Thursday, November 22, 2012

Austin Peralta 1990-2012

It's hard to wrap my head around the idea that this incredible young man, so filled with charm, curiosity, passion, and an astonishing musical talent, is gone. Farewell Austin. You will be missed.

A rational argument for consciousness as a non-reducible phenomenon in the universe

Monday, November 12, 2012

"Death and Life"

death and life
-- Charles Carroll Bombaugh, Gleanings for the Curious from the Harvest-Fields of Literature, 1890

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Lana Wachowski receives the HRC Visibility Award

Lana Wachowski is best known for her collaboration with her brother, Andy Wachowski, together as the Wachowski Starship, formerly the Wachowski Brothers.  They made their directorial debut in 1996 with BOUND, reaching fame with their second film, THE MATRIX in 1999.  They wrote and directed the both sequels as well as writing and producing the 2006 film, V IS FOR VENDETTA.  Their latest film was recently released on October 26th, 2012, based on the novel of the same name, COULD ATLAS, starring Tom Hanks and Halle Berry.

Lana Wachowski's story is particularly interesting for what has been less on the professional front and more on a personal level, watch this video where she tells her intimate, humorous, and moving story while receiving the Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Irina Ionesco Photography

Being someone who has always been attracted to lingerie, erotica, photography, dress up- it was only natural that I gravitated towards the work of Irina Ionesco.  Perhaps best known for photographs she captured of her young daughter.  The photographs of Eva never mattered to me in the sense of right or wrong, I just appreciated them as beautiful pieces that were interestingly styled.  It wasn't until I showed a book of hers to a friend of mine, a male friend, and his reaction of discomfort became topic for discussion.  He comments on how sexual the photos are and how that makes him feel as a man.  The book then started to take on these characteristics he was describing for me.  I was steered away from the innocence of the moment and could now see the possibility of "inappropriateness", where before all I saw was a mother collaborating with her daughter to express a photographic aesthetic that intuitively women share, the idea of dressing up, creating beauty, which can include lace, fabrics, jewelry... This is the risk one takes when putting themselves out in the world- the risk of being judged for being right or wrong.  I feel at risk myself for being judged, just having written this lil piece.  I leave you with this thought below and allow you to make the decision of what is right or wrong for yourself- or to take it one step further and not judge at all, just observe and explore the grey areas.

"Innocence’ is a word often misunderstood.  It does not mean ‘without guilt’ but rather a freedom and a total openness to life. a complete lack of fear comes through a total faith in living and in your own instinctive self.  Innocence does not mean ‘asexual’ as some people think.  It is 'to express oneself' without fear, without guilt, without connivance and dishonesty.  'It is spontaneous and free,' the expression of love and the ecstasy of life. ”


Where do all the balloons go?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Groucho to Woody, 1967 - "There is no money in answering letters"

March 22, 1967

Dear WW:

Goodie Ace told some unemployed friend of mine that you were disappointed or annoyed or happy or drunk that I hadn't answered the letter you wrote me some years ago. You know, of course, there is no money in answering letters—unless they're letters of credit from Switzerland or the Mafia. I write you reluctantly, for I know you are doing six things simultaneously—five including sex. I don't know where you get the time to correspond.

Your play, I trust, will still be running when I arrive in New York the first or second week in April. This must be terribly annoying to the critics who, if I remember correctly, said it wouldn't go because it was too funny. Since it's still running, they must be even more annoyed. This happened to my son's play, on which he collaborated with Bob Fisher. The moral is: don't write a comedy that makes an audience laugh.

This critic problem has been discussed ever since I was Bar Mitzvahed almost 100 years ago. I never told this to anyone, but I received two gifts when I emerged from childhood into what I imagine today is manhood. An uncle, who was then in the money, presented me with a pair of long black stockings, and an aunt, who was trying to make me, gave me a silver watch. Three days after I received these gifts, the watch disappeared. The reason it was gone was that my brother Chico didn't shoot pool nearly as well as he thought he did. He hocked it at a pawnshop at 89th Street and Third Avenue. One day while wandering around aimlessly, I discovered it hanging in the window of the hock shop. Had not my initials been engraved on the back, I wouldn't have recognized it, for the sun had tarnished it so completely it was now coal black. The stockings, which I had worn for a week without ever having them washed, were now a mottled green. This was my total reward for surviving 13 years.

