Thursday, September 18, 2014

Hearts and Minds (USA: Peter Davis, 1974)

Hearts and Minds (USA: Peter Davis, 1974: 112 mins)

Anderegg, Michael A. Inventing Vietnam: The War in Film and Television. Temple University Press, 1991.

Brigham, Robert K. "Hearts and Minds: The Human Connection." Current (June 24, 2014)

Canby, Vincent. "Hearts and Minds: A Film Study of Power." The New York Times (March 24, 1975)

Crist, Judith. "Hearts and Minds: The Right Side of History." Current (June 23, 2014)

Davis, Peter. "Hearts and Minds: Vietnam and Memory." Current (June 17, 2014)

---. "On Hearts and Minds." Documentary is Never Neutral (No Date)

---. "Remembering Bert Schneider." Current (June 30, 2014)

Dittmar, Linda and Michaud, Gene. From Hanoi to Hollywood: The Vietnam War in American Film. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1990.

Fonda, Jane. "Terror and Trauma." The Guardian (November 18, 2005)

Herring, George C. "Hearts and Minds: A Historical Context." Current (June 25, 2014)

Landau, Saul. "Hearts and Minds: An American Film Trial." Jump Cut #8 (1975)

Long, Ngo Vinh. "Hearts and Minds: Moving the Poeple." Current (June 27, 2014)

Ramirez, Jorge Luis. "The Depiction of Military Culture in Hearts and Minds." Trinity University (2006)

Schwartz, Larry. "Inside the Body of a War Zone." The Age (September 13, 2007)

Stetler, Karen. "Unused Footage from Hearts and Minds." Current (June 26, 2014)

Tallent, Charles. "Hearts and Minds: Analysis of War Propaganda and Dehumanization." Trinity University (2006)

Turse, Nick. "Kill Anything That Moves: New Book Exposes Hidden Crimes of the War Kerry, Hagel Fought in Vietnam." Democracy Now (January 15, 2013)

Resources for September 18, 2014

Kemp, Philip. "The Grand Budapest Hotel: Fanciful fabrication, fanatical detail and an undertone of rue combine in Wes Anderson’s most complete Sachertorte yet." Sight and Sound (March 7, 2014)

Byers, Christine. "Grand Jury Now Has Until January to Decide Whether to Charge a Ferguson Officer." St Louis Post Dispatch (September 15, 2014)

McDermot, Jim. "U.S. Ground Troops Back in Iraq? General Hints Broader Military Effort May Be Needed to Fight ISIS." Democracy Now (September 17, 2014)

Bragg, Billy and Sam Wetherell. "Debate: Should Scotland Vote for Independence?" Democracy Now (September 17, 2014)

Krzywinska, Tanya. "Transgression, transformation and titillation Jaromil Jireš's : Valerie a týden divů (Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, 1970)." Kino-Eye (September 15, 2003)

Lelyveld, Joseph. "Hillary." The New York Review of Books (September 25, 2014)

Brody, Richard. "Kiarostami's Like Someone in Love." The New Yorker (February 15, 2013)

Viola Critics Round Up (Ongoing Archive)

Sphinx Academy 2014/2015 Letterboxd Responses

Catherine H. (#1)

Morgan W. (#1)

Salma E. (#1)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Resources for September 15, 2014

Stranger by the Lake (France: Alain Guiraudie, 2013)

Ahmed, Nafeez. "How the West Created the Islamic State." TruthOut (September 14, 2014)

Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, Julian Assange, and more -- starts at 21:40

Shared by KV:

Knight, Nika. "Back to School: Interview of Diane Ravitch." Guernica (September 15, 2014) ["The former assistant secretary of education grapples with the school-reform movement and the systemic issues that plague American education."]

Fox, Brad. "There is No Real Life: Interview of Aleksandar Hemon." Guernica (March 15, 2013) ["The MacArthur "Genius" on willful delusions, the ego’s limit, and the stories we tell to make sense of experience."]

