Friday, October 20, 2017

Get Rid of Yourself

Get Rid of Yourself is a video-film-tract addressed to those who anonymously embody the return of political activism within Empire. While its initial sounds and images were filmed during the riots in Genoa, 2001, these materials are pulled apart and recomposed in order to locate the intensity of a shared experience, rather than producing one more documentary version of the programmed and hyper-mediatized confrontation of the G8 counter-summit. Elaborating a complex and rhythmic form of address via sound/image disjunctions, cheap video effects and performance, the film declares its own exile from a biopolitical space-time where nothing ever happens. The crisis it announces is the sudden return of history, but this time without characters or a story, and of a politics without subjects.

Provisionally aligning itself with the so-called Black Bloc' movement with the arrogance of its discourse as well as the force and style of their resistance Get Rid of Yourself is an encounter with emerging, non-instituted or identity-less forms of protest that refuse the representational politics of the official Left. Edited in the aftermath of 9/11 - a period of doubt, reflection and heightened security measures worldwide the film also attempts to measure the strange distance these events have crossed, and the increasing repression under which the feeling of civil war' has been buried in the meantime. A filmed essay that works by betraying its own form, Get Rid of Yourself tries to approach what is most open in an event, rather than capturing and completing it as something recognizable.

Bernadette Corporation (2003, DV, 61 min, featuring Chloe Sevigny and Werner von Delmont)

Sunday, October 08, 2017

The Vipers (1955)

Director: Shinkichi Tajiri |
Production Country: The Netherlands |
Year: 1955 |
Production Company: Unknown |
Film from the collection of EYE (Amsterdam) -

"The ritual of people who come together, make a joint, smoke it, become high and have fantasies. Tajiri and his wife Ferdi figure in the film together with Hy Hirsch (an American abstract artist) and his wife. The film also contains "found footage" from movie journals. The film got a lot of attention at the time."

"I wanted to make a short documentary-style film about marijuana and hashish, psychoactive drugs that in 1955 were still relatively unknown to the general public. They were mainly used by a small group of artists, jazz musicians, intellectuals, and North Africans."

"I wanted to visualize the ritual of rolling and lighting up a joint, and then put a series of seemingly unrelated images next to each other to represent the feeling of being high. When the movie was finished, we took it to the festival for 16mm films at Cannes, and won the Golden Lion for ‘Best Use of Film Language." (Shinkichi Tajiri, Tajiri, 1993)

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Austerity is a Scam

A searing documentary looking at the pragmatics of what is called Austerity -  "difficult economic conditions created by government measures to reduce public expenditure" - in the UK today.

The present UK Conservative Party government came to power in 2010 but even before that national financial policy favoured the rich over the poor for decades. In 2008 the Labor Government of Gordon Brown responded to the global credit crisis by giving billions of Pounds to the banks. Neoliberalism has been an entrenched defining element in government social, educational and cultural policies in the West since the 1980s. We are now just seeing the endgame of it play out amid economies that have little room to maneuver outside the neoliberal model. When wealth is so concentrated in the hands of those that control the majority of assets, then the majority of the population will be brought to a point of suffering that will only be comparable to feudal societies.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Silk Road: Drugs, Death and the Dark Web (2017)

Documentary looking at the black market website known as the Silk Road, which emerged on the darknet in 2011. This 'Amazon of illegal drugs' was the brainchild of a mysterious, libertarian intellectual operating under the avatar The Dread Pirate Roberts. Promising its users complete anonymity and total freedom from government regulation or scrutiny, Silk Road became a million-dollar digital drugs cartel. Homeland Security, the DEA, the FBI and even the Secret Service mounted multiple investigations in the largest online manhunt the world had ever seen. But it would be a young tax inspector from the IRS, who had grown up in the projects of Brooklyn, who would finally crack the case and unmask 'DPR'. With unparalleled access, Silk Road is a thrilling cat-and-mouse crime story for the digital age, bristling with intrigue, mayhem... and murder.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Blockchain and Us (2017)

In 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto invented bitcoin and the blockchain. For the first time in history, his invention made it possible to send money around the globe without banks, governments or any other intermediaries. The concept of the blockchain isn’t very intuitive. But still, many people believe it is a game changer.

