Author Archive


by on Jun.23, 2012

Dear Montevidayans,

A prophecy from chapter 9 of J. M. Coetzee’s “Diary of a Bad Year,”

“Someone should put together a ballet under the title Guantanamo, Guantanamo! A corps of prisoners, their ankles shackled together, thick felt mittens on their hands, muffs over their ears, black hoods over their heads, do the dances of the persecuted and desperate. Around them, guards in olive-green uniforms prance with demonic energy and glee, cattle prods and billy-clubs at the ready. They touch the prisoners with the prods and the prisoners leap; they wrestle prisoners to the ground and shove the clubs up their anuses and the prisoners go into spasms. In a corner, a man on stilts in a Donald Rumsfeld mask alternately writes at his lectern and dances in ecstatic little jigs.
One day it will be done, though not by me…”

And, for your consideration, the following:

Respectfully submitted,

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My favorite Elizabeth Taylor is a version of American Tragedy

by on Mar.23, 2011

Two homages to Liz emerge from her role in perpetuating the versioning of Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy in film (for her, Stevens’s A Place in the Sun and Godard’s Histoire(s) du cinéma) and fiction (Steve Erikson’s Zeroville), excerpted below:

Jacques Rancière, “The Saint and the Heiress”

And if George Stevens hadn’t used the first sixteen-millimeter color film at Auschwitz and Ravensbrück, undoubtedly Elizabeth Taylor’s happiness would not have found a place in the sun.” The viewer of Histoires du cinéma recognizes in this declaration Godard’s manner of making incisive juxtapositions (rapprochements à l’emporte-pièce). And in this, undoubtedly habit has already had a share in things. She says to herself that it’s indeed interesting that before tackling the cinematic version of An American Tragedy, George Stevens had accompanied the advance of the American army and filmed the death camps in cinema. But she adds here the feeling that, if Stevens had spent the war as an announcer in New York or a parachutist in Burma, this would have ever so slightly altered the way Elizabeth Taylor, in A Place in the Sun, portrayed the beautiful heiress overjoyed by her idyll with the young Rastignac played by Montgomery Clift. Having thus sorted things out, she awaits the provocateur’s next telescoping and prepares herself to handle it in the same way.
(continue reading…)

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