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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Paris Day 28 - fuck la crise

I spent much of Thursday worrying about money. First I realized, at five after one, that C.R.O.U.S. closes at one so I can't collect the month's stipend until the middle of next week. I worried about this senselessly for five minutes before reminding myself that my bank card works in Paris and there is still some money, however little, left in my account. Then I worried about how little there is, how little time remains for me to finish this novel, how little the chance of selling it, of making a living as an artist, of making a living as anything else, thanks to la crise, and so I worried about la crise, on and off throughout the day, despite the fact that it was a day in Paris, the second in a month that started off with a rainbow (above) and the sun went down with this sunset as seen here near the Hôtel de Ville -

And that's how the day went, alternating beauty and la crise, including possibly the best contribution yet to La Création du Monde, and a really nice talk on Skype with James and the doggy -

- and a kick-ass writing session at the Café Beaubourg, where I think I got my money's worth out of an eight-dollar cafe au lait and also this vision of the Pompidou Center -

- as seen through plastic patio sheeting. Two strange episodes in the day briefly took my mind off la crise - the first, while I was shooting Création video, a serious fight that broke out on the corner of the Rue Faubourg St. Martin and Rue des Récollets, kids, teenagers, two of them really going at each other for five or ten minutes before the cops came in their wailing van, which blocked Rue des Récollets while the cops jumped out of the vehicle and the kids and their spectators scattered, all of which provided the end of my Création scene with a perfectly timed siren. And the second, also requiring emergency services, after leaving the Cafe Beaubourg I walked toward psychotic shouting, and found two rather presentable looking young Frenchmen, a man and a woman, fussing over a guy, my age, who was railing and hollering and doubling over, possibly speaking in tongues but most of it was more inarticulate than that, just animal growls and hollering, and I couldn't stop watching this because it bore such a close resemblance to a scene from one of my more spectacular monastery nightmares, the one in which I had descended into hell but it was just a busy street in Paris populated by throngs of guys just like this one raving and clawing at me, making me one of them. As the EMTs restrained him and loaded him into the van I thought about the guy I flew over with, part of the way, escorted off the plane by his armpits.

Still, despite Paris, rainbow and sunset, accomplishment and violence, la crise came back, tinnitus returning with silence. Still I asked, what am I doing? What happens after this? Who do I think I'm kidding? Who will read or buy? What will we eat? Should I sell the violin? What will become of us? Paris answered:


quetzlcloth said...

Amen, brother.

Paul Festa said...

I think it was exactly as you wrote that - I think our fingers were typing the letters simultaneously - that I wrote into the novel the line, "Amen to that sister!"

Janet said...

those fuck la crise t shirts are probably 100 dollars but I kinda want one.

Paul Festa said...

The next time I'm in the 4eme I will check -

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About Me

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Paul Festa’s first film, Apparition of the Eternal Church (2006, 51 min), captures the responses of 31 artists to the apocalyptic music of Olivier Messiaen (with Justin Bond, John Cameron Mitchell, Harold Bloom; screenings: Grace Cathedral, Barbican Centre, Library of Congress; “Remarkable”The New Yorker; “Stunning”Chicago Sun-Times; “Sublime”Globe & Mail; numerous awards). Festa performs the Tchaikovsky violin concerto, opposite members of the San Francisco Ballet and The Cockettes, in his award-winning second film, The Glitter Emergency (2010, 20 min), a silent-film drag ballet comedy (“Enormous visual and musical inventiveness…full of pleasure and joy...Festa gives a bravura performance."—Film Threat). He produced, wrote and edited, with director Austin Forbord, and was chief archivist, for the Emmy-nominated documentary Stage Left: A Story of Theater in San Francisco (2010, 80 min: with Robin Williams, Bill Irwin, Peter Coyote; screenings: Geary Theater, KQED; “Intriguing...entertaining...a valuable record”—Variety). Performances as violinist and actor: ODC Theater, Center for Performance Research, Kunst-Stoff, TheatreFIRST, North Bay Shakespeare, Albert Fuller's Helicon Ensemble (Merkin Hall, Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall). US, Boston, NYC, SF, LA and DC (Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress on the “Betts” Stradivarius) premieres of Messiaen’s Fantaisie for violin and piano. He is the author of OH MY GOD: Messiaen in the Ear of the Unbeliever, based on Apparition of the Eternal Church, and several anthologized essays, and has written for The Daily Beast, Salon, Nerve, and The New York Times Book Review. Current projects include a novel and Tie It Into My Hand (2014, ca. 80 min), a documentary feature that has screened as a work in progress at the Cannes film market and at ODC Theater in San Francisco (with Alan Cumming, Gary Graffman, Peter Coyote, Mink Stole, Robert Pinsky; "A fascinating exploration of the artistic life, as rollickingly entertaining as it is insightful and stirring."San Francisco Bay Guardian). Education: Yale (B.A.; prizes, honors, distinction), Juilliard (Cert., Adv. Cert., scholarships). Residencies: Yaddo, MacDowell, ODC Theater, Centre des Récollets.