Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Le Petit Mac-Mahon de David Ehrenstein presents ... a Quadruple Feature: Je t'aime Je t'aime, Remember My Name, Filming 'The Trial,' and The Trial

DAMN! I was going to feature Providence in this edition of Le Petit Mac-Mahon, but it's been taken down. So we'll go with another Alain Resnais masterpiece instead.

Written by science-fiction novelist Jacques Sternberg, Je t'aime Je t'aime concerns a decidedly shady group of scientists who rescue an attempted suicide (Claude Rich) and give him another chance at life through a machine that will operate on his memories providing him to relive his past. Chris Marker's La Jetee clearly comes to mind. But Resnais' vision is far more fragmented than Marker's, and far darker. It is, however, among other things the best film ever made about cats. Be sure to look for Alain Robbe-Grillet in a cameo.

(Je T'aime Je T'aime)


(Geraldine Chaplin in Remember My Name)

Remember My Name is the best albeit the most obscure film by ...

(Alan Rudolph)

... Alan Rudolph, a protégé of Robert Altman who over the years has constructed a cinema all his own in the often perilous fields of indie production.

Jonathan Rosenbaum has been among the most eloquent about the film and its evocation of both Joan Crawford and Jacques Rivette.

(Remember My Name)

A special poignancy proceeds from the fact that it's the only film Tony and Berry Perkins made together.

(Tony and Berry Perkins)

He died of AIDS in 1992, and she was in one of the planes that hit the World Trade center on 9/11/2001.


In 1981 Orson Welles screened his 1962 film version of Franz Kafka's The Trial for an appreciative audience at USC. He filmed the Q&A that followed hoping to make a film of it along the lines of Filming Othello

Welles and his cinematic amanuensis Gray Grave died before the results could be properly edited. Nevertheless -- here it is. I can be seen (sitting next to Meredith Brody) commenting on the fairy tale aspect of the characters that Welles and Akim Tamiroff play in the film. IOW - I was in a Welles movie!

(Orson Welles' Filming The Trial)

And here's the movie we're talking about.


