Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Resources for November 30, 2016

Ayer, David and David Hart. "Fury and Justice." Pop Culture Case Study #161 (August 4, 2016) ["In 
this episode, Dave discusses Justice in its many forms, both in normal society and in the military. More importantly, he is joined by Berook of the Cinema Bun Podcast to talk about David Ayer's opus, FURY ..."]

Braier, Natasha. "'I'm Like a Flare Hunter': On The Neon Demon." Filmmaker (November 30, 2016)

Cargill, C. Robert and Brian Salisbury. "One Junky Summer: Manhunter." Junk Food Cinema (August 4, 2016)

Cassidy, Brendan, J.D. Duran and Vince Leo. Captain Fantastic, Hunt for the Wilderpeople." InSession Film (August 5, 2016)

Gooley, Tristan. "The Lost Art of Natural Navigation." Radio West (November 23, 2016)  ["Nowadays, there are all kinds of devices to help us find our way through the world. But before all that stuff, before even cartography, humankind was navigating with nature as the guide. The adventurer Tristan Gooley is committed to recovering and teaching the lost arts natural navigation. Rocks, trees, grass, ducks, puddles, clouds, and the wind are all compass hands to him. Gooley joins us Wednesday to share what he’s learned about natural navigation and the joys of learning nature’s subtle signs. Tristan Gooley is the author of several books about natural navigation, including The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs and his newest, How to Read Water. He is the only living person to have piloted small aircraft and sailed single-handedly across the Atlantic, and he’s a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation and the Royal Geographical Society."]

Hans, Simran. "Mike Drop – How Channing Tatum and President Obama redrew the template for masculinity." Little White Lies (November 6, 2016)

Powers, John. "Movie Monsters, Monster Movies And Why 'Godzilla' Endures." Fresh Air (May 2, 2014)

Rizov, Vadim. "Under the Skin and the Problem with the Adjective Kubrickian." Filmmaker (April 28, 2014)








Monday, November 28, 2016

McCabe & Mrs. Miller (USA: Robert Altman, 1971)




McCabe & Mrs. Miller (USA: Robert Altman, 1971: 120 mins)

Auberjonis, René and Joan Tewkesbury. "The Star Power of Warren Beatty and Julie Christie." Current (October 11, 2016)

Boyer, Thomas. "McCabe & Mrs. Miller: Genre, Voice, and Virtual History." Kino 5.1 (2014)

Christgau, Robert. "Stranger Songs: The Music of Leonard Cohen in McCabe & Mrs. Miller." Current (October 5, 2016)

Danks, Adrian. "Just Some Jesus Looking for a Manger: McCabe & Mrs. Miller." Senses of Cinema #9 (September 2000)

Ebert, Roger. "Great Movie: McCabe & Mrs. Miller." Chicago Sun-Times (November 14, 1999)

McGee, Patrick. From Shane to Kill Bill: Rethinking the Western. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2007.[Professor has copy]

McKnight, Brent. "On Robert Altman's Subversive Anti-Western, McCabe & Mrs. Miller." Pop Matters (November 21, 2016)

Phipps, Keith and Scott Tobias. "McCabe & Mrs. Miller: Profound Pessimism and Leonard Cohen Kindness." The Dissolve (September 30, 2014)

Rebanal, Jaime. "McCabe and Mrs. Miller." (Posted on Letterboxd: January 3, 2016)

"Remembering Leonard Cohen." Current (November 11, 2016)

Rich, Nathaniel. "McCabe & Mrs. Miller: Showdowns." Current (October 13, 2016)

Santos, Steven. "McCabe & Mrs. Miller: A Video Essay." (Posted on Vimeo: 2010)

Self, Robert. "Great Directors: Robert Altman." Senses of Cinema #34 (February 2005)

Suave, Zico. "McCabe & Mrs. Miller: The Conflicted 60s/70s Culture." The Artifice (May 23, 2014)

Tafoya, Scout. "The Post-Punk Cinema Manifesto." Keyframe (September 10, 2015)

Wessels, Chelsea. "McCabe & Mrs. Miller." Library of Congress (ND)























Resources for November 28, 2016

Alwan, Wes, et al. "Alexis de Tocqueville on Democracy in America." The Partially Examined Life #152 (November 21, 2016) ["Democracy is in peril! So said Tocqueville in 1835 and 1840 when Democracy is America was published, and so would he likely say now. Democracy is always just one demagogue away from stripping us of our liberties, though certain structural and cultural features can make that more or less likely. Tocqueville liked our spirit of volunteerism, our civic activeness, our energy and inventiveness and competitiveness, and the pervasiveness of religion (at the time) in American culture. But he didn't like our groupthink, our tendencies toward materialism and caring only about our own small circle (what he called "individualism"), our lack of philosophical curiosity, and was in favor of a strong separation between church and state. He thought that people in a democracy value equality over freedom, and that in the absence of a strong spiritual countervailing force, we'd spend more energy pursuing material comfort and so would be more likely to allow a tyrant who promises this to us to take control. He also feared the rise of a new aristocracy out of the business world, with bosses becoming the new de facto lords. Then again, he also feared a race war and thought for sure that if the South tried to secede, the federal government would be too weak to prevent this, so there's that."]

Buckler, Dana. "Point Break (1991)." H.I.T.M? (August 9, 2016)

Eggert, Brian. "Moonlight (2016)." Deep Focus Review (November 20, 2016)

Emmons, Alex. "Newly-Released Documents Confirm Bureau of Prisons Visit to CIA Torture Site in Afghanistan." The Intercept (November 25, 2016)

Kayyali, Dia. "Getting Started with Digital Security: Tips and Resources for Activists." Witness (November 2016)

Koski, Genvieve, et al. "In the Mood for Love / Moonlight, Part 1." The Next Picture Show #51 (November 22, 2016) ["Inspired by one of the year’s biggest indie sensations, Barry Jenkins’ MOONLIGHT, we’re looking at another highly romanticized tale of unrequited love: Wong Kar-wai’s beautiful 2000 film IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE. In this half, we talk about how affecting LOVE’s central non-love-story is - and why - and consider how the film reflects Wong’s improvisational methods and his desire to create a dreamlike return to the Hong Kong of his childhood."]

---. "In the Mood for Love / Moonlight, Part 2." The Next Picture Show #52 (November 24, 2016) ["Our discussion of lyrical portraits of unrequited love turns its attention to Barry Jenkins’ MOONLIGHT, the look and feel of which—the final third in particular—recalls the bittersweet tone of Wong Kar-Wai’s IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE. We share our reactions to MOONLIGHT, and consider the two films’ shared qualities, including their use of unusual framing and the thematic importance placed on food."]

Orr, Christopher. "Love Actually Is the Least Romantic Film of All Time." The Atlantic (December 6, 2013)

Perlstein, Rick, et al. "Ghosts." On the Media (November 25, 2016) ["A special hour on memory, both historical and personal, and how what we remember shapes our world."]

