The Teddy Bear Sicknic
I’ve deblogged with no note or explanation for a month now, for this dear readers (all three of you) I send you my most abundant apology.
What have I been doing all this time?
Well, among many many other things I’ve been watching the films of Agnès Varda.
And preparing (now recuperating) from a surgery which has left me with a nice Betamax-sized slit in my abdomen.
In my convalescence I’ve received some very fine get well wishes, phone calls on my little hospital receiver, flowers, books and of course a teddy bear. Small, brown and made of polyester fluff. I have named him Gregory (pronounced Gwegowy due to my morphine-push-button-haze) after the 24 hour Gregory Peck marathon which had been playing on the TV near the ceiling as I fuzzed in and out of the room.
Amazingly, Gregory did indeed improve my situation. To hug something while I floated somewhere down by the floor was a very real comfort in the lonely room filled with my own hypochondria and body-horror.
Then I watched “Ydessa, the Bears and Etc …” part of Cinévardaphoto.
We enter into two rooms, a cross between a library and a prison barrack full of teddies and photos of people with teddies. All black and white, all enigmatic without wall text. Varda goes on her usual poetic dissections of the documentation, the criticism and the artist who made the show, Ydessa Hendeles.
Her face is strange, but beautiful. Mangled in some way I can’t make out. She lives in a manor I was very impressed with complete with secret door in the library, spiral staircases and a massive marble slab in her kitchen. She is a woman alone. Or so she is depicted by Varda. And she seems powerful, holder of esoteric secrets. And that made me feel better. Maybe even more than the bear Gregory.
Of interest: read this spiny essay by Hendeles in protest to Varda’s portrayal of her in the film.
I miss the comfort in being well…