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October 2004 Blog

What's on now and what's coming up

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2004, Oct 30; 16:59 ::: The Dreamers (2003) - Bernardo Bertolucci

The Dreamers (2003) - Bernardo Bertolucci [Amazon.com]

"Only the French would house a cinema inside a palace," observes Matthew, a twenty-year-old American movie buff hanging out in Paris in 1968. He's speaking, of course, of Henri Langlois' Cinématèque Française, the national film archive which was a center of activity for directors of the French New Wave. --http://www.culturevulture.net/Movies8/Dreamers.htm [Oct 2004]

2004, Oct 30; 12:38 ::: Safe (1995) - Todd Haynes

Safe (1995) - Todd Haynes [Amazon.com]

Carol White (Julianne Moore) is a mousy housewife living the affluent life in the San Fernando Valley when, over the span of a few months, she begins to develop debilitating sensitivities to her environment. A permanent at the hair salon makes her nose bleed and her skin go bad, exhaust from a truck causes her to cough violently, she's allergic to the new couch, goes into seizures at the dry cleaner's. No one understands or credits her condition, least of all her husband or family physician. But the symptoms worsen, and Carol eventually discovers others who suffer from similar environmental illnesses. --Jim Gay, amazon.com

2004, Oct 30; 00:37 ::: Bad Lieutenant (1992) - Abel Ferrara

Bad Lieutenant (1992) - Abel Ferrara [Amazon.com]

Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide calls this an "over-the-top Catholic guilt movie,"

2004, Oct 29; 21:03 ::: Intimacy (2001) - Patrice Chéreau

Intimacy (2001) - Patrice Chéreau [Amazon.com]

2004, Oct 29; 19:32 ::: Jaws (1975) - Steven Spielberg

Jaws (1975) - Steven Spielberg [Amazon.com]

In the vastly overrated 1998 book Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, author Peter Biskind puts the blame for Hollywood's blockbuster mentality at least partially on Steven Spielberg's box-office success with this adaptation of Peter Benchley's bestselling novel. --Marshall Fine, Amazon.com

2004, Oct 29; 16:46 ::: The Stonewall

21 June, 1969: The Stonewall was a gay bar in Greenwich Village that was raided--for no apparent reason--by the police for being a gay establishment. The Stonewall Riots that ensued are considered the birth of militant gay rights and ushered in the era of gay pride.

2004, Oct 28; 13:39 ::: Eyes Wide Shut (1999) - Stanley Kubrick

Eyes Wide Shut (1999) - Stanley Kubrick [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

The orgy sequence contains some of the most explicit portrayals of consensual sex in mainstream cinema.

The MPAA had an objection. The film was scheduled to receive an NC-17 rating for its full male nudity, and Warner Brothers digitally altered the film by inserting the silhouette of a "man in black" in an orgy scene. This digital figleaf moved and stood in such a way as to block the objectionable body part. This alteration of Kubrick's vision antagonized many cinephiles, as they argued that Kubrick had never been shy about ratings: A Clockwork Orange had an X-rating.

In contrast to their usual behaviour, the British Board of Film Classification allowed Eyes Wide Shut to be released to British cinemas without the need for the digital alterations seen in US cinemas. The film was rated 18, viewable only by those aged 18 and over. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eyes_Wide_Shut [Oct 2004]

2004, Oct 28; 13:39 ::: J'aimerais pas crever un dimanche/Don't Let Me Die On a Sunday (1998) - Didier Le Pêcheur

J'aimerais pas crever un dimanche/Don't Let Me Die On a Sunday (1998) - Didier Le Pêcheur [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

From the Back Cover
One night, a morgue employee named Ben meets, under the strangest of circumstances, Teresa, a young woman who has overdosed on Ecstasy at a rave. Form this sensational beginning, Teresa and Ben embark on an odyssey that takes them into the world of sadomasochism, wild techno-dance-parties and orgies as they each search for new sensations that will ease their chilling sense of despair. Starring Elodie Bouchez (The Dreamlife of Angels, Wild Reeds) and Jean-Marc Barr (Dancer in the Dark, Breaking the Waves, The Big Blue), this provocative, disturbing film will challenge your sensibilities in much the same way as Eyes Wide Shut, Crash, Breaking the Waves and Tokyo Decadence.

2004, Oct 28; 11:51 ::: Music in the seventies

music in the seventies

[T]hese events resonated in the Cosmic Groove, of course. Music is fluid, reflecting the times, providing a mirror on people and life in general. The prevailing societal winds of the 70's - inflation, public demoralization, and economic recession- fostered an environment in which music like punk (nihilism), new wave (ice-olation), or disco (hedonistic party vibe), easily thrived. A far cry from the idealistic themes of peace, love, equality, and awareness that laced rock and R&B in the 60's. But the 60's were over. It was the 70's, and disco exploded, not just here, but in Japan as well. It was music that helped people to just have a good time. Although the very best disco- think Chic, Parliament, Rick James- redefined groove, and laid the groundwork for hip-hop, it was fundamentally party music. It got your groove on, never mind the outside world. And it appealed to folks in Japan just as much as it did to us, in all of our collective, bell-bottomed, wide-collared glory. So without further delay, we present the secret history of Japanese disco.

--http://www.toshikubota.com/e_html/discodaze.asp [Oct 2004]

2004, Oct 28; 10:21 ::: John Peel (1939-2004)

John Peel (1939-2004)

John Robert Parker Ravenscroft OBE (30 August 1939 – 25 October 2004), known professionally as John Peel, was a British disc jockey and radio presenter. He was one of the original DJs of BBC Radio 1 in 1967 and the only one remaining on Radio 1 at the time of his death. Known for the extraordinary range of his taste in music and the not infrequent blunders (for example playing records at the wrong speed) which marked his shows, John Peel was one of the most popular and respected DJs in the United Kingdom. His influence on alternative rock and pop music is widely acknowledged to be incalculable. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Peel [Aug 2004]

2004, Oct 27; 13:57 ::: Real Classics of Chicago House (2) (2001) - ZYX records

Real Classics of Chicago House (2) (2001) - ZYX records [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

1.Let's Play House, 2.U Ain't Really House 3.I Fear The Night 4.Godfather Of House 5.Jack Your Body 6.Never Give Up 7.Ride The Rhythm 8.Acid Tracks 9.This Brutal House, 10.Put The Needle To The Record 11.Strings 12.Communicate

2004, Oct 27; 13:57 ::: Real Classics of Chicago House (2001) - ZYX records

Real Classics of Chicago House (2001) - ZYX records [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

1. Music Is The Key 2. It's Over 3. Love Can't Turn Around 4. Can U Dance 5. No Way Back 6. Move Your Body 7. Just Wanna Dance 8. Promised Land 9. Time To Jack 10. House Nation 11. Acid Over 12. I'll House You

2004, Oct 27; 13:54 ::: Move Your Body - The Evolution of Chicago House (2003) - mixed by Marshall Jefferson

Move Your Body - The Evolution of Chicago House (2003) - mixed by Marshall Jefferson [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Disc: 1 1. Come go with me - Pockets 2. You've Got That Something - Logg 3. I can't turn around - Isaac Hayes 4. I'm Caught Up (In A One Night Love Affair) - Inner Life 5. Let no man put asunder - First Choice 6. You saved my day - Cheryl Lynn 7. Your love - Frankie Knuckles & Jamie Principle 8. Can you feel it - Mr. Fingers 9. Let The Music Use You - Nightwriters 10. Mysteries of love - Fingers Inc. 11. Time marches on - Jungle Wonz 12. You don't know - Serious Intention 13. Don't make me wait - Peech Boys 14. Acid tracks - Phuture 15. I've lost control - Sleazy D

Disc: 2 1. Moody - ESG 2. No way back - Adonis 3. Promised Land - Joe Smooth 4. Mind games - Quest 5. Move your body - Marshall Jefferson 6. Devotion - Ten City 7. String free - Phortune 8. Someday - Cece Rogers 9. You used to hold me - Ralphi Rosario & Xavier Gold 10. 7 ways To Jack - Hercules 11. I'll never let you go - William S 12. Love can't turn around - Farley 'Jackmaster' Funk 13. Like this - Chip E 14. Ain't no mountain high enough - Inner Life feat Jocelyn Brown

2004, Oct 27; 10:57 ::: Haute Tension/Switchblade Romance (2003) - Alexandre Aja

Haute Tension/Switchblade Romance (2003) - Alexandre Aja

2004, Oct 26; 11:43 ::: Citizen Kane (1941) - Orson Welles

Citizen Kane (1941) - Orson Welles [Amazon.com]

Although it was little seen at the time of its initial release (largely due to Hearst's blacklisting of the film), and virtually forgotten until its revival in the 1950s, its critical fortunes have skyrocketed since. Many critics consider the film the best ever made; the American Film Institute ranked it #1 on its "100 Greatest Movies" list; it has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry; and the film is consistently in the top 5 on the Internet Movie Database. Beginning in 1962, and every ten years since, it has been voted the best film ever made by the Sight & Sound critics' poll.--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizen_Kane [Oct 2004]

'Are American porn films better than Citizen Kane ? A precious handful are. I already found Kane too whiney white guy the first time I saw it, 20-odd years ago.' --Joel David via http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4479519,00.html [Oct 2004]

2004, Oct 25; 13:23 ::: XII (1979) - The Fatback Band

XII (1979) - The Fatback Band

The first rap record was 1979's King Tim III by the Fatback Band (featuring the rapper King Tim III)

2004, Oct 24; 23:31 ::: Kiki in Ballet Mécanique (1924)

Kiki in Ballet Mécanique (1924)

2004, Oct 24; 12:42 ::: Paris, Texas (1984) - Wim Wenders

Paris, Texas (1984) - Wim Wenders

2004, Oct 23; 13:09 ::: Sitcom (1998) - François Ozon

Sitcom (1998) - François Ozon [Amazon.com]

Sitcom is a 1998 satirical movie directed by François Ozon that shows the unlikely coming apart of a bourgeois family that is morally bankrupted when their father introduces a new pet, a white rat. The title is a reference to American sitcoms, which are often marked by outrageous plots and an offbeat sense of humor. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sitcom_%28movie%29 [Oct 2004]

2004, Oct 23; 12:12 ::: Paris, Texas (1984) - Wim Wenders

Paris, Texas (1984) - Wim Wenders [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Paris, Texas (1984) is a movie directed by Wim Wenders, and is probably his most well-known and critically acclaimed work, in the English speaking world, at least. Sam Shepard wrote the screenplay. The distinctive musical score was composed by Ry Cooder.

The film stars Harry Dean Stanton as amnesiac Travis, lost for four years, who is taken in by his brother (played by Dean Stockwell). He later tries to put his life back together and win back his wife Jane (Nastassja Kinski) and son.

The film is named after the Texas town of Paris.

The film has a critical and cult following and it won the 1984 Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) at the Cannes Film Festival. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris%2C_Texas_%28movie%29 [Oct 2004]

2004, Oct 23; 11:55 ::: New German Cinema: Images of a Generation (2004) - Julia Knight

New German Cinema: Images of a Generation (2004) - Julia Knight [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

New German Cinema explores the context from which the films made by Fassbinder, Wenders, Herzog and others emerged during the late 1960s through to the mid-1980s. it examines the US dominance of the German market place, the development of the film subsidy system, the framework of European art cinema and distribution and exhibition initiatives that helped to facilitate the shape of a new national cinema. --via Amazon.com

New German cinema

2004, Oct 23; 10:55 ::: Ken Park (2002) - Larry Clark, Edward Lachman

Ken Park (2002) - Larry Clark, Edward Lachman

The movie revolves around the abusive home lives of several teenage skateboarders. It's a story of violence, alienation and teenage sexual experimentation, set in the rural town of Visalia, California. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Park [Oct 2004]

2004, Oct 23; 10:41 ::: Midnight Cowboy (1969) - John Schlesinger

Midnight Cowboy (1969) - John Schlesinger [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

The first, and only, X-rated film to win a best picture Academy Award, John Schlesinger's Midnight Cowboy seems a lot less daring today (and has been reclassified as an R), but remains a fascinating time capsule of late-1960s sexual decadence in mainstream American cinema. In a career-making performance, Jon Voight plays Joe Buck, a naive Texas dishwasher who goes to the big city (New York) to make his fortune as a sexual hustler. Although enthusiastic about selling himself to rich ladies for stud services, he quickly finds it hard to make a living and eventually crashes in a seedy dump with a crippled petty thief named Ratzo Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman, doing one of his more effective "stupid acting tricks," with a limp and a high-pitch rasp of a voice). Schlesinger's quick-cut, semi-psychedelic style has dated severely, as has his ruthlessly cynical approach to almost everybody but the lead characters. But at its heart the movie is a sad tale of friendship between a couple of losers lost in the big city, and with an ending no studio would approve today. It's a bit like an urban Of Mice and Men, but where both guys are Lenny. --Jim Emerson, Amazon.com

2004, Oct 22; 22:17 ::: Dave Godin dies at 68

Dave @ Soul City 1968

The death of Dave Godin was announced in our local paper today. He was truly one of a kind - a champion of Northern Soul, independent cinema, anarchism, Esperanto, vegetarianism, veganism, animal liberation and many other causes. He had an acerbic wit and often wrote entertainingly cynical letters to the local press, poking fun at the high and the mighty.

