bITS 'N CHUNKS
Do you think a lot about finding your aesthetic? Or what that even means?
I was finally able to see Bladerunner 2049 (which is excellent) and one of the things that struck me, visually, is how it captured the Philip K. Dick aesthetic maybe even better than the original. Of course, there have been technological advantages since then to help out with that. The liberal usage of CGI enhances the artificiality of this dystopian cyberpunk world. Bladerunner did its best and is still very good, but it's a very urban story and kind of hampered by the mysteries in the plot (also known as inconsistencies, also known as "is Harrison Ford a damn replicant or not").
The sequel leaned in a lot more to the cyberpunk aesthetics than the noir, although that was well enforced as well. Forgive me the reference, but it was very Chinatown. That being said, tonally both Bladerunner and the sequel and subsequent shorts in the 'verse are and have always been way off. They tell a much more romantic story than "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" That's cool because I don't expect my movie adaptations of books to get every last nook and cranny right and I'm glad even when they shoot for 70%. If Bladerunner the movie is Chinatown, then "Do Androids..." is No Country for Old Men. Anyway. As usual, I'm struggling to get to the point.
I thought to myself, they got the look right and that satisfied me. There were more elements brought in to flesh out the world, thus connecting it to Philip K. Dick's world building. But even as a distant sequel, it has to unite itself to the original movie, thus enforcing Ridley Scott's aesthetic.
I thought about that a lot. What drives certain people to write sci-fi, and what kinds? Drugs? Imagination? Upbringing? Recently, I've been listening to a lot of Sylvia Plath poetry and wondering why I relate so much to the words and experiences of this white woman from the far reaches of New England. Even our depression and suicidal thoughts are not the same. The scintillating and cleverly disguised until too late darkness and lack of a cry for help are all very appealing to me. Listening to her own readings and the deep incantation and punctuation clicks of a Bostonian voice, I thought,
"This is sooo aesthetically pleasing to me."
But it's gotta be more than that, right? Her method of writing pleases me. For a lot of reasons, I detest Anne Sexton but her poetry came to me first. I hate her way of writing, her overwrought confessional poetry. The two are not to be compared. Sylvia and I have and always will have a very mutual aesthetic.
Look how long it took for someone to put out a proper Philip K. Dick movie. I thought A Scanner Darkly was going to be it for a very long time if not ever, a very nice stopping point but definitely a stopping point. Not so. That movie was a lot more proactive with representatives of Dick's estate saying do NOT make this another silly blockbuster film because PKD's aesthetic is not to appeal to the masses,
And there it is AGAIN, aesthetic
That is the purpose, the point, the full scope
I look at my works and think, "okay, what is the POINT?"
The feedback I've gotten this year has been tough but also makes me feel like I'm not quite there yet. I've been free to create whatever the hell I want and do my thing, but as someone that values cohesiveness I'm surprised to think that my work this year and last have not been as cohesive as I'd like.
I'm still finding my aesthetic and the scope of what I'd like my work to encompass. Why sci-fi? Why horror? Why dystopian cyberpunk? What am I trying to convey? I need to be more patient with myself so I can figure it out; I don't feel like I've regressed. I don't feel like it's taking too long. I am putting work into it, a lot of work in fact. It's just going to take a minute.
Ia! If you've come this far, you're either looking for weird or you know you've found it...