And that, briefly, is why I haven't written you for some time. I'm still wearing the stockings—they're not my stockings anymore, they're just parts of my leg.

You wrote that you were coming out here in February, and I, in a frenzy of excitement, purchased so much delicatessen that, had I kept it in cold cash instead of cold cuts, it would have taken care of my contribution to the United Jewish Welfare Fund for 1967 and '68.

I think I'll be at the St. Regis hotel in New York. And for God's sake don't have any more success—it's driving me crazy. My best to you and your diminutive friend, little Dickie.


Cinéma du look_DIVA (1981) trailer

"Cinéma du look was a French film movement of the 1980s, analysed, for the first time, by French critic Raphaël Bassan in La Revue du Cinémaissue n° 448, May 1989, in which Luc Besson was lumped with two other directors who shared "le look."  These directors were said to favor style over substance, spectacle over narrative. It referred to films that had a slick visual style and a focus on young, alienated characters that were said to represent the marginalised youth of François Mitterrand's France. The three main directors of the Cinéma du look were Jean-Jacques BeineixLuc Besson and Leos Carax. Themes that run through many of their films include doomed love affairs, young people with peer groups rather than families, a cynical view of the police and the use of the Paris Métro to symbolise an alternative, underground society. The mixture of 'high' culture, such as the opera music of Diva and Les Amants du Pont-Neuf and pop culture, for example the references to Batman in Subway, was another key feature."

Friday, October 26, 2012

John Whitney - Matrix III (1972)

"Whitney was born in Pasadena, California.  His first works in film were 8 mm movies of a lunar eclipse which he made using a home-made telescope. In 1937-38 he spent a year in Paris, studying twelve-tone composition under Rene Leibowitz. In 1939 he returned to America and began to collaborate with his brother James on a series of abstract films. Their work, Five Film Exercises (1940–45) was awarded a prize for sound at the First International Experimental Film Competition in Belgium in 1949. In 1948 he was awarded aGuggenheim Fellowship.
During the 1950s Whitney used his mechanical animation techniques to create sequences for television programs and commercials. In 1952 he directed engineering films on guided missileprojects. One of his most famous works from this period was the animated title sequence from Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 film Vertigo, which he collaborated on with the graphic designer Saul Bass.
In 1960, he founded Motion Graphics Incorporated, which used a mechanical analogue computer of his own invention to create motion picture and television title sequences and commercials. The following year, he assembled a record of the visual effects he had perfected using his device, titled simply Catalog. In 1966, IBM awarded John Whitney, Sr. its first artist-in-residence position.
By the 1970s, Whitney had abandoned his analogue computer in favour of faster, digital processes. The pinnacle of his digital films is his 1975 work Arabesque, characterized bypsychedelic, blooming colour-forms. His work during the 1980s and 1990s, benefited from faster computers and his invention of an audio-visual composition program called the Whitney-Reed RDTD (Radius-Differential Theta Differential). Works from this period such as Moondrum (1989–1995) used self-composed music and often explored mystical or Native-American themes."

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Jonas Bendiksen talks about Satellites

One of my favorite photography books, Satellites by Jonas Bendiksen was featured on Magnum In Motion Video Podcasts.

Splash by Bukowski

the illusion is that you are simply
reading this poem.
the reality is that this is
more than a
this is a beggar's knife.
this is a tulip.
this is a soldier marching
through Madrid.
this is you on your
death bed.
this is Li Po laughing
this is not a god-damned
this is a horse asleep.
a butterfly in
your brain.
this is the devil's
you are not reading this
on a page.
the page is reading
feel it?
it's like a cobra. it's a hungry eagle circling the room.

this is not a poem. poems are dull,
they make you sleep.

these words force you
to a new

you have been blessed, you have been pushed into a
blinding area of

the elephant dreams
with you
the curve of space
bends and

you can die now.
you can die now as
people were meant to
hearing the music,
being the music,

Three by Ohad Naharin - Batsheva Dance Company

"The Batsheva Dance Company was founded in 1964 by Martha Graham and Baroness Batsheva De Rothschild.  In 1990, Naharin was appointed the artistic director of the Batsheva Dance Company, thereby launching the company into a new stage. The company is international in nature, made up of individually unique dancers from Israel and abroad. Dancers are encouraged to affirm their distinct creative gifts, as creators on their own."

