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UK Funny Guys

November 30th, 2006

We had a brief encounter with three moutain bikers from the UK.

Three moutainbikers from the U.K

One more youtube “Nice to meet you.”

We are in a mood for UK humor and fun.

“We want the finest wines available to humanity, we want them here, and we want them now!”

From youtube, a clip from Witnail and I

Witnail’s final monologue in the rain

Click to see The Ten Commandments from Gilbert and George. (Ubuweb movie)
1 Thou shalt fight conformism
2 Thou shalt be the messenger of freedoms
3 Thou shalt make use of sex
4 Thou shalt reinvent life
5 Thou shalt create artificial art
6 Thou shalt have a sense of purpose
7 Thou shalt not know exactly what thou dost, but thou shalt do it
8 Thou shalt give thy love
9 Thou shalt grab the soul
10Thou shalt give something back

Something about Art and Cities (or google Gilbert and George)

David Shrigley selections
Black Snowman******Life and death******Ignore this building

Mountain bikers

The Original Pundits

November 26th, 2006

Spying for the Raj, Jules Stewart 2006.

Pundit

The northern boundary of South Asia is and has always been protected by a formidable barrier of mountains and ferocious tribes. This is the story of attempts by the British, primarily in the 19th Century, to learn more about the geography and trade possibilities of this fascinating region.

Knowing that white travelers could never survive in this region, the British Survey Office, located in Dehra Dun recruited and trained native spies in fine arts like learning to walk with a measured stride and counting their steps on prayer beads (modified from the normal 108 beads to 100) for measuring trekking distances; mercury thermometers and barometers for determining altitude, and sextants for measuring location.

These early 007’s were primarily gatherers of information for mapmakers, though each received a secret code name like NA, RN, PA, GK, GM, GNM, etc. They were given the honorary designation of Pundit, meaning scholarly or wise and were the model for Rudyard Kipling’s Kim.

The spies were often native and spoke the languages and were intimate with the cultures of their target territories. To avoid official discovery, they disguised themselves as religious pilgrims or occasionally native doctors. Some were lamas so the religious disguises were authentic.

We follow amazing journeys through Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Kashmir, Afghanistan, Tibet, and even China.

The most effective spies were Pundit Nain Singh, Pundit Kishen Singh, Pundit Sarat Chandra Das, and the illiterate Pundit Kintup

RIP Anita O’Day

November 25th, 2006

Adieu Anita O’Day (1919 – 2006)

-Who’s The Hippest Chick In Town? Anita.
(Allaboutjazz.com)
Anita took it just a little further. Instead of just being sexy, it was sexy/funny. And of course always very musical.”

Watch the 4 parts teaser of Anita O’Day film.

This is the first, definitive documentary on the life of the legendary Jazz vocalist Anita O’ Day. In Anita’s own words, we hear the tale of a musical genius who broke race barriers and lived her life boldly, unconventionally, without looking back

Robert Altman, Philippe Noiret and now Anita O’Day.

RIP Philippe Noiret

November 24th, 2006

Philippe NoiretPhillippe Noiret 1930 -2006

A great actor, elegant and warm passed away on Nov 23, 2006.
(More about him here and here)

Youtube collections
1 Youtube tribute from France (He received a Legion of Honor recently. Beautifully done, you don’t need to understand French to appreciate this tribute. There are many memorable clips from his long career. – Romy Schneider and young Catherine Deneuve are all there.)

2 Zazie dans le Metro, an adaptation of a novel by Raymond Queneau and directed by Louis Malle.

3 Life is Nothing But directed by Tavernier, with Sabine Azema.

The Clockmaker was his first collaboration with Tavernier.

“He was a friend, a brother, a father. I owe everything to him”, more from L.A timesLife and so much more by Bernard Tavernier .

Murphy’s War with Peter O’Tool

(He played Pablo Neruda in the popular postman film and people will remember him as the guy from the sentimental Cinema Paradiso, a film with hundreds of kissing scenes. Those films are not truly representive of the great Italian cinema tradition of De Sica, Visconti, Rossellini, Fellini, and Pasolini. )

He was a Libra with moon in Aquarius, here. (Richard Hell has this combo.)
Not surprisingly he was A Libra/Horse

O’Hara’s Birthday

November 22nd, 2006

A painted wall Trader Joe's bathroom digital image by Fung Lin Hall
A digital montage of Trader’s Joe’s bathroom wall.

