There is a sufficient lack in my new book of photography (coming April 2011):
Friday, January 28, 2011
A bit of sibling rivalry which pits center-court the question of “intelligent design” in the star-driven blockbuster, Ridley Scott's Body of Lies (2008) desires to simultaneously serve and consume its cake.
Markers of identification allow release into a paranoid political matrix of ambition, greed and star-crossed love (and, inevitably, hatred). The Scott brothers are masculine vessels of bombastic control, and they bat back and forth high-concepts gleaned from the epic narrative of divide and conquer. Whether explicitly serio-political or gleefully apolitical, each makes movies for the American Man. The female protagonists are sexualized objects of a testosterone fantasy - they vessel and employ the tactics of a quotable definition of man to be the Woman. In Lies, Ridley replays with earnestly entrenched determination the father-son spy games of younger brother Tony’s late 90s tech-thriller, Spy Game (2001), starring Robert Redford and Brad Pitt. Here, the dynamics are inevitably more complicated, incorporating the sinister desires of man and his work. Man in motion, seeking the golden arrow of salvation. This is a delivery process, but Master & Commander is the operating vice. We deliver the delivery. The solution. Because we know. This dystopic sci-fi idea of the all-seeing ever pervasive in cultural creation since the Bush administration’s policies of national security took on the traits of our (fiction/once fantastic) nationalist nightmare, is the transmitter of story here.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
UPDATE (3/7/2011) : So, Kanye West has perpetrated the inevitable blockbuster rip-off/homage, depending on how you look at it. The concept is likely the handiwork of director of Hype Williams, who, after a run of original, trend-setting music videos in the 90s, has made, in the last few years, a sort-of cottage industry of gratuitous (albeit visually lush) versions of other people's work.
sidenote: then again, the true originator of this font technique was Jean-Luc Godard, who has seen most of his ground-breaking visual, aural avant gestures co-opted by far less internally motivated filmmakers over the past 40 years.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Based on that resourceful though questionable critical litmus test, Metacritic.com, Vondie Curtis-Hall's last two large-scale feature films score an average of 23% out of 100% (his earlier works, tellingly aren't cited on the website). However, if one steps back from the unfocused generalization of the critical/-popular biosphere, what is actually uncovered is a unique vision - irreverent for sure, yet consummately compassionate. The body of work, which includes Gridlock'd, Glitter, Waist Deep, and the TV-film Redemption, is ripe with unabashedly un-glossed, imperfect textures --- ones that are nevertheless rich and evocative --- True, character-driven, "Of-the-moment" storytelling.
“Lord, give me chastity and self-control — but not yet."
— Prayer of the young Saint Augustine, c.380 A.D.