Saturday, April 03, 2010

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Thursday, February 04, 2010

The Garage

The Garage

The first rule of "The Garage" is you do not talk about the Garage. Indeed, the Zagreb Youth Theatre's ferociously violent phantasmagoria, adapted from Zdenko Mesaric's Croatian novel, could probably teach the tough guys from the film "Fight Club" a few things. Not so much a play as a simulated societal meltdown, "The Garage" courageously follows its dark thematic material to a shockingly bleak conclusion.

Magnum’s Photo Archives Make Move to University of Texas -

Magnum’s Photo Archives Make Move to University of Texas -

The Magnum archive joins a parade of other collections of vintage photographic prints, including those of The New York Times and the National Geographic Society, that have changed hands in the past few years, as publications and photo agencies, moving aggressively to digitization, have realized they are sitting on valuable historical property.

Like other photo agencies, Magnum has seen its fortunes decline in recent years, along with those of the magazines and newspapers that once published the work of its photographers more regularly. The best known of these pictures went on to have long financial afterlives, thanks to licensing agreements that placed them everywhere from television to books and Web sites. But in a world of camera-phone images, bloggers and inexpensive photojournalism flooding the Internet, the cooperative’s finances have suffered.

“You could see the handwriting on the wall,” said Mr. Lubell, who took over as director six years ago, “and the handwriting was shrinking and shrinking.” With the proceeds from the sale the agency — which represents the work of 13 estates and 51 current members, including well-known photographers like Bruce Davidson, Eve Arnold, Susan Meiselas, Martin Parr and Alec Soth — will try to recreate itself as a media entity on the Web, relying less on publications and more on its ability to tell its own stories of world events and trends.

More Churches Promote Martial Arts to Reach Young Men -

More Churches Promote Martial Arts to Reach Young Men -

Recruitment efforts at the churches, which are predominantly white, involve fight night television viewing parties and lecture series that use ultimate fighting to explain how Christ fought for what he believed in. Other ministers go further, hosting or participating in live events.

The goal, these pastors say, is to inject some machismo into their ministries — and into the image of Jesus — in the hope of making Christianity more appealing. “Compassion and love — we agree with all that stuff, too,” said Brandon Beals, 37, the lead pastor at Canyon Creek Church outside of Seattle. “But what led me to find Christ was that Jesus was a fighter.”

Over the past year and a half, a subculture has evolved, with Christian mixed martial arts clothing brands like Jesus Didn’t Tap (in the sport, “tap” means to give up) and Christian social networking Web sites like

Men ages 18 to 34 are absent from churches, some pastors said, because churches have become more amenable to women and children. “We grew up in a church that had pastel pews,” said Tom Skiles, 37, the pastor of Spirit of St. Louis Church in Arnold, Mo. “The men fell asleep.”

In focusing on the toughness of Christ, evangelical leaders are harking back to a similar movement in the early 1900s, historians say, when women began entering the work force. Proponents of this so-called muscular Christianity advocated weight lifting as a way for Christians to express their masculinity.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Carlos Reygadas - Biography

I just saw and loved "Silent Light" by this director...

Carlos Reygadas - Biography:

"'After I make a film I psychoanalyze myself retroactively so that I can give explanations to journalists and film people. But I don't believe in those explanations myself.'

'In philosophy there are two qualities. The act of being, and the act of being what they are. I wish my actors would just Be, first of all. And secondly, that they would be a chauffeur with an internal conflict. But the act of being is the one I really want to state.'

'Hope is the most important feeling we can have.'"

Monday, January 25, 2010

Eclipse Series 11:Larisa Shepitko - From the Current

Eclipse Series 11:Larisa Shepitko - From the Current

Larisa Shepitko (and her masterwork The Ascent) stole my heart last night.

After having her son, Anton, at age thirty-five, under extreme risk of death due to a serious spine injury, Shepitko began to plan her darkest, grandest vision. “At that time, I was facing death for the first time, and like anyone in such a situation, I was looking for my own formula of immortality,” she would later say. Her cinematic response was 1977’s The Ascent.

