S.B. & I popped by Film Forum last week, thinking to catch 2 ou 3 choses que je sais d’elle during the monthlong Godardfest, but I’d misread the dates, so we wound up dunked in the Mao of La Chinoise. Far be it from me to complain. I loves me my Godard. His ludic, manic invention begs us to read his films against their apparent didactic frontload… a sort of “unreliable didactation,” (do you take didactation?) if you will. The effortlessness of his filmmaking seems to supply, on the fly, all the traditional cinematic exaltations even as his characters espouse away. To our surprise, Richard Brody, a New Yorker film editor and Godard nerd, was introducing the movie. Is there no end to art house hijinks (preserved posters on the walls in foreign tongues, the carefully curated review clippings yellowing under glass)? The bushy-bearded eminence, Shavian in his glee, wrapped up his remarks with “His sense of cinema was… innate. The man… couldn’t make a bad film if he tried–though after this one, he started trying a lot harder.” Elephantine red columns flank the cramped rows of the Film Forum’s screening rooms, every seat of which honors a sponsor with a small plate on its back. Rather fittingly, the podium remained at the head of the room, a hard shape in the dark—too short, thankfully, to be silhouetted against the silver screen, though sometimes the small brass lampshade caught the light that fell from the luminous faces of the stars.
Catching up with reviews… The Onion AV Club’s Comics Panel covers Lewis Trondheim’s Kaput & Zösky and Cyril Pedrosa’s Three Shadows.
I read one of Trondheim’s Lapinot books (part of my NYCC swag pile). V. enjoyable: I’d put it on a par with a really clever sitcom, but edgier. Handles multiple storylines well, sustaining tension throughout. Quick and witty neurotic dialogue among citydwellers and, floating over it all, the delicious and slightly despairing nastiness of a pessimistic author toying with his characters.
Trondheim also had a funny sketchbook page on his blog presenting overheard conversation “traduit de l’américain”: “J’ai eu le mal de mer à cause des vagues.” Always amusing to have the redundancies of national speech patterns shoved in one’s face through the defamiliarizing mechanism of a foreign tongue. (I can’t link to it anymore; he fades old pages out and takes them down.)
So much for updating more regularly… the perennial life vs. blog conflict, you might say. Not to be mistaken for life vs. art , which is a matter of expectations–the former is purely a matter of time.