His obituary in The Independent includes this anecdote:

At a recording of 'Ready Steady Go!' in 1964, the already famous Mick Jagger asked Godin to introduce him to the Tamla-Motown singer Marvin Gaye, whom Godin, by now Tamla's representative in the UK, was with. "I told him to fuck off and introduce himself," Godin recalled.
--via http://got-blog-on.blogspot.com/

2004, Oct 22; 12:59 ::: The deejay

From the first time a record was played over the airwaves in 1906, to a modern club economy that totals $3 billion annually in New York City alone, the DJ has been at the center of popular music. Starting as little more than a talking jukebox, the DJ is now a premier entertainer, producer, businessman, and musician in his own right. Superstar DJs, from Junior Vasquez to Sasha and Digweed, command worship and adoration from millions, flying around the globe to earn tens of thousands of dollars for one night's work. Increasingly, they are replacing live musicians as the central figures of the music industry. In Last Night a DJ Saved My Life, music journalists Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton have written the first comprehensive history of the mysterious and charismatic figure behind the turntables -- part obsessive record collector, part mad scientist, part intuitive psychologist of the party groove. From England's rabid Northern Soul scene to the birth of disco in New York, from the sound systems of Jamaica to the scratch wars of early hip-hop in the Bronx, from Chicago house to Detroit techno to London rave, DJs are responsible for most of the significant changes in music over the past forty years. Drawing on in-depth interviews with DJs, critics, musicians, record executives, and the revelers at some of the century's most legendary parties, Last Night a DJ Saved My Life is nothing less than the life story of dance music. --Book Description (2000) via Amazon.com --Last Night a DJ saved My Life (2000) - Bill Brewster, Frank Broughton [Amazon.com]

2004, Oct 21; 12:28 ::: 9 Songs (2004) - Michael Winterbottom

9 Songs (2004) - Michael Winterbottom [IMDB]

  • Michael Winterbottom's 9 Songs, the most sexually explicit film in the history of British cinema, has been passed uncut by the British Board of Film Classification, it was announced today.

    The film consists almost entirely of explicitly shot real sex scenes between its two actors.

    It caused outrage on its debut screening at the Cannes Film Festival in May.

    But the BBFC has granted it an '18' certificate and ruled that the sexual content was "exceptionally justified by context".

    The BBFC admitted audiences may find the scenes of real sex "shocking".

    The Board concluded: "Some people may find such explicit images shocking or unexpected in a cinema film. The Board is sensitive to public concerns, and its guidelines are based on extensive consultation.

    "The Board's guidelines allow the more explicit images of sexual activity at '18' if they can be exceptionally justified by context.

    "The Board has concluded in this case that adults should be free to choose whether or not to see the film." --http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/10/19/1097951672119.html [Oct 2004]

  • The BBFC has classified Michael Winterbottom's film 9 Songs '18' uncut for cinema release. The film portrays the development of a relationship between two people, and includes a number of scenes of explicit, real, sexual activity. The Board carefully considered whether these scenes contravened the current classification Guidelines.

    Some people may find such explicit images shocking or unexpected in a cinema film. The Board is sensitive to public concerns, and its Guidelines are based on extensive consultation. The Board's Guidelines allow the more explicit images of sexual activity at '18' if they can be exceptionally justified by context. The Board has concluded in this case that adults should be free to choose whether or not to see the film. The film does not raise issues of harm or sexual violence. The film's exploration of the relationship provides sufficient contextual justification for the Board to pass the work uncut at '18'. 9 Songs is wholly different in appearance, tone, intention and treatment from the sex works which the Board classifies either at '18' or 'R18' (and which in the latter case may be supplied only in licensed sex shops).

    The Board's consumer advice for the film will make clear that the film contains frequent strong real sex so that anyone who might be offended can avoid seeing the film.

    Note for Editors

    Although not numerous, there are precedents for the Board passing real sex at '18', including Ai No Corrida classified '18' in 1991 (which also depicts the development of a relationship using images of real sex) and more recently Romance (1999) and Intimacy (2001). --http://www.bbfc.co.uk/Press_Releases/News/20041018.html [Oct 2004]

  • While filmmakers have used the cinema to explore the subject of sex for many decades, the last few years have seen a breakthrough of sorts in terms of explicitness. Catherine Breillat's Romance and Bruno Dumont's Twentynine Palms are just two of the many recent films in which serious art house filmmakers have pushed the boundaries of what can be shown. Now Michael Winterbottom, a regular Festival standout, has emerged with a low-budget, small-scale film that pushes them even further. 9 Songs includes explicit sex scenes that leave nothing to the imagination (so audiences beware!), but Winterbottom is an artist whose taste and restraint are never in question. This is not a prurient piece of voyeuristic filmmaking, but an earnest, sensitive examination of a relationship that everyone can relate to: an intense, new love affair between two people discovering each other in the first blush of attraction.

    The film is delightfully simple in structure and story. Winterbottom depicts domestic and intimate moments in the life of his couple. These interior scenes begin with sex, then broaden to capture the quotidian: breakfast, a trip to the seaside, scenes in the bathroom. They are intercut with concerts that the couple attend at the Brixton Academy - featuring groups like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Von Bondies, Elbow, Franz Ferdinand, Primal Scream, The Dandy Warhols, Super Furry Animals and even Michael Nyman - where we hear the nine songs of the title. The story is told by Matt (Kieran O'Brien) in flashback voice-over during a visit to Antarctica - he is a glaciologist - as he looks back on his time with Lisa (Margo Stilley).

    But the core of the film is their sexual relationship, casual and open, moving increasingly into fantasy and verging on the playfully sadomasochistic. 9 Songs does not attempt to be profound in any obvious way; it lacks the angst and self-examination that went into Bernardo Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris. Instead, it is a wonderfully natural and unselfconscious look at what goes on between a couple in the privacy of their bedroom. --http://www.e.bell.ca/filmfest/2004/filmsschedules/description.asp?pageID=searchforafilm&id=7 [Oct 2004]

    2004, Oct 21; 09:31 ::: Nude study (1925) - Raoul Hausmann

    Nude study (1925) - Raoul Hausmann

    2004, Oct 20; 15:59 ::: Divas and Lovers : The Erotic Art of Studio Manasse - foreword by D. H. Lawrence

    Divas and Lovers : The Erotic Art of Studio Manasse - forword by D. H. Lawrence [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    About the Author
    Hungarian emigres to Vienna, the Manasses developed a highly successful specialty in erotic photography.

    Monika Faber is a curator in the department of drawing and photography in the Museum of Modern Art in Vienna.

    Book Description
    This seductive volume features a recently rediscovered cache of captivating portraits from another time and place: a golden age of cinema and cabaret in Vienna of the 1920s and 1930s. The Manasses, a husband-and-wife team from the Vienesse beau monde, used retouching techniques to create surreal and noir images that seethe with an erotic symbolism barely concealed beneath a mask of glorious styling, elegant poses, and extravagant costumes. Photographic historian Monika Faber examines this work as part of the world of a cinema-enthralled Vienna, while an accompanying D.H. Lawrence story enhances the erotic climate of the images.

    2004, Oct 20; 11:29 ::: Blonde: Masterpieces of Erotic Photography (2002) - Michelle Olley

    Blonde: Masterpieces of Erotic Photography (2002) - Michelle Olley [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Blonde presents the eternal appeal of the glamour blonde. With such photographers as Doris Kloster, Christophe Mourthe, and Tony Ward, the book features the best portfolio work of the top international names in traditional glamour photography, as well as more glamour-oriented fetish photographers and fashion/portrait photographers. Blonde includes such celebrity nudes as Marilyn Monroe, Kim Novak, Anna Nicole Smith, Pamela Anderson, and Joanne Guest. The book also features 1950s calendar girls, nudes in outdoor, natural, and low-key settings, and dressed up blondes from fetish to space doll costumes. The pictures in Blonde are as diverse and up to the minute as in other successful erotic photography titles published by Thunder’s Mouth Press.

    2004, Oct 19; 22:18 ::: Midnight movies

    The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) - Jim Sharman [Amazon.com]

    Midnight movies: films that are off-beat, a bit bizarre and only appeal to a small segment of film audiences. They are dubbed Midnight Movies because most theatres will only exhibit these films on or after midnight. Generally, these are not movies oriented for children in any manner. Constituent members in this genre include Glenn or Glenda (1952), Night of the Living Dead (1967-68), The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), and Eraserhead (1976). --http://video.barnesandnoble.com/search/glossary.asp [Oct 2004]

    2004, Oct 19; 10:23 ::: Zabriskie Point (1970) - Michelangelo Antonioni

    Zabriskie Point (1970) - Michelangelo Antonioni [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Reviewer: kireviewer via Amazon.com
    Zabriskie Point is probably more famous for the soundtrack than it is for the movie. The main attraction of the soundtrack was three Pink Floyd songs, written before the album, Atom Heart Mother. It also contains a nice 7 minute Jerry Garcia acoustic instrumental. The soundtrack album was always a must have for any Pink Floyd/Grateful Dead fan. The odd thing is that this movie is almost devoid of music. The movie starts and ends with a Pink Floyd track, and most of the Garcia track is played during the psychodelic love scene. Other than that, there are only snippets of the songs from the soundtrack album. There are large stretches of the film where there is no music at all. You would think that a movie that was supposed to be a reflection of the times in America would need a background of music, since music was so important to the whole scene. Forget about the music....is it a good movie? Not really. It starts out good, with students discussing politics. But, the debate sounds false, like something an outsider would write. It almost reminds me of how Dragnet would portray hippies; a parents view of how young people were acting. Then the movie goes off on a tangent about the hero stealing a plane. Most of it has nothing to do with the times. There are some beautifully filmed sequences in the movie. However, alot of it is just a travelogue, with long, silent passages, or just the drone of an engine. The whole thing might have worked better if there was background music to pull it all together. The love scene is very good. And the ending is pretty spectacular (but kind of a let down after reading all the raves about it). But this a great example of how the music from Pink Floyd adds so much power to the scene. Note that this scene was featured on the Oscars telecast a couple of years ago. The soundtrack was originally released as a single LP. There is a new version of the soundtrack that contains a second CD. The second CD contains 30 minutes of Jerry Garcia and 25 minutes of Pink Floyd music that was not used in the movie. It is a shame. The music could have gone a long way to making this a better movie. Last interesting thing to note is that a lot of the reviews for this movie are just as arty, pretentious and vacuous as the movie itself. --kireviewer via Amazon.com

    Michelangelo Antonioni (born September 29, 1912 in Ferrara, Italy) is an Italian film director, writer and painter.

    He graduated in economics at Bologna University, he reached Rome in 1940 where he attended specifical studies at Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Cinecittà. Here he met some of the artists with whom he cooperated in the next years; among them Roberto Rossellini.

    He described himself as a Marxist intellectual, but some authors advance some doubts about his effective adherence to that ideology. In contrast with his contemporaries, including the neorealists and also Federico Fellini, Ermanno Olmi and Pier Paolo Pasolini, whose stories generally dealt with the lives of the working class and the misfits and outcasts of society, Antonioni's most notable films revolved around the elite and the urban bourgeois.--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelangelo_Antonioni [Oct 2004]

    The counterculture cash-in peaked in 1970: Michelangelo Antonioni's Zabriskie Point, Jean-Luc Godard's Sympathy for the Devil, and Nicholas Roeg's Performance raised the youth film to new heights of artistic pretension: The Strawberry Statement and a halfdozen other visions of campus revolt escaped from Hollywood; Woodstock and Gimme Shelter established the opposite poles of the ecstatic rock documentary; Federico Fellini's Satyricon displaced the counterculture to the pre-Christian era and remade Flaming Creatures in Roman drag; Michael Sarne's Myra Breckinride repackaged "camp" for the American heartland; exploitation films took on the perverse topicality of Russ Meyer's Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and John Avildsen's Joe; Paul Morrissey's Trash apotheosized the underground comedy. Still, the "Movement" which had first captured national media attention during San Francisco's 1967 "summer of love" was already in retreat as its momentum halted by the bullets of Ohio National Guardsmen at Kent State in the spring of l970. In its waning days, however, the counterculture was to seize upon an obscurely mystical and grotesquely violent film by a peripatetic forty-one-year-old Latin American avantgardist and, in so doing, invent the ritual of the midnight movie.--Midnight Movies (1983) - Jeffrey Hoberman

    2004, Oct 18; 09:18 ::: Necro Citizenship: Death, Eroticism, and the Public Sphere in the Nineteenth-Century United States (2001) - Russ Castronovo

    Necro Citizenship: Death, Eroticism, and the Public Sphere in the Nineteenth-Century United States (2001) - Russ Castronovo [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    In this text, Russ Castronovo argues that the meaning of citizenship in the United States during the 19th century was bound to - and even dependent on - death. Deploying a range of literary and cultural texts, Castronovo interrogates an American public sphere that fetishized death as a crucial point of political identification. This morbid politics idealized disembodiment over embodiment, spiritual conditions over material ones, amnesia over history, and passivity over engagement. Moving from medical engravings, seances and clairvoyant communication to Supreme Court decisions, popular literature and physiological tracts, the work explores how rituals of inclusion and belonging have generated alienation and dispossession. Castronovo contends that citizenship does violence to bodies, especially those of blacks, women and workers. "Necro ideology", he argues, supplied citizens with the means to think about slavery, economic powerlessness, or social injustice as eternal questions, beyond the scope of politics or critique. By obsessing on sleepwalkers, drowned women and other corpses, necro ideology fostered a collective demand for an abstract, even antidemocratic, sense of freedom. Examining issues involving the occult, white sexuality, ghosts and suicide in conjunction with readings of Harriet Jacobs, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Frederick Douglass, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Frances Harper, the text seeks to demonstrate why Patrick Henry's "give me liberty or give me death" has resonated so strongly in the American imagination.

    From the Publisher
    “Liberty and death? Citizenship and necrophilia? The conjunction ‘and’ is shocking and is meant to shock. Russ Castronovo sees American political life as the burial ground of many corpses, literal as well as metaphoric. With ruthless determination he digs these up, examines their tell-tale remains, and, in the process, offers a trenchant critique of some consequences of American democracy.”—Wai Chee Dimock, author of Residues of Justice: Literature, Law, Philosophy

    Book Description
    In Necro Citizenship Russ Castronovo argues that the meaning of citizenship in the United States during the nineteenth century was bound to—and even dependent on—death. Deploying an impressive range of literary and cultural texts, Castronovo interrogates an American public sphere that fetishized death as a crucial point of political identification. This morbid politics idealized disembodiment over embodiment, spiritual conditions over material ones, amnesia over history, and passivity over engagement.

