Saturday, November 27, 2004

delpy proposes marriage

michael haneke strikes another match in ''time of the wolf''

the skywalk is gone

Monday, November 08, 2004


Aretha sings the Blues (Aretha Franklin, 1980)*
brainless doll screams whatever. bet ya she never managed two coherent thoughts in her entire lifetime. apart from that, the blues, in their repetition and simplicity, have too often been a refuge for the useless in verse and the idea-less.

Aretha Live At Fillmore West (Aretha Franklin, 1971)*
again, history returns, aretha gets into a time machine and returns to the 70s. you'd wish it, but the sad truth is there prolly was a public there to see this 'dame' screach and clatter and splatter her way throu whatever.

Amazing Grace (Aretha Franklin, 1972)*
oh yuk, i'm here listening to this broad trying to ram up bible nonsense up mine arse. ''give yourself to jesus'' is a rather dodgy song, especially if you're a dame. i gave up on the fourth track, and i'm erasing this tripe from mine hard disc. farewell.


modes of seeing (john berger, 1974)**

marxists and socialists were lunatics basically, but were correct on their definitions of the capitalists. religion and football are the opium of the people, for instance. but we cannot go around prohibiting something, however mentally retarded it is. the morals of the capitalists, with their women lying in front of the painters, rich men posing in front of a poor painter and today's obviously exaggerated consumer culture is pretty retarded. but we can't go the socialist way prohibiting these things. what we can do is use it for ourselves, and that's where this book has its worth. the capitalists love to possess paintings, and that's a fact. so when they say it's their love of culture and stuff, laugh at them, but don't go around stealing their money for godsakes.

life to those shadows by noel burch . primitive cinema, before the Institutional Mode of Representation had kicked in, the workers still had control over the filmic process. and in one of those movies burch happened to see at brighton featured a gag about a vagabond stealing a rich baby's food.

the capitalist's way is hypocritical, but above all it's boring, stupid and puritanical. even today they still want to celebrate tradition when in tradition there is nothing to celebrate, nothing to be proud of. but, again, this isn't enough to go prohibiting it all.

that's the difference between moderation and this pointless leftism. the criticisms, all coherent in what they define, far too violent and unethical in what they propose, can be used for ourselves. if in the west we have obtained a minimal degree of freedom, aesthetic or ethical, it isn't thanks to the western traditions, but despite them. and despite these times too, when publicity takes far too many kids in the wrong direction. far from fucking us all up with taxes shit, this contempt for the media and for adverts and for football and churches and all that shit can and must be taught, crap-detecting must be maintained (teaching as a subversive art) but let's not go to far. this is an attitude thing, one of anarchy and contempt, but not of violence and destruction. let's not go toooooo far, like the guy in sognatori, says.


life is sweet (mike leigh, 1990)**
same old stuff from leigh, about stretching the everyday more than other like, say, ideological ken loach. and its pissed off at thatcherism it seems, but has it the right. these parents, they chose to have kids at 17, a 'belief' she says, so they didn't go to university and expand and deserve like in any meritocracy. see, leigh is preachy because poor people don't have the right to have kids, and these parents deserve poverty. should have had an abortion and had kids at 33, rich and like all normal people. not that having kids isnt a retarded aim in life, and what differentiates the stupid socialist (the neo-liberals or marxists or commies or the neo-con fascists haven't a slightest chance of making it past absolute morons) from the intelligent archanist (see against love, a polemic). the aesthetics are much better than the average pic, thou.

un chant d'amour (jean genet, 1950)*****
o donoghue says it all.

soigne ta droit (jean luc godard, 1987)*****
love it, him, les rita mitsuoko and whatnot.

numero deux (godard)*****
if we go past the cry baby greedy antics of the usual movie-muncher, if we can abandon the pussyfooting bullshit of movies like cuisine, if we can abandon all the me me me morons, if we can abandon stupid names like 'cinephilia' (aaaaaaaaaaaas if all representational movies were worth collecting cooooome on) and release ourselves to a movie world subject to no law other than mathematical systems we will, only then, be able to appreciate numero deux in all its glorious splendor- and in this one it fits, unlike the lame one, to obvious and self-defeating, to present and already there, too insecure hence with the name in the title- in the grass.

Sunday, November 07, 2004


esther (amos gitai, 1985) *** and a half. a mise en scene of brechtianism. very interesting but not a masterpiece; it's just too easy to do. still a pleasure to sit through.

yam daabo ** (idrissa quedraogo, 1986) the delicate touches from the director of characters sighing, for instance, or the mimesis of the rhythms of the farmers' lives compensates the time. confessions of a queen (victor sjöström, 1925) * worryingly bad piece of crap bout trivial monarchic abdications from sjöström. sure half the movie's disappeared some say, maybe it'd better if it were complete, but all i can say is thank goodness. the divine woman (victor sjöström) 1928 * a bit more promising than confessions of a queen, thou that aint difficult. again, loads of this pic has disappeared, but, again, that comes across as a relief.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

in the beginning was the beginning

thats it, i exclaimed with a light upon and above mine head, this blog shall be bout the pics, so hence this begins, so in a dry and accurate manner, i shall outline every single mooee i see from now on, a promise that i seemed to have been making to myself for longa time now but never completeating:

and remember, no silly nonsense writing, blob, the style shall be as dry as the mohabanabalaba desert.

reign of terror (anthony mann, 1949) *
robespierre went too far, he just bumped danton off, and everyone's getting a bit too nervous. pessoa would complain about the excessive action of a hollywood pic. indeed, we have endless sequences of Tension, and Suspense and Action. mann provides us with a style, a concise one too, a recognisable one that will make hollywood apologists leap in their seats, in this and in anything from raw deal to stories bout glenn miller, in all the mooees he had control of in fact, but is that enough? like hell it isn't, and it only exists because fucking democracies elect their own 'film critics', and because the entire bunch want movies to be a lame mimesis of their primitive desires, as in, ya know, nufin is a gappenink in tom, tom the piper's son...

