nicholas latkovic

vade mecum (Latin, "go with me") n. a favorite book carried everywhere; a handbook of useful information kept at one's side

“Absolute Bearing”

leave a comment »

The pastness of all films is implicit in in the retrospection of their frames, a property of the medium demonstrated by polished “Hollywood” features and by our out-of-focus, badly lighted, uncentered home movies. The embarrassed and graceless movements of dead relatives and friends overwhelm us with a poignancy that most still photographs of the same faces and bodies do not produce.

The cinematic frame, by dint of its serial projections, has a precarious grasp on the presence and activities of life. Whether in the artfully composed 35 millimeter close-up of a movie star or in the super-8 grimacing countenances of once young parents, the frame makes us pay dearly in affect for beholding its vacillating modes of present and past.

Affron, Charles. “Chapter 2: Thresholds of Feeling.” Cinema and Sentiment. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1982. 47. Print.

Written by nlatkovic

November 3, 2014 at 2:52 PM

a psychic double-take

leave a comment »

The Freudian analyst, Karl Menninger, has said that there are three components of suicide: the wish to kill, the wish to be killed, the wish to die. Kleinian theory would suggest that each of these processes is highly complex, ambiguous and rarely separate from the others.

For instance, a man may wish to kill only some aspect of himself under the illusion that its death will free some other part to live. In part he wishes to kill, in part to be killed. But in part death itself is by the way; what is at issue is not self-murder but an extreme act of placation which will restore some injured part of himself to health and enable it to flourish: ‘If thy eye offend thee, pluck it out.’

But for the suicide, overwhelmed by his obscure and obscuring sense of inner chaos and worthlessness, the ‘eye,’ the part, is his life itself as he is leading it. He casts away his life in order properly to live.

This psychic double-take occurs even in what seems to be the crudest case of aggression. The angry child who says to his parents, ‘I’ll die and then you’ll be sorry,’ is not merely seeking revenge. He is also projecting the guilt and anger that possesses him on to those who control his life. In other words, he is defending himself from his own hostility by the mechanism of projective identification; he becomes the victim, they the persecutors.

Similarly, but on a more sophisticated level, a man may take his own life because he feels the destructive elements inside him are no longer to be borne; so he sheds them at the expense of the guilt and confusion of his survivors.

But what is left, he hopes, is a purified, idealized image of himself which lives on like the memory of all those noble Romans who fell on their own swords with equanimity for the sake of their principles, their reputations and their proper name in history.

Without those high Roman ideals, suicide is simply the most extreme and brutal way of making sure that you will not readily be forgotten. It is a question of a kind of posthumous rebirth in the memory of others, rather like that imagined by the primitive warrior-tribesmen who thought Paradise was reserved only for those who died violently; so they destroyed themselves in order to forestall a degrading natural death by sickness or old age which would otherwise have shut them out for eternity from the best of all possible afterworlds.

Alvarez, A. “Chapter 2: Theories.” The Savage God: A Study of Suicide. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1971. 93-94. Print.

Written by nlatkovic

October 19, 2014 at 5:45 PM

Marion Woodman on the unconscious

leave a comment »

“The real masculine? Discrimination, discernment, looking at a goal, having the action that will move towards that goal, honoring the feminine — cherishing, working in harmony with it, creative, immense creative energy… You have to have both energies as we have to have day and night. It’s essential that both sides are working together for new life.”

“Marion Woodman.” Allan Gregg in Conversation with…. TVO, Ontario. May 1997.

Written by nlatkovic

October 14, 2014 at 12:08 AM

rattled out

leave a comment »

The author is compiling personal stories from employees across industries on how they were dismissed, from finding out to exiting the building. Here, an account from Gary Wagner, a veteran newspaper reporter.

“Two months ago I was handed the dreaded ‘voluntary redundancy’ letter at the newspaper I had been employed for 11 years. The decision was made by the ‘bean counters’ but it could not have been handled better by management.

Three senior managers flew to attend a farewell party in my honor and made it clear how sorry they were to see me go. After another touching speech by the general manager, I was ushered out of the building in a unique way. Previously I had reminisced with a colleague how it was once traditional in the newspaper business for a departing employee to be ‘rattled out’ by colleagues shaking tins of metal type. Type technology had vanished decades ago, but my final exit was made to the sound of colleagues shaking tins containing any small items they could find. A completely unexpected gesture, and one that brought an unbidden tear to the eyes of this 60-year-old journalist who was suddenly reassured that he was valued.

I can look back on that memorable event with pleasure. Well done the management of Geraldton Newspapers and the parent company West Australian Newspapers. You showed how it really can—and should—be done.”

Elton, Chester. “6 Ways to Put the Good (Bad and Ugly) in Goodbye — Part II.” LinkedIn. 30 Aug. 2013.

Written by nlatkovic

October 14, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Posted in Work

Tagged with ,

Douglas Kirkland and Faye Dunaway

leave a comment »

Photographer Douglas Kirkland and actress Faye Dunaway, Italy, 1968.
Photographer Douglas Kirkland and actress Faye Dunaway, Italy, 1968.


Douglas Kirkland on Photography: A Life in Pictures

Written by nlatkovic

October 13, 2014 at 11:42 PM

gift of ubiquity

leave a comment »

“… thanks to the mobility of the camera, to the multiplicity of shots, I am everywhere at once. . . . I know that I am in the movie theatre, but I feel that I am in the world offered to my gaze, a world that I experience ‘physically’ while identifying myself with one or another of the characters in the drama — with all of them, alternatively. This finally means that at the movies I am both in this action and outside it, in this space and outside of this space. Having the gift of ubiquity, I am everywhere and nowhere.”

—Jean Mitry, French film theorist, critic and filmmaker

Written by nlatkovic

September 26, 2014 at 8:20 PM

Posted in Film

Tagged with

Jazz 625: The Dave Brubeck Quartet

leave a comment »

“The idea was that jazz used to challenge the public and make them think in terms more advanced rhythmically than they were used to thinking in. In the ’20s, it was hard to get a group of people to clap on two and four. One, two, three, four… this was difficult.

Well, we haven’t gone much further. The public is ready for something new because everybody that listens to jazz can clap on two and four. At this period, 30 years is long enough to be stuck there.

It’s time that the jazz musicians take up their original role of leading the public into more adventurous rhythms. ‘Take Five’ is proof of it. After all, the kids are tired of rock ‘n’ roll, too, and yet they can dance in 5/4 time. We’re the only group that I know… we can play an entire concert and not play in 4/4 or even in 3/4.”

—Dave Brubeck, jazz pianist and composer

“The Dave Brubeck Quartet.” Hosted by Steve Race. Jazz 625. BBC. 25 Aug. 1964.