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"Method of this work:
literary montage.
I have nothing to say only to show." (Passagenwerk (1927 - 1940) - Walter Benjamin)

Status: archived (Jan 2006]

2005, Dec 27; 20:56 ::: Inserts (1975) - John Byrum

Inserts (1975) - John Byrum

Now here’s an obscure offering perfect for curious cinephiles. Shortly after appearing in “Jaws,” Richard Dreyfuss starred in this pretentious, sleazy, but somehow still compelling film as “Boy Wonder,” a downtrodden filmmaker in the 1930s who couldn’t make the transition from silents to talkies. Now saddled with making one of the cinema’s earliest excursions into erotica, “Boy Wonder” has to juggle an icy leading lady (Veronica Cartwright), a gangster (Bob Hoskins) and his moll (Jessica Harper), and “Rex the Wonder Dog” (Stephen Davies) in order to crank his production out. Originally X-rated (and still NC-17 by today’s standards), “Inserts” looks and feels like a filmed play, even though writer-director John Byrum’s script was penned for the screen. The movie is fun and shocking for a while, but eventually sinks under Byrum’s pretentiousness and the plastic, ‘70s dialogue and mannerisms that date the picture badly. Still, “Inserts” is a film that’s been out of circulation for years, and Dreyfuss aficionados may find MGM/Sony’s DVD of interest: the full-length 115 minute international cut is included here (the U.S. apparently received a shortened R-rated version), along with a theatrical trailer. The 16:9 transfer and mono sound are both satisfactory for a movie that’s been on the studio shelf for many, many years. --http://www.andyfilm.com/9-20-05.html [Dec 2005]

Inserts is a 1975 American film directed by John Byrum starring Richard Dreyfuss and Veronica Cartwright. It was originally rated X but later re-rated as NC 17.

The story concers a pornographic film production and the film took its name from a film technique called an insert. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inserts_%28film%29 [Dec 2005]

See also: mainstream film - X - NC-17 - Inserts (1975) - 1975 - porn film - 1930s

2005, Dec 27; 19:56 ::: Erectile dysfunction in fiction

  • The Sun also Rises (1926) - Ernest Hemingway
  • Lady Chatterley's Lover (1928) - D. H. Lawrence

    Erectile dysfunction, also known as impotence, is the inability to develop or maintain an erection of the penis for satisfactory sexual intercourse regardless of the capability of ejaculation. There are various underlying causes, many of which are medically reversible.

    Due to its personal nature, the subject has been taboo for a long time, and is the stuff of many urban legends. Since the 1930s, folk remedies have been advertised widely for the condition. The introduction of sildenafil (Viagra®) in the 1990s caused a second wave of public attention, propelled in part by heavy advertising.

    The Latin term impotentia coeundi describes simple inability to insert the penis into the vagina. It is now mostly replaced by more precise terms. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erectile_dysfunction [Dec 2005]

    See also: impotence - intercourse - penetration - penis - sex - sex in literature - fiction

    2005, Dec 27; 15:56 ::: Axel's Castle : A Study of the Imaginative Literature of 1870-1930 (1931) - Edmund Wilson

    Axel's Castle : A Study of the Imaginative Literature of 1870-1930 (1931) - Edmund Wilson [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    If great writers are hard to find, then it's safe to say great literary critics are as rare as wild white tigers who can juggle plates. Edmund Wilson (1895-1972) was one of America's most important critics, and Axel's Castle was the book that put him on the map. Few people outside graduate school read serious literary criticism, but a look into Wilson's intense thought and clear prose makes you wonder why the genre has been neglected. If you're a lover of the Modernist writers--Wilson looks specifically at Joyce, Proust, Yeats, Valery, Eliot, Stein, and Rimbaud here--then you'll enjoy Axel's Castle.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

    Book Description
    Published in 1931, Axel's Castle was Edmund Wilson's first book of literary criticism--a landmark book that explores the evolution of the French Symbolist movement and considers its influence on six major twentieth-century writers: William Butler Yeats, Paul Valéry, T. S. Eliot, Marcel Proust, James Joyce, and Gertrude Stein. As Alfred Kazin later wrote, "Wilson was an original, an extraordinary literary artist . . . He could turn any literary subject back into the personal drama it had been for the writer."

