Life As We Show It

Life As We Show It
Writing On Film

Edited by Brian Pera, Masha Tupitsyn
Introduction by Masha Tupitsyn

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Midsummer madness

"Finally, Life As We Show It: Writing on Film (City Lights) is an audacious compilation of stories, essays and other pieces whose writers willingly — in a phrase by co-editor Masha Tupitsyn — 'plummet down the black rabbit hole' that lies between our lives and the movies that colonize our imaginations. That volatile space is most memorably explored in Dodie Bellamy's memoir about E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial and the death of her mother and Wayne Koestenbaum’s confessions about his obsession with Elizabeth Taylor."

-Jason Anderson, Eye Weekly Jul 29, 2009

October Country

Contributor Donal Mosher's film, October Country, recently won the Sterling Competition US Grand Jury Prize at Silverdocs, the most prestigious US documentary award.

-October Country Film Jul 14, 2009

The Making of Life As We Show It: Writing on Film
The following is an excerpt from Masha's introduction to Life As We Show It. "The untitled issue of Lowblueflame, which I refer to as the 'déjà vu issue,' was an exercise in cinematic hearsay. Tracing his own celluloid obsession, a curiosity informed in equal measure by movies seen and unseen, Brian asked each writer to describe a film based on what they'd read and heard about it. If I'd been able to participate, I would have recounted my own movie déjà vu (a word that literally means 'already seen'), Don't Look Now, which I'd seen on TV but didn't remember seeing until years later, when I overheard someone describing what I thought was a private terror: a red-cloaked monster-dwarf haunting Donald Sutherland in the catacombs of Venice."
-Masha Tupitsyn, Fictionaut Jun 24, 2009

Mine for yours: A mid-year round up . . .

"Dennis Cooper has written up a list of some of his Best of 2009 Top Ten Lists, includingLife as We Show It: Writing on Film."

-Dennis Cooper Jun 20, 2009

A History of Movies: Part 1
"In Provincetown in the 1980s, drag queens would stand on Commercial Street dressed as diner waitresses, hollering, 'Showtime! Showtime!' A form of ballyhooing leftover from vaudeville and traveling carnivals, it was the show before the show. The act before the act. 'Showtime!' was also a small preview of a drag queen's personality and it revved up both the performer and the crowd, often rounding up the most unlikely of spectators (American families) into the theater and into the performance."
-Masha Tupitsyn, Booktin Jun 18, 2009

Wednesday Evening in SoHo: Masha Tupitsyn, Lynne Tillman, Wayne Koestenbaum . . .
"There was an introduction of Masha Tupitsyn, co-editor of Life As We Show It (along with our good friend, the brilliantly original filmmaker, novelist and critic Brian Pera). Masha is an amazing writer and an astute cultural critic. Her book Beauty Talk & Monsters from Semiotext(e) Press, is a collection of film-based stories, and she's currently working on Star Notes, a new book about our favorite actor, John Cusack and the identity politics of the actor... Her reading gave a look at what Life As We Show It is all about. As the book's publicity stuff says, it's 'a dynamic cross-genre collection that uses short stories, essays, and poetry to explore the cinematic experience. In these innovative writings, the movie-viewer relationship is positioned as protagonist, theme and plot, and most importantly, as a new genre in its own right. The texts play with the trope that life imitates art by asking: If movie-watching has become a primary way of experiencing the world, what kind of movies are our lives imitating?'"
-Richard Grayson, Dumbo Books of Brooklyn Jun 17, 2009

The Forgotten Movie Screens of Broward County

"This four-screen theater, in a small strip shopping center at the corner of Pines Boulevard and University Drive, was where Mom and Dad took us to see Kramer vs. Kramer one night during Christmas vacation in 1979. Our family had just moved to Broward County the month before. We drove down University from our town house in Davie, passing orange groves and cow pastures. In the dark we couldn't see any cows or the creatures Mom called their mascots, the ducks who would sit on their backs. Soon after the scene where Dustin Hoffman throws the little boy’s French toast into the garbage, Edward got up and went out of the theater. We assumed he was going to the bathroom, but when he didn’t come back, we started getting worried. Finally Dad went out to look for Edward, but he wasn’t in the men’s room or at the candy counter or in the tacky little lobby. Eventually Dad found Edward watching Steven Spielberg’s 1941 on another screen. Later I’d think that as young as he was, Edward knew that something was up between Mom and Dad. He didn’t want to see a movie about divorce. It was easier for him to watch something from the past."

-Richard Grayson, The Rumpus May 21, 2009

After Watching Klimov's Agoniya

"The peasant crosses from the farm to a train/ And enters a tunnel to the palace./ The future watches him coming/ Like a child whose doll falls from her hands when the living approach./ Ultimately he will be autopsied by nihilists/ Who act like God and photograph his corpse./ The state goes on with its grim task of arresting its critics./ "Find me a person, any person, and I will find a way to discredit him."/ What was alcohol for a peasant was heroin for Stalin."

-Fanny Howe, Jacket Magazine May 2, 2009

The Man with the Movie Camera
"A new cover design for City Lights publishers features a still from Dziga Vertov's 1929 film, The Man with the Movie Camera. Life As We Show It will be coming out around June of this year. Vertov believed the camera could go anywhere and he pioneered cinematic techniques such as stop motion, freeze frames, double exposure and jump cuts. The collected writings on film that Brian Pera and Masha Tupitsyn have gathered, explore how movies become part of our own biography and personal history, as we absorb and digest the powerful images on screen. The editors located this stunning photo of an eye seen through the camera’s lens, and I used it to make a rich tritone, a perfect image for a book that examines the life of the imagination as embodied in cinema."
-Stefan Gutermuth, Apr 10, 2009