Posted on Slate in late 2005. I’m sorry that the links no longer work. — J.R.
The New Global Movie Culture
By Jonathan Rosenbaum
Dec 29, 2005 4:52 PM
So many films and so little time! Consequently, I hope you’ll forgive me if I skate past most of the titles that we’ve all been citing lately and jump to some of the bigger issues broached by Tony in his first letter, and by David and Scott more recently —specifically, the transformations of film culture that are taking place these days thanks to DVDs, the Internet, globalization, and related pleasures, and conundrums.
In fact, David, I regard you as something of a pioneer in your inauguration of this Movie Club seven years ago. This helped to usher in the idea of critical exchanges in cyberspace that’s been developing so rapidly ever since that I find refreshing new instances of it virtually every day. The irreplaceable Dave Kehr reporting “from the lost continent of cinephilia” on his wonderful new blog and including responses from others is only one of the first examples that spring to mind. Another is the international, auteurist chat group over at Yahoo!, which has been around somewhat longer, where they’ve been raking me over the coals lately — and with a great deal of intelligence and pertinence, I might add — about my skeptical comments regarding Malick’s The New World, which I’ve been making in Movie Club as well as there.… Read more »
Published on Artforum‘s web site on April 18, 2019, under the title “Leven Learn”. – J.R.
“The justification for [a] pretense to disengagement,” writes Dave Hickey in Air Guitar, “derives from our Victorian habit of marginalizing the experience of art, of treating it as if it were somehow ‘special’—and, lately, as if it were somehow curable. This is a preposterous assumption to make in a culture that is irrevocably saturated with pictures and music, in which every elevator serves as a combination picture gallery and concert hall . . . All we do by ignoring the live effects of art is suppress the fact that these experiences, in one way or another, inform our every waking hour.”To some extent, Patrick Wang’s dazzling two-part, four-hour comedy A Bread Factory (2018) — shot over twenty-four days in Hudson, New York, after ten days of rehearsal with well over sixty professional or semiprofessional actors — is an epic anthology of performance art, filmed both inside and outside a Hudson art center housed in a former bread factory. What makes it special are the peculiar dots connecting “inside” and “outside.” Inside the eponymous, fictionalized forty-year-old Bread Factory we find theater, film, music, sculpture, and poetry, and inside a trendy, new rival art center with corporate financing is a pseudo-Chinese couple called May Ray doing minimalist, rebus-like performance pieces with prerecorded laughter and applause.… Read more »