Archive for June, 2012

Scott Walker – 30 Century Man

Saturday, June 30th, 2012
  • Scott Walker 30 Century Man (Now full film on youtube)

    Scott Walker: 30 Century Man is a 2006 documentary film about Scott Walker. The film gets its title from the Scott 3 song “30 Century Man”. It is directed and co-produced by Stephen Kijak, with Grant Gee serving as director of photography. It charts Walker’s career in music, with a focus on his songwriting, and features exclusive footage of recording sessions for his most recent album

    Stongest Man

    Scott Walker is the recluse’s recluse – a singer and writer who went from teenage heartthrob with incredible hair to tortured soul in the space of four eponymous albums between 1967 to 1969. In the 43 intervening years he has released only four more “proper” solo albums, each more eremitic than the last (plus others of standards and country ballads he would rather expunge from history).

    Scott Walker Interview (guardian)

    His hero was the Flemish chansonnier Jacques Brel, whose music he had been turned on to by a German Bunny Girl he had picked up at a party in the Playboy Club on Park Lane. ‘I don’t listen to Brel that much now,’ he says, ‘but in those days, hearing him sing was like a hurricane blowing through the room.’

  • Pola X is the soundtrack album to Léos Carax’s film of the same name composed, and produced by the American solo artist Scott Walker. The soundtrack also includes contributions from Smog, Sonic Youth, Fairuz, Nguyên Lê, and M. Luobin Wang. It was released on 17 May 1999. It was Walker’s first full soundtrack.

    Two stars from Pola X have departed early.

    Yekaterina Golubeva (9 October 1966 – 14 August 2011)

    (29 Palms, Pola X, I Can’t Sleep – Claire Denis )

    Guillaume Depardieu(7 April 1971 – 13 October 2008)
    Previous post on Guillaume Depardieu (Tous Les Matin du Monde + Duchess of Langlois)

    Horacio Coppola

    Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

    Horacio Coppola who has died aged 105, worked primarily in black and white, and his photography – keenly evoking sensations of time and place – has the scent of nostalgia. With his camera, he expressed his love of the city, its architecture and its people.

    Homage to Juan Gris

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    London 1935

    Horacio Coppola – MoMa collection

    Horacio Coppola ((31 July 1906 – 18 June 2012)

    Argentine photographer and filmmaker, and the husband of the German photographer Grete Stern.
    Born in Buenos Aires, he was the author of the photographs that appeared in the first edition of “Evaristo Carriego” (biography) (1930)[3] by Jorge Luis Borges. He was one of the pioneers photographers from Argentina and key figure in the Modernism. He studied in the Bauhaus during the thirties and came back to Argentina with his German wife. He remarried later to Raquel Palomeque.

    In a clip from “Ringl and Pit” the great Argentine photographer Horacio Coppola talks about his relationship with Grete Stern (later briefly his wife) and Ellen Auerbach, who had started the “ringl + pit” photo studio in Berlin in 1929. They all worked together in a fun little film where Coppola tries to pick up a maid, played by Grete.

  • Click through his photos here

  • Gaudi by Teshigahara

    Monday, June 25th, 2012

    Antoni Gaudi Full film directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara

    Gaudi Made Me Realize the Lines Between the Arts Are Insignificant – Hiroshi Teshigahara

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    Gaudi not only had a profound impact on Teshigahara’s work, but it was Gaudi who planted the seed of a cross-disciplinary approach to the arts. “Gaudi worked beyond the borders of various arts,” said Teshigahara, “and made me feel that the world in which I was living still left a great many possibilities.”

    Nature and landscape were of central importance to Hiroshi Teshigahara, even as a young boy. He was born in Tokyo, son of Sofu Teshigahara, founder and grand master of the Sogetsu School of ikebana. Sofu championed the idea of ikebana as an art form rather than a decorative craft, and he bucked tradition by including materials besides flowers in his work.

    As Dore Ashton explains in an excellent essay on the Criterion website, when Hiroshi Teshigahara was a schoolboy, Japan’s cities were firebombed during the Second World War. He “returned to a landscape of bleak ruins.” Teshigahara’s generation “was charged with building a way to exist in the desperate circumstances they had inherited,” says Ashton. “Prominent survivors of the prewar avant-garde, who had spent all their youth in Paris, exhorted young artists to build a totally new culture, expunging all memory of the militaristic milieu of their childhood.”

    Calvet Chair Antoni Gaudi

    “If any film could be described as an architectural symphony, it is Hiroshi Teshigahara’s 1984 movie ANTONIO GAUDI. Much of the imagery in GAUDI is nothing less than astounding in its beauty and boldness, and the blending of a neo-Gothic mysticism and grandeur with an Art Nouveau line and a surreal apprehension of the power of nature. The erotic connotations of much of the work are so blunt as to be almost shocking.”– Stephen Holden, The New York Times

  • Hiroshi Teshigahara -(Previous post – The Face of Another)

    Kurt Schwitters in Norway + Stephen Fry in America

    Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

    Kurt Schwitters in Norway


    Kurt Schwitters was born on June 20, 1887 (Previous post K.S.– Dada, sound poetry, the first installation artist)

    Kurt in Norway (via)

    On 2 January 1937 Schwitters, wanted for an ‘interview’ with the Gestapo,[26] fled Hanover for Norway to join his son Ernst, (via wiki)

    Thanks to Rie Kitagawa for the tip

    Kurt Schwitters Influences (via wiki)

    Many artists have cited Schwitters as a major influence, including Ed Ruscha, Robert Rauschenberg, Damien Hirst, Al Hansen, and Arman.

