Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Resources for December 31, 2013

Yeah, Christmas is over, but this is still amusing. Fourgrounds Media asks "Here’s What Christmas Morning Would Look Like Through the Lens of Your Favorite Directors

Steven Perlberg for Business Insider: "We Saw Wolf Of Wall Street With A Bunch Of Wall Street Dudes And It Was Disturbing"


Trailer for Giuseppe Tornatore's newest film:




Unwelcome Guests episodes:

Episode #13 - Biotechnology (Battle Royale of the 21st Century) "This week's program is devoted to biotechnology. Policy analyst Kristin Dawkins is our featured lecturer. Her talk is entitled "Biotechnology: Battle Royale of the 21st Century" which discusses the global economic and political context of the push for genetically modified foods."

Episode #17 - Biotechnology and Food (Vandana Shiva et al on Frankenfoods, Biodiversity and Biopiracy) "In the first hour, we present excerpts from a symposium on biotechnology and food organized by the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County. The panelists were Margaret Smith, a plant breeder on the Cornell faculty, Dorothy Wrase Hares, a nutritionist; Jane Andrews, a spokesperson for Wegman's grocery stores, Lou and Merby Lego, organic farmers and Tony DelPlato of the Ithaca Area Safe Food Campaign. In the second hour, Vandana Shiva speaks on biodiversity and biopiracy (intellectual property rights for life patents)."


Papayanis, Marilyn Adler. "The Wanking Widow and Other Indecorous Dames: Three Films about Maternal Transgression and the 'Fortunate Fall.'" Bright Light Film Journal #82 (November 2013)

Police State USA reports: "TSA releases cartoon animation to introduce kids to warrantless checkpoints: Federal propaganda targets kids to accept the police state"


The Night Porter (Italy: Liliana Cavani, 1974: 118 mins)




Bill Chappell for Two-Way: "The Other 'F Word': Brewer Responds To Starbucks Over Beer Name"


My new year's resolution is fairly basic, but probably the most important one yet:
1) devote my self to being a more considerate/attentive lover, family member, friend, and community member.
2) a present from Laura will hopefully be a guide for realizing how I can work toward the type of community/world I wish to live in
3) push my creativity/writing to break through new realizations and forms
4) continue to develop and initiate new forms of learning in my courses (especially those that develop student autonomy, creativity and responsibility)
5) help someone I respect get elected to city council (already a couple of good, new candidates)
6) get outside in the natural world as much as possible

The Night Porter (Italy: Liliana Cavani, 1974)



The Night Porter (Italy: Liliana Cavani, 1974: 118 mins)

Barker, Jennifer Lynne. The Aesthetics of Antifascist Film: Radical Projection. Routledge, 2013. [Get through interlibrary loan]

Hudson, David. "Sex in the Movies." Green Cine (2005)

Insdorf, Annette. "The Night Porter." The Current (January 10, 2000)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Resources for December 27, 2013

Bailey, Jason. "An ... excerpt from Pulp Fiction: The Complete Story Of Quentin Tarantino’s Masterpiece." The Dissolve (November 20, 2013)

Rieff, David. "Hannah and Her Admirerers: Margarethe von Trotta’s biopic of Hannah Arendt is a film about ideas that remains intellectually detached from them." The Nation (December 9, 2013)

Dave Zirin for The Nation: "Jonathan Ferrell, Former Football Player, Killed by Police After Seeking Help Following Car Wreck"





Variety feature Screen Actors Guild Awards Preview: 35 Actors Discuss Their Favorite Performances of 2013

Noah Gitell for The Atlantic: "Film's Failed Quest to Understand JFK's Death: Directors keep trying to show all the things the famous Zapruder footage missed, but they only end up revealing truths about their times"

The Wire: "Check Out Edward Snowden's Not-So-Jolly Holiday Greeting"

Scott Feinberg for The Hollywood Reporter: "Bernardo Bertolucci, Through Trials and Travails, Maintains That Cinema 'Is Life'"

Unwelcome Guests:

"Episode #11 - Patriotism as Militarism (Nuclear Pollution in US and WW2 reconsidered)" "This week we start by hearing about how the US government was uninterested in the deaths and injuries caused in the US by its nuclear bomb tests during WW2. We continue our lecture series with Michael Parenti. His lecture on "Superpatriotism" describes how the idea of 'patriotism' is used to manipulate people into becoming willing cannon fodder for the war machine, and who benefits from this."

"Episode #12 - Corporate Bias and Censorship in the News Media (Michael Parenti, Toxic Dreams and RBGH)" "In the first hour, we continue Michael Parenti's lecture series with "The Hidden Ideology of the News Media". In the second hour, we look at two cases where business interests and profit motive have resulted in the suppression of news stories about health risks to the community. Cara Ben-Yaakov, talks about how the Ithaca Times censored her story "Toxic Dreams" which revealed that Ithaca officials are planning to build a shopping center on the site of a toxic waste dump that already threatens the health of residents of a mobile home park, as well as the health of Cayuga Lake itself. Then, an interview with Steve Wilson and Jane Akre, two reporters who are suing Fox TV after they were fired several years ago for refusing to report false information about the health risks of Monsanto's genetically engineered bovine growth hormone."

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Resources for December 25, 2013

Chris Crass for Truth-Out: "Expecto Patronum: Lessons From Harry Potter for Social Justice Organizing"







Katie McDonough for Salon: "Pussy Riot freed from prison"

Check out Letterboxd: "Letterboxd is a social network for sharing your taste in film. Use it as a diary to record your opinion about films as you watch them, or just to keep track of films you’ve seen in the past. Showcase your favorite films on your profile page. Rate, review and tag films as you add them. Find and follow your friends to see what they’re enjoying. Keep a watchlist of films you’d like to see, and create lists/collections on any given topic, for example: favorite heist films. We’ve been described as “like GoodReads for movies”."

Unwelcome Guests:

Episode #9: Technology and the Corporatization of Culture (Corporate Monoculture and Academic Freedom) "Michael Parenti [on] 'Corporate Monoculture and Academic Freedom' about how corporate trustees autocratically determine what ideas are acceptable in our educational institutions. In the second hour, ... a look at the impact of technology in enabling global corporate control, and its role in propangandizing the values of corporate capitalism. Jerry Mander of the International Forum on Globalization, and public interest attorney Andy Kimbrell are the speakers."

Episode #100: The Long Theft (Global Trade, Seattle '99 and the FTAA) "In our first hour, we hear a panel of seven speakers who will discuss the threat posed by the FTAA - and the damage its predecessor treaties have done to workers, family farmers, women and ecosystems of the nations in which they have been implemented. In our second hour, Iain Boal will discuss a new book, The Battle of Seattle, which chronicles the ideas, history and social movements against corporate globalization."

Episode #101: Daring to Say No (Citizens Challenge the War on Drugs and the American Gulag) "A growing number of voices from across the political spectrum are daring to say that the drug war does not reduce drug use. That choosing to wage a 'war' on drugs stimulates a violent, underground economy, an economy which would collapse if drug prohibition ended. And that this decades long war on drugs is not making our country safer, simply less free. In the first hour of our program, a documentary by Curt Scroell focusing on highlights from a drug policy conference held earlier this month at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Then in our second hour, a community forum : NYS Prisons, Inside and Out, which was held earlier this month in Ithaca as part of a New York interfaith prison pilgrimage."

