God's Little Acre

God's Little Acre
Lord, make way for gold

the girlfriend experience

the girlfriend experience
chelsea's work

Trash Humpers

Trash Humpers
broken, faked, MADE

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Three Great Lies, as told by Allison Poole, aka Rielle Hunter

1.  The Check is in the mail.

2.  I won't come in your mouth.

3. I love you!

Monday, October 22, 2012

lfu piece

I wrote this article that was published by La Furia Umana.  NOTE:  my editor quit during the uh edits so mine got posted sans edits.



Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mental Rapedown as Mental Breakdown

A Psychotherapeutic method, Mentalization - Based Treatment (MBT) is used as therapy for men with aggressive, anti social and violent behaviour.   British  medical foundation Tavistock and Portman's site describes " the concept of  ‘mentalization’, as a process through which we interpret the actions of ourselves and others by considering underlying intentions, desires, needs, feelings and beliefs."

Put simply, mentalization is the capacity to think about and reflect upon the workings of one’s own mind and other people’s minds.  Researchers believe that the ability to mentalize is impaired in people with certain personality disorders, and that this can lead to problematic, distressing and often harmful behaviour, putting both the person themselves and others around them at risk."

So is the predilection toward violent, antisocial behaviour a result of a stunting of the ability to mentalize, or to explain , visualize and contextualize connections?

The violence found in the film worlds of TROUBLE EVERY DAY and DRIVE  (and even a great new film i just watched , SIMON KILLER, are sudden and potent.  Both seem to have a direct and carnal relationship to FANTASY.  They are borne from sexual desire, and both films feature minimal plot exposition (TROUBLE going almost completely devoid of all exposition) to clarify  these violent characters' mental states.
Unclear to me is the impact of  over-immersion into mentalizing (specifically violent, sexually aggressive, antisocial) fantasies versus the impact of lack of mentalzing  altogether on said 'violent' anti social men.
Gosling in DRIVE  is not much else beyond a man lost in the dreams of being a part of a Hollywood film. Not so different from the Hollywood Characters documented in CONFESSIONS OF A SUPERHERO, he adorns himself with a movie costume, swagger to spare,  and a tangential role as stuntman, but resides on the sidelines and in his own imagined dramas.
I saw the film at a prerelease BAMCinematek screening with the director in attendance.  Winding Refn said he views the  film as a fairy tale about a person who has always dreamed of finding a reason to act out in psychotic violence.

Cora and Shane in TROUBLE exert sexually cannibalistic violence, but more out of a reaction to imprisonment. Imprisonment of the everyday kind, like urban life, married exclusiviity, Shane being a newlywed, struggling against his own nascent criminal path.

Are Cora and Shane less egocentric than Gosling's guy ?  Is their visible aggression stealing something from other people to feed their own self centeredness (lack of mentalization/contextualization of connectedness) ?  Or is it more of an afterbirth?  Coming into being as an overreaction to the pain of being close without the exceptionality of a type of intimacy that really breaks through the separation of self?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

committing thought to action.

theres something about the satisfaction of breakage.

Cutting through the passive stage (fantasizing) and committing lips to lips, or knife to flesh.

Carrying through a temptation or an intense emotion to a concretized end.

There's  just something about stabbing.

DRIVE got it right.

And about ten yrs earlier, TROUBLE EVERY DAY nailed it.


Monday, July 2, 2012

for the record

for the record, i wrote this


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

acknowledge me!!!

i get mercilessly teased at work for repeatedly calling out assistants' names until they respond to me and ask me what i need.
Is this essential behaviour for me to function at work? or is it a self obssessed need to direct others acknowledgment of the things i say and do?

Above is a still from Guerin's TREN DE SOMBRES, a film that i think has a lot to say about acknowledgement.  Featuring lies and truth and a real place and a fake history, the intersections of knowledge and memory are confused. But people, be them real or fake, exist in this unique film universe.  And people in TREN DE SOMBRES are often posing for photographs, or in idealized actions like family picnics or bike rides. Or they are engaged in work that is the foregrounded activity of the frame ( a man raking leaves.)  They are sometimes/always  ghosts, yet their visibility is never doubted because they are looking back as we watch them. As you can see from the picture, these people have a modern need for acknowledgment.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

don't make an Event out of It

People make events out of the strangest notions.

