Pier Paolo Pasolini | A Desperate Vitality

  I (Draft, in a cursus in present-day jargon, of what has just transpired: Fiumicino, the old castle, and a first real idea of death.) As in a film by Godard: alone in a car speeding down the motorways of Latin neo-capitalism — returning from the airport — [where Moravia stayed behind, a pure soul with his bags] alone, “racing his Alfa Romeo“ in sunlight so heavenly it cannot be put into rhymes not elegiac — the finest sun we’ve had all year — as in a film by Godard: under a sun bleeding motionless unique, the canal of the…

riots and/or poetics [10/2019]

TRILCE XXVII    That flood frightens me, / good memory, strong sir, implacable / cruel sweetness. It frightens me. / This house does me complete good, complete / place for this not knowing where to be. // Let’s not go in. It frightens me, this favour / of returning by minutes, by blown up bridges. / I’m not going ahead, sweet sir, / brave memory, sad / singing skeleton. // What content, of this haunted house, / gives me deaths by mercury, and blocks / with lead my conduits / to sheer reality. // The flood that doesn’t know how…

Jean-Marie Straub / Danièle Huillet | Hölderlin, That Is Utopia

  Jean-Marie Straub: Hölderlin experienced the birth of the Wilhelmine Age. He was a young poet, full of high-flying plants; he said that himself. He was twenty-eight years old when he wrote The Death of Empedocles. In Germany between 1789 and 1798 all kinds of things had happened. Things had gone well for the ruling class, less well for other people. Büchner had had to flee, and some others as well . . . Hölderlin dreamed of the revolution—let’s call it that, even if the word is no longer in fashion today—a revolution that did not take place. As an…

Mehdi Belhaj Kacem | Tomb for Guy Debord

Guy Debord was the avant-garde’s Christ. Guy Debord was the avant-garde’s Christ. He was immolated by his own ideology, which he more than anyone (Tzara, Duchamp, Artaud, the Viennese Actionists…) had pushed to its extremes. He covered all of its possibilities, all of its impasses. His extreme attempts were neither successes, nor failures. Today, his path should be evaluated through other methods: the ones left to us in the wake of the avant-garde’s disappearance. To put it as Reiner Schürmann does: truth is a “conflictuality without agreements.” It is within Debord’s insurmountable contradictions, whose political, aesthetic, and existential preoccupations were…

Jean-Luc Godard’s “Militant Filmmaking”; by Irmgard Emmelhainz

Irmgard Emmelhainz | Between Objective Engagement and Engaged Cinema: Jean-Luc Godard’s “Militant Filmmaking” (1967–1974)   It is often argued that between 1967 and 1974 Godard operated under a misguided assessment of the effervescence of the social and political situation and produced the equivalent of “terrorism” in filmmaking. He did this, as the argument goes, by both subverting the formal operations of narrative film and by being biased toward an ideological political engagement.1 Here, I explore the idea that Godard’s films of this period are more than partisan political statements or anti-narrative formal experimentations. The filmmaker’s response to the intense political climate that…

Farocki / Godard: Film as Theory; by Volker Pantenburg

Farocki / Godard | Film as Theory  PDF  Volker Pantenburg   There is a tension between the requirements of theoretical abstraction and the capacities of the film medium, where everything that we see on screen is concrete: A train arriving at a station, a tree, bodies, faces. Since the complex theories of montage in Soviet cinema, however, there have continuously been attempts to express theoretical issues by combining shots, thus creating a visual form of thinking. This book brings together two major filmmakers-French New Wave master Jean-Luc Godard and German avant-gardist Harun Farocki to explore the fundamental tension between theoretical abstraction…

HERE & ELSEWHERE / HIER UND ANDERSWO

[…] Before she too is slaughtered by the Bourgeois (the mob of order), Rosa Luxemburg writes about Bacchanalia, which the bourgeoisie regularly holds upon its victims. From the perverse happiness of the tormentors: the whispering of the pariahs in secret. Gaps of ghastly proportions. Maintained by continuous police work, by the breeding of greenhouse roses, laws & border installations. The liquidation of the poetic word. Chalk circles one makes around a pair of shoes, a bicycle, a pool of blood [the stigmata of capitalism].