(27 June 1941 – 13 March 1996)
There are mysteries, secret zones in each individual.-
Different people in different parts of the world can be thinking the same thoughts at the same time. It’s an obsession of mine, that different people, in different places, are thinking the same thing, but for different reasons. I try to make films which connect people.
At one point he was filming Three Colors: White (1994) while editing Three Colors: Blue (1993) and writing Three Colors: Red (1994).
A short film about killing ..
“In Poland, this film was instrumental in the abolition of the death penalty.”
Master class interview (youtube)
See film stills Doublie life of Veronique
Kieslowski tells his own biography through Camera Buff. Both in approach and subject matter, Filip’s early films mirror Kieslowski’s own first documentaries.
One of his favorite films was Ken Loach’s Kes.
[on Ingmar Bergman]: I can identify with what Bergman says about life, about what he says about love. I identify more or less with his attitude towards the world… towards men and women and what we do in everyday life… forgetting about what is most important.
His signature work, “Talking Heads” (1980), consisted of a string of short interviews with people answering two unvarying questions: “Who are you?” and “What do you want in life?” As we progressed from a newborn to a woman 100 years of age, birth years of the interviewees flashed on the screen as a sort of cosmic countdown. By the end of the film, as the subsequent faces bore ever-deeper signs of aging and the expressed concerns shifted from the mundane to the eternal, the film revealed itself as a single story of hope, work, failure, compromise and rebirth.
In an interview given at Oxford University, Kieślowski said the following:
It comes from a deep-rooted conviction that if there is anything worthwhile doing for the sake of culture, then it is touching on subject matters and situations which link people, and not those that divide people. There are too many things in the world which divide people, such as religion, politics, history, and nationalism. If culture is capable of anything, then it is finding that which unites us all. And there are so many things which unite people. It doesn’t matter who you are or who I am, if your tooth aches or mine, it’s still the same pain. Feelings are what link people together, because the word ‘love’ has the same meaning for everybody. Or ‘fear’, or ‘suffering’. We all fear the same way and the same things. And we all love in the same way. That’s why I tell about these things, because in all other things I immediately find division.
In the foreword to Decalogue: The Ten Commandments, Stanley Kubrick wrote:
I am always reluctant to single out some particular feature of the work of a major filmmaker because it tends inevitably to simplify and reduce the work. But in this book of screenplays by Krzysztof Kieślowski and his co-author, Krzysztof Piesiewicz, it should not be out of place to observe that they have the very rare ability to dramatize their ideas rather than just talking about them. By making their points through the dramatic action of the story they gain the added power of allowing the audience to discover what’s really going on rather than being told. They do this with such dazzling skill, you never see the ideas coming and don’t realize until much later how profoundly they have reached your heart.
Stanley Kubrick January 1991
Harold Feinstein was born in Coney Island in 1931 and began his photography career in 1946 at age 15.
Within four short years, Edward Steichen, an early supporter, had purchased his work for the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.
Mother’s Curtains, by Harold Feinstein, 1948
It is with much sadness that I do this video. Harold Feinstein passed away on June 20, 2015 at the age of 84. Harold was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1931. At the age of 17, 4 of his prints were purchased by Edward Steichen for the collection at MoMA. He had an over 70 year career as a street photographer, photojournalist, designer, and teacher.
Harold is one of the greatest and most underrated photographers of our time.
Remembering Ellen (photos of Mary Ellen Mark by Harold Feinstein)
June 19, 1919 – birthday of Pauline Kael
she was a single mother, her daughter named Gia became her secretary (a bit like Gray Gardens). Poet/filmmaker James Broughton was her father. We learned from Kael that Henri Pierre Roche (writer of Jules et Jim) introduced Gertrude Stein to Picasso.. she nurtured Paul Schrader.. and other young critics.. they became Paulettes. She championed Altman, Arthur Penn..she overpraised Brian de Palma.. Her review on Kon Ichikawa’s Makioka Sisters was superb.. this blogger loves her essay on Cary Grant. She picked fights with Andrew Sarris.
John Huston (proficient and gifted ) over Nicholas Ray (erratic) (page 78)
Carol Reed over Hitchcock
She published her review of Nashville before the film was released..
“Pauline Kael approached her subjects predatorily: she called Clint Eastwood a “tall, cold cod” and a “fascist””
The Man from the Dream City (Pauline K. on Cary Grant)
“It seems likely that many of the young who don’t wait for others to call them artists, but simply announce that they are, don’t have the patience to make art.” Pauline K.
Pauline Kael Five Classics – interesting collection here.
New Yorker piece (The Group episode)
Pauline Kael – Robert Duncan Selected Letters
Pauline Kael and Robert Duncan met in the 1930s as students at the University of California-Berkeley. After both dropped out, they maintained a six year correspondence recording the trials, excitements, and discoveries of life after Berkeley. The Selected Letters, 1945-46 captures their singular friendship and the mutual interests and sensibilities that united them. Highlights include a dialogue on reading Herman Melville’s Pierre; reflections by Duncan on farm-life in Northern California; notes on his preparation of his manuscript The Years as Catches and Kael’s work on a play; and from New York, Kael’s reportage on art-shows, films, music, and discussion meetings tied to Dwight Macdonald’s journal Politics.