Economist and filmmaker Manuel Stagars portrays this exciting technology in interviews with software developers, cryptologists, researchers, entrepreneurs, consultants, VCs, authors, politicians, and futurists from the United States, Canada, Switzerland, the UK, and Australia.

The Blockchain and Us is no explainer video of the technology. It gives a view on the topic, makes it accessible and starts a conversation about its potential wider implications in a non-technical way. The film deliberately poses more questions than it answers.

For a deep dive, see all full-length interviews from the film here:

To support this film and my other films, please go to


Conversations with (in alphabetical order)

David Birch
Director of Innovation, Consult Hyperion
Guildford, UK

Perianne Boring
Founder & President, Chamber of Digital Commerce
Washington, USA

Christian Decker
Core Tech Engineer, Blockstream
Zurich, Switzerland

Taylor Gerring
Co-Founder, Ethereum
Zug, Switzerland

Marco Carlo Grossi
Director Audit & Risk Advisory, Deloitte Switzerland
Zurich, Switzerland

Caitlin Long
Chairman of the Board & President at
New York, USA

R. Jesse McWaters
Financial Innovation Lead, World Economic Forum
New York, USA

Paul Meeusen
Head Finance and Treasury Services, Swiss Re
Zurich, Switzerland

Dolfi Müller
Mayor of the City of Zug
Zug, Switzerland

Matthew Roszak
Co-Founder & Chairman, Bloq
Chicago, USA

Guido Rudolphi
Founder, Cryptocash
Uster, Switzerland

Jan Seffinga
Partner, Deloitte Switzerland
Zurich, Switzerland

Elizabeth Stark
Co-Founder & CEO, Lightning
San Francisco, USA

Alex Tapscott
Founder & CEO, Northwest Passage Ventures
Co-Author "Blockchain Revolution"
Toronto, Canada

Lars Thomsen
Chief Futurist & Founder, Future Matters
Zurich, Switzerland

Eric Van der Kleij
Founder Adeptra, London Tech City, Level39. Adviser UK Govt, Kickstart Accelerator
London, UK

Roger Wattenhofer
Professor, Distributed Computing Group, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH)
Zurich, Switzerland

Rik Willard
Founder & Managing Director, Agentic Group
New York, USA

Steve Wilson
Digital Identity Innovator & Analyst
Sydney, Australia

Additional conversations and special thanks (in alphabetical order): Iris Belle, Ben Bledsoe, Thomas Bromehead, Richard Cheng, Dario Duran, Marie Farrar Knowles, Olga Feldmeier, Sony Fricker, Daniel Gasteiger, Daniel Grassinger, Johs. Hoehener, Richard Kastelein, Leanne Kemp, Thomas Kern, Francine Klopfenstein, Veronica Lange, Claire LaRocca, Adriano B. Lucatelli, Christian Mäder, Ruedi Maeder, Luzius Meisser, Michael Monceaux, Martin Müller, Mia Mutic, Ian Petchenik, Nathaniel Popper, Ramon Quesada, Kamesh Raghavendra, Brian Rogers, Jouko Salonen, Vadim Shamigulov, Raffaela Stelzer, Don Tapscott, Elizabeth Wesson

Many thanks to all conversation partners and all others who made this film possible

Additional thanks (in alphabetical order): Agentic Group, Blockchain News, Blockstream, Bloq, Chamber of Digital Commerce, Constellation Research, Consult Hyperion, Cryptocash, Deloitte Switzerland, Ethereum Foundation, Everledger, Flightradar24, Future Matters,, Lightning, Lockstep Consulting, Municipality of Zug, nexussquared, Northwest Passage Ventures, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Swiss Re, Symbiont, World Economic Forum (WEF), Zurich Airport

Recording of live air traffic courtesy of Flightradar24

Chinese subtitles: Richard Cheng
Dutch subtitles: Rein Jonkman
French translation: Thomas Bromehead
Portuguese subtitles: Caio Rearte
Russian subtitles: Vadim Shamigulov, Sergey Sevantsyan
Spanish subtitles: Jose Felip Daras and team

Many thanks to all individuals and teams who contributed additional subtitles and translations.