Monday, October 22, 2012

Has the use of 35mm Film Expired in Hollywood?

Keanu Reeves explores the impact of digital technology on the film industry in Side by Side. More from KCRW.

Happy Birthday Timothy Leary, who would have been 92 today

David Lynch endorses Obama (via Dangerous Minds)

David Lynch & Isabella Rossellini by Helmut Newton

Dear Americans, Republicans, and Democrats Alike,
I am going to vote for re-electing President Obama. I have noticed something in Mitt Romney’s name, which I think speaks to what he is about. If you just rearrange a few letters, Romney becomes R MONEY. I believe Mitt Romney wants to get his Mitts on R Money. He would like to get it and divide it up with his friends, the Big Money Bunch.
I believe he would like to get his Mitts on R Money, R Resources, R Freedoms, and R American Dream. I do not trust Mitt Romney to look after the best interests of 99% of Americans. I think electing Mitt Romney would be a catastrophe for our country—one which would be real difficult to straighten out later. Please do not let Mitt Romney get his Mitts on R Money or R United States of America.
Los Angeles, California
Read full story here

Sunday, October 21, 2012

2 great limericks

There once was a plumber from Lee
Who was plumbing a girl by the sea
Said the girl, "Stop your plumbing,
there's somebody coming!"
Said the plumber, still plumbing, "It's me!"

A mortician's daughter named Maddie
Said to an eager but virginal laddie,
"If you do as I say
we'll have a wonderful lay,
for I've buried more stiffs than my daddy!"

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Speaking of absurdity...

And now, an absurd joke...

So this guy is taking his girlfriend to the high school prom. And he's got a lot of work to do.
First he has to rent a tux, so he goes to the tuxedo store. But there's a huge tuxedo line at the store. Finally he gets out of there and realizes he has to go buy a corsage, so he goes to a florist. But there's this big long corsage line at the florist. Finally he gets the corsage and has his tux and he's gotta go rent a limo. But there's this huge line when he gets to the limo place.
Finally after waiting and making all the arrangements, it's the night of the prom. He picks her up and takes her down there to get in, but there's this huge ticket line at the door. Finally they get in and they start dancing and having fun, and she says to him, "I'm hungry," so he goes to get her some food, but there's this huge buffet line. He gets her some food and they eat and they're dancing again and she says, "Now I'm thirsty, can you get me a drink?" So he goes to get her a drink and there's no punchline.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Rodriguez story in Searching for Sugar Man reminded me of Mississippi John Hurt

Mississippi John Hurt 1928: Mississippi John Hurt 1965:

Mississippi John never pursued success. In 1928 a mobile unit of the Vocalion company came to Avalon, Mississippi to look for new talents. An audition in Avalon resulted in John being called several months later to go to New York for a recording session under the direction of Lonnie Johnson. The depression led to the reduction in pressing of records and John stayed in Avalon and lived quietly on his farm with his 14 children.

Guided by the words of one of the titles recorded in 1928 by Hurt, "Avalon My Home Town", the folklorist Tom Hoskins decided in 1963 to go to Avalon. He met Hurt, who was shocked to see that someone remembered his 1928 recordings that had brought him only twenty dollars a song.