p.s. RIP: Reg Presley. Hey. Le Petit Mac-Mahon is back with one of its always killer line-ups, so please hit the lights and let the filmic wash over you. Oh, I can confirm that, until I did my usual pre-launch post maintenance check last night and found gray rectangles where there had been primed imbeds, you were set to see Alain Resnais' 'Providence' today, which I was excited about since it's one of my handful of favorite all-time films, but, oh well, and its replacement, 'Je t'aime Je t'aime', is no slouch. Anyway, blah blah, enjoy and talk to David, thank you, and thank you majorly, Mr. E. ** _Black_Acrylic, Ah, cool, great! A happy partner to your Acid House Day, indeed. Really glad you dug it, Ben. ** Misanthrope, So, like, kid-sized wheels sort of? I'm happy that you and the Bowl got along so well, and I hope your last night's bout of sleep wasn't anywhere near as shitty. ** David Ehrenstein, An in-person thank you and hugs across land and sea for the great post today, David. ** Grant maierhofer, Hi, Grant! Awesome that you dug the post, and, yes, if you're game for a zero-year birthday party for your book, I would only be honored to provide the house and home. I'm ready when you and it are. Great day to you! ** Cobaltfram, Hi, John. Cool, my pleasure. The marriage thing, right. Don't think Texas will be throwing parades for married same-sexers anytime soon. Publishing is just the vehicle. Its power structure, and its subjectivity that thinks it is objectivity, are a huge drag, but it's still just the car that gives your work a ride to where it's going. The gym, I've heard of that. It's kind of like a publishing world for your body except that, luckily, it's totally DIY. ** Billy Lloyd, Hi! Yeah, I have yet to find the state of mind where I would want to live outside a big, hopping city. The vacation home idea has gotten more appealing over time, but my bank account hasn't swelled enough to get the pipe dream aspect out of its allure. Hm, I guess some cliquey-ness would have be in operation in Iceland, but, on the other hand, when a place is small and tight like that, there's also the phenomenon of scenesters and artists being especially hungry for outsiders and for as much influence as possible, so, hm. Never read the 'PoBaW' book. It's good, eh? I'm looking forward to and excited about a lot of things right now. Too many to try to list, both in the arts and in life. It's a great and really front-loaded time, and I think this is going to be an especially incredible year. I'm going to Amsterdam soon to see the retrospective of the great artist and my friend Mike Kelley and have a blast in the company of a dear friend, and I'm really looking forward to that, as far as maybe the most immediate thing. You? ** Tosh, The book fair sounds so great, wow! What's the new project you're working on? ** 5STRINGS, Hey! Really good to see you! You doing all right? Really suave prose/comment there. Spontaneous or from something you're working on or ... ? Squidbillies, ha. Ockham's Razoir, whoa! You're reading 'Triptych'? Sweet! ** Sypha, Well, yes, if you want my opinion, more listening to Pan Sonic sounds like an excellent idea. ** Bollo, Hi, Jonathan! Yeah, I kind of thought of Pan Sonic that way, and I checked the 'experts' here and there online, and it does seem that they/he have been officially contextualized in the Minimal Techno arena.  That's cool of that artist to quote me on Bresson. Interested to check out his stuff. Let me know how it is. I didn't know that Nayland is up at Mathew Marks. That guy is everywhere at the moment. Nice. Still haven't listened to the MBV. I want to give it a bunch of time and peace of mind, and that didn't happen yesterday. Today, I think, probably, for sure. Thoughts when I have them. All is great with me, thanks. Would love to see you more, very obviously. ** Flit, Hi, Flit! Oh, absence is okay when necessary, you know. I'm kind of way into the soup we're dancing in at the moment, yeah. Porter Ricks, sure, you bet. Good add. It goes really well with me these days. And with you? ** Trees, Hi, T. Great, thank you, about the post's pleasure and relevance. Ian Loveday: hm, maybe I'm not familiar. The name just rings a bell basically. I'll hit those links ultra-shortly, and thank you a lot, man. I saw Kevin's pic of you and Mr. Hsu on FB yesterday. Lookin' good, ha ha. Ben Mirov is really terrific, so that's a good reading to have been at. Were you on your best behavior, and was there indeed a very good reason for you to have adopted that behavioral mode? ** Bill, I was just telling Trees that I saw that money shot of you and him on FB yesterday. Sweet. That Voight track is typical of some of his work. He's kind of all over the place. I think his 90s stuff is more interesting than the stuff he's doing now, which feels a bit more, I don't know, polluted or something? But his 90s Minimal period is mostly quite good and dark at its best. You're back into sound-based work! That's really exciting, Bill! I'm so curious to hear what you come up with. Do share when things feel shareable. Sound on its own, or sound in combination with visuals, or ... ? ** Chilly Jay Chill, Hi, Jeff. I've heard a track or two from the new Villalobos. It sounded pretty interesting, but I need to listen again and more closely. Kind of dense and romantic. As I told whoever, I haven't cracked the MBV yet, weirdly, I guess. Just trying to find the most receptive moment, probably today. Excellent about the excerpt! Everyone, the first