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high art: this is what I care about

A snippet of dialogue:

Lucy: "I stopped photographing commercially ten years ago. It was kind of a mental health decision. Actually it wasn't a decision, I made it impossible for myself to continue.

Sydney: How? What did you do?

Lucy: I stopped showing up... I loved the attention, I just couldn't handle the impact. I felt trapped. I felt sorta pigeonholed, sorta like I couldn't breathe anymore. Does that make sense?

Sydney: Yeah. The people at FRAME think you're an amazing photographer. I don't think they wanna trap you. I think they wanna support you."

(in a later scene: Greta and Lucy are adult lovers at the end of their time:)

Greta: "She's a little sycophant. She's a bootlicker, a parasite.

Lucy: She saved your fuckin' life... when I came into the bathroom, you weren't breathing!

Greta: She's fucking you up. You're so wrapped up in her you can't even see it. She comes in here so cocky and eager, she doesn't know shit about life, she's a fucking teenager!"

(and Syd with her boyfriend :)

James: "I can't believe you're fucking a photographer.

Syd: I haven't slept with Lucy.

James: Are you working up to it?

Syd: I don't know.

James: Well, I think you have to START "knowing."

Syd: If only you weren't so fixated on putting me in a box, on pigeonholing me... because I can't breathe!

James: What the fuck does THAT mean?

Syd: It means that no matter what I do, you can't stop telling me it's wrong. I mean, I'm trying to get somewhere and all I get from you are these slurs about my job, and the people that I've met, and how pretentious and idiotic it all is --- and y'know what? It's not meaningless to me, this is what I care about. I mean, what do YOU care about, James? I mean, really, what?"


References: FRAME is a prestigious photo-art journal, Syd is an assistant picture editor there.

Backstory, and why Kiota could have written and directed this also :: The film is "High Art", a college thesis project of Lisa Cholodenko, who wrote and directed; Lucy is, for most of her screen time, a rather total drug addict (cocaine, mostly, and pot)... and the leads Syd and Lucy fall into a very torrid love affair which ends in the suicide of one of them (Lucy); but not before Lucy takes multiple studies of Syd, and of the two of them in bed together, Syd convinces the FRAME editor-in-chief to run them in the mag... before Syd finds out what Lucy has done..

Love scenes quite beautifully lighted and photographed. With digicams. As Ki was learning to use.

A college thesis project in photography/film was exactly the direction Ki was headed. Projects like this are common requirements at Evergreen, they want you to make a "contract" to go out and do a project you would think up yourself, and present your result(s), it is all a test to see if you could live up to your own standards, to set your own goals, write them down, then go and achieve them... as many jobs in the real world require. Ki had already started in the backstreets of Olympia and planned to continue filming on the mean streets of Siem Reap, in Cambodia, in the coming summer that never came.

And some of the dialog astounded me. The film is 1998, I gave Ki my copy in 2007, she devoured it, and it wasn't till about a year later that one of her European friends shared some IM with me, a couple convos occurring between Ki and her bf Ruud, almost exactly word-for-word what Syd said to James.

BEFORE 2007.

Lisa C was a grad student, Anna R an undergrad, writing and living on perfectly parallel tracks.

In the film, James ditches Syd: in real life, Ruud ... well, we know what happened. Lots of complaints about not keeping the rules, her retorts that "I can't be perfect all at once."

Well, the film is out, and so are the perfections.