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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 7:09 pm 
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lubitsch wrote:
I haven't heard yet that anybody thinks that METROPOLIS is a remarkably intelligent picture, Lang himself was embarassed by the film's plot. I mean you rarely get stereotypes in a purer form than in Harbou's screenplays.
Racistic aspects in DIE NIBELUNGEN including subhuman Huns against Aryan knights and a characterization of Alberich as cunning Jew. Female stereotypes in their wildest form in METROPOLIS, the good girl is saintly and asexual, the bad girl a sexual maniac. The pulp novel characterization in MABUSE or DIE FRAU IM MOND, you don't need long to tell who the bad and good guys are, do you? To take one of Murnau's films written by Harbou, you have a reactionary "return to the home soil" agenda in DER BRENNENDE ACKER. The ending of METROPOLIS was widely considered a prefascistic solution of the class struggle using a leader figure who represents the heart and reconciles all diverging interests. And so on and on.
I frankly don't see how you can overlook these problems. And analyzing frames, camera movements like David won't explain any of these problems away. On the contrary it narrows film criticism down to pure formalism.


I'm not overlooking those problems, and I agree with what I understand you to be saying about formalism. I was arguing that there is no simple critical consensus that the film is reactionary, as you claimed. I would also argue that there's much more to the film and its critical assessment than the meager statements you've offered so far. I think I'd agree about some of those problems but there's much, much more that needs to be said about them. In Thomas Elsaesser's monograph on the film he argues that critical readings have tended to miss their target, "pushing in open doors that lead only to more echo chambers of cultural-historical received ideas. In the Rorschach test that the film appears to have become, it is no longer Metropolis, but its critics that have come to look, if not incoherent, then somehow selective in their evidence and arbitrary in their assumptions." Your impressions of the Lang silents seem to iterate and even exagerrate these tendencies. But I'm not singling you out -- it's an extremely common thing not only on these boards and probably in most or all film studies programs too, I would guess.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 8:06 pm 
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Absolutely, but I would also plead for far MORE formal analysis. Movies are not literature or sociology. And hasn't our friend been taught or observed any examples of form and content being contiguous or form being expressive of meaning. (Sternberg? Mizoguchi? Sirk?) Indeed this is the most important outgrowth of study for serious post-auteurists who want to look at the "Power" and influence of collaborators other than the director. Not to mention the pre-Cahiers, pre Movie, pre Sarris obsession with "thematic worthiness" of the old Paul Rotha, left liberal school, through to the entirely formal considerations of the post Cahierists, or the revisionist socio-political-formal essays of the Positif-ists. Not to mention the deconstructionists, semioticos et al. But still bare bones aguments about the "material" worth continue. Christ, Spare me!!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 12:35 am 
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lubitsch wrote:
tryavna wrote:
[Ah, I see the problem now. When I was in advanced seminars, I too tended to play devil's advocate in an attempt to seem iconoclastic. Here, unfortunately, your posts just come across as trolling. (Ironically, you're also coming across in much the same light as you view Truffaut.)

I'm quite aware of this, but he was successful, wasn't he?


I knew John F Kennedy, and Senator: you're no JFK...


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 12:37 am 
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lubitsch wrote:
HerrSchreck wrote:
For chrissake Lang had no background in trashy novels (!?) or any novels for that matter. Harbou published some spun off of the larger early films, but Lang came out of the military with a background in visual arts/architecture.

Thanks I'm not completely dumb. I refer to the scripts he wrote before he teamed up with Thea von Harbou..


You just may be (you brought it up...) A script is not a novel, not even in an advanced seminar...


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:06 am 
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lubitsch wrote:
Racistic aspects in DIE NIBELUNGEN including subhuman Huns against Aryan knights and a characterization of Alberich as cunning
The ending of METROPOLIS was widely considered a prefascistic solution of the class struggle using a leader figure who represents the heart and reconciles all diverging interests. And so on and on.
I frankly don't see how you can overlook these problems. And analyzing frames, camera movements like David won't explain any of these problems away. On the contrary it narrows film criticism down to pure formalism.


