Limitless Cinema in Broken English

May 16, 2009

COMFORT, CONVERT, MOUSTACHE, VIDEOGRAM,ZOMBIE ARE THE WINNERS

Filed under: Uncategorized — celinejulie @ 12:25 am

My poll 55 ended with 5 votes. Thanks very much to everyone who participated in it. Here is the result:

THESE FILMS ARE MADE BY FILM CRITICS. WHICH FILMS DO YOU LIKE?

1.THE COMFORT OF STRANGERS (1990, Paul Schrader)
+THE CONVERT (2008, Panu Aree + Kong Rithdee + Kaweenipon Ketprasit, Thailand)
+THE MOUSTACHE (2005, Emmanuel Carrere, France)
+VIDEOGRAM OF A REVOLUTION (1992, Harun Farocki + Andrei Ujica, Romania/Germany)
+THE ZOMBIE CHICK (อีสาวซากดิบ) (2007, Thitimon Mongkolsawat, Thailand)

Each of these films got 2 votes or 40 %

6.DIARY OF A SEDUCER (1996, Daniele Dubroux, France)
+GIRLFRIEND (2002, Mongkolchai Chaiwisut, Thailand)
+JE PENSE A VOUS (MADE IN PARIS) (2006, Pascal Bonitzer, France)
+MY MOTHER AND HER DARKNESS (2008, Wiwat Lertwiwatwongsa, Thailand)
+THE ORGANISATION (ขจีภพ) (2007, Thanapol Chaowanich, Thailand)
+PIPOP BUNTOON (พิภพบรรฑูรย์) (2001, Utis Haymamool, Thailand)
+SALTIMBANK (2003, Jean-Claude Biette, France)
+SERIOUS AS PLEASURE (1975, Robert Benayoun, France)
+UNE VIE (1958, Alexandre Astruc, France)
+A WEEK’S VACATION (1980, Bertrand Tavernier, Thailand)
+THE WINNER (1996, Alex Cox)

Each of these films got 1 vote, or 20 %.

17.LE COEUR DES HOMMES (FRENCHMEN) (2003, Marc Esposito, France)
+ISABELLE HUPPERT: PLAYING LIFE (2001, Serge Toubiana, France)
+RANGSIT LOVE STORY (ไม่ไปรังสิต) (2006, Chakorn Chaipreecha, Thailand)
+THE WAY OF DUST (1999, Prabda Yoon, Thailand)

Each of these films got 0 vote.

–I think the best filmmaker/film critic in the world may be Jean-Luc Godard. I think his interview in the book GODARD ON GODARD is very interesting. Here is an excerpt from his interview in Cahiers du Cinema in October 1965:

“Cahiers: The second difficulty facing criticism today is one of vocabulary: the critical vocabulary is so repetitive and impoverished that one has to resort to the language of literary criticism, which doesn’t prevent one from talking about everything in the same way, because there aren’t millions of words and they are repeated incessantly for different sorts of film.

Godard: When I wrote my first article, I simultaneously discovered the cinema and wrote my first novel. Perhaps the young today should consider that writing is as important as anything else, that it may help them, that writing is like filming if they want to make films, and they must find their own language: writing is not merely the application of certain devices.

Cahiers: The problem lies in talking about films other than those being discussed all the time, and talking about them differently.

Godard: Exactly. One must find a different way to describe Skolimowski’s films. To begin with, for instance, no one ever talked about ‘shots’ in criticism. Now that’s all anyone does talk about, and people know what a shot is as well as they know what actors and producers are. But the problem of film criticism arises because, like art criticism, it is not a genre which exists in its own right. All the great art critics have been poets. Only literary criticism exists in its own right, because its object blends with its subject. Otherwise, all the interesting books of criticism on painting or music have been written by great creators from another art. Film criticism is much the same.

Cahiers: All the same, writing and filming aren’t the same thing.

Godard: They are different, of course, but connected. Criticism serves a useful function which should not be overlooked: it has the virtue of purification. Criticism should be written primarily for one’s own sake rather than for the cinema. When one makes films, one may no longer write articles but one still thinks them. I consider myself a critic still, I simply no longer write it; and it is still as useful to me, only I don’t give it to other people to read.

Cahiers: This also amounts to saying that criticism is now contained within the films. With films like PIERROT LE FOU and LE TESTAMENT D’ORPHEE it is as though there were two columns, one of images, the other of comments explaining the significance of the images.

Godard: The commentary on the image forms part of the image. One could imagine criticism similar to Michel Butor’s novels, which are more or less critical commentaries on events. The criticism would be the dialogue of the film, with photographs and comment: the whole thing would comprise a critical analysis of the film.”

–As for Thai film critics, my most favorite ones include Sonthaya Subyen. Here is an excerpt from his writing in the book BOOKVIRUS 1 (2004). I change the format of his writing a little bit to make it easier to read and I also add some information and links into this excerpt.

