Welcome to the ICM Forum. If you have an account but have trouble logging in, or have other questions, see THIS THREAD.
Podcast: Talking Images (Episode 11 released July 24th)
Polls: 0 Official Lists (Results), 1960 (Aug 9th), Romance (Aug 28th)
Challenges: German/Austrian/Swiss, <400, 1970s
Film of the Week: Sibiriada, September nominations (Aug 28th)
World Cup S4: Match 2G: Russia vs Portugal (Aug 6th), Match 2H: India vs Cuba (Aug 16th), QF Preparation (Aug 25th)

¶ Short of the Day #17: Judgement Day

Post Reply
User avatar
Perception de Ambiguity
Posts: 3714
Joined: Jul 09, 2011
Contact:

¶ Short of the Day #17: Judgement Day

#1

Post by Perception de Ambiguity » March 1st, 2017, 11:35 am

"Short of the Day" is the daily discussion of a short.

Tasks:
1) Watch.
2) Discuss.
3) Send me your suggestions for the next Short of the Day per PM, along with links to the shorts and comments, questions for the other users to think about, and/or info about the short.

Detailed project introduction: here


Image

Judgement Day / Massive Annihilation of Fetuses / Micro Drama (Manuel De Landa, 1983) :ICM: :imdb:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBdfr4yYsh8
Length: 3 minutes 48 seconds[/color]

Suggested by: joachimt


JUDGEMENT DAY HAS COME!! Well, at least for the bugs. :lol:

This is not beautiful, this is not good. It is ugly, sick, horrific, grose and the quality of the surviving copy isn't very good either (maybe even incomplete, but I don't think we'll be missing a lot). Some interesting cinematography then? Not really, unless you like close-ups of bugs.

On the other hand, it does evoke some extreme emotions. The sounds combined with the images can be terrifying. When the pincers enter the stage I must admit I was in shock and the flames at the end really feel like the end of days is near.

For some sick reason I enjoyed watching this again. Don't know what's wrong with me. :rolleyes:

Comments by: joachimt
dream realityImage
LETTERBOXD | MUBI | IMDb | tumblr.

Carmel1379
Donator
Posts: 4501
Joined: Feb 21, 2014
Contact:

#2

Post by Carmel1379 » March 1st, 2017, 8:07 pm

I like close-ups of bugs. But I disliked the anthropomorphisation of the bugs - that their suffering, convulsions and screeching were voiced by humans (or at least vastly exaggerated to something recognisable which is actually very soothing, mollifying). I can see how this can be funny, 'Marshmallow Murder' (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=playnmJB_TI) and 'Terrified Corn Cobs' (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2PlmKWi1DY) are youtube hits and my younger self indulged in that bullshit too, but philosophically anthropomorphisation is repugnant, since nature (insects) is fundamentally impersonal and thus must be dehumanised to the point that it is alien and even anti-human. Examples that depict this are 'Blue Velvet', 'The Hellstrom Chronicle', 'Phase IV' and I was also just reminded of this video (I haven't seen the film yet): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pF5xBtaL3YI.

And if the bugs are killed by humans (it's the bugs's judgement day... what an arrogant title), yet when dying they are voiced by humans, then there is a contradiction inherent within the short. Or maybe the humans jokingly voice them, as another demonstration of power. Oh ye arrogant humans, I await the day when RAVENOUS INVADERS CONTROLLED BY A TERROR OUT IN SPACE COMMANDED TO ANNIHILATE THE WORLD will do exactly that.
Last edited by Carmel1379 on March 1st, 2017, 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Perception de Ambiguity
Posts: 3714
Joined: Jul 09, 2011
Contact:

#3

Post by Perception de Ambiguity » March 1st, 2017, 9:11 pm

Carmel1379 on Mar 1 2017, 01:07:18 PM wrote:I like close-ups of bugs. But I disliked the anthropomorphisation of the bugs - that their suffering, convulsions and screeching were voiced by humans (or at least vastly exaggerated to something recognisable which is actually very soothing, mollifying). I can see how this can be funny, 'Marshmallow Murder' (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=playnmJB_TI) and 'Terrified Corn Cobs' (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2PlmKWi1DY) are youtube hits and my younger self indulged in that bullshit too, but philosophically anthropomorphisation is repugnant, since nature (insects) is fundamentally impersonal and thus must be dehumanised to the point that it is alien and even anti-human. Examples that depict this are 'Blue Velvet', 'The Hellstrom Chronicle', 'Phase IV' and I was also just reminded of this video (I haven't seen the film yet): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pF5xBtaL3YI.

