April 2020: A Letter from Jim Jarmusch

As has been noted, Jim Jarmusch received footage for his short film STRANGER THAN PARADISE from Wim Wenders as well as Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet. Wenders had some negative stock left over from THE STATE OF THINGS, the black leader that separates the individual shots of Jarmusch’s film was a gift from Huillet and Straub.

When he intended to expand the film into a longer feature film with three episodes, Jarmusch also asked Farocki for remaining negative material (a fact that seems to have remained unnoticed in the publications about the film). We have not yet been able to clarify whether Farocki actually sent surplus negative material (presumably from the production of BEFORE YOUR EYES – VIETNAM) to Jarmusch. In any case, his name is in the “Thank you” section of the end credits of the finished film.

In October 1981, the journal FILMKRITIK had dedicated an issue to Jarmusch and his debut film PERMANENT VACATION, including a conversation between Jarmusch and Ralph Eue and Wolfgang Stukenbrock.

April 30th, 2020, Showcase

Jodi Dean on work in neofeudal times, via Los Angeles Review of Books: “When work is imagined — and some on the left think that we should adopt a ‘postwork imaginary’ — it looks like either romantic risk-free farming or tech-work, ‘immaterial labor.’ By now, the exposés on the drudgery of call center work, not to mention the trauma-inducing labor of monitoring sites like Facebook for disturbing, illicit content, have made the inadequacy of the idea of ‘immaterial labor’ undeniable. It should be similarly apparent that the postwork imaginary likewise erases the production and maintenance of infrastructure, the wide array of labor necessary for social reproduction, and the underlying state structure.”

May 23rd, 2020, Tom

Naomi Klein on the “Screen New Deal” (via The Intercept): “Calling [Bill] Gates a ‘visionary,’ [New York governor Andrew] Cuomo said the pandemic has created ‘a moment in history when we can actually incorporate and advance [Gates’s] ideas … all these buildings, all these physical classrooms — why with all the technology you have?’ he asked, apparently rhetorically. It has taken some time to gel, but something resembling a coherent Pandemic Shock Doctrine is beginning to emerge. Call it the ‘Screen New Deal.’ Far more high-tech than anything we have seen during previous disasters, the future that is being rushed into being as the bodies still pile up treats our past weeks of physical isolation not as a painful necessity to save lives, but as a living laboratory for a permanent — and highly profitable — no-touch future.”

May 11th, 2020, Tom

Andrea Bagnato on Red Zones, isolation, metaphors, blame, risk and coexistence (at e-flux architecture): “[…] the current manifestation of confinement is better thought of not so much as epidemic control, but as a form of risk displacement: a minority of workers is made to keep the economy going so that a majority of the population can stay at home. And the reverse is true as well: millions of people have to put up with extended confinement so that the risk posed by industrial workers doesn’t grow out of control. In the necropolitical calculations of the State, the physical health of workers and the mental health of everyone else are both a price worth paying.”

May 5th, 2020, Tom
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