Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Dialogic Cinephilia - July 31, 2018

Chomsky, Noam.  "Condemns Israel’s Shift to Far Right & New 'Jewish Nation-State' Law." Democracy Now (July 30, 2018) ["Israel has passed a widely-condemned law that defines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people and gives Jews the sole right to self-determination. It also declares Hebrew the country’s only official language and encourages the building of Jewish-only settlements on occupied territory as a “national value.” The law has drawn international condemnation and accusations that Israel has legalized apartheid. For more we speak with world-renowned political dissident, author, and linguist Noam Chomsky. He is a laureate professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Arizona and Professor Emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he taught for more than 50 years."]

Dellums, Ron. "Ron Dellums (1935-2018): Organizing for Peace Forces Us to Challenge All Forms of Injustice." Democracy Now (July 31, 2018) ["Ron Dellums, the legendary politician and anti-war activist who fought against U.S. intervention around the globe, apartheid in South Africa and the Vietnam War, has died at the age of 82. During his nearly three decades in Congress, Dellums opposed every major U.S. military intervention except a bill in 1992 to send troops to Somalia. This legacy began when Dellums pushed for the House to conduct a probe into U.S. war crimes committed in Vietnam shortly after taking office in 1970. When this effort failed, Dellums held his own ad hoc war crimes hearings. The celebrated congressmember once said, “I am not going to back away from being called a radical. If being an advocate of peace, justice, and humanity toward all human beings is radical, then I’m glad to be called a radical.” We remember Ron Dellums’s legacy by airing his 2015 speech at the “Vietnam: The Power of Protest” conference in Washington, D.C., where he was introduced by Democracy Now! co-host Juan González."]

Hewitt, Annie. "Why unarmed civilian protection is the best path to sustainable peace." Waging Nonviolence (July 6, 2018)

Kaufman, Anthony. "Wide Open or Ajar." Filmmaker (June 11, 2018) [On distribution opportunities/practices in the current film scene]

"Songs with a Global Conscience." Rethinking Schools (Spring 2002)

Toscano, Mark. "Soft Fiction." The Cinephiliacs #98 (December 24, 2017) ["While every single restoration brings unique challenges, Mark Toscano sometimes has to ask a very strange question: did the filmmaker intend that scratch or speck or slice or anything that might appear like a problem or mistake as actually critical to the film? It's questions like these that bring energy to Mark as he works as a film preservationist at the Academy Film Archive, helping preserve and restore hundreds of experimental cinema works. Peter sits down with Mark to discuss his road from the George Eastman house to Canyon Cinema to the Academy, and some of the unique questions and relationships he builds as the canon of experimental cinema continue to expand under his purview. Finally, the two dive into the complex and wondrous world of Chick Strand in Soft Fiction, whose detailing of the sexual experiences and desires of women under her lyrical eye has gained complexity in today's discussions of sex and power."]

Winter, Jana. "'Quiet Skies'? Boston Globe Exposé Reveals TSA Is Secretly Surveilling Thousands of U.S. Travelers." Democracy Now (July 31, 2018) ["A Boston Globe investigation has revealed the existence of a domestic surveillance program run by the Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, which has been shadowing U.S. citizens on planes and in airports since 2012. Under the program, called “Quiet Skies,” federal air marshals collect information about U.S. travelers, including common behavior like using the bathroom repeatedly, sleeping on flights or sweating heavily. In the wake of the Globe investigation, TSAofficials have bowed to pressure from Congress and plan to meet with the House and Senate Homeland Security Committees. We speak with Jana Winter, the Boston Globe Spotlight Fellow who broke the story. Her investigation is headlined, “Welcome to the Quiet Skies.”"]

Monday, July 30, 2018

Dialogic Cinephilia - July 30, 2018

“Haven’t you ever been put in a new situation and found that, after overcoming its difficulties, you had developed a new set of skills and new experiences along the way?” -- Geometry teacher in Margaret (Kenneth Lonnergan, 2011)

"It’s just about being a boy and figuring out what the hell your sexual identity will be — or what it means." - Barry Jenkin's on his film Moonlight (2016)

Collins, K. Austin. "The Radical Intimacy of Moonlight." The Ringer (October 18, 2016)

---. "There Are No Easy Answers in a Kenneth Lonergan Film: In Manchester by the Sea, the director again explores the depth of grief." The Ringer (November 17, 2016)

Susstein, Cass R. "It Can Happen Here." The New York Review of Books (June 28, 2018) [Published responses to the essay.]

