31 décembre 2009

A Year in Cinema, 2009

The best films I saw for the first time in 2009, in rough order of preference:

Up (Pete Docter and Bob Peterson, 2009)
To Catch a Thief (Alfred Hitchcock, 1955)
Two Lovers (James Gray, 2008)
Eccentricities of a Blonde-haired Girl (Manoel de Oliveira, 2009)
Che (The Argentine and Guerrilla) (Steven Soderbergh, 2008)
Our Daily Bread (King Vidor, 1934)
Inextinguishable Fire (Harun Farocki, 1967)
The Last Days of Disco (Whit Stillman, 1998)
Canary (Alejandro Adams, 2009)
Summertime (David Lean, 1955)
Itinéraire de Jean Bricard (Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub, 2008)
Their Newspapers (Harun Farocki, 1968)
Frontier of Dawn (Philippe Garrel, 2008)
Le Garcu (Maurice Pialat, 1995)
Scenes from the Class Struggle in Portugal (Robert Kramer, 1977)
Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino, 2009)
They Live By Night (Nicholas Ray, 1948)
Touched in Head (Jacques Doillon, 1974)
Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach (Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub, 1968)
Man's Castle (Frank Borzage, 1933)
Smorgasbord / Cracking Up (Jerry Lewis, 1983)
L'intrus (Claire Denis, 2004)
Um Filme Falado (A Talking Picture) (Manoel de Oliveira, 2003)
The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
Silent Light (Carlos Reygadas, 2007)
Imitation of Life (Douglas Sirk, 1959)
Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979)
Videograms of a Revolution (Harun Farocki, 1992)
Moses and Aaron (Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, 1973)
The Docks of New York (Josef von Sternberg, 1928)
Ishtar (Elaine May, 1987)
Liverpool (Lisandro Alonso, 2008)
An American Tragedy (Josef von Sternberg, 1931)
Ne change rien (Pedro Costa, 2009)
Prison Images (Harun Farocki, 2000)
Rendez-vous de Juillet (Jacques Becker, 1949)
Dead End (William Wyler, 1937)
The Exploding Girl (Bradley Rust Gray, 2009)
The Mad Songs of Fernanda Hussein (John Gianvito, 2001)
In Comparison (Harun Farocki, 2009)
The Savage Innocents (Nicholas Ray, 1960)
Black Fury (Michael Curtiz, 1935)
Cassandra's Dream (Woody Allen, 2007)
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Nicholas Stoller, 2008)
Images of the World and the Inscription of War (Harun Farocki, 1988)
Broken Embraces (Pedro Almodovar, 2009)
The Inglorious Bastards (Enzo G. Castellari, 1978)
Respite (Harun Farocki, 2007)
Superbad (Greg Mottola, 2007)
An Image (Harun Farocki, 1983)
Beeswax (Andrew Bujalski, 2009)
El cant dels ocells (Albert Serra, 2008)
American Madness (Frank Capra, 1932)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (David Yates, 2009)
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Review (Red Letter Media, 2009)
Nathalie Granger (Marguerite Duras, 1972)
The Fly (David Cronenberg, 1986)
The Danish Poet (Torill Kove, 2006)
Extreme Private Eros: Love Song 1974 (Hara Kazuo, 1974)
Impolex (Alex Ross Perry, 2009)
Bluebeard (Catherine Breillat, 2009)
Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist (Peter Sollett, 2008)
Unas fotos en la ciudad de Sylvia (Jose Luis Guerin, 2007)
Cours du soir (Nicolas Ribowski, 1967)
One P.M. (Jean-Luc Godard and D.A. Pennebaker, 1972)
Maneater (Timothy Busfield, 2009)
7 Women (John Ford, 1966)
In The Country (Robert Kramer, 1966)
Let's Get Started (Azazel Jacobs, 2008)
The Whirled (Ken Jacobs, 1956 - 1963 / 2004)
Little Miss Sunshine (Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, 2006)
Black Legion (Archie Mayo, 1937)
Night Nurse (William A. Wellman, 1931)
Crawford (David Modigliani, 2008)
Wall Street (Oliver Stone, 1987)
No Greater Glory (Frank Borzage, 1934)
Medicine for Melancholy (Barry Jenkins, 2008)
The Taste of Life (Harun Farocki, 1979)
Network (Sidney Lumet, 1976)
The Pleasures of the Flesh (Oshima, 1965)
You Won't Miss Me (Ry Russo Young, 2009)
Eros Plus Massacre (Yoshida Yoshishige, 1969)
Three on a Match (Mervyn LeRoy, 1932)
Trash Humpers (Harmony Korine, 2009)
Don't Let Me Drown (Cruz Angeles, 2009)
I'm No Angel (Wesley Ruggles, 1933)

