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Monday, May 28, 2012

Für Elise - a non-review

“It came to me…that I didn’t want to be anywhere else in the world at that moment, that what I was feeling at that moment justified all I had been through, because all I had been through was my being there. I was experiencing…a new self-acceptance, a sense that I had to be this mind and this body, its vices and its virtues, and that I had no other chance or choice.”
― John Fowles, The Magus

"Without everything just as it was, with nothing altered and holding nothing alterable, nothing at all - not even the most transient, ecstatic moment of happiness or joy - can have been. Causality works forwards in this kind of passionate affirmation only by working backward like the ray of sunlight Nietzsche sees shining on his life: “I looked backwards, I looked forwards, never did I see so many and such good things at once.” Nietzsche’s account, telling his life to himself, thus works upon his life as a benediction. And it is this benediction which transfigures the glance, transfiguring
what was into what was willed as such, which is the meaning of what it is to will backwards, declaring: “how could I fail to be thankful to my life?”
 (EH Epigraph,KSA 6, p. 263)"
- in Babich, Nietzsche's Imperative as a Friend's Encomium: On Becoming the One You Are, Ethics, and Blessing

"Everything in our lives has brought us to this moment".
Benno to Eric in Cosmopolis (the book and the movie!)

Without Elise, there's no all of Eric in the movie. Without Elise, this everything Benno talks about is NOT everything, it's just what's in Eric's world. Elise is not in Eric's world, she is Gradiva, Euridice taking him out of the limo, seducing him who has it all and wants nothing but a haircut into having no choice in the end. Having no choice but to accept the irreversibility of his Destiny and not look back on destroying the circulating capital, his money, her money because of a yen. And not just to accept it, but to love it seeing it for what it is.

What is money to a poet, she says, love the world and trace it in a verse. Without Elise there's no love of the world. No Elise makes the movie as detached as Eric is in it. Cosmopolis the book is a verse. Cosmopolis the movie is not, it's a movie.

Instead of words from the book, Cronenberg says he gives an actor's face.
This post is for Elise's face missing in the movie when Eric realizes he loves her and she slips away.
For Elise, the face of love. The kind of love which sprungs out mysteriously in unexpected places; which enables, is not selfish, makes one do foolish things and wear turbans, which supports and understands without asking, which gives and makes one free to be a gull at dawn, anything and everything one can be. Which makes one an overman. Even if everything and anything one is, is dead in the end. Precisely because that which one ultimately is in the end is dead .

Amor fati, nothing altered, nothing alterable.

Review: Cronenberg's Cosmopolis: Decaffeinated and Defanged DeLillo

Eric Packer

Difficult as it is to review a film you haven't even seen I am not to be stopped. Cronenberg has told us what is NOT in the film.And so has blackbeanie who saw it in Cannes. Is that so we won't be disappointed?

OK.  I.  Am. Not.  Disappointed.

I. Am. Furious!

A terrible reading of DeLillo's savage with teeth novel.

A fantastic one time chance from the universe
To throttle cyber-capital
Wrestle it to the ground
And finish it
And he fucking blows it

Requiem For the Twin Towers; Hypotheses on Terrorism; The Violence of the Global
2002 - Verso

Baudrillard following Nietzsche:
Capital stripped bare by Speculation itself, like the bride by her bachelors. What becomes of Capital once the veil of Profit is lifted? What becomes of Labour once the veil of Capital is lifted?(Baudrillard - Cool Memories II 38)

Contrary to the historical slogan which says that the 'emancipation of the workers will be achieved by the workers themselves', we have to accept that Capital will be put to death by Capital itself or (not at all). (CM II 38)

But it will be Baudrillard who will go all the way with Nietzsche. Baudrillard will tell us how to end the evil of anything. Push it to the limit and beyond, worse than worse, and then it will suicide. This is what DeLillo has Eric Packer do by imploding the speculative currency market.  Eric Packer wants all the yen there is.

