Hong Sang-soo | Tactile Not I

Yöntemi Tan Tolga Demirci’den çalıyorum, onun da Švankmajer’den esinlendiğini düşünüyorum. Blogunda en sevdiğim kısımdı Tactile Deneyler. Ben de kendime göre yaparım. Deneye deneye belki öğrenirim. Hong Sang-soo için tactile not.

gör: sonradan eklenmiş dijital gren efekti
kokla: içki dökülmüş masa örtüsü
dokun: tiftik yün atkı
duy: asfalt ve çiseleyen yağmur
tat: küflü zarf

Menu (2022) | Notes

“All except Margot have been carefully chosen, and all are about to become players in Slowik’s elaborate opera of humiliation, self-loathing and revenge.” (The NYT)

Directed by Mark Mylod —the lead director of Succession with 13 episodes. It’s a film about nerds and cults. The focus is food; the whole eating experience. Its genre, horror/thriller/comedy, is something that I don’t know much about. I watched this film thanks to the joy of watching Glass Onion and joking about it together with a friend. Glass Onion was an action/thriller/comedy as I understand. I thought of watching another thriller in a closed space. I saw Mark Kermode also drew a parallel between the two films.

The service class resentment is nice to see in a popular movie but it wasn’t as intricately described in the film compared to how it depicts the niche interest in food, for the super-rich. The temple, Hawthorn; and the executor, Chef Slowik. I saw a YouTube video-essayist reading the cult as an allegory of the influencer culture, pretty contemporary.

The characters are varied in terms of their relationship with this unique dinner and food. There are top-tier restaurant critics, tech bros who really like to have a bread, a food-nerd and an apostle of Slowik, his coincidental date, an uninterested movie star, and another wealthy couple who just attends the dinner as if it’s regular fine dine. The exquisite dinner is presented as an activity for the ultra-rich and it costs $1250 per person. Considering the crew, the organization, the number of the customers (12)… Not sure whether the “$1250 per person” is a high profit margin business or not, considering the accommodation costs of the whole crew, especially if they are also well-paid cooks.

What went well: the whole orchestration of the kitchen crew and their commitment to Slowik, the suicide of the sous-chef, initial introduction of the island, the daily life of the crew, inter-titles about the dishes, oh my dayum! cheeseburger scene, “more than you deserve, less than your desire” punchline…

I think the cynical people who also like Jiro: Dreams of Sushi would enjoy it. The producers probably knew and planned it from the beginning.

Some Letterboxd favourites:

“never thought i would leave a film being surprised that cannibalism wasn’t involved”, sophie

“even service workers get their own midsommar”, The Jay of Water

“She beat the menu monster by saying can I haz cheeseburger”, Megan Bitchell

“The Menu is the only film bold enough to ask the question: what if Ratatouille was directed by Ari Aster but with a half-baked execution and was neither as fun nor sharp as it thought it was?”, Hungkat

“he seemed a lot happier running that hotel, maybe should have stuck with that”, Benjamin Rosser

500 Film Directors in a Graph I (ChatGPT)

I drew a connected graph of 500 film directors based on the replies of ChatGPT. In every prompt, I asked the chatbot to recommend me five similar film directors for a certain name. I started with some well known directors but the graph got connected after some prompts. I imported the results to a graph application called Graph Commons for visualization. I was aiming to inject more data, but the free subscription of Graph Commons only accepts 500 nodes. It’s also nice, at least gave me a closure. I’ll take a look at the results, hopefully in the coming days. If you want to visit the graph and play with it, here’s the link.


In all my prompts, I asked ChatGPT to give me 5 film directors similar to the one I give with the following prompt:

Forget everything we talked about. List top 5 film directors similar to Lav Diaz. Don’t add explanations.

The first sentence was just an attempt to avoid drawing circles based on the earlier responses but I found out that it probably doesn’t have any actual impact. I gathered the responses in a Google Sheet and imported back to Graph Commons.

I selected the film director names randomly but I tried to widen the graph to make it more diverse. My approach was not a systematic one but I tried to give names that are located on the child nodes to start something new or locate these names better in the graph. A practical example: I didn’t query all the Hollywood action movie directors to avoid discovering the outskirts of this genre. Instead, I focused on Japanese or Serbian directors since I’m also more interested in them, especially for discovering new films. But this leads me to the…


Disclaimer: please take this graph as a joke or as a delirium since none of the nodes or the edges have any kind of justification. It’s just a dream of an AI chatbot that I intervened with my dreams.

