When a Frederick Wiseman film finds its rhythm, time stops being of any consequence. In his best films (which, by my count, are Hospital, Welfare, Near Death, In Jackson Heights and Ex Libris: The New York Public Library), individual scenes and sequences send out signals that resound and redouble, their significance becoming more apparent when, perhaps hours later, one of the salient concerns emerges in new circumstances. Wiseman’s editing structures become elaborate maps of meaning, and any questions…
In A Lover’s Discourse, Roland Barthes compiles a catalogue of love complaints from across literature: novels, poems, works of philosophy and psychology. In cinema, many romance-themed films are in conversation with Barthes’ text; some have internalised and shaped the concepts for the big screen, like Claire Denis’ Let the Sunshine In, and even added to both its sentence and gesture repertoire. One line from A Lover’s Discourse floats to mind more often than others, and most often during…
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
A brilliant, near flawless argument for not allowing directors to make versions of their most beloved movies. This is awful in an unrelenting, oblivious, deeply stupid way, and it infiltrates every layer of the form. (The editing, in particular, is ghastly.) Only two of the many nonsensical stretches do anything worth noting, both dance sequences, in one way or another. I've read that the choreography is horseshit, but in my ignorance about modern dance I couldn't tell; so the Volk…