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On Love & Language in Cocteau, Tarkovsky

Jean Cocteau’s La Belle et la Bête (1946) and Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris (1972) are both films about love—each in its own way. Tarkovsky philosophizes more directly, more audibly, than does Cocteau, but each director offers a perspective that has us (re)consider—and question—the nature of man and the nature of man’s love for man. Additionally, we might say that the two films represent experience through binary notation, a post-Enlightenment, Cartesian divide between MIND (Tarkovsky) and BODY (Cocteau). Taken together the two films offer testimony of secular modernity as Future/Mind and Nostalgia/Body. 
To this end, a primary focus of Solaris is consciousness—both human and non-human—and the limits of rationality. Tarkovsky’s film is a “head trip,” in a purposefully clinical way, with a cast comprised almost entirely of scientists assigned to the decades-long task of sounding the depths of a giant mind. La Belle et la Bête, on the other hand, manages to beautify an explicitly manipulati…
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On The California Sickness, or, The End of The Sixties as Witnessed in At Least Three Films

The counterculture movement in America, which reached its peak during the mid-1960s, failed. In part, this is what Hunter S. Thompson chronicles in his Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream (1971).[1] There’s no simple explanation as to why the experiment, the movement failed. Thompson’s words tell the tale here. He writes that the era was “the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run . . . but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant . . .” The energy of the time, for Thompson, flowed into a “momentum” that embodied “the sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil.” But this “crest of a high and beautiful wave” was a fleeting adventure, for as Thompson reports, …