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"Method of this work:
literary montage.
I have nothing to say only to show."
(Passagenwerk (1927 - 1940) - Walter Benjamin)

2005, Aug 19; 13:27 ::: Nudie cutie

Scene from The Immoral Mr. Teas (1959) - Russ Meyer
image sourced here.

Poster for The Adventures of Lucky Pierre (1961) - H.G. Lewis
image sourced here.

Nudie cutie
By the fifties however attitudes to what could be shown in films began to change and audiences demanded more “adult” material. First came the burlesque film, which featured a performance by a succession of strippers and no narrative, such as “Strip-O-Rama”. These in turn paved the way for the “nudist” films which were presented as serious documentaries on the joys of nudism, such as “The Nude World” (1935). These films weren’t in the least bit sexy and after a long legal case were declared as being “devoid of erotic content” by a New York court in 1957. By the late fifties and early sixties the sexploitation craze had given way to films with more of a narrative content and the emergence of filmmakers such as Doris Wishman (and her star Chesty Morgan) and Russ Meyer. Meyer’s first film, “The Immoral Mr Teas” (1959) paved the way not only for the latest phase of exploitation but also the career of one of the few technically proficient exploitation filmmakers. Meyer took the sexploitation blueprint and ran with it clocking up huge hits with such films as “Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!” (1965) and “Supervixens” (1975). It was also in sex films that another important name in the history of exploitation film first started out. Inspired by Meyer’s success with “Mr Teas”, Herschell Gordon Lewis and his associate David Friedman decided to try their hand at “nudie” films and over three years made around 30 (according to Friedman) including such titles as “Living Venus” (1960), “The Adventures Of Lucky Pierre” (1961) and “Boin-n-g!” (1963). --Matt Richardson via http://www.troma.com/fansart/term/dissertation.htm

See also: H.G. Lewis - Russ Meyer - David Friedman - nudist film - exploitation film - nudism

2005, Aug 19; 13:27 ::: Art house films

Art house films are motion pictures that were not intended by their producers to appeal to a mass audience, but rather seek a niche amongst specialty theatres usually found in large urban areas. These films are often produced on small budgets and lack the lavish advertising campaigns of films in wide release. Art films, foreign films, and documentaries are usually art house films but from time to time they catch the appeal of the mainstream viewing audiences. Some recent examples of such break-out films include Life is Beautiful (Italy, 1997) and the documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 (United States, 2004). Many major motion picture studios have special divisions dedicated to these films, such as the Fox Searchlight division of Twentieth Century Fox and the Sony Pictures Classics division of Columbia Pictures. Miramax is a company that got its start releasing art house films but has more recently produced more commercial pictures. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_house_film [Aug 2005]

See also: art house theatres - art film - cinema - USA

2005, Aug 19; 12:48 ::: "Bold! Daring! Shocking! True: A History of Exploitation Films, 1919-1959 - Eric Schaefer

"Bold! Daring! Shocking! True: A History of Exploitation Films, 1919-1959 - Eric Schaefer [FR] [DE] [UK]

Eric Schaefer's readable history of exploitation movies begins with a description of what the genre ain't--the rabid "nudie pics" of Russ Meyer (Faster, Pussycat, Kill! Kill!) and the drecky, knowing arthouse flicks made by Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey (Andy Warhol's Dracula). Though these camp movies are sometimes labeled "exploitation," they do not exactly fit Schaefer's definition. For him, exploitation is the brand of movie that puts nudity and antisocial behavior up on the screen in the name of civic-mindedness and healthy social conscience--and with a wink. Between 1919 and 1959, sexual hygiene and antidrug movies with kicky, lascivious titles such as No Greater Sin (1939), Call Girls (1959), Nudist Land (1937), and Paroled from the Big House (1938) traveled through the country outside regular theater chains, advertising themselves as "shocking" yet educational. The posters didn't slouch either. No Greater Sin promised viewers, "You'll gasp, you'll wince, you'll shudder... so powerful, many will faint!" Schaefer argues that studying the films tells us cartloads about the way Puritanical America grappled with complex issues like premarital sex, drugs, infidelity, and alternative lifestyles. And he may be right: by 1959, audiences had begun turning to European films like And God Created Woman, films that treated exploitation movie subjects legitimately. The story of a lost culture, Bold! Daring! Shocking! True! is finally an archaeology of the immediate past that throws our present incoherence about sex, public-mindedness, virtue, and immediate gratification into high and sometimes hilarious relief. With priceless historical black-and-white photographs. --Lyall Bush, Amazon.com

