Sunday, October 29, 2006

Archiveology: Five Hungry Men


Philippe Garrel's Sauvage Innocence

I know the blogosphere values currency, so as a small gesture against our impulse to only highlight the links du jour, I’m starting up a new feature called Archiveology devoted to unearthing valuable writing on the web that is not brand new. Today: an homage to five voracious cinephiles whose curiosity, open-mindedness, energy, intelligence and appetite I find truly inspirational. Reading them is like catching a bug that galvanizes me: to watch more, read more, think more, write more. Now to share that bug with you—in alphabetical order:


* * *

Sicinski's latest review, of Fred Worden's Everyday Bad Dream, begins thus:

Isn't there anybody out there who isn't afraid of pissing off his or her audience? Of doling out what at first may seem like "punishment," that in fact is just forceful re-education of the senses? I can't believe I need to say this in 2006, but here goes: powerful cinema must not only address our minds. It has to engage our bodies, and while sometimes that physical challenge can be lyrical and poignant, sometimes it has to pierce our eyes with a light we simply cannot shut out. Within this aggressive modernist logic, only by diving into the wreck of our previous perceptual habits can we round the corner into a new, skull-shaking version of beauty. Brakhage knew this. So did Sharits, Menken, Harry Smith. Peter Kubelka and Rose Lowder and Luther Price and Lynn Marie Kirby still know this. And by God, so does Fred Worden.


* * *

The first chapter of the book Movie Mutations (2003), co-edited by Adrian Martin and Jonathan Rosenbaum, consists of letters exchanged between a half dozen cinephile/critics around the world. The following passages from Martin's letters struck a profoundly inspiring (and liberating!) chord in me. I've re-read them many times:

It is hard to recapture, to describe adequately, the overwhelming shock that came with key movie events [...] like Marker's Sunless (1983), Wim Wenders' The State of Things (1982), Godard's Passion (1982), Chantal Akerman's Toute une nuit (1982), and Raul Ruiz's Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting (1978). Suddenly here were the films playing right outside the maps of 70s' theory: free, lyrical, tender, poetic films, but also tough, savage, cruel, perverse, sometimes violent; films that were open diagrams, unashamed to link up raw fragments of human (or humanist) experience with the most severe or expansive kinds of experiments with form.

[...] Later, my love for an open cinema, for the ideal of a truly open, inclusive and above all impure cinema form, came to be crystallized in my personal discoveries of Cassavetes and Garrel – the single screenings in my hometown of Melbourne of Love Streams (1984) in 1985 and Les Baisers de Secours (Emergency Kisses, 1989) in 1994 count as primal scenes in my cinephile life. Cassavetes and Garrel stand for one sort of extreme that I love and cherish in cinema: a kind of arte povera fixed on the minute fluctuations of intimate life, on the effervescence of mood and emotion, and the instability of all lived meaning. A cinema which is a kind of documentary event where the energies of bodily performance, of gesture and utterance and movement, collide willy-nilly, in ways not always foreseen or proscribed, with the dynamic, formal, figurative work of shooting, framing, cutting, sound recording. A cinema open to the energies and intensities of life – and perpetually transformed by them.

I have always sought such life-affirming, life-enhancing energies and intensities from cinema, but I’m aware that the energies that I like, the energies which feed me, do not come in just one form, from one stream. The arte povera of Cassavetes and Garrel gives me a quiet, clear, minimalist intensity. But I get a different kind of energy, no less necessary for the soul's survival, from a completely commercial kind of cinema, a cinema of spectacle decried still today by so many of even a slightly Situationist bent. I mean a kind of pop cinema that includes De Palma's Mission: Impossible (1996), Tim Burton's movies, Joe Dante's Gremlins 2 (1990) – kinetic, sometimes cartoonish, extremely artificial and technologically mutated movies with no small claim on the cinematic language of tomorrow. I have cultivated my own particular, somewhat minor taste (in the sense of Deleuze and Guattari's notion of a troublesome, minor literature) within the halls of contemporary pop cinema – a taste for teen movies, from Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) to Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (1997), films completely comprised of pop quotes, clichés and stereotypes, but blessed with the will and the inventiveness to animate these tokens, to combine and revive and spin them at dizzy rate.

