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Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Climbing Everest Porn or Hero Porn
This is a good bio movie with fine performances. So let's get that out of the way. It has just the right number of good cliche scenes for the chicks who stay at home while hubbies buy their way into hero porn for 65 THOUSAND DOLLARS Or lead the expedition for 65 thousand a pop. It's true. And many died on this trip, and still freeze away on the mountain.

What is of importance though is watching the moving image of assembly line manufactured capitalistic romantic climbing of the highest mountain PORN! All the romance is gone however as the leader leads his merry band of bonding men who have no more wars to fight as tek does all that now, in a line worthy of a sargent into battle. Follow me! And they follow holding a rope as they go to keep them together, just like kindergarten plus kids out on a school trip.

They are cattle plodding along to maybe their death as they clump their way through the snow, avalanches to the heights of the top - or death. Imagine the first ones to do this. The long years of preparation, the solitary partnerships your life depended upon, the exaltation of achieving it, the risk of death. All taking place in the Symbolic Order of the Sacred:risk, reversibility, event, sacred, life, living, passion and then compare that with this film so wonderfully showing you this supposed event turned into the Order of Production:irreversibility, survival, continuity, accumulation, capital, fascination - in fact into the Production of Porn mountain climbing where if you pay enough you will do it and be guided back to safety. How's that!

The bonding of the men to each other in some drinking, buddying, back slapping, encouragement, out for a trek in the wilderness to show our stuff. No more wars to die for. No Christendom to spread, Nazis to kill, fascism to destroy before it destroys our freedom. Nope. So the successful ones who have the money or who scrape it together to LIVE THEIR DREAM! BECAUSE IT'S THERE!To fulfill the ideology they still believe. Wonderful!

We see our entire western world of DETERRITORIALIZED CORPORATE CAPITALISM monetizing an EVENT by replicating it with cell phones, high tech weather reports, group tourists going mountain climbing, the new eco type tourism. To see the hoards of people at the base camps, all the leaders of tourist groups squeezing in that window of opportune time for climbing to the peak.

This is not exploring how to get to the top. This is replicating the map of how to get to the top. Desiring to reach the top of Everest by being led there by a more experienced person. A teacher, one who leads. And they blindly follow.

Passion of Exploring the South Pole,Northwest Passage
In these essays Connell has recounted the extreme passion, desire,preparation and gamble these men went through to go there first without a map, just raw courage and dedication. The incredible hardships, the incredible death experiences are riveting. This is no account of a tourist guided trip but a REAL experience, felt with all their soul. Their exploration is not a COMMODITY to buy and do. NOT a trophy to tell about.

This is akin to Dr. Walter Palmer's killing of the great too domesticated sanctuary lion, Cecil. 
Cecil was not a wild lion but one used to being fed by humans from time to time I guess. He was lured with a bloody kill to be killed.
A Canned Hunt - A Trophy Killing without Risk

Another assembly line manufactured trophy porn SPECTACLE. Maybe they will want to climb Everest next. Would that be too dangerous for them? With a very experienced guide? 
All this is HERO PORN manufactured like Warhol's Campbell Soup Cans. The hero and his ordeal have been monetized by DETERRITORIALIZED CORPORATE CAPITALISM.
How do you like your world?

Monday, November 2, 2015

Laurie Anderson's Heart of a Dog Interview/Review by Gary Kramer

Laurie Anderson's Heart of a Dog

Laurie Anderson’s wistful, elegiac film, Heart of a Dog, uses animation, video, home movie clips, and dream sequences to chronicle not just her life with Lolabelle, her rat terrier, but more generally how humans and animals communicate, their shared sense of companionship, and our processes of death, grief, and coping with trauma.

A Clip from Youtube of Heart of a Dog

GMK You once described language as a virus from outer space. You get political in Heart of a Dog when you discuss the homeland security advisement, “If you see something, say something. Hopefully, it’s nothing.” You also talk about Lolabelle understanding 500 words and the speech a vet gives when he suggests putting an animal down. Then there’s mention of Wittgenstein’s notion that “language has the power to create the world.” What are your thoughts on the power of language, which has been such an important theme in your work and in this film?

LA I think it’s never very satisfying to share your dreams with someone else. In fact, when somebody goes, “I had this dream…” I go, “Oh please, don’t tell me your dream, please!” No! It’s not a film you saw! It’s something like a hallucination that only you have a code for. Now that is a wonderful thing—stories only you appreciate, only you value, and only you understand. That is a really underrated thing in our culture. You have this wonderful dream world that’s only for you. Let’s keep it that way. Don’t try to tell other people what’s going on. It’s like when only you think something is funny. That’s really great. But why do we share stories? Because otherwise, life is too lonely, you know? 

GMK I interpret it such that you are telling these things to me. It’s episodic, and therefore it doesn’t feel like a monologue. As a viewer, you get into some stories, and sometimes you just watch, but I made all these connections and took it all in. I could see the film again and have a totally different response.

LA I think I was exploring this idea: Does language help you in a situation like that? The Tibetans would say it does, because they wrote a whole book about it. They are expressions of grief. The no crying thing is about trying to understand what is going on not with your own emotions, but to pay attention to what’s going on with the drama of the person who is dying and dead. Their idea is to focus on their transition, which will also be used when you die. But it’s to focus on their death, not your reaction to it.

GMK You mention in the film about your mother loving you unconditionally. When did you love Lolabelle unconditionally?
LA It’s different with a dog or an animal. They don’t have the same conditions that humans do. They have a default mode of unconditional love. I don’t know why they love us—we are sources of food, and we are alphas, and to some extent we protect them and give them rides in cars. Cats do not want rides in cars. That’s a really fundamental difference! I think that using an animal to talk about love is a different kind of relationship. For me, dogs represent a kind of purity that isn’t often found in human relationship, which are more complicated. Very few people will have the joy that dogs do when running to the door to say hello. They’re very openhearted.
Heart of a Dog is currently playing at Film Forum in New York through November 3, 2015.
Gary M. Kramer is the author of Independent Queer Cinema: Reviews and Interviews and the co-editor of Directory of World Cinema: Argentina.
Excerpts from Gary Kramer's Interview/Review of Heart of a Dog. I know I shall love it.