Infinity Pool 2023
Cornbread, Earl and Me 1975
Weird tensions present here, where the police are candidly presented as engaging in blackmail, framing, and a broader cover-up in order to protect their own, BUT ALSO the cops learn a lesson in the end.
There’s also an emphasis on Cornbread being “one of the good ones” in a way that I ascribe, perhaps naively, to the time. Would Cornbread’s life have been worth less if he was in fact “unemployed”, as the coroner insists on calling him, despite being a student? Though perhaps it’s a demonstration that even the most unimpeachable are still as likely to be smeared by those in power.
The Killing Floor 1984
살인의 추억 Memories of Murder (2003)
タンポポ Tampopo (1985)
Possessor Uncut 2020
As a sequence of (largely) still images, this is quite lovely. There’s an hourglass-like composition that the film returns to often that I thought powerful, and the legos photograph well. This captures the shifting, uncertain form that items take late at night in the dark.
As an object of thematic or narrative meaning, it didn’t work for me. The ideas never cohere into much. They’re also too few in number and depth to carry 100 minutes.
Even so, I would have respected this as a piece of visual art if not for the jump scares. They cheapen the quiet tension, and reveal how bereft of real horror the film is.
Cooley High 1975
Low Tide: DLC 2022
Pusong Bato Stone Heart (2014)
Spencer Bell, Nobody Knows My Name 2021
Thomasine & Bushrod 1974
Intermittent Delight 2007
Tea 4 Two 2006
離騷幻覺-序 Dragon's Delusion : Preface (2020)
The Spook Who Sat by the Door 1973
Didacticism gets a bad rap. There’s something nice about watching this, and being knowingly preached at. I am the choir and I love it! What hurts, if anything, is that it’s been 50 years, and so much of the messaging in activist/revolutionary corners is the same, because so many of these problems have gotten worse.
It’s alien seeing police equipped with less for a riot than I now see for a protest. To imagine a world where I’m not on multiple continuous feed cameras at all times when in a public space.
Mass of Images 1978
Ajube Kete 2005
Cotton Comes to Harlem 1970
Shots in the Dark with David Godlis 2020
Super Fly 1972
Interesting to compare to Shaft, which has far more interest in solidarity and collective action. This is brutally individualistic.
The best part was easily the montage (cinematically) of montage (photographically). Of course Curtis Mayfield’s soundtrack is astounding in isolation, but even more as the voice of the film’s narrator.
Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One 1968
There are some (like Justin Simien) who seem eager to ascribe a mastermind-like brilliance to Greaves that I think is unfounded. This film seems to show more than anything the role of serendipity in making great art. And rather than detracting from his accomplishments, Greaves’s manufacturing of serendipity, of making it to see what it is, is exhilirating to watch unfold. The emergent qualities of the film are the message, and a reading of overriding intent undercuts the revolutionary aspirations of documenting organic self-organization in miniature.
Bus Nut 2014
Is That Black Enough for You?!? 2022
Watched in preparation for Spike Lee’s Artist of the Year run, mostly to set context for the late 60s and through the 70s.