I'm struggling to compose  notes on TRAIN OF SHADOWS, a Jose Luis Guerin film that purports to be many things that it isn't, which is just one of the  reasons i am so fond of it.
 TRAIN takes the form of an examination into the disappearance of filmmaker Gerard Fleury, who vanished while working on a film in 1930.
Guerin explores the place that this happened by way of both new and old footage.  The old footage turns out to be shot by Guerin himself, though it is shaped and cloaked as if it were found footage made by Fleury.

Hoping to cleanse my palate, I turn on tonight's Rock Center with Brian Williams, an event built around an expose of the president's war /situation room, which , in turn, was built around the anniversary of Bin Laden's death/capture.

It is funny to pretend that the exciting war room narrative, constructed for tonight's newsmagazine episode, is anything but smart political manifestation.  I don't believe a word of it.
I'm keeping my liberal ID card despite clearly  seeing the news for what it is: not news at all but fabrication. A shabby michael bay ish production on a budget.

Both the TV Show and the movie make the decision to highlight certain angles and convergences that have occurred as " events " and 'Important moments."  Both use narrative  and performance built on the mystique of the real  that we will never know.   Only Guerin's film is in on the joke.

Even the program's title, Rock Center , seems to make brevity (it's referring to the benign location of the stage it's shot in, Rockefeller Center) an exciting and mysterious locale.

i wonder if this story merited the same import before it became altered by  an anniversary.  It doesn't matter.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

plain shirt, plain set, "glitters cold and grand.."

Jacques Demy's student film, LES HORIZONS MORTS (1951): involving 2 glasses, 2 spaces ( one is a room, inside, and the other is a field or park, outside.) There are also shirts, worn shirts, worn by the nameless lead, who is also Jacques Demy. One watches this movie, and if the viewer remains active and aware, he is likely to become obsessed by the dulled white shirt . It is a contradiction of plainness and busyness, the busyness expressed in the web of lines and creases that map it's life.

The sound design of the film is all edges and abruptness. Sounds and shadows occur,often simultaneously, but there is no song. For all it's distinctive style, LES HORIZONS MORTS remains a circling maze of pencil marks that we watch an artist draw over and again.
At one point there is even a mirror that his character/Demy himself, smashes. It smashes as his hand extends, yet never making physical contact. The notion is more psychic than real. The moment is strained and self involved.
The UBU site's description tells me this film highlights point of view in Film. There is little description in his threadbare sets, there is only the placement of the shirt and it's jacket in the center of my field of vision.
All the expression is left to this ugly map of evasions. Little paths that don't lead me to anywhere. Finding my eyes glued to the woven tracks on his back, I've located my source of pleasure in the film.
I'm currently reading William T Vollmann's vol 1 in his SEVEN DREAMS anthology. It's called THE ICE-SHIRT. It is a book of North American Landscapes. in THE ICE-SHIRT, landscapes of ancient north america are physically worn (both taken on and off) by Nordic/Icelandic sounding ancient characters. These characters' sagas and affairs make up the forests and beaches we know today. When a lover is feeling alone, he goes to a beach which cliffs that look like a skull ( an empty person.) Everything is inside and out, and drawn out like maps, but worn on the body.
"Never did Gudrid suspect that the beautiful leaf which she fingered day and night was BOLVERKR's. Oh, just as the Bear-Shirt made men see red-leaf forests through a hot rainy haze of blood; just as the Blue-Shirt made the wearer's world glitter cold and grand and beautiful in a thousand twinkling mirrors, so the Gold-Shirt glared and shone like the sun's eye, so hot and bright that only an unseeing rose like Gudrid could open herself to it trustingly and lovingly and feed upon it and grow from it; she was warm and happy; she was thrilled with the gold she longed to feed on...So she drew on the Gold-Shirt; she smiled and kissed her baby; she lashed him to her back and set out in the forest...and her hair was golden, so she hooded herself in gold..."(p 242)
There may be a larger notion at display here, in Demy's student film, one that is Christian, or spiritual, in it's concern.
If that is the case, then i now understand why it has eluded me. I'm left with my own self satisfying perspective, that of the creases on the shirt and the wrinkled collar on the jacket he once wears over it.
I wonder how many years it's lasted, and i wonder what color it should be. How has it covered or blocked things? What and who does it cover?

