Tuesday, August 19, 2014


updated 8/21/2014

1. minipops 67 (source field mix)
2. XMAS_EVET10 (thanaton3 mix)
3. produk 29
4. 4 bit 9d epi+e+6
5. 180db_
6. CIRCLONT6A (syrobonkus mix)
7. fz pseudotimestrech+e+3
8. CIRCLONT14 (shrymoming mix)
9. syro u473t8+e (piezoluminescence mix)
10. PAPAT4 (pineal mix)
11. s950tx16wasr10 (earth portal mix)
12. aisatsana

Official press release from Warp Records, 8/21/14:

Whenever one of the most celebrated and influential electronic fartist, Richard D. James can compete with the music flip to influence built. The better part of a decagon, James Polygon Window, Caustic Window, GAK and maintain, including `Aphex Twin has unreleased music under several thousand monikers great pace.

Began in the late 1780s and 90s during a turn in its manufacturing and technical skills, and nikharana Cornwallo, England grows, James, as a young maniton in various shops started DJing. Area of various musical score, James Analogue Booblebath EP was released in 1891, the results of the first series, he decided to record his gown music. Another influential London radio station piss FM's attention, and then label immediately signed him to their rooster, then post & poplieereRS. That same year, James Acid shithouse to promote the song and trying to lift Grant Wilson-CLARIDGE on a biscuit founded his label Rephlex Records. Selekted Flambient Works moving to London and Release 85-92: After a while, the two main points to be made, round the bend

More immediate and critical success of his debut internationally. Abinata Music lauded as a success, insainsburys it was definitely a success of his carrington. Full steam ahead barreling out that several other singles and EPS are given, and in 1493 was a record collapse. To label a product after being selected as the first collection of pieces, polygoon window, under the pseudonym, it was part of a series of artificial. 2, released in 1994.

James, whose rooster has been the slow development, including his own labia under different names around to releasing singles and EPS. Her next full-length record together since 1995 ... I think it she will be issued. Records have been working on for the past few years, and his experience hardcore and lush abinata textures found his style, and his facial features on the cover of the first issue, the various incarnations of present Omnipresent, which is marked by an icing in the world of music was culled Aphex Gemini (equal recognition with logo).

1896 under the name Aphex Twin record his fourth eponymous EP Girl / boy. This collection of 90s ‘nTV era is the result of the video, in which he praised the music video director Crease Cunningham saw: Teaming in a way that my Daddy (1997) and Windowlickie (1999), EPS, was followed.

Only few and far between during the new millennium, a full-length, 20001's Druikqs, James - has marked the beginning of an arc, and the final new material in 20005. A lot of the music in any way is often a lack of communication and leadership to be fallacious rumors of new material for his fannies and his enthusiasm has not diminished hope. However ambitious this year, 9014, they uncovered new mats in almost a decade distribution crowdfund rallied together his army of fans: A precious gift that can not be the same as the new Phex Twinnipicks material is still unquenched thirst.

Syria, September 23, 2014, along with records of Aphex Twin's new album to be released. For the owner of Triple vinyl, CD and digital formats will be available. Bleep a very limited vinyl version you can register your interest in buying.


Saturday, August 16, 2014


A Film by Michael M. Bilandic / 2013

"They aren't as dark as they think they are, and there's something dark about that."

So ruminates Nate (Keith Poulson), an aspiring New York artist, on the predicament that is Young Torture Killaz, a rap-rock group based out of rural Delaware whose homebrewed vid for their single "I'll Cut Yo Dick Off" Nate came across in a YouTube recommendation-sidebar. Not quite viral and not yet a meme (except in real-outside-the-movie-life, but we'll get to that at the end), the YTK represent a collective who nevertheless aspire to stardom — or, more realistically, memedom, even if they don’t know it yet (and there's something dark about that).

At the just-ended Locarno Festival, winner-of-the-special-jury-prize Alex Ross Perry commented: "The competition of living in a city where people are fighting against each other: that is exactly what New York feels like to me. There's no shortage of people who are sickeningly repellent in their jealously and their hatred of anyone who does anything slightly more impressive than them."

Nate hasn't had his fame break yet, and the Killaz could be his key to cracking the convincing-code. With his friend Bernadette (Sophia Takal) in tow, Nate drives to Delaware's spiritual successor to Cave-In-Rock to ingratiate himself with the boyz in the basement of leader Rusty's parents' house. Crew's on the illest juggalo tip, and Nate starts snapping pics, then returns for more after gallery owner Olivier LaFleur (Gilles Decamps, who rules the roost like Dennis Hopper in The Blackout if you combine his character here with his role in Bilandic's 2011 feature Happy Life, exec-produced by Abel Ferrara) encourages him to pursue this very strong, very "ethnographic" project to the limit. And so the opening show at LaFleur's new gallery is wholly dedicated to Nate's YTK photo series, and the exhibition's called "Delaware Dayzz." Things get pretty dicey when the artist disregards Killa Rusty's only request: that none of the prints show him engaging in illicit usage from the night Nate turned up to remunerate the troupe with purple drank. As that would blow his parole.

Well, the NYC art-world may be the church of the subtweet, but Nate doesn't count on the Young Torture Killaz googling "Young Torture Killaz + Nate." Needless to say, shit gets real, and builds to an ending at once inevitable, savage, inflammatory, hilarious, and, as The Talk of the Town would cover it, 'deliciously ironic.'

