Voiceover reading of a poem set to a montage of artsy shots depicting things described in the poem???? Really???? Most of the dialogue in this should have been cut. Pretty messy film, not enough attention given to Sassoon's middle years to really get us to care about the plotline focused on his twilight years. Can't quite seem to figure out how to generate a real emotional resonance and falls back all too often on witty repartee.
Powerfully evades all attempts at containment. Incredible. A few ways this film worked on me:
(1) it is a cinema of bearing witness which does not privilege the viewer. The camera constantly moves from an event to the people who are watching that event (and often these people will look directly at the camera). We are constantly feeling the ripple effects of every act of violence, the way it tears down social bonds, the effect of witnessing on those who…
Like a guessing game, Minh-ha's film delights in playing with possibilities, more exploration than explanation. Because the film is partially about the desire to understand China, this evasiveness becomes a potent critique of Orientalist reductionism, while also managing to refuse the mystification that only reinforces the fetish. This is achieved in a few ways: poking fun at theory (while also putting its insights into practice), pointing out the layers of mediation and bias in the presentation of images and translation…
Why are David Lynch’s films dark? The question might seem to spoil our fun, since to explain the darkness is to hold it at bay, and Lynch is perhaps most loved for his seeming refusal of explanation which results in a deep and terrifying immersion. However, there is a clear agenda at work in his films even if it does not cohere as narrative. Lynch does usually want to convince us of something, he has a theory which he buries…