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Archive for May 23rd, 2012

© 2012 by James Clark

For a long while now, we’ve been sifting through quite recent films affording the spectacle of rather unusual figures coming to grips with turning a tide threatening to reduce their lives to painfully grotesque smallness. That gravitational crisis, moreover, reveals itself to operate along two theatres of war: an occupation of active sensibility whereby an individual coagulates and concomitantly asserts inflationary, self-destructive motives; and an occupation of the world at large by ideals (and their incorporations) spawned by that misstep (and compounding the personal dilemma).

In face of this disorienting reversal, which conspicuously (even if confusedly) entices artists often referred to as “Surrealists,” various filmmakers have deployed the resources of cinema with a view to measuring the leeway for sustained sufficiency in its context of horrific devastation. What we must not lose sight of here is that, for all their disaster-rife exertions, those films have, with one exception, fervently maintained the possibility of integral action, that is, histories burning with the prospect (however violently daunting) of coherent procedures enlivened by harmonics “out of this world” (“surreal”), since never welcomed in this world. The great irony of the reception of such films thus driven is that while most vehicles are repulsed as preposterously morbid, the most implacably negative entry—that of Robert Bresson—is generally accorded hushed reverence. (more…)

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