Friday, June 5, 2009

Denisa Dvorakova


ph: Andreas Larsson

Indeterminacy 167


Mr. Romanoff is in the mushroom class.
He is a pharmacist
and takes color slides of the fungi
we find. It was he
who picked up a mushroom I brought to
the first meeting of the class at the
New School, smelled it,
and said, “Has
anyone perfumed this mushroom?” Lois
Long said, “I don’t think
so.” With each plant Mr. Romanoff’s
pleasure is, as one might
say, like that of a child.
(However,
now and then children come on the
field trips and they don’t
show particular delight over what is
found. They try
to attract attention to themselves.)
Mr. Romanoff
said the other day,
“Life is the sum total of all the
little things that happen.”
Mr. Nearing smiled.

- John Cage

Caroline Trentini

The Dark Knight (2008)



This time the Caped Crusader is confronted with his arch enemy, The Joker, and the conflict threatens not only his friends and loved ones but the whole Gotham City as well.

Yeah, it took me this long to finally see the movie, thanks to Lovefilm's irrational policies. The DVD copy I got was pretty bad.

I do not think that The Dark Knight is that much better than Batman Begins, both are equally excellent as adaptations of the Batman story. However, Heath Ledger as the Joker has really managed to create this character into a truly disturbing menacing villain. His part alone lifts this movie above anything previous Batman adaptations have achieved.

The Joker (to Batman): "“Don’t talk like one of them, you’re not! Even if you’d like to be. To them, you’re just a freak–like me. They need you right now. When they don’t…they’ll cast you out. Like a leper. See, their morals, their code: it’s a bad joke. They’re dropped at the first sign of trouble. They’re only as good as the world allows them to be. You’ll see, when the chips are down these civilized people will eat each other.”

"You… you just couldn’t let me go could you? This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. You are truly incorruptable aren’t you. You won’t kill me because of some misplaced sense of self-rightousness. And I won’t kill you because…you’re just too much fun. I get the feeling that you and I are destined to do this forever."

Who's That Girl?

New stuff

A Scan a Day

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Censored


(click to enlarge)

Even non-nudes are sometimes too much for the censors at Photobucket...

Jean Seberg

Indeterminacy 14


We’ve now played the Winter Music
quite a number of times. I
haven’t kept count. When we
first played it, the silences seemed
very long and the sounds seemed really
separated in space, not obstructing
one another. In Stockholm,
however, when we played it at the Opera
as an interlude in the dance program
given by Merce Cunningham and Carolyn
Brown early one October, I noticed
that it had become melodic.
Christian Wolff prophesied this to me
years ago. He said — we
were walking along Seventeenth Street
talking — he said, “No
matter what we do it ends by
being melodic.” As far as I
am concerned this happened to Webern
years ago. Karlheinz
Stockhausen once told me — we were in
Copenhagen — “I demand two
things from a composer:
invention and that he astonish me.”

- John Cage

Sharon Tate

New stuff


Who's That Girl?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Song a Day

Slowdive - Losing Today

Last show ever at Lee's Palace, Toronto, 21st May 1994

Sometimes I'm sceptical about the term shoegaze. First of all, bands like Sonic Youth were performing 'shoegaze' sytle (standing on one spot and staring at their feet) long before the genre got its moniker. And then I find that My Bloody Valentine, the most influential shoegaze band, was about noise.

However, most shoegaze bands tend to produce quite mellifluous music, and I assume it's Slowdive's influence. Nevertheless, Slowdive's music has a hypnotizing quality to it, and I assume live and loud it was be just as angelic as My Bloody Valentine's stuff.



In a corner
She sits and waits
She's waiting for
Her heart to break

It says it all

Don't lose today

Kate Moss irrégulière

Indeterminacy 73


Xenia told me once

that when she was a
child
in
Alaska,

she and her friends

had a club

and there was only


one

rule:




No

silliness.

- John Cage

Carmen Solomons

New stuff


(amazingly bad cover for a DVD)

Who's That Girl?

Across the Pacific (1942)



A U.S. officer court-martialed in disgrace leaves the country and gets a job offer in central America with a stop off in Panama and is involved in an espionage adventure.

A fun yarn with some of the stars from the Maltese Falcon rejoining in this pic. A bit of pre WWII propaganda, but all done in good mood.

A Scan a Day


Vignettes #21


I have a friend of mine who now is professor for Catholic theology. He has worked on the topic of movies depicting the life of Jesus and therefore is an expert on that topic, but otherwise a very regular moviegoer as well. He was at my cinema quite often.

This friend has the peculiarity that you could never pin him down to express his own opinion on a given subject openly. This might be reasonable in some cases working as a teacher, but in private conversation it can get a bit unnerving.

One evening he joined my friends and myself at the pub. We were discussing the best movies of the previous year. A film magazine had published a top 10 list, and we were talking about what we would have considered our favourite 10.

So we asked this friend which movies he would put in his own personal list. The expression on his face instantly signalized that he felt like we were pressuring him into something he did not want to reveal. He hesitated quite long, so I asked him he surely goes to the movies so often, there must certainly be some titles he particularly liked.

