Mark Rappaport’s Blind Dates

Today marks the start of Anthology Film Archive’s four-day retrospective of Mark Rappaport, the visionary director behind two of my favorite films: Rock Hudson’s Home Movies (1992) and From the Journals of Jean Seberg (1995). I encourage anyone who’s anywhere near New York City to check it out.

Meanwhile, this short video documents a show of collages Rappaport exhibited last year at the Festival Internacional Cine Las Palmas Gran Canaria, Spain:

For more on Mark Rappaport’s work, see Jonathan Rosenbaum’s site, where you’ll find an insightful overview of his career (as of 1983), lengthy reviews of Rock Hudson and Jean Seberg, and an interview regarding that latter film (from Cineaste). See also Rappaport’s own writing at the online film journal Rouge. (I’m particularly fond of this essay.)

From Casual Relations (1973):

From Chain Letters (1985):

4 thoughts on “Mark Rappaport’s Blind Dates

  1. I like his Brando-centric ones, especially with him as Marc Antony as a statue at Marienbad. A film that is being thrown around as a precursor to Kiarostami’s new film. They (nytimes:

    “It has also been suggested that more recent antecedents like Wong Kar-wai’s “In the Mood for Love” and Richard Linklater’s “Before Sunrise” and “Before Sunset” are role models.”

    I would say it’s quite unknown whether Kiarostami ever saw the sunset movies. But a good card to look into with your interest in influence.

    I like the clip of the stones too. It has to have been so copied by other filmmakers that I’ve felt I’ve seen it at least a dozen times, certifiably. Though, of course, there is no way to prove they copied it.

    • The collages are very clever, I think. One of the things that impresses me about Mark Rappaport’s work, overall, is that he’s found a whole new realm of cinema to play in, one that no one else seems to have joined him in yet. I was just looking at Jean Seberg again, and it’s still so unlike so many other movies. So delightful! And yet so thoughtful and profound, at the same time. A real achievement.

      His writing is the same way: it’s immediately familiar and accessible, and yet quite far-reaching. You think right away: “But of course you can write an essay this way, about these things!” And yet no one else seems to have done it yet (at least, as far as I know). I find it all very impressive.

      The Stones clip is, I think, obviously a parody of the Nouvelle Vague. But it has its own logic. I adore the extremely flat line readings at the end! A Bressonian Nouvelle Vague? Also kinda like Chantal Akerman. It reminded me a little of Eugene Green, 30 years early. So I wonder if Green has seen Rappaport’s films…

      I haven’t see the new Kiarostami yet, though I imagine it’ll eventually come to Chicago. As for what he himself has seen…I wouldn’t put anything past the guy. (I’d be surprised if he hasn’t seen some of Wong’s work, though. WKW was unavoidable on the festival circuits in the 1990s!)

  2. Pingback: A Guide to My Writing Here at Big Other « BIG OTHER

  3. Pingback: A Guide to My Writing Here at Big Other (reposted) « BIG OTHER

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