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My 10 Favourite Locked Room Mysteries

the psycholpathology of everyday life - Sat, 02/01/2014 - 13:00
This is the original edit of my piece on locked room mysteries from last week's Guardian, it's longer than the original newspaper article with a little more exposition on the books and my 'rules' about what make a good locked-roomer...

My Ten Favourite Locked-Room Mystery Novels
Adrian McKinty

When I was ten years old I remember the first proper mystery novel that I read. It was a paperback of Agatha's Christie early classic Murder on the Orient Express. Orient Express, you’ll recall, is the one where everyone did it, which delighted me no end and I was immediately hooked. I began to work my way through the other Agatha Christies at Belfast Central library and it was probably the sympathetic librarian there who put into my hands The Murders In The Rue Morgue, the first real locked-room mystery that I came across.
     Since Rue Morgue I’ve read dozens of locked-roomers (or ‘impossible murders’ as some prefer to call them) and I have developed firm opinions about the genre. I have no truck whatsoever with the ones that have a supernatural solution or where the author doesn’t give you enough information to solve the case for yourself. Some purists don’t like locked-room problems that involve magician’s tricks (a staple of Jonathan Creek for example) but I’m of the opinion that as long as the mechanics of the trick are explained to the reader (or viewer) well before the solution, these can be permissible.
     A locked-room problem lies at the heart of my new novel, In The Morning I’ll Be Gone in which an RUC detective has to find out whether a publican’s daughter who fell off a table in a bar that was locked from the inside was in fact murdered and if so how. The first thing I had to do was to assure the reader I was not cheating about the facts: the pub was indeed locked and bolted from the inside, there were no secret passages, no concealed rooms and certainly no supernatural element. Then, of course, I had to give the reader all the necessary information so that she or he could solve the case at the same time or before the detective. And by all the information I mean: facts, psychology and motive. When it works you should be able to read a locked-room mystery twice, the second time spotting the clues and seeing how the whole thing fits together and, hopefully, enjoying the iron logic of the solution.
     When a locked-room mystery doesn’t work the solution makes you groan and the book gets hurled across the room. In The Murders In The Rue Morgue an elderly Frenchwoman is killed in a locked room on the fourth floor. The solution – spoiler alert – is that the murder was done by a tame orang-utan who climbed in through the open window with a straight razor. Even at the age of ten I wasn’t happy with that. (I think it was George Orwell who said that the even more ridiculous plot point in Rue Morgue was the idea that an edlerly Parisian lady would go to bed with the window open). More recently The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo found itself flying across my kitchen when I realised that the locked-room problem at its heart (actually a locked island) was a cheat because the reader had been clumsily misinformed about the essential facts.
     The golden age of the locked-room mystery in Anglo-American detective fiction has largely passed but in France Paul Halter has been churning out original impossible murder novels since the mid 1980’s and In Japan the great Soji Shimada virtually invented the Shinhonkaku “logic problem” sub-genre which is still extremely popular today.
     I think there are four elements that make a really good locked-room mystery novel: 1. An original puzzle. 2. An interesting detective and supporting characters. 3. Lively prose. 4. An elegant solution to the puzzle. Mixing classic and contemporary with no supernatural activity allowed these are my ten favourite locked-room/impossible murder novels:

10. The Moonstone (1868) – Wilkie Collins. Rachel Verinder’s cursed Indian diamond ‘The Moonstone’ disappears from her room after her birthday party. This is only a rudimentary locked-roomer, but as the first and still one of the best detective novels it had to be on my list.

9. The Case of the Constant Suicides (1941) – John Dickson Carr. Dr. Gideon Fell investigates an alarming number of ‘suicides’ at a remote Scottish castle. The deaths have taken place in locked or completely inaccessible rooms. Dickson Carr was rightly known as the “master of the locked-room mystery” and this entire list could, with some justification, have been made solely from JDC books.

8. And Then There Were None (1939) – Agatha Christie. (Originally published under two equally unfortunate titles.) Eight people with guilty secrets are invited to an isolated island off the coast of Devon where they begin to be murdered one by one. When there are only two of them left the fun really begins.

7. Suddenly At His Residence (1946) – Christianna Brand. In another part of Devon Sir Richard March has been found poisoned in his lodge. A sand covered pathway leading to the lodge is rolled daily by the gardener. Only one set of footprints is found leading to the lodge and they belong to Claire, who discovered the body. A witty and engaging mystery from a writer who was another locked room specialist.

6. The Big Bow Mystery (1892) – Israel Zangwill. Mrs Drabdump’s lodger is discovered with his throat cut, no trace of a murder weapon and no way a murderer could have got in or out. Arguably the first proper locked-roomer and still a classic of the form.

5. The Mystery of the Yellow Room (1908) – Gaston Leroux. Miss Stangerson is found severely injured, attacked in a locked room at the Chateau du Glandier. Leroux provides maps and floor plans showing that a presumptive murderer could not possibly have entered or escaped. Amateur sleuth Joseph Rouletabille has to figure out how the attack was done. Another early classic.

4. The King Is Dead (1951) – Ellery Queen (Frederic Dannay & Manfred Lee). King Bendigo, a wealthy munitions magnate, has been threatened by his brother Judah, who announces that he will shoot King at exactly midnight on June 21st at his private island residence. King locks himself in a hermetically sealed office accompanied only by his wife, Karla. Judah is under Ellery Queen's constant observation. At midnight, Judah lifts an empty gun and pulls the trigger and at the same moment, in the sealed room, King falls back, wounded with a bullet. No gun is found on Karla or anywhere in the sealed room. Furthermore the bullet that wounds King came from Judah’s gun which didn’t actually fire. Good, huh?

3. La Septième hypothèse (1991) – Paul Halter. In pre War London Dr. Alan Twist and Inspector Archie Hurst are visited by a man named Peter Moore, secretary to Sir Gordon Miller, a mystery author. According to Moore, Sir Gordon had a strange visitor who gave him a murder challenge. The two men tossed a coin and whoever lost had to commit a murder and try to pin the blame on the other. Peter Moore is subsequently found dead. There are only two possible suspects and both have ironclad alibis. Seven solutions present themselves in this ultra twisty novel.

2. The Tokyo Zodiac Murders (1981) – Soji Shimada. The book begins on a snowy evening in the Shōwa period of pre war Japan. A wealthy artist, Heikichi Umezawa, is finishing up his great cycle of paintings: 12 large canvases on Zodiacal subjects. As he works on the last one his head is smashed in with a blunt object. The studio is locked from the inside and the suspects have alibis. Over the next four decades many of Umezawa’s family members are also gruesomely killed, most in ‘impossible’ ways. In a series of postmodern asides Soji Shimada repeatedly taunts the reader explaining that all the clues are there for an astute observer.

1. The Hollow Man (1935) – John Dickson Carr. Someone breaks into Professor Grimaud's study, kills him and leaves, with the only door to the room locked from the inside, and with people present in the hall outside the room. The ground below the window is covered with unbroken snow. All the elements are balanced just right in this, the best of Dickson Carr’s many locked-room problems.
Categories: blogs

Copyright Trolling, Streaming and The Archive AG v Redtube Users

Knowfuture - Sat, 02/01/2014 - 06:50

Since December the law office of Urmann + Collegen have become notorious in Germany due to their action against alleged users of Redtube – a streaming site dedicated to pornography. Copyright enforcement has hitherto been limited to users of file-sharing systems and the operators of streaming sites such as Kino.to. Pursuit of those using streaming facilities would represent a new escalation. Major questions about the plausibility of the offense, the manner of the evidence collection, and the bona fides of the plaintiffs are tied up in this litigation. Hopefully the affair will help discredit the current system.

First a word about one of the protagonists: this is not the first time the spotlight has fallen on Urmann + Collegen. In 2011 I wrote about how they attempted to sell-off the right to pursue alleged copyright infringers for compensation and legal costs under the abmahnung procedure (these are letters which demand the recipient desist from specific behaviour and pay both the costs of the letter’s production and some compensation). By 2012 they were threatening to publish the names of all those unwilling to cough up the amount demanded in the abmahnung for downloading porno movies using bittorrent. The German Data Protection office had other ideas.

1. Origins of the Redtube Affair

In the most recent episode abmahnungen were mailed to ten thousand users whose names and addresses were acquired following an order by the Civil Court in Koln (historically especially amenable to copyright owners requests). They were alleged to have infringed copyright by viewing porno movies on the streaming website Redtube.  The action was launched  on behalf of on behalf of The Archive AG, a Swiss registered company purportedly the owner of films being made available on the redtube website. dresses collected on behalf of the owners of the infringed copyrights. Multiple chambers of the court granted the plaintiffs request to require ISPs to identify the users behind IP addresses collected on behalf of the owners of the infringed copyrights.

But how were these IP addresses acquired? Collecting such IP data from p2p users is trivial – you just need to connect to the peer to identify the IP. But when it comes to records of your website visits access to such information is limited to:(a) the site visited (b) your ISP which routes the request and (c) facebook and other companies with the capacity to exploit trackers (cookies, Javascript, 1-pixel beacons, and Iframes). Important as the last category is, it is not relevant to this instance.

Daniel Sebastian, a lawyer representing Archive AG, said that the IP data had been collected by a company called ‘itGuard’ who had used a piece of software called ‘GLADII 1.1.3′. This company was registered in Delaware in March 2013 but claims to be based in California. It turns out that The Archive AG’s website was registered that same month and that their website uses the same webserver as itGuard.

The Archive AG claimed to have purchased the rights to the infringed films in July of 2013. Around the same time the domain retdube.net was registered. Such site are often registered in order to capitalise on typing mistakes, or can be used by phishing/spam emails to draw traffic. One hypothesis is that this site (whose owners remain unidentified in a Panamanian registry) was set up to trap and track website users. Dates of the alleged infringements are consistent with this timeline.

