Teaching my film course (especially in its current rendition as “Ecology Film Philosophy”) and the book that goes with it (Ecologies of the Moving Image, which will be publicly available in July) — and especially teaching the Andrei Tarkovsky film Stalker, which serves as a sort of template for the book — makes me feel like the Stalker in the film.
The editors illustrated it with photos from David Cronenberg’s Crash, which I found funny. The online version doesn’t quite capture the effect. The English version is now available open access here and here.
The article is a remixed outtake from the final chapter of my book Ecologies of the Moving Image, which is scheduled to come out in Spring 2013 in Wilfrid Laurier University Press’s Environmenal Humanities Series.
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.
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.
My paper for this year’s Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference, coming up next month in Boston, will focus on the two films that got a lot of side-by-side attention at last year’s Cannes festival, Lars von Trier’s Melancholia and Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life. Since a few of my favorite bloggers have also discussed them side by side, I thought I’d share my preliminary thoughts about them here.
The two films play a key role in the final chapter of my (forthcoming) Ecologies of the Moving Image, but as I’m still thinking these themes through, I will be interested in responses I get at the SCMS (or here).
Steven Shaviro has posted his response to my and three other “curators’ notes” on his Post-Cinematic Affect.
The twists and turns of the discussions that have followed each of the daily commentaries have been fascinating. Somehow we’ve gone from a discussion of recent cinema to theorizing about affect and the limitations of recent affect theory (under the sign of Spinoza, Deleuze, and Silvan Tomkins), metabolism and panpsychism, magic (homeopathic and other kinds), fashion, “cinesensuality” and allure, Lady Gaga, YouTube and its “free labor,” and back again to capital and the possibilities for resistance, liberation, and alternative logics.
At bottom I am speaking of nothing other than a cinema capable of inventing a new grammar each time it goes from one world to the next, capable of producing a unique emotion before every thing, every animal, every plant, simply by modifying the parameters of space and time. But this implies a constant practice of both attention and detachment, an ability to enter into the act of filming and return an instant afterward to passive contemplation. In short, a cinema capable of accounting, above all, for the varieties of experience in the sensible world. Easily said….
– Raúl Ruiz, Poetics of Cinema (Éditions Dis Voir, 2005), pp. 89-90
I just caught up with the news that Raúl Ruiz died this past week.