Berfrois

En Liang Khong: Full Bloom

En Liang Khong: Full Bloom

The cross-dressing Qiu Jin was emblematic of a revolutionary feminist current at the end of the Qing era, writing urgently on women’s emancipation: “While the men of China are entering a civilized new world, China’s women still remain in the dark.”

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We Hear the Sound of Splashing

We Hear the Sound of Splashing

From Trainspotting, Miramax, 1996 by Julian Hanich In this essay I try to categorize the range of artistic options that filmmakers currently have at hand to evoke bodily disgust. Or, to reframe this approach in a slightly different manner: If we examine the variety of disgusting scenes...

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David Beer: Music Genres Unhitched

David Beer: Music Genres Unhitched

I’ve just spent a few minutes trying to understand a new music genre called seapunk. I’m baffled. Then again music genre is baffling. It would seem that where we once had relative simplicity, we now have something much more vital and chaotic. So what is happening with music genre?...

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Throw Your Blows

Throw Your Blows

Those personal catastrophes that we can’t reconcile with ourselves despite the anguish they cause are the subject of much of serious modern art. Art returns over and over to the personal tragedies that remain with you, to the lacerations of the past that never heal, but with a resignation...

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Robyn Ferrell: Aboriginal Art

Robyn Ferrell: Aboriginal Art

Paintings are the moon and stars in a dark sky for Australian Aboriginal communities. The economic success of this art holds out an almost utopic prospect of a cultural renaissance. Yet poverty, violence and third-world living standards in its remote communities remain the present reality.

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Human Finitude as Plot Device

Human Finitude as Plot Device

The Revenger’s Tragedy, Royal Shakespeare Company, Pitlochry Festival Theatre 1965 production. by Attila Kiss “What brother, am I far enough from myself?” (The Revenger’s Tragedy, Vindice, 1.3.1) The persistent employment of excessive violence on the early modern English stage was studied by Renaissance scholarship for centuries in diverse...

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What has happened to bring about the sad demise of the Western?

What has happened to bring about the sad demise of the Western?

The only recent Westerns that have managed to arouse my enthusiasm have been those made for TV: Walter Hill’s Broken Trail, and Deadwood, whose third and final season no one has even bothered to bring out on DVD in Spain, which gives you some idea of how unsuccessful the...

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Seduce Police Virgins

Seduce Police Virgins

by Justin E. H. Smith Amateur neo-Kremlinologists will by now have heard of Pussy Riot, a league of masked anarchist feminist punks who, until recently, could be spotted around Moscow performing their music, uninvited, in public spaces. Their career was cut short when two of their members were detained...

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Meaghan Emery on The Artist

Meaghan Emery on The Artist

Every once in a while a film comes out that breaks through conventional wisdom. The idea that a black and white silent film in 2011 could be such a resounding critical and commercial success, in addition to its prominence in international film festivals, six Césars, and now five Academy...

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‘Pop songs are deeply monological’

‘Pop songs are deeply monological’

The Human League by Enrique Lima Although this seems self-evident it’s worth explaining. As Bakhtin long ago observed, novels are heteroglossic. That is, although one consciousness or voice may dominate narration, the novel is compelled by its own philosophical-formal orientation to include other voices. I’ll mention just a couple...

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Horror films have never been all that friendly to women…

Horror films have never been all that friendly to women…

A Nightmare on Elm Street, New Line Cinema, 1984 From The Believer: Horror franchises’ relationship to violence doesn’t always outwardly have something to teach us. Throw gender into the works—specifically, the female gender—and the results seem less than thought-provoking. Indeed, you might begin to question why you watch these...

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Nicholas Rombes: Punk

Nicholas Rombes: Punk

Mark Perry, the founder of one of the earliest punk fanzines Sniffin' Glue, has said, “Although was entirely connected to the hippy politics, it was entirely the natural progression of hippies' 'anti-establishmentism,' I think. You couldn't wear bells and flowers to freak the powers out anymore and there...

