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Showing posts from July 26, 2015

the slow life

One of my favorite sequences inone of my fave films, Bella Tarr’s Satanstango , concerns the village doctor. We watch him get drunk in his home, fall down in an apparent stupor, and then get up – after which comes the sequence, which consists of nothing more than him walking to the village inn to get more liquor.  The thing about it is, the camera follows him in real time. Since he is old, obese, and intoxicated, that means that the camera watches him make an at most quarter mile jog in about fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes! When I first saw this, I couldn’t believe it – I couldn’t believe Tarr would dare an audience to basically install itself in the speed and sensibility of one of the members of the slow cohort of the population – those users of walkers, those hobblers down sidewalks or the aisles of grocery stores, those old or impaired. Normally, we’d get a bit of slow hobbling and cut then to the doctor approaching the inn. We’d get in other words what we expect in the terms of

On David Fucking Foster Wallace

Jesus Christ, God, Florence Nightingale, Moses, Shakespeare, Chaucer, and the Buddha have all been filmed –or, rather, actors playing these people have all been on film. I thought that only one mortal man was immune from the gaze of the camera – Mohammed – and that because the Saudis tend to crowd source adverse audience reaction, in terms of car burning and rioting, whenever Mohammed’s visage shows up. It’s a serious thumbs down situation. But I was wrong! It turns out that David Foster Wallace – or David fucking Foster Wallace, as I will call him here, since I am being all into that desacralizing thing – should also be immune from the movies. Who knew? His fans normally don’t overturn and burn buses in Islamabad, however, but quietly weep in the pages of the Guardian, The New Republic, and elsewhere.  A new film is out that adopts a book of interviews with D(f)FW to the screen. I am not myself a fan of the genre of films about writers, since they tend to portray writers as solitary