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September 2004 Blog
2005, Sept 07; 21:49 ::: Status: archived
2004, Sept 30; 23:40 ::: The Devil Is a Woman (1935) - Josef von Sternberg
The Devil Is a Woman (1935) - Josef von Sternberg [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
One of the most sophisticated films in the Josef von Sternberg-Marlene Dietrich canon, The Devil Is a Woman is an alluring romance about a cold-hearted temptress who destroys the lives of two best friends (Cesar Romero and Lionel Atwill) during the Spanish revolution. What do you expect? It's carnival week in the port town of Seville. Supposedly this film was Dietrich's personal favorite because of the way it captured her beauty. Interestingly, the script was by John Dos Passos and the same source material was used as the inspiration for Luis Buñuel's That Obscure Object of Desire. --Bill Desowitz, Amazon.com
[T]he Devil Is a Woman, a title forced on von Sternberg, is adapted from Pierre Louys’ 1898 novel Le Femme et le pantin, as was Bunuel’s That Obscure Object of Desire. It’s set during a hallucinatory Spanish carnival during which all rules are suspended and license reigns. Von Sternberg’s most synthetic film, it brims with delirious artifice: in lighting, décor, costume, performance, narrative movement. At times, the dialogue makes sense only if one assumes that Dietrich and her director are speaking directly to each other about their cinematic collaboration. --Kathleen Murphy
2004, Sept 30; 22:53 ::: La Règle du Jeu/The Rules of the Game (1939) - Jean Renoir
La Règle du Jeu/The Rules of the Game (1939) - Jean Renoir [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Consistently cited by critics worldwide as one of the greatest films ever made, Jean Renoir's bittersweet drama of life, love, class, and the social code of manners and behavior ("the rules of the game") is a savage critique undertaken with sensitivity and compassion. Renoir's catch-phrase through the film, "Everyone has their reasons," develops a multilayered meaning by the conclusion. A young aviator (Roland Toutain) commits a serious social faux pas by alluding to an affair on national radio. To avert a scandal, the cultured Robert de la Chesnaye (Marcel Dalio), husband to the aviator's mistress, Christine (Nora Gregor), and a philanderer in his own right, invites all to a weekend hunting party in his country mansion. The complicated maze of marriages and mistresses (social register and servant class alike) is plotted like a bedroom farce, but the tone soon takes a darker cast. Renoir, who also takes the pivotal role as Andre's jovial pal and de la Chesnaye confidant Octave, deftly blends high comedy with cutting satire as he parallels the upstairs-downstairs affairs. The film builds to a comic pitch with the hilarious performance of Julien Carette as a rabbit poacher turned groundskeeper, but soon turns tragic in a devastating conclusion. The film was roundly condemned and banned in France upon its 1939 release, but years later (out of the shadow of WWII) the film was rediscovered for the masterpiece that it is. --Sean Axmaker, Amazon.com
2004, Sept 30; 14:27 ::: Te Doy mis Ojos/Take my Eyes (2003) - Icíar Bollaín
Te Doy mis Ojos/Take my Eyes (2003) - Icíar Bollaín
2004, Sept 30; 09:01 ::: Myra Breckinridge (1970) - Michael Sarne
Myra Breckinridge (1970) - Michael Sarne [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
We can safely call it one of the most notorious films in Hollywood history: Myra Breckenridge, the wild, tasteless, legendary disaster. Sprung from a novel by Gore Vidal, Myra tells the tender tale of a man (damply played by film critic Rex Reed) who has a sex-change operation and goes to Hollywood as a woman--played by Raquel Welch. Mae West creaked out of retirement to play a man-hungry agent (one of her meals is young Tom Selleck), and John Huston is an aging cowboy star, Myra's nemesis. To say the movie endorses the destruction of sex roles in modern society would be giving the rampant incoherence too much credit. Old film clips, plus footage (all too apt!) of atomic bomb tests are spliced into the action, to puerile effect. Almost everybody involved with the film disowned it, especially a horrified Vidal. Is there a cult for this movie? They can have it. --Robert Horton, Amazon.com
2004, Sept 29; 22:33 ::: Street Execution of a Vietcong Prisoner, Saigon, Feb. 1, 1968 (1968) - Eddie Adams
Street Execution of a Vietcong Prisoner, Saigon, Feb. 1, 1968 (1968) - Eddie Adams
Eddie Adams (June 12, 1933 - September 19, 2004) was an American photographer.
Eddie is known for taking portraits of celebrities and politicians. As a photojournalist, he covered thirteen wars.
It was while covering the Vietnam War for Associated Press that he took his most famous photograph: the picture of police chief General Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a Vietcong prisoner on a Saigon street, in February 1, 1968. Adams won the Pulitzer Prize for the picture, but he would later lament its notoriety. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Adams [Sept 2004]
2004, Sept 29; 22:08 ::: Creativity and Perversion (1985) - Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel, Otto Kernberg
Creativity and Perversion (1996) - Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel, Otto Kernberg [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
...the number of perverts involved in the field of art is probably much greater than the average for the population in general.... It can be supposed ... that the pervert inclines in some particular manner to the world of art.
2004, Sept 29; 20:18 ::: W.R. - Misterije organizma/Mysteries of the Organism (1971) - Dusan Makavejev
W.R. - Misterije organizma/Mysteries of the Organism (1971) - Dusan Makavejev [Amazon.com]
The ravishing sex reformer and radical in a provocative pose; composing sex and politics, it also reveals Makavejev's "aestheticism"; the unexpected rabbit, the strong, two-colored vertical stripes and particularly the inexplicable empty frame. --Film As a Subversive Art (1974) - Amos Vogel
2004, Sept 29; 19:22 ::: DVD Delirium: The International Guide To Weird And Wonderful Films On DVD (2004) - Nathaniel Thompson
DVD Delirium: The International Guide To Weird And Wonderful Films On DVD (2004) - Nathaniel Thompson [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
DVD Delirium by Nathaniel Thompson is a series of cross-referenced books. There are currently two editions available: Volume 1 and Volume 2 DVD DELIRIUM is the definitive - Region Free - guide to hundreds of DVD video releases from all over the globe. More than 1000 incredible films are reviewed in each issue of DVD Delirium - the world's first A-to-Z DVD guide series specially designed for collectors of cult, horror, science-fiction and fantasy movies. DVD is the ultimate home entertainment format, but it's a minefield for the serious collector. If fans want to know whether they should buy a particular film, these 640 page books will become their first points of reference. If these books save them from buying even one second-rate DVD, they will have paid for themselves right away! Plus, readers can discover masses of brilliant films they did not even know had been released! The world's most fascinating DVDs reviewed in depth by a team lead by a dedicated genre fan who is also an industry insider! Fully cross-referenced to compare DVD releases from all over the world, so it is of just as much value to customers in each DVD ""Region""; especially targetted at the North American market! These unique, stand-alone volumes in the DVD Delirium series are classics of 'weird' film criticism! They include major contributions from world-renowned film journalist Kim Newman and FAB Press regular Tim Greaves. Hundreds and hundreds of fantastic, delirious movies reviewed in depth!
2004, Sept 29; 11:36 ::: WR - Mysteries of the Organism (1999) Raymond Durgnat
WR - Mysteries of the Organism (1999) Raymond Durgnat [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
About the Author
Raymond Durgnat (1932-2002) was the author of many groundbreaking books about the cinema, among them Films and Feelings (1967), A Mirror for England (1970), Sexual Alienation in the Cinema (1971), The Strange Case of Alfred Hitchcock, Jean Renoir (both 1974), and A Long Hard Look at Psycho (BFI, 2002).