At once a visceral, earthy evocation of life on the ground during World War II and a momentous, spiritual Christian allegory, The Ascent, adapted from a ­novella by prominent Russian writer Vasili Bykov, drags the viewer alongside two peasant Byelorussian soldiers, Sotnikov and Rybak, as they attempt to evade, and finally are captured by, marauding Nazis. From the film’s opening images of telephone poles haphazardly jutting out of snowdrifts like bent crosses, Shepitko, with cinematographer Vladimir Chukhnov, plunges us into a nightmarishly blinding whiteness, a physical and moral winter that envelops everything in its path—except, ultimately, the victimized and beatific Sotnikov, whose slow journey toward death brings a strange enlightenment. Such redemp­tion eludes Rybak, whose ruthless desire for survival puts him at odds with the Christlike martyr Sotnikov, and Shepitko charts their twinned passages to darkness and light with a stunning arsenal of aural
and visual experimentation.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

"Ecstatic Truth: Documenting Herzog 'Documenting'" - Herzog, et al. - Slought Foundation

"Ecstatic Truth: Documenting Herzog 'Documenting'" - Herzog, et al. - Slought Foundation

this deserves repeating.

regarding 'Herzog's continued explorations of "ecstatic truth" and the boundary between fiction and documentary practice' -

"In my 'documentaries' I have constantly explored the intensified truths of the situations that I have found myself in and of the characters I have met, whether it be abused people who lose their speech in Lessons of Darkness or the chain-smoking African chimp of Echoes from a Sombre Empire. [...] The real Fitzcarraldo moved a far lighter boat from one river system to the next, but he disassembled the boat into little pieces and got some engineers to reassemble it later on. But for what we did there was no precedent in technical history, and no book of instructions we could refer to. And you know, probably no one will ever need to do again what we did. I am a Conquistador of the Useless." -- Werner Herzog, -Herzog on Herzog, 241/179 (2002)

“Minnesota Declaration” / Truth and fact in documentary cinema

Werner Herzog
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 30, 1999


1. By dint of declaration the so-called Cinema Verité is devoid of verité. It reaches a merely superficial truth, the truth of accountants.

2. One well-known representative of Cinema Verité declared publicly that truth can be easily found by taking a camera and trying to be honest. He resembles the night watchman at the Supreme Court who resents the amount of written law and legal procedures. “For me,” he says, “there should be only one single law; the bad guys should go to jail.”

Unfortunately, he is part right, for most of the many, much of the time.

3. Cinema Verité confounds fact and truth, and thus plows only stones. And yet, facts sometimes have a strange and bizarre power that makes their inherent truth seem unbelievable.

4. Fact creates norms, and truth illumination.

5. There are deeper strata of truth in cinema, and there is such a thing as poetic, ecstatic truth. It is mysterious and elusive, and can be reached only through fabrication and imagination and stylization.

6. Filmmakers of Cinema Verité resemble tourists who take pictures of ancient ruins of facts.

7. Tourism is sin, and travel on foot virtue.

8. Each year at springtime scores of people on snowmobiles crash through the melting ice on the lakes of Minnesota and drown. Pressure is mounting on the new governor to pass a protective law. He, the former wrestler and bodyguard, has the only sage answer to this: “You can’t legislate stupidity.”

9. The gauntlet is herby thrown down.

10. The moon is dull. Mother Nature doesn’t call, doesn’t speak to you, although a glacier eventually farts. And don’t you listen to the Song of Life.

11. We ought to be grateful that the Universe out there knows no smile.

12. Life in the oceans must be sheer hell. A vast, merciless hell of permanent and immediate danger. So much of hell that during evolution some species—including man—crawled, fled onto some small continents of solid land, where the Lessons of Darkness continue.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Nisimazine | Itw/Portrait: Martens, Renzo

Nisimazine | Itw/Portrait: Martens, Renzo

To what extent is the Renzo in the film a character?

I am a character, but I’m acting myself. I tried to be the most realistic and sincere ambassador of us. This means I’m a little interested in them, but not too much. I think they are slightly stupid, otherwise they wouldn’t have been poor and would have colonised us instead. If Bono and Madonna sing songs to help Africa, I can do the same thing. I’m willing to help them, but not if this would mean that the prices of our products will increase - then I prefer them to be a bit poorer. In order to make it realistic, a full exposure of the human being Renzo Martens was necessary. So yes, I’m also very much myself.

Friday, November 27, 2009

GreenCine Daily: PODCAST: Werner Herzog

GreenCine Daily: PODCAST: Werner Herzog

an interesting interview full of Herzogian wisdom.

"It's always liberating to show some self-irony. It always does good for a grown-up man to make fun of himself."