Monday, April 28, 2008

The New World: Reverse Shot Goes Digital


It should probably come as no surprise that I wrote about Michael Mann for Reverse Shot's newest issue. He's been on my brain for a while now thanks to my thesis work and, well, his excellent films that invite scrutiny. You can read my contribution, "The Touch," by clicking here. And, of course, the intro is always a nice place to start, to give you an idea of what we were after in this latest symposium. You can read it clicking here. Hope you like. I invite any comments on my piece here since the main site does not; there's plenty to talk about. Or, if you read another, like Leo Goldsmith on VINYL-favorite David Lynch or Chris Wisniewski on VINYL-favorite Terrence Malick or my buddy Kevin B Lee on the immortal Ingmar Bergman, let me know. This is a very thoughtful and plain cool issue. --RWK


  1. I question why they used that word "succumb" in their intro. Know what I'm saying?

  2. I gotsta say, RWK: that Lynch piece is square. I'm more surprised you didn't write about Lynch instead of Mann given your infatuation with Inland Empire. Or is that fad past? Was that too 2007?

  3. By no means was "The Lynch Mob" a passing fancy, or a fad. I still think of INLAND EMPIRE as one of the great things I've seen. It still kills me. I don't want to denigrate the work of a colleague so I won't talk about whether or not it's Goldsmith or Lynch who is the square but if I understand what you mean, anon, then I may be pushed to agree with you. It's an odd piece, half praise, half takedown, all superior. But there is that (really cool) last graf about the sound of trains and that line "Thus, Inland Empire is not only a film about losing control, but also one about taking control, about liberating oneself from a storyline of another's devising—as instructed by the Vedic text, weaving one's own life and then moving along in it." I think that's the key. And what's curious is that I think it's very much linked to what I have to say about Mann's use of digital means, and film itself. Both men seem to understand film, as I do, as "an invisible collapse of the ineluctable present’s invisible boundaries." It may even be more explicit (some might go so far as to say didactic) in INLAND EMPIRE than in Miami Vice, which may be why I chose to write my piece about Mann. Also, guns and go-fast boats and tigers and babes are more fun, on the whole, than scary clowns and Escher mazes and terrifying strobe lights and creepy Poles hiding behind trees with light bulbs in their mouths. (Altho sexy hookers singing and dancing along to "The Loco-Motion" is always a cool thing -- for me, at least.)

    I'm a little thrown by "succumb", too, CT. Not sure what to say about that right now other than it definitely belies a perspective, if not to say a prejudice.

  4. Given the fact that they devoted an entire issue to a consideration of digital technology's impact on the medium, and given the thoughtful, nuanced, and sophisticated range of perspectives they have conscientiously assembled in this issue, I think it's preposterous to imply that Michael Koresky and Jeff Reichert betray any "prejudice" against digital technology because of one (perhaps ill-chosen) word in a 600-word introductory piece. I mean, honestly, come on.

  5. Hey, you're right, Chris. You have a point. Like, totally. I was simply curious... and (speaking for myself) maybe a stickler jerk about one silly word out of 600. My apologies, Michael and Jeff, if you happen upon this. Just a tossed-off observation. Not meant to ruffle any feathers. (It was, after all, a random blog comment.) All good? *Nudge, nudge? In true sycophant mode: I really like you guys and continually thank you for the opportunity to contribute.

    My apologies to you, too, Leo, if you stumbled here: after a second run through, I read your piece a little better, with a little more generosity. (And I still think your last graf is dope.) I'm just always thrown by those odd kinds of evaluations, you know? Even when somebody like Manny Farber calls somebody square I wince. Cuz I don't think I'm any hipper than David Lynch, or most people: I sit inside typing for at least a few hours every day. I own and wear a polo shirt embroidered with a "France '98" logo because I bought it in France in '98. I wear hoodies every day. I bought jeans for the first time in four years last January. I scuffed the shit out of my brand new Nikes two days later by playing basketball so I wear broken Asics most days. I listen to Built To Spill and Pavement like it's 1995; Fennesz like it's 2001; Cut Copy on repeat. I eat hella chips and salsa.

    BTW: Chris, really dug your piece. On the $$$$$, helpful, thoughtful, and fun to read.

  6. Thanks, Ryland...and the feeling is mutual (in fact, the minute I hit "post", I regretted not saying "thoughtful, nuanced, and sophisticated range of perspectives -- yours included", but I hope that was understood). Keep up the good work, and definitely don't give this a second thought -- I pretty much knew what you meant but thought it was worth adding my perspective on it.