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Icon of Topography Movement, Minimalist Photographer – Lewis Baltz Does at 69

November 25th, 2014
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    Icon of New Topography Movement Lewis Baltz dies at 69.

  • Lewis Baltz – wiki

  • NYtimes obit

    More than those of his colleagues, Mr. Baltz’s stark, geometric photographs used the language of Minimalism, the dominant mode of sculpture at the time, to convey a kind of creeping soullessness in the man-made landscape of Southern California, where he grew up.

    The camera, he said, was often a device less for communication than for a kind of existential defense. In 2009 he told an interviewer for the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, “I used photography to distance myself from a world that I loathed and was powerless to improve.”

  • Lewis Baltz At Eye Level
    via

    The Day of Mike Nichols – Who’s Afraid of Dolphin & Karen Silkwood

    November 20th, 2014
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    (Portrait by Eric Fischl)

    R.I.P Mike Nichols
    6 November 1931, (Berlin, Germany) – November 19, 2014
    Back in Berlin, Mike’s father was part of a young intellectual circle that included Russian immigrants such as Vladimir Nabokov’s sister and Boris Pasternak’s parents. (via IMDB)

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    Jack, Arthur and Carol from Carnal Knowledge. (Arthur G was also in Catch-22, Paul Simon’s part was cut.)

    According to Jack Nicholson’s April 1972 Playboy Magazine interview, Nichols asked Nicholson and other cast members not to smoke marijuana while filming Carnal Knowledge (1971) on location in Vancouver, British Columbia, where cannabis was easily available. Nichols thought that it dulled an actor’s performance. (via IMDB bio)

  • On Elaine..

    Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball wanted to give us our own show, and we flew all the way out to L.A. with our lawyers and manager. We got to this room with a big desk, and I said: “You know what? I don’t want to do it.” And Elaine laughed so hard, she fell on the floor. The two of us on a TV series would have been a catastrophe. We were too weird. We weren’t made for that.

    I liked doing the stand-up. I only stopped because Elaine wanted to stop. I’ve never understood it. I thought: “Why? It’s not a very long show. It doesn’t cost us anything emotionally.” But it was hard for her. She was much more inventive than I was. I was plot, she was character. (via)

    Mike Nichols filmography

  • What about Dolphins? (Robin Williams in from the Birdcage – youtube)

  • Life Lessons – Martin Scorsese on The Importance of Visual Literacy

    November 17th, 2014
  • Edward Winkleman on Chuck Connelly.

    Interestingly, in 1989 Martin Scorsese was looking for an artist who could be a model for his film, New York Stories: Life Lessons. Several art dealers recommended Connelly. Subsequently, the “wild man artist” played by Nick Nolte was based on Chuck, and all of the artwork shown in the film was Connelly’s.

    A number of insiders in the art world are interviewed in the film, including the venerable gallery owner Annina Nosei, who launched both Chuck’s career and those of Basquiat and Schnabel.

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    Nestor Almendros (cinematographer) and Martin Scorsese.

    A Man with a Camera – Nestor Almendros (Previous post)..

  • Martin’s Top 10 (The River by Jean Renoir is #3)

  • Happy birthday Martin Scorsese!

  • The Wrong Box & A Curious Painting of Robert Louis Stevens and his Wife by Sargent

    November 13th, 2014

    AT last she comes, O never more
    In this dear patience of my pain
    To leave me lonely as before,
    Or leave my soul alone again.
    - Robert Louis Stevens

    More poems by R.L.S here.

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    Painting of Robert Louis Stevens and his wife by John Singer Sargent – 1885. via

  • Robert Louis Stevens Robert_Louis_Stevenson_mit_7_Jahren

  • He wrote this story, the Wrong Box, with all stars cast..(Michael Caine.. Peter Cook, Peter Sellers – see the trailer on youtube)

    To celebrate his birthday, Take a quiz here.

  • Aidan Quinn played Crusoe

    François Couperin – Les Barricades Mysterieuses

    November 9th, 2014

    Les Barricades mysterieuses (Scott Tennant on Youtube)

    François Couperin

    (10 November 1668 – 11 September 1733) was a French Baroque composer, organist and harpsichordist.

  • Couperin :Troisième leçon des ténèbres, Tous les matins du monde

    Tous Les Matin du Monde was directed by Alain Corneau

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    Digital image and photo by Fung Lin Hall

    Genpei Akasegawa – Death of Neo Dada Artist

    October 26th, 2014
  • R.I.P Genpei Akasegawa – (he was 77 years old.)

