November 2012 | Issue 78
From the Editor
J D Markel
"Admittedly, the night lights and bright beaches of L.A. are attractive, but these are just surfaces of the material world that spellbind souls into the pits of hell, whether they be the Los Angeles Basin or San Fernando Valley. I will take my shot at warning you by using films evidencing L.A. to be hell, or damn near it."
"The basic rules of film editing, first established in the silent era, still govern the industry today: maintain your eye lines, preserve continuity, respect planarity (the rules governing the transposition of three dimensions onto a two-dimensional plane), find a good rhythm, and, most important, always advance the story."
"The whole effect is a Rand-esque, dream-like, dystopian feel. This is very much Curtis taking an auteur approach to his documentary — his creative personality is all over it and the effect is enthralling." — from "All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace," review, The Telegraph, by Catherine Gee
Marilyn Adler Papayanis
"I didn't come all the way down to Jamaica to become a slut." — How Stella Got Her Groove Back

"To be sure, only a redeemed mankind receives the fullness of its past — which is to say, only for a redeemed mankind has its past become citable in all its moments. Each moment it has lived becomes a citation a l'ordre du jour — and that day is Judgment Day." –from "On the Concept of History" by Walter Benjamin
A. Loudermilk
"Just by going to the movies I became, like the Final Girl, a target. A target, in my case, for bullies loitering outside the theater after the movie's over. Having been beaten up under the marquee in sixth grade, I'd become reluctant to attend horror movies. But I had to go, despite the risk. I had to see — to see as the Final Girl sees."
Maximilian Yoshioka
"The truth of art lies in its power to break the monopoly of established reality to define what is real." — Herbert Marcuse
Ingrid Fernandez
"The film's main focus remains on the body as undesirable, non-ideal, open to external aggression and pollution. In typical Polanski fashion, the audience is trapped in an 'uncomfortable visual space' where the concept of a stable individual identity is never a matter of choice, but instead constituted by our surroundings and forces well beyond our grasp."
Julia Leyda
"I'm just always interested in the ways in which we are not free agents, that our desires, our instincts, our anger, our determination, our survival instincts all butt against social constraints and social learning that are really deep. It's not just a matter of changing your job or your lover."
Sam Weisberg
"There was no movement! I was not part of a movement, I. Made. My. Own. Films. They. Were. Not. Part. Of. Any. Movement. You're incapable of understanding that, aren't you? I have to be in a category. First I'm in 'Andy Warhol films,' then I'm an 'independent.' I like good films that are worth watching, OK?"
Steven Massa
"We become faced with the individuality and humanity of history, the functioning components of a movement. 18 Days translates this reality of individual experience to film, in a sense presenting the audience with 10 YouTube clips of people affected by the revolution, telling their stories."
Maximilian Yoshioka
"Yet the film itself also hints at a way of being that exists outside of this paradigm, one that abandons the search for universal truth and instead prioritizes immediate phenomenological experience."
Ravi Bhoraskar and Sudha Shastri
"Kahaani captures this moment of rising disillusionment and change in the world. There is no 'riding-into-the-sunset' happy ending, for Vidya still remains an unhappy widow at the close of the movie: perhaps an appropriate resolution for these angsty times."
Jon Towlson
"The opening scenes of Freaks demonstrate a sophisticated use of staging, framing, editing, and camera movement to suture the audience into a complex set of sympathies. It is the work of a director in full control of the medium, able to use the camera to reveal a rich subtext beneath the dialogue."
Ian Murphy
"A purely political reading of Southern Comfort does not account for the fact that Hill is as much a visual stylist as he is a storyteller. Or rather, it does not account for the manner in which he tells his stories through his style, which happens to be more finely attuned to the spare poetics of male action cinema than any other American filmmaker of his generation."
"If you can get past all these potentially off-putting deviations, Park Row offers Samuel Fuller at his most free, exuberant, and even experimental. As unfocused as the narrative is, it is essentially a realist fable, or collection of fables, condensing an entire rough-and-tumble era into a coincidence-riddled pill."
John Belton
"From now on we'll do everything together. Just one big, happy family — father [helps up Mallare], daughter [puts his arm around Anna], and son-of-a-bitch [points to himself]." — from the film
Read about what you can't see
Jessica Hagemann
"Life is a continuity which does not begin at birth; it is split up by birth." — Nandor Fodor
Michael T. Smith
"Immerse yourself: you should never exist outside a movie."
An ongoing column that looks at some of the most intriguing of recent, under-the-radar releases
"Faust's obsession is his lust for a pale girl who looks underage, referred to as a 'little doll,' the only pure thing in a foul society. The desire to corrupt that girl is his version of mastering the world."
"Probably the only film that dwarfs the spectacle of David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Chronicle also challenges that British hero's often chilly pathology with its own surge of powerfully accruing life-and-death incidents in the survival struggles of farmer Ahmed."
Recent Posts

Margaret Lockwood in The Man in GreyOne of the great Gainsborough melodramas, in the longer UK cut, on the always accommodating (if sometimes only temporarily) YouTube. Margaret Lockwood is as "wicked" here as she is in Wicked Lady. Watch it before the copyright police come a-callin'!

