Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gimme Shelter

Much of the film chronicles the behind-the-scenes dealmaking that took place to make the free Altamont concert happen, including much footage of well-known attorney Melvin Belli negotiating by telephone with the management of the Altamont Speedway. The movie also includes a playback of Hells Angels leader Ralph "Sonny" Barger's famous call-in to radio station KSAN-FM's "day after" program about the concert, where he recalls, "They told me if I could sit on the edge of the stage so nobody could climb over me, I could drink beer until the show was over."

The action then turns on the concert itself at the Altamont Speedway, the security for which was provided by the Hells Angels (armed with pool cues). As the day progresses, with drug-taking and drinking by the Angels and members of the audience, the mood turns ugly. Fights break out during performances by The Flying Burrito Brothers and Jefferson Airplane; Grace Slick pleads with the crowd to settle down. At one point Jefferson Airplane lead singer Marty Balin is knocked out by a Hells Angel; Paul Kantner attempts to confront "the people who hit my lead singer" in response. Jerry Garcia and Phil Lesh arrive, but The Grateful Dead opt not to play after learning of the incident with Balin. (Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young also performed at the concert but are not shown in the movie).
By the time The Stones hit the stage, it is evening, and the crowd is especially restless. The Stones open with "Jumpin' Jack Flash." They are also shown performing "Sympathy for the Devil" as tension continues to build. It is during the next song, "Under My Thumb", that a member of the audience, 18 year old Meredith Hunter, pulls out a revolver in the course of a melee near the stage, and is stabbed to death by Alan Passaro, a member of the Angels.
The late Baird Bryant, one of the many cameramen in the film, caught Meredith Hunter's stabbing on film. The film sequence clearly shows the silhouette of a handgun in Hunter's hand as a member of the Hells Angels enters from the right, grabs and raises the gun hand, turning Hunter around and stabbing him at least twice in the back before pushing Hunter off camera.
Amongst the camera operators for the Altamont concert was a young George Lucas, who went on to become a successful film director in his own right. At the concert his camera jammed after shooting about 100 feet (30 m) of film, and none of his footage was incorporated in the final cut

Ain't that a bitch?

"You know people have tried to put me off as being crazy," said Thelonious Sphere Monk. "Sometimes it's to your advantage for people to think you're crazy." He ought to have known. Monk was one of only a few jazz musicians to appear on the cover of Time magazine (others include Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, Duke Ellington and Wynton Marsalis) and was celebrated as a genius by everyone who mattered. Bud Powell, John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins could not have imagined (or transmuted) the language of jazz without him. Yet the pianist was also constantly underpaid and underappreciated, rejected as too weird on his way up and dismissed as old hat once he made his improbable climb. Performer and composer, eccentric and original, Monk was shrouded in mystery throughout his life. Not an especially loquacious artist (at least with journalists), he left most of his expression in his inimitable work, as stunning and unique as anyone's in jazz--second only to Duke Ellington's and
perched alongside Charles Mingus's.

He did leave a paper trail, though, and Robin D.G. Kelley's exhaustive, necessary and, as of now, definitive Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original offers a Baedeker of sorts
Kelley has created a lush portrait of the private, off-camera Monk, one it would have been difficult to paint without the unprecedented access he had to the Monk family, including Nellie, Monk's widow, who provided substantial information before her death in 2002, and their son, Toot (otherwise known as TS), who opened up the archives once trust had been established. Kelley shows us the man who, when he wasn't getting work in the early 1950s, played Mr. Mom. He shows us the musician who, when he wasn't at home, needed some sort of neighborhood watch to make sure he didn't drift in the wrong direction. It took a village. He had a family who tolerated his eccentricities and never pressured him to take a day job. Mingus had to work at the post office when freelance work was hard to come by; no matter how lean things got, Monk was
able to work at the eighty-eight keys in his living room.

Born in North Carolina in 1917 and raised in the predominantly African-American San Juan Hill neighborhood on what is now Manhattan's Upper West Side, Monk went from obscurity to notoriety to seclusion--from glorious, hard-fought music to inscrutable silence. At times he boomeranged from Bellevue to the Village Vanguard to Rikers Island to the 30th Street Studios of Columbia Records and back again. But one thing was for sure: in a certain scene, among a certain set, in boho corners of the 1950s, crazy was that year's model. "Crazy, man!" was the rallying cry of the Beats, parodied by Norman Mailer, who nevertheless believed, as a Bellevue alum himself, the hype about hip. Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath did stints in McLean Hospital; Allen Ginsberg, who saw the best minds of his generation starving, hysterical, naked, possessed a Bellevue pedigree; and John Berryman proclaimed himself a demented priest. Sanity was supposedly for squares.

