Saturday, April 30, 2011
I think the casting in DOMBAIS ET FILS is spot-on, because Caroline Bourg, who plays the daughter of Marie-France Pisier in this miniseries, looks like Kristin Scott Thomas.
Marie-France Pisier's films that I saw:
1.CELINE AND JULIE GO BOATING (1974, Jacques Rivette, A++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++)
2.THE PHANTOM OF LIBERTY (1974, Luis Buñuel, A++++++++++)
3.TRANS-EUROP-EXPRESS (1967, Alain Robbe-Grillet, A++++++++++)
4.DOMBAIS ET FILS (2007, Laurent Jaoui, A++++++++++)
5.TIME REGAINED (1999, Raoul Ruiz, A+)
6.THE BRONTE SISTERS (1979, André Téchiné, A+)
7.THE FRENCH ATLANTIC AFFAIR (1979, Douglas Heyes, 278 min)
8.THE LADY BANKER (1980, Francis Girod, A+)
9.THE ICE RINK (1998, Jean-Philippe Toussaint, A+)
I'm also saddened to know that Ken Russell suffered from a stroke.
Friday, April 29, 2011
The article in the link below questions the female roles in Andrei Tarkovsky's films. I'm not sure whether I agree with this article or not. Maybe I have to re-watch Tarkovsky's films again.
I wish some critics write articles about the female roles in the films of
1.Chana Kraprayoon, who directed DANGEROUS GIRLS (1976), OH MADA (1977), RAI SANAYHA (1979), VICTIMS (1987), TONG PRAGAI SAD (1988)
2.Permpol Choei-aroon, who directed LIFE IS A BITCH (1977), MUANG NAI MORK (1978), A CITY OF BEGGARS (1978), HOSTAGE HUSBAND (1985), and THE JUDGEMENT (1989)
Thursday, April 28, 2011
The event is organized by Bodin Theparat. The poster is designed by Nattaphan Boonlert.
This is what Ratchapoom Boonbunchachoke wrote about Chaloemkiat's films:
" Chaloemkiat's films are structured like a vast, dazzling labyrinth in which being lost is considered less like a loss than a reward, the complex yet never tiring one to wander into. Challenging experiment inducing pleasure deserves to be seen and enjoyed. A must for the adventurous!"
This is what I wrote about Chaloemkiat in INDIAN AUTEUR:
" Chaloemkiat Saeyong’s masterpiece is Politically Lawyer and Narrative Cinema (2009, 27 min), which plays with many elements of cinema. The film tells a fictional story about a murder in an airport and uses this murder to remind the viewers of the real case of Somchai Neelaphaijit, a Thai political lawyer who disappeared in 2004. Wiwat Lertwiwatwongsa, a Thai film critic, makes an interesting observation that the film seems to both tell a story and destroy its story at the same time. The film is extremely self-reflexive and has numerous weird things in it. For example, both the English title and the Thai title of this film are “intentionally” grammatically wrong. The film shows us a lecture room or a corridor in a building, while a text appearing on the screen says that the audience must imagine that what they see is an airport. The film reminds me of some weird and wonderful films by Jean-Luc Godard. Chaloemkiat also made Peru Time (2008, 18 min), which lets us watch a sunset for 18 minutes while some unreadable texts keep appearing on the screen. Wiwat compares this film to the opening scene of India Song (1974, Marguerite Duras). Chaloemkiat also made A Place of Different Air (2008, 24 min), in which the images appearing on the screen change their sizes from time to time. This semi-documentary, semi-experimental film is about a family who has just moved to a new place, and the different image sizes seem to emphasize the contrast between the old place and the new place."
My comments on other films of Chaloemkiat:
Chaloemkiat's interview in Thai:
How to financially support Chaloemkiat's new film:
EMPLOYEES LEAVING THE LUMIERE FACTORY (2010, Chaloemkiat Saeyong, A+++++++++++++++) is my most favorite Thai film I have seen so far in 2011.
What I like very much in this film include:
1.Its trance-like quality. While I was watching this film, I feel as if I was having a trance. It's the same kind of feeling I get from watching AUTOHYSTORIA (2007, Raya Martin, A++++++++++).
2.Its darkness, its dim light, and the image of a woman in the dark.
3.Its sound effects. These sound effects might be just a room tone in most films. But in this film, this "room tone" becomes enormous, becomes something very special.
4.The film arouses my imagination very much by its darkness and its "room tone". The "dark scenes" in this film make my imagination explode.
