Essay 2: The World According to Garp According to Christianne Benedict

The following is a rough translation of an essay by Stefanie Schlüter of the Kunst der Vermittlung project. I used Babelfish and Google Translation to stitch together the most coherent translation I could manage; by no means perfect but hopefully you’ll get the idea:


Shooting Down Pictures # 940 (82)

Lingering before THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP (GARP, AND HOW HE SAW THE WORLD) (Director: George Roy Hill, USA 1982), I was a teenager late at night in front of the TV; due to the movie, I became a reader of John Irving novels. Christianne Benedict and Kevin B. Lee's video essay makes me equally curious, because I barely have more cinematic memories of THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP did. Memory rather of a symptom as to a picture: At that time I had gotten a notion of the fact that there are other stories to discover than those, which I had so far seen and had read.

A character in the movie is Roberta Muldoon, she is transsexual and is the center of the film about the film by Christianne Benedict. At this figure Benedict goes to the question of the representation of transgender in the cinema, and notes that Roberta is a rare phenomenon: "She is not a victim. She is not a prostitute. She is not a punch line. And she is not a psychopath "- what the stereotypes would be appointed to the cinema for the representation of transgender in store.

Christianne Benedict herself is transsexual, and when speaking about the cinema, which has a very personal, conversation-like tone has, she reaches several times into film history. As casually as a film fan passing examples of a striking lack of positive characters among transsexuals. In four contemporary films, which Christianne Benedicts regards again on the occasion of the video essay, transsexual protagonists are prostitutes: TODO SOBRE MI MADRE (ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER) (Spain / France 1999,Pedro Almodovar), MAUVAIS GENRE (TRANS-FIXED) (France / Belgium 2001, Francois Girod), WILD SIDE (France / Belgium / UK 2004, Sébastien Lifshitz) and 20 CENTIMETERS (France / Spain 2005,Ramón Salazar). On the other hand, along the movie clips from THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP the sympathetic picture of Roberta and show them in different roles - as a partner of Robin Williams, as a mother or an ex-football player.

John Lithgow, who plays the role of Roberta Muldoon according to Benedict as a kind of reparation for his woman murderer role in BLOW OUT (USA 1981, Brian de Palma), is nominated with this role for the Academy Award - and not only as an Actor / Actress in the treatment of a character between the sexes embodies.

According to Anne Benedict of Christ: "That was a very weird year at the Oscars." Anyway, what gender politics.

Essay 1: Notes on Matt Zoller Seitz' ”Wes Anderson: The Substance Of Style"

The following is a rough translation of an essay by Volker Pantenburg of the Kunst der Vermittlung project, on the fifth part of Matt Zoller Seitz' immense series of video essays, ”Wes Anderson: The Substance Of Style." I used Babelfish and Google Translation to stitch together the most coherent translation I could manage; by no means perfect but hopefully you'll get the idea:

You can watch the video being described by visiting the Moving Image Source


Note to the 5th part of Matt Zoller Seitz'” Wes Anderson: The Substance Of Style “

Matt Zoller Seitz, former film critic in print media such as the New York Times, moved at the beginning of 2006 to write blogs, especially on the site The House Next Door. Since 2008 he also published under the alias insomniacdad at youtube a partly annotated, partly uncommented montage (Berkeley (esque)), a video which is between film criticism and analysis.

Seitz' most comprehensive occupation with a producer - after a fourt-part series to Oliver Stone (1234) - is the five-part essay WES ANDERSON: THE SUBSTANCE OF STYLE (123,45), which was published in March and April 2009 on the Museum of the Moving image website, also the producer of this and the Stone series. In The Art Of Bill Melendez (2008), an homage to the producer of the Peanuts films, Seitz had already connected Anderson’s film RUSHMORE with its surprising references to Melendez. In the five parts of the Anderson analysis there follows now more systematically the influences of other auteur styles on Anderson. The first four sequences are devoted to individual models (“Part 1 covers Bill Melendez, Orson Welles, and François Truffaut. Part 2 covers Martin Scorsese, Richard Lester, and Mike Nichols. Part 3 covers Hal Ashby. Part 4 covers J.D. Salinger. “)

