Londenio’s four questions

This was his request:

1. How should I explore the German New Cinema (Herzog, Fassbinder, Wenders, etc.) ?

2. If I liked Benedict Anderson’s *Imagined Communities*, what should I read next?

3. Who is the Douglas Hofstadter of Economics?

4. What is the first non-personal question you would ask if you were to wake up from a 10-year-long coma?


1. Herzog’s Nosferatu, Kaspar Hauser, und Little Dieter (German-language version only, and a very underrated movie) are my favorites from this tradition, which past Herzog I do not much admire or enjoy.  Not long ago I saw Herzog’s early documentary How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck?, 44 minutes on Netflix streaming, highly recommended, mostly it is footage of auctioneers talking really really fast, and percussively, to a partly Amish audience.

There is Wim Wenders’s Wings of Desire, but Fassbinder films I do not enjoy.  Try also the TV serial Heimat, which properly can be considered cinematic.

2. Creative Destruction: How Globalization is Changing the World’s Cultures, by me.

3. If you mix together Kenneth Boulding, G.L.S. Shackle, and Nassim Taleb, you might get an economics approximation of Hofstadter.

4. Are there major wars going on and how bad are they?


Re: #4

"What was the biggest international event of the last 10 years?"

I haven't seen many Fassbinder films, but I thought "Lola" was fantastic. (Don't worry about watching the so-called "BRD trilogy" in order - each film stands on its own - there's only a very loose thematic grouping. I'd start with "Lola".)

I really like Fassbinder's films: Lola, Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, and the TV mini-series Berlin Alexanderlatz are among his best and most accessible works.

Wenders: The American Friend and Paris,Texas are excellent and the documentary Buena Vista Social Club is underrrated.

Herzog: Heart of Glass is both good and strange, as are The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser and Fitzcarraldo (the second time he sent Klaus Kinski up a Peruvian river to go insane).

Volker Schlondorff: Young Torless, The Lost Honor of Katherina Blum and The Tin Drum are all great.

2. I'm not a great expert in this but I know that people interested in Anderson's book are also interested in the following texts, they are nearly always mentioned in the literature on nationalism, which I have occasionally sampled
Eric Hobsbawm: "Nations and Nationalism"
Ernest Gellner: "Nationalism" etc
Anthony D. Smith: "The Ethic Origins of Nations" etc

If might refer to something from the pre-history of recent work on nationalism
Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges: "The Ancient City"
A 19th century sociological and historical classic which looks at the role of religion and kinship in forming the equivalent for national identities in the ancient world (also fits with interests of my own in the history of antique political thought, and the role of historiographical work in relation to political theory)
Martin Thom: "Republics, Nations and Tribes: The Ancient City and the Modern World" (1995) is very good on how modern nationalism emerges from ideas city republics and of tribes. A theme very much in the background, and sometimes in the foreground, of the Scottish Enlightenment, see Adam Smith, David Hume, Adam Ferguson etc

Some Fassbinder I like, some I don't. The one I like best is Ali: Fear Eats the Soul; I'm surprised you neither admire or like it.

#4: Have they hanged Tony Blair yet?

where do i collect my hoverboard?

#4 Where's the can? I've got to p*ss like a racehorse...

There's been a little work that I've heard of about the effects of money on economists (in other words, calls for ethics for the profession), but I don't know of anything about the effects of economics on economies.

I was fascinated by Schroeter's last flick, nuit de chien, for depicting this society falling apart. I was sedated on drinks tho. I hadn't read Onetti before.
If you're really masochistic, go for Klaus Lemke's recent no-budget guerrilla productions. At a certain level, they're quite rewarding to watch.

Coincidentally, I just awoke from a ten year coma. Here are my non-personal questions:

1. in what year did the Dow hit 36,000?
2. How much have we reduced the size of our military?
3. Are homosexuals still the defining feature of popular culture?
4. Has racism come back in vogue yet?
5. We still have a big military? But what would we use it for?
6. Oh. I see..How much is a plane ticket to Mexico now?
7. What? We're still fighting Nancy Reagan's drug war? How bad could that really make Mexico?
8. I see. So they're all coming here now? I guess it's because...
9. Oh, I understand now. It's because the Jews have this plot to exterminate white Americans. That's a very interesting theory you've got there. I'm going to, um, return to my coma now. Got any drugs?

I really enjoyed seeing Aguirre before Nosferatu

Herzog: "Lessons of Darkness" is great, especially on the big screen. Nosferatu is underrated (as are many of his films.)

Wenders: "The American Friend" is a very good film.

Question 4: Are they doing NGDP targeting yet?

Here are my favorite German New Wave films: Fassbinder's "Marriage of Maria Braun." Wenders's "The Goalies Anxiety at the Penalty Kick" (the Handke novel is great; I had to read it for a German class assignment), Herzog's "Aguire, The Wrath of God."

was the lost decade as good for you as it was for me?

3. "Your entry in Wikipedia says that your work has inspired many students to begin careers in computing and artificial intelligence", he replied, "The entry is filled with inaccuracies, and it kind of depresses me." When asked why he didn't fix it, he replied, "The next day someone will fix it back."


I love how that quote appears in the wikipedia article itself. Very fitting.

#4 Forget about world wars or the economy, just tell me who won the last 10 World Series/Super Bowls/NBA titles.

Doesn't anybody want to know who is president? Maybe it will be a B level actor, Luke Wilson, etc.

#1: You really shouldn't. The directors you mention have produced mostly crap. Wenders' Million Dollar Hotel is pretty good, but that was shot in English, and not that long ago. Have you heard about the French? They made some pretty awesome movies in the 60s. The two best German films, believe it or not, are comedies; Herr Lehmann (2003) and Jede Menge Kohle (1981). The latter might even be seen as New German Cinema if you use a very inclusive definition. Both are, as far as I know, basically unavailable in the English-speaking world. Good luck!

#2 http://deugarte.com/gomi/Nations.pdf

Werner Herzog's Even Dwarves Started Small (Auch Zwerge haben klein angefangen) MUST be seen.

Wenders: 'Kings of the Road' is my favourite. Watch that, then watch 'The State of Things'. Different approaches to the same subjects - cinema, culture, US vs Europe.
Fassbinder: I have a soft spot for 'Chinese Roulette'. Also check out Ozon's 'Water Drops on Burning Rocks', recent adaptation of an early Fassbinder thingy.
Herzog: don't forget 'Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans'!

Comments for this post are closed