Archive for May, 2005

RIP Oscar Brown Jr.

Tuesday, May 31st, 2005

Oscar Brown Jr
The above image is from here.
Bye Bye Brown Baby. Oscar is no more, but he was cool. (Read here, here)
Listen to his music here.

“The squares are running it. What we need are hip people.”
— Oscar Brown, Jr. (via)

Miranda July at the End Of May + Tavernier, Jane Birkin & Merchant

Sunday, May 29th, 2005

Bravo to Miranda July, go here and read her Code Bravo, a strange and magical trip back to Cannes from Seattle. Look forward to seeing her film “Me and You and Everyone We Know”

(Miranda’s film title reminds me of another critically acclaimed film that I have yet to see, “Nobody Knows” by Kore-eda. )

Saw “Safe Conduct” by Bertrand Tavernier.
The film is almost 3 hours long. The first half was a bit frantic and confusing but the last half the film began to take shape and delivers.
Filmmaking under Nazi rule during the occupation in France is the theme and the central character played by an actor who was a real biker made this cycling resistence movie memorable. The film deals with a controversial and difficult subject.
On Tavernier from Senses of Cinema, here. “Unlike most of his contemporaries, Tavernier is very concerned with the morality of representing certain acts or images. A camera does not give you a “safe conduct”, it demands responsibility. A filmmaker, in his view, can never be vigilant enough.”

Young Julie Delpy was in Tavernier’s darkest film “Beatrice” and
Sabine Azema had her greatest role in “Sunday in the Country”, the film I am most fond of out of many Tavernier’s films.

A must read interview of Tavernier here.
(He talks about Melville, Kazan, working with Dirk Bogarde and Dexter Gordon)

More on Dirk Bogarde and Jane Birkin from Tavernier, here.

Jane Birkin
Painting by Julian Schnabel, 1990. (Very Vogue magazine like, bittersweet and nostalgic.)

Just a few days ago, I saw a documentary film on Jane Birkin
(Jane Birkin costarred with Dirk Bogarde in Daddy Nostalgia directed by Bertrand Tavernier.)
This Jane is so tatally opposite of Jane Fonda, personality wise, even though they both were sex symbols shaped by powerful French men, and now both politically active. Jane Birkin is comfortable being herself and she seems more of an artist. Jane Birkin is cool and Fonda is hot and troubled. Fonda tries too hard and seems clueless a lot of the time, and yet she transforms her pain into a weapon and charges ahead.

A touch of strange fantasy from here.
“The Touch of Terrorism or if only Orson Welles could have made a movie of The Patty Hearst Story. John Patterson pitches a Citizen Kane sequel ”

Ismail Merchant has passed away. “Mystic Masseur” a very good film adaptation of V.S. Naipal, was much better than “Le Divorce” The film takes place in Trinida and great Om Poori has a part in a film.

Necktie Skirt

Tuesday, May 24th, 2005

“What I hide by my language, my body utters,” wrote Roland Barthes in “A Lover’s Discourse.” LeDray’s suits of clothes are bodies, really, unable to conceal the meaning of their lives. “Becoming Mr. Man” from 1992 tells the tale of desperate intellectual, pockets stuffed with poems and lapels unfashionably wide, the bulk of its frustrated desires battering the fabric. (from here)

Charles LeDray
Necktie Skirt by Charles LeDray

Laura Bush got harrassed in Jerusalem, and Hollywood Oscar winning stars Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman were crude and rude as presenters at the Cannes Film Festival. Karina Longworth agreed with me. “They do a really annoying comedy bit about how they just both won Oscars … ugh. Ugly Americans. ” ( from cinematical).

Something more depressing from Nytimes On this day May 23.