Schamus, James. "Indignation." The Treatment (August 3, 2016)  ["As the former CEO of Focus Features, James Schamus has been instrumental behind the scenes launching films like Brokeback Mountain and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, often involving his long-time screenwriting partner Ang Lee. He has now tried his hand at directing in his debut Indignation, the adaptation of Philip Roth's book of the same name. Schamus visits The Treatment to discuss his first time working directly with the camera and actors as well as going to great lengths in properly reflecting the essence of the 1950's."]



Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Brazil (UK: Terry Gilliam, 1985)




Brazil (UK: Terry Gilliam, 1985: 132 mins)

"The Battle of Brazil Begins." Current (December 6, 2012)

"Behind the Scenes of Brazil." Current (December 3, 2016)

Brazil Critics Round Up (Ongoing Archive)

Cheney, Matthew. "Terry Gilliam: The Triumph of Fantasy." IndieWire (October 1, 2014)

Dimond, Andy. "Brattle Theatre Film Notes: Brazil." Brattle Film Foundation (ND)

Eggert, Brian. "Brazil (1985)." Deep Focus Review (December 2, 2012)

Gilliam, Holly. "Magnificent Obsessions: The timeless dystopian vision of Terry Gilliam's Brazil." Moving Image Source (June 15, 2011)

Gilliam, Terry. "Brazil and Twelve Monkeys." Moving Image Source (January 6, 1996)

Gilliam, Terry, Tom Stoppard and Charles McKeon. "Brazil Screenplay." (October 1983)

Hamel, Keith James. "Modernity and Mise-en-scene: Terry Gilliam and Brazil." Images #6 (May 1998)

James, Clive. "Terry Gilliam." Cultural Amnesia: Necessary Memories From History and the Arts. NY: W.W. Norton & Co., 2007: 171-179. [Professor has copy]

Matthews, Jack. "Brazil." Current (September 27, 1999)

Morgan, David. "Brazil Script Development: An analysis of screenplays and treatments for the Terry Gilliam film created by Gilliam, Charles Alverson, Charles McKeown and Tom Stoppard." Wide Angle/Closeup (2012)

---. "The Evolution of Brazil." Current (December 14, 2012)

Novalia, Wikke. "Brazil (1985): 'It's Only a State of Mind.'" (Written for AthensUPM59 Course: December 2, 2011)

Rogers, Richard A. "1984 to Brazil: From the Pessimism of Reality to the Hope of Dreams." Text and Performance Quarterly 10 (1990): 34-46.

Sterritt, David. "Brazil: A Great Place to Visit, Wouldn't Want to Live There." Current (December 4, 2012)

Tafoya, Scout. "The Post-Punk Cinema Manifesto." Keyframe (September 10, 2015)

Taylor, Rumsey. "Great Directors: Terry Gilliam." Senses of Cinema #29 (December 2003)

Thurland, Jack. "Terry Gilliam's Brazil." L@B Notes (July 26, 2014)

Vaughan, Brian K. "One Scene: Brazil." Current (October 19, 2011)

Wheeler, Ben. "Reality is What You Can Get Away With: Fantastic Imaginings, Rebellion, and Control in Terry Gilliam's Brazil." Critical Survey 17.1 (2005): 95-108.

Yuen, Isaac. "Escape to Happiness and Insanity: Gilliam's Brazil." Ekostories (February 8, 2013)





















Resources for November 22, 2016

Appelbaum, Yoni and Daniel Lombrosi. "'Hail Trump!': White Nationalists Salute the President Elect." The Atlantic (November 21, 2016) ["Video of an alt-right conference in Washington, D.C., where Trump’s victory was met with cheers and Nazi salutes."]

Brown, Aileen. "Medics Describe How Police Sprayed Standing Rock Demonstrators with Tear Gas and Water Cannons." The Intercept (November 21, 2016)

"College & University Presidents Call for U.S. to Uphold and Continue DACA." Pomona College (November 21, 2016)

Dunlop, R.G. "Former Jail Deputy Pleads Guilty to Jail Beating." Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting (November 22, 2016)

Hurne, Mark, Keith Silva and Aaron West. "Blood Simple." Criterion Close-Up #56 (November 21, 2016) ["The film cannot be viewed without the exploring the context of the Coen library and their successful career to follow, but it stands alone as a debut film that sets the stage for their style. We focus quite a bit on the noir aspect, how they were going for a specific aesthetic that shows their film heritage. We evaluate why this film works, how these neophytes meticulously crafted a slow burning art film at the height of the 1980s mainstream blockbusters."]

Hurst, Dwight, et al. "Lantana." The Last New Wave (August 1, 2016)

Linehan, Adam. "Where Evil Resides: Veterans ‘Deploy’ To Standing Rock To Engage The Enemy — The US Government." Task & Purpose (November 21, 2016)

Muller, and Nate Zoebl. "Arrival (2016)." Psycho Drive-In (November 13, 2016)

"Umberto Eco Makes a List of the 14 Common Features of Fascism." Open Culture (November 22, 2016)



The Occupation of the American Mind [Trailer] from Media Education Foundation on Vimeo.


Monday, November 21, 2016

Yella (Germany: Christian Petzold, 2007)




Yella (Germany: Christian Petzold, 2007: 89 mins)

Abel, Marco. "The Cinema of Identification Gets on My Nerves: An Interview with Christian Petzold." Cineaste 33.3 (Summer 2008)

---. "German Desire in the Age of Venture Capitalism." Cinema Guild (ND)

Darke, Chris. "Yella." Film Comment (May/June 2008)

Fisher, Jaimey. "Great Directors: Christian Petzold." Senses of Cinema (July 2013)

Dillard, Clayton. "Jaimey Fisher's Christian Petzold." Slant (January 12, 2014)

Gueneli, Berna. "Is Contemporary German Filmmaking Beyond a Cinema of Consensus?" H-Net (September 2013)

Harvey, Dennis. "Christian Petzold’s Perilous Transitions: Barbara builds suspense with restraint." Keyframe (January 15, 2016)

Lee, Kevin B. "Deceptive Surfaces: The brilliantly no-nonsense filmmaking of Christian Petzold." Keyframe (January 15, 2016)

Phillips, Craig. "German Precision in a World Gone Haywire: The Films of Christian Petzold." Keyframe (August 5, 2011)





Resources for November 20, 2016

Adams, Sam. "The Rule Book – Bridge of Spies and the shifting Constitutional battleground." Little White Lies (November 11, 2016) ["Steven Spielberg’s spy drama is an important reminder that being American is not a matter of where you were born but what you believe."]

