Skip to main content

Knifing the f*cker back in return

Seeing two 3-D movies in a row is pretty much my idea of torture, and a colleague and I came very close to decamping to see The Touch (with my beloved Elliot Gould), which is being shown as part of the festival’s Ingmar Bergman retrospective. In the end, persuaded by a few enthusiastic colleagues, we — with much eye-rolling and many deprecating remarks — opted to check out Wim Wenders’ Pina. I’m glad we did.

[….]


I’d always avoided Bausch, assuming it was all bony dancers in drab skintone leotards, miserably acting out the angst of mankind, or whatever. I now know how wrong I was. Some of Bausch’s ideas may not result in anyone’s idea of conventional (whatever that is) beauty: She might scatter the floor with peat moss, which would mingle with the sweat clinging to the dancers’ dresses, resulting in damp, mother-earth stains; a man in a tutu, being pushed along slowly on a railway handcar, appears to be carrying some pretty heavy-duty German sorrow and guilt on his shoulders.

But Wenders makes it all seem accessible, framing and connecting images — sometimes very strange ones — in a way that draws us closer rather than alienating us, without ever softening the intended effect. [. . .] Wenders hardly pretends this is business as usual. Rather, he coaxes us into understanding, or at least reckoning, with the jarring but wholly compelling image in front of us. It’s as if he were saying, “I realize this woman has stuffed raw meat in her toe shoes, but trust me, go with it.” (Stephanie Zacharek, “Berlinale Dispatch: Wim Wenders Takes His Place in the 3-D Vanguard,” Movieline, 14 Feb. 2011)


Your friend Laura Miller (kinda) wrote recently that precise prose and careful delineations are also tiring to the eyes and mind -- slows down reading speed, sometimes to a crawl, when you know you've got a whole book ahead: I'm wondering if some people have to prepare for your reviews akin to how you did this double-feature: in this case, with a bit of "Oh God, another load of particulars and careful delineations about some film I have no sense of!," to gird for themselves some countering camaraderie within the melee of stimulation they may soon be treated to? I'll wait 'til I've seen what you've seen to make reading your review more an immediate experience of compare and contrast -- "look, sister, I take your point, but this is what you didn't see --." For now it's the reality-possibilities ... like is it true that what is jarring can also be compelling? You seem sure of it, for how else last time would "the land look menacing and alluring at once?" Mind you, "menacing" already has something of the alluring within it -- you're wanted-enough to be wholly devoured; "compelling" here is a smart wink, and a hinted-at better path ahead, after having had a door slammed in your face: it's harder to see how you'd ever after let yourself just be drawn along, when all the time you're surely mostly thinking how you can knife the f*cker back in return.

Link: Berlinale Dispatch: Wim Wenders Takes His Place in the 3-D Vanguard (Movieline)

Link: Why We Love Bad Writing (Laura Miller, Salon)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Superimposing another "fourth-wall" Deadpool

I'd like to superimpose the fourth-wall breaking Deadpool that I'd like to have seen in the movie. In my version, he'd break out of the action at some point to discuss with us the following:
1) He'd point out that all the trouble the movie goes to to ensure that the lead actress is never seen completely naked—no nipples shown—in this R-rated movie was done so that later when we suddenly see enough strippers' completely bared breasts that we feel that someone was making up for lost time, we feel that a special, strenuous effort has been made to keep her from a certain fate—one the R-rating would even seemed to have called for, necessitated, even, to properly feed the audience expecting something extra for the movie being more dependent on their ticket purchases. That is, protecting the lead actress was done to legitimize thinking of those left casually unprotected as different kinds of women—not as worthy, not as human.   


2) When Wade/Deadpool and Vanessa are excha…

"The Zookeeper's Wife" as historical romance

A Polish zoologist and his wife maintain a zoo which is utopia, realized. The people who work there are blissfully satisfied and happy. The caged animals aren't distraught but rather, very satisfied. These animals have been very well attended to, and have developed so healthily for it that they almost seem proud to display what is distinctively excellent about them for viewers to enjoy. But there is a shadow coming--Nazis! The Nazis literally blow apart much of this happy configuration. Many of the animals die. But the zookeeper's wife is a prize any Nazi officer would covet, and the Nazi's chief zoologist is interested in claiming her for his own. So if there can be some pretence that would allow for her and her husband to keep their zoo in piece rather than be destroyed for war supplies, he's willing to concede it.

The zookeeper and his wife want to try and use their zoo to house as many Jews as they can. They approach the stately quarters of Hitler's zoologist …

Full conversation about "Bringing Up Baby" at the NewYorker Movie Facebook Club

Richard Brody shared a link.Moderator · November 20 at 3:38pm I'm obsessed with Bringing Up Baby, which is on TCM at 6 PM (ET). It's the first film by Howard Hawks that I ever saw, and it opened up several universes to me, cinematic and otherwise. Here's the story. I was seventeen or eighteen; I had never heard of Hawks until I read Godard's enthusiastic mention of him in one of the early critical pieces in "Godard on Godard"—he called Hawks "the greatest American artist," and this piqued my curiosity. So, the next time I was in town (I… I was out of town at college for the most part), I went to see the first Hawks film playing in a revival house, which turned out to be "Bringing Up Baby." I certainly laughed a lot (and, at a few bits, uncontrollably), but that's not all there was to it. I had never read Freud, but I had heard of Freud, and when I saw "Bringing Up Baby," its realm of symbolism made instant sense; it was obviou…