On May 23, 1934, bank robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were shot to death in a police ambush as they were driving a stolen Ford Deluxe along a road in Bienville Parish, La.
It continues…

1430 Joan of Arc was captured by the Burgundians, who sold her to the English.
1533 The marriage of England’s King Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon was declared null and void.
1701 Captain William Kidd was hanged in London after being convicted of piracy and murder.
1915 Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary in World War I.
1937 Industrialist John D. Rockefeller died in Ormond Beach, Fla.
1945 Nazi official Heinrich Himmler committed suicide while imprisoned in Luneburg, Germany.
1960 Israel announced it had captured former Nazi official Adolf Eichmann in Argentina.
1992 The United States and four former Soviet republics signed an agreement in Lisbon, Portugal, to implement the START missile reduction treaty that had been agreed to by the Soviet Union prior to its dissolution.
1997 Iranians elected a moderate president, Mohammad Khatami, over hard-liners in the ruling Muslim clergy.
2002 Golfer Sam Snead died at age 89.
2003 Congress sent President George W. Bush a $330 billion package of tax cuts – the third of his presidency.

We don’t have to worry about May 23 till another year, thank god.

Photo of dried Saguaro (cacti) flowers framed by found garage sale
photo frame.

We bike to Garage sales on Saturday, rarely we find things we like but occasionally we find some treasures. I will share my garage sale collection with the world bit by bit.
Garage sale or garbage sale? (From artblog)

Elsewhere, we are celebrating the birth of a new group blog “Long Sunday”. Cannes film festival rediscovered Woody Allen and so did this blog. (The necktie skirt is short and our Sunday long, that is the way we like it).

Another wonderful tribute to Claire Denis from Darren Hughes.
“Beau Travail is a perfect film, and one of the many reasons it is perfect is Claire Denis’s uncanny knack for discovering moments of transcendence with music.” (From Long Pauses)

Taurus Thinkers – Stripes and Parallels + Daniel Buren

Friday, May 20th, 2005

May 19 was a birthday of Malcom X and Ho Chi Minh and the fact of their birthday did not seem to capture the interest at blogsphere this year. Interesting to know that two of revolutinary father figures shared a birthday. There are a few more examples of birthday twins.

Soren Kierkegaard
5/5 1813
Karl Marx
5/5 1818

70 Jules Massenet
5/12/1842 – 8/13/1912
French composer; best remembered for his operas

79 Gabriel Faure
5/12/1845 – 11/4/1924
French composer

69 Albert Finney
69 Glenda Jackson

Or take a look at this list,
Socrates, Marcus Aurelius, Wittgenstein, Godel, Herbert Spencer, Poincare, Machiavelli, Kant, Thomas Huxley, Kierkegaard, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, David Hume, Ortega Y Gasset, Karl Barth, Bertrand Russell,Rudolph Carnap, Fichte, John Stewart Mill – and if you include the creative minds – Shakespeare and Orson Wells.

They were all Taurus – no bullshit.
Thinkers and revolutionaries are stubborn, persistent, retentive, steadfast, sedantary, habitual, earthy and practical. There are non-materialistic Taurus who manage to change the world, not all
Taurus are greedy as the list above indicate.

It turns out you don’t have to be Taurus to be a good bullshit artist,
here is Daniel Buren.
Read, Daniel Buren: you can run but you can’t hide from the man

Daniel Buren from Happy Famous Artist Blog.

From Daydreamer “one of the Buren’s works’ marvelous points is including nature effect, here.

Abu-Green Rabbit Controversy

Wednesday, May 11th, 2005

Lars Iyer has a terrific piece on Michel Houellebecq.
Read his “Elementary Particles” years ago. Have not read his Thai tourism book. He is controversial, it takes courage to talk about him.

“It is in our relations with other people,” he (Michel) remarks, “that we gain a sense of ourselves; it’s that, pretty much, that makes relations with other people unbearable.” Further: “Giving up on life . . . is the easiest thing a person can do”; and “Anything can happen in life, especially nothing.”

Green rabbit

Abu-Green Rabbit Play (Can you see the rabbit?)
Tampered Digital image derived from photo taken while waiting for a dim sum table. (The Chinese restaurant has a system of seating you in a hall with varying size tables – great flurry of activities)

Itami Juzo‘s essays are published in Japanese recently.
(from here in Japanese)
He was a great essayist, witty, astute, observant and offering refreshing views on childcare, country house, food and his travels.
(He directed Tampopo, Taxing Woman among others)

I never believe that he committed suicide.

Here is someone talking about Iris Chang and Itami’s reported suicide. (another old article, and here a poem by Alan Sondheim, For Iris Chang).

