Created by Matt Zoller Seitz
Directed by Judith Carter
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
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Time Tells is a grand study of time, technology, performance, the attention economy, and comedy. Using the cinematic time-jump, "a numerical shorthand for a fated intermission," to weave a narrative of chronopolitics, memoir, and cultural study, Masha Tupitsyn constructs a unique literary and visual phenomenology on the loss of time, presence, and attention in the digital age. Structured into two interlocked inquiries—Time and Acting—Time Tells focuses on the internet to talk about the ethics of presence and attention, comedy to talk about timing and the language of critique, and lying masculinity, the double, and acting to talk about performance and the reign of falsehood. Both volumes intersect to examine our inability to experience coherence and integration in the post-truth era.
In the first volume, Time, Tupitsyn covers wide-ranging cultural touchstones such as the ’90s TV show Felicity, Hitchcock’s Vertigo, Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me by Your Name, Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking, Pretty Woman, Wong Kar-wai’s 2046, David Fincher’s Zodiac, Jean-Luc Godard, the Beastie Boys, Wim Wenders, the art of style, memory and music in the post-internet age, and the lost ontology of cinema. Using what Tupitsyn terms “screen-shot criticism,” Time Tells makes innovative critical thinking accessible to anyone interested in American culture today.
Afterword by Felix Bernstein
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Masha Tupitsyn is a writer, critic, and multi-media artist. She is the author of Picture Cycle (Semiotexte/MIT, 2019), Like Someone In Love: An Addendum to Love Dog (Penny-Ante Editions, 2013), Love Dog (Penny-Ante Editions, 2013), LACONIA: 1,200 Tweets on Film (ZerO Books, 2011), Beauty Talk & Monsters, a collection of film-based stories (Semiotext(e) Press, 2007), and co-editor of the anthology Life As We Show It: Writing on Film (City Lights, 2009).
The first volume of her new book, Time Tells--a two-part study--was published by Hard Wait Press on January 11, 2023. Her introduction to Paul Schrader's First Reformed is forthcoming with Archway Editions/Simon & Schuster on January 31, 2023.
ABOUT THIS BOOK
“Time Tells is a mesmerizing work about art, life, chronology, and magical thinking. Masha Tupitsyn is a treasure.”—Matt Zoller Seitz
“Masha Tupitsyn rescues films of our generation from the memory hole to which everything but box office is now consigned. Her writing is intimate and analytical, laced with radiant perceptions about movie stars, memory, and lost time.”—A. S. Hamrah
“I have been searching for books during the pandemic that will saddle up with me in my middle-aged sorrow. A sorrow having something to do with “before television went online, days of the week mattered.” Books about the state of the global crisis haven’t done it for me. Masha Tupitsyn’s Time Tells is the book I am looking for. I’m keeping that in the present tense to suggest my ongoing and vital relationship to an extraordinarily generous and profound hybrid text and manual that I will keep on hand at all times. As a poet, I am obsessed with how art can sequence events to expand or contract our sense of time. Mid-way through Tupitsyn’s treatise, she has placed one of the brightest and most innovative pieces of film criticism I have ever read. I would teach her writing on the film Zodiac as a list poem. She writes, ‘In Zodiac, time is forensic.’ I gasped with a little horror and a little joy.”—Stacy Szymaszek
“The first volume of Time Tells is a passionately cresting dispatch. A bittersweet treatise and cri de coeur that serves as both a critical corrective and meaningful demonstration of accumulation and assemblage in an age of endless End times. It provides much sought succor for someone like myself, who was minted in what this cultural critic calls “the last generation of memory” (1980s). Every encounter I have ever had with the warm-blooded thinker that is Masha Tupitsyn has been enlivening and has always given me much to mull, and this vibratory reading is no different. It has long been high time she was granted an expansive platform for these unfolding volumes.”—Douglas A. Martin, Acker, Once You Go Back, and Outline of My Lover“I really love Time Tells. It's important and wise and complex and poignant. With a rigorous attention to the assumptions and glitches built into the structures of film, technology, and the human experience of time, Masha Tupitsyn has not only created a form large and varied enough to contain time’s saddest and most terrifying questions, she has set them against each other for the post-digital age. What has happened to time? What has happened to memory? What has happened to faces, emotions, breathing? What are we seeing? What is being done to us? What are we doing to ourselves? What has happened to us? Where did we go? Playful and profound, meditative, and fully engaged with this breathless present, the first volume of Time Tells begins a crucial investigation into what we've lost, what we're still losing, and how to reimagine a contemporary experience of time.”—Stephen Beachy, Glory Hole, Boneyard, No Phantom/No Time Flat
MZS.Press is the online arts bookstore founded by author, critic, and filmmaker Matt Zoller Seitz and directed by Judith Carter. It offers new, used, signed, collectible, and rare books on film, TV, music, photography, and the visual arts. The store was launched in 2019 on a different platform and has expanded to incorporate arts books published by MZSPress's private imprint: titles currently include Seitz's The Deadwood Bible: A Lie Agreed Upon and Dreams of Deadwood, about the HBO Western, and Walter Chaw's A Walter Hill Film.
Our deepest wish is to promote, encourage, and distribute work by small presses, academic presses, and individuals. Extraordinary work tends to get swallowed up on giant platforms like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The store's inventory of nearly 1000 volumes is currently in the process of being reconstructed after its relocation from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Dallas, Texas. The titles featured here are personally selected by a group of curators and advisors, including Seitz, Carter, and an array of critics, artists, journalists, educators, publishers, and arts mavens who are known for their ability to suss out what Seitz's jazz musician dad liked to call "the good sh*t."
“Since MZS is the brains behind the brand and concept, I guess that makes me the brawn. Even though my 'gun show' looks more like a water pistol exhibit in a toy store window...”
Matt Zoller Seitz
Critic, Author, Filmmaker, MZS Press Creator
Matt Zoller Seitz is the Editor at Large and film critic of RogerEbert.com; a staff writer for New York Magazine and Vulture.com, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism. His writing on film and TV has appeared in Sight and Sound, The New York Times, Salon.com, The New Republic and Rolling Stone. Seitz is the founder and original editor of the influential film blog The House Next Door, now a part of Slant Magazine.
Seitz has written, narrated, edited or produced over a hundred hours’ worth of video essays about cinema history and style for The Museum of the Moving Image, Salon.com and Vulture, among other outlets such as Texas Highways and AARP. His five-part 2009 video essay Wes Anderson: The Substance of Style was spun off into the hardcover book The Wes Anderson Collection. This book and its follow-up, The Wes Anderson Collection: Grand Budapest Hotel were New York Times bestsellers.
Other Seitz books include the New York Times bestellers The Sopranos Sessions and Mad Men Carousel; TV (The Book), The Deadwood Bible: A Lie Agreed Upon, and The Wes Anderson Collection: The French Dispatch. He is also an interviewer, moderator, and film programmer who has curated and hosted film and TV presentations for the Museum of the Moving Image, IFC Center, San Francisco's Roxie Cinema, and other venues. He is currently launching a Dallas extension of his MZS Film Series at the historic Texas Theater.
Judith is quoted as saying "his hobbies include exotic dancing, moonwalking, and affixing masking tape labels to every food item in the refrigerator, including eggs. Oh and he has the attention span of a gnat." MZS agreed to it all except the moonwalking.