R.I.P Chantal Akerman, Stopped Breathing, Her Films Live Forever

October 6th, 2015

  • Aurore Clement in Rendez Vous D’Anna (youtube)

    Chantal Akerman: a director with a rare creative vision (Guardian obit)

    Shocking news, so sad that Chantal Akerman died at 65.

    Directors like Todd Haynes, Sally Potter and Michael Haneke have credited Ms. Akerman as a major influence. J. Hoberman, a former film critic for The Village Voice, likened her to Mr. Godard and to the German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, once calling her “arguably the most important European director of her generation.”

    Mr. Mazzanti recalled asking Ms. Akerman how she had edited “Hotel Monterey,” a silent film about a Lower Manhattan hotel that she had made in 1972. “She said, ‘I was breathing, and then at one point I understood it was the time to cut. It was my breathing that decided the length of my shots,’ ” he said. “That’s Chantal Akerman. She breathed through the films,” he said. “She was cinema.”

    Obit BFI

  • Chantal Akerman archive here. (Chantal introduced me to Pina, her documentaries were superb)

  • La Captive (bath scene on youtube)

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    photo letters home 1986

    See more photos here.

    Indiwire obit
    Her wiki

    Shusaku Endo, The Author of “Silence” also wrote “Wonderful Fool”

    September 22nd, 2015
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    Shusaku Endo

    Photo by Mario A

    Shusaku Endo

    His books reflect many of his childhood experiences, including the stigma of being an outsider, the experience of being a foreigner, the life of a hospital patient, and the struggle with TB. However, his books mainly deal with the moral fabric of life. His Catholic faith can be seen at some level in all of his books and it is often a central feature. Most of his characters struggle with complex moral dilemmas, and their choices often produce mixed or tragic results. His work may often be compared to that of Graham Greene.

  • Silence 1endosilence Martin Scorsese and Shusaku Endo’s ‘Silence’

    Shusaku Endo – born on 27 March 1923 in Tokyo – moved with his family to Dailan in Manchuria while still very young. He stayed there until the age of 10 when his mother took him back to Japan after divorcing his father. After returning to Japan to live in Kobe with his mother and an aunt, those early years in Manchuria may have created in Endo a sense of alienation from mainstream Japanese culture that profoundly affected him. The defining moment of his life, however, was his baptism as a Catholic in 1934. His struggles to reconcile himself with a faith that was and still is very much a minority in Japan, his experiences as an outsider and with hospitalization for pleurisy and tuberculosis – all of these deeply impacted his sensibilities and thematic preoccupations as a novelist.

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    Tadanobu Asano replaced Ken Watanabe. He played the interpreter for the priests in “Silence”.

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    Sea and Poison
    Kei Kumai
    Wonderful Fool

    Shusaku Endo was an extremely funny man, a satirist who made a fortune presenting long-running humorous Japanese TV shows and was something of a household name.

    Goodbye Adam Purple -A Legendary Gardner/Biker

    September 16th, 2015
  • Adam Purple, Legendary Gardner 84 is Dead - Was Biking Across Williamsburg Bridge

    Adam Purple

    Adam Purple (died September 15, 2015) was an activist and urban Edenist or “Guerrilla Gardener” famous in New York City from the seventies to the present day. His name at birth was David Wilkie, though he’s gone by many others, including the Rev. Les Ego.

    He is often considered the godfather of the urban gardening movement, and his “Garden of Eden” was a well-known garden on the Lower East Side of Manhattan until it was demolished in January 1986 to make way for low-income housing.[3][5][6][7] He is one of fifty subjects featured in Harvey Wang’s New York, a book of photographs and brief biographies of notable and colorful New Yorkers

    See photo of Adam by Lawrence Swan

    John Cage, Silence, Time Lapse and Vexations

    September 5th, 2015
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  • Silence (repost) Time Lapse

  • Stones by John Cage
    John Cage (image source)


    goes in seaRch

    of sunlIght he comes across haydn

    bill anastasi is looKing at haydn through a lorgnetter

    Vexations - Satie and John Cage

    Blaise Cendrars, Kuniyoshi, V. Gassman – Overlooked Masters Who Were Born on Sept 1

    September 1st, 2015
  • ‘What a writer learns from Cendrars is to follow his nose, to obey life’s commands, to worship no other god but life.’ – Henry Miller

    Cendrars 1ablaise by Modigliani

    Blaise Cendrars : September 1, 1887

    Blaise Cendrars was born Frédéric Louis Sauser
    Cendrars… the name he chose was a mix of cendres, ashes, and ars, or art.

