Specials: "Land of Plenty." Starbucks music, NEA in trouble? Bresson an athiest?

WIM WENDERS & SCOTT DERRICKSON’S LAND OF PLENTY

Reviewed by Andrew O’Hehir at Salon. It’s nice to see this film getting some attention, but why can’t it find a distributor? And why doesn’t O’Hehir even mention one of the most interesting aspects of the film–the fact that it was written by Scott Derrickson, who wrote and directed The Exorcism of Emily Rose?

STARBUCKS IS CHANGING THE MUSIC BUSINESS
The Guardian wakes up and smells the coffee-shop-cds.

REPUBLICANS MOVING TO AXE THE NEA
A report at Backstage warns us that the NEA is in trouble. Via ArtsJournal.

WAS BRESSON AN ATHEIST?

Armond White defends Bresson’s work from the attempts of athiests to drain it of religious significance.

Controversy isn’t needed to make Bresson more exciting and relevant. But Gary Indiana’s Pickpocket essay confirms that after The Passion of the Christ, critics and left-leaning media wonks no longer use art to understand human experience or contemplate survival.

This attitude is hostile to the fact that Western Christian habit was the basis of Bresson’s intense absorption in the toughest, most mystifying human experiences—a disillusioned country priest, an alienated petty thief, a scheming urban sophisticate, provincial girls approaching their first change of life. Each one’s personal agony or private passion was shrewdly, cleverly displayed through a highly idiosyncratic composition and editing style that only appeared detached. Bresson unconventionally built direct access to numinous imagery and subtle evocations of the otherworldly. Previous film scholars were right to consider that these movies offered a transcendant viewing experience.

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