Archive for September, 2010

Goodbye Arthur Penn

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Arthur Penn dies at 88 years old (NYtimes)

He advised Senator John F. Kennedy during his watershed television debates with Richard M. Nixon in 1960 (and directed the broadcast of the third debate). Mr. Penn’s instructions to Kennedy — to look directly into the lens of the camera and keep his responses brief and pithy — helped give the candidate an aura of confidence and calm that created a vivid contrast to his more experienced but less telegenic Republican rival.
But it was as a film director that Mr. Penn left his mark on American culture, most indelibly with “Bonnie and Clyde.”
“Arthur Penn brought the sensibility of ’60s European art films to American movies,” the writer-director Paul Schrader said. “He paved the way for the new generation of American directors who came out of film schools.”

Arthur Penn gave great interviews.arthurnpenninterviews
1. Arthur gave a vivid account of the history of Black Mountain College, his life with Bucky Fuller, John Cage, Merce, Ray Johnson, Willem de Kooning and many others.
2. Brooklyn Rail (RADICAL REFLECTIONS Arthur Penn, In Conversation with Gregory Zucker and Robert White)
3. Long interviews on youtube

Arthur arthurnpenn2


Mr. Penn directed his first film, “The Left-Handed Gun,” for Warner Brothers. Based on a Gore Vidal television play adapted by Leslie Stevens, the project was an extension of the “Playhouse 90” aesthetic: a low-budget, black-and-white western about a troubled, inarticulate young man (Paul Newman, in a performance stamped with Actors Studio technique) who happened to be Billy the Kid.

Water and Breakfast scene from The Miracle Worker

Little Big Man (Am I still in this world?)

Hie brother Irving Penn passed away October last year. (See his great portraits here)

A watchmaker’s son, Penn struggled to learn his father’s trade, who died before seeing any of his films.
“He went to his grave despairing I would never find my way in the world,” the director one said, “and the movies rescued me.”(BBC)

Update: Arthur Penn a Director Attuned to His Country

Pierre Clementi

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Belle de Jour (Ode to Marcel – more pix of him from the film)

It was he who suggested to Bunuel that the character of Deneuve’s lover should wear the leather coat, gold teeth, and moth-eaten socks.

Soleil clementiSoleil_29-300x240 unreleased reel

Pierre Clémenti, actor for Buñuel, Garrel, and Bertolucci, was a brilliant filmmaker, free, poetic, adventurous, madly in love with editing and color. Recently, three 16mm films were found where he left them 20 years ago, at the Pompidou Centre (whose original director had been granted him an editing room for life back in the day). Three films made of dazzling rushes accumulated over 15 years, edited for years, and, unfortunately in a pretty bad condition. Their restoration on film was the only way to elevate them to where they belong, while respecting the format chosen by the artist.
It’s in 1967, with the money he earned acting in Michel Deville’s Benjamin, that Pierre Clémenti bought his first 16mm Beaulieu camera. During the next 15 years he never stopped filming, during shoots, during trips, at home, amongst friends and family. Certainly influenced by the psychedelic movement, he began a filmmaking career abundant with color, rock music, poetic eroticism, and references to psychotropic experiences.

Pierre Clementi retrospective clementifansmallerart002

  • Benjamin

    Pierre Clementi Handsome Devil

    Clémenti, ethereal libertine, was a pillar of the post–New Wave, post-’68 European cinema that exiled itself into the wilderness of difficult art. His dark eyes shone from a damp and luminous wastrel’s face. His spare, angular frame suggested a diet of opiates and kisses. A consummate full-body actor, directors—Clémenti included—often stripped him bare, to martyr-like vulnerability.

  • Pierre Clementi – (September 28, 1942 – 27 December 1999)


  • (Porcile directed by Pasolini)

  • Judy Rifka

    Saturday, September 25th, 2010

    Studio Wall

    Snake on Brains

    Happy birthday Judy Rifka 1judyrifka2

    Cat in a Burka (digital work)

    Inner Life of Glenn Gould

    Saturday, September 25th, 2010

    (direct link)

  • Glenn Gould September 25, 1932
    Dimitri Shostakovich and Rameau were all born on September 25.

  • Previous post Curtain by Fung-Lin Hall

    R.I.P Jill Johnston

    Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

    Jill Johnston 1JOHNSTON-obit-popup May 17, 1929 – September 18, 2010
    (author and critic)
    NYtimes obit

    Ms. Johnston started out as a dance critic, but in the pages of The Voice, which hired her in 1959, she embraced the avant-garde as a whole, including happenings and multimedia events.

