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2006, Feb 07; 10:03 ::: The Cool World (1964) - Shirley Clarke

The Cool World (1964) - Shirley Clarke

The Cool World is a 1964 film which tells the story of life in the African-American ghetto in the early 60s. It stars Hampton Clanton, Yolanda Rodríguez, Bostic Felton, Gary Bolling, Carl Lee and Clarence Williams III.

The movie was adapted by Shirley Clarke and Carl Lee from the novel and play by Warren Miller and Robert Rossen, and directed by Clarke. The film has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cool_World [Feb 2006]

The film was shot in Harlem and the man with the horn was Dizzy Gillespie. Dizzy and his band with Yusef Lateef, Aaron Bell, Arthur Taylor and Mal Waldron, played Waldron’s original compositions which were used for the film. But when the soundtrack surfaced in mid-1964 it was slightly different. For a start, the entire soundtrack was rerecorded for release with more or less the same tunes but attributed to Dizzy Gillespie with another band [James Moody, Kenny Barron, Chris White and Rudy Collins]. The original Waldron soundtrack has been lost for decades. --http://www.bigomagazine.com/archive/ARrarities/ARmwcoolworld.html [Feb 2006]

DDH: Twenty years later, people talk about discovering the "new form": docudrama--dramatic documentary. But that happened in The Cool World in 1963.

SC: That was the first of that particular kind of thing. There had been The Quiet One, which was James Agee's reenacted documentary. The kid was a real kid and he played himself. I had seen it and Helen Levitt's work, a little film on Halloween that she did, In the Street. It had a very big effect on me combined with Rossellini and his films: Neo-Realism. That's what I fell in love with.

DDH: Any film in particular?

SC: Open City. And that's what made me want to make The Cool World. That's what I was looking to do in The Connection also, but I ended up having to do it in a set. The original idea was to shoot it in the streets of New York, but at that point in time we were scared to shoot 35mm without better sound controls. When it came to The Cool World, we developed the radio mike, and took it into the streets so the kids could talk running up and down the streets. -- [Feb 2006]

See also: African-American - documentary film - 1964 - cool - registry - black

2006, Feb 06; 23:07 ::: The Body in Parts; Fantasies of Corporeality in Early Modern Europe (1997) - David Hillman

The Body in Parts; Fantasies of Corporeality in Early Modern Europe (1997) - David Hillman [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Book Description
The Body in Parts examines how the body - its organs, limbs, and viscera - were represented in the literature and culture of early modern Europe. Why did sixteenth- and seventeenth-century medical, religious, and literary texts so often imagine the body part by part? What does this view of the human body tell us about social conceptions of part and whole, of individual and universal in the early modern period? As this provocative volume demonstrates, the symbolics of body parts challenge our assumptions about 'the body' as a fundamental Renaissance image of self, society, and nation. The Body in Parts presents new work by some of the leading figures in Renaissance literature and culture: * Nancy Vickers on corporeal fragments * Peter Stallybrass on the foot * Marjorie Garber on joints * Stephen Greenblatt on bodily marking and mutilation * Gail Kern Paster on the nervous system * Michael Schoenfeldt on the belly * Jeffrey Masten on the anus * Katharine Park on the clitoris * Kathryn Schwarz on the breast * Sergei Lobanov-Rostovsky on the eye * Katherine Rowe on the hands * Scott Stevens on the heart and brain * Carla Mazzio on the tongue * and David Hillman on the entrails.

Karen Newman, Brown University
"The Body in Parts is a must-read not only for those interested in the culture of early modern Europe, but for anyone interested in thinking about the modern and post-modern body as well. Its claims for the importance of the body and its discourses for understanding the literary, scientific, political and religious culture of early modern Europe are persuasive and its range--literally from head to toe--and learning admirable. A significant contribution to ongoing work on gender, sexuality and the body."

See also: body - fantasy

2006, Feb 06; 23:07 ::: Curt on gialli

We learn from Freud that truncated parts of the human body can have a particularly uncanny effect on the human psyche . . .

