Happy Thanksgiving!

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Time is too short for those who rejoice, (my social documentary project was quite a success) therefore I didn't notice that I'm one day late to post this.



Happy Thanksgiving Mr Bush and the rest of the mankurts. Greetings to Mr William S. Burroughs who's ass is probably being sizzled in hell.

 

Bear with me for a week please!

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Photo©Liuda

I promise to start updating this blog in about a week or so. In the meantime I am busy negotiating with the devil for inspiration. You will know soon!

 

"Into the wild" - a must see

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For those who by now have realized they have gone weary of people and themselves.

For those who get tired of 8 to 5 office jobs.

For those who don't see anything new on 7 o'clock evening news anymore.

For those who think they haven't found happiness yet.

Please watch Sean Penn's new movie "Into the wild" in order to understand that happiness is only real when shared. Listen to Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder's soundtrack in the meantime. Immense beauty.

 

Appropriating gods - the weakness of small nations

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Sometimes we tend to underrate our people, we are inclined to hand them over to others. You live in New York and they say that you have become a New Yorker, in France - then you have become French. This is a susceptibility of small nations. Big ones never hand over or underrate their people.

The quote belongs to Jonas Mekas, a Lithuanian filmmaker and the co-founder of Anthology Film Archives in New York, one of the world's largest and most important repositories of avant-garde films. Mr Mekas has just returned to Lithuania for a while to open Jonas Mekas Visual Arts Center in the capital Vilnius.

As usual, political matters were not avoided (politicians are always there where big names are present). The ex mayor of the capital Arturas Zuokas, demonstrating ambitions to rally for the presidency of Lithuania, yet facing constant criticism about his financial supporters, has been immensely involved in the opening of the center and also was one of the initiators of a request submitted to our president to grant Mr Mekas the citizenship of Lithuania (dual citizenship is very hard to get in my country). The citizenship was granted indeed. The journalists in the meantime kept quizzing Mr Mekas what were his feelings about the citizenship and Mr Zuokas. The film-maker managed to avoid any political statements and keeps shooting. One movie a day. Highly recommend watching. Avant-garde cinema par excellence.

I would like to mention here that the issue of belonging to Lithuania and the passport as a sign of acknowledgment is a bizarre one. As far as I understand, because of Soviet Union Mr Mekas lost Lithuanian citizenship (since this country ceased to exist until 1990), but the possession of it would not change anything. Figures like him are citizens of the world with their roots geographically undistinguishable. He left the country at the age of 22. And although he claims that he has never renounced Lithuanian citizenship, it is a pity the matter has become of great political importance. And it seems that everybody apart Mr Mekas himself are greatly involved in the subject. In 2050 Lithuanians will probably boast him as one of the greatest Lithuanians ever, although the future of his Visual Arts Centre is still under question and many people in rural areas haven't got a clue who he is. To expand on Mr Mekas' remark, small nations need their heroes otherwise they don't feel like they exist. They must claim their gods back.

I can see some parallels with Ireland here, but I'm frightened to despise its gods.

 

Escape

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The pigeon must be Chinese or from some other country which has mastered martial arts. It has escaped. Was about to open the box, but I found it open already: with the brick tossed away, shit in the box and one feather. No sign of blood. I presume it must have had enough rest. The brick weighted about half a pound!

PS

Sorry - don't have any photos...

 

Pigeon business

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I get all kinds of customers coming into the shop. But never before have I seen a pigeon. A white one, with fluffy feathers and an imposing tail. He strolled into the shop just like that. At around 4 pm. Not flew in, but strolled in. Before that he hit the window of the hairdresser's next door. Twice. Like in a A. Hitchcock movie. Walked into the "Spar" nearby. And then decided to wander aimlessly in the pharmacy for a while.

I got a roll for him. Or her. It is hard for me to decide on the gender of pigeons. What are the indications, by the way?

Phoned the ISPCA.

Hello? I'm phoning from a wine shop in Churchtown. We've got a pigeon wandering around the neighborhood. A really nice pigeon. With a huge tail and a ring on its leg. What should I do?