    Moving from medical engravings, séances, and clairvoyant communication to Supreme Court decisions, popular literature, and physiological tracts, Necro Citizenship explores how rituals of inclusion and belonging have generated alienation and dispossession. Castronovo contends that citizenship does violence to bodies, especially those of blacks, women, and workers. “Necro ideology,” he argues, supplied citizens with the means to think about slavery, economic powerlessness, or social injustice as eternal questions, beyond the scope of politics or critique. By obsessing on sleepwalkers, drowned women, and other corpses, necro ideology fostered a collective demand for an abstract even antidemocratic sense of freedom. Examining issues involving the occult, white sexuality, ghosts, and suicide in conjunction with readings of Harriet Jacobs, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Frederick Douglass, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Frances Harper, Necro Citizenship successfully demonstrates why Patrick Henry'! s “give me liberty or give me death” has resonated so strongly in the American imagination.

    Those working in the fields of American studies, literature, history, and political theory will be interested in the social revelations and cultural connections found in Necro Citizenship.

    2004, Oct 18; 09:18 ::: The Master and Margarita (1940|1966) - Mikhail Bulgakov

    The Master and Margarita (1940|1966) - Mikhail Bulgakov [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Surely no stranger work exists in the annals of protest literature than The Master and Margarita. Written during the Soviet crackdown of the 1930s, when Mikhail Bulgakov's works were effectively banned, it wraps its anti-Stalinist message in a complex allegory of good and evil. Or would that be the other way around? The book's chief character is Satan, who appears in the guise of a foreigner and self-proclaimed black magician named Woland. Accompanied by a talking black tomcat and a "translator" wearing a jockey's cap and cracked pince-nez, Woland wreaks havoc throughout literary Moscow. First he predicts that the head of noted editor Berlioz will be cut off; when it is, he appropriates Berlioz's apartment. (A puzzled relative receives the following telegram: "Have just been run over by streetcar at Patriarch's Ponds funeral Friday three afternoon come Berlioz.") Woland and his minions transport one bureaucrat to Yalta, make another one disappear entirely except for his suit, and frighten several others so badly that they end up in a psychiatric hospital. In fact, it seems half of Moscow shows up in the bin, demanding to be placed in a locked cell for protection.

    Meanwhile, a few doors down in the hospital lives the true object of Woland's visit: the author of an unpublished novel about Pontius Pilate. This Master--as he calls himself--has been driven mad by rejection, broken not only by editors' harsh criticism of his novel but, Bulgakov suggests, by political persecution as well. Yet Pilate's story becomes a kind of parallel narrative, appearing in different forms throughout Bulgakov's novel: as a manuscript read by the Master's indefatigable love, Margarita, as a scene dreamed by the poet--and fellow lunatic--Ivan Homeless, and even as a story told by Woland himself. Since we see this narrative from so many different points of view, who is truly its author? Given that the Master's novel and this one end the same way, are they in fact the same book? These are only a few of the many questions Bulgakov provokes, in a novel that reads like a set of infinitely nested Russian dolls: inside one narrative there is another, and then another, and yet another. His devil is not only entertaining, he is necessary: "What would your good be doing if there were no evil, and what would the earth look like if shadows disappeared from it?"

    Unsurprisingly--in view of its frequent, scarcely disguised references to interrogation and terror--Bulgakov's masterwork was not published until 1967, almost three decades after his death. Yet one wonders if the world was really ready for this book in the late 1930s, if, indeed, we are ready for it now. Shocking, touching, and scathingly funny, it is a novel like no other. Woland may reattach heads or produce 10-ruble notes from the air, but Bulgakov proves the true magician here. The Master and Margarita is a different book each time it is opened. --Mary Park --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

    From Publishers Weekly
    This uncensored translation of Bulgakov's posthumously published masterpiece of black magic and black humor restores its sliest digs and sharpest jabs at Stalin's regime, which suppressed it. Writing in a punning, soaring prose thick with contemporary historical references and political irony, Bulgakov (1891-1940) did not make things easy for future translators. The story itself is demanding: the arrival of the Devil and his entourage in Stalin's Moscow frames a Faustian tale of a suppressed... read more --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

    Book Description Mikhail Bulgakov's devastating satire of Soviet life was written during the darkest period of Stalin's regime. Combining two distinct yet interwoven parts-one set in ancient Jerusalem, one in contemporary Moscow-the novel veers from moods of wild theatricality with violent storms, vampire attacks, and a Satanic ball; to such somber scenes as the meeting of Pilate and Yeshua, and the murder of Judas in the moonlit garden of Gethsemane; to the substanceless, circus-like reality of Moscow. Its central characters, Woland (Satan) and his retinue-including the vodka-drinking, black cat, Behemoth; the poet, Ivan Homeless; Pontius Pilate; and a writer known only as The Master, and his passionate companion, Margarita-exist in a world that blends fantasy and chilling realism, an artful collage of grostesqueries, dark comedy, and timeless ethical questions.

    Although completed in 1940, The Master and Margarita was not published in Moscow until 1966, when the first part appeared in the magazine Moskva. It was an immediate and enduring success: Audiences responded with great enthusiasm to its expression of artistic and spiritual freedom. This new translation has been created from the complete and unabridged Russian texts. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

    2004, Oct 18; 08:16 ::: Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe, Richard Avedon

    Marilyn Monroe as Marlene Dietrich (1958) - Richard Avedon

    In the fall of 1958, Marilyn posed for the photographer, Richard Avedon, in a series of interpretations of the great sex symbols of the 20th century: Lillian Russell, Theda Bara, Clara Bow, Jean Harlow and Marlene Dietrich. Some of these photos were published exclusively by Life magazine. Arthur Miller wrote an introduction to the article entitled, My wife, Marilyn. Many have criticized Miller for the contents of this article. Regardless of what Miller said or thinks, these pictures speak for themselves. --http://home.att.net/~sallyann3/avedon.html [Oct 2004]

    Richard Avedon (May 15, 1923 - October 1, 2004) was an American photographer. Avedon was able to take his early success in fashion photography and expand it into the realm of fine art. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Avedon [Oct 2004]

    2004, Oct 17; 20:59 ::: It (1927) - Josef von Sternberg, Clarence G. Badger

    It (1927) - Josef von Sternberg, Clarence G. Badger [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    It is famous for turning cutie-pie Clara Bow into, as critic David Thomson described her, "the first mass-market sex symbol." Somewhat overshadowed by this phenomenon is the fact that It is also a terrifically entertaining picture, an effortless cruise through the manners and morals of the flapper era. Bow plays a shopgirl who sets her saucer eyes on her boss (Antonio Moreno); it isn't terribly hard to land him, since she possesses dazzle, charm, spunk... in a word, "It." And if we're still not sure what "It" is, there's a moment of high camp hilarity when matronly author Elinor Glyn, who penned the original definition of "It," strides through the movie and delivers herself of its meaning. Actually, Bow's delightful performance does more to define "It" than anything else, and her unabashed sexiness (which didn't play well after sound came in) clearly sets the future course for Marilyn Monroe and Madonna. --Robert Horton, Amazon.com

    From the Back Cover
    Clara Bow was the brightest star of the Jazz Age and its hottest sex symbol; after this movie, fans had a new name for her: the "It Girl." Bow portrays Betty Lou Spence, a beautiful, sassy, self-confident sales girl at the Waltham Department Store, where she eyes Cyrus, the handsome son of the store's owner. It's love at first sight and the chase is on in one of the greatest romantic comedies of the silent era! Misunderstandings, love, sex, and a ukelele all come together in the film's hilarious...

    2004, Oct 17; 20:35 ::: The Blue Angel (1930) - Josef von Sternberg

    The Blue Angel (1930) - Josef von Sternberg [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Amazon.com essential video
    For director Josef von Sternberg and Marlene Dietrich it all began with The Blue Angel, one of the masterpieces of Germany's Weimar cinema. This landmark film thrust the sultry and unrestrained Dietrich on an unsuspecting international film audience. She plays the prototypical role of Lola, the singer who tempts repressed professor Emil Jannings (the king of expressionist actors) into complete submission night after night at the Blue Angel nightclub. The film perfectly captures the masochism and degradation of the Weimar Republic, just before the rise of Adolf Hitler. And yet the moral confusion exhibited by Jannings is really due to his own torment. Dietrich is merely an instrument of his innermost desires, standing on stage in top hat, stockings, and bare thighs singing "Falling in Love Again." --Bill Desowitz, Amazon.com

    2004, Oct 17; 20:06 ::: Daily reach of jahsonic.com

    Daily reach of jahsonic.com

    In the application of statistics to advertising and media analysis, reach is defined as the size of the audience who listen to, read, view or otherwise access a particular work in a given time period. Reach may be stated either as an absolute number, or as a fraction of a population. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reach [Oct 2004]

    2004, Oct 17; 19:40 ::: Lais, Hetaera, Ancient Greece

    Lais (1526) - Hans Holbein

    Lais was a legendary prostitute or courtesan of ancient Greece who was active in Corinth. She was born in Hyccara in Sicily and was carried away by the Athenian general Nicias. The fees she charged for her sexual favors were legendary (10,000 drachmas when she began). She was well known not only for her beauty and fee, but also for her conversation and charm. Her services and attention were sought intensely by the greatest philosophers and leaders of her day. Demosthenes (who left when he found that her cost was the equivalent of 1,200 British pounds in today's money), Diogenes, and the sculptor Myron all sought her out. She ridiculed the social pretensions of Corinth and observed that the philosophers were as often at her door as the rest of Athens.

    She moved to Thessaly and took up with a favorite youth named Hippostratus. The women of the area banded together and had her assassinated in the Temple of Aphrodite around 340 BC. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lais [Oct 2004]

    2004, Oct 17; 16:53 ::: E.J. Bellocq, Storyville, Louis Malle, Pretty Baby, Brooke Shields

    Storyville Portraits (c.1912) - E.J. Bellock

    Storyville Portraits (c.1912) - E.J. Bellock [Amazon.com]

    After Bellocq's death most of his work was destroyed. However, a collection of glass negatives was later found concealed in a sofa. These were photographs of prostitutes who worked in the legalised brothels of Storyville around 1912. Some were nude, some dressed respectably, others posed as if acting a mysterious narrative. In 1971 a selection of the photographs were published in a book entitled Storyville Portraits. They had been made into distinctive prints by Lee Friedlander, using the whole of the negatives.

    These photographs were immediately acclaimed for their unique poignancy and beauty. Many of the negatives were badly damaged, in part deliberately. This encouraged speculation about the reasons why they had been taken and later violated. Many of the faces had been scraped out; whether this was done by E. J. Bellocq himself, his Jesuit priest brother who inherited them after E. J.'s death, or someone else is unknown. In a few photos the women wore masks on the original photos. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.J._Bellocq [Oct 2004]

    Pretty Baby plot:In 1917, the last months of legal prostitution in Storyville, the red-light district of New Orleans, Louisiana. Hattie [Susan Sarandon] , a prostitute at the elegant home of Madame Nell, and her 12-year-old daughter Violet [Brooke Shields] are the only ones awake when photographer Ernest J. Bellocq comes by with his camera. He takes pictures of Hattie and he fascinates Violet. Over the next few months, Nell arranges for the auction of Violet's virginity, Hattie marries and goes to St. Louis leaving Violet behind, and Violet determines to marry Bellocq. Is this idyllic or is she just a girl wearing rouge, soon to return to childhood? --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pretty_Baby [Oct 2004]

    A semi-scandal upon its release in 1978, this Louis Malle film is set in a turn-of-the-century, New Orleans bordello and focuses on a girl named Violet (then-child actress Brooke Shields) whose imminent twelfth birthday signals her "readiness" to become a career prostitute. Typical of Malle, the outwardly forbidden nature of the story and relationships within are morally obscured by the immediate experiences and unqualified urges of the characters. The little heroine brings a distinctly youthful and innocent view to the milieu, and the introduction of a photographer (Keith Carradine)--who eventually marries Violet--in the brothel carries the suggestion that there is art and beauty to be explored there. Susan Sarandon is beguiling as Violet's mother, who seems to unfold in the cameraman's presence. The film moves a little stiffly, a little slowly, possibly from a heavy emphasis on period art direction and Sven Nykvist's moody if gorgeous photography. --Tom Keogh, Amazon.com in a review of Pretty Baby (1978) - Louis Malle [Amazon.com]

    2004, Oct 16; 18:08 ::: Bellocq: : Photographs from Storyville, the Red-Light District of New Orleans E.J. BELLOCQ

    Bellocq: : Photographs from Storyville, the Red-Light District of New Orleans E.J. BELLOCQ [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    A stunning collection of fifty-two dramatic tritone portrait photographs captures the world of prostitutes in New Orleans during the early twentieth century, accompanied by an incisive critical analysis of the enigmatic photographer and his work. 10,000 first printing.

    From the Inside Flap
    An expanded and revised edition of the famous book of portraits of prostitutes in turn-of-the-century New Orleans, the inspiration for the Louis Malle film Pretty Baby. This new edition includes 52 tritone photos printed in a large format. The text from the original edition--by John Szarjowski, former director of photography at the Museum of Modern Art--is reprinted here, along with a new Introduction by Susan Sontag.

    Book Description
    An expanded and revised edition of the famous book of portraits of prostitutes in turn-of-the-century New Orleans, the inspiration for the Louis Malle film Pretty Baby. This new edition includes 52 tritone photos printed in a large format. The text from the original edition--by John Szarjowski, former director of photography at the Museum of Modern Art--is reprinted here, along with a new Introduction by Susan Sontag.

