DH Lawrence

WE like to think of the old-fashioned American classics as children’s books. Just childishness, on our part. The old American art-speech contains an alien quality, which belongs to the American continent and to nowhere else. But, of course, so long as we insist on reading the books as children’s tales, we miss all that.

One wonders what the proper high-brow Romans of the third and fourth or later centuries read into the strange utterances of Lucretius or Apuleius or Tertullian, Augustine or Athanasius. The uncanny voice of Iberian Spain, the weirdness of old Carthage, the passion of Libya and North Africa; you may bet the proper old Romans never heard these at all. They read old Latin inference over the top of it, as we read old European inference over the top of Poe or Hawthorne.

It is hard to hear a new voice, as hard as it is to listen to an unknown language. We just don’t listen. There is a new voice in the old American classics. The world has declined to hear it, and has babbled about children’s stories.

Why ? – Out of fear. The world fears a new experience more than it fears anything. Because a new experience displaces so many old experiences. And it is like trying to use muscles that have perhaps never been used, or that have been going stiff for ages. It hurts horribly.
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Tim Roth Made in Britain

Tim Roth in Made in Britain

(1982, UK, Alan Clarke)

Wizz Jones & the hippies of Newquay, 1960

Maurizio Bianchi

Superstar - The Karen Carpenter Story

I want to pose some extremely basic quetions about the ways film criticism is done. One place to begin is to ask why American film criticism is devoted, almost without exception and certainly without ever reflecting on it as a special technique at all, to a “surface-depth” model of artistic expression. All of the scholarly commentators on Capra’s work (and on that of most other directors) assume, seemingly without question, that the function of criticism is to move from a relatively superficial and unimportant perceptual events (everything you actually hear and see on the screen) to a realm of profound, and invariably invisible or hidden, “deep” meanings. These commentators are critical Platonists. Their goal is to leave the phenomenal realm behind and move into a world of intellectual abstractions. As William James put it, they seek to dive behind the turbulent perceptual surfaces of experience and anchor themselves in unchanging conceptual depths.

Short #30: He Needs Me

July 30, 2011

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Hee-Yeon Kim

Hee-yeon Kim in Treeless Mountain

(2008, South Korea, So Yong Kim)

Sir Richard Bishop

Pome 18

July 29, 2011