Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Motörhead: Live Fast Die Old (Documentary)

To summarise Lemmy Kilminster is a few words is impossible. So here are his. Rest easy Lem, you did good.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Mad Dog Morgan (1976)

Dennis Hopper star in this 1976 Ozploitation production about the famous Australian bushranger Dan Morgan who roamed the gold fields in the 1860s. Directed by Philippe Mora. The movie was based on the book, 'Morgan - the Bold Bushranger', by Margaret Frances Carnegie. Mora wrote the script on a ship voyage from London to Melbourne in 1974. This was submitted to the Australian Film Development Corporation in early 1975 who agreed to support it. The budget was raised from the Australian Film Commission (what the AFDC turned into), Greater Union and private investment, including Mora's father Georges, Margaret Carnegie, tycoon Victor Smorgon and Lyn Williams, the wife of artist Fred Williams. Mora and producer Jeremy Thomas flew to Los Angeles to cast the lead role. Their first choice for the lead, Stacy Keach turned it down; Martin Sheen and Jason Miller expressed interest in playing Morgan but Mora decided to cast Dennis Hopper instead. Hopper's fee was $50,000.

 The film used various locations where Dan Morgan had been active, in the eastern Riverina, including Billabong Creek, Culcairn and Jindera; as well as locations in Beechworth, north-east Victoria. Morgan's cave in the film was the actual cave Dan Morgan had used. Shooting started on 27 October 1975 and went for six weeks over 36 shooting days to 6 December. The shoot was challenged by rain during the first week but managed to be completed on schedule. Producer Jeremy Thomas later remembered his experience making the film:
We got Dennis Hopper somehow to be in it and I think there were something like 120 speaking parts and only $400,000 to make the film, which was very much in awe of Sam Peckinpah. We made a Western in Australia. And the film got selected for a side-bar event in Cannes; a film festival as usual came to my rescue. So I moved back to Europe having had the hands-on experience of making a film. The budget was made on a piece of paper, just page after page, and that is how the budget was constructed, never having made a film before, and a lot of the people who worked on the film were complete amateurs. I don’t know how it was completed or done because we were very irresponsible, but I think it is a very good way to start with a colleague or friend.
Mora later wrote that he was "setting grotesque 19th-century human behaviour against an extraordinary landscape. I created Francis Bacon figures in a Sidney Nolan landscape, with stunts inspired by Jean Cocteau." The director says that Hopper was a handful during the making of the film, constantly imbibing drink and drugs. However he says the actor could be very professional, a skilful improviser and gave a performance which was "really extraordinary. I think he identified with the role." Mora recalled Hopper at the finish of the shoot:
Rode off in costume, poured a bottle of O.P. rum into the real Morgan's grave in front of my mother Mirka Mora, drank one himself, got arrested and deported the next day, with a blood-alcohol reading that said he should have been clinically dead, according to the judge studying his alcohol tests.
Mora shot a scene where a young Ned Kelly looks at a waxwork of Morgan but decided not to use it. The making of Mad Dog Morgan was featured in Mark Hartley's 2008 documentary Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!, in which Thomas, Mora and Hopper are interviewed.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Reggae The Story Of Jamaican Music BBC Documentary (2002)

Part 1 - Ska and the Birth of the Sound Systems, Rock Steady and Reggae

Part 2: Rebel Music

Part 3: As Raw as Ever

Huncke's Window

In memory of Herbert Huncke, who lived in Room 828 in the Chelsea Hotel. Video by Laki Vazakas. Music by Ross Goldstein. Copyright 2015, all rights reserved.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Beat (2000)

Beat is a 2000 American drama film written and directed by Gary Walkow, concerning the period of writer William S. Burroughs's life that he spent with his wife, the late Joan Vollmer, leading up to her accidental murder in 1951. The film stars Kiefer Sutherland as Burroughs, Courtney Love as Joan, Norman Reedus as Lucien Carr, and Ron Livingston as Allen Ginsberg.

William S. Burroughs Reports from Interzone

The 'Other Half' is the word. The 'Other Half' is an organism. Word is an organism. The presence of the 'Other Half' is a separate organism attached to your nervous system on an air line of words can now be demonstrated experimentally. One of the most common 'hallucinations' of subject during sense withdrawal is the feeling of another body sprawled through the subject's body at an angle...yes quite an angle it is the 'Other Half' worked quite some years on a symbiotic basis. From symbiosis to parasitism is a short step. The word is now a virus. The flu virus may have once been a healthy lung cell. It is now a parasitic organism that invades and damages the central nervous system. Modern man has lost the option of silence. Try halting sub-vocal speech. Try to achieve even ten seconds of inner silence. You will encounter a resisting organism that forces you to talk. That organism is the word.
- The Ticket That Exploded (1962).

