BORN IN FLAMES by Kaisa Lassinaro

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BORN IN FLAMES by Kaisa Lassinaro

10.00

Published by Occasional Papers

21 x 30cm, 48 pages, full colour offset printing throughout, perfect bound, 2011.

'Born in Flames – the publication – is the complete authorised graphic translation of Lizzie Borden’s mythical 1983 film ‘Born in Flames’. Kaisa Lassinaro’s post-facto screenplay captures all the political energy and visual brilliance of Borden’s film, which describes a futuristic society (eerily similar to our own) where the achievements of a past revolution are threatened by reactionary sexist forces. The film suggests various modes of female resistance – from armed struggle to intellectual opposition – without endorsing one strategy over another. The published version of Born in Flames allows for a frame-by-frame analysis of the film’s complex plot and soundtrack, with songs by The Bloods and Red Crayola. Included is an interview with Borden conducted by Lassinaro, in which the filmmaker looks back on the making of the film in late 70s/early 80s New York.'

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2b

I could write faster than I could think…it was like riding a motorcycle

As Meltzer talks about typing and word-processing programs, our understanding of his The Aesthetics of Rock expands to appreciate his sense of physical experiences in his writing process, and his particular consideration for making thoughts and experiences communicable.

We follow the pace of his thought process and see how his writing tools shape the text's content.  We can sense Meltzer's "little keystrokes that could move you all around the surface of the page. Up, down, whatever".

The main body of the text is a stream of observation and critique, broken only by his frequent interjections and expansions residing in the footnotes. Meltzer's attitude to footnotes appears similar to that of the Epilogue, but instead of waiting to be presented en masse at the end, these "afterthoughts of an afterthought" are stacked below the 'main action' of the text like a cupped hand.

A separate conversation thus unfolds at the bottom of the page - sometimes taking up over half of the available space (and sometimes for several pages at a time).  To distinguish from the text proper, the footnotes of the 1970 Something Else edition use smaller type and wider margins - a slightly quieter voice.  Sometimes this merely gives examples of his observations from the main thread, but it also offers distracting rambles which would otherwise disrupt the dynamic flow and 'trivial/awesome' interplay that Meltzer describes as central to the potency of rock.

These footnotes are also inherently conscious of the reader's experience, allowing insight into the character of the writer as well as offering guidance and choice throughout the text.  These separate, distinct spaces display how Meltzer's subject fits into the mass of the world and his own personal sense of it - what to shut off, what to let in?