    Ms. Johnston continued to write on the arts but took a strong political line with a marked psychoanalytic slant evident in “Jasper Johns: Privileged Information” (1996), which explored the artist’s works as a series of evasions and subterfuges rooted in conflict about his homosexuality, and in the two volumes of her memoirs: “Mother Bound” (1983) and “Paper Daughter” (1985), both of them subtitled “Autobiography in Search of a Father.” (NYtimes obit)

    [Paper Daughter] is a joy To be sane about insanity is the neatest trick in anybody’s book, and Jill Johnston’s has it.
    Peter Schjeldahl

    Thespian lemonist, dance cricket, and irrepressible funster…(Vancouver Observer Obit)

    Feisty, irreverent, difficult, incomprehensible, surreal, as one critic put it, she was “part Gertrude Stein, part E. E. Cummings, with a dash of Jack Kerouac thrown for good measure.”

    Book on Jasper Johns.1JilljasperPg-JJ-10

    Magill Book Reviews for EBSCO Publishing
    In her book on Jasper Johns, Jill Johnston combines a superb background in art history with a penetrating understanding of the artists psychology. As Dr. Samuel Johnson said, the biographers first obligation is to the truth. Of course, the biographer must be tactful and subtle qualities that Johnston exhibits on every page of her fine book.
    Carl Rollyson

    Jill and Dick Cavett 1JillandCavet

    Throughout her childhood she believed that her parents had divorced, but in 1950, when The New York Times ran a short obituary about her father, an English bell maker named Cyril F. Johnston, she learned the truth.

    Her mother informed her that she and Johnston had never married. A lifelong fascination with this absent figure, whose company, Gillett & Johnston, supplied bells and carillons to churches and cathedrals all over the world, motivated her to write “England’s Child: The Carillon and the Casting of Big Bells” (2008), a biography of her father and a history of bell making.

    Jill Johnston (wiki)

    Johnston’s most recent writing March 2010

    Jill Johnston (Huffpost)

    Jill Johnston On Palin: Little More Than A Smokescreen

    Jill Johnston on “Life” Jan 1, 1971

    Columnist Jill Johnston who recently announced her lesbianism in dance column of THE VILLAGE VOICE.

    Shanghai Diva

    Sunday, September 19th, 2010

    Wong Kar Wai (direct link)

    Hua Yang De Nian Hua, or “To those who we remember fondly”, is a 2000 short film by Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai that was shown at the 2001 Berlin International Film Festival. It consists of a 2m 28s montage of scenes from vintage Chinese films, most of which were considered lost until some nitrate prints were discovered in a California warehouse during the 1990s, set to a song from the soundtrack of Wong’s In The Mood For Love, a golden oldie by Zhou Xuan.”

    Zhou Xuan 1Zhou_Xuan See Zhou Xuan on youtube

    was a popular Chinese singer and film actress. By the 1940s, she had become one of China’s seven great singing stars.[1] She is probably the most well-known of the seven, as she had a concurrent movie career until 1953.

    In 1957 she died in Shanghai in a mental asylum at the age of 39 during the Anti-Rightist Movement

    Old Orient Museum by Vincent Lexington Harper


  • Happy birthday Maggie Cheung – 20 September 1964 (Here she was at Venice)
    (In the Mood for Love youtube)

  • Three Years by Li Xiang Liang (Yoshiko Yamaguch – ex-wife of Isamu Noguchi)

    Flesher, Lynch & Williams

    Wednesday, September 15th, 2010


    <> vivienflesher2

    Vivienne Flesher lives in San Francisco

    Grape Series No 2
    Sarah Lynch lives in Barcelona, Spain

    Large and Small

    Sue Williams lives in Brooklyn

    <> <> <> <> Suewilliams2

    War of the Testicles (Detail)

  • Nadia Boulanger -Sept 16, 1887 (Music teacher and a composer)

  • R.I.P Claude Chabrol

    Sunday, September 12th, 2010


    Claude Chabrol dies

    He was 80 years old

    Le Beau Serge, Chabrol’s 1959 breakthrough film produced with his wife’s inheritance, is often cited as the first feature film of the New Wave. The film tackled existential themes including the isolation and absurdity of modern life and the middle-class obsession with appearances.
    “We have too often the tendency to emphasize the tragic side of life, but I look at the funny side. I believe strongly in human nature,” Chabrol said in a 2005 interview.

