Archive for July, 2006

Performance Text – Alan Sondheim

Saturday, July 29th, 2006

West Virginia University performance text (excerpted) / July 27 2006

So one can move in ways that she cannot move, and remain in air outside of gravity. EVERY HUMAN BEING IS THE RESULT OF INTERMINABLE SADNESS. These
images can be taken apart just like Al Capone.

World War II was very beautiful… bombers going from England to
Germany… I imagine Iraq is very beautiful too…

In another minute this will look like a dance… a modern dance.. with
mysterious black figures and electronic music…

more dance and more dance… someting about Krishna here but I don’t want
to go there –

Read the whole thing here.

The sad text Alan Sondheim Performace text 2006

Cafe Muller

Thursday, July 27th, 2006

Pina Bausch

Happy Birthday Pina Bausch! The great woman we love.

More on Pina Bausch, here and my favorite dance photo here.

R.I.P Pina Bausch 1940 – 2009 (archive)

Jung, Huxley and Kubrick

Wednesday, July 26th, 2006

The birthday (July 26) of Carl Jung, Aldous Huxley and Stanley Kubrick.

A) Carl Jung


A conversation with Aldous Huxley.

– Intelligence & Good Will
– Discoursive Logic & Non-verbal Awareness
– Scientific language & Poetry
– Culture’s Benefits & Traps
– Breaking out of our culture

– Power politics / Arms race
– Destruction of the environment
– Corybantic dances / Dionysian orgies
– The Third World’s dilemma
– Large-scale educational experimentation
– Reptilian brain vs. Neocortex

Human potential
– New educational approaches
– Receptivity: “A wise passiveness”

C) Stanley Kubrick (by Weegee)
Stanley Kubrick by Weegee

Kubrick Jung and Arthur Schnitzler

The Son Also Rises – James Scott

Saturday, July 22nd, 2006

James Scott

Self portrait James Scott self- portrait

Mixed MediaJames Scott mixed media

James Scott lives in L.A. Carol Es is inspired by his work and enjoys his friendship, read more about this, here.
William Scott, an innovative and influential British painter was his father and he got mentioned once here at vitro-nasu because both Fung Ching Kelling (my sister) and I love his zen like paintings.
James Scott has inherited his father’s wit and gentleness.

James also made films in his mid- career.
Go and explore more about James at his homepage.

William Scott Org and his 60’s paintings here.

Reinaldo Arenas – Before Night Falls

Sunday, July 16th, 2006

Reinaldo Arenas Reinaldo Arenas was born on July 16, 1943.

A Sadness as Deep as Sea by Jaime Manrique

“Jaime, what a life I’ve had. Even before the revolution, it was bad enough the agony of being an intellectual queen in Cuba. What a sad an hypocritical world that was,” he paused. “Finally, I leave that hell, and come here full of hopes. And this turns out to be another hell; the worship of money is as bad as the worst in Cuba. All these years, I’ve felt Manhattan was just another island-jail. A bigger jail with more distractions but a jail nonetheless. It just goes to show that there are more than two hells. I left one kind of hell behind and fell into another kind. I never thought I would live to see us plunge again into the dark ages. This plague — AIDS — is but a symptom of the sickness of our age.”

Seres extravagantes

I am that child
with the round, dirty face
who on every corner bothers you with his
” Can you spare a quater?”

Look me in the eyes with contempt then sentence me, My Lover Sea.

The ocean….Blue….Not at first (the first sentence of his novel, Farewell to the Sea, a Novel of Cuba.)

  • 1abefore-night-falls

    Before Night Falls a beautiful film based on his memoire adapted and directed by Julian Schnabel.

    (Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed provided some of the soundtrack music – Official Trailer here)

    Saw this film for the 3rd or 4th times just a few days ago and thought that if anything Schnabel will be remembered more for this film if not for his neo-expressionist paintings of the early 80’s.

    Group Photo of Reinaldo with Nestor Almendros in Cuba.

    Reinaldo was a Cancer/Goat, a sensitive provider.

    Desperately Seeking Alice

    Tuesday, July 11th, 2006

    Two Books Alice James Biography and Play

    Susan Sontag wrote a play about Alice James, the invalid sister of William and Henry James. It would be implausible to assume that Sontag did not read a brilliant biography of Alice James by Jean Strouse. It was one of my favorite books, I have learned so much about the whole of James family.

    Here is the review of her play by Robert Scanlan.

    In 1980, Jean Strouse published an award-winning study of the short, pathetic, life of Alice James … Alice died of cancer in 1892, at the age of 43, and the enormous fame and accomplishment of her two eldest brothers — Henry (the novelist) and William (the psychologist/philosopher) — eventually brought attention to her terrible life of illness and , as W.H. Auden so unforgettably put it, her all-too human “unsuccess.” In the preface to Alice James, Jean Strouse introduced the subject of her complex and carefully researched biography as follows:
    “When I am gone,” Alice James wrote to her brother William as she was dying, “pray don’t think of me simply as a creature who might have been something else, had neurotic science been born.” Alice clearly foresaw that her famous psychologist brother — and perhaps others — would “interpret” her life, and she expressed a wish to forestall this indignity. Jean Strouse introduced the subject Sontag took up in her play: how did Alice collect the separated fragments of her shattered life into an identity, however dismal and disappointing it might appear to others.

    Imagine my surprise when I came across this article by Dana Heller accusing Sontag of hiding a truth that she was influenced by another novel “Alice in Bed” by Cathleen Schine bearing a same title as Sontag’s play.

