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Showing posts from October, 2013

Gravity

Gravity
I almost don’t want a movie to provide a simulacrum of what it might be like to be out in space right now. Engineers, and other employees whose brains are 90% scientific data, still after fifty years of space inhabitation, holding court over who gets to tell us what it’s like to see your home planet from the outside--how we might prefer to be in the situation where only Apollo and his lute was able to express the same. We think New Mexico, and we don’t only think of cowboy yokels bearing daily witness to desert beauty, but artists, poets, hippies, doing so. Space, however, is kept rigidly by those who see nothing amiss in their space station--the ostensible center for a community in space--being as cold and human-indifferent as any structure nearly forgetting it was built not just to withstand, but to house. When Sandra Bullock’s character peeps into her shuttle, the objects that float out aren’t items of décor, of domicile, but a Space Jam character--the difference in inner-li…

(Still Pending) Response to commenter Reuben Thomas, on Richard Brody's review of 12 Years a Slave

Reuben Thomas: 

To me Brody does not get it. "Django unchained" is the film you want to see after seeing "12 years a slave". The last one simply came after. And I'm pretty sure of the historical existence of characters like the one depicted by Samuel L. Jackson in Tarantino's movie... 

But it mystifies me more that Brody does not seem to be able to infer through his own imagination any of the realities actually suggested by both films. If we accept that it's actually impossible for even all of the slavery related films as a whole to narrate every single moment of real-life historical abuse, then we should offer our own minds to fill-in the blanks as homage to the effort and as proof of our own capacity for compassion. It's like Brody were saying that the current world is in such a state that without the explicit nature of these images we can no longer gather enough empathy against slavery.

I agree that empathy is lacking, but only because both films fa…

Carrie

Carrie

There's a moment in Carrie when Carrie becomes remote from us, not owing to the carnage she wrecks, but to her being possessed of a self-assuredness there's no way we'd be able to match. Her mother, attempting to prevent her from seeking a life for herself which might allow some pleasure, bangs her own head repeatedly against a wall, with sufficient force it might lead to breaking herself open. Carrie watches it, but insists on her own life anyway, letting her mom break herself into brain pulp, if such is her wont. This was what she was going to need to do to individuate, push on despite being guaranteed that if her mom could no longer physically desist her by scaring her to holy hell with knives or carting her off into isolation closets, she'd probably slit her own wrists before her, to show her the wreckage her "selfish" pursuits were inflicting physically, emotionally, psychically on her. She's basically Rose in Titanic, who ultimately told her …

Don Jon

Don Jon

It's a considerable task put to Julianne Moore's Esther for her to present as the preferable alternative to porn as porn and our porn-watcher are presented here, and I don't think she manages it. Jon--the watcher--has his life perfectly compartmentalized. There's his time at the dinner table, his time at the gym, his time at church and the confessional, his time at the bar with his friends, his time in bed with this week's select girl, and his time afterwards in porn--summed up nicely each time with a single crumpled up tissue sent into a black waste bin--and in none of these activities does he feel a disadvantage. I mean by this that though he's a millennial and not an owner of a home, nor of a job that puts him outside of being defined as a loser or as underclass servile--he's a bartender--he's not mastered in his family home, his job place, amongst his friends, nor anywhere else, exempting sex, whose for-him arduous quality requires a besting…