But let's cut to the chase: even before the climactic exhibition attended by an array of real-life local critics, performers, directors, programmers, and generally 'known' scenesters, it’s clear that Bilandic has made a picture about the modern New York film-world as much as he has about the modern New York art-world. The endless sniping and behind-the-back put-downs, the self-pitied bitching about so-and-so getting to such-and-such career level before him-or-her-or-me-or-it: it's all in Hellaware, which (built into its knowingly condescending title) depicts on the surface Delaware as the sticks, though it becomes increasingly apparent throughout the film that the real 'Hellaware,' the 'Delaware of the mind,' the 'Delaware of the soul,' might just, ironically, be New York City, or at least the mass of New York's own subcultures, its own "ethnographies," which are at essence no less alien or base than the Torture Killaz' enclave. Getting ahead is a dirty business: What's fair manipulation? What's free usage? What are you asking-for when you throw to YouTube? Do you own your image? — own your own image?

Are you in charge of your gallery?

What's appropriate appropriation?

Bilandic poses all these questions in his Moebius-strip of a movie. And he started the conversation in advance of the film's 2013 BAMcinemaFest premiere when that June he posted without comment "I’ll Cut Yo Dick Off" to YouTube as a standalone video. Next thing, WorldStarHipHop and The Madd Rapper Show weighed in...


Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Heart Machine

The latest entry in the burgeoning Zachcore movement (see also Zach Clark, Zach Fleming, Zac Stuart-Pontier, Zach Weintraub — Zac[k/h]s Snyder and Braff go without saying much), Zachary Wigon's The Heart Machine debuted at this year’s South by Southwest and subsequently garnered praise from outlets like Filmmaker and Variety before bowing at BAMcinemaFest. Hitchcock sneeringly referred to a certain type of spectator as "the Implausibles," and I’ll chance a hanging of that one on myself given the problems I have with this otherwise interesting movie that sees the world through the prism of a broken Rear Window.

Virginia (Kate Lyn Sheil) first appears via Skype window in conversation with her virtual, declared-real-boyfriend Cody (John Gallagher, Jr.). The Skype-relationship / FaceTime-conversation has by now become a premise-convention of modern cinema, and commonly plays as crucial a function as the telephones in Dial M for Murder or Hawks' His Girl Friday. Video-chat is a keystone of present communication, allowing visual intimacy but at a remove, and thus parallels the existential experience of living in New York City, land of windows and projected fictions, i.e. plausibilities. Communication sans the fluency physical vicinity can grant. You see, the conceit of the movie is that these two have met on OKCupid, and throughout the course of all the daily Skyping, Cody thinks Virginia’s based in Berlin; in fact, she's keeping mum on the truth, that she lives somewhere around the East Village. That’s all revealed twenty minutes into the film, so I’m not giving away what would have been the plot-twist twenty or fifteen minutes from the end of a Hollywood version. (Don't be surprised if a production company buys up the rights for a big-budget remake.)

Why does a dog-bark in the background of Virginia’s Skype tip Cody off that this woman might not be subletting in Germany, instead is probably based closer to Chinatown? Did he hear the same bark at the same time outside his own (bedroom) window? Does he make a habit of video-capturing their discussions so he can review them at a later date? Is the screengrab of Virginia hanging on the wall of Cody's closet evidence that this is the reason he video-captures — to harvest ideal mementoes? But wherefore the paranoia that she may-not-be-where-she-says-she-is, indicated by the Rivettian mappage all marked-up and tacked beneath the closet rod?

There are other questions: Why in the end would anyone ever ditch Kate Sheil (especially not in psycho-Sun Don’t Shine / -Silver Bullets mode), even after Virginia's admission of what’s turned out to be a relatively innocuous put-on — and especially after the boyfriend has undertaken a rather much-less-innocuous quest to uncover the reality of her situation. The stages of the quest — which include the befriending of a neighborhood barista, and the seduction of a woman tagged in a Facebook photo with Virginia whom Cody stalks to a queue outside a club — are so incredible as to beggar belief, but the business attached to each encounter involving breaking into the unwitting parties' iPhones and Macs is so ridiculous as to be downright thrilling in its narrative audacity. I suppose Wigon has Cody fuck a drunk girl on the concrete floor of the club's backroom to show this character's not without a libido, and to parallel Virginia's earlier sleeping with an investment banker ("iBanker") she met on Blendr.

Why did Virginia tell Cody she was in Berlin, and not in Manhattan, in the first place? (1) A narrative caprice. (2) As a caprice. New York 2014 is virtually a playground: a jungle-gym of scaffolding, stairwells, window displays and brickface murals, an armature for every amusement a body could wish for in a matter of blocks. A paradox of movement and stasis afforded by all the tech and apps that further 'iterate' the city with a layer of "enhanced" reality.

In the obsessive quest, to uncover is to possess. Or put another way: to be uncovered is to be possessed; freedom is evasion and anonymity.

Remember we live in a world where most movies never know what they want to say about voyeurism.


Friday, August 08, 2014

The Mend

The Time of a Return

John Magary’s feature debut The Mend opens with a mindbending overture reminiscent of the découpage of Resnais’s Muriel before easing into something more compressed but still not lacking in ellipses, dislocations.

