Archive for February, 2006

Face to Face

Monday, February 27th, 2006

Face to Face

Following Ron Silliman’s post on Kennth Goldsmith and stumbled upon this funny performance – Kenneth Goldsmith sings Ludig Wittgenstein.

Costumes, Ice and Sand

Friday, February 17th, 2006

Today is Isabelle’s birthday my all time favorite cross-dresser.

Isabelle Eberhardt Isabelle Eberhardt (Feb. 17, 1877 – October 21, 1904) was an explorer who lived and traveled extensively in North Africa.

Isabelle did not have to fake to be a princess, (unlike Johnny Weir) she was a real Russian Princess, who was imprisoned at one time suspected of spying. She died in a flash flood. Her life was a mess.
Isabelle Eberhardt was a true eccentric, flamboyant, courageous and totally unconventional.

More images of Isabelle, here.

Johnny Oscar Wilde Warhol Weir Johnny Weir

“Weir is a charming, funny kid from rural Pennsylvania. He isn’t afraid to say anything – even to call himself “princessy” or to describe a competitor’s short program as “a vodka-shot-let’s-snort-coke kind of thing.” His favorite book is “The Devil Wears Prada” though his favorite author is Leo Tolstoy. He’s a fashionista and a Russophile. He’s learned to speak Russian and wears a vintage CCCP Sweater. He went shopping on Via Roma and considered buying a mink-lined umbrella. He calls his family ‘country bumpkins’.” (read more here.)

Now lets focus on the champion males from very recent competitions. Rufus and Plushenko won the best in show and the bad news for other competitors is that Plushenko will continue his amateur career. The Russian federation will not allow Plushenko to retire, they have no successors. The good news is his body may not hold up to the next Olympics – his specialty is executing those incredible jumps and he has been plagued with injuries in the past.

Jeffrey Buttle Jeffrey Buttle (thanks to David Wilson – the choreopgrapher)

Here are my picks of the best from the Men’s figure skating competition last night.

1 Jeffery Buttle’s brilliant transitional movements
(Buttle did not channel Glenn Gould last night choosing instead his more reliable old number.)
2 Happy to see Lysaceck coming back from his disasterous short
3 Matt Savoie

“Matthew Savoie delivered another beautiful program. His presentation may be understated and quiet, but it stirs the emotions of the audience. Savoie reminds me of the legendary John Curry. His skating is pure, effortless and moving. He can be proud of his Olympic experience.” (Zimmerman from yahoo) More photo and praise for Matt here.

Matt Savoie Matt Savoie

Matt Savoie should play abbe of the diary of the country priest or Lancelot du Lac– he is the ideal skater to tackle Robert Bresson. The law school can wait, he should entertain us – see the clip of “The Mission” from US National 2006″.

See The placement here. Both Savoie and Takahashi should be on top of Joubert.

But the judging system seems to be fixed – they still manage to cheat. The order of finish, second through forth is exactly the same as last year’s world men’s championship except that Plushenko is back from injury to take the gold and move the others down a position. The new system is so complicated that nobody can figure it out – very clever.

Dale from Scribble writes about Olympics.

The Best of Youth in Olympics Torino 2006

Saturday, February 11th, 2006

Before the Olympics, before Fiat, Turin’s claim to fame was (it’s true) film.
“Turin for a long time was a city of immigrants, when people from all over Italy arrived to work for Fiat,” Ponti said. “In the last several years, Turin has really been challenged. It’s not anymore a factory-oriented city, so we had to develop something else. There was a huge crisis of unemployment, so the goal of the filmmakers has been to tell about this change”
(Read more from sfgate)

The “Best of Youth” (“La Meglio Gioventu”) is a six-hour epic now out on DVD that looks at contemporary Italy through a family’s personal story, starting in the late 1960s, focusing on labor turmoil, the violent Red Brigades and a psychiatrist’s life in Turin.
(Hope to see this film soon.)

Photo sample A

Photo sample B
Another fun image from the opening ceremony shown below.
The best of young ninja climbing up and down and eventually forming themselves into the dove image of peace.

Olympic Ninja

Michelle Kwan not so youthful and heavily endorsed has been providing faux news for the Corporate media. No longer a role model for sportsmanship she now faces the reality of competition too late for a graceful exit.
As of now we now await for her decision to withdraw.

Yagoogle Olympia 2006 – Torino Italy
Olympics 06
(Images from Yahoo database and google logo montaged).

Russia’s Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marin lead in the figure skating after a dazzling short program, from this page and find the picture 13 . They were brilliant, almost perfect.
Inoue and Baldwin landed first throw triple axel in Olympic history – more here.

Professional Identity Crisis – Carrie Y. Costello

Wednesday, February 8th, 2006

(Click babicka to see the translation – sound as babichika )
Smiling BabickaBabicka has an announcement:

Carrie Yang Costello is interviewed by Scott McLemee.
“How people rehearse that character is the topic of Carrie Young Costello’s Professional Identity Crisis…”
“Costello finds that there is an undeclared yet unmistakable WASP accent to the professional roles that students are training to acquire. Along with technical expertise, they have to assimilate the necessary demeanor and attitude. For students of some backgrounds, that presents no real difficulties — so they can, as Costello puts it, “focus on the intellectual tasks of professional school with little distraction.” But for those with “a mismatch between the personal identities they possess upon entering their professional programs and the professional roles those schools proffer,” there can be a jarring dissonance. “Seeking to find a way to manage or resolve their identity dissonance distracts students from focusing on their studies,” writes Costello.”(from Feministe Law Professors blog)
Carrie will have a book signing tomorrow 7 p.m. at Schwartz’s Bookshop 2559 N. Downer Ave, Milwaukee.