novel by the master of many universes including fiction, Chilly Jay Chill aka Jeff Jackson, is coming out this fall, and you can get a taste of it by reading a just-uploaded excerpt on the Guernica site right here. It's a fantastic novel, and you'll see that for yourselves after you've had that great taste. I hope the edits, etc. are going well. My novel is still going pretty slowly, but I'm not worried about that like I was, so it's all right. It'll pick up any day, I think. ** Rewritedept, Make that limp work for you, man. Nope, still haven't heard the MBV. Any second now. If there's headline, I'll put it in the header. My belated b'day dinner was tasty. Nachos. They were a little stingy on the beans this time, and a bit too heavy on the onions, but, hey, Parisians can't be choosers. Definitely go for that story idea. I'm piqued. Under the Haunted Mansion? I always heard it was in the secret VIP nightclub hidden away in New Orleans Square. The club is definitely there, but I think the head is long since a skull or ashes, wherever it is. Genre writing can be really good. If that's your voice's natural inclination, might as well go for it. I talk like a Valley Girl too. Except it's the San Gabriel Valley instead of the San Fernando Valley. It's a softer sound. You can make LA-speak work for you. I have, I guess. I hope your layouts acquiesced to your every desire. ** Statictick, Dude, you were in the fucking beating heart of techno's outset. Crazy. Even outside of Detroit, that was a truly amazing time. Okay, mixed possible blessings on the Lamictal dosage increases, I guess. I get jetlagged just hearing about your insomnia though. God, shit, ugh. I obviously hope that the doc is right that the increases will eventually work some kind of wonder. Yeah, I'm totally interested and I care a lot, so vent/talk/etc. whenever you like, my pal. Love from me. ** Chris Dankland, Hi, Chris. I'll do 'Yacht Rock' right after I do the new MBV. Sounds like a curious enough combo. 'What a Fool Believes' is kind of a horrifyingly perfectly constructed batch of minutes. It's almost evil. I know McKenna to some degree, yeah. Actually, relevant sort of to the post yesterday, he was the go-to 'philosopher' during the Rave Culture era. You couldn't turn your ears without hearing his voice and lectures sampled in techno and ambient tracks. I think I thought he was kind of amusing. I think I thought he had some interesting ideas, and I think I thought there was some space cadet aspects to his thinking too. I know what you mean about 'religious feeling' re: LSD. I didn't get that, but I wasn't raised with religion, and I've always thought religion was kind of like a cartoon, so my mind didn't really go there on LSD because I thought religious belief was kind of, I don't know, too locked down and conventionalized. Metaphysical experiences, maybe, but I think that mostly, when I took LSD, I was hyper focused on my biology and my brain, and I think I was interested in seeing the experience as a situation in which my brain was being unlocked and decentralized and uncensored. I think I saw being on LSD in a kind of psychedelic practical way. Everything seemed much more complex, but I didn't attribute that to the metaphysical necessarily. It wasn't like having a truth about the world or life revealed that spoke of mystical or god-like forces or meaning. It was more like having everything that I already suspected about myself or others or nature or whatever being clarified. It was more like being unlocked from my habits and fear-based selectivity or something. I don't know that TED talk, but I will watch that video today, and thank you. I definitely got that 'lack of self and ego' thing when on LSD. I do think that LSD was hugely instructive to me about the importance and sanity of being or trying to be selfless in life. But, like I said, I guess I explained it to myself in a way that gave the human body most of the credit. I never really envisioned or believed that I was a vehicle of something metaphysical and all-consuming. That might have to do with how, even when I was really young, I always approached things as possible ways to learn things that would help me be a better writer. I often thought about that when I was high, about the inadequacy of language as a conveyer of the intensely personal, and about how to find a way to work with that huge problem as an artist. I don't know. Does that make sense at all? Great to talk with you about this. You're always very inspiring, man. ** Paradigm, Hi, Scott. Thanks for continuing to talk with the blog post-smitten folks. I'm getting a bit more caught up on blog posts. I managed to write some this morning, which felt great. I think I might know the name John Kinsella, but I don't think I've read him. I will hunt him down. Thank you a lot for that tip. I've heard that about 'Django', that it sticks too closely to conventional/genre structure. That could be why the masses seem to like it more than other Tarantino movies, based on its box office. Curious to find out. I will have a good day, I'm pretty sure, and I hope you will too. ** Armando, Interesting: two 'Django' reviews in a row. Thanks for the input. I'm ever more curious to see it. You are such a DiCaprio fan. I can't get there myself, but I totally get it theoretically. Good day! ** Right. Please file back into Mr. E's movie theater now, thank you. Enjoy the motion pictures until further notice, that being until tomorrow at minimum, I guess. See you then.