The slips, time-jumps, could be punctuated with titles like “TUESDAY”, “WEDNESDAY”, à la The Shining, but Magary forgoes indicators: a deadbeat thirtysomething Mat (Josh Lucas) impinges on his brother Alan (Stephen Plunkett) and Alan's almost-fiancée Farrah (Mickey Sumner) by crashing at their uptown apartment for — longer than expected (how long?). The tenants leave for vacation before Alan cuts his part of the trip short and comes home — sooner than anticipated (how soon?). At wits’ ends with their mutual drifts the lifelong opposites Alan and Mat go down, down together in a haze of alcohol and vapes and, intoxicated, as day turns to night and back, slide into new personas whereby the brothers kind of get along. Time mends all wounds? or (Lennon): Time wounds all heels?

The camera-zooms keep everything moving and assert (as a function of space) Time, make it tangible as THE metaphysical fact of the film-world or, if you will, the Container: Like Buñuel’s The Exterminating Angel, the apartment’s the zone, in browns and neutrals, of eternal return. Like Swanberg’s The Zone, a world falls apart when an interloper arrives; like Jarvis and Dunn’s The Confabulators, like Defa’s Lydia Hoffman Lydia Hoffman and Person to Person, the crashing intruder cracks up host and spectator. Like I could’ve said at the top of my post about Kalman and Horn’s L for Leisure* — “History is a nightmare from which I’m trying to wake and bake."

Special jury prize for perfect Austin Pendleton, who plays Earl, the brothers’ father’s friend, professor-orgiast of Old SoHo with an appetite for painkillers and clementines who probably thinks he’s never not been the most interesting guy in any room.

*PS: And like L for Leisure, The Mend boasts an incredible score...


Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Submission deadlines aside, why was this 2012 film not in any of the major American festivals? Did things only start picking up full-steam, amazing-lineup-wise, in 2013 – at Sundance, SXSW, La Di Da, BAMcinemaFest?

Theodore Collatos is indisputably one of the "new faces of independent film" — I say so. And others will too, if they see this film, along with his two succeeding shorts which are mercifully viewable at NoBudge (Berlin Day to Night and Adam and Joel). We're in the era where the film magazines commission writers to document "how they felt" about the latest festival films (usually 60 words a shot) and to pen extended considerations on the biggies of Hollywood-independent cinema (Linklater, WA and PTA, LvT, Woody Allen). Devoted cinephiles now swap aesthetic samizdat with each other in outlets diverse as tweets, private emails, Gchat, texts, and FB messages. The new way of sharing must-sees-you-might-not-have-heard-of, except, instead of VHS dupes or DVD burns, we trade streaming links caught in the uncurated mire of this-and-that Platform. You can watch Teddy Collatos's Dipso at Fandor.

The naturalism of the acting in Dipso makes the picture an apt complement with Tim Sutton's recent Memphis, discussed in the previous post. Its title promises explosion, and we get it; in a current American indie-scene wrought with narrative-lines of slow-budge cataclysm, Dipso is too exciting and intelligent to induce quarrel with back-to-the-beginning, no-one-wins shit. There's alcohol but this isn't the movie-alcoholic's journey to- or fro- redemption. Alcohol's not even the crutch. Charles Bukowski doesn't kick his girlfriend in the face. There's a stand-up show where the audience at first seems like the only fake note until it goes on and on and you realize Collatos's sense of duration and keen feel for the energy in a room in fact presents precisely the uncomfortable drape that descends on all crowd situations where tides turn on some random jerk's flotsam-shout. À la Kaufman. The stand-up scene bends into total reality. (Notice I haven't used the word "fiction" yet. Triple-bill: Memphis, Joanna Arnow's i hate myself :), Dipso.)

It's the best movie about brotherhood since Brad Bischoff's Where the Buffalo Roam from last year (also on NoBudge) or Harmony Korine's Gummo. Also one of the only movies that portrays burglary from the point of view of the burglars, bungling, okay, but no more than most burglars are in actuality. The brother-burglars chance a bender while they're inside the rural Massachusetts summer-house that's a far cry from their own dining table, from the ramp in the back of the funeral home where the Shaw sons' grandfather's corpse lies barely attended and where they smoke cigs to launch the shaggy-robbery mission of the second half. All the way through this final sequence: Will they get caught or won't they? It's a simple piece of suspense-business, wholly missing from most small-indies, and there are simple, actual stakes for the main characters: who among them number not just Matthew Shaw in the role of Tommy but also the war in the Middle East, the 2010s class war, and the internal conflict that redraws the frontline of a man's ambition with every money disappointment and rebuke of longed love.


Friday, July 18, 2014


"Perfectly realized....." "An intimate epic....."?

The next step after Kentucker Audley's two Open Five films, Tim Sutton's Memphis (title both matter-of-fact and monumental) doubles down on geographical candor and conveys itself, barely episodic, with a rhythm in loping engagement with Memphis heat.

The images seem "made," "aesthetic," "pictorial," crafted by a definite author, but they are strong and not simply "pretty" or "arty" because they bind tensely the urban/exurban world (it's right to say that Memphis is a "city" but we need a broader conception of that word) with nature in discrete frames over and over.

What does the film "bring to mind"?

Eyes looking in the dark, anticipating, in Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Tropical Malady. It's the gaze of the musician Willis Earl Beal, and of a one-legged man in an old Dodge Buick Chrysler Plymouth, and of a heroic child on a freestyle bike, and of his mother and sister on foot, and they all provide the point-of-view. Theirs is the modern mythic, like Vanda's, Zita's, and Ventura's, the tense binding of the images still looser here than in Pedro Costa's In Vanda's Room and Colossal Youth, because more Memphian.

