Back to RE/Search #8/9: J.G. Ballard
Helen is alone now. Her face is out of frame, and through the viewfinder I see only a segment of the pillow, an area of crumpled sheet and the upper section of her chest and shoulders. An almost undifferentiated whiteness fills the lens, marred by the blue hollow of her armpit and the damp sulcus of her right breast, in which a few of the pharmacologist’s hairs of her right breast, in which a few of the pharmacologist’s hairs have been caught. Edging closer, I watch the easy rise and fall of her rib-cage . . .
Helen has sat up. Breaking this extended calm, she has turned on one elbow. The sharp movement almost jars the camera and I realize that far from being asleep she has been lying there fully awake, thinking to herself about something. Her face fills the viewfinder, in the only true close-up of this film. She is looking me straight in the eye, violating our never-spoken agreement in a blatant way. In a blur of light I see her hand pull the sea-lion towards her, then stab with her nails at its worn eyes. Instantly it buckles as the air spurts from the dented plastic.
At this moment I am certain that she has known about this film all along, as she must have known about the others I have made, first with the still Hasselblad as she and the young waiter flirted around the Pontresina ski-life, later following the Bayreuth Kappellmeister with a cheap cine-camera mounted in the back of the car, productions that have increased in both range and ambition as they led to this present most elaborate exercise of all. But even now, I dream of the ultimate voyeurist film, employing bizarre lenses that reach to some isolated balcony over extraordinary distances, across the Bay of Naples to Capri, or from Dover to a beach hotel in Calais, magnifying the moment of orgasm to a degree of absolute enlargement where the elements of her infidelity become totally abstracted from themselves, areas of undifferentiated light that assuage all anger.