Friday, October 28, 2011

situationist links

---"End the wars and tax the rich."

---shooting an Iraq vet and the cover up

---iGlide dubstep

---the indispensable film books by @mattzollerseitz

---Situationist Occupy Wall Street:

"To overthrow the `pseudo-world' of the Spectacle, the Situationists proposed two `interventions.' The first was so-called detournement, a fancy word denoting the practice of doctoring existing works of art, advertisements or publications so as to subvert their meaning. In practice, detournement is an erudite variant of painting a mustache on the Mona Lisa.

The now-famous Adbusters poster calling on people to occupy Wall Street is a subtle detournement. Ironically slick, it features a ballet dancer pirouetting atop a charging bull, which not coincidentally calls to mind the famous Merrill Lynch “Bullish on America” ad. (Presumably those Merrill Lynch executives who lost billions in collateralized debt obligations, then walked away with $3.6 billion in bonuses – a third of the now-defunct company’s TARP bailout money – are even more bullish on America.) The ballet dancer is a pure Situationist icon: rather than being an allegory of earnest struggle, like a figure in a Stalinist boy-meets-tractor painting, she evades and exceeds politics.

The Situationists’ second intervention was even odder. It consisted of the derive, a `creative drift' through the city in search of a lost `psychogeography' in which streets and neighborhoods, seen anew, would yield their dark and ecstatic secrets."

---Madonna and Lola promote something

---Microsoft's brave new world of the omnipresent screen

---the Self-Styled Siren considers Pauline Kael:

"It’s another, patronizing strain in Kael bashing that gets under my skin. I could, if I wanted to indulge in the euphemism that Kael hated, call it a double standard. Jonathan Rosenbaum, for example, can write a dismissal of Ingmar Bergman in the pages of the New York Times, and encounter little more than vigorous dissent. Kael, though, is often presumed to have other motivations wafting around her little head. Gary Indiana, at Artforum (in a piece that Wolcott also quotes) sneers that Kael "clearly had a thing for Warren Beatty, for Paul Newman, for various stars whose worst performances, in her view, paradoxically contained their best work; she rhapsodized over horrible hack directors whose ‘honest’ formulaic dreck she preferred to ‘pretentious’ films by superior directors.” Funny he should mention that. I keep encountering writers who clearly have “a thing for” Kael--like Michael Atkinson, who memorialized her in the Village Voice as “the hot-pants Queen Victoria of American film criticism,” and “the focus of gossip (a film critic!) that speculated on her liaisons with colleagues and with certain testosterone-dizzy filmmakers.”

---trailers for Grim Night, The Lorax, Chronicle, Margin Call, Elite Squad: The Enemy Within, and Into the Abyss

---A. O. Scott picks 25th Hour

---Kakutani's interview with Woody Allen:

"I’ll think of an idea walking down the street, and I’ll mark it down immediately. And I always want to make it into something. I’ve never had a block. I’m talking within the limits of my abilities. But in my own small way, I’ve had an embarrassment of riches. I’ll have five ideas and I’m dying to do them all. It takes weeks or months where I agonize and obsess over which to do next. I wish sometimes someone would choose for me. If someone said, Do idea number three next, that would be fine. But I have never had any sense of running dry. People always ask me, Do you ever think you’ll wake up one morning and not be funny? That thought would never occur to me—it’s an odd thought and not realistic. Because funny and me are not separate. We’re one."

---Pencil Head

---Elvis Costello revisits "(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes"

---Ed Howard and Jason Bellamy discuss Kubrick's Barry Lyndon:

"Instead of wrapping up loose ends, the epilogue provides an elegantly stated moral takeaway: `It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarreled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor they are all equal now.' That's the key to the film, and to Kubrick's attitude about Barry. It's a radical historical perspective that upturns all the artificial distinctions and boundaries raised by society and emphasizes the common humanity of all these people, most of them cruel and petty and greedy and foolish, whatever their class or background. They fight and scrape for some material rewards, for a noble title or riches, for the esteem granted by a lordship or a fancy estate, but they are all forgotten by time regardless. They all die and once in the ground there's nothing to distinguish the lords from the low-born, the kings from the con men, the sophisticated ladies from the farmers' wives.

In that respect, Barry Lyndon is the story of a man's wasted life. To answer your question, Kubrick sees Barry as a foolish man who never managed to grasp what's really important in life. He spends his whole life pursuing material rewards, claiming to be taking the long view—he desires security and comfort for his beloved son—but really existing in a very shortsighted manner. The film is about how petty and inconsequential life can be if we allow it to be, and about the folly of living with an eye towards posterity. In the pursuit of wealth and social status, Barry never seems to realize just how miserable his life has become. Kubrick is a master of depicting boredom and ugliness, and the nearly silent scenes of Barry and his wife endlessly shuffling papers and settling bills capture the emptiness of a life devoted exclusively to the material. The film's epilogue negates everything else that happens in the film; it's as though Kubrick is underlining just how little anything Barry does really matters in any larger sense. Kubrick sees Barry as a tragic figure, and the tragedy is not so much that he doesn't get what he wants, but that even if he had gotten it, it wouldn't have meant much, it wouldn't have made his life full or meaningful."

---David Graeber of Occupy Wall Street

---the making of GoodFellas

---"Population: The Last Taboo" by Julia Whitty:

"Planned or not, wanted or not, 139 million new people are added every year: more than an entire Japan, nearly an entire Russia, minus the homelands and the resources to go along with them. Countered against the 56 million deaths annually, our world gains 83 million extra people every year, the equivalent of another Iran. That's 1.6 million more humans alive this week than last week and 227,000 more people today than yesterday—all needing food, water, homes, and medicine for an average lifespan of 69 years. We are asking our world to supply an additional 2.1 trillion human-days of life support every single year. Eventually, most of these 83 million new people added every year will have kids, too."

---lastly, Steven Santos' Deep Focus: The Rapture

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