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Extra resources for Carl Schmitt: The Conservative Revolutionary Habitus and the Aesthetics of Horror

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Corrigan (1991: 103), for example, speaks of modern film authorship in terms of a ‘commercial performance’, in which certain auteurs benefit from a particular celebrity status. Corrigan explored this issue in his essay ‘Auteurism and the new Hollywood’ in which he refers to Quentin Tarantino’s 1995 guest appearance on the American skit show Saturday Night Live. Tarantino’s performance featured a spoof TV talk show called ‘Directors on Directing’, which degenerates into a discussion on whether or not directors sleep with the actresses in their films.

All the same, the ‘Greenberg-style modernism’ which called attention to ‘its own materials and axioms’7 had become a perceptible feature of certain Hollywood films. Yet, in accounting for the underground’s demise, it was the loss of a community of opposition over the blurring of aesthetic and industrial boundaries that Hoberman mourned most. I will reconnect with Eraserhead in a moment, but on the last point Hoberman was to make specific reference to Blue Velvet. In conversation with John Hanhardt, the film curator at the Whitney, Hoberman wondered about the avant-garde credentials of Blue Velvet, given that the biennial featured five narrative feature films.

But they’ve left behind a sign on a door that said once this door is opened it will make a way for a brand new kind of film. I’m very happy to be a fellow traveller with any of these guys … for sure. (Arena 1987) Throughout the programme Lynch celebrates a range of stylistic devices. Of Man Ray’s cinépoème, Emak-Bakia (1926), for instance, Lynch champions Man Ray’s automatic cinema, which utilised the improvisational technique of throwing a ‘$5,000 camera … way up in the air and photographed all these sheep’; in Hans Richter’s ‘very special film’, Vormittagsspuk (1928), Lynch admired its ability to manipulate time through a ‘series of unexplained images’ that touched upon ‘strange feelings of death [and] opposites’, and which was driven by the relentless rhythm of its experimental soundtrack; while in reference to Max Ernst’s ‘beautiful’ episode Desire, from the collaborative feature Dreams that Money Can Buy (1944–46), Lynch spoke of Ernst’s ‘tender’, skill in blending absurd humour in a ‘dream like film… because humour could just rip you right out of the dream’.

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