Poets are celebrating Frank O’Hara’s 80’s birthday, first from Ron Silliman, and here.

Let’s be frank about it, his birthday was March 27, 1926.
His birth certificate was found twenty-five years after his death, recorded at Maryland General Hospital. (Page 14, City Poet; The Life and Times of Frank O’Hara by Brad Gooch).

(Frank’s birthday was mentioned once before. Refresh yourself with his poem and Bill DeKooning’ s painting.)

Brice Marden on Charlie Rose (an hour interview)

William S. Burroughs - Thanksgiving Prayer (now on youtube)

Happy Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving digital image by Fung Lin Hall
Goose and a potato heart

RIP Robert Altman

November 21st, 2006

Very sad news came from Greencinedaily this morning.

Goodbye Robert Altman Robert Altman (1925 -2006)

Vincent and Theo is one of Altman’s masterpieces that is overlooked among young American cinema lovers.
Watch Tim Roth with or without the music.

Sissy Spacek Twirling Baton directed by Robert Altman (Saturday Night Live) (Can anybody verify that Robert Altman directed this clip? The answer is here, Sissy’s Roles” (1977) – Robert Altman Meets “Saturday Night Live”)
Little Puppets (Robert Altman and Garrison Keillor)

Image of McCabe and Mrs Miller is captured when Theresa Duncan celebrated Altman’s 81st birthday last February. Her post was prompted by a Blogathon from Matt Zoller Seitz

A tribute from Keith Uhlich

How well do you know Robert Altman? (Quiz from the Guardian)

The Bohemian Crafsman:An obit from Dana Stevens.

Robert Altman was also a wise dreamer. (February 20, 1925 birthday)

Kon Ichikawa

November 20th, 2006

Kon Ichikawa Kon Ichikawa (image source)

Ichikawa’s films are marked with a certain darkness and bleakness, punctuated with sparks of humanity.

It can be said that his main trait is technical expertise, irony, detachment and a drive for realism married with a complete spectrum of genres. Some critics class him with Akira Kurosawa, Kenji Mizoguchi and Yasujirō Ozu as one of the masters of Japanese cinema. (via wiki)

Six of his most famous films are featured here at Filmref.
Two are anti-war films, one about a pacifist Buddhist, “The Burmese Harp” and another of harsh, brutal realism “Fires on the Plain”.

The Burmese Harp 1Toruburmeseharp

Two are adapted from the novels of Junichiro Tanizaki, The Key and the Makioka Sisters.

We don’t want to forget Tokyo Olympiad and Ototo (Her Brother) not included in the above list.

Yahoo Trivia: To achieve the specific period look they intended for the film, director Kon Ichikawa and cinematographer Kazuo Miyagawa were inspired by the use of color in Moby Dick (1956) (which was dye-transfer Technicolor added with a B/W layer) and experimented on a process that is now called “skip-bleaching”. It was the first time in film history that this process, now a rather commonly-used one, was applied for a motion picture film

Rottentomatoes rated Tokyo Olympiad 100%.

Sasame Yuki – (The Makioka Sisters)Makioka Sisters

Pauline Kael’s ecstatic review of the Makioka Sisters (adaptation of Junichiro Tanizaki).

This Kon Ichikawa film has a triumphant simplicity about it. You don’t just watch the film-you coast on its rhythms and glide past the precipitous spots. Ichikawa celebrates the delicate beauty of the four Makioka sisters-the four heiresses of an aristocratic Osaka family, who move as if always conscious that they must be visual poetry-and at the same time he makes you feel that there’s something amusingly perverse in their poise and their politesse. Set in 1938, the film is based on Junichiro Tanizaki’s novel, orginally titled A Light Snowfall, and it’s like a succession of evanescent revelations; the images are stylized and formal, yet the quick cutting melts them away. The venerable Ichikawa is doing what so many younger directors have claimed to be doing: he’s making visual music. And he’s doing it without turning the actors into zombies, and without losing his sense of how corruption and beauty and humor are all rolled up together. The themes are worked out in shades of pearl and ivory for the interiors and bursts of color outside-cherry and maple and red-veined burgundy.

Itami Juzo, the director of Tampopo and Taxing Woman appeared as an actor in this ensemble of wonderful Japanse actors assembled here. Itami played a husband of the first daughter. Sayuri Yoshinaga delivered a memorable performance portraying a mysterious third sister.

