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Films: V for Vendetta (2006) - The Pervert's Guide to Cinema (2006)

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The Sultan's Elephant by Royal de luxe

This video by wowflow was added to YouTube on July 07, 2006, it is from the first day of its visit to Antwerp, filmed at the Sint-Jansplein, the square that used to host Playground for Children van Dan Graham.

Over the course of the last three days, Fee, Fara and I have been following the elephant and giantess created by Royal de luxe. Marvelous. The footage above gives you some idea of this attraction, an elephant built two to three times actual size, mechanically, hydraulically mimicking a real elephant. The elephant sprays water at the crowd, makes dust when putting its feet down and makes sound using air-powered "vocal chords". Everyone in Antwerp was enthralled. In a bit of over-enthoused, I bought the soundtrack to the event by the Balayeurs du désert and was disappointed with the CD. Live though, it was strong, dubby, Fela-esque groove with live keyboards, drums, bass and guitars.

The elephant moves its feet, wags its tail, waves and squirts water from its trunk, flaps its ears, blinks, and can even open its mouth to reveal a moving tongue. The girl marionette is held on a big frame, and was given a ride on the elephant's trunk using a crane. The girl has been seen licking a giant lollipop, and even do a wee on the road.

Royal de luxe is a French mechanical marionette street theatre company. They were founded in 1979 by Jean Luc Courcoult. The company has performed in Europe, Korea, China, Vietnam, Chile and Africa. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_de_Luxe

The Sultan's Elephant
The Sultan's Elephant is a show created by the Royal de luxe theatre company, involving a huge moving mechanical elephant and other associated public art installations. In French it is called La visite du sultan des Indes sur son éléphant à voyager dans le temps (literally, "Visit From The Sultan Of The Indies On His Time-Traveling Elephant").

The elephant is made mostly of wood, and is operating by over ten puppeteers using a mixture of hydraulics and motors. It weighs 42 tons, as much as 7 African elephants. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sultan%27s_Elephant [Jul 2006]

Excerpt from an interview by Jean-Christophe Planche. This bit is about tax money to pay for popular culture:

Royal de Luxe’s giant family shows take place in the street and are free. Why have you made this choice?

Jean Luc Courcoult (of Royal de luxe): I am proud that the shows we produce are financed by taxes. It seems fitting and beautiful that some tax money is dedicated to popular culture. By putting on the show in the public arena and free of charge I can reach people as they are whereas in traditional theatres you only meet those who have dared cross the threshold. I want to contact everyone, adults and children, whatever their socio-cultural milieu. This is a mythical story and it concerns everyone. Over three or four days I try to tell a whole town something intense which will be talked about everywhere, be it in the bakery or the bar, on the pavement or in the office. I try to move people and this ambition will not be restricted by financial means or the audience’s culture. Therefore, I make attempts at popular theatre in the sense that I seek to gather together these people to tell them something poetic. I have seen adults crying as the giant leaves. They have obviously lived other things, sometimes difficult, and yet this makes them cry. I don’t believe they are crying because he is leaving but because of the loss of their imagination. Over several days, they have dreamt as adults and now it’s finished. Most adults have difficulty dreaming. When you are a grown-up, you weigh things up, you don’t dream. --http://thesultanselephant.com/assets/downloads/pdf/Interview.pdf [Jul 2006]

Destricted (2006) - Various

Destricted (2006) - Various
Image sourced here.

"An explicit still image is a nude, but an explicit movie is hard-core," notes Jim Lewis as he opens his consideration of Destricted in Slate. Before the disclaimers - he knows just about everyone involved - he argues that "if Destricted proves anything, it's that art is more powerful than porn (and that artists, thankfully, don't take well to assignments), for each of the seven participants simply enlarges his or her own concerns just far enough to include concupiscence." --Greencine

The films are as follows:

Destricted blogosphere and a special mention of this charming post.

Destricted is a series of seven short fiction films addressing each director's views on the intimate connections sex, contemporary art and pornography.

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