Yet for all its colloquial power, crazy (or even "Crazy, man!") is not in the DSM-IV. We have not a shopworn adjective but a clinical diagnosis for what ailed Monk. He suffered, as Kelley explains, from bipolar disorder, although his illness was misdiagnosed and mistreated throughout the latter part of his career. Like other black jazz musicians (Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Charles Mingus), Monk was more likely to be called schizophrenic, or just plain nuts, than were blue bloods like Cal Lowell. Monk took "vitamin shots" from a "Doctor Feelgood" who dosed his patients with amphetamines. Kelley ventures that Monk, who alluded to his enigmatic psyche in songs like "Nutty" and "Misterioso," eventually stopped playing entirely a few years after he began taking lithium in 1972; after his final concert at Carnegie Hall (and an impromptu Fourth of July performance at Bradley's) in 1976, he hardly played or spoke until his death in 1982.

There is a much-quoted line in Charlotte Zwerin's 1988 documentary Straight, No Chaser in which Monk is told that he is in an encyclopedia alongside popes and presidents, and is therefore famous. As he absorbs this information he is patently aware that he is being filmed. His response? "I'm famous. Ain't that a bitch?"
It was indeed often a bitch to be Thelonious Monk. Because of a law that was eventually struck down by New York City Mayor John Lindsay in 1967, Monk repeatedly lost his "cabaret card." The card was a prized possession because it permitted musicians to play in establishments serving alcohol, and any cardholder who was arrested had to forfeit the golden ticket. Monk lost his repeatedly, once when he was arrested while sitting in a car with his dear friend Bud Powell, who was, according to Kelley, the one carrying heroin, but each was too loyal to the other to snitch; and once because he had the temerity, as a Negro in Jim Crow America, to demand service at a hotel in Delaware. (Monk took many police beatings for that one.) This was no way to treat a genius; it was no way to treat a human being.
"You know people have tried to put me off as being crazy," said Thelonious Sphere Monk. "Sometimes it's to your advantage for people to think you're crazy." He ought to have known. Monk was one of only a few jazz musicians to appear on the cover of Time magazine (others include Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, Duke Ellington and Wynton Marsalis) and was celebrated as a genius by everyone who mattered. Bud Powell, John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins could not have imagined (or transmuted) the language of jazz without him. Yet the pianist was also constantly underpaid and underappreciated, rejected as too weird on his way up and dismissed as old hat once he made his improbable climb. Performer and composer, eccentric and original, Monk was shrouded in mystery throughout his life. Not an especially loquacious artist (at least with journalists), he left most of his expression in his inimitable work, as stunning and unique as anyone's in jazz--second only to Duke Ellington's and perched alongside Charles Mingus's.
Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original
by Robin D.G. Kelley

And suddenly, it was over.Did he just go too far within himself and never return? Did his treatment for bipolar disorder somehow cure him of the music bug as well? Did he have new musical ideas trapped in a recal citrant body? Kelley suggests the more prosaic possibility that he was suffering from an enlarged prostate.
Monk had already moved into the spacious home of the Baroness Pannonica "Nica" de Koenigswarter (Parker's old patron) in Weehawken, New Jersey, with a spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline and an even more spectacular number of cats. Monk had become too much for his wife to handle, and Nellie didn't object to his relocating to a mansion across the Hudson. Pannonica inspired a Monk ballad of the same name, but there is no evidence that they were lovers. Nica kept a piano by Monk's room, but Monk almost never touched it. "If his health improved and his manic-depressive cycles were under control," Kelley writes, "why did he stop playing? Having spent the better part of fourteen years tracing Monk's every step, I was not surprised by his decision. In fact, I wondered why he did not retire earlier." Kelley is a judicious biographer, but I find this conclusion difficult to accept. Monk told Sonny Rollins that when all else failed, there was always music. Music was not to be let go, no matter how unsteady things got, and by all accounts in the book, the later performances, except for the final one, were still filled with magic. Maybe with more equilibrium, though, Monk was not inspired to sit down at the piano and feign his most inspired moments--which came, at least in part, from a place of serious illness.
(from David Jaffe more}