brand new day (amos gitai, 1987) **
gitai follows the eurythmics band in a tour around japan. the use of just about anything from sound to silence, tradition to modernity and the sounds imbued in each, anything from those shots of trains leaving and songs starting, love songs in the private and in the public, and finding this kitsch has its roots way back in robert johnson. in the desire to be alone of the lead singer, her understanding of the meaning of fame and how hilarious or abstract it seems to be equals or probably surpasses anything by pennebaker on dylan, and if it does surpass it, its either from gitai's skill or the ridiculous messianic complex that infects every frame of dylan and the dubious art of dylanology, or it's prolly coz i dont give a fuck bout clever shits parading paranoya up mine arse. in brand new day, its anything from the lone piano player in the opening shot to annie's angst, of people walking into the frame from left or right and disturbing the private space, or the lightness with which she takes it (unlike, say, dylan, who goes postal). these singers are much more humble and likeable, much more a half life than an inflated one like dylan, so these boundaries are played upon a lot more subtly- unlike for instance v.s. naipul, who unsubtly labels his novel ''half-lives'', what a fucking lame novel by the way, especially the sequence at the party with the guy from the north, but he's still miles in front of plod of shit tom wolfe. gitai is under contract to show pre-determined material, but in a flurry of creativity, a focusing on the group as people and with a number of both formal and moral resources, he seems to try to seem to try to manages, a baptiste piègay has so succintly put it, to ask ''how to do cinema , once again, springing from a public and anonymous image? recover its identity in a confusion of signs, delimit what defines a cineaste in collecting imposed images (journeys, concerts, meetings) and confront the administration of spaces and bodies: all of that seems a lot like an artistic manifesto'', how to obtain authorship or freedom in a collaborative system, and -might i add- a manifesto that mann could only have wished he'd made. this is the only way out, to make a cinema anti-democratic, subventioned from the state and approved by experts, a personal expression and an access to the private (which, as, vicente sánchez biosca points out, is one of the crucial places where avant-garde these days remains) instead of the stupid public. i'd still go to these concerts coz i don't give a fuck, and the band, this one and others, are alright i guess, one as good as the other, but that's what there is folks, that's what aesthetics is. the movie's still shit thou, coz it's a starting line, still stuck in the no man's land of idiocy. but, hell, at least it's a starting line and for that it gets it second well deserved star.

one little worry, tho. brand new day may recieve its third star if i concede to the possibility that music is fine enough where it is, as it is, centred on collaboration technique and rhythm. it's as if there were still space to stick it in a prolongation of bresson's legacy; some of cinema's contemporary finest movies, like beau travail or millenium mambo, have done precisely that, to achieve depth in the image with techno or club music in a way similar bresson or kiarostami did with silence. think of eurythmics dame on the red stage, brand new day isn't that bad at all. in a cinema that falls into anthropocentrism, what is needed is a displacing of the entrance of these bodies (brenez), a reordering of the hierarchies, and for instance a cinema of man's immanence in nature (fergus daly). and for that, techno or disco, has its place.

1941 **
oh me oh my, the 70s were a time weren't they. the americans (or english language film) still hadn't perfected the garbage formula, the star wars crapfest lotr etcetera, and at that time found itself even attempting to make good films by pasticheing what greater european filmmakers were achieving. idiot lucas managed american graffiti, ridley scott the duellists, kubrick made his only decent movie- lyndon, woody allen was praised for the wrong movie, annie hall, but then managed his career peak with manhattan, even arthur penn got something decent done in night moves, albeit being praised for the wrong movie- bonnie and clyde. sure they were never great, perhaps not even good, but they were decent. billy wilder who'd managed a mediocre career, with diarrhoa like the appartment and such, was managing his only decent, perhaps or probably good, films- avanti and sherlock holmes, those times even john cassavetes found time and money to get films done. but none of those were as good as cassavetes, none even got close to an antonioni or a rivette. coppola, for instance, reaching a highpoint (decency) in the conversation dived way below zero with a godfather trilogy that was a pathetic watered down rocco and his brothers meets il confidente. but all this metatextuality has no end does it; i mean, last tango in paris was better than all these american peeps put together, but itself wasnt as good as the phillippe garrel pics i havent been able to see, or the twists and turns of a godard that dylan only wished he'd taken. well anyway, cassavetes did in 1985 the last masterpiece of american cinema and we're left with even more diluted versions of previously mediocre/decent filmmakers. take ridley scott for instance. some are atemporal. for instance scorcese has always been mediocre or irregular or tied down by the system and desiring to make movies like an angelopoulos or an antonioni. de palma is always a laugh i have to admit in anything from carrie to femme fatale, from blow out to dressed to kill. but lets face it blow out is just a watered down blow up, and de palma is merely a watered down chabrol.

spielberg is a retarded git really. the amount of shit i've watched from this guy, of time wasted, of life disappeared into the rubbish bin. i want my time, in anything from e.t. to empire of the sun, from a.i. to that vomitive catch me if you can. and of course that emblematic tripe a la par with star wars, jaws. 1941, trust me on this, is his best film by a long shot.

i seemed to have made 1 of my 2 promises. i have written about today's pics, but i have not done so dryly, concisely. i have meandered like baudelaire or benjamin in a city or like monteiro with a 14 year old nubile. if joao composed the cinema of poetry, i have just excreted poetic criticism.