Yen is the important currency here in a Lacanian sense of yen/want/desire-lack/need-satisfaction, but Cronenberg prefers the literal up to the day yuan because he misreads the text of the novel. 
Please excuse him tho as he read it in one sitting and did the screenplay in 6 days. Ah Evelyn Wood, are you happy now?

Someone tell him about Lacan, please.

HEGEL And The Shadow of Dialectical Materialism
2012  - Verso

....why cyber-capitalists appear as the paradigmatic capitalists today _....What we have here is an ideological short-circuit between two versions of the gap between reality and virtuality: the gap between real production and the virtual or spectral domain of Capital, and the gap between experiential reality and the virtual reality of cyberspace. ....haunted by the notion of a global catastrophe lurking just around the corner, threatening to explode at any moment. 

It seems as if the gap between my fascinating cyberspace persona and the miserable flesh which is "me" off-screen translates into the immediate experience of the gap between the Real of the speculative circulation of capital and the drab reality of the impoverished masses.( LTN p.245-246)

eXistenZ anyone? How about The Hunger Games?

BTW this by no means has anything pejorative to do with Rob Pattinson's performance as he has been directed to perform, controlled by the script written in 6 days BTW. Cronenberg is so proud of this fact. I bet he can read Zizek's Less Than Nothing and its 1000 pages really fast too. Not to mention Lacan's Ecrits.

Postscript Monday June 25 2012

From: http://notcoming.com/reviews/trishna/

Trishna, Winterbottom’s third adaptation of a Thomas Hardy novel, is a take on Tess of the d’Urbervilles that’s loaded with risks, big changes that nevertheless amount to a worthy attempt to capture what film theorist André Bazin would call the “spirit” – rather than the exact letter – of the novel on which it is based.

.....But to go back to Bazinthe elusive “spirit” of the novel, particularly its strong element of social critique, is transformed but still vitally present in this film. 

...Most festival screenings are met with a round of applause when a film’s credits begin to roll, but the theater was silent after Trishna’s brutal denouement. I took this less as an indictment of the film’s quality than an indication that what had just unspooled required some serious thought and digestion, and to my mind, that’s a wonderful mood for any work of art to inspire. Winterbottom is not always an easy director to handle, and that’s one of the things that recommends him most.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Kristen Stewart, Helena Bonham Carter, Princess Beatrice and Michel Foucault: Deconstructing What?

This Is Not A Dress
Kristen Stewart at the Premiere in London
Snow White and the Huntsman
Magritte's Painting and Foucault's Essay
Kristen Stewart is not wearing a dress. She is wearing a SIGN, a "floating sign" but what is it saying? This is a "dress" NOT to be worn to a banquet, a fashionable ball, a social soiree, none of these. This is a "dress" to be worn only on the RED CARPET. It is not a dress. It is not a counterfeit of a dress. It is not a copy of a dress. It is a simulacrum, pure floating sign circulating.

Stewart is the "wittiest" of actresses when she dresses for the public. Her dresses are "signs" and it is up to her viewers to decipher what she is saying for them. 
This Is Not A Premiere Outfit
Helena Bonham Carter Alice In Wonderland Premiere

Helena Bonham Carter has dressed in "Halloween"costumes for the Red Carpet to say what she wants. Both are  choosing a different, more seductive way to deconstruct Red Carpet celebrity dressing.
Miley Cyrus at iHeart Radio Music Festival 2013

This is definitely NOT a dress.

This Is Not A Hat
Princess Beatrice did it with her hat at the recent Royal Wedding.

I think Stewart, Bonham Carter, Princess Beatrice, Magritte and Foucault are all saying FUCK YOU to stupid rules.

Edit: The Red Carpet appearances take place in simulated reality just as a video game does. A genealogy of premieres will reveal this. What used to be an opening has now become a red carpet affair. I am not sure when this Foucauldian "cut" occurred and am not interested in finding out. But it is here to stay, at least for a little while. The Red Carpet is not a counterfeit of an opening (a first), nor a copy of a premiere.  It is a copy of a copy having no original: It is a simulacrum

A Red Carpet affair becomes a piece of simulated reality. There is nothing real about it. It is "produced seduction" which has nothing to do with seduction, nothing at all. 

