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RIP D. A Pennebaker a Pioneer Documentary Filmmaker

August 3rd, 2019
  • D.A Pennebaker (Rollingstone obit)

  • (wiki)

    Pennebaker has been described as “arguably the pre-eminent chronicler of Sixties counterculture”

  • See his films by year or alphabetically

  • JLG’s 1 AM to D.A. Pennebaker’s 1 PM – Jean Luc Godard’s unfinished film

  • Much more interesting to me was the film he attempted to make in 1969, tentatively titled 1 AM (or One American Movie). A collaboration with cinema-verite pioneers D. A. Pennabaker and Richard Leacock, the project was abandoned after Godard lost interest during the editing phase but Pennebaker ended up completing his own version of the existing footage which he titled 1 PM (or One Parallel Movie). This is a brief history of the film’s journey from concept to screen.

  • On Don’t Look Back – “What I thought was, this person is trying to generate himself,” Pennebaker told The New York Times in 2016. “He’s trying to figure out who he is and what he wants to do. So I filmed him talking to people and listening to people. When the concerts came, I would only shoot little parts of them. I didn’t want it to be a music film. I wanted it to be a film about a person who was finding out who he was.” (via Rollingstone obit)

  • Satan and Adam – A Documentary on Blues & Friendship

    July 15th, 2019

  • (Sterling Magee and Adam Gussow)

    Adam Gussow

    is an American scholar, memoirist, and blues harmonica player. He is currently a professor of English and Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi in Oxford.

    Sterling Magee (Satan & Adam wiki)

    Magee recorded several near-hits on Ray Charles’s Tangerine label in the early 1960s, including “Get in My Arms Little Girl.” His proficiency on guitar earned him gigs with a number of rhythm-and-blues performers, including James Brown, King Curtis, Big Maybelle, Joey Dee and the Starliters, and a transvestite duo known as The Illusions That Create Confusion. In the mid 1970s he played sessions with Paul Winley and the Harlem Underground, a loose-knit unit that included George Benson.


    Satan and Adam (on Netflix)

  • SATAN and ADAM – I Want You / C C Rider (youtube)

  • “I Am Not Your Negro” Written by James Baldwin, Directed by Raoul Peck

    August 1st, 2018
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    (“I Am Not Your Negro” Written by James Baldwin, Directed by Raoul Peck)
    New Yorker –

    Capturing James Baldwin’s Legacy Onscreen
    With “I Am Not Your Negro,” Raoul Peck seems to be stepping in to make the movie that Baldwin couldn’t.

    Baldwin was drawn to Ingmar Bergman’s films, because they were the work of a feeling thinker who mined his past—especially his troubled relationship with his authoritarian pastor father. In a 1960 Esquire profile of Bergman, Baldwin describes how, after an interview with the filmmaker, he got into his car and imagined a movie he might make about his own past. But Baldwin had neither Bergman’s studio support nor his skin color.

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    Nina Simone and James Baldwin (Wild is the Wind)

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    James Baldwin Born August 2, 1924

    Baldwin and Marlon (Dangerous Minds – civil rights 1963)

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    Go Tell It on the Mountain, which Baldwin had worked on for years under various titles, was finally finished during a trip to Switzerland. When New York publisher Alfred Knopf expressed interest in publishing the work, Baldwin returned to America on a ticket bought with a loan from Marlon Brando. His novel was published a year later in 1953 and received rave reviews. (via)

  • Patrick Morell – Filmmaker, Documentaries, & Travels

    June 29th, 2018
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    Patrick Morell Filmmaker, Documentaries, Taravels and more.
    Happy birthday!

    Interview – on books – Proust, Thomas Wolfe, Genet, August Wilson, Philip Roth etc.

    Lawrence of Arabia. From Lawrence Book. The 7 pillars of wisdom. Big influence. I took a nap under his Rock in the desert of Wadi Rum, at the order and border of Jordan and Saudi Arabia. – Patrick Morell

    Wellfleet. Massachussetts
    Patrick Morell –Golden Rabbit films LLC

    Patrick’s #1 inspiration was Louis Malle’s most personal film, Phantom of India .