Illustrated The starting point for Dusan Makavejev's controversial and explicit film is Wilhelm Reich, the Marxist psychoanalyst who preached social improvement through sexual enlightenment. Reich is a maverick intellectual, sexual pioneer, and theorist of "Orgone energy," but also of "world revolution." By juxtaposing hippie America and Cold War Yugoslavia, Dusan Makavejev stages an encounter between psychotherapy and Marxism, sexual permissiveness and socialism. For Raymond Durgnat WR is an adventure playground that the film's spectators enter and interact with. It's intellectual cinema, and a film that prophesied the horror of the conflict in what is now the former Yugoslavia.
2004, Sept 29; 11:15 ::: Internet Culture Database Browser
Internet Culture Database Browser
History is written by the victors. Jahsonic.com, less so. Consider it an aesthetic history of the twentieth century as seen by an asbergian*, slighly worn DJ, for whom the world changed irrevocably with the Disco Sucks movement of 1979. Sprawling, browsable, and with the endearing lopsidedness of someone with no pretension of authority. --http://wackyneighbor.com/archives/2004/09/index.php [Sept 2004]
*Asbergian is Michael's word and it refers to "aspergers' syndrome", a form of mild autism which characteristically gives people, as DSM IV puts it, an "encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus."
2004, Sept 28; 19:28 ::: Et Dieu Créa la Femme/And God Created Woman - (1956) Roger Vadim
Et Dieu Créa la Femme/And God Created Woman - (1956) Roger Vadim [amazon.com]
2004, Sept 28; 17:36 ::: Not Shakespeare : Bardolatry and Burlesque in the Nineteenth Century (2002) - Richard W. Schoch
Not Shakespeare : Bardolatry and Burlesque in the Nineteenth Century (2002) - Richard W. Schoch [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Burlesque has been a powerful and enduring weapon in the critique of legitimate Shakespearean culture by a seemingly illegitimate popular culture, particularly in the nineteenth century. This first study of nineteenth-century Shakespeare burlesques explores the paradox that plays obviously not Shakespearean appear to be the most genuinely Shakespearean of all. The book brings together archival research, rare photographs and illustrations, studies of burlesque scripts, and an awareness of theatrical, literary, and cultural contexts.
2004, Sept 28; 17:21 ::: World Of Echo (1986/2004) - Arthur Russell
World Of Echo (1986/2004) - Arthur Russell [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Pre-order now for October 2004 release1. Tone Bone Kone 2. Soon-To-Be Innocent Fun/Let's See 3. Answers Me 4. Being It 5. Place I Know/Kid Like You 6. She's The Star/I Take This Time 7. Tree House 8. See-Through 9. Hiding Your Present From You 10. Wax The Van 11. All-Boy All-Girl 12. Lucky Cloud 13. Tower Of Meaning/Rabbit's Ear/Home Away From Home 14. Let's Go Swimming 15. The Name Of The Next Song (previously unreleased) 16. Happy Ending (previously unreleased) 17. Canvas Home (previously unreleased) 18. Our Last Night Together (previously unreleased Disc: 2 1. Terrace of Unintelligibilty 2. Some Imaginary Far Away Type Things AKA Lost In the Meshes
"World Of Echo" is an orbit of resonance, a giant, subterranean repository of Dub.--David Stubbs/Melody Maker April 11, 1987
Out of print for over fifteen years, Arthur Russell's most extraordinary work, "World Of Echo" is issued for the first time on CD by Audika Records with previously unreleased bonus material and a DVD of rare video filmed by Phill Niblock . Originally released on LP in 1986, "World Of Echo" is a deeply meditative and seductive work of awe-inspiring beauty, grace and passion. Arthur’s aim was to achieve what he calls "the most vivid rhythmic reality", with just cello, voice, and echoes. "In outer space you can’t take your drums-you take your mind".
The initial release of World of Echo is as a limited edition package including a DVD and a 24 page color booklet. Along with a remastered version of the original LP, the CD also features previously unreleased music from "Sketches From World Of Echo". The DVD contains rare footage of recordings from World of Echo that were later edited and developed for the original LP. Filmed and edited by Phill Niblock "Terrace Of Unintelligibility" is a completed video from 1986, while "Some Imaginary Far Away Type Things AKA Lost In The Meshes" is unedited rushes of Arthur in a spontaneous performance. In it’s early stages "World Of Echo" was originally conceived as a VHS video project between Arthur and Phill and the accompanying DVD of the two films is of that initial collaboration that later developed into the finished album in 1987.
2004, Sept 28; 13:55 ::: The Road of Excess: A History of Writers on Drugs (2002) - Marcus Boon
The Road of Excess: A History of Writers on Drugs (2002) - Marcus Boon [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
From Library Journal
Instead of providing a chronological history of drugs in literature, Boon (English, York Univ.) offers a sprawling, extensively researched work that explores the "more subtle, micropolitical histories of everyday interactions between human beings and particular psychoactive substances." Each of the book's five chapters focuses on writers (e.g., Baudelaire, Burroughs, Coleridge, Freud, Huxley, Kerouac, and Southey) and works associated with a particular class of drugs: narcotics, anesthetics, cannabis, stimulants, and psychedelics. Boon originally intended to confine himself to writers from the Romantics to the present but expanded his scope when after questioning the apparent lack of drug literature prior to Thomas De Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium Eater (1822). This is an ambitious effort, but as Boon himself notes in his chapter on cannabis, readers "will notice a tendency in my writing toward digression." A tighter focus would have helped, especially since many of the anecdotes have been covered elsewhere-most recently in Sadie Plant's Writing on Drugs. Still, this is a solid work of scholarship that should be of interest to most academic libraries.