Ayres, Jedidiah, et al. "Mulholland Dr (2001)." The Projection Booth #296 (November 8, 2016) ["David Lynch's Mulholland Drive (2001) lived a double life as a television pilot and feature film. A neo-noir that plays with themes of identity, roleplaying, and obsession, the film stars Naomi Watts as innocent ingénue Betty Elms and Laura Elena Harring as Rita, a woman with a past hidden from herself. Mike talks to Patrick Fischler and Laura Harring about their roles in Mulholland Drive (and a lot more). Professor Erik Marshall and author Jedidiah Ayres help elucidate the mystery of Mulholland Drive."]

Chow, Galvin P. "Fight Club: The Return of Hobbes." Metaphilm (March 11, 2001)

Gross-Loh, Christine. "A Better Way to Teach History." The Atlantic (February 8, 2016) ["One professor is borrowing a method from Harvard Business School to engage students and inspire better decision-making skills."]

Hamilton, James T. "The Economics of Investigative Journalism." The Source (October 26, 2016)  ["In journalism, there are five W's: who, what, when, where and the most important - who is paying for this? How does the market transform muckraking information into a sustainable news product? What happens when editors and publishers don't see the economic value of the big scoop?"]

"Introduction to the Podcast and Australia Cinema." The Last New Wave (July 30, 2016)

Longley, Michael. "The Vitality of Ordinary Things." On Being (November 3, 2016) ["To reassert the liveliness of ordinary things, precisely in the face of what is hardest and most broken in life and society — this has been Michael Longley’s gift to Northern Ireland as one of its foremost living poets. He is a voice for all of us now, wise and winsome about the force of words in a society that has moved away from sectarianism in living memory. A profound conversation before an adoring crowd at The MAC Belfast."]

Mayer, Sophie. "Don't Hardly Know Them." Literal (November 20, 2016)

Minsker, Evan. "DJ /rupture Releases Mixtape Inspired by the Film The Act of Killing." Pitchfork (April 28, 2014) ["Stage Boundary Songs is a "musical response" to the Oscar-nominated documentary"]

Rothman, Joshua. "How To Restore Your Faith in Democracy." The New Yorker (November 11, 2016) ["In dark times, it’s tempting to give up on politics. The philosopher Charles Taylor explains why we shouldn’t."]



Sunday, November 20, 2016

Resources for November 20, 2016

Alter, Alexandra. "Colson Whitehead Wins the National Book Award for The Underground Railroad." The New York Times (November 17, 2016)

Berger, Dan. "Mass Incarceration And Its Mystification: A Review Of The 13th." AAIHS (October 22, 2016)

Brigden, Charles. "The Beautiful Sounds of Death by Jaws." Wrong Reel #201 (November 2016)

Brown, Julia Prewitt. "Box office failure: Honky Tonk Freeway and the risks of embarrassing the United States." Jump Cut #57 (Fall 2016)

Cusick, William, Parker Dixon and Tara Maen. "William Cusick's Pop Meets the Void." Wrong Reel #168 (July 28, 2016)

Edwards, David. "Filtering the Election." Media Lens (November 18, 2016)

Estaff, Remezcla. "The Stop Trump Reading List: Arm Your Mind with These 16 Books." Remezcla (November 15, 2016)

"From Tree to Shining Tree." Radiolab (July 30, 2016) ["A forest can feel like a place of great stillness and quiet. But if you dig a little deeper, there’s a hidden world beneath your feet as busy and complicated as a city at rush hour. In this story, a dog introduces us to a strange creature that burrows beneath forests, building an underground network where deals are made and lives are saved (and lost) in a complex web of friendships, rivalries, and business relations. It’s a network that scientists are only just beginning to untangle and map, and it’s not only turning our understanding of forests upside down, it’s leading some researchers to rethink what it means to be intelligent."]

Stravers, Jon, et al. "The Mississippi." To the Best of Our Knowledge (July 31, 2016)  ["The Mississippi River is an American icon. It's a body of water that’s been shaped as much by cultural processes as by environmental ones. From the state lines it draws to its role in literature and the arts, it’s a river that flows deep in the American psyche. This episode is about the boundaries and horizons of the Mississippi — its deep geologic past, its history as a route to freedom, and its meaning today. "]

Subissati, Andrea and Alexandra West. "Kill is Kiss: Pontypool (2008)." Faculty of Horror #24 (February 25, 2015) ["Up is down, left is right and black is white in this month’s episode. Tackling the Canadian winter horror film Pontypool, Andrea and Alex talk about national identity, broadcast journalism and how the stories we tell should stop making sense."]


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Picnic at Hanging Rock (Australia: Peter Weir, 1975)




Picnic at Hanging Rock (Australia: Peter Weir, 1975: 115 mins)

Abbott, Megan. "Picnic at Hanging Rock: What We See and What We Seem." Current (June 20, 2014)

"Behind the Scenes of Picnic at Hanging Rock." Current (July 9, 2014)

Buckmaster, Luke. "Picnic at Hanging Rock: Rewatching classic Australian films." The Guardian (January 22, 2014)

Canby, Vincent. "Picnic at Hanging Rock." Current (October 19, 1998)

Crewe, Dave. "Picnic at Hanging Rock: Australia's Own Valentine's Day Mystery." SBS Film (June 4, 2015)

Dessem, Matthew. "Picnic at Hanging Rock." The Criterion Contraption (May 3, 2005)

Dunning, Brian. "Picnic at Hanging Rock: Is the Classic Tale of the Disappearance of a Group of Schoolgirls Fact or Fiction?" Skeptoid #308 (May 1, 2012)

Ebert, Roger. "Great Movie: Picnic at Hanging Rock." Chicago Sun-Times (August 2, 1998)

Gannason, Haridharan. "Picnic at Hanging Rock: A Video Essay." (Posted on Youtube: April 15, 2016)

Guagliardo, Sal, Zac Hambides and Adam Pearlson. "Debunking the Myth: Use of Cinematography in National Cinemas." (Posted on Youtube: September 12, 2012)

Kuersten, Erich. "CinemArchetype #5: The Human Sacrifice." Acidemic (February 28, 2012)

Merrick, Amy. "Living In: Picnic at Hanging Rock." Design Sponge (April 2010)

Picnic at Hanging Rock Critics Round Up (Ongoing Archive)

"Picnic at Hanging Rock - Reviewing the Critiques and the Cult." Les Nuits Masquees (November 2, 2009)

Reznick, Graham. "One Scene: Picnic at Hanging Rock." The Current (August 1, 2011)

Sutherland, Romy. "Great Directors: Peter Weir." Senses of Cinema #34 (February 2005)

Weir, Peter. "On Picnic at Hanging Rock." Current (June 23, 2014)














Resources for November 17, 2016

Axmaker, Sean. "Nosferatu: A Tale of Two Versions." Keyframe (April 29, 2014)

Burgess, Tony, et al. "Pontypool." The Projection Booth #294 (October 25, 2016) ["In a rather different take on the typical zombie story,Bruce McDonald's Pontypool (2008) has the English language as the infectious agent which drives people mad. Written by Tony Burgess (and based on his novel, Pontypool Changes Everything), the film starsStephen McHattie as Grant Mazzy, a shock jock from the big city now working in backwater Ontario with his audio engineer Laurel-Ann (Georgina Reilly) and producer Syndey Briar (Lisa Houle)."]

