It is not uncommon for me to pick up a book—any kind of book—and as I begin to read it, to make mental notes of elements of the story or facts that intersect with my own experiences. I am certain that I am not alone in this practice of suturing myself into these written realms. Film scholars have been developing multiple theories regarding notions of subject formation ever since Jacques Lacan first developed the concept in the 1950s–60s. From Daniel Dayan and Pierre Oudart to Jacques Alain-Miller to Christian Metz to Stephen Heath to Laura Mulvey to Kaja Silverman, despite this post-post–ad infinitum structural moment, debates on the logic of the signifier persist in film and media studies.
Jonathan Rosenbaum revisits Steven Spielberg’s futuristic epic (prepared by Stanley Kubrick), A.I. Artificial Intelligence.
J. M. Tyree discusses technology and subversion in David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Voices are heard in Film Socialisme but often the speaker is not seen; conversations are decontextualized to the point of absurdity. The line between epigrammatic and nonsensical is impossible to draw.
FEATURES: Interviews with Janus Metz and with Dai Sil Kim-Gibson; an analysis of films about financial meltdown; and reviews of Todd Haynes’s Mildred Pierce and Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life.
READ: Bad Blood; Poison: Caviar and Ketchup; Three Endings; and Pope-Shrinking
Each summer, legendary film critic and Film Quarterly Writer-at-Large James Naremore provides his retrospective of the best films released in the U.S. during the previous year. Here are excerpts of his top ten Films of the Year, 2010.
Lee Chang-dong’s glorious new film is a major step forward for an already accomplished Korean director. Whereas his previous films are dominated by harrowing psychic and linguistic breakdowns, Poetry involves emotional restraint and a profoundly moving emphasis on eloquence.
The head of a snorting horse juts into view and is abruptly jerked upwards by its as-yet-unseen rider. The camera, traveling at a galloping pace that matches the animal’s, pulls back to reveal the cart the horse is pulling while its owner (János Derzsi), an elderly man, unforgivingly wields his whip.
FEATURES: Films of the Year, 2010; An Interview with Apichatpong Weerasethakul; and a survey of contemporary German director Fatih Akin.
READ: Into the Past, Egyptian Stories, Dovzhenko: Folk Tale and Revolution, and Edge of Darkness.
“Come back and we’ll be young men together again,” says Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) to old Saito (Ken Watanabe), who has been trapped in a godforsaken fantasy underworld, at the end of Inception