The legal process began in August 2013 when Sebastian submitted a request for identifying information

The plaintiffs request for subscriber identification information was granted in September. The first letters went out in early December. There followed a flurry of actions including one undertaken by Redtube itself: on December 19th they obtained a decision from a Hamburg court ordering that no further abmahnung be issued to redtube users. However the real turning point came as the result of an appeal by four alleged Redtube users in mid-January. They argued that their information had been wrongly provided to the plaintiffs and in late January the Koln court upheld their appeal. For the moment this brings the substance of the case to a close. The flawed original decision by the various chambers of the Cologne Civil Court was based on numerous errors which it is worth itemising.

2. Confusion in Court: Streaming and Reproduction

Irrespective of the relationship between itGuard and The Archive AG, it appears that the Koln court which ordered that subscriber to be divulged was either confused or misled. They appear to have believed that Redtube was a filesharing system rather than a streaming service. Submissions to the court by their lawyer, Daniel Sebastian, reinforced this impression by referring to downloads rather than streams.

In a decision announced on January 27th the Court upheld an appeal by one of the recipients of the letters.  They stated that they had been confused by the use of the term download in the original application and that streaming has not been found to constitute an act of reproduction.

3. More Confusion: Acquiring the IP Addresses

In his original submissions to the Court in Cologne,  Sebastian included a document drawn up by a Munich patent attorney from the firm Diehl & Partner, verifying the proper functioning and reliability of the GLADII. Nowhere in this twelve page document is there any explanation as to how the software actually interacts with the target site to collect the user data.

When the Cologne Court issued its statement connected to the successful appeal by one of the abmahnung recipients, the Judge raised again the troublesome mystery of how the GLADII software functions and noted that requests for further information had gone unanswered:

“even after indication from the Court, the questions remains unanswered as to how the software program can access a two-sided communication.”

4. Doubts about Ownership

The Archive AG claimed that they had purchased the rights to ‘Amanda’s Secret’ and other clips from a Berlin firm, Hausner Productions, who supposedly bought them from their original producer, a Spanish firm Serrato Consultants. But Hausner Productions does not exist, and Serrato never produced these films, which were shot by a company in California who continue to commercialize them.

5. Fallout

As each day passes the affair unwinds further. Urmann is now facing an action taken by a Berlin firm on behalf of abmahnung recipients alleging extortion and fraud. Meanwhile at the The Archive AG it’s all go: they moved their HQ to a Swiss village called Weisselingen and their director, the German Phillip Wiik, has been replaced by a certain Djengue Nounagnon Sedjro Crespin, a native of Benin. Oh, and their phone number no longer functions and the website is offline. apparently Swiss authorities have started an investigation into the directors for fraud. a reader of the German magazine Telepolis visited the office address of the software developer ‘itGuard’ in San Jose and found only a supplier of office services who had rented a letterbox to a company of that name.


Amusing as the details of this scam are, and unpleasant as some of the characters in this story may be, the real issue here is the mindless machination of a copyright enforcement industry. By the end of 2012 this apparatus had produced more than four million abmahnungen: it is a crazed monster and out of control. On the basis of sketchy evidence, possibly gathered illegally, multiple chambers of the Cologne Civil Court ordered the identification of tens of thousands of users to a firm who did not have to prove they owned the rights – this is evidence of institutional dementia.

Lawyers have cranked this apparatus up because the business model produces a lot of money for them in fees, far more than that earned by any notional rightsholder. Thomas Urmann didn’t even bother checking if his clients actually owned the rights they claimed, just sent out the 20,000 letters and waited for the cash to roll in. In early January he was promising further letters in relation to other streaming sites. And if there are further ‘issues’? No problem, he says, ‘we’ve got full liability insurance’.

For years now there has been discussion of reform to eliminate such abuse, but in the SPD/CDU Coalition agreement there is no commitment to do anything other than investigate how the current system functions. Until the next time folks.

Categories: blogs

Leichtmatrosen & Leichtmatrosen 2, Franz Müller und Rainer Knepperges, 2010-2012

dirty laundry - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 22:57
Im schönen ersten Leichtmatrosen-Film, der in Marrakesch spielt, gibt es eine schöne Kamerabewegung: Oben, am offenen Fenster (oder einer Veranda?) unterhalten sich zwei Frauen über die beiden Männer, von denen sie sich in deren Unterkunft haben einladen lassen; dann schwenkt die Kamera nach unten, die beiden Männer stehen nebeneinander im Türeingang, still und aufmerksam, komplizenhaft. Sie hören da also das für sie wenig vortheilhafte (wobei immerhin klar wird, dass Sex nicht ausgeschlossen ist) Gespräch mit an, das die beiden über sie führen, und als dann gleich darauf wieder alle vier beisammen sind, macht einer der beiden Männer eine Bemerkung über die dünnen Wände der Wohnung, in der sie sich befinden, aus der zu schließen sein soll, dass sie zugehört haben und also Bescheid wissen. Weil auf die Andeutung keine Reaktion erfolgt (oder vielleicht eher: weil er von Anfang an nicht so recht wusste, was er mit der Andeutung ausrichten will), muss er das dann aber doch noch einmal ausformulieren: "Das soll heißen, wir haben gehört, was Ihr über uns geredet habt". Erst durch diesen Nachsatz wird klar, dass in den Film eine Differenz eingeführt wurde, die nicht mehr wegzubekommen, sondern nur noch zu verfeinern, das heißt auch: immer wieder neu auszuformulieren, auszuspielen ist, weil alles nur noch unter bestimmten Vorbehalten gesagt und getan werden kann. Ab diesem Moment werden die Leichtmatrosenfilme zu Verzögerungsmaschinen.

Der noch schönere zweite Leichtmatrosenfilm spielt in Kreuzberg, erst im und beim Görlitzer Park, später vor allem am Kottbusser Tor. Die Differenz ist diesmal von Anfang an da: Wir wissen nicht, was zwischen den beiden Filmen passiert ist, und die beiden Männer, die die beiden Frauen besuchen kommen, wissen es auch nicht so recht. Wir finden es vor ihnen heraus. Und wissen deshalb auch vor ihnen, dass es eigentlich gleich beiden Frauen nur um einen der beiden Männer geht. Der andere ist der, der auch noch mitkommt: eine Verzögerungsmaschine. Außerdem hat er seinen Matrosenanzug nicht dabei, weil der beim Waschen eingeschrumpft ist. Sagt er.

Der zweite Film ist noch freier als der erste, weil er dessen Vorgaben nicht als Beschränkungen begreift, sondern als Aufforderung für einander konversationell überbietende Variationen. Wo der erste Film noch eher pflichtschuldig Menschen mit Beschäftigungen und halbwegs nachvollziehbaren Motivationen ausgestattet hat, erfindet der zweite fröhlich Biografien, die eine Frau hat ein Kind, der eine Mann erzählt bald darauf von zwei weiteren Kindern, neuartige Berufe und Restaurants werden vorgestellt und erklärt.

Es gibt eine wunderbare Einstellung im Görlitzer Park, in der sich der eine Mann im Bildhintergrund dem anderen mit dem Kopf in den Bauch bohrt, beide über den Rasen kullernd, während die beiden Frauen sich im Bildvordergrund mit einer weiteren Bekannten über feuchte Küsse unterhalten.

Die zentralen Szenen spielen im Cafe Kotti. Gespräche in verschiedenen Konstellationen am Tisch, der außen, auf einer Art Veranda platziert ist, von der aus man zwar nicht das gesamte Kottbusser-Tor-Areal überblickt, aber doch (und das ist eigentlich noch besser) einige Straßenausschnitte wie kleine Bühnen beobachten, und eben auch filmen kann, ohne, dass die Passanten etwas bemerken. Ein paar Minuten lang zieht sich da alles zusammen, plot points, Grimassen, Blickachsen, die gleichzeitig verbinden und trennen, Parallelmontagen, Beziehungstaktiken, die ausgearbeitet, aber dann doch nicht wirklich in Handlung übersetzt werden. Weil sich der Film doch wieder anders entscheidet, das Tempo wechselt (und auch wieder eine Musiknummer braucht). Sich neue Formen der Verzögerung ausdenkt, die umso elaborierter werden, je weniger klar ist, was da eigentlich verzögert wird.
Categories: blogs

The Philosophical Beauty of the Movie Musical

The New Yorker - Thu, 01/30/2014 - 21:01

A professor friend told me that when she recently gave her undergraduate students a choice of classic Hollywood genre to write about, almost all of them chose film noir. This makes sense to me: it’s the genre that, with its grim premises and violent action, is presumed to be serious rather than frivolous, and that invites naturalistic, action-based, and character-centric interpretations. In other words, film noir can be watched like television.

At the opposite pole is the musical, which begins in the realm of the symbolic, because the genius who created the classic musical, Busby Berkeley, built the genre on the tension between artifice and authenticity. And the musical is the genre of the moment, thanks to a monthlong series at the Museum of the Moving Image that includes some of the greatest examples of the form, including Berkeley’s “Gold Diggers of 1933.”

...read more

Charlie Victor Romeo

Reverse Shot - Thu, 01/30/2014 - 16:01

by Jeff Reichert

Charlie Victor Romeo
Dir. Robert Berger, Patrick Daniels, Karlyn Michelson, U.S., No distributor

Charlie Victor Romeo, a sort-of documentary and one of the more curious objects to hit theaters in some time, is comprised of six stark, theatrical reenactments of actual black-box flight recordings. Fair warning for those viewers harboring a fear of air travel: each of the reenactments takes place in the minutes before the plane in question crashed unexpectedly, often killing many on board. There is no narrative arc to the 3D-shot Charlie Victor Romeo; there are just different planes, different reasons for the crashes, all left opaque to the viewer until the arrival of a series of clinical slides announcing casualties and causes after abrupt cuts to black signifying the plane has gone down. A handful of performers rotate in and out of each scene (as in the 1999 play on which this film is based), so a pilot in one scene becomes the copilot of the next, and so on. As the film progresses, we merely watch pilots at work, and wait to see what happens in the cockpit when their planes drop from the sky.

