Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Case of Howard Philip Lovecraft

I watched this tonight, and loved it. It is a 45 minute interperetive style documentary that was comprised "one third about Lovecraft's work, a third about his biography, and a third about his times." (That's a quote from the director. This is a French film, by the way, but the dubbing is really good.)

It is introduced as a storytelling device - literally how to tell a story - and slowly evolves into a narrative drama, instructing you, the audience, on how to be Lovecraft in a story, and then in his life, what you are thinking at certain times, how you deal with situations, and the way in which your mind works.

Eventually the narration begins to overlap the story of Charles Dexter Ward, and finally winds up with Lovecraft's illness and death. "You are 46. You die with no complaints; no regrets. But then... you didn't care for life anyway."

There are never any actual characters, just a monotonous narration that occasionally grows ominously dark or manically high pitched depending on what exerp from what story is being read (story narration is mixed in with the narration about "your" life) and a silhouette of Lovecraft that we follow around through sometimes realistic and sometimes fantastic settings, always dream-like.

And outside of the racism (because, heh, no), I am sincerely fascinated to find, at least in this portrayal, just how much alike the inside of my head is to the inside of Lovecraft's head. I'm sure this bodes very badly for me. But it does explain why I was always attracted to his stories so very deeply...

My favorite line is, "You detest Jesus for having substituted the glorious cults of the pagan world with an insipid and whiney religion."

(Originally posted on May 29th, 2008)

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