Yves Kline “Anthropométrie de l’Époque bleue” 1960
Dir. Alain Robbe-Grillet “Glissements progressifs du plaisir (Successive Slidings of Pleasure)” 1974
Although I am overfond of saying “Simplicity done well”, as a maxim it is hard to beat. There is a small genre of music videos where subtitles are overlain to add a extra dimension or narrative not present in the lyrics.
Film maker Kristoffer Borgli uses this conciet and with just a few lines sets the back story for this short tale of a man who likes dancing in a small Norwegian town. Funny, moving and touching.
Looking forward to the release of PressPlayForward. A documentary examining the perceived effects of digital culture and distribution on the creative process, being an artist, publishing and reaching an audience.
The digital revolution of the last decade has unleashed creativity and talent of people in an unprecedented way, unleashing unlimited creative opportunites.
But does democratized culture mean better art, film, music and literature or is true talent instead flooded and drowned in the vast digital ocean of mass culture? Is it cultural democracy or mediocrity?
This changes everything. The industry is dead. There has never been a better time to be an artist – Seth Godin, author
I admit I’m a little late to the party but if like me, you haven’t seen this, then Marc Silver’s short film on age, self-perception and sexuality is worth a view.
Although overtly ‘about sex’, the film is really about what individual freedom means. Initially inspired by a video art installation, the piece reveals the complexities of pornography, old age and individual choices. Music by Michael Nyman.
While we wait for the Guy Bourdin documentary “When the Sky Fell Down” directed by his assistant Sean Brandt to finally surface, a taster can be found at ubu.com. They’ve published a collection of his super 8 clips. Rather than seeming like out takes out from a fashion shoot or behind the runway scenes, the feel is more akin to an early underground film; a clash of Kenneth Anger and Godard’s technicolour Pierrot le fou perhaps. A quality enhanced by being set to the glitch pop of Ensemble.
An auspicious start to the week – the announcement of a new film from Miranda July. And being Miranda there’s a little more to it, she wants something from you. Maybe not wants but offers. Like her tasks from “Learning to love you more” the site for “The Future” allows you a chance to beg forgiveness from your own lost soul having forsaken it.
From her Facebook page
My character, Sophie, has a security blanket that’s a yellow shirt named “Shirty”. This shirt is based on my actual, real life security blanket – a much older, paler yellow shirt named, “Nightie”.
I’ve had Nightie my whole life, and if I were to ever forsake my soul, as Sophie does, I know Nightie would come crawling after me. I used to be ashamed of it and hope I would outgrow it, but instead I outgrew my shame. I’ll never forget the first meeting I had with the special fx guys where I had to demonstrate exactly how a security blanket t- shirt would crawl. Using my hands I made it move down the long table we were sitting around. And because this is their job, they all took me very seriously, they nodded and asked important questions like: what is Shirty’s emotional state?
I Ask Of You:
If you were ever to forsake your soul, betray yourself, take the wrong path – what would come crawling after you? This should either be your security blanket/object, or any inanimate object you’ve had for a long time. It must know the true you. Make a 10-15 second video demonstrating the way that it would move. Only your hands and the object should be in the frame. If you want to get tricky you can use invisible wires, or puppetry, but that’s really not necessary. Remember that each object moves in it’s own way, so, like, if it’s your stamp collection, then the stamps might follow each other, like ducklings do.
Along with the video email a caption that states what the object is (and it’s name, if applicable) and how long it’s been in your life.
A t-shirt, named Nightie, which has been in my life for 37 years. This is how it would come after me.
John Samson’s “Dressed for Pleasure” has just appeared in its entirety on Youtube, I’m not sure of the legality of the post so it may disappear soon – all the more reason to watch as soon as you can.
Loveable for many reasons: the way it presents what society calls perverts or outsiders simply as normal people with defined and particular tastes. Exactly as it should be. Seminal for many more: introducing the suburbia that Lynch and Barker would build on for Twin peaks and Hellraiser; for capturing the dissent that adulterated the ether in mid 70’s Britain and exploded in the cultural phenomenon of punk.
The last year has seen a re-evaluation of Samson’s documentary career after his early death from a heart attack. Shame the media establishment decided not to cherish him whilst alive.
Wouldn’t it be great if YouTube had a “Report as appropriate” button
Good clean fun. A phrase oft used, and sometimes even in conjunction with public nudity. But in the case of Jim Mangan’s promotional film for his forthcoming book “Winter’s Children” it’s a very apt phrase.