Specifically, what Freud says is,

Dismembered limbs, a severed head, a hand cut off at the wrist, as in a fairy tale of Hauff's, feet which dance by themselves, as in the book by Schaeffer which I mentioned above--all these have something peculiarly uncanny about them, especially when, as in the last instance, they prove capable of independent activity in addition.
In the gloved hands that are the hallmark of the giallo--so often presented visually as acting with a life of their own, and only tenuously "belonging" to the dark shrouded figure--the Killer takes on a menace that engages the Primary Processes, and beneath the threshold of our consciousness, they judge that menace to be not of this world. --http://groovyageofhorror.blogspot.com/2006/02/giallo.html [Feb 2006]

See also: severed - Sigmund Freud - uncanny - giallo films

2006, Feb 06; 22:07 ::: Obscure Objects of Desire : Surrealism, Fetishism, and Politics (2004) - Johanna Malt

Obscure Objects of Desire : Surrealism, Fetishism, and Politics (2004) - Johanna Malt [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Book Description
Through the analysis of narratives, paintings and objets surréalistes by Breton, Aragon, Dali, and others, Malt examines how the object emerges as psychologically and historically marked in the surrealist context, functioning as both fetish and fetishized commodity. Responding to recent debates about the role of the uncanny and the representation of the body in surrealist art and literature, Malt's study offers new perspectives on familiar works such as the paintings of Salvador Dali as well as illuminating relatively neglected ones such as Breton's poèmes-objets.

See also: obscure - object - desire - Surrealism - fetishism - politics

2006, Feb 06; 22:07 ::: The Persistence of Memory (1931) - Salvador Dalí

"You can't argue with popular."

The Persistence of Memory (1931) - Salvador Dalí

The Persistence of Memory (1931) is one of the most famous paintings by artist Salvador Dalí. The painting has also been known as Soft Watches. It is currently displayed in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City.

The well-known surrealistic piece, introduced the image of the soft melting pocket watch.

Dalí began the painting with one of his favorite themes, a landscape of the seashore of Catalonia at Cape Creus. He was moved to include the famous melting-clock imagery after a vision he had following a snack of Camembert cheese — the clocks, therefore, have the texture of the soft cheese. The painting shows four soft watches, one of which has a fly on it and another is being devoured by ants. This is widely seen as a commentary that time is less rigid than people usually assume.

In the center of the picture, under one of the watches, is a distorted human face in profile. This face also appears in Dalí's earlier work The Great Masturbator.

The painting was first publicly exhibited in New York in 1932, and Dalí sold it for $250 .

The painting soon became the best-known of Dalí's works, and has frequently been reproduced in postcards, posters, and other media. By 1938 it was so much a part of popular culture that versions of Persistence appear in the background of the animated cartoon Porky in Wackyland.

Dalí returned to the theme of this painting with the variation The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory (1954), showing his earlier famous work falling apart into component parts and a series of rectangles; this work is now in the Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. Dalí also produced various lithographs and sculptures on the theme of soft watches late in his career.--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Persistence_of_Memory [Feb 2006]

See also: Salvador Dalí - 1931 - Surrealism

2006, Feb 06; 20:07 ::: Ars Memoriae: The Theatre (1619) - Robert Fludd

Memorise some large building, the more architectural elaboration of rooms, passages and niches it has the better; this is your so-called 'Memory Palace'. Place mnemonic images about this palace to link to items that you want to remember, in symbolic form, with the images as striking as possible to enable recollection. To recall something, mentally move around the palace, reviewing the images in order. [Feb 2006]

Ars Memoriae: The Theatre (1619) - Robert Fludd
Image sourced here.

See also: memory - building - room - space - place - architecture - Robert Fludd - 1600s

2006, Feb 06; 20:07 ::: L'Amour Fou (1937) - André Breton

"At the forefront of discovery, from the moment when, for the first navigators, a new land was in sight to the moment when they set foot on the shore, from the moment when a certain learned man became convinced that he had witnessed a phenomenon, hitherto unknown, to the time when he began to measure the import of his observation - all feeling of duration abolished by the intoxicating atmosphere of chance - a very delicate flame highlights or perfects life's meaning as nothing else can. It is to the recreation of this particular state of mind that surrealism has always aspired, disdaining in the last analysis the prey and the shadow for what is already no longer the shadow and not yet the prey: the shadow and the prey mingled into a unique flash. Behind ourselves, we must not let the paths desire become overgrown. Nothing retains less of desire in art, in science, than this will to industry, booty, possession. A pox on all captivity, even should it be in the interest of the universal good, even in Montezuma's gardens of precious stones! Still today I am only counting on what comes of my own openness, my eagerness to wander in search of everything, which, I am confident, keeps me in mysterious communication with other open beings, as if we were suddenly called to assemble. I would like my life to leave after it no other murmur than that of a watchman's song, of a song to while away the waiting. Independent of what happens and what does not happen, the wait itself is magnificent." --Andre Breton, L'Amour fou, 1937

L'Amour Fou (1937) - André Breton [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

The edition shown is an English translation of André Breton's French language L'Amour Fou of 1937.

