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Eyecandy: Reflections on Cinephilia

The following passages are excerpted from students’ responses to Susan Sontag’s  controversial essay “The Decay of Cinema,” New York Times, February 25,1996. Students chose a range of other essays by other critics in order to contrast their attitudes towards cinephilia, the theatrical experience, and digital technologies with Sontag’s.  These essays include: Manohla Dargis’ “The 21st Century Cinephile,” New York Times, November 14, 2004; Jonathan Rosenbaum’s “DVDs: A New Form of Collective Cinephilia,” Cineaste,Vol.XXXV No.3 2010 and Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephilia: Film Culture in Transition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010); Tsai Ming-liang, “On the Uses and Misuses of Cinema, www.sensesofcinema.com, 2011; and Christian Keathley, Cinephilia & History or The Wind in the Trees (Bloomington: Indiana, 2006). Below is a selection of terrific responses. Enjoy.

– Prof. Rich

Susan Sontag’s article on “The Decay of Cinema” is, perhaps, a little alarmist, and certainly romanticizes the past more than is wise. But despite the fact that Sontag ignores any films that were less than masterpieces in the earlier days of cinema, and despite her obvious distaste for current mainstream films (which, in my opinion, are not all pure evil schemes with no purpose other than to make money…I’ve seen one or two blockbusters that I enjoyed), Sontag did make some interesting points, particularly in her paragraph on being “kidnapped” by a movie.

– Zoe Toffaleti

True, there is certain magic to sitting in a dark room with strangers and watching a world unfold for us to lose ourselves within, but the world has changed. I feel as though Sontag wants to return to a time when cinema lovers were an elite group of geniuses and because there are no select geniuses filling those shoes, she concludes that the practice of loving and examining film has died. On the contrary, much like a system overhaul from tyranny to socialism, the love of cinema has been dispersed amongst the people far and wide. Endless blogs discuss films: not just Hollywood-canon films, but films from all over the world, brought to you by the internet. As Jonathan Rosenbaum points out, “it surely matters that various films that were once literally or virtually impossible to see are now visible.”

– Connie Peterson

Manohla Dargis recognizes a shift of cinephilia, rather than the death of such, in her article, “The 21st Century Cinephile.” She notes Susan Sontag’s fear of what the decrease in theater audiences means for cinephilia. However, she sees the cause (an increase in people watching movies at home) as an advantage. Seeing movies at home allows the public to see a larger variety of movies. Dargis points out that DVD collectors taking pride in ownership of distributed movies drive a new style of cinephilia. While recognizing issues with streaming movies on the internet, Dargis connects the public’s development of a vast knowledge of movies to the rise in film festival popularity. There is no denying that a change in cinephilia is present. However, when considering Dargis’ view of festivals as a necessary distribution network, the change calls for less mourning and more recognition of varied film knowledge obtained by the public. There is still a love of cinema: this is more evolution than death.

– Laura Hartung

Sontag’s many erroneous arguments – like her assertion that the “conditions of paying attention in a domestic space are radically disrespectful of film” – are … a complete slap-in-the-face to whatever community of cinephiles does indeed exist. I watched Stella Dallas (Vidor, 1937) on a 13” MacBook screen last week without any distractions on the part of loudmouth roommates, text messages and doorbells because I was enamored of Barbara Stanwyck and would enjoy that film on any given apparatus. Cinephiles should object to Sontag’s misuse of apparatus theory (which is already so well delineated by such theoreticians as Christian Metz, Laura Mulvey, Jacques Lacan, Jean-Louis Baudry, etc.) because her discussion is so narrow-minded and joyless; she may as well be writing for Cahiers circa 1950 (sic). To assert that one can only enjoy films in a “darkened theater” not only elides the very sad reality of diminishing, small-scale and/or independent movie theaters, it also makes the offensively bourgeois case that cinephiles should exist in urban centers, near theater outlets to spend at least $70 per week watching features.

– Will Felker

While I believe Sontag’s argument about new technologies forcing out the experience of going to the cinema holds some weight, I think she fails to acknowledge the benefits of technology.  Because of the advent of home video, and ultimately DVD and Blu-Ray, more films are widely available than ever before.  More importantly, the accessibility of DVD has allowed film culture to move outside of the dominant cultural centers.  While seeing a great film in a packed theater may constitute an optimal viewing situation (and this claim can easily be contested), this is an experience that can only be had in a major cultural center. Theaters willing to play daring or original films are generally only found in the big cities. The possibility of home viewing fixes this problem, and allows for film culture to spread beyond the cultural elite.

– Quinn Gancedo

Jonathan Rosenbaum calls DVD the “new form of collective cinephilia.” Rosenbaum has a much more positive outlook on cinema and cinephilia than Sontag. He argues that cinephilia is not dead: it has just changed its nature in conjuncture with the times.  Whereas Sontag pushes for the viewing of films solely in the darkness of a theater, Rosenbaum is willing to utilize the DVD. Essentially, he states that sometimes, DVDs offer better picture quality than some prints of films and the viewing of a film in “optimal form” will change from picture to picture. “So we need to step away from absolutist positions about the future and make use of the best possible choices available to us in the present.” Willingness to accept the DVD offers a possibility for cinema to become more widely accessible and admired. Instead of condemning the times we live in, Rosenbaum argues that we need to adapt.

Both Rosenbaum and Sontag realize that film as an art form is changing. Whereas Sontag sees this change as bleak and negative, Rosenbaum sees the change as not bad, just different. He understands the times we live in and knows that even if masterpieces are fewer in number than they were in the early days of cinema, there is, with the help of DVD and internet technology, still a place and way for cinephiles to watch, discuss, debate, and truly love the cinema.

– Gabrielle Kovacich

Sontag’s discussion of the loss of a certain kind of love for the cinema is one that resonates deeply with me because I share her sentiment that this moment in history is one worth critically addressing. Although her tone is characteristically pessimistic and fatalist about this moment, suggesting that we are powerless to the forces that have engendered it, I hope to find ways in which we can make it out of this one alive.

Tsai Ming-liang discusses the end of cinema in similar ways in his article, “On the Uses and Misuses of Cinema.” He poses the questions (and I paraphrase), “Why should we continue to make movies for economic gain if this was not the purpose for which they were intended? What happened to the original intent of creating movies for poetic expression? Why have films seized to express us as individuals in all our intricacies and peculiarities?” He makes the analogy of going into a faux-Korean, Taiwanese restaurant. The food was of sub-par quality and characteristically “un-Korean.” He goes on to contextualize what implications this had both for food and for films, saying, “My film work is my own creation; it is inseparable from my life experience. Everything for me is a source of inspiration, from an old song that I hear, to the coffee shop that I own. Nothing is random, and nothing should be made just for profit.”  He argues that the cinema should reflect the qualities of the culture from which it emerged, inseparable from its history and the “flavors” that it was once meant to reflect. The cinema, like this crappy Korean restaurant imposter, has continued to create “products” for economic gain rather than strive for the masterpieces that were once possible.

– Ryan McDonald

The web has globalized the world of cinephilia. Dargis refers to this when she says, “The biggest difference between the cinephilia Sontag eulogized and today’s is that the homogeneity of the marketplace – and the media’s complicity – forces cinephiles to become their own cultural gatekeepers.”  By becoming one’s own “cultural gatekeeper,” the modern film enthusiast can gain access to and have even more control over what he or she chooses to watch than ever before.  It really is remarkable how many opportunities there are for film enthusiasts to explore and discover new and obscure works, in ways that simply were not possible in the days that Sontag misses so much.

– Austin Kovacs

David Bordwell further shortens the list of “true” cinephiles by separating existing film buffs into two categories depending on their enthusiasm and ritual of movie watching; the cinephile and the cinemaniac. The cinephile, to Bordwell, is more of a connoisseur who appreciates film as art in all its forms while the cinemaniac is more akin to one who consistently watches the same type of movie with established expectations. This distinction creates conflicts between the two authors in regards to what defines a cinephile, but they do agree on one thing: the number of true film lovers is on a steep decline. … Both Bordwell and Sontag would agree that regardless of what distinguishes a cinephile, the true concern is the very real deterioration of movie-going in general. Television and the ability to watch movies at home has eaten into the film culture that used to be so predominant. And now the internet has further decreased the rate at which people go to the movies; with the likes of Netflix, Hulu, and especially BitTorrent, why would one pay ten dollars to sit in a dark room to watch a film with strangers? It is this mindset that has infected the masses and is killing film culture. If it continues Sontag’s fear may become a complete reality – movies may die, only to be resurrected at the birth of a new form of cinephilia.

–Nicholas So

I prefer as close a recreation of the theater experience as possible. Like Rosenbaum, though, I do think what choice you make at the end of the day should hinge simply on what the best format available is. My own personal experience, comparable to his with Vampyr, was with Fellini’s . This is one of my favorite films, and for a very long time I’d experienced only on DVD. I never had a problem with this, but I definitely jumped at the opportunity when I saw that a print was to be screened in San Francisco. That I found myself disappointed with the presentation was saddening, but that I found myself preferring the DVD was surprising! … [What] I witnessed in the theater was a complete degrading of every aspect of the subtitles – vital for correctly connecting with a film like this. Most of the subtitles were clearly outdated, and flowed less or made less sense than my Criterion DVD’s translation. Furthermore, doubly frustrating was the fact that many spoken lines of dialogue didn’t even have translations!

– Leo Robertson (EyeCandy co-editor)

While I understand Sontag’s argument in terms of theater attendance and general audience reception to up-and-coming films, Rosebaum’s article more accurately describes my experience of film, especially regarding the internet’s ability to disseminate independent art. Additionally, Sontag wrote her interpretation of film culture in 1996, which is a year in which my film exposure was probably the sole responsibility of my parents. Today, Netflix plays a role in dictating my film interests alongside the blogs I read and the film courses I take at UCSC.

Written fourteen years later (six years after Sontag’s death), Jonathan Rosenbaum’s introduction to Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephilia: Film Culture in Transition expands on what Sontag theorizes as the potential birth of a new kind of “cine‐love.” He acknowledges that his peers often take the same negative stance as Sontag, but offers a hopeful encapsulation of a younger generation’s experience of taste‐making, suggesting that film culture is merely undergoing [yet another] transition. Rosenbaum, despite being sixty‐six years of age at the release of this publication, admits to viewing films in an “extralegal” manner: downloading them from The Pirate Bay (an ‘underground’ Swedish torrent website).

– Kelsey Carter (EyeCandy co-editor)

In his introduction to Cinephilia & History, or The Wind in the Trees, Christian Keathley touches upon Sontag’s view of cinephilia under attack, viewing it as “something quaint, outmoded, snobbish” in order to ensure films be seen as “unique, unrepeatable, magic experiences” by stating that the goal is “to recover for the present some sense of the excitement… [the] cinephiliac spirit.” To Keathley, cinephilia isn’t something which can be destroyed, for the cinephile beholds certain moments and experiences within films as “nothing less than an epiphany, a revelation. This fetishization of marginal, otherwise ordinary details in the motion picture image is as old as the cinema itself.”

– Travis Wadell

Recently, I watched one of my favorite films again on DVD. I watched it on my laptop, which I’m sure Sontag would not approve of. I also watched the director’s commentary which Rosenbaum would feel is part of the new cinephile experience.  I learned some really interesting facts about making the film, but I also learned that the director designed a tight close-up of a character’s face to be viewed on the giant theater screen. He did this so the viewer would feel small and the character would seem appear as omniscient god-like being, because of being so large on screen. While the film still resonates with me and had an emotional impact, I definitely did not get that feeling watching it on my laptop screen. But I also would never have learned about the director’s intent if I hadn’t gotten the DVD and all its bonus features. This example perfectly illustrates the two authors’ points of view on cinephilia and shows that in today’s ever-changing world of movie-watching there is still room for the traditional and the new.

– Lindsey Wachs

3368 Comments

  1. Posted March 26, 2014 at 6:49 am | #

    I haven’t read all the comments and I don’t unratsdend every sentence in your original blog (this is my problem not yours) but i wanted to add two things. Firstly, i am a filmmaker as well a cinephile, and dvd/video allows me to watch the same film three times in a day, or the same scene over and over, or pull out a sequence to watch over breakfast and then contemplate throughout the day. This is a different form of reverence towards great cinema but for me is a very real one. Secondly, in the last days of the local cinematheque (I live in Sydney, Australia and we no longer have a cinematheque in a city of 4 million) we would be lucky to have twenty people in the audience, of which I would often be the only one under thirty. Returning to my home town of Perth (no cinematheque there either) I watched Von Trier’s The Kingdom off VHS with eight old friends over four consecutive nights one week. It was every bit an “event” that the moribund Sydney cinematheque failed to be. My point is that it is not a question of whether you begrudge the latter fact or not, it is that it would seem that the medium itself isn’t the defining factor in whether viewing attains the heights of being a moment of “devotion” or of a “cine-world engagement”, and the concept of watching a film “how it was meant to be watched” is very problematic. Watching a film on celluloid with an audience full of “yeah I sat through its” is arguably further away from the experience the director intended than standing around a mobile phone with a filp out screen with a bunch Hitchcockians laughing at every double entendre in NbyNW.(Okay, this is a third point.) I love all the aspects of trekking out and finding one-off screenings of great old films that I can’t watch anywhere else. I love imagining the first time those films were screened, and the world that produced them. But having grown up pre-internet in “the most isolated city in the world” (that is not an exaggeration) your Arizona hypothetical is all too real. Quite simply I wasn’t even exposed to the concept of cinephilia (on VHS or whatever) because it was all but impossible to practice in my hometown. Your blog fails to address the idea that even when Satantango becomes available to “everybody, everywhere” on DVD, it really isn’t available to those in areas who have such limited exposure to anything that resembles film culture that its really not available. I have friends back home that are passionate film watchers, astute viewers, and some of them even talented filmmakers. But the idea of hunting down films, searching for grails or golden fleeces or whatever isn’t really an option when you’re 2000kms (1200miles) from the next closes city, and living in a place void of anything that resembled film distribution. So a different concept of cinephilia develops from that which you describe. And as I descend into mild belligerence… if you really want a challenge, get a friend to hide your DVD in a national park, or try to make it to your local cinemateque blindfolded, for many it will be difficult enough to see any of these wonderful films on any format ever.An irrelevance: Have you ever read a novel (like a 500 or 600 page novel) in one sitting? I’ve done it on a couple of occasions and I’m quite certain it isn’t the right way to read a book. I’m not at all diagreeing with your imperative for watching a proper work in a continuous fashion, on the contrary. I just thought it was a nice irony.

  2. Posted March 27, 2014 at 11:27 am | #

    I haven’t read all the comments and I don’t understand every sentence in your original blog (this is my problem not yours) but i wanted to add two things. Firstly, i am a filmmaker as well a cinephile, and dvd/video allows me to watch the same film three times in a day, or the same scene over and over, or pull out a sequence to watch over breakfast and then contemplate throughout the day. This is a different form of reverence towards great cinema but for me is a very real one. Secondly, in the last days of the local cinematheque (I live in Sydney, Australia and we no longer have a cinematheque in a city of 4 million) we would be lucky to have twenty people in the audience, of which I would often be the only one under thirty. Returning to my home town of Perth (no cinematheque there either) I watched Von Trier’s The Kingdom off VHS with eight old friends over four consecutive nights one week. It was every bit an “event” that the moribund Sydney cinematheque failed to be. My point is that it is not a question of whether you begrudge the latter fact or not, it is that it would seem that the medium itself isn’t the defining factor in whether viewing attains the heights of being a moment of “devotion” or of a “cine-world engagement”, and the concept of watching a film “how it was meant to be watched” is very problematic. Watching a film on celluloid with an audience full of “yeah I sat through its” is arguably further away from the experience the director intended than standing around a mobile phone with a filp out screen with a bunch Hitchcockians laughing at every double entendre in NbyNW.(Okay, this is a third point.) I love all the aspects of trekking out and finding one-off screenings of great old films that I can’t watch anywhere else. I love imagining the first time those films were screened, and the world that produced them. But having grown up pre-internet in “the most isolated city in the world” (that is not an exaggeration) your Arizona hypothetical is all too real. Quite simply I wasn’t even exposed to the concept of cinephilia (on VHS or whatever) because it was all but impossible to practice in my hometown. Your blog fails to address the idea that even when Satantango becomes available to “everybody, everywhere” on DVD, it really isn’t available to those in areas who have such limited exposure to anything that resembles film culture that its really not available. I have friends back home that are passionate film watchers, astute viewers

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  9. Posted March 29, 2014 at 8:22 pm | #

    I think Steve’s right in that a lot of the opportunities even we in cinematheque-rich locations are getting to see great prints of rare and/or challenging films stem precisely from the popularity of such films on DVD. I suspect the economics of 35mm film distribution are making it more and more prohibitive for niche fare to get screened, but at least right now, a healthy market of niche DVD buyers helps subsidize the screenings we lucky few in places like New York and (to a lesser degree) San Francisco have access to. But DVD players are not only owned by cinephiles in places like Indiana and Cyprus. San Francisco movie buffs have them too, and every new section of terrain that becomes traversable through digital advances makes it just that much less appealing to brave transportation, ticket prices, and all the other hazards even repertory theatres aren’t immune to.So, in the short run, a potential DVD release of something like Satantango makes it more likely to be screened, I suspect that in the long run film distributors and programmers will be more likely to shy away from it, fearing that their target audience will have already seen it, if bit by bit on a home viewing system, and decide not to come. I hope I didn’t miss my last chance when Tarr’s film played twice in Berkeley in November 2001. (I didn’t think it would be at the time, otherwise I probably would have braved a screening instead of seeing Diary of a Country Priest and a program of Larry Jordan and Bruce Conner films- not that the Bresson or the Jordan films have reappeared in the area either).Perhaps digital projection is a possible way for repertory theatres to pull out of this vicious spiral. Even small, upstart film clubs might be able to solve some, if not all, of the problems with seeing a Bela Tarr film on DVD. Have you ever listened to the Flaming Lips’ Zaireeka the way it was meant to, as an event with friends? Perhaps something like that can be done with a Satantango too.In the meantime, the threat of the “last chance to view on celluloid” hangs over all my filmgoing decisions and it can be stressful. Like tonight: I still haven’t decided whether to see a film I’ve been wanting to for years, (People on Sunday) or a pair of early Paramount thrillers I’d never heard of before (Crime Without Passion and the Scoundrel). Among factors to weigh: which is more likely to come around in 35mm again (maybe neither)? Which is more likely to be put on DVD? Which would likely be more

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  91. Posted May 1, 2014 at 6:18 am | #

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  92. Posted May 1, 2014 at 2:33 pm | #

    What’s it take to become a sublime expounder of prose like yourself?

  93. Posted May 1, 2014 at 3:47 pm | #

    God, I feel like I should be takin notes! Great work

  94. Posted May 2, 2014 at 12:52 am | #

    Phenomenal breakdown of the topic, you should write for me too!

  95. Posted May 2, 2014 at 1:50 am | #

    Hey, that’s the greatest! So with ll this brain power AWHFY?

  96. Posted May 2, 2014 at 5:28 am | #

    Great insight. Relieved I’m on the same side as you.

  97. Posted May 2, 2014 at 9:58 am | #

    That’s an expert answer to an interesting question

  98. Posted May 2, 2014 at 5:26 pm | #

    All of my questions settled-thanks!

  99. Posted May 2, 2014 at 6:56 pm | #

    Awesome you should think of something like that

  100. Posted May 3, 2014 at 12:59 am | #

    Yup, that should defo do the trick!

  101. Posted May 3, 2014 at 7:39 am | #

    My hat is off to your astute command over this topic-bravo!

  102. Posted May 3, 2014 at 2:53 pm | #

    Always a good job right here. Keep rolling on through.

  103. Posted May 3, 2014 at 4:20 pm | #

    A provocative insight! Just what we need!

  104. Posted May 3, 2014 at 6:18 pm | #

    Grade A stuff. I’m unquestionably in your debt.

