12 janvier 2011

Grievances / Social Systems (Part 2)

Matthew Flanagan's contribution to The Daily Notebook's year-end feature, featuring a picture from London's Day X3 protests (December 9, 2010) against the rises in tuition fees:

NEW: Film socialisme (Jean-Luc Godard, Switzerland)
OLD: History Lessons (Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet, 1972)


The Democratic organisations, on which he could still have leaned in the Autumn, were in ruins. The City had betrayed the little man according to all the rules of the art, except the one that prescribes that the victim shall not notice anything.
— the banker Mummlius Spicer, from Brecht’s The Business Affairs of Mr. Julius Caesar.

To show, above all. To show the possible. That's all.

Not so much a fantasy double bill as two films, and three filmmakers, that meant a lot to me this year. Looking back, it seems the year’s great films about the political and spatial decay of the present — Patrick Keiller’s Robinson in Ruins, Thom Andersen’s Get Out of the Car — could only be paired with films by Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet. I’ve clung to these two for their clarity, their abstractions, and their hope.

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