25 Points: 12 Years a Slave’s Glaring Flaws Won’t Deny It A Oscar — (Django Unchained Also Discussed)

samuel-l-jackson-django

1) Django Unchained is a “better” movie than 12 Years a Slave.

2) Harold Blood, Samuel L. Jackson (Stephen), and Brad Pitt (Bass): these three form the bedrock of the most original part of my argument. Force of character. Force of personality. (I’ll talk more about this later on).

3) The next part of my argument resides in “excitement”. In aesthetic pleasure. Yes, there’s something pleasing and thrilling about Tarantino’s excesses and indulgences, his operatic screams. And there’s something pleasing, immensely pleasing, about his success in creating a Western (a spaghetti Western) within a Slavery landscape because, well, that’s no easy task.

(and, plz, here let me point out that “Best Picture” does not mean “Most Necessary Picture”)

4) And the most important part of my argument is that 12 Years a Slave, though flawed, has become a kind of Sacred Cow and, thus, tends to get a free pass since it is so “necessary” (which it is, since “Americans tend to have amnesia about historical events*” and in the case of Slavery and all its horrors the amnesia is compounded by “deep trauma*”). So, because the movie is a valuable and needed wake-up call we can and need to kind of sweep its problems under the rug:

12 Years a Slave has some of the awkwardness and inauthenticity of a foreign-made film about the United States. The dialogue of the Washington, D.C., slave traders sounds as if it were written for “Lord of the Rings.” White plantation workers speak in standard redneck cliches. And yet the ways in which this film is true are much more important than the ways it’s false. (Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle)

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Henry Louis Gates Jr

5) The quotes starred (*) above are from a TIME interview with Henry Louis Gates Jr. This interview’s a decent quick-bite read, but much more valuable and meaty is Gates’ interview with Tarantino (you can find it here on The Root) which is a wonderful series of insights into Tarantino’s intentions as well as Gates’ opinion of Tarantino’s accomplishments in what Gates calls “the best postmodern take on Slavery*.”

(* this last quote, again, is from the Time interview in which Gates also hails 12 Years a Slave as “the most realistic account of Slavery”).

6) An important and necessary movie, again, of course, isn’t necessarily the best movie, but here are some quotes from Anthony Stokes’ “On How 12 Years a Slave Succeeded where Django Unchained failed”

with a matter as serious as slavery you should have more respect.”

Continue reading “25 Points: 12 Years a Slave’s Glaring Flaws Won’t Deny It A Oscar — (Django Unchained Also Discussed)”

THE ZERO-DEGREE NOISELESSNESS OF DEATH: LECTIO IX-XII

Lectio I-IV
Lectio V-VIII

Systemic limits to growth require that the inevitable recommencement of the solar trajectory scorches jagged perforations through such civilisations. The resultant ruptures cannot be securely assimilated to a metasocial homeostatic mechanism, because they have an immoderate, epidemic tendency. Bataille writes of ‘the virulence of death’. Expenditure is irreducibly ruinous because it is not merely useless but also contagious. Nothing is more infectious than the passion for collapse.

-Nick Land, “After the Law”

LECTIO IX: Beyond Novelty, Into The Uncanny
LECTIO X: Shame and the Texture of the Flesh
LECTIO XI: Artaud as Arrogance Without Ego
LECTIO XII: When Nothing is Real

Continue reading “THE ZERO-DEGREE NOISELESSNESS OF DEATH: LECTIO IX-XII”