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merry christmas to me.

probably won’t go to sans soleil, le joli mai, or bestiary + three cheers for the whale. still means 13 screenings over 14 days. most excited for if i had 4 dromedaries + rememberance of things to come, description of a struggle, one day in the life of andrei aresenevich, and a grin without a cat.

An artistic activity such as photography is “literally and figuratively enlivening,” according to Ellen J. Langer, a professor of psychology at Harvard and author of “On Becoming an Artist: Reinventing Yourself Through Mindful Creativity.” “When people are depressed, they tend to retreat from the world. Noticing things in the camera puts you in the present moment, makes you sensitive to context and perspective, and that’s the essence of engagement. I have years of research telling us how good that is for health and well-being.”

A terrorist is called that only because he does not have the power of the State behind him – indeed, he has no State, which is why he is a terrorist. The State, at bottom, and when the chips are down, rules by means of a terror made legal.

James Baldwin on Palestine. (via vul-va)

a monopoly on legitimate violence

(via the-wistful-collectivist)

[…] If Snowpiercer had merely told the tale of an oppressed working class rising up to seize power from an evil overlord, it would already have been an improvement over most of the political messages in mainstream cinema. There are all sorts of nice touches in its portrayal of a declining capitalism that can maintain its ideological legitimacy even when it literally has no more bullets in its guns.

But the story Bong tells goes beyond that. It’s about the limitations of a revolution which merely takes over the existing social machinery rather than attempting to transcend it. And it’s all the more effective because the heart of that critique comes as a late surprise, from a character we might not expect.

[…] All too often, explicitly political art fails as both art and politics. Socialists shouldn’t put up with half-assed imitations of popular genres, nor with political messages denuded of anything but the lowest common denominator.

What makes Snowpiercer satisfying is that it commits neither error. It’s an engrossing and stylish movie, and its underlying themes go beyond merely pointing out class exploitation to challenge the logic of capital. It’s a movie that should be seen as widely as possible, if only so that Bong Joon-ho gets more chances to make movies for English-speaking audiences that badly need them.

been a lot of
geek a while | stop | refine technique and style | continue
on the verge of
geek a while | stop | refine technique and style | continue

been a lot of

geek a while | stop | refine technique and style | continue

on the verge of

geek a while | stop | refine technique and style | continue

My experience of narrative — particularly in New York City, where every approaching train cuts off every approaching thought, where the constant abrasion of the unknown with the insane desensitizes, so that I’m often left with white noise, and jagged notes from the digital world seep further into reality — is piecemeal.

The imaginary proximity to the suffering inflicted on others that is granted by images suggests a link between the faraway sufferers—seen close-up on the television screen—and the privileged viewer that is simply untrue, that is yet one more mystification of our real relations to power. So far as we feel sympathy, we feel are are not accomplices to what caused the suffering. Our sympathy proclaims our innocence as well as our impotence. To that extent, it can be (for all our good intentions) an impertinent—if not an inappropriate—response. To set aside the sympathy we extend to others beset by war and murderous politics for a reflection on how our privileges are located on the same map as their suffering, and may—in ways we might prefer not to imagine—be linked to their suffering, as the wealth of some may imply the destitution of others, is a task for which the painful, stirring images supply only an initial spark.

Susan Sontag - Regarding the Pain of Others (via mizoguchi)