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May 28, 2009

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Matthias Galvin

Don't watch House

If you haven't already, watch The Wire.
It's better than Berlin Alexanderplatz! (please don't quote me on that in front of particularly large cinephiles).

P.S. Though I don't quite get the movie (does anyone get this man though, really?), the Brakhage film is awesome.

Aaron Aradillas

Yes, The Wire is the shit.

I will also defend House. It is quite an accoplishment for a show to still find ways to be creative when the central character dies not change. House is more or less the same person from episode one. It's the people around him who have changed throughout these past 5 seasons.

The Shield is another show worth investing in. The first couple of seasons may be uneven, but it was worth sticking around for the extraordinary final two seasons. And the series finale is one of the all-time greats.

And I still defend Entourage for its Diner-like portrayal of male friendship in the Age of Defamer.

Finally, TNT's The Closer is this generation's Columbo. Think about it.

Rudy Mett

There is no way The Wire is better than Berlin Alexanderplatz.

bill

I think I'll watch "The Wire" when everybody stops telling me it's the best thing that's ever been. So, in about eight years, I guess.

bill

Also, I'm adding that Criterion Brakhage anthology to the queue next time I have two free slots. I'm diving in, goddammit...

Kia

Can someone tell me if either of the two anthologies via netflix contains Window Water Baby Moving?

Matt

Kia: Disc 2 of BY BRAKHAGE has Window Water Baby Moving.

Glenn: I have mixed feelings about the autopsy movie - it's undeniably powerful, but the length seems kind of arbitrary (it would have had a similar effect at 5 minutes or at 50), and I find Brakhage's need to avoid showing any identifying facial features increasingly distracting, even though (1) it was, understandably, the only way he could get permission to film and (2) I might not have thought so if I hadn't known about that "restriction" going in.

Dan

My Brakhage set wound up getting stolen. The sadly-gone DVD Journal's hilarious review of the set can be found here: http://dvdjournal.com/reviews/b/bybrakhage_cc.shtml

For the record, the three films really worth watching are "Window Water Baby Moving", "Wedlock House", and well, "The Act of Seeing With One's Own Eyes". They make me wish Brakhage had left the lab and pointed his camera at PEOPLE more often.

"Seeing" isn't quite as hard a sit as you might think. If you can handle an '80s slasher movie, it won't gross you out TOO much. It does, however, become almost unbearably sad; the film's length emphasizes how much people, once they die, become objects.

Matt

The Brakhage film is worth seeing. It should be noted, however, that it's one of the most harrowing things you'll ever see. I watched it without much foreknowledge and found it to be something I'll never forget. It made me realize how bankrupt and phony "torture porn" is in the face of actual trauma.

Dan

"It made me realize how bankrupt and phony "torture porn" is in the face of actual trauma."

I dunno, to me that's apples and oranges. Not that I disagree, I just think the comparison is kind of pointless; they're going for entirely different effects.

On some level, torture movies WANT to be phony, they want to reassure the audience that this is not actually happening to real people. Brakhage certainly wasn't aiming to reassure anybody.

That said, I frankly find what goes on in "Seeing" a hell of a lot less troubling than the fact that the "Saw" movies clearly think that Jigsaw is a character worth rooting for because he's less venal than the people he kills. And we're up to movie SIX with no end in sight. Yeah, I sleep well knowing things like that.

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