& (A film in 13 scenes, scenes 6 & 7 & 8)

It also does not think that the unity of time & action is of particular importance no not nearly as important as the unity of a world of matter & a rage of world
  6.   In the next scene, a razor slices through a moon, dragging inch by inch across its icy surface.  This is the simplest scene in the film taken in medium long shot. That is in relation to the moon meaning that it is extremely long shot for objects such as eyes or razors. There is nothing tricky or complex about this simple process. Yet it is also the longest scene given the difference in size between the two relevant objects that constitute the action. It therefore goes on for five hours even though the razor moves with increasing velocity. A razor slices across a moon inch by inch then foot by foot then mile by mile. That slice follows the furrow of the already slashed it heals the wound that has been there for thousands of years &… Read More...

& (A film in 13 scenes, scenes 4 & 5)

On that wall someone has written SMOKE PIGS! in spraypaint. It is not an ad for Pig Brand Cigarettes.
4. It is a very comic scene involving the police and a criminal. It seems they have caught the criminal before the scene even started. In an iris-out from black the criminal is shown in medium-long shot toward the left part of the screen. The criminal is in front of a brick wall. On that wall someone has written SMOKE PIGS! in spraypaint.  It is not an ad for Pig Brand Cigarettes. It is possible that the criminal wrote those words. I say the criminal instead of he or she because you cannot see what the criminal looks like. This is because the criminal is wearing a ridiculous dog costume.  It has big plastic eyes as well a big tail that quivers every time the criminal moves.  The dog costume is slightly crushed.  A small amount of black liquid drips… Read More...

& (A film in 13 scenes, scene 3)

In the next scene there is a slightly pink tundra, flecked with spots of black.  It is a probably the first slightly pink tundra in…
In the next scene there is a slightly pink tundra, flecked with spots of black.  It is a probably the first slightly pink tundra in the history of movies. The spots of black are lakes set into that frozen pink. Nothing is running across the tundra. Not one thing runs not even the wind.  The weave of the grass held in the permafrost does not move it is a beautiful landscape & it seems to extend forever The slightly pink is tremendous, everywhere at once.  Even though it cannot go past the edge of the screen that is it’s impossible to know if it does it is like a fog. There is so much of it that it seems it could spill out forever. That is exactly what the film seems to be saying. Listen the entire world is pink… Read More...

& (A film in 13 scenes, scene 3)

this dismissal of the conjunction of flesh & land has always been the fatal error of armies & cartographers alike costing them both infinite losses in the grave fields of history
In the next scene there is a slightly pink tundra, flecked with spots of black.  It is a probably the first slightly pink tundra in the history of movies the spots of black are lakes set into that frozen pink nothing is running across the tundra not one thing runs not even the wind the weave of the grass held in the permafrost does not move it is a beautiful landscape & it seems to extend forever The slightly pink is tremendous, everywhere at once.  Even though it cannot go past the edge of the screen that is it’s impossible to know if it does it is like a fog there is so much of it it seems that it could spill out forever that is exactly what the film seems to be saying listen the entire world is pink… Read More...

& (A film in 13 scenes, scenes 1 & 2)

a factory cannot edit itself it can only persist or collapse these are the basic conditions in which the wind carries the black & the wind in all directions
1.   The film does not open with dark, which is how a film is supposed to start.  It does not open with light which is how one knows that a film has finished starting no it opens with a pulsing that has almost nothing to do with light or dark to be clear it also is not thick or thin but something moves within it something moves no the film does not open with a close-up or a long shot it opens with many things that pass amongst or through themselves but just like there is not light or dark there are also not even shapes moving it just pulses & not a one thing more In this scene, many animals will die.  The pulsing was a mass of animal it is not a herd or a school and… Read More...

I saw a man’s skull on a tower

[S a/o B has been on unannounced hiatus while dealing with things non-internetable.  Now back.  Taking the skull back off the tower and back into…
[S a/o B has been on unannounced hiatus while dealing with things non-internetable.  Now back.  Taking the skull back off the tower and back into the world.  Thought to follow.] Read More...