  105. Posted May 3, 2014 at 7:29 pm | #

    Damn, I wish I could think of something smart like that!

  106. Posted May 4, 2014 at 2:07 am | #

    I really wish there were more articles like this on the web.

  107. Posted May 4, 2014 at 9:18 am | #

    That saves me. Thanks for being so sensible!

  108. Posted May 4, 2014 at 11:13 am | #

    It was dark when I woke. This is a ray of sunshine.

  109. Posted May 4, 2014 at 2:55 pm | #

    Great stuff, you helped me out so much!

  110. Posted May 4, 2014 at 9:11 pm | #

    I much prefer informative articles like this to that high brow literature.

  111. Posted May 5, 2014 at 2:45 am | #

    In the complicated world we live in, it’s good to find simple solutions.

  112. Posted May 5, 2014 at 5:50 am | #

    Thinking like that shows an expert’s touch

  113. Posted May 5, 2014 at 10:44 pm | #

    I thought finding this would be so arduous but it’s a breeze!

  114. Posted May 6, 2014 at 2:55 am | #

    I’m not worthy to be in the same forum. ROTFL

  115. Posted May 6, 2014 at 6:13 am | #

    Heckuva good job. I sure appreciate it.

  116. Posted May 6, 2014 at 6:29 am | #

    It’s wonderful to have you on our side, haha!

  117. Posted May 6, 2014 at 9:21 am | #

    AFAICT you’ve covered all the bases with this answer!

  118. Posted May 6, 2014 at 1:06 pm | #

    Boom shakalaka boom boom, problem solved.

  119. Posted May 6, 2014 at 8:55 pm | #

    Wow I must confess you make some very trenchant points.

  120. Posted May 6, 2014 at 11:23 pm | #

    That’s way more clever than I was expecting. Thanks!

  121. Posted May 7, 2014 at 10:21 am | #

    That’s a creative answer to a difficult question

  122. Posted May 7, 2014 at 5:35 pm | #

    Articles like this are an example of quick, helpful answers.

  123. Posted May 7, 2014 at 6:12 pm | #

    Home run! Great slugging with that answer!

  124. Posted May 8, 2014 at 1:51 am | #

    Now I feel stupid. That’s cleared it up for me

  125. Posted May 8, 2014 at 8:00 am | #

    That kind of thinking shows you’re an expert

  126. Posted May 8, 2014 at 1:45 pm | #

    Deadly accurate answer. You’ve hit the bullseye!

  127. Posted May 8, 2014 at 5:29 pm | #

    Keep it coming, writers, this is good stuff.

  128. Posted May 9, 2014 at 9:01 am | #

    It’s a pleasure to find someone who can identify the issues so clearly

  129. Posted May 9, 2014 at 11:00 am | #

    This is a neat summary. Thanks for sharing!

  130. Posted May 9, 2014 at 7:28 pm | #

    Never would have thunk I would find this so indispensable.

  131. Posted May 9, 2014 at 9:36 pm | #

    Thinking like that is really amazing

  132. Posted May 10, 2014 at 3:29 am | #

    Me dull. You smart. That’s just what I needed.

  133. Posted May 10, 2014 at 11:34 am | #

    Great post with lots of important stuff.

  134. Posted May 10, 2014 at 12:23 pm | #

    I read your post and wished I was good enough to write it

  135. Posted May 10, 2014 at 9:36 pm | #

    Taking the overview, this post is first class

  136. Posted May 10, 2014 at 11:27 pm | #

    Articles like this are an example of quick, helpful answers.

  137. Posted May 11, 2014 at 12:28 am | #

    This post has helped me think things through

  138. Posted May 11, 2014 at 8:08 am | #

    Impressive brain power at work! Great answer!

  139. Posted May 11, 2014 at 8:24 am | #

    This is just the perfect answer for all of us

  140. Posted May 11, 2014 at 8:57 am | #

    In the complicated world we live in, it’s good to find simple solutions.

  141. Posted May 11, 2014 at 3:32 pm | #

    That’s really thinking at a high level

  142. Posted May 11, 2014 at 6:59 pm | #

    Wonderful explanation of facts available here.

  143. Posted May 12, 2014 at 12:04 am | #

    I read your post and wished I was good enough to write it

  144. Posted May 12, 2014 at 6:43 am | #

    Kewl you should come up with that. Excellent!

  145. Posted May 12, 2014 at 1:08 pm | #

    That’s a knowing answer to a difficult question

  146. Posted May 12, 2014 at 6:08 pm | #

    It’s really great that people are sharing this information.

  147. Posted May 12, 2014 at 10:35 pm | #

    Finding this post. It’s just a big piece of luck for me.

  148. Posted May 13, 2014 at 12:37 am | #

    The honesty of your posting is there for all to see

  149. Posted May 13, 2014 at 6:32 am | #

    Taking the overview, this post hits the spot

  150. Posted May 13, 2014 at 9:42 am | #

    Wow! That’s a really neat answer!

  151. Posted May 13, 2014 at 2:46 pm | #

    AKAIK you’ve got the answer in one!

  152. Posted May 13, 2014 at 8:08 pm | #

    That kind of thinking shows you’re an expert

  153. Posted May 13, 2014 at 8:45 pm | #

    It’s good to get a fresh way of looking at it.

  154. Posted May 14, 2014 at 1:14 am | #

    This is just the perfect answer for all forum members

  155. Posted May 14, 2014 at 3:14 am | #

    It’s imperative that more people make this exact point.

  156. Posted May 14, 2014 at 6:14 pm | #

    Your post is a timely contribution to the debate

  157. Posted May 14, 2014 at 6:38 pm | #

    Shoot, so that’s that one supposes.

  158. Posted May 14, 2014 at 6:51 pm | #

    Cheers pal. I do appreciate the writing.

  159. Posted May 15, 2014 at 12:03 am | #

    Full of salient points. Don’t stop believing or writing!

  160. Posted May 15, 2014 at 12:45 am | #

    We need a lot more insights like this!

  161. Posted May 15, 2014 at 7:01 am | #

    That’s a subtle way of thinking about it.

  162. Posted May 15, 2014 at 10:48 am | #

    Wow, your post makes mine look feeble. More power to you!

  163. Posted May 15, 2014 at 1:33 pm | #

    At last, someone who knows where to find the beef

  164. Posted May 15, 2014 at 9:06 pm | #

    Just the type of insight we need to fire up the debate.

  165. Posted May 16, 2014 at 4:43 am | #

    This is the ideal answer. Everyone should read this

  166. Posted May 16, 2014 at 6:34 am | #

    Posts like this make the internet such a treasure trove

  167. Posted May 16, 2014 at 6:51 am | #

    Hey, that post leaves me feeling foolish. Kudos to you!

  168. Posted May 16, 2014 at 10:42 am | #

    God help me, I put aside a whole afternoon to figure this out.

  169. Posted May 16, 2014 at 1:37 pm | #

    I told my kids we’d play after I found what I needed. Damnit.

  170. Posted May 16, 2014 at 3:02 pm | #

    Hey, killer job on that one you guys!

  171. Posted May 16, 2014 at 11:56 pm | #

    There is a critical shortage of informative articles like this.

  172. Posted May 17, 2014 at 12:19 am | #

    That’s really thinking of the highest order

  173. Posted May 17, 2014 at 2:33 am | #

    Grade A stuff. I’m unquestionably in your debt.

  174. Posted May 17, 2014 at 6:47 am | #

    Real brain power on display. Thanks for that answer!

  175. Posted May 17, 2014 at 7:14 am | #

    Whoever wrote this, you know how to make a good article.

  176. Posted May 17, 2014 at 8:01 am | #

    I was really confused, and this answered all my questions.

  177. Posted May 17, 2014 at 3:02 pm | #

    This is crystal clear. Thanks for taking the time!

  178. Posted May 17, 2014 at 4:49 pm | #

    I really needed to find this info, thank God!

  179. Posted May 18, 2014 at 12:09 am | #

    That’s a wise answer to a tricky question

  180. Posted May 18, 2014 at 1:23 am | #

    At last, someone who comes to the heart of it all

  181. Posted May 18, 2014 at 7:37 am | #

    TYVM you’ve solved all my problems

  182. Posted May 18, 2014 at 8:03 am | #

    Jul17Raj Be positive bro. Life wihotut life partner is like hell as explained by HB Acharya. This is a good thing that every widow should start if everyone ( all family members ) agrees for second marriage, every widow needs to stop living lonely they should be encouraged for the second marriage. This is how we’ve gotta amend our culture & tradition. Be positive.

  183. Posted May 18, 2014 at 8:16 am | #

    Jul06kevin this proves atcors r atcors either on screen or off the screen,created a heart throbbing dramatic scenario at death of first wife now making another super hit drama after another marriage any layman would understand why he is explaining so much !!!! certainly to get out of rumors & criticized publicly

  184. Posted May 18, 2014 at 8:42 am | #

    Jun25sagar thapa dai lai dheri dheri badi chha dai ko aba auuna life ramro sangha bitos dai la pheri hami lai naya naya kkaraarym marfat hausunuhos dai lai pheri yakpalta badichha

  185. Posted May 18, 2014 at 10:01 am | #

    Apr18 Where is the ganhaa , Is that a ganhaa .can’t you dumbo see the difference between silicone and breast ? i believe there are several million people on the world surviving with either color blindness or they are just dumba

  186. Posted May 18, 2014 at 10:13 am | #

    Free info like this is an apple from the tree of knowledge. Sinful?

  187. Posted May 18, 2014 at 10:20 am | #

    Impressive brain power at work! Great answer!

  188. Posted May 18, 2014 at 10:55 am | #

    Hi Mike, A lot of OM’s fellow critcis might balk and consign what he calls ‘primary reality’ to ‘cultural context.’ (And this will set upon its own path for discussion, see Girish’s blog recently.) But if I understand Mf6ller correctly, he’s making a simple materialist point. A Mizoguchi film (e.g.) is not self-contained first, and a product of/within Japanese culture, industry, history, etc., second … but rather, the object is necessarily produced in concrete time and space and social relations. And when we either lose or ignore some of these material facts, we do so at our peril. The ‘surface’ of the film might arrive to us as, seemingly, a primary reality. But I think Mf6ller is trying to address the larger politics of circulation, publicity, global inequalities that structure the ways in which some films come to some audiences as pure. And yet we never do come to films, or any cultural objects, “pure” or “cold,” or “without language.” (Some art can do really beautiful and amazing and revelatory things in the quest for this kind of purity, e.g. Brakhage, but I don’t believe it exists, myself.) And so, as a way of stabilizing the variations in our own knowledge before objects, we resort to the level of phenomenology.So one could argue that what Mf6ller calls ‘secondary reality’ – or the surface of a film – is in fact primary, if one were to give the experiental/phenomenological register of art priority. But I think the argument against this prioritization is that we only ever do this selectively, and it’s generally as a cover-up over our own ignorance (and it doesn’t matter if this ignorance is our own “fault” – this isn’t, first, a moralizing argument). So Mf6ller’s point, which I think I do agree with, attempts to understand better and more deeply how we engage with the films we encounter.I think that the idea of the ‘surface of the film’ as a ‘primary reality’ is like an N-th generation video dub of certain older ideas, like l’art pour l’art and New Criticism. At the same time, this doesn’t mean that the surface is unimportant, especially not for the cinephile or the connoisseur. (Though maybe connoisseurship is less important in the big scheme of things than connoisseurs would like to believe…) But to say that it is important is different than saying it is primary or, morever, the paramount feature of a film. It’s a matter of precedence or essence, and what one recognizes as having it, I guess.

  189. Posted May 18, 2014 at 11:16 am | #

    Okay, well…fair enough. Perhaps I did read too much into your comnmet. But your initial comnmet does sound hostile to me, but it’s possible I missed the humor — that’s not me being sarcastic, by the way.I haven’t seen all of the Fulci films you mentioned, but I have seen Don’t Torture a Duckling (and a few other Fulci films), and, honestly, I kind of hated it. I thought the chain-whipping murder scene had a nasty power, but beyond that…no, sorry.As for this:As for the stuff about that Dancer in the Dark thread, I was the only voice in that thread that wasn’t nodding my head in agreement with the crowd…First of all, your language here implies that everyone who disagreed with you had some sort herd-mentality way of thinking about the film. Why phrase it like that?Second, you weren’t alone. At least Marilyn and Rick defended the film (at length), and Pat was at least half-and-half. I’m pretty sure there were others, but I’d have to go back and check. Anyway, I think only Ed and I outright hated it. But onward and upward. I’m all for that.

  190. Posted May 18, 2014 at 11:54 am | #

    WTF, Bill?You’re really rieadng way too much into my comment. Why is everyone allowed to joke and nip at each others asses around here but me? I stopped by to be friendly so why do you think I have some kind of weird agenda?Seriously though have you seen those Fulci fims I mentioned? I’m one of the few bloggers who has wrote spirited defenses of his work so um yeah. It’s obviously a subject near and dear to my heart and most people who dismiss Fulci haven’t seen many of his films so I’m baffled by why they think he’s less important than Bava, Argento, etc.As for the stuff about that Dancer in the Dark thread, I was the only voice in that thread that wasn’t nodding my head in agreement with the crowd so obviously your comment about it being “heated” had everything to do with our brief exchange. I was just pointing out that I’ve seen much more heated – brutal even – discussions go on about films and I know you must have. Right?Onward and upward… I hope.

  191. Posted May 18, 2014 at 12:18 pm | #

    If you think that conversation about Lars von Trier was heetad you haven’t been blogging long, Bill. That was child’s play compared to some of the online battles I’ve been witness to. Personally I thought I was much too nice. I guess I should be happy that I bit my tongue and bailed.And until you’ve seen Howlers of the Dock, Massacre Time, Perversion Story, Beatrice Cenci, A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin, Don’t Torture a Duckling and Four of the Apocalypse (I’d also toss in White Fang since it’s one the best Jack London adaptations ever shot) you’re opinion on Fulci is null and void.Of course if you have seen all these films and still think Fulci’s not worth a damn then it’s unlikely we’ll find common ground on the subject.But seriously, anyone who has worked with Luchino Visconti, Michelangelo Antonioni and Max Ophfcls has got to be worth more than just “something.”

  192. Posted May 18, 2014 at 12:29 pm | #

    In a row??? That’s insane!! I’ve NEVER done that. The cselost I ever came was back when my wife had a night job, and I was home one Friday night enjoying several beers, and I watched Shaun of the Dead for the first time. When she came home, I could barely contain myself, and told her that if she was up for it I would watch it with her right then and there. She chose to wait until the next day.But boy, I need to watch Inland Empire again. I can’t really offer an opinion on it as it stands. I didn’t even get through it in one sitting, but that actually doesn’t really reflect how I feel about it, just how difficult I found it.

  193. Posted May 18, 2014 at 12:43 pm | #

    A job well done! I was going to mention soeihtmng like this myself: “It’s okay to love movies, but can we stop pretending the Lucio Fulci was soeihtmng he wasn’t?” Since I had my format set up where I was writing every other sentence as “There is more to [insert director name here] than [list his most exalted film]” I figured I might turn it around for the last one and say, “There is no more to [insert derided director's name here] than this movie.” But then I couldn’t think of a director that wouldn’t end up pissing somebody off so I didn’t bother.But you did! Kudos to you my man! Kudos!And also, thanks for being probably the only person who will do this.

  194. Posted May 18, 2014 at 12:57 pm | #

    It took me a long time to land on Fulci. Every other name that popped into my head felt like sobdomey I’d already mentioned way too often — or maybe only once, but then at length — so I have to kind of scramble. But Luci fits my point pretty well. I almost went with another director, but that would have set off fireworks (if anybody reads this), and I didn’t want to deal with that.And no problem, as far as posting this. At the very least, it gave me a topic when I had none.

  195. Posted May 18, 2014 at 1:41 pm | #

    He was all “Yeah, well, I just wanted to see two dead poenis on a piano. So I did that.” And so he did. I get that some people think that is bullsh*t, but I dig it…I don’t think it’s bullshit at all (what’s with the asterisk??) — I love that way of working. In a weird way, I think it’s far more meaningful (when you can pull it off, anyway) than using symbolism to make a single, specific point.

  196. Posted May 18, 2014 at 2:11 pm | #

    And if you don’t believe me I will hpilpay send you a list of the distasteful bloggers I’ve ignored who keep emailing me and begging me to link to them…No, no, that’s okay.So why the hostility? Why the “your opinion is null and void” comment? Why the “you obviously haven’t been blogging for very long” comment (which I haven’t, by the way, so good call on that one)?

  197. Posted May 18, 2014 at 2:27 pm | #

    Hey Zach,Great post, as always…I was woirdenng if you agree that a film’s ‘primary reality’ is as Mf6ller puts it, “the film’s essence in its cultural conditions.”How does this take precedence over ‘the surface’ itself?This feels like a first year film student question. I apologize in advance. If you’d like to refer me to literature, I’d be glad to take your recommendations.Thanks for posting.

  198. Posted May 18, 2014 at 2:31 pm | #

    Hey hey hey, take a gander at what’ you’ve done

  199. Posted May 18, 2014 at 2:38 pm | #

    That’s who!Actually, coincidentally, I think I’m boecming a really BIG Bergman fan. I still have a lot of films to watch, but I checked out Winter Light and Through a Glass Darkly recently, and really loved both.I’ve always liked him, but I hadn’t seen that much, but now I’m kind of getting swept up in his stuff.

  200. Posted May 18, 2014 at 2:58 pm | #

    Adrian devoted a FILMKRANT coulmn a couple of months back : critic-cinephiles and cheerleader-cinephiles. He wrote:”I have always believed there are two kinds of cinephiles. The first kind is the more public, and the better known: the critic-cinephile. This is the person who writes, speaks, teaches, publishes; the person who sorts through films, connecting and analysing them. Traditionally, our culture of training and learning has elevated the critic, and become nervous when his or her position is threatened by the changing scheme of things – hence the many forums and discussions (some of them rather old-fashioned) at the present time on ‘the function of criticism’. Film critics (as we hear constantly at the moment) are an imperilled species, on the verge of extinction – and many smart people take this to be one symptom of a general crisis in culture.But I wonder whether this is really true. For there is another kind of cinephile who has always existed alongside the critic, and in fact far outnumbers him or her: what I call the cheerleader-cinephile. This cheerleader is not an analyst, not usually a teacher or broadcaster. Perhaps they are not very gregarious at all. Where a critic always seeks conversation (or an opportunity to deliver a monologue) after a film screening, the cheerleader may slink away in rapt silence. Where a critic hoards serious books, the cheerleader prefers accumulating colourful posters, postcards, even celebrity signatures (at least if the celebrity is, say, Anna Karina).And where a critic tries to write serious books (if anybody will publish them anymore), the committed cheerleader is more prone to work for or start up a specialist DVD distribution company, just as they used to buy (and cautiously lend out) rare 16mm prints. The cheerleader is more like the art lover who actually buys paintings and adores them on their wall, rather than the art critic who runs off to nut out an appreciation of the work stored in memory or reproduced in a glossy magazine.I am not using this word cheerleader in the derogatory way that Harold Bloom wielded it in his 1994 book The Western Canon – as a term for those who barrack for fashionable causes. No, cheerleader-cinephiles cultivate a life-long support for the pieces of cinema that they deeply, devotedly love – and the audiences for Film Festivals and Cinematheques the world over would be far smaller without them.What has the Internet done to the universe of film appreciation? It has not necessarily decimated the critics – but it has definitely increased the visibility of the cheerleaders. In fact, perhaps 80 per cent of the best websites (blogs, magazines, etc) devoted to cinema are cheerleading in nature. Cheeleaders write little, but they link a lot, to texts and to images; sometimes, they also perform the invaluable labour of cross-cultural translation.This does not mean that we think any less of critics today, or pay less attention to them. The Jonathan Rosenbaums or Roger Eberts (take your pick according to taste and sensibility) effortlessly retain their authority as experts, historians and pundits – in fact, their circle of influence has expanded far beyond what an Andrew Sarris or a Serge Daney enjoyed in their mainly local, parochial milieux of New York or Paris in the ’60s, ’70s or ’80s. What has changed is simply the economy or balance of the cinephile community, at least as it presents itself publicly to the contemporary, wired world. Hail to the cheerleaders!”

