Re: Close Reading Lives


I saw that recently and liked it.

It's hit a pop-culture nerve; after I read it I overheard somebody discussing it at a cafe where I was having lunch.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12- 6-15 3:32 PM
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thank you fearless leader. BEST. THEORY. OFALLTIME. I can't describe how much I want that to be real. it would legitimately rescue things otherwise only retrospectively worth existing for those "I'm an alcoholic murderer, what do I know about star wars" reviews--each of which is as long as a movie. I realized at a certain point, wow, I've been watching this for four hours, and the serial killer vibe is too strong. still better than ep1 tho! ^_~

I can use banned emocons. I have the power.

Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 12- 6-15 7:04 PM
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It's popular because it postulates that a bunch of shit movies could possibly have been not shit, but either cowardice (if it's true) or Lucas' shittiness (if it is not) prevented it from being not shit.

Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 12- 6-15 9:10 PM
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I haven't even seen all the Star Wars movies

You're either very wise or an ISIS plant. Which ones have you skipped?

Posted by: Mich | Link to this comment | 12- 6-15 10:23 PM
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Just watched the second de ma vie! Saw the first lo these many moons ago and none others since until tonight. We watched I think #3, carrie fisher in a slave girl outfit & lots of teddy bears? I'm reliably informed the rest are even more rubbish so won't be watching them if I can help it.

Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 12- 6-15 10:49 PM
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the new star wars movie isn't being previewed to the critics. not a good sign.

Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 12- 7-15 7:40 AM
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Why would they, though?

It's been clear for a while that they're trying to lock down some things about it for a while now, and at the very least they're acting like it's because of some secret thing about the movie. (I don't know if there is one, but it's a good strategy anyway.) They've probably just made the calculation that people not knowing much about what's in it makes it more likely to get people in costumes waiting at the doors on opening night (because they can boast to their friends) which makes for good news stories, that showing it to any critic increases their chances of people letting something slip, and that they could release three hours of George Lucas wearing a speedo and jumping up and down and still make millions of dollars on action figures alone. So there's not much upside to letting the critics at it early.

Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 12- 7-15 10:26 AM
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release three hours of George Lucas wearing a speedo and jumping up and down and still make millions of dollars on action figures alone

I would not buy that action figure.

carrie fisher in a slave girl outfit

Alyssa Rosenberg recently wrote an interesting piece about that scene.

Even more than Fisher's excellent acting in the scenes at Jabba's palace, that setting complicates any attempt to read Leia as a simple sex object in a way that fawning fans often ignore. If you wanted to see Princess Leia naked, or nearly so, it ought to be uncomfortable that the person who makes her that way is a violent, brutish grotesque. The comics writer Kelly Sue DeConnick has talked about reversing perspective to "turn the camera on the watcher" in scenes with nude women, and the Jabba's palace sequences are as stark an example of that technique as I can think of. Some viewers might be getting their fantasy, but along with it, they're getting a reminder that they share that fantasy with a crude monster -- and that their fantasy is being accomplished only by force. Then there's that unsettling ending, Jabba's leering tongue lolling out of his mouth in death. No wonder people have spent decades forgetting about Leia's revenge and focusing on her sex appeal instead.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12- 7-15 10:38 AM
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In retrospect, "When Harry Met Sally" would have been a more respectful place for a gold bikini scene with Carrie Fisher.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 7-15 10:47 AM
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How much better would that scene have been with a collared, gold-thonged Han Solo alongside Leia?

Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12- 7-15 10:53 AM
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8: that was excellent acting???? Must have missed that part. She did seem bored.

10: marginally better.

Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 12- 7-15 11:07 AM
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8: I think this falls under the same category as "You can't make an anti-war war movie", and any talk of complication is wishful thinking. Virtually every subsequent reference to this scene has been to its sexualized content. There is just no way in our society for "slave girl" to be anything else. I hated that scene even as a horny teenager who watched Buck Rogers solely for the competing sexy love interests.

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12- 8-15 4:43 AM
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Stendhal, Red and the Black, as discussed by Erich Auerbach in Mimesis

The Abbe, a true parvenu, was extremely conscious of the honor of dining with a noble lord. While he was trying to inĀ­culcate this sentiment into Julien, a slight sound made them tum. Julien saw Mademoiselle de la Mole listening. He blushed. She had come for a book and had heard everything; she began to feel a certain esteem for Julien. He was not born on his knees, like that old Abbe, she thought. God, how ugly he isl

Wow. In one short paragraph we have four points-of-view, three glimpses into internal states, and one indirect address. All this is presented as fact, to be trusted, on essentially the same level of reality as action. And this level of Godhood, this seeing inside people, is called "realism," even by Auerbach.

I just stare at this kind of thing and say what the fucking fuck.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-10-15 7:48 PM
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Of course Auerbach moves in that chapter from Stendhal to Balzac to Flaubert. Quotes are from Mimesis

Balzac:"her loose, floppy bodice, are in harmony with the room, whose walls ooze misfortune, where speculation cowers"

Raymond Williams notes that Dickens, at the same time as Balzac, was the first to make buildings and objects exhibit feelings and affects:"walls ooze misfortune"

When we get to Flaubert, Auerbach gets part of it:

Here it is not Emma who speaks, but the writer. Le pone qui fumait, la porte qui cricJit, les murs qui suintaient, les paves humides-all this, of course, Emma sees and feels, but she would not be able to sum it all up in this way. Toute l' a mertu me de I' existence lui semblait servie sur son assiette-she doubtless has such a feeling; but if she wanted to express it, it would not come out like that; she has neither the intelligence nor the cold candor of self-accounting necessary for such a formulation. To be sure, there is nothing of Flaubert's life in these words, but only Emma's; Flaubert does nothing but bestow the power of mature expression upon the material which she affords, in its complete subjectivity. If Emma could do this herself, she would no longer be what she is, she would have outgrown herself and thereby saved herself.

Flaubert is not representing Emma in any realistic way, or Emma's subjective states. Flaubert is creating a straw Emma to judge and condemn. The bourgeois intellectual illusions in the novel are connected to, are the same moralistic illusions as the bourgeois illusions of the economy, especially objectivity and realism in wildly abstracted and imaginative language. "Walls ooze misfortune" and "investment creates jobs"

Peter Brook and Franco Moretti go into the importance of the rise of figural language noted at the top. Currently reading Jameson on the figuration in Capital. More Lukacs.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-11-15 2:38 AM
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