Monday, February 27, 2012

German character on display in Maren Ade's FOREST FOR THE TREES

Melanie...like Germany itself, is brimming with optimism until she acknowledges she is hard -wired for failure.

Also, see earlier post at http://hersuzanne76.blogspot.com/2011/03/linda-ronstadt-1977-07-poor-poor.html

Thursday, February 9, 2012

FANTASIES in Film . Part 2: Telling your Dreams

Conclusions? Ending nowhere.

KABOOM! A film made up of dreams as distinct yet connected as any free floating thought or impression. So do they add up?
Do they collide and intersect as we want them to ?
Both dreams and our subconscious consistently elude us, refusing to add or to move us to anywhere resembling a location or solution. If fantasy is behind our dreams, then as the movie continues, we begin to ask what drives the fantasy. And where is it taking us to? can it move us? Or is all we can hope for a visible rendering of the acceleration of deep thought?

FANTASIES in Film. Part 1: Dreaming in the Bathroom

Sexual desire may appear as unreal as a reflection in a broken mirror.
It is no coincidence that this KABOOM! sequence about a gay man desiring a Hetero woman starts out with sickness , moving straight to erotic attraction, by way of no causation other than color and fantasy. Araki's film gains intricacy over the early teen films in his ouevre due to the textural density and creative form in his latest film. Seeming simple is easy when the only politics in your film are based on Cinema and it's complicated/complicating power to convey dreams.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Meaningless chitchat tempers the crime around which the 2.5-3 hrs of ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA pivots towards and away from.
The search for grisly evidence is detailed in a whisper of wind sounds and quiet glances. There is also endless chattering on, about quotidian bullshit, by the people who search.
I cant guess the point, I can't even pinpoint the affect, borrowed and diluted as it is.
So there you are, familiar formalism, but farewell new light. All the light here is borrowed and blue, cornered and careful. The tone is gentle and it alleviates any real emotion behind whatever real crime (that would be murder) has given us this chance to gather together.

Ceylan's film is, for me, at the least a great attempt to illustrate distraction. People chatter away and it is to run in the forest and forget how circular, small and meaningless their role is. And this is what happens here in ANATOLIA's world.
Watching the film i imagined a song like poem was occurring, uniting the nighttime calls of grass, trees and an occasional owl that were singled out by Ceylan.
I heard them morph into something more polished and personal and pop. Here . Lana Del Ray's song is an apt example of what I sang to myself. And the man was not only dying...he was dead.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

fractured action: romantic rules in HAYWIRE

how HAYWIRE, Steven Soderbergh's new female protag -fronted action film, chronicles complications of heterosexual romance.

she loves her Dad, and he loves her back.
That pure and strong familial connection lets us know that she is the healthy one. it is only the men she gets involved with who let her down. THEY have the issues.
she gets a lot of action.
she has to get away from all these men in her life.
the relationships are not mutually beneficial.

to survive her relationship, she must make decisions quickly...never doubt herself. make a choice; commit to it, execute. she must always think three steps ahead to make sure she is protected...to see what her options will be in any situation that could arise in the next 3 minutes.
she would never be so foolish as to trust a male partner to protect her--she is her own responsibility.

Her status in the world is unstable. She gains security only when she can know, with certainty, when and where she can expect to engage with her man. he may call, but it is up to her to answer.

It is so hard to get out of a toxic relationship that she has to continually try to escape. Failing to extract herself, she must keep trying to finally attain her freedom from these clingy lovers. they just won't let go.

relationships always end over issues of loyalty and money.

remaking the 90s

I just saw a trailer for THIS MEANS WAR, a silly new McG film/Reese Witherspoon video. It could be fun, (the tasty Tom Hardy co stars) but it is more likely just a plastic attempt at style and a weak , overproduced effort to appear both smart and funny.

It seems more likely that someone remembered Gregg Araki's delicious SPLENDOR (1999), and decided to remake it into a weak Reese Witherspoon vehicle.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

GUILTY: Eyeing Women

LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBAR (dir. Richard Brooks, 1977)

EYES OF LAURA MARS (dir. Irvin Kershner, 1978)

WINDOWS (dir. Gordon Willis, 1980)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Best REP of twenty eleven

best repertory filmgoing experiences of 2011

more comments and additions to come

1 L'AMOUR FOU (NYFF 50 yrs series at Film Society of Lincoln Center)

There is not much to say except WOW. Rivette's massive and bifurcated exploration (it is a real examination but in such an ACTIVE, PHYSICAL and adventurous sense) of possession , play, performance and intimate implosion is as life changing and new to me today as it was a few months ago on a sketchy avi copy and as earth shattering as when i first saw it projected in astoria five years earlier.

