A number of months ago I read this article by Morgan Meis on Raymond Carver's short stories. With praise such as, 'The stories are a revelation in pecks and silences' I was of course intrigued. This weekend I finally got around to reading What We Talk About When We Talk About Love and yup, he was right, the stories punch your guts out. In a good way. I heartily recommend it! The article is actually more about Carver's editor who hacked away at his stories until they became the spare sketches we have today. Carver's widow is fighting to publish the unedited versions and as much as I agree that the genius of these stories is found in the 'gaping silences', my curiosity always gets the best of me and now I'm anxious to read the filled out version if they are ever released.
The less than cheerful (in a good way!) Carver marathon was accompanied this weekend by Lars von Trier's film Breaking the Waves, influenced by (since it didn't strictly adhere to) the Dogme 95 movement. Another punch in the guts, but in a good way! Stripped down, all natural lighting, no soundtrack and a heart wrenching examination of religion, morality and mental illness. Movies such as these are not easy to watch, but I think the statement they make is important. I'm fascinated by the collective's stated rules as they aim for a portrayal of reality, a refreshing change after a number of Batman and James Bond weekends. I need the reminder and practice sometimes to find impact and beauty through a viewfinder other than Hollywood's. I cannot show you a preview though because very often reality is accompanied by nudity and none of the YouTube clips are young cousin appropriate. So instead, here are some flowers from the lovely wedding a few weeks ago.