Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Mid-way through a justified lambasting of the creaky Arvo Part sulking of late Godard ('the man who idolised Tashlin appears not to have seen The Simpsons'. You know, a post on JLG, who I'm decidedly ambivalent about, has been planned for oh, ages...) Colin MacCabe adds the following in a footnote. A strangely invigorating assertion, I think.

'There can be no denying, however, that the Hollywood cinema is to all intents and purposes dead. This should not surprise. If we look at the vital lifetimes of the Elizabethan stage or Attic tragedy they hardly stretch two decades while Hollywood had nearly eight. Even in the nineties occasional flickers like Groundhog Day and A Perfect World recalled former greatness'
from Godard, 2002


Blogger Kenoma said...

A fair point, but all I remember from that book is a lot of gossipy namedropping

3:48 am  
Blogger owen hatherley said...

Really? I thought it was excellent, despite gloomily mandarin tone. And the gossip is good gossip, not least that hilariously vituperative letter from Truffaut in the 70s ('you should call your next film 'A Shit is a Shit' etc)

5:36 pm  
Anonymous dejan said...

I believe that motto is from that cranky old sourpuss Peter Greenaway, who launched it already in the 1990s, coinciding with the release of his pretentious non-linear films. But the only cinema that really died is Greenaway's, witness the fact that Tulse Luper Suitcases played for a whole 3 days in Holland before it was pulled off. (Turns out people like to watch a story instead of a random slideshow of surreal images) For the rest, Hollywood cinema is actually UNDEAD. Its biological demise took place in the 90s, but it keeps on going contra any sense or purpose. Insisting.

5:30 am  
Blogger owen hatherley said...

Actually that sounds about right to me!

1:43 pm  
Blogger Kenoma said...

"Insisting." : that's perfect, Dejan.

You might be right about the McCabe book, Owen. I skim-read it just after reading his enthusiastic defense of privatized universities, so I was in a foul mood. But as I remember, he spent an awful lot of time talking about terrible films like King Lear, and there was a lot of boring stuff about McCabe's time in the BFI. Am I wrong about that?
Also, did he talk about Ici et Ailleurs? Because there's a great (brief) treatment of that by Serge Daney here:

11:40 pm  
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