Cassidy, Brendan, J.D. Duran and Richard Newby. "Arrival, Top 3 "Thinking" Sci-Fi Movies, The Deathly Hallows Part 2 ." InSession Film (November 15, 2016)

Hart, David and Miranda Sajdak. "Mission Impossible Rogue Nation and Power Struggles in Relationships." Pop Culture Case Study (July 28, 2016)

Hudson, David. "What Do We Do Now?: Culture in the Trump Years." Keyframe (November 15, 2016)

Jenkins, Tricia. "Netflix’s geek-chic: How one company leveraged its big data to change the entertainment industry." Jump Cut #57 (Fall 2016)

Mead, Rebecca. "The Cinematic Traumas of Kenneth Lonergan: After a bitter fight with Hollywood producers, the filmmaker returns with the shattering Manchester by the Sea." The New Yorker (November 7, 2016)

Strether, Lambert. "Three Myths About Clinton's Defeat in 2016 Debunked." Naked Capitalism (November 14, 2016)

Subisatti, Andrea and Alexandra West. "Revamp: Fright Night (1985) and The Lost Boys (1987)." The Faculty of Horror #40 (July 27, 2016) ["In the 1980s, vampires left their castles and European hideaways for American suburbs and small towns. In this episode, Andrea and Alex examine what happens when the monster you fear is part of your community and discuss what is to be done when they want to borrow more than just sugar…."]

Zaman, Farihah and Nicolas Rapold. "Song of Myself." Film Comment (September/October 2016) ["Barry Jenkins confirms his talent with a heartwrenching and gorgeous portrait of a man grappling with his sexuality in a rough corner of Miami"]






Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Resources for November 16, 2016

Cassidy, Brendan, J.D Duran and Vince Leo.  "The Handmaiden, Hacksaw Ridge." InSession Film (November 12, 2016)

Davis, Mike. "Not a Revolution - Yet." Verso (November 15, 2016)

Feig, Paul. "Ghostbusters." The Treatment (July 27, 2016) ["Behind such works as Bridesmaids and Freaks and Geeks, director Paul Feig fittingly states "funny is funny." Influenced by slapstick greats like The Three Stooges and Charlie Chaplin, Feig stayed the comedy course in his Ghostbusters reboot -- maintaining the reverence of the 1984 scare-comedy classic but crafting a new experience in the Ghostbusters universe, this time with a female cast. After growing tired of women’s movies demoralizing women, Paul Feig was committed to properly representing women in media through dynamic roles. Today he joins Elvis Mitchell to share his shock over the misogynistic and racist responses the film has received as well as why his characters are often rooted as much in the past as they are in the present."]

Forencich, Frank. "A New Warrior Activist." The Exuberant Animal (November 14, 2016)

Gasteier, Matt, Mark Hurne and Aaron West. "In a Lonely Place (1950) and Humphrey Bogart Films." Criterion Close-Up (July 24, 2016)

Jones, Sharon and Barbara Kopple. "Talk Miss Sharon Jones." The Close-Up (July 28, 2016)

Koski, Genevieve and Tasha Robinson. "Elections, Entertainment and Empathy." The Next Picture Show (November 15, 2015)

Leuven, Jop. "Frances Ha and the Framing of Friendship." Framed (November 9, 2016)

Shockley, Jenn. "15 Famous Movies Filmed in Kentucky." Kentucky for Kentucky (November 15, 2016)

"Telling a Life." To the Best of Our Knowledge (October 23, 2016)  ["How do you tell the story of your life? Do you focus on meaning, accomplishment and hope - or on failure and loss? Psychologists say telling a good life story can make you happier. But do we also create an inauthentic version of ourselves if we turn everything into a narrative? We explore the idea of life stories, and hear why poet and singer Patti Smith chose to "write about nothing" when writing about her own life."]





Tuesday, November 15, 2016

An Appreciation of the Worldwide Community of Cinephiles

It has been a very tough year! Beyond family/friends, I feel very fortunate to be a part of/involved with a far flung community of cinephiles that are some of the most progressive people I know. What is it about immersion in the worldwide cinematic culture that cultivates such empathetic, openminded and friendly people? Sure we have our cultural conflicts and differences of opinion, but overwhelmingly we seek dialogue and enjoy learning different ways of seeing/perceiving. This recent short podcast episode from The Next Picture Show really reflected and spoke to my dawning awareness of how fortunate I am to work/live in this great cultural conversation. Thanks to all of you - those I know and those I have not met, those that make podcasts, those that write even when there is no guaranteed monetary rewards, those involved with the incredible outpouring of video essays, the many curators who labor out of love to bring us unique films, the independent companies that rescue unique films, and those that encourage our conversations in other ways. You are a great salve for my soul in these times. 

Solidarity,

Michael Benton

Monday, November 14, 2016

Psycho (USA: Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)




Psycho (USA: Alfred Hitchcock, 1960: 109 mins)

Andrews, Nigel. "Psycho analysis: Released fifty years ago, Alfred Hitchcock's throwaway horror film tore down the shower curtain and changed cinema history." Financial Times (March 19, 2010)

Byrne, Joseph. "The Male Gaze in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho." ENGL 245: Film, Form, and Culture (October 14, 2013)

"Director Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Shadow of a Doubt’ – ‘Psycho’ – ‘The Birds’." Sound on Sight #309 (February 29, 2012)

Dirk, Tim. "Psycho (1960)." Film Site (ND)

Kuersten, Erich. "CinemArchetype #5: The Human Sacrifice." Acidemic (February 28, 2012)

LoBrutto, Vincent. "Dark Side of American Cinema: Psycho." Becoming Film Literate: The Art and Craft of Motion Pictures. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2005: 229-235. [BCTC Library: PN1994 L595 2005]

Mogg, Ken. "Great Directors: Alfred Hitchcock." Senses of Cinema #36 (July 2005)

Palmer, Julian. "Psycho: How Alfred Hitchcock Manipulates an Audience." (Posted on Youtube: March 16, 2016)

Pereira, Jose. "Psycho: Haunted House." (Posted on Youtube: August 8, 2014)

Psycho Critics Round Up (Ongoing Archive)

"Psycho: Study Guide." Film Education (1995)

Sevilla, Susanna. "Things Are Not What They Seem." (Posted on Vimeo: February 2015) ["A video essay on title sequences from Hitchcock and Fincher films. An exploration of motion graphic design from analog to digital."]