Get your facts straight. Lang referred to they NIBEL poem rather than Wagner for the purposes of neutralizing some of the racist absurdity of the film, and seperated the characters into linear aspects so as to minimize the heroism of each character via distancing. You seem like you could use a bit of distancing yourself, take a step back and merely register the fact that Lang was making films for the German people, living as a German himself, and during a period of national misery, made an epic film which elevated his people over the 'oppressor'-- something every point of view tends to do, but we tend to take the good with the bad....

Taking the good with the bad... It's something that people do, even when the merit value plops through the floor... it's like, just as we see you as an angry young man with a self-vision of himself as Kicking The Ass Of The World, and Unable To Put His Own Mind & Proximity In Perspective to The Rest Of The World... although we see someone who is at that adorably supercharged zone of Classic Worldlessness, we still chat with you because we see something in there.

And the ending of METROPOLIS was, if you read anything beyond what was assigned to you via professorial bias about it's critical reception, received as dangerously flirting with communism.

The reason no one is debating the way you FEEL about the aforementioned films is that only a sophomoric retard debates-- or becomes outraged over another's-- taste. You can't have a rational discussion over "good", "bad", "trash".... It's as hopless as milking bull-nipples.

You're also entitled to Need Words, or to not know how to get a dialog going with images, understand the poetic nature of quieter, Bressonian films which require the participation of an active interpretive mind... need films which are Blatantly Formally Intellectual and rant against fun entertainment for entertainment's sake (but I'd say check your avatar & username as you're traipsing through hypocracy like a Georgia hog in shitmulch)


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:43 am 
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HerrSchreck wrote:
It's as hopeless as milking bull-nipples.

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I'd say check your avatar & username as you're traipsing through hypocracy like a Georgia hog in shitmulch

No offense intended but I haven't heard anyone write/talk in this fashion since the days of Ross Perot. Are you by any chance from Texas?
Speaking of the avatar, I've been wondering who that is -- Mandy Moore?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 2:44 am 
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This is more interesting. I let Schrecko speak for Lui-Meme, and I am obviously a dog star. But I have always been intrigued by yours, Gregoire. Are you African-American? You genuinely display much more sentitivity than some of the callower members of our esteemed joint.

(And I've already come out about a distant Arab heritage. Surely in the US these days nothing could be "worse", but mercifully I dont live there. And even that's ignoring nonsense like Utah and BBM.)

More seriously - Let's start a thread along the lines of auteur or not to auteur: the Other(s). I for one would love this. And it derives something positive from this hog fest.

(ArFFF!!! as my recent dog would have said.)


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 3:22 am 
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Gregory wrote:
HerrSchreck wrote:
It's as hopeless as milking bull-nipples.

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I'd say check your avatar & username as you're traipsing through hypocracy like a Georgia hog in shitmulch

No offense intended but I haven't heard anyone write/talk in this fashion since the days of Ross Perot. Are you by any chance from Texas?
Speaking of the avatar, I've been wondering who that is -- Mandy Moore?


Lifetime Bronx NYC, born & bred. Maybe the mindlessness brings out the hidden hillbilliy in me. You squeal like a pig boy?

Louda

WEE

LOUDA


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 3:35 am 
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davidhare wrote:
But I have always been intrigued by yours, Gregoire. Are you African-American? You genuinely display much more sentitivity than some of the callower members of our esteemed joint.



I second that, btw. Greg already knows I admire his level head. He keeps his head in (THREAD) spots(/MOMENTS) where I'm (LOSING MY COOL &) peeling my scalp off the ceiling.

Edited for heterosexuality by HerrSchreck @ 3:26 am.


Last edited by HerrSchreck on Tue Jan 10, 2006 4:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 3:36 am 
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Schrecko! Is that a PROMISE?

EDIT: I sent that as a reply to your first but on second thoughts it applies just as well to the second (if you know what I mean.... Margie where are you now... kiss kiss...) ARFFFF!!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 4:22 am 
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davidhare wrote:
Schrecko! Is that a PROMISE?

