Archive for October, 2007

Elas Halloween 07

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

A post from the grave at The Wit of the Staircase. (Late Theresa Duncan has a ghost poster).

Halloween Martin Puryear

I found his work both beautiful and moving. I got choked up. – David Byrne –


This found video from Brazil has something to do with Tomas from the Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera.

Here on youtube a video of Daniel Day Lewis as Tomas driving a Skoda in a Philip Kaufman movie adaptation of the Unbearable Lightness of Being.

Happy Halloween Halloween 07 by Fung Lin Hall

31 FLICKS THAT GIVE YOU THE WILLIES (Shoot the Projectionist)

A Day After

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

Image of a day after.

Nothing in Excess
Nothing in Excess digital image by Fung Lin Hall
Digital Image by Fung Lin Hall

R. B. Kitaj

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

R.B. Kitaj R.B.Kitaj
1932 – 2007
Obits, here and here.

A Day Book
Text by Robert Creeley with 13 ‘graphics’ by R B Kitaj

Renewal and Resistance
David Cohen in conversation with R.B. KITAJ in Los Angeles

A Coney Island of the Mind by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, with art by R. B. Kitaj

He was a friend of poets – Pierre Joris

If Not, Not R.B.Kitaj

The Murder R.B.Kitaj
of Rosa Luxemburg

Doris Blessing

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

Happy Birthday Doris Doris Lessing and congratulations for your Nobel win.

Doris Lessing and Iris Murdoch are my kind of authors. I read quite a bit of Sontag, Duras, Nathalie Sarraute, Simone de Beauvoir. I don’t actually love Sontag or Beauvoir the way I love Iris or Doris. (Compared to Iris and Doris, Susan and Simone were competitive and vain prima donnas.)
Iris is deep and strange and Doris is fearless, independent, grounded, self-aware, and refreshingly anti-bullshit. They both flirted with communism when they were young. Iris was barred from visiting the USA but Doris was granted permission.
I went to her lecture at Berkeley about twenty two years ago, the hall was packed with smart women and a few angry feminists. Doris can scold feminists fascists. Often labeled as “radical feminist”, Doris has been highly critical of feminism in general, chiding them for attacking men needlessly. She felt many of them lack self-criticism.

There are many feminists who work in the media, and they think that feminism is very important. It is in their own lives, but mostly feminism has had an impact among privileged women in the advanced Western countries. For the most part, it hasn’t begun to touch the lives of poor and working women in the Third World, and that distresses me.

Doris still does her own grocery shopping. The world saw the Nobel prize winner ambushed by the media and a large artichoke (see youtube) her diabetic son was carrying danced around her.
( If Doris is a vegetable she would most likely be an artichoke. Peeling away the layers of leaves to get to the core of the heart.)

She was once asked to become a dame of the British empire, but was reported to have said to have turned it down because it was “a bit pantomimey“. Did she really say that? “Yes, I did,” she says, rocking back on a sofa so low we are almost squatting on the floor. “Well, first of all there is no British empire, no one seems to notice this. Then they said would I like to be a companion. A companion to whom or of what? Honestly.”

Doris Lessing
Born in Persia, raised in Rhodesia, Doris Lessing is self-taught. She worked as a nursemaid and literature saved her from becoming another one like the murderous Papin sisters. She became a communist because communists were the only people who read back in her days in Africa. Her falling out with communism is well documented in her autobiographical novel “The Golden Notebook”.

Joyful blessings from her colleagues, here are some.

Her fellow laureate JM Coetzee has called her “one of the great visionary novelists of our time”

“She’s an intrepid soul” – Margaret Atwood

“She is one of the very few novelists who has refused to believe that the world is too complicated to understand,” Margaret Drabble has said.

Soon after the news of prize award spread around the world. The best, she says with unconcealed glee, was a call from her hero Gabriel Garcia Marquez. (From “I have an impressive list” Guardian.)

Lessing’s scary genius lies in her ability to bring her readers face-to-face with an unadorned reflection of some of our more depressing, but all too human, features. At the same time, her realism has always coexisted with a tendency toward mysticism. (Salon)

Doris Lessing as Jane Somers (Something Doris could not help it, playing pranks at the expense of the publishing industry.)

“Looks to me like the Fifth Child made it to the White House…” a comment from here.

Doris says, Sufism is something you experience on your own. It’s the same for Buddhism. You can’t read a book and receive enlightenment. (John Raskin interviews Lessing at the Progressive)

LESSING: “Think about that: If there was no World War I, there would be no Russian revolution, no Hitler, no Mussolini, no Holocaust.”

Deborah Kerr – 1921 – 2007

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

Goodbye Deborah Kerr

The Innocents
The King and I Deborah Kerr The Innocents and King and I

The Innocents (The Turn of the Screw) Youtube trailer. This is an adaptation of Henry James’ creepy story with Truman Capote on the script team and directed by Jack Clayton.

