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Robin Rhode & Roger Ballen – S. Africa

March 26th, 2011


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Robin Rhode
Born 1976 in Cape Town, South Africa
Lives and works in Berlin, Germany

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    Roger Ballen homepage

    Interview with Roger Ballen (Lens culture)

    Roger Ballen Shadow Chamber (Slightly Lucid)

    Roger Ballen was born in New York City, New York, USA in 1950. He has lived in Johannesburg South Africa since the 1970s. Beginning by documenting the small dorps or villages of rural South Africa, Ballen’s photography moved on in the late 1980s and early 1990s to their inhabitants; through the late 1990s Ballen’s work progressed. By the mid 1990’s his subjects began to act where previously his pictures, however troubling, fell firmly into the category of documentary photography, his work then moved into the realms of fiction. His fifth book ‘Outland’ produced by Phaidon Press in 2001 was the result. (Wiki)

    Elizabeth, Her Place in the Sun

    March 23rd, 2011

    Her trip to Iran

    1976 saw the one and only time Elizabeth Taylor would visit Iran. An exotic and educational excursion for Taylor, her travel partner was Firooz Zahedi, then an art school graduate and today a successful Hollywood photographer. Zahedi proved to be not only useful in documenting Taylor’s experiences and discoveries,

    With James 1taylorjames

    “I think that haunted him the rest of his life. In fact, I know it did. We talked about it a lot. During ‘Giant’ we’d stay up nights and talk and talk, and that was one of the things he confessed to me.”

    Elizabeth and Tennessee Williams

    Tennessee Williams wrote of Taylor in his Memoirs in the 1960s as “excessively beauteous” and a “marvelous female star.” In a Paris Review interview with Dotson Rader in the Fall of 1981, Williams spoke of Taylor in the context of her intimate relationships with Hollywood leading men Montgomery Clift and Rock Hudson, both closeted gay men who died prematurely, and Michael Jackson, too.
    While Hudson died from AIDS in 1985, Clift died in 1966 at age 45 from heart failure many believe was associated with depression and drug abuse. Taylor probably saved his life 10 years earlier when, on May 12, 1956, she witnessed him crash his car into a tree after a Hollywood party. She ran to him, and manually extricated a tooth from his throat that he was choking on.
    In his 1981 interview, Williams said, “Monty Clift was one of the great tragedies among actors, even more than Marilyn Monroe, I believe. One of the loveliest things about Elizabeth Taylor was her exceptional kindness to him. Many women were very kind to him. Katharine Hepburn. But Elizabeth particularly. She’s a very dear person. She’s the opposite of her public image. She’s not a bitch, even though her life has been a very hell. Thirty-one operations, I believe. Pain and pain. She’s so delicate, fragile really.”

    Goodbye Elizabeth now you are with Mike, Richard, Roddy, Monty, Rock and James Dean and all the people you have helped and healed.

    Tetsumi Kudo’s Nuclear Angst

    March 20th, 2011

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    CULTIVATION BY RADIOACTIVITY IN THE ELECTRONIC CIRCUIT, 1970. AOMORI MUSEUM OF ART, JAPAN

    Tetsumi Kudo 1tetsumikudo
    (February 23, 1935 – November 12, 1990)

    Art in America by Ryan Holmberg 3/1/09

    He was antihumanist and strongly antimodernist. The human body is pervasively disfigured throughout his work, and the overriding theme of his dioramas and installations is irreparable earthly degeneration. He places the blame on blind faith in technology and progress, and behind most of his apocalyptic visions is the mother of all man-made catastrophes, nuclear holocaust.

    Walker Art Center

    Deeply concerned with the fate of humanity in the wake of nuclear attacks on his native land and the dawn of the global arms race, Kudo determinedly sought to develop a universal humanist language of creativity and regeneration until his untimely death in 1990.

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    More Tetsumi Kudo

    Go with the Flow

    March 18th, 2011

    Robert Rossen who directed All the King’s Men, Mambo, the Hustler and Lilith.
    Lilith – Jean Seberg, Warren Beatty and Peter Fonda here.

    The Hustler Igreatfeeling
    Paul Newman talking about being in the flow state..

    If you’re in a hurry.. here is one min. no flow state..

    On March 16 I posted Lilith and the Hustler to honor Robert Rossen on FB. Found this poem by Alan via netBehaviour a day later.

    FB – Alan Sondheim

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    Japan/Asia Sympathy

    March 15th, 2011

    Asia asiasympathy Sympathy

    In Japan No Time Yet for Grief

    Fukushima TEPCO (Pasaudela)

    Takashi Miike is not attending.. Japan Society..

    . But, from this adversity – on our lives – we will all rise up without fail. As a start, I would be grateful if you could enjoy Japan from this film.
    Sincerely,
    Miike Takashi”

    To be or not to be JAPAN FIGURE SKATING ISU GRAND PRIX FINAL

    Tokyo Times Blog here (See a wonderful photo)

    And, for a city that can certainly be very frosty, it’s noticeably more friendly. Nods, smiles and the odd konichi-wa are suddenly commonplace, with a definite feeling of, ‘we are all in this together’, now prominent.

    and here

    Being There and Earthquake Graphics
    (After quake reports from Andrew Pothecary who lives in Tokyo)

    Fast Facts about Japan (Scientific America)

    BlueGrayWhite-Tube

    March 10th, 2011

    Video work by Richard Swarbrick – real footage of the game here.

