Back after a week in the forest of Northern Cambodia, working on the doc about indigenous land issues.
Listening to Black Sabbath here in my modest lair/office and regrouping: although Phnom Penh is a small, laid back town compared to New York –which is to my liking — it’s a whirring metropolis compared to Ban Lung, the provincial capital up North and biggest town in reach of the indigenous villages we’d been exploring.
Thus, I go from a Tampuan village with pigs,. gourds, and old ladies with sagging tits, to the comfort of my Phnom Penh lair where I now peck, deal with SPAM and some important emails, and assess cash flow for finishing this project.
Also, now once again cutting Susan Hero, which I’m chipping away at as best I can given the continually changing circumstances of life here.
[will post pix from the Ratankiri shoot soon; needto update my system software first ]
Before leaving though, had a striking dream about my (long deceased) father which I must relate before moving into any tales related to the recent journey to the jungle.
I’ll relate it here in capsule form, before telling of the trip to Ratanakiri.
Also might elaborate further on this and other things in “HURRICANE”, the unedited diary of the making of Susan Hero.
Let me preface this all by saying that I’ve only dreamt of my Dad a couple times since he died back in 1976, when I was 8. Thelast time was back in New Mexico, while I was clawing away at trying to get the production for Susan Hero off the ground: another extremely trying and grim time.
Anyway, the present. The dream. I was a kid still, I think, and I was with my sister (I think)and some other vague family members, although I don’t know who exactly.
We were walking towards a 1970’s style station wagon, and I could see the sillouette of someone sitting inthe driver’s seat.
“Do you want to see Dad?” someone asked.
I shook my head. No, I didn’t I was afraid.
Nevertheless, I was lead over to the car, drawing nearer, and I was trembling as we approached.
Finally I arrived at the car, and I could see him inside, not dead, not a corpse (as I had feared), but “frozen” as ifa freeze frame in a movie. His hair was grey, he looked older, unfamiliar, but I knew if was him.
He began to move, as if my prescence activtaed him, broke him from his stillness.
He picked up his old Super 8 camera — the very camera I first used to make my early movies, the camera I’d found tucked away on top of his shelf after he’d died– and started to shoot very carefully through the windshield, then slowly panned around the interior of the car.
Finally, he put down the camera and began to look around as if he were trying to find something in the back seat, something nearby which he’d lost.
Instantly, I found myself standing in front of him, next to the car.
He was trying to say something to me, but the words came out as only unarticualted sounds. His tongue, for some reason, was black (*before I had this dream I’d read a book by Dan Brown which mentioned a murdered Pope whose tongue was black from being poisoned)
“Hmmm, hmmm, mmmuah, haummm….”
He said, reaching toward me as if to comfort me, to pat my head. I knew he was trying to comfort me, though I couldn’t understand what he was saying.
In the dream, I dropped to the ground paralyzed by the weight of the moment and the overwhelming experience of seeing him again up close.
I was crying in the dream, dumb, unable to respond to him, overloaded, gushing.
I woke to the darkness of my room in Phnom Penh, the Mondulkiri wood bed, the slowly whirling ceiling fan.
Then and there, too, as the impact of the dream sunk in, I burst into tears uncontrollably, just sobbing and weeping uncontrollably for a long time.
I went to the bathroom to take a piss. I looked in the mirror, and the dream, like scales, gradually shed itself from me.
And I went back to bed.