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

2005, May 21; 15:38 ::: Serpentine

The Electrical Serpentine Dance

1. Of or resembling a serpent, as in form or movement; sinuous.
2. Subtly sly and tempting.

The manipulation of yards of fabric was developed by later performers, most notably Loie Fuller. She extended her arms using long wooden wands to which the fabric was fixed. When she moved the wands the lighting changed colour over the flowing fabric, creating beautiful shapes, that were immortalised as figurines and lamps by Art Nouveau designers. Other dancers used electric lighting within the costumes. Marie Leyton danced against a Black Background so that the illuminations in her costume could be seen. This was called the Electrical Serpent Dance. --http://www.peopleplayuk.org.uk/guided_tours/dance_tour/popular_theatre/music_hall_skirt.php [May 2005]

Annabelle Serpentine Dance
Serpentine Dance
Annabelle Serpentine
Filmmaker: William Heise. Cast: Annabelle Whitford. Shot: April-August 1895; © no reg. Print: MoMA.
Annabelle Whitford returned to the Black Maria studio for another filming session in the spring or summer of 1895, performing her established repertoire of dances, including this Serpentine Dance for Maguire & Baucus and their Continental Commerce Company. --http://www.kino.com/edison/d1.html [May 2005]

2005, May 21; 15:14 ::: The Pawnbroker (1964) - Sidney Lumet

The Pawnbroker (1964) - Sidney Lumet [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Amazon.com essential video
Based on a novel by Edward Lewis Wallant, this gritty story follows Sol (Rod Steiger in a breakout performance), a lonely camp survivor who has dealt with the destruction of his family by suppressing all emotion and cleaving to the philosophy that nothing matters except money. (His bedridden and dying friend Mendel describes him, to his face, as "the walking dead.") Sol cannot accept the friendship of his assistant, Ortiz (Jaime Sanchez), or of an equally lonely widow (Geraldine Fitzgerald). As the 25th anniversary of his wife's murder approaches, he starts to fall apart, and it becomes clear that what he really wants is to die. The film was considered shocking when first released, both because of its rawness and because of brief nudity. Time has made some of the dramatic touches seem melodramatic--especially the corny "blood on my hands!" final scene. But Steiger's performance is still remarkable, and, even after MTV, the sudden-flashback editing is a forceful technique. A high point of Sidney Lumet's career. Black and white, with lots of atmospheric trumpets by Quincy Jones. --Richard Farr

The Pawnbroker should be remembered as the first American film to transgress the Hays Code, a code strictly limiting all expression of sexuality. From its institution in 1934, the Hays Code, with its system of punishments for transgressors, played the leading role as arbitrator of morality in film production. In terms of what could be shown on screen, clause 6-3 of the code clearly states that the expression of nudity is forbidden. Intimidating filmmakers into self-censorship, the Hays Code thus controlled major currents and styles of expression in Hollywood films from within Hollywood. Though change was underway in many branches of society, it wasn't until the late date of 1964 that the depiction of female nudity (more specifically, female breasts) in major Hollywood films (though shot in New York) had finally become acceptable to the public. Before the institution of the Hays Code (pre-1934), the depiction of female nudity was not uncommon. Thirty years later, it again became possible. For all practical purposes, the critical and commercial success of The Pawnbroker brought the curtain down on the Hays Code signaling its eventual demise --http://www.cmn.hs.h.kyoto-u.ac.jp/CMN8/kato-holocaust.html [May 2005]

The Pawnbroker also generated considerable controversy in several communities. Some Jewish organizations urged a boycott of the film due to its uncompromising presentation of the Jewish pawnbroker which they felt encouraged anti-Semitism. Black groups also accused the film of encouraging racial stereotypes of the inner city where everyone seemed to be a pimp, prostitute or drug addict. Even the Legion of Decency objected to the film for a scene in which Ortiz's girlfriend (Thelma Oliver) bares her breasts in an effort to get more money for a pawn item. All of these charges, however, seem unjustified when one views the film. What emerges is a realistic and devastating portrait of urban alienation.

Pauline Kael was one of the few critics to find fault with the movie, proclaiming the film "trite", but she also saw its merits, "You can see the big pushes for powerful effects, yet it isn't negligible. It wrenches audiences, making them fear that they, too, could become like this man. And when events strip off his armor, he doesn't discover a new, warm humanity, he discovers sharper suffering - just what his armor had protected him from. Most of the intensity comes from Steiger's performance." --http://www.turnerclassicmovies.com/ThisMonth/Article/0,,87957,00.html [May 2005]

The Pawnbroker is a novel by Edward Lewis Wallant which tells the story of a concentration camp survivor who suffers flashbacks of his past Nazi imprisonment as he tries to cope with his daily life.

It was made into a 1964 film which stars Rod Steiger, Geraldine Fitzgerald and Brock Peters. It was adapted by Morton S. Fine and David Friedkin, and directed by Sidney Lumet.

