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.
The first half of the article is an early version of the paper I gave at the recent Moving Environments conference, which encompassed material from the first two chapters of my forthcoming book Ecologies of the Moving Image. While the Film-Philosophy version is several months old now, it is the best statement published to date of my film-philosophy, which is expanded on at great length in the book. The article’s second half features an extended treatment of Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1979 film Stalker.
1. Find where nature and culture (river and engineering) slam into each other in a passionate wave. Ride it.
Observations: To enjoy it at all, you have to be good. Some of these guys (and women) are really good. If you stay up for more than the first couple of seconds, you’re in. 15 seconds, you’re good. 25 seconds, you’re great. A minute would be awesome; I didn’t see it, but some came close (into the 40s). Finally, when you gotta go down, find a graceful way to do it.
Here are my notes from Day 2 of the Moving Environments workshop in Munich. The same caveats apply as yesterday: they’re hastily typed up and reflect only my own interpretation of what transpired. If any of the participants would prefer not to have their ideas shared in this way, I will be happy to remove them upon request.