“[She] is ecstatic, she is one long moment of ecstasy, and since ecstasy is a moment extracted from time, a short moment without memory, a moment surrounded by forgetfulness […] it only repeats itself, without evolution, without conclusion.”
I heard a story about Richard Yates, which I’ll repeat here, where he was wondering what was going wrong with Revolutionary Road, and he realised that he needed none of the characters to listen to each other. As soon as he had made that happen, it gave the book a new tension. He took it to that extreme, which I didn’t do. I find it very frightening when you’re talking to someone in a call centre and you realise that they’re talking from a script. No matter how you try and break into their script, to tell them about your problem with the Wi-Fi, you realise you can’t get through. That’s something I find so frightening – that I can’t talk to those people anymore. My heart rate goes up. And I think that in writing those scenes, I tried to add some of that in: the idea of people not hearing each other. The book is written from Neve’s point of view, so you get her frustration, but Edwyn is trying to say things to her that she’s choosing to just throw over her shoulder, to not really take in.
I think trauma lives in the body. I’ve been reading about that a bit. I’m a very frightened person and I think I’ve written someone who is very frightened in this book and who is trying to get over it – frightened of herself and of the things she’s done.
I was so dis-identified from (white) womanhood that straight men’s desire for me, when it happened, felt like an unexpected transgression that I often didn’t know how to respond to. Or I wanted it to be that way, because I had learned a deep suspicion of what men’s desire did to people who allowed themselves to be women. I wanted sex without love, I wanted sex to be love, I wanted to be anonymous, I wanted my own desire and not to be only desire’s object.
We are all fragmented in relation to structures of domination, and trying to survive them. But I wanted an excuse to love men, or a safe way to love them, and this is where I found it. Everywhere in the straight world, masculinity reigned as patriarchy. But in my image of gay men, distorted by longing, I found masculinity in a form I could bear.
Memory in certain filmmakers’ work is conceived of as buildings in which characters spend their time bumping up against the walls of their pasts.
the film’s hotel-memory-container is recognisable: it puts into images how your own brain functions.
When the past seeps into the present, it seems to say, even the most reassuring spaces can become alien.
In all four films, tracking shots don’t explore the world as much as shrink it, so that forward movement becomes circular.
It is a collective vision that, unlike the comforting memories of a simpler past, suggests the best we can do is try to construct a cordon sanitaire of self-delusion and, if that doesn’t work, to disappear.