    2004, Oct 16; 17:17 ::: Pretty Baby (1978) - Louis Malle

    Pretty Baby (1978) - Louis Malle [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    A semi-scandal upon its release in 1978, this Louis Malle film is set in a turn-of-the-century, New Orleans bordello and focuses on a girl named Violet (then-child actress Brooke Shields) whose imminent twelfth birthday signals her "readiness" to become a career prostitute. Typical of Malle, the outwardly forbidden nature of the story and relationships within are morally obscured by the immediate experiences and unqualified urges of the characters. The little heroine brings a distinctly youthful and innocent view to the milieu, and the introduction of a photographer (Keith Carradine)--who eventually marries Violet--in the brothel carries the suggestion that there is art and beauty to be explored there. Susan Sarandon is beguiling as Violet's mother, who seems to unfold in the cameraman's presence. The film moves a little stiffly, a little slowly, possibly from a heavy emphasis on period art direction and Sven Nykvist's moody if gorgeous photography. --Tom Keogh, Amazon.com in a review of Pretty Baby (1978) - Louis Malle [Amazon.com]

    2004, Oct 16; 16:39 ::: Count Theodore Zichy, photographer

    “Count” Theodore Zichy was a British photographer, born in Austria in 1908 who commonly photographed women’s legs and feet. His 1948 portfolio “Chiaroscuros” played off of the erotic sexual fantasies of modern man, featuring photographs of women’s legs and chains.

    2004, Oct 16; 09:25 ::: A Fool There Was (1915) - Frank Powell

    Theda Bara in a publicity shot for A Fool There Was (1915) - Frank Powell [Amazon.com]

    2004, Oct 15; 18:51 ::: The Love Goddesses (1965) - Saul J. Turell

    The Love Goddesses (1965) - Saul J. Turell [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    The story of The Love Goddesses is itself a history of sex in the movies beginning with America still in the shadow of the Victorian era and the movie heroine bound by the same conventions as any young lady of society. This brilliant documentary chronicles the massive changes in women's film sexuality from the beginnings of the motion picture at the turn of the century to the newfound frankness of the 1960s with clips of more than 100 actresses.

    2004, Oct 15; 18:51 ::: first issue of Playboy magazine, 1953

    Marilyn Monroe, first issue of Playboy magazine, 1953

    As Hefner puts it: ‘The sexual revolution began with the Kinsey Report. I’ve said many times that Kinsey was the researcher and I was the pamphleteer.’ (Hefner quoted in Mungo 1996: 115)

    2004, Oct 15; 00:35 ::: Rrose Sélavy

    Rrose Sélavy, female persona of Marcel Duchamp

    Luther Blissett is a multiple identity, a nom de plume that anyone is welcome to use for activist and artistic endeavour. Other multiple identities in use include Monty Cantsin, Karen Eliot and Michael K. These multiple names were developed and popularized in artistic subcultures of the 1970s to 1990 like Mail Art, Neoism and post-situationist discourse, with the pseudonym Rrose Sélavy jointly used by Dada artist Marcel Duchamp and the surrealist poet Robert Desnos forming a historical pretext. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luther_Blissett_%28nom_de_plume%29 [Oct 2004]

    2004, Oct 14; 12:58 ::: Ballet Mécanique (1924) - Fernand Léger, Dudley Murphy

    Ballet Mécanique (1924) - Fernand Léger, Dudley Murphy

    George Antheil cause quit a stir with his first publically known modernist musical compositions, the Ballet Mechanique, which is the first time amy composer used machines. Antheil collaborated with Ferdinand Leger, on a film using the same name, and it captures the spirit of the music of those times. One of the interesting things about George is that he was not bound by conventional concepts of what "Classical Music" should be. He wanted to focus on the music and delivering it to the listener with the greatest possible flexibility and accuracy. --source offline [Oct 2004]

    2004, Oct 14; 09:34 ::: Adam and Eve (1924) Marcel Duchamp and Bronja Perlmutter, Paris

    Adam and Eve. Marcel Duchamp and Bronja Perlmutter. Paris, 1924.

    Three years later, immediately after the self-portrait in the Monte Carlo Bond –in Cinésketch, a theatrical diversion of Picabia and René Clair- Duchamp reappears as Adam in a tableau vivant based on a sixteenth-century painting by Cranach, displaying an evidently artificial beard (a significant counterpart to the ambiguous beard of foam), a watch, and a shaved pubis. Certainly not the last 'shaving' in his work. --http://www.toutfait.com/issues/volume2/issue_5/articles/mauricio/mauricio1.html [Oct 2004]

    2004, Oct 14; 09:34 ::: Taxi Driver (1976) - Martin Scorsese

    Taxi Driver (1976) - Martin Scorsese [Amazon.com]

    Taxi Driver is the definitive cinematic portrait of loneliness and alienation manifested as violence. It is as if director Martin Scorsese and screenwriter Paul Schrader had tapped into precisely the same source of psychological inspiration ("I just knew I had to make this film," Scorsese would later say), combined with a perfectly timed post-Watergate expression of personal, political, and societal anxiety. Robert De Niro, as the tortured, ex-Marine cab driver Travis Bickle, made movie history with his chilling performance as one of the most memorably intense and vividly realized characters ever committed to film. Bickle is a self-appointed vigilante who views his urban beat as an intolerable cesspool of blighted humanity. He plays guardian angel for a young prostitute (Jodie Foster), but not without violently devastating consequences. This masterpiece, which is not for all tastes, is sure to horrify some viewers, but few could deny the film's lasting power and importance. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com

    2004, Oct 13; 19:57 ::: Undisputed Truth

    Undisputed Truth, source unknown

    In this month's Wire magazine, Peter Shapiro offers a user's guide to the unlikely late 60s collisions between hippy rock and righteous black music [Oct 2004]

    2004, Oct 13; 11:37 ::: Marat / Sade (1966) - Peter Brook

    Amazon.com essential video
    In 1964, German playwright Peter Weiss wowed the international theater scene with his Berlin production of The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade. An instant sensation, the play caught the attention of iconic theater director Peter Brook, whose own stage production captivated audiences in New York the next year. Brook then filmed his production in 1966, and the resulting movie, Marat/Sade, stands as one of the best-loved screen adaptations of a play, by both critics and theater fans alike. (The 1996 film Quills is a good example of the story's lasting resonance.) As can be surmised by the play's original title, the action focuses on the Marquis de Sade (Patrick Magee) circa 1808, who, while imprisoned at Charenton Asylum, writes and directs a play starring his fellow inmates. Dramatizing the final hours of French revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat (Ian Richardson) before he was killed by Charlotte Corday (Glenda Jackson, in one of the defining moments of her career), de Sade offers the play as an entertaining whim for the tiny audience of asylum director Coulmier (Clifford Rose) and his family. Utilizing the "theatre of cruelty" theory of avant-garde pioneer Antonin Artaud--once an asylum inmate himself--Brook's presentation of Marat/Sade confronts with jagged language, sounds and visuals, in an attempt to shock the movie audience into dissatisfaction and action against the status quo, mirroring the way de Sade's play within the film stirs the asylum inmates to high dudgeon and revolution. --Heather Campbell

    2004, Oct 13; 00:02 ::: It Happened Here (1966) - Kevin Brownlow, Andrew Mollo

    It Happened Here (1966) - Kevin Brownlow, Andrew Mollo [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    British film historian Kevin Brownlow was all of 18 when he conceived the idea for this alternate-history film depicting what life in London would have been like if Nazi troops had conquered England in July 1940. Along with his friend and collaborator Andrew Mollo (only 16 at the time), he took eight years to piece the film together using borrowed equipment and begging scraps of film stock from established filmmakers such as Stanley Kubrick. The result owes much to Brownlow's penchant for silent films (he authored a classic text on the subject entitled The Parade's Gone By), and possibly to Italian neorealism, since the semidocumentary style bows in that direction. Good thing, too. The documentary feel captivates the viewer. The story follows an Everybrit named Pauline as she grows from complacence and resignation over the Nazi occupation of England to when she becomes a nurse for the Nazis and realizes the true horror of her and England's situation. Brownlow's pure desire for authenticity makes the film more chilling than it would otherwise have been. For instance, on the film's initial release, Jewish groups objected to a sequence involving a real-life fascist of the time, Colin Jordan, spouting his opinion of Jews and euthanasia. They feared people wouldn't pick up on the film's anti-Nazi stance, and would therefore take the comments seriously. So seven minutes of footage were cut that have now been restored, making the film scarier than ever. --Jim Gay

    2004, Oct 12; 12:33 ::: The Wonder of Stevie Vol 1 and 2 - Melody Man (2003/2004) - Various Artists

    The Wonder of Stevie Vol 2 - Melody Man (2004) - Various Artists [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Disc: 1 1. You got it bad girl - Hugo Montenegro 2. Where were you when I needed you - Lionel Hampton 3. Golden lady - Jose Feliciano 4. Pastime paradise - Ray Barretto 5. Superstition - Sergio Mendes and Brasil 77 6. As - Gene Harris 7. Buttercup - Carleen Anderson 8. Too High - Norman Brown 9. I Was Made to Love her - Charles Earland 10. Bad Weather - The Supremes 11. Spring High - Ramsey Lewis 12. Love Having You Around - First Choice 13. Stick Together - Minnie Riperton 14. Don't You Worry Bout A Thing - Main Ingredient 15. Another Star - Cedar Walton 16. .

    Disc: 2 1. Golden Lady - Jose Feliciano 2. Superstition - Sergio Mendes and Brasil 77 3. Where Were You When I Need You - Lionel Hampton 4. I Was Made to Love her - Charles Earland 5. Pastime paradise - Ray Barretto 6. Bad Weather - The Supremes 7. You got it bad girl - Hugo Montenegro 8. Don't You Worry Bout A Thing - Main Ingredient 9. Another Star - Cedar Walton 10. Buttercup - Carleen Anderson 11. As - Gene Harris 12. Too High - Norman Brown 13. Love Having You Around - First Choice 14. Stick Together - Minnie Riperton 15. Spring High - Ramsey Lewis

    The Wonder of Stevie Vol 2 - Melody Man (2004) - Various Artists [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Disc: 1 1. Minnie Ripperton - Perfect Angel 2. The Spinners - It's A Shame 3. Joe Farrell - Too High 4. Carl Carlton - Signed, Sealed, Delivered 5. Four Tops - Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever 6. BB King - To Know You Is To Love You 7. The Players Association - I Wish 8. Jermaine Jackson - Let's Get Serious 9. Quincy Jones feat Patti Austin - Betcha Wouldn't Hurt Me 10. The Pointer Sisters - Bring You Sweet Stuff Home To Me 11. Gato Barberi - I Am Singing 12. Smokey Robinson - Melody Man 13. Ronnie Foster - Tuesday Heartbreak

    Disc: 2 1. Minnie Ripperton - Perfect Angel 2. The Spinners - It's A Shame 3. The Players Association - I Wish 4. BB King - To Know You Is To Love You 5. Carl Carlton - Signed, Sealed, Delivered 6. The Pointer Sisters - Bring You Sweet Stuff Home To Me 7. Ronnie Foster - Tuesday Heartbreak 8. Main Ingredient- Girl Blue 9. The Pointer Sisters - Sleeping Alone 10. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles - The Tears of a Clown 11. Smokey Robinson - Melody Man 12. Jermaine Jackson - Let's Get Serious 13. Quincy Jones feat Patti Austin - Betcha Wouldn't Hurt Me 14. Gato Barberi - I Am Singing 15. Four Tops - Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever

    2004, Oct 12; 11:39 ::: Stille dage i Clichy/Quiet Days in Clichy (1970) - Jens Jørgen Thorsen

    Stille dage i Clichy/Quiet Days in Clichy (1970) - Jens Jørgen Thorsen [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Suffused with the improvisational playfulness of the French New Wave and brimming with naked flesh and explicit scenes, Jens Jorgen Thorsen's freewheeling adaptation of Henry Miller's notorious novel offered a different kind of American in Paris and pushed the boundaries of sex on the screen. America pushed back: the film was seized on charges of obscenity in 1970 and condemned by the Catholic bishops review board. Though hardly tame by modern standards, it's less an underground classic than a curious timepiece. Paul Valjean is a colorless star, and behind the hedonism and erotic adventures is a chauvinist portrait of sexual relations (Philip Kaufman's Henry and June offers a more interesting take on Miller). See Quiet Days in Clichy for the marvelous black and white images of late-1960s Paris, an energetic supporting cast (many of them actual Parisian streetwalkers, according to legend), and Country Joe McDonald's ribald songs. --Sean Axmaker

    DVD extras include an interview with Grove Publishing founder Barney Rosset, who recounts his history of championing Miller's erotic works, and the challenges posed by adapting them to film. There's also a fun interview with Country Joe, who recounts his musical involvement in the film from a social context; a gallery of on-set stills and promotional photos; a DVD-ROM file containing copies of court documents from the film's obscenity review; and an insert containing detailed liner notes about the story's journey to the screen. --http://www.blue-underground.com/movie.php?movie_id=8 [Oct 2004]

    Henry Miller's memoir of friends, women, and cheap wine is a relaxed, very sexy outrage that manages to be both humorous and pornographic. Genitals and "penetration" are shown and a particularly anti-bourgeois scene has the starving Miller flavor a cookie from a garbagecan with odor derived from his anus. SC -- Film As a Subversive Art (1974) - Amos Vogel

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066407/ [Oct 2004]

    2004, Oct 11; 23:37 ::: Liquid Sky (1982) - Slava Tsukerman

    Liquid Sky (1982) - Slava Tsukerman [Amazon.com]

    This 1983 science fiction oddity, set in the subterranean world of heroin addicts, performance artists, and androgynous models in New York's East Village, became a staple of the midnight movie circuit and college campus film societies. A tiny UFO lands on the roof of a grungy penthouse apartment inhabited by androgynous model Anne Carlisle and her drug-dealing lover Paula E. Sheppard (the former child star of Alice, Sweet Alice). As explained with deadpan gravity by hilariously naive alien hunter Otto Von Wernherr, the UFOs congregate in areas of intense heroin concentration and feed off the highs of addicts. This alien has found a better high: orgasms. Russian émigré Slava Tsukerman's punk sci-fi feature takes the alien in alienation seriously, charting the mental disintegration of Carlisle as every sexual partner dies in climax and she turns herself into a heroine-chic angel of death. Easily the strangest to come out of the New York indie explosion of the early '80s, this low budget classic is talky and overlong at almost two hours, but remains an imaginative use of bargain-basement effects (heat aura photography, stop motion animation) for a tale of a most unusual alien encounter. Tsukerman co-composed the minimalist electronic score (in the Laurie Anderson vein). Carlisle, who cowrote the film, also appears as a surly gay male model. --Sean Axmaker, Liquid Sky (1982) - Slava Tsukerman [Amazon.com]

    2004, Oct 11; 23:16 ::: Ai No Corrida/In the Realm of the Senses (1976) - Nagisa Oshima

    Ai No Corrida/In the Realm of the Senses (1976) - Nagisa Oshima [Amazon.com]

    In the UK, In The Realm Of The Senses was shown under club-membership conditions until 1991, when the BBFC granted it a cinema certificate with one small alteration replicated on this video release. During a scene where Sada plays with two naked children, she reaches out and pulls at the little boy's penis. This scene is vital in that it is the first indication that Sada has become deranged, but it's problematic in that it falls foul of the Child Protection Act (which does not allow context as a defence). With Oshima's permission, the then BBFC Secretary James Ferman optically zoomed in on the image, so that the hand/genital contact was out of shot. But the rest of the film is intact, as it should be. Oshima's film is one of a kind. --Gary Couzens

    2004, Oct 11; 15:24 ::: Persona (1966) - Ingmar Bergman

    Persona (1966) - Ingmar Bergman [Amazon.com]

    Persona is a movie by Swedish director Ingmar Bergman, released in 1966, and featuring Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullmann.

