Ligue de l'enseignement: Make for us an ethnographic film to broadcast in French schools to show students the benefits of the French educational mission in the West African colonies.
René Vautier: Fuck your funding. I'm engaging in praxis.
A not so and yet still-superhero film with the same amplified grandiloquence to boot. But in this instance, the auteur, long established as M. Night Shyamalan, precedes the auteurists in recuperating the film's aesthetics and politics. It should surprise no one that auteurism fits so well with contemporary neoliberal success narratives and Hollywood solipsism, of which this film is one example among many.
Watch it here (with English subtitles by me): youtu.be/H8WcfJg6Hkc
Nothing ventured, nothing gained, or how capital turns labor and creativity into a detail. Nothing Ventured is a companion to Still life (1997), one of the premier films about alienation, in which Harun Farocki says:
“When you look at objects, the people who produce them remain unimaginable. The spectator who understands this becomes unimaginable to himself. This is the departure for a new image of man."
Watch it here (with English subtitles by me): youtu.be/Xn6xvDC2jIY
The American communists interviewed in Seeing Red are forever devastated by the "Secret Speech" of 1956. To our present, the question of whether Khrushchev lied or how much was truth might haunt (if you are so inclined).
A counter-history on the topic is available to read by Domenico Losurdo in Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and hopefully soon in English.
Accompanied by introductory shots of cloud-filled skies, mountain ranges, and sunsets and sunrises, the soundtrack of this experimental film begins with a conversation about the state of Peru and the policies of its then president. The unnamed Juan Velasco who took power through a military coup in 1968. In recent Peruvian history, Velasco is notable for agrarian land reforms whose intentions were encapsulated in the final exclamation of an address to the nation in which Velasco quoted Andean revolutionary Tupac…
This represents a peak of interpassivity. It does not even perform our anti-racism and anti-colonialism too diligently for us, nor does it ever point to their determinant, capitalism (nor should we expect it to, for that would require the image of woman and man to be imagined without a business ontology). It simply and comfortably tells us there is no alternative to neoliberalism.
The Fredric Jameson essay on Dog Day Afternoon is a good reading. But one has to wonder whether Dog Day Afternoon's faux-hybrid documentary representations have in their time encouraged 1970s versions of the 1950s nostalgia film; wonder whether Jameson's tracing of the politics of those representations, adequate when the eve of capitalism had not revealed itself as our eclipse, have in their turn led to imitations (or corruptions, rather) by critics who reaffirm and champion the garbage politics and aesthetics of contemporary Hollywood productions. Under a darkened sky, the most impoverished of politicizations is enough.
It is rather telling that it is David Lynch, Michael Haneke, and Peter Greenaway, the biggest egos on display here, who can't appreciate the constraints of the cinematograph and the pre-cinematic time of actualities and comedies. Instead, they opt for the evocation of montage.
The best neo-Lumières in this homage are by Jacques Rivette, Spike Lee, and Idrissa Ouédraogo. The first understands that almost every type of shot was available at the beginning, the second that actualities, like photographs, have a peculiar pre-cinematic temporality that haunts, and the third replicates the vivacity of Lumière comedies.