Archives for category: Film

Songs from the Second Floor (2000)

“Over the past few decades, endless rounds of privatization and austerity, not to mention widespread environmental degradation, have already deprived us of a future. The world of our hopes and dreams has in fact already ended: our day-to-day existence just needs to catch up with this fact. And so our only chance for release from the continuing soft disaster of our lives is for this disaster to become truly universal. If the world ends, then at least we will be freed from the rapacity of financial institutions, and from our ever-increasing burdens of debt. The cinematic spectacle of disaster is in itself intensely gratifying, as well: we see destroyed, before our very eyes, that “immense collection of commodities” after which we have always striven, upon which we have focused all our desires, and which has always ended up disappointing us.” (Steven Shaviro)


Stroszek (1977)

“The quest for meaning on earth is futile. Man is unable to feel that he belongs on this planet, which is his home. And yet the mind continues to thirst after God as the symbol of ultimate meaning, regardless of the fact that objectively no hint of purpose could be discerned. Man seeks to control his fate but his unconscious pulls him in different directions and frustrates his effort to impose order upon the chaotic flux of experience. There, in the unconscious, slumber the archetypal images of the gods, the gods who foil all attempts at the conscious governance of human destiny.” (Charles Glicksberg, The Tragic Vision in Twentieth Century Literature, SIU Press, 1963, p. 93)

Werckmeister Harmonies (2000)

“…when it comes down to it, we are simply the miserable subjects of some insignificant failure, alone in this simply marvelous creation; that the whole of human history is no more … than the histrionics of a stupid, bloody, miserable outcast in an obscure corner of a vast stage, a kind of tortured confession of error, a slow acknowledgement of the painful fact that this creation was not necessarily a brilliant success.”
(The Melancholy of Resistance, p. 104)

Time of the Wolf (2003)

“The panic attack was to the Noughties what cocaine was to the Nineties: it was the adrenalin rush of choice.

To my mind, the period’s key film-maker was not Lars von Trier or Michael Haneke, but Roland Emmerich, the Hollywood schlockmeister.

In two movies – The Day After Tomorrow and 2012 – he gave powerful voice to the public’s deep-rooted craving for obliteration.” (Toby Young)

Fail Safe (1964)

It is almost a relief when the next hit comes. It is only another bout of disaster that will enable the narrative balm to calm again the collective nerves of a humanity permanently on low-level boil. (Brian Massumi)