Saturday, January 21, 2006
The Philosophy of Film Noir

Nietzsche and the Meaning of Noir

Movies and the ‘Death of God’

Mark Conard looks at definitions and the meaning of Film Noir in this excerpt from The Philosophy of Film Noir. A Metaphilm exclusive.

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Monday, January 16, 2006
Cube (1997)


No Exit—at least for most

Sometimes thinking too much is counterproductive.

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Wednesday, January 04, 2006


An introduction

Notes on what comprises a truly great movie

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Other Recent Long Stuff

A Serious Man
Sympathy for the Devil
The Maltese Falcon
Neo’s Passport
The Dark Knight
A Copy of a Copy of a Copy
The Dreamers
The Dreamers

Books to Phlog

Book cover of Walker Percy's the Moviegoer at FiftyWalker Percy’s The Moviegoer at Fifty: New Takes on an Iconic American Novel has just been released from LSU Press. This well-received collection of twelve new essays includes a contribution from Jonathan Potter and Read Mercer Schuchardt revisiting “The Moviegoer’s Cinematic References.”

This is the first critical work devoted solely to Percy’s debut novel. Coinciding with the centenary of his birth, this collection offers fresh perspectives that underscore the novel’s ongoing relevance.


Monday, January 23, 2006

Alone In The Dark

It’s been a “dark” week in the journalism world of film writing, apparently, and yet this is a very interesting review of Colin McGinn’s new book, The Power of Movies, which is the first serious attempt to articulate the theory that film is the medium that allows us to most closely approximate the dreamstate in our Waking Life.  Well worth the time for Metaphilm readers who have been subscribers to this theory for a while now. 

phlog ::: from publisher ::: Link

Dark Art

Chris Fujiwara at The Boston Globe writes a nice piece that is both meditative review and further exploration of the theme of Mark Conard’s new book, The Philosophy of Film Noir.  It’s a subject clearly dear to Fujiwara’s heart, who already has a book out on a similar theme, and whose upcoming biography on Otto Preminger will be read with eagerness by those on this side of the pond, since Paul Glass, the soundtrack composer for the increasingly creepy narrative of Preminger’s 1965 Bunny Lake Is Missing, is also a professor at Franklin College Switzerland.  And as it turns out, a remake of Bunny Lake Is Missing is slated for 2007.  I had thought FlightPlan was already the remake, but that was an impression gleaned only from the previews; I’ve still not seen the film.

phlog ::: from publisher ::: Link
Thursday, January 05, 2006

Movies as Therapy

Cinematical points us to a new book out, Reel Fulfilment, which bills itself as a twelve-step plan for transforming your life through movies. Sounds like a potential triumph of the human spirit. Eesh. Actually, didn’t CinemaShrink do this first?

phlog ::: from editor ::: Link
Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Dharma of Star Wars

Thanks to reader Jan Bernd ten Berg from The Netherlands for pointing us to this FilmThreat interview with Matthew Bortolin, author of The Dharma of Star Wars. Interpreting the Star Wars saga through a Buddhist framework does open some helpful insights. “Buddhism teaches that the first Truth of life is that suffering is a part of life. For me nothing makes the fact of suffering more evident than the ‘Holiday Special’ and especially Beatrice Arthur singing the Mos Eisley Cantina patrons out the door. Just the memory makes my skin crawl.” Indeed. I have recently gotten my hands on a copy, but I haven’t been able to make my hands put it into the VCR. Apparently, I am not sufficiently willing to embrace suffering.

phlog ::: from editor ::: Link
Sunday, January 01, 2006

The Chronic Rock-les of Narnia

You know that cinema has replaced the cathedral when Lazy Sunday makes it to the top of the charts by telling the story of two Saturday Night Live guys catching a matinee to a filmed adaptation of a child’s Christian allegory.

Although, personally, for my money I prefer the Cupcake Cafe at 39th and 9th Avenue.

phlog ::: from publisher ::: Link

Other Recent Phlogs

The Despecialized Star Wars
Summary Bug Creates Unintended Cinematic Beauties
See it live
Sizzling Bacon is HERE at Long Last
24 Things You Might Not Know About Fight Club
Tree of Life and the Lamb of God
Filming In Tongues
Martin Scorsese’s parents were aliterate
This Again—At A Theater Near You
Bollywood Directors and the “Cut To Switzerland”
The Constant Traveler
Save the Movies from Save The Cat!
Propaganda, A Primer
It may actually be long After Midnight
Dirty Wars playing, then disappearing, at a theater near you
Luke’s Change:  An Inside Job
What Does Hollywood Have to Do with Jerusalem?
There are only fourteen books worth reading each year
Why Are Foreign Films So… Foreign?
Tree of Life Shooting Locations in Smithville, Texas