Film

The Hidden Secrets in “Daydreaming,” Paul Thomas Anderson’s New Radiohead Music Video

in Film, Music | August 22nd, 2016

Paul Thomas Anderson, as his fans will tell you, makes the kind of large-scale cinema nobody else does anymore: intense of emotion, involved of story, colorfully populated, wide of aspect ratio (and even, in the case of The Master, shot on 70-millimeter film), no superheroes asked, none given. Having displayed unwavering commitment to his visions from the very beginning, it makes sense that, on his latest music video, he would work with Radiohead, a band no less committed to their own. Radiohead fans know the ambitiousness of a Radiohead song or album when they hear it, but what makes the video Anderson directed for “Daydreaming,” their single released this past May, Andersonian?

“Like many great works of art, Radiohead’s latest music video makes you struggle for its inner meaning,” says Rishi Kaneria in his explanatory video “Radiohead: the Secrets of ‘Daydreaming.'” His narration describes the video’s ostensibly simple form: “an older, tired-looking Thom Yorke” — Radiohead’s singer and co-founder — “opening door after door, and like a ghost, walking through the background of seemingly random people’s lives,” all “a metaphor for the choices Thom has had to make in his life, of the doors he’s stepped through, while never quite knowing what’s on the other side. Because he can never go back, we see him constantly pushing forward, continually searching for meaning and an ultimate resting place. “


Kaneria keys in on details that only those with a thorough knowledge of the life and work of Yorke and his band could notice. In real life, Yorke had just split up with his partner of 23 years; in the video, he walks through 23 doors. In the video, he wears an outfit designed by Rick Owens; in real life, his partner was named Rachel Owens. (Well, Rachel Owen, but close enough.) The various rooms through which York passes contain women, usually mothers, even in a hospital ward. Can we consider that a reference to his recuperation from a “severe car crash in 1987, especially considering there’s a wheel on the wall”?

When Yorke’s character finally finds solace beside a fire in a cave, he speaks a backwards phrase to the camera which, reversed, sounds like, “Half of my life, half of my love.” 23 years, of course, constitutes just about half of the 47-year-old Yorke’s life — and, Kaneria notes, the number of years since the band began recording. The video also performs other exegeses numerical, lyrical, and visual, and zodiacal, everywhere finding references to Rachel as well as to Radiohead — song titles, album art, even the settings of past music videos — to the point that we see “how Thom’s personal life with Rachel is inescapably saturated and surrounded by all things Radiohead.”

Nobody ever called balancing the demands of domestic life and those of perhaps the biggest rock band in the world easy. Still, few recent works of art have illustrated this kind of struggle as vividly as the “Daydreaming” video, and Anderson, not just one of the most famous and respected filmmakers alive but a husband and a father to four children, surely knows something about it as well. So often compared to his cinema-redefining predecessors from Robert Altman to Stanley Kubrick, he must also know as well as Yorke does what it means to have your work subjected to such close scrutiny — and to want to create work that will repay that scrutiny.

The Anderson-Radiohead connection goes as least as far back as 2007’s There Will Be Blood, scored by the band’s guitarist Jonny Greenwood. Anderson commissioned Greenwood’s musical services again for his next two pictures, The Master, and Inherent Vice, and last year made a documentary called Junjun about Greenwood’s solo album of the same name. No matter how much of Kaneria’s presented revelation you believe, “Daydreaming” sits as suitably with the rest of Anderson’s filmography as it does in its treatment of an old theme: you can’t enjoy every kind of satisfaction — but from the lifelong battle to do so, mostly against oneself, emerges art.

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How Paul Thomas Anderson Dropped Out of NYU Film School in 2 Days; Studied Literature with David Foster Wallace

Radiohead’s “Creep” Performed in a Vintage Jazz-Age Style

Michel Gondry’s Finest Music Videos for Björk, Radiohead & More: The Last of the Music Video Gods

Radiohead-Approved, Fan-Made Film of the Band at Roseland for 2011′s The King of Limbs Tour

Radiohead’s Thom Yorke Gives Teenage Girls Endearing Advice About Boys (And Much More)

Radiohead: Making Videos Without Cameras (or Lights)

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities and culture. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer, the video series The City in Cinema, the crowdfunded journalism project Where Is the City of the Future?, and the Los Angeles Review of Books’ Korea Blog. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