Intriguing photo collection of 10 Black Women from Flickr.

  • EPSON MFP image
    Mishim Yukio visiting the set of Enjo ..photo with Raizo Ichikawa, Kon Ichikawa and Nakadai Tatsuya from left to right.

    American Revolution

    November 10th, 2006

    Don Cherry and American Revolution

    Portrait of Don Cherry

    Spirals, Curves in Stasis
    digital photos by Fung Lin Hall
    (Digital photos by Fung-Lin Hall)

    Kimiko Yoshida

    November 7th, 2006

    Kimiko Yoshida photography
    The Red Palestinian Bride, early XXth Century. Self-portrait, 2005.

    Kimiko Yoshida Photography
    The Torero Bride with a Black Suit of Light, remembering Picasso, self- portrait 2006

    Who is Kimiko Yoshida? She seems to be everywhere, here as a Mao Bride, there as an Afgan Bride in white and Black.

    Greentea Bride Kimiko Yoshida
    The Green Tea Bride, self-portrait 2006.
    Found Kimiko Yoshida page from Bloomageblog.

    The Emperor, Brushes and Brice Marden

    November 2nd, 2006

    Today (Nov 2) is the birthday of a famous artist/poet/Taoist Emperor who lost his kingdom for his love of art, luxury and culture.

    Emperor Huizong was born on November 2, 1082.

    Emperor Huizong Emperor Huizong digital image by Fung Lin Hall

    Zhao Ji (Emperor Huizong) was an artistic emperor ruled from 1100 to 1126 AD. The cost of his ardor for the art and fatuity in government affairs was grievous: when his capital fell into Nuchen hands in 1127, he was taken prisoner, spending the rest of his life in a remote, bleak, desolate land.
    (from the History of Chinese Calligraphy)

    Finches and Bamboo

    Partial view of Court Ladies Preparing Newly Woven Silk from the Museum of Fine art Boston.

    The Politics of Culture and the Culture of Politics, subtitle of this book from Harvard Press.

    Emperor Huizong and Late Sung Northern China
    Huizong was an exceptional emperor who lived through momentous times.

    Here is a western painter who continued in the Chinese tradition and is going around in a media blitz today.
    Joseph Duemer really wants to see Brice Marden at MoMa for his retrospective exhibition.

    The exhibition shows him as an artist who has spent his career assiduously converting the rule-ridden zone of Minimalist abstraction into a capacious yet disciplined place, pushing it toward landscape and the figure while reconnecting it to its roots in Abstract Expressionism and beyond, in non-Western art. It makes perfect sense that one of the greatest influences on Mr. Marden’s recent work has been Chinese art, where originality is a much fuzzier, more nuanced concept. His inspirations include calligraphy, landscape painting, scholars’ rocks and ceramics. (Roberta Smith from NYtimes.)

    Brice Marden Brice Marden
    Brice Marden and his studio

    Etchings to Rexroth.

    Here is a harsh but entertaining review by Finch on Marden at MoMa.

    Jackson Pollock would have headed for that tree a lot earlier if he had painted like Brice.
    Brice was at the MoMA opening Thursday in a black wool hat, quietly the center of attention, apparently still wondering if his paintings were any good, looking for validation.
    He should have been in the studio, trying something new. And maybe in another 20 years, he will.

    (Finch does not appreciate Chinese art? Like Finches and Bamboo or baboons)

    Brice and Bounty paper towel

    “How I wish I had never read this article about Brice Marden’s intimate relationship with Bounty paper towels.” (via culturegirl)

    Let’s hear from Brice himself.

    Basically I decided to be a painter because I loved the lifestyle. Later, at Yale’s graduate school, I had Jack Tworkov as a teacher who would come in and say, “that’s a cliché on De Kooning,” “that’s a cliché on Kline,” and so on. And I said, “well, how do you get rid of it?” Then the next thing you know you’re living on the Lower East Side . It just happened overnight.

    His sister in law was Joan Baez.

    And when I got into New York, my scene was the folk scene. It wasn’t really at Max’s Kansas City, because at that time I didn’t really know any artists yet. And that’s when Dylan was going around Joanie. (from In Conversation Brice Marden with Jeffrey Weisse.)

    Brice Marden and Emperor Huizong were brought together once before, here.
    (He does have a great name: Brice Marden. With a name like that he could have been a movie star and a lot luckier than the ill fated Taoist Emperor.)