The Crispin Glovers
It’s Thursday, the 1st of August 2019. My new friend, artist, Keiko Miyazaki is supposed to come with a car to pick me up at around 13:30 from the residency apartment. We are going to the film festival in Kranjska Gora, which is in the part of Slovenia that’s on the border between Italy and Austria. I’m waiting under the arches of my building that feels very old, Celje’s residential center is the old town. It's a hot sunny day and I’m wearing a black T-shirt and linen gray pants. I'm already halfway into the residency. I see Kieko,
She is originally from Japan but studied painting in London where she lived for over a decade. She moved to Slovenia in order to study art in Ljubljana and met her husband here who she has two kids with. She took a long break from art making due to raising her children but came back to it in recent years and also now she is in the process of separating from her husband and moving to a place of her own. She is a gifted and highly skilled painter but has been focusing mostly in installation and video.
I like Kieko, we just bonded over the fact we both have this Trans-local background and had painting as a preferred medium of work.
We drove out of Celje and just before stopping at a petrol station, she told me her ex came home last night. With his new girlfriend... They are in a process of separation, yet she felt him bringing her there was uncool. Keiko was in the yard smoking and she heard the girlfriend’s high heel shoes were making noise on the floor. Things are ugly between her and her husband now. She also told me he sold her car (!). Because it made me angry I suggested maybe breaking something of his as a joke but maybe not really a joke. It was then she had confessed to me that in return she used his toothbrush to clean the toilet… :)) hah hah hah
We drive for about an hour and make a stop close to Ljubljana to pick up Iva Tratnik.
We park and wait a bit for Iva, Keiko smokes one of those super slim cigarettes, and I take this picture with my phone:
Iva is also an artist based in Celje that I had heard about already from different people. She’s a painter, she is in her 30’s kinda tall, and had these interesting looking maroon new wave sunglasses that had cracked lenses.
She had just returned from a Rainbow gathering in Georgia and was staying with a friend so she had a suitcase with her that she had to put in the trunk.
At that moment she seems a bit over the fact I'm tagging along to the trip but it’s hard to tell because Iva’s constant expression is this little smile but she never looks overly happy and all the time a bit annoyed so she is kind of hard to read.
I let her sit in the front and we continued the drive to Kranjska Gora. Slovenia is beautiful and I can never get enough of looking outside the car window. Seeing endless green and mountains, and occasionally a few houses and a little white church.
Keiko’s short film "A Hole" will be screened and we are going to try to get in for free.
The countryside views from the car are unbelievable as always and it’s a bright day. When we arrived, I stepped out to Kranjska Gora, this place best known as a winter Ski resort situated at the (Julian) Alps. My best way to explain this place to an Israeli who has never been abroad will be to say it’s kind of like Metula.
The center is so small it could be confused with a highway quick stop. We rush to the ticket office and see there a spread of Cockta drinks( Slovenian Coca-cola, less fizzy, more natural and herby and doesn’t contain Caffeine) and Merci chocolates along with program giveaways. The guy at the main desk explains that we need to hurry because the screening is in the venue at the resort, five minutes’ drive away.
I grab some drinks and chocolate (it’s free), get back to the car quickly, drive up to the resort and park on the side of the road near a mountain. We walk by a lake of clear turquoise water underneath a huge Mountain with a pointy peak surrounded by pine trees. It is so warm...all I want to do is take off all my clothes and swim in the water…
We found the spot of the screening, it is located at the restaurant near the resort...we went in to check but it hasn't started yet.
Outside we meet Davori, Iva introduces us apparently, they went to art school together and he was also a painter. I noticed he was wearing a white t-shirt with an animal cartoon in black saying something funny- but I don't remember what it was or which animal it was (an alligator maybe?). Davori said he studied all four years but never graduated because he started working as an event producer. I ask if he still paints and he says no because he has no time but he always planned to get back to it. I can tell he wants to so I tell him he should. I say this because no one ever tells you this.
In between the short, mostly commercial student films there are a number of infomercials that look as if they were financed by Slovenia's tourism department. There was one that simply made me mad. On the surface, there was nothing wrong with it, a mini-doco following a group of German female cyclists going from Slovenia to Italy. The footage was accompanied by an English speaking voice-over narration by a Slovenian woman making funny comments... I thought it was strange at first because of its advertising. I didn't know what was sold to me. After a few minutes, I realized it was extremely offensive, in so many ways over exaggerating female stereotypes, it got ridiculous. Instead of portraying them as the athletes that they are, they were mocked and constantly framed as being feminine, silly, delicate and self-involved. WTF, every time that that happened, I looked around the room but found no one was disturbed. I just wished to see their reaction to this, the athletes didn’t even have a voice in this. The next infomercial was about mountain climbers, and they were men so they were interviewed. It came to be very condescending, I wished I had never seen it.
We stepped outside to sit at the bar by the water thinking on what to do next.
We never got to see Kieko’s short film A HOLE. I guess we missed it or it was shown in another short film program. :/ I had seen it before when I had a meeting with Keiko, oddly enough Kieko’s short film is using commercial advertising language of video to surface gender gaps in communication.
