Slow Down

Of course! I’ve been writing furiously and working hard. Things are percolating. My boyfriend visited this weekend and I came down with something. My head feels huge and my thoughts are running away from me in a haze of sinus drugs. The skin underneath my right eye has been throbbing. I have an allergy to IB Profin; the last time I took it, in high school, complaining about being a woman, the skin underneath my right eye swelled up as if I had been hit in the eye. I got out of more classes than I should’ve with that allergy. Any and all writing about Diablo Cody: Good For Ladies? and the Modest Mouse video for “Little Motel” will have to wait. I have a hot date with nyquil and sleep.

An awesomely French review of Gus Van Sant’s Paranoid Park from imdb:

If that is art-cinema I am against art

*** This comment may contain spoilers *** (feel free to click through, and read the review in a terrifically French accent!)

A mediocre, unremarkable, banal, meaningless teenager. A divorced mother who has no time to dedicate to him. A father who is a perambulating tattooed picture book. A skateboard and a skateboarding park. People there who are anything but saints and innocent people. The teenager becomes bored. Who wouldn’t? So he reinvents adventure that has been gotten rid of by society. He follows those who propose adventure but he is nothing but a submissive witness. His first sex affair is an accepted rape. His first beer or why not cigarette or anything will be an accepted experience pushed upon him by someone. One day he will jump on a passing goods train for fun. A security guard will come along and try to get the teenager down. The guard will be pushed away and fall in front and under the wheels of an engine and a whole train. Mediocre violent games that turn sour. We could think the teenager might grow. Sure not. He invents lies to cover his secret. He hides everything and covers up his tracks and decides to keep the secret to himself even if he has to pay a few bad dreams. The film itself is banal. The same old tricks and tools in shooting, framing and editing. The repeated scenes, the first time before we know about the crime and the second time after we do. We have already seen that kind of a telling technique, which becomes telling about the threadbare cinematographic technique of the director. Then what’s left? Our society has condemned teenagers to total inactivity and boredom and they will look for the entertainments and activities they will be able to find. They will let dealers and pushers push them around into doing who knows what. And that’s it, that’s all. They call that art-cinema? I call that rather a repeated repeating bore. That cinema negates the main mediatic dimension of the cinema, the heavy and powerful call to our sensations, emotions and even spirituality and intellect. It is like some rather thin pea-soup that runs off their veins, which makes that cinema extra-terrestrial due to its green blood.

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris Dauphine, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne & University Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines

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