Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

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143

The screening was an event in itself. A near-hysterical line ringed the downtown Ryerson University campus for the midnight world premiere of this candid-camera US journey. Desperate fans jostled TV crews—or were they plants, offering $150 a ticket?—as Borat made his grand entrance escorted by a horse. Twenty minutes into the movie, shortly after friendly Borat begins kissing strange men on the New York City subway, the projector broke down and the screening became theater: The immigrant projectionist apologized onstage as Borat materialized to praise the “minor nation” of Canada (“our countries are very similar and not only because of the projector system”), and Michael Moore erupted out of the audience to offer his services. The screening was canceled, but the next day’s makeup presentation afforded a wonderful festival coincidence: I dashed from Borat’s climactic attempt to stuff Pamela Anderson into his “wedding sack” to an in-progress showing of The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema—a continuation of Borat by other means—with wild and crazy Slovenian film theorist Slavoj Žižek holding forth for two and a half hours, in richly accented English, on the unconscious desires instilled by Hollywood movies.

this is so funny (footnote 15)

—p.143 Part II: A Chronicle of the Bush Years (47) by J. Hoberman 2 years, 10 months ago

The screening was an event in itself. A near-hysterical line ringed the downtown Ryerson University campus for the midnight world premiere of this candid-camera US journey. Desperate fans jostled TV crews—or were they plants, offering $150 a ticket?—as Borat made his grand entrance escorted by a horse. Twenty minutes into the movie, shortly after friendly Borat begins kissing strange men on the New York City subway, the projector broke down and the screening became theater: The immigrant projectionist apologized onstage as Borat materialized to praise the “minor nation” of Canada (“our countries are very similar and not only because of the projector system”), and Michael Moore erupted out of the audience to offer his services. The screening was canceled, but the next day’s makeup presentation afforded a wonderful festival coincidence: I dashed from Borat’s climactic attempt to stuff Pamela Anderson into his “wedding sack” to an in-progress showing of The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema—a continuation of Borat by other means—with wild and crazy Slovenian film theorist Slavoj Žižek holding forth for two and a half hours, in richly accented English, on the unconscious desires instilled by Hollywood movies.

this is so funny (footnote 15)

—p.143 Part II: A Chronicle of the Bush Years (47) by J. Hoberman 2 years, 10 months ago
152

Infertility is but a metaphor that enables Children of Men to entertain the possibility of No Future. The only parents these days who assume their children will inhabit a better world are either those living in the gated communities of the super-rich or the immigrants imported to tend their gardens. That these ’fugees are visualized as the persecuted rabble of a crumbling empire is only one of this movie’s inconvenient truths.

—p.152 Part II: A Chronicle of the Bush Years (47) by J. Hoberman 2 years, 10 months ago

Infertility is but a metaphor that enables Children of Men to entertain the possibility of No Future. The only parents these days who assume their children will inhabit a better world are either those living in the gated communities of the super-rich or the immigrants imported to tend their gardens. That these ’fugees are visualized as the persecuted rabble of a crumbling empire is only one of this movie’s inconvenient truths.

—p.152 Part II: A Chronicle of the Bush Years (47) by J. Hoberman 2 years, 10 months ago
185

A vulgar Marxist might have noted that as Batman is the alter-ego of the richest man in Gotham City, his “law” was the protection of capital. (Smeared lipstick notwithstanding, one of the scariest things about the Joker is that he has no respect for money.) In any case, the film’s ongoing discussion as to whether Batman is the hero we deserve or the hero we need was trumped by the villain’s funhouse-mirror dialectic. The Joker (secret star of the movie, played by Heath Ledger, an actor from beyond the grave) argued that, operating from somewhere outside of the law, Batman was the real agent of terror while he, on the other hand, embodied a particular logic: “I try to show the schemers how pathetic their attempts to control things really are.” Like bin Laden, the Joker has the power to drive Gotham City mad. This criminal is Al Qaeda squared, Katrina personified, the Wrath of God run amok. And so The Dark Night was illuminated by two choices: chaos or fascism.

