Lost in the Movies (formerly The Dancing Image): April 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Press Play features my De Palma video w/ Kevin B. Lee interview



My video essay (the online work I'm proudest of in any form) "directed by De Palma", featuring clips from Hi Mom, Carrie and Scarface, has just been highlighted on the video essay site Press Play. It's accompanied by an interview with me, conducted by the great video essayist Kevin B. Lee (fair warning: the video contains strong violent and sexual imagery from Brian De Palma's work, and is NSFW).

Below I've reproduced both the interview and the video, which can also be found on PressPlay.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Movie Marathon (#WatchlistScreenCaps 4/22)


Between 8am, April 22 to 2am, April 23, I watched seven features, four shorts, and one featurette in a movie marathon, ranging from fantasy films to documentaries, from kids' cartoons to the dark avant-garde. Below are the screen-caps from the films I viewed, accompanied by basic info and an epigrammatic caption. Links are to my own posts on a given film.

Follow this feature on Twitter here, read about the kickoff here, and view the previous #WatchlistScreenCaps roundup here.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

#WatchlistScreenCaps, 4/2 - 4/20


Here are the last ten films I watched, with a screen-captured image and quick sentence on the subject. Follow this feature on Twitter here, read about the kickoff here, and view the previous #WatchlistScreenCaps roundup here. Links below are to my review of the film in question.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston, You're My Home

Boston skyline, August 31, 2009, taken from my cell phone

I feel compelled to write something. It isn't relevant to anything and offers no new information or perspective on today's events, so I'll try - and probably fail - to keep it short. But I didn't want to remain silent, because Boston is a city that has meant and continues to mean so much to me, so I wanted to mark the tragic bombing of the Boston Marathon somehow. I lived far longer in New York, currently reside near and work in L.A., and even when I "lived in" Boston for just over two years, my actual address was in Malden, a separate town on the outskirts of the metropolitan area. And yet no other city feels like "home" to me the way Boston does. So I'll share my memories, pointless as they may be. They're personal, and that's something. I hope any fellow New Englanders will share their own; at moments like these they are all we've got.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Pyaasa


"Who are the fortunate ones who gain the love they seek?
When I asked for flowers, I was given thorns.
Who are the fortunate ones who gain the love they seek?
When I searched for happiness, I was lost in streets of sadness
When I sought songs of joy, I heard songs of sorrow.
Every torment doubled the pain of my heart
When I asked for flowers, I was given thorns.
Who were the fortunate ones who got the love they sought?
Companions came, stayed awhile, then left me all alone.
Who can spare the time to clasp the hand of a falling man?
Even my shadow eludes me as it fades away.
When I asked for flowers, I was given thorns.
Who are the fortunate ones who gain the love they seek?
If this is called living, then I'll live my life somehow.
I shall not sigh, I'll seal my lips, I'll dry my tears.
Why should I fear grief, when I have encountered it so often?
When I asked for flowers, I was given thorns.
Who are the fortunate ones who gain the love they seek?"


-Vijay (Guru Dutt), Pyaasa (1957)

I entered Pyaasa blind, knowing only that it was considered one of the classics of Indian cinema. I haven't seen any other Guru Dutt films (in fact only afterwards did I realize Dutt himself played Vijay, the poet protagonist who struggles against a hostile world) and haven't seen a great many Indian films; only recently have I been making a conscious effort to explore this rich corner of the cinematic globe. I wasn't even sure when Pyaasa was produced, only locating it in the late fifties when a young character referenced his graduation from college in 1952. The viewing experience is often enriched by such ignorance, as it certainly was here. In any case, despite many distinctly Indian touches - including, of course, the casual breaking-into-song outside of what we would consider ordinarily musical scenarios - Pyaasa's story and themes are universal, and I found its pathos in many ways more relatable than the world presented on American screens in the 21st century. Pyaasa is as moving and enchanting as ever, a powerful fusion of cinema's illusionistic and reflective tendencies. Laced with dazzling musical numbers, sumptuous sets, comedic asides, swooning romantic interludes, Pyaasa is also penetrating in its social critique, empathetically embedded in the perspective of the downtrodden, and at its heart is, well, heart: a genuine, earnest investment in what is being offered to us.