Thursday, November 20, 2003

I wish I had more time to write about the events I’ve attended over the last few weeks. I should have mentioned a trip to San Diego where Manny Farber presented Pickup on South Street by Samuel Fuller and asked us to consider the clean economy of the camera shots; or a reading by Jordan Davis, Christopher Edgar, and Sarah Manguso at Dawson’s Books, where Horatio Hornblower and the man-on-the-moon met in an all-consuming battle of the text (it was a draw); or Delphine Gleize’s debut feature Carnage, which, while overwrought at times, melds Buñuel, Altman, and Almodóvar into a sturdy pig-iron bed frame (good for dreaming); or Gregorio Rocha’s The Lost Reels of Pancho Villa, a documentary film that proves, among other things, that film really does change history (and history is changed by the manipulation of film); or Agnès Varda, who presented her films Le Lion Volatil and Jacquot de Nantes at the American Cinematheque. The first follows up on André Breton’s dare to throw a bone at the Lion de Belfort statue at the Place Denfert-Rochereau in Paris, and the second imagines Jaques Demy’s childhood as a happy breeding ground for his later films, Bay of Angels, Lola, Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Young Girls of Rochefort, Donkey Skin, The Pied Piper of Hamelin, etc. Varda, who completed Jacquot de Nantes in the aftermath of her husband Demy’s death, described her time spent editing the film as the work of mourning.

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