Archive for May, 2012

Sayonara Kaneto Shindo

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Japanese filmmaker Kaneto Shindo dies aged 100.

Kaneto was Japan’s oldest director, and had been considered the world’s second-oldest working director after Portugal’s Manoel de Oliveira.

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Naked Island (Full film on youtube see it soon – this may disappear anyday)

One of Shindo’s notable fans is actor Benicio Del Toro. Last year Del Toro presented retrospectives of Shindo’s work both in Los Angeles and Puerto Rico as well as filming an interview with the director and coming to Japan to celebrate Shindo’s 100th birthday.
Shindo’s final film, WWII drama Postcard, won the special jury prize at the 2010 Tokyo International Film Festival and was selected as Japan’s official entry for the best foreign-language film category of the Academy Awards last year. It was also nominated for best film and screenwriter at this year’s Asian Film Awards.

  • Guardian obit

    The female lead was invariably played by Nobuko Otowa, who became the married Shindo’s lover in the late 1940s. (They married in 1977 on the death of his first wife.) Otowa appeared in all but one of the 41 features Shindo directed from 1951 until her death in 1994. (This creative film partnership is surpassed only by Yasujiro Ozu’s 53 films made with Chishu Ryu.)

    Oni-Baba trailer

  • Black Cat (Kuro Neko trailer)

  • When interviewed by Mellen after the release of the film Kuroneko, Shindo stated that there was “a strong Freudian influence throughout all of his work.”
    The strongest and most apparent themes in Shindo’s work involve social criticism of poverty, women and sexuality. Shindo has described himself as a socialist. Tadao Sato has pointed out that Shindo’s political films are both a reflection of his impoverished childhood and the condition of Japan after World War II, stating that, “Contemporary Japan has developed from an agricultural into an industrial country. Many agricultural people moved to cities and threw themselves into new precarious lives.

    Hakuchi (trailer)

    The Urge for Survival (image via MUBI)

    Masterworks by Kaneto (Harvard film archive)

    Bokuto Kidan (based on a novel by Nagai Kafu) is included here at (Filmref)

    Faced with a bout of ill health, global traveller, western-educated novelist Kafu Nagai (1879-1959) began to chronicle sundry episodes in his life, as well as thoughts and observations of contemporary Japanese society, in a series of intimate journals that would eventually span the early half of 20th century.

    Riva in Amour by Haneke + Leon Morin by Melville

    Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012
  • 1EMhome
    Emmanuelle Riva (24 February 1927 – 27 January 2017)

  • Haneke’s ‘Love’ at the bitter end bowls over Cannes

    Haneke cast French screen icon Jean-Louis Trintignant, 81, and Emmanuelle Riva, 85, in the story of George and Anne, a couple of retired music teachers, whose rich and adoring relationship is cruelly tested when she suffers a stroke.

    Utterly believable in the role, Riva told a press conference after the screening that she threw herself heart and soul into the part, sleeping in her dressing room at the studio where it was shot to remain immersed in her character.

    Update: L’amour wins the top prize at Cannes.. (May 27 2012)

    There is a classic film featuring Emmanuelle Riva and Jean Paul Belmonod directed by Jean Pierre Melville in full view on youtube. (Happend to see this film a few weeks ago.. deeply moved by the performances of two actors the film stayed with me days after the viewing).

    “Léon Morin, Priest” in English — was Melville’s sixth feature and almost the exact midpoint between early successes like “Bob le Flambeur” (1956), about a gentleman thief organizing the heist of a lifetime, and “Army of Shadows” (1969), his late-career masterpiece about the Resistance. Given his interest in the war, it’s understandable that he was drawn to “Léon Morin” and its story of life during the occupation.

    The French resistence of another sort

    In the interview included on this disc, Melville says he was sitting on it for eight years but never started because he couldn’t find an actor right for the part of Morin, and that it was only after watching Breathless that he decided to try and get Belmondo, who was initially reluctant and had to be convinced by Melville.

    Criterion Leon Morin

    Riva & Judith Butler (previous post – they share a birthday.. link to Hiroshima Mon Amour is there.)

    Where is Rimbaud?

