Oscars 2021 was a public exercise in reclaiming one’s own art from the hijack of a devouring billion-dollar entertainment industry, the scaling down from mass production to manufacture, a deliberate recalibrating and reframing in order to preserve cinema’s place in culture, in society, and in our individual lives. To make a film is to be able to capture light, and colour it from the inside. Cinema is the art of tirelessly attempting the impossible, and therefore, it will always seem just slightly out of reach. Therein lies its power. Oscar night, it was on full display.
Examining the dark heart of laughter and the symbiotic relationship film has with its audiences, how it wires us to think and talk in certain ways, its cultural impact, and its myriad semiotic and cinematic legacies - this was my MA dissertation (Birkbeck, 2005), a bungy jump into the Serbian (and YU) 1980s cinema scene, specifically, four films, and two filmmakers. One day I might programme this whole bonanza into a fest, the way I writ it - from YU Black Wave to Balkan 'Black Humour Brand', and screen the selection in cinemas (Belgrade to London). For now, please enjoy the words, deliciously.
A post-Jungian reading, encountering feminine mysteries on celluloid, analysis of the veneration of the Hollywood film icon, tracing the blazing trail of cinema femme fatales, their imagery framed within portals, places where darkness and light meet, the heroines gazing back at us, in defiance, as permanent challenge to imposed authority, transforming, dynamically, into a new animus/anima fluid form of the femme fatale as action figure. [read more]
Exploring the myth of the fallen woman in classic Hollywood melodrama, via Jungian framework, tracing her historical, religious and literary antecedents, delving into the archetypal realms of the dark, wild feminine projected onto the screen, and her impact on the spectator, male and female. What these femme fatales, gold-diggers, seductresses, fallen angels, and furious housewives subversively revealed was a hidden narrative current underneath the official one, women's own dispossessed femininity, debased, fragmented and demonised, yet so powerfully vibrant and creative. [read more]
There is something in the nature of a recording that defies rational explanation. It is a replica of life, its twin and its double, and yet, it is also its deathly echo, preserving life by embalming it for eternity, or at least until the shelf life of the medium itself expires. Some images have the numinosity to affect us deeply, a capacity to both heal and destroy. They represent evidence of an alternate existence, glimpses of a double life, our twin in the archetypal world, skin in the game of immortality. Lynch evokes this quality perfectly in his work. [read more]
The evolutionary 2020 broke us down into essentials: the flesh we are made of, the dreams we inhabit, the lives we lead within our beating hearts. The immovable end game that is our mortality. This film was made for this year. In the way scriptures were made for a particular time in history, and for all times, at the same time. It is a holy text of cinema. And if you have never crossed paths with it, this is your moment at the crossroads. [read more]
The only way to look at Chernobyl is through a rear-view mirror, the complex ocular shield of the camera. Otherwise, we'd be staring at Medusa's face, unprotected. An open nuclear reactor core burning our synapses through sheer magnitude of existential incomprehension. An apocalyptic serialised memento mori. [read more]
Squeezed between the baby-boomer dharma sell-outs and the millennial hordes of tattooed accountants, the throwaway lettuce in a generational bacon sandwich of aspiring corporate drones, sits Gen X, i.e. my generation, sulking mascots of McJobs, deifying burning time creatively doing nothing.
Enter our isolation chamber, Steven Soderbergh‘s 1989 Palme d’Or winner, the tipping point. [read more]
Behold my cursed ancient academic proposal I aimed at studying how we are enchanted by film, using early film theory, post-Jungian analysis & anthropology of ritual, examining ways the moving image could potentially be employed as transformative tool in art therapy. One day I might write about the text's strange travels, good stuff I got out of it, publish a book, or reboot my bid for title of film doctor. For now, please feast on its faded glory, and feel free to cite & link. Yours might be the kiss that revives it. [read more]
You know this is a race against time, and that the time in question might not only be diegetic. So informed we are of our world, it seeps into this story, uninterrupted - history hiding underneath its own frayed repeats. Fascism as collective narcissism. Narcissism as ultimate isolation from life source. This is esoteric Christie, avenging angel, her agent, screenwriter Sarah Phelps, at the steering wheel. [read more]
A testament to the inexplicability of mourning, and the therapeutic nature of art. In this case, the art of the moving image, the most conjuring art of all. The camera becomes a dignified way to navigate the grieving process, to share it. There is a great generosity in One More Time With Feeling. This is film as communion, echo of a longing, an evocation of love in that eternal painfully human quest to transcend death. [read more]
Camille emerged fully formed, a she-shaman forged in the era of the return of the witch, expanding the liminal space between traumatic events, taking the silver bullet of all audience assumptions and projections in a tale of female rage - of women hurting other women - all those dark vagina dentata materials blooming a venemous crimson red in the patriarchal dollhouse. [read more]