the lost man chronicles
83. the kinesiology of music, part 4
there is a wonderful film from Argentina called Hombre Mirando Al Sudeste (the man looking southeast, 1986). the story is a parable about the awakening of a particular doctor Julio Denis (Lorenzo Quinteros) who is tucked away, dying of boredom, at a sleepy insane asylum.
although i have not seen it, i surmise that it served as the inspiration for the movie K-Pax (kevin spacey plays the patient named prot and jeff bridges is the psychiatric doctor).
as the original story goes, one day, out of the bright blue sky, drops a visitor who claims to be an alien—he calls himself Rantes (Hugo Soto). he just shows up at the hospital, and at first the good doctor only sees what he has learned to believe is the truth—this is indeed a deranged man.
subsequently, dr. Denis engages this pseudo patient with a demeanor of exponential curiosity. strange events occur that begin to wake up the doctor, as well as the rest of those who are forced into pharmaceutical stupors. the latter being a motley crew of who's who in this hidden world of insanity, many of whom begin to follow Rantes around as if he is a savior.
at the end of the film, before the mysterious man becomes a martyr, the doctor takes Rantes along with his equally enigmatic and alluring alien sister to a classical concert held outdoors.
midway through the somnolent performance, Rantes spontaneously ascends to the conductor's podium, gestures for the baton, and suddenly draws out a wonderfully lively waltz from the orchestra. he then returns the magic wand and randomly asks for the hand of a patron to dance—she readily concedes. the doctor and his sister follow Rantes' lead, and then suddenly the rest of the audience begins to pour out of the bleachers to join them.
and for a moment, as one, everyone understands the purpose of music once again.
"Nothing had prepared me for Charles, an artist for whom music was life itself, for whom everything he lived, all that he was, found its way into compositions. The music that he wrote and played for the world outside was as personal as his love letters, as urgent as the messages he scribbled inside his books and Bibles or left on his answering machine at home. He once told his friend Nesuhi Ertegun, the record producer, that he was trying to play the truth of what he was."~ "My Mingus", New York Times Magazine,
March 10, 2002, Sue Graham Mingus
the kinesiology of music, 3 .82 84. the naked truth