Soderbergh, Steven. "Psychos." Extension 765 (Mashup of the two version of Psycho: February 24, 2014)






































Hailey Townsend: Walt's Will to Power (ENG 102)




Hailey Townsend
Professor Michael Benton
Final Draft
Walt’s Will to Power

 A basic definition of power is that its “defined in terms of a relation between people, and is expressed in simple symbolic notation” (Dahl). In Breaking Bad, the main character Walter White starts his journey by being looked at as a lesser person compared to everyone else in society. He is shown as someone who is walked over, and disrespected. This is symbolized by the various actions that other characters take when interacting with him. Walter changes the amount of power he has as he grows to being someone who is respected by his peers and gains the ability to project himself over other people through his growing confidence and differing outlooks on life. The beginning blueprints of Walter’s journey to gain power through the whole Breaking Bad series can be established in the first pilot episode.
When I first started Breaking Bad, I was interested in anything and everything that was happening! The first episode of the series starts with a foreshadow of the main character Walter White driving an RV with a passed out Jesse Pinkman in the front seat and two assumingly dead people in the back covered and swimming in a nasty liquid. After crashing the RV due to a foggy mask, Walter picks up a video camera he had on the dashboard and starts crying as he records a message his wife, son, and unborn daughter. He explains that he loves them and that he is sorry for his actions, but he did what he did for the benefit of the family. I was confused at this point because nothing was making sense! How and why did he end up in this position? Why was this seemingly normal man breaking laws and leaving apology letters to his family? Based on the bodies in his trunk and the fact that he was in the middle of the desert in nothing but a button up and his underwear, I knew he had gotten in some trouble. He was either being a complete idiot, or someone who was courageous enough to really fight for what he wanted. I had to find out, so I kept watching. 
After the foreshadowing scene, the show comes back to “current” times where Walter is pretty much the exact opposite from how he was in the foreshadowing scene: he was being disrespected by everyone in the chemistry class he was teaching, he was treated like scum at his side job at a car wash, and even at home he couldn’t be who he was due to an overbearing wife and a son that seems to walk all over him. Lost was his risky behavior and seemingly scandalous actions. This was a man who had lost the will to try. One thing that I saw trending in his life was a lack of power. In relation to other people, Walter was nothing. He was at the bottom of every social pyramid you could come up with; even his students had more power over his life than he did. If we relate this back to Dahl’s definition of power, we can see this symbolized many times within the first 30 minutes if the episode. An example would be when Walter was teaching a chemistry class on bonds. He was lecturing when a couple in the back started talking loudly and canoodling. Walter asked the guy to move and he did so, but as he moved his chair he dragged it across the floor very loudly; disrupting class and being very disrespectful to Mr. White. It is evident at this point that Walter has absolutely no will to power. Will to power is defined by the philosopher Fredrick Nietzsche as “imposing your will over another living being,” (Wright: 81). In my opinion he lacs this ability because he doesn’t see a point in changing his boring life. However, this changes when Walt receives he news that he has a terminal lung cancer.  
            After Walt finds out he has cancer, a little switch clicks in his brain that changes how he looks at life. I think he figured that since he was going to die anyway, he might as well make the most of it. Another thing that I think triggered his behavior was stress over his family’s finances. Cancer treatment is expensive and he was the only one working. He consciously makes this decision when he starts treating others like they have been treating him and asserts his will all over the place. He starts showing signs of another one of Friedrich Nietzsche theories, “The Overman”. “The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche foretold the coming of a super being, the Overman, who will live according to his own rules, not the rules of the common heard,” (Glass: 91) Walter conforms to this idea because he starts doing whatever he wants and can to “show people who’s boss” and to prove that there is more to him than a pathetic school teacher.      
Walt first asserts his will to power when he quits his job at the car wash. His boss asked him to stay late and scrub the cars, and he finally stood up for himself and said no, grabbed his crotch, and walked away telling him to, “Wipe this down!” This really surprised me because I honestly didn’t think Walt had it in him! But I could tell that he was releasing a whole lot of built up anger, not only towards his boss but to everyone that has stepped on him through the years. A part of me was really proud of him, but it scared me because I knew what the show was about so I had a feeling that it wouldn’t end well. 
            The day Walt quits the car wash he comes home to a surprise party thrown by his wife. His friends are there along with his son, brother-in-law (Hank), sister-in-law (Marie) and a few co-workers from school. They’re all sitting around the T.V. talking about stuff when a news story comes on about a meth lab bust, and it caught Walter’s attention. The story showed stacks upon stacks of cash. Walter asked Hank, who happens to be a DEA agent, about how much money was found, and if he could go with on a ride along drug bust. He was very interested in what the meth industry had to offer, and taking into account his extraordinary chemistry skills, that is when I saw Walter make the decision that he was going to cook meth to pay for his treatment and family after he died. I felt like making meth wasn’t the best way to make money for your family, but author Sara Waller makes a good point when she says, “what kind of father would let his children live in poverty when he has the knowhow to provide for them? What kind of husband would leave his wife with the bills she can’t pay when he’s able to pay them?” When taking his situation into account, yes it’s immoral because meth kills people, but chemistry is what Walter is good at, and deciding he wanted to cook was his first major step to becoming an “Overman.”
In order for him to choose his own destiny, he needed to take charge and make his own rules to get what he wanted. So that’s what he did. He enlisted the help of a former student Jesse Pinkman to help him get into the business and start making money. Jesse already cooked meth on the side, and was known in the area at being fairly talented at what he did. This was a big step for him in his will to power because in order to get Jesse to help him, he had to threaten turning him into the police. This was another big change from the person Walter was before; he would have never done anything illegal, let alone threaten someone to get what he wants! But he had a mission, and he was willing to do anything to get what he wanted.
Jesse ends up getting Walt into some minor trouble with his bosses, Krazy-8 and Emilio. The meth Walt made was “a piece of art” according to Jesse, and was some of the purist on the street. When Jesse tried to sell his product to Krazy-8 and Emilio, they got super suspicious of him because they knew he could never make anything of that quality. They demand to meet the cook who prepared the meth. Walter was cooking in the RV when they all three drove up in a car. Emilio and Krazy-8 tied Jesse up with duct tape and held Walt at gun point while forcing him to show them his cook. This is when Walter take another big leap in his will to power. Emilio and Krazy-8 are his competition and Walter knows they can’t know his recipe if he is going to stay in business. He knows that if the chemicals are mixed wrong, they will create a poison gas that will kill anyone who breathes it in. So in order to protect his highly valued cook, he takes a deep breath while mixing the ingredients, and intentionally throws the wrong chemical in the batch creating the poison gas. He traps the two in the RV as they suffocate to death. Walter is obviously in distress about the whole thing. He knows he did something morally wrong that he cannot take back, but he knows that he needs to protect his family so he scoops up Jesse, puts a mask on himself and Jesse and drives in RV away from the cook site, This is when he crashed and when we come back to the first scene of the pilot episode.
Walt’s video was a heart-filled message to his family. He says he loves them, but never once seems to regret what he’s done. He did what he did to provide for his family, but I think he got some enjoyment out of it. There’s at least a handful of people now that know not to mess with Walter White. After recording his message, Walt does the most courageous thing yet: he stands in the middle of the road in his underwear, and as he hears sirens (presumably cops) coming towards him. He holds up the gun Krazy-8 had tried to kill him with and points it at the sirens. As they get closer he is prepared to defend himself: he now knows he can, and has the confidence to do so.
For Walter throughout this episode and the entire series, his main goal is to make money. Money is his motivator for almost all of his actions, and how he gets his confidence to gain power. We see him come full swing in his journey. This not only makes for an amazing T.V show, but it makes us ponder what it really means to have power over others.  