2004, Sept 28; 10:43 ::: The Kiss (1896) - William Heise
The Kiss (1896) - William Heise
When Edison invented the moving pictures, the pornographic potential of this new media was, of course, too obvious to be overlooked, and very soon a prosperous, underground production of 'blue movies' began, particularly in South America. In fact, Edison himself produced an erotic motion picture as early as in 1886; called The Kiss (1896) . It created a public scandal, and was a tremendous success. The film was not pornographic, of course, but heralded a new era in the erotic industry which has now, in very recent years, reached another stage with the video tape, cable and satellite television productions of pornography. --Berl Kutchinsky, Sex Industry and Public Policy http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/proceedings/14/kutchinsky.pdf
2004, Sept 27; 15:45 ::: Lucrèce Borgia (1935) - Abel Gance
Lucrèce Borgia (1935) - Abel Gance [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Directed by silent film pioneer Abel Gance, "Lucrezia Borgia" (1935, 93 min.) blazes onto the screen with the story of one of history's most ruthlessly ambitious families. With the same high style and exquisite attention to detail that Gance demonstrated so breathtakingly in "Napoleon," "Lucrezia Borgia" has been called an exuberant display of Gance's extensive filmmaking prowess. Also included are two rarely seen shorter silent films directed by Gance: "Au Secours!" (1923, 31 min.) uses experimental editing and photography to illustrate a man's adventures in a haunted house. "La Folie Du Docteur Tube" (1916, 14 min.) is a highly advanced experimental comedy about a mad scientist who discovers a sneezing powder that can alter someone's physique. This film, which uses mirrors to create distorted images, is considered by many to be the first appearance of the avant-garde in French cinema. --Amazon.com
2004, Sept 27; 14:39 ::: Carnival in Flanders (1935) - Jacques Feyder
Carnival in Flanders (1935) - Jacques Feyder [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
A very funny, saucy French historical comedy, directed by Jacques Feyder, with production assistance by Marcel Carne (who was just on the cusp of his own directorial career)... The story is set in the Flemish town of Boom, in 1616, after the Spanish conquest of the region... When the royal troops announce their intention to billet in the town on their way across country, the village's male population proves so wimpy that it's left up to the womenfolk (led by Francoise Rosay, who is a brilliant actress) to save the town. It's unfortunate that this video version has such incomplete subtitling -- all the racier jokes get glided over, and the text is kept to a bare minimum. But even non-Francophone ingoramuses like myself get how clever and bawdy this film is. Cute. Apparently, this also had a powerful influence on manhy of the costume dramas which came in its wake. --Joe Sixpack via Amazon.com
This gem from 1935 by Belgian-French director Feyder is still wonderfully vibrant and witty. In 1616, the Flemish village of Boom is indulging in its annual fair when a Spanish army is approaching and panic ensues. The women of the village take up action for welcoming the Spaniards while the men hide, but seek the credit later. Movie was accused of slander against the Catholic Church and the 'official' history of Flanders. The reconstruction of Breughelian images is stunning. A painting comes to life. --via amazon.com
2004, Sept 26; 21:28 ::: A biased timeline of culture (1860-1999)
1860: Les Paradis Artificiels Charles Baudelaire 1861 England dropped the death penalty for male homosexual acts 1862 Karl-Heinrich Ulrichs declares himself an urning [homosexual] 1863 Salon des Refusés / Le Déjeuner ur l' Herbe (Luncheon on the Grass) - Manet 1864 Notes from Underground (1864) - Fyodor Dostoevsky 1865 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll 1866 Courbet paints "The Origin of the World", first publicly desplayed in 1995 1867 Das Kapital - Karl Marx 1868 l'Ecole des biches - Edmund Duponchel, Frederick Hankey & Alfred Bégis. 1869 Maldoror (1869) - Comte De Lautreamont 1870 Venus in Furs (1870) Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch 1871 To arrive at the unknown through the disordering of all the senses, that's the point. --Arthur Rimbaud 1872 Carmilla (1872) - Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu 1873 Comstock Act of 1873 1874 Danse Macabre - Camille Saint-Saëns 1875 Nocturne in Black and Gold, the Falling Rocket, (ca. 1875) James Abbott McNeill Whistler 1876 Dewey Decimal System introduced 1877 Index Librorum Prohibitorum (1877) - Pisanus Fraxi 1878 Thomas Edison: first electric light 1879 Pornokrates (1879) - Félicien Rops 1880 Skene's glands discovered by Alexander Skene 1881 by 1881, the French government withdrew its support from the official Salons 1882 'Zuiderpershuis' built 1883 Théorie de la Décadence (1883) - Paul Bourget 1884 Flatland (1880) - Edwin A. Abbott 1885 Catena Librorum Tacendorum (1885) - Henry Spencer Ashbee 1886 Neue Forschungen auf dem Gebiet der Psychopathia Sexualis (1886) - Richard Von Krafft-Ebing 1887 Du Fétichisme dans l’amour 1887 - Alfred Binet 1888 Jack the Ripper kills his first victim 1889 Paris Exposition 1890 Golden Bough (1890) - James George Frazer 1891 Scatalogic Rites of All Nations (1891) - John G. Bourke 1892 Prélude à après-midi d'un Faune (1892) - Claude Debussy 1893 Scream (1893) - Edvard Munch 1894 Bilitis (1894) - Pierre Louÿs 1895 Cinema's first paying audiences 1896 Sexual Inversion as Das Konträre Geschlechtsgefühle (1896) - Havelock Ellis 1897 Magnus Hirschfeld founds the Scientific Humanitarian Committee 1898 La Femme et le Pantin/The She Devils (1898) - Pierre Louys 1899 The Torture Garden (1899) - Octave Mirbeau 1900 The Interpretation of Dreams (1900) - Sigmund Freud 1901 Judith I, 1901 - Gustav Klimt 1902 Le Voyage Dans La Lune (A Trip To The Moon) (1902) - Georges Méliès 1903 Electrocuting an Elephant (1903) - Thomas Edison 1904 Neue Forschungen über den Marquis de Sade und seine Zeit - Iwan Bloch 1905 Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905) - Sigmund Freud 1906 first record broadcast over radio 1907 Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907) - Picasso 1908 Braque and Picasso's first Cubist experiments 1909 The first recorded use of 'marihuana' in the United States 1910 First cases of nasal damage from Cocaine snorting are written of in medical literature 1911 Mona Lisa Stolen 1912 "Handbuch der gesamten Sexualwissenschaft in Einzeldarstellungen" (Handbook of Sexology in its Entirety Presented in Separate Studies) - Iwan Bloch 1913 Bicycle Wheel Ready-made (1913) - Marcel Duchamp 1914 Start of WWI 1915 A Fool There Was (1915) - Frank Powell 1916 The First Dada Manifesto 1917 Ready-Made (1917) - Marcel Duchamp 1918 End of WWI, start of Weimar Republic 1919 Bauhaus institute founded 1920 Sainte Vierge (1920) - Picabia 1921 Six Characters in Search of an Author (1921) - Luigi Pirandello 1922 Nosferatu - FW Murnau 1923 Sexual Aberrations (1923) - Wilhelm Stekel 1924 George Antheil Ballet Mécanique 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes 1926 Anémic cinéma (1926) - Marcel Duchamp 1927 Metropolis (1927) - Fritz Lang 1928 Un Chien Andalou - Dali/Buñuel 1929 Jacques-Andre Boiffard, The Big Toe (1929) 1930 L'Age d'Or (1930) - Luis Bunuel 1931 Solar Anus (1927/1931) - Georges Bataille 1932 Journey to the End of the Night (1932) - by Louis-Ferdinand D. Céline 1933 Nazis Rise to Power (1933-1945) 1934 The Ethics of Sexual Acts (1934) - Rene Guyon 1935 The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction - Walter Benjamin 1936 Modern Times (1936) - Charlie Chaplin 1937 Germany, Degenerate Art exhibition 1938 Hitler man of the year in Time Magazine 1939 Avant-Garde and Kitsch - Clement Greenberg 1940 Start of WWII 1941 Jews throughout Western Europe are forced into ghettos 1942 Cinq Femmes 1942 - Francis Picabia 1943 Our Lady of the Flowers (1943) - Jean Genet 1944 The Hollywood Hallucination (1944) - Parker Tyler 1945 End of WWII 1946 Paysage Fautif/Wayward Landscape (1946) - Marcel Duchamp 1947 From Caligari to Hitler (1947) - Siegfried Kracauer 1948 Beat Generation 1949 The Blood of the Beasts/Le sang des betes (1949) - Georges Franju 1950 Un Chant d'Amour (1950) - Jean Genet 1951 Grove Press launched 1952 "Must We Burn Sade?" (1952) - Simone de Beauvoir 1953 Olympia Press launched 1954 L'Histoire d'O/Story of O (1954) - Pauline Reage 1955 Lolita (1955) - Vladimir Nabokov 1956 Just What is it that makes today's home so different, so appealing? (1956) - Richard Hamilton 1957 Internationale Situationiste/Situationiste International founded 1958 Brussels World Fair 1959 Naked Lunch (1959) - William S. Burroughs 1960 Peeping Tom (1960) - Michael Powell 1961 Merda d'Artista (1961) - Piero Manzoni 1962 Marily Monroe commits suicide 1963 Flaming Creatures (1963) - Jack Smith 1964 Notes on Camp (1964) - Susan Sontag 1965 Hippie coined 1966 Gordon (1966) - Edith Templeton 1967 Belle de Jour (1967) - Luis Buñuel 1968 Paris, May 1968 revolts 1969 New York, Stonewall incident 1970 El Topo (1970) - Alexandro Jodorowsky 1971 A Clockwork Orange (1971) - Stanley Kubrick 1972 Deep Throat (1972) - Gerard Damiano 1973 La Grande Bouffe (1973) - Marco Ferreri 1974 Film As a Subversive Art (1974) - Amos Vogel 1975 Shivers (1975) - David Cronenberg 1976 Je t'aime, moi non plus (1976) - Serge Gainsbourg 1977 Eraserhead (1977) - David Lynch 1978 Les livres de l'Enfer (1978) - Pascal Pia 1979 USA, Disco sucks 1980 Dressed to Kill (1980) - Brian De Palma 1981 first cases of AIDS 1982 Ranx 1: Ranx à New-york (1982) - Stefano Tamburini/Tanino Liberatore 1983 Videodrome (1983) - David Cronenberg 1984 Apple Macintosh introduced 1985 House music: Mysteries of Love (1985) - Fingers, Inc. 1986 Incredibly Strange Films (1986) - V. Vale, Andrea Juno 1987 A Thousand Plateaus : Capitalism and Schizophrenia (1987) - Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari 1988 Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios/Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988) - Pedro Almodóvar 1989 Europe: Berlin wall falls 1990 Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson (1990) - Camille Paglia 1991 American Psycho (1991) - Bret Easton Ellis 1992 C'est Arrivé Pres de Chez Vous/Man Bites Dog (1992) - André Bonzel, Benoît Poelvoorde 1993 Wired magazine launched 1994 Riget/The Kingdom (1994) - Morten Arnfred, Lars von Trier 1995 The Origin of the World (1866) - Gustave Courbet, first time publicly displayed 1996 A Brief History of Everything (1996) - Ken Wilber 1997 Funny Games (1997) - Michael Haneke 1998 Fucking Åmål, Show Me Love (1998) - Lukas Moodysson 1999 Romance (1999) - Catherine Breillat
2004, Sept 24; 23:22 ::: Russ Meyer dead at 82, Metafilter comment
Russ Meyer (March 21, 1922 - September 18, 2004) dies at 82 [image from Supervixens (1975)]
Metafilter commenting on jahsonic.com:
One man's obsessive collection of links and info on culture...
