December 03, 2008

kind is the new black

Je voudrais le DVD de Be Kind Rewind pour Noël. J'ai toujours l'air un peu con dogmatique quand j'essaie d'expliquer à quel point ce film m'a ému, et la signification vraiment profonde, plus que politique, que j'y trouve en ces temps troublés. Heureusement, j'ai trouvé quelqu'un qui le fait mieux que moi :

Be Kind Rewind is less about cinephiliac love for those films they 'swede' (Ghostbusters, Rush Hour 2, etc.), and more about their cinephiliac affect--the feelings they generate in individuals and in communities. Indeed, it is not about the individual film and is entirely about the communities that media create.

Focusing on the terribly inadequate mimesis of the cheap imitations these films offer completely misses how the film is focused on the affective memories of these texts. This is where the distinction between ritual and transmission models of communication seem crucial to me (and between 'narrative' and 'affect'). 'Transmission' focuses on what media represent on the surfaces, what ideologies and beliefs are transmitted. 'Ritual,' however, argues that what is represented is secondary--and the real point of communication to to foster ritualistic behaviors and acts that bring people and communities together.

What better way to illustrate that point than crappy home-made remakes which brings a community together for one fleeting, but powerful, moment of affective bliss?

That's why Be Kind Rewind's final documentary on Fats Waller is so perfect--despite the fact it contains few historical accuracies. Its not about Fats Waller--its about the effect that the memory of Fats has on this community, on how happy it makes them, on how their collective history is what binds them together as a community. 'Fats Waller was Born 'Here'--his idea was born 'here.' This is why the documentary is literally built off the interviews of the people in town--'our pasts belong to us.

Jason Sperb
(via Marathonpacks)

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