See also: Surrealism - André Breton - 1937 - mad - love

2006, Feb 06; 20:07 ::: L'Amour fou : Photography and Surrealism (1985) - Rosalind Krauss, Jane Livingston, Dawn Ades

L'Amour fou : Photography and Surrealism (1985) - Rosalind Krauss, Jane Livingston, Dawn Ades [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

From Publishers Weekly
Andre Breton's surrealist manifestos of the 1920s and '30s, along with his novel concept of "l'amour fou," ascribed to his revolutionary Parisian art movement "the intensely illogical reality of a dream." British and American art educators Krauss, Livingston and Ades in this rich picture book examine the very extensive role of photography (an unlikely medium on the face of it) in the surrealist movement. Shown here are photographs by Man Ray, Brassai, Tabard, Ubac, Boiffard and others whose choice of subject and/or photolab manipulations leave in no doubt their surrealist competence and intent. Illogical juxtapositions, twisted imagery (e.g., Hans Bellmer's "Doll" sequence), light-and-shadow cutouts, and coldly unerotic dissections of the female form boldly assert surrealism's quest for an ultimate truth its own "psycho-atmospheric-anamorphic" knowledge. A scholarly tour de force, this is the catalogue of a traveling exhibition. December 27

Book Description
Now back in stock: A collection of fabulous photographs by the foremost Surrealist artists.

Much has been written about Surrealist painting and sculpture, but most of the erotic, disorienting, and exquisite Surrealist photographs of Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Andre Breton, Brassai, Salvador Dali, Andre Kertesz, and Hans Bellmer have remained all but unknown--until now. Traditional criticism has viewed Surrealist photography as a pale imitation of authentic Surrealist work. The assumption has been that photography, a "realistic" medium, is fundamentally incompatible with a cause devoted to the wildly subjective, the world of dreams, and the unconscious. As a consequence, Surrealist photography, a major body of twentieth-century art, has remained largely unexplored.

L' Amour fou is the first book to study the crucial role photography did in fact play in the Surrealist movement. It shows how photographers enlisted into the service of "subjective" Surrealism their medium's very claim to "objective" reality. Of greatest interest, of course, is the book's abundant reproductions of the fantastic and distorted photographic creations that must be acknowledged as an important part of the Surrealist oeuvre.

Other Details: 200 duotones, 24 full-color illustrations. 9 x 12" trim size. Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C./Abbeville Press, New York, co-publishers. First published 1985.

See also: Hans Bellmer (surrealist photography) - photography - Rosalind Krauss - Surrealism

2006, Feb 06; 12:07 ::: L'Amour fou

"Above all else, the surrealists insisted that the relationship between film and spectator was primarily libidinal. That Paul Éluard discovered Peter Ibbetson (a 1935 Hollywood film that Breton considered comparable only to Luis Buñuel's L'Age d'or in its depiction of L'Amour fou) by impulsively trailing an attractive woman into a movie theater was seen as ultimate proof." --Midnight Movies (1983). page 36.

Peter Ibbetson (1935) - Henry Hathaway

Note: Amour fou is French for mad love. L'Amour fou is also the title of a 1937 collection of art criticism and poetry by André Breton and Mad Love is the title of a 1935 film adaptation by Karl Freund of Maurice Renard's horror story Les Mains d'Orlac.

Peter Ibbetson is a 1891 novel by British author George du Maurier (1834 - 1896) in which dreams and the unconscious are an important theme. You can read the novel here. More info on du Maurier at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_du_Maurier [Feb 2006]

See also: the film experience - love - libido - 1935 - Paul Éluard - André Breton - Luis Buñuel - Surrealism

2006, Feb 05; 19:07 ::: You're My Heart, You're My Soul (1984) - Modern Talking

In our series "guilty pleasures", You're My Heart, You're My Soul (1984) by Modern Talking would mix nicely with Evelyn Thomas's Hi-NRG favourite High Energy (1984), the beats being somewhat similar, the vibe too.

