Sunday, May 5, 2013


Looking forward to "Something in the Air," a film about the events of May '68 in Paris by French filmmaker Oliver Assayas. I read an interview with Assayas in Cineaste, and he sounds fluent in the history of the time and isn’t just using the period as a cool backdrop to an otherwise formulaic story. I'm sure such a foreign, political film will vanish quickly from the art house theater (and never set foot in the Megaplexes) so I'll have a bag packed and be ready to pounce when it shows up.

The following is from Richard Porton's preview in Cineaste, and describes a scene within the film about film, a meta moment that raises questions about revolutionary art: "A spectator wonders why revolutionary films need to be made in the style of the bourgeoisie and insists that 'revolutionary films call for revolutionary syntax.' A member of the film collective responds that 'revolutionary films have to be made with a syntax understood by the proletariat' and claims that the radical style the purportedly avant-gardist audience member is advocating is just for 'aesthetes' and the 'petit bourgeois.' This brief exchange mirrors many key twentieth-century debates involving Lukacsian realism versus Adornian modernism, Costa-Gavras versus Godard and Cahiers du cinĂ©ma, as well as ongoing tensions between experimentalists and populists, who view the avant-garde as hermetic and champion the virtues of “accessibility.”

Well, it ain't Iron Man III, that’s for sure--though there's nothing's wrong with that film (I'm looking forward to it, in fact) though I don’t expect any big box office battle between the two. Summer’s here and the time is right for comic book movies, after all. (Actually, a combination of the two films might be interesting: if only the students and workers in the French film had Iron Man suits... Note to self: write that screenplay).

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