    Edmund Wilson
    Edmund Wilson (May 8, 1895 – June 12, 1972) was an American writer, noted chiefly for his literary criticism. He was born in Red Bank, New Jersey, and educated first at The Hill School and then Princeton. He began his writing career as a reporter for the New York Sun, and served in the army during the First World War. He was the managing editor of Vanity Fair in 1920 and 1921, and later served on the staffs of The New Republic and The New Yorker.

    Axel's Castle: A Study in the Imaginative Literature of 1870-1930 (1931) was a sweeping survey of Symbolism and Arthur Rimbaud, Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam (author of Axel), W. B. Yeats, Paul Valéry, T. S. Eliot, Marcel Proust, James Joyce, and Gertrude Stein. Wilson was interested in modern culture as a whole, and many of his writings go beyond the realm of pure literary criticism. In his book To the Finland Station, he studied the course of European socialism, culminating in the arrival of Lenin at the Finland Station of Saint Petersburg to lead the Bolshevik Revolution. Wilson's early works are heavily influenced by the ideas of Freud and Marx, reflecting his deep interest in their work.

    He was a close friend of writer F. Scott Fitzgerald and edited his final book for posthumous publication, and also a friend of Vladimir Nabokov, with whom he corresponded extensively and whose writing he introduced to Western audiences; however, their friendship was damaged by Wilson's cool reaction to Nabokov's Lolita and by a dispute over Wilson's criticism of Nabokov's translation of Pushkin's Eugene Onegin.

    Wilson's wife, Mary McCarthy, was also well-known for her literary criticism, and they co-operated on numerous works before their divorce.

    Wilson's critical works helped foster public appreciation for U.S. novelists Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, William Faulkner, Fitzgerald and Nabokov.

    Wilson was also an outspoken critic of U.S. Cold War policies. He failed to pay his income tax from 1946 to 1955 and was subsequently hounded by the Internal Revenue Service. He also failed to pay state income taxes. Eventually, he was let off with a fine and no jail time. In his essay The Cold War and the Income Tax: A Protest (1963), Wilson argues that, as a result of competitive militarization against the Soviet Union, the civil liberties of Americans were being paradoxically infringed upon under the guise of defense from Communism. Likewise he opposed US involvement in the Vietnam War. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Wilson [Dec 2005]

    See also: 1931 - literary criticism - USA - Symbolism - imagination

    2005, Dec 27; 15:56 ::: Beggin' (1968) - Timebox

    Beggin' (1968) - Timebox
    Image sourced here.

    This track featured on Nova Classics Three [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Beggin' (Farina, Gaudio) c/w
    A Woman That's Waiting (Zagni, McCarthy)
    Produced by Michael Aldred
    Deram DM 194, released May 30, 1968
    (USA: Deram #45-85031)

    The first UK single with Halsey on drums. "Beggin'" was the band's only single to achieve minor chart success. It peaked at #38 in August, though some accounts indicate it sold more copies and received more airplay than its chart position suggested.

    The song is a finely produced remake of the Four Seasons song with an extravagant orchestral arrangement. Note the reversal of writing credits on "A Woman That's Waiting" from those listed on the "Come On Up" single. --http://members.aol.com/PattoFan/tb_singles.htm

    See also: 1968 - proto-disco - UK music - pop music - mod classic

    2005, Dec 25; 15:56 ::: Freedom posits free-will

    From The Outsider (1956) by Colin Wilson:

    "Freedom posits free-will. But Will can only operate when there is first a motive. No motive, no willing. But motive is a matter of belief; you would not want to do anything unless you believed it possible and meaningful. And belief must be the belief in the existence of something; that is to say, it concerns what is real. So, ultimately, freedom depends upon the real. The Outsider's sense of unreality cuts off his freedom at the root. It is as impossible to exercise freedom in an unreal world as it is to jump while you are falling."

