Archive for October, 2009
Hi guys, I highly recommend you all see the films of Ulrike Ottinger at the Anthology last week…or the week before.
I saw two: first, Joan of Arc of Mongolia, the classiest movie you’ll ever see. And then Dorian Gray in the Mirror of the Yellow Press, which is definitely more flawed and (totally coincidentally) reminds me much more of our films. Like it takes place in “the future” and features a dog chauffeur. I love it.
It’s just crazy that Urlike Ottigner made movies like these, especially Joan, in the 80s and that I didn’t grow up constantly hearing about her. Ok…Everybody…consider her canonized.
Ok I just read this negative piece on Ottinger’s late-80s films that basically accuse her of falling prey to a fantasy of capitalist multiculti pluralism. The two examples are the Mongolian-Western utopia staged in Joan of Arc and Diamond Dance, which is a cross-diasporic Jewish diamond trading love story. The critique is that in both cases she obscures the material Bad News behind these situations (e.g. hegemony + diamond mining).
I think there’s a lot to be said for staging impossible happy-endings in films and I don’t think its the same as art-as-fantasy-band-aid. It has more to do with why Octavia Butler’s books have happy endings.
Like it seems to me you couldn’t tell a material-reality “truthful” story about Jews in the modern world that doesn’t make em out to be either victims or bad guys. So, unless you want to just culturally mirror/replicate the problem, you have to get creative (yeah Inglourious Basterds again). Obviously I think similar things for a Womens’ or Mongolian story, but I’m more comfortable making big statements about Jews. Anywayz, I think if you’re against these films then you just don’t get utopias.
Whit and I discussed it yesterday, and I know I know - but even if Fantastic Mr. Fox is a better movie than Where the Wild Things are (and let’s face it), its clear that Spike Jonze is mopping the floor with W.A. in terms of zeitgeist grabbing. Which is a huge upset because they belong in totally different leagues.
But it’s Wes’ own fault for dabbling (as it was for thinking he could at all actually make Hotel Chevalier).
So we’re just gonna pretend this Fox movie doesn’t exist - Like, what Fox movie? Just not gonna put ourselves through it. And wait patiently for the next one.
P.S. Nah, there’s actually room in my heart for four foxes. But that’s it.