Just found out from Efe that I’m user number 18622.
Film categories discussed:
Classic American movies discussed (listed by release year):
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
The Killers (1946)
Body and Soul (1947)
Out of the Past (1947)
The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
Sunset Boulevard (1950)
Touch of Evil (1958)
Frenzy (1972) Textual Analysis Part 1
Frenzy (1972) Textual Analysis Part 2
Pulp Fiction (1994)
My discussions also touch on the history of, and societal influences of Hip-Hop culture and music. Articles include:
Hip-Hop Culture: The 2000s
Hip-Hop Culture: The 90s
Hip-Hop Culture: The 80s
Hip-Hop Culture: The 70s
Hip-Hop Culture: The Four Elements
The Hip-Hop Canon
Hip-Hop as Context: Shakur’s “Blasphemy”
When the Smoke Clears: An Interview with Ian Inaba of the Guerrilla News Network
The Tragic Irony of Tupac Shakur
Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts.
My best film experiences of 2011 (in no particular order):
“Petit a petit” (1971) by Jean Rouch
I haven’t seen nearly enough by the old master but this one could be his magnum opus. Somehow it sums up everything his cinema is about, with poetry and precision yet as breezy and playful as the best of the New Wave.
“Barry Lyndon” (1975) by Stanley Kubrick
More emotion than I’m used to seeing in a Kubrick film. I found it full of subtle energy. The scope and tragedy of the story moved me. Also, I love the wording of that first intertitle: “How he acquired the style and title…”
“Dry Summer” (1964) by Metin Erksan. Seeing this film (only my second Erksan) confirmed that I had just encountered a master previously unknown to me. I eagerly await more revelations from him.
“Inglourious Basterds” (2009) by Quentin Tarantino. Watching this film over and over again gave me a comfort and pleasure. Somehow it encapsulates my European experiences and I can feel that in the future it will symbolize a certain formative period of my life in a very emotional way, which means it will have a very special place in my heart. I love watching without subtitles and feeling just as confused as I normally do when I am between multiple unknown languages.
“Sarah’s Key” (2010) by Gilles Paquet-Brenner. One of the best new films I saw this past year. I’m not normally a fan of the “Holocaust genre” but this one moved me, probably because it was about so much more. The best and most powerful closing image of the year, which reminded me of my favorite new film of 2010 and it’s piercing closing image: “Jaffa” (2009) by Keren Yedaya.
“Broken Flowers” (2005) by Jim Jarmusch. This film aches with yearning and mystery. I treasure it and can’t believe I waited so long to actually see it. As much as any of his works, proves Jarmusch to be an absolute cinematic magician.
“The Interrupters” (2011) by Steve James. My high point of new films in 2011. Ameena Matthews is a star. I’ve rarely seen such magnetism and heart in any personality on film — documentary or fiction. I would follow her into war or do her any favor she asked. Everything was right about this film. It’s time to evaluate James’ entire career up to this point. He might not be given his due in the documentary landscape.
“The Passion of Joan of Arc” (1928) by Carl Theodor Dreyer. Seeing this in a luminous print on the big screen with a transfixed audience reminded me (yes, here comes the popular cliche again!) how transformative and powerful true film (and film projection) can be. And now I finally get this film’s brilliance, which is not so apparent on a dvd. Deservedly one of the high water marks in the history of cinema and visionary for so many reasons.
Here is a listing of some of my favorite quotations from some of my favorite thinkers:
“There’s nothing more international than a pack of pimps.” – Straub
“One must not expect too much from people who use the word ‘form’ too fluently as signifying something other than content, or as connected with content, whatever, or who are suspicious of ‘technique’ as something ‘mechanical’.” – Brecht
“That’s life’s enigma. Long as life’s within us. We’re gonna sin a lot and pray that Christ forgive us.” – Jay-Z
“Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides.” – Luther
“It is the capacity for making good or bad art a personal matter that makes a man a critic.” – Shaw
“A wise man ought always to follow the paths beaten by great men, and to imitate those who have been supreme, so that if his ability does not equal theirs, at least it will savour of it.” – Machiavelli
“We are given a social examination of garbage; the truth of a society is in its detritus.”
- Shohat and Stam
“The difference between poetry and rhetoric is being ready to kill yourself instead of your children.” – Lorde
“You shall call a fine film the one that gives you an exalted idea of cinematography.” – Bresson
“To a chemist, nothing on earth is unclean. A writer must be as objective as a chemist; he must abandon the subjective line; he must know that dung-heaps play a very respectable part in a landscape, and that evil passions are as inherent in life as good ones.” – Chekhov
“The cinema is not a craft. It is an art. It does not mean teamwork. One is always alone; on the set as before the blank page.” – Godard
“…cinema is the greatest known mass medium there is in the world and the most powerful.” – Hitchcock
“I am speaking of a ruthless criticism of everything existing, ruthless in two senses: The criticism must not be afraid of its own conclusions, nor of conflict with the powers that be.” – Marx
“One of the surest instincts of genius is to avoid useless difficulties.” – Sickert
“A man’s efficiency factor is inversely proportionate to his garrulousness.” – Vertov