Dr. Mabuse Dispassionately Recites Communist Theory Over Found Footage of Riots

Nor, for the record, did I go on a boozy spree and hypnotize Hollywood into installing bodiless voice-over narration in a good half of film noir.
[This is a modified, expanded version of the text of a performance/treatise/non-film that a proxy version of myself gave at the Whitney a while back, from behind a black curtain. It is, in one sense, a theory film by other means, spoken by famed hypnotist and criminal mastermind Dr. Mabuse, now worse for the wear having been generally discarded by the 20th century.  The rest explains itself.  In the actual event, the text was read by my voice.  It was an audio piece, for a specific physical space.  However, given that its concern is that of the relationship between opacity and communication, with the act of trying to elaborate together - conspiring - as the mechanism between them, the kind of non-film it is means that it is makes more  sense if routed through the particular voice of any  reader,… Read More...

We paralyze the everyday reproduction of the working class

from this struggle that built a first breakwater of defense to let us catch our breath and keep our heads above the flood of labor, from this struggle we had to begin.
This text, “On the construction of feminist committees”, is from the same group - the Comitato Triveneto - who wrote the “Women in armed struggle” text I posted two days ago.  The source from which I’m working presented this as an abridged text, marked by the […].  If I can track down a more complete version, I’ll add in. Translation first, then a few comments. “On the construction of feminist committees” (…) we of the Triveneto Committee have constructed our political perspective along indications that had already emerged from the women’s struggle for state assistance [welfare] in the United States and in Great Britain.  That is, the political program of “more money and less work” posed by women, which necessarily had to pass through the demand of money for the work of raising kids, was already a demand of money as… Read More...

Destroy yourselves as our bosses. Destroy yourselves as the inexhaustible vacuums of our domestic labor.

When the flowers of the garden no longer smell sweet, when the leaves refuse to bloom and the birds to sing, the bosses of the garden go into crisis.
[Two more translated Italian communist texts from the '70s.  These need no introduction, as nearly everything they say still applies today.  Both are from 1976.  Both are fierce, enraged, subtle, and sharp as hell.]   “On the Men’s Movement”† “Retake our lives”† is the slogan the men’s movement has been shouting for years.  Real need.   Mystified program.  For men, outside of the factory, the school, etc, there exist no “green spaces” of free time.  They are objects of our domestic labor.  They are compromises with Capital against us because they exploit our domestic labor, our life so that they can survive. This is the bottleneck† where Capital has shoved them.  But not recognizing this as a bottleneck has lead them to conceive a reformist program of struggle for life. A crisis of relations, a crisis of sexuality, a crisis of… Read More...

Women in armed struggle

The state is astonished. Men are astonished. We are astonished that they are astonished. And now we come to the problem.
[From an earlier time] The second in what will be a series of translations of texts from communist and anarchist struggles in the Italian Long 1970s. (The text is below the break for those who want to skip my introductory comments on the period.  However, one initial prefatory note is needed: the text is pretty explicit regarding violence, medical and sexual, perpetuated against women.  The title should make that clear, but given differing reader reactions to that material, it seems important to give some advanced warning.) Why designate the “Long ‘70s”? To think through this period, I'd venture that it makes sense less as a chronologically bounded decade than as an elaborate, and elaborated, complex of fundamental problems, ones approached and extended through what was one of the most - if not the most - sustained attacks on the social… Read More...

What the hell is the family?

it is them, it is women, above all, who have an objective interest in ruining this condition
 This is a text I translated from Rosso, an Italian communist journal, from '74. It's written by the rather formally named “Study Group on the Family In Collaboration with the Workers’ Committee ALFA-FACE-IBM.” It is, in short, an attempt to figure out the economic and ideological function of the family form, particularly in its Italian incarnation. (That is to say, a very strong, deeply embedded, and quite particular incarnation.) Many of its analyses won't be particularly surprising to some readers, as it draws on the better-known texts of Dalla Costa and James and on the theses of Lotta Femminista more generally.  Nevertheless, it helps flesh out the debates of the time and offers a number of sharp, rightfully bilious takes on dynamics that - no surprise - remain as cussedly true now as ever.  Nearly 40 years haven't changed the… Read More...

