Monday, November 02, 2009

Viewing Log #18: Saints break stains and blue runs red [10/26/09 - 11/1/09]

by Ryland Walker Knight

take light

This second week back in the Bay has been awfully full of commitments that have kept me from the movies. I've spent most of the week looking at Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles [Chantal Akerman, 1975] # in preparation for an overdue image-essay that will hit The Auteurs shortly. Once again I'm reminded of how amazing the film is, but, also, how little passion I have for it; I regard it through a veil, almost, of painful echoes. I have found time for some television this week, though, with the finale of this latest Peep Show series as well as another Curb Your Enthusiasm (and one yet to catch up on from last night)—not to mention NBC stuff, like 30 Rock, which keeps proving its smarts week in, week out, by playing dumb. Other than that, there was only one other movie of my stack that I got to, and tardily, last night: I Know Where I'm Going! [Powell & Pressburger, 1945]. Given my fatigue, it shouldn't surprise you that, though I loved the picture, I don't have much to say to account for its typically gorgeous tale of restraint. The obvious thing to say is that its use of off-screen space is fantastic: you can feel the pull of all that sits beyond grasp or fogged-galed-rained out of sight, the way conduction works. Fate, these filmmakers would have you believe, is an equation, a leveling, maybe, where the world finds its balance.

le fou
—Le fou, for real


  1. I should also say that the start of the NBA season has occupied plenty of free time, too, and probably will for the time being, as I need outlets without thinking. That is, I need some real relaxing stimulation. Akerman doesn't really do that for you. That said, I am going to buckle down this week, I think, and finish some stuff.

  2. Yeah, I Know Where I'm Going was my second P&P flick, after Black Narcissus. Stumbled across it on Bravo or somesuch in the early 90's and couldn't leave my seat til it was over. Siren song. Yeah, there's more "spirit" hovering around the margins here than even A Canterbury Tale.

  3. Hovering is such the right word for this movie. It's really documentary with all its location stuff, and all that stormin makes it pretty liquid and material, but it's also really ethereal with all the myth-talk and satellite stories...