They suggested to catch the pigeon, close it in a box, give some food and water and by tomorrow morning he or she should be all fit to fly again. After all it is a racing pigeon, they informed me. It must be tired. Off I went.

It is in a Valpolicella box at the moment. After a couple of minutes of stumbling around the neighboring shops I managed to catch it. It has some bread and water and a stone on the box to keep it from panicking. In the back of the shop. Would this be considered as animal torture? Was trying to negotiate with my boss to let it stay in the cellar overnight, but with no success. He called all pigeons flying rats. Be they racing or not. Hopefully, by tomorrow morning it will be fit to fly. I promise to update on that.

 

A few remarks about Ireland after spending here 4 days

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It is not easy to get used to the fact that I don't live on my own anymore. I'm a bad housemate and even worse as a roommate. I have to have my space, where others can't set their foot in. I have to have my cell of meditation where I can mumble to myself, scribble to you, perform in front of mirrors and indulge in reflective solitude.

A selfish kick-off for a monday morning.

For the past four days I have been sharing a room of my own with my best friend who after a few years of hesitations, persuasions and dubieties finally boarded "Ryanair" flight to Dublin. And for the past four days my 80 sq feet or so have been flooded with expectations and visions with spells of regret. Although visions prevail. Despite the troubles that emerge because of severe intimacy. On the other hand, my friends observations shed light on some things which I started to forget or got so used to that I barely even notice them. These are as follows:

***
A trip from Dublin Airport on Bus No. 16A. Somewhere around Phibsborough she exclaimed with childish disbelief:

Look! Walking in slippers!

***
Somewhere in town she suddenly scowled with disgust:

The stench of pee!

I hardly even noticed any...

***
After a job interview she was surprised that by the end of it the interviewer called her by name. She remarked it felt very personal.

***
Despite the fact that Eastern Europeans keep slagging off Irish about being fat, my friend was wondering, where are those fat people?

***
TO LET. At first she was thinking these are signs for public TOILETS with the letter I pealed off. I wish...

***
Everybody is nuts about anything organic.

***
In terms of salaries food is inexpensive.

***
She admired the fact that there are zillions of small shops.

***
Wine lists in the restaurants describe wines rather than just stating "Torres Esmeralda" or "Concha Y Torro Cabernet Sauvignon".

***
Pennies is great!

***
"Guinness" is tasty!


I think she'll be just fine in Ireland, won't she?

 

Cinema Paradiso. In search of time lost

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"Lithuania" was not the first one. "Homeland" was shut before that and afterwards "Vilnius" was sold. The names of cinemas in my native Vilnius always used to be symbolic. Although I much prefer the way they sounded in the beginning of the 20th century: "Eden", "Fantasy", "Family". Nowadays only "Forums" and "Plazas" survive.

Dublin is much the same.

We're supposed to produce a social documentary project for the photography course. After deciding to leave out the issue of immigrants for now, I came with an idea to shoot closed down cinemas of Dublin. To search for the time lost.

In 2004 it was estimated that cinema audiences in Ireland are among the highest in Europe. The annual frequency of cinema going per capita here (at 4.5 visits per year in 2002) was only surpassed by Iceland’s (5.7 visits). 

Although the number of screens in Ireland has increased by 72%, to 328 screens during the period 1991–2001, the number of cinemas in Ireland has reduced by 15% over the same period, but many cinemas were already shut by that time.

When I was in Krakow in January, we went for a stroll alongside a square similar in size to St. Steven's Green Park. There were at least five cinemas neighboring it. Shabby, decaying, run-down. With paint flaking off the walls. They were showing Polish and Central European cinema. In some of them you could still puff on your cigarette or sip at a pint of "┼╗ywiec".

I managed to tally eleven cinemas in Dublin. Out of them IFI is the only one that screens movies that will never make it to the lists of top-grossing blockbusters. What's left are multiplexes with dozens of screens, dreadful sound isolation and carpets mantled with pop corn. These days Tarkovsky* we watch on DVD while the big screen is dedicated to "Spider-Man". The first. The second. The third.

*By the way, Kris Kelvin in "Solaris" is played by an accomplished Lithuanian actor Donatas Banionis.


Classic Cinema. Demolished in June 2007.