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Cluster index: Simon Collings

Two cautionary tales.

By SIMON COLLINGS. ♦ The Fish Eye t the bottom of his plate of fish soup Gunther found an eye looking at him. He was horrified. In the local folklore, discovering a fish eye in one’s soup was a worrying omen, and Gunther believed strongly in local lore. He scooped the eye onto his spoon […]

Carrying the past.

Fortnightly Review Film Commentary.  The Afterlight by Charlie Shackleton 1.37:1 | mono | black & white | 82 minutes an interview By Simon Collings. • harlie Shackleton’s film The Afterlight is a collage of clips from hundreds of films from around the world. It brings together a cast of actors all of whom are no […]

Some guts

By SIMON COLLINGS. with collages by John Goodby. ◊ Now how about a night-cap before turning in Mr Greb, it is Greb isn’t it, or perhaps you fancy something stronger? —Ann Quin, Berg So, for example, if I should say, in a letter to a friend, ‘Our brother Tom has just got the piles,’ a […]

Robert Desnos, screenwriter.

A Fortnightly Film Commentary.Minuit à quatorze heures (1925) | Les mystères du Métropolitain  (1930) |Les récifs de l’amour (1930) | Y a des punaises dans le rôti de porc  (1933) ◊ By SIMON COLLINGS. he surrealist poet Robert Desnos was a passionate advocate of the power of cinema. He believed film had the potential to free […]

A Notebook of Materials Made under Stress.

Simon Collings: ‘Mottram’s life and work have been celebrated in recent years in a series of conferences held at King’s College London, where he taught.’

On the small stuff.

Simon Collings: ‘The texts are ludic, baffling, funny, and thought provoking by turns… In the poem based on ‘itself’, we’re advised ‘remember the line of association controls itself’, and ‘the sentence reads itself as we listen’.

The Yellow-brick Mind of David Lynch.

Simon Collings: ‘Scratch the surface and a Lynch film is no more threatening, it seems, than the most hackneyed commercial entertainment picture.’

An activist from New York.

Simon Collings: ‘A central concern in Diawara’s work is what he calls ‘Afro-pessimism’, the sense of hopelessness about the continent expressed by both external commentators and by many people living in Africa.’

Poetry, undefined yet concrete.

Simon Collings: ‘The concrete poetry movement emerged in several countries contemporaneously in the 1950s – Sweden, Switzerland, Brazil, Austria, Japan.’

Citizen Fisher.

Simon Collings: ‘In the margin next to this passage Fisher has written: ‘This is terrible, in its values as well as its narrative. But it’s true. True voyeur. The horror-freak-stuff is worst. But the point of view needs doing; and my own part as real voyeur. Everybody’s a voyeur at this time.’’

The big noise in the night.

Simon Collings: ‘Travelling in Colombia, Weerasethakul heard many accounts of the way the trauma of recent conflict persists in the present. Early in the film we see a young man on a busy Bogotá street dive to the pavement, thinking he has heard gunfire, when a bus backfires, an echo of incidents from years earlier.’

A smile that melts.

Simon Collings: ‘Bergson described ‘duration’ as ‘a continuity which is really lived, but artificially decomposed for the greater convenience of customary knowledge.’ Time spent in waiting is central to Innocence, and for Mroz highlights a sense of “protracted lived duration’ which stands in sharp contrast to the ticking of clocks heard throughout the film.’

On poetry and the environmental crisis.

Rae Armantrout: ‘I’ll read any good book at the edge where research science brushes up against ontology. And, yes, I have gotten ideas, facts, quotes from this reading to use in poems.’

Holy cow.

Simon Collings: ‘This is the context in which we find the film’s principal characters, Cookie and King-Lu, trying to survive: a frontier trading network only recently established where violence is rife and international political influences shape local governance. The only access to the area from the east was by horse or on foot. No route through the Rockies suitable for wagons had been discovered at that point.’

Episode 38 of ‘Living Dead’ and two more poems.

By SIMON COLLINGS. . Episode 38: Living dead ‘I’M A NOBODY’ Bill says to Frank. ‘What have I accomplished? Precisely nothing. When I’m dead, I’ll disappear without trace.’ ‘Two caramel lattes,’ Frank says to the barista. ‘When I was a kid,’ Bill continues, ‘I used to think I’d be somebody one day, someone people would […]