Category: ImageNation


Cross-posting this piece by Emil from A(s)cene. Taylor’s coral reef art is beautiful. See also the discussion of Donna Haraway’s “String Figures” lecture and Bruno Latour’s 11 theses on capitalism

 

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Apocalypstickle?

Ukraine Protests

Just as environmental media have a penchant for the spectacle of “disaster porn,” so does political media reveal a strong attraction to what Politico’s Sarah Kendzior, in “The Day We Pretended to Care About Ukraine,” calls the “apocalypstickle.”

An ugly word for political observers’ weird fascination with apocalyptic imagery. Brueghel, Bosch . . . and heightened internet traffic.

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50 years

A. O. Scott’s article on the Abraham Zapruder film of JFK’s assassination captures something of the 50-year transition from the first cinéma vérité president (Kennedy) to a world in which everyone is their own cinéma vérité celebrity — stars and legends in our own minds.

The Zapruder film in a sense predates all that — it comes just before the era of seamless televisual (ir)reality (which Scott describes well) and puts a boundary around it. Somewhere buried in it is the firstness of that primal trauma: the shot (and the secondness of Kennedy’s death).

Yet its many afterlives become part of that (ir)reality, in which proliferating meanings are woven into the phantasmagoric televisual texture of we-no-longer-know-what.

“The Zapruder film remains powerful partly because it seems to dwell in a zone of ambiguity that has become, over the years, a more and more familiar place. We accept it as true, without knowing what it means.”

Article here.

 

 

Documenting the act of killing

The following is reblogged, excerpted and modified, from e²mc.

How do films deal with historical atrocities? And how might they enable them in the first place?

The Act of Killing is Joshua Oppenheimer’s chilling documentary about the perpetrators of the mass murders committed by the Suharto regime’s paramilitary death squads in mid-1960s Indonesia. The filmmakers interview some of the worst of the perpetrators and — controversially — invite them to re-enact the killings for the camera, filming these scenes in the style of their favorite film genres. This interplay between mass murder and Hollywood movies — gangsters, westerns, and musicals — is a focus of the film.

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EMI-shot

It arrived a few days ago. Feels good to grasp in the hand: thick, solid, “capacious” (as Steven Shaviro says in one of the cover blurbs). And Tarkovsky has rarely looked as green as on the cover.

But I’ve already found an indefensible oversight: View full article »

Nice or what?

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The above is

(a) beautiful,

(b) ugly,

(c) neither beautiful nor ugly in itself (nor anything else in particular), or

(d) _________ (fill in the blank)?

It’s a view (on a particularly hazy day) of the Sheffield wind power project in northeast Vermont, as seen from Crystal Lake State Park beach outside the town of Barton.

The view itself View full article »

Vik Muniz & his waste pickers

Here are my introductory comments to the 2010 documentary Waste Land, delivered yesterday at the Fleming Museum in Burlington and shown in connection with the exhibition High Trash, which runs until May 19.

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Ecologies of the Moving Image is a book of ecophilosophy that happens to be about cinema, and about the 12-decade history of cinema at that.

What makes it ecophilosophy? It is philosophy that is deeply informed both by an understanding of ecological science and an interdisciplinary appreciation for today’s ecological crisis.

Why cinema?

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Illienko’s poetic cinema

The following is an article I originally wrote in 1989, or maybe 1988, after seeing three films by Ukrainian poetic cinema master Yuri Illienko (a.k.a.  Iurii/Yurij/Jurij Ilyenko/Ilienko/Illyenko/Il’yenko). Two of the films — A Well for the Thirsty and Eve of Kupalo Night, or St. John’s Eve — had languished unseen under Soviet censorship for some twenty years. They are screening this coming week at New York’s Lincoln Center.

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These are some of my favorite films of all time. “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors” was groundbreaking and the 3 Illienko films rarely get shown anywhere. (“Eve of Ivan Kupalo” is one of the wildest rides on celluloid.)

See them on the big screen — at the Lincoln Center this coming week — if you’re in the New York City area.

James Steffen has a useful write-up on the series. And see my obit for Illienko here, with a couple of clips. I promised there that I would try to make available an old article in which I analyze three of Illienko’s films — all of which are showing at the Lincoln Center. I will do that shortly.