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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

Mystery of Love

Music video for “Mystery of Love” by Sufjan Stevens from the Call Me By Your Name soundtrack featuring footage from the film as well as footage filmed at the M.A.N. (Museo Archeologico Nazionale of Naples).


Oh, to see without my eyes
The first time that you kissed me
Boundless by the time I cried
I built your walls around me
White noise, what an awful sound
Fumbling by Rogue River
Feel my feet above the ground
Hand of God, deliver me


Oh, oh woe-oh-woah is me
The first time that you touched me
Oh, will wonders ever cease?
Blessed be the mystery of love


Lord, I no longer believe
Drowned in living waters
Cursed by the love that I received
From my brother's daughter
Like Hephaestion, who died
Alexander's lover
Now my riverbed has dried
Shall I find no other?


Oh, oh woe-oh-woah is me
I'm running like a plover
Now I'm prone to misery
The birthmark on your shoulder reminds me


How much sorrow can I take?
Blackbird on my shoulder
And what difference does it make
When this love is over?
Shall I sleep within your bed
River of unhappiness
Hold your hands upon my head
Till I breathe my last breath


Oh, oh woe-oh-woah is me
The last time that you touched me
Oh, will wonders ever cease?
Blessed be the mystery of love

Nostalgia in the Age of Escapism

Past Futures: Nostalgia in the Age of Escapism from Asher Isbrucker on Vimeo.

An online collection of old home movies begs the question: can you be nostalgic for other people's memories? This video explores that question, among others pertaining to the nature of nostalgia in this digital day and age.

Online collection of home movies:

Saga of the Happy Wanderers:

Music by:
Chris Zabriskie (

Dana Boulé (

I'm grateful for musicians like them who make their wonderful work free for people like me to use in our projects.

Further reading:

Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to Its Own Past by Simon Reynolds
The Future of Nostalgia by Svetlana Boym
The Past is a Foreign Country by David Lowenthal

VHS effects provided by Free Stock Footage Archive and Christopher Huppertz. VHS sfx provided by nicStage. All used under a Creative Commons license.

For more about me and my projects, check out my website:

The Legacy of Paranoid Thrillers

The Legacy of Paranoid Thrillers from Travis Lee Ratcliff on Vimeo.

Paranoid thrillers are constant in cinema's history, but at any given moment they reflect our specific anxieties back to us and reveal how we feel about our institutions.

Here, I explore how paranoid thrillers crystalized as a genre in American cinema and examine the possibility of a contemporary renaissance in conspiracy fiction.



Referenced Films: All the President’s Men, Captain America; Winter Soldier, Chiantown, Cinema Paradiso, Citizenfour, Cutter’s Way, Double Indemnity, Get Out, Inherent Vice, Minority Report, Mr. Robot S1 E01, S1 E06, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Night Moves, Rosemary’s Baby, Seconds, Taxi Driver, The Conversation, The Manchurian Candidate, The Nice Guys, The Parallax View, Three Days of the Condor, Total Recall, V for Vendetta, X Files S4 E10

A Thin Red Photogram

A Thin Red Photogram: Regarding a Millisecond in Malick's Antiwar Epic from RW on Vimeo.

Since I first saw Malick’s THE THIN RED LINE (1998) the year of its release, I’ve been intrigued by an instant of screen time – a flash of red when opposing forces finally meet at bayonet range. Second and third viewings were needed to confirm that I had, in fact, seen this flash. Years later, when I examined a 35mm print of the film at the level of the strip, I saw that this brief shock of red was the work of two photograms, side by side. 

What is this spliced-in shot doing in the scene? 

Visually, the color rhymes with a spurt of stage blood from a Japanese soldier shown a few beats earlier, but the photogram itself is not an image of blood. It looks as though a red cloth has been placed over the lens, with a few creases of the fabric visible, and a bit of ulterior light making its way through the stitching. 

Malick’s films always have micro-rhythmic inserts that have more to do with visceral sensation than with the filling in of narrative context. In this case, perhaps, the red flash is chiefly there for the sake of indicating the impact of a violent act. But in an antiwar film, red is surely a loaded color. If it evokes the national flags of the two military forces in question, it also bears an association with the cost of life, on both sides. 

