Saturday, July 4, 2009

Anne Hathaway

Uncertain Glory (1944)



In France during WWII a criminal who is about to be executed via the guillotine turns his conviction into a sacrfice for his country.

Unusual existentialist drama with more emphasis on the philosophical aspects of the story than on sentimentality.

Who's That Girl?

The Man from Elysian Fields (2001)



A failed novelist's inability to pay the bills strains relations with his wife and leads him to work at an escort service where he becomes entwined with a wealthy woman whose husband is a successful writer.

Slightly tongue-in-cheek tale about artistic ambition and integrity.

A Scan a Day

Wonderland (2003)



In the police investigation of a brutal crime scene, one man was at the center of it all: legendary porn star John Holmes.

Fast-paced and exciting exploration of the Wonderland murders from multiple perspectives. The movie accentuates John Holmes' dubious role in the massacre, the whole story turning into a horrifying nightmare.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Anna Maria Jagodzinska


ph: David Sims

Indeterminacy 110


One winter David Tudor and I were touring in the
Middle West. From Cincinnati we drove to
Yellow Springs to drum up an engagement for Merce
Cunningham and his Dance Company. In this
way we met the McGarys. Keith was teaching
philosophy at Antioch College and Donna taught
weaving and dancing. My conversation with
Keith McGary had no sooner begun than we
discovered our mutual interest in mushrooms.
I told him that I’d never seen the
winter-growing Collybia velutipes. He opened
the front door and, using a flashlight,
showed me the plant growing in the snow from the
roots of a nearby tree. He told me what
difficulty he was having finding books about fungi.
I gave him my copy of Hard which I’d
brought along. This book deals especially
with Ohio mushrooms. The next day I
located two copies of the book in a second-hand
bookstore in Columbus. I bought them both.
Each winter I find the Collybia,
the velvet footed, in quantity.
How is it I didn’t notice it
during the winters before I met Keith McGary?

- John Cage

Mayuko Iwasa

The Philadelphia Story (1940)




When a rich woman's ex-husband and a tabloid-type reporter turn up just before her planned remarriage, she begins to learn the truth about herself

It can hardly get any better than this: this is maybe Hollywood's greatest sophisticated comedy with 3 stars in best form: Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn and James Stewart. This is also one of my all-time favourites, and I've seen it several dozen times, Hepburn is most beautiful in this.

Abbey Lee Kershaw


ph: Terry Richardson

The Pillow Book (1996)



As a young girl in Japan, Nagiko's father paints characters on her face, and her aunt reads to her from "The Pillow Book", the diary of a 10th-century lady-in-waiting, a ritual that will dominate the rest of her life.

A typical example of Greenaway's pretentiousness by stuffing as much artiness into 2 hours of film as possible, but nevertheless beautiful images aplenty.

Who's That Girl?

New stuff



Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Pina Bausch R.I.P.

I've never been much of a fan of dance or ballet, but Pina Bausch's work was way beyond any labeling, always mesmerizing.

You can find a biography here

Isabelle McNally

So who invented the moonwalk?



According to Wikipedia MJ got it from David Bowie who didn't invent it either:

Moonwalk

Anna Gushina

The movies I watched in June

3 Godfathers (1948) 8

Across the Pacific (1942) 7
Amarcord (1973) 7
An American Crime (2007) 7
Benny's Video (1992) 6
Caché (2005) 7
Captain Blood (1935) 8

Catwoman (2004) 5
Chun gwong cha sit (1997) 6
Costantino il grande (1962) 5
Desperate Journey (1942) 6
Footsteps in the Dark (1941) 6
Heartbreakers (2001) 5
In This Our Life (1942) 7
Johan (1921) 6
Kim (1950) 6
Kung Fu Panda (2008) 6
Le concile de pierre (2006) 5
Le fantôme de la liberté (1974) 10

Le tatoué (1968) 5
Legend of the Lost (1957) 6
March On, America! (1942) 6
McLintock! (1963) 6
Now, Voyager (1942) 8

Postmortem (1998/I) 5
San Antonio (1945) 5
Shimotsuma monogatari (2004) 7
Shock Corridor (1963) 7
Silver River (1948) 5
Sorstalanság (2005) 7
Spanish Fiesta (1942) 6
Spartan (2004) 6
Sweet Lorraine (1987) 5
The Adventures of Huck Finn (1993) 5
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) 10