    “I am haunted by no phantoms. It is rather that the ashes I stir up contain the crystallization that hold the image (reduced or synthetic) of the living and impure beings that they constituted before the intervention of the fire. If life has a meaning, this image (from the beyond?) has perhaps some significance. That is what I should like to know. And it is why I write.”(BLAISE CENDRARS [the greatest poetic spirit of the 20th century] )

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    Yasuo Kuniyoshi 1 September 1893

    Yasuo Kuniyoshi A Modernist often overlooked gets a Smithsonian Retrospective (see many images here)

    Kuniyoshi portrait by Arnold Newman

  • Vittorio Gassman was Il Mattatore
    Al Pacino’s Scent of a woman was a remake.. Vittorio played first. His early film Mambo was a hit..he did some Hollywood films. . Vittorio seduced Audrey (War & Peace) and played opposite Elizabeth Taylor, married Shelley Winters.. had a daughter. Gassman played an Italian Patriarch in The Family.

    Vittorio Gassman recites Cesar Pavese - Death Will Come With Your Eyes

    Vittorio Gassman 1 September 1922

    Nadja (Expat Girl) in Paris with Eric Rohmer & Nestor Almendros

    August 21st, 2015
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    Nadja Tesich, the star of Eric Rohmer’s 1964 short film Nadja à Paris, originally wrote this essay in the 1990s, but never published it. In the last three months before she died in February 2014, I helped Nadja revise the piece, recording her thoughts and our discussions. —Lucy McKeon

    Nadjia in Paris

    I was madly in love with Paris and he had received a small sum from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to make a film about foreign students in Paris. That’s it. Of course we liked talking with each other from the beginning, in spite of our differences—age, background, etc. He said we were very much alike, strange since he struck me as a bourgeois of sorts, while I considered myself doomed and displaced. In spite of his obvious intelligence, Eric didn’t have coherent political views. He never used words like exploitation or capitalism. I said yes to him because I was penniless and he offered me money—the same sum (either $200 or $400, I can’t remember) to all involved: cinematographer Néstor Almendros, the script girl and me. It meant I could pay for my dorm, eat for a few months, buy a pair of shoes. Greece will always be there, I decided.

  • (see part 2 from Nadia in Paris)

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    Nadjia and Eric Rohmer

  • I don’t know if Néstor was poorer than me or not. Probably the same. After Nadja à Paris his luck changed and he would go on to shoot many of Rohmer’s films, and eventually got an Oscar for Days of Heaven. Still, at that time, he was just a refugee Cuban who didn’t look Cuban but Spanish—tall, reserved, with a shyness that bordered on fear. He longed for a seersucker jacket, washable and weightless, I remember. I sent him one from my first salary. I knew nothing about him except that he had shot a documentary film in Cuba, his country that he hated. Néstor was gay, but this was not a problem for anyone except him. We accepted it, then forgot it, just like you accept that some prefer mountains to the sea.

    (Eric Rohmer with Nestor Almendros)

    R.I.P Eric Rohmer (previous post with videos and links)

    Nestor Almendros (A Man with a Camera – see previous post)

  • A Story – A Poem by Li-Young Lee

    August 19th, 2015
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  • Happy birthday Li-Young Lee

    He was born in Jakarta, Indonesia, to Chinese parents.
    Lee’s father, who was a personal physician to Mao Zedong while in China, relocated his family to Indonesia, where he helped found Gamaliel University. His father was exiled and spent 19 months in an Indonesian prison camp in Macau. In 1959 the Lee family fled the country to escape anti-Chinese sentiment and after a five-year trek through Hong Kong and Japan, they settled in the United States in 1964.

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    Hikari Oe (Kenzaburo Oe’s composer son who was born with autism)

    A Story – Poem by Li-Young Lee

    Sad is the man who is asked for a story
    and can’t come up with one.

    His five-year-old son waits in his lap.
    Not the same story, Baba. A new one.
    The man rubs his chin, scratches his ear.

    In a room full of books in a world
    of stories, he can recall
    not one, and soon, he thinks, the boy
    will give up on his father.

    Already the man lives far ahead, he sees
    the day this boy will go. Don’t go!
    Hear the alligator story! The angel story once more!
    You love the spider story. You laugh at the spider.
    Let me tell it!

    But the boy is packing his shirts,
    he is looking for his keys. Are you a god,
    the man screams, that I sit mute before you?
    Am I a god that I should never disappoint?

