Archive for January, 2005

In the Spirit of Derek Jarman

Monday, January 31st, 2005
  • Tilda and Derek Jarman
    Derek Jarman

    (31 January 1942 – 19 February 1994) was an English film director, stage designer, diarist, artist, gardener, and author.

    “Dear Derek, Jubilee is out on DVD. I found a copy in Inverness and watched it last night. It’s as cheeky a bit of inspired old-ham, punk-spunk nonsense as ever grew out of your brain, and that’s saying something; what a buzz it gives me to look at it now. And what a joke: there’s nothing one-eighth as mad, bad and downright spiritualised being made down here these days this side of Beat Takeshi.”

    Tilda Swinton
    Tilda Swinton’s eloquent speech on her mentor.

  • Derek Jarman jarman89
    Derek Jarman was born on Jan. 31 1942.

    Nick Clapson reflects on the work of England’s quintessential Renaissance man, Derek Jarman
    From a skipper who knew him, here.

    Gif animation Jarmananimation

    “Every great life is made greater by a great life, and Peake has given Derek Jarman the biography he deserves.’ (Simon Edge, Gay Times)

    See two videos from Wittgenstein here.

  • via

  • Christian Boltanski & Max Jacob – Deeply Thought and Felt

    Friday, January 28th, 2005

    The above image copied from here.

    Meet Christian Boltanski here at Tate magazine.

    See his important works at Marian Goodman Gallery (Enter, go to artist section and click his name).

    GYMNASIUM CHASES, a portfolio of photogravures by French artist Christian Boltanski, is based on a photograph of the 1931 graduating class of the Gymnasium Chases, a Jewish High School in Vienna. (via Crownpoint Press).

    Painting” Medrano 1909:acrobate et danseuse” by Max Jacob

    Acrobate Medrano 1909:acrobate et danseuse et Danseuse
    View Max Jacob’s paintings at Marie-Quimper (in French).

    “Deeply thought and felt” as subtitled from this old website gives tribute to
    Max’ life and samples of his writing. Read his “Festival” translated by William Kulik, here.
    A portrait of Max Jacob by Modigliani here.

    Here is our previous post on the one who escaped and survived.

    Lost Frog in the Thick of Blog Fog – Basho & Fernando Pessoa

    Wednesday, January 26th, 2005

    Basho Basho
    Basho is said to have become enlightened after hearing a frog jump into a garden pond (from googlism).
    Ponder this, the pond may not be the best place to find a competent translation of the Basho’s haiku.
    Check out these great minds struggling with the translation here.

    Alan Watts liked Plop and Ginsberg liked Kerplunk. Or notice how Edward Seidensticker and Donald Keene compete in their free association with the word “old”, as Seidensticker chose “quiet” and Keene chose “ancient”.

    Pessoa 1pessoa

    Or take a look at 16 ways to translate Fernando Pessoa’s poem Autopsychography here.
    At least it is not about a lost frog. (It is about a poet who fakes, lies, invents and pretends).
    <> <> <> Multiple Pessoa here

    Frog abducted Frog abducated by Aliens by Aliens

    Here is a website seriously looking for a frog, him name is Hopkins.

    More fun links are added on the sidebar menu under frog .

    Knots – R.D. Laing + Drawing by Louise Bourgeois

    Sunday, January 23rd, 2005

    Drawing by Drawing by Louise Bourgois Louise Bourgeois.

    Positive and Negative Binds

    Negative: Can’t win. Everything I do is wrong.
    Positive: Can’t lose. Everything I do is right.
    I do it, beacuse it is right.
    It is right, because I do it.

    They are playing a game. They are playing at not playing a
    game. If I show them I see they are, I
    shall breake the rules and they will punish me.
    I must play their game, of not seeing I see the game.

    Knots by R.D. Laing

    “The specifically human feature of human groupings can be exploited to turn them into the semblance of non-human systems. ….All those people who seek to control the behaviour of large numbers of other people work on the experiences of those other people. Once people can be induced to experience a situation in a similar way, they can be expected to behave in similar ways. Induce people all to want the same thing, hate the same things, feel the same threat, then their behaviour is already captive – you have acquired your consumers or your cannon-fodder.”
    From Politics of Experience, ch.4 1967
    More links here

    How I Won The War and The Straight Story – Expose’ On This Inauguration Day

    Thursday, January 20th, 2005

    There are an unusual concentration of great filmmakers born between January 18 and January 22. Yesterday was the birthday of this director who made “How I Won the War”,”Hard Day’s Night” and here he is interviewed by Steven Soderbough.

