MISSING JAMES FRANCO (TEXT)

MISSING JAMES FRANCO

 

3.0:

 

Nine Days at Berlinale 65.

 

 

By

 

Lisa Paul Streitfeld

 

 

 

 

Also by Lisa Paul Streitfeld:

 

Champagne Tango

thealchemyoflove.com

Black Madonna

Kundalini’s Daughter

Hermeneutics of New Modernism

Woman in the 21st Century

 

 

 

 

 

 

To my sister, Susan Megan Streitfeld, the artist and filmmaker who gave me my love of cinema, and opened the door…

 

 

 

 

Nine Days at the 65. Berlinale.

 

Table of Contents

 

PROLOGUE

INTRODUCTION

The Artist as Ouroboros: James Franco’s Gay Recycling in Berlin

  1. Day One: No One Wants the Night
  2. Day Two: Queen of the Desert

III.      Day Three: Ixcanul Volcano

  1. Day Four: Knight of Cups
  2. Day Five: I Am Michael

            (R)evolution in Chelsea: James Franco Killing the Sacred Cow (Mother)

  1. Day Six: Everything Will Be Fine

(R)evolution in Berlin: 63rd Berlinale Resurrects Berlin’s Cultural Heritage

VII.      Day Seven: Eisenstein in Mexico

VIII.     Day Eight: Elsner 13 Minutes

            (R)evolution from Berlin: BONAPARTE Aims to Conquer the World

            James Franco’s Unstoppable Sperm

  1. Day Nine: Cinderella

Susanne Weirich’s Homo Generated Ontology of the Eternal Return

  1. Conclusion

            BERLINALE 2015 EVENT: Quantum Entanglement and the James Franco Epic

EPILOGUE

 

 

The standing Bear is the symbol for Berlin, and also the Berlinale. The fixed star, Phecda, on the thigh of the Great Bear (Ursula Major) provides the ontology connecting a cosmic evolution to the 63-65th Berlinale.

 

PROLOGUE

 

The Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin is your passport to becoming a spy in the house of cinema. The times printed on these tickets serve as your very own Antikythera Mechanism (right). Constructed at the beginning of the Piscean Age, the world’s first analog computer was used to calculate the precise position of the sun, the moon and the planets in the sky.

 

 

Your passage begins and ends with the mirror of time itself. Not exactly a mirror, but an abyss so black that it reflects your own image right back at you. Not exactly your image, but the shadow of your reflection ensnaring you in its thrall.   The hand-held mirror is the classical symbol for the love goddess. Venus is your desire made real through the twentieth century medium of film, and the ontology of her perfect rotation cycle into the pentagram is your life’s passage.

Can the passage itself account for the time inscribed in these perfectly symmetrical rotations? Deleuze says yes. “The Eternal Return,” he writes in The New Nietzsche, “is thus the answer to the problem of passage”:

 

And in this sense it must not be interpreted as the return of something that is, something that is one or that is the same. We misconstrue the expression “eternal return” when we take it as the return of the same. It is not being that recurs, but, rather that recurrence itself constitutes being insofar as it affirms becoming and passing. It is not some one thing that recurs, but that recurrence is itself affirmed by the passage of diversity or multiplicity. In other words, identity in the Eternal Return does not designate the nature of what recurs, but, to the contrary, the fact of recurring difference. This is why the Eternal Return must be conceived as a synthesis: a synthesis of time and its dimensions, a synthesis of diversity and its reproduction, a synthesis of being and becoming that affirms becoming–­­-a synthesis of double affirmation. The Eternal Return, then, itself depends not on a principle of identity, but on one that must in all respects fulfill the demands of a truly sufficient reason.

  • The “sufficient reason” for which Deleuze prepared his followers is a zeitgeist calling for a new Becoming of Being. The mythology of a new age, Joseph Campbell informed us, brings forth the new archetypes. Dr. Peggy Bloomer delivered Campbell into the fold of continental philosophy with her book Surfgeist: Narratives of Epic Mythology in New Media. The mission of this text is to bring forth the understanding of the Aquarian Age mythology and its archetypes into a cyclical, and therefore eternal, Becoming of Being as the ontology for the age.
  • A marriage of pop culture with the heights of Western philosophy brings us back to the Heideggerian problem of disclosure. In order to recognize the Dasein, or Being, as the harbinger of the New, we have to know what it constitutes. Can we, as contemporaries expect to find a new constitution in an ancient object crafted for the telling of time?
  • Now we turn to the 1900 disclosure of the Antikythera mechanism on the Greek island bearing its name. It took a century of scientific examination of this momentous meticulously handcrafted archeological art-I-fact to prepare humanity, bit by bit, to the lights of the present. Today, scientists affirm that the device was designed to predict astronomical positions and eclipses for the astrological calendar. This relic may be presented today behind glass in a museum, but its utilitarian significance as a contemporary apparatus goes far beyond the symbolic: we now have a crucial phenomenology of human origin in a real object by which humans calculated time in terms of the cycles of the planetary motions. Yet, returning to Deleuze, we are warned not to make the mechanism itself the barometer of the Eternal Return, as the material reductionism would pass off its impact as the first scientific discovery inscribed with the empirical itself:

 

Why is the mechanism so wrong an interpretation of the Eternal Return? Because it neither necessarily nor directly implies the eternal return, and because it does entail the false consequence of a final state. This final state is held to be identical with the initial state, and, to that extent, one concludes that the mechanical process would once again run through the same set of differences. This is the basis for the cyclical hypothesis so often criticized by Nietzsche. For we do not understand how this process can possibly emerge from its initial state, or re-emerge from its final state, or run through the same differences once again, and yet not even have the power to run through whatever differences there are once. The cyclical hypothesis is incapable of accounting for either the diversity of coexisting cycle or (above all) the existence of diversity within the cycle. This is why we can only understand the Eternal Return as the expression of a principle that serves to explain diversity and the reproduction of diversity, or difference and its repetition. Nietzsche presents such a principle as one of his most important philosophical discoveries. He names it Will to Power.

 

We might call this moment in time “everyone is illuminated.”  This (r)evolutionary flash is your universal reflection emanating from that symbol of the hand-held mirror. You carried this object as the apparatus of a subjective ontology gathered into phenomenological art-I-fact for the duration of your homo generator transit through a cosmic event in which the entire planet participated, for the first time, in 2012: the passage of Venus across the face of the Sun.

There were 1700 photograph plates made of the shadow of Venus on the Sun in 1882, when Nietzsche gave birth to his philosophy of the Eternal Return. And only 200 hundred astronomers engaged in various parts of the world to accurately measure the size of the solar system from the duration of the previous transit, in 1761, which prompted Captain Cook to create an expedition to view its companion transit in 1769. While no one in Europe saw the 1631 Venus Transit in Europe, Jeremiah Horrox was the first human witness in 1639:

 

The reason why I am writing to you now is to inform you of the extraordinary conjunction of the Sun and Venus which will occur on November 24 (nach altem Julianischen Kalender). At which time Venus will pass across the Sun. Which, indeed, has never happened for many years in the past nor will happen again in this century I beseech you therefore, with all my strength, to attend to it diligently with a telescope and to make whatever observation you can, especially about the diameter of Venus, which indeed is 7′ according to Kepler, 11′ according to Lansberge, and scarcely more than 1′ according to my proportion.[1]

 

How the consciousness spread from one human being in 1639 to billions living on the planet today reveals how the Will to Power, evidenced in the above missive, impacts the multiplicity of outcome. Today’s evolution of consciousness catalyzes the Eternal Recurrence of Venus as the timing mechanism for another recurrence that is harder the calculate: the shift of the Great Wheel of Time from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius.        Yet, it is precisely the Deleuzian “difference and repetition” of the Venus passage in the macrocosm, which relates in the micro how the wave of symmetrical energy (the mirror of the perfectly symmetrical Venus transit which is used to pinpoint other cosmic events) poured from the cup of the Holy Grail produces the multiple artistic expression reflecting the “existence of diversity within the cycle.” Deleuze goes on to “explain diversity and the reproduction of diversity” as the differentiation of such an origin, or source that is both internal and external:

 

Will to Power is thus attributed to force, but in a very special way, for it is at once a complement to force and something internal. It is not attributed in the manner of a predicate. Indeed, if we ask the question “what?” we cannot say that force is what wills. The Will to Power alone is what wills; it is neither relegated nor removed to another subject, even by force. But how then can it be “attributed”?

 

We know today that the Will to Power has been historically attributed to the occult power that ran through the underground since Friday the 13th,, 1307 when the Templars were driven underground, along with the treasure they discovered in the ruins of the Temple of Solomon. These artifacts contained knowledge of the sacred geometry inscribed into the Holy of the Holies, the hexagonal structure of the ancient icon of the hieros gamos. Whereas the sacred marriage of Heaven and Earth was celebrated as a fertility rite in the cradle of civilization, the occult science surrounding these rituals carried the will to power into the underground stream of the Black Madonna that was once a privilege of the elite with their secret societies and societal outcasts.

This knowledge is now available to anyone with an Internet browser, making its expression both multiple and diverse. Deleuze writes that the Will to Power reveals its nature; it is the principle of bringing forces into a synthesis. Does this not imply the human’s co-creation with the transpersonal forces identified by the ancient religions as gods, the planets, into the image of a new Dasein? In fact, Nietzsche was prophetic that such a discovery as the Antikythera mechanism would reveal the very source of mechanistic time as originating with the cosmos. His proclamation “God is dead” meant the death of the monolithic god created by man, giving way to the multiplicity of the heavenly forces whose interrelationships with one another and co-creations with humanity could once again rule on earth in concert with his Will to Power. Yet the homo generator Being that Nietzsche prophesized as the Übermensch has been lost in our mechanistic time controlled by the human-designed clock. That is because, as Nietzsche warned, we cannot separate the mechanism from the symbolic order that created it:

 

I call it “Will to Power,” because it expresses the characteristic that cannot be thought out of the mechanistic order without thinking of this order itself.

This text utilizes the oldest human science to explore the contemporary ontology of a reawakening of our archaic connection to time as a filtering of the cosmic forces. The disclosure of planetary rotation as the embedded source of the first analog computer was the surprise finding through decades of examining the Antikythera mechanism. Yet, the ontology disclosed here is the awakening female body as the authentic passage to the Eternal Return of difference and diversity. The surprise is how intricate the pattern of the phenomenology of the “as above, so below” is threaded into the tapestry of the Aquarian Age Dasein.

  • The willful drawing down of the heavenly forces to earthly manifestation is a lost art assayed in this text.   The tarot card of the Star reveals the process, one foot in water and one foot on land, pouring the water to satiate humanity’s thirst. And how this stream pours forth, like a cup, yes the Grail Cup, in cyclic motion from and towards our passage into life!

 

INTRODUCTION

 

 

 

  • It is 1970. You are just a child and sitting cross-legged on the polished wood floor of the dining room of Wainwright House, a stately stone mansion on the banks of the Hudson River. Here, in this group setting, you have an imagined existence, where your dreams provide glimpses into the archaic relics that will come to be known, in your eager child’s mind, as the buried treasure. The image will appear, and reappear as a pirate’s chest covered with scorpions.
  • And so you have early training thrusting you toward this course. You gaze into the eyes of a boy your own age. Peering backwards now, you can’t remember what he looks like. All you can recall is his eyes, and even so, your own reflection is all you can see in his pupils. Following the instructions of the encounter group leader, you tell this stranger that you love him—strictly with the eyes. He stares at you staring at him staring at you staring at him staring at you staring at him staring…you have lost your bearings; you feel as if you are soaring and descending at the same time.
  • You have entered a realm that doesn’t even enter the English language until you import the term from the Greek in your critical writing, forty years later. This is the realm beyond the “male gaze,” as the feminists termed the subject/object stare in the 1970s. Your precocious initiation into adolescence takes place through the unspoken vocabulary of a mutual gaze that ascends right out of your body and into the universe.   It is there that you find your ultimate freedom; it will confound you for the next thirty years how the darkness of the pupil catapulted you towards this divine light. This zero entry point into the hieros gamos triggers a lifelong cycle of self-devouring expression in which past unravels into present, and present unravels into the future.
  • You have crossed the threshold into a new paradigm simply on account of a gaze. Entering into the pupil of your companion’s eye makes your body weak; you feel your legs sinking into the floor. This, you will learn, is a ritual surrender to the cosmos, a constellation formed over your lifetime and reflected in your life journey. The pattern will have resonance later in life due to the very boundaries granted for exploration.

 

Jump cut to 2013.   The unblinking eye stares out at you in the crowded room. The pupil unpacks, in the inner reflection that unfolds, the mysteries of your twenty-first century search for the Grail. You found this Signifier, like a piece of readymade art for(u)m, inside James Franco’s Gay Town. The large raw space symbolic of Karl Marx Strasse itself has been transformed by this funhouse of an art installation.

Your passage into the James Franco ontology is through five rooms. The number is not a coincidence, as nothing in your life is; the number five is the phenomenology of the Venus cycle. The work was obviously just created, in the year of the Venus Transit across the Sun, and this rush to deliver a new ontology of human consciousness filtered through a new value, a new ontology of Being, is what marks the crucial importance of your passage.

Inside the fourth gallery, a pupil looks out at you from inside a 10-minute video loop. You are game for this invitation into the unknown. The blackness reflects your own image through the glass of the monitor until a figuration emerges with a narrative. Unlike the rest of the exhibition, with messages written over, under and on images piled on top of other images, all in the form of digital printing on acrylic rugs, the monitor itself is small and unobtrusive, a hidden gem inside the grating noise of contemporary pop materialism captured within the art gallery in the mish-mosh of Franco projects. In your critical eye, this eye is the “I”—the authentic artist statement summing up the four rooms of multimedia, drowning out all possibilities of engagement without the cacophony of self-devouring screeching to be heard. You consider that he might not have made the video, or otherwise lifted its content.   And then you reconsider that art has progressed to the point that these questions of origin no longer matter. What matters is the disclosure of the ontology you have long been seeking.

With this projection of an eye, James Franco provides a glimpse into his own eye, you imagine, a far deeper place than his superficial hold on the public as the designated puer eternus of an adolescent America in dramatic decline.   It is an eye extending into America’s masonic founding, which placed the eye on the currency of a new nation designated, by virtue of the founding father’s astrological map, as the birthing ground of the Aquarian Age archetype. Many artists today signal with this single eye in their expression, giving rise to illuminati conspiracy theories controlling the entertainment media and quashing authentic works of art so that no powerful original expression can get through. The manufactured pop culture idols go as far as establishing their narratives, or rather compromising their signature missives, by unthinkingly utilizing this code winking at unearned secret knowledge.

Yet, Franco’s art-I-fact hits you as a relief from this pop trend. You experience it through the body as a genuine expression of the “I” containing the vision of the future beckoning from your first group encounter.

To engage with this untitled video means to surrender to the darkness of the pupil, and to become his pupil, in fact, by entering the miniature yet crucial narrative. The loop consists of a dual action sequence, moving from one to two figures. A girl on a balance beam shifts to a full body engagement of a couple flowing their bodies into a single organism in a dance hall. These looping narratives are intentionally anachronistic.

The discovery takes you back to something the critic Mark Daniel Cohen, a Nietzsche scholar, once told you when you confessed to bypassing a video under the stairs in an exhibition. “Make sure you see everything in an exhibition.” Yes, like in the search for the Templar treasure itself, the smallest thing can provide the clue to unlock the entire mystery.

In the artist’s connection to the unconscious lies the darkness of the age. And there is your pursuit. The energy sucking you into that darkness has been your trial now for three decades. The literal pupil of the contemporary is the narrative, yet James Franco himself attests to the difficulty in finding it hidden under the noise, which takes care of his own shadow!   You are having this AHA! Moment in Peres Projects in the last five minutes of Gay Town, your body charged with the impact of kairos.

You are convinced that the narrative quest of the twenty-first century Id is contained in this small video loop. Untitled, it doesn’t even allow for a quick reference in a review, but rather, demands a description detailing its narrative thread through the symbols of balance and Eros. You depart feeling elated.   With the Gay Town title obviously meant to be controversial and provoke anger, your private discovery suddenly makes the semiotics of the title obvious in connection to the Berlin location.

You are convinced that James Franco, in the creative frenzy that has made the leap beyond the gender politics of the day to revive Nietzsche’s gae science (Die fröhliche Wissenschaft) for a new epoch marked by overcoming the dark projection of the feminine power onto the female gender. Is this not apparent in the exhibition itself—a mirror of your own Ouroboric quest to marry text and image, as well as past and future?

Nietzsche’s 1882 gae homage to the troubadours was quite obviously his a priori declaration of love to the woman he was fated to meet just months after the book’s publication. Under the ominous heavenly sign of the Venus Transit of the Sun, the philologist’s vision of the Being connecting heaven and earth was exploded through a projection onto Lou Salome. The ontology intended by arranging to meet this extraordinary Aquarian woman under the Lion of Lucerne resulted in the performance of the Dreieinigkeit in a nearby photographer’s studio. Having produced this art-I-fact of the arising of the Aquarian archetype, the lovers ascended Sacro Monte to experience the hieros gamos and gave birth, six months later, to the philosophy of the Übermensch.

The Lion of Judah is the bridegroom. This was the personal prophecy written by Margaret Starbird, the author who catalyzed the global phenomenon of The Da Vinci Code, into the dedication of her book, Woman With the Alabaster Jar. It swept you right into an erotic embrace with Anthony, a triple Leo who descended on you in Malibu in perfect timing with the Venus retrograde station on 15 May that would culminate under the 6 June Venus Transit of the Sun. You guided his gleaming white chariot, a vintage Mercedes Benz, into your temple. And so it was a marriage made, oh so briefly, between heaven and earth. Anthony was the rocket fuel blast propelling you to the mountain peak in Saas Fee to forge your own philosopher’s stone out of the lead of your worldly experience, in close proximity to where Nietzsche discovered the Eternal Return by means of a mystical communion with a pyramid-shaped rock.

And now, Gay Town! You would read this phenomenology as signals dropped, like the Gilgamesh pukka, from heaven to earth through the contemporary filter of an ancient mythology: the puer eternus of this new era. The pukka as paintbrush striving to make this connection, the seeker to his mythical journey, are everywhere in the exhibition. The expression is so carefree as to be wanton, providing clues of what this path might be. There is a clear visual message being transmitted by way of his Aquarian predecessor’s ghost: the rebel James Dean, whose presence is everywhere in the gallery, even if his Dark Cupid image has been displaced by James Franco clinging onto the requisite Hollywood dirty blonde chic model of the hour.

  • There is nothing like the first time. Your initiation into sex is a completely non-physical, non-verbal energy exchange. On the hardwood floor of an American mansion, the eastern practice of white tantra is being introduced to you for the first time. But you only have the experience to consider; in the blackness of this path of uncertainty, you are startled by your own reflection. What jumps out at you is the eagerness, the readiness for adventure. So, this is not darkness at all, but the self-reflection of a highly anticipated journey, a passage into the archaic made radical by the very nature of its feminine pro-activity.
  • What makes the retina black? It comes from absence; light rays entering the pupil are directly absorbed into tissues inside the eye. This creates a multiplicity, of inner reflection, leaving the center of the eye an abyss. The experience is given narrative in Frederik Pohl’s science fiction novel Gateway, in which a man abandons his lover in an event horizon, where time stops so he can escape with a wealth of alien artifacts—­and is haunted by the decision for life. The black hole at the center of the galaxy is a negative space sucking through momentum, a cosmic metaphor for those who dare to peer too far into the inner void.   This movement from outer absence to inner multiplicity reveals how the unreturned gaze drains the psyche of energy. So begins the sage of unrequited love. How could there not be a void once outer light is absorbed into multiplicity within?

Yet, there is a catch. The conscious surrender to the void cancels interaction by the Other. The inner journey renders all outer projections as mere substitutes for the authentic connection of the dark gaze. Lou Salome knew this innately when she wrote her poem, “To Sorrow,” addressing dark eyes in the abstract: Who can escape your grip…When your dark eyes confront one? I do not wish to flee when you seize me, I never shall believe that you only destroy.

            Creation and Destruction. From the innocence of your early experience with white tantra in aristocratic surroundings, you had to learn that life is not an encounter group. Being pulled into Vertumnus’ fragmented identities can be a one-way ticket to damnation. But you are a quick study of the occult path: the transformation of destruction into creation is the middle path, literally the spine with the ascending Pingala and descending Sashimi as the passage. Therein lies the irony; the only way through the Middle Path is the tension of opposites. This universal human contemporary condition presaged in the art world by Imponderabilia, the 1977 interactive performance with Marina Abramovic and her partner/astral twin, Ulay (they were born on the same day), standing naked in confrontation in a passageway confrontation with Other, leaving just barely enough space for the body of the observer/participant to pass through on its side. What gender do we face?

This space between the gender opposites is the domain of Eros. And, as we now from his mother, Venus, he makes boyish mischief by shooting his love arrows right through this interplay of darkness and light.

“What happens when we find ourselves in a place deprived of light? What is the darkness that we see then?” asks Giorgio Agamben. In the external view, this is the darkening of the external lights under an eclipse. But happens in the interior body? We make our own darkness, according to the philosopher:

 

Neuro-physiologists tell us that the absence of light activates a series of peripheral cells in the retina called “off-cells.” When activated, these cells produce a particular kind of vision that we call darkness. Darkness is not, therefore, a primitive notion (the simple absence of light, or something like non-vision) but rather the result of the activity of the “off-cells,” a product of your own retina.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • James Franco is staring back at you from the podium of the press conference on the second floor of the Hyatt Hotel on Marlene-Dietrich Platz in Berlin. The demented grin that you experienced yesterday through the playful smile captured in your Franco triple-tasking photo has gone. There is levity to his gaze. His stare doesn’t waver. For several moments you hold it.
  • The sexual tension that you had in your last public confrontation over the podium is gone. There is only the mutual darkness connecting you to one another in a crowded room.
  • You will be the first to break the connection, but only after body awareness: your participation in turning off his lights, the lights of the Francostein Monster of the era. Could this mean the end of a 30-month tightrope dance on the tension of oscillations, dedicated to defining the artist, emerging from under the after-postmodern fame “monster” via a liberated new being?   Does this mutual stare mean the deed is done? Is your mission now accomplished?
  • This mutual acknowledgment in the darkness of the gaze is what you hope is the conclusion to your journey of rushing to the horizon to meet James Franco, only to miss him time and again. And yes, the power of that stare catalyzed you into the proactivity demanded by the blank screen, the ignition of the “off-cells” by which Agamben defines the contemporary as proactive:

 

 

  • …if we now return to our thesis on the darkness of contemporariness, that to perceive the darkness is not a form of inertia or of passivity, but rather implies an activity and a singular ability. In our case, this ability amounts to a neutralization of the lights that come from the epoch in order to discover its obscurity, its special darkness, which is not, however, separable from those lights.

 

 

  • This special darkness that exists between the two of you, the artist and his critic, is inseparable—not only from his position in the limelight and your pursuit of it—but the times in which you are living. Caught on a high-tension wire between the postmodern epoch that he, the Francostein monster, has decimated with his fame vortex, and a new modernist epoch that you, through your proactivity arising from internal prompts, will usher into place. This is the high-wire tension wound between the active critical observer and the performer, whose “JUST DO IT!” motto guides him to choose movie roles inhabiting the “poet as contemporary.” An example from his more commercial fare in support of this: he mocks his own graphic artistry in This is the End, a pre-apocalyptic party scene held in his real life self-designed mansion, where intimacy is challenged by the curious open layout. Franco, playing himself, undone by his own narcissism, is drawn into the underworld, like Dumuzi, consort of the pre-patriarchal love goddess, Inanna.   Surely, in living out such an ancient/modern day mythology of the hieros gamos on camera (Tristan and Isolde), he has been trained to develop this process of replicating eyes designated with the void channeling the obscurity of the times.
  • Your opposition exists here in the press conference for Franco’s most recent film, Everything Will Be Fine, completed by the German auteur Wim Wenders just before the festival. With this fresh product of James Franco’s true artistry—marrying the actor to his roles to the disclosing of a contemporary myth—you are bound in this mutual experiment by a cosmic event just five weeks into the future. On March 20, 2015, there will occur a darkening of lights under a total solar eclipse on the Vernal Equinox. This zero point ironically signaled a prolonging of the night, through the earth’s shadow darkening the sun, heralding the dawn you have been predicting for decades. A dream will confirm that James Franco, whom you have not yet had the pleasure of meeting, has been an unwitting collaborator all along.
  • To absorb this moment you hold his gaze as long as possible. You have entered the shadow of his fame in the blackness of his gaze. Such fame would be too devastating for you to even imagine from your position holding up the underground in this Francostein age of transition. But not now. His dark gaze has you cornered and captivated, even though you rightly know that you are on the free side of the line; the luminaries on the Other side of the red ropes will be shepherded back into their schedule cages. Ahh, just to hold on! Just a little bit longer in the shadow, so the body may linger into its acceptance—nothing less is required than total and complete surrender.
  • And how you fought this! With body and soul you had no intention of living out such a fate as a public engagement with time itself. And yes, as Nietzsche knew, the darkening of the horizon lights must necessarily be expressed in images of the new dawn and their interpretation.   You fought and were flattened, fought and flattened, a fish on the deck, until there was no fight left in you. The paradox of your condition, what you didn’t realize then but understand perfectly now, is that the conscious act of surrender makes fate into destiny, just as the dissolution of particles makes a singularly defined existence into an incalculable wave.

This distinction between observer and observed, and therefore the artist and his critic, disappears on the subatomic level.   Time flows both forward and backward symmetrically; location becomes “nonlocality,” indeterminate, and “matter” is mostly empty space. What seems to be external is actually generated from within as consciousness.

Scientists now know that space isn’t empty; it is filled with dark energy, making up, with dark matter, 97 percent of the universe. Under this influence, you surrender to the quantum entanglement catalyzed by your flinging yourself out on a limb in film festivals across Europe. Yes, this is where you and Franco meet, in the zone of the boundary crossing where too few dare to travel without a passport. You have been mimicking Franco’s traversing from the art world to the film world and your unique passport provides a penetrating view into the substance lurking under the scream of materialist determinism defying the quantum leap. Your remarkable ability to conveniently keep Missing James Franco brings up the quandary of the critic in this time of the in-between: how to place a value on expression flaunting the notion of value itself? Was it the artist’s intention to ward off those whom judge only by account of his celebrity and refuse to plunge deeper—into the eye of his art?

Little did you know that diving so far down and then soaring out on an intellectual limb would require follow-up action! Ah, yes, you were aware that writing a generous review of Gay Town was a leap into entanglement with a cultural phenomenon, the pursuit a dangerous struggle to arrive at this crowning point, the Berlinale press conference, a perfectly safe place to extend time’s arrow already thrown, by the force of your inner critic, into quantum entanglement, the “Third” state where particles become waves and waves become particles. On 5 February when the Berlinale opens, you understand that you have arrived at a permeable border, the “no crossing” zone of the pressroom.   This is where you have public opportunity, recorded by video, to follow your professor Giorgio Agamben to “neutralize the lights that come from the epoch in order to discover its obscurity.”

The neutralization, or absence of light, that you see in the human happens to be a world famous actor separated from the demented grin of the Francostein Monster lording over the 24/7media. He elicits from separates and elicits from you a spontaneous emotion: sorrow. There is a deep feeling of loss. You began to miss the man whom you never met, because you instinctively know—now that you have seen his latest film just out of the editing room—you will never meet the creature you have been following. Rather, the day before, the 3D experience of Everything Will Be Fine flung you into the middle ground, where you never expected to meet him is the realm of Uncertainty, where a new archetype is born through the tension of opposites.

  • You will never meet because he has become too real to you now; the experiment is over when the press conference ends in a few minutes and you will be left alone. You have no entourage, no companion, just your pen to fill the void. The pursuit of the darkness he extends to you now thrusts you back into the past—your shared heritage.
  • The attraction of the dark gaze (like you, he is half Jewish) transports away from the art loose in the culture, or what is left of the culture, and thrusts you back to your rearing as the Aquarian child of a Scorpio psychologist intent on plummeting to the core of dark matter. This meant Dr. Harold Streitfeld was positioning himself at the forefront of the Human Potential Movement and, at the time of your first group encounter, becoming the first pop psychologist through a full page photo in Life and TV talk shows via the publication of his book, Growth Games: How to Tune in Yourself, Your family, Your friends. Years later, when you began to write your novels, his book serves as your bible of body awareness.
  • You once believed that by tending to your garden between your European pursuit of the multi-hyphenate of the era, you had escaped. Just as the movie star-turned-multi-hyphenate creator thinks that he can escape his early screen image as consort, you once believed that your semiotic grounding would bypass your early initiation into authentic public intercourse, a grooming for a future event recorded by a multitude of cameras. Not anymore. After writing about the quantum leap in art for over a decade in hundreds of reviews, Time’s Arrow has now transformed fate into destiny.   With your participation in the murder of the Francostein monster dancing on the high wire of oppositions (this will be enacted in your dream months later), you are now participant in an authentic irony catalyzing a new modernism entering the collective consciousness. You are now participating in the birth of the actor bearing a screen image of mythical import, Tristan, into a new public role of the contemporary, out of his own rebellious destruction of the image to which he is destined—that of consort?
  • This leap of the mind has a strange effect. The Franco tension that you had become accustomed is gone. You are fully absorbed in the gaze, which is itself a quantum leap into the future delivering you to a new understanding, a separate togetherness, which you describe in your critical writing as the Third space of quantum entanglement. With this mutual gaze, your identities have interchanged. This serendipity can only mean one thing: the multiplicity to follow. And to find it, we must rewind the tape to what got us here, on the fifth day of the Berlinale, and what carries us to the end.
  • DAY ONE: NOBODY WANTS THE NIGHT

            But what does it mean to “see an obscurity,” “to perceive the darkness”?

                        —Giorgio Agamben

  • Your passage to the 65th Berlinale begins, as all conversion experiences do, with a dream. It arrives a week after a complete surrender upon entering a new year, 2015, which promises to be the most significant of your life. The timing is triggered by the helical rise of Venus just days after your January birthday. This marks the closure of an eight-year cycle in which you closely tracked the ancient mythology of the two faces of Venus, as Morning and Evening Star, in connection with her myths of descent and rebirth:
  • Ninshubur went to Eridu and the temple of Enki.
  • When she entered the holy shrine,
  • She cried out:
  • “Oh Father Enki, do not let your daughter
  • Be put to death in the underworld.
  • Do not let your bright silver
  • Be covered with the dust of the underworld.
  • Do not let your precious lapis
  • Be broken into stone for the stoneworker
  • Do not let your fragrant boxwood
  • Be cut into wood for the woodworker.
  • Do not let the holy priestess of heaven
  • Be put to death in the underworld.”
  • Your dream is about the collapsing wave. You are searching and your friend is standing right under the wave, holding the very key you were seeking. This is the same friend who facilitated your new identity as spy in the house of cinema. He wants you to find the emerging Aquarian archetypes in the projective medium of film and provides the letter that gives you entry into the festivals.
  • You have lost contact with this man since leaving New York in the fall of 2011.   And there is something crucial about him that fosters your belief in the potency of the connection. There is no one on earth like him. He is the very embodiment of the archaic in a human person, a person so abstractly put together in sacred alignment that he claims a celestial origin. This impression is confirmed by studying his eyes; his irises change color, and not always simultaneously. You believe that your association with this person, who summoned you into his gallery in September 2008, makes you the ultimate contemporary capable of declaring what is truly modern for today. You are so convinced of this that you welcome his shifting your role as cultural interpreter away from art to cinema as a call to action.
  • It is armed with this irony—the figure pointing you to the archaic imbedded with his bloodline provides you with a front row seat—among those privileged to compile “indices and signatures” among the screen projections that you alone, as participant/observer in their public reception, are privileged to define as modern.
  • The name of this archaic contemporary figure is Hughes Payans.   Yes, that is right.   He is the direct descendant of the Founder of the Knights Templar, Hughes de Payans, and the only living being to be entitled the name.   You are busy adding up the phenomenology of the New Man in George Clooney’s filmography in 2011 when he sends you to the Venice Film Festival. You have attended three festivals since, all four with either James Franco or George Clooney projecting the lion’s share of star wattage within the medium defining the archetypes of the declining Piscean Age.
  • It is the first day of the 65. Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin, and you have been immersed in cinema for a month. The Saturday after New Year’s Day is when the Berlinale screenings begin at Cinemax X. You know this because at noon on January 3, you receive the email from Emilia, your Chilean friend: Wo bist du? You only learned about the pre-festival screenings towards the end of January last year, so you only caught a few in Berlinale 64, to your regret. As a diligent student of the Berlinale, you have now absorbed the lesson of 2014; the more you see in the pre-screenings, the more free time you have during the festival to go to press conferences.
  • The press conferences are so democratic in Berlin! There isn’t the restriction for the daily press there had been in Venice and you are told that Cannes has a full-scale hierarchy of press restrictions. The Berlinale, with its emphasis on quality and innovation, is a school. You are just beginning to learn about the filmmakers all over the world that are the Berlinale favorites. The Germans excel at systems, and with the Berlinale, they have created an efficient system of bringing talent into public prominence. The entry form is, appropriately, through experimental section, the Forum. The realm of greater coherence is Panorama. Finally, as their skills peak, filmmakers can graduate into the 20 films selected by the Festival Director, Dieter Kosslick, for the competition.   Ultimately, they hope to receive, as Wim Wenders does this year, a retrospective in their honor.

 

  • Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick presents the 65. Berlinale line-up to the press on January 27,2015.
  • Father Enki said:
  • “What has happened?
  • What has my daughter done?
  • Inanna, Queen of All the Lands! Holy Priestess of Heaven!
  • What has happened?
  • I am troubled. I am grieved.”
  • So, you make the trek daily, like a full-time job, through the whole of January…to the Panorama, Retrospective and Forum programs of the Berlinale at three different theater venues located in Potsdamer Platz. You are so happy to see Mahari on your first day of what will be a six-week immersion into film, watching at least three films a day, every day but Sunday, until the festival begins on February 5, when you will be watching from morning until midnight.

 

 

 

 

  • Mahari is your self-appointed Berlinale guide. He radiates beauty with his wide face and high cheekbones and aristocratic bearing. Born in Eritrea and bred in posh English boarding schools,
  • Mahari is a beacon of the cultivation of excellence from the past and future, iconoclastically disinterred in the present.   You have observed him remaining oblivious from the buzz, proud of not even reading the press notes or catalog description of the films, and responding only from an open heart. They love him in the pressroom. His heart takes him over the line where the rest of the press doesn’t even venture, greeting the stars like old friends before they exit through the side door and down the steps to the black cars thronged by fans outside.
  • Being a member of the press at any film festival is exciting because you are among the first to see a new work—the only people who have the opportunity to truly experience the film on its own merits, without being tainted by reviews. The Berlinale, with its daring artistic choices, is always guaranteed to be exciting.
  • In 2015, the anticipation is revved up to a high level. There is the buzz that the festival has entered the world cinema map because the Oscar nominations have been announced and there are two films that were given prizes at the 2014 Berlinale: Richard Linkletter’s Boyhood, and Budapest Hotel, which you adored, especially Tilda Swindon’s role as aged dowager reprising her coffin performance art.
  • This year is particularly exciting because the premiere opening the festival is by a woman director.   You learn at the Berlinale press conference on January 27 that Isabel Coixet is only the second woman director to be selected to open the Berlinale.   You also learn that the ubiquitous James Franco will make an appearance with his new triple play extending his narrative beyond the three films presented in the 2013 Berlinale. And yes, you hear his name on the roll call of attendees from the mouth of festival director Dieter Kosslick.
  • So, you think it is finally time. It is about to happen. You are to finally meet James Franco, only if the meeting is in a crowded room over a black microphone stamped with a white bear. There is nothing he can do about it, either, if you raise your hand and are called on by the moderator, and then direct your question to him.   A missed opportunity to meet the man publicly over a microphone that declined to meet you privately would feel like fate. You know, because it happened not once but twice with George Clooney. And so, you are prepared for this. You are perfectly aware that surrendering to the moment and calling on those “off-cells” is an act of destiny.
  • Does this count as a meeting, having the white bear on the microphone between your mouth and his? You ponder on this because you know that Mercury will be retrograde until the last day of the festival. Your history of meeting someone new when the planet that rules communication is retrograde is abysmal; they tend to disappear like in a dream…
  • Mercurius is a trickster and his capacity to make mischief of human interaction is greatest when retrograde. All it takes is being removed from your conscious mind, so you can experience the end of the six-week passage of descent and return begun around your birthday in a new place. The passage is decried not by you, of course, but the heavens. Your advantage is knowing how to read the planetary motions and their relationships, so you can be in the right place at the right time to be a filter.
  • You arrive early for the 10 a.m. opening press conference. Immediately, as you show your badge twice, once at the landing on top of the stairs of the Hyatt Hotel, where the press conferences of the day are announced on a large sign, and again at the door of the pressroom, you feel the excitement of seeing Mahari again. You always know where to find him. He always has the same seat, third row and about three in from the aisle. Mahari has showed you the ropes the last two years and you have been quickly immersed into the Berlinale culture through his guidance.
  • The magical three places you before the moderator. Third seat in and third row.   You do this a few times the first year without realizing how strategic of a position it is. The next year, you find yourself in that spot most of the time. This year, you plan to sit nowhere else, because you finally get it. Sitting in the hot seat before the moderator’s eye, you get them accustomed to your presence. By being called on, you are among the first to address a film, and you are also positioned so you can be first to greet the filmmaker and their team when they leave the stage. This means crossing the line from critic to fan, which comes with the opportunity for a personal congratulations and a photograph. You become initiated in his ritual by taking Hamari’s photo with the stars, and through his example, you treat them as humans struggling simply to make good art.
  • The irony is that these personal confrontations with the artists you write about is something you have expressively avoided for over a decade. The mindset of the newspaper reporter you carry with you, long after your beat disappears, is that there is no time for attachments and this lack of time for engagement is what maintains the integrity of your reviews.
  • Three, of course, is the number for convergence, the quantum entanglement that will define the 65th Berlinale as an Event.
  • But, this isn’t on your mind in the frenetic energy of opening day. You are already captured in the energy, which will be nonstop for the next eight days, up until the last day, Saturday, when the winners are announced and the closing press conference with the Bear winners will create the full circle, from anticipation to outcome. Being a member of the press at the Berlinale is to be enclosed in a hermetic world between the filmmakers and yourself, their first audience. You are seeing the film even before the participants see it for the first time in the evening gala premieres. And that is what is unspoken, but clear in the press room topography, is the divide between the collaborators on a film that sit on the podium and the members of the press that will be the first to write about it.
  • The strict division of opposites—the observer vs. the observed—is what makes for duality, but you are in search, as always, of crossing the divide. James Franco will be the icon of the Third. Starting out with the reputation as a math whiz, he entices you with number—teasing with his Mars game about the obsession with quantity that characterizes Web 2.0 and summing up technology in the American academy in a nutshell. He plays the game with an exhausting number project in the spring of 2014, challenging his 6.5 million Instagram followers to raise his popularity numbers, upping the ante with seductive photos of him alone in bed. This only serves to bring Web 2.0 to a peak from which it can only fall. But what is more, it highlights your feminine struggle over quality of number with the soul-diminishing and planetary destructiveness of the male adherence to number solely as quantity, making the determinism all the more futile—David vs. Goliath. Not to mention, the virtual cult of rationation that makes capitalism hum—the security implication of over-classification, bureaucratization, to parse out and pigeonhole, that is, to ration. Rationation leads to rationalization of the claustrophobic.
  • James doesn’t give an interview to the critic who understands him, but only has time for his millions of Instagram followers with whom he has to keep upping the ante—giving, giving, giving even when nothing is left. You get the message. He, too, is steeped in mathematics as you are in your occult practice; but, typically male, his focus on number is about quantity, amassing FB followers through one antic after another, the clown entertaining the masses like the slaves battling lions in the coliseum.
  • Yet, your diligence pays off. By the beginning of the end of your pursuit, you get your reward—your breakthrough into the Third, externally reflected when you embark on a journey through the burgeoning bitcoin movement in Berlin and meet the genius figurehead for Web 3.0, a gentle New Zealander creating the collaboration space successor to the binary Facebook, with its intrusive gatekeeping rank cutting into the one-too-many coin. You arrange to meet up again in the hip geek café before the departure of his flight to San Francisco. There you make your appeal to design his interface in the form of a spiral. In the meantime, your friend Dianne Bowen is lifting her spiral motif out into the streets of the East Village, creating murals in the cyclical geometry attuned to the seasonal cycles. It would be a few months before you are to watch James Franco making a spiral on his pancakes with syrup, giving you the opportunity to bring the meaning of the spiral and the cyclical into his masculine frame of reference.

            The cosmos determines the vertere, and this, you know, only comes with the proper cosmic alignments to your anti-vertex, the universal Aires Point (AP) marked by the zero degree position at the start of the zodiac. The Aries symbol is a shoot bursting from underground, the single seed exploding into binary.   This origin represents the two streams (nadi), the Ida on the left, representing the feminine (the moon), ending up in the left nostril, and Pingala on the right, the red channeling representing the masculine (the sun) ending up in the right nostril. But the Third realm in the center is the Sushumna, through which the kundalini shoots up the spinal column through the vertebrae into some kind of corporeal reflection of a heavenly ascent into neo-modernist icon. Not yet time for Vertumnus to enter the garden in the guise of someone else, offering an unexpected turn of fate. The Event began on February 10, 2013 when Dr. Francostein, a.k.a. Carter, reached over the divide to give you his email written on his placard. It was a celebration of a mutual Venus Return. So there, Marina!

With German precision, you have timed the U-Bahn ride as 25 minutes from your apartment in Schönhauser Allee, arriving early for the opening press conference of the jury headed by American auteur Darren Aronofsky.

 

  • The jury for the Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin (left to right): Bong Joon-ho, Martha De Laurentis, Matthew Weiner, Audrey Tautou, Jury President Darren Aronofsky, Claudia Llosa und Daniel Brühl.

 

  • You can hear the shouts of the photographers and see the action of the jury photo call on the monitor. As the photographers stand in the front row, they file into their seats. The spark igniting the magic of cinema is lit for another year. The global jury is a nice balance of filmmakers, actors and producers, with a blessedly equal gender distribution revealing the German dedication to fair play.
  • There is glamour along with rigor, genius and beauty, art and commerce. All together on the podium. There are many jokes about fighting over prize choices, and the friendly banter between them makes there spending nine days watching 19 films together seem like an exciting proposition.   The American filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, as the Aquarian jury head, makes for the perfect shaman parting the seas of a paradigm shift.
  • The opening film, Nobody Wants the Night, is a world premiere. You are stunned by the hyper feminine cinematic indulgence! Even the poster reveals the extremes of the new feminine archetype: elegant fashion on a dog sled! This seems to be an entirely new genre of feminine “descent and rebirth” created just for you! You immediately get what is driving the narrative: desire meeting an intentionally (?) over the top, even ludicrous, mythical tale of “the First Lady of the Arctic” to make her an explorer into a new realm—objectifying, by way of an igloo, the subjective descent of the feminine. In the film, Josephine Peary, the wife of the explorer Robert Peary, taunts the night by pursuing her husband to the North Pole just as winter is descending. You are thinking this is a magical sign, to have the privilege of being among the first to experience this film from a nation zooming way ahead of the rest of Europe in its progressive politics, about a woman‘s passion pushing her into the geographical outer limits as an outer reflection of the plummets of her desire.
  • You see the film in the afternoon press screening. The press conference immediately follows. You follow the flow from the theater to the pressroom, using the time to pick up the overall reaction.   You know the director is a woman, but you had no idea that her strong Aries personality will establish the irreverent and unpredictable character of the opening press conference, and therefore, the entire festival. Coming from a female auteur, this is the miracle of the 65. Berlinale!
  • Isabel Coixet waves away the gender issue, saying it bores her, but in response to your comment about her not wanting to discuss being the first woman director to open the Berlinale, she corrected you with a sassy tone that immediately endears you to her cause:   “Actually I’m the second and I hope I am not the last.”
  • Exasperated by the persistent raising of gender through raised hands, this one about how she has managed to continue making films as a woman, she declares: “Maybe I have a penis?” This off-hand comment is an astounding intervention of Mercurius, making a far more penetrating reference than the speaker intended. Your immediate thought is of the all-powerful pre-patriarchal Venus whose erotic power fused the gender opposites.
  • The Latin origin of Venus from the stem Vener, originally a neuter common noun meaning “physical desire, sexual appetite,” and therefore “qualities exciting desire, seductiveness, charm” and the Sanskrit vanaḥ, meaning desire, or wish, from venerate, which is to honour and venom, the serpent power made deadly. This bipolarity, the double helix serpent, is retained in contemporary culture with the symbol of healing known as the Caduceus on the medical badge. And isn’t this what got you on this passage—your dream of making out with George Clooney (Dr. Douglas Ross) while you were turning his medical badge up-side-down?
  • As a rare female auteur making one film after another, Coixet credits her ability to make one film after another to a horse wearing…she can’t think of the English word but indicates with her hands. “Blinders” comes the word. “Yes, blinders,” she says.
  • Here is something truly unique in our time. A seasoned Spanish auteur under the age of fifty tasked with shepherding Dumuzi, the divine consort, into the collective consciousness. As always, you have your agenda that comes with a checklist to announcing for your readers the epic works embodying the ever-present origin of the descent and return of the Goddess. Coixet doesn’t disappoint. Indeed, you are thrilled with the use of symbolism, placing each on your checklist. Check. Moon. Check. Passion. Check. Symbols of Transformation. Check. So thrilled are you in participating in this high profile historical drama of the archaic female myth of death and rebirth—you are ready to accept the illusion: that this is a true story of a real woman’s adventure into the unknown of the Arctic night. It only occurs later, when you hear other press reactions, that you must consider—in making the plot epic, and therefore so dedicated to the myth of descent and rebirth—the story itself is a farce! You consider the hateful reaction of the press is that the mythology of the female epic is so unfamiliar and therefore ahead of its time, and like you, a contemporary. This is something deeper and more significant than, say, Sigourney Weaver’s heroine Ellen Ripley; in the first of four Alien films, she sacrifices herself by means of Christian iconography; and by the third, resurrects herself as a loner compared to a female Beowulf in the third. No wonder why the press, in their state of bewilderment (Mercury is retrograde!) have a uniform response, it seems, of loathing. Like Kathryn Bigelow or Gale Anne Hurd, women directors can only hope to become accepted by the mass media, along with the rest of the system, if they produce material in a hyper-male format, rather than producing something on their own terms. A woman creating as a man is not a (r)evolution, but more likely a devolution!
  • A haughty woman willfully plunging into the Arctic at the onset of the descent of the sun? You want to scream: “Metaphor!” During the press conference, Mercurius moves your mouth to slip in this knowledge of the ancient myth of the descent and rebirth of…the female “lover.” Yes, the reference to Eros.   You don’t dare use the word “Goddess” in the packed opening press conference of the Berlinale! But Juliet Binoche reveals a flash of recognition.   And later she picks up on it, pointing out the outer layers of personality her character has to dispose of—throwing her silk cloak into the fire, along with the archeological artifacts of her husband’s stay in the cabin—in order to meet him in this Third space, the space of entanglement. First she has to embrace her primordial self, in the native woman that is her husband’s secret lover and pregnant with his child.   The ultimate descent is the image of the two feminine figures merging in the darkness where the Third is born into physicality as the child.
  • Many years ago, before the notion was in the heads of the gatekeepers, the epic narrative of death and resurrection was your contemporary story alone:
  • The Queen of the Underworld, is moaning
  • With the cries of a woman about to give birth.
  • No linen is spread over her body.
  • Her breasts are uncovered.
  • Her hair swirls around her head like leeks.
  • When she cried, “Oh! Oh! My inside!”
  • Cry also, “Oh! Oh! Your inside!”
  • When she cries, “Oh! Oh! Your outside!”
  • Cry also, “Oh! Oh! Your outside!”
  • The queen will be pleased.
  • She will offer you a gift.
  • Ask her only for the corpse hanging from the hook on the wall.
  • One of you will sprinkle the food of life on it.
  • The other will sprinkle the water of life.
  • Inanna will arise.
  • Except that instead of having your passion pull your sled to the North Pole, your desire pushes you south towards Antarctica. But you got stopped by a raging vortex on the banks of the Rio Plata:
  • Sparks fly. Sparks burst into flames. Buenos Aires is on fire. Flames consume the antique boats stranded in the muddy banks of the Rio Plata. Smoke veils the water, stinging my eyes. My spine tingles. A flaming arrow shoots through my torso.  
  • I am burning up!
  • The river churns below me, into a raging vortex. A demon rises from the depths. Its face…I would recognize it anywhere. Alejandro. The opaque stare giving away nothing, and yet the intensity that pulls me in. A beauty so fierce…and a smile so innocent.
  • “No!” I cry, stumbling backwards.
  • An ornate iron lamppost looms before me. I lean against it and face the wind, gasping for breath. Suddenly, I am flung out of my body, flying far above the tree-tops, out into space…higher and higher…
  • And just as abruptly, I fall.
  • There it is! The Vortex. You used that word way back when, in describing the shadow projection of the New (you weren’t steeped in Heidegger and his Dasein then) churning in the River of Plata, plata being the Spanish word for silver and Argentine slang for money.   This text came decades prior to your destined meeting with the multimedia artist Carter, whose historic experiment of the Aquarian Conversion created the phenomenon of James Franco. Carter, it occurred to you, was the Dr. Francostein referring to his monster as a vortex best avoiding in the pursuit of making art. He sends you images of his idiosyncratic drawing of wigs in the spring of 2013. These signifiers of the crashing wave become even more robust a year later. Our Aquarian vibration increased the frequency; the synchronicities happen so fast that the time between the waves collapses into particle.
  • Vortex entangles three of the four elements: water, air and fire. The dictionary definition of vortex relays this lack of earth: 1) state of affairs likened to a whirlpool for violent activity, irresistible force. 2) Something regarded as drawing into its powerful current everything that surrounds it.
  • You were, right then and there, at the age of 28, summing up your life journey in your first novel. Your heroine thought she was just searching for a particular man. Ha! She was searching for her contemporary.   No one at the time understood her passion, or yours for that matter, to transcend the vortex to uncover the Dasein through the raging waters.
  • The reality is, she had come to face the darkly churning shadow of the age, which had not a name, but an archaic vision of the serpent power passing through the body, as above and below:
  • The kurgarra and the gelatur heeded Enki’s
  • They set out for the underworld.
  • Like flies, they slipped through the cracks of the gates.
  • They entered the throne room of the Queen of the Underworld.
  • No linen was spread over her body.
  • Her breasts were uncovered.
  • Her hair swirled around her head like leeks.
  • Ereskigal was moaning:
  • “Oh! Oh! My inside!”
  • They moaned.
  • “Oh! Oh! Your inside!”
  • She moaned.
  • “Ohhhh! Oh! My outside!”
  • They moaned.
  • “Ohhh! Oh! Your outside!”
  • She groaned:
  • “Oh! Oh! My belly!”
  • They groaned:
  • “Oh! Oh! Your belly!”
  • She groaned:
  • “Oh! Ohhhhh! My back!”
  • They groaned:
  • “Oh! Ohhh! Your back!”
  • She sighed:
  • “Ah! My heart!”
  • They sighed:
  • “Ah! Your heart!”
  • She sighed:
  • “Ahh! My liver!”
  • They sighed:
  • “Ahh! Your liver!”
  • Inside/Outside.   There is beauty in the center of the cyclone; the danger on the outside is the centrifugal force pulling the psyche towards its hallowed center where the pressure is most intense. The contemporary can’t help but be attracted to this invitation to descend into the archaic myth, yet risks destruction simply by moving towards it.
  • Entering the vortex means being drawn so far inward that any sense of the outward is extinguished. The punishment for trespassing into this realm of uncertainty is a loss of personal center. There is no evolution, and therefore no resolution. No joy, only pain.   Like a hurricane or volcano or fire, there is only rampant destruction.   Unless, of course, the whirlpool can be managed through a deeply-sourced creativity in which the narrative is interprets the dream, and vice-versa. This much you have foreseen in the writing of your first novel.
  • What you dreaded was the time it was going to take to have this vortex reach the vertex! You reference the Antikythera mechanism here, initially pointed out to you by Carter, the Aquarian artist who directed Franco into an AHA! Moment you have been diligently pursuing for over two years, and you have become so intimate with the process that you now lovingly refer to him as Dr. Francostein. Cut to the future; the zero point arrives in the eclipse falling on the Vernal Equinox around a month after the festival. You are relieved that you didn’t research the timing in advance. If you had, the very spontaneity of the multiplicity and serendipity surrounding the descent into desire could have been easily ruined by self-conscious expectations.
  • Champagne Tango. A love of opposites. Your first novel was a plunge into the night in search of the Dasein and met only with the vortex threatening to throw you off course. It would take precisely 29 years from the start of your journey (the 1984 descent of Venus) to arrive at the place—calculated through dreams, astrology charts and the magic of everyday experience—to connect with the Dasein, and more crucially, reach a point of comprehension where you could write about it.
  • Topographically, you plunged into the culo del mundo as the occupants of Argentina can contritely refer to their geography. But in heading to the South Pole, you were pushing into the psychic terrain of the archaic.   The obsession with the Argentine, who was actually a New York Jew, with a birthday, yes, the very same day as James Franco, hovering on the cusp between Aries and Taurus.   The 19th of April.
  • The devastating looks, the black eyes that pull you in…it is highly Erotic, even to your critical facility, this tension of opposites that makes Franco’s on-screen presence a challenge for detachment.   Two years have passed now since the spark was ignited and so much has happened! Mostly, you have watched his early films, tracing the trajectory to the leading man and then his refuting it through a choice role as a stoner (quite an acting feat considering he claims to never get stoned) in Pineapple Express.   What pulled you into the enigma was his scorching role as a drug addict playing Robert DeNiro’s wayward son in House by the Sea. And so, Dr. Francostein’s gift—the archeology of his Aquarian shadow abject—has made you breathe Franco at every turn, thereby turning him into a probable prototype of the Übermensch, the topic of your dissertation.
  • Ereskigal stopped.
  • She looked at them.
  • She asked:
  • “Who are you,
  • Moaning and groaning and sighing with me
  • If you are gods, I will bless you.
  • If you are mortals, I will give you a gift.
  • I will give you the water-gift, the river in its fullness.”
  • The kurgarra and galatur answered:
  • “We do not wish it.”
  • Ereshkigal said:
  • “I will give you the grain-gift, the fields in harvest.”

  • The kugarra and galatur said:
  • “We do not wish it.”

  • Ereshkigal said:
  • “Speak then! What do you wish?”
  • They answered:
  • “We wish only the corpse that hangs from the hook on the wall.”

  • Ereskigal said:
  • “The corpse belongs to Inanna.”
  • They said:
  • “Whether it belongs to our queen,
  • Whether it belongs to our king,
  • That is what we wish.”
  • And finally, you are ready!   You are prepared. You have a new image. When you look in the mirror now you see Renfreu.   Renfreu was a real person you dreamed up as a critic attending press briefings in Manhattan as the terrain was becoming more unbearably corporate by the day. You meet over a teabag at the Museum of Modern Art.   It is the last Earl Grey and you reach for it at the same time. You immediately bond with her, the sardonic critic opposed to your passionate love over anything and anyone who seemed to be offering something new in the dying epoch. A film critic who married a titled aristocrat and wrote the definitive book on The Living Theater.   Rail thin and elegant with a halo of red curls, she had been an Yves. St. Laurent model and you would meet at museum press previews and she would take you to movie screenings.
  • At the turn of the millennium, Renfreu is your prototype for the Dasein emerging in spring, the very definition of her name. In fact, your new hairdo is a happy accident of a year of attempting to go Rasta in Berlin getting three huge clumps on the back of your head that feel like cancerous growths. You cut them off during the World Cup, leaving your head shorn underneath the outer layer of hair.   It doesn’t look much different, as you have hair to spare. You brazenly walk into Mod Salon and are given to Tom, a rare Berlin black hipster who immediately knows what to do. He gives you the Renfreu French style bob. It is an entirely new look for you and how thrilled you are to have it. But when you return for a trim, Tom has disappeared. So, you decide to go to Hair Workshop and for 13 euros, Alicia prepares you for your alchemy, the application of henna.   This is the materialism to where nearly thirty years of devotedly working with the elements in a conscious manner has evolved, to creating magical hues on your head by mixing henna colors intuitively with the vibration of your emergence, which is progressing daily with the escalation in natural levels of collagen filling your face into a beaming Aquarian sun.
  • You are running out of the golden sunset color purchased in America when you were pursuing James Franco. Now, it is mostly the hue of copper, Aphrodite’s metal. The alchemist metal for Venus is reflected in the use of polished copper for mirrors. Thus, Venus is the mirror and you have your spring image of emergence for the 65th You are radiant in your grey silk jumper with a bunched hem and your Lady J, designer of the rock stars hot pink ruffled Edwardian blouse over it.   The idea is to be ready for anything. You can go to a gala in this, if you are invited. But of course you aren’t.
  • The entrance into Hollywood of the star of Nobody Wants the Night you know intimately, as your sister was her first Hollywood agent.   You accompanied your sister to see Juliette Binoche’s breakout French film where she dared to perform naked. Not just without clothing but without makeup, and with her head shorn of hair! That was an early indication, hailed by your sister upon leaving the theater “no makeup” of this becoming the actress to perform the rites of the ancient mythology of the descent of Venus. What truly excites you is what other members of the press aren’t likely to know; she evokes the body consciousness of the myth without indicating she knows anything about it. And she is continuing to enact the myth while stripping herself down emotionally, instructing the press on feminine wisdom even as she displays it in her comments: “Josephine is actually descending, getting rid of her powers to become a more human person.” This human intelligence she brings to the Inanna archetype, who must give something of herself at each of the seven gates on her descent into hell, in order be emptied for the death, and resurrect into a new archetype, retrieving the items on the return.

The corpse was given to them.

The Kurgarra sprinkled the food of life on the corpse

The talatur sprinkled the water of life on the corpus

Inanna arose.

  • “No one wants the night but we have to…” says Juliette and you stand there nodding in absolute agreement, as if she is only speaking to you, which she likely is, thereby proving, once again, your theory of the uncertainty principle and how a critical consciousness demonstrates that the future determines the past, as is now being proven in scientific laboratories. This means that an acute and penetrating consciousness expressed by a critic voice about a work of art determines the past value of the work from the quantum leap into the future, understanding the value of the art in the culture that is only newly emerging. To make this crucial leap as a practice, revealed in this text, means bringing the future to the doorstep of the present.
  • “…that is how we survive.”   The ancient bipolar Venus is the Inanna archetype, the self-made, self-proclaimed Queen of Heaven and Earth, a woman forced to erotically integrate the sexual polarities from the electro-magnetic force of passion worth risking life itself to connect with the Beloved.   “I had the image of her starting out as a peacock and ending as a dog,” the actress says.
  • When Josephine arrives in the frontier settlement with her trunks filled with Boston finery, she is told that it is too late to find her husband on the North Pole. It is too close to winter; she will never make it through the bitter cold of the endless night. She is haughty, headstrong and drunk on power that is projected, not her own. The man who she is determined to accompany her on this death march, the man capable of serving as a foil for her passion, is Gabriel Byrne. The actor does as well as he can as the rugged individualist that, in a more conventional film, would overcome the female through his own sexual desire. It seems to be a joke when he literally is iced out of the narrative, by falling through the ice, leaving the raging woman in heat with nothing to hit against but the arctic wind. She pushes on alone with the guide and the dogs.   Miraculously—this is a myth after all—she gets to the wooden cabin that serves as the border between the day and the endless Arctic night and calls out Robert’s name. He isn’t there. She is told by the departing occupants to return before the endless black sets in. The guide prepares the return, insisting she get on the sled. But she refuses. She stays there alone, awaiting the eternal night.   Then, against belief, she discovers there is someone with her. It is an Inuit woman, Allaka, valiantly played by the Japanese star Rinko Kikuchi. The two women are alone, but together. Allaka is an innocent, like a child. Her native communal living means that she doesn’t understand ownership. So, she reveals that she too is waiting for Robert, and is, in fact, expecting his child. Josephine is devastated to be confronted with this deception. Her bubble bursts. The inflated belief that her husband pines for her just as she pines for him has burst.
  • Aha!   How rarely we see this moment of awakening in a female character!   Films, of course, are generally made by men…why would a male director even think of depicting the very innocence at the core of such an illusion?   But you know this feeling intimately, in life and in your characters, and the rejection of the publishing world of the women’s perspective of desire only compounds the wound. The night that no one wants is the darkness in the lover’s eyes when their aperture is shut.
  • I am sitting in Spring Street Café on the edge of Little Italy. Alejandro is playing a flute he brought back from the Andes. The music, or maybe his beauty, sends my spirit soaring over the clouds.
  • “I want you!” I cry, as I reach across the table to grab his arm.
  • He pulls away and shakes his head. “I’m sorry, Laura,” he says, in a slow, careful voice. “You can’t have me.”
  • I retreat, whimpering like a hurt puppy as I sink back in my chair. “You told me you got over her. You said she was just an illusion!”
  • He clenches his jaw, holding in the tension. I struggle to resist the urge…
  • “I just told you. We can’t see each other anymore.”
  • “But why?”
  • “I want to be alone,” he replies through clenched teeth.
  • I lean forward now, thinking seduction might be a more effective way of tearing down the invisible wall between us… a wall made of steel. “What’s wrong, babe? You had a bad day?”
  • “Yes, as a matter of fact I did. I had a miserable week. I need to escape…I’m taking off on my boat this weekend.”
  • My face falls into my lap. “Again? I thought we were going to play this weekend. I want to dance the samba.”
  • He shakes his head. No, I’m not imagining things. The cruel, smug grin has returned. How he delights in tormenting me!
  • “The salsa? No…how about the tango? You promised to dance the tango with me….I heard about a new…”
  • He pulls in his breath and sets his jaw, more tightly this time. “Lisa, I don’t have the same feelings for you that you have for me…”
  • “I…I…I have to go now…,” is my feeble reply.
  • I gasp, distracted by a gust of wind that blows open the door of the café and billows my white linen dress. I shiver and gather the fabric around my legs as I leap up to make my escape.
  • My wine glass falls from the table. I look down, horrified by the splotches of red all over me, like blood seeping from tiny wounds.
  • The tears of my desire. Exposed…
  • “Do you hate me now,” he asks.
  • Josephine wails in agony. This is Inanna trapped in the underworld by the jealous and vengeful Dark Sister, a tragedy the Love Goddess brings onto herself in her relentless pursuit of consummating her desire for her disappeared Beloved. But this is also the mythology of what is projected down from heavens, the descent of Venus to the horizon and below, into underworld exile, where she has to confront her shadow, the evil sister, Ereskigal.
  • Josephine’s projection forces naïve native woman into the role, punishing Allaka for taking her place in Peary’s bed, the very bed in which she is sleeping, by reducing her to a servant.   The white woman instructs her native companion on the ways of capitalist ownership. “This is my house, “ she says drawing the boundary with the sternness of voice, echoing refrain of colonials conquering the land that was once shared by all. She refuses to wear the native clothing made of animal skins, eat the native food. But then, her supplies are gone and she descends into the abyss.
  • This is what it takes to destroy the ego’s illusion of separation. Once the sun “goes away” and the night descends on the two women, the realism in which the film began is tossed by the wayside, descending into the molten eternally rotating Kundalini in the earth’s core, as one item after another of Josephine’s identity is thrown into the fire for kindling. The details in this rendering of the descent of the Goddess myth are new to the screen; one item of identity after another has to be given up, marking the passage through the gate. This was the myth created for the image of the boat of the crescent Moon each month cradling Venus as the brightest star ascending in the heavens after her underworld descent.
  • Female stories in big budget films are typically written by men; in fact, you will be surprised to discover the screenplay was written by a man and the female director changed the woman’s narrator voice over to a man. And too, we have something entirely new in art. The notion of the woman’s capacity to endure through her passion, the Kundalini that keeps her body alive in the arctic cold.
  • It is your own Kundalini awakening that had you in thrall to the Argentine who denied you.   And it was James Franco’s face, his Gay Town self-portraits as consort propelling you right back to into your voyage into the night.
  • The eclipse cycle repeats itself every 19 years…and here we are. The comparison is uncanny, the figure of a new generation born under the lucky star of 19-20 April bestowing talent, grace and beauty. This division between constellations is as stark as the Knight (Aries) and the Lover (Taurus), the courtly lovers resurrected by Nietzsche in his declaration of the death of the Christian god. With his frenetic paintbrush, Franco delineated the gray zone with his two key paintings, of his two most decried films, Tristan and Isolde and Your Highness. You attempted to paint the division, which is between the most aggressive of the male and the most gentle of the female, with words for an earlier generation:
  • “You say you want to be alone but I don’t believe it. Not for a minute!” She puts out her cigarette and folds her arms across her chest. Reading her expression, I know I have been tried and already found guilty.
  • “As far as I can see…you want a man who looks gay but isn’t gay, who is intellectual yet passionate, beautiful but not narcissistic, who has style but isn’t superficial, who appears to be poor but has money and thenof coursehe has to be responsible because you don’t want to take responsibility for anyone but yourself!”
  • I nod. “Someone like me…,” I mumble, in a voice I don’t intend for her to hear.
  • In publishing this excerpt of your novel Champagne Tango in your Gay Town review, you are mirroring your subject’s smashing of disciplinary borders. Your interpretation of the very crucial nature of his boundary smashing gives you license to create a Venus mirror, traversing between your literary art and your criticism in the space of a single review. You are quite proud of yourself for having struggled for so long to enter this position of freedom. As a blogger recruited as critic for Huffington Post Arts, you are generally, but not always, free to write what you please, as you will find out when you attempt to publish a piece entitled James Franco’s Unstoppable Sperm condemning the lack of value within the very ferocity of his expression, predicting a James Dean-style crash, which mercifully, came at no harm to the body, if not the soul.
  • You traveled a long and difficult road in which you made no compromises. On this first day of 65. Berlinale, in the opening review that you run home to write, you are forced to realize that your compulsion to live the story of a woman propelled to the end of the world by her desire was just too much ahead of its time.
  • And what a painful realization is this!   To have your manuscript turned down in the eighties, published by a friend in the nineties, never reviewed and barely read. There was wisdom to be gained by the experience; creating a female protagonist fueled by her own desire was dangerous to the established order.
  • There really was no future in writing about passion from a feminine perspective. For thirty years, all you had to look forward to was a step-by-step professional suicide, in cyclical timing with the ups and down of the Venus cycle. Women are jealous of your creations and men only feel deficient in the face of their power, as a rare honest man working with you at the psychic hotline remarked: “I could never be this man!”
  • This man…whom now you see revived in a new generation, is afforded by digital technology to be the warrior sword flattening the gate between artistic mediums of expression. You perceived this in Daniel, your original muse (serendipitously the name of the character James Franco plays in his breakout role in Freaks and Geeks) who was always traversing between disciplines: writing his novels, making films, taking up drums. He would call himself a dilettante and laugh at your buckling up against his financial freedom when you had to suppress your creative instincts in order to earn a living. Daniel was born too soon, as he didn’t have the youthful exuberance in timing with the rise of Web 2.0, which allows for starts of creative projections without completions within the context of such multitude mirroring across the social network.
  • James Franco mirrors the duality of Web 2.0 in his energetic build up of numbers made into a public contest with his score of Instagram followers under the Aries eclipse in 2014. In daring them to uptick him from 7.1 (give or take a few million) in exchange for his own escalation.   Alas, you are not contributing to this display of deterministic accounting ruining the culture. Instead, you present a new face to him, the quality of the number ONE, meaning the ONE critic who truly understands his creative strategy. You glumly think that this must be the reason why he only sends you the occasional smoke signal in return to your emails, if anything at all.
  • But you get ahead of yourself here.   Your passions in regards to James Franco’s canary in the coal mine of the corporate controlled celebrity dominated 24/7 media culture is having him show you the boundaries by which Web 2.0 can magically transform into Web 3.0 as a quantum leap, which you have already identified as the Third space between opposites. Your assessment of the autonomy of number balancing the quantitative competitive of his Mars nature with the qualitative value assessment of Venus is that he, like you, is on a life path of the three. Thus, the numerological balance comes with simple math: three plus three equals six, the number of hieros gamos. It is your intent to play his game until the ideal conditions are right for the leap into the six, which automatically brings the appreciation of the qualitative, which is Venus.
  • The two-way exchange of the Web 2.0 social network will one day be seen as a pointless distraction from the authentic work of going inward. The externalization of desire stems from ego identification, and that is just the way the Kulture Industrie likes it. The greater the ego, the higher the sales, or rather the more infrangible it becomes under the influence.
  • Yet, all the Franco Web 2.0 games identifying himself as the icon of the after-postmodern are forgiven, along with the struggles of gaining his audience, when you discover his value packed video in Gay Town where two bodies, the masculine and the feminine, form into one. The illusive Venusian treasure in a show crammed with images provides you with the gap to excerpt your own literature in your review. This is the manner that Venus hides shrouded by an opaque layer of highly reflective clouds of sulfuric acid, preventing its surface from being seen from space in visible light.”
  • This archeology of an eye is a creative leap, even for yourself who thrives on unexpected associations between texts and images. Yet, it is an honest attribution, an original means of defining the “yet to be defined” (you don’t even know about the after-postmodern label at the time), but also slyly alerting your readers, all three of them, about how prescient you are with your first novel. In any case, this quantum act of entanglement propels you through the two-year passage of rushing to the horizon to miss your meeting with destiny— from the 63rd to the 65th Berlinale, a rite of initiation taking you from Berlin to Copenhagen to Venice, New York and the Alps and back to Berlin.
  • You have every right to be exhausted. You never thought you would live through the first cycle 19 years ago, and now you are immersed in a new one, with a new Muse born on the same day! As incredible as it seems, you have now revealed how much logic this makes in terms of numbers.   Endurance is stamped in your birth chart. And how great to finally receive the signs that you will make it!
  • For all your efforts to arrive on time with the cosmic penetration into your own personal horizon (the solar eclipse between your Moon and your zero Aires Rising), you never could have perceived how energizing it would be to arrive under the collapsing wave, which is nothing like the fear of being pulled into the Francostein vortex. In fact, you are loving the surf! After the press conference, you go to Kuferstamdamn to purchase a new Coco Rouge lipstick and, lo! You find the perfect ankle boots of faux serpent skin on sale for 50 Euro.
  • The thrill of a material find to add to your image is so energizing! You arrive home to discover you have a uniform in the tone of the Love Goddess evoked at the press conference that day in all but name.   Venus ruled by copper. Your Lady J. rock star coat with the peace buttons is bronze (your Peace wardrobe is another synchronicity, as this is how James Franco signs off his emails). It perfectly matches your new ankle boots. Now you know what you will wear tomorrow! The rock star bronze coat is made for California’s Mediterranean climate, but you will wear your Australian sheepherders coat over it and check it for the day so you can wander about in shimmering bronze in your suede chocolate brown boots. You need sensible shoes. You are not going to risk not getting into the first press conference with James Franco tomorrow if you don’t perform your trick of sitting where you can make an early escape, then running out the side door and around the theater and into the front door of the Hyatt and through the lobby and up the stairs.   All along propelled by the fear of being found out and trapped by the outer doors…below:
  • I dream that I am being pushed downward. Through a crumbling labyrinth of Buenos Aires streets. Below are the pampas, stretching flat and monotonous across the endless horizon. The infinite space is bewildering. I fear drowning in the desolation. At long last…there is nothing, no one, to save my life. Through the prickly bushes, I stroll…to the edge of a cliff. I peer down at the abyss below. Just one step moreand lookAlejandro is beckoning me there…descending to where there might not be an escape. It is a necessary risk, and you are never one to shy from the danger.   You know the day will come when your secret route is discovered and the exit will be locked and you will be trapped…

 

  • No one wants the night…but the artist!
  • You gaze at yourself in the mirror, the copper Durga coat with the hot faux serpent ankle boots that match. Yes, James will like this, you think. He will appreciate your Peace buttons because that is his signature motif in signing off his emails. Peace. Yes, you have your email exchange as rock solid proof that your quantum experiment with him isn’t merely a delusion.
  • He is the champion of selfies and, during the course of your pursuit, you send him a missive of your holding your peace pendent over your face from your refuge in the Ritz Hotel on Park Avenue.   Now you realize a self-portrait in the silver jacket with glittering peace buttons beside the large archaic looking vases in the gilded lobby of the Ritz is prescient. In your message to your muse, you have created a new image out of the tension of gender opposites. It isn’t the balance carefully weighing the oppositions, which happens to be the sign of Venus. This image is of the Third.
  • The Tertium Quid is the new identity you entered under the September 2014 eclipse when you declared a surprise EVENT led by the world philosopher of the Event, Alain Badiou, and the outright declaration of the Third space of entanglement by leading lights of metaphysics (Graham Harmon), political science (Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri) and Media (Geert Lovink) in Wolfgang Schirmacher’s laboratory of continental philosophy known as the European Graduate School in the Swiss Alps.
  • Could you also declare an Event for 65. Berlinale, thereby proving right Badiou’s insisting in your seminar of the multiplicity related to the first? And now you finally understand this about multiplicity because the very person with the consciousness of the primary Event has the authority to declare a second, and the rest will one day be on the historical record. You already dared to rope all these lights of multiple disciplines into a movement, why not the arts to follow? Would you dare?
  • The fantastic thing about your ability to switch orientation along with identities is this: on the first day of the Berlinale, you are too busy to contemplate the philosophical implications of your actions.   You have entered the James Franco mode of “JUST DO IT!” You have been waiting so long for the wave to collapse again, after your joyride in the sixties with your enigmatic father.
  • And now, it is again your time and you are ready! You have the only surfboard you need (your affiliation with the Huffington Post) which has gotten you the press pass, if not the authority to declare the affiliation in public (thus, the necessity of being a spy and feeling like you are getting away with something). Now you can clearly see that the surf is up and you are already riding it!
  • There is nothing else left to do! All the books you have in you, your mountain of manuscripts awaiting a publisher, have been written; this is all that remains is your depositing yourself into the current. Do you really have to return to Cyprus to complete the text, so you can personally embody Aphrodite rising from the half shell in timing for the eclipse on the crucial Aires Point of the Vernal Equinox?
  • This sends your interior DNA spiraling from within without!   Your talent for the projection of a strong self-image allows you to finally ride the crest that your instincts reveal must be breaking…the quantum wave that you anticipated two years ago with your writing on the James Franco phenomenon.
  • Once the key has been given, the doors of perception are opened. Becoming aware of magical associations leads to more magic. Following the trail is about paradigm shifting from the deterministic linear world-view. Beginning with the name Franco. You launched your five-chapter installation The Alchemy of Love with a priestess on 20 January 2007.   This magic drew in a partner; his last name was Franco, and you newly anointed him FRANCO.   This, like your befriending the Cuban artist Rafael Serrano years before you would be drawn into the orbit of the far more famous Andres Serrano. The universe always gives signs of the future; you just have to learn to penetrate below the surface of life to find them. A message so powerful that it can’t be misread; your only male collaborator for the year-long performance in The Alchemy of Love was named FRANCO and it ended in destruction. You found out the hard way why artists just emulate the occult through illuminati imagery, rather than embarking on an authentic inner passage into the alchemical composition of matter. The creative power that is unleashed contains the seeds of its own destruction, thereby demanding an allegiance to the cyclical, the life/death/rebirth cycle the ancients worshipped through Venus; and this condition the contemporary faces set against decay of today’s society attempting to remedy this erotic force with a pill!
  • It takes 243 Earth days for Venus to rotate once on its axis. The planet’s orbit around the Sun is 225 Earth days compared to the Earth’s 365. By the time you get to Water, you attract the artist you will anoint FRANCO. This is your gift to him, the release from two names to adopt a one-name celebrity. That is how he appears on the press release: FRANCO. Now you have to wonder…was this all about you entering the spirit of Carter’s Aquarian experiment even when it was still a kernel in his imagination? What does this particular quantum reality of the past determined from the future have to say about a new marriage between quantum physics and art? This is a de facto demonstration of conversion, rather than just an illustration, say by painting a picture of new kind of male collaborator and calling him FRANCO, but the proof is in acausality of the result—your pursuit of the Unicorn with the same name.   How can this be anything else but prophetic?

Paris, the fall of 2008: The ontology of the Aquarian DASEIN comes into play.

