but not with the map of the landscape. There is that which the map cannot. There is that which we cannot perceive, places we cannot look. There are things there. Things that are us and things that are lodged within us, intruding upon or extruding from, which block light, occlude vision and knowledge. To attempt a map is to use other means of knowledge. It is us, it is not us. It knows we know and that we do not know and it counters and shifts accordingly. What is consuming you by virtue of consuming you is you. What is wearing you, having put you on to gain access to you and what you in turn have access to, by virtue of this, is also you. You in turn are it. It can drop you like a stained outfit left on the floor, like spoiled meat. Once discarded, do you remain with what you were or with what has moved on past you, into another place, another maze of shadows?

Cut and pasted, conjoined and shorn. We are others to ourselves, ourselves being made out of others, a raw material to force conduits of energies and circumstances far older that what we know of us or the maps we compose.  A mark is used to center a map. A map is composed by mark-making. Enough markers and a map is composed from them, atop the existing map, occluding it from being seen directly, only intuited from the patterns formed by the orienting marks made atop it, with nothing visible to orient to.

When a map is folded over it becomes a mirror.

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