30 December 2006

The Quantum Studio Theater

You arrive at the quantum theater, a vast contemporary black structure with no windows. On the digital marquee is a silent trailer for the current season's production. You approach the ticket counter and enter your credit information into a terminal. A small plastic ticket-card is dispensed to you. This ticket doubles as your access to the lobby and the theater. You enter the lobby and sit down at the bar. At the quantum studio theater the show starts at the beginning of the season and ends at the end of the season, so there is no rush. Did I mention its 4 in the morning? The quantum studio theater is 24/7.

At the end of the bar is an aging man you recognize as an actor from the last season. He gives you a nod and as you finish your drinks you slide down to converse with him. Seems as if this season is even better than the last he says. Last season was written by Greenaway, Lynch and the Coens. This season showcases some new talent; a collaborative effort between Jonze, July and Coppola. Now it hits you as the man's words slide out of his mouth between sips of Whiskey; you are conversing with Dennis Hopper.

The polite chit chat between you and Dennis subsides and he gets up to enter the theater. Again your ticket-cards grant you access to the voluminous darkened room. You follow Dennis as he stumbles into the middle row center seats past a pair of teenage girls and a sleeping old man. You begin to get lost in the story. A story that lives because you are there watching; a story which is assembled cut by cut based on information stored in your ticket-card; a story which modifies its emotional dynamics the way an orchestra will crescendo and dimenuendo at the command of the maestro. And yet the maestro's skull has been digitally peeled back, with the genius brain now receptive to the subtle variations in the audience. Each audience member is a variable in an elaborate equation.

The drama hits a soft spot and Dennis coughs out a raspy laugh. The scene is of a boy asking his mother about the effects of global warming on the family hamster. The boy has accidentally substituted "radiation" with "aviation". You wonder on a subconsious level about the alternate takes of this scene. If the boy had said "vacation" or "salvation" would Dennis had found it as funny? Closeups of the hamster running in its pathetic metal wheel are strangely symmetric, as if the hamster is running in a perfect loop. Perhaps it is a perfect loop. Perhaps the duration of that loop is chosen from a matrix of possibilities by a logic that is dependent on your own ticket-card. It's hard to say. Moments later the father character arrives home from a long day at the office and pours himself a whiskey. He interrupts the conversation between his son and his wife with a raspy laugh. A raspy laugh that you swear you've heard before...

1 comment:

Gabriel said...

More from the same Dennis Hopper Interview:

Hollywood Directors

Easy Rider