Thelonious Monk : Straight, No Chaser (1988) is a documentary about the life of Thelonious Monk. Produced by Clint Eastwood, and directed by Charlotte Zwerin, it features live performances by Monk and his group, and posthumous interviews with friends and family. The film was created when a large amount of archived footage of Monk which was found in the 1980s.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Henry Miller Asleep & Awake in his Bathroom with Gurdjieff

“Today, I think it’s the ugliest, filthiest, shittiest city in the world. When I was a kid, there was hardly anything that we have today - no telephones, no nothing, really. It was rather quaint. There was color even, in the buildings. But as time went on, why, it got more horrible to me. When I think of the Brooklyn bridge, which was the only bridge then in many times I walked over that bridge on an empty stomach, back and forth, looking for a handout, never getting anything...selling newspapers at Times Square, begging on Broadway, coming home with a dime maybe. It’s no wonder that I had these goddamned recurring nightmares all my life. I don’t know how I ever survived, or why I’m still sane.”
Filmed when the author was 81, HENRY MILLER ASLEEP & AWAKE is a voyage of ideas about life, writing, sex, spirituality, nightmares, and New York that captures the warmth, vigor and high animal spirits of a singular American artist. The man is Henry Miller and the room is his bathroom. It's a miraculous shrine covered with photos and drawings collected by the author over the course of his long and fruitful life. Graciously, in his raspy, sonorous voice, he points out the highlights of his improvised gallery, speaking of philosophers, writers, painters, mad kings, women, and friends.

Tom Schiller grew up in LA and met Henry Miller when he was 18 assisting another filmmaker shooting at the author's home. Schiller's other works include documentaries on Willem de Kooning, Buckminster Fuller and Anais Nin, before joining Saturday Night Live as an original writer. There, he won three Emmy's and created the short film segments "Schiller's Reel" and "Schillervision" and worked with John Belushi, Bill Murray and Gilda Radner among others. Schiller later wrote and directed an MGM/UA feature film entitled "Nothing Lasts Forever" and has been directing television commercials for over a decade.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Felines perform tricks on giant balls

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more unusual circus, or father-daughter performing duo. The Moscow Cat Theatre is just that: a travelling show of cats that perform amazing tricks for the owners who love and train them. Everybody in Russia may be used to seeing cats perform tricks, as the theatre’s manager explains in this funny, charming film, but felines walking tightropes, crossing the stage on giant balls and walking upside down is not a common sight in most countries. As a balalaika and accordion circus score plays in the background, Creative Director Vladimir and his daughter Maria combine their love of cats and stage to create a captivating act and illustrate the tricks of the trade – giving new meaning to the expression ‘herding cats’.

Freaks and SPURS

The film's climax—the night in which the freaks wreak their justice upon the strong man and trapeze artist, followed by the epilogue showing the horrendous hen-creature—have long been touted as supreme examples of screen horror, and are

unquestionably a major reason why FREAKS has remained a cinematic legend. They are indeed highlights of the film, the torrential downpour being a Browning tour-de-force in which the only sounds are assorted groans, screams and the elements of nature. Nevertheless, for all that can be said of it, the chase sequence is far too brief. We must be content with the one glimpse of Cleo's face and the freaks in pursuit the camera affords us, although a longer series of shots, with Cleo racing . . . falling . . . struggling to make her way through the forest with various innocent shadows playing amongst the trees and undergrowth, climaxing in a similar way, would have made the sequence even more memorable. There remain, admittedly so, the couple of marvelous close-ups of the freaks propelling themselves through the mire towards the mortally wounded Hercules (there appears to be some footage missing here, for the strong man's fate is never actually explained in action or dialogue; an original plan was to have him emasculated, but as the film exists now, it is assumed that the freaks murdered him). Had Browning chosen to insert additional shots such as these, the result would have been even more satisfying.
(read more...)

