Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Go manifest. Give yourself some time to manifest. Reflect. Think about something that inspires you. Think about something you're passionate about. Something will manifest.

My voice is annoying me, reminding myself to manifest...after all, this is it: this is the pronouncement that sets into motion the rest of 805's semester.

It's not for the lack of an issue, or lack of passion, or lack of commitment. I think the grand spoiler, the fly that invaded my meat, was Dogme 95. And that is not to say that I didn't or don't enjoy Dogme movies. In fact, The Celebration and Kira's Reason were those rare films that changed my mood for weeks after seeing them. I like Dogme's "Vow of Chastity." I support its mission. But the quality, obviously, is not consistent. And it's all those not-s0-successful Dogme films--there are currently 279--which have left me a little wary about the whole manifesting enterprise.

Dogme's "Rescue Action" is to save film from "superficiality" and "bourgeois romanticism" by "disciplining" the avant-garde and the new democratizing technologies into a counter-conformity cinematic movement. The discipline, though, can sometimes be too tempting. The weakest members of the Dogme society accept too much, agreeing both to the manifesto's rules and (consciously or unconsciously) to the ways in which the more successful members of the group have creatively conformed to those rules. What manifests then in these weaker films is only conformity.

There is a benefit: first-time filmmakers working in this vein tend to avoid mucking up gallatically; their errors are usually limited to making the derriviteness too transparent. I prefer the galatic muck-ups. They bring on an inevitable identity crisis much sooner. They are the stuff revolutions are made of.

We need manifestos. We need revolutions (like the one Dogme championed in the 90s). But perhaps we need to kill our own manifestos too. Maybe we need to stamp them with experation dates--"Best used by summer 2010." "Freshness gauranteed until December 2009." Or maybe the key is to continue to manifest. Manifest against our previous manifesting--turn the revolution topsiturvy.

This seems to be a revolving pillar of the RCID program, one on which the Third Sophistic finds its third position. And that makes the whole affair of manifesting much more exciting.

1 comment:

Cynthia Haynes said...

I prefer the galactic muck-ups, too. Wonderful insights and musings!