Monday, June 25, 2007

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The father of the hot dog cinema mustard new wave relish movement

I'm so fucking tired of trying to read something new about John Cassavetes, and instead continuing to be bombarded with people calling him "the father of American independent film," godfather of independent cinema, master of independent low-budget American cinema, ground zero independent film, independent film starts here, blah blah blah, shut the motherfucking fuck. He's not the founder, originator, or godfather of anything except John Cassavetes films. Maybe he's "independent" of the need to lick money publicly, but he's not "independent" of the influence of previous filmmakers, writers, musicians, chefs, cab drivers, fellow human beings, friends, love, hate, getting out of bed, going to sleep. What does "independent" mean? I know what it means in terms of "independent" film or "indie" rock. A mediocre product squeezed from the hard work and blood of unappreciated, hard-working artists and peddled to dogmatic youth cultures and consumerist apathetic couch potatoes alike by young men and women with no guts, balls, clits, or souls on behalf of old white men with enormous sums of money. This is obvious, pamphleteering stuff, and I'm in danger of sounding as stupid as what I'm complaining about. It's an unfortunate but shrewd result of the successful selling and consumption of mediocre, profitable capitalist American "culture" products that any complaint about this way of life sounds even stupider, shriller, more obvious, and more immature than the way of life itself. It's a testament to the incredible power, profitability, fashionability, and potential ridiculousness of film and music that these are the only two arts saddled with the meaningless buzzword "independent," or "indie" if you're lazy, or "Ms. Indie" if you're nasty. Have you ever heard anyone say, "I'm going to the museum to check out some indie art," or "I'm going to the library to pick up some indie books." This word means nothing. And if you think John Cassavetes is responsible for films like "Thumbsucker," "Boondock Saints," any movie about how the suburbs are secretly bad places, etc., you grossly misread not only his work, but life itself. Eat a fucking hot dog and shut up.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Monday, June 18, 2007

1955's 2007

"What is the meaning of this revolution [in filmmaking]? To pass beyond the long period of submission to the manufactured product and openly renew links with the tradition of 1915, (D.W.) Griffith and Triangle, whose vitality moreover still nourished the work of the old Hollywood directors -- (Raoul) Walsh, (King) Vidor, (Allan) Dwan, and of course (Howard) Hawks; a return to lyricism, powerful feelings, melodrama (the audience at the smart halls sneer at (Nicholas) Ray's films as they did at Allan Dwan's); the rediscovery of a certain breadth of gesture, an externalizing of the roughest and most spontaneous emotions; in short, the rediscovery of naivete."
Jacques Rivette, "Notes on a Revolution" (1955)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Clip of the day

Since I'm going back to school soon and also keen to work on some non-blog writing projects, my blogs are going to be sporadically updated for the foreseeable future. To keep you from going away forever, I will put up some YouTube clips every day until I find something I want to write about and some time to do it. Here is the first daily film clip. (Ignore the sorta-smug actor voiceover about a minute in and look at the excellently chosen beautiful images instead. Or ignore what I just said and do what you want. Who am I to tell you what to do?)

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