Weds. 7.30 PM
26. Sept-28. Nov. 2001
Soc Sci II. Room 75
Free and Open to the Public
Two-Way Spectacles, plays on the double meanings
something to look at
The second meaning, in turn, exploits the double meanings
to look at the world by means of a tool
to read the spectacle against the grain of its own self-presentation:
|The films in this series are organized according to different
categories of two-way specularity:
|Atlhough nothing of this description would allow one
to suspect it, the most important criterion for selecting the films is
the multidimensional pleasures of viewing they offer. In other words, please
feel free to ignore everything written here. It’s perfectly fine
(and closer to real-life) to enjoy visiting a Frank Lloyd Wright building
without looking at the blueprints. Obsessive-compulsives are full-service
neurotics. Please disregard the little man behind [or in front of] the
screen. On the other hand, for those who enjoy similar tendencies, it might
be fun to mix and match the film titles with the above categories (and
their optional hybrids).
With A Movie Camera
|An exquisitely crafted, lyrical composite-portrait of a day in
a Soviet city [actually three cities: Moscow, Kiev, and Leningrad]
through which Vertov creates a meditation on the act of seeing, and an
exposition of the cinematic construction of meaning, as aesthetically invigorating
and intellectually stimulating today as it was in 1929..
I resisted including this film because it’s so often included in series
such as this one it seems cliché. But to exclude the film would
be more dishonest, and would work the damage that clichés authorize.
And if any film proves that anything worth seeing demands and rewards seeing
again, it’s this one.
C. Cooper &
Chang is part documentary, part fiction film shot entirely in
Northern Thailand with an all-Lao cast by two men who made the documentary
Grass, and would go on to make the original King Kong, and later She, starring
Gahagan, later to lose the gouvenatorial race to red-baiting upstart
Richard Nixon. The human-sacrifice scene is worth the price
of admission, its Busby-Berkeley/Isadora Duncan/miscegnation setting ethnographic
dance film back a century (twhere it belonged it the first place).
David Holzman’s Diary features a very un-Vertovian Man with
a Movie Camera. It presents the celluloid diary of five days in the life
of a young man in the summer of 1967 who has just lost his job and upgraded
to A-1 by the draft board.
Both films are short – combined running time about the same as
Sin of Nora Moran.
For Trailer Click
Click the title for an Interview with Egoyan on making
|The recent, commercially successful films of
Atom Egoyan do not suggest the power, originality, eccentricity, and poetry
of his earlier work. Family Viewing is one of the four films that
should be part of any cinephiles virtual or real library, the others being:
Parts; and The Adjuster.
Family Viewing is basically a study of one family’s disparate
strategies of coping with alienation and loss, that is at once sophisticated
nuanced. Technologies of surveillance, fantasy, and memory function
not only as plot devices but as motifs and modes of presenting the psychical
conflicts and „inner“ lives of the characters.
Mabuse the Gambler Part I
(Fritz Lang 1922)
|Fritz Lang’s spectacular fantasy-essay on Weimar
Germany, told through a free adaptation of Norbert Jacques’s serialized
novel about a master criminal. The screenplay is by Thea von Harbou, Lang’s
then-spouse and long-time collaborator, who divorced Lang and joined the
Nazi Party after Lang fled Germany. Lang was asked by Goebbels to replace
Leni Riefenstahl as official filmmaker of the Third Reich, which means,
among other things, that Goebbels seriously misunderstood the Mabuse films.
I am attempting to reduplicate the typical screening situations for two
of the two part films in the series. For Mabuse, I have placed the first
and second parts approximately one month apart,
modelled on the original Berlin release dates of the two films. For Les
Enfants du Paradis, I have placed Parts I and II on two consecutive
days, which was the screening arrangement favored by Marcel Carné,
Fest der Schönheit
[Olympia Part II]
Leni Riefenstahl is the most famous woman filmmaker of
all time. It is difficult to assess the implications of this fact. Many
of the techniques of sports photography still in use today, are derived
directly from techniques Riefenstahl invented for her documentary of the
1936 Olympics. Goebbels loathed her, and asked Fritz Lang to replace her
as official filmmaker of the Third Reich.
a Glass Darkly
|Supposedly the first film in a quasi-non-existent
trilogy with Winter Light and The Silence, it’s easy to guess
which category these spectacles will be found in. Look through them
at your own risk. Scheduling this for Halloween is no accident. A couple
years ago I published a true story entitled Aftercare
in the electronic journal Ecrits.
It proceeds as an epistelary exchange between „EJ“ and „Tom“
through a series of linked panels. Panel
13 features EJ’s explanation to Tom of this film’s theory
The shark on the cover page is real (taken in Belize).
Children of Paradise [Part One]
Part Two will be screened at 7.30 Pm Thursday,
11, 8..01. in Media Theater 110
|Marcel Carné’s magnificent fantasy of theater, love,
crime, and purloined joy in mid-nineteenth century Paris. An all-star cast
flourishes in the most elaborate and expensive set ever built for a French
film – and this during the Nazi occupation!
Carné deliberately slowed work down on the film (already two-years
in production) so that it could be the first French film to premiere in
a liberated Paris. And note how the technologies of representation peculiar
to the stage are themselves re-presented and reanimated within the technologies
of cinematic representation.[Two-way spectacles, n’est-pas?]
I am Cuba
|A breathtaking celebration of Cuba, in Spanish and Russian, featuring
an intermittant voice-over text by Russian poet Yevgeni
and filmed by the Georgian director Mikheil
Kalatozishvili was a magician. Watch anything he made. Anything.
for Svanetia (1929)
The Cranes are Flying (1956)
The Red Tent (1974).
Or, try an experiment at home to show the complexities that are completely
erased in liberal attempts at „equal time.“ After screening
I am Cuba, watch asap Bitter Sugar (Leon
Ichaso, 1996). Immediately after watching this, either attempt to have
a discussion, or perhaps, more prudently, try to imagine having a discussion
featuring the words „Cuba“ and „politics“ that you wouldn’t be embarrassed
overhearing yourself having. On an even more tangential note, Bittter
Sugar makes the best argument for bus overcrowding in the history
of cinema and perspiration.
Mabuse the Gambler
(Fritz Lang 1922)
See the entry for Part
Chris Marker’s „Dear John“ letter to official
„History“, is also a love letter to memory in care of memories and forgeting,
a suspect and suspicious elegy to lived histories and their allusions,
elusiveness and elisions. Sandwiched between two glimpses of happiness
crystallized in Iceland, it is a metadocumentary on the impossibility of
documenting Japan and Africa. Haunted by a nostalgia for the future, it
is a forensics of a present that secretes itself at the vanishing point
the way aquarium fish reign within a heart of glass.
For the Screening Schedule for Monday Noir, Click THIS.
Please explore Earl
Jackson, Jr.’s Web Site,
Or the Web Site for Earl
Jackson, Jr.’s Graduate Seminar
And of course his seminar on
And for some hands-on film theory,
at Cross-[Cultural] Purposes:
Mon Amour and
Christmas, Mr. Lawrence.
What does Earl mean by „Neo-archaic Film Theory?“
Maybe the answer begins in his
Conversation in Progress.
Speaking of Which,
with Ray Davis are responsible
for me knowing what I know about movies and life.
Please frequent his online journal, The
You’ll be glad you did. And it’s further context for
For some hands-on real life
For some hands-on fantasizing,
Earl’s response to Jacques
Lacan’s statement in the Second Seminar that,
„Desire is always desire for nothing nameable.“