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“Regarding Susan Sontag,” a documentary Monday night on HBO, will fill you in on a lot of the details of its subject’s life: her precocity, her travels, her illnesses, her lovers. (Particularly her lovers.)
What it won’t give you is any strong sense of her work. The famous essays and collections of criticism and analysis — “Notes on Camp,” “Against Interpretation,” “On Photography,” “Illness as Metaphor” — are used as mile markers, along with the less famous novels and films. But rather than tackle Ms. Sontag’s ideas or their value head-on, the director, Nancy Kates, continually deflects the discussion along other lines: Ms. Sontag as closeted bisexual, serial heartbreaker, liberal provocateur, narcissist, celebrity, camera subject, Jew, cancer survivor. Continue reading
A minimalist recitation by Barbara Ulrich of Book 2 chapter 6 of Montaigne’s Essays. Continue reading
Shuji Terayama (December 10, 1935—May 4, 1983) was an avant-garde Japanese dramatist, writer, director, and photographer, noted for such films as Emperor Tomato Ketchup and Fruits of Passion.
In 1967, Terayama started an experimental cinema and gallery called ‘Universal Gravitation,’ which is in fact still in existence at Misawa as a resource center. The Terayama Shuji Memorial Hall, which has a large collection of his plays, novels, poetry, photography and a great number of his personal affects and relics from his theatre productions, can also be found in Misawa.
source: artandpopularculture Continue reading
Ideas are imperishable, such is the premise of this powerful, upbeat allegory from one of Egypt’s most esteemed directors, Youssef Chahine. Ostensibly the true tale of revolutionary Muslim philosopher Averroes who lived in 12th-century Spain when Arabs ruled Anadulsia, it parallels the story of Chahine’s own experiences with Islamic fundamentalists when he released his 1994 film L’Emigre because it dared depict a sacred Muslim prophet. During that time, fundamentalists were not content to merely have the film b
anned, they also threatened Chahine’s life. Despite their destructive efforts, the fundamentalists ultimately failed and L’Emigre became one of Egypt’s most successful films. Averroes was a follower of Aristotelian thought, an innovative lawyer and an important scientist (he discovered the purpose of the retina) who lived during the rule of the great liberal Caliph Al Mansour. At the time, the Caliph’s rivals were part of Magdi Idris, a fundamentalist sect, who sought to destroy his power by cloaking their own political agendas in religious dogma and spreading it liberally amongst the easily influenced peasantry. Continue reading
Two of the most venerable figures on the American Left – Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky – converse with Sasha Lilley about their lives and political philosophies, looking back at eight decades of struggle and theoretical debate.
Howard Zinn, interviewed shortly before his death, reflects on the genesis of his politics, from the Civil Rights and anti-Vietnam war movements to opposing empire today, as well as history, art and activism.
Noam Chomsky discusses the evolution of his libertarian socialist ideals since childhood, his vision for a future post-capitalist society, and his views on the state, science, the Enlightenment, and the future of the planet.
“Save and protect is a philosophical tragedy where the drama of love is just a manifestation of the tragic nature of human life. Man is just a blind stranger, wandering around from his birth to his death. The story of the film is closely connected with the parable of human bondage and laws of fate; it exists beyond historical time and any concrete nationality. The latter is emphasised by a daring artistic device — the heroine’s speech is a mixture of Russian and French words without translation.
Tatiana Smorodinskaya (from the annotation of film editor)
The Tibetan film Milarepa, produced in 2006 is set in the magnificent Spiti Valley high in the Himalayas in the Zanskar region close to the border between India and Tibet. Directed by Neten Choklin, a Lama from Western Bhutan who has previously worked with Khyentse Norbu on the films such as The Cup and Travellers and Magicians, the film is the first part about the adventurous formative years of the legendary buddhist mystic, Milarepa (1052-1135) who is one of the most widely known Tibetan Saints, but whom set out for vengeance and retribution.