The Comparisons Project: Cracks

Monday, 18 July 2011












the lamp

When Diana sent me these colour comparisons for the next film in our Comparisons Project, the first image that came to my mind when looking at them was that of a lamp being chiselled away by two women like a sculpture. By the time they finish, they realise what they are sculpting, or chipping away, is the body itself. I think part of the reason why I had this response is because Diana's pairings bring out an almost modernist perspective and fixation with the dissolution and fragmentation of the body. This is a totally different response to the one I initially had to the film when I first reviewed it. And yet, it makes so much sense; the film really is, in a way, all about the dissolution of the body and identity. I really think Diana has a special gift in bringing out the latent subtext of images.

The poem I wrote in response to her pairings is only a small fragment itself of what I had in mind. I don't pretend that it's any good - in fact, I know it isn't. I like it more as an idea, a starting point for a more developed piece of fiction, than as a finished piece. I think I'm slowly realising that the process of writing involves letting go of ego - that I have to be able to send out work into the world that I may not actually be happy with in order to allow certain pieces to develop. This is why I find this project with Diana so thrilling, because it helps to provide me with the impetus and ideas for such pieces.

All images are by Diana from Miss Moss, created using stills from Jordan Scott's Cracks (2009) and the paintings of Moise Kisling. All words are by me, Hila Shachar.

Paintings from top to bottom: Untitled (1922) by Moise Kisling; Les enfants du Docteur Tas, Louis et Zoucha (1930) by Moise Kisling; Portrait de femme (date unknown) by Moise Kisling; Ofelia (date unknown) by Moise Kisling; Nu couché dans les feuillages (1918) by Moise Kisling; Les Mains (date unknown) by Moise Kisling; Tulips (date unknown) by Moise Kisling; Untitled (date unknown) by Moise Kisling; l'Attente (1917) by Moise Kisling; Eve (date unknown) by Moise Kisling; La naufragée (1927) by Moise Kisling.


Caitlin Rose said...

Oh this project is so amazing, it's such a beautiful display of the different ways of expressing an idea. I must watch this movie again. You are always so insightful, I love watching movies again after I've read one of your reviews.

Also, there was one orange hat in it that I was particularly fixated with.

Lyndall said...

I love this idea, what a wonderful creative project.

I've not seen 'Cracks' but I will have to watch it soon, because it looks really interesting. Eva Green is one of my favourite actresses too.

Felix Curds said...

the pairings are perfect and your writing is poetry. I truly love this project:)

Tana said...

i adore this film like i adore today`s comparisons project. you both did an excellent job!

Danielle P. said...

Once again, Diana has shown what an amazing eye she possesses. I'm amazed at the links my mind can draw between the images once it's so skillfully pointed in the right direction.

Hila, your poem contains such beautiful and delicate "word-images"... trapped and becoming... horizontal longing... a sinuous collapsing of certainty... are my favourites.

(If I may, in the list of paintings, it should be "couché" and not "couchi" - the wiki site contains a mistake.)

Sally said...

Always so many great films to add to my queue thanks to your blog. :)

Particularly lovely comparisons this go round, both visual and written.

andrea despot said...

your poem is absolutely beautiful! i agree with you on how these comparisons bring out latent thoughts and feelings. i'd been looking forward to your next collaboration and i'm very pleased with this one!! though i knew it was based on a book, i saw the movie first and while i enjoyed it, it didn't quite live up to my expectations. yet i still love the soft, dreamy look to it.

i read the book after and absolutely LOVED it - so much better than the movie. i definitely recommend it :)

Amelia said...

Wow, this is so interesting. I really need to watch cracks. The poem is lovely.

Sasha said...

I think I'll really enjoy seeing this project. I've yet to see cracks but I quite like this.

Also, your poem/writing in process is full of beauty. You have this wonderful way with words.

Olga said...

Whenever I read your blog, I have associations with a burning lamp. The light from this lamp is not harsh; it has a golden glow. That's why, having read your poem, my impression and what you wrote become connected.

naomemandeflores said...

How can you be so modest when you talk about your writing? You write the most amazing things, you should be so proud!

Camila Faria

tywo said...

This is amazing!
Your poem is so beautiful. It also makes me ponder. I once read something about a lamp by Edgar Poe, and I liked the nostalgic feeling your title gave me. But anyway, your words are brave, and true.


hila said...

caitlin rose: thanks caitlin :) and I was fixated with every piece of clothing in the film - my dream wardrobe really.

lyndall: I love her too, she's mesmerising.

felix curds: not quite poetry yet, but thanks for saying so ;)

tana: thank you!

danielle: oh thanks for pointing out that mistake, I'll fix it now. and yes, Diana does indeed possess a unique perspective.

sally: thank you!

andrea: I actually haven't read it, so I'll have to hunt down a copy.

amelia: thanks!

sasha: thanks :) I really don't think this poem, or whatever it is, is really any good. But at least I'm trying, right?

olga: oh wow, that's wonderful, thank you!

camila: I'm not modest, just telling the truth :) modesty implies I think I'm good. I'm not sure I am. Maybe one day I will be, who knows ...

tywo: thank you, as are yours :)

CloudyKim said...

Wow, the comparisons are very beautiful! I'm working off of a screen that's tinted blue (so it's a little skewed), but I can still see the beauty in it. And the poem is wonderful too (and your interpretation of both).

hila said...

cloudykim: thank you!

Leah said...

Oh I wish I'd discovered your blog months, years ago! Actual discussion!
I was mesmerised by Cracks, although I actually found it an uncomfortable film to watch. Some very primal psychological things going on there.

These comparisons are stunning.