EDIT: I sent that as a reply to your first but on second thoughts it applies just as well to the second (if you know what I mean.... Margie where are you now... kiss kiss...) ARFFFF!!


Oh jesus christ... you had me laughing so hard I couldn't type for almost a full 3 minutes. It took awhile but I finally got it (re my post to greg). God you're a sick fuck Dave. God bless-- you woke me outa my fog.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 6:57 am 
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denti alligator wrote:
So just because a film is rascist or sexist it can no longer--formally--be a fine film?
I mean if we applied this approach to all art we wouldn't have much left to discuss.

It can be a fine film in some departments but not a really fine film in its entirety and therefore hardly a real classic. And there's enough left, trust me, films like PANDORA'S BOX or THE WIND were made at the same time but by more intelligent people than Lang or Gance.
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In Thomas Elsaesser's monograph on the film he argues that critical readings have tended to miss their target, "pushing in open doors that lead only to more echo chambers of cultural-historical received ideas. In the Rorschach test that the film appears to have become, it is no longer Metropolis, but its critics that have come to look, if not incoherent, then somehow selective in their evidence and arbitrary in their assumptions."

I rarely find Elsaesser's writings very illuminating and that's no different. What's arbitrary and incoherent in pointing out that the female role of Brigitte Helm is one of the most wildly steretypical conceptions in cinema history? Don't you have to laugh at the saintly attutude of her and Fröhlich's constant grabbing of his heart? And at the evil Maria's oh so sinful dances? You rarely have such an easy target in cinema history as this film, Murnau's SUNRISE would be another example which reproduces this horrible concept of evil sexually active woman and good passive one.
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but I would also plead for far MORE formal analysis. Movies are not literature or sociology ... But still bare bones aguments about the "material" worth continue.

Let's not exaggerate. I always had the strong suspicion that all people who deal with film are very eager to prove that film is an art form and independent of literature because film was seen as widely inferior to high poetry in the beginnings and that's probably still so in many circles. But then again it's rare that the style completely transforms the content, it often underscores obvious points. All formal analysis about METROPOLIS won't explain the problems away and it's still the story and the characters which hold a film together not style.
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Get your facts straight. Lang referred to they NIBEL poem rather than Wagner for the purposes of neutralizing some of the racist absurdity of the film, and seperated the characters into linear aspects so as to minimize the heroism of each character via distancing. You seem like you could use a bit of distancing yourself, take a step back and merely register the fact that Lang was making films for the German people, living as a German himself, and during a period of national misery, made an epic film which elevated his people over the 'oppressor'-- something every point of view tends to do, but we tend to take the good with the bad....

Would you mind very much to simply shut up if you don't know anything about a special thing??? Harbou (NOT Lang) used different sources for her script and obviously was strongly influenced by the reception the epic in German culture had. If she would have referred only to the epic there would be no steretypes of Jews and Slavian subhumans because that's completely lacking in the medieval epic, Alberich and the Huns are not different from the court of Worms.
And if you suggest taking the bad with the good, you surely don't mind if we invade Poland and France again and try to exterminate all jews because that's the bad aspect. There's a certain tendency in America to seperate content and form admiring TRIUMPH OF THE WILL and other similar films for their style which I find completely horrifying.
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Speaking of the avatar, I've been wondering who that is -- Mandy Moore?

No, you can't know her. It's Yvonne Catterfeld a very popular German singer and TV actress. She remembers me so much of the greatest German actress Romy Schneider that I cling to the hope that she'll plan her career more wisely and act in some good films in near future. I'm in hurry so the following comparison maybe isn't very good, but the similarity is there.
Image Image


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 7:33 am 
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lubitsch wrote:
[ air ]


Make sure you print all your posts out & save for later in life so you can read, shake your head & mark your progress later on

I've got a question for you... What in gods name are you going into film for? Film is lies, standpoint, manipulation, subjectivity. Unless you watch security cam feeds or porn, I don't get your interest. If you can only handle material that Reinforces Your Own Subjectivity, save your momma & poppo the bread because your not getting the thrust in studying the work of others from oddball parts of the world where they eat funny smelling stuff. There is a wisdom, a mind-widening in putting down your knee-jerky sword and seeing past that first reaction and appreciating talent nonetheless. The idea is to make Allotments for Time, Place, Regional Bias, etc. I'm not a fucking communist but I can dig Pudovkin, you know why? Because He was a fabulous artist and made fabulous films about stuff I neither believe or even confront in my own time. Dovzhenko? Same thing.

