Liquid Ink

The official website of Gint Aras, Finalist 2016 CWA Book Award


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Free paper for film class

In case there’s somebody who’s in a crunch and really needs a last-minute paper for their Intro to Film class, I wrote this one. Don’t say I never helped you out. Just cut and paste and hand it in. Don’t worry. Your teacher won’t figure out you got this from the internet.

This paper works for any film class, any director and any project. Believe me. I have proof.

The film’s main point is how there’s like a meaning to anything, including the meaning of things you never even thought about, for example flowers or like a guitar sound in the background, or even a famous actor who you think is hot in real life but in the film they’re just like a regular Joe or even a character who needs to figure out the main part about the movie, which usually gets made up by a director, plus all those people who help out in a film, where you need electricity and somebody to set the table and make sure you have all the different props in the right place, maybe even a couple of things just in case you run out, and then you get to start making it, because it’s generally about how if you want to be strong in this world, then you need a lot of strength and passion, or how it’s not fair because they have money in high places and the poor people always get to sweep the floor or they have to figure out the problem all by themselves, which if you think about it is the same as all the lessons on how they made your life for you and you didn’t even do nothing about it, except maybe a couple of things, which now in days get all around big cities, you know, with social class in it, and then you can’t even see the theater anymore because what are you supposed to do if it costs like ten bucks to go in a film and they ask you for that money right at the window, not outside where the cars are still getting parked, and if you bring your own popcorn pretty much you’ll get told no, you can’t, so that’s why I only got to see like two out of the four films this semester even though I got a lot out of them and I am happy about it since now I know how to talk about film with anybody.

If you fail, just say, “Fuck off. I got this from a film teacher. I put social class in it.”

Good luck.

BolexH16

Image from Wikipedia.


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Getting compared to your idols

This past week, the Chicago Tribune ran this review of my novel, The Fugue. The reviewer, fellow Chicagoan Dmitry Samarov, called the book “magisterial,” said it goes for all the marbles and compared it to Dostoevsky.

Other commentators have compared my writing to other writers that I love, including Nelson Algren.

All these conversations are insane. They don’t feel real. I’m certain a moment is arriving when a director or other puppet-master will say, “We’re finished, thank you,” then turn off all the lights, unplug the equipment and send all the players back to reality.

I have so many questions about how this all happens. How is it that you read the books of the writers you love, write your own book and then end up getting compared to them? The comparisons are obvious compliments. But what’s going on? Have I internalized these forms, or are they attractive to me because I found parts of myself swimming in them, parts placed in a text long before I was born?

Today, I’d just like to nudge the director or puppet-master, if s/he’s reading. Don’t turn off the equipment. Not for a while, anyway.  I’d like to keep this insane conversation going.

Here’s a self-portrait I took of myself in Queens, NY.

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New Lithuanian film: Suokalbis, Anthology of the Plot

Longtime readers of Liquid Ink know how much I loved Suokalbis, the since defunct Vilnius dive, which in an essay that won’t go away, I called the greatest bar in the world.

Here’s an excerpt from Suokalbis, A Eulogy and Lament:

When an old man dressed in tan Soviet-era trousers gyrated in imitation of Freddie Mercury, and when his dance partner — a young woman who might have worked at the reception of an area hotel — swung her round hips to Fat Bottomed Girls, you knew what it was about. When you saw a scrawney trolley bus driver color his cheeks with lipstick borrowed from a tourist — one perfectly happy to hand her makeup over — and you watched the couple bounce around to Ra Ra Rasputin, Russia’s greatest love machine, you understood that Suokalbis had a purpose. The bar wasn’t merely a refuge for the city’s 86-list. It was a public space in Vilnius that experimented with the notion of absolute freedom. 

I’m far from the bar’s only fan.

Filmmaker Arturas Jevdokimovas contacted me a few months ago about the essay, asking if he could use some of the text in his new film, Anthology of the Plot. Obviously, I agreed. The website promoting the film, which will make its way around the festival circuit, is now out, and I encourage readers to visit.

Click here for Anthology of the Plot.

Click here for the full text of Suokalbis, A Eulogy and Lament.

Lietuviškas vertimas pasirodė Šiaurės Atėnuose, Suokalbis: pagyrimas ir apraudojimas. Spauskite.

A still from the film, provided by Arturas Jevdokimoas. This is a rainy Soviet-era Lithuanian funeral.

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