    The movie takes place mostly at a seaside summer residence, where actress Elisabeth Vogler has been sent to recuperate by her psychiatrist after remaining silent for a long time. Her nurse Alma is sent to accompany her.

    The main plot is about the two personalities exchanging places, switching from one body to the other, so at the end, the nurse is Elisabeth Vogler and Elisabeth Vogler is the nurse. On a second level, the movie discuss what makes a person a person and if all our roles as humans are just as exchangable.

    David Lynch's film Mulholland Dr. shares strong similarities with "Persona". --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persona_%28movie%29 [Oct 2004]

    There’s a dreamlike feel to the film, which is full of imagery that has an effect even if it’s not entirely explicable. In its theme of the transference and joining of identities, Persona has had considerable influence, quite possibly on Cammell and Roeg’s Performance and Altman’s 3 Women, amongst others. Lifelong Bergman fan Woody Allen parodied it in Love and Death. Persona is also notable for Bergman’s use of avant-garde film techniques.

    The film begins with a projector starting up and a prologue featuring some startling and horrific imagery (including a brief shot of an erect penis, censored on original release and now restored). At one particularly intense point, the film appears to break and “burn” in the projector (an effect reproduced by Monte Hellman’s Two-Lane Blacktop). The intention is to “alienate” the audience by reminding them that they are watching a film, however engrossing it may be. --Gary Couzens via dvdtimes.co.uk

    2004, Oct 11; 14:07 ::: Los Caprichos - Francisco Goya

    Los Caprichos - Francisco Goya [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Reproductions of eighty aquatint plates depicting absurd monsters reflect the artist's views of social vices existing in Spain around the year 1800.

    Book Description
    Considered Goya’s most brilliant work, this collection combines corrosive satire and exquisite technique to depict 18th-century Spain as a nation of grotesque monsters sprung up in the absence of reason. Captions.

    2004, Oct 11; 11:46 ::: Das Kabinett des Doktor Caligari/The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) - Robert Wiene

    Das Kabinett des Doktor Caligari/The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) - Robert Wiene [Amazon.com]

    The Cabinet of Dr Caligari can be called the first art film, and it is certainly the very first psychological horror film. German expressionism flourished after the First World War, and Caligari was a prime example of the techniques involved. What were audiences to think of this wildly surreal nonsense, a tale seemingly told by a madman, and involving weird goings on with a somnambulist and his evil master? They thought it was great, actually. -- Noel O'Shea, Seminal horror films 1919-2004

    2004, Oct 10; 22:37 ::: C'est Arrivé Pres de Chez Vous/Man Bites Dog (1992) - Rémy Belvaux André Bonzel, ...

    C'est Arrivé Pres de Chez Vous/Man Bites Dog (1992) - Rémy Belvaux André Bonzel, ... [Amazon.com]

    This Belgian satire (in French with English subtitles) is dark, dark, dark--but also right on the money in its sly sendup of the media's fascination with violence and its complicity therein. This mock documentary has a trio of filmmakers shooting a cinéma vérité feature about a garrulous serial killer who lets the film crew follow him around as he selects victims and then dispatches them. But at what point does filmmaking become participation? These hapless documentarians soon find out as their subject eventually pulls them into his world, including a gun battle with a rival film crew and their own criminal star. Gruesomely hilarious, with a deadpan wit that's hard to resist. --Marshall Fine, Amazon.com

    2004, Oct 10; 12:11 ::: The Harder They Come (1973) - Perry Henzell

    The Harder They Come (1972) - Perry Henzell [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Director-producer Perry Henzel's all-Jamaican-made 1973 classic, one of the most beloved and longest-running of all international cult favorites, fiercely expresses the live-wire Jamaican spirit--an impoverished Africa tuned to American radio. The film also incorporates an archetypal passion for "outlaw" justice common to American Westerns, which were a staple of the Caribbean theater circuit at the time. Released just 12 years after Jamaica achieved independence, The Harder They Come also reflects the disenchantment that soon followed a massive post-independence exodus from the island's country hamlets to the tropical ghettos of Kingston, where a more grinding urban poverty awaited. Brilliantly shot, directed, written, and acted, especially by singer Jimmy Cliff in the leading role and Carl Bradshaw as his archenemy, the film tells an anthemic Jamaican story to seductive rhythms of a soundtrack that became a reggae bestseller. Ivan, a country boy who dreams of fame as a singer, rides into Kingston on a rickety country bus in the opening scenes, only to meet with disaster heaped on disaster, always at the hands of those masked as friends. In a breathless defining climax, Ivan finally breaks from his passivity and begins to wreak his revenge. Soon Kingston's music Mafia and the equally corrupt authorities are after him, but like the real-life people's hero (a man named Rhygin) on whom this character is partially based, Ivan leads them on a maddening chase--much to the delight of the people--eluding capture until the movie's shocking final moments. --Elena Oumano

    2004, Oct 10; 11:17 ::: Funny Games (1997) - Michael Haneke

    Funny Games (1997) - Michael Haneke [Amazon.com]

    Michael Haneke's Funny Games is a horror film in the European tradition of C'est Arrivé Pres de Chez Vous/Man Bites Dog (1992) and Seul contre Tous/I Stand Alone (1998). Watch out for the scene where the villain protagonist decides to "rewind" a scene he does not like. Funny Games is guaranteed to outrage some viewers with its manipulative schemes, but there's no denying the film's visceral impact says Jeff Shanon at Amazon.com.

    2004, Oct 09; 18:17 ::: Le Roi de coeur/King Of Hearts (1966) - Philippe de Broca

    Le Roi de coeur/King Of Hearts (1966) - Philippe de Broca [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    This film was a touchstone of the late 1960s, when it was seen as an antiwar allegory for a world in which madness seemed to reign. Of course, that would probably be true whenever this movie was shown, wouldn't it? Directed by Philippe de Broca and set during World War I, King of Hearts stars Alan Bates as a Scottish soldier separated from his unit in France. He wanders into a small French village that has been abandoned by its residents in the face of oncoming combat. Instead, the town is populated by the residents of a nearby insane asylum, whose keepers have fled--a fact that escapes the innocent soldier, who assumes these are the regular folks. A film that celebrates the innocence and wisdom of the insane, even as it questions who the real madmen are. --Marshall Fine

    2004, Oct 09; 18:14 ::: Shock Corridor (1963) - Samuel Fuller

    Shock Corridor (1963) - Samuel Fuller [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Maverick film director Samuel Fuller was doing some of his best work in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and in the years since its release in 1963, Shock Corridor has become a B-movie classic and a prime example of Fuller's gritty tabloid style. Never hesitant to explore the darkened corners of contemporary life, Fuller depicts the chambers of an insane asylum as a microcosm of American society, telling the story of a cynical, ambitious journalist (Peter Breck) whose obsessive quest for a Pulitzer Prize leads him into the depths of madness. To investigate a murder, the reporter goes undercover in a mental hospital, having convinced a psychiatrist that he needs treatment. Once inside the asylum, he pieces together clues to the murder, but his own mind begins to deteriorate until he's trapped in a downward spiral towards insanity. Fuller heightens the melodrama with his aggressive style of filmmaking (his next film, The Naked Kiss, proved even more effective), and his imaginative use of black-and-white cinematography (by noted cameraman Stanley Cortez) fills the movie with raw, emotional power. It's the kind of film one would expect from a rebellious director on the Hollywood fringe, and that's why Shock Corridor remains an enduring low-budget examination of the "rat race" and the consequences of pursuing success at any cost. The Criterion Collection DVD presents the film in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, and a rarely seen color dream sequence has been fully restored. --Jeff Shannon

    2004, Oct 09; 17:56 ::: Suburbia (1984) - Penelope Spheeris

    Suburbia (1984) - Penelope Spheeris [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Suburbia is a movie written and directed by Penelope Spheeris (The Decline of Western Civilization) about suburban punks who run away from home. The kids take up a minimalist, punk rock lifestyle by squatting in abandoned suburban tract homes.

    Released in 1984, Suburbia is also known as Rebel Streets and The Wild Side. Red Hot Chilli Peppers' bassist Flea makes a cameo appearance as "Razzle (Mike B. The Flea)". It gives Spheeris' vision of early 1980's punk rock sub culture and an opinion on what drove the youths to become "Punks". Although completely misguided into the punk rock opinions of rape and drug use, it does score right on the money with its comparisons to the hippies of the 60's and the discrimination that many punk rockers faced from others because of the way that they chose to look and the music that they loved. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suburbia_(movie) [Oct 2004]

    2004, Oct 09; 17:56 ::: Jubilee (1977) - Derek Jarman

    Jubilee (1977) - Derek Jarman [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Avant-garde spirit and punk-rock attitude combine with iconoclastic results in Derek Jarman's defiantly uncommercial Jubilee. Filmed in 1977--the silver jubilee year of England's Queen Elizabeth II--this fascinating hodgepodge of political dissent and audiovisual experimentation now stands as a vibrant document of its time, both immediate and enduring in its bold rejection of all things conventional. (Compared to this, the quasi-punk Repo Man and angst-ridden Sid & Nancy seem positively tame.) Jarman's film deserved its mixed reviews; like the films of Andy Warhol, it's a slapdash affair, cobbled together by Jarman and his fringe-dwelling friends, ostensibly designed as a kaleidoscopic glimpse of London's future, infused with apocalyptic nihilism and populated by proto-punks (including Adam Ant and Rocky Horror's Little Nell) in an anarchic orgy of gay and straight sex, music, violence, and (in retrospect) astonishingly accurate pop-cultural prophesy. It's the pioneering, angry/funny work of a genuine artist, as essential to punk film as the Sex Pistols were to music in the dreadful days of disco. --Jeff Shannon

    When Queen Elizabeth I asks her court alchemist to show her England in the future, she’s transported 400 years to a post-apocalyptic wasteland of roving girl gangs, an all-powerful media mogul, fascistic police, scattered filth, and twisted sex. With Jubilee, legendary British filmmaker Derek Jarman channeled political dissent and artistic daring into a revolutionary blend of history and fantasy, musical and cinematic experimentation, satire and anger, fashion and philosophy. With its uninhibited punk petulance and sloganeering, Jubilee, brings together many cultural and musical icons of the time, including Jordan, Toyah Willcox, Little Nell, Wayne County, Adam Ant, and Brian Eno (with his first original film score), to create a genuinely unique, unforgettable vision. Ahead of its time and often frighteningly accurate in its predictions, it is a fascinating historical document and a gorgeous work of film art.

    Jubilee is a 1977 cult film directed by Derek Jarman and starring Jenny Runacre, Nell Campbell (Little Nell), Toyah Willcox, Adam Ant, Jordan (the Malcolm McLaren protege), and Hermine Demoriane.

    In the film Queen Elizabeth I is transported forward in time by John Dee through the spirit guide Ariel to the shattered Britain ruled by Elizabeth II. The 1970s queen is dead, killed in an arbitrary mugging, and the historical queen moves through the social and physical decay of the city observing the activites of a group of sporadic nihilists called Amyl Nitrate, Bod, Chaos, Crabs, Mad and similar.

