31 décembre 2010

2010: A Year in Cinema

Films seen for the first time in 2010, or revisited and reconsidered, in rough order of preference:

Late Autumn (Yasujiro Ozu, 1960)
The River (Jean Renoir, 1951)
Toni (Jean Renoir, 1935)
Early Summer (Yasujiro Ozu, 1951)
A Day in the Country (Jean Renoir, 1936)
The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)
Outer Space (Peter Tscherkassky, 1999)
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (F.W. Murnau, 1927)
The Naked Prey (Cornel Wilde, 1966)
L'avventura (Michelangelo Antonio, 1960)
Boudu Saved From Drowning (Jean Renoir, 1932)
Zoolander (Ben Stiller, 2001)
Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)
Little Boy Male, Little Girl Female (Pedro Costa, 2005)
I Can Feel the Sea Falling Over My Head (Matthew Swiezynski & Diane Granahan, 2010)
The Nightcleaners (Part 1) (Berwick Street Film Collective, 1975)
Ici et ailleurs (Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Gorin, Anne Miéville, 1976)
Sayat Nova (Sergei Parajanov, 1968)
Role Models (David Wain, 2008)
War Photographer (Christian Frei, 2001)
Exit Through the Gift Shop (Banksy, 2010)
Four Lions (Chris Morris, 2010)
The Long Day Closes (Terence Davies, 1992)
Runaway (Kanye West, 2010)
It Is Something Invisible (Matthew Swiezynski, 2010)
Where The Wild Things Are (Spike Jonze, 2009)
I Am Love (Luca Guadagnino, 2009)
Party Girl (Nicholas Ray, 1958)
Rambo: First Blood (Ted Kotcheff, 1982)
Black Knight (Gil Junger, 2001)
Treeless Mountain (So Yong Kim, 2008)
Catfish (Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, 2010)
The Meaning of Life (Don Hertzfeldt, 2005)
Framed (Andy DeEmmony, 2009)
The Box (Richard Kelly, 2009)
The Most Dangerous Game (Irving Pichel and Ernest B. Schoedsack, 1932)
City of Life and Death (Lu Chuan, 2009)
L'auberge espagnole (Cédric Klapisch, 2002)

14 décembre 2010

"There's a suggestion that you were rolling towards the police in your wheelchair. Is that true?"

0:00 - 0:09 -- a shot of a wheelchair, static
0:09 -- camera whip pans left. a blur of yellow police jacket appears just to the left of the disabled protester, just out of what was previously the frame.
0:10 -- whip pan right, capturing another police officer running toward the wheelchair (and thus the first officer)
0:12 -- camera pans left again, following a woman's shout
0:16 -- next to the cameraman, a male voice says "over there, pushing forward"; the camera pans back right and searches for the frame to capture the action
0:19 -- the camera finds a view to the protester in a wheelchair, who is in the same location as 10 seconds previously, at this point being dragged out of the chair and pushed to the ground by 2 police officers. shouts of protest from the crowd.
0:22 -- police officer in riot gear stops a protester from intervening.
0:24 -- police officer in yellow jacket drags the disabled protester along the pavement by his arms.
0:28 -- disabled protester pushed to the ground by the same officer.
0:30 -- the man who was assisting the wheelchair tries to pull him back up into the chair. the police officer -- the same one who dragged him previously -- this time drags the disabled protester all the way to the curb, throwing him down at the end, twisting his body in order get full leverage on the throw.
0:39 -- other protesters begin to confront this officer.
0:44 -- confrontation begins to escalate verbally.
0:48 -- the other police officer involved in pushing the protester to the ground, as well as the officer dressed in riot gear, physically pull at the first officer to separate him from the protesters. he looks back at the crowd from which he's being pulled.


"Now these pictures APPEAR to show Jody McIntyre, 20-year-old fiscal activist and blogger, who suffers from cerebral palsy, being pulled out of his wheelchair and dragged across the road to the pavement."
[Emphasis as originally spoken by BBC presenter Ben Brown]

BBC Complaints - Homepage

12 décembre 2010

Celestial, bodies

But Mr. Hagelmayer. It's still not over.


bodies moving: social interactions, humans inside houses inside villages, attempted loves.


