Thursday, September 30, 2010

Steven Jesse Bernstein

No No Man. Nice video of Steven Jesse Bernstein running around and goofing.

Hope to Live (1990)
I was editing late one night for my day job as a contract video producer when Seattle poet/songwriter Steven Jesse Bernstein called. It was shortly after we'd worked together on a video commissioned by Seattle's Center on Contemporary Art. He'd signed up for an epilepsy research program at a nearby hospital. It paid $50 a night. While there, he'd written a new song and wanted me to tape it before he forgot it. The only thing I had handy was a cheapo VHS camcorder. This is the result.

Party Balloon (a video collage that captures much of the sentiment)

Excerpt from new documentary 'I am Secretly and Important Man'
(Peter Sillen, Seattle, 2010, 85 min) Peter Sillen’s documentary portrait of the guru of grunge, Steven (Jesse) Bernstein undulates like a spoken-word performance. Known in the Seattle art and music scene as one of the most influential voices of the late twentieth century, Bernstein was a poet and performance artist who recorded with Sub Pop Records and inspired Kurt Cobain, Oliver Stone and many other writers, filmmakers and grunge and punk musicians. Bernstein performed stories and songs about society’s fringes—angry, tender and sometimes corrosively humorous portraits of drifters, junkies and ex-cons. His mentor, William Burroughs, said of his writing, “The work is deeply felt…Bernstein has been there and brought it back. Bernstein is a writer.” Join us for this special West Coast premiere of the film, screened at The Moore Theatre where Jesse once shared the stage with Burroughs.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Un Chien Andalou, Um Cão Andaluz, An Andaluzian Dog

Un Chien Andalou is a sixteen minute silent surrealist short film produced in France by the Spanish director Luis Buñuel and artist Salvador Dalí. Its title means "An Andalusian Dog", but it is normally released under its original French title in the English-speaking world. It was Dalí's first film and was initially released in 1929 to a limited showing in Paris, but became popular and ran for eight months. It is one of the best-known surrealist films of the avant-garde movement of the 1920s.

The film has no plot in the conventional sense of the word. The chronology of the film is disjointed, jumping from the initial "once upon a time" to "eight years later" without the events or characters changing very much. It uses dream logic in narrative flow that can be described in terms of then-popular Freudian free association, presenting a series of tenuously related scenes.

In this version the original electroacustic soundtrack is by great Brazilian artist Cristiano Melli, which is "Buñuel and Dalí's 1929 silent movie "Un Chien Andalou", finished on April 17, 2009". More info on Cristiano here:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

For Neda

FOR NEDA reveals the true story of Neda Agha-Soltan, who became another tragic casualty of Iran's violent crackdown on post-election protests on June 20, 2009. Unlike many unknown victims, however, she instantly became an international symbol of the struggle: Within hours of Agha-Soltan's death, cell phone photographs of her blood-stained face were held aloft by crowds protesting in Tehran and across the world. With exclusive access to her family inside Iran, the documentary goes to the heart of who Neda was and what she stood for, illuminating the larger Iranian struggle for democratic freedoms through her powerful story. Directed by Antony Thomas.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Terence McKenna - The Alchemical Dream Rebirth of the Great Work 2008

In the mid-1990's Terence McKenna and Mystic Fire's Sheldon Rocklin teamed up to make this rich and exciting film. Little did they know that this would be their last film. Filmed in Prague with Terence portraying his usual erudite rendition of the Irish Bard, this filmed classic takes us on a journey into the alchemical renaissance of King Frederick V and his wife Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia. Playing the role of John Dee, court magician for Queen Elizabeth of England, Terence McKenna shows us how the promise of a return to the tradition of alchemy was almost instituted in Europe. He also shows us that this early attempt at the creation of an alchemical kingdom actually lead to the European Renaissance and the institution of Cartesian science and the beginnings of rationalism within the western mindset. This incredible film is not only beautifully filmed but is Terence McKenna s finest performance and a worthy eulogy to his genius.