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Read the Original 32-Page Program for Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927)

in Film, Sci Fi | August 19th, 2016

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One of the very first feature-length sci-fi films ever made, Fritz Lang’s Metropolis took a daring visual approach for its time, incorporating Bauhaus and Futurist influences in thrillingly designed sets and costumes. Lang’s visual language resonated strongly in later decades. The film’s rather stunning alchemical-electric transference of a woman’s physical traits onto the body of a destructive android—the so-called Maschinenmenschfor example, began a very long trend of female robots in film and television, most of them as dangerous and inscrutable as Lang’s. And yet, for all its many imitators, Metropolis continues to deliver surprises. Here, we bring you a new find: a 32-page program distributed at the film’s 1927 premier in London and recently re-discovered.

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In addition to underwriting almost one hundred years of science fiction film and television tropes, Metropolis has had a very long life in other ways: Inspiring an all-star soundtrack produced by Giorgio Moroder in 1984,with Freddie Mercury, Loverboy, and Adam Ant, and a Kraftwerk album. In 2001, a reconstructed version received a screening at the Berlin Film Festival, and UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register added it to their roster. 2002 saw the release of an exceptional Metropolis-inspired anime with the same title. And in 2010 an almost fully restored print of the long-incomplete film—recut from footage found in Argentina in 2008—appeared, adding a little more sophistication and coherence to the simplistic story line.

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Even at the film’s initial reception, without any missing footage, critics did not warm to its story. For all its intense visual futurism, it has always seemed like a very quaint, naïve tale, struck through with earnest religiosity and inexplicable archaisms. Contemporary reviewers found its narrative of generational and class conflict unconvincing. H.G. Wells—“something of an authority on science fiction”—pronounced it “the silliest film” full of “every possible foolishness, cliché, platitude, and muddlement about mechanical progress and progress in general served up with a sauce of sentimentality that is all its own.” Few were kinder when it came to the story, and despite its overt religious themes, many saw it as Communist propaganda.

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Viewed after subsequent events in 20th century Germany, many of the film’s scenes appear “disturbingly prescient,” writes the Unaffiliated Critic, such as the vision of a huge industrial machine as Moloch, in which “bald, underfed humans are led in chains to a furnace.” Lang and his wife Thea von Harbau—who wrote the novel, then screenplay—were of course commenting on industrialization, labor conditions, and poverty in Weimar Germany. Metropolis‘s “clear message of classism,” as io9 writes, comes through most clearly in its arresting imagery, like that horrifying, monstrous furnace and the “looming symbol of wealth in the Tower of Babel.”

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The visual effects and spectacular set pieces have worked their magic on almost everyone (Wells excluded) who has seen Metropolis. And they remain, for all its silliness, the primary reason for the movie’s cultural prevalence. Wired calls it “probably the most influential sci-fi movie in history,” remarking that “a single movie poster from the original release sold for $690,000 seven years ago, and is expected to fetch even more at an auction later this year.”

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We now have another artifact from the movie’s premiere, this 32-page program, appropriately called “Metropolis” Magazine, that offers a rich feast for audiences, and text at times more interesting than the film’s script. (You can view the program in full here.) One imagines had they possessed backlit smart phones, those early moviegoers might have found themselves struggling not to browse their programs while the film screened. But, of course, Metropolis’s visual excesses would hold their attention as they still do ours. Its scenes of a futuristic city have always enthralled viewers, filmmakers, and (most) critics, such that Roger Ebert could write of “vast futuristic cities” as a staple of some of the best science fiction in his review of the 21st-century animated Metropolis—“visions… goofy and yet at the same time exhilarating.”

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The program really is an astonishing document, a treasure for fans of the film and for scholars. Full of production stills, behind-the-scenes articles and photos, technical minutiae, short columns by the actors, a bio of Thea von Harbau, the “authoress,” excerpts from her novel and screenplay placed side-by-side, and a short article by her. There’s a page called “Figures that Speak” that tallies the production costs and cast and crew numbers (including very crude drawings and numbers of “Negroes” and “Chinese”). Lang himself weighs in, laconically, with a breezy introduction followed by a classic silent-era line: “if I cannot succeed in finding expression on the picture, I certainly cannot find it in speech.” Film history agrees, Lang found his expression “on the picture.”

