Archive for January, 2007

Jannis Kounellis

Sunday, January 28th, 2007


Kounellis at Tramway (nice big collection)

Kounellis at Crownpoint

Google Jannis Kounellis

The Guggenheim bio page

Jannis Kounellis was born in 1936 in Piraeus, Greece. In 1956, Kounellis moved to Rome and enrolled in the Accademia di Belle Arti.


Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

Fernando Gonzalez

Fernando Gonzalez beat Nadal with spectacular play.
How far will he go? We’ll find out soon.
Federer and Roddick match is tonight.

Picture of him winning the Gold doubles and Bronze singles at last Olympics.
He was born in Beijing China.

Happy Geta Feet

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

Two years later we now have this on youtube. (See previous post on this tap dance number)
Only Takeshi would conjur tapdancing with “geta”
They look like tap sandals made to look like geta.

Happy Birthday to “Aniki” Takeshi Kitano and to “Kyoju” Ruichi Sakamoto. (Jan 18, 1947 for Takeshi and Jan 17, 1952 for Sakamoto.)

Found this great clip – Sakamoto channelling Warhol and Steve Reich.

Go to sitesakamoto and click on the moving elegy Bring Them Home. (The Professor is an activist for Peace.)

Nagisa Oshima launched the two of them onto the world stage with “Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence”, both Kitano and Sakamoto had supporting roles to David Bowie.

Recently Sakamoto composed the filmscore for Tony Takitani. (Youtube trailer is here)

Hana and Haruki

Friday, January 12th, 2007

Haruki Murakami and Hirokazu Kore eda
Happy Birthday to Haruki Murakami.
He is 58 years old today. He is a dilligent climber according to a new astrology which combines western and chinese astrology. His sun is in Capricorn and moon is in Gemini; he is glib, witty, clever and awfully ambitious.

In this post I would like to show samples of the magic of Murakami and Kore eda; how their works intersect to win world wide respect and support.

Kore-eda was asked why he decided to set the film at the turn of the 18th century and what attracted him to the samurai genre? He stated that initially he came up with the idea after 9/11 when the spirit of vengefulness was at a peak. He wanted to make a film with the theme of revenge, but, he wanted it to be a comedy or to have comedic elements. He then wondered what the film might be like if it was about a samurai who was compelled to avenge someone’s death but who really didn’t want to? Also, currently in Japan there is a resurging obsession with the samurai warrior code, which makes Kore-eda uncomfortable. He wanted to somehow address these patterns of vengefulness appearing once again in human history to comment upon how they interfere with peace. (via Twitch)

Hana (Yori Naho) Trailer on youtube.

Here is a review of Kore eda’s recent film “Hana” by Robixsmash.

(How U.S. fans of Kore eda films will get to see this film is another matter. I am still waiting to see “The Sun” by Sokurov and more recent films by Claire Denis. It is getting harder and harder for us to see foreign films.)

Tony Takitani Murakami’s short story)

The actress Rie Miyazawa who appears in “Hana” also play two parts in “Tony Takitani”; three different characters from two films. Besides Rie Miyazawa playing characters in their projects, there are other interesting convergences between Haruki Murakami and Hirokazu Kore eda. They both studied at Waseda University. The Sarine terrorist attack on the subway in Japan captivated their interest. Murakami wrote the non-fiction “Underground” interviewing the families of victims. Kore eda did the same and featured his concerns in a film called “Distance” (which I have not seen).

Moving beyond the mid 20th century post war era of Mishima, Kurosawa, Ozu, Kawabata and Oe; using their unique, patient craftsmanship and versatility, Murakami and Kore eda are great storytellers of life as it is lived in late 20th Century Japan . By probing the inner lives of their protagonists, they convey the universality of the lonely, fragile human condition. They both, curiously, maintain their Japaneseness by being true to themselves and their love for humanity.

Murakami’s short story “On seeing the 100% perfect girl one beautiful spring morning” is illustrated in a visual web project by Steph Tai.

More short stories by Haruki Murakami from this site. (Beginning with A Long Way from a Stuffed Cabbage and others)

The Folklore of Our Times (The new yorker)

I read Tony Takitani online from the New Yorker magazine long before the film was released. I now have a DVD of “Tony Takitani”. The film was even better with Issey Ogata (my favorite actor) playing Tony Takitani.

“Kafka on the Shore” was included in the list of the 10 best novels of 2005.

Haven’t seen any Kore eda films? “Nobody Knows” and “After Life” are great films and hopefully are available at most videostores or your local library. (My library has them even though they do not stock enough great literature old and new.)

William James

Thursday, January 11th, 2007

164 years ago from today, my favorite thinker William James was born. He primarily was interested in the inner lives of others.

Henry James Henry and William James and William James

Birthday: January 11, 1842 William James
Wife: Alice James
Brother: Henry James (Colm Toibin’s Novel on Henry is here).
Sister: Alice James (Sontag wrote a play Alice in Bed)

“A famously open mind: The education of the protean William James is the focus of a new biography” says the Boston Globe on this new biography by Robert Richardson (youtubed below).

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William james at Harvard

Carl Jung’s letter

Previous post on James with varieties of links.


Monday, January 8th, 2007

Stumbled upon this photograph from a site from Chile.

Copiar el eden
copying edenCopying Eden photograph from Chile (via)

Hollywood-Mex version with Salma is here.

Anthony and Kate

Friday, January 5th, 2007

Kate Field Kate Field
Just a few things I learned in the last 4 days of this new year.
First about the dreamers and the romantics.
1 Anthony Trollope had a horrid childhood.
Trollope worked at post office but unlike Faulkner who neglected his job and lost letters, Trollope was creative and devised a traveling post so he could write novels on the train.
2 Aging Trollope had a crush on young American Feminist Kate Field. (Kate Field looked a bit like Nancy Pelosi.)
Though platonic Trollope wanted the world to know how he felt about her in his autobiography that was published after his death.
(His devoted and exemplary wife was wise and understanding.)

Jan 5 2007 Heaven digital image by Fung Lin Hall digital image

3 David Markson‘s new Novel is coming out soon.

4 Cate Blanchett worships Liv Ullman and Swedish films.
(Charlie Rose interview)

5 Mary Boone (80’s – 90’s powerful art dealer) was Alan
Sondheim’s student, you can read the juicy detail in the link from his blog.