See also: Eric Schaefer - nudist film - exploitation film - nudism

2005, Aug 19; 10:54 ::: Nudist films

Nudism, Race, and Resistance in The Unashamed
An officially despised but nonetheless profitable brand of motion picture made prior to the 1960s, the classical exploitation film was produced outside the Hollywood system. It trafficked in all forms of content forbidden by the Production Code (short of hard-core pornography) and played in the "Main Street" theaters off the beaten track. Because they sold themselves on the sensationalism of their subject matter, these films had little use for the gloss of their Hollywood rivals: sub-Poverty Row production values and stilted performances by the actors were the rule. Like the Hollywood feature and the documentary, the classical exploitation film is a regime that encompasses several distinct (but not necessarily exclusive) genres, such as the sex-hygiene film, the drug film, the vice film, and the burlesque film. Another exploitation genre is one that has been almost completely forgotten, one that seems anathema to the popular image of pre-1960s America: the nudist film. Set mainly in nudist camps, these films, which included both dramas and documentaries, gave their audience a sight unavailable on the Hollywood screen: a full view of the naked human body--albeit with the genitals obscured. Although dozens of nudist films were made prior to 1960, only one is acknowledged as a fictional drama in which the spectacle of the nudity is cohesively integrated into a character-driven narrative: Allen Stuart's The Unashamed (1938) [IMDb]. --Film Quarterly, Winter, 2000 by Robert M. Payne via http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1070/is_2_54/ai_71875704

Moreover, the exploitation films often projected their anxieties concerning these problems onto a designated "Other," usually a group of people who were already on the periphery of society--the working class, immigrants, non-whites, even pregnant women, etc.--and whose scapegoating only affirmed middle-class prejudices.(Schaefer, pp. 13-14.)

The clash between this conservative entreaty and the sensationalism of the subject matter fissures the films' textual cohesion, and this internal tension remains the most intriguing aspect of the classical exploitation cinema. Given their compulsory conservatism, exploitation films viewed the Other with a sense of opprobrium. However, one exploitation genre goes brazenly against this otherwise persistent paradigm: the nudist film.(Schaefer, pp. 303-24.) --Film Quarterly, Winter, 2000 by Robert M. Payne via http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1070/is_2_54/ai_71875704

Eric Schaefer, "Bold! Daring! Shocking! True!": A History of Exploitation Films, 1919-1959 (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1999). Two other books on classical exploitation cinema are Felicia Feaster and Bret Wood, Forbidden Fruit: The Golden Age of the Exploitation Film (Baltimore, MD: Midnight Marquee, 1999); and Eddie Muller and Daniel Fails, Grindhouse: The Forbidden World of "Adults Only" Cinema (New York: St. Martin's/Griffin, 1996). --Film Quarterly, Winter, 2000 by Robert M. Payne via http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1070/is_2_54/ai_71875704

Nudie films
Nudie films were a 1950s genre of films, popular in Europe and the USA.

Because of ruling censorship laws, the only open cinematic displays of nudity were naturist (nudist camp) quasi-documentary films. Examples are Garden of Eden by Max Nosseck.

Other producers and directors active in the genre included David F. Friedman, Herschell Gordon Lewis and Doris Wishman (Diary of a Nudist (1961)).

With The Immoral Mr. Teas, director Russ Meyer produced a nudie film with a slightly different twist. At the time called a "nudie cutie"; it was his first successful film. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nudie_film [Aug 2005]

See also: Eric Schaefer - nudist film - exploitation film - working class - nudism

2005, Aug 19; 10:54 ::: Piero Fornasetti (2005) - Brigitte Fitoussi, Phillipe Starck

Piero Fornasetti: A Conversation between Philippe Starck and Barnaba Fornasetti (2005) - Brigitte Fitoussi, Phillipe Starck [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

See also: Piero Fornasetti - Italy - design - Italian design

2005, Aug 19; 10:45 ::: Alessi

Poster for Italian design company Alessi
image sourced here.

Alessi is an Italian family-run company, famous for its playful design of affordable objects and appliances for the kitchen, created in colorful plastics and stainless steel. For the designs, Alessi attracts a selection of the world's foremost architects and designers.

Alessi was founded in 1921, when Giovanni Alessi bought a piece of land in Omegna, Italy for the startup of a company that made household objects in copper, brass and nickel silver. Giovanni's son Carlo assisted him from a very young age and was responsible for the objects created by the firm from the mid-1930s till 1945. Carlo Alessi introduced design and enabled, among others, the creation of the famous Italian Bombé coffee and tea sets.