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    (digital images by Fung Lin Hall)

    Dean Stockwell – Delicate to Delirium

    March 7th, 2011
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    (Dean Stockwell photo by Dennis Hopper)

    “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” states Stockwell, “was as intense and rewarding an experience as I’ve had. It’s a small cast, and one of the greatest plays of the century by one of the greatest American playwrights. We rehearsed it six weeks with a brilliant director, Sidney Lumet. I feel that the film is the best American film made from a play – that I’ve ever seen. There was no screenplay. Some cuts were made to make it feasible for a film – but nothing was transposed. It was very gratifying.”
    In the book, Kate, by Charles Higham, Sidney Lumet is quoted: “Dean would come in with a bottle of vodka, and Kate at first almost did what she did to him in the movie – struck him. She was so angry at him – out of love. But she was tender to him. The first day of work was cold, and he had forgotten to bring an overcoat. The next day, there was a coat in his dressing room; she had gone out after shooting and bought him one. She always had an enormous affinity for heavy drinkers – maybe because of Tracy.”


    Sons and Lovers

    Of Sons and Lovers, Stockwell maintains, “It’s a classic film. It holds up – over a long period of time. It had a brilliant cast, and I feel it was a pretty damn good rendition of that book.” Sons and Lovers headed the National Board of Review’s 10 Best Films of 1960 list. It tied with The Apartment as the NY Film Critics Best Film. In his FIReview, Henry Hart wrote: “Rarely has so honest and meaningful a novel been turned into so good a motion picture.” He noted, “Stockwell does things . . . an actor twice his age would be proud of,” and added, “I think the thing about his performance that fascinated me most was his seemingly spontaneous use of bits of business which seemed to come . . . from his feeling for the character.”

  • Compulsion (1959)

    Dean Stockwell made three remarkable films in his mid-career starting with Compulsion followed by Sons and Lovers and Long Day’s Journey into Night.

    The O’Neill classic, says Stockwell, “remains one of my favorite films. And Paris, Texas is certainly another. The film was put together and shot in a most unusual way. Sam Shepard, probably our leading playwright right now, wrote the screenplay. But, as we started, it was simply a synopsis, a breakdown of scenes – with no dialogue at all. At the time, Sam was shooting Country, which opened the New York Film Festival. Everyday, when he got through acting, he would type out dialogue for Paris, Texas.” (Interview with Dean Stockwell)

    Dean Stockwell dean-stockwell in Blue Velvet

    Dean Stockwell, Blue Velvet – It’s not easy to out-bizarre your fellow cast members in a David Lynch movie, but Dean Stockwell managed to do just that in his one-scene turn as Frank Booth’s (Dennis Hopper) unctuous, kabuki-faced, satin-jacketed mentor in malevolence, Ben. The mellow yin to Hopper’s manic yang, Stockwell’s eerie lip-synching rendition of Roy Orbison’s “In Dreams” just barely hints at what lies inside the depraved mind of the drug dealer/pimp. (via)

    “I hate to admit it, but you can’t do a role unless it’s somewhere in your psyche. People don’t realize how vast the subconscious is. It’s like infinity.” Dean Stockwell.

    Saint-Lô + Waiting for Beckett

    March 4th, 2011

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    Vire will wind in other shadows
    unborn through the bright ways tremble
    and the old mind ghost-forsaken
    sink into its havoc.

    -Samuel Beckett, “Saint-Lô” (1946)

    Where is Saint-Lô?

    In Love with Hiding

    Beckett might have sat out World War II in his native Ireland, but as he later quipped in an interview with Israel Shenker, “I preferred France in war to Ireland at peace.” By 1941 he had joined the Resistance in Paris, largely as a response to the arrest of such Jewish literary friends as his old Trinity College classmate Alfred Péron. As a neutral Irishman who spoke fluent French, Beckett was in great demand; he and his companion (later wife) Suzanne Deschevaux-Dumesnil joined Gloria, a reseau de renseignement or information network, whose main—and dangerous—job was to translate documents about Axis troop movements and relay them to Allied headquarters in London.

    Waiting for Beckett: A Portrait of Samuel Beckett is a must for anyone interested in his work. It traces Beckett’s early years in Ireland and Paris, before discussing the impact of his novels, plays and late work with the help of friends, scholars and publishers.

    A Piece of Mononlogue Waiting for Samuel Beckett (all six parts of the documenatry film are linked here)

    Looking at the film steve_schapiro_Samuel_beckett_looking_at_film

    Georges Bataille (1951):

    What ‘Molloy’ reveals is not simply reality but reality in its pure state: the most meager and inevitable of realities, that fundamental reality continually soliciting us, but from which a certain terror always pulls us back. . . . There is in this reality the essence or residue of being. . .