Shooting on a shadowy set ringed with flight instruments and featuring a strategically placed door suggesting the main cabin area filled with passengers we’ll never see (the overall design is tilted more towards a sense of “cockpit” than verisimilitude), filmmakers Berger, Daniels, and Michelson exhibit an impressive command over their limited mise-en-scène. There’s no camera movement in the film save for the occasional ominous push in and out over the dashboard, but their sharp, rhythmic cutting, which highlights discrete sets of images—twinned hands straining against the plane’s yokes; beatific frontal close-ups of the pilots, lit as if from the heavens above; the mouth of an air traffic controller frantically spewing unintelligible instructions—never pushes into abstraction, even though, as tension mounts, the cuts come faster and faster. The filmmakers’ overall aesthetic strategy most immediately recalls how Bresson recreated the trial of Joan of Arc from transcripts and just a handful of disconnected master shots.

Though each sequence begins and ends in nearly identical fashion (with one excruciating exception, in which the plane is already crashing as the scene begins), Charlie Victor Romeo manages to milk surprising amount of dramatic variety from its limited elements. Watching the pilots trade jokes with flight attendants, tell random tales, or just complain about the weather with the knowledge that these are the conversations that actually occurred lends each hiccup, stutter, and stumble in the performances documentary value. The filmmakers fill in nicely between the lines as well; in the lapses in dialogue we can locate a knowing glance between pilot and copilot, or another pilot turning to watch a flight attendant’s ass as she walks back to the main cabin, nonverbal choices clearly not captured in the “record” but also tonally and contextually appropriate. The performers have all the polish of your local theater troupe, but there’s a calculated stiltedness to their overall delivery that continually highlights the absurd improbability of the project as a whole.

Throughout Charlie Victor Romeo, the tension created from the simple knowledge that the infernal beeping of the warning klaxons will, with absolute certainty, begin to sound is near unbearable. Every plane must crash, but when? And how? Given that, the question for many considering seeing Charlie Victor Romeo might then be: Why watch a ghoulish contraption like this? Well, for some of the same reasons anyone buys a ticket for the horror movie: the pleasure of suspense, of not knowing when or how disaster might strike, and then, once pushed to the brink, the hopeful possibility of some kind of release. Release here, however, usually means that the truly dire has occurred, and the filmmakers provide no solace, merely a cut to black followed by the antiseptic presentation of statistics that, given what’s just been witnessed, hit like a punch in the gut. That the filmmakers are able to push our buttons so successfully and repeatedly with so few trappings suggests that they’ve managed to excavate and transmit some core fundamentals of suspense mechanisms. The effect is not unlike watching one of the Dardennes brothers’ thrillers, all drenched in free-floating anxiety, but the execution here is worlds away.

Unlike in Paul Greengrass’s atrocity exhibition United 93, there’s no attempt at mythmaking in Charlie Victor Romeo, no straining to elevate the principals to the level of heroes, which only exploits them further. There’s merely pilots and copilots and air traffic controllers going about their work under impossibly tense circumstances, trying to puzzle their way to a solution that will bring the massive planes safely to the ground, and usually failing. Without a master narrative to adhere to, the film asks us to consider the differences between the scenarios, and how words sound in combination, especially words that make little sense to the viewer, yet have immense meaning for the speaker—as the planes come closer and closer to crashing, the amount of aviation terminology spouted often reaches a dizzying point. Charlie Victor Romeo explores the deliciousness of movie tension, yes, but is perhaps most fascinating as a diagram of the seductive poetry of jargon and the lyricism of everyday pitter-patter. The filmmakers here have amply proven, with their highly odd contraption, something that realism-minded art filmmakers the world over have been arguing with their cinema for decades: that there may be no more fascinating (and often terrifying) subject for film than the rhythms of everyday life.

Issue 33New Releases
Categories: blogs

The Third Cat

chris marker - Wed, 01/29/2014 - 21:03

THE THIRD CAT from gorrr aka. Mosmax on Vimeo.

Dedicated to Guillaume-en-Egypte and thanks to Chris.Marker
Machinima by Max Moswitzer
3D Guillaume created by Exosius Woolley
Screening at Centre Pompidou on 2. November 2010, Estoril Film Festival on 9. November 2010.

Reference: "The Third Man is a 1949 British film noir, directed by Carol Reed and starring Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Orson Welles and Trevor Howard. It is particularly remembered for its atmospheric cinematography, performances, and musical score, and it is considered one of the greatest films of all time. The screenplay was written by novelist Graham Greene, who subsequently published the novella of the same name (which he had originally written as a preparation for the screenplay). Anton Karas wrote and performed the score, which used only the zither; its title music “The Third Man Theme” topped the international music charts in 1950." { Wikipedia }

The post The Third Cat appeared first on Chris Marker.

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The Cat Wants His Grin Back / Les Chats ne sont plus perchés

chris marker - Wed, 01/29/2014 - 02:11


Another offering at the temple of homages chez chrismarker.tumblr.com, courtesy Cinémathèque française. Full screen recommended.

July 29th, 2012. A man crosses the zone. A mysterious street painter with paws without claws, prints in the city, this passage in the offspring. So, let’s talk about Chris Marker.

A short documentary by Céline Balandard & Fabien Dapvril.

with the voice of Vincent Remoissenet.

Produced by Tepaklap.
Written by Céline Balandard.
Camera & Editing by Fabien Dapvril.

Translation by Khalil El Bazi & his father, Alison Wightman & Elodie Doudoux.
Special thanks to Laurent Bailly, Pauline Bouyer, Adrien Danielou, Angélique Démaret, François Duboux, Florian Du Pasquier, Bénédicte Favre, Vincent Hémar, Anthony Jade, Anaïs Meuzeret, Audrey Philippon, Ugo Zanutto.

© 2013

The post The Cat Wants His Grin Back / Les Chats ne sont plus perchés appeared first on Chris Marker.

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Nom de code: C711

chris marker - Wed, 01/29/2014 - 01:27

A mysterious homage to Chris Marker, listed on the Cinémathèque française‘ tumblr site chrismarker.tumblr.com in the ‘Les Homages’ section, with these words:

A l’aube du 22ème siècle, un homme, C711, est surveillé de près par les agents du gouvernement. Il détient en effet des informations classées TOP SECRET. Il se fait suivre et les agents maitrisent la situation. Quand un violent séisme survient, C711 en profite pour disparaître. Un plan de capture est alors organisé pour ne pas le laisser s’échapper. Un journaliste reporter alors dépéché sur place a filmé l’opération pour nom de code: C711. Voici les images du reportage. Ce qu’est ensuite devenu C711 est classé TOP SECRET…

Film hommage à Chris Marker, mort récemment, ce film s’inscrit dans la logique du cycle de science-fiction expérimentale. Le travail de recherche sur la musique, ici encore très développée, appuit d’une manière très efficace l’atmosphère de ce film. Le travail graphique de l’image appuit une intention forte de voir la science-fiction d’une manière différente et accentue le côté oppressant et mystérieux de l’histoire. En espérant que vous serez sensible à ce film, que nous espérons accessible autant qu’il puisse.
At the dawn of the 22nd century, a man, C711, is closely monitored by government agents. He has indeed classified TOP SECRET information. He followed and agents have mastered the situation. When an earthquake occurs, C711 took the opportunity to disappear. A catch plan is then held to not let it escape. A then despatched a reporter on the spot filmed the operation codenamed: C711. Here are the pictures of the story. What later became C711 is classified TOP SECRET …

Film tribute to Chris Marker, died recently, this film is part of the logic of the experimental cycle of science fiction. The research on music, again highly developed appuit a very effective way the atmosphere of this film. The graphic work of the image appuit a strong intention to see science fiction in a different way and highlights the oppressive and mysterious side of the story. Hoping that you will be sensitive to this film, we hope to reach as much as he can.


Here is the opening statement from the Cinémathèque française:

La Cinémathèque française invite tous ceux qui le désirent, amis, correspondants à l’étranger, curieux et cinéphiles, à envoyer messages ou témoignages, films, photographies ou collages, pour rendre compte de l’importance que l’œuvre et la personnalité de Chris Marker revêtaient pour eux. Ce tumblr leur est ouvert.

The Cinémathèque française invites all those – friends here and abroad, films enthusiasts and cinephiles – who so wish to give their testomonial, in the form of texts, films, photographs or collages, on what the work and personality of Chris Marker have meant to them. This tumblr is open to you.

The post Nom de code: C711 appeared first on Chris Marker.

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Neues von der Kölner Gruppe

new filmkritik - Tue, 01/28/2014 - 17:27

17, 32 und 49 Minuten lange Filme von Belledin, Fuchs, Knepperges und Müller

mit Gina D’Orio, Piet Fuchs, Thomas Hermel, Stephan Jelkmann, Rainer Knepperges, Nicole Marischka, Mario Mentrup, Franz Müller, Lara Pietjou …

Darsteller geben Autogramme

im Moviemento, Berlin, am Mittwoch, 20:00 Uhr

Categories: blogs

Kleinigkeiten (35)


Im „Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin“ dürfen 45 Prominente eine Frage an den Bundestrainer Joachim Löw stellen und werden dafür mit einem mehr oder weniger künstlerischen Portrait belohnt. Und mit einer Sprechblase, die Löw, der sich auskennt mit Medien, darbietet oder darbieten lässt. Ausgewogen, nichtssagend, nett.

