Home     About     Contact     

Anthology: Ten Years of TQ – Rita Valencia

Writing an intro to a selection of your own essays is tough, so I'll deflect the problem by heaping praise on Nancy Cantwell for curating the Times Quotidian Journal. She's created a cultural playground of ideas and images that is unique and vibrant. I have never been a prose writer, so it was fun and challenging to talk about media. I had a couple of principles in creating these essays. The first was to write only about work to which I had a positive response and to report, muse, free associate. In that light, please know that the article about The Art of Killing, entitled Relax and Rolex, is mostly negative. However, in his follow-up film to The Art of Killing, The Look of Silence, Joshua Oppenheimer completely answered all the … [Read more...]

Life Could Be a Dream: Relax and Rolex

 “The Act of Killing”, directed by Joshua Oppenheimer, 2012 — The death squad captain swaggers out of his local bar still humming ‘My Way’, while his victims rot in the river and the cleaning ladies toil through the night mopping up the blood. Subtract the victims and the stench, the toil and the blood from the scenario:  the killing and the killer remain. Filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing recasts the Indonesian mass killings of the mid 1960’s as a personal narrative told in lush dramatic reenactments conceived and directed, ostensibly, by the perpetrators.  It’s a film that quotes Bollywood gleefully. It also may seem to owe much to Bataille, Genet, and Pasolini, although all of them were responding in a historically … [Read more...]