Archive for June, 2015

Krzysztof Kieslowski – His Life & His Search for Mysterious Connections

Saturday, June 27th, 2015
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    Krzysztof Kieslowski
    (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).

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    A short film about killing ..
    “In Poland, this film was instrumental in the abolition of the death penalty.”

    Images from Decalogue

  • Master class interview (youtube)

    See film stills Doublie life of Veronique

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    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.

    (via wiki)

    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.[12]

    In the foreword to Decalogue: The Ten Commandments,[13] 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[14]

  • RIP Harold Feinstein Photos of Coney Island, War & People

    Thursday, June 25th, 2015
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    Gypsie Girl at the Carousel, Coney Isalnd, 1949

    Harold Feinstein

    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.

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    Mother’s Curtains, by Harold Feinstein, 1948


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    Draftees on Troup Ship 1953

  • Coney Island sheet music —Boardwalk Sheet-music Montage, Coney Island, 1950 of and for the people!


    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)

    Mary Ellen Mark 1940 – 2015

  • Cadenza on the Night Plain – Terry Riley at 80

    Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015
  • Kronos Q.

  • Ravi Shankar 1asitarTerryShankar3_121212 and Terry Riley

    At 80, Terry Riley is a happy man

    By Joshua Kosman Updated 12:54 pm, Monday, June 22, 2015


    The prolific and influential composer-performer turns 80 on Wednesday, a milestone that will be celebrated this weekend with a three-concert series by his longtime collaborators, the Kronos Quartet. And in addition to his artistic legacy — a long and varied creative record that includes some of the most notable works in the history of minimalism and post-minimalism — Riley must hold some kind of record as the happiest and least stress-afflicted musician now working.

    He began as a neo-classicist, writing short pieces in imitation of Milhaud and Poulenc, as well as a jazz pianist. Then Young, whom he met at UC Berkeley in the ’50s, drew him into the world of experimentalism — a chapter that led to the 1964 creation of “In C,” the masterpiece of structured freedom that remains his best-known work. Throughout the late 1960s and ’70s, Riley immersed himself in musical improvisation, producing such groundbreaking albums as “Rainbow in Curved Air” but not writing anything down. (“During that decade, you won’t find any notes from me,” he says, “but a lot of music.”) He also became an adept at Indian music, studying with the Indian singer Pandit Pran Nath.

    Kronos 1akronosriley and Terry Riley

    Perhaps his most long-standing commitment has been to his collaboration with Kronos, for which he has written more than a dozen quartets. It was the group’s founder and artistic director, David Harrington, who put Riley back on the path of notating music.

    Photos of Terry Riley

    Terry Riley and Harry Partch both were born on June 24.

    Harry Partch (Previous post)

    From a Single Mother to a Powerful Film Critic – Pauline Kael’s Extraordinary Life

    Friday, June 19th, 2015
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    Review of her biography

  • 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.

    She preferred…
    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.

  • Jacques Perrin and 1dkael Pauline Kael
    (1977 at Cannes)

  • Pauline Kael reviews

    Pauline Kael Five Classics – interesting collection here.

    New Yorker piece (The Group episode)

    Pauline Kael and 1duncanKael Robert Duncan

    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.

  • Frank Rich on Pauline Kael Kael loved Jean Renoir and Satyjit Ray.. her role models are James Agee and Marny Farber.

    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

    Moreau and Ebert (happy days)

    June 18 Ebert’s birthday .. (previous post – the Last picture show)

    René Char – “Lucidity is the wound closest to the sun.”

    Sunday, June 14th, 2015
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    “Lucidity is the wound closest to the sun.”
    René Char (14 June 1907 – 19 February 1988)

    Char was a friend and close associate of Albert Camus,[1] Georges Bataille and Maurice Blanchot among writers, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró and Victor Brauner among painters. He was to have been in the car involved in the accident that killed both Camus and Michel Gallimard, but there was not enough room, and returned instead that day by train to Paris.

    The composer Pierre Boulez wrote three settings of Char’s poetry, Le Soleil des eaux, Le visage nuptial, and Le marteau sans maître. A late friendship developed also between Char and Martin Heidegger, who described Char’s poetry as “a tour de force into the ineffable” and was repeatedly his guest at La Thor in the Vaucluse

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    Protesting with Picasso on the heights of the Mont Ventoux against the nuclear installations.

