• MT VOID, 01/06/23 -- Vol. 41, No. 28, Whole Number 2257

    From evelynchimelisleeper@gmail.com@21:1/5 to All on Sun Jan 8 07:27:36 2023
    01/06/23 -- Vol. 41, No. 28, Whole Number 2257

    Co-Editor: Mark Leeper, mleeper@optonline.net
    Co-Editor: Evelyn Leeper, eleeper@optonline.net
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    (film reviews by Mark R. Leeper
    and Evelyn C. Leeper)
    This Week's Reading (THE ILIAD) (book comments
    by Evelyn C. Leeper)


    TOPIC: Mini Reviews, Part 9 (film reviews by Mark R. Leeper and
    Evelyn C. Leeper)

    This is the ninth batch of mini-reviews, all documentaries.

    194-minute documentary on "folk horror" in cinema. It is long, but
    is divided into six chapters to make viewing easier. It begins on
    a very strong note with the "unholy trinity" of folk horror:
    WITCHFINDER GENERAL, BLOOD ON SATAN’S CLAW, and THE WICKER MAN (the original, of course). Then we have a look at the many other
    British films in the genre, paganism and witchcraft in cinema,
    American folk horror cinema, worldwide folk horror cinema, and the
    current "folk horror revival". It is an amazing in-depth study
    that every folk horror fan should see.

    And Claira Curtis has compiled a list of all 214 (!) films covered
    in this documentary, <https://letterboxd.com/clairacurtis/list/folk-horror-a-study/>
    with posters for each film, or <https://letterboxd.com/clairacurtis/list/folk-horror-a-study/
    detail/> if you want a text list of the films.

    Released at festivals in 2021; available at <https://vimeo.com/750846683/afa7f2ceb9>. Rating: +3 (-4 to +4) or

    Film Credits:

    What others are saying: <https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/woodlands_dark_and_days_bewitched_ a_history_of_folk_horror>

    LOVING HIGHSMITH: LOVING HIGHSMITH is a biography of the author
    Patricia Highsmith, with particular emphasis on her lesbianism.
    Highsmith is best known for the novels she wrote, including
    STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, which was adapted by Alfred Hitchcock, and
    THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY and its sequels, where were adapted several

    More recently, her lesbian novel CAROL was filmed starring Cate
    Blanchett. Highsmith herself was a lesbian and in her diaries
    tells a remarkable story of her mother's attempts to convert her to
    a heterosexual orientation. The three main interviewees are former
    lovers: Marijane Meaker, Monique Buffet, and Tabea Blumenschein.

    The film is mostly told in photographs from her childhood and
    entries from her diaries,, revealing some of her writing output and
    its relationship to her childhood. Through all this, we come to
    see how her signature character of Ripley was conceived, as a man
    who constantly has to hide his true self. The film ends with
    Highsmith going through a long period of self-examination.
    Unfortunately, this does not make for good cinema, and the film
    does lag at the end.

    Released theatrically 2 September 2022. Rating: low +2 (-4 to +4)
    or 7/10

    Film Credits:

    What others are saying:

    with a quote by James Baldwin: "Not everything can be changed but
    nothing can be changed until it is faced."

    It then proceeds to the notion of the "male gaze", a term first
    used in film criticism by Laura Mulvey, and demonstrated with
    scenes from METROPOLIS. what follows is a description of the
    various aspects of showing a woman on the screen as it is in the
    visual language of women in films: subject/object, framing, camera
    movement, and lighting.

    Interestingly, the musical score sounds much like Bernard
    Herrmann's scores for Alfred Hitchcock which, given how much
    Hitchcock's films exemplify the male gaze, is ironic--or perhaps

    Released theatrically 21 October 2022. Rating: +1 (-4 to +4) or

    Film Credits:

    What others are saying: <https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/brainwashed_sex_camera_power>



    TOPIC: This Week's Reading (book comments by Evelyn C. Leeper)

    I mentioned the podcast "Literature and History" by Doug Metzger a
    few weeks ago. I have gotten as far as THE ILIAD by Homer
    (Episodes 9-11) and was once again drawn into re-reading the work.

    But my first comment is more on Metzger's choice of words than on
    THE ILIAD itself. Metzger keeps referring to Briseis as
    Achilles's "bride" while to me it seems a more accurate term might
    be "slave", or even "rape victim". Achilles tries to make this
    sound like something deep:

    "Are the sons of Atreus alone among mortal men the ones
    who love their wives? Since any who is a good man, and careful,
    loves her who is his own and cares for her, even as I now
    loved this one from my heart, though it was my spear that won her."

    [Book 9, Lines 340-343]

    But then practically the next minute he is showing how that is a

    "But Achilleus lay in the inward corner of the strong-built
    and a woman lay beside him,, one he had taken from Lesbos,

    [Book 9, Lines 663-664]

    And the attitude of the time (or at least of Nestor, or at least of
    Homer) was not exactly one that saw women as romantic partners:

    "Therefore let no man be urgent to take the way homeward
    until after he has lain in bed with the wife of a Trojan
    to avenge Helen's longing to escape and her lamentations."

    [Book 2, Lines 354-356]

    And these are the good guys?

    My theory (for what it's worth) is that Achilles is trying to make
    his motives in protesting Agamemnon's seizure of Briseis as noble
    as possible and not just a dispute over property. The fact that in
    Book 19 Briseis says that Patroclus had promised her to convince
    Hercules to marry her indicates that Hercules was not as devoted to
    her as he claims. [-ecl]


    Mark Leeper

    They told me how Mr Gladstone read Homer for fun,
    which I thought served him right.
    --Winston Churchill

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