I suppose the part nearest me is Laura Reynolds in Tea and Sympathy. Of course playwright Bob Anderson didn’t know that, but he wrote Laura Reynolds and Laura Reynolds happened to be me. It was the coming together of a part and an actress – the same attitude to life, a certain shyness in life, a deep compassion for people who are being persecuted for anything. (via)

Tea with Deborah (Youtube)

Heaven Knows Mr Allyson– Whenever Deborah plays a nun, the films turns into instant classics. (Previously she played a nun in Black Narcissus by Michael Powell). Robert Mitchum and Deborah had a great chemistry (the reefer and the nun).

Black Narcissus PD*7136203
Other films with Robert include the Sundowner and The Grass is Greener. Cary Grant was too weird for Deborah in real life but they made a great pair on screen. He must have had a crush on her. She had a chance to be sexy and bad with Burt Lancaster.

Black Narcissus (Youtube)

Deborah and Michael Powell (Michael directed Black Narcissus)

They separated, but he never forgot. They shared a birthday, September 30. Each year on that date, right up to the year before his death, he sent her a bouquet of flowers with the simplest of notes: “Happy Birthday, Darling.”( Self-Styled Siren)

The End of an Affair based on Graham Green’s classic.

Piano Scene from An Affair to Remember (youtube)

More here at greencinedaily.

David Kefford and Jamie Stuart – Goofy and Low Tech

Monday, October 15th, 2007

Good Soul David Kefford low tech sculptures

David Kefford
, the Master of Low-tech “craft” processes art

The Balance of Being Touring Exhibition

Blue Legs and Escape Rope

Throughout Kefford’s sculptures and works on paper we find images of solitude and proximity, intimacy, coupling, striving, anxiety, failure, mutual support, giving and exchange, birth, torment, exhaustion and calm.”(via)

Curious Creatures

Sculptures become stretched and nailed into walls or bound tight and exhausted of life, whilst others are allowed to sag, droop and flop down walls, in space or on the floor. At once the pieces can appear beautiful, funny, up-beat, painful, tragic and sad. (via)

Now to something new and different.
Jamie Stuart of Mutiny Company now presents his latest short film at New York Film Festival. (via greencinedaily)

I enjoyed watching his 2005 short online films (5 episodes) NYFF43

Reeler Pinch Hitter (Jamie’s guest blog)

If you are looking for a biker, here is another Jamie Stuart on youtube.

O Sole Mio

Friday, October 12th, 2007

Solar Power Solar Power

O Sole Mio O sole mio digital image by Fung Lin Hall (My Sun in Italian)
(Pavarotti is waving Googedbye Earth)

Doris Lessing won the Nobel Prize!
Her birthday is coming, more about her later.

Congratulations to President Al Gore!
Al Gore receives what Bill Clinton worked so hard to get and missed. Despite the past wins of Doctor Kissinger and Chairman Arafat, many of us are optimistic.
Do you remember who won last year?

Mahatma Gandhi was nominated several times, but was never awarded the prize. Why? (Nobel Priz. Org)

Robert Gardner – Offering

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

Robert Gardner at his studio
Robert Gardner at his studio (Image source)

Robert’s studio is becoming a school.

Since its inception the studio has primarily been a working artists studio but it is now moving towards becoming the regions first public access school for glass. With an initial offering of classes for the fall of 2007, the studio will shift its focus from a private workplace to a public access educational facility. (Via)

For advancing glass education in the mountains of Western North Carolina, Online registration here ( One day intros, two day intensives and six week classes, are programmed around your busy schedule.)
The next class coming up is Beginner’s Hotshop: Dates: Nov. 14, 21, 28, Dec. 5, 12, 19

To Europeans and Asians who might be reading this blog may I suggest a great vacation blowing glass in Asheville. (Dollars are shrinking everyday.)

Offering Robert Gardner Glass Work

My good friend Robert has been maintaining this studio in the heart of Asheville’s River Arts District since 1997. He was from Miami Beach, he was a film student at the San Francisco Art Institute when this blogger lived in Orinda. (We were friends in Miami before our California days. ) Robert loves cooking Thai food. If you were his friend he would drag you to Burmese restaurant in SF or NYC with him. (Is there a Burmese restaurant in Asheville?)

Robert Gardner Glass Work In God We Trust
(“Actually this one is sold, but as a series of say 100, I’d be happy to make more.” -via email Robert G. You can re-title the piece as “The Book Ends”)

<>Robert Gardner Glass sculpture Apples and Cradle

This article talks about his piece “Harness”.

“Everything can be seen in two’s…”

More pieces from Portals (Chicago)

<><>Robert Gardner Glass sculpture Stirrup

Theaters Stories

Sunday, October 7th, 2007

We received two tickets to see Italian Bel Canto Opera last Saturday, at the Orpheum, a last minute surprise.

