Film

Costs and Crossings: on Apolline Traoré’s "Borders"

Traoré’s 2017 film reminds us that the border itself is a problematic institution. Even in its most stripped-down form, a border exists for the exercise of power against those populations whose movements it controls. Who crosses—and at what cost—depends on lines of race, class, and gender. 

Abbas Kiarostami's Digital Turn

In his final film, the late Iranian director pushes the boundary between photography and film to its limit by breaking down the distinction between moment and duration. This reimagination of form would never have been possible without Kiarostami’s openness to digital techniques.

... between Two Points (2 of 2)

Nauman walks the walk. Slow Angle Walk (Beckett Walk) (1968) does the work of envisioning Watt’s “way of advancing” for you.  I have cast Beckett’s description of Watt’s walk as creating a series of imperatives for the reader: you have to envision Watt’s “way of advancing,” then you have to edit that vision to account for unbending knees and feet, then again for position of head and arms. But really, it’s your prerogative (cue Bobby Brown).

Huddling Together, Nervously Loquacious

Kenneth Burke, Permanence and Change (1935): “[Men] build their cultures by huddling together, nervously loquacious, at the edge of an abyss" (272). What was behind the distinctive style of loquaciousness which was once so popular for actors — and most strikingly female ones — in the Hollywood comedies of the 1930s?

Back to School

Thanks to the curious rhythms of the quarter system, it’s finally now back to school here at the University of California at Santa Cruz. We’ll be marking it -- faculty, staff, and students -- with a walkout on Thursday, September 24 to protest the budget cuts that have so battered this institution and others throughout California.