    See also: Colin Wilson - free - will - motive - reality

    2005, Dec 25; 14:56 ::: Candy Stripe Nurses (1974) - Alan Holleb

    Candy Stripe Nurses (1974) - Alan Holleb
    Image sourced here.

    More film posters by John Solie here.

    See also: American cinema - 1974 - Roger Corman

    2005, Dec 25; 13:56 ::: Nebo zovyot (1960) - Mikhail Karzhukov

    Nebo zovyot (1960) - Mikhail Karzhukov [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Image sourced here.

    AIP distributed over 400 films in the USA. --http://us.imdb.com/company/co0062707/ [Dec 2005]

    Realizing great savings on special effects, Corman bought another Russian film, Niebo Zowiet, which none other then Francis Ford Coppola turned into the film Battle Beyond the Sun. Thus, Coppola earned his way into a feature film, his first, which Corman financed, the torrid Dementia 13. --http://www.levideo.com/articles_corman.php [Dec 2005]

    BATTLE BEYOND THE SUN (aka Nebo zovyot) In the future year of 1997, the world's two opposing powers--the North Hemis and the South Hemis--are involved in a space race to put a man on Mars. Starring Ivan Pereverzev, Aleksandr Shvorin, Konstantin Bartashevich, Larisa Borisenko. Written by Mikhail Karzhukov, Yevgeni Pomeshchikov, Aleksei Sazanov; Directed by Karzhukov, Aleksandr Kozyr, Francis Ford Coppola. 1963. --http://mtceuropavideo.com/aip_cinerama.htm [Dec 2005]

    See also: Russia - 1960 - 1963 - SF film - Francis Coppola - AIP

    2005, Dec 25; 12:56 ::: The Sex War (1960) - Sam Merwin, Jr.

    The Sex War (1960) - Sam Merwin, Jr.

    The Sex War by Sam Merwin, Jr.
    This one is actually pretty fun. It's about a conspiracy of genetically superior women who want to take over the world and, once they have the technology to reproduce without them, do away with men entirely. Notice the blood on the lower abdomen of the man in the background. I don't recall any castration in the novel, but the cover's implication is pretty darn clear. This one is a good cheesy read and I recommend it for all fans of pulp. --http://belladonna.org/Gynotopia/gynofiction.html [Dec 2005]

    Published by Beacon press.

    See also: 1960 - paperback - pulp - fiction - castration - feminism

    2005, Dec 25; 11:56 ::: Mizora: A World of Women (1880-1881) - Mary E. Bradley Lane

    Mizora: A World of Women (1880-1881) - Mary E. Bradley Lane [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    There is a curious book by a woman from the nineteenth century called "Mizora." In it an all-female "utopia" exists in the center of the Earth. They reproduce through parthenogenesis, practice eugenics, and all of them are blonde "Aryan" types. This is the closest thing to a real "feminazism" I know of. (Even though it was written decades before the Nazis) Although there might be a very small element of white-supremacist women who advocate some form of feminism. --T. Anthony 13:35, 3 October 2005 (UTC) --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Feminazi#Ludicrous_term.3F [Dec 2005]

    See also: feminism - utopia - fiction - 1880 - 1881

    2005, Dec 25; 10:56 ::: Planeta Bur (1962) - Pavel Klushantsev

    Planeta Bur (1962) - Pavel Klushantsev

    Roger Corman acquired the American rights to Planeta Bur, added extra footage, and distributed it on the American market in tow versions, one directed by Peter Bogdanovich, another by Curtis Harrington. [Dec 2005]

    Peter Bogdanovich, long before his Last Picture Show established him as an American Maverick, was re-splicing Russian Sci-Fi flick Planeta Burg into the Corman feature Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women. Also taking a hack at the same material, Curtis Harrington, former NY expiremental filmmaker, created Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet.