  201. Posted May 18, 2014 at 3:04 pm | #

    ;”I don’t think that people on the right are deleudd, they’re no more stupid then anyone else, but their method is to oppose movement…Embracing movement, or blocking it: politically, two completely different methods of negotiation. For the Left, this means a new way of talking. It’s not so much a matter of winning arguments as of being open about things. Being open is setting out the “facts,” not only of a situation but of a problem. Making visible things that would otherwise remain hidden… The Right tends to refuse questions. If they’re valid questions, then by establishing the facts we state a problem that the right wants to hide. Because once the problem has been set out, we can no longer get away from it, and the Right itself has to talk in a different way. So the job of the left, whether in or out of power, is to uncover the sort of problem that the Right wants at all costs to hide”.I relate this to a kind of “ethical” aspect of cinephilia and/or film criticism literalized by somebody like the late Robin Wood; but also evident in critics and theorists without the same kind of direct progressive political engagements. I think this statement is correct and that one of the problems of center-left culture in the US is the buying into the “razzle dazzle them” mentality because it has worked so well for the rightwing. Of course, inevitably we should not be surprised that people skilled at dazzling people often themselves move towards embracing neoliberal capitalism. So, I do think that the very act of dialoguing about film often had a kind of politically progressive charge because it does reveal things that the power structure would prefer to remain hidden. This is particularly true now that we have the world of the internet b/c people are forced into more ideologically diverse relationships then in the past. This is one of the reasons for all of the social anxiety about the internet being “too aggressive” and “too impersonal”.I think this all becomes especially interesting in a country like the U.S. that has such a remarkably narrow electoral ideological space. The ability to be in dialogue with people in nations where the electoral space is much wider (almost all of the “democratic” industrialized world) means that sometimes people find themselves having to defend ideological positions that have remained invisible to them throughout much of their lives. This does often cause some highly charged conversation.By the way I really enjoyed the comments posted by Thavai Abhor and especially the link and work on Ideological Formation. I am always interested in discovering if there are ways cinema can help develop greater empathy for humanity. U.S. imperialism is dependent on U.S. citizens’ lack of intellectual curiousity about other countries. It seems to be that international cinema is a real threat to this because it so vividly reminds us of our shared humanity. Realizing this makes it harder to swallow the bombing of civilian targets such as we are seeing in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It also might make more U.S. citizens question the militarization projects in Columbia and Africa (the notorious Africom Project).

  202. Posted May 18, 2014 at 3:30 pm | #

    Hi and thank you for your thoughts, Ian, Adrian, Maya, Charles and Yusef!– Ian, I’d veturne that interaction between critics and enthusiasts affects both cultures; and introduces critics not just to new films but also opens the possibility for new critical methods. When fans/enthusiasts expose critics to films hitherto unregistered or unexamined by critics, this alone changes the trajectory of film criticism (and what you call “critical-culture”) and film historiography.Also, some enthusiasts and unorthodox/nonprofessional critics like Mubarak Ali are not only unearthing little-known films on a regular basis for the critical community to discover, they are also employing new and exciting methods of presentation and analysis that illuminate the films in important critical ways using powerfully evocative collages of image, sound and text. Thus, they are inventing new methods of criticism for future critics and scholars to use and build upon.– Charles, I remember you, of course! Jim and Dr. Gent have spoken to me of you as well! Thanks for dropping by. Let me gently counter your skepticism about Internet cinephilia by arguing that I believe there are many ways in which we have a strong degree of control over our “surfing” experiences. As cinephiles on the Internet, we are surrounded by thousands of options each week about which links to chase down, which pieces of criticism to read, and which conversations to enter into. But ultimately, we choose only a dozen or two from this infinity of options. And we do so with great care because our time is so limited and valuable.I use an RSS reader to track my favorite film blogs and websites, and I also contantly fine-tune my subscriptions in order to manage and select from the deluge of new pieces/posts that appear each week.So, rather than being tossed around powerlessly on the waves around us, I think we have a considerable degree of control over what waves to ride and which critics and sites to follow, while also being open to the possibility of discovering new writers/fans/websites on a daily basis. About your final point, I would say: In-person conversations across a table (preferable greased by good beer, IMO!) are wonderful but (1) They are not the only mode of meaningful exchange and conversation open and available to us (good Internet conversations also prompt us to consider and mull over our thoughts and others’ and craft our responses in written form–there are advantages to this that verbal “real-time” conversations don’t have); and (2) For me personally, I don’t have the opportunity of in-person conversations quite as much open to me since I live in Buffalo and so many of the film-friends and conversationalists I treasure live elsewhere in the world. E.g., just on this thread alone: Adrian lives in Melbourne, Corey in Iowa, Jonathan, Zach and Ignatiy in Chicago, Maya in San Francisco, Matthew in Great Britain, and so on. In other words, the Internet may be an imperfect medium for conversation but it is much preferable to the alternative, i.e. not having any conversations with these friends at all.Thanks, all, for your thoughts, and please feel free to chime in anytime.

  203. Posted May 18, 2014 at 3:35 pm | #

    I have a sneaking suocipisn that MARIE ANTOINETTE is essentially this transparent money exchanging movie you speak of Gabe. On the brute level of cinephile practice, I’d like to remind that, unlike dvd, when one makes a vhs copy of a movie it takes the time of the entire movie to copy it. Any good movie should slow down your rate of consumption (in other words, disarm you out of your habits). Now, the “advance” made with dvd technology to copy quicker (watch quicker?) may save you time, so that you may do something else (but don’t you want to watch the movie?). It’s the kind of advance made all through the history of technology/capitalism that further throws production, consumption, distribution, and time into contradictions. (see the enthralling discussion of Taylorization and the Soviet Union on THE MEASURES TAKEN blog.)If it’s true that people are opting not to go to the theater for a film screening because the film is available on dvd (and here I want to say that if I occasionally record in the offensive EP mode on vhs, its because I know if OSAKA ELEGY is playing in LA, I will be there, hell or highwater; ask Gabe about the state of my former car and you’ll see that I mean highwater literally, overheating and all that) then what do we do with our theaters if they are becoming “obsolete”? Well, at least the repertory and arthouse theaters should be showing films not on dvd, forgotten and “dismal” things, and therefore open up an alternative film history. It’s sad to think of the waste, all the fertile film prints and vhs laying foul.Once again Daney made a good distinction when he started watching movies on tv:”We are tempted to ask those who systematically denigrate cinema as it comes across on television, the following question: do you miss the film or the fact of going to the movies? In the latter case, raise your voice so that films may be made once more – real films – that will require large halls (but do not be too surprised if such films are mostly American and if there are good reasons for French cinema not being able to deliver on such a large scale). But if it is the film that counts and the film was already a work of genius in a hall, ask yourself if this genius is so volatile that it disappears with the mere change of medium. Chances are rather stronger, perhaps, that the word ‘genius’ has been used lightly.” About the near subversive effects of degraded video and tv recordings, I have a tape of VERTIGO taped off of early 80′s tv, before the color restoration. It looks like RED DESERT!

  204. Posted May 18, 2014 at 3:55 pm | #

    I find myself in the rare poiotisn of not so much disagreeing with Adrian, but of not really understanding part of his distinction. OK, the critic-cinephile I understand as a category, though of course the range allowed within that group (at any one time, and historically) is worth pondering. But I don’t understand how a cheerleader can live in “rapt silence,” and thus not, you know, lead cheers. The cheerleader he describes seems to be what we used to just call a fan (before they became “textual poachers” or “resistant readers,” etc.), or perhaps a buff, or (a term of self-pride) an archive rat. (I wonder how many cinephile-critics are also devoted collectors …) If such a figure is gregarious they might pass along or share their passion with others, but as Adrian’s definition allows, this “cheerleader” is also often someone who in fact never cheers (at least loudly, in front of crowds) and often prefers private pleasure to a leading role. Am I being too literal: why call someone who doesn’t cheer or lead a cheerleader? A supporter or booster or enthusiast can act rather quietly, it seems, but can a cheerleader really work behind the scenes? Aren’t they be definition up front, visible, and willingly on display?A personal story: when seeking to find out what had been written about B-Westerns, I found virtually no criticism (that is, no critic-cinephiles, though that has changed a bit recently), but lots and lots of buffs (OK I’ll call them cheerleaders for now). They view and collect, and in fact hundreds of B-Westerns are available on video or DVD to serve them (since there’s little broad market for these films) almost alone. They also accumulate and publish (often self-publish) information and data (or what can be dismissed as trivia): this work is clearly a labor of love, but it is almost rigorously uncritical, and emphatically untheoretical. There’s little critical impulse at all in the mass of material these folks produce about the objects of their affection. I’ve tended to call them film buffs, and while they are not an especially anti-social bunch, they tend to only share their enthusiasm with a somewhat closed, semi-secret society. Don’t cheerleaders want everyone in the stands to get excited?So, a half-baked response to Girish’s wish to have someone consider Adrian’s categories. I’m also trying to think of these in relation to Thomas Elsaesser’s distinction between different historical types of cinephiles, in his suggestive contribution to the volume edited by Valck and Hagener. What are the implications of the shift from the Hollywood nostalgia shop to EBay for collectors, for instance?

  205. Posted May 18, 2014 at 4:37 pm | #

    , “the absence of loiitatmins is the enemy of art,” one can easily extend this to the practice of art-criticism. With endless waves of discussion mere keystrokes away, the Internet cinephile (or at least this one) can be overwhelmed, even paralyzed, by the spoils available to him.But one of the other great challenges of Internet cinephilia as you have posited it through Deleuze’s “Mediators” is the implicit lack of control one has over these “waves” (to use surfing as my primary metaphor). One does not exert force or act upon a Deleuzian mediator; instead, he or she attempts to harness or control the force of the “wave.” He or she is asked to submit, even surrender, to the force of the “wave” without truly being able to alter it in any way. One never becomes a part of a wave, but rather remains apart from it, trying to ride it out.This isn’t to say that submitting to a force greater than oneself is not a worthwhile endeavor; it certainly is. But all cinephiles (or scholars in other fields), I think, hope to be able to add their own influence to a given debate. That’s why pre-Internet “internets” – cafes, bars, etc. – still hold a great deal of charm: with fellow debaters just across the table, you’re certain to be heard. Riding “waves” is exhilarating (as my experience over the last few days exemplifies) but can be ultimately unfulfilling. I can’t help but think of Sam Wheat, Patrick Swayze’s character in Ghost, who is privy to all of the lies and deceptions committed by his best friend but (for the first half of the film at least) is unable to act to change the course of events (are we allowed to reference “Ghost” in the comments section of a post dedicated to Deleuze?). One can amass tremendous knowledge and passion from riding the waves of Internet cinephilia, but without being able to exert oneself on that wave, without being able to act and change the course of events, the Internet cinephile can becomes little more than Swayze’s ghost. The daunting reality of Internet cinephilia is that an individual is powerless against the greater force of the “mediator,” that any contribution will become white noise and be lost in the plentitude.Have at it, gentle(wo)men.

  206. Posted May 18, 2014 at 4:43 pm | #

    Girish has corrected my coimulspon to repeat by deleting the extra postings! In any case, perhaps I am too focused on the implications of the term “cheerleader,” and of course aware that few enthusiasts of cinema resemble actual cheerleaders (at least in their American incarnations)! What I do recognize is Adrian’s notion of a kind of cinephilia that manifests itself in less public or professional ways (although I’m recalling Metz’s wonderful points early in THE IMAGINARY SIGNIFIER on film theory as an elaborate cover and excuse for indulging in cinephilia). As in my example, this certainly fits the fans (yes, that word seems inadequate) of B-Westerns, who are not just content to watch the films, but to collect and then WORK on them — and I’ll count collecting, of data or artifacts, as a form of work. Only a term like devotion really captures the missionary zeal of such efforts, usually performed of course without any professional support, grant funds, or other means. (I’m talking about work that is done on the side, after the tedious day job is done.) But hard work it clearly is (like, as Adrian suggests Joseph Coppola’s astonishing labors). Often of course it also takes place across a lifetime. What I’m really getting at in questioning the application of “cheerleader” to such folks is the significance of the modesty and even sometimes privacy and secrecy of such work, often done behind-the-scenes or fueled by private (sometimes recognizably shameful) obsession or only at its most public through sharing among a small cult. (Think of Bettie Page fans before she became somewhat naughty kitsch.) I’m wondering about the cinephilia that manifests itself in private collections, secret stashes, personal scrapbooks, etc. (Joseph Cornell’s scrapbooks lovingly devoted to Hollywood stars would be an example: this love only came out rather veiled in his boxes, although ROSE HOBART seems an open confession.) My cheerleaders don’t participate in public competitions, or build human pyramids with other cheerleaders: they cheer quietly to themselves, and often only lead others in their deepest fantasies (“why doesn’t everyone love [fill in name] as fully and as passionately as I do? If I ran the world, everyone would bow at the shrine of [fill in name]!”

  207. Posted May 18, 2014 at 4:50 pm | #

    Thank you, all, for your thoughts! They are, above all, the reoasn why I’m drawn to blogging…!I didn’t read until after I had put up mine, or I’d have included it above.Peter, it’s important that you bring up awareness of films and other material fostered by our interactions on the Web. In a very practical fashion, what I hear/read about on the Web (and in certain select magazines like Cinema Scope and Film Comment), both in terms of older and newer films, ends up determining the majority of my film-watching decisions from one day to the next.Tony, I agree about the need for comments threads to be structured loosely, to be able to digress freely. Sometimes I wonder if the pointed questions I pose in my posts don’t deter some fellow cinephiles from responding because they are afraid of going “off-topic.” I propose my questions in a post only as a starting point for discussion. I need to communicate that more clearly!Andy, I’m going to echo Zach’s point above about the challenges of Internet cinephilia residing primarily in the surfeit of options — too many good or interesting “waves” to ride! Practically, I deal with it by using an RSS reader, and pruning or expanding it regularly. Twitter is where I catch up with most new links these days, and so a lot of filtering is already done for me by the few dozen people I follow there.Andy (and others), I’m curious to hear your take on the challenges of Internet cinephilia…Chuck, while this post is still fresh I’d like to revisit the chapter in your book to fertilize this comments section with ideas from it!Stephan, I think Deleuze is saying that considered overall, the flows (of air, water) are occurring not in a single direction but in multiple directions. Thus the analogy to each post or link taking us in a new, unexpected direction. And as cinephiles, I think we pursue multiple courses at any point in time, e.g. we are simultaneously interested in old and new cinema, world cinema and Hollywood, narrative and experimental, etc… Zach, first: Congratulations on the marriage! This is fantastic news! Your honeymoon surfing story reminds me of Maya, we can’t allow “the wave” to wipe you out: your Herculean “interview project” is too importantto us for that…!

  208. Posted May 18, 2014 at 5:10 pm | #

    “Because it’s so rewarding to be a chedlreaeer today, there’s less motivation to invest time and effort in becoming a critic-cinephile.”I’m reminded of the notion, in organization studies, of two kinds of rewards: extrinsic and intrinsic. Being a chedlreaeer-cinephile brings often brings the former kind: visibility, website “hits,” linking by other sites, etc. But the work of a critic-cinephile is unlikely to bring (I think) such extrinsic rewards of equal magnitude, or it might take a good while for such rewards to materialize. But this work–the work of criticism, what Andy means when he speaks of sitting down with a film or films and watch them over and over again, mining and analyzing them–can produce a different kind of reward that is more intrinsic, a satisfaction and pleasure generated not from the outside (money, fame, visibility, celebrity, website popularity, etc) but more from inside oneself (a satisfaction from learning and acquisition of knowledge, a feeling of accomplishment from having written a good critical piece, a feeling that one is deepening one’s understanding of cinema from one month to the next, etc). My theory is that both these kinds of rewards are important. Too much of the “extrinsic” without enough of the “instrinsic” can make one feel a bit empty and unsatisfied with the substance of one’s work, while the reverse can cause one to feel unappreciated and frustrated, longing for the approbation of one’s peers.So I think every cinephile must find her own place on the spectrum between the extremes of “critic” and “enthusiast”…Perhaps what we need here is a new notion and a new term: that of an “enthusiast critic” who takes up questions of cinema and works (and makers) of cinema hitherto unexplored or under-explored and highlights them while simultaneously performing valuable critical work on them. I think we can say that the blogs of Zach, Ignatiy, Mubarak, Matthew, Andy Rector, and others, fall into this category. What disinguishes these bloggers from more “traditional” critics is that (a) they work primarily on the Internet rather than in print; and (b) they often don’t work in a traditional “film-review-essay” form in their blog posts. They explore the nooks and corners of cinema and excite enthusiasm about them while also writing criticism about this and more visible, well-known cinema…Just thinking aloud here, your responses welcome…

  209. Posted May 18, 2014 at 5:13 pm | #

    Re: nostalgia … some of this ‘eulogy’ was notaslgic, as I’m a sentimental guy by temperament, and I like to remember a dead past for what it continues to mean to me. (I feel like I should (not) inject a bad pun about ‘Fordian slips’ here.) But it’s not only nostalgia I’m interested in. Andy invoked Benjamin, and while here on Elusive Lucidity we do more like sub-sub-Benjaminian analysis (a 6th-generation VHS dub of Benjamin’s 35mm ‘Scope Technicolor masterpiece), yes, the basic ambition is the same. I want to keep a certain understanding of VHS, and video-as-reproductioin in general, alive in my memory, keep it more than a memory, so as to not only better understand what came after it (all the possibilities of the digital age!), as well as to help remind what came before–so as to never erase the real differences that exist between celluloid, analog chemical filmmaking and the new stuff we have these days. To insist upon remembering that there was a distinction to be made between media, that these are not just interchangeable forms of moving images whose differences are of concern only as a matter of AV geek trivia. I went to Mondo Kim’s again yesterday, and for relatively low prices I was able to pick up things that aren’t readily available on DVD (as far as I know)–Joseph Losey’s Steaming, Claire Devers’ Noir et blanc, Jacques Becker’s Montparnasse 19, a few others. I firmly believe that cinephiles should resist business’ function as a tastemaker–seeking out alternatives to commercial releases in theaters or video (now just DVD) is something that, for me anyway, is both a fun and vital part of the great cinephilic hunt. As for the unintended possibilities that VHS can illumine for us–as Andy suggested–there is the great potential for strange double or triple features on a single dub tape (maybe I’ll post some favorites from my personal collection). And, perhaps I’ve mentioned this here before, there is the occasional film whose bleeding colors can sometimes transform a mere video reproduction into a mildly intoxicating video art piece of its own. I have a copy of Night Passage (James Neilson, ’57) recorded from TV that offers this.

  210. Posted May 18, 2014 at 5:27 pm | #

    much.) Before the internet and gotablizaoiln, cultures were largely isolated and unable to benefit from the knowledge other cultures had accumulated. But the internet is now a place in which almost all forms of cultural knowledge can be stored and shared.If we are treating the critical film community and the various fan communities as isolated cultures and asking how their intermixing on the internet has changed/benefited the critical side, I should ask: What is the ultimate end of the critical film culture, and what knowledge from fan culture could support those ends?I often asked myself this question when writing film papers in school. What good is film studies? There is a practicality to constructing various histories of film and understanding how they all interact; and there is a personal pleasure to having a firm grasp of aesthetically challenging films (the “deepening one’s soul” aspect of art); but beyond that, I could never satisfactorily answer the question. What does film studies strive for? What do we use this knowledge of film for?I think that without answering that question, it is difficult to answer the question you ask. Answering on a very basic level, I can say that the critical film community has discovered new films thanks to the fan communities. But as of yet, I don’t think this exposure to B-Westerns, Wuxia, Erotica, avant-garde &c. has changed critical culture at all. These films may be receiving scholarly treatment, but it is the same sort of treatment the films of the critical culture have already had. (This is my experience, and others may think differently.)I would venture, however, that something like the reverse has happened — that is, more people are being exposed to critical culture and adopting its knowledge. A lay-critical culture has sprung up online: not scholarly or academic, but informed by academic/critical methods, applying it to their own particular interests. So rather than critical culture being changed by fan cultures, fan cultures have been enlightened by critical culture.I say this as a part of the lay-critical wave. Had it not been for the internet, I would have never discovered the joys of film.I look forward to hearing more voices weigh in on this discussion.

