I asked the same question of nosex, and I'd like to hear your opinion: what would you consider to be your favorite political film (either overtly or implicitly) of all time?
Wow. That is a tough one. I would have to say Funny Games by Haneke is one of the best political interventions into the very act of watching film. Funny Games takes the act of watching typical Hollywood violence/action/adventure/horror and directly confronts the viewer as to what he/she is really getting out of the experience. I think it is a brilliant piece.
I recently re-watched Harlan County USA by Barbara Kopple and I forgot how amazing that film is in the way it weaves a radical political narrative in the best tradition of Eisenstein and Vertov. (Her later film American Dream on the Hormel strike is more problematic.)
The paranoia films of the 70s are, I think, a high point in U.S. political film making especially The Parallax View which I have watched over and over and still can’t believe the narrative and stylistic unity of the film.
One of the most amazing documentaries would have to be Brian Springer’s Spin which you can watch on Google video.
i love media ecology & critical theory & i love your blog & your tumblr; you're one of the best. are there any critics or theorists that you especially admire?
It would be impossible to answer this question with any finality because all I do is read. Certainly Guy Debord and Georges Bataille would be two of my favorites.
Recently I have been reading Tony Negri particularly his The Politics of Subversion and The Porcelain Workshop: For a New Grammar of Politics as well as other Italians such as Paolo Virno’s The Multitude: Between Innovation and Negation and Christian Marazzi’s Capital and Language: From the New Economy to the War Economy. Very interesting stuff. Jonathan Beller’s The Cinematic Mode of Production: Attention Economy and the Society of the Spectacle is one of the best film books I have read in a long time.
On the political front Peter Dale Scott is amazing. I am currently reading his Deep Politics and the the Death of JFK.
The best writer on horror right now is Brigid Cherry.
what do you think of contemporary horror cinema, especially in america?
I haven’t really seen that much recent stuff even though I am a huge horror fan so this response should be taken with a grain of salt. By contemporary I assume you mean films produced in the last several years however you could possibly mean horror films after Psycho which I believe to be the start of contemporary horror i.e. post-classic horror.
I will assume you mean recent U.S. horror films produced in the last several years. It sucks. Nothing more than remakes and sequels - not that there is anything wrong with that. Horror thrives on the sequel. But it seems to me that much of recent U.S. production has been driven by a desire to either update the classics with lots of CGI or to remake Japanese horror. Japan seems recently to have had a golden age of sorts but I think that may have run its course.
I noticed Let the Right One In on your top ten list and I would certainly agree. I recently watched it and I loved it. Nothing produced in the U.S. seems to come close. Also I cannot watch torture porn like Hostel; too much like CIA rendition.
Thanks for the question and I love your film stills. We have similar taste in film.