John Hurt's new career lasted only three years, but at Newport Festival, on college campuses, and in the folk clubs of Washington D.C., he displayed his talents as storyteller, entertainer, and singer. He overwhelmed the public with his outstanding mastery of the guitar.(Source: Encyclopedia of the Blues by Gerard Herzhaft, 1992 University of Arkansas Press)

Just saw Searching for Sugar Man; wow wow wow

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Žižek! (entire documentary)

Blade Runner Blues - Vangelis - 1982 - [HD]

Open the Door, Richard

The 1st 4 minutes of Chris Marker's Sans Soleil

Glenn Gould - Beethoven, Sonata No 31 Op. 110 - III

Van Morrison - Beside You

Keith Richards sings The Nearness of You

Frankie Lymon live 1958

A Brief History of John Baldessari (narrated by Tom Waits)

A wonderful 5 minute documentary.

The Plagues & Pleasures of the Salton Sea

Narrated by John Waters

Friday, October 12, 2012

More Godard...(some call this the greatest traller of all time)

Godard and Cavett 1980

In the section leading up to this clip, Godard asks why the president of the United States is ok with being on TV but not in a film, and he suggests that it's because TV is lies, but cinema is truth:

One of the sexiest, funniest passages in the history of literature, written nearly 2000 years ago

(Excerpt from The Golden Ass by Apuleius, written around 160AD)

" darling Fotis was alone in charge. She was preparing the stuffing for some black pudding, ans was mincing the pigs tripes, some of which stood finely shredded on the sideboard, ready for mixing with gravy that tickled my nostrils with its succulently wafted steam...

Chuck Berry schools Keith Richards

Young Bob Dylan at Newport Folk festival

Rachmaninoff plays Chopin Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2

Rite Bwiti played by Papé Nziengui

Scott Walker Bish Bosch album preview

Timothy Leary at Millbrook

Werner Herzog on fornication and overwhelming collective murder

Thursday, October 11, 2012

2 very good short films by Nash Edgerton

Harmony Korine on David Letterman

ee cummings in his own voice

The Man With The Movie Camera Dziga Vertov (1929)

I couldn't fail to disagree with you less

The blues accordin' to lightnin' hopkins

My favorite bit starts at 9:40

Anna Karina--Jamais je ne t'ai dit que je t'aimerai toujour

David Lynch on Ideas

Brief Habits

“”Brief habits.— I love brief habits and consider them an inestimable means for getting to know many things and states, down to the bottom of their sweetness and bitternesses; my nature is designed entirely for brief habits, even in the needs of my physical health and altogether as far as I can see at all: from the lowest to the highest. I always believe that this will give me lasting satisfaction now—brief habits, too, have this faith of passion, this faith in eternity—and that I am envied for having found and recognized it:—and now it nourishes me at noon and in the evening and spreads a deep contentment all around itself and deep into me so that I desire nothing else, without having any need for comparisons, contempt or hatred. And one day its time is up: the good things part from me, not as something that has come to nauseate me—but peacefully and sated with me as I am with it, and as if we had reason to be grateful to each other and thus we shook hands to say farewell. Even then something new is waiting at the door, along with my faith—this indestructible fool and sage!—that this new discovery will be just right, and that this will be the last time. That is what happens to me with dishes, ideas, human beings, cities, poems, music, doctrines, ways of arranging the day, and lifestyles.— Enduring habits I hate, and I feel as if a tyrant had come near me and that the air I breathe had thickened when events take such a turn that it appears that they will inevitably give rise to enduring habits: for example, owing to an official position, constant association with the same people, a permanent domicile, or unique good health. Yes, at the very bottom of my soul I feel grateful to all my misery and bouts of sickness and everything about me that is imperfect,—because this sort of thing leaves me with a hundred backdoors through which I can escape from enduring habits.— Most intolerable, to be sure, really terrible, would be for me a life entirely devoid of habits, a life that would demand perpetual improvisation:—that would be my exile and my Siberia.”


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Carl Sagan explains higher level dimensions

Gerry Rafferty--Right Down the Line

Chris Isaak--Wicked Game

Francis Bacon on "crystalizing time"

Bonnie Prince Billy--A Strange Form of Life

Rodriguez: Sugar Man

Adam Curtis, It Felt Like a Kiss: A very great documentary

slavoj žižek on true love

David Bowie: Wild is the Wind, 1982

Terence Mckenna: Culture is Your Operating System

Cement Mixer Slim Gaillard