Archive for August, 2012

24 City – Jia Zhang Ke

Thursday, August 30th, 2012
  • 24 city

    See full film here

    The film follows three generations of characters in Chengdu (in the 1950s, the 1970s and the present day) as a state-owned factory gives way to a modern apartment complex.
    The apartment complex featured in the film is an actual development (also called “24 City”) built on the former site of an airplane engine manufacturing facility. Jia will also produce a documentary about the location.
    The film’s narrative style is described by critics as a blend of fictional and documentary storytelling, and it consist of five authentic interviews and four fictional scenes delivered by actors (but presented in a documentary format.

    Joan Chen (Photo via 24 City – Mixing and manipulating Chinese History )

    Peter Bradshaw (Guardian)

    His most sensational “fictional” interview is with a beautiful, lonely factory worker, who is nicknamed Little Flower on the shopfloor, because of her resemblance to the eponymous heroine of a popular 1980 film. The heroine of that genuine film was played by Joan Chen and this character is played by … Joan Chen. Using such an obviously famous star in my view exonerates Jia from the charge of dishonesty. It’s an extraordinarily audacious, even outrageous casting gesture, a day-glo post-modern joke amidst the dour factory dust: an alienation effect which is also its opposite, an identification effect, a way of dramatising how downtrodden factory workers dreamed of glamorous escape, of lives other than the ones they had.

    Early film – 1997

    Jia Zhang Ke photo via

    “Part of the reason I started making films was to respond to cinema’s blind spots, its silences, on the kind of life I knew. I wanted to express all the memorable things that I had experienced, and I think this is still my primary responsibility as a filmmaker.” – Jia Zhangke (MUBI)

    The quest for memory – documentary – (Senses of Cinema)

    Malcolm Browne – Photographer of Burning Monk Dies

    Tuesday, August 28th, 2012
  • (via)

    Malcolm Browne’s decision not to intervene and prevent Thich Quang Duc’s self-immolation haunted him for many years. He felt that in those seconds he could have saved the monk’s life but he chose to take photographs instead.
    Perhaps by doing so and helping to show the world what was happening in Vietnam Malcolm Browne, in his small way, hastened the end of the war thereby saving many other lives at the cost of Thich Quang Duc’s.
    Of course, Thich Quang Duc must be given far more credit for changing the world’s perception of the Vietnam War, after all, his was the ultimate sacrifice.
    It is said that the only part of Thich Quang Duc’s body that wasn’t burnt was his heart, even after his body was subjected to ritual cremation, and it is kept at the Reserve Bank of Vietnam as a holy relic.(via)

    Malcolm Browne (wiki)

    Burning Monk Photographer Malcolm Browne Dies + BBC in pictures

    Browne chats with David Halberstam of the New York Times (left) (Read more: here.)

  • Apollinaire’s Letters to Madeleine

    Saturday, August 25th, 2012

    Guillaume Apollinaire’s exeperience of the war provided the material for
    Jules et Jim directed by Francois Truffaut. Francois Truffaut

  • L’histoire d’Apollinaire et de Madeleine est racontée sans citer le nom du poète dans le film Jules et Jim de François Truffaut.
    (Letters to Madeleine)

  • Portrait de Guillaume Apollinaire – dans l’atelier de Picasso du 11 boulevard de Clichy – Picasso, 1910(Via)

    Guillaume Apollinaire – 26 August 1880

  • A great page on Guillaume Apollinaire here.

  • The Count & the Housewife

    Friday, August 24th, 2012

    Jerry Nelson the man behind “The Count” passed away on Aug 23.

    Jerry Nelson Puppeteer – Family Photo

    Nelson played ‘Count von Count’ (aka the ‘Count’ seen here) on Sesame Street from the 1970’s through his retirement in 2004, but also was the first to perform Mr. Snuffleupagus. Other roles include Gobo Fraggle (my personal favorite) and Marjory the Trash Heap from Fraggle Rock, and multiple characters from the Muppets including Sgt. Floyd Pepper of the Electric Mayhem band, Dr. Julius Strangepork, Kermit’s nephew Robin, and Gonzo’s girlfriend Camilla the Chicken.
    Mr. Nelson had a gift with puppets that helped shape generations of viewers. He learned to puppeteer under Bill Baird, the creator of the “Lonely Goatherd” marionette scene in The Sound of Music. Jerry was born on July 10th 1934 in Tulsa Oklahoma and died August 23rd, 2012.

  • NYtimes obit for Phyllis Diller

    She liked jokes that piled on the laughs in rapid succession. A favorite of hers was this one: “I realized on our first wedding anniversary that our marriage was in trouble. Fang gave me luggage. It was packed. My mother damn near suffocated!”

