Marcuse

“Technological rationality reveals its political character as it becomes the great vehicle of better domination, creating a truly totalitarian universe in which society and nation, mind and body are kept in a state of permanent mobilization for the defense of this universe.”

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An Excerpt from Page 140 (Chapter 12, Section 12.10), Satin Island, by Tom McCarthy

“Levi-Strauss claims that, for the isolated tribe with whom an anthropologist makes first contact – the tribe who, after being studied will be decimated by diseases to which they’ve no resistance, then (if they’ve survived) converted to Christianity and, eventually, conscripted into semi-bonded labour by mining and logging companies – for them, civilization represents no less than a cataclysm. This cataclysm, he says, is the true face of our culture – the one that’s turned away, from us at least. The order and harmony of the West, the laboratory in which structures of untold complexity are being cooked up, demand the emission of masses of noxious by-products. What the anthropologist encounters when he ventures beyond civilization’s perimeter-fence in no more than its effluvia, its toxic fallout. The first thing we see as we travel round the world is our own filth, thrown into mankind’s face.”

“John Wayne: American Icon, Patriotic Zealot, And Cold War Ideologue,” By Bonnie S. Jefferson, From War And Film In America: Historical And Critical Essays, Edited By Marilyn J. Matelski & Nancy Lynch Street

“Wayne was furious that all three of his films (The Alamo, Big Jim McLain, and The Green Berets) had been denounced by the New York critics but dismissed their criticism because he believed the critics to be communist sympathizers.”

“Fred Wiseman’s Kino Pravda,” From The Camera Age: Essays On Television, By Michael J. Arlen

(One should acknowledge here that a criticism that was originally directed against a certain loosely made and self-important style of verite filmmaking – namely that the camera’s presence has a tendency to distort the “truth” of particularly scenes – has lately become rather gratuitously expanded into an all-embracing cliche to the effect that any camera inevitably distorts, and thus renders “untrue,” any human environment it appears in. Sometimes even Heisenberg’s rigorous uncertainty principle had been put forward in expert support of this opinion, as if subatomic particles and human beings brushed their teeth in the same way. A more reasonable view, one imagines, would be that a camera held by a cameraman is not all that unlike – in intrusive social effect – a notebook held by a reporter. That is, in both instances, provided there is care, patience, self-effacement, and a willingness to be bored to death, a record of actuality may be obtained whose distortions, as a result of even unconscious “acting,” will prove to be negligible.)

“Filming In Africa,” From Cinema Stories, By Alexander Kluge

A film company in Lagos controls 200 subsidiaries that make popular films which never make it to the movie theaters but are instead distributed across Africa on DVD. 600 new productions every week. Is this a new flowering of cinema? The subject matter is certainly tough enough.

-What sort of things do they tackle?

-One film, for example, is about three women who go to Europe as sex workers. Before setting off, they go to their tribal medicine man to acquire some “good luck.” But they don’t have any good luck in Europe. The medicine man who sold them the charms has moved to New York. It turns out that a new baby needs to be sacrificed for the promised miraculous luck to become a reality.

-The women travel to New York.

-Yes, that’s exactly what happens in the movie. They force the magician to marry one of them and to sacrifice the child who is born soon afterward. And from then on they expect their second expedition into the heart of Europe to bring them the required good luck.

-Is there any censorship?

-The DVDs are beyond the reach of censorship.

-Do the critics help to disseminate the products?

-There are no critics.

-Is there any feedback to suggest how the products are received by the customers?

-The feedback of cash.

-Which suggests that this type of product is satisfying a real demand.

-Exactly.