Tonight is Deleuze, Neil Young, Antonioni's L'avventura, the last few chapters of Gravity's Rainbow and white pomegranate tea in abundance. I'm feeling delicate and withdrawn. I'm oscillating between feeling okay with this and feeling anxious that the old agoraphobia is coming back. Sometimes I don't go out because I don't want to. Sometimes I don't go out because I feel like it would fucking hurt a lot. Its not so much fear as it is anticipatory exhaustion and anxiety. Ironically, staying at home and reading dense philosophy and gut-wrenchingly gorgeous but intense films or painting or writing a new short story (started a few days ago, it will probably turn into nothing) is equally painful. I can't explain it. Things impact me way too much. I wish I could turn the sensitivity-meter way down and be buoyant and light.
I've been watching films by Joe Swanberg recently. His latest, Alexander the Last, is really...quite lovely. His older films are less interesting but use the same aesthetic; something people call "mumblecore" (...?). From what I've read, mumblecore seems like a bullshit-genre with derogatory implications. Genres are easy to pin on works of art but they're quickly weighed down by it. I'm pulled in quickly to films without a plot. I like when films reflect life - "realist" cinema can't do this anymore. But I find glimpses of this, I guess, emotional/visual realism in certain films. In one article I read, the critic compared Swanberg's aesthetic to Rohmer's - quite a stretch, but I think there are similarities. Both film-makers appeal to me, even if the former falls dangerously close to cliche. But life is a cliche, so any attempt at "realism" usually negotiates with and uses cliches. Hatred toward "cliches" is a postmodern trend. Why are people (myself included) so consumed with authentic expression, even after accepting the fact that nothing is new, and everything is either recapitulation or bricolage? We theorize about the lack a subject, or a plural subject, but a lot of what we do (the "real" beyond theory) still points to an obsession with unities and a unified self.
Underneath all this trivial intellectualizing is a lot of self-doubt, mainly stemming from concerns about next year. I don't know what to write my masters thesis on. Any advice on how to figure this out and/or ease into grad school? Some people are telling me not to worry about my MA thesis, but I still feel as though its a big decision.