  211. Posted May 18, 2014 at 5:28 pm | #

    You’re right that “form” and “style” are often treated as synynoms. I also think your initial impulse is correct, that form comes first, then style. Form is the material, style is what you do with it. Or to go with a food metaphor, form is the recipe, but style is evidence of the cook’s personalizing the recipe, perhaps even augmenting or subverting it.To offer a purely personal and in no way official definition, I always think “form” means the actual form taken by the work (i.e., the genre, the structure, the specific techniques used). But I think of “style” as being what the artist brings to the table — evidence of his or her temperament, personality, preoccupations, etc. To give just one example, I’d say MUNICH takes the form of an internatiional spy thriller, and Spielberg filters that form through his style, which includes, among other things, a highly personalized take on 70s visual tics (handheld camera, snap-zooms, lots of grain in the image), his usual filtering of narrative and politics through the ideas of “home” and “family,” and a dilalectical approach to the subject of vengeance, which defines it as both defensive and offensive, rational and irrational, national and personal. To bring in a second film, John Frankenheimer’s BLACK SUNDAY is very, very similar to MUNICH in its story, themes and even some settings and characterizations. Spielberg honors that movie in his choice of camerawork, editing, lighting, even film stock (homages galore, more than I can count, and I live for that sort of thing). Still, I think if you put the two movies side by side, they illustrate the difference between form and style pretty well. Very similar form, even similar techniques, but there’s no mistaking one style for the other. Dunno if that explanation holds up to scrutiny, but that’s my take on it.

  212. Posted May 18, 2014 at 5:42 pm | #

    The Dardennes seem to have been left behind a bit in this thared, but as I’m off to Cinematheque Ontario tonight to see their first feature film, “Falsch,” I thought I’d weight in on their second film, “Je Pense a Vous,” which screened a couple of days ago. Basically, it’s a very ham-fisted melodrama about the wife of a laid-off steel worker, and how she copes with her husband’s inability to cope. The tinkling piano music threw me for a loop — the Dardennes have mocked the idea of music in their films, just as they’ve dismissed the idea of showing the death of a character (which happens in Je Pense a Vous). It’s as if they went into hiding after this film and emerged as masters with La Promesse — an observation that’s already been made on this blog, but is no less startling for being re-stated. As with the documentaries (which I found intelligent but uninvoling), it’s possible to tease out some similarities with their feature work — a focus on working-class protagonists, obviously, but also some physical long takes and a willingness to let faces do the talking. And it’s set in Seraing, of course. When my friend and I interviewed the Dardennes last fall at the Toronto festival (for a piece that’ll be out in Toronto this month), they seemed, if not hesitant to discuss their early work, then at least uninterested. There is one doc that they produced that seems very important, however — it’s called “Gigi and Monica.” A professor I know swears that it was the inspiration for L’Enfant: it’s about a young couple with a child who punch each other on the arm and play-fight like little puppies. The Dardennes told us that they produced it, and nothing else — anyone out there seen it?

  213. Posted May 18, 2014 at 5:56 pm | #

    about his own work. That comment bfleafd me. As an enthusiast, I am more concerned with the spirit intended in a piece of work than whether or not I hold faith in that spirit, and who would know the intention of that spirit more than the filmmaker?Granted, to lean even more into the Greek, enthusiasm is a handmaiden to Eros in the sense that Eros is that which binds the world together. This erotic impulse, one might even say this “feel good” impulse, has strong conflicts with the intellectual (and here I envision William Blake’s detached Urizen with his compass measuring specificities) and I have to put my cards on the table and say that I am, admittedly, a “feel good” kind of guy, a smush ball in fact who prefers to be “in” it than “apart” from it. I’m the kind of guy who will give you a big hug even if it’s inappropriate. (I’ll never forget Girish’s shocked reaction when I hugged him at a past TIFF.) I’m also the kind of guy that will fix pancakes for you because I want to show you how much I care and respect you. As an enthusiast, my role is to link the art and craft of filmmaking, its intention, its dream, with the–dare I say “objective”–discernments of critics who further that craft through careful analysis. I believe enthusiasts are populists who connect the “average” audience with the critical elite. I suspect that enthusiasts, by their nature, favor the spectacular dimension of cinema, in its many ramifications, especially how the art form is inhabited by personalities.

  214. Posted May 18, 2014 at 5:58 pm | #

    Charles, I think one distinction that could be heulfpl in thinking about how to ride these waves is that we’re not riding the waves as individuals in isolation. We are individuals riding the waves, but we are riding them together as a community (however big you want to define that community, though Girish’s blog clearly has its own). Perhaps just recognizing each other as we ride these waves is the start we need. I see that happening in the comments of this post. Friends old and new acknowledging one another, encouraging one another. In establishing these relationships, these discussions, with fellow surfers, we influence one another. We can listen to and contribute to and mediate discussions ourselves. This seems primary goal, at least ideally, for me. Secondary is the idea of influencing the larger wave on which we ride (though I understand that practically-speaking, some folks might strongly desire this in the course of their professional lives). But even practically, I think this secondary goal comes through the primary goal. You can’t influence the wave as an isolated individual. It comes through a network of personal relationships. Perhaps in Deleuze’s metaphor (I’ve not read the article), he would intend this network to be the wave itself, but I imagine that what is troubling with this metaphor is that the wave seems awfully impersonal, when what I am proposing above would be a network of personal relationships.

  215. Posted May 18, 2014 at 7:02 pm | #

    Good post Girish! I think that the Internet provides such all-ready acecss to so many things (which is not to say that it is omnipotent, or that there are no holes & lacks – only that it is bigger than we are), that when it comes to cinephilia the effect is now that the practices are rarely ones of scarcity, and instead bulwarks against the the pitfalls that may sometimes accompany plenitude. One begins to make judgments about how to spend one’s time that are different in the face of acecss than they were when scarcity (of information, screenings, video copies) loomed larger. ‘What, many of Marcel Hanoun’s films are available online? Ah, I wanted to see these – any of these! – for years … but they don’t have subtitles, and my French is so bad, and the image quality isn’t the best, and maybe I can watch more of them later … when I have more time …’ Time becomes precious in the face of so much at our fingertips. I wonder if this is one of the values of ‘mediators,’ precisely because they give us a chance to get into orbit within a dizzying cine-galactic system.(I don’t have many, or any, good recent examples to offer because non-cinema has occupied me the last month or so, and I’m only now easing back into the blogosphere, etc.)

  216. Posted May 18, 2014 at 7:50 pm | #

    Girish:I think you’re right that we do have significant cootrnl over our cinephilic “surfing” experiences on the web. Myriad “waves” are open to us and they are constantly evolving. Sometimes this multitude of options can be daunting but, with a little work, also can become manageable if we choose to work at it.I think my anxieties about Internet cinephilia tend to manifest themselves after the “wave” or “waves” have been chosen, i.e. how do I exert myself on this “wave” so that it is different, if only for a few moments, for my having been here? The issue, then, is not about the selection of “waves,” but rather the individual’s ability to impact the “wave” once he or she has chosen to ride it. If we take the surfing metaphor literally, thousands may take to their boards on a daily basis, but the ocean remains fundamentally unchanged by their presence. How does one, in the midst of riding a cinephilic “wave,” alter that “wave,” change the conversation, reshape the discourse and not just become another “surfer?”Perhaps these anxieties are my own but it seems, at least theoretically, difficult to penetrate the cacophony of voices surrounding all issues cinematic. I suppose sharing these anxieties in this forum is a start…But don’t misunderstand me: like Andy, I’ve never known a cinephilia other than this one and I wouldn’t trade surplus for scarcity, cacophony for silence.

  217. Posted May 18, 2014 at 7:56 pm | #

    “I’m thinking now that “formalistic” is a bad ajcvdtiee for describing how exaggerated the stylization is for any given film. I mean, every film has formal properties, and every film is therefore “formalistic.””I agree completely, Doug, that it is an unsatisfying word. But it’s bandied about quite a bit, not least in intro film texts and so I’m sorta curious to “interrogate” it a bit. I suspect (I’m not sure about this) that the use of the word might have less to do with whether formal properties are deployed (all films, as you say, are “formalistic”) than the degree to which those formal properties call attention to themselves and are made visible. The words “stylized” and “formalistic” are, as far as I can tell, used nearly interchangeably. If there are minor distinctions in meaning between them, I’m not aware of them. And yet we seem to perhaps prefer the former sometimes because it doesn’t include the word “form” or “formal” (loaded words). Which also has me wondering: what is the difference between “form” and “style”? Is the latter a subset of the former? The manner in which one deploys the former? Just asking out loud. It’s kind of interesting that one (meaning, me) has trouble precisely defining terms that one has been encountering and using for years…Nice points you make, Doug. I enjoyed reading and thinking about them.

  218. Posted May 18, 2014 at 8:09 pm | #

    Corey’s point is so important he (originally) potsed it three times over !! Yes, there is a murky zone in my initial definition, but I was trying to describe something I have seen in many people around the world. What I call (perhaps a little carelessly) a ‘cheerleader’ is more than just a ‘fan’ – I resist the assimilation of any form of cinephilia to just some subset of cult-studies fandom (Janet Staiger’s route). I guess what I was trying to say in that piece is that a certain kind of cinephile does not necessarily express him/herself as a critic or analyst or theorist, but through a range of other acts: translation, promotion, programming, collecting (with like-minded soul-brohters and sisters) … and linking/collaging, as we see mightily on the Web today. Some well-known and much-loved historians are more cheerleaders (in my sense) that critics as such: Bill Everson maybe, definitely Ado Kyrou, who virtually invented the high-class coffee-table film book. (Enthusiasm, film noir, erotica and surrealism all wrapped up neatly in him, Corey!) Look at someone on the Web like Joseph Coppola, with his systematic combing through ratings, listings, etc in CAHIERS: what a Herculean labour, and how fascinating it is for so many purposes! It is all ‘sophisticated love’ of cinema, but expressed in various different ways …

  219. Posted May 18, 2014 at 8:10 pm | #

    Back to your question, Girish: “Which has me wodrening in general: what makes a film more or less formalistic?”I’m thinking now that “formalistic” is a bad adjective for describing how exaggerated the stylization is for any given film. I mean, every film has formal properties, and every film is therefore “formalistic.”I agree with Noel’s comment about the Dogme style; the Dardenne aesthetic is similar (although they began writing about their ideas in 1992) but it also highlights the limitations of style-as-content, because the Dardenne films are so much richer and complex and, well, meaningful (a subjective statement, I know!) than anything I’ve seen from Dogme.Another test comparison was Jean-Pierre Denis’ La Petite Chartreuse (2005), which not only stars Olivier Gourmet but is shot with a handheld camera by the Dardenne’s camera operator–and it’s a disaster of a film; maudlin, misdirected, a dramatic mess. Like Bresson, the Dardennes do many takes for each scene, and those of us at SFIFF last year decided Denis’ film was proof positive that the Dardenne’s seemingly off-the-cuff, naturalistic style was anything but.So I guess there are formalist directors, who emphasize style and structure, but I wouldn’t say the late Dardenne films are any more or less formalist. Their late films are less stylistically flashy and more stripped down, but they’re also more elliptical, more silent (no narration), more intense.

  220. Posted May 18, 2014 at 8:12 pm | #

    Every time I hear about the Dogme 95 filmmakers and their ‘Vow of Chastity,” I think of the Dardannes, who floolw practically every provison in that vow, but without the fuss. La Promesse I thought a great film–greater by far than anything Doggy-style, anyway; Rosetta I like a little less, but it’s still a considerable accomplishment.Excellent discription of the docs, girish; makes me badly want to see them. I don’t know if you’ll ever have the chance to see this in turn, but there’s a documentary made by a pair of Filipinas that you might find interesting, about child labor:Too much voiceover narration, I felt, and strictly traditional filmmaking, except for the touch of fairy-tale imagery I could see in parts of the picture. As for Death Race 2000–can’t believe you haven’t seen this! It’s brash, crude, witty fun, with bits of nudity, bits of heads chopped off, and a frankly brilliant satire about how a government can distract its people with bread-and-circus slaughter. Misses as much as it hits, but what it hits is rarely left standing, and how can you hate a pic that describes Sly Stallone as a guy “loved by thousands, hated by millions”?Roger Corman–I actually wrote a brief (really brief) writeup about him some days ago: .I don’t know if Wednesday is time enough, tho, for a man of so many flicks.

  221. Posted May 18, 2014 at 8:15 pm | #

    Are you sure this is what he meant, Girish? It sounds like you asked about their poaiticll agenda, not their formalism. I could see the former being subsumed but not the latter. I like the explanation we came up with better–that the documentaries are more self-consciously “showy” simply out of youthful vigor; it was so funny to see them introduce the first film resembling long-haired, 30-something punks. ;)This is why I compare their transition from poaiticll non-fiction to inner-person fiction with Kieslowski’s career, even though there’s still a major gap between the Dardennes and Kieslowski’s aesthetics, of course. They all denied being “poaiticll” filmmakers, even though the idea of social equality and justice is intrinsic to the Dardennes’ work and Kieslowski’s early fictional (pre-Decalogue)features. Not to say anything about A Short Film About Killing.Robin Wood has a so-so overview of the Dardennes in the latest Artforum, but he makes some rather pedestrian simplifications of Bresson, a filmmaker he has little patience with.And yes, their “self-reinvention” occured just prior to La Promesse–Luc writes about it in his recently published diary much like Bresson spoke about Les Dames…, as a bad experience that would swear them off filmmaking unless they made some changes. They retitled their production company for La Promesse and all of their subsequent films.

  222. Posted May 18, 2014 at 8:16 pm | #

    The accident of finding this post has brightened my day

  223. Posted May 18, 2014 at 8:41 pm | #

    “if you don’t update your blog regllaruy, no one will read it.” He says “if you don’t comment on other people’s sites, they’ll never comment on yours.” He says “watch what you say, because on the internet everything is ‘on the record.’”In the Internet era, being a cheerleader can feel like a full-time job. It’s one that brings with it a certain amount of notoriety and prestige, and the tantalizing promise of the occasional free DVD screener or paid writing gig if you’re good at it. Today, it’s possible for cheerleaders to make friends and influence people. It’s tough to give that up, even temporarily, to apprentice as a critic-cinephile, especially when it appears as if there’s a chance you might never be fully compensated for your efforts (because of “the death of criticism,” blah, blah, blah). I want to be both a cheerleader and a critic-cinephile. One of the biggest challenges of Internet cinephilia, for me, is finding a balance between these two parts of my cinephile identity that makes me happy. But I’ve never known any kind of cinephilia other than Internet cinephilia, so maybe this is nothing new?

  224. Posted May 18, 2014 at 8:53 pm | #

    Girish has put his finger on sonimhetg here – the way formerly more private ‘cheerleading’ or enthusiast practices have now come out of the closet somewhat and gone public in the Internet age. Mind you – and I am sure there have been many studies of this dynamic – some Internet ‘circles’ remain fiercely closed, and even when they are literally not, many choose only to ‘lurk’ (perhaps even here, in this friendliest of forums!). I remember, just after writing my Leone book in the late ’90s, seeing an Internet group devoted to him; within a day of innocent posting, I was told in no certain terms to shove off, because a. I had ‘over-intellectualised’ Leone like a true academic prat would; and b. I had dared to insinuate there was sonimhetg homoerotic – or maybe even GAY (even though ‘homosocial’ is about the most charged word or claim in the book itself) – lurking between the men in ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA !!! I got out of that group fast, let me tell you.

  225. Posted May 18, 2014 at 8:54 pm | #

    This inofrmation is off the hizool!

  226. Posted May 18, 2014 at 8:59 pm | #

    re: ‘Then there’s a third period when, from the idea of power, we moved to the raaiizetlon of the power of media. Power today is the new management of media which is a problem on which the Leftists have been nil, pre-historic, with the exception of someone like Baudrillard. But let’s say that, in general, Marxist reflection on media is nil.’Reminds me of something Paul Mason writes in his much-linked blog entry, which comes up again in :’People have a better understanding of power. The activists have read their Chomsky and their Hardt-Negri, but the ideas therein have become mimetic: young people believe the issues are no longer class and economics but simply power: they are clever to the point of expertise in knowing how to mess up hierarchies and see the various “revolutions” in their own lives as part of an “exodus” from oppression, not – as previous generations did – as a “diversion into the personal”. While Foucault could tell Gilles Deleuze: “We had to wait until the nineteenth century before we began to understand the nature of exploitation, and to this day, we have yet to fully comprehend the nature of power,” that’s probably changed.’I’m not convinced that class or economics are no longer as significant an issue in this way (in my experience as well as general impressions), but otherwise it gives a sense of where we’re at, perhaps. Your point that we haven’t come very far is no doubt true — certainly, we haven’t come far enough… ‘it seems foolish to overlook the possibility that no deception is happening anywhere, when probability deception is occuring more than almost anything else.’Unquestionably. Dan Hind’s is very strong on this, particularly because he’s one of very few on the left coming up with concrete strategies for media reform as well…

  227. Posted May 18, 2014 at 9:22 pm | #

    Nature films have their forgery of eilipsls and editing too, but it’s not the footage itself that is not conform to reality, it’s the storytelling.Well, I guess my definition doesn’t cover every imaginable subtype of documentaries. But it’s an objective rational we can figure out from the images themselves without assuming whether the content of the material is true or propaganda, which is obviously a subjective statement, and one that requires extra-filmic knowledge about the events/people/locations themselves. Though mockumentaries pass the definition loophole, purposefully for them. Borat = documentary or fiction ?I’m not very familiar with the images of Direct Cinema. I’ve only seen a few. If the camera is not acknowledged (in the film) it obviously means the editing took out the clues, and like I mentioned it’s already proof of staging control of the recordings. But it doesn’t mean the footage is non-realistic.What gives away fiction is that scenes are filmed over and over, behaviours are conditioned by the script… To me documentary is Real Life footage. When you put a camera in the street, it never goes unnoticed. So if you don’t keep the public reaction on the editing table, you’re not documenting exactly what you see. So even if it’s not “pure” documentary, it could be something else like a Flaherty re-enactment. It doesn’t mean it’s fiction. Documentary and Fiction (and Hybrid which is a voluntary mix of both pure kinds) are not the only possibilities. There is autobiography, essay film, narrative/narrated documents… or TV reportage. Which are all types of sub-documentaries, albeit without the foul proof images we need to trust them.The reason so many people (filmmakers and critics alike) tend to ignore the frontier between fiction and non-fiction is precisely because so few documentaries are “pure”, so many use and abuse the gimmicks of narrative fiction. It’s an understandable compromise to recount events in compressed time, but it shouldn’t render obsolete the specificity of proper documentaries. We should defend images that are true to themselves, without artifice.

  228. Posted May 18, 2014 at 9:23 pm | #

    Good question, Ignatius, and one I’ve often asked mylesf. I guess one reason I think the topic is worth examining is because films are labeled “fiction” or “non-fiction”, “narrative” or “documentary” so commonly in the wider world. It may be only incidental to my own appreciation of a film to know where it fits in such a classification system, but it seems to be important for most viewers. Going a bit further, I think that it’s important for our society to practice talking about these issues, because of the way moving images can be manipulated for propaganda purposes (both in so-called “fiction” and “non-fiction” modes) and it may be helpful to develop and proliferate language that helps us understand when and how this happens. We may not need to draw a clear border between “documentaries” and “not documentaries” as long as we can discuss documentary and non-documentary aspects of film, however.Harry’s definition is fascinating, perhaps because it seems to disallow everything from nature films to compilation films like Los Angeles Plays Itself to “pure” Direct Cinema works (if such things exist- I’m not sure they do) from the documentary category. Very interesting!