    Realizing great savings on special effects, Corman bought another Russian film, Niebo Zowiet, which none other then Francis Ford Coppola turned into the film Battle Beyond the Sun. Thus, Coppola earned his way into a feature film, his first, which Corman financed, the torrid Dementia 13. --http://www.levideo.com/articles_corman.php [Dec 2005]

    See also: Peter Bogdanovich - Roger Corman - American cinema - Russia - science fiction film

    2005, Dec 25; 09:56 ::: A Decade Under the Influence (2003) - Ted Demme, Richard LaGravenese

    A Decade Under the Influence (2003) - Ted Demme, Richard LaGravenese [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    See also: documentary film - Roger Corman - American cinema - New Hollywood - 1970s film

    2005, Dec 25; 09:56 ::: The Cutting Edge - The Magic of Movie Editing (2004) - Wendy Apple

    The Cutting Edge - The Magic of Movie Editing (2004) - Wendy Apple [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    See also: film editing

    2005, Dec 25; 08:56 ::: Easy Riders, Raging Bulls (2003) - Kenneth Bowser

    Easy Riders, Raging Bulls (2003) - Kenneth Bowser [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Easy Riders, Raging Bulls is a book by Peter Biskind about 1970s Hollywood, a stand alone period of American film that produced such classics as The Godfather, The Godfather: Part II, Taxi Driver, Jaws, Star Wars, The Exorcist and The Last Picture Show. It follows Hollywood on the brink of the Vietnam War with a group of Hollywood film directors known as the movie brats, beginning in the 1960's and ending in the 1980's.

    Subjects Profiled In The Book:
    Robert Altman Hal Ashby Peter Bogdanovich Francis Ford Coppola William Friedkin George Lucas Marcia Lucas John Milius Polly Platt Paul Schrader Martin Scorcese Steven Spielberg Robert Towne --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easy_Riders%2C_Raging_Bulls [Dec 2005]

    This book was made in a documentary film with the same title.

    See also: documentary film - Peter Biskind - Roger Corman - American cinema - New Hollywood - 1970s film

    2005, Dec 25; 08:56 ::: Roger Corman and Jess Franco

    Roger Corman was to American cinema what Jess Franco was to European cinema.

    See also: Roger Corman - American cinema - Jess Franco - European cinema

    2005, Dec 24; 15:56 ::: Dreamers of Decadence: Symbolist Painters of the 1890s (1969) - Philippe Jullian

    Dreamers of Decadence: Symbolist Painters of the 1890s (1969) - Philippe Jullian [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Original title: Esthètes et magiciens (1969)

    Philippe Jullian, a French painter and writer, who wrote extensively about the Symbolist art movement and the fin-de-siècle period (e.g. Dreamers of Decadence (1969 (Paris) / 1971 (UK)), The Symbolists (1973)). --http://www.artmagick.com/galleries/dhurmer/ [Dec 2005]

    My Amazon.com search found only two of this French author’s titles in print (his biographies of Trefusis and Wilde), and even Amazon.fr came up short. But there are used copies of most of his books on Abebooks.com. That’s good; he’s worth rediscovering. Jullian (1921-1978) was an artist, illustrator, novelist and art historian, but his real vocation seems to have been that of a collector (the title of his autobiography translates roughly as Second-Hand Goods). His illustrations for Proust, Balzac, Colette, Dickens and Henry James often place a forlorn or abstracted-looking figure in a sea of pictures, furniture, bric-a-brac, objets d’art, lamps, books, perfume bottles, hand mirrors, and occasionally a little decorative dog; some of the drawings in For Whom the Cloche Tolls dispense with the figure altogether. As a historian Jullian knew the value of objects (and people) from periods ignored or forgotten: he played a role in the revival of Art Nouveau in the 1960s. In Camp: The Lie That Tells the Truth, the British artist, writer and Jullian protégé Philip Core calls him “a last and lasting example of pre-war camp.” Even rarer, he is an example of a writer able to transform the irony, humor, sentimentality, disdain and insight of camp into a form of criticism and a tool for interpreting history. Certainly one of the pleasures of reading Jullian’s work is his fascination with the delicate line that separates, or fails to separate, high taste from kitsch. --http://torrible.blogspot.com/2005/02/philippe-jullian.html [Dec 2005]