And if the bugs are killed by humans (it's the bugs's judgement day... what an arrogant title), yet when dying they are voiced by humans, then there is a contradiction inherent within the short. Or maybe the humans jokingly voice them, as another demonstration of power. Oh ye arrogant humans, I await the day when RAVENOUS INVADERS CONTROLLED BY A TERROR OUT IN SPACE COMMANDED TO ANNIHILATE THE WORLD will do exactly that.
I mostly agree. The anthropomorphising in this case is cheap and indicative of a perceived superiority by the filmmaker. Does insect murder being voiced by human beings make us care more or make us care less about their demise? Possibly more, but only because it tempts us to think of them as human, which, well, I'm not sure is particularly morally repugnant, we all kill insects every day without even realizing it just by walking around, but it's certainly quite juvenile, it is robbing those beings of their own identity, for the lack of better phrasing. Or as you said, to dehumanize them while still being respectful of them is a much more worthwhile endeavor.

I wouldn't equate those marshmallow and corncob videos with this one, though. Yes, marshmallows and corncobs also are organic, and insect life may be pretty far removed from mammal life, but I can still have a bad conscience about torturing a bug, but burning a marshmallow...not so much.

I think the scariest part about the film is to think that apparently all those cockroaches Manuel De Landa found in his apartment.

>“The film is my tribute to the real master race that will soon inherit the planet,” De Landa has explained. “Cockroaches have not only invaded the flip side of my house (i.e., the back of my kitchen, the other side of my walls, etc.) but they have also taken over some areas of my unconscious….Since I started the film the structure of my nightmares has changed, almost as if I had violated their laws and they were getting ready for revenge.<

I actually respect insect life most of the time, but if my apartment was this cockroach-infested I'd probably be unscrupulous with them as well, and possibly angry enough to make such an "arrogant" film as a way of executing revenge, which may serve my own gratification, but doesn't make it any more worthwhile as a piece of art.

Watching it I couldn't help but be reminded of Joshua Oppenheimer's short film 'A Brief History of Paradise as Told by the Cockroaches' (2002) for some reason, although that one has no murder in it.

Image
Last edited by Perception de Ambiguity on March 1st, 2017, 10:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
dream realityImage
LETTERBOXD | MUBI | IMDb | tumblr.

User avatar
Mario Gaborović
Posts: 3497
Joined: Apr 11, 2014
Location: Pančevo
Contact:

#4

Post by Mario Gaborović » March 1st, 2017, 9:55 pm

They say, "the sight was so groce it simply made me looking at it." :D

Carmel1379
Donator
Posts: 4501
Joined: Feb 21, 2014
Contact:

#5

Post by Carmel1379 » March 1st, 2017, 10:06 pm

Perception de Ambiguity on Mar 1 2017, 02:11:22 PM wrote:
Carmel1379 on Mar 1 2017, 01:07:18 PM wrote:I like close-ups of bugs. But I disliked the anthropomorphisation of the bugs - that their suffering, convulsions and screeching were voiced by humans (or at least vastly exaggerated to something recognisable which is actually very soothing, mollifying). I can see how this can be funny, 'Marshmallow Murder' (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=playnmJB_TI) and 'Terrified Corn Cobs' (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2PlmKWi1DY) are youtube hits and my younger self indulged in that bullshit too, but philosophically anthropomorphisation is repugnant, since nature (insects) is fundamentally impersonal and thus must be dehumanised to the point that it is alien and even anti-human. Examples that depict this are 'Blue Velvet', 'The Hellstrom Chronicle', 'Phase IV' and I was also just reminded of this video (I haven't seen the film yet): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pF5xBtaL3YI.

