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Re: asian newave...

PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2001 11:58 am
by katsuben
damnit! :) [there is a slight difference in the posts! a correction of terms due to unhappiness with correctness.] my pardons.

Re: asian newave...

PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2001 5:46 pm
by nana
anyone know that regae tune from chungking express is by?
"everyday is a new day..." was it? anyway, any info would be great, i always wanted to find out, but didn't know where to look. wong kar-wai films' music selection is something else. piazzolla's tango in happy together!!! the strings in ashes of time!!! even wong faye's dreams cover in ck express woes me...not to mention frank zappa and the turtles!!!
sucker for pop music i am.
---nana
ps. i'm quite nervous about in the mood for love...it seems to be too hyped and too gorgeous i heard some say it's his best, but i have a bad gut feeling about it. also, is it true yi yi is not being release at all here(us) in theatre?

Re: asian newave...

PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2001 1:12 am
by theairburns
Requium for a Dream is probably the most miunderstood film this year. The theme of abandonment dominates the thinking of many artists in films (Egoyan's Sweet Hereafter was direct). The thing is, modern man and woman are alone (Dylan sings, "We're all left stranded here, but we're all doing our best to deny it"). Aronofsky makes it clear that the two kids in love, caught in their defensive narcissism, are just not able to connect. This is the modern dilemma. We can't trust, not really, because there is no tangible evidence for trust. We are fearful of each other and deny it. But being horribly, frighteningly alone--how does a person deal with it? Distraction. I think the point of the film is that the horror of being alone/abondoned in the world without a clue of how to go about connecting with another human soul--even one's own son, mother, girlfriend or friend--leaves us no choice but to seek distraction, to not think (Dylan sings, "There's no time to think"). We can pursue fame, wealth, power, sex, knowledge, watch television, shoot dope--it's all the same thing because it is all death in the absence of an intimate connection--we are the walking dead. In Pi Aronofsky implies that we lack the essential ground, the transcendent. Life and love are right in front of us everyday (the little girl, her mother, the swaying tree branch) but we cannot connect because we have abandoned the transcendent. Now we seek a fix. We can no longer point our finger at the drug addict and pretend his life is more wretched than ours. Or rather, we can, by a seemingly elevated distraction, even talking about films. And the more we passionately pursue life without ground, the more staccato life becomes (the form of Requiem) and more empty, violent and meaningless.

Re: asian newave...

PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2001 2:38 am
by katsuben
an impassioned reasoning on requiem, but don't you think antonioni represented similar themes in a far superior fashion? talk about abandonment in requiem, aronofsky certainly abandons subtlety! i don't take well to having very obvious subjects rammed into my head in such an unappealing manner. do you think aronofsky was aiming for a misanthropic reading? i don't see what there is to think about with this film because the material has no subtext. i think one major difference between requiem and, say, L'Eclisse, is that antonioni is self-consciously aware of his position within the society he is representing and reflects it within the context of the film. aronofsky seems to want to stand outside and preach. relentlessly. but maybe i should watch it again (yikes) before passing final judgement. prior knowledge of the thematic might change the interpretation.

Re: asian newave...

PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2001 3:36 am
by theairburns
Antonnioni is the master. His Red Desert covers all the themes of alienation, abandonment, violence (to the human soul)and holds up little hope (the hope is at the end when the woman and child walk away w/the industrial wasteland in the background and one senses that this woman, who is obviously mad, is the one who has hope because she is looking at the wasteland for what it is--her madness(nervous breakdown) brought on by a trauma that reveals the fragility of life and thereby the deep fear of death. But her nervous breakdown is a nervous breakthrough, an awakening, if she can through grace chart a way out of the madness, something we never find out, but in her there is hope. Everyone else in the film is like all the characters in Requiem, giving themselves over to endless distraction, and the upper-crust have more money for more distractions and thereby can more easily pass through life without ever having to look at their living deaths. In Eclipse the stock market it the grand distraction, as the television show is for the mother in Requiem.
It is easier to reach the soul through quiet and minimilism, imagery and sound. But Aronofsky's blazing autopsy on the lie we live must be commended.
The human person in Antonnioni's world is lost (La Aventura & Blow Up being very direct in this theme). We cannot find each other--we are all lost in assigned identities, or identities we adopt to simply have company to stave off the alienation, but this is a more terrible aloneness. During Blow up, the photographer's roomate, an artist, points to a piece of paint in an abstract drawing and says that that is the center of the picture. At the end Antonionni frames a similar canvas, and the spot is the human person, the center. Antonnioni obviously loves life/humanity.
Yes, Antonnioni is the master. Aronofsky is a New Yorker (so am I) who is in your face. But when our neighbors are walking around traumatized by this terrible abandonment, sometimes we can't help oursleves--we scream! (Aronofsky)
Of all the young directors, Egoyan is a true master artist, and it is no coincidense that Antonnioni asked him to take over directing his latest film if he is not able to finish it. I'm certain A is tipping his hat to Egoyan.
But there are important artists, and then there are the masters, like Antonnioni, Tarkovsky, Bergman, Godard and Teshigahara. But I appreciate every effort at diving into the truth from where the artist stands, regardless how great their gift.