 

  • Thirteen months after your collaboration with the artist you anointed FRANCO, James Franco entered Leg Opens Door at Yves Lambert Gallery in Paris, to be directed in Carter’s art film, Erased James Franco.   Shortly after, the actor had his epiphany. You don’t know if it is related to Carter’s suggestion that he appear on a soap opera, but James Franco became a huge hit as a murderous performance artist on the longest running TV soap, General Hospital. Publicly, he was proclaiming to collapse boundaries between high and low art, but it was an enigma to critics why a leading actor would seem to digress into selling soaps. Usually the crossroads for yesterday’s movie stars and tomorrow’s up and comers, Franco’s immediate presence on the longest running U.S. General Hospital at the peak of his career is transgressive (What he is really saying is “I’ll do whatever I damn well want to do,” including putting his own mother on the show to up the ante on the meta real that raison d’etre of his life). Rather than just being a short stint, it lasted two years, thereby establishing himself as a pop culture sensation shattering the hierarchy between television soap star, movie star and art star—by way of the finale of the soap being filmed in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (marking a low point in the culture, sending the director Jeffrey Deitch on a celebrity-laden track that got him deposed from his position).
  • It is curious to wonder whether the phenomenon whom went from selling soap to selling the Gucci image would be defined as contemporary in the highly androgynous Übermensch style statement made by the new Gucci director, Alessandro Michele, in his inaugural show of the 2015-16 women’s collection. Participants found pieces of paper with Agamben’s statement of the contemporary on their seats. It wasn’t just coincidence that Giorgio Agamben was professor when you arrived in the Saas Fee laboratory in 2012.
  • Nobody wants the night, indeed! Nobody but the theorist who transformed into philosopher while contemplating the contemporary through a privileged inside view of the your personal 2008 FRANCO experiment, as the only forewarning (albeit a pretty huge one) of your future pursuit of James Franco. Your own creation of a Francostein Monster was fairly devastating: when you gave him the cold eye, he threatened to send his Mafia friends to cut off your legs so you could “swim with the fishes.” That this deadly exchange took place during the plunge of your Solutio: Water performance served to condition you for the absorption of the “leg opens door” ontology. This was confirmed by Carter’s surprise gift of two invitation cards in an envelope—that you didn’t discover until the end of the journey.
  • The Francostein Fame Monster arises from a multimedia performance in which James Franco would erase himself by re-enacting, by fifty percent, his film roles. The title of this art film is a takeoff on Rauschenberg’s famous work that literally erased a de Kooning drawing, to the fury of the artist renowned for figuration. By erasing the past to create an empty space, the Third space is created…
  • And this is precisely what transpired. James Franco made his metamorphosis into monster by way of his epiphany. What was it? For two years, you have been doggedly attempting to gain an audience to find out about this conversion. In the process, the monster transforms into the unobtainable Unicorn, pursued by the maiden whose lap would curtail his flight.
  • Your ambition from the start was to perform an intervention on Carter’s experiment by stating your intention to curate a follow-up performance. It wasn’t yet clear in your mind that establishing this intention would be enough to set the ground for the quantum leap out of the post-modern into a new modernism. But there didn’t seem to be another passage provided for you.
  • So you took it. But what happens is that your attachment to the idea and subsequent death of desire becomes your own quantum leap. You had to believe it would really happen, of course, for the intention to be effective. You imagined it something like this: the underground curator/critic is suddenly flung into overnight recognition (oh, those 7.5 million Instagram followers!) through a (r)evolutionary exchange of energies in the new public art performance as quantum entanglement, wave interchanging with particle and particle interchanging with wave whereas even you couldn’t tell them apart.
  • What a relief to discover that such tremendous effort isn’t truly necessary. Carter’s painting provides a full vision of this quantum collapse, a future manifested in the past, which determines anew through your quantum insights. And why it not have been so easy?
  • And why not, given how in the two years since James Franco learned of your consciousness by reading your review (the gallery provided the feedback loop), he had crossed even more boundaries—into publishing poetry and writing theatrical reviews? It is your fate after all, to operate within the tension of opposites; why not make it your destiny to intervene into his multi-hyphenate realm? At worst you fail, and at best, you claim that realm for yourself, in the Francostein image!
  • This must be why everyone laughs at the mere prospect of your intervention into the Francostein Monster. Yet, in the quantum world, your mere intention to intervene transformed the Unicorn into Minotaur lost in The Labyrinth (a 2015 film title in which he is narrator) with the newly emerging man (Theseus) requiring the threads of your Ariadne insight to get out of the celebrity vortex. How revolutionary is that?
  • You are no longer Ariadne but Theseus and Ariadne combined, the sphinx with the body of a lion and the head with a lady reflecting the passage of the all-powerful Regulus from Leo to Virgo. You think this is the sharpest weapon (your pen!) of the feminine wisdom, to catch the opponent by surprise. He would least expect it from a female!
  • Ultimately, you aim to prove to the world that being famously unfamous has a longer shelf life than the merely famous under Web 2.0. In fact, your stature as famously infamous makes you the true progenitor of 3.0!   But what about the NOW??!! You want only to ascend to his level of recognition without having to work the network!
  • What new myth might this be for a woman to take on? Your star-casters refer you to watch for the Venus retrograde station in the Summer of 2015, while passing through Ursa Major, the Great Bear, which makes your treatise on the Bear-baring Berlinale all the more timely. As above, so below. You were duly warned about Phecda at zero Virgo where Venus passes during your session at European Graduate School; Phecda is read as a “blood bath.” Could this truly mean the crashing sound of the postmodern idols being knocked from their pedestals? You certainly hope so!
  • While the Web 2.0 famous have to emulate the Francostein, tirelessly entertaining their social network like trained pandas, your mental energies are focused on the problem of the quantum.   In a rare trip to West Berlin, you go to KE-DE-WE to establish your new face with a make-up kit and a purchase of the beraumt COCO ROUGE Chanel lipstick. Utilizing the quality of free time that is the gift of your liberation from Web 2.0, you stumble right onto the markdown table, and find the getaway shoes appearing in your dreams. A pair of bronze ankle boots with a serpent surface, a perfect match for your serpentine seeming bronze Peace coat.
  • The spring of your Unicorn pursuit, you found an urban “temple” to take refuge, the Kristine Mann library of the Carl Jung Institute in Manhattan, where you do your Übermensch The librarian, Lorna Doone, has the energy and appearance of a priestess. She shows you her intervention book art, an existing hardbound book transformed by her painting the cover and images created over random text. She leafs through the pages of her mythical story in images of how she got rid of the demons that haunted the library and transformed it into a space of healing. This is a fact. She tells you the former librarian died of the electrical energy in the office. She cleaned out the space with a shaman and created the ideal temple for your spiritual renewal from chasing James Franco around the hostile streets of Manhattan.
  • In this space, you can let go. She listens to your Unicorn obsession and encourages you with the very feminine gentleness of her support. “He isn’t ready. But look, he already showed his interest by giving you his email. Patience.” A few days later, she greets you with a gift. It is a leaf jacket of a hardcover book with the title Red Cock Crows. You have some magic markers with you and immediately get to work. You transform the title to The Red Cock Grows, and underneath, you change the author’s name from Frances Gaither to Franco GotHer.
  • Accessing ontology through Cover Jacket Art.   May, 2014, Kristine Mann Library, C.G. Jung Center, New York.
  • You remember a quote that guided you to this place of the magical conjunctio of inner and outer. You realize how long you waited to be in a place, this magical space, where you can finally locate this quote and retrieve it from the self. And there it is, right behind where you sit with your new creation. Marie Louise Von Franz’s Projection and Recollection in Jungian Psychology concludes with this profound wisdom:
  • In Zen Buddhist meditation the master tries to teach his pupil how he can forever keep the inner mirror free of dust. To the extent that he lives in complete accord with the rhythm of psychic energy and with its regulator, the Self, he has no projections anymore; he looks at reality without illusion and more or less continuously reads the meaning of all the synchronistic events happening around him. He lives in the creative current or stream of the Self and has himself, indeed, become a part of this stream. If he remains, so to speak, always in contact with the succeeding currents of psychic energy that are regulated by the Self, he no longer experiences disturbances of adaptation, no longer projects, in the stricter sense of the word, but remains at the center of the fourfold mirror relation. Obviously, only a person with the most highly reflected concentration can achieve this. We average human beings, by contrast, will hardly be able to avoid the necessity, for the rest of our lives, of again and again recognizing projections for what they are, or at least as mistaken judgments. It seems to be, therefore, extremely important to bear constantly in mind, at the very least, the possibility of projection. This would lead to much greater modesty on the part of our ego-consciousness and to a readiness to test our views and feelings thoughtfully and not to waste our psychic energy in pursuing illusionary goals. (Von Franz)
  • To your delight, you realize that you have entered this space of high attunement freeing you from deadly detachments. You have coined a term for this proactive wave sweeping the culture: surfgeist.   You write down the quote in the front of your Marilyn Monroe journal. You show it to Lorna and she writes it down in her book.
  • The Red Cock is decidedly the Unicorn. The lady who tames him is passionate. Months after declaring the growth of the red cock with your new form of literary intervention, that revives a discarded object into a magical tool of transformation on your altar, between your moon and sun stones, you have a series of dreams about red shoes. One of the dreams indicates you will be leaving your Berlin refuge, giving away your clothing but retaining the red shoes for the journey. You paste a butterfly over the man on the horse; and identify yourself in the figure hiding in the bushes, which you have covered in red marker. You have become the red cock (indeed, your Chinese sign is the Rooster). Could the moment of passionate…er…convergence be on the way? But you have no plans to leave your adored Berlin. How is this to happen?
  • Three days after missing James Franco on the silver screen on your birthday is the day of the 65. Berlinale press conference. Festival director Dieter Kosslick announces James Franco on his list of arrivals. This prompts an email exchange with Lorna Doone:

 

  • Yes, writing this email under the proper timing, as you did, makes for a leap into the Third, the significance of the three as the magic number of creation in the quantum leap that you have been expressing for over a year in your many forms of writing. James Franco may be a three-life path, but you were born a double 3: a three-life path + three-character number! Throughout your life seeking the fourth (not until the you working with your genius editor on the copyediting di he inform you, with a laugh, that the tripod is the most stable configuration; this your AHA! Moment after being told time and again by astrologers that you were seeking the missing leg (leg opens door!) of your instability table.
  • Your experiment with James Franco is something you wrote into the Freedom Theorem, in the ultimate passage to the hieros gamos is the formula of 3+3=6. Six is the number of the hieros gamos!   So, the ultimate challenge of finding a partnership that is an ongoing daily act of collaboration is through relentless expression, a partnership a psychic once envisioned for you, by the way.
  • Through the magic incantation of the three, and a subsequent tarot reading, the strategy filters down from above (as in vertere: the crowning point or summit). Your handy Berlinale Journal reveals there are three films of James Franco and, therefore, potentially three appearances in three separate press conferences. And so begins the first of a three-part strategy to enter a new space of quantum entanglement with James Franco, the icon of the after-postmodern in-between.
  • Good fortune, or perhaps James Franco himself, has provided this new challenge. Like your initial interest in James, when you were in the heat of the pursuit of George Clooney, who had the gall to land in your territory, it doesn’t come through all at once; this would be too overwhelming.
  • Rather, it happens appearance at a time, potentially giving you, like in the fairy tales, three questions so you might know if there is indeed a future, along with an eternally dynamic present, with James Franco.   One. Step. At. A. Time. You know the formula by heart, as it is the root of the alchemical transformation. The one has to become two before it can become the three and give birth to the fourth as the one.
  • By the time you go to sleep, with outfit laid out for the noon encounter, heavenly map deciphered into image, you are prepared. The question comes from above, and it is a doozy. It isn’t for James. You wouldn’t strike so boldly at an unsuspecting (or rather suspecting?) target. No, you have a question for his director, the notorious Werner Herzog, who provided such delight in your film experience, something akin to your favorite writer, Thomas Bernhard, on the screen. Your question will drop the bomb that alerts the movie star to your presence.
  • Yes, this is your opening, the abyss of the crashing wave, to plant yourself publicly as the lone critic with the appetite (ha!) and the antennae to follow his very public social networked antics, and even some of his art, for the past two years.

 

DAY TWO: QUEEN OF THE DESERT

  • Contemporariness inscribes itself in the present by marking it above all as archaic. Only (s)he who perceives the indices and signatures of the archaic in the most modern and recent can be contemporary. Historians of literature and art know that there is a secret affinity between the archaic and the modern, not so much because the archaic forms seem to exercise a particular charm on the present, but rather because the key to the modern is hidden in the immemorial and the prehistoric. Thus, the ancient world in decline turns to the primordial so as to rediscover itself. The avant-garde, which has lost itself over time, also pursues the primitive and the archaic. It is in this sense that one can say that the entry point to the present necessarily takes the form of an archeology; an archeology that does not, however, regress to a historical past, but returns to that part within the present that we are absolutely incapable of living. What remains unlived is necessarily sucked back toward the origin, without being able to reach it. The present is nothing other than this unlived element in everything that is lived.
  • —Giorgio Agamben
  • The first screening of the day is Taxi, a familiar enough motif.   As soon as you see the face of the Iranian director driving the taxi through Tehran, you think Golden Bear. Sitting in the front row of the huge theater, you get nauseated. Jafar Panahi actually puts you right in the driver’s seat with him. His passengers are on screen in stark close-up, for you experience their own AHA moment of realizing why there is a camera on the dashboard before the passenger seat, capturing their reaction on camera. Hello Uncertainty! You experience their awareness that they are participants in his movie, making up the script as they move along the city streets.   And isn’t this the best possible portrayal of life to come to the screen—revealing how our projections end up in our life movie? As the driver of a taxi, presumably to make a living after the Iranian government forced him to quit his livelihood, he brings the audience right inside his daily acts of entanglement. He engages with a gentle knowing smile in these unexpected encounters that he is filming in plain sight via an unseen camera mounted on the dashboard before the passenger seat. The result is a fascinating window into the unexpected occurrences of daily life in Tehran that no scripted film could ever provide.
  • The chief passenger is the director’s irritating niece who is learning how to make a film in school and wants to know how to find her subject. Her uncle says that is one thing he can’t tell her; she has to find her own subject. This is where the magic begins, because clearly their conversation gives her the very subject she needs, one that will boost her onto the Berlinale stage. This is just how the science of entanglement works! It is the serendipity of everyday acts of entanglement drawing the viewer in as participant, along with the occupants of Panahi’s cab: in discussing her own film, the young woman has found herself inside the “taxi” which is her uncle’s film.
  • Life is a journey and so is a film. The passengers’ search of a subject becomes his subject. Isn’t this true of life? Experiencing the earlier two films of Panahi since his arrest has prepared the observer/participant for the quantum leap of Taxi.   The first, This is Not a Film, is a literal in-house exploration of what is a film in the epoch of Web 2.0. Seeing how the filmmaker is prevented from making his own film, he turns to his gadget for inspiration. The big screen vision is miniaturized to the tiniest flat screen. The seasoned filmmaker’s experimentation with subjective narrative via the use of digital technology under house confinement ends with a magical incident in the elevator. It is a chance meeting that plants seeds for the next installment of Panahi’s quantum leap exploring the shadow of the ego forced to give up control.
  • The happy result is a former director transformed into a shaman producing the magical potential that only the projective medium of film can capture, by having real life entanglements (stick with this text until the end to discover how it works) spilling over the screen and into life. The second film, The Closed Curtain, which also takes place solely in a house, is about the dark curtain drawn around the ego fears of the ego, via a female intruder who may or may not be the figment of the director’s imagination. This is authentic irony, to have Panahi’s quantum leap in his ongoing inquiry into the projective medium reveals the manner that ego projections keep us trapped in mental isolation. By pulling down the curtain on his own paranoia arising from his status as political prisoner, Panahi reveals how the Shadow projection stands in the way of the ultimate liberation—from time itself.
  • Inviting the viewer as participant in his taxi ride through Tehran, Panahi reinvigorates the magic of film and the role of the medium in humanity’s quantum leap: opening the space, confronting the shadow and kairos, the leap into quantum entanglement through the daring decision to forgo the script (or does he?) and have non-actor participants in his taxi become his co-stars, and even appear on stage in his place. But you have planted a spoiler here! The end of Taxi is truly the only possible ending for a film that negates time in its full embrace of the moment—the sound of an opening door and screen going black, implying that someone has stolen the camera mounted on the dashboard!
  • And yet, even as object(ive) as the designated passenger in the film (as Panahi had a standing appointment to pick her up from school), the niece has the freedom to co-write the script as it unfolds through the camera; in becoming a proactive subject of her uncle’s film, she is creating her own film subject, thereby fulfilling her desire.   The multiplicity arising from this entanglement will result in an unexpected Event marking 65. Berlinale as a quantum breakthrough in the years to come. The object that dutifully follows the subject in the rigid German grammatical structure transforms, via the BERLINALE EVENT, into subject.
  • This veiled girl foreshadows the fairy tale of the Cinderella world premiere that will make the utterly endearing Lilly James a global star. While the overt fairy tale ending of the leap into the cyclical is built into the program (the final screening of the festival commemorates the unveiling of the original Disney cartoon at the first Berlinale), the serendipity of the real fairy tale ending is a direct result of the globe’s most pioneering director’s engagement of quantum entanglement as a film subject.
  • After the screening, Taxi disappears from the press, only to be resurrected as kairos on the final day of the festival. There is no press conference, no photo ops, no red carpet, as the star is the filmmaker himself, confined to house arrest in his native Iran. Panahi is well known by now as a victim of the repressive state putting him under confinement, preventing him from practicing his craft, and forcing him to go inward and innovate new methods of making films questioning the nature of cinema itself.
  • You have ridden this quantum narrative of the surfgeist wave collapse from the 2011 Venice premiere of This is Not a Film to the Closed Curtain premiere in 2013. This first film response to his arrest evolved the ubiquity of image making into the digital age, when anyone with a smart phone can make and distribute their own film via their social network while going about their day.
  • In exploring the role of cinema within the narrow confines of his daily life as a taxi driver, Panahi reveals the unexpected encounter transforming daily interaction into the magic of quantum entanglement. He has revealed to the audiences and auteurs alike how the no-budget filmmaker makes poetry outside the time and space of conventional film. This freedom extends the parameters by which the Eddington Time’s Arrow of desire points from serendipity into multiplicity as the threads holding the finished product together, suggesting the Third Table of Graham Harmon and the Third space between two mirrors of Antke Engel. Thereby freed from the repression of schedules and deadlines, the film becomes its own quantum realm of magical creation out of the reach of the big budget filmmaker constrained by their very production values. The evidence that the brilliant director Dieter Kosslick recognizes this is made apparent through the evolution of a contemporary narrative by means of the natural progression of his idiosyncratic competition choices, right in sync with unfolding of the quantum wave.
  • As it happens, Panahi’s demonstration of the quantum wave collapse in confined quarters brings us to the twenty-first century icon appearing under it.
  • The second morning press screening is by a notorious iconoclastic German director. Werner Herzog’s bid for a big Hollywood epic is Queen of the Desert, starring none other than James Franco, the ultimate consort who rejected his typecasting in order to reclaim his role as a free agent. Queen of the Desert makes its world premiere at 65. Berlinale as a journey of firsts. It is the first film Herzog makes with female characters, the first Herzog film with an erotic scene between a man and a woman, and the first film ever about Gertrude Bell, the contemporary of T.E. Lawrence who got left out of the David Lean epic. In excavating Bell from the dustbin of history where female pioneers go to stay, Herzog created a more exciting character than Lawrence, who makes an appearance in the film through a Hollywood heartthrob. Robert Patterson attracts unusual press interest because they are curious to see if he can pull it off. He does, playing Lawrence as directed, comically lamenting over the predicament of being a homosexual magnet for an arranged marriage among the Bedouins. Bell’s descent into the archaic is barely touched on in the film. In truth, her passion for the Sumerian archeological relics prompted her to found the Bagdad Museum and fill it with the relics of her desert treks. This is how instrumental a character she was in bringing to human awareness the ever-present origin of the hieros gamos mythology, related through the cuneiform unearthed in Iraq.
  • But we begin at the beginning, up front and center.   You sit in the front row of the big theater again, to employ your strategy of leaving as the ending credits roll, running out the side door, down the steps, crashing through the double doors and around the side of the building to secure a seat at the press conference. You don’t get a seat, but at least you get in. You kneel in the aisle grateful you didn’t succumb to narcissism and wear your new ankle boots.
  • And here you are on your knees, the first phase of what would be your three‑fold strategy of leaping into entanglement with James Franco, a quantum leap that you can only support and he would, you suspect, seek any opportunity to avoid. You don’t doubt this in the least. If the very definition of the contemporary is the digging down into the archaic
  • (this is achieved in Herzog’s first Hollywood production), you want the world to know about it! But Herzog himself shuts you down and Nicole Kidman only looks bewildered. She didn’t seem to personify Bell at all, who seemed to have incorporated her feminine and masculine internally, but the superstar’s Mercurial quality of gender opposites converging into a gender free ageless face qualifying her as the unthinking masses try-hard icon for the hieros gamos.   Your delight is to discover your ever-ubiquitous James Franco as erstwhile suitor, the self-appointed guide igniting Bell’s passion for the Arabic language, desert adventure and—and sex. He makes not quite the dashing consort, slimy around the edges, which, intentionally or not, establishes the intriguing duplicity of the role, something like his Oz the Great and Powerful In keeping the Franco phenomenon in play with this choice of a role (remembering the quantum effect is ALL ABOUT CHOICE), the darkness of this character, revealed to be a compulsive gambler with a mound of debt he hopes to eradicate through marriage, reflects the darkness of our own times.
  • And this, you realize, in your attempt to sum up his performance, is the key to burying Dr. Francostein’s Monster in favor of the Franco rebirth: the very ubiquity of his image guiding the culture to a timeless, or otherwise archaic source. This, you realize, is the key to his art, which can’t be properly assessed (by anyone but you) because it transcends the boundaries of time and space. You are convinced that one must enter the future in order to understand the past actions of James Franco. He simply cannot be interpreted by ordinary rational means. Therefore, the key to your unlocking the archaic truth connecting his most crucial expression appeared in your conversion dream of the Templar holding up the key you had been seeking from under the collapsing wave. This is your ontological proof that the contemporary holds the key to the buried truths that remain under the surface of the earth.
  • It is a peculiar magic of the precision of German scheduling to have all this appear in sequence, the fall of dominos in Saas Fee through the magical incantation of the three projected on screen, in Franco’s first appearance, as the consort of the modern version of the mythological Desert Queen (Inanna, the self-declared Queen of Heaven and Earth who mythology originates in Bell’s haunts of ancient Sumer, present-day Iraq). Franco is actually fulfilling your vision by climbing a ladder to the balcony and entering the heavenly bed of the Bride. Is this not a scenario of the archaic Sacred Marriage Rites coming out of Herzog?
  • Someone expresses their surprise of the attraction between the stars. “Chemistry is everything,” says Herzog. Come to find out the Franco character is a gambler seducing the young Bell into a dishonest marriage made shaky by his debt. The scene of him climbing onto her balcony practically evokes Romeo & Juliet in the Arabian Nights! The Sacred Marriage Rites for the ages—Franco’s rebelling against his picture perfect embodiment of the gorgeous Tristan knight suddenly makes sense! Rebelling against one’s fate, only to have it come round in a new cycle! How this refutation of the call is so very familiar to you! How many times did you try to go into a different direction, only to have the universe slam you back!
  • The archeology comes into play in a key scene where the lovers ride horses, taking a rest on a riverbank where, as Franco’s love enticingly suggests, shepherds have been bringing their flocks for centuries. The reference goes deeper than Christ—to the pre-Christian shepherd, Dumuzi, who brings gifts from his flock in asking for Inanna’s hand in marriage. But this scene is key for another reason; it reveals Bell’s interest in archeology. Here is the ready-made metaphor for Bell’s plunge into the myth at the loss of her suitor, his leaving her the symbol of the sacred marriage: his broken Alexander coin (your triple Leo lover wanted your Alexander coin, an inheritance from your mother, and you let him wear it as your consort) as a message from the grave for her to take back the projection and become a whole woman.
  • The conscious passage towards wholeness, embodying the two sides, not of Alexander, but the self-proclaimed Queen of Heaven and Earth, is precisely what the archaic pre-patriarchal Sumerian myths do for women today.   They give permission and guidance to enter the underworld with the disappearance of Venus on the horizon and revive as a resurrected woman, full of the purpose of a new archetype filtered in the constellation where the Love Goddess is in the sky at her brightest, signaling to earth.

Near the end, you raise your hand. “Mr. Herzog, there was a rumor going around Hollywood that you had a superman script.” Not that Bell would know this. And the film director certainly doesn’t. He slaps you right down when you ask him if there was a connection between this and his Nietzschian project. He looks tired and irritated and mutters something about capes and tights, causing you to blurt out: “No, the Übermensch! The symbolism in the script, like two sides of the same coin. Can you tell us about your philosophy, the Schopenhauerian-Nietzschian influence on your characters?” He then proceeds to cut you to shreds, claiming he doesn’t know what you are talking about and banning you to the Internet. This is after you interrupt yourself, asking him about the Schopenhaurian-Nietzschian origins of his characters. You are convinced that he was drawn to this particular character, played by this particular actress, as the Übermensch, surfacing for real in the Age of Aquarius. Bell had the instincts and intelligence to live the myth of the Desert Queen, a latter day rendition of Ishtar. You have just been delighted with the discovery of Berlin’s Pergamon Museum’s entire gallery devoted to her origin in the self-proclaimed Inanna, Queen of Heaven & Earth, ruler of the city of Uruk. The key to getting there is, as always, through the burial ground:

  • Goddess Tiamat had created a new world out of her parts. The Mexican war god, Huitzilipotli, killed his sister, the moon Goddess, Coyolxarigui and declared his victory by throwing her body from the top of the mountain in broken pieces. The past is contained in the body. Each strand of DNA, each cellular memory, every body part a link to the past tied to other remnants by blood, trickling from tiny streams into wide rivers of rage. Her raging thoughts swirled into a ravaging whirlpool. Through the darkness, the wailing. Surrender…

 

  • Bell split her writing between factual reports and poetry inspired by the desert with its isolated beauty and mirages in the place of partnership. Weaving her poetry into the desert landscape is the most poignant quality of the film, crystalized by the scenes in which her love of Arabic poetry is shared with tribal chieftains.   Embodying these traces of the past, she hooks into an ancient myth of the feminine that takes her superhuman efforts to unearth. Even once it is excavated, it has to be preserved until it can be translated, which took another half century.
  • To be consciously lived, the myths bring us squarely into today. Herzog, of all people, making this film and protective of its occult associations, reveals the time has come, finally, for it to enter the collective consciousness. You only have been working for 28 years towards this moment! If you weren’t so grounded, and had worn your new heels, you might have fainted from the magic of it all.
  • The key to female empowerment is indeed hidden in the earth. The very material that contemporariness aims to uncover, and given language in the Heideggerian disclosing, is the myth of the me that that the lusty goddess stole from her grandfather, Enki. These bestow divine authority invoking arts, crafts, and civilization. It seems in the press conference that Herzog’s huge estimation for his actress plays out this myth to some extent. After all, it is Nicole Kidman’s star power that makes this Herzog’s first Hollywood epic.
  • The myth is sourced in the feminine power of seduction. How we seek this in our film idols! Inanna pays him a visit, gets him drunk, and seduces him into granting her the powers of queenship. She takes them in her boat to her cult center at Erech. Enki wakes up and sees they are gone…but it is too late. She has them safely in her kingdom, the very tools that will launch her self-created title, Queen of Heaven and Earth.
  • This myth is the winding backwards into the archaic that you are fated to perform with men crossing your path. You recognize it here, albeit unconsciously, through The Queen of the Desert.   But you, the contemporary, have already written the story of your desert adventure as a descent into the archaic. You call it The Wannabe. This revolutionary text is addressed to only one reader, Lou Salome, prototype for Nietzsche’s Übermensch:
  • “Lou, I am doing this for you,” I say out loud while driving my wrecked white Saab up to the fountain of La Quinta Hotel and hand the keys to the uniformed valet. My external life is so full there isn’t a spare moment for renewing old acquaintances. Not so long ago, I had nothing but time…to dream…to play…to worry about finances. Lou. So much, perhaps all, of my current happiness is due to the wisdom you gave me. Artists are sinking fast these days under the megadose of austerity handed down by the universe.   Six years ago in Studio City, home of the manufacture of images…in the darkest period of my life…you appear…a huge, stellar presence…It is because of you, Lou, I pull through. The sun is bright today, brighter than usual. Stepping onto the Mediterranean tiles of the elegant La Quinta Hotel, the so-called gem of the desert, my safe and secure island of repose in the midst of the whirling vortex of the surrounding desert. The fierce stark beauty of Joshua Tree, alighting my soul and churning my spirit into the beyond—to ancient lands where pagan goddesses reigned supreme, giant rocks molded to human form by the elements, boulders inhabited by spirits, red earth glistening like sizzling beefsteak in the setting sun.   The palm tree borders of La Quinta were my protection from the cruel and indifferent universe.
  • It really is so simple. The Ouroboric self-devouring churns wannabe into artist. The only struggle to the creation hinges on the decision to go inward. After that, it just pours out like the devil. This is precisely the origin of your art practice. How thrilling to encounter it in a new generation, untouched by your inspiration!
  • For years you have been devouring your life through your art. You even devoured your literature to make artworks.   This is the serpent in motion, devouring in order to transform, spewing out the darkness to become light. The skins left behind are the art-I-facts of the journey.
  • How come no other critic can see this but you? Ha! This is the task of the contemporary, Agamben says, to see what others can’t see. Ironically, this gift of insight comes from the body and you preserve yours as a temple with constant vigilance and regular cleansings. You have been to the desert, immersed your body in the archaic, soaking up the decay in your desert poetry:

 

A sticky substance appeared in the wound between her legs and dribbled down her right thigh, a little sea of blood. She crooked her finger towards the deep crevice of her own curving landscape…sensation giving way to memory.

           

The Ouroboros is the symbol of cyclical time. The serpent with its tail in the mouth is the Kundalini energy churning through the body waste in preparation for the ultimate flow. The Ouroboros is the turning within for a self-devouring, dispelling the toxins along the way. The self-devouring is the key to the transformation of the artist! James Franco is a case in point. In order to experience the tension of opposites, you have to engage the dynamism of the serpent power. The oscillation puts the dynamism of the bipolar axis into form…this is the task of genius. You have to experience the madness in order to understand. The body knows. The body is the public, the shaman told you: “When you enter this new archetype in your body, you will be ready.” For the body to transmit the experience through art allows the public to fathom the embodiment of dark energy. The Übermensch is in the desert shadow of Gertrude Bell; she not only had to live the ancient myth of “kingmaker,” but unearth the archeology to prove its ever-present source at the cradle of civilization. The proof of authenticity is, as always, to be found in the archaic source, the excavation of the ontological object establishing the very existence of the myth that her courage and zest for life compelled her to live. Did Herzog prove himself to be a contemporary in his revival of a great scholar and adventurer, founder of the Bagdad Museum? You would like to think so, but he slaps you down, as a tweet put it, when you merely suggest it. But you aren’t at all discouraged; in fact, you are enthused by his put-down. What does the ego know? Nothing! And how much ego does it takes to promote a film!

You don’t even go as far to make the claim that his Bell is a modern rendition of the ancient myth of the self-declared Queen of Heaven & Earth. What else could it mean to show a woman, in the androgynous form of Nicole Kidman, conquering the desert to become Kingmaker and liaison between the Arabs and European colonial power? All you did was make a suggestion! In proclaiming to have known nothing about her, when he recently learned of her story and decided to bring it to the screen, the German director has facilitated the passage of a female philosopher to interpret a new movement incorporating the hated subjectivity of feminine desire, thereby bringing womankind into the spotlight of Western philosophy. Yes, the Übermensch! It brandishes her light and dark, conscious and unconscious aspects, but revels in it! You used to pay periodic visits to Joshua Tree to embody her wildness through naked dances under the date palms in the oasis. This is how you fought the domestication of the all-powerful goddess into the rectangular confines of the twentieth-century screen goddesses, ready for immersion:

  • This is the land of plenty! I scrounge on morsels left in baskets outside bungalow doors and transport myself into the screen goddesses—Greta Garbo, Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth—thirty-two pools bearing their names. I was obsessed with occupying them all before making my way to the desert to sleep, the land of no reflection. If I owned a hotel with two or a hundred pools, I would name them all after you, Lou. Lou Salome. No other woman exists—past, present, or future. Your name is my prayer. I repeat it aloud three times in a whisper that echoes from the white stucco walls as I enter the hotel lobby. My nerve endings twitch and tingle with the jolt of recognition. I remember so clearly now, as if it happened yesterday. I spent the day at the Greta Garbo “I vant to be alone” pool and that evening you entered my life for the first time. You, Lou, the Übermensch, the avatar, who had no need of myths not created by yourself, alone. I had been obsessed with you for years! Pouring over the so-called facts of your life. Rilke’s poetry you inspired. Nietzsche’s philosophies originated with your very beingness. Even Jung’s dreams proclaiming the return of the feminine, were catalyzed by your appearance in his circle. But what happened in Studio City was not something I could have dreamt even in my writer’s imagination. And since, I’ve retraced some of your steps through Europe—Berlin, Vienna and the magnificent St. Petersburg, place of your birth. Sacro Monte where you climbed the heights with Nietzsche and touched ground with a revolutionary new philosophy that would, in time, send tremors through the planet. You are the Superman, Lou! I feel your presence always now, guiding me, cheering me on, my higher self, my sister, my partner.
  • Don’t we see this all the time in the pop culture idols, the turning from blonde to brunette, light to dark, and back again, as if compelled by a deep inner desire to make the polarities visible on their body? And now with the huge media focus on the gender switching as a material means of recognition, or perhaps denial, that every individual has the potential to embody the masculine-feminine polarity. To deny the alpha/omega duality of nature ignores the process is in the psyche, the alchemy of merging dark and light into a unified subject and object combined. But how would we know this with all the superficial grasping about in the pop culture? The Kulture Industrie is intent on retaining the global financial structure that treats the feminine as the enemy of the artificial, luring men into Eden as a revolutionary act radicalizing the culture into anti-materialism.   In creating a steady flow of anti-feminine media images (the notion of flow is itself feminine), the authentic feminine, with its bipolar nature, is forced to remain hidden. Wasn’t Pasolini’s bizarre murder after his declaration of war on materialism enough of a warning? The consumer culture ensures that literary models, like Lou, are undisclosed, for it is they who have made the inner journey who can show the way out of consumer entrapment:
  • …I stop at La Quinta on my journey north and, after emerging from a dip in the Greta Garbo pool, I have some tea. It is about four o’clock when I return to my car and it fails to start. I have it towed to a gas station in Thousand Palms. The symbol of time, the starter, fails again….There, I go again, rushing to an appointment with time that I am fated to miss.
  • You are picking this up in the air when you post your Berlinale review of the feminine presence opening the festival. In fact, you have yet to discover that the excavation projects in Iraq uncovering artifacts containing iconography of the hieros gamos are Bell’s endowment. For her role as statesperson, she was awarded Order of the British Empire. This unique woman combined the internal feminine, evoked externally through poetry, with the outward masculine adventurer. This was noted in Herzog’s screenplay when a character passionately refers to her in both genders.
  • The film opens with English officers in their crisp sand-colored uniforms pouring over maps of the dissolved Ottoman Empire at the end of Word War I and discussing the division of spoils. Appointed to assess the situation from her passionate associations with the tribes in the region, Bell writes Self-Determination in Mesopotamia, a title which could easily fit her autobiography. It is the feminine instinct that drives her to write as a reflection of her own proactive desert adventure; mirroring the colonial subjects is a reflection of her own independence from the patriarchal leadership carving up the landscape. You compare this to the Laurence of Arabia-inspired film Stargate, about patriarchal liberation as an apology for colonialism.
  • Bell’s natural role as mediator between opposing groups suited British imperialism. But there was far more she was carrying on her capable shoulders: the ancient mythology of Inanna as the go-between of the opposites. Iraq, formerly known as the cradle of civilization, contained not only rich deposits of oil but buried iconography of the first religion of human civilization, one that today can potentially unify the peoples of the Middle East and liberate the role of women in the Arab culture.
  • Iraq, with this rich iconography embedded within its topography, has been viewed not only as an oil supplier, but a strategic buffer against its neighbors, Turkey, Persia (Iran), and Syria.   The greatest irony of Bell’s life, which the film, with its Übermensch phenomenology and symbols, can’t help but miss, is that Bell, in living out the earlier myth of the Love Goddess as Kingmaker actually carries the identity of the long-buried Queen of Heaven and Earth standing at the very boundary between East and West.
  • Inanna’s bipolarity, a reflection of the Morning and Evening Star, survived in global culture with the migration to India, where Hinduism today honors the goddess in its pantheon, giving the energy of her lightning bolt iconography not one but several names: Kundalini, Shakti and Kali. This knowledge of the serpent, latent in the body, was transported to the West through the technology of yoga. Your father was the first at the door to receive when the gurus passed through the portals in the seventies and subsequently devoted his life to the research of the Kundalini and healing of the early awakeners, suffering from internal implosion, a fate made destiny through the devotion to a life of inner reflection.
  • Ironically, the woman who lived in the ancient icon of blasting through all boundaries, Gertrude Bell, ends up at the Cairo Conference of 1921. And what does her presence there signify but drawing boundaries for what was to become the individual nations of the Middle East that we know today. Following her inner instinct to externally unite with her inner masculine/consort, she teams up with the androgynous T.E. Lawrence to recommend the first king of Iraq.
  • Faisal bin Hussein, (the son of Hussein, Sherif of Mecca) was a former commander of the Arab forces that helped the British during the war and entered Damascus at the culmination of the Arab Revolt.   Lawrence and Bell could see that—due to his lineage as a Hashemite and his diplomatic skills—he would be respected for his ability to unite the various groups in the country. Shi’as would respect him because of his lineage from Muhammad. Sunnis, including Kurds, would follow him because he was Sunni from a respected family.
  • Keeping all the groups under control in Iraq was essential to balance the political and economic interests of the British. This diplomatic task was obvious. What wasn’t so apparent was the necessity of the virtuoso inner and outer “sacred marriage” of opposites to revive the ancient anointing tradition for Faisal, who mirrored this process with his temperate blend of character and heritage: a Sunni with natural diplomatic skills descended from an aristocratic Hashemite, yet accepted by the Sh’as as a descendent of Muhammad.   Such a human mirror of the ancient Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth, revived the icon in her image as kingmaker. Through this latter day revival, not simply of the practice, but the intention, Bell became not only kingmaker but the very body of the English administration of Iraq.
  • The kingmaker is icon maker, adding a gold star to the three stripes of Islam (black for Abbasid caliphate, white for the Umayyad caliphate, and green for Fatimid Dynasty) unified by the red triangle of Islam. She may well have followed her “as above/so below” instincts to set up the “crowning event” on the first day of Leo, 23 August 1921, during the holy month of Muharram. In this, she takes on the ancient role of the love goddess anointing the King in the Sacred Marriage Rites.
  • Herzog’s motif for the female kingmaker as the embodiment, through the forced withdrawal of her projection forms two sides of same coin. A split of the androgynous face of Alexander made whole again in the palm of a woman is an effective symbol for the elevation of female mortal into the present and future archetype. Herzog must have shunted you because he would be embarrassed to admit that he has done such a grand gesture for womankind. Bell received the half of the coin of the dead man, the suitor played by Franco, as a symbol of her new pathway: to become her own man. This is a quantum leap for the Hollywood film, as the two sides of the same coin made whole represent the archaic ever-present origin of the sacred feminine and sacred masculine. You only have to go to Wikipedia, to find the obituary by G. Hogarth acknowledging this intoxicating alchemical blend:
  • No woman in recent time has combined her qualities ‑ her taste for arduous and dangerous adventure with her scientific interest and knowledge, her competence in archaeology and art, her distinguished literary gift, her sympathy for all sorts and the condition of men, her political insight and appreciation of human values, her masculine vigor, hard common sense and practical efficiency––all tempered by feminine charm and a most romantic spirit.

 

  • Nicole Kidman is lauded by her besotted director in the press conference, who likens her to a modern day desert heroine for carrying the film in which she was present in every scene. In fact, Herzog’s entering into the myth to become enamored of his first female star scars the on-screen portrayal. It is the kid gloves effect that Kidman, the global celebrity who has played other female icons, is happy to flaunt at the press conference. “He let me take a bath in the desert!” In one comment, she ruins Herzog’s much deserved reputation as the insanely committed filmmaker, eroding the boundaries between film and life to engage audiences through the projection of the real. The sleek Hollywood vehicle is apparent in every shot of Kidman’s polished face. She reveals too much of the superstar clocking in on set like a dutiful employee of the corporate entities paying her huge salary. She says that she agreed to do the film only after the director promises she can bring her family to Morocco. Herzog promises her a separate tent for her children, as if that much separation is all that is needed to play a childless writer receiving her emotional fulfillment from the landscape flowing through her pen.
  • The actress is immersed in the long takes of desert treks without literally breaking a sweat. Her scenes in the sand, scarf elegantly draped over her youthful masque of a face (even though in the later scenes she was supposed to be looking more her age), looked like fashion shoots. Anna Christina says after the screening: “Where was the scene of her removing her corset?” Ha, just goes to show the details that undermines the typical male Hollywood director portrayal of the New Woman, as plastic as the package that contains them.
  • In fact, the bath on the screen reveals why the liberation from the corset doesn’t come into play…Kidman’s boyish body reveals she doesn’t need one! And this same critic notices that when Bell’s lover (Franco) is helping her Arabic, they are reading from left to right instead of right to left.   Such errors in detail brings up the entire problem of making big historical romantic films with high ticket star power today; they fly in and out with other commitments waiting and there isn’t the immersion into character that makes for creating another world on screen. Certainly the press would be impressed with hearing that epic cinematic roles paying more than any of us making in our lifetime would require a long preparation. For example, learning Arabic so that love for the poetry could be authentically revealed in the filming, seeing that the poetry was the stream of life fueling Bell’s conversion from student to Queen of the Desert. It was as impossible to picture James Franco learning Arabic to inhabit a role as it was for his character to be intimate with the language. The difference is tantamount to the goddess contained the La Quinta pool—as opposed to roaming in the open and timeless expanse of desert itself, with its endless cycle of life/death/rebirth:
  • The starter has to be replaced, is what the mechanic said. A new starter and nothing happens. The second replacement serves, but by then I have the message. The journey isn’t supposed to start…yet.   So, I call Lisa and she welcomes me back to Studio City (just for a few days is what I tell her) and you appear that very night, Lou. Lisa, of course was the key to finding you. Even now, I look through the glass of the window for Lisa and see my own reflection, and it is you. Lou.
  • As the mystery of the psyche is sacrificed by the star/tabloid/celebrity system to the glamour of the outfit, the press becomes participant in the tearing down of the myth onscreen, which is why traditional epic cinema that Herzog was making no longer works today. Hearing the stars flippantly talk about how they fly to the set in timing with the shooting (Nicole says she asked James if he had ever been on a horse before and he said “let’s go for it” and she claims that is how the movie was made) for their film commitments may reinforce their “in demand” star status for the press, but at the same time severely detracts from myth inspired by the medium.
  • This inside view into Queen of the Desert reveals a strange period for Hollywood, in which quotes have fallen so drastically that actors can no longer afford to elevate themselves to their former status as American royalty without the commercial advertising that detracts from their intentions of making art. When the pool of talent grows scarce from the lack of a feeder system from the avant-garde, schedules bound by outside commitments inevitably intrude on the psyche, devaluing the full commitment to a role that made James Franco an actor in demand come off like play-acting or otherwise slick, like a perfume commercial…
  • This is how the pathology at work in the Kulture Industrie has infiltrated the landscape, demolishing authentic expression of emotion and proactivity in favor of repression and reaction to the transference of technology into entertainment. Can we expect these vehicles of many authors to detail a new mythology of being human?
  • Lisa is out of focus, forever fading and dissolving before me. Two unreconciled images show how she was then and what she has become. Actually, there is no way of knowing—until she appears in my presence—of what she has become. I only read about her in the social columns and I know from personal experience the savory lies to be found there. But her entire life now is created out of lies. I saw her resume in a box on the day I helped her move. She made up the roles, including the lead female in my unproduced screenplay. Someone told me once that to be an actor you have to be a good liar and then I knew why I had no ambitions in that area. I have to tell the truth. Lisa’s lovely little girl innocence is now a practiced posture to put on and take off at will.   She has become the image she was seeking, some would say. But no, the truth is that she never found her true image and she remains out of focus, frozen in time. A frozen image because it wasn’t the image she was to become. She lacked the will to find her true star and so she settled for Hollywood tinsel.

 

 

James Franco is staring out at you from San Telmo during your daily trips to the Lido for the course of the Venice Film Festival, 2013.

 

  • You had a memorable boat trip to the Lido for the opening gala at the 2013 Venice Film Festival in which James Franco’s huge Gucci ad in Piazza San Marco faded into the sunset.   You were at the back of the boat with a charismatic American, a former actor turned producer, telling you how outright sleazy the film business has become. He is looking at Franco’s ad while ruminating the depths to which actors’ quotes have fallen, swearing you to secrecy after giving you specific figures. This is why the movie stars are reduced to advertising, to maintain the illusion of royalty ordained to rule by the heavens, the mythology of the movie business established in the heyday of the studios. He used Franco as an example of the sleaziness (but not the lowering quotes) he was talking about, speaking obliquely. “Usually in Hollywood, you feel loyal to the person who got you your first break.”   Franco has often stated his gratitude towards Seth Rogen, who gave him his first break by putting him in the critically acclaimed but short-lived television show, Freaks and Geeks. This stranger’s comments stick with you, explaining at the time what had been inexplicable: why James Franco was so famously stuck in American adolescence in his high-profile film choices. You were well aware that his 2013 film with Rogen This is the End, where Franco was able to laugh at his artistic pretensions in playing himself in his own house, should have been the end, but wasn’t. Unlike Franco though, Rogen has built his career on characters always being forced to grow up through external conditions, never from within, because the actor himself doesn’t grow beyond his typecasting. There was The Interview debacle to come; but you predicted that crash just months before it happened. It is the law of gravity, what goes up so high, must come down:
  • When important steps had to be taken to insure her destiny, she clung to her dreams and accepted at face value the prophecies of the soothsayers—that she would become an international celebrity. What kind of goal is that? It was a goal for the superficial eighties but that stupid decade was already over by the time we met. And when I reminded her of the self-destructiveness of her hero, James Dean (whose birthday was a week after hers) and suggested that his self-hatred may have stemmed from the compromises he made to get to the top, she turned up the music.
  • Unlike other artistic mediums, film commitments are traditionally made years in advance; the ability to ride the wave and yet make the choices that place you on the crest requires an uncanny foresight, which brings us right to the contemporary.
  • Agamben points out in his essay that entering the darkness to arrive at the archaic is what makes the contemporary; with the world and its trends changing so rapidly today, the descent into the archaic is the only constant for art through the ages. Franco, in his leading man typecasting as the divine consort, was placed into your hands at Filmgate 451, the famous Berlin cinema club. When you asked for a DVD of Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde, you were handed a DVD with Franco’s gorgeous face on the cover. You had no idea! “It is lovely to look at,” said the clerk. You took it home and agreed; James Franco made a truly stunning, amorous Tristan.   So gorgeous that he felt he had to spend a decade deconstructing his glamorous image.
  • The problem with glamour…it depends on other people. The journey inward depends on no one. Glamorous people devour others to retain their spot in the limelight. Artists devour themselves.

 

  • Why so few artists, never mind movie stars, have achieved the interweaving of inner and outer is a source of consternation for you, and yet here you are, privy to the unexpected view of the genius iconoclast filmmaker Werner Herzog, with Franco at his side, answering a question about what it was like to work with him. “Well, I didn’t have to swallow any bugs or anything,” Franco said and then proceeded to tell the story of the real vulture, which Herzog discovered on the side of the road, that he thought was a trained animal unexpectedly lying on the top of the climb of a bell tower (symbolizing the ascent).   James claims that he took the role for the opportunity to watch the filmmaker go into something new, the terrain of the erotic and perhaps this is the conscious reason he took the part, but as his critic, you alone know there is a far deeper energy, an archetype, guiding him.   This is the only possible explanation for the uncanny instinct that you detected in his art driving him toward the archaic: the hieros gamos represented by the projections of cows in the fields onto cow skulls, his crude symbolism of death and rebirth of the archaic. The cow representing the constellation of Taurus, the tactile expression of Venus, is still honored in India as the Goddess.
  • The press had an overwhelming dislike for the film. Herzog, the most iconoclastic genius of German cinema had gone Hollywood, and James Franco’s presence in his film made this all too obvious for words. He took on the role like he was play-acting, hiding the character behind an impassive mask, which actually worked because the character, in fact, was hiding something as he seduced the rich young English aristocrat into the Arabian nights. Her father wisely puts a stop to his esteemed daughter’s romance with a lowly foreign-service officer.   After she travels back to England to plead her case for the marriage, she receives the news that her consort has killed himself, leaving her the half of his coin.
  • Could it have been just a coincidence? Why was the key scene of his character’s seduction of Bell via a magic trick in which he told her to separate a deck of cards into two piles and then turned them over, one by one, to split the two piles between red and black? When a question was asked about the trick, Herzog said the importance of the scene was the seduction and Franco, who likes to bring up his past incarnations, said he had been trained in magic for his Oz character. This is illuminating, because cinema makes its own screen magic and card tricks are just slights of hand. But the problem with the seduction of this card trick, from your evolved perspective, is that it only reveals how the real magic of James Franco’s ongoing personal narrative is through his choices. This is how you see it. The true magic isn’t on the screen but the mythology being born from the Aquarian experiment. The renewing of his image as consort by the esteemed iconoclast Werner Herzog is a full circle, both geographically and mythically, return to the original. This circular trajectory reveals that fate made conscious becomes destiny. His rebellious years, via various modes of expression, condemn his typecasting as Tristan, the face that launched a few million fanships. Yet, critical consciousness has intruded into his self-awareness.
  • Yet, is he conscious? You really don’t know. All you can be certain of at this point in time is that he is remaining dedicated to the game. What else matters?
  • While Franco’s choice to appear in Herzog’s epic film reveals a personal return, his presence as leading man instructing on the wrong side of the book reveals how the Hollywood star system works against quantum entanglement. The struggle to create screen magic through interplaying the dynamism of opposites only serves to emphasize the impact that off-screen chemistry has the projection, both in the film and in the theater.   The power of the quantum leap comes through everyday proactive choice, as miniscule as it may seem. It isn’t about the choice one makes, but the commitment to living these choices to the fullest extent.
  • The passionate choice, that is the choice to embrace life, is what embracing Uncertainty is all about. You consider all the factors to be weighed by a protean character like Franco deciding to take on a project; the outcome must be like throwing pasta against the wall, some of it sticks; and the rest falls to the floor. Timing is the key to the magic of what sticks in the collective consciousness. Your role as critic is to identify that which is capable of sticking and track the impression it makes in the culture to its logical conclusion.
  • Here we come to a new equation, the “logic of the image” related to you by the Dutch-Australian media theorist Geert Lovink. The expression addresses the marriage of the right and left-brain; the logic in the quantity of number with image in the quality. Together, there is the magic of a new archetype that is as old as civilization, the hieros gamos, or sacred marriage of opposites. You arrived at 65. Berlinale prepared to look for the “logic of the image” because you read, not only Wenders’ book of that title, but had seen the logic of the three in his beautifully restored first film The Anxiety of the Goalie At the Last Kick. The symbolism of the three at the climax becomes the final image of the film: two teams, like the two colors of the deck of cards, coming together in the center circle at the end of the game.
  • Herzog’s attempt at an erotic scene derives from a card trick that, in Franco’s hands, appears to be sinister. This is the foreshadowing, like the vulture on the stairs of deception and death.   His character’s division of a deck of playing cards, into arbitrary stacks of black and red, is the duality of the patriarchy driven into Bell’s unconscious struggle to pass into the Third. This was her achievement, however momentary—to embody the hieros gamos briefly experienced in a desert romance through her unofficial/official career as kingmaker.
  • Leaving the press conference, you find Mahari muttering about Herzog’s rudeness. You are touched by his protectiveness and yet wax philosophical. “I interview artists all the time. When they have such a strong reaction to my insight, I know I have hit on something important their ego isn’t ready to face.”
  • Yet, the jolt of the public confrontation set you off-course. You miss the afternoon screening of 45 Years with Charlotte Rampling. Instead, you sit in the pressroom and participate in the news conferences of films you haven’t yet seen. Mahari reappears with your Norwegian friend, Oda, who exclaims: “I saw you on TV!”   Your response: “Did I look good?” You suddenly realize that you have a ticket for Wim Wenders Wings of Desire (Der Himmel Uber Berlin) and will have to miss Charlotte Rampling, so you take your leave to rush over to Cinemax 8.
  • And what a wonder! This is the mother lode of the Aquarian icon looming before you, hovering with the angels! Magically restored in black and white, Wenders’ narrative reveals your adopted city of Berlin as the staging ground for the marriage of heaven and earth, a personal winged victory made collective with the healing of Berlin’s split. This is your art theory, the hieros gamos as a narrative of an angel wanting to experience human desire and electing to become human so he can connect with a trapeze artist. There is the paradox envisioned as the unity of opposites: the angel desiring earth and the human desiring heaven. Their meeting in a typically elegantly rundown Berlin bar at the close of the film marks the beginning of a new era in filmmaking-quantum entanglement.
  • The excitement surges through your body. Outer and inner have clicked.   After the decades spent codifying the hieros gamos, to see the archetype manifest in a filmmaker’s vision…this 360-view…your faith in your own philosophy guiding your body through the festival, as if surfing on a wave. It seems crucial to have the big screen confirm the inspired choice of including a Wenders’ homage retrospective with a breakthrough year in global filmmaking imbedded with the signs and symbols of a new holistic neo-modernist movement.
  • The 45 Years press conference with Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay that you miss will be reprised with the magic of quantum entanglement as a final image in the festival, writing your final Berlinale report in images of their kissing bears. How convinced you were of your leap into the Uncertainty! The surprises to come were immediately processed in a body cleansed of past patterns. A dream after the festival tells you the body is to take flight in a new constellation, the one you had been writing about as forming in the collective unconscious in your reviews of the past seventeen years, launched by your 1997 essay on your sister’s film, Female Perversions. You are therefore receptive as a clear filter for the collective consciousness made manifest through the magic of the film projection.
  • This too, is the journey you embarked on with James Franco once you got a clear view of the passage filtered through his Gay Town exhibition that opened during the 63. Berlin Film Festival in 2013. You clearly saw the stages of his journey, from film idol arising out of the near-perfect reflection of the earlier idol, James Dean, to consort (Tristan) to original characterizations as the rebel. This meeting of the female archetypes of the dark goddess in Oz, the Great and Powerful, and the journey into the sacred marriage culminating in peace, the final room of the cow skulls, the Taurus energy of physical love as refuge from the turmoil of Nietzsche’s becoming into Heideggerian being.
  • What intrigued you from the beginning is your role in the scenario. You had delivered two papers on the critical consciousness in regards to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle: one on the application to art and the other about overcoming uncertainty to embody the new archetype in performance. You have put this theory into practice, bringing your consciousness to art where you are the receiver with your reaction thereby elevating the obscure into deserved recognition simply through the fervent action of your pen.
  • Franco, however, presents you with the reverse situation posing a new challenge.  He is so very famous, and utilizes the mechanisms of the system to shield himself from the typical rites of artistic passage. How many artists have bodyguards? How many have a team of trolls on their publicist’s payroll to write nice things about their new creative expression? His experiments have the a priori condition of being public and seem to beg for recognition, rather than critical interpretation. So, what is your critical role, now that you encountered your theory in his fun house of a show? How do you act as catalyst to transmit this consciousness? You read his frenetic creative expression in Gay Town like the narrative of a book: the movie star past in the first room, to the collaborations, to the aloneness represented by a painting of himself as The Thinker in the middle (the Third space nicely representing the Third Chakra of thought), to the withdraw of the negative anima projection in the fourth room, bringing an equilibrium through an urban divine marriage narrated through video, and ultimately, a surrender to love. Your epiphany is not only in clearly seeing your art theory, the hieros gamos, in his exhibition…it is also about something you share with him––the rush to the horizon, throwing off the art-I-facts along the way. The familiarity you find under the surface is the recognition of the mutual love of the contemporary journey! You are only beginning to get insight as to how this future, your meeting on the horizon, is impacted by the affirmation of the past in the immediate now of the present. It is a relation of time to Being that you seek. In The New Nietzsche, Deleuze asks:
  • …how can the past be constituted in time? How can the present pass? The passing moment could never pass if it were not already past and yet to come—as well as being present at the same time. If the present did not pass in and of itself, if it had to await a new present in order to become past, the past in general would never be constituted within time, and neither would this present pass. But we cannot wait: the moment must be at once present and past, as well as present and yet to come, in order for it to pass (and to pass for the sake of other moments). The present would have to co-exist with itself as past and future; it is the synthetic of self-relation of present, past and future that in turn grounds the relation between this moment and other moments.

 

  • We cannot wait. In one paragraph, Deleuze sums up the problem and the solution. It is the grasping of life in its entirety that makes us capable of experiencing this three-fold relation of time. By living each moment as it if was our last, the future unfolds though the present, always in relation to the past. The entire spectrum of past and future converges into the center, a numinous moment in time in which we grasp our place in the universe. This was your experience in passing through the James Franco phenomenology of his blasting through disciplinary walls, the very model that Carter gave him. Carter had the structure and the talent for multi-disciplinary narrative but James has the narrative of Being.
  • The feeling of fate was inevitable, considering the magic preceding this immersion into the James Franco ontology of Being. Your very own Franco collaborator, an artist whose last name was Franco and you renamed with the singular FRANCO for your collaboration. He participates with you in the “Earth” chapter of The Alchemy of Love, driving you in his truck to pick up the purple bathtub with feet and to a garden store to purchase dirt, straw and wood chips for the installation. You take a liking to the wood-crafted cows and purchase one for the exhibition.   Then, he takes you on a ride through the countryside in search of cows to photograph. Yes, this is an archeology established in your performance. A year before James Franco had his AHA moment giving birth to Franco, the murderous performance artist, you too were looking at cows to project their image in the gallery. But the slide show that your FRANCO made for you to project in Coagulatio: Earth only has carved cows. This seems to be a sign, but you didn’t know what it is, other than the artist’s natural affinity for the artificial, as opposed to your alchemist love of nature.
  • There are seven levels of the journey above in the heavens reflected in the body below.   These are the seven chakras, or energy centers. You are nearly through the second level, counting forwards from the siting of Venus in her reflective mode as Evening Star in the constellation of Capricorn in December.   The passage now is to reveal your executive power in accordance to the gates of entry.
  • You begin the co-creation with the proactive Morning star in early May 2014 when you decide to contact James directly through email. How do you get his address? You won’t go through Carter because, as much as you have an affinity with the number three, romantic triangles between artists make you crazy. It occurs to you, walking across Central Park on a Sunday, that you can simply send his dealer a message on Facebook, asking to make the connection. And so, you sit on a park bench and think you hear his voice saying “JUST DO IT.”   And so you do it. You email James’ Berlin gallerist asking for his contact info. The reply is immediate.   He sends you a message that you can contact James directly through his email.
  • You wait until the following day, when the planets are properly aligned to send the email to James with the contact written on the subject line and the inner message firm, yet loving: “It is time we meet.” The response is so fast as to be instantaneous. “OK.” And you reply, asking for a time and date that suits him. Yes, your instinct is telling you this is too easy. The very nature of movie stardom is to be inaccessible. And indeed, his response pushes you away (oh, the oscillation of opposites!), declaring that you have to make the arrangements through his assistant. Through days of email exchanges with her, you accept that his schedule is too full for a meeting and give up.
  • You can’t quite imagine such a life so filled up; yours is one long uninhibited expanse to the horizon—that date with destiny that, until Franco came along, you were fated to miss.   After a draft of this book is written, you will tell your advisor something that is news to yourself: without James Franco, it would take you another dozen years for your theory to enter the mainstream. But the catch is this: you have given birth to the divine son, impregnated as you were under the October 23 eclipse. How many species eject the father after the birth?
  • Once you let go, you can’t even now remember why you wanted to meet with him in New York, except that he was trapped in the city for a defined period of time due to his commitment to Of Mice and Men. In famously throwing out seductive missives to his social network, you assumed he had some free time. Ha!
  • Oh, yes, you tell his assistant, it is just for a chat. There is no need to pretend you have an assignment. Then comes a surprise at 8:30 on Saturday morning. “What’s Up?” Come again? “Do you want to talk?” is the message that comes back with your reply and you wonder if you are seeing clearly.   You shoot a message back: “I’m on the way to the Strand. Let’s meet later.” He replies: “I didn’t mean to imply that I could come out and meet you. I am filming upstate and have two shows on Broadway later.” Classic James Franco. It occurs to you now that he is even more unpredictable than you. What you don’t know at the time is that he is filming Adderall Diaries by a new male author sensation you never heard of…and that his role is a blocked writer (again!) who attempts to free himself through an affair with a New York Times reporter! You are grateful for the fate separating you that he didn’t consider having an affair with you to “explore his role.” As if his schedule allows time for that!
  • You spend Friday night at the Babylon Theater for a screening of an episodic film with the provocative title: Genital Warriors.   It appeals to you as an original Berlin creation moving into Uncertainty with the energy of the “poor and sexy” Berliner who rejects commercialization at all costs. The screening rewards you with strong images of non-Botox post-menopausal females, wielding a motif magic wand as the escape into cyclical time, past and future, in which the gender opposites are united. Yet, this Signifier moves through so much activity, it is difficult to determine the proactivity of individual characters versus the switching of actors playing of the same characters through time. Your head is spinning by the ending, and you truly understand how the title says it all; the confused narrative propulsion is indeed about the gender wars through the lens of the German incapacity to connect with the feminine. Beyond the park bench as a central motif, there is no foundation of a structure, either visually or philosophically, to make the film memorable beyond some eccentric images of menopausal women revisiting the site of their erotic entanglements.
  • No matter. Surely, this is more news from the Berlin avant-garde of the collapsing wave in which quantum entanglement gives way to a new archetype, the pre-patriarchal myth fueling that of the post-patriarchal, embodied by the Übermensch foreseen by Nietzsche through his sacred marriage partner, Lou Salome. You stay after the screening to take a photo of the cast and crew under the marquee, and depart for the walk up Schoenhauser Allee to home, too tired to go to the party.
  • You arrive home to be greeted by your tarot reading with the Star as the outcome and the bright sun stool purchased at the Sunday flea market—reminders that the remainder of your journey will be far more pleasurable than your time in the wilderness. Now you will be allowed to speak, pouring your knowledge into the thirsty mouths of an unsuspecting public through the microphone.   This culminates every day—teasing you that there will be some unknown climax, but opening your computer you discover that the Huffington Post has not published your review of the opening film.   You think this is a blessing, as the film that got you so excited was dismissed out of hand throughout the pressroom. How will you maintain your mission as spy in the House of Cinema by prostrating your vision on such a ledge? You are too tired to realize that your excitement over the film doesn’t make it a good film. But you are still struggling with what makes a good film, as opposed to a daring film, or innovative film carrying themes just coming to the horizon that the public, and these so-called critics around you, just can’t see.
  • You ponder the clichéd critical condemnation of heavy-handed metaphors written like neon across the screen. This sign of enlightenment makes you personally thrilled to find any and all symbols of the archaic appearing in film narratives about the feminine. And this seems to be the problem; it is all so new that an overreliance on metaphor is used to communicate intellectually what is to be universally experienced in the body.   Will intellectuals ever get it?
  • You ponder on the subjective reflection of a universal journey by means of developing an art theory through and about Venus. Your newspaper reviews during the 1998-2006 eight-year Venus cycle––known as the pentagram because of the five lobes where the planet makes her closest approach to Earth––were followed by a personal immersion via performance (2007-2015) and the (r)evolutionary outcome was a newfound ability to articulate a new philosophy through your body. You view this review, in league with your 450 others, as a bold new step in making known your philosophy. But speaking of the body, your finger seems to have its own mind as it lifts the arrow from the submit button before the click, thereby withholding these insights from the public. Your inner voice is screaming “Coward!” But you haven’t gotten through the guardians at the gate without learning to be prudent.
  • You will learn tomorrow how people actually walked out of the gala screening. By Tuesday, you will succumb to the prevailing reaction and delete the posting altogether. But there is another factor involved in which you confront your fate, as a means of mitigating—or rather forestalling—your destiny as the philosopher positioned at the collapse of the collapsing wave. This inner knowledge is to be reflected back at you by a snide American veteran of the festival circuit: “Who do you think you are, Susan Sontag?” Well, yes! You have long had that desire, and you stuck it out to make it happen, and make it happen you will. Particularly as you are bolstered by writing up your reaction to a recent two-day Susan Sontag conference at the Institute for Cultural Inquiry down the street from you.
  • Just by being here, holding that super phallic Berlinale microphone in your hand, you have succeeded in Phase One of a strategy that is only becoming known to you within segments, mindful of a step-by-step process of body illumination. Marie Louise Von Franz wrote about how a new archetype makes its presence known through rumor. Haven’t you been spreading them for twenty years?   This is your moment of triumph, in which the planets align and the corresponding scenario unfolds on earth. The object of your devotion playing a hand in the full-scale embodiment on the screen is as close to consciousness as can be expected. Your early questions reveal your instinct for proactivity—to be incorporated into a signature style by the end of the festival. At least, this is what Mercury tells you transiting backwards in your sign of Aquarius!
  • How could you have known how huge would be the implications? Or that the universe had already decided for you that there was no diverting from your self-determined course?

 

DAY FOUR: IXCANUL VOLCANO

 

To perceive, in the darkness of the present, this light that strives to reach us but cannotthis is what it means to be contemporary. As such, contemporaries are rare. And for this reason, to be contemporary is, first and foremost, a question of courage, because it means not only to firmly fix your gaze upon the darkness of the epoch, but also to perceive in this darkness a light that, while directed toward us, infinitely distances itself from us. In other words, it is like being on time for an appointment that one cannot but miss.

            — Giorgio Agamben

Being on time for an appointment that one cannot but miss sums up your life. Today, you have an interview scheduled for 10 AM, so you miss the first press screening of the Guatemalan film Ixacanul Volcano.   You are happy to have a precious extra hour of sleep!   The interview with Stina Werenfels takes place in the triangle building on Potsdamer Platz. She is the Swiss director of a breakthrough film Dora: the Sexual Neurosis of Our Parents, adapted from a critically acclaimed German play about a mother’s transformation arising from the turmoil of her handicapped daughter’s sexual awakening.

  • This was the first film you saw at the pre-Berlinale screenings. From the opening scene of a birthday party, you are blown away by the excitement of having your favorite German actress, Inga Busch (an Aquarian you declared as the embodiment of the once and future archetype) give a cherry red dress to Dora. Inga, with her adorable crooked smile, plays the Inanna character in Robert Bramkamp’s German/Sumerian trilogy. Of course, he doesn’t realize the character is Inanna until you tell him, but the avant-garde director is far more enthused than Herzog by your understanding of his capturing the Übermensch in film by way of the contemporary leap into the archaic!
  • So, it is all too magical that the Aquarian actress embodying the archetype presents Dora with the object of desire, the red dress which unleashes her sexual awakening. And Stina reveals what a female director means to the literal fabric of a film when she tells you how she struggled to get the decorations on the dress just right. The character of Dora is a magnificent creation of the very newness of passion of an unknown actress whose crude awakening to her body and its desires hits the viewer right in the stomach. The lush ripeness of pure Eros is that of a curving perspective as seen through a curved lens. This circular world created in the cinematography unfolds an erotic consciousness of a young woman entering puberty with the mind of an eight-year old, who feels no boundaries between herself and the universe.

 

 

The Swiss filmmaker Stina Werenfels

 

  • Stina relates the new technology allowing for her to paint a picture of a newly emerging erotic consciousness. This is due to a new camera from a highly experienced cinematographer. Including the viewer as participant in the unfolding of feminine desire resolves the inherent problem in depicting the feminine internal journey.   If the journey isn’t subjective then it is prone to be didactic or merely conceptual, but if it is subjective then it is dismissed, meaning no individual experience should be taken for the whole of humanity.
  • Robert Stoller startled the medical community with a 1975 paper that hasn’t been truly updated. “Sexual Excitement” addressed the problem of the lack of research on the topic of desire, which would continue for another forty years:
  • It is odd that such a powerful, intense, dangerous, gratifying experience as sexual excitement—one that has even been of central importance in the researcher’s own lives—does not provoke more investigation.
  • In addition, I believe most workers are not yet capable of taking on the question; without psychodynamic interests, they not only do not have a way to plumb subjective states but some have even risked embarrassment by denying that such exist. At times, this failure is disguised by referring the problem to the physiologists, with all the implication that the emergence of an episode of sexual excitement is a matter only of hormones, nervous system, and anatomy; or to the behaviorists with their belief that at the right moment chance association of excitement with any object or sexual style link the stimuli together; or to animal psychologists, who are not obliged to confront their subjects’ experience of selfhood. In private life, researchers know these explanations do not fit their own history, but, curiously, in publications, the subjective experience is ignored as if the researcher did not experience his own self. (901)
  • This counterproductive scientific view carries over into the making of art. The problem is how to make subjective art about desire with universal appeal. You have experienced how continental philosophy has dismissed desire as subjective and therefore of no interest to anyone but the individual experiencing it. This view doesn’t explain why all your friends want to hear about the latest behavior of Dark Cupid.
  • Dora is a breakthrough precisely because of the unexpected: turning the objectification of handicapped into the subject. The visceral element is particularly strong because the girl’s handicap has the effect of heightening tension due to uncertainty.   Operating out of the norm, the viewer doesn’t know the girl’s boundaries and loses a sense of their own. Her passion leads her to Dark Cupid and captures for cinema via breakout performances the realm of uncertainty Time’s Arrow points to when there are no internal hindrances to following desire.
  • The feminine focus on the body going through its changes is not for the squeamish. Dora might just be viewed as dumm, but she is like many of us in her compulsion to expose herself to injury in order to process the changes taking place in her body. As to be expected, the press reaction is negative.   No one seems to want to give the pioneers of the feminine school of storytelling a break. But you have gotten used to this, which is why you champion Dora at every opportunity, and will go to the press conference to get your input about the breakthrough on the official record.
  • On the other hand, there is a significant buzz for the competition film Ixacul Volcano missed in the press screening that morning. You are told it is a breakthrough because it is a fictional feature spoken almost entirely in the indigenous language. You get a ticket to see it at the Freidrichstadt Palast.
  • It also deals with a girl’s unwanted pregnancy obtained through an act of willful self-abandonment, but is far less controversial than Dora. Could that have to do with having a man as director? From the opening scene, you are immediately drawn into the feminine energy of Guatemala where you traveled by bus, precariously, through the jungle, holding your breath with every creak and groan of the makeshift bridges replacing the originals blown up by guerillas, leaving you to exclaim at the sign over the dashboard: no temen (do not fear).
  • Guatemala always strikes you as a place of beauty and danger in equal doses. The topography of volcanoes and snakes begs understanding of how creation and destruction arise from the same source—the earth. And this is what makes the film such a powerful portrait of Guatemala, revealing the indigenous people as bound to the land. These people are so beautiful in their colorful hand-embroidered clothing and exquisite faces containing the cyclical seasons in a prolonged glance. Yet, you have difficulty with the story, a screenplay written by the director, about a stunning young woman who is about to be married to a man of her parent’s choosing, a man that will elevate her in the village, and she isn’t interested. Inexplicably, she turns from this man to pursue a degenerate who holds out the hope that he will take her to the United States, as he attempts to have sex with her in the woods. She pursues him when he is drunk and gets pregnant as a result.
  • In struggling to get out of the convention of the certainty of married life, where she will be a slave to her husband, she is now at the mercy of her parent’s folk wisdom. Her mother compels her to walk through a field of snakes. The girl gets bitten and is taken to the urban hospital. Her life is saved, but is told her baby has died. She discovers the truth—her fiancé has intervened to take away the baby.
  • The story ends with her in the very place where she began in the opening of the film, preparing for her wedding. This last scene coming back to the first scene is poetic, revealing the indigenous people caught in the cycles of patterns set in with birth. This is on the opposite end of the spectrum of conscious entanglement, whereas informed proactive choices, initiated in the proper timing, have the potential for kairos. This village girl goes through a cycle without learning anything.
  • Waiting for the next show to begin, you meet Alex, an eccentric American who tells you that he writes for filmfestivals.com and has been covering the beat for over thirty years. He says he can judge the crowd reaction and picks the film you just saw as a winner. He thinks it will win the Golden Bear.   You point out that the Berlinale typically doesn’t go for the crowd pleasers.
  • And besides, you are offended by the stupidity of the girl and wonder the film couldn’t have been more empowering about the indigenous experience. Alex reprimands you for imposing your Western cultural views. Ha! Now, you understand the reasoning for his pick; the filmmaker was from the village. This is truly a Berlinale breakthrough, a feature film about the indigenous by the indigenous developing a circular narrative from the internal perspective. It isn’t quite the revolution, but it is a good beginning.
  • At the closing press conference of winners, you will learn that language became the Third space of play in the film. The director Jayro Bustamonte does win a Silver Bear for best screenplay and pulls it off by using non-actors from his village. His story circulates around the pressroom: no one responded to a notice about being an actor but many responded to a notice offering work. He wrote the screenplay based on fact, about an indigenous woman’s struggle for emancipation that also gets her pregnant; she doesn’t have sex out of desire, but surrenders to a man projected as her savior taking her to the promised land—the United States! This is a poignant theme made new by the telling from the indigenous perspective; within the dangers of destruction contained in the visually stunning landscape, the volcano above and the serpents in the field below, an allusive journey northwards to “freedom” is exchanged for sex.
  • The serpent is a key motif in the film, the symbol of the Kundalini energy. When awakened, this feminine power travels on its journey up or down the chakras, the seven energy centers in the body, as the pathway from heaven to earth, or conversely from earth to heaven.   This young woman has the potential for a folk empowerment, yet is trapped between the colonialist repression and folk superstition. Her proactive move is to exchange sex for a freedom ride to the border.
  • It fascinates you that the men you talked to thought Dora was horrible but agreed that Ixcanul Volcano, with its hopelessly passive female protagonist, should win a prize. This confirms the comfort zone in regards to female awakening. It will be accepted as long as it is domesticated and, preferably, directed by a man! This alerts you as the struggles that remain in place for women filmmakers who attempt to tell stories about female desire. How is the internal longing to be externalized? There have been few guides in literature for this. But what else can be expected given the short period of time that women have been permitted their own stories?
  • Prior to Web 2.0 promoting a free exchange of eroticism, the interior journey was condemned and dismissed as “subjective” by (male) critics.   This means that just as women were awakening to patriarchal repression, their struggle to tell their own stories began. They had to suffer through decades suppressing their emotional narrative—either by male critics or male creators seeking to utilize their partner’s feminine experience for their own art.   Meanwhile, women had few models, and little apprenticeship opportunity for integrating internal experience with the external components of filmmaking: narrative, motif, plot and character. Of course, Herzog claims he has triumphed by merging Bell’s poetry with the external landscape. But there are other avenues to be explored. It is simply going to take more experimentation, and time for new visions to filter through the system.
  • History is full of examples!   The New Wave French filmmakers made it perfectly fine to be subjective, as long as you were male! The pleasure-seeking woman could only be seen through the male gaze, but because Frenchmen are connected to the feminine through the seduction of their language; however, their films struggle for a world of mutual pleasure that comes all to frequently from the intellect, as opposed to the heart.
  • The problem with female creation has always been the binary; simply, the tension of opposites, which is responsible for dynamism, heightens the sexual charge in the atmosphere. With creation as an aphrodisiac, there comes the man who wants attention, at the expense of the creation. For a woman without funds, he may even come to demand it.
  • The change comes with the leap out of the tension of opposites into the in-between, reflecting the wavicle in physics, in which the gender opposites are interchangeable. This is true of Dora. The character acts and reacts out of the binary opposites. Her fearlessness catalyzes a leap into entanglement, potentially opening and ending an altered cinematic language of the surreal containing the hyper-realistic narrative with its drugs as the remedy for all of society’s ills. A key scene is a fight between the mother and daughter over contraceptives. The ending is a surreal descent into a hothouse of desire reminiscent of your sister’s film, Female Perversions, about a female lawyer’s breakdown. The film dared to leap from realism to the surreal through the central motif of the after-postmodern tension of opposites: a tightrope stretched between a masked queen and a masked king. This represented the precarious pathway to the hieros gamos.
  • A ritual from Swiss filmmaker Stina Werenfels: a new generation takes off on the robust DASEIN of the female sexual awakening, the discovery of the inherent polar opposites of Venus attraction.
  • In 1997, Female Perversions was prescient of the after-postmodern oscillation of opposites that didn’t become apparent in the culture until the invention of Facebook in 2004. This was the year of the first Venus Transit of the Sun, with the second to fall in 2012. The dramatic narrative of the film is sourced in Louise Kaplan’s Freudian book Female Perversions which, in detailing the covert female patterns of perversity, made it clear they were societal (shoplifting) or self-mutilation (cutting), rather than enacted through sexual intercourse. Tilda Swindon played an uptight bisexual lawyer whose breakdown takes her on a journey through these negative patriarchal female archetypes to a hopeful ending of the establishment of authentic emotional connections.
  • It was, in fact, your sister’s film, analyzed by means of a personal essay published in the weekly alternative press when the film appeared in a hometown cinema, that launched you into criticism:
  • The myth-shattering instinct seems to run in the family.   It may be our birthright, considering that my sister and I had a psychologist at the forefront of the Human Potential Movement as a father.   As children of the sixties, we rode the wave of every innovative form of therapy on the horizon, at the dinner table if not at encounter groups. Lately, we have been exploding the ones about sibling rivalry and competition between women by celebrating the release of the film Susan took five years to make, Female Perversions.   We were together with the rest of the family in the house where we grew up in Stamford, rejoicing two thumbs up by Siskel and Ebert.
  • The particular illusion shattered by this film is that of the Superwoman.  The main character, Eve, is a lawyer about to be appointed judge, yet instead of going up through the glass ceiling, she descends.  The prevailing image of the nightmares during her breakdown was that of a woman walking across a tightrope.
  • My sister and I tried to squeeze our ample hips into the power suits of the eighties—and found them confining.  I was a financial reporter and Susan became a Hollywood agent.
  • The youngest of three girls, I was also the most precocious; my tightrope snapped long before the ripening of the fruits of my professional labors.  Struggling like mad to hold up the image of a high flier in control of her success-driven vehicle, I crashed at 26 on the therapist’s couch in the U.S. Embassy in Mexico where I was contracted as a consultant.  “Look at you,” she said as I wiped my tears, “You look so sophisticated.  You are pathetic.”  (I discovered years later that she was dismissed for making up her credentials).  Susan helped me out with money and sensible advice—to return to the United States for therapy.  When I eventually landed in New York after a madcap detour through South America, I launched into my tale of obsession (different guy, same old archetype) in my interview at the Reichian Center and was immediately admitted.  Three times a week at a cost of ten dollars for an hour and a half a session with a therapist in training.   Finally, I decided I had enough.  “I’m interested in more esoteric forms of therapy,” I told her.  She warned me that I would end up just like my father.  No way, I told myself, was I interested in living in the ashram of an Indian guru.
  • I channeled my angst into writing.  A succession of negative female archetypes paraded across the pages dropping from my typewriter.  I realized in horror they were all me!  What had tormented my dreams and possessed me in life was slowly becoming conscious.  Meanwhile, Susan bailed me out once again by helping me obtain a script-reading job.
  • So it was not therapy, but art rescuing me from my torment.   As I continued my inner journey, positive reflections of my healing began to take the place of the projections of self-destructive impulses.   I retreated from the sleek Hollywood images of success and tempted the horrifying shadow of failure by maxing out my credit cards on crystals, New Age seminars and healers.
  • My knowledge helped provide a refuge for my sister as her own identification with the super agent began to collapse.  Discarding the external structure provided by the job for white canvas, she confronted through her painting the fear that had plagued me—falling into the abyss of psychosis where my father disappeared when we were infants.   Meanwhile, I was walking a new tightrope.  At one end was my goal of publishing a novel.  At the other end was the death of a dream.   Madness lurked below.  A new mirror—stardom—held up by my literary agent eventually shattered like all the others.  Publishers weren’t ready to examine the destructive impulses brought on by the raging sexuality of free-floating female intellectuals.  Women editors, my writing teacher warned me, were stringent defenders of the patriarchal values, upholding the myth of the Superwoman along with the padded shoulders of their power suits.  What a relief then, for the crash landing of the nineties and the dark mirror of Courtney Love, who had difficulty holding her body up, never mind a polished image.
  • While the rest of the world may be looking to Hollywood to bring us the prototype of truly liberated women, those of us that worked daily with scripts know better.  The women characters in slick, high concept scripts by the end of the decade of greed were terrible distortions of the Superwoman.  They had become mean, with computer chips in the place of a heart.   More thoughtful scripts contained strokes of a different type, but like women themselves, the characterizations were unfinished sketches, projects still in the making.  The myth that Joseph Campbell alluded to—the one bringing in the new archetypes—was not ready to take hold.
  • Meanwhile, despite the quantities of creative individuals brandishing crystals into their creative battles, the old myths prevailed in Hollywood.  Female Perversions certainly shattered the one about there not being any good roles for women.  After all suitable American actresses turned down the role of Eve, the part went to Tilda Swinton, a Scottish actress.  They obviously didn’t share our vision—that Eve’s dark sexual journey paves the way to the light of a post-feminist discovery—the truly liberated woman.  But as my sister and I discovered in our own personal lives, the only way out of the darkness is through the darkness.
  • The film’s narrative depicts the specific path of liberation through the chilling confrontation with the unrecognized Dark Sister, who sits in a jail cell awaiting freedom by the hand of—guess who—her sister.  Paradoxically, by embracing the one school of psychology my father ignored, Susan and I took a path that forced us to uncover what he managed to repress through all his incarnations.  In the film, this shadow is a predominant image rising from the subconscious—a huge primal mud covered female with matted hair.
  • Three years ago, I embraced that woman in the Native American sweat lodge.  The shaman who escorted me foretold of the emergence of a new female archetype.  “What can I do?” I asked.  “Hold the energy,” he replied.
  • The greatest source of anxiety in the Western world is masked by sexual perversions and never acknowledged for what it is—a longing for Eros.  In a Sumerian myth, the love goddess, Inanna, descends into the underworld. There she is put to death by her Dark Sister, Ereshkigal.  My sister and I have held the energy for one another during the course of our individual underworld journeys.  And as sisters in the larger culture, women are uncovering the old mythologies by attuning to the moon cycles as they gather in sweat lodges to celebrate a new vision of the feminine—women capable of embracing and containing their sexuality.
  • Hollywood’s resistance to seeing its own dark projection seems confirmed by the reaction to Female Perversions.  Los Angeles had the lowest box office of the ten cities the film opened in at the end of April (with a four-month run in Germany).  Personal experience taught me that women in Los Angeles don’t care to look behind their glamorous images.  Before I left the city, I was house-sitting for a movie producer and his wife, who had ambitions of being an actress.  She was a stunning beauty with cat eyes and a sexual magnetism that could turn from creative to destructive in an instant.  Her Dark Sister emerged with a vengeance as she broke free from her marriage, projecting her Shadow onto her husband, who she later accused of trying to kill her.  I saw the inevitable and gave her the cards of all the healers I knew, to no avail; the only help she thought she needed was that of a plastic surgeon.  Her fate was sealed.  The surgery exacerbated the mental breakdown.  She became psychotic and her escape from the mental ward resulted in homelessness.
  • Thus, women have the choice.  They can proceed consciously to embrace their dark sister along a spiritual journey into the shining star of the new female archetype, or they can proceed in darkness until they look in the mirror as Eve does, and see themselves consumed by a devouring hunger, prisoner of their own desires.
  • During the course of a recent interview in London, my sister was alarmed to discover that the distributors included handcuffs with the promotional materials for the film.  When she told me this, a vision of handcuffs breaking open flashed across my mind.  As a descendant of Eve, I have, after many years of struggle, liberated myself from the jail of other people’s projections.  What remains?   The cutting open of any other attachments—real or perceived—that stand in the way of my becoming an authentic woman.