[...] There is a recourse to the high moral ground – and to a certain lamentable purism – in a lot of film criticism today, even some of the most advanced. We read or hear far too often that there are only half a dozen directors working today who fulfill – or might one day fulfill, if we’re all lucky – the potential, the promise of this dazzling medium. We keep getting familiar-looking canons of the greatest Top 100 titles worth preserving, even as we pretend to have gotten beyond all canons, hierarchies and evaluations. We keep looking for the authentic personal voice in film, the true lone poet, the accursed seer and the discarded rebel, decades after the movies let us know that even the sleaziest, most ideologically compromised fantasies of Blake Edwards are also – and who can doubt it? – beautiful, moving, lucidly autobiographical testaments.

[...] I like the sentiment of Deleuze’s casual prefatory remark in Cinema 1: The Movement-Image: ‘The cinema is always as perfect as it can be'. Meaning that its potentiality, its virtuality is, in some ways, right here now – if we know where to look for it, how to maximize it, why it matters, and how to make it dance, for us and in us, like Rouch's privileged, shamanic figure of the dancing Socrates.

69 Comments:

Blogger Brian said...

What a great idea for a post, and an excellent slate of folks to highlight. There's a lot of stuff in here I haven't read yet, so thanks for posting it. I'll be referring back often, I'm sure.

October 29, 2006 8:31 PM  
Blogger Noel Vera said...

A lot of what he says--there's interesting stuff out there, you only need look--applies to Philippine cinema as well. Great stuff before the war (almost all of it lost, alas), great stuff post-war, till the advent of television and the breakup of the studios; a great period from 1974 to 1986, a fallow period until there was a small flowring from 1995 to 2001, a smattering of interesting offerings, then just last year, a blossoming of digital efforts.

To paraprhase--well I remember hearing it from Singer first, about the Yiddish language--Philippine cinema is dying, may it die for another hundred years.

October 29, 2006 10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A brilliant idea Girish!

October 30, 2006 7:12 AM  
Blogger Zach Campbell said...

I'm super-flattered (or maybe just flabbergasted) to be put in such heady company. Thanks, Girish! (Although, um, as of last midnight at least one fact in your post is now obsolete.)

Durgnat: an appreciation from the very good UK film magazine Vertigo.

And also, I'm all for 'blog archiveology.' Sometimes currency is overrated!

October 30, 2006 8:42 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Thank you, everyone!

And Happy Birthday to you, Zach!

October 30, 2006 10:04 AM  
Blogger Dennis Cozzalio said...

Thanks, Girish! Just what I need-- MORE great stuff to read and digest on a daily basis! This is a very good idea and one that I hope catches on.

October 30, 2006 1:58 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Thank you, Dennis.

And Brian, you've been 'archiveologizing' since your very first post!

Some of the many things that amaze me about Adrian Martin: his field of vision and taste is huge, all the way from 'bad' TV movies and TV commercials to the most 'rarefied' art films. But this does not mean he is not discriminating (at all). He can have strong likes and dislikes of films but more than almost any other critic I've read, he seems to resist the activity of constructing hierarchies (of films, genres, modes of storytelling, etc). I really admire this. I also enjoy (and relate to) his love of the most disposable, trashy, totally-off-the-usual-critical-radar pop culture film-artifacts. Nothing is too low or disreputable or commercially tainted for him to take an active interest in it, an interest that is not cold or clinical but born of a genuine closeness and affection and excitement. We need more open minds like him.

October 30, 2006 8:13 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Also, if there are other web pieces you like by the 'five hungry men', could you please post the links here? We can collect them all in one place. And thanks for the Vertigo link, Zach. I had never even heard of the magazine.

Just realized that a cool mag that used to be on-line, Cinemad, let its domain expire and its archives have gone poof. A shame; I'd have printed off the articles if I knew that was going to happen.

October 30, 2006 8:20 PM  
Blogger msic said...

Oh, wow, Girish.

I just click on your site and what the hell do I find?

Thanks so much; honestly I don't belong in such phenomenally august company. Especially not now, considering that I totally missed HALF NELSON, THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP, HEADING SOUTH, and slept through my alarm and missed DAY NIGHT DAY NIGHT at TIFF. (I could go on...)

But still, I really appreciated the too-kind words, and especially for directing me/us to all that great stuff from Zach, Durgnat, Martin, and Möller.