We went outside and set in one of the folding chairs near the water.
We talk about what we could do if we weren't in the art field.
I remember Iva saying she would probably dance or do theater, I don’t remember if I said culinary or a cop but I could have been a masseuse, Kieko said she would gut fish or something because she liked that feeling or something… The view of the peak is unbelievable, I then take this photo above and flip to take these two selfies of us three and one of Keiko.
I hear some Hebrew near the lake and smile and think to myself how Israeli tourists discovered Slovenia! I was also thinking to myself what a gorgeous location and such an esoteric film festival. How lucky I am to just be here and how I don’t feel like I should do anything except hanging out with these girls.
Iva mentioned there is an exhibit of this American director-actor in the festival.
She said his name was like Cristian Glover and I was like “you mean Crispin Glover? Here?
In Slovenia? George McFly??”
I never liked it when movie stars use their fame to buy their place in the visual art world. They seem to get attention based on their stardom from mainstream media and are like parasites in this sphere. It is so random. I need to see his name on the program, It’s true.
I can’t get over the fact Crispin Glover is here, I watched Back to the Future SO many times, so to me, this guy is George McFly, your density, I mean your destiny…
We walked back to the car to get back to the center and find something to eat... Kieko got a parking ticket! I offer we all contribute so it won’t be too much - Iva agrees- it's 20 euros so it’s not too bad - I tell them that this artist I met got a "drunk driving" ticket in Ljubljana while she was on her bicycle and it was 500 euro. This law is incredibly unfair.
This place does feel so much like Austria that I spontaneously start to hum ‘The Sound of Music’.
When we returned to the ticket center, they told us the Crispin Glover thing was yesterday but if we want to meet him we should come in the evening before the screening because he usually shows up when there is free wine and stuff.
We went to a big Mercator supermarket nearby to buy snacks and cigarettes (I bought this strawberry yogurt container that I will later struggle to eat without a spoon). The store was packed with people, some tourists, and other festival-goers so there were long queues. We couldn't find anything normal to eat at the store so we decided to sit at this restaurant near this place where they are about to do some concerts. All the restaurants here are of the 3 stars hotels and my inner food snob is not expecting much, but I don’t complain. We ordered a variety of dishes and shared everything. The food wasn’t good and the music was lame. Iva kept cracking up at the lyrics of the song. This guy kept singing and translated to me in parts. Because I’m not on vacation and not really looking to be entertained plus the company is great- I am having the best time.
I'm a little cold because It’s getting dark and colder and I didn’t bring a jacket. I realize that in Sweden there aren't such vast differences in temperatures between day and night and during summer there is no night!
Iva brings out this box of Tarot cards she designed herself. I’m into it.
She lets me pick one and says I can ask a question to myself before.
I ask (to myself) if I will do a good project? (will i?) I draw cards as Iva declare them out loud one after the other
“Mr. Wrong `` (:/)
''Mr. question ``''Mr. laughter” and “Mr. guilty”
I don’t know what this all means but try to think about it.
I now think it was a reflection of what I was feeling at the time.
Keiko picks three cards too. I text Inbar that is flying to Slovenia the next day to visit me for a whole week, we plan to travel around together, it’s good timing… Kieko notices the texts on the screen and finds the Hebrew so exotic, I explain it’s an ancient/ new language, revived in the 19 century and modern Hebrew writing is originally Aramaic letters.
We sit at the table until it gets dark.
We didn't go to the screening, Keiko wanted to go and see this Indian film and Iva and I didn’t so instead, we stayed at the restaurant and ordered more drinks and talked.
We never got to see Crispin Glover. Him being there in Kranjska Gora became this detail that was bothering me, somehow missing the screening of Kieko’s short video screening and being disappointed from the rest of the programme made seeing him the big event or attraction that should be linked to justify this trip. After some time I stopped to look for him in the crowds and didn’t really want to go and look for him before the screening.
I’m not a fan of Crispin Glover, I remember him mostly from back to the future 1+2 and a film called River’s Edge (1987). It was based on a true story of a girl that was raped and murdered by her boyfriend- that then showed her dead body to ten of his friends that stayed silent before two reported it to the police. I watched it some years ago during the time I was watching anything starring Keanu Reeves.
As we got in the car a lightning thunderstorm began. It goes 0 to 100 here so fast it’s romantic but also similar to a horror movie. It is pretty normal here in summer.
I miss these storms so much. There are never thunderstorms in Stockholm. I liked them so much in Slovenia, I recorded the sound several nights.
I don't remember how we got there, but Keiko said in Slovenia every single person has a sleeping bag from childhood and in Japan, it is not common at all and only “weirdos” go camping. Now she is set to own a sleeping bag too :) Iva said she likes sleeping in different places and in a car too. I suddenly got an Idea and asked Iva if she would like to do something with me. I wanted to spend the night at the treehouse located in the Celje forest but didn't want to do it alone- we can frame it under a workshop and paint there- she said yes so I hope I can make it happen.