The Assassination of Richard Nixon (2004) 7
"Inspector George Gently: The Burning Man (#1.1)" (2008) 6
The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936) 7
The Dark Knight (2008) 7
The Falcon and the Snowman (1985) 5
The Fog (2005) 5
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005) 5
The Horse Soldiers (1959) 6
The Land Girls (1998) 6
The Perfect Storm (2000) 5
The Prince and the Pauper (1937) 7
The Shootist (1976) 7
The X Files: I Want to Believe (2008) 6
They Died with Their Boots On (1941) 6
V for Vendetta (2005) 7
Volver (2006/I) 7
Voyage of Terror (1998) (TV) 4
WarGames (1983) 6
Who's Afraid of Kathy Acker? (2007) (TV) 6

Daiane Conterato


ph: Gui Paganini

Indeterminacy 147


When I first went to Paris, I did so instead of returning to
Pomona College for my junior year. As I looked around, it was
Gothic architecture that impressed me most. And of that
architecture I preferred the flamboyant style of the fifteenth
century. In this style my interest was attracted by balustrades.
These I studied for six weeks in the Bibliothèque Mazarin,
getting to the library when the doors were opened and not leaving
until they were closed. Professor Pijoan, whom I had known at
Pomona, arrived in Paris and asked me what I was doing. (We were
standing in one of the railway stations there.) I told him. He
gave me literally a swift kick in the pants and then said, “Go
tomorrow to Goldfinger. I’ll arrange for you to work with him.
He’s a modern architect.” After a month of working with
Goldfinger, measuring the dimensions of rooms which he was to
modernize, answering the telephone, and drawing Greek columns,
I overheard Goldfinger saying, “To be an architect, one must
devote one’s life solely to architecture.” I then left him, for,
as I explained, there were other things that interested me,
music and painting for instance. ¶ Five years later, when
Schoenberg asked me whether I would devote my life to music, I
said, “Of course.” After I had been studying with him for two
years, Schoenberg said, “In order to write music, you must have
a feeling for harmony.” I explained to him that I had no feeling
for harmony. He then said that I would always encounter
an obstacle, that it would be as though I came to a wall
through which I could not pass. I said, “In that case I will
devote my life to beating my head against that wall.”

- John Cage

Diana Farkhullina

The Prince and the Pauper (1937)



Two lookalike boys, one a poor street kid and the other a prince, exchange places to see what the other's life is like.

I always loved this Mark Twain adaptation, lots of fun for kids, good old-fashioned entertainment.

A Scan a Day

New stuff

Who's That Girl?

WarGames (1983)



A young man finds a back door into a military central computer in which reality is confused with game-playing, possibly starting World War III.

At the time this movie was released I found it to be quite entertaining, but it's a bit outdated by now.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rosie Tupper

8 in 1


ph: Nathaniel Goldberg

from left to right:
Giedre Dukauskaite, Lyndsey Scott, Liu Wen, Alyona Osmanova, Rosie Tupper, Diana Farkhullina, Daiane Conterato and Anna Gushina

Alyona Osmanova


ph: Mark Pillai

A Song a Day

Regina Spektor - Us

I came across Regina Spektor by accident. Our friend Tanja had bought a CD/DVD set called Mary Ann Meets the Gravediggers and Other Short Stories - obviously the title and the Gothic cover had made her interested. When we were visiting her in London she told me how disappointed she was after listening to it. I said I'd need to hear it myself, so she played it to us and I was instantly thrilled.

Regina Spektor is a Russian immigrant to New York, she grew up in Moscow, and I think that's why her songs have such a quirky and playful take on American language and culture. Her music is always extremely catchy, while remaining very personal as well.

I just got her new album Far, and although Allmusic.com only gives it a so-so rating, I have been enjoying it very much. Laughing With is from the new album.

You can find Regina Spektor at MySpace here.



They made a statue of us
and put it on a mountaintop
Now tourists come and stare at us
Blow bubbles with their gum, take photographs of fun
have fun

they'll name a city after us
and later say it's all our fault
then they'll give us a talking to
then they'll give us a talking to
cause they've got years of experience

we're living in a den of thieves
rummaging for answers in the pages
we're living in a den of thieves
and it's contagious
and it's contagious
and it's contagious
and it's contagious

we wear our scarves just like a noose
but not cause we want eternal sleep
and though our parts are slightly used
new ones are slave labor you can keep

we're living in a den of thieves
rummaging for answers in the pages
we're living in a den of thieves
and it's contagious
and it's contagious
and it's contagious
and it's contagious

They made a statue of us
They made a statue of us
The tourists come and stare and us
The sculptor's momma sends regards
They made a statue of us
They made a statue of us
Our noses have begun to rust


we're living in a den of thieves
rummaging for answers in the pages
we're living in a den of thieves
and it's contagious
and it's contagious
and it's contagious
and it's contagious
and it's contagious
and it's contagious
and it's contagious
and it's contagious