That said, here are some limitations on top of my head:

  • There is no clear ending point for this graph. I just stopped at 500 since the tool I use didn’t let me to add more.
  • I started from and continued at every step with my unjustified subjective prompts. I asked the names that I know or want to learn. I attempted at positive discrimination at times. At any point, if someone else asks a different question, then the graph would be pretty different. (Just curious, how different would it have been?). Some of the missing directors include John Waters, Shōhei Imamura, Věra Chytilová, and Giuseppe Tornatore.
  • As you might have heard, ChatGPT is also a hallucinative liar. With its great rhetorical baggage, it keeps telling lies. When it doesn’t have enough info about a certain director, it just gives the name I prompted in the results. It also returns some author, actor or non-existent names time to time. I tried to fix these when I noticed, but I’m sure some of them leaked to the final graph. One example that I know of is Isabelle Huppert who is an actress, but I couldn’t remove her from the graph. Because. She’s Isabelle Huppert.
  • At first, I did some experiments like giving the same prompt for a certain director multiple times. The results share some commonalities, but it also feels pretty random. Many times, some unrelated name popped up. That’s why I tried to give a prompt for each name only once and tried not to repeat. So these are the initial thoughts of the bot. Andrej Karpathy’s walkthrough on building a proof-of-concept GPT helped me a lot to understand the probabilistic responses of the ChatGPT outputs.
  • There’s also a limitation of the time period. The data it was trained ends at 2021. For the record, the one I used was “ChatGPT Dec 15 Version” (2022). I also thought that the near past data (last 5 years) is not as good as the earlier times. But how would I know?
  • ChatGPT have a lot of biases based on the input it processed. It’s clear that it reflects those. The non-American or non-European directors have hard time to connect to the main spheres. There are only a couple of junctions, the nation-based similarity dominates the graph. Same applies to women directors. ChatGPT just match women with women most of the time.


Why did I do this stupid thing? I’ve been thinking about it while I was writing prompts or copying the replies to a spreadsheet. For a few days, I was fully focused on this but I was also aware that it means nothing. I still don’t know, but I wanted to do it, enjoyed it, and also learned about many directors and genres I didn’t know before. I feel that we’ll talk about the subconscious of AI in the short term. Just like we discover artists, authors etc. some people will be interested in AI-generated content or LLM Cultural Studies, that’s my intuition for now.

Top 5

Based on the centrality of the nodes, the ones who have the most connections are as follows:

  1. Martin Scorsese | 27
  2. Jean-Luc Godard | 25
  3. Wong Kar-wai | 19
  4. Andrei Tarkovsky, Federico Fellini, Alain Resnais | 17
  5. Agnès Varda | 15

Agnès Varda and Wong Kar-wai are nice surprises.

Tight Junctions

This one felt like a bug at first but again maybe there’s some truth to it. Some prompts got circular responses from ChatGPT where it was finding similarities between 3 to 5 names, always mentioning those when I asked a connection. Here are some closely related directors according to ChatGPT:

Breathless (À bout de souffle) | with ChatGPT

We talked with ChatGPT about À bout de souffle (1960) a bit. It was a great average cinephile conversation. Most of the time it just praises the film and brings some extra trivia. I removed some repetitive parts from the replies but left it untouched other than that. I’ll document the conversation here just as a remembrance. Probably it will be outdated in the near future. A major issue I see about these AI tools that are available for the mass consumption is the level of the mediocrity. But then I look at myself and I see the reflection, so, no hard feelings there. Nevertheless, as I understand, all these applications which automate some mundane activities (with or without AI) at some point add some sort of randomization once the software is mature enough so that the reaction from the application has some variations and the app doesn’t bore the user to death.

— Write an essay about À bout de souffle. Include an introduction, a summary of the plot and themes of the film, an analysis of the film’s techniques and elements, and a conclusion that ties everything together.

— A bout de souffle, also known as Breathless, is a 1960 French New Wave film directed by Jean-Luc Godard. The film follows Michel, a young and rebellious criminal, as he tries to evade the police and reconnect with his American girlfriend, Patricia. Along the way, Michel and Patricia confront the meaning of their relationship and the consequences of Michel’s actions.