It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Rod Steiger). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pawnbroker [May 2005]

2005, May 21; 14:49 ::: Old wives' tale

An old wives' tale is a wisdom much like an urban legend, supposedly passed down by old wives to a younger generation. Today old wives' tales are also common among children's peer sex education in school playgrounds. Old wives' tales often concern pregnancy, puberty and nutrition.

Some old wives' tales are true, and those that aren't often have roots in truth or are used to trick people into doing something. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_wives%27_tale [May 2005]

2005, May 21; 14:19 ::: French Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and Pulp Fiction (2000) - Jean-Marc Lofficier, Randy Lofficier

French Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and Pulp Fiction (2000) - Jean-Marc Lofficier, Randy Lofficier [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Book Description
Connoisseurs of fantasy, science fiction, and horror have long recognized the important contributions of thousands of French authors, filmmakers, and artists.

The volume is divided into two parts. Part I gives historical overviews, complete lists, descriptions, and summaries for works in film, television, radio, animation, comic books, and graphic novels. This section also includes interviews with animation director Ren Laloux and comic book artist Moebius, as well as comments from filmmaker Luc Besson. Biographies are provided for over 200 important contributors to television and graphic arts. Part II covers the major authors and literary trends of French science fiction, fantasy, and horror from the Middle Ages to the present day. (French-Canadians and Belgians are also examined.) There is a biographical dictionary of over 3,000 authors, a section on major French awards, and a complete bibliography. Over 1,000 illustrations (!) illuminate this thorough presentation.

About the Author
Professional writers Jean-Marc Lofficier and Randy Lofficier received the INKPOT AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN COMIC ARTS. The live in Reseda, California.

Jean-Marc Lofficier is a writer of books and comic books about science fiction and fantasy.

With his wife, Randy, Jean-Marc has co-authored half a dozen books about movies and television, as well as numerous comics and translations, including the Moebius graphic novels. In 1990, in recognition of their distinguished career as comic book writers, translators and editors, Randy and Jean-Marc were presented with the Inkpot Award for Outstanding Achievement in Comic Arts.

Jean-Marc has also collaborated with Randy on a number of animation and live-action feature scripts and teleplays -- all covered under Randy's Professional Site.

Jean-Marc is also a founding member of HOLLYWOOD COMICS, a company founded in 2000 with Randy to package comic-book properties for publishing, motion pictures, television and the Internet. Jean-Marc has an MBA from the Paris Business School (ESCP) and a Law Degree from the Sorbonne. --http://www.lofficier.com/ [May 2005]

see also: European comics

2005, May 20; 15:40 ::: Helga

Helga - Vom Werden des menschlichen Lebens (1967) - Erich F. Bender

2005, May 20; 12:48 ::: Cinema erotico Italiano

Roma () - Fellini
image sourced here. [May 2005]

Silvana Mangano in
Bitter Rice / Riso Amaro (1949) - Giuseppe De Santis

soft ma non troppo

Frugando con la memoria nel nostro singolare panorama cinematografico, potremmo risalire ad alcune immagini de "I pugni in tasca" (1965), eccellente opera prima di Marco Bellocchio ricca di anarchia psico-drammatica, che già presenta alcuni cenni di sensuale morbosità tesa ad avvolgere personaggi e situazioni. In pieno '68, anno cruciale e fervido di innovazioni socioculturali per il nostro paese, ritroveremo lo stesso protagonista Lou Castel diretto dall' esordiente Salvatore Samperi e affiancato dalla matura Lisa Gastoni in "Grazie zia" che darà involontariamente il via al filone erotico.

Dal suo canto Samperi , continuerà sulla scia di Pasolini (" Il Decameron " 1970 ) e Bertolucci ("Ultimo tango a Parigi" 1972) a scandalizzare i benpensanti con "Malizia" (1973), dove una splendida Laura Antonelli riesce a turbare con la sua procacità i sonni di comprimari e spettatori. Conquisterà così in breve tempo lo scettro di icona proibita del sesso, trofeo che condividerà poi con Edwige Fenech, Jenny Tamburi, Eleonora Giorgi ed altre.

Dalla seconda metà degli anni 70 si affacciano al genere sempre( sempre più richiesto da pubblico ed industria ) registi fino ad allora politicamente impegnati come Tinto Brass, che nel 1983 con "La chiave" rivalutando le doti artistiche e soprattutto fisiche di Stefania Sandrelli, ne diventerà maestro indiscusso, e artigiani di collaudato mestiere come Aristide Massaccesi, il quale nel decennio seguente diverrà con il più celebre pseudonimo di Joe D'amato un autentico professionista, facendo coraggiosamente il grande salto nell hard-core.

