Surfaces and the search for transcendence in Kanye West’s Jesus Is King

Jesus Is King is a flat and ugly sounding record. Listening to it is to be confronted by rough, clearly differentiated sounds that coexist but never mesh. Every bassline comes separated from the drum, every key chimed directly out of the keyboard, every voice sits outside of the mix. In other words the mixing is done… Continue reading Surfaces and the search for transcendence in Kanye West’s Jesus Is King

Dead space, empty time, and the negation of storytelling in The Irishman

Maybe thirty seconds into this film De Niro's quietly mumbling voiceover becomes a quietly mumbling soliloquy — he gets away with it because there's no story to tell exactly, no way to form it, and no one listening. The director has used narration and direct address to the point that it's something like a signature… Continue reading Dead space, empty time, and the negation of storytelling in The Irishman

Missing information and the fabricated forensics of space in Minority Report

Doesn't stay anywhere long enough to make its turbulence count, which is fine if you are onboard the ride, and unbearable if you are not. I found it unbearable but what it does with image-making is more important than my qualms about it as a narrative work and aesthetics is the stage where it most… Continue reading Missing information and the fabricated forensics of space in Minority Report

A landscape of missing people in Argento’s Phenomena

Argento's funniest film, it is also most sensitive to the bonds that form between caring people against a backdrop of power and apathy. Where we might expect another doomed marriage of convenience orchestrated by unseen forces, Phenomena has friendship as a positive, naturally occurring force that exists for its own good. Its scenes of reciprocity are isolated… Continue reading A landscape of missing people in Argento’s Phenomena