Rachel and the Dragon

After creating their first ever African American princess, Disney breaks new ground with a Jewish American Princess.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tel Hai Pottery Symposium 2009

Akira Satake with a little banjo tune Sandy Brown through 400 kilos of clay and Tim Andrews at Tel Hai Pottery Symposium 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Shamba Boo and Zurich Deserters

Igor Satanovsky (b.1969, Kiev, Ukraine) is a bilingual Russian-American poet/translator/visual artist who moved to the United States in 1989. Satanovsky's work in both the visual arts and poetry has appeared on both sides of the Atlantic: his Russian poetry, as well as translations of Allen Ginsberg, E. E. Cummings and Antonen Artaud appeared in Zerkalo magazine (Israel, 1996-2000). Other works have appeared in Koja, Blackbox, Riverrun, and Urban Spaghetti. He also edited the Rush-ins Poetry Reader (Koja Press, 2000) and contributed notes to the Dictionary of the Avant-Garde (Schirmer, 1999).

and from 1916
Marcel Janco, Hugo Ball, Richard Huselbeck, Tristan Tzara - "L'amiral Cherche Une Maison a Louer"

"L'amiral Cherche Une Maison à Louer" is one of the best known examples of Dada tonal poetry, in which several voices speak, sing, whistle, etc. simultaneously in such a way that the resulting combinations account for the total effect of the work. The simultaneous poem demonstrates the value of the human voice and is a powerful illustration of the fact that an organic work of art has a will of its own. The piece was written in 1916 as a performance piece for the Caberet Voltaire by Tristan Tzara, Richard Hulsenbeck and Marcel Janco.
Janco (1895-1985), a Romanian painter and engraver, had become acquainted with Tzara in 1912, working with him on the magazine "Simbolul." Whilst studying architecture in Zurich in 1915, he met Tzara again and became involved in the Cabaret Voltaire, for which he made woodcuts and abstract reliefs, posters, costumes and masks.
The version featured here is not an original recording but one made by the Italian Trio Excoco: Hanna Aurbacher, Theophil Maier and Ewald Liska.
Some verses of Tristan Tzara, for example "nfoünta mbaah mbaah nfoünta", inspired by African singsong, seem to be analogous to Hugo Ball's work, but in general Tzara's poems consisted of absurd encounters of meanings, and not of sounds, such as the famous "La première aventure céleste de M.Anitpryine" (1916) and the poem that he composed in collaboration with Marcel Janco and Richard Huelsenbeck "L'amiral cherche une maison à louer" (The admiral looks for a house to rent). Tzara's dadaism is not phonic but semantic.
Tristan Tzara, pseudonym of Sami Rosenstok, born at Moinesti, Rumania, in 1896, died in Paris in 1963. Poet and writer in the French language. Took part in the foundation of the dadaist movement at Zurich. In 1917 he published the magazine "Dada" and, in the third numbe, the first dadaist manifesto. At the end of 1919 he moved to Paris. Contributed to almost all the dadaist publications in Zurich, New York, Paris, Berlin, Hanover and Cologne.

(from UBU)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

It's Public Enemy, Number One!

Reefer Madness is a 1936 cult film about a group of young students whose tragic downfall is apparently caused by their marijuana use.
Directed by Louis Gasnier. Written by Arthur Hoerl.

Mae: What time is it?
Jack: Time to get up and give this place the goin' over. It looks like the Marines have landed.
Mae: Well, that bunch last night was high enough to take over the Marines and the Navy!

Jimmy: How about driving over to the... Joe's place with me? I'll buy you a soda!
Bill: I never drink the stuff!

[Jimmy finishes a reefer before driving.]
Jimmy: Let's go, Jack. I'm red-hot!
Jack: Better be careful how you drive, or the first thing you know you'll be ice-cold.

Bureau Official: Here is an example: A fifteen-year-old lad apprehended in the act of staging a holdup — fifteen years old and a marijuana addict. Here is a most tragic case.
Dr. Carroll: Yes, I remember. Just a young boy... under the influence of drugs... who killed his entire family with an axe.

