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Greil Marcus (October 30, 1992)01:15:30

The video image is very dark throughout. Marcus uses no visuals, and the audio is clear.

Greil Marcus discusses ways of thinking about utopian architecture. Marcus characterizes the 1949 movie based on Ayn Rand’s novel The Fountainheadas tapping into a seductive image of architecture, in which the architect is a Nietzschian superhero and architecture itself is a form of power. The architect is depicted as a master of time and space, and everyone else is an ant. In contrast Marcus discusses the ideas of the Letterist International, and Guy Debord, in the early 1950s. Marcus contrasts their open-ended and public ideas with the object-oriented and private emphasis of the surrealists. Talking with the audience, Greil Marcus contrasts what he perceives as the blankness of Los Angeles with a city like Memphis which is at first glance ugly, but exudes obsession, fetishism and eccentricity. Driving through Memphis reveals countless signs of craziness; it is full of crazy people and proud of it. He also points out that the Letterists were one of many parallel movements in the United States and elsewhere. The difference being the 20th century French mode of tireless publication, scandal and publicity.

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