    “The language of Merz now finds common acceptance and today there is scarcely an artist working with materials other than paint who does not refer to Schwitters in some way. In his bold and wide-ranging experiments he can be seen as the grandfather of Pop Art, Happenings, Concept Art, Fluxus, multimedia art and post-modernism.” Gwendolyn Webster

  • Stephen Fry in America

    When Stephen Fry visited the Nation’s capital DC he interviewed the founder of Wikipedia.

    WikiMedia was founded on June 20 2003

    Stephen Fry
    Stephen Fry enjoyed New England, South West Native American territories, and San Francisco. He did not seem to care much for the Midwest, Florida or the South.

  • O My Papa

    Saturday, June 16th, 2012

    Robert Mangold in his studio 1963 Nov.

    Robert Mangold

    The Family
    (From left: James Mangold with his parents in 1965; Robert Mangold’s Irregular Gray Area With a Drawn Ellipse, 1986)

    James Mangold is son of Robert Mangold – he is a film director. (Walk the Line Girl Interrupted, Copland, Heavy)

    James Mangold about parents
    My parents have a very, very rewarding life and do beautiful work, but growing up, one of my critiques of my parents’ world was that it was elitist, that it only speaks to a small sliver of the world. Doing something that could reach everybody else was very driving to me.

    “We should be writing more great roles for women, period. – James Mangold

    Mitchel Lichtenstein directed
    Mitchel Lichtenstein’s father Roy Lichtenstein designed the cover.
    Michel Lichtenstein from the Wedding Banquet (directed by Ang Lee – the ad is annoying – a great scene from the film. )

  • Father and Son previous post (Oe Kenzaburo, Arthur Miller and Gandhi as fathers)

  • Mark Salzman (previous post)

    The Man in the Empty Boat – Mark Salzman

    Happy birthday Jim Dine (See Jim Dine’s portraits of himself + an interview)

    Fernando Pessoa

    Tuesday, June 12th, 2012


    “It is sometimes said that the four greatest Portuguese poets of modern times are Fernando Pessoa. The statement is possible since Pessoa, whose name means ‘person’ in Portuguese, had three alter egos who wrote in styles completely different from his own. In fact Pessoa wrote under dozens of names, but Alberto Caeiro, Ricardo Reis and Álvaro de Campos were – their creator claimed – full-fledged individuals who wrote things that he himself would never or could never write. He dubbed them ‘heteronyms’ rather than pseudonyms, since they were not false names but “other names”, belonging to distinct literary personalities. Not only were their styles different; they thought differently, they had different religious and political views, different aesthetic sensibilities, different social temperaments. And each produced a large body of poetry.

    Mutliple Pessoa

    (See more photos here)

    Fernando Pessoa – June 13, 1888

    “If after I die, people want to write my biography, there is nothing simpler. They only need two dates: the date of my birth and the date of my death. Between one and another, every day is mine.”

    Lost Frog and the thick of Fog 1pessoa(Basho and Pessoa -previous post)

    Marguerite Yourcenar – Madame Bibliotheque

    Friday, June 8th, 2012

    “When two texts, or two assertions, perhaps two ideas, are in contradiction, be ready to reconcile them rather than cancel one by the other; regard them as two different facets, or two successive stages, of the same reality, a reality convincingly human just because it is complex.” Marguerite Yourcenar

    (Photo of book cover Mishima Vision of the Void via Amerika and right photo M.Y in Tokyo)

    Mishima: A Vision of the Void (1980) tried to separate the persona or shadow of great Japanese writer, and homosexual, and the human being of flesh and blood. “… let us remember that the central reality must be sought in the writer’s work: it is what the writer chose to write, or was compelled to write, that finally matters. And certainly Mishima’s carefully premeditated death is part of his work.”

    Petite M.Y.

    She never went to school. She had a few tutors, but mostly she educated herself. She taught herself Latin, ancient Greek, English, and Italian; she read everything she could find.

    Coup de Grace was her most autobiographical novel.

    Marguerite Yourcenar, the Belgian born French novelist was the first woman elected to the Académie française. She was born on 8 June 1903.

    Becoming an Emperor by Joan Acocella (New Yorker) wrote that she was an extremely isolated artist.

    M.Yourcenar, an erudite and eccentric Grande Dame of Letters, spent half of her life in USA, and even had a citizenship and taught at Sarah Lawrence.

  • She translated Virginia Woolf’s The Waves over a 10-month period in 1937. (wiki)

  • Elegant and marmoreal [these essays] have the considerable charm of a hard-worn historical sense worn lightly, with a quickening of fine discriminations into lively images. – John Updike “That Mighty Sculptor, Time”. (Marmoreal means like a marble or statue.)