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“Only three surviving copies of this program are known to exist,” writes Wired, and one of them, from which these pages come, has gone on sale at the Peter Harrington rare book shop for 2,750 pounds ($4,244)—which seems rather low, given what an original Metropolis poster went for. But markets are fickle, and whatever its current or future price, ”Metropolis” Magazine is invaluable to cineastes. See all 32 pages of the program at Peter Harrington’s website.

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via Wired

Related Content:

Metropolis: Watch a Restored Version of Fritz Lang’s Masterpiece (1927)

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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

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What Do Movies Say When They Say Nothing at All: A Video Essay

in Film | August 18th, 2016

Sometimes less is more. Sometimes silence says more than words or sound itself. John Cage knew it. Ditto our finest filmmakers. That’s the takeaway from When Words Fail in Moviesa new video essay that stitches together 15 scenes from iconic films by Hitchcock, Kubrick, Fellini and others. Created by David Verdeure at Filmscalpel, the clip lets us meditate on “the meaningful use of silence” in the sound-film era. Fandor has pulled together a list of scenes used in the montage. Find them below:

The Matrix, dir. Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski. Silver Pictures, USA, 1999. 136 mins.
The Godfather: Part III, dir. Francis Ford Coppola. Zoetrope Studios, USA, 1990. 162 mins.
Mon Oncle, dir. Jacques Tati. Specta films et al., France, 1958. 117 mins.
2001: A Space Odyssey, dir. Stanley Kubrick. Stanley Kubrick Productions, UK / USA, 1968. 149 mins.
Lost in Translation, dir. Sofia Coppola. American Zoetrope et al., USA, 2003. 101 mins.
On the Waterfront, dir., Elia Kazan. Horizon Pictures et al., USA, 1954. 108 mins.
The Graduate, dir. Mike Nichols. Lawrence Turman, USA, 1967. 106 mins.
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, dir. Tony Richardson. Woodfall Film Productions, UK, 1962. 104 mins.
North by Northwest, dir. Alfred Hitchcock. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, USA, 1959. 136 mins.
In the Mood for Love, dir. Wong Kar-Wai. Block 2 Pictures et al., Hong Kong / China, 2000. 158 mins.
The Martian, dir. Ridley Scott. Scott Free Productions et al., USA, 2015. 144 mins.
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, dir. Luis Buñuel. Greenwich Film Productions, France, 1972. 102 mins.
The Conversation, dir. Francis Ford Coppola. American Zoetrope et al., USA, 1974. 113 mins.
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, dir. David Lynch. Twin Peaks Productions et al., USA, 1992. 135 mins.
La Dolce Vita, dir. Federico Fellini. Riama Film et al., Italy, 1960. 180 mins.

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When Steve Buscemi Was a Firefighter — and Took It Up Again After 9/11

in Film, History | August 18th, 2016

Steve Buscemi’s roles in movies like In the SoupThe Big Lebowski, and Ghost World have associated him for life with a certain kind of character: awkward, ineffectual, and even slightly creepy, but nevertheless strangely endearing. But types and the actors who play them can, and usually do, diverge, and that goes especially for Buscemi. He may have made his name portraying a host of loser-ish men, but his skill at bringing them and other characters to distinctive life have kept him a highly successful performer for decades now. And what did he do before that? Why, he fought fires — and he didn’t hesitate to do it again after becoming famous.

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Unilad’s Alex Watt quotes a post on the Brotherhood of Fire Facebook page which reveals how the Boardwalk Empire star entered his other profession: “In 1976 Steve Buscemi took the FDNY civil service test when he was just 18 years old,” became a firefighter a few years later, and for four years “served on one of FDNY’s busiest, Engine Co. 55.” He returned to that very same engine after September 11, 2001, “and for several days following Brother Steve worked 12-hour shifts alongside other firefighters digging and sifting through the rubble from the World Trade Center looking for survivors.”