Kurtzleben, Danielle. "41 maps (and charts) that explain the Midwest." Vox (September 15, 2014)

Fang, Lee. "Who Pays the Pro-War Pundits? Conflicts of Interest Exposed for TV Guests Backing Military Action." Democracy Now (September 15, 2014)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Stranger By the Lake (France: Alain Guiraudie, 2013)

Stranger By the Lake (France: Alain Guiraudie, 2013: 100 mins)

Hudson, David. "Alain Guiraudie’s Stranger by the Lake." Keyframe (September 30, 2013)

Saner, Emine. "From Nymphomaniac to Stranger By the Lake, is Sex in Cinema Getting too Real?" The Guardian (February 21, 2014)

"Stranger by the Lake." Critics Round Up (Ongoing Archive)

Walters, Ben. "Stranger By the Lake - Lakeside cruising and what lies beneath: a spellbinding erotic mystery from French writer-director Alain Guiraudie." Sight and Sound (March 2014)

Resources for September 14, 2014

Reed, Kayla. "Japan’s Guardians Of The Galaxy ads have way more raccoons and trees." AV Club (September 12, 2014)

Marsh, Calum. "The Color Wheel: Confronting the Modern Condition." Keyframe (January 17, 2014)

Pinkerton, Nick. "New York’s Alright If You Like Saxophones: Permanent Vacation." Reverse Shot (Summer 2005)

Axemaker, Sean. "Send in THE CLOWNS: Fellini’s documentary pageant of the great clowns of Italy, France, and Britain is also a wake for the end of the circus clown era." Keyframe (January 10, 2014)

Risselada, Brian, Josh Ryan and Max Slobodin. "Shane Carruth." Syndromes and a Cinema #6 (December 8, 2013) ["... the films of Shane Carruth, an American director who also wrote, produced, edited, composed the score for, and acted in both of his two films Primer (2004) and Upstream Color (2013)."]

Risselada, Brian and Josh Ryan. "Miklós Jancsó." Syndromes and a Century #7 (February 13, 2014) ["... the films of acclaimed Hungarian director Miklós Jancsó who passed away on January 31, 2014 at the age of 92. In particular we look at his films My Way Home (1964), The Round-Up (1965) and The Red and the White (1967)."]

Tupitsyn, Masha. "On Robert Bresson." Necessary Fiction (January 8, 2014)

Clark, Ashley. "An Oversimplification of Her Beauty: A dazzling, deliquescent, take-this-heart love movie." Sight and Sound (March 2014)

Cutler, Aaron. "Film Noir: An Interview with Imogen Sara Smith." The Moviegoer (December 20, 2013)

Walters, Ben. "Stranger By the Lake - Lakeside cruising and what lies beneath: a spellbinding erotic mystery from French writer-director Alain Guiraudie." Sight and Sound (March 2014)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Resources for September 12. 2014

Francke, Katherine and Kristofer Petersen-Overton. "University of Illinois Urged to Reinstate Professor Steven Salaita, Critic of Israeli War in Gaza." Democracy Now (September 8, 2014)

O'Hara, Jay, Sam Sutter, and Ken Ward, Jr. "Exclusive: DA Joins the 2 Climate Activists He Declined to Prosecute, Citing Climate Change Threat." Democracy Now (September 10, 2014)

Karr, Tim. "Internet Slowdown: Online Protest Warns Users of What’s to Come if Net Neutrality Rules Redrawn." Democracy Now (September 9, 2014)

Kazatchkine, Michel and Ethan Nadelmann. "As Pot Decriminalization Advances in U.S., Former World Leaders Call for End to Failed War on Drugs." Democracy Now (September 10, 2014)

Battle for the Net

Benton, Michael Dean. ""Be Me, for Awhile" -- Ideological Becoming and Future Objectivity in Let the Right One In." (2009) Dialogic Cinephilia (September 12, 2014)

Wexler, Haskell. "James Foley on the Dehumanization of War: Acclaimed Filmmaker Haskell Wexler Shares 2012 Interview." Democracy Now (September 12, 2014)

Efrati, Eran. "The Untold Story of the Shejaiya Massacre in Gaza: A Former Israel Soldier Speaks Out." Democracy Now (September 12, 2014)

Michael Dean Benton: "Be Me, for Awhile" -- Ideological Becoming and Future Objectivity in Let the Right One In

"Be Me, for Awhile": Ideological Becoming and Future Objectivity in Let the Right One In
by Michael Dean Benton (2009)

[As for the controversy of the altered English translation on the current Magnolia DVD consult Icons of Frights thorough analysis and Jeffrey Wells conclusion that it is a case of the continual dumbing-it-down for the American consumer. My inclination is that all Magnolia and Magnet film releases should be considered problematic.]

