Imagine a film set in a quiet, bourgeois, residential area of a Great European City. The film's narrative time is a year, so the camera can capture play of light on streets, on a park, the ease of summer, the meta-melancholia of autumn, the sharp tooth of winter, the always already pastness yet to come of spring. The plot is simple, coded pathos: beautiful young people fall in love, another dies in an accident, which causes certain beautiful young people to separate. Children play in the park. A grandmother shows her grandson pictures of the grandmother's parents & of her dead husband. Her daughter who is divorced loves her mother, her mother gently dies. So far so banal. The daughter grieves, finds solace in her work as a gallery director. Just after halfway cut to a small town in the middle of nowhere in the USA. Two men in suits & a woman in jeans & a T-shirt get into a car. One of the men is eating a hamburger. Tomato sauce on his chin. They argue about who is to drive, at the last moment the woman runs away, the car explodes. Return to Europe. A rural space, no bodies evident. Ends silently. Something weird. With every showing of the film everything is the same, except that according to an external temporality the actors in the film age as they do outside the film - so that shown five years later the actors inside the film are all five years older than when the film was made. The old woman is the first to become a ghost. A ghost flickers between early & last life, unstable figure. All words & incidents & settings remain the same. Eventually they are all ghosts. But it's not a great film. All that's interesting is that episode in nowhere-ville. So after a few years perhaps no one watches. Historians of cinema? Maybe. Maybe the film is completely forgotten. Lost?
Difficult to imagine how happy the dead would be if only they weren't.
The observation platform was a "noticeably unsafe structure" - to fail to climb the observation platform meant an eternity of seasons in hell. From our vantage point we, the saved, could see the burning chemicals factory & a game of football being played between two teams of genetically mutated ostriches. Ever the opportunist, Milan took bets on the game's outcome. It finished 3-3 & at the final whistle the ostriches became beautiful young people falling in love, one of whom died in an accident; children playing in a park; a grandmother showing her grandson pictures of the grandmother's parents & of her dead husband. Her daughter who is divorced loves her mother, her mother gently dies. So far so banal. The daughter grieves, finds solace in her work as a gallery director. Clouds of toxic smoke were lapping at our mouths. The experience was wonderfully erotic. A voice emerged from the clouds: you must descend the observation platform to be saved. Staying put will mean an eternity of seasons in hell. But there was the paradox: there was no observation platform, there was no burning chemicals factory. We were in a small town somewhere near the USA. I'd better buy a cowboy hat, I said to Elsie. But she was reading Henry's letters to her from the war & could no longer hear any voice other than his.