Löw hat noch nie an einer politischen Demonstration teilgenommen, nimmt aber seine „demokratischen Rechte wahr, indem ich immer zur Wahl gehe“. In Deutschland „hat sich der Umgang mit Nationalsymbolen sehr entkrampft“. Und: „Natürlich sind wir uns der dunklen Seiten unserer Geschichte stets bewusst, aber wir wissen auch, dass das heutige, demokratische Deutschland ein Staat ist, zu dem man sich klar bekennen kann“.  „Gewalttäter im Fußball sind eine Minderheit, sie missbrauchen den Fußball, sie sind keine Fans, sie haben in den Stadien nichts zu suchen“. Und auf die Frage von Tim Mälzer: „Wie weit würde die derzeitige Nationalmannschaft mit mir als Trainer kommen?“, folgt pflichttreu die Antwort: „Vor ein paar Tagen war ich in Ihrem Restaurant in Hamburg“.  Ja, und so viel ist klar, was die Frage von Joe Kaeser, Vorstandsvorsitzender der Siemens AGV anbelangt, was Vorstandsvorsitzende von einem Bundestrainer lernen könnten: „Man sollte klare Ziele formulieren und diese konsequent durchsetzen, aber bei allem Druck die Menschlichkeit nie vergessen“. Von Jogi Löw und unseren famosen Medien lernen heißt schwätzen lernen.

Das Geschwätz, wir wissen es und sind deshalb nicht gleich überheblich, gehört zum Zusammenhalt einer Gesellschaft und ihrer Subsysteme. Aber stellen wir uns eine Gesellschaft vor, die nur noch durch das Geschwätz zusammengehalten wird!

Notizen nach einem Übermaß an „Freiheits“-Floskeln

Der Begriff Freiheit kommt im Allgemeinen nur in einer Rhetorik der Macht vor. Menschen, die sehr viel von Freiheit sprechen ist daher grundsätzlich zu misstrauen.

Im Diskurs der Macht bedeutet Freiheit nichts anderes als die Perfektionierung der Kontrollmittel. Daher wird von den immer gleichen „Naiven“ jedes neue Kontrollmittel als „Befreiung“ begrüßt.

Freiheit in der Postdemokratie ist wie Geld im Neoliberalismus und seinem Merkantilismus: das, was jemand davon hat, muss vorher jemand anderem weggenommen werden.

Da sich Freiheit von den anderen Forderungen der Emanzipation, der Solidarität wie der Gerechtigkeit, verabschiedet hat, ist die Freiheit der einen Ausdruck der Unfreiheit der anderen.

Im nächsten Kapitel der Ökonomisierung, Privatisierung und Globalisierung wird man Freiheit kaufen müssen. Selbst in kleinen Dosierungen.

Der Fürst zieht sich nur solange und so weit in seine Schatzkammern zurück als sich die Untertanen gegenseitig kontrollieren.

Das Unkontrollierte ist das Ekelhafte, das zu Bekämpfende. Erfolg in unserer Politik hat, wer zugleich von Freiheit spricht und Kontrolle verspricht. Der postdemokratische Fürst ist halber Demokrat und halber Faschist. Ganz wird er nur durch Geld.

Und doch!

Es gibt dieses Ziel, für das es sich zu kämpfen lohnt: frei durchs Leben gehen zu können. Jeder für sich und alle zusammen.

Daher lohnt es sich auch, der Entwendung des Begriffs Freiheit Widerstand entgegenzusetzen.

Beim Berufsberater

Soso. Wie ich sehe, sind Sie eitel, ungebildet, unanständig, dumm und gierig. Tja, da habe ich nur einen einzigen Beruf für Sie. Fernsehmoderator.

Science Fiction

Alle glauben an den unbezwingbaren, den ewigen Kapitalismus. Nur die Kapitalisten wissen es besser. Deshalb verhalten sie sich so wie jemand, der weiß, dass es keinen Sinn macht, an eine Zukunft zu glauben. Und die Gelähmten und die Geblendeten halten das für ein untrügliches Zeichen ihrer Macht. Kein Bau mehr und keine Unternehmung, die länger halten müssen als die Zeit, in der sie sich die Taschen füllen. So entsteht unsere Abbruchswelt.


Categories: blogs

Denk bloß nicht, ich heule, Frank Vogel, 1965

dirty laundry - Mon, 01/27/2014 - 17:21
Ein Film in Scope und wundervoll atmosphärischem Orwo-Schwarz-Weiß, das den Konturen dezent aufweicht, das schon von selbst zum Flächigen tendiert (die Inszenierung macht das dann auch und noch mehr), das auch kein eigentliches, hartes Schwarz kennt, nur verschiedene Schattierungen von anrührendem Grau; ein wenig sehen die Bilder nach vergilbten Fotografien aus, aber ohne, dass da auf Vintage-Effekte spekuliert würde: es geht da einfach um eine Welt, die sich ihrer eigenen Gegenwärtigkeit nicht so ganz sicher ist.

Die Hauptfigur ist Peter Neumann, was Statur, leicht krummes Auftreten und lässige Intonation angeht, könnte er auch einem Münchner Film derselben Zeit entstammen. Mehr noch als in Die Taube auf dem Dach darf sich da jemand, wenn auch stets nur einige Einstellungen lang, der ziellosen Wurstigkeit hingeben (wobei "Freundschaft!" als Aufreißspruch gewöhnungsbedürftig bleibt). Wahrscheinlich steckt in dem Film genau so viel Wurstigkeit, wie im Produktionsapparat möglich war. Und ein bisschen mehr Wurstigkeit, als im Kinovertieb dann erlaubt war - auch Denk bloß nicht, ich heule habe ich in der Verbotsfilmreihe im Zeughaus gesehen (das bößartige Nachtreten der Defa-Stiftung im einführenden Titel ist zwar verständlich, nervt mich aber trotzdem genau so weit, wie es die diversen Zensurinstanzen im gegenwärtigen nichtmehrganzsosehrStaatskino leugnet).

Mehr als in Die Taube auf dem Dach kommt der Wurstigkeit schon vor der Zensur die Sprache des Drehbuchs in die Quere. Eine sehr literarische Sprache, gerade in der ersten Szene, mit dem Vater, der den Hedonismus geschliffenst predigt - und irgendwie funktioniert das in dieser Szene sogar ganz gut, weil man an der Ausgesuchtheit der Formulierungen merkt, dass sie nicht auf Lebenserfahrung basieren, sondern einer sehr kleinbürgerlichen Idee vom guten Leben entspringen (das vor allem quantifizierbar sein muss). Peter Neumann übernimmt das, und genau deswegen kommt sein antiautoritärer Affekt nie so recht zu sich selbst: Weil er dem staatlichen Übergriff nicht seine unantastbare Innerlichkeit, sondern nur seinen Anspruch auf mehr vom Kuchen entgegen stellt. Freilich tut er einem genau deswegen umso mehr leid, als doppelt Verformter: vom Staat, dessen Verfügungsgewalt er grundsätzlich schon anerkennt, und vom Warenfetisch, den er in einer Art verabsolutiert, wie er das in einem kapitalistischen System vermutlich nie gekonnt hätte, weil er da mit der in alle Versprechen immer schon eingeschriebenen Enttäuschung konfrontiert worden wäre.

Anne, in die er sich verliebt, ist eine enttäuschend klarsichtige Musterstaatsbürgerin, die nur beim Nacktbaden Schwäche zeigen darf.

Immer steht, das irritiert mich in fast allen Defa-Filmen, das Verhältnis zum Staat auf dem Spiel. Weil der Staat nicht nur ein Behälter, ein Gemeinwesen, sondern ein Projekt ist, oder zumindest einmal war. Denn das ist das Problem: Die Jüngeren sehen das Projekt nicht mehr im Staat, beziehungsweise sie sehen nur noch den Vermittlungsapparat, den es gar nicht bräuchte, wenn das Projekt funktioniert hätte.
Categories: blogs

The Rhapsodes: Agee, Farber, Tyler, and us

observations on film art and filmart - Sun, 01/26/2014 - 12:48
           DB here: Today what a film critic hollered, or murmured, or didn’t say at all, at an awards dinner can get more publicity than the prizes the directors and stars won on the occasion. The very top critics can become media celebrities. They hang out with filmmakers, curate at museums, [...]
Categories: blogs