Part 5 highlights already in the title of the previous parts. "The prologue to The Royal Tenenbaum, annotated," says the 6-minute sequence. Annotation is to be understood literally: Zoller Seitz writes in the images of the opening sequence of the film in exuberant abundance of commentaries, notes and analysis inside Notes, especially in the sober designated cases, this is Anderson's own practice in the caption ( "Caption") to. In addition, as a small picture-in-picture, moving or unmoving, parallel bodies in other film-historical reference films (CITIZEN KANE, about films of Hal Ashby and Bill Melendez). You can use this wealth impossible for a single passage through Zoller Seitz 'film exercise, which alone is already a reference to Wes Anderson playful love of detail and precision verortbaren way as the film emphasizes the concrete camera movement, the Zoller Seitz "emphatic dolly" is called. Zoller Seitz 'annotated version is based - in excess of ironic, but very serious item in their view - at the critical commentary, as they are in the book of classic media spending knows where the "apparatus" to the text length is often far in excess.

The effect of almost baroque richness comes off also by the fact that in all interventions and conveyances of the image two components are not touched: the temporality and the soundtrack of Anderson's film. Seitz adds to the film no Zeilupen, does not stop the picture and does not interfere with the conduct of a perfectionist exposure of infant-family. His annotations, passing in a clerical scurry, are best described with the American adjective "hilarious", informed by the result of a fascinated astonished, again and again the "rewind" button-pressing cinema enthusiasm. Repeat viewing for repeat viewers.

Back from Berlin, with video

I had an excellent time in Berlin. The screening and co-presentation with Sebastien Lutgert at the Kino Arsenal was near full-capacity and much of the audience stayed on afterwards to mingle and talk about cinema in ways I rarely experience even in New York City (will have to take steps to address that).  I was surprised by how well the internet videos held up when projected digitally on the big screen (even the ones that were ripped off the internet). I was also surprised that the Kunst der Vermittlung project team wrote several critical essays analyzing a number of the videos in the program. These essays are all in German, but I'll attempt to produce some coherent translations with the help of tools available online. Here are a couple of videos documenting my presentation, courtesy of Martina Lunzer:

Part One:

0:50 - Introduction and origin of Shooting Down Pictures project 4:20 - Introduction of videos in program

Part Two:

0:00 - "Why aren't there more of these movies on the internet?" 3:30 - Issues with YouTube, copyright and fair use

Unfortunately I didn't have enough free space on the little Flip to film Sebastien Lutgert's presentation, which was in German. The most eye-opening portion of his presentation was his website 0xdb, which, to paraphrase the description on the website, "uses a variety of publicly accessible resources, like search engines and file-sharing networks, to automatically collect information about, and actual images and sounds from, a rapidly growing number of movies. What the 0xdb provides is, essentially, full text search within movies, and instant previews of search results." One really unique feature is that it offers a frame-by-frame visual timeline of each film in its database, resulting in a visual re-representation of the film that resembles abstract art:

Saturday I was back at work on another Shooting entry which should be up later this week. I also assisted Mina Lunzer with her current project, a visual and textual study of Vienna's Prater, made famous in films such as The Third Man and Erich von Stroheim's The Wedding March.  She recently published an article about the Prater in film in the newest issue of Senses of Cinema.

On Sunday I mixed work and play, starting off with recording a commentary track with local critics and programmers Michael Baute (of Kunst der Vermittlung) and Ekkehard Knörer of Cargo Magazine for a planned video essay on Helmut Kautner's Under the Bridges.  Then we had a sunny outdoor lunch in the hip Kreuzberg neighborhood with two other members of the Kunst der Vermittlung team, Volker Pantenburg and Stefanie Schlüter.  There was a good deal of discussion about the New Berlin School film movement that has made an impact on German cinema over the past decade, including films by Christoph Hochhausler, whom I also had the pleasure of meeting in Berlin. I for one would love to see a New Berlin School film series programmed by one of the theaters in New York. Finally Michael accompanied me on part two of "Helmut Kautner Day" with a boatside tour under the bridges of the Spree River, from Alexanderplatz to the Tiergarten. Hopefully the video footage I shot is good enough to make its way to the video essay on Kautner's film.

Also a shout-out to David Hudson, who was at the screening and did his part to promote it at The IFC Daily; and Dirk Schaefer, a long-time sound designer on experimental films by Matthias Müller and Peter Tscherkassky.

So, back to New York and the old routine - but with high spirits and much encouragement received from colleagues in Berlin, I'm going to think of some ways to boost the commingling of the cinephile community here, especially as the long fun days of summer are approaching.