Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Alphabet Murders (1965)

The Belgian detective Hercule Poirot investigates a series of murders in London in which the victims are killed according to their initials.

Fairly amusing Agatha Christie spoof, old-fashioned and good-natured entertainment.

Natalia Vodianova

Les étrangers (1969)

The Strangers
Frühstück mit dem Killer West Germany
Geier können warten West Germany

A gangster on the run with his loot takes refuge with a couple in the desert who have a history of their own.

Brutal and immoral Euro trash thriller made watchable by the professional handling of all involved.

Who's That Girl?

Bee Movie (2007)

A bee who has just graduated from college, is disillusioned at his lone career choice: making honey and on a special trip outside the hive he finds a new perspective to his life.

Mainly entertaining and effective children's entertainment, essentially a Jerry Seinfeld project.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Isabel Neumair

ph: Philippe Chanet

Indeterminacy 91

Have you ever noticed

how you read a newspaper?

around, leaving articles unread,

or only
partially read,

turning here and there.

Not at
all the way one reads
Bach in public,

but precisely the way
one reads
Duo II for
Pianists by Christian Wolff.

- John Cage

Iulia Carstea

ph: Hans van Brakel

Hae anseon (2002)

The Coast Guard France / International (English title)

At South Korea's border with the North troops guard the coast, and a single incident triggers a catastrophe among all involved.

A well-intentioned anti-war drama with a very splashy script. The director has done much better work since.

Kate Moss irrégulière

De battre mon coeur s'est arrêté (2005)

The Beat That My Heart Skipped International (English title) / UK / USA
Der wilde Schlag meines Herzens Austria / Germany

Should a young man make like his thuggish father or pursue his dream of becoming a pianist?

Not too exciting French remake of the 1997 American movie Fingers, all done in good taste, though.

Who's That Girl?

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Sophie Srej

ph: David Bellemère

Indeterminacy 98

A young man in Japan arranged his circumstances
so that he was able to travel to a distant island
to study Zen with a certain Master for a
three-year period. At the end of the three
years, feeling no sense of accomplishment,
he presented himself to the Master and
announced his departure. The Master said,
“You’ve been here three years. Why don’t
you stay three months more?” The student agreed,
but at the end of the three months he still
felt that he had made no advance. When he
told the Master again that he was leaving,
the Master said, “Look now, you’ve been here
three years and three months. Stay
three weeks longer.” The student did, but
with no success. When he told the Master
that absolutely nothing had happened, the
Master said, “You’ve been here three years,
three months, and three weeks. Stay
three more days, and if, at
the end of that time, you have not
attained enlightenment, commit
suicide.” Towards the end of the
second day, the student was enlightened.

- John Cage

Who's That Girl?

Auto Focus (2002)

A story about "Hogan's Heroes" star Bob Crane and his friendship with John Carpenter.

The downfall and death of a second-row comedy actor is depicted in a bit of sterile and slightly ironic mode carefully trying to recreate the feel of the 60s and 70s.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Paulina Nowicka

The Movies I Watched in August

101 (1989) 5
Bloodlust! (1961) 4
Borstal Boy (2000) 7
Coco avant Chanel (2009) 6
Domenica d'agosto (1950) 7
Down in the Valley (2005) 6
Ein Toter hing im Netz (1960) 2
Fort Massacre (1958) 5
Gradiva (C'est Gradiva qui vous appelle) (2006) 5
In Cold Blood (1967) 8

Intermission (2003) 6
Krabat (2008) 5
L'équipier (2004) 6
L'été meurtrier (1983) 6
La leggenda del pianista sull'oceano (1998) 6
Le cri du hibou (1987) 6
Le scaphandre et le papillon (2007) 8

Libel (1959) 6
Lucky Number Slevin (2006) 6
Manson (2009) (TV) 6
Max Payne (2008) 5
Monstrosity (1964) 3
Moon of the Wolf (1972) (TV) 4
Mr. & Mrs. Bridge (1990) 6
Palermo Shooting (2008) 4
Perfect Stranger (2007) 4
Public Enemies (2009) 6
Queen of the Amazons (1947) 4
Sexy Beast (2000) 6
She Gods of Shark Reef (1958) 2
Silent Hill (2006) 6
Suspicion (1941) 7
Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight (1995) 5
Tchao pantin (1983) 7
Terrified (1963) 4
The Amazing Transparent Man (1960) 4
The Andromeda Strain (1971) 8

The Blue Lagoon (1949) 8

The Brothers Grimm (2005) 5
The Devil's Hand (1962) 4
The Front Page (1931) 6
The Hearse (1980) 4
The Hills Have Eyes II (2007) 5
The Incredible Petrified World (1957) 3
The Initiation (1984) 4
The Nugget (2002) 5
The Prophet's Game (1999) 5
The V.I.P.s (1963) 5
The Wasp Woman (1959) 5
Un long dimanche de fiançailles (2004) 7
Until They Sail (1957) 6
Vice Squad (1953) 5
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) 6

Klara Wester

Indeterminacy 9

Down in Greensboro, North Carolina, David Tudor and I gave an
interesting program. We played five pieces three times each.
They were the Klavierstück XI by Karlheinz Stockhausen,
Christian Wolff’s Duo for Pianists, Morton Feldman’s
Intermission #6, Earle Brown’s 4 Systems, and my Variations. All
of these pieces are composed in various ways that have in common
indeterminacy of performance. Each performance is unique, as
interesting to the composers and performers as to the audience.
Everyone, in fact, that is, becomes a listener. I explained all
this to the audience before the musical program began. I pointed
out that one is accustomed to thinking of a piece of music as an
object suitable for understanding and subsequent evaluation, but
that here the situation was quite other. These pieces, I said,
are not objects, but processes, essentially purposeless.
Naturally, then, I had to explain the purpose of having something
be purposeless. I said that sounds were just sounds, and that
if they weren’t just sounds that we would (I was of course using
the editorial we) — we would do something about it in the next
composition. I said that since the sounds were sounds, this gave
people hearing them the chance to be people, centered within
themselves, where they actually are, not off artificially in the
distance as they are accustomed to be, trying to figure out what
is being said by some artist by means of sounds. Finally I said
that the purpose of this purposeless music would be achieved if
people learned to listen. That when they listened they might
discover that they preferred the sounds of everyday life to the
ones they would presently hear in the musical program. That that
was all right as far as I was concerned.

- John Cage

Who's That Girl?

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Monday, August 31, 2009

Rachel Rutt

Miniatures #8

Just to see Ornette Coleman, one of the last living legends of jazz, in concert, I drove down to Austria with my pal Gerhard. It was 7 hours driving back and forth, all-day standing in 4 separate concerts with a lumbago killing my back, bumping into an oldtime pal I hadn't seen for 10 years.

And then the sensational music of Ornette Coleman, still sounds fresh, although he's already 79 years old and not physically fit anymore.

The day after you're back to work, and it all seems it was just some kind of phantastic dream, and the rest of the world appears to be like in a haze.

- W.K.

Nataliya Gotsiy

ph: Michelangelo Di Battista

Indeterminacy 124

After an hour or
so in the woods

looking for mushrooms,

Dad said,

“Well, we
can always go

buy some real ones.”

- John Cage

Jean Simmons

Silent Hill (2006)

A woman goes in search for her daughter, within the confines of a strange, desolate town called Silent Hill.

Based on a computer game this is an atmospheric horror show without a coherent plot and prefers to follow the logic of a nightmare. Once you can accept that premise it is quite effective.

Amber Valletta

ph: Steven Meisel

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