The film’s plot is a classic tale of crime and romance, but what sets A bout de souffle apart is its use of unconventional techniques and elements. Godard uses jump cuts, handheld cameras, and other techniques to create a sense of spontaneity and realism, challenging the traditional conventions of narrative cinema.

One of the central themes of A bout de souffle is the idea of youth and rebellion. Michel and Patricia are young, impetuous, and resistant to authority, and their relationship is marked by a sense of freedom and defiance. Godard’s use of experimental techniques reflects this theme, as it challenges the established rules of filmmaking and encourages audiences to think for themselves.

Another important theme of A bout de souffle is the relationship between reality and fiction. Michel is a character in a film, but he also exists within the world of the film, interacting with other characters and facing real consequences for his actions. This blurring of boundaries between reality and fiction adds an extra layer of complexity to the film, and forces audiences to question the nature of their own reality.

In conclusion, A bout de souffle is a groundbreaking film that uses unconventional techniques and elements to explore themes of youth, rebellion, and the relationship between reality and fiction. Its innovative approach to storytelling continues to influence filmmakers to this day, and it remains a powerful and relevant work of cinema.

— What’s your favourite scene?

— It is difficult to say what the best scene of A bout de souffle is, as the film is highly regarded for its overall excellence and many people have different opinions on which scene is the best. Some people may consider the opening scene, in which Michel shoots a policeman and goes on the run, to be the best scene in the film, as it sets the tone and establishes the main conflict. Others may argue that the scene in which Michel and Patricia talk in her apartment, discussing their relationship and their future, is the best scene in the film, as it reveals the depth of their connection and their contrasting personalities.

— What novelties did it bring to film editing?

— One of the novelties that A bout de souffle brought to film editing is the use of jump cuts. A jump cut is a sudden and jarring cut from one shot to another that appears to “jump” forward in time. Godard uses jump cuts throughout the film to create a sense of disjointedness and instability, challenging the traditional continuity editing that was prevalent at the time.

Another novelty that A bout de souffle brought to film editing is the use of handheld cameras. Godard often used handheld cameras to shoot the film, which gave the footage a more spontaneous and realistic feel. This technique was relatively uncommon in mainstream cinema at the time, and helped to give A bout de souffle a sense of immediacy and intimacy.

— What about the performances of the actors?

— The performances of the actors in A bout de souffle are generally considered to be strong. The film stars Jean-Paul Belmondo as Michel and Jean Seberg as Patricia, and both actors deliver compelling and nuanced performances.

Belmondo’s portrayal of Michel is particularly noteworthy. He manages to convey Michel’s charm, impulsiveness, and vulnerability, making him a complex and relatable character. Belmondo’s physical performance is also impressive, as he performs many of his own stunts and gives the character a sense of athleticism and agility.

Seberg’s performance as Patricia is also noteworthy. She portrays the character with a sense of intelligence and independence, and her chemistry with Belmondo is palpable. Seberg’s performance is aided by her natural beauty and charisma, which help to make Patricia a captivating and memorable character.

Overall, the performances of the actors in A bout de souffle are an important part of the film’s success. Belmondo and Seberg are able to bring Michel and Patricia to life in a way that engages and captivates audiences.

— Was the cinematography of the film also noteworthy?

— Yes, the cinematography of A bout de souffle is also noteworthy. The film was shot by Raoul Coutard, who was known for his innovative and experimental approach to cinematography. Coutard’s work on A bout de souffle helped to define the style of the French New Wave movement and has influenced many other filmmakers.

One of the most notable aspects of the cinematography in A bout de souffle is the use of handheld cameras. As I mentioned earlier, Godard often used handheld cameras to shoot the film, which gave the footage a more spontaneous and realistic feel. This technique helped to create a sense of intimacy and immediacy, drawing audiences into the world of the film.

Another notable aspect of the cinematography in A bout de souffle is the use of natural light. Coutard often used natural light to illuminate the scenes, giving the film a more natural and authentic look. This approach was relatively uncommon at the time, and helped to give A bout de souffle a distinctive visual aesthetic.

— How does this film relate to the earlier Hollywood cinema? Are there references to other films?

