blow [me] up





the lingering obsession with antonioni’s 1966 film blow up might have been answered in an upcoming book titled the antonioni adventure by george porcari.

excerpt from page 84 and 85

“siegfried kracauer described the detective as an essentially modern figure who is on a rational quest for meaning and narrative closure.  it is the detective who uses logic, keen observation and deductive skills to assemble fragmentary details into a meaningful narrative and thereby arrive at the truth, but does he?  blow-up is a meditation on this question.” – george porcari

Ash Stymest " Select, SoPopular, Daniel Blechman, Luisa " Viva Berlin

observing life’s narrative, to search for a truth that may or may not be obtainable, might be exactly what creates intrigue.  for me, i can’t help but meditate on that. by jj

every man for himself: jean luc godard interview with dick cavett back in 1980

JLG-The-Dick-Cavett-Show jean-luc-godard-interview

“i never went away… maybe i was pushes away” – JLG

every man for himself: “people ask of film things they would never ask of poetry… or art… why?” – JLG

“when people go into exile from their own country that means there is something good in them…” – JLG

interview part 1 and 2 of 6 see rest here

dick cavett interviews GOD himself… jean luc godard in 1980 discussing critics reviews of his film at the time, “every man for himself” a film about the lives of a man (jacques dutronc), a woman (nathalie baye) and a prostitute (isabelle huppert) when they cross paths, classic godard synopsis… maybe this one has an extra 3rd person but otherwise… love this man talking about jerry lewis, howard hawks, and hitchcock and was such a pleasure to see this 30+ years after… uh would appreciate this one. by ac

the enigma of klaus kinski


an end clip with kinski playing werner herzog’s aguirre wrath of god. this can be seen as an addendum to dd’s post!!

klaus kinski, the epic actor, who played in herzog’s aguirre wrath of god (one of our favorite films of all time – a must see) was a german national of polish decent and born to a struggling family in germany. his father was a failed opera singer, and his mother a nurse. his true name was klaus günter karl nakszynski, which he later changes to klaus kinsky. he was conscripted at age 17 into the german wehrmacht some time in 1943, serving in the army. he saw no action until the winter of 1944, when his unit was transferred to the netherlands. he was wounded and captured by the british army on his second day of combat and was eventually transferred to england as  prisoner of war. of course in true kinsky fashion, he recalled the events differently. kinsky claimed that he defected from the german wehrmacht and was court marshaled and sentenced to death. he explained that he theh managed to escaped, and turned himself-in to the british army, but as his recollections on the set of fitzcarraldo he is likely painting a finer picture than what was reality. at the end of the war the german POW’s were anxious to return home. kinski had heard that sick prisoners were to be returned first, and being the nut case that he is, he tried to qualify by standing outside naked at night, drinking urine and eating cigarettes. he remained healthy but finally was returned to germany in 1946, after spending a year and four months in captivity. upon arrival he discovered that his father had died and his mother had perished in the allied bombing. alone, he pursued what he had first experienced under allied imprisonment, acting… and the rest is history. the enigma of klaus kinski still remains. by uh

Just to even the grounds here’s Nastassja Kinski in the summer of 1970s

Nastasia-Kinski-nude -bikini

hello summer.


and just so you all behave… here’s her father, klaus. nice guy, short temper. just ask werner…

image 1: nastassja kinski, daughter of klaus kinski. image 2: a rare picture on location for the film “aguirre wrath of god” by werner herzog. pure genius, go see it if you haven’t, its 2 hours of nastassja walking in the amazon in her bikini… kinda… and then klaus comes in, and kills werner. by dd

men we love: six films by alain robbe grillet






is that anna karina? no but a marie-france pisier. uncanny!



jean-louis trintigant





you may know him for his involvement in “last year at marienbad” but french writer, alain robbe grillet’s classic films were until recently near impossible to buy in the united states, or so i thought until i saw that kino classics (redemption) have re-released not just DVD, but blue ray versions of robbe grillet’s films; “successive slidings of pleasure”, “l’immortelle”, “the man who lies”, “eden and after”, and “n. throws the dice”. my search just now for the films resulted in, just another of his great films trans europe express“, but no dice on the rest… i reckon they will be available soon as the post i read was teasing the release as late as oct 2014. by uh


adieu au langage: jean luc godard

goodbye to language

interview with jean luc godard

so even the god of cinema has succumbed to the 3d camp in his 2014 film “adieu au langage” or “goodbye to language”. or did he? this is godard’s 39th feature film and it does not fail to impress, all this  despite his age and a terrible car accident that damaged his scull that contains that god damn genius brain of his.