Get it? That's art appreciation. Learning to recognize different kinds of talent from different parts of the world who don't believe in what you believe in.

Why is Pandoras Box so wonderful? Who agrees with you that this is the best of film of the German Silent Era? It sucks you down into a reprehensible zone of life-- murderers, hookers, degeneracy. The artistry of the script or visual style should mean nothing to you because it promotes pulling fire alarms in court to aid escape (a felony at least), kissing under the mistletoe with the worst (he really was disgusting... the pennies & the fabric & the soap & the guts on the ground... ick) mass murderer in history. You just keep blooping right over logical questions tossed at you to rip out these teeth grinding farts which deepen your sink into contradiction & hypocracy. I'm still waiting to find out who directed INDIAN TOMB '59... you said Lang didn't have any control over anything when we first started talking.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 8:17 am 

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You could have saved lots of time with lubitsch by reading his views on Godard in his THIRD post on the forum,
here.

Edit: Though to give him his dues, he is at least polite. Ish.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 3:10 pm 
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Schreck, I'm not sure your position leaves enough room for ideological analysis of film, identifying and critiquing moral/social/political elements in film in the ways many writers of Movie, Positif, the CineAction collective, and others have done. Aside from whatever lubitsch may be doing, this category of criticism doesn't have to be knee-jerky and it's not about looking for morally pure films or films free from spurious stereotypes. I suppose I would not want to say that film is mainly about appreciating talent. That's one of the most important things, but it's also very valuable to look at them carefully as ideological texts, of course taking into account the context in which they were created as you say.
Also, from my point of view, one should be careful about making a complete separation between formal technique and the meaning of what that technique is being used for. I agree with what lubtisch said that this tendency is horrifying and all too common, especially vis-a-vis Riefenstahl. I think people resort to this attempt at separating aesthetics from meaning as a distancing reaction due to the uncomfortably moral feelings Triumph triggers in people who wouldn't raise an objection to any other film's meanings, probably because they were raised to believe that the horrors of the Nazi holocaust were unique and unprecedented to such a degree that no other atrocities even merit a distant second.
Anyway, there are heaps of films that are formally beautiful and well-made but that beauty exists in a cultural and social context. Thus there are beautiful things whose meanings and projects are fundamentally execrable. Still, I'm certainly not saying we simply should write off all work by artists simply because they were Stalinists, Nazi sympathizers, greedy capitalists, or what have you, because people like Wagner, Knut Hamsun and many more paradoxically produced beautiful expressions of the most profound type.
What's your take on all this?


Last edited by Gregory on Tue Jan 10, 2006 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 3:18 pm 

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However morally corrupt a filmmaker may be, he/she should still never be discredited for contributing to make artful movies, if the said contributor and/or collaborators are able to rise to to the occasion. Art is not about politics.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 3:31 pm 

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viciousliar wrote:
However morally corrupt a filmmaker may be, he/she should still never be discredited for contributing to make artful movies, if the said contributor and collaborators are able to rise to to the occasion. Art is not about politics.


Not about politics? Perhaps sometimes it isn't... perhaps. :wink:

I think the creator and the audience are integral parts of the art piece itself. And I don't think that they can, or should, be separated.