October 30, 2006 9:02 PM  
Anonymous davis said...

Michael, you're too modest. I was very glad to discover your site not long ago. When I stumble onto a site like that -- which isn't often -- with such extensive and cared-for archives, I always feel two things: woah, how have I not seen this before, and then yes a treasure trove of stuff I've not seen before.

Girish, I'm a big fan of Movie Mutations, but I feel I've barely sampled the work of these five gentlemen. Great finds!

October 31, 2006 12:47 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Michael, Rob is absolutely right. You are too modest. I could spend months in your vast and meaty archives.

I'm also kicking myself for missing Half Nelson and Science of Sleep, both of which have permanently left town. (The storm messed everything up for a couple of weeks.) And if it's any consolation, Day Night Day Night was my biggest disappointment at TIFF.

October 31, 2006 5:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone seen Everybody Sing (1938, Edwin L. Marin), with Judy Garland and Fanny Brice (this is the only screen appearance of her Baby Snooks character)? Better yet: has anything been written about it? I'm going to write about it (I just ordered a VHS copy from Half.com), and I'd love to talk about it with someone first...

October 31, 2006 6:40 PM  
Blogger Noel Vera said...

girish, I may be alone on this but I don't think you missed much with Science of Sleep. Wonderful texture and I love the use of effects, but beyond that there's not much there.

November 01, 2006 12:07 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

g.--

It's public blog challenge time. We all love you for your film writing (obvs), but I'm also a huge fan of your music crit. A while ago--I think in a Pop View comment--you mentioned that Liz Phair's much-maligned eponymous album was one of your favorite albums of the '00s. I'm not sure that I'm totally on board with that, but as a fellow admirer of the album I've been hoping for a post. As one hasn't materialized, I'm throwing down. Well, throwing down nicely. Please? Pretty please?

November 01, 2006 1:46 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Hey Ben ~ Do you remember what happened to the blogosphere the last time you came around and threw down? Asking for a post on Showgirls?!

Liz's self-titled "record maudit"--you got it. It may take me some time but I'd be glad to.

Now, my turn--I'd love to see a Whine-Colored Richard X post (5 favorite productions?) with mp3's. (I'd be glad to host the mp3's; I've got beaucoup mp3 bandwidth that I'm just letting lapse each month). What do you say?

November 01, 2006 7:37 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Noel, the reviews I read of the Gondry film were mixed too but they made the film sound interesting to me. I'll have to catch up with it on DVD.

Andy, I hadn't even heard of that film! But perhaps someone who's seen it will chime in...

November 01, 2006 7:50 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

Ha. I forgot that my innocent little comment ballooned into the Showgirls blog-a-thon. Wow. Now I'm kind of proud.

I'll gladly take you up on the Richard X offer. Give me a minute to do it; I'm going to really figure out what I want to post.

And take your time on the Liz post. I'm just thrilled knowing that I'll see it in the future.

November 01, 2006 12:40 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Take all the time you need, Ben. And you can drop me the mp3's by email when you're ready. I look forward to it.

--Rob Davis has discovered a useful Google feature that allows you to narrow your film search.
--David Bordwell and his iPod.

November 01, 2006 12:53 PM  
Anonymous Michael said...

Hey, Bordwell likes Bjork. And Sibelius. My respect for him just increased. :)

November 01, 2006 2:41 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Michael--Yeah, that was cool. I really like discovering little, often personal, things about people that are unrelated to the disciplinary 'face' of the person which we view 99% of the time.

November 01, 2006 3:04 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

Speaking of playlists, Ms. Phair just published one. Did you see it? Any playlist with Dylan, Minor Threat, Robyn, Jefferson Starship, and Amerie can't be all bad.

November 01, 2006 4:46 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Ben, her annotations are a great read. Grateful Dead and Fatboy Slim? Nice.

November 01, 2006 5:01 PM  
Blogger girish said...

William Styron has died.

His daily routine sounded pretty awesome: "...sleep until noon; read and think in bed for another hour or so; lunch with Rose around 1:30; run errands, deal with the mail, listen to music, daydream and generally ease into work until 4. Then up to the workroom to write for four hours, perfecting each paragraph until 200 or 300 words are completed; have cocktails and dinner with the family and friends at 8 or 9; and stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning, drinking and reading and smoking and listening to music."