Some of the things you can find at Jan Geerinck's Jahsonic.com: A history of disco, "black music", punk, and other genres; extensive writes-ups on media, erotica, art, history, and cinema (broken down into voyeurism, gay, world, Japanese, postmodern, underground, European, and trash cinema, among others); and of course, a blog. Also interesting are the keyword entries for words such as genre, sex, drugs, fiction, cult, taste, etc.
Pretty SFW [Safe for Work], but there may be a few film stills or paintings that are iffy [doubtful].
posted by dobbs at 4:51 PM, September 23, 2004 via metafilter.com http://www.metafilter.com/mefi/35790 [Sept 2004]
2004, Sept 24; 13:35 ::: Sundance to Sarajevo: Film Festivals and the World They Made (2002) - Kenneth Turan
Sundance to Sarajevo: Film Festivals and the World They Made (2002) - Kenneth Turan [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
From Publishers Weekly
In this lively blend of travelogue and film history, Los Angeles Times film critic Turan details the inner workings of 12 of the world's 400-plus film festivals, capturing the essence of each. More broadly, he shows how festivals have become a "growth industry" providing filmmakers with an "an alternate p.r. universe" and fans a symposium on the "nature of the cinematic experience." For standard bearers like Sundance and Cannes, the thrust is, despite the hype, to uncover new films that surprise audiences and make "dreams come true" for filmmakers. Aesthetically driven festivals, like Italy's silents-only Pordenone, run on the commitment of organizers and patrons who believe in a given film genre or set of artistic tenets. But most indicative of film's life-affirming power are the festivals set in poor or war-torn lands, such as Burkina Faso or Bosnia-Herzegovina. There, organizers and audiences take many risks to ensure that a film is available, for to them it marks a "determination not to be alone in the world." Add to these aesthetic overviews Turan's well-observed social tableaux the "pleasantly schizophrenic interaction between the minions of Hollywood and the scruffy independent world" of Sundance, the flashy yet "privileged look behind the scenes at the interlocking gears of the theatrical experience" at Vegas's ShoWest and the film festival portraits are complete. Turan's easy erudition and wholehearted pleasure in the film experience infuse the book, making it, like a good movie, a multilayered delight.
From Library Journal
In this slim volume, Los Angeles Times film critic Turan surveys a variety of film festivals in terms of importance and scope, giving a brief overview of the famous (Cannes) and the more obscure (Lone Pine). Four sections discuss different festivals in terms of business (Cannes, Sundance, and ShoWest), geopolitical issues (Fespaco, Havana, Sarajevo, and Midnight Sun), aesthetics (Pordenone, Lone Pine, and Telluride), and the politics of festivals in general. Turan observes, "Though the gathering... read more
27 b/w photographs Almost every day of the year a film festival takes place somewhere in the world--from sub-Saharan Africa to the Land of the Midnight Sun. Sundance to Sarajevo is a tour of the world's film festivals by an insider whose familiarity with the personalities, places, and culture surrounding the cinema makes him uniquely suited to his role. Kenneth Turan, film critic for the Los Angeles Times, writes about the most unusual as well as the most important film festivals, and the cities in which they occur, with an eye toward the larger picture. His lively narrative emphasizes the cultural, political, and sociological aspects of each event as well as the human stories that influence the various and telling ways the film world and the real world intersect. Of the festivals profiled in detail, Cannes and Sundance are obvious choices as the biggest, brashest, and most influential of the bunch. The others were selected for their ability to open a window onto a wider, more diverse world and cinema's place in it. Sometimes, as with Sarajevo and Havana, film is a vehicle for understanding the international political community's most vexing dilemmas. Sometimes, as with Burkina Faso's FESPACO and Pordenone's Giornate del Cinema Muto, it's a chance to examine the very nature of the cinematic experience. But always the stories in this book show us that film means more and touches deeper chords than anyone might have expected. No other book explores so many different festivals in such detail or provides a context beyond the merely cinematic.
2004, Sept 23; 22:46 ::: Felicien Rops (2003) - Patrick Bade
Felicien Rops (2003) - Patrick Bade [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Felicien Rops is a very surprising artist. Engraver and drawer of exception, Rops captures and anticipates, with astonishing talent, the female bodies with great modernity. Abandoning the conventional forms of the time, the artist creates a world full of humour, tenderness and, at times, insolence for the jubilation of the spectator's eye. --Book Description
2004, Sept 23; 10:41 ::: Criminal Woman, the Prostitute, and the Normal Woman (2004) - Cesare Lombroso, Guglielmo Ferrero
Criminal Woman, the Prostitute, and the Normal Woman (2004) - Cesare Lombroso, Guglielmo Ferrero [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
About the Author
Cesare Lombroso (1835–1909), an internationally famous physician and criminologist, wrote extensively about jurisprudence, psychiatry, human sexuality, and the causes of crime. As a young law student, Guglielmo Ferrero (1871–1942) assisted Lombroso with research.
Nicole Hahn Rafter is Senior Research Fellow at Northeastern University. Among her many books are Partial Justice: Women, Prisons, and Social Control and Creating Born Criminals. Mary Gibson is Professor of History at John Jay College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is the author of Prostitution and the State in Italy, 1860-1915 and Born to Crime: Cesare Lombroso and the Origins of Biological Criminology.
Cesare Lombroso is widely considered the founder of the field of criminology. His theory of the "born" criminal dominated discussions of criminology in Europe and the Americas from the 1880s into the early twentieth century. His book, La donna delinquente, originally published in Italian in 1893, was the first and most influential book ever written on women and crime. This comprehensive new translation gives readers a full view of his landmark work.
