Volume 9, Issue 2 / February 2005
All Review Issue
In this issue
Human Conflict, or the legacies of superfluous men: Hotel Rwanda, The Merchant of Venice, Bad Education, The Woodsman, and Notre Musique
Godard and Terry George, Shakespeare and Susan Sontag
An Ecological Interpretation of Gerry
For this second of the newly designed issues Offscreen returns with an all-review issue. Daniel Garrett leads the way with his sprawling review essay which looks at five recent films (covering the United States, France, Asia, Africa and Spain) that have in common humanity’s all too frequent injustice toward itself. Toward the end of Garrett’s review essay he spends considerable time dissecting Godard’s latest film Notre Musique. Godard is featured in another review, as Totaro looks at films by two of the most irascible filmmakers of their generation, Jean-Luc Godard and Mohsen Makhmalbaf. They may appear strange bedfellows, but Godard and Makhmalbaf have quite a bit in common. Both directors have made radical lifestyle changes during the course of their life, make unique political works which, in their totality, don’t adhere to any specific dogma, are equally concerned with questions of aesthetics and value, and resist the armor of auteurism by changing their visual style as regularly as their Sunday wear. Totaro reviews two older titles from their respective lengthy filmography, Forever Mozart (1996) and Marriage of the Blessed (1989).
By way of Godard, Garrett (inadvertently) continues Offscreen’s last issue (Volume 9, Issue 1) tribute to Susan Sontag by concluding his review with a stirring account of Sontag’s philosophically tinged and always personalized art and social criticism. When Gerry was released to negative criticism Offscreen came to its defense with a special issue (March 2003). Offscreen revisits Gerry and welcomes first-time writer Jason Lindop with his interesting ‘ecological’ perspective on the ever-fascinating film.