Thursday, August 07, 2008

Recently, on various blogs, i've seen such happy ignorance: people declaring proudly how they have not read this-or-that book, and making the claim that therefore they can approach the movie version with an open mind. I can't help it: my immediate thought is, more like an empty mind.

The whole question of adaptation is very tricky. Right now, i can't find my copy of Jill Johnston's "Marmalade Me", because i wanted to quote something she wrote when she was reviewing Deborah Hay. Something about the fact that the more history that you know, the better, that recent art had become so involved in a dialogue with the past that knowledge can only enhance your understanding. During that period, Susan Sontag (in her essay "One Culture and the New Sensibility") wrote: "The most interesting works of contemporary art are full of references to the history of the medium; so far as they comment on past art, they demand a knowledge of at least the recent past."

But it seems now that ignorance is bliss. And to me, that's sad.

(How can anyone so blithely declare that, in reviewing "Elegy", they've never read anything by Philip Roth? As if that's some sort of virtue!)

I feel like some relic, a beached whale... especially since there's the extra weight i've been packing on because of those damned pills i had been taking for triglycerites.

Anyway, today is the first day in a while that i'm going to press screenings. But watched a lot of the stuff on TCM over the last few days. Today is Garbo, and unlike other times when TCM has highlighted Garbo, this time they're actually showing a lot of her silent films: "Flesh and the Devil", "The Temptress", "The Mysterious Lady", "A Woman of Affairs".


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