Tuesday, May 13, 2008

An invitation to manipulate

Now that the semester's over, I have two academic things on my plate this week: (1) finish up my syllabus for my course on Alfonso Cuarón which is due to start in a week, and (2) finish up a long-overdue article on Peruvian director Luis Llosa.

This is a necessary introduction for the surprise discovery that I had been tagged in a meme. And from none other than Film Experience guru Nathaniel. (Ohmygosh, hi Nathaniel! *pant pant* big blogger looking at little ol' me, try not to sweat or vomit *pant pant*)

Here are the rules:
  1. Pick up the nearest book.
  2. Open to page 123.
  3. Locate the fifth sentence.
  4. Post the next three sentences on your blog and in so doing...
  5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged me.
There happen to have been two books in my bookbag, which I was just packing up in order to go to bed. The first, Ricardo Bedoya's 100 años del cine en el Perú: Una historia crítica, amusingly has photographs on page 123, so I had to go to page 127 to find text. As such, this is what I get

Así, el factotum de Amauta Films -- que por entonces substitía como empresa dedicada al negocio de la distribución de cintas extranjeras, principalmente mexicanas -- Felipe Varela La Rosa intentó regresar a la producción, para lo que formó la empresa Nacional Films del Perú, asociandose con Ismael Bielich, Kurt Hermann y Federico Uranga. En el distrito limeño de Barranco, emprendió la instalación de estudios y laboratorios con los que se propuso prestar servicios a empresas que intentaban probar la eficacía del apun incipiente negocio de la publicidad fílmica y mantenerse en la producción de noticiarios y documentales. En la nueva experiencia apareció acompañado por Kurt D. Hermann, director de producción de la nueva compañía, Guillermo Garland y por los técnicos Pedro Valdivieso y Julio Barrionuevo, responsables de fotografía y sonido que habían iniciado su carrera en Amauta.

Hm. What do we learn from the above?
  1. Film history in Peru in the early 1940s involves something called Amauta Films.
  2. Spanish sentences are really friggin' long. (And yet, is anyone else glad that neither Saramago nor García Márquez was near me right now?)
  3. And often really boring.
  4. I am a big geek.
I expected the other selection to be even more tedious -- and yet, out of context as it is, it is more fun and profound. The book is the textbook I have assigned for my class, Auteurs and Authorship, a collection of essays edited by Barry Keith Grant. The essay that encompasses page 123 is Claire Johnson's "Women's Cinema as Counter-Cinema"; the three sentences selected happen to comprise one of her own writing and two quoted from Hans Enzenberger:

There is no such thing as unmanipulated writing, filming or broadcasting. The question is therefore not whether the media are manipulated but who manipulates them. A revolutionary plan should not require the manipulators to disappear; on the contrary, it must make everyone a manipulator.

Gotta say, I like that one much better. Plus, this bestows upon all of you the power to manipulate the media however you choose.

Oooh, now it's time for my favorite game of tag! Let's see what Zunguzungu, StinkyLulu, the Magiares, Manasse and that Desperate Hausfrau have to say. Not quite the usual suspects, but all smart folks, which should make this even more fun.


Matt said...

Speaking of manipulative filmmakers disappearance, do you know what has become of Lucrecia Martel and her (fabled) latest release, La mujer sin cabeza??

Middento said...

Dear boy, it's competing at Cannes! Premieres sometime in the next couple weeks...

Matt said...

Wow that's great news for me (and all the other unplugged cinatics, if there are any). Thanks too for calling me "dear boy"--in fact, I'm neither

McNastabator said...

I'll do it...but I can't be manipulated this second. I'll get to it this week.