The Book Carrie Y. Costello Professional Identity Crisis

The Sample chapters and revealing photos here

Carrie is not scheduled to appear on Oprah yet and I can assure you that everything she writes is based on fact.
More facts about Carrie, her daughter and myself check Nina’s Miso soup blog – (Voir La Famille de Ninnette).
Nina wrote, “C’est ma mère. Elle est un professeur. Elle n’est pas timide” – This is my mother. She is a professor. She is not shy.

Subtitles – Fear and Trembling

Monday, February 6th, 2006

Memoires of a Geisha is banned in China.
Illegal copies of the film are already available in China, one of the main sources of imported pirate film DVDs in the UK. (BBC)

Banned Cacti Geisha
Cuctus ban geisha (See previous post on my obssession with these cacti. You can change them into cacti gay cowboys, if you prefer Ang Lee’s film. Brokeback Mountain is banned also in China).

The producer and director (Spieldberg and Marshall) had missed the golden opportunity to create something fresh with Chinese actresses. They have to play themselves and this should be a mock documentary about why they have to play Japanese Geisha and it is about the Hollywood hubris. (Why insult two asian economic powers Japan and China?) Think “Topsy Turvey” by Mike Leigh or “Singing in the Rain” a musical which is also a spoof about the entertainment world.
Tristram Shandy follows that strategy of adapting the unfilmable.

When Steven Spieldberg had dinner with Kurosawa, Steven was delighted that they talked for 10 hours straight and it was all about film tricks and techniques. (via) Did Steven think Kurosawa wanted to talk about Shakespeare, Van Gogh or Gogol with him?
Or when Rob Marshall said that Anthony Quinn had played Zorba the Greek in order to defend his position in hiring Chinese mega stars instead of Japanese, well sorry Rob, you are not Michael Cacoyannis.
(Decades ago in Seattle I saw Iphigenia and the tear duct got loose and shed tears of Olympian proportion from beginning to end. It could be the result of depression from living under wet weather all year round.)

Finished watching all ten films of “Decalog” by Krzysztof Kieslowski and thanks to the local library where we got this film. We were able to watch each segment of TV drama one day at a time.

Here is a partial list of foreign films we rented from our library in the past many months. (There were so many that is hard to remember all. The list will get updated later) They were all excellent.

Christ Stopped at Eboli” by Francesco Rosi

“Au Hasard Balthazar” by Robert Bresson

“Good Morning” by Ozu Yasujiro.

Shame‘ by Ingmar Bergman

“The film isn’t about enormous brutality, but only meanness. It is exactly like what has happened to the Czechs. They defended their rights, and now, slowly, they are being submitted to a tactic of brutalization that wears them down. Shame is not about the bombs; it is about the gradual infiltration of fear…but Shame is not precise enough. My original idea was to show only a single day before the war had broken out. But then I wrote things, and it all went wrong—I don’t know why. I haven’t seen Shame recently, and I’m a little afraid to do so. When you make such a picture, you have to be very hard on yourself. It’s a moral question.”
— Ingmar Bergman, interview with Charles Thomas Samuels, 1971

Two Sylvie Testud films – “Fear and Trembling” and “Murderous Maids”

Time Out by Laurent Cantet

Both “Fear and Trembling” and “Time Out’ deal with alienation and hellish nightmare that engulfs the workers in the corporate culture.

Three Lives – Gertrude Stein, Simone Weil & Alan Sondheim

Friday, February 3rd, 2006

Alan Sondheim Alan Sondheim (via)

Some eccentric and interesting people were born on February 3, the ones that interest me all happened to be Jewish.

Have you read Three Lives by Gertrude Stein? Gertrude Stein

You can sample or read the entire novel here. The Review is here.

Judy Grahn lists the following principles behind Stein’s work:
1 Commonality
2 Essence
3 Value
4 Grounding the Continuous present
5 Play
6 Transformation
(via wikipedia)

Simone Weil Simone Weil

“By the power of words we always mean their power of illusion and error….(skip) God and truth are such words: also justice, love and good. It is dangerous to use words of this kind. They are like ordeal. To use them legitimately one must avoid referring them to anything humanly conceivable and at the same time one must associate with them ideas and actions which are derived solely and directly from the light which they shed. Otherwise, everyone quickly recognizes them for lies.” Further along S. Weil wrote,
“There is no guarantee for democracy, or for the protection of the person agaisnt the collectivity, without a disposition of public life relating it to the higher good which is impersonal and unrelated to any political form. (Page 337 , The Simone Weil Reader, edited by George A. Panichas)

“Weil’s is the most comical life I have ever read about, and the most truly tragic and terrible.” – Flannery O’Connor, letter, 1955

“Simone WeilŠ made up her own revolution out of her vitals, like a spider or silkworm.” – Kenneth Rexroth, “Simone Weil,” 1957″

How shall we understand? (Anorexia of Simone Weil)
“To desire and to renounce at once—that is the mode of the anorexic. A refusal to “eat” (seek to possess, control) that for which one hungers is a way of honoring that which is eternally beautiful in the world: “We want to eat all the other objects of desire. The beautiful is that which we desire without wishing to eat it. We desire that it should be.” (Read more here.)

Simone Weil: A saint for our time? by Jillian Becker

Last year vitro-nasu celebrated Stein and Sondheim’s birthday and forgot about Simone, this year Sondheim must follow our patron saint Simone Weil.

Alan Rocks.
David Salle told me his style wasn’t my style or was my style not his style. I’m desperate for fame, I’m a star fucker. I watched Vito Acconci and Laurie Anderson swell into greatness and I used to call them Vito and Laurie and I thought I was in love with Laurie when I was running around with Vito’s ex-wife.” Read the whole thing and make sure to scroll down to see the funny lego animation.

Just read this good interview on Alan Sondheim and this.