    Resistance in Every way

    obéissez à vos cochons qui existent;
    j’obéis à mes dieux qui n’existent point.

    obey your pigs who exist;
    I obey my gods who do not.

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    Char with Paul Eluard

    Forehead Of The Rose

    Despite the open window in the room of long absence, the odor of the rose is still linked with the
    breath that was there. Once again we are without previous experience, newcomers, in love. The
    rose! The field of its ways would dispel even the effrontery of death. No grating stands in the way.
    Desire is alive, an ache in our vaporous foreheads.

    One who walks the earth in its rains has nothing to fear from the thorn in places either finished or
    unfriendly. But if he stops to commune with himself, woe! Pierced to the quick, he suddenly flies to
    ashes, an archer reclaimed by beauty.
    René Char

    Goodbye Ornette Coleman & Memory of Ornette & Derrida

    Thursday, June 11th, 2015
  • NYtimes obit

  • Derrida and 1aColemanDerrida_Ornette

    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.

    Juan Felipe Herrera Named US. Poet Laureate

    Wednesday, June 10th, 2015
  • Juan Felipe Herrera

    He will be the first Latino poet to be appointed to the position.

    “This is a mega-honor for me,” Herrera said in the announcement, “for my family and my parents who came up north before and after the Mexican Revolution of 1910 — the honor is bigger than me.”

    A poet of Chicano descent, the 66-year-old has spent just about his whole life on the West Coast. Born to a family of migrant farmworkers, Herrera bounced from tent to trailer for much of his youth in Southern California, eventually going on to study at UCLA and Stanford.



  • Selected poems (NYtimes)


    1. Go back to the grain yellow hills where the broken speak of elegance
    2. Walk up to the canvas door, the short bed stretched against the clouds
    3. Beneath the earth, an ant writes with the grace of a governor
    4. Blow, blow Red Tail Hawk, your hidden sleeve—your desert secrets
    5. You are there, almost, without a name, without a body, go now
    6. I said five, said five like a guitar says six.

  • My Father’s Day Tale by Juan Felipe Herrera (youtube)


    Odd to be a half-Mexican, let me put it this way
    I am Mexican + Mexican, then there’s the question of the half
    To say Mexican without the half, well it means another thing
    One could say only Mexican
    Then think of pyramids – obsidian flaw, flame etchings, goddesses with
    Flayed visages claw feet & skulls as belts – these are not Mexican
    They are existences, that is to say
    Slavery, sinew, hearts shredded sacrifices for the continuum
    Quarks & galaxies, the cosmic milk that flows into trees
    Then darkness
    What is the other – yes
    It is Mexican too, yet it is formless, it is speckled with particles
    European pieces? To say colony or power is incorrect
    Better to think of Kant in his tiny room
    Shuffling in his black socks seeking out the notion of time
    Or Einstein re-working the erroneous equation
    Concerning the way light bends – all this has to do with
    The half, the half-thing when you are a half-being



    How they stalk you & how you beseech them
    All this becomes your life-long project, that is
    You are Mexican. One half Mexican the other half
    Mexican, then the half against itself.

    Alan Turing – Thinking Machine by Henrik Olesen

    Sunday, June 7th, 2015
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    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.

    Can machine think?

  • How Alan Turing solved the enigma of Solitaire in letter to girl, 8

    Nico Muhuly takes on Alan Turing

    See the codebreaker.. (not starring Benedict Cumberbatch).

    More link on the Imitation game –

    Yukio Mishima’s Madame Sade Staged by Ingmar Bergman

    Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

    Madame Sade
    ‘Starkly ascetic regarding the physical effects, yet vibrating with sensibility.’

  • Richard Long & Rineke Dijiskstra + Portrait of Marquis de Sade by Man Ray

    Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015
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    Happy birthday Richard Long! (homepage)

    See more via Lisson gallery

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    June 2 birthday of Marquis de Sade – Drawing by Man Ray

  • Yukio Mishima’s Madame Sade staged by Ingmar Bergman

  • Happy birthday Rineke Dijiskstra (Previous post)