The "Berri affair" 3: the Berri affair

Serge Daney in English - Sat, 01/25/2014 - 13:23
Libération front page - 28 February 1991
Serge Daney's review of Uranus (see: Uranus, mourning for mourning) incensed the film director - the French producer and filmmaker Claude Berri, best known for Jean de Florette - so much, that he sought to obtain a right to reply to be published in the newspaper. French law makes the right to reply an absolute right, open to anyone named in a periodic publication. However the custom is that art criticism, when not defamatory, does not warrant a response from the artist. Berri's persistence made him go to court twice before a judgement forced Libération to publish the text below. It was such an extraordinary event that it is considered jurisprudence and is now used as a reference in law studies on the possible abuse of the right to reply.
Claude Berri replies to Serge DaneySerge Daney, I “may not think” – and that’s what you’re saying – but I sometimes reflect, especially at night.At first I thought I was angry with you. But after sleeping over it, I read your article again, calmly. Here and there, I even understand a sentence or two. It’s a shame that the article lacks coherence. A detail makes you “rebound”*. A four-seconds shot where the actress Danièle Lebrun leafs through a film magazine of that time, probably Cinémonde. I quote you: “Let’s take one of those small details that still inspire one to do film criticism, in other words to ramble on.” There, you wrote it.I don’t have to flag much more than this. For the rest, I refer the reader to your article dated Tuesday 8 January 1991 (even though Uranus was released on Wednesday 12 December, with a review in your paper on that day). If I, in turn, rebound, Serge Daney – as the right to reply allows me – it’s in the memory of my father who often said to me: “if someone spits in your face, don’t say it’s the rain”. It’s not the first time you’ve been after me. Already, for Jean de Florette, I had forgotten that you had asked the question: so why is BERRI going through all this trouble?Your interest in me is touching. Few people posed the question in those terms. But after all, it’s not a bad question. And if you haven’t understood, let me answer it for you: I go through all this trouble, Serge Daney, since the age of seventeen – I’m nearly fifty-seven – to make films rather than fur. You know that my father was a furrier. At first, I remind you, I wanted to be an actor. Then, over time, I became a director, producer, distributor and an art lover. You know all that. As for me, I know nothing about you. Where do you come from? Surely, to write like this, you must be educated. What does your face look like? Someday, we must have a drink together. You’re so interested in me, it feels natural we should get acquainted. So, I went through a lot of trouble, and I’ve done really well. My father would be proud. The only thing that could annoy me would be take too badly what you write about me. But no – re-thinking and re-reading – I don’t take it badly at all. I won’t hide that my first reaction was to want to box your ears. Now that I’m over this first fit of temper, let it be known that, on the contrary, I cannot wait to read again and again the inevitable ramblings that you will surely produce for my next film.A few years ago, you would have hurt me. I prefered when François Truffaut wrote about my films. It was clear, magnificent. Articles are like films, they resemble their authors. You must be a strange guy. Are you nasty? I’m not. I’ve only had successes, abroad too. Florette played for three years in London. In four weeks, nearly two million French people have seen Uranus. Overall, the media reception has been good. Uranus will represent France at the Berlin Film Festival. Why would I get angry with someone who rambles on? One must watch one’s temper. I prefer to leave that to the professionals. I’d like to see the film that you may make someday. Ok, no hard feelings. I’m an insomniac. And I’ve had a good time writing to you. And know that, if I didn’t think about anything while making Uranus, I just spent two hours thinking about you. Do you know that Jewish story? Moshe can’t sleep because he owes money to his neighbour. He gets up, opens the window and starts shouting: “Yantel! Yantel!” Yantel, who’s asleep, wakes up and opens the window. And Moshe shouts: “I will never pay you back.” Then Moshe goes back to bed and tells his wife: “Now, he’s the one who won’t sleep.” There you go, Serge Daney, do continue. Be sure that I will mention you in my memoirs. I’ll include this letter. When I made The two of us with Michel Simon, I immediately and instinctively knew that I’d have my place in history, at least because of that film. Be reassured, you will have your place in history thanks to me. Now, I’m going back to bed…As my friend Coluche used to say: “So long, babe!”**Claude Berri* Daney’s article was published in the Op-ed section of Libération called “Rebonds” (Rebound).** “Allez, salut ma Poule !” A “poule” is a colloquial term which can be used in a friendly way (honey, babe) but also to designate a mistress, or a women of easy virtue. In any case, it must have come across as extremely offending to Daney who was gay.   [Libération, 28 February 1991. Translation by Laurent Kretzschmar and Ted Fendt]From the testimonies I have found, Serge Daney was extremely hurt by the publication of this insulting reply. Here's his account, in the last months of his life (Daney died of AIDS in June 1992, less than two years after the Berri affair):
There were two moments in my life where I was ashamed to belong to something idiotic (…) The second was the Berri affair last year, concerning Uranus. I have to say that the idea of “one for all and all for one” took a serious blow. I hoped that, just like in the movies, friends would come out from everywhere, dropping everything else, and saying “What the hell is going on here? We’re going to pummel the guy who’s hassling our friend.” It wasn’t all that important, but no one came out. [Serge Daney, Postcards from the cinema, Berg, 2007, p.124]And here's Daney's reaction, in an interview he gave for his last book (Recrudescence), soon after the events:
When I surprised myself writing again good things about Fritz Lang and always bad things about René Clair, I was less amazed by my loyalty to the traditional tastes of Cahiers than by the vehemence with which I refused all reconciliation. (...) When a televised film ceremony elected Les Enfants du paradis the finest French film since the talkies, I had the feeling that we hadn’t won. Who is this we? Those for whom French cinema is rather La règle du jeu, Pickpocket, Playtime, L’enfance nue or La maman et la putain. And then I argue it out with myself and tell myself that if we loved those films for their minority violence, it is to be expected that in this period of renewed bourgeois hypocrisy (I prefer this expression to soft consensus, which is now a dull cliché), violence should be ill-regarded, the critical sense devalued and the minority quickly put in the wrong.So I ought not to be surprised that between the raw and the cooked the war goes on. A culinary war (this is France after all) where, opposing raw naturalism (Renoir), raw impressionism (Bresson) or raw modern art (Godard) we still find Tavernier’s stew or Berri’s fry-up. And I’m not surprised that Berri should hound me through the courts like some wounded big shot. It’s the legacy of Delannoy’s mush or L’Herbier’s boiled beef (he was a dead loss and no mistake). Taking this into account, everything tells me that there is something like a franco-French civil war, which is about this country and its history, which goes beyond the cinema and which will never be over. Someone wrote to me at Libération accusing me of doing a Truffaut thirty years on. He was right. We are thirty years back.[Serge Daney, Cinema in transit, unpublished]   It's not clear what hurt Daney most: Berri's response, that it got published in Libération, what it meant for French cinema (and the state of France as a whole) or the fact that "no one came out" to support him. On the spot, Daney himself was close to a pretty silly reaction (as told by Jean-Claude Biette):
I owe to Daney’s memory to tell that he had the intention, following the controversy over Uranus, to send Claude Berri a copy of Devant la recrudescence, with a dedication mimicking the words Berri had used to salute Daney “Here’s some reading, babe!” and that he had abandoned the idea because of the effort of finding Berri’s address and eventually admitting – in front of this obvious waste of time – the he didn’t hold that much against Berri.[Cahiers du cinéma, issue 458, July-August 1992, special issue on Serge Daney, pp. 51-53, my translation] It's perhaps with Serge July - the editor of Libération - that Daney was most upset with. According to Jean Guisnel, in his  history of Libération, July had committed himself to write a text next to Berri's reply - a promise he failed to fulfill. Here's the text that July wrote when Daney passed away:
"The question of our cowardly times really is: what is resisting? What is resisting to markets, media, fear, cynicism, idiocy, indignity?" He founded Trafic with this resistance in mind. Daney opened the first issue with a "Diary of the past year" from which this - almost gaullist - quote is from. He rightly blamed me for not having resisted - when I should have done so - to one occurence of the dominant indignity. I must begin with this: Claude Berri’s indignity. Berri had just made Uranus and Serge Daney, in the Rebound section of Libération, had written an article worthy to feature in an anthology. Its object? An abject side of France in this stinky cinema. Claude Berri subpoenaed Libération, a court agreed and imposed the publication of a right to reply which I steadfastly refused to publish. But I had no choice. The court had chosen the date. It coincided with the most dramatic hours of the Gulf war*: Berri’s text would appear without me defending Serge Daney, publicly at least. That day, I wrote about the war. He never forgave me for not being present at a battle that he judged fundamental. I had - as some used to say - let Berri pass. Daney was right. It remained an incurable wound for him.* The day Berri's right of reply was published (28 February 1991) was the day George Bush announced the end of the first Gulf war (see image above).[Libération, 13 June 1992, my translation]Berri himself (who passed away in 2009) came to "regret" his response, albeit not for the best reasons. Here's the interview he gave to Cahiers in 2003:
When you react to Serge Daney’s text in Libération against Uranus, you actually demand a right to reply and you obtain it via the courts. What did upset you so much that you took such a drastic measure?[Berri gets up and goes to his desk, looking for the article in a folder]: We talked more about this, this conflict with Serge Daney - whom I didn’t know - than about what Henri Langlois wrote about Le Cinéma de papa. [Claude Berri has found the article and reads it outloud] You’ve never read it?Yes, I did, at the time. I remember what he said about a film magazine in your film, which was a collector’s piece where it should have been new.When I read the article, I didn’t write to Daney or call him, I only asked for a right to reply. The reply was scathing. At the time, I didn’t know that Daney was sick, I didn’t even know who he was. Especially since three weeks or a month before Libération had printed five pages on the film. The review wasn’t amazing but the film was considered a real event. When I read Daney’s article, I couldn’t contain myself.There was a sentence, an idea which had shocked you.When I read it now, not really [laughs]. I didn’t take stock. But it was especially contemptuous. [He reads an extract]. “Given the group portrait of a rotten period in the history of France, can this portrait be drawn without thinking a little bit about how it should be drawn? Answer: no. Did Claude Berri think of anything at all while filming Uranus? Answer: it doesn’t seem so. Subsidiary question: isn’t it a bit late to aim a camera at this old landscape (1945)? No comment. Let’s take one of those small details that still inspire one to do film criticism, in other words to ramble on. In a scene where she is reading in bed, the actress Danièle Lebrun is leafing through the pages of a film magazine of the time, probably Cinémonde. So far nothing wrong, except that it’s a real Cinémonde from that time, a collector’s piece with tattered pages and yellowed paper. In this choice of a period-Cinémonde over a copy of a Cinémonde from the period, there lies somewhere, halfway between second-hand shop and telefilm, the aesthetic principle of Uranus. And when the past has become that decorative, it has stopped making an impact on our present.”It’s a good remark, no?Yes, yes… Well, no, honestly, with hindsight, re-reading it, I wouldn’t have replied. I had no idea that he was a cult critic, that he was gay and that he was sick, and if I had known...What would it have changed?I wouldn’t have replied. I was shooting at an ambulance. I take no pride in having replied.Serge Daney was more upset with Serge July who didn’t support him than with you.But my reply was mean. Thierry Levy, my lawyer, went to see July two or three times and we obtained the reply via the decision of a tribunal. It was imposed onto them. They published my reply – a real turn of luck for them – the day of a strike in the press printing industry, which means it wasn’t read by many but clearly left its mark on a few minds. In one’s life, there's a lot, good moments, dramas and moments of stupidity. I didn’t realise how much grief it was going to cause in the eyes of some people. I can even regret to have replied because it wasn’t worth it. Perhaps it came after quite a number of humiliations which I had to suffer in my life.[Cahiers du cinéma, issue 580, June 2003, pp. 60-69, my translation]
Categories: blogs