28 décembre 2009

"Every day is Ashura, every land is Karbala"

"Yazid is a transgressor, a drunkard, killer of innocent people and an open sinner. A person like me can never give allegiance to persons like him." - Husayn ibn Ali*

“I will kill, I will kill; he who has killed my brother!”
[a slogan, also, of the 1979 Islamic Revolution]

“I will kill, I will kill; he who has killed my brother!”

“I will kill, I will kill; he who has killed my brother!”


“Velesh kon! Velesh kon!” -- “Let him go! Let him go!”

a wounded man. a seized police helmet. a protestor's blood. a burning police station.

"I never revolted in vain, as a rebel or as a tyrant, but I rose seeking reformation for the nation of my grandfather Muhammad. I intend to enjoin good and forbid evil, to act according to the traditions of my grandfather, and my father Ali ibn Abi Talib." - Husayn ibn Ali

"Oh people, the Messenger of God said: Whoever sees an aggressive tyrant that legalizes the forbiddens of God, breeches divine laws, opposes the tradition of the Prophet, oppresses the worshippers of God, and does not concede his opposition to God in word or in deed, surely Allah will place that tyrant (in the Hell) where he deserves." - Husayn ibn Ali

"Death with honor is better than a life of degradation." - Husayn ibn Ali

Ali Mousavi, nephew of Mir-Hossein Moussavi, killed on Dec 27, 2009.


People ask them 'why do you do this to your people?' and the riot guards ask for forgiveness, 'Bebakhshid' they can be heard to say.

'You are Yazid's - the Khalif against whom the Ashura uprising took place - forces', the woman shouts at them. One of the protesters then reassures them that they will not be beaten up, all they have to do is say Khamenei is a bastard. The woman can then be heard saying 'All you can do is kill your people is it?' and again they plead saying 'Please We are not killers'.

A reader adds:
What he leaves out is that the young woman who is heard towards the end yells "Are you only brave on your motorbike, you piece of shit?!" before apparently kicking him as a man tells her to stop.

"Those who were at the forefront of the struggle against Shah's regime, vividly remember the days of Ashoura in 1963, when even the Shah respected the sanctity of the holy day and only arrested the leaders of the opposition in the following days.
How is it that a regime born out of Ashura protests [like that of 1963] is now sending bunches of thugs to the streets and shedding people's blood on the day of Ashura? ...
I can only cry out Imam Hossein's cry [killed in the day of Ashura in 7th century]:
"Even if you don't have faith at least respect other's freedom!""
 - Mehdi Karroubi


5 dead at least, confirmed in the English-language press -- as of now.

Jon Jost
Revolutionary Road...
Andrew Sullivan
Iran News Now
Niusha Boghrati
Jonbeshe Rahe Sabz
The Lede

*Ashura is the day of remembrance of Husayn ibn Ali, slain by the forces of Yazid at the Battle of Karbala. Ashura, this year, fell on December 27, 2009. All images/text/video above, save the quotes from Husayn ibn Ali, from that same date.

a gathering up of skirts and a careful picking of way...

    "The living that throng Broadway care little perhaps for the Dead at Antietam, but we fancy they would jostle less carelessly down the great thoroughfare, saunter less at their ease, were a few dripping bodies, fresh from the field, laid along the pavement. There would be a gathering up of skirts and a careful picking of way..."      
- The New York Times, October 1862
[via Susan Sontag's Regarding the Pain of Others]