    The film is clearly Jarman's but is heavily influenced by the 1970s punk ethic in its style. Shot in grainy colour the film is largely plotless, episodic, untidy, confrontational, often incoherent and noisily anti-establishment and anti-royalty - Buckingham Palace is a recording studio run by a man named Borgia Ginz. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jubilee_%28film%29 [Oct 2004]

    2004, Oct 08; 22:57 ::: Austrian Novelist Jelinek Wins Nobel Prize

    Austrian Novelist Jelinek Wins Nobel Prize --http://abcnews.go.com/wire/Entertainment/ap20041007_1066.html [Oct 2004]

    Jelinek's most famous novel, "The Piano Teacher," was adapted in 2001 by Michael Haneke, starring Isabelle Huppert. A few of her books have been released in English by Serpent's Tail, a small, London-based publisher specializing in political and experimental works. --http://abcnews.go.com/wire/Entertainment/ap20041007_1066.html [Oct 2004]

    2004, Oct 08; 22:27 ::: Transgressions : The Offences of Art () - Anthony Julius

    Transgressions : The Offences of Art () - Anthony Julius [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Synopsis Since the mid-19th century, artists have compulsively rejected received ideas in order to test and subvert morality, law, society and even art itself. But what happens when all boundaries have been crossed, all taboos broken, all limits violated? "Transgressions" is the first book to address this controversial subject. Here Anthony Julius traces the history of subversion in art from the outraged response to Manet's "Le Dejeuner sur l'Herbe" to the scandal caused by the grant programs of the National Endowment for the Arts a century and a half later. Throughout the book, and supported by the work of such artists as Marcel Duchamp, the Chapman brothers, Andres Serrano, Damien Hirst, Gilbert & George, Paul McCarthy, Jeff Koons, Hans Haacke and Anselm Kiefer, Julius shows how the modern period has been characterized by three kinds of transgressive art: an art that perverts established art rules; and art that defiles the beliefs and sentiments of its audience; and an art that challenges and disobeys the rules of the state. The evidence assembled, Julius concludes his hard-hitting dissection of the landscapes of contemporary art by posing some important questions: what is art's future when its boundary-exceeding, taboo-breaking endeavours become the norm? And is anything of value lost when we submit to art's violation? "Transgressions" is not a comfortable - still less a comforting - read, but it has a powerful urgency that makes it a useful document for anyone involved in our cultural life at the beginning of the 21st century. --Amazon.co.uk

    From Publishers Weekly
    Originally published in England in the wake of the media scandals surrounding the rise of Young British Artists, or "YBAs," such as Damien Hirst, Jake and Dinos Chapman and Tracey Emin, this somewhat scholarly book seeks to historicize the theater of transgression that has become a mainstay in modern and contemporary visual art. At once a history lesson and a muddled polemic, the book moves through various moments in the progression of scandalous art, from Manet's angry reception in the salons of Paris to Mapplethorpe's public crucifixion in the United States, arguing through a web of quotations and epigrams (Adorno's "Every work of art is an uncommitted crime" is a touchstone) that the transgressive power of visual art has in some way been exhausted, and the enduring criminal mindframe of the modern artist has lost its power to subvert. And yet, through a certain portentous, aphoristic thinking, the author also manages to imply that this has always been the case. The argument is never entirely clear, perhaps because the author seems to be hashing out his own thinking on the topic more than offering the reader a neatly distilled path of logic. But regardless, and perhaps because of this rawness, the book is a noble effort, tracking the movement of a serious mind as it grapples with the messy, contradictory issues of contemporary art. 41 color plates, 174 halftones Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

    Transgression has been a hot topic since the recent publication of Anthony Julius’s book Transgressions: The Offences of Art. Julius provides a useful taxonomy of transgressive art, breaking it down into three categories: ‘an art that breaks art’s own rules, an art of taboo-breaking, a politically resistant art.’ Interestingly, his analysis of taboo-breaking leads to the conclusion that we have reached the end of transgressive art, on the grounds that it is now unrewarding for artists to violate taboos since all taboos have all already been violated.

    However, when we look at transgression in relation to film the conclusions are quite different. Even if the traditional transgressive areas of sex and violence are less relevant today, they still provide an outline for a critique of Julius’s thesis; no more so than in the realm of the arthouse film intended for wide release, where cinema uses transgressive material as an accessory to an artistic agenda.

    It seems that every new French film is either by a senescent New Waver or a trainee pornographer, that is if you believe the movie posters, each emblazoned with the same tag: ‘The most controversial film of the year!’ And it’s not only French film: sex is in vogue the world over. And despite some sensationalist press coverage, arthouse cinemas aren’t suddenly full of furtive old men in trenchcoats. --Kaleem Aftab and Ian Stewart http://www.contemporary-magazine.com/51/film.html [Oct 2004]

    2004, Oct 07; 23:36 ::: Lust (1989) - Elfriede Jelinek, Michael Hulse

    Lust (1989) - Elfriede Jelinek, Michael Hulse [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    From Publishers Weekly
    The acclaimed author of The Piano Teacher again reveals the grotesque corruption of post-WW II Austrian society. The setting is an Alpine ski resort, built on the profits generated by tourism and a polluting paper plant. The director of the plant is a swaggering vulgarian who divides his time between oppressing his workers and having sex with his wife. Like virtually all the book's characters, he is driven by his insatiable lust. His wife, Gerti, is gradually breaking down under this constant sexual attention, drinking heavily, until one day she wanders out of the house in a dressing gown and slippers. She is "rescued" by Michael, an ambitious young man with designs on a political career, who is no less of a sexual predator than her husband. Jelinek tells this story in a compulsively punning, often witty prose (skillfully translated by Hulse), but the book is disfigured by repetitiveness and the author's undisguised contempt for her characters. Marriage is depicted as little more than legalized prostitution, women are trapped and pummeled but unworthy of sympathy, children are greedy little narcissists, everyone is corrupt, venal and stupid. The town is little more than a parody of Marx's description of capitalism as the war of each against all. Ultimately, for all the considerable skill with which Lust is crafted, it is shrill and deadening. Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

    2004, Oct 07; 14:49 ::: Wired 1.01, 1993

    Sex, as we know, is a heat-seeking missile that forever seeks out the newest medium for its transmission. William Burroughs, a man who understands the dark side of sexuality better than most, sees it as a virus that is always on the hunt for a new host - a virus that almost always infects new technology first. --Gerard Van Der Leun, 1993, http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/1.01/cybersex.html

    2004, Oct 07; 14:49 ::: The Island of Dr. Moreau (1896) - H.G. Wells

    The Island of Dr. Moreau (1896) - H.G. Wells [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    A shipwreck in the South Seas, a palm-tree paradise where a mad doctor conducts vile experiments, animals that become human and then "beastly" in ways they never were before--it's the stuff of high adventure. It's also a parable about Darwinian theory, a social satire in the vein of Jonathan Swift (Gulliver's Travels), and a bloody tale of horror. Or, as H. G. Wells himself wrote about this story, "The Island of Dr. Moreau is an exercise in youthful blasphemy. Now and then, though I rarely admit it, the universe projects itself towards me in a hideous grimace. It grimaced that time, and I did my best to express my vision of the aimless torture in creation." This colorful tale by the author of The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds lit a firestorm of controversy at the time of its publication in 1896.--Amazon.com

    2004, Oct 07; 12:31 ::: Tiananmen Square protests of 1989

    Tiananmen Square protests of 1989

    The Tiananmen Square protests were a set of national protests in the People's Republic of China, which occurred between April 15, 1989 and June 4, 1989, centered at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. The focus of the protests was the occupation of the Square by college and university students advocating democratic reforms. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiananmen_Square_protests_of_1989 [Oct 2004]

    2004, Oct 06; 11:58 ::: Exprmntl 4, Knokke-le-Zoute, 1967

    Exprmntl 4, Knokke, 1967

    Exprmntl 4, Knokke-le-Zoute, 1967

    Knokke-le-Zoute "Exprmntl 4" experimental film festival and competition in Belgium proves a watershed, whose influence leads to the LFMC establishing itself on an international level - 20 British films submitted, though only 5 shown in competition - Steve Dwoskin wins the Solvay Prize, and his films Chinese Checkers and Soliloquy are chosen by P. Adams Sitney for his New American Cinema tour - Wavelength (Michael Snow) wins first prize as Sitney begins to consider his pivotal definition of Structural Film - David Curtis regards the festival as a significant moment for London film-makers, though Dwoskin and Cobbing play it down, crystallising differences between Dwoskin's subjective view and Curtis' (and other's) increasing attention to process. --December 1967

    2004, Oct 06; 10:02 ::: Twin Peaks (1990) - Lynch, Frost, et al

    Twin Peaks (1990) - Lynch, Frost, et al

    2004, Oct 05; 21:24 ::: A History of Experimental Film and Video (1999) - A. L. Rees

    A History of Experimental Film and Video (1999) - A. L. Rees [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Art Monthly
    "excellent... a considerable achievement." --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

    "[A] handy guide to both the avant-garde and the thickets of modernism from which the cinema avant-garde grew." --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

    Book Description
    56 b&w illus. Avant-garde film is almost indefinable. It is in a constant state of change and redefinition. In this book A.L. Rees tracks the movement of the film avant-garde between, on the one hand, the cinema, and, on the other hand, modern art (with its post-modern coda). But he also reconstitutes the film avant-garde as an independent form of art practice with its own internal logic and aesthetic discourse.

    This is the first major history of avant-garde film and video to be published in more than twenty years. Ranging from Cezanne and dada, via Cocteau, Brakhage and Le Grice, to the new wave of British video artists in the 90s, this remarkable study will introduce a generation of new readers to avant-garde film as well as provoking students and specialists to further reflection and debate. --via Amazon.com

    2004, Oct 05; 13:57 ::: Serene Velocity (1970) - Ernie Gehr

    Serene Velocity (1970) - Ernie Gehr

    An older film, Serene Velocity that Gehr made in 1970, deals with very similar issues, except in this one the optical illusion is created by editing. A simple setting like a corridor begins to have different shapes. The usual sense depth is lost and sometimes the whole image seems like a two-dimensional figure that has a few squares. Again, something usual is represented in a very unusual way. Thus, our perception of it is changed, creating the sense that there are other ways of perceiving it. The fact that the dawn is breaking at the end is also very significant. It gives life to the idea that what we perceive differently is really the universe itself and not just an imaginary setting. --Yoel Meranda, Structural Films: Meditation through Simple Forms, 2002, http://pubweb.northwestern.edu/~ycm326/struct.html [Oct 2004]

    2004, Oct 05; 12:44 ::: Man With the Movie Camera (1929) - Dziga Vertov

    Man With the Movie Camera (1929) - Dziga Vertov [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Dziga Vertov (January 2, 1896–February 12, 1954) was a Russian documentary film and newsreel director. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dziga_Vertov [Oct 2004]

    Man with the Movie Camera (Chelovek s Kinoapparatom) is an experimental 1929 silent documentary film by Russian director Dziga Vertov. The film follows a cameraman around various cities, intercutting his footage with footage of him filming and footage of a woman editing, and includes a number of cinematic techniques such as double exposure, fast motion, slow motion, freeze frames, jump cuts, split screens, Dutch angles, extreme closeups, tracking shots, footage played backwards, and a self-reflexive storyline (at one point it features a split screen tracking shot; the sides have opposite Dutch angles).

    The film has an unabashedly art film bent and emphasizes that film can go anywhere, for instance superimposing a shot of a cameraman setting up his camera atop a second, mountainous camera; or superimposing a cameraman inside a beer glass; or filming a woman getting out of bed and getting dressed; or even filming a different woman giving birth, the baby being taken away to be bathed.

    Vertov's message about the prevalence and unobtrusiveness of filming was not yet true--cameras might have been able to go anywhere, but not without being noticed; they were too large to be hidden easily, and too noisy to remain hidden anyway. To get footage using a hidden camera, Vertov and his brother Mikhail Kaufman had to distract the subject with something else even louder than the camera filming them.

    The film also features a few obvious stagings such as the scene of the woman getting out of bed and getting dressed (cameras at the time were fairly bulky and loud, and not surreptitious) and the shot of the chess pieces being swept to the center of the board (a shot which was spliced in backwards, causing the pieces to expand outward and stand into position). The film was criticized for both the stagings and its stark experimentation, possibly as a result of its director's frequent assailing of fiction film as a new "opiate of the masses."

    The film, originally released in 1929, was silent, and accompanied in theaters with live music. It has since been released a number of times with different soundtracks: One release, in 1996, had a new soundtrack performed by the Alloy Orchestra, based on notes left by Vertov. It incorporated sound effects such as sirens, babies crying, crowd noise, etc.

    In 2002, a version was released with a soundtrack performed by the British jazz and electronic outfit The Cinematic Orchestra. In the same year, a DVD edition by the British Film Institute had a score by Michael Nyman. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_with_the_Movie_Camera [Oct 2004]

    2004, Oct 05; 10:54 ::: L'Age d'Or/The Age of Gold (1930) - Luis Buñuel

    L'Age d'Or/The Age of Gold (1930) - Luis Buñuel

    According to the Surrealists, nothing can counteract the deadly burden of institutions and Establishment except irrational, anarchic, wild love. In a film devoted to this theme, a frustrated, sexually aroused woman passionately sucks the toe of a statue in a display of foot fetishism quite typical of Bunuel's work; further implications are inevitable. --Film As a Subversive Art (1974) - Amos Vogel

    2004, Oct 04; 18:14 ::: A History of Narrative Film, Fourth Edition (2004) - David A. Cook

    A History of Narrative Film, Fourth Edition (2004) - David A. Cook [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    About the Author
    David Cook (Ph.D., University of Virginia) is Professor and Director of Film Studies at Emory University, where he has taught since 1973. He has also published Lost Illusions: American Cinema in the Era of Watergate and Vietnam, 1970-1979 as part of the celebrated multivolume History of American Cinema series.

    Book Description
    Sophisticated in its analytical content, current and comprehensive in its coverage of all aspects of film and filmmaking, and informed throughout by fascinating historical and cultural contexts, A History of Narrative Film is widely acknowledged to be the definitive text in the field. The Fourth Edition adds an entire chapter on computer-generated imaging, updates filmographies for nearly all living directors mentioned in the text, and includes major new sections that both revisit old content and introduce contemporary trends and movements.