After World War II, Carlo Alessi took over the firm, and first concentrated on mass-production of stainless steel household items. His youngest brother, Ettore Alessi, introduced substantial technical knowledge in the area of cold pressing of steel. Ettore attracted external designers from 1955, including the architects Carlo Mazzeri, Luigi Massoni and Anselmo Vitale.

Carlo's son Alberto Alessi joined Alessi in 1970; as the firm's current director, he invited the impressive list of contemporary designers who would make the firm world famous. Alessandro Mendini is the most important among them, since he has also worked for Alessi as a design consultant, architect and company historian. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alessi [Aug 2005]

See also: Italy - design - Italian design

2005, Aug 19; 10:33 ::: Culture of Austria

Europe - Sigmund Freud - Elfriede Jelinek - Richard von Krafft-Ebing - Rudi Gernreich - Michael Haneke - Adolf Hitler - Gustav Klimt - Alfred Kubin - Fritz Lang - Hermann Nitsch - Ludwig von Mises - Otto Muehl - Karl Popper - Otto Preminger - Wilhelm Reich - Egon Schiele - Romy Schneider - Arthur Schnitzler - Arnold Schoenberg - Ettore Sottsass - Wilhelm Stekel - Erich von Stroheim - Vienna - Amos Vogel - Ludwig Wittgenstein - Josef von Sternberg

Culture of Austria
Although Austria is a small country, its history as a world power and its unique cultural environment in the heart of Europe have generated contributions to mankind in every possible field. Austria is presumably internationally best known for its musicians. It has been the birthplace of many famous composers such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn, Franz Schubert, Anton Bruckner, Johann Strauss, Sr., Johann Strauss, Jr. or Gustav Mahler as well as members of the Second Viennese School such as Arnold Schoenberg, Anton Webern or Alban Berg.

Complementing its status as a land of artists, Austria has always been a country of great poets, writers and novelists. It was the home of novelists Arthur Schnitzler, Stefan Zweig, Thomas Bernhard or Robert Musil, of poets Georg Trakl, Franz Werfel, Franz Grillparzer, Rainer Maria Rilke or Adalbert Stifter. Famous contemporary playwrights and novelists are Elfriede Jelinek and Peter Handke. Among Austrian artists and architects one can find painters Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka, Egon Schiele or Friedensreich Hundertwasser, photographer Inge Morath or architect Otto Wagner.

Austria was the cradle of numerous scientists including physicists Ludwig Boltzmann, Lise Meitner, Erwin Schrödinger, Ernst Mach, Wolfgang Pauli, Richard von Mises and Christian Doppler, philosophers Ludwig Wittgenstein and Karl Popper, biologists Gregor Mendel and Konrad Lorenz as well as mathematician Kurt Gödel. It was home to psychologists Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler, Paul Watzlawick and Hans Asperger, psychiatrist Viktor Frankl, economists Joseph Schumpeter, Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, Ludwig von Mises, and Friedrich Hayek (Austrian School), and engineers such as Ferdinand Porsche and Siegfried Marcus.

Although Austrians can look back with pride on their cultural past, current Austria does not stand back in art and science. Austria hosts a tremendous amount of culture, with its classical music festivals in Vienna, Salzburg and Bregenz, its modern artists and writers, its theatres and opera houses. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austria#Austrian_culture [Aug 2005]

See also: Austria - culture

2005, Aug 19; 09:46 ::: The question is not whether pornography, but the quality of the pornography

For Sontag, it is specific modes of consumption that are the problem, not pornography itself. To those with a pure gaze, pornography can be rewarding and significant, and to these people, she argues, "the question is not whether pornography, but the quality of the pornography." (Paul Goodman, quoted in Sontag, 1969: 72) --Mark Jancovich, 01/06/01 via Naked Ambitions: Pornography, Taste and the Problem of the Middlebrow via http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/film/journal/articles/naked-ambition.htm [Aug 2005]

See also: Susan Sontag - 2001 - pornography - Mark Jancovich - UK

2005, Aug 18; 23:33 ::: The Pornographic Imagination (1967) - Susan Sontag

Georges Pichard adaptation of Trois Filles de leur Mère (1926)

Susan Sontag's essay on pornography and literature in which she says of five French works that they are definitely genuine literature:

--Susan Sontag (1967) via Styles of Radical Will (p.36)

See also: Susan Sontag - 1967 - pornography - literature - France

2005, Aug 18; 19:01 ::: Scream queen

Scream queen Barbara Steele, photocredit unidentified

A scream queen is an actress famous for appearances in horror films, usually as a beautiful woman trying to escape a monster or serial killer. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scream_queens [Aug 2005]

See also: scream - damsel in distress - horror films - actress

2005, Aug 18; 19:01 ::: The Vampire (1963?) - presented by Roger Vadim

Collection of vampire stories presented by Roger Vadim (1963?)