    Friday, May 18th, 2012
  • Reading Newspaper (via)
    Rimbaud by David Wojnarowicz (artbook)

    Rimbaud in Java by Jamie James
    The Siren call where is Rimbaud:

    In ‘Rimbaud in Java,’ Jamie James seeks to fill in a mysterious six-month gap in the French poet’s life.

    JJ: Actually, you touch upon the greatest Rimbaud mystery of all. Somewhere right around the time of his Java adventure, most likely before it, Rimbaud stopped writing poetry. He was just 21. But what does it mean, to stop writing? Does a writer in a dry spell stop being a writer, even if the drought lasts the rest of his life? All we know is that he never again gave a poem to anyone to read, not that we know about. He might have written hundreds of pages of poetry that he burned. It is entirely possible that the lost journals of his voyage to the tropics may turn up someday in a moldering old trunk in a country house in Java. But the basic law of literary scholarship is: You have to go with what you’ve got.

    Arthur Rimbaud <> <> (Hide & Seek Gallery )
    Rimbaud by David Wojnarowicz

  • Ashbery and Rimbaud

    John Ashbery’s Arthur Illuminations

    . In his Preface to Illuminations Ashbery writes of “the simultaneity of all of life.” His maturity is not the weary illusion of having gone beyond all that. It’s what he already knew more than forty years ago when he wrote “Soonest Mended,” that:

    Tomorrow would alter the sense of what had already been learned,
    That the learning process is extended in this way, so that from this standpoint
    None of us ever graduates from college,
    For time is an emulsion, and probably thinking not to grow up
    Is the brightest kind of maturity for us, right now at any rate.

    Carlos Fuentes R.I.P

    Tuesday, May 15th, 2012
  • Carlos Fuentes

    The Art of Fiction Paris Review on Carlos Fuentes

    Yes. I suppose I started to write Terra Nostra in that Catholic school in Mexico City. St. John Chrysostom says that purely spiritual love between a man and a woman should be condemned because their appetites grow so much and lust accumulates. This is an essential point in Terra Nostra, where people can never meet in the flesh and have others do the actual fornication for them. I learned a lot in Catholic school.

    Carlos Fuentes passed away – he was 83

    The elegant, mustachioed author’s other contemporary classics included “Aura,” “Terra Nostra,” and “The Good Conscience.” Many American readers know him for “The Old Gringo,” a novel about San Francisco journalist Ambrose Bierce, who disappeared at the height of the 1910-1920 Mexican Revolution. That book was later made into a film starring Gregory Peck and Jane Fonda.

    Carlos speaks On Drug War.

    Intelligent Life –his visit to a museum

    Nothing new here. Many aboriginal cultures, worldwide, were built by hand labour and despotic rulers garbed in myth. Yet Xalapa offers a great surprise. Next to the colossal heads and the sacred jaguars, there are human beings, and they are laughing.

    This, for me, is the most salient aspect of the Xalapa museum: all the power, all the divinity, all the ceremony, all the myths of state and religion, finally provoke laughter. The outright, irrepressible humanity of the little heads smiling, holding up their hands in amusement. Laughing, perhaps, at the pomp and circumstance of the world.

    Günther Kaufmann R.I.P

    Saturday, May 12th, 2012
  • Günther Kaufmann 16 June 1947, Munich – 10 May 2012, Berlin

    Obit via Wetern Booth Hill

    German film actor best known for his association with director Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Fassbinder directed Kaufmann in a total of 14 films, casting him in leading and minor roles. Kaufmann was also romantically involved with the director for a time.
    He died while walking in the Grunewald district of heart failure, the newspaper said. The actor, who in 2009 went to RTL “jungle camp” and at one time was wrongly imprisoned for murder was 64 years old.

    “The White Negro of Hasenbergl” – the title of his autobiography – grew up the son of a U.S. Army soldier and a German mother in Hasenbergl quarter of Munich. In the 70s and 80s, he starred in 16 Rainer-Werner Fassbinder films, including “Berlin Alexanderplatz,” “The Marriage of Maria Braun” and “Querelle”. In the ’90s he had roles in TV series including “Derrick” and “The Old Man”.

