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Showing posts from May, 2020

Eight Hours Don't Make a Day

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For a long time, I let the Blu-ray discs of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's 1972 mini-series Eight Hours Don't Make a Day (Acht Stunden sind kein Tag) sit on the shelf. Watching them would mean I had very little left of Fassbinder's extensive body of work to see for the first time — mostly just a couple of TV films that have rarely, if ever, made it to home video anywhere. Everything else, I've seen at least once. It's been a quest and an obsession for more than a decade. Certainly, there are many pieces of Fassbinder's oeuvre that I will re-explore throughout my life, but the pleasure of first discovery has come close to an end. So the discs sat there, frequently glanced at, the case opened, the booklet read and re-read, but no more.
And now here we are in the midst of the new corona virus, isolating at home. What better time to watch 495 minutes of Fassbinder? And so I did, and it was glorious.
Eight Hours is unique among Fassbinder's work in being truly comic: …

Little Bunches of Flowers

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"What was happening was out of all proportion to our faculties for knowing, thinking, and checking up. The circumstances under which ordinary British people lived were preposterous — so preposterous that, in a dull way, they simplified themselves. And all the time we knew that compared with those on the Continent we in Britain could not be said to suffer. Foreign faces about the London streets had personal pain and impersonal history sealed up behind the eyes. All this pressure drove egotism underground, or made it whiten like grass under a stone. And self-expression in small ways stopped — the small ways had been so very small that we had not realized how much they amounted to. Planning fun, going places, choosing and buying things, dressing yourself up, and so on. All that stopped. You used to know what you were like from the things you liked, and chose. Now there was not what you liked, and you did not choose. Any little remaining choices and pleasures shot into new proportion…