This contains: The Vampires of Hungary and Surrounding Countries by Augustin Calmet; Carnival by Lawrence Durrell; Carmilla by J. Sheridan le Fanu; The Beautiful Vampire by Théophile Gautier; Berenice by Edgar Allan Poe; Chriseis by Simon Raven; The Horla by Guy de Maupassant; Mrs Amworth by E. F. Benson; The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; The Cloak by Robert Bloch; Viy by Nicolai Gogol; Fresh Guy by E. C. Tubb; A Vampire by Luigi Capuana; The Man Upstairs by Ray Bradbury; and The Death of Dracula by Bram Stoker. --http://www.abebooks.co.uk/search/sortby/3/an/Doyle/tn/Adventure+Sussex+Vampire [Aug 2005]

Viy, is a story by Russian writer Nikolai Gogol, first published in his collection of "Ukrainian tales", Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka (1831-1832).

It was the basis of Mario Bava's film La maschera del demonio (starring Barbara Steele) and the Russian film Viy (1967) by Georgi Kropachyov and Konstantin Yershov. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viy [Aug 2005]

See also: Nikolai Gogol - Roger Vadim

2005, Aug 18; 19:00 ::: Potboiler

A potboiler is an artistic work (usually written) created for the sole purpose of making money quickly or to maintain a steady income for the artist, thus implying that artistic values were subordinate to saleability.

The word was derived from "to boil the pot": in other words, the author wrote the book to keep a pot of food boiling.

One of the most famous potboilers is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potboiler [Aug 2005]

See also: commercial - art

2005, Aug 18; 13:33 ::: The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1963) - Mario Bava

The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1963) - Mario Bava [Amazon.com]

The Girl Who Knew Too Much (La Ragazza che sapeva troppo) is an Italian film by Mario Bava released in 1963. It stars Leticia Roman and John Saxon (actor).

This film is considered the first in the giallo genre. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_ragazza_che_sapeva_troppo [Aug 2005]

See also: Mario Bava - 1963 - giallo - Italian cinema

2005, Aug 18; 13:33 ::: Kill Bill 2 (2004) - Quentin Tarantino

Kill Bill 2 (2004) - Quentin Tarantino [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

"The Bride" (Uma Thurman) gets her satisfaction--and so do we--in Quentin Tarantino's "roaring rampage of revenge," Kill Bill, Vol. 2. Where Vol. 1 was a hyper-kinetic tribute to the Asian chop-socky grindhouse flicks that have been thoroughly cross-referenced in Tarantino's film-loving brain, Vol. 2--not a sequel, but Part Two of a breathtakingly cinematic epic--is Tarantino's contemporary martial-arts Western, fueled by iconic images, music, and themes lifted from any source that Tarantino holds dear, from the action-packed cheapies of William Witney (one of several filmmakers Tarantino gratefully honors in the closing credits) to the spaghetti epics of Sergio Leone. Tarantino doesn't copy so much as elevate the genres he loves, and the entirety of Kill Bill is clearly the product of a singular artistic vision, even as it careens from one influence to another. Violence erupts with dynamic impact, but unlike Vol. 1, this slower grand finale revels in Tarantino's trademark dialogue and loopy longueurs, reviving the career of David Carradine (who plays Bill for what he is: a snake charmer), and giving Thurman's Bride an outlet for maternal love and well-earned happiness. Has any actress endured so much for the sake of a unique collaboration? As the credits remind us, "The Bride" was jointly created by "Q&U," and she's become an unforgettable heroine in a pair of delirious movie-movies (Vol. 3 awaits, some 15 years hence) that Tarantino fans will study and love for decades to come. --Jeff Shannon

Exploitation film
Exploitation is the name given to genre of films, extant since the earliest days of moviemaking, but popularized in the 1970s. Exploitation films typically sacrifice traditional notions of artistic merit for the sensational display of some topic about which the audience may be curious, or have some prurient interest. Thematically, exploitation films are influenced by other so-called exploitative media like pulp magazines. Evidence of exploitation films' influence on contemporary cinema is mirrored in films such as Kill Bill by director Quentin Tarantino, who is a declared lover of exploitation cinema. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exploitation_film [Aug 2005]

See also: Quentin Tarantino - 2004 - exploitation - exploitation film - USA - film

2005, Aug 18; 13:33 ::: Mental Hygiene: Classroom Films 1945-1970 (1999) - Ken Smith

Mental Hygiene: Classroom Films 1945-1970 (1999) - Ken Smith [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