“I love the idea that knowledge can make us closer to the world, as opposed to make us feel superior to the world.”— Guillermo del Toro

Keith Hayward and Roger Matthews in The Guardian: Jock Young obituary: Criminologist who questioned conventional ways of thinking about crime and its control

Friday, December 20, 2013

Jeremiah McNeil on Blue is the Warmest Color (France/Belgium/Spain: Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013: 179 mins)



I waited to post my impressions of BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR until it had finished its run at The Kentucky. I didn't want to color anyone's opinion of the film going in. I posted this in another FB group and in the comments section on The Dissolve and got a variety of interesting responses. Suffice it to say that this film is controversial.

Here are my thoughts on BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR:

Richard Brody's review of Assayas's APRÈS MAI argued that Assayas's style in that film exemplified a new "Tradition of Quality" in French art cinema. I disagree. But rather than explaining that disagreement by examining Assayas's work in that film (which is entirely consistent with his style elsewhere), I want to focus on BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR, whose director I feel is the face of the contemporary ToQ.

The contemporary Tradition of Quality is, above all else, "realist." Its fundamental premise is that cinema should present a compelling semblance of "real" life. Films in this style are staged and shot in a manner intended to overcome the viewer's sense of disbelief. They do this by assuming the formal language of documentary cinema - intentionally shaky handheld cameras that refocus to change emphasis within the frame or whip pan to catch a gesture of interest, and an abundance of extreme close-ups that simulate the experience of watching "talking head" interviews on television.

These techniques have been common in Western art cinema since roughly the beginning of the 1960s, when Late Neorealism and the French New Wave simultaneously assimilated the aesthetics of cinema verite into narrative fiction filmmaking. But in the last decade, the style has become exaggerated beyond its capacity to effectively tell a story. Films telling reasonably realistic dramatic stories are filled with close-ups, obliterating the bodies of the performers and making body language irrelevant to the actors' performances. Rather than enhancing the emotive capacity of films these close-ups actually limit their expressive range. Actors cannot perform with their bodies; settings become blurred space along the edges of the frame. The remarkably complex and emotionally resonant blocking of filmmakers like Kenji Mizoguchi, Fritz Lang, Hong Sangosoo and, yes, Olivier Assayas is impossible in this style.

The signature gesture of the contemporary ToQ is the whip-pan. It is used not to refocus attention within the composed frame as a close-up would be within traditional narrative aesthetics but to shift the frame so as to include an object or gesture previously not visible. This gives the impression that something spontaneous is happening that the filmmaker feels must be captured. However, the conscious viewer is aware that the gesture is not spontaneous; it is acted. The complex montage of the ToQ style necessitates numerous set-ups and multiple takes within each set-up. This means that no gesture is unrehearsed and unreplicated. Nothing that happens in the ToQ style is spontaneous. Thus the camera gesture which imitates spontaneity is explicitly artificial. It adds a layer of artifice to the already explicit artifice of the blocking, making the film less, rather than more, realistic.

Kekiche's signature technique within the ToQ style is to bookend a scene with wide shots that show all or most of the characters' bodies, then immediately cut - usually within ten seconds - to the sequence of close-ups that constitute the bulk of a scene. Kekiche's style thus denies to the audience the importance of the body as a means of expression. It is, for all intents and purposes, no more than part of an establishing shot, like the exterior of a building in a multi-camera network sitcom.

Kekiche's tendency to reduce the body to mere scenery is the most likely reason audiences have responded to the long sex scenes in BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR with accusations that they are pornography. For ten or so minutes of the film the screen luxuriates in bodies. Nude female flesh consumes the frame. If Kekiche's style has heretofore shown that he considers the body no more than background his sudden emphasis on the contours and ecstasies of the body seems prurient. The film's curiously echoey sound design makes every slap, slurp and squelch of these scenes uncomfortably visceral. Unmotivated lighting gives their bodies the stylized shading of pin-up models. The camera focuses on breasts, labia and frequently buttocks. The film's pseudo-realistic, close-up heavy aesthetic is violated by virtually every aspect of these scenes' construction.

The modern viewer should have become accustomed with graphic, often unsimulated fucking by now. We have seen oral, manual and penetrative sex acts performed by couples of every possible gender arrangement often enough that by now such content should not inspire controversy. But these scenes' digression from Kekiche's formal strategy, their length and their graphic quality combine to suggest that Kekiche is trying to arouse his viewer and is certainly arousing himself. But graphic sex within the heavily aesthetized style of the ToQ will always be pornographic. What seems natural and even beautiful in Reygadas, Akerman or Haigh is rendered outrageous or exotic by the ToQ style. Denying the importance of the body continuously and deliberately only to revel in its sexual throes fetishizes it. This is akin to the heavily aesthetized presentation of bodies in pornography.

There is, however, more to the film than floating heads and pornographic sex. Kekiche may rarely reveal a distinctive point of view through style but he remains a keen observer of human behavior. Adele's constant eating may be a trite metaphor for "lust for life" but it is so well-integrated into her personality that it is less a grasp at profundity than believable psychology. Kekiche's one compelling formal technique is to use the out-of-focus background space that often occupies as much as half the frame to show significant character behavior. The best and most distinctive shot in the film shows Adele chewing loudly in focus in the foreground while her father, out-of-focus, does the same behind her. This image says more about Adele's connection with her family than dialogue can possibly communicate and is one of the few instances in the film of Keliche telling his story through his style.

Adele is a fascinating character. Art cinema all too often depicts art and its creators with dull piety but BLUE shows it through Adele's uncomfortable perspective. She is an uncommon type in cinema: a moderately intelligent member of the working class with modest artistic gifts she has no intention of honing. The film is at its most compelling when it juxtaposes Adele's and Emma's respective milieu. Adele is a bisexual who never comes out of the closet to her family or coworkers, but Kekiche empathizes with her ambivalence. Neither her judgmental family and classmates nor Emma's over-frank parents and fellow artists fully understands her, and we never see Adele truly comfortable. She doesn't come of age so much as she grows to accept that she will never be at peace with her identity.

Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux are, as everyone has said, fantastic. Kekiche is a superb director of actors despite his reputation for cruelty. There is nothing more genuinely realistic in this film than its performances.

The quality of the performances and the complexity of the central character's psyche make BLUE a compelling film despite its stylistic blandness. I found myself unexpectedly quite moved. That the film was able to move me despite my numerous objections to Kekiche's style is no small achievement. Kekiche is a gifted storyteller and director of actors. But his direction exemplifies the generic Tradition of Quality of contemporary European arthouse cinema. If only he would devote more energy to developing a style as powerful as his storytelling he might become a filmmaker worth noting. At present his film is better than his direction.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Resources for December 12. 2013

Richard Metzger at Dangerous Minds shares a recent speech from the creator of The Wire and Treme: "Dangerous Idea: Every American needs to SEE David Simon’s ‘My country is a horror show’ speech!"





Andy and Lana Wachowski's follow up to Cloud Atlas:




A.O. Scott for The New York Times provides his top 15, some runner ups, and five key documentaries: "Feasts for the Eyes, 1,001 Nights’ Worth: A. O. Scott’s Top Movies of 2013"

Monohla Dargis for The New York Times: "The Festival World, and What’s Beyond: Manohla Dargis’s Top Films of 2013."

Minor Compositions presents a guide on "How to think politics with and through the body?": Nanopolitics Handbook





Cashell, Kieran Anthony. "Charm and Strangeness: The Aesthetic and Epistemic Dimensions of Derek Jarman’s Wittgenstein." Film-Philosophy 16.1 (2012)

Nolan Rosenkrans for the Toronto Blade: "100 protest BGSU plan to cut 30-40 faculty jobs: Union officials want to discuss alternatives"

Lindsey Upton for Uprooting Criminology: "Taking Stock, Again: Beyond homelessness and re-entry"


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Wire (USA: David Simon, 2002-2008: HBO Series)



The Wire (USA: David Simon, 2002-2008: HBO Series)

Dawson, Mike. "Television Special: The Wire." Left Field Cinema (February 25, 2009)

Metzger, Richard. "Dangerous Idea: Every American needs to SEE David Simon’s ‘My country is a horror show’ speech!" Dangerous Minds (December 11, 2013)

Simon, David, quoted in Watson, Garry. "The Literary Critic, the Nineteenth Century Novel and The Wire." Cineaction #84 (2011): 32-40.

Resources for December 11, 2013




Jay Livingston Sociological Images: "Crime Sprees or Media Themes? Organizing the News"





Carla Rivera for The L.A. Times: "San Diego State to offer certificate in LGBT studies"





Andrew Gavin Marshall on Boiling Frogs: "Part 1 of an interview series on the New World Order" which includes discussions of "the central role of the Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Ford Foundations in the construction of knowledge and the transformation of America from an ‘isolationist’ society to a ‘globalist’ society, and the concerted and strategic effort by these institutions in seeking to engineer and manage the social sciences to fit within the framework of an emerging American Empire. He warns about the slight and subtle process through which a potentially powerful movement such as Occupy Wall Street may be co-opted and controlled, and shares with us his 12-Point proposal for the Occupy Movement to ‘be the change.’ Mr. Marshall provides us with his view and definition of the New World Order, the role of institutions, including the NGOs, the importance of true independence in counter-movement and protests and more!"

According to A.K. Tettenborn at Fudge That Sugar I am a "Feminist."


Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day:

albeit awl-BEE-it\

conjunction: conceding the fact that : even though : although

Troy has finally landed a role in a Broadway play, albeit as a minor character.

"Earth is an afterthought—just one of the 'nine realms,' albeit the one with Natalie Portman." — From a movie review by Jake Coyleap in The Daily Commercial (Leesburg, Florida), November 7, 2013

Speakers of Middle English formed "albeit" from a combination of "al" ("all, completely") with "be" and "it," creating this word which literally means "although it be." Use of "albeit" seemed to drop off a bit in the 19th century, but in the middle of the 20th century several usage commentators observed that the "archaic" word was making a comeback. The "archaic" descriptor was not entirely apt; "albeit" may have become less common for a while but it never really went out of use. It is true, however, that use of "albeit" has increased considerably since the 1930s, judging by evidence in Merriam-Webster's files.


David Pescovitz for Boing Boing shares "Music: DF Tram's "Movie Mix" journey through filmspace"

wifty * adjective * eccentric or eccentrically silly; dizzy

"As a citizen, I have the right to represent a point of view. That's central to our democracy - the right to dissent, the right to provide a different point of view that's out in the open, in the full view of the American people." - Representative Barbara Lee

Power (Key Concept)

Understanding culture in terms of relationships of power is what lies behind the argument that questions of meaning, interpretation, and identity are political issues, and that we can talk about ‘cultural politics’ or ‘the politics of identity.’ Power is often defined in terms of one set of people exerting power over another set of people, or over space, or nature, or the landscape in order to control them and their meanings in various ways. This ‘negative’ definition of power is useful in that it makes it clear that there are different interests and that they can come into conflict (often over cultural issues). It also raises the question of the forms of resistance (again often cultural) which contest the exercise of power. However, we might also understand power as being ‘positive.’ This means that power is not just about preventing things from happening, it is also the capacity to make things happen. Here power is part of all sorts of forms of social and cultural construction. Power is involved in constituting identities (including those of the individuals or social groups who are understood to ‘hold’ power), social relations (such as the relationships between men and women), and cultural geographies (such as the definition of national identities, or of ‘East’ and ‘West’ in Orientalism). (9-10)

Ogborn, Miles. “Knowledge is Power: Using Archival Research to Interpret State Formation.” Cultural Geography in Practice. Ed. Alison Blunt, et al. Oxford UP, 2003: 9-22.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Resources for December 10, 2013




The Film Doctor: "Frances Ha, cinematic movement, and the French New Wave"

The Guardian has a multi-part, multimedia feature on the Edward Snowden NSA Files: "NSA Files: Decoded - What the Revelations Mean for You"

Victor Kappeler for Uprooting Criminology: "Ideology and the Historic Moment of Production: Part 1"

Marc H. Ellis for Mondoweiss: "Exile and the Prophetic: Arendt vs. Wiesel at the crossroads of Jewish empire consciousness"

Louis Proyect reviews the film Hammah Arendt (2012) and discusses his personal experiences with some of the people portrayed in the film: "Hannah Arendt"

Recommended Film:







Daniel Burke for CNN's Belief Blog: "Satanists want statue next to 10 Commandments"

True Activist: "Nestle CEO: Water Is Not A Human Right, Should Be Privatized"

From Colorlines:

Carla Murphy: "FBI Arrests LA County Jails Officers"

Jamilah King: "Anti-Eviction Protestors Block Google Bus in San Francisco"

The Godfather: Part Two (USA: Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)



The Godfather: Part Two (USA: Francis Ford Coppola, 1974: 200 mins)

Freedman, Carl. "Hobbes After Marx, Scorsese After Coppola: On GoodFellas." Film International (2011)

---. "The Supplement of Coppola: Primitive Accumulation and the Godfather Trilogy." Film International 9.1 (2011): 8-41

Gamman, Lorraine. "If Looks Could Kill: On gangster suits and silhouettes." Moving Image Source (May 8, 2012)

Kuersten, Erich. "The Primal Father (CinemArchetypes #8)." Acidemic (March 19, 2012)

MacDowell, James. "John Cazale: Stepped Over." Alternate Takes (June 12, 2012)

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (USA: Francis Lawrence, 2013)



The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (USA: Francis Lawrence, 2013: 146 mins)

Blatt, Ben. "A Textual Analysis of The Hunger Games." Slate (November 20, 2013)

Fisher, Mark. "Remember Who the Enemy Is." The North Star (November 8, 2013)

Koski, Genevieve, et al. "Battle Royale / Hunger Games Series (Pt. 1)." The Next Picture Show #3 (November 24, 2015) ["With the final installment of the blockbuster YA series THE HUNGER GAMES hitting theaters, we look back to the material many accused HUNGER GAMES author Suzanne Collins of ripping off: 2000's BATTLE ROYALE, a hyper-violent Japanese film adaptation of a hyper-violent manga about kids killing kids in a government-mandated slaughter. In this episode, we get into the many similarities – and many more differences – between the two, as well as BATTLE ROYALE's reputation and place in the larger scope...]

---. "Battle Royale / Hunger Game Series (Pt. 2)." The Next Picture Show (November 24, 2015)

Krule, Miriam. "The Hunger Names." Slate (November 21, 2013)

Prickett, Sarah Nicole. "Teenage Riot." Art Forum (November 22, 2013)

Schippers, Mimi. "Compulsory Monogamy in The Hunger Games." Sociological Images (December 2, 2013)


Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Harder They Come (Jamaica: Perry Henzell, 1972)



The Harder They Come (Jamaica: Perry Henzell, 1972: 120 mins)

Casimir, Ulrick. "A question of audience: Revisiting Perry Henzell’s The Harder They Come." Jump Cut #53 (Summer 2011)

Dare, Michael. "The Harder They Come." Current (October 30, 2000)

"The Harder They Come." See Hear #30 (July 19, 2016) ["Perry Henzel’s 1972 film, “The Harder They Come” starring reggae superstar, Jimmy Cliff. This film is important in so many respects – it brought Jimmy Cliff to a worldwide audience, it had a brilliant soundtrack, and it was the first Jamaican feature film. Henzel declared he made it for Jamaica, but many people outside Jamaica have embraced it as it encompasses the well used movie theme of fighting back against a corrupt society in all its facets – employers, the recording industry, religion, and the law. Jimmy Cliff plays Ivan, a young naïve country man coming to Kingston hoping to make it in the music industry, but has his dreams crushed at every turn – until he decides to take matters into his own hands, for better or worse. Make no mistake - he is an anti-hero with many failings of his own. Tim, Bernie and Maurice discuss these themes as well the influence it has left on so many other films, music as politics, where the movie fits into the mood of film movement of the day, and whether you can really hold off an entire army with one six-shooter. Tim even suggests a unique ratings system for this movie."]





Resources for December 9, 2013

Open Culture posts:

"Nelson Mandela’s First-Ever TV Interview (1961)

"Filmmaker Michel Gondry Presents an Animated Conversation with Noam Chomsky"


Elana Starr's handout for her Cinema courses at Villanova University: "Ideology"





Katherine Brooks for The Huffington Post: "Stunning Nude Photo Series Challenges What It Means To Be 'Attractive' (NSFW)"

Lorraine Gamman for Moving Image Source: "If Looks Could Kill: On gangster suits and silhouettes."





Alex Fitch for Electric Sheep Magazine in conversation with "actors Simon Bamford (Ohnaka) and Nick Vince (Kinski), restoration producer Russell Cherrington and restoration editor Jimmy Johnson discuss the reconstruction of the director’s cut of Clive Barker’s Nightbreed, which is being presented at various venues to help fund a high definition print": "Reconstructing Nightbreed"

Criterion posted a video in Current of Anna Karina discussing how she met Jean-Luc Godard: "When Anna Met Jean-Luc"

Mark Fisher at The North Star examines the radical message of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire: "Remember Who the Enemy Is"

Ideology (Concept)

Starr, Elana. "Ideology and Cinema." (Course materials: N.D.)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Resources for December 8, 2013

Katharina Bonzel for Screening the Past: "A League of Their Own: The Impossibility of the Female Sports Hero."

"I Hate Pink Floyd," and Other Fashion Mistakes of the 1960s, '70s, and Beyond" by George A. Reisch for Popular Culture and Philosophy: To Listen to the Episode (MP3)

Holly Simms-Bruno and Gary Potter for Uprooting Criminology: "Money for Nothing: Whiteness, Terrorism, Surveillance and Profit"

Virginie Sélavy for Electric Sheep Magazine podcasts interviews "Melanie Light, director of Switch, Kate Shenton, director of Bon Appetit, and Jennifer Eiss, co-director of Short Lease" in a special feature on women directors working in the make-dominated genre of Horror: "Bloody Women: A Birds Eye View Special"


Reality Check Podcasts:

Alex Fitch for interviews Nicolas Alberny and Jean Mach, the directors of Eighth Wonderland, "an extract from the Tron: Legacy press conference in which director Joseph Kosinski, stars Jeff Bridges and Olivia Wilde and others talk about their sequel to a VR film classic": "Virtual Worlds on Film

Alex Fitch and Lily Savy-Gorman talk to director John Hough about Escape to Witch Mountain and Alex also interviews Duncan Jones about Source Code: Source Code and Witch Mountain





John Trayton for Bright Lights Film Journal: "David Ayer's End of Watch (2012) and the Militarization of U.S. Law Enforcement."

If you have not seen Errol Morris' 1988 documentary The Thin Blue Line, get it asap. Not only a great documentary that revolutionized our conception of documentary filmmaking (aesthetics and politics), but a great example of a creative filmmaker patiently (forensically?) recreating the scene of the crime multiple times to reflect shifting testimonies/perspectives. You feel like you are in a jury and the case is being presented to you. Also, as far as I know, this was the first film that successfully freed a person on death row (and he was convicted for killing a police officer in Texas -- what are the odds of doing that?)





Open Culture posts: "Slavoj Žižek Examines the Perverse Ideology of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy"

The Thin Blue Line (USA: Errol Morris, 1988)



The Thin Blue Line (USA: Errol Morris, 1988: 103 mins)

Feld, Rob. "Errol Morris: Truth be Told." Directors Guild of America (Winter 2011)

LoBrutto, Vincent. "Birth of a Nonfiction Film Style: The Thin Blue Line." Becoming Film Literate: The Art and Craft of Motion Pictures. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2005: 305-311. [BCTC Library: PN1994 L595 2005]





Palmer, Landon. "6 Filmmaking Tips From Errol Morris." Film School Rejects (September 25, 2013)

Rosenbaum, Ron. "Errol Morris: The Thinking Man's Detective." The Smithsonian (March 2012) ["The documentary filmmaker has become America's most surprising and provocative public intellectual."]

Shenk, Jon. "Playback: Errol Morris' The Thin Blue Line." Documentary (Summer 2013)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Resources for December 6, 2013

"Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity." -Nelson Mandala.

Michel Gondry is the guest on Democracy Now to discuss his new film about the public intellectual Noam Chomsky: "Animating Noam Chomsky: French Director Michel Gondry on New Film Is the Man Who is Tall Happy?

Noam Chomsky, also on Democracy Now: "On Education & How "Manufacturing Consent" Brought Attention to East Timor Massacres."

Nicholas Rombes continues to expand my conception of film writing/criticism (and soon, my teaching of films), here is one in a series of posts on Tarantino's Django Unchained (2012): "Django Take #3: (Re)chained"

Richard Brody for The New Yorker: "The Life Lessons of Spring Breakers".





sapiosexual (n) one who is attracted to or aroused by intelligence in others

As I was walkin’ I saw a sign there
And that sign said “No tresspassin’”
But on the other side, it didn’t say nothin’
Now that side was made for you and me

In the squares of the city / In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office, I see my people
And some are grumblin’ and some are wonderin’
If this land’s still made for you and me

--Woody Guthrie, "This Land Is Your Land" (1940)


Project Censored puts out a yearly list of the Top 25 Censored News Stories. This is essential for anyone interested in media and/or knowledge/information. Here is the archive for the past annual Top 25s


Merriam-Webster's Word-of-the-Day

hibernaculum \hye-ber-NAK-yuh-lum\

noun: a shelter occupied during the winter by a dormant animal (as an insect or reptile)

"The affliction has spread and stands to threaten major bat hibernacula to the south and west." — From an article by Curtis Runyan in Nature Conservancy, Winter 2009

"The Game Commission estimates that close to 100,000 bats hibernated in Long Run Mine as recently as two years ago, making it the largest hibernaculum in the state then." — From an article by Mary Ann Thomas in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, October 28, 2013

If you're afraid of snakes or bats, you probably won't enjoy thinking about a hibernaculum, where hundreds, even thousands, of these creatures might be passing the wintry months. Other creatures also use hibernacula, though many of these tend to be a bit inconspicuous. The word "hibernaculum" has been used for the burrow of a woodchuck, for instance, as well as for a cozy caterpillar cocoon attached to a wintry twig, and for the spot in which a frog has buried itself in the mud. Hibernacula are all around us and have been around for a long, long time, but we have only called them such since 1770. In case you are wondering, "hibernate" didn't come into being until the second decade of the 19th century. Both words come from Latin "hibernare," meaning "to pass the winter."


Martin Hart-Landsberg for Sociological Images: "Does Rising Inequality Threaten Economic Stability?"

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Discourse (Key Concept)

Discourse is a way of thinking about the relationship between power, knowledge and language. It is a concept most associated with the work of the French theorist Michel Foucault, who understood discourses as the frameworks that define the possibilities for knowledge. As such, a discourse exists as a set of ‘rules’ (formal or informal, acknowledged or unacknowledged) which determine the sorts of statements that can be made. These ‘rules’ determine what the criteria for truth are, what sort of things can be talked about, and what sorts of things can be said about them. One of the most carefully worked through and explicitly geographical examples is Edward Said’s (1978) Orientalism where he sets out the discourse (which he calls ‘Orientalism’) through which ‘the West’ has made statements about ‘the East,’ defining the sorts of things that get said about ‘the oriental mind,’ ‘the oriental landscape,’ or ‘oriental despotism,’ and defining itself as the opposite in the process. This raises two important points. First, that the aim of the idea of discourse is to suggest that there are many discourses, none of which simply tells the truth about the world. All of these discourses are ways in which our knowledge and language create the world as well as reflecting it … . The second point is that that the discourse that prevails is a matter of power not simply truth. Since discourses define the way things are understood, even whether things can be understood to exist or not, then part of any struggle for power is a struggle over language and knowledge, over discourse. (11)

Ogborn, Miles. “Knowledge is Power: Using Archival Research to Interpret State Formation.” Cultural Geography in Practice. Ed. Alison Blunt, et al. Oxford UP, 2003: 9-22.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Is the Man Who is Tall Happy? (France: Michel Gondry, 2013)



Is the Man Who is Tall Happy? (France: Michel Gondry, 2013: 88 mins)

Ali, Tariq and Noam Chomsky. "Global Politics." The World Tomorrow (June 26, 2012)

Chomsky, Noam. "Activism, Anarchism and Power." Conversations with History (March 2002)

---. "America's Economic Suicide." AlterNet (May 4, 2012)

---. "Anarchism." (1976 interview with Peter Jay posted on YouTube)

---. "Concision in the Media." Manufacturing Consent (1992: reposted on YouTube January 26, 2007)

---. "Democracy and Education"/Language and Politics. Dialogic [Excerpts posted November 29, 2009)

---. "Direct Action, Occupy and the Power of Social Movements." Rochester Red and Black (April 16, 2013)

---. "Education for Whom and What?" Z Communications (February 27, 2012)

---. "The Emerging World Order." Unwelcome Guests #622 (September 22, 2012)

---. "Everyday Anarchist." Modern Success (April 14, 2013)

---. "The Global Economic Crisis, Healthcare, US Foreign Policy and Resistance to American Empire." Democracy Now (April 13, 2009)

---. "Globalization Marches On: Growing popular outrage has not challenged corporate power." Common Dreams (March 26, 2010)

---. "Excerpt from The Kingdom of Survival." (Posted on Youtube: Slowboat Films, 2011)

---. "Language, Politics, and Composition." Journal of Advanced Composition 11.1 (1991)

---. Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (Canada/Australia/Finland/Norway: Mark Achbar and Peter Wintonick, 1992: 167 mins)



---. "The Occupy Movement to the Arab Spring." On Point (June 11, 2012)

---. "Occupy Wall Street "Has Created Something That Didn’t Really Exist" in U.S. — Solidarity." Democracy Now (May 14, 2012)

---. "On Corporate Personhood." (8 minute video in which he answers a question at a public presentation on April 22, 2011)

---. "On Education & How Manufacturing Consent Brought Attention to East Timor Massacres." Democracy Now (December 3, 2013)

---. "On the Basic Role of (Non-Participatory) Sports." Dialogic (Excerpts of Chomsky quote published in Robert F. Barsky's The Chomsky Effect: November 5, 2009)

---. "On WikiLeaks, Obama’s Targeted Assassinations and Latin America’s Break from the U.S." Democracy Now (May 14, 2012)

---. "Palestinian Hunger Strike a Protest Against "Violations of Elementary Human Rights." Democracy Now (May 14, 2012)

---. "Philosophies of Language and Politics." FORA TV (October 6, 2009)

---. "Propaganda, American Style." Propaganda Review (Winter 1987-88)

---. "The Purpose of Education." (Video posted on YouTube: February 1, 2012)

---. "The State-Corporate Complex: A Threat to Freedom and Survival." Needs No Introduction (April 21, 2011)

---. "There Is Much More To Say" ZNet (May 2011)

---. “This is the Most Remarkable Regional Uprising that I Can Remember” Democracy Now (February 2, 2011)

---. "The Torture Memos: Torture has been routine practice from the early days of the Republic." Z Magazine (June 2009)

---. "US Expansion of Afghan Occupation, the Uses of NATO, and What Obama Should Do in Israel-Palestine." Democracy Now (April 3, 2009)

---. "What the American Media Won't Tell You About Israel." AlterNet (December 3, 2012)

Chomsky, Noam and Robert Trivers. "The anti-war activist and MIT linguist meets the Rutgers evolutionary biologist in the Seed Salon to discuss deceit." (September 6, 2006)

Chomsky, Noam, et al. "Occupy 2.0 (Peer Produced Politics)." Unwelcome Guests (March 10, 2012)

Crowmwell, David and David Edwards. "Snowden, Surveillance And The Secret State." Media Lens (June 28, 2013)

Gondry, Michel. "Animating Noam Chomsky: French Director Michel Gondry on New Film Is the Man Who is Tall Happy?" Democracy Now (December 3, 2013)

Herman, Edward S. and Noam Chomsky Manufacturing Consent: A Propaganda Model. Pantheon Books, 1988 (Excerpts posted at Third World Traveler)

Marshall, Colin. "Filmmaker Michel Gondry Presents an Animated Conversation with Noam Chomsky." Open Culture (November 25, 2013)

Resources for December 4, 2013

Kevin Brown interviews for History for the Future:

Historian Kim Phillips-Fein on the making of the conservative movement from the New Deal: "Invisible Hands"

Sociologist Erin Hatton on the historical development of a "temp economy": "From Kelly Girls to Permatemps"

Historian Sophia Rosenfeld: "The History of 'Common Sense'"





Lofty Nathan for The New York Times has made a short documentary video: "Riding With the 12 O’Clock Boys: A group of dirt bike riders in Baltimore have been called reckless. But to them, riding their bikes provides a sense of escape."

Libraries raised me. I don’t believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don’t have any money. When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years. ~ Ray Bradbury, 1920-2012

"What is history for? What do we want it to do? In 1731, an obscure Kentish schoolmaster named Richard Spencer offered some answers. Properly to ascertain his position in geographical space, he reasoned, required not a single map, but access to a global atlas, one that would allow him to ‘see what London and the adjacent parts are in the kingdom; what the kingdom is in Europe, and what Europe is in the universe’. Much the same, he thought, applied to history. ‘Particular histories represent to you, what things have happen’d to such or such a People, with all their circumstances,’ he explained: ‘But to understand the whole clearly, you must know what relation every history can have to others.’ Only when such connected and wide-angled histories were available, might one hope to ‘see all the order of time’." -- Linda Colley, "Wide-Angled" (2013)





Tammy Castle for Uprooting Criminology provides a contextual analysis of the film Blood Diamond (2006): "Blinded by the Light: Resisting the Diamond Invention."

logolepsy (n) an obsession with words

Marc H. Ellis for Mondoweiss: "Film Review: Hannah Arendt is a love letter, eulogy and elegy to the prophetic voice"

Rubenstein, Richard L. The Cunning of History: The Holocaust and the American Future. NY: Harper Colophon, 1978. [excerpts from pages 15-33]


Richard L. Rubenstein: The Cunning of History: The Holocaust and the American Future



Rubenstein, Richard L. The Cunning of History: The Holocaust and the American Future. NY: Harper Colophon, 1978.

{MB—pages 12-21 examine the judicial process that led to the development of the death camps and mass extermination. Important in this legalistic development was the designation of “apatrides or stateless persons” (12) at the end of WW1. These were people who had been denied any official standing in the nation and thus could be prosecuted or jailed at any time for no reason at all. Also the process of denaturalization or denationalization was increasingly used during and after the 1920s to deal with unwanted minority groups within the European states. This was an effective stripping of any rights whatsoever. Concentration camps first appeared across Europe to deal with apatrides (or refugees).}

The concentration camps for the apatrides served much the same purpose as did the original Nazi camps in 1933 and 1934. In the popular mind, the first Nazi camps conjure up images of wild sadism by brutal brown-shirted storm troopers. The images are, of course, well deserved, but they tend to hinder precise understanding of the development of the camps as a legal and political institution. (Rubenstein, 15)

Initially, the concentration camps were established to accommodate detainees who had been placed under “protective custody” (Schützhaft) by the Nazi regime. Those arrested were whom the regime wished to detain although there were no clear legal justification for so doing. Almost all of the original detainees were German communists, not Jews. Had the Nazis’ political prisoners been brought before a German court in the first year or two of Hitler’ regime, the judiciary would have been compelled to dismiss the case. This was not because the German judiciary was anti-Nazi, but because it was bureaucratic in structure. In the early stages of the Nazi regime, there was no formula in law to cover all the political prisoners the Nazis wanted to arrest. This problem was solved by holding them under “protective custody” and setting up camps outside of the regular prison system to receive them. Incidentally, the American government did something very similar when it interned Japanese-American citizens during World War II. They had committed no crime. No court would have convicted them. Prison was not the place to detain them. Happily, as bad as were the American concentration camps, they were infinitely better than the German counterparts. (15-16)

One of the least helpful ways of understanding the Holocaust is to regard the destruction process as the work of a small group of irresponsible criminals who were atypical of normal statesmen and who somehow gained control of the German people, forcing them by terror and the deliberate stimulation of religious and ethnic hatred to pursue a barbaric and retrograde policy that was thoroughly at odds with the great traditions of Western civilization. On the contrary, we are more likely to understand the Holocaust if we regard it as the expression of some of the most profound tendencies of Western civilization in the twentieth century. (Rubenstein, 21)

In order to understand more fully the connection between bureaucracy and mass death, it will be necessary to return to the apatrides. They were the first modern Europeans who had become politically and legally superfluous and for whom the most “rational” way of dealing with them was ultimately murder. A majority of the apatrides had lost their political status by a process of bureaucratic definition, denationalization. (Rubenstein, 31)

Men without political acts are superfluous men. They have lost all right to life and human dignity. Political rights are neither God-given, autonomous nor self-validating. The Germans understood that no person has any rights unless they are guaranteed by an organized community with the power to defend such rights. They were perfectly consistent in demanding that the deportees be made stateless before being transported to the camps. They also understood that by exterminating stateless men and women, they violated no law because such people were covered by no law. Even those who were committed by religious faith to belief in natural law, such as the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic church, did not see fit to challenge the Nazi actions publicly at the time. (Rubenstein, 33)

Communication (Concept)

Communication as a word derives via French from the Latin communicare meaning ‘to share’, ‘to make common’, as well as ‘to impart’ (information) and ‘to convey’ (goods). The distinctions among these meanings are worth emphasing because they point to fundamental differences in the theory and practice of a whole range of activities we now call communications. Basically, there are four interrelated ways in which we can conceive of the process of COMMUNICATION: one-way; two- or many-way; exchange and change; through medium and context.

1) In a one-way process, information is ‘imparted’ or goods ‘conveyed’ from one person (or source) to another: addresser to addressee; A - B. In terms of language this corresponds to monologue, and is generally referred to as uni-directional, linear or transference model of communication. This model is properly used in communications engineering where the aim is to transmit a signal from transmitter to receiver in the purest form possible and with the minimum interference or ‘noise’. Monologic, one-way modes are also common in social situations where there are marked differences in power and authority (e.g., in traditional sermons and lectures, where the preacher or teacher is institutionally empowered to speak for long stretches without interruption or audible response).

2) In a two- or many-way process, information is shared, goods are made collectively, and they are in some sense held in common. In terms of language this corresponds to dialogue, and is in general referred to as a multidirectional, recursive (‘feedback’) or interactive model of communication. In this case the emphasis is on communication as a complexly interactive process, not simply proactive or reactive. For instance, addresser A talks to addresser B, who then responds but is interrupted by addresser C. Meanwhile, participant D goes out without saying anything but having heard everything (though she wasn’t meant to). She is thus, technically, neither addresser nor addressee, but is still a very important participant. Such many-way modes of communication are the norm in conversation, and in this case the activities of interruption or joining in are not merely ‘noise’ or ‘interference’ to be eliminated. They may turn out to be a crucial part of the interaction.

3) Communication as a process of change as well as exchange. This applies whether the communication system involved is as obvious as a plane full of people or a ship full of cargo (i.e. transport system) or as inconspicuous as a trace on a computer screen or a movement of air between speaker’s mouth and a hearer’s ear. In any event—in every event—neither the vehicles which carry the ‘message’ (the MEDIA), nor the materials themselves nor the participants involved are left unchanged by the process. Nothing arrives exactly as dispatched; it may or may not reach its projected destination, and both senders and receivers are never quite—or at all—the same again. Notice, too, that this notion of communication as ex/change has a symbolic or semiotic dimension. Values are transformed, never simply transferred, once they are communicated. In this respect all communication is a form of translation and revaluation in the fullest senses.