While in this piece of simulated reality, - and real people are milling around, eating, having heart attacks, falling in love,etc.-  as in a video game, one wears costumes that one buys or are donated for publicity purposes, to play a character. Celebrity dressing for "simulated reality" involves expensive costumes to assume a character, a simulacrum, in this video game which is simulated reality. 

The Red Carpet fangirls are squealing over a piece of expanding simulated reality that is stealing the REAL from all of us. When simulated reality becomes total, we will all be in Virtual Reality, i.e. a video game. We will all be in eXistenZ.

And last but by no means least since this is where I learned it, Diane Rubenstein's 

This Is Not a President: Sense, Nonsense, and the American Political Imaginary 

The MOXIE: Terence Davies and Terence Rattigan: The Deep Blue Sea

Set in the 1940's this is a beautiful movie. It is shot in soft focus under low illumination, creating an illusory experience of filming that exactly captures what a romantic film was like in those times of 70 years ago. Everything is soft, lovely and romantic. Rachel Weisz is unforgettable in her vulnerable beauty.

It is a story of passion which we see right in the beginning with sensuous sex. What is unusual about this film is that the dialogue is written for adults, and sounds like dialogue did back then. There are no obvious props of the time period screaming at you, "See, I am authentic. Notice me." Yet everything appears as it did at that time without any obviousness. None of that stuff so meticulously and boringly done by Francis Lawrence in Water For Elephants. Just wall paper looking depressing and fussy as it did then, the lighting subdued, the music on records a little scratchy and seductive. 

At the same time we are seeing a sad love affair we are also seeing two people who are caught in seeing and feeling love and sex the way their world has taught them to see and feel it through the popular music. They are as caught up in playing their parts as we are now. They play two lovers caught up in playing lovers as suggested in all the romantic songs of their era, perfectly chosen.

They are as caught as Eric Packer is caught in his screens. 

Only Weisz's character Hester begins to see through this charade. She is experiencing a deep passion in her body and mind. She has succumbed to the template of Iseult: passion love and death. She knows Freddie is playing a role and she isn't. It is real for her and she knows it is not for him. And this begins to eat at her and destroy her. Her affection for her husband is real, and as his affection for her grows, he is still unable to break out of his conditioning, the Inscription of His Body and Mind to claim her. 

So we see her abandoned and sobbing at the end, not knowing what she will do next. An ambiguous ending. A film so perfectly done it might really be 70 years old. An original - not a counterfeit, a copy or a simulacrum - an original filmed in our own time, by a filmmaker who has not forgotten what it means to see.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Magnolia Pictures: MARLEY A Documentary By Kevin Macdonald

Bob Marley - Everything Is Gonna Be Alright

Marley is a sufi and a dionysian spirit
Beyond good and evil: the ubermensch
Director Kevin Macdonald's 
Marley was not of the Order of Production: accumulation; survival; comfort; simulacrum; etc. He was ALIVE! He lived in the Order of Seduction: challenge, passion; singularity; death; etc.
In the tradition of rock singers - reggae - who go to the limit and push themselves in excess over the edge
His funeral has the emotional frenzy and love that DeLillo chronicles in his character Brutha Fez in Cosmopolis
I have not seen many mouths as beautiful as Marley's. Even in repose his mouth did not have a trace of contempt, any tightening, thin lipped sign of disapproval, repression, holding back, distaste, bitterness, none of the things one sees in their mirror and mirrored back on the faces everyone puts on "from that jar by the door". His smile is joyous, excessive, full of a generosity that knew no bounds, and yet was not an unweaned mouth, as Graham Greene might have said. 
The Inscription of Marley's Mouth - to extend Nietzsche and Foucault's Inscription of the Body -  seems to have gone untouched by all the forces that mold mouths in western culture.  
A musician among a very few who disappears during a performance becoming one with himself and his audience who become one with him in joy.

Now playing at the MOXIE in Springfield Missouri