Sunday, November 16, 2008

VINYL IS PODCAST #6: A waltz is a fault; like, falling.

by Ryland Walker Knight and Mark Haslam and Jennifer Stewart

turn away

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Today we saw Waltz With Bashir at the Landmark Embarcadero as the final film in the 3rd Annual SF International Animation Festival. It took us even longer to get home this time but, after some food, we talked on digital tape again. Last week's podcast saw us working through a very common reaction to Kaufman's film. This week we were more hesitant and disparate, largely because of Waltz With Bashir's traumatic ending. Juxtaposed with stunning animation, we struggled to account for the shock of its ultimate loss. Or at least, some of us did.... Ry's earlier thoughts can be read by clicking here, and we would also recommend the ever-astute Michael Koresky as well. Thanks for listening! Here's some songs; go buy them, too.

The Books - There Is No There
Squarepusher - Massif (Stay Strong)


  1. Very interesting conversation there guys! I enjoyed it.

    A complicate film, especially on its relation to History and to the image of the war, war written by the victor, ethics of cinema.
    But outside of its Lebanon context (which is troublesome), I liked all the analytical dreamwork investigation about war trauma, subconscious repression and regressive retrieval of lost memory.

  2. Harry, thanks for stopping by; I'm glad you found the talk stimulating. I was very tired but I think we worked through some important (or, at the least, interesting) topics.

    The thing that irks me most, maybe, besides the female psychiatrist's story about the young man who went through the war as if looking through a camera, is that final conversation Ari has with his buddy psychiatrist who asks this tidy 1 to 1 question of (and gets a tidy 1 to 1 answer from) Ari: "What does water symbolize in dreams?" It doesn't ever have to "symbolize" anything concrete. I mean, right there the folly is exposed: water is liquid, not solid, and it moves and absorbs and spreads and does all kinds of schtuff.... But that's just one problem amidst a lot of other cool things to think and talk about.

  3. Well I believe water (especially sea) is always a potent symbol in dreams, if you listen to Freud or Jung...

    What did you get from Bergson's Matière et Mémoire? (which I didn't read yet)

  4. @Harry: I "got" some stuff, but, well, that's a huge question... I could probably say a lot of things. I could direct you to that first chapter of _Cinema 1_, or I could direct you to the first line of the Bergson ("This book affirms the reality of spirit and the reality of matter, and tries to determine the relation of the one to the other by the study of a definite example, that of memory."), or I could say, hmn, the simplest answer, maybe, is that Bergson thinks we are all image, and it's all about becoming image, that memories are images inside of you and that becomes materialized in your body. But even that might be off the mark. It's one of those ****crazy**** books you just try to plow through despite getting yummy-puzzled by every premise, every sentence, every idea. I dig it. I hope I still dig it, and maybe "get" it a little better, many years from now. The learning never stops, right? I mean, I could be way off base here about _Waltz With Bashir_... but I don't think I am. HA! Anyways, Bergson is big; way bigger than this blog.

    @CT: Always.

  5. Alright. I didn't mean "what did you understand of it?" though, I mean what are the connections you draw between the Bergson and the movie. What you talk about in the podcast.

  6. Well, Harry, the questions seem pretty intertwined is all I'm sayin... and all I can muster right now is to ask you to please read my earlier post on the film. Thanks, though, for the curiosity. I'll try to offer more soon.