    The presence of woman is an indispensable element of spectacle in normal narrative film, yet her visual presence tends to work against the development of a story line, to freeze the flow of action in moments of erotic contemplation. --Laura Mulvey, Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema (1975)

    2004, Oct 04; 18:37 ::: Dreams That Money Can Buy (1947) - Man Ray, Hans Richter

    Dreams That Money Can Buy (1947) - Man Ray, Hans Richter

    The most private artist of our generation -- Marcel Duchamp -- here shows himself fully, exhibiting his famous moving discs to the camera many years after their creation. The expression is proud, defiant, secret, and of an inner sadness. --Film As a Subversive Art (1974) - Amos Vogel

    2004, Oct 04; 18:14 ::: Computer World (1981) - Kraftwerk

    Computer World (1981) - Kraftwerk [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Kraftwerk (German for "power plant") is a German avant-garde electro-pop group from Düsseldorf who was largely responsible for much of the subsequent uptake of, and interest in, electronic music. The techniques that they introduced and the equipment that they developed are now commonplace in modern music. Today many popular techno DJs refer to them as one of their most important influence. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kraftwerk [Oct 2004]

    2004, Oct 04; 14:57 ::: Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Großstadt/Berlin: Symphony of a Great City (1927) - Walter Ruttmann

    Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Großstadt/Berlin: Symphony of a Great City (1927) - Walter Ruttmann [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    The title says it all: this is a visual symphony in five movements celebrating the Berlin of 1927: the people, the place, the everyday details of life on the streets. Director Walter Ruttman, an experimental filmmaker, approached cinema in similar ways to his Russian contemporary Dziga Vertoz, mixing documentary, abstract, and expressionist modes for a nonnarrative style that captured the life of his countrymen. But where Vertov mixed his observations with examples of the communist dream in action, Ruttman re-creates documentary as, in his own words, "a melody of pictures." Within the loose structure of a day in the life of the city (with a prologue that travels from the country into the city on a barreling train), the film takes us from dawn to dusk, observing the silent city as it awakens with a bustle of activity, then the action builds and calms until the city settles back into sleep. But the city is as much the architecture, the streets, and the machinery of industry as it is people, and Ruttman weaves all these elements together to create a portrait in montage, the poetic document of a great European city captured in action. Held together by rhythm, movement, and theme, Ruttman creates a documentary that is both involving and beautiful to behold. The original score by Timothy Brock is lyrical and dramatically involving, complementing the mood and movement marvelously. Also included is the avant-garde short Opus 1, an abstract study in animated shapes and movement. --Sean Axmaker, Amazon.com

    2004, Oct 04; 15:21 ::: Il Misprezzo/Le Mépris/Contempt

    Le Mépris/Contempt (1963) - Jean-Luc Godard [Amazon.com]

    In the 1950s Alberto Moravia abandoned the third-person narrative, and used the limited, non-objective first person narrative in tune with the modernist literature theories. Il Disprezzo (1954, A Ghost at Noon) was the basis of Jean-Luc Godard's film Le Mépris (1963), starring Brigitte Bardot. The director considered the novel "a nice, vulgar one for a train journey, full of classical, old fashioned sentiments in spite of the modernity of the situation. But it is with this kind of novel that one can often make the best films." Godard played with the theme of the book - the adapting of Homer's Odyssey to film - and developed further the triangle drama of Odysseus, Penelope, and Poseidon. --http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/moravia.htm [Oct 2004]

    2004, Oct 04; 14:57 ::: The Iliad (ca. 850 BC.) - Homer

    The Iliad (ca. 850 BC.) - Homer [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    This groundbreaking English version by Robert Fagles is the most important recent translation of Homer's great epic poem. The verse translation has been hailed by scholars as the new standard, providing an Iliad that delights modern sensibility and aesthetic without sacrificing the grandeur and particular genius of Homer's own style and language. The Iliad is one of the two great epics of Homer, and is typically described as one of the greatest war stories of all time, but to say the Iliad is a war story does not begin to describe the emotional sweep of its action and characters: Achilles, Helen, Hector, and other heroes of Greek myth and history in the tenth and final year of the Greek siege of Troy. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

    From Library Journal
    Why another Iliad? Just as Homer's work existed most fully in its performance, so the Homeric texts call periodically for new translations. With this in mind, Fagles offers a new verse rendering of the Iliad. Maneuvering between the literal and the literary, he tries with varying degrees of success to suggest the vigor and manner of the original while producing readable poetry in English. Thus, he avoids the anachronizing of Robert Fitzgerald's translation, while being more literal than Richard... read more --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

    Book Description
    This timeless poem-more than 2,700 year old-still vividly conveys the horror and heroism of men and gods wrestling with towering emotions and battling amid devastation and destruction as it moves inexorably to its wrenching, tragic conclusion. Readers of this epic poem will be gripped by the finely tuned translation and enlightening introduction.

    2004, Oct 04; 14:09 ::: Anémic cinéma (1926) - Marcel Duchamp

    Anémic cinéma (1926) - Marcel Duchamp

    Film as film
    Apart from being a good illustration of
    Dada sensibility in film, Duchamp's little film looks forward in some ways to the structuralist or materialist cinema of the 1960s and 70s created by such artists as Ernie Gehr, Peter Kubelka, and Michael Snow. Duchamp is not unique in anticipating these filmmaking tropes; one can also cite such people as Oskar Fischinger and Viking Eggeling as important antecedents. Indeed, in some ways the earlier filmmakers are arguably more materialist in their strategies, and certainly their films strike one as being more abstract. Collectively, all these filmmakers and a relative handful of others represent some of the most radical approaches to the cinematic medium ever attempted: an effort to discover the quintessence of the form and to broaden its aesthetic parameters. In this, 'Anemic cinema' is as curious and witty an example as any other I can think of. --Barry Scott Moore via http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0123380 [Sept 2004]

    2004, Oct 04; 13:17 ::: Eadweard Muybridge

    Muybridge's Complete Human and Animal Locomotion: New Volume 1 - Eadweard Muybridge [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Eadweard Muybridge (April 9, 1830–May 8, 1904) was a British-born photographer, known primarily for his early use of multiple cameras to capture motion. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eadweard_Muybridge [Oct 2004]

    1878 - Eadweard Muybridge made high-speed time lapse photographic demonstration of a horse airborne during the gallop using a trip-wire system.--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_photography_technology [Oct 2004]

    2004, Oct 04; 12:07 ::: Encyclopedia of Film Themes, Settings and Series - Richard B. Armstrong, Mary Willems Armstrong

    Encyclopedia of Film Themes, Settings and Series - Richard B. Armstrong, Mary Willems Armstrong [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    From Booklist
    This is the third edition of the inconsistently titled subject film index by the Armstrongs. The first edition, published by McFarland, appeared in 1990 as The Movie List Book: A Reference Guide to Film Themes, Settings and Series and had 450 entries. The book was lauded as a much-needed resource offering subject access to primarily English-language, sound-era films. In 1994, a second edition offering approximately 100 new entries was published by Betterway Books as The Movie List Book: Hundreds of Fun and Fascinating Lists of Films by Their Settings and Major Themes. McFarland now offers the latest version, featuring more than 670 entries and covering films through August 2000. Both films made for television and for theatrical release are included, as are a few well-known foreign film series.

    As in the previous two editions, arrangement is alphabetical by movie topics (mostly themes, settings, and series, as the title suggests). Each entry offers background information on the topic, ranging anywhere from two sentences to several paragraphs. The narrative is chatty, informative, and opinionated; in the absence of a bibliography, one assumes all of the commentary reflects authorial viewpoints. Following each narrative is a chronological list of representative films in each category, ranging anywhere from 3 to 80 titles. Aside from the many new film titles added since the last edition, more than 100 new topics have been added. Examples of new series include Aladdin series, Beverly Hills Cop series, and Watchers series; other new categories include Bond villains, Bowling, and Zorro. The authors admit in their introduction that they inevitably leave out some films; indeed, one can easily justify adding the 1985 Better Off Dead to the Suicide entry, for example, or the 1999 Girl, Interrupted to Asylums. In addition, one can lament that recent films have narrowly missed the cutoff publication date and must await the next edition to be added (for example, the 2000 film Nurse Betty would make a nice addition to Soap operas). Most categories from the previous editions appear to be preserved.

    The Encyclopedia of Film Themes, Settings and Series remains a unique resource among film indexes. At its inception in 1990, genre-specific guides with selected filmographies were already available, but none covered topics as specific as this or indexed series. This remains true today: the closest competition is in books like Films by Genre (McFarland, 1993), which only covers broader categories. The keyword index of the mammoth Internet Movie Database [http://www.imdb.com] will retrieve some themes and settings (e.g., Girl, Interrupted pops up under asylum).

    The Encyclopedia of Film Themes, Settings and Series is recommended for all libraries with patrons interested in film. Both the casual movie viewer and the film enthusiast will find this book fun and informative. Although the price is a tad on the heavy side, the book is handsomely bound and has enough new material to make it a worthwhile purchase. The authors obviously cannot cover all topics, and therefore might seem to select them arbitrarily, but their attempts at compiling an "exhaustive list of English-language film series" come close to being achieved. REVWR
    Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

    -Big Reel
    "One of those rare can't-put-it-down reference books"

    Book Description
    Library Journal called the earlier version of this work, then titled The Movie List Book, "the most valuable film reference in several years." Now, ten years later, it has been completely revamped to include over 670 entries on a variety of film themes, settings and series. Each entry contains a mini-essay that defines the topic, followed by a chronological list of representative films.

    The entries range from themes (reincarnation, viral epidemics, twins) to settings (lighthouses, asylums, sewers), occupations (librarians, lumberjacks, veterinarians), supernatural and mythological creatures (vampires, mermaids, gorgons), sports (golf, football, pool), animals (alligators, dogs, whales)-and of course hundreds more! The book also contains an extensive list of film characters and series, including: B-movie detectives (Mr. Moto, Philo Vance); Western heroes (The Durango Kid, Red Ryder); made-for-television film series (Moment of Truth, In the Line of Duty); and foreign film good guys (El Santo) and bad guys (Fantômas). Many entries are cross-referenced to direct readers to related topics.

    From the Abominable Snowman to Zorro, this encyclopedia provides film scholars and fans with an easy-to-use reference volume for researching film themes or tracking down obscure movies on subjects such as suspended animation, robots, submarines, ventriloquists, and the Olympics.

    2004, Oct 04; 12:02 ::: A History of Narrative Film - David A. Cook

    A History of Narrative Film - David A. Cook [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Now in its third edition, A History of Narrative Film continues to be the most comprehensive and complete history of international cinema in print. This book conveys the vastness and heterogeneity of film history; it describes the extraordinary number of extraordinary films that have been made over the last hundred years. Even in 1,100 pages and more than 1,500 illustrations, Cook can but summarize the development of film narrative and film art in every major country. He has wisely complemented his survey with in-depth analyses of three hugely important movies, The Birth of a Nation, The Battleship Potemkin, and Citizen Kane. He also focuses on major films--The Rules of the Game, Tokyo Story, Vertigo, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors--when he assesses the careers of landmark directors. This edition, updated for the '90s, adds a section on "Hollywood 1965-present," as well as new chapters on "The Former Soviet Union" and "Third World Cinema."

    2004, Oct 03; 21:38 ::: Videodrome (1983) - David Cronenberg

    Videodrome (1983) - David Cronenberg [Amazon.com]

    Excess and Resistance in Feminised Bodies: David Cronenberg’s Videodrome and Jean Baudrillard’s Seduction
    by Martin Ham
    An exploration of the politics of representation, in particular, notions of excess and resistance, as they are worked through in both Baudrillard's Seduction and Cronenberg's Videodrome. --Martin Ham, Jan 2004 http://www.sensesofcinema.com/contents/04/30/videodrome_seduction.html [Oct 2004]

    2004, Oct 03; 20:55 ::: A Dictionary of Literary and Thematic Terms - Edward Quinn

    A Dictionary of Literary and Thematic Terms - Edward Quinn [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    This comprehensive guide elucidates literary facts, themes, theories, and terms with short essays. Clearly defining the traditional literary vocabulary, the volume also ventures into cultural territory with terms from film, television, psychology, history, and other fields that inform contemporary discussions of literature. Entries illuminate broad themes that frequently recur in literature, including alienation, class, desire, narcissism, power, time, and war. Major literary theories such as deconstruction, feminist criticism, and reader response criticism are profiled in succinct essays.

    2004, Oct 03; 17:22 ::: Hugo Munsterberg on Film: The Photoplay: A Psychological Study and Other Writings (2001) - Allan Langdale

    Hugo Munsterberg on Film: The Photoplay: A Psychological Study and Other Writings (2001) - Allan Langdale [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Hugo Muensterberg's The Photoplay (1916) is one of the first and most important early works of film theory. Munsterberg's work on the emerging art of cinema remains a key document for film scholars, but it has long been out of print. In this new edition, Allan Langdale provides a critical introduction to the seminal text and collects numerous hard-to-find writings on film by Munsterberg.

    About the Author
    Hugo Munsterberg was a psychologist and author of one of the first works of film theory, The Photoplay. Allan Langdale teaches in the Film Studies and Art History departments at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

    Book Description
    Hugo Munsterberg's The Photoplay (1916) is regarded as the first serious work of film theory. In this new edition, Allan Langdale provides a critical introduction and collects numerous hard-to-find writings on film by Munsterberg.

    Munsterberg argues that film is a unique medium because it speaks the language of the mind. For example, he equates the close-up with the act of attention and the flashback with the act of memory. His writings are fascinating accounts of the psychological elements of film and provide valuable insight into the reception of film as art at the beginning of the century. Hugo Munsterberg on Film will be of great interest not only to film theorists and historians, but also those interested in the history of psychology.

    2004, Oct 03; 17:22 ::: The Art of the Moving Picture (1915) - Vachel Lindsay

    The Art of the Moving Picture (1915) - Vachel Lindsay [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Inside Flap Copy
    "In the field of film aesthetics, it is the first important American work, still important--The Art of the Moving Picture is astonishing." --Stanley Kauffmann

    Written in 1915, The Art of the Moving Picture by poet Vachel Lindsay is the first book to treat movies as art. Lindsay writes a brilliant analysis of the early silent films (including several now lost films). He is extraordinarily prescient about the future of moviemaking--particularly about the business, the prominence of technology, and the emergence of the director as the author of the film.