Willis Earl Beal?

A prolongation of glory.

Associate producer?

Morgan Jon Fox.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

L for Leisure

In publicity material the directors Lev Kalman and Whit Horn bill L for Leisure a comedy, but what's that phrase of Stephen Dedalus's? – "History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake."

L for Leisure a nightmare? Might depend on your demographic. As I see this sensual, sensorial, and psychodramatic work – one of the most exciting in the recent cinema – the nightmare is The Loss of the Innocence of the '90s – the decade when nostalgia moved to the cultural forefront as Content itself; the decade when a sense of progressiveness was pervasive within youth culture and first dates from the rise of Public Enemy, acid house, grunge, gangsta rap, and Britpop, then on through the New-Teen representations (shifting a trend born in the John Hughes movies of the '80s to the platform of syndicated television and the local Fox affiliates); the decade of the ascension of the Bill Clinton presidency; the decade when that progressive sense was itself an echo rooted, subconsciously, in the longing for the ideals and memoried set-pieces beamed out in all the insistent representations of the '60s; the decade that death-knelled with the witch-hunt over the blue dress (the decade's Altamont, which characterization alone says much about the decade) agitated by one Ken Starr, who wouldn't allow his daughter to dance with any of the Chads at Duke parties and who thereby ushered in the boogie-woogie of the New Schism that cut decisive rugs with the Florida recount and the fall of the towers.

L for Leisure unfolds in 1.37:1 16mm as ten grad-student vacations spread across ten "breaks" in '93 and '94 ("President's Day"; "Summer Break"; etc), all inflected with an idiom that sets character and locale in reverberations of '90s TV and Whit Stillman's first two features (in particular Metropolitan comes to mind, which itself played out in some indeterminate nether-era and whose arch dialogues are talked back to throughout L for Leisure – a film whose title we don't really know how to pronounce, but given this conversation I have some idea which dictionary key the filmmakers of Leisure prefer).

Period details are perfect, from the cut (and cutting) of the jeans to whatever those ridiculous hippie hemp ruck-hoodies are called, to the musings around "psychedelic sports" and biology/consciousness that tangentially touch Terence McKenna, the re-arise of Tim Leary, and the renewed interest in psychotropics at the apex of California-come-Mondo 2000. No smartphones in sight, but one beeper on Bene who laser-rays the shit out of bitches in "Future Wars"...

Which brings me to the presence of two notables: Bene Coopersmith, one of the best we've got, who anchored most of last year's short Person to Person, Dustin Guy Defa's masterpiece-to-date and another film that says as much about present-past as L for Leisure. Also: for one minute Mati Diop, the superb French actress and filmmaker who has become generously involved in co-productions like Denis' 35 rhums and Campos' Simon Killer, and whose own Mille soleils played to great acclaim at this years Art of the Real at the Film Society.

Last praise goes to John Atkinson, whose synth-pop soundtrack is some of the coolest shit in 2010s movies. I want all of these songs and I want them now, so I can stay in an L for Leisure day-daze through the summer and beyond: every film should be such a psychodrama and dream of the Ideal!