UN sentito ringraziamento è dovuto a tutti gli artisti sopra citati, i quali continuano attraverso la loro audace fantasia e le morbide e soffuse luci grandiosamente utilizzate nei film, a liberare e far vivere le nostre pulsioni più intime , i nostri sogni più segreti ed inconfessati. --Graziano Marraffa via http://www.activitaly.it/immaginicinema/cinerotico.htm

see also: Riso Amaro/Bitter Rice (1949) - Femi Benussi

2005, May 20; 10:39 ::: Psychopathia Sexualis in Italian Sinema

Psychopathia Sexualis in Italian Sinema [Amazon FR]

Franco the libertine, Ella the nymphomaniac, Gilberto the mad sadist, Sayer the aesthete sadist, Mary the homicidal mantis, Ahmed the debauched, X. the vicious politician, X. the fanatic and moralist judge, Kay the sexually dissatisfied, the mysterious Greta, Diana the arrogant mistress and her black servant Janita, Santino the foot fetichist, the psychopatic Dr. Lyutak, the submissive Marcia, the refined Lesbians Paula and Mudy, Silvia the happy masochist... These are the eccentric characters enliving the incredible stories of this anthology of Italian movies from the so-called Sexual Revolution, featured in the form of “cineromanzo”. Krafft-Ebing’s theories, Sade’s fantasies, Freud’s analyses in a bizarre and entertaining cocktail of “hot” sequences chosen from rare Italian magazines of the ‘70s featuring such film as:

La matriarca / The Libertine (Pasquale Festa Campanile), L’assoluto naturale (Mauro Bolognini), Eros e Thanatos (Jean Bastide aka Marino Girolami), Femina ridens / The Laughing Woman (Piero Schivazappa), Venus in Furs / Paroxismus (Jess Franco), Bella di giorno, moglie di notte / Wife by Night (Nello Rossati), The Lickerish Quartet / Esotika erotika psicotika (Radley Metzger), La verità secondo Satana (Ralph Brown aka Renato Polselli), A.A.A. Massaggiatrice bella presenza offresi... (Demofilo Fidani), Delirio caldo / Delirium (Ralph Brown), La donna invisibile / The Fantasies of a Sensuous Woman (Paolo Spinola), Top sensation / Seducers (Ottavio Alessi), Scacco alla regina (Pasquale Festa Campanile), Lo strano vizio della signora Wardh / Blade of the Ripper (Sergio Martino)... --http://www.lfvw.com/psychopathia_sexual.html [May 2005]

Incredibly strange movie fantasies from “cineromanzi” 1968-1972

A cura e testo di Stefano Piselli, Riccardo Morrocchi
Edizione brossurata
Formato 24x31 cm. — 104 pagine b/n
Testo italiano e inglese
ISBN 88-8275-047-7

Franco il libertino, Ella la ninfomane, Gilberto il sadico folle, Sayer il sadico esteta, Mary la mantide omicida, Ahmed il dissoluto, X. l’onorevole vizioso, X. il pretore fanatico moralista, l’insoddisfatta Kay e la misteriosa Greta, l’arrogante padrona Diana e la sua serva nera Yanita, Santino il feticista del piede, lo psicopatico Dr. Lyutak e la sottomessa Marcia, le lesbiche raffinate Paula e Mudy, Silvia la masochista felice... Sono questi gli eccentrici personaggi che animano le incredibili storie di questa antologia di film italiani della cosiddetta Rivoluzione Sessuale, presentati in forma di cineromanzo. Le teorie di Krafft-Ebing, le fantasie di Sade, le analisi di Freud in un bizzarro e divertente cocktail di sequenze “calde” tratte da rare pubblicazioni italiane degli anni ‘70 relative ai film:

La matriarca (Pasquale Festa Campanile), L’assoluto naturale (Mauro Bolognini), Eros e Thanatos (Jean Bastide alias Marino Girolami), Femina ridens (Piero Schivazappa), Venus in Furs / Paroxismus (Jess Franco), Bella di giorno, moglie di notte (Nello Rossati), Esotika erotika psicotika (Radley Metzger), La verità secondo Satana (Ralph Brown alias Renato Polselli), A.A.A. Massaggiatrice bella presenza offresi... (Demofilo Fidani), Delirio caldo (Ralph Brown), La donna invisibile (Paolo Spinola), Top sensation (Ottavio Alessi), Scacco alla regina (Pasquale Festa Campanile), Lo strano vizio della signora Wardh (Sergio Martino)... --http://www.glitteringimages.com/bizarresinemaarchives/biar001it.htm [May 2005]

see also: Italian erotica - erotico

2005, May 20; 10:39 ::: Italian Stallion (1976) - Morton Lewis

Italian Stallion (1976) - Morton Lewis [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

2005, May 20; 09:52 ::: Nathalie, Fugitive from Hell (1978) - Alain Payet

Nathalie rescapée de l'enfer / Nathalie, Fugitive from Hell (1978) - Alain Payet


Alain Payet (born January 17, 1947) is a French director of Nazi exploitation and chic porn movies. He has also been credited as Alain Garnier, James Gartner, John Love, Alain Paillet, Jean Pardaillan, and Alan Payet. He is known for the realisation of "porn versions" of some famous French films such as Astérix, Les Tontons flingueurs, and Les Visiteurs. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alain_Payet [May 2005]

2005, May 20; 09:52 ::: Contact magazine

A contact magazine is a magazine that publishes small ads for those advertising for sexual liaisons, including swinging and prostitution, as well as the services of professional dominants. Advertisements are often accompanied with crudely photographed nude or semi-clothed pictures, sometimes with faces or eyes equally crudely blacked out to disguise identity.

