Sunday, November 12, 2006

Bizarre Love Triangle

It's about embracing time out of whack.

It's easier to explain what I mean with reference to movies. Virgin Suicides is about girls who are not in step, but also about boys looking at them, knowing that they are far away. It's a nostalgia for longing. It's a moment in time when everything goes completely off (a family of sisters commit suicide), which gives the time before the suicide a particular hue. It's temporary. It doesn't quite count. But it changes things, but in the retelling it's hard to pinpoint what exactly changed.

So with Lost in Translation. The world of the hotel, the attractions that one feels deeply but can't articulate, the freedom and isolation of walking in a crowd and not understanding a word that anybody is saying. And one suspects the same of Marie Antoinette, a queen caught in the last moments of monarchy, one who will lose her head and in the aftermath of the regicide, no one will quite know what to make of her or of her time beyond a vague pause before a revolution.

Bizarre Love Triangle is an anthem to longing, to change, and to not being quite able to articulate either emotion: "I feel fine and I feel good/I'm feeling like I never should/ Whenever I get this way, I just don't know what to say/ Why can't we be ourselves like we were yesterday?" Say the word and all will be well. But because I know you won't say the word, I will pause, here, in the Bizarre Love Triangle, and pretend that you might. I will stop time.

The beauty of the emotion is that it can be danced. The last time I completely gave myself over to music, the last time I danced without knowing or caring who was around or what anyone thought or what happened afterwards, I was in Taiwan. I had gone there ostensibly to learn Chinese, in fact to get over a girl. The sequence of songs was "Respect," "Everyday People," "Bizarre Love Triangle." I was not me. I was not Chinese or foreign, not male or female, not old or young. I could speak in tongues. My every move seemed prelude to revolution, my own new order.

No comments: