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Laconia: 1,200 Tweets on Film by [Tupitsyn, Masha]
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Laconia: 1,200 Tweets on Film Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 197 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Page Flip: Enabled

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There's something about the way Masha Tupitsyn's mind works when she addresses gender and film. It's different from how pretty much all other contemporary feminist theorists do it. Amid so much detached deconstruction, Tupitsyn's criticism is refreshingly full of life. Laconia, a document of Tupitsyn's public thoughts on film, is a stream of intimate, immediate, and specific reflections on movies, as well as a broad and sustained interrogation of things like whether we can any longer truly see corporatized cities like LA and NY other than in old movies, how to understand David Lynch's women, and whether there is any real possibility for connection in social media, or for that matter, in watching films. (Jessica Hoffman, writer and co editor, Make/Shift Magazine)

The 1200 tweets that constitute Masha Tupitsyn's Laconia are, each one, an aphorism in a bottle set adrift into the midst of all the other crisscrossing messages that movies and the media universe have spawned and continually and more or less blindly emit. Everything is happening in real time – not recollected in tranquility but intercepted in passing – even when the messages emanate from the deep past or (perhaps) a future around the next bend. It's a collage of the present moment, a continuous and unyielding dialogue, open-ended and alert to the barrage of signals that has become our home." Geoffrey O'Brien, author of The Fall of the House of Walworth: A Tale of Madness and Murder in Gilded Age America, Hardboiled America: Lurid Paperbacks And The Masters Of Noir, The Phantom Empire: Movies in the Mind of the 20th Century.

About the Author

Masha Tupitsyn is the author of Beauty Talk & Monsters, a collection of film-based stories, and co-editor of Life As We Show It: Writing on Film.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 805 KB
  • Print Length: 197 pages
  • Publisher: John Hunt Publishing (16 May 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0056A1IAU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,405,319 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an "architecture of thinking" 31 May 2011
By Amy E. Henry - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Twitter is mindless messaging, right? As author Masha Tupitsyn shows, Twitter has created a concise and relevant snapshot of modern society. The nature of Twitter requires succinctness, something not often found in media. While several books have been published now about the astonishing success of Twitter, only Laconia goes into the study of film through tweets.

How is that possible? First, the author has written about film before...she has another book called Life as We Show It that fascinated me with the way it analyzed the reactions to film by a variety of viewers. Movies are created to entertain-the message they send is put out there, but it's up to viewers to process it and decide how they will react. Success depends on the reaction, at times more than the film itself.

So, given her background, she sorted through massive bits of Twitter to find the short little remarks made about film, the ones that are stunning in their simplicity and depth.

For example: "Eastern Promises & A History Violence are twin parables:
one film looks at violence from the outside in and the
other from the inside out." The New Yorker magazine would need half a dozen pages to say the same thing.

Another: "If you compare old/shallow Oprah to new/sage Oprah,
you can see that in America depth is a media invention. A
part you can start playing at any point. "

Tupitsyn shows that ordinary people can be brilliant, make educated guesses, or damn fools of themselves. While part of the book shows the silliness of "private" celebrities sharing their most intimate details, she avoids making this all about pop culture-it's about film and media. Be sure to read her introduction, it really helps set the scene for what you read and recognize the importance that is possible in an unexpected place.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Criticism as a form of living. 7 Jun. 2011
By Elaine Castillo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Excerpted from a longer review at Big Other: [...]

...to write cultural criticism is necessarily to write back to cultural memory... [LACONIA's] use of the tweet-form dramatizes the kinds of remembering and thinking at stake in contemporary social media and the culture it informs and is informed by. How can we begin today to think about the relationship between virtual memory and cultural memory; between digital memory and embodied memory?

In an interview, the filmmaker Eugene Green said: "In my conception of cinema, it's impossible to make real cinema in digital because it doesn't capture any energy; it just gives an intellectual image of what the director wanted to put in the frame, it is not the reality, the real presence, the spiritual presence of what has been filmed; because in order to capture energy, the energy which is in matter, you need other matter, the matter of film, the chemistry of film which captures that energy. And digital image is a virtual image, there is nothing real there, so there cannot be any real spiritual presence either. Nevertheless, there is a sort of economic pressure to abolish film, to make it impossible to shoot in film."

The argument disdaining the emptiness of digital in favor of the richness of film is by no means a new one, and I have serious reservations about it, mostly to do with the race/gender/class inequalities that dictate who is typically able to use digital and who is able to use film--however, what Green is pointing out here about the crucial difference between the virtual and the material is at the heart of LACONIA. So much of what is moving in Tupitsyn's criticism is her way of locating, animating, and mourning the loss of the material, the loss of texture, the loss of the real ("abolish film, make it impossible to shoot in film")--where material, texture and realness are qualities as spiritual and moral as they are embodied; where fidelity to those qualities can be a way of calling out a culture of violent alienation and commodification...

[LACONIA offers] the kind of criticism that currently feels as sorely needed as it is sometimes sorely lacking: a deeply feminist criticism, invested in the personal and the interpersonal (and their burgeoning degradation at the hands of individualist and capitalist culture), a profound attention to how dehumanizing and exploitative gender relations and equally dehumanizing and exploitative systems of production manifest themselves in popular representation--and perhaps most of all, an attention to attention.

From careful observation of the change in Al Pacino's eyes post-1970s, to the disappointment of hearing about Sibel Kekilli's nose job (I grieved it, too!) among many others, to the gendering of time travel, to fame and the loss of intimacy, to the relationship between Mike Tyson and America, to the new-old phallocentrism of Apatow films, to the troublingly revelatory combination of Haiti, James Cameron and Lady Gaga on an episode of Oprah, to the "trope of beauty" of blond hair, to the "spirituality of accountability" in Pasolini's Teorema, to the radical optimism of Sally Hawkins' Poppy in Mike Leigh's Happy-Go-Lucky--LACONIA is testament to the daily, hourly, minute-by-minute act (each fragment time-stamped and dated) of what Susan Sontag called paying attention to the world.
5.0 out of 5 stars Reclaiming Intimacy One Film at a Time 20 May 2011
By Christine H. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
LACONIA, written entirely on Twitter between April 2009 and June 2010, uses popular culture to create a personal world. It stays focused and intimate; personal albeit public. Tupitsyn seeks to do what seems almost impossible--inhabiting the present moment to its fullest. The book calls to mind Blaise Pascal's Pensées or Simone Weil's Gravity and Grace, fragmented texts or aphorisms that are innately spiritual and political in nature. LACONIA, however, is not so much steeped in religious mysticism as much as it is a demystification of image, celebrities, and consumerism. It is at once diary, film criticism, and cultural collage. Influenced by Roland Barthes' A Lover's Discourse: Fragments and Alfredo Jaar's photography installation, Lament of the Images, Tupitsyn writes in her introduction that Laconia is "a lament of the overproduction of language, a communication overload we're incapable of keeping up with or making sense of." However, Tupitsyn doesn't confine herself to formal restrictions of the 140-character per tweet limit; it's not the point. Instead, LACONIA ebbs and flows, often incorporating quotes from films and various cultural theorists and threading them into a larger cultural fabric. Each statement is executed with precision, while revealing a personal intimacy and at times, deep sadness in her mode of thought.
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