The surprise comes at the end of an extremely self-empowering interview, when you tell this Swiss filmmaker that she reminds you of your sister. Brilliant, elegant, beautiful, with curly hair and nerves of steel. They actually look alike. And when you mention Female Perversions and what a breakthrough it was even for today, with only you and the Germans understanding it, she suddenly lit up. “That was the last film I saw before shooting!” And there it is, a feedback loop to warm your heart.

  • You knew it was something of a cult film that got categorized even in Filmgate 451 with the erotic films, but now you have confirmation of the influence your sister’s breakthrough film on a new generation of female filmmakers. Doesn’t it make sense that for a film to transform the filmmaker, they would want this process to be reflected in their product? Isn’t this the power and strength of the female artist, to imprint her creations with own transformational processfrom the subjective to the universal?
  • This empowering interview with Stina is proof that the very struggle to integrate inner and outer, now being symbolized in philosophy as the Mobius strip, is the foundation for a new modernist movement. This too suggests a fourth wave of feminism in which the long-repressed feminine (kundalini serpent) power is integrated into the body of work, and the human body. How can you communicate the joy of living in one’s body, and the power of the body to relate its stories through the erotic consciousness?
  • The technology of a new camera afforded the distorted view from the “dumm” (the German word for retarded) girl with the mind of an eight-year-old (facilitated by the fact that Stina’s daughter is eight) and body becoming a woman lusted after by Dark Cupid. This establishes the transition between hyperrealism, with its detail of drug-taking, and the surrealism of the mother’s descent into her own desire, serving as a female intervention into the original play, penned by a man. Stina reveals that Dora was sterilized in the play, which had been the practice in the German-speaking world up until the seventies. This was the taboo among taboos that the filmmaker was peeling away in getting to the core of the myth of the descent as ultimately that of transformation: first, the sexuality with disability; second, the matter of the disabled with fertility; and finally, there was the taboo of motherhood and limits to unconditional love. “I needed to pull this through,” she said, adding that if she compromised for tactical sake (the surreal ending of descent made the financers nervous) “then it would be corrupted.”
  • “There is something of Dora in me,” said the young actress Victoria Schulz at the press conference. Perhaps the biggest breakout of an actress in the entire festival, Schulz created such a powerful presence of feminine awakening on screen, memorable in her red dress, clearly an entry into a new archetype made possible by an unfiltered passion. It helps that she is East German, raised in the environment of celebrating the body with nude bathing in public. Stina tells you: “I was scared to death someone else would discover her. She was completely in the part.” Schulz is natural in the art of being the moment, which you are beginning to understand is what great acting is really about.
  • The second press screening of the third day offered yet another woman’s journey into emancipation, a remake of Diary of a Chambermaid. The film is gorgeously made, the cinematography unfurling like a painting holding the stunning French ingénue Lea Seydoux in its thrall. As the French can do best, it reveals the constriction of the feminine as an orphan with no way out from her miserable condition, and thus shifts her fate into destiny by taking a proactive role in the robbery of her cruel employers with her lover, the groundskeeper who frees her from servitude.
  • Aside from delivering a new dewy-eyed French star into view, what is the point in going backwards to depict a time when a beautiful orphan had no other means of living than surrendering to sexual demands? Benoit Jacquot proclaims that he remade Diary of a Chambermaid to honor the source, Octave Mirbeau’s decadent novel Le Journal d’une Femme de Chamber.
  • You are impressed with the emphasis of the chambermaid’s participation in the crime that frees her from a dreadful fate. After every other possibility closes to her, she choses a self-enriching path of revenge against the evil woman whose life purpose seemed to be about making her beautiful servant suffer. The chambermaid coolly assesses the alternatives available; as they shut down one after the other, she lets the groundskeeper seduce her into a plan to run away together.   When you watch in fascination as she helps him clear out the valuables of the house in the dead of night, you realize that is a modern female’s proactive leap into uncertainty.
  • Your question to the director prefaces this observation by mentioning the other 65. Berlinale films with heroines as marked by proactivity, and you ask if this was his addition or if it was in the book and earlier film adaptation. Benoit seems to be grateful for the question, saying that the chambermaid’s crime was in the book and also the earlier film, but his intention was to emphasize it.   In the theft scene, the director made it perfectly clear that his heroine was no passive witness to a crime; indeed, what made the chambermaid a heroine was taking responsibility for her life. Thus, the literary figure is not only a prototype for the working poor, revealing their consciousness of their condition, but also for the liberated feminine capable of showing two faces, the dark and the light.
  • Ultimately, the director’s explanation for why he wanted to make a new film version of the book that changed the conditions of the working poor in France reinforces your belief that a literary work is able to change the world. Why else do we perform these acts of setting the world right in literature, if not to bring change to the world? And, what fascinates you about Benoit’s treatment of the material is the focus on quantum entanglement as the energy of life-transformation. The conspiracy of the theft makes the lovers equal partners in a crime, and therefore on equal footing to begin a new life.
  • The film was an interesting insight into today’s aggressive restoration of plutocracy. The lovers’ erotic entanglement was paramount to the leveling between class hierarchies. This is the quest you have always sought in your own creative avenues of escape from the patriarchy: the feeling of a secret pitting you and your lover against the world.   In fact, Stoller likens the act of creating sexual excitement in life to the scenario of filmmaking:
  • The person to be aroused is the “writer,” who has been at work on the story since childhood. The story is an adventure in which the hero/heroine runs risks that must be escaped. Disguised as fiction, it is an autobiography in which are hidden crucial intrapsychic conflicts, screen memories of actual events, and the resolution of all these elements into a happy ending, best celebrated by orgasm. The characters are chosen because they resemble (though usually not to be identical in appearance with) important people of childhood, such as oneself and one’s parents and siblings. Most often, the writer becomes the director, moving the action out into the world of real people or other objects; these are chosen because they are perceived by the writer-director as filling the criteria already written into the role. If the chosen characters pretty much fill the parts, they work. They should, however, have just a touch of unpredictability in their behavior; that introduces the illusion of risk. If unvaryingly predictable, they bore one; on the other side, if they do not stick close enough to their assigned role, anxiety results and they are traded in.   (906)
  • Never were truer words written about the power of the contemporary, who happens to be a female novelist—to create a Mobius strip interweaving life and art. The tightrope that such a text must cross between the personal and universal, the surrender to uncertainty establishing the risk (James Franco!).   What delicious tension!
  • Through the tension, you come to understand why Franco (who famously proclaimed “I would rather be a novelist than play a novelist”) seeks to be on the other side of the boundary from his perch on the podium—sitting as you do, pen poised to spiral reporter’s notebook, unbidden to the pressures of immediacy in the social network and therefore free to publish in your own timing, revealing codes in sequence with timing.
  • Your arrival at the 65. Berlinale is the epitome of your lifelong scenario created for sexual excitement that ends up as fiction. This scenario of intertwining opposites stretching across the public boundary of red tape, with the stakes in today’s 24/7 media higher than Deleuze could ever have imagined.
  • And what of this game reaching its logical conclusion? What if you declare the Berlinale as an EVENT and then focus on James Franco, who makes this age of the fading movie star come erotically alive with the unexpected? What if, in your invented mythology, you publicize the secret passage to the hieros gamos to be experienced only as an act of mutual entanglement between an artist and his critic?
  • You are fully aware of this toss of the Deleuzian dice. But how much of the outcome can be perceived, if not manifested beforehand, by your quantum leaps into the future? This method to your madness is flowing like a river in your subconscious but, miraculously, not interfering with your instincts honing in on the artifacts that make your philosophy a fact. This is despite being born from a woman! Ha! Not just any woman, but the Sky Goddess! The Übermensch!
  • Isn’t this truly what all the excitement is about? Not the celebrity sightings, but the excitement of being among the first to experience a new work of art…there is nothing like it! You would have that feeling in an artist’s studio in the presence of an unveiling in response to a dare. Yet, the rude awakening inevitably comes when you realize the ability of others to see the work is limited, all the more so with the market driving art production. A film, however, is meant to be seen, not simply one person at a time, but collectively. This explains why you shifted your interest from writing about fine art to writing about film, even though you knew there would be even less money in film criticism.   In fact, you encountered the Francostein figure of the after-postmodern at the intersection between the two! The creative turn of his ubiquity served as a symbol of the Multiplicity and Serendipity arising from the collapsed quantum wave.
  • Saturday afternoon, you are playing catch-up. You get a ticket for 45 Years at the Friedrich Palast and then run over to vintage East Berlin Soviet-style International for the premiere of Cobain: Montage of Heck. The only free seat is in the middle of the front row.   Marked with your name! Ha! You feel the screening is for you alone, an art critic smashing the boundaries between mediums in public; you will be delighted through this evening’s projection to discover this is what Kurt Cobain did in private!
  • You feel positively regal sitting as close to the filmmaker as possible in a seat that has your name marked with invisible ink.   You are manifesting, with every breath, the quantum wave collapse––with you and your theory inside the curl (as Carter’s beautiful paintings will demonstrate to you a month later). This prompts your hand to shoot up to ask a question. You preface your question by thanking Courtney Love, who is sitting in the back of the theater, for her courage in allowing such primal footage (of her and Kurt’s descent) to be included and Brett Morgan thanks you for mentioning Courtney as he reiterates that the film wouldn’t have been made without her.
  • And now, fully aware of your being dispatched by the Templar past to bring the future into the present, you mention the obituary you read in Rolling Stone declaring the rock star a symbol for the dying age of Pisces. You ask Brett if he has any sense of the mystical Cobain when making the film.   He claims, as artists typically do, not to be mystical, but that he felt his subject’s presence entering the process in mysterious ways.   This makes you want to write…while eating fish!
  • . You head straight for the Vietnamese restaurant on the next block and order dinner. Eating fish, you begin to interpret the film’s view of the dying age of Pisces through the tragic drug-addicted struggle of the Cobains to enter the Third space of the hieros gamos from the wounded and co-dependent Piscean psyche (Fisher King). You are so struck by the art in the film revealing the extent of the wound that you want to manifest into your film the next MoMA blockbuster. Despite the late hour, and your tiredness, you are excited by the notion of the quantum leap in action. You think ahead as 1, 2, 3…write the review, submit, send the link to the Chief Curator of Film at MoMA. This is the critic taking her theory of the quantum leap into the Third to heart!
  • You are obsessed with being the first to publish a review of the Cobain film, which introduces the prophetic art made by the rock star the world has never seen. You are so inspired by the film’s visual innovations that you aim to push out a complex review in the space of the few hours you can spare of wakefulness. You are exhausted though, and manage a draft, knowing it needs work. Before you fall blessedly asleep, the serpents materializing from Ixcanul Volcano are working in your subconscious mind.
  • The serendipitous revelation of the day, that you barely have time to process, is the discovery in the news room through the mouth of an aptly placed Swiss journalist: Stina is the wife of Samir, the filmmaker of Iraqi Odyssey about his family diaspora in the Iraqi diaspora in search of a new myth. The critically heralded film left you stunned, as the words of Samir’s passionate London-based uncle repeated over the closing credits: “We need a new myth.”   As this journalist reveals this hidden connection, you realize that you recognize Stina from Iraq Odyssey in which Samir reveals that, in his new home in Switzerland he has finally met his Penelope. When you originally hear this at the pre-Berlinale screenings in January, you wanted shout INANNA in a voice raised above the din of the family reunion during the closing credits.
  • Incredibly, the celebration bringing the family diaspora together takes place in Sils Maria, where Nietzsche had his revelation of the Eternal Return from his 1881 encounter with his Philosopher’s Stone.   So, right before you is a twenty-first century mythology of the hieros gamos arising out of the Venus Transit of 2012 taking place in the same Swiss topography as that of the Venus Transit of 1882!
  • Your thesis, finished just a short distance from that historic location, is about the Sumerian mythology as the ever-present origin for the sacred marriage, a myth being lived by the filmmaker Samir, with his filmmaker wife, Stina, the filmmaker of Dora. Now, here you have been acausally presented with a manifestation of the new archetype of feminine desire as both bisexual and complete unto itself and transcendent. For all the taboos that the film confronted, the deepest of all lay in desire sourced in hostility, as brilliantly played by Lars Eidinger, the lover, who dehumanizes Dora into being the Goddess of pleasure, impregnating her without any intention of forming a lasting relationship. The hostility underlying his passion for Dora depicts the startling conclusion of Stoller’s essay:

…I am convinced this use of a story line is fact, not metaphor, and that it holds (with some elements conscious and some not, for some people more and for some less) for most people. Less certain is how extensively hostility and its permutations, especially revenge, are found in any episode of sexual excitement. Perhaps the following will turn out to be correct: as one proceeds along a continuum toward less use of mechanisms of hostility, one is proceeding from the bizarre (psychotic) through the character disorders we diagnose as perversions and on into the range of the normative, where the mechanisms propelling the excitement are energized by hostility, but where affection and capacity for closeness also thrive. Then, at the far end of the continuum, is a small group of contented people who enjoy (even in fantasy) loving, unhostile relationships with someone else and who are not so frightened by intimacy that they must fetishize the other person. And for them, it is a person; they do not have to dehumanize. (908-909)

 

DAY 4: KNIGHT OF CUPS

 

That which impedes access to the present is precisely the mass of what for some reason (its traumatic character, its excessive nearness) we have not managed to live. The attention to this “unlived” is the life of the contemporary. And to be contemporary means in this sense to return to a present where we have never been.

            —Giorgio Agamben

  • Today is Sunday, the third full day of the festival. You arrive in time to get a front row balcony seat for Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups, his first film offering since Tree of Life won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2001 and elevated the American filmmaker to an
  • You love the title, of course. You use the tarot as a daily oracle of self-reflection and were inspired to place tarot cards as chapter heads in a novel about a young woman’s spiritual journey through Los Angeles in the New Age eighties.   The story was not conceptual but real, meaning embodied. Your interaction with the tarot was your tool filtering the consciousness of your mystical journey through the City of the Angels. Great minds think alike! It is only natural they appear in your fiction, preceding the film by a dozen years, though there was no easy way to insert images into text at the time. The convertibility between word and image of Web 2.0 was simply in your imagination.
  • But you were always ahead of your time, were you not? In fact, you were so far into the mystical ethers, as your brain started to shift gears, that you sought out the Knight of Pentacles for grounding:
  • “…Francais?” She was reading a script outdoors at Cafe Casino, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, when a male voice interrupted, asking if she was French.
  • She shook her head without bothering to look up.
  • “Oh,” the man exclaimed in an unfamiliar accent. “You don’t look American.”
  • She looked up, but the glare of sunlight blocked her vision. She had been rather engrossed in the story of obsession set in Paris. A bit of French roll remained on her plate. Perhaps it was the Charles Jourdan pumps squeezing her feet that made this foreigner think she was French.
  • “I have been watching you,” said the voice.
  • She glanced at the stranger once more but didn’t get a good look until he moved in front of the sun. He was stunning, with a finely chiseled face, piercing blue eyes, a lush head of curls and flawless olive skin. She opened her mouth but no words came out. This god, disguised as a sun worshipper in his tight shorts and polo shirt, had a beauty that left her heroine speechless.
  • They smiled at one another, the god and the tender maiden, basking in their reflection. “Can I join you?” he asked. She nodded and tossed the script aside. The obsession would have to wait. “Where are you from?” she asked.  
  • “I am Roman,” he said as he sat in the seat opposite her.
  • “Roman? Your accent isn’t Italian.”
  • His smile made her weak. She made a silent prayer of gratitude to the universe for sending her such a gift, for she knew they would become lovers. “I am a wanderer,” he replied. “I have lived many places.”
  • “And what brought you here?” she asked.
  • “Business.”
  • “You like L.A.?”
  • “Very difficult to meet people here.”
  • “American women. Do you like them?”
  • He frowned in disappointment. “American women have a problem with sex. They fix themselves up to attract men and once they get him, they don’t know what to do with him.”
  • She laughed. “The sexual revolution has taken all the fun out of flirting. Women have gained their independence…”
  • “But they miss the best things in life.”
  • “The best things? Like sex?”
  • He bestowed her with a glorious smile and she held back the urge to confess she was missing those things as well. For what? Independence and car fare got her to Hollywood and back.
  • He stands. “A walk on the beach?” Like the perfect European gentleman, he insisted on carrying her scripts. They strolled down the path to Ocean Avenue. He stopped before a shiny red sports car. “A ride?” he asked.
  • She laughed. “I make it a practice to never get in a strange man’s car.” His smile warmed her heart. “I’m not so strange,” he declared. She shielded her eyes from the sun hovering like a fiery red ball on the horizon. The beach felt safe. She suggested heading down the cliff to the sand to watch the sunset.
  • “Let’s put your scripts in my car,” he said. He bent down to unlock the door and deposited them inside. They strolled down the path to the white fence on the crumbling cliff and down some steps to the pedestrian bridge overpass to the beach. A faded mural crumbled at the edges and the earth looked liked like it was about to break off and topple onto the highway. The steps smelled like urine and were littered with garbage. Astara kicked aside a discarded shoe. “A haven for the homeless.”
  • “It is terrible the way they don’t provide for the people in this country,” he replied. “All the homeless people…you don’t see that in Europe.”
  • She looked to the horizon. The fiery ball was about to disappear over the ocean. Streaks of orange and purple crossed wispy clouds. “Let’s run,” she said. “We’re going to miss it.”
  • They ran through the parking lot with the building advertising bicycle rentals and when they got to the bike path, they bent down to take off their shoes and walked barefoot to the edge of the surf. “Do you swim?” he asked.
  • “Not here. The water is too polluted.”
  • The attraction between them was electric but she got the additional bonus of being grounded by his earthy sensuality. She wondered where they could have met before and asked what he did for a living. The god hesitated before answering, as if his mission to earth were a secret not to be revealed. “I am a fashion photographer, here to set up an office for a magazine we are starting up in Athens.”
  • “The girls must all be after you.”
  • He led her to the dry sand where they sat and watched the sun disappear. It never failed to give her chills…watching the sun take a day that could never be lived again. It was a form of death. Her secret desire was to be comforted but she was too shy to reach out for this man, any man. She felt pulled by the rhythm of the sea. Her will was breaking down like a rough pebble beaten into a smooth submission by the gentle force of the waves.
  • A sense of foreboding caused her to jump up with a cry. “It isn’t safe.”
  • He pulled her down. “I’ll protect you.”
  • Your knight! Your Tristan!!! And now, you could hardly believe it was happening! Your literary works were the sites of innovation before the technology was ready to combine word and image, and now here it is happening digitally, in a theatrical film!   How glorious to see the occult projected right onto a forty-foot screen!
  • On the way to the screening, you remember how long you waited for the spiritual journey narrative to enter the arts.   You already experienced this with Susan Weirich’s Tarot Card project mystifying the narrative of Robert Bramkamp’s Art Girls film you champion with your criticism. And how right are your instincts to guide you to the screen for a full immersion—straight from the collective unconscious to collective consciousness.
  • As you await the opening of the curtain to behold the new wonder from this American filmmaker legend, you remember how you attended a conference about writing the spiritual journey in Santa Monica and were astounded to find no direction in the keynote speakers, who most certainly hadn’t performed the feat of transmitting a spiritual journey into everyday narrative. This is a steep task for literature, as it must perform the feat of taking back the projections serving traditional narrative through characterizations. How to instill the consciousness of the mirages in the desert so the personality might become individuated? The process of spiritual recapitulation is the reverse of cinematic projection; the former involves going inwards to process the outer images while the latter projects images outwards. Somewhere in the middle…interior and exterior combine as a Mobius strip in a constant continuum feedback loop.
  • You remember the American writer Annie Dillard, the keynote speaker of that conference, reading from her new book about the experience of nature and arrogantly proclaiming: “Do not write from your own life.” You boldly make a public appeal to the organizer, who so little impressed you that you cannot now recall his name. Your question is basic. You want to know why we don’t have examples of the spiritual journey in our literature? You ask if it simply isn’t being published, or if it doesn’t exist. And he is stumped, unable to answer, and so you attempt to prompt him and he holds up his hand and proclaims: “No wait…whenever I am asked something that I can not logically answer, I ask the right brain.” But then, the right brain spoke about how these stories have yet to be written. It wasn’t his answer, but rather the public means of directing an unanswerable question to the right hemisphere of his brain that provided you with the unexpected response: the spiritual journey needs to come from both sides of the brain working together—the integration of subjective and objective reality—to enter the hieros gamos.
  • For the next decades you are on the pursuit of the inexplicable, recognized only in momentary flashes and temporary states of dislocation. When your brain stopped shifting gears, you were ready to embark. The process became one of the dance of opposites, right vs. left brain, until they combined to establish the logic of the image with its inherent ordering principle.   Nonstop. Yes, you can understand James Franco’s frenzy just to get through it; it was the same with you in the underground with far less financial resources and much dimmer light.
  • The characters and environment changes, but the scenario is the same. You have become patient in the process of waiting for others to catch up. For fifteen years now, you have been actively seeking as a critic the arising of a new mythology transporting the new archetypes to the collective consciousness. You make certain to position yourself as the weekly regular critic at the local newspaper chain so you could review across disciplines.
  • Who better to deliver the cinematic collapse between inner and outer than Terrance Malick, the high priest of the everyday spiritual narrative since his Tree of Life intersected the brain hemispheres with the marriage of hierarchical and linear narrative. The theme of that film was how trauma can serve to open one up to mystical experience if one can let grief in. Moving from the figurative to the abstract, the overriding intensity of the anima mundi connects all elements of life together in the Malick film. This cinematic trajectory was introduced in Days of Heaven, a search for the archetype that you have been driven to discover, uncover and announce. The icon would emerge in full bloom in the splendorous The New World (2005) about the love affair between Pocahontas (Q’orianka Kilcher) and Captain John Smith (Colin Farrell).
  • ***
  • The excitement builds as the curtain opens and then comes the release, like an orgasm on screen. You are flung into the earth’s atmosphere as the curve. Here it is. The view of the horizon you are continually running towards, the horizon that forever eludes you, now comes towards you from the screen! This is utterly perfect to be experiencing this from such a huge screen. A gift from the Malick gods! Surely a sign that you have nothing left to do. Nothing to do but BE! Yes, be the audience/participant of this sumptuous feast of quantum reality!
  • No more of this constant nonstop effort to push forward into a future that never seems to happen. The future has arrived! From the macro to the micro, the thirsty city of angels comes into focus. Los Angeles, the capital of the grail quest for the truly modern—is never achieved because the horizon that attracts with the imminently fashionable keeps shifting as one approaches…
  • The film impresses you as a valiant struggle to create a language of the Third, as the space between opposites.   Los Angeles is the chief character. Water, with its various modes of desert containment, or resistance, is the ongoing visual motif. Malick’s view of the city is thirsty, yes, but also a multi-faceted crystal, the gleaming skyscrapers, gilded boardrooms and majestic crumbling theaters downtown to grotesque costumed parties of surgically masked people around glittering swimming pools in the hills. Through all these levels of existence is the flowing stream of consciousness in the form of a man’s interior voice as the human representation of the archetype of excessthe overflowing Knight of Cups. Christian Bale is propelled through the city by an inner void on Judgment Day as he visits the sites of his superficial achievements and discovers they don’t fulfill him. You can feel the paradigm shifting as you watch it, even as you tire of the male Voice. Where is the Goddess? Oh yes, up the stairs of the temple where yoga is being performed, the crossing hands symbolizing the crossroads for humanity, the day of reckoning. Which side of the Wheel of Fortune are we on?
  • The male narrator’s voice is that of the mourning patriarchy, or rather the patriarchy that refuses to mourn.   In practice, it is the inner monologue of the male protagonist who doesn’t speak a word in the duration of the film. The frequent changes in scale, from high to low, and the defined horizontal gridlines of the city to the open expanse of desert, is such a reminder of your own multilayered LA experience being flung from spiritual ecstasy to the parched earth that it becomes painful to watch.
  • It is your intention to leave early so you can slip out the side door and be among the first to arrive at the press conference. But you haven’t worn your watch so you don’t realize how soon you actually leave and when you get to the empty pressroom and scribble down your question for Malick, revising and revising, you are embarrassed to discover there is no placard for the director. As people file in after the screening, everyone but you seems to know that he doesn’t give interviews or appear at press conferences.   Now you suddenly understand the reason for his legend (an American refraining from publicity?) and wish you had stayed to the end. (In fact, you do see it after it opens in Berlin with your fellow student, Christina, and you both are completely enraptured, launching into a discussion that went on in the Berlin trams for hours as you got lost in the early hours of the morning.)
  • As the empty seats around you fill in before the start of the press conference, all you hear is grumbling. You launch into a discussion with a male critic from India sitting behind you that wants to know why he didn’t use more symbolism, while others kept throwing out that cliché about the “obvious” symbolism; you disagreed, finding the symbols arising through the environment as projections of the male journey through the L.A. labyrinth.
  • “Malick’s approach is too innovative for people too fathom,” you comment to a seasoned American critic at the Canadian Embassy luncheon grumbling dismissive reply: “Like a 15 year old girl.” His point is made when you tell him you only saw half of the film; as if your instinct to leave early wasn’t just about getting in the press conference, but because the circular narrative had nowhere to go. This reveals the dangers of the artist spinning out into the collective consciousness gathering symbols into the ontology of a serpentine narrative: ego attempts to pass off its sophistic ruminations as a dedication to an authentic spiritual quest. There isn’t the conventional moment of epiphany because there aren’t the small movements into proactivity hurtling one towards the quantum leap. Having embarked your quest in Los Angeles, you remember how confused you were by the difference between ego and soul suffering.
  • While there isn’t any plot except for the purported quest coming through the Voice Over, there is just undefined character, the pure archetype of eternal youth which makes the Knight of Cups an iconic Los Angeles figure…an undefined and unfocused seeker.
  • How can there be a Mobius strip integration of interior and exterior in a character that has no mode of inner reflection? Christian Bale plays Rick, an outwardly successful but inwardly unfulfilled man adrift in Los Angeles, fated to confront his inner projections (yes, this is revolutionary!) on a series of women—chiefly the opposites of the dark and light archetypes played by Cate Blanchet and Natalie Portman.
  • Asked if he ever felt such an inner void, Bale replies: “I don’t like to compare myself to the characters I play.”   Yet, he is open about the process of working with Malick: “I had no lines but pages of notes to pick and choose what I could be comfortable with.” He did offer some insight into his character: “I felt as though women were Rick’s primary source of life after his family and that is why he revisits so many…”
  • Natalie Portman is more precise: “Rick experiences his journey through his relationships with women. The diverse people he finds in Los Angeles…superficial people… and Cate Blanchett has great soul and humanity. The city can encompass both of those extremes.”
  • Even with this understanding of the main character, the entire project seems to be something of a mystery for the actors. Says Bale: “The interesting thing is Terry’s approach; he didn’t tell us what it was about. This was something gestating for a long time. We worked on the character…who he is… I almost forgot the name….He liked to call it ‘torpedoing us with non-actors’ to get real response. It is about someone whose dreams and desires are fulfilled, but he feels an inner void…I never knew what I was doing every day. Let’s see what happens…there are a lot of happy accidents in that.”
  • Whatever the outcome, Malick taking up the quantum challenge to create the conditions for kairos is significant. His method seems to be the spiritual attempt to reduce the role of ego, i.e. the director, in filming the human psyche faced with a new emergence. He will confirm this six months later in Saas Fee, when he asks you: “I can’t remember what is in them, can you?” And the trust is, you can’t remember what is in your own creations. And the truth is, you can’t. This is what happens when you create in the Third space; the creation is birthed through the Self, rather than the ego, and the Self has no memory as it is totally concerned with the essence of the present.
  • Malick isn’t present at the press conference, but his actors made it seem like he wasn’t present at filming either. For anyone who isn’t into quantum reality, how could they understand the need to perform beyond the Heisenberg uncertainty principle? This is always a lie in the projective medium—that the characters you watch are alone in the room and the surrounding director and crew have not effect on the outcome of what happens before the camera. Their presence has no affect on the action. Malick is clearly experimenting with the Third, in which the momentum towards the quantum leap replaces the director, while serendipity and multiplicity build subsequent moments of magical entanglements recorded by the camera.
  • Establishing a dialogue around this scenario of the departure of ego in film direction led to an authentic moment of breakthrough during an ongoing discussion in the series Desire’s Multiplicity and Serendipity filtering Deleuze/Badiou through a new post-gender d filter at the Institute for Cultural Investigation in Berlin. Following a clip of Eyes Wide Shut, Dr. Anke Engel suggests a Third entity involved in the gender conversion taking place between Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise in the key scene in which she switches gender roles while questioning her husband’s sexual loyalty. The scene was made all the more authentic because her husband in the film is her husband in life.   You are chuckling and want to shout out, yes, the Third entity is the director, Stanley Kubrick! But what you are now wondering is whether you would have had that response about the camera capturing the struggle a real couple’s desire to merge in the hieros gamos if you had not experienced Knight of Cups?
  • Entering the 360-degree perspective, the description of the evolutionary state the twentieth century philosopher Jean Gebser called integral reality, it is easy to look back at the history of film and view the attempt to arrive at cinema magic through the chemical reaction among actors, which can take some provoking from the directors.
  • The Holy Grail of cinema, as the art form of celluloid that has no material substance, is to capture conversion and its moment of kairos onscreen (a contradiction in terms because the very role of “director” means to control) thereby documenting the wave collapse from linear to cyclical time. Yet, the authentic conversion, the shedding of identity implicated in the mythical cycle of life/death/rebirth, is typically blocked by the ego wanting to preserve the past rather than face the uncertainties of the future. This explains Malick’s abrupt break with the conventional narrative and character development through dialogue after the success of instigating contemporary time fractures into Tree of Life. Yet, projection and synchronicity are frequently confused, which is what makes an authentic conversion so difficult:
  • If we want to grasp the differences between the projection and synchronistic events more precisely, we shall have to look more closely at a point as yet mentioned only peripherally, namely, the flow of psychic energy. Jung pointed out that the aforementioned disturbance of adaptation that justifies our labeling subjective images as projections occurs only when the psychic energy begins to regress, the energy that before had flown toward the object and activated the psychic idea of it we had made for ourselves. The energy flows back to the subject, either because it is repelled by the object (unrequited love, or an enemy obligingly offering no opportunity for a quarrel) or because it simply flows back spontaneously, without any cause that we can discover. The inner self-regulation of the psyche sometimes causes this in order to “charge” another object or to raise the inner potential. In synchronistic events the situation is different. In this case, as the archetype in the unconscious is “explosively” constellated, which is often the case, as Jung emphasizes, when consciousness sees no way out of some life situation, or when it sees no solution to a problem. In projection, therefore, the undisturbed flow of energy inward from ego to Self, that is, re-flexio (reflection), is blocked, whereas in the synchronistic event the flow of energy from the Self to the ego and daytime consciousness is thwarted, that is, a “realization” is blocked. In the case of projection the psychic energy recedes to the subject’s unconscious; in synchronistic phenomena it flows from the unconscious toward the ego in order to guide it toward a creative discovery. That is why Jung called synchronistic events acts of creation in time: they indicate that the experiencing subject, should realize something which has been constellated in the unconscious, whether this be a new idea or a healing insight. (Marie Louise von Franz; Projection and Recollection in Jungian Psychology)
  • Von Franz should be required reading among filmmakers today seeking to incorporate the quantum leap into their creative output. No other person on the planet could articulate so clearly the psychic process of projection among the grail seekers of today. Armed, as always, with this knowledge, you will be intrigued that this targeted response by a seasoned critic in his sixties that you will receive in two days time is precisely why you feel the film matters. It is revolutionary for the most pioneering American auteur should break the envelope to give a fifteen-year-old girl a starting point for bringing her spiritual journey into focus. This is, and will always be, innocent maiden inside you:
  • She had to smile. He was beautiful and gentle…with no hint of the bent of maniacal destruction, like the others she attracted. He had warmth, sensuality and wore something so innocent and pure behind the enigmatic veil of seduction, which she found irresistible. She couldn’t imagine him ever harming a woman.
  • As the sky above them filled with fluorescent ribbons of color, she undressed him with her eyes and demanded to know where he was really from. “You must guess,” he told her.
  • She thought he could be Lebanese but he confessed he was Greek. She jumped up and clapped her hands. “I knew it. You are Hermes!”
  • He didn’t deny a thing but simply smiled and covered her with kisses as he pulled her to the sand. She closed her eyes and imagined they were on the beach in Greece. “You can’t be real. I must have imagined you,” she murmured. He kissed her neck. So gentle. His touch was as delicate as a Mediterranean breeze. She was immersed in his gentle swells transported to another time…another place…where love was pure as the ancient sea.
  • “You are so beautiful,” she murmured in his ear and he slid his body over hers and they were no longer in Santa Monica but on a Greek island, making love on a limitless stretch of virgin sand. He placed his hand on her breast and the reverberations of his touch moved through her body like a wave, building to a crest, with supreme bliss awaiting her at the peak.
  • She bolted upright with a jolt of self-consciousness, affronted by the smell of the polluted waters, remembering they were in Santa Monica where laws strictly forbid making love on the beach at dusk. “Stop!” she cried. “I can’t do this. Not on the beach!”
  • He appeared bewildered. “If not on the beach, then where?”
  • She pulled away from his gentle embrace, but catching the look of dejection on his face, she took his hand.   “Let’s go dance somewhere. We can attack one another on the dance floor.”
  • He guided her down, ever so gently, to the sand and his kiss transported her far away, to the open sea. She was drowning… and he emerged from the sea to pull her up over the swells and they clutched on another on the crest of a wave…submerging into each other…as they kept one another afloat. Yet, as the goddess Persephone possessed her once more and took her into the darkest depths…Astara realized in horror that she wasn’t wearing her shoes.
  • Night was falling.
  • She jumped up and ran off the beach and onto the firm concrete surface of the bike path. Standing into the light, she watched him emerge from the shadows with their shoes and together they strolled to a bench to put them on.
  • Somewhere between the beach and the bench, she decided she must simply have him. Now! “You really are so beautiful,” she murmured. He cocked his head in an expression of wonder. “Beautiful?”
  • “MMMM. I love to look at you,” she said.
  • Her feet firmly in her shoes, Astara felt terrible for interrupting their spontaneous pleasure with paranoia. She felt a need to explain her erratic behavior. “You must understand….I’m very obsessive. If I start having sex again…”
  • “Sex is good!” he cried.
  • “Not for obsessive people.”
  • “I’m Taurus,” he said softly. “We are very sensual people.”
  • He took her hand and her fever immediately went down. They strolled over the bridge and through the park to the door of his shiny sports car. “Where is your car?” he asked.
  • She pointed across the street and he tenderly kissed her on the cheek. “Give me your phone number.” He opened the door and extracted a pen and a paper bag. She told him her name and gave him the number and he kissed her again and got in his car. He started the engine and she called out. “Wait! What is your name?”
  • He couldn’t hear. A little wave and he was gone. Then, she remembered. He was
  • Malick has brought the occult stream to the screen, inventing the tarot as a cinematic narrative device to orientate the spiritual quest.   He has broken virgin ground in a new cinematic challenge: to depict the projections of desire onto the outer environment (thus, all the mirrors in the film). In Los Angeles, the city of angels, where the culture of celluloid was invented, this process becomes a crucial passage from the position of the wanna-be artist to a real artist who has to forgo the glittery surfaces of the superficial experience in order to do the “grunt work” of self-realization.
  • Throughout the press conference, you retain the images of thirsty Los Angeles, and wondering if Malick’s juxtaposition of nature and man-made water bodies is a conscious strategy having the film transcend time. Just months after you see it, the film proves prophetic in the rationing of water in California, giving rise to news stories revealing the most precious commodity in the thirsty state of conspicuous consumption. Malick’s juxtapositions of desert and rich green oases that will now go out of view, the rich and their glittering jewel box pools, with the motif of dryness as the thirsty quest for the Holy Grail masquerading through the pursuit of easy sex.
  • This is the idiosyncratic question you want to ask, but don’t. Instead, you learn from Malick’s collaborators of his quest for entanglement. Here we have the first breaths of a new movement. The imperfect outcome can be forgiven and once again, the problem of the star system. Stars are needed to sell the films, but established directors are forgiven for being placed into a bind, thinking major stars, with their tight schedules, create “desire’s multiplicity and serendipity” that Panahi achieved in his film. Forgiven because without stars they wouldn’t have gotten the film made in the first place. Malick’s Knight of Cups is therefore a watershed in pointing to the end of the star system as we know it.
  • Having worked for a Hollywood talent agency (named Triad, it was prescient of your future discovery of the Third in film), you can understand the difficulty in creating magic within these limitations. Stars have their schedules and demands: the tighter the former, the greater is the latter. Can quantum entanglement happen within such confines? Perhaps. But it isn’t likely. You have yet to discover that the magic of the spontaneous dance in Cinderella (“Filmed in one take!” glowed the director) came from two months of practice and the intimacy of that prolonged experience is revealed on the screen.
  • The entire industry is caught between the tradition established through the collective projection of the archetypes onto movie idols and the new “do it yourself” digital age in which the Internet can now be utilized to redraw those projections through preponderance of gossip sites fed and feeding the social network of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like. The Web 2.0 tyranny of popularity. Watching Christian Bale go through the motions of impromptu exploration is a contradiction in terms. He was still going to be the movie star property in the end of the process that he was in the beginning. Can an authentic conversion take place on screen if it doesn’t happen in life? Los Angeles is a thirsty character worthy of creating its own screen narrative, the city of no limits reaching its limits lacks the authentic element, water, to fertilize its celluloid dreams.
  • You leave the press conference thinking the film will be important in ten or twenty years as a documentation of the demise of the world’s great cinematic capital. Where the emptiness of spirit goes, so goes the material of physical sustenance. Whatever myth he was pursuing, Malick captures the Wounded Fisher King of a dying age expiring from the lack of water to bloom the rose in the desert.
  • Originally, Hollywood film manufactured through the promulgation of screen icons out of those personified human archetypes. Presently, the corporate control of the actors and the merchandizing/publicity machine kills the mythology struggling to emerge. It goes back to Von Franz’s secret means for detecting a projection versus synchronicity: projections drain the psyche while synchronous events fortify the spirit. Losing touch with the spirit makes actors struggle to project illusionary archetypes rather than real people. No one wanted their movie idols to be real people! James Franco effectively revealed James Dean’s rebellion against the idea of having to project the image to the public off-screen that the studio wanted him to project; and he has taken this rebellion to the extreme utilizing the digital tools of the age of technology, not having to rely on the entire publicity apparatus and communicating direct to the public through Instagram and Facebook. Just what he is communicating beyond the rebellion came clearer into focus at the Berlinale; three extremely different roles projected the multi-faceted Self, the deepest archetype of all.
  • In her tarot class, Astara did a spread on her dream about the luscious god feeding her pastries. The first card was the Page of Pentacles. “This is you,” her teacher said as she pointed to the image of a sensuous youth holding a pentacle. “You are learning to relate to the material world in a new and magical way.”
  • The next card was the Knight of Pentacles. “This is the man in your dream,” the teacher said. The image was a sensual lad carrying a pentacle while plodding along on a heavy white horse. With his husky body and dark good looks, the image looked exactly like her Greek. “Yes, I met him on the beach.”
  • The teacher smiled. “The Knight of Pentacles is the ideal suitor. He means you no harm. Look, he comes bearing gifts.”
  • “I haven’t heard from him…”
  • The teacher granted her a wise smile, the smile of the Goddess. “Recognize this energy in yourself. When you relate to the sensual in your own nature, you will attract the sensual in your life.”
  • The last card was The Lovers, an image of a naked man and woman holding hands in a lush garden. “The relationship with your knight is about the internal union of opposites. Your male can be overpowering. The gentle knight will help you discover the female within.”
  • Astara squealed with happiness.
  • The freedom to utilize cinema as a medium of penetration into the multi-faceted Self has been evolving since the French new wave, a movement that arose out of the interaction between critics and filmmakers at film festivals (most of the New Wave filmmakers entered the field as critics). This crossed into America in the seventies, with a painter, Dennis Hopper as transmitter from America to Europe, fertilizing the sixties wave from Easy Rider (1969) to Wim Wender’s The American Friend (1971). Hopper, who never really was accepted for his painting by the art world gatekeepers, was a precursor to James Franco in that he viewed himself as an artist before becoming an actor; it is the painter’s affinity with the unconscious that reflects film choices. Conversely, these choices give birth to new cinematic forms, even as they depict facets of an overriding painterly narrative.
  • You are beginning to understand this condition of traditional vs. new media will be the angle of your Berlinale review—the struggle of the iconoclast auteurs such as Herzog, Malick, Wenders & Greenaway—to satisfy the hierarchical Hollywood star system while attempting to create the magic of the circular. You are thinking that 65. Berlinale is far more crucial than any other festival, considering the legendary auteurs gathered to participate in a quantum wave collapse. This convergence reveals the seismic shift Hollywood confronts in digital age. When anyone with a smart phone can make a “film” (the message delivered in Panahi’s 2011 This is Not a Film) and record their authentic experience of desires’ multiplicity and serendipity, what is the role for cinema?
  • Getting your fill of Malick’s wedding of left and right brain on the screen, the key moment that sticks in your mind of his visual statement is when the camera seductively moves up the stairs of an urban temple into a yoga performance where it holds on crossed hands. This single gesture articulates the hieros gamos as the vertical/horizontal crossing, the vertex. And through this gesture, America’s iconic auteur courageously consolidates his legend to pioneer a visual language in the projective medium that marries those battling contemporary styles — abstraction vs. figuration—in motion.   While the film’s title contains the director’s limitations at a free-flowing yet self-contained narrative (the Knight of Cups is just learning the containment of emotion mastered by the Queen and King of Cups). Thus, the film becomes the prime specimen of the sacrifice required by the very process of undermining the supreme organization and control required to make a big Hollywood film.
  • The auteur’s quest for the Holy Grail, i.e. desire’s serendipity and multiplicity (to coin the phrase of a new Berlin dialectic arising from the Institute of Cultural Inquiry in which you are participant), is to marry conscious and unconscious within the context of a narrative reflecting that very quest.
  • If you know what you are looking for, the symbols of transformation are everywhere: the rising serpent, the spiral, the crossed hands and elevator flight. This is so obvious to you, but then you were trained to look under the surface from childhood. Yet, you find yourself explaining the film’s value to a critic from India, who doesn’t understand why the Voice Over of the Father was so oblique. You tell him that in the English language you can’t be overt with your wisdom; you will be dismissed as didactic or pretentious. You wish Malick were present so you could laude him for presenting the contemporary quest towards the horizon that keeps receding, as instilled in his opening vision.
  • The horizon that recedes until it is caught under the shadow of a solar eclipse on the 2015 Vernal Equinox. This Aries Point alignment is when the Vertical/Vertex signifies the Horizontal/Horizon. The line-up of the Sun, Earth and Moon (known as the alchemical coniunctio) on the Aires Point (zero degrees) heralds a new beginning for the planet. You silently laude Malick—not only for his claiming a position of the Third space, where particles and waves converge in the broken vertebrae of the culture, but for the precision of the timing of his delivery.
  • Fortunately, there is another seasoned auteur with the same idea executed from the conscious intent of marrying the dual perspectives into your vision of a global unity of opposites. You feel like the first guest at a celebratory feast as you enter the 4 PM screening of The Pearl Button. This astounding documentary opens with a view of the earth in space that crystalizes the personal quest for the integration of interior/exterior. This Chilean filmmaker, who will win a Silver Bear for Best Screenplay, provides a simultaneous view into the macro and micro of the universe coming together in the (r)evolutionary 360- perspective afforded by the high-powered telescope.
  • Patricio Guzman made the devastating 1977 film, The Battle of Chile, that knocked you out when a Chilean friend sat you down to watch it on his laptop upon your arrival at a residency in Cobquecura Museo. His new masterwork, born from a collaborative process, suggests a new wave of poststructuralist cinema arising from a holistic perspective originating in the cosmic view opening the film.
  • Guzman originates his all-encompassing narrative in the tiny artifact of a pearl button as a means of revealing the devastating effects of unconscious actions on an interconnected universe. Arising from this physical origin, his all-encompassing narrative crystalizes—through the sound of water dripping and the telescopic view of the rotations that form the universe—a completely new view of his nation as the centerpiece of a paradigm shift.
  • Chile is host of the world’s most powerful telescope and the site of one of the greatest atrocities of U.S. imperialism—the destruction of an authentic democratic experiment attempting to eradicate a divisive colonialist past into a unified humanitarian vision. Yet, it is also a nation of poets who, like Guzman, are intent on creating holistic visions out of the fragmentation of a volatile landscape. The tragic story of Mr. Button is the indigenous figure transported to Europe who fails to marry the two worlds; he can’t return to his heritage after his immersion into Western culture.
  • The film is a triumph of quantum entanglement of the hieros gamos, so much so that the origin cannot be hidden from view. The Chilean revolution is brought into the award ceremonies when the seventy-three year-old internationally renowned filmmaker calls his wife and collaborator up to the stage. He appears with her in the closing press conference where she answers your question about their collaborative process.
  • This documentary film utilizes the motif of the button to ground the filmmaker’s ideas and thoughts about his beloved nation. This takes place within the archeology of planetary destruction recounted in narrative transmitting the macro from the perspective of the micro—Chile as the aggrieved site of a CIA instigated coup d’état bringing Allende’s Marxist experiment to a devastating end—without being didactic or pretentious. The human body is the intersection of the various strands of narrative—from the disposal of the disappeared corpses to the bodies of the indigenous today that are suffering the severe effects of global warming. Weaving the threads together is the voice of a highly developed consciousness (the filmmaker’s own) filtering the clash between the cyclical magical perspective of the indigenous people and the hierarchical linear determinist worldview of capitalism.
  • With the drip, drip, drip of ice as the marking of time before the collapse of the ecosphere, the film weaves together the politics of scientific determinism without specifically mentioning the catastrophe of global warming. This is perhaps the greatest triumph of a neo-modernism embodying its origin in quantum entanglement and the desire’s serendipity and multiplicity—to encapsulate in the cinematic immersion of word, image and sound the Shadow eclipsing the planet, marking the drip of global warming as a narrative device.
  • You leave the theater knowing two things: the planet is in dire trouble and the film will win an award. No other film in the festival shifts your physical reality upon leaving the theater. Your legs feel as though they will buckle and you can barely maintain your balance. This is the quantum shift in action, and The Pearl Button enters your dream world, for your duvet linens have white pearl buttons and your night vision carries you to the outer realms of the cosmos masterfully projected on the screen.
  • You think now about the significance of the Guatemalan and Chilean films in competition with the same underlying—or rather overriding—message: the indigenous, with their cyclical perspective of life/death/rebirth evoking magic through ritual, are as predetermined as the rest of us, trapped in the prevailing world view of the reductionist scientific paradigm, where death is staved-off by ever-present technological innovations that render joyless our daily lives as a toxic march to death.
  • Clearly, the solution is not choosing nature over technology, but a conscious marriage between these opposites. The point of The Pearl Button is that the fusion Benjamin Button couldn’t achieve at the beginning of the last century is our challenge to fulfill today. Through Guzman’s poststructuralist innovation, he begins to show us how this can be artistically achieved. The film itself is an artifact of Chile’s resurrection from the devastating effects of the C.I.A.-funded coup and the subsequent dictatorship of consumer capitalism instilled by the “Chicago boys” to provide leadership in a tertiary mythology through the grounding of a rich culture and strong national identity. You know this in your body because you were placed there in residency just prior to the devastating earthquake as a catalyst to a cultural renewal.
  • You are awaiting the film that co-creates synchronous with the circular dance of the planetary bodies, and you suffer because you know that even a film version of this text couldn’t perform such a feat of magic. The timing would be off for reasons that have nothing to do with the acausal but rather the casual. The quantum collapse, with the serendipity and multiplicity reported in this text as phenomenology of a surfgeist, the Bloomer tertiary myth, will have already taken place, so the running won’t be to the horizon anymore but in reverse (should you be so fortunate!) to capture, under new cosmic conditions, what already transpired. What would such a dubious triumph (because in going back you are no longer moving forward) have to say about the contemporary? You make a mental note to ask Mr. Agamben when you see him.
  • Kosslick announced at the Berlinale press conference the appearance Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys coming to Berlin, but you missed the name of the film. There is no Brian Wilson or Beach Boys film listed in the program. So, you are pleasantly surprised to discover yourself with tickets to the Saturday night premiere of Love and Mercy, the biopic about Brian Wilson that does just what you have already labeled a dubious triumph. The premiere gala for Love & Mercy, starring Paul Dano as the young Brian Wilson and John Cusack as the older Brian Wilson, has the pleasant surprise of introducing Brian Wilson and his wife, who rescued him from being labeled schizophrenic, standing beside the actors portraying them on screen.
  • As usual, you find a seat in the front row, and this gives you the best position to take photos of the parade of actors joining Brian Wilson and Melinda (Ledbetter) Wilson, the woman who rescued him from the control of an unscrupulous doctor, standing beside the actress who played her in the film. It is a peak experience extending over the borders of the screen to have the real life personalities played by the actors, all standing twenty feet from you. The unexpected joys of a real act of quantum entanglement reaches its apex in the public forum of the Berlinale.
  • In keeping with the neo-modernist struggle to integrate inner and outer, as proclaimed from the podium by Werner Herzog (“That’s what they pay me to do”) Love and Mercy In his first directing effort, Bill Bohlad, producer of the acclaimed Twelve Years a Slave, takes a huge risk on his material and delivers an innovation of the biopic.
  • In a story about the Southern Californian entanglement triggering a wave of sound, Bohlad mines his inside view of the collaborative process and its limitations to surmount the difficulties of having his narrative split between two capable actors portraying the protagonist at two different ages. This division serves to underscore the breakdown of a huge personality, thereby making the story more credible. The viewer is so drawn in by the dilemma that it actually seems that the split between actors was an inspired narrative device to reveal derision of Brian Wilson’s inner soul condition, a state transcending his own personality transparently depicting the very impersonality of genius.
  • The sounds in Brian’s head tease and frustrate the viewer and transform them into participant through desire. You crave the entire tune. You want get up and dance to California Girls, but the songs are not played in their entirety in the film, as would be expected in the biopic of a musician. And this failure is perform to this expectation makes for an ingenious film worthy of its portrayal of genius.
  • The ingenuity of delivering the sound of the zeitgeist in fits and starts, as in Wilson’s head, until the highly symbolic conclusion heralding the hieros gamos icon ruling a new surfgeistthis is the love and mercy required for life/death/rebirth experience. The whole song, like the whole personality you want to experience in the resurrected Brian Wilson, is the teaser delivered at the literal end of the road, after the viewer has been made participant in the head of the genius filtering the stream of a collective vision.
  • This ingenious strategy of seduction by snippets of a familiar tune transforms the biopic into an avant-garde experiment worthy of the genius it portrays: you already know how the story turns out, as Brian Wilson is sitting right behind you, but, selfishly, you need to have this tormented soul on the screen resurrect from the underworld so you could hear the entire song. This desire places you right into the shoes of the character. The only problem you have with the film is the sentimentality-laden title; intended, perhaps, to veil the ingenuity on the screen.
  • You are now participant in the unexpected, the revival of the figures riding the sixties surfgeist to participate in the quantum wave collapse of 2015. You understand how the genius of Brian Wilson was channeled out of time and, therefore, ahead of its time. And yet, this is what makes genius Promethean; by stealing this fire from the planetary gods, a new vision is gifted to humanity. Time always does heal with the truth, and Wilson’s determination to take the Beach Boys out of the sun and fun jingles into darker terrain of the shadow (where the collective would be headed in the late sixties) was a gamble on a genius that, as the concluding text reveals, proved itself as Promethean over time.
  • Life meeting art doesn’t happen everyday—even at the Berlinale! The audience is thrilled to participate in the culmination of a long, difficult journey by the Wilsons as they appear on stage. It is an incredible moment, where the sixties wave crest revives for the final surfgeist of the quantum wave collapse. What better initiation into a new cycle than Brian Wilson on the Friedrichstrasse Palast stage? So many of the pop figures that projected, if not embodied, the Aquarian Age archetypes thrust into the collective in the sixties crashed with the waves from the deadly combo of sun, fun and drugs––have now are arisen in a new generation that has the hieros gamos written into their DNA, if not their consciousness.
  • It is the marvelous end to a fully engrossing Sunday at the Berlinale. You take the tram on Friedrichstrasse, stopping two blocks from your building.   You want to be fresh for the big day, Monday, marking your second public confrontation with the Francostein phenomenon. At this point, you understand that an entanglement the unattainable Unicorn will be the death of Francostein (which happens in your dream because you murder him!). The transformation of the icon of the after-postmodern into the neo-modernist figurehead can only come about through the sacred intercourse, of Unicorn and maiden. You have no idea whether this is true. But you certainly hope so!   So, when the ending draws near, you know because that chant “it’s over” disappears from your head.
  • And this is when you drop the monster from the moniker. In fact, you are reluctant now—given your characteristic Promethean response to a movie you haven’t yet seen—to continue to refer to James Franco as a monster after seeing him as the consort to Queen of the Desert. Might this have been his intention? You have to repeatedly remember that Frankenstein was the name of the doctor whose monster warned of the impending danger to humanity of the Aquarian Age technological innovation. Laurence Rickels’ theory is that the New Woman arises with the new technology, pointing to this through Mina’s use of the new invention of the typewriter to transcribe the pursuit of Dracula. Extending this logic into the twenty-first century, Dr. Francostein’s Monster attracts the New Media woman through his frenetic pursuit to create new media so that her “red threads” of interpretations will eventually guide him out of the “like” labyrinth of Web 2.0.
  • Red is for blood, desire. So, here you are again pondering about quantum physics and the new laboratory breakthroughs proving what you already know: behavior in the past is affected by future choices. How this applies to your experience with James Franco!
  • Instead of dutifully appearing in the guise of critic to assess James Franco’s breakthrough on your birthday, you focus on yourself. It is a day of wandering through your Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood, which never fails to bring you joy. You are seeking a place for a lone birthday brunch, but it is Saturday and your favorite spots are packed, which is why you have your Saturday routine of having fresh kuchen on the bench in Kathie Kollwitz park after shopping in the street market. Finally, it is around 3 PM when you find a cleared space at the Zucker Frei Café.
  • On your way to your solitary brunch, you follow an impulse to enter a vintage shop when your eye immediately fixes on the plum leather gloves hanging in the window. You enter the boutique like a shark moving towards an instinctual target and there it is! The new handtauche for your white “Diva” coat, the perfect bag, a carpetbag shaped in a cylinder and featuring, lo and behold, a shining golden sun with a happy face!
  • This is the symbol, of course, of the archetype you have been seeking all along—the deepest, most powerful archetype of all: the shining Sun as the center of its own (solar) system is the supreme manifestation of Leo that you have been projecting onto the American movie idols.
  • You look at the tag and your jaw drops open in amazement. How is it possible that it cost only eight Euro? What magic on your birthday! The price tag has your name written all over it. Wie klar ist seid! The Leo Sun that you had been projecting onto the movie star, you could now claim for your own. You wear your new treasures, the gloves and the bag, to your birthday party at the specialty cidre bar that you have made your neighborhood favorite. There you receive gifts of chocolate from your best Berlin friends. Finally, for the first time since embarking on your Francostein pursuit, you feel like a star.
  • It seems that you conjured up your magical talisman in advance of what was awaiting you in the 65. Berlinale.   Your tarot reading reveals that you weren’t supposed to see I Am Michael on the day you are celebrating the rise of your own star at its highest position overhead at the moment of your Solar Return. Your soul joyously screams Yes! to celebrate an emergence.
  • The film you will see in the properly ordered 1,2,3, sequence of the James Franco Berlinale Epic (in his own words) unfolds, along with your participation, where Leo and Aquarius are to oppose in the cosmos determining the encounter between performer and critic, on earth as they are in heaven (Juno in Leo, which rules relationship, opposed Mercury in Aquarius intersecting with the personal opposition of Mars in Leo (his) vs. Venus in Aquarius (yours). This is the heavenly indication of a leap into quantum entanglement over the Great Bear depicted on the microphone.
  • Mercury is sure to divert, amuse and surprise by making its retrograde passage over the tension of the Mars-Venus opposition between the actor and his critic. What you know from years of alchemical labor is that Mercury, the only god with the capacity to travel from Mt. Olympus to Hades, is absolutely essential as participant in the alchemical transformation.
  • Tomorrow will tell, and the 10 AM screening of I Am Michael gives you an additional hour of sleep. Before retiring, you decide to wear your black and white hounds tooth coatdress with the silver studded black belt wrapped around your waist. Containment! The subliminal message of the tension of opposites pointed out to you the last time you wore the outfit––at the “Revisiting Susan Sontag” conference, in which the filmmaker from Sarvejo summed up the truth of the civil war in his country on your design: “nothing is black and white, like your dress!”
  • Neither is James Franco black nor white, gay nor straight. You will signal, with your dress, the arising of the opposites as the erotic attraction of the electro-magnetic force that binds you to the Dr. Frankenstein experiment, if not James Franco in his return to his original role as consort to the arrival of the new archetype in a woman.
  • Your critical distance has kept you clear of the vortex that Carter warned you about, as if you needed a personal warning when the evidence is clear across the Internet!   Your elation has to do with your clear sight of the end. At this point, the inner chant becomes a cry for joy: Over, Uber in Deutsch, clearly brings to mind Nietzsche’s Übermensch and his uber/unter wordplay in Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Yes, the end truly is in clear sight in your calculations of time: the eclipse on the vernal equinox impacting your zero Aries composite Venus with Carter and James Franco.
  • The showdown is venerable but you are no longer vulnerable like in Manhattan when he pulled out the Speilgeist card to push you back (gratefully, because the planets were pointing to the attempt but not the fruition of an actual encounter). He was giving you a taste of his strategy for quantum engagement while pulling up his drawbridge through the barricade of “people” that Carter warned you about; this included his “art director,” who may or may not exist. You played along, even though the projection of a royal court seems like a joke in the face of your inner struggle to center yourself so you don’t have to have an external structure to hide behind (“Where is your center?” the priestess pointedly asked you in Connecticut after you related your missing Franco and you not only had difficulty responding but didn’t understand what she was talking about?). You can laugh now, but you weren’t laughing then. You were obsessed! The only way out was let him go with love. And to write, of course.
  • You are foremost the writer! Critical distance has to be enforced! In following your instinct to stay close to home on your Solar Return and allow the energies to penetrate into your body without the interference of the projective medium, you abide by a clear boundary line, which you intend to cross by any means possible.
  • The timing of the filmmaking makes the product a result of past efforts. Yet, no one is immune from external structure. The Berlinale participant on the talent side has to participate in present timing in order to launch their product into the collective consciousness, which indeed is the outcome of the film festival press conference.
  • Within this arrangement, the potential for kairos, the leap into cyclical time in which a film hits the collective as an Event, without having to go through linear time, determines the outcome of the collective “tribunal.” The fact of the timing in the hands of the schedulers is known as fate. But that is the human condition, to transform fate into destiny through the conscious proactive choice.
  • From the moment you heard about James Franco optioning the New York Times article, you sensed that I Am Michael, about Michael Glas, the gay activist turning straight after a spiritual search, would be the Signifier for the timing for the transformation of the after-postmodern oscillations of opposites, endured through your near misses of James Franco. Adhering to your gospel, the uncertainty principle, your interpretation of the future would determine the past upon arrival by way of a dream in which you killed Franco in his wild Spring Breakers personality along with his opponent and turned to face the horizon together after weathering the controversy of yet a new gay vehicle, made literal in the dream by him sitting with his on-screen lover in a car.
  • You secretly rejoice upon reading that Franco was following up his Gay Town with a project filming in August 2014, concurrent with the timing of your delivering your thesis Hermeneutics of New Modernism in Saas Fee. His hint of the change was the Instagram photo of him becoming a blonde to play Michael Glatze. On paper, his new character delivers you a priori into the “Michael” terrain traveled in your lust-filled underground search for the New Man.
  • You have an indication from an artist’s image of the New Man, in the position of potential future in your reading from a tarot deck discovered in the Kristine Mann Library of the C.G. Jung Center, your hideout in New York City. The reading projects a resolution. The outcome of the Star reveals the passage to the collective through the reversed Hermit shining his light on the passage from your self-contained hermetic world.
  • The dynamism of the two arising in the near-future position in the reading takes you into a time machine through the history of your own exploration of gender.
  • The two is the duality of gender opposites. It is also the tense tightrope you are walking with the icon of the after-postmodern, naturally selected through his strength. He is the lion and you are the lion tamer, the maiden in the Strength card gently caressing the beast.   The desire to wind this tension into the ultimate sexual excitement is written in your personal script; it takes you right back to that first encounter group where you were instructed to disappear into your captive subject of desire.
  • The oscillation of opposites shifting into the New Man, embodying the hieros gamos lunar/ solar polarity, is made visual through your reading with an unfamiliar tarot deck discovered on the shelves of the Kristine Mann Library in New York.
  • Ahh, but life is not a weekend encounter group where two ends of the tension dynamic agree to participate for a mutual peak experience, which inevitably fades by Wednesday. How does such certainty of the eternal occurrence written into the invisible by-laws of group encounter impact the quantum realm of uncertainty? This is the eternal question driving you out of the New Age movement and into art. You have had enough of the engulfing Shadow of the spiritual do-gooder; how many times did you have to learn that the lover savior is just the flipside of the Dark Cupid?
  • You won’t fully understand how the pieces of your own subjective journey fit into the existing scholarship until writing this text in June 2015. Until then, it is the Franco credo ruling your pursuit of the Unicorn. For example, upon returning to Berlin, the god informs you that your journey down the mountain requires editing an entire book. The message first comes in an image, a work of art that so enthralls you when you see it, that you must take it home. You place Nancy Jones’ Bloom before your bed as a constant reflection of the open heart bursting through your bloomin’ chest. This discovery happens simultaneously with Dr. Peggy Bloomer sending you her dissertation to edit.
  • Surfgeist: Narratives of Epic Mythology in New Media introduces you to the term for the epoch of the Francostein monster, the (2008-2014) abyss between the death of postmodernism and the discovery of a neo-modernist movement tracked in 350 or 400 or maybe 500 (who is counting?) art reviews. If you didn’t take the BLOOM message to heart, you risk falling in.
  • Bloom puts into image the perspective the impersonal god of your individual quest demanding your worship through holding the tension of opposites. You know the process of meditation and yoga and writing, but the lesson of the heart is a difficult one for the Aquarian to master. Excruciating when you grow up in a milieu interpreting free love as jumping into bed with anyone who attracts you! In 2007, you were about to jump back into a former flame after holding the tension to collaborate in the rave initiating the 2012 movement in New York City, and your wise sister Susan advised: “Hold the tension just a bit longer.”
  • In actually, it was to be another eight years of holding the tension until the archetype was firmly embodied in your corpus.   As it happened, 2008 was the year Dr. Francostein created his Monster, which gave you another turn of the Venus cycle to raise the phenomenological projection of this god into an art form. It was at that time Lady Gaga burst on the scene with her Fame Monster dialectic.
  • Bloomer’s scholarly research, going back to Gilgamesh, provides the terminology for James Franco as the after-postmodern icon. You initially contacted him for permission to use his images in her book. But you quickly forget as you entered his speilgeist, which seems to be the gate to his vortex. Fair enough. The role of the uber-celebrity of the in-between era is to project the shadow of Eros for the collective and no one is immune, particularly not his critic!
  • James Franco’s risk-taking, uncanny ability to take the blows, and sheer ubiquity makes him worthy of the throne. His struggle between opposites is to marry the artist to the Fame Monster, a notion that Lady Gaga introduced into the pop scene.
  • Nothing is sacred in James Franco’s compulsion to express his daemon. Not even the god you worship, the god illuminating your interpretation of his phenomenon! This strength despite the “someone make him stop!” critical cry (uttered by Roberta Smith of the New York Times), is more crucial than the quality of his output. The James Franco/Seth Rogen Internet spoof mocking the Kim Kardashian/Kayne West video celebrating the speed of their union on a motorcycle was not mocking the new god, as you initially believed, but the faux projections of the god in the celebrity-driven media.
  • Authentic irony is an essential passage of the new god into the collective. With the increasing ubiquity of the Monster over the eight-year cycle, your missing James Franco isn’t coincidence; it has to be by design.
  • The tarot reading revealing the New Man as potential outcome to your journey is a spur to continue to the rightful conclusion. The image is your parting from New York, with an enticement to carry on. It is the Melanie Klein substitute for James Franco that you carry in your psyche, as well as your cell phone, to the bus to Kennedy Airport for your flight back to Berlin.
  • You know that every figure in the tarot is an outer projection of an inner archetype. This figure, as potential outcome to your reading, gives a deep, inexpressible understanding that missing James Franco in not one but THREE topographies where you should have met is an Event. Serendipity enters in the form of a visitor to the library, one of those dynamic and brilliant Jungian women, whose mere presence on your reflecting mirror relates the knowledge of the tension of the two seeking a creative solution in the Third. She hands you and Lorna two crisp new two-dollar bills she had been given.
  • This note is your talisman.  With a green marker, you add six zeros, six is two times three, the express train to the hieros gamos. You tuck this image of Thomas Jefferson under a figurine of a pair of frogs on a log that serves as the green, the heart, of your wedding, given to you by your friend Nagi, the gold-plated wedding jeweler on the Connecticut Gold Coast who transformed an office building up the street from your family estate into a bejeweled temple with huge images of celebrities wearing jewels as the gods. “You deserve a good man,” Nagi told you when you visited him on the way back from California and told him the story of the triple Leo dropping into your life to instruct you in the ways of the opposite.
  • You arrive back in Berlin with pieces of your ontological art-I-facts marrying the “JUST DO IT!” credo of your object to your theory of the Third. The message from spirit is always to find the creative out from the tension, and this leads to kairos. For example, when Lorna handed you the book jacket for Red Cock Crows you don’t let your left-brain consider the meaning, but you put your right brain to work—transforming the found object into a prophecy. Kairos will propel you through another six months.
  • The god reveals the secret to transforming desire into illumination: projections drain while synchronicities energize. You follow this rule like a religion and your adherence brings you to a concrete goal: transforming your desire by making yourself the material (to the merely literal) subject of your self-created adventure through your increasing pile of phenomenology. Adherence to the Franco credo of your object of desire means not thinking about the results. Simply, you just do it!!
  • For a time you view your book jacket art as the actual cover of a text relating the gift that inspired it. But you get too caught up in living to remember this. Proof that the image served as a divining tool is in the phenomenology of a June photograph taken upon your departure from Berlin.   You don’t realize until the journey has ended that your head has come off! And how true this is! You lost your head hiding in the bushes, spying on your Knight of Pentacles as he transforms into a butterfly, the Signifier you add in Berlin.   Through the well-timed proactive “JUST DO IT!” move, your actions become the filter for spirit, which transmits this knowledge any way possible; this is creating magic in accordance with time, Jung’s very definition of synchronicity.
  • Your return to Berlin is on Friday. On Sunday, you find yourself in the antique market browsing through the DVDs. Guess who pops up… James Franco as James Dean. You whelp for joy and make the purchase for 3 Euros. This discovery is a reminder to find a book fitting your FRANCO! GOTHER You put your hands on a volume just the right size: Jules Vernes’ Adventures in Livland.
  • Thus armed with your art-I-facts of the end of the end, the phenomenology of your astrological tools and products generated by your quantum engagements, your lifestyle of plummeting into your eight-year cycle of erotic attractions comes to the fore in a single 20-minute window of opportunity.
  • Your new desire is to make your private entanglement with James Franco public, the erotic tension of opposites beamed down from heaven and funneled through the phallic microphone stamped with the Great Bear signifier. You wonder if other women get a sexual high from wielding this phallic instrument. You think probably not. They would have to be awakened and aware they are projecting the feminine voice freed from the genealogical succession of Dark Cupid lovers!
  • You check the Moon position. It is perfect; the stars are aligned for your triumph. All you have to do is behave like a star in the presence of the icon scattering the phenomenology announcing the arrival of the god that rules you. Strength is the key ingredient to a successful conversion; the universe gave you the opportunity to embody this wisdom through a curious messenger: a poet who contacted you on Facebook in the fall, who wants to write for Huffington Post and announces his visit in Berlin just months after his heart surgery. You set aside the day for him, but the only communication you receive is an email sent from his cardiologist’s office in Frankfurt that he is still waiting for his examination.
  • If thie prospective suitor wasn’t born the same year as James, you might not have seen this rather tragic failure to connect as a sign that you were already pursuing, however reluctantly at times, your true destiny. From all the artists you have encountered, only James Franco has the dual combination of charm, strength and courage to project, contain and defend the power of a new male archetype as it emerges from the birth of the new woman. The second Berlinale press conference will prove your hypothesis. How do you know this?
  • Timing and relationship. The arrangement of bodies on earth reflecting the heavenly design is key to the disclosing of a new mythology enacted by the archetypes of the age. The magic happens when the heavens above align with the human intention below. This is reflected in the alchemist’s credo: “As above, so below”.
  • Fortunately, the I Am Michael press conference gives the best possible heavenly alignment for the hieros gamos: the Libra Moon (ruling balanced relationship) conjunct the Dragon’s Nodes. Ha! This is fate transformed into destiny, the moment of quantum entanglement in which the critic/observer changes places with the actor and transforms herself into an earthly symbol of the beauty in harmony reflecting the scales in the sign of Libra. This transference is desires’ serendipity leading to multiplicity, a moment in time when humanity’s boat is launched into the collective dream of equal partnership.
  • The confluence of timing and intention triggers the Event. This relationship between heaven and earth is clarified in a new dialectic gestating over nine months at the Institute of Cultural Inquiry.   From Dr. Engel’s contribution, you learn something new: unexpected emotions arise when Time’s Arrow points to the outer target. This is the weak-at-the-knees feeling when arriving in the unknown space of quantum uncertainty. Surrendering into this space leads to the Event and its result: serendipity and multiplicity and serendipity.
  • Quantum entanglement only takes a moment. Time’s Arrow measures the quality of time, rather than quantity, which points to the collapse of the tension of opposites. To repeat: the quantum leap into this new space is what determines the Event, not the duration. Less brave souls than James Franco might run away from the opportunity to make the leap. Indeed, the Berlinale press witnessed Shia LaBeouf making a ceremonial departure (is this performance art?) at the Nymphomaniac press conference in Berlinale 64 after being asked the question what it was like to have real sex (with the actress who became his girlfriend) on camera.
  • You were also present when Alain Badiou declared that the Event is akin to falling in love, where the lovers are united against the world. The feeling of being in love, a secret shared by the two of you, guides the three-stage public entanglement with James Franco. This is a wonderful thing, because an open heart (BLOOM!) in the face of Time’s Arrow is key to the conversion.
  • You cannot control the timing, but you can control yourself.   How can you prepare for the unexpected? A meditation visualizing the outcome, followed by the inner grunt work, so you can be fully present to follow Time’s Arrow and not fall into unconscious acts of self-sabotage. Your assignment is to be prepared, like a good Girl Scout, for the unexpected. The last thing you anticipated is that you would be confronting James Franco at the Berlinale. This is proof that the timing is pre-determined by the orbits of the heavens, but free will cannot be calculated in quantum physics. On the other hand, fortune-tellers make a living predicting human patterns that take the path of least resistance. To aim for something higher means carving your own pathway into the unknown.
  • Projecting oneself into a realm where there is no light, not even an existing pathway to stumble around in, is daunting. Missing James Franco in Berlin, Copenhagen and New York adds up to a narrative of fate delivering the opportunity to become conscious and create your own pathway, which you have steadily forged by enacting the actor’s anima-desire to be a writer; this projection shifts to quantum entanglement through your readiness to interpret his phenomenology with every stroke of your pen. What is so unexpected but welcomed, is a new job as a writer of literary study guides, which is such a strange new way for you to be earning a living, you think you must have really gone crazy in your erotic quest to become his anima.
  • Your quantum leap from Time’s Arrow happens at the moment the moderator points to you and the microphone is placed in your hands. Like in the fairy tales, James Franco has given you three opportunities to further your dialectic in public. Triumph arrives in the form of the creative breakthrough making Missing James Franco the vehicle from which you transform your fate (can’t get a date!) into your destiny. (If you are reading this, you are participant in the unfolding of a new modernism. Thank you very much!)
  • You haven’t the slightest idea of the outcome and this goes for the big picture as well as the small. All you know is that you can’t even tolerate the image of yourself as famous, your psyche simply couldn’t stand the public exposure and the snapshots freezing the Becoming as it organically forms into Being.   To preserve this process of inner and outer magically becoming intertwined, your dedication to the Dasein embodiment in the unanticipated space of the female body carried a requirement of invisibility.
  • How could this change overnight “without your having anything to say about it” as an astrologer interpreted impending fame?  Math Wizardry makes it all possible. The magic of the three! Three wishes! Three encounters! Three levels to entanglement! All you know about your living script combining cinema and literature in a single Livland volume blessedly comes to a climax as the stars point to the second 65. Berlinale press conference with James Franco.
  • By design, the finale will be a complete surprise, fulfilling Alain Badiou’s requirements for an event: “If the Event is not a surprise, it is not an event.”   The occult master can only do so much to arrange the pattern of energy, but the human reaction cannot be controlled. That is why the most riveting public events take place as fate; there really is no escaping the horror of what cannot be escaped. This is the shock of seeing your 2014 Solar Return; the pattern written as fate had James Franco’s signature on it and there is no escaping it.
  • So what did you do? You flew to London and then took the train to Bath to spend the eve of your Solar Return in the open pool of thermal waters and the night at an old mill outside the town. In this topography, the most fated Solar Return of your life will be much easier to bear. Why is this? Because you create an ontological art-I-fact from the phenomenology of having to turn off your Aquarian light to pursue your dark passion: just as dawn is breaking at the destined moment, you take a self-portrait in a dark reflective surface propped against the stone bridge of the old mill.
  • The art-I-fact of the Aquarian descent in a 24 January 2014 self-portrait, taken at 6:37 AM in the Old Mill outside Bath, England.
  • The fact that this ontology arrives completely spontaneously is proof of your co-creation with the universe. You don’t control the timing but you can calculate the timing, and by placing yourself inside of it, you have created an art-I-fact of the emergence of the dark face of Venus.   This is an image of pursuing the desire reflected in your own mirror and turning the object before you into subject inside you. The single self-portrait in which your face is barely visible before the dawn contains a narrative of entering the darkness of your Jewish half, at the expense of your German need to know. There is just no way of knowing the outcome. People will ask you again and again “what are you going to do?” and for the first time in your life, you inexorably state: “I don’t know.”
  • The shifting of the pattern just a bit, as your timed visit to England moved the rising signature from dark feeling of fate (Capricorn) to the optimistic seeker (Sagittarius) means all the difference. You launch the phenomenology of the ontology of Being in Transition (as opposed to the Heideggerian Being), with the climax coming in August; with the Sun at its height in Leo opposing your natal position, you take a photo of your shining aura in a puddle, a phenomenology of the illumination resulting from embracing your own darkness in your pursuit of the Beloved.
  • What you didn’t realize then, which you fully embody now, is that your bid for freedom, the freedom to create and therefore control your own image, only gave you a year’s reprieve in your leap into the inevitable—fame. The irony of your private dance with the Fame Shadow is that in putting out your phenomenology of desire in various forms of Web 2.0, destiny is already taking place. Could this be the reason why fate, the ceiling falling in, seems to happen all at once while destiny takes time? Your phenomenology is proof that your proactivity in ritualizing your own image in whatever reflecting surface is at hand turned your fate into destiny.   This had long been your intention, to arrive at Judgment Day carrying your divine child illuminating a personal fulfillment of Jung’s pronouncement: “Free will is the willingness to do what I must do gladly.”
  • What might have felt like a walk into the guillotine of the flashbulbs you once controlled is reversed by your actions as a joyful readiness to receive your destiny with an open heart. The key to manifesting quantum magic is, therefore, knowing the precise mathematical intersection between two variables: what you can prepare in your mind and the outcome that cannot be controlled.
  • It is inevitable that this Event takes place in public, with the camera as witness. This impersonal space of live transmission into an archive out of one’s personal control is precisely the point. The camera captures the build-up of tension from all the times you were supposed to meet but didn’t meet. This is precisely what creates the potential for the Third space of entanglement. The Third space is the realm of neo-modernism where the holistic Dasein is born, precisely out of the tension of opposites. Clearly, the years of James Franco’s training as an actor has embodied this understanding, and he too is making you a character in his life film. Or not! Does it matter?
  • Magic is manifest in the Real, recorded by the camera and released into the archives of the Berlin International Film Festival. It will be forever known as the Dr. Francostein Effect: the AHA! Moment of the newly arisen Aquarian icon (identified as the Self by C.G. Jung and the hieros gamos by Wolfgang Pauli) in the body transmitted across the horizon of time and space. Success means nothing more than your liberation of rushing towards the horizon, pen poised to paper, in pursuit of the Aquarian consort as he reveals himself through the projective medium of film.

