Posted inArt

A Documentarian of Memory

Chris Marker’s death two years ago, on the day of his 91st birthday, heralded a surge of renewed interest in the enigmatic French filmmaker. With an impressive retrospective centered on a digital restoration of the film Level Five (1997), the Brooklyn Academy of Music presses on with the project of rehabilitating the fringes of Marker’s career.

Posted inArt

Our Robots, Ourselves

Despite our intense familiarity with machines, there’s still something a bit foreboding about our increasingly sophisticated mechanical creations. Generally they are not evil natured or programmed to destroy us (like those pink robots after Yoshimi), but sometimes there’s a feeling of not being entirely in control of our docile electronic devices, an undercurrent creators have long fed on in iconic ways, whether it’s HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey or the seamlessly human-like replicants in Blade Runner, all reflecting back our own insecurities about robots in our lives.

Posted inPerformance

A Play Brings the Politics of Fascism to 21st-Century America

As a high school kid, I thought Eugène Ionesco was pretty much one of the best writers I had encountered up to that point. He was an entrenched misanthrope with a brutal wit who wasn’t afraid to take on politics, philosophy, and the unfortunate realities of human interaction. And, most importantly to me at that time, one of his sharpest tools was his sense of the absurd. As a teenager who had moved a number of times and changed schools every couple of years, who spent most of her time in her own head or with her nose in books, and who was grappling with depression and a latent queerness, absurdity made perfect sense to me. The world outside of my head was excruciatingly absurd and twisted to me then, and most of the time I hated it and assumed it hated me right back. Ionesco was perfect.