In Mental Hygiene, Ken Smith takes a look at the endearingly gooney safety and "social guidance" films produced for classroom use between World War II and the early 1970s. Everything from dating to drugs to auto safety is covered in this lovingly compiled book. Smith even takes the time to discuss the stylistic differences of the various studios and analyze the peculiar obsessions of their auteurs. Though its subjects are bizarre ("Healthy Feet"), corny ("Teen Togs"), and often ineptly made ("Red Nightmare"), Mental Hygiene is no mere excuse to mock these films. Smith is careful to note bursts of good (or at least interesting) filmmaking and makes a convincing case that in their day these classroom movies were considered the new wave of liberal education. The films, catalogued at the end of the book, teeter between unintentionally hilarious ("More Dates for Kay") and just flat-out disturbing ("Boys Beware"). Most take the stance that teens who drive too fast or don't mind their manners deserve their horrific fates. For example, the auto safety films tend toward subtly titled epics like "Mechanized Death" and "Wheels of Tragedy," while the "image building" shorts mercilessly taunt their misfit protagonists. ("It's a little late for tears, isn't it, Barbara?") A thoroughly enjoyable read, Mental Hygiene is both funny and informative, but not so informative that it will put you to sleep in class. --Ali Davis via Amazon.com

From Booklist
Among the most pervasive and pernicious forms of 1950s cultural indoctrination was the mental hygiene film, extolling proper behavior to captive audiences of schoolchildren. Blatantly and crudely designed, the genre's products instilled proper dating practices and showed the consequences of failing to avoid drugs and of car wrecks. No social problem was too big for them, not even juvenile delinquency and the atom bomb. Mostly, as Smith shows, they aimed to maintain conformity. Evolved from World War II training films, they flourished from 1945 to the early 1960s, when the growing sophistication of their target audience rendered them ineffective. Smith synopsizes well more than a hundred leading examples, from Act Your Age (1949), which offered tips on emotional development, to the seminal Youth in Crisis (1944), which exposed "the grim story of what the war is doing to America's youth!" Most mental hygiene films have vanished, discarded when their message grew dated, but they live again through Smith's diligent research and witty write-ups, more fun to read than watching them ever was. Gordon Flagg via Amazon.com

Mental Hygiene: Classroom Films 1945 - 1970 is a 1999 book by former Comedy Channel writer Ken Smith, about a large genre of social guidance films on topics ranging from driver safety to dating to sexual relations and drug use.

In addition to giving a brief historical overview of educational films in the U.S., Smith devotes chapters to common themes within the works (conformity, cautionary tales, dating, menstruation, drugs, sex education, driver safety, and product placement) and to large producers such as Encyclopædia Britannica, Coronet, Centron, and independent producer Sid Davis. The last 120 pages of the book are devoted to thumbnails and synopses of 250 of the films Smith considers most notable. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_Hygiene:_Classroom_Films_1945_-_1970 [Aug 2005]

See also: education - USA - film

2005, Aug 18; 13:33 ::: Blue-collar culture

"Blue-collar" is also an epithet used to describe the environment of the "blue-collar worker": i.e., a "blue-collar" neighborhood, job, factory, restaurant, bar, etc., or a situation descriptive of use of manual effort and the strength required to do such. It can also be used as a derogatory adjective to describe something crude, simple, lacking sophistication, or appealing to basic instinct: i.e., a blue-collar joke. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue-collar_worker [Aug 2005]

See also: culture - class - proletariat

2005, Aug 16; 15:27 ::: Kroger Babb and Ingmar Bergman

Since it is listed on a page about Kroger Babb, I would assume that this is one of the leaflets Kroger Babb sold on his roadshows.
image sourced here.

Harriet Andersson in Summer with Monika (1953)

Harriet Andersson in Summer with Monika (1953)

Kroger Babb (born December 30, 1906 in Lees Creek, Ohio, USA, died January 28, 1980 was an American film producer and travelling salesman in the medicine show tradition; best remembered for Mom and Dad (1945), an early exploitation film.

In 1955, Kroger Babb acquired the American theatrical rights for Ingmar Bergman's, A Summer with Monika, which he edited down, retitled Monika: The Story of a Bad Girl, and advertised emphasizing the film's nudity. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kroger_Babb [Aug 2005]

See also: Kroger Babb - Ingmar Bergman - exploitation film - bad girls

2005, Aug 16; 15:27 ::: Kriminal

French cover of translated Kriminal version.
image sourced here.

See also: Kriminal - character - fumetti - Italy

2005, Aug 16; 14:11 ::: Kriminal (1966) - Umberto Lenzi

Image from the 1966 film Kriminal.
image sourced here.

