[Marxism] The Criterion Collection

Ernestleif ernestleif at gmail.com
Fri Nov 22 22:15:23 MST 2013


I'm not a fan McQueen but the film is more than admond says. Is deeply flawed but not torture porn. 

Sorry out at red rooster so can't can't articulate but it's worth seeing.

Sent from my iPhone

> On Nov 22, 2013, at 7:17 PM, Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> wrote:
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> In a fascinating podcast discussion between my colleague Armond White and two younger film scholar/critics at http://www.slashfilm.com/filmcast-ep-252-12-years-a-slave-guest-armond-white-from-city-arts/ on “12 Years a Slave”, White—an African-American—tries to persuade them that McQueen’s movie is basically torture porn, having more in common with “Hostel” or “Saw” than high art, let alone social protest.
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> That essentially was my take on “Hunger”, McQueen’s previous film that was about the Provo IRA hunger strike led by Bobby Sands. As I said in my review, the film was pretentious art-house fare more about bedsores and beatings than politics. I plan to see and review “12 Years a Slave” this week and anticipate lining up with Armond.
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> One of the points Armond kept making over and over to his interlocutors was the need to be familiar with earlier attempts to dramatize slavery so that they have a benchmark. He insisted that “Beloved” and “Amistad” were much better films. He also alluded to “Burn”, a film that I regard as an unsurpassed treatment of slavery, all the more important because an inspiring rebellion was part of the narrative (as well, of course, as colonialism’s ability to undermine the gains of the rebellion).
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> In thinking about other films that deal with slavery, it occurred to me that one of the greatest films ever made—at least in my view—is about slavery, even if it is not the chattel slavery of the New World. I am speaking of “Sansho the Bailiff”, a Japanese film about children of royalty becoming slaves.
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> I plan to say more about this film in my review of McQueen’s but want to point out how happy I was to discover that it can be seen online through Hulu Plus, a film rental service that is an excellent adjunct to Netflix (I also use Amazon Prime that costs $79 per year and is well worth it, at least to a film addict like me.) Hulu Plus acquired the Criterion Collection (http://www.criterion.com/library) recently that amounts to the Holy Grail of film lovers and scholars. The collection has an amazing library, including Ray, Bresson, Lubitsch and other giants of the Golden Age. Highly recommended.
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