And if the bugs are killed by humans (it's the bugs's judgement day... what an arrogant title), yet when dying they are voiced by humans, then there is a contradiction inherent within the short. Or maybe the humans jokingly voice them, as another demonstration of power. Oh ye arrogant humans, I await the day when RAVENOUS INVADERS CONTROLLED BY A TERROR OUT IN SPACE COMMANDED TO ANNIHILATE THE WORLD will do exactly that.
I mostly agree. The anthropomorphising in this case is cheap and indicative of a perceived superiority by the filmmaker. Does insect murder being voiced by human beings make us care more or make us care less about their demise? Possibly more, but only because it tempts us to think of them as human, which, well, I'm not sure is particularly morally repugnant, we all kill insects every day without even realizing it just by walking around, but it's certainly quite juvenile, it is robbing those beings of their own identity, for the lack of better phrasing. Or as you said, to dehumanize them while still being respectful of them is a much more worthwhile endeavor.

I wouldn't equate those marshmallow and corncob videos with this one, though. Yes, marshmallows and corncobs also are organic, and insect life may be pretty far removed from mammal life, but I can still have a bad conscience about torturing a bug, but burning a marshmallow...not so much.

I think the scariest part about the film is to think that apparently all those cockroaches Manuel De Landa found in his apartment.

>“The film is my tribute to the real master race that will soon inherit the planet,” De Landa has explained. “Cockroaches have not only invaded the flip side of my house (i.e., the back of my kitchen, the other side of my walls, etc.) but they have also taken over some areas of my unconscious….Since I started the film the structure of my nightmares has changed, almost as if I had violated their laws and they were getting ready for revenge.<

I actually respect insect life most of the time, but if my apartment was this cockroach-infested I'd probably be unscrupulous with them as well, and possibly angry enough to make such an "arrogant" film as a way of executing revenge, which may serve my own gratification, but doesn't make it any more worthwhile as a piece of art.

Watching it I couldn't help but be reminded of Joshua Oppenheimer's short film 'A Brief History of Paradise as Told by the Cockroaches' (2002) for some reason, although that one has no murder in it.
Thanks for quoting the director's thoughts/justifications, that clarifies things. So he actually acknowledges the cockroaches ("the new master race") as a worthy opponent of sorts, at least until he demonstrates in the video that he's stronger than them and can do whatever he likes. His alternative titles are also interesting. I'm definitely not someone that'll say "all life is sacred, don't kill insects" and hence condemn the filmmaker, quite the contrary, I view interspecific competition, predatorship and exploitation as an inevitable normality that's sometimes necessary for sustenance (and of one's apartment as it turns out...) - "the harmony of overwhelming and collective murder" as Werner Herzog would say. I don't think I'd feel much remorse if my *habitat* would be this infested either and a fight over the *ecosystem* would ensue.

But as I said, I find the anthropomorphisation simply philosophically problematic, as I feel it's a product of man's arrogance (anthropocentrism) and it depreciates the complexity and strangeness of nature or other species. You mentioned respect, and I'd concur with that in this sense as well. It's also of course a defence mechanism - nature is softened, diluted, made accommodable and commodifiable. It's no surprise that it compromises so much of children's entertainment and how many religious stories involve this. It can definitely be nicely used for allegorical purposes (Toy Story, Sausage Party) and I'm not going to claim that I haven't (or don't) enjoy it. But I think it would be healthier if it would gradually be disposed off, even though I realise it's not going anywhere, at least until the robots take over.

I think you delineated a crucial contradiction with it in the case of these fun videos. Does adding eyes and human voices to these cockroaches/marshmallows/cobs make the viewer care more (since they've become more like identifiable humans to us) or less (since it's funnier and more interesting to watch now) if they die? A combination of both, surely.