Lombroso’s research took him to police stations, prisons, and madhouses where he studied the tattoos, cranial capacities, and sexual behavior of criminals and prostitutes to establish a female criminal type. Criminal Woman, the Prostitute, and the Normal Woman anticipated today’s theories of genetic criminal behavior. Lombroso used Darwinian evolutionary science to argue that criminal women are far more cunning and dangerous than criminal men. Designed to make his original text accessible to students and scholars alike, this volume includes extensive notes, appendices, a glossary, and more than thirty of Lombroso’s own illustrations. Nicole Hahn Rafter and Mary Gibson’s introduction, locating his theory in social context, offers a significant new interpretation of Lombroso’s place in criminology.
A new translation of Cesar Lombroso's La Donna Delinquente, with a new scholarly introduction Cesare Lombroso is widely considered the founder of the field of criminology. His theory of the "born" criminal dominated discussions of criminology in Europe and the Americas from the 1880s into the early twentieth century. His book, La donna delinquente, originally published in Italian in 1893, was the first and most influential book ever written on women and crime. This comprehensive new translation gives readers a full view of his landmark work. Lombroso's research took him to police stations, prisons, and madhouses where he studied the tattoos, cranial capacities, and sexual behavior of criminals and prostitutes to establish a female criminal type. Criminal Woman, the Prostitute, and the Normal Woman anticipated today's theories of genetic criminal behaviour. Lombroso used Darwinian evolutionary science to argue that criminal women are far more cunning and dangerous than criminal men. Nicole Hahn Rafter and Mary Gibson's introduction, locating his theory in social context, offers a significant new interpretation of Lombroso's place in criminology.
2004, Sept 22; 19:48 ::: Art for All? : The Collision of Modern Art and the Public in Late-Nineteenth-Century Germany (2003) - Beth Irwin Lewis
Art for All? : The Collision of Modern Art and the Public in Late-Nineteenth-Century Germany (2003) - Beth Irwin Lewis [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Basing her study on a wide reading of what critics wrote on German art journals and magazines, Lewis fills an important void in our knowledge of the German art scene of the 1880s and 1890s, which set the stage for later shocks and public alienation.
This book tells the story of Germany's rich, flourishing, and diversified world of art in the last decades of the nineteenth century--a world that has until recently been eclipsed by the events of the twentieth century. Basing her narrative on a close reading of contemporary periodicals, and lavishly complementing it with cartoons and other illustrations from these publications, Beth Irwin Lewis provides the first systematic, comprehensive study of that German art world. She focuses on how critics and the public responded to new forms of painting that emerged in the 1880s, when the explosive growth of art exhibitions supported by local governments across a recently united Germany was accompanied by skyrocketing attendance of a new mass public.
Describing the rapid critical acceptance and dominance of the new modern art in the 1890s, Lewis analyzes these developments within a complex interweaving of social, cultural, and economic factors. Although critics had hoped for a unified new art for the new nation, the success of modern art fragmented the art world, as modern artists and their supporters turned away from the often unreceptive mass public of the great exhibitions. Lewis's approach through the popular journals reveals the public's growing alienation from modern artists and an increasing contempt for the public on the part of these artists and their supporters--all of which prefigured tensions in the contemporary art world. Her wide-ranging text examines not only the various ways art was promoted to and received by the public, but also anti-Semitism, the role of women artists, and changes in style of both art and criticism.
Well documented, engagingly written, and vividly illustrated, this book will interest not only scholars and students but all readers interested in German cultural history and art history.
2004, Sept 21; 21:48 ::: Grove Press Reader 1951-2001 (2001) - S. E. Gontarski, Grove Press
Grove Press Reader 1951-2001 (2001) - S. E. Gontarski, Grove Press [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
In 1951 Barney Rosset acquired Grove Press and proceeded to build it into one of the most controversial and influential houses of the era, publishing Henry Miller, Jack Kerouac, D. H. Lawrence, Octavio Paz, Jorge Luis Borges, the Marquis de Sade, Frantz Fanon, and many others. For nearly three decades, readers sought out and read books because they were Grove books. In celebration of the past half-century, Grove Press is now offering a collection of the seminal writers it has published over the past fifty years. The reader opens with an introductory overview by noted Beckett scholar S. E. Gontarski, which recounts Grove Press's early days as a small upstart house, the battles against censorship, the halcyon years and the less profitable times, the attacks by militant feminists and Cuban emigres, and the merger with Atlantic Monthly Press. The book includes selections of works by authors from William Burroughs to Will Self, Jean Genet to Dennis Cooper, Marguerite Duras to Jeannette Winterson, and Samuel Beckett to Tom Stoppard. There are letters between editors and authors, as well as retrospective essays by Grove's key publishers and editors. Organized chronologically, The Grove Press Reader is both an anthology of excellent writing and a commemoration of a spirit of independent publishing that has flourished for fifty years and will continue to thrive in the new century.--Book Description
2004, Sept 21; 21:37 ::: Sex Slavery and Queer Resistance in Eastern Europe
Bad Subjects, Issue # 69, June 2004
Fourteen years into transition from the communist system, eastern Europe is undergoing an economic and ideological crisis. Unemployment, poverty, and homelessness are mounting. Fragile and very limited democracy wants to pass for macho. It is categorically straight, and in general, hostile to minorities. --Tomasz Kitlinski and Joe Lockard, http://eserver.org/bs/69/kitlinski_lockard.html [Sept 2004]
Hegel's dialectic of master and slave is particularly relevant. Ukrainian-born Alexandre Kojève's reading of Hegel accentuated what we read here as civic sadomasochism. Freud, from out of a mittel-Europe ripped ceaselessly by masculinist militarism, defined armies as libidinous union. With such a libidinal anchor, the army reiterates the primal horde, its violence, and male sexual competition. Kristeva argues that society has changed into the dialectic of master and slave. In our view, sadomasochism rules that dialectic. The sexuality of militaries and paramilitaries prevails in eastern Europe.
This is fala, the 'wave,' an unofficial system of dependency upon surveillance, control, abuse, and torture of — as if Gramsci had predicted it — the subaltern. The slavery of Eastern Europe, the fala, is degradation. It is a mafia-esque S&M pecking order that originated in militaries, entered schools, and now is a social system of the Second World. Fala reflects eastern Europe's feudalism (serfdom ended in 1861 in Russia and in 1864 for Russian Poland) and the traditional sex roles of eastern Europe, restored by the transition.
Fala is sadomasochistic and systemic; it dwells on sexual intimidation, individual and mass. It employs bullying, torture, and ritual S&M for sexual subjugation; it is a duel between competing desires. Voluntary or involuntary, penile or penal servitude — the slavery of Eastern Europe is sexual humiliation. Both the sadist and the masochist feel in charge, in control. Theodor Reik writes about the hubris of the masochist, but maybe sadism and masochism are reversible and forever combined. "Ein Sadist ist immer ein Masochist. Ein Masochist ist immer ein Sadist," according to Freud's diagnosis. http://eserver.org/bs/69/kitlinski_lockard.html [Sept 2004]
Bad Subjects is a collective that publishes a magazine (Bad Subjects: Political Education for Everyday Life) and provides access to both via a public-access website. In 1998, Bad Subjects founded a small educational nonprofit corporation, also called Bad Subjects, which promotes the progressive use of new media and print publications. Donations to the nonprofit go toward funding printed copies of the magazine Bad Subjects (distributed for free), and other related projects, such as Bad Subjects books. Bad Subjects seeks to revitalize progressive politics in retreat. We think too many people on the left have taken their convictions for granted. So we challenge progressive dogma by encouraging readers to think about the political dimension to all aspects of everyday life. We also seek to broaden the audience for leftist and progressive writing, through a commitment to accessibility and contemporary relevance.
