Young Mr. Lincoln



By DAVE KEHR

The Criterion Collection is releasing John Ford's highly personal 1939 imagining of the early career of Abraham Lincoln in time for Presidents' Day, though the film itself — one of the highest accomplishments of American film, if not one of the best known — is a bit of a poisoned present. Ford's Lincoln, played by a 34-year-old Henry Fonda with a long, prosthetic nose and an unruly forelock, is not a saintly figure out of a children's civics lesson — or at least, he is that and something else, something quite darker and more difficult, at the same time.

At certain moments, particularly early in the picture, before Abe has discovered his vocation in the law, Ford shoots him with reverence and awe; the lighting seems to emanate from his figure, as in a Renaissance depiction of Christ. But at other moments, when Lincoln dons the dark suit and stovepipe hat that are his uniform as a young attorney, Ford films him like a bird of prey, hovering and hawklike. His figure is almost always the darkest element in the frame, as if he were drawing all the light into him, much as F. W. Murnau (one of Ford's masters, from the time he and the great German filmmaker were under contract at Fox) filmed his spindly vampire in "Nosferatu."

The internal contradictions in "Young Mr. Lincoln" were the subject of a pioneering, much reprinted study of the film that appeared in a 1970 special issue of Les Cahiers du Cinéma, which drew on neo-Marxist and psychoanalytical theory and helped set the style of much of the academic film criticism of the 70's. If, as Geoffrey O'Brien asserts in a fine essay included with the Criterion disc, the Cahiers analysis is by now "scarcely readable," many of its observations are still illuminating. Ford's Lincoln is a bit of a monster of pragmatism, who uses his deadly skill with language to (in the Freudian jargon of the period) "castrate" his opponents, as well as an incipient capitalist who may take on a case out of compassion and concern (two farm boys have been accused of killing a local bully) but unflinchingly pockets his fee, even though the money represents the entire savings of the boys' desperately poor family. (I've often wondered if Ford's simultaneously folksy and cunning Lincoln wasn't inspired by Will Rogers, an equally complex figure with whom Ford made several important films in the early 30's.)

Ford's dual vision of Lincoln leads him to one of the most extraordinary closing acts in American film. The film has two distinctly different climaxes — one cold, harshly lighted and a little bit frightening; the other emotionally charged and shot with brooding shadows — that play out sequentially, as if Ford were offering his audience a choice of which Lincoln to take home. For Ford, clearly, both Lincolns were true, and it is his ability to acknowledge and embrace such contradictions, and make brilliant visual poetry out of them, that sets Ford in the very front rank of American filmmakers.
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''No other human being, no woman, no poem or music, book or painting can replace alcohol in its power to give man the illusion of real creation.''
Marguerite Duras,  "Alcohol," Practicalities





Claude Cahun





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ENTRE O DIA E A NOITE.



Thomas Weinberger, Alexanderplatz, Alemanha, 2003


Thomas Weinberger, Marina Dubai, Emirados Arabes Unidos, 2006


Thomas Weinberger, Al-Kantara, Portugal, 2008


Thomas Weinberger, Walt Sydney, Austrália, 2007


Thomas Weinberger, West, Portugal, 2008


Thomas Weinberger, Genova, Itália, 2005


Thomas Weinberger, I.E.P.E., Espanha, 2007


Thomas Weinberger, Craker, Alemanha, 2003


Thomas Weinberger, Kühltürme, Alemanha, 2004


Thomas Weinberger, Zone 30, Alemanha, 2004


Thomas Weinberger, Rosebud, Austrália, 2007

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Haverá cem mil graus na terra, dez mil sóis, dirão. O asfalto arderá. Uma profunda desordem reinará.
Marguerite Duras, Hiroshima Mon Amour


Nao Tsuda, Ship Shadow of Omi, 2007

Hiroshi Sugimoto, 1994

Hiroshi Sugimoto, 1990

Asako Narahashi, Kawagucjiko, 2003

Syoin Kajii, Nami, 2007

Shomei Tomatsu, Pencil of the Sun, 1971

Nabuo Asada, A place where the sea is, 1997

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`Have some wine,' the March Hare said in an encouraging tone.
Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but tea. `I don't see any wine,' she remarked.
`There isn't any,' said the March Hare.
`Then it wasn't very civil of you to offer it,' said Alice angrily.
`It wasn't very civil of you to sit down without being invited,' said the March Hare.
`I didn't know it was your table,' said Alice; `it's laid for a great many more than three.'
`Your hair wants cutting,' said the Hatter. He had been looking at Alice for some time with great curiosity, and this was his first speech.
`You should learn not to make personal remarks,' Alice said with some severity; `it's very rude.'
The Hatter opened his eyes very wide on hearing this; but all he said was, `Why is a raven like a writing-desk?'
`Come, we shall have some fun now!' thought Alice. `I'm glad they've begun asking riddles.--I believe I can guess that,' she added aloud.
`Do you mean that you think you can find out the answer to it?' said the March Hare.
`Exactly so,' said Alice.
`Then you should say what you mean,' the March Hare went on.
`I do,' Alice hastily replied; `at least--at least I mean what I say--that's the same thing, you know.'
`Not the same thing a bit!' said the Hatter. `You might just as well say that "I see what I eat" is the same thing as "I eat what I see"!'
`You might just as well say,' added the March Hare, `that "I like what I get" is the same thing as "I get what I like"!'
`You might just as well say,' added the Dormouse, who seemed to be talking in his sleep, `that "I breathe when I sleep" is the same thing as "I sleep when I breathe"!'
`It is the same thing with you,' said the Hatter, and here the conversation dropped, and the party sat silent for a minute, while Alice thought over all she could remember about ravens and writing-desks, which wasn't much.




