Berfrois

Daniel Harris: Alien Invasions

Daniel Harris: Alien Invasions

Films and novels usually portray alien invasions, not simply as instances of tribal aggression on the part of such phrenological curiosities as the Klingons in Star Trek or the Sith Lords in Star Wars, but as evacuations from dying planets.

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“J.M. Coetzee”

“J.M. Coetzee”

On 21 December, 2012, I had the privilege of introducing J.M. Coetzee to an expectant audience at the University of Cape Town; he was about to read from his new, as yet unpublished work, The Childhood of Jesus.

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What Clouds!

What Clouds!

And what clouds! Xu’s slow, tender pan renders them scarlet-tinged, streaked across the sky in Turneresque smears. These static frames, brushed with merely ambient sound, are composed in radiant ignition.

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Brick Power

Brick Power

This is an essay to be taken with a child’s, or Gilles Deleuze’s, naïveté. To those who fail to find such thinking sufficiently serious, take heed—you may well find yourself neatly aligned with The Lego Movie’s antagonist, Lord Business.

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Discovered Country

Discovered Country

Until very recently, I have avoided writing about Hamlet. With the occasional exception, I have also avoided teaching Shakespeare’s most famous play. I might have casually referred to this avoidance as “The Hamlet Effect.”

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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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Horses Going Mad by Imprisonment Within the Royal Garden Walls

Horses Going Mad by Imprisonment Within the Royal Garden Walls

Some minutes into the UK premiere of Wim Wenders and Juliano Riberdo Salgado's The Salt of the Earth at the benefit opening of the 2015 Human Rights Watch Film Festival in London, someone whispers in my ear: “So what does this have to do with human rights?”

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Dada’s Sex

Dada’s Sex

We are getting close to the 100 year anniversary of Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich and I dedicate my post to Tzara while reading the recent biography about him.

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Isa Genzken does not imagine that painting can be reborn…

Isa Genzken does not imagine that painting can be reborn…

In 1998, Isa Genzken produced some two dozen paint-slashed and spray-painted garments – shirts and jackets, mainly, but also a lone dress.

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The Flooring of Silent Bob

The Flooring of Silent Bob

This is how it started: I’d seen the preview a few months back, and was about a year into an only-watching-horror-movies thing that had developed as a strange post-trauma coping mechanism.

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“The majority of games are basically porn”

“The majority of games are basically porn”

“A lot of games today are only interested in making players feel smart, rather than have players actually be smart.

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Waiting, Waiting, Waiting

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting

Samuel Beckett’s classic play Waiting for Godot, written in the author’s own account as some sort of diversion from his serious work on the trilogy of novels, takes place in an unnamed land and at an unnamed time.

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Expected Virtues

Expected Virtues

Nearly every review I’ve read has mentioned the fact that Birdman has been shot and edited in a way so as to seem as if it had been filmed in one single, continuous take.

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Sex talk was to be part of sex…

Sex talk was to be part of sex…

The difference between Intimacies and Sex and the City is that the women in the film are not in psychoanalysis.

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Encounters

Encounters

Racism persists, especially in its more invisible and subtle forms. Terms including modern racism, symbolic racism, and aversive racism, emphasize forms of racial discrimination that are “more likely than ever to be disguised and covert,” in contrast to the more popularly recognized “old-fashioned” varieties of racism characterized by “overt...

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Young and Charming and Crazy

Young and Charming and Crazy

Back at the beginning of this year, the celebrity timetable that decrees what is going to be in our gossip columns and fill acres of newsprint and internet pages in any given week, reminded editors around the world that Kate Moss was having her fortieth birthday.

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Philippe Theophanidis on Jean-Luc Godard

Philippe Theophanidis on Jean-Luc Godard

At one point near the end of his unfinished novel Jean Santeuil, Marcel Proust describes a painting by Claude Monet from 1897, titled “Bras de Seine près de Giverny”. It shows, in the painter’s hazy and colorful style, the branch of a river as it peacefully makes its way...

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Couple Love, Pet Care

Couple Love, Pet Care

by Lauren Berlant I experimented with taking a day off. It was likely to be a failure, because it had to be an experiment, as I have no habits of leaving the desk, only habits of clawing a path back to it, which is odd because I never leave...

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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...

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