Saturday, December 29, 2007
There has never been a film like Le Sang d'un Poete (Blood of a Poet). It was not only the first film made by Cocteau, one that ignited another satisfying scandal, but it brought all his diverse talents into focus in a medium that was new to him. The work represents an aesthetic milestone in Cocteau's career.
The idea of a film had its germination during a house party given by Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles at Hyeres in 1929. Georges Auric, Cocteau's lifelong musical collaborator, surprised his hosts by announcing that he wanted to compose the score for an animated cartoon. Cocteau was asked on the spot to provide a scenario. After some discussion, the Noailles agreed to give Cocteau a million francs to make a real film with a score by Auric. This became The Blood of a Poet, still one of the most widely viewed of all Cocteau's screenworks. Cocteau described its disturbing series of voyeuristic tableaux as "a descent into oneself, a way of using the mechanism of the dream without sleeping, a crooked candle, often mysteriously blown out, carried about in the night of the human body."
Technically, The Blood of a Poet reflects Cocteau's trials and errors as a novice filmmaker who had to turn irreversible mistakes to his advantage and improvise every celluloid foot of the way. During shooting, he used the dust raised by studio cleaning men to enhance the mysterious atmosphere of the final scenes. Special weightless effects were obtained by camera trickery to show the little girl flying up to the ceiling and the poet moving painfully along the corridor wall. Once Cocteau discovered that he could turn shooting disasters into happy accidents, he was off on a career of making films that carried his cachet of surprises: the miraculous mirror and mercury scene in Orphee, he live arms holding candlebra from he walls of La Belle et la Bete, and the accelerated time sequences of flowers opening in Le Testament d'Orphee are only a few of his trucs.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Dragnet, starring our favorite TV cop, Jack Webb as Sgt. Joe Friday. In this episode The Big Seventeen. Joe is working hard to find a 17 year old kid who has a stolen a bunch of high grade heroin. If he starts selling it to other kids Joe fears a lot of kids will overdose on the uncut drugs. But the police are too late, and the kid who stole the drugs dies of a drug overdose. Overall, a terrific Dragnet episode also features an interesting part where the kids went crazy and trashed the movie theater. And the owner turns over a little box filled with drugs to Joe. What's in the box? Two joints of marijuana. Is that what I think it is. I am not wrong am I?? Joe responds ? No sir, no mistake, it marijuana. Weed of insanity.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Documentary film presented by The Late Shift on the 1971 Glastonbury Festival - 1 hr 33 min 18 sec. More info at UK Rockfestivals
One of the most legendary and mystical festivals held in the Uk, the second Glastonbury Festival was held to coincide with the summer ... all » solstice - mainly because of the deeply held beliefs of the organizers - who instead of being hard faced promoters - were pretty much immersed in the pudding of mysticism. In this sense they were far more in tune with their potential audience than those who were only into promoting festivals to make money. Those who attended this bash attest that this was something out of the ordinary, the festival transcended the usual obstacles to having a great time.
The weather was, for a British 'summer' - very good, there were no major hassles from locals, the police or health inspectors. It shows how, given the right circumstances, a music festival could really break through the conventional barriers that regulate behaviour and which prevent us from really being ourselves. This was one of the rare UK festivals where the British reserve was truly dissolved and almost everyone let their hair down, the barriers between audience and performers melted, at times they became one and the film attests to the truth of this happening, its the only film of a British rock festival which is truly uplifting .Possibly one reason for this was that the event was only attended by about 7,000, and was more or less free, being subsidised by a coterie of well heeled heads.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
This 15 minute video is based on a public reenactment of a speech originally given by author and activist Howard Zinn at a peace rally on May 5, 1971. In this stirring speech, Zinn defended the use of civil disobedience to protest the war in Vietnam and called on Congress to impeach the president and vice president of the United States for the high crime of waging war on the people of Southeast Asia. The reenactment was staged on Boston Common on July 14, 2006. It is part of the Port Huron Project:
The Port Huron Project is a series of reenactments of protest speeches from the New Left movements of the 1960s and '70s. Each event takes place at the site of the original speech, and is delivered by a performer to an audience of invited guests and passers-by. Videos, audio recordings, and photographs of these performances are presented in various venues and distributed online (MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Blip.tv) and on DVD as open-source media. Three reenactments have been staged to date; three more are planned for 2008.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Live - unknown venue
One of the finest musical groups ever fashioned under the Australian sun....
Monday, December 03, 2007
"Joe Coleman (b. 1955) has been known through the last decades as an "infernal machine", a "fish-fucking satanist" and by the Charles Manson qoute "Joe Coleman is a caveman in a spaceship!". His early days as a wild and unhinged performance artist were documented in the Re/Search "Pranks!" book, which hardly mentioned that he was a painter. Later, his paintings has reached a large audience and fan base through cover art for many of the Amok and Feral House books, like "You Can't Win" and "Apocalypse Culture". Also, the two Coleman "solo" books "Cosmic Retribution" and "Original Sin" gives a great and impressive view into his visuals. The former also includes his early b&w illustrations of the life stories of the killer Carl Panzram and the travelling hobos Boxcar Bertha and Jack Black. Nowadays he's doing paintings that requires him to use a magnifying lens and brushes that are down to just one hair. When seeing his work reproduced, one imagines that the paintings are huge, but they're actually only 20 to 25 inches wide.
What Coleman does is often called "outsider art". The original term was "art brut", and referred to mentally disturbed artists like the unschooled and schizophrenic Adolf Wölfli (1864-1930), who started painting at the age of 31, after being institutionalized for raping a 5 year old girl. The term "outsider art" today encompasses all sorts of intuitive, visionary art, self-taught art and contemporary folk art. The main characteristics of outsider art according to the experts are "dense ornamentation", "compulsively repeated patterns", "enigmatic calligraphy" and "wayward symmetry". All of this certainly applies to Coleman's work, but Coleman is also separate from the "outsiders" because he has some formal education, a huge knowledge of art history and an acute awareness of his own psychology." by Jan Bruun