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

Monday, June 13, 2011


If someone copying a prototypical icon is unable to experience in himself that which he depicts, if while following the original he fails to make contact with the reality of it, then (being honest) he will try as precisely as possible to reproduce in his copy the prototype’s outward features; but it almost always happens that, in such a case, he will not comprehend the icon as an opening, and so, lost in copying the fine lines and brushstrokes, he will interpret unclearly the icon’s essence.

But if, on the other hand, through the prototype he is opened up into the spiritual reality depicted on it, and thereby comes to see it clearly (if secondarily) he will – because he posseses the living reality of his own aliveness – manifest his own viewpoint, and thus swerve from a strict calligraphic adherence to the original. In a manuscript you write describing a country someone else has previously described in an earlier manuscript, you will see your own words and phrases in your own handwriting; But the living basis of your manuscript is assuredly identical with that of the earlier one: the description of the country. Thus, the variations arising between successive copies of a prototypical icon indicate neither the illusory subjectivity of what is being depicted nor the arbitrariness of the iconpainting process but exactly the opposite: the living reality, which remaining itself, nevertheless will appear with those variations that correspond to the spiritual life of the iconpainter who seeks to comprehend that living reality.

Thus (ignoring mere servile reproduction) the difference between a prototypical icon and its iconic copy can approximate quite precisely that between an explorer’s account of a newly discovered country and a later journeyer’s narrative who visits that country because of the first explorer’s account; no matter the importance of the first account, the latter narrative may well be more exact and complete. Just so in iconpainting: sometimes an iconic copy can become particularly precious, one whose extraordinary indications confirm both its spiritual truth and it’s supreme correspondence to the spiritual reality it depicts. 
-- Fr. Pavel Florensky, Iconostasis

Super 8 was never intended as an homage to any films in particular. Before we were shooting I told our cinematographer, Larry Fong—who I met at 12 making Super-8 films—that I didn’t want the film to look like it was made in 1979, but I wanted it to look the way we remember films looking from 1979. That is to say, it needed to be its own thing, with visual and rhythmic motifs that allude to a different era of moviemaking, but made using tools and techniques of today. I sort of wanted to build a bridge between then and now." – J.J. Abrams.

It is clear that modern commercial filmmaking is fetish oriented. But what is being Fetishized exactly? Is it “wonder” flitered through the filmmaker’s own set of nostalgic values? Is it the feeling of being overwhelmed, completely possessed by a prior image? It seems that this nostalgia is already oddly misplaced – that audiences no longer even connect with this religious or fetish power of the image at its most concentrated. They no longer believe in hollywood über alles. They are adherents of another, more diffuse, religion. This is no longer popular filmmaking, but cultish. Mystical communication between adept and master. Whispers.

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