    Uummannaq. Western Greenland. (click to see large)
    Photo by Patrick Morell

    Under the Volcano, The Farmers and Punkdaydreamers in Bali

    June 4th, 2018
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    (Photos by Øivind Klungseth Zahlsen)

    The noise of single hearts battles noise of society in media … whilst the volcano is just there, and so also this farmer. Together they collaps into a fiercely peacefulness that no western journalist or her editor can accept.

    When Pieter Bruegel painted his “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus”, did he leave us with an accusation, metaphorically, represented by that farmer who seems to ignore the scenario he is captured within? (via Citizen 5 )

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  • Punk Daydream (Lamuna-oi)

    See more photos from previous post.

    (Øivind Klungseth Zahlsen did some steadycam work in Bandung’s toxic environments back in January 2014 for this film.”

    RIP Stephen Hawking – A Brief History of Time, Documentary by Erroll Morris

    March 13th, 2018
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  • See the full film, here.

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    Criterion – A Brief History of Time – Macrobiography

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    and Stephen Hawking

  • Eroll Morris – Ecstatic Absurdity, It’s Confrontation with Meaninglessness (previous post)

  • Vivian Maier – (February 1, 1926 – April 21, 2009) –

    February 1st, 2018

  • (Self-portrait-1960)

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    Vivian Maier

    Wiki

    Vivian Dorothy Maier (February 1, 1926 – April 21, 2009) was an American street photographer. Maier worked for about forty years as a nanny, mostly in Chicago’s North Shore, pursuing photography during her spare time. She took more than 150,000 photographs during her lifetime, primarily of the people and architecture of Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles, although she also traveled and photographed worldwide

  • via her wiki.. John Maloof, curator of some of Maier’s photographs, summarized the way the children she nannied would later describe her:

    “She was a Socialist 1ameriVivian, a Feminist, a movie critic, and a tell-it-like-it-is type of person. She learned English by going to theaters, which she loved. … She was constantly taking pictures, which she didn’t show anyone.”

  • Tim Roth invites you to Vivian M.

    How were you involved in Vivian getting her first posthumous gallery show here in L.A.?
    I said, “I have a friend who has a really lovely gallery. Why don’t we do the L.A. [photos] and I’ll host it?” So we’ve been doing it ever since. We try to do one a year. We do some new pieces, and we try and get some of her prints — which are very rare — in there as well. The ones that she printed probably at the corner store.

    What drew you to her eye?

    A favorite photographer of mine on the documentary side would be Don McCullin. Stuff that I really admire in cinema would be Ken Loach. Within the photographs is sort of a critique of society. She has that. I thought it was extraordinary. You can see in her framing and in her point of view and in how the equipment that she was using changed.

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  • FB Vivian Maier

    V.M – an anoymous portrait of america (See more photos here)

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    Vivian Maier 1vivianmaier (repost)

  • The Center Will Not Hold – a Documentary of Joan Didion – 2017

    November 1st, 2017
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    Joan Didion Documentary shows the warmer side of a cool Icon

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    New Yorker –

  • The Center will not hold

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    Photo by Annie Leibovitz

  • Joan Didion wrote the White Album (previous post)

    “We tell ourselves stories in order to live” is the first sentence of this collection of essays written by Joan Didion.
    “The White Album” includes her essays on Doris Lessing and Georgia O’Keefe.
    “I WILL BE HER WITNESS.
    That would translate sere su testigo, and will not appear in your travelers’ phrasebook because it is not a useful phrase for the prudent traveler.’ Another beginning sentences from her novel “A Book of Common Prayer”.

    Having lost her loved ones and having won an award for the brave book
    Joan is still writing.

    Joan shares a birthday with other funny writers and personalities,
    Calvin Trillin, Margaret Cho and Hanif Kureishi.

    Joan is the wise seer with a fragile exterior and migraine headaches.

  • Paris Review interview

  • Joan Didian recommended Another Sky –

    Bill Binney, the Original NSA Whistleblower – A Good American, a Documentary about Binney

    September 25th, 2017
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    Computer Weekly.com – Interview (The Original NSA Whistleblower)

    Bill Binney, the ‘original’ NSA whistleblower, on Snowden, 9/11 and illegal surveillance

    Binney was responsible for feeding targeting rules gleaned from the analysis back into the analytical tools. This self-refinement was key, allowing analysts to hone in on their targets, without the need for mass data collection.