    Guardian UK Obit

    The Master of free- floating anxiety

    it is, like so many of his pictures, a thriller that — calmly, deliberately and with exquisite perversity — refuses to thrill. He prefers on the whole to unsettle, to disorient, to unnerve and to create the sort of apprehension that cannot finally be resolved. Although he has sometimes been thought of as a kind of Gallic Hitchcock, Mr. Chabrol isn’t exactly a master of suspense: the stimulation of unbearable, gut-clutching fear has never been a significant part of his repertory. He’s more like a master of free-floating anxiety.

    He had a long productive career with unique vision and style, showing the provincial life and ordinary people.
    I saw Le Beau Serge and Les Cousins in Tokyo, these two were introduction to C.C. Recently I saw ‘Bridesmaid” I like that film a lot.

    First wife :Stéphane Audran

    Of all the director-and-star couples in the history of cinema, there was none more prolific than Claude Chabrol and Stéphane Audran, who made 23 films together.

  • 1aaClaudeIsabell

    Isabelle Huppert (Violette, La Cérémonie, Story of women, Madame Bovary, Merci pour le Chocolat )

    We both (with Chabrol) agreed that it was about someone at once profoundly moving, completely disgusting and entirely pitiable”. This definition seems to fit many of the characters interpreted by Huppert from Violette, through Jeanne in La Cérémonie (A Judgement in Stone, 1995), to Mica in Merci pour le Chocolat (Nightcap, 2000), all of them directed by Chabrol.

  • “Nous vivons une époque où les pizzas arrivent plus vite que la police” – We live in an era where pizzas show up faster than the police

    “There is no new wave, only the sea.”

    “I am a Communist, certainly, but that doesn’t mean I have to make films about the wheat harvest.” (1971 interview with Roger Ebert)

    Update: Bellamy (trailer) will be released in USA, Oct 2010.

    A Line Describing the Sun – William Lamson

    Thursday, September 9th, 2010

    <> williamlamson2010
    Opening: Friday, 10 September, 7-9pm.
    PIEROGI 177 North 9th St W’burg Brooklyn | WWW.PIEROGI2000.COM | T.718.599.2144
    The show continues to October 10

    While Lamson’s video works have often found him playfully and strenuously interacting with his environment (both in the natural world and in his studio), this new work brings to bear the forces of nature in the act of drawing and mark-making. In this way, it continues the investigations he began with Automatic, a project in which he used wind and ocean currents to power a series of drawing machines. A Line Describing the Sun is part performance, part video work, part earthwork, and part drawing exercise.

    Take time and visit his elegant homepage



    See Tundra (repost) if you are new to his works.

    William Tell (Previous post on Lamson)

    William Lamson and Miranda July here.

  • Who By Fire – Sonny Rollins & Leonard Cohen

    Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

    Liberté – Tony Gatlif

    Saturday, September 4th, 2010

    Thousands march to support Roma in Paris

    Similar peaceful protests took place outside French embassies elsewhere in Europe. In Belgrade, Serbia, dozens of Gypsies chanted anti-racist slogans and held banners calling for an end to the expulsions from France.

    Italian cities plan to shut down Roma Camps (NYtimes)

    The film stars French actor Marc Lavoine (Frenchmen), Canadian actress Marie-Josée Croze (Tell No One) and Swiss actor James Thiérrée (The Vanishing Point).

    Based on real-life characters, Liberté will follow the journey of a family led by its head of clan (a woman) and its “hero”, Taloche (Thiérrée), a whimsical childlike bohemian. They will be helped by the Righteous, Théodore, the town mayor (Lavoine) and Ms Lundi, teacher and mayor employee (Croze).
    Written by the director, the story deals with the tragic destiny of gypsies in France. But it is also a story of love and friendship between two Righteous who try to protect, right to the bitter end, an abandoned child and a Roma family.

    Gatlif accompanied the announcement of the project with a declaration highlighting his intentions: “I wanted to give them another image other than that forged by fear and hate, which led directly to gas chambers for gypsies and bohemians, a free and nomad people”. (Via)

    Previous post Tony Gatlif (Find his films on Netflix)

    Romany Journeys
    Photos by Joakim Eskildsen (Hungary, India, Greece, Romania, France, Russia abd Finland)