Cinematography, Editing, Music, Narration & Sound Design by Manuel Stagars

© 2017 Manuel Stagars

The goal of this film is to encourage the conversation about the economic and social impacts of blockchain technology. Participate in the comments and subscribe to the channel to stay in the loop.

Listen to the song in the end credits
Caption author (Italian)- Mauro Baeli
Caption author (Czech) - Michal Herout
Caption author (Dutch) - Rein J

Friday, September 08, 2017

No More to Say & Nothing to Weep For: An Elegy for Allen Ginsberg (FULL MOVIE)

Witness the last days of the Beat poet whose works would capture the very essence of the 1960 counter-cultural movement in an informative documentary featuring Allen Ginsberg's final television interview as well as remarkable deathbed footage shot by underground cinema icon Jonas Mekas. In addition to candid discussions about everything from Ginsberg's personal life to his literary career, home movie footage of the Howl author as a child and archive footage allow contemporary fans to witness such landmark moments as his 1965 reading at Royal Albert Hall and chanting at the 1968 Democratic Convention. Previously unreleased footage of Ginsberg performing with Paul McCartney is also included, as are interviews with Dick Cavett and William Buckley, and the heartfelt memorial service in which Patti Smith bid her old friend a particularly poignant farewell. In the final sequence, Ginsberg invites filmmaker Mekas to his New York loft as he lies on his deathbed and prepares to embark on the ultimate adventure.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

STALKER | The Dull Flame of Desire

Further readings:

ZONA: A book about a film about a journey to a room►
The letters of Gustave Flaubert►

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Growing Up In America

Documentary on 1960s radicals in the U.S.A.

Directed by
Morley Markson

Cast (in alphabetical order)
Don Cox ... Himself
Allen Ginsberg ... Himself
Fred Hampton Jr. ... Himself
Fred Hampton ... Himself (archive footage)
Abbie Hoffman ... Himself
Deborah Johnston ... Herself
William Kunstler ... Himself
Timothy Leary ... Himself
Jerry Rubin ... Himself
Deborah Russell ... Herself
John Sinclair ... Himself

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Millennium: Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World

Episode 1: The Shock of the Other.
Millennium: Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World is a series of video programs by Harvard anthropologist David Maybury-Lewis. The 1992 documentary series was presented as 10 video programs, each 60 minutes long, and was released on VHS after being aired on public television. The series was designed to stimulate reflection and inspire a new look at what the modern world can learn from tribal societies as the millennium approached.

I watched Millennium when it was first shown on Australian television in 1992. It changed my life. I was 23.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

WHITE PANTHER: The Legacy of John Sinclair

WHITE PANTHER: The Legacy of John Sinclair from Nomad Cinema (Charles B Shaw) on Vimeo.

"I'm here to tell you that apathy isn't it. And we can all do something if we try." ~ John Lennon

"I just considered it part of my job. If you were gonna be a revolutionary, you were gonna have to go to prison." ~ John Sinclair

John Sinclair is best known as the Sixties marijuana activist who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for giving two joints to an undercover policewoman. He was eventually freed when John Lennon and Yoko Ono spoke out on his behalf

Less understood is his role as the founder and chairman of the radical anti-war group, The White Panther Party, an offshoot of the Black Panthers. The Black Panther Party was a militant political organization formed after the brutal murders of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Robert Kennedy.

During the Cold War the US Government launched a secret program called COINTELPRO to disrupt and ultimately destroy the Black Panthers and the Anti-War movement. As part of this program, John Sinclair was set up and imprisoned on marijuana charges. When the government could no longer justify denying him a bond over two joints, they falsely charged him with a Federal conspiracy to blow up a CIA station, in order to make him disappear.

In this case we find the secret origins of so much that troubles us today, like: classifying dissidents as terrorists, or the use of warrantless wiretaps and indefinite detention. The things that were revealed during his case are what the US government would prefer history forget.

WHITE PANTHER: The Legacy of John Sinclair
a short film by CHARLES SHAW
music by Thelonius Monk, Roy Harper & Jimmy Page, Jello Biafra & Mojo Nixon, Phil Ochs, Frijid Pink, Commander Cody, The Up