d i s c o v e r i n g monsters

Dirty Little Secret: The Educated Also Love Film

Posted in film, school, writing by Jules on 19 February 2010

Robert Stam’s List of Eight Assumptions/Prejudices Made Against Film:

1. Valorization of Anteriority and Seniority

2. Dichotomous Thinking

3. Iconohobia

4. Logophilia

5. Anti-corporeality

6. Myth of Facility

7. Class Prejudice

8. Parasitism

[photo found]

We’re Not Screw Ups: Why I Love Film.

Posted in film, Life, love, school, seasons, tired by Jules on 12 November 2009

“We have a cardboard window.”

Sometimes you just need a beautiful film to remind you that, you are ok, or that you’re going to be ok – that even when everything around you seems foreign, crazy and unrecognizable as reasonable or sane, that you’re still going to be ok.

Film is often written off as a lot of things. Often it is supposed that I chose this degree because it’s “easy.” Film is a lot of things, none of which are easy. Because of course I would pick something that as its basis in history must battle uphill to prove that it is not simple – that it is not an art form that lacks intelligence. That in the face of everything that is “normal” – sculpture, writing, painting – that it too is art, something that deserves as much appriciation, and requires more from its audience than something static does. So that is why you break my heart when you assume that that which I love is simple-minded – that I am simple-minded.

You don’t always say it this clearly, but this is what is in your face. This is what I hear. This is what I see… The old argument articulated here by Benjamin, “Duhamel calls the movie ‘a pasttime for helots, a diversion for uneducated, wretched, worn-out creatures who are consumed by their worries . . . , a spectacle which requires no concentration and presupposes no intelligence . . . , which kindles no light in the heart and awakens no hope other than the ridiculous one of someonday becoming a ‘star’ in Los Angeles.'”

I don’t agree. I don’t agree with what you see. I see importance. I see something that saves. I see something that speaks. And if you cannot see that, then my heart breaks for you – for what you are missing… for the small life you choose. Because there is something abundant in film… And you are missing it. You have written it off… and there is life in it for you. And you are missing it.

The Early AM

Posted in everyday life, film, food, home, photography, tired by Jules on 30 March 2009

Flower Mug, Paper Notes



No amount of eye rubbing is going to make these eyes open up this morning – but this mug might. Up early to finish a film paper. A final paper. Not final as in, never-again-will-I-have-to-write-another-paper-about-a-film (because I still have the other 1/2 of this semester to survive + another year of school), but final, as in this crazy weekend class is over after I get my ass to finish writing one more page. (‘Final’ is really more of a fluid definition for me these days…)

So good morning early world. Hello snow. Meet your nemesis, this giant mug of french press coffee.

Unintentionally Intentional

Posted in film, food, photography, Vacation by Jules on 27 March 2009



I am currently experiencing the bliss of mid-term holiday. You know – when you sit around avoiding what you need to do, not exactly enjoying anything because you’re not really on holiday, it’s simply pretend – a big farce, a ruse! Because you (the minion, remember – part of the hoi polloi) actually have a significant amount of work that must be completed by the time you return from said “vacation. ” Among other things, I need to write an unnecessarily long paper on a particular film (while also perhaps including fancy snippets and brilliant tie-ins from this film as well). I needed some help. ..In the form of popcorn. Typically I do not allow myself a leisurely cinema experience when watching a film that I am going to write about – in much the same way that one does not read a novel on holiday the same way one does “Literature” for a class. In essence they are the same thing – but in practicality, they occupy different universes.


The Great Popcorn Debacle of 2009.

In an attempt to make work a “fun” experience (which, subsequently, should never be done – it ruins the fun, and the work becomes sub-par) I thought I would enjoy a giant bowl of popcorn while re-screening the films, taking notes, developing brilliant and original thought/insight, etc. 

There were forces beyond my control. Vacation + Film Review + Paper Writing = Unrestrained Popcorn Eating

Now, popcorn eating, really – not a bad thing. Perhaps one could argue, even a healthy “snack.” However, unrestrained popcorn eating enters a different category. It has moved on past “snack” and plunged straight through to gluttony. In all truthfulness, it cannot be denied that there is really no UN-gluttonous way to enjoy popcorn. The entire premise of eating popcorn includes the rapid shoveling (literally) of food into ones mouth – to the point that you end up smashing your hand against your face, simply trying to shove in as many kernels as possible. Seeing as how I’m on vacation, I slept in, which really alters the daily meal schedule. Truthfully I needed to eat lunch, but because of this, our food-on-hand is a little short. After the classic opening of every cupboard (even those that don’t hold food, because maybe?), and opening the fridge and freezer a couple of times – I settled on popcorn. It seemed like a great idea. It was an awkward time to eat a meal (3pm) and I thought that perhaps this “snack” would get me through until dinner. Therefore I unintentionally intentionally ate an entire bowl of popcorn. Not a cereal bowl. A giant salad bowl size bowl. Then felt sick. Then tried to remedy this horrible feeling that I had inflicted upon myself by drinking multiple glasses of water (NaCl homeostasis and all..). And THEN decided that perhaps dumping some strawberry yogurt on the situation would help it improve. 

Needless to say, the only thing that can fix this is time – and waiting until the next meal. Hopefully one less ridiculous, and more balanced.

Dinner plans: Salmon, Couscous, Collard Greens. And all things not popcorn.