Saturday, 24 July 2010

Late Saturday Night: My Friend Eric and Hurricane

The evening of conversation with Justin Partyka at Diss Corn Hall went fast and well and reasonably along the lines I was thinking about yesterday. JP had the structure of a number of photos to be screened. As it is late I can't sit down to write more than this, but I will YouTube the short film 'trailer' that Justin made with one of hs chief subjects, the now 100 year old Norfolk farmer, Eric.

Fascinating the relationship or tension between movie and still, what one does when placed next to the other. Barthes' idea of the photograph as memento mori is central of course, because at what other time of your life are you likely to be as still as you are in a photo? Clue: it is not a time in your life. But film moves as the dead no longer move. In the film they have animation, locomotion, voice, a narrative that is not fully articulated, that cannot quite become elegy.


And the Hurricane is dead. I remember a piece on snooker by Clive James in which he thinks of the snooker player, Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins, as the embodiment of neurotic sex-starved tension: driven, cramped, starved, puffing at a cigarette. So throat cancer has killed him. Here he is winning the world championship against Canadian Cliff Thorburn, the cool dude with the cool dude moustache, in 1977. The last, decisive frame. First the ritual lighting of the fags by both.

The seventies was the decade of the tense wiry genius: Higgins, Nastase, Cruyff. The whippets of God.


James said...

I've just read that the Thorburn v Higgins World Final of 1980 was interrupted by the Beeb's live coverage of the SAS storming the Iranian Embassy (with me aged 11 trapped in a tube train directly underneath). I suppose these days one or the other would be relegated to the red button. But which?(*)

(*I suppose going split-screen, half snooker, half SAS, would have been beyond the Beeb's tech of the day)

George S said...

I suppose going split-screen, half snooker, half SAS, would have been beyond the Beeb's tech of the day..

Yes, we could have had a single commentator. Whispering Ted Lowe would have been ideal for both.

Did you know you were trapped by the Iranian Embassy siege. James?