Contact magazines typically have limited circulations, and are sold from adult bookstores and sex shops. The contact magazine operator may run some ads with actual telephone numbers, but most will only have a box number address for which the magazine operator runs a mail forwarding service.

There have been reports that details of ads in some contact magazines may be misleading, or they may not actually correspond to real advertisers at all. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contact_magazine [May 2005]

2005, May 20; 09:33 ::: Pigalle

Moulin Rouge, photo unidentified

Pigalle is an area in Paris, France around Place Pigalle (a plaza) on the border between the 9th and the 18th arrondissements, named after the sculptor Jean-Baptiste Pigalle (1714-1785). The area is famous for being a touristic red-light district, with many sex shops on Place Pigalle and the main boulevards and prostitutes operating in the side streets.

Pigalle also comprises several major spectacle halls:

  • the Divan du Monde
  • the Moulin Rouge, a world-famous cabaret

Somewhat unexpectedly, the area to the south of Place Pigalle is not devoted to the sex trade, but to the retail of musical instruments and equipment, especially for popular music. A section of the rue de Douai solely consist in stores selling guitars, drums, and musical accessories.

Despite the activity going on, the area is actually quite safe and lively at night. It is a well known spot for tourists who want to experience "Paris by night".

Pigalle is one end-point of the Montmarte bus (a public bus serving the area). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pigalle [May 2005]

2005, May 20; 09:00 ::: Sex shop

Sex-shop (1972) - Claude Berri

A sex shop is a shop that sells products such as sex toys, pornography, erotic lingerie, erotic books, and safer sex products such as condoms and dental dams. The terms "Adult Video Store" and "Adult Book Store" are commonly used to refer to sex shops that sell or rent pornographic videos, books, and magazines.

In most jurisdictions, sex shops are regulated by law, with access not permitted to minors, in most countries/states, the age depending on local law. In case of doubt, on entering a sex shop, one may have to present a valid ID. Some states/countries don't tolerate sex shops at all, e.g. many Islamic states.

In some jurisdictions that permit it, they may also show pornographic movies in private booths, or have private striptease or peep shows.

Near borders of countries with different laws regarding sex shops, shops on the more liberal side tend to be popular with customers from the other side.

The world's first sex shop was started in Flensburg, Germany in 1962 by Beate Uhse.

Sex shops can also refer to situations in where landlords of facilities used by sweatshop workers accept sex instead of late fees or lockouts from tenants who do not pay their bills on time. Many women in this situation have complained to the OCR. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_shop [May 2005]

2005, May 19; 23:22 ::: Christina Lindberg in Thriller

American poster for Thriller - A Cruel Picture (1974)

Thriller - A Cruel Picture (1974) - Bo Arne Vibenius [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

see also: Christina Lindberg - Bo Arne Vibenius

2005, May 19; 23:09 ::: La Califfa (1970) - Alberto Bevilacqua

Romy Schneider

La Califfa (1970) - Alberto Bevilacqua [Soundtrack] [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

La Califfa (1970) - Alberto Bevilacqua [Soundtrack]

see also: Romy Schneider

2005, May 19; 21:57 ::: Histoire du cinéma érotique (2)

Tarzoon, la honte de la jungle / Tarzoon, shame of the jungle (1975) - Boris Szulzinger, Picha

Laura Antonelli in Malizia (1973) - Salvatore Samperi

Les 70's : l'age d'or (1969-1980)

La fin des années 60 est marquée par un très fort mouvement social libertaire qui trouve sa principale concrétisation en France avec Mai 1968 et aux USA avec Woodstock. De cette dernière manifestation, sera tiré un film qui transmettra à travers le monde une image de liberté sexuelle.

Cette tendance libertaire va permettre au cinéma traditionnel d'aborder de nouveaux thèmes ou de parler plus ouvertement des relations sexuelles. L'homosexualité est traitée dans Thérèse et Isabelle, la polygamie dans Bob, Carole, Ted et Alice ou encore Le mariage collectif. Mais surtout en 1971, Le dernier tango à Paris avec Marlon Brando abordera la sodomie assurant au film une renommée et un succès dans les milieux intellectuels (5,1 M d'entrées en France dont 1,6 sur Paris intro-muros).

A partir de 1973, la France voit arriver une production de films B ou Z "avec séquences additionnelles", c'est-à-dire des films traditionnels à petit budget comportant des scènes rajoutées provenant de films hard ou érotiques. Ce phénomène durera un an jusqu'à l'exploitation in extenso des films d'où sont tirées ces scènes supplémentaires. Parmi cette production de films érotiques, on trouve L'étalon italien qui marque les débuts de Sylverster Stallone.

Se développe alors une production de luxe de films ouvertement érotiques qui bénéficie d'une promotion comparable à celle des films traditionnels. Emmanuelle sera le premier et le plus beau fleuron de cette époque.

