Colin Asher

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    That’s a great point. His style has daringly changed and he should get more credit for it. It’s hard to imagine how the same person who made ‘Wings of Desire’ also made ‘Paris, Texas.’ It’s also great that you mention his interest in the human condition. As I attempted to point out, like DeLillo, these artists’ portrayal of technology doesn’t undercut having real human characters. Unlike in Pynchon, where there seems to be more of a postmodern overdetermining of people by technology. ‘Million Dollar Hotel’ is beautifully shot, too.

    Wenders and DeLillo: Images at the End of the World

    Yeah, ‘Mao II’ is really in the sweet spot for DeLillo, I’ve heard others say they also like it the best. ‘Underworld’ is extremely varied, and it never ceases to astonish me. There are so many quotable, memorable lines. It’s reverberations and meanings never end. I find it more truthful than ‘Gravity’s Rainbow'(though that’s a mind-bending opus).

    Wenders and DeLillo: Images at the End of the World

    ‘Wings of Desire’ and ‘Paris, Texas’ are amazing films, probably Wenders’ best, but they didn’t fit into the strand I was trying to locate in this article. That’s really interesting about Jarmusch. ‘Paris, Texas’ definitely feels like Wenders’ most Jarmusch-like film.

    Wenders and DeLillo: Images at the End of the World

    I like the attention to visual detail in your analysis, in that way you allow what Tarkovsky wanted which is attention to the image. I usually hesitate from bringing in political aspects into discussions of art films, but in this case, as with other Tarkovsky works, I can only assume the film’s sparseness was partly a kind of artistry born as a response to the restrictive conditions under which it was made. From what I understand, Tarkovsky’s films were made under censorship and with a very small amount of money, allowing for only one or two takes on each scene. To me the most emotional reading of the film, oddly enough, is as a kind of inherently insufficient sci-fi, where the characters seek an alternate, more fantastic world that simply is not penetrable, especially among their bleak surroundings.

    Tarkovsky's 'Stalker': Deep as a Mirror

    The first part of your article is a welcome close-reading of Pynchon with a nice visual aid. Your comments, though, about the difference in the actual artwork and the book’s description is rather nit-picky. I think we can reasonably assume that the description of the picture is in part Oedipa’s memory and the sensory impression it had one her, which is bound to be less than meticulous (can we allow Pynchon a little poetry?) The second part of your article is a bold attempt at comparing two different mediums, however the abstract nature of all the works you discuss and the significant differences to begin with, leave one with an inescapably superficial connection between the works.

    Pynchon, Vonnegut, and Art of the 1960s: Meaningless Post-modernism

    It definitely does transform it in comparison. There’s a weird kind of communication between the two films then which is like a new story…

    Midnight Cowboy: The Fractured American Identity

    Thoughtful article. Particularly nice is the section about how this classic gritty 70’s film is essentially a take-down of the sanitized Hollywood western, especially because it’s so different on the surface. The realization that both ‘Midnight Cowboy’ and ‘the Graduate’ end on a bus is also powerful if one imagines the latter’s buffered Ben as morphing into Ratso when the 60’s wind down and some kind of reality hits. Dustin Hoffman is a true chameleon.

    Midnight Cowboy: The Fractured American Identity