That said I understand and agree with what you are saying. Art is art. And good art is still good art.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 4:39 pm 
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Another aspect of this - regards the "sentimentality" of the Maria figure and those aspects of Meropolis that Lube doesn't like - the same elements occur not only in Sunrise (perhaps their last gasp) but certainly in Murnau's Faust and Dreyer's Michael. The point is they were part of a Weimar period taste for heightened emotionalism which can and did give rise to quite kitsch depictions in the movies. IN Michael, Dreyer consciously uses them in the set design and mise-en-scene to depict the smothereing world of the middle aged homosexual, but also de-emphasizes the completely cloying aspects of the Bang novel, to give that part of his movie a more objectively viewed tone.
In Faust, for instance the Gretchen scenes with their "ecstatic" connotations are most emblematic of this. Today they look faintly ridiculous (and frankly at odds with the grave expressive tone of the rest of the picture) but the movies and their period require a modern viewer to view them contextually, and with a degree of suspension. And of course there was a school of German actress during the period including Camilla Horn and Brigitte Helm who seemed to specialize in this kind of thing.

What is so interesting about Lang is that, after Metropolis, he moves much further away from this to hard paced, rhythmically dynamic scenarios, even while including aspects of the earlier episodic structures (in the terrific Spione for instance.) This, and Lang's other directions in scenario and plotting later in his career is a great subject for study. One of the greatest formal innovations in Testament (to return to our ntoional subject) is the incredible sountrack in the opening sequence, with the pounding rhythm of the dynamo laying out the action, with no dialogue. Thus Lang strides into sound, with complete mastery.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 4:41 pm 
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Isn't art always about politics? I mean, even when it tries to be unpolitical it's making a political statement.


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I guess, in this context, any statement may or may not be considered political/valid, depending upon one's frame of mind at any given moment. Mentioning this can be likened to opening a can of worms, as it's Quite unspecific in its essence.


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davidhare wrote:
was a school of German actress during the period including Camilla Horn and Brigitte Helm who seemed to specialize in this kind of thing.

.


Henny Porten I'd say probably takes the award though.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:49 am 
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denti alligator wrote:
Isn't art always about politics? I mean, even when it tries to be unpolitical it's making a political statement.


I agree. And not just art. What isn't political?

David, what does BBM mean?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:53 am 
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Brokeback Mountain which I've not seen and possibly never will.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 4:00 am 
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Gregory wrote:
Schreck, I'm not sure your position leaves enough room for ideological analysis of film, identifying and critiquing moral/social/political elements in film in the ways many writers of Movie, Positif, the CineAction collective, and others have done. Aside from whatever lubitsch may be doing, this category of criticism doesn't have to be knee-jerky and it's not about looking for morally pure films or films free from spurious stereotypes. What's your take on all this?


A rational, well constructed post deserves to have justice done it:

Greg, first I'd say this-- the answer to this inquiry presents the strong argument, in my mind, against the kind of objections to various pieces of art raised by Lube. The answers are as infinitely variegated as human taste itself. Human beings register profound (& unprofound) works of art in various places... in the head, in the heart, in the guts, in the bowels, in the voting booth, and in church. Everybody brings the most important actor/director to a given piece of work: themselves... the spectator. They make the final cut on any given piece of celluloid which supercedes the power effected by any auteur or studio head (see the vastly different versions of Die Nibel & Spinne & Metrop viewed by all of us... none of us has apparently seen the same film, and this is inevitable and a good thing as well as an argument against attempting to find a consensus regarding the interaction of a film with it's context, since no-one is seeing the same thing to start with). Mostly, this brand of analysis-comparison, using individual-taste/worldview-as-template does little else but starts fights. Art is too personal. This is why as experience develops, the appreciator of mutual humanity tends to refuse to debate "taste", "good", bad" "intellectual". Lube is looking for, it seems, a universal disqualification process based on his own individual experience-- and this is the problem. He's confusing Deep Passion with Final Insight, which is the classic mark of youth... completely normal youth, mind you, which may well be on it's way to go someplace fabulous. Some extremely brilliant artists never shed this tendency, incidentally-- the stubbornness even works in their favor, keeping the work pure; the test of course is what exactly the dude has going on in there. But for now, the drifting around the board pouncing on areas he feels strongly about is defeating his purpose--unless he's merely exhibiting himself-- as he hasn't grasped that passion is not rational, and that feelings are not facts. The only way to Get It is to have these kinds of discussions for years, notice that they rarely get anywhere but always spark contention... and eventually have the gut reaction of growing fatigued the second that kind of discussion appears, already foreseeing the inevitable result.