 

DAY FIVE: I AM MICHAEL

  • Our time, the present, is in fact not only the most distant: it cannot in any way reach us. Its backbone is broken and we find ourselves in the exact position of this fracture. This is why we are, despite everything, contemporaries.
  • —Giorgio Agamben
  • To arrive into the future quantum moment, which means to fully embody it, one needs to enter the past. You come armed to 65. Berlinale with an explosive weapon: the inside story of the Dr. Francostein experiment giving life to the after-postmodern monster who slew the postmodern icon Cindy Sherman in the most unexpected manner possible: an exhibition at a top Chelsea gallery.   Yet, there is a hole in your archeology; the gap, essential as it is to have a void, is what you had been promised and yet have not received: James Franco’s AHA! Moment that converted the actor into a cultural phenomenon beyond the control of the Kulture Industrie.
  • You have moments of regret for sending your 2013 missive into cyberspace with your declaration in your Gay Town review: “James Franco IS the new archetype.” And yet, the moments of doubt, with the corresponding anxiety, are part of the game. This much you have learned; without this public leap into the future through the power of words, there would be no cause for the chase. Thus, the entanglement.
  • The pursuit of your own AHA! Moment in search of his AHA! Moment isn’t a persistent obsession. Like anything else, it ebbs and flows in accordance with the erotic stream. After all, you are NOT a movie star and have much less lucrative means of earning a living! But you are free of the conventional burdens of family and job and partner; for thirty years now, you have been the alchemist, working your experiments underground in preparation for the day of emergence. The magic connecting you to James Franco is actually sourced in his entanglement with Carter, your astral twin. You fervently believe that the meeting of the Aquarian minds is so clearly imprinted in the heavens that you have to undergo an extreme act of surrender in order to make it manifest.
  • Tracking Attraction through the Venus patterns.
  • The magic begins when you draw up the chart for your 2013 Venus Return and are literally jolted by an explosion.   The chart, in fact, reveals the sheer imminence of the vehicle you have been seeking for decades to make known your philosophy, along with your media strategy. Just prior to this writing, this will be confirmed in a dream of your watching James and his gay “Other” through the window of an actual vehicle while hearing others exclaim “I can’t believe he did it” but you are smiling with the contentment of knowing he did.
  • The duality of Self and Shadow are as entangled as particle and wave. It is crucial to have a singular figure transparently embody these opposites through Web 2.0 media. You well know that the Web 3.0 philosophy won’t take hold without the Homo Generator media that, under the freedom to erotically display the Web 2.0 playing field, establishes the phenomenology. Your Venus Return reveals the bounty of your quantum leap into the future manifest through the James Franco vehicle: speed. How are you certain? Your first review in the 2014 launch of your Hermeneutics of New Modernism blog is all about speed, Igor Przybylski’s Maximum Speed a hotly erotic exhibition of quantum entanglement between twentieth century objects of high-speed conversion—trains!
  • Speed is inevitable. All you have to do is attend the Berlinale as press, and remain present, and the drawing down of the potential future into the Real will manifest as a force of propulsion emanating from kairos. This might seem to be immediate, but it is a process at the conclusion of the thirty-year search, bringing romantic dead ends at ever turn. James Franco got a speedway ticket into the art world by the late postmodern archeology you have so tirelessly excavated in your hundreds of reviews, but even when he became the artist’s Shadow eclipsing the artists themselves in his 2010 implosion into the New York arts scene, he had no significance for you beyond making himself the scapegoat for why you decided to leave the New York art world; the celebrity Shadow.
  • It is plausible that James Dean bowed down to the underground gay power in Hollywood as a rite for leaping onto the express train of fame, only to be shocked at the lack of freedom such stardom required in the old Hollywood system. One prison leading to another, and Aquarians cannot stand having their freedoms curtailed. Yet, in believing that he has escaped the corporation, James Franco is subject to another system, the 24/7 celebrity gossip media. This is the chief Kulture Industrie apparatus to divert the public from going inward to encounter the truth about how the system programs their lives. What if it is true—that James Franco is the new archetype? This would preclude his own need to go inward, wouldn’t it?
  • Speaking of the interior, your AHA! Moment at the 2013 Berlinale sources the James Franco phenomenon in the “JUST DO IT!” message immortalizing his on-camera performance as co-director (with Travis Matthews) in the unclassifiable Interior: Leather Bar, which screened in Panorama followed by a discussion. Choosing films that suit his credo, and therefore the myth living through him, is a manner of following George Clooney’s path of projecting a universal myth through a narrative of kairos derived from quantum choice combined with the uncertainty at work in the collaborative medium.
  • Your quantum leap into entanglement with the Franco phenomenon begins when you send the link of your 2013 Berlinale to Carter, when he is in Texas for the Maladies American premiere at South by Southwest. His response is so positive that you immediately launch into the quantum dialectic. He tells you that he has an Aquarian sister, the lucky guy, and you understand his Doppelganger The instantaneous depth of this connection launches you into the alchemical experiment. It takes place over a ten-day frenzy of email exchanges that transform the energy through the chakras at a rapid pace, in keeping with the 7 April Venus-Mars conjunction. You use colored fonts to reveal the stages. The exchange is catalyzed in the Calcinatio (red) and works its way into Solutio (orange-yellow) and then Coagulatio (this is earth requiring commitments when you confirm with Carter your meeting place in Copenhagen) and finally the Sublimatio (air, the actual airline flight) which speeds you right into trilogy of James Franco films screened in a special festival section. The Uncertainty of your flight is whether you will meet James himself.
  • You meet Carter at the aptly named Fortunen, which gives a sense of good fortune, as well as the local scene. He hands you a package containing his book, an essay and art-I-facts for your ontology. What a gift! You know, the way Aquarians just know, that he has handed you the phenomenology of serendipity’s desire, healing of the collective male psyche under an 8 July 2008 quantum experiment. Leg Opens Door to Eros, repressed by the feminist straightjacket for 25 years, came back with a vengeance under a cycle of Aquarian eclipses triggering Chiron, the wounded healer.
  • Within this package is an envelope that you, strangely enough, don’t open until after the first draft of this text was written. It comes as a shock, a magical confirmation of your authorial perspective. Inside are two invitations, one to the Erased James Franco film screening and the other to the exhibition Leg Opens Door, 1963 running from 21 October to 6 December.   Carter signs it with a personal/universal message: the Age of Aquarius. In pointing to a new wave of the surfgeist in James Franco’s leg, he references the last: 1963 was the rise of Beatlemania, culminating in their February 9, 1964 appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, capturing 70 million viewers in this new electronic medium.
  • The next day, you see Erased James Franco. This art film, Carter has told you, is only shown when he is there to present it—his contextualization with his presence reinforces the postmodern content that needs outside references for interpretation. The film is shot with a crew on a simple set, or installation, consisting of a door, a chair and a desk with fake flowers, a telephone and a curious archaic intrusion by way of a golden bust made by Carter that appears to be Alexander.
  • Despite the entrance of the archaic, which is not a postmodern characteristic, the film references the era (you declared dead) through Robert Gober, famous for his cast legs placed against gallery walls. Here James Franco’s leg casting is placed, not against the wall, but the open door, as the actor engages with the late-twentieth century relic of the rotary telephone. The other chief signifier is the earpiece, establishing the creative connection between the subject (the director) and object (the actor). Thus, we have the signage of a hidden strategy to reconcile the Aquarian struggle between opposites coming from the artist as the collective filter of a zeitgeist: the ego control of Saturn (the earpiece) and the revolutionary Uranus (“Leg Opens Door”) kicking down the establishment.   The off-center centerpiece is the Alexander bust, the androgynous figure that is, according to Mircea Eliade, always present at the birth of a new myth.
  • The white space through the geometry of the open door is the void in which a new epic mythology enters once Time’s Arrow is thrown into the path of quantum entanglement. The two participants had no idea where this experiment could lead, but the matter of trust between them is the key ingredient. Together, they establish the context for a critical convergence, a designated space laden with signifiers for Time’s Arrow pointing to kairos.
  • The lingering question is whether the earpiece on the actor is about the director’s control of his actor subject, or conscious input into the performance. If James Franco is the Visitor in the space framed by Carter, then Carter becomes the Witness; the success of the experiment is due to Carter’s consciousness as observer of his own “50-percent” experiment. The actor, representing the Leo opposition, empties himself by half to be filled with new context arising spontaneously from the observation. The void of the empty 50-percent is the Third realm where Time’s Arrow splits past and future into the eternal present.
  • Carter told you that James had an AHA! Moment after making the film, and for two years you have chased the phenomenon to confirm your thesis regarding a neo-modernism arising from quantum entanglement (Hermeneutics of New Modernism, Atropos 2014). Carter has sent you digital images of himself inside the gallery installation/film set with his actor making Erased James Franco. This is where the boundary is crossed from the art gallery to the festival theater: the gallery installation doubling as a film set. Boundaries between artistic mediums effectively erased.
  • The stills reveal the director’s input into the Ouroboros performance, the actor playing back his film roles at a level of the 50-percent emotion Carter requires for his experiment. Like the scientist intent on remaining outside his own experiment, Carter doesn’t appear in his film. This position seems to be indicative of the postmodern artist bumped up against the boundary of the very Shadow that contains the work. Yet, the intrusion of the plainly visible earpiece establishes the ego presence of control against the full-blown eroticism that James Franco will go on to demonstrate as the source of his genius for collaboration. You suspect that by setting up a “control” experiment, Carter’s demonstration of the tension of opposites is Time’s Arrow resulting in James Franco’s AHA! The photos of the process reveal the Doppelgänger establishing the creative tension: both figures wear identical outfits of jeans and white button down shirt.
  • The Doppelgänger, according to Laurence Rickels, indicates the vampire’s arrival in German letters. While the Doppelgänger is a key cult figure in romanticism, he says, German literature did not leave a lasting testimony to the vampire. It seems that the twentieth century projective medium was needed for F.W. Murnau’s hugely influential Nosferatu haunting of the post-World War I German culture. The allusion to the Shadow figure of the vampire through the doubling reveals Carter’s daemon at work. The question that will linger over his Aquarian experiment in controlling the Leo Shadow: who is the vampire?
  • Clearly, in an authentic artistic collaboration, there is no single factor that would determine who is giving blood and who is taking it; the porous boundaries in artistic collaboration is what makes them so rare, and so dangerous. By risking all, one prepares for the leap into uncertainty.   Change requires depositing the ego baggage behind.
  • Timing is crucial to publicly the conversion process, which need only take a moment, though the preparation can take years. The two men met when James visited a Carter exhibition and bought some of his work. Carter tells you that he caught James Franco at a key moment in his film career—his transit out of the leading man typecasting and into risky, rebellious roles. His breakout strategy was to publicly criticize his former directors. This dicey action was rewarded the year before his Carter experiment with unique standout roles in two independent productions: Harvey Milk’s lover in Gus Van Sant’s Milk and the stoner drug dealer in David Gordon Green’s Pineapple Express, both in 2008.

It was Carter’s suggestion, supposedly a joke, that James become part of a soap opera cast, ostensibly so they could use the footage for the film that became Maladies. The actor pursued it, to the surprise of just about everyone, and that is how Franco, the performance artist, was born. As a manifestation of erasing his past roles to create a void of the Third space of the contemporary, James Franco’s AHA! Moment initiated a personal/universal epic arising through new media intervention into the old. The digital film Erased James Franco was an expulsion of his typecasting on account of his beauty (his lucky star!) and established the leap into the Void, in which the script is tossed in deference complete spontaneity of the performance artist–yet this persona is then taken into a scripted form of soap opera.   Embracing this new Uncertainty of creating a persona so strong that the writers will write just for him leads him directly to the art museum (the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art) for the finale, complete with the museum director, Jeffrey Dietsch, making a cameo appearance!

The dialectic James Franco thought he was creating was just a smokescreen. Given what you know of the origins of this strong Leo persona in the Aquarian Experiment, this wasn’t the problem he was bringing up for art.   Whether the appearance of a movie star with extensive training can single-handedly elevate the quality of the soap opera, defined by the very speed of production, was a red herring put out to confound his critics. The high and low dialectic wasn’t about high and low culture, but about the oscillation of the opposites that would define the after-postmodern movement. The high/low theme was just a game covering for the real dynamics at work, the emergence of the hieros gamos! The notoriety he was given for publicly acting out the paradigmic leap into his future (as an artist producing work for the gallery) led to an invitation to co-host the Academy Awards with a woman! A first in the history of the Academy! Once again he was criticized, and he created a new smokescreen, shifting the dialogue through his boyish glee proclaiming to be the first to make a selfie live on television. He was criticized for abandoning his partner Anne Hathaway on stage, but you peered under the surface to see with her acute vision that he was holding the Third for his partner to let the Kundalini rise to enact through her. You know this because she has Venus, Jupiter, Mercury and the Sun conjunct in Scorpio. This means she performs best when surrendering to the serpent power, and James played the role of Dumuzi, the grounded Taurus, to support her silently. What else was he supposed to do, compete with her for attention?

If Hollywood stars are indeed the American royalty, then the image of the Love Goddess with her Consort on the royal stage of the Academy Awards was a giant leap into the future through the past. You consider it akin to the intercourse of the king with the priestess representation of Inanna on top of the ziggurat fertilizing a bountiful New Year (her breakout role was playing a Princess in The Princess Diaries). This “first,” played out on live television beamed across the world was an authentic real-time demonstration of Dr. Peggy Bloomer’s definition of the tertiary epic as “inclusive of the past, taking from earlier traditions to create something new.” Thus, Franco was contemporary, bringing the archaic role of the consort of Venus into the public forum.

The quality of content is never the critical issue with James Franco. Rather, his daemon is intent on demonstrating the overlapping media that Bloomer stipulates are characteristic of the Tertiary epic narrative arising with Web 3.0:

 

  • What distinguishes tertiary narrative is that epics are no longer told through one form of media, or even in parallel ways in different medias. Traditionally a novel had to be published to become a movie, but that is not necessarily what is happening with epic mythology today. Instead, the epic is bundled with other narratives to become the source of a larger commercial franchise. The predominant story may be told through a television serial or in a movie, yet the introduction of new characters and prequels might occur in a digital game or on a website, thereby extending the epic through different medias. This development is in keeping with Kristeva’s definition of inter-texuality as extending beyond the written text into many other types of medias, including: photography, film, dance and song. The multiplicity of media serving a single narrative, or simultaneous parallel storylines, has made the actual ending inconsequential in epic mythology remediation. What all parties want—the producers as well as the audience—is a narrative that continues without death or closure. It is as though the story folds into itself to extend its “artificial life” like Lyotard’s use of the metaphor of the Mobius strip in his book, Libidinal Economy (1974). (Bloomer, 237)
  • James Franco made a statement about his Franco nemesis veiling the strategy at work inside his auto-epic, consisting of “multiple authors” writing his meta-embrace of uncertainty into the teleplay. It leaves its Derridian traces in Wikipedia: “Franco is an artist who works with death. He works in a lot of different ways. He does graffiti, performance, photographs. He creates installations based on murder scenes featuring murders he possibly was involved with. He is interested in pushing the boundaries of art—both aesthetically and ethically—and he will go way too far.”
  • This dance with death through the meta-purification factor of soap (“I love the process, it is very fast” says the speed demon in a Youtube interview) extends the Ouroboros epic narrative begun with Carter in the gallery doubling as a film set, and onto the airwaves, circling back into the gallery (museum) space through a live performance of his future performance artist Self which he makes indecipherable from life.
  • The underlying message? “We are all performers,” he tells Charlie Rose. Yes, but what is the motivation? “James Franco lacks salt,” your friend Christina Lowe tells you. How you love that comment!   Salt is the feminine material in the alchemical transformation. This is the wisdom of Trismegistus the Thrice-Great Hermes: man is stinking sulphur, the toxic multivalent non-metal and the feminine divine is the salt of purification. This attraction of sulphur to salt is not about sex, but the alchemy of the sacred marriage, the search for transcendence.
  • Whatever it takes to get to the Self. The speed in the evolution is a direct reflection of the proximity of the wave peaking in vibration. The collapse of the wave gives rise to the hieros gamos predicted by Wolfgang Pauli. Thus, propelled by Kundalini jet fuel, the Franco alter-ego dance with death of the old James Franco is a two-year trajectory in which the character builds his new art world persona seemingly as a joke in the least expected venue possible—a mainstay on General Hospital constructing a persona of comical self-grandiosity one cliché at-a-time (“You don’t cut a genius much slack” in episode 11/24/09). This intentional authentic irony ultimately meets its mark through the full meta-real cycle by the objective means of a picture tube television within the art installation/set of the Carter feature. Your consideration of the authentic irony of this quantum leap from the crass entertainment realm of mass media to the hermetic art world might be the very construct to blow the false irony of the postmodern out the window.
  • The Franco character’s obsession with death is, on the surface, the meta reality of the actor making a living through soaps: the paycheck ends with death. Yet, on another level, it is a reflection of the surrender (the death of the ego) required in the plunge from high culture to low, and back again. And, in fact, the Franco character was killed off when James Franco left, but the Franco legacy refused to die and was resurrected with a new actor filling the role. This refusal to die, says Bloomer, is characteristic of tertiary myth: “…where there is no discrete closure; the hero refuses to die; instead it looks forward and backward to a story that folds into itself.” (Bloomer, p 49)
  • Taping the soap opera was a steady after-school job (he claimed to have filmed 20 episodes in three days), while he devoted himself to a higher education. Yet, there was a dramatic reversal of expectations that slumming in a soap undermines the quality of an actor’s talent, when he had a breakthrough critical success in the “one man show” of Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours.
  • James Franco erasing his matinee idol image while revisiting his underground descent, resulting in the loss of his character’s arm in Gay Town.
  • The film was lauded for the Phish soundtrack and the riveting naturalistic performance by Franco, whose emotional build to the climatic moment of his (real life) character being forced to cut his arm to escape an entrapment is so convincing that the film becomes its own endurance test in the watching.   The cyclical motion of his speedy Ouroboric swath through the after-postmodern is completed in his return to the soap opera between February 25 and February 28, 2011 to co-host the Academy Awards, a realization of the goal to become the ubiquitous figurehead of the short-lived era between movementsthe after-postmodern and the rise of a new modernism. The chief characteristic of the Franco epic narrative could only be recognized from the realm of the quantum: the leap into the future gazing back at the past that has yet to occur in real time.
  • The first hero’s journey was established in Western mythology through Gilgamesh. This requirement for departure from the known was rejecting Ishtar in favor of Enkidu, his Shadow companion. This is curiously reflected in James Franco rejecting your open invitation to the temple of the feminine divine for his Seth Rogen playmate. But what need does humanity have of reliving the myth of antiquity? You ponder on this and come up with an answer; the feminine divine was a character in the archaic myths but was exiled completely in the Christian. This reasoning explains why James Franco so frequently bumps up against the feminine; she won’t go down quietly this time around. Not only is this her epoch to arise; this is her epoch to thrive. The push-pull of attraction/resistance was already evident in a standout Freaks and Geeks episode when Daniel (James Franco) is attacked by his jealous girlfriend culminating in an intensity of sexual exchange rarely seen on scripted television. Here was the chief characteristic of the Franco powder keg, the tension between opposites as the origin of the tertiary according to multiple authors:
  • The tertiary myth is the Third passage where the tension between opposites is resolved in the enlightenment emanating from Self. This new frontier is far beyond the capacity of the single author but rather embraces the multitudes in communal acts of co-creation. (Bloomer, 138)

In a documentary about his life, C.G. Jung forewarned that unless individuals arise capable of containing the power of opposites, humanity is doomed. The power of the trained actor to contain the opposites on screen makes for tertiary myth when this power is taken into the collective culture; this passage has the making of a tertiary epic narrative. New Media, according to Bloomer, is essential to the tertiary process, which she lists as having five characteristics: surpasses traditional media boundaries; collaborative by necessity; never-ending; self-generating; and no single author

Franco explained his laconic Academy Award hosting “performance” as acting as “straight man” to the animated presence of his co-host, Ann Hathaway. The critics who blasted him couldn’t understand the value of his being able to hold the energy in the face of the feminine excess. The irony of playing “straight man” in a hieros gamos innovation of having a male and female host was completely lost in a culture not yet ready to awaken to the arrival of a new archetype.

Yet, the mythology of the dying god is what makes him ripe for the role at the shift between ages in establishing his capacity of being, if not a co-host, then a consort of the new woman (Ann Hathaway), demonstrated in the Becoming. The Franco mythology of death and resurrection into the hero (i.e. celebrity) who refuses to die, will foreshadow James Franco’s subsequent trajectory as a 24/7 homo generator marrying an off-screen persona, to scripted roles furthering his ongoing personal/universal epic narrative. The intent seems to be pushing through all ego boundaries into the erotic consciousness to arrive as the embodiment of the authentic man, hence a rebirth from the adolescent Dark Cupid of the simmering sexual promise in his breakout role in Freaks and Geeks. The title of the Franco exhibition in the final episode of General Hospital only supplies a surface reading of a deeper inter-textual foray: Francophrenia: Dissolving the Boundary Between Illusion and Reality.

Where is this collapsing of boundaries leading, but the tertiary epic which, Bloomer writes, “becomes crucial to our lives as humans, for it provides the DNA of a new breed of human who, as Schirmacher determined: ‘needs no prior thought.’” (Bloomer 27-28)

  • There is something of Osiris and his scattered body parts in the one-year evolution of the Franco epic narrative from experimental art film to acclaimed feature film: might the postmodern cast of his leg from his gallery erasure have been compensated by cutting off his arm? Both moves proved to be a quantum leap in the direction of art as transformation into something singular, authentic and centered, arising out of the ashes of the postmodern.
  • The quantum leap results in the past being determined by the future. This is because with circular time, the future entering the present alters the past. As strange as this may seem to ordinary logic, this is being proven in the laboratory. The uncertainty principle determines that the outcome of an experiment depends on the consciousness of the observer: to bring the Gebser integral consciousness to this experiment means the interchangeability of Doppelgänger and Vampire/Shadow. Carter extends his gay identity to his double through the earpiece, and James Franco looks right into the camera and says: “I am gay.”
  • The arrival of the Self in the midst of the Kulture Industrie confounds because the Self, by its very definition as homo generator of the tertiary myth, defies the categorization confining academic scholarship to disciplinary boundaries and the eradication of the public intellectual by the corporate control of media.   It is a rare arts writer who crosses over into writing about film; they are separate beats on newspapers and are even separated in new media to an extent. The press attending the festivals screening James Franco’s filmmaking product isn’t going to follow him into an art gallery to excavate the archeology of his epic narrative. Erased James Franco is a throwback to the past avant-garde in that its creator’s insistence that it only be presented within the realm of personal contextualization. Yet, the AHA! Moment inevitably propels the Francostein monster out of this realm altogether. Here is where the Doppelgänger strategy serves to smash both academic and commercial boundaries by means of an unexpected outcome. From the “I am gay” pronouncement in Paris, to a self-exploration of the boundaries defining “gay” vs. “straight” (culminating in his publication of a dialogue between his gay and straight self published online in TwoFourNine, March 2015) comes a media firestorm. First the building of speculation in the gay press over whether he was one of them. Then the mainstream press gets caught up in the intrigue, fueling the James Franco rocket trajectory as the post-modern icon.
  • In the Sal press conference the unexplored homosexual archeology of James Dean’s Doppelgänger/Shadow, Sal Mineo enticed you into a future where you would cross boundaries to become participant in the extension of the conversion experiment.
  • Deleuze writes in The New Nietzsche of the difference in quantity and respective quality of relating forces as both stemming from Will to Power:

Forces are essentially differentiated and qualified. They express their difference in quantity by the quality that devolves to each. An event or phenomenon being given, to estimate the quality of the force that gives it meaning, and, from that, to measure the relation of forces present to one another––this is the problem of interpretation. We must not forget that, in each case, interpretation comes up against all kinds of delicate problems and difficulties. For this, we need an “extremely fine” perception, the kind one finds in a chemist.

  • Your having utilized the principles of twentieth century physics as tools to develop this “extremely fine” perception (and you are convinced that Deleuze really meant to write alchemist here but couldn’t bring his own action to depart from his philosophical tradition which relegated alchemy to the occult), you find yourself in the center of a Nietzschian active/affirmation vs. reaction/negation in the post-film discussion with Travers. You boldly attempt to demonstrate the Third by summing up the mood: “If the underlying motive in making the film was to bring queer cinema into the mainstream, you have obviously succeeded because here we are…”

 

 

Schrödinger’s cat: a cat, a flask of poison, and a radioactive source are placed in a sealed box. If an internal monitor detects radioactivity (i.e., a single atom decaying), the flask is shattered, releasing the poison that kills the cat. The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics implies that after a while, the cat is simultaneously alive and dead. Yet, when one looks in the box, one sees the cat either alive or dead, not both alive and dead. This poses the question of when exactly quantum superposition ends and reality collapses into one possibility or the other. (Source: Wikipedia, CC-by-SA 3.0)

 

  • From his first role as the sexually charged adolescent, Daniel (the name of your muse!), on Freaks and Geeks, James Franco burns a hole in the screen with his Kundalini energy single-handedly creating a spielgeist of the emergence of an erotic consciousness.   Lacan would call this the feminine excess, and the actor admits that he was difficult to be around when he was attempting to focus all that energy on his acting. Like the closed lid on Schrödinger’s cat, the unlimited possibilities of the enclosed art gallery installation/set of Erased James Franco liberated the actor to blast “out of the box” into other mediums of expression. In this sense, the creation of the soap character Franco making art out of a death (of personality) obsession was about killing the old James Franco who struggled to get all of his expression out through scripted and directed roles. In that sense, the only choice, other than the degree of force channeled into the performance, is the choice of material.
  • If indeed, as Von Franz has written, a new archetype enters the collective as a rumor, then the rumor of a bipolar constellation of energy arising from the sexual ambiguity of a screen idol is too scintillating to ignore.   Geist in German means both spirit and ghost.   When you serendipitously meet the scholar presenting a reading of Laurence Rickels in Berlin, she tells you that she shared an office with James Franco at the university. “He needs a ghost.” And so, this addition of Franco phenomenology becomes his (spiel)geist
  • James Franco’s “gay” offering for 65. Berlinale is a huge leap forward. I Am Michael is a solid and balanced drama that has authentic emotional engagement on the screen and with the audience. Based on a true story, there is no longer the specter of the meta hovering over the material to make the controversy. Instead, you have real drama based on something new; no one even mentions it in the press––the spiritual journey. After throwing off the identity of gay activist icon, Michael Glas embarks, like the Fool with his knapsack, on a spiritual journey, taking him through the various religious systems, before enrolling in Christian study which makes him master of his own domain, pastor of his own church.
  • The film inadvertently reveals a secret truth about the tragedy of homosexuality—the passion of the gay man is to have intercourse with a straight man who projects the characteristics of masculinity he desires; once the lover is converted into the Doppelgänger, interest wanes and the pursuit of the prototype male, the Leo archetype with the strength to shift identity archetypes with the Sun’s passage into a new sign twelve times a year, begins the cycle anew. In the film, the conversion takes place through the literal Third, a new man in bed, which is a signal for Michael to option out of the Doppelgänger identity and into a solitary exploration of his manhood.   The sheer loneliness of the inner journey is made so palatable the film, wherein Michael heroically reveals the Third passage to the hieros gamos (sacred marriage). The image of this new icon is manifested in the end as he sits with his wife in his church, preparing to greet his flock.
  • James Franco’s trajectory as a “is he or isn’t he” icon crashing the borders between alternative and mainstream media is rooted in the Carter 50-percent Doppelgänger solution extended as an after-postmodern elixir to the art world. He directs James Franco mimicking Rock Hudson in Seconds, a film in which a businessman exchanges his identity for an artist and, ironically, loses his soul in a hot tub; the title alone foreshadowed the tragedy of a life caught between the opposites––romantic leading man on screen vs. closeted homosexual whose secret gets out when he is stricken with the “gay disease” of AIDS.
  • Despite the singular semiotics of the label, homosexuality is revealing psychologically of the Doppleganger passage of the two, the duality of the mirror. The key scene of the three men in bed together in I Am Michael, perceived as a Dreieiningkeit (holy trinity), and the subsequent taking back of the projections, launches Michael on the inner journey, symbolized by a spiral. This is a real breakthrough, as you suspected, out of the after-postmodern and into a new modernism.
  • You ask, then, a second question in the press conference about the spiral. “Was it Michael’s symbol, a symbol you added, or just James drawing on pancakes?” The director answered that it is Michael’s motif and he believes everything comes from the symbol. “The spiral is an ancient symbol of the goddess.” Ha! There it is, your intervention by means of the boomerang. The symbol put out by men comes back from a woman, claiming it for the long-repressed goddess.
  • You read somewhere that James Franco was bred by his father to be a math whiz and dropped out of UCLA to become an actor. Who would have thought that his right-brain development through his celebrated creativity would expose the left-brain orientation of his early calling? Yet, repeatedly, James Franco’s use of number is a crucial clue to his media strategies, which go hand-in-hand with his implosion of academic boundaries, which keep mathematicians away from the creative arts.
  • The rebellious force has its own genius. The duality of the two entering the instability of the three sets up the condition for personal evolution. In leaving the habitual bed of the Dreieinigkeit for the uncertainty of the Third passage of the solitary inner journey, Michael lives out the mythical passage to the hieros gamos, culminating in a triumph for both Michael Glas and the actor who plays his conversion.
  • This leap into the present and future archetype does indeed cause a reinterpretation of the past. Now you understand that the quaternity of Sal (James Dean + sidekick vs. James Franco + sidekick) that was left off-screen, had to be extended into metascape with Interior: Leather Bar (the title giving a hint as to this same actor having to penetrate inward to deal with his feelings about entering the gay film arena that was removed from Sal).
  • Subsequently, it is deconstructed through Michael’s triangle, in which real sexual intimacy is finally being explored on the screen. The passage from the repression of intimacy in Sal to James Franco’s exploration of male intimacy with the non-gay actor playing Michael’s lover is a significant probing of ego boundaries. Placing directly on the screen the fear of “straight man” inserted into a “gay movie” was a brilliant means of furthering the ontology of the hieros gamos marriage of opposites through James Franco’s after-postmodern “JUST DO IT!” credo.   The value of this Franco trilogy is not on the screen but in the quantum effect on the media. Interior: Leather Bar demonstrates its relevance by anticipating the controversy it embodies in ringing the “queer film” into the mainstream.
  • Predicting the past from the future, the media strategy that will come into play is evident in the public repartee between James and his friend, Val Lauren, the straight actor playing Sal.   In real life there is a natural grace, entirely missing, along with Franco’s presence, in the film; yet the generosity and loyalty James Franco displays towards his fellow students of acting, giving them an opportunity to shine in his glow, leaves a strong impression at the press conference. The lid on Schrodinger’s Box has been lifted on James Franco as a catalyst to a paradigm shift and the cat is very much alive.   Your observation makes it obvious to you what the gay rumors ignore: James Franco is establishing a new path of men co-creating with love, and yes, sexual exchange, but without fornication.   This much is obvious in his natal astrology chart, with the Uranus opposition to his Venus; his public persona insistent on a new definition of queer that has nothing to do with fornication.
  • The more you try to prepare for the Uranian flashpoint, the more it will surprise you from behind. Astrology is a precise science that calculates the timing of events from relationships in space projected onto earth. The 360perspective granted from looking at the astrology wheel, which is a map of the planets geometrical relationships in space, establishes a new relationship on earth as circle through the holistic view that everything is rotating all the time. The universe is in constant, eternal motion. We can track these cosmic evolutions today through high-powered telescopes, but the ancient cultures knew this innately in the body and enacted in ritual.
  • And what of such rituals today?
  • They are placed in the subversive realm of the intervention. A leap into the future determines the past. The symbol prompts this flight into kairos. And there it is, James Franco’s rabbit below the Gay Town signage; you are compelled by the stars to remain there to record it.

The serendipity of the Blue Rabbit as the Gay Town signifier arriving in Penny Arcade’s “Pussy and Faggots” revue performed in Berlin on 9 April 2015.

  • Franco’s rabbit (his production company is named Rabbit Bandini) as a symbol of fertility, with what could be either lipstick or blood on its face, makes the Badiou pronouncement of the Multiplicity of the Event all too Real as the rise of the Homo Generator out of Web 2.0:
  • Homo generator realizes the hope and the angst of the post-Hegelian philosophers, a Dasein beyond metaphysics, a human being that needs no Being, no certainty, no truth. Modern technology is the birthplace of the homo generator, but an ambiguous one. Homo generator is not a telematic tale of technological triumph over nature, as Vilem Flusser used to tell it (before he died in a car accident in 1991), nor proof of a technological mutation to a higher form. Homo generator is not a success story and will not vouch for progress, but by the same token, homo generator begins to fulfill the artificial existence of humanity.   (Schirmacher, 1994)
  • You arrive at the Gay Town exhibition in the final hours and go through the four galleries constructed from a vacant space opposite Javier Perez’s new gallery on Karl Marx Allee in the former East Berlin. On the grand Soviet-style boulevard removed from Western commercialization, it hits you like a lightning bolt: James Franco is a new and improved version of the archetype that your Muse, with his conflicted sexual orientation originating in his uncommon beauty, was trying to become!
  • What attracts you is this: James Franco making provocative art out of sexual ambiguity––there are portraits of him coupling with his girlfriend, the hipster chic from Central Casting, along with others that just seemed queer. This view into his psyche sends you right back to where you were with your art in the eighties, when gender as performance was only beginning to be explored in public in East Village dives. You have your beautiful obsession. His name is Daniel.
  • With the demented smile of an encroaching age, Daniel smugly called himself a dilettante, as you dangled your legs outside his window on the then-dangerous and now fashionable Rivington Street. His name was Daniel but in your fiction he was Alejandro, dabbling in all the modes of expression the way Franco does for the collective. Daniel was attempting this boundary-smashing before he even understood what boundaries were, in the pre-digital age of the eighties. Plus, he didn’t have the advantage of being a movie star which would give name recognition to his sexually ambiguous beauty and its deconstruction as a mode of personal expression. If he had been born a generation later, he would have expressed through the Web 2.0 social media network, but then you were most of his audience in your singular adoration.
  • James Franco’s strategy is directing his kundalini outpouring high and low, so that the protections of making big budget studio films, with their armies of publicists and Internet trolls protecting the corporate brand, would also serve to publicize and protect his personal expression disseminated through Web2.0. What newly-minted artists have such a media momentum fueling their “brand”? It is a realism of the age that too few artists face: the endless struggle between interior and exterior, the time spent making the art versus the time spent to promote it.   James Franco obviously learned from his inhabitation of James Dean that his freedom of expression lay in the choices of his projects. This is a large-scale manifestation of Wolfgang Schirmacher’s homo generator at work:
  • Homo sapiens, homo faber, homo creator–none touches our core any longer. We shall, of course, keep on thinking, continue to make tools, and imagine ourselves to be the originator of things, of our acts and thoughts. But all this pales in comparison with the immense ability to produce new forms of life and determine the biological as well as the spiritual future of the earth. This homo generator is no longer a gifted dilettante whose successes are owed principally to chance. Homo generator does not have to settle for what’s given; he or she works instead, without any restrictions, with the fundamental building of life in all forms. (Schirmacher, 1994)

 

  • You still remember how it happened: you hammered out the first pages of your novel on the wooden floor of your empty apartment in Buenos Aires. When you returned to New York, you tucked three crisp hundred-dollar bills into your shoe and deposited them on the desk of a famous Argentine astrologer revealing your astrological chart for the first time. “If you were a man, you would be gay” he told you in a booming voice. This was the best summation of your personality you ever heard, one that wouldn’t fit into the Judith Butler “gender as performance” theory. You have to turn to the archaic.
  • It is 1985, the New York summer in which you are reunited with your sister, Susan, who had become a Hollywood talent agent. She is passionate about her new client, Daniel Day Lewis, whom she signs after her early view of his breakout role as the bisexual lover in My Beautiful Launderette. As you plunge into the study of the stars and their effects on human personality, an examination of Daniel Day Lewis’ astrology chart, born April 29 under the sign of Taurus, determines a fixed T-square pattern fitting right into your own. Perfect stability in romance! This gives you an ever-shifting image for your obsession, infinitely safer because his distance/proximity to you is a matter of the opposites—physically close because your sister happens to be his agent, yet distant because your only rendezvous with the icon, other than the dream, is by way of a projection on screen.
  • The unexpected happens when your sister gets you a job reading scripts for her agency, Triad Artists (semiotics pointing to your future passage developing a theory of the Third). Your entry point into the go-go cocaine-fueled eighties suits your literary aspirations: a muse made intimate by one degree of separation (you would enter her office to hear her talking to him on the phone) and yet inaccessible. You read scripts for him, as well as her other clients––Colin Firth, Julian Sands, John Hurt, Danny Glover, Ed Harris, etc. …a virtual roll call of superior talent in the short-lived indie epoch of the eighties before the small production companies were absorbed into the corporate studios.
  • At this time, Daniel Day Lewis appears in your dreams as runaway lover always speeding away from the romantic scene on his motorcycle. The elusive beauty with the dark gaze—whose sexuality, like your own, is ambiguous and shifting between polarities. You don’t have the erotic language for what attracts you at the time, but your first novel tracks your plunge into the underworld in pursuit of Alejandro. This Third path of transforming your desire into literature is a lonely one; the serendipity of one magical connection after another is what spurs you, along with the multiplicity indicated in dreams of multiple births. But more on that in a moment.   For over two decades, the sheer excitement over the very sexual ambiguity of your attractions (surfacing in the pop culture as the illusive lover of Lady Gaga’s Alejandro personified by Steven Klein who made the video) gets your pen into the proactive motion. The spilled ink is the phenomenology of expelling desire onto the purity of the white page.
  • You begin your epic sitting on that bare wooden floor of a Buenos Aires apartment and haven’t stopped thirty years later.   There is a virtual tower of unpublished manuscripts, later to be exhibited as word sculptures in galleries. Your dreams are manifested in mysterious ways…like the repeated image of Daniel Day Lewis on a real motorcycle made real on a film set in…where else but Argentina!   You and Susan are enthralled with the Argentine film The King and his Movie. She invites you to a dinner with the Argentine director Carlos Sauros who brings his new script, about a gorgeous guy on a motorcycle. Susan casts Daniel in the part and your dream becomes a projection of the icon to the collective!
  • The Sauros script has the unlikely title: Eversmile, New Jersey. It is about a New Jersey dentist wanting to rid the world of decay, a metaphor for the fascist philosophy of dissenters as germs threatening the entirety of the repressive system through its parts. So there it is, the archetype of the New Man arisen from your dreams onto the screen. You put your sister on the plane to Buenos Aires to visit the shoot, telling her to return with some dulce del leche.   Which she does…reporting to you how she ran around the set asking people where she could find the Argentine treat—your sugar compensation for not getting to meet the constellating dream figure in the flesh.
  • But this is long ago. Daniel Day Lewis is to fade from your dreams, along with the runaway lover, as you embark on the excruciating task incorporating the gender-shifting archetype into your corpus.   Through the hard work of the unknown interior journey into this newly-arising Aquarian archetype, made known through the language of symbol and number informed by your growing expertise with astrology, you get a more lucid vision of how the New Man archetype of the future will manifest in the popular culture.
  • James Franco, born in 1978, is not on your radar screen when he invades your realm—the New York art world––with his A Dangerous Book Four Boys, opening on 10 June 2010 at AIR’s Clocktower Gallery. At the very least, the title reveals, in the prepositional shift to number, a mathematical coding providing the signage to his creative trajectory. This multimedia exhibition had an underlying current of a nostalgic farewell to boyhood, the chief signifiers encompassing past and future: a video of the burning of a boy’s backyard fort projected inside a wooden house and a wooden projectile structure suggesting the rocket expulsion of his future course through multimedia—books, video, sculpture, painting and whatever else centralized by the “show and tell” immediacy of Instagram.
  • At that time, you are completely focused on finishing up with delivering your vision of the bipolarity of the feminine Aquarian archetype into the New York avant-garde. In timing with the Venus cycle, this effort follows eight years of reviewing art in the grassroots of Connecticut as well as the international avant-garde (the opposites were the same in this regard) through the lens of a new art theory incorporating the binary oscillations of desire into the ever-present origin of the hieros gamos.
  • Your curatorial duties begin in 2005 with the presentation of three geniuses/three generations of New York poetry at the Lab Gallery of the Roger Smith Hotel in midtown. Then, comes Icons of the 21st Century (2006), Black Madonna (2009) and Woman in the Twenty-First Century: Margaret Fuller and the Sacred Marriage (2010). Your last curated performance, EROSion at the Gershwin Hotel (coined by Edwin Torres) is your farewell to New York City in February 2011.
  • In the fall of 2010, when the Love Planet disappears for forty days to resurface meeting Mars in the sign of Scorpio (SEX!) at helical rise, you surface as a global critic. Launching your “(R)evolution Series” in Huffington Post Arts, you create a Web 3.0 entanglement style of collaborative art writing to images, seeding layers of additional meaning through hyperlinks as a drilling to the source. But what tickles your desire is that this global vehicle putting feminine desire into collaborative play will be your entry into film festivals and an advanced degree interpreting the Aquarian icon disclosed through the projective medium. This is your entry into film festivals.
  • The 2010 leap boosted by the conjunction of Venus and Mars in the transmutation sign of Scorpio sets into motion your public narrative regarding new art forms containing the tension of gender opposites. Meanwhile, art production is hijacked by the marketplace. The last thing anyone seems to care about is the inner journey. Even performance artists got busy figuring out what they could sell. Everything has become tainted by what Rickels would call the inability to mourn. What they needed to mourn was the death of the postmodern movement as institutionalization took over. In the most grievous example, the institutionalization of performance art through Performa required payment for entry that made celebrities into “performance artists” rather than celebrating authentic art performances. You knew it was going to be a long haul, but it still seemed amazing that none of the art holding your interest could find any interest in the hyperventilating marketplace.
  • Once you detach from the New York art world, you can clearly see that the projective medium rules the art of the contemporary. The technological sea change of the past two decades has consolidated into a revolution in which projecting one’s desires can be executed without the cost of a film camera, projector or photograph. Anyone with a smart phone can participate in this revolution.
  • You suddenly understand that the film festival circuit is your ticket to riding the zeitgeist. When your Templar sponsor, who collaborated with you on Black Madonna, launches a new magazine on the moving image, your report from the 2011 Venice Film Festival is to be included in the inaugural issue. At the same time, you are invited by the Avon Theatre Film Center, the art house on the Connecticut Gold coast, to present a film for discussion. You choose Soderbergh’s 2001 adaptation of Stanislaw Lem’s Solaris.
  • In jumping into film, you are crossing paths with James Franco in the year 2010, when he invades the New York art world with his farewell-to-boyhood exhibition at Clocktower Gallery. The exhibition is in a new space established by Alana Heiss, the ousted director of PS 1, who created the innovative space in Queens that was absorbed by MoMA.   You don’t see the exhibition and run into James Franco for the first time the following year, 2011, when you notice him hesitating before disappearing through the gilded Venice door.
  • Invisibility is crucial to your magic. The feat of being the fly on the wall in the making of a new constellation is not for the timid. One has to be strong to be invisible. But what intrigued you was how the Franco phenomenon was starting to take hold; in putting out so much expression in multiple mediums practically at once seemed to be a single grand performance of the Ouroboric self-devouring. The results were the good canceling the bad (as his fine 2013 entry Child of God canceled out the horrible Sid two years earlier), putting Franco precisely at the zero point, the vertex triggered by cosmic design under the solar eclipse on 20 March 2015.
  • The good that awakened you to his vision at the 2013 Venice Film Festival was his contribution to a variety of shorts commemorating the anniversary of the festival.   His film smashes the viewer with the violent destruction of a television (the representation of the collective consciousness) while proclaiming the triumph of amateurism.   With this Franco statement, you are in perfect agreement; you realize when watching it, with a certain excitement, that professionalism is what ruined art criticism as well, and your own stretching of the critical boundaries into conscious entanglement, i.e. collaboration, is the only tool in your arsenal to act as a remedy.
  • This passage, embarked on with precarious danger throughout 2014, brings you to the Berlinale 2015, when you no longer identify as artist or critic, but as a female philosophy student struggling to configure the contemporary. You think attending the Teddy Awards this year will be the ticket, and noticing that James Franco’s I Am Michael is up for an award, you get the idea to pitch a story to Kevin Sessums, editor of FourTwoNine, a magazine based in San Francisco.
  • The magazine’s concept is novel; it is orientated at gender, but not by gender, meaning it is inclusive of the entire LBGT spectrum. This was the revolution behind the award-winning Poz in the nineties, a daring magazine for the HIV positive which rode the wave of the biggest story of the nineties—that the new medicine made it possible to live with AIDS (a story which you broke as the press agent for the first POZ Expo). You had been following Sessums’ descent and rebirth through Facebook, summed up in a November 2014 New York Times feature with the announcement of his new book.
  • By the fall of 2014, Berlin becomes the center of a new dialectic in which queer is no longer a term about sexual orientation. With your input and fertilization from the Saas Fee laboratory and the Berlinale, queer returns to its original definition of nonconformity. This agrees with Web 3.0, and the arising of a new archetype that doesn’t fit the binary sexual categories. The phenomenon of Aquarian Age gender equality entering the collective consciousness through the hermaphroditic icon of the hieros gamos will be a media firestorm with the transgender experiment of former Olympian Bruce Jenner transforming himself into Caitlin Jenner, complete with the Vanity Fair cover announcing the gender switch.
  • You see this new definition of queer in the mountain laboratory of the European Graduate School. Blake Shaw, with his black-suited Edwardian fashion and Butoh-like dance motion of nearly lying on the floor while caressing himself, that could only be called “queer.” Blake’s description of himself and his self-adoration moves as “queer but not gay” seems to be heralding the banner of the ‘89 generation. The term queer for this generation no longer means sexual orientation but a transcendence of the binary.
  • This is synchronistic, you will discover on the eve of the festival, with a new theory coming out of the Queer Institute of Berlin and the Institute of Cultural Studies as a series of talks exploring the last dark realm of research: sexual excitement. The series of four talks over (appropriately) a nine month gestation with the title “Desire’s Multiplicity and Serendipity” confirms your declaration of the wave collapsing in the time and place predicted: Berlin under the Vernal Equinox solar eclipse.
  • On the very eve of the Berlinale, a discussion with Anke Engel, founder of Berlin’s Queer Institute, ushered a new consciousness into the public form. Immediately you know that Anke is embodying the archetype with her degendered luminosity of spirit. She has a valiant mission in getting beyond the male/female binary of the collective culture into the masculine and feminine polarities of the occult path to interior wisdom. The light coming through her marriage of gender that shines in her appearance with a light bursting from the crown of her head. This serendipity, coming from a talk about desire’s serendipity, is all you need to finish your preparations for disclosing this archetype in the 2015 selections for 65. Berlinale.
  • The path out of the binary where the scientific determinism has imprisoned us, arises from desire Dr. Engel confirms in her poly language what your learned in your first encounter group:
  • The shift from subject desires object …this moment is where you can recognize the object as something beyond passivity. What could happen is that something not defined by subject and object. Moments of pleasure or painful movements triggered is this process…examples…discuss the moments of polyamphorus constellations. Someone realizes that desire is not focused on one particular person but takes different directions. Polyamphorus perfect for questioning. Monogamous form, couple form, invitations for multiple directions of desire. Polygamy involves a moment where it fits perfect for multiple implications. You have to be all over the place, rationalizing in polygamy—an old fashioned idea. Complementarity organizes a desiring subject. There is a need for a desiring subject to have perfect complementarity.   (Anke Enkle, ICI lecture, 4Feb2015)
  • Bolstered by this insight, you rush home from the ICI event to prepare for the first day of the Berlinale. Surrendering to Eros to select your outfit, you realize this is the wave you been surfing for years, only now instead of bodysurfing, you have a sleek new red surfboard vibrating with the Francostein message: SPEED!

Speed because this is the first time you have encountered a scholar stressing serendipity, i.e. the magical occurrence, as the paradoxical outcome from the shift from the expected flow of desire generated by the unexpected occurrence. Right on. James Franco’s instinct, you know, is to open up the void with the unexpected creation. Putting this into the Berlin atmosphere the night before the Berlinale, has “wave collapse” imprinted all over it, a rolling of the surfgeist down from the mountain of the Badiousian Event you declared in Saas Fee.

Multiplicity as a matter of course has come down the Alps to the Spree Delta. You have been tracking the archaic in the Berlin museums to match these images with what you find in contemporary art. The rewards are being reaped, and project backwards to reinterpret time. This has been already achieved, however, through your 2012 discovery of the multimedia project Art Girls. This followed two other films sourced in the hieros gamos of ancient Sumer transplanted to an identical topography: the two rivers meeting in the Spree Delta as a mirror of the Tigris and Euphrates in the fertile crescent of ancient Sumer, explored by the contemporary figure of Gertrude Bell.

  • Therefore, under the general label of “queer,” you can see how your hieros gamos theory of the internal marriage of gender opposites can meet the academic/pop culture. This is what James Franco symbolizes as the icon catalyzing the surfgeist, the dissolving of gender boundaries to the point of disappearance of sexual traits in the corpus—the body of art, as well as the human body.   This is a radical new idea of the bisexual as an internal marriage of sacred opposites, radical because you know how hard it has been to deliver, the outrageous notion of Being, as in BEING ALONE! Being solitary requires the taking back of one’s projections by going within (what Jung referred to as the last journey left to man). There, right in the inner space between the solar plexus and the heart is where the Aquarian Age archetype of the sacred masculine and feminine will take hold for a new epoch.
  • As the pieces of this mosaic fall into place, you email the TwoFourNine editor Kevin Sessums, whose chart you read to him as the resurrected archetype in 2011 before he even experienced his descent, which you learned about through a feature about him in the New York Times. You pitch a story about the Teddy Awards and James Franco’s new film I Am Michael being up for an award and he immediately emails you back and says “we think alike” and that James Franco is his next cover. So, while you celebrate this move as it supports the theory that you hope to crystallize through Franco’s “triple play” at the Berlinale 2015, you are disappointed that the writer is not you.
  • But then, you have to admit, this leaves you in the space you already carved for yourself, a space of perfect freedom, which you have been granted by the Huffington Post, to express what has to be said. This is the break in which a woman writer, or any writer, could hardly have dreamed about before the invention of the Internet. And even then, there was the problem of who would read it. You thank your lucky stars for your Web 2.0 niche in the arts section, where you can change identities while developing your theories under the cover of anonymity, a true luxury in an age of 24/7 celebrity-obsessed media.
  • However “out of time” may be your quantum entanglement with James Franco, the beginning of the end is present in your Carter wall in your Berlin kitchen, appropriately placed beside the appliance of everyday conversion: the stove. This depicts the Paris exhibition Leg Opens Door in October of 2008, the month of the global financial meltdown when you were summoned to the Templar, who collaborated with you on the Black Madonna exhibition highlighting Marc Wiener’s unpublished C-Prints of Madonna bursting with her impending fame.   His response to your proposal: “I am from the Templar lineage, so how could I not be excited about an exhibition depicting what my family attempted to preserve for 700 years?”
  • The pivotal year of 2009, when Francostein was born, is start of a new chapter for you, one in which you had confirmation that global culture is transforming, despite the stagnation in the art world, which hung onto the ashes of postmodernism long after the death throes became obvious. Your collaboration with the Knight’s Templar, Hughes Payans, intends to bring the underground stream of the dark feminine, the Kundalini, into the art world. It is the contemporary response to the global phenomenon of The Da Vinci Code inspired by your friend, Margaret Starbird, who hands you the torch to bring the ancient archeology giving rise to her proclamation of Mary Magdalene as the “sacred marriage” partner of Jesus.
  • At your initial 1997 encounter with Margaret, during a reading of her book, Woman With the Alabaster Jar, you pointedly ask her: “Why go to the trouble of uncovering this knowledge from the Pisces myth when we have the earlier artifacts of the pre-patriarchal sacred marriage icon from its origins in ancient Sumer (present day Iraq)?” It is then that she does me the extreme favor of passing me the torch with the very force with which she speaks these words: “That is your journey.”
  • In retrospect, you can see that 2009 is the beginning of a new cycle of the art world fame-whore, the external manifestation of the unconscious Black Madonna, which you foresaw back in 2004, when Marina Abramović, with her Kundalini power, unexpectedly appeared in your reporting terrain (it is your association with her, in fact, that makes it so) through a workshop at the University of Connecticut and exhibition entitled Count on US centered on her motif, the five-pointed star.
  • The five (!) articles you wrote on her accounting for Venus, as the five-pointed star she created with her body in a skeleton suit, forecast, with a certain dread, the explosion of the celebrity of Marina Abramović, cemented by her public outings with James Franco. Their “performance identity exchange” (art star for global celebrity) was launched with a December 2009 collaboration: a video performance intersecting with interview projecting the crass commercialism of the late stages of the after-postmodern through its very outlet– The Wall Street Journal.
  • What does it signify that the international performance artist who would go on to symbolize the Black Madonna fame-whore counterpart to the Dr. Francostein Fame Monster had dropped right into your reporting terrain? Did it mean that you, writing a short interview for the Tribune Newspaper chain, were meant to be catalyst for this transition out of the art world system into the stratosphere of global celebrity?

At the time, you were lamenting how very difficult it was for artist’s reputation to rise to the level of national celebrity in the United States. As always, you kept your eyes pealed for a strategy. It arrived with Abramović, just moved into New York City, where she tells you that she has a new office, meaning she is here for business, and you are to be the agent by which she capitalizes on the HBO series Sex in the City restaging her breakthrough 2002 solo gallery installation/marathon performance, The House with the Ocean View with an actress with purposefully entangled hair. The hit show’s final episode was the meeting ground for an arty romance between Sarah Jessica Parker’s lead character and Mikhail Baryshnikov, the world famous dancer, who agreed to play a cameo.

  • While it could be disputed as to whether you catalyzed Marina into the stratosphere of celebrity, the immediate outcome was her catapulting you from local newspaper to the Hartford Courant, which then got you recruited as a freelancer for the New York Times. Abramović is introduced to the Hartford Courant readers by way of the pop television show portraying her marathon performance through the signifier of “madwoman hair,” a portrayal that the artist laughed about in your interview. You proclaim 2004 to be the year of Marina Abramović. Ha, once again you were far ahead of the crowd—by six years! Of course, you didn’t figure into your numerical calculations the rapid movement of James Franco, the “divine son” of a new birth (the reflection of a new movement you were dedicated to exploring and interpreting in the fertile terrain of the “grassroots” in the shadows of both corporate American and the Manhattan center of the international art world that would welcome this exotic artist as a collective experience of passage from the periphery to the center). He was just a movie star in 2003, when you had your fated meeting with Marina in the cloakroom of the Japan Society (you were holding your coat when she appeared out of the shadows and said with her enigmatic smile: “I’m not the coatcheck girl” and you immediately loved her). The occasion was the annual ceremony of the International Association of Art Critics (S) Awards and she was honored for her solo marathon performance at Sean Kelly Gallery, The House With the Ocean View.
  • This impromptu encounter catalyzed the interview that began your ascent as a critic out of the grassroots/avant-garde, united as these opposites were by the primacy of the body, and into the mainstream. It was only three years after Franco’s breakthrough of playing James Dean and he was groomed to be a major movie star, the heartthrob projecting the archaic Son/Lover of the Goddess via his film roles as Tristan and Isolde and Your Highness that become the targets for his artistic rebellion.
  • Oh, the futility of fighting against one’s destiny! In fighting against those glorious images of the lover/consort he was “throwing himself off the pedestal.” Lorna points this out later on, while standing before walls bursting with books detailing the death and resurrection of the Son/Lover in the Kristine Mann Library. She is your mirror, living out the myth of the Goddess and her Sun/Lover with your dazzling boyfriend!
  • Ha! In letting Marina hang onto his coattails, James Franco was doing precisely what his destiny wanted of him: descending into the underworld where he would eventually copy her performance in real time on Instagram (2014), inviting his followers to participate in the destruction of his image. Here is the myth of the dying god for the fast- paced Web 2.0 network society!
  • A single comment summed up acts of image destruction: “James, no one will want to sleep with you now.” That is precisely the point! In transforming his image into the Monster that Dr. Francostein had made in 2008 through the filming of Erased James Franco, he was freeing himself from a new cage as the lion entertaining the masses!   This is what happened at the birth of Christianity, the masses diverted by gladiator stars. At the time, you could only glance at such antics and laugh, agreeing that you would never want to sleep with him now, once more succeeding where your muse failed—to make you physically despise him.
  • So, there you were, confined for seventeen years in the topography of the opposites: the tense border between the grassroots and the New York performance stage of the international art world. The difference between light and shadow measured in time (forty minutes on the train) and distance (forty-five miles). The magic of Venus that you brought into art via your newspaper review of the ontology of number (the Venus cycle as the pentagram, the occult figure preserved by the Templars and yet condemned by the Church as a sign of Satan associated with the imprisonment of desire).
  • Abramović’s photography exhibition in the early spring of 2004 at the University of Connecticut (which appeared in the 2004 Whitney Biennial) revealed the multidimensional potential of this ontology reaching the collective for a new rendering of the ancient myth of death and resurrection.
  • Your interpretation, which appeared as a full page newspaper review, was her return to the personification of “Lucifer,” or Venus as the Morning Star, in an early Serbian performance in which she lay inside a pentagram (she claimed that she was rebelling against the communist star) surrounding a ring of fire. She nearly asphyxiated from the smoke and a doctor rushed in to pull her out. She nearly died, or maybe she did die and came back to life, thereby embarking on the trajectory by which she would receive your interpretations of her human pentagram iconography not in terms of The Da Vinci Code (that was your first New York Times assignment, to interview the man who wrote the book debunking the work of fiction!) but the Venus cycle in which she appears as Lucifer, the Morning Star whose intense light is about ten times that of Jupiter at her helical rising at dawn.
  • You have been honoring this pentagram cycle, thereby resurrecting Lucifer from its Christian association with the Devil, because Christianity, in its repression of female divinity and the condemnation of the authentic sacred marriage partner of Christ (Mary Magdalene according to the archeology of your guide, Margaret Starbird), has made the Devil a feared and loathsome creature pictured with the pentagram as a symbol of evil. Venus is manifested in Western commercialism through her pentacle orbit as the five-pointed star. The symbol of fame commonly referred to as “stardom” is the signifier on the door of the dressing room of an ascended performer or placed, along with the footprint, on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • In the Black Madonna exhibition you did with the Templar, it took him five days to make the pentagram on the wall of the gallery and when he did, he jumped up and down proclaiming: “I am Luciferian!” These are the forces at work in the Kulture Industrie today, to return Lucifer to its origin as Morning Star, the harbinger of light represented by the Promethean figure of the artist. The irony is the darkness of the descent for those who refuse their own timing with Venus (through the authentic inwardly timed development of their unique art expression) and rather seek to embrace the five points of the pentagram all-at-once through an outward show of fame.
  • It was your own subjectivity (that cursed feminine wisdom condemned by Christianity!), or rather the up/down motion of Venus guiding your pen, that recorded the phenomenon of Lucifer returning to the pop culture as intrigue in the human embodiment of the goddess (the best example you had encountered) in this Serbian artist. So, there Abramović went, from your iconic interpretation of her Don’t Count on US performance with Serbian children protesting the delay of UN Aid to her native country, along with the startling images of her striking lighting (the Sky Goddess!) at the Tesla Museum in her native Belgrade. She certainly was counting on US for her red carpet appearance for Impossible Conversations, the Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute exhibition feted at the Met Gala on 7 May, 2012 engaged in an act of cross-dressing in a tuxedo with her consort none other than…James Franco!
  • The iconic gender bending appearance of Venus in the human form of the most famous performance artist on the planet was the harbinger of the historic passage of Venus across the face of the Sun 27 days later. Here they were, exhibiting this image of the bi
  • polar Love Goddess with her Son/Lover for the global media, all in timing with the cosmic clock of the Venus cycle! Abramović was born with Venus Retrograde (like yourself!) and when she pointed to a bench in the gallery at the University of Connecticut where she was teaching a workshop and declared, “I could sleep on that bench,” You were further endeared to her, for her dedication to Art. Venus typically seeks comfort, but when the Planet of Love is retrograde, she is drawn into the depths of experience, where she is eventually killed by her vengeful dark sister, her rotting body strung up on a meat hook!
  • It took her another cycle of eight years after your interpretation of her expression as Lucifer, harbinger of the New, to become the global celebrity that you predicted with her spring 2010 MoMA exhibition, Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present. There, in typical Abramović fashion, she made an authentic moment of reconciliation in public with her former partner/lover/astral twin Ulay. She had told you the story of their breakup—how they were to walk the Great Wall of China together and ended up going in separate directions, one into the sunrise, the other into the sunset.
  • You began tracking the Venus cycles in 1998 when you barely knew after a workshop by your guide, Daniel Giamario, in the lower Fifth Avenue studio of Michael Lutin, the astrologer made famous by his Vanity Fair At that point, this became your Luciferian religion, to track and plan your expression through the cycles of Venus. This culminated eight years later with your five-chapter installation/interactive exhibition, The Alchemy of Love. Five chapters for the five stages of alchemy and the five points of the Venus pentagram. Your unpublished manuscripts were organized into a pentagram according to the date of transcription, creating a structure of desire.

 

 

 

It is inexplicable why, at the time, you dreaded your vision of the “descent” of this acclaimed Central European creatrix, an art world favorite, into the one-dimensional realm of the American celebrity. In 2010, a celebrity performance captured on video and disseminated through cyberspace was pronounced on an art blog as “the day performance art died.”

She made a grand entrance to a Chelsea Gallery in a stretch limo to participate in a vampiric performance in a Chelsea gallery with the multimillionaire rapper and producer Jay Z who had crafted the image of himself with the human manifestation of Venus, Beyonce. Thus did the multi-dimensional Abramović spin out into the image-flattening mass media as the consort to Dr. Francostein’s Monster: the newly and emergent archetype of Self calcified into the one-dimensional celebrity. Her art suffered to the point of being erased by her personality cult, as Jerry Saltz declared art as the missing element from her subsequent Chelsea exhibition. Her media image was disgraced by her accusation that the rapper had failed to make a promised donation to her new Hudson–based performance art institute; which she’s developing in Hudson, New York, revealing her appearance, adapted into a music video for 2013 single “Picasso Baby” was a tit for tat. This was amazing for an artist coming out of the art world structure to get press from mainstream (Time magazine and Rolling Stone) to Internet outlets, with ArtNet declaring the final word, that she had “thrown her own organization under a bus” when he publicly defended himself by showing his receipts and her administration issuing a public apology, taking responsibility as they never informed her of the donation.

So, the Abramović saga is to be traced through the cycles of Venus, and participating in her rise, as you did, and watching the inevitable descent, you had the narrative of the return of Venus as Lucifer, the Morning Star, complete with her Son/Sun Lover in the human form of James Franco.

And what of this reappearance of Lucifer in the form of the Promethean artist at the beginning of a new astrological age?

As you go to press with this text, Laurence Rickels provides you with a quote from his “Planetary Father Function” to appear in All About Father: Psychoanalysis, the Oedipus Complex, and the Modern Family that will shine light on how the zodiac merges with the artist’s body straight from Benjamin’s close of the Origin of the German Mourning Play:

 

Benjamin addresses the half-life of the allegorical mode of reading, which lies in allegory’s origin. The introductory figure of allegory was Lucifer, the poster boy of original allegory, which aimed at revising the evidence of Antiquity. The naked pagan body was transferred to the account of the creature, with the Devil at the front of the line. “The … most important impulses in the origin of Western allegory are non-antique, anti-antique: the gods project into the alien world, they become evil, and they become creatures. The attire of the Olympians is left behind, and in the course of time the emblems collect around it. And this attire is as creaturely as a devil’s body.…The living contexts of their birth disappear, so they become the origins of concepts….The deadness of the figures and the abstraction of the concepts are therefore the precondition for the allegorical metamorphosis of the pantheon into a world of magical, conceptual creatures. This is the basis…for the survival of fabulous creatures like the faun, centaur, siren and harpy as allegorical figures in the circle of Christian hell” (225-26).

Throughout Origin, Benjamin addressed the prospect of modern allegory, which carries legibility forward among the ruins of Christianity’s decline. The abyssal conundrum of evil (for example the ongoing failure in the interminable interpretation of psychopathic violence) can trigger the return of infernal associations. In a split-off corner of mass psychology, in B-pictures, the horror screen has been dominated since the end of the 1990s by demonic forces that replaced the secular figuration of violence in the psycho. The melancholic half-life of allegory has been reached when the Devil returns to reclaim his origin and, by thus restoring the Christian frame of reference, extinguishes in the light of redemption the finite recording surface of remembrance. Benjamin argues that the transitory, which is not so much signified as displayed in allegory, swings around into the allegory of resurrection (232). “Allegory, of course, thereby loses everything that was most peculiar to it; the secret, privileged knowledge, the arbitrary rule in the realm of dead objects, the supposed infinity of a world without hope. All this vanishes with this one about-turn” (232).

However there is one perspective that can survive this return, which rises up with the momentum of intrigue on the stage of Trauerspiel. According to Benjamin, the intrigue alone can attain an allegorical totality of scenic organization that allows one of the images in the sequence to stand out as “apotheosis” and give “mourning at one and the same time the cue for its entry and its exit” (235). It is a form of “subjectivity” for Benjamin that thus gathers together opposition and synthesis in a subsuming juxtaposition that includes deposit and redemption value, but returns among all the other returns.

 

 

Fittingly, it is your advisor, author of the three-volume Nazi Psychoanalysis that has given you the last piece of the puzzle, coming right in timing for this text to go to press. It is the “subjectivity” of the experience of the female body, so derided in Western religion and philosophy providing the redemption value as the ultimate return, that of Venus crossing the face of the Sun in 2012, a return of Nietzsche’s subjective experience of Lucifer, as the Morning Star in 1882, personified by his Übermensch projection onto Lou Salome.

 

  • ***

 

James Franco has survived this stint as the Dr. Francostein monster, bringing down the celebrity fame whores simply by association (which may not have been Carter’s conscious intention but surely was the effect of his Aquarian experiment) in his sliver of time between the after-postmodernism and the rise of a new modernism, this time incorporating the gender opposites and therefore delivering on the Aquarian Age promise of gender equality.

  • The sheer speed of the frenetic images put out by his Id is the Web 2.0 enactment of the quest to arrive at Web 3.0, where the domination of the ego “like” flattens the emerging Self. The struggle for three-dimensional presence in the media is the quest for the authentic collaborative space of Web 3.0. This rush towards entanglement of the heart (the green final room of Gay Town) accounts for the American icon’s insistence on exploding every discipline, essential for creating the Third space claimed by Web 3.0, bolstered as it is by Franco’s living a tertiary myth, lauding collaboration as a panacea all for a bipolar personality. The childlike eagerness to demolish the professionalism calcifying the expression proclaims the death of postmodernism, while the calcified postmodern art stars hung on…and on…and on.
  • Incredibly, I Am Michael is projected in the pre-Berlinale Panorama press screenings on your birthday. This is a most unpredictable action for an actor known for his unpredictability. Usually, you make a conscious effort to manifest on your Solar Return the earthly reflection of what the heavens energetically imprint on your psyche the new chapter in your life journey, but this year you would have gotten that simply by continuing your January routine of getting up at 7 AM, having breakfast and running over to the Cinemax for the Berlinale screenings.
  • That doesn’t happen. Instead, you feel something like apprehension, making you want to spend the day close to home. It is ironic that you refuse to follow the natural inclination to go to the press screenings where you could spend your birthday with Mahari, your Leo friend, and instead roam aimlessly in your neighborhood to let the cosmic imprint of a spectacular year fuse into your psyche. But when you arrive at the Monday screenings you are greatly disappointed to hear that you missed I Am Michael. Mahari says the film is really good.
  • Mahari’s enthusiasm makes him the Berlinale mascot.   He is generous and upbeat about almost everything the Berlinale offers. He makes a point out of not reading anything at all about the film, just entering the experience with a completely open mind. You take those cues from him and start doing the same this year.   Truly, this is what makes film festivals so exciting; to have the curtain open and invite a leap into the unknown, truly a window into uncertainty, if you can refrain from press notes and pressroom chatter.
  • You are now perplexed, once again, over the fact that you missed the birthday gift the universe gave you (indeed this played out in action, as Mahari, who had seen the film on your birthday, was able to be in the press conference before you, and therefore had his seat as closest to the space where James Franco was to exit, thereby missing your chance to extend a private, personal greeting). The gift of timing that you (for once, that you didn’t have to make an extreme effort to materialize) would enjoy on the fifth day of the Berlinale enhanced a very moving film of a young man’s spiritual journey. In James Franco’s onscreen transformation from gay to a spiritual catalyst, there was a projection of a new male awakening—yet this is perhaps only recognizable to your 360-perspective. Your longtime dedication to the unconscious stream makes a champion of this new impulse in art.
  • But you were carrying your new treasure, a birthday discovery from the Saturday afternoon of wandering through your neighborhood, the cigar-shaped carpetbag from a consignment shop which had a bright golden sun on both sides; this was a reminder that your purpose now was to remove the movie star projection, to process these last two years of chasing the Mars in Leo movie stars over Europe and moving into your own galaxy, wherever that may be.
  • In fact, the bright golden sun is the new face you show to your friend, the visual philosopher Nancy Jones, at your birthday party at Composte d’ Cidre in your Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood, where you are feted with chocolate and a tasting toast of eight varieties of cider with Robert Bramkamp and Susanne Weirich.   You felt like the star, the sun in the center of your own galaxy, which was the symbol on the birthday gift from the universe, your newest possession.
  • It seems that you were already unraveling your expectations on your birthday, ridding yourself of the serpent skin that is the movie star projection, and now feels naked. Without Eros to guide you, what would be your underlying motivation for this intent focus on the Berlinale? Do you dare hope to be surprised by a reflection of a neo-modernist movement you have been tracking for over a decade? No, that is the point. You were afraid of leaving yourself vulnerable to the disappointment.
  • Now, on your sixth day of the Berlinale, Monday, the Franco screening is taking place at 10 AM, covering the time of the morning competitions and its press conference. I Am Michael already premiered at Sundance. If you miss the screening, you won’t have the confidence in your vision of the Franco epic narrative to participate in the press conference.
  • What else can you do but do what you did on your birthday? Surrender to the inevitable. You devote your morning to James Franco in what will be your second public face-to-face confrontation.
  • First thing, you focus on getting the outfit right. Wrapped in hound’s tooth had more significance than just the binary of the gender opposites. The bite in your image is the job of the multiple zippers, a metaphor for the multiple layers of serpent skin shedding Self. And the twice-around-the waist black leather silver-studded belt was a symbol of the binding of the sexual tension. And so fashionable, as the belt matches your leather handbag!
  • As it turns out, you can get out of the theater quickly after taking another unpopular front row seat and make it to the press conference to get a seat near Mahari, with whom you had a running joke—that you would have sex with James Franco to prove he isn’t gay.   But your fallout position (“Why didn’t you surrender to your duties on your birthday?”) allowed Mahari to be strategically placed closer to the narrow passage where the panel exited through the side door and into their assigned vehicles.
  • It is not you who gets the salutation from James Franco on his way out from the “I Am Michael” press conference. Rather it is Mahari, who set up the personal acknowledgement by telling him that his acting reminds him of Brando, resulting in this key art-I-fact of the triple+tasking phenomenology in the Ontology of Being/James Franco.
  • The Poet–the contemporary–must firmly hold his gaze on his own time. But what does he who sees his own time actually see? What is this demented grin on the face of his age?
  • –Giorgio Agamben
  • Missing James Franco in a space of fifteen feet! You confront Mahari afterwards, telling him that he ruined your chances for a date and he surprises you by getting angry. He doesn’t take your comment as the joke it was intended, making you think that he intentionally cut you off at the pass.
  • So what is fate and what is destiny? You have a relic of the encounter, Franco posing for his critic (you!), as well as a selfie, while talking to the media.

Übermensch” he says, under his breath but clearly audible through the microphone when you state your name. With this public act of recognition of the title of your dissertation you realize your strategy has worked.   You had sent James an image of himself sitting beside Herzog from his previous press conference, writing only ÜBERMENSCH on the subject line.

The one has now become the two, and in accordance to the time-proven alchemical formula: one becomes two, two becomes three, and out of the Third comes the fourth as the one.   This act of recognition is the sharp Hounds tooth black/white opposition of your coat (transferring into the material from the ethers: Mercury’s position at zero Aquarius opposing his Mars in Leo). So, now having quickly processed your development into the two, the opposition, you are ready to pop the question. You are a moving missile homing in on your target, a movie star captive audience. First you disarm him with congratulations to him and the young director for a moving film.   You have prepared your question in advance and wanted to lead into the topic of the gender opposites with his last appearance in Berlin at the 2013 Berlinale­­–his appearance in the 2012 film Maladies. You mention, as an aside, that he wasn’t at the press conference and catch his reaction, muttering under his breath but clearly audible personal missive “You had to bring that up…” sealed with a seductive smile meant just for YOU!

Yes, he gets your message; Maladies is never going away. It is for the record that you make this link between the screening of that film with its quirky view of gender bending in the Weimar tradition and then the Gay Town exhibition, followed by news of his developing this project. “You are like Michael, forced to proclaim your orientations as a public figure. Tell us what you learned from your experience with gender making this film.”   His preliminary answer was that he doesn’t have to define his orientation, “the press does that for me.”   The rest of the answer doesn’t tell you anything new; the words don’t matter anyway, it is the energy connection you make with him, the erotic pulsation of opposites which forced you to recognize his role as the icon of the after-postmodern.

  • It isn’t your original idea that James Franco was the figure personifying the period after the death of postmodernism.   It is the commentary of a seasoned critic and professor of art that you met in his gallery in Chelsea, the outcome of a magical effect of the ritual you perform under an eclipse to go to the gallery precisely at 5 PM to view James Franco: New Film Stills, a show the critics hated with such passion that meant, clearly to you, there had to be something really great in it.
  • As it happened in accordance with Time, Alfred Leslie is with his students having a great time in the exhibition, laughing with the works rather than at them.   They leave and then magically, Alfred returns alone and you engage him in conversation. “The critics really missed the boat on this one,“ he says. You then hear, like the crashing of symbols, the truth spoken about the phenomenon you pursue, in the very last place you expect to find it, a Chelsea Gallery. “James Franco is caught between movements. I remember when minimalism first came in; no one knew what to think of that movement either.”
  • Yes, that is perfectly understandable how people thought Carl Andre lining up bricks on the gallery floor would never be considered art. You swivel around to look at the ridiculous Franco mustache under the Cindy Sherman imitation hat and wig. Alfred refers you to Julia Kristeva’s writings on the killing of the sacred mother.
  • “He is killing the sacred cow of postmodernism.”
  • Your knees buckle. Beyond the adolescent prank, the deeper meaning hits you with a thunderbolt and all you can do is come up with the response that takes Franco’s death blow to postmodernism right into the after-postmodern oscillations, which you are experiencing now in your body. “But he responded to her reaction with fawning,” you mumble, not knowing what else to say, or how to separate the image from the personality that created it. He smiles. “Do you think he is going to admit that he is mocking her?” You kept talking, wanting to know more, but are rudely interrupted by an artist who recognizes you, thereby prompting Mr. Leslie to take his leave.
  • In writing the review, James Franco Kills the Sacred Mother, you admit the disclosing of James’ intent through the gallery exchange by means of timing. This insight shifts your orientation. Your heart fills with gratitude for the Francostein phenomenon that you are privileged with a front seat (literally in all your screenings) view. You have come this far— at each stage wanting to give up, but then something like this impromptu encounter, which you summon up through your magic, spurs you onward.

The Chelsea location marks the conception your theory, forged from your precipitous leap into a full-fledged acknowledgement of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle in art, delivered to the international critics congress in 2009, just as Francostein caught the wave. You write this encounter with the prescient Alfred Leslie into your review, asking permission to post his image. He sends you a message about laughter being the best medicine with his permission and you submit it on May 1. It is published a day later and you send the link to James. (Interestingly, it was subsequently retracted, which forced the awareness that you really got it right).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • This is a certain pinnacle. You declared postmodernism dead in your first newspaper review in January 2001. Did you imagine it taking this long to find an exhibition driving a nail into the coffin? You actually had to travel around the globe to end up, courtesy of your pursuit of James Franco, stumbling into such a show by chance. Not simply chance, of course, but your alliance to relying on the patterns above as guides to the impressions within, and by doing so, you have made the leap into the Will to Power.
  • The following week, you have a meeting in Danbury with the scholar Peggy Bloomer about editing her epic work, Narratives of Epic Mythology in New Media. Do you place the Franco trajectory through the art world in terms of an epic narrative extending from his early assumption of the energy of consort, Tristan? This is the role he spends the rest of his career attempting to throw off, achieving the goal with his appraised interpretation of the self-created character in Spring Breakers, which he claimed in an interview is the real James Franco.
  • Only when you return to Berlin and jump into the writing of your Hermeneutics of New Modernism treatise and then the edit of Bloomer’s Narratives of Epic Mythology in New Media, for which you coin the term, surfgeist, do you realize what you are seeking in Franco’s Berlinale epic has yet to ripen: his frenetic “JUST DO IT!” credo is the Third path, the Aries sword skewering the Mother and then plunging right through the oscillation of opposites. You are to learn from Bloomer’s dissertation that this polarization is the very definition of the period between the postmodern and the birth of a new modernism that you are personally tracking while missing James Franco, even as you place the modernist icon into view through your professional criticism.
  • This, you learn, is known among some academics as the after-postmodern. It is your contribution to determine this short-lived Francosteinian era as defined by Eros, in which the arising feminine power is struggling to be incorporated into consciousness (from the Von Franz protégé Remo Roth, you got the term “Eros consciousness” as a form of visionary self-healing arising in the gut, i.e. the Third Chakra).
  • Serendipitously, the timing of the 2014 theatrical release of Maladies provides some Francostein magic confirming your course. The new ad for the film emailed by Carter has the three main characters clearly positioned in a triangle. Franco is in the middle, the position of the Third.   The gender opposites of Catherine Keener as the sculptor (the alter ego of the filmmaker) and James Franco as the aspiring novelist (feminine discriminate ego vs. the masculine discriminate sperm) give banter to the biological that feminists have been struggling to refute for decades. This entanglement triggers entre into the fourth character—immersive paintings made by Carter revealing the crashing quantum wave and the interchange of wave and particle appearing underneath, just as Wolfgang Pauli had predicted to Carl Jung.
  • This Third element of the particle dissolving into wave played by the looney sister, who was also the film’s executive producer (her role as the Third in the Franco/Keener entanglement revealing the real-life scenario that her participation certainly made this production happen) and yet foreshadowing the breakdown and death behind bars of Franco’s character. Come to think of it, this death pronouncement of his future aspiration as a novelist would easily explain his non-appearance at the film’s press conference. This perhaps was the hint that he would need a few more films to play out his author(itarian) fantasy that would make him capable of interpreting his own Shadow.
  • With Franco’s absence from the 2014 Berlinale (he was to appear at the Venice Film festival that year looking repulsive with a sacred marriage image tattooed on the back of his bald head, in role as the protagonist in a new film), the preponderance of the three making up the James Franco 2015 Berlinale epic is not lost on one critic…yourself! He was following up the triple play of his 2013 appearance: that of male protagonist (Maladies), the big-budget cameo role (Lovelace) and as indie producer playing his proactive Dasein (Interior: Leather Bar). The trio theme extending over and between the individual screenings is reinforced by your gae immersion into the psyche of the artist performing his own visual Erased James Franco by combining painting, printing and video to cast off his archetypal incarnations in his public role as movie star.
  • The Gay Town shedding of the serpent’s skin in the form of a synthetic/digital carpet ride (a takeoff from the film magic carpet ride in Oz) revealed the Oz shenanigans with movie stars as his own tango of the after-postmodern, with the green witch played by Mila Kunas (because movie stars have to now be painted green because they don’t have the talent to really conjure envy) transforming into the green of a fertile romp in nature as a finale, giving a hint that the soul of this man would like to escape from the Francostein scenario he has been fated to enacted in this lifetime.
  • Incredibly, your moment of realization arrives when you descend into the U-Bahn after seeing the show and discover yourself standing right before the poster for the film OZ: the Great and Powerful. There is Mr. Ubiquitous, in coattails, taking on the guise of the hapless magician standing in the yellow brick road with the three female archetypes, the good, the evil and the one representing the postmodern in-between! This is when you recognize the true cultural import of the Dr. Francostein experiment; it would take another two years on the journey, with the Monster doing his proactive signaling via his Instagram and FB entries, sometimes several times a day, reaching a crescendo through the stripped-down view of his lonesome figure in bed with captions like, “Where are you?” If words could moan! This direct transmission to fans just blows out of the water the “last movie star” public relations machine raging though mainstream media.
  • This one-handed 2.0 erotic performance demonstrates something crucial in an age of the declining movie star. The George Clooney Open House chorus can’t compete with the Francostein immediacy of direct cyber contact with the star. Yet, in comparison with the insulated Clooney defying Web 2.0 with his pronouncement he would never Twitter, the challenge for Franco is clearly how to keep all this familiarity, well…fresh?
  • Not that you ever intend to track the Franco 24/7 “look at what he did now!” media machine. This would be tantamount to entering the vortex and strip you from your focus: to call the quantum wave collapse as you experienced it directly through phenomenology in accordance with the rotation of the heavenly lights and their relationships. It would take two years, almost to the day, for you to follow up your 2013 Berlinale review revealing Maladies as the contemporary work in the broken vertebrae entered by the Weimar retrospective. Here you can read Keener’s sensitive experiment with gender bending as a ticket to heralding the new feminine as a reflection of the convergence of the Übermensch prototype Lou Salome, living in Berlin, in full sight of the treasures from Inanna’s city of Uruk stored in the Pergamon Museum. It is the review of Franco’s exhibition with its cast off patriarchal archetypes of the feminine reinforced by the movie studio that leads you to declare an Event, circling back to the Berlinale review, with its hints of more insights to come of the Dr. Francostein monster as the hatching of this after-postmodern art world smashing into 24/7 celebrity fame.
  • In the U-Bahn, under the OZ poster, the big professional movie conflates with Franco’s amateur deconstruction. Yes, it is all a game! At that point, you got it, but still can’t articulate what he stands for, as you have yet to define the three as the space of the in-between, the balance between the structure and protection of the studio/gallery system and his amateur experiments in which his reputation is protected by the publicity machine of the corporate entertainment culture, with their trolls sent out to write favorable comments to counteract the bad.
  • This strategy reveals that the icon who is to surface the wave crashing into a new era must endure the tightrope walk between the two, buoying a precarious balance between the studio public relations machine and the totally freewheeling arena of social media, where one could only rely on inner instinct to hold back the shame of a poorly- conceived and dangerously implicated public gesture.