    She had six children from her marriage to her first husband (via wiki)

    Henri Cartier Bresson & Martine Franck

    Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

  • (Photo by his second wife Martine Franck – pictures within picture NY-Times )

  • Henri Cartier Bresson born on August 22, 1908

  • Martine Franck dies – the photographer was more than Henri Cartier Bresson’s wife (Slate)

    Martine Frank (1938 – 2012)
    (Photo by her husband Cartier Bresson)

    Martine Franck Legacy – Time magazine

    Martine Franck wiki

  • Braille Google google braille
    – The Gift from a Blind Poet

    “One day Cartier-Bresson received a telephone call from the writer JL Borges, who wished to know whether he would be willing to accept a prize for which Borges wanted to nominate him.” (via)

  • The philosopher at his studio by Martin Franck

    Michel Foucault (Previous post – Foucault Funhouse)

    Paul Tillich , Lartigue & Arthur Waley

    Sunday, August 19th, 2012
  • Paul Tillich <>
    When he said jump (Iconic Photos)

    Paul Tillich (August 20, 1886 – October 22, 1965) was a German-American theologian and Christian existentialist philosopher

    Hanna Tillich and Paul Tillich : Their relationship, sexual affair, and personality

    From Time to Time by Hannah Tillich

    Paul Tillich on youtube (on literature)

    Professor Mitsuo Aoki – Hawaii Living Treasure was Paul Tillich’s student.

  • Jacques H. Lartigue

    See more photos by Lartigue here

  • Arthur Waley <> <> ..

    Arthur Waley (August 19 1889 – 27 June 1966) was an English orientalist and sinologist.

    Translated the Pillow Book, the Noh, Tao Te Ching -see the list of his works.. amazing. and he has never visited Asia.

  • T.E. Lawrence, His Books & Bedroom

    Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

    Lawrence at Hejaz

  • Birthday of T.E Lawrence – 16 August 1888

  • His bedroom with books

  • Ralph Fiennes took us to see his cottage at Clouds Hill (see One Foot in the past – youtube)

  • His bedroom without books.

    Nothing in Clouds Hill is to be a care upon the world. While I have it there shall be nothing exquiste or unique in it. Nothing to anchor me.” T.E. Lawrence

  • Clouds Hill

    “The sleeping bag that served as a guest bed to some of the 20th century’s most distinguished authors at TE Lawrence’s weekend retreat has been returned 36 years after it was stolen. National Trust custodians of Clouds Hill, the author’s cottage in Dorset, were amazed when a weather-beaten package from Belgium arrived containing the sleeping bag, along with a sheepish note that read: ‘This is yours’. The bag, embroidered with the word ‘tuum’ [‘yours’], was provided for guests at the cottage, while Lawrence slept on the floor in the other sleeping bag, marked ‘meum’ [‘mine’]. According to Jeremy Wilson, Lawrence’s biographer, tuum’s occupants included George Bernard Shaw, E. M. Forster and Robert Graves.

  • T.E. Lawrence

    Lawrence was born in Tremadoc, Caernarvonshire, Wales, the illegitimate son of Thomas Chapman. His father left his wife, who had refused to allow a divorce. He set up a new home with Sarah Junner, a woman who had been governess in his household. Lawrence was the third son of this union.

    Did TE Lawrence Have a Miserable or a Happy Childhood?

    Lawrence first meeting with Faisal

    His grave

    Previous post Ralph and T.E. Lawrence

    The Child is Not Dead – Ingrid Jonker

    Sunday, August 12th, 2012
  • Ingrid Jonker – was a South African poet. Although she wrote in Afrikaans, her poems have been widely translated into other languages. Jonker has reached iconic status in South Africa and is often called the South African Sylvia Plath, owing to the intensity of her work and the tragic course of her turbulent life.

    See also African history online

  • Song of the Grave Digger see a photo of her on the beach and read her poem.

  • Black Butterflies is a Dutch film about the life of South-African poet Ingrid Jonker.

    The film focused on her messy life and not enough on her early development as a poet.

  • Nelson Mandela recited a poem by Ingrid Jonker.

