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Monday, December 29, 2008

JS @ 3QD

The Ministry of Information and 3 Quarks Daily have joined forces. Starting today, I will write a column for 3QD every four weeks. (Note: not monthly but every four weeks.) Thanks to Abbas Raza and the 3QD posse for the opportunity.

My first installment is called 'The Jennifer Aniston in All of Us'. Do feel encouraged to read it and to read widely at 3QD, the best collective blog I know.

Remarkably, I had never seen Jennifer Aniston in a single thing: not one movie, not one episode of her sitcom. I had to borrow a dvd of Office Space (1999) while writing my article. Yet somehow I seem to know all her business despite being an infrequent, though avid, reader of celebrity magazines. Then again, I don't actually read the magazines; I just like looking at the pictures. How is it that we know so much about people we don't know at all?

I also finally bought a dvd of Alain Resnais's Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959), one of the most influential films ever made and a favourite of mine. The way we think about film editing, narrative, and memory—either separately or all together—owes a lot to this film. The flashbacks to Emmanuelle Riva's memories really are how we imagine memory today, and not just the flashbacks written in Marguerite Duras's screenplay but also Resnais's editing together of newsreels, re-enactments, and vérité street scenes with the actors' performances. And as for the film's approach to romance in transit, where would Wong Kar-wai and his contemporaries be without Resnais?

Having written my first piece for 3QD makes me want to re-commit to my own blog. I have mentioned before that I had promised Daniel F. that I would do a series on the entire discography of David Byrne. The instruction he gave, which I accepted, was that I have to rank all of Byrne's albums, with and without Talking Heads, one by one without any ties. I hereby promise to begin the series before the end of 2008, so come back soon for this special series.

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