I'm working a lot with Bakhtin's conception of the dialogical process of ideological becoming, so I am always fascinated by how people learn new ways of "being-in-the-world". Last night I watched Let the Right One In (Sweden: Tomas Alfredson, 2008) and later while sleeping I awoke from a powerful dream in which the images of the film where circulating with words of Bakhtin. Here is what I wrote down:

Film (or, if you prefer, art) in this sense can be a tool that allows us to step into the shoes of beings we do not know and for a time wonder how they may perceive the world. International film provides us with a plurality of voices (polylogical discourse) that can provide important counters to the dominant (possibly controlling) narratives of our own culture and/or perspectives. My critique of films, then, always involves a sense of the authenticity of the performative act. Does the film(makers) allow me to authentically experience a different/unique reality? That doesn't mean it has to be purely naturalistic/realism. What it does mean is that the film(makers) does not grossly manipulate the audience, that the film is open to interpretation, and, yet, the voices/actions of the characters are authentic. You may reply to this statement, that these distinctions would rest on a subjective analysis and thus would be open to interpretation, and I would say yes, exactly, let the dialogue begin!

Last night I watched the Swedish vampire film Let the Right One In for the second time. The film is a good example of what I am thinking of when I talk about ideological becoming. So let me explore a few of the aspects that I think relates to my sense of Bakhtin's concept of "ideological becoming." These are beginning notes:

The monster is that uncertain cultural body in which is condensed an intriguing simultaneity or doubleness: like the ghost of Hamlet, it introjects the disturbing, repressed, but formative traumas or "pre-" into the sensory moment of "post-," binding the one irrevocably to the other. The monster commands, "Remember me": restore my fragmented body, piece me back together, allow the past its eternal return. The monster haunts; it does not simply bring past and present together, but destroys the boundary that demanded their twinned foreclosure. (Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome. Preface: In a Time of Monsters. Monster Theory: Reading Culture, 1996:ix-x)

1) Oskar is constantly bullied by his peers and is unable to develop his own authentic voice. We see him struggling to say something to defend himself against the sadistic trio that make his life hell, but he is unable to give "voice" to his pain/anger. A particularly pitiful scene is when he goes out into the frozen courtyard with the fetishistic knife and, in a manner reminiscent of Travis Bickle, acts out his revenge fantasies on a frozen telephone pole. This is a familiar character in the many post-Columbine teen revenge stories, an inarticulate, geeky, passive kid overwhelmed with the desire for revenge against aggressively conformist social peers who ignore or degrade him (and it is generally boys enacting these violent fantasies?). In this sense we can understand the "aggressively conformist social peers" as the dominant monologic discourse that seeks to control the narrative of reality and the maladjusted kid struggling to "authentically" challenge this controlling narrative. Sadly, this can often takes the route of mindless, destructive violence, in which "innocents," perhaps other struggling kids seeking their own authentic voice, are struck down by the random violence of the frustrated victim.

2) Destructive power. The bullies insist that Oskar is a pathetic animal not worthy of their respect. This is repeatedly acted out by them upon Oskar's being on a daily basis. They taunt him with pig-like noises, command him physically in a degrading manner, and violently beat on him. Oskar begins to internalize the "controlling" narrative of his oppressors, and his violent fantasies are re-enactments of the only source of power he recognizes--the physical violence of his torturers/oppressors.