Though he avoided publicizing his brief return to firefighting at the time, Buscemi has spoken openly about it since, as he does in the CBS Sunday Morning clip at the top of the post. Many who hear the story of a high-profile actor putting his life on hold and rushing right into a disaster site might rush right to the urban legend site Snopes, which doesn’t just verify it, but also collects some of Buscemi’s own words about his firefighting days. He started, he recalls, when he “was living in Manhattan, working as a furniture mover during the day, doing stand-up comedy at night and looking for a change. I liked the job — the guys I worked with and the nature of the work. I think I would have been happy doing it if I hadn’t had a greater passion for acting.”

Buscemi’s firefighting experience and ability to appear onscreen come together in A Good Job: Stories of the FDNY, the documentary just above. Co-produced by Buscemi himself, the film goes “behind the scenes” of the New York City Fire Department, showing just what it takes to put out the blazes of America’s most demanding city. (You can see Buscemi talking about his experience during 9/11 around the 43 minute mark.) The “good job” of the title, one retired firefighter explains, means “a really tough fire.” And no matter what kind of “job,” Buscemi says, “they’re all frightening. Any time you go into a burning building, there’s the potential for disaster. I never had any real close calls, though there’s no such thing as a routine fire.” No doubt he keeps himself mentally prepared for another — just in case.

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities and culture. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer, the video series The City in Cinema, the crowdfunded journalism project Where Is the City of the Future?, and the Los Angeles Review of Books’ Korea Blog. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

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Hear Marc Maron’s Long Talk with Werner Herzog

in Film, Technology | August 17th, 2016

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Image by Erinc Salor and The Necessary Evil, via Wikimedia Commons

Heads up: In the latest episode of the WTF podcast, filmmaker Werner Herzog pays a visit to Marc Maron’s garage in Los Angeles, and they get into a wide-ranging conversation, talking about Herzog’s upbringing in war-torn Germany, his upcoming film projects and a good deal more. But inevitably they focus on Herzog’s new film, a meditation on the internet and technology called Lo And Behold: Reveries Of The Connected World, which opens in theaters this Friday. You can also watch it at home.

Feel free to stream Maron and Herzog’s conversation below. It starts around the 33:30 mark. Or hear it over at Maron’s website.

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Watch Sunspring, the Sci-Fi Film Written with Artificial Intelligence, Starring Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley)

in Film, Sci Fi, Technology | August 15th, 2016

This past spring the streets of Seoul, where I live, felt more like a sci-fi movie than usual. Large overhead video screens kept the population posted on the progress of a series of Go matches between 18-time world champion Lee Sedol and AlphaGo, a piece of artificial intelligence developed by Google DeepMind. Computers have long had a special difficulty mastering that traditional game, but before long it became clear that this computer would win most of the matches, despite the human’s formerly unshakable prediction of the opposite outcome. What would artificial intelligence achieve next?

“In the wake of Google’s AI Go victory, filmmaker Oscar Sharp turned to his technologist collaborator Ross Goodwin to build a machine that could write screenplays,” say the video notes for the new short film Sunspring. They assembled hundreds of science fiction scripts, mostly from 1980s and 90s television shows and movies, and fed them into the artificial intelligence, which eventually named itself Benjamin, so as to teach it the mechanics of screenwriting. “Building a team including Thomas Middleditch, star of HBO’s Silicon Valley, they gave themselves 48 hours to shoot and edit whatever Benjamin decided to write.” Benjamin decided to write eight minutes’ worth of its own interpretation of the tropes of a certain kind of sci-fi entertainment.

It did come up with, fair to say, some dialogue a human screenwriter could only dream of — that is to say, words with the kind of unconscious logic that, delivered by living, breathing actors in physical spaces, take on weight, humor, and even an askew kind of meaning. (Middleditch’s despondent “I am not a bright light” will surely stay quotable for years to come.) You can learn more about the making of Sunspring from this Ars Technica piece by Annalee Newitz. Benjamin won’t put any sci-fi scribes out of work just yet, haunting though it may seem for a program to have come so close to doing something classically human as telling a story about the future. But remember, people had to write that program, just as people had to create AlphaGo; every achievement of artificial intelligence thus also counts as an achievement of humanity.

