Monday, November 27, 2006

Paul Auster, "It's my corner after all"

Looks like someone forgot a camera.

Yeah. I did.

It's yours?

That's mine alright. I've owned that little sucker for a long time.

I didn't know you took pictures.

Well, I guess you could call it a hobby. Only takes me five minutes a day to do it but I do it every day. Rain or shine, sleet or snow. Sort of like the postman.

So you're not just some guy who pushes coins across a counter.

Well that's what people see. But that ain't necessarily what I am.

(Cut to black and white photos, arranged in an album)

They're all the same.

That's right. More than four thousand pictures of the same place. The corner of third street and seventh avenue at eight o'clock in the morning. Four thousand straight days in all kinds of weather. That's why I can never take a vacation, I've got to be in my spot every morning at the same time. Every morning in the same spot at the same time.

I've never seen anything like this.

That's my project. What you'd call my life's work.

It's amazing. I'm not sure I get it, though. I mean, what was it that gave you the idea to do this… project.

I don't know. It just came to me. It's my corner after all. I mean, it's just one little part of the world, but things take place there too, just like everywhere else. It's a record of my little spot.

It's kind of overwhelming.

(He finishes with one book. Auggie give him another.)

You'll never get it if you don't slow down my friend.

What do you mean?

I mean you're going too fast, you're hardly even looking at the pictures.

They're all the same.

They're all the same, but each one is different from every other one. You've got your bright mornings and your dark mornings, you got your summer light and your autumn light, you got your weekdays and your weekends, you got your people in overcoats and galoshes and you've got your people in T shirts and shorts. Sometimes the same people, sometimes different ones. Sometimes the different ones become the same, or the same ones disappear. The earth revolves around the sun, and every day the light from the sun hits the earth at a different angle.

Slow down, huh?

That's what I recommend. You know how it is. "Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, time creeps on its petty pace."

(We look at the photos, more slowly)

Oh Jesus. Look. It's Ellen.

Yeah, that's her alright. She's in quite a few from that year. Must have been on her way to work.

It's Ellen. Look at her. Look at my sweet darling.

(He cries. New scene: Auggie takes a picture of his corner.)

from "Smoke"
by Paul Auster, directed by Wayne Wang
(11:14-17:38, 17:38-18:03)