3) Authentic engagement. In essence this film is about the human need to authentically connect with other beings. Eli becomes the representation of a powerful alternative to the controlling narrative of Oskar's torturers. Eli, a vampire, is a wise observer of her surroundings and of other people. She is also much more empathetic than any human we see in the film. She feels deeply the pain of Oskar and demonstrates her awareness of it when she repeats his words from earlier in the film when he was acting out his revenge fantasies in the frozen courtyard:

Oskar: Who are you?
Eli: I'm like you.
Oskar: What do you mean?
Eli: [accusing tone] What are you staring at? Well?
Eli: Are you looking at me?
Eli: [points her finger at Oskar] So scream! Squeal!
Eli: Those were the first words I heard you say.
Oskar: I don't kill people.
Eli: No, but you'd like to. If you could... To get revenge. Right?
Oskar: Yes.
Eli: Oskar, I do it because I have to.
Eli: Be me, for a while.
Eli: Please Oskar... Be me, for a little while.

Eli the vampire is much more sympathetic than any of the other characters in the film. The sadistic trio of kids torture Oskar for no apparent reason other than they get off on this false power of controlling a weaker being. The group of addled adults that increasingly become central to the narrative are all grotesquely alienated from each other while fearfully huddling together, or, as in the case of semi-responsible authority figures, completely oblivious to the cruelties of the children in their care. Most of the adults use intoxicants to escape from their stark reality rather than develop an authentic sense of another way of being. This is also glimpsed in the ruins of the fractured marriage of Oskar's parents when his father shuns Oskar in order to mindlessly get drunk with a creepy friend.

When Eli suggests to Oskar "Be me, for a while" she is asking him to ideologically "become" her for awhile, to step into her shoes and see what she sees. To authentically open himself up to seeing from another position.

4) So how do we begin to develop a method of being and observing that resists the ordering tendencies of controlling narratives? How could we ever accomplish anything practical without attempts to “master” the essence of beings? How can we open up a space within which new forms of knowledge can be observed and formulated? One starting point is the development of a new form of objectivity that recognizes the benefits of the development of a radical transperspectivity:

… to see differently in this way for once, to want to see differently, is no small discipline and preparation of the intellect for its future “objectivity”—the latter understood not as “contemplation without interest” (which is a nonsensical absurdity), but as the ability to control one’s Pro and Con and to dispose of them, so that one knows how to employ a variety of perspectives and affective interpretations in the service of knowledge.

… There is only a perspective seeing, only a perspective “knowing”; and the more affects we allow to speak about one thing, the more eyes, different eyes, we can use to observe one thing, the more complete will our “concept” of this thing, our “objectivity,” be” (Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals: 555).

This radical transperspectivity expresses a recognition of human sense of objectivity as “already” informed so that it can only authentically be developed through the attempt at developing many perspectives. In this way will one move closer toward an always out-of-reach objective sense. Of course this is a constantly evolving process in which we must continue to re-fresh our perspectives as our environments and our situations change. As Maurice Blanchot has argued, language and truth always simultaneously involves both a revealing and a reveiling. Exposure and masking are also the dual operation of all presentation and re-presentation. When we seek to understand the “essence” of a being we must clear a space through re-thinking our positions/situations. This openness allows for the “possibility” of unconcealment because we do not close up in our own solipsistic view, rather we desire to strive towards a Heideggerian entschlossen—a resolve to remain “un-closed” (Translator notes, “On The Essence of Truth”: 131). In order to remain “un-closed” we attempt to answer the Nietzschean call to resist the “Human, All Too Human” urge to “cling to what is readily available and controllable.” So, through the clearing away of objective traditions and the development of a transperspective we open up spaces that allow for the “essence of freedom to be thought” (“On the Essence of Truth”: 125). This is very important because only through the “freedom” to “be” will any “being” begin to reveal its “essence”. We are at a key point here because this freedom is produced through an engagement that “withdraws in the face of beings in order that they might reveal themselves with respect to what and how they are, and in order that presentative correspondence might take its standard from them.” This is the sublime moment that Bataille describes in The Impossible (1991): “As I was staring at the void in front of me, a touch – immediately violent and excessive – joined me to that void. I saw that void and saw nothing, but it, the void, was embracing me” (143). The void is the “clearing” space that will provide the freedom for unconcealment. This void terrifies many because it is the point when one must be secure with(in) themselves in order to “let beings be.” This openness to experience, this desire to rigorously interrogate one’s own beliefs, this desire for a “vision of excess”, leads to the moment in which we must be prepared for the “void” to look back at us. Through a radical “self-subversion” (Bataille) of subjectivity we can begin to prepare ourselves for this fateful experience when we stare into the void of our inner selves. By a new recognition of truth as involving concealment and errancy we enter a stage of “becoming” whereby it becomes possible to rethink our positions/conclusions. We gain another step in our becoming by examining what our own situated truth(s) cover or suppress. Hence, when we arrive at a truth we must have the courage and fortitude to uncover/expose what our truths conceal. In this we can begin to understand that as beings we are involved in a continual process of “becoming” and that our own sense of “becoming” rests upon our ability to clear a space for the “essence” of being to be revealed.