Brigadoon, Vincente Minelli, 1954

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(...)
Avança, memória, com a tua bicicleta.
Sonhando, as árvores crescem ao contrário.
Apresento-te novembro: avião
limpo como um alfabeto. E as praças
dão a sua neve descascada.
Mãe, mãe — como janeiro resplende
nos satélites. Filho — é a tua memória.

E as letras estão em ti, abertas
pela neve dentro. Como árvores, aviões
sonham ao contrário.
As estátuas, de polvos na cabeça,
florescem com mercúrio.
Mãe — é o teu enxofre do mês de novembro,
é a neve avançando na sua bicicleta.

O alfabeto, a lua.

Começo a lembrar-me: eu peguei na paisagem.
Era pesada, ao colo, cheia de neve.
la dizendo o teu nome de janeiro.
Enxofre — mãe — era o teu nome.
As letras cresciam em torno da terra,
as telhas vergavam ao peso
do que me lembro. Começo a lembrar-me:
era o atum negro do teu nome,
nos meus braços como neve de janeiro.
(...)
Herberto Helder


Tokyo Story, Ozu, 1953
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DISSECANDO LYNCH.

Wild at Heart, David Lynch, 1990

" Lynch perturba a nossa mais elementar relação fenomenológica com o corpo vivo, relação baseada entre a separação radical entre a superfície da pele e o que lhe subjaz."






A sexualidade que a pintura irradia é húmida, malsã, impregnada pela putrefacção da morte... eis-nos já em pleno universo de David Lynch. Quer dizer, toda a ontologia de Lynch assenta na discordância entre a realidade, observada a partir de uma distância segura, e a absoluta proximidade do real. Este procedimento elementar acarreta um movimento que vai de um plano nde conjunto a uma proximidade perturbante que torna visível a ascorosa substância do gozo, o pulular e a fosforescência da vida indestrutível.
(...)
Nos filmes de Lynch, este achatamento da realidade descrita, que anula efectivamente a perspectiva de uma abertura infinita, descobre o seu equivalente preciso ao nível do som. Voltemos à sequência inicial de "Blue Velvet": o seu aspecto característico decisivo é o ruído sinistro que surge quando nos aproximamos do real. Trata-se de um ruído difícil de localizar na realidade; par determinar o seu estatuto poderíamos invocar a cosmologia contemporânea sobre os ruídos nos limites do universo. Estes não são simplesmente internos ao universo. O estatuto ontológico desse ruído é mais interessante do que pode parecer, uma vez que subverte a noção fundamental do universo infinito, aberto, que define o espaço da física newtoniana.
Esta ideia moderna de universo aberto baseia-se na hipótese segundo a qual toda a entidade positiva (ruído, matéria) ocupa algum espaço (vazio) (...)
Mas o ruído primordial, o último resto do Big Bang é constitutivo do próprio espaço: não é um ruído no espaço, mas um ruído que mantém o espaço aberto como tal.

As Metástases do Gozo, Slavoj Zizek
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Estudo de uma cabeça, de Parmigianino


La Schiava Turca, de Parmigianino


RonsenMadonna, de Parmigianino


Antea, de Parmigianino
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Only love is all maroon
Gluey feathers on a flume
Sky is womb and she's the moon
I am my mother on the wall, with us all
I move in water, shore to shore;
Nothing's more
Only love is all maroon
Lapping lakes like leary loons
Leaving rope burns
Reddish ruse

Bon Iver, Flume.









the car's on fire and there's no driver at the wheel
and the sewers are all muddied with a thousand lonely suicides
and a dark wind blows
the government is corrupt
and we're on so many drugs
with the radio on and the curtains drawn

we're trapped in the belly of this horrible machine
and the machine is bleeding to death

the sun has fallen down
and the billboards are all leering
and the flags are all dead at the top of their poles
it went like this:
the buildings tumbled in on themselves
mothers clutching babies picked through the rubble
and pulled out their hair


the skyline was beautiful on fire
all twisted metal stretching upwards
everything washed in a thin orange haze

i said: "kiss me, you're beautiful -
these are truly the last days"

you grabbed my hand and we fell into it
like a daydream or a fever
we woke up one morning and fell a little further down -
for sure it's the valley of death
i open up my wallet
and it's full of blood

Godspeed you! black emperor, The Dead Flag Blues.
















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