Kriminal is a fictional character created for Italian comics by Magnus and Bunker and adapted for film by Umberto Lenzi. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kriminal [Aug 2005]

Umbero Lenzi
Umbero Lenzi (Massa Marittima, Italy, August 6, 1931), is an Italian film director who has mainly been active in low budget crime films. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umberto_Lenzi [Aug 2005]

See also: Kriminal - character - fumetti - Italy

2005, Aug 16; 14:10 ::: High culture

High culture is a term referring to the "best of breed" (from some elitist viewpoint) cultural products. What falls in this category is defined by the most powerful sections of society, i.e. its social, political, economic and intellectual elite.

For example opera is considered high culture.

The absolute opposite of high culture is popular culture. -- httphttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_culture (Revision as of 20:48, 9 June 2005) [Aug 2005]

I am referring to the older version, the new version makes hardly any sense at all.

See also: high culture - culture - low culture

2005, Aug 16; 13:26 ::: Aestheticization of violence

Aesthetics is the branch of philosophy that studies the nature of beauty and the moral value of art, so the aestheticization of violence is the process of making the act and the product of violence appear more attractive than it may actually be.

It is a fact that high culture has the capacity to aestheticize violence into a form of autonomous art.

"If any human act evokes the aesthetic experience of the sublime, certainly it is the act of murder. And if murder can be experienced aesthetically, the murderer can in turn be regarded as a kind of artist — a performance artist or anti-artist whose specialty is not creation but destruction." Joel Black (1991: 14).

An example might be the character Hannibal Lecter, a fictional cannibal and aesthete created by Thomas Harris and then portrayed by Anthony Hopkins on screen. In the film Hannibal (2000), director Ridley Scott intentionally generates excitement and anticipation when Lecter is about to kill (and eat) a victim. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aestheticization_of_violence [Aug 2005]

The comments that Damien Hirst and Stockhausen made in the wake of 9/11 are not mentioned.

See also: aestheticization - aesthetics - violence - philosophy

2005, Aug 16; 12:53 ::: Malcolm McDowell

Malcolm McDowell (born June 13, 1943) is a British actor. He was born Malcolm John Taylor in Leeds, England. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malcolm_McDowell [Aug 2005]

A Clockwork Orange (1971) - Stanley Kubrick [Amazon.com]

Caligula (1979) - Tinto Brass, Bob Guccione [Amazon.com]

If.... (1968) - Lindsay Anderson [Amazon.com]

See also: If - Caligula - Clockwork Orange - British cinema - actor - Malcolm McDowell

2005, Aug 16; 23:33 ::: Late one night in the winter of 1967

Late one night in the winter of 1967, Gainsbourg and Bardot went into a dimly lit studio in Paris and recorded Michel Colombier's arrangement of Je T'Aime in an intimate two-hour session. The two singers were squashed into a small, steamy glass booth; engineer William Flageollet witnessed what he described as "heavy petting". Word leaked to the press that it was an "audio vérité" recording, with the Sunday paper France-Dimanche reporting that the four minutes and 35 seconds of "groans, sighs, and Bardot's little cries of pleasure" set to almost churchlike organ music gave "the impression you're listening to two people making love". --http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4128684,00.html [Aug 2005]

Je t'aime, moi non plus (soundtrack, 1976) - Serge Gainsbourg [FR] [DE] [UK]

Je t'aime, moi non plus (soundtrack, 1976) - Serge Gainsbourg [FR] [DE] [UK]

Je t'aime... moi non plus is the title of a controversial song written by Serge Gainsbourg, arranged by Michel Colombier and sung by Gainsbourg and his soon-to-be girlfriend, Jane Birkin who replaced actress Brigitte Bardot after the latter's then husband's protest.

The song was known much for its racey undertones and the simple repitition of the phrase "I love you" detailed by Birkin's breathy moans. The song debuted at #1 on the UK charts and ironically at #69 within the US. The tune would go on to be the influence for the disco classic "Love To Love You Baby" by singer Donna Summer and legendary producer Giorgio Moroder, both of whom would later duet "Je t'aime" in its original form.

