I know this year. I know it for what it has been, I almost feel safe in the eves of the year. There have been many things I have not liked about its beams but its ravage has not yet robbed me of my health or my EU citizenship. The people and animals I love most are here. The struggle to make meaning continues, even accelerates as the year comes to its artificial ending. I feel as though the sleeper is still huddled inside of the waker. (Jean-Luc Nancy.) The year is my Familiar. When the December morning light blinds the Abbey Road, I experience a slow burn of gratitude. I think towards the apple and pinks of blossom that will break into colour. I am afraid of what lies silent and dreaming in the year to come. Will the ouroboros continue to suck on its tail? Can the centre hold?
I have become more superstitious, more ritualistic. There is an abandoned silver crown lying on the kitchen floor. Nobody seemed to bother much with the Christmas crackers this year. I don’t have intention either to pull or to throw them away. Perhaps we will pull tonight out of the hat. The year’s midnight. The silver crown lying on the tiles has become a talisman of crumbled hope. The memory of a christmas past. I sweep and wash the floor. I leave the crown lying.
I don’t care for new year resolutions … butI did resolve to approach one evening – during this frenetic season – feeling energetic enough to watch Alfonso Cuaron’s ROMA. I did last night although I felt frustrated that I could not watch it on a cinematic screen. Having watched it once at home, it is a film that demands to be viewed in a cinema. What is happening to culture when we have to sit in a make shift cinema space in an art gallery to view ‘art’ but cannot choose to sit in a cinema to watch film.
ROMA provoked many thoughts. Two of them linked Alfonso with Steve McQueen. Albeit, they are men of different origins, class and desire they share many things in common including fealty to families of origin. And particularly ‘Mothers’. In both cases, for me it is their first movie that remains indelible. Hunger bit into my entrails, it consumed me like a deadly serpent. Y Tu Mama Tambien enthralled me with liberation and joy. Both films astonished me in a way that neither director, in my idiosyncratic opinion has yet surpassed, in spite of their collaborations with ‘SPECIAL EFFECTS’ and multi-million budgets.
What unites these two daring artists into a joyful memory of the waning year is that both men – despite their differences – choose in their films, Roma and Widows to celebrate the archetypal and unassailable power of women …