4) Communication also varies markedly according to MEDIUM, context and participants. It is convenient to distinguish various kinds of communication in these respects, some of which overlap:

• face-to-face, where all participants are ‘present’ in that they are in the same time and place, share an immediate context and can address one another directly (e.g., most conversation);

• mediated, where one or more of the participants is ‘absent’ and in a different time or place; the contexts are therefore various and some of the commun-ication must be indirect (e.g., all writing, print and telecommunications, including television and the Internet);

• ‘live’, where participants communicate at the same time but in different places (e.g., a telephone conversation, an instantaneous broadcast). The inverted commas confirm the mediated aspect of the contact;

• Recorded, where some trace of the message is stored and may be subsequently retrieved. Writing, print, film, audio and audio-visual tape, as well as computer memory and disks are all ‘recording’ technologies in these respects;

• Non-verbal, not using words, but other signs and sign-systems. (Notice that the treatment of ‘verbal’ as norm and ‘non-verbal’ as marked betrays a word-based, logocentric, bias.)

A couple of further cautions and qualifications may be added. First, all communication is in some sense interpersonal, so it can be confusing to talk specifically about interpersonal communication when what is meant is face-to-face interaction. A more precise and useful distinction is that between interpersonal communication (self with others e.g., ‘I’ with ‘you’. ‘she’ with ‘he’) and intrapersonal communication (self with self e.g., ‘I’ with ‘me’). Second, we must beware of treating face-to-face communication as unproblematic and even the norm. Certainly, face-to-face communication may be more immediate than mediated or recorded communication, but it is not necessarily simpler or less problematic. For one thing there are many more codes to cope with in face-to-face communication than in writing or print: ‘body language’ and context as well as verbal language. For another thing the participants may be physically present in the same time and space; but they may have widely varying premises, aims, values and frames of reference. People are still in some respects absent from one another even when they are ostensibly ‘present’. Indeed, PSYCHOLOGICALLY, no one is wholly ‘present’ to (i.e. conscious of) her or him self—let alone to others. What’s more, all experiences are mediated by our consciousness and by our perceptual—including biological and technological—apparatuses. Hence the need to understand mediation as both apparatus and process.

Pope, Rob. English Studies Book: An Introduction to Language, Literature, and Culture. 2nd ed. Routledge, 2002: 66-68.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Resources for December 3, 2013

"The real political task in a society such as ours is to criticize the workings of institutions that appear to be both neutral and independent, to criticize and attack them in such a manner that the political violence that has always exercised itself obscurely through them will be unmasked, so that one can fight against them." -- Michel Foucault (1971)

The latest issue of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists is out and the special theme is "Destruction, Art, and the Doomsday Clock": November/December 2013; 69 (6)

Nicholas Rombes for Filmmaker "For 12 months, three times a week, he would scrutinize a single frame from David Lynch’s modern classic, looking both inside and outside of its aspect": The Blue Velvet Project. Scott Macauley provides the introduction to this ambitious project: "Now it’s Dark… The Blue Velvet Project"








tomfoolery \tahm-FOO-luh-ree\

noun: playful or foolish behavior

"Scott Ferber grew up one of three boys in a house with a strict mother who did not tolerate any tomfoolery." — From an article by Sarah Gantz in the Baltimore Business Journal, October 18, 2013

"People's success also signaled a shift in the overall tone of print journalism, away from the stentorian voice of Time, the literariness of The New Yorker, and the New Journalism tomfoolery of New York and Esquire, to something looser, more image-saturated, and obviously market-friendly." — From an article by Jim Windolf in Vanity Fair, October 16, 2013

In the Middle Ages, "Thome Fole" was a name assigned to those perceived to be of little intelligence. This eventually evolved into the spelling "tomfool," which, when capitalized, also referred to a professional clown or a buffoon in a play or pageant. The name "Tom" seems to have been chosen for its common-man quality, much like "Joe Blow" for an ordinary person or "Johnny Reb" for a soldier in the Confederate army, but "tomfoolery" need not apply strictly to actions by men. In Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables (1908), for example, Marilla Cuthbert complains of Anne: "She's gadding off somewhere with Diana, writing stories or practicing dialogues or some such tomfoolery, and never thinking once about the time or her duties."





“To the leaders of the cinema still to come, I can offer only a few words drawn from my modest experience. You must ceaselessly formulate and sharpen your critical views, both of others and of yourselves.” -- Nagisa Oshima

BBC Filmmaker/Journalist Adam Curtis on his website The Medium and the Message asks whether "maybe the real state secret is that spies aren't very good at their jobs and don't know very much about the world": "Bugger"

Michael Dean Benton for Uprooting Criminology: "Steve McQueen’s Hunger (2008): A Powerful Exploration of Political Resistance and Retributive Justice

PDF of Roland Barthes' classic 1977 book Image * Music * Text

PDF of Hannah Arendt's classic 1958 book The Origins of Totalitarianism








Adam Curtis (Filmmaker/Journalist)

Archives on/by Adam Curtis and his documentaries:

Thought Maybe: Adam Curtis' Films

Wikipedia: Adam Curtis

The Medium and the Message (Adam Curtis' BBC Blog)

Adam Curtis Films (Four documentaries and three short films)

Adam Curtis on Youtube Channel

The Guardian: Adam Curtis


Resources by/about Adam Curtis and his documentaries:

"Adam Curtis, the contrarian documentarian (part 1 of two)." Media Funhouse (October 16, 2013)

"Adam Curtis, the contrarian documentarian (part 2 of two)." Media Funhouse (October 17, 2013)

Atkinson, Michael. "Archival Trouble: The fiction-free science fiction of Adam Curtis." Moving Image Source (February 16, 2012)

Ball, Norman. "The Power of Auteurs and the Last Man Standing: Adam Curtis' Documentary Nightmares." Bright Lights Film Journal #78 (November 2012)

Curtis, Adam. "All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace." Little Atoms (May 20, 2011)

---. "The Baby and the Baath Water." The Medium and the Message (June 16, 2011)

---. "Bugger." The Medium and the Message (August 8, 2013)

---. "The Curse of TINA." The Medium and the Message (September 13, 2011)

---. "Paradiabolical." The Medium and the Message (January 30, 2013)

---. "TV needs 'new tools' to tell its stories." The Guardian (August 22, 2012)

Hoberman, J. "The Phantom Menace: Unclear and present danger -- Three-part polemic constructs novel narrative of neo-con game." The Village Voice (November 29, 2005)

Obrist, Hans Ulrich. "In Conversation with Adam Curtis." E-Flux #32 (February 2012)

Ronson, Jon. "In Conversation with Adam Curtis." Vice (January 15, 2015)

Stewart-Ahn, Aaron. "How Adam Curtis' film Bitter Lake will change everything you believe about news." Boing Boing (March 19, 2015)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hannah Arendt (Germany/Luxemborg/France: Margarethe von Trotta, 2012)



Hannah Arendt (Germany/Luxemborg/France: Margarethe von Trotta, 2012: 113 mins)

Andac, Ben. "Great Directors: Margarethe von Trotta." Senses of Cinema (December 2002)

"Arendt." Mondoweis (Ongoing archive of articles/debates/opinions about Hannah Arendt and her writings)

Arendt, Hannah. "Archive of Writings." New York Review of Books (Ongoing)

---.The Origins of Totaliatarianism. Cleveland, OH: World Publications, 1958.