 

 

  • The German director Werner Herzog with his star James Franco at the Queen of the Desert press conference.
  • This marshaling of forces between studio marketing and social network (a critic decrying Franco’s appearance in two features by German directors at the Berlinale wonders why they keep hiring him. “6.5 million followers on Instagram,” you counter) takes a superhuman effort to pull off.   The monster birthed in the Carter laboratory was ironically designed to demolish Cartesian conceptualism from its art world pedestal.
  • When you write to Carter that the Aquarian archetype is finally crystalizing, he sends you images of his fabulous crystalline sculpted heads. These busts, with their contained transparencies of matter, define the moment where the New Man, embodying darkness and light, meets the archaic.   These works, placed in Maladies, reveal the actors’ quest for embodiment through the opposites, the Aquarian rulers of Saturn (the force of constriction, containment) and Uranus (the genius force of enlightenment).
  • Carter’s entire corpus is about the Mobius strip of interior/exterior, precisely the Aquarian genius engaged in a conscious marriage of opposites, while exploding the boundaries between the media. He confirms this notion of yours with his email declaring the Erased James Franco catalogue you agreed to write should be 50-Percent.
  • His idea of having James Franco repeat his performance catalogue while only delivering 50-percent of emotion is the imposition of Venus seeking harmony and balance into the aggressiveness of his Mars journey, tearing down walls wherever he finds them. The knight is rushing to fill space while Venus insists he must empty, to create an inner space for the new birth.
  • Why is the empty space necessary? So, a new archetype can be embodied. The tension of the struggle to endure the solitary struggle is summed up in Maladies.   It seems to you that he wanted Franco to empty himself of his hundred percent participation in acting, the only art form where one has to give totally of the self; and by emptying himself by half, he could be fully present in the white expanse of the gallery to absorb the zeitgeist through Carter directing him into a marriage of the opposing gender archetypes of masculine (Rock Hudson’s performance in Seconds) and feminine (Julianne Moore’s performance in Safe). Perhaps. Perhaps the split difference was for James Franco, the meta-actor to enter? Or perchance the Aquarian archetype channeled through the director?
  • The only certainty is that, indicative of the times, Erased James Franco is a metagame (defined by Wikipedia as “any strategy, action or method used in a game which transcends a prescribed ruleset, uses external factors to affect the game, or goes beyond the supposed limits or environment set by the game”) that extends beyond its lifespan as a relic of the in-between era because the director only permits it to be shown when he accompanies it. Talk about the postmodern need for external referencing!
  • The two films referenced in Erased James Franco have narratives in which the opposites are juxtaposed between life and acting: Seconds is a closeted actor playing a role in which a businessman agrees to fake his death in return for a new identity as an artist; and Safe is about a highly sensitive woman closeting herself in a “safe house” where she could be free of the toxics in the daily environment.
  • Erased James Franco has its key signifier disguised as homage to the postmodern kingpin Robert Gober via the actual casting of James Franco’s leg opening the door. As if to broadcast the contextualizing of itself as a postmodern film dependent on external references for meaning, the leg opening the door (in direct imitation of Gober’s leg against a gallery wall) suggests the postmodern (cast leg) pointing to an opening, the white expanse on view through the door.   Carter was born in 1970 and trained in postmodern art, meaning the parts (Franco’s leg) detract meaning from the whole, which lacks a center in holding these various parts together. Carter will explain to you in an email that he had to have a representation of only a part of Franco’s corpus; because presenting the whole as signifier/object would mean celebrity glorification, the Shadow bound to overshadow, as it does anyway, his own art production.   By bringing just the Franco leg into play, he is creating the dialectic of the celebrity Shadow that James Franco the person will enact in the New York art scene.
  • Your instincts tell you that Carter’s art film sums up late postmodernism giving way to a neomodernism by means of transforming the gallery into a laboratory narrating the oscillation of gender opposites comprising the after-postmodern epoch of the in-between.   Whereas the homage to Gober indicating the necessity of outside references for comprehension represent the postmodern preclusion of synthesis or holistic understanding, what you come to understand through your 360-vision is the new archetype being created in the Aquarian laboratory by way of the collaborative space Franco would carve in the Kulture Industrie.
  • The key to the enterprise is to be discovered in one line of the Erased James Franco performance: “I am Gay.”   The presence of the earphone as the apparatus of the director’s controlling Shadow serves to highlight the ruinous ego in the world-weary works of the late postmodern.   Yet, the conscious acknowledgment of the Shadow, underlined by the ghost figure painting hanging on the wall behind Franco, is what makes Carter’s film the harbinger of a new era.   The utilization of the postmodern strategies point to a quest for the whole, magnified by the 50-percent emotional engagement.
  • Still, there are other layers of interpretation rooted in art history right in the title and its homage to that famous piece of erasure as non-art becoming art with the (empty) gesture. Like the homosexual Robert Rauschenberg might have intended with erasure of the heterosexual De Kooning, known for upholding the figure during the domination of abstract expressionism, it could be argued that Carter is erasing Franco’s heterosexual past, to bring himself, Carter, out of the closet via his actor mouthpiece. Yet, where does this leave James Franco but, famously it would turn out, in the space of the in-between? He is no longer not gay, but is he gay because he looks into the camera at his own image and says so? To whom is he speaking? Moreover, when James Franco says “I am gay,” this is a stand-in for the director on the other end of the earpiece. Or is he referring to Rock Hudson? The non sequitur nature of the statement, along with presence of the earphone and the 50-percent expression on the actor’s face, enlightens the canny viewer to the fact that the words are spoken to him.
  • A media strategy is rocketed into space from the utterance of a single declarative sentence. Or not. Here the 50-percent carries over into the sexual ambiguity that made James Franco the icon of the era; is he or isn’t he as the nonsensical refrain moving from the gay to the mainstream press and coming full circle with his 2015 fourtwonine interview between his gay and straight self. Whatever the intent of the director’s vision, Erased James Franco set the actor on a new course of smashing through every boundary on his passage into the Dasein. Or not.
  • The labeling of gender is what really bothers you. You have long given up on even suggesting to figures in the LGBT movement that they just stop with the Other projection and work on the Aquarian inner marriage of opposites. You think, or rather hope, that Franco’s generation has finally gotten beyond this labeling, but then again you want to dismiss it as an American affliction—the labeling of self, as a by-product of the Kulture Industrie.
  • Just being confronted with this new, and truly well-crafted, Franco film brings you to your own falling into the vertebrae of the culture, quite literally in running all the way to the end of the South American continent with your best friend. Yes, his name was Michael and he insisted on exploring his newfound homosexual identity in gestures and movements and flirtations in your presence while declaring his inhibitions towards you through an intellectual framework of gender: “We are all bisexual. Some of us are less inhibited about living it.”
  • So unsettled you are by the geographically unbound experience of having your best friend Michael explore his homosexuality at your expense, that you write it into a short story, narrating through him, during your first creative writing class in the Columbia summer writing intensive. Here is a priori ontological proof that You Also Are Michael in anticipation of a few decades of facing James Franco in the press conference for his breakthrough film:
  • We were in competition with how far we could go to the edge. Our sights were set on Tierra del Fuego but in we hit a steel wall. It was there, on the hard wooden floor of Room Number 6 in the Hotel Sevilla, that she said she loved me.
  • My mother discovered I was gay when my love letter to Jorge ended up in the envelope addressed to her. A classic screw up. I suppose my subconscious wanted to prepare her for my homecoming.
  • My illusions about family died somewhere on the border between Chile and Argentina. When I returned home to Chicago, I was 27 and prepared for confrontation. I couldn’t go back into the closet. Besides, there was a reality to be faced; my pious mother was a witch. She tried to turn my brothers and sisters against me.
  • Lisa had a better understanding about the mother issue than me. (Is any guy ever capable of understanding his relationship with his mother?) “We were escaping from the Mother,” is how she summed up our mad journey through South America. “We were escaping from the Great Mother and got caught.”
  • She tried to devour us. She did. She did. She did. He would think, for all the miles they logged together, they would be friends for life. O.K. Perhaps not life but a very, very long time.
  • The sky of Buenos Aires was raining paper. We were told it was a tradition there to empty the offices in preparation for the New Year. We kicked around the piles of white sheets in the streets of the business district and danced in the snowfall of confetti. “It is purifying!” Lisa cried. “We will be renewed!”
  • Buenos Aires was surreal. Like a film but the directors kept changing. Fellini seduced us but then Bergman stepped in. I was staying with a friend I met in Bolivia and when we visited at her hotel, what a dump, she flew at me in a rage. “I can’t bear the tension any longer,” she said. “We either become lovers or part forever.”
  • Our escape fell on New Years day. I found her surrounded by a crowd at the train station being interviewed on camera. It was about the train strike and she was so nervous that she got a rash and forgot her all her Spanish. We got on a train headed for Patagonia and drank champagne to the sounds of a mournful tango strummed by a lone musician and when the sun rose across the empty plains, we believed we were headed beyond fear, towards something shiny and wonderful and new.
  • We stopped in the imitation Swiss village of Bariloche and bought a huge bag of chocolate and fought over it like children in the bed and breakfast where we shared a room, with separate beds. She read me a letter she wrote to her mother about how we had fallen in love and she bought me a thick woven sweater. “You have to have it. It contains all the colors of the rainbow. We are going to travel to the end of the rainbow together,” she said.
  • And it rained. It did. We took a cruise on the river under a rainbow and stepped into the painted forest.   Where Bambi was filmed, we were told. It was there we thought we had reached the end but it was only the beginning.
  • I never had sex with my girlfriend in college. There was no attraction but we didn’t really like each other either. I just thought having a girlfriend is what a guy did in college. It was Relationships 101. Something like that.
  • How close to the edge I had to journey to discover the rage hidden beneath her mask of beauty. She squeezed lemons on her hair to make it more blonde. But there were lots of blondes in Argentina. Perhaps that is why she loved Mexico so much. There she said she was known as La Rubia and men fell at her feet. She loved having scores of men pursue her. But there was a strange perversity with Lisa; she had to be the sexual aggressor. She would say that if she wasn’t proactive in romance, she would feel like an object. It wasn’t a contradiction. Sex equals money equals power. Lisa was into power. Everyone was into power in the eighties. They used it and abused it. There are those that abused it in the worst way. The sex addicts, the drug addicts, the obsessive/compulsive control freaks. In the nineties they would have to die.
  • For a relationship to be sexual, one partner has to be dominant and the other submissive. In other words, one person has to be on top. This is Foucault’s definition. Not mine.
  • She said she knew him before he “decided” to be gay. He said he was always gay. Well, she said, she hated watching him turn into a faggot. He said she was jealous of his lovers.   “If there was only one beautiful man in the world who attracted her but wasn’t gay,” she said, “I will find him.” He goes on the attack, claiming so many men had been in and out of her….She said ditto. They compared notes on their conquests.
  • It went on. Swords drawn. Metal flashing fire. Points dipped in poison. I remember my exact words: “People are born bisexual. When people are as neurotic as you or me, they have to go one way or the other.” And that was the end of it. We divided up the orange they purchased together and split.
  • She did the northern Gringo trail through Mexico and Central America alone. I did the southern route through Bolivia, Brazil and Chile. We met up in cosmopolitan Buenos Aires where we got stylish haircuts and bought clothes in flea markets and hung out with sophisticated crowds in art galleries and discos.
  • In the provinces we acted like a couple because we traveled with couples. By the time I was forced to endure a monologue by a village furniture maker on God’s intention to have man be with woman, I was getting confused. That night a couple generously invited us to sleep in their tent. It was freezing. She slept on top of me and in the morning said she did it to get warmth. And besides, our hosts thought we were a couple. Ha!
  • The closer we got to the center of things, the further we moved away.  
  • In those days my female friends would desperately, hopelessly, try to draw me into endless discussions about my sexual orientation. “You wouldn’t understand,” I told them in a weary voice, “It has to do with skin. “ I learned that expression, piel, from Lisa who heard it from her Uruguayan friend, not a lover, who got it from the French: peu.
  • In the fast circle she ran with in Buenos Aires, there was a man with sad, empty eyes. His pigment was coming off his skin. I heard he died from AIDS a year later, in 1984, the first known case of AIDS in Argentina. He imported it from France.
  • By the time we reached Chile, we were suffocating one another. We argued over every decision. The itinerary, a place to stay, when to sleep, when to rise, what to eat. We fought over everything, it seemed, but what was really eating at us — sex and money.

            It all came to the surface on the island of Chiloé in the Los Lagos Region of the Archipelago. I lost my wallet and she had to loan me the money to get to Santiago. But she wouldn’t just hand it over in one lump sum. She insisted on paying for everything and keeping accounts of what I owed her. I rebelled, of course, at on the leash, and she reminded me of my own carelessness and irresponsibility. Our fight led to our decision to break off the relationship and go our separate ways. As far as the property settlement… she meticulously cut half of each fruit we had purchased that morning for a picnic. She said she was keeping the pocketknife and I was awarded custody of the umbrella. We sat on opposite ends of the train car and met in the middle for a compromise; two days on the lake and onward to Santiago, where I led her to the cheapest hotel I knew, in the red light district, and went out to look for a

            Once my money arrived, I felt myself come back into balance. I paid her back and got my own room. My Chilean lover kept me warm at night.  

  • He has a great difficulty letting go of people. She told him that is true. He still writes to people he met in South America even though there is nothing more to say. For a long time, he was consumed in finding her whereabouts in the U.S. She had the opposite problem. From one day, one moment, to the next, she could walk out of a relationship without looking backwards. “This is my way,” she would say as she pointed to the highway. More frequently than not, she took it. ALONE.
  • I was a seventeen year-old exchange student in Tunis when my homosexuality was disclosed to me. I had those feelings before, but Tunis is where I felt free to explore them. I was still living with the family when I met Pierre, a tubby, bald Frenchman in a disco. He took me to his hotel room, all pristine white with a balcony overlooking the sea and we sipped wine while watching the pretty boys in their tight pants parade on the streets below and he would catch their eye and give them a nod as he reached into his deep pockets. A knock on the door and the fun would begin.
  • Pierre would tell me stories about Oscar Wilde, who stayed at the very same hotel, doing what we were doing, drinking and looking for boys. “His stay in Tunis was the beginning of the end for Oscar,” he would say.  
  • I make queer style into philosophy now to raise the gender decibel. American men have hang-ups about being perceived as gay. That’s why they don’t take care with their appearance. In Latin countries men are given permission to be dandies.
  • I watched her swim naked in the Junin River. It stirred me.
  • The bigger the light, the bigger the shadow. I spent the last ten years learning to be suspicious of people who try too hard to help, the enigmatic smile that doesn’t deliver.
  • In college, men were always pursuing her but she was meticulous about keeping lovers separate from friends. And lovers never lasted long with Lisa. She burned them out. There was just one guy, from Nepal, I think, who she was constantly seen with before graduation. Years later, she revealed they had been lovers. “He was the purest person I have ever known,” she said.
  • Lisa had a light that caused people to flock to her like moths to a flame. Her Shadow was wide enough to stretch across the Mar del Plata. It isn’t true what they sing in sappy songs that love is what brings people together. Often people come together out of mutual self-loathing.  
  • When I was a kid I used to collect butterflies. I trapped them in jars and pinned them to a board. Their wings flapped. Wildly at first. Then slowly. It was a strange sadistic pleasure I got in watching something so beautiful suffer.
  • Talk, talk, talk. Midnight discussions carried onward until dawn in melancholy cafes. Metaphysical talk. Street talk. Political talk. Tormented tangos back and forth.
  • And it ends with a silence that is deafening. You were always the one to let it drop and I picked it back up again. Always. Remember the card I sent asking for a handprint? I don’t know why I stopped there. Better to request a print of your puckered lips painted crimson, the color of my blood, across the seal of an empty envelope.
  • Anything is better than this silence. Purity! Is that what you were looking for? He heard she moved to San Francisco, a city where he had many friends. On his next visit, he tried to contact her. The trip was painful, exhausting. Friends sick. Others dying. An odor of death hanging in the air. She responded to his messages with silence.
  • In a Zen monastery you can find purity! You were searching for love on the wrong continent!
  • Two years ago, I discovered I was HIV positive. I stopped having sex. Instead, I meditate and do yoga. My life now is about discipline and work. I teach a full load of classes on Latin American culture at the University. My thesis was on the underground economy of Brazil. My underground journeys are done through study and research. It’s safer that way. Lately, my health has been failing. I can only work a few hours a day.
  • I remember when I sat on the floor of your room in Buenos Aires with my head in your hands and you came up close and kissed me on the lips and told me you were going to teach me to love a woman. There I have written it down, the one memory I have held so close and tried so hard to dispose of.
  • He is wiser now. He sits still on his grandmother’s porch in the ancestral rocking chair at dusk and watches the leaves on the big oak tree turn colors and thinks about how life could have turned out differently…He remembers how they talked about finding that place beyond fear. He thinks about how he won’t stop looking until he finds it. He realizes it probably only comes with death. He’s ready.
  • It is no coincidence that Carter announces he is gay at the Maladies press conference two years before James shows up at the Berlinale with I Am Michael. He is emphasizing, with the ever-present earphone in James’ ear, that film is a director’s medium and actors are merely their puppets. This, of course, is the male view. You don’t doubt that Dr. Rickels would declare that the rebellion against the “father” explains why James Franco emerged from the Carter experiment insisting on doing it all, especially if it meant jeopardizing his movie star persona!
  • The pathway into the salvation of a new era has proved to be, quite literally, James Franco’s leg pushing the door open. Here the metaphor of the proactive actor’s leg points the way, quite literally, to a Third way out of the postmodern era. The fact that it is pushing through a late, late postmodern art film underscores the emergency of the effort. “Why won’t postmodernism just die?” you ask a leading critic in 2004. “We need something to replace it,” is her response.
  • It is the love between James Franco and Carter, a love that refuses to be labeled, which provided the trust for the push into the Third, the white expanse beyond the Leg Opens Door representing the void to be filled by a new movement. Given his existence in the in-between realm of the after-postmodern pendulum of opposites, he has the potential, by virtue of his speed, to leap into the icon of a new era as the “divine son” of the Aquarian Goddess, doubling as her consort. Yes, this happens on the Winter Solstice, the birth of the New Sun (when this text is published). But this additional leap requires living the myth of the dying god, which initiates a new cycle by means of the projection of its characteristics.
  • But before the propulsion to death is the mirror held up to the collective consciousness from the weight of the Shadow. This way the individual journey, as conceived from a single Aquarian parent within the white expanse of the art gallery, reflects the collective journey. To reclaim the celebrity Shadow of the Age of Aquarius is to merge the zodiacal opposition of animal passion (Leo) and human intellect (Aquarius) in the heart. Leo rules the heart and Aquarius rules the circulatory system; the sacred marriage of these opposites is about universal love emanating through the body from its very center.   It is perhaps telling that a second Aquarian parent, the divine feminine, was needed to interpret the meaning of Carter fathering of the Shadow through the holistic perspective of the gender equality of a new modernism.
  • Greater insight arises from the three Berlinale 2013 films expounding the James Franco phenomenon. You will interpret this in your Berlinale review, posted 26 February 2013. Sending the link to Carter ignites an intense and rewarding email exchange over the course of five days in which you track, by color, the transformation of the kundalini through the body. Beginning in red and ending in purple, the color of the Aquarian Age. His reward for undergoing the conversion is a new title: Dr. Francostein.
  • For the 2014 Berlinale, you continue the narrative of the dynamic of the three as the quantum shift in art production. The choice of films do it for you, an abundance had the three clearly in the plot (Nymphomaniac), sometimes even in the title (The Third Side of the River was an Argentine film about a boy integrating masculine and feminine who rejects the patriarchal path laid for him by his father). In fact, you profess the hidden theme of the 64. Berlinale to be the quantum leap into the Third.
  • The surprise of this (still undeclared) EVENT resulted in the multiplicity and serendipity of receiving, as noted, the advertisement for Maladies after you published the 64. Berlinale review as the Third passage between opposites, signifying the birth of neomodernism.   This established the phenomenology in the culture for the outright declaration of an EVENT during your August participation in the laboratory. As this was initiated by Dr. Badiou himself, the first speaker in the August 2014 session of the European Graduate School at the Saas Fee laboratory in the Swiss Alps, it was all too perfect that the time and place had arrived for the actual declaration, which was published on September 9 in Huffington Post Arts and subsequently in Hermeneutics of New Modernism.
  • You recount the evolution of his three appearances: the first as consort/leading man in Queen of the Desert; the second as the contemporary I am Michael undergoing a spiritual transformation into the icon; and finally as the character of an author participating in the magical emergence of Self in a Mobius strip of inner/outer and art/life via a ritual throwing into the fire of his beloved Faulkner in Wim Wender’s Every Thing Will Be Fine.
  • So much for the James Franco “conversion” complete with the crash of his Seth Rogen vehicle that you predict in your Huffington Post submission: “James Franco’s Sperm.”   Can we call it a “conversion”?
  • This alchemical transformation was catalyzed by Maladies that had the ingenuity to establish the interplay of the polarity of opposites as its theme: the omniscient narrator voice is forever instructing the Franco character around his prominent Aires Id. This demonstration of superego making pronouncements of the nature of art (pretentious was the critical cry) seems to just come from nowhere but actually, as the film painstakingly reveals through the Keener character (a countersexual stand-in for the writer/director), takes a good deal of endurance along with inspiration. In just three years, Maladies proved prescient of what was to come, the on-screen struggle to find new narrative forms encapsulating the paradigm shift, where Panahi-style, the leap into the unknown, the unscripted film vehicle, results in serendipity.
  • Mahari, it turns out, has seduced James Franco by telling him that the actor he reminded him of is Brando. As so, Franco directs his focus at him afterwards, leaving you to take the photo as they continue their discussion. You are content to point your camera at a new symbol of the Third, Franco’s triple tasking, and dash out of the press conference to rush to a lunch at the Canadian Embassy. As last year, the sponsor is Telecom, the Canadian company that has coproduced the other James Franco film, Wim Wender’s Every Thing Will Be Fine, along with the Panorama film Life with a new post-Franco characterization of the James Dean image as the construct of a quantum entanglement between the exploding star and the photographer, played by Robert Patterson (who also was an unexpected delight as T.E. Lawrence in Queen of the Desert).
  • At this Canadian luncheon, you meet Breck, a expatriate American scene-maker who informs you about all the parties you are missing. This is interesting because, in your three years of climbing the ropes at the Berlinale, parties are not on your agenda; all you are trying to do is stay awake to see as many films as possible. You are, however, all too aware that the hermetic idyll that is your life is coming to a rapid close; not only because of the indications of the stars (whether above or below) but your bank account. Your funds are nearly gone and you simply can no longer afford to fund your lifestyles as a critic without a visible means of support.
  • Something has got to give, and yet there is Breck as Mercurius, the spirit in the bottle, pointing out what that may be the solution to your dilemma or your downfall. “You need a sponsor,” your lunch companion says, pulling a tiny plastic Polaroid out of his pocket.   You suddenly wonder if you could become the “Franco” of art critics, having Chanel, whose famous “Coco Red” lipstick you made a point of purchasing at KeDeWe on the first day of the Berlinale, sponsor your future film festival appearances. You grab him by the collar, demanding to know: “How does it work?” Do you only have to agree to pull out your lipstick at key moments, as Breck did with his pocket camera, or do you have to completely erase the boundaries between your art and product promotion, as James Franco does in covering both sides, quite literally, with his face in the Gucci advertisement on the back of the playbill with his Broadway play on the front? The splitting between perfume and Of Mice and Men is not what you had anticipated in the ten years of living below the radar, while developing the foundation of a philosophy bringing the oscillation of opposites into a harmonious Third.
  • But now you wonder…could this be the solution to the tension that pulsates between fame and obscurity? Could your branding be a piece of performance art about the meeting of art and commerce? You make a mental note to think about this when you have the time.
  • When you have the time! The sponsor idea becomes a refrain when you see Breck breezing into the pressroom over the next few days, telling you about the parties you have missed celebrating performances he hasn’t seen, and trying to catch up with what he has missed of the screenings. He is full of stories of James Franco sightings.   One after the other. You run into him in Potsdamer Platz as he points to the red building with The Hollywood Reporter And then, he is gone. You spin around and can’t see a red building. The next day Breck apologizes for not personally delivering you to the event and says James Franco was there with his entourage: “These people always have an entourage.”
  • Franco in the flesh remains frustratingly out of your view. He is proven to be everywhere and anywhere. All out of your gaze. For days in duration. So many James Franco encounters, other than your own, from Breck and just about everyone you come into contact with in the press room, that you begin to think it is a miracle that you have avoided him thus far during his atypically long stay at the festival. You think Breck must have made up The Hollywood Reporter party at the red building, and instead, Mercurial figure that he is, gives you a sign. Red building must be about your building the passion of Eros, right, the desire that mounts with absence, the buildup of tension that can only be released by the lover’s embrace.
  • You realize that you are too tired to go to the party anyway, so you descend into the U-Bahn. There you find Dana, the beautiful and brilliant Romanian critic staying in an exclusive hotel in your neighborhood. And what does she tell you, when you slip into the seat beside her, but that she just ran into James Franco in Potsdamer Platz.
  • It seems that everyone you know at the festival has had an impromptu encounter with James Franco. But, as a sympathetic ear, Dana. To your frustration, she will be the obvious witness to the final stage of your conversion. This brilliant beauty will prompt you into the moment of realization that you will write a book, Missing James Franco, because you have been embodying the narrative all along.
  • As much as you are addicted to tempting your fate, the choices narrow down to one: to write the best book you can possibly write, adhering only to Truth. How short in supply is the Truth in the media! The only other out is suicide, but these feelings only underline the dangers of swinging between the opposites—the end game of traveling so close to the edge. At every turn, the passion to create takes over, just one more turn before death, please! But there is always a death with creation.
  • Your creative products present the truth because you have nothing else to do! No one telling you to do otherwise! This is fate turned into destiny…what enters your conscious awareness just moments before the Third and last Berlinale screen encounter with the 3D Franco.
  • That is the future. Tonight you are delighted and surprised to know Dana is staying at a boutique hotel in your neighborhood, which means you get off in the same place, Elderswalder Strassse. Under the tracks you point her in the direction of her hotel and head home in the opposite direction, thinking about what you will wear the next day for your encounter of the Third kind. What would Agamben choose for a successful mission: to recognize in the obscurity of the present the light that, without being able to reach us, is perpetually voyaging toward us.
  • You decide there is only one outfit that will do: your purple Lady J. Summer of Love dress that emphasizes your chest, perhaps too much, so you decide to wear your hot pink ruffled shirt over it with your aqua cowboy boots and electric wave tights with Aquarian hues of the upper chakras. Yes, you will be in girlie pink for the final, and most crucial, encounter, the one that will bring the hoped for entanglement. Pink happens to be the color of the in-between, the blush between the purity of white and the red of the full-blown eroticism. What else could such an ensemble mean but EVERY THING WILL BE FINE.
  • DAY 6: EVERY THING WILL BE FINE

Those how say, “my time” actually divide time–they inscribe into it a caesura, and a discontinuity. But precisely by means of this caesura, this interpolation of the present into the inert homogeneity of linear time, the contemporary puts to work a special relationship between the different times. If, as we have seen, it is the contemporary who has broken the vertebrae of his time (or has, in any case, perceived in it a fault line or breaking point), then he also makes of this fracture a meeting place, or an encounter between time and generations.

  • Giorgio Agamben
  • ‘The unmourned,” says your advisor Laurence Rickels, “is behind the military buildup, the missiles that Western culture can’t sustain.”
  • You love the phallic signifier. The missing homage to Eros in the culture ends up as projectile weaponry. And what of this lack of mourning in the relentlessly upbeat American character, which Rickels’ extensive scholarship reveals to be the legacy of Nazi Germany? How does the mass refusal to explore the inner depths relate to your tracking the Francostein monster? Now that you understand the monster was given life from 50- percent light and 50-percent shadow, doesn’t it follow that Eros is the only way forward?
  • Eros is the strongest force in the universe. You can publicly proclaim, as you do to your advisor, that your pursuit of the Unicorn (“wow, I like that Unicorn” James Franco’s character says, pointing to a wall poster of a white Unicorn under a rainbow on Freaks and Geeks) is to corner him and kill him with your demand—that he tell you his epiphany. The resurrection will follow. But then an alarm goes off. “James Franco makes art like a theorist,” Laurence Rickels tells you.
  • Is this a warning? Despite the dark gaze, James Franco’s celebrity represents your theory reaching daylight from a lengthy underground gestation. Are you ready for this? You resort to your occult methods of establishing a web of interconnection that traps the Unicorn in his own labyrinth. When you discover that one of his 2015 film releases is called Labyrinth you feel vindicated. Judgment Day comes closer with every page of this text.
  • You had, to put it delicately, a memorable encounter with the English scholar who wrote the definitive occult treatise on peak epiphanies. Nick Kollerstrom’s research connects the ancient science of sacred geometry with the modern practice of astrology. He discovered that the key geometric relationship for a breakthrough is a septile between two planetary bodies, distributed 52° apart in the zodiac.   While six septiles make up the 360 degree circle, seven septiles add up to 357°, bringing an equal division short by 3°.
  • Upon computing your astrological birth chart, Nick is shocked, as much as an Englishman can exhibit such an emotion, to find seven septiles. He struggles to regain his composure and says offhandedly with a stiff upper lip: “Seven is a good number.” The transparent attempt at British reserve couldn’t suppress his delight at over the AHA! Specimen bringing his inquiry to life.
  • This 1992 encounter, which would take another volume of text to decipher in semiotics, sums up your future journey tracing one miraculous moment to another to disclose an epic mythology entering the culture as Web 3.0, within the interwoven tapestry that is this multimedia image/text. Nick’s interpretation points you to your destined course, intertwining inner insights with outer experience into a living, pulsating Mobius strip. Given this origin, how could you not be enticed by the notion of the Francostein phenomenon arising from—as related by the source, Dr. Francostein himself—an AHA! Moment?
  • Having been so isolated with the perfecting of your art form, you are thrilled to discover the icon of the eroticized spielgeist of the in-between. In your reviews, you repeatedly faulted the feminists for the denial of Eros, which suited their contention that there is no biological difference between women and men. James Franco is an icon defining eroticism as play, and his ascent carries the archeology of why it had taken so long for the erotic to enter the collective consciousness. As the rare scholar with nothing to lose by stating the truth, Stoller clearly pointed out the problem out in the seventies. He said that researchers turn away from the problem of desire for two reasons: 1) they don’t feel desire for their subject; 2) they do feel desire for their subject. (900-901)
  • The problem of the opposites is perfectly contained in the matter of the two, presented with such simplicity that it is utterly overlooked. Either one is left cold (1), or turned on (2).   Or as astrologers like to put it: death or sex. This just about sums up James Franco’s role in the after-postmodern culture. Either you love him or hate him. What no one cares to recognize is that love and hate are the two sides of the same coin, and any public figure that arouses such passion of opposites is an immense value to society.
  • Critics are no different than scholars in being beholden to the intellect. If desire is what drives the critic towards an object, how can their assessment not include erotic attraction as a factor in the quality of the art? Yet, to do so honestly puts them in danger of making a subjective judgment. What is the way out of this dilemma?
  • The fact that there is no way out is key to the proactive journey into Uncertainty. There is no out in being propelled by the opposites. The out is the Third, following Time’s Arrow through the creative leap.   It doesn’t even have to be manifested; the intention is what counts!
  • This has been the focus of your life’s work/play—to approach the problem of duality in the subject/object through an erotic consciousness. In your scholarship, you have resolved the dilemma of opposites through the identification of a Third space as the in-between realm of dusk and dawn where Venus, also known as Lucifer, shines her brightest light in her passage to and from the underworld.
  • Your attraction to the artist Andres Serrano, who created an American icon with his Piss Christ, was forging his own illumination of the Third, what he refers to as the grey zone. The Third space is entering philosophy simultaneously with the art world, through Graham Harmon’s Third Table, published as short text by Documenta 2013.   You have been tracking this realm since the change of millennium, interpreting it through art marrying figuration and abstraction, the two opposing movements of the twentieth century.
  • Carter’s paintings evoke this conversion of particle and wave. Never has grey been so appealing to you in painting: the hue alone sums up the short-lived epoch you now refer to as the after-postmodern.   In Maladies, the paintings form a muted grey backdrop extending the drama of human figuration, the erotic interplay between opposites, into the realm of the surreal. The paintings mark the contemporary as the catalyst to a quantum convergence breaking the vertebrae (meaning joint from the Latin vertebrae, meaning to change, to turn or spin) into the Third space. Carter’s paintings depict the quantum space where particle and wave become interchangeable and therefore make up a Third quantity which you had termed the hieros gamos in your decade of tracing this elusive fifth element, the quintessential (because it is related to Venus and her pentagram orbit of descent below the earth’s horizon and ascent into resurrection). This quality of value cannot be measured in a reductionist determinist model, and is therefore repressed or ignored.
  • The James Franco phenomenon arising from such mass erasure in the growth of the plutocracy puts Carter’s inspiration, Rauschenberg’s Erased deKooning into a new light. Rauschenberg’s intervention into a traditional medium of drawing established the ontology for the hieros gamos of objective/nonobjective by transforming the figuration of de Kooning, the literal figurehead of figuration, into an abstraction, a void. Yet, voids leave traces, and through the traces of the erasure we interpret the work anew. This is how quantum works in art; the leap into the future rewrites the past.
  • The amazing trust that James Franco demonstrated in allowing himself to be directed by Carter into an erasure of his past that leaves Derridian traces reveals the potential of a mass Aquarian conversion. It takes place through the surrender into Uncertainty, which has become James Franco’s raison d’etre rather than the disruption of the art world that his movie start presence implies. Here is the real question critics will be asking in the near future: if the quantum leap can be achieved in one gallery, what would happen if all the galleries across the globe were to do a conversion at once, in attunement with the heavenly sphere?
  • This has been done before; you were participant twice and the third time, an organizer. The first was Jose Arguelles’ call for the Harmonic Convergence meditation on 17 August 1987. The second was the call for a global meditation to honor the hieros gamos on 23 January 1997, under a Seal of Solomon design under the Full Moon that you knew about because it was your Solar Return. The Third was an Event ushering in the 2012 movement that you co-organized in Manhattan with Daniel Pinchbeck’s grassroots collective, Evolver. Despite the resistance to astrology, which you could never understand, they followed your astrological advice to set the date for February 2, 2008.

 

 

  • The Alchemy of Love celebrated under the Aquarian Eclipse, 23 January 2007
  • Conversion by collaboration requires a childlike trust in the universe. This is not a characteristic of the ego-driven professional artist sought by the marketplace. It is not a coincidence that James Franco celebrates amateurism, the explicit theme of the short he contributed to the Venice Film Festival 70th To champion amateurism takes skill. That skill is to surrender, and the septile is the passage.
  • The septile comes from sept, or seven, the number associated with spirituality.   There are seven keys to the piano, seven chakras in the body, seven levels to the Ziggurats, seven days of the week. Seven is the number associated with spirituality. Its connection to perfection is ironic, because it is mathematically imperfect. The circle cannot be divided equally into seven parts the way it can with the four or the six or the three or the two. There is always something to be left over. The leftover, in accordance with eastern philosophy, is the seed for a new cycle.
  • As the key to James Franco, the seven is hiding in plain sight. He has a crucial septile in his birth chart between Pluto in Libra and Saturn in Leo. The two planets are the energetic secret to his fame: focusing (Saturn) the tension of opposites (Libra, the balance) in the heart (Leo) through a deep surrender (Pluto) to collaboration; this process brings up the Third space between the opposites. Just like in your father’s encounter groups!
  • This mutual projection of desire isn’t automatically quantum entanglement. Quantum entanglement means a leap in consciousness, the AHA! Moment that James Franco had with Carter, resulting in serendipity and multiplicity. It isn’t hard to know the difference. It just means following the rule: projections drain while synchronicities energize. This is evident in Franco’s association with Marina Abramović, less about collaboration than a mutual projection between an art star secretly aspiring to be a film star (she became one with her 2012 documentary, The Artist is Present) or the film star aspiring to be art star (he became one, at least on television, originating in November 2009 his character Franco for the longest running soap opera General Hospital, just a month before releasing his “interview” with Marina Abramović. She later professed, rather inanely, that she was making a film about James Franco, never explaining why she would venture into a new medium; it seemed to be a clumsy attempt at mirroring his boundary-crossing into her arena of performance art, or rather an attempt to make a vampire exchange look like cross pollination/collaboration.
  • The vampire/Doppelgänger exchange reveals a death of sorts. The intervention and appropriation of existing art works is at the root of postmodernist discourse. Yet, James Franco’s enigmatic presence with his “JUST DO IT!” rule of engagement places the postmodernist copy into the present moment and then struggles to transcend it. It is this tension between the opposites that is the source of his collaborative genius and puts the nail in the coffin of the postmodern.
  • Yet, Franco’s genius for collaboration hits you as you first thumb through the Berlinale 2013 catalogue and is confirmed on screen. He has two cameos revealing the James Franco effect as presence of Being. One playing himself in his co-produced Interior/Leather Bar, Travis Matthew’s controversial documentary film about the missing slice of the Al Pacino film about the New York City underground gay scene, and Hugh Hefner in Lovelace in which he had the memorable line, cliché as it is: “Sometimes life is like art.” His memorable line “JUST DO IT!” line in Interior Leather Bar is a response to the hesitation of the actor who played Sal to audition for the film, which carries the dramatic tension for the film.   Cast on account of being a school chum of James (you learn such things at press conferences), he was nervous in crossing the barrier of playing gay when straight or to be vilified for taking a role in a controversial “gay” film. The tension between the opposites is palatable in the film and the straight vs. gay meta-theme strikes at the heart, or maybe better to say the ass, of manhood. Franco’s “JUST DO IT!” response is about getting rid of one’s inhibitions, the fear, and entering the Third space of the unknown.

 

 

 

 

  • Web 3.0 makes a sly appearance in 2013 with just three Franco films in the Berlinale nod to the Weimar film gender bending legacy. Yet, the sheer mix of for(u)ms in these–the big Hollywood film (Lovelace), the quirky budget art film (Maladies) and the other a non-queer queer film (Interior/Leather Bar)–establish the foundation for your interpretation of the Franco phenomenon. You are present at all three press conferences, building the substance for your Franco epic narrative that, to your surprise, culminated at the Berlinale 2015, where boundaries were crossed as a matter or course. Except for the one that mattered: the red rope between the press and the talent, with you on one side and he on the other.
  • The magic is in the three, as we know from all kinds of myths, and fairy tales (three wishes) and your Hermeneutics of a New Modernism, where you establish the hermeneutics of the three through ancient archeology going back to Sumer, the ever-present origin of the sacred marriage (hieros gamos). In 2013, Franco delivered the dynamism of opposites (straight vs. queer, art vs. commerce) into the magical three. He has three films in the Berlinale, and the one that he shares directing credit, with Travis Matthews, enters new narrative terrain through the struggle with Uncertainty. Even the director can’t respond to your question about what was scripted, versus what was real. This ambiguity between real life and fiction cuts through the subject/object opposition to reveal the process of intervention as a collaborative quantum leap. In this arena, filmmaking becomes a form of ritualized encounter with the Heisenberg uncertainty principle to struggle to overcome it.   When the ego is removed completely from the process of filmmaking, what do you get but pure soul interaction!
  • And what of ritual as a means of transport? As it turns out, the manifest timing determined in your Venus Return is so precise that your meeting with destiny happens practically on the hour of the event, which happens to be a press conference for a film starring James Franco and directed by the multimedia artist Carter. The convergence of time, space and body is marked when Time’s Arrow points at Carter handing you his placard from the podium with his email. This quantum leap into Graham Harmon’s Third Table launches the friendship with the astral twin foreseen in your Venus Return. This symmetry works as a mirror because you both have your Venus Return, which gives you a composite Venus, with James Franco, at the crucial Aires Point triggered by the 2015 eclipse on the Spring Equinox.

Two art-I-facts gifted by Carter after Times’ Arrow led to your meeting during your mutual Venus Return at Berlinale 63., throwing Time’s Arrow, or Neptune’s Trident, into the Zero Aires Point, in connection with James Franco, into an uncertain adventure into the convergence of time, space and Being.

 

  • Ironically, this quantum leap would not have been possible without a notable absence at the Maladies press conference. James Franco. The missing star seemed to be everywhere else in Berlin, notably at the opening of his Gay Town exhibition at Peres Projects. His absence only makes his presence in the film, which you see two more times, stronger; the character’s name is James and he dies behind bars in the end.
  • So, here is the death of the Francostein Monster, right there on the screen. You know it, but can’t yet express it. And this will be the question eating at you: would Francostein die, in the physical form of James, his frustrated novelist altar-ego of Maladies, if there was no critic there to acknowledge it? You might as well ask if quantum entanglement is possible without the Heisenberg uncertainty principle! This illuminates your step-by-step passage, from dissecting the uncertainty principle as a tool for art criticism and then overcoming it in the paradigm leap into the 360-view, which acknowledges the power of the transformative work of art embracing its own shadow.
  • Carter’s Maladies establishes this tension of duality between light and shadow in a circular narrative through the ambiguity of gender. This is an idiosyncratic film set in a determined place and an undetermined time in which gender explorations in public were loaded with the tension of the closet, resulting in powerful self-creations of character.   A comment made by Carter in the press conference about “the energy it took in those days to remain in the closet” gives insight into his nostalgic look at the past when desire had to be transformed through genius rather than acted out within a subculture, or Web 2.0.
  • The tension between opposites in this 2012 film is balanced as a means to entering the Third realm that the superficial media fix on as transgender transformation three years later. James Southern is a neighbor who refers to himself as a she while lusting over James Franco’s electronic image via the television set.
  • The brave and wonderful Catherine Keener, who plays an artist named Catherine, is the alter ego for the director, whose sculptures, drawings and paintings are in the film. She cross-dresses as a male and experiments with drawing mustaches on her face. James plays…well himself, a blocked author who enacts his frustration in not being able to produce a masterpiece, yet furthers his personal agenda into theory by cultivating a beard (aha!) on half of his face with shaving cream, which refers back to Erased James Franco in which Carter directed James to perform his former roles at a 50-percent level before instructing him to say “I am gay” through the headpiece. Or that is how it seemed to this viewer, the erotic consciousness reflecting the semi-exchange of identity as a visual signifier, the half-beard muse for the director, who proclaimed his homosexuality in Berlin while indicating a nostalgia for the days that homosexuals could only operate in the world if they applied their energies to creating personas strong enough to contain the tension of the closet.
  • In its statement of the value of timelessness in the lasting collaborative art form of the 3.0 with its magical reverberations, Maladies is the timeliest film in the festival. The surprise hidden in its narration is the homage to the Weimar epoch celebrated for the first time in Berlin with a retrospective at Berlinale 63.   Weimar’s gender bending definition of the new woman in Lou Salome’s bipolar Übermensch prototype is manifest in Catherine Keener’s brilliant turn as a cross-dressing artist trying on her male identity in public.
  • A key signifier linking past and future epochs defined by gender bending is the cameo appearance by Alan Cummings, who would go on to play the M.C. in a stage production of Cabaret set in Weimer Berlin.
  • Serendipitously, a fellow German student emails you the video link to a television show of Cummings’ exploration of the Berlin cabaret. This alerts you to Carter’s ingenious contemporary strategy of honoring Weimer film.
  • You experience the film out of sequence, which seems appropriate given its theme; you could clearly see that the genius of Maladies is the very transparency it reveals of the struggle to bring the contemporary—those dark lights of the present—into art. This cinematic gem is a prime specimen of the contemporary in its stubborn refusal, coded with time-dated props against a neomodernist-painted landscape, to be trapped in any particular time. Yet, upon seeing the entire 2012 film later in the festival, you understand the virtue of timelessness in the cinematic capture of the collapse of the quantum wave (an Aquarian consciousness infused into Carter’s drawings through wigs with those big sixties curls). Carter’s paintings serve as the inner view into the experiment, the power of his fine art smashing through the projective medium to perform the quantum collapse through particles merging into waves and vice versa.
  • The physics on view in the paintings is the interior view into the bipolar archetype (the feminine as negative pole vs. the masculine as the positive) that James, and his soap opera creation as the emerging Self(ie) via performance art, is right in keeping with the gender fluidity in the film, which highlights through multimedia James Franco’s (the soap is being watched on television by the love-struck neighbor) artistic strategy of playing with gender. Ultimately, it is the poster summing up Maladies with the sacred number of the three: an image of the two women and Franco. Not having Agamben’s perspective on the “contemporary”, or your theory of the three developed in your intellectual framework at the time of viewing, it is solely an instinct that your unnamed experience of this iconoclastic American film is the actual breaking of the vertebrae in time. The vertebrae being the joint, or the fixed point, around which everything pivots. This is what Maladies was to represent for you as an anachronism in the culture.
  • You instinctively know the origin of this film is as complex as the relationships on the screen. The complexity makes it the cultural lodestone you were sent into the cinematic realm to uncover. This quirky work carries the same message that it extracts from a critic ready to turn on her own vertex: versatility, the need of the contemporary to turn from one thing to another at a moment’s notice, to be able to read the pulse of the time. Indeed, the film had this peculiar quality of being dated through its sets and clothing in a particular time, yet with a neomodernist perspective of the equality of the gender opposites that is outside of time.
  • You will only fully understand this after the review of the festival is written, and even then after your next post, a review of a gallery exhibition announcing the birth of the Übermensch from a female consciousness (Holly Zausner). The rumor then becomes public knowledge from James Franco’s lips.
  • To comprehend the eroticism of the spinal split, it helps to know the myth of Vertumnus and Pomona, goddess of fruitful abundance. It turns out that Vertomnous, the god of the Vertex/Vortex had quite an acting talent:
  • As the myth goes, Vertumnus fell in love with a strikingly beautiful goddess (in some versions nymph) named Pomona. Although she rejected all suitors, he fed his passion with the sight of her by changing his form and passing her gardens daily as a soldier, a harvester, a fisherman….Ignoring him, Pomona remained devoted only to the cultivation of fruit trees. Vertumnus persisted and one day he altered his form to that of an old woman, greeted her with a passionate kiss, and proceeded to enter her gardens.
  • Vertumnus, (as the matron), talked to the goddess, attempting to convince her of the rewards of relationship and the dangers of rejecting love. The qualities and integrity of the youthful god Vertumnus were discussed. Finally, “she” told Pomona the story of a young man who cruelly took his own life after being spurned by his hard-hearted love. He told of how the gods turned the rejecting woman into stone, but still Pomona was not persuaded.
  • Finally in exasperation, Vertumnus dropped his disguise and stood naked before Pomona in his true form. She thought she was seeing the sun emerge from behind the clouds and in the glorious light of Vertumnus, she opened her heart and reciprocated his love. Together still, they attend the gardens and fruit trees of the countryside.   (falconastrology.com)

 

  • Standing naked in the garden is reminiscent of the scene in James Dean when James drops his towel to proclaim his naked glory before his lover. This little-known myth of the gender bending lover is latent in Maladies, where real archival footage of James Franco’s celebrated turn in General Hospital transfixed a neighbor played by James Southern who refers to himself as “she”.   The hermetical blending extends here from gender to medium, again with the magic number of the three.
  • Maladies interweaves the three performance medias —television, film and theater —into the painted backdrop of the crashing wave intermingling with particle. Ultimately, this places Dr. Francostein and his Monster directly under the crashing wave to transform into the new archetype. There would be a great deal of controversy to this, if people realized it, but they preferred to just dismiss the film.
  • James Franco’s character, a retired soap actor, is the Leo fame Shadow of his Aquarian director. He is used to shining his light and doesn’t have the slightest notion of how to embark on the interior journey. The James malady is right up front and center as the malady of our time, even though the story takes place in the past; he is stuck because he cannot get rooted in the body.
  • It is difficult to miss the subliminal message in the film about gender: the male shoots out sperm indiscriminately and the female has to be selective because she only drops one egg every month. This is how we come to a new understanding of gender as polarities to be integrated within before finding without as a welcome departure from the prevailing Judith Butler theory that gender is performative. James’ creative solution is to enter the Third Way by proposing a pact to Catherine: if one of them dies, the other will finish their work. It is credit to James, or the meta script, that this ludicrous idea arises as a real desire for identity exchange.
  • The film is deliberate in its anachronism, timely in its depiction of the contemporary out of time, and yet with details originating it in the late fifties or early sixties. The archival footage of James Franco playing his alter ego on General Hospital on the early television set is a deliberate unconscious act of dissociation; these moments of schism shift the viewer’s consciousness, thereby opening the space for the quantum leap:
  • The theme of this myth centers on a seemingly chance moment where an outstanding event occurs. To Pomona, it was like an epiphany, a sudden turn of fate, a radical awakening of perception. To Vertumnus, it was at first a well planned strategy, then finally an act of spontaneous desperation. Imagine his surprise when Pomona finally received him!
  • Love, relationship and union are highlighted here, not just in the desire of Vertumnus, but also in the story he told of the young man’s rejection and the tragic consequences that followed. The imagery of the gardens, fruit and vine add to the feeling of ripeness, an event finally ready to happen, a fruitful experience. (www.falconastrology.com)
  • Given this origin to your archeology of the real James Franco behind the Francostein monster, the rumors of an ending litter the Berlinale. The idiosyncratic advertisements lining Marlene Dietrich Platz tell you Every Thing Will Be Fine while the photo of James Franco carries his quote: “Do you want me to crack up a little?”
  • Coming from the third vertere of James Franco’s Berlinale epic, this is prescient from Wim Wenders, the director who nailed the hieros gamos on film in his classic Wings of Desire and whose retrospective is at the festival. You are thrilled to discover the symbols of the three surrounding a couple that cannot connect in Wenders’ first feature film: The Goalie’s Anxiety At the Penalty Kick. The film ends with the image of the Third as the central meeting between two soccer teams.
  • Every Thing Will Be Fine. What a beautiful closure to your personal trajectory of chasing the after-postmodernism icon into a new modernism! A long ways from the first film, in which the goalie struggles with the binaries after accidently strangling a lover.
  • To celebrate the send-off, you decide to wear the girly hot pink over your “summer of love” plum dress. This is not a grounded choice! But vertigo is no longer a concern; you are in the hands of a master, who has toiled his entire career in filmmaking to arrive at this place of centering into the broken vertebrae. How can your experiment go wrong with a cap on it in the form of such a reassuring title: which both director and star would parrot in the press conference: Every Thing Will Be Fine.
  • And then, you realize that your choice of the pink ruffled shirt under the peacock jacket is a reflection of the dream you had of James taking a shower with a little girl. You know the girl in the dream is a projection of your own innocence and freshness, and for that matter, so is the blocked novelist Franco portrays a projection of your inner male (while you can’t remember when you ever suffered from writer’s block, you sure do have a history of pushing away relationships so you can be alone to write). In the dream, he is saying “this is really difficult” and you feel your body smiling, delighted to know that he is doing the work on himself to enter the hieros gamos with you. The dream reassures you that his ego has surrendered to the purification process, the washing off the toxic pop culture of his Seth Rogen-prolonged adolescence.
  • This shift in the dream of the Self as the centralizing energy, the sun of its own solar system, is defined by Von Franz as “the mirroring of the ego by the Self, the center of the unconscious and the whole psyche”:
  • We can discover in every dream how our conscious behavior is “objectively” mirrored and how a glimpse of the Self is thus mediated from an Archimedean point outside ego-consciousness, a glimpse that we could not otherwise have obtained. What we see in the mirror held up to us by the Self is hence the only source of genuine self-knowledge; everything else is only narcissistic rumination of the ego about itself.
  • Missing James Franco is born into the Third space between the two mirrors of projection/reflection. This is what we do with movie stars; we project ourselves onto their image without really knowing them at all. But how many of us reflect on this process?
  • The 24/7 celebrity-obsessed Kulture Industrie does everything possible to keep us from going inward—first the drugs in the sixties, and now the “gadget love” tuning out the real body contact.
  • By the fourth day of the festival, the day you have your second entanglement with James Franco, you are primed for the transcendent. Your attire that day of the hound’s tooth print coatdress is what you wear to the afternoon screening of Every Thing Will Be Fine. Time’s Arrow hits you while awaiting the press screening with the Romanian twins, Dana and her equally gorgeous and brilliant friend Anke. You are obsessing about how to get an invite to the Wenders party the next night, such a hot ticket that they aren’t giving out the address until the last minute.
  • And this is how, through your heart’s outpouring, you reveal your desire. You tell the twins how you have missed James Franco for three-and-a-half years, and they start to laugh and tell you that you are writing a book! You are shocked. And not only that, they give you the title: Missing James Franco.
  • You think about your lingering vision of him across the lobby of the Grand Casino when you are standing perfectly still and suddenly you knew intuitively what Agamben expresses in words: rushing for an appointment he could only miss. So many mirrors in that gilded room. You imagine he was seeking his true mirror of the Self that he is destined to embody, not in the gilded hall, but in you. Like in a rich literary creation, his present gaze was a glimpse into the past and the future.
  • And now, as you await the curtain to open that will tell you Every Thing Will Be Fine, you lament to the twins about how it seems everyone has encountered Franco but you. Dana insists: “It has to be Missing James Franco. Let them think you actually had an affair with him and are missing him.”
  • “Don’t go to the party,” urges Anke. “Go home tonight and write.”
  • The curtain opens and you put on your 3D glasses. The Berlinale logo appears on the screen with the score that always gives you a chill. Suddenly, without any warning at all, James Franco’s face lunges right at you. OH MY! Here is the gorgeous face in your dream, clean-shaven, the haunted image of your muse, jumping out as the Third, the quantum leap, through the miracle of 3D. They will nudge you during the screening when the James’ character, yet another blocked author, is accused of utilizing his life experience for his writing.
  • The film answers the question you asked out loud upon entering the theater: “Why is Wenders doing a family drama in 3D?”
  • This is first question asked by Anne-Christine (whose name is the hieros gamos), always the first person to ask on the other side of the room. When it is your turn to participate, you boldly plunge in, convinced that you, the philosopher, alone are capable of giving the answer, because your dedication to this journey provides you with the archeology of the three going back to the origins of civilization in Sumer. Embedded in the chronology of the Wenders’ oeuvre, newly-restored and available as a the cinematic epic passage to the hieros gamos, the sacred marriage of heaven and earth, is the timelessness of the Agamben contemporary whose perception is extraordinary: to perceive in this darkness a light that, while directed toward us, infinitely distances itself from us.
  • While the press conference is to be key, you don’t even have time to think, otherwise you would have been petrified from taking the essential action to instigate the leap. The question is complicated, but you are handed the microphone and told to keep it simple; and so you made a comment rather than a question, utilizing that tantalizing word serendipitous and mentioning the archeology you discovered in Wenders’ first film, the archeology of the three, with the goalie and his girlfriend and the child between them and the tricycle and the clock striking three and not to mention the end of the film with the two teams coming into the center circle, the Third as a space of reconciliation and wholeness.

 

 

Wim Wenders at the Berlinale press conference for his retrospective.

 

  • So, you mention out loud the symbolism of the three in the scene and Wenders gets it and returns your beaming smile, Leo to Aquarius, and you immediately feel the numinosity of the archetype. You collect yourself enough, to mumble that it wasn’t really a question, and so you casually ask if burning the Faulkner book in the fireplace was James’ idea, meaning no more Faulkner for him (Ha!), or if it was in the script. Wenders smiles again: “It was in the script and James graciously accepted it.” In your mind, you see James’ eyes darken, and then, moments later it happens: the stare. The stare that binds you as contemporaries even as it distances you from your meeting that you can’t ever help but miss.

Now you know that Wim Wenders is a wizard. How far he has come to penetrate so deeply into the archetype he pursued throughout his filmmaking oeuvre to pull it out of James Franco in the evolution of his blocked author beset with the task of mourning for the male gender (Mahari and you are to have a discussion with Yella Rottländer who was the child performer in Alice in the Cities that Wenders publicly credits at the start of his press conference for making him a director). You talk to her with Mahari afterwards. She is a healer now, a nurse, and claims to never have been an actress, saying the Wenders never tries to make lightning strike twice with her. He moves on,” she says and Mahari shares something that James told him, “he felt Wenders’ camera penetrating into his soul.”

How far he had come from his media blitz at the Venice Film Festival last year (where you made a point of not going, instead as under the eclipse you developed a new projection onto the Berlin rock star Napoleon, whom you anointed as the “divine Sun/Son” in his place), arriving in character for meta film–Steve Ericson’s acclaimed novel Zeroville, about the transition of the film industry in 1969. The photos of him were unappealing; his body was heavy with toxins and his shaved head sported a tattoo of Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift from A Place in the Sun. This hits you as yet another affront of the emerging archetype you hold so dear, a targeted missile to dismiss the idea of the icon seeking to be known through his body. Right at the back of his shaved head, in the image of the screen goddess and her Son/Lover, is where your erotic attraction dies; he has descended too far into the bizarre toxic realm of the 24/7 celebrity for you to even want to save him, even if the world depended on it.

And now you hear about talking about his soul in Berlin! This second-hand remark will have you meditating on the significance of the title, arriving at zero space, precisely the mathematics of the quantum wave collapsing, the moment of zero Aries in which your composite Venus is triggered by the 19 March 2015 solar eclipse on the Vernal Equinox. Kairos cutting into the vertical/horizontal intersection is made into your private performance (the writing of this book), which brings your inner world into the outside world with the tangible immediacy the quantum moment documented through digital transaction that you never even imagined before. And yet, it is a full circle for you, the return to writing about cinema, then from the inside and now from the outside.

  • Under the solar eclipse in autumn of 2014, you let go.   He won the game, because this muse had succeeded in doing what your earlier muse had tried to do and failed: James Franco succeeded in making you hate him.   You know Alejandro was trying because he tells you, but you cannot fathom why he treats you like this…why he wants you to hate him. You are channeling all the torment of your unrequited love into the multilayered structure of your first novel in your family home in Connecticut.   One day, you locate the book of tangos brought back from Buenos Aires. The shock of what you find leafing through the pages nearly sent you into psychosis:
  • Conscience only made me lose your heart and love
  • for the sake of your salvation.
  • Now, you hate me, but I’m glad
  • and I cry for you in my corner.
  • If you have some memories from mine,
  • they will be horrid.
  • You’ll see me putting you to the rack
  • just like a fish;
  • but you don’t know the truth,
  • how I was gen’rous,
  • when I pay’d on this form,
  • your faithful love!
  • Just like a fish. You are putting the Pisces archetypes of Christ suffering (for lack of a bride) to sleep with that novel. You can’t even read the words of that tango now without being disgusted by the two-step of unrequited love between the binaries.
  • You are winding through the spiral of the Guggenheim Museum and get the urge…it feels like a bowel movement, to create. You stop in the boutique half way up (because New Yorkers can’t walk an 1/8 mile without buying something) and purchase a new journal.   A small paperback with Andy Warhol’s signature under the Marilyn Monroe green silkscreen, a mask of the American sex goddess, the new rendition of the ancient bipolar Inanna, oozing charisma from the stream of the feminine.
  • Sunshine of my life!
  • I was a flop.
  • That’s why I leav’d you out of the way,
  • Because I lov’d you so much, so much
  • to save you, only,
  • I sought nothing but your hate.

 

 

 

  • It is 13 May 2014. The Full Moon is in Scorpio. The first thing you write down is a lament to the sex goddess: “I’ll tell you something,” Amy Greene says, taking you into your confidence with an ominous tone that sounds like a warning. “No one, least of all Marilyn, ever expected this to happen.”
  • You have never gotten this out of your mind because it is a statement about the unpredictability of the Uranian subject, and how fame can strike at any time. You now are moved to write this quotation, in a tone directed precisely at you even though you suspect she must have told about a million people the same thing. You write this in the Gold subject line in the most appropriate location: on the right page facing Andy Warhol’s famous prediction on the left: “In the Future everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes.”   Below Amy Greene’s name, the spirit moves you to make a distinction between global icon status–not just fifteen minutes of fame. Well seriously, that is what took her life.
  • You were pretty like a star.
  • To see you, the people stopped.
  • I don’t know if who has you so well
  • deserves this marvel,
  • I know only that the cruel need
  • I offer’d you,
  • justifies me, seeing you look like a princess,
  • why, you live better now,
  • so far from me!
  • The American Venus is written plainly across a comparison of Marilyn Monroe’s chart with that of the founding of the United States of America. Her Aquarian Moon hitting the south node of the U.S. chart, rising at her birth and eclipsed the year of her death, sending the mystery surrounding her demise into legend.
  • .   The delay factor of the eclipse, which places events happening under them outside of time and space, would result in the unmourning surrounding the death of American innocence—the hope of the sixties wave delivering the hieros gamos with the Beatles and Camelot in the White House and peaking as a new religion in the 1967 Summer of Love. Her corpus would be significant for America in the years to come; indeed, the Kennedy murders followed, giving rise to conspiracy theories. There is a phenomenology indicating the Tower falling as you register in your notes: “I was thinking about being unmasked. When I was making copies in the Jung library and the shield fell off the ceiling light—onto the floor. The light shining in the darkness—the solar eclipse that revealed our destruction of the planet.”
  • On the second page, you are moaning about the loss of your wallet. “It couldn’t have just mysteriously disappeared, could it? Or could it? So, I lost my driver’s license, my press pass (Guggenheim is free on Fridays).”
  • You know what it means to lose your wallet. It means a loss of identity (your critic’s pass that gives free entry to museums!) and that, typically, means sex. And what is the Full Moon in Scorpio about, if not sex? Your Marilyn Monroe journal is now a contemporary art-I-fact containing a trace of desire: “I must be ready.” The next page is a quote from Lorna: “He threw himself off the pedestal.” A wise interpretation of Francostein’s sexcapade with the Goddess that wasn’t which went viral and raised such a fervor that he appeared on television looking very humble and yet sincere declaring that it was a lapse in judgment.
  • You are having difficulty understanding why he wants to make art and recklessly risks this quest through his social media stunts, yet won’t risk meeting the one critic who understands his work. Why has he initiated you into this game? Ha, that is your journey to discover, a voice says inside you.
  • His kingship of Web 2.0 means confining his public image to the adolescent level of the “sharing generation” growing up with social media. You are old enough to remember when answering machines appeared—when you could screen your messages. That was just the beginning of the use of technology to block the intimacy feared by the body. The risk of the intimacy essential for conversion is what the corporate domination of social media attempts to prevent. Lorna reminds you that this is the addiction of choice for a new generation, as drugs were for her own. You realize your aversion to social media is from the intimacy patterned into you from your early encounter group training. Your decision to direct your writing talents into art criticism, in fact, fuels the need for transformation through human connection—the artist’s body as well as their body of work. You always insisted on direct, in-person interviews.
  • Ironically, the one interview that you really anticipated in person, but had to do over the phone due to a broken wrist was Marina Abramović. How accessible she was in those days when she just arrived in New York in 2005 and you had an accidental meeting in the cloakroom of the Japanese Society. You are holding out your coat and she pops out of the dark, saying with such humor: “I’m not the coat girl.” As if you would have thought, dressed as she was in her Yanamoto ensemble. How you loved her then and dreaded what she would become!
  • But you also forget about the alchemy, the inevitable alchemy of love. You have stopped wishing that the Other make a pilgrimage to an online project (www.thealchemyoflove.blogspot.com) to understand the process. You have reached the point where you assume nothing at all. They don’t know your writing (unless it is, of course, about them!). You get the drift of how the Surfgeist must hit just a few select individuals before it crashes over the mass of humanity.
  • “It is radioactive… this energy.” This is all you can say to Dana as to why you absolutely have to keep missing James Franco—until your dreams tell you otherwise.   “He is radioactive to me and I am radioactive to him.”
  • Of course, you know the astrological reasons, but that is a language only for those who, like you, can interpret the patterns of the heavens and their effects on humans. The radioactivity requires the alchemical process and you have become so adept at it over the years that the conversion happens almost entirely on its own.
  • Your only work is to make certain you keep your temple pure—inside and out. And that is where authentic beauty lies. Spirit does the rest. The most dangerous passage was the Calcinatio of the Aries line-up of Mars/Venus/Uranus 2013, just after the Berlinale was performed with Carter in a five-day flurry of email exchanges. This had a dual effect of making you Witness to his conversion and the subject of your own conversion, which began with a dream in the fall of your doing a tango with a Leo Lover across the Sun, manifested in April 2012 when Anthony, a triple-Leo, dropped into your life and taught you how to be a partner to the Divine Son/Sun archetype: “You have to support everything he does—from the heart!”
  • That was your fiery Calcinatio, the rocket fuel that blasted you to Europe just in time for the 7 June Venus Transit across the Sun, experienced in Alexandria when you had a dream of picking up Anthony’s penis in the bathtub and realizing it was shit and your guide Normandie Ellis telling you that shit is very important to the myth of Osiris, as the Scarab transforms from shit. James will tell you that he is ready when he posts his performance “Just Poop” on his Instagram in May 2015 as are writing the second draft of this text after embracing a witch.

 

Your friend Marian gave you the penthouse when returned to Blackcom Erika in May 2015 to write the second draft of this book. This time you arrived to participate in Walpurgis burning of the effigies of the Devil in the bonfire and welcoming the White Goddess.

 

  • The next phase, Water, or Solutio, is the dissolving of ego boundaries and the feeling of falling deeply in love. This happens as you are in Venice 2013, sitting in the vacated rear of the press conference for Palo Alto in your gauzy white dress and watch him sweat in his suit (“James, it is OK,” says a soothing feminine voice).
  • The Coagulatio, the Earth phase, is where things start to coagulate, to form into structure. You know you are reaching the earth phase when you start to make plans.
  • The Earth phase is about commitment. It establishes the grounding that allows the Sublimatio (Air) to happen, and this floating into space with your Beloved gets you to the quintessential element, the Conjunctio or hieros gamos.
  • You have performed this alchemy for a long while, lifetimes, and used to try to do all the phases at once, which is the encounter group set-up. It took twenty years to learn to separate the phases, one at a time. And still, you are so far ahead of any partner, that you tend to go through the revolution of the five phases of the alchemy of love on your own terms, revealing codes in sequence before your partner can apprehend what lies at stake.
  • This is the case with James. In April 2013, when he was falling into the Solutio through his bedroom seductions “Where are you?” posted on Instagram, you were intent on the next phase, the Coagulatio, when you expected to meet him in New York City and contacted him by email. But instead of making plans to get together, he put up his ego defense of his people. And after making the effort to go through his narrow channel, of his assistant trying to find a vacancy in his schedule for you to meet, you let go. The drawbridge to his castle is up. His ego defenses, thwarting your efforts to evolve your experiment catches you in your own conversion!
  • This is Saturn teaching you a lesson. The Coagulatio stage, related to Earth, can only happen in the proper time. With the commitment demanded in this initial stage of desire, there is no easy turning back. Surely, even a wedding can be prevented by a runaway bride or groom, but not without a good deal of suffering. Of course, when you leave Manhattan for Berlin on May 23, you had no knowledge that James would be returning to the Berlinale with another triple play in February 2015, a reprise of his 2013 appearance with three films. This is the unknown, Uranian, element that comes into play as the higher form of Mercury in The Alchemy of Love. This is how the unexpected encounter cuts, like a sharpened blade one’s fate from destiny (two people who are meant for one another that just can’t seem to have partnerships—with anyone else) happens in the most Uranian fashion, the unexpected meeting that can’t be planned.
  • This is the appointment that you can’t help but miss, but ultimately make in a time and place least expected, so unexpected that it might not even be recognized. But you did make it!   It comes about as a confirmation of knowledge that for a woman, a real woman, just being present is enough. This understanding will be reflected back to you during the Selma press conference with the brilliant and stunning director, Aida DuVernay.
  • In your Manhattan journal is conscious evidence of your embodiment of the alchemical process, even when you were in the throes of your obsession: “Yes, subconsciously, or consciously, he entered the nigredo, the prima materia for our alchemical ascension under the Full Moon!! Which is about forty-five minutes ago.”
  • On May 14, you threw down the tarot cards in your familiar Tree of Life pattern. How encouraging to find the World as the final outcome! Ah, but there is a caveat. The World is reversed which means delays and obstructions and there is the Hermit in the near future, indicating more going within.   You take a photo of the reading and scribble your reaction:
  • The World reversed—as outcome. Is that about holding back?   Three of Wands. Fire and creativity. We are both threeadding up to Six. We share the same numerology of time. We are both in the six-year of the hieros gamos, making the wedding in September. Our 1 month today is 13, no 14=5. With the Full Moon, I feel like a rutting she-goat. But tomorrow, 15, is the SIX!
  • And yet, there is the Tower reversed at the foundation of the reading–which is the destruction of the foundation, where all your knowledge crashes on you. The Tower is the card for the effects of falling in love—a complete shattering of ego structure akin to a sudden loss of identity acknowledged in your notes: “Tower reversed. The soul-shattering, or rather embodying love affair being held back while the Hermit completes his work.”
  • You now focus on the real work you put yourself in the library to do: rescuing the sacred feminine, and Eros, from exile in Western Culture through the hands-on, down and dirty excavation of the loves of Jung and Freud: Sabina Spielrein and Lou Salome. These two women, both born in Russia, were the dual faces of Venus, Morning Star (Salome) and Evening Star (Spielrein) repressed by the patriarchy.
  • It is just two days after your tarot reading, when you make the effort to let James Franco wash out of your thoughts you get an email from him out of the blue. “Hey, what’s up? Peace.” This is very unpredictable behavior. Even for you, the most unpredictable of Aquarians, this is strange. You send him a friendly reply asking how he is. His next email, typically laconic, is simply “do you want to talk?” You email back that you are on the way to the Strand, as if that is more important than talking to the man you have been trying to connect with for two years. He replies. “Never mind.”
  • His email hit you with a shock at 8:30 AM on Saturday, May 17th (an eight day which means power!), knocking you right out of your body! You reply immediately, intent on keeping the fleeting connection, asking him to meet for the talk and, Kundalini flowing, rush to get the train, because your brain is already in Manhattan and your body needs to follow. Once you are on the train, you get the response: “I didn’t mean to imply that I could meet this minute. I’m shooting upstate, then I have 2 shows on Broadway later. Maybe later or tomorrow.”   Is it a letdown? Or a lifting up? Whatever, it was, it was noncommittal. “James Franco is a punk,” your host says when you return to his couch relating your 24-hour saga.
  • At the time, you positively, eagerly, viewed the contradiction as a sign that your magick worked. You reply with your phone number and invite him to call you after the show. By the time you get to Manhattan forty minutes later, you realize you are in no condition to meet this Unicorn you have been pursuing for two years and you turn right around and go back to Connecticut and Main Street to the beauty supply store and purchase two packages of henna: blonde and golden sunset.   You then return to the condo and do your hair. Two hours later, your new color inspires you and you put on your metallic silver bunch bag dress and the striped grey and black flannel muscle shirt and the finish off the glam with the J. Gerard peace sign and custom made silver J. Gerard Peace jacket. Every time you wear her clothing now, you think of your Unicorn because the entered you life when you started to wear it. In fact, Venus compelled you to purchase a new wardrobe in her boutique as a reflection of the Venus Transit of the Sun 2012 for the brief time you have a Leo (born just two days before Lady J) consort. Her semiotics of the Peace sign that make up her logo, imprinted on the back of the neck from her label, is the Finger of God, the Yod to be triggered in your astrology chart when the Unicorn finds its peace in your maiden’s lap. This is where the signifier meets the iconthe garden of Peace is the new E-din, the ever-present origin where the archetypes of masculine and feminine are integrated by each body in order that the union of the two forms the unified one, the sacred marriage.
  • May 17, 2014. Your selfie capturing the Charles James credo during your 24-hour saga of Missing James Franco in Manhattan.
  • How James would love this Lady J. jacket with its custom Peace buttons!   You are very excited by your new Aquarian signature look. Uptown meets downtown. Light and dark goddess rolled into a single image of you in your corset. Structure! You make a video of your trying on corsets as a forecast of the Coagulatio to come! What a kick! “Today is the Sag Moon. I feel like taking flight. Helsinki—yeah!” referring to your return flight passing through Helsinki. You write on the next page: “What, after all, is the true function of fashion but to be a rehearsal for (you can’t make out the word) proposignation. Rehearsals might be better. You stop at the Met Costume Institute’s Charles James: Beyond Fashion. There you capture the pronouncements of Charles James self-proclaimed genius in selfies of your image merging into his words:   “Life has taught me that one’s most precious asset is the spirit “independence at all costs—the constant disposition to risk all in the interests of conviction.” Yeah!
  • Then, onto the glorious Guggenheim exhibition…you become an apt student of a movement you knew so little about …the Italian Futurists…that you tore into the catalog. Finding some choice entries. On page 24: “Let’s murder the moonlight” (Tuchs le clair de lune!) an allegorical tale describing a war that the Futurists, allies of madmen & ferocious hearts, waged against the inhabitant on Paralysis and Gout. On page 27: the proclamation of Valentine de Saint Point, the first woman futurist: “It is absurd to divide humanity into women & men. It is composed only of felinity and masculinity.” YEAH!!   This was the manifesto of the Futurist Woman in 1912. She courted the Futurist scorn for women and love with an exaltation of erotic freedom as a liberating energy. You are simply awed by the images of the SKY GODDESS in the futurism. Gianini Censi’s Aerofuturist Dance from 1931 reveals hips in a Mandorla with two waving circles, a helmet with silver suit birthing a sphere. The Übermensch is a woman!! You scribbled this inside Marilyn Monroe:
  • Linear curves. Waves. The paradigm shift from linear to cyclical curving of time and space. Aerodynamics and hyperdimensional physics. The mere linear is now the curving wave… they really got the future alight!   The quantum leap that would take another century to manifest. Particles-packets. Kairos leap. The aerial/linear tower as the foundation of the arrival plane. Time is no longer linear in the fashion of the Christian liturgy but cyclical gold sphere interior melting. Elixir—the feminine excess. Central convergence of space. The particle at the center of the collapsing wave. Airplane wing. The linear and sphere of the jet (Kundalini) interior spaces (caves = the feminine revealing fathomless depths—break in the fabric of space-time. Rotation reflecting the sphere shape of the Eartheternal motion revolution. Krall. “Before the Parachute Opens” in 1939. Triangle. His body in the foreground. Arms spread. Aerial and body jutting into the upper corner of a triangle. The rectangle/squares are the shapes of the funnel below. The upper triangle embodying the male body. The leap of consciousness represented by flight altitude with the fear of falling. Light inside the triangle and dark on both sides. The ascending into the Übermensch. Fortundato Depero “Little Black and White Devils, Dance of Devils” (1922-23). Black and red. Kundalini flame integrating the opposites. Lower level over the black hole. Red and black devil dance with Pitchfork/Neptune’s trident. The Kundalini stream up the spine, liquid gold and the white devils in the upper right dance of liberation with white feathers.
  • The truth you are seeking is in the Third of sacred geometry, the connection to the archaic. You enter the futurist theater inside the spiral feeling so grand, like it is there just for you:

 

  • Circles in the Guggenheim floor. Overlapping white Triangles. Fracturing of space. Fireworks. The geometric form designs become the art of the set itself. Integration inner & outer. Stravinsky’s fireworks aural sound vibration with color of the Kundalini, the flashes of genius. White light is the opening of the crown. Fireworks. What could the better homage to the entire Schopenhauerian lineagethe GESAMTKUNSTWERK, like a call to action? Red symbols prompting the Kundalini to the heart. The Third Eye, and finally the white light of the crown of the head. Flashes of fireworks bring the insights of genius catalyzing the Futurist experiment. Modernism as the FULL EMBODIMENT of the KUNDALINI. Will birth a new modernism fulfilling the prophecy. Four circles with fractals each. Kundalini awakening.

 

  • You are so blown away by this exhibition, you want to go back and to the couch to sleep and wake at 5 AM to write the review in a half-conscious state. It sums up your journey, the journey of the twentieth century, the antifeminine enthralling speed of the mechanical ending up fascist, controlled by the authoritarian state because it rejected the feminine, which would have grounded its flight into pure abstraction…losing sight of the body meant the dilution of a movement on a fractal surface:

 

  • Cubists had the feminine   Futurists the masculine. Therefore, the constructivists were seeking an evolution into generic form. Aerial flight revealing the birthplace as an oval. Yes, here the feminine returns in collaboration—shapes of the material, form geometries in the walls and floor. Fireworks in air deliver wings—expressions of consciousness. Benedetti’s Human Forces from 1924 and La Force Semane. Our mindedness high moral in warfare. Boccini’s elasticity is the expansion of aura. Construes, synthesized movement. Painter reflecting on human operating from a place of holism. Dynamic Expansion/Speed. Curvature. Rotation. Splintering of the linear. Rotation cycle. First …the waves create. Then holistic merging of the subject and object. First elasticity. Then radical. Futurist goal. Putting the spectator at the painting center. Umberto Boccini 1913 “Unique Forms of Continuity in Space.” Human on fire. Expanding.
  • You stop frequently, scribbling to near illegibly your excitement from this Kundalini blast up the spiral of the Guggenheim, mimicking the spiraling passage of the serpent from the base of the spinal column to the crown of the head. After you descend, you walk towards the subway and enter Le Pain Quotidian where you order soup and write:
  • Shattered by the Italian Futurist exhibition.   All the notes filling this journal where personal becomes collective…yes MM herself, icon of Fame, Kundalini fame and the futurists were embracing the Kundalini flashes of genius even as they were condemning the erotic/electrical chart as directed at the romantic dance. A healthier tension of oppositions that was reconciled. Amazing how I just manifested.
  • Turning the page now inside your Marilyn Monroe corpus, you arrive at her Warholian mask of a face. This time she is pink with blue shadow. The face that launched a million sex kittens.   Face flattened by the silkscreen layering process from human to icon is a flattening–a unidimensionality of surface to project the universality of the icon. You must have been in search of a new face, a new mask, a new unidimensionality of my expression when you wandered into Saks and let yourself be apprehended by the makeup counter and talked into a makeup session. You are really on a Unicorn hunt today and you arrive in Manhattan without any identification, and no credit card to make a purchase, just limited cash in your pocket. Which is why it was safe to succumb to a makeup session. She is a black woman with a huge personality and she turns it up full blast because she knows you can handle it. She did silver liner and gold on the eye. “I’m going to teach you to love makeup,” she says and then delights you with a story of Gloria Steinem coming into the store and no one recognizing the female icon. “What do they teach the girls in school these days? I went right over and brought her right to this stool for a makeup session. She said she never uses make up and I said honey…”

 

 

 

 

  • And you said in unison: “I’m going to get you to love makeup.” She put on such a show that you were feeling a twinge, just a twinge, of guilt because you didn’t intend to purchase anything. You watch her deflate as you said that you lost your wallet, just as she was putting on the finishing powder. You naively think she would be compensated with the knowledge that she was the catalyst for a fourth wave of feminism, passed right from the cultural icon of the second wave through her stool. No matter, you asked her to write down the ingredients and said you would return to make a purchase. By then, she had conveniently disappeared, ostensibly to find a woman with cash in her purse.
  • You leave Saks and turn east, towards Broadway. You walk to Times Square and go to the theatre, all the while in this Sublimatio state of elevation, forgetting that you didn’t contact the person you were supposed to get a press ticket and when you go to the window of the theater you show him your press pass which means absolutely nothing and you think well maybe you will just charge it, but the cheapest ticket is $125 and you saw a perfectly fine production of Of Mice and Men in the authentic barn venue of the Westport Playhouse. What Broadway stage treatment could approximate that?
  • And so, you meekly go out the door, intent on not being his fan and yet remaining in the perfect bubble his noncommittal email preserved, and decide that he will call you and that you need to give him a healing before anything else and you must have your supplies so you stop at a boutique and let the unconscious make the purchases, almond massage oil and a scented candle. Yes. You give the clerk cash and then, you don’t know where you are going, you are wandering, driven by the pursuit of pleasure and you start to head uptown on this day, Saturday, and end up in the Ritz Carlton where you take a selfie before the huge urns and capture yourself wearing silver against the gilded urn and ceiling holding up your peace pendant and writing Peace on the subject line.
  • You go to your midtown refuge, in the side lounge of the Ritz, and you wait. A woman comes and sits beside you and falls asleep. The guard wakes her and says no sleeping in the lounge. You wait for the play to be over. And you wait some more. Finally, around 11 PM, you decide to head uptown and end up in the Apple store. There you remain until it is too late to take the train but you have nowhere to go, no one’s phone number on you and you know you can’t just drop in on New Yorkers anyway, so you check the Internet for all-night restaurants and find nothing in the area and you ask the guard why the Apple store is so empty and he tells you that they recently instated a new policy to empty the place of the homeless. And it is clear that he likes you and won’t kick you out, even though you as well are homeless. You become hungry and decide to descend from the Upper East Side into the bowels of the city.
  • Sidestepping, the derelicts and partiers, you walk all the way from the Apple store on 59th street to 14th Street, arriving in Union Square just in time to eat at the Coffee Shop before they close the kitchen. You order Mexican eggs, and after you make the payment, you manage to loss another purse, probably in the toilet—you already lost two, so this is the Third—which has your limited supply cash in it. But you don’t know this until you have descended further downtown, all the way to Rivington Street, where you are driven to know if Danny’s name is still on the buzzer and indeed it is; the neighborhood has become chic, but his faded name remains as remembrance of time.   You think about your next move and realize you are revisiting your old lives in NYC, and your trance movement through the city is your physical expression of your Solar Return, the dark surrender to the dark night of the soul, where you are guided entirely by your internal shining light reflected in your silver jacket. You finally reached the promised land of Balthazar, your old haunt, where you sit on the bench and wait for the opening, visualizing a bowl of latte while reading the New York Times. Now, you realize that you have lost the change purse pinned to your bra, containing your valuables—the train ticket and greenbacks. What will you do? You realize you still have the bag of your supplies, and the receipt. You reckon that if you return the candle for cash, you will have enough funds to take the train back to Connecticut. So you walk all the way back to Grand Central and take the train. You calculate that you have walked about 120 blocks, six miles.
  • More notes in the Marilyn Monroe journal from a press conference at the Morgan Library exhibiting the original Of Mice and Men manuscript with penciled-in edits staring at you from the wall (you sent James an email about this, thinking it would be a great addition to the film he was making about his appearance in the Broadway revival). This is fate, you think, to be the Hermit tracking these synchronicities alone towards an unknown destination; oh, you know where the inner journey is headed but you don’t even dare to imagine how it will manifest in the World card. Besides, critics need a critical distance from their subjects. His smile is too seductive. The critical facility cannot be compromised through attachment.
  • But this circunambular of Manhattan is not the end you think, but the beginning of falling in love, all over again, with his image, in the least expected place, the middle passage. You are seeking to discover something through the trace s of archeology, which comprises your art, after all.

