Watch/Read/Travel: Erik Wøllo

March 27, 2015

Dead Man (Jim Jarmusch, 1995) is an American western film which stars Johnny Depp, Iggy Pop, Gabriel Byrne, Robert Mitchum and many more. This is an art film and not a typical western. Very dark, dreamy and poetic, more like an Acid Western or “Psychedelic Western”, and it includes various twisted elements of the Western genre. The film is shot entirely in black-and-white, which makes it even more special. ‘Dead Man’ is generally regarded as being extremely well researched in regard to Native American culture, free of common stereotypes. Also a great score by Neil Young who plays his haunted and distorted Les Paul guitar, soloing and improvising while he watched the movie footage. HERE is a link to a Q&A in the Film Society of Lincoln Center, where director Jim Jarmusch discussed his masterpiece.

I am very much into the western genre and have piles of DVDs in this genre. This genre really does have all the possiblities to tell any story, and ‘Dead Man’ is one of my favorites.

‘Narcissus and Goldmund’ (Hermann Hesse, 1930). I do not have much time to read books these days, unfortunately. Several years ago I read this book, and I was totally into it. Very interesting story about two opposite archetypical characters, their relationship and their history in life.

It is about the polarization of Narcissus’s individualist character who stands in contrast to the passionate and zealous disposition of Goldmund. Goldmund as an artist and wanderer, very different person than Narcissus, who is the structured and stable priest-monk. Goldmund is presented as an evolving seeker, he comes to embody a wide spectrum of the human experience, lusting for the ecstasy of the sensual world. Yet capturing and representing it through his talent as a sculptor. He struggles to find himself, and represents art and nature, while Narcissus represents science and logic. Regarded as one of the best books written by Hermann Hesse.

Sedona, Red Rocks (Photo: CEBImagery)

Sedona, Red Rocks (Photo: CEBImagery)

Sedona, AZ (USA)As a Norwegian I like to go to places that are completely different to the Scandinavian nature. The southwestern parts of USA have some really interesting places, with large remote deserts and vast plains. Sedona is a very special place in the red rock area in Arizona, and I have been there several times. (I even named one of my compositions after this place). In the Verde Valley area there are lot of historic places, with traces from ancient native cultures. Like the Montezumas Castle, which is a cliff dwelling with an abadoned ancient village. Sedona is famous for the red rock formations, and several movies have been shot here. It is a nice place to stop for a buffalo meat meal before you go further up to Grand Canyon!

(Erik Wøllo)


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