Bad Subjects was founded in September 1992, at UC Berkeley. Since then it has circulated widely, and today we actually have tens of thousands of readers around the world. You can use our online facilities to find articles on any topic, or browse our current or recent issues. --http://eserver.org/bs [Sept 2004]
2004, Sept 21; 15:20 ::: Trundling Grunts - Glen Baxter
Trundling Grunts - Glen Baxter [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
About the Author
Glen Baxter's earlier works include Blizzards of Tweed, Atlas, The Impending Gleam, Jodhpurs in the Quantocks, The Billiard Table Murders, Returns to Normal, and Glen Baxter's Gourmet Guide.
Colonel Baxter returns with a rip-roaring new collection of cartoons in which he boldly tackles the great issues of the day.--Book Description
Fans of Glen Baxter and his singular, comical world can breathe easy: he's back. For the uninitiated: get ready. Trundling Grunts is that rare book that provides answers to all of life's unasked questions, providing foolproof ways to: Order a Continental breakfast. Approach an offending bagel. Trouble-shoot an express hair grooming service. Smuggle tofu. Freshen up a salad bowl. Make a career switch to accountancy. Stumble into a work of total abstraction. The modern world can be a tough place. As always, Glen Baxter helps you through it. --via Amazon.com
2004, Sept 16; 16:21 ::: Wim Delvoye: Cloaca - Wim Delvoye
Wim Delvoye: Cloaca - Wim Delvoye [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Perpetrator, prankster, unlicensed scatologist--Wim Delvoye wears many hats in this book documenting his exposure of certain hidden--often orifice-related--aspects of our existence. In his new monograph, this Belgian post-Pop artist continues to create works that transcend traditional categorical distinctions--when it comes to Delvoye, we speak not of painting or sculpture but of semiotic installations. His works "Windroos", "Xrub'se", and "Concrete Mixer S.P. II"--all documented here--debunk centuries of Western anal retentiveness in one fell poop. The remarkable list of authors whose texts contribute to this volume--including such luminaries as Georges Perec, Piero Camporesi, Raymond Roussel, Milan Kundera, John Berger, and Georges Bataille--testifies to the deep theoretical, literary, and of course artistic resonance of his work. Delvoye's work evidences a supreme humorous and creative intelligence rarely seen in today's art world--his work never fails to enlighten and entertain with its irreverence and style.
2004, Sept 16; 13:08 ::: David LaChapelle (2004) David Lachappelle, Davide Faccioli
David LaChapelle (2004) David Lachappelle, Davide Faccioli [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
In David LaChapelle land, Pee-Wee Herman is a Martian crash landed into a pastel suburb; L'il Kim becomes the ultimate status symbol, tattooed in the Louis Vuitton pattern; an elegant half-dressed woman wakes up in the untouched remains of an otherwise completely obliterated building; Madonna rises from pink waters as a mystical dragon princess; two women stand in a monochromatic red bathroom, one about to dig into the tub in which the other lies amidst pools of spaghetti; a woman and a horse carcass share a bed; Pamela Anderson hatches out of an egg; and Alexander McQueen burns down the castle dressed as the Queen of Hearts. It's all so much hyper-reality and fun park America gone surrealistically wrong--but in such an attractive way. Witness the workings of the photographer of our zeitgeist.
2004, Sept 15; 12:23 ::: Wet Dream Film Festival (1970) - Amsterdam
The first Wet Dream Film Festival, which took place in the autumn of 1970, was a very, very big success. All of Amsterdam wanted to go, but people came from Rome, Tokyo, New York, London, Brussels, Paris; from all over Europe they came. We sold out [Suck magazine] immediately; we could have sold out many, many times over. The Festival had an incredible warmth and everybody had a very, very good time.
We had a kind of Who's Who jury including Germaine Greer, Jay Landesman, Richard Neville, Michael Zwerin, a wonderful model from Germany, Didi Wadidi and Al Goldstein, the editor and publisher of Screw magazine in New York. --http://www.jim-haynes.com/BooksbyJim/TFC-chapters/Ch_5.htm
2004, Sept 15; 10:17 ::: After the End of Art (1998) - Arthur C. Danto
After the End of Art (1998) - Arthur C. Danto [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Art is still dead, according to Arthur Danto, professor at Columbia University and art critic for The Nation. After the End of Art: Contemporary Art and the Pale of History is a collection of Danto's 1995 Mellon Lectures on the Fine Arts. Famous for his radical critiques of the nature of art--he dates the death of art to around 1964 and declares the art museum has replaced the church for the masses--Danto continues to question traditional notions of aesthetics and philosophy in regard to contemporary art. While touching on a variety of art-related topics, the focus of tehse lectures remains the deviation of contemporary art from the great narrative that has defined art throughout history. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Columbia philosophy professor and Nation art critic Danto has always claimed that there have been three great events in the history of art. First, in the 15th century, art was born when Vasari redescribed what had been the craft of relic- and icon-making as a quest for more and more perfect representations of beauty. Then, in the 1880s, art was reborn: purity, "truth to materials," replaced illusionistic beauty as the progressive artist's Holy Grail. Finally, in 1964, the quest ended with... read more --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Over a decade ago, Arthur Danto announced that art ended in the sixties. Ever since this declaration, he has been at the forefront of a radical critique of the nature of art in our time. After the End of Art presents Danto's first full-scale reformulation of his original insight, showing how, with the eclipse of abstract expressionism, art has deviated irrevocably from the narrative course that Vasari helped define for it in the Renaissance. Moreover, he leads the way to a new type of criticism that can help us understand art in a posthistorical age where, for example, an artist can produce a work in the style of Rembrandt to create a visual pun, and where traditional theories cannot explain the difference between Andy Warhol's Brillo Box and the product found in the grocery store. Here we are engaged in a series of insightful and entertaining conversations on the most relevant aesthetic and philosophical issues of art, conducted by an especially acute observer of the art scene today.
Originally delivered as the prestigious Mellon Lectures on the Fine Arts, these writings cover art history, pop art, "people's art," the future role of museums, and the critical contributions of Clement Greenberg--who helped make sense of modernism for viewers over two generations ago through an aesthetics-based criticism. Tracing art history from a mimetic tradition (the idea that art was a progressively more adequate representation of reality) through the modern era of manifestos (when art was defined by the artist's philosophy), Danto shows that it wasn't until the invention of Pop art that the historical understanding of the means and ends of art was nullified. Even modernist art, which tried to break with the past by questioning the ways of producing art, hinged on a narrative.
Traditional notions of aesthetics can no longer apply to contemporary art, argues Danto. Instead he focuses on a philosophy of art criticism that can deal with perhaps the most perplexing feature of contemporary art: that everything is possible.
2004, Sept 14; 13:54 ::: The Book of the Courtesans: A Catalogue of Their Virtues (2001) - Susan Griffin
Scatalogic Rites of All Nations (1891) - John G. Bourke [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Poet and writer Susan Griffin is famously provocative, though her provocation takes very different forms, ranging from her classic feminist treatise, Women and Nature, which linked patriarchy with the oppression of women and nature, to her well-received A Chorus of Stones, which weighed in on the nature of war. But in The Book of Courtesans, Griffin is downright scintillating. Courtesans, she writes, were not prostitutes nor even kept women, though certainly they used their sexuality to financial gain. Rather, they were personages and celebrities, friends to royalty and the most famous writers and artists of their time, the subjects of gossip, the charismatic epicenter of the Second Empire, the Gay Nineties, the Belle Epoche, "Gay Paree." Their faces were immortalized in paintings by the Renaissance masters, by Degas, Renoir, and Toulouse-Lautrec, their lives by Proust, Balzac, Zola, Flaubert. They lived in splendor, set fashion standards, owned fabulous jewelry collections. And they were talented authors, poets, actresses, and singers. In a time of prescribed roles for women, they turned the tables, creating lives of remarkable intellectual and financial freedom.