“It’s not blood, it’s red,” Godard famously remarked of the mise-en-scène in PIERROT LE FOU (1965), but at some level, this red flash in Malick's film is "not red, it's blood." Better still, it is blood and red at the same time: both representational and abstract. Whose blood? It is hard to say, and the confusion is the point. 

At heart, the film explores the spatial interval between two sides. Hence the eerie shot-countershot between the bunker atop the hill and the valley below; hence the low-tracking camera that traverses the field between, which often seems alive in its own right, pulsing with insects and wildlife, its grass blades like the tentacles of an organism. The red flash occurs when this interval collapses, in the form of combat at close quarters, amid fog. 

Nearly every commentator on THE THIN RED LINE makes a point of distinguishing it from the significantly more patriotic SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (1998), and rightly so. Where the blood in Spielberg's film connotes courage, trauma, and sacrifice, ultimately for the sake of nationalistic commemoration and the gratitude expressed by the elderly Ryan in the film's bookending scenes at a cemetery, Malick's more poetic and pensive treatment of the war regards that very sentiment as an obstacle to the kind of sensitivity that THE THIN RED LINE wants to inspire.

This red flash prompts us to share in the film’s running meditation on interrelatedness and otherness. Despite its ambiguity, the flash issues from the film's rather anti-violent embrace of alterity in a communitarian key. As such, this chromatic gesture undercuts whatever satisfaction we might be inclined to feel as we see the Japanese troops overtaken by the Americans, the side with which the film has primarily (and self-critically) aligned us.

Viewed in this light, this semi-abstract burst of red thematically ties in with the film's ongoing dialogues (between Witt and Welsh, between Tall and Staros) on the value of human life, the laws and proclivities of “nature,” the madness of combat, the possibility of escaping its pathologies and the cynicism they breed. The red flash militates against not only adversarial reductions of the other, but also against the property-oriented thinking and careerist egoism embodied by the higher-ups in the military system (See Leo Bersani and Ulysse Dutoit's reading of the film in FORMS OF BEING: CINEMA, AESTHETICS, SUBJECTIVITY (London: Palgrave BFI, 2004)).  

THE THIN RED LINE is not a film that shows us, fully realized and without lingering problems, the condition of interrelatedness for which it yearns. As is often the case in Malick’s films, scenes of “paradise” (from the forest interlude in BADLANDS (1973) to the Native American camp in THE NEW WORLD (2005)) are depicted with no small measure of self-negating irony. What THE THIN RED LINE powerfully lyricizes through its cinematic style is the limited, fragile beginning – not the utopic fulfilment – of a selfless, non-hostile openness onto radical alterity and exteriority as such.

This millisecond of red onscreen goes hand in hand with the film’s endeavor to awaken us to the wonders of what Witt defines as “another world," which is actually a different way of perceiving and co-inhabiting this world, the only one we have.

Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

Films desiertos: por una geopoética del desierto cinematográfico

Films desiertos: por una geopoética del desierto cinematográfico from Gala Hernández on Vimeo.

Ensayo audiovisual sobre la cualidad geopoética de una serie de films ubicados en el desierto: en el gesto de acudir al desierto cristaliza un deseo del cineasta de regresar a los fundamentos expresivos del medio cinematográfico, buscando una suerte de esencia del lenguaje cinematográfico como buscaron, refugiándose en el paisaje del parámo, una revelación espiritual los eremitas cristianos.

Los films son, en orden de aparición:

Freedom (Sharunas Bartas, 2000)
Gerry (Gus Van Sant, 2002)
El Cant dels Ocells (Albert Serra, 2008)
La Région Centrale (Michael Snow, 1971)
Proximity (Inger Lise Hansen, 2006)
Cobra Mist (Emily Richardson, 2008)
BNSF (James Benning, 2013)
Fata Morgana (Werner Herzog, 1971)
Desert (Stan Brakhage, 1976)
Chott-el-Djerid: a portrait in light and heat (Bill Viola, 1979)

Love My Way

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, the new film by Luca Guadagnino, is a sensual and transcendent tale of first love, based on the acclaimed novel by André Aciman.


The Psychedelic Furs' official music video for 'Love My Way'.


They'd put us on a railroad
They'd dearly make us pay
For laughing in their faces
And making it our way
There's emptiness behind their eyes
There's dust in all their hearts
They just want to steal us all 
And take us all apart
But not in

Love my way, it's a new road
I follow where my mind goes
Love my way, it's a new road
I follow where my mind goes