You're My Heart, You're My Soul (1984) - Modern Talking

Modern Talking was a German pop music duo consisting of composer/producer/background singer Dieter Bohlen and singer Thomas Anders. It was the single most successful pop group in Germany (by sales).

First formed at the end of 1984 (Anders was 21), they unexpectedly became immensely popular with their standalone disco hit "You're My Heart, You're My Soul", which was then followed by "You Can Win If You Want" and "Cheri, Cheri Lady".

Modern Talking was successful in Europe, Asia, South America and some African countries. In the United Kingdom they reached the top ten only once with the song "Brother Louie" (in 1986, #4 UK). They did not feel very good about promoting their singles there due to being marketed in England as a gay group like Erasure and Culture Club. They were almost unknown in North America by mainstream standards, never appearing in the charts there, and due to lack of backing from a record company and lack of time did not go there to promote their music.

The songs before the first split were produced in a style that can be vaguely described as Euro Disco, it was influenced by German-language "Schlager" music, disco pop (Bee Gees) and romantic English-language songs of Italian and French origin, like Gazebo's "I Like Chopin". After the 1998 reunion Bohlen produced Eurodance, as well as American-style ballads.

Global sales of Modern Talking records were 120 million units, according to BMG in June 2003, and they have become the biggest-selling German music act in history, so far outselling even Frank Farian's projects Boney M and Milli Vanilli, Michael Cretu's Enigma, Sandra, the Scorpions, Snap! and Rammstein.

There is a big Modern Talking following in the expatriate Vietnamese community of Little Saigon (Westminster, California, U.S.).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern Talking [Feb 2006]

See also: European music - 1984 - German music - Eurodance - Euro-disco

2006, Feb 05; 15:07 ::: Salome (c.1876) - Gustave Moreau (detail)

Salome (c.1876) - Gustave Moreau (detail)

"Moreau's figures are ambiguous; it is hardly possible to distinguish at the first glance which of two lovers is the man, which the woman; all his characters are linked by subtle bonds of relationship... lovers look as though they were related, brothers as though they were lovers, men have the faces of virgins, virgins the faces of youths; the symbols of Good and Evil are entwined and equivocally confused." -- Mario Praz, The Romantic Agony

See also: Gustave Moreau - 1876 - French art - Symbolism

2006, Feb 05; 11:07 ::: Ranx 1 (1982) - Tanino Liberatore

Ranx 1 sample page
Image sourced here.

Ranx 1 (1982) - Tanino Liberatore [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

See also: Tanino Liberatore - adult comics - 1980s - Italian comics

2006, Feb 05; 11:07 ::: Kunstkamera Museum

Kunstkamera Museum on Vasilyevsky Ostrov. St. Petersburg, Russia, February 1, 2000
Image sourced here.

The Kunstkammer was the first museum in Russia. It was established by Peter the Great on the Neva Riverfront facing the Winter Palace. The museum was dedicated to preserving "natural and human curiosities and rarities". Peter's personal collection features a large assortment of human and animal fetuses with anatomical deficiencies. Some of the most gruesome exhibits are the heads of Catherine I's lover Willem Mons and his sister Anna Mons, still preserved in alcohol. The turreted Petrine Baroque building of the Kunstkamera was completed by 1727. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kunstkamera [Feb 2006]

See also: cabinet of curiosities - 1700s - Russia - museum

2006, Feb 03; 11:07 ::: Eine Kunstkammer (1618) - Frans Francken d.J

Eine Kunstkammer (1618) - Frans Francken d.J
Image sourced here.

Das Studium der Natur - der naturalia - geht in die künstlerischen Schöpfungen - die artificialia - ein. Die Schöpfungskraft Gottes und des Menschen ist seit der Renaissance auch in den Frühformen des Museums, in den Kunstkammern und Raritätenkabinetten, ein Thema.

Antwerpener Künstler des Barock schaffen eine neue Gattung: das Galeriebild, das sich zum Stillleben verdichten kann. Es ist eine Reflexion über die Verbindung von Mikrokosmos und Makrokosmos oder über aktuelle kunsttheoretische Probleme. --http://www.kgi.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/stillleben/data/html/2/3.htm

Kunstkammer is German for art room. Please note the picture in picture effect.