    Gunther Kaufmann

    In 2002, Kaufmann was accused of murder in relation to the 2001 death of Hartmut Hagen, a 60-year old accountant whom Kaufmann’s wife had defrauded. The death was ruled accidental, though Kaufmann was sentenced to prison for lesser crimes relating to the incident. In 2005, a new police investigation discovered that Kaufmann was innocent, and had confessed to the crimes to cover up for his late wife, who may have been the perpetrator. He was subsequently released from prison and resumed his acting career.

    Relationship with Fassbinder

    Though Kaufmann was married when he met Fassbinder, the two men began a romantic relationship. Kaufmann is often described as the first major love interest of the director’s career. Like many of Fassbinder’s relationships, it was troubled, and the director would often try to buy Kaufmann’s affection with expensive presents, particualrly cars. (via wiki)

    “Aka “my Bavarian Negro” Seaman-Turned-Actor. The first of
    RWF’s three great loves. He will wreck four Lamborghinis” – Robert Kats (via Love
    is Colder Than Death)

    Maurice Sendak and Pilobolus – The Last Dance

    Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

  • Pilobolus & Maurice Sendak

    In 1999 the dance troupe teamed up with a pair of unlikely collaborators: Maurice Sendak and opera director Arthur Yorinks. It was the first time Pilobolus had allowed outsiders to contribute to their unique process, and the result was a dark and masterful rumination on the Holocaust called A Selection. While the end result may have been a brilliant success, the journey to that point was awkward and contentious, to say the least. Mirra Bank’s 2002 documentary Last Dance provides an intimate look at the backstage drama, the dance’s evolution, and Sendak’s imagination at work.

    And this is where I think Sendak and Pilobolus finally found their common ground: in a form—the human body or a picture book—so seemingly humble and quiet, but so ready to explode emotionally. As Sendak says in “Last Dance”: “You make the whole thing up anyway. You sit there, they sit there, we’re all making it up…. So if you’re making it up, make it up good.” (Via)

    R.I.P Maurice Bernard Sendak – (June 10, 1928 – May 8, 2012)

  • TELL THEM ANYTHING YOU WANT: A PORTRAIT OF MAURICE SENDAK 2009 directed by Lance Bangs, Spike Jonze.

  • Maurice Sendak’s Opera inspired drawings here.

    Bye Bram Bogart

    Monday, May 7th, 2012
  • Bram Bogart

    Portrait via

    Artnet Twitter announcement he was 90 years old


    His paintings at Artnet


    Bram Bogart (1921) is one of the artists of the ‘Informel’, the loosely knit aesthetic movement which produced a generation of painters in the early 1950s. The movement included such European artists as Alberto Burri in Italy, and Antoni Tàpies in Spain, whose textural canvasses distance them from their American counterparts, the Abstract Expressionists.

    From 1946 Bogart worked in Paris for a decade, a difficult time during which a typical reaction to his work (from a Dutch critic) was ‘a form of rock and roll with paint in its most stupid manifestation’. However after his move to Belgium in 1959, Bogart’s work became widely recognized. From the early 1960s onwards his canvasses are characterised by a new technique radiant with colour, light and optimism. Bogart became a Belgian citizen in 1969.

    Dance, Dance Otherwise We’re Lost

    Monday, May 7th, 2012

    Dance, Dance Otherwise We’re Lost

  • Picture This – OWS May Day

    Tuesday, May 1st, 2012
  • Dinh Q. Lê
    Born in Ha-Tien, Vietnam – Dinh Q. Lê a Vietnamese American fine arts photographer, best known for his woven-photographs.

  • Hong Chun Zhang
    Via Juxtapose

    China-born, Kansas-based artist Hong Chun Zhang has a fascination with hair.

  • Paris View interview

  • Joseph Heller May 1, 1923

    Books by Josep Heller: No Laughing Matter, Now and Then,Catch 22, Something Happend, Good as Gold, God Knows, Picture This. He did screnplays for Sex & single girl, Casino Royale, Dirty Dingus Magee.

    “Do not make war in a hostile distant land unless you intend to live there. The people will outnumber you, your presence will be alarming, the government you install to keep order will not keep order, victory is impossible if the people keep fighting, there is only genocide to cope with determined military resistance.” – Picture This – Joseph Heller

    Oh, shit, sighed the elderly author and chuckled to himself once more. He was not surprised, and began to think seriously of writing the book you’ve just read’…The End..’Portrait of an artist as an old man – Joseph Helle