    Boing Boing – 9/11 could have been prevented

    After his resignation, Binney and his fellow whistleblowers faced retaliation from the NSA, as the agency prevented him from getting work as a private intelligence contractor and eventually staged a guns-drawn dawn raid on his home.

    Binney has been a sharp, articulate, deeply knowledgeable critic of mass electronic surveillance ever since, refusing to be intimidated by the NSA despite the risks to himself.

    “S For Stanley”, an Intimate Documentary film of Stanley Kubrick’s Driver/Handyman/

    July 26th, 2017
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    Emilio D’Alessandro, left, and Stanley Kubrick in the documentary “S Is for Stanley.”
    S For Stanley (See a trailer here)
    S For Stanley is a most delightful film, about a competent driver with modest ambition became indispensable to a genius filmmaker.

  • On the floor Stanley Kubrick by Weegee
    Stanley Kubrick photo by Weegee

    Much like Weegee, Stanley Kubrick started his career as a photographer on the streets of New York & contributed era defining shots to LIFE magazine. Kubrick admired Weegee’s photographs & during shooting of Doctor Strangelove employed him as a stills photographer. When Peter Sellers heard Weegee speak he apparently used Weegee’s peculiar voice as the basis for that of Dr Strangelove!

    Kubrick, Carl Jung and Arthur Schnitzler (Previous post)
    Kubrick was thinking a lot about ‘The Shadow Concept’ and decided to explore that in his next war film.

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    With Marlon during the making of One Eyed Jack.

    How Marlon fired Kubrick

    “Tower” Documentary film 2016 about Texas Sniper is Superb

    May 8th, 2017
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    Richard Brody New Yorker

    One of the best documentaries of 2016, “Tower” (available on Netflix), is about a mass murder that took place on and around the campus of the University of Texas at Austin in 1966, when a twenty-five-year-old man named Charles Whitman, equipped with a trove of high-powered firearms, climbed to the observation deck of the school’s central tower and, from its vantage point, fired down on random passersby. The director of “Tower,” Keith Maitland, conducted extensive interviews with survivors of the attack, as well as with officers and civilians who, together, brought it to an end. He uses them ingeniously, weaving voices together to tell a multifaceted story from multiple perspectives while taking an original approach to the overfamiliar technique of rotoscoped reënactments. It’s too good to spoil, but suffice it to say that the fifty-year gap between the events and the making of the movie are built into the story dramatically and movingly.

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    Brave Hollywood (see trailer)

    “Uncle Howard” a Documentary film about Howord Brookner, Produced by Jim Jarmusch

    April 27th, 2017
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    Burroughs with Howard Brooker from “Uncle Howard”

    Reflection on film

    BRINGING BACK HOWARD BROOKNER – AN ARTIST LOST TO AIDS

    Howard Brookner

    Born: April 30, 1954
    Died: April 27, 1989 (age 34) in New York City, New York, USA

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    photo of Jim, Sara and Howard

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    ‘Uncle Howard’ Remembers NYC Filmmaker Howard Brookner

    NYtimes (1989) Directors race with aids ends before his movie opens.

    ”Howard was kind of a weasel in figuring out how to get things done,” says Sarah Driver, who, along with the director Jim Jarmusch, was his closest friend at N.Y.U. ”Jim and I thought he would weasel out of his illness somehow.” ‘Wanted All the Gory Details’

    Like many of his friends, Madonna is haunted by a specific memory: ”Long before I knew anything, Howard asked me if I had ever seen anybody die. He wanted all the gory details about a friend who had AIDS and I nursed him to the end and was in the room when he died.”

    Earlier, when the disease had touched his body with lighter fingers, Mr. Brookner made a video diary of his sickness. Seeing himself as a film maker was so central to his identity that he was determined to stay alive for the opening of his movie. ”It was like that O. Henry story when a woman knows she will die when the last leaf falls off an ivy vine, and so a friend paints a leaf on the wall,” Mr. Gooch says.

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    Aaron Brookner (Howard’s nephew) and Jim Jarmusch at the Burroughs’ bunker.