4) A final question: Why would the author of the source novel create this vampire in the manner he has (vaguely hinted at in one quick shot in the film) and why would it become so central to Eli's character? "Would you love me if I wasn't a girl?" This is a radical question that flies in the face of controlling narratives that seek to limit the way we interact with beings in our world. The question asks if Oskar is strong enough to reject the terroristic/monologic narrative that seeks to set limits upon our ability to love freely. Yes, love freely... You will only love what we tell you to love and you will only feel desire for what we say is proper for you to desire and you will only have sex within the limits we seek to impose on you. If you defy these controlling moral edicts, then your eternal soul will be damned forever, if you flaunt your defiance of this controlling narrative we may be forced to pre-empt God's future judgment and beat/kill you here-and-now.

5) "Be me, for awhile" ... powerful plea to step into another's shoes and experience the world as they do.

“Perhaps the impossible is the only chance of something new, of some new philosophy of the new … Perhaps friendship, if there is such a thing, must honor [faire droit] what appears impossible here” (Derrida,1998: 36).

I have no doubt ran off the road in my response to the film, perhaps you might help me to get back on track :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Resources for September 10, 2014

Wade, Lisa. "10 Things Every College Professor Hates." Business Insider (August 26, 2014)

Murray, Noel. "All That Jazz." The Dissolve (September 8, 2014)

Ehrlich, David. "Director’s Cut: Hirokazu Kore-eda (Like Father, Like Son)." Film (January 15, 2014)

"FBI: No credible threats to US from Islamic State." Associated Press (August 22, 2014)

"Damascene Conversions - Isis, Assad And The Bombing Of Iraq." Media Lens (September 1, 2014)

Forster, Peter. "Fifty Shades of Ick: Gay Panic and Star Discourse/Star Panic and Gay Discourse." Bright Lights Film Journal (August 27, 2014)

Zirin, Dave. "It’s Not Just Ray Rice: The NFL’s History of Condoning Domestic Abuse." Democracy Now (September 9, 2014)

"Dave Zirin: Sportswriter." Dialogic Cinephilia (Ongoing Peace and Conflict Studies Archive)

Merriam Webster Word-of-the-Day

repugn \rih-PYOON\

verb: to contend against : oppose

Over 450 students signed the petition repugning the school board's decision to fire the popular teacher.

"Still to come, bad blood between Bloom and Bieber. Will we ever know what happened when the movie star repugns the pop star?" — Lester Holt, NBC News Transcripts, August 2, 2014

Repugn is a word that was relatively common in English in the 16th and 17th centuries. These days, however, English speakers are more likely to be familiar with one of its close relatives, namely, the adjective repugnant, which formerly meant "hostile" but today most commonly means "exciting distaste or aversion." The Latin root for both of these words is pugnare, meaning "to fight." Other English derivatives from this root are pugnacious, meaning "belligerent," and impugn, meaning "to assail with words or arguments." Even pungent is a relative of pugnare. Therefore, don’t try to repugn, or impugn for that matter, the influence of pugnare on our language—lest you appear pugnacious!

