Monthly Archives: December 2017

Keep Reading and Screening


I didn’t do all that much non-required reading this semester, probably because I wasted a lot of time on the internet, but here are some of the books I managed to finish.


Michel Houellebecq, Submission

Houellebecq’s notoriety is really a function of the contempt he feels for complacency. His speculative fiction The Possibility of an Island is far more devastating and ambitious than this novel, but the latter succeeds on its own terms. Submission tells the story of a near-future France which has democratically chosen sharia over laïcité. Totally worth it.

Stefan Kiesbye, Your House is on Fire, Your Children All Gone

And weird and tender novel with moments of fairy tale violence.

Colin Wilson, The Space Vampires

The basis of Lifeforce, an adaptation that Wilson is said to have despised. This novella is loaded with ideas, which is unsurprising from the author of the groundbreaking sociological study The Outsiders.

Valérie K. Orlando, New African Cinema

A succinct and very useful guide.

Denis Judd, The Lion and the Tiger: The Rise and Fall of the British Raj

A comprehensive introduction full of interesting detail.



The Vampire’s Ghost (1945)

The vampires of this colony in Africa are all European, which is totally appropriate. Written by Leigh Brackett, with famed beauty Adele Mara.

The Old Dark House (1932)

Boris Karloff plays a tormented and deformed butler who goes off his head when he gets into the liquor in this dark yet often funny film directed by James Whale.

Los Inocentes (2015)

Very gothic, a mode well-suited to the brutalities and lingering ghosts of slavery in 19th century Argentina.

Raw (2016)


I’ll Cry Tomorrow (1955)

In this biographical film Susan Hayward  plays Lillian Roth, a talented performer whose life spins out of control.


There’s a boozy, modish, early 60s charisma to Wong Kar Wai’s story of sexual promiscuity and unrequited love. Beautiful mise-en-scène as always.

Death and the Compass (1996)

Based on a Borges short story, directed by Alex Cox. Bizarre and highly stylized.

Andrei Rublev (1966)

This Soviet film about a medieval Russian cleric is one of the great art texts of the 20th century.

Pootie Tang (2001)

Not everything that I wanted it to be but littered with absurd and hilarious moments.




General Alice (425)

That night we were divided into several groups. Then we went into the village and we started to attack.

Did you kill anybody?

During the fight, you know, I can’t tell you whether I killed anybody, but I certainly did attack. At the time there was no peace, it was just fighting. One bullet passed close to me. I shot twelve bullets. I was wounded three times. One here on my leg… One in my side… And one bullet passed this way… Another one just missed my head.

Was there no other way to get your freedom other than killing?

There was no other way. We had to fight to show we didn’t want to be colonized. There was nothing else we could have done.

What do you think about the British now?

I feel we are children of the same mother. Today we shook hands… And you are white! At the time we could not even touch each other.

What do you think about the time that the British were here in Kenya as the colonial government?

Apart from ruling us with an iron fist they helped develop this country.

Would the country have been better if they hadn’t been here?

At the time there was no school. I’ve never been to a class in my life. But now even young girls are in school.