Je t'aime... moi non plus is also the name of a 1976 feature film, directed by Serge Gainsbourg, starring Jane Birkin, Patrick Dewaere and Joe Dallesandro. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Je_t'aime..._moi_non_plus [Aug 2005]

See also: 1967 - 1969 - Serge Gainsbourg - Brigitte Bardot - Jane Birkin - Je t'aime... moi non plus

2005, Aug 16; 23:33 ::: The Pornographic Imagination (1967) - Susan Sontag

“No one should undertake a discussion of pornography before acknowledging the pornographies—there are at least three—and before pledging to take them on one at a time” (Styles of Radical Will, p.35). Sontag first defines her topic and states her focus is proving that these pornographies are a literary genre of their own. To show her idea that pornography is literature, she refers to several literary texts: Story of O, The Image, and Pierre Louys’ Trois Filles de leur Mère. These, being only a few, rank higher than even other pornographic literatures further proving her point. Sontag concedes that there are literatures that fail to serve as insightful over sexual excitement, to pleasure the opposing critics, but she shows evidence that others however serve a purpose. Story of O has definite beginning, middle, and end points, as well as characters that “possess emotions of a very intense kind . . . characters do have motives . . . the characters are endowed with a ‘psychology’ of a sort, one derived from the psychology of lust. And while what can be learned of the characters within the situations in which they are placed is severely restricted . . . O and her partners are not more reduced or foreshortened than the characters in many non-pornographic works of contemporary fiction,” proves Sontag (Styles of Radical Will, p.40). This extensive comparison connects Sontag’s idea to literature. Traditional pornography holds no purpose beyond mere sexual attraction, whereas literary pornography shows realistic connection. To Sontag, art is too commonly viewed externally and is not given the time of day for true examination. --Google cached page of sauguscenturions.com [Aug 2005]

From Susan Sontag's Styles of Radical Will.

See also: Susan Sontag - pornography - literature

2005, Aug 16; 23:33 ::: L' Enfant Assassin des Mouches (1972) - Jean-Claude Vannier

L' Enfant Assasin des Mouches (1972) - Jean-Claude Vannier [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Album Details
The Debut Release from Finders Keepers Records, We Present the Seminal 1972 Album from Serge Gainsbourg's Right-hand Man Jean-claude Vannier. Recorded During the Same Sessions as Gainsbourg's Highly Acclaimed Masterpiece "Melody Nelson" it Follows in a Similar Avant-garde Rock-opera Vein. "l'enfant Assasin Des Mouches" (The Child Fly-killer) is a Supernatural Tale Written by Gainsbourg Depicting the Journey of the Young Child Travelling Through a Nightmarish "Fly Kingdom". Vannier Narrates the Story with Sparse Music Concrete Sounds Coupled with Choirs, Funky Beats, Cowbells, Wah-wah Guitars and Ethnic Strings. Comparisons Could Be Made with Some of Frank Zappa's "Hot Rats" Material and Alain Goraguer's Creepy "La Planéte Sauvage".

See also: 1972 - music - folk

2005, Aug 16; 21:29 ::: Goblin (band)

Music Composed And Performed By Goblin: Their Rare Tracks & Outtakes Collection, 1975-1989 [SOUNDTRACK] () - Goblin [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Goblin are an Italian progressive rock band who are known for their soundtracks for Dario Argento (Profondo Rosso (1975), Suspiria (1977), ...). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goblin_%28band%29 [Aug 2005]

See also: Italy - progressive rock - soundtrack

2005, Aug 16; 21:29 ::: Pigbag

Sunny Day (1982) - Pigbag

Pigbag were a jazz revival band who came to prominence in the early 1980s on the back of the post-punk movement.

Papa's Got A Brand New Pigbag
They made their first recordings in 1981. Later that year they released their first single, "Papa's Got A Brand New Pigbag", on Dick O'Dell's Y Records, taking inspiration for the title (if not the music) from James Brown's "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag". The instrumental release quickly became an underground dance hit, selling many thousands of copies and appearing high in the Independent Charts.

"Papa's Got A Brand New Pigbag" is still used extensively at sporting events and on TV, and still gets played in clubs. The track has also been covered by several other artists.

By the end of the decade it had given birth to a new genre: Acid jazz.

Their legacy can still be scene today, primarily in the nihilistic funk of New York bands like !!! and LCD Soundsystem. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pigbag [Aug 2005]

This review appears to have been written by a very ardent fan, according to he author(s) Pigbag influenced every band and music style that came after them. But one must concede, "Papa's Got A Brand New Pigbag" (1981) has enjoyed a long and prosperous life on the dancefloor. Also, I wonder who did the artwork on that sleeve for Sunny Day. I remember other Pigbag sleeves in a similar style, does anyone know the name of the artist?