See also: cabinet of curiosities - 1600s - art - room

2006, Feb 04; 23:07 ::: Kleinodien-Schrank (1666) - Johann Georg Hainz

Kleinodien-Schrank (1666) - Johann Georg Hainz

See also: cabinet of curiosities - 1660s - museum

2006, Feb 03; 19:07 ::: Etymology of underground

adj. meaning "subculture" is from 1953, from World War II application to resistance movements against German occupation, on analogy of the dominant culture and Nazis. --http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=underground&searchmode=none [Feb 2006]

See also: underground - 1953 - subculture

2006, Feb 03; 19:07 ::: Stan VanDerBeek and Manny Farber

“Underground film was a term originally used by critic Manny Farber to describe low-budget masculine adventure films of the thirties and forties. But in 1959 the term began to have reference to personal art film. Lewis Jacobs, in an article called “Morning for the Experimental Film” in Film Culture (Number 19, Spring, 1959), used the words “film which for most of its life has led an underground existance”. And film-maker Stan VanDerBeek says that he coined underground that year to describe his films and those like them.”

-- Renan, Sheldon, The Underground Film op. cit., pag. 22.

See also: underground - underground films - Manny Farber - American cinema

2006, Feb 02; 23:07 ::: Cinema Delimina: Films from the Underground (1961) - Stan VanDerBeek

An unidentified collage animation by Vanderbeek.
Image sourced here.

Stan VanDerBeek (1927 - 1984) was a gifted and inventive theorist and writer, and he left a wonderful collection of written work. In his Cinema Delimina: Films from the Underground (1961), he explained the raison d etre of the underground cinema movement:

Film is an art in evolution. It is the dark glass for the physical and visual change in motion about us. How is it then that we are suffocated with the cardboard cut-out poetry of Hollywood?

The mind, eye, and heart of the artist will find a way through the dilemma: the making of private art that can be made public, rather than the public art we know, which cannot be made private.

But now the most revolutionary art form of our time is in the hands of entertainment merchants, stars, manufacturers.

The artist is preposterously cut off from the tools of production. The vistavisionaries of Hollywood, with their split-level features and Disney landscapes have had the field to themselves.

Meanwhile, what of the artists, poets, experimenters in America, who must work as if they were secret members of the underground?

They conjure what they hope will be explosives vivid enough to rock the status quo: weapons as potential as fusion, for art can be as important as politics, the artist's hand more important then armament!

They use any ingredient that comes to hand.

(Excerpt. The entire work is reprinted in Film Quarterly, Volume 14 (4) Summer 1961).

--http://www.hfac.uh.edu/MediaFutures/vanderbeek.html [Feb 2006]

See also: underground cinema - experimental films - collage - American cinema

2006, Feb 02; 18:07 ::: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) - Robert Wiene

from the intertitles of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) - Robert Wiene

"Ladies and gentlemen!
Cesare knows all secrets.
Ask him to look into your future"

"How long shall I live?"

"The time is short.
You die at dawn."

--http://www.archive.org/stream/DasKabinettdesDoktorCaligariTheCabinetofDrCaligari/The_Cabinet_of_Dr._Caligari_256kb.mp4 [Feb 2006]

Since silent films had no synchronized sound for dialogue, onscreen intertitles were used to narrate story points, present key dialogue and sometimes even comment on the action for the cinema audience. The title writer became a key professional in silent film and was often separate from the scenario writer who created the story. Intertitles (or titles as they were generally called at the time) often became graphic elements themselves, featuring illustrations or abstract decorations that commented on the action of the film or enhanced its atmosphere. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent_film#Intertitles [Feb 2006]

I just watched the first part of Caligari online (see link above) and it occurred to me that in the silent film era, films were as much a literary as a filmic medium. I unsuccessfully tried to find a complete transcription of the Caligari intertitles because I'm quite sure you could 'watch' the film by reading the intertitles. [Feb 2006]

See also: silent films - The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) - title

2006, Feb 02; 18:07 ::: Agee on Film : Criticism and Comment on the Movies (2000) - James Agee

