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Monday, September 19, 2011

Syndromes and a cinema (podcast)

A new free podcast on art cinema, called "Syndromes and a cinema", has started this month, animated by William Burchett (UK), Josh Ryan (USA), Brian Risselada (USA) and Zachary Phillip Brailsford (USA). It sounds quite interesting so far : 2 podcasts and 2 CCC auteurs (Tsai Ming-liang and Peter Hutton). 
Unlike the specialized artfilm press, they do take it seriously, without referring to "slow cinema" (pejorative moniker) and "boredom" (refusal to meet halfway with the artist), and even acknowledge and reference the "Contemporary Contemplative Cinema" family. The discussions last about an hour, which is a decent minimal length to develop any articulated thoughts on serious film culture, especially when more than one film, a filmography, is concerned. They are doing more to encourage viewing and engagement with CCC, than the apologetic, reluctant, anti-intellectual pieces we find in the regular press. So if you appreciate and enjoy Contemplative Cinema, give it a try and support this generous project. Who knows, you might get to hear about films you haven't seen yet or hard to get a hold of.

  1. 28 Aug 2011 : Tsai Ming-liang; notably Vive L'Amour (1994), A Conversation with God (2001), Goodbye, Dragon Inn (2003), Face (2009) [MP3] 1h06'
  2. 18 Sept 2011 : Peter B. Hutton; notably New York Portrait Chapter I (1979), New York Portrait Chapter II (1981), New York Portrait Chapter III (1990), Study of a River (1997), Skagafjördur (2004), At Sea (2007) [MP3] 54'13"

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The participants of this podcast are regulars from the Mubi forum, where you can read now a mostly thoughtful thread about the validity of the word "boredom" in film criticism. The New York Times can hardly get it right (after the Dan Kois debacle), so hopefully, the new generation, growing up today on online forums, will produce more competent, better equipped intellectuals to improve the American film culture of tomorrow. It takes time, and daily efforts, for years and decades, relentlessly, to turn the tide of anti-intellectualism at a major scale. It's comforting to see a new blood with greater aspirations, better principles and some common sense, in this inhospitable environment for art cinema.
The last generation of online forumers I grew up with only ambitionned to fit in the system and become part of the conservative establishment, thus validating the status quo. They didn't really confront meaningful issues regarding the neglect of foreign film distribution, the anti-intellectual establishment, complacent populist taste and the stigmatization of challenging art. One generation going to waste, indulging DVD collections on Twitter. Let's wait till the next one gets access to the institutional tribunes too and makes a change we can believe in. 



Drew McIntosh said...

Thanks for the heads-up on this, I'm always looking for interesting new film podcasts. I've not unfortunately seen much Ming to date, but Hutton is a favorite of mine and I will definitely check in on that hour for sure.

JR said...

Harry, I am humbled by your support of our little podcast. Your site has been a source of information and inspiration for me since I became interested in CCC over two years ago.

Your contribution to this effort cannot be exaggerated, and I am pleased to contribute in some small way.

I think it is catching on, and small acts of community like this go a long way in helping to spread the word about this extraordinary movement in filmmaking.


HarryTuttle said...

You're welcome, good luck for the future.
The very small niche of people willing to spend time on CCC should never deter your motivation to pursue your endeavours.

Risselada said...

Hello, this is Brian from the show. The site was down for a while, but we are back up, and should hopefully be having some new shows soon too.