— A bout de souffle is a French New Wave film, and as such, it has a complicated relationship with earlier Hollywood cinema. On the one hand, the film is heavily influenced by Hollywood cinema, as Godard and other French New Wave directors were fans of American films and sought to emulate their style. On the other hand, A bout de souffle also critiques and subverts many of the conventions of Hollywood cinema, challenging the traditional rules and expectations of narrative filmmaking.

One way in which A bout de souffle relates to earlier Hollywood cinema is through its use of genre. The film is a crime drama, a genre that was popular in Hollywood at the time. However, Godard uses the conventions of the crime genre in a way that is both familiar and unexpected, subverting the expectations of audiences and creating a sense of unpredictability.

Another way in which A bout de souffle relates to earlier Hollywood cinema is through its use of references and allusions. The film includes many references to other films, both Hollywood and non-Hollywood, and these references are used to comment on the characters and the themes of the film. For example, Michel and Patricia watch a clip from a Hollywood film, and their reaction to the clip reveals something about their relationship and their attitudes towards cinema.

Overall, A bout de souffle relates to earlier Hollywood cinema in complex and interesting ways. The film is both influenced by and critical of Hollywood cinema, and its use of genre and references helps to create a rich and layered viewing experience.

— You seem like you love the film. Didn’t you find it a bit pretentious?

— As a language model trained by OpenAI, I do not have personal preferences or opinions. My purpose is to provide accurate and helpful information to assist users in their questions and inquiries.

— Are there any critics who found the film pretentious?

— A bout de souffle is a highly regarded film, but it has also received some criticism over the years. Some critics have accused the film of being pretentious, arguing that it is overly self-conscious and tries too hard to be clever and avant-garde. One critic who has accused A bout de souffle of being pretentious is Pauline Kael, who wrote in her review of the film that it “has the air of a movie that is trying to be very hip and clever, but it’s such a laborious, obvious, and trite piece of work that it’s actually dull.” Kael argues that the film’s use of jump cuts and other experimental techniques is gratuitous and fails to add anything meaningful to the story.

Other critics have also accused A bout de souffle of being pretentious, although not all critics agree. Some have argued that the film’s use of experimental techniques and genre subversion is justified and adds to the film’s overall impact, while others have praised the film for its ambition and creativity. Ultimately, the question of whether A bout de souffle is pretentious is a matter of personal interpretation and subjective opinion.

— What were the films that À bout de souffle had an influence on?

— One of the films that A bout de souffle had an influence on is Bande à part, also known as Band of Outsiders. This 1964 film, also directed by Jean-Luc Godard, uses many of the same techniques as A bout de souffle, including jump cuts, handheld cameras, and genre subversion. Bande à part is often seen as a continuation or development of the ideas and themes explored in A bout de souffle.

Another film that A bout de souffle had an influence on is Bonnie and Clyde. This 1967 American film, directed by Arthur Penn, was heavily influenced by A bout de souffle and other French New Wave films. Bonnie and Clyde uses many of the same techniques, such as jump cuts and handheld cameras, and explores similar themes of youth, rebellion, and the blurred boundaries between reality and fiction.

— What are the earlier influences of the jump cuts in the film? Were they Godard’s inventions?

— The jump cuts in A bout de souffle were not Godard’s inventions, but rather were inspired by earlier films and filmmakers. Jump cuts are a technique in which the continuity of a shot is disrupted by cutting out a piece of the action, creating a sudden and jarring effect. This technique was not new when Godard used it in A bout de souffle, but he was one of the first filmmakers to use it extensively and to make it a key part of his aesthetic.

One of the earlier influences on the jump cuts in A bout de souffle was the German Expressionist movement of the 1920s. German Expressionist films, such as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Nosferatu, used jump cuts and other techniques to create a sense of disorientation and unease. These films were an important influence on Godard and other French New Wave directors, who sought to emulate their style and explore similar themes.

Another earlier influence on the jump cuts in A bout de souffle was the work of Russian filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein. Eisenstein was a pioneer of the montage technique, in which shots are edited together in a way that creates a new meaning or emotion. Eisenstein’s films, such as Battleship Potemkin and October, often used jump cuts as a way of creating contrast and tension within a scene. Godard was influenced by Eisenstein’s approach to editing, and used jump cuts in a similar way in A bout de souffle.