English people told me about Adam Curtis, he sounded great, an English Errol Morris
Then I came across his blog and I can’t put the content into my brain fast enough. They seem to be mini blogposts / documentaries. Here is one about the Congo, gorillas, Che Guevara, Diane Fossey… the interview with Colonel “Mad” Mike Hoare (2:00) is astounding. What kind of character is this!
According to legend, the first Nollywood movie was made by a small-time electronics trader named Kenneth Nnebue, who, stuck with a large shipment of blank videotapes, decided to unload them by making a movie about a man who sells his soul for wealth. That movie, “Living in Bondage” sold hundreds of thousands of copies and established Nollywood’s archetypal plot elements: martial discord, greed, a conflict between Christianity and juju, as the occult is called in West Africa. From these accidental origins, a cultural phenomenon emerged.
– from this great NY Times article about Nigerian cinema.
Found a copy of a screener of “Anton Chekhov’s The Duel” at work. Duels are exciting and dramatic, and a good subject for a movie, I thought. So I watched the trailer.
I looked the movie up online and learned that The New Yorker called the film “a tempting sample of sexual ripeness.”
Based on the first eleven minutes, I can’t say I agree. There were some boobs, maybe that’s what The New Yorker was talking about? but they were presented rather coldly, not as a source of fun or joy.
I’ll report back if I watch the rest.
The novella-length monologue at the center of Pale King thus tells a story Wallace had told a thousand times before, of an American adolescent attempting to escape his head, and grow up. Formerly a self-anointed “wastoid,” I. R. S. auditor Chris Fogle recounts having muddled through his youth in the aptly named Libertyville, Illinois, unable to hold down a job and drifting between three different colleges and “four or five different majors.” Fogle, who describes himself as “like many of my generation,” speaks of having led a “crude approximation of a human life.” he was, he said, “the worst kind of nihilist – the kind who isn’t even aware he’s a nihilist.” He might have said he was leading a life of quiet desperation, or of conformity, even though it felt to him at the time like a free life of non-conformity. Many of us are leading such lives, according to Wallace. Our problem is not that we walk around angry and confused, as in Freedom. Our problem is that we sleepwalk, “choosing to have nothing matter.”
Fogle’s unlikely conversion – which is how he describes his transition to maturity, as if religious in nature – occurs after he stumbles into the wrong classroom at the Catholic DePaul University, where a “substitute Jesuit” holds forth in the waning moments of an advanced accounting class. Alternately a parody and a paraphrase of Kierkegaard, the Jesuit delivers a peroration on the necessity of the “leap outward” into adulthood -a leap bound to look, from the point of view of the ego’s Eden that is childhood, like the “first of many deaths.” The speech impresses on Fogle the negative aspect of his seemingly limitless freedom. “If I wanted to matter – even just to myself,” he explains, “I would have to be less free, by deciding to choose in some kind of definite way.”
– from this essay by one Jon Baskin.
a) the name of this character, from the film “Haywire”
b) the author of this book:
is it possible we’re getting so good at making fun of stuff that it’s impossible for anybody to do anything?