    See also: decadents - dream - Symbolism

    2005, Dec 24; 14:56 ::: Self-Portrait (1936) - Leonora Carrington

    Self-Portrait (1936) - Leonora Carrington

    Leonora Carrington (April 6, 1917 in Clayton Green, Lancashire - ) was a British-born Mexican novelist and surrealist painter. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonora Carrington [Dec 2005]

    She was romantically involved with Max Ernst.

    See also: UK - art - Surrealism

    2005, Dec 24; 14:56 ::: Goodbye () - Thomas Rowlandson

    Goodbye () - Thomas Rowlandson

    Thomas Rowlandson (July 1756 - April 22, 1827) was an English caricaturist. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Rowlandson [Dec 2005]

    See also: UK - erotica - caricature

    2005, Dec 24; 14:56 ::: Urs Graf

    The wild army (c. 1520) - Urs Graf

    Urs Graf (born 1485 in Solothurn, Switzerland; died after 1529) was a Swiss Renaissance painter and engraver.

    Graf learned his profession first from his father, Hugo Graf, then from a goldsmith in Zürich. He initially earned money as a desinger of book illustrations and by assisting a stained glass painter. In 1512, he became a member of the goldsmith guild and a citizen of Basel. He quickly came in conflict with the law for abusing his wife and supporting prostitution, cumulating in attempted murder, making him leave the city in 1518. He was reinvited to Basel one year later and continued working. In 1527, he vanished from the city, never to be found again, though a signed drawing from 1529 exists.

    Graf was also known for abandoning work and family to pursue military endeavours as a mercenary. His artistic work, in the tradition of Albrecht Dürer and Hans Baldung, somehow followed his "other intersts", depicting (besides the political situation) social, erotic, and violent scenes, for example Two Prostitutes Beating a Monk, though a strong religious aspect emerges sometimes. He is among the first to use the white-line engraving technique. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urs_Graf [Dec 2005]

    See also: Northern Renaissance - 1400s - 1500s

    2005, Dec 24; 13:56 ::: The Raven (1845) - Edgar Allan Poe

    1884 Illustrations by Gustave Doré to The Raven (1845) - Edgar Allan Poe
    Image sourced here.

    "The Raven" is a narrative poem by Edgar Allan Poe. It was published for the first time on January 29, 1845 in the New York Evening Mirror. In highly stylized language and images, it tells of the mysterious visit of a talking raven to a distraught lover. It is one of the best known American poems, and is in fact considered by many to be the best American poem ever written, citing this haunting popularity. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Raven [Dec 2005]

    In 1882, Doré took on his only U.S. commission ever for Poe's The Raven. Doré died in early 1883, just as he was finishing the Raven engravings. He had just turned 51. --http://www.antiquemapsandprints.com/gustave-dore.htm [Dec 2005]

    The visionary artist does not hesitate to record images of shock, horror, pain, degradation, demons, monsters, and and all manner of underworld tortures. He explores the darker side of his imagination, and liberates many of his impulses by giving them tangible form. All that is taboo must be transcended. --http://visionaryrevue.com/webtext/longman1.html [Dec 2005]

    See also: 1840s - 1884 - Edgar Allan Poe - horror fiction - illustration - Gustave Doré

