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Conjunctions - Spring 2004

  • Subtitle: Cinema Lingua: Writers Respond to Film
  • Issue Number: Number 42
  • Published Date: Spring 2004

This ambitious and strikingly effective theme issue in which writers respond to film leaves me with the feeling that I ought to know more about film than I do, though I've always felt that, in comparison to others, I know quite a lot. Several of the pieces here feel as if they were written for those already in the cinema ‘know,’ but each piece is, nonetheless, highly enjoyable. Joyce Carol Oates’s meditation on Hitchcock, “Fat Man My Love,” is striking and easily the best piece of prose here: “His peephole eye, too, was the eye of God. In our love nest (as in his droll Brit way he wished to call it) he preferred to observe me through the peephole than directly, as lost in blonde reverie I slowly, very slowly removed my white satin lacy-conical-breasted Maidenform Bra. He favored strangulation. He favored ice blondes.” The standout poem, “Stag Movie,” about a movie that the speaker will not allow herself to see (Tian Zhuangzhuang’s On the Hunting Ground - ?) comes from the amazing Arielle Greenberg. Other standout pieces include William H. Gass’s “Don’t Even Try, Sam,” a lovely piece in the voice of Dooley Wilson’s Casablanca piano, and Tan Lin’s “My Wife Looks Like Greta Garbo,” stills and meditations on film in general. Overall, an ambitious read, and a journal to which I intend to return. I leave with a list of films to view and re-view!

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Review Posted on June 30, 2004
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