His ultimate reply was, and more he would not disclose: "Well, yes, I saw a lot of little French films that were very good, but I can't remember the titles."

Ever since my friends and I use the term "little French film" to describe an artsy fartsy European movie whose title is not worth to remember.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Missy Rayder

Indeterminacy 59


Earle Brown and I spent several months splicing
magnetic tape together. We sat on opposite sides of
the same table. Each of us had a pattern of the
splicing to be done, the measurements to be made,
etc. Since we were working on tapes that were later
to be synchronized, we checked our measurements
every now and then against each other. We invariably
discovered errors in each other’s measurements. At
first each of us thought the other was being
careless. When the whole situation became somewhat
exasperating, we took a single ruler and a single
tape and each one marked where he thought an inch
was. The two marks were at different points. It
turned out that Earle Brown closed one eye when he
made his measurements, whereas I kept both eyes
open. We then tried closing one of my eyes, and
later opening both of his. There still was
disagreement as to the length of an inch. Finally
we decided that one person should do all the final
synchronizing splices. But then errors crept
in due to changes in weather. In spite of
these obstacles, we went on doing what we were
doing for about five more months, twelve
hours a day, until the work was finished.

- John Cage

Who's That Girl?

The movies I watched in May

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945) 8

Action in the North Atlantic (1943) 5
Alpha Dog (2006) 6
Anatomy of a Murder (1959) 8

Criminal (2004) 5
Cube Zero (2004) (V) 6
Cutter's Way (1981) 6
Death Machine (1995) 5
Dinosaur (2000) 6
El Cid (1961) 5
Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties (2006) 5
Giulietta degli spiriti (1965) 6
Gwoemul (2006) 6
Hitch (2005/I) 5
In the Name of the Father (1993) 10

In the Shadow of the Moon (2007) 6
Killing Me Softly (2002) 5
La tourneuse de pages (2006) 7
Land of the Pharaohs (1955) 6
Le carrosse d'or (1952) 6
Louis Lumière (1968) (TV) 8

Martyrs (2008) 8

Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) 7
Moral 63 (1963) 5
Opening Night (1977) 7
Pet Sematary II (1992) 4
Rosen für den Staatsanwalt (1959) 6
S.W.A.T. (2003) 5
"Wallander: Sidetracked (#1.1)" (2008) 6
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) 6
Star Trek: Generations (1994) 5
Terrore nello spazio (1965) 8

The Dish (2000) 6
The Image (1975) 7
The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976) 5
The Woman in the Window (1944) 8

To End All Wars (2001) 6
Yapian zhanzheng (1997) 5
You Kill Me (2007) 7
You, Me and Dupree (2006) 5
Zemlya (1930) 6

Reka Ebergenyi


ph: Mikael Schulz

New stuff

Monday, June 1, 2009

Anna Selezneva


ph: Stratis and Beva

Indeterminacy 92


A woman
who lived in the
country
was asked
how
cold it had been
the
previous winter.


“Not very cold,”
she replied.



Then she added,

“There were only
three
or four days
when we
had to stay in bed
all day
to keep warm.”

- John Cage

Clara Bow

Books of My Life: Magnifikat

This is not really a favourite book of mine, but it's one that has accompanied me for most of my childhood in Germany. As I've told before I grew up in a very strict Catholic family, and Church-going on Sundays and EVERY holiday was an annoying duty. Above that my German grandmother forced us to go to daily rosary prayings while my pals were out playing and having fun.



The Magnifikat is basically a prayer book or a missal. It contains for the most part the songs that you sing in mass, but it also the full Catholic liturgy in Latin and German plus explanations. It's a small black book (not good to scan) with gilt edging and 2 ribbon bookmarks. You carried it with you to mass, and during mass a board would tell you which song numbers you'd need for that particular mass.



The name of the book means praise of God derived from "Magnificat anima mea Dominum", "my soul praises the Lord." Sometime in the mid 70s the book was abrogated and replaced by the "Gotteslob" which was a de-Latinized version. Gotteslob would be the German expression for Magnfikat.

The Magnifikat also contained instructions for confession including a preparatory questionairre with some very obvious questions and funning wording...After the Confessional we'd get a leaflet, usually with a picture and a prayer inside as proof that we've been there. On occasion the priest or your parenets would ask to present that proof. My edition is full of these leaflets:



It also still holds all those pics from funerals I have attended, this one is my German grandmother's 'death picture':



Looking through my old edition I also found this document, proof of my confirmation:



So this book isn't really dear to me, but I keep it (plus other prayer books) as a remembrance from my childhood.

Who's That Girl?

The Woman in the Window (1944)





A middle-aged college professor laments his stodgy life until he spends an evening with a beautiful woman who has a dangerous lover.

This is one of my favourite film noir classics. It starts beautifully simple, a mere chance encounter on the sidewalk, and gradually the story takes a downward spiral step by step into the abyss. Unfortunately, the studio forced a happy ending onto the plot, but that can hardly reverse the experience you just have made.