    The Child is Not Dead

    The child is not dead
    The child lifts his fists against his mother
    Who shouts Afrika ! shouts the breath
    Of freedom and the veld
    In the locations of the cordoned heart

    The child lifts his fists against his father
    in the march of the generations
    who shouts Afrika ! shout the breath
    of righteousness and blood
    in the streets of his embattled pride

    The child is not dead not at Langa nor at Nyanga
    not at Orlando nor at Sharpeville
    nor at the police station at Philippi
    where he lies with a bullet through his brain

    The child is the dark shadow of the soldiers
    on guard with rifles Saracens and batons
    the child is present at all assemblies and law-givings
    the child peers through the windows of houses and into the hearts of mothers
    this child who just wanted to play in the sun at Nyanga is everywhere
    the child grown to a man treks through all Africa

    the child grown into a giant journeys through the whole world
    Without a pass

    Nicholas Ray

    Monday, August 6th, 2012
  • N. Ray

  • Nicholas Ray (August 7, 1911 – June 16, 1979)

    See his filmography form MUBI

    “You like these films, but you can’t imagine how often they represent only fifty percent of what I wanted to do. You have no idea how I had to fight to achieve even that fifty percent.”

    5 Great Films by Nicholas Ray

    But while largely critically ignored and/or underappreciated for much of his career, Ray has always had his champions among cinephiles. As mentioned, the French New Wave adored him during his 1950s heyday (François Truffaut was another major admirer), and subsequent generations have rallied behind him, such as Wenders, Martin Scorsese, Jim Jarmusch, Philip Kaufman (who once tried to mount a biopic of his life), Oren Moverman (who wrote it), Curtis Hanson and many more.

  • On the set of The American Friend
    Dennis Hopper, Wim Wenders, Bruno Ganz, and Nicholas Ray while filming ‘The American Friend,’ 1976 — Caterine Milinaire.

    Lightning Over Water

    The film is a collaboration between Wenders and Ray to document Ray’s last days due to terminal cancer in 1979. The film is partially a homage to Ray who had a strong influence on Wenders’ work, and partially an investigation on life and death. Ray’s influence on Wenders includes Ray’s “love on the run” sub-genre as well as his film noir photography.

    Nicholas Ray appears in a minor role in Wenders’ film The American Friend.

    The film crew is extensively featured onscreen. Jim Jarmusch, Ray’s personal assistant at the time

  • Alain Corneau alaincorneau
    Aug 7 – birthday of Alain Corneau – French filmmaker of Tous Les Matin du Monde

    Robert Hughes R.I.P

    Monday, August 6th, 2012

    The Shock of the New (via Ubu)

    ‘He will be greatly missed’: art critic Robert Hughes dies in New York, aged 74

    Artbeat obit

    Robert Hughes wiki

    Adam Gopnik (wonderful tribute -NewYorker)

    What he really detested was mannerism, in all its guises, whether the mannerism was the Italian kind that had to be cured by Caravaggio or of the postmodern kind that had yet to be cured at all. If this left him blind to the virtues that mannerism may contain—elliptical thought, the tangle of reference, stylishness—well, who would not want to be in a minority clamoring for truth and passion in a mannerist age?

    Christopher DeLaurenti

    will always be grateful, warily, for the blustery yet brilliant arrogance of Robert Hughes; though he clearly abhorred most contemporary (esp. post-modernist) art, his magisterial TV series “The Shock of the New” abounded with gems, such as “One of the effects of today’s museums – with their lovely white walls and their feeling of a perpetual present – is to make art seem newer than it actually is.”

    Germaine Greer Note to Robert Hughes: Bob, dear, Damien Hirst is just one of many artists you don’t get

  • The Fatal Shore – The Fatal Shore is the prize-winning, scholarly, brilliantly entertaining narrative that has given its true history to Australia.

    His memoir – Things I didn’t know

    Robert Hughes on Mies van der Rohe – Vision of Space (Youtube)

    Louis & Billie

    Saturday, August 4th, 2012

  • Louis and Danny Kaye (youtube)

  • Louis and Billie

    Louis Armstrong was born in a poor section of New Orleans known as “the Battlefield” on August 4, 1901.

    By the time of his death in 1971, the man known around the world as Satchmo was widely recognized as a founding father of jazz—a uniquely American art form. His influence, as an artist and cultural icon, is universal, unmatched, and very much alive today.

    Louis Armstrong’s achievements are remarkable. During his career, he:

    developed a way of playing jazz, as an instrumentalist and a vocalist, which has had an impact on all musicians to follow;
    recorded hit songs for five decades, and his music is still heard today on television and radio and in films;
    wrote two autobiographies, more than ten magazine articles, hundreds of pages of memoirs, and thousands of letters;
    appeared in more than thirty films (over twenty were full-length features) as a gifted actor with superb comic timing and an unabashed joy of life;
    composed dozens of songs that have become jazz standards;
    performed an average of 300 concerts each year, with his frequent tours to all parts of the world earning him the nickname “Ambassador Satch,” and became one of the first great celebrities of the twentieth century.