“Cinephiles must dare to venture into the field of literature and go as far as they can into the universe of language. Cinephiles must read some particular books which can pierce through the strictest mindsets. These book are:

1.JACQUES THE FATALIST (Denis Diderot)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_le_fataliste_et_son_ma%C3%AEtre

2.IMMORTALITY (Milan Kundera)

3.CANDIDE

4.IF ON A WINTER’S NIGHT A TRAVELLER

5.LOCOS (Felipe Alfau)
http://www.amazon.com/Locos-Gestures-American-Literature-Archive/dp/1564781712

6.MY NAME IS RED (Orhan Pamuk)

7.THE NEW LIFE (Orhan Pamuk)

8.THE BLIND OWL (Sadegh Hedayat)

And the books of

9.Anton Chekhov

10.Anna Kavan
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Kavan

11.Milorad Pavic
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milorad_Pavi%C4%87_(writer)

12.Gabriel Garcia Marquez
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabriel_Garc%C3%ADa_M%C3%A1rquez

13.Julio Cortazar

14.Jorge Luis Borges

15.Edgar Allan Poe

16.Virginia Woolf

17.Bruno Schulz

18.Jose Saramago

19.Torgny Lindgren
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torgny_Lindgren

20.Steve Erickson
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Erickson

21.Marguerite Duras

22.Rainer Maria Rilke
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainer_Maria_Rilke

23.William Blake

24.Jeannette Winterson
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeanette_Winterson

25.Herman Hesse

26.Paul Auster

27.Peter Handke

28.Some haiku poems

Book lovers should also see some particular films to understand that films can go much farther than you think. Films are neither mere spectacles nor mere entertainment. The films that book lovers should see are:

1.THE LAST HOLE (Herbert Achternbusch, West Germany)

2.THE ECLIPSE (Michelangelo Antonioni, Italy)

3.THE PERFUMED NIGHTMARE (1977, Kidlat Tahimik, Philippines)

4.FATA MORGANA (Werner Herzog, West Germany)

5.DIVINE INTERVENTION (Elia Suleiman, Palestine)

6.SOMBRE (Philippe Grandrieux, France)

7.THE ALL-ROUND REDUCED PERSONALITY – REDUPERS (Helke Sander, West Germany)

8.ALABAMA 2000 LIGHT YEARS (Wim Wenders, West Germany)

9.NOT RECONCILED (1965, Jean-Marie Straub)

10.BEGOTTEN (1990, E. Elias Merhige)

11.KASKARA (1974, Dore O., West Germany)

12.LATE SPRING (Yasujiro Ozu)

13.THE LAST OF ENGLAND (Derek Jarman)

14.CELINE AND JULIE GO BOATING (Jacques Rivette)

15.NATHALIE GRANGER (Marguerite Duras)

16.THE DEATH OF MARIA MALIBRAN (Werner Schroeter)

17.STALKER (Andrei Tarkovsky)

18.THE FALLS (Peter Greenaway)

19.ABENDLAND (NIGHTFALL) (1999, Fred Kelemen)

20.SUNLESS (Chris Marker)

21.TAKE THE 5:10 TO DREAMLAND (Bruce Conner)

22.LE RAYON VERT (THE GREEN RAY) (Eric Rohmer)

23.DAS DRITTE FENSTER (THE THIRD WINDOW) (1997, Hanna Nordholt + Fritz Steingrobe)
24.VACANCY (Mathias Mueller)

25.HITLER: A FILM FROM GERMANY (Hans-Juergen Syberberg)

26.TEN (Abbas Kiarostami)

27.RENDEZ-VOUS AT BRAY (1971, Andre Delvaux, Belgium)

28.The films of Werner Nekes

29.The films of Alexander Kluge

30.TROPICAL MALADY

31.BLISSFULLY YOURS

32.MYSTERIOUS OBJECT AT NOON

What is certain is that these books and films risk losing most of their power if they are transformed into another media. This is because the authors of these books and the directors of these films truly understand the essences of the art form they choose to use.

Cinephiles should also study every form of art, including paintings, sculptures, installations, photography art of Shomei Tomatsu, Werner Bischof, Robert Frank, experimental films, …”

Reading Sonthaya’s writing makes me regret that I haven’t had time to read any books during the past few years. I really envy some bloggers who can find time to read many books and watch many films and write about them, especially Jesse and Dechito.
http://memoriesofthefuture.wordpress.com/
http://www.dechito.blogspot.com/

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1 Comment »

  1. This is my reply to my friend in my bilingual blog:
    http://celinejulie.blogspot.com/2009/05/comfort-convert-moustache-videogram.html

    Speaking about literature, I just knew that the longest novel ever written is ARTEMENE (1949-1653), which has 2.1 million words, and is written by Madeleine de Scudery and Georges de Scudery. The whole novel can be read online in French. I hope someone translate it into Thai.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_longest_novels

    Comment by celinejulie — May 18, 2009 @ 8:51 pm


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