R.I.P Chantal Akerman, Stopped Breathing, Her Films Live Forever

October 6th, 2015

  • Aurore Clement in Rendez Vous D’Anna (youtube)

    Chantal Akerman: a director with a rare creative vision (Guardian obit)

    Shocking news, so sad that Chantal Akerman died at 65.

    Directors like Todd Haynes, Sally Potter and Michael Haneke have credited Ms. Akerman as a major influence. J. Hoberman, a former film critic for The Village Voice, likened her to Mr. Godard and to the German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, once calling her “arguably the most important European director of her generation.”

    Mr. Mazzanti recalled asking Ms. Akerman how she had edited “Hotel Monterey,” a silent film about a Lower Manhattan hotel that she had made in 1972. “She said, ‘I was breathing, and then at one point I understood it was the time to cut. It was my breathing that decided the length of my shots,’ ” he said. “That’s Chantal Akerman. She breathed through the films,” he said. “She was cinema.”

    Obit BFI

  • Chantal Akerman archive here. (Chantal introduced me to Pina, her documentaries were superb)

  • La Captive (bath scene on youtube)

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    photo letters home 1986

    See more photos here.

    Indiwire obit
    Her wiki

    The Three Cornered World of Glenn Gould

    October 4th, 2015
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    Glenn Gould died of a stroke on October 4, 1982, and was laid to rest in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

  • The Madness of Genius Glenn Gould (part I)

  • Glenn Gould and Natsume Soseki

    Soseki’s novel was not only to become Gould’s favorite book (previously it had been Thomas Mann’s 1924 novel “The Magic Mountain”), but one that would obsess him for the last 15 years of his life. Despite having no particular interest in Japan, nor having ever visited, Gould ended up owning four copies of the book, two in English and, unexpectedly, two in Japanese. He owned the English translations of Soseki’s other novels and had more of the Japanese novelist’s books in his library than those of any other writer.

    To his cousin, Jessie Greig — the person closest to him throughout his life — he expressed his love for “The Three-Cornered World” by reading the entire novel out to her over the telephone over the course of two evenings.

  • Gould was telephone friends with Bill Evans

  • G.G plays Paul Hindemith (youtube)

  • BGIgor
    Leonard and Igor Stravinsky

  • Leonard conducting Glenn Gould performing Bach (youtube)

  • ON the record (Youtube)

    Off the record (Youtube)

  • Glenn Gould Archive (Orlando Gibbons was his favorite composer, check his Russian Journey or see him as Umeboshi)

    Thanks to David Ehrenstein (who called Glenn as the gayest straight man who ever breathed) ..

    Eileen Gray – Innovative Designer, Her Dragon Chair sold for 28 Millions

    October 1st, 2015
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    She should be world-famous for her innovative designs—and would be, had Le Corbusier not intervened. But, as Michael Watts reports, her story now has a happy ending, thanks partly to a new film

    Gray was a bisexual Anglo-Irish aristocrat who became a free-spirited member of the bohemian classes. She is said to have driven around Paris, where she spent most of her life, in a Chenard-Walcker roadster with Damia, her celebrity girlfriend, and Damia’s pet panther. Even at the age of 80, Gray thought of buying a Vespa scooter. When she died, in 1976, she was 98 and still painting and experimenting with materials such as Plexiglass.

    Screen 1EILEEN-GRAY8panel
    screen Via


    Design Museum

  • 28 million dollors chair.millionchair1
    The unique and remarkable ‘Dragons’ armchair was acquired from Miss Gray by Suzanne Talbot, the first patron to provide her with an opportunity to create a complete environment. The exotic, symbolist character of the piece situates it conceptually within the first phase of Miss Gray’s creative cycle.
    The Mad Tea Party (previous post)

    Collection of Funny chairs, Bat, Elephant, Dragon chairs etc.

  • Shusaku Endo, The Author of “Silence” also wrote “Wonderful Fool”

    September 22nd, 2015
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    Shusaku Endo

    Photo by Mario A

    Shusaku Endo

    His books reflect many of his childhood experiences, including the stigma of being an outsider, the experience of being a foreigner, the life of a hospital patient, and the struggle with TB. However, his books mainly deal with the moral fabric of life. His Catholic faith can be seen at some level in all of his books and it is often a central feature. Most of his characters struggle with complex moral dilemmas, and their choices often produce mixed or tragic results. His work may often be compared to that of Graham Greene.

  • Silence 1endosilence Martin Scorsese and Shusaku Endo’s ‘Silence’

    Shusaku Endo – born on 27 March 1923 in Tokyo – moved with his family to Dailan in Manchuria while still very young. He stayed there until the age of 10 when his mother took him back to Japan after divorcing his father. After returning to Japan to live in Kobe with his mother and an aunt, those early years in Manchuria may have created in Endo a sense of alienation from mainstream Japanese culture that profoundly affected him. The defining moment of his life, however, was his baptism as a Catholic in 1934. His struggles to reconcile himself with a faith that was and still is very much a minority in Japan, his experiences as an outsider and with hospitalization for pleurisy and tuberculosis – all of these deeply impacted his sensibilities and thematic preoccupations as a novelist.

