Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

La Jetee

Todd Duffin taped two DVDs full of film shorts or me, because there was this Henry Rollins thing on there. I haven’t had time to watch everything yet, so last night I zipped through the tape a bit. To my surprise and delight the film La Jetee was on there. La Jetee is a French film that was the basis for Twelve Monkeys. It’s a a black and white montage film from the early sixties, and it has no moving images – just shots of photos, with narration (which was replaced with English narration here) and a haunting score. It’s about a post WWIII world where everyone is underground living like rats, and the government is experimenting with sending prisoners back in time to get food and energy. It turns out that at the end of the film, the guy realizes that when he was a little kid, he saw himself get killed. So the whole film is really this strange loop.

Weird films like this really get to me, in the good way. I was thinking about this for hours last night, about how their time travel rules and mechanisms worked. I love time travel – I don’t know if it’s because I look back at periods in the semi-near past with extreme nostalgia, or if it’s just the scifi geek in me. Most people would travel into the far future or the far past. Most people are only interested in gold arbitrage, or going back to “the good old days”. If I was seriously given the chance to go to any time, I’d probably only go back 5 or 10 years.

I shouldn’t talk about it because it is a work in progress, and it’s also seriously fucked up at this point, but my second book talks about time travel extensively, which means I’ve spent a lot of time lately “researching” it. (i.e. watching the Back to the Future movies) Any time travel book or movie needs to have a weird twist, like La Jetee’s weird book-ending. There are at least five different versions of me in this book, all talking in first person. It’s not as confusing as it sounds, but it’s confusing enough to make you think.

Why do I lose weight faster when I don’t exercise?

Someday, this war’s gonna end.

06/12/98 21:37

I miss VMS process names. I’m listening to Corrosion of Conformity right now – 5 years ago, I would’ve done a SET PROC/NAME=”VoteWithABullet” and waited for a reply.

The new Details magazine is here, with Ben Affleck on the cover. I didn’t know he was dating Gwenyth Paltrow. Weird. This month’s issue is better than usual; articles grabbing my attention were about demolition derbies and CMC records. I’d like to try the former sometime, and I was suprised to see how mildly positive they were about a record putting out mostly 80’s heavy metal bands, especially considering they are constantly pushing $5,000 watches in their style pages. I think my subscription runs out soon, and when it does, I probably won’t be renewing. They put so many ads in the damn thing, they should be paying me to subscribe.