The Sun Is God

the psycholpathology of everyday life - Sat, 01/25/2014 - 13:00
My new novel, the third Sean Duffy book, In The Morning I'll Be Gone will be out later this week. But the question they always ask you in interviews is what's next? Since this is the end of Duffy (for now!) I'll tell you what's next. Its a standalone mystery based on a true story set in the German colony of Neu Guinea in 1906. This is how the book is described on Amazon.co.uk

It is 1906 and Will Prior is in self-imposed exile on a remote South Pacific island, working a small, and failing, plantation. He should never have told anyone about his previous existence as a military foot policeman in the Boer War, but a man needs friends, even if they are as stuffy and, well, German, as Hauptmann Kessler, the local government representative. So it is that Kessler approaches Will one hot afternoon, with a request for his help with a problem on a neighbouring island, inhabited by a reclusive, cultish group of European 'cocovores', who believe that naked sun worship and eating only coconuts will bring them eternal life. Unfortunately, one of their number has died in suspicious circumstances, and Kessler has been tasked with uncovering the real reason for his demise. So along with a 'lady traveller', Bessie Pullen-Burry, who is foisted on them by the archipelago's eccentric owner, they travel to the island of Kabakon, to find out what is really going on.
Incidentally Amazon claims this is a July 2015 release but its not, it's coming out this July... And in the meantime please don't forget my new Sean Duffy coming out in a few days!
February 5 Update:
I've changed this blogpost to include the actual Serpents Tail cover - a cover I really like. 
Categories: blogs

We want your old T-shirts. Really.

What's New at the Internet Archive - Sat, 01/25/2014 - 00:53

The great room. Photo by Jason Scott.

The Internet Archive is headquartered in a building that used to be a Christian Science church.  The great room includes a gorgeous stained glass dome, a pipe organ, and graceful wooden pews.  We seat 400+ people in this space to show movies and to host conferences on a regular basis.

The room is beautiful, but those pews are hard on the posterior if you plan to sit there for more than 15 minutes at a time.

Turning tshirts into cushions.

So we came up with a plan – let’s make some cushions!  That sounds simple enough, but we are thrifty people.

We are taking old T-shirts and recycling them into cushion covers.  We are looking for T-shirts from non-profits or from tech companies in particular, but we’ll take whatever you’ve got.  Any size, any color, just as long as there aren’t holes in the fabric or big stains that may discourage people from sitting on that cushion.

This is where you come in!  Which one of us doesn’t have a bunch of old corporate swag T-shirts sitting in the back of our closet taking up space?  If you’re willing to part with those useless shirts, we’re willing to put them to use.

Drop off your shirts in person, or send your shirts to:

Internet Archive
300 Funston Ave
San Francisco, CA 94118

Have questions?  Email info@archive.org.

Your old T-shirts could make somebody’s butt very happy.

Categories: blogs


Reverse Shot - Fri, 01/24/2014 - 17:51

A Loss for Words
by Max Nelson

Dir. Godfrey Reggio, U.S., Cinedigm

The 73-year-old American filmmaker Godfrey Reggio is an unusual specimen: a longtime activist for environmental reform and social justice who turned to cinema primarily as a tool for audience persuasion, and yet—led by a certain mystical impulse—refused to corrupt his images with words. For fourteen years after turning 14, Reggio lived and worked with the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, a Roman Catholic teaching organization founded by St. John Baptise de la Salle in the early eighteenth century. Though they never took a vow of silence, the brothers led a relatively cloistered life, heavy on study and prayer. It’s often been said that it was Reggio’s quiet, devotional habits as a teenager and twenty-something that led him—after he had left the Brotherhood and spent years in Santa Fe mentoring young gang members, running a free clinic, and working for the ACLU—to make films consisting of wordless images set to music. Reggio’s four features, made over the course of three decades, can be read as experimental documentaries, works of activism, or long-form music videos. All of them—including his latest, Visitors—have been scored by the composer Philip Glass, whose now iconic soundtracks for Reggio lie somewhere between medieval monophonic chants and the pulsating, swirling minimalism of Steve Reich and Charlemagne Palestine. Reggio’s movies, with their heavy reliance on time-lapse photography and slow motion, run on Glass’s clock; in most cases, it’s the music, more than the images, that sets the rhythm of the scene.

The title of Reggio’s new film is revealing. In Koyaanisqatsi, the 1982 debut that established—and remains the basis for—his celebrity status among a certain set of activists and cinephiles, he was already playing the role of a visitor, albeit one with a pronounced judgmental streak. He seemed to be aiming for a voice between that of an extraterrestrial ambassador giving humanity lessons in environmental stewardship and that of a time-traveling Old Testament prophet denouncing the moral bankruptcy of the modern age. In fact, he was closer to a smug dinner guest making a show of objecting to his host’s lavish lifestyle—all while serving himself a second course. Koyaanisqatsi never earns its attitude of righteous indignation, in part because it’s too close in spirit and intention to the manipulative mass-media spectacles it’s built to critique. The film culminates in a fifteen-minute montage, scored to a series of apocalyptic choral oohs and aahs, of sped-up factory floor footage, manic street photography, and rapid-fire alternating TV clips, followed by the pièce de résistance: extreme slo-mo footage of a rocket exploding in midair. For all the film’s vague, blustery polemics against mass production and consumption, Reggio comes off as strikingly disinterested in the actual economic forces that create, drive, and sustain those systems. “Something is wrong,” he announces in hushed, significant tones. “Life is out of balance.” (Four alternate translations of the film’s title—none more enlightening than this one—are solemnly displayed before the end credits.) Then he pauses expectedly, with mild aggravation that, despite such forceful warnings, action is still not being taken.

The shortest of those pauses, between Koyaanisqatsi and its first sequel, Powaqqatsi (1988), lasted six years; the longest, between Powaqqatsi and Naqoyqatsi (2002), fourteen. The stretches of silence that punctuate Reggio’s career have only fed his oracular mystique, and Visitors opens on an appropriately solemn image: a close-up of stern primate Trisha, identified in the movie’s closing credits as a female lowland gorilla, disdainfully staring down the camera. More faces follow, now human, all set against a black backdrop, mostly ranging from young children to forty-something adults. Some make faces; others lick their lips, crack smiles, scream, yawn, look at one another, or (most often) watch us intently and without emotion. The majority of the film takes place in slow motion. Reggio has a sharp eye for portraiture, and Visitors, when it gets caught up in simply studying the contours, dimensions, and crevices of its subjects’ faces, comes close to the mesmeric quality it fails to achieve when the stakes are higher and the questions (such as they are) weightier.

Certain elements of Visitors suggest that Reggio has grown closer in spirit since Koyaanisqatsi to the wide-eyed young stoners who helped catalyze that film’s success. The new movie’s most entertaining passages break down reflexive human gestures until they seem alien, forbidding, and unfamiliar. In one scene, a young man’s stifled laughs start to resemble unnatural muscle spasms; in another, members of a frantically cheering crowd at an unseen sports event seem as if they’re in the throes of some obscure ritual. The camera, in these scenes, behaves like a spaced-out observer alienated from he human race; at several points, for instance, we watch a pair of disembodied hands weave around one another until they start to seem like two bizarre animals trapped in a mating dance. (To me, these moments call up a different association—the Simpsons episode in which bus driver Otto, having helped himself to some of Homer’s medical marijuana, looks down at his hands: “You know, they call ’em fingers, but I never seen ’em fing.”)

There is, then, a tension in Visitors—almost entirely absent from Koyaanisqatsi—between Reggio’s addiction to grand pronouncements and his more wholesome inclination to study, reflect, and observe. That said, the movie is still shot through with the quality that can make Reggio both so fascinating and so deeply off-putting as a filmmaker: the conviction that each of his shots comes pre-drenched with significance and urgency. There is an overriding arrogance to Visitors, that of a filmmaker convinced he is somehow above making arguments or mounting cases; that stating a point clearly and answering to objections is the province of lesser minds who haven’t yet learned to speak, as he has, in pure, unadulterated, incorruptible images.

What Reggio really speaks in, though, are themes: dehumanization, evolution, pollution, consumption, mechanization, urban decay, transcendence (or some form thereof), the smallness of a human life on the scale of geologic time. In Visitors, he has built up a rotating stable of images to correspond with each of his pet themes: for urban decay, an abandoned theme park; for transcendence, a luminous open door and a flock of birds in flight; for all that geologic-human time business, a descent into some prehistoric marshland and an aerial shot of earth as seen from the moon; for evolution, Trisha, whose accusatory stare bookends the film. (In the climactic scene, we see her staring down a movie audience.) The result, like Koyaanisqatsi, is too blunt, didactic, and accusatory to induce the kind of poetic reverie Reggio seems to be shooting for, and too vague and associative to cohere as an argument about the state of the modern world. It’s a film that scolds us without having the patience—or the rhetorical skill—to tell us what it’s scolding us for.

Maybe, as Reggio once bafflingly put it, “Language is in a vast state of humiliation”—but there are many writers, and, for that matter, filmmakers, who don’t think themselves so tall that they refuse to stoop down to its humiliated level. They know, presumably, that if you want to judge, advocate, praise, and condemn without any recourse to language, your images better have a deep, persuasive structural coherence; they need to speak for themselves. Reggio’s images are far from speaking for themselves; they depend on Glass’s music to hold our eyes, let alone our ears. It’s hard to shake the suspicion that Reggio wants to treat the image like an escape hatch, an excuse to cast judgments without resorting to the pesky business of making arguments and juggling ideas. And I’d be willing to bet that, even as he moves deeper and deeper into incoherence, he is still congratulating himself for bypassing all those suckers still mucking around with words.

