Yes folks, I'm still alive. And healthy. You could be forgiven for thinking otherwise, and I appreciate the few emails I've received recently enquiring about my welfare. I believe that I still have pneumonia, confirmed by X-ray six weeks after the original diagnosis, but not that I'm particularly cognisant of it. The main symptom is fatigue, which I only experience if I lack sleep.
Ah, sleep - something I've deprived myself for all my adult life, and now it's catching up on me. We think we can train ourselves to live without it, but that's simply delusion.
Despite my absence from the blogosphere for the last six weeks or so, I've actually being seeing pretty much the same number of films, four or five each week. Except that I've not been staying late at Melbourne Cinematheque. Actually, I did last week for the first time, for the Migrant Experiences screenings of Australian films selected by Christos Tsiolkas and Spiro Economopoulos. These were simply sublime, obscure little gems, especially Winter's Harvest, film about the Italian migrant experience that captures a world long gone both here and in Italy. It's a film that should be sent to Martin Scorsese. I'm sure it would bring him to tears and have him restoring it and promoting it.
There's been so many films I've wanted to write about: Blessed, a film that profoundly moved me, in spite of its many faults; Mao's Last Dancer, a film that profoundly moved me in spite of its mainstream appeal, a film more complex and subtle than it appears on the surface; several films at Melbourne Cinematheque, and many others. Like Encounters at the End of the World, Whatever Works, Moon, Louise-Michel, Once Upon a Time in the West (this is a brand new restoration, screening at the Astor and is an absolute must-see on the big screen!), Astro Boy and The Girlfriend Experience. In fact, for most of the year, I've found little of interest among cinema releases, but there's been no shortage of late.
So, the film-viewing has been there but whatever spare time I've had has been spent migrating from my old PC to this new one. I've set up a wireless home network for the first time and now I can be typing this on my lap while with the family in the lounge room. It is nothing short of revolutionary for me, and I truly mean it. But I've fucked something up and I'm going to format this computer and start all over again. That's going to take up all my spare time for the next couple of weeks or so.
So, I just had to get this up to document where I'm at. I'm alive and well and watching films (and still learning French, though je dois plus pratiquer). But one day, sooner or later, the posts will stop and you'll left wondering... whatever happened to Paul???