“How can we—those of us who profess to educate—accept the student demand not only as a rebuke, which it certainly is, but also as a gift?” -- Tav Nyong’o

Waldrun, Jeremy. "Brave Spaces." The New York Review of Books (June 28, 2018)


ZerovilleZeroville by Steve Erickson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The strange journey of a fish-out-of-water arriving in Hollywood and seeking to get into the business. Sounds cliche, but Erickson takes this as a starting point to explore the cultural trends of the 60s - 80s in an unexpected and strange way. Vikar, perhaps, could bring to mind the protagonist of Kosinski's 1970 novel Being There (Hal Ashby film came out in 1979), but Vikar is much more rough-and-tumble and has a darker side. The book is like a slow boulder coming down a hill, gaining acceleration and power as it moves. A real treat for cinephiles as the story winds it way through film history (in the character's life and through characters' dialogues - I love the reoccurring burglar/thief with an extensive knowledge and strong opinions about film history)!

I saw the trailer for the new James Franco film. Unfortunately it looks like they are going in a screwball comedy direction - which this book definitely is not.

View all my reviews

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Dialogic Cinephilia - July 28, 2018

Benton, Michael Dean. "Sorry to Bother You." Letterboxd (July 28, 2018)

Chomsky, Noam. "On Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s 'Spectacular' Victory & Growing Split in Democratic Party." Democracy Now (July 27, 2018) ["The 2018 midterm election season has been roiled by the internal divisions between the Democratic Party’s growing progressive base and the more conservative party establishment. In New York City, this division came to a head with the most shocking upset of the election season so far, when 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez handily defeated 10-term incumbent Representative Joe Crowley, the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House. Ocasio-Cortez ran a progressive grassroots campaign as a Democratic Socialist advocating for “Medicare for All” and the abolition of ICE. For more on her victory and what it means for the Democratic Party, we speak with Noam Chomsky, world-renowned political dissident, linguist."]

Collins, K. Austin. "Margaret." The Cinephiliacs (November 5, 2017) ["Since debuting in the fairgrounds during the Fin de siècle of the late 19th century, movies have never been inseparable from our culture around them. So how does one write about them in a way that gives both the text and the world a fair shake? Over at The Ringer, K. Austin Collins has been using his writing to explore how films operate as cultural artifacts, even as the machine of Hollywood has attempted to vacuum itself from any discussion. Kam dives into his interest in writing as a practice and how he moved from the academic sphere into the weekly reviewing gig, and how he finds ways to bring his training to even writing about blockbusters. The two have a long discussion in particular about movie stars and the particular pleasures of watching them and seeing them create identities. Finally, Kam brings on Kenneth Lonergan's almost lost to litigation masterpiece Margaret with Anna Paquin, which leads to a discussion of what exactly is melodrama and how and why do movies affect us."]

D., Margo and Margo P. "The Cider House Rules." Book vs Movie (January 9, 2018)

---. "Girl Interrupted." Book vs Movie (Jan 28, 2018) ["Are you ready to learn a whole lot about Borderline Personality Disorder? You better damn well be because the Margos sure did after reading Girl Interrupted and man we just LOVE this book and movie discussion! We start off talking about the recent Women’s Marches and then get right into the nitty-gritty of Susanna Kaysen’s (our author’s) interesting background and the history of the McLean Hospital who past residents include Sylvia Plath, James Taylor, Ray Charles and David Foster Wallace. She stayed there between 1967-1968 and wrote this book in 1993. Actress Winona Ryder (just 21 years old at the time) bought the movie rights and waited several years to see her passion project become the star vehicle for multi-award winner Angelina Jolie (oops!) We read the book and then watched the movie. Which did the Margos like better?"]

Rebanal, Jamie. "Sorry to Bother You." Letterboxd (July 13, 2018)

Snowpiercer (South Korea/USA/France/Czech Republic: Bong Joon-Ho, 2013)

Friday, July 27, 2018

Dialogic Cinephilia - January 27, 2018

D., Margo and Margo P. "Mudbound: The Hillary Jordan Novel Vs The Dee Rees Film." Book vs Movie (February 9, 2018)

Fox, Margalit. "Shinobu Hashimoto, Writer of Towering Kurosawa Films, Is Dead at 100." The New York Times (July 20, 2018)

Gray, Briahna. "You Say You Want a Revolution? The Anti-Capitalist Film Sorry to Bother You Shows the Way." The Intercept (July 25, 2018)

Hennessey, Martha and Carmen Trotta.  "Kings Bay Plowshares: Meet Two of the Seven Activists Who Secretly Entered a Nuclear Submarine Base." Democracy Now (July 24, 2018) ["We look at the resistance against nuclear weapons here in the United States. On April 4, 2018—the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination—seven Catholic Plowshares activists secretly entered Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Georgia, one of the largest nuclear submarine bases in the world. They were armed with just hammers, crime scene tape, baby bottles containing their own blood, and an indictment charging the U.S. government for crimes against peace. Their goal was to symbolically disarm the nuclear weapons at the base, which is home to at least six nuclear ballistic missile submarines. Each submarine carries 20 Trident thermonuclear weapons. The activists said they were following the prophet Isaiah’s command to “beat swords into plowshares.” It was the latest of 100 similar anti-nuclear Plowshares actions around the world beginning in 1980 in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. The first Plowshares action in 1980 was led by the late Daniel Berrigan and Phil Berrigan. Phil’s wife, Liz McAlister, was one of seven arrested at the April 4 action. McAlister and two other activists, Jesuit priest Stephen Kelly and Mark Colville, remain locked up in pretrial confinement in Brunswick, Georgia. Four others—Patrick O’Neill, Carmen Trotta, Martha Hennessy and Clare Grady—are under house arrest. All seven could face years in prison, if convicted. We speak with Martha Hennessy and Carmen Trotta. Hennessy is the granddaughter of Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Worker movement. Carmen Trotta helps run the St. Joseph Catholic Worker House in New York."]

