Quote(s) of the Day: Benh Zeitlin, Zola Jesus, and Eric Gibson

Quote(s) of the Day: Benh Zeitlin, Zola Jesus, and Eric Gibson July 22, 2012

Just a few selected quotes to start off your day.


“Mythology and folklore have become this thing that is sort of archaic, like the “old” stories. But good movies are constantly updating these classic stories and these classic scenarios. Our idea of what a hero is and what a hero does is an important barometer for where the world is and where our culture is. When you watch how Western heroes evolve over the period when Westerns were really important, you can track culture through the way that that hero changes from 1950 to 1970, when they sort of stopped being made. ET is an incredible folk hero to me, and that was a really interesting moment when we realized this type of being can be a hero. It says something about how people should behave and what it is to be good. That’s the thing about a folk tale: It is always addressing incredibly key issues about how you should live and what the right thing to do is, which is really what I’m the most interested in—like the questions that religion takes on. And I think that, for those of us that aren’t religious, we need, or I need, art that stimulates the same kind of thinking about what it is to be a mensch, or a good man, things like that.”Benh Zeitlin, director and co-writer of the film “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” out now in select theaters. Zeitlin is the son of folklorists Amanda Dargan and Steve Zeitlin.


“[The video for ‘Seekir’] definitely wasn’t a parody. I am infinitely curious about the pop world. It’s something that has always felt so foreign and far away from me. But that sort of feeling of inaccessibility tantalizes me. I wanted to try my hand at it. I would love to be a popstar if I felt like it didn’t have to involve extreme psychological manipulation of consumers. But I think the whole point of being a pop star is to be an icon, to be this unreachable ideal for people to either lust over or look up to and try to become themselves. And they will buy whatever they can to get closer to that. Buy, buy, buy. It’s easy for that seat of power to be abused and mishandled. Anyway, I will do the best I can to be my own sort of pop icon. Pop can be a beautiful, seductive band aid for society, but it doesn’t have to be. The whole video for ‘Seekir’ is based on Gurdijeff movements which promote discrete cosmic truths and knowledge of self-awareness.” –  Zola Jesus (Nika Danilova) , discussing the video for her song Seekir, from her 2011 album “Conatus.”


“Visitors to Rome overwhelmed by all it has to offer—”the abundance of its pasts” in the words of the poet Rilke—can find relief with a stop at the Pantheon. Embodying the city’s pagan and Christian identities, the Pantheon is Rome in microcosm. Built in the second century by the Emperor Hadrian as a temple to all the Roman gods, it is the only major work of Roman Imperial architecture still intact. It owes its survival to having been consecrated a Christian church (Santa Maria ad Martyres) in the seventh century, which placed it under papal protection. […]  The oculus is many things. It is the Pantheon’s basic design module. It is an act of consummate architectural audacity. Most of all, however, it is a portal to the heavens. The round disc of sunlight it admits draws our thoughts out and away from our immediate surroundings to the motion of the planets, and invites us to think of ourselves not as members of a particular faith, city or country, but as part of the whole cosmos.”Eric Gibson, Wall Street Journal Editor, on the Pantheon in Rome.

That’s all for now, have a great day!

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