5.Its repetitive structure. The same event seems to happen 3-4 times in this film, with slight differences each time. This structure reminds me of some films by Jean-Marie Straub.
6.The man lying on the stair. I think this is very weird and wonderful. Chaloemkiat said that this man performs "a sculpture" in this film.
7.The mysterious woman who walks in a very strange manner near the end of the film. Chaloemkiat said that he doesn't know who this woman is. She just walked into the frame of this film by accident.
9.Its uncompromising quality. I think it should be screened together with RUHR (James Benning).
10.The film can be greatly enjoyed no matter whether you understand this film or not. I had seen this film before I had a chance to listen to Chaloemkiat's explaining about why he had made this film. So while I was watching it, I had no clue at all what this film is all about. I didn't understand anything in this film, but I enjoy it very much.
After I had seen the film, Chaloemkiat explained to the audience that the film is about some film education in some Thai universities, which is like keeping the film students in total darkness.
Though this film has its real meaning, what I like very much about it is that I don't have to understand its real meaning to enjoy it. Even though I know its real meaning by now, I don't think I will focus my mind on its meaning when I have a chance to see it for the second time or third time. When I see this film for the second time or third time, I will forget its real meaning, I will let my imagination explode again, I will use the "sound" and the "images" in this film to imagine "other films" and "other stories" that I like.
FAVORITE THAI FILMS SEEN SO FAR IN 2011
1.EMPLOYEES LEAVING THE LUMIERE FACTORY (2010, Chaloemkiat Saeyong)
2.THE FESTIVAL OF DEMON SPIRIT (2011, Sittiporn Racha)
3.RESIST (2009, Teeranit Siangsanoh, 54 min)
4.ME AND MY VIDEO DIARY (Tani Thitiprawat, 30 min)
5.EROTIC FRAGMENTS NO. 1, 2, 3 (2011, Anucha Boonyawattana)
6.PANYA RENU (2011, Bhin Banluerit)
7.HUG NA SARAKHAM (2011, Tanwarin Sukkhapisit)
8.I HOPE WE WILL PASS THROUGH THIS NIGHT (2011, Wattanapume Laisuwanchai)
9.DINING TABLE (2011, Wararak Thienkunakorn)
10.PIG'S STORIES (2011, Amrit Chusuwan, video installations)
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011
1.The film is about interracial relationship.
2.The film seems to be made with good intentions towards its Asian characters.
3.The film has a nice supporting gay character.
However, I don't enjoy it that much, and I still can't figure out why. Maybe the reasons why I don't enjoy it include:
1.The heroine's mother seems to be a stereotyped character, but the Asian mother in MY BROTHER IS GETTING MARRIED (2007, Jean-Stéphane Bron, A+) is a little bit stereotyped, too, but I still like MY BROTHER IS GETTING MARRIED very much.
2.The film ends with the reconciliation between the runaway Asian woman and her family. Normally I love films of which the heroine severs her ties with her family at the end of the film, such as SHIRLEY VALENTINE and LE BLEU DES VILLES (1999, Stéphane Brizé), not the ending in which family members reconcile with one another.
However, I still worship the film RESTLESS (2009, Laurent Perreau, A+++++++++++++++) very much, though its heroine reconciles with her grandfather near the end of the film. In fact, the reconciliation between these two characters moves me so much that it makes me want to cry.
So I'm not sure that the reconciliation is the reason why I don't enjoy LA FILLE AU FOND DU VERRE A SAKE, because there are some family reconciliations in other films, and I still enjoy them.
Apart from LA FILLE AU FOND DU VERRE A SAKE, there are other films about Asian-Caucasian relationships which I don't enjoy, such as:
1.BUTTERFLY MAN (2002, Kaprice Kea, C)
2.THE LAST SAMURAI (2003, Edward Zwick, B-)
3.NOW CHINATOWN (2000, Steven Dunning, C)
4.ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BRIDGE (2002, Hu Mei, Austria, B-)
5.PARIS (2004, Ramin Niami, C)
I'm also not sure exactly why I don't enjoy the five films above, though these films seem to be made with good intentions towards their Asian characters, too.
Maybe some critics should analyze the five films above and LA FILLE AU FOND DU VERRE A SAKE, so that I may understand why I don't enjoy these films.