Atwood, Margaret, Roger Berkowitz and Sally Parry. "From Hannah Arendt to The Handmaid's Tale." The Sunday Edition (May 7, 2017)

Berkowitz, Roger. "Defending the Humanities While Trashing Them." Hannah Arendt Center (No Date)

---. "Lonely Thinking: Hannah Arendt on Film." The Paris Review (May 30, 2013)

---. "Misreading ‘Eichmann in Jerusalem’." Opinionator (July 7, 2013)

Berkowitz, Roger, et al. "The Human Factor - Hannah Arendt." Ideas (June 26, 2016) ["Hannah Arendt's best-known work, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil was based on her reporting for The New Yorker magazine about the trial of Adolph Eichmann. The book made her both famous and infamous. Eichmann had been one of the principal architects of the Nazi holocaust against the Jews, in which six million people died. Captured in Argentina after the war and brought to Israel, the spectacle of Eichmann on trial riveted the world."]

Brody, Richard. Hannah Arendt and the Glorification of Thinking." The New Yorker (May 20, 2013)

Burdon, Peter. "The Banality of Evil." Against the Grain (March 29, 2016) ["As the political theorist Hannah Arendt watched the Nazi official Adolf Eichmann give testimony before the District Court of Jerusalem in 1961, she came up with a notion of evil that generated enormous controversy. Peter Burdon shares his understanding of what Arendt mean by "the banality of evil," and discusses the contemporary relevance of Arendt's ideas."]

Butler, Judith. "Hannah Arendt's challenge to Adolf Eichmann: In her treatise on the banality of evil, Arendt demanded a rethink of established ideas about moral responsibility." The Guardian (August 29, 2011)

Dean, Michelle. "The Formidable Friendship of Mary McCarthy and Hannah Arendt." The New Yorker (June 2013)

d'Entreves, Maurizio Passerin. "Hannah Arendt." Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Last revised August 14, 2014)

Ellis, Marc H. "Exile and the Prophetic: Arendt vs. Wiesel at the crossroads of Jewish empire consciousness." Mondoweiss (June 12, 2013)

---. "Hannah Arendt is a love letter, eulogy and elegy to the prophetic voice." Mondoweiss (June 10, 2013)

Feldman, Karen. "Hannah Arendt." Entitled Opinions (May 15, 2007)

Garrett, Daniel. "Innocent Laughter, Intellectual Legacy: Margarethe von Trotta’s film Hannah Arendt." Offscreen 20.8 (September 2016)

Hoberman, J. "Hannah Arendt: Guilty Pleasure." Tablet (May 24, 2013)

Jones, Kathleen B. "The Idea of a Common World: Ada Ushpiz’s Vita Activa: The Spirit of Hannah Arendt." The Los Angeles Review of Books (April 29, 2016)

The Living Dead (BBC: Adam Curtis, 1995: Three 60 minute episodes) [Michael Benton: While watching Adam Curtis' BBC documentary 'The Living Dead' (the first episode "On the Desperate Edge of Now") I was struck by its revelations in regard to Arendt's writings about Eichmann. This episode is partially about the 1945/1946 Nuremberg Trials of the NAZI leaders captured at the end of the war. It examines how these trials were used to obfuscate the realities of the NAZI rise to power and their motivations for war (and in turn the Allies motivations/actions). In particular when Hermann Göring testified about the NAZI rise to power and drive to war. It made the victorious forces nervous - the realities of how you motivate and control the masses cut too deep into their (the victors) own machinations. In response, they turned this show trial into a tale of the evil NAZI monsters, going so far as to silence/suppress the testimony of the accused. In this way they rewrote the war, making it into a fairy tale of the righteous victors and vanquished evil monsters (keep in mind this was a war of imperial powers struggling to control the world). Equally important it examines the cost of this move to repress the difficult realities for a more easily controled fantasy narrative. The repression within German society would erupt in the 1960s into a full scale cultural/social war as a new generation wanted to know why, how and whom. Hannah Arendt would have known well the events of the Nuremberg Trial and remember how this demonization process worked out. Keep in mind, the trial was not intended to mislead those that experienced the war, instead it was used to rewrite the war for future generations. Arendt knew that painting a picture of monstrous evil blots out the realities of human action - individual and collective. She knew it would do little to bring understanding ... something she valued intensely.

Marshall, Colin. "Hannah Arendt’s Original Articles on 'the Banality of Evil' in the New Yorker Archive." Open Culture (January 16, 2013)

"Martin Heidegger." Wikipedia (No Date)

"Mary McCarthy." Wikipedia (No Date)

Lilla, Mark. "Arendt & Eichmann: The New Truth." New York Review of Books (November 21, 2013)

Mendelson, Edward. "The Secret Auden." The New York Review of Books (March 20, 2014)

Mertens, Thomas. "Memory, Politics and Law -- The Eichmann Trial: Hannah Arendt’s View on the Jerusalem Court’s Competence." German Law Journal 6.2 (2005)

Michener, Willa. "The Individual Psychology of Hate Studies." Journal of Hate Studies 10.1 (2012)

"Peace and Conflict Studies, Part 3: Researching Theories Regarding Military Prison Camps." Dialogic (February 8, 2010)

Presner, Todd. German 59: Holocaust in Film and Literature (2010 UCLA course posted on Youtube: February 10, 2010)

Proyect, Louis. "Hannah Arendt." The Unrepentant Marxist (May 21, 2013)

Rieff, David. "Hannah and Her Admirerers: Margarethe von Trotta’s biopic of Hannah Arendt is a film about ideas that remains intellectually detached from them." The Nation (December 9, 2013)

Rubenstein, Richard L. The Cunning of History: The Holocaust and the American Future. NY: Harper Colophon, 1978. [excerpts from pages 15-33]

Said, Hammad. "Relevance of Hannah Arendt’s 'A Report On The Banality Of Evil' To Gaza." Counterpunch (July 28, 2014)

Scott, A.O. "How It Looks to Think: Watch Her." The New York Times (May 28, 2013)

Sissenich, Beate. "Hannah Arendt Biopic Offers Rare Onscreen View of Political Philosophy: Movie Paints Vivid Picture of German-Jewish Émigrés." The Forward (May 26, 2013)

Song, C.S. "Hannah Arendt's Life and Ideas." Against the Grain (May 15, 2017)

Stonebridge, Lyndsey. "Thinking and Friendship in Dark Times: Hannah Arendt for Now." On Being (May 18, 2017) ["Along with George Orwell, the 20th-century political theorist Hannah Arendt is a new bestseller. She famously coined the phrase “the banality of evil” and wrote towering works like The Origins of Totalitarianism. She was concerned with the human essence of events that we analyze as historical and political. Totalitarianism she described as “organized loneliness,” and loneliness as the “common ground for terror.” The historian, she said, always knows how vulnerable facts are. And thinking is not something for elites; it is the human power to keep possibility alive."]

Sukowa, Barbara and Margarethe von Trotta. "Hannah Arendt Revisits Fiery Debate over German-Jewish Theorist’s Coverage of Eichmann Trial." Democracy Now (November 26, 2013)

Zinn, Howard. "The Problem is Civil Obedience." (1970) Source The Zinn Reader published by Seven Stories Press and reproduced on The Information Clearinghouse website (No Date for the post on the website)

























Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. (USA: Errol Morris, 1999)