Misanthrope said...

DavidE, Thank you for yet another mind-blowing, mind-expanding post, my friend. :D

Dennis, Thank you, sir. And I'm glad that you've been getting on so well lately. That makes me happy.

Ugh, maybe 5 hours of sleep last night? Bringing my total for 48 hours to 9. I just can't get to sleep, except on the weekends. Just wish I was doing more with that downtime.

But today's another day, no?

Grant Scicluna said...

David E, once again you show me the path to that place where I realise what it is I know that I don't know. Orson, in particular. Such a giant of cinema, and yet still mostly unexplored to me. You are David E. for Encyclopaedia, man. Not that you need to, but have you seen any of The Story Of Film: An Odyssey? It's a 15 hour epic from the first flicker of light until... well, now.

Hey Dennis, thanks for those insights into Wrong. Makes so much sense to hear it was your entree into the Cycle. It feels richly like your voice as I know it. It was so radical to come into the story via the serial killer, and then discard him of sorts as a vehicle to find George. Death that finds life that finds death. I always find your work so packed with emotion, so to find pieces like this that kind of tear me apart just remind me how much I love what you do.

My favourite thing you ever wrote? When Larry discovers that Rand killed himself, and never died of the brain aneurism after all. Even just thinking about that makes me tear up. Have no words.

Hey, thanks, things are going well on financing my feature - I now think of it as Closer to The Wilding's Wrong. I have tres important meetings next week, and people gathering around it. Plus the horror script is chugging along. Remind me to tell you the weird thing that happened writing the other day. But I've taken too long today.

Thanks again for insights - means so much. Catch!

5STRINGS said...

Really good to see you. I don't feel very well. Drinking liquor hard on the weekends. Took up smoking again. I hit a stress peak a week or so ago. I finally slept with the boys I really wanted to sleep with and fucked up. Slept with somebody with HIV. I guess this town is a total Hivfest. Haven't played that game in a long time. Hopefully all is well. The places are run by people I slept with years ago. Realized I raped one of them recently haha. Listened to Them before going back out on the scene. Sitting in my car, listening to Them. I'm heartbroken by shame and beauty. Fucked up pretty hard on it. I can't do the they're just stupid boys thing for some reason. I'm lonely and shook up. It's great in a way, I feel so fucking Emo LOL. School's gonna be a real b this semester. Hating all the science. I've become a Facebook addict. Got this dumb thing called Grindr. I'm wanting to start writing. I have to lose myself first. Parents are going to Florida soon, leaving me the house. It will be a good summer for writing. It's been so winter here, sucks. My body feels like it's on fire. I love it, but it's freaky. I'm obsessed with young love. I'm in love. Oh, that was from "The Froth of Days," I have sex with that book. I ordered it in English, but it came in French and it kind of put it on me and next thing I know I fuck it every once in a while. Not a bad lay, very little chafe, soft nicely aged pages, not much smell, great language. Ockham's Razoir, that's about where I'm at. "Hey girl. I… I… need to return some video-tapes." Oh shit, 11 pages in and it's fucking bong. After today I should have some time. Hope everything is good with you. Hugs

DavidEhrenstein said...

Merci Dennis!

Heard of but as yet havn't seen any of The Story of Film: An Odyssey Looking forward.

Scunnard said...

Hi Dennis, I hope all is well. With my magpie tendencies, here is a gif I just stumbled across of young john waters:


cobaltfram said...

David E,

I was all set to be productive today and now I have ~6 hours of things I'd rather watch, so thank you, ha ha. Very grateful.


Yes, the gym, that crazy place. It's partly out of vanity that I want to join, but also out of a real desire to feel better, etc, which I do when I exercise. It even helps with the writing: keeps my energy up and all that.

I send in the last draft of the proposal to Ross in a few hours. Read through and marked the piece up three times yesterday and I've reached the point where I'm simply adding and subtracting commas. Not saying that comma-movement isn't pivotal, but I think if I keep playing with it too much I might fuck up the piece's rhythm, a rhythm that works, I think, 95% of the time.

How's your novel going? You finished yet? Can I read it?

Thank you so much for all your encouragement on the publishing process. I feel better equipped to handle that evil sphere, haha.

Talk soon


Un Cœur Blanc said...

Thank you, Mr DavidE. I speedily watched 'Je t'aime Je t'aime' at my lunch break. I was in it and it's a smart dream for a midday here. Just my kind. When a man telephoned reading the manuscripts, it's very beautiful. For the other movies, I made a mark for the weekend. Thank you

Grant Scicluna said...