    And then there is untruth. The untruth is that Susan Sontag once read a novel by Cathleen Schine and was so entertained by its subtle meditation on questions of female intellect and crippling illness that she borrowed its title for a play she’d been thinking about writing, a play about Alice James’ heroic struggle with cancer, all the while certain that nobody would ever make the connection or confront her with the possibility of influence. Until we met. And that, while plainly not the truth, may not be a lie.(Dana Heller)

    Now go back to Scanlan’s review of Sontag’s play.

    Thus the title, Alice in Bed (not to be confused with Cathleen Schine’s 1983 novel, which bears the same title), for the significant portion of Alice James’ life was spent in prostration, bedridden and waiting for death. (Robert Scanlan)

    Schine’s Alice is also an invalid with the last name of Brody, a modern woman who actually has an affair with a doctor, quite different from the neurotic, virginal spinster, Alice James. The only connection is the title. If Sontag had titled her play “Alice James in Wonderland” or something, she might have escaped the unfair and wrong headed posthumous accusation from this very ignorant academic who gives no indication she has ever heard of the 1980 Strouse biography of Alice James.

    Here is a review of “Alice In Bed” (Cathleen Schine)

    Found another Alice James, wife of William James, who happens to be lying in Bed. My desperate search for Alice James in bed has led me to the wrong Alice James. This Sargent portrait was made after the death of the sister Alice James. Researchers and academics must be very careful before jumping to erroneous and damaging conclusions.
    Watercolor portrait by John Singer Sargent.

    Alice James or Mrs William JamesAlice James, wife of William James by Sargent

  • Literature was her passport (Sontag’s homepage)

    Ritual in Transfigured Time – Maya Deren (II)

    Monday, July 10th, 2006

    In this film Deren weaves together her interest in dance with the exploration of myth and symbol. Dance becomes a metaphor for courtship and sexual union. (via)

    Key themes in this film are the dread of rejection and the contrasting freedom of expression in the abandonment to the ritual. (via)

    Another essay of the same film from Senses of cinema,
    Maya Deren, Dance, and Gestural Encounters in
    Ritual in Transfigured Time

    Some Metaphors For The Creative Process and All Souls are Invited by Maya Deren

    From Gerald Peary Essay

    She made four trips to Haiti between 1951 and 1952 and came home with endless footage of voodoo rites. What she had shot overwhelmed her: Divine Horsemen: the Living Gods of Haiti, a 54-minute sound film, was edited after her death by Cherel and Teiji Ito. The latter, 18 years younger, was a Japanese drummer whom Deren married in her New York days. When she died at 44, he scattered her ashes on the side of Mount Fuji.

    After her death, Deren allegedly appeared to poet James Merrill (1926-1995) and his partner David Jackson (1922-2001) during séances in which she spelled out ghostly messages through a Ouija board. Deren is a character in Merrill’s The Book of Ephraim (1976), the first book of the trilogy known as The Changing Light at Sandover (1982). James Merrill paid for the completion of several of Deren’s films. (via)

    Maya Deren – Part I

    Friday, July 7th, 2006

    Meshes of the Afternoon – 1943

    The film was shot in 1943 in Los Angeles by Deren’s then-husband, Alexander Hammid, a Hollywood cinematographer and filmmaker himself, and it launched Deren’s career as a staunch proponent of independent and experimental film in the New York indie scene.
    The 50 most important independent films

    The sound composed by her Japanese husband was added in 1953 (Via)

    Elinka at 4 years old Maya Deren

    Eleanor (Maya Deren) was around 14 years old when she wrote this poem after an encounter with Gandhi at his lecture in Geneva.


    Small in size
    Great in belief
    Poor in Clothing
    Rich in Will
    Withered in body
    Full with purpose
    Scarce in beauty
    Overflowing with wisdom
    That is Gandhi

    (From The Legend of Maya Deren, a documentary biography and collected works, page 86)

    Eleanora (Maya) Deren was born in Kiev, Russia and came to USA as a child.
    Studied in France and Geneva. B.A from NYU and Master’s from Smith College. She has been a reporter, a radio scriptwriter and a translater. Worked as a secretary to Katherine Dunham and her dance group.
    Her earlier interest was in folkdancing and cultural expressions of diverse nationalities and races. She wrote papers as a graduate student of anthropology.

    Potato Heart and Beyond the Pale

    Tuesday, July 4th, 2006

    Potato Heart by Fung-Lin Hall

    Two numbers from Beyond the Pale.
    Calusari Dance (video)
    Beyond the Pale live at Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto, Canada 2005, Eric Stein, Bret Higgins, Milos Popovic, Martin Van de Ven, Bogdan Djukic, Aleksandar Gajic


    Beyond the Pale‘s explosive acoustic sound is inspired by a wide range of crosscultural influences, from European folk styles (Balkan, Klezmer, Gypsy, Romanian) to contemporary and North American music (bluegrass, jazz, reggae, funk, and more). The Toronto-based ensemble are known for their instrumental virtuosity, infectious energy, and unique repertoire of original compositions and inventive arrangements of traditional material.

    For orchestrual work try the Viennese Vegetable Orchestra. Click to “listen” for sample music.
    (The site has been featured in my sidebar menu under fruits.)

    Fiesole Artichoke and a Tart

    Saturday, July 1st, 2006

    Purple Artichoke Fiesole Artichoke from Trader Joe.

    California grown and given a name (Fiesole) from a town just north of Florence.

    La maman et la putain (Mother and the Whore), a film by Jean Eustache.

    This film is based on the real-life relationship between director Jean Eustache and actress Francoise Lebrun (who plays Veronika)