Sunday, November 11, 2007
Inland Empire

Reading Inland Empire

A Mental Toolbox for Interpreting a Lynch Film

Twelve tools that can be helpful for appreciating any David Lynch film are offered with specific reference to Inland Empire.

By Adam C. Walter :::
Monday, November 05, 2007
The Straight Story

The Straight Story

Pilgrim’s Progress

We can find hopeful advice about the American Dream in what an elderly man doesn’t say.

By Christopher Garbowski ::: (0) Comments

Other Recent Long Stuff

A Serious Man
Up
Sympathy for the Devil
Watchmen
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.

Metaphlog

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Beowulf

S. T. Karnick sees the new Robert Zemeckis adaptation of Beowulf as including commentary on two recent presidential administrations, as well as the original poem’s subtext of the conversion of Europe to Christianity. The Clinton administration: “These changes clearly characterize Hrothgar’s court as analogous to the Clinton administration and point out that a people who indulge themselves and fall asleep to the perils around them are asking for trouble. Several dialogue lines make the point explicit. Just as President Clinton emboldened Muslim haters of America by ignoring or, worse, responding feebly to attacks on Americans and American property, so Hrothgar’s choices bring on disaster.” And GWB: “Beowulf, for his part, declares victory over Grendel’s mother far too soon, and his false claim of ‘mission accomplished’ wins the loyalty of his people but dooms them to future disasters. Here, too, the relation to current events is quite clear.” He ends with noting the way the film implies the possibility of future cultural transformation in the lessons of the past.

(My wife, the English grad student, says that she still can’t help wondering, whenever she hears Beowulf in the original Old English, whether the poem was Jim Henson’s inspiration for the Swedish Chef on the Muppets.)

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Friday, November 02, 2007

David Lynch, Psychotic

“Watching a David Lynch film can give the viewer the impression that the director intuitively understands the underlying mechanisms of psychotic experience. Furthermore, in an age where experiential and subjective approaches to understanding mental illness have fallen out of favour, David Lynch may also offer some insight into the feeling of what it is like to suffer from psychosis.The Psychologist, May 2007.

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