A Whoniversary miracle? I received the new mostly animated DVD of Evil of the Daleks in time for Nov. 23rd! Didn't have time to watch it though. I also received my copy of Outside In Wants to Believe, the second volume of the series covering The X-Files, though the essay of mine published in it is actually about Harsh Realm! Who else remembers that show?
50 Years of Criterion/1971: Part documentary on the gonzo science of Willhelm Reich who created buzzwords like "orgon energy" and part satirical sex comedy about an activist in Communist Yugoslavia, WR: Mysteries of the Organism is, in a way, a companion piece to Dr. Strangelove in its play on tension and release. Where Strangelove keeps the orgasm at bay and eventually paints it as mutual destruction, WR is sex positive in the extreme, ascribing all the world's ills to the lack of "free love" and orgasms for all. And yet, all completion, all release, is orgasm according to the film's surreal tract, just a corruption of the true orgasm. Political upheaval, murder, intellectualism, sports, art, drugs, mental health care (stock footage of this may disturb), it's all an orgasm substitute, and therefore less satisfying, even pointless. WR is communist art house practically designed to be banned, especially in its own market. Today, a lot of the political subtext will fly over our heads, but what's left is still interesting, though bizarre.
Paired Short: In Crocus, stiff drawn figures pass the pickle (really and surreally), but it made me wonder if it was just another task/duty for the lady, a kind of escape, or both. Either way, #feminism.
Paired Short: Chantal Akerman is building herself up as the dramatist of the mundane with La chambre, a 360-degree cinematic still life of her one-room apartment in New York. I like seeing her style develop, but it's still a simple experiment.
Paired Short: I'm sure Charles Burnett's The Horse has hidden meanings if I could only figure them out, but like the ePONYmous horse (sorry), I felt like I was waiting for someone to put me out of my misery.
Paired Short: What I'm missing from Christo’s Valley Curtain is the artist (or someone!) discussing the artistic approach. The doc feels thin to me despite it making a point just through blue-collar reaction before and after the deployment of his giant orange eyesore.
Paired Short: Obviously, gender wasn't as well understood in '75 as it is today, but Agnes Varda's Women Reply nevertheless packs a poignant punch, right in the patriarchy's glass jaw.