Agee on Film : Criticism and Comment on the Movies (2000) - James Agee [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Agee on Film appeared in 1958, three years after the author's death at 45. (Agee's two most distinguished precursors, Harry Alan Potamkin, who wrote for the New Masses in the early '30s, and Otis Ferguson, the New Republic reviewer from 1934 to 1942, were not collected until the cinephilic '70s). Indeed, the Library of America does not collect Agee's criticism so much as it enshrines his original collection, Agee on Film. The book—containing the complete run of Nation reviews, a sampling from Time, and a few longer pieces that appeared elsewhere—is treated as a work in itself. Typos ("Eisentein") and factual errors ("Franz" Murnau) are preserved along with W.H. Auden's notorious intro: "I do not care for movies very much and I rarely see them," he notes by way of praising Agee. -- J. Hoberman, October 28th, 2005 via http://www.villagevoice.com/books/0544,hoberman,69519,10.html [Feb 2006]

James Agee (November 27, 1909 – May 16, 1955) was a United States novelist, screenwriter, journalist, poet, and film critic. In the 1940s he was one of the most influential film critics in the U.S. His autobiographical novel, A Death in the Family (1957), won the author a posthumous Pulitzer Prize. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Agee [Feb 2006]

See also: film criticism - film theory

2006, Feb 02; 18:07 ::: The compound cinema: The film writings of Harry Alan Potamkin (1977) - Harry Alan Potamkin

The compound cinema: The film writings of Harry Alan Potamkin (1977) - Harry Alan Potamkin [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

There was Harry Alan Potamkin, a critic with communist leanings – he wrote about experimental cinema for Close-Up. --http://www.innersense.com.au/productions/writings/sydfest02posner.html [Feb 2006]

This entry is inspired by Midnight Movies (1983) where Potamkin is quoted in relation to French cults in cinema:

Aside from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, "the cult film par excellence," which ran continuously at the same Paris movie house from 1920 through 1927 (a long-standing record that has only recently been surpassed by the imperialist art-porn Emmanuelle, which, abetted by English and Japanese subtitles, has been playing at the Paramount theater on the Champs-Elysées since June 1974), the French cult objects that Potamkin cited were all produced in Hollywood. --Midnight Movies (1983). page 23.

See also: cult films - The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) - Emmanuelle (1974) - film criticism - film theory

2006, Feb 01; 21:07 ::: La Source (1862) - Gustave Courbet

La Source (1862) - Gustave Courbet

See also: Gustave Courbet - erotic art - 1862

2006, Feb 01; 20:07 ::: Sleepers (1866) - Gustave Courbet

Le Sommeil/Les Dormeuses/Sleepers (1866) - Gustave Courbet

Gustave Courbet painted The Sleepers (1866) for the private collection of Turkish diplomat Khalil-Bey. The Origin of the World was also ordered by Khalil-Bey. These two paintings were never publicly shown until the late 20th century and were probably hidden behind curtains in Khalil-Bey's private premises. [Feb 2006]

See also: Gustave Courbet - erotic art - 1866

2006, Feb 01; 19:07 ::: Bavarian porn

National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985) - Amy Heckerling [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
There is a segment in National Lampoon's European Vacation that illustrates the atmosphere of Bavaria.

Bavarian porn is a campy subgenre of softcore porn comedy. The apogee of the genre was the late 1960s and early 1970s, corresponding roughly to the chancelorship of Willy Brandt, but these films continued to be produced up to about 1980. Today they live on as staples of late night European cable and satellite channels. The most famous Bavarian porn actor is Peter Steiner, while the most famous director is Franz Marischka.

Bavarian porn films were set in Bavaria (Bayern), because most German film studios are located in Munich. This is somewhat ironic, considering the fact that Bavaria is the most culturally and socially conservative area of Germany. The films cheerfully blended comic and erotic elements. They featured voluptuous young teases and seductresses, ogled by dirty, old men, rockers and Gastarbeiter (Guest-workers who are usually from Turkey). There were plain librarians and teachers, who, upon downing a few shots of schnapps, would remove their cat's eyes glasses, let their hair down and transform into beautiful, insatiable nymphomaniacs. There were slutty teen-age girls knowingly teasing and making their middle-aged male teachers drool. There were even alien women from "Planet Sechs" (meaning "Planet Six," which in German sounds a lot like "Planet Sex"), where as luck would have it, all the men had died from a mysterious disease, forcing the inhabitants of Planet Sechs, who for some reason all looked like Teutonic goddesses, to visit rural Bavaria to harvest sperm from Earth men.