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    Tadanobu Asano replaced Ken Watanabe. He played the interpreter for the priests in “Silence”.

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    Sea and Poison
    Kei Kumai
    Wonderful Fool

    Shusaku Endo was an extremely funny man, a satirist who made a fortune presenting long-running humorous Japanese TV shows and was something of a household name.

    Goodbye Adam Purple -A Legendary Gardner/Biker

    September 16th, 2015
  • Adam Purple, Legendary Gardner 84 is Dead - Was Biking Across Williamsburg Bridge

    Adam Purple

    Adam Purple (died September 15, 2015) was an activist and urban Edenist or “Guerrilla Gardener” famous in New York City from the seventies to the present day. His name at birth was David Wilkie, though he’s gone by many others, including the Rev. Les Ego.

    He is often considered the godfather of the urban gardening movement, and his “Garden of Eden” was a well-known garden on the Lower East Side of Manhattan until it was demolished in January 1986 to make way for low-income housing.[3][5][6][7] He is one of fifty subjects featured in Harvey Wang’s New York, a book of photographs and brief biographies of notable and colorful New Yorkers

    See photo of Adam by Lawrence Swan

    R.I.P John Perreault of Artopia + His Marcel Duchamp Interviews

    September 9th, 2015
  • John-Perreault-noted-art-critic-for-the-village-voice-and-artnews-dies-at-78

  • 1artstreetworks

    Hannah Weiner, Scott Burton, Anne Waldman, Vito Acconi, Bernadette Mayer, Eduardo Costa and John Perreault, NYC, 1969

    NYtimes obit

    Mr. Perreault started out as a poet and painter, but after being recommended by the poet and art critic John Ashbery, he began writing criticism for Art News.

    Portrait of John P by Alice Neel

    Art Experience Interview


    John Perreault as Vincent Van
    Gogh in Les Levine’s Analyze
    Lovers, The Story of Vincent,
    for Dutch National Television.
    Courtesy John Perreault


    New Marcel Duchamp Interviews

    Dada Perfume Marcel Duchamp Interview

    Ubu Roi – Pataphysical Life of Alfred Jarry

    September 8th, 2015
  • Ubu 1alfredUburoi Roi
    Ubu Roi

    It is considered a wild, bizarre and comic play, significant for the way it overturns cultural rules, norms, and conventions. For those who were in the audience on that night to witness the response, including William Butler Yeats, it seemed an event of revolutionary importance. It is now seen by some to have opened the door for what became known as modernism in the twentieth century. It is a precursor to Dada, Surrealism and Theatre of the Absurd. It is the first of three stylised burlesques in which Jarry satirises power, greed, and their evil practices—in particular the propensity of the complacent bourgeoisie to abuse the authority engendered by success.

    Alfred Jarry
    Born 8 September 1873
    Laval, Mayenne, France
    Died 1 November 1907 (aged 34)
    Paris, France

    Alfred Jarry: A Pataphysical Life by Alastair Brotchie – review

    Both Burroughs and Ballard were inspired by him, he had a profound influence on the British authors associated with New Worlds magazine, and was admired by artists from Duchamp to Paolozzi as well as any number of playwrights, including Artaud, Beckett and Ionesco. His posthumous Exploits and Opinions of Dr Faustroll, Pataphysician has been cited several of today’s most innovative authors. This fine biography, written with loving honesty by Alastair Brotchie, is the best to date.

    The Fiction duo (J.G. Ballard and Alfred Jarry)

    Raymond Queneau, Jean Genet, Eugène Ionesco, Boris Vian were Pataphysics followers.

  • Jarry’s Bike (previous post)

    Alfred Jarry was played by an actress, Annette Robertson in Always on Sunday (a film by Ken Russell on Henri Rousseau’s bio pic)

  • John Cage, Silence, Time Lapse and Vexations

    September 5th, 2015
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  • Silence (repost) Time Lapse

  • Stones by John Cage
    John Cage (image source)


    goes in seaRch

    of sunlIght he comes across haydn

    bill anastasi is looKing at haydn through a lorgnetter

    Vexations - Satie and John Cage

    Blaise Cendrars, Kuniyoshi, V. Gassman – Overlooked Masters Who Were Born on Sept 1

    September 1st, 2015
  • ‘What a writer learns from Cendrars is to follow his nose, to obey life’s commands, to worship no other god but life.’ – Henry Miller

    Cendrars 1ablaise by Modigliani

    Blaise Cendrars : September 1, 1887

    Blaise Cendrars was born Frédéric Louis Sauser
    Cendrars… the name he chose was a mix of cendres, ashes, and ars, or art.