See also: UK - Dick O'Dell - post-punk - 1981 - 1980s music

2005, Aug 16; 17:38 ::: RVNG PRSNTS MX4: Crazy Rhythms (2005) - Mike Simonetti & Dan Selzer

Mx4 is $3 plus $1 shipping in US ($2 shipping outside of US) through PayPal, (payforstuff@igetrvng.com). Click here to buy

01. Giorgio Moroder – Night Drive (Reprise)
02. Klein & M.B.O. – The Big Apple
03. Wide Boy Awake – Slang Teacher
04. Massimo Barsotti D.J. – Whole Lotta Love
05. Amin-Peck – Girls On Me
06. Vortex – Black Box Disco
07. Man Friday – Love Heartache (A “Tom Moulton” Mix)
08. War – Galaxy
09. Macho – I’m a Man
10. Gazebo – Masterpiece
11. Musicology – Obsessed
12. Tyree – Acid Crash
13. Belle Epoque – Bamalama
14. Ram Jam – Black Betty (Ben Liebrand Mix)
15. Delta 5 – Try
16. Salsoul Orchestra – Magic Bird of Fire (Walter Gibbons Mix)
17. Dinosaur – Kiss Me Again
18. The Feelies – Crazy Rhythms

With superfunny liner notes:

Crazy Rhythms is Dan Selzer, and Mike Simonetti. They DJ sometimes. Mike is partial to old-school hip-hop that sounds likes disco and dirty, dirty house music and Dan is partial to gay electronic disco and new wave that sounds like house music. They both like Post-Punk and Acid, and they invented No Wave. Their beatmatching skills are impeccable, but used sparingly. They have DJ'd at all the cool clubs and some of those crazy Brooklyn loft parties you only read about.

In 94, Mike founded Troubleman Unlimited Records and is now the label par-excellance for cutting edge hipster sounds of the like Erase Eratta, Glass Candy and Tussle. In 99, Dan founded Acute Records to reissue lost art-punk from the late 70s like the Theoretical Girls, Metal Urbain and the Prefects. While they are both well known and regarded for their collections of 7" punk singles, both Mike and Dan always had an equal love for dance music. Back then Mike was absorbing the NY house of Todd Terry and Pal Joey while handing out flyers at Mars and Dan geeked out to the techno sounds of 808 State and Derrick May. Meanwhile, they both heard WKTU blaring out of the windows of white Camaro's all over the Nebula Jersey.

By the end of the 90s, they decided it was time to teach the punks how to dance. Mike started Contort Yourself at the Knitting Factory and Dan began Tranmission at Plant bar with Luke from the Rapture. It seemed like something was in the air, a post-punk disco-funk zeitgeist. Due to the sudden popularity of such sounds, the Crazy Rhythms crew became the most sought-after DJs ever. Dan was voted "Best DJ's DJ" in the Village Voice and Mike became a resident in Ibiza where Paul Oakenfold recently opened for him. Dan continues to rock the alldisco parties in brooklyn and hopes to DJ in a future where instead of having to carry a hundred pounds of records, he only has to carry a small electronic device of some sort, some kind of pod, an interactive music pod. The future is uncertain for Mike. He plans to DJ on the moon, as long as there is a monitor.

The mix you hold in your hands was recorded during a time when there was nobody who would say "man, Italo-disco is played out" or "don't you know that track is on so-and-so's mix/an import bootleg/a CitiBank commercial?" No, those were more innocent times. It features Italo-Disco, New Wave, Post-Punk, No Wave, Actual-Disco, Danish Remixes of Glam One-Hit Wonders from ex-Bubblegum Artists, you know, all the same stuff everyone else plays. Of course these records are all original pressings, M/NM quality, light scuffs on the b-side and a bit of surface noise on the play out groove. --http://www.igetrvng.com/shop_mx4.html [Aug 2005]

Thank you Dan and Mike!

See also: New York - music - Dan Selzer - 2005 - electro

2005, Aug 16; 17:38 ::: B-2 Unit (1980) - Ryuichi Sakamoto

B-2 Unit (1980) - Ryuichi Sakamoto [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Ryuichi Sakamoto (born January 17, 1952, Nakano, Tokyo, Japan) is a Japanese musician, composer, producer and actor.

Sakamoto was a member of the internationally successful Japanese synth-rock/synth J-Pop trio Yellow Magic Orchestra. The band charted a British top 20 hit with "Computer Game" in the late 1970s.

Ryuichi Sakamoto's work has been a seminal influence on the acid house and techno movements of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

David Toop writes:

In fact, Ryuichi Sakamoto's "Riot In Lagos" had anticipated Electro's beats and sounds in 1980. (David Toop, 1998)

see also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryuichi_Sakamoto

Inspired by Greg Wilson's new mix cd, which features the The Riot in Lagos track. Thanks Greg!

See also: Japan - music - Ryuichi Sakamoto - 1980 - 1980s music

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