"Impoverished, imprisoned and invisible (Disability Justice) ." Best of the Left #1188 (June 5, 2018)

Koehler, Robert, et al. "La Notte." The Cinematologists #54 (December 1, 2017) ["Michelangelo Antonioni is generally recognised as one of the seminal directors of the European Art House tradition. In this week’s episode, The Cinematologists return to the Electric Palace Cinema to screen his 1961 film La Notte. The central film in his classic trilogy of modern alienation – L’avventura and L’eclisse being the other two - La Notte features three of the most iconic European stars - Jeanne Moreau Marcello Mastroianni and Monica Vitti - in a tale of strained relationships set in the abstract architectural spaces of Milan and the rarefied yet superficial circles of Italian high society. This episode also features an interview with the renowned film critic Robert Koehler who discuss his love and admiration of Antonioni's film particular focusing on the film that he sees as the filmmaker's masterpiece L'avventura."]

Munayyer, Yousef and Rebecca Vilkomerson. "Advocates: Israel’s Jewish Nation-State Law Constitutionally Enshrines Racism Against Palestinians." Democracy Now (July 23, 2018) ["A fragile ceasefire remains in effect after four Palestinians and one Israeli soldier were killed during violence Friday along the border with Gaza. During the flare-up, Israel launched dozens of strikes it said were targeted at Hamas rockets and mortars. The death of the Israeli soldier was the first since Palestinians launched weekly nonviolent protests at the border in March. Israeli forces have shot and killed at least 140 Palestinians during those protests, while wounding thousands of others. This comes as Israeli lawmakers drew condemnation Thursday for passing a law that defines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people and gives them the sole right to self-determination. The law declares Hebrew the country’s only official language and encourages the building of Jewish-only settlements on occupied territory as a “national value.” We get response from Yousef Munayyer, executive director of US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, and Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace. She co-authored a new op-ed in The Independent headlined “As Jews, we reject the myth that it’s antisemitic to call Israel racist.”"]

"Songs with a Global Conscience." Rethinking Schools (Spring 2002)

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Dialogic Cinephilia - July 24, 2018

"Home is wherever I am with you" - I've been thinking a lot about how we develop and create a sense of home and what it takes to build a good home. I'm very fortunate because I feel like I have three homes - San Diego, Oregon, and Kentucky, but even more, I have been thinking about how my home is also carried within me, wherever I go, and it is populated with all of the people I have loved throughout out my life (past and present) and those that have helped me out on my journey (even saved my life at times). Hopefully those of you that are in my life know how much you mean to me - most likely as I continue to think and remember I will let you know (or remind you). Here's to all the people that are no longer in this world, I hope I do honor and repay your love/support, in other ways, for others that need it.

Barnard, Annie. "Climate Change is Killing the Cedars of Lebanon." The New York Times (July 18, 2018)

Benton, Michael Dean. "For Those That Want to Think-About and Act-To Change The World for the Better." Dialogic Cinephilia (May 9, 2018)

Fox, Neil and Dario Linares. "Blade Runner 2049." The Cinematologists (October 18, 2017) ["With the original Blade Runner being a formative film for both Dario and Neil, they take the time to discuss the 2017 sequel directed by Denis Villeneuve: Blade Runner 2049. A lot has been said and written about this new incarnation, directly about the aesthetics, philosophical themes and narrative, but also regarding the wider ideological readings related to gender, race and class. We hope you enjoy our contribution to the discourse around a film which, if nothing else, reminds us of cinema's ability to provoke thought and exercise passion."]

Lennard, Natasha. "Law Claiming to Fight Sex Trafficking is Doing the Opposite — By Cracking Down on Sex Work Organizing and Advocacy." The Intercept (June 13, 2018)

Solis, Jose. "Debra Granik on Leave No Trace, the Power of Minimalism, and Learning from Our Ancestors." The Film Stage (June 30, 2018)

Somerset, Sara Brittany. "UN Drug Committee Finds Cannabis an Effective, ‘Relatively Safe Drug.'" Leafly (June 11, 2018)

The Modern Jungle trailer from Charles Fairbanks on Vimeo.