August 15th, 2011 § § permalink
Pedro Almodóvar: Labyrinth of Passion (1982, Spain)
Yes, that’s a young, gay Antonio Banderas shirtless in a movie called Labyrinth of Passion which is not, strictly speaking, porn.
This was a fun movie that I watched by accident with a friend of mine in London. We were wandering around South Bank wondering what to do and we walked into BFI to see this. It was a romp.
Made just six years after Franco’s death, the film seems clearly to want to break loose of sexual and political restraints. One of the main characters’ name is Sexilia, for god’s sake. And someone please count the number of crotch shots in the first sequence, because I could not.
Anyway, I don’t remember the story so well. Did I mention it’s a romp? There’s some great drag and the brilliant song, ‘Suck it to me,’ written by Almodóvar himself. Three stars out of five?
Darren Aronofsky: Black Swan (2010, USA)
Every time I watch a Darren Aronofsky movie, I promise myself I will never again. Then he makes a new movie that makes everyone talk about how brilliant he is. I have to witness these conversations and I’m not allowed to make faces because I haven’t watched this particular movie. Out of utter frustration I watch the goddamn new Aronofsky and regret every second of it: I’d rather listen to a lot of shitty talk about bad cinema than have to watch the bad cinema.
But what can I say: Black Swan was an in-flight movie and I was curious. » Read the rest of this entry «
April 19th, 2011 § § permalink
Lately, I’ve fallen in love with so many women — utterly in love — with who they are, how they are, what they do. These women are all of a certain age, and it makes me excited; it makes me wonder what it would be like to be that age and to have something and to live a life of — I suppose I could only call it a life of poetry, and to live it fully. It almost makes me want to skip all of the in-between, which I know is unwise.
Most recently, my excitement has been for Susan Howe, whose work I never expected to like much at all, having read individual poems. But then I read a whole book (Souls of the Labadie Tract, 2007), which I liked quite a bit, and I heard her read from her latest (THAT THIS, 2010), which seems even more fascinating. She also gave a talk on Emily Dickinson, a favourite poet of hers. She spoke so passionately of her — it seems weak to use the word ‘passion’ even. Howe believes strongly that if you love a writer, you must go after the original manuscripts, as she has done with Dickinson. Find the library or estate that owns them and do what you can to see them for yourself, not just digitally. The experience, she says, is radically different. And she’s right; there’s a material significance to it. » Read the rest of this entry «
March 7th, 2011 § § permalink
Copperplate engraving from Nouvelles Tables anatomiques (Amé Bourdon, 1678)
In a popular nineteenth-century book (Emile Colombey’s Les Originaux de la dernière heure [Paris: E Denru, Hetzel Collection, 1862], p 105), I read the following anecdote:
AN EXCESS OF CLEANLINESS
Seeing an open side of beef being gutted in a butcher’s stall, a woman experienced such profound disgust that she nearly fainted. When questioned about the attack she was suffering, she asked:
“Do we have so many nasty things inside our bodies too?”
The answer she was given convinced her to let herself starve to death.
If the sight of animal or human viscera is almost always unpleasant, the same is not necessarily true of their figurative representation, and one would be wrong to regard the anatomical plates that embellish old treatises on medicine from a strictly medical point of view, without concerning oneself overmuch with the extraordinary beauty that marks many of them, a beauty that has to do not with the greater or lesser purity of the forms but rather with the fact that here the human body is revealed in its most intimate mystery, along with its secret places and the subterranean reactions for which it is the theater, accompanied, in sum, by everything that confers on it the magical value of a scaled-down universe. » Read the rest of this entry «
November 5th, 2010 § § permalink
1. I sometimes take things personally.
I just wrote 800 words explaining that statement, exposing myself in a brutal and personal fashion. Then I felt embarrassed and deleted it. » Read the rest of this entry «
September 18th, 2010 § § permalink
This is one of those installments in which I tell you of my very sophisticated reading tastes (plus Anne Rice).
Several books have been bought post-Walser (by the way, my post-Walser existence is so much richer) and I’d like to show them off to you. Some of these are for classes: Poetic Designs, most significantly, which was shockingly expensive » Read the rest of this entry «
July 17th, 2010 § § permalink
- Super-Cannes, JG Ballard, 2000 , English (UK) (novel)
- Little Birds, Anaïs Nin, 1979, English (US) (short story collection)
- Peter and Wendy, JM Barrie, 1911, English (UK) (novel) » Read the rest of this entry «
July 4th, 2010 § § permalink
Pallavi suggested I write about my political beliefs and I thought why not? » Read the rest of this entry «