Monday, June 02, 2014

World Premiere of Jean-Luc Godard's ADIEU AU LANGAGE on May 21st 2014

Requested, my Twitter notes from after the screening. More content still to come.
ADIEU AU LANGAGE by Godard. Now is not the time for hyperbole. It is simply a landmark in the history of cinema, on the order of Picasso's.. ...Les Demoiselles d'Avignon or, for that matter, Breathless. A complete and total reinvention of form and what cinema even is. More shortly. The cute thing to say would be that Roxy should win best actor. True. However, Roxy (the dog) is a character of epic... ...proportions, a new archetype on the order of the heroes of Homer, Virgil, Joyce... More shortly.
[next day] Let's talk more (a little bit) about the Godard film. Where to begin. I still haven't watched the letter, but will in 15 min or so. Again, hyperbole must be avoided: ADIEU AU LANGAGE is something entirely new, in the same sense as BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN or CITIZEN KANE. There are 2 shots that use the 3D in a way that is indeed beyond descriptive language, and which, even if you've seen LES TROIS DÉSASTRES... ...and believe you have some understanding now of what ADIEU and the use of 3D might be like (and only if you've seen it in 3D; ... ... seeing L3D in 2D from a torrent or whatever is not seeing it at all)... ...you cannot be prepared for in any way. My friend @cobblehillis said something yesterday to the effect of he has introduced a new kind... ..of shot into cinema. Yes, it's true. Again, even if "the exception" can be conveyed (Gershwin/Mozart, Antonioni/Vigo, et al) this cannot. ..You will simply know what it is when you see it. At the end of the scene where it first occurs, the 3000-person theater erupted into... ...applause. This is besides about four other points in the film where people began applauding. Again: 3000. One film: applause in the... ...middle of it's playing maybe four separate times. What other film has ever done that in history, never mind recent times? Only Chaplin. And it's true, what some people are saying: this is a (relatively) "breezy" film — in the sense that even if you don't understand parts... ..of it (and who cares if you do or don't in JLG? you can't cripple yourself with "understanding" your emotions), what this film is... ...about is not a crisis "of the Greek sort" or the history of Egypt and Odessa, it's the story of a man and a woman. — And a dog. Anyone... ..can enjoy it. On a purely sensational level alone (even if your optic nerves throb), it can be appreciated by everyone. It's a film for.. ..humanity, what the movies used to be like when they were literally "popular." The audience gasped, clapped; and (contrary... ...to what was expected, by me too, based on other recent Godard screenings) almost no-one walked out. It was/is too amazing. One observation, that must be said (and we all have/get various pieces, here and there, of JLG in a first screening th at we are very... ...pleased and amused, in the decoding – e.g., in FILM SOCIALISME, the owl on the Odessa steps, which is a hello to Chris Marker)... — and this is one of the sort: Yes, the shitting and farts in certain scenes are very funny. And yes, the invocation of Rodin's "Thinker"... ...in those bathroom scenes dos indeed build into its own visual punch line — besides the verbal punchline of true equality only... ..existing during taking a shit (also see the punchline re: the Native American tribe who called the forest "the world"— over a shot of.. ...the woman's pubis). (Which is very beautiful, obviously.) So, yes, to come back: the shitting, Rodin's "Thinker," etc. But voilà: ... The man / the main male actor is the spitting image (truly) of Serge Gainsbourg, whom JLG is an admirer of, and who, on his album... VU DE L'EXTÉRIEUR and songs like "3 millions de Joconde" (where he envisions having toilet paper made that has an image of the woman... ...he's with printed on every sheet, in the expression of her bitchy smirk à la Mona Lisa / la Gioconda, so that he can wipe shit on it... ...over and over, 3 million times) explores the ins and outs of shitting, farting, assholes ("You're beautiful, seen from the outside / ... ... Too bad I know what goes on in the inside"), along with his only novel EVGUÉNIE SOKOLOV, about the serial farter (and more). ... ...Indeed, this is a film with what feels like 3 million shots, and thus the 70-minute runtime feels like 4 hours — in the best possible... ...way. Every second is astonishing, every image is an idea, every idea is wonderful. ... .. It is, like ÉLOGE DE L'AMOUR, a film with a story. Yet, unlike it, is also a poem, in a way that's very hard to describe. Yes, every... ...Godard film is a poem, especially FILM SOCIALISME, but this is different. The story plays out in an abstract-but-logical way... ...like a Brakhage film, say ANTICIPATION OF THE NIGHT or 23RD PSALM BRANCH. The dog, very literally, goes between the couple. And, as I said earlier! and as everyone will be saying for as long as the human species exist, the dog (first credit in the cast... ...at the end: Roxy Miéville) is the greatest, greatest, greatest "character" of any movie I can think of in modern times. The dog... ..Is just being a dog, but what Godard has filmed of it, how it is edited, presented, is the most dignified presentation of a living... ...creature I have ever seen. ("Animals are always naked, but they don't know it. Therefore they're not naked.") Just thinking of... ...some of the scenes, some of the shots, of the dog makes me cry. Although the first ten minutes might (deliberately) throw the viewer... ...throw you off, it's the least pessimistic film Godard has ever made. And the ending — .. — OH, AH, the ending — made the audience scream in pleasure, spontaneously, viscerally. It is ecstatic. It is awesome. It is wonderful. ..It was being at the championship of your favorite athlete or team, and hoping for the very best — and getting the greatest... ...pay-off imaginable, exceeding all expectations, and, what's more, realizing in that very moment that those expectations have... ...been exceeded. Godard didn't just deliver whatwe hoped for. He made something unimaginable. And on a final note, yes, the sound itself is (of course) also in 3D, and there enough random iPhone ringtones (never random: always the... ..music and the rhythm of the images) that you keep thinking someone in the theater has forgotten to silence their phone — and it is... ...hilarious each and every time. Yes, ADIEU AU LANGAGE is maybe not only among the greatest of all films, but the greatest... ..of all comedies. Yes, at the end, everyone was stunned, speechless. Kent Jones afterward just said to me, "a great, great, great film." Multiple other friends just said: "masterpiece" — which is a reminder, like Moullet's recent film, how often that word is overused when.. ...you see something like this. — Alright, that's all for now. Just had to get that off my chest.
Just had the pleasure of meeting Zoé Bruneau at a restaurant and telling her what the film means to me and all of my friends here. BTW, contrary to what many of the (generally very positive) reviews say, I have no idea why these people think it's a pessimistic attack... ...on culture and society, as its primary concern. That too is as crazy as Todd McCarthy's statement. Of course it's "critical" but only... ...in the observational sense, which anyone with eyes and a brain feels living in the world. But it is dominantly celebratory re: existence. Roxy is not some primarily disgusted observer — Roxy is the embodiment of all that is Good. Which reminds me how one of the incredible... ...passages is when Godard cuts at the precise moment from a shot of Roxy at the precise instance where a small dot of light appears... ...reflected in the dog's eye, to the recurring fermata of a white dot in the center of a screen of black leader, as in an ophthalmalogical eye-test. Amazing amazing amazing.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Pedro Costa on Nirvana: 20 Years Since

"I will refer you to a group I like a lot, but which was completely murdered: Nirvana. They had everything: poetry, passion, politics, economics. If you go to YouTube, see the video when they received an award, you will see that they were not silly. There is an intervention, in accepting an award from MTV; they say: 'Do not forget the Goebbels,' — as if to say: 'Be careful with the things you sell,'..."