An old webpage on Itami,
“A late bloomer who began directing at age 50, he makes movies in which the protagonist probes Japanese assumptions and practices”
Stylistically, Itami was influenced by Luis Buniel.

As an actor Itami played a husband in a film “Sasame Yuki” directed by Kon Ichikawa. (Sasame Yuki or Makioka Sisters is a brilliant adaptation of Junichiro Tanizaki). He was in “Family Game”, “55 days of Peking” and “Lord Jim” as he became a drinking pal to Peter O’Tool.

Orson Welles – The Life of Orson Welles

Friday, May 6th, 2005
  • Orson Welles 1orsonwells
    Today was Orson Welles birthday. Orson was discovered to be a genius when he was 18 months old. America had two great originals, Orson Wells and Marlon Brando, both became copious, funny, strange and tragic.
    Welles “Lobbied to get the part of Don Vito Corrleone in The Godfather (1972). Francis Ford Coppola, a fan of his, had to turn him down because he already had Marlon Brando in mind for the role and felt Welles wouldn’t be right for it. ” (from Yahoo imdb trivia).


    The Life of Orson Welles.

    Filmjourney> reviews “F for Fake”. “But the film could also have been called “F for Fame,” as one of the film’s preoccupations is the way notoriety and personality can overwhelm art, imposing notions of “authenticity” and “fakery,” “expertise” and “value,” in ways that are less certain than one might assume.”

    Looks like Welles, feels like Welles., from filmbrain.

    Some trivia; in Casino Royale Peter Sellers refused to act with Orson Wells., their scenes had to be shot separately. Orson was not impressed with Sellers, whom he found pretentious. (from his biography by Barbara Leaming”.)

    H.G. Wells was driving through San Antonio, Texas and stopped to ask the way. The person he happened to ask was none other than Orson Welles who had recently broadcast “The War of the Worlds” on the radio. They got on well and spent the day together. (From Yahoo. imbd).

  • 1abOrsonTrial
    Kafka’s “The Trial” featured legendary actors, Anthony Perkins, Romy Schneider and Jeanne Moreau, read the review, here, .

    The scene of K’s office was filmed in the Paris train station, Gare d’Orsay, shortly after it was closed and before it became an art museum.

    (Dean Stockwell, Bradford D. and Orson Welles in Compulsion)

    Jean Vigo + Satyajit Ray+ Mixed Alphabet Soup

    Monday, May 2nd, 2005

    Love on the Water
    “It’s a modest, everyday story without any big themes or grand spectacle. So what makes Jean Vigo’s film L’Atalante unforgettable?
    “To this day, there is a Prix Jean Vigo in France for exceptional talent and resolve in the very young, and it derives from an urge in Vigo to make his films quickly, before he might be dead. ”

    Jean Vigo shared a birthday with Shakespeare and Wittgenstein.
    Happy 100 years from a blogger on Vigo
    A clip from L’atalante animated.

    Digital photo – Bark & Bark Form W.

    Satyajit Ray‘s birthday today. The Apu Trilogy beautiful, moving masterpieces and must see if you have not.
    “Like Renoir and DeSica, Ray sees that life itself is good no matter how bad it is. It is difficult to discuss art which is an affirmation of life, without fear of becoming maudlin. But is there any other kind of art, on screen or elsewhere? “In cinema,” Ray says, “we must select everything for the camera according to the richness of its power to reveal. (Pauline Kael).

    Located a poem by Howard Nemerov that I was looking for.
    (see Diane Arbus)

    To D–––, Dead by Her own Hand

    My dear, I wonder if before the end
    You ever though about a children’s game –
    I’m sure you must have played it too – in which
    You run along a narrow garden wall
    Pretending it to be a mountain ledge
    So steep a snowy darkness fell away
    On either side to deeps invisible;
    And when you felt your balance being lost
    You jumped because you feared to fall, and thought
    For only an instant: That was when I died.

    That was a life ago. And now you’ve gone,
    Who would no longer play the grown-ups’ game
    Where, balanced on the ledge above the dark,
    You go on running and you don’t look down,
    Nor ever jump because you fear to fall.

    –Howard Nemerov-
    (from Modern Kicks)