—p.185 Part II: A Chronicle of the Bush Years (47) by J. Hoberman 2 years, 10 months ago

A vulgar Marxist might have noted that as Batman is the alter-ego of the richest man in Gotham City, his “law” was the protection of capital. (Smeared lipstick notwithstanding, one of the scariest things about the Joker is that he has no respect for money.) In any case, the film’s ongoing discussion as to whether Batman is the hero we deserve or the hero we need was trumped by the villain’s funhouse-mirror dialectic. The Joker (secret star of the movie, played by Heath Ledger, an actor from beyond the grave) argued that, operating from somewhere outside of the law, Batman was the real agent of terror while he, on the other hand, embodied a particular logic: “I try to show the schemers how pathetic their attempts to control things really are.” Like bin Laden, the Joker has the power to drive Gotham City mad. This criminal is Al Qaeda squared, Katrina personified, the Wrath of God run amok. And so The Dark Night was illuminated by two choices: chaos or fascism.

—p.185 Part II: A Chronicle of the Bush Years (47) by J. Hoberman 2 years, 10 months ago
196

A movie with a circular structure, In Praise of Love is designed so that a memory of the future guides us through the past. Toward the end, events start to decompose into flaming pools of color—an electric blue haze, a golden smear of sun, a blur of traffic—and then pure jumbled light. Since he embarked on his late, painterly period some twenty years ago, Godard has made physically beautiful movies—Passion and Nouvelle Vague in particular presented themselves as substantial celluloid rivals to the canvases of the old masters. In Praise of Love is something else. The old masters here are the impressionists. The image feels as fragile and fleeting as a reverie. This is a movie that disappears before your eyes—leaving only an elegy for itself.

—p.196 Part III: Notes Toward a Syllabus (191) by J. Hoberman 2 years, 10 months ago

A movie with a circular structure, In Praise of Love is designed so that a memory of the future guides us through the past. Toward the end, events start to decompose into flaming pools of color—an electric blue haze, a golden smear of sun, a blur of traffic—and then pure jumbled light. Since he embarked on his late, painterly period some twenty years ago, Godard has made physically beautiful movies—Passion and Nouvelle Vague in particular presented themselves as substantial celluloid rivals to the canvases of the old masters. In Praise of Love is something else. The old masters here are the impressionists. The image feels as fragile and fleeting as a reverie. This is a movie that disappears before your eyes—leaving only an elegy for itself.

—p.196 Part III: Notes Toward a Syllabus (191) by J. Hoberman 2 years, 10 months ago
228

Co-conspirators in Reygadas’s film, each of these class antagonists has a criminal secret. Seeking to make a quick score, Marcos and his wife have orchestrated and botched the kidnapping of a neighbor’s baby; Ana, like the protagonist of Buñuel’s Belle de Jour, amuses herself by working in a brothel, euphemistically referred to as “The Boutique.” Marcos, naturally, is acquainted with Ana’s other life and, offering a confession she scarcely knows what do to with, he tells her about his. In the enigmatic universe of Reygadas’s cinema, this leads first to sex and then death; the movie’s title has the effect of locating a cosmic struggle amid everyday life. During the central scene of Ana and Marcos fucking, the camera simply wanders off, drifting away to observe workers putting up a satellite dish, the hazy skyline, kids at play, and other apartment windows, before circling back to the unlikely lovers.

reviewing battle in heaven

—p.228 Part III: Notes Toward a Syllabus (191) by J. Hoberman 2 years, 10 months ago

Co-conspirators in Reygadas’s film, each of these class antagonists has a criminal secret. Seeking to make a quick score, Marcos and his wife have orchestrated and botched the kidnapping of a neighbor’s baby; Ana, like the protagonist of Buñuel’s Belle de Jour, amuses herself by working in a brothel, euphemistically referred to as “The Boutique.” Marcos, naturally, is acquainted with Ana’s other life and, offering a confession she scarcely knows what do to with, he tells her about his. In the enigmatic universe of Reygadas’s cinema, this leads first to sex and then death; the movie’s title has the effect of locating a cosmic struggle amid everyday life. During the central scene of Ana and Marcos fucking, the camera simply wanders off, drifting away to observe workers putting up a satellite dish, the hazy skyline, kids at play, and other apartment windows, before circling back to the unlikely lovers.

reviewing battle in heaven

—p.228 Part III: Notes Toward a Syllabus (191) by J. Hoberman 2 years, 10 months ago
245

Lynch’s notion of pure cinema is a matter of tawdry scenarios and disconcerting tonal shifts. Everything in Inland Empire is uncanny, unmoored, and out of joint. The major special effect is the creepy merging of spaces or times. Do the characters travel through wormholes from Los Angeles to Lodz and the sad, shabby rooms of the On High in Blue Tomorrows set? Are these memories or alternate worlds? Is Lynch looking for some sort of movie beneath the movie? (His long search for closure may be turgid and unrelenting, but it hardly lacks for conviction.) The heroine’s persistent doubling and Lynch’s continuous use of “creative geography” reinforce the sense that he assimilated Maya Deren’s venerable avant-noir Meshes of the Afternoon at an impressionable age. And like Meshes, Inland Empire has no logic apart from its movie-ness.