“the idea,” in godard’s own words, “is simple. a married woman and a single man meet. they love, they argue, fists fly. a dog strays between town and country. the seasons pass. a second film begins…”

i just saw the film finally and have not read about the piece but here are my observations: to me the film is really a 21st century contemporary painting, with a nod to picasso and the cubists, cezanne, and monet. godard uses 3D to recreate cubism for the modern viewer. he flattens the colors to analyze surface and depth and the frame itself. areas painters and artists explored only on canvas. the film is also a child’s curiosity with 3D. it is as if the camera was given to godard who did not know how to use it and he simply did what he could, but in that way, it’s honest and pure unlike anything else in the produced world of cinema and 3D. his experiments will be used for decades to come in the future of cinema… that is to be sure of.

to break with the cliches of new wave, this time he did not have the lovers part ways in the end, and the love story was not about the couples at all but his love story with a dog who has apparently replaced anna karina and his past affairs. the dog in the last frames of the film walks away into the woods, just like his female protagonists did, “but will she return” the voice over beckons? the very last frame is the dog coming towards the camera and the words “and she returns”. proof that godard has not yet lost his sense of dark humor.

one of my favorite sections in the film was how godard reworked his mastery of montage adapting it to the 3D format. godards double exposures are legendary, but in “adieu au langage”  he used a new technique. the end result was disorienting as my eyes had never experienced such a thing. i got lost and confused. i had to close one eye and then the other to understand what i was seeing. what godard did was instead of superimposing two images he simply shot each scene with one part of the 3D lens creating a scenario that one eye was seeing one scene and the other a completely different scene (both are of course 2d and flat, disregarding the silly effects of 3D). with both eyes open under the 3d glasses your brain attempted to decode the signals that your eyes were sending it, but it failed to resolve it. closing the scene godard has the man in the right lens enter the scene of the woman in the left lens and using a gradual dissolve he finalizes the phrase and proceeds in conventional 3D. it was simply genius and i sat there with a smile on my face in this empty theater with no more than 4 others at 12:30 midnight. i suppose in the end that is what i can only dream of, to do what godard does to me, to just a handful of people in this world with what ever work it is i’m doing. that is more fulfilling than all the riches of this world. a tough task to accomplish.

of course this all means nothing and you should see the film for your self. it is advisable to see it in theaters and in 3d, however leave it to godard to shoot a 3d film disregarding all the perceived effects of 3D and focus on how best he can capture a flat surface and deconstruct the whole 3D genre. the film is showing at the ICF in new york staring héloise godet, jessica erickson, kamel abdeli, richard chevallier, alexandre païta, and zoé bruneau. do catch it if you can. by dd

endless summer


just when we thought summer was over in new york, we have staggering temperatures into september, it definitely feels like an endless summer, and it makes us want to catch that wave one more time. by kt

cuba: memories of underdevelopment

massively personal and poetic film. based on a book by edmundo desnoes and directed in 1968 by tomás gutiérrez alea (IMDB) during the turmoil of social change in cuba. it is unfortunately his one and only good film, but how many can you do in a lifetime anyway? don’t ask why the titles are in japanese… by dd

Patrice Chéreau: flesh of the orchid featuring charlotte rampling


charlotte rampling in flesh of the orchid… sorry about the below, it was the only clip i could find of the film online, but it should convince the boys…


night porter with charlotte rampling

everyone knows about night porter, but not everyone knows about the flesh of the orchid. both are great films, featuring charlotte rampling at her best. mark them down for this weekend’s movie night if you can dig them up. flesh of the orchid is a 1975 film by director patrice chéreau based on an adaptation of the 1948 novel of the same name by mystery writer james hadley chase. not bad for a first film, not at all… by dd

léos carax: monsieur merde in tokyo


a crazy and impressive short film by carax. not much unlike david lynch (double negate), leos carax seems to play by his own rules. the films are open ended and sometimes frustrating as they do not result in any intelligible conclusion, but one has to admire the madness and creativity backed by such massive effort to make films that simply can not possibly sell tickets at the box office. its reassuring that there are others out there who give little “merde” about money and what the general public sees as success… i highly recommend seeing this little french film, dedicated to tokyo with love.

a little “intelligible” review: “merde (french for “shit”) is the name given to an unkempt, gibberish-spewing subterranean creature of the tokyo sewers, played by denis lavant, who rises from the underground lair where he dwells to attack unsuspecting locals in increasingly brazen and terrifying ways: he steals cash and cigarettes from passersby, frightens old women and salaciously licks schoolgirls, resulting in a televised media frenzy that creates mounting hysteria among the tokyo populace. after discovering an arsenal of hand grenades in his underground lair, merde slips into full-on assault mode, hurling the munitions at random citizens and creating a godzilla-like atmosphere of urban terror, which the media promptly laps up and reflects back to its equally voracious television audience. enter pompous french magistrate maître voland (jean francois balmer) — a dead ringer for the sewer creature’s gnarled and twisted demeanor — who arrives in tokyo to represent merde’s inevitable televised trial, claiming to be one of only three in the world able to speak his client’s unintelligible language. the media circus mounts as lawyer defends client in a surreal court of law hungry for a satisfying resolution. merde is tried, convicted and sentenced to death — until justice takes an unexpected turn.” by uh