    But the boy is here. Please, Baba, a story?
    It is an emotional rather than logical equation,
    an earthly rather than heavenly one,
    which posits that a boy’s supplications
    and a father’s love add up to silence.
    Li-Young Lee

    R.I.P Horace Julian Bond – a Social Activist and Leader of Civil Rights Movement

    August 16th, 2015
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    Julia Bond wiki

    Horace Julian Bond (January 14, 1940 – August 15, 2015), known as Julian Bond, was an American social activist and leader in the Civil Rights Movement, politician, professor, and writer. While a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, during the early 1960s, he helped to establish the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

    Bond was elected to four terms in the Georgia House of Representatives and later to six terms in the Georgia Senate, having served a combined twenty years in both legislative chambers. From 1998 to 2010, he was chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the first president of the Southern Poverty Law Center

    Notes from a Conversation with Julian Bond

    Julian Bond, one of the greatest movers and shakers of the modern Civil Rights movement passed away on Saturday. I have neither the words nor the ability to write something that could portray how much he meant to movement. This past April, I had a once in a lifetime opportunity to sit down with and speak to him. While he spoke briefly about his experience with SNCC and the NAACP, he was much more interested in speaking about modern-day movements and the current state of social justice work. Here are some notes and reflections from our conversation:

    Buzzfeed obit

  • Hans Haacke is 79 Years Old, His Gift Horse & Gulf Labor

    August 11th, 2015
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    Venice: Hans Haacke at the Central Pavilion

  • Happy birthday Hans Haacke!

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  • The art of good business - Hans Haacke (Goes after Koch)

    Hans Haacke on Gift Horse, Gulf-Labor and Artist Resale Royalties

    Gift Horse Fourth Plinth Commission

    Tied to its front leg is an electronic ribbon which displays live data from the London Stock Exchange, completing the link between power, money and history. The piece attempts to make a number of hidden substructures visible – tied up with a bow as a gift to all.(via)

  • Trickle Up1HansHaackeTrickleUP

    Previous post
    Tricle – Up Hans Haacke

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    Hans Haacke on fighting the establishment (SFMOMA)

    Cinema Travelogue, Viggo & Alonso’s Jauja + Nietzsche Haus’ At Sils-Maria

    August 10th, 2015
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    See the trailer here (youtube)

    Jauja: Viggo Mortensen Gets Lost in Eerie Patagonia

    I fell in love with the film as I let it carry me away into it’s dreamscapes of content desolation and bathed in it’s glorious moon beams of faintest night light. I was engaged and immersed throughout the entire film and the last 30 minutes were truly stunning.

    Brent Wills Bechtel

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    Olivier Assayas Talks the Complexities of ‘Clouds of Sils Maria’ and the Genius of Kristen Stewart

    Clouds of Sils Maria

    Two other things lure people, like pilgrims, to Sils Maria. One, as the title suggests, is clouds, and the twist of nature that sends them funnelling between peaks into a thin, transcendent stream: the Maloja Snake of the play. (Assayas has unearthed lovely footage of the phenomenon, from 1924.) The second attraction is the house, now a museum and study center, where Nietzsche spent many fruitful summers: “Here one can live well, in this strong, bright atmosphere, here where nature is amazingly mild and solemn and mysterious all at once,” he wrote. That is precisely the climate that Assayas wants to summon for the movie, and we feel it acutely as Maria and Valentine embark on their regular treks. Here is the true high life—“6,000 feet beyond people and time,” as Nietzsche said, and a rebuff to the ersatz variety in which Maria and her kind, not just in the movie business, and not just in Europe, are consumed.

    See his house

    The ‘Nietzsche Haus’ At Sils-Maria, Switzerland

  • Two films about anxious family life took place at ski resorts .

    Force Majeure directed by Ruben Östlund

    Sister by – Ursla Meier

  • Andy Warhol in China, Iran and Bali – His Book on Angels, Angels, Angels

    August 6th, 2015
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  • Andy Warhol drawing 1andyBali
    (One more Bali Drawing )

    Found out that Warhol was in Bali from a page in his delightful book Angels, Angels, Angels.

    The most memorable thing for me during an around-the-world trip that I took once was walking along a trail in Bali and finding a bunch of people having a big happy party, and it turned out their friend had died and they were so thrilled for him that he was now having his next life.

    Some links ..

    See the animation here..
    Silent Stars by Andy Warhol - 1999 – click to animate..
    Andy Warhol Andy Warhol glancing sideway.

  • In Memoriam Lori Ellison – October 5, 1958 – August 1, 2015

    August 1st, 2015
  • A very sad news of Lori’s passing came this morning from Lawrence Swan on FB.

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    Lori’s dazzling humilty

    Love note to Lori on facebook
    October 5, 1958 – August 1, 2015

    On ne guérit d’une souffrance qu’à condition de l’éprouver pleinement.

    We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it to the full. Marcel Proust

    (Lori was reading Proust for her essay.)

    Lori and Lars



    (for a window display at a local bookstore on Valentine’s Day. via FB)

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    (It’s the anniversary of my husband and mine’s engagement on Singer Island Fla. so I had to post it. 2010 via FB)

  • From Lawrence Swan on Lori’s last days.

    Lawrence Swan new cLean warS
    Saturday, September 19, 2015
    Lars’ hospice journal in Lori’s last days

    I want to write my log, my blog, in bed with Lori. I want to write to Lori, with her in bed next to me, and write about our thoughts on transcendental experiences.