    There are two filmmakers who share a birthday today, Jan. 20. This one came out with a bang with “La Dolci Vita”. “The White Sheik” who loves circus, prostitutes, nuns and made “8 1/2”, but does he love the “The Clowns” who are in Washington today? More about him here and a great interview here.

    The other one who shares the birthday happens to love 8 1/2, find it here. More about his films, paintings, photographs here. The lit-zine The Modern Word took an exception and discussed Mullholland Drive, here.
    Here is The Straight Story, tell it like it is.

    “It’s a Sad and Beautiful World “, a web site dedicated to the innovative filmmaker who was born on Jan. 22 1953.

    Lastly, Audrey Hepburn who appeared in “Robin and Marian” by Richard Lester died on Jan. 20 1993.

    Takeshi Kitano

    Tuesday, January 18th, 2005

    Takeshi Kitano/Zatoichi
    Happy Birthday!
    Takeshi Kitano was born on January 18, 1947.

    Kitano received the best actor award playing a Korean father in an acclaimed family drama Blood and Bones directed by Korean Yoichi Sai.
    Yoichi Sai said in Time Asia that he waited six years for Kitano to become available to play the lead role. He refused to shoot the film with anyone else. Midnight Eye recent interview, here.
    Here is his misadventure in the curry shop business.

    The spectacular tap dancing, from zatoichi was the only thing that lifted me out of the deep funk we all sank in after our electoral fiasco. Recently I caught a TV intro for the figure skating championship that tries to copy the tap dance but it looked lame and lifeless by comparison. On tap dancing, Kitano says, ” I discovered the type of tap dancing Gregory Hines performed without music, I thought it was amazing. A few years ago, I became acquainted with the Japanese tap dancing team called “The Stripes.” I saw their show and was completely fascinated by their dancing. I was awestruck as to how different their style was from the traditional style in which I was trained. That’s how I came to use The Stripes in Zatoichi. ” (From Kungfu cinema article.)

    Here is Beach by Lars Iyer his review on Sanatine.

    Who Is Afraid (Of Old Media Art)?- Les Levine From Dublin To New York

    Saturday, January 15th, 2005

    Hal & Masayo
    “We are not afraid” from here.
    (This post ia a gift from Vitro Nasu for Hal and Masayo who are old friends . Hal and Masayo posed for this photo by Les Levine. )

    Alongside such figures as Nam June Paik, Les Levine is regarded as a pioneer of video and media art. Levine exploits the language of advertising to reveal the state of art and culture. (Via
    To get some historical perspective on Levine’s place in
    media art, click the circle for 1960 in video at “influence org” ,
    Here is an interview by David Gigliotti (1999).
    From Ro Gallery, here.
    From Philipp March Contemporary, here.

    Joan Mitchell – Barney Rossett, Early Years – New York – Paris

    Friday, January 14th, 2005

    Joan Mitchell Painting
    While researching Joan Mitchell’s early years and her friendship with Samuel Beckett,

    I came upon this beguiling website.
    Found out how Barney Rosset took over Grove Press in 1951 and went on to publish such writers as Samuel Beckett, Henry Miller, William S.Burroughs, and Marguerite Duras, and time after time created landmark cases against censorship in the United States for the right to print these important works.
    More about Barney and his coverage of war torn China here. He explains how he got into publishing; “That happened through my first wife, Joan Mitchell, later a very famous artist. Joan’s mother was at one time the editor of Poetry magazine and a poet herself. Joan was a very astute person, with a very good taste for writing, just as good as it was for painting. She was the one who really directly got me into Grove. ”
    On publishing Chatterlay’s Lover, Barney said,
    “To me, the direct line of descent was – you know, like a lineup in baseball – Lawrence to Miller to Burroughs.

    You can read about his lunch with Henry Miller and Samuel Beckett,
    or on Beckett’s Film and the Beats.
    “I was leaning something today about Beckett’s Film. Within that film, and within Beckett, things go from the state of “I Am” to the state of “I Am Not”. In other words, to die. Film is about a person looking who doesn’t want to be seen,but if he’s not seen he doesn’t exist.The struggle not to be seen is to die,and is to face death. ”

    Barney observed Kerouac and Jackson Pollack were similar in a way that they were unhappy and tortured. About the Beats, he said, “Burroughs was the pope, Allen was the heart, and Kerouac was the soul. Allen was the father who loved everybody and could hold them together.” (from

    Boys & Gals, a review of Mitchell’s work by John Haber. Here is an entry from a blog on Joan Mitchell.

