The Nightshirt Sightings, Portents, Forebodings, Suspicions

Category “Movies”

To the Unified Field (via Twin Peaks): David Lynch’s Paintings

Sunday, 16 November, 2014

“We live in a world of opposites, of extreme evil and violence opposed to goodness and peace. It’s that way here for a reason but we have a hard time grasping what the reason is. In struggling to understand the reason, we learn about balance and there’s a mysterious door right at that balance point. […]

The Biggest Bullshit: David Lynch and the Cowboy

Sunday, 12 October, 2014

Well, there are many kinds of films. Most of them, nowadays, don’t demand much thinking. That makes me very, very upset. It makes me upset that they think the audiences have grown unused to thinking and that they only want things spelled out for them, in a platter. That’s bullshit, and a big one. People […]

The Orbit of Being (Thoughts on ‘Gravity’)

Monday, 7 October, 2013

Back in the day, in English class, we all learned that stories can be broken down into a few basic conflicts: Man Versus Man, Man Versus Himself, etc. The one that always seemed the least interesting to me was Man Versus Nature. You don’t really see this conflict very often. It’s really the hardest kind […]

The Space Jockey and Our Endosymbiotic Destiny

Wednesday, 12 September, 2012

There is an interesting tradition in science fiction of examining the idea of a symbiosis between the ship and its crew, specifically its pilot. The once-human Spacing Guild navigators in Dune, whose drug-induced trance folds space for the heighliners’ faster-than-light passage, leaps immediately to mind. And there are hints of this idea in Norman Spinrad’s […]

The Madness of White Bear — Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams (pt. 3)

Saturday, 27 August, 2011

The various tricks artists and scientists through history have discovered for seemingly halting the motion of things—what Renaissance alchemists called “fixing the volatile”—and then reanimating the fixed under their own power have always seemed godlike; and the aspiration to exercise this power has always seemed arrogant or even blasphemous to some. We can only speculate, […]

Slaying the Minotaur — Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams (Part 2)

Sunday, 17 July, 2011

For shamanic religions and the cultures that adhere to them, mystery is higher than knowledge. The irrational higher than the rational. Unknowing higher than knowing. (Is there even a concept of “knowing”? Is “knowing” an idea that has only arisen in after writing??) Paleolithic people, such as those who left their mark in Chauvet Cave […]

Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Thursday, 9 June, 2011

The thing about the sublime as an aesthetic (or religious) emotion is that you can only take it in small doses before it turns into unease and even fear. At one point in Werner Herzog’s new, amazing documentary about the astonishingly realistic Paleolithic paintings in Chauvet Cave in France, the filmmaker notes that he and […]

Noooooo!!! — An Open Letter to Ridley Scott

Wednesday, 12 January, 2011

The worst mistake a film (or any work of art) can make is to answer all the questions. “Prequels” are a particular hazard in this respect, because they tend to take away that wonderful feeling of being plunged into a world in medias res and then leaving it still with a few questions. Answering all […]

The Martians’ Horrific Geometry

Tuesday, 28 December, 2010

“He talked of his dreams in a strangely poetic fashion; making me see with terrible vividness the damp Cyclopean city of slimy green stone—whose geometry, he oddly said, was all wrong…” H.P. Lovecraft, “The Call of Cthulhu” A surprising number of features on Mars show qualities at least somewhat suggestive of having been sculpted not […]

UFOs and the Midlife Crisis

Wednesday, 8 December, 2010

I’ve obviously been thinking a lot about UFOs in the last couple months—duh—so out of a sense of blogging duty I thought I should get out my DVD of Close Encounters and watch it again, and perhaps comment on it. It has been a couple years. I totally disagree with Spielberg’s overt premise—that ETs are […]