Griffin sings the praises of these women and enunciates their virtues, which, ironically, are the sort popularly thought to be made anachronistic by feminism. With her impeccable timing, the French dancer Mogador achieved legendary status the first time she danced on stage and later became a countess. Harriet Wilson seduced the Duke of Wellington with her cheek, and delivered him from boredom. Marion Davies' gaiety enlivened all those who saw her, Madame Pompadour was the embodiment of grace, and Sarah Bernhardt exuded so much charm she acted her way straight out of the role of courtesan. Griffin imagines herself into her subjects lives with sensitivity and sensuality--the rags to riches stories that characterized them and their creative responses to often dire circumstances. In the end, she not only immortalizes these feminist precursors, but reminds us that "the capacity to take pleasure in life is no less a virtue than any other." --Lesley Reed for Amazon.com
2004, Sept 13; 17:24 ::: Scatalogic Rites of All Nations (1891) - John G. Bourke
Scatalogic Rites of All Nations (1891) - John G. Bourke [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
1891. A dissertation upon the employment of excrementitious remedial agents in religion, therapeutics, divination, witchcraft, love-philters, etc. in all parts of the globe. This work is based upon original notes and personal observation, and upon compilation from over one thousand authorities. The subject of Scatalogic or Stercoraceous Rites and Practices, however repellent it may be under some of its aspects, is none the less deserving of the profoundest consideration, if for no other reason that that from the former universal dissemination of such aberrations of the intellect, as well as of the religious impulses of the human race, and their present curtailment or restriction, the progress of humanity upward and onward may best be measured.
2004, Sept 10; 11:32 ::: We (1920) - Yevgeny Zamyatin
We (1920) - Yevgeny Zamyatin [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
In the One State of the great Benefactor, there are no individuals, only numbers. Life is an ongoing process of mathematical precision, a perfectly balanced equation. Primitive passions and instincts have been subdued. Even nature has been defeated, banished behind the Green Wall. But one frontier remains: outer space. Now, with the creation of the spaceship Integral, that frontier -- and whatever alien species are to be found there -- will be subjugated to the beneficent yoke of reason.
One number, D-503, chief architect of the Integral, decides to record his thoughts in the final days before the launch for the benefit of less advanced societies. But a chance meeting with the beautiful 1-330 results in an unexpected discovery that threatens everything D-503 believes about himself and the One State. The discovery -- or rediscovery -- of inner space...and that disease the ancients called the soul.
A page-turning SF adventure, a masterpiece of wit and black humor that accurately predicted the horrors of Stalinism, We is the classic dystopian novel. Its message of hope and warning is as timely at the end of the twentieth century as it was at the beginning.
We (1920) is a novel by Yevgeny Zamyatin. It was written in response to the author's personal experiences with the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917. We is a futuristic dystopic satire, generally considered to be the grandfather of the genre. It takes the totalitarian and conformative aspects of Communism to an extreme conclusion, depicting a state that believes that free will is the cause of unhappiness, and that citizen's lives should be controlled with mathematical precision (among many other innovations, Zamyatin's future vision includes houses, and indeed everything else made of glass or other transparent materials, so that everyone is constantly visible).
The story is told in the diary of the protagonist, called "D-503", in which he describes his work building a spaceship, "The Integral", whose purpose is to seek out and convert any extraterrestrial civilizations to the happiness that the One State has discovered, and his misadventures with a resistance group that seeks to do away with the Benefactor, a big brother type factor and his regime.
The novel was banned by Stalin and got Zamyatin arrested, though he eventually was released and exiled to Paris. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_%28novel%29 [Sept 2004]
2004, Sept 10; 11:26 ::: Temples of Sound: Inside the Great Recording Studios (2003) - William Clark, Jim Cogan, Quincy Jones
Temples of Sound: Inside the Great Recording Studios (2003) - William Clark, Jim Cogan, Quincy Jones [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
About the Author
Jim Cogan has worked for 15 years as a recording engineer and producer, resulting in some of the most critically acclaimed albums in jazz of the past 20 years. He lives in Milwaukee.
William Clark is a playwright, songwriter, and award-winning author who currently writes for a prime time television series. A lifelong music lover, he lives near Washington, D.C.
All great music has a birthplace. Temples of Sound tells the stories of the legendary studios where musical genius and a magical space came together to capture some of the most exciting jazz, pop, funk, soul, and country records ever made. From the celebrated Southern studios of Sun and Stax, to the John Coltrane/Miles Davis sessions in producer Rudy Van Gelder’s living room, to Frank Sinatra’s swinging cuts at state-of-the-art Capitol Records, each of the 15 profiles in this book brings great music to life at the moment of its creation. With a trove of never-before-seen photographs and fascinating, all-new interviews with the musicians and producers who made the records, Temples of Sound is a rich inspiration for music fans. --Product Description
2004, Sept 02; 12:35 ::: Shoah (1985) - Claude Lanzmann
Shoah (1985) - Claude Lanzmann [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
To write a review of a film such as Shoah seems an impossible task: how to sum up one of the most powerful discourses on film in such a way as to make people realize that this is a documentary of immense consequence, a documentary that is not easy to watch but important to watch, a documentary that not only records the facts, but bears witness. We are commanded "Never forget"; this film helps us to fulfill that mandate, reverberating with the viewer long after the movie has ended. Yes, Holocaust films are plentiful, both fictional and non-, with titles such as The Last Days, Schindler's List, and Life Is Beautiful entering the mainstream. But this is not a film about the Holocaust per se; this is a film about people. It's a meandering, nine-and-a-half-hour film that never shows graphic pictures or delves into the political aspects of what happened in Europe in the 1930s and '40s, but talks with survivors, with SS men, with those who witnessed the extermination of 6 million Jews.
