The October 2017 issue of The Brooklyn Rail includes an except from our recently published book “Slow Writing.” Thom Andersen’s essay on David Lamelas’ 1974 film The Desert People is reproduced in full, alongside a new introduction by Mark Webber. The complete article can also be read online on the Rail’s website.
Thom Andersen explains some of the background to this curious article in the introduction to “Slow Writing” :-
“Occasionally I did feel like writing something about one of our shows—program notes that were sometimes written afterward and never published. I wrote for myself, in a style that would now be called ‘snarky.’ Maybe the words came easy for once; all I had to do was take dictation from my unconscious. I did manage to get a review of The Desert People by David Lamelas published in the student newspaper at SUNY Buffalo, despite an evident conflict of interest. I took advantage of the connections some students in the university film society had with the newspaper, and of course I used a pseudonym. My namesake, Aurora Floyd, was the protagonist and ostensible author of a middling Victorian novel. Although I loved The Desert People and I wanted to write about it, I thought a positive review was not appropriate, given the conflict of interest, and a seemingly hostile review might attract more students to the show. It didn’t.”
(Thom Andersen, Why I Did Not Become A Film Critic, 2017)