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Glowing Machine

Welcome to the ongoing film log of Savannah, mid-twenties Southern lady who likes to obsessively document her film-watching and refine her responses by verbalizing them. (This blog is an add-on of my main tumblr. )

I’m going to be deleting this blog soon. With only a handful of followers and the ability to keep track of my log on Letterboxd, this tumblr seems pretty useless. Feel free to follow me on Letterboxd as Fuguette.

INSTITUTE BENJAMENTA, or THIS DREAM THAT ONE CALLS HUMAN LIFEStephen & Timothy Quay, 19954/5
It’s best approached as actual dream. It’s best, even, to bob in and out of sleep while watching it. Like Eraserhead and Guy Maddin’s work, it operates on its own somnambulant rules. The hazy imagery is often playful, sometimes oppressively and reasonlessly melancholic. Emotions triggered from ambiguous or even non-existant circumstances are nonetheless palpable, overbearing. With quiet resignation and intoxicated discontent, protagonist Jakob holds his distrust to his chest while bearing on, just like we do; just like life.

INSTITUTE BENJAMENTA, or THIS DREAM THAT ONE CALLS HUMAN LIFE
Stephen & Timothy Quay, 1995
4/5

It’s best approached as actual dream. It’s best, even, to bob in and out of sleep while watching it. Like Eraserhead and Guy Maddin’s work, it operates on its own somnambulant rules. The hazy imagery is often playful, sometimes oppressively and reasonlessly melancholic. Emotions triggered from ambiguous or even non-existant circumstances are nonetheless palpable, overbearing. With quiet resignation and intoxicated discontent, protagonist Jakob holds his distrust to his chest while bearing on, just like we do; just like life.

UNDER THE SKINJonathan Glazer, 20133.5/5
The big controversy on this one seems to be whether its sleek, chilly imagery is effective or hollow. Glazer’s history as a music video director is often the cornerstone of claims that the film is empty and insubstantial. I’m leaning more toward the view that the imagery is incredibly strong and, for the most part, accomplishes what great cinema should accomplish—a language of the visual. From the quiet, dead-eyed claustrophobia and anxiety-inducing, predatory repetition of the first half to the organic vulnerability of the second, it moves naturally from a portrait of cool alienation to human loneliness.

UNDER THE SKIN
Jonathan Glazer, 2013
3.5/5

The big controversy on this one seems to be whether its sleek, chilly imagery is effective or hollow. Glazer’s history as a music video director is often the cornerstone of claims that the film is empty and insubstantial. I’m leaning more toward the view that the imagery is incredibly strong and, for the most part, accomplishes what great cinema should accomplish—a language of the visual. From the quiet, dead-eyed claustrophobia and anxiety-inducing, predatory repetition of the first half to the organic vulnerability of the second, it moves naturally from a portrait of cool alienation to human loneliness.

OLDBOYPark Chan-wook, 20033.5/5
(Thought I’d finally watch the original before giving the remake a chance to take root any further in my brain.) 
It certainly brings something unique and refreshingly disturbing to the stale revenge plot—throwing notions of guilt, vengeance, and emotions themselves into question. Its commitment to being as emotionally and psychologically devastating as it is violent makes it a fascinating and draining experience. While enthralling, I wonder how much of its power relies on its gruesome twist ending.

OLDBOY
Park Chan-wook, 2003
3.5/5

(Thought I’d finally watch the original before giving the remake a chance to take root any further in my brain.) 

It certainly brings something unique and refreshingly disturbing to the stale revenge plot—throwing notions of guilt, vengeance, and emotions themselves into question. Its commitment to being as emotionally and psychologically devastating as it is violent makes it a fascinating and draining experience. While enthralling, I wonder how much of its power relies on its gruesome twist ending.

ALPINE FIREFredi M. Murer, 19854/5
A beautiful story of passion as innocent, as lonely, as grotesque, as wild as nature.

ALPINE FIRE
Fredi M. Murer, 1985
4/5

A beautiful story of passion as innocent, as lonely, as grotesque, as wild as nature.

IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO LEARN TO PLOW BY READING BOOKSRichard Linklater, 19881/5
It’s almost impressive how toneless and listless this film is. That it evokes absolutely nothing until the last five minutes might’ve been intentional, but was certainly neither enjoyable or enlightening in any way. I dreaded just pulling the file out of the recycle bin and looking at it again to capture a screenshot.

IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO LEARN TO PLOW BY READING BOOKS
Richard Linklater, 1988
1/5

It’s almost impressive how toneless and listless this film is. That it evokes absolutely nothing until the last five minutes might’ve been intentional, but was certainly neither enjoyable or enlightening in any way. I dreaded just pulling the file out of the recycle bin and looking at it again to capture a screenshot.

DAUGHTERS OF THE DUSTJulie Dash, 19913/5
This story is rich in mysticism and modernism, lush in images of a place lost in time. We see a cultural identity break and rebreak, tireless yet exhaustingly confused. Although at times college-theater melodramatic, its effective mood is deeply in touch with restless ghosts and nostalgia for a forgotten between-world.

DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST
Julie Dash, 1991
3/5

This story is rich in mysticism and modernism, lush in images of a place lost in time. We see a cultural identity break and rebreak, tireless yet exhaustingly confused. Although at times college-theater melodramatic, its effective mood is deeply in touch with restless ghosts and nostalgia for a forgotten between-world.

THE RIVERTsai Ming-liang, 19974/5
What maladies await us if we’ve poisoned the well of human life? When we can’t recognize connection or intimacy, their mysteries will overwhelm us. We’ll mistake them for perversion. Still lost, swimming in longing.

THE RIVER
Tsai Ming-liang, 1997
4/5

What maladies await us if we’ve poisoned the well of human life? When we can’t recognize connection or intimacy, their mysteries will overwhelm us. We’ll mistake them for perversion. Still lost, swimming in longing.

hello, i love your log of films. do you watch them all online? if so, how do you find them?

Thank you! I have Netflix and Hulu (great for their Criterion collection) accounts—I also use torrents and sometimes blind buy DVDs when I can afford it. I browse the Korean Film Archive on YouTube now and then, too.

THREE COLORS: REDKrzysztof Kieślowski, 19942.5/5
Unlike Blue, I found this one passionless and aimless. Maybe further reflection or a second viewing would change my mind, but none of the elements seemed to really communicate with one another—the spying, the jealousy and infidelity, and Irene Jacobs’ entire character all seemed like pieces of separate storylines with no resolution or connection. I found the doppelganger judge tiresome and poorly executed as well. Is he an expression of regret for the judge’s bitterness toward his ex-lover? Despair over the fact that he didn’t meet a woman like Valentine when he was young? We’ll never know because emotion and expression are neglected in favor of pretentious dialogue about dreams and morality. 

THREE COLORS: RED
Krzysztof Kieślowski, 1994
2.5/5

Unlike Blue, I found this one passionless and aimless. Maybe further reflection or a second viewing would change my mind, but none of the elements seemed to really communicate with one another—the spying, the jealousy and infidelity, and Irene Jacobs’ entire character all seemed like pieces of separate storylines with no resolution or connection. I found the doppelganger judge tiresome and poorly executed as well. Is he an expression of regret for the judge’s bitterness toward his ex-lover? Despair over the fact that he didn’t meet a woman like Valentine when he was young? We’ll never know because emotion and expression are neglected in favor of pretentious dialogue about dreams and morality. 

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