Dave Zirin: Sportswriter (Ongoing Peace and Conflict Studies Archive)

Biographies/Archives/Social Media on Dave Zirin:

Edge of Sports (Zirin's weekly sports column)

Articles on The Nation

Twitter: @EdgeofSports

Wikipedia Page

Books featured on Haymarket Books

Appearances on Democracy Now

Articles on Common Dreams

Resources by/about Dave Zirin:

Zirin, Dave. "Are Teams Right to Refuse to Play Israel?" The Nation (June 6, 2010)

---. "Arizona: Boycott the Diamondbacks." The Guardian (April 27, 2010)

---. "Brazil’s World Cup Will Kick the Environment in the Teeth." The Nation (April 22, 2014)

---. "Dump the Redskins Slur." The Nation (October 30, 2013)

---. "Enough: An open letter to Dan Snyder." Grantland (June 13, 2013)

---. "ESPN Journalists Speak Out on Concussion Documentary." The Nation (August 26, 2013)

---. "Here Comes Los Suns: On Sports and Resistance." Making Contact (July 27, 2010)

---. "It’s Not Just Ray Rice: The NFL’s History of Condoning Domestic Abuse." Democracy Now (September 9, 2014)

---. "Jason Collins: the Substance of Change." The Nation (April 20, 2013)

---. " Jeremy Lin Inspires a Nation: The NBA point-guard phenom has sparked a national discussion about racism against Asian-Americans." The Nation (February 29, 2012)

---. " John Carlos, 1968 Olympian, Speaks Out on LGBT Rights: “You need to follow your conscience, follow your heart and follow your wisdom.”" The Nation (January 2, 2012)

---. "Jonathan Ferrell, Former Football Player, Killed by Police After Seeking Help Following Car Wreck." The Nation (September 16, 2013)

---. " The LGBT Movement Takes Aim at Sochi: The Russian government’s anti-gay scapegoating diverts attention from what appears to be the most corrupt Olympics in history." The Nation (January 22, 2014)

---. "The NCAA: Poster Boy for Corruption and Exploitation." The Nation (March 10, 2013)

---. ""A Neo-Liberal Trojan Horse": Dave Zirin on Brazil’s Mass Protests Against World Cup Displacement." Democracy Now (June 19, 2014)

---. Not Just a Game: Power, Politics and American Sports." Media Education Foundation (2010)

---. "On the Death and Life’s Work of the Unconquerable Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter." Common Dreams (April 21, 2014)

---. "On the Politics of Sports." Media Matters (August 25, 2010)

---. "Out for Executing the NBA Game Plan: The Atlanta Hawks and That Levenson E-mail." The Nation (September 8, 2014)

---. "The People Speak: When Television Makes History." Common Dreams (December 9, 2009)

---. "Prayers For the People in Boston, Baghdad and Mogadishu." Democracy Now (April 16, 2014)

---. "Ray Rice Is Not the First Domestic Abuser Tolerated by the NFL." The Nation (September 9, 2014)

---. "The Revictimizing of Janay Rice." The Nation (January 8, 2014)

---. "The Ring and the Rings: Vladimir Putin's Mafia Olympics." The Guardian (June 18, 2013)

---. "The UConn Huskies Win ‘NCAA Hunger Games Bingo’." The Nation (April 8, 2014)

---. "The Unforgiven: Jack Johnson and Barry Bonds." Edge of Sports (June 19, 2007)

---. "Wisconsin: Solidarity Among Workers … And Football Players." Yes! (February 17, 2011)

---. "The World Cup You Won’t See on TV: Protests, Tear Gas, Displaced Favela Residents." Democracy Now (June 16, 2014)

---. "Yes, I ‘Question the NFL's Commitment’ to Being a Force Against Domestic Violence." Edge of Sports (September 1, 2014)

Here Comes Los Suns - Dave Zirin from RedReel on Vimeo.