But there is a separation of processes-- a potential disqualifiecation process that can run side by side with and potentially overtake a visceral enjoyment-- you're hinting at in your post which is a bit suspect for me, when we're discussing what I register as Good Peices of Art. It always opens up the door for conservatives & religious fanatics to wedge their own legs through and hold the door open for their own agendas. For me, historical study (and it's bastard twin sister, ideology) is seperate from being entertained. Regardless of the context surrounding The End Of St Petersberg, for example, I rank it as one of the most fantastic films ever made. I can't help but care deeply for The Village Lad, because despite the political context/goal for the film (promote the spread of/sympathy for communism), the human story is rendered in a way where the tale of human struggle, strife and survival are presented in a universal way where I relate. Despite the Leader he is unlucky enough to have been born under, he is a human organism searching for the same things I do. Every human confronts obstacles, plugs on despite crushing misery from time to time... certain stories, despite being products of certain historically terrifying environments, still move the soul as exquisite delicacies.

I also see the road of enemy/rejection-hatred, rife in Lube's posts, to be a source of nothing but further misery-- blindness & more disagreement. It creates nothing but additional hatred and atrophies the mind of the hater. If we're discussing Hitler & Nazi Germany, for example, I think it imperative, if one wants to insure That Sort of Thing Never Happens Again, to take a significant chunk of one's mind and try get inside the mind of Hitler, and the average German of the time. Demonizing/jettisoning your enemy from rational understanding does nothing to surmount him as an obstacle. Hitler was a human being with deeply felt passions, moments of profound tenderness... so was the SS man, the Einsatzgruppen, Heydrich, et al. Writing off as Purely Reprehensible the criminal perpetrators of the holocaust, as well as the contemporary German of the period, without putting yourself theoretically in their place to attempt to understand what led them down such a warped road... and what that road looks like... and understanding that this road can be made to feel good and right... and even quite banal & unspectacular--- this sets the modern-day individual up as unable to recognize the danger-signs when they occur. I think if more Americans took a calm, temporarily empathetic look at germany 33-45, much of George Bush's lunacy could have been pinched off quickly. There are so many educated people who see that man as completely ignorant of history, who see a dangerous similarity between himself & facsist leaders, but they can't say anything about it without getting into trouble because of knee jerk reactions. Hitler is no longer seen as a real person-- neither are the Germans of the period... they are seen as demonic aberrations which require the presence of forked tongues & horns & flames to trod in their footsteps today. They can't imagine themselves as flirting with the same sort of blindness & royal fucking up of one's country.

I think there is a health in Fully Understanding One's Enemy, of living his outlook in your head, tracing his steps, recognizing his mind even when it's dormant & charming. So I absolutely agree with you in contextualizing certain artworks-- but not with the using of this process to short circuit artistic appreciation of or disqualify outstanding pieces of work. If it is possible to walk into a store and purchase video of attractive runaways & single mothers in desperate need of cash screaming while getting fucked in the ass then drinking from a beaker then swallowing the cum of 6 dudes in sum, then placing in context & appreciating the genius of Lang is a breeze. (Btw it is far from certain that in NIBEL scholarship Alberich is universally seen as rendered by Lang to be beheld by spectators as a Jew.) I think everything should be up for grabs & in full view. Nothing neutralizes fear & hangups than familiarity & demystification.

Of course there's a rational line at genuine incitements to viciousness or mass murder-- obviously serious questions would begin to form in my mind if I beheld a man watching Der Erwige Jude over & over again. But I think making ex post facto connections between Die Nibel and the holocaust-- and condeming the film owing to the association, is a bit over the top. I mean, come on-- from FURY forward, Lang went right to work making films defending the undefended and attacking Fascists. From MINISTRY, HANGMEN ALSO DIE, both made before it was at all clear that his own people had lost the war... to his own leaving Germany at the precise (despite his tightening the story up vs. what his passport said) moment that it was clear the Hitler was not going to be a passing fad, it seems to me Lang is unassailable. Why attack those who enjoy his films?