    Artnet (obit)

    Genpei Akasegawa is a pseudonymof Japanese artist Katsuhiko Akasegawa (born 1937). During the 1950s and 1960s, he became involved within the Neo-Dada movement, when he formed the Hi-Red Center collective. In 1970s he worked with the idea of Hyper-Art, ordinary street object that happened to look like a conceptual artwork. For what was to become the “Thousand-yen bill incident”, Akasegawa sent out invitations to a solo exhibition in 1963, in a cash envelope mailed through the post. The printed invitation reproduced a 1,000-yen note with the exhibition details at the back, when the local police notice, they arrested him for producing counterfeits.

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    “A Record of the Wind” by Genpei Akasagawa

  • Going Nowhere (see more images here)

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    See Zero yen

    His irreverent humor and cunning observation of everyday life made him popular as a writer, peaking with his 1998 book Rõjinryoku, in which he put forth a hilariously positive take on the declining capabilities of the elderly. Hyperart: Thomasson, marks a crucial turning point in his metamorphosis from a subversive culture to a popular culturatus.

  • Matisse & the Nun, Model & a Collaborator

    October 20th, 2014
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    photo via

    A Model for Matisse available on netflix. (see nice photos)

    Monique Bourgeois 1MatisseMonique-Bourgeois-2 later Sister Jacques-Marie

    NY times on Sister Jacques-Marie

    As a painter he loved the splendid mass of her dark hair and the way her neck rose from her shoulders like a white tower,” Hilary Spurling, his biographer, wrote.

    Click to see large 1Matisse_The Idol

    Monique Bourgeois, as Sister Jacques-Marie was known before she took orders, was the 21-year-old daughter of a soldier. Her upbringing had been painfully strict: she had never worn make-up or read a book without asking her mother’s permission. Her parents told her she was ugly and would never amount to anything.
    When Matisse took her on, she was astonished. She certainly didn’t fit the description of the girl he had advertised for. ‘Young I certainly was,’ she later said. ‘But pretty? Hmmm.’
    Matisse, however, was charmed.
    ‘Who said you were ugly?’ he asked her. ‘Your parents?’

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  • According to Ms. Spurling’s book, “Matisse the Master,” the lonely Matisse “found warmth and comfort in the uncomplicated affection” of the nun. Accounts of the chapel’s genesis vary, but according to Ms. Freed, the filmmaker, Sister Jacques-Marie sketched an Assumption for Matisse and he urged her to turn it into a stained-glass window. It happened that the rest home, Foyer Lacordaire, was hoping to convert a ramshackle garage used for prayer into a full-fledged chapel, and Matisse wondered if displaying the window could help raise money.

    With the aid of a monk convalescing at the rest home, Matisse roughed out a sketch for a chapel, and Sister Jacques-Marie made the working model. Soon Matisse immersed himself in every aspect of the chapel, from the brushstroke sketches of a Stations of the Cross mural to the vestments and the slender Crucifixion altarpiece. The stained-glass windows, with one pair, “Tree of Life,” suggestive of a flowering cactus, are regarded as particular triumphs; they allow lemon-yellow, bottle-green and blue light to play capriciously against white-tiled walls and the marble floor.

    Sister Jacques-Marie did preliminary design work and offered candid evaluations. As important, she ran interference with her local superior, who disapproved of a chapel designed by an artist known for his nudes. In the end, Matisse described the chapel as “their shared project.” When Sister Jacques-Marie told Matisse that she believed he was inspired by God Almighty, he replied gently, “Yes, but that god is me.”

    Matisse by Robert Capa Photo of Matisse
    by Robert Capa (Previous post War and Ingrid Bergman)

  • Caterpiller – Koji Wakamatsu

    October 17th, 2014
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  • Caterpiller trailer
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  • Caterpiller wiki

    Caterpillar is a 2010 Japanese drama film directed by Kōji Wakamatsu, partially drawn from Edogawa Rampo’s banned short-story “The Caterpillar” (芋虫 Imomushi?)
    The film is a critique of the right-wing militarist nationalism that guided Japan’s conduct in Asia during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II. The film deals with various issues, such as war crimes, handicapped veterans, and spousal abuse. The film also deals with themes of sexual perversion and features graphic sex scenes.

    It was nominated for the Golden Bear at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival.[4] Shinobu Terajima received the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival for her portrayal of Kurokawa’s wife.

  • Koji Wakamatsu 1koji-wakamatsu

    (1 April 1936 – 17 October 2012)

    MUBI page

    The Essential Films of Koji Wakamatsu

    .

    Newsha Tavakolian – Refused the Prize Money

    September 19th, 2014

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    Newsha Tavakolian 1newsha

    Newsha Tavakolian (see more from her portfolio)

    Keeping True to an Iranian Vision, Minus Big Money

    Lens plus

    She has instead walked away from the prestigious prize after what she considered repeated interference from Mr. Carmignac, whom she accused in a lengthy Facebook post and subsequent interview with Lens of distorting her vision by editing her images, demanding changes to her text and insisting on titling the project “The Lost Generation,” which she thought was not only a cliché, but could possibly provoke Iranian authorities. While she said the foundation had announced it had “adjourned” her prize because of fears for her safety in Iran, she said the only perils she faced were artistic ones from Mr. Carmignac, who she said seemed intent on controlling her take on her homeland and experiences.