  229. Posted May 18, 2014 at 9:43 pm | #

    Andy:Lively it is, and I’m afraid that, from all avialable evidence I’ve seen, you’re correct about the physical decline of his video work (I wonder if there’ll ever be a video preservation movement as high profile as the counterpart movement too preserve film?). In a sense, Godard’s work on video was a more effective stab at fulfilling a revolutionary intent that I think he only superficially touched with his Groupe Dziga Vertov-era filmmaking. Whether he should go back to video in a more substantial way is probably asking for too much, but I think it something of a minor tragedy that he didn’t stay with video longer than he did (Meetin’ WA is virtually a backward glance at the form, rather than a return to it).Azfad:True, you never see Allen pulling his hair out or sweating bullets . . . something he would do plenty of in the next decade . . . but I think I’m on pretty firm ground in characterizing the expression on his face as one of growing anxiety.

  230. Posted May 18, 2014 at 9:51 pm | #

    Girish,Thanks for the Rouge pointer. My life sttras over with every issue. Adrian Sr.,I had the pleasure of seeing The Man I Killed(also twice!) as part of Jonathan Rosenbaum’s First Transition series at the Film Center in Chicago. This is the film that, more than any other, reminds us that the “Lubitsch Touch” isn’t a question of comedy–it’s a whole way of looking at the world. I challenge anyone to find a film that’s as impassioned and direct as this one and isn’t directed by Chaplin.And, as you know the 21st century better than anyone I can think of, I’ll take your recommendation of Un Lac to heart.All,Re: The Bordwell. Isn’t it maybe best to not differentiate between documentary and “fiction?” Every “fictional” film is very documentary (of, at very least, its own production) and documentaries all fictionalize. Though, if we choose to make the distinction, the system HarryTuttle suggests is probably the most intelligent. But questions arise: a camera is always a camera. Is an actor playing to the camera documenting a performance?

  231. Posted May 18, 2014 at 9:54 pm | #

    “what is the difference beetewn “form” and “style”? Is the latter a subset of the former? The manner in which one deploys the former? “That is how I tend to think about it. The “form” is universal by nature, it can be deployed in innumerable ways. One example, still fresh in my mind, is Venice. Everyone has a certain image of it, though not realistically fulfilled by all. It is a certain metaphor…it is numerous metaphors just as there numerous people. In Visconti’s ‘Death in Venice’, however, it is intimidating, menacing even. It is sickness and thus the loss of love. In the recent ‘Casanova’ Venice is lust, a joker of emotions. In Fellini’s ‘Casanova’ – a parody. That is what ‘style’ makes out of a ‘form’. While the ‘form’ is susceptible to interpretations, which may turn out to be contrary by nature (as people are), the ‘style’ with which a ‘form’ is shaped leaves just one spectrum of interpretations – the one close to the ‘stylist’.

  232. Posted May 18, 2014 at 9:59 pm | #

    Thank you, Harry & Anon.Yes, “formalism” does have a pejorative whiff to it, doesn’t it? (Though it can also be used poeiitvsly, I guess).Harry, you say about “mannerist”: “Self-conscious, overcharged, detailed, improbable, overwhelming, rich, virtuoso.”And it’s interesting that all of these could be employed as part of a “stylized” approach and be perfectly congruent with it and work well. But using the word “mannerist” to describe them is pejorative.It’s also interesting to me that both the Dardennes and Jean-Pierre Denis (the example that Doug cited) employ potentially interesting formal choices but one succeeds while the other fails badly. (I haven’t seen the film, but Doug has.) I guess this is where the artist’s “creative intuition” (and the multitude of decisions they make in the process of employing the above formal choices) leads to success or failure. So, merely deploying the formal means of cinema in what looks like “bold” and “unconventional” ways does not necessarily result in artistic success. But then, what precisely does? Hmm…

  233. Posted May 18, 2014 at 10:03 pm | #

    TLRHB–That’s a good point you make. Perhaps others would like to rosnepd it…. Just my two cents: If you look at the “pantheon” of cinema, comedy filmmakers (in American cinema–Keaton, Chaplin, Lubitsch, Sturges, etc) are far outnumbered by the non-comedic. However, there are many filmmakers both past and present whose work has strong elements of humor, rather than being outright in the “comedy genre”. (e.g. again with American cinema: Hitch, Hawks, Ford, etc all made films with lots of humor in them.) And they get written about quite a bit.Phyrephox–Thanks for the Moullet recommendation. I was pretty much going to throw a dart and hit a Moullet until your suggestion. Much appreciated.Peter & Aaron–I’ll look forward to reading your Corman posts.Noel–Thanks for those links. Death Race 2000 sounds like a hoot. By the way, just the other day I read your piece in Cineaste as part of the international critics symposium and really enjoyed it. It’s unfortunately not on-line or I’d link to it here.

  234. Posted May 18, 2014 at 10:09 pm | #

    Don’t mind my chiming in cause I bear no rencealve to the english dictionary ;) So many words misused/misinterpretated in film criticism… It’s interesting to discuss these terms regarding Dardennes cinema though. Girish and Doug’s description of the documentaries are really fascinating. Here’s my understanding (open for debate), I can see a notable difference:stylized : has more to do with the overt distanciation to realism (exaggerated/underplayed acting, bigger/lesser-than-life, ellipsis, simplification)stylish : that would be excess of stylistic signature in filmmaking (trademarked gimmicks, recurrant framing, particular design)formalistic : focus on form (technique, rules, visual language) rather than content, form leads content, or even replace content. Can be positive. Editing, composition, camerawork stand out instead of being invisible.mannerist : also means excess of style and form, but in a pejorative manner. Self-conscious, overcharged, detailed, improbable, overwhelming, rich, virtuoso.For instance a film movement (like Soviet Montage, or Cine9ma-ve9rite9) determines certain aspects of the general film form to create an original identifiable style.

  235. Posted May 18, 2014 at 10:10 pm | #

    Harry, thanks for your thgfuhtuol response. One thing about the Direct Cinema practitioners’ technique: though the removal of camera acknowledgment through editing was/is a part of their strategy, it was not the only important one. They argued that when the filmmaker spends enough time with her or his subject(s), the camera eventually becomes part of the wallpaper and will be automatically ignored; perhaps even forgotten. Of course, this philosophy put them at odds with the Cine9ma Ve9rite9 proponents who believed truth is best reached by direct engagement between camera and subject, so that the audience is always aware of the filmmaking apparatus. There was a huge dust-up on the issue at a conference in Lyon in 1963, where North American adherents of Direct Cinema met with French Ve9rite9 filmmakers and found their differences difficult to reconcile.

  236. Posted May 18, 2014 at 10:29 pm | #

    I agree with Brian, Persepolis is not a documentary. I beivele we had a discussion about (auto-)biographies on this blog a while ago. I don’t think a biography qualifies as a documentary, even if it’s true.And Waltz With Bashir is an hybrid. Because a movies doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If there was only rotoscoped talking heads I would agree with Bordwell that “animation” can be documentary too, but it’s the re-enactments and dream sequences that disqualify the whole movie.I prefer to differentiate documentary from fiction by this definition : if the onscreen persons pretend the camera crew doesn’t exist in their diegesis, then it’s fiction.And if the cameraman of a documentary asks the interviewees to ignore the camera, the staging control already fails the definition.

  237. Posted May 18, 2014 at 10:38 pm | #

    Andyhorbal: GROUNDHOG DAY is a spiritual movie for a suelcar age. it actually made it onto my best of the 90s list in NYPress, and the more often I watch it, the more sure I am that I was right to include it. Few Hollywood movies are this light yet this deep. girish: You really worked up my appetite to see these docs, and I’m glad to know about the Corman impromptu blog-a-thon. I’ll try to put my daily newspaper chops to work and bang something out. Dunno what yet. Also, I know this is the wrong thread to do it in, but thanks for the Monk post. He’s among my favorite jazz composers and pianists, and a huge influence on my dad, the composer-pianist Dave Zoller.

  238. Posted May 18, 2014 at 11:00 pm | #

    Girish, I hope you don’t mind me going off-topic for a moment, but you host such a great, open forum that I had to ask fleolw bloggers what just popped into my mind: Why do we so rarely write anything about comedies? We’ll examine every nook and cranny of the most out-there art house film, which is absolutely great, but I rarely see (in the brief time I’ve been doing this) any appreciations on the same level for comedies. Do we all lack a sense of humor? Is it easier to write about the mechanics of drama or the anything-goes approach of an experimental film than the light, nearly magical touch of a great comedy? I’m open to any interpretive theories, conspiratorial or otherwise.

  239. Posted May 18, 2014 at 11:06 pm | #

    What a wonderful epcreienxe and review!! I adore the Dardennes and am so glad you two got to see these and came back to spread the word! Thanks, Girish!As for “cinephilia and food”, I’m having a web developer come over this week to begin negotiations on how to ramp up The Evening Class and on my list of dreamthings is exactly the food blog we’ve been discussing lately. It’s an aspect of film culture that has–among the mainstream, perhaps–been reduced to popcorn and a candy bar with a big Coke to wash it down. But, as among the participants at the Sonoma Valley Film Festival, dining and viewing are wed for pleasure.

  240. Posted May 18, 2014 at 11:10 pm | #

    Quick Las Palmas report from Adrian Sr. – Philippe Grandrieuxb4s UN LAC is the gtaerest film of the 21st century! While Lubitschb4s THE MAN I KILLED (aka BROKEN LULLABYE), which I have watched twice in 2 days, may be the gtaerest of the 20th!!The Claire Denis 35 RHUMS is pretty good, too. But that CHRISTMAS TALE film that many rave about is obscene! Craziest film so far is Julio Bressaneb4s HERB OF THE RAT, as strange as its title. And also had a chance to see the wonderful OUR BELOVED MONTH OF AUGUST again. Director Miguel Gomes is keen to see Brisseaub4s SOUND AND FURY in the ROUGE TEENAGE WILDLIFE program !!

  241. Posted May 18, 2014 at 11:56 pm | #

    Re: Adrian Sr.’s nutshell fisaevtl report. I don’t get on with Grandrieux’s films nearly as much as I would like – must be one be one of those “conflict of character” situations that Miguel was talking about in the last comments thread. The opening sequence of Un lac is amazing, but the rest left me increasingly bemused (I think I must prefer the less insistent Denis, Akerman or Tsai strain of corporeal cinema to Grandrieux’s).Does anybody know whether there is any kind of (US/UK/wherever) distribution planned for Our Beloved Month of August? Adrian’s recs and the recent interview with Gomes in Cinema Scope have really heightened my anticipation…

  242. Posted May 19, 2014 at 12:00 am | #

    How curious. Recently I slumbted on Le De9part on late-night TV, not knowing what it was or who made it, and concluded that it was the worst, over-ripe pardody/imitation of the nouvelle vague one could imagine by a second-rate director. Adrian Sr loves it. I saw Un lac at a festival last fall and thought it the worst, over-ripe parody/imitation of today’s interesting ‘slow-moving’ directors by someone who obviously doesn’t know a thing about cinema. Adrian Sr loves it. There’s no accounting for taste (wther his or mine is a matter of debate).

  243. Posted May 19, 2014 at 12:16 am | #

    , “It’s not a documentary on my life. It’s story, and you sohlud never forget that.”There must be another proof one could use to classify Persepolis as a documentary, but I’m having trouble thinking of one that doesn’t also include films like Samira Makhmalbaf’s the Apple, or Alfred E. Green’s the Jackie Robinson Story, or even Laurent Cantet’s the Class. I’ll be quite impressed if someone can draw a demarcating border around the documentary category that’s clear, consistent and credible. I suspect it’s a concept too slippery to contained that way.

  244. Posted May 19, 2014 at 12:23 am | #

    to be intelligent, doesn’t do or say aiynhntg particularly smart (Gaston’s funnier by far); Mario O’Hara’s ‘Johnny Tinoso and the Proud Beauty’ featured a really bitchy Beauty and a truly soulful Beast, and furthermore had an additional twist that brings the legend home in a new way. And much as good as Pixar is, which is okay, none of it has the emotional complexity of aiynhntg by Miyazaki or Takahata.Thanks re: the Cineaste article; tossed it off one night, actually. Thought Olaf Moller’s entry had more cojones.

  245. Posted May 19, 2014 at 1:26 am | #

    I’ve written about my own love for film as a child berofe. So many of us have a love for film and storytelling but there is a separation between the cinephiles and the average child. When I was around seven or eight I started to see older movies on television and would compare them to children’s movies and television I had seen intended for my age group. I began to notice early on that while friends would be impressed with whatever was thrown up on the screen I was more analytical. I noticed acting and cinematography, and later director’s touches, editing techniques and foley work. By ten I had read the encyclopedia entry on “Motion Pictures” a hundred times over and by eleven I was already getting movie books and posters for birthdays. By twelve my mom’s friends would ask me who starred in what movie in 1937 when they couldn’t remember. By the time high school rolled around I was immersed in acting and the theatre and studied both film and theater in college. I still have film and theatre text books that I hold dear. My forte seemed to be acting as I was always cast in leads and major supporting roles and well-regarded by my peers and the directors I worked with. But my heart wasn’t completely in it. What I really wanted to do was… well, that was just it, I didn’t know. After college I dropped out of the theatre, dropped out of the arts and wandered aimlessly in dead end jobs, occassionally putting pen to paper, writing up a film or just recording thoughts. I wandered in and out of relationships (and then wandered while in them – that caused problems) and one day decided: I’m going to just start one of those damn blogs I’m always reading. Most people probably don’t want to admit it but when many of us start a blog we have expectations that do not match any of the rewards that actually come from it. You think you’re going to write about A, B and C and people will come to you and be enlightened and entertained. You have it all planned out. And then you get your first comment. And you respond. Then you comment on other sites. And they respond. And then a conversation starts. And then you link them and they link you and berofe you know it you’re a part of the “Online Film Community” as it were and you feel utterly refreshed and alive after years in the dark. And then you realize, as I did, that you don’t know nearly as much about film as you thought you did. The flurry of emotions one experiences doing this blogging duty can be overwhelming at times. There are times when you feel envious of the way someone else is able to summarize a film. Or immeasurably excited to find that a favorite blogger loves the same obscure movie you do. And so you’re encouraged to keep writing, keep commenting, keep expressing yourself day in and day out until there’s nothing left to say, a day which hopefully will never come. To keep up you start watching more and more movies and reading more and more about movies and taking in whatever you can whenever you can. And then it hits you: All those years you thought you were a cinephile you really weren’t. You were a movie buff. And now that you’re engaged with the community around you and engaged in the act of watching and dissecting and sharing you’re a cinephile. That’s when it hit me. I’ve always told people I’ve been a cinephile all my life. But the truth is I just became one in the last few months through blogging. A fellow blogger, Dennis, recently called me a “serial commenter extraordinaire” in one of his posts. I am, I admit it. I comment often, I comment on a lot of sites, and I sometimes go on for paragraphs. I feel a sense of engagement with the film blogging world of cinephiles I never felt berofe this past summer when I started. So I hope I don’t annoy people with my serial commenting, I just love taking part in the conversation. This is my first comment here (and after seeing its length you’re probably hoping it’s my last) but I hope to comment more often here in the future. Quite frankly, I feel out of the loop on some of the films and festival events discussed here and so have avoided commenting until I can get my learning curve up a bit. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to express myself.

  246. Posted May 19, 2014 at 1:30 am | #

    Milestones in my “passage”:1. Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man. After college in the rural Midwest I moved back to San Francisco, but it took me a while to get pleuggd into the local moviegoing scene. I was still a casual filmgoer, excited to take advantage of the “indie” films playing Landmark screens, the kind of thing not easily found in Iowa. But I still had not discovered the Roxie or delved into the Castro programming, and wasn’t even aware of the existence of the PFA across the Bay or the Stanford down the peninsula. I still rented my movies at Blockbuster, but when I picked up this one it immediately struck me as an example of a far more serious approach to the aesthetics of filmmaking than I had encountered previously (even though it’s a very humorous film, I still think “serious” applies when compared to the kind of Oscar bait that had previously been my definition of “ambitious” cinema).2. Joining an online community of cinephiles. Interacting with people like Zach Campbell, Ed Gonzalez, Damien Bona, Peter Patrick, Eric Henderson and many others in an online forum, and reading their persuasive, eclectic, and often contradictory expressions of taste showed me that there are a myriad of approaches to the breadth and scope of film history and the wider film culture. And just as important if not moreso, they dropped a lot of names of films and filmmakers that became essential signposts on my voyage of discovery.3. Pen-ek Ratanaruang’s 6ixtynin9 and Wisit Sasanatieng’s Tears of the Black Tiger. In 1999 I moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand to teach English and exist in a foreign culture for the first time in my life (beyond the month spent in England with my family one childhood summer.) Unfortunately, my limited Thai language skills combined with a virtual stranglehold of Hollywood product in the cinemas and video stores I frequented, made me all the more starved for an alternative. Toward the end of my 15-month stay there, I started to realize that there were stirrings of an indigenous art cinema scene in the country, and that certain titles were available, in a limited fashion at least, with English subtitles. Renting Pen-ek’s film from the only video store I ever saw it on the shelf, and watching Wisit’s during it’s week-long engagement at the local mall theatre, were crucial to helping me shift position a bit from my heretofore all but completely Ameri-centric view of film culture (I remember in college buying the line that the foreign films available in the USA represented the “best of” the rest of the world, which seems hopelessly naive to me today.)4. Kevin Brownlow’s Cinema Europe: the Other Hollywood. Upon my return to San Francisco from abroad, there was practically nothing I wanted to do more than immerse myself in a program of film history self-study, starting from as close to the beginning of this history as possible. The only silent films I’d seen were by Chaplin and a few avant-garde artists. Brownlow’s six-part documentary opened my eyes to a continent full of unexplored silent treasures, many of which I rented as soon as possible, though I eventually decided I so much preferred the experience of seeing silent films in cinemas with live musical accompaniment that I’d patiently wait for such opportunities. Brownlow’s clips and remarks in these videos still provide a major guide to my priories when it comes to seeing silent films in theatres. 5. The San Francisco Bay Guardian film writers, particularly Johnny Ray Huston. Though I’d read the local alt-weeklies’ film coverage before my excursion abroad, it was only after returning that I really found myself paying attention to what they were writing, and who was writing it. I’m sure the fact that he took a special interest in writing about Thai film (I particularly remember a piece on Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Mysterious Object at Noon) helped make me pay particular attention to Johnny Ray Huston’s pieces, but I quickly grew to find that the directions his articles pointed were usually very fruitful ones for me. He and the other sfbg writers helped me navigate local film festivals, directed me to venues like the PFA, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and SF Cinematheque, and much more.I’d say that by mid-2001 I’d been fully launched as a cinephile, though I’ve continued to utilize these sources and add others (particularly books, blogs, and cinephile friends I’ve made along the way). But these are the five touchstones without which I can’t imagine my cinephilia being in the state it currently is.Hope this answer isn’t too long for you, girish!!