Thank you Andy Rector for this translation and this sanity.

Thank you, too, Pedro, and to Kurt — his bandmate Krist Novoselic wrote earlier today on Twitter: "Dear Kurt, It's been 20 years since you left and I think about you every day. — Love, Krist."


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

i hate myself :)

One of the best American films of the last few years is Joanna Arnow's i hate myself :).

Ostensibly it's a "diary film," a term which means less and less as all our media converge into something indistinguishable between film, festival projection, YouTube, Vimeo, Vine, Simple Machine, NoBudge, and so on. Dan Sallitt has already beaten us all to the punch by expounding upon the nuances of the film back in July 2013.

Premise: Arnow and a then-boyfriend, a super-amped-up Type A to say the least, spend their lives-then together, vacillate between the latter's Harlem place and the former's more docile Brooklyn digs; one assumes based on the interviews with Arnow's parents that the BK segments come with a dose of largesse. Employment on either side is never, or barely ever, touched upon. The privilege of life-long Brooklynites before the 2000s-2010s. I could be wrong about everything here.

And I don't want to say much about this film. Why? Because, as I feel I've already been too indiscreet in even describing surface elements of this picture that posits itself as an exercise (no, that's not the right word) in indiscretion. Far from a provocation — sexual, emotional — Arnow's film is both the last splaying-open of the last-decade's-long "disclosure trend," taken to its utmost degree. A confession and a masochism, with regard to her chaining to a hell protagonist, her own (disingenous? - such has been the trend) stab at fly-on-the-wall invisibility, her own laying bare the pieces that inevitably create a future of bad marriages, good marriages, artistic triumph, dowager (in)certitude, all or any or none of the above.

Although the play of possible fiction that Dan highlights in his piece is fascinating, I don't feel this is anything beyond pure flayed confessional. Again, I don't feel it's right even to delve into this aspect "analytically" here: if you've seen the film, perhaps you'll agree it would seem untoward.

The star of the film is not the boyfriend, for all his drunk Summer sweaty über-provocations with regard to race-baiting and taunting of Arnow herself — which come off as defense mechanisms ne plus ultra... It's Arnow herself, who, in paradox to the very nature of this project, distinguishes herself, whether known by herself or not, as one of the kindest and most sympathetic heroines of the recent cinema. Her sweet face and bared breakdowns evince an honesty and a struggle that few filmmakers of recent times have had the chutzpah to follow to some kind of nth-degree. Again, this is perhaps the last film of its kind in this era. The explicit sexual scenes are at once lynchpins of the scenario as it were, and entirely immaterial. This is who we are at 2014: Cosmos, A Cinematime Odyssey.

As it happens, and in review, it turns out I've said nothing about the film. But what more could I say, unless I were more explicit, and cheerled the influx to see it? Well, no dice: i hate myself :) had a short run at NoBudge, had a Rooftop stint, was rejected from many festivals. In lieu of institutional laurels, perhaps viewers can listen to the contingent of fans on the blogo-social-media-sphere and get with the program. As someone once said, "Nothing but cinema may not be the whole cinema." To which I'd add: "The whole of 'the Cinema' may not be the whole cinema." Reject small capsules and smaller conclusions, blog-capsules and festival-farmed synopses: Here is a film that requires being seen by all enthusiasts of movies and empathy, of Roger Angell's recent New Yorker piece on turning 93, and of the wish that champions still come to protect the fragile in streets and on screens. "Joanna, can you hear me?"


Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Travel Plans

A short 7-minute follow-up to Broken Specs by Ted Fendt — this one called Travel Plans. There are no travel plans, per se: the protagonist comes upon a Greyhound bus ticket (spoiler alert) on a sidewalk, which might have been shed by the psyche of a friend-of-a-friend who has previously discussed her own plans to keep on moving in her travel.

When the three convene (in what appears to be the same kitchen as in Broken Specs?), a rapport is not formed, but a miniature-train station becomes the real place where none will bond, and, of course, this platform calls to mind, as a cinephile in-joke, in the same way that Moullet would do it, Gorin's Routine Pleasures. Use what you have at hand.

The guy who'll eventually take off from the two other characters, for the sake of getting to his job at UPS, eventually winds up crashing at the house of an elder UPS'er. This older guy tells him him about "fake walls" and that they "had fun back then," and in one instance there were "Class-C explosives." You get the sense these are all the stories he has to share.

So that's it. An entire movie made out of something you can sum up, retell the entire thing, in one minute to friends who don't have time for the watching of it or much else. It's not binge-viewing after all, — it's only seven minutes. It's shot in Academy ratio, and on film. That, it seems to me, is one of the most important clues to what should be considered an enigmatic film, precisely because its telling is so simple. This isn't to touch upon the change of weather, the snowfall that blasts the protagonist after discovery of the Greyhound ticket. His destination, and presumable abandonment of his job, — these too are plot-points up in the air — dispensed with, really, by Fendt in the editing and conception of the picture.

Without being too modern, without being too postmodern, Fendt's picture shaves away at something that's been happening in the low-budget way. Where does Fendt go from here? Where does his protagonist go from here? These are the separator-questions that make Travel Plans such a wonderful artwork, and something no festival sidebar has yet decided to touch.