On the contrary, there are some films about Asian-Caucasian relationships that I like very much, including:
1.AE FOND KISS... (2004, Ken Loach, UK, A+)
2.THE HOME SONG STORIES (2007, Tony Ayres, Australia, A+)
3.IRON & SILK (1990, Shirley Sun, A+)
4.LADY BAR (2006, Xavier Durringer, France, A+)
5.M. BUTTERFLY (1993, David Cronenberg, A+)
6.MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE (1985, Stephen Frears, UK, A+)
7.NINA'S HEAVENLY DELIGHTS (2006, Pratibha Parmar, UK, A+)
8.SIAO YU (1995, Sylvia Chang, A-)
9.TERRIBLY HAPPY (2010, Pimpaka Towira, A+)
10.THE WEDDING BANQUET (1993, Ang Lee, A+)
This is the photo of Frédéric Siuen, a supporting actor in LA FILLE AU FOND DU VERRE A SAKE.
CONNECT (2010, Worawich Subtawesang, A)
Maybe this film should be screened together with RELATION (ระยะความเข้าใจ) (2008, Supakit Seksuwan, A)
Thanks to Wiwat Lertwiwatwongsa for telling us about CONNECT.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Oh, I like the attitude of John Waters on this thing very much. I think there are many films that failed to be respected by the critics and the audience, but there are still some interesting things or weird things in them. POLA X is surely one of them. ÉCOUTE VOIR may be one of them, too. I don't know if ÉCOUTE VOIR financially failed or not when it was released, but I guess the film might have failed in a way, because Hugo Santiago didn't become famous, and Deneuve doesn't do this kind of roles again.
In my opinion, I think THE 8TH DAY (แปดวันแปลกคน) (2008, Chatchai Yodseranee, A-) is a failed art film, too. I think the film is too ambitious, and may be too pretentious, but the film still stands apart from many Thai ghost films. THE 8TH DAY "couldn't find the right tone or the right element", but it is really "odd". I don't care much about this film when it was released, but three years have passed, and it seems no directors want to make a Thai ghost film like this again, so THE 8TH DAY becomes interesting, because it is still "different" from others.
THE 8TH DAY didn't fail totally. At least it helps re-launching the career of Wasana Chalakorn.
Another failed art film may be "THEORY ON THE DINING TABLE" (2010, Prachya Lampongchat, A++++++++++), which is a part of the omnibus film BROWN SUGAR 2. The film doesn't "fail" in my point of view, though it may fail in the eyes of some critics and the general audience.
Some "tribute" films are really bad, though. If I remember it correctly, WHEN BRENDAN MET TRUDY (2000, Kieron J. Walsh, C+) got a big inspiration from BREATHLESS, but I don't like WHEN BRENDAN MET TRUDY at all. But WHEN BRENDAN MET TRUDY is a mainstream film, so I don't think it belongs to the "failed art film" genre.
1.It is such a thrill for me to see Catherine Deneuve uses some martial art skills to deal with villains in this film. I usually like heroines who possess some martial art skills, such as the one in RAGING PHOENIX (2009, Rashane Limtrakul, A+++++), but I had never thought that Catherine Deneuve used to play in a role like this, too.
One of my most favorite scenes in ÉCOUTE VOIR is in the minute 3 in the clip below. It is the scene in which Deneuve fights with a villain and a villainess in a strange religious cult.
It is a pleasure to see Deneuve in a role like this. It is described in TIME OUT FILM GUIDE that her role in this film is a mix between Emma Peel and Humphrey Bogart. I have no knowledge about both Peel and Bogart, but I like Deneuve's character in this film very much.
I think Deneuve's role in this film is very different from the roles she usually plays. It makes me think of other great actresses who can show their true ability when they have a chance to play the roles they are not accustomed to. It makes me think of
1.1 Jamjuree Cherdshome, who plays a good-hearted woman in PLOENG PAI (1990, Thai TV series), though she usually plays the villainess in other TV series.
1.2 Chintara Sukapatana, who plays a tough servant in VICTIMS (1987, Chana Kraprayoon)
1.3 Charlize Theron in MONSTER (2003, Patty Jenkins, A+++++++++++++++)
1.4 Julia Roberts, who looks so serious in MARY REILLY (1996, Mary Reilly, A+)
1.5 Anna Faris, who looks like a normal, decent woman in YOGI BEAR (2010, Eric Brevig, A-/B+)
ÉCOUTE VOIR may be more like an ordinary film, if the film stars Alain Delon, Michelle Yeoh, or Maggie Q as the hero or heroine of the film. I think what makes this film unique is because I have never seen Deneuve in this kind of roles before.
2.The hints that the three main female characters in ÉCOUTE VOIR might be lesbians. I saw this film on the TV channel TV5 MONDE, and I don't know if some lesbian scenes had been censored from the TV version or not. From the version I saw, the lesbian thing in the film is not explicit, but there is something hinting at it.
3.One of my most favorite scenes in the film is the scene which parodies the elegance of Deneuve. It's the scene in which we see Deneuve walking so elegantly. Her head is held high. Her eyes look straightforwardly. The scene shows her walking from many angles. And then she has to stop walking because she bumps into some small children on the street. Because she likes to keep her head held high while walking, she can't see these children coming at her.
4. The plot about the radio signals which can control the minds of the listeners. The scene in a restaurant in which many people are moving slowly because they are controlled by the radio signal is very weird and very memorable.
The plot about the radio signal is very interesting. It reminds me of some political violence in Thailand which is partly instigated by Thai media, including newspaper and TV. It also reminds me of the Rwanda Genocide in which some radio stations played a part.
The plot about the radio signals also reminds me of some films which deal with the influence of the radio and TV signals, such as THE TESTAMENT OF DR. MABUSE (1933, Fritz Lang), LES CREATURES (1966, Agnès Varda, A++++++++++), and HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH (1982, Tommy Lee Wallace).
5. The ending of this film, in which the heroine mumbles something to herself. If I remember it correctly, she intends to improve herself and intends to save the world again. This ending makes me love this character very much.
Some other things about this film:
1.There's a scene in which the heroine goes to see THE LIFE OF OHARU (1952, Kenji Mizoguchi). Since I haven't seen THE LIFE OF OHARU, I don't know if it might be connected to ÉCOUTE VOIR in any other ways or not.
2.I don't understand why the castle owner wants to hire the heroine at the beginning of the film. Is it because I don't understand the film? Is it because I can't follow it story? Or is it because there are some plot holes? This case reminds me of THE BIG SLEEP (1946, Howard Hawks), because I'm still not sure who kills whom in this film. I hope someone writes about ÉCOUTE VOIR and THE BIG SLEEP by detailing the events in both films chronologically, so that I can understand them. However, the puzzlement, or the possible plot holes, in both films is not something important in my point of view. It's just a funny thing for me.
Apart from ÉCOUTE VOIR, there are other French crime/mystery films that I like very much, including:
1.WHO KILLED SANTA CLAUS? (1941, Christian-Jaque)
2.LES DIABOLIQUES (1954, Henri-Georges Clouzot)
3.PARIS BELONGS TO US (1961, Jacques Rivette)
4.FIRE AND ICE (1962, Alain Cavalier)
5.JUDEX (1963, Georges Franju)
6.IF I WERE A SPY (1967, Bertrand Blier)
7.LAW BREAKERS (1971, Marcel Carné)
8.THE DOMINICI AFFAIR (1973, Claude Bernard-Aubert)
9.THE INHERITOR (1973, Philippe Labro)
10.SHOCK TREATMENT (1973, Alain Jessua)
11.LE DOSSIER 51 (1978, Michel Deville)
12.I AS IN ICARUS (1979, Henri Verneuil)
13.LA MÉMOIRE COURTE (1979, Eduardo de Gregorio)
14.THE RED SWEATER (1979, Michel Drach)
15.THREE MEN TO DESTROY (1980, Jacques Deray)
16.CHICKEN WITH VINEGAR (1985, Claude Chabrol)
17.LA SENTINELLE (1992, Arnaud Desplechin)
18.SEE HOW THEY FALL (1994, Jacques Audiard)
19.RED LIGHTS (2003, Cédric Kahn)
20.LEMMING (2005, Dominik Moll)
21.CROSSED TRACKS (ROMAN DE GARE) (2007, Claude Lelouch)
22.CRIME IS OUR BUSINESS (2008, Pascal Thomas)
23.THE NEW PROTOCOL (2008, Thomas Vincent)
24.AM STRAM GRAM (2009, Stéphane Kappes)
25.LIGHTS OUT (2010, Fabrice Gobert)
Friday, April 22, 2011
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Things I like very much in this film include:
1.Its natural beauty, which makes me cry. I had never thought I would cry for this kind of films. But I saw it twice and I cried both times. Maybe I'm crazy. I don't know. The sunlight in this film is so beautiful. The first time I watched it I cried for the scene depicting many parked cars under the sun (minute 36-37). The second time I watched it I cried for the moment when we see the sun, the sky, and the clouds rolling by after we see a man watering his garden (minute 51). I feel as if I were a vampire who could only experience the beauty of sunlight via this film.
2.Its indescribability. It's so minimal, so anti-story, so poetic, so sublime. I worship this film as much as I worship AGATHA AND THE UNLIMITED READINGS (1981), WINDOWS (1999, Apichatpong Weerasethakul), BIRTH OF THE SEANEMA (2004, Sasithorn Ariyavicha), I FORGOT THE TITLE (2009, Christelle Lheureux), and RUHR (2009, James Benning). All these films give me extreme pleasure and blissful experience by their images and sound (or lack of sound). All these films make me speechless. All these films remind me that it is useless to describe the wonders of these films by my words.
3. It's rare to find a film like this: A film that lets us admire both the beauty of the sunlight and the neon lights, the swaying of trees and grass in the wind, the "dirtiness" of a window, a man sleeping while moving his fingers a little bit, the changing of light during the day, the effects of the changing of light on the grass, trees, wall, curtains, and room. While many films give us climax by having the villain killed, this film gives us excitement by letting us notice the changing of the sunlight on the grass and the wall.
4. Something caught unexpectedly by the camera. I guess this film is a documentary, or mostly documentary, so I love the scene in which a brown t-shirt falls down from a clothesline in minute 16-17 very much. I love it no matter whether the scene is a real scene or a staged/fictional scene. The falling down of a t-shirt is an unimportant event. But when it happens in front of the camera in this film, it feels so sublime. If the scene is real and the director didn't know beforehand that it would happen, I think it is like a small miracle that it happened in front of the camera. It is as if some invisible angels help making it fall down for this film. If the scene is fictional, I still like it very much that Rashidi includes a scene of unimportant event like that in his film.
5.The dirty window scene is extremely beautiful, and a little bit funny. I find it funny because at first I thought the cleaning of the window from the outside would make it clearer, but it isn't. The image is still as blurred as before the cleaning. The image in this scene is as beautiful as an Impressionist painting.
6.The sound of a clock ticking. It is a mundane sound in our everyday life. It becomes "special" in this film.
7.The act of watching. In this film we see someone watching the internet. It reminds me of two scenes in ONLY HUMAN (2009, Rouzbeh Rashidi) and a scene in REMINISCENCES OF YEARNING (2011, Rouzbeh Rashidi) in which we see some characters watching television.
8.The ending of this film, which is like a return to the ending of LIGHT AND QUIET (2008, Rouzbeh Rashidi). We see lights of car moving during the night in both scenes, though in this film we see them closer and in a slow motion, as if in dream.
9.The appearing of the alphabet in the opening and ending credits.
10. What does this film mean? I don't know. But some parts of it remind me of some parts of poems I like very much. Unintentionally or not, this film makes me realize how beautiful, how heavenly many mundane things are. The sun, the wind, the light, the shadow, the trees, the grass, the dirty window, the reflection on a clear window, the clouds, the sprinkling of water, the curtain with the bright sunlight, the curtain with the dim sunlight—all these things are heavenly and sublime, and they are all around us everyday.
It is rare that a feature film pays attention to small things like this. Normally I find this kind of things in poems, not in films. This film is extremely poetic, and Rashidi is a real poet-filmmaker. So let me quote two poems that I like very much here, because some parts of this film remind me of some parts of these two poems.
The swaying of grass in minute 35 reminds me of this poem by Emily Dickinson:
"THE GRASS so little has to do,—
A sphere of simple green,
With only butterflies to brood,
And bees to entertain,
And stir all day to pretty tunes
The breezes fetch along,
And hold the sunshine in its lap
And bow to everything;
And thread the dews all night, like pearls,
And make itself so fine,—
A duchess were too common
For such a noticing.
And even when it dies, to pass
In odors so divine,
As lowly spices gone to sleep,
Or amulets of pine.
And then to dwell in sovereign barns,
And dream the days away,—
The grass so little has to do,
I wish I were a hay!"
Parts of this film remind me of this poem by Emily Dickinson:
"A SOMETHING in a summer’s day,
As slow her flambeaux burn away,
Which solemnizes me.
A something in a summer’s noon,—
An azure depth, a wordless tune,
And still within a summer’s night
A something so transporting bright,
I clap my hands to see;
Then veil my too inspecting face,
Lest such a subtle, shimmering grace
Flutter too far for me.
The wizard-fingers never rest,
The purple brook within the breast
Still chafes its narrow bed;
Still rears the East her amber flag,
Guides still the sun along the crag
His caravan of red,
Like flowers that heard the tale of dews,
But never deemed the dripping prize
Awaited their low brows;
Or bees, that thought the summer’s name
Some rumor of delirium
No summer could for them;
Or Arctic creature, dimly stirred
By tropic hint,—some travelled bird
Imported to the wood;
Or wind’s bright signal to the ear,
Making that homely and severe,
Contented, known, before
The heaven unexpected came,
To lives that thought their worshipping
A too presumptuous psalm."
You can watch many short films by Rouzbeh Rashidi in his Vimeo channel:
Thursday, April 14, 2011
From an interview by Cyril Neyrat in Lumen Journal
"What do I gaze at? At nothing describable, that one can observe and detail. To detail the shot would be to lose the image. I’m thinking of that beautiful preface to the book of geography, but which, as a passage, couldn’t be appropriated into the film. It’s a question of observation; the goal of the textbook is evidently to teach children and to stimulate their observation with the pictures. But to observe isn’t to be seized by the image. It’s to seize but not to be seized. The lengthiness of the shot corresponds to this gaze that doesn’t interpret, that doesn’t insist on a motive, but that is a pure vision, as we say, “to have visions.” This goes back to those disorienting moments where someone you’re with seems “out of it,” when his vision’s taken him somewhere else. And when you ask him, then, “what are you looking at?” it’s always the same reply: “nothing.” Suddenly he’s there again, as if the question had broken a charm. That’s what it is to see the image: it’s an absence."
" Let’s just say that very quickly I saw the promise of a film: I was watching the elements orient themselves, and without being able to say where it was leading, what I really wanted, it was clear that this current knew where it was going. It was simply a matter of following something that would sustain itself, that had its path, and that I only had to recognize and follow. These different vectors were converging at a single place and making the film itself this nexus: Petrarch, a geography book, a Giorgione painting, an erotic photo, an abandoned factory, the fountain at Vaucluse, and then inspiring correspondences between all these, as if validating them, the text by Lucretius on the movement of atoms, or more exactly, Bergson’s summary of it that he did in a book for philosophy students."
More about Jean-Claude Rousseau:
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
I like SCREAM TRIOGY very much, so I want to see FADE TO BLACK, because it is also about a serial killer and has many references to old films, such as DRACULA (1931, Tod Browning), THE MUMMY (1932, Karl Freund), KISS OF DEATH (1947, Henry Hathaway), WHITE HEAT (1949, Raoul Walsh), HOPALONG CASSIDY (1952-1954, TV series) and PSYCHO (1960, Alfred Hitchcock).
Vernon Zimmerman seems to be very interesting. I also want to see LEMON HEARTS (1961) by Zimmerman very much.
Here is what Jonas Mekas wrote about LEMON HEARTS (1961, Vernon Zimmerman) in 1962:
"RON RICE. VERNON ZIMMERMAN. THE POETRY OF THE ABSURD.
THE FLOWER THIEF (1960) by Ron Rice, and LEMON HEARTS (1961) by Vernon Zimmerman, are two of the latest and most successful examples of post-PULL MY DAISY cinema. Both are made with the utmost creative freedom, with the utmost disrespect for the "professional" camera, plot, character conventions. They merge and combine the spontaneous cinema of PULL MY DAISY, the freedom of the image of Brakhage, the "uncleanliness" of action painting, the theater of Happenings (Kaprow) and the sense of humor of Zen. Their imagination, coming from deeply "deranged" and liberated senses, is boundless. Nothing is forced in these films. They rediscover the poetry and wisdom of the irrational, of nonsense, of the absurd—the poetry that comes from regions that are beyond all intelligence, the regions of ZÉRO DE CONDUITE, of FIREWORKS, of DESISTFILM.
Nevertheless, the materials with which they create are embedded in reality. Didn't Rimbaud write his ILLUMINATIONS out of the burning, intensified reality of his own life? Such are the lives of the modern film poets. With their own lives, they create a "cinema reality" that is tense to the point of explosion. In a sense, they don't have to "invent"'; they just have to turn the camera upon themselves, or upon their close friends, and it explodes into the pyrotechnics upon which no imagination could improve."
The quote above comes from the book FILM CULTURE READER (edited by P. Adams Sitney).
Ed Halter wrote about THE FLOWER THIEF here:
ZERO FOR CONDUCT (1933, Jean Vigo)
FIREWORKS (1947, Kenneth Anger)
DESISTFILM (1954, Stan Brakhage)
PULL MY DAISY (1959, Robert Frank + Alfred Leslie)
The photo is from