Friday, August 27, 2021

Departing the Gutenberg Galaxy

Were you the kind of person who plodded through tomes like Middlemarch and restricted your audio-visual intake to the famous Bergman or Antonioni trilogies (Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light, The Silence, L’avventura, La notte, L’eclisse) at art houses like Film Forum? Did the pandemic bring about a sea change in your behavior? Stephen J. Gould postulated that evolution proceeds in fits and starts by the process of “punctuated equilibrium.” Culture does not go gently into the night.Viewers who once enjoyed quaffing down their expressos and looking for like-minded sensibilities on line for Lars von Trier at the Sunshine may find themselves running home to watch the next episode of Call My Agent, The Crown or Babylon, Berlin on Netflix. The net effect of the pandemic was to remove congregation from the table, returning catharsis to its previously solitary status on the food chain of esthetic pleasure. If it seemed like only yesterday that you were reading full-page Times ads with those little synopses for The New York Film Festival (the 59th is actually coming up), you may marvel how far away Lincoln Center seems in the age of the deadly Delta variation which can easily turn theater in the round into a super spreader event. And let’s not forget counterespionage thrillers like The Americans and The Bureau which present alternate existences which don’t even exist in a parallel universe.

Read "L'avventura At Film Forum" by Francis Levy, HuffPost

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