At the time, Bavarian porn seemed outrageous and shocking to the older generation, who had been indoctrinated by the "family values" of the repressive National Socialist regime, not to mention traditional German sexual morality. To the baby-boomers who came of age after World War Two, the films embodied the freedom and liberation brought about through the Sexual Revolution. With the defeat of National Socialism and the booming economy, West Germany saw a return of Weimar era decadence, only on a larger and more culturally mainstream scale.

Today, these films are revered more for their camp value than any ability to cause sexual arousal. Their legacy is most evident in the poppy acid-jazz soundtracks used in these films, which became popular among hipsters during the late 1990s, along with the resurgence of Space Age Pop. Gert Wilden composed and performed many Bavarian porn soundtracks with his orchestra.

Some Bavarian porn films were dubbed into English by German actors and actresses speaking English. The poor translations, Godzilla-style dub quality and German accents elevate the camp factor of these films to a level beyond that of the German originals. Bavarian porn was released in the United States under titles such as Naughty Co-Eds, 2069: A Sex Odyssey and The Sinful Bed. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bavarian_porn [Feb 2006]

See also: sex comedy - sexploitation - softcore - German erotica - German exploitation

2006, Feb 01; 17:07 ::: What defined pop music in 2005? (2006) - Simon Reynolds

The most striking thing about Pop in 2005 is how little conversation there is between black music and white music. Mainstream UK Rock, from Coldplay to whoever’s on the cover of NME this week has never sounded so bleached. The main effect of this (apparently, hopefully) unconscious drive towards sonic segregation is a grievous lack of rhythmic spark and invention. Catch some highly-touted Brit hopeful on the TV programme Later With Jools, and it’s instantly audible how the drummer contributes nothing to the music in the way of feel, tension, or dynamism, but instead just dully marks the tempo. He’s seemingly there simply because that’s what proper Rock bands have – a live drummer.

Things aren’t much different on the Rock underground, where the coolest thing around is Free-Folk (aka Freak-Folk, Psych-Folk … ). Ranging from beardy minstrels like Devendra Banhart to trippy jam bands like Animal Collective and Wooden Wand & the Vanishing Voice, Free-Folk is a recombinant sound that draws on a whole range of historical sources beyond the obvious traditional music and Folk-Rock ancestors. It just so happens that none of them (apart from a trace of utmostly ‘out’ Free Jazz) are black. Free-Folk’s accompanying ideology – a mish-mash of mystical pantheism, paganism, and sundry shamanic/tribalistic impulses – places it in the same continuum as the hippies and the beats, but, significantly, it has broken with Beat’s ‘white negro’ syndrome. Elsewhere in the leftfield, there’s the neo-post-Punk fad, fading somewhat after a good three-year run. These groups engage in white-on-black, Punk-to-Funk action, but only by replaying genre collisions from 25 years ago. Whereas the true post-Punk spirit manifested today would involve miscegenating Indie-Rock with Grime or Crunk. --http://www.frieze.com/column_single.asp?c=293 [Feb 2006]

See also: folk music - Simon Reynolds - pop music

2006, Feb 01; 17:07 ::: New York Noise Vol.2 [Music from the New York Underground 1977-1984] (2006) - Various

New York Noise Vol.2 [Music from the New York Underground 1977-1984] (2006) - Various [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Track Listings
1. Pulsallama - Ungawa Pt 2 2. Mofungo - Hunter Gatherer 3. Red Transistor - Not Bite 4. Vortex OST - Black Box Disco 5. Certain General - Back Downtown 6. Sonic Youth - I Dreamed I Dream 7. Rhys Chatham - Drastic Classicism 8. Clandestine (Feat. Ned Sublette - Radio Rhythm (Dub) 9. Glorious Strangers - Move It Time 10. Felix (Arthur Russell/Nicky Siano)- Tigerstripes 11. The Del Byzantines (With Jim Jarmusch) - My Hands Are Yellow 12. Don King - Tanajura 13. Jill Kroesen - I Am Not Seeing That You Are Here 14. Ut - Sham Shack 15. The Static (Glenn Branca) - My Relationship 16. Y Pants - Favorite Sweater