Kis Kiss Bang Bang..(page 114 -115)
Louise Brooks has been an admirer of Pauline Kael.. they’ve been corresponding.
Pauline prized Edna O’Brien (the story of Adele – mad romantic pursuit page 231).
Review of her bio NYtimes .Iron Lady.
It recalls the critic who championed sensuous, exciting movies and eviscerated ponderous or pretentious ones
Two links from Roger Ebert on Pauline Kael
She was the most powerful, loved and hated film critic of her time, but her work cannot be discussed objectively by simply reading it. She challenges you on every page, she’s always in your face, and she functioned as the arbiter of any social group she joined. She was quite a dame.
She might have liked that- “quite a dame.” She wrote with slangy, jazzy prose, always pepped up, spinning on the edge of a whirlpool.
Pauline Kael on art and trash, life and lice
June 18 Ebert’s birthday .. (previous post – the Last picture show)
Derrida Interviews Ornette – The Others Langauge (Three of Being)
Philosopher Jacques Derrida Interviews Jazz Legend Ornette Coleman: Talk Improvisation, Language & Racism (1997)
One more lengthy article on Ornette Coleman and Derrida
previous post (see videos – Chappaqua suite & Naked Lunch)
John Lurie – June 11 2015 via FB
When I first started playing saxophone and discovered Ornette Coleman he freed me up. He put me on a path that made sense for me to follow.
I would search the Worcester Public Library for anything about jazz and found a book about him and Cecil Taylor. For some reason the line that stayed with me that Ornette said was, “I knew I was on to something when I found I could make mistakes.” That hit me so profoundly. Yeah, that is exactly right, even if no one but you knows, you are on to something if you can make mistakes.
I managed to see him play often. When he took his solo at the end of Skies in America at Carnegie Hall, Bill Noel turned to me and said, “he just stopped time.”
Which was also exactly right.
Later, when the Lounge Lizards started he was remarkably supportive and helpful to the young band leader following in his footsteps.
And much much later, when I had found my musical voice, I had some of the guys in my band that he used to hire, but was having a really rough time with them.
So I called Ornette and we had an amazing two hour conversation
about running a band.
Ornette’s passing hit me really hard. He meant something to me and not because of all the musical innovations that he made, which are many but because of the sweetness in him. Almost like an angel.
What interests me about the TURING biography is not only the way it illustrates the boundaries and histories of the 20th century, but that it also seems almost like a gendered prophecy. In a horrifying way, TURING ’s body was injured by the violence of modern ideology, he lost his own body, in a way, but he also made a new one. In 1936, he published a theoretical model of a machine that was to constitute the basis of all post-war computing, making him the father of all modern computer science. And this part of his biography is a futuristic tale about thinking machines, artificial intelligence and the appearance of possible future bodies. And to me, this is a long-needed escape from biological, heterosexual reproduction. – HENRIK OLESEN for Mousse Magazine
Alan Turing Art project by Henrik Olesen
Alan Turing 1954 (7 June): Death (suicide) by cyanide poisoning, Wilmslow, Cheshire.
Nico Muhuly takes on Alan Turing
See the codebreaker.. (not starring Benedict Cumberbatch).
See Agnes Martin black and yellow..(scroll down) untitled one.
Find Ellsworth Kelly’s black and yellow here.
Happy birthday Ellworth Kelly
After being abroad for six years, Kelly decided to return to America in 1954. He was interested after reading a review of an Ad Reinhardt exhibit, to which he felt his work related. Upon his return to New York, he found the art world “very tough.” Although Kelly is now considered an essential innovator and contributor to the American art movement, it was hard for many to find the connection between Kelly’s art and the dominant stylistic trends. In May 1956 Kelly had his first New York exhibition at Betty Parsons’ Gallery. His art was considered more European than was popular in New York.
Kelly’s background in the military has been suggested as a source of the seriousness of his works. While serving time in the army, Kelly was exposed to and influenced by the camouflage with which his specific battalion worked. This close contact helped enlighten him on the use of form and shadow as well as the construction and deconstruction of the visible. It was a basic part of Kelly’s early education as an artist. Ralph Coburn, a friend of Kelly’s from Boston, introduced the technique of automatic drawing to him while he was visiting Kelly in Paris. Kelly embraced this technique of arriving at an image without looking at the sheet of paper upon which the image is drawn. These techniques helped Kelly in loosening his particular drawing style and broaden his acceptance of what he believed to be art. Kelly’s illness and coexistent depression may possibly be related to his use of black and white during his last year in Paris.
I just feel like I can live on. I hope I can reach 100. I think today if you just keep doing, keep working, that – maybe that’s possible. – Ellsworth Kelly
I’m constantly investigating nature – nature, meaning everything.
