Jack Hill’s corruscating PIT STOP reviewed by moi over at Electric Sheep. Confession: I have never seen Hill’s vaunted blaxploitation films. What’s the best?
A piece with a long and silly history finally sees the light of day over at Moving Image Source. I wrote it probably four years ago with the Criterion website in mind, couldn’t place it there, and then failed to interest at least one other publisher (The Believer?) before submitting it to the last editor of — MIS right before he left the job. Anyhow, it can now be read, and I think it’s a good one. It certainly had WORK put into it!
While capitalism at its worst seeks to degrade humanity to its lowest level, communism at its worst seeks to annihilate it altogether — the ideals it aspires to have no room for individuality, and this shows in the propaganda cinema. I find even Eisenstein hard to get on with, despite the stunning technique.
Over at the Notebook, this fortnight’s edition of The Forgotten deals with a movie that exemplifies the inhuman beauty of soviet cinema — it’s colourful enough to be fun, despite the gruelling subject and chipboard characterisation. There’s a video clip too, which will knock your eye out. RUSSIAN PIONEERS is a ferociously stylised movie — even when forced to shoot on location, at a train station, it freezes the extras like subjects in a painting, and abstracts the background with a haze of smoke and steam, rendered opaque by a colossal lightblast, as if God was yawning in our collective face (it’s the USSR, so we all have a collective face).