listen to me marlon

Just watched this fascinating documentary about Marlon Brando that used extensively audio recordings of him. Really enlightening watch and it catalogued in detail his personal dramas, his struggles, his thought processes as an artist and you can keenly feel how much of a philosopher he was. Really an amazing individual.

Most fascinating for me were his struggles with film as a medium of conveying deep personal truths and how he felt massively disillusioned with the form dismissing it as mostly trivial. I personally disagree with him and think that the ability to entertain can be quite profound. life can beat you down, it can be depressing, it can be a shitstorm even as we struggle through the crap to do something even a little bit satisfying and the mundanity of trying to earn a living and all the other shit. and to make something that enlightens (even in a relatively simple way), that inspires or even just makes one person smile or feel better, is not a trivial thing. to make something even slightly beautiful, maybe even a little poetic that connects with other people and makes them forget themselves is transcendent…

by Hugh O'Malley, Beauty Photographer and Videographer based in Shanghai

light the dark

Been reading a great book recently called “Light The Dark Writers On Creativity, Inspiration, And The Artistic Processby Joe Fassier. 


it’s a fascinating glimpse into a wide variety of writers’ approaches to writing and what inspired them.  I don’t read a lot of poetry but I was really intrigued by Emma Donoghue’s (an Irish writer) chapter and her being inspired by this poem by Emily Dickinson:

Wild nights – Wild nights!

Wild nights – Wild nights!
Were I with thee
Wild nights should be
Our luxury!

Futile – the winds
To a Heart in port –
Done with the Compass –
Done with the Chart!

Rowing in Eden –
Ah – the Sea!
Might I but moor – tonight –
In thee!

                                                              Emily Dickinson

O’Donoghue analyses adeptly the passion, the longing and ultimately the unhingedness (is that a word?) of Dickinson.  She aptly describes the slightly imbalanced stalker aspect of Dickinson.  She’d probably be a great person to go on the tear with but God forbid you’d actually be moored to her!

I loved this poem though.  It’s got such a sense of abandon.

Anyway.  I can highly recommend the book.  It’s full of wonderful quotes like this:

“Writing leaves behind a visceral sense of what it was like to be alive on the planet in a particular time. Writing tells us what it meant for someone to be human.  Every art form is a version of this.”   Claire Messud

by Hugh O'Malley, Beauty Photographer and Videographer based in Shanghai