Skip to main content

Desert Movies Are There! Part One

The desert.
The uninterrupted expanse of undulating sand.
The dunes of golden mystery.
The thirst in hasty footprints.
The shadows cast in futility.

Desert glorifies movies made in it. Even a desert over an actor's shoulder is captivating.
Wim Wenders' Paris, Texas (1984) derives incredible visuals from the desert. Travis, emerging from the desert, attempts to fix relationships in his divided family. In the film, Travis wandered away several times into the place 'without language or streets'. He was obsessed by visualizing Paris, a town in Texas as a desert which it is not! The movie's first shot is a bird's eye view of the desert.The Palme de'Or the film won at Cannes was probably a re-embodiment of the golden sands of the desert. Newsweek saw the film as a story of a "richly endowed land where people can get desperately lost." So here enters Baudrillard's take on America along similar lines to those in Wenders' treatment of life in America. Both men are Europeans. Baudrillard, though not a filmmaker, also uses the metaphor of the movie. He describes why he came several times from France's Paris to travel through the States: "I went in search of astral America (that which is a mirror for reflecting the rays of a star), not social and cultural America, but the America of the empty, absolute freedom of the freeways, not the deep America of mores and mentalities, but the America of desert speed, of motels and mineral surfaces. I the marvellously affectless succession of signs, faces, and ritual acts on the road...[I] looked for...a universe which is virtually our own, right down to its European cottages."
With cinematic pictures in his mind, Baudrillard writes: "It is not the least of America's charms that even outside the movie theater the whole country is cinematic. The desert you pass through is like the set of a Western, the city a screen of signs and formulas....The American city seems to have stepped right out of the movies." He is employing his theory of false representations (simulacrum) in which 'reality no longer has the time to take on the appearance of reality'. European critics of 'the American way of life" resort to the desert to negate the facts of American life! The tragic thing, to the eyes of their American critics, is they associate the American, who is the 'universal subject of the hyperreal new world' with an 'astral America', which is a wasteland of the desert. America, to Baudrillard,  in essence,  is an empty desert.
Pretty hot!
These European intrusions into the structure of American life. But what matters here is to elaborate how a diversion from the loose definition of Road Movies into a distinct Desert Movies genre has found such a huge intellectual backing that will hail this genre as a genre of its own>
1 of 2


  1. بالله الأتاري (أمريكا دنا عذابها) وليكم تحضرنا وسبتمبر 11 ولادن وشادن وداعش وصايم، وهي أمريكا دي ممكن الانتهاء منها كالآتي: نعمل أفلام زي حقت ويم فندرز: (باريس، تكساس 84) و (ما تجي تدق لي الباب 05)! القصة ما مدفع وفنين طيارات في العماير ولا قطع ريسين ونجاح كهاد، القصة كميرا وشوف وتعال شوف الجرَس وتصدع المظهر الزائف من نفسه وجوا نفسه! وبعد داك شوية ضغوط من يسار العالم و.....و.. شنو؟ أنحنا كنا بنقول في شنو؟ ايوة، نعمل أفلام زي فندرز!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

An Entity Unknown By: Mohamed Hamad- Translated From Arabic

Text by: Mohamed HamadTranslated by: Mustafa Mudathir

There is a tiny mystery;
an entity unknown that hymenates our souls for reasons undisclosed with a plasticine of thinness a sleazy film of boredom to blunt our insistence in dealing with existence. And verily those same songs,  enchanted as they are that ornament affect, the deepest and inmost, are turned to mere phonations that tend to bore at most.
The things you sought with passion are now dispelled around you devoid of early value, or heavily under-rationed. You like it, oh! no more, the stretching on your bed Nor do you like rising and nothing is surprising.
Your cup of tea, whose edges

MovieGlobe: Japan's Version of Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet (2007) JapanOriginal Article by: Fateh Mirghani-Japan

I have just finished watching the masterpiece of Shakespeare” Romeo and Juliet “in its Japanese version.
The quality of the movie is great and the soundtrack, injected with a little Japanese folklore music, has given it a sensational dimension and Eastern fascination!
Basically, the theme of the movie remains the same as the original play, and that has been a particular Japanese notion in dealing with other nations’ cultural products. Part of the reason may lay in Japan's sensitivity to other nations’cultural products- given the long standing historical disputes with its neighbours, and part of it may lay in a fierce sense of homogeneity that has come to characterize Japan as an island nation-state since time immemorial. Thus the Japanese, unlike the Americans, don’t seem to have the temerity to ‘Japanize’ others’ cultural stuff. The movie “Renaissance man”  can be cited as an example of American boldness. The …

Thursday Evening

Short Story by Ali Elmak* Translated by MM
Getting off the tram, he slipped. Was it the right or the left foot that skidded? It did not matter!  All that mattered really, all that he cared for at that hour, at that moment, was that he fell and soiled his pants. those characteristically beautiful white pants which he had preserved for Thursday evenings; for the soiree gatherings which started by hanging around in the market; loitering for short or long periods; then to the cinema house; any film and peace be upon him. Then, was this bad luck or what? Did he really need to take the tram for such a short distance? “That was a fair reward for your laziness” he said to himself. As for those pants, they were turned into a dusty colored thing. The more he shook those tiny particles off, the closer they became attached to the pants. Oh what a gloomy evening for you!  "Is this what concerned you?" thought he.

The posters of Alan Ladd and Van Heflin still stood their, at the cinema entrance.…