    2004, Oct 03; 15:07 ::: Vampyros Lesbos Sexadelic Dance Party (1971) - Manfred Hubler, Siegfried Schwab

    Vampyros Lesbos Sexadelic Dance Party (1971) - Manfred Hubler, Siegfried Schwab [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    For diehard fans of low-budget cult cinema, Jess Franco is among the great directors--his style somewhere between European versions of Roger Corman's Mondo sexploitation and Andy Warhol's hardcore improv. His films Vampyros Lesbos, The Devil Came from Akasava, and Mrs. Hyde, She Kills in Ecstasy--all made in 1970 and starring Franco's doomed Spanish seductress Soledad Miranda--perfected "horrotica," Franco's melange of B-grade horror and twisted erotica. Collecting original music from the films' soundtracks, Vampyros Lesbos: Sexadelic Dance Party pays tribute to Franco, Miranda (who died in a 1971 car crash), and the films they made together.

    German composers Manfred Hubler and Siegfried Schwab (recording as Vampires' Sound Incorporation) created music sufficiently groovy and go-go to accompany Franco's freaked-out vision. Their crazy sounds are a speed-hopped swinger's bash of blaring trumpet, booming trombone, slinky organ, and spacy sitar, with a beefy foundation of mod guitar, bass, and drums. Eccentrically titled instrumentals like "The Lions and the Cucumber," "Droge CX 9," and "The Six Wisdoms of Aspasia" manage to be psychedelic in the way of both the Doors' haunting rock and the Fifth Dimension's up-up-and-away pop. Music ripe for revival, Sexadelic Dance Party falls somewhere between the glorious lounge orchestrations of Esquivel and the cheap Casio-funk porn music championed by bands like the Beastie Boys. It's just one more nugget mined from the overflowing heaps of past decades' trash culture. --Roni Sarig for Amazon.com

    2004, Oct 02; 16:20 ::: Séduction/Seduction (1979) - Jean Baudrillard

    Séduction/Seduction (1979) - Jean Baudrillard [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    From Publishers Weekly
    Seduction, in French thinker Baudrillard's apocalyptic discourse, is a power of attraction and fascination capable of subverting mechanical, orgasm-centered sexuality and reality in general. Two chief obstacles to unleashing the potentially liberating forces of seduction are the women's movement and psychoanalysis, charges the author of America and Forget Foucault. While recognizing that seduction has a negative side--turning the seduced person away from his/her true thoughts and impulses--Baudrillard is intrigued by the seductive processes at work in the vertigo induced by games, in magic and the lottery, in the transvestite's "total gestural, sensual and ritual" behavior. He decodes pornography as "an orgy of realism," a hyperreality of signs. In his analysis, seduction has itself been corrupted in a world of manufactured desires and ready-made satisfactions. With seductive irony, Baudrillard storms the fragile phallic fortress of patriarchy in this heady, sometimes obscure meditation.

    From Library Journal
    If a state of exasperation, a thwarting of expectation, and a teasing of the imagination are sufficient response to a book that bafflingly evades all of the flexible nomenclature of literary classification, then Seduction has been successful. It is not science, if science is clear thinking from carefully ascertained facts. It is not art, for Baudrillard writes a prose--in translation at least (the book was first published in France in 1979)--that has neither intelligibility nor music. The author of America had an opportunity to inform and enlighten us on the various roles the art and act of seduction play in our lives, but his arguments are vitiated by the lack of a coherent point of view and by diffuseness. To read the book takes much more effort than the average reader is likely to give

    Excess and Resistance in Feminised Bodies: David Cronenberg’s Videodrome and Jean Baudrillard’s Seduction by Martin Ham
    An exploration of the politics of representation, in particular, notions of excess and resistance, as they are worked through in both Baudrillard's Seduction and Cronenberg's Videodrome. --Martin Ham, Jan 2004 http://www.sensesofcinema.com/contents/04/30/videodrome_seduction.html [Oct 2004]

    2004, Oct 02; 15:21 ::: Express Way (2004) - Troublemakers

    Express Way (2004) - Troublemakers [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Coming from the land of fine wine and romance is the electronica trio Troublemakers, and like their French counterparts such as AIR and Dimitri From Paris, this eclectic group of musicians composes a selective sound when it comes to defining dance music. DJ Oil, Fred Berthet, and Arnaud Taillefer first met at the Friche-Belle in Marseille in 1998, and quickly the three got along, thanks to their appreciation for '60s and '70s jazz and funk and film scores. This in turn created the basis of jungle, hip-hop, and house elements to fuse together for the Troublemakers. Each musician has individual experiences as well: DJ Oil, a mainstay within the jungle scene in Marseille, has been perfecting his funkadelic grooves since the early '90s and has held a residency at the famed Radio Grenouille since 1996. Taillefer preferred photography, graphic design, and movie soundtracks, aside from tackling music full-time, and Berthet, who is a Parisian DJ, issued several releases during the '90s while working with worldbeat music. Together the Troublemakers mold a unique vibe and maintain a loyal fan base around Europe. In early 2001, their debut Doubts & Convictions was released on Guidance. --MacKenzie Wilson, Allmusic.com

    2004, Oct 02; 13:37 ::: Eraserhead (1977) - David Lynch

    Eraserhead (1977) - David Lynch [Amazon UK]

    2004, Oct 01; 12:19 ::: Architectures of Time: Toward a Theory of the Event in Modernist Culture (2002) - Sanford Kwinter

    Architectures of Time: Toward a Theory of the Event in Modernist Culture (2002) - Sanford Kwinter [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Book Description
    In Architectures of Time, Sanford Kwinter offers a critical guide to the modern history of time and to the interplay between the physical sciences and the arts. Tracing the transformation of twentieth-century epistemology to the rise of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, Kwinter explains how the demise of the concept of absolute time, and of the classical notion of space as a fixed background against which things occur, led to field theory and a physics of the "event." He suggests that the closed, controlled, and mechanical world of physics gave way to the approximate, active, and qualitative world of biology as a model of both scientific and metaphysical explanation. Kwinter examines theory of time and space in Einstein's theories of relativity and shows how these ideas were reflected in the writings of the sculptor Umberto Boccioni, the town planning schema of the Futurist architect Antonio Sant'Elia, the philosophy of Henri Bergson, and the writings of Franz Kafka. He argues that the writings of Boccioni and the visionary architecture of Sant'Elia represent the earliest and most profound deployments of the concepts of field and event. In discussing Kafka's work, he moves away from the thermodynamic model in favor of the closely related one of Bergsonian durée, or virtuality. He argues that Kafka's work manifests a coherent cosmology that can be understood only in relation to the constant temporal flux that underlies it.

    2004, Oct 01; 12:19 ::: Sexual Revolution (2003) - Jeffrey Escoffier

    Sexual Revolution (2003) - Jeffrey Escoffier [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    From Booklist
    If the late eighteenth century saw the start of the Industrial Revolution, then it can be argued that the late twentieth century kicked off the Sexual Revolution. Sexual behavior and beliefs that had long been constrained by silence suddenly were the focus of intense scrutiny, championed by Kinsey's ground-breaking reports on human sexuality. How our culture has adapted to new freedoms of expression is the subject in Escoffier's anthology, which chronicles the work of pioneering scientists who studied sexuality and inspiring artists who responded to it. Examining virtually every aspect of sexual behavior, from orgasms to open marriage to obscenity, Escoffier has created a definitive review of the most influential writing of the last half-century. A captivating and comprehensive investigation of an always fascinating aspect of human behavior. Carol Haggas Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

    About the Author
    Jeffrey Escoffier has written on politics, sexuality and dance. He is the author of a biography of John Maynard Keynes and of American Homo: Community and Perversity. He recently edited a book on the choreography of Mark Morris with Matthew Lore. He has taught the history and politics of sexuality at the University of California at Berkeley and Davis, Rutgers University, and the New School University in New York.

    Book Description
    What does "sexual revolution" mean? When, how, and why did it begin (if it did)? What, if anything, did it change? And what hope do we have that its ideals of equality and pleasure can be realized? Collected here is the most provocative, entertaining, and essential writing documenting the immense, contradictory, and incomplete process of the evolution of our attitudes about sexuality and gender. From Susan Sontag’s "Pornographic Imagination" to Al Goldstein’s notorious review of Deep Throat, writing from the sexual revolution ranges from inspirational to outrageous. Sexual Revolution explores the cultural, economic, political, and moral consequences of new ways of sexual thinking and behaving – Reclaiming the female orgasm and challenging the double standard; Celebrating open marriage and homosexuality; Defying taboo and censorship; From Anne Koedt’s classic "The Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm" to Norman Mailer’s "The Homosexual Villain;" From Helen Gurley Brown to Lenny Bruce, from Freud and Wilhelm Reich to Foucault, here are the voices of those who registered and provoked popular consciousness and transformed how we think about sex. Today, Dr. Phil talks about oral sex among grade-schoolers on Oprah and pornstar Jenna Jameson gets a six-figure advance for her memoirs—something has changed—but Sexual Revolution reminds us that our sexuality remains a bitterly contested battleground. With Selections by Erica Jong, Lawrence Lipton, Masters and Johnson, Betty Dodson, Audre Lorde, Gay Talese, Gayle Rubin, Timothy Leary, Henry Miller, Huey Newton, Jill Johnston, Sigmund Freud, Simone de Beauvoir and many others.

    2004, Oct 01; 09:12 ::: Sontag & Kael: Opposites Attract Me (2004) - Craig Seligman

    Sontag & Kael: Opposites Attract Me (2004) - Craig Seligman [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    From Publishers Weekly
    Though both were Berkeley-educated single mothers, critics Susan Sontag and Pauline Kael could not have been more different on the page. Where Sontag’s tone was "formal and rather icy," Kael’s was "verbal bebop"; where Sontag’s diction was dense and meticulously worked, Kael’s was colloquial and straightforward. Former New Yorker editor Seligman, however, applauds both approaches and exuberantly celebrates his "reverence" for the former writer and "love" for the latter in this engaging book. Writing with a tangible joy that oozes from his first paragraph to his last, Seligman begins his paean to Sontag and Kael by documenting their controversy-filled rise to prominence as writers in the 1960s. A supporter—and later a critic—of "camp" and a dissector of Leni Riefenstahl’s fascist aesthetics, Sontag is the more criticized of the two, and Seligman spends a great deal of time justifying her ideological flip-flops and her comparatively unemotional response to 9/11. Kael, on the other hand, is a veritable goddess to Seligman. A late-comer to film criticism, she wrote her first review (of Chaplin’s Limelight) at age 32 and was decrying screen violence and declaring Orson Welles a monster for the New Yorker by 1968. Replete with emotional asides, textual excerpts and personal anecdotes, Seligman’s text often loses its focus. But what his stream-of-consciousness narrative lacks in organization, it more than makes up for in lyrical enthusiasm.

    From The Washington Post's Book World/washingtonpost.com
    It's hard to imagine how Craig Seligman managed to convince a commercial publisher to bring out Sontag & Kael: Opposites Attract Me -- a dense, meta-level work of criticism by one critic about two other critics. The second thing out of his mouth must have been the assurance "It won't really be about just criticism," and the strength of this delightful little book is that it is about much more than its title suggests. It is about the way people experience and understand art and culture; it is... read more

    Book Description
    For fans of high culture, pop culture and American genius, a personal and idiosyncratic exploration of two of the 20th century's most distinguished cultural icons.

    With wit and style worthy of his subjects, Craig Seligman explores the enduring influence of two critics who defined the cultural sensibilities of a generation: Susan Sontag and Pauline Kael. Though outwardly they had several things in common--they were both Westerners who came east, both schooled in philosophy, both secular Jews, and both single mothers--they were polar opposites in temperament and approach. From the very beginning Seligman makes his sympathies clear: Sontag is a writer he reveres; but Kael is a writer he loves.

    He approaches both critics through their work, whose fundamental parallels serve to sharpen their differences. Tone is the most obvious area where they're at odds. Kael practiced a kind of verbal jazz, exuberant, excessive, intimate, emotional, and funny. Sontag is formal and a little icy--a model of detachment. Kael never changed her approach from her first review to her last, while mutability has been one of the defining motifs of Sontag's career. Moral questions obsess Sontag; they interested Kael but didn't trouble her. Then there's the matter of self-revelation. Under Sontag's aloofness smolders an impulse toward autobiography so strong that it isn't an exaggeration to call it confessional. Kael seems to be terribly intimate and forthcoming, and yet she turns out, when you peer closely, to be surprisingly guarded.

    But the question that Seligman keeps coming back to is: Can criticism be art? In seeking to answer it, he performs an unusual and remarkable feat: he has produced a nuanced, luminously written examination that stands as an answer in itself.

    2004, Oct 01; 00:07 ::: Sure Seaters: The Emergence of Art House Cinema - Barbara Wilinsky

    Sure Seaters: The Emergence of Art House Cinema - Barbara Wilinsky [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    The Production Code crackdown on American movies in the mid-1930s and the propaganda films made during World War II imposed a blandness on American films. Immediately after the war, international movie production geared up, using fresh talent and handling mature themes with a frankness previously unknown to American audiences. The postwar era became the golden age of art-house cinemas (named "sure seaters" in the patronizing belief that seats would be available for all shows). This brief, scholarly book looks at art-house cinemas, how they operated outside the traditional distribution system, and the pivotal role of film censors and critics. This should be an exciting subject, but it doesn't come across here. Wilinsky (media arts, Univ. of Arizona) fails to convey the excitement of attending these theaters and discovering the works of Luis Bunuel, Jean Renoir, Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, and other directors. Newsletters, program notes, and oral histories of those "present at the creation" would have added life to this book. Strictly an optional purchase for large academic film collections

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    Blogs I Frequent

  • http://www.sauer-thompson.com/conversations/ Philosophical conversations between two Australians Trevor and Gary, covering a wide range of philosophical topics.
  • http://www.bekkoame.ne.jp/~aabb/plus9.html A daily, art-related, weblog from Osaka, Japan.
  • http://www.mixoftheweek.com Pre-recorded, weekly mixes of soul, house, techno, dub and other groovy sounds. Consistent high quality.
  • http://www.novaplanet.com/radiolive/novalive.asp radio-station, broadcasting from Paris

    your Amazon recommendations - Jahsonic - early adopter products