Showing posts from August, 2012

"Asian Minimalism" (Bordwell)

"[..] A Regional Tradition By the mid-1990s, one stream of Asian art cinema shared many aesthetic features with specialist films from other countries. The prototype is now familiar. The story traces the lives of relatively few characters, with a focus on mundane activities. In place of the earth-shattering conflicts we see in more mainstream entertainments, these films present everyday and intimate human dramas, often embedded in routine activities - riding a train or bus, walking through a neighborhood, eating and drinking with friends and family. While the situations may recall the problems of love and duty we associate with melodrama, the characters tend not to burst into grand emotional displays. Instead, their feelings tend to be muted or stifled, repressed rather than expressed. In plot, this strain of Asian cinema tends not to present the goal-oriented, problem/solution dramatic arc to be found in mainstream entertainment. Instead, we get episodic plot structures, which

My CCC Top10 Canon

I usually refuse to compare CCC films on a merit basis, since this blog is dedicated to the study of the aesthetic, of this narrative mode, not to fuel the craving of detractors for reasons to dismiss "bad" CCC films (because they don't know how to find CCC-specific reasons to blame a film for failing to achieve its goal). But in the context of Sight & Sound 2012 Top10 canon, let's also establish a referential standard for the quintessence of CCC, the greatest achievements of this particular aesthetic, which is now a little over 40 years old. My (partial and non-consensual) Top10 ballot of the greatest aesthetic achievements in Contemporary Contemplative Cinema since 1970 : Sátántangó (1994/TARR Béla Tarr/Hungary) Mother and Son (1997/SOKUROV/Russia)  Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles  (1975/Chantal AKERMAN/Belgium) The Turin Horse  (2011/TARR Béla/Hungary) Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks  (2003/WANG Bing/China) I don't want to

CCC in S&S2012 Canon

Rankings in the Sight and Sound 2012 decennial Greatest Film poll (846 voters) : CONTEMPORARY CONTEMPLATIVE CINEMA  (2 titles in Top50, 68 votes): #36.  Sátántangó  - Tarr Béla, 1994 (34 votes : Adam Hyman, Andrei Gorzo, Daniela Michel, David E James, David O Mahony, Dmitry Martov, Esin Kucuktepepinar, Ewa Mazierska, Gary Indiana, Gertjan Zuilhof, Gusztáv Schubert, Henk Camping, Horacio Bernades, Janusz Wróblewski, Jonathan Romney, Jonathan Rosenbaum, José Manuel Costa, Jože Dolmark, Jurica Pavicic, Jytte Jensen, Lóránt Stőhr, Ludmila Cvikova, Marcelo Alderete, Marlena Lukasiak, Matthew Flanagan, Mohammed Rouda, Pavel Bednarik, Peter Walsh, Roman Gutek, Ronald Bergan, Thomas Beard, Ulrich Gregor, Vadim Rizov, Zsolt Gyenge) #36. Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles - Chantal Akerman, 1975 (34 votes : Amy Taubin, Andréa Picard, Annette Kuhn, Berenice Reynaud, Bill Horrigan, Briony Hanson, Bruce Jenkins, Bruno Di Marino, Cristina Álvarez López, Dana Linssen, Davi

Ready, Steady, Slow!

Simon's Cat (4 Aug 2012)  Mundane self-sufficient contemplation versus Over-dramatization of a normal daily pace, impatience, sudden shock, accelerated expected result, climactic celebration... Related : Theatrical Ad (ironic) Slow films, easy life (Nick James)  /  Slowish Obsession, ter   Starting From Basics All Over Again