2 TESS (Polanski series @ MoMA) + BODY DOUBLE (DePalma Erotic Thriller series @ BAMCinematek)

seen both of these at least a few times before (seen the DePalma a ton), but never seen either projected. So the fact that these two filmgoing experiences were so transporting and transformative really speaks to the uniqueness of seeing celluloid projected in a theater, seated among one's peers.

TESS. A painstakingly stunning painting of mistreatment, toleration of misery , yearning and the epic scope of one person fleeing the one thing that would never escape her.
A total revelation and other world experience for 190 minutes.

BODY DOUBLE . Always evoked fun and new wave and sleaze executed with A+ finesse when i first became a fan, watching it on my ex boyfriend's VHS. But seeing this stellar, underrated DePalma onscreen was illuminating.
What a smart film to be able to pass itself off as the campy film showcased inside of itself. Shot with a different tone, it could have played as a real cautionary tale about male anxieties. Revisiting L'AMOUR FOU, i shiver at the connections between the dePalma and the Rivette. Both films smartly link the acting profession to aspects of romance and intimacy. Both use the more intense aspects of artistic performance to problematize romantic issues : such as personal identity, fear of possession, and fear of the loss of individual will.

2 HOMEBODIES (2nd half of Larry Yust double feature - programmed by Nick Pinkerton and Nich Rapold @ 92Y)

3 BELLY and THE CURE IN ORANGE (doub feat -- programmed by Nick Pinkerton and Nich Rapold @92Y) While BELLY ( a film i've seen once before--also projected) was the real star and shock of the night, I found the concert film (which i'd never seen before) full of it's own smart and unexpected pleasures.
Nothing hurt me more (in a movie theater) this year then when audience members laughed aloud at the first film. Hype was not making a comedy, and people who laugh at strippers or drug dealers are usually pathetic sheltered surburban losers who have never been taught to sit down, shut the fuck up, and give a film a chance to open your mind regarding the worldview and emotion of it's universe.
Hype's protagonists live in a real world, though it's one viewed from and obscured by a prism of exaggerated style and affect. The characters in the film are as implicated as their director in the operatically privileged yet oppressed worldview. I think this experience is somewhat incoherent in nature, and not ultimately successful, but the film totally goes for this unique affect and partially succeeds. A ballsy depiction of fantasy not so unlike what was achieved by Minnelli, this film was criminally misunderstood and ironically ridiculed (even by the programmers, based on their distanced and ironic comments) by its audience, even the second time around.

(Minnelli series @BAMCinematek)
I'd seen both films before but neither projected. These were by far my faves of the series though i wish i'd seen them ALL! I've never seen so many wrongly marginilized films : (women's films, melodrama, musicals) that are all such sophisticated and mesmerizing renderings of fantasies and societal criticisms.

5 JE'TAIME JE T'AIME and PROVIDENCE (Resnais series @ Museum of the Moving Image tied with VAMPIR CUADECUC (Spanish Cinema series at Anthology Film Archives)
three of my favorite films of all time that i got to see projected this year = bliss

6 Dick Fontaine hip hop films : BEAT THIS! and BOMBIN' (Dick Fontaine series curated by Michael Chaiken at Anthology Film Archive)

7 THE LAST RUN and COPS AND ROBBERS (William Lustig curated series at Anthology Film Archives)

8 the Jean Rouch architecture anthropology films from the 1970s + especially ISPAHAN: LETTER PERSANE (@ MoMA: To Save and Project)

9 THE TENANT (Polanski at BAMCinematek)

10 UNE CHAMADE and LIZA (catherine deneuve series at BAMCinematek)

11 THREE SAD TIGERS (To Save and Project series @ MoMA)

bonus, out of competition winner:
The almost hour long post film (if you can call it film because Walter Reade DIGITALLY PROJECTED this MASTERPIECE!!!) conversation with James Toback after THE GAMBLER

Lorna's Silence

Lorna's Silence
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the girlfriend experience

the girlfriend experience
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