Friday, May 06, 2005

the guns that haunted her.... 

Hi. I'm in San Francisco right now at Maggie Zurawski's apartment. Her tiny poodle sitting near me (this dog is so sweet until you get him around other dogs...he finds the LARGEST dog he can, presses against him/her and growls a battle growl...hehehehehe, it's so damned funny!)

Yesterday I read with Wendy Kramer, which was much fun. Also a great party after where all kinds of San Francisco poets came to drink Kate's (Maggie's terrific new girlfriend) Cinco de Mayo punch!

(there are so many dynamite poets and others here I wish San Francisco was just a short bus trip from Philadelphia...)

Before the reading however we went to the SFMOMA to see the Robert Bechtle show, which was wonderful, but it was the unexpected JEREMY BLAKE: WINCHESTER exhibit that blew me away. Blew me away, the guns of ....

It's an extraordinary trilogy of films playing simultaneously about Sarah L. Winchester, heir to the Winchester guns manufacturing fortune. She was SO convinced the spirits of the dead killed by her family's weapons were haunting her that she had secret passages and rooms built into her house where she could escape. The actual house with all its secret hideaways is an hour outside San Francisco, and I'd like to visit one day but it's $30 to take the tour (that's just crazy!)!

How can I possibly do this film justice here? Oh, you know what I can't, but I'll tell you, I need to know WHY Sam Sheppard kept appearing on the 3rd (far right screen).

The 1st (far left screen) would have the house appear with sudden silhouettes of men and long guns, which would then shimmer and fade into the wood. This was truly creepy. The creep factor extended beyond horror films, since you are always aware that this family fortune was responsible for untold numbers of life taken. Sarah L. Winchester was not able to easily enjoy the mountains of money....

A man would appear with a bullet hole in his forehead, and a sudden stream of light would zig zag out of the wound and his eyes would fill with light. Soldiers would appear with dozens of bullet holes, these holes also streaming beams of light until they were a braid of disturbing brightness which would break into old cartoon characters shooting one another.

The idea of guilt from true blood money, and the awful beauty of transmorphing into light out of murder has never been translated quite so ... quite so what? It's an amazing piece of work. I wish I could see it over and over to focus on each screen ... but you get used to moving your eyes from one large screen to the other.

So happy to have seen this,

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