    “I am haunted by no phantoms. It is rather that the ashes I stir up contain the crystallization that hold the image (reduced or synthetic) of the living and impure beings that they constituted before the intervention of the fire. If life has a meaning, this image (from the beyond?) has perhaps some significance. That is what I should like to know. And it is why I write.”(BLAISE CENDRARS [the greatest poetic spirit of the 20th century] )

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    Yasuo Kuniyoshi 1 September 1893

    Yasuo Kuniyoshi A Modernist often overlooked gets a Smithsonian Retrospective (see many images here)

    Kuniyoshi portrait by Arnold Newman

  • Vittorio Gassman was Il Mattatore
    Al Pacino’s Scent of a woman was a remake.. Vittorio played first. His early film Mambo was a hit..he did some Hollywood films. . Vittorio seduced Audrey (War & Peace) and played opposite Elizabeth Taylor, married Shelley Winters.. had a daughter. Gassman played an Italian Patriarch in The Family.

    Vittorio Gassman recites Cesar Pavese - Death Will Come With Your Eyes

    Vittorio Gassman 1 September 1922

    Oliver Sacks, An Explorer, Who was Our Brain & Heart Moved On at 82

    August 30th, 2015
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    Oliver Sacks, doctor of ‘Awakenings’ and poet laureate of medicine, dies at 82

    New Yorker

    As both a physician and as a writer, Sacks’s two great themes were identity and adaptation.
    Oliver Sacks, the Doctor
    By Jerome Groopman

    Temple Grandin’s moving tribute to Oliver Sacks here. (How Oliver changed her life from Wired)

    I’m a visual thinker, and Oliver’s definitely not a visual thinker; he’s a word thinker. But when it came to describing my mind, that’s where he got me right. He was extremely good at getting inside the heads of people who had these different types of neurological disorders.

    Oliver Sacks blog

    See my Oliver Sack’s Archive.
    The Music Never Stopped

    Oliver Sack – On the move

  • “Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.” Oliver Sacks

    Nadja (Expat Girl) in Paris with Eric Rohmer & Nestor Almendros

    August 21st, 2015
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    Nadja Tesich, the star of Eric Rohmer’s 1964 short film Nadja à Paris, originally wrote this essay in the 1990s, but never published it. In the last three months before she died in February 2014, I helped Nadja revise the piece, recording her thoughts and our discussions. —Lucy McKeon

    Nadjia in Paris

    I was madly in love with Paris and he had received a small sum from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to make a film about foreign students in Paris. That’s it. Of course we liked talking with each other from the beginning, in spite of our differences—age, background, etc. He said we were very much alike, strange since he struck me as a bourgeois of sorts, while I considered myself doomed and displaced. In spite of his obvious intelligence, Eric didn’t have coherent political views. He never used words like exploitation or capitalism. I said yes to him because I was penniless and he offered me money—the same sum (either $200 or $400, I can’t remember) to all involved: cinematographer Néstor Almendros, the script girl and me. It meant I could pay for my dorm, eat for a few months, buy a pair of shoes. Greece will always be there, I decided.

  • (see part 2 from Nadia in Paris)

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    Nadjia and Eric Rohmer

  • I don’t know if Néstor was poorer than me or not. Probably the same. After Nadja à Paris his luck changed and he would go on to shoot many of Rohmer’s films, and eventually got an Oscar for Days of Heaven. Still, at that time, he was just a refugee Cuban who didn’t look Cuban but Spanish—tall, reserved, with a shyness that bordered on fear. He longed for a seersucker jacket, washable and weightless, I remember. I sent him one from my first salary. I knew nothing about him except that he had shot a documentary film in Cuba, his country that he hated. Néstor was gay, but this was not a problem for anyone except him. We accepted it, then forgot it, just like you accept that some prefer mountains to the sea.

    (Eric Rohmer with Nestor Almendros)

    R.I.P Eric Rohmer (previous post with videos and links)

    Nestor Almendros (A Man with a Camera – see previous post)

  • A Story – A Poem by Li-Young Lee

    August 19th, 2015
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  • Happy birthday Li-Young Lee

    He was born in Jakarta, Indonesia, to Chinese parents.
    Lee’s father, who was a personal physician to Mao Zedong while in China, relocated his family to Indonesia, where he helped found Gamaliel University. His father was exiled and spent 19 months in an Indonesian prison camp in Macau. In 1959 the Lee family fled the country to escape anti-Chinese sentiment and after a five-year trek through Hong Kong and Japan, they settled in the United States in 1964.

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    Hikari Oe (Kenzaburo Oe’s composer son who was born with autism)

    A Story – Poem by Li-Young Lee

    Sad is the man who is asked for a story
    and can’t come up with one.

    His five-year-old son waits in his lap.
    Not the same story, Baba. A new one.
    The man rubs his chin, scratches his ear.

    In a room full of books in a world
    of stories, he can recall
    not one, and soon, he thinks, the boy
    will give up on his father.

    Already the man lives far ahead, he sees
    the day this boy will go. Don’t go!
    Hear the alligator story! The angel story once more!
    You love the spider story. You laugh at the spider.
    Let me tell it!

    But the boy is packing his shirts,
    he is looking for his keys. Are you a god,
    the man screams, that I sit mute before you?
    Am I a god that I should never disappoint?

    But the boy is here. Please, Baba, a story?
    It is an emotional rather than logical equation,
    an earthly rather than heavenly one,
    which posits that a boy’s supplications
    and a father’s love add up to silence.
    Li-Young Lee