I found this the other day in my e-mail. It’s always strange to come across a personal correspondence from a dead person. Their e-mail is still intact. Their avatar is still the same. You can still click Reply.
Can (John) Cibelik was born in Istanbul and raised between there and Milan. When he took a class (The Culture of Television) with me at Okanagan College he was 27. Why was he in Kelowna? It was the farthest, most remote place he could find, so culturally distinct that no one he knew would even be able to imagine his new life, even when they tried. He didn’t need me, or any professor at the college, to teach him anything. He was wiser than all of us. This is the last e-mail I ever received from him: October, 2012.
“Ha, yes fantastic Hegelian theatrics by Sorkin in the first minutes of that episode -- negation FTW! I meh'd at Vegas. Too much Vegas for me -- I haven't been able to take Quaid seriously ever since GI JOE either. And with Kane going down nowadays -- I guess they told the writers to wrap it up, you know, just in case -- I'm left with nothing but the Walking Dead. Besides the katana sporting black chick and her zombie 'slaves' -- good one right there -- the new season doesn't look promising either. There is still Treme, I guess.
I'm starting to feel that there is never going to be a good TV series anymore, maybe a couple diamonds in the rough in the next few years, but nothing more. It just seems so... hopeless. Or is it just me, I don't know?
Godard announced the death of cinema. I think Honey Boo-Boo announced the death of TV, of course, unknowingly. Everything just seems so shamelessly filthy and bad.
I mean there are no good films anymore either. Back in the day, I could watch a couple good films every week; nowadays maybe one in every couple months. Even Europe -- thanks to Merkel and her EU -- hasn't been producing good films. It's just so silent. It's as if people are giving up, finally.
Had high hopes for On the Road and that was disappointing as well. Hedlund as Moriarty is pretty good -- or maybe he is just really good looking -- maybe a tad too melodramatic, but solid. Viggo as Old Bull is spot on -- the best part of the film -- but Sam Riley is catastrophically miscast as Sal. He tries, at times very desperately, but fails to carry Sal's ennui on his shoulders. One good thing about the film, however, it will probably make Proust incredibly popular as there are 29 excruciatingly long closeups of Swann's Way. Not to mention there is a photo of young Proust in Sal's room. If you see a dramatic increase in Remembrance of things Past sightings -- it's because K-Stew of the famed Twilight series read it in "On the Road"
Here's a suggestion by the way. You may have heard of him, or possibly read him, if not -- read "The Book of Disquiet" by Fernando Pessoa. He's something else. If you can't find a decent copy -- Penguin translation is the best -- I'll send you the e-book pdf file.”
We had been working on a screenplay together. He used to drive out from Kelowna to my house in Vernon every Friday, just to drink coffee, smoke cigarettes and talk movies together. Then one week he didn’t come, and he never came again.
He died in a solo motorcycle accident in Westbank, B.C., in 2015. He was 31 years old, and a long way from home.
Rest in Peace, Jon. You are loved and missed, and I am sorry I never had a chance to tell you goodbye, and that the world never got to see your films.
O Death, old Captain, it is time. Weigh anchor!
To sail beyond the doldrums of our days.
Though black as pitch the sea and sky, we hanker
For space: you know our hearts are full of rays.
Charles Baudelaire (The Voyage, VIII) (translation by Roy Campbell in flowers of evil: a selection. New York: New Directions, p. 145)