Saturday, September 26, 2009

Madisyn Ritland

Indeterminacy 90

Dorothy Norman invited me to dinner in New York.
There was a lady there from Philadelphia who was an
authority on Buddhist art. When she found out I was
interested in mushrooms, she said, “Have you an
explanation of the symbolism involved in the death
of the Buddha by his eating a mushroom?” I explained
that I’d never been interested in symbolism; that
I preferred just taking things as themselves, not
as standing for other things. But then a few days
later while rambling in the woods I got to thinking.
I recalled the Indian concept of the relation
of life and the seasons. Spring is Creation.
Summer is Preservation. Fall is
Destruction. Winter is Quiescence.
Mushrooms grow most vigorously in the fall, the
period of destruction, and the function of many
of them is to bring about the final decay of rotting
material. In fact, as I read somewhere,
the world would be an impassible heap of old
rubbish were it not for mushrooms and their capacity
to get rid of it. So I wrote to the lady in
Philadelphia. I said, “The function
of mushrooms is to rid the world of old rubbish.
The Buddha died a natural death.”

- John Cage

Kinga Rajzak

ph: Craig McDean

Circle of Iron (1978)

Das Geheimnis des blinden Meisters West Germany
The Silent Flute (undefined)
The Flying Fists of Horror

A young martial artist competes for and loses the right to go on a quest for the Book of All Knowledge held by a wizard named Zetan.

Ridiculous and risible pseudo-philosophical nonsense, must be seen to be believed, a poor man's Jodorowsky.

Marina Alonso

Coma (1978)

A young woman doctor discovers something sinister going on in her hospital.

Suspenseful sci-fi medical thriller, which already seemed dated at the time of its release.

Who's That Girl?

New Stuff

Friday, September 25, 2009

Marina Perez

Indeterminacy 158

Betty Isaacs went shopping at Altman’s.
She spent all her money except her last dime,
which she kept in her hand so that she’d
have it ready when she got on the bus to go
home and wouldn’t have to fumble around
in her purse since her arms were full of
parcels and she was also carrying a
shopping bag. Waiting for the bus,
she decided to make sure she still
had the coin. When she opened her
hand, there was nothing there. She
mentally retraced her steps trying to
figure out where she’d lost the dime.
Her mind made up, she went
straight to the glove department, and
sure enough there it was on the floor
where she’d been standing. As she
stooped to pick it up, another
shopper said, “I wish I knew where
to go to pick money up off the floor.”
Relieved, Betty Isaacs took the bus
home to the Village. Unpacking
her parcels, she discovered the dime
in the bottom of the shopping bag.

- John Cage

Daniela Freitas

Killer: A Journal of Murder (1996)

Prison drama based on the life of serial killer Carl Panzram.

Well intended and fairly well staged character study with a great performance by James Woods. It however does fail to grasp this obviously unfathomable mind.

Who's That Girl?

Le petit lieutenant (2005)

Eine fatale Entscheidung Germany
The Young Lieutenant International (English title)

A rookie policeman from provincial Le Havre volunteers for the high pressure Parisian homicide bureau and is assigned to a middle-aged woman detective.

Semi-realistic police drama with a great cast which centers more on the everyday policemen's lives than on a singular case.

Agnieszka Czyzowska

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Indeterminacy 29

An old rabbi in Poland
or some place thereabouts
was walking in a
thunderstorm from one
village to another.
His health
was poor.
He was blind,
covered with
All the afflictions of Job
were his.
Stumbling over something
he fell in the mud.

Pulling himself up with
difficulty, he
raised his hands
towards heaven and cried
out, “Praise
The Devil is on
Earth and doing
his work beautifully!”

- John Cage

Natalia Vodianova

New Stuff

Who's That Girl?

La ciociara (1960)

Two Women UK / USA
...und dennoch leben sie West Germany
The Woman from Ciociara International (literal title) (English title)

A young woman and her 13-year-old daughter flee from the allied bombs in Rome during the second world war.

Passionate anti-war drama with the simple message that you can't escape war, in parts a bit too blatant.

Marcelina Sowa

Indeterminacy 61

An Irish hero whose mother had died was required
by his stepmother to set out on a journey to
an island beneath the sea and to bring back some
golden apples he would find there. Should
he fail to return within a year, he would lose
his right to the throne, relinquishing it to
one of his stepbrothers. For his journey
he was given a miserable shaggy nag. No
sooner had he set out than the nag said,
“Look in my ear. You will find a metal
ball. Throw it on the path ahead of us
and we will follow it wherever it goes.”
Unhesitatingly the prince did this, and so,
proceeding by chance, they passed
through many perilous situations.
Finally, on the point of success, the horse
said to the Prince, “Now take your
sword and slit my throat.” The Prince
hesitated, but only for a moment.
No sooner had he killed the horse than,
lo and behold, it turned into
a prince, who, except for the
acquiescence of the hero, would have
had to remain a miserable shaggy nag.

- John Cage

Ernesta Petkeviciute

Eva, la Venere selvaggia (1968)

Eve, the Wild Woman (undefined)
King Kong und die braune Göttin West Germany
King of Kong Island USA
Kong Island (undefined)
Nackt unter Affen West Germany

Eve is a jungle girl brought up by apes who is captured with a number of apes by a mad scientist, conducting mind control experiments on them.

Bottom of the barrel, hardly worth watching, even for laughs.

Who's That Girl?

La fleur du mal (2003)

Die Blume des Bösen Germany / Switzerland (German title)
The Flower of Evil International (English title)

Three generations of a wealthy Bordeaux family are caught in the crossfire when the mother decides to run for mayor, thanks to a political pamphlet that revives an old murder scandal.

Mildly satirical family drama, all done in good taste, but not really memorable.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Constance Jablonski

ph: Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin

Indeterminacy 105

A lady carrying many packages
got on a Third Avenue bus.
she was able to get a
seat, the bus
lurched forward.
The packages fell,
several of
them on a drunken bum
who had been muttering to
up at the lady blearily,
he said,
lady answered cheerfully,
“Those are Christmas
presents, my good man;
you know,
it’s Christmas.”

“Hell,” he said,

- John Cage

Anett Griffel

Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women (1968)

Astronauts landing on Venus encounter dangerous exotic creatures and almost meet some sexy Venusian women who like to sunbathe in hip-hugging skin-tight pants and seashell bras.

This time around the added blonde bombshells pretty much ruin the otherwise straightforwad scifi adventure.