    2005, Dec 24; 12:56 ::: Hop o' My Thumb

    1863 Illustrations by Gustave Doré to Les Contes de Perrault (1697) - Charles Perrault
    Image sourced here.

    The horror genre as we know it today has two major sources - the writings of Edgar Allan Poe and the engravings of Doré for Dante's Inferno. The early 1860s solidified Doré's position as France's foremost illustrator. --http://www.antiquemapsandprints.com/gustave-dore.htm [Dec 2005]

    See also: 1863 - fairy - tale - folk - Gustave Doré

    2005, Dec 24; 12:56 ::: Little Red Riding Hood

    1863 Illustrations by Gustave Doré to Les Contes de Perrault (1697) - Charles Perrault
    Image sourced here.

    Little Red Riding Hood (German: Rotkäppchen; lit. translation: 'little red cap') is a folktale that has changed much in its history. It may be a children's story, but it contains within it themes of sexual intercourse, violence and even cannibalism. The tale makes the clearest contrast between the safe world of the village and the dangers of the forest, conventional antitheses that are essentially medieval, though no versions are as old as that. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Red_Riding_Hood [Dec 2005]

    Pierre-Jules Hetzel
    Pierre-Jules Hetzel (Chartres, January 15, 1814 – Monte-Carlo, March 17, 1886) was a French editor and publisher. He is most known for his extraordinarily illustrated publications of Jules Verne's novels, which are highly prized by collectors today. Hetzel was also the principal editor of Victor Hugo. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre-Jules_Hetzel [Dec 2005]

    Charles Perrault
    Charles Perrault (January 12, 1628–May 16, 1703) was a French author.

    At the age of 55, he published Tales and Stories of the Past with Morals, with the subtitle: Tales of Mother Goose. Its publication (slyly over the name of his 17-year-old son) made him suddenly widely-known beyond his own circles and marked the beginnings of a new literary genre, the fairy tale. He used images from around him, such as the Chateau Ussé for Sleeping Beauty and in Puss-in-Boots, the Marquis of the Chateau d'Oiron, and contrasted his folktale subject matter, with details and asides and subtext drawn from the world of fashion. Enlarge

    Perrault's most famous stories are still in print today and have been made into operas, plays, films and animated motion pictures by, among others, Disney Studios. Some of Perrault's best known stories are:

    • La Belle au bois dormant (Sleeping Beauty)
    • Le Petit Chaperon rouge (Little Red Riding Hood)
    • Barbe Bleue (Bluebeard)
    • Le Chat botté (Puss-in-Boots)
    • Les Fées (The Fairies)
    • Cendrillon (Cinderella)
    • Ricquet à la houppe (Ricky of the Tuft)
    • Le Petit Poucet (Hop o' My Thumb)
    Perrault's tales were mostly adapted from earlier folk tales (for example by Giambattista Basile) in the milieu of stylish literary salons in the 1690s, as a recreation from the more strenuous energy expended in the Battle of the Ancients and Moderns or the struggles of Jansenism. For amusement, one would take some simple traditional tale, such as an old peasant woman might tell in the kitchens, and recast it, "moralized" and translated into a succinct and witty tale that was purged of all coarseness, for the kind of audience that was also still reading the high-flown sentiments of La Princesse de Cleves (The Princess of Cleves), and could appreciate the structure of a perfect, well-turned sermon, if not too long. Mythologist Jack Zipes has emphasized that these tales served the interests of the educated ruling classes. There was also a slightly subversive bite to the game as Perrault played it, a slight sense of an underlying, dry criticism of the same aristocratic approach. Instead of wily peasants, as in "Jack and the Beanstalk" (not a Perrault tale), there are princesses, even if the subtext of Perrault's "Puss-in-Boots" is that the right clothes and a fine castle can make a "Marquis of Carabas" out of a miller's son.

    His brother, Claude Perrault, is remembered as the architect of the severe east range of the Louvre, built between 1665 and 1680. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Perrault [Dec 2005]

    See also: 1863 - fairy - tale - folk - Gustave Doré

    2005, Dec 24; 09:56 ::: Fantasfilm.com

    La Femme invisible (1933) - Georges Lacombe
    Image sourced here.