Works Cited
·        Dahl, Robert, “The Concept of Power,” The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1957, accessed in 2016, https://www.unc.edu/~fbaum/teaching/articles/Dahl_Power_1957.pdf
·        Glass, Stephen, “Better than Human,”, Breaking Bad and Philosophy, Carus Publishing Company, 2013, Pages 91-100
·        Waller, Sara, “I Appreciate the Stategy,” Breaking Bad and Philosophy, Carus Publishing Company, 2013, Pages 125-135
·        Wright, Megan, “Walter Whites Will to Power,”, Breaking Bad and Philosophy, Carus Publishing Company, 2013 Pages 81-89


Resources for November 14, 2016

Atad, Corey. "Talking with Moonlight's Trevante Rhodes: For this young actor, reflecting on a breakthrough role, it's all about the empathy." Keyframe (October 20, 2016)

"Close Encounters of the Third Kind and the Search for Meaning." Pop Culture Case Study (November 9, 2016)

Cohen, Richard. "A White Nationalist & Anti-Semite in the Oval Office: Trump Taps Breitbart's Bannon as Top Aide." Democracy Now (November 14, 2016) ["

Colman, Dan. "High School Teacher & Holocaust Expert Suspended for Drawing Parallels Between Trump & Hitler’s Rhetoric." Open Culture (November 13, 2016)

Fox, Neil and Dario Linares. "Knowing Sounds: Podcasting as Academic Practice." The Cinematologists #32 (November 10, 2016) ["Knowing Sounds is an experimental podcast exploring the possibilities and outcomes of using the podcast medium as a creative practice underpinned by conceptual thought to produce and disseminate academic research. The podcast, which more specifically can be defined as an audio essay, is split into three sections. The first is an experimental collage of music, dialogue and sound effects from a selection of films which are interwoven with excerpts from audience members who attended The Cinematologists live screenings. It is designed to open up questions as to the potential for a sonic landscape to tap into the ‘cinematic imagination’ without the use of images. We thus play with aural engagement creating a space for the listener to actively negotiate the binary between the abstract emotions and intended rational meaning inferred through listening. The second section is a spoken analysis of the potential of podcasting as an academic form exploring how the mechanics sound production and dissemination in the digital age can challenge the powerful logocentric link between knowledge and writing. We also interrogate the structural formation that, paradoxically, has given rise to the ubiquity of podcasts in mainstream culture but has undermined its potential development. Furthermore, interweaving illustrative references, we analyse specific film podcasts and how they utilise a developing grammar of sonic writing to expand cultural discourse. The final section brings together other contributors to the journal of disrupted media practice who comment on their alternative methods of production and exhibition aimed at unsettling assumptions about the relationship between practice and theory."]

Hudson, David. "John Madden's Miss Sloane." Keyframe (November 12, 2016)

Johnson, Katherine. "Beauty in a Feeling: Meek’s Cutoff and Kelly Reichardt." A Place for Film (November 14, 2016)

Larabi, Omar. "High Rise: Facades Separating Us From the Soil." De Filmkrant (Posted on Vimeo: June 2016) ["Anyone familiar with the works of writer J.G. Ballard knows that he uses the luxury high-rise as a metaphor for society, with the filthy rich on top, looking down on those dwelling on the lowest floors. This video essay by Omar Larabi look at Ben Wheatley's High-Rise through this prism."]

Stock, Kathleen. "On Fiction and the Emotions." Philosophy Bites (November 12, 2016)

Verhoeven, Paul. "Elle." The Close-Up #109 (November 9, 2016)

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Resources for November 9, 2016

"An Animated Version of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner Made of 12,597 Watercolor Paintings." Open Culture (November 10, 2016)

Farrell, Colin. "The Lobster." The Treatment (November 9, 2016) ["Actor Colin Farrell's childhood in Ireland is reflected in the roles he plays, many both physical and melancholic. From super-heroes to high-ranking government officials, he feeds off of characters with enough emotional depth to dissect and play with. In his new film The Lobster, his character's stillness expresses the recognition of pain and circumstance in the bizarre world he lives in. Today he joins Elvis to discuss the ways in which life itself can be purgatory and shares his thoughts on the Total Recall re-boot."]

Ferdinand, Marilyn. "Moonlight (2016)." Ferdy on Films (November 9, 2016)

Frezza, L.J. "Paul Verhoeven’s Mass Media: Making prescient cultural critique available to action-movie audiences." Keyframe (November 9, 2016)

Hancock, James and Bradley J. Kornish. "Fear of the Unknown." Wrong Reel #198 (November 7, 2016) ["Author Bradley J. Kornish (co-host of the Four Brains One Movie podcast) joins us to discuss the career of H.P. Lovecraft and the incredible documentary ‘Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown’ (2008)."]

Kessler, Martin, et al. "La Jetee & The Films of Ken Russell." Flixwise (July 26, 2016)

Miller, Edward H. "The Southern Strategy, Racism, and the Republican Party." Against the Grain (November 7, 2016) ["The overtly racist politics of Donald Trump has been called unprecedented — a break from the Republican Party’s past rules of engagement. But a look backward, particularly at the GOP’s Southern Strategy to woo white voters based on segregationist or racist appeals, indicates how inaccurate that assumption is. Edward H. Miller discusses the origins of the Southern Strategy in segregated Dallas, and how the ideas of Texas ultraconservatives became the national politics of the Republican Party."]

