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R.I. P Yoshiko Yamaguchi/Ri-Ko-Ran – Diva of China & Japan

September 15th, 2014
  • Wartime film idol, propaganda tool Rikoran dies at 94 Japan times

  • Japanese Actress Shirley Yamaguchi, Who Starred in ‘House of Bamboo,’ Dies at 94 (Variety)

  • Yoshiko Yamaguchi1cYamguchi

    photo via

    Shirley and Charlie 1charlieYamaguchi
    (photo via)

    Yoshiko Yamaguchi and Isamu Noguchi1IsamuYoshiko

    photo via
    See previous post

    Hollywood reporter -

    After her first marriage to Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi ended in the mid-1950s, Yamaguchi married Hiroshi Ohtaka, who was Japan’s ambassador to Burma, now Myanmar, and occasionally appeared on television. In 1974, she was elected to parliament’s Upper House as a member of the governing Liberal Democratic Party and served until 1992. She was among the contributors to a private atonement fund for Asian “comfort women” used as prostitutes for Japan’s wartime military.

  • Shanghai no Onna 1952 (youtube)

  • Caught Between China & Japan: Superstar Li Xianglan

    She called China her fatherland and Japan her motherland.

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    (Scandal – directed by Kurosawa)

    She was active in promoting relations with China and other Asian countries. One of her concerns was Japanese “comfort women” military brothels, an issue that still strains ties between Japan and its neighbours.

    In her 1987 autobiography, Yamaguchi wrote she was shellshocked when she watched “China Nights” to prepare the book. “Why did I have to appear in such a movie and perform as ‘Chinese actress Ri Koran (Li Xianglan)’? I felt miserable realising this at this advanced age and I had sleepless nights for months.”

    However, according to some Japanese bloggers, the movie was not widely taken as a pure propaganda film but was appreciated by many people in both Japan and China.

    “I think song is something that helps shrink boundaries and distances,” Yamaguchi told public broadcaster NHK in 1985. “I myself suffered much as I was trapped in a war between two countries as long as I remember. Therefore I am determined not to tolerate any war.” (via)

    Adieu Antoine Duhamel – Film Composer For Godard & Truffaut

    September 12th, 2014
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    Antoine Duhamel (30 July 1925 – 11 September 2014) was a French composer, orchestra conductor and music teacher.

    Antoine Duhamel filmography

    Top tracks for Antoine Duhamel

    Click to see large 1antoineSafeC

    In 2002 he was awarded the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for his music for the Bertrand Tavernier directed film, Laissez-passer.

    Safe Conduct (Laisser-Passer) by Bertrand Tavernier.
    The film is almost 3 hours long. The first half was a bit frantic and confusing but the last half the film began to take shape and delivers.
    Filmmaking under Nazi rule during the occupation in France is the theme and the central character played by an actor who was a real biker made this cycling resistence movie memorable. The film deals with a controversial and difficult subject.

    Ridicule composed by Duhamel (Ridicule is a film about Wit.. a great film by Patrice Leconte).

    Antoine Duhamel :Les Charmes du Japon (Truffaut – Antoine Doinel series)

    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

    R.I.P Donatas Banionis – Star of Solaris

    September 4th, 2014
  • See full film Solaris (youtube)

  • R.I.P Donatas Banionis - Star of Solaris dies

  • Click to see large 1-Banionis

    Donatas Banionis and Tarkovsky
    photo via

  • Hal Ashby of Being There – A Retrospective

    September 1st, 2014
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    b. September 2, 1929, Ogden, Utah
    d. December 27, 1988, Malibu, California

  • A Man Out of time
    Bruce Dern, Norman Jewison, Wexler paid moving tributes to Hal Asby.

  • Intelligent Life - Why You Should Know the Name Hal Ashby..

    Hal Asby on Senses of Cinema (bio & filmography)

    Shadowlands – Passing of Richard Attenborough and Lauren Bacall

    August 28th, 2014

  • (See full film Shadowlands )

  • 1attenborough
    (photo via)
    Lord Richard Attenborough –
    Dead at 90..

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    Goodbye Lauren Bacall (photo via)

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    (Repost – Hoagy Carmichael on our mind)

    J. L . Borges – Reading for Pleasure

    August 24th, 2014
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    Borges and J. G.Ballard.. Photo by Sophie Baker

    MM: Burroughs, like Borges, showed us what it was possible to do. Neither Borges nor Burroughs were available to us until about 1960 or so. I first heard Borges’s stories related to me by a Spanish-speaking Swede while hitch-hiking from Uppsala to Paris. It was a while before City Lights, I think it was, brought out the first translations. Burroughs wasn’t a disappointment, when we finally met him, but Borges was. Burroughs pretty much lived as he wrote, while Borges was a rather conservative man with a keen interest in G. K. Chesterton.

  • A Literary Hedonist in the classroom :on Professor Borges.

  • Riddle of Poetry J.L. Borges google braille
    (“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. Read more here) The gift from a blind poet

  • Two new books about Borges (New Yorker)

  • Read The Aleph here.