  247. Posted May 19, 2014 at 1:31 am | #

    This is really a hard qusetion for me to answer because I’ve been nuts about films off and on all my life. WTTW-TV in Chicago had a program called “The Toy that Grew Up” that showed nothing but silent films. These appealed to me at an early age. They also did some adventurous film programming; I remember watching Rashomon while I was still in the single digits.I developed a tweenage crush on James Cagney. I bought a paperback called “TV Movies,” written by Leonard Maltin, and started ticking off all the Cagney films I had seen. This was before videotaping, so I had to set my clock to wake me up in the wee hours of the morning to catch some of them. Now, even TCM doesn’t show some of the rarities by Cagney I saw in those day (e.g., A Lion Is in the Streets).When I hit high school, I became a theatre techie and got a theatre scholarship to Loyola University of Chicago. My mania for theatre cancelled out everything else. When others were talking about the films they saw, I’d only have my theatrical experiences to relate. Nonetheless, programming in the 70s in Chicago was very eclectic and free, and I saw In the Realm of the Senses, Supervixen, and a very obscure porn comedy called A Labor of Love that I wish I could get my hands on now, all at my neighborhood theatres. Of coures, I was a fan from their very earliest days of Siskel & Ebert. Ebert is still one of my favorite critics. I couldn’t stomach Dave Kehr–he was too lofty and hard to please–but I read him because I was devoted to The Reader.It wasn’t really until was going through a divorce that my film mania kicked in. I had a lot of trouble concentrating at the time, so films were a lot easier to handle than books or theatre, which both require a lot of participation. I started posting on the New York Times Film Forum, which became like a drug for me–a bad one after a while, but still it gave me input on films and directors I’d never heard of. I started taking a maintenance drug that still greatly impairs my concentration for things like reading. Ironically, as a professional writer, I have had no trouble at all spitting the words out at length and often. I, too, am a chronic commenter.What might have really tipped me into the cinephile category was the first class I took at Facets, one on Luis Bunuel’s Mexican films, one in which I learned that I had a fairly analytical mind with regard to film. I was so knocked out by this class and director–he’s still my favorite–that I had to see what else world cinema had to offer. It wasn’t too far a leap to blogging film reviews, which I do joyfully and abundantly, but mainly on what I call “offroad” films. This is how I share my enthusiasm for the lesser-known world of cinema. I hope I’m not just preaching to the choir–at least, that’s my mission.Coincidentally, I did my 200th post on The Illusionist a couple of weeks ago as an explanation of my love of film and a tribute to my late mother, who was my earliest and most lasting influence as a film buff.

  248. Posted May 19, 2014 at 1:40 am | #

    As ever, the perfect edacutor asks the perfect question.My forays into film are from a realtor’s perspective. It’s all about venue. Location, location, location!The Castro Theatre. The Pacific Film Archives. These two venues have had more to do with my engagement with film than anything else. Gratefully, Quant’s write-ups are frequently used for PFA’s programs, because of the longstanding association between the Bay Area and Canada.Modesto, California as a location also springs to mind. In the mid-80s I opened the first video store in the San Joaquin Valley and was hired to build the inventory. I gained a healthy respect for titles that would pay for themselves three times over in order to fund titles that were barely rented out–foreign films, classics–which I introduced to that cowtown.Turner Classic Movies as a venue likewise springs to mind for Charlie Tabesh’s exquisite programming and Robert Osborne’s consummate hostship. Watch and learn, children, watch and learn.The San Francisco Jung Institute as a venue, and Dr. John Beebe in particular, held several seminars on film that applied Jungian theory and archetypal amplification. Dr. Beebe taught me that the way you enter a film is as important as the many entrances possible.And online venues: Strictly Film School, Long Pauses, Film Journey, and this eponymously named site have served to create community and further insightful discussion. Years back when I first read you commenting on Darren’s site, Doug’s site, Acquarello’s, I decided then and there I wanted to be a part of this crowd.Of course, there was only one way to do that: I had to watch movies and (lately) read about movies. I had no idea when I started that I would end up talking to so many of the creative talents that make movies themselves.So for me there’s no better investment than real estate. Venue venue venue. The movie palaces of yesteryear, the festival circuit, the online forums, the variant classrooms.Yesterday, for example, instead of sampling new Romanian cinema at Mill Valley, I opted for a Maria Montez triplebill at the Castro Theatre because–face it–when would I have that chance again? As I sat there enjoying (not just watching) these three Technicolor marvels–Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves, Cobra Woman, Arabian Nights–I was struck by just how many levels of appreciation I was using to view these films. First, the ready queer schtick, which is always a reminder of the value of spectatorship and how movies can be read in so many different ways. Then there was the ghost of Jack Smith hovering around pointing towards the history of avant garde cinema in the U.S. Then there was the ghost of Sabu and East Indian representation in Hollywood films. Then there was that whole sad mess of the failure of movies to fulfill our dreams. Montez drowns in her tub after a heart attack. Her costume designer drowns herself in her pool. Jon Hall kills himself not being able to handle the pain of cancer.The multivalency of the cinematic image informs me with intended and intruded pleasures, with disparage histories, with assessments of social and biographical concerns. And all because of the spirit of place.

  249. Posted May 19, 2014 at 2:09 am | #

    Regarding the notorious but hard to see Monogram petcuris: I just saw two Phil Karlson directed Monogram films, both using THE SHADOW character from radio: BEHIND THE MASK (1946) and THE MISSING LADY (1946). Bill Krohn found vhs tapes of them in a thrift store. The tapes had nothing but a xeroxed picture of “the Shadow” on the box and the title of each film (testament to Bill’s cunning as a scavanger: he immediately knew they were Karlson films without looking them up!). Both films used the same sets (redecorated), the same actors, the same SHADOW character. Indeed there are many uncanny intersections and trespasses between them, no less interesting just because they are explicable by Monogram’s low-budget practice. BEHIND THE MASK opens with an unforgettable long take (about 3 minutes) on a street corner. We only get to see this street corner from this one long static take in this film. Then in the other film, THE MISSING LADY, some characters are walking down a street. They stop to chat. Instantly I was overwhelmed by the realization that the space where they stop to chat is on the same street corner with the same signs as the first film. More interestingly, the shot of the second film is exactly where the absent reverseshot of the first film would’ve been had Karlson not done a long take! It’s very instructive to see what is done with each limited space in relation to the story the actors etc.; one could learn filmmaking from them more thoroughly than by looking at a the giant films of Kubrick or Tarr. E.g., in BEHIND THE MASK the limited amount of sets that are used are used in their entirety, that is, you see a lot of each room, you get to know the furniture and arrangement very well, and its clear where all the characters are in each shot (so-and-so’s room). Perhaps this is because its a 30′s style comedy working on quick dialogue exchanges between two couples living and pursuing eachother in the same building; mystery is not needed but familiarity. Conversely, in MISSING LADY you mostly see just the corners of rooms, just one couch, one lamp; each room mystified, half in shadows. You’re not unfamiliar, but familiar with that one couch, and it’s heavy in the fiction. This one is darker, slower; there’s a deadpan torture scene to rival LE PETIT SOLDAT’s — a guy tied to chair has his hat repeatedly slapped off and smashed back on his head (about ten times in another wide-shot long take!) by a thug. The interplay between things in these two films won’t teach one everything about cinema, and these films often lean on very broad stuff (unlike a Walsh or Wellman) but the fact that Karlson alone directed 7 petcuris for Monogram in 1946 suggeests dazzling potential, a subject for further investigation. To make films in this mode (same actors, same spaces from seen from different perspectives across films, a kind of “neighborhood” of applicatins) is indeed full of potential! It’s basically what Pedro Costa is doing now and what Manny Farber has always done in his paintings.

  250. Posted May 19, 2014 at 2:16 am | #

    Hi there girish. I like your blog. I’ve never cenmemtod here before.I grew up with virtually no exposure to any kind of moving picture media – no TV, and very few movies.When I was in high school, cinema started trickling into my consciousness – I had a few friends who worked at the little art house in New Haven, so when I could get out I’d sneak into things like The Dreamers and Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner – but nothing that really got me excited (though the old York Square Cinema itself was a very exciting place).The first really profound experiences I had at the movies came during the summers of 2003 and 2004 at the Northeast Silent Film Festival at the in Bucksport, Maine. A few specific films stick out from those festivals – A Florida Enchantment, Little Lord Fauntleroy, Way Down East, and It – but it was really the whole experience that did it for me. The archivists talking about discovering prints buried in abandoned lots in Hollywood and restoring them, the live piano, the old projectors in the lobby of the theater, one film after another (I’d never seen more than one movie in a row before), sitting in the dark with a bunch of enthusiasts, the clean, beautiful prints – projected at the proper speed, even! Coming out of the theater was like coming out of cold water early in the morning.But outside of the festival, I didn’t really know what to do with my interest. I wasn’t terribly interested in commercial films, and after seeing all those silents for real, DVD seemed like a pretty disappointing alternative. And I didn’t know where to start, anyway. There were clearly great movies out there – but how could I recognize them? I was clueless. So my enthusiasm stayed dormant for awhile.All the talk of the minutia of archiving and exhibiting film at the NSFF had left me with a lingering desire to get to know the celluloid itself – so I was fortunate to end up at the University of Chicago, where I started volunteering as an apprentice projectionist at .And that’s how I got serious. Doc got me hooked up with a variety of knowledgable enthusiasts (the above-posting Edo among them) who I’ve been shamelessly sapping for knowledge. After a certain key conversation with one of them, I skipped class to go see Soy Cuba at Doc, and then saw James Benning’s One Way Boogie Woogie at the U of C Film Studies Center a few days later – and that was that. Since then I’ve been going to something like 7 or 8 screenings a week (I’ve had to cut down a little lately, but nonetheless one of the highlights of my week is going to the screening for Tom Gunning’s Cinema Methods and Issues class), reading whatever the library can offer me, reading this and a couple of other blogs, and so on. It’s still the beginning for me.

  251. Posted May 19, 2014 at 2:24 am | #

    Whenever someone pops the qusieton, I immediately think of the first time I saw “Goodfellas”. I had actually seen it once before, since my parents were not averse to letting me watch violent films at a very young age, but I didn’t really ‘see’ “Goodfellas” until I was around 13. The shot that really made me ‘see’, that really made “experience form” for the first time, was the steadicam long-take which follows Henry Hill and Karen as they enter the club through the basement. It seemed to me a perfect unity of narration through camera movement, milieu, sound and music.Shortly thereafter, I got into my first real argument over the qusieton of whether “Goodfellas” was a better or worse film than “The Godfather”. From there I followed what now seems like a much-traveled path for the cinephile, beginning with more obvious figures like Francois Truffaut and Akira Kurosawa, whose films, especially “The 4OO Blows” and “High and Low”, left indelible impressions on me.Stephen Prince’s “The Warrior’s Camera” would become the first work of serious film scholarship I was to read, and a second step in a deepening understanding of film form and mise-en-scene. Major works for me at the time – this was during high school – were “Once Upon a Time in America”, “Once Upon a Time in the West”, “In the Mood for Love”, “Barry Lyndon”, “Brazil”, “Lawrence of Arabia”, “Gimme Shelter”, and “Aguirre: the Wrath of God”. And after seeing “Collateral” on a digital screen, Michael Mann was and is to this day a peculiar favorite. Indeed, I loved a lot of films, which I’m not sure I really could’ve fully appreciated even then, especially the Leone ones given what they were doing with genre. It wasn’t really until after high school that my outlook started to expand. Bresson, Fuller, Cassavetes – all of them I encountered in rapid succession thanks to the surprisingly deep programming offered at the Seoul Cinematheque. These outings were followed by my first sustained exposure to one filmmaker’s oeuvre. The Korean Film Archive was running a full retrospective of the work of the criminally obscure Lee Man-Hui, and lucky me I caught nearly all of it. Out of 22 films I saw 20 & 1/2 to be exact. I awoke to the possibility – at that time already a whisper in the back of my head – that great and important work could come from anywhere. In retrospect then, it’s strange to think that I found someone like Lee Man-Hui before Otto Preminger, Douglas Sirk, John Ford, Max Ophuls, Vincente Minnelli, Josef von Sternberg, and supremely Kenji Mizoguchi. But on the other hand, I’m not sure I would’ve been as open to these possibilities without the experience I had in Korea, where I learned that cinema existed and will always exist beyond my small island of knowledge.

  252. Posted May 19, 2014 at 2:36 am | #

    I wrote about this for the last year – seeing an Altman rsopterective in 1992 changed the way I experienced films. It took a couple years to really take, but it grew from there, and never faded. It’s odd because I had felt similar inspirations before: in grad school, I saw Ivan the Terrible on TV, and was utterly intrigued; and seeing Blue Velvet was a revelation about just how good and serious films could be. I read up on films, I rented bunches of films, I went to the occasional revival – but it didn’t stick, quite. But the Altman did. I think it changed the way I acted: it made me realize the sheer pleasure of going to films – it took a while to really get in the habit, but it built steadily over the next couple years. I liked the routine of it, going in the Harvard Square (usually), seeing a couple films, going through the book stores and record stores, that sort of thing – and actually started doing it regularly over the next couple years…. The other part I mentioned in the blogathon post – Altman fit in very well with the novels I was reading, and the connection got me to thinking about film as an art form. I’d had an intellectual connection to film before – but it was driven by philosophy and criticism – it was about the ideas in films, and only incidentally about how they were expressed. But with the Altman series, thought much more about how he told stories, how he showed the world – and I that interest in the form just grew. And drew me to books about film, and history of film, and all the rest…Anyway – after that there were a series of steps to the real thing, a lot of them rep house series: a screwball comedy series – Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart series – a growing fascination with Bogie and John Wayne films, including the realization, somewhere in there, that an awful lot of my favorite films in a bunch of different styles were directed by Howard Hawks… John Woo movies, Jacky Chan, Jet Li, Michelle Yeoh movies… a silent comedy series… more extensive exposure to favorites from my first film obsession like Eisenstein and Godard and Kurosawa… books – Sarris, Stanley Cavell, things like that… all of it kind of culminating in a big Japanese series, where I saw – probably for the first time – Ozu, Mizoguchi, Imamura, Oshima… then I moved to Cambridge and started attending every show at the Brattle or the HFA that I hadn’t seen, and most of the ones I had…

  253. Posted May 19, 2014 at 3:25 am | #

    Kick the tires and light the fires, problem officially solved!

  254. Posted May 19, 2014 at 3:30 am | #

    . “Adaptation implies the poibtssliiy that a film will be the equivalent or an illustration of a book.”As an alternate term, he proposed “compression.” “I felt a little like Ce9sar,” he said, referring to the French artist known for his scrap-iron sculptures. “In relation to a book that is so delicate, I’m coming along with my compactor and crushing it up.” The genesis of “The Duchess of Langeais” illustrates Mr. Rivette’s belief that the story, far from the raison d’eatre, is often simply the pretext for the film. The initial impulse this time was to make a movie with Ms. Balibar, the star of his 2001 ensemble comedy, “Va Savoir,” and Mr. Depardieu, who had appeared in a film he admired, Leos Carax’s “Pola X.” “The curiosity to find out what happens when two actors come together,” he said, is often a motivating factor. [...]With a finished script in place before shooting, the film was more premeditated than most of Mr. Rivette’s movies. But not everything was planned. “We had a precise text, but there was no choreography, no stage direction,” he said. Decisions about how a scene would be played and composed were made on the spot and — in keeping with Mr. Rivette’s longstanding philosophy — often entrusted to the actors. Since “L’Amour Fou” (1969), his seismic portrait of an imploding relationship, he has, to varying degrees, ceded control to his performers, who assume a genuinely collaborative role.Ms. Balibar said that on Mr. Rivette’s shoots it often falls on one of the actors to be “the envoy of the director.” On “Va Savoir” it was Sergio Castellitto, who played the director of a theater troupe. On “The Duchess of Langeais,” she said, “I had that function because my character, at least at the start, is very much a director of her own story.”The beauty of Mr. Rivette’s philosophy, she added, is that it does not even require the actors to be in tune with it. “Guillaume was ill at ease with how we worked,” she said, “but it didn’t matter at all because I think Jacques’s idea of cinema is similar to installation in a way. There are some people in a room, and we’ll see what happens. You let the unconscious of the actors do the work.””

  255. Posted May 19, 2014 at 4:18 am | #

    My love for cinema was makred by two events.– One was a friend who introduced me to the world of foreign and independent films. He dragged me out to a beat up art house theater, against my wishes, to see the Japanese film Shall we Dance and Mike Leigh’s Career Girls. Prior to that, I only fed myself on commerical movies. But after that incident, I flipped almost completely — I tried to see as many international & independent movies as I could. One of the biggest helps in my quest for searching for film directors was acquarello’s website. As I spent countless hours looking at old VHS tapes in an independent video store, acquarello’s list of film director’s came in handy. (And Girish, I only came across your blog via his site :)Inspired by all these new movies, I even started writing about movies and got some articles published.– Those published articles led to the second event when I got a chance at programming films for my local film festival. My cinematic world opened up even a bit more. I learned to appreciate documentaries and shorts, something which I had ignored in my quest for hunting down only international films. It was at this point that I started reading film magazines and books.I truly felt a light bulb go off after these two events — a rich cinematic world awaited me. And if my friend had not helped me onto the path less travelled, well none of this would have been possible.But like Jonathan points out nicely above, these two events still only provided me with a tiny look into the giant world of cinema that exists out there. I thought my knowledge was decent but when I was at VIFF last year, I came across films fans with a built in memory of 20+ years of film watching. All my knowledge was built on watching movies by all those famous directors over a span of 5-7 years. But I saw the movies without any historical context. Sure, I read every now and then about how such and such a movie fitted in with historical events. But not having experienced those events first hand, I found myself wanting in some regards.ok. must stop now.

  256. Posted May 19, 2014 at 4:24 am | #

    It’s interesting how many of these contemms describe a journey as much as a specific moment.Like several other people, I can trace my interest in movies back to a parent, in my case my father, who was a huge watcher of movies as a younger man (he recently retired, and it sounds as though DVD is helping him refresh his interest). When a particular favourite of his came on the TV, I’d be granted a special bedtime dispensation to stay up and watch with him (and my mother); I think the sheer illicit delight of those viewings was a major factor in my subsequent interest.In terms of a moment where I felt as though the scales had fallen from my eyes, though, I remember particularly happening on a TV screening of “Dr Strangelove” and being immediately struck by Kubrick’s use of different filming styles at various points in the film, and being aware of the impact this had on me as a viewer. I went through a period of time when the only good film was a black and white film for a while thereafter…As with many others, college broadened my horizons further, mainly because it gave me access to more films, whether in the library or in the collections of some of my more committed friends (one friend’s apartment was almost completely inundated with CDs and VHS tapes, which he generously sent my way every few days). During a brief period of time off work in 2000-2001, I also had access to a great library of world cinema, and that was what awakened my interest in films from Africa. I feel that my cinephilia comes in waves, flowing around other things in my life; with a busy life right now, it is taking a back seat, and many films I’ve seen of late have been undemanding, whereas next semester there might be another run on French films from the 1930s, or whatever my latest interest is. From the most recent contemms, I’m feeling something of a need to return to the sources, too, though in my case that would mean more films from Ireland rather than India (the choices would be a little more limited!).

  257. Posted May 19, 2014 at 4:31 am | #

    So I just watched “Les Enfants du Paradis” and found a link to your reeivw on Senses of Cinema, and wow, disocvering your blog has been a revelation, Girish. Where do I begin…I knew cinephilia was taking over my life when I started to watch films endlessly during the summer between the end of high school and beginning of college (I’m in my junior year as an undergraduate so that was a little over three years ago). I was a volunteer at the local public library which has an amazing collection of films, foreign and otherwise. The public library system here in Columbus, OH has been voted the best in the country. Anyways, it was watching Ingmar Bergman’s “Wild Strawberries” that was the epiphany. I saw two nights in row and then a third night with Peter Cowie’s commentary, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I’ve never thought of making a life or career out of it yet (I’m studying pharmaceutical sciences, of all things) but I’ve taken a couple of film classes here at Ohio State that expanded the horizons of my film appreciation. The class I took on Ingmar Bergman (as a freshman!) and the class I’m finishing up on the French New Wave right now have been excellent in terms of gaining a deeper understanding of the form. Some of my favorite online resources include:- They Shoot Pictures, Don’t They?- Senses of Cinema- Strictly Film School- critics like Ebert and Rosenbaum (somebody mentioned taking a class instructed by him, that’s amazing)And I too was raised on lots of Bollywood fluff, a lot of which I will still argue is still crap. But there are better recent efforts, from “Khosla Ka Ghosla” to Madhur Bhandarkar’s loose trilogy (“Page 3″, “Corporate” and “Traffic Signal”). And I have seen “My Brother, Nikhil” and loved it. Its funny b/c the actor who played Nikhil’s boyfriend was a popular VJ on an MTV-style music channel I watched a lot as a teenybopper; seeing him play a character so different was nice.