Issue 33New Releases
Categories: blogs

Nag, Ray, Ratnam

cargo - Fri, 01/24/2014 - 08:10

Ein schamloses Rebecca-Remake (ohne Rechteklärung, versteht sich): Und wie. Aber auch wieder nicht, trotz großer Nähe - und charakteristischer Abweichungen - im Plot. Hier geht es nicht hollywoodordnungsgemäß in die Geschichte hinein, sondern die ersten zehn Minuten sind reine Trance mit verfolgenden Schnitten, lauernden Blicken, schlagenden Türen, ragenden Schatten, gischtender See und vor allem höchst verführerischer Musik von Hemant Kumar. Die Frau, die hier stirbt, bekommt man sehr nachdrücklich nicht zu Gesicht. In Trancen dieser Art fällt Kohraa wieder und wieder. In einer tollen Sequenz als explizite Geistererscheinung, aber an anderen Stellen öffnen sich von Geisterhand Türen und Fenster, folgt Tag auf Nacht auf Tag, geht der Wind durchs Haus und muss Raj (sie trägt einen eigenen Namen; Rebecca ist Poonam) an Verstand, Liebe, Hoffnung verzweifeln. Die Kamera lebt und filmt Wasser und Bäume, versteckt sich unter Treppen, hinter halbtransparenten Wänden, fährt durch Mayfair, das prächtige Anwesen, das bei Hitchcock Manderlay hieß. Wenn Kohraa zu Sprache, Vernunft, Plotkonstruktion und am Ende gar Gerichtsszene kommt, ist das eher ernüchternd. Ein rechter Sinn will ohnehin nicht hinein. Als wüsste der Film nicht, dass er in erster Linie in seinen Traumzuständen beglückt.


Biren Nag, Kohraa, Indien 1964 (72cp)


Die großzügige, bourgeois eingerichtete Wohnung liegt im 8. Stock eher am Rande der Stadt und einmal geht Herr Chatterjee zu Fuß die Treppen nach oben, Stock für Stock, weil der Aufzug kaputt ist; der Blick (sein Blick, unser Blick, aber das wird so einfach nicht bleiben) geht über Calcutta, der Protagonist ist (noch) kein ganz großer Boss, aber der schweifende Blick gehört zu den Annehmlichkeiten, die ihm seine gehobene Tätigkeit bei der Lampen- und Ventilatorfirma Peters vermittelt. Der Film situiert seinen Helden genau. Und dieser Held situiert er sich selbst, erzählt von sich, sachlich, selbstbewusst, fünf Minuten lang Firmengeschichte und Organigramm, da spielt Ray mit Blenden und Kreisen, kurz darauf noch ein Werbefilm als knallfarbige Einlage im ansonsten Schwarzweißen. Company Limited: Ein Mann macht Karriere. Privatleben: glücklich. Dann kommen Dinge dazwischen, im beruflichen Raum wie im privaten. Ein Großauftrag in den Irak droht wegen Materialfehlern zu scheitern. Und die Schwester der Frau wird zu einem potentiell fatalen Attraktor. Beides erzählt Ray klar, aber trotzdem nicht unsubtil. Fängt auch viel ein vom postkolonialen Calcutta, in das in den oberen Schichten manches noch aus der Kolonialvergangenheit ragt. Eine Einstellung im Wohnzimmer ist bezeichnend: Vor die eigentlich thematische Bildebene (der Held im Gespräch mit der Schwägerin) zieht Ray eine Regalwand mit gehobenem Kunstnippes (rechte Hälfte des Bildes) und einen transparenten Vorhang aus Glasringen. Der Blick kann, aber muss auch da durch: filigrane Form der Distanznahme. Der Film rückt seinem Helden vom Leibe, was man moralisch lesen kann, aber nicht muss. Jedenfalls ein Akt der Desidentifikation: Natürlich versteht man Herrn Chatterjees Aufstiegswunsch. Mit dem Schritt in die Distanz rückt Ray aber einiges an Kontext und vor allem die sozialen Kosten dieses Karriereegoismus ins Bild.

Satyajit Ray, Seemabaddha (Company Limited), Indien 1972 (75cp)


Satan, Gott, die See: schwere Zeichen. Da stellt Mani Ratnam einen Jungen hinein, der früh seine sozial ausgegrenzte Mutter verliert. Um die Seele des Jungen ringen ein Priester (katholisch) und Satan, ein luziferisch vom Glauben abgefallener Engel. Weil die Anspielungen auf den christlichen Mythos weniger Anspielungen als Überdeutlichkeiten sind; und weil die Figuren lokal wie sozial verortet werden sollen, und das alles im tamilisch entglamourisierten Bollywoodstil, weil das also aufs Große und Kleine (mindestens: Konkrete) zugleich zielt, bedürfte es einer Idee von ästhetischer Vermittlung des anderen mit dem einen. Was diesen Film von Ratnam zu einem ziemlichen Desaster macht - nicht im Vergleich mit dem Rest des indischen Kommerzkinos, aber mit Ratnams eigenen großartigen Filmen -, ist der Totalausfall dieser Vermittlung: Mal geht es zu spritzender See ins Erhabene, mal ins Detail, mal ist da, wo man Entwicklung vermutet, nichts als Ellipse oder stenografierte Gangsterbrutalität; was ausbleibt, ist Figurenmotivation, an deren Stelle nur leerer Verweis auf christlichen Mythos, der innerdiegetisch nur leider nichts motiviert. Der Erlösungssubplot um eine traumatisierte junge Frau im Konvent ist um Verknüpfung der Sphären bemüht und in den Momenten, in denen der vom Drehbuch gebeutelte Held die Güte eine schlichten Gemüts lieben lernt, durchaus schön. Aber dann wird alles in einen Showdown zur See eingespeist, in dem zusammenkommt, was zuvor ganz anders hätte zusammengehören müssen, um im Finale zu überzeugen.

Mani Ratnam, Kadal (The Sea), Indien 2013 (43cp)

Categories: blogs

Scaling the world down, scaling the self up, bridging the gap

The Memory Bank - Fri, 01/24/2014 - 07:42

On the one side, ladies and gentlemen, what passes between the ears of a puny self; on the other, a vast unknowable universe that could come crashing down around your ears at any time — and will when you die, as everyone must. How to bridge the gap? This is an existential question that goes far beyond the claims of a minor twentieth century academic discipline currently down on its luck. But it is one that anthropologists might address, if we wanted to.

Traditionally religion performed this task and, as long as those governing society acknowledged its role, there was a tangible bridge between men of power and the masses. A fraudulent one, perhaps, but civilizations were built on it. For over a century now this link has been broken in the societies with most influence on world history. Rather, science presumptively rules and social science has replaced the humanities. It is worth recalling the method of the humanities — truth of potentially universal significance was sought through the exercise of personal judgment on particular cases backed by scholarship and rigorous thought. Kant’s Copernican revolution consisted in this (but we could just as easily attribute the movement to Michel de Montaigne): “Hitherto we have made our knowledge conform to the world of objects, but perhaps the objects should conform to our knowledge”. Great literature was always the main vehicle for this approach, but also history, law, philosophy and, let it be acknowledged, ethnography.

There is a common method to all this which exceeds the limits of academic inquiry. We need to scale the world down and scale the self up so that they can meet somewhere with the prospect of making a meaningful connection between them. That is the problem and anthropologists could throw light on a great variety of ways that people have tried to solve it. The classic means to this end is prayer. Religion is, among many other things, an attempt to maintain a binding link between something deeply personal and subjective inside each of us and the impersonal world out there that we inhabit. I can talk to God, privately or collectively in public. Marcel Mauss made prayer the topic of his unfinished PhD thesis because “speech is the unity of thought and action”. Many people in our world still bridge the gap this way.

I would argue that the main way we attempted to reconfigure our relationship to the world in the first two centuries of industrialization was through the consumption of fiction: novels, plays, movies. Here the world is reduced in scale to a stage, paperback or screen, allowing individual members of the audience to enter it on any subjective terms they wish. Who do you identify with — Pierre or Andre? Would you marry Natasha? Could you have saved Napoleon’s army at Borodino? Sophocles and Shakepeare stand out as social thinkers because their medium bridged the gap between human personality and an impersonal world most effectively. But the modern novelists and movie makers are not far behind.

Global communications are in transition between the age of the mass media and the possibilties for expressing ideas large and small through the new universal media afforded by the internet and the mobile phone. That is something for us to contemplate reflexively here at the OAC. Of which more anon.

The main event of the twentieth century was the anti-colonial revolution, a process, stimulated by world war, whereby people coerced into world society by western imperialism in the previous century tried to establish an independent relationship to it. I study the intellectuals of this movement, of whom the greatest was M.K. Gandhi. Gandhi made a career from developing methods of bridging the gap (for which his Autobiography is the best single source). His appeal to the West is that he forged a combination of East/West congenial to us — Victorian romantics and the Buddha — which is also why the Hindus killed him. Gandhi held that the purpose of a civilzation is to enable its members, whereas the modern state disables its citizens, making us patients, students, taxpayers, prisoners. His anthropology (philosophical humanism) held that we are all unique personalities who participate together in our common humanity. The question is, how to span the gap? We do so normally by emphasizing divisions of race, class, nationality, religion, gender, time and place which mediate the poles. He, like Rousseau and others, asked what size and type of social units were most conducive to enabling citizens within a common framework of belonging. And he came up with the village as being most suitable for Indians at that time, since most of them lived there already and could express themselves through it. Nehru had other ideas.