"György Eszter, a major character in the film, gives a monologue propounding a theory that Werckmeister's harmonic principles are responsible for aesthetic and philosophical problems in all music since, which need to be undone by a new theory of tuning and harmony."

03 décembre 2010

Toast at the Democratic and Socialist Banquet (Félix Pyat, December 3, 1848)

Amidst the enthusiasm that animates this gathering I can’t help but feel some sadness. A bitter thought, almost remorse, troubles me despite myself, poisons my joy in the same way that a drop of bile would poison our glasses. I find myself thinking that while we are sitting here, at this fraternal banquet, breaking bread and communing in a common spirit, I think with pain that there are men, brothers who are hungry and who will not eat today. (Movement) Yes, citizens, the tears of the ill and the blood of victims, this is the bile that now renders bitter all joy and all cups. This is the evil that troubles the present, which makes us sigh for a better republic, the true republic, the democratic and social republic, the only one that will finally realize the reign promised 20 centuries ago, the reign of God, the reign of daily bread for all humanity’s children. (Applause)
The republic means solidarity. (Movement) Republicans, we are all in solidarity with each other. And as long as one man lacks for bread we won’t have a republic. (That’s true! That’s true!) As long as the sovereign has the beggar’s rod and pouch as his mantle and scepter we won’t have the republic. (Bravos) As long as the necessities of some are the surplus of others, as long as the proletarian plants wheat and eats bran (Bravos), as long as the sons of the people are born for the poor house or prison, their daughters for prostitution or suicide, we won’t have the republic! (Applause) As long as man is unhappier than the brute, as long as we see what I saw when coming here, horses with hoods with sparkling knee boots and polished sabots and half-naked men sweeping the streets so that the horses not dirty their feet, we will be neither republicans, nor humans; we won’t have the republic! (Interruptions. Prolonged applause)
Son of the bourgeoisie, son of privilege, follow me into the house of the poor. It is night, it’s cold. Enter this sordid, filthy alley that offends sight and smell, all the senses at once. Climb that staircase, enter that humid and black cubbyhole, with its tiny, creviced garret that doesn’t let air enter, only the cold. Over there a little bit of coal smoking in the hearth, two little children in bed; the mother, after the day’s work washes their rags while they sleep. Poor pale woman, thin from fatigue and want, fighting to the death against poverty, stealing from her sleep and her life, and striking her dried out breast that can no longer nourish her children. (Movement)
Next door, in a mansard, a table and a lamp, a young girl working lets fall her needle, tears up a wretched letter and lights a coal furnace. (Renewed movement)
Elsewhere, at the hospital a man who is perhaps the father, a sick man, a number; there are so many that they don’t name them: at best they count them. A poor man, finally dying as he lived, for the profit of the rich, exploited by them even after death, for he belongs to them body and soul. He feeds them in peace, he defends them in war and he doesn’t even find repose in the grave, for science learns from him so as to cure the rich (profound sensation). No, we don’t have a republic!
We have a royalty less the name, an empire less the glory; a kind of republic out of Africa, with a policeman’s bonnet. (That’s true - Movement - Laughter) Sorry, I meant with a kepi. (Prolonged laughter), a mixed race head covering, neither military nor civil, a middle way between the policeman’s bonnet and the helmet, a bastard bonnet, just like the authorities, which have the drawbacks of monarchy without the advantages of liberty. We have the regime of force, the rule of chance, a chaos lacking in justice and order, where half of humanity eats the other; a world with neither faith nor law, full of vices and crimes, errors and misfortunes, a society selfish and rotten to the marrow, having the executioner as king and the golden calf as God. No, we don’t have a republic! (Applause)
For the republic means liberty, and he who doesn’t have this is a slave. It’s Esau selling his birthright for a bowl of pottage. (That’s true)
The republic means equality. And as the proverb says, everyone must live, an old, truly French proverb that truly contains the genius of our country, that in germ contains our entire revolution, for it denies privilege and affirms the right. He who dies of hunger is not the equal of he who dies of indigestion. (Movement)
Finally, the republic means fraternity. Love each other, they said to us at the Festival of the Constitution. (Movement) But how can we love those who kill us, since letting someone die also means killing them. (Yes, yes. Bravo!) The rich man is not the brother of the poor man who dies at his door. Or else this is the fraternity of Cain, and the voice of the people, the voice of God will one day ask: “What have you done to your brother?’ No, a thousand times no, we don’t have a republic! (Applause)