Otis, Ginger Adams, et al. "More FDNY Lawsuits; Anti-SLAPP Legislation; How the CIA Killed Che: The Murder of A Revolutionary." Law and Disorder Radio (November 7, 2016) ["More FDNY Lawsuits: Two years ago the New York Fire Department settled a racial discrimination suit brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights and the United States Department of Justice on behalf of the Vulcans, black fire fighters organization. The court awarded $100 million in back pay and benefits to fire fighters who had been discriminated against and to applicants who’s efforts to join the department had been stymied by what the court ruled was institutional bias. Two weeks ago a second lawsuit was filed by Brooklyn attorney Greg Smith on behalf of 10 African American civilians who work in the non-uniform part of the New York Fire Department. The suit alleges pay discrimination, retaliation for complaints, and harassment of black people working at the fire department. Guest – Ginger Adams Otis has been writing about New York City and local politics for more than a decade. She is a staff writer at the NY Daily News. Otis started covering City Hall and the Fire Department when she worked for The Chief-Leader, from there she moved to staff position at the NY Post. She’s also been a radio and print freelancer for WNYC, the Associated Press, BBC, National Public Radio, The Village Voice and national magazines such as The Nation and Ms. She lives in Harlem, NY.Ginger Otis. She’s the author of the book Firefight The Century-Long Battle to Integrate New York’s Bravest. Ms. Otis works as a staff writer for the NY Daily News. Anti-SLAPP Legislation: If you have ever left a less than favorable comment on a website such as Yelp or TripAdvisor you should know that some businesses or doctors are suing consumers for their negative reviews. Patients writing about botched surgical procedures or doctors’ billing practices have been sued in small claims court saying the bad reviews cost their practices thousands of dollars. Two pending federal laws are designed to protect consumers from legal retaliation when they express opinions online. The Consumer Review Fairness Act, dubbed the “Right to Yelp Act,” would bar companies from including gag clauses in agreements they ask consumers to sign. And the Speak Free Act would create a legal weapon for defendants in lawsuits over their publicly expressed thoughts. Such cases are called SLAPP (strategic lawsuits against public participation). Someone brought into court over their words can invoke the bill’s anti-SLAPP motion to get the case dismissed quickly and force the plaintiff to pay attorney’s fees. Yelp is among some 40 companies and nonprofits backing the bills, which also have bipartisan support in Congress, where they are expected to move forward this fall. Some, however, find the bills unconstitutional as they might impose barriers to civil rights and public interest litigation. Guest – Evan Mascagni, policy director at the Public Participation Project. The Project assists individuals and organizations working to pass anti-SLAPP legislation in the states while educating the public regarding SLAPPs and their consequences. How the CIA Killed Che: The Murder of A Revolutionary: The Cuban revolution of 1959 was a historical turning point. It ended American corporate and political control of the island’s economy and government and it demonstrated to other Latin American and Caribbean peoples that they could do the same. The American response was quick and deadly. They overthrew any governments that did not oppose the Cuban revolution. This included Brazil, Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Bolivia and most spectacularly, in 1971, in an effort involving US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the democratically elected socialist government of Chile. Che Guevara failed in his attempt to defend the revolution in Cuba by extending it. He started in Bolivia with a band of international revolutionary guerrilla fighters and was quickly discovered, surrounded, and assassinated by Bolivian soldiers trained and organized by the CIA in an operation that was directed right out of the White House. The economic blockade of Cuba by the United States is still in effect. Left leaning governments in Argentina, Brazil, and Honduras have been replaced by neoliberal capitalists under the favored hand of the American government. Guest – Professor Greg Grandin wrote the introduction to the recently published book by our own Michael Ratner and Michael Steven Smith called “How the CIA Killed Che. Grandin is the author of a number of prize-winning books, including most recently “The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World,” which won the Bancroft Prize in American History and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize in the UK. NPR’s Maureen Corrigan on Fresh Air named The Empire of Necessity as the best book of 2014, both non-fiction and fiction. “Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City” was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History, as well as for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award and was picked by the New York Times, New Yorker, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune and NPR for their “best of” lists, and Amazon.com named it the best history book of 2009."]

Schoenbrun, Dan. "All Movies are Political Movies. We Need to Do Better." Filmmaker (November 9, 2016)

Wilson, Samuel. "Too Much TV?: Westworld (2016 - ?)." Mondo 70 (November 8, 2016)

Performance (UK: Donald Cammell and Nicholas Roeg, 1970)




Performance (UK: Donald Cammell and Nicholas Roeg, 1970: 105 mins)

Adlerberg, Scott. "Gangster Cinema, British Style: Performance (1970) with Mick Jagger and James Fox." Criminal Element (July 26, 2013)

Bailey, Jason. "The Trippiest Movies Ever Made." (Posted on Vimeo: 2012)

Chang, Chris. "Cinema Sex Magick: The Films of Donald Cammell." Film Comment (July/August 1996)

Hill, Lee. "Great Directors: Nicolas Roeg." Senses of Cinema #20 (May 2002)

Holden, Michael. "Cast Into Darkness." The Guardian (May 1, 2004)

The Influence and Controversy of Performance (DVD documentary on the 2007 Warner Brothers edition)

Kuersten, Erich. "CinemArchetype #4: The Hanged Man." Acidemic  (February 12, 2012)

Lorefice, Mike. Performance Raging Bull Movies (February 22, 2002)

Perez, Rodrigo. "Don't Look Back: Jagger and Nitzche's Performance." Playlist (May 4, 2007)

Smalley, G. "Performance (1970)." 366 Weird Movies (November 10, 2010)

Whitelaw, Joshua. "Everything is Permitted: A Study of Nicolas Roeg." (Posted on Vimeo: 2014)
















Monday, November 7, 2016

Chevalier (Greece: Athina Rachel Tsangari, 2015)




Chevalier (Greece: Athina Rachel Tsangari, 2015: 99 mins)

Chevalier Critics Round Up (Ongoing Archive)

Elphick, Jeremy. "Chevalier." 4:3 (June 28, 2016)

Hudson, David. "Locarno 2015 | Athina Rachel Tsangari’s CHEVALIER." Keyframe (August 13, 2015)

Knight, Dana. "NYFF 2015: Filmmaker in Residence Athina Rachel Tsangari." The Independent (October 2, 2015)

La France, Samuel. "Chevalier (Athina Rachel Tsangari, Greece)." CinemaScope #65 (Winter 2015)

Reardon, Kiva. "Housekeeping and Other Feudalisms: An Interview with Athina Rachel Tsangari."  cléo 1.2 (July 25, 2013)

Tsangari, Athina Rachel. "Chevalier." The Close-Up (May 25, 2016)














Resources for November 7, 2016

Blakeslee, David, et al. "Ingmar Bergman's Summer with Monica." CriterionCast #174 (July 25, 2016) ["Inspired by the earthy eroticism of Harriet Andersson, in the first of her many roles for him, Ingmar Bergman had a major international breakthrough with this sensual and ultimately ravaging tale of young love. A girl (Andersson) and boy (Lars Ekborg) from working-class families in Stockholm run away from home to spend a secluded, romantic summer at the beach, far from parents and responsibilities. Inevitably, it is not long before the pair are forced to return to reality. The version initially released in the U.S. was reedited by its distributor into something more salacious, but the originalSummer with Monika (Sommaren med Monika), presented here, is a work of stunning maturity and one of Bergman’s most important films."]