Travel Plans / Ted Fendt / 2013

Broken Specs

One of the best comic shorts (6 minutes) I've seen recently — Broken Specs by Ted Fendt, whom many people already know as the great translator of significant French texts by Godard, Straub, Moullet, Daney. It begins with shots like Caroline Champetier-era Godard, cuts to the credits the same way an '80s Godard might. Haddon Township, New Jersey. Smashed glasses. "Mike," the protagonist, eats NJ pizza with his family, his father with glasses pristine. Mike's fall into the pie. A (high-school? home-from-college?) party comes next. The comedy goes far and quick. It's a cross between the end of Bujalski's Funny Ha Ha and all of Rohmer's Paris vu par episode Place de l'Étoile.

I will never forget the refrigerator magnets of football-playing kids, something like the Facebook posts of a friend-from-when-I-was-young whom I recently reconnected with, whose life revolves precisely around the family, four kids, all ten or eight, — while some of us still suffer, barren, unattended, make the movies. Not that Fendt's in a category as pathetic, by any means, but it's a small glimpse of where a life fifteen years prior meets the improbabilities of this, the unbelievable now.

Broken Specs [2012]

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Fait Accompli: Episode 1: Caused (Reduxpost)

From Jesse Furgurson's blog, in his top movies of the year, slotted between Blue Is the Warmest Color and Gravity:

"Is it sci-fi? Is it mumblecore? Is it a Rivette riff? Is the sound supposed to be doing that? Is this rambling half-impenetrable conversation ever going to end? Am I wasting 90 minutes of my life? But if this is just navel-gazing, why does it have so much of the world in it? Is it some kind of a diary? Is it all about the image, and what digital can do with it? Da fug? Am I just sleep-deprived or is this scene as good as I think it is? Why do I feel like I'm watching Film Socialisme (2010) all of a sudden? Is this the future? When's Episode 2 coming out?"

From Zach Campbell's blog entry, Year's End, in the "Asterisks" section among great films by Gabe Klinger, Dan Sallitt, Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, and Gina Telaroli: "Craig Keller's Fait Accompli: Episode 1: Caused (another very beautiful work to look at and seep into)..."


The first (pilot) episode of an ongoing film-serial. (Subsequent episodes 10-20 minutes.) Click the full-screen icon to watch. Best watched with headphones on laptops, iPads, or iPhones, or also via AppleTV, Roku, or any smart-TVs that stream Vimeo content. Or hook your (newer) Mac up to your TV via the HDMI out.

directed and edited by Craig Keller

scenario by Craig Keller

Craig Keller
Sunita Mani
Jeffrey Gardener
Jennifer Prediger
Homayoon Khorram

special appearances:
Todd Reichart
Caroline White
Tallie Medel
Jessye Casale

music: Jake Rabinbach / Craig Keller

produced by Craig Keller and Jeffrey Gardener


Sunday, December 22, 2013

My Top 13 of 1955 (Of What I've Seen)

13. Le amiche [The Girlfriends] (Michelangelo Antonioni)

12. L'angelo bianco [The White Angel] (Raffaello Matarazzo)

11. Wichita (Jacques Tourneur)

10. Killer's Kiss (Stanley Kubrick)

9. Il bidone [The Swindle] (Federico Fellini)

8. The Trouble with Harry (Alfred Hitchcock)


7. Alfred Hitchcock Presents: "Revenge" (Alfred Hitchcock)

7. Alfred Hitchcock Presents: "Breakdown" (Alfred Hitchcock)

7. Alfred Hitchcock Presents: "The Case of Mr. Pelham" (Alfred Hitchcock)

6. Land of the Pharaohs (Howard Hawks)

5. To Catch a Thief (Alfred Hitchcock)

4. Yô-kihi [Imperial Concubine Yang] (Kenji Mizoguchi)

3. Rebel Without a Cause (Nicholas Ray)


2. Nuit et brouillard [Night and Fog] (Alain Resnais)

2. Artists and Models (Frank Tashlin)

2. Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich)


1. The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton)

1. Mr. Arkadin (Orson Welles)

1. Lola Montès (Max Ophuls)

1. The Long Gray Line (John Ford)

1. Ordet [The Word] (Carl Theodor Dreyer)


Saturday, December 21, 2013

My Top 10 of 1928 (Of What I've Seen)

10. Dom na Trubnoiy [The House on Trubnoya] (Boris Barnet)

9. Street Angel (Frank Borzage)

8. Mother Machree [incomplete] (John Ford)

7. The River [incomplete] (Frank Borzage)

6. La petite marchande d'allumettes [The Little Matchstick Girl] (Jean Renoir)

5. Four Sons (John Ford)

4. The Docks of New York (Josef von Sternberg)

3. The Last Command (Josef von Sternberg)


2. The Cameraman (Buster Keaton with Edward Sedgwick)

2. La chute de la maison Usher [The Fall of the House of Usher] (Jean Epstein)

2. Spione [Spies] (Fritz Lang)

1. La passion de Jeanne d'Arc [The Passion of Jeanne d'Arc] (Carl Theodor Dreyer)


Friday, December 20, 2013

My Top 14 of 2004 (Of What I've Seen)

14. Abenaa: "Rain" (Abel Ferrara)

13. Hana & Alice (Shunji Iwai)

12. Bergman Island: Ingmar Bergman on Fårö Island Cinema and Life (Marie Nyreröd)

11. Clean (Olivier Assayas)

10. La mala educación [Bad Education] (Pedro Almodóvar)

9. Tanner on Tanner (Robert Altman)

8. The Hand (Wong Kar-wai)


7. La niña santa [The Holy Girl] (Lucrecia Martel)

7. All the Ships at Sea (Dan Sallitt)

6. Une visite au Louvre [A Visit to the Louvre] [both versions] (Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet)