    More about M. Y. “Her many meditations on the meaning of love and pleasure often had their roots in personal crisis; yet they were always filtered through historical, mythological or fictitious characters.”

  • Previous post The Dark Brain of Piranesi borrowed the title of Yourcenar’s book of essays.

  • On Jung when asked about Freud and Jung ( Paris Review )
    As a great psychologist I prefer Jung. He was sometimes strange, but there was genius in his madness. He was more a poet and had a larger perception of human nature. In his memoirs (Memories, Dreams and Reflections) you are often confronted with the mystery of life itself. For example, his mother hatred, so strong that a table breaks itself in two when they are together! A stunning para-psychological episode or a beautiful symbol?

    As for Henry James, the best definition is the one by Somerset Maugham, when he said that Henry James was an alpinist, equipped to conquer the Himalayas, and walked up Beaker Street! Henry James was crushed by his stifling milieu—his sister, his mother, even his brother who was a genius but of a more philosophical and professorial kind. James never told his own truth.

    Reading Marguerite Yourcenar

    In the Ambulatory Surgery Unit –
    Hadrian, even though he was ruling Rome, he was very low key about the whole thing. He loved power, but not drama and, reading about how he just took everything in stride logically — giving a troublesome government official a stipend and sending him to the countryside — relaxed me and helped me look at the surgery logically.

    Musee Marguerite Yourcenar my museum

    She visited Borges and spent some times with him just before he died. Her tribute to Borges became her last piece of writing.

    Here is a sample of her writing;

    Febo del Poggio
    I am awakening. What did the others say? Dawn, you who reconstruct the world each morning: complete, with naked arms that hold the universe: youth, the dawn of man. What does it matter to me what others have said, thought, believed…I am Febo del Poggio, a scoundrel. Those who speak of me say that I have a base soul; but perhaps I have no soul at all. I exist in the way a piece of fruit exists, a glass of wine, a splendid tree. When winter comes, one abandons the tree that no longer offers shade; when one’s hunger is sated. one throws away the pit; when the glass is empty, one takes another. I accept that. Summer, the lustral water of morning over lithe limbs; O joy, dew of the heart….
    I am awakening. Before me, behind me, there is eternal night. For millions of ages I have slept; for millions of ages I shall sleep again…I have but one hour. Why would you spoil it with explanations or maxims? I stretch out in the sun, on the pillow of pleasure, in a morning that will never again return.

    (Excerpt from a book “That Mighty Sculptor, Time” by M. Yourcenar).

    Ray Bradbury R.I.P

    Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

    Ray Bradbury dies at 91 (NY times)

    “I have fun with ideas; I play with them,” he said. “ I’m not a serious person, and I don’t like serious people. I don’t see myself as a philosopher. That’s awfully boring.” He added, “My goal is to entertain myself and others.”

    Ray Bradbury

  • Ray On John Huston (Banchi story)
    Paris Review –Ray Bradbury Interview (more on John Huston here)

  • The Jar by Ray Bradbury – Alfred Hitchcock hour TV film on youtube

  • His last writing on the New Yorker Take me home.

  • Fahrenheit-451-reading-the-film

    The most notable difference is probably the fact that Clarisse dies in a hit-and-run in the novel, whereas she survives in the film. Bradbury said that although he was initially unnerved by this alteration, he came to like it and even included it in his own later stage adaptation of the novel.

    Truffaut Farenheidt 451 trailer (Truffaut suffered a conflict working with Oskar Werner who was difficult throughout the shooting. Werner was OK during the shooting of Jules et Jim)

    Nicolas Roeg on working with Francois Truffaut here

    The Dumb Box & Two Helens

    Monday, June 4th, 2012

  • One-eyed Afternoon [Dumb Box 17] by Ward Schumaker (This one has often seemed my favorite – Ward wrote)

    Throne for a New Ubu Dumb Box

    and more Dumb box from Ward Schumaker

    In 1950 our family thought of my aunt Helen as the most beautiful woman in Genoa, Nebraska. She was 29 years old, had two infants, was pregnant, and she was dying of leukemia

    Helen of Genoa [Dumb Box 12]

  • Happy birthday Helene Cixious

    French feminist writer, poet, playwright, philosopher, literary critic and rhetorician

  • Helen Cixous on youtube (Helene is speaking fluently in English)

  • Kafka in Cixous

    “What do we do with the other when we create? What does the author do? What does the painter do? That is, what do we do? This is our portrait, the portrait of the artist done by himself or herself, the portrait of you by me: it is oval: the Egg of Evil. What do we do with the body of the other when we are in a state of creation — and with our own bodies too. We annihilate (ourselves) (Thomas Bernhard would say), we pine (ourselves) away (Edgar Allen Poe would say), we erase (ourselves) (Henry James would say). In short, we institute immurement. It all begins with walls. Those of the tower. Those of the chateau we enter as we follow a seriously wounded narrator. ‘The Oval Portrait’ starts like this: