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Category Archives: Movies

Responsive Reconfiguration

Soon people will not be able to watch films like Theo Angelopoulos’s Ulysses’ Gaze or to read Henry James because they will not have the concentration to get from one interminable scene or sentence to the next. The time when I might have been able to read late-period Henry James has passed and because I […]

A Stone Dragon’s Head, or a Saint

There is an old story of how the cathedral of Chartres was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Then thousands of people came from all points of the compass, like a giant procession of ants, and together they began to rebuild the cathedral on its old site. They worked until the building was […]

Relentless Yet Ineffectual Toil

Someone to whom I most recently showed my glass beehive, with its movement like the main gear of a clock—someone who saw the constant agitation of the honeycomb, the mysterious, maddened commotion of the nurse bees over the nests, the invading spirals of the queen, the endlessly varied and repetitive labors of the swarm, the […]

Coleslaw For Everybody

FOX (Christopher Walken): We had a good day. X (Willem Dafoe): Yeah, we did. FOX: I wrote a haiku, you know, for the occasion. A dog… walks into a bar. He’s wearing a suit, shirt, and tie. He says to the bartender, “I’d like a Scotch… and toilet water.” (they both crack up) FOX: It’s […]

Following From a Punch

Now you listen to me. While I will admit to a certain cynicism, the fact is that I am a naysayer and hatchetman in the fight against violence. I pride myself in taking a punch and I’ll gladly take another because I choose to live my life in the company of Gandhi and King. My […]

Refute Kant Using Pedantry and “Sadism”

If I were so inspired, I could challenge any one of my classmates to a debate on any of the daily lessons. I would call his name, he would stand up, I would announce my challenge and ask him a question. The language of these jousts was strictly medieval: “Contra te! Super te!” (Against you! […]

Chipper From The Start

I suffered from several indefinable illnesses and could never really decide whether I wanted to live at all. Deep down in my consciousness, I can recall my actual condition, the stench of my body’s secretions, the damp chafing clothes, the soft glow of the nightlight, the door into the next room just ajar, the nursemaid’s […]

Miyazaki’s Top Fifty Book Recommendations

From the exhibition at the Setagaya Literary Museum in Tokyo in honor of the 60th anniversary of the Iwanami boys’ books series. Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1943) Il Romanzo di Cipollino (The Adventures of Little Onion) — Gianni Rodari (1956) The Rose and the Ring — William Makepeace Thackeray […]

What Is Conceded to Mankind

I do not know if in this letter, I have been able to express the fullness of my meaning. I know it is difficult to give concrete meaning to ideas and sensations which can only receive life through imagination. To relate, I must see: Cinema relates with the camera, but I am certain, I feel, […]

Parce Que Moi Je Rêve, Moi Je Ne Le Suis Pas

I don’t try to remember what happens in a book. All I ask of a book is to give me energy and courage to tell me there’s more to life than I can take, to remind me of the need to act. —Léolo