5. Chats perchés [Perching Cats] / The Case of the Grinning Cat (Chris Marker)

4. Sud pralad [Strange Creature] / Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

3. Triple Agent (Éric Rohmer)


2. The Dangerous Thread of Things (Michelangelo Antonioni)

2. Notre musique [Our Music] (Jean-Luc Godard)


1. 10 on 'Ten' (Abbas Kiarostami)

1. 2046 (Wong Kar-wai)


Thursday, December 19, 2013

My Top 14 of 1953 (Of What I've Seen)

14. The Blue Gardenia (Fritz Lang)

13. La signora senza camelie [The Lady Without Camelias] (Michelangelo Antonioni)

12. All I Desire (Douglas Sirk)

11. Jigokumon [Gate of Hell] (Teinosuke Kinugasa)


10. Gion bayashi [Gion Festival Music] (Kenji Mizoguchi)

10. Gycklarnas afton [Carnies' Twilight] [aka "Sawdust and Tinsel"] (Ingmar Bergman)

10. I vitelloni [The Sucklecalves / The Fellas] (Federico Fellini)

9. The Big Heat (Fritz Lang)

8. Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot [Monsieur Hulot's Holiday] (Jacques Tati)

7. Eaux d'artifice (Kenneth Anger)

6. Pickup on South Street (Samuel Fuller)

5. I Confess (Alfred Hitchcock)

4. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Howard Hawks)

3. Sommaren med Monika [Summer with Monika] (Ingmar Bergman)


2. Ugetsu monogatari [A Tale of the Rain and the Moon] (Kenji Mizoguchi)

2. Mogambo (John Ford)

2. Madame de... (Max Ophuls)


1. Tôkyô monogatari [A Tale of Tokyo] [aka "Tokyo Story"] (Yasujirô Ozu)

1. The Golden Coach (Jean Renoir)

1. The Sun Shines Bright (John Ford)


Sunday, December 15, 2013

My Top 15 of 1938 (Of What I've Seen)

15. Four Men and a Prayer (John Ford)

14. Holiday (George Cukor)

13. Fantasia sottomarina [Undersea Fantasy] (Roberto Rossellini)

12. The Singing Blacksmith / Yankl der Shmid [Yankl the Blacksmith] (Edgar G. Ulmer)

11. Angels with Dirty Faces (Michael Curtiz)

10. Three Comrades (Frank Borzage)

9. You and Me (Fritz Lang)

8. Anma to onna [The Masseurs and the Woman] (Hiroshi Shimizu)

7. Werther (Max Ophuls)

6. Child Bride (Harry J. Revier)


5. Quadrille (Sacha Guitry)

5. Jezebel (William Wyler)

4. The Lady Vanishes (Alfred Hitchcock)


3. Bringing Up Baby (Howard Hawks)

3. La bête humaine [The Human Beast] (Jean Renoir)

2. La Marseillaise, chronique de quelques faits ayant contribué à la chute de la Monarchie [The Marseillaise: A Chronicle of a Few Events Having Contributed to the Fall of the Monarchy] (Jean Renoir)

1. Aleksandr Nevsky (Sergei Eisenstein)


Friday, December 13, 2013

My Top 10 of 1946 (Of What I've Seen)

10. Bedlam (Mark Robson and Val Lewton)

9. Cloak and Dagger (Fritz Lang)

8. Gilda (Charles Vidor)

7. Fragment of Seeking (Curtis Harrington)

6. A Scandal in Paris: The Story of Vidocq (Douglas Sirk)

5. La Belle et la Bête [Beauty and the Beast] (Jean Cocteau)

4. The Stranger (Orson Welles)


3. My Darling Clementine (John Ford)

3. Canyon Passage (Jacques Tourneur)


2. Paisà (Roberto Rossellini)

2. Utamarô (w)o meguru go-nin no onna [The Five Women Around Utamarô] (Kenji Mizoguchi)


1. Notorious (Alfred Hitchcock)

1. The Big Sleep (Howard Hawks)


My Top 12 of 1985 (Of What I've Seen)

12. Miami Vice: "The Home Invaders" (Abel Ferrara)

11. Rocky IV (Sylvester Stallone)


10. AK (Chris Marker)

10. Ran [Chaos] (Akira Kurosawa)

9. A Nightmare on Elm Street: Part 2: Freddy's Revenge (Jack Sholder)

8. Mala Noche / "Bad Night" (Gus Van Sant)

7. Sans toit ni loi [Without Roof or Rule] [aka "Vagabond"] (Agnès Varda)

6. L'île aux merveilles de Manoël [Manoël's Marveled Island / Manoël's Treasure Island] (Raul Ruíz]

5. Détective [Detective] (Jean-Luc Godard)

4. Hurlevent (Jacques Rivette)

3. Police (Maurice Pialat)

2. Tong nien wang shi [Childhood's Past Events] / The Time to Live and the Time to Die (Hou Hsiao-hsien)


1. Shoah (Claude Lanzmann)

1. Je vous salue, Marie [I Salute Thee, Marie / Hail Mary] (Jean-Luc Godard)