Berfrois

Pynchon: The Movie by Albert Rolls

Pynchon: The Movie by Albert Rolls

The pleasure of watching Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice, much like the pleasure of reading Pynchon’s novels, is, however, to be found elsewhere, and those who insist on having tidiness of structure and an ending that unites the various elements of the story into some satisfying whole are likely to find Inherent Vice frustrating.

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James Glickman: Whedon’s Shakespeare

James Glickman: Whedon’s Shakespeare

Joss Whedon’s recent Much Ado About Nothing embodies the question: can movies made from Shakespeare still find a wide audience? It has been a long trajectory since 1948 when Laurence Olivier's Hamlet got seven nominations and three Academy awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor, to the late ‘90s...

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Restoration Revamped

Restoration Revamped

In the Land of the Head Hunters, Edward S. Curtis, 1914 by Oliver Farry In the Land of the Head Hunters, dir. Edward S. Curtis, 65 minutes One of the best films of 2013 was released in 1914. Edward S. Curtis, well known for his documentary photographs of the...

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Downtown hipsters headed to the video dungeon below…

Downtown hipsters headed to the video dungeon below…

Narcissister is You, Narcissister, 2012. Photograph by Emily Colucci. Via From Lana Turner: A Journal of Poetry and Opinion: Saturday afternoon, I took the train from Astoria to Prince Street. Navigating East, through the brick wall to brick wall Soho throng, I crossed that little cement slab of park...

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Presenting Art by Patricia Emison

Presenting Art by Patricia Emison

I came to John Berger's Ways of Seeing through the back door. About a decade after the four-part series on the BBC (1972) had excited attention as a scrappy response to Kenneth Clark's staid Civilisation (1969), I read the book because the title was so often cited. I confess...

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“Property” (intended in a pejorative sense)

“Property” (intended in a pejorative sense)

12 Years a Slave, Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2013 From The New York Review of Books: The film is unflinching in its portrayal of brutality. Noosed, strung up, and choking with just his toes touching the dirt in punishment for attacking the overseer Tibeats, Northup seems to hang forever, as...

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For Neon

For Neon

by Eleanor Courtemanche The Bling Ring, dir. Sofia Coppola, U.S.A, 90 minutes It’s hard to watch Sofia Coppola’s 2013 The Bling Ring, which came out on DVD about a month ago, without feeling like you’re at the end of a chain (no, I didn’t say human chain) of recycled...

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Nicholas Rombes on Lou Reed

Nicholas Rombes on Lou Reed

This is not another obituary, another retrospective, another "Lou Reed's songs were the soundtrack to my life" essay. It is instead an attempt to find, in the small, quiet pockets of air in Lou Reed's 1975 album Metal Machine Music trace elements of the less obvious ingredients that made...

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Elias Tezapsidis on DMX

Elias Tezapsidis on DMX

The rapper DMX is famous for his infamy. Fame came to him through his trademark rapping style and emotionally staggering songwriting, letting him become the powerhouse that has had five consecutive No. 1 albums. Infamy came to him through his continuous trouble in abiding several legal frameworks and law-enforcing...

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Two Visual Tropes = Love by Masha Tupitsyn

Two Visual Tropes = Love by Masha Tupitsyn

Do we see (have) these kinds of moments of seeing in real life or do they happen only in camera space? In the fiction of movies. Is the face of the lover loving and seeing the lover restricted to mise-en-scène? Is the lover's face just another visual trope? Two...

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Bridget Alsdorf on Henri Fantin-Latour

Bridget Alsdorf on Henri Fantin-Latour

The term avant-garde simultaneously conjures images of renegade individuals and cooperative groups. As an adjective, it usually designates something experimental and ground-breaking, often describing the work of a singular, exceptional mind; while as a noun it refers to a zealous association, formed around a set of innovative ideas and...

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Bodymoving

Bodymoving

From Dreamaphage, Jason Nelson, 2004 by Maria Angel and Anna Gibbs riting is indeed an act in league with the past and the future, but it also requires that a body move through the space of the now. The gestures of writing can make the body present as well...

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Jesse Miksic: Fear and Pity and Horror

Jesse Miksic: Fear and Pity and Horror

Don’t Look Now, Casey Productions, 1973 by Jesse Miksic Look at me, my native citizens, as I go on my final journey, as I gaze upon the sunlight one last time, which I’ll never see again—for Hades, who brings all people to their final sleep, leads me on, while...

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Albert Rolls: Which (Side) Are You On, Man?

James Parker begins his review of Inherent Vice with the quip, “If Thomas Pynchon were a stand-up comedian, and Inherent Vice his newest routine,...

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Keith Doubt
Keith Doubt on Serbia

The intellectual integrity of cultural anthropology is based largely on its commitment to cultural relativism as a principled notion. Cultural relativism is the principle...

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A Gosse in Woolf’s Clothing by Andre Gerard

On May 31, two weeks after his death, and the day before Orlando was sent to the printer, Woolf noted his death as follows:...

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Andrew Gallix: Let’s Go!

Retro-futurism, as we now call it, came out of the closet in the late '70s due to the widespread feeling that there was indeed...

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I Know I Have to Go by Rick Whitaker

W.G. Sebald’s father joined the Reichswehr in 1929 and remained in the Wehrmacht under the Nazis. He was captured by the French and remained...

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B. Alexandra Szerlip: Vertigo

Vertigo has been scrutinized under the rubric of scopophilia, fetishism, voyeurism, the sadistic male gaze, objectification of the female body, “a dream substrate of...

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Bobbi Lurie With Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp sat silent. He seemed far away, lost in reverie. Then, he spoke of the death of art, which he described as...

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Bobbi Lurie
Bobbi Lurie and Marcel Duchamp on Lena Dunham’s Girls

But I was perplexed. Marcel Duchamp didn’t order a thing to eat at the café. I assumed it was because he was dead, requiring nothing...

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Europe’s Fascists in Suits by John Gaffney

Earthquake metaphors have had strong currency, both political and journalistic, in the aftermath of May’s European Parliament (EP) elections. The most spectacular tremors were...

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Lauren Berlant’s Love Theory

Both Derrida and Ronell suggest that saying yes is “telephonic,” both in the sense that it resounds over a distance and therefore always is...

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B. Alexandra Szerlip: Dream Train

Unless they lived in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona or California – all former Mexican territories – most U.S. residents in the 1930s were unaware...

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70-Minute Mark by Nicholas Rombes et al.

The different tools used to capture the frame and the wild variety in terms of image quality, which is the way films are remembered...

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You may say Rauan Klassnik’s a dreamer…

“We’ve got a problem,” says Andrew Shuta of Spork as he and Drew Burk guide me into a fancy conference room. Ron’s sitting across from...

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David Palumbo-Liu on Chinua Achebe

Many years ago, in an interview he did with Bill Moyers, Chinua Achebe was asked, “What would you want the West to do?” Achebe...

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