An old man and an older woman battle to the death in an ancient manner

she probably told Gilgamesh he’d get fat off all those loaves of bread, probably sucker punched Jesus, replaced Roland’s horn with a protophonograph that split his temples from sheer sonic distress, told Vlad the Impaler that his methods were obsolescent, flooded Paris a few times for a laugh
He turned not quite in time to see that there was something directly behind him now that was most certainly not made of wood, that had full use of its legs, and that had very, very sharp fangs. A yelp of pain as the stiletto raked across his bare back splitting the muscle like bread and his weapon fell away from him and he would have been cooked had he not sprang forward into a dusty somersault so the blood spun out from him a blurry pinwheel him and his sputter blood alike they crashed into the weighty chair and came quick to feet to face his opponent. She was, indeed, a very old woman, very much like the one he had thought was her but which after all had proven to be less woman than cabinet or doll.  This… Read More...

the junction of a tricycle & a hammer under a busted gambling table

A cheer arose. Somehow they had gotten the entire dome of the Madonna dell’Orto off intact. A true feat of uncivil engineering, and they rolled it through the streets as though they had decapitated a giant. Onto the rubbish mound it went.
The new Venetians were coming forth to the setting sun and the approaching fleet. They came out of gutted houses and gutted banks, they came on rickety rafts and gondolas through the canals.  They clambered out of manholes into the light and they stopped their work in the garden but they did not put down their tools, the hoes and spades, the poles and rakes, they carried them across the square to join the eddying flood of prisoners that gathered by the hundreds, the thousands, those who do not break into a nerve’s run but walk steady through the bent and buckling streets.  They took those tools and those fingers and they wedged them under the stones of the square and they pried them out, one by one, clean and ragged.  They tore the stone shutters from stone window frames,… Read More...

What are you going to do, tear down half the city

Well, watch out. One of these days you'll turn on the tap, and blood will run out...
Deputy D.A. Traini: Do you know how much this concrete jungle has cost so far? 400 billion. Commissario Bonavia: And 59 killings. Deputy D.A. Traini: 63, counting the four of today. Commissario Bonavia: Those are the ones in the cemetery... A great many of them are buried right here: in cement. But what are you gonna do, tear down half the city?... Where do you live anyway? Deputy D.A. Traini: Here in the vicinity. Commissario Bonavia: Well, watch out. One of these days you'll turn on the tap, and blood will run out... Or you'll see something in a crack in the wall, scrape it out and what will you see? A finger, or an eye. Read More...

And it is once again the cinema that is most capable of wreaking this metaphysical, seditious havoc

A cinema worth its salt could do much worse than to dedicate its next year, or however long it will take, to screening as many of the 500 plus films from Film as a Subversive Art on which hands could be laid. An occupied cinema could do no better.
A death to be marked: Amos Vogel died yesterday.   His Film as a Subversive Art  had slipped through the cracks of my reading for a lot of years.  When a friend showed it to me, with the telling incredulity of "this you have to read," it was, for me as for a lot of others, a revelation that continues.  It was, is, and will be, one of the most crucial books written about, as he puts it, "the evolution from taboo into freedom."    Provided we understand evolution as a less a one-way street than a many-headed rotunda, then the book is precisely about this.  It is so because it doesn't flee into general ontologies of cinema.  It doesn't merely rewatch Bresson or Murnau or any other of the forever-fêted and make claims about what it is that "The Cinema"… Read More...

Three screens, a blinded cyclops, a name

To enucleate this low-res Polyphemus bolted to the ground of a roof, cursed to swivel and not to call out to its father at sea any words of blame and loathing other than WELCOME TO VIRTUAL VIEWFINDER! TOUCH THE SCREEN TO GET STARTED
1. I was in Lisbon a while ago to talk about cities and about things people occasionally do in and between them, like loot and blockade.  I had never been to Lisbon before.  It reminds me of San Francisco, if SF had the courage to get all gussied up in tin-glazed ceramic tiles and let itself get weather-buffed for a millennium.  (The human equivalent is a crusty old sailor wearing paisley.  Who had gone through a national revolution less than 40 years ago, or in human timescale, a couple years ago.)  I strongly urge San Francisco, and all American cities, to consider these twin options: massive political upheaval and gutsy ornamentation.  Graffiti doesn't count, on either front. Not living in Lisbon, I walked and looked at buildings. At the top of the Church of Santa Engrácia, standing on the big… Read More...