--Greencine: Visconti @ 100.
--Daniel Green on John Dewey's Art as Experience.
--Doug Cummings on Yanagimachi's Who's Camus Anyway?.
--Acquarello on the new Peruvian film Madeinusa.
--Jenna on Spike Lee's The 25th Hour.

November 02, 2006 7:37 AM  
Blogger HarryTuttle said...

Thanks for the reading suggestions Girish. I can't keep up with the current (my blogroll is beyong critical mass I'm afraid and I can't even catch up with the currency), so I seldom dig into the archives, and you're right it's interesting to keep the online memory alive.
And Rob's finding (Google co-op) does help to give a human face tothe impersonal words scan of online search engines.

November 02, 2006 9:36 AM  
Anonymous Darren said...

Wow, that description of Styron's daily routine is exactly how I'd like to spend the rest of my life. All it lacked was three or four cups or really great coffee.

November 02, 2006 10:19 AM  
Blogger Maya said...

Now that disability benefits have finally kicked in, it's exactly the kind of life I'm beginning to lead and the kind of life most people should lead. People have got it all wrong about true work.

Thanks for the pointer to Acquarello's write-up on "Madeinusa", which I much enjoyed at the Mill Valley Film Festival. Love his final paragraph and folded it into my own capsule.

November 02, 2006 3:25 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Salut, mes amis.
These all-teaching days wring me out like a sponge. Styron's (and Michael's) daily routine looks positively paradisical from here! I'm good for little tonight except dinner, a glass of wine and crawling into the comforter with the DVD of Shaolin Soccer.

November 02, 2006 5:18 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Have you seen Chiau's film before, girish? It's a goofy favorite of mine. I like the Hong Kong cut slightly better than the Miramax cut. This puts me at odds with many Asian cinema fans who consider the latter unbearably unwatchable.

November 02, 2006 8:00 PM  
Blogger Tuwa said...

Brian, I saw that in the theater and marvelled at how choppy bits of it were. At home I looked it up was shocked to find that nearly 30 minutes had been cut from the Miramax version. With that much removed, I'd rather not see it at all.

November 02, 2006 8:12 PM  
Blogger Noel Vera said...

Nigel Kneale

Now there was a writer...

November 03, 2006 1:19 AM  
Blogger girish said...

"Have you seen Chiau's film before, girish?"

No I never have, Brian. And I had no idea about the two versions. The only one I had seen was Kung Fu Hustle, which I love. If you have any other Stephen Chow recommendations, I'd enjoy hearing them. Netflix has a lot of his films but not God of Cookery, which I'm told is great...

--Sad news: Adrienne Shelly has died.
--Great article by James Quandt on Tacita Dean in Artforum.
--Mp3 post at Flickhead's: Ozon film music.
--Michael Guillen interviews Steve Shainberg, who made the new film about Diane Arbus. (I liked his Secretary.)
--Dave Kehr's NYT DVD column.

November 03, 2006 9:05 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Just read this great article by Chris Fujiwara on "Convent Erotica":

"We're here to survey a group of low-budget European films of the '70s and '80s that make up a minor category sometimes known among video collectors as "nunsploitation" (an unfortunate term which I'll use only once more in this article). That is, softcore sex films set in convents populated by mischievous lesbian nuns, innocent nuns who get into trouble, and evil, power-mad nuns.

[...] "[The nun's] intolerable purity invites defilement (cf. Abel Ferrara's Bad Lieutenant for a fairly mainstream demonstration). This central fantasy is the nun film's reason for being. It's most clearly expressed in the way the films fetishize the details of the nuns' clothing, in particular their sometimes rough, mortifying underclothes; a key image in the genre is that of a nun naked except for her white headpiece.

"The nun movie is the mirror of another disreputable genre, the women-in-prison movie. Both deal with women's bodies in confined spaces, with innocence abused, with microsocieties, with the forms and channels of power. The women's prison and the convent are sexual laboratories, the prisoners/nuns experimental subjects. Thus the emphasis on surveillance. If two people are having sex in one of these movies, chances are a third character is there to watch. Concealment and revelation, crucial issues in all pornography, take on special importance in nun movies because the convent, or more precisely the cloister, is designated as a space of invisibility. But it's really the other way around: It's this designation that makes the cloister so apt a set for eroticism. Just as it's because the nun is supposed to deny her body and become invisible that she compels attention on the screen."