Le cinéma populaire s'empare du mouvement et George Lautner réalise une comédie sur le sujet, On aura tout vu avec Pierre Richard et une Sabine Azema débutante très déshabillée. Les premiers films de Bertrand Blier (Les valseuses et Calmos) sont très emprunt de cette désacralisation du nu qui caractérise l'époque. Aux USA, les actrices de premier plan acceptent de se déshabiller. Le dessin-animé n'est pas en reste, puisque 1976 voit également sur les écrans Tarzoon, la honte de la jungle de Picha, qui raconte les aventures coquines de l'homme-singe.

Le cinéma italien produit également quantité d'oeuvres jouant sur l'érotisme de ses héroïnes. En 1976, Laura Antonelli gagne ainsi ses galons de star internationale grâce à Malicia et ses porte-jarretelles aguicheurs. Le genre sera à son apogée avec le Caligula de Trinto Brass en 1980.

Le mouvement gagne rapidement l'intelligentsia et des auteurs-réalisateurs tels qu'Alain Robe-Grillet, Marco Ferreri [La Grande Bouffe] ou encore Barbet Schroeder abordent de façon directe les divers aspects de la sexualité. Grâce à l'érotisme, le cinéma japonais parvient à s'exporter et le cinéaste Oshima obtient deux beaux succès avec L'empire des sens (515.000 entrées sur Paris-Périphérie en 1976) et L'empire de la passion (104.000 en 1978).

Parallèlement, se développent à partir de 1969 les premiers films hard-core (avec des actes sexuels non simulés). Le mouvement commence sur la côte Ouest (San Francisco) mais s'étend rapidement au reste du monde et atteint la France au milieu des années 70. Ainsi, Gorge profonde (avec Linda Lovelace) et L'Enfer pour Mrs Jones de Gérard Damiano, datent-ils respectivement de 1972 et 1973 mais sortent tous les deux en France en 1975 avec succès. Le premier attire 157.000 spectateurs sur Paris-périphérie et le second 102.000. Les Etats-Unis n'auront le droit qu'à des versions soft de ces deux films pourtant américains.

L'autre grand classique de cette époque est Derrière la porte verte (1975) des frères Mitchell. Du côté français, José Bénazéraf sort cette même année quatre films "hard". Les films pornographiques qui représentent la moitié des films projetés prennent 20% de part de marché sur Paris-ville et 15% sur la France (soit 25 M de spectateurs). Exhibition de Jean-François Davy attire 575.000 spectateurs sur Paris-périphérie et 15 M sur la France, soit un score comparable au succès des James Bond de l'époque. Trois autres films dépasseront le millions d'entrées France : Les jouisseuses en 1974 (2,2 M), Les expériences sexuelles de Flossie en 1975 (1,5 M) et La masseuse perverse en 1973 (1,1 M).

Mais cette prolifération de films "hard" crée une véritable levée de bouclier qui se fait de plus en plus vigoureuse. On pense d'abord à l'autodiscipline, mais ce n'est pas suffisant. Le 31 octobre 1975, est votée en France la loi qui institue le classement X, c'est-à-dire l'obligation de diffuser ces films dans des salles spécialisées, et la mise en place de taxation spécifique à ce type de film : TVA majorée et prélèvement supplémentaire de 20%, majoration de 50% des taux de la taxe supplémentaire additionnelle perçues à l'occasion de la projection et suppression de tout droit au soutien automatique. De plus, une taxe de 300.000 F est mise en place sur l'exploitation des films X étrangers créant alors un protectionnisme de fait qui va permettre à la production française de vivre correctement pendant encore quelques années (85% des films projetés sont français). Le cinéma X français crée alors ses stars : Alban Ceray, Jean-Pierre Armand, Richard Allan pour les hommes, Marylin Jess ou Brigitte Lahaye chez les femmes. En 1977; les salles X font encore 8 M d'entrées sur la France, soit 5% des entrées.

Cette loi fut votée par la droite parlementaire alors que la gauche y était majoritairement opposée. Une grande manifestation eu même lieu au Trocadéro et les partis de gauche annonçaient qu'ils dénonceraient cette "censure" à la prochaine alternance.

En 1981, la gauche revint au pouvoir... --http://www.zecinema.com/doss_erot2.htm [May 2005]

2005, May 19; 21:51 ::: Miniskirt

Las Nenas del mini-mini (1969) - Germán Lorente

The miniskirt is a skirt whose hemline is way above the knees (generally 200-300 mm above knee-level). Its existence is generally credited to the fashion designer Mary Quant, who was inspired by the Mini Cooper automobile, although André Courrèges is also often cited as its inventor, and there is disagreement as to who got there first.

Quant ran a popular clothes shop on Chelsea, London's Kings Road called Bazaar, from which she sold her own designs. In the late 1950s she began experimenting with shorter skirts, which resulted in the miniskirt - one of the defining fashions of the 1960s.

Owing to Quant's position in the heart of fashionable Swinging London, the miniskirt was able to spread beyond a simple street fashion into a major international trend.

