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Have the monks stopped meditating?

They all seem to be tweeting This observation by Herzog is totemic of what seems to me like a mass self-induced autism, immersed in a vortex of banality, that society has sunk into. When I observe how oblivious people are of reality when out and about with their device, it’s easy to understand why many of us refuse(d) to…

Chuck Norris vs Communism

Very roughly analogous to the corrosive effects that the internet has been to our out-of-touch and typically regressive gatekeepers, so too was VHS the corrodent to the Romanian communist state. Now, as then, these gatekeepers entertain the shallowest of insights into the dynamics of situated moral psychology, deluded by their lazy rationalistic disparaging of “low brow” culture, the elites of all…

Tom Petty

I realize that Runnin’ Down a Dream is going on for a decade old, but I’ve only just been able to view it via Netflix. Reading about Petty c. ’79 when there was still serious rock journalism (Melody Maker and NME) he always struck me as a man of integrity and decency without resorting to the shallow and ubiquitous…

Performance

Though it’s going on 40 years since Performance was made (1968, released in 1970) it is still the most modern of films with “adult themes” (philosophical and otherwise) from an age when films weren’t primarily made for fuckwits. The themes of social, sexual and gender identity make the fuss being made about these issues now seem so tired…

The Private Dirk Bogarde

Dirk Bogarde (along with Klaus Kinski) ranks as one of the two greatest screen actors of the post-War era. I realize that this may be somewhat controversial given what Hollywood (I include the Brit luvvies) take to be its finest. Bogarde was very bright, literate, articulate, dignified, brave, philosophical, had integrity and importantly was very scathing — he…

The Exterminating Angel

In life, as in film, I’ve always been fascinated by repetition. I have yet to come across a decent review of this one of the most powerful of all films made (this despite its flaws). Even Roger Ebert seems to skirt things. If one substitutes the “bourgeois cosmopolitans” with the ruling class of sophisticates that run universities…

Luis Bunuel on Earthly Delights

Chapter 6, from Luis Bunuel’s My Last Breath I can’t count the number of delectable hours I’ve spent in bars, the perfect places for the meditation and contemplation indispensable to life. Sitting in bars is an old habit that’s become more pronounced through the years; like Saint Simeon Stylites perched on his pillar talking to…

One Last Deal: Documentary on Superfly

Here’s a short documentary about the making of Superfly. Good to see most of the cast and crew interviewed all these years later because several are no longer with us. And yes, all acknowledge that it was Curtis’ contribution that made a somewhat awkward film into something special that transcended the technical flaws and gave…

Mike Leigh: his best films

Speaking of the trials and tribulations of getting The Moviegoer to the screen, if ever there were someone who could do justice to the interior life, it is Mike Leigh. Regardless of his Englishness he has such a strong sense of place, and would therefore be ideal to undertake such a project. The Telegraph Roger…