Thursday, February 25, 2016

inspiration, derivation, or no relation? (3)

"We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken." —Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment (1866)

Museum Hours (Jem Cohen, 2012)

Monday, January 25, 2016

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Thursday, November 26, 2015

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The Chinese astrologer wears out his years calculating the date of his death. Until dawn each night he amasses signs, figures. He ages, becomes a stranger to his fellows; but his calculations advance. He reaches his goal. Astrology will reveal the date of his death. Then, one morning, the brush falls from his fingers. From loneliness, from fatigue, perhaps from regret, he dies. He had but one sum left to perform.
     Allow me to liken the Chinese astrologer to the intellectual who died of exhaustion at a young age for, on top of a draining, harassing, and poorly paid day job, he put his every spare moment toward preparing a monumental and definitive critical edition of Lafargue's The Right to Be Lazy.
                                                                            —Jean Ferry, The Conductor and Other Tales

November 26

When Karl Marx read The Right to Be Lazy, he concluded, "If that's Marxism, then I'm no Marxist."
     The author, Paul Lafargue, seemed less a communist than an anarchist who harbored a suspicious streak of tropical lunacy.

     Neither was Marx pleased at the prospect of having this not-very-light-complexioned Cuban for a son-in-law. "An all too intimate deportment is unbecoming," he wrote to him when Paul began making dangerous advances on his daughter Laura. And he added solemnly: "Should you plead defence of your Creole temperament, it becomes my duty to interpose my sound sense between your temperament and my daughter."
     Reason failed.

     Laura Marx and Paul Lafargue shared their lives for more than forty years.
     And on this night in the year 1911, when life was no longer life, in their bed at home and in each other's arms, they set off on the final voyage. 
                                                                                                                —Eduardo Galeano, Children of the Days

Monday, November 09, 2015

affinities XXVIII

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (Herzog, 1974); A Field in England (Wheatley, 2013)

There are also some similarities between Wheatley's bleak and blackly humorous film and Beckett's Waiting for Godot—some superficial, some not.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

the Monoculture

From Noah Tavlin's "What 'Orwellian' Really Means," animated by TED-Ed.

I really ought to get a tumblr for stuff like this...

Thursday, October 01, 2015


leafie: a hen into the wild, animal rights, vegetarianism, seong-yun oh,
leafie: a hen into the wild, animal rights, vegetarianism, seong-yun oh, world vegetarian day,
leafie: a hen into the wild, animal rights, vegetarianism, seong-yun oh, battery hens, factory farming,

Leafie, A Hen into the Wild (Seong-yun Oh, 2011)

Monday, August 31, 2015

things overheard (I)


A. (a man in his late 20s)
B. (a man in his late 50s)

Scene: A woman in her early 20s stops near the two men. She takes a moment to playfully flirt with B., then exits.

A. (in earnest, turning to B.): "That's low. If I had a daughter who flirted with an older man like that, I'd slap her silly. It's disgusting."

B: "I don't know if I would," B. ponders, giving the thought due consideration.

He longed to beat her, to strangle her, to tear her hair out... He sat still, his arms crossed, his eyes turned skyward, his mind too agitated to think as yet. He only felt within him the rancour fermenting and the anger swelling which lurk at the heart of all mankind in presence of the caprices of feminine desire... Then by degrees his mind became calmer, and bearing up against his pain, he thought: "All women are prostitutes. We must make use of them, and not give them anything of ourselves." The bitterness in his heart rose to his lips in words of contempt and disgust. He repeated to himself: "The victory in this world is to the strong. One must be strong..." —Maupassant, Bel Ami (1885)

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From Anthony Bourdain's The Layover (2011)

Monday, August 24, 2015

consciousness deferred

Ex Machina (Alex Garland, 2015)
La Noire de... / Black Girl (Ousmane Sembène, 1966)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

a real life conversation (II)

Setup: A. and her sisters have agreed to a book club. The Picture of Dorian Gray is their first selection. B. is a work acquaintance.

B. Have you started Dorian Gray yet?

A. (remembering) Oh! No, not yet. (Pause.) My sister is half-way through, and she said it was boring.

B. Really? I'm surprised. Almost everything Lord Henry says is either witty or funny, and often both.

A. Does it take a while to get started? Is there a lot of description in the beginning?

B. No. There's a conversation between Lord Henry and another character by the second page or so.

A. Well, I think my sister just has very high standards.

Monday, August 17, 2015

inspiration, derivation, or no relation? (2)

After someone in the film gives a nightmarish performance, the MC says the following (not sure why the closed caption is so blurry):

Lost River (Ryan Gosling, 2014)

("By the way, he's also available for children's parties.")

"FUCK THAT, I WANT MY ROCKSTARS DEAD!!! I want them to fucking play with one hand and put a gun in their other fucking hand and go 'Hope you enjoyed the show!' [mimics gunshot to the head] YEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSS!!! YEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!! PLAY FROM YOUR FUCKING HEAAAAARRRRRRRT! [pause] Ahem, I am available for children's parties by the way." —Bill Hicks

Night Train To Lisbon (Billie August, 2013)

"If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses." —Lenny Bruce (early 1960s)

"A lot of Christians wear crosses around their necks. You think when Jesus comes back he ever wants to see a fucking cross? It's like going up to Jackie Onassis wearing a rifle pendant." —Bill Hicks (early 90s)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Twitter, links, etc.

Since Google+ is a graveyard I've moved my "Recent Links & Discoveries" to Twitter (@TheTarpeianRock—link also on sidebar). I'm not 100% adept at Twitter yet, not completely sure I understand every aspect of it, and only one person I know uses the service... But I like trying to come up with pithy things to write. (Warning: Sometimes I tweet lame jokes into the wild!) I haven't done too much link sharing as of yet, largely because I haven't been reading/watching/exploring much online, but this will eventually change. Right now I'm just trying to have some fun with it.

Follow or check in periodically if interested.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

top: Pierre Brignaud via @mattzollerseitz (source)
bottom: Joan Cornellà via (source)

Monday, August 03, 2015

"Borges is half-blind. Never forget that." —Orson Welles

Excerpts from Jean-Paul Sartre's and Jorge Luis Borges' negative reviews of Citizen Kane have been making the rounds lately (you can navigate to them both from HERE). To accompany them I've scanned a chapter from My Lunches with Orson: Conversations between Henry Jaglom and Orson Welles in which Welles responds to their criticisms. (I extended it a little beyond the subjects in question due to the ridiculously amusing nature of the conversation.)

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