The entire essay is terrific and worth reading.

November 03, 2006 12:50 PM  
Blogger Noel Vera said...

Lemme do this properly...

Nigel Kneale

November 03, 2006 3:28 PM  
Anonymous acquarello said...

Speaking of nunsploitation, I wonder if that's the demographic First Run was targeting when they made the boneheaded decision to market the home video for Maria Luisa Bemberg's I, The Worst of All under the salacious quote, "Lesbian passion seething behind convent walls... engrossing, enriching, and elegant!". I remember one short kiss between Assumpta Serna and Dominique Sanda, but it was really more about Sor Juana finding her "calling" after entering the convent for all the wrong reasons because it was the only option then available to women who wanted to pursue higher learning. If anyone was seething, it would be the people who bought the video looking to see some racy stuff. :)

November 03, 2006 6:27 PM  
Blogger girish said...

I haven't seen the Bemberg film but have heard good things about it; just added it to my queue. Thanks for reminding me, Acquarello. I believe I've seen just one (sorta) nunspolitation film, Almodovar's Dark Habits.

November 03, 2006 7:12 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

And I know acquarello's seen that one, as he's blurbed on the Wellspring DVD cover!

girish, I have VCD copies of God of Cookery and Flirting Scholar sitting in a box somewhere, but haven't found the chance to pop them in yet. So I've only seen Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle.

November 03, 2006 7:21 PM  
Blogger girish said...

"And I know acquarello's seen that one, as he's blurbed on the Wellspring DVD cover!"

You're kidding me! I didn't know that...
What other DVDs has Acquarello graced, I wonder...?

November 03, 2006 7:36 PM  
Blogger girish said...

--David Bordwell's new post: "Every so often we’re told that the real “author” of a film is the screenwriter. What do we make of this?"
--Steve Shaviro on Cormac McCarthy's new book.
--Dennis collects review excerpts of Borat.
--Walter on the Dave Holland quintet.

November 04, 2006 6:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David Bordwell's comments are closed. Too bad. I was just trying to imagine The Sweet Smell of Success without the contributions of Ernest Lehman, Clifford Odets...or James Wong Howe, for that matter.

Bordwell's a little "off" by imagining Joe Eszterhas would've even considered the avant-garde in his book-length rant. Any grown man who advises "deck him" when you're up against someone who disagrees with you is obviously still stuck in the sandbox. And anyone who can take his schtick seriously or worth quoting (like Bordwell does) is two sandwiches short of a picnic.

November 04, 2006 8:42 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Here's an exhumed thread at A_Film_By from last year called "Moratorium on 'hip' (please)" which begins with this post by Adrian Martin:

"Although I myself recycled the word in a recent post, I think we sensible folks at AFB should call a moratorium on dismissing/damning certain filmmakers as 'hip' (or even 'hyp'). Brad said it of the Coens, Mathieu targeted Linklater for this, I turned it on Anderson, etc. But it is a completely meaningless term of abuse, surely. It is below us!

"It's like blasting someone for being short, bald, or a pinko. It's always easy code for: 'I think this filmmaker is inauthentic, pandering to an audience, emotionally manipulative, cashing in on fashion', etc etc - and then invariably setting him or her up against some 'visionary', some 'true artist', some spectacularly true-to-themselves human being, who is supposedly the opposite of all that. (And of course, to accuse someone else of being hip means that you yourself are 'above and beyond hip'!) This is just ad hominem abuse. Who knows, finally, whether Linklater (or Coens or Jarmusch or anyone) is busting a gut to be 'hip'? Perhaps they are in fact serious and genuine about what they do! And, by the same token, I bet if Blake Edwards (to cite a director I love) COULD be hip, he would be, in a split second!

"Filmmaking - and, er, life itself - is always a messy mixture of authentic and inauthentic motives, 'maverick' gestures and compromises.

"We have to say more than that someone is 'hip' to mount a intelligent critique of their work. Otherwise, it's just schoolyard name-calling..."

November 04, 2006 10:58 AM  
Anonymous davis said...

