Inventing things just to throw us

by September 28, 2010

For many fans of independent cinema, Aaron Hillis’s GreenCine Daily is a must-read blog, combining festival reports, interviews, and well-written posts about original films and the people who make them. Interestingly, Hillis is also a partner in Benten Films, a film distribution venture owned and managed by film critics: specifically, Hillis and Andrew Grant, editor of the New York-based blog Like Anna Karina’s Sweater (aka “Filmbrain”). What this means is that while the Benten Films library of independent and world films may not be immense, it has the great merit of being carefully chosen.

Benten’s site also features some illuminating interviews with film makers and actors. In a discussion about his involvement with Todd Rohal’s The Guatemalan Handshake (2007, trailer below, site here), singer-songwriter-actor Will Oldham reflects on the metaphysics behind his belated discovery of the 1981 punk rock cult film Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains:

Weird things like this come up, and I think, “Why didn’t I see this before?” I have one theory that God likes to surprise us by inventing things over the course of our lifetime, then inserting them in history. So you’re like, “Why did I never hear this record before?” and it’s because God invented it that day just to throw you. But He also planted it in everybody else’s brain except yours, because that’s the only way certain things could have escaped your attention all your life.