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Alex Carnevale

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Mia Nguyen

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Ethan Peterson

This Recording

is dedicated to the enjoyment of audio and visual stimuli. Please visit our archives where we have uncovered the true importance of nearly everything. Should you want to reach us, e-mail alex dot carnevale at gmail dot com, but don't tell the spam robots. Consider contacting us if you wish to use This Recording in your classroom or club setting. We have given several talks at local Rotarys that we feel went really well.

Pretty used to being with Gwyneth

Regrets that her mother did not smoke

Frank in all directions

Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais

Simply cannot go back to them

Roll your eyes at Samuel Beckett

John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion

Metaphors with eyes

Life of Mary MacLane

Circle what it is you want

Not really talking about women, just Diane

Felicity's disguise

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In Which There Was An Element Of The Obscene



Lying in bed next to me, you begin to tell me about another woman you are seeing. I wonder if, to an outsider, this enumeration of your conquests would feel misplaced post-coitus. I am familiar with your breed of flirtation.

You tell me sure, she's hot. She has a decent body, small tits like you like them, tall like you like them, she’s all right in bed.

When people ask me about you, how would you feel if I told them you were a lazy lover, that you had a belly that hangs over your belt and the back of a woman?

Instead, I say you are a "banker type," and I fly to Mexico because I hope it will validate me, as a sexual trophy for you - your choice spoils. I pray for something to fill the hole in my heart left by the last man who brought me through that airport.

I sleep next to you - you, who have no passion for pleasing me, and no interest in the woman I am – rich in flaws and complexity. You don't hear me when I speak, so I stop.

I follow you silently down narrow cobblestone streets as you trip over your shoes, checking your phone. Staring at the back of your head, I feel so lonely. I’m too apathetic and ashamed to fight you when you patronize me. I sleep with you despite myself, with my eyes clenched shut. I will it to be over before it begins; take the morning after pill thinking, "God, I deserve this." I watch you get down on your knees in church and am amazed that you still have faith. What do you believe in, if it isn’t love?

Leah Buckley is the senior contributor to This Recording.

Art by Claire Lee.



In Which We Speak With The Voice Of Eric Rohmer

Eric Rohmer Says

In French there is a word moraliste that I don't think has any equivalent in English. It doesn't really have much connection with the world "moral," a moraliste is someone who is interested in the description of what goes on inside man. He's concerned with states of mind and feelings. For example, in the eighteenth century Pascal was a moraliste and you could also call Stendhal a moraliste because he describes what people feel and think. Morality is a very personal matter. But they try to justify everything in their behavior and that fits the word moral in its narrowest sense. But "moral" can also mean that they are people who like to bring their motives, their reasons for actions, into the open, they try to analyze, and they are not people who act without thinking what they were doing. What matters is what they think about their behavior, rather than the behavior itself.

A person's charm comes across on television almost exclusively in close-up and even then it is helped by the voice, which does come across well. But the way people stand and walk and move, the whole physical dimension... all that is lost.

I'm looking for what is natural, but everyone has their conception of what is natural. I'm very particular about this point. There are actors who seem to me to speak correctly, and those who sound false. Of course, these notions are rather subjective. I'm not really drawn to non-professionals, I think actors speak more correctly than non-actors. There is a certain false theatrical quality into which the actors can be drawn and which I avoided.

Water is the first element. The idea of tears and rain. The lake comes later; it is slightly superfluous, but I'm very fond of water. I like water to look at, and to touch. I am not very fond of the arid Mediterranean landscape. The country I like best is the temperate zone, in central France. The cherry trees, the fruit and flowers: they're all things I find enormously pleasing.

Yesterday I saw Stroheim's Merry Widow again; a marvellous film, by the way. I hadn't seen it for a long time, and I was struck by the sheer frenzy of the costumes and the sets. I don't like artifice. I prefer nature.

There are people, like Resnais, who like to talk with someone. For me, my interlocutors are my guinea pigs. It has even happened that my actors have served as my guinea pigs, not for the film in which they played, but for the next film. No, I don't need collaboration. Not at all. I work all alone. I speak to no one. Only when I have finished do I have someone read it.