    “I had to make a choice between my artistic freedom and my dignity, or the glory of something that is not real or not mine when it comes to what kind of book do I have,” Ms. Tavakolian said in a phone interview from Tehran.

    In the Mood for Fan Ho’s Photography – Hong Kong 1950

    September 10th, 2014
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  • Fan Ho (homepage)

  • Fan Ho: finding love and light in 1950s Hong Kong – in pictures

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    Fan Ho 1fan-ho-43

    Ho Fan (Chinese: 何藩) (born October 8, 1937) is a celebrated Chinese photographer, film director and actor. He has won over 280 awards from international exhibitions and competitions worldwide since 1956 for his photography

    Hegel’s Dialectics from Half Nelson to Goethe in Love

    August 28th, 2014
  • Half Nelson . Ryan Gosling explains Dialectics.

    Aug 27 birthday of - German philosopher Hegel , a major figure in German Idealism. His historicist and idealist account of reality revolutionized European philosophy and was an important precursor to Continental philosophy and Marxism. Hegel’s influential conceptions are those of speculative logic or “dialectic”, “absolute idealism”. They include “Geist” (spirit), negativity, sublation (Aufhebung in German), the “Master/Slave” dialectic, “ethical life” and the importance of history. (wiki)

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    Portrait of Goethe by Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein

    Johan Wolfganv von Geothe (28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832)

    In 1810, Goethe published his Theory of Colours, which he considered his most important work. In it, he contentiously characterized color as arising from the dynamic interplay of light and darkness through the mediation of a turbid medium.[33] In 1816, Schopenhauer went on to develop his own theory in On Vision and Colors based on the observations supplied in Goethe’s book. After being translated into English by Charles Eastlake in 1840, his theory became widely adopted by the art world, most notably J. M. W. Turner.[34] Goethe’s work also inspired the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, to write his Remarks on Color.

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  • How Hegel put Goethe’s Urphänomen
    to Philosophical Use

  • “Here Hegel recognizes that in Goethe’s hands, the concept escapes the airless depths of the philosopher’s study and connects up with Nature and the everyday life of the people. And he observes:

    “the two worlds greet each other: our abstruse world and the world of phenomenal being. Thus out of rocks and even something metallic Your Excellency prepares for us granite, which we can easily get a handle on because of its Trinitarian nature and which we can assimilate”(Hegel 1984: 699).”

    Two Films on Percy Bysshe Shelley – Haunted Summer & A Shape Of Error + His Sketches

    August 4th, 2014
  • Two Films on Percy Bysshe Shelley – Haunted Summer & A Shape Of Error.

  • 1) Haunted Summer

  • 2) A Shape of Error – by Abigail Child (Vimeo trailer here)

    An experimental l6mm feature, A Shape of Error is based on the life of Percy Bysshe Shelley and his second wife, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley— writers whose lives forecast the modern in their concern for women, free love and labor. Child retells their story as an imaginary home movie, using strategies developed in her earlier films—The Future Is Behind You (2004-05) and Covert Action (1984)— to shape a new kind of narrative. With sound by the acclaimed composer Zeena Parkins (who has worked with John Zorn and Bijork), non-actors in the lead roles and silently shot with Child’s l6mm camera, A Shape of Error is an original—startlingly emotional and engrossing.

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    Sketches of Sailing Boats by Shelley

    Sailing was Shelley’s favourite pursuit in the last year of his life, first on the rivers Serchio and Arno, and latterly off the coast. Rough sketches of sailing vessels are dotted about his notebooks, and many of his poems contain evocative images of boats, rivers and the sea. ‘Rivers are not like roads’, he wrote to Peacock in July 1816, ‘the work of the hands of man; they imitate mind, which wanders at will over pathless deserts, and flows through nature’s loveliest recesses, which are inaccessible to anything besides.’

    Guitar 1bGuitarShelley presented by Shelley to his friend Jane Williams

    Percy Bysshe Shelley – born on 4 August 1792

    Shelley became an idol of the next three or four generations of poets, including important Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite poets such as Robert Browning and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. He was admired by Oscar Wilde, Thomas Hardy, George Bernard Shaw, Bertrand Russell, W. B. Yeats, Karl Marx, Upton Sinclair and Isadora Duncan.[3] Henry David Thoreau’s civil disobedience was apparently influenced by Shelley’s non-violence in protest and political action.