The greatest animated film of all time is this improbable masterpiece both drawn as manga and directed by Miyazaki. The 'children's version' of the much headier Princess Mononoke, Nausicaa centers around its titular Princess. Visual scales of warring ecosysytems are populated by microscopic humans who battle for extinction. The economy of storytelling is masterful as characters appear with implied backstory and warring groups enter the plot only as they penetrate the current conflict (a far cry from American storytelling where all groups are introduced early in narratives fearing audience confusion). Although ecology is a prevelant theme for Miyazaki, here the conflict's structure is sublimely rendered by extravagant biology using few metaphysical or supernatural devices or motifs. Because threat levels of its transforming ecology are so palpable (they're rendered through processes like emergency cleansings - villagers burn spores from an infected crashed vessel), the film turns the audience into participants of the biome. A miracle in celluloid. Now showing in 35MM through December 20 at NY's IFC Center. Staggered dates and times. Not just a must see, a must see again and again. Voices of Alison Lohman, Patrick Stewart, Uma Thurman and Mark Hamill.
The Wachowskis lift Matrix Revolutions's ending wholesale from Nausicaa.
An Unseen Enemy Griffith delineates storytelling for the century.
Museum of the Moving Image's 2nd annual series devoted to films made 100 years ago. Four distinct programs showcase a masterclass on the beginnings of both genre and format specialization with a special emphasis on New Jersey's role as nature's backlot (a hint that out west of New York was the medium's future). Some key Mack Sennett, Edison, Griffith films will be shown. A must see for any filmmaker with an eye in the past.
Jacob Holdt came to Nixon's United States in 1970, planning to head south for a story about Allende's Chile, when he was held up at gunpoint and befriended his robbers. Hitch-hiking the U.S., using a small range-finder Canon, he took over 15,000 photos of both the impoverished of the south and urban north, and the upper class that surrounded them. What he found was shocking: cycles of oppression he labeled enslavement. By excluding the lower and middle classes from his narrative, Holdt executed extreme contrast. Once compiled as a book, Holdt barnstormed colleges throughout the 80s projecting large auditorium slide-shows, selling the book for cost (14.95). His parallel narrative to the images is interlaced in the book as well as expanded onto Holdt's copiously illustrated site. The story is riveting as Holdt is a profound optimist always on the verge of a religious journey into an ill place. A must-read for any student of U.S. History; the visual equivalent of Emile Zola. What is striking about Holdt's U.S. is how much it has changed and how little it has. The book is a must-have, even though out of print, used versions are easily found.
Howard Odum's Environment, Power and Society is a primer for a macroscopic view of key issues facing us Earthlings. It is must reading for anyone with an interest in saving the human presence on earth. It's impossible to ignore the monstrous totality of human waste in an ecosystem that ultimately destroys species that cannot conserve.
Science-Writer Syndrome in NYMAG.
"Finally and fatally, what ties the narrative together is not some real insight into the nature of Dylan’s art, but a self-help lesson: Take a break to recharge. To anyone versed in Dylan, this story was almost unrecognizable. Lehrer’s intellectual chutzpah was startling: His conclusions didn’t shed new light on the facts; they distorted or invented facts, with the sole purpose of coating an unrelated and essentially useless lesson with the thinnest veneer of plausibility."
|Louis was a king, and our republic is established; the critical question concerning you must be decided by these words alone. Louis was dethroned by his crimes; Louis denounced the French people as rebels; he appealed to chains, to the armies of tyrants who are his brothers; the victory of the people established that Louis alone was a rebel; Louis cannot therefore be judged; he already is judged. He is condemned, or the republic cannot be absolved. To propose to have a trial of Louis XVI, in whatever manner one may, is to retrogress to royal despotism and constitutionality; it is a counter-revolutionary idea because it places the revolution itself in litigation. In effect, if Louis may still be given a trial, he may be absolved, and innocent. What am I to say? He is presumed to be so until he is judged. But if Louis is absolved, if he may be presumed innocent, what becomes of the revolution? If Louis is innocent, all the defenders of liberty become slanderers. Our enemies have been friends of the people and of truth and defenders of innocence oppressed; all the declarations of foreign courts are nothing more than the legitimate claims against an illegal faction. Even the detention that Louis has endured is, then, an unjust vexation; the fédérés, the people of Paris, all the patriots of the French Empire are guilty; and this great trial in the court of nature judging between crime and virtue, liberty and tyranny, is at last decided in favor of crime and tyranny. Citizens, take warning; you are being fooled by false notions; you confuse positive, civil rights with the principles of the rights of mankind; you confuse the relationships of citizens amongst themselves with the connections between nations and an enemy that conspires against it; you confuse the situation of a people in revolution with that of a people whose government is affirmed; you confuse a nation that punishes a public functionary to conserve its form of government, and one that destroys the government itself. We are falling back upon ideas familiar to us, in an extraordinary case that depends upon principles we have never yet applied.|
Nor will it evolve with the times.