Cinema Themes: The "Femme" Fatale
(films from the land of Lola Lola and Humbert Humbert)
Ann Wodinski writes:
Thanks Ann, I've added it.
Elsewhere a real monster is found lurking beneath the war news.
Colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni).
On My Way There
Two wishbones on the subway's floor.
Caterina.net: Breton auction.
Alamut.com: 11 December 1999: "At the bedside of Master Breton."
Alamut.com: 2 October 2000: "While on the topic of alienation does anyone have any idea how many people André Breton excommunicated from the Surrealist Movement during his lifetime?"
On My Way Back
This morning, still dark, a few minutes after leaving the ayahuasca space in Amsterdam.
Carefully Recorded Time
Finished reading Robbe-Grillet's cine-novel The Immortal One (1963) this evening. My God. A text describing no more than an hour and a half running time took me a full week to get through. I suppose it is one thing to read a film script and another to read a Robbe-Grillet film script...
Three Figures of Interest
La Femme Fatale. Le Couple Maudit. La Belle Captive.
A Famous Dutch Necronym
N. read somewhere that Vincent van Gogh, born March 30, 1853, was in fact the necronym of his stillborn brother, Vincent van Gogh, born a year earlier on March 30, 1852.
The war seems nearly over. Yesterday I spent the day doing nearly nothing -- I watched Claude Chabrol's Merci pour le Chocolat and Lars von Trier's Europa/Zentropa. Today I've spent the day doing nearly nothing as well -- reading bits and pieces from various books and sleeping.
Quote of the Day:
The Real and the Uncanny. Watched both John Frankenheimer's The Manchurian Candidate and Andrei Tarkovsky's The Sacrifice last night. While Frankenheimer is certainly no Tarkovsky in many respects his film is just as remarkable in its relation to the Real and the Uncanny as any of Tarkovsky's works -- one cannot watch The Manchurian Candidate without wondering at its (1) air of forewarning -- as a precursor to the assassinations of the 60's (John Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy), and (2), Frankenheimer's own experience at the Ambassador Hotel in 1968.
Greil Marcus: Chronicle of a Death Foretold
People Weekly (May 16, 1988): Director John Frankenheimer's The Manchurian Candidate Plays to a Full House after 26 Years
(Re: Frankenheimer's alleged brush with Sirhan Sirhan. After his collapse, Otto, the postman who collects 'uncanny incidents' and meditates on eternal recurrence in Tarkovsky's The Sacrifice (a film of recurring collapses), asks the others: "What was that? What do you think?" and then proceeds to answer his own question, "It was only an evil angel passing by, who saw fit to touch me.")
(Who said the war is over?)
The Infinite Rehearsal
Gino Moliterno: Zarathustra's Gift in Tarkovsky's The Sacrifice.
Good paper discussing Tarkovsky's reference to Nietzsche's ethical proposition -- ie. "How might we act in the face of eternal recurrence?"
Includes (in note #19) another surprising example of the 'return' in literature:
See also Petr Král: Tarkovsky, or the burning house.
Aftermath: Sunday, 6 April 2003.
Shock and Awe
Shock and awe at CNN's video showing Baghdad's ransacked National Museum.
Watched about half of Peter Greenaway's Drowning by Numbers (1988) this evening. I remember watching this film when it first came out and disliking it. Well... I still don't like it. Even though it possesses a strong formal structure, games, and death (a few of my favorite things) -- its manner of farcical frivolity puts me off.
Definition of Melodrama
Woke up wondering about this. And wondering whether what I mean when I say 'melodrama' is the same as what others mean. I looked it up. Here's what the experts say.
Melodrama. When the subject is the object even when the subject is as completely unstructured as an inner monologue. I've been watching (and enjoying) Wender's Der Himmel über Berlin the last couple of days. And asking myself... this continuous inner monologue... is this not melodrama in its purest form?
Currently watching Ritwik Ghatak's Calcutta melodrama 'The Cloud-Capped Star' (1960).
Currently reading Adam Phillip's study of escapology Houdini's Box: The Art of Escape.
News from Ground Zero. Following the recent war in Iraq it seems that the weblog has become, at least in the eyes of some of the 'professional media', a legitimate news provider. The Guardian Unlimited Website has link page on SARS (called a 'Weblog Special') with links to various weblogs 'embedded' in the areas hardest hit by the epidemic including It's a Zoo Out There (Singapore), Flying Chair (Hong Kong), and Peking Duck (Beijing -- owner left this weekend because of the hysteria).
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