  258. Posted May 19, 2014 at 5:04 am | #

    Great topic. I’m not sure I could point to a single monmet when my love of movies transformed into something deeper, but one crucial monmet was when I took over the campus cinema column for my college newspaper, and wound up receiving my first big exposure to foreign and experimental cinema. Most of the films I saw probably weren’t so good, and I don’t remember most of them these days, but at least two screenings have truly stayed with me.One was seeing Gus Van Sant’s Gerry at a private screening for myself and one other local journalist. Seeing that film on the big screen, in total isolation, was an awe-inspiring experience, and it was probably one of the first times when I was aware of being so viscerally affected by the formal elements of a film rather than its characters or emotions. The other screening that continues to stick with me was a showing of three short experimental documentaries by Warren Sonbert. I doubt I’d seen anything even remotely experimental up till that point, and Sonbert’s abstracted montages of his travel footage, set to classic rock and with a steady pulse to the editing as well, proved a perfect introduction. I would love to see those films, or some other Sonbert, again, but haven’t had a chance in the years since. The other major cinematic discovery at the time, albeit unrelated to my cinema column, was Mulholland Drive. I saw an afternoon screening, and when I walked outside afterwards, the sunny afternoon normality seemed downright bizarre to me, I was so unbalanced by the experience. Between these three screenings, I was introduced to the idea of cinema as a serious artform as opposed to the entertaining spectacle I’d previously mostly gone to it for. It’s been a continuing education ever since.

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  276. Posted May 19, 2014 at 8:03 am | #

    Hello — what a beautiful qiuetson, thanks for it!I fell in love with cinema the same time I fell in love with the idea of being a free agent, that is… an adult. The director who sparked my fire was Kieslowski: his Decalogue (1988), seen on the big screen (in a small DC cinema that no longer exists) over two days and nights was life affirming/changing. The humor of those films and the fact that they involved everyday people and places was devastating: Kieszlowski gave me hope on so many levels, not least of which was the idea that I could make films too. Sokurov’s Mother and Son also affected me profoundly when I saw it at the Telluride Film Festival in 1997. A revelation. I was there as a student with some friends, one of whom told me later that I looked as if I’d fallen into a trance and didn’t noticeably move during the whole piece! Sokurov was there and made a short speech after the screening, which was thrilling. The experience of an in-person presentation was amazing, kept me up all night, I was completely high! Intellectually, I am devoted to Agnes Varda and Agnieszka Holland’s early films, all of which I saw in my late teens as a student. Because of my heritage, films that reveal/ed to me WWII and post WWII experience in Central Europe really resonate most. Germany, Pale Mother by Helma Sanders-Brahms, somehow I see strands of the protagonists life in my own. I must mention that all of these films and so many more made life so much more interesting to me in the immediate, but also stayed with me, revealing themselves over time and repeat viewings like old friends. Thanks –

  277. Posted May 19, 2014 at 8:04 am | #

    If my problem was a Death Star, this article is a photon torpedo.

  278. Posted May 19, 2014 at 8:10 am | #

    Thank you–Gareth, Steve, Sachin, Shahn, and Noel.One factor that pleyad a big part in my teenage discoveries of non-mainstream cinema was scarcity. It’s a bit hard to imagine in our over-plentiful times, but India in those days had strict import controls on foreign cultural product in order to encourage indigenous cultural production. Video players existed in the West but had not yet arrived in the East. Doordarshan (government-run TV, the only kind that existed at the time) showed maybe one non-commercial film a month (either Indian or foreign). The theatres in downtown Calcutta pleyad a very small number of non-mainstream films in any given year. So each non-commercial film (Indian or foreign) was monumental news. We’d spend weeks anticipating and talking about a single film until it took on an almost absurdly iconic status in our heads. We’d try to commit a film to memory by seeing it often (as often as our meager allowances would permit), talking about it amongst ourselves constantly (and even dreaming about it several nights a week!). The closest I’ve come to experiencing that narrowly focused devotion since then is during a single-film blog-a-thon (Brian–thank you for continuing to champion those).Becca spoke above of her memories being tied to specific locations/venues (York Sq Cinema, the festival at Bucksport, Maine, Doc Films) and the same was true with my early film experiences in Calcutta. The venues–the Esplanade cinemas like the Metro, Elite, New Empire, and the Globe–were as specific and differentiated as the important movie discoveries we made there.Somehow, it seems to me that with the huge range of options available these days that puts even the most esoteric cinema reasonably within our reach, some of that allure born of scarcity has faded…

  279. Posted May 19, 2014 at 8:12 am | #

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  284. Posted May 19, 2014 at 9:02 am | #

    “(1) The awakening of a seuoirs sensitivity to film form (how a film tells its ‘story’); and (2) The act of making an intellectual commitment to cinema—not just watching it but also reading, reflecting, talking and writing about it, even if it was just in my journal.”That’s a great summation of what is different between common “movie love” and cinephilia. The realization of film form is like a bright light illuminating a once darkened room and finding that room to be filled with the most wonderful things. The best films always reward intellectual curiosity in spades. I find it interesting when some might ask why don’t you stop thinking so much and just enjoy the movie. Taking that intellectual step is another bight light.For me, my cinephilia came in the mid-1980s when I was an undergrad studying film history, television production, and mass media. That is why many films of the 1980s are important for me, especially non-English language films. And I am glad that much of my initial cinephilia came about as I dove into the “canon” of film history. But the seed was planted years earlier when, as a kid, I saw Lawrence of Arabia on the big screen at some local retrospective. That was the first time I had a deep sense that films could be for adults, with depth and seuoirsness and more going on than I could comprehend – and I knew I wanted to comprehend it. Up to that point movies for me were just childish diversions. For the past 10 years or so my cinephilia has taken a back seat to other things, but I sense that it is re-emerging, in no little part because of the blogoshpere.

  285. Posted May 19, 2014 at 9:11 am | #

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  289. Posted May 19, 2014 at 9:33 am | #

    It’s funny: I think that I threw up on ViH last night may have been written as a socuonsbicus response to your last three posts. Also, I’ve just been thinking about Hitchcock, and these films, a lot, so there’s just a bunch of trajectories all pointing towards this.I think there’s probably an artistic decision (conscious or socuonsbicus) behind a lot of these uncanny overlaps. I watched _L’intrus_ again last night. Denis’ relationships with each of her actors in her little troupe is something I’m continually fascinated with. To watch Gregoire Colin grow up into this father in _L’intrus_ (most markedly from the baby boy of _Ne9nette et Boni_) is a real treat. Also, it’s cool to see the Forrestier character evolve, from Godard to _Beau Travail_ to _L’intrus_, and track his narrative that way as much as within each film. Then, of course, there’s Beatrice Dalle. She’s almost a spectre in _L’intrus_; but no more than Katerina Golubeva, who is almost always some kind of spirit more than a character. I think you could do this kind of study with any auteur, really, but I guess it seems more pronounced in the work of people like Denis and Hitchcock whose films rely on a kind of familiarity (intentionality) with the actors.Does any of this speak to what you’re interested in, Girish? I just stopped typing and realized I didn’t know what I just typed. A reminder that on grey days like today I need to drink coffee before the day’s writing begins. (And again before that _Out 1: Spectre_ — another movie “about” its actors as much as it’s “about” its plot — screening at PFA later. Talk about synchronicity, right?)

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  293. Posted May 19, 2014 at 9:40 am | #

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  294. Posted May 19, 2014 at 9:41 am | #

    Some of the adaptations I thguoht of have already been suggested Revolutionary Road and The Reader would be great and I can’t wait to see The Road. I’ll also throw in No Country for Old Men into the mix and The Lovely Bones. Also, Where the Wild Things Are may be an interesting one.I’ll suggest Watchmen too to mix it up a little but I loathed the movie.I’d struggle I think with this challenge to find a pair where I hadn’t read or watched one half of the pair (I read a lot AND I watch a lot of films!)

  295. Posted May 19, 2014 at 9:59 am | #

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  308. Posted May 19, 2014 at 11:31 am | #

    Atonement, both the book and the movie, is a favorite of mine. The Painted Veil was menitoned. Good book, great movie. There is a new Emma movie coming out in January if you like Jane Austen. Also The Diving Bell & the Butterfly but I recommend you see the movie first. It’s an amazing true story. The Princess Bride. Cary Elwes; need I say more?I’m trying not to sign up for many challenges this year but this is one I definitely will participate in. Have fun with it.

  309. Posted May 19, 2014 at 11:45 am | #

    I’m so pleased to have you on board! I see Age of Innocence is in your TBR stack. There was a movie veosrin of that some years ago, which I have not seen. I can recommend the recent House of Mirth movie very highly. Not recent I guess, maybe ten years ago, starred the actress who played Scully on X-files who was wonderful.

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  313. Posted May 19, 2014 at 11:57 am | #

    Claire, No Country for Old Men is a great suggestion for me as I have the book and DVD aeraldy! I think that should probably go to the top of the list!I’ve aeraldy read The Lovely Bones (loved it) and look forward to seeing it on DVD sometime this year. The Wild Things is an interesting choice and I may watch that too.Thanks for the suggestions!

  314. Posted May 19, 2014 at 11:58 am | #

    Stay informative, San Diego, yeah boy!

  315. Posted May 19, 2014 at 12:03 pm | #

    I put in a vote for Revolutionary Road too book and movie both very good. If you want something a liltte lighter, have you read/seen Cold Comfort Farm? The book is so funny, and there’s a wonderful film adaptation with Kate Beckinsale, Stephen Fry, and Ian McKellan, which makes me laugh until I cry every time I watch it.

  316. Posted May 19, 2014 at 12:13 pm | #

    At last! Someone with real expertise gives us the answer. Thanks!

  317. Posted May 19, 2014 at 12:18 pm | #

    Annabel, The Reader is a great suggestion, and I have a copy here, so may well fit that in next year.The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas was a great book, but I’m sacerd the film will be too sad. It wouldn’t count for the challenge as I’ve read the book already, but hopefully someone else will decide to compare the two.

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  331. Posted May 19, 2014 at 1:20 pm | #

    A Room with a View is one of my favorite books, and I loved the movie veiorsn (although I can’t remember how closely they kept to the book but it was such a beautiful movie regardless). I keep meaning to get a copy of it on DVD I should probably put it on my wishlist this year!

  332. Posted May 19, 2014 at 1:33 pm | #

    Steph, I have a feeling I’ve seen the Pride and Prejudice aodptatian you mean, but can’t quite remember. I haven’t read the book yet (seen too many different aodptatians!) but perhaps I should finally get round to reading it.I think I might try Atonement reading it at least. Great suggestions thanks!

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  335. Posted May 19, 2014 at 1:47 pm | #

    cbjames, i’ve already read The Age of Innocence, so that woldun’t count as a 2010 read I might still be interested in watching the film though thanks for pointing out there was one.I love Gillian Anderson, so am tempted to watch House of Mirth too thank you for the suggestion!

  336. Posted May 19, 2014 at 1:50 pm | #

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  337. Posted May 19, 2014 at 1:53 pm | #

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  338. Posted May 19, 2014 at 1:58 pm | #

    anothercookiecrumbles, I don’t watch that many films either (about one a month maybe), but they are alsmot always ones which I’ve been inspired to watch after reading the book, so it should be fairly easy for me to complete.I’m sure that I’ll love The Road and hope the film is good too.

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  348. Posted May 19, 2014 at 3:00 pm | #

    Kari I agree the movie was MUCH better. It’s so much often the other way aournd. This movie really made the story come to life. The book was, as my husband said, a steaming pile of misery and l-o-n-g.BUT Jackie will have to do both to meet the challenge

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  360. Posted May 19, 2014 at 5:25 pm | #

    I am pretty eietxcd about this challenge, plus I love James to death. I am doing:Let the Right One In John LindqvistSense and Sensibility Jane AustenRunning with Scissors Augusten BurroughsAnatomy of a Murder Robert TraverPlus, I may do Time Traveler’s Wife as well.

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    Super excited to see more of this kind of stuff online.

  384. Posted May 20, 2014 at 1:30 am | #

    Zach, I just linked to your post and Matt’s rpsoense on my blog.Within the last year, I picked up Movie Mutations and the Robert Ray avant-garde/Andy Hardy book but haven’t had a chance to read them. Recently, I picked up a brand new academic book called Cinephilia and History: Wind In The Trees by Christian Keathley (it sprung out of doctoral dissertation supervised by Dudley Andrew). I’ve just started it.I barely know the writing of Brenez and Martin; I think I’ve glanced at it in Senses but not really sat down with it–I can tell they’ve been a paradigm-shifting force for you and Matt and so, I’m thankful you’ve taken the time to write an overview-primer about it for the world-at-large. (You may not realize it but you both have performed a valuable missionary service without perhaps even meaning to!) :-)I’ve been thinking:I think the role I personally inhabit (or aspire to inhabit) might be that of a missionary-skeptic.Skeptic because as a teacher I preciously value daily, steady learning and the quest for understanding, not just in cinema but in the other arts too; And missionary because it’s fun to recast one’s understanding in a form that is accessible to others. I think some of the hardest and potentially very valuable pieces/books to write are those that, with both lucidity and integrity, provide, with an explicitly “teaching” intention, an introduction or overview or initiation to a field. They have the capacity to move large numbers of people and draw them closer toward the field. A noble and (in however small and humble a fashion), world-changing aim, I believe.So, in other words, thanks for writing this overview piece!

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    Wow I must confess you make some very trenchant points.

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    The similarities bwteeen “North by Northwest” and “The Far Country” remind me of the really strange (intended?) allusion to “Faces” which occurs at the end of “The Fury”–John Cassavetes cheering up Amy Irving in De Palma’s movie (right before being blown to pieces) is like a weird replay of Seymour Cassel consoling Lynn Carlin in Cassavetes’s own film.Speaking of De Palma, he’s made the same observation as David Bordwell on several occasions, and he has complained that many of today’s younger film actors can’t act with their bodies at all because they’re so used to being filmed in volleys of shot/reverse shot close ups, with an occasional steadicam trailing shot thrown in for good measure. I think though that Bordwell overlooks one reason for the displacement of the staged shot–the advent of the widescreen formats. 1.33 is not only ideal for closeups, it’s also far more conducive to full-length shots and two-shots (the loss of which David Thomson was lamenting not too long ago). I’m curious myself to know from people how many contemporary U.S. films they can think of which contain a significant part of a conversation done in an unbroken two-shot. Better yet, how many can they think of in which the two-shot shows the actors at least as far down as the waist? I wonder if 1.66 isn’t a great compromise–it has something of 1.33′s suitability for closeups and staged shots, but it also has enough asymmetry towards the horizontal to provide the sort of compositional charge you get in 1.85 and 2.35 (and which I never feel in 1.33).

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  1134. Posted May 27, 2014 at 4:43 pm | #

    If your articles are always this helpful, “I’ll be back.”

  1135. Posted May 27, 2014 at 4:52 pm | #

    Good job making it appear easy.

  1136. Posted May 27, 2014 at 4:57 pm | #

    Thanks for helping me to see things in a different light.

  1137. Posted May 27, 2014 at 5:01 pm | #

    No question this is the place to get this info, thanks y’all.

  1138. Posted May 27, 2014 at 5:06 pm | #

    A rolling stone is worth two in the bush, thanks to this article.

  1139. Posted May 27, 2014 at 5:10 pm | #

    That hits the target perfectly. Thanks!

  1140. Posted May 27, 2014 at 5:10 pm | #

    All of my questions settled-thanks!

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    Whoa, whoa, get out the way with that good information.

  1142. Posted May 27, 2014 at 5:26 pm | #

    Great post with lots of important stuff.

  1143. Posted May 27, 2014 at 5:27 pm | #

    BION I’m impressed! Cool post!

  1144. Posted May 27, 2014 at 5:30 pm | #

    Essays like this are so important to broadening people’s horizons.

  1145. Posted May 27, 2014 at 5:41 pm | #

    Taking the overview, this post hits the spot

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    This info is the cat’s pajamas!

  1147. Posted May 27, 2014 at 5:50 pm | #

    Finding this post. It’s just a big piece of luck for me.

  1148. Posted May 27, 2014 at 5:57 pm | #

    The accident of finding this post has brightened my day

  1149. Posted May 27, 2014 at 6:03 pm | #

    Yeah that’s what I’m talking about baby–nice work!

  1150. Posted May 27, 2014 at 6:14 pm | #

    Geez, that’s unbelievable. Kudos and such.

  1151. Posted May 27, 2014 at 6:31 pm | #

    At last! Someone who understands! Thanks for posting!

  1152. Posted May 27, 2014 at 6:50 pm | #

    Super excited to see more of this kind of stuff online.

  1153. Posted May 27, 2014 at 6:51 pm | #

    Hey, that’s powerful. Thanks for the news.

  1154. Posted May 27, 2014 at 6:55 pm | #

    Check that off the list of things I was confused about.

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    These pieces really set a standard in the industry.

  1156. Posted May 27, 2014 at 7:14 pm | #

    Appreciation for this information is over 9000-thank you!

  1157. Posted May 27, 2014 at 7:14 pm | #

    At last, someone who comes to the heart of it all

  1158. Posted May 27, 2014 at 7:14 pm | #

    We need more insights like this in this thread.

  1159. Posted May 27, 2014 at 7:27 pm | #

    Do you have more great articles like this one?

  1160. Posted May 27, 2014 at 7:28 pm | #

    I told my grandmother how you helped. She said, “bake them a cake!”

  1161. Posted May 27, 2014 at 8:00 pm | #

    It’s a relief to find someone who can explain things so well

  1162. Posted May 27, 2014 at 8:04 pm | #

    Articles like this really grease the shafts of knowledge.

  1163. Posted May 27, 2014 at 8:29 pm | #

    Thanks for helping me to see things in a different light.

  1164. Posted May 27, 2014 at 8:37 pm | #

    So much info in so few words. Tolstoy could learn a lot.

  1165. Posted May 27, 2014 at 8:54 pm | #

    A really good answer, full of rationality!

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    This introduces a pleasingly rational point of view.

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    Articles like these put the consumer in the driver seat-very important.

  1168. Posted May 27, 2014 at 9:43 pm | #

    Normally I’m against killing but this article slaughtered my ignorance.

  1169. Posted May 27, 2014 at 10:00 pm | #

    Surprisingly well-written and informative for a free online article.

  1170. Posted May 27, 2014 at 10:03 pm | #

    Your answer lifts the intelligence of the debate.

  1171. Posted May 27, 2014 at 10:44 pm | #

    Now we know who the sensible one is here. Great post!

  1172. Posted May 27, 2014 at 10:51 pm | #

    Well macadamia nuts, how about that.

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    All things considered, this is a first class post

  1174. Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:02 pm | #

    Your post has lifted the level of debate

  1175. Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:17 pm | #

    That addresses several of my concerns actually.

  1176. Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:32 pm | #

    Yeah that’s what I’m talking about baby–nice work!

  1177. Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:40 pm | #

    A minute saved is a minute earned, and this saved hours!

  1178. Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:42 pm | #

    A bit surprised it seems to simple and yet useful.

  1179. Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:57 pm | #

    IJWTS wow! Why can’t I think of things like that?

  1180. Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:59 pm | #

    The voice of rationality! Good to hear from you.

  1181. Posted May 28, 2014 at 12:19 am | #

    At last, someone who comes to the heart of it all

  1182. Posted May 28, 2014 at 12:21 am | #

    Your article perfectly shows what I needed to know, thanks!

  1183. Posted May 28, 2014 at 12:21 am | #

    How neat! Is it really this simple? You make it look easy.

  1184. Posted May 28, 2014 at 12:55 am | #

    I bow down humbly in the presence of such greatness.

  1185. Posted May 28, 2014 at 12:58 am | #

    Heck of a job there, it absolutely helps me out.

  1186. Posted May 28, 2014 at 12:59 am | #

    Your article was excellent and erudite.

