What is Hollywood, you ask, dear children? A quorum of whores babbling endlessly on about fucking while the bordello is razed for a penny arcade -- Paul Bern

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Imperium is an intelligible sphere whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.

Right now, as Pan-Europe and China inaugurate a new humanitarian era of post-modern ipod colonialism, to look at Denis' film as a post-colonial treatise is not so interesting. After all, Denis, like Duras before her, is one of those cosmic colons. The psychological mestizo. On its surface, White Material just seems the usual meme about "Africa" -- Conrad, Casement, Kurtz, Camus, and Kapuscinski.

But no...some kind of allegory about Madonna and the kids from Malawi. But also a bit like Winchester 73, a dream version but with several rifles flying at once. Some fundamental lyric balance between the persons in the drama. Like Jancso in Cameroon. The power never has a center or a color. It flows, Bressonian, from person to thing and back. The blonde hair (Denis' own, let's remember) -- the immune system of the various bodies reject it. The mother's perverse and fixed dedication to the land, identification with the land, like in Duras, only points up the fleeting mobility, the insouciance of the other agents. Only Capital makes the land visible, and lovable.

At the end of the film, the surprise after many red herrings is that she, despite herself, must become the toxic Dostoyevskian avenger. La Prisionniere du Desert. Rather ambiguous stuff, this.

Besides -- who is not a colonized subject these days...? To compete for the honor of most colonized, or most abject seems beside the point -- one of those classic nasty + pointless fights for low stakes.Let us pass over it in silence.

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