Regina Spektor - Laughing With



No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one's laughing at God when they're starving or freezing or so very poor

No one laughs at God when the doctor calls after some routine tests
No one's laughing at God when it's gotten real late and their kid's not back from that party yet

No one laughs at God when their airplane starts to uncontrollably shake
No one's laughing at God when they see the one they love hand in hand with someone else and they hope that they're mistaken
No one laughs at God when the cops knock on their door and they say "We've got some bad new, sir,"
No one's laughing at God when there's a famine, fire or flood

But God can be funny
At a cocktail party while listening to a good God-themed joke or
Or when the crazies say he hates us and they get so red in the head you think that they're about to choke

God can be funny
When told he'll give you money if you just pray the right way
And when presented like a genie
Who does magic like Houdini
Or grants wishes like Jiminy Cricket and Santa Claus

God can be so hilarious
Ha ha
Ha ha

No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one's laughing at God when they've lost all they got and they don't know what for

No one laughs at God on the day they realize that the last sight they'll ever see is a pair of hateful eyes
No one's laughing at God when they're saying their goodbyes

But God can be funny
At a cocktail party while listening to a good God-themed joke or
Or when the crazies say he hates us and they get so red in the head you think that they're about to choke

God can be funny
When told he'll give you money if you just pray the right way
And when presented like a genie
Who does magic like Houdini
Or grants wishes like Jiminy Cricket and Santa Claus

God can be so hilarious

No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war

No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war

No one's laughing at God in a hospital
No one's laughing at God in a war

No one's laughing at God when they're starving or freezing or so very poor

No one's laughing at God
No one's laughing at God
No one's laughing at God
We're all laughing with God

Who's That Girl?

Indeterminacy 6


It was after I got to Boston
that I went into the
anechoic chamber at Harvard
University.
Anybody who knows me knows
this story.
I am constantly telling it.
Anyway,
in that silent room,
I heard two sounds,
one high and
one low.
Afterward I asked the engineer in
charge why, if the room
was so silent,
I had heard two sounds.
He said,
“Describe them.” I
did. He said,
“The high one
was your nervous system
in operation.
The low one was
your blood in circulation.”

- John Cage

Monday, June 29, 2009

Liu Wen

Vignettes #27


My German grandfather was born in a small town in the Bavarian Forest. He had 7 seven brothers and sisters, and they became orphans at a very early age, both parents died in a short time after each other. The siblings were all separated growing up in orphanages, with foster families or neighbors or friend, one grew up with nuns.

I have met them all, although Uncle Mark died at an early age, so that my memory of him was very vague. All of them were lovable, good-hearted people with one exception: Aunt Tilde.

As I was told Aunt Tilde was a fanatic Nazi during the Third Reich, and all of the family was in terror when she visited, since she would snitch to the Gestapo, if you said anything 'wrong'. I think she actually did so with one of her sisters, but that's a family secret nobody is willing to talk about. During the Third Reich she was a school teacher, and I always have imagined her of being one of those tough and mean educators indoctrinating the kids with their filthy ideology.

After the war she ostentatiously changed her attitude and became a poet of the Bavarian Forest of some renown. Her poems were conservative hymns to nature of the woods and hills and the simplicity and religiosity of the common farm people who live there, and this although she was formerly a militant atheist. If you had asked her, she probably would have denied ever having been a Nazi, even quite contrary, she'd start accusing her brothers and sisters of being Nazis themselves.

She remained to be a terrifying person, not only feared by us kids, but also not quite welcome with my parents, grandparents or anyone else in the family. As a guest she'd do all the talking sermonizing on any given topic and heating herself up into a terrible rage.

I myself never found any clue to her fascist ideas. I remember quite clearly one occasion, when she was talking about WWII and her work as a teacher. For some reason the school kids were outside, maybe it was just a break, and a large troop of soldiers were marching by. At the corner of the street, she told us, there was a small statue of Holy Mary, as you can find them everywhere in Bavaria. One soldier stepped out of line, fell on his knees and started praying to the statue.

Aunt Tilde got herself into a rage, and I see her clearly spitting her venom while screaming about how disgusting it is that a soldier, who's job it is to kill people, would seek the aid of God. Is he asking for spiritual guidance to rape and kill women and children? What blasphemy! Till then we hadn't heard that she had become a pacifist, but she clearly declared herself to be one.

Today, years after her death, there is a monument for her as the local poet in the small town in the Bavarian Forest.