Buster's five reel masterpiece was set in in the environs of a local movie theater and then migrated to the insides of a fantasy about film while Buster's projectionist dreamed of possibilities beyond 1924: talkies, transubstantiation and magical motorbikes. His onscreen/onscreen detective solves an impossible crime with impossibilities while just onscreen his lost love does the real detective work he's unable to improvise.
Keaton films a 40 second continuous take of a refrigerated railroad escape hatched exit (trap door), then as the train takes off Buster walks opposite the train's direction, he remains centered, leaping between trains, until at the end he simply jumps onto a water chute's chain, grabs it in mid-air and takes it down to the ground, finally awashed in a deluge. He simply gets up and walks away from the camera as a hand-operated car slides into frame with two men, who are then drowned. The take is obviously a masterpiece inside one. Later, in the dream sequence, Buster is lured up a stairs and exits a trap door that's then locked. Then a wide shot from the ground, as Keaton appears above only as the villain slides into a redlight. Keaton comes to the roof's edge, and leaps on an upright railroad crossing gate, and rides it down, right into the villain's rear seat. A mimic of reality's railroad gag.
"Keaton showed us the impossible to show that it was impossible. Distinguishing between life on the screen and life in nature - and for all that, between screen life and stage life - Keaton defined the form as no analyst had before him had done, marking out its liberties and limitations precisely. But not as theory. He made the contradiction visible. Before Buster penetrates the screen in Sherlock, Jr., he must step onto the stage in front of it."
Walter Kerr The Silent Clowns Knopf 1975
Below images: to prove he's inside the film of his dreams, Keaton steps into the dressing mirror without commentary, then (not shown) later he jumps first into a dress he's suddenly wearing, then (illustrated) he leaps impossibly into his assistant. From Silent Clowns.
2000-2100 predicted sea-level rise: 13-16 cm 89% possibility, 3m 45%, 6-8m 12%.
Long-term models are now available for our species.
The study of "emotion" in radically non-Western communities - the kind of places in which anthropologists have traditionally worked - throws light both on the nature and functions of emotion (and of the individual emotions) and on the relations of individuals in those places to the historically transmitted ambient forms that constitute their "culture." As the temptation to put the two key terms ("emotion" and "culture") within quotation marks suggest, both terms are problematic, and we will encounter some of the confusions of Alice's croquet game, with both mallets and balls, not to mention wickets, in eccentric motion.
- from Culture Theory: Essays on Mind, Self and Emotion edited by Richard A. Schweder
This staggering book is an archaeologist's view of religion throughout prehistory. Flooded with recent discoveries (2003), the inner and outer of the beginnings of human consciousness can be read in 450 pages. Below: A face-like rock collected by an early hominid some 4.5 million years ago in South Africa. Far Below: A Maori chiefly-feast scaffold, erected to hold food and gifts on its various levels. Evidence exists of similar scaffold structures at Stonehenge. Parallels with the west's Christmas Tree cannot be ignored.
Is the parlimentary regime in Iraq similar to the South Vietnamese government left behind in the wake of the Vietnam War?
Colorful writing, breathless. Old school.
This is a recently unearthed Stasi microphone, buried behind a thin layer of plaster, these were placed two to a cell in East Germany's Bautzen II isolation cells.
Reading's must-read book examines the devolution of educational institutions and the programmatic use of catch-phrases ("excellence") to overtake our understanding of qualities, like skill and knowledge. A devastating short probe into the west's subtle, elemental collapse.
the kite seems to be my destiny, because in the first recollection of my infancy it seemed to me that, while I was in my cradle a kite came to me and opened my mouth with its tail, and struck me several times with its tail inside my lips
In August 2011, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the IMF, potential challenger in the next French elections, was at JFK airport, en route to Germany for a key meeting regarding Greek debt and the saving of the Euro. After his plane was sealed and taxiing for departure, Port Authority Police were requested to stop and detain him by the NYPD. Believing the police had found his missing IMF Blackberry, he was instead accused of rape and returned to NY to face a grand jury. Quickly the case fell apart and now it appears the accuser and the Manhattan D.A.'s office were used in an elaborate trap set by Accor, the French corporation owning the site of the crime, The Sofitel, whose security is managed by one of Nicholas Sarkozy's best friends.
DSK thought that by staying in a French-run establishment it'd be culturally apt to get a blow job from the staff. Now it seems he was the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time. Read the hidden time-frame and the strange surveillance decrypt what happened between housekeeper Diallo (5' 10") and Strauss-Kahn (5' 7"). Who was in room 2820? Where is DSK's IMF Blackberry? The beginning of the unravelling...
Edward Jay Epstein's brilliant forensic work in the NYRB.