Many a Wellspring DVD includes a link (in the special features) to Acquarello's Strictly Film School. Tsai's What Time is It There? is one of them, if I recall.

November 04, 2006 11:44 AM  
Blogger girish said...

That's cool; I didn't know that.

November 04, 2006 11:49 AM  
Anonymous acquarello said...

Whoa! I knew about the Tsai DVDs but not the Almodóvar. Dang, I always find out this stuff second hand. A couple of years ago, Nick Wrigley from MoC sent me a pdf of a page from the (then) just-released Time Out Film Guide to let me know that the site was listed under their online resource guide. They didn't tell me that they were doing that either.

November 04, 2006 3:36 PM  
Blogger girish said...

A. ~ I think I've mentioned this to you before, but over the years I've met several folks (strangers in line, etc) at TIFF who were Strictly Film School fans...!

New issue of Senses of Cinema is now on-line.

November 04, 2006 4:06 PM  
Blogger Maya said...

Thanks for the link to Bordwell. I wonder how he would weigh in on the Inarritu/Arriaga tension, where Inarritu enforces auteur theory while Arriaga argues for auteurs theory. Pitting directors against screenwriters seems like a false dichotomy to me.

As for people using Acquarello's words, it's so easy to understand the temptation. But if it's printed on liner notes of some kind without permission, isn't that actionable?

November 05, 2006 2:13 AM  
Blogger girish said...

"...isn't that actionable?"

Michael, I don't know much about the law but I suspect that with proper credit provided, it might fall under "fair use"....

--At Existence Machine: Must music that is not "fun" be 'boring"?.
--Just realized that the web version of Cineaste magazine has some online-only content [scroll down].

November 05, 2006 6:56 AM  
Blogger Tuwa said...

Short of being quoted incorrectly or out of context, why would you not want to be quoted on a DVD release? ... The only action I could think of that I'd take would be to say something cheerfully obscene and then call up my film-loving friends.

FWIW, search engines archive not just a few words acquarello has written online, but all of them. Sure, his work is copyrighted, and thanks to the U.S. finally signing onto the Berne Convention they would be even without his copyright notice, but preservation is a fair use, and also immensely useful.

Slightly off-topic, but last week I was using the Wayback Machine to look at a site that had let its domain lapse. The new site purported to be a portal offering information on student loans, debt consolidation, the University of Florida, and John Deere tractors (?); the Wayback Machine had the original content up in a slightly clumsy interface so I could complete my research on local events four years ago.

November 05, 2006 8:24 AM  
Blogger HarryTuttle said...

One more quote for acquarello on Nuri Bilge Ceylan's official website. And I found out because I'm linked too :) yay my first recognition!

"Fair use" is ok for a critic who quotes someone else, but if a commercial company use a quote for marketing purpose (i.e. making money) I guess it's not fair use anymore... Although one could argue, critics write to be quoted (but it's also their way of living)

November 05, 2006 11:53 AM  
Blogger Maya said...

Your current archiveology project amuses me. It's Sisyphean. I have ten, count them ten, beacon boxes full of online commentary I printed out when I still had printing privileges. I have spent HOURS filing them away alphabetically for future research purposes and now have been distracted by that great deterrant of online research--real life.

November 05, 2006 11:54 AM  
Blogger Maya said...

A heads-up that Rob Davis has an outstanding Errata post on Danny Elfman's "Serenada Schizophrana."

I (heart) interviews. Hee.

November 06, 2006 1:47 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Thanks for linking, Michael. I was just about to link to Rob's marvelous interview myself!

November 06, 2006 6:33 AM  
Blogger girish said...

--Zach on cinema violence.
--Archive: Nicole Brenez interviews Philippe Grandrieux in Rouge.
--Steve Carlson's got some new capsules.
--Thom at Film Of The Year on Intolerance.

November 06, 2006 9:48 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Have been busy road-tripping to Toronto to catch the Rossellini retrospective; I'm taking the day off from work and making my last trip there today, in a few minutes. Shall return with a post within a couple of days...Keep well, peoples.

November 06, 2006 9:53 AM  
Blogger Maya said...

Travel safely. I look forward to your Rossellini notes.

