Entry 0052: Invisible Cities, the TV show


LP: The Stooges by the Stooges

2002 Sundazed Music LP 5149, reissue

Favorite Track: I Wanna Be Your Dog

Last night, I met with the other Space Wizards, a sci-fi/fantasy/horror library book club, as we discussed Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino. We had much to discuss and the conversation was cerebral to say the least. For those who may not be initiated in the works of Calvino, imagine two figures standing on the stage (one gesticulating and contorting his body as if in a middle of a dance, the other sitting and nodding) and the background is constantly being built up and torn down as we pass through 55 cities only to come to the realization that all the cities are the same, that we have already lived and been living in each one, yet, we have never traveled or arrived at any of these fantastical cities. They are beyond us.

Confused? Sure. Invisible Cities is a post-modern novel that is a perfect example why genre labels are arbitrary. It has elements of science fiction, fantasy, philosophy, theology, architecture, city planning, madness, sadness, romance, dystopia, utopia, hope. It reads like a postcard.

After the book club meeting, I had a brilliant thought I should have brought up in the first place. Invisible Cities should be a television show. 55 total episodes. Each episode would depict Marco Polo’s adventures through each city. Each episode would have a different style according to the mood or tone of the city’s description. For example, Perinthia, the city of monsters, would have a heavy True Detective atmosphere, a cultish murder, the suggestion that the stars are all wrong. Some episodes would be animated, some live action, some just lines or waterpipes with music and vocal tracks. Maybe Alejandro Jodorowsky would direct an episode.

And what music should be the opening theme? Why the Stooges, of course. The droning of We Will Fall featuring John Cale’s searching viola would give the credits a mysterious, ill-eased feel. 1969 would blast each credit name like a shotgun blast. No Fun would evoke images of Marco Polo driving a space car with the space windows down, the Stooges blaring as illustrated cities fly past on either side, the same city always in the rearview mirror.

Maybe each episode could start with a different Stooges song? Maybe I should just go listen to the Stooges. Oh, I am. Maybe you should come to the downtown public library and see the Seeing Calvino exhibit at the downtown public library in the Popular Libary department. Now through Nov. 20 with a closing reception on Nov. 16th at approximately 7 pm.


One thought on “Entry 0052: Invisible Cities, the TV show

  1. I want to see 55 cities across the globe demolished and replaced with Calvino’s words. Just throw some darts at a map, activate the Matter Deconstruction Ray inside of the moon, and get a big ass calligraphy pen to dangle from a space crane. Let’s get this done, people!


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