Watch on Youtube »

Gordon Thomas, and other BL staff, check out the eye- popping pleasures of Blu-Ray.

» Monsoon Wedding (Mira Nair)
» The General (Keaton)
» Sunrise (Murnau)
» 8-1/2 (Fellini)
» Playtime (Tati)
» Winstanley (Brownlow & Mollo)
» Permissive (Shonteff)
» Lola Montes (Ophuls)
» My Childhood, My Ain Folk ... (Bill Douglas)
» In the Realm of the Senses (Oshima)
» Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Disney)
» Repulsion (Polanski)
» Institute Benjamenta (Brothers Quay)
» Everlasting Moments (Troell)

BL Associate Editor Alan Vanneman and others watch (and review) television shows so you don't have to. Click if you dare.

» 30 Rock
» The American President
» Archer
» Batman: The Animated Series
» The Big Bang Theory
» Broadway Theatre Archive
» Car 54, Where Are You?
» Charlie’s Angels
» Cowboy Bebop
» Death of a Salesman
» Dollhouse
» Freaks and Geeks
» Have Gun Will Travel
» Mad Men
» Magnum P.I.
» Monk
» Pamela Anderson Roast
» Renegade
» Sex and the City
» Sports Night
» Star Trek

I'm sick of movies, Mr. Webmaster. Take me away!

Gazillions of free books, audio, and video. Grab 'em before the copyright police come knocking!

» Glenn Greenwald
The indomitable civil liberties champion takes exception to American exceptionalism. You will too when you read his blistering analyses.

» Project Gutenberg

» Creative Commons
"All Creative Commons licenses have many important features in common. Every license helps creators retain copyright while allowing others to copy, distribute, and make some uses of their work — at least non-commercially."

» The Ivy Compton-Burnett home page
A Bright Lights side project created by George Brown devoted to the greatest novelist of the 20th century. There, we said it.

» Raw Vision
The leading online site (and print publication) devoted to those zany untrained artists who channel personality quirks, neuroses, idées fixes, and downright craziness into Art.

An endlessly fascinating clearinghouse for "the greatest hand-picked collection of bizarre, strange and unusual websites on the internet today." Highlights include the enchanting "Prison Bitch Name Generator" and "Life Gem" – how to "turn your deceased loved one into a diamond."

» Clark Ashton Smith
The premier fantasy poet and short-story writer (and sculptor and artist) gets a detailed blog that's a model for intelligent fan-ism. Watch out for falling curmudgeons in the forum.

» Classic Arcade Games
Miss Asteroids? Centipede? Frogger? Miss that you missed them? Here's your chance to enjoy the state of the art circa 1980s.

» Jack Vance
Wikipedia's gateway to our favorite writer in and of science fiction and fantasy. A national treasure.

» Electronic Frontier Foundation
"EFF fights for freedom primarily in the courts, bringing and defending lawsuits even when that means taking on the US government or large corporations." Go EFF!

» The Canonical List of Weird Band Names: The Peculiar and the Profane
Another Bright Lights side project from the inimitable George Brown. You probably know the Meat Puppets but how about Lyin' Bitch and the Restraining Orders?

» James Purdy
A good introduction to a criminally neglected postwar literary master. Be 21 or be gone for his gorgeous, harrowing works, kids.

» The Radical Ant Farm
This page answers that nagging question: "What's up with the Russian criminal tattoos?" The rest of the site offers further fun.

» Spectro-Pop
Monumental site devoted to '60s pop music – you know, that stuff playing in the background during the orgy.

» The Left Business Observer
Doug Henwood's long-running economics newsletter, called "invaluable" by Noam Chomsky. Need we say more?

» Jane Bowles
Go to Wikipedia and improve this "stub" on the writer Tennessee Williams looked up to and James Purdy called "the eagle-woman of American letters."

The best online radio station for our money. A deep archive and no-music-turned-away policy will keep you rollin' and tumblin' till the apocalypse.

» Henry Green
Must we create a detailed tribute page to this extraordinary British novelist championed by Auden, Updike, and Terry Southern? Or will you do it? Start with Concluding (1948).

» Women of Surrealism
They weren't all "muses" and maids – these women equaled or surpassed their more celebrated male counterparts in vision and technique.

» Ronald Firbank
He called the president of Haiti "a perfect dear" and was known to eat a single pea at dinner. Oh, and he ranks with Joyce and Woolf (see Edmund Wilson) as a groundbreaking literary modernist.

» Essential Vermeer
Everything you need to know about the Dutch master of light and mysterious figures.

BLFJ on Instagram

@brightlightsfilm - stills, photos, and images from classic and contemporary films from around the world.