—p.245 Part III: Notes Toward a Syllabus (191) by J. Hoberman 2 years, 10 months ago

Lynch’s notion of pure cinema is a matter of tawdry scenarios and disconcerting tonal shifts. Everything in Inland Empire is uncanny, unmoored, and out of joint. The major special effect is the creepy merging of spaces or times. Do the characters travel through wormholes from Los Angeles to Lodz and the sad, shabby rooms of the On High in Blue Tomorrows set? Are these memories or alternate worlds? Is Lynch looking for some sort of movie beneath the movie? (His long search for closure may be turgid and unrelenting, but it hardly lacks for conviction.) The heroine’s persistent doubling and Lynch’s continuous use of “creative geography” reinforce the sense that he assimilated Maya Deren’s venerable avant-noir Meshes of the Afternoon at an impressionable age. And like Meshes, Inland Empire has no logic apart from its movie-ness.

—p.245 Part III: Notes Toward a Syllabus (191) by J. Hoberman 2 years, 10 months ago
245

Thanks to Hollywood, Los Angeles is the world’s most photographed metropolis and hence the most apparitional. As film historian Thom Andersen points out in his 2003 cine-essay, Los Angeles Plays Itself, this is a metropolis where motels or McDonald’s might be constructed to serve as sets and “a place can become a historic landmark because it was once a movie location.” The whole city is haunted by an imaginary past. See my essay “A Bright, Guilty World,” Artforum, February 2007.

footnote

—p.245 Part III: Notes Toward a Syllabus (191) by J. Hoberman 2 years, 10 months ago

Thanks to Hollywood, Los Angeles is the world’s most photographed metropolis and hence the most apparitional. As film historian Thom Andersen points out in his 2003 cine-essay, Los Angeles Plays Itself, this is a metropolis where motels or McDonald’s might be constructed to serve as sets and “a place can become a historic landmark because it was once a movie location.” The whole city is haunted by an imaginary past. See my essay “A Bright, Guilty World,” Artforum, February 2007.

footnote

—p.245 Part III: Notes Toward a Syllabus (191) by J. Hoberman 2 years, 10 months ago
253

[...] Thriving on the modest truth of clumsy mishaps and incoherent riffs, fueled by a combination of narcissism and diffidence, Mumblecore reflects sensibilities formed by MTV’s The Real World (our life is a movie) and Seinfeld (constant discourse), as well as The Blair Witch Project (DIY plus Internet). Of course, Mumblecorps members prefer to cite Dogma or Gus Van Sant, who cast his mega-Mumble Paranoid Park (2007) through MySpace.

Acting is mainly a coping mechanism. The characters alternate between unconscious and self-conscious. Embarrassment rules. The denizens of Mumblecordia are often failed musicians or would-be writers. Their world is demographically self-contained: straight, white, and middle class. There are no adults, which is to say anyone over thirty. Given the compulsive navel-gazing, paucity of external references, and narrow field of interest, Mumblecore is not for every taste. These movies may be self-absorbed—but what else could a self-portrait be

footnote 1

—p.253 Part III: Notes Toward a Syllabus (191) by J. Hoberman 2 years, 10 months ago

[...] Thriving on the modest truth of clumsy mishaps and incoherent riffs, fueled by a combination of narcissism and diffidence, Mumblecore reflects sensibilities formed by MTV’s The Real World (our life is a movie) and Seinfeld (constant discourse), as well as The Blair Witch Project (DIY plus Internet). Of course, Mumblecorps members prefer to cite Dogma or Gus Van Sant, who cast his mega-Mumble Paranoid Park (2007) through MySpace.