 

 

 

 

  • What a shock to the system when the curtain opens to James Franco’s face looming towards you, all the more glorious in 3D. He is staring right at you! It was so unexpected; truly you are shocked. Beside, you Anke giggles. And there he is rising from the bed in a shack on the ice to scribble in a small notebook in the isolated hut he has gone to write. Here it is, the contemporary portraying a would-be contemporary male author attempting “to break the vertebrae of his own time” and is blocked by the very temerity of the task.
  • The reality hits as you walk home that evening, repeating your descent through Manhattan, but this stretch was the horizontal as opposed to the vertical topography, with its lexicon of uptown, downtown and the orderly grid of streets.
  • You are alone again, naturally, after missing the party where, the next day, you hear all about how you just missed James Franco in Potsdamer Platz. And when you run into Dana in the U-Bahn, she tells you that you just missed James Franco, who was getting out of a car near the station. You tell her that you sent him congratulations on the film and the magick that accompanied his return to Berlin but got no response. “He must get so many emails.”   Yes, this is the expected reaction; so you assure her during your walk down Schönhauser Alle that this isn’t just a fantasy—he has, in fact, responded to your emails in the past. Without angst or alchemy, you supply her with the backstory as you walk her to her hotel.
  • This is the opportune moment and you seize it: you are transforming yourself via the facts you present. By the time you arrive home, you are hit with the realization that you have begun to transform your romantic obsession with James Franco into a detached subject of pursuit that any journalist can understand. You do repeat the prophecy: “you are going to be famous and there is nothing you can do about it” and this is what has come through your stream of consciousness…the lifelong pursuit of the Unicorn who can hold the tension of opposites beside you in public.
  • You come to this climax (!) as you arrive before Dana’s boutique hotel as she is telling you about a Romanian actress who became very famous in Mexico and stays in her mansion and never goes out and has to put diapers on her dogs because she cannot walk them for fear of being seen. You think that Dana must be a very good writer because she has given you quite a vision of this woman’s predicament with this image of dog diapers. You shake your head in incomprehension just the same, asking why she doesn’t just move somewhere she can be anonymous. “She has no imagination, not so much intelligence.” This story is so clever, you love your friend for putting this image in your head; nature circumvented by the ego, and yes, she has touched your own fear of losing the freedom you have in public to go anywhere in the world alone and venture out for a solitary stroll in a city at dawn…such freedom of movement is so important; without it you would feel like a prisoner. Yes, a prisoner of fame. A prisoner of Time. You remember your friend, the New York critic Ed Rubin saying from his compassionate heart: “Movie stars have a lot of privileges because their lives aren’t really their own.”
  • As you walk home, you remember James Franco saying that he would rather be a writer than play a writer, and you think he really doesn’t understand what that means, the loneliness and sacrifice that a writer needs to excel at her craft requires a lifelong commitment. And why should he understand when he only experiences it in the duration of a film take manuscript of the terrible endless work in solitary and having to expect no audience for your efforts, because if you do write for an audience it is likely to have a negative impact–yes, the blockages that his succession of author characters suffer from. You think only of how much you would have wanted to change places with him, because your being a writer, a hermetic writer so dedicated to the underground stream and the organic alchemical process of regulating its flow through your psyche, also holds you hostage to your Muse.   Ha! Maybe if he reads this, he will understand!
  • In fact, after bidding goodnight to Dana under the U-Bahn tracks and turning towards home, you are thinking that if lightning doesn’t strike down your perfectly-sealed hermetic life in the major way that is promised in your astrological chart, you might indeed just taunt the universe by jumping off a cliff.   As you walk the extra distance to your apartment alone, you consider the ideal life would be a happy medium between being a world famous movie star who plays authors and a famously unfamous writer like yourself whose options for making a living narrow as her writing evolves.
  • It seems to you that James Franco is attempting, as you suggested, to manifest a new archetype by the integration of all the mediums of expression into a singular Selfie-Expression carrying through from one to the other. Yet, to do this with his readymade audience and production level flaunting the gestation period needed for any authentic birth—could even Byron achieve such a feat under Web 2.0? You think probably not, given the condition of the publishing industry, the toxic state of celebrity and the media taking on the role of storyteller in cultural mythology by putting the celebrity through the life/death/rebirth cycle to fill the empty center of the emptied postmodern culture only to knock them down again. By 2015, the process has become so manufactured that it seems to be a corrosive acid eating away at the American Dream. Where is the respect for the Void that can be filled with the numinous?
  • As you now understand it, this void gave rise to Carter’s Dr. Francostein gallery experiment creating a Third nongendered space between the opposites. While Carter returns to his studio to create the signifiers for the quantum wave collapse, the Third entity hits the culture as the James Franco phenomenon, his predilection for speed made evident in his titles (Zeroville as the passage to the Aires Point of the 2015 Solar Eclipse) representing the zero point, or dawn of a new era. The superficial manifestation of the Third is his meta-journey to bring high (Faulkner) and low (Seth Rogen) together. All of it serves the logic of the image to create a narrative out of a life in art, as opposed to the art itself.
  • The genius presenting the new from a descent into the archaic (a Nietzschian passage prompted by his study of Schopenhauer) surfaces only when the culture is ready, which explains why so many geniuses are dead before their gift is ready to be seen.

And then, there is the celebrity who uses the limelight to put out a message. The tiny thing that looms so huge in your mind is the literal conjunction in James’ Tristan self-portrait formed into a Seal of Solomon, the symbol of the hieros gamos. It is sheer poetry that Wagner’s Isolde curses and exalts the Und that separate and binds the two as one:

                  “Yet this little word and––/were it destroyed,/how else than/with Isolde’s own life/would Tristan be given death?” (Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde; act 2, scene 2)

  • You proclaimed the icon with the hexagram word/image (A) in your 2013 review of James Franco’s Gay Town in Berlin. In the 2006 film version of the universal love tragedy, the Cornish warrior Tristan (James Franco) is poisoned by the sword of Morholt, the intended bridegroom of Isolde, the Irish princess. Presumed as dead, his body is sent out to sea on a “mourning boat”.   Washed ashore in Ireland, he is discovered by Isolde who resurrects him with her magic. The tragic Celtic love story of the dying and resurrected god was popular during the twelfth century, the time of the Troubadours and their tales of the knights’ public hieros gamos rituals with ladies of the court.
  • The symbol looks like a compass. You are convinced it is not conscious and it is not about an expression of his being half-Jewish, unless the half-Jewishness makes him a prime candidate for the sacred marriage of opposites, which explains the war raging in his psyche. What other message do you need? Here is the mythology of the dying and resurrected god embedded in the greatest love story of all time contained within the Franco signifier made from the “little word and” unifying the opposites.
  • The legend of Tristan and Isolde, of course, represented the archaic leaking into a later period. And then, you remember the past, your obsession with Daniel’s beauty and how he refuted it:
  • An image enters your mind. Alejandro appearing at your door with his beautiful curls all cut off and wearing glasses, and how you wept after he left you that day because you knew he did it for spite. He thought you were just in love with his surface beauty and so he tried to diminish it…as if that was all that mattered!
  • The two Muses entered your psyche 28 years apart. They have the same birthdate, April 19, the final day of Aries, which is also Hitler’s birthday. You don’t have the birth times for either, but astrologers use the only obvious birth time for James Franco, high noon in Palo Alto, which gives him Leo rising with Mars in the twelfth house of film and sun at 29 degrees Aries on the highest point of the chart, the Midheaven.   What is crucial about this point in the heavens is Mirach, a fixed star at zero Taurus bestowing beauty, creative talent—and happy marriage. With that much going for him by birthright, it is no wonder why you had to undergo an epic journey in the underworld of Buenos Aires just to meet him!
  • He looks at me with flaming eyes. My father’s eyes after he drank the potion. Forever imprinted on my brain, barricading the door to my inner darkness…
  • And finally the door has swung open.
  • I tear away from him. “Don’t come near me! I don’t need you anymore!”
  • He smiles devilishly and puts his arms around me and I pull away and push him across the bed where he hits the headboard with a loud thud. The mirror above crashes down on him. A tiny trickle of blood flows from his forehead and appears violet as it coagulates in the flickering neon light.
  • There is music. A fast and frenzied tango.
  • I turn and run through the open door and down the winding stair and out the front door where I emerge on the cobblestone street. The faint wail of tango, a mournful cry, drifts from under the faded lace curtain swaying in the breeze. Like a fog lifting from the unconscious….
  • The flames! I am burning up! I run up the street towards home and stop to catch my breath. Footsteps follow from behind. I tremble in terror, knowing they belong to a figure much more menacing than Alejandro. And something, some force, makes me turn around just as the Shadow steps under a lamppost. I can see that his face is black, even under the light, and he is wearing a cape.
  • I gasp and for a moment, just an instant, we are facing each other, me and my Shadow, his evil eye penetrating into me.
  • He moves out of the light and the spell is broken. A cold chill grips me and I spin around and break into a run, faster and faster, not letting up until I get to my building.
  • After the incident, he went on television to admit, with uncommon sincerity, that he made a mistake in judgment. So, he proved it wasn’t a joke. And his tackling the image crisis head-on has the extra benefit of adolescent America watching itself grow up. You did want to save him, as you tried to save so many you saw descending into the postmodern nihilism. You wanted to tell him that there is a new way, and show him with your vibrancy that you are in it, the Third way. Little do you realize that you would have to return to Berlin without making the connection to write the book about the Third path, and edit another about the epic journey.
  • Only the actor, and his people, and those who trouble to carefully track their movements through their Internet, have a glimpse of what lies ahead based on past commitments fulfilled. Even then, they don’t know and the outcome is out of their control because they enter a film, a collaboration vehicle, with an act of blind faith. Your faith comes from the hardcore hands-on matter of taking responsibility for your own life, which means making your destiny an act of free will by making your fate conscious.
  • Every step of the passage requires a threefold action: 1) conscious evaluation 2) proactive movement 3) implementation. This brings back what your professor Boris Groys said about Heidigger’s decision to join the Nazi Party, which agreed with your theory about action being the missing Third of his Being and Time (Sein und Zeit): that he didn’t consider the consequences of his actions, just as an author has to consider where his writings end up. It makes you think about Heidigger’s Dasein in relation to your theory of James Franco embodying the Dasein (I am Michael so powerful, you noted, was that his life decisions were always manifested in proactivity, as the director said “we kept him grounded through his choices of projects”).
  • You think what immense trust an actor must have to surrender to participation in a project when there is no control at all about the outcome. You remember the time when you heard your sister’s boss get angry at her high standards in regards to an actor’s choices and yelling “He almost lost his house” and her very firm response was “an artist shouldn’t make choices in regards to a house.”   This makes you think that James Franco “JUST DO IT!” credo is sourced deep in the Jewish soul that isn’t typically present in the American pop culture. And because American culture is so defined by the polarization of opposites, it needs to experience an artist incorporating Faulkner and Seth Rogen. “I only make one film at a time,” he replies to a Berlinale questioner trying to fathom how he maintains this precarious balance of high to low.
  • The return of James Franco to Berlin in 2015 brought the Multiplicity arising out the Event cementing a culture of the hieros gamos, made pure magic by Peter Gabriel singing “Heroes,” the iconic song of two lovers on either side of the wall, at the Brandenburg Gate on the 9th of November during the release of the light balloon strip on the wall border bisecting the city. At the same time, there was a David Bowie retrospective exhibition in the museum beside one of the last remaining strips of the Berlin Wall.
  • David Bowie’s persona delivered the Aquarian hieros gamos transgender space icon. Among the Berlinale lights on Marlene Dietrich Platz were posters of Every Thing Will Be Fine. The Berlin director and his star repeated the title throughout the press conference, so it became like a chant in your ear alone.
  • The words of the Sublimatio arrive at last, the other four stages of the alchemy fulfilled, and now only the sublime, in the final stage of the quintessence: “Every thing will be fine.”

 

  • All this rebellion is to ensure that Eros in the Age of Aquarius no longer need be the little boy with arrows that he was for the Greeks and the Romans, as the son of Aphrodite, but the fully-fledged equal partner of the fully-liberated Aquarian woman. Clearly, we had to pass through a long phase of the Doppelgänger/Vampire in the Dark Cupid to allow the resurrection of the feminine in preparation for equal partnership. If she could love and hate him in equal proportions, then he is justified in being her true partner, in the tango of public/private life, where holding the tension is as crucial as releasing.
  • “Holding the tension.” This explication about using the tension of fear as containment is what the Mexican actor, Luis Alberti, with the extremely long phallus would say the next day, how he got through his trial with the irrepressible Peter Greenaway. And when you have a chance to greet him in person, you will tell him that is what nailed the most fully erotic depiction of a man in the entire festival: the ability to hold the tension of the opposites in full naked view. This insight explains why, seven days into the immersive experience of the Berlinale festival, Eisenstein in Guanajuato would deliver the central organizing principle, not simply as a film motif but life itself.

 

DAY SEVEN: EISENSTEIN IN MEXICO

 

 

  • …the contemporary is not only the one who, perceiving the darkness of the present, grasps a light that can never reach its destiny; he is also the one who, dividing and interpolating time, is capable of transforming it and putting it in relation with other times.
  • –Giorgio Agamben

 

 

 

 

  • The seventh day of the festival, the three arrives in the form of the screen trypdych with an explosion of passion from Peter Greenaway’s Eisenstein in Guanajuato, his tale of the “10 days that shook” Russia’s greatest filmmaker who went to Mexico to make the film and had a sexual transformation that established a pivotal change in his art.
  • Greenaway utilizes the geometry of the three to tell the story of a paradigm shift in one man, the genius filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein to create a personal narrative of the universal mythology of the dying and resurrected god that is at the core.
  • The film has a long slow-deflowering in the very center of a passionate circling around the center of things, a bed. This is the circling of a square geometry of the paradigm shift in a single scene, which ends with Palomino Canedo (Luis Alberti) inserting the flag of Mexico into the anus of Sergei (Elmer Black).
  • Greenaway, 73, is incredibly vital and his press conference is more like a master class about what is lacking in contemporary film: the multidimensionality of energy in the life/death struggle between Eros and Thanos. “All art is about sex and death.   It is a great source of the visceral,” he says.
  • You totally agree with this and celebrate a salacious film that has the guts to break through; but the filmmaker taking such license with his mentor—who comes off as a petulant silly boy—is a scandal in itself. The topography is key for Greenaway, as it was for Eisenstein, and yourself. This struggle between life and death is paramount in Mexico, which was a character in the film serving as competition for the tour de force by the unknown actor playing Eisenstein.   As the first to speak at the press conference, you can’t contain your passion. You open with something about it being a GREAT FILM, because you seem to be breaking an unofficial rule when you give your feedback of a film, and then: “Anyone who has lost her virginity in Mexico can relate… Your full throttle surrender to the life, death and rebirth. Mexico is a character in the film. Tell us about your experience of making the film that Eisenstein didn’t finish in Mexico.” And this is how confused you are, in thinking he took actually a true story and blew it up for his operatic treatment, complete with a text at the end that said Eisenstein was sent to the Gulag for buggery rather than his incendiary filmmaking.
  • “Grab the audience…If literature can say a thing three times why can’t cinema do the same?   There is a delight in games…these platonic games of squaring a circle throughout the film. What the hell is real? I can’t make realism. It is a ridiculous cul de sac. Play along with the artificial and distort them.”
  • The next question is from a young man who says it is the best film we have seen yet, and wants to know about the center of the film. Peter Greenaway picks up on this, saying: “Yes, you are right. The fuck is right in the middle of the film. Right there like the crown jewel in the center.”
  • You enjoy this film so much. It is jammed full of the opposites that just jump out from the screen. Light and dark, conscious and unconscious, real and surreal, nudity and exquisite costume.   It keeps with the Greenaway operatic style that shifted your world when you first saw it: The Cook, the Thief, his Wife and her Lover.
  • “Cinema begins now!” declares the English auteur who wrote and also directed the film from his extensive research on his filmmaker idol.   “The extraordinary thing, cinema is there to be enjoyed. Let us enjoy it. Most art is about art and not about life. No film is an island.” He laments the passing of the zeitgeist of film. “The only place where we can see film on a big screen is in festivals.”

Luis says about his role as the bisexual guide who has the love affair with Eisenstein initiating him into Mexico. “It is about human nature. My body is my nature.”

You are surely thinking about Mexico, its iconography, its presence of the past, its connection to the spirit of the dead, and capacity for life, and how you put your love for Mexico into your last book, as absorbed as you are in making these creatures live inside of you…and on your pages:

  • I am inside the tangled cobwebs of the shredded wedding dress now on the ball court at the center of the sacred complex. This is the place of the eternal return, where the losers of the game sacrificed their hearts to Venus so the god might continue its passage across the heavens. I remove an icon of Quetzalcoatl from my pocket and run my fingers over his majestic likeness. His cape and headdress are made of feathers and he carries a bow with a feathered serpent lit up in full array — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and finally, a white light symbolizing consciousness itself. On his head, he wears a mitre made of ocelot fur adorned with a panache of quetzal plumes. His face is painted black with soot. His chest is covered with a short jacket of ribbed and quilted cotton embroidery. At the back of his shoulders he bears a decoration of a flame, made from woven feathers. His head is adorned with turquoise encrusted claw earrings. Around his neck, he wears a golden collar with a pendant ring of small precious shells. On his legs, just below the knees, he wears ocelot fur bands like cuffs, fringed with little seashells. His black leather sandals are trimmed with pearls.
  • A booming voice commands me to drop the icon. It falls to the ground and the figure expands larger than life. Quetzalcoatl stands before me, adorned with jewels. He lifts his bow, pulls back the serpent and shoots it into my wildly beating heart.
  • Eros is the essential theme in overlooked in contemporary art. Greenaway tackles the problem head on in his films of the downsizing of Cupid (the Roman name for the Greek Eros) in Western art to such a little guy, naked with wings. Isn’t it time that we had an icon for Eros that is at least man-sized?
  • This is the gift Greenaway gives us in Eisenstein in Guanajuato: a tremendously erect tool on the Luis Alberti, the Mexican actor playing the role of the Russian filmmaker’s bisexual guide and deflowerer.   In this characterization, masculine and feminine are intertwined as in the Mexican god, Quetzalcoatl:
  • My heart exposed, I watch in horror as his nose transforms into a long snout. He opens his mouth and sticks out a long, ravenous tongue. The creature yelps. I tremble in fear as a river of blood shoots from my chest. His hands turn into paws. Saliva streams from his lapping tongue. Ravenous, he claws at my breast. Blood spurts. Xolotl is on all fours now, howling in the direction of the wind. He sniffs my heart, places it in his jaw and devours it.
  • He chortles loudly. The dog-headed god has transformed back into Quetzalcoatl, replete with the full regalia of plumage. The canyon echoes with his mirth as he spits my bleeding organ into his open palm. I clutch the gaping hole in the center of my breasts, frozen by terror, as he hands my bleeding heart back to me intact.
  • I fall before the god. He removes his enormous phallus from a special bag in his loincloth and descends upon me, wrapping me in the elements. I am one with the chaos that precedes creation, swirling through the clouds, dissolving with the wind, the water, the foam and the darkness.

 

  • Peter Greenaway is a provocateur visual poet who paints his scenes with a lush baroque canvas. On the seventh day of the festival, you are delighted to discover he is also a visionary, bringing forth the arising constellation of energy in every aspect of filmmaking he can manage in this new film.
  • In the press conference, Greenaway makes a great deal of Eisenstein losing his virginity in his 33rd He doesn’t mention that 33 is the critical Mason degree. Or that there are 33 vertebrae in the spinal column. Yes, the human spinal column needs to break, Greenaway relates, for the contemporary filmmaker to enter the empty (Third) space and descend the archaic. His film’s breakdown of form as a means of descending into the underworld and ascending to the hieros gamos brings new understanding the threefold function of these 33 vertebrae:
  • 1) Support. The vertebrae function in the skeleton-muscular system by forming the vertebral column to support the body of an animal.
  • 2) Protection. Spinal vertebrae contain a vertebral foramen for the passage of the spinal canal and its enclosed spinal cord and covering meninges. They also afford sturdy protection for the spinal cord. The upper and lower surfaces of the centrum are flattened and rough in order to give attachment to the intervertebral discs.
  • 3) Movement. The vertebrae also provide the openings, the intervertebral foramina which allow the entry and exit of the spinal nerves. Similarly to the surfaces of the centrum, the upper and lower surfaces of the fronts of the laminae are flattened and rough to give attachment to the ligamenta flava. Working together in the vertebral column their sections provide controlled movement and flexibility. (wikipedia)
  • Support, protection and movement. This brings to mind your erotic adventure with James Franco defined by the very tension line between artist and their critic. The news of his “breaking the back of the culture” gone viral on April Fools Day 2014, as you were planning your trip to the USA. The outrage of his being caught, red-handed, in an attempt to hook up, via Instagram, with a fan, a Scottish schoolgirl.   She posted the exchange to the public and it went viral. People wondered if this was James Franco’s idea of an April Fool’s joke.
  • The Fool archetype is akin to Cupid…or perhaps approaching Cupid, as it is no mere coincidence that April Fool’s Day is in the sign of Aries, the emergence point for the archetype on its passage to the lover’s sign of Taurus, a journey made visible in the Ouroboros that was Gay Town.
  • It is a difficult image to maintain as one gets older, the Puer Aeternus heir to forever young James Dean, who defined the breakout of American adolescent culture in the fifties and remains an image of the rebel in the collective from his early death. The controversy over a 35-year old movie star asking a 17-year old tourist if he should get a “hotel room” became an Internet sensation.   Your interest is in the details: underage fresh-faced girl from Scotland, the terrain of the underground stream (My Own Private River) of the feminine, the legendary Templar treasure supposedly buried in the cellar of Rosslyn Chapel outside Edinburgh where you went to investigate after delivering a paper in Dublin and discovered a large imprint of a circle above the portal to the cellar; the guide pointed out that it was the remnant from The Da Vinci Code film where they had pasted the six-sided Seal of Solomon the couple played by Tom Hanks and Amelie (a juror for this year’s Berlinale) stood under in the last scene of the film. The hieros gamos that almost was, but wasn’t.
  • Computer keys were clacking with opinions. While legions of fans were turned off by Franco’s actions, and others undoubtedly turned on, you were intrigued by the origin of this girl. Scottish! How this fits your Templar-directed ontology! Could James Franco truly be pulled by the same archetypal energies as you? Pulled towards the missing iconography of the hieros gamos in Rosslyn Chapel (built by Hughes ancestor who married the daughter of the first Hughes de Payans), yet now part of an iconography of an epic mythology surfacing in the late twentieth century, the brink of the Age of Aquarius promising the equilibrium between gender, with the return of the long-exiled feminine?
  • The many 65. Berlinale films with androgyny as the theme is a sign of the birth of a new archetype in the collective. The teacher of comparative religion, Mircea Eliade informs us: “The divine androgyny we find in so many myths and beliefs has its own theoretical and metaphysical significance. The real point of the formula is to express–in biological terms the coexistence of contraries, of cosmological principles (male & female) within the heart of divinity.”
  • The Aquarian woman is, of course, completely androgynous, yet essentially feminine. How is that? The archaic tells us.   The ancient people worshipped the two faces of Venus: light and dark. In her Morning Star phase (Lucifer), she is young, adventurous and energetic, ready for new action. In her Evening Star phase (Hesperus), she is contemplative, wise and reserved. They believed this was two separate stars; one appearing at dusk and the other at dawn. Later, it was understood this was the same planet in a cycle that would cause her light to disappear from the earth’s horizon into the underworld and be “reborn” with her brightest light.
  • And where did you encounter this feminine duality, but in the Aztec ruins of Mexico, with Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent, the marriage of heaven and earth (the hieros gamos).
  • The text of this journey, your full flowering in Mexico, is complete with the image of La Parca, her disintegrating wedding gown is the bride haunting the ancient sites of humanity. She is your early companion on a journey into the “embodiment” of the past, present and future icon. She accompanied you on your trip to Dublin to deliver a paper about the Heisenberg uncertainty principle as a new method of interpreting twenty-first century art. La Parca was with you then, your symbol of the Bride as the Übermensch, your connection between heaven & earth:
  • La Parca is with me. Her wedding dress is crumbled from the journey. We walk to the enormous Citadel, flanked by four raised platforms. This is where the Aztec ceremonies took place. Walking through this sacred space, I examine the images carved into the stones. There are eagles, quetzals, owls, fish and doves marked by plumage representing the legendary Quetzalcoatl.
  • The Temple of the Feathered Serpent, with its burial pits filled with the bones of sacrifice, lies to the east. The steps leading to the top of the temple parade alternating images of the round serpent head and the fearsome square face of the god of water and fire, Tlaloc, with snout, scaly skin, obsidian eyes, rings on the forehead and knot serving as headdress. According to Aztec legend, Quetzalcoatl burned at sunrise. All his ashes were raised and the rare birds appeared. For this reason they call him Lord of the Dawn. His evil twin, Tezcatlipoca, known as Smoking Mirror, symbolizes the dusk leading to the underworld, where he went each night to seek the bones of the dead and restore them to life.
  • When you think about the fremdschämen you felt for James, it takes you back to the mortal fear you felt when pushing submit on your first blog posting in the preliminary Calcinatio phase of your five-chapter Alchemy of Love installation performance. The experiment in the storefront gallery was meant to force you to “JUST DO IT!” and face your dreaded fear: the publication of your literature. By the air phase, you retreat to the gym sauna feeling like you would rather sink through the coals than have tabloid coverage of your “naked” performance. But that is the quantum leap; there are many, many breakthroughs to the quantum collapse, each one an essential preparation.
  • The seventh day of the festival brings your reward. Greenaway’s energetic infusion into the screenings with his provocative Eisenstein in Guanajuato is where you misplace your stiletto patent leather shoes with the faux pearl pins. You carry them in a plastic bag in the anticipation that you might get a last minute invitation to the ball. You realize you are missing the bag when you leave the press conference but can’t find it in the pressroom when you return to check.
  • You feel like Cinderella with her lost slipper, the only thing standing between you and your consort is timing.   And you brought the slippers to be ready.
  • Kairos is when the vertical collapses into the cyclical. This is what happens under a solar eclipse.   So you thought you were preparing by bringing your slippers, but the loss means something. What could it be? The prince you are awaiting to bring them back and fit on your feet?   According to Greenaway’s salacious tale, Eisenstein found his mirror in a Mexican man who was bisexual, the man that happened to be his guide. He had that experience you know all too well, of being enchanted by the sexual demand in Mexico of going all the way down into the underworld with one’s passion:
  • In fact, the enchantment of San Miguel de Allende insured that the partners didn’t matter nearly as much as the willingness to mirror and be mirrored. We need art for reminders of what the Aztecs reinforced through ritual––archetypes are interchangeable. Enchantment turns to disenchantment but never to disillusion, for what has been elevated and fallen through magical means can rise once again. Quetzalcoatl lived the journey for all of us. Through his cycles, we understand that the new dawn offers unspoiled possibility. In my case, it was a dashing French anarchist on his way to join the freedom fighters in Nicaragua. While we danced, my Mexican lover sulked in the corner, but feeling some sort of loyalty held over from the Puritan soil I was raised on, I turned down the dashing rebel’s invitation to share…
  • Agamben refers to “dividing and interpolating time” in order to “transform it and put in relation with other times.” This has been the work of your experimental fiction, to bring the ancient relics of a fuller, more self-empowered and utterly erotic Venus, who inspires others to create from the attraction of opposites, the work that precedes your arrival in Berlin. You divide and interpolate time by giving a tour to your fellow contemporary, the international performance artist, Colette, through the artifacts of ancient Sumer on the second floor of the Pergamon Museum, above the magnificent lapis lazuli Ishtar Gate. You take photos of this contemporary icon before these relics as a form of magic rite on the Winter Solstice. You create a ritual of welcoming the past women who have entered this archetype into the contemporary culture. And behold, the magic works. Gertrude Bell and Josephine Peary stride across the tremendous screens, six weeks later at the Berlinale!
  • Two years after the Weimar retrospective revived the early prototypes of the Übermensch (Marlene Dietrich!) on the silver screen, these twentieth century renditions of the brilliant, passionate and beautiful women entering the collective consciousness is something to celebrate!   The Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick is the wizard that makes this happen. Germany is ready again to celebrate the Übermensch again!
  • And these signs suddenly make your art, dare you say, yes…fashionable!   And it is all art, your reviews and your literature, all connected by the thread to the archaic; beginning in 1997 you resolved to enter the collective consciousness as a reviewer scanning new work with your eagle eye for the opening to the archaic; it was the outer reflection of the contemporary in you. Your own art created from this holistic perspective contains the holistic cycle of death and rebirth by virtue of your very process of creating and destroying your own literary experiments. Out with the old and on with the new! Many of the destructions improved on the original.
  • It was as if the unmarried writer Gertrude Bell and the married writer Josephine Pearyboth in pursuit of an icon as it was constellating in the early twentieth century—have been resurrected to become guides to this underworld experience. This required the auteurs Herzog and Coixet delivering their visions in service to the zeitgeist to surf the wave with Dietrich Kosslick, empowered by a new contract.   This position revealed a resurrection of the German culture, providing Deutschland with an authentic identity at last: the identity that Nietzsche gave with the Übermensch, that went underground for half a century years due to the atrocities of Nazi Germany.   Berlin is now the cultural capital of the world, taking the global lead in a cultural awakening sourced in the treasures held in its museums—the entire room devoted to Inanna, Queen of Uruk, in the Pergamon Museum that you reveal to the international performance artist Colette: “Look there is Aphrodite and her son Eros, but look at the earlier artifact on Sumerian cunneiform, the hieros gamos of the man and woman in divine intercourse, see they are naked and floating!”
  • Art-I-fact of the hieros gamos in cunnieform located in the Uruk Gallery of the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.
  • For the creative license it takes with the truth, Greenaway’s Eisenstein in Guanajuato establishes a present-day myth of resurrection out of the struggle to reach the Third. The British filmmaker, known for provocation and visual saturation of the aesthetically erotic, created a painterly Third by dividing the screen into a trypdych. This was intended to overwhelm the audience with imagery that the conscious mind can’t process; thus the surrender into the experience is the method of Greenaway’s inspired vision. “We have only begun,” the filmmaker says grandly, “to explore the potential of film.”
  • The dissection of the screen into three parts allows the filmmaker to juxtapose time and space, as well as narrative shifting from fact to fiction. The archival images of Eisenstein and his film footage about the Russian revolution were fractured portraits from the past infusing the present fictional account of Eisenstein’s love affair into a meeting with fate: an elevation to the heights of Eros and subsequent descent into Thanos from which he never recovered. Only in Mexico does one find such extremes of the opposites in daily life.   Like Eisenstein, one becomes immersed into the journey through the environment–the architecture, the relics, the extreme food, the art and the literature:
  • In the colonial town of San Miguel Allende, with its magnificent homes hidden behind whitewashed stucco walls lining the cobblestone streets, you lived down the street from the American library. There you discovered Eros in the pages of The Theogony. Hesiod presents Eros as one of three primordial divinities and the underlying force of creation. Yes. Eros sets the world in motion. Life, death and rebirth are catalyzed by Eros! You have always known that, and that is what connected you to the archaic! The ancient peoples of the world honored this primordial power and incorporated the eternal cycle catalyzed by Eros into their ceremonies. If passion, and therefore fertility, were at risk of dying, partners would have to be switched in order to keep the cosmic cycle in continual motion. And the losers would sacrifice their lives to the gods.
  • Yes, you! Keeper of the key to the soul, keeper of the charts revealing the soul’s position in time and space, could understand this singling out the pure essence of the feminine that has been maintained through its isolation, its connection with the Templar legend (the King of Scotland who married the daughter of Hughes de Payans, the founder of the Knights Templar), this would mean that James Franco’s unconscious was leading him to the underground stream.
  • You are on the same path. Eros which has emerged in his on-screen presence, once again, after all the horrendous descent. This is what Greenaway gives us in his character of Eisenstein, a full-bodied descent through the tunnels of Guanajuato into the macabre coffins of the skeletons and puking in the catacombs, and yet climbing to the heights of ecstasy. The linear narrative collapsing into split-screen and then the triptych, the Third, as a means of delivering the ever-present icon through concepts already being used in continental philosophy. The Greek kairos. Foucault’s archeology. The Badiousian Event. Derrida’s Arrival. Heidigger’s Being. Mastering the language is everything; it means a collective leap into the simultaneity of past, present and future. Greenaway’s film did that for me. We were all so energized in the pressroom; the filmmaker had seduced us completely and we were soaring to the erotic heights. The descent comes later when the seasoned critic tells you that he thought it was an abomination for Greenaway to dishonor a genius filmmaker by making a fictional film of his sex life.
  • This makes you ponder how you would feel if that happens to you. And then you realize that would be your film, as it should have been Eisenstein’s film, for all the miles of footage confiscated by the trust the filmmaker was prevented from seeing. The film gives insight to what happened to Greenaway’s idol even as it uses digital techniques to revolutionize the genius’ montage process and bring filmmaking into the twenty-first century.
  • But that is just it. No one is immune from the myth of descent and rebirth, not the photographer that gave you his personal archive of self-portraits stapled together with the hand reaching around the gardenia, the bridal flower, to hand the viewer (YOU) a green apple on the cover. That, you knew, was an invitation to decipher, using your special gift of symbol interpretation. It is the gift of the lover, you had been seeking for thirty years; and in that time, gaining the detachment to know it wasn’t you, specifically, that these narratives of death/rebirth into a holistic love were aimed it. Rather, it is the archetype, and your evolution as an art critic depends on your ability to read these messages without falling into projection. This came to the point where you no longer felt like a woman at all, but a Third entity, what Nietzsche called the Tertium quid.

 

 

  • In September of 2011, James Franco embraces the meaning of his self-propelled star entering the European festival circuit at midnight, by clapping with the crowd as he stands on the balcony to address them: “You must really be fans to come out this late to see my film.”
  • Sal, screening at midnight in the 72and Venice Film Festival, is so bad that you do something you rarely do, you walk out. The only memory it leaves behind is the Sal character (Val Lauren) looking in the refrigerator, as if expecting to find something, perhaps a new script.
  • James Franco’s first self-produced “art film” (he was cowriter) is supposedly about the gay actor Sal Mineo in closeted fifties Hollywood. There are interesting parallels with film history and real-life in that Franco’s acting buddy Val Lauren plays the young Sal, who played James Dean’s sidekick in Rebel Without a Cause.
  • Yet, that this fascinating correlation between private/public and personal/universal dynamism is ripe for self-examination through the parallel in the James Dean archeology is decidedly not a topic of the press conference. There is, however, surprising news from the filmmakers: Sal Mineo wasn’t murdered because he was gay. This blatant untruth reveals why the film is a mess. In taking a politically correct stance, the film has not the slightest hint of an uncontrollable fate driving the narrative.
  • The struggle between the universal screen idol projection and personal desire back in 2011 signifies, in retrospect, James Franco working through his own daemon, driven by a similar conflict.   Yet, the speed of the Web 2.0 communiqué precludes such penetration into character, leaving the effort to be filed away as a James Franco vanity project.
  • Missing James Franco before the Red Carpet of the 72nd Venice Film Festival: Waiting for number ONE (1+2+7=10=1).
  • The 72th Venice Film festival puts James Franco onto your radar screen for the first time.   When you spy him looking around the Grand Casino lobby before being shepherded out the VIP door, you catch him seeking the projection of the Becoming while the Being itself was still invisible.
  • You return two years later and sit quietly in the pressroom when he participates in two press conferences. The first for the film of his book Palo Alto, which he produced, and the second for the film he directed, Child of God, which you will favorably review as a shift from the hierarchical to the cyclical in the characters’ life, death and rebirth, which takes place literally as he arises from underground. This film reveals just how deep is James Franco’s intuition. He chooses the classics to embody the great themes, and this is the one you are tracking in his pursuit: the dying and resurrected god.
  • You are invisible to him as you are to everyone. Invisibility is your specialty as a female critic scribbling away the phenomenology revealing the cusp of a new era. You have long since determined that no man could ever perform the magical feasts that you performed from this extreme place of invisibility.   This is the virtue of the seven, the septile, to want to remain invisible until the time is ripe.
  • The myth of the resurrection of the dying god is also the birth of the New Son, which is also the semiotics of the New Sun, meaning the new sign the Sun enters on the Spring Equinox. James Franco making the uncommon move of addressing the crowd in Venice in 2011 from the balcony of the theater impressed you as the prince addressing his subjects upon his entrance to the kingdom, winning their loyalty for his glorious return.
  • The return was with characteristic Franco speed. In 2013, you could not miss his image stamping his Gucci presence complete with shade: artist, Shadow, star and model all rolled up in a single image that no visitor to the Film Festival, or the city of Venice, for that matter, could miss.

Beware of the Ides of March indeed! The James Franco Gucci ad was a tremendous signifier in the Piazza San Marco, announcing the Prince to conquer, this web 2.0 prince of deserves to be King in his marriage of traditional and new media, along with commerce and art. This is accurate; George Clooney never created language out of his dualities, as James Franco was to do a year later in Vice, when his own Gucci advertisement image looming over Sunset Strip became the Doppelgänger/Vampire for his text. If not exactly literature, it was definitely a literal start to his exploration of Dark Cupid in connection to his media strategy.

  • All that had to be done to claim the throne was to kill the father, which meant deposing the icon known as the last movie star from his pedestal. The 2013 Venice Film Festival had George Clooney as the starring attraction once again, with his “real” space vehicle Gravity opening the festival and commanding center stage. This movie star turn was balanced by Franco’s Gucci shadow lurking in San Marco, a presence overwhelming his festival offerings as director of the classic with the apt title of his adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s Child of God, and producer of Gia Coppola’s film of his own book (Palo Alto) and a short, with sixty-nine other directors for the Venezia 70th anniversary celebration.
  • The only weapon needed was the one James Franco was to master by the spring of 2014: Web 2.0.   The Francostein monster let loose through Web 2.0 established a new form of 360 icon—the movie star embracing his Shadow. Transparently. In public! If the phenomenon couldn’t be named, it was because, like the technology that produced it, the phenomenon was simply too new to define. This frenzy of sperm providing Ariadne with her thread was in direct opposition to the tension of opposites erecting the “most eligible bachelor in the world” image essential to Clooney’s domination of the mainstream press. In marked contrast to the accessibility of James Franco to his social media network, Clooney’s full-scale public relations apparatus required that the actor remain inaccessible.
  • George Clooney has his Kingdom, complete with a Como palace screaming out for attention due to its topography. The mansion is right on the main road passing through the village and beside the public boat ramp!   The perfect habitat for the movie star, who burnishes his image through publicity, yet pretends to be free of the need of it! You learn this by taking a stroll through Lagio. As you cross what appears to be the central square, you hear your name shouted from a passing car. It is Alessandro, your host, who happens to be more gorgeous than a movie star. “That is Clooney’s house,” he says, pointing to the large building right before you on the corner. He points to the roof of the parking lot across the street. “That is our favorite papparazo.” You walk to the top of the structure and talk to the figure on the stakeout. “Shhh,” he says, pointing to the open window just across the narrow street. “Soccer.”   You stand still and listen, remembering what your friend Emilia said about why she doesn’t like George Clooney: “He came to the Berlinale and said he has only read one book.”
  • So near and so far. Perfection. The ruse worked until it no longer served humanity to have the hieros gamos continued to be repressed by the global figure adjusting his image to make it Real through a faux marriage rammed down the throats of the public through an old guard publicist. It all reveals the truth of the duel between old and new media—and the power of the social network to instill the truth in the body of the public.
  • Throughout the eclipse cycle of 2014-2015, the public fall of the “father” would lay bare the extent to which mainstream press is controlled by the web of corporate entertainment producing George’s films. The tacit agreement was to repress the Shadow behind the cardboard image (which made it onscreen in Up In the Air) of screen idol from old Hollywood as refuge from the television set that made him a star. This continued so long because the media control methods of his old Hollywood public relations apparatus found its mirror in the female chorus of George Clooney Open House. This on-line phenomenon of members controlled by the Queen Bee, Katie, would gleefully dissect the new archetype of Venus that each girlfriend, on the two-year Venus cycle, would bring to the collective on George Clooney’s public arm.
  • What Theseus could make it through this labyrinth? Without Ariadne’s thread, it wouldn’t be possible. This is because the Heisenberg uncertainty principle has to be embodied to get beyond it. In fact, once you understand that the James Franco phenomenon summed up through his three films in Berlinale 64. is the product of an Aquarian experiment, you are instantly rewarded with the thread to weave into this tapestry.
  • The color is red, of course. Retracing the phenomenology through the labyrinth in which Theseus has to slay the Minotaur (George Clooney is a Taurus, symbol of the Bull) to unite the kingdom brings you to the embodied awareness of the divine son, and you are inside it. Missing James Franco is a product of Overcoming the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, a paper you delivered in Berlin (2010), just as James Franco was exploding into the New York art gallery scene.
  • Your methods were established in your pursuit of George Clooney, yet as his image got bigger (you were utterly shocked to experience him looming over Shanghai via an advertising gig) and therefore more ubiquitous in the Kulture Industrie, the mere notion of connecting with him became futile. Not that you didn’t try. You called his Studio City office when writing a text on the Clooney phenomenology in 2012 and were put off; you dropped a letter at his Berlin hotel; you were fated to miss him, as you were told he had departed earlier in the day.

In quantum experiments, the future determines past action, but only due to the uncertainty principle, which brings the Observer into the formula (who else does the math?). This means that Clooney’s The Ides of March opening the festival is utterly prophetic of his descent with Venus (in the sign of Capricorn) four and half years later.

  • The Venice Lido, August 2011, and the semiotics of the death of an icon.
  • Clooney’s opening film barely concealed his political ambitions highlighting the Roman origin of his title: the warning to Julius Caesar (whom he would later play in his actor’s role in the Coen Brother’s Hail Ceasar, which would open the 66. Berlinale) of his murder on Capitol steps on 15 March, determined by the Full Moon in the original Roman calendar. As it happened, The Ides of March in the Clooney descent year of 2014 was just days before the solar eclipse delivering the Dasein that Clooney projected across the globe for a generation.
  • Aside from the James Dean archeology, what intrigues you about Franco’s 2011 appearance in Venice, when he still projected the screen idol image in his tuxedo worn to the film screening, is the Sal press conference offering an inside view of the eroticism in James Franco’s male friendships.
  • Putting such comeraderie and loyalty on display is something new in your Hollywood experience. Before the digital revolution when a narrow old guard ruled, stars distanced themselves from past associations as they began to rise. Now, the filmmaking world has newly-defined collaboration as everyone works on each other’s films taking on different roles to get the job done. We can see this shift right in the persona of James Franco announcing and celebrating his gift to his acting school buddy. While the art suffered, the man was being created right before your eyes. Right there, on the podium, he is reversing the course of James Dean, whose rising stardom alienated him from his past to the point of self-destruction.
  • You are intrigued by the notion of James Franco’s public pursuit—as haphazard and frenetic as it may be—into the Ouroboros, self-devouring his past for his creations as a passage into the Dasein. The 2011 Venice Festival is the opportunity to observe James Franco’s speilgeist strategy to arrive at the omnipresent Self, long before you coin the term for his theory in an email written to him on 20 March 2015, just five days after the highly publicized date by which George Clooney would predict his own demise. Did Clooney seriously think that he could be a knight for the Kulture Industrie without also being its victim? The lesson is embedded in the semiotics of the film title: we do not control the stars; the stars control us.
  • The late-twentieth century Kulture Industrie query of the female, “does she or doesn’t she” was not merely a sales pitch for hair dye but a commercial programming for women to look forever young. Now, the query shifts to sexuality. Is he or isn’t he? The query of the millennial shift as to which orifice one sticks his organ into is what makes the public question the movie icon’s celebrat
  • ed bachelor image.
  • On the other hand, James Franco’s public demonstration of genuine erotic play between men is a public fascination that only serves to heighten the tension of his sexually- ambiguous image. The similarity between the two men (both with Mars in Leo on the US Dragon Head, which makes them prototypes of American stardom) is the speculation, and the difference is one of the old guard holding up an image which becomes calcified in time, versus the new guard destroying their image as a rite of a new cyclical paradigm of life/death/rebirth. Essentially the meaning of the myth: the old god must die so the new god can be born—again and again.
  • The exploration of the fascination of the sexual ambiguity of the icons is beginning in film, now that the queer film has entered the mainstream. A new film exploring the gender ambiguity of James Dean getting buzz at its 65. Berlinale premiere is Anton Corbijn’s Life, examining the relationship between the movie star and the photographer Dennis Stock, who took the iconic photos that have made the rebel without a cause an icon for the ages, right up there with Alexander the Great and Byron. Within the gender ambiguity of the icon of the hieros gamos is the erotic charge of the masculine (positive) charge vs. the feminine (negative); one is transmissive, the other receptive. Like James Dean, the key to Franco’s appeal is the shift between the two. The moments of peace (James Franco’s email signature) is when the conversion process leads to the opportune moment when Time’s Arrow points to the Third space of the hieros gamos.  
  • Humans are uncomfortable with ambiguity, which smacks of uncertainty, even if it leads to peace. Hence, the “is he or isn’t he” marks the emergence of a new archetype excavated from the burial ground at the origin of human civilization. If the fascination with James Franco’s sexuality was concocted as a media strategy to instill a theory about Eros consciousness, it is utterly brilliant.

 

 

DAY EIGHT: ELSER/13 MINUTES

…the contemporary…is able to read history in unforeseen ways, to “cite it” according to a necessity that does not arise in any way from his will, but from an exigency to which he cannot respond.

                  –Giorgio Agamben

  • It is your final test. If you can interpret correctly all the magical signs, like in a fairy tale of following the crumbs in the woods, before your funds expire, you will be a winner. If you are to fall short, you will lose. It is an ironic dichotomy pressing you towards the center.
  • The difference between these opposites adds up to thirteen in ways you couldn’t have imagined when you began the journey. Screening on Thursday, the second to last day of the festival, Elsner/13 Minutes is a definitive sign. The completion is nigh. As indicated in the title, the subject film is timing—and fate. The protagonist dies in Auschwitz the day before the Allies arrived to free the prisoners! The day before! After missing Hitler by thirteen minutes. Of all the time to be off the mark, it has to be thirteen!   Not ten, or twenty or twelve but the prime number, 13!
  • Time is a cruel taskmaster. You are operating under the duress of time your entire life, but nothing like the last two years when the Dasein is coming into full bloom (made evident by Nancy Jones’ gift of her astounding painting Bloom). In the wake of the Berlinale 63. is the Copenhagen Film Festival opening in April, you are determined to seize the opportunity to participate in the Francostein dialectic—to be launched there with a double bill of the Carter/Franco collaboration: Erased James Franco and Maladies screened in a special section with Franco’s My Own Private River re-edit of Gus Van Sant’s critically- acclaimed film. There is also the anticipation of opening the lid of Schrödinger’s cat: will Franco reveal himself to be either alive or dead? He can exist in both states as long as he doesn’t permit you to open the lid of the box.
  • The trip necessitates missing a few days of your intensive German course and, as always, the expense (does it go in the necessary or unnecessary budgetary column?) puts you into a state of anxiety. But you are firm in your decision to take the plunge and purchase a round-trip ticket, knowing this leap into the unknown will bring you closer to your destination.
  • You have a dream confirming your decision. In the dream, you enter a party and meet a man before a square-shaped pool filled with water. He is naked and appears to be Polish, so you know his admiration for your divine power is genuine. He complements your style and appears to surrender before you, falling back into the water.   It is nice to be admired. You feel like a woman again, after having been fully-engaged with Nietzsche’s Tertium quid. With no other marking on your calendar than the Copenhagen Film Festival, this has to be the social debut of your dream, indicating where and when you will meet this man. Jumping into the stream, you write your review of Gay Town and upon publication, send the link to Carter.
  • Francostein expresses the anger of many at the name his monster chose for his exhibition. But your review clearly shows a more archaic source for the title, which prompts your response: “Maybe he was reverting back to Nietzsche’s Gae Science reviving the spirit of the troubadours––”
  • “I know about Gae Science!” Carter barks and you could feel the red hot Calcinatio through the transmission. He adds that you are too generous in your review: “I’m glad you called it a fun house of an exhibition.”
  • Your work is cut out for you—to make peace. There is no other way out than through the center of the conflict, which you can see clearly in the astrological chart comparison as a matter of Carter’s Venus (value) opposing James’ Mars (action). This conflict is not just personal, not just universal, but cultural, as this opposition falls across the U.S. nodal access of Venus (South Node) and Mars (North Node), which makes the nation the birthing ground of the Aquarian Water-Bearer archetype, incorporating the ego/Shadow. James Franco’s unstoppable creation is open for debate about its value, but you can see this is precisely the point: he brings up the question of lasting value within all the nonstop expression of Web 2.0:

The Yod—the hand—the finger of fate—is the holy convergence—the sacred center —the place where the new archetypes are born. It is quantum physics. Schrödinger’s cat — is it alive or dead?   As any Experiment, the object must be named. Here the object is romantic relationship. Alive or dead? We met practically at the moment of the holy convergence—known as the original condition. Quite simply, this condition is Eros. Yes. It is Eros. Specifically, is Eros alive or dead? Is the god of attraction, (the son of Aphrodite, the love goddess, spiraling up to heaven), the source of the sacred marriage, the virgin terrain where the aristocrats of a new age will be born? Or is he stuck down to earth with the rest of us? After three years of engaging with the Experiment, holding the energy of the oscillations (no easy task you might add), you have this fated meeting with the Artist, who has a dead cat in his apartment. A dead stuffed cat ruling over a gothic minimalist décor indicates a closing-in of boundaries as you reach THE END. In three years of experimentation, you determined that if the Observer as much as suspects the cat may be dead—even the danger in thinking so—the projection may be enough to kill the cat. And as the power that comes with holding the oscillations of energy gains momentum, so do the risks. Heaven forbid the suspicion of the conscious observer—the critical detachment of the artist, or Lilith—results in something going terribly wrong.

  • The spiritual work of bringing these two back together is cut out for you. You get the feedback loop when Carter sends an email with the news that he has called James with an idea about a new performance piece, and James is up for it. He also writes that he told James about your brilliance, making the inevitable tangible in computer code. “Don’t meet him through his people. Meet him through me,” he warns. Ha! You will be rewarded for your spiritual efforts!
  • Yet, a meeting with James is doubtful because there is no indication in your dreams. However, know intimately the cosmic forces driving you towards the inevitable; it is the Finger of Fate in which you channeled the Artist as Lucifer, harbinger of the age. You wrote stream of consciously about this configuration in 1997 when it was activated in a Seal of Solomon in the heavens on your Solar Return:
  • The failure of the convergence to spiral the union to a new level requires a tracing of the word chaos to its origin. In Greek the word meant simply, “gap”. What could have been chaos instead becomes a New Birth where a marriage may be celebrated. The difference between the former and latter: the first is entropic, a loss of energy that can be quite destructive and the latter is determined chaos, where energy spirals to a new level of consciousness. There is no end. It rises to the levels to which energy can spiral in the Age of Aquarius. Is there an end to heaven? So, this is the risk—the critical factor that determines destiny or fate. One is conscious, the other unconscious. Destiny liberates. Fate imprisons. You see fate in the homeless; they meet their convergence point and fail to spiral upwards, the result of inaction is the spiral downwards. We are caught between escalators on the planet now. This is the time of the Great Convergence. Look before you leap, but he who hesitates is lost.   The convergence is NOW. The web dynamos know this. Speed is everything and a critical marriage can make or break their startup venture. But do artists get it? A key collaboration can create the Yod —the hand—the finger of fate— bringing three elements which normally have nothing to do with one another together to create anew.
  • As the infusion of contemporary matter of a new artistic value, Carter’s archaic sculptures appear in his film beside the neomodernist half-transparent bust incorporating dark (shadow) and light (consciousness), you stress the anachronism of the film, which makes it contemporary, and yet elusive. This duality is characteristic of the brief period of Weimar when the archetype entered through the woman who served as the nineteenth century prototype for Nietzsche’s invention of the Übermensch.
  • What is the sacred center? Eliade tells us: the sacred is effectiveness + force + duration. Make it an operation and it becomes the sacred center. The sacred center = effectiveness + force + duration. A marriage between opposites becomes the sacred center if it manages to fulfill all three qualities. And subsequently, an erotic encounter will triumph if it retains the quality of the sacred center. These are the energies in the natural Yod. Aires is force. Virgo is effectiveness. Scorpio is duration.   The sacred center is where the tree of life grows. It is the bird’s nest that appeared in the basket on our front door two years in a row.

 

  • Keener’s role is one we rarely see on film, a self-empowered, proactive creative woman who experiments with gender identity. Her painstakingly drawing on a mustache and appearing in public wearing male clothing is an anachronistic take on the ancient and ever-present icon of the bisexual Love Goddess; you might say the Isolde to Franco’s Tristan, or Pier Angeli (whose name means Angel of Stone, as Pier from Petra, feminine of Peter and Angel) to James Dean’s Arthur In Search Of the Holy Grail. In other words, James Dean brought his kundalini force to the screen and pursued the “Stone of the Angel” as artifact of the hieros gamos sought in his real-life passion for Pier Angeli.
  • The anticipation was the positive charge of energy that propels you towards what is known in physics as the “Copenhagen interpretation” meaning that physical systems do not have definite properties prior to measurement and quantum mechanics can only predict the probabilities that measurements will produce certain results. Yet, measurement itself affects the system, causing the set of probabilities to reduce to only one of the possible values immediately following measurement, a phenomenon that you anticipate in Francostein as the wave function collapse.
  • James Franco is noticeably missing from the Copenhagen Film Festival, which opened with his acclaimed performance in Spring Breakers, and presents three of his other films: Carter’s Erased James Franco and Maladies, along with his cut of My Own Private Idaho released in 2012.
  • Once again, Franco surprises you. His film is the first of the trilogy; it is his re-edit of the Gus Van Sant film, My Own Private Idaho, about a pair of young street hustlers who didn’t identify with being gay until the Third enters in the form of a sexy Italian girl. You realize that Franco is bordering an epic narrative via his new title My Own Private River alluding to the underground stream of Eros evoked through River Phoenix (whose name and acting style add up to the rebirth of the stream of consciousness) on an erotic odyssey of self-discovery. This is born out throughout his edit of the film, executed in leisurely long takes which the Hungarian auteur Bela Tarr brought into popular acclaim with his Horse of Turin, winner of the Grand Jury Prize of Berlinale 61. The overall effect is the flow of the undulating kundalini serpent.
  • Life becomes Art when River Phoenix is revealed as an outspoken proponent of the Kundalini in his final film, Dark Blood, which casts him a Native American connecting with the Great Mother while living alone in the desert. The film was never released because the actor died tragically outside the Viper Room in Los Angeles before the final scenes were shot. The director, George Sluizer, completed it using his own voice as narrator and brought it to Copenhagen after Berlin.
  • Franco beams in by Skype (for an appointment he can’t help but miss in the flesh?) proclaiming he is at Yale, thereby creating a future image for himself as Herr Doktor Professor. You have to laugh at this conceit—posturing his avant-garde missive from the bastion of the academic establishment directly into a new for(u)m of Copenhagen interpretation––his own. But there you sit, wondering if he is staring at himself or the audience, and somewhat amazed at the very materialization he has achieved in once again disappointing Dr. Francostein, and yet bettering his quantum experiment of being in two places at the same time.
  • This experience of your subject outwitting you both by beaming into Copenhagen with the unstated message that he is not your subject, and therefore giving you the privilege, as observer, to determine the collapse of the wave function, but has shifted his image in your own reflection, the homo generator as the wedding of subject/object via the fusing of his image from actor to artist to scholar. His missive caps the triple bill and undermines any message his creator, Dr. Francostein, might have delivered about his own experiment. In a single brief quantum appearance in the Third, he has shifted out of actor to theorist. His message to his critic (you): he is intent on becoming his own theorist, and therefore doesn’t need you. Ha!
  • While making good on his performance as an unscripted visual statement about his ambition for scholarship taking precedence over film festival appearances (or entering the annual rite of meeting his critic at the film festival as explained to you once at Caramoor by the New York Times critic Janet Maslin), he speaks in excess, approaching his new self-created role as theorist by simply explaining the processing resulting in the re-editing of Gus Van Sant film to make it the art-piece unconstrained by the commercial demands of the 1991 release premiering at the Venice Film Festival. He has that demented grin on his face when he says that he told Gus that Gucci would fund the project through technology.

James Franco entering the Third space via Skype at the Copenhagen Film Festival as he narrates his transition to film editor: “The material I was reworking was material I cared about so much that it had such a big place in my development as an actor, as a filmmaker. I used to watch My Own Private Idaho when I was teenager before I even started with acting. It not only played a big part in my formation as an artist, but it played a big part in my coming of age…helping me to see the world in different ways.”

  • The next screening in the same theater is Erased James Franco. When Carter takes to the microphone to introduce his film, he gets a strange feedback. “Who is that?” he asks, irritated by the intrusion.
  • “That is James,” replies the director.   Carter is puzzled at how James, forever the Shadow, manages to steal his show. He doesn’t realize that James had appeared after all, not to engage in the presentation of his art film, but to present his own art film.
  • Ha! If you hadn’t already embodied the meaning of Copenhagen as the site of a quantum experiment in so much of your stream-of-consciousness writing, you might not have been prepared for this shifting of identities taking place as you enter the theater of the Francostein experiment. You remember back now to Carter revealing the successful outcome of your alchemy in transforming your email text through the Kundalini ascending through the colors of the chakras––from red to purple. This was the unconscious bringing you into the Aquarian Conversion in the missing role of the Third:
  • The Copenhagen collapse reveals what happens when the convergence falters and the structure…well…collapses—the foundation can’t hold it you see—and the whole process must begin anew with a new individual. Mary, were you aware of any of this when you met Jesus? Did you know, could you have known, the strength of your union, a union so strong to be …yes it was a threat! Surely! The others were jealous, the apostles were jealous because they could get so close to Jesus. They didn’t share his bed! They couldn’t touch his naked skin—stroke his mystical phallus. What a magnificent phallus he must have had!   Mary Magdalene would have known. Yes, the Artist has the mystical cock I have been seeking, erect phallus imprinted in the extraordinary planetary line-up at my birth. Phallus erectus.
  • My Own Private River reveals a process of tracking the true divine son of the age, River Phoenix, whose final unfinished film, the ominously titled Dark Blood, was screened at both the Berlinale and the Copenhagen festival that year, with the director and cowriter George Sluizer revealing in person how he entered his own project as a literal Third voice-over to add the scene missing due to the untimely death of his star. The serendipity of River’s final unreleased last film resurfacing in the same film festival as James Franco’s new cut of the icon’s most critically acclaimed performance is presented as prelude to Carter’s art film transforming film idol into pop culture icon…is too much too process, even for an Aquarian.
  • The sheer brilliance of Franco’s identity shift leaves you stunned. You don’t yet realize that your suggestion to Carter of Gay Town referencing Nietzsche’s Gay Science was also the thread connecting Nietzsche’s Übermensch cosmology of the 1882 Venus Transit of the Sun to the Eternal Return of 2012 in the hieros gamos tapestry you are weaving in your very pursuit of Francostein. The cow is still honored in India as the divine feminine, and Nietzsche calls up the symbol to decry the very agility of the feminine power: the philosopher’s terrifying encounter with the Kundalini…his certain awe in the face of the numinous blend of stability and fluidity, security and changeability, disguised under the cover of scorning:

 

Feigning oneself—She loves him now and gazes ahead with such confidence, like a cow. But alas! What bewitched him was precisely that she seemed utterly changeable and unfathomable! He already had too much steady weather in himself! Wouldn’t she do well to feign her old character? To feign lovelessness? Isn’t that the counsel of love? Vivat comoedia! (Nietzsche, The Gay Science)

 

  • It is after the Maladies screening that you have your yod convergence with the man from your dream. He is sitting behind you relates to its idiosyncratic theme. It turns out that he isn’t Polish but an American expatriate of Lithuanian descent. He is so elevated as to be transparent and may be the most consciously aware man you have ever met, and you have met many who call themselves shamans, but this man had such embodied wisdom of the feminine that you have never seen. And just as the dream revealed, he is appreciative of your goddess power, and your style. “Look at you!” he would say, and you no longer wonder if you dressed in your corset for James, because clearly it was for this stranger who revealed his holy presence through the dream.
  • You shut down the neighborhood bar, talking nonstop in the lobby of your hostel until dawn.   In that time, he relates the history of conflict in the Scandinavian states and why he left the United States. And when you tell him of your pursuit, he has a definitive response. “James Franco is a real cultural warrior. “It comes from the heart,” he says.   You know he is telling you the truth. This man’s insight is the finger pointing from heaven towards your goal.
  • Drama was the lure propelling you to Copenhagen. A real dramatic coming out party. This wasn’t about gender, but rather your literature seeing the light of day. And so your dreams told you that you would be rewarded if you participate in the Copenhagen Collapse, which had everything to do with James Franco, and at the same time, nothing to do with James Franco.
  • When the man’s authentic illumination informed you that James is a true cultural warrior, you suddenly know that the path has been prepared for you. In true quantum style, you are about to experience what has already been lived in your dreams.
  • It doesn’t occur to you at the time that you did indeed experience what you couldn’t have anticipated: the collapse of the wave function. But didn’t you just predict that in your review of Gay Town, with is signifier of the rabbit as harbinger to Spring? Not only spring as a verb, but Spring as in the Vernal Equinox in which the Sun, Moon and Earth would be aligned on the ecliptic for a total solar eclipse two years hence.
  • You don’t have this information at the time but the quantum effect has taken hold in your body. Franco has transformed you from observer to participant in what clearly may be his own experiment. Nothing is certain but you depart from Copenhagen at dawn, without seeing Carter again, in a new role as the Third in his experiment that you don’t yet understand. In fact, you can’t even determine, as you typically are able to do with an artist, as to whether Schrodinger’s Cat even in the box, never mind alive or dead!
  • As far as the ontology, you only have the stream of consciousness writing you once performed as your very own Copenhagen interpretation:
  • …You’ll be glad when this is all over. You always say that but truly, when the curtain comes down on one drama, another is waiting in the wings. If one’s life is destined to be dramatic, there is nothing much that can be done.   The difference, if you ask, between destiny and fate is detachment. Fate is something you try to change because it is so damn painful to experience. Destiny is something you accept. Not because it is any less painful, but because it can only be seized with consciousnessand consciousness means responsibility. And there is liberation in that. When the curtain finally comes up (but it is already up, FOOL!) you can get karmic feedback the rewards for having to swallow ego and forgo everything you hold dear to manifest this love on Earth, for once. Ego? What ego? Aquarians have no egos! Ha! You saw a film called Young Dr. Freud. He was complaining about the same things that all geniuses care about. Does a genius really ask for this? NEVER!   Genius means spending a life sitting in front of an empty stage having the mind going nonstop and waiting for the drama to begin. But the joke is that the drama never begins for the genius because the genius has already lived the drama in her head. Real life is constantly put aside due to the churning, burning demands of the mind. Waiting for the play to begin. Sex is grounding. Who says women don’t need it? Who says we have to be emotionally involved with the person we are fucking? Your entire body is pulsating still from the thrust of magical, mystical cock. Force, duration and effectiveness. He has all three ingredients for the sacred in his cock. The cock is the signal for the play to actually begin. The play is the metaphor for life—the mind of the genius is so far ahead of the body—it needs to be grounded in a reality. The genius operates on cosmic time and the body…sufficient to say it operates on the 24-hour clock. Not even. The body has its process. The challenge of the convergence is to bring the two together—like the Internet—you now can operate in real time in 7/24 is the lingo. Simultaneous feedback. “As above, so below.”
  • Thirteen minutes! Missing Hitler by just thirteen minutes, and for that lapse of timing, imprisoned and tortured and put out of operation. This makes for great drama! How did one survive such a defeat! Thirteen minutes is the message of this riveting film written from the highly-detailed Nazi accounts of their own torture, with the unlucky number standing between eight deaths (who were killed by the bomb) and millions of deaths that might have been prevented if Hitler had been assassinated.
  • Thirteen is the number associated with bad luck. Friday the 13th is super bad luck. Why is this so? It was on Friday the 13 of October that the Templars were wiped out from the face of Europe and forced underground, along with the treasure, as you would soon learn when this journey comes to a close. This meant that all they represented, the knowledge of the hieros gamos that would make people whole due to the marriage with the repressed feminine, went into the underground stream, arising in the year 2009 in Black Madonna, the multimedia exhibition you created inside the Templar’s Cross with your sacred marriage partner Hughes Payans.
  • Thirteen also has an astrological connotation connected with the occult association of Friday the 13th. The 13th sign of the zodiac is Ophiuchus, the Serpent-Bearer. The star maps have images of the man riding the serpent. Because this is the part of the zodiac, late Sagittarius, at the position of the Galactic Center, it has been under scrutiny at the turn of the millennium resulting the debate of establishing a thirteenth constellation due to the very importance of mythology for the shift into the Aquarian consciousness:
  • If multiple flow of information can be processed simultaneously on the web, then WHY NOT in the human being? A simultaneous feedback loop. Immediately the body reveals through instinct that which it needs to operate in this sped-up universe.   Emotions simply become part of the feedback loop. How simple life would be if everyone were operating at the same speed! You are straddling in the center. Not right or left, but the middle path and resultant darkness is a certainty—so herein lies the mystery. You ask to be here. You even practice the waiting. You sit on a rock at Greenwich Point, a boulder positioned between two clearings in the wood.   You would face the center — the wood and body would soak in the energy of the convergence through the granite. Cold, firm, pulsating, with the life force. You soak it in through the hole at the base of the spine—a mark—my mother referred to it as my deformity. It is the mark of Lilith. The primal darkness—below me and before me. Inside and out. Mirror and projection. Darkness leading to more darkness. More darkness leading to the primordial energy of creation. The energy of destruction. There is no separation in the dark of the wood. There is indeed a curtain leaving the evidence to what might be behind it. What else but Lilith! The primal darkness and what are we here for but to make new life out of the darkness—to bring the darkness into the light, ahhhh that is alchemy. Are you projecting all over again by calling the Artist an alchemist, a mystic? Why don’t you simply accept these qualities in myself rather than expending time and energy projecting onto a suitable hook? Really, with my karma it is so much easier to be alone than to be with a partner—it seems like bitter fate indeed to have a destiny that requires a partner when it is so much easier to be alone. But don’t all geniuses end up like Freud? Helping humanity at the expense of helping themselves.
  • The Kundalini force coming through this constellation is the transit of Pluto, galactic lord of the underworld, passing over the galactic center at the turn of the millennium.   The Pluto characterization of the primordial scientists’ label as dark matter/dark energy happens when it is to be demoted from a planet to an asteroid in 2005 with the naming of a new body, Eris.
  • It has been speculated that Pluto had to be demoted into an asteroid to be equal to the new discovery named for a woman! What this means is that Pluto can now literally save face in the presence of the highly active and penetrating female power. Beyond the darkness of the unknown, the shadow of the Earth projected onto humanity during a lunar eclipse, is the degendered, self-contained Übermensch, entering the collective consciousness as a Spring Breaker in the sign of Aries.
  • This is the challenge: to control the Kundalini power—navigating a tightrope with genius at one end and insanity at the other. You realize what makes the trained actor exceptional — granted the status of royalty with so many privileges—is the necessity of mastering the power of the serpent in order to effectively master their craft, and thereby enter with grace into whatever situation life offers:
  • He points to the left hand of the Serpent Holder, right above the exact degree of the Winter Solstice, my Midheaven. “Be careful with your reputation,” he says, warning me about the eclipse falling on that sensitive point in 2000. In his talks, Ray forewarned that Pluto entering the constellation (in 1994) would catalyze a conscious integration of this energy into a shift in cosmology, which would take hold in 2012, the year marking the end of the Mayan calendar (configured in timing with the Venus Transit of the Sun). He related Ophiuchus to Tezcatlipoca, the evil twin of Quetzalcoatl. And yes, my father struggled with this duality; he even viewed his life as a house with seven levels, like the Temple of the Plumed Serpent, which had many skeletons underneath it.
  • When you arrive home in Berlin (for now you knew, after spending the night wandering the New York streets in pursuit of the elusive lover, that home is the place where the lover is acknowledged as dwelling within), you end your city wanderings on Museum Island where the Saturday flea market is taking place. And there you do something you never do–look through the table of used DVDs. Quickly, you discover why you are doing this, as you immediately come up with a treasure: James Franco as James Dean. And that reminds you to purchase a book fitting the cover that gifted you, emphasizing your act of entanglement with the High Priestess and the red arrow falling on a prophecy, perhaps, of the resolution of your quest for a partner.
  • “Clearly he is interested,” Lorna reassured the silly love-struck girl hidden in you. “That is why he gave you his email address.”
  • You watch the DVD on this night with great pleasure, devouring the TV movie and the extras, including short interview with the young actor proclaiming that he emptied his life to play James Dean and the director insisting that he witnessed James Franco becoming James Dean. Talk about the Aquarian conversion!
  • You experience this in your dreams—a dynamic image of James Franco morphing into the Promethean force of James Dean. It is hard to tell if the cover image is James Dean or Franco as Dean; but your dream indicates that you, at least, can tell the difference. This has already been exorcized in your review of James Franco’s exhibition where you say: “James Dean is not in sight but the rebel is everywhere.”
  • The critical consciousness approves of the artist taking the rebel identity as his own. And now, from the 360-perspective of the Third, the critic can see that the escapades following this review are not creating more art-I-facts of the serpent releasing its skins, the signifier for one age giving way to another:
  • NO! That was the condition of the genius in the age of Pisces, the symbol of which is the missing fish, the absent partner, and the exiled bride. The Age of Aquarius, on the other hand, is the Age of Genius.   Genius rules in the age thanks to the Internet enabling everyone to get in touch with inner genius. Genius is not only prospering in these times. Genius is multiplying. You are so alone. Where is your true partner? Your soul mate? It is worse to have lost him and found him than to never have manifested him physically? Oh, you know he arrived. He appeared in the alchemist’s garden on the night of the lunar eclipse and—oh what spirit…instantly friends. He told you that night—or maybe it was your name you heard in a whisper that you need not look any further. Your partner had arrived. And you were told that it was just a matter of time before he became incarnated. Body and Soul. Is it not fate that with such a title of a retrospective, the Artist would have a complete union of body and soul? That is what we shared during a month of passion. Time. Of course, you realize it is the line-up in Taurus, the sign of physical love, and then, the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction, that brought him as a physical presence into your life. So much work to manifest him in the flesh! You had to watch for every symbol as a road sign. But will he remain? You can’t say. Nothing material remains for long in the life of a genius.   The future, you can only say, is out of your hands. The finger of fate strikes but once in a lifetime, if at all, and after that nothing is the same. There is cosmic will and there is personal will. Cosmic will is Aquarian. Personal will is Leo. You have no choice but to surrender to cosmic will. No one ever felt so free! For the first time in your life, you don’t have to push to make things happen. In fact, you are moving with the wind at my back now and pushing, could make things go the other way. You experienced the personal will of Leo when the Leo you cultivated as your consort for so many years exercised her personal will and got married.
  • All the plans we made in the abstract act will not be coming into form. Not with her anyway. You don’t think about revenge for those people who pulled out of the struggle after sucking away the energy of the movement, used the cosmic energy for their own ends, so to speak. And here you are, exorcising justice through my pen. The grip on the gavel, in fact, operating under closed systems. Closed systems in need of a feedback loop. Desire was the trigger. The huge strange attractor was Eros.   The magnetic attraction that pulled you into immediate union.
  • So much so that the people surrounding us treated you like a couple. Your union was instantaneous. Why then, is he missing tonight? Is he rebelling against your fantasy that he would father the divine child? Why did he create the trumped up excuse for missing this amazing performance? Your plate is too full. Everyone’s plate is too full to experience the authentic. That is the problem. How far, short of fathering it. Tonight is the night.
  • The cosmos is lined-up in the position of emergence. And so you are alone once more, the mother nurturing the child who has been three-and-a-half years in the forming. Excruciating, because they were conscious and not one false move was permitted. Why must you still endure alone—performance and post-performance? Why? Oh, that radio astrologer told you so many years ago. Take someone who comes to you. Indeed. Right. The crazies come to you, they do. This season it is intellectual men with psychotic companions. Even they are repelled by your aura. The psychotic has that opening to Ka-os. You know because you were there. You provided that opening for men to pass through. But not anymore! Your aura is elastic, like a shield. The curse of your family—the ironic attachment—was not your fate, thank goodness, but you had to come up with an alternative.
  • How else to place yourself out there in the collective and not be too vulnerable? What your family wore as a shield, you utilized as a foundation to create a unique life lived treacherously on the edge between the death of the patriarchal archetype and the birth of something completely New.   You were not meant to be lost in the sea of cynical, ironic writers of the fin de siècle. If so, you would have had the entrance into the collective in the twentieth century, instead of working to become the writer to introduce the New Emergence.  
  • How lonely one can feel in a crowd! You are in a crowded cafe, utterly ignored despite my fire engine red sweater screaming for attention.   So dark the stage—the dark center the hole where new life is formed. Pitch black. The only illumination to be found on the right-hand path. And this light came from experience. Knowledge of the habits needed to overcome them when it mattered. And the left. The center is the true darkness, the unknown path of Love. Yes. It strikes like a thunderbolt. The convergence point is here. This is right where life is. The unity between the opposites. That place of the unexpected—arriving just as the curtain opens and the performance begins.   The Yod, the hand, the finger of fate, is the key to finding it. Duchamp’s Network of Stoppages.
  • Relationship and Eros. Eros and relationship. The two are intertwined like the double helix, the human genome. Eros is where the opposites converge and life happens. Eros is chaos. But Americans have always been uncomfortable with ambiguity. The old West, the Revolutionary-to the Cold War, the enemy was always out there. The Shadow was in the bush and never inside.   Eros at the convergence point, which also happens to be a point of departure. Oh, woe for him if he comes this far and fails to take the leap. How easy it would be for him to simply exorcise his personal will and decide to maintain his solitary lifestyle.
  • Freud came right out and said that neurotics feel they have committed a crime, (which is why they must suppress the true motives of their behavior—which are, of course, obvious to the observer). Would losing your phone number not be a neurotic act under this definition? How about telling you to call on the cell and then not hearing the ring! He must not have been listening.   Well, what can be expected for such a heavy load of Gemini planets congregated in the very house of the trickster (like you, the Artist has a natural chart which makes him very attuned to the collective in his work). The trickster Hermes, the instigator. The revealer of the true motivations. Let it go. Embrace it. Plan on the unexpected.
  • “He isn’t ready. Have patience,” Lorna tells you, and shows you the photo of her stunning Son/Lover all dressed up as a troubadour for the Renaissance Fair. Her priestess presence of unconditional love for her triple Gemini suitor, frees you up from worrying about facial lines, and the obvious conclusion of your pursuit of a man young enough to be your son. Precisely the point!

 

  • Then, you find something unexpected. You find the book of your father’s partner, Alexander Lowen, the Lion of Judah of your youth, on the books for sale cart. It is called Pleasure and it only costs a dollar. You will read it on the plane back to Berlin and place it on your altar, with the red Playboy pumps and the Aquarian soap brought back from Russia.
  • The Goddess and her Son/Lover is the myth bringing the Sun of a new astrological age into focus.   You remember the strong sense you got in Franco’s gay exhibition is the rush to get through his process of shedding skins to arrive at the place of peace projected in the green (color of the heart chakra) hue of the final room. To have a mother who is also his equal; this then, truly is the myth of the Age of Aquarius, the woman giving birth to her equal partner. She has to give birth to him, because everything is born from the feminine, and if she doesn’t do it, who will?   Man has to become woman, in her image, before he can become the New Man. So, you send him your peace offering, from the lobby of the Waldorf Hotel.
  • Your writing process, under the dark moon just 24-hours before the alignment of the lights with the Earth, now reveals the crystal clarity of what the Unicorn chase is all about. The woman had to become DASEIN before giving birth, that way she stands as equal partner without the danger of being erased from consciousness, as what happened in the sacred marriage between Jesus and Mary Magdalene for the Age of Pisces.
  • Surely, the occult master can determine the date through the Libra transits to your composite Mars in Libra? Libra is relationship, and yes, the sign has the symbol of the balance; proper relations come with inner and outer balance! Thinking of that title makes you smile: how very accurate it is with the photographs of him looking so gay at the opening and yet, on a much deeper level, the intersection of time, Gay Town a term for Berlin where the very woman who inspired Nietzsche’s Übermensch resided in a “wild marriage” with the male friend, Paul Ree, who made up the Dreieinigkeit with the philologist. Lou Salome had the unbeatable combination of magic and freedom to appear in Nietzsche’s life after the publication of his Gay Science aperitif, had flung him into the realm of the goddess, via the troubadours, and he was therefore, on some level, psychologically predisposed to experience the sacred marriage for a brief moment.
  • The unexpected is the only constant, anyway. Hermes will bring him back when Mercury goes retrograde and changes direction on his Uranus. Let him process on his own. Why strip man of his manhood by presenting him with a mirror of his behavior. You have done it for too long and now you have better things to do. Like the article you wrote about Art. Men behaving like teenagers. Men afraid of loss. Strange, you don’t feel loss sitting here in the dark so alone, talking to myself and realizing how ridiculous life is without shared observations. The pain of the solitude is debilitating at times. Just once let go to a play with a companion so we can discuss it afterwards. And when it does happen, when you find a…what’s that in my eye anyway? A foreign substance.   Strange. It feels like a tear. Strange, you didn’t think you had any tears left to shed. Just five months ago you decided to give up. You were at the bottom of a depression and could see no light in the darkness. You just weren’t going to make the attempt anymore. You were going to commit yourself to the company of my financial situation. Think of what money can be saved from a predetermined period of abstinence—like a lifetime, no more make-up. No fancy clothes. No more interest in becoming your own strange attractor.   But that assumes you only take care of your appearance to attract, and anyone who knows you realizes such an assessment is a lie. You don’t want to just attract specific breeding partners with Eros. You want to attract everyone.

This history of being a “third sex” companion of a man exploring his homosexuality as a retreat from the Great Mother presiding over death and rebirth stood in the way of your own path of the Tertiary Quid that you would later produce, complete in bronze Greek fisherman’s cap, as a new breed of quantum critic: interpreter/performer between the realms of the cyclical/quantum and linear/deterministic, coming together as a public banquet during the 65. Berlinale.

Ultimately, the conclusion of the Dr. Francostein 2009 experiment would produce the “divine son” of the personal expression, reflecting a surfgeist of the Dasein emergence. Speed is everything. The self-devouring extracted into immediate 2.0 expression happens to be the inner instinct expressed through the external spit up, measured not in artistic quality but the level of daring in shedding one’s protective covering all the way to the innards. By means of this Jacob’s Ladder, the outer identification with the archetype (or in the case of the actor, the character) has to be swallowed and expelled through the performance, to be ready for the next incarnation of the journey.   In this way, the post-James Dean actor arising from rebellion against the system discloses the trail of signifiers indicating the ground of the new Dasein.