Read more at Brainy quote
“The main thing is for the actors to forget the camera. They have to act as if they are working in a documentary.”
Hou Hsiao Hsien filmography here.
It took about a year to make the movie, including three or so months of shooting. They spent a month in Japan, Mr. Hou said, and the gorgeous exterior shots were shot in central China and Inner Mongolia, the site of a silver birch forest in which Yinniang has one of her fiercest battles. Mr. Hou said that he didn’t rehearse the film, which is fairly astonishing given the precision of the camerawork and how bodies move through his space in it. Instead, Mr. Hou sets up the two (Arri) cameras and lets the performs work it out. If it succeeds, then that’s the shot that they use. “But if it doesn’t,” Mr. Hou explained, he “will shift the image based on what they’re working with.” He doesn’t pressure them to be “so technical” when they’re shooting, and that’s the “way he’s always worked.”
Homage to Yasujiro Ozu, Hou Hsiao Hsien project
Cafe Lumiere (previous post)
Baryshnikov to Perform in a Show Based on Brodsky’s Poetry
Mikhail Baryshnikov helpsachieve the dream of Russian poet Josef Brodsky
Two nobel prize winners from Russia were born on May 24..
Mikhail Sholokhov – And Quiet Flows the Don..
Joseph Brodsky – a Poet (Wiki )
May 24, 1980 - Poem by Joseph Brodsky
I have braved, for want of wild beasts, steel cages,
carved my term and nickname on bunks and rafters,
lived by the sea, flashed aces in an oasis,
dined with the-devil-knows-whom, in tails, on truffles.
From the height of a glacier I beheld half a world, the earthly
width. Twice have drowned, thrice let knives rake my nitty-gritty.
Quit the country the bore and nursed me.
Those who forgot me would make a city.
I have waded the steppes that saw yelling Huns in saddles,
worn the clothes nowadays back in fashion in every quarter,
planted rye, tarred the roofs of pigsties and stables,
guzzled everything save dry water.
I’ve admitted the sentries’ third eye into my wet and foul
dreams. Munched the bread of exile; it’s stale and warty.
Granted my lungs all sounds except the howl;
switched to a whisper. Now I am forty.
What should I say about my life? That it’s long and abhors transparence.
Broken eggs make me grieve; the omelet, though, makes me vomit.
Yet until brown clay has been rammed down my larynx,
only gratitude will be gushing from it.
He became a disciple of Khyongla Rinpoche, attracted by his teachings about the importance of diminishing “self-cherishing” and negativity, and developing compassion for others. Three years later, he became a full-fledged monk and the only Westerner in a settlement of 20,000. Faced with the rigors of a devout life, he gave up photography for a while, until Martine Franck, the widow of Cartier-Bresson, visited his monastery and persuaded him to embrace it anew.
Nicholas Vreeland with a tea merchant in New Delhi, India
Vreeland insists that he is not an artist at all, just a busy monk who happens to find pleasure in taking pictures, and honor in photographing the Dalai Lama on several occasions. (It was the Dalai Lama who appointed him abbot.) Almost sheepishly, dutifully keeping pride at bay, he admits that it was only by selling his photographs to collectors that the planned expansion of the monastery (to house an enormous wave of refugee Tibetan monks) was made possible. Vreeland understands and employs the power of art without seeking any of its ego luster. When filmmakers Guido Santi and Tina Mascara asked to make him the subject of a documentary, he declined until his master told him it would benefit others.
Nicholas Vreeland (LA review of books)
Monk with a Camera Trailer (youtube)
Directed by Guido Santi and Tina Mascara
More touching and moving story of Christopher Isharwood and Don Bacardy was also directed by Santi and Tina Mascara
Chris and Don by David Hockney
Chris Burden dies at 69: artist’s light sculpture at LACMA is symbol of L.A.
For Oh Dracula, a 1974 performance at the Utah Museum of Art in Salt Lake City, Chris Burden replaced a painting on the wall with a large cloth chrysalis which he then climbed inside. Burden hung on the wall for one day during museum hours, cloistered in darkness like a light-sensitive vampire.
The Agony of Body Artist (Roger Ebert)
Do you believe in Television – Chris Burden and TV
Christopher Burden (April 11, 1946 – May 10, 2015) was an American artist working in performance, sculpture, and installation art.
One of Burden’s most reproduced and cited pieces, Trans-Fixed took place on April 23, 1974 at Speedway Avenue in Venice, California. For this performance, Burden lay face up on a Volkswagen Beetle and had nails hammered into both of his hands, as if he were being crucified on the car. The car was pushed out of the garage and the engine revved for two minutes before being pushed back into the garage.
Internationally acclaimed artist James Turrell has been creating skyspaces since 1975. Knight Rise, located in the Nancy and Art Schwalm Sculpture Garden at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, is one of only 14 skyspaces open to the public in the United States.
Above photos by Fung Lin Hall