The Story of Film is screening in Australia at the moment. I'm about nine hours in - brilliantly comprehensive at it is, it does awkwardly try to put a narrative on the history of cinema. This person did this, so this person did that, and so forth. Whereas we know that things were happening concurrently. Section on Orson brilliant, sections on Polanski and Resnais a bit thin, but Dennis, you'll be thrilled to know that Bresson looms large, and rightly so, throughout - the yardstick against which many other directors to come were measured.

David J. White said...

@Bollo Sorry I'm late getting back, but thank you very much for the link to the Bjarne Melgaard conversation. The woman in the video is the one I met at the Melgaard exhibit who said "Oh I know Dennis." I did end up reading the novel and she chose its best passage - the part that brought it together for me. Stimulating! Thank you!

@Grant I got a box set of "The Story of Film" for my boyfriend for Christmas and have seen some of it. I'm very amused by the narrator's voice and would like to watch the whole thing - I'm worried that it's going to spoil scenes from films I haven't seen yet (I haven't seen Bergman's "Persona" and happened to see a notable moment from it out of context, which bothered me). Disappointed at the lack of acknowledgment for most avant-garde cinema, but from what I've seen it's very entertaining.

@Dennis My film of TBOTFL is finished! https://vimeo.com/59001642 I hope you like it, but if you don't, please tell me so. I hope you're well and am going to try to make myself a more frequent visitor here. Thanks for all this Resnais!

DavidEhrenstein said...

Here's Persona right now.

_Black_Acrylic said...

@ DC, that's great you're seeing the MK retrospective in Amsterdam. Don't suppose you have any more inside scoop on the Pompidou showing it? I've still got a glimmer of hope, if that counts for anything.

Chilly Jay Chill said...

David E - Wonderful day, per usual! I only saw "Je T'Aime" on a crappy bootleg years ago and am excited to revisit it. And that Alan Rudolph film is completely new to me.

Dennis - Thanks for the kind words about my novel. And I'm glad to hear your book is settling in and hope it picks up momentum very soon.

Appreciated hearing the detail about the process for The Pyre earlier - really fascinating way to work. Did any of the writing you did in turn affect Giselle's staging of the action, or was the idea to keep those more separate?

DavidEhrenstein said...

I have a copy of that crappy bootleg. I bought it off a site called "Pimpadelic Wonderland." Does it still exist?

Billy Lloyd said...

The idea of cutting completely off from everything and just living in the middle of nowhere and growing my own food and being really simple really really appeals to me. But i'd probably get bored, and I like being connected to others via the internet so I guess it wouldn't work. Maybe somewhere in the middle of nowhere but with a handy internet connection :)

I really liked PoBaW when I first read it, when I was maybe 16? It's no great work of literature nor does it try and do anything greater than very simply tell a story, but the main character really resonated with me and whenever I read it I become more calm and quiet and notice more things so it's a nice state to be in. So I'm fond of it because of that.

I'm super glad you have a brilliant year ahead of you! I'm looking forward to February I guess, because there's lots of things to be busy with and I noticed that when I'm too busy to make music I get lots of inspiration so that'll be good. I want to write a piece with only clarinets layered and arranged beautifully to create aching clashes and harmonies, because everyone always writes for damn strings and I feel sorry for the Clarinet (I can sort of play it, learnt for 5 years or so). I'm looking forward to going back to America for a bit in June, and hopefully I'll wangle getting to stay longer than my family and maybe hop over to California to see my friend and collaborator Calvin. But apart from that I need to make more stuff happen, the Summer is looking scarily empty and long!

steevee said...

Back in the pre-REAL HOUSEWIVES days, I saw REMEMBER NY NAME on Bravo. It deserves a wider audience.

I haven't started writing my BADLANDS article yet, but I've been thinking about how I can contrast its treatment of violence with later films like NATURAL BORN KILLERS which were influenced by it in all the wrong ways without sounding like Wayne LaPierre. It's really difficult.

grant maierhofer said...

Hey dennis! I just wanted to let you know that a project I began a long time ago with a now ex but still close girlfriend is finally finished. It's called Poor Me I Hate Me Punish Me Come To My Funeral, and is a collaborative E-book/chapbook that I've just finished the first printing of/making the website for. The title comes from the Kate Gompert section of Infinite Jest wherein she's discussing certain suicidal personalities that aren't quite suicidal because they blah blah blah...anyway, it'll be coming along with the poetry chapbook in the mail when I receive them, figured I'd share the E version of everything with you now.
have a great day everyone!