Acting is mainly a coping mechanism. The characters alternate between unconscious and self-conscious. Embarrassment rules. The denizens of Mumblecordia are often failed musicians or would-be writers. Their world is demographically self-contained: straight, white, and middle class. There are no adults, which is to say anyone over thirty. Given the compulsive navel-gazing, paucity of external references, and narrow field of interest, Mumblecore is not for every taste. These movies may be self-absorbed—but what else could a self-portrait be

footnote 1

—p.253 Part III: Notes Toward a Syllabus (191) by J. Hoberman 2 years, 10 months ago
256

Let’s call her the spirit of the place. Paris apartments are cluttered, Parisian lives are messy, the city is shown so congested you can smell the exhaust fumes. To cope, Hou himself has adapted a looser, more lyrical style—using window reflections, some of which seem digitally sweetened, and shallow focus to layer and otherwise complicate the image. A movie that encourages the spectator to rummage, Flight of the Red Balloon is contemplative but never static, and punctuated by passages of pure cinema. A medley of racing shadows turns out to be cast by a merry-go-round. A long consideration of the setting sun as reflected on a train window that frames the onrushing landscape yields a sudden flood of light. There’s a relaxed interest in backstage technique—the yet-to-be-erased techie visible in Song’s film, a puppeteer’s hidden “dance” in Suzanne’s performance, the use of the end credits as a coda to the movie.

—p.256 Part III: Notes Toward a Syllabus (191) by J. Hoberman 2 years, 10 months ago

Let’s call her the spirit of the place. Paris apartments are cluttered, Parisian lives are messy, the city is shown so congested you can smell the exhaust fumes. To cope, Hou himself has adapted a looser, more lyrical style—using window reflections, some of which seem digitally sweetened, and shallow focus to layer and otherwise complicate the image. A movie that encourages the spectator to rummage, Flight of the Red Balloon is contemplative but never static, and punctuated by passages of pure cinema. A medley of racing shadows turns out to be cast by a merry-go-round. A long consideration of the setting sun as reflected on a train window that frames the onrushing landscape yields a sudden flood of light. There’s a relaxed interest in backstage technique—the yet-to-be-erased techie visible in Song’s film, a puppeteer’s hidden “dance” in Suzanne’s performance, the use of the end credits as a coda to the movie.

—p.256 Part III: Notes Toward a Syllabus (191) by J. Hoberman 2 years, 10 months ago
276

[...] The Strange Case has its documentary aspects as well. In one apparent non sequitur, Oliveira frames the house cat intently watching the landlady’s canary. The shot is held until, somewhere in the vastness beyond the frame, a dog barks, humorously underscoring the cat’s presumably unscripted concentration.

Playing out its dialectic between the infinite and the ephemeral, the movie ends with the song of the workers in the vineyard. The landlady draws the shutters on Isaac’s window. The camera that is Isaac’s room vanishes, along with Oliveira’s, leaving only darkness and the sound of fading footsteps. The last living filmmaker born during the age of the nickelodeon, Oliveira told an interviewer that cinema today is “the same as it was for Lumiére, for Méliès and Max Linder. There you have realism, the fantastic, and the comic. There’s nothing more to add to that, absolutely nothing.” The great beauty of this love song to the medium is that Oliveira’s eschewal remains absolute. It’s a strange case—pictures move and time stands still.

—p.276 Part III: Notes Toward a Syllabus (191) by J. Hoberman 2 years, 10 months ago

[...] The Strange Case has its documentary aspects as well. In one apparent non sequitur, Oliveira frames the house cat intently watching the landlady’s canary. The shot is held until, somewhere in the vastness beyond the frame, a dog barks, humorously underscoring the cat’s presumably unscripted concentration.

Playing out its dialectic between the infinite and the ephemeral, the movie ends with the song of the workers in the vineyard. The landlady draws the shutters on Isaac’s window. The camera that is Isaac’s room vanishes, along with Oliveira’s, leaving only darkness and the sound of fading footsteps. The last living filmmaker born during the age of the nickelodeon, Oliveira told an interviewer that cinema today is “the same as it was for Lumiére, for Méliès and Max Linder. There you have realism, the fantastic, and the comic. There’s nothing more to add to that, absolutely nothing.” The great beauty of this love song to the medium is that Oliveira’s eschewal remains absolute. It’s a strange case—pictures move and time stands still.

—p.276 Part III: Notes Toward a Syllabus (191) by J. Hoberman 2 years, 10 months ago