Sunday, August 20, 2006

Watched two exceptional documentaries yesterday: Yves Saint Laurent: the Collector’s Edition, and Robert Anton Wilson: Maybe Logic. Finally visited the local independent video store called North Campus Video, which boasts a ridiculous cache of rare cult films, exotic documentaries, obscure foreign films, eclectic television shows, and hard-to-find classics. These two discs were such a nice change of pace, considering my recent string of unpalatable rentals: Inside Man, All the Real Girls, Brick, yuck, yuck, yuck.

The YSL film was an informative, entertaining look at the life and work of the legendary couturier. Having only the couture knowledge of a passionate hobbyist, I was astonished to learn so much about Saint Laurent. For instance, he was the first to introduce pantaloons and suit coats to haute couture, the first designer to push androgyny, and the first to use black women as models in his runway shows. But aside from his groundbreaking work, I really liked him as a person. To me, he comes across in the interviews and in the old footage as a shy and awestruck little boy, even in his later years. He seems humble and gentle, like a genuinely nice person. The disc includes two documentaries, the first being his life and work, and the second being a behind-the-scenes exposé on his creation process.

The other disc I rented centered on the legendary writer of The Illuminatus! Trilogy, an extremely intelligent, perceptive, and well educated man who speaks eloquently and enthusiastically on topics ranging from quantum physics to metaphysics, political conspiracies to Arabian folklore, linguistics to neurologic, Buddha to Giordano Bruno, a self-professed Discordian Pope who claims to be simultaneously angry and optimistic, a fellow student of synchronicity, and the oft reminder of Husserl’s contention that “All perception is a gamble.” I enjoyed this documentary so much I watched it twice and took notes.

ps - Who is the great magician that makes the grass green?