November 06, 2006 4:35 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Looking at the posted articles, I'm now embarrassed to admit that I'd never read any Adrian Martin before. The article on Bresson, in particular, struck a chord with me, as I've been slowly becoming enraptured of the man's work. Thanks muchly for pointing the way!

November 06, 2006 8:01 PM  
Anonymous jim emerson said...

I envy your Rossellini experience, girish! I just caught up with the Scorsese doc "My Voyage to Italy," which had me craving to see Rossellini's work -- and to catch up on the ones I've never seen (like "Voyage to Italy"). Wasn't that impressed with the Scorsese doc: fairly superficial approach to the films (WAY too much, and too detailed, plot synopsis) and mundane writing/narration (a lot of vague platitudes about "style" and "the camera" without using the clips to delve into the meaning of "style" and the specifics of camerawork very deeply). But I came away longing for further exposure to Rossellini, De Sica and Visconti -- which, I suppose, was the real goal of the film, anyway.

November 06, 2006 11:27 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Thanks, guys!

Jim, I haven't seen the Scorsese doc, but I think you'd really dig these Rossellini films; they're revelations. The retro is way too large for me to take in (esp. since it's playing in another country!) but what I've seen has me reeling. For one, the "Voyage" trilogy is essential viewing; it's not on R1 DVD but perhaps it's available in Europe...

The retro has been organized with some help from Isabella Rossellini, so let's hope that this celebrity-connection (in today's cinema-historical-amnesiac marketplace!) will eventually lead to more DVD distribution of the films.

--Brian Darr on the Thai film Tears of the Black Tiger.
--Andy reports from the Three Rivers filmfest at Greencine.
--Acquarello on Patrick Bokanowski's L'Ange.

November 07, 2006 6:11 AM  
Anonymous acquarello said...

A construction worker has been arrested and charged with murder for the death of Adrienne Shelly. It's still very sad news, but I'm relieved that it wasn't suicide after all.

November 07, 2006 11:37 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Thanks for posting that, A.

November 07, 2006 1:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fereydoun Hoveyda has died.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/07/world/middleeast/07hoveyda.html?_r=1&ref=obituaries&oref=slogin

Not only was he the brother of the last Prime Minister of Iran, he was the author of the famous Sunspots, and a delirious review of Nick Ray's Party Girl and a bunch of other key texts of the early Cahiers.

He also co-wrote India Matri Bhumi with/for Rosselini.

November 07, 2006 6:48 PM  
Blogger girish said...

--Ross Gibson in Rouge applies Hoveyda's ideas from Sunspots to The Searchers. I've never read Sunspots; looks like I'll have to pick up Jim Hillier's 1960's Cahiers collection.
--Doug Cummings on Kozintsev's Hamlet.
--Noel Vera on the cinema of Lino Brocka.
--Dave Kehr in the NYT on the Janus Collection.

November 08, 2006 4:38 AM  
Blogger Tuwa said...

Was just reflecting yesterday how awesome the Janus collection is. Janus, Kino, Criterion: I love you.

November 08, 2006 6:53 PM  
Blogger Noel Vera said...

Thanks for the link, girish.

Yep, if I had a spare thousand dollars lying about, I know what to spend it on...

November 09, 2006 12:52 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Hey there, folks.
The week has me buried (that's what I get for playing hooky to go see Rossellini) but teaching for the week ends this evening...

November 09, 2006 7:32 AM  
Blogger Maya said...

...meanwhile, the restless crowds riot for Rossellini...

Good God, man, you must write something before the city is torn apart!!

November 10, 2006 11:52 AM  
Blogger girish said...

You're funny, Michael.
You know, if it wasn't for the comments and exhortations here, I would probably remain a lazy slacker and not write anything! To realize that someone is reading makes me feel guilty about not posting!

Anyway, post almost done, up in a couple of hours...

November 10, 2006 12:05 PM  
Blogger Tuwa said...

Is this where I repeat my request for a book? Oh good.

Girish, could you write a book? (about film, jazz, your parents, Indian food, and/or whatever you'd like)

November 10, 2006 2:48 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Aw Tuwa, you're far too kind...

November 10, 2006 10:32 PM  
Blogger Tuwa said...

I've only just noticed that that still has areas of green tint in it. Was it done on purpose, do you think? Does it serve some purpose in the film?

November 17, 2006 2:15 PM  

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