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

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Harun Farocki - The Parallel Series I-IV

The four‐part cycle Parallel deals with the image genre of computer animation. The series focuses on the construction, visual landscape and inherent rules of computer-animated worlds.

"Computer animations are currently becoming a general model, surpassing film. In films, there is the wind that blows and the wind that is produced by a wind machine. Computer images do not have two kinds of wind."—Harun Farocki

A history of graphical representation in computer games. It starts with the 30 year history of the tree in computer games, how it changed and what it means to recognise a tree in a game around 2010. It then goes on to explain how images are adapted and transferred across media. It ends with the claim that the creators of computer images want to surpass film images.

This is the first in a series of four films about the visuality, ontology and philosophy of digital imaging in computer games, along with its intersections with other visual art forms and cognitive philosophy.

Parallel I opens up a history of styles in computer graphics. The first games of the 1980s consisted of only horizontal and vertical lines. This abstraction was seen as a failing, and today representations are oriented towards photo‐realism.

"For over one hundred years photography and film were the leading media. From the start, they served not only to inform and entertain, but were also media of scientific research and documentation. That’s also why these reproduction techniques were associated with notions of objectivity and contemporaneity -- whereas images created by drawing and painting indicated subjectivity and the transrational.

Apparently today computer animation is taking the lead. Our subject is the development and creation of digital animation. If, for example, a forest has to be covered in foliage, the basic genetic growth program will be applied, so that “trees with fresh foliage”, “a forest in which some trees bear four-week-old foliage, others six-week-old foliage” can be created. The more generative algorithms are used, the more the image detaches itself from the appearance as found and becomes an ideal-typical.

"Using the example of trees and bushes, water, fire and clouds we compare the development of surfaces and colourings over the past thirty years in computer animation images. We want to document reality-effects such as reflections, clouds, and smoke in their evolutionary history."  -- Harun Farocki

This second film deals with the spatial dimensions of computer game imagery. Permitted and forbidden space. How boarders are established in computer games spaces. A beautiful thing that encages the player.

Parallel II explores the borders and boundaries of the game worlds. The work follows characters attempts to escape the edges of their animated world by any means, and seeks to reveal what lies outside of the defined spaces and digital borders.

We as player are placed within the space of the game. Before long the limit of the game is reached. The limit of the game is a backdrop as in a theatre. The world ends like a board game.

Parallel III seeks out the backdrops of the game worlds and the nature of their digital objects. It reveals digital worlds which take the form of discs floating in the universe—reminiscent of pre-Hellenistic conceptions of the universe. The animated worlds appear as one-sided theatre stages, flat backdrops revealed only by the movements of an omniscient camera. The objects in the worlds often do not react to "natural forces." Each of their properties must be separately constructed and assigned to them.

Parallel IV explores the actions of the heroes and protagonists of the video game world. These heroes have no parents or teachers; they must test their relationships with others and determine of their, own accord, the rules to follow. Farocki notes these characters are "homunculi, anthropomorphist beings, created by humans. Whoever plays with them has a share in the creator's pride."

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Ten for Two: The John Sinclair Freedom Rally (1971)

The John Sinclair Freedom Rally was a protest and concert in response to the imprisonment of John Sinclair for possession of marijuana held on December 10, 1971, in the Crisler Arena at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The event was filmed and released as Ten For Two.

The reason behind the concert was the arrest of Sinclair, who was given ten years in prison for the possession of two marijuana cigarettes. Shortly after the event, Sinclair was released.

John Sinclair will be making two appearances in Stockholm later this month. At Rönnell's Books and Larry's Corner

Friday, August 11, 2017

Goolengook 1997-2004

Mass arrests among the old-growth forest of Goolengook, the site of Australia's longest-running forest blockade.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

I'm Now - The Story Of Mudhoney

Few bands have changed my life. Mudhoney is one. This documentary tells the story of Mudhoney from their very beginnings, to following them on their recent world tour and everything in between. Complete with testimonials from friends, music industry veterans and musicians such as Pearl Jam's Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament, Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore, Soundgarden's Kim Thayil and Mudhoney themselves. This is the true story of the founding fathers of Grunge.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Colin Wilson: The High and the Low

In this moving and profound program, Colin Wilson shares his personal struggle in dealing with states of panic and depression. His attempt to cope with these difficult experiences has led him to explore states of extreme lucidity and self-control.

Colin Wilson (1931-2013) was one of the most prolific writers in the English language. His novels include The Mind Parasites, The Philosopher's Stone and Sex Diary of a Metaphysician. Other major works include A Criminal History of Mankind, The Occult, Mysteries, Religion and the Rebel, The New Existentialism, New Pathways in Psychology and The Outsider--his first and most famous book.