    Kurosawa Called Mikio Naruse A Great River – Naruse’s Mini Retrospective -2014

    August 20th, 2014
  • Prologue

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    Yoshiko Yamaguchi and Mifune Toshiro from Scandal directed by Akira Kurosawa. (A very funny photo – the dude on the right looks like Henry Miller )

    “like a great river with a calm surface and a raging current in its depths”, Akira Kurosawa on the works of Mikio Naruse – (thanks to Øivind Klungseth Zahlsen)

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    Mifune and Takamine Hideko in A Wife’s Heart

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    Takamine Hideko in Naruse masterpiece..
    (Wong Kar Wai was thinking of Naruse when he made In the Mood for Love.)

    Gesture and pose of cinema of M.Naruse

    Harvard Archive list of Naruse films

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    Summer Clouds, When a Woman Ascends the Stairs, Floating Clouds (3 film stills)

    Midnight eye

  • See more full films on youtube
    The Actress and the Poet / 女優と詩人 (1935)

    1940 film

  • Mikio Naruse was born on Aug 20, 1905..

    Roman Polanski – 2014

    August 18th, 2014
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    Click to see large 1polanskiroman
    Happy birthday.. Roman Polanski is 81 years old.

  • Bitter Moon + Polanski’s first film here. (Fun trailers)

  • 5 things You Might Not Know About Roman Polanski’s ‘Chinatown’
    (The original scrip had a happy ending..etc).

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    Roman with Gabo.

  • His new film trailer here.

  • American Friend in Texas, Dennis, Wim Wenders & Dean Stockwell

    August 14th, 2014
  • On the set of The American Friend

  • Bruno Ganz and Dennis (American Friend directed by Wim Wenders, based on a story by Patricia Highsmith )

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

  • Dennis Hopper last movie and photos (See Jean Tingueley, Ed Ruscha etc)

  • !DennisNeil

    Neil Young in Desert Shot – Photo by Dennis Hopper
    via

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    Happy birthday Wim Wenders! (With Harry on the left and Dean on the right)

    Dean Stockwell - Delicate to Delirium

    Photo of Dean Stockwell by Dennis Hopper

  • Robin Williams – 1951 – 2014

    August 12th, 2014

    1abMoscowHudson
    Robin Williams had to learn to play Sax and Russian language. (Moscow to Hudson by Paul Mazurksy)

  • Update:
    Oliver Sacks:A Man Could be Anyone.. (via New Yorker)

    I sometimes joined the Williamses in the summer at Lake Tahoe. I would go for long swims in the lake, with Robin paddling next to me in a kayak. We would chat about neurology and biology, literature, history, biographies—he was startlingly well informed on pretty much everything under the sun, and this was a very different Robin—thoughtful, relaxed, not onstage, not “on.”
    In addition to all his gifts, Robin was the kindest and most generous of men. William James, the great nineteenth-century psychologist, was called “that adorable genius.” For me, more than anyone I have ever known, Robin, too, was that adorable genius. It is infinitely sad that this unique human being, who gave so much and so fully of himself to all of us, should have taken his own life.

    Stanley Kauffman Awakening Review

  • He loved Tour de France.. 1abikeRobin
    Lans Armstrong was his best friend.
    via biker

  • See two great videos on Robin Williams from Ron Silliman

  • Robin Williams salutes Robert de Niro (youtube)
    (Update: happy birthday Robert de Nero- Aug 17).

    Robin Williams 1agoodwillRobin

    via

    Jan Palach – A Poem by David Shapiro & his collaboration with architect John Hejduk

    August 11th, 2014
  • Jan Palach 1aJanPalachchild
    Jan Palach was born on 11 August 1948- an activist who set himself on fire in in 1969.. Palach’s protest caused extraordinary reaction both in the Czech Republic and abroad.

    These web pages present the life story of Jan Palach

    His schoolmates liked him for his nice and friendly nature. He was quiet, pensive, and very well-read. Since his early childhood, he was interested in nature, technology, and history.

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    Poetry and Architecture, Architecture and Poetry
    by John Hejduk David Shapiro

    The Funeral of Jan Palach

    When I entered the first meditation
    I escaped the gravity of the object,
    I experienced the emptiness,
    And I have been dead a long time.

    When I had a voice you could call a voice,
    My mother wept to me:
    My son, my beloved son,
    I never thought this possible

    I’ll follow you on foot.
    Halfway in mud and slush the microphones picked up.
    It was raining on the houses;
    It was snowing on the police-cars.

    The astronauts were weeping,
    Going neither up nor out.
    And my own mother was brave enough she looked
    And it was alright I was dead.

    —David Shapiro

    When I read of the sacrifice of Jan Palach, I was reading of a heroism toward which I had aspired but recoiled. But it is not for everyone to be such a sacrifice, as many have said, it is not even easy to be a disciple of such a hero. Indeed, Palach finally asked others to refrain from a mechanical martyrdom.

    1archjanPalach

    On the art of collaboration
    He is perhaps most proud of his long collaboration with the late architect John Hejduk, who served as dean of Cooper Union’s school of architecture for many years. In 1991, a poem Shapiro had written about the Czechoslovak student Jan Palach, who set himself on fire in 1969 to protest the Soviet invasion, was engraved on a plaque as part of a memorial designed by Hejduk and mounted on the grounds of Prague Castle in the Czech Republic.

    Sketch for house of suicide by John Hejduk

  • Pataphysics – interview of David Shapiro