‘There’s something in the human personality which resents things that are clear, and conversely, something which is attracted to puzzles, enigmas, and allegories.’
Kubrick never got to make his film of Napoleon, surely one of the great missed opportunities in art, and not for lack of trying. His production was ready, and he had been energized by agonizing preparations, but was shuttered by his studio when Waterloo failed at the box office. Instead, he made Barry Lyndon, and, in the humble view of this publication, thank god; because without Barry, the world would have gone without a truly great period piece.
On film, we are given the greatest possible treatment of that field in which it excels – we are able to see the events, with great clarity, and in a way quite unlike any other medium can give. If we say that literature is the landscape of the mind, then we can say that film is the landscape of the events. It concerns itself with what is happening; and the finest examples are able to show us with unbending precision, or maddening ambiguity, what is happening within an image, what is happening to a character – and, more importantly – what has happened to the medium itself.
That is not a sore point, by the way, or a drummed up hyperbole. This is serious. We can’t find it anywhere. We’ve tried, and so have a great many others. Everyone knows where television is, it’s right there, you can see it quite clearly. But film is facing a conundrum of space and time, being that we’ve lost it, and have so far printed a hundred ‘Have you seen film?’ posters, and put them up in the vicinity of several other art forms, but have found nothing.
If you have any information, any, whatsoever, we have set up a special helpline by which tips may be anonymously delivered, if you are afeared for your safety, or work for a rival medium. The calls will be stored on analogue tape decks to ensure maximum security, and the highest potential for non-retrieval in the future, much like the entire first half century of film itself.
The Schwenge Benge is committed, once we have located the medium, to providing great incision and clarity of analysis, review and discussion of film, and will do so to the best of our ability, provided it continues to exist into the future.
BLADE RUNNER 2049 – LIFE, DESPITE ITSELF
A vision of the future, bleak as anything committed to screen. An essential masterpiece.
THE NEWS IS LIMITED
In certain Australian cities, you can only buy a Murdoch paper. That is a problem.