The miniskirt was further popularised by the French designer Andre Courrèges, who developed it separately and incorporated it into his Mod look. By introducing the miniskirt into the haute couture of the fashion industry, Courrèges gave it a greater degree of respectability than might otherwise have been expected of a street fashion.--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mini-skirt [May 2005]

2005, May 19; 19:32 ::: Post-minimalism

Postminimalism is a term utilised in various artistic fields for work which is influenced by, or attempts to develop upon the work of Minimalism. The expression is used specifically in relation to music and the visual arts, but can also be employed in any field by which the subject is said to use Minimalism as a critical reference point.

Visual Art
In visual art it refers specifically to artists whom utilise Minimalism either as an aesthetic or conceptual reference point from which to develop. The term does not refer to a particular movement but rather an artistic tendency. Post-minimalist artwork is often associated or confused with conceptual art; frequently a work or artist can be described as both, as it is this conceptual element which regularly distinguishes it from Minimalism. Artworks often transpose reference to everyday objects or functions onto the austerely formalist approach of their predecessors. However with such a diverse and disparate group there are no definite correlations between artists.

Examples of such work include pieces such as Water-Tower by Rachel Whiteread whereby the inside of a water-tower is cast in clear resin and displayed where the original tower stood. The purity of form found in Minimalism is used, but through the application of the commonplace. An earlier example would be Eva Hesse, a artist whom developed the themes of ‘the grid’ and ‘seriality’ so often found in Minimalism but through the obvious hand made approach of her works introduced an element of the human missing in the habitually machine or custom made products of Minimalism. Another variant is found in the work of such artists as Tom Friedman whereby an absurdity and humour is introduced. With Untitled of 1992, Friedman asked a witch to curse the space above a gallery pedestal, as such displaying to the unknowing viewer simply the paradigmatic Minimalist white cube, but with the knowledge of its production comes further understanding. As such there is an initial formalist response to the piece’s structure; secondly there is a conceptual response. This is typical of a Post-Minimalist approach to art production. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-minimalism [May 2005]

see also: post- - minimalism

2005, May 19; 17:18 ::: Tulip chair

Tulip chair (1956) - Eero-Saarinen, photo unidentified

Eero Saarinen (1910 - 1961)
Eero Saarinen (August 20, 1910, in Kirkkonummi, Finland – September 1, 1961, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States) was a Finnish-American architect of the 20th century famous for his simple sweeping and arching shapes. He is often associated with the International style. He was the son of architect Eliel Saarinen and studied with his father at Cranbrook Academy of Art. He received a B.Arch. from Yale University in 1934. He also designed furniture. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eero_Saarinen [May 2005]

see also: furniture - architecture - design - biomorphism

2005, May 19; 17:01 ::: Un Homme et une Femme (1966)

Un Homme et une Femme (1966) - Original Soundtrack [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Album Details
Translated, this is 'a Man and a Woman', the Oscar-winning 1966 Film by Claude Lelouch with Original Soundtrack by French Composer Francis Lai, who also Took Home an Academy Award for his Scoring of 1970's 'love Story'. Originally Released in 1966, the Japanese Reissued it on CD in 1997 and it Once Again Comes Into Print in 2004. --via Amazon.com

2005, May 19; 16:59 ::: Il Sorpasso (1962) - Dino Risi

Il Sorpasso (1962) - Dino Risi


2005, May 19; 12:30 ::: More (1968) - Barbet Schroeder

More (1968) - Barbet Schroeder

music by Pink Floyd

see also: Barbet Schroeder

2005, May 19; 12:16 ::: The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971) - Robert Fuest

The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971) - Robert Fuest [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971) is a horror film starring Vincent Price. It was followed by a sequel, Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972)

Anton Phibes, famous organist, thought to be killed in a car crash, was in fact only horribly disfigured. Phibes is convinced that his lovely wife, Victoria, who died during a surgical operation, was a victim of incapable doctors. Several years after the operation, Phibes begins to put his vendetta into effect, killing the doctors that operated on his wife. Taking his inspiration from the Bible (the ten plagues of Egypt, which is part of the psychic force that drives him) and helped by his mute assistant Phibes kills, one by one more brutally each time, seven doctors and the head nurse. Phibes reserves the more heinous punishment for the head of the team of doctors, a Dr. Vesalius. He kidnaps the doctor's son and places him on a table on which a container full of acid is waiting to disfigure the boy's face. A small key implanted near the boy's heart will free him. Versalius will need all his skill to operate and free his son. As Vesalius arrives, he learns he has only six minutes to operate on his son and to save him from the acid. The operation succeeds and the assistant is instead disfigured by the acid. Convinced he has completed his vendetta, Phibes lies beside the embalmed corpse of the his wife and, as his blood drains out, with the police and inspector Trout closing in, the chamber under his house in Muldean Square sinks into darkness.

Original Tagline: (In a wonderfully, awful pun on the tagline for the movie Love Story) Love Means Never Having to Say You're Ugly.

