+

“Amy Tan Unintended Memor”, Last Film by James Redford

June 12th, 2022
  • Amy Tan pays tribute to James Redford

  • It’s always a sad day when a parent outlives their child, and such a tragic event has occurred in retired acting legend Robert Redford’s household.

    Robert Redford and James Redford

    Author Any Tan and her mother in a still used in James Redford’s documentary “Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir.”

  • “I was very reluctant to do it, but Jamie was a very charming person,” Tan said. “… When I watched this documentary, I said, ‘Gosh, I look like I’m on the verge of crying all the time,’ and I think that I was, because it was just talking to him and very openly. He was somebody that I trusted so much that I felt he was never going to judge me, he was never going to pity me, he was just going to listen.”
    The two became close during the nearly three years spent making the film.

    “He got a little obsessed with Amy, I have to say,” said Kyle Redford, with a laugh. “We couldn’t get into a car without playing one of Amy’s stories. No music, no NPR anymore, just Amy on audio!”

    Kyle Redford said her husband was drawn to making a documentary about Tan because he needed a break from “problem” documentaries, which he felt had saturated the market —and yet her story appealed to his sensibilities.

    Frank Zappa – See a Documentary by Alex Winter

    May 25th, 2022
  • Photo via Frank Zappa Hot Rats Anniversary Collection

  • “Zappa” documentary directed by Alex Winter
    (Streaming at Kanopy)

    Alex Winter’s Documentary Hauntingly Captures the Skewed Passion of Frank Zappa, a One-of-a-Kind Rock Legend
    The film finds an emotional through line by taking Frank Zappa as seriously as he took himself.

    Zappa and Vaclav Havel – see the photo of them, here.
    (Zappa’s visit to Prague was covered in this documentary).


  • Letter to Edgard Varese, Zappa was 16 years old

    Dear Sir:

    Perhaps you might remember me from my stupid phone call last January, if not, my name again is Frank Zappa Jr. I am 16 years old … that might explain partly my disturbing you last winter. The reason for my letter at this time is that I am visiting relatives in Baltimore and as long as I am on the East Coast I hope I can get to see you.

    It might seem strange but ever since I was 13 I have been interested in your music. The whole thing stems from the time when the keeper of this little record store sold me your album “The Complete Works of Edgard Varèse, Vol.l.” The only reason I knew it existed was that an article in either LOOK or the POST mentioned it as being noisy and unmusical and only good for trying out the sound systems in high fidelity units (referring to your “IONIZATIONS” [sic]). I don’t know how the store I got it from ever obtained it, but, after several hearings, I became curious and bought it for $5.40, which, at the time seemed awfully high and being so young, kept me broke for three weeks. Now I wouldn’t trade it for anything and I am looking around for another copy as the one I have is very worn and scratchy.

  • Kronos

  • See Frank Zappa art

  • Zappa Homepage

  • Rolling Stones Journalist Ben Fong Torres – See a Documentary of His Life

    May 10th, 2022
  • One of the most captivating documentaries about a journalist I’ve seen in a long while. If you are parents of teenagers, show this film, they can learn important history of America, not just Rock’n Roll.

  • <> <>
    (Ben Fong-Torres (left) and Art Garfunkel (right) mimic a famous album cover)

  • Ben Fong Torres wiki

    He conducted interviews for Rolling Stone of entertainment figures including Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, comedian Steve Martin and Linda Ronstadt’s first cover story in 1975. He also profiled Marvin Gaye, Sly and the Family Stone, Bonnie Raitt, Paul McCartney and Rodney Dangerfield. A Fong-Torres interview with Ray Charles was awarded the Deems Taylor Award for Magazine Writing in 1974.

    Fong-Torres was also a rock DJ for San Francisco radio station KSAN-FM in the 1970s. He later hosted a live, weekly entertainment and talk show, Fog City Radio, on NPR affiliate KQED-FM. On television, he is the five-time Emmy Award-winning co-anchor of the Chinese New Year Parade broadcast on KTVU (Fox) in San Francisco.

  • A Documentary of Colette Urban, by Katherine Knight

    December 20th, 2021

  • (“Pretend Not to See Me”)

    See the film at Kanopy or here online

    Katherine Knight is a Photographer who directed “Pretend Not to See Me”

    Colette U.

    What does it mean to live on the edge of the country, but at the heart of art?

    At her spectacular oceanfront farm in Newfoundland, performance artist Colette Urban becomes a half woman-half bear, dances a tango while strapped into bungee cords, wheels nonsensical record contraptions and turns herself into a parody of consumer goods.

    “I am timid in the real world. Performance and this idea of disguise are a real comfort to me. I’m not me. I’m someone else once I am in that role of the performer.”

    This is a film about following a dream, having courage and believing in oneself. It’s about embracing risk and sustaining courage through acts of the imagination. It’s an astonishing representation of Colette Urban’s enigmatic art performances set against the rugged beauty of rural Newfoundland

    Witkin and Witkin – a Documentary film of Twin Artists

    December 7th, 2021
  • Review here
    Ziff has pulled off an astonishing accomplishment with Witkin and Witkin. The film works on many levels. Firstly, the viewer is drawn into the “weird news” curiosity about identical twins who go their separate ways. Then comes the compelling rush of fascination around the art they make. Finally, she delivers a tender, charming look at two very different lives of artists have gone through many experiences and relationships. It combines a sideshow with an art course and a twin biography that is exceedingly entertaining.