Orpheum Theater Phoenix AZ digital image by Fung Lin Hall
Retouched digital image of the restored Orpheum Theater Phoenix Arizona

Stanley Theater by Hiroshi Sugimoto
Stanley Theater by Hiroshi Sugimoto

I received this email from Janet Paparelli when I described my experience at the Orpheum Theater in Phoenix.

When I was a child, my parents used to take me to a movie theater that looked just like your Orpheum. I remember at the age of 7 or 8, just running around the balcony lobby and pretending. There were benches covered with red velvet cushions and small ponds everywhere with small fish and gurgling water. The balcony railing was this gold baroque design. I used to play that I was a royal princess, it was so much fun. The sky inside the theater itself was blue and when the lights were dimmed for the movie to start there were crowds of stars. There were small boxes where nobody really sat, you know, the kind you would find in a Degas or Renoir painting. They hung off the side walls just waiting for royalty to arrive, and nobody royal ever came, I guess, because they were always empty. That was the Stanley Theater in Jersey City. Much more royal than the Gusman here in Miami which has been restored. I am not sure that that theater is even there any more. It was the most elegant. It became a temple for one of those groups that knocks at your door to tell you that Jesus loves you

Janet then found on youtube about the theater. 2007 Follow the Christ Convention Photos

Art Deco Neon Orinda Theater Art Deco Neon (Image source)

I grew up in Orinda—and hated it, try being one of the lone Jews among the WASPS in the 70s, but at the theater, staring at the walls painted with long-haired women, soaring upwards against blue and stars… I could forget for awhile.
a comment from here

The Only Cool Thing in Orinda (A stunning photo from flickr)

Orinda was shaken by a tragedy when a cheerleader was murdered in revenge for bullying by another student 0n June 24, 1984 when this blogger and her family lived there. (Fifteen minutes from Berkeley, conservative Orinda hides its troubled residents in leafy beautiful redwood exteriors.)

Orinda Theater by Hiroshi Sugimoto

See more and read Hiroshi Sugimoto’s statement

Charles Yuen Update

Friday, October 5th, 2007

Charles Yuen added another video on his homepage.

Great Grandma video Charles Yuen's Grandmother

A stark and hilarious video about Charles Yuen’s grandmother who was only 15 years old when she left China for Hawaii. (This blogger’s grandma was a mail-order bride too, except she went to Japan and became an overseas Chinese in Japan. She was a cigarette smoking teenager with large peasant feet when she boarded the boat. )

The great grandson is in a show

Charles Yuen is in a show at ADA Gallery in Richmond VA.
228 W. Broad St.
Richmond, VA 23220
ADA Gallery

It opens on Oct. 11 (6-8 pm), and runs for about a month.

Fat Man Painting by Charles Yuen 66 x 54 inches, oil on canvas

More paintings by Charles here.

Love and War

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007

We are back with Rawi Hage and his Beirut novel about the Lebanon civil war. I don’t know if Rawi saw this film but that is what I thought of when I saw this film a few days ago.

Hanna Schygulla Circle of Deceit Hanna Schygulla

Volker Schlöndorf, after the success of the Tin Drum turned down Hollywood offers to make this film. Margarethe von Trotta helped with the script.

Shot on location in the still smoldering streets of Beirut, Circle of Deceit is a film of riveting tension and passionate eloquence now available for the first time on US DVD and video. (Via)

The fighters in the film are real fighters and the weapons and ammunition they use is real. The fighters only fight at night so were available during the day to work as extras. Volker Schlöndorff was grateful that nobody was injured making this film due to the professional expertise of the extras. The special effects crew loved that they could actually blow things up. He said that Bruno Ganz was distressed with the war experience whereas Hanna felt quite comfortable in the midst of chaos. (Maybe this is because Bruno is Swiss.) Hanna stayed for three or more weeks in Lebanon afterward trying to find and adopt an orphan just like the character she portrayed in the film. She did not find such an orphan in the end.

Circle of Deceit Circle of Deceit Bruno Ganz and Hanna Schygulla

Not quite related to this film above, Hanna gives an interesting view of her experience working with Bela Tarr in this interview by Susan Sontag.
She said,

…he’s a perfectionist and that doesn’t interest me in life. (From Sontag interviews Schygulla)

National Day in China

Monday, October 1st, 2007

Photography by Wang Ningde
Photograph by Wang Ning De

Today is the 58th Anniversary of People’s Republic of China.
A Chinese film depicting Mao Zedong founding the People’s Republic of China. Title unknown (From youtube)

The heroism of Burmese, the shame of China by Rosemary Righter (London Times)

When China joined Russia last January to veto a fairly mild United Nations Security Council resolution calling on Burma to free political prisoners and improve its abominable human rights record, Beijing’s Ambassador at the UN helpfully explained that “no country is perfect” and that “similar problems exist in other countries”. Including, as he of course did not say, China.

Looking for great photos of contemporary China?
Meeting Place Photo Beijin

Dance in a Small Town – Wang Nin De (Federico WangNinde Fellini)