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities and culture. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer, the video series The City in Cinema, the crowdfunded journalism project Where Is the City of the Future?, and the Los Angeles Review of Books’ Korea Blog. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

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Watch collective:unconscious, the Acclaimed Indie Film Where 5 Filmmakers Adapt Each Other’s Dreams for the Screen

in Film | August 12th, 2016

What an irony that, when you have a vivid, funny, terrifying, elaborate dream, you dare not tell anyone for fear of boring them. But what if you could let someone else experience your dreams first-hand? The group of independent filmmakers behind this year’s collective:unconscious (not to be confused with the New York artist group of almost the same name) have put their waking heads together to come as close as possible to doing just that. Daniel Patrick Carbone, Josephine Decker, Lauren Wolkstein, Frances Bodomo, and Lily Baldwin have created a portmanteau film by adapting one another’s dreams for the screen, which you can dream along with them by watching free on Vimeo.


“I remember back when I was a teen, watching Mulholland Drive for the first time in the theater,” writes collective:unconscious‘ producer Dan Schoenbrun in an essay on the making of the film at Indiewire. “I remember my mind being blown. I remember thinking, ‘Movies can do that?'” David Lynch has made his name with pictures, Mulholland Drive and others, that feel dreamlike in the richest, most haunting sense of the word. But rather than a set of Lynch homages, each of the five filmmakers contributing here come at the project of cinematizing the unconscious experience differently. Some may feel just like your own dreams; others may feel nothing like them.

Rolling Stone summarizes the “hypnotically senseless” results neatly: “a gorgeous sketch about a woodland sniper drifts into a Malick-esque portrait of an ex-con’s first day of freedom; a gym teacher prepares his class for a volcano drill; a young mother who’s giving birth to an elemental monster; the grim reaper hosts a TV show about murdered black children.” The film has already made an impressive circuit around the festivals, including his year’s South by Southwest (where the New Yorker‘s Richard Brody named it as a favorite), so clearly their review committees saw something much more interesting going on than the kind of recounting of dreams that goes on over breakfast. As they say, there’s much more going on in the unconscious — more of artistic use, anyway — than we understand.

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities and culture. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer, the video series The City in Cinema, the crowdfunded journalism project Where Is the City of the Future?, and the Los Angeles Review of Books’ Korea Blog. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

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Bob Geldof Talks About the Greatest Day of His Life, Stepping on the Stage of Live Aid, in a Short Doc by Errol Morris

in Film, History, Music | August 11th, 2016

I remember being a teen in the UK when the news broke that Bob Geldof was assembling a group of pop stars to record a Christmas single to help the starving in Africa, particularly Ethiopia, which had been ravaged by famine since 1983. It was presented like “breaking news” around tea time—possibly during one of the music shows airing then—and made to sound like something world changing was about to happen. The super group of British pop singers was dubbed Band Aid.

I’ll never know whether that reporter was getting an accurate sense of the future, or was trying to do her best to promote Band Aid’s single, but just over half a year later, on July 13, 1985 Band Aid had turned into Live Aid, a massive dual-venue concert held at Wembley Stadium in London and at John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia. (Phil Collins played one set, backing Sting, in London and then hopped on a Concorde over to New York to play his solo hits.) The set list for both sides of the Atlantic is a who’s who of mid-80s pop and rock–Madonna, Led Zeppelin, U2, Queen, David Bowie all played that day–though the American side was both more eclectic in genre and more middlebrow in taste. For television viewers, it took up an entire day of broadcasting (I should know, I watched it at my friend’s house during a very hot summer day.)


Created as part of a series of mini-documentaries by master filmmaker Errol Morris, the short film above puts Geldof center stage and revisits what Geldof calls “the best day of my life,” stepping onstage at the beginning of Live Aid.

It’s an odd interview. Geldof says he’s still a man disappointed in himself—Morris calls him out on it at one point—and gets emotional when he remembers visiting Africa and how he was asked to appear in photographs alongside the dying victims of starvation. Band Aid had given him the fame to do something about the problems in the world, but it has made him self-conscious about being turned into just another celebrity. (His pal Bono handles it much differently, as he says.)

He talks about his poor upbringing—with dead or absentee parents, he was raised by the radio and it was rock music that saved him. He saw those rock legends and rock’s fans as a lobbying base to get change to happen, and made it happen through will power. He wanted to use the platform that arena rock afforded and did so. From an initial guess of raising $100,000 from the sale of the single, the entire Live Aid event raised $140 million instead and was viewed by 1.5 billion viewers.