  • <> <> <>
    (Still Life with Mirror – Joel Peter Witkin

    Joel Peter Witkin – Heaven, Hell, Transesexuals, Deformed people (Previous post)

  • “Unknown Known”, Erroll Morris & Steve Carell as Rumsfeld in “Vice””

    July 2nd, 2021
  • Challenging the Believing-Is-Seeing Mindset: Errol Morris on Donald Rumsfeld and ‘The Unknown Known’

    Unknown Known, & Donald Rumsfeld

  • July 3 – 2021 – Erroll Morris on Donald Rumsfeld

  • Erroll Morris, Ecstatic absurdity it’s the confrontation with meaninglessness.

  • Supermodel to Maxist Professor, Benedetta Barzini -A Film Directed by Her Son

    March 19th, 2021

  • (Barrese and his mother Benedetta Barzini)

    Discovering Benedetta Barzini in “the disappearance of my mother”

  • Benedetta Barzini wiki

    Gerard Malanga

    In December 1966, Barzini was named one of the “100 Great Beauties of the World” by the American fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar. She began training at the Actors Studio around that time,[4] and in the process became romantically involved with, and later engaged to, New York poet and media artist Gerard Malanga, an early collaborator of Andy Warhol.[5] He would dedicate various works to her, such as his Poems for Benedetta Barzini and The Last Benedetta Poems.[4] Additionally, Malanga’s 1967 black-and-white film In Search of the Miraculous is an emotional, vivid poem of adoration for Barzini.

  • Benedetta Barzini in a dress by Norell. Photo by Irving Penn. Vogue, April 1, 1965.

    Barzini was discovered at age 20 on the streets of Rome[3] by Consuelo Crespi in 1963; Diana Vreeland soon thereafter received photographs of Barzini and sent a telegram asking if she could come to Manhattan to shoot for American Vogue[3] with Irving Penn


  • (Benedetta Barzini and Marcel Duchamp – from “The Dissapearance of My Mother’)

  • RIP Elsa Dorfman (1937-2020) – Boston Portrait Photographer

    May 31st, 2020
  • Elsa Dorfman Homepage
    (Harvey Silverglate, Elsa Dorfman, Allen Ginsberg, December 21, 1995.)


    Eroll Morris (documentary filmmaker on Elsa Dorfman The B-Side)

    Elsa Dorfman

    American portraitist Elsa Dorfman, known for her intimate large-format Polaroids of friends, artists, celebrities, and herself, has died at age eighty-three from kidney failure, the Boston Globe reports.

  • Harvard Magazin on Elsa Dorfman

  • Elsa Dorfman Wiki

    Raising awareness
    Dorfman suggested elements of healing through her work in a variety of ways. She photographed terminal cancer patients, emphasizing their dignity. In 1995, she collaborated with graphic artist Marc A. Sawyer to illustrate the booklet 40 Ways to Fight the Fight Against AIDS. She photographed people, both with and without AIDS, each engaged in one of forty activities that might help AIDS victims in their daily life. The photographs were exhibited 1995 at the Lotus Development Corporation in Cambridge, in Provincetown and in New York City. The artist donated the costs of producing the photographs for this project.[16]

    Dorfman co-starred in the documentary No Hair Day (1999) as she’s taking the portraits of three women undergoing treatment for breast cancer

  • Robert Creeley
    The above image shows two books by
    Robert Creeley, the one pictured is Elsa’s Housebook which I bought on my first trip to Boston.

  • Words of Love, Marianne and Leonard Cohen

    February 13th, 2020
  • Letters

    ‘Write me and tell me your heart’ — Leonard Cohen’s letters to Marianne Ihlen

  • Happy Valentine’s Day!

  • Jacob Dylan – Echo in the Canyon

    January 4th, 2020

  • Jacob Dylan

    Dylan has written notable hits such as “6th Avenue Heartache” and “One Headlight”, which is listed at number 58 on Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Greatest Pop Songs”. He has won two Grammy Awards, and released two solo albums: Seeing Things in 2008 and Women + Country in 2010. Women + Country became Dylan’s highest-charting album since the Wallflowers’ 1996 breakthrough Bringing Down the Horse, peaking at number 12 on the Billboard 200.

    Echo in the Canyon (Laurel Canyon Music Scene documentary) – Rolling Stone

    The film, directed by Dylan’s manager and former record exec Andy Slater, combines history lessons with new performances of the era’s music (from “In My Room” to “Goin’ Back”) from Fiona Apple, Beck and others. Dylan found himself nostalgic for an era before his birth. “There was a lot of support,” he says, “and a lot of tradition.”

  • bob-dylan-3

    Bob Dylan

    To Edna Gundersen, USA Today:
    GUNDERSEN: Your son Jakob has been very much in the spotlight this year. Do you worry about him?
    DYLAN: I’m proud of his accomplishments. He’s still young, and he’s come a long way in a short time. I worried about him when he started out. I just didn’t want to see him get roughed up. This business can really throw you into deep water. He’s had his ups and downs. What he does with the future remains to be seen, but he and his band have done rather well. In the contemporary music scene, they have got a voice to be heard.

  • 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)