And we want it, in its entirety, without exclusion, without exception. This is why we want the right to live for all. Those who want to deny and repress that right and who call themselves honest and moderate have faith in force, in violence. They have made Paris a camp, France a barracks and the army a gendarmerie. (That’s true. Bravos) They imprison, they deport, they kill. And there they are again falling on the press, recommencing the old war of error against truth, in their madness mistaking the lighthouse for the reef, accusing barometers of causing storms because they announce them. (Yes, yes), not seeing that the light burns the bushel, that the storm comes from those who refuse the right and not those who call for it, for right is inalienable! (Yes, yes! Bravos) These blind men, not seeing that nothing is obtained through force, the republic no more than monarchy, that a principle isn’t founded through a contrary principle, liberty by a state of siege, equality by exile, fraternity by death (Very prolonged bravos) that order can’t be founded on cannon blows, but by institutions! (Very good! Bravos). We, on the contrary, extremists, Reds (Laughter), we have faith only in principle and right. We only want to found the republic on justice and satisfaction. We want to recognize and assure, forever and for all, the first of the rights of man, the right to life. (Yes, yes) And the right to life, and I said and proved this at another tribune, is the right to work! (Great movement. Applause)
And so, citizens, to the supreme right, to the right superior and prior to all the others; to the most sacred, the most legitimate, the most necessary of all rights, to the right proclaimed last so as to become the first: (Bravo, Bravo) To the president, the king, the master, the capital of the future: To Labor! (Prolonged applause)

25 novembre 2010

21 novembre 2010


"I think that Che is absolutely not about glorifying Che! I think it's not a biopic and I think it's hardly about Che Guevara. I think it's a movie about strategics. I think it's the one movie I can think of which actually does take the issues of strategy as its core theme. The way I see the film is you have a first part that describes how you win a revolutionary war, how you move from the swamps to the village, from the village to the small town. How you actually do win an urban guerilla battle and how ultimately you win the war and take over the country. And it goes into great detail in explaining the dynamics of it, the logic of it, and why, how and one thing leading to the other, ultimately you win. And then you have a second part, which explains exactly why you do not win because the terrain is not appropriate, because the local population is suspicious, because the legitimate politicians are too conflicted about your struggle, because the enemy has grown stronger."

- Olivier Assayas

12 novembre 2010

fees protests

this is excellent. all around. [as a document; as participation; as a film]

Two moments I love: the lingering on the silver table (as if to say: c'mon, lads, here's a weapon); the cut to black while the audio continues. in that moment, the protest seems to expand to take over the whole country.

08 novembre 2010

danger, safety, conviction

"Within a system which denies the existence of basic human rights, fear tends to be the order of the day. Fear of imprisonment, fear of torture, fear of death, fear of losing friends, family, property or means of livelihood, fear of poverty, fear of isolation, fear of failure. A most insidious form of fear is that which masquerades as common sense or even wisdom, condemning as foolish, reckless, insignificant or futile the small, daily acts of courage which help to preserve man's self-respect and inherent human dignity. It is not easy for a people conditioned by fear under the iron rule of the principle that might is right to free themselves from the enervating miasma of fear. Yet even under the most crushing state machinery courage rises up again and again, for fear is not the natural state of civilized man."

In honor of the political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi, rightfully elected Prime Minister in the 1990 elections, whose National League for Democracy party refused to stand in today's "elections" in Burma.

"Those of us who decided to work for democracy in Burma made our choice in the conviction that the danger of standing up for basic human rights in a repressive society was preferable to the safety of a quiescent life in servitude."