Grant Maierhofer

rewritedept said...

david e-

damn, and i was wanting to watch providence since dennis recommended it to me not long ago. i guess i'll settle for these then, je t'aime looks ace.

chris dankland-

DEEMSTERS! i'm overdue for a good DMT trip. my boy is supposed to let me know how this acid he found is too. i love psychedelics. terrence mckenna scares me a bit, though. like, i enjoy some of his subjects, but some of the stuff he talks about is a little too 'illuminati/reptilian consciousness/wackjob conspiracy threorist' for me.


layouts are happening slowly. i'm too stupid to do graphics on the computer, so i have to do everything by hand. it's more honest, i think.

genre exercises can be cool, and i enjoy when other people do them, but i would never publish any of mine. it helps to develop a unique style, though. you can see what things other people do that work with yr own voice and discard things that don't work. i'm always looking to streamline my processes and just leave the readers with all truth all the time.

today was long. i hate when i'm at work and i see someone cute and then start staring. it usually ends with me spaced out imagining all the things i want to do but won't because i'm too much of a pussy to approach a total stranger and try to have sex with them. usually doesn't work for me anyway since i'm terrible at talking to girls and most of the boys i develop crushes on are straight. god, maybe i should get rich so i can afford prostitutes, no?

i was thinking today that if i ever get a million dollars i'm going to put it all in the bank, keep my ATM card in my shoe and move to hawaii, where i will live on the beach, learn to surf, sleep with surfer chicks and smoke a lot of weed. sounds like a great way to spend a life. and if i ever get tired of hawaii, i'll go somewhere else and be a secret millionaire homeless guy.

i've never been to hawaii, sadly enough. i haven't been a lot of places. i'm not, as they say, well-traveled.

ok, i'm wrecked from this long day. i'm gonna try to draw up a title page for part one of 'hey ma,...' but i'm pretty sleepy so that might have to wait til tomorrow. talk soon.


Chris Dankland said...

Thanks for putting this together…after work I was feeling tired, so I smoked a bowl and had some beers and watched “Je t’aime Je t’aime” in my bed, which made for a nice night for me. I feel pretty refreshed, it was a good change of pace. Thanks again, hope you have an awesome week…

Hey Dennis, I lot of the stuff that you were saying yesterday got me thinking, thanks for that… Those type of experiences are so subjective, maybe it’s like holding up a mirror to yourself or something. Is that what you meant when you said: “It was more like having everything that I already suspected about myself or others or nature or whatever being clarified” or were you thinking about something more specific?

Today I was thinking randomly about William Blake, and several times he’d make an argument for the soul by saying that in the same way that eyes are just a vessel the brain looks through, the body is just a vessel that the soul looks through, sometimes I’ve felt that way while on certain drugs… It’s not something I take too seriously, but it can be an interesting idea.

Now I’m thinking about your books in relation to that, it seems like the human body plays a big role in your novels…

I keep writing things and deleting them because I’m still mostly just thinking out loud. I can’t come up with a short paragraph that says what I want it to, but it just seems like even though a lot of your books are about mental projections and obsessions and similar things, the body keeps coming up again and again…like decomposing bodies, or bodies that get objectified to the point of becoming meat…

I’m sorry, I’m rambling about an almost completely different subject…I’m just thinking about that in terms of when you said: “I explained it to myself in a way that gave the human body most of the credit” I don’t know if you’d agree, but maybe you could also say that about your books…I don’t know, things are more complicated than that, but that’s the way my train of thought is going right now.

In case your interested, a story by me came out in Everday Genius…I’m excited to see who else Stephen Tully Dierks has lined up, he’s the guest editor for them this month.


I like the new MBV album! Take care, talk to you later

Chris Dankland said...


Yeah I know what you mean about McKenna being weird, I agree with you. He's obviously a really smart guy, but sometimes when he starts talking about aliens and similar stuff he starts sounding a little loopy