And no, Greg, I don't know where the ideological line is for Lube. What's his take on splatter pics? Like conservative christians ranting against abortion as murder (but supporting Bush the war/torture/murdermonger), folks of Lube's kind tend to get into trouble for contradiction. First he attacks one of the finest films ever made (SUNRISE) because of the presence of a sexually agressive woman portrayed as a dangerous vamp... then promotes PANDORAS BOX... which portrays what is what out doubt, literally the deadliest sexually agressive vamp of the era... whose sexuality literally destroys men AND helpless well-meaning lesbians alike.

It's the lack of self-awareness inherent in Lube... his inability to step back and say "Well, my eyeballs bring my own perfectly unique agenda to film-- an agenda exclusively my own based on my upbringing, ethnicity, history of contention versus outside forces which tried to hurt me/humiliate me for no reason/perpetrate an injustice upon my person-- which feels like it blankets everything because My Eyeballs Show Me Everything, but to which the rest of the world is oblivious. So I've got to be careful about Falling For My Own Editorialization by making sweeping statements... or at least making them without acknowledging my own relatively unique proximity to the rest of the world..."

So, to wrap up Gregory-- of course it's often interesting to socially/politically contextualize a production, particularly if something strikes you as curious in the text and you'd like an answer. But beware the danger: answers will not always be available, or accurate. We're talking about film-- the world of lies. You can drive yourself haywire with this-- where does it end? Should we grow disturbed over the beauty of the Sistine frescoes because Michaelangelo was glorifying an organization (the catholic church... I was a Roman Catholic, so don't get excited anybody) which is responsible for endless centuries of invasion, murder, torture, hysteria, anti-semitism, nazi-sympathy, etc? For me the christian bible is filled with beautiful writing, exquisite; I can read it & be moved, awed in so many ways... then put it down and contemplate in even greater awe what a poison and scourge it has constituted for the human race, responsible for more deaths than any satanic cult or "dark" religion in history. One can easily condemn the sum of American cinematic output prior to 1964 owing to civil rights disgraces-- and all of it's output because of the still unatoned-for devastation wrought upon the indians (with special disqualification reserved for Ford, Mann, et al).

For me these are seperate processes (except in the case of overtly political films i e FARENHT 9/11, certain Stone films, etc): 1st comes visceral enjoyment of an artwork, then 2nd your investigation of the piece's context afterwards, if interested enough. I tellya, I own hundreds & hundreds of films, and investigating the socio political context of each would leave me no time for anything else. Some guy might see a beautiful woman, ascertain that he can nail her, then take her home and fuck her forthwith and pronto. Another guy might, during the cabride to his apartment, find out that her politics are offensive to his and give her cabfare and get out of the car.

I maintain that in many cases, enjoyment of beauty can be an end in itself. If I was full enough of jizz I might doink an absolutely mind-bendingly beautiful woman even if I knew she was Antonin Scalia's law clerk by day and out of my presence. That doesn't mean she & I might not have the most unbelievable sex of our lives owing to visceral registration of beauty, contrast & exoticism. This is often my experience communing with communistic and even nazi-era pieces of work. If one knew the full facts behind every seeming beauty we experience, one might never leave the apartment... then read Christ In Concrete and jump out the window.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 5:09 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:01 pm
Location: WellyYeller
For all yo' disbelievers out there:

They all laughed at Christopher Columbus
When he said the world was round
They all laughed when Edison recorded sound
They all laughed at Wilbur and his brother
When they said that man could fly

They told Marconi
Wireless was a phony
It's the same old cry
They laughed at me wanting you
Said I was reaching for the moon
But oh, you came through
Now they'll have to change their tune

They all said we never could be happy
They laughed at us and how!
But ho, ho, ho!
Who's got the last laugh now?

Clappin!! Man!!!


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