Director Claude Lanzmann spent 11 years tracking people down, cajoling them to talk, asking them questions they didn't want to face. When soldiers refuse to appear on film, Lanzmann sneaks cameras in. When people are on the verge of breaking down and can't answer any more questions, Lanzmann asks anyway. He gives names to the victims--driving through a town that was predominantly Jewish before Hitler's time, a local points out which Jews owned what. Lanzmann travels the world, speaking to workers in Poland, survivors in Israel, officers in Germany. He is not a detached interviewer; his probings are deeply personal. One man farmed the land upon which Treblinka was built. "Didn't the screams bother you?" Lanzmann asks. When the farmer seems to brush the issues aside with a smile, Lanzmann's fury is noticeable. "Didn't all this bother you?" he demands angrily, only to be told, "When my neighbor cuts his thumb, I don't feel hurt." The responses, the details are difficult to hear, but critical nonetheless. Shoah tells the story of the most horrifying event of the 20th century, not chronologically and not with historical detail, but in an even more important way: person by person. --Jenny Brown for Amazon.com
2004, Sept 02; 12:22 ::: Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl (1947) - Anne Frank
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl (1947) - Anne Frank [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
A beloved classic since its initial publication in 1947, this vivid, insightful journal is a fitting memorial to the gifted Jewish teenager who died at Bergen-Belsen, Germany, in 1945. Born in 1929, Anne Frank received a blank diary on her 13th birthday, just weeks before she and her family went into hiding in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. Her marvelously detailed, engagingly personal entries chronicle 25 trying months of claustrophobic, quarrelsome intimacy with her parents, sister, a second family, and a middle-aged dentist who has little tolerance for Anne's vivacity. The diary's universal appeal stems from its riveting blend of the grubby particulars of life during wartime (scant, bad food; shabby, outgrown clothes that can't be replaced; constant fear of discovery) and candid discussion of emotions familiar to every adolescent (everyone criticizes me, no one sees my real nature, when will I be loved?). Yet Frank was no ordinary teen: the later entries reveal a sense of compassion and a spiritual depth remarkable in a girl barely 15. Her death epitomizes the madness of the Holocaust, but for the millions who meet Anne through her diary, it is also a very individual loss. --Wendy Smith for Amazon.com
2004, Sept 02; 11:37 ::: Frenzy (1972) - Alfred Hitchcock
Frenzy (1972) - Alfred Hitchcock [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Alfred Hitchcock's penultimate film, written by Anthony Shaffer (who also wrote Sleuth), this delightfully grisly little tale features an all-British cast minus star wattage, which may have accounted for its relatively slim showing in the States. Jon Finch plays a down-on-his-luck Londoner who is offered some help by an old pal (Barry Foster). In fact, Foster is a serial killer the police have been chasing--and he's framing Finch. Which leads to a classic Hitchcock situation: a guiltless man is forced to prove his innocence while eluding Scotland Yard at the same time. Spiked with Hitchcock's trademark dark humor, Frenzy also features a very funny subplot about the Scotland Yard investigator (Alec McCowen) in charge of the case, who must endure meals by a wife (Vivien Merchant) who is taking a gourmet-cooking class. --Marshall Fine for Amazon.com
2004, Aug 31; 16:06 ::: The Ethics of Sexual Acts (1934) - Rene Guyon
The Ethics of Sexual Acts (1934) - Rene Guyon [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
About the Author
René Guyon was born at Sedan, France, in 1876. He studied at the University of Paris, which awarded him a Doctor of Law degree in 1902. Primarily a jurist, he began his writing career with treatises on French legal problems. He has also written fiction and poetry. Between 1924 and 1931 he published three examinations of materialistic philosophy – in the fields of metaphysics, biology, and psychology. Then came Osiris, Deionysus, Prometheus and Eros, a tetralogy of inquiry into the soundness and value of human conventions and traditions. During these active years, Guyon was collecting material for his magnum opus, Etudes d’ethiques sexuelles (ten volumes), of which the present book is the first volume. He also traveled widely, visiting much of Europe, North Africa, the Sudan, Siberia, China, Indo-China, Malaya, and Indonesia. Invited by the Siamese government to draft and codify a new legal system, he rose to chairmanship of the commission, which finished its labors in 1919. Thereafter he became legislative adviser to the Ministry of Justice in Bangkok and a justice of the Siamese Supreme Court.
It is not unreasonable to assume that in a future society, less benighted by the shadow of past ages, Guyon will rank among the immortal emancipators of the human race. His valiant efforts may eventually accomplish in the sphere of sex what the advanced thinkers of Voltaire's day achieved in the realm of political freedom. The present volume contains many building stones upon which to rear a happier world, the world of tomorrow, although it may take generations before the edifice is completed.
Unquestionably The Ethics of Sexual Acts was years ahead of its time when it was first published in 1934. During the years since 1934, scientific and statistical workers have produced a body of that shores up Guyon’s conclusions. The day for Guyon to reach his proper audience would seem to have arrived.
The scientific study of sexual phenomena and of the relations between the sexes has long been hampered by the censorship that has weighed so heavily on sex. It is only since the dawn of the twentieth century that the question has been seriously raised as to whether the anti-sexual moralists have not been the victims of some strange delusion.
The reader must not lose sight of the fact that this volume is essentially a physiological or, to use the current expression, a psycho-physiological study. He must expect, in the following pages to find observations drawn without restriction from all physiological phenomena which are capable of throwing light upon our subject.
2004, Aug 30; 16:19 ::: The School of Whoredom (1500s)- Pietro Aretino
The School of Whoredom - Pietro Aretino [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Hesperus Press, as suggested by their Latin motto, Et remotissima prope, is dedicated to bringing near what is far—far both in space and time. Works by illustrious authors, often unjustly neglected or simply little known in the English–speaking world, are made accessible through a completely fresh editorial approach and new translations. Through these short classic works, which feature forewords by leading contemporary authors, the modern reader will be introduced to the greatest writers of Europe and America. An elegantly designed series of genuine rediscoveries. --From the Publisher
Bawdy and thoroughly risqueacute;, this 16th–century masterpiece is the work of Pietro Aretino, widely regarded as the originator of European pornographic writing. With a Foreword by Paul Bailey. Determined that her daughter should not be ignorant of the ways of men and love, Nanna seeks to “educate” the naïve Pippa. She tells of women—whores, housewives, and nuns all being essentially the same; and of how to win men—discreetly and with good manners. But mostly, she reveals to Pippa the secrets of her art as a courtesan. The ensuing dialogue, laden with satiric twists and naughty puns, offers a fresh and lively example of the harlot’s world, displaying a frankness that confides in today’s reader as shrewdly as it was intended in 16th–century Rome. Italian satirist and poet Pietro Aretino (1492–1556) was one of the most versatile writers of the 16th century; the author of plays, poetry, and letters, he is now principally remembered as the originator of European pornography. --Book Description via Amazon.com
If you want to read a work that is literally pornography, you are in luck. Remember, pornography literally, etymologically, is "whore writing", or writing about or by prostitutes. Of course we have grown away from this literal standard, but _The School of Whoredom_ (Hesperus Press) by Pietro Aretino meets it. It consists of a classic dialogue (from the time when dialogues where the choice way of explaining ideas in astronomy and philosophy) between a whore and her daughter who will become a whore. This makes it sound quite a bit coarser than it really is. While the book is not without frankness and the translator has not spared four-letter words, it is a sophisticated satire on the morals of men and women. It is full of jokes, robust humor at the expense of courtiers, clerics, men, women, and different ethnicities of the sixteenth century. It has some advice to a daughter that works just fine in modern and less meretricious settings.
_The School of Whoredom_ (written around 1535) is not a work like Aretino's famous _I Modi_, called the world's first "stroke book". While it treats of the erotic endeavors of men and women, it could hardly be called an erotic work itself. Basically, it is instruction more on how to be a courtesan than how effectively to engage in coitus. As such, it is more about manipulation of the emotions of men than of their anatomy, and might be read as a prescient call to feminist solidarity. Whoring, mother Nanna reminds daughter Pippa, isn't easy: "So, you see, becoming a whore is no career for fools, well I know it..." She also advises, "You'd need more skills than a doctor to be a courtesan." There is plenty of other advice, some proverbial. "Never mock at the truth and never do harm with a joke." "Don't take pleasure in upsetting friendships by reporting gossip; avoid scandals; and whenever you can make peace do so." By such means, Pippa is to ensure her position of relative esteem in society, but always she is to be mindful of the bottom line: "... a courtesan whose heart pounds for anything other than her purse is like a greedy, drunken tavern-keeper..." who eats his own fare instead of selling it.
While the liveliest parts of the book are the descriptions of ruses for parting punters from their extra cash, there are many pictures here of a vibrant society, one which valued good food and entertainment. Aretino's work shows they also liked satire. There is much here to expose those in power, and plenty that makes fun of the sexual peccadilloes from cardinals to monks and nuns. Nanna discusses the merits (or lack thereof) between Frenchmen, Spaniards, Romans, Florentines, and Germans, giving pride of place to the Venetians ("If I said everything they deserve to have said about them, people would tell me: 'Love has blinded you.'"). Nanna has triumphed over men for years, and is delighted with Pippa's prospects: "My heart swells so much with pride at seeing you at home in these affairs that I'm in raptures." Careful reading, though, almost five centuries later, shows she has instructed about far more than the ways of whoredom. --R. Hardy "Rob Hardy" via Amazon.com
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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
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