2005, May 19; 12:08 ::: Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn, photo unidentified

2005, May 19; 12:08 ::: Malcolm McDowell

Malcolm McDowell, photo unidentified

see also: If - Caligula

2005, May 19; 11:34 ::: Gay anthem

A gay anthem is a song, usually of the dance music genre that has become widely popular among or has been associated with the gay community; usually gay men. Gay anthem lyrics are usually marked with pride, defiance or hope against the odds. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay_anthem [May 2005]

see also: gay music - gay icon

2005, May 19; 10:03 ::: RIP Eddie Barclay (1921 - 2005)

Barclay record label logo

Paris, 13/05/2005 - The embodiment of the "show-biz" years of French variety : the record magnate and great party animal, Eddie Barclay, has died on Thursday'night.

Edouard Ruault was born in 1921 to a father who was a waiter and a mother who worked for the Post-Office. He was a child when his parents united their two worlds by opening a Café de la Poste, in the Gare de Lyon area. That is where he developed his talent in front of an audience : with his pencil-thin Clark Gable moustache and blue-eyes, he sat at the piano and taught himself all the jazz hits of the period. He naturally left the café to become a bar pianist, giving himself an American-sounding name, Eddie Barclay - easy to pronounce and read in French.

As a jobbing pianist he mixed with Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grapelli, met Boris Vian, at that time a trumpet player and jazz critic, but it was backstage in the music world that he showed his flair and talent. Rather than dazzling his musician buddies, he naturally found his place behind the scenes, delighting in imagining what the audience would want to hear. After the Liberation he rose to fame : creating clubs (even taking over the famous Boeuf sur le toit), getting young people to dance to American jazz, and inviting Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie and his orchestra to play…In 1949, he rented the Pathe Marconi studio and recorded his first record under the Blue Star label. A minor success, but from that moment on his work was cut out for him : he would devote his life to records.

He contracted Renee Labas, Eddy Constantine, and the great tenor sax player Don Byas... Stories of this time are legion, from records stacked high in the bathtub of his flat, to the tricycle he used to deliver the records to the shops himself. He trained himself professionally, mixing intuition with amateurishness, readily intervening at any part of the record-making process.

In 1952, he left for the United States to return with the first samples of 33 LPs, which nobody imagined would supersede 78s. They were an instant success - he sold 10000 LPs of Bach’s Fugues. He distributed Charlie Parker, Ray Charles, Errol Garner, Dizzy Gillespie, hitting the jackpot with the Platters’ “Only You”. ..In 1960, he merged his three labels, Blue Star (Variety), Mercury (Jazz) and Riviera (tango, waltz, paso doble, "typical" music) into the Barclay company. While Philips, blinded by the success of the “yeyes”, were having trouble getting over Jacques Canetti’s departure, Barclay went on to become the great label of French variety : producing Dalida, Henri Salvador, Jacques Brel, Leo Ferre, Charles Aznavour, Hugues Aufray, Claude Nougaro, Jean Ferrat, Frank Alamo, les Chaussettes Noires, Michel Delpech, and Nicoletta… --Bertrand Dicale, Julie Street viahttp://www.rfimusique.com/siteEn/article/article_7518.asp [May 2005]

Eddie Barclay, who has died aged 84, was the doyen of French record producers, a man who in his own words "dedicated his life to preserving the art of French song". Often called the bluebeard of the music world - he was married nine times - despite his notoriety for giving lavish parties and his stance as a playboy, it was his devotion to La Chanson Française and to American jazz which made his fortune and his reputation.

Born Eduard Ruault in Paris, he was the son of a café waiter father, while his mother worked for the post office. In the late 1920s, his parents were able to take over a large bar, Café de la Poste, facing the Gare de Lyon. Although Eduard and his brother spent some of their infancy in the Taverny suburb with their grandmother, at 15 his parents had removed him from school and put him to work in the café. As he later recalled, he had been a lazy student, and he learned a good deal more behind the bar than he had managed at school.

A self-taught musician, he was devoted to the playing of Fats Waller, and his style was good enough that he was engaged to be bar pianist at a club called L'Étape in rue Godot-de-Maury. He alternated half-hour sets every evening with another beginner, Louis de Funès, later one of the top stage and film stars in France. Whenever he could, Eduard went to the Hot Club de France to hear Stéphane Grappelli, Django Reinhardt and their quintet.

With the second world war, the fall of France and the German occupation, jazz was banned by the Nazis, and a group of friends would meet in Eduard's room over the bar to listen to jazz records, or tune in to clandestine radio stations. Pierre-Louis Guérin, later the proprietor of Le Lido, gave Eduard another job as pianist, at his first nightspot, Le Club.

After the liberation in 1944, and with the fashion for American music, he changed his name to Eddie Barclay. With Eddie's Club, he claimed to have launched the first discothèque and in 1947 started his own band, with a line-up including Harry Cooper on trumpet, Jean-Pierre Sasson on electric guitar and Bobby Guidott on bass. The vocalist was Eddie's second wife, Nicole, who called herself Eve Williams - his first marriage, in 1945, to Michèle, doesn't rate a mention in his autobiography, Que la Fête Continue.

It was with Nicole's help that Eddie was able to launch his first label, Blue Star - this was still the era of 78 rpm discs. They kept the stock in their flat, and distributed it from the back of his scooter. Their first successes were with records by Renée Lebas, Eddy Constantine and Don Byas.