  • That is why you are dedicated to this performance tonight. A performance in a church, a gothic structure no less, a sacred center, a community center. It was here that you welcomed Queen of Heaven and Earth, Inanna, the great unifier of the opposites, during a Solstice ritual in the winter of 1996. It was here that you imagined the tiny point of light growing huge to encompass an entire movement.  You want to attract everyone! The more you can be Inanna on Earth; the more heavenly will be the reward. You thought Leos were supposed to be the most generous of signs. The Artist was generous enough to open his arms to you. He was generous enough to be attentive to my orgasm at the expense of his own.   The precision of execution is amazing. He goes so deep and cuts clean. He makes love the way he makes art. Deep and clean. But the explosion isn’t there because his heart is closed. A closed heart keeps out life; the opposites cannot be merged in a state of fear. It is the great paradox of the Artist’s life that his environment and his art merge the opposites that he keeps out of his heart.   Except with you. The first night you made love, you opened all his chakras and you fell in love, of course. You really made love. After that, you started to get attached and the entrance to the temple, well it was already open, so he made love to you, expertly but mechanically. Like what happened to his art. Predictable even in its perversity. You fooled myself into thinking that tantra would be the saving grace. You tried to get him to lie still. He had the perfect control for tantra. How men have changed since the beginning of my own sexual explorations sixteen years ago!   You always were the pursuer, and didn’t realize how ahead of the time—to be the active subject of your own sexual adventures rather than the passive object that is the lot of most beautiful women. He is like a creature from a men’s magazine circa 2000.   A fashionable appearance, he only wears black. Toned body, muscles buffed at the gym, precise knowledge of how to give a woman an explosive orgasm. Such talent all wrapped up in a gorgeous package. A manifestation of the manufactured New Man. Made-to-order for the New Woman, an archetype you helped create. Yet, you can’t climax because his heart isn’t fully open when you make love. What is a Leo with a closed heart? A coward! Who needs a coward as a lover? Particularly a coward in the disguise of a brave intrepid soul who has been to the underworld and lived to tell the tale. Who needs…anyone? Oh, terrible, terrible to be thrusting all these swards into him. What did he do to deserve such contempt, but open every door? Ha, every door but the most important one. The door to his heart. And finally, he gets the projection! You won’t be fooled. The devil wears many disguises. What poor fools will do for love! You were willing to forgo color for him! You were willing to wear the standard black, one half the gothic couple, attire complementing his environment. Oh, the marker of icons knows the importance of the uniform! The ritual garb and the power it bestows. He has compassion. That is why people will pose for him with their guard down. But he knows more than anyone what happens when the uniform becomes a prison…even a uniform of hip. You try to imagine him on a bike ride, the beach. You can’t. His style is as ingrained in him as sin. He is a creature of the downtown arts and club scene. A prisoner of its illusions. Paloma Picasso confessed, you read, dressed so dramatically to keep the attention on her attire and off of herself. All of us are prisoners of our masks, the filters by which we live out the cosmic passion play. Assuming we have the energy to do so. “You can wear the mask but don’t become the mask,” warned the shaman. The black uniform…you wore it the day you interviewed him. Your Yanamoto ensemble, the perfect combination of fashion and personal statement. The entire wardrobe purchased with a new credit card after being attracted by the huge “Y” in the window of Charavari on the Upper East Side. It was the last season that “Y” was available in New York. The salesgirl told you: “You got the best pieces!” And that was your signifier manifesting the Finger of Fate (the Yod) into the hippest of the hip in the downtown art scene. Finally, it is time to discard all the habits, all the guises and disguises. You can listen to the Self now; you recognize the voice of the most powerful archetype of all. The power of the Dasein, or Self takes precedence, consuming and therefore subsuming the ego, the inner child, the lover, the mother, or any other archetype.
  • The spiral, of course, is the symbol that predates all religions. It is the ancient symbol of cyclical time, the Ouroboros. At this point, you knew you had achieved your purpose, that your threefold strategy of placing yourself as “subject” into a public quantum entanglement with your captive object(ive) was working. In daring to penetrate beyond the boundaries between the participant in the press conference and the observer, you were creating an EVENT that you could later declare in your persona as critic by your means of global dissemination. Bringing the future (when you knew they would eventually be received) into the present makes you the ultimate contemporary forever rushing to “an appointment that you can’t help but miss.” With all the serendipity and multiplicity surrounding the Event, nothing is going to stop you from trying!
  • The road is too exciting and now you realize that staying on it is all that matters. You never arrive because the horizon to which Time’s Arrow is pointing forever recedes from view, just like the elusive Unicorn transformed from a mere movie star into the iconic Web 2.0 performer to …well what? And ultimately, as you learn during the Selma press conference later that afternoon, the feminine presence is enough. When you truly can be at one with this understanding, you might at last be content to simply remain in place!
  • The Kundalini spiral that was the symbol contained within I Am Michael is the one you personally experienced with your mad journey to the end of South American with your companion Michael, who devastates you with his trying on the gay identity.
  • The inner exploration becomes the outer exploration because…who really wants to be alone? James Dean’s early experience of abandonment by the mother, coupled with his estrangement from his father, made him a lone figure in the fifties propelled inward and outward at the same time by the Kundalini that he couldn’t quite repress, but neither could he rejoice in, as James Franco does a half-century later. Watching outtakes from his films, you see how James Dean couldn’t really look a woman in the eye; the transparency of his internal struggle of fighting the repression which at the same time serves as the scaffolding, and then the leaking out through an upward glance or smile, which was his charm. The fathoms of the inner reservoir of pain made him such a compelling figure. His inability to do so (and how could he have done so when every rebellious act only led to more rebellion and more alienation from the system that made it possible for him to enjoy the fruits of his fame?) and his undoing. Mastering the power of the Kundalini means being able to channel his emotions, to direct them into the scene, but not let them overtake the performance. We see this in a scene where James Franco, playing James Dean, attacks his fellow student in a scene and the teacher has to explain that his student cannot get so lost in the role.
  • The Self gives permission to play with masks. A full wardrobe you have amassed over the years and a body on its way to buff, which presents the many selves to the best possible advantage. The eclipse is when the stage is set and the lights come on. But the lights are not on! You are here in the dark. Where is the action??? Why are you stuck in this void???
  • From James Dean we learned that acting is the life spring. We saw it in his performances as the volcanic eruption of dark primordial force that will no longer be repressed. In his best acting, James Franco carries on this dialectic by allowing the Kundalini to emerge as a celebratory act.

 

* * *

 

  • Life as Agamben’s contemporary is the ability to walk with one foot on land, the other foot in water, with the constellations around your solar plexus. This is a Renaissance image you found among the dusty leather volumes in the Manley Hall Library in your one-time neighborhood of Los Feliz. The Übermensch connects heaven and earth…the ascent of self-mastery, capable of accessing all the archetypes in the sea without falling in.

 

  • The statement that meshed with the vision of a brilliant designer under the start of this eclipse cycle two years ago — the unraveling hems, the ragged sleeves. He picked up a piece of your ragged sleeve at our first lunch and with an amused smile asked if people thought you couldn’t afford to wear new clothes. You told him quite plainly that you have no idea what people think, nor do you care. Are you projecting your own cleverness to believe that he was testing you? The true Self is hiding behind the masks. Masks are an easy means of identity. You have a purple streak in your hair. Like a bolt of contained lightning, the streak represents my hard won freedom. You don’t owe anyone anything…you were so careful along the way, the fifteen-year journey, not to owe anyone. It is a reflection of this freedom that you detected in the Artist. The Uranian streak. Your journey was the pursuit of the form. The two qualities of the Aquarius combined — Uranus and Saturn. The light contained in form. The years of conscious pursuit of form in my novel writing and the words of warning from the Aquarian astrologer: “Don’t worry about the form!” The form will come, you were told. Uranus moves with lightning speed. Uranus is the promise of the New, the untried, and the revolutionary.   Now you see Her. Now you don’t.   Uranus rises and falls with the speed of light.

 

  • You know the process. It is down to a system now. First the inspiration, the excitement experienced in jangled nerves by the experience of the New, then comes the collapse, the depression, the sinking into the grave.   Then, suddenly, the feeling of a bowel movement and the rush to the pen or computer or whatever is available, and it comes out as a whole form, the synthesis of right and left brain, in words as fast as you can write or type. And there it is, fully formed! You won’t stop until it is fully formed. A review. An essay. The writing itself takes less than an hour, but the process of life/death/rebirth…it can take a day or even a week, or a lifetime. Afterwards, when the review is fully contained in your unique voice, you are so happy.   You are free. A child has been born:
  • The day that my life becomes more significant than the dramas you can create with your pen is the day that you will no longer be chained to your fate — filtering the light down through the body and spilling it back as words. Words. Words. Words! So many words! Is man a Fool or a mule? You liked the scene in Way of the World where the lady laid down her conditions for marriage—she demanded total autonomy at the tea table. Yes. Men don’t even belong at a place so refined as a tea table. Breakers of fine china they are! Bulls in china ship. He was a bull the first time we made love with the planetary lineup in Taurus setting the course. The experience was even better than you expected. The Bull of Heaven fallen to earth. You made love without a condom. It was important to exchange body fluids. A tossing aside of the elasticized barrier. The world is being given over to plastic; you couldn’t bear it to interfere with our lovemaking. The tossing aside of the condom was a symbolic act. Along with sexual intimacy, you were combining body fluids. How could the alchemy take place without it? Safe sex is simply that. Safe. No risk of death. No risk of transformation. No risk of disease. You told him you were tested a year ago and hadn’t had sexual intercourse for 2 1/2 years. He said he was tested 3 months ago. And with that, the condom was stripped off. Naked penis decorated only with a cock ring. You wish you had kept it. Not the penis but the condom. You would have spray-painted it gold. A work of art. A monument to the triumph of fifteen years of experimentation. “Give me sex or give me death.” Well, you had already worked my way through his oeuvre, the Church, the Morgue, the History of Sex and the Amazons. How could you not believe our union was destined to be? How could you think with all the data amassed in the Experiment— hopefully your last—because the center is still dark—shifting shapes—domestic arrivals interchangeable with beasts man indistinguishable from beast—shadows emerging but still shadow. The final art is this drama—it comes, fittingly, on his birthday. A key day that will reveal his true passions. The shapes taking form in darkness will emerge in full form. You have faith. At last, you have faith.
  • With all this behind you, the Leos that prepared you for exhibiting your desire (as performance!) in public, you do experience a birth in giving expression to the Ouroboros at work in James Franco, the journey you experienced in five rooms. Or was it six? The journey to the hieros gamos is so evident that it might as well be written on the wall.   So much, that you wonder if he reads your writings, something that never occurs to you because you assume that no one ever does. How else could you continue to write strictly for yourself if you thought someone was reading it?

 

 

  • But what comes out of this convergence, the feedback from the gallery that James really likes your review, so you know he read it…You have no idea if he has made this connection between the brilliant woman Carter wants him to meet and the critic who wrote about Gay Town, but you place the hyperlink as calling card in your first email.
  • This arranging of your persona for him is clearly a compulsion to control the outcome. OK, now you admit it. There is a desire to prevent the inevitable—what you can’t see, blinded as you are by your desire–which only comes later when his new expression rolls off his social network, the uncanny feeling of disaster, the James Dean crash that your instincts was warn you to prevent. You have been through this terrain with the Art Star, the Leos to end all Leos, but your entanglement takes place long after he becomes a household name overnight for creating an American icon:
  • You met at an exhibit called Faith. The final act of the drama comes, fittingly, on his birthday. A key day that will reveal his true passions. The shapes taking form in darkness extended in full relief. For the forms to emerge out of darkness provides the illusion of time standing still. Quick! Fourteen years of experiments. Fourteen years underground and you return with the gold. The Philosopher’s Stone is complete. The treasures from the journey are is the art discovered while making your way through the seven gates.   Mixing chemicals. Interchanging body fluids with those most capable of moving the evolutionary process forward. Quick Work! How many praying, how much agonizing over details, how many gallons of erotic power emanating from the base of your spine did it take to arrive at this one—the Lord of the wild—King of Leos? Who enters your life under one spectacular eclipse and metamorphosis’s though the next to be the King to my Queen. If Eros could only be bottled—what would it sell for? Zillions? And how long would one bottle last? Eros. Rose. Rose Ce la Vie. Duchamp was a Leo. He knew the power of the iconic image. He was a true alchemist. You laugh when you think of the horror when you discovered A was a Leo. LEO! At that time, you never imagined yourself engaging with a Lion. Maybe because you never had the occasion to experience a true Leo—a courageous Lion! And it isn’t that what moved you past the skulls on his stairs and beyond that scary wall of crucifixes to his bed! What a passage for an unsuspecting female to pass through! If she were white or Latin or even Black, the iconic images would trigger all kinds of emotional responses—chiefly guilt, the curse of the white liberal. Guilt for being cornered by the beast. Food for the hungry lion. Truly that is his lifestyle. The lair so well positioned between East and West. Right in the center of 5th Ave. The Lion that stalks in the night for his prey and gallantly carries the love starved maidens of lower Manhattan back to his lair. East. West. Doesn’t matter. Ravishing the beauty and throwing the bones to the dog. And of course the dog was jealous. He related how the dog urinated on his designer scarf when he was putting the make on some girl.   It wasn’t that way with you. Although the dog did start to chew on my black lace panties that were lying on the floor. How did the beast look at you with those wolf eyes—not the dog but the man? You have too many clothes on! Yes, next time you will appear naked. The last time you visited, he didn’t answer the door. It was locked. The doorman directed you to the basement. He knows the routine. And there, he was in a shirt, black of course, and standing in his manly glory, sans erection. The only time you had seen him naked without an erection. “I’m going to take a shower,” is what he said. He asked if you wanted to walk the dog. You said sure, at least the beast was affectionate. The man was not. You were delighted to find a receptacle for your affection. Oh, the little erotic dramas he staged for you! They are filtered across the dark stage. The meeting at Madam X — three blonde girls from Iceland. White blonde. One with her breast hanging out of her clothing. He was sitting between two of them. Like a sandwich. Eating a cookie. You focused all my energy on Dada, his fashion designer friend with the tantric energy. You were willing to satyr—as long as you knew where the exits were. It was dangerous, of course, but did you mention how you love danger?

 

 

  • Is he proclaiming a victory over the Kulture Industrie or just having fun? It does seem like he is sticking it to Adorno lost his credibility with his followers when he even condemned the sixties revolution in his declaration of NO EXIT from the corporate devouring of the culture. But here is James Franco, the cultural warrior who with blazing heart dares to have his outer beauty fund his extraction of the inner beauty through his art projects, steamroller charm crushing any dissident in his path.
  • The demented grin on the face of the age worn by James Franco in Copenhagen while relating the story of how he told Gus Van Sant he wanted to recut his film My Own Private Idaho and Van Sant said it would be expensive and James told him that he would get Gucci to fund it. You in the audience had to grin back at James Franco’s delight in having his art cake and eating it too. Was this ultimate crossing of boundaries, between art and commerce, indicative of the Copenhagen interpretation of the collapse of the wave function?
  • To answer this question, you would have to pursue the quantum passage, picking up clues like breadcrumbs in the forest. It wasn’t difficult to find the potentialities emanating from his Ouroboric casting off of creative product, along with skins, but which ones were important enough to follow and thread into your narrative.
  • The Italian designer of clothing, handbags and shoes has as much to do with creating the image of the metro male than any film or art product.   Ultimately, the Gucci factor catalyzing the serendipity of your experiment multiplying into fashion indicates to you that you are indeed stationary, no longer rushing toward the disappearing horizon in search of the new archetype, to catch the Leo on Broadway, where boys become men…
  • The fancy footwork on Broadway, disappearing into the crowd, leaving you wondering if he was trying to lose you so he could pick up girls. What an insane thought! You are a girl! If he has you coming home with him, why would he need any other? Ha! You soon got your answer because he took you downtown with him and proceeded to pick up girls right in front of you. Oh, another uptown woman would be disgusted. But all your training, your self-mastery had taught you the value of holding energy. No, you would not project your dark inner male on him. No, he would not become the projection of your own demon lover seeking a mirror reflection. No, you would not participate in his little love games. Downtown behavior. A club lifestyle. What else could one expect from a survivor of the eighties? Hadn’t you taken the loneliest path of all? The path of self-mastery has its ups and downs, but the sight must be set on the goal, the center of Heave and Earth, Malkuth and Kether is Tiporeh, the Heart.   In order to control the visceral reactions to beastly behavior. Haven’t you lived through enough modern day dramas of beauty and beast? Oh, the old archetypes are such a bore. Power struggles between genders are part of the old paradigm. The new paradigm is about equality, collaboration, mutual coexistence, and peace. That is the drama you have come to this empty theater to see. The very drama that the collective is waiting for…is the one that is about to unfold. The drama of how men and woman can live and love together as human beings. This is truly the scenario you have been praying for, fasting for, living for. The conjunctio is the visionary impulse driving you forward. It was for this celebration of unity that you embarked on the loneliest, most difficult path of them all—the path of self-mastery. In order to control such visceral reactions to beastly behavior, the elevation of the most primal instinct of man—truly an animal instinct—to fight or flee—that is the work of the holy individual, an individual that is whole. And weren’t you told, not in so many words, but the idea that when you were ready to accept my human wholeness, ready to embrace your karmic path, with all the ups and downs, ins and outs, meandering through the straights and narrows, then it would be time to jump on the stage? When the electricity running through your body didn’t create impulses of seeking its polar opposite in a mate, and simply ran from the earth through your Being, exiting out of the top of your head—the Kundalini circulating from vessel back to the atmosphere in a steady flow. Isn’t that when the impulse for freedom would finally be met? When the compulsions and obsessions resulting from chakras closing no longer deflect from your course, which remains: to freely move on the planet in a steady stream that circulates from a center—the heart—out to the tiniest tips of the nerve endings. This is the triumph of the sacred marriage of Leo and Aquarius guiding you to this particular stage, in this church, on this evening of the solar eclipse. This is the scene that will affirm your life journey in a drama that will be read as a rendering of a new cosmology by future generations. This is where you forgo past behaviors of getting stuck in archetypes of an old order and, instead, greet the archetypes of a new order—freedom and movement. That is all you have ever asked for. Freedom and movement. And light. You mustn’t forget light. Inanna lived in freedom and movement until she heard the call. And then, she had to pass to the underworld in orderly fashion. The step-by-step process of becoming whole. The removal of the garments and retrieval. As much as you were eager to return to the light, the journey through the layers of darkness was what shaped your form.
  • You too can play this game. This game of embracing your idol on her own ground, Marlene Dietrich (the ultimate screen Übermensch) Platz. Just as you had captured James Franco discussing his Berlin experience as EPIC, your friend Dana captures your image projected over Marlene Dietrich Platz with the phallic power instrument in hand. The power of Phecda to articulate the galactic shift straight thigh of Ursa Major, the Great Bear in the heavens above:

 

The knowledge is in the body. The body had to adapt itself at every level to the new awareness. Step by step is essential in order for the light to be processed into form. Otherwise, the light could blind. How many geniuses in history burnt out their own light source? Be careful! You warned him not to play with the Kundalini energy. “If you do, it will come back and slap you in the face.” Indeed. So here you are no longer in darkness, the light is returning, the lion has coughed up the moon and is beginning to shine its light once again. The light is returning but the time of absolute darkness will remain with us; last summer, at the spectacular eclipse of 1999 which created a fixed cross in the heavens between the Sun, the Moon, Mars and Saturn. What did it mean? A short lapse of consciousness, an abyss into which the collective psyche of humankind can absorb their wholeness. The archetype of the self, says Jung, cannot be perceived by the mind; it is a psychic reality. Which means that anyone stuck in their head, as most people are, cannot experience this state of ultimate bliss.

 

Even in death, the Puer Aeternus creates serendipity and multiplicity. James Dean killed by a Turnupseed! Turnupseed is the incredible surname of the man driving the car smashing the movie star’s racing vehicle into an aluminum harpsichord. The seed of the New Man was churned up before it could take root into the New Man, the Übermensch capable of holding the tension of opposites.

It was left to James Franco, at the age of 23, to inhabit James Dean to such harmonic perfection. It was his subsequent inhabitation into the divine lover Tristan that became his nemesis. You as the critic have been made aware of this. All that expression thrown against the wall, some of it is bound to stick. You examine those pieces for traces of the newly emerging Dasein, the archetype of the Self:

 

What does the deepest archetype mean to an individual on a Holy Grail quest to find it? Silence. Peace. Stillness. The white canvas. Just being. Where holding the energy is no longer something that one has to focus on; holding energy just becomes natural. This evolutionary leap in consciousness has a physiological foundation — the constellation of spirit in the body. How ironic! The body that the Christian’s reviled is now the holy temple of the spirit! Here we come to the current practice of alchemical theater to be practiced on stage of life. A blank screen that allows endless projection and costumes that varies in accordance with the Moon. What more pure statement could a woman make about the evolution of women than to live in such freedom with nature? It is the ultimate expression of femininity to mirror the cosmic dance of the planets, from the center of her being, to the masks she exchanges at will. You were about to fall into his immense bed—what a grand stage indeed for acting out the human drama at the start of a new millennium.

 

“STOP!” Dana says as you arrive at the poster, the one with James Franco’s face sharing space with text: “You want me to crack up a little?” She pulls out her camera…and you raise your lips to James Franco, taking you right back to your Leo…that distant night on Broadway when you fell in love with the Leo Art Star, the Leo to end all Leos…

 

 

 

“You were acting a little nutty tonight!” Moi! “I was nutty! What about you?” This was after your pact was sealed through a slender but extremely telling exchange that initiated as a warning not to play with fire. “It will come back and slap you in the face,” you told him. The biggest irony about Shakti is that, while her force differentiates us as humans, the divinity cares not for the individual. Her quest is evolutionary and her one desire is to meet her divine partner Shiva, in the union that happens at the very crown of the head. That is the place where the sacred marriage is achieved. So, in bringing out the nutty in the man and the nutty in the woman and projecting it in the relationship allows for an airing of the negative projection, the much feared hole, the abyss through which the insane fall, a darkness from which many never can emerge again without the help of chemicals. And what nature gives, she takes away. She gives the light and takes darkness, but sometimes she gives darkness and takes the light. The path to wisdom is a precarious one, fraught with many dangers.

 

”No use mine,” you tell her, handing her your iPad. “This will be the book cover.” And you do a ritual love dance around James Franco’s image of a tortured author, something you caught two ladies doing on Friedrichstrasse with George Clooney’s coffee shilling poster.

 

A lunar eclipse, the first of the new millennium, marked the final stage of the emergence. You took a trip out to the desert.  Running low on money, you didn’t have enough cash to hire a car but the unconscious was pulling you to the desert to collect a final image so you took the bus. You created the image in the desert: La Parca standing at a cactus, holding a red rose. It was just after you caught the final image, the image of the universe brought into balance, with a flower blooming in the desert.

 

  • Upon your return from Missing James Franco in New York, your advisor, Laurence Rickels, invites you to the Mitte salon of an American artist, Nancy Jones. She is so beautiful and so pure, the living embodiment of the eternal feminine that Rickels refers to in his writings as the unmourned. Her blonde hair and translucent skin illuminates her crystalline aura. There, among some uncanny paintings of the dozen swimsuit-clad beauty pageant contestants on a bridge, you realize she has painted the four seasons. Twelve figures representing the twelve archetypes of the zodiac and four canvases representing the seasons. You realize you are standing within a paradigm shift into kairos, or the cyclical time of the Ouroboros. The Multiplicity of the Event you have predicted for Berlin, is unfolding right before you, rewriting your past as the future:
  • You knew precisely what you were looking for, the object echoing in your head as a chant: the flower blooming in the desert. The bride has not only returned, but she is fruitful. She is multiplying. She has brought innocence with her and she is multitudes.
  • The Interview, with its explosion of global press, escalated the tension between the U.S. and North Korean governments, accused of hacking into the Sony computer system, resulting in several embarrassing emails resulting in the dismissal of the female director of film production, and urging a response from the president of the United States.
  • At this point, you receive the email from Dr. Rickels: “The Franco incident with Korea opens a new chapter in your investigations.” You reply with a targeted missive to close the discussion permanently: “UGH.  I was convinced that it closed my investigations. I really HATE James Franco.” Rickels, through a brief Internet search, has come up with a view of the phenomenon as the commonality of six degrees of separation between the different circles of culture. You are left wondering; are any of these people aware of the danger?
  • What the universe wants is balance, an internal balance arising with the emergence of a new archetype. The hack of Sony, the studio behind the Seth Rogan/James Franco vehicle, was like a pulling the pants down to expose the private parts of the movie industry. Yet, the debacle did have a positive impact: opening a public discussion about paycheck equality when it was revealed how much less actresses were being compensated than their male counterparts in the same film.
  • By your prediction, James Franco came out fairly easy from the fire of a Sony hack. There was no physical damage, and by enforcing a temporary retreat, from public view most likely strengthened the psyche. And that is what your dreams would tell you. The threads would be wound into a vibrant tapestry and neither he, nor any man, has any control as to the narrative created through his rush to get to the lap of the Goddess.
  • The gods don’t care about hacking incidents, or whether we are hungry, or wealthy, or poor. They only want to make their dance of energies alive through our human bodies, and our bodies of work. And this magic of cosmic alignments, made all the less mysterious by those who track them through the study of the rotation of the planets (which Carter reminded you was found in the first computer discovered in a sunken ship). This is how the man with the improbable name Turnupseed smashed James Dean’s aluminum racecar on September 30, 1955. The seed is replanted in 2001, when James Franco inhabits James Dean in the critically-acclaimed HBO movie, rocketing him into global fame, throwing off the corporate shackles along the way to be celebrated, at least in Berlin, for “doing whatever the hell he wants.”   The trial to prove his worth as an artist rather than just a beautiful screen image, and ultimately through a trickster collaboration that had long outlived its purpose (This is the End being just a tease to continue the franchise) to emerge as an icon of a new archetype sourced in the ever-present origin.

 

  • The Franco vortex, Dr. Francostein had warned you, has to be avoided at all costs. When you reconnect in spring 2015, he tells you of his plantings. He is grounded in his garden. Amused, you realize that providence has sent Carter to help you rid the art world of its Cartesian bias.
  • Vortex means a whirling mass of water often defined by a force of suction. It is a variant of the Latin word vertex. What surprises you is to find Cartesian philosophy in the dictionary definition of vortex: “a rapid rotatory movement of cosmic matter about a center, regarded as accounting for the origin or phenomena of bodies or systems of bodies in space.” On your Francostein pursuit, the vortex is both energy and a symbol of the paradigm leap into the cyclical, defined by a new understanding of the “rotary movement of cosmic matter.” This is the 2012 Mayan belief of the galactic shift, envisioning it as the Great Mother aligning with the Tree of Life with the milk from her breasts as the Milky Way.

Agamben’s “present that contemporariness perceives has broken vertebrae” sums up your experience as an author—your mad dash towards your personal vortex, at zero Libra in your astrological chart is the speed of attempting to catch the Unicorn, who keeps just enough in your viewfinder to stay out of it; these points in space mark the change of seasons, when the sun is at the highest (Summer Solstice) and lowest (Winter Solstice) declination north and on the equator for the Vernal and Autumnal Equinox. Zero Point Aries, the start of the astrological New Year on the Spring Equinox, marking the time you are born and your and Carter’s composite Venus with James Franco.

In 2012, Elaine Goldberg read your palm on the roof of the Royal Library of Alexandria, relating that your birth on the Aires Point makes you the ultimate human. This explains your attraction to the Übermensch. And so, this has been your fate, arriving on time for an appointment you can’t help but miss. But you never give up hope! You have an obsession with arriving anywhere precisely on time, which is why you rarely make an appointment at all. If you don’t arrive on time, you feel that you have failed. Never late or early, but precisely in the indicated moment; it seems you have been practicing for the acute precision of the wave collapse all along.

When you arrive, of course, you have to discover that you are too early, and so you retreat, until something unfamiliar hits your vortex and a new horizon appears. By the time they discover you are there, you are already somewhere else. This is because you, as the ultimate human, must keep shifting receding in motion with the Earth spinning backwards on its axis. Logic can’t explain this in our heads; it can only be explained by observing the circulation of the spheres; the earth spins on its axis backwards in time toward the archaic rather than towards the future.

We are indeed moving backwards in time, from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius. In thinking we are evolving forwards, we are actually devolving back to the ever-present origin, where the genders were equal and unified in the Dasein of the hieros gamos. Therefore, we have the crucial Third space, the present, where the quantum wave collapses, and a new icon of worship arises in the heart. You are pursuing the rare public figure with a heart; you can tell the man’s capacity for love from your exchanges with Carter. And then, the dream guiding you to the tantric American in Copenhagen who confirmed your pursuit of James Franco with his nodding words: “It takes a culture warrior’s courage to have an open heart.”

On 23 August 2013, you arrive in Italy on a train ride through the Alps from your school, where you are realizing your dream of writing a Ph.D. dissertation on hieros gamos symbolism in film. This dream was initiated by your immersion into Solaris, which prompted you into an excavation of the mythology guiding George Clooney’s film choices.

And how you projected it! Your nighttime passage colliding your psyche with George Clooney began in 2005, the year you stopped writing weekly newspaper reviews and began an experiment writing an art world column for a new page 3 (!) potpourri in the New York Times Arts & Leisure section, which had the potential of making you an art world celebrity.            The dream accompanies a “coming out: from your hermetic existence and the man bringing you out appearing in the dream as the Libra limo driver (representing the composite North Node in Libra conjunct Mars) with George and yourself. Lips locked in a passionate kiss in the back seat of a car driven by a Caduceus pin upside down. This symbolic gesture indicated the flow of Kundalini flowing downwards from the head of the critic, and into the loins of the lover.

         There is another dream of George Clooney in a circle with of people with you, and him alone capable of holding the energy required by consort of she who embodies the Aquarian archetype. The world knows how this was all played out with the Aquarian Unicorn George Clooney chose for his wife.

            How did you get on this track? Sometimes, it is hard to remember. Oh, yes. You were pursuing the fantasy, fueled by your dreams, of becoming the critic who finds her ideal partner in the invulnerable artist. What other escape is there from the isolation required by your profession? This thought engages you while reading the introduction to George Clooney’s filmography posted on the Internet (imdb):

George Clooney embodies one of Hollywood’s most formidable renaissance men. As a remarkably intelligent and capable actor, in equal measure, he is also a director of surprising skill and intuition. In light of these qualities, the thespian’s formidable charm and devastating physical appeal seem, astonishingly, to be almost incidental: Clooney has almost completely exempted himself from criticism.

 

            Could any artist actually be critic-proof? Immune from criticism doesn’t necessarily mean immune from interpretation. If so, what does it take in the psychological makeup to be “exempt from criticism”? In pondering on this, it occurred to you that achieving this feat would mean embodying something so new that it can’t be defined. And if Clooney could really be all that, he poses a challenge for critical interpretation.

            You are a critic who relishes a challenge. So, the game is on! You prepare a PowerPoint talk with the title of this book and proposed it to Adam Birnbaum, programmer for the Avon Theatre, a restored old cinema in your hometown offering a range events, including a Critic’s Choice series and galas with the mega-rich members of the board from the 1 percent living on the Gold Coast of Fairfield County, Connecticut. It seemed the ideal avenue for returning to cinema after spending a dozen years writing about fine art.

            Adam graciously invites you to visit his sleek Greenwich offices for a meeting. You enter to be faced with movie posters and it felt like the portal to a future and past life. When you sit down, you repeat this notion read in Clooney’s filmography, about the triple threat actor/director/producer “exempt from criticism.” Adam fervently disagrees. A new dialectic begins right there, in the unlikely setting of a Greenwich office building, as the programming director passionately counters this view, bringing up Men Who Stare at Goats as an example of a Clooney abomination. The chase is on and you had your Codex to inform you of the outcome:

It certainly wasn’t your fate. Perhaps it could have been in a parallel universe, but you chose another route. The inner path. The path of self-mastery. The most difficult path of all. The underground journey. The inward journey to the inner groom. No guarantees. No insurances. Just the inner light to guide you…plunging one into a path of isolation and solitude. The path of Percival is the contemporary search for the inner grail.

            The Sumerians believed that destiny is written in the heavens and revealed in the astrological birth chart. Certain women elected not to go the entire inner route to the hieros gamos, but to arise as the Virgin Bride and search for the alchemical union in external relationships. By remaining in a constant state, falling in and out of love, they remain unable to utilize a relationship as a container for wholeness. The Virgin Bride, when unconscious, remains in a perpetual state of neediness, as imbalanced is her purity with earthly experience. Yes, the biblical knowledge of the sexual….      

            Thus, unleashing the Nietzschian counterforces to such public exhibition. This overnight recognition from underworld to global reception is not your path. Yours is slow and steady, patient; ironic for someone ruled by Mars, a steady turning inward, seeking the divine light deep within rather than in a partner. You already gave up the notion of an external union–how could you find the contemporary Percival who made the journey and found the Grail within himself?

 

            It is an ironic choice to pursue the hieros gamos icon in “the last movie star.” In fact, the very film that Adam (as “first man” pointing you towards your destiny) brings up, Men Who Stare at Goats, provides the very key, the Capricorn symbol of the sure-footed goat, to your ontology percolating in the Clooney oeuvre. You build up a mythology with such tools learned at school. It goes like this: the very manner that this idiosyncratic film, based on a supposedly true account of the U.S. Military dabbling in the occult (the fringe kulture of the Pentagon), was promoted as a rare New Age film.

“That goat movie?” Adam exclaims as you give him this theory along with the file of your Powerpoint presentation with the semiotics of Clooney’s ouevre post-Solaris conversion, with your proposal. Adam follows up with an email, saying the presentation is brilliant, but it doesn’t fit their program. He invites you to present a single film instead. You go with Soderbergh’s Solaris. This happens in the spring of 2010. The discussion you lead after the film provides the opportunity to present, for the first time, your art theory of the hieros gamos projected through the film.

You pull up this archeology when you take a stroll through Lagio, where you find respite between school and the Venice Film Festival. Crossing into what serves as the main square from the local café and the boat ramp of the village, you are in the center of the square when you hear your name. You look up and see your host, Alessandro (even better looking than Clooney) driving his car. “That is Clooney’s house!” he shouts. You duck, wanting to hide so you won’t be caught acting like a stalker. Later, you will meet others in the village, like you, wanting to pretend that they aren’t self-conscious of the presence of the movie star in their midst, the air pregnant with the expectation of a potential Unicorn sighting. But your host stops and points to the paparazzi standing on the parking structure, a town favorite, he says.

And suddenly, you find yourself walking up to that structure which is just across a very narrow street, placing you about 30 feet from the open window! “Ascolta,” he whispers, finger to his lips. “Soccer.” Yes, the sound of the game coming from the window. That is how close his reality appears to your own! It is just days before Clooney’s film Gravity will premiere.

You are in the magical Third space now. Numbers are autonomous, with a life of their own. They serve as signs along the path to our passage into the Self.   Three surfaces as a continuing sign of your pursuit of the Unicorn, a message reminding you to create an “object(ive)” out of the tension of the two.

  • The three is present in the number of appearances James Franco makes in the 2015 Berlinale. It is also a signifier within the films. You already experienced Franco’s voice as Michael in the self-awareness of the homosexual love triangle as the outer manifestation of the Christian Trinity. And then there is the triple goddess (maiden, mother and crone) in Franco’s characters three female relationships in Every Thing Will Be Fine.   This all wrapped up in the Wenders occult formula of the 3D doubling into the six of the hieros gamos. Indeed, this is the culmination of your thirty-year journey, only three of those pursuing the Unicorn (actually eight from the time of your initial dreams of Clooney as the New Man able to contain the opposites) is all too clear during the press conference with this male chorus stating and restating, for emphasis: “EVERY THING WILL BE FINE.”
  • A new rendition of the German predilection for order (so evident in your mother’s favorite phrase “Let’s get organized!”) manifest in the language as the many ways of saying OK: das Stimmt, alles klar and genau.
  • And the title is too apt for the closure you seek. The German impresario has won back the rights to his oeuvre and preserved it himself to reveal the progression of the hieros gamos in film. From the murder of the lover in Wender’s first film, to the dead infant prompting a death and resurrection of James Franco’s character in his latest, the cycle of death and rebirth is complete. The archetype has been born. And it was James Franco’s good fortune, born of dire necessity to participate in the birth projection on screen.
  • And he knows it. You have planted this word in his head from your attempt to meet him, your writing of the book about the epic narrative and wanting his participation. And there you discover the magic in his image coming on the huge screen lording over the red carpet in Marlene Dietrich Platz saying how he loves Berlin and his time here is “epic.”
  • It is (nearly) time!
  • The millennial passage of the Aquarian consort, from the Tristan idol on the screen to the whole man off the screen, the actor playing the author who “gracefully accepted” the script that seemed to have been written for him (Wenders says the script was sent to him by a Norwegian writer whom he had given an award at a festival). The fact that it is a Norwegian writer intrigues you; you will learn more about the cultural renaissance in your critic friend Oda’s Norway, the only country to be directly in the path of the solar eclipse on the Vernal Equinox. Perhaps it was written for James Franco. Who knows! These are the mysteries surrounding the unfolding of a new mythology.
  • The symbolism nearly knocks you over. James participating in a ritual to throw his mentor Faulkner into the fire, so he might emerge from his own descent into darkness and begin anew–as a whole person with his own original art form expressing his personal/universal journey riding the surfgeist carrying his 7.5 million, or whatever, social media followers on his Instagram surfboard.

Could the Unicornification of opposites be the unified subject and object sought by the contemporary? If that is your ultimate reconciliation with the mirror, then what is the outcome? This you have come across in your friend Margaret Starbird’s books on Mary Magdalene and went to the Cloisters to witness: the Unicorn in the garden, head in the lap of the Goddess. The Unicorn, with its single horn symbolizing the spiral of the opposites, is a relic of the hieros gamos rites, the (penis) head of the new Christ anointed by the goddess; the head is a metaphor for the penis and her lap is the vagina. This representation of the Unicorn in the lap of the Goddess is therefore the gender opposites birthing the archetypes of the new age.

The archetypes carry the characteristics of the age and live out the myth. This is an Event taking place every 2,000 years, when, via precession, the Earth’s tilted rotation enters into a new sign of the zodiac. The chaos of the transition phase we have been in is the archetypes of the old mythology dissolving so the new archetypes can emerge. Joseph Campbell had told us that the new mythology delivers the new archetypes. The Templar family knows all about this, as the treasure discovered in Solomon’s Temple is loaded with relics of the hieros gamos rites from the Holy of the Holies.

  • In 2011, your pursuit of George Clooney as the icon of the New Man in your dreams results in the Templar sending you to Venice to write a report for his new magazine. You are distracted by the Venice Biennial of Arte in the Jardini and well, this is your first film festival so you just follow your instincts rather than the herd and don’t make it to the Venice Film Festival opening day press conference for the world premiere gala opening of Ides of March. Your instincts tell you that you aren’t ready for this league and you remain with your friend at the art exhibition, yelling over old wounds. When you arrive in the press headquarters of the Casino the next day, you discover that only daily press can enter press room to actually ask questions; everyone else has to watch the video feeds in the ballroom, grand as it is.
  • You do manage to sneak into the opening gala. You head straight to a side tent, and there you are blocked entry. This is the VIP tent where George Clooney will dine with the other VIP guests. You hang out with the party crashers, free to indulge away from the public eye of consumption.
  • Two years later, while living in Berlin and planning your trip to Switzerland for your seminars, you learn that Clooney’s new film Gravity will open the 2013 Venice Film Festival. The meaning of chasing “gravity” spurs you onwards.   The title implies that your Up in the Air journey is coming down to earth with the face-to-face encounter. You immediately apply for press credentials.
  • And indeed, when you return to the Lido for the Gravity press screening on the opening day of the 2013 Venice Film Festival, there is some luck operating in your favor. The newly appointed Italian director of the Venice Film Festival has abolished the hierarchy that kept all but “daily press” out of the press conferences, meaning if you didn’t have that status, there was no opportunity to ask a question, and could not hope to summon a face-to-face confrontation with the object of interest.
  • So, you are sure to attend the opening press conference, where you stake out your terrain with a Hong Kong journalist in the second row.   When they come with the placards for the Gravity press conference, fate has it that the George Clooney placard is placed directly in front of you vision. In the second row you are at eye level. And this is when things get strange. When he takes his seat, he won’t look forward because that means he will be looking right at you. This is so obvious that he turns his body to face his fellows on the podium rather than look right ahead. The jokster theme of the press conference is about hair. When the man next to you asks a question, George makes a point of commenting on his hair. You take the microphone from the your neighbor’s hand, preparing to ask the next question, but the monitor appears and takes it away.
  • You thought you came to Venice to seize your destiny. But this is fate.
  • And there is more. You return to your hostel (how far you had descended from your $200 a day hotel room in 2011!), to change into your gilded sandals and linen dress for the opening gala, and there you meet Victoria, a lively young Russian woman. You like her and invite her to come with you, making a point of not taking your cell phone. “You will be my photographer,” you tell her.
  • The kitchen of the Excelsior Hotel is crawling with security, so there as no way you were going to be able to crash the party like you did for the Ides of March You do find a table on the terrace with a view of the red carpet, so you buy Victoria a drink and tell her about your pursuit of George Clooney as you watch the red carpet. You watch Sandra Bullock and Alfonso Cuarón, the director of Gravity and their entourage, but no sign of Clooney.   You plan to sneak in through the kitchen as you did in 2001, but there was no chance, the security patrol is on high alert. After awhile, you follow an instinct to accompany Victoria across the street and down the steps, to the boat landing. There you encounter a single Russian paparazzo. He is strangely and absurdly taking photos of you, the consummate outsider while insisting that George Clooney will be here any minute because the “Warner Brothers ship” is on the way. You laugh out loud. “What are you–the KGB?” Suddenly, there is a commotion and a motorboat arrives with a Warner Brothers sign and George Clooney comes out of nowhere and jumps in with his bodyguards, like flying out of hell. You don’t have a camera. You aren’t to act like a tourist but a statute. You stand perfectly still, holding your art deco handbag with Michelangelo’s naked Adam extending his finger to heaven as protection and Virginia snaps the photo of him waving goodbye. The first and last image you co-create with George Clooney is the Unicorn escaping the lap of the maiden who stands with Adam, awaiting the New Man of the Age of Aquarius. He is a tremendous hurry to get away. You realize he must have come from the kitchen. Such a palatable energy of fear.

Bye-Bye George, August 28, 2013. George Clooney waving farewell to your dream after jumping, hell bent, onto the Warner Brother’s boat, bodyguards in tow, in an escape from the opening gala for Gravity. Twelve days later, as the story goes, he will meet the Aquarian who would become his wife, after suffering humiliation in connection to a global transmission of a joke “he would rather float off into space and die than spend one more minute with a woman his own age.”

 

The next time you confront him in public you are in the third row for the Berlinale press conference for Monument’s Men and, like before, you are holding the microphone, ready to have a question, only to have it removed from your hand.

This is fate, you think, as you let go of the phallic instrument, knowing what it feels like to lose an erection…

  • And that is it. The end of your pursuit of the Unicorn. Or so you thought, until the news item “George Clooney back in Berlin” appeared in the newspaper you picked up on October 13 that same year. Just as you predicted, on November 8th comes the announcement that Monuments Men would open the 64. Berlinale.
  • There is, as always, a better choice: the Berlin avant-garde filmmaker Robert Bramkamp. Born just two weeks after Clooney and delivering the new archetype of the feminine through his brilliant and beautiful Aquarian partner, also an artist. How much more honest is the underground, the authentic underground, as opposed to filmmakers playing pretend saviors of art in caves and arising, like clockwork, into the media with a succession of trophy girlfriends presented in timing with the Venus synodic cycle, each one personifying the uber archetype of the constellation on the zodiac where Venus rises in the horn of the pentagram. With scorn on your lips, you tell Robert what your friend Emilia said: that she doesn’t like George Clooney because he came to the Berlinale and claimed to have read one book. Robert’s response: “Well, it depends on what book it is!”
  • If it is yours, you could forgive him. Ha!
  • As if in response to your concern, George Clooney told the press that he had indeed read the book on which his film was based. Yes, you got in. You have learned the ropes; you knew that if you went to the film, you would never get into the press conference, so you camped out. Except that they were onto this trick and threw everyone out of the room. But you took a chance and saved a seat with your coat (coat in exchange for Clooney didn’t seem like a bad wager…) and when you went to stand in line and filed in the room with the crowd, you had a seat.
  • The 65. Berlinale Monuments Men press conference was newsworthy for the implications it had on global politics. It became the moment when George Clooney, at the peak of his global celebrity, left the cinema to become statesmen. You sat in the third row. Every person in your row asked him a question, nothing about the film because they hadn’t seen it, and when the microphone got to you, as you were seated next to Mahari, who was asking about Sudan, the phallic instrument is removed from your hand!
  • This certainly is fate. You were not supposed to participate in the circus of George Clooney seeking his new role as statesman, whether it was simply the image he was seeking or believing he is it, statesmen of a new world order where gender equality is the rule of the day (as decreed by his late aunt Rosemary Clooney). The final question was the clincher, that would seal the new image Clooney was fishing for through his Monuments Men apparatus: it came from a Greek journalist asking if he was in favor of the Elgin Marbles being returned to Greece. Clooney nodded and said: “that is a good idea.”
  • The rest is history. His passage through London became a diplomatic crisis with the outcry, coming from the Mayor, about the Clooney intervention into a diplomatic affair. What do the fates of countries matter when the emergence of a new archetype of the hieros gamos is at work? The secret affair Clooney was carrying on with the Aquarian lawyer elevated into the Human Rights Goddess, whom he famously met September 10, 2014, just two weeks after his speedboat escape from the Venice Film Festival, waving goodbye as if bidding farewell to an image in exchange for a new one.
  • The pursued Unicorn was to turn the tables and pursue his own magical Unicorn in the ultimate size zero Aquarian specimen. The new Clooney image–from movie star to statesman–was being formed right before your eyes, and in fact, you were convinced that his avoidance of your eyes (that magic of penetration that unites the contemporaries across all division, even that of the critic/artist) was to manifest in an extremely fated manner, the opposite of what was anticipated in your dreams.
  • Regardless of whether the actions of the director—who had become accustomed to controlling his fate via his public relations team—was descending into his fate, rather than rising into the destiny of the equal partnership indicated by your dreams, you were gifted with a third row seat, summoning the Third space of the erotic consciousness, into his fate.
  • How many times had you been the scarecrow at the crossroads pointing out all directions in your effort to remain detached, and then forced to linger as witness to the inevitable…the descent, yes, into that Tarot image of the Devil, or Lucifer, as the Lovers in chains! Your dream manifestation of Clooney, the perpetual bachelor, transformed into the Consort/Lover of the Aquarian Goddess, would be rolled out in Venice, of all places, right in accordance with the heavenly plan the year leading up to his wedding, cosmically timed to the Libra eclipse on September 10, 2014. This enactment of the Shadow face of Venus, as portrayed in the Devil card (yes, the Capricorn goat) was made into ontology through the stunning photos that provided a mass viewing of the 2012 Venus Transit Across the Sun.
  • If your life didn’t outwardly change from the influence of an eclipse that foretold of a partner, it is because the inner changes were so massive. The transition from the inner to outer takes time, even for an Aquarian, who can process an exhibition while running through it!   You watched the media frenzy surrounding the union of West/Middle East while entering the darkness to write another text while publishing your thesis. What other use could you make of the darkness and the void of everything the eclipse was taking from you? Money, friends, family.
  • The icon of the hieros gamos you had been projecting onto George Clooney (born under the same Leo Mars transiting the US North Node), and the actor projected to the world through his publicity machine, was no more. By the time of his wedding, there is only a morbid curiosity of his fate. You understood through the media hoopla over what seemed to be the “second coming” in the celebrated mismatch of what appeared to be the Hades rape of Persephone (wearing a white dress with a print looking like pomegranates) rather than that of the Son/Lover illuminating the icon for a new age. Far from fooling the public of a new Camelot, Clooney’s union only serves to depict the Kulture Industrie repression of the feminine through a tightly-controlled mainstream media.
  • This awareness of the darkness, hidden under the flashbulbs defining the age, would only serve to reinforce your own self-image as the contemporary, forever racing against time for “an appointment one couldn’t help but miss.” You experience the extensive media rollout of Clooney’s over-the-top public/private wedding ceremony to his Aquarian bride as the death of a dream that is both personal and universal. But there is also a new dream, the publication of your master’s thesis as a book, Hermeneutics of New Modernism, which has your breakthrough about the autonomy of number seeking balance in the hieros gamos.
  • There are few days where the disappearance of the solar light over the horizon will mean as much as the day you send your text into publication. There is no other elation like it, other than having a baby, but it is your divine child you have released and you need to walk in a new direction to commemorate the day. You walk in the opposite direction on your street, Schoenhauser Allee, toward Pankow instead of Mitte. Following the sun as it recedes, you enter a coffee house and purchase the Ex-Berliner music issue. You open the magazine to a full-page glorious image of a rock star, the leader of a band named Bonaparte. Talk about the logical conclusion of your Leo fixation! The image is absolutely stunning. You go to his website that night and send him a message asking for an interview. This results in thirty emails and his Bonaparte charm gets two postings out of you, one a preview:

 

  • And the other, a smashing review. With his crowd-surf diving and act of expiration on stage, he performed the resurrection of the dying god. Berlin has its spectacle of the Great Round. Bonaparte dies to live again and you are thrilled to participate from the safe distance in the crowd. How much safer this is than your previous performances:

 

You were traveling to the desert for purification at the Hot Springs and there, so close to the source of the spring, was the beast threatening the beauty and all of her efforts to remain pure for her mate. Nutty. “You are nutty! You are calling me nutty!” It was both a projection and a reality. Those of you who had nutty parenting are doomed to repeat our patterns with partners. Let’s dance. The dance allows the energies to surface. The shaman used to say, if you don’t do the little dance, you are forced to do the big dance. And as you wait for the drama to begin, the drama that will deliver the bride united with her groom to the public consciousness, you think about the men you have been with, the men who refused to dance, and you tried to make them dance, until you met the shaman who warned you not to prevent people from doing their dance. You so much wanted him to dance with you, and finally you ended up at a disco together and you kissed him on the lips and wrapped your arms around his neck, dilating your hips. He told you to dance with his friend but you were shaking your hips. As you moved forward, he stepped back. Oh Eros! Hey, we are dancing! So, the ones that get you into bed are usually the ones who refuse the dance, but they are the ones who are, in any case, really dancing. He had a hard on and you wanted to ask him if it was for the three girls or you. But you didn’t ask. You were wondering if he let them get close enough to feel his hard on. You think about men, those poor creatures, who can’t even hide their desire. It was a risk to remain there, in a downtown club so late that the last train had already gone. You never even got a chance to fulfill your fantasy of telling him your conditions for marriage. Like in the last drama you saw, The Way of the World, where the lady lays down the conditions for marriage and her suitor says yes, yes, yes and sends the ball back laced with conditions of his own. Very witty, and yet, utterly serious. Erotic. Your conditions, better not tell him. Not yet. The most serious thing in life is the conditions surrounding the loss of one’s identity to become a couple.

  • How many writers can articulate what the Doppelgänger mirroring experience is like in words? You believe this is what is coming next for you; you might not have believed it, in fact, if it hadn’t been for the “13” to arise in your consciousness. The Friday the 13th when the path of the hieros gamos disappeared from conscious view, the rituals to honor the serpent down disappearing into the underground stream, the occult practices, and the spawning of the secret societies apprehending the power of the ancient archetype for themselves, while the feminine spirit remains repressed in the culture. Is there any wonder why the glorious freedom of interchange in Web 2.0 is full of narcissism?

 

  • You are going to make it this time. You are going to make it because at last you have the marketplace covered—multiple images. The Gemini factor. If one image doesn’t hit, another will, and at last, when you get before those lights and feel the heat on you, the images will fuse into one. And then your lover will be begging to take my photo. So what if he is stuck in control and you are stuck in surrender? As long as you know you are not surrendering to an unequal partnership but to a movement forward into the light, the final reflection of my inner light as the spotlight, then you will remain with integrity. See, if you are to operate in that world of perpetual movement captured in the media, the celebrities that reflect the freedom of the Aquarian Age archetype—then you must have the freedom to move from the underworld to the Mount Olympus.
  • The freedom you call on is that of Hermes. Hermes is the only god who could transverse, like Nietzsche’s Übermensch, from high to low. Hermes is the patron god of the marketplace, and the author. And so you must become the author of the marketplace. You must call on the messenger to bring your goods to the marketplace. You don’t have to go there yourself, and if you do, you are always free to take flight. To return to the underworld, the comforting suspension of time through the embrace of the Contemporary.
  • You can resolve to follow Hermes into perpetual movement, the uber/unter rhythm in which the tension of the opposites are naturally married from the resolution of the problem of opposites. The battle that the mythical figures you followed fought –Franco, Clooney, Obamain this precarious time facing the mess that humanity has made on the planet. You can heed the ancient Hermes Thrice Great Trismegistus, you know him because you encountered this Being in Central Park with his relics of his arcane language. He was a sign of the end of time, yes, the close of the epoch of human struggle, because of the failure to mourn. If the absence of female divinity could be mourned, a space could be made for her Presence.
  • “Make room for the Goddess. Let me back into the Temple.” This is the cry from the Self, gendered through your pen from the Third space created by the Thrice Great Hermes. The Self that has been born in your DNA cries out for resolution…and Hermes tells you how to stride forward…just as the ancient Venus did…on her Lion. She is astride Lion of Judah with her lightning bolt, the flash of brilliance triggering the ink flows from your veins into binary code formed into words on your screen…
  • As you enter a deep surrender under the solar eclipse on 23 October 2014, you know that Franco will crash. No matter how deep you descend, you can no longer find a connection. You work out your death of desire by writing a missive in your head to let him know he has been replaced by another Leo Rising, Bonaparte! You have finally become disgusted with Web 2.0 indiscriminate ejaculations, deigning to his critic that anything that sticks must naturally be art.  And yet, Bonaparte has given you the metaphor you need to strike down his Mars. Go Thor! We had Peggy’s book to publish next and the images of the dying and resurrected god would come from the rock star.
  • In letting go, it always helps to remember…

 

  • MAY THE BEST SPERM WIN
  • May the Best Sperm Win, a 2014 Bonaparte video collaboration.
  • The actor in his occupation: playing with himself while emulating the artist. Gender bending without purpose: James Franco’s intervention into Paul McCarthy’s “Snow White” might be the biggest wash of his quest to entertain the masses in the Web 2.0 coliseum while the empire collapses around it.
  • Could the deflated erection of his McCarthy inspiration be portentous of a limit to the seemingly unstoppable masturbating sperm machine of America’s most ubiquitous superstar, whose most enduring role is perpetual adolescent playing the 24/7 capacity of social media against the corporate entertainment power structure?
  • It had to happen in a place where there is memory of art before it became an American adolescent sex joke: Paul McCarthy’s work was destroyed 48 hours after erection by the fundamentalist French Catholic group, Le Printemps Français (The French Spring).
  • Across the Atlantic, critics cry out for a halt but the 24/7 Franco show has become the “Little Bastard” that will keep speeding until it crashes right into his 7.6 million Facebook followers.
  • The descent began, aptly, on April Fool’s Day 2014. It certainly seemed like a joke that America’s aging adolescent was caught red-handed soliciting an underage Scottish (in the Templar tradition!) girl for sex through an Instagram ruse. Might the slimy bedroom underwear Selfie seductions have been a contrition to devoted fans? And yet the mocking of the grail quest for the “sacred marriage” with his prelude to the couple’s full frontal nude romp across the social network.
  • To understand the origin of the Franco phenomenon, we have to revisit the Turnupseed smashup:
  • James Dean was the lightning in a bottle heralding the Age of Aquarius when his flimsy aluminum “Little Bastard” container crashed into an improbable signifier: Donald Turnupseed. (Getty photo)
  • There was passing of the Turnupseed. But to what end?
  • Inserting himself into the shoes of America’s rebel at the turn of the millennium, Franco had the intelligence to understand he was transforming fate (he was James Dean just as James Dean was Cal in “East of Eden”) into destiny. (AP photo)
  • The unfiltered Id of James Franco with his philosophy of the amateur (disseminated in a short film made for the 2011 Venice Film Festival anniversary) thumbing his nose at the art market produced the after-postmodern tension between the opposites–that put the harbinger James Dean in an early grave–and made Franco a highly visible candidate for a neo-modernist transition. His precarious balance between film stardom, with its passive adoration, and the proactive urge to make his private expression public took his fans right up to the edge with him.
  • What would he do next? When would the seesaw collapse? Yet, the 2010 path exploding the boundaries between mediums with a blow torch provided evidence of a formerly elusive but utterly toxic fame Shadow in the New York Art world…consort to the global Venus icon performance artist turned global celebrity, Marina Abramović, here making a gender bending turn on the red carpet for the 2012 Metropolitan Museum Costume Exhibition. (AP photo)
  • At the 2011 Venice Film Festival, Franco resurrected the ghost of Jams Dean through the premiere of Sal (about Sal Mineo, who played the sidekick of James Dean’s Rebel character) setting the stage for 2012.
  • The James Franco Project, as I called it, seemed to have cultural significance beyond the exposure of the fame Shadow that was the source of its very ubiquity. There was also the potential within Franco’s collaborative focus to provide an unfiltered blueprint for the emergence of a modernist icon.
  • And yet, the potential as I saw it then has failed to materialize in any form of art. In October 2014, the James Franco Project has become nothing but a bleak reflection of America’s demise, the collective inability to face the black mass settling over the culture. The continued repression of the dark feminine the former pioneering terrain of Marina Abramović has only served to extend deliver the masturbating American boys club of McCarthy and Koons into the mainstream as Franco/Rogen extend their sell-by date.
  • Franco is now reduced to feeding the ravenous Web 2.0 social media beast at the expense of personal growth. He might as well announce he is going to be an adolescent Pan forever. And what does it matter what he is, for Franco has lost the magic of the “Third entity” that got him to his pinnacle in the first place.   He has fallen off the balance beam (the signifier as buried treasure in his “Gay Town” fun house), externalizing the tension that potentially could have birthed a new modernism into a lame dialectic of opposites–lowbrow humor vs. serious art, Faulkner vs. Mo Howard via his all-consuming media presence. He may think he is clever is creating a theory for his unlimited antics, but his time as Mr. Hyphenated is clearly up.
  • After reaching the height of the after-postmodernism wave, where the magical affect of his brief appearance as Hefner saying “sometimes life is stranger than fiction” summed up his own phenomenon, Franco deflating his own erection…
  • …through an admission and a gesture:
  1. His recent experiment in deconstructing iconic films is clearly a postmodern exercise devoid of any other meaning than falling backwards, because the consciousness was lacking to become truly rooted in a new modernism.
  2. His open admission that he is making humorous works to purchase likeability (Likes) among his 7.1 million followers so he can make his serious films.
  • After tracking the Third in art for over a decade, I began to confront the James Franco presence at film festivals. At the Berlinale in 2013, I confronted the possibility of Franco entering the “Third entity” via his three-year collaboration with the multimedia artist Carter, whom I met at a press conference for their film

 

  • Carter (right) with Jacob Neiiendams, director of the Copenhagen Film Festival 2012 with the poster of Carter’s art film/experiment, Erased James Franco.
  • I learned from Carter that the James Franco phenomenon arose out of an ingenious quantum experiment: James played his future self as soap opera star playing his future self as performance artist. It was Carter’s idea for Franco to actually play himself as the artist Franco on General Hospital. The final taping of the show in the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art effectively erased the physical boundaries between the high and low. Yet there was something far more profound happening than this binary dialectic; it was a quantum leap catalyzed by Franco’s AHA! Moment in which the boundaries between actor and director were dissolved in Erased James Franco through the use of hidden microphones. The exchange of identity on and off camera was the quantum leap from uncertainty to entanglement. The result was the Francostein multimedia boundary smasher.
  • Carter, the multimedia artist, directed James Franco to assess his role as Franco, the multimedia artist on television. The triple medium enactment of performance artist within a television program within a film set was the Dreieingkeit of a multilayered narrative structure within triangular relationship narrative.
  • The binary of the high/low (soap opera vs. “art film”) was a tame enough dialectic for a market-focused art world invite scene of the final episode taping inside the museum. The domain of the artist known as Franco was getting familiar to the movie star known as James Franco. Only a quantum leap separated them, and this made possible by kairos, the AHA! Moment resulting from the earlier entanglement.
  • Yet, what confounded film critics, who are not accustomed to plunging into new dimensions in art, was the transcendence of the binary into the tertiary through the visual entanglement of particles and waves in the large Franco paintings serving as backdrops for the Maladies
  • The geometry of the relationships in the film (Catherine Keener as the genius artist friend and Fallon Goodsman, the loony sister) catalyzed the conversion of Francostein into human tragedy.
  • The film performed the double task of both creating and revealing the James Franco phenomenon within the context of the movie star’s Shadow–wanting to make art as an abstract idea but not able to depart from the limelight to nurture the seeds of an actual work of art. Maladies had a shaving cream metaphor for the uncontrolled ejaculation of sperm unfertilized in the 2.0 social network: the ones with the female egg present such as Palo Alto were more successful than others, such as the abysmal Sal. Franco seems to be struggling to move faster than light so he would leave no shadow, therefore his discarded efforts requiring no insight for personal or collective evolution.
  • Maladies provided the fertile ground for the sacred marriage of opposites with an understanding of the perspiration factor of genius built right into the narrative. James Franco found his equal in Catherine Keener’s genius gender bending sculptress with Alan Cumming, the M.C. of the Cabaret revival, ramming the Aquarian archetype home from Weimar Berlin.
  • Yet, Franco seemed to want to abort the very project that transparently revealed his internal struggles to create something original that resulted in a telling scene of squirting shaving crème over his face; he didn’t show up for the red carpet premiere or for the press conference
  • …but managed to look bored at the press conference for Lovelace where he answered a single question about his brief impersonation of the American sperm bank, Hugh Hefner.
  • And what of the bombardment of the Franco sperm, unstoppable via the social media?
  • The hottest media theorist on the planet right now is Geert Lovink, who has a handle on this time of transition between Web 2.0 and Web 3.0, stating:|”Indeed, the social media craze (which we are still in) can be seen as the culmination of Web 2.0, its finale, the monopoly stage, that is. There are indications that Web 3.0 will be invisible, driven by the logic of images.”
  • This is so true of my experience in uncovering a new modernism. The logic of images is the marriage of opposites (right and left brain) defining a new modernism! A neomodernist collaborative movement birthed in the Berlin gender bending tradition of the “invisible Third” of the “sacred marriage”…
  • May the Best Sperm Win is a brilliant new Bonaparte video making abundantly clear the Web 3.0 logic of the image in the philosophy of Tobias Jundt: the new birth (of the invisible Third) arises out of a playful competition of (gender) opposites. (Screen grab courtesy of Bonaparte).
  • The Turnupseed that crashed. James Dean. Has now crashed. James Franco.

 

  • With characteristic speed, you didn’t have to wait long for your prophecy to play out. Over the Thanksgiving holiday the news got out of a notorious Sony hacking incident supposedly instigated by his new film with Seth Rogen, The Interview. Caught under the shadow of the eclipse, Franco finally disappeared from view.
  • A boy walked down the road with you for a time; the road was made of bricks. You were commenting on the road and thinking about the painstaking labor of laying those bricks in the hot Mexican sun, and then your paths parted. You went off to the side, into the desert, to find a cactus and set up my camera. La Parca made her appearance.   One final image under the shadow of an approaching eclipse to mark the end of one journey and beginning of another. One final image. Just as you reached the end of the roll of film, it happened. He appeared from out of the sky like a vulture happening onto his prey and fell upon your back. The animal on your back spoke: “Querio hacer amor contigo,” he growled. The last image of the journey was accompanied by the most physical sensation you have ever experienced. An attempted rape. The rape of your purity. Three years of sexual abstinence all to reach the place of making this picture real. The emergence from the desert of the bride, prepared at last to meet her groom. One moment that took you back four thousand years. The rape in the garden of Inanna immediately following her return from the underworld.
  • You just didn’t see it coming! That is Uranus. Lightning strikes without warning. How much more exciting to be the Goddess of the anointing rather than the hapless female stuffed into the size zero lifeless skeleton of the barely human clotheshorse.
  • Your intimacy with the 13th constellation brings forth this knowledge of how humanity is still gripped by this power, on the deep level of desire. Your challenge to embody the Kundalini reflects that the control perceived as outside the individual is truly within. The constellation of the archetype, as with the stars, lies inside every one of us, just waiting to be triggered by an Event.

Well, this time will be different. This time you refuse to be illusion’s fool. This time Hermes will pull you out of all potential disasters. This time. You rise now from your seat. You have been given permission to change my position from audience to participant. The stage has opened up and the performers are inviting you now to participate in the ritual sacrifice. An essential public spectacle to greet the new! The blood is the instinct guiding you forward. The Self is leading and you are just being carried on this wave. The blood on your legs merges with that of the dying male. You meet on the cross with his phallus in my hole. You can’t tell what is my blood and what is his. They tell you that you must unite with him to make him whole and you don’t believe this because it goes against everything you have learned on my journey: only the individual can make that choice, no one person can complete the Other, no matter how much their union reflects the opposites. But you don’t have the chance to explain all this. And if you did, you would be thrown off the stage and miss all the fun.

 

  • This is where you arrive on the eighth day of the festival, the power day, and you get a ticket to the grand gala opening of Selma at the glittering Friedrichstadt-Palast; there, you sit in the front row and experience the splendor of the glorious goddess/woman, Ava DuVernay celebrated with her African American cast of characters by the white audience while comparing their struggle to Berlin, the dark history coming into light.
  • You made the choice to enter the theater and you had these spectacular solitary moments in the darkness. What else do you have to do but celebrate the light? As long as you are on stage, you will participate in their rituals. You will be the human martyr led into this sacrifice for the “other”. You will be a blank screen for them to project on. Perhaps in believing they are filled by the presence of the archetype, it will come to pass. Anyway, what else do you have to do with your life? All your internal processes have been poured into tidy little containers and you are made new again. All of humanity united in a blood struggle, but it is only a stage. After the spectacle has been played, all are free to go home and simply be. The blood is a symbol of authenticity but it dries. It circulates. Circulation is life.
  • Your day began with the autonomy of number. Elsner: 13 Minutes prompted you to contemplate fate in terms of timing. It ended with a liberation rite of the African American people, whose struggle personified the rise of the Kundalini and the paradigm shift of the cyclical, acknowledged now by science as the magnetic shit of the Earth’s poles, moving from the bipolar to the multipolar.

 

DAY NINE: CINDERELLA

 

…“Archaic” means close to the arkhe, that is to say, the origin. But the origin is not only situated in a chronological past; it is contemporary with a historical becoming and does not cease to operate within it, just as the embryo continues to be active in the cells of a mature organism, and the child in the psychic life of the adult. Both this distancing and nearness, which define contemporariness, have their foundation in this proximity to the origin that nowhere pulses with more force than in the present.”

            Giorgio Agamben

 

            The closing day of Berlinale 65. offers an authentic heart opening…in which the language of fairy tale supersedes the language of physics you have been using to describe what was taking place in Berlin from 2012-2015. The new live action film was selected to commemorate the animated Disney Cinderella that won the Golden Bear for best musical at the first Berlinale in 1951.

            Your very own conversion into the Third will take another five months to process via the writing of this text. In the end, you will be liberated from your past and propelled by Time’s Arrow through Uncertainty and into your very own fairy tale, which can only be hinted by what you experience on the screen.

            The day begins with the magic of technology meeting superb acting at the height of its game, the flight in a blue gauze gown with butterflies on the bodice of descent down the stairs of a castle (described as a one-take performance by the director in the press conference but you would later learn it took months of practice) and into the arms of the prince, would, in the course of the tale, triumph as the New Man in challenging the patriarchal linear tradition of the bloodline for the ultimate union into sacred marriage.

            The cast and its director are such a delight—so beautiful, charming and graceful. You wanted to spend the rest of your life at a dinner party with them. It was the icing on top of a wondrous Berlinale, chock full of examples of the return of the ancient feminine, the face that you had been sent on a mission, long ago by a shaman and more recently, the Templar, to discover in your own time.

            Cinderella draws the lines around your own rambling narrative: the obstacle of the bloodline and how that becomes the challenge of the boy becoming a man. The bloodline! How you expected to have his child be the carrier of the bloodline! Your son, the Lucifer of the Aquarian Age! How your body raged at the realization of what was meant to be was not, in fact, going to become! Your wise sister giving you the good advice in the winter of early 2008, to “hold the energy just a little bit longer.” And so you did, you channeled the Aquarian spirit through more performances and writing and your reward was meeting the Templar, in perfect timing with, now as Evening Star, in September 2008. That momentous meeting would lead to a two-year collaboration resulting in two exhibitions about the hieros gamos, the icon bringing you into holistic accord.

            Memories come back in waves. Margaret Starbird insisting in 1997 when you embarked on your trail of signifiers, that the bloodline doesn’t matter. The Grail, she told you, comes from the world Sangreal (sang real=Royal Blood). The Sangreal is the Aquarian spirit contained in the womb of the female.

            Every woman is the potential Grail bearer, she told you. You would have been mad to interpret her words as literal: that you, a stand in for “everywoman” would meet the man carrying the Templar blood, along with the name, into a new millennium. Isn’t it logical to think that you would carry the child of the man who has declared his love for you in the space of his galley/temple hiding the Holy of the Holies in the dark recesses of Hell’s Kitchen? You were prepared with the knowledge yes, like a refrain in your head: the bloodline doesn’t matter. And yet, that is why he wouldn’t impregnate you! You weren’t of the bloodline!! He kept talking about how he was to marry only into the bloodline and you, of course, were thinking. You are running out of time!

            The flash comes back to you engaging with Cinderella, the grand finale of the festival that was officially panned by all the male critics who, typically, refrained from the screening and press conference all together. The bloodline narrative is so embedded in this fairy tale, and yet, as a rite of passage the prince must stand up to his parents, to his entire ancestry, to insight on the right to marry his true love, a commoner with cinders in her tresses carrying the Aquarian spirit of universal compassion. You stand with the mike and cannot speak; rather, you exclaim: “Ohhhhhhhhh. Cinderella is above all a story of transformation!” And Kenneth Branaugh is beaming your light right back at you. That is all you really wanted to do was gush, because there it was, a modern Cinderella, proactive from the energy of the Venus making her stations with the Moon across the zodiac, and yet always surrendering to the unknown so the transpersonal energies could make their narrative known through the female body.

            After a second, you realized you didn’t ask a question, so you pulled on up: “How did you so seamlessly meld the digital into the acting?”

            He referred your question to the producer because it was largely a technical one. But you had your moment to silently project a thank-you to the director for reviving the fairy tale as an Aquarian rite, one that reflected your predicament to a T, having to endure and endure the abuses of the patriarchal blockages to the re-emergence of the Grail, hidden not in the treasure but the women, and having to hear from the Templar, himself how he loves you and you will always be connected but he has to marry into the bloodline. The illuminati bloodline? Hasn’t he read that all the potential priestesses, the ones with a claim to legitimacy through their bloodline, have been systematically mind-controlled? Where does he expect to find this enlightened aristocrat with a womb ready for birthing his child? You long since gave up trying to make him realize that the divine child of the Age of Aquarius doesn’t have to be flesh and blood. Rather, it is a codex, the Codex that you have been charged, by the destiny imprinted in your astrological chart, to write. Is this it?

            And the matter of the lost slipper found by the prince, the symbol of grounding and elevation at the same time?   Your early dreams were all about shoes, all kinds of dreams about shoes, and most recently, it has been dreams about red shoes, your feet being carefully buckled into red shoes by a priestess, who escorts you up to the edge of a cliff and into a tremendous light shines from above.

            Yet, even your dreams did not prepare you for the final chapter, sitting before the marvelous cast of Cinderella, with the archetypes of the King and Queen, the Dark Sisters and Wicked Aphrodite Stepmother, deliciously played Cate Blanchett, the reigning queen of film and stage.   You learn in this press conference many things about the feminine journey. How much the natural world factors the outcome is evident in the animal guides, for the mice open the window when the prince visits so he can hear Cinderella holding her central focus of “being kind” while singing in her room, and the crucial factor of timing in magic, as demonstrated from the hilarious turn of Helena Bonham Carter as the Good Fairy: “It is all about timing isn’t it. She has precious minutes to get to the ball and I have to make it happen.” So she has to quickly get herself done up from the beggar woman to the fairy and then transform Cinderella mother’s dress into a gown and then find the right vegetable in the garden to transform into the golden chariot—all the effort to get Cinderella’s grand debut on the public stage at the precise moment that the collective is ready. The three characteristics of Cinderella’s transformation are key to the Aquarian conversion: staying present with nature, the inner focus and timing.

            The journey defined by the chase of the Unicorn in the role of the “last movie star” whose need for control of his calcified image causes him to fall to his fate and alternatively the new movie star whose creative choices are a series of quantum leaps into a new epic (the very word suggested to him in your plea for his audience), which is the magical mingling of art and life arising through exorcising the freedom of creative choices. This is, of course, to the detriment of the carefully cultivated image that confined the movie star of the heyday of film. Indeed, you personally experienced the “last movie star” as calcified into a statue of himself; at which point, you noticed James Franco prolonging his visit to the outer lobby of the press room on the other side of the red velvet rope, looking around you, not at you, because he had no conscious knowledge of your existence.

            He was, you realize now, looking into his future in which his critic would publicly inquire about the very choices that led to their convergence, a story of a new archetype being born through the very public arena of the press conference, the opposite sides of the equation converging somewhere in the middle, where the top prize, the Golden Bear, unclaimed by Jafar Pahani, was placed: first on the empty table, then on the floor. The absent director in his own film is the spiritual presence in the pressroom, heralding the Third entity of quantum entanglement into the future of art.

            And this brings a finale to your madcap rush, like a schoolgirl, to an appointment with an illusive appearance in the culture, to be chronicled only by virtue of the extent of your quantum entanglements. This was the uncertainty principle in action you configured as your mandate: the aware presence of the critic/scientist as participant in their experiment. The specter of your rapidly diminishing funds only heightened the pressure to get your chosen path to the Freedom Formula (3+3=6 for Franco vs. 5+1=6 for Clooney) as you shifted from the latter (5+1=6) to the former (3+3=6) from festival to festival.

 

            Yes, you could justify this obsession through astrology; Mars in Leo opposing your Venus & Sun in Aquarius. But how could you have predicted where this would end? Not in your wildest dreams did you imagine it would lead to your losing your dancing shoes one day and then being enthralled by Cinderella the next!   And to have this all come to a resplendent close after your experience the most direct manifestation of the hieros gamos onscreen ever in the suspended bodies of Chusake’s Journey, you receive the communication containing the literal key, not only the treasure but a new life, far removed from this hermetic life as a critic filtering the contemporary for an indifferent public.

            How does this go again? Your professor Giorgio Agamben sums it up beautifully in words: “It is as if this invisible light that is the darkness of the present cast its shadow on the past, so that the past, touched by this shadow, acquired the ability to respond to the darkness of the now.”

            You hardly had a clue as to how prophetic these words of Agamben’s would be for the culmination and closure of your thirty-year journey pursuing the Dasein of the hieros gamos. The passage comes full circle in a communication from the Templar who pointed you to the journey back in September of 2011. You opened his email when you arrived home from the last day of the festival, Friday the 13th of February (sic).

 

 

            You receive his communication at 3 AM on Valentine’s Day, after walking across Berlin, from the festival location at Potsdamer Platz to the when you arrive home from a walk through Berlin after a late screening with a shamanic performance and installation from Tahimik, the Philippine filmmaker completing the unfinished circumambulation of Magellan’s uncompleted voyage for 2012 that was tantamount of a leap into a new paradigm under the effects of the Venus Transit of the Sun.

            “Yes, I have the key for you,” he wrote in the January email that reestablished your correspondence. The Valentine’s Day email from Hughes Payans amounts to a three-page letter that gives you an electrical shock elevating your Dasein into the state of hieros gamos from which has not descended. The Prime Mover arrived with the treasure chest in your childhood dreams as a manifest reality. The letter follows up on his reaction to your dream about him standing beneath the collapsing quantum wave with a key. Hughes Payans is heir of the world’s oldest bloodline and direct descendent of Hughes de Payans, the founder and first grandmaster of the Knights Templar. Hughes was your collaborator and hieros gamos partner (you couldn’t quite imagine any other connection but that of the sacred wedding with the man who appeared in your life as if sprouted Aries-style, from the ever-present origin). He sent you on this journey into cinema and right in keeping with the close of an epic Berlinale, his letter relates a secret that no one outside of his family ever knew, except for one person whose name graces this text, which makes its archeology all the more crucial for the global crisis. And this person is dead, so it is only you.

            Your reality has completely shifted. You are bathed in the sweet light of knowing that you have reached the horizon and will never have to run towards anything again; his revelation is just the sign you need that everything you will ever desire will come to you. It is a sacred feeling that cannot be accounted for in the material, yet it legitimizes your journey and brings it to stunning end.

            Film is the medium for the collective unconscious, just as television is the medium for the collective consciousness. Since the 1997 publication of your essay on your sister’s film, your critical focus was interpreting the new Aquarian forms of multimedia in art. This was chiefly through the newspapers. A dozen years later, this brought you into collaboration with the Templar. You shared the same instincts for the new and devotion to an aesthetic of balance in the opposites, and you believed this destiny, a collaboration made in heaven. You threw yourself into it, disseminating your grassroots hieros gamos theory as an art movement, and his subsequent pointing you away from the material of art, where you learned to draw as much meaning from the material as the narrative form and content.   Taking this insight, you returned to the projective-medium of cinema where you began your journey as the material of celluloid, the oil content relating the archaic feminine of the earth, was being replaced by digital technology. You arrived just in time to lament that digital, based on the binary code, lacks the rich material substance of celluloid, with its chemical transformations in the laboratory transforming images into “larger than life” icons on the silver screen. Meanwhile, television is an electronic medium derived from the channeling of the renegade electron over the airwaves, confining the wide-open movie star charisma to a box. The new media of the digital is the binary code, and out of this binary comes the tertiary generation of computing via the wavicle (quibit) interchange.

            Any artist who can master more than one medium poses a threat to a critic. This has been the custom in mainstream media because a journalistic beat is parceled out by discipline. If this individual is also popular with the public, the potential exists to enter the rare realm of the “critically exempt.”

            This was the thesis that you were building around George Clooney as you tracked the symbolism in his films as revealing the decline of the American Dream that nicely fit with his mythology as the last of the American movie stars. It stands to reason, therefore, that Clooney’s demonstrated mastery over both mediums (the Neptunian cinema and Uranian television) places his interpreter in an extremely advantageous position with the populace. So when you performed your magic at Babelsberg Studios and were informed that he was filming in Goslar, you took off for the Harz Mountains, leaving an interview request with the number you were given by the publicity office.

  • You passed through the open gate and used your magic to appear at the publicity office at the fortuitous moment when the assistant to the publicist was entering and she invites you into the office and she tells you that the film crew was filming Goslar and she gives you both a book on the gilded history of the studio and takes you on a tour, leading you straight to Clooney’s office…which happened to be the headquarters of the Reich Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany, Joseph Goebbels.

 

 

  • Views of the famous Studio Babelsberg, where your Mercurius guided you in Potsdam. The signage at the entrance to Joseph Goebbels’ office, reveals George Clooney’s headquarters for Monuments Men. Clooney has been compared to Goebbels by some critics, which has just about everything to say about Adorno’s prediction of the Kulture Industrie controlled by the international entertainment media conglomerates utilizing Nazi Germany tactics to control global culture.

 

The reason why the studio gates were open was strictly due to timing: the director, his cast and crew had departed for the Harz Mountains. You returned to Berlin with Emilia and were standing on your famous street, Oranienburger Strasse, before the signifier “HOW LONG IS NOW” written in big block letters on the side of Tacheles, the grand department store reduced to Nazi torture center and revived as an arts center after reunification emptied a month before your early October 2012 arrival in Berlin.