    Frank & Joan
    A Look at Their Friendship

    William James – Varieties of Riligious Experiences + Brad Pitt Epilogue

    Tuesday, January 11th, 2005

    William James, known as an original thinker, was born on Jan. 11, 1842. (Sun, moon, venus, mercury, saturn, jupitar, mars all in capricorn – a sign known for prudence, discipline, ambition, perception, careful & practical).
    “Cognizant that the traditional theologies of his day were crumbling under the assault of scientific materialism, he recognized that the search for meaning would necessarily and stubbornly persist. Both scientific and humanistic in his methodology, he avoided reductionism. It was the mystery of the thing that interested William James, the long documentary record, and he chose to treat his subject with ultimate respect as well as honest eyes, aware of both its lunatic shadows and its luminous core. Assuming the stance of neither believer nor skeptic, he chose simply to bear honest witness to the patterns he saw. ” More here, and here.

    James on War, here.
    About his family here.
    Quotations by William James, here.
    Gertrude Stein was his favorite student, here is the famous story .
    Variety of different kind as a short movie here, free from Jen, Brad Pitt reciting Andre Bretons poem.

    Simone de Beauvoir – Paris with Sartre, Chicago with Nelson Algren

    Sunday, January 9th, 2005

    Simone de Beauvoir Beauvoir
    Simone’s birthday today – (Capricorn with moon in Pisces ), photo above by Cartier-Bresson in front of her home.
    Before Germaine Greer there was Simone de Beauvoir. Her book
    “The Second Sex” caused a sensation, later some feminists found her wanting because her slavish devotion to Sartre betrayed her Feminism.

  • ‘Our relationship was the greatest achievement of my life’

    But did Simone de Beauvoir’s scandalous open ‘marriage’ to Sartre make her happy, asks Lisa Appignanesi

  • Stand By Your Man: The strange liaison of Sartre and Beauvoir by Louis Menand (New Yorker)

    Chicago Man Nelson Algren

    It was Nelson Algren who brought Simone to life .

    Frog and Crocodile

    Until his death in 1981, Algren was recalling the affair bitterly, although upon de Beauvoir’s death in 1986, she was buried wearing a silver ring that Algren had given her nearly forty years before.

    18 may 47
    “My precious beloved chicago man, I think of you in Paris, In paris I miss you.

    Fri 21 nov 47
    …I really care much for writing since I am a child, I gave my life to it, but you never know what you do, and sometimes I am afraid I shall never really do what I want to. Then I try to do something with Sartre in intellectual french life, with the hope it has real human meaning– and i have not much hope. Sometimes you can work without hope, but when you are weak it becomes difficult. Then I stay far away from the man I love, from the happiness he gives to me:…”

    Who can blame Algren for later denouncing her and call her Madame Yakity Yak. Simone’s shabby treatment of Nelson Algren was well documented in their respective biographies.

    Here are a few Madame de Beauvoir related trivia:

    Simone Weil finished first in the entrance examination for the École Normale Supérieure; Simone de Beauvoir finished second.

    Claude Chabrol’s film based on Simone de Beauvoir’s novel “The Blood of Others”, starring Jodie Foster did not get distributed in USA.

    Take Heart and hooray for Nelson Algren readers, Jan 1 2005 ,came this article by Studs Terkel who salutes a seriously witty man.
    More here from Kurt Vonnegut.

    Jan 8 – Mixed Recordings (Bowie, NY Subway Photo Ban)

    Saturday, January 8th, 2005

    David Bowie’s birthday is today which he shares with Elvis. (Bowie is a Capricorn with
    moon in Leo shown here , same as, possibly, Susan Sontag and Mao Tse Tung ).
    He starred in two interesting films, The Man Who Fell To Earth by Nicolas Roeg and
    Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence by Nagisa Oshima.
    Oshima’s film about prison camp helped launch Takeshi Kitano’s
    international career in film business.

    Hashigo Hashigo

    The above photo was taken at Carlsbad Cavern, New Mexico, near my Bed and Breakfast inn. Meanwhile this news is circulating about a NY Subway photo.

    Sontag, Simone Weil and Tsunami

    Wednesday, January 5th, 2005

    “Sontag and Tsunami” by Rebecca Solnit from Commondreams,
    “Sontag has achieved the immortality of people whose work reaches far beyond them in time and space, not one that means death does not matter, only that part of her is still here for us — a truth born out immediately by the way her comments on photography and representation allow us to continue navigating the news and examine the terms in which it is delivered to us.”

    A beautiful and moving article by Sontag on Simone Weil Simone Weil , here.

    Powerful Lives, an article written by Hugh Dillon focused on
    Weil and Orweil.
    Simone Weil 1weil
    More on Simone Weil, here

    More Susan Sontag from Vitro Nasu.