Monday, July 16, 2018

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie. (John Cassavetes 1976)

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie is a 1976 American crime film directed and written by John Cassavetes and starring Ben Gazzara. A rough and gritty film, this is the second of their three collaborations, following Husbands and preceding Opening Night.

Gazzara's character of the formidable strip club owner Cosmo Vittelli was in part based on an impersonation he did for his friend Cassavetes in the 1970s. But in an interview for the Criterion Collection in the mid 2000s, Gazzara stated that he believed Vittelli, who cares deeply about the rather peculiar "art" aspect of the routines put on at his nightclub but can't get his patrons (who are only there for naked girls) to, was a double of sorts of Cassavetes himself. Gazzara described his friend as a writer and director that totally believed in the importance and value of his work, because the work represented his heart and soul.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

N'oublie pas que tu vas mourir (Don't Forget You're Going to Die)

Benoit is a student in Art History. When it is time for him to do his mandatory military service, he feels that his carefully planned life is falling apart. A fake suicide attempt gets him exempted, but leads him to learn something far worse than army life. Something irrevocable: as the Army doctor told him, the result of his test is positive. He tries to come to terms with this. However, he quickly realises he will never be the same again and like the Romantic heroes of his former life, he chooses to reject his destiny and to transform his existence into a constant exaltation of the senses. Omar, who has always known the hell that surrounds us, is his guide on this initiatory journey...Benoit cannot forget. He fulfils the only dream he has left: a trip to Italy. There, he meets Claudia. S. This film is in French without subtitles.

Change Itself: An Art Apart – Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

To sum up the life and work of British artist Genesis Breyer P-Orridge is close to impossible. Not only because of the wide range of artistic disciplines, but also because of the timespan, since the mid 1960s to the present day, that has been saturated by musical projects like Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV, hundreds of records, thousands of concerts, exhibitions, interviews, videos, spoken word performances, collages, sculptures, philosophy, cultural engineering, occultism and radical transgender concepts. A couple of descriptions are still valid after these 50 years of active creativity and provocation. P-Orridge is a romantic existentialist and a cultural engineer. Everything is both work as such and seed for cultural and behavioural change.

 A film by Carl Abrahamsson, Sweden, 2016.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

The Sundance Ceremony /The Life of Tasunke Witko (Crazy Horse)

Teaching of the Sundance and why we dance, the history, the outlawing, the youth,men, women and elders points of view. It does not show the ceremony but the preparations involved and work involved to make it happen. We were offered to film it but declined out of respect for the dancers and our people. You can teach people about the ceremonies without showing the ceremony. The only real way to learn is to go, watch, listen and help. It aired 10 years ago in March 0f 2003.

Told from the perspective of contemporary Lakota people, the film explores the life of Crazy Horse (Tasunke Witko). Viewers see the natural world of the Dakotas, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Montana that Crazy Horse knew. His spiritual nature is discussed, as are his unique qualities as a leader. The final portion of the film examines his role at the Battle of Little Bighorn, his resistance against reservation life, and his violent death at Fort Robinson in 1877. Lakota people share what Crazy Horse means in their world today. The film features original music created for this story. Sharing their insights are Lakota historians Jace DeCory, Donovin Sprague, Wilmer Mesteth and Whitney Recountre.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

American Hardcore (2006)

American Hardcore: The History of American Punk Rock 1980-1986 is a documentary directed by Paul Rachman and written by Steven Blush. It is based on the book American Hardcore: A Tribal History also written by Blush. It was released on September 22, 2006 on a limited basis. The film features some early pioneers of the hardcore punk music scene including Bad Brains, Black Flag, D.O.A., Minor Threat, Minutemen, SSD, and others. It was released on DVD by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on February 20, 2007.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Nass El Ghiwane -Transe

Nass El Ghiwane (Arabic: ناس الغيوان‎) are a musical group established in 1971 in Casablanca, Morocco. The group, which originated in avant-garde political theater, has played an influential role in Moroccan chaabi (or shaabi). Nass El Ghiwane were the first band to introduce Western instruments like the modern banjo. Their music incorporates a trance aesthetic, reflecting the influence of local Gnawa music. Khaled, a prominent Raï singer, began his career performing Nass El Ghiwane songs at weddings and parties. They are also credited for helping bring a new social movement to Morocco.

Transes is a Moroccan film directed by Ahmed El Maânouni, released in 1981. A fan of the Moroccan musical group Nass El Ghiwane, Izza Genini encouraged Moroccan director Ahmed El Maânouni to film the concerts of this musical group. The Moroccan director then follows Nass El Ghiwane in several concerts in the Maghreb (Morocco, Tunisia) and in France then decides to go further and films the musicians in their intimacy. The result is this musical docufiction retracing various social themes (hope, laughter, suffering, revolt ...). The trance in its traditional musical form found among the Gnaouas in Morocco is the major inspiration of Nass El Ghiwane.

"The group's "Trances" are our equivalent of "soul music", our irrationality. I followed the example of the Nass El Ghiwane themselves: I went back to the roots. They draw their music from the last thousand years of Moroccan and African history. the film sets out to reveal and emphasize this heritage. I chose the music of the Saharan brotherhood, The Gnawas, and the verses of the famous poet El Mejdoub, to underline the trances." - Ahmed El Maânouni

Friday, July 06, 2018

Tarkovsky's Stalker (1979) HD with English Subs

A film that requires several viewings. A lot has been written about 'Stalker'. I believe it to be an art work produced of genius. It can be watched again and again - with new depths revealing themselves every time.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Shoah (1985)

Claude Lanzmann's epic documentary recounts the story of the Holocaust through interviews with witnesses - perpetrators as well as survivors.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Leonard Cohen: Bird on a Wire (1974)

Leonard Cohen: Bird on a Wire is a movie starring Leonard Cohen, Ron Cornelius, and Bob Johnston. Directed by celebrated British filmmaker Tony Palmer, "Bird on a Wire" follows Cohen on his 1972 European tour. Long lost 16mm prints were restored for this release, not seen since 1972.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Rock Hudson's Home Movies


Rock Hudson's Home Movies is a 1992 documentary by Mark Rappaport. It shows clips from Rock Hudson's films that could be interpreted as gay entendres. Eric Farr speaks to the camera as if speaking Rock Hudson's words from a posthumous diary. Film clips from more than 30 Hudson films illustrate ways in which his sexual orientation played out on screen. First there are tenuous and unresolved relationships with women, then clips of Rock with men, cruising and circling. Second, there is pedagogical eros: Hudson with older men. Rock is seen with his male sidekicks, often Tony Randall. Next, the film looks in depth at comedies of sexual embarrassment and innuendo: films in which Hudson sometimes plays two characters, "macho Rock and homo Rock." Lastly, the film reflects on Hudson's death from AIDS.