 

You were standing there, watching the May Day parade, when the Goddess spoke through Emilia and said: “If you want to catch Clooney, you best go to the Harz Mountains now.”

And you do. You do some research and miraculously discover a hostel in the mountain spa village of Hahnenklee. You take the train the next day and a bus up the mountain and are dropped off before a lake with a fountain in the center and discover the charming gothic house at number 12 right in front of it.

You are greeted by a devil and his pal on the front bench and enter the quaint linen of the Blackcom Erika tearoom as if a dream. You will make an instant new friend of your hostess, Marion, who tells you that the devil on her front bench is from the May Day festival that began on April 29. The signs were still there, in the witches that adorn the windows of this town all the year.

The Harz Mountains, you would discover, is steeped in the mythology of the witch with the Bracken as the flat-topped mountain shrouded in clouds symbolizing the Witches’ Brew, which is also a local liquor.

The mythology that Clooney stumbled into on his timely arrival in the Harz on May Day would unfold over the month of May. When you arrived at the rooming house, you were told that he purchased the festival from the Goslar municipality, so as not to interrupt the shooting schedule. Did he realize what he welcomed into his personal mythology? Purgis is the local narrative of the arrival of the Beltane White Goddess who banishes the Devil, personification of the death of the winter months giving way to spring

 

The mythology of Walpurgis you could embrace, if not the man who wandered into it. Although you kept missing Clooney, as if by cosmic design, you collected traces of his presence in the Harz. You see him riding in a jeep with Bill Murray on the front page of the local newspaper in the next village of Clausthal. Another article appears of the passage of the film crew through region, causing commotion if only by stopping up all the weekend traffic. You leave messages with the number given to you by the Babelsberg publicist, without a response.

Entering the fog of the eclipse, you Skype your great friend, Natasha, whose address book is the most coveted in aristocratic circles, pleading for a connection to Clooney and you heard her prize possession shut with a snap resounding from the 16th arrondissement of Paris all the way to your Harz mountain.

You try to make use of your obsession by pitching a story about the mythical backdrop to the making of Monuments Men to the Weekend editor at Los Angeles Times and, incredibly, he returns your email with “these aren’t in my sweet spot, but I’d be interested in ideas for our Culture Exchange column about controversies or intriguing developments in culture shedding light on Germans today.” Only you would pitch a pop culture piece and be asked to write a substantive thought piece on Germanic culture!

The fog thickens when your hostess Marion, tells you that she heard a rumor that Clooney was staying in the mining retreat of Maaßener Gaipel and she drives you there, halfway down the mountain to Clausthal where you can see the equipment locked inside temporary fence constructed into the parking lot behind the Tourist Office.

 

 

 

The phenomenology of the near-miss in George Clooney’s triumphant arrival in the Harz was with loaded signifiers beginning with the name (heart) of the mountainous region known for its legendary witches. Arriving at Hahnaklee on Walpurgis, enacted as an annual rite of the Devil disposed by the White Goddess. The cave is a symbol of the feminine (vagina). These mining caves in the Harz were used in Monuments Men to film the art that had been hidden in mining caves. Clooneythal, a takeoff on the village name summing up the excitement over the arrival of the film crew, which diverted traffic in the region.

After taking up residence for the month that Clooney was filming his movie Monuments Men in the Harz, you added up the near misses with the realization that your planned “accidental encounter” was simply not to be. Instead, you decide to utilize your semiotic analysis of the Clooney ouevre to write your master’s thesis on George Clooney and the Decline American Dream in a Time of Uncertainty.

But the traces remain, and you stroll through Liebesbankweg in Harz time and again, to embody the revelation that this partner you seek on the outside is actually inside.

 

 

 

Liebesbankweg in Harz offers the opportunity for the sacred marriage/subject meeting object via the interaction with the many sculpted embodiments of the symbol, from the walking serenade on opening day to entering the Third as the child, and leaving your own carved signage.

 

Ultimately, you hire your hostess to drive you to his five-star hotel, on the other side of the mountain, and with your innate sense of “perceiving the light in the darkness of the present” managed to arrive during the wrap party. The guardian at the gate refused you entry, along a gaggle of local girls.

Then, it was over.

So you did what you always do. You surrender deep into yourself. And you write.

 

It was an unlikely place for revelation. In the car with its license plate TV NEWS on the way to the grocery store from where you lived in the family estate in Connecticut, the house where you grew up with four brothers and sisters. But there it was, uttered like a casual statement of fact: “I had a dream you married George Clooney.”

It was an inexplicable statement arriving out of the blue, and your heart opened at the very gravity in which it was delivered–as if a prophecy. Before she even finished speaking, your thoughts struck it down: she is talking about the archetype, not the man. But then she continued: “And we got to go to his house in Como for the wedding.”

The magic began in the fall of 2010 when your brother fulfilled a long time dream of embarking on a trip on the Erie Canal that would pass through the locks of our ancestral town in upstate New York. Afterwards you took a road trip to Lake Como where your mother spent her summers as a youth. The village was run down, white wooden houses with peeling paint, but there still existed the large wooden sign for Hotel Como. She took a photo of you posing beside it. When you got home, you made the moment into a ritual, creating a digital collage with the photo transposed over George Clooney’s image as “Sexiest Man Alive” on the cover of People. You realize that you have made a ritual of a mystical wedding to the icon of the New Man! But never had a work of art felt so shameful! You felt like Cinderella fated to be cleaning the ashes of the family hearth with an impossible dream of the man on the white horse carrying you from the sorry American replica to the real Lake Como estate.

The magic returned on your birthday when your friend and editor came to dinner. In your haste to submit a posting on George Clooney as a ritual of manifestation to catalyze your Solar Return, it was published unfinished! You are in a frantic state to give it the finishing gloss when it was already live. What if the millions of George Clooney followers were to read it? Rolf helped you and the task went until late when you watched the movie star stun his father on Piers Morgan by announcing that he will never marry again.

So, it is in the inner marriage you integrated as a Mobius strip of interior with the exterior phenomenology. Later in the year, Hughes Payans decided to start a new magazine, and gave you a letter to obtain accreditation for your first film festival, the 2011 Venice Film Festival. This was a major step forward in putting a personal dream, of returning to writing about film and marrying—if not George Clooney, than his medium of film.

At the Venice Film Festival, you had your first public sighting of George Clooney while standing in the crowd and watching him on the red carpet.

It is very strange how your mother, who always pushed you into declaring your independence from men, would have a dream in which you marry George Clooney. Your mother’s dream indicated a complete reversal of the values you were raised with in the seventies, a time of women’s liberation and my mother’s own emancipation from a marriage to an unfaithful husband. That her relating the dream of your sacred marriage as a literal marriage to a movie star did not come as a complete shock and repudiation of your life struggle for freedom from a patriarchal society was a reflection of the matrix you created, where you couldn’t clearly see your own identity through the mother/daughter, Persephone/Demeter symbiosis.

You were considering yourself just lucky to have survived as an artist, never mind fulfilling your intellectual promise by obtaining a doctorate. You are getting older by the day, every new grey hair moving you further away from George Clooney’s ideal woman. In his projection of the American Dream, he was a living projection of the patriarchal society–men aged on into powerful command on-screen while aging women were tossed out of the frame.

Yet, in the cruel exchange of death for life, a myth you rehearsed several times, your mother’s death provided you with the freedom to embark on the journey reconciling her dream with your own—to marry your contemporary philosophy to contemporary cinema. Your inheritance liberated you to travel the globe, tracking Venus up to and during her historical transit in 2012 and into an unexpected parallel topography with George Clooney in Berlin, where you discovered Robert Bramkamp, born just two weeks later in 1961. Through the avant-garde filmmaker’s collaborations with his partner, Susanne Weirich the promise you saw in Clooney to deliver the new archetype of the feminine with the hieros gamos, is fulfilled on and off the screen.

The topography where you pursued the dream of the manifestation of the hieros gamos was an unexpected delight. The legendary land of witches also brought forth an entire local narrative of the death and renewal of the feminine; you became fully aware of this when you returned for the entire two-day of rites running from April 29-30, 2015. The physical connection with the icon was no longer important. Rather it was the topography of the Harz and Berlin, sites of resurrection from the worst degradation and destruction now holding the promise of a united European culture together, as the site for a universal mythology.

In your mother’s dream, the marriage knot was to be tied in Como. Why Como? The superficial answer is because it is where George Clooney has a house. A deeper, more archetypal response–which enters the duality of Zizek’s parallax gap–is that Clooney’s house there was the site of his practical joke, the repeated raising of tents for an alleged wedding that kept helicopters circling for days. Yet, probing into the linguistics of the Como signifier/object delivers a more profound understanding of dreaming itself: “como” in Spanish means “how.”

How indeed was your fairy tale wedding to take place?

Dreams might show us the way, but they never provide an operations manual. Your theory posits human transformation into conduits between heaven and earth through the quintessential marital dream space, thereby erasing all divisions with so-called “reality.” This requires summoning our creative ingenuity to embodying every symbol, every sign, on our unconscious night journey until we are actually living the dream. This is how it feels to read your words on the screen as you write at this moment. And then finally, the dream is made real, and can be shared with others through the work of art.

The preface to the Clooney treatise is written under the eclipse of May 2013 place your fascinating passage via Lucifer, the harbinger of light, into the body. The Master’s Thesis was stored in your laptop as a relic from 2011, before you even knew of a school where you could find a dream advisor such as Dr. Rickels who would actually give you the key, via Benjamin, under the Full Moon on Christmas Day in 2015. He told you at breakfast that what happens in allegory is that “Lucifer sometimes returns and brings the extinguishing light of Christianity, but the only thing that could stop that is an intrigue with such potential…something that could be called subjectivity could be more powerful.”

Right there, Dr. Rickels gave you the license to utilize your subjective experience, the feeling of bliss when timed your first viewing of Steven Soderbergh’s Solaris under an eclipse in 2010 and just knew this was Clooney’s entry into the archetype of the sacred marriage. Your academic writing (and thus the letter identifying yourself as a PhD student doing research on his ouevre) was the outgrowth of the PowerPoint presentation that received high praise from Adam Birnbaum, programming director of the art cinema on Connecticut’s gold coast.

 

 

Gluck Auf is the Harz expression of good luck and you see the signage everywhere.

 

You always loved living on the edge! Your mother would frequently remind you of this, but there was something far more serious going on than a dance with death. It was about devoting your life to the question of fate.

On your passage through the film festival circuit, you encounter fate as a withdrawn phallus in the form of a microphone. This represents the lost opportunity to connect with Eros as you move from one target to the next. When each and every one rejects you, what else can you do? Nothing else, it seems, but pour out your frustration through the binary code of your laptop!

Once the conscious threads have woven into a carefully constructed loom combining this path of misses into two fates preparing for a common destiny, he pulls away, seemingly forever; he meets the Aquarian, a professional Lebanese lawyer perfectly manifesting the image, if not the reality of the Venus retrograde cycle begun in Capricorn, just after your 2014 Solar Return. Among a flurry of global media, wedding plans are made with her family between paparazzi strolls in her funky Aquarian outfits over the premises you visited and vacated before you became Witness of the last movie star’s fall from free will into fate. This is an old story, told time and again, through the Devil’s image in the tarot, with the shackles around the naked lovers’ ankles.

You know that you have finally arrived at the tail end of an intense decade-long search for artists whose oeuvre reflects an archeology extracted from the American soil. This would be Emerson’s friend and editor, Margaret Fuller, who was influenced by the German Enlightenment and worshipped the hieros gamos as a guiding icon to the point of putting it on the frontispiece of her seminal book, Woman in the Twenty-First Century.

Alas, you had difficulty disclosing evidence for this universalism by visual artists who weren’t trained to seek it. Even when you managed to find it in their creations, you couldn’t do much about it, as they were unknown to the general public. This is the closed noose of the Aquarian Shadow in which an artist has to be known as a public personality in order to be recognized for their works, and neither could enter the collective consciousness if their works couldn’t be seen. Observing this as a media philosopher enticed you to become a close observer of the Leo personality as the Schirmacher homo generator challenged to tackle this paradox—or not.

            In 2005, as the noose of market pressures to become famous enclosed the art world in its grip, you departed from newspaper criticism to dedicate your life to experimenting with and uncovering the new forms in the noncommercial public expression of performance. In this non-mercantile medium, you were delighted to uncover the formation of an icon that you had been channeling your entire life—first through encounter groups and then through creative writing, which led to a personal excavation of the hieros gamos (US) icon at the dawn of civilization.

            Once you allied your inner search for the divine with the materiality of ancient artifacts, something happened; George Clooney started appearing in your dreams. This was nothing new for you to have a movie star appearing as a symbol in your dreams. It would be rather strange for them NOT to appear to a contemporary living just below the Hollywood sign and charged with the task of analyzing Hollywood scripts during a time of deep immersion into the occult sciences. Indeed, you are catalyzed by the Mobius strip of having actual movie stars from your dreams appear in your outer life, even if the closest you came to Daniel Day Lewis, who appeared as the runaway lover on a scooter, when your sister was in a telephone conversation with him upon your returning her vacuum cleaner.

            As a dedicated student of semiotics, you learn that the very role of film actors, and your role as script analyst, converges with the archetypal energies. Your duties involve interpretation of these energies in their roles as they are reflected deep within the psyche through your dreams. As a creative writer, you can hardly separate the inner from the outer, though you realize too few in your profession are as predisposed as you are to engaging the Uncertainty Principle in this manner—transmitting the future indicated in your dreams into real-life celluloid vehicles for the new archetypes knocking, as they did in your sixties youth, on your cellar door. You were grateful for the opportunity to link these dream figures with scripted narrative, evoking the energies arising into the collective at a particular time in history.

            And what a time in history! The postmodern movement at the close of the twentieth century was itself breaking down, but you understood, from riding the wave of the Human Potential Movement as a sixties child, the patriarchal archetypes illuminated by the twentieth century medium of cinema needed to be incorporated into the psyche BEFORE the millennial dissolution establishing the cultural Void for a new archetype to emerge. This understanding saved you a lot of time and heartbreak—from thinking these archetypes were meant to be part of your waking life. So, you found others in your literature…

 

The passage is treacherous. Dangerous pussy is the tarot card that comes up when you confront jealousy. It is all about lust. The dangerous encounter. The beast has no patience. The beast wants it all now. You wrote about this in relation to the Aquarian. His response? He wanted to read it. His birthdate is February 11, 1950. The astrology chart for his birth time virtually sings out the divine wedding as a new form of innovative relationship. The chart of the groom awaiting his bride. And this Aquarian in his new post-yoga confident self was ready. Or so he thinks! February 11! This date, in the wee hours of the morning in 1963, marks the death of Sylvia Plath. Saturn squaring Neptune!   The dream of the hieros gamos as a living union between two poets dies an early death. In your last conversation, the Aquarian who lights soaps for a living admitted that he was trying to clean out his apartment of stuff, but couldn’t bring himself to throw anything out. Amazing what people will tell you about themselves from their habits. The shaman taught you the importance of really listening. Not only to what is said but what isn’t said. Thank you Mercurius, winged messenger, patron of all these alchemical transformations delivering me to the Cross Bath, for the unconscious message.

 

            When Clooney appears in your dreams under an eclipse in the fall of 2008, you have been summoned to the gallery of the Templar to give a presentation of the populist mythology ushering the Obamas into the White House. You set up the time under a Libra Moon for a partnership, so it unfolds quite beautifully that your presentation (you leave out the part about your uncle playing the role of Anu to Obama’s arisen Sun/Son) launches you on a two-year process of curating two exhibitions examining your art theory in relation to the ancient icon. At this time, the dream about Clooney reveals one of two possible interpretations; either he was the new archetype, or he was delivering you a message that the archetype was ready to emerge in the collective with the election of Barack Obama to the U.S. Presidency. Either way, the dream indicated the last movie star was the harbinger of the rising Kundalini into collective consciousness: the signifier is the caduceus, the intertwined snakes on his doctor’s badge, a symbol for healing, indicating the ER role by which he made his long-delayed leap to fame (which kept his star in the backdrop during your tenure as script analyst).

            It isn’t the two intertwined snakes but the single serpent wrapped around a pole, representing the 13th constellation, Ophiuchus. The serpent holder represents the ability to wield the Kundalini power. You discover this figure in your archeology of the ancient Aquarian archetypes; it is the Sumerian god, Enki, a magician whose symbol is a spiraling snake, representing the power of transformation.

            You know from the dream that Enki, the Aquarian serpent god, is instructing you on the importance of transforming your Kundalini energy, but what of the recognizable figure of the movie star? Was he the dashing Prince to your Cinderella?

 

Where were the stars hovering that Capricorn weekend in early 1997? Oh, yes. This was the prelude to the six-pointed star on my birthday. The narrowest passage of the birth canal is Saturn testing my fortitude, checking to see if you are prepared to make it to the other side. The Aquarian Age. So you return two years, two months later to the aquamarine rug, her would-be Peter Gabriel American Aquarian sea complete with a sandbox on the zinc slab of a coffee table containing shells, barking a reminder to take off my boots, so not to soil the deep aqua plushness of the rug. It looks the same. The border of musical instrument looking ornamentaland never been handled by an authentic bard. Exotic instruments like you encountered in Bath after gaining entry into Real World. In the three times you have been in his apartment and he never spontaneously picked up an instrument and played. No grail seeker he was…

 

            Your chart comparison with that of Clooney, whose birth time is known, agrees with your dream image, indicating marriage, will take place under the cycle of Libra eclipses, coming to a close on 28 September 2015. Once your journey gets underway as the eclipse cycle with the Dragon’s Head in Libra commences in 2012, you are guided to an empty apartment in East Berlin where you will begin your journey writing your dissertation on Nietzsche and Lou Salome and the Übermensch. Shortly afterwards, you see the item in the Deutsche newspaper greeting “Guten Tag” as the caption under Clooney’s photo on a Berlin street, apparently scouting film locations.

            Your experience of transmitting Berlin’s reunification epic into a past and future mythology of the hieros gamos culminates two years later when you experience the glory, on 9 November 2014, of Peter Gabriel singing David Bowie’s “Heroes” at the former Berlin Wall against the backdrop of the images of the divided Berlin. You were ecstatic to make this full circle trip to actually see Peter Gabriel in Berlin from your entry into Real World, his recording studio in Bath where you first heard US, a miraculous album about the real life struggle of the Aquarian to obtain the hieros gamos with the Leo Other. The bard, in the Renaissance tradition, who led you on your own path, inner and outer, to the divine marriage through his music…had arrived to unify the former division through David Bowie’s mythic song of a pair of lovers united over the East/West division of the Berlin Wall. It was the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Brandenburg Gate, with the winged Victoria on top, was lit up in gold, the color of the royal wedding:

 

Peter Gabriel. The name arises immediately from the surface of the sea. During your initial meeting on the floating aqua sea of rug, you were handed an astrological chart with a familiar configuration. Peter Gabriel. The Aquarian lording over a magical place called Real World. The chart looked familiar because Peter Gabriel’s birthday was just two days after that of the Aquarian, drowning you in his unfulfilled quest. At the mere mention of his name, a CD was extracted from the library spilling out of custom made shelf and into the aqua seascape. You see the familiar cover. US. The CD calling out the Sacred Marriage, which you discovered during the trek to Real World. Bought it in the Virgin Records at Piccadilly Square. What an introduction! Even your English alchemist suitor, who never heard of Peter Gabriel, thought it was marvelous. When the American Aquarian with the rug contacted you the following year, he brought a symbol of the sacred marriage with him. Yoga. The very word means “to unite”…

 

            If the unconscious was channeling, back in 1999, your millennial fate to become the Aquarian bride, then whom was the groom? Your dreams pointed to George Clooney and then migrated to James Franco. They were the biggest movie stars in their generations, identified in their astrological charts by Mars in Leo. The placement of this highly performative Mars on the U.S. North Node of the Moon, known as the Dragon’s Head, revealed the cosmic reason for their ascent into fame: the creativity channeled into stardom sourced in the universal identification with, yes, the Bridegroom/Lion of Judah.

            This projection of the ideal Aquarian consort is established from just two films, Tristan and Isolde (Franco) and Solaris (Clooney), which transported you into the hieros gamos. Were they really to be your partner or just carrying the archetype? Only time and fate (Saturn) could tell how the archetype and reality would converge.   But there was definitely something like marriage ahead, why else all the premonition of death?

A reconciliation between your Germanic side and your inner Jewish mystic. Light and dark. Order and Ka-Os. Mind and emotion. Spirit and soul. Fusing through the inner fire. The need for reconciliation was so great in your personality, the grail quest took over your life for fourteen years.   The best years of your life dedicated to the seeking alone. The journey began with an ominous reading by an Argentine astrologer dramatically warning you of the dangers of your natal chart before assuring you of the quality of your mind. Thanks to your clear thinking Germanic mother, there is assuredly nothing wrong in that department. Even when you felt yourself undergoing emotional breakdown, your practicality never wavered. What genetics doesn’t complete, your vast knowledge of the heavens can….The mind is clear as glass. Subject and Object clearly categorized in your orderly mind. A chair is a chair. A house is a house. You don’t even care to describe the thing in any other manner but its usefulness. Yet, the body is muddle, struggling between the opposites, forever intoxicated on the quest to purity, the damage of everyday life at this crucial shifting of the ages…

 

            In 1999, your fate compelled you into the stream, and to stand, one foot in water and the other on land, to analyze your dreams, so fate could be made into destiny. For fourteen years–yes a full half of the length of a Saturn cycle–the Groom wasn’t a man but the Shadow. This required something new, a confrontation with evil, in fact. You had to learn that this new age requires a confrontation with evil, as the collective had to experience through the horrendous murder of Sharon Tate, the 2+4=6 Aquarian who shared your birthday, and was ascending in the seventies, as was 2+4=6 Nastassja Kinski in the following decade, into the face, if not the embodiment, of the Aquarian icon.

This might be why you dreamt that you were throwing out you clothes and left a pair of bright red shoes to take with you to a new destination. It was one of many dreams you had about red shoes.

And then, it happened!   You had to leave Berlin and just days before throwing out most of your clothes, you were walking before a consignment shop on Danzinger Strasse and you found them: the red shoes! They were authentic Playboy Bunny shoes. In East Berlin!

You took the red slippers with you to Cyprus and hung them on the door of the chapel in Kato Chorio, Cyprus, as a homage to Aphrodite.

 

            Yes, Aquarians, even more than others, need to make room for evil, which is, as Franco might easily point out, live spelled backwards. What else could such a journey of ascending from the artistic underground into global fame entail but the Aquarian, a creature of light born into the ascent of the sixties surfgeist, marrying her Leo opposite: FAME. Even as an abstract concept communicated by your psychic, this was a hard one to fathom in your Persephone imprisonment, locked in the pattern of autumn descent to Hades and the spring return to Demeter, carrying yet another manuscript on Hermes” chariot, fated to continue for another decade. By what conditions does the contemporary always rush to an appointment with fate that can’t help be missed, and yet need be suddenly right on time with its appointment with destiny: the birth of the New Sun? With all the magic in your wake, it had to be earth-shaking!

            And indeed it is. You remember now your recurring fantasy of a buried treasure… thinking for so long it was such a lazy vision to find a buried treasure. Straight out of a picture book! Ahh…but the chief characteristic of this buried treasure was protection by deadly scorpions. Isn’t that the accurate symbol of your journey, in which you never could have dreamed to find the grail treasure, but had every conscious intention of finding the Holy Grail in yourself! Did it make it any easier to avoid the vortices of energy that threatened to take you down…to the bottom where the projection only favors darkness, the pupil of the eye shutting out the light? Certainly not!

Like Percival, we need to embark on the journey. Every one of us…man and woman, separate and together. Traveling the world with a sack on our back, taking back our projections until we absorb our own Shadow and tear down the tower of false beliefs so we can finally become whole. It is simply not truewhat the media and black marketers would have one believe, that the rich and famous receive the magic. How untrue is that notion!   If you had been a celebrity, rather than the most cele-berated non-celebrity contemporary who can’t even declare her “time” without dividing it, you would never have been able to complete the journey. The scorpions had to be dispelled one at a time to open the treasure trunk. Celebrities are mere commodities, hawking their personalities from behind a market stall. The truth the black magicians hide behind their magick spells is that the Grail lies in the most ordinary experience….

            The Ouroboros reveals the paradox of George Clooney, and yet, you found the self-devouring art-I-facts of “the last movie star” in a new generation. This new blood utilizes the very thing that Clooney disdains, namely social media, to blast through the traditional boundaries between mediums. A movie star that wanted to be an artist, and demonstrated his cinematic appeal as a human right to apply an means of expression he pleases… torpedoing the critics along the way….Why not?

The most ordinary acts reveal the most extraordinary workings of the universe. And suddenly, another chilly breeze with a tingling working its way down the spine. What if this was all a trap? What if you were coaxed on this freedom trek in hopes of arriving at the symbol of the new reality, the authentic cross unifying spirit and matter, and there isn’t the solar light of a new cosmology but the glare of artificial light, the limelight, and the accusation that all this is happening to you simply because you were rolled out as George Clooney’s latest cosmic joke, his Eliza Doolittle?

            How come the very meaning of that name never hit you before? Do little but smile, remain silent and slip into a size zero gown! Impossible with your 38-inch hips, but you remember what your Leo hairdresser told you from his prepping models for their Vogue moment: when you get that skinny, everything shrinks your heartyour lungs, along with your mouth and presumably your vagina. How is the grandeur of the goddess to enter through such a small hole? Ha, no wonder why Georgie Porgie was so happy to escape his meeting with destiny, as he sped away from you standing with your witness, Victoria, at the boat slip below the Excelsior Hotel! What if the old goat of the patriarchal tradition was attempting to tie you up in a neat little package, a new container for an old perfume, by luring you on what appeared to be a spiritual paththe cosmic carrot luring you towards Uncertainty, the path that would be institutionalized in a unique manner that would have been thought to have been impossible…and you were tricked by the darkening skies into climbing onto a media-constructed pedestal, having to be the “official” mouthpiece for the Goddess confined to a cage?

            What if you arrived at the Cross Bath and meet your partner in the flesh… andheaven forbidwhat if he were to be famous, someone like, for the sake of argument, Peter Gabriel. What if this individual were to be encountered in a fated meeting under the aqua seascape of a Uranian eclipse? What if this eclipse was bringing the hieros gamos from the distant ethers into the Real World of female embodiment? What if you were thrust out there at your personal crossroads, wearing the Cross of a New Archetypal female wielding the lightning into the very containment of her passage into the evil shadow of Fame?

            Today’s evil/live dichotomy standing between heaven and earth demands resolution through integration. Didn’t Sharon Tate teach us that in being sprung from her role in Eye of the Devil to being slaughtered by the Devil’s hand? The hieros gamos is where you have your image reflected back electronically as the embodiment of someone who dares tread over the invisible barrier of the patriarchy…so far into the distant realms where men and women are free. This is the task of the artist, is it not? To travel into distant realms and deliver to humanity the gift of what was found there.

            Something occurred to you while recycling back to Connecticut in the heat of your Unicorn pursuit. It was in your head now, because the images that James Franco was releasing were so very off-putting in his frenetic quest to perform the Abramović-style public performance art of transformation. “Who would want to sleep with you?” asked the genius poet Max Blagg when you forced him to read, in your presence, a “barely” fictionalized performance story of a hieros gamos ritual with a famous artist involving masking tape and a Black Madonna figure. The compulsion for the public self-devouring is something you know about, but you had to practice, bit by bit, to confront the fear and transform it into the courage of the Lion.

            It seemed that you were chasing your own image, the dark imprint on the mirrored surface at the moment of your Solar Return at the first crack of dawn at the Old Mill outside Bath. This explains your compulsion to kiss a lion statue at Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts! You were embodying the objective, Lion of Judah, the fame-seeking Leo.

            Rolf, your beloved companion and editor…he alone of all the millions in the New York metropolitan area, gave you a place to stay. He was ready for a conversion, and so you become the Visitor and his Witness as well to his kairos moment that results in his plunging into the book he always wanted to write: a fuckin’ brilliant science fiction novel about the future impact of the Kulture Industrie.

            It seems now that you were called back to America in order to catalyze your host’s conversion and to prompt Jas Franco’s spiral off the pancake of his character. Your friend Rolf—as opposed to James, whom you did your best to encourage through intermittent emails but seemed struck in the fantasy of playing the role of the blocked writer—was finally living his bliss, writing his own novel. You had arrived to elevate his Kundalini so he could throw off the people who expected him to support their dreams! His authentic fraternal spirit dedicated to truth focused on getting the job done.

            This is where your conversion to fame is supported only through your ability to see through it. Fame is the shadow of the Age of Aquarius. Fame is the ego seeking recognition for acts of creation that need to be viewed as a service to humanity. In the future, there will be global enactments of ritual in which no individual takes precedence over their neighbor; this fame-seeking time is simply revealing the Shadow (Leo) of a new era, just as the body (Virgo) was the Shadow of the Pisces Age.   The more we understand this, the more we can be illuminated by the solar energy within, rather than be subjugated by it.

            James Franco could have settled for being celebrated for his beauty and charm alone, considering the lucky star under which he was born, but his compulsion is to create. His millions of fans may not care, but as his sole critic you can only hope he evolves to the place of creating something of lasting value, thereby revealing the two sides of the coin, his character presented and took back from his lover in Queen of the Desert, the woman he told: “The man for you hasn’t been born yet.”

            Rolf was the one telling you for years to see Solaris as your touchstone to a new journey seeking the hieros gamos in film. And he was right; the film put you in a daze for a week, but that was likely on account of astrological timing. Isn’t everything? Rolf was at your 2011 birthday dinner helping you to correct your mistake of submitting to Huffington Post with a mysterious photo that fell directly into your hands, or perhaps you made it, of George receiving his political anointment on Capitol Hill.

            You didn’t know what to say at that point, you just wanted to post the image for Google purposes; that way, when they search you, they encounter George Clooney entering the myth that you would trail for the next few years. In your rush to match heaven and earth—he was on TV at that moment stating he will never marry again—you pressed the submit button and they immediately published! Rolf had to help you edit live. On your birthday! And because you don’t mix astrology overtly with your cultural criticism, the solution/clue to the unwritten myth is a link to an October 2010 posting you made about Clooney’s unaspected Venus. You had written: “Solaris (2002) set the tone for this new terrain: man in control of his anima.  You happened upon this excerpt from Bill Tierney’s Dynamics of Aspect Analysis which sums up the solitary position of Clooney’s unaspected Venus in Aries, so prominent in the First House:

Usually our estimations of how any planet might act out its impulses are prompted by the presence of aspects to that planet.  But with no aspects to consider, what is an astrologer to expect in terms of that planet’s expression?  There are probably other unknown factors in existence that regulate the manifestation of life principle beyond what is presently realized through the structure of astrology as it has now evolved.  Astrology is as subject to the evolutionary process as is everything else (which should be evident every time a new planets is discovered and added to the structure).  We should not assume that all that is exclusively contained within solar system based astrological archetypes (as we do when describing life processes indicated by the Zodiac).  What if earth-based astrology is simply the necessary springboard for human beings to eventually tap into completely alien concepts of being?  What if even more powerful galactic archetypes unknown to us nevertheless direct the mechanism of earth-based astrological phenomena?  Frankly, we just do not know if the astrological formulae we apply to our human condition are unconditional.  Thus, if an unaspected planet tends to show a periodic lack of control in its actions or moments of oscillating expression that are hard to account for, it could be prompted to activate this way due to the processes that we are not ready to know about yet.  These planets have been shown to undergo periods of spurt like activity for no apparent reason (i.e. not because of transits or progressions).  With our limited knowledge, it is hard to explain how these planets are generated into expression without any aspect stimuli.  (Tierney, 173)

 

You concluded that curious posting with a prediction: “Because the art world is both stymied by its commercial sellout during the boom years and comatose as a result of the economic downturn, there is an urgency for the celebrity/movie star to fill the void of a collective ideal.  After all, what does the term movie star mean but an archetypal constellation mirroring patterned in a human being?”

         You were leaping into the future to write your future. Interpreting on the Internet can do that; a critic has to leap into the future to understand the art created in the present. How else could you see what is expressed with the 360 vision? This is where a Gift lies, in the German meaning, a poison. Rolf’s genius lured you to define Clooney as the cele-brated consort for the unattainable Aquarian Unicorn (how true that prophecy turned out to be!) through the signifiers in his film ouevre. It isn’t for nothing that the French refer to the artist creations as the egg. The rebirth ripe in your discovery of the archetypal journey via the film titles alone…

            You taking up residence on Rolf’s couch under the spring eclipses of 2014 marked the end of a journey catalyzed by the Templar, whom you didn’t see in New York. This made you take on the roles of both Visitor and Witness, to the conversion of the only Being on the planet who could edit your text. Rolf’s opportune moment would be a reflection of your own, like that spurred by Dr. Francostein giving birth to the MONSTER.

            The King of the after-postmodern is born from a simple text relayed through the earpiece: “I AM GAY.” This simplistic statement carried the uncanny ambiguity of the after-postmodern, the oscillation discarding the Butler invention of gender, not through biology but perform, a choice between opposites.

            That moment of declaration via the hidden Doppelgänger is Dr. Francostein, pulling the lever on his Oz, the character that Francostein was to become…the celebrity gladiator in the coliseum of a dying culture. A dying culture awaiting rebirth.

            It occurs to you that tracking the crash (and praying that the death would only be psychological) of the Monster would reveal the blossoming of a new modernism from the seeds you planted as an awakening script analyst some thirty years earlier. It was the path of the Ouroboros, which enthralled you, in your own journey and then, in the projection onto the movie star who dared (!) to undermine his own image in a highly public form of skin shedding. And, now you suddenly realize that the dream of yourself in the limo with Clooney was a sign of caution against the sexual descent represented by the inverted Caduceus pin, where the healing of the doctor was reversed into the vampirism of destruction.

What if this procession was preceeded by a funeral march? Your authentic marriage was pre-determined before birth and detectable through years of studying your astrological chart–a destiny readily available for graphic reading and interpretation. That is what the occultists did when they were forced underground on Friday the 13th; they became the underground priests for the Kundalini repressed by Western religion. What if you were indeed lured by the cosmic carrot straight into the arms of the groom waiting for you with his head shaved like a monk, refusing all but the woman that is destined to merge her orbit with his own?

            How would you respond to the incredulous expression of those attempting to understand where you have been hiding all these years and dealing with their emotional frustration at having given up without arriving at the finish line…or never even attaining the starting point: the Virgin Airlines flight on that fated December day in 1993 delivering you to the Sacred Marriage?

 

            In essence, Franco’s path mirrored your own except that he had the lion’s courage to do it in public and you had the luxury of privacy all along, the shedding of skins through rituals and dream churned into literary works staying hidden from the light of external view. He followed the James Dean TURNUPSEED after all, deconstructing all those systematic constructions of patriarchal archetypes to find the new post-gender icon of liberation. It is not liberation for a gorgeous specimen of a male to be subject to a woman’s projection. Particularly if that woman is his critic! Not suitable in the least.

My heavens! Ted Hughes gets it. Surely, he was initiated by his marriage to Sylvia Plath. He gets it! The evidence is right there in black and white: a poem he write about Sylvia’s first poem, a wooden poem that fails to stir his emotions. He writes of how he tends to see words as omens, but the poem lacked the depth that would prepare him for Sylvia. He writes of the Fullbright women at Oxford: “fragile, like the mantle of a gas lamp.” And there is the symbol transmitted from one discipline to another, by the hands of the author. The masterpiece Duchamp left behind the door with the title as a “given” conjugating the parenthetical binary opposites: Étant donnés (Given: 1. The Waterfall, 2. The Illuminating Gas). The body of a woman with extended arm holding a gas lamp. The flickering flame. How vulnerable indeed! How tragically easy Ted Hughes proved it was to snuff out the flickering flame of a woman poet with an immense task to transmit through her pen. The Kundalini fire ignited by their fated meeting. What happens when it burns out of control? Ted Hughes knows. Sylvia’s primordial instinct just beginning to be contained in her poetry was fated to find a venerable mirror in a reader of horoscopes, ready to surrender to the myth. They united their flames and her ambition propelled their marriage to prominence. Ted Hughes was a magician attempting to direct the power of the stars towards the archaic. Can you tell that he did not see this potential written in the stars?

            And so you found the answer in Franco’s personal expression, that funhouse of an exhibition enthralling you with its Berlin style of rough edges, and intentional slicklessness holding the secret coding filtered direct from the unconscious. It was chock-full of signs and symbols which you could read from your holistic perspective, Ganymede’s on the eagle soaring overhead, revealing the very origin of Gay in this beloved youth capable of transmitting heaven’s veiled mysteries to the earth. You gathered these clues like jewels while passing through the synthetic tapestries covering the walls of the rooms of his exhibition. They frequently overlapped, as if enticing the viewer to look beyond the surface image and into the multidimensional reality of Gay-amedes.

            Incredibly, you found yourself passing through the alchemical stages. The Calcinatio (Fire) in the paintings of his film characters in the outer gallery, the Solutio (Water) through collaboration in the next of the archetypal breakdown of the Oz characters and video of a marriage in an urban garden, and finally the Coagulatio (Earth) in images of cows in a field projected against a cow skull.

            The memento mori was portent with meaning. It meant the return of kairos in a renewed embodiment of the death and rebirth cycle of Venus! The very fervency of his activity was the phenomenology of the 29-degree Aries rushing out of the sign of the Ram to enter Taurus, yes the lap of the Goddess, where he could finally find Peace. The narrative of the life journey of the Lion of Judah was right there, a feast for the eyes to be interpreted through your fingers touching keys. We have come to this place that anyone authentically living this new mythology must leave behind the art-I-facts; this is the diversity within multiplicity that Deleuze meant for the Eternal Return! Not everyone is James Franco who can command a gallery exhibition at will; but all of us have the capacity to create our own art-I-facts that make our journey resound in the universal quest for the Holy Grail of the Age of Aquarius.

            Deleuze writes in “Nietzsche’s Experience of the Eternal Return,” that “Will to Power is the genetic element of force––i.e., the element that produces the quality of each force in the relation.” And then, he brings up the crucial element of chance:

 

Will to Power does not suppress chance; on the contrary, it implies chance, because without chance it would neither be plastic no metaphoric. Chance is the bringing of forces into relation, while Will to Power is the determining principle of this relation.

The ever-present origin is universal but the expressions of this icon are multiple and diverse.   Will to Power is necessarily added to force, but it can only be added to those forces that are brought into relationship by chance. Will to Power embraces chance in its heart, for it alone is capable of affirming all chance.

This is where Wolfgang Schirmacher’s homo generator philosophy is key; the Will to Power as the self-devouring Ouroboros chewing through life experience and spitting out as art-I-fact making the job of the critic/interpreter so easy. The journey out of postmodernism is complete; there are none of the captions telling you what you are looking at; there aren’t even titles. No artist statement or catalogue essays standing between you and your interpretation. This is surely the Lion of Judah gift! You know this because it comes right from the heart.

All of it has to do with destiny. Certain rare individuals are selected to enter the myth at certain times. You find myself incredibly fortunate to be selected to live it when the time for manifestation in the mass consciousness. The eclipse incorporating Uranus with the Moon and Neptune in sacred wedding with the Sun! None other!   Ted Hughes must be smiling down from the heavens to realize his role in the preparation for the living manifestation of an everlasting archetype!   You understand the role of women now. Their job is to make the sacred marriage last. Many can enter this exalted state for a moment. But how many can live in it? And when one woman does it, she will be a model for others. When this woman arises with the truth, holding her lightning rods, she will be carrying a new paradigm in her body.

 

            The morphing of the Lion of Judah from George Clooney into James Franco was a reflection of your navigating the surfgeist, keeping up with the shift from 1.0 to 2.0 to prepare the body and mind for the shift into Web 3.0.   This shift is in the body and therefore a woman needs to define it. In reflecting the light from the eye of Franco’s hidden video back to him in your review, you were just following the path laid out for you.

            It doesn’t even occur to you that it might not be productive for your career (“what career?” your critic friend Eddy would say in support) to go out on a limb for “the demented grin on the face of an age.” Then came Spring Breakers as the most revolting celebration of spring imaginable. Franco said that the role was the most true to himself that he ever played.

            This irreverence to the myth of the Great Round was followed by new Rogen antics that seemed to outright poke fun at your theory. This irreverence was a far cry from artists like Cindy Sherman becoming canny to the feminist theory of the “male gaze” and incorporating it consciously into the work as feminism began to dominate the academy.   Your Puer Aeternus had moved from Daniel Day Lewis riding a motorcycle from your dream onto the screen and now appears as an abomination gone viral: Franco’s embrace with the “Beloved”/Seth Rogan in imitation of the motorcycle ride of Kanye West & Kim Kardashian, clearly the unconscious attempt to steal the throne of America’s first couple from Beyonce & Jay Z, who attempted to lampoon it from Barack & Michele Obama. But these popular antics only underscored the paucity of conscious understanding of how they were contributing to the broken backbone of the culture, so the ever-present icon could arise as a principle for self-expression:

The question is where in the pop culture will it emerge first? Certainly not in the NYT Sunday Styles section as you complained to the editor about the dark subject matter and he placed a challenge in his reply that you didn’t tread on the Emperor’s New Clothes. It was your self-appointed task to uncover all the dark areas and bring them into the light in order that they be resolved. Finding all the dark areas…was unavoidable once you crossed the permeable line between critic and friend of the artist. As the subtleties of new mobility within the relics of the old structures subsided, it became a question of how to move about in the new without being held back by the old Manichaeism—me vs. you—held up by capitalist determinism.

 

            Aptly, through the ancient image, we begin to examine a modern paradox. The intent here to examine it, and by stooping down to get a better view of the new growth, we confront our own capability for bodily change. C. G. Jung and Wolfgang Pauli, prophets of the twentieth century, predicted the birth of a new archetype would be the icon for the next.

            Cinderella may be the cultural dispositif for 2015, but where was this new Being actually born?

 

If the Goddess who balances the opposites can make her way into a gothic Church, in the hotbed of Fairfield County corporate conservatism, then she can go anywhere. It was a two-year struggle. And you have been saying all along. It is the partnership model. The Eco-feminists are far too extreme for you. You don’t want to overthrow everything the patriarchy has created. You simply want to create the space in the cultural body and the human body for the divine feminine to enter. Yoga is the teacher. The body reveals the inner process of moving the muscle to create space for the light. This is the inward organic approach to change that is happening all over the world, with every conscious muscle movement. You understood from your knowledge that when the emergence of new constellation of energy takes place, it is accompanied by the discovery of a new planet. Instead, there appeared that beacon in sky named Hale-Bop, and the emergence accompanied by the discovery of an entire solar system, the six-pointed star created between the planets in the heavens and the earth’s horizon on 23 January 1997. And isn’t that the new reality, to have the archetype constellating above reflecting the holistic structure within?

            Wolfgang Pauli had foreseen the hieros gamos archetype arising out of the collapsed wave. In the twentieth century, film was developed as a method of projecting unconscious imagery onto an external surface. The development of cinema attracted idols specific to the American dreamthe Puer Aeternus in Andy Hardy, the exotic Other in Rudy Valentino and John Wayne as the prototype American cowboy and Marilyn Monroe as sex goddess. Behind the camera this was also true: the studio headsSamuel Goldwyn, the Warner Brothers and Walt Disneyoperated like Emperors in the miniature cities that were their studios, complete with palaces, temples, and the like in the form of movie sets.

            It surfaced in the press conference that Kenneth Branaugh wanted a modern Cinderella. In his Disney remake, she meets her Prince on the equal ground in the Third space. They are in the woods on horseback when they cross paths and fall instantaneously in love, without knowing the Other identity or origin. She is guided by an inner strength in this innovation that is so uncanny in your viewing as that of the Kundalini energy. For example, she says to her evil stepmother after her light brings the wicked to her knees begging for a deal: “I couldn’t protect my father, but I can protect the Prince from YOU!” Wow, now that is a woman taking back her power! And with such a radiant smile!   Cate Blanchett made a classic statement at the press conference when asked how she learned to be so deliciously evil. “Well, it was my job to stop her, wasn’t it?” What insight about evil, trying to prevent the light at every turn!

            Walking by the Ritz Carlton you remember your night journey walking half of the island of Manhattan. You were pursuing James Franco when he was performing on Broadway. You were his salt to his sulphur, wearing your silver jacket, and you sent him a selfie from your cell phone taken beside the larger cylinders in the Ritz Carlton Hotel, waiting for the email that was not to come.

            You walk the length of Mitte, from west to east, from Potsdamer Platz through Brandenburg Gate, down the posh Friedrichstraße and up Oranienburger Straße, past your former apartment and the streetwalkers standing at regular intervals in shiny hose…

            The signs of death were there, all along, you realized when you got the email from Susanne Weirich reminding you of your mission–to go down to Chinatown and purchase some ming bai for her exhibition. It wasn’t until your last day in New York that you managed to get there. You were avoiding it because you knew what choosing among the funeral offerings meant…the death of your dream.

You found the store right below Canal Street and there you discovered the Gucci shoes made of paper. Yes, this is the Chinese tradition of ming bai, to take paper replicas of favorite products into the grave. You were fulfilling a promise to a friend, but didn’t really get the meaning until you traveled to Essen for her show and were so taken with your “funeral” that you sought to live again! It was then, with this surge for life coming through your loins, that you retreated to the Lowen (Lion!) Restaurant next door for a beer and plate of southern German food, and absorbed the meaning. You only had to write a review to discover what it was.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

            The burning away of the Gucci ming bai served a deep and lasting function. You have begun the process of letting go that will result in the birth of your authentic Son/Sun lover, Missing James Franco 3.0!

Who needs the Gucci stamp to be recognized as contemporary? Not you! Perhaps too, the chase was about fulfilling your fantasy to fill his Gucci shoes (so you could burn them!), but he gave you hope. Yes, it was insane this pursuit, playing this game, but what else did you have to do? By morning you ended up circling the neighborhood of your unrequited love. He lived on Rivington Street and his name is still on the buzzer, barely visible under the dirt. You could let him go when you shifted your muse to the silver screen, the movie star Daniel Day Lewis who became your sister’s new client as you returned from your descent into the underworld that made you the novelist with the lover who forever escapes you as your muse.

 

The authentic feminine, when she emerges, brings an entire solar system with her. What does this mean to humanity? Far from being an appendage of the old patriarchal cosmology that kept adding archetypes as the outer planets were rediscovered through the past few centuries, the new feminine brings forth her own solar system. She is complete into herself. Her satellites floating around her have nothing to do with the Known. On the contrary, these energies are yet to be discovered.

            For Virginia Woolf, the middle path was through three guineas. For you, it is three purses lost. All of them lost in sequence. Talk about giving up one’s power to an archetype! Dangerous! Talk about the serpent pushing you to the edge! POW! You enter Manhattan off the New Haven train with limited funds, and three tickets gone to waste because of taking the train and getting off and returning to Connecticut to do your hair! The very embodiment of the contemporary! In other words, rushing to prepare for James Franco is the very ritual enactment of rushing to prepare for an appointment that one cannot help but miss. If this effort alone defines you as the contemporary at all cost, you have had a great deal of practice:

 

Having everything you think you strive for firmly in grasp—fame, fortune and long deserved recognition—would you give it all up to save your life? All my life you envisioned myself as retreating to some faraway place. You are still waiting. The central paradox of my epic narrative as an Aquarian writer on the cusp of the new age born in my sign, is that only with money can you retreat from the public, and when the money finally comes as exchange for talent, it will be hardest to leave. But what a statement it makes personally and publicly to give up the material wealth for peace of mind! And going with him to the post office, you recognized the spoiled child who absolutely has to get his way. You play along. Not so much to pacify him but to view the outcome from a neutral place. It is a game you play, not with men, but the universe. If Old Father Time doesn’t rouse you from you center, you have won. You are not going to rebel just because he expects you to rebel, because he wants you to exhibit his nasty, dependent, critical inner woman. He has the wounded statue for his altar; he doesn’t need to lay across it. Thank you for revealing your pattern and liberating me from my own. Find someone else to play in the sandbox because you are simply not available. The Virgin Goddess revealed that everyone has a role to ply in the grand theater of life. Woe to those lost knights who don’t know theirs! As one admirer once said: “There is no profession that fits you.” Yes, all you can find that suits you goes back to Sumer when men and women were equal. Freedom comes as a great cost. In truly accepting our freedom, you can’t blame others for our circumstances.

            The Post Office is taking too long. You didn’t understand why he couldn’t have mailed his package before you arrived. You tell him that you have to go, there is no time for a leisurely stroll across the park pretending we are in love. Remember, said the Virgin Goddess, when you let something go, it returns at a new level. He did…with more heart and more consciousness than before, but not nearly enough to charm you into his bed. You ask him why he is barking orders and he says he is afraid you wouldn’t come. “Tell me what you are feeling because I refuse to be led around by Saturn.”

            You have made your peace with Old Father Time. It took a great deal of work but you did it. You don’t need any projections of the patriarchal Saturn in your orbit. You have humanized Saturn, brought the planet back into the Earth Mother sphere.

            The motion of the planets is right and true. It is beliefs that must change. Saturn doesn’t have to be mean and heavy. Saturn can be an ally.   It was a simple statement meant for a much larger audience. But too, you needed to hear yourself say it. You have no issues with Saturn. In acknowledging your freedom, your only obligation to the universe is to live freedom fully, to claim it in every moment, every action. Every creative woman he attracts placed him in the same cycle. But the wash-spin stops with you, who refuse to play his game. Your parting gift to him is a brochure from Waters of Life on 60th Street and a prayer that he makes the wise decision to heal himself, thereby removing yet another wounded man from the planet and replacing him with the whole man.

            You enter the Anthropologies store in Times Square as in a trance, going through your ritual of purchasing your healing tools; the scented candle, the scented massage oil. How crazy to think…but you are a good Girl Scout. Always be prepared for a date with destiny. Gathering the items of your own surrender is a timeworn ritual. Oh, not repeated for years, because you now have moved beyond these erotic attractions, haven’t you, these pursuits of desire propelling you to eternal acts of self-destruction. All in the pursuit of shedding skins. You have taught him this, you his critic, his teacher, his mother, his lover, his friend…you are all those things to him…and more.

            The candle signifies illumination…the ritual taking you right back to his eye, the light shining through the darkness of his pupil reflecting back through his art the darkness of our time, the darkness before the dawn.…You had nothing on you, no identification, no money; all you had was this oil you purchased and the candle and the receipt.   Yes, the receipt! And so you walked the forty-eight blocks uptown, returning to the same Anthropologies store, the phenomenology of the name resonating in your bones, as you pull the candle out of your bag with the receipt and the clerk hands you the cash in exchange with a smile. Just enough to get train passage to safe ground.

            Once again, you are saved from falling over the edge…back to Connecticut and you friend who needs you for his Aquarian conversion, no oil or candle needed, just the comeraderie an authentic friendship based on the quest for self-knowledge.

            The candle that you carried on your sojourn through Manhattan was the signifier of the light shining through the noise of the pop culture in the age of Web 2.0, the social network. It would be later manifested in dream, a key dream in which you killed his untamed character from Breakers, before he could kill you.   And not only did you kill him but his opponent. The tension of opposites dissolved in the shooting and you wiped your prints clean and placed the weapon in his lifeless hand, removing yourself from the scene of the murder.

            The opposites killing one another, the sign was the end of an era, the dream was on the eve of finishing this text. It had three parts, the first was the murder, the second was watching James Franco through a car window with his “buddy”, another gay role and hearing the voices, “I can’t believe he did it.” And you just smiling because you know better, you have scratched far below the surface of James Franco movie star to reach the contemporary and the third part of the dream confirms it: this is where you are, just the two of you, two contemporaries together, no longer split between the public and private figure. Together you are watching the light on the horizon, the dawning of the light of a new age. And there you were, preparing for the future dream, the dream of liberation from your pursuit of James Franco, where the object of desire is transformed into a single subject, when the “I” becomes “US” through the wisdom of the eye.

            And you rush from the train back to your friend, this time with full revelation that you are once again rushing to the horizon, and you tell him your story and his response: “James Franco is a punk.” But you don’t care about perception, not the public or even your own. All that matters is you have missed James Franco but kept your appointment with destiny.

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

 

 

You have come full circle on your passage from chasing the icon…to living the icon in timing with the collapsing quantum wave.

From his Eye to your eyes to his mouth, the words “epic” uttered over Marlene Dietrich Platzreverberated back to the beginning, and now brought the journey to a close.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EPILOGUE

The unclaimed 2015 Golden Bear is implanted herewith the constellation of the Great Bear, also known as Calisto or Artemis, Queen of the Arctic, whose cosmic guidance on the final year of your journey made herself known through the Berlinale opening film character of Josephine Peary, who was given this title as a summing up of her real life.

  • The time of fashion therefore, constitutively anticipates itself and consequentially is also always too late. It always takes the form of an ungraspable threshold between a “not yet” and “no more.” It is quite probable that, as the theologians suggest, this constellation depends on the fact that fashion, at least in our culture, is a theological signature of clothing, which derives from the first piece of clothing that was sewn by Adam and Eve after the Original Sin, the form of a loincloth from fig leaves.
  • –Giorgio Agamben, “What is the Contemporary?”
  • You finished the first draft of this text on 19 March 2015, the day before the solar eclipse on the Spring Equinox when you will travel to thermal waters to do a ritual of your face emerging from the sun. Having closed the file knowing the conclusion to the Berlinale was yet to come, you ran down the street to Jute Backerei, where your friend from Connecticut and fellow spirit traveler has become the manager. You burst in with news of the birth. Dana is talking to a beautiful man, a customer, who replies to your prompting of his extraordinary origin by saying that he is half-Japanese, half-German. He strikes you as, well, contemporary. You told him all about your text and he sat there calmly, like the still waters of the in-between, and says so calmly, so matter of fact: “James Franco is a contemporary.”
  • You stand with your mouth open, incredulous. And yes, as it hung open just three weeks earlier, when you followed an instinct, to head to the Barn to read the New York Ti
  • s with Berlin’s best coffee and you opened the pages to see a review of Gucci’s spring collection entitled “At Gucci, A New Philosophy” proclaiming a triumph of Alessandro Michele’s first show as creative director—possibly the most anticipated of the Milan season—inspired by your professor, Giorgio Agamben.
  • The quantum leap of your experiment is suddenly made evident in the last place you expected…the same fashion house that anointed James Franco as the after-postmodern icon (the deposed designer, Frida Giannini was the subject of a documentary film he produced and appeared in: The Director: An Evolution in Three Acts), is now embracing the Agamben threshold between “not yet” and “no more” simply by proclaiming the contemporary as fashion!
  • Giorgio Agamben, in the crucial “fashion moment” in his essay, gives a clue to the ever-present origin, the icon of the hieros gamos. This takes place through material, describing the clothing worn by Adam and Eve after the original sin. In the same vein, Duchamp sculpted a Female Fig Leaf and Dart Object objectifying the gender opposites leading up to his last and greatest work, Étant donnés references the twenty-first century icon as a certain “given” to the contemporary who dares to look below the fashion of the time. This brings you to the spiral, which is how the Vortex evolves from the cosmology of being, when the interior manifests as matter/Mutter, as in the case of birthing a book.
  • The spiral carries you through to the close of the Berlinale and into the Event of the tenth day, the announcement of the winners and the press conferences to follow. But you had one more ticket that Saturday: the Wim Wenders dance film Pina shot in 3D. It was the best possible choice for a close in that it created a circle, or rather a spiral, reflecting a visual counterpart The Rite of Spring, the life/death/rebirth in the four seasons, representing the four meridians as the appointment that cannot be missed, the zero degree where the new Being takes form in the unconscious as the dynamic Third between opposites.   And so, began and ended the Wenders film with the procession, in elegant evening clothes, of the Pina Bausch dance troupe, their hands making the motions set, with words, in the film’s opening, of the planting of the seed, the cultivation of summer, the dropping of the fruit in fall and the burrowing of winter to start anew. A true feminine celebration of the Great Round missing from Western culture.
  • The glorious magical cycle represents the unity of the festival, with its quantum leap into cyclical time bringing your personal/universal experience of cyclical as a spy in the house of cinema to a close after 3.5 years. From missing Clooney in Venice in August 2011 and Franco now crossing your radar in place, looking in your direction in the Great Hall of the Royal Casino before being ushered back into the cage. The momentum of missing James Franco runs through February 2015, when you could write the conclusion to the journey and finally rest…knowing your work is done.
  • You have assisted in the passage of the icon into the collective, the organizing principle for the art of a new millennium, from the art object to the cinematic projection, meaning taking the new constellation from the object to the subject.   And you did it from a place of desire, focusing on the black pool of the pupil at the center of the retina, reflecting your own subject(ivity) back to you so that object and subject become one and the same.
  • And then comes the work you have dreaded. Where you have to prove, if only to yourself, that you have a presence as spy in the house of cinema. It isn’t just lending your spirit to the anointing of the new screen idols, it is about taking on the mission of declaring an EVENT, and that is about tracking the magic and multiplicities. By this point, you have been so embedded in the magic, that writing the review takes place in your sleep.   As always, this is a surprise, for when you fall into depression you think it is truly the end, the end of the festival, the end of your self-appointed mission as spy, the end of your life.
  • You really think you are going to die and you believe that it will come at your own hand, so you beg to review how this might happen. Drowning?   Pills?   A bullet through the brain? Strangling and hung from your balcony? You contemplate on this with your friend who works down the street at the bakery and that night you have a dream in which you are staring at tombstones and are told they aren’t yours; yours is the artwork you made with the seaweed from your body treatment in the shape of a lifeless body, the green meat hung by the dark goddess Ereshkigal on the meat hook. And then, you know that you are simply on your passage of a new conversion. That you are fully engaged in the journey and, in fact, on the Friday before the New Moon beginning the year of the Sheep, you take a mud bath and then surrender to the thermal waters.
  • Your body has now surrendered to the ultimate conversion, which will remove you from this hermetic life and your underground retrenchment surfacing only to become the Spy in the House of Cinema where you announce the icon of ever-present origin arriving in the mainstream. You wrote the review, which came surprisingly easy considering the news that was greeting you when you returned from your walk across Berlin at 3 AM.
  • Cinderella reverts back to a mythology you know well. Because you lived it. Cinderella and her magical animal helpers (like Psyche’s ants that helped her sort the seeds and the Rams that helped her obtain the magic fleece and the eagle that flew her on its back over the River Styx) undermining the linear time of the patriarchy with its fixation on bloodlines. You realize how young girls will be resonating with this film. As for you, it took the loss of your shiny patent leather dancing shoes in the morning screening, mirroring your image in their blackness, like the retina in your Beloved’s gaze. This loss alerted you to how alike is your tale to Cinderella, the bloodline being the reason why you can’t marry.
  • You cycle back to the first two days of the festival, the epic journeys, as imperfect as projected onscreen, they have inspired you; the writer to own your own story and celebrate its being interwoven into your external adventures––this chasing of the new arising through the avant-garde you have been tracking for a dozen years as it migrates to the screen and therefore the collective psyche.   You grab your pen with the thrust of a Josephine Peary or the Queen of the Desert herself, and dare to write your own tale underneath your choices of highlights from the 65. Berlinale. And in this task you triumph. When a woman can move freely in the world no longer in fear of her subjectivity, but embracing the intersection of her inner self with the external tasks required to bring Psyche’s journey of cyclical time, and its magic, into the lives of others.
  • The magic of the cyclical, when country girls can marry princes and create a culture anew in their image, the image of the darkness of the retina as it reflects everything in one’s environment and absorbs into the multiple inner reflections of the soul. This was the Event of the 65. Berlinale, the collapse of the quantum wave into the ever-present origin of a once and future archetype, manifested as a new reality.
  • At the final Berlinale 65. press conference on 14 February, the impromptu kissing Silver Bears performance between the Silver Bears of Aquarian Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay, was a public enactment of the hieros gamos.
  • Having finished your write-up of wave collapse taking place at 65. Berlinale, in which the hieros gamos icon, as predicted by Pauli, you celebrate by joining your friends who already performed it. They were meeting for brunch at Gagarin, the neighborhood café named after the Russian cosmonaut. It is a stunning day and everyone seems to be on the street. You feel so alive, and have the strangest sensation of floating in your body. This is what it means to be grounded while riding the quantum wave, you declare to yourself. It only took about thirty years to learn how to ride the surf and now that the wave has crashed, you are putting your practice into motion. What does this mean on a practical level? It means being intensely present to everything taking place through the light entering your pupil. The more open to the light, the more consciousness you take in.
  • It becomes a question of timing and the body, and yes, the conscious integration those parts of us that we thrust onto others requires a great deal of focused effort. But without the “grunt work” how can we claim the unlived aspects of our existence? Isn’t that it? We secretly want others to live out the source of our inner tension, denying the reality that the holding of this space of tension is precisely the high wire that allows us to perform our little rites of transformation. Even mystics have a path to travel for their self-realization. Just because their road is not paved with material accomplishments doesn’t make their task any lighter.
  • Could he have left it there for that purpose? He disappears around the van backed into the driveway and enters inside the inner courtyard. A woman holds a plastic table and you ask if it was her mirror in the street. “You can take it,” she said.
  • You fold the double mirror and carry it down the street, stopping at the bakery where you see Dana and rap on the window. She comes outside and you ask if she can take your photo looking in the double mirror on Schonhauser Allee. This is to be the signifier to the journey’s end–of the New Moon breaking on the Aquarius Wave–a marriage of subject and object into a single image. This image is your triumph, the image split into two, as a clear signal of disengagement from the Muse.   You have a mirror to reflect your evolution as a public personality, rather than hide under your projection onto the most figure of the Web 2.0 era.
  • The message is completely contained in Wim Wender’s Wings of Desire. This exquisite film has a clear vision of the sacred marriage arising out of the German penchant for intellectual understanding. The trapeze artist is admired from afar by the Lover. She has come down to earth to meet her admirer on the ground, and he is an angel who left heaven so he might experience mortal life. On his path he meets Peter Falk, the ultimate human dispensing the wisdom of his human experience. The lovers meet in a bar and there they surrender to desire. The sacred marriage is so cinematically present as an act of physical and spiritual entanglement in Wender’s Wings of Desire.
  • You have a key dream in which you are bathing in a pool the shape of the Templar Cross and you receive a warning to take the 6:15 to Greenwich. That is the date, you know, of your wedding. Bathing in the symbol reveals the embodiment of the journey that the bloodline of the Knights Templar catalyzed for you. The artist passes through the fire, the water and awaits the earth (Coagulatio). Your visit to Manhattan was just too soon for a union, but was essential transition to the iero pagnidi, the divine player. The feminine needs time and he was giving it to you with his Leo strength; the divine game bought you both time to release the meta and live the real, and alerts him to the epic mythology you are tracing in which he has emerged as hero.
  • One thing you have learned quite definitively on this journey; the timing cannot be controlled, but only be calculated. The god of Serendipity will send down a thunderbolt from heaven when the time is ripe for your personal passage into the externalization of your inner quest: the hieros gamos. You have embodied the knowledge of how narrow the fit—as precise as the point of the apex of the pyramid. But this is the condition; for the psyche to achieve such precision of detail in embodiment, the emergence must be through a birth canal so tight as to allow no option but the Truth.   You only have this lifetime on the planet, your last, to achieve it, and you know the human psyche has spent eons in preparation. The icon manifest in just one individual will bring humanity automatically into a new epic mythology carrying the new paradigm along with the new archetypes capable of manifesting it.
  • Everything is born anew with the lights eclipsing the earth on the Vernal Equinox. The vertical collapses into the horizontal; waves become particles. And so, Carter’s gallery sends a new image on 12 March, and there it is: his motif of a female wig suspended in space with a twin above stones on cube pedestals, signifiers for the Philosopher’s stone.
  • This is a crucial sign, from the source, that the Gesamtkunstwerk has been completed, with the infans solaris, the francophilosostone (stein means stone in German). The waves of the top wig form into six separate spirals. The shadow is present not as a blockage but a binding of energy which connects the wigs without constricting their movement. On the right side of the picture is a hierarchy of nine individual crystals over a cube. This is a unique picture of the collaborative process as separate but linked through the binding force of Saturn, the agent of time.

 

 

  • Now comes the trigger in accordance with Agamben’s prophecy. For 21 March is the Vernal Equinox––this crucial seasonal mechanism marked in the year 2015 by Mars entering the zero Aries Point, opposing the Vertex in your natal astrology chart.   You send James an email complimenting him on his interview with himself and go to make yourself some tea. You are shocked to discover he has returned your email with a laconic “thank you” and so you reply with a coded message asking if he realizes his theory is in the piece. He sends you a signal back; a question mark. Now, the question mark could mean many things: Who are you? What are you talking about? What is it?
  • You chose the latter, and responded in laconic Franco form: “Spielgeist. But the time for games is over, for you and I.” No response.
  • His reply comes in a dream, which you send to him by email the next day via this text sent at dawn:
  • You and I are in the house where Nietzsche died at the threshold.  A woman is showing you the inscription in the wood.  A woman is pouring water at a table and it is spilling on the floor but she didn’t seem to notice.  I go into another room with a large window over the sea. It is dawn.  The sun is rising.  I am telling you that I have been in this house for cocktails (COCK TAILS) and the owner overheard me.  I don’t see that he was sitting there with a couple.  He has bright red hair and he gives you a gift.  It is a cylinder with the colors of the rainbow.

 

  • The dream is so stark in its details that reverberate through your body. Perhaps you are the man with the red hair? Yes, you are you (as Bonaparte sang) and you are also him. Now, you have a feeling of peace; you have made it to the end, and every thing will be fine.

Incredibly, at almost exactly noon the same day, 22 March, comes a more literal reply to your final James missive in the form of an email from Carter expresses an interest in reading your book and then, much to your dismay, he writes: “James asked me who you were last night, perhaps you were trying to contact him? I wasn’t quite sure.”  And he signs off by letting you know how utterly attuned you have been to the sacred geometry of the heavens and earth: “Summer is near.”

In the best circumstance, such a meaningful exchange is reciprocal. Just as some critics are amenable to opening themselves to the Third space, to intertwine with the Other, who carries the collective longings in their expression.   The Third claimed by Mahari, the Berlinale Mascot, the unofficial greeter of all those who have created art of such excellence to get them an inside seat as the cultural heroes, charged with remaking the Aquarian myths anew for all of humanity to emulate.

Mahari has been your guide, not only to the festival but to life, the heart centered Leo, sent by providence to teach you the ropes of the Berlinale. But there is more he had to teach you; responding to film with an open heart. The paradox that only the contemporary can reveal lies within the very source of your philosophical subject of the ever-present origin; the very object(ive) of your pursuit is precisely that which is unconsciously sought by the famous by the superficial means of a fashion parade. No matter how hard they struggle to project the elusive “light in the darkness,” these players will never arrive at the horizon willfully because their material pursuits deprive them the imaginative freedom to descend into the archaic origin.

  • Yet, nature wins this time. The archaic rises to the surface, the serpent skins tossed away are now reclaimed under a raw cosmic event outlining the sacred geometry of the tapestry and pulling together the threads, the logic of the sun and intuition of the moon engaging in an act of sacred intercourse.
  • James Franco is the muse that unpacks your life-movie. But in making him the object of your writing, what does that make you as subject? Does the reduction of the famous to a mere commodity in the marketplace—as you once dreamt of the fate of the celebrity—make the fame-seeker a subject of the consumable object the famous has become? Rather, must one reject fame altogether, its blinding light, in order to be a true contemporary?
  • Desire’s serendipity into multiplicity is the emerging Berlin dialectic arising from the crash of the quantum wave predicted in your 2013 Gay Town The expression compelled by the historic 2012 Venus Transit of the Sun, and the helical rise of Venus in the sign of Gemini, ruling the media. The boundary-smashing warrior signals to the age with his signature rabbit (that most fertile of creatures) of the darkening of lights under a total solar eclipse on the Vernal Equinox two years hence.
  • The Francostein monster of the after-postmodern era happens to be the artist you alone interpreted as sticking the fatal sword into Cindy Sherman, the sacred cow of the postmodern era. In one review, proved so lethal to the guardians that the posting was mysteriously unpublished soon after, you transformed Monster into Minotaur, sending him threads of the impressions his expression made on the human psyche, which you alone are capable of detecting. You are Ariadne guiding the Minotaur Monster out of the labyrinth of his own erotic attractions.
  • All these myths, culminating with that of Calisto, the Great Bear ruling Berlin and the Berlinale (associated with the female warrior Artemis), and probably more, you sought to play out with the actor. Who else has the power of concentration to hold the space for shifting archetypal energies? You realize this when you end up on the beach of Aphrodite’s Island and explore the topography, those oval stones smoothed to Venusian perfection, where, according to legend, Theseus deposited the pregnant Ariadne and she, like yourself, was left to give birth under the care of the women. You didn’t realize this at first, even upon meeting Sappho, the natural birth mother of Cyprus. Only later, did the revelation come as deed: the Templar abandoned you in your own hour of need, and therefore became the ungrateful Theseus in your story, tossing you out on the ocean of the cosmic tide, to reach the shore by divine intervention.
  • In reliving this classical myth against your own design or knowledge, the Monster/Minotaur has transformed into something else.
  • And so have you. This new identity comes in a dream upon reaching this point in your conclusion. It is a violent dream in which James comes to you in his wild Spring Breakers identity and you think he is going to kill you, so you follow him outside and there appears another man. You kill James first, and then the stranger. The next scene is you watching James with his male partner in a vehicle, then you realize it is a film, and everyone is exclaiming their disbelief at him taking yet another gay role and you just stand there and smile, knowing the car signifies he is in transit, and then the scene switches to you standing with him to gaze at the event horizon, side by side, together and separate. You have become the contemporaries greeting the horizon together, which is so much better than doing it alone.
  • And so, this is how the tale ends, with the image of standing with a companion to the dawn of a new day where you can stop running, at last, with the embodied understanding that you have arrived at your destination simply by being together.
  • The journey has been a long one, bringing you full circle back to your tantric initiation at twelve in your first encounter group. Into the dark gaze of the lover, you carve your profile into an anachronistic timepiece: the famously unfamous contemporary entering the public body. Shining the light of your pen into the eye of the Unicorn as it evolves from one generation to the next, you become the serpent shedding skins to enter naked into judgment day: the collective awakening of humanity.
  • The turning of the break in the vertebrae into the universal vertex. You can’t control the universal timing, but you could control your own body to filter the darkness before the new dawn on the Vernal Equinox: the Moon at its furthest pedigree aligning with the Sun on the ecliptic. This is the cosmic gift, for you to embody message of the archaic brought forth from the undersea discovery of the world’s earliest analog computer, with its symbols and signs marking the heavens above infused into earthly materials, our human bodies below.
  • If the vertebrae is the vertex, then the vertex/anti-vertex have converged into this uniform image; the gleam of the unknown reflected back to you at the age of twelve now opaquely your own. This exchange from Self into Other and Other into Self is possible by the moon’s eclipse of the sun directly on the earth’s equatorial plane, representing the descent into the subjective experience of the human body moving into the outer, collective body, the earth itself.
  • The glimpse into the shadows is what happens in a moment made eternal by temporality in the dark stare between yourself and James Franco, in his third and final press conference of the 65. Berlinale. Staring straight into the eyes of James Franco, you are not blinded by your own image, which is your projection of icon onto Other. He is too distant for that. Rather, it is the intimacy rooted in your own obscurity this moment of connection casts on you, producing an image you can only understand through Agamben’s words:
  • The ones that can call themselves contemporary are only those who do not allow themselves to be blinded by the lights of a century, and so manage to get a glimpse of shadows in those lights, of their intimate obscurity.

 

  • The house is my own, and here I dwell,
  • I’ve never aped nothing from no one
  • and–laugh at each master, mark me well,
  • who at himself has not poked fun.
  • Over my front door.
  • –Nietzsche, The Gay Science (“La gaya scienza”)
  • Until the moment of connection, you were just a spy in two houses: the House of Cinema and the House of Academia. Your penetration to the core of the quantum exchange—standing on one side of the red rope and reaching as far to the other as the gatekeepers would allow—has rewarded you with a new image, a feminine philosopher for a new modernist age. The image in your mirror is all the more powerful because it is double, two sides of your face, dark and light, a reflection of Venus as both Morning and Evening Star. Your gaze rests in the center, where the Being arising from the vortex of celebrity gives way to the vertex, the cosmic timing of the solar eclipse falling on the Zero Point of the Earth’s ecliptic. These cosmic openings for a quantum shift are real…and you have proved it. Your muse responded to your email under the influence.

 

  • It was only a “?”

 

  • An insignificant gesture to the uninitiated perhaps, but a majestic symbol of the Unknown prompting the dream of a new dawn. Every cycle has its beginning and end and that is what numbers are for—locating the center in which beginning/middle/end and past/present/future are simultaneous in jouissance.
  • You have missed James Franco in the flesh even as your souls danced through the spiral of the Zero Point, but in cosmic timing, you will finally meet…to celebrate the wedding.

Lisa Paul Streitfeld

Kato Chorio, Cyprus

15 June 2015

  • This is the End! Truly, the End!
    Acknowledgements

 

My greatest thanks goes to Dr. Peggy Bloomer and Dr. Wolfgang Schirmacher of Atropos Press, who trusted the integrity of this text in its entirety.  Peggy was truly the midwife to the birth of this mythology through both the immensity of her scholarship, as author of the text Surfgeist, Epic Narratives in New Media, which I had the great fortune to edit at a crucial juncture in the journey of missing James Franco, as we both had a strong mother’s instinct that he was living the myth that still had to be interpreted on paper. Her patience, loyalty and inspiration were unwavering through my trials.

There was no other way this New Sun could have been born in alignment with the cosmic plan on the Winter Solstice 2015. Indeed it was, through the Solstice and up until the Full Moon on Christmas Day, when the last section was released for proofreading.  Having been conceived on the Spring Equinox 2014, the nine months of labor was excruciating at times, but the gestation was truly over three years, as the book couldn’t have been conceived without the Schirmacher laboratory in the Swiss Alps, the mountaintop of ultimate liberation in my child’s imagination that I never anticipated would exist on the earth as a pleasurable alternative to the reductionist determinism lording over the academy. This “white mountain” served as a womb in which to textualize something so radical that it existed far beyond this author’s imagination.

And speaking of the “White Mountain,” the scholar that was to be my guide is the venerable Dr. Laurence Rickels, about as far into the occult as a scholar can be in Western academia. Larry is the best advisor a Ph.D. candidate could ever hope for, and a wonderful friend as well. He has been supportive in the most quantum manner, lending me the immensity of his intellect to what he recognized in my Franco pursuit, even when I didn’t, as a potentially valuable contribution to scholarship.  He was the first reader of this text and his Sagittarius vision for publishing immediately through Atropos made the potential of the quantum fiercely real.

I am so grateful to Dafnis Panagides, the Aquarian sage of Cyprus, who extended his immense capacity for friendship in giving me a port in the storm that washed me up on Aphrodite’s Island. The home in the highlands he graciously extended to me in Kato Chorio to write the second and final draft of this text was the best writing retreat an author could ask for, complete with a caretaker, Marina, who smothered me with love and food too good to give up for my Summer Solstice fast.

I also want to express immense gratitude for the friendship, superior editing skills and unwavering intellectual support of Rolf Mauer, who proofed this text and provided essential insights all along the journey, after a long duration of editing my tower of unpublished manuscripts.

The essence of this narrative is the twin pillars of truth and justice and the Venusian dedication to quality and that was the gift of Carter. I want to thank this dedicated artist for his truly Aquarian fellowship begun with his extending his identity over a podium and continued through his honest exchanges and surrender into uncertainty when the project we intended took the unexpected turn resulting in this book,

My sister Susan has always been the biggest supporter of my writing and her steadfastness to quality during the duration of the cultural breakdown in the nearly three decades covered in this text has been a crucial Capricorn foundation that every Aquarian creator would be blessed to have as Witness to the birth of something so new it defies definition. Her love of cinema and providing my first job in the industry, as a script analyst for her mind-boggling array of talents at Triad Agency instilled a knowledge of cinema I could never have found through formal study.

My brother Andrew Streitfeld has been my first and only collector of my art since I knew it was art and supported the Missing James Franco project in its conception as the launch pad to the book publication.

Nancy Jones, an artist and friend whose Piscean luminescence was the ultimate creatrix companion to this passage.  Her talent for filtering the very shapes and forms of the arising Aquarian feminine with unwavering commitment served as guideposts right up to the crystallization in the fall of 2015. Two other wonderful Connecticut friends and fellow travelers on the feminine spiritual journey, Gina Casetta and Danielle Mancini, gave me love and support in the darkest hours and hugs from both sides of the Atlantic.

Christine Lowe, a fellow EGS student, came up with the brilliant idea of the tagging project that deepened my love of Berlin with all its varied richly textured surfaces. Her support in my darkest hour was loyal and unwavering and for this I am very grateful.

Finally, the “Standard Bearer” that has been echoing through my family ancestry, as that was the utterance when my uncle Paul Volcker was born into a German American lineage.   Against the family “Volcker Rule” of unwavering support for “making it on one’s own,” the aid of Paul and Anke Volcker arrived during the darkest hour of my life, when a complete surrender after the birth placed me at death’s door, and for this I am eternally grateful.

Despite all my Schopenhaurian conditioning, I have come to understand through this radically subjective objective of this text that everyone needs the support of their fellow human beings to fully and wholeheartedly embrace the immensity of this shift of the ages.

So my final thanks goes to James…as unwitting as his participation in the quantum reality shift seemed on the surface of his frenetic life, my dreams told me of the depths of his commitment to quantum change, thereby allowing his initial trust in the Aquarian experiment to reach its fruition through a text over which no one, not even the author, had control.

We are all in this together and let us hold out our hands to our fellow caretakers of Mother Earth and celebrate her gifts as our consciousness vibrates to her song of liberation. At last!

Blessed be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • References

Giorgio Agamben, “What is Contemporary?” in What is an Apparatus? Werner Hamacher, ed. (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2009)

 

Gilles Deleuze, “Nietzsche’s Experience of the Eternal Return,” in The New Nietzsche: Contemporary Styles of Interpretation (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1985)

 

Peggy Bloomer, Surfgeist: Narratives of Epic Mythology in New Media (Leipzig/New York: Atropos Press, 2014)

 

H.D.G. “Obituary: Gertrude Lowthian Bell”, The Geographical Journal 68.4 (1926): 363–368. JSTOR. Web. 28 October 200. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1783440.

 

Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science, Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, ed. (Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001)

 

Laurence Rickels, Germany: A Science Fiction (Grand Rapids, MI: Anti-Oedipus Press 2015)

 

Laurence Rickels, “Planetary Father Function” in All About Father: Psychoanalysis, the Oedipus Complex, and the Modern Family, Liliane Weissberg ed. (forthcoming)

 

Wolfgang Schirmacher, “The End of Metaphysics: What does this mean?” Social Science Information 3. 1984.

 

––––”Homo Generator: Media and Postmodern Technology.” 1994. http://www.egs.edu/faculty/wolfgang-schirmacher/articles/homo-generator-media-and-postmodern-technology.

 

Margaret Starbird, The Woman with the Alabaster Jar: Mary Magdalen and the Holy Grail Paperback (Rochester Vermont: Bear & Company, 1993)

 

Robert Stoller, “Sexual Excitement” in Arch Gen Psychiatry, Vol. 33 (August 1976): 899-909, accessed www.archgenpsychiatry.com, March 6, 2011.

 

Lisa Paul Streitfeld, Hermeneutics of New Modernism (Leipzig/New York: Atropos Press, 2014)

 

Lisa Paul Streitfeld, Champagne Tango (Portland, OR: Seahill Press, 1992)

 

Bill Tierny, Dynamics of Aspect Analysis: New Perspectives in Astrology (Boca Raton, FL: CRCS Publications, 1993)

 

Marie Louise Von Franz, Projection and Recollection in Jungian Psychology, (Peru, IL: Open Court Publishing Company, 1980)

 

Dianne Wolkstein and Samuel Noah Kramer, Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth: Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer (New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1983)

 

 

 

All images by Lisa Paul Streitfeld

Contemporary Series, 2014

Missing James Franco Series (collages), 2013-2015

Artist images in Huffington Post Reviews used with permission of the gallery and/or artists.

         [1] Albert van Helden, Measuring the Universe: Cosmic Dimensions from Aristarchus to Halley (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1985), p.107 in http://www.venus-transit.de/1639/index.html/ Accessed on 24 December 2015.