Marc Hauser, Fat Man and The Trolley

For many, living a moral life is synonymous with living a religious life. Just as educated students of mathematics, chemistry and politics know that 1=1, water=H2O, and Barack Obama=US president, so, too, do religiously educated people know that religion=morality.
As simple and pleasing as this relationship may seem, it has at least three possible interpretations.
First, if religion represents the source of moral understanding, then those lacking a religious education are morally lost, adrift in a sea of sinful temptation. Those with a religious education not only chart a steady course, guided by the cliched moral compass but they know why some actions are morally virtuous and others are morally abhorrent.
Second, perhaps everyone has a standard engine for working out what is morally right or wrong but those with a religious background have extra accessories that refine our actions, fuelling altruism and fending off harms to others.
Third, while religion certainly does provide moral inspiration, not all of its recommendations are morally laudatory. Though we can all applaud those religions that teach compassion, forgiveness and genuine altruism, we can also express disgust and moral outrage at those religions that promote ethnic cleansing, often by praising those willing to commit suicide for the good of the religious "team".
None of my comments so far are meant to be divisive with respect to the meaning and sense of community that many derive from religion. Where I intend to be divisive is with respect to the argument that religion, and moral education more generally, represent the only — or perhaps even the ultimate — source of moral reasoning. If anything, moral education is often motivated by self-interest, to do what's best for those within a moral community, preaching singularity, not plurality. Blame nurture, not nature, for our moral atrocities against humanity. And blame educated partiality more generally, as this allows us to lump into one category all those who fail to acknowledge our shared humanity and fail to use secular reasoning to practise compassion.
If religion is not the source of our moral insights — and moral education has the demonstrated potential to teach partiality and, therefore, morally destructive behaviour — then what other sources of inspiration are on offer?
(read more...)
Take a moral test HERE

The Delta Blues

The Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale exists to collect, preserve, and provide public access to and awareness of the blues. Along with holdings of significant blues-related memorabilia, the museum also exhibits and collects art portraying the blues tradition, including works by sculptor Floyd Shaman and photographer Birney Imes.
The museum is located in the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Passenger Depot, also known as Illinois Central Passenger Depot or Clarksdale Passenger Depot, which was built in 1926 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.
The museum has been visited by many notable artists such as Eric Clapton and Paul Simon. The Texas-based rock band ZZ Top, especially front man Billy Gibbons, have made this museum their pet project and have raised thousands of dollars in support. The museum also focuses on educating young people interested in learning to play musical instruments.
(read more...)

Anarchism, Trotskyism, American Labor & Radical History, and Social Movements

Sorry, you have to allow pop-up...

Ok, so this place isn't for everybody. Don't expect leather bound Rudyard Kipling or dogeared copies of Dune. What you will find (if you can find the is well hidden, and you have to be buzzed in to get inside, but don't let that deter you) is a wonderland of subversive literature, non fiction mostly. Don't be will be among your kind, here. John and Mike and Rocky are all funny and smart and helpful. One trip here and you'll be "one of them"!
Bolerium Books is the wiser older sister of some other, more irritating radical bookstores we could name. You won't stumble into Bolerium on your way to the touristy head shop, for example. In fact, you might miss it altogether. It's up three flights of narrow stairs above a paint shop, and you have to buzz to get in. (Hint: Say something intelligent into the intercom, like "Uh, bookstore?") Once you find it, though, you're in a nerdy left-wing page-turner's paradise. S.F. Communist detective fiction writer Mike Quinn, 1930s pen name Robert Finnegan? You'll find him here. "Father of the beatniks" Kenneth Rexroth's novels? Bolerium usually stocks them. Ask for San Francisco history, and the sardonic but friendly people who work there may show you across the hall to another room holding soaring shelves of rare finds. Far from a flashy shock shop, Bolerium is a place to think and read: It's very San Francisco that way. (from SFweekly)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

מבט אישי

גלריה לבנדל – בלוך

מתכבדים להזמינכם לתערוכה
ענת גולן , מילת דוויק , מירון כספרי , בוריס פוליצ'וק
אמן סאונד, אורח מיוון - לוקאס מסינזיס
מבט אישי
הפתיחה: יום שישי 11.12.09 בשעה 12:00
כ"ד כסלו תש"ע , נר ראשון של חנוכה
נעילה : מוצ"ש 19.12.09 בשעה 19:00
התערוכה מתקיימת ביוזמת דרך הלב , יוזמה צפונית

פרטים : 0544546530 , 0506316514

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pink Flamingos : פינק פלמינגוז