Though others have questioned the effectiveness of charity events like Live Aid, Geldof’s takeaway is still positive and broader than assuming one concert can change events—it’s more about how a concert can promote an issue and give organizers the money to change the world.

“The paradox at the heart of individualism,” Geldof says, “is that it only works when we act in concert for the common good.”

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Ted Mills is a freelance writer on the arts who currently hosts the FunkZone Podcast. You can also follow him on Twitter at @tedmills, read his other arts writing at tedmills.com and/or watch his films here.

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Werner Herzog Tells a Book Club Why The Peregrine Is One of His Favorite Books, a 20th-Century Masterpiece

in Books, Film | August 9th, 2016

In the past, we’ve told you about Werner Herzog’s Rogue Film School, which offers an unconventional crash-course in auteurship, teaching students everything from “the art of lock-picking,” to “the creation of one’s own shooting permits,” to the “athletic side of filmmaking.” As with any good curriculum, Herzog provides a required reading list, which asks students to pore over some unexpected books. When was the list time a film professor asked students to read Virgil’s Georgics, Hemingway’s “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber,” or J.A. Baker’s The Peregrine?

If you haven’t heard of it, Herzog considers The Peregrine one of the great masterpieces of the 20th century. First published in 1967, this classic of British nature writing has “an intensity and beauty of prose that is unprecedented, it is one of the finest pieces of prose you can ever see anywhere,” says Herzog. Earlier this year, the filmmaker paid a visit to Stanford University and had a wide-ranging conversation with Prof. Robert Harrison (host of the podcast Entitled Opinions) about what makes The Peregrine such a wondrous work. The event was hosted by Stanford Continuing Studies and “Another Look Book Club,” which introduces you to the best books you’ve never read.

The conversation with Herzog officially begins at the 3:00 minute mark.

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Werner Herzog Narrates Pokémon Go: Imagines It as a Murderous Metaphor for the Battle to Survive

in Animation, Comedy, Film, Games | August 5th, 2016

Like filmmaker Werner Herzog, I have existed in near total ignorance of Pokémon Go, a virtual reality game that purports to get players on their feet and out in the real world.

Without a smartphone—an item Werner refuses to own for “cultural reasons”—one cannot participate.

I have a smartphone, but my data plan is so small, I’m afraid I’d blow it all in hot pursuit of a Bulbasaur, whatever the hell that is. My kids never got into Pokémon and thus, neither did I. Reports that some cartoon was causing seizures in Japanese child viewers was my introduction to the world of Pokémon. Epilepsy runs in the family. It wasn’t hard for me to steer clear.


I have noticed a large number of Facebook friends praising the game’s non-virtual aspects. Their children are emerging into the light, gamboling through parks and public squares, finding common ground with neighbors and other players.

Does Werner have Facebook friends?

I think we all know the answer to that.

We both got an unexpected crash course in Pokémon Go, when Werner was interviewed by The Verge’s Emily Yoshida about his online MasterClass in filmmaking and Lo and Behold, his new documentary about the technological revolution.

Yoshida explained the Pokémon Go phenomenon to him thusly:

It’s basically the first mainstream augmented reality program. It’s a game where the entire world is mapped and you walk around with the GPS on your phone. You walk around in the real world and can catch these little monsters and collect them. And everybody is playing it.

Herzog was most interested in what happens when the Pokémon appear in the virtual crosshairs:

When two persons in search of a Pokémon clash at the corner of Sunset and San Vicente is there violence? Is there murder?… Do they bite each other’s hands? Do they punch each other?

He declined Yoshida’s offer to borrow her cell phone in order to try the game out, at which point Slate’s Daniel Hubbard and Forrest Wickman stepped in, cutting together footage of the game and the animated series with some of the most memorable narration from Herzog’s oevure.

Seen through the above lens, Pokémon Go becomes a reflection of our ongoing battle for survival, rife with fornication, asphyxiation, and rot. The trees and birds are in misery, and the penguins are insane.

It almost makes me want to play! Though in truth, I think another of Herzog’s activities —venturing into the countryside “to look a chicken in the eye with great intensity”—is more my speed.

Read the complete interview on The Verge.

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Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, theater maker and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine.  Her latest script, Fawnbook, is available in a digital edition from Indie Theater Now.  Follow her @AyunHalliday.

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