    Le site Fantasfilm.com, issu d' un livre à l' origine, et spécialisé dans la Science-Fiction, le Fantastique et la Mythologie, s' est ouvert au bout d' un an, de nouveaux horizons. Devenu une véritable encyclopédie désormais, il exploite tous les genres, tous les aspects du cinéma, et toutes les figures légendaires qui ont contribué au développement du Septième Art. Un véritable HOMMAGE lui est rendu, de manière de plus en plus élaborée, alors que tout va encore en s' accélérant. --Gérard Escolano via http://www.fantasfilm.com/pageint.asp [Dec 2005]

    See also: Fantasfilm.com Google gallery

    See also: fantastic - fantastique - film - mythology - theme

    2005, Dec 23; 09:56 ::: Six guns and society: A structural study of the Western (1975) - William Wright

    Six guns and society: A structural study of the Western (1975) - William Wright [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Six guns and society: A structural study of the Western (1975) - William Wright [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Paperback edition

    Most criticism of the popular arts has had as its raison d'etre an assumption that these works have a particularly direct relation to our society and can tell us a great deal about our culture and ourselves. But the nature of that relation is so complex and little understood that much writing on popular culture degenerates into narrow analyses of a particular social phenomena, seen in a direct causal connection to a corresponding narrow aspect of movies, rock music, print media, or television. The result is seen in protests against violence in films, protests that assume movie violence causes violence in the streets, or "national character" portraits which find Americans to be violent because our films mirror this trait.

    Obviously there is a reciprocal relation here, not a one-way, cause-effect one. Movies both reflect the values and ideology of the culture and are a means of reproduction of that ideology. The ability of popular culture to reflect and express a wide range of contradictions that arise from the tensions of our socio-economic structure is awesome. Thus, a writer with a foregone conclusion can assemble evidence for any position if his/her sample is "carefully" chosen.

    If criticism is to reveal what popular culture expresses and reflects about ourselves and our society, we need a method which will allow us to interrogate this relationship. It must be capable of incorporating the mass economic base of the popular arts and the nature of the shared cultural experience, and it must not mystify its own assumptions and genesis. It must be able to find its structure in the works of popular culture themselves and not restructure or reduce their elements to "prove" an argument.

    Structuralism is a method of analysis first developed to study the structure of language. It was then used to interrogate the relationship between a form of popular culture (mythology) and the culture that produced it. Anthropologists Claude Lévi-Strauss and Vladimir Propp believed that the structure of the narrative elements in basic myths could reveal the structure of the society itself. The social, political, economic and psychological organization of primitive societies could be "read" in their mythology. According to Lévi-Strauss, myths, like language, structure and communicate the world view and values of a culture through repeated patterns of narrative "functions."

    Will Wright, an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California, San Diego, takes structuralism as his methodology to examine the relation between Western movies and U.S. institutions and attitudes, drawing on the work by Lévi-Strauss in anthropology and on that of Kenneth Burke in literary criticism. The idea of treating Westerns as the mythology of our culture is not new: Peter Wollen (Signs and Meaning in the Cinema), Jim Kitses (Horizons West), and John Cawelti (The Six-Gun Mystique) have written books on the subject. In Six-Guns and Society, Wright takes far more of a socio-historical and less of a psychological approach than any of the previous books on the subject of myth. --Janey Place via Jump Cut, no. 18, August 1978, pp. 26-28 copyright Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media, 1978, 2005 via http://www.ejumpcut.org/archive/onlinessays/JC18folder/6gunsSociety.html [Dec 2005]

    Jump Cut
    Online journal on film and other contemporary media. Seeks to recognize media in social and political context in relation to class, race, and gender.