Re: asian newave...

PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2001 4:03 am
by theairburns
I failed to answer your question: no, I don't think Aronofsky is aiming at anything misanthropic. And I do see subtlety in Requiem, although it might not be subtle to others. I loved how he used the camera angels to show with pure image the narcissistic nature of the two kids' love affair. In one of the most important philosophic/theological works in modern times, God Without Being, Jean-Luc Marion argues that all relationships are either idolotrous or iconic, the former a form of self love in disguise, the latter the other as a way to the transcendent, to escape self-absorbtion by moving out of oneself to higher ground (Beatrice in Dante). The book is thick in its reasoningg, and I'd prefer a hiaku, a summing up, and Aronofsky does this with an image. Also, the poem by Frost (I can't remember the title--I don't usually read poetry) where the man walking through the woods in a state of melancholy, and a piece of snow falls off a branch down his neck, and it shocks him back to centeredness, out of his self-absorbtion, and this is reminiscent of what they used to do in mental hospitals, a person in deep melancholy, throwing him in a tub filled with ice water. And this is the appraoch of Aronofsky. It can be maddening, but slow death is all around us. Pi convinced me that Aronofsky's concern is that we reach each other, to not accept the death sentence.

Re: asian newave...

PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2001 4:16 am
by nana
ok...i might see it again too(just to be sure i suppose), but i don't think i can handle all the
digital/special effect of requiem again. i think you are reading way too far into it airburn...
beside, you can almost relate alienation to almost anything. even so... i still don't get how you
can compare requiem to l'avventura!!! Darren Aronofsky to Michelangelo Antonioni or robert
bresson??? ok. we'll see in twenty or thirty years or so...but i highly doubt it.
---nana

Re: asian newave...

PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2001 4:19 am
by nana
theairburns---
sorry if i mispelled your name, didn't mean any harm ok.
---nana

Re: asian newave...

PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2001 4:38 am
by theairburns
I wasn't trying to compare Antonioni and Aronofsky, except in saying Antonioni is a master artist and that many artists, especially in film, are way ahead of the social scientists in exploring abandonment and the depth of voyeurism as the mangled norm in our society. Hitchcok's masterpiece, Vertigo, preceded works like Cronenberg's Videodrome (based on the insights of Marshall McCluan), but even Hitchcock I wouldn't place alongside Antonionni and Tarkovsky. I say this because master artists encompass the whole spectrum of the human condition in their time, not any particular malady or glory. That's why I say Egoyan, who explores modern themes as well, I'd say better, than any artist out there, is a master artist. Somehow in his works the entire spectrum of the human condition comes through.

Re: asian newave...

PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2001 9:05 am
by katsuben
theairburns, cheers for your thoughts. i agree with the bulk of your interpretation with respect to alienation and isolation. as peter brunette made clear in his book on antonioni, it is too obvious to read L'Avventura and the other films of the trilogy + Red Desert as purely investigating that thematic. of particular importance to brunette, for example, is that antonioni seemed to be responding to the context of economic boom in italy (a financial growth that leads to upper middle-class citizens such as Sandro to indulge in frivolous lifestyle). also, remember his speech at cannes in 1960 where he stated his feelings about the inability of human morality to evolve. the isolation reading is but one of many and this is what makes antonioni's work constantly studied. aronofsky's work does not have such layers. (god, it's not a crime! but given a choice between the two. . .i just wouldn't want to over-appreciate aronofsky for what amounts to a loud, melodramatic, unsympathetic film.)