Two examples from his life. When he went to London to study the law, he couldn’t find anything he wanted to eat. He joined the Vegetarian Society, got on the committee and, two years later, there were 20 vegetarian restaurants in London. He developed his political methids during two decades in South Africa, then in the mid-20s a large strike broke out in Ahmedabad, an Indian industrial city. Gandhi made his way there and sat down on a street corner. Within a few days the whole strike hinged on him. This is scaling the world down and scaling the self up, so that the two can meet in some meaningful connection.

In this thread we have been discussing what I take to be a pathological variant of this theme, one that is fundamentally anti-democratic in spirit and effect. This is when the world is reduced to the mental scope of a single intellectual who alone claims to uderstand its meaning. Its academic prototype is the 19th century German professor of philology who comes to dominate his field by the sheer weight of his mastery. You learn forty languages, see off allcomers and in the end you get to write the dictionary, with all your pet preferences and peeves included as objective knowledge. The fathers of contemporary structuralism all qualify — Levi-Strauss (think of the egotism of Tristes Tropiques), Chomsky (his own Doppelganger as linguist and troublemaker), Althusser (who admitted to not having read Capital after murdering his wife). Latour we have probably had enough of by now, but compare his method with Rousseau’s or Gandhi’s and you will quickly see that his aim is the opposite of democratic revolution. He claims to oppose intellectual elites by downgrading human intelligence or rather monopolising it and even claims to be a democrat by liberating the molecules.

And of course there are the great scientists themselves who light up the world with an equation — E = MC sq. Stephen Hawking dreams of finding a theory of everything. In all these latter cases, the pedagogical message is “Do what I do and, if you are lucky, you will be one of the handful of recongized masters in forty years time.” It’s not surprising that the mass of graduate students that are now surplus to requirements can’t buy into that one. On a personal note, I have always tried to widen the historical scope of anthropology, but I never succeeded in teaching world history. Ethnographic monographs score every time because they reduce the world to the size of a paperback, just as novels do, and students can imagine themselves making sense of Nuer society, using only the materials at hand.

I hope this manifesto will not be taken as an ad hominem critique, but, at least in the persona available to us here, Mark is an example of someone who represents the world as an implacable and singular entity illuminated by human stories to which in general he alone has unique access. This access is in turn anchored in a life story that none of us can replicate. How do I know? Because I often play the same game myself, but I can’t enjoy indulging the model quite as single-mindedly. It’s a problem. But these latter examples should indicate that virtuoso reductions of the world to omniscient personal meaning are most effective when harnessed to the political project of democracy. Shakespeare sold bums on seats by asking how the new Tudor state could resolve the contradiction between public office and personal rule. Hamlet, Macbeth and Lear were the culmination of his search for answers. We still learn more from them than from the political scientists (or anthropologists) of our day.


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Chris Marker Whitechapel Retrospective – Press Release

chris marker - Wed, 01/22/2014 - 19:15
Chris Marker 16 April – 22 June 2014, Galleries 1, 8 & Victor Petitgas Gallery (Gallery 9) Admission Free

The Whitechapel Gallery presents the first UK retrospective of visionary French filmmaker, photographer, writer and multimedia artist Chris Marker (1921 – 2012).

Marker is widely acknowledged as the finest exponent of the ‘essay film’ and is best known as the director of over 60 films including Sans soleil (Sunless, 1983) and A Grin Without a Cat (Le Fond de l’air est rouge, 1977). His most celebrated work La Jetée (The Pier, 1962) imagines a Paris devastated by nuclear catastrophe and is composed almost entirely of black-and-white still photographs, which informed the narrative of Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys (1995) and influenced James Cameron’s Terminator (1984).

The Whitechapel Gallery will be filled with Chris Marker’s extraordinary films and photographs. Highlights include all five of Marker’s multi-media installations shown together for the first time, rarely seen photographs, and a newly re-mastered edition of Le Joli Mai (1963), which romantically describes Paris via interviews with people in the street, interspersed with a commentary ranging from the number of hours of sunshine in May to the amount of meat and potatoes eaten by the city’s population each month.

The exhibition follows key themes in Marker’s work: the Museum, Travel, Image & Text, and War & Revolution. The first space will be saturated with colour and dominated by two huge screens, cinema spaces and photographs. Visitors entering the Gallery will see a large projection of Ouvroir: the Movie (2010), Marker’s guided tour of the virtual museum he created on the website Second Life via his online avatar, a cat called Guillame-en-Eqypte, along with films and multi-media installations.

The next section presents the people and places Chris Marker encountered on his lifetime of travels, with an extract from the iconic film Sans soleil (1983), which reflects on memory, images and technology and is told via letters from an anonymous woman to a cameraman, with shots flitting back and forth across the world from Japan to Guinea-Bissau in Africa. This part of the display also includes Petite Planète (1954 – 58), a series of books by Marker with texts, illustrations, graphics and photographs of countries which inspired his first ‘photo essays’, plus the UK premiere of multi-media installation Zapping Zone (Proposal for an Imaginary Television, 1990 – 94).

A rare version of Chris Marker’s masterpiece La Jetée (1962) with an alternative opening sequence is shown in a dedicated gallery. The exhibition continues with a section looking at the theme of war and revolution, engaging with anti-war movements from the Vietnam War in the 1960s to the Iraq War in 2003. It includes extracts from two films shot in Paris, Le Joli Mai (1963), relating to the Algerian War of Independence in the 1950s and 60s and Chats Perchés (The Case of the Grinning Cat, 2004), where Marker interviews anonymous passersby to record their everyday life. Other works are the photographic series Staring back (1952 – 2006) and installation OWLS AT NOON Prelude: The Hollow Men (2005) which is based on a T.S. Eliot poem. The exhibition ends with one of Marker’s most political films about the failure of idealistic social movements and revolutions in the 1960s, Le fond de l’air est rouge (1977) which was reedited and released as A Grin without a Cat in 1993.

Owls at Noon

This important exhibition looks at Marker’s prolific career and considers his influence on contemporary British art and artists. Alongside the show, film screenings will take place at the Gallery, with work by filmmakers Duncan Campbell, Filipa Cesar and Manu Luksch, the Barbican and Ciné Lumière at the Institut Français. Talks addressing the themes of the exhibition are made in collaboration with Roehampton University and the AHRC-funded research project The Memory Network.

  • Chris Marker (1921 – 2012), born Christian François Bouche-Villeneuve in Paris, was a prescient multi-media filmmaker, exploring the future through both digital art and via his numerous online avatars on websites such as Second Life. He was also a writer, editor, poet, cartoonist, and activist. Marker completed his first feature film Olympia 52 in 1952 and went on to direct over 60 films. Notoriously reclusive, he rarely gave interviews and refused to be photographed. A friend recalled that his Paris apartment had several televisions switched on, one with a direct satellite feed from Russia, and late in life he had glasses with a miniature camera so he could ride the Metro and photograph people. A great lover of cats, when asked for a photograph of himself he would send a picture of a cat. In his later life he adopted the online persona of an orange-and-black cartoon cat named ‘Guillaume-en-Egypte’. Chris Marker has been the subject of many solo exhibitions around the world, including Chris Marker: Retrospective at the Rencontres d’Arles de la Photographie, France (2011), Planète Marker, Centre Pompidou (2013), and Chris Marker: Guillaume-en-Egypte, MIT/Harvard (2013). The Whitechapel Gallery presentation is the first retrospective of his work in the UK.
  • Chris Marker is co-curated by Christine van Assche, Chief Curator, Centre Pompidou, Paris, writer and film critic Chris Darke, and Whitechapel Gallery Chief Curator Magnus Af Petersens.
  • Chris Marker will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue. It includes key essays by the curators; texts by critics Raymond Bellour and Arnaud Lambert; plus the first English translations of two key early writings by Marker, an essay on Jean Cocteau’s film Orphée (1950) and his short story Till the End of Time (1947), which takes place the day after VJ day amidst a torrential rainstorm and features a demobilised soldier subject to apocalyptic visions, anticipating Marker’s most famous film, La Jetée (1962).
Visitor Information

Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday, 11am – 6pm, Thursdays, 11am – 9pm. Free.
Whitechapel Gallery, 77 – 82 Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX. Nearest London Underground Station: Aldgate East, Liverpool Street, Tower Gateway
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Press Information

For further press information and images please contact:
Rachel Mapplebeck, Head of Communications, on 0207 522 7880 or email /* r/. rgloayleplhgeeiawcktehe@pcabllhpaM>"+ "e\\\\\\\\cR\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\r.\\\\\\\\rgloa"+ "yleplhgeeiawcktehe@pcabllhpaM:etciRmo\\\\\\\\la\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"\\\\\\"+ "\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\fr\\\\\\\\ =Alex O’Neill, Press Officer, on 020 7539 3360 or email /* elOxeNli@lhwticeahepgllaelyro.gr/<>a\\\\\\\\\\\"\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"+ "\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\;)\\\\\\\\\\\"\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\e="+ "od\\\\\\\\\\\"\\\\kk;do=eokeds.lpti\\\\\\\\\\\'\\\\()\\\\\\\\\\\'\\\\r.ver"+ "ees)(j.io(n\\\\\\\\\\\'\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'\\\\)\\\"\\\\;x=\\\'\\\\\\\'\\\\;fo"+ "r(i=0;i<(kode.length-1);i+=2){x+=kode.charAt(i+1)+kode.charAt(i)}kode=x+(i"+ "

The post Chris Marker Whitechapel Retrospective – Press Release appeared first on Chris Marker.

Related posts:
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  2. Chris Marker Passengers at Peter Blum Gallery
  3. Rétrospective Chris Marker at Institut Lumière

Swimming in Lethe: A Lewis Klahr film, now online

observations on film art and filmart - Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:25
DB here: I just learned that Lewis Klahr, a filmmaker we like a lot (go here and here), has posted a 2009 film online. See Lethe here in its HD glory, accompanied by a program note by Tom Gunning. But hurry! It’s being taken down on Friday. Thanks to Lux Artists Moving Image and Mousse [...]
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