Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Interesting Stuff:

It's been a long summer, and I've been pretty quiet on the old blog. But new content is on the horizon (for the few of you who care).

I wrote two short appreciations of Kiarostami for In Review Online's recent Kiarostami 'Directospective'. They've parceled Kiarostami's oeuvre into three sections, only the first two of which are currently available. My thoughts on 'Ten' and '10 on Ten' will be revealed sooner or later, at which point I'll update this post. In the meantime, I can wholeheartedly recommend the pieces already posted.

Adrian Martin has been particularly busy this summer; working with Girish Shambu, they've launched a new online magazine called LOLA - it's a worthy successor to the now apparently defunct Rouge, with at least several of the same contributors (notably Nicole Brenez) and a similarly broad approach to contemporary cinephilia. It is a welcome addition to the online film community, and hopefully fares better than Martin's previous endeavor.

Martin has also spearheaded a conference called World Cinema Now; there's a companion blog that promises to be updated regularly before and after the event, and already has some significant content, including some nice pieces on mad man provocateur Philippe Grandrieux.

In a stunning bit of good news, and to my mind perhaps the most significant cinema event of the year, Venice has just screened Nick Ray's We Can't Go Home Again. It is apparently not just a restoration, but a completion of Ray's final masterpiece, which has seen the light of day only briefly in two different early versions (one in 1973, the other sometime in the early 80's. I should note that I'm not actually sure which version I've seen, such is the limited information available on any version of the film). David Hudson has collected a bunch of links over at the Daily Notebook, including writings by Rosenbaum and links to a current Ray 'blog-o-thon.' Reports have the fine folks over at Oscilloscope acquiring the film for distribution. So hopefully we see it sooner rather than later.

Happy reading, let's talk soon...

Literary Interlude:

'Yap, yap, yap. Part of this generation that is proud of its shallowness. The sincere performance is everything. Sincere and empty, totally empty. The sincerity that goes in all directions. The sincerity that is worse than falseness, and the innocence that is worse than corruption. All the rapacity hidden under the sincerity. And under the lingo. This wonderful language they all have - that they appear to believe - about their 'lack of self-worth,' all the while what they actually believe is that they're entitled to everything. Their shamelessness they call lovingness, and the ruthlessness is camouflaged as lost 'self-esteem.'... it's a con these kids have going. The hyperdramatization of the pettiest emotions. Relationship. My relationship. Clarify my relationship. They open their mouths and they send me up the wall. Their whole language is a summation of the stupidity of the last forty years. Closure. There's one. My students cannot stay in that place where thinking must occur. Closure! They fix on the conventionalized narrative, with its beginning, middle, and end - every experience, no matter how ambiguous, no matter how knotty or mysterious, must lend itself to this normalizing, conventionalizing, anchorman cliche.'

Phillip Roth, The Human Stain