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Sexless in Skyrim

Sexless in Skyrim

From The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Bethesda Softworks, 2011 From The New Inquiry: You can die in Skyrim in the same way that you can die in all videogames, as a fleeting inconvenience for having lost a sword fight, a small technicality. Once dead you reset to the last...

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Tax Bracket Exposure

Tax Bracket Exposure

Uebermalte Fotografien, Gerhard Richter, 2005 From N+1: It was obvious from my very first day that Sotheby’s would be exactly as I had come to imagine it. As the elevator reached each floor, archetypes spilled forth. Tweedy men got off at Rare Books, preppies at Impressionism, former sorority pledges...

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Eli Evans plays chicken

Eli Evans plays chicken

There is a moment in Jean-Luc Godard’s 1966 Masculin Feminin in which the character played by a young and brilliant Jean-Pierre Léaud claims that one day at home while eating mashed potatoes his father discovered why the earth goes round the sun.

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From the Militant

From the Militant

Rosetta, ARP Sélection, 1999 by R.D. Crano Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, by Joseph Mai, Urbana: University of Illinois Press. 156 pp. Since the Dardenne brothers first broke onto the international cinema scene with La promesse (1996) a decade and a half ago, their work has enjoyed immense critical acclaim...

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PacT

PacT

From “Anthology of Interest III”, Futurama, Season 3, The Curiosity Company From The Millions: The medial bulk of the book is accounted for by the actual “addict’s guide to battle tactics” promised by its ungainly subtitle, and this is where it really flourishes as a bizarro-world extracanonical oddity. It’s...

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Mario Carpo: Voice, Words, Memory

It all started with cellphones, a long time ago. No student, and few teachers, would make voice calls from class, but in the early...

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Remembrance of Translations Past

Although Charles Kenneth Scott Moncrieff’s translation of À la recherche du temps perdu is considered by many journalists and writers to be the best...

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Colin Dickey: Time’s Resistless Stream

By now, we are all of us more or less apocalyptic. Our calendar is itself based on the apocalyptic return of Jesus Christ, counting...

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Mark Mordue: Curate. Content. Click.

Not that ‘the critic’ has ever been a greatly appreciated or understood figure. Some fat toad with a feather in his hat who thinks...

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Russell Bennetts
Street Fighter: Berfrois Interviews Tariq Ali

The extreme centre is a form of government that arose out of neoliberal economics and exists today in virtually the whole of Europe, North...

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John Crutchfield: Go West

Perhaps this is what finally draws me back to the Western. It is a fundamentally serious genre. It deals with serious questions, and it...

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Joel Gn on Henri Lefebvre

How may we speak of that which goes off the record in an age of digital colonisation?

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Volker M. Welter on Michael Graves

The designer Michael Graves, who passed away at the age of 80 on March 12th, was widely considered to be one of the founding...

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Sebastian Normandin on Steven Pinker

“The great thinkers of the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment were scientists.” So begins Steven Pinker’s recent controversial essay on scientism and its...

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Oliver Farry on Michel Houellebecq

The peculiar circumstances surrounding the publication of Michel Houellebecq’s latest novel constitute a case study in how even the biggest literary news stories are,...

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McKenzie Wark
Information in Chains

“Information wants to be free, but is everywhere in chains.” The development of the forces of production took a qualitatively different turn when information...

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Bobbi Lurie
Bobbi Lurie: Organic Fortune

isis - ebola - obama hit by halal truck (where is duchamp?)

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Bharat Azad
Bharat Azad Meets Adair Turner

In a quiet office tucked away in Mayfair – over a long table so white I am hesitant to even place my fingers on...

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Andre Gerard: Light Here, Shadow There

The deeper one looks in To the Lighthouse the more one sees. The more one listens the more one hears. Homer, Shakespeare, Conrad and...

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