Review: “The Disaster Artist”

By Alan Mattli

The Disaster Artist_PosterIf, for whatever reason, you have managed to elude the pop-cultural phenomenon known as The Room, here is the short version: in 2003, Tommy Wiseau, a mysterious and inexplicably rich eccentric of possibly Eastern European descent, poured millions of dollars into the making of a romantic drama film called The Room. Written, directed, and produced by, and starring Wiseau, it made less than $2,000 during its two-week run but later gained an international cult following for being hilariously awful in every respect.

Naturally, such an artefact, whose release and subsequent rise in popularity coincided with the dawn of Web 2.0, is ripe for mythologizing. People wondered how such an atrocity could ever get made. Continue reading

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Unchain the Light

Reach for the StarsBy Raph al Guul

The light has grown elusive. Lucky the man who can catch himself a handful. And we all know what he does with it.

Down to the cellar he climbs, his fist clenched shut. His arm shakes from the exertion, sweat on his brow. There lies the chest, made of wood and painted black. He heaves it open with one arm, his other ready to throw.

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Draconian Love

By Raph al Guul

Clouds01
We all faintly remember the time when we could fly – but we can never quite piece together the day they took our wings. It is pain fading in the haze of time.

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Butterflies

By Raph al Guul

Its wings are dark red with a beautiful blue circle on each side. I feel the warmth of your hand on mine as you gently shift your fingers to place the little creature in my palm. A faint shudder goes through its wings as if a sudden but peaceful breeze had caught it unawares. But there is no wind and no sound, just you giving me butterflies. Continue reading

Looking Down

By Raph al Guul

In essence, that’s exactly what the world is; a tiny apartment next to a giant strip club. Blurred boundaries, the strippers almost intruding into your living room. Through the kitchen window you can see the neon lights and the men underneath, sucking down the smoke from their cheap cigarettes. The world is a place where you can stare through the glory-hole and feel good about yourself for being better than complete strangers. You can silently judge them while masturbating behind locked doors.

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downward rumours

downward rumours

creaking cracking shrieking
every beating
of man of wife of tv
becomes ground in the tv series
thats now but noise
of murdering sirens

ive got the impression
of it on
every scale
major minor diminished
a third inversion, too
revolting against its roots.
high-pitched
and drumming
then

saturnal trans–
position yet
on the airless wings
of an instrument
of a creation
reproduced and reproducing

silence.
yet
Pressing on the earlobe, insistently
pressures the mind a ghastly fantasy.
emptys the neighbourhood
while neighbouring thoughts destruct the mood.

The Best Films of 2017

By Alan Mattli

A_The Best Films of 2017

The year is over – time for the best-of lists to pour in; time for me to throw my own picks for the best films of the year into the mix. It may be excruciating to choose favourites – arguably even “anti-art”, as New Yorker TV critic Emily Nussbaum puts it – but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t look forward to the process every single year, again and again. In 2017, I didn’t even struggle to find a clear film of the year, which, as regular readers of my lists will know, has become something of a rarity recently.

All in all, 18 films made it into the circle of year-end favourites, some of them being holdovers from the 2016-17 Oscar race. As always, my list doesn’t abound with current critical darlings because works like Call Me by Your Name, Lady Bird, The Shape of Water, The Post, or Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri have yet to open theatrically in Switzerland. Eight honourable mentions (highlighted in bold) will set the scene before I present you with my choices for the top ten films of 2017.

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