Saturday, August 1, 2009

Skye Stracke

ph: Enrique Badulescu

Indeterminacy 179

While we were
sitting on top of
Slide Mountain
looking out
towards Cornell and
and the Ashokan
Reservoir beyond,

Guy Nearing said
he had
known two women
were bitten by

“They were just
the same after
as before,”
he said,

they were a
little more cranky.”

- John Cage

Patricia Schmid

White Heat (1949)

A psychopathic criminal with a mother complex makes a daring break from prison and leads his old gang in a chemical plant payroll heist.

A masterpiece of the gangster genre with everybody doing a perfect job, fast, relentless and over-the-top. Cagney adds yet another new dimension to the criminal persona.

Who's That Girl? Mädchen Amick

Hak se wui (2005)

aka Election

The Wo Sing Society is in the process of electing a new leader, and both candidates fight to get the position.

Excellent sophisticated gangster drama, supposedly with not much action, but you won't be disappointed.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Karolina Nowosad

Indeterminacy 107

(ph: James Burke)

The day after I
finally won the Italian
TV quiz on
I received
anonymously in the mail
Volume II
of a French book
on mushrooms
that had been
published in Germany.

I was studying
it in a crowded
going to downtown Milan.

The lady
next to me said,

“What are you
reading that for?

That’s finished.”

- John Cage

Luana Teifke

ph: Fabio Bartelt

The Creeping Terror (1964)

A newlywed sheriff tries to stop a shambling monster that has emerged from a spaceship to eat people.

This is truly a baddie, and it includes one of the most ridiculous monsters in cinema history: basically a large long carpet, the front part stand fairly upright, has penis-like tentacles up on top and a vulva-shaped mouth at the bottom. Must be seen to believed.

You'll find a cool article and frame-to-frame analysis here.
Narrator: He slowly asked Bradford what was in store for humanity. Bradford was pessimistic, but implied that maybe all was not lost. After all, he told him, the vastness of the universe was incredible. If these monsters had come from its outer limits, their home might even no longer exist. Or if they do come again, perhaps Man will have advanced enough to cope with them, and those that made them. Only God knows for sure, were Bradford's last words to anyone on this Earth.

Who's That Girl?

New stuff

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Anastasia Krivosheeva

Merce Cunningham R.I.P.

US choreographer Merce Cunningham, widely recognised for revolutionising modern dance, has died "of natural causes" at the age of 90.

In a statement, the Cunningham Dance Foundation, which he founded in 1953, said that he "revolutionised the visual and performing arts, not for the sake of iconoclasm, but for the beauty and wonder that lay in exploring new possibilities".

You'll find a biography here.

Aline Weber

ph: Terry Richardson

George Russell R.I.P.

Jazz giant George Russell, 86, died July 27 in Boston. He had Alzheimer's disease.

You'll find an eulogy here.

Natalia Vodianova

ph: Ellen von Unwerth

Indeterminacy 165

When I came to New York to study with Adolph Weiss
and Henry Cowell, I took a job in the Brooklyn
YWCA washing walls. There was one other
wall-washer. He was more experienced than I.
He told me how many walls to wash per day.
In this way he checked my original
enthusiasm, with the result that I spent a great
deal of time simply reading the old newspapers
which I used to protect the floors. Thus I
had always to be, so to speak, on my toes,
ready to resume scrubbing the moment I heard
the housekeeper approaching. One room
finished, I was to go to the next, but
before entering any room I was to look in the
keyhole to see whether the occupant’s key was in it
on the inside. If I saw no key, I was
to assume the room empty, go in, and set
to work. One morning, called to the
office, I was told I had been accused of
peeking through the keyholes. I no sooner
began to defend myself than I was interrupted.
The housekeeper said that each year the
wall-washer, no matter who he was, was
so accused, always by the same lady.

- John Cage

Who's That Girl?

ph: Clément Louis

New stuff

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sasha Pivovarova

Vignettes #37

Banks have always meant organized crime to me.

I was at the age of 11-12, and my hero at that age was Jacques Cousteau. There was a series of books he had authored, each volume specialized on one maritime topic like sharks, whales, dolphins, etc., and I was collecting them. I had all volumes but one. This last edition to the series I wanted to buy, but was short by 12 German marks.

Then I remembered that I had a savings account that I never really used and exactly that amount was left on the account: 12 marks. So I went to the bank with my savings book, went to the counter and asked the lady that I would like to dissolve this account and have my money back.

She said she could certainly do that, but there was a fee of 10 marks to do so! She obviously noticed on the expression of my face that she was ripping off a child, so she added she'll see what she can do. Since the account was unused for quite a while there was some interest to be added, so in the end I did receive 6-7 marks instead of just 2 marks! I don't remember the amount exactly, but it was not enough to buy the book.

It's very much like you're lending someone 10 bucks, and when some day you ask for the money back, your friend tells you: OK, but I'll have to charge a fee for all the trouble I had with your money. But that's exactly the way banks make their money.

Dewi Driegen

ph: Jan Welters

Indeterminacy 84

There was a lady
Suzuki’s class

who said

“I have great
reading the sermons
Meister Eckhart,


of all the Christian imagery.”

Dr. Suzuki said,

“That difficulty will disappear.”

- John Cage

Sheila Marquez

ph: Wendy Bevan

The Strawberry Blonde (1941)

A young man is crazy about a 'strawberry blonde' girl, but his "pal" marries her himself and makes his friend the fall guy for his shady dealings.

A wonderful movie, a favourite of mine, but not a comedy as the German TV mag wants us to believe. All done perfectly by everybody involved this is a good-natured moral tale telling us that beauty and wealth do not always bring happiness.

Ksenia Kahnovich

Frisco Kid (1935)

A shanghaied sailor (James Cagney) becomes a Barbary Coast gambler, saved from the gallows by a socialite.

Lively, but cliche-ridden actioner with its star obviously enjoying himself.

Who's That Girl?

New stuff

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Petra Nemcova

ph: Mark Lidell

Indeterminacy 82

My grandmother was sometimes very
deaf and at other times,
particularly when someone
was talking about her,
not deaf at all.
One Sunday she was sitting
in the living room directly in
front of the radio.
She had a sermon turned on so
loud that it could be heard for
blocks around.
And yet she was sound asleep
and snoring. I
tiptoed into the living room, hoping
to get a manuscript that was on
the piano and to get out again
without waking her up.
I almost did it.
But just as I got
to the door, the
radio went off and
Grandmother spoke sharply:
“John, are you ready for
the second coming of the Lord?”

- John Cage

Jessica Miller

ph: Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin

They Saved Hitler's Brain (1968) (TV)

Nazi madmen preserve Hitler's brain on a small tropical island until the time is right to resurrect him and, along with him, the Third Reich.

It's a baddie alright, but entertainingly so, and not really as bad as, say, Ed Wood's works. Recommended!