The demagogues' problem is that they want to impose culture, because that implies that there is a correct culture, and one that is wrong. While in fact there are different cultures for different audiences.

I've always been rather shocked by the resemblance between actors in the cinema. People that directors are experts in physiognomy, but I'm not really, and in lots of films I muddle up characters. Some directors favor a certain physical type, especially a certain female type, in their films. Often different women in a film resemble each other. In contrast, I always sought out strong oppositions, with the men too. I don't want to find a unity of tone with my actors. I put actors together who should be difficult to use at the same time because of differences in their style.

My heroine returns to a place she has left because she felt uncomfortable there and she didn't like it, and at the same time it had to be happy, it had to somehow express the interior happiness of someone returning to a place even if they don't like it. I could have shown it softened by light, but that would have been cheating.

- Eric Rohmer


In Which We Bargain With A Frightened Man

Painting of a Thousand Faces


We are angry. We are angry with you for what you did.

You further reproach me with having promised you that I would paint your picture with the greatest possible care that I ever could, Dürer wrote. That I certainly said unless I was out of my mind. For my whole lifetime I could hardly finish it. Now with the greatest care I can hardly finish a face in half a year. Now your picture contains fully one hundred faces, not counting the drapery and landscape and other things in it. Besides who ever heard of making such a work for an altarpiece? No one could see it. But I believe that what I wrote to was: to make the painting with great or more than ordinary pains because of the time you spent waiting for me.

We imagine modernity began with the last man to speak, the last man that we recognize. (Or woman.) Did you know that the ancient Egyptians had indoor plumbing? Civilizations are circular, cyclical, and we return to the end of the line.

The central posited fact, that remains through the ages, is an image in my mind. A man sits on the edge of a sunset and bakes himself into a landscape. Perhaps he would rather be with a man or a woman but he is unmoving in the firelight. I want you to know for all my days I have never begun any work that pleased me better than this picture of your which I am painting. Till I finish it I will not to any other work, Albrecht Dürer wrote. I am only sorry that the winter will so soon come upon us. The days grow so short that one cannot do much.

Life at the turn of the sixteenth century was all double entendres and unprotected sex. Man considered visiting the moon before deciding he had other things on his mind. 1503 was the kind of year where you wondered why there had been any other. Dürer had three journeymen on his payroll; all were named Hans. Dürer was the type of guy where a part of him was in the present and a part was in the past.

He felt he had missed out on books of art written by close friends. "Phidias, Praxiteles, Abelles, Polteclus, Parchasias, Lisipus, Protogines." He wondered what they wrote about the thing he loved. There were times in history where mankind thought art was a pejorative, a casting of evil. Maximilian asked Dürer for a design of a knight; it would adorn his tomb at Innsbruck.

Sometimes it seems odd how little Christ is talked about by nonbelievers as a historical figure. He is a character as much as Dürer, although he was not as light in the face as Dürer, and he did not smell of turpentine, bleach, and painting oils. When a man understands the thought of another, he can only understand it on as many levels as he can comprehend at one time. Some, like Dürer, could simply hold many more thoughts. The expression of the additional levels was present, here for example:

We are eight to a side, we are sitting at the table until we fold beneath it, our wings pressed down, facing the ground.

Erasmus writes of Jesus Christ that, He despised the eating of his own flesh and drinking of his own blood, except it were done spiritually. This is an analog for history. The history of our people is different somehow, because there is no longer such thing as flesh and blood.

Dürer's mother gave birth to eighteen children. Her name was Barbara. Dürer wrote, God be merciful to her. On her deathbed he drew her. We had the chance to make peace at the end, but we only stayed away. Mankind, in its infinite wisdom killed something precious, and the only way to move on emotionally was to kill something else precious. A few years later, Dürer began to lose his eyesight. He left Nuremberg for a time, determined to see other surroundings.

Mark Arturo is the senior contributor to This Recording.