As well as directing his band, Barclay also co-wrote songs, including Le Rock de Monsieur Failair, with Boris Vian, and Quand tu m'embrasses, with Charles Aznavour, later recorded by Josephine Baker. Barclay composed several film scores, including Jean-Pierre Melville's classic gangster thriller Bob le Flambeur (1955). Vian, the great French poet of jazz, played sometimes with the band, and Eddie helped him edit the first important French publication dedicated to their subject, Jazz Magazine.

One of the American jazz enthusiasts who had come to Eddie's Club was Alan Morrison, and in 1952 he urged the Barclays to come to the US to see the new revolution in recording, microgroove 45s and 33 rpm LPs. Eddie made a deal with Mercury Records, and he returned to France with 60 masters. An arrangement with Pathé-Marconi to be allowed to press the discs at their Paris plant gave him a head start, and soon he had launched the microgroove into French popular music. He was able to issue many great American records for the first time in France, including albums by Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie, Sammy Davis Jnr and Duke Ellington. Barclay found a studio in rue Hoche and engaged a German sound engineer, Gerhard Lehner, whom Barclay credited with making all his best discs.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s he discovered talent. The Egyptian beauty queen Dalida was launched by him in 1956, but his greatest coup was to lure three top singer-composers: Charles Aznavour, who stayed 22 years; Léo Ferré, who recorded some of his greatest songs, including Avec le Temps and Jolie Môme; and Jacques Brel, who deserted Philips to join Barclay in 1962. The Dutch company threatened to sue, but it was settled out of court, and Barclay agreed to let go a young singer he had under contract: Johnny Hallyday.

It was Bardot who first introduced Barclay to Saint Tropez in the late 1950s, and encouraged him to buy a plot of land nearby. He took 25 years to build a house, but once installed he made it the venue for parties that were the delight of the paparazzi; indeed they seemed to be designed as much for the press as for the guests. [...] --http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/news/obituary/0,12723,1484727,00.html [May 2005]

2005, May 18; 22:46 ::: Groovy interiors

Wohnmodell (1969) - Joe Colombo ("Visiona" exhibit by Bayer 1969)

The 1960s were all free love, flower power and pop music but, as the saying goes, if you remember it, you weren't there. The previous decade's love of American design was replaced, as Swinging London became the centre of all things groovy.

The modernism of past decades had rejected historical influences so, in a spirit of rebellion, 1960s plundered the past for inspiration. The result is a ragbag of styles culled from all over, including Victorian and Edwardian, the 1920s and art nouveau. But it was not just about replicating past styles; everything was given an irreverent twist to make it all its own. --http://www.bbc.co.uk/homes/design/period_1960s.shtml [May 2005]

see also: groovy

2005, May 18; 22:46 ::: Groovy cars

1970 US Citroen Mehari brochure
image sourced here.

Citroen Mehari in an unidentified European comic

front cover of the 1972 French Citroen brochure
image sourced here.

from the 1972 Citroen brochure
image sourced here.

see also: groovy

2005, May 18; 20:39 ::: Terry Riley: In C (1964) - Terry Riley

Terry Riley: In C (1964) - Terry Riley [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Sometimes simplicity is the mother of invention, and with In C, Terry Riley composed nothing short of a classic. A cornerstone of minimalism, Riley's 1964 composition is little more than a loose guideline for musicians. Driven by the repeated pulses of even octave eighth notes played on the top two C keys of the piano, each member of the ensemble runs through 53 simple phrases at a self-determined pace. Gradually, swarms of instruments find themselves playing in unison, always to be overtaken by the perfect pacing of the pulsing piano. The entire composition gradually moves from C to E to C to G and, when performed correctly, the effect is otherworldly.

This recording from 1968 features Riley himself on saxophone and a small ensemble of musicians from the New Music Center in Buffalo, New York. Overdubs were employed to keep the flow going and the effect of all this repetition is nothing short of mesmerizing, albeit slightly clinical. An even jazzier recording of this composition exists, the 25th Anniversary Concert on New Albion. On that live recording, a larger ensemble of jazz and classical's elite (including members of Kronos and Rova) invigorate In C with a full sound and plenty of gusto. --Jason Verlinde via Amazon.com

In C is an aleatoric musical piece composed by Terry Riley in 1964 for any number of unspecified performers, but preferably 35 or more. As its title suggests, it is in the key of C, the simplest key to perform on the piano. It is a response to the abstract academic serialist techniques used by composers in the mid-twentieth century and is often cited as the first minimalist composition. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_C [May 2005]

Terry Riley
Terry Riley (born 24 June 1935 in Colfax, California) is an American minimalist composer. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_Riley [May 2005]

Inspired by http://banananutrament.blogspot.com/
Banananutrament also has an MP3 stream of John Cale & Terry Riley - The Church of Anthrax (1971, Columbia)

A pity his sitemeter log is closed for the public, I would have liked to get a look at his linkage. [May 2005]

see also: 1964 - minimalism

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