A couple of weeks ago I saw Robert Weide‘s Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time (IFC Films, 11.19), a decades-in-the-making portrait of the late beloved novelist, whose novels Weide fell for a long time ago. And then he met Vonnegut and bonded with him, and began filming the doc back in the early ’80s (or something like that), and now, 40 years hence, it’s finally done.
I’m a Vonnegut fan and therefore partial, but Weide’s film is an intimate and devotional portrait of a fascinating, very special Great Depression and WWII-generation writer…a guy who became an inspirational cult figure for God-knows-how-many-hundreds-of-thousands of youths in the late ’60s and ’70s and beyond the infinite and all the way to Tralfamadore.
I’ve almost always been “somewhere else”, all my life. Hence the name of this column.
At any given moment I’m back in Paris or Prague or Hanoi, or in junior or senior high school or suffering through my tweener years, or tapping out a piece on my IBM Selectric in either my West 4th Street or Bank Street apartment, or hitting the Mudd Club in the early ’80s, or getting bombed or doing drugs with my friends in the early to mid ’70s or listening to David Bowie‘s “Beauty and the Beast” on a friend’s bedroom stereo in the late ’70s. Or traipsing around a wintry Park City during the hey-hey Sundance years (’95 to ’15).
Occasionally I’ll pay attention to people I’m talking to or events I happen to be witnessing or places I happen to be, but most of the time I’m Billy Pilgrim.