Tag Archives: Arts

A List of Ten: On Cinema at the Cinema

1. For Tim Heidecker: cinephile supreme, Gregg Turkington: perpetual guest/loyal #movie friend. Connoisseurs of not only fine cinema, but all cinema. Two who honor film with bags of popcorn, sodas, or champagne at the Oscars.

2. Because the seas of knowledge have twisted into an edited helix, a tangled reel of pure film-joy (ThingX). The empty theater where friendship creates impressions. The unending trail of film–upset words.

3. Turkington: To be possessed by The Hobbit, to fall in love with a classic.

4. Because forgetting titles, lines, botching names, arguments over Star Trek, disagreeing and then bumbling the rating systems are all more human, more beautiful than any polished review in this, the age of the raw.

5. Cinema for life. Cinema is life.

6. We inhale Hollywood on cinema at the cinema: you will find us seated. You will find us spooling ourselves in film until the dim comes.

7. Heidecker: the world is watching at the cinema.

8. Because bubbling up from beneath, spreading laughter from unpredictable angles, from how social media infiltrates the media landscape: podcast, video, Twitter and beyond. These are the reasons we watch.

9. Turkington: “Film Buff”

10. The sheer immensity of output, audio file, web clip, a mashing of movie-landscapes to leaves us confused, giggling silly and full of wonder. Yes, this is cinema.

/// /// /// /// ///

The On Cinema Podcast

On Cinema at the Cinema

Tim Heidecker

Gregg Turkington

On-Cinema

Mute Presence: A look at an aphorism by E.M. Cioran

Here is a fifteen minute video that I shot on Vimeo. Recently, I have been using Vimeo as an educational platform and a way to share my thoughts. This video opens up an aphorism by E.M. Cioran and brings in some other thinkers, as well. Is it perfect? No, but it was the best I could do at the time. I hope you can pull something useful out of it. Please ask questions.

Bakuon Film Festival 2009: Kichijoji, Tokyo, Japan

The Bakuon Film Festival began over the weekend. The premise of this festival is simple and evident from the 12-foot high speakers stacked on both sides of the screen: Maximum Audio Blast! I had the good fortune of seeing David Lynch’s “Mulholland Drive” and Quentin Tarantino’s “Death Proof” last night and was not disappointed. I had never thought of Lynch as a musician, but after last night’s showing, it was his role as “sound designer” that really took precedence over the visuals of the film. He has stated before that his films are meant to be seen on a big screen and I would add, with a crisp and able sound system. The sub-atomic bass that he mixes into so many scenes was really brought out last night’s screening and was equal to any “noise” show that I have attended.

On the other hand, Tarantino’s soundtrack selection, as is often praised (even by himself when he said, “I have one of the best soundtrack collections in America.”), was warm beyond belief. The lapdance scene’s version of The Coaster’s “Down in Mexico” was a vinyl version of the song, as opposed to the CD version (an updated version), which is included on the DVD and the soundtrack. We all know vinyl sounds good, but coupled with Tarantino’s sharp cinematography (credited as writer/director and Director of Photography), this movie, too, took on a new life. Oh, yes, the cars were damn loud.

I couldn’t stay for Dario Argento’s cut of “Zombi,” but hopefully can catch it this week. If you are in or near Kichijoji, make your way to the Baus Theater and check out the Bakuon Film Festival. No previews. Huge audio. The 2am presentation of Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” definitely seems worth checking out.

The official website: Bakuon Film Festival

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Staying the Course: Difficulty Approached

Staying the course, or in other words, persevering, can be challenging. At least for me, it is challenging. Hence, one of the reasons why I have failed to write here in quite some time. As with most things that we tend to neglect, we have no “real” reason at all. We get caught up in other ways of doing things and are pulled by the things which we give our time and attention to – to whatever end that may be. Nonetheless, persevering is important in spite of the myriad of reasons (made-up reasons) why one should or shouldn’t stay the course. If you are pulled in other directions, it is best to make sure that you aren’t just playing some game with yourself to compensate for your lack of talent.

In the film “Music of the Heart,” featuring Meryl Streep as an inner-city music teacher, she says, “You shouldn’t quit something just because it’s difficult.” How true these words ring to me and how often do I see and hear people giving up all around me simply because something is temporarily difficult. If something is difficult, then devote all of your time and attention to that thing and make it not difficult. The more time you spend with it, trying to figure it out, chipping away at it and, in general, practicing it, the less difficult it becomes. Or, even if it continues to be difficult, what is difficult shifts from what you originally perceived as difficult to a different layer of difficulty. This means that you are learning it. Learning isn’t always fun or easy.

Staying the course of a goal that you set is no less daunting. It may be one of the most difficult things that you embark on.

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William T. Vollmann: 8 Audio Links (Interviews/Conversations)

william vollmann

A working list of William T. Vollmann audio pieces drawn from various websites. I have not listened to all of these interviews/conversations in their entirety yet, so cannot vouch for which one is “better” than the other. With that said, as always, if you know of any Vollmann audio links that I have missed, please drop a comment or get in touch via email. Thank you and happy listening.

Eight William T. Vollmann Audio Links

NPR: Riding Toward Everywhere

Drinks with Tony Vollmann Interview

Vollmann discussing his book “Uncentering the Earth”

Vollmann on Trains

On Rising Up Rising Down

Another Piece on Rising Up Rising Down

Vollmann on The Royal Family

Vollmann on The Bat Segundo Show

Learning: Becoming an Integrated Person

Yesterday, I posted an article featuring “five quotations for your learning pleasure.” Today, I would like to look into and “open up” one particular quotation, which is by Warren Bennis. The quotation, from his book On Becoming a Leader, is, “Taking charge of your own learning is a part of taking charge of your life, which is the sine qua non in becoming an integrated person.”

What Bennis means by this is that “learning” should not be something that is wholly dictated to you by certain others: teachers, parents, friends, and so on (although there is always the excuse to blame others if you don’t learn what you needed or wanted to learn). Learning is the process by which you grow competencies, which enable you to mind the world in new ways. That is, new things learned produce new thoughts or new angles on old thoughts. Thoughts change with what you learn and how you use what you learn.

This kind of active learning demands curiosity and discipline – necessity. Or, sometimes learning is as easy as “tuning in” to the world happening around you and minding your habits of participation and interpretation. Moreover, who you talk and listen to, the people you spend time with whether through books, the television or in “real life,” also form the limits of what you can learn.

For Bennis, self-learning, that is, learning that is driven by you, builds you and shapes your ways of minding the world. I am tempted to say that, what you actively and passionately learn will change the you that you currently are. If you use computers a lot, yet find yourself stuck in your use of new applications, then, taking the time to learn about those applications and how to use them efficiently will alter the situation from helplessness to a sense of control over the situation. In this way, you are integrating yourself more fully into your life situation. How are you doing with what you have learned?

AFTER THOUGHTS

If your life “feels” broken and you want to pick up the pieces, pay attention to those broken areas and focus on doing what it takes to mend those broken areas. If you don’t know how to fix them, learn how and set about fixing them the best ways you know how.

If there are things that you would love to learn about or do, then why aren’t you doing them? Simply keeping them may not be moving you toward them. Probably, as humans, we are always in a state of learning as we take things in moment by moment. Persistently directing your attention and efforts to the things that you want or need to learn (i.e. doing what needs to be done to learn them), is a step in consciously moving your life where you think it should go.

What you do with what you learn is what other can know about you.

More information about something does not always mean you have learned more about that something. What is meant by this?

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