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C'est la guerre

2012 Cinetract 1: a nuclear journey past the stars.

“This is not a game.” — Barack Obama, March 6, 2012

“They weren’t dreams, they were codeinic jogs of the memory, little twitters of the past, good and bad, adult pain and laughter, sophomoric actions and reactions, a life of too many faults and failures and an overabundance of rabbit-foot luck. From my insane kaleidoscopic walk on earth, I end up hand in hand with Mommy. Let some Chaldean of the couch explain that.

We—by we I mean the fliers—celebrated the false alarm. We all got loaded, had a fight with the navy, made a shambles of the Coronado bar, and twelve of us goose-stepped off the long pier that used to extend out from the beach of the hotel. It was at night, there was a strong wind, and the waves very very high. We had on our uniforms, complete with the officer’s high boots. It was great fun. We did pretty well. We managed to reach the beach, half drowned, that is all but one, and then we found the armistice was just a rumor. That sobered us up, but it was a little late. C’est la guerre.

The real armistice was celebrated with a little quiet drinking. No fight, no laughter, no talk, no goose-stepping, just silent sorrow. I went to bed early. I didn’t sleep.

Epitaph for the directors who fell at the crossroads of the world; date, long ago: LEAVING IT TO POSTERITY TO KNOW THE TRUTH.” —William A. Wellman, A Short Time for Insanity

Three postwar penitents mete each other out in the doghouse in the clouds: their last hope in the past, a boom market. Pinned by cornfed angels, some directors instinctively throw parabolic curveballs from paradise to hell—so this exorcism’s theirs, projected from a politician’s mortal turf to God’s cineplex in the sky. When all us moviegoers stake out dreams of faraway men as housewives waiting for empyreal visions offloaded from above, at least these guys—three postwar movies and a slew of modern media—can portend, in pretenses of a misbegotten past, how dreams dropped. The most conservative propaganda, shot to blind its public from their world, still indicts reality at the fault lines for all its unsubstantiated hopes and reasons, intents.

So by George the skies the illimit: skype it big or skype it small; pause or play its games. Journey beyond the image, before breakfast, after lunch, but, for full investment in cheap speculations, play it full-screen, with headphones, if you’ll must.

Dedicated to an occupied future and Bill Wellman’s memory. Cross-posted at THE SECRET HISTORY OF AMERICA.

“If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with!”
Greg—a good question.Your guess is as good as mine, and wouldn’t want to “give it away” as if somehow it were a present to be unwrapped. But for any perspective at all should say just what’s already there; one starting point was the lives, imaginations, and reimagined lives of contemporaries John J. Montgomery and Georges Méliès (both featured), another William Wellman and Boris Barnet (both too). Movies and planes; faraway fantasies/war sanctions; and as all lingo points to a new Cold War, America’s strange abstractions of itself and a single entity, The Middle East. Kind of antinodes in fluctuating planes. Real games (in other words). There shouldn’t be any point to any of this, but maybe some base pairs to work off of and then forget. Thanks for eluding “what does it mean?” Can try asking that about anything outside the movie theater and see what happens. You take it from here; it’s as much yours as mine, and hopefully fits the small screen to be watched, paused, and reviewed actively (like a book?). I’ll keep mum from here.
What interested me was the word “cinetracts” and why you chose to call it that. Anyway, interesting work. Looking forward to seeing more.
You’re such an enigma, David.
Did Allan Sekula ghost write this?

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