    Co-editors John Hess - Chuck Kleinhans - Julia Lesage

    Associate Editors
    Edith Becker, Julianne Burton, Michelle Citron, Doug Eisenstark, Jane Gaines, Kathy Geritz, Deborah Holdstein, Ernie Larsen, Gina Marchetti, Sherry Millner, Manji Pendakur, Dana Polon, Mark Reid, B. Ruby Rich, Kimberly Safford, Robert Stam, Peter Steven, Tom Waugh, Claire Whitaker, Linda Williams

    See also: Structuralism - Structuralist film theory - film theory - film genre - genre theory - 1975 - western film

    2005, Dec 22; 21:56 ::: Sweet Snail (c. 1909) - Franz von Bayros

    Sweet Snail (c. 1909) - Franz von Bayros

    See also: Austria - erotic art - decadents - 1909 - Franz von Bayros

    2005, Dec 22; 19:56 ::: Addio zio Tom (1971) - Gualtiero Jacopetti, Franco Prosperi

    Addio zio Tom (1971) - Gualtiero Jacopetti, Franco Prosperi
    Image sourced here. [Dec 2005]

    Capitan Trash Zio Tom Google gallery

    See also: "mondo" film - Africa - documentary film - Italy - Gualtiero Jacopetti - 1971

    2005, Dec 22; 19:56 ::: Africa Addio (1966) - Gualtiero Jacopetti, Franco Prosperi

    Africa Addio (1966) - Gualtiero Jacopetti, Franco Prosperi
    Image sourced here. [Dec 2005]

    Capitan Trash Google gallery

    See also: "mondo" film - Africa - documentary film - Italy - Gualtiero Jacopetti - 1966

    2005, Dec 22; 18:56 ::: The Awful Dr. Orloff (1962) - Jess Franco

    Howard Vernon is the The Awful Dr. Orloff (1962) - Jess Franco
    Image sourced here. [Dec 2005]

    Howard Vernon (15 July 1914 - 25 July 1996), real name Mario Lippert, was a Swiss actor. He was born to a swiss father and an American mother and could speak fluently German, English and French. Originally a stage and radio actor, he worked primarily in France and became a well-known supporting actor after 1945 by playing villainous naziofficers in French films. Jean-Pierre Melville's Le Silence de la mer, in which he played a gentle anti-nazi German officer, made him somewhat famous, but, in part due to his looks and swiss accent, he was subsequently relegated to playing gangsters and heavies.

    In the 1960s, he became a favorite actor of Spanish horror director Jesus Franco (Aka Jess Franco) and began starring in many low-budget horror movies, produced in Spain or in France. He kept making increasingly small appearances in high-profile movies while often getting top billing in many Z-grade horror films. He remained active until his death. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Vernon [Dec 2005]

    See also: horror film - 1962 - Spain - Jess Franco - Dr. Orloff - Les Yeux sans Visage

    2005, Dec 22; 11:56 ::: Despotic Bodies and Transgressive Bodies: Spanish Culture from Francisco Franco to Jesus Franco (2002) - Tatjana Pavlovic

    Despotic Bodies and Transgressive Bodies: Spanish Culture from Francisco Franco to Jesus Franco (2002) - Tatjana Pavlovic [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    From the Publisher
    Focusing on Spanish culture and society in the second half of the twentieth century, Despotic Bodies and Transgressive Bodies traverses a variety of disciplines: literature, film studies, cultural studies, feminist theory, and history, to examine crucial moments of cultural transition. Beginning with an analysis of the period of autarky—Spain's economic, cultural, and ideological isolation under Francisco Franco's regime—Pavlovic then explores the tumultuous passage to capitalism in the late 1950s and 1960s. She follows this by revisiting the complex political situation following Franco's death and points out the difficulties in Spain's transition from dictatorship to democracy. Combining a strong theoretical background with a detailed study of marginalized texts (La fiel infantería), genres (the Spanish comedy known as the comedia sexy celtibérica), and film directors (Jesús Franco), Pavlovic reveals the construction of Spanish national identity through years of cultural tensions.

    See also: Spain - Jess Franco - transgessive - body

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