Btw, unfortunately I can't see the image from that Oppenheimer short. But I found some nice images on its fandor page.
Last edited by Carmel1379 on March 1st, 2017, 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
jvv
Donator
Posts: 8635
Joined: May 28, 2011
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

#6

Post by jvv » March 2nd, 2017, 12:09 am

Perception de Ambiguity on Mar 1 2017, 02:11:22 PM wrote:I mostly agree. The anthropomorphising in this case is cheap and indicative of a perceived superiority by the filmmaker. Does insect murder being voiced by human beings make us care more or make us care less about their demise? Possibly more, but only because it tempts us to think of them as human, which, well, I'm not sure is particularly morally repugnant, we all kill insects every day without even realizing it just by walking around, but it's certainly quite juvenile, it is robbing those beings of their own identity, for the lack of better phrasing. Or as you said, to dehumanize them while still being respectful of them is a much more worthwhile endeavor.
Actually I had the opposite reaction. I wasn't thinking of the cockroaches as human, but of us humans as cockroaches. We are just as insignificant as them in the grand scheme of things.

Carmel1379
Donator
Posts: 4501
Joined: Feb 21, 2014
Contact:

#7

Post by Carmel1379 » June 7th, 2017, 3:23 pm

How did you come across this Manuel DeLanda guy, Joachim? I reckon through the Rosenbaum list, since his 'Incontinence: A Diarrhetic Flow of Mismatches' (which I'd love to see too) is a rare official check, no?

In a totally unrelated manner, today while navigating the Deleuzian recesses of the Net, I came across Manuel DeLanda's books (like War in the Age of Intelligent Machines and A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History), which I somehow had already wishlisted before, and after subsequently getting the pdfs and looking at his wikipedia page it said that he made films, so I obviously found out he made the 'Judgement Day' film. It seems like he was part of New York's "no wave" movement; his 'Ism Ism' short, which Harry Smith helped him edit, shows the graffiti he was making. I wouldn't have expected to resurrect this thread, but there you go, I did. Maybe there'll be more to talk about after checking out his theoretical work and lectures, though obviously I highly doubt he's ever going to reference his films, which he mentioned he has largely abandoned; I presume the Rosenbaum article is as much of a coverage as he's ever going to get for his films.
Last edited by Carmel1379 on June 7th, 2017, 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
joachimt
Donator
Posts: 31919
Joined: Feb 16, 2012
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

#8

Post by joachimt » June 7th, 2017, 4:03 pm

Carmel1379 on Jun 7 2017, 09:23:14 AM wrote:How did you come across this Manuel DeLanda guy, Joachim? I reckon through the Rosenbaum list, since his 'Incontinence: A Diarrhetic Flow of Mismatches' (which I'd love to see too) is a rare official check, no?
Well, it was because of the Rosenbaum-list, but not because of that short by DeLanda, which I still want to find badly. Actually it was caused by my search for Mutable Fire, which wasn't available for streaming online back then. It was included on the Cinema of Transgression DVD (formerly VHS), which was sold by underground director Nick Zedd. On that disc there also were two shorts by DeLanda. This is one of those.
ICM-profile
Fergenaprido: "I find your OCD to be adorable, J"

Carmel1379
Donator
Posts: 4501
Joined: Feb 21, 2014
Contact:

#9

Post by Carmel1379 » June 7th, 2017, 4:28 pm

joachimt on Jun 7 2017, 10:03:31 AM wrote:
Carmel1379 on Jun 7 2017, 09:23:14 AM wrote:How did you come across this Manuel DeLanda guy, Joachim? I reckon through the Rosenbaum list, since his 'Incontinence: A Diarrhetic Flow of Mismatches' (which I'd love to see too) is a rare official check, no?
Well, it was because of the Rosenbaum-list, but not because of that short by DeLanda, which I still want to find badly. Actually it was caused by my search for Mutable Fire, which wasn't available for streaming online back then. It was included on the Cinema of Transgression DVD (formerly VHS), which was sold by underground director Nick Zedd. On that disc there also were two shorts by DeLanda. This is one of those.
Thanks. And above all cheers for mentioning 'Mutable Fire', that was brilliant! If only it included a picture of this man (or maybe it did...), then it would've been the best film ever made:

Image
Last edited by Carmel1379 on June 7th, 2017, 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Post Reply