When I was in college at a major university I won't name, I took an honors senior film seminar in surrealist film, with special permission from the professor since I wasn't a film major. There were 8 of us and every few weeks a different student would bring in an example of surrealist film that we would watch in its entirety and then discuss. Mine was Santa Sangre, which the professor and all of the film majors unanimously deemed terrible and the professor said had "absolutely nothing to do with surrealism."
We also had to see fucking Waking Life in the theater.
Needless to say it didn't do anything to change my already dismal opinion of that school.
Weird...in my college art course, my art professor (who was a fucking douche) lectured me for 5 minutes or so about why HR Giger was not actually a surrealist.
(his argument was something like "his work is not revered like Van Gogh.")
Gah, 'waking life' what a pile that was. Commercial pablum disguised as arthouse. You were right to have a low opinion of that school.
Waking Life is one of the worst movies I've seen, I know a lot of people (mostly potheads who don't vote because THE SYSTEM, MAAAAN) who think it's brilliant and that's always a little strike against me taking their opinions seriously in the future.
Honestly, I think Mindwalk is better.
But more to the point, regardless of what either of us think of Waking ife as a film it is most definitely NOT a surrealist piece by any stretch of the imagination.
Oh also the prof who ran the seminar apparently didn't know the word "surreal" existed, literally never once uttered it, and used the word "surrealist" as an adjective instead. Which is pedantic nitpicking but indicative of larger problems beneath the surface.
Anyway, my major (which I switched in to because it didn't exist when I started - I was in the first class of 6 by invitation of the department chair) is apparently considered one of the top in the country. I literally studied one time, wrote every paper stream of consciousness the night before it was due (usually without much if any research), only turned in my most lazy, half-assed work for studio classes (the stuff I actually put time in to I did for myself), and graduated cum laude. I would have probably gotten close to a 4.0 except for one adjunct who I didn't get along with and who consequently gave me an F and then a D- for a mandatory course that I had to get a C in. After that she was laid off and It was still one of my weakest classes but I got a B+.
What I learned in college was that the more effort I put in to things the worse they were received by the establishment in my field, and intellectual laziness was what got rewarded because it was safe. Which is kind of true in general but I kind of wish I hadn't learned it.
|Spaceman Africa |
The first movie I ever bought on laserdisc.
My whole band drove 40miles to see a midnight screening of this in the late 90s. I only saw four other people there. One was drunk, one was asleep and the other two were making out the whole time a few rows in front of us.
I still like El Topo the best of all Jodorowsky's films, but this also ranks way up there. Great sub.
Also, Matthew Barney doesn't have an original bone in his fucking body.
The documentary movie was pretty cool.
I like all of them in different ways but this one hits that sweet spot between experimentalism and convention that's so rarely pulled off but when it's done right, the two sides enhance each other.
The Argento family influence is definitely evident in the art direction, music and editing, too, and that adds a whole other angle.
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