Product Description
The New Wave of New York Art/Rock Groups Such as Dfa, the Rapture, Juan Mclean, James Murphy, the Strokes, the Liars and Radio Four all have their Roots in the Early 1980s New York No Wave Music Scene. This is the Second Volume of Soul Jazz Records' New York Noise and Delves Further Into the Post-punk/Dance World of New York in the 1980s. The Music Ranges from the Guitar-driven Experimentation of Sonic Youth, Red Transistor and Minimalism of Rhys Chatham to the Dubbed-out Disco of Arthur Russell and Nicky Siano and Pulsallama. All Alongside a Healthy Dose of Punk-funk from the Likes of Y Pants, Vortex and More. Glenn Branca, Rhys Chatham (Minimalist Classical Composer), Jim Jarmusch (Film-maker and Founding Member of Del Byzantines), Arthur Russell, Ned Sublette (Writer), Thurston Moore -all Included Here- Played Key Roles in Bringing the New York Music and Art Scene Together in the Early 1980s Alongside the Artist Jean Michel Basquiat, Actor Vincent Gallo, Poet Lydia Lunch Etc --from the publisher

See also: Soul Jazz Records - New York - noise music

2006, Feb 01; 16:07 ::: Rip It Up and Start Again (2005) - Simon Reynolds

Rip It Up and Start Again (2005) - Simon Reynolds [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Punk's raw power rejuvenated rock, but by the summer of 1977 the movement had become a parody of itself. RIP IT UP AND START AGAIN is a celebration of what happened next: post-punk bands like PiL, Joy Division, Talking Heads, The Fall and The Human League who dedicated themselves to fulfilling punk's unfinished musical revolution. The post-punk groups were fervent modernists. Experimenting with electronics and machine rhythm or adapting ideas from dub reggae and disco, they were totally confident they could invent a whole new future for music. --from the publisher

See also: Simon Reynolds - post-punk

2006, Feb 01; 16:07 ::: No Smoking (2004) - Luc Sante

No Smoking (2004) - Luc Sante [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

“Imagine Audrey Hepburn conquering New York without a cigarette (or that absurdly long cigarette holder). Would Jackson Pollock, Bob Fosse, W.H. Auden, or Edward R. Murrow have flourished in a smoke-free city?” The New York Times

Can you imagine Groucho Marx without a cigar?

Do you remember that a few years ago smoking was allowed in airplanes?

Can you tell when New York stopped smoking?

In the not so distant past, posing seductively with a cigarette was de rigueur for Hollywood types. How many celebrities today dare to even hold one? No Smoking is a tribute to the 20th century, a century that created, promoted and glorified the cigarette and then suddenly declared war on it. --from the publisher

See also: Luc Sante - smoking

2006, Feb 01; 16:07 ::: Artists in the Audience: Cults, Camp, and American Film Criticism (2001) - Greg Taylor

Artists in the Audience: Cults, Camp, and American Film Criticism (2001) - Greg Taylor [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Gone with the Wind an inspiration for the American avant-garde? Mickey Mouse a crucial source for the development of cutting-edge intellectual and aesthetic ideas? As Greg Taylor shows in this witty and provocative book, the idea is not so far-fetched. One of the first-ever studies of American film criticism, Artists in the Audience shows that film critics, beginning in the 1940s, turned to the movies as raw material to be molded into a more radical modernism than that offered by any other contemporary artists or thinkers. In doing so, they offered readers a vanguard alternative that reshaped postwar American culture: nonaesthetic mass culture reconceived and refashioned into rich, personally relevant art by the attuned, creative spectator.

Back Cover
"Greg Taylor's Artists in the Audience is one of the more innovative works of cinema studies that I have read in some time. It's essential reading for anyone interested in the history and theory of film criticism, and it touches as well on important issues in art history and cultural studies."--Robert Sklar, author of Movie-Made America

"Since World War II, cinema has challenged American intellectuals to define their relation to popular culture. In this incisive history, Greg Taylor traces many attitudes dominant today-the search for momentary pleasures in mass entertainment, the ironic celebration of movies' wilder side, the phenomena of camp and cult films-back to the work of Manny Farber, Parker Tyler, and a series of avant-garde filmmakers. He shows how critics of great ingenuity and panache managed to revolutionize tastes, convincing guardians of middlebrow culture that Hollywood movies came alive as art only when treated with a mixture of offhand respect, humor, and bravado. This is a witty, thoughtful account of a crucial period in intellectual tastemaking."--David Bordwell, Jacques Ledoux Professor of Film Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison

See also: American cinema - film criticism - audience - cult - camp

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