  1187. Posted May 28, 2014 at 1:07 am | #

    Finally! This is just what I was looking for.

  1188. Posted May 28, 2014 at 1:20 am | #

    Surprising to think of something like that

  1189. Posted May 28, 2014 at 1:35 am | #

    Damn, I wish I could think of something smart like that!

  1190. Posted May 28, 2014 at 1:39 am | #

    If your articles are always this helpful, “I’ll be back.”

  1191. Posted May 28, 2014 at 1:42 am | #

    This is a neat summary. Thanks for sharing!

  1192. Posted May 28, 2014 at 1:58 am | #

    Information is power and now I’m a !@#$ing dictator.

  1193. Posted May 28, 2014 at 1:59 am | #

    This is an article that makes you think “never thought of that!”

  1194. Posted May 28, 2014 at 2:14 am | #

    Was totally stuck until I read this, now back up and running.

  1195. Posted May 28, 2014 at 2:21 am | #

    Why do I bother calling up people when I can just read this!

  1196. Posted May 28, 2014 at 2:22 am | #

    I was looking everywhere and this popped up like nothing!

  1197. Posted May 28, 2014 at 2:22 am | #

    BS low – rationality high! Really good answer!

  1198. Posted May 28, 2014 at 2:26 am | #

    Perfect answer! That really gets to the heart of it!

  1199. Posted May 28, 2014 at 2:33 am | #

    Just the type of insight we need to fire up the debate.

  1200. Posted May 28, 2014 at 2:46 am | #

    Dag nabbit good stuff you whippersnappers!

  1201. Posted May 28, 2014 at 3:05 am | #

    Essays like this are so important to broadening people’s horizons.

  1202. Posted May 28, 2014 at 3:06 am | #

    A rolling stone is worth two in the bush, thanks to this article.

  1203. Posted May 28, 2014 at 3:06 am | #

    This post has helped me think things through

  1204. Posted May 28, 2014 at 3:32 am | #

    I just hope whoever writes these keeps writing more!

  1205. Posted May 28, 2014 at 3:42 am | #

    Such an impressive answer! You’ve beaten us all with that!

  1206. Posted May 28, 2014 at 3:48 am | #

    I can’t believe I’ve been going for years without knowing that.

  1207. Posted May 28, 2014 at 4:11 am | #

    I think you hit a bullseye there fellas!

  1208. Posted May 28, 2014 at 4:24 am | #

    I cannot tell a lie, that really helped.

  1209. Posted May 28, 2014 at 4:30 am | #

    We need a lot more insights like this!

  1210. Posted May 28, 2014 at 4:31 am | #

    BS low – rationality high! Really good answer!

  1211. Posted May 28, 2014 at 4:44 am | #

    You couldn’t pay me to ignore these posts!

  1212. Posted May 28, 2014 at 4:47 am | #

    Cool! That’s a clever way of looking at it!

  1213. Posted May 28, 2014 at 4:48 am | #

    If not for your writing this topic could be very convoluted and oblique.

  1214. Posted May 28, 2014 at 4:51 am | #

    It’s a pleasure to find such rationality in an answer. Welcome to the debate.

  1215. Posted May 28, 2014 at 5:12 am | #

    This has made my day. I wish all postings were this good.

  1216. Posted May 28, 2014 at 5:12 am | #

    Hahahaha. I’m not too bright today. Great post!

  1217. Posted May 28, 2014 at 5:20 am | #

    YMMD with that answer! TX

  1218. Posted May 28, 2014 at 5:21 am | #

    This has made my day. I wish all postings were this good.

  1219. Posted May 28, 2014 at 5:28 am | #

    The ability to think like that is always a joy to behold

  1220. Posted May 28, 2014 at 5:45 am | #

    Ab fab my goodly man.

  1221. Posted May 28, 2014 at 7:45 am | #

    Cool! That’s a clever way of looking at it!

  1222. Posted May 28, 2014 at 8:03 am | #

    Pleasing to find someone who can think like that

  1223. Posted May 28, 2014 at 8:14 am | #

    You make things so clear. Thanks for taking the time!

  1224. Posted May 28, 2014 at 8:16 am | #

    Felt so hopeless looking for answers to my questions…until now.

  1225. Posted May 28, 2014 at 8:22 am | #

    I literally jumped out of my chair and danced after reading this!

  1226. Posted May 28, 2014 at 8:23 am | #

    I don’t know who you wrote this for but you helped a brother out.

  1227. Posted May 28, 2014 at 9:03 am | #

    Son of a gun, this is so helpful!

  1228. Posted May 28, 2014 at 9:14 am | #

    It’s great to find someone so on the ball

  1229. Posted May 28, 2014 at 9:14 am | #

    The purchases I make are entirely based on these articles.

  1230. Posted May 28, 2014 at 9:20 am | #

    That’s a clever answer to a tricky question

  1231. Posted May 28, 2014 at 9:25 am | #

    The purchases I make are entirely based on these articles.

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    This is the perfect post for me to find at this time

  1233. Posted May 28, 2014 at 9:43 am | #

    A little rationality lifts the quality of the debate here. Thanks for contributing!

  1234. Posted May 28, 2014 at 10:16 am | #

    Thanks for the great info dog I owe you biggity.

  1235. Posted May 28, 2014 at 10:17 am | #

    That’s an intelligent answer to a difficult question xxx

  1236. Posted May 28, 2014 at 10:31 am | #

    Great post with lots of important stuff.

  1237. Posted May 28, 2014 at 10:55 am | #

    You’ve got it in one. Couldn’t have put it better.

  1238. Posted May 28, 2014 at 11:20 am | #

    Thinking like that shows an expert’s touch

  1239. Posted May 28, 2014 at 11:29 am | #

    Thank God! Someone with brains speaks!

  1240. Posted May 28, 2014 at 11:35 am | #

    How could any of this be better stated? It couldn’t.

  1241. Posted May 28, 2014 at 11:39 am | #

    Such an impressive answer! You’ve beaten us all with that!

  1242. Posted May 28, 2014 at 11:45 am | #

    Just what the doctor ordered, thankity you!

  1243. Posted May 28, 2014 at 11:47 am | #

    Real brain power on display. Thanks for that answer!

  1244. Posted May 28, 2014 at 11:50 am | #

    No question this is the place to get this info, thanks y’all.

  1245. Posted May 28, 2014 at 12:00 pm | #

    There’s a secret about your post. ICTYBTIHTKY

  1246. Posted May 28, 2014 at 12:04 pm | #

    More posts of this quality. Not the usual c***, please

  1247. Posted May 28, 2014 at 12:30 pm | #

    I searched a bunch of sites and this was the best.

  1248. Posted May 28, 2014 at 12:31 pm | #

    Your article perfectly shows what I needed to know, thanks!

  1249. Posted May 28, 2014 at 12:50 pm | #

    Me dull. You smart. That’s just what I needed.

  1250. Posted May 28, 2014 at 12:57 pm | #

    No complaints on this end, simply a good piece.

  1251. Posted May 28, 2014 at 1:15 pm | #

    You’re a real deep thinker. Thanks for sharing.

  1252. Posted May 28, 2014 at 1:15 pm | #

    Absolutely first rate and copper-bottomed, gentlemen!

  1253. Posted May 28, 2014 at 1:19 pm | #

    The expertise shines through. Thanks for taking the time to answer.

  1254. Posted May 28, 2014 at 1:34 pm | #

    Stay informative, San Diego, yeah boy!

  1255. Posted May 28, 2014 at 2:05 pm | #

    Holy concise data batman. Lol!

  1256. Posted May 28, 2014 at 2:07 pm | #

    Good to see a talent at work. I can’t match that.

  1257. Posted May 28, 2014 at 2:20 pm | #

    I guess finding useful, reliable information on the internet isn’t hopeless after all.

  1258. Posted May 28, 2014 at 2:24 pm | #

    Thinking like that is really impressive

  1259. Posted May 28, 2014 at 2:24 pm | #

    Super jazzed about getting that know-how.

  1260. Posted May 28, 2014 at 2:41 pm | #

    I read your posting and was jealous

  1261. Posted May 28, 2014 at 3:01 pm | #

    Free info like this is an apple from the tree of knowledge. Sinful?

  1262. Posted May 28, 2014 at 3:21 pm | #

    A rolling stone is worth two in the bush, thanks to this article.

  1263. Posted May 28, 2014 at 3:30 pm | #

    Why do I bother calling up people when I can just read this!

  1264. Posted May 28, 2014 at 3:39 pm | #

    Ppl like you get all the brains. I just get to say thanks for he answer.

  1265. Posted May 28, 2014 at 3:46 pm | #

    I’m impressed by your writing. Are you a professional or just very knowledgeable?

  1266. Posted May 28, 2014 at 3:58 pm | #

    I’m out of league here. Too much brain power on display!

  1267. Posted May 28, 2014 at 4:02 pm | #

    I am totally wowed and prepared to take the next step now.

  1268. Posted May 28, 2014 at 4:12 pm | #

    Dag nabbit good stuff you whippersnappers!

  1269. Posted May 28, 2014 at 4:34 pm | #

    I found myself nodding my noggin all the way through.

  1270. Posted May 28, 2014 at 4:44 pm | #

    Why do I bother calling up people when I can just read this!

  1271. Posted May 28, 2014 at 4:46 pm | #

    Enlightening the world, one helpful article at a time.

  1272. Posted May 28, 2014 at 4:57 pm | #

    This is just the perfect answer for all forum members

  1273. Posted May 28, 2014 at 5:09 pm | #

    That’s a clever answer to a tricky question

  1274. Posted May 28, 2014 at 5:52 pm | #

    Insights like this liven things up around here.

  1275. Posted May 28, 2014 at 5:56 pm | #

    That’s a quick-witted answer to a difficult question

  1276. Posted May 28, 2014 at 6:04 pm | #

    At last, someone who knows where to find the beef

  1277. Posted May 28, 2014 at 6:42 pm | #

    That saves me. Thanks for being so sensible!

  1278. Posted May 28, 2014 at 7:01 pm | #

    Thanks for starting the ball rolling with this insight.

  1279. Posted May 28, 2014 at 8:06 pm | #

    Clear, informative, simple. Could I send you some e-hugs?

  1280. Posted May 28, 2014 at 8:07 pm | #

    You make things so clear. Thanks for taking the time!

  1281. Posted May 28, 2014 at 8:20 pm | #

    It’s always a relief when someone with obvious expertise answers. Thanks!

  1282. Posted May 28, 2014 at 8:22 pm | #

    It’s good to see someone thinking it through.

  1283. Posted May 28, 2014 at 8:28 pm | #

    This is just the perfect answer for all forum members

  1284. Posted May 28, 2014 at 8:41 pm | #

    You couldn’t pay me to ignore these posts!

  1285. Posted May 28, 2014 at 8:43 pm | #

    You’re a real deep thinker. Thanks for sharing.

  1286. Posted May 28, 2014 at 8:44 pm | #

    AKAIK you’ve got the answer in one!

  1287. Posted May 28, 2014 at 8:54 pm | #

    Yeah, that’s the ticket, sir or ma’am

  1288. Posted May 28, 2014 at 9:01 pm | #

    Great stuff, you helped me out so much!

  1289. Posted May 28, 2014 at 9:30 pm | #

    Just what the doctor ordered, thankity you!

  1290. Posted May 28, 2014 at 9:37 pm | #

    This has made my day. I wish all postings were this good.

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    Calling all cars, calling all cars, we’re ready to make a deal.

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    If you wrote an article about life we’d all reach enlightenment.

  1294. Posted May 28, 2014 at 9:49 pm | #

    I’ve been looking for a post like this for an age

  1295. Posted May 28, 2014 at 9:53 pm | #

    The honesty of your posting shines through

  1296. Posted May 28, 2014 at 10:19 pm | #

    You make things so clear. Thanks for taking the time!

  1297. Posted May 28, 2014 at 10:46 pm | #

    Brilliance for free; your parents must be a sweetheart and a certified genius.

  1298. Posted May 28, 2014 at 11:17 pm | #

    Brilliance for free; your parents must be a sweetheart and a certified genius.

  1299. Posted May 28, 2014 at 11:17 pm | #

    This introduces a pleasingly rational point of view.

  1300. Posted May 28, 2014 at 11:43 pm | #

    Hats off to whoever wrote this up and posted it.

  1301. Posted May 28, 2014 at 11:49 pm | #

    Great hammer of Thor, that is powerfully helpful!

  1302. Posted May 28, 2014 at 11:51 pm | #

    Hot damn, looking pretty useful buddy.

  1303. Posted May 29, 2014 at 12:01 am | #

    You’ve impressed us all with that posting!

  1304. Posted May 29, 2014 at 12:19 am | #

    I went to tons of links before this, what was I thinking?

  1305. Posted May 29, 2014 at 12:39 am | #

    Good to see real expertise on display. Your contribution is most welcome.

  1306. Posted May 29, 2014 at 12:41 am | #

    Your post has lifted the level of debate

  1307. Posted May 29, 2014 at 12:43 am | #

    This shows real expertise. Thanks for the answer.

  1308. Posted May 29, 2014 at 1:20 am | #

    I told my grandmother how you helped. She said, “bake them a cake!”

  1309. Posted May 29, 2014 at 1:30 am | #

    This does look promising. I’ll keep coming back for more.

  1310. Posted May 29, 2014 at 1:34 am | #

    BS low – rationality high! Really good answer!

  1311. Posted May 29, 2014 at 1:38 am | #

    That’s a posting full of insight!

  1312. Posted May 29, 2014 at 1:42 am | #

    Thought it wouldn’t to give it a shot. I was right.

  1313. Posted May 29, 2014 at 2:08 am | #

    AKAIK you’ve got the answer in one!

  1314. Posted May 29, 2014 at 2:24 am | #

    That’s a genuinely impressive answer.

  1315. Posted May 29, 2014 at 2:42 am | #

    Stay with this guys, you’re helping a lot of people.

  1316. Posted May 29, 2014 at 2:43 am | #

    Superb information here, ol’e chap; keep burning the midnight oil.

  1317. Posted May 29, 2014 at 2:58 am | #

    Good job making it appear easy.

  1318. Posted May 29, 2014 at 3:03 am | #

    Big help, big help. And superlative news of course.

  1319. Posted May 29, 2014 at 3:06 am | #

    That’s a nicely made answer to a challenging question

  1320. Posted May 29, 2014 at 3:07 am | #

    You’ve hit the ball out the park! Incredible!

  1321. Posted May 29, 2014 at 3:11 am | #

    I had no idea how to approach this before-now I’m locked and loaded.

  1322. Posted May 29, 2014 at 3:14 am | #

    Heck yeah this is exactly what I needed.

  1323. Posted May 29, 2014 at 3:23 am | #

    Wonderful explanation of facts available here.

  1324. Posted May 29, 2014 at 3:25 am | #

    Hey, you’re the goto expert. Thanks for hanging out here.

  1325. Posted May 29, 2014 at 3:36 am | #

    Hahahaha. I’m not too bright today. Great post!

  1326. Posted May 29, 2014 at 4:02 am | #

    Your honesty is like a beacon

  1327. Posted May 29, 2014 at 4:03 am | #

    It’s a relief to find someone who can explain things so well

  1328. Posted May 29, 2014 at 4:05 am | #

    Yeah, that’s the ticket, sir or ma’am

  1329. Posted May 29, 2014 at 4:08 am | #

    The honesty of your posting shines through

  1330. Posted May 29, 2014 at 4:10 am | #

    Damn, I wish I could think of something smart like that!

  1331. Posted May 29, 2014 at 4:15 am | #

    That’s a mold-breaker. Great thinking!

  1332. Posted May 29, 2014 at 4:19 am | #

    A million thanks for posting this information.

  1333. Posted May 29, 2014 at 4:45 am | #

    Yours is a clever way of thinking about it.

  1334. Posted May 29, 2014 at 4:49 am | #

    Touchdown! That’s a really cool way of putting it!

  1335. Posted May 29, 2014 at 5:11 am | #

    Great hammer of Thor, that is powerfully helpful!

  1336. Posted May 29, 2014 at 5:20 am | #

    Good to see real expertise on display. Your contribution is most welcome.

  1337. Posted May 29, 2014 at 5:39 am | #

    I was looking everywhere and this popped up like nothing!

  1338. Posted May 29, 2014 at 6:25 am | #

    Extremely helpful article, please write more.

  1339. Posted May 29, 2014 at 6:44 am | #

    A wonderful job. Super helpful information.

  1340. Posted May 29, 2014 at 7:13 am | #

    You’ve got to be kidding me-it’s so transparently clear now!

  1341. Posted May 29, 2014 at 7:35 am | #

    Kewl you should come up with that. Excellent!

  1342. Posted May 29, 2014 at 8:10 am | #

    Apparently this is what the esteemed Willis was talkin’ ’bout.

  1343. Posted May 29, 2014 at 8:33 am | #

    That’s a subtle way of thinking about it.

  1344. Posted May 29, 2014 at 8:56 am | #

    Walking in the presence of giants here. Cool thinking all around!

  1345. Posted May 29, 2014 at 9:22 am | #

    That’s not even 10 minutes well spent!

  1346. Posted May 29, 2014 at 9:25 am | #

    For the love of God, keep writing these articles.

  1347. Posted May 29, 2014 at 9:26 am | #

    You’re the one with the brains here. I’m watching for your posts.

  1348. Posted May 29, 2014 at 9:39 am | #

    That’s a cunning answer to a challenging question

  1349. Posted May 29, 2014 at 9:41 am | #

    Fell out of bed feeling down. This has brightened my day!

  1350. Posted May 29, 2014 at 10:02 am | #

    No question this is the place to get this info, thanks y’all.

  1351. Posted May 29, 2014 at 10:04 am | #

    A provocative insight! Just what we need!

  1352. Posted May 29, 2014 at 10:10 am | #

    That’s a smart way of looking at the world.

  1353. Posted May 29, 2014 at 10:14 am | #

    This is a really intelligent way to answer the question.

  1354. Posted May 29, 2014 at 10:24 am | #

    And I thought I was the sensible one. Thanks for setting me straight.

  1355. Posted May 29, 2014 at 10:36 am | #

    That’s a crackerjack answer to an interesting question

  1356. Posted May 29, 2014 at 10:38 am | #

    It’s great to find someone so on the ball

  1357. Posted May 29, 2014 at 10:49 am | #

    If my problem was a Death Star, this article is a photon torpedo.

  1358. Posted May 29, 2014 at 11:05 am | #

    That’s a skillful answer to a difficult question

  1359. Posted May 29, 2014 at 11:09 am | #

    You really found a way to make this whole process easier.

  1360. Posted May 29, 2014 at 11:16 am | #

    I really couldn’t ask for more from this article.

  1361. Posted May 29, 2014 at 11:20 am | #

    Woot, I will certainly put this to good use!

  1362. Posted May 29, 2014 at 11:28 am | #

    If only there were more clever people like you!

  1363. Posted May 29, 2014 at 11:47 am | #

    Deadly accurate answer. You’ve hit the bullseye!

  1364. Posted May 29, 2014 at 12:21 pm | #

    With the bases loaded you struck us out with that answer!

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    Thinking like that is really amazing

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    This forum needed shaking up and you’ve just done that. Great post!

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    Finding this post. It’s just a big piece of luck for me.

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    It’s imperative that more people make this exact point.

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    With all these silly websites, such a great page keeps my internet hope alive.

  1370. Posted May 29, 2014 at 1:12 pm | #

    Okay I’m convinced. Let’s put it to action.

  1371. Posted May 29, 2014 at 1:12 pm | #

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  1372. Posted May 29, 2014 at 1:18 pm | #

    I thought finding this would be so arduous but it’s a breeze!

  1373. Posted May 29, 2014 at 1:21 pm | #

    Always refreshing to hear a rational answer.

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    I went to tons of links before this, what was I thinking?

  1377. Posted May 29, 2014 at 2:05 pm | #

    Keep it coming, writers, this is good stuff.

  1378. Posted May 29, 2014 at 2:12 pm | #

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