"How can anyone sit through the entire length of a film, especially a European film, without smoking??" Thus, John Waters, self-righteously breaking that invisible fourth wall, shoots his opening volley in a full frontal royal 'up yours' to the establishment and anyone else who cares to be watching. In Pink Flamingos he uses and abuses just about every taboo known to bourgeoise society in an, at times, puke-inducing tirade. Hermaphrodites, cross dressers, a man with a two-foot sausage penis extension, incest and white slavery - it's all here, so roll up, and come and get it.
Perhaps the most apt log line for this film would be "The battle for the title of 'Filthiest Person in the World' is on; dog shit eater Divine against the self-proclaimed 'filthiest couple in the world', the Marbles (had they lost them?), masters of going from one fuck to $5,000 in nine months (go figure)." As Divine declares, "Filth is my politics; filth is my life!"
More a series of vignettes than anything else, any attempt to encapsulate some sort of storyline is, in my opinion, rather pointless; anyone coming out of the movie will not be thinking about the great sense of closure they feel after it ends, but more about where the nearest vomit pit is. For the faint of stomach this is not, and beyond a middle finger to the "more crime-conscious areas of the city," there seems to be little point to this film. But don't take that as a negative - I laughed my head off.
(read more...)

ווטרס ביים מאמצע שנות הששים שישה סרטים שונים, אולם ההצלחה המיוחלת הגיעה רק עם פינק פלמינגוז (1972), סרט מזעזע בכוונת מכוון, העוסק במשפחה שופעת גילוי עריות המתגאה בתואר "האנשים המטונפים ביותר בעולם". המשפחה המורכבת מאם המכורה לביצים, פושע הנוער קרקרס ומציצן בשם קוטון. משפחה, החיה בקרוואן שבחזיתו זוג פלמינגואים וורודים, ומתעמתת עם זוג מריר המנסה לגזול מהם את כתר "האנשים המטונפים ביותר בעולם". הסרט, שצולם בסופי שבוע ובתקציב של $10,000, הוא בעל סגנון מחתרתי במובהק, סצינות קשות במכוון לצפיה, והרבה הומור שחור וטעם רע. הסצנה הקלאסית והידועה לשמצה ביותר מהסרט היא הסצנה האחרונה שבה השחקן הטרנסוויסטי האגדי דיוויין, המפורסם שבשחקניו הקבועים של ווטרס, אוכל גללי כלב טריים. ווטרס עצמו כינה את הסרט תרגיל בטעם רע. בשני סרטיו הבאים המשיך ווטרס ביצירת קולנוע פרובוקטיבית 
ומחתרתית וחתם בכך את מה שמכונה טרילוגית הטראש.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Don't Loose Your Head:Full Movie (El Topo)

Jodorowsky's life reads like a picaresque, or the plot of a magic-realist novel. He was born in Chile, of Ukrainian Jewish descent, but abandoned his family at an early age "because my father was a monster, and my mother was as well." Alighting in Paris in the 1950s, he studied mime with Marcel Marceau and directed Maurice Chevalier in music hall. Relocating to Mexico, he founded an avant-garde theatre group and scandalised the Catholic priests, who believed he was holding black mass orgies in the cathedral. "In Mexico they want to kill me!" he exclaims. "A soldier held a gun to my chest!"

In 1970 he directed El Topo, a deranged peyote western that some have interpreted as a metaphor for the Old and New Testaments. It starred himself as a cold-blooded gunslinger in rabbinical black and his son Brontis, buck naked beneath a Stetson hat. El Topo eventually came to the attention of John Lennon who hailed it as a counter-culture masterpiece. Lennon introduced the film in New York, where it later played in special midnight screenings for almost a year. He also convinced Klein to stump up $1m for Jodorowsky's ambitious next production. And that's where the trouble began.
(read more...)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Eco : Ugly

In “History of Beauty,” Umberto Eco explored the ways in which notions of attractiveness shift from culture to culture and era to era. With ON UGLINESS, a collection of images and written excerpts from ancient times to the present, he asks: Is repulsiveness, too, in the eye of the beholder? And what do we learn about that beholder when we delve into his aversions? Selecting stark visual images of gore, deformity, moral turpitude and malice, and quotations from sources ranging from Plato to radical feminists, Eco unfurls a taxonomy of ugliness. As gross-out contests go, it’s both absorbing and highbrow.

