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  • 311194.2310

    Now in its third year at NY's Anthology Film Archives, William Lustig Presents is a retro festival of the most dynamic suspense/exploitation films of the 60s and 70s. While Lustig himself directed some shocking 80's-style horror hybrids (Maniac), he chooses nuanced and bizarrely exciting long forgotten titles cut from backlists, most are major studio product that have never been screened since their releases. Most have never even made it past their first VHS release. This year he opens with the above Robert Evans era Paramount release, a high tension thriller (produced by Star Wars greenlighter Ladd Jr.), and follows it with Friedkin's only successful hybrid, the comic-robbery genre buster The Brinks Job. Savvy exploitation fare from 1966's The Incident (a psychopathic precursor to The Taking of Pelham 1,2,3) to near upper tier spaghetti western Navajo Joe follow.

  • 311128.2211

    It says we're doomed to comprehend even the simplest tools for our advancement. MIT's Evelyn Fox Keller goes after an absurdity in human perception that has far-reaching restrictions for our evolution as a semi-conscious species. A collective whoops that reads: for every one step forwards we go three steps back. Her observations should be simplified and slotted on every news outlet to shift perception. Here's a NYRB review of her book The Mirage of a Space Between Nature and Nurture.

  • 31141.1555

    "It is our despair at the textural inadequacies of

    language that drives us to heighten the structural ones toward"

    From the back cover:

    "THE SUN HAS GROWN DEADLY...

    THE WORLD HAS GONE MAD, SOCIETY HAS

    PERISHED, SAVAGERY RULES

    OVER ALL. ALL THAT WAS KNOWN 

    IS OVER, ALL THAT WAS FAMILIAR IS

    STRANGE AND TERRIBLE. TODAY

    AND YESTERDAY COLLIDE WITH TOMORROW.

    IN THESE DYING DAYS OF EARTH, 
    A YOUNG DRIFTER ENTERS THE CITY"

     

    The book William Gibson wrote an introduction for and admitted he didn't understand. If Cormac McCarthyism has a counterpart in science-fiction, it is Dhalgren, the most absurdly accurate 'apocalypse' set in some form of earth, in a time-frame no one is exactly sure about. And hallucinations occur sometimes in words that no longer exist (you'll have to read it to see what I mean). It might be a work that outlives us and tells future generations what we really knew about the decay of knowledge and the oral histories that will travel along our children's, children's children. Memories barely of the beginings of the end: "the riot began with a murder, some say it was a plane that crashed. No one really knows. That was the time of fear." The hero is an amnesiac who is labelled "The Kid" and enters the soon to be mythic city of Bellona, only now its inhabitants live mostly in memories, and whatever fragments of life can be scraped by on - temporarily, since cities have no purpose except to store mass memories and here, there are few being made. Just living from cans, having sex, and fighting and sometimes group socialization. Oh, wait, it sounds like our present day cities, only without electricity, cars, running water... Maybe the memories will have meaning. The following chapter-heading paragraphs transition to third-person immediately afterwards.

    "2  It is not that I have no past. Rather, it continually fragments on the terrible and vivid ephemera of now. In the long country, cut with rain, somehow there is nowhere to begin. Loping and limping in the ruts, it would be easier not to think about what she did (was done to her, done to her, done), trying instead to reconstruct what it is at a distance. Oh, but it would not be so terrible had one calf not borne (if I'd look close, it would have been a chain of tiny wounds with moments of flesh between; I've done that myself with a swipe in a garden past a rose) that scratch.

    II   Here I am and am no I. The circle in all, this change changing in winteress, a dawn circle with an image of, the autumn change with a change of mist. Mistake two pictures, one and another. No. Only in seasons of shortlight, only on dead afternoons. I will not be sick again. I will not. You are here.

    ..How can I say that that is my prize possession? (They do not fade, neither those buildings or these.) Rather what we know as real is burned away at invisible heat. What we are concerned with is more insubstantial. I do not know. It is as simple as that. For the hundreth time, I do not know and cannot remember. I do not want to be sick again. I do not want to be sick."

     

  • 31134.0023

  • 312306.1037

    Yannick Monget, European climate specialist, issued this coffee-table nightmare in 2006 (by the artbook making Abrams), and exhibits cities and their gear in final arrest, with zero human occupance, which is a perhaps happy fantasy of humans. Erasure of the sentients, sparing us the nightmares really due to frighten, and leaves us in peace. Plantlife gorging its maw on the rust.  Awaiting some arrival from above (the time travellers) or below (the next sentitents). It's like soft-core apocalypse, but it does avoid gimmickry and has some subtle touches. One imagines a photo book of our present made from photos of cities in flux, a post apartheid 1999 downtown Johannesburg (fled immediately by whites), a post-Auto age 2010 Detroit (fled by all). Cover: Paris / New York's financial district.

  • 312276.1516

  • 312271.1607

    The Event resurfaces for week two and shows its hand as a 66 year-old conspiracy logjam. As a breakneck parody of Lost's air-disaster gone-awry source, The Event tries for the sci-fi hybrid with 24, but its technique has already lost too much steam. The ever-growing conspiracy is a dead form, here it requires too many secret agents posing as lonely highway patrolmen, piling up too many leaky possibilities. In dangerous times we project the conspiracy's secret responsibilities as a salve to our fears ("oh, someone must be in charge of this") but the integration of this looniness into narratives exposes the conspiracy, both the one we mistake in real-life and the one we are trying to look inside through fictional realms, as sheer impossibilities of logic. They are phantoms the scales of dragons, and like spectres, very difficult to slay. Where is the future form of this myth? The confusion between what is collective and what is conspiratorial (and/or the satire of the in-between) is the next-level of media. The Event has already settled into a slow-drip water torturer of limited facts, most of which seem DOA.  Hostages and body counts and blood-test falsifying add to the semi-crazed mayhem.

    "!pleH, pleH"

  • 312258.1045

  • 312251.0912

  • 312231.0236