For more on the situation in Burma, please see Burma Campaign UK or U.S. Campaign for Burma

05 novembre 2010

before and after

“Before enlightenment chop wood and carry water.
After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.”
- Wu Li

17 octobre 2010

Icarus also flew

Failing and Flying
by Jack Gilbert

Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.
It's the same when love comes to an end,
or the marriage fails and people say
they knew it was a mistake, that everybody
said it would never work. That she was
old enough to know better. But anything
worth doing is worth doing badly.
Like being there by that summer ocean
on the other side of the island while
love was fading out of her, the stars
burning so extravagantly those nights that
anyone could tell you they would never last.
Every morning she was asleep in my bed
like a visitation, the gentleness in her
like antelope standing in the dawn mist.
Each afternoon I watched her coming back
through the hot stony field after swimming,
the sea light behind her and the huge sky
on the other side of that. Listened to her
while we ate lunch. How can they say
the marriage failed? Like the people who
came back from Provence (when it was Provence)
and said it was pretty but the food was greasy.
I believe Icarus was not failing as he fell,
but just coming to the end of his triumph.

05 octobre 2010

work, love, waiting

"The first thing we have to learn is that love is an art, just as living is an art."
- Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving

"They heard me singing and they told me to stop /
Quit these pretentious things and just punch the clock"
- Régine Chassagne, "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)"

"If we line up one hundred years of scenes of people leaving factories, we can imagine that the same shot had been taken over and over and over. Like a child who repeats its first word for one hundred years to immortalise its pleasure in that first spoken word. Or like Far Eastern artists who repeatedly paint the same picture until it is perfect, and the artist can enter the picture. When we could no longer believe in such perfection, film was invented."
--Harun Farocki, Arbeiter verlassen die Fabrik, 1995. (via)

"perfectio propter imperfectionem"
- Lucilio Vanini, on Empedocles

"We used to wait for it... /
We used to wait for it..."  - Win Butler, "We Used To Wait"

"In the Book of Jonah, God explains to Jonah that the essence of love is to labour for something and to make something grow, that love and labour are inseparable. One loves that for which one labours, and one labours for that which one loves."
- Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving

"I'm gonna write /
a letter to my true love, I'm gonna sign my name"
- Win Butler, "We Used To Wait"

"We watched the end of the century /
Compressed on a tiny screen /
A dead star collapsing and we could see /
That something was ending"
- Win Butler, "Deep Blue"

"Sometimes I wonder if the world's so small
that we can never get away from the sprawl"
- Régine Chassagne, "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)"

03 mai 2010

the hill, the city, the past

Les yeux ne veulent pas en tout temps se fermer, ou Peut-être qu'un jour Rome se permettra de choisir à son tour
{The Eyes do not Want to be Closed at all times, or Possibly Rome will permit herself to choose in her turn}
(Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub, 1969/1970)

01 mai 2010

Leaving the factory

Sortie d'usine (Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory), 1895.

Striking workers, Hershey, Pennsylvania (date unknown)


"Just as the individual is not alone in the group, nor any one society alone among others, so man is not alone in the universe. When the spectrum or rainbow of human cultures has finally sunk into the void created by our frenzy; as long as we continue to exist and there is a world, that tenuous arch linking us to the inaccessible will still remain, to show us the opposite course to that leading to enslavement; man may be unable to follow it, but its contemplation affords him the only privilege of which he can make himself worthy; that of arresting the process, of controlling the impulse which forces him to block up the cracks in the wall of necessity one by one and to complete his work at the same time as he shuts himself up within his prison; this is a privilege coveted by every society, whatever its beliefs, its political system or its level of civilization; a privilege to which it attaches its leisure, its pleasure, its peace of mind and its freedom; the possibility, vital for life, of unhitching, which consists --Oh! fond farewell to savages and explorations!-- in grasping, during the brief intervals in which our species can bring itself to interrupt its hive-like activity, the essence of what it was and continues to be, below the threshold of thought and over and above society: in the contemplation of a mineral more beautiful than all our creations; in the scent that can be smelt at the heart of a lily and is more imbued with learning than all our books; or in the brief glance, heavy with patience, serenity, and mutual forgiveness, that, through some involuntary understanding, one can sometimes exchange with a cat."

- Claude Lévi-Strauss, Tristes Tropiques

29 avril 2010

Marina Abramović Made Me Cry

Portraits taken during the MoMA's exhibit of performance artist "Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present".

Abramovic sits at a table in silence, and museum guests can sit across from her and stare.

Some people couldn't handle the heat.