Monday, December 21, 2015

Bush Mechanics - Ep1 - Motorcar Ngutju

Presented in the Warlpiri language. This is a classic. A video about cars in the bush and how the locals get around and keep the wheels turning, no matter what happens. The Bush Mechanics form a rock band and their first paying gig is a half-day's drive away - now they just have to get there. None of them own a vehicle, so they resurrect a derelict car, load it up with band gear and hit the road. This episode follows the five Bush Mechanics as they bounce along rough bush tracks, encountering Jupurrula, the magic mechanic who helps them overcome their various car catastrophes with his bush ingenuity.

Avital Ronnell - The Test Drive

The Test Drive deals with the war perpetrated by highly determined reactionary forces on science and research. How does the government at once promote and prohibit scientific testing and undercut the importance of experimentation? To what extent is testing at the forefront of theoretical and practical concerns today? Addressed to those who are left stranded by speculative thinking and unhinged by cognitive discourse, The Test Drive points to a toxic residue of uninterrogated questions raised by Nietzsche, Husserl and Derrida. Ranging from the scientific probe to modalities of testing that include the limits of friendship or love, this work explores the crucial operations of an uncontestable legitimating machine. Avital Ronell offers a tour-de-force reading of legal, pharmaceutical, artistic, scientific, Zen, and historical grids that depend upon different types of testability, involving among other issues what it means to put oneself to the test.

Friday, December 18, 2015

101 East - The Great Divide

Across Australia, the fear of ISIS-inspired violence has created a growing intolerance towards the nation’s Muslim community. It is fuelling a rise of ultra-nationalist groups determined to defend what they say is the Australian way of life.

But how representative is this hatred in a country known for its multiculturalism?

101 East meets those driving the hatred, and those fighting back against the abuse.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Power of Narratives: An Unwinnable War over the Truth?

Lennart Meri Conference 2015 Saturday, April 25 The Power of Narratives: An Unwinnable War over the Truth?

Speakers: Peter Pomerantsev, TV Producer and Author Jüri Luik, Estonian Ambassador to Russia Leon Aron, Director of Russian Studies, American Enterprise Institute Linas Linkevičius, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Moderated by: Edward Lucas, Senior Vice-President, Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) More: Organizer: International Centre for Defence and Security (

Monday, December 14, 2015

Paul Gilroy’s 2015 Antipode RGS-IBG Lecture – “Offshore Humanism”

Prof. Gilroy delivered the lecture in Exeter in September. He is Professor of American and English Literature at King’s College London, having previously been Giddens Professor of Social Theory at the London School of Economics (2005-2012), Charlotte Marian Saden Professor of African American Studies and Sociology at Yale (1999-2005) and Professor of Cultural Studies and Sociology at Goldsmiths (1995-1999).

Prof. Gilroy’s research interests include postcolonial studies, particularly with regard to London, postimperial melancholia, and the emplotment of English victimage; the cultural politics of European decolonisation; African American intellectual and cultural history, literature and philosophy; the formation and reproduction of national identity, especially with regard to race and “identity”; and the literary and theoretical significance of port cities and pelagics. He has also published on art, music and social theory.

His many publications include “There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack”: The Cultural Politics of Race and Nation (Unwin Hyman, 1987), The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness (Verso, 1993), After Empire: Melancholia or Convivial Culture? (Routledge, 2004) and Darker than Blue: On the Moral Economies of Black Atlantic Culture (2010, Harvard University Press).

The Antipode Foundation and Antipode‘s publisher Wiley sponsor sessions at the annual meetings of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) and Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) (RGS-IBG). These annual international conferences are widely seen as vital venues for the exchange of cutting-edge ideas, and we invite presenters who represent both the political commitment and intellectual integrity that characterise a radical journal of geography.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser (1988)

Thelonious Monk - Straight, No Chaser - 1/5 by anonymthinker

A documentary about the life of bebop pianist and composer Thelonious Monk. Produced by Clint Eastwood, Bruce Ricker, and directed/co-produced by Charlotte Zwerin, it features live performances by Monk and his group, and posthumous interviews with friends and family. The film was created when a large amount of archived footage of Monk was found in the 1980s.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Rainbow Bridge (1970)

Perhaps the most political statement Jimi Hendrix made during his career. According to author Harry Shapiro, "the idea was to shoot an antidote to Easy Rider showing the positive side of the youth movement" In this sense the film begins with a shooting, as Easy Rider ended with one. The loosely documentary-style film is centered on the experiences of a New York model, who travels from San Diego, California, to an occult center on the island of Maui, Hawaii. While there, "she encounters various devotees of surfing, clairvoyance, zen, yoga, meditation, Tai-Chi and the odd ufoloist". As it unfolds, a free concert by Jimi Hendrix is staged in a former pasture in the upcountry region (2,000 feet above sea level) near Olinda, southeast of the center of the town of Makawao, on the northwest, upcountry slope of Haleakalā. A few hundred island hippies, surfers, and local residents show up to witness the event. Hendrix performed with the post-Jimi Hendrix Experience "Cry of Love" tour group, drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Billy Cox. A group of Hare Krishnas chanted "Om" for a few minutes and Wein introduced the group. Although Hendrix played two full sets (approximately 50 minutes each), due to technical problems, only about 17 minutes of film footage was deemed usable.