Altman, Alex. "A People's History of Sports." Time (September 22, 2008)

Blackhorse, Amanda and Dave Zirin. "Meet the Navajo Activist Who Got the Washington Redskins’ Trademark Revoked: Amanda Blackhorse." Democracy Now (June 19, 2014)

Tracy, Mark. "Field of Schemes—How Politics Infected Sports." The New Republic (June 23, 2013)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Resources for September 8, 2014

There Will Be Blood / Through Numbers from Ali Shirazi on Vimeo.

The Passion Of Martin Scorsese_ A Tribute Video from Ali Shirazi on Vimeo.

Bowden, Charles. "Observations about the American psyche, essays on the natural world, and gritty stories about drug violence and other crimes." Radio West (September 5, 2014)

St. John, Allan. "How HBO's 'True Detective' Will Change The Way You Watch Television." Forbes (January 13, 2014)

Zirin, Dave. "Out for Executing the NBA Game Plan: The Atlanta Hawks and That Levenson E-mail." The Nation (September 8, 2014)

culprit \KUL-prit\


1 : one accused of or charged with a crime

2 : one guilty of a crime or a fault

3 : the source or cause of a problem

After the empty warehouse burned down, an investigation determined faulty wiring to be the culprit.

"Police searched a parking structure in the Mid-City area of Los Angeles Saturday for one of two armed suspects who robbed a pedestrian but were unable to locate the culprit." — Los Angeles Daily News, August 2, 2014

We would be culpable if we didn't clearly explain the origins behind culprit. Yes, it is related to culpable, which itself derives from Latin culpare, meaning "to blame," via Middle English and Anglo-French. But the etymology of culprit is not so straightforward. In Anglo-French, culpable meant "guilty," and this was abbreviated "cul." in legal briefs and texts. Culprit was formed by combining this abbreviation with prest, prit, meaning "ready"—that is, ready to prove an accusation. Literally, then, a culprit was one who was ready to be proven guilty. English then borrowed the word for one accused of a wrongdoing.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Resources for September 6, 2014

M*A*S*H* (USA: Robert Altman, 1970)

Halper, Evan. "Local Communities Are Taking Control Of Their Power Supply." Popular Resistance (September 4, 2014)

Choma, Russ. "Two Grand Juries Continuing Probe Into 2012 Iowa Payola Scandal." Open Secrets (September 4, 2014)

Murphy, Jill. "Dark Fragments: Contrasting Corporealities in Pasolini’s La ricotta." Alphaville #7 (Summer 2014)

Krauss, Dan. "hrough the Lens: The Kill Team." Radio West (September 1, 2014)["We continue our Through the Lens series Tuesday with "The Kill Team." A U.S. Army platoon made headlines in 2010 after if was learned they'd murdered several innocent Afghan civilians. In his film, director Dan Krauss examines those events and their fallout through the story of Adam Winfield, one of the guilty soldiers. Winfield tried to alert the military of the atrocity he and his comrades committed. His warnings went unheeded and Winfield found himself the target of a massive war crimes investigation. Krauss joins us to discuss his film, which explores the intersection of morality, conflict, and violence.">

Sands, Julian. "A Celebration of Harold Pinter." Radio West (September 2, 2014) ["As the Nobel-winning playwright, Harold Pinter was known for his intense, uncomfortable, and dark works. But he was also a poet, and in 2005, he asked the actor Julian Sands to step-in for a reading Pinter was too sick to perform. Sands says what he found was the work of a sensitive man of immense love. After Pinter’s death, Sands created a one-man show from his prose and poetry."]

Teicholz, Nina. "The Big Fat Surprise." Radio West (September 3, 2014) ["Since the 1950s, a war has been waged in America against an accused dietary culprit: fat. Avoid fat, we were told, and you’ll live longer and healthier. However, as the investigative journalist Nina Teicholz discovered, there isn’t solid evidence of the benefits of a low-fat diet nor of the dangers of fat. In a new book, Teicholz reviews the science and history of the war on fat and she joins us Thursday to explain how America’s nutrition was derailed by personal ambition, bad science, and politics."]

Bordwell, David. "Three Dimensions of Film Narrative." Observations of Film Art (Excerpted chapter 3 from Poetics of Cinema. NY: Routledge, 2007.)