Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Great War (BBC 1964) - Surely We Have Perished: The Battle of Passchendaele

On this day one hundred years ago the Battle of Passchendaele, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres, began. It would rage until 10th November 1917. A total of 800,000 soldiers on both sides of the war died in the blood and mud of the Ypres salient between 1914 and 1918. This is the story of their suffering, sacrifice and slaughter.

First Broadcast: Sept 20, 1964

British and Dominion offensives in Flanders in 1917, originating from the Ypres Salient. The successful capture of Messines Ridge is followed by a partial breach of German defences at Passchendaele, with immense loss of life at both sides. Rainy weather sets in early and armies bog down in mud.

Alfred James Bromfield - British soldier 3:28
Gordon Carey - British Officer 3:57
Bryan Frayling - British Officer 7:33
Cecil Arthur Lewis - British Pilot 9:05
John Roll - Australian Sapper 9:50
Richard Talbot Kelly - British Soldier 21:25
Richard Henry Tobin - Royal Naval Division 21:33, 29:03
Sydney White - British Soldier 22:01
William Bunning - Australian soldier 25:42
Cyril A. Lee - British Soldier 36:24

Heratik: We Had a Dream (in French)

This is an intriguing, intimate account of one of the most celebrated Sound Systems in Europe, offering in-depth interviews with Heretik members as well as their arch-nemesis, officer Jaques Prigent.

Heretik is more than just a Sound System—it’s a political statement. They became a symbol of the free party movement and they were clear in their Heretik ways: We do not conform to the established standards of conduct. They were the “newbies” at the ’95 Teknival in Tamos, amongst established systems like Spiral Tribe. This was a lifestyle that certainly resonated with them and by ’96 they set up their own first party.

“It’s a different life, living in a truck, living outside of society, living far from capitalism. {…} I want to follow people that are open minded, that have an impact, that know things.”

The police were always right behind them; when the system was busted for their respective drug stashes, a five-month stint in jail resulted in the prohibition of attending any of these magical, illegal parties. Suffice to say, that didn’t keep them away, on the contrary—they now saw themselves as “musical terror activists,” spreading messages like: Free parties should be recognized as a public utility. The cat-and-mouse game continued all over France and ex-officer of the French Police Intelligence Unit, Jaques Prigent, is the first to admit that Heretik had magnificent organizational skills—they weren’t always easy to track down.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Tantra: Indian Rites of Ecstasy (1969)

This early western film documentary (filmed 1967-68) features Hindu Tantric rituals and visualisation as images and sounds from Northern India and Nepal.

Tantra (Sanskrit: तन्त्र) literally means "loom, warp, weave".

The connotation of the word tantra to mean an esoteric practice or religious ritualism is a colonial era European invention. The term is based on the metaphor of weaving, states Ron Barrett, where the Sanskrit root tan means the warping of threads on a loom. It implies "interweaving of traditions and teachings as threads" into a text, technique or practice. The aim is to experience immediate revelatory or conscious shifts in awareness through disciplinary practice; both physical and mental.

The word appears in the hymns of the Rigveda such as in 10.71, with the meaning of "warp (weaving)". It is found in many other Vedic era texts, such as in section 10.7.42 of the Atharvaveda and many Brahmanas. In these and post-Vedic texts, the contextual meaning of Tantra is that which is "principal or essential part, main point, model, framework, feature”. In the Smritis and epics of Hinduism (and Jainism), the term means "doctrine, rule, theory, method, technique or chapter" and the word appears both as a separate word and as a common suffix, such as atma-tantra meaning "doctrine or theory of Atman (soul, self)".

The term “Tantra” after about 500 BCE, in Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism is a bibliographic category, just like the word Sutra (which means "sewing together", mirroring the metaphor of "weaving together" implied by Tantra). The same Buddhist texts are sometimes referred to as tantra or sutra; for example, Vairocabhisambodhi-tantra is also referred to as Vairocabhisambodhi-sutra. The various contextual meaning of the word Tantra varies with the Indian text.

Directed by Nik Douglas, Produced by Mick Jagger and Robert Fraser. Limited initial release in 1969 on college cinemas and galleries in the USA and England. Re-released in 1994 as a VHS cassette. 

Tantra of Gyuto Sacred Rituals of Tibet (1968)

Monks of the Gyuto Tantric College perform sacred Tibetan Buddhist ceremonies in a style of chanting that expresses the ecstasy of true meditation. Tantra Of Gyuto - Sacred Rituals Of Tibet is a 1968 British documentary film made by Francis Huxley vesves Mark Elliott. It focuses on the monks of Gyoto Tantric

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Going Tribal (1995)

Made in 1995, Going Tribal is a documentary about the so-called 'Feral' subculture in Australia. Part punk, part hippy, part Indigenous inspired, part anarchist back-to-nature Romantics, the Ferals represented the coming of age of the first generation of Australians that had Aboriginal peoples as equals according to the law. The land is the centre and the ground and the canopy of the movement.

The feral subculture is/was a counter-cultural social movement originating in the latter part of the twentieth century, mainly centered in Australia. The movement reached its heyday in the mid 1990s, in parallel with other similar movements in Europe and elsewhere. In common with those movements, the feral phenomenon can be seen as part of the wider counterculture. In Australia, the ferals are often seen as an amalgam of the punk and hippie subcultures, with a radical environmental philosophy.

The movement, during the 1990s, was the subject of national attention, and as a phenomenon has been the subject of anthropological attention as a characteristically Australian "alternative lifestyle". "Going Tribal," a documentary by Light Source Films, examined the subculture in 1995.

 The feral movement is strongly associated with radical environmentalism and a communal lifestyle, with many members residing on multiple occupancy properties. In common with the hippies before them, many members of the feral movement rely on a system of crash pads, squats, and extended networks of "friends of friends" throughout Australia to travel with a minimum of financial outlay. Although the itinerant lifestyle and environmental beliefs most associated with the feral movement are akin to those of the earlier hippie movement, the ferals adopted a confrontational, politically charged style of dress, music, and philosophy more often associated with the punk movement.

Me in the 1990s:

I lived here off an on, Coledale NSW, and in Redfern and in East Gippsland and in Tasmania and in Northern NSW and in various places around Queensland during this time. Traveling and learning the whole time. I left for India in mid-1996.