Mangan is an professional snowboarder who spent the winter photographing a group of friends doing what they do best down a snowy slope, and yes you could mutter Ryan McGinley under your breath: but like McGinley’s work where would cynicism get you.
The film is testament to good clean fun. I mean snowboarding naked down a mountain with your friends? Fuck yeah!, is the only reasonable exclamation. I wish I had a better sense of balance (physically, thanks).
Watch the trailer and I’ll swear not a single dirty thought runs through your head and you are left mentally air-punching. They say youth is wasted on the young. Not this time. The only thing better than snowboarding naked… etc etc… is, well check the clip at 1:40.
Thank you Jim Mangan.
By the frequency of my posts eulogising the 8tracks site you will know my appreciation for the art of the mixtape. Would you let a computer algorithm pick what you are going to wear? So why let it choose what you listen to. Before going any further, lest we forget, let us pay respect to Muxtape who gave us the first mixtape site before legal botherers shut them down (a happy ending: they are back, but as an official artist showcase).
London has many delights, one of the more obscure being FilmFriendsForver, a movie club which shows up and coming shorts at the Queen of Hoxton for just a few quid per screening. That’s films with good music and drinking inbetween, hell, you can even drink at the bar during the films. A great evening evening out and they are lovely people to boot.
At their Best of 2009 screening I caught ‘Mixtape’ which is simple, sweet and fabulous. Like the closing line of Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity it will put a great big gooey smile on your face. Made by Luke Snellin, I was delighted to find it online, and so am now able to share the joy, watch it and bring out your inner soppiness.
And if we are discussing stories with emotional heart This zine will change your life have a high calibre entry this month with Sally Weigel’s ‘Sometimes It’s Hard’, a story with a zing in it’s tale. Recommended reading.
To wrap it all up I could hardly bow out this post without ending with, well, a mixtape…
My offering left of field acoustic, mainly covers, post-coital good for the bedroom, which could be reason enough for a lint pun. You’re going to sing, you’re going to cry, you’re going out crazy as fuck. Featuring punk arse balladeers (particularly if you make it to the end).
The above is from the trailer for ‘(Untitled)’, a new comedy directed by Jonathan Parker (who I have never heard of before) set in the world of modern art.
I had a genuine laugh out loud moment when I saw the label. Then I thought why hadn’t I thought of that. Pure brilliance.
If it has just one other joke as good then the price of admission is money well spent. (The title doesn’t count).
Don’t throw away your old Polaroid camera. One of the causalities of digitalisation was the quiet demise of instant Polaroid film, mourned by the group of remaining enthusiasts. Photographers who use instant film to check lighting set-ups can still use Fuji’s rival, but I’ve yet to hear about many converts from those who loved their Polaroids.
There is a quality to the muted blurred tones of the Polaroid that can render the mundane beautiful, instant faded glamour. And the can-you-see-what-it-is-yet factor. It’s discontinuement was celebrated by a group of artists and photographers who started leaving old Polaroids scattered around a deserted house, creating an unpublicised shrine for those who stumbled upon it. The Flickr group Polaroid House chronicles the project (you may need to become a Flickr member for free and join the group to see them).
Aside from it’s distinctive hues the film is a square format, and the Fuji stock isn’t so doesn’t fit in Polaroid cameras, of course. But salvation is about to come to the millions of up till now defunct camera owners: Florian Kaps is Polaroid Impossible.
Raising $2.6 million in capital Kaps started The Impossible Project and has brought the old factory with it’s machinery from Polaroid, along with the rights to say Polaroid compatible on the new film. And he plans to have the first film out for Christmas. The initial offering will black and white, appropriately mirroring of the history of photographic development. I love that he says of his potential customers…
They are seeking the analog adventure. Just opening a film packet — the smell alone has something sensual to it.
Monochrome probably isn’t going to excite the leagues of home pornographers but less exotic devotees will be delighted to learn they reminiscent of early photography and Kaps is quoted as saying “this will be part of their charm”, so the company doesn’t intend to modernise it’s films to resemble standard photos.
Colour film is to be rolled out some time in 2010 so don’t throw out your Polaroid (600 format) camera. Unlike old cameras which take outlawed mercury battery formats making replacements different, the film pack itself and not the camera contains the power source so they should still function including the flash. Maybe even hit eBay and snap one up before instant film impossible hits the shelves this Christmas and their value rockets up.
The greatest closing shot to a film, ever?