Saturday, June 20, 2020

Dialogic Cinephilia - June 20, 2020

Alpert, Roger. "Clint Eastwood's The Mule: An Old Man's Tale." Jump Cut #59 (Fall 2019)

Batsakis, Joanna Elena. "Dennis Hopper’s Pop Art Misery: Revisiting the Image of the American Flag for Easy Rider's Fiftieth Anniversary." Film Criticism 43.4 (2019)

Constable, Catherine. "Under the Skin: Cosmology and Individuation." Movie #7 (2017): 31 - 34.

Featherstone, Liza. "Consumer Society and the Curation of Culture." Citations Needed (November 21, 2018) ["Focus groups have long-been derided by the left, right, and center for watering down culture and reducing creative and political endeavors to dull, show-of-hand reductionism. But what if focus groups – which first arose from socialist experiments in 1920s Vienna – are not inherently bad? What if they've simply been exploited by the capitalist class and could, potentially, have much to offer a left-wing, democratic vision of the world? We are joined by author and professor Liza Featherstone to discuss the problems and potential of the much-maligned, but often scapegoated, focus group."]

"Gimme Shelter." See Hear #62 (March 25, 2019) ["Tim, Sticky (Fingers) and Maurice delve into the documentary about disaster that was The Rolling Stones' free concert at Altamont Speedway on December 6, 1969. The Stones were finishing up their first American tour in 3 years....hugely successful artistically coming after two of the greatest albums in their back catalogue, Beggars Banquet and Let It Bleed. The tour infamously ended in tragedy when a San Franciscan chapter of the Hells Angels were hired by the Stones to provide security for the payment of $500 worth of beer. From 2019, this does not look to be world's best business practice....needless to say, things didn't go well. Members of the audience (and Marty Balin of Jefferson Airplane) were beaten by the Angels, they had contempt for the band they were supposedly guarding, and by day's end, Meredith Hunter, a concert goer was pronounced dead after being stabbed by a member of the Angels. David and Albert Mayles and Charlotte Zwerin were looking to make a bog standard documentary about the Stones' US tour of 1969....instead, their cameras captured events that many have said kicked the idealism of the 1960s to the curb. We discuss the way the drama of the film is presented, other films featuring the Rolling Stones as subject matter, the image of the band as opposed to the reality, and whether they learned anything as a result. Who was complicit in Meredith's murder? Be aware some of the subject matter may be a little distressing."]

Hickel, Jason. "The Neoliberal Optimism Industry." Citations Needed #58 (November 28, 2018) ["We're told the world is getting better all the time. In January, The New York Times' Nick Kristof explained "Why 2017 Was the Best Year in Human History." The same month, Harvard professor and Bill Gates' favorite optimist Steven Pinker lamented (in a special edition of Time magazine guest edited by - who else? - Bill Gates) the “bad habits of media... bring out the worst in human cognition”. By focusing so much on negative things, the theory goes, we are tricked into thinking things are getting worse when, in reality, it's actually the opposite. For the TEDtalk set, that the world is awesome and still improving is self-evidently true - just look at the data. But how true is this popular axiom? How accurate is the portrayal that the world is improving we so often seen in sexy, hockey stick graphs of upward growth and rapidly declining poverty? And how, exactly, are the powers that be "measuring" improvements in society? On this episode, we take a look at the ideological project of telling us everything's going swimmingly, how those in power cook the books and spin data to make their case for maintaining the status quo, and how The Neoliberal Optimism Industry is, at its core, an anti-intellectual enterprise designed to lull us into complacency and political impotence."]

Koresky, Michael, Nicolas Rapold and Maddie Whittle.  "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood." The Film Comment Podcast (July 31, 2019) ["Tarantino’s latest made a splash at the Cannes Film Festival, and now it’s finding great success in theaters. All of that despite being a change of pace for the director. The film is set in the twilight period of 1969, in a small world of Hollywood actors, bit players, and movie and TV productions, alongside more fringe elements of society represented by the Manson Family. Though the specter of the murderous cult leader lurks throughout, Once Upon a Time is a largely affectionate movie, with a lot of room to hang out in, and terrific actors to hang out with: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Margot Robbie, among others. To discuss the film, Film Comment Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold sat down with Michael Koresky, longtime FC contributor and co-editor of Reverse Shot, and Maddie Whittle, programming assistant at Film at Lincoln Center. Listeners beware: in order to talk about the movie’s accomplishments and significance, we do talk about the story in full, including parts of the plot that have, to date, been kept under wraps."]

Martin, Alfred L., Jr. "Racquel J. Gates, Double Negative: The Black Image and Popular Culture (Duke University Press, 2018)." Film Criticism 44.3 (Spring 2019)

McCleerey, Mark. "Bohemian Normativity: Bohemian Rhapsody and the New Heteronormal." Film Criticism 44.3 (2019)

Zeric, Arijana. "Return to the Self: Agnès Varda’s Cleo from 5 to 7." Film Criticism 44.3 (2019)

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