A soundtrack album, also titled Rainbow Bridge, was released in October 1971. Although it contains some incidental studio recordings by Hendrix used in the film, the album does not include any of the recorded performances from the Maui concert. Hendrix's performances are edited for the film. Complete recordings of both sets (about 20 songs) have been released on several bootleg albums, sometimes being mistaken for official releases. 

Song performances included in the film (all from the first set, except where indicated): 

"Hey Baby"/"In from the Storm" (the complete recording appears on The Jimi Hendrix Experience box set) 
"Foxy Lady" (included on Voodoo Child: The Jimi Hendrix Collection) 
"Hear My Train A Comin'" – first part 
"Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" 
"Purple Haze" 
"Star Spangled Banner" 
"Hear My Train A Comin'" – second part 
"Hey Baby" (second set) – intro only 
"Ezy Ryder" (second set) – audio only 
Studio recordings by Hendrix used as incidental music for the film include (all on the 1971 Rainbow Bridge album, except where indicated): 

"Earth Blues" 
"Dolly Dagger" 
"Bleeding Heart" (1972 War Heroes and 1997 South Saturn Delta) 
"Pali Gap" 
"Look Over Yonder" 
"Star Spangled Banner" 
"Room Full of Mirrors" 
"Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)" 

The version of "Hear My Train A Comin'" that appears on the album was taken from the first show on May 30, 1970, at the Berkeley Community Theatre in Berkeley, California. In 2014, the original Rainbow Bridge album was reissued in both CD and LP formats.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Tales Of The Grim Sleeper

This very disturbing documentary examines the so-called 'Grim Sleeper' murders where possibly hundreds of women were killed in south Los Angeles between 1985 and 2010. The prime suspect, the misogynist Lonnie David Franklin Jr was arrested in 2010 and is expected to face trial in December 2015, although the case has been postponed multiple times.

The disappearances of hundreds of African American women in south LA and the inability of the police to catch the killer is the starting point for this film, with the bizarre, sadistic, horrid and sinister life of Franklin examined in detail. However what really shocked me about this film is the conditions people are subjected to in these communities, particularly the women. Poverty, lack of access to education, intimidation and violence from the police and in the home, punitive measures for relatively small infringements of the law and a grinding cycle of exploitation and struggle characterizes the communities from where the Grim Sleeper took his victims. Drugs and crime are the only respite from a hopeless set of circumstances for many people.

One of the few high points in the film is the documentation of the work of the Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Murders, a group of activist women who have taken back the power and made a stand against a horrific set of conditions that are imposed upon them by a system that simply disregards the suffering of black women and basically does not care about them.

Update: Lonnie David Frank Jr was sentence to death after being convicted of 10 counts of homicide on 6th June 2016.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Saints - Stranded Documentary 2015

This film explores the unique set of circumstances in 1970's Brisbane that fostered The Saints; the sweaty rebellion of Brisbane's oppressed youth as punk counterculture challenged QLD's notorious police force. Featuring interviews with the members of the band, including its leaders Ed Kuepper and Chris Bailey, as well as the likes of Sir Bob Geldof, former Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra and Buzzcocks guitarist Steve Diggle, the documentary is set to examine how the oppressive and conservative government of Joh Bjelke-Petersen in the 1970s helped act as a catalyst for the rise of punk rock in Australia, and how as a result The Saints went on to be one of the most influential bands this country has ever produced.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Joy Division - The Documentary

I've been waiting for a guide to come and take me by the hand
Could these sensations make me feel the pleasures of a normal man?
New sensations bear the innocence, leave them for another day
I've got the spirit, lose the feeling, take the shock away
It's getting faster, moving faster now, it's getting out of hand
On the tenth floor, down the backstairs into no man's land
Lights are flashing, cars are crashing, getting frequent now
I've got the spirit, lose the feeling, let it out somehow
What means to you, what means to me and we will meet again
I'm watching you, I watch it all, I take no pity from your friends
Who is right, who can tell and who gives a damn right now?
Until' the spirit, new sensation takes hold, then you know
Until' the spirit, new sensation takes hold, then you know
Until' the spirit, new sensation takes hold, then you know
I've got the spirit, but lose the feeling
I've got the spirit, but lose the feeling