Costa, Cassie Da, et al. "Mondo, Mondo." Film Comment (July 26, 2016) ["This month, at Anthology Film Archives, FILM COMMENT contributor Nick Pinkerton has programmed a variety of shockumentary-style works ranging from the notorious Mondo Cane(an Academy Award nominee, for Original Song) to Thierry Zéno’s Des Morts. Many of these films aim to shock and titillate, sometimes purporting to document actual deaths, but they become politically and culturally revealing texts. None of this problematic entertainment holds a candle, however, to the real-life horror that has become a fixture of 21st-century visual culture: recordings showing police brutality—grim evidence of actual violence that is used in calls for justice. In a wide-ranging discussion that moves from the cinema of taboo to the complexities of recordings of police violence, FC Digital Editor Violet Lucca spoke with Pinkerton, critic and programmer Ashley Clark, and New Yorker video producer (and former FC intern) Cassie da Costa."]

Gores, Jared, Michael Neelsen and Joe Pudas. "Favorite Political Films." Reel Fanatics #439 (November 6, 2016)

Koski, Genevieve, et al. "Ghostbusters (2016) / Ghostbusters (1984), Pt. 1" The Next Picture Show #37 (July 26, 2016) ["The strange controversy over Paul Feig's gender-reversed GHOSTBUSTERS has us looking back at the original 1984 GHOSTBUSTERS to see what about it has inspired such strong feeling. In this half of the conversation, we focus on the then-and-now of Ivan Reitman's original, while trying (unsuccessfully) to dodge the dreaded "N" word: "nostalgia.""]

---. "Ghostbusters (2016) / Ghostbusters (1984), Part 2." The Next Picture Show #38 (July 28, 2016) ["Our GHOSTBUSTERS discussion turns its attention to Paul Feig's new remake, which was made with obvious affection for (and cameos from) the 1984 version, and replicates certain character types and plot points. But it also breaks from it in significant ways we'll discuss, as well as thoughts on the effects, the villains, New York City, blockbuster culture, and more."]

Maclay, Willow. "Don't Go Breaking My Heart (Johnnie To, 2011)." The Vulgar Cinema (April 9, 2014)

McCalmont, Jonathan. "Nothing Beside Remains: A History of the New Weird."  The Big Echo #2 (Autumn 2016)

Palmer, Landon. "Ida: Almost Too Stunning For Its Own Good." Film School Rejects (May 2, 2014)

Riccobono, Jack Pettibone. "The Seventh Fire." Film School (July 23, 2016) ["From executive producers Terrence Malick, Natalie Portman, and Chris Eyre comes this haunting and unflinching debut feature, THE SEVENTH FIRE, directed by Jack Pettibone Riccobono. When gang leader Rob Brown is sentenced to prison for a fifth time, he must confront his role in bringing violent drug culture into his beloved American Indian community in northern Minnesota. As Rob reckons with his past, his seventeen-year-old protégé, Kevin,dreams of the future: becoming the most powerful and feared Native gangster on the reservation."]

Schamus, James. "The Tall T." The Cinephiliacs #82 (July 25, 2016) ["How does one reconcile the ideas of artistry in cinema, the kind of magic of cinephilia that we see each time we look up at the screen, with the business practices that often painted as limiting it? James Schamus has somehow made a career of toeing this (likely constructed) dichotomy, helping produce some of the early independent films of the 1990s before becoming the co-founder of Focus Features, which made films like The Pianist,Atonement, Brokeback Mountain, and Moonrise Kingdom, as well as a collaborator of Ang Lee, writing the screenplays for The Ice Storm, Ride With The Devil, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. James discusses this work between the politics of making art for specialty audiences, as well as his interest in the very nature of art through his work as a theorist and professor at Columbia University. They then turn to his directorial debut, an adaptation of Philip Roth's Indignation, and what it means to modulate performance.Finally, the two discuss Budd Boetticher's 1957 hostage western The Tall T, and what a specialty art house producer can learn from watching Randolph Scott contemplate existence in this low budget western."]

Talbird, John Duncan. "The Sound of Cool: Jim Jarmusch's Gimme Danger."  Film International (November 3, 2016)




Sunday, November 6, 2016

Moonshine Clans of the Alphane Mountains by Michael Dean Benton

I've been searching for rare insights that circulate amongst a chosen few. Good news though, I'm using my time wisely here in Lexington, KY searching amongst the Moonshine Clans of the Alphane Mountains for the secret recipe that will allow me to unlock the paradox of a program centered around the mythical belief that one can know their individual selves. So far only manic giggling whenever I mention my desire for answers ... the whispering behind my back almost broke my determination but I hung in there until an elder Magi of the Clans began to take pity on this Lost Boy from the Western Lands. She claimed to have originally come from the City of the Red Night where they teach their young that one cannot seek "the" answer, instead they must explore the "multiplicity" of questions, for it is in the masking of "possible" questions that power rests upon and the prying free of these nuggets from the earth's moist grasp is the quest of the Moonshine Clans of the Alphane Mountains.
The ancient Moonshine Magi cackled, swigged from her jug, and said "this is where the neophytes can get in trouble." In the act of chasing these shy questions the hunter notices that the landscape often shifts and reshapes each time a question is revealed. It seems that the Clans learned long ago that when one unearths a question revealing its essence the disturbance of the surrounding landscape generally causes an accompanying reveiling of surrounding questions. In fact, she warned that often eager groups of diggers, banded together for strength and safety, often bury smaller groups/individuals digging nearby. This is why a true Digger of the Clans of the Alphane Mountains always stops and retraces their steps reflecting on the pathway they are traveling and seeking to understand what disturbances their digging causes. The Magi seemed to derive much amusement from my comment that the illusions that cover the Western Lands have long forbidden self-reflective contemplation in order to freeze traditional concepts and to fuel the travel back to the future-past.
I asked the Magi how do the Diggers of the Clan of the Alphane Mountains retain their reflective ability while eagerly unearthing large concepts and revealing troublesome questions. "How do they dream the impossible and imagine the unaskable?" The Magi leaned back and swigged from her jug and chuckled at my Western ignorance. She stared at me like an adder stares down a mouse and dared me to think upon it.
After a long uncomfortable two days I unkinked my frozen limbs. The emptying of my mind allowed me to recognize that the best way to build a hearty, enrichening intellectual-spiritual bouillabaise, is to blend it with (an)other body(ies) of knowledge. The clans, following the wisdom of the Dispossessed, require all learners to travel to other realms (physical, spiritual, and mental) in order to experience different realities and to act as multi-conduit translators (within and without their clan)
Its obvious that the Magi is still toying with me. Perhaps I still must quest for these answers on my own, perhaps I still must travel, perhaps I should look into the interstices of our collective understanding for missing clues?
I screamed, "Please help me! What is a traveler to do when there is no map to guide me" ... the Magi just cackles!!! "Foolish Lost Boy of the Western Lands, when will you learn that the quest is the journey and that as soon as you pin down an answer, it only means that you have reveiled other healthy questions--questions that must then be once again revealed."
Shaking and confused, I picked up a large jug of Alphane moonshine and stumbled into the forest to look for questions.........