In every century, philosophers and artists have supplied definitions of beauty, and thanks to their works it is possible to reconstruct a history of aesthetic ideas over time. But this did not happen with ugliness. Most of the time it was defined as the opposite of beauty but almost no one ever devoted a treatise of any length to ugliness, which was relegated to passing mentions in marginal works. Hence, while a history of beauty can draw on a wide range of theoretical sources (from which we can deduce the tastes of a given epoch), for the most part a history of ugliness must seek out its own documents in the visual or verbal portrayals of things or people that are in some way seen as "ugly." Nonetheless, a history of ugliness shares some common characteristics with a history of beauty. First, we can only assume that the tastes of ordinary people corresponded in some way with the tastes of the artists of their day. If a visitor from space went into a gallery of contemporary art, and if he saw women's faces painted by Picasso and heard onlookers describing them as "beautiful," he might get the mistaken idea that in everyday life the men of our time find female creatures with faces like those painted by Picasso beautiful and desirable. But our visitor from space might modify his opinion on watching a fashion show or the Miss Universe contest, in which he would witness the celebration of other models of so-called called primitive peoples we have artistic finds but we have no theoretical texts to tell us if these were intended to cause aesthetic delight, holy fear, or hilarity. To a westerner an African ritual mask might seem hair-raising -- while for a native it might represent a benevolent divinity. Conversely, believers in some non-European religion might be disgusted by the image of Christ scourged, bleeding, and humiliated, while this apparent corporeal ugliness might arouse sympathy and emotion in a Christian. In the case of other cultures, with a wealth of poetic and philosophical texts (such as Indian, Chinese, or Japanese culture), we see images and forms but, on translating their works of literature and philosophy, it is almost always difficult to establish to what extent certain concepts can be identified with our own, although tradition has induced us to translate them into western terms such as "beautiful" or "ugly." Even if the translations were reliable, it would not be enough to know that in a certain culture something that possesses, for example, proportion and harmony, was seen as beautiful. Proportion and harmony. What do we mean by these terms? Even in the course of western history their meaning has changed. It is only by comparing theoretical statements with a picture or an architectonic structure from the period that we notice that what was considered proportionate in one century was no longer seen as such in another; on the subject of proportion, for example, a medieval philosopher would think of the dimensions and the form of a Gothic cathedral, while a Renaissance theoretician would think of a sixteenth-century temple, whose parts were governed by the golden section -- and Renaissance man saw the proportions of cathedrals as barbarous, as the term "Gothic" amply suggests. Concepts of beauty and ugliness are relative to various historical periods or various cultures and, to quote Xenophanes of Colophon (according to Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, V, 110), "But had the oxen or the lions hands, or could with hands depict a work like men, were beasts to draw the semblance of the gods, the horses would them like to horses sketch, to oxen, oxen, and their bodies make of such a shape as to themselves belongs."

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Funny, You Don't Look Chinese...

When photographer Chen Haiwen tried to take pictures of the Jingpo ethnic group in Yunnan province for his ambitious photo album featuring all of China's 56 ethnic groups, he ran into a problem.
The locals said the Jingpo had many branches, and only the leader they recognized could gather them all for the photographs. But the leader was dead and his younger brother now lives abroad. His daughter was the only one the group recognized as their chief.
Chen invited her to a banquet and explained his project. To his dismay, she remained silent and expressionless. Then she gestured to three cups of wine placed on the table.

Though unsure of what she meant, Chen downed all three cups and earned her smile. They then chatted as old friends and Chen vaguely remembers some five empty wine bottles left on the table. The next day, Chen's crew was greeted with a grand reception. People from far and wide gathered in their festive costumes. The young girls even put on fashionable make-up. No one wanted the money Chen offered for their time.
"I realized that each ethnic group has its own characteristics. The Jingpo people are frank and loyal to their friends. But if they don't know you, they can be very cautious," says Chen.
Since last August, Chen has led his crew of 14 Chinese photographers through some 190,000 km in roughly 554 counties and cities. They have taken 57,228 pictures of the 56 Chinese ethnic groups. His album Harmonious China: Glimpses of 56 Chinese Ethnic Groups is on display, along with 800 other photos, at Beijing's Wangfujing until Monday. Around 450 photos from the exhibition will be compiled into another album, to showcase the nation's unity and development.
(read more...)

Stalker (Сталкер)

When the British Film Institute launched a survey on “the film you would like to share with future generations”, behind Blade Runner in first place was a surprise second place entry: Andrei Tarkovsky’s science fiction film Stalker, in which a guide leads two clients to a site known as “the Zone”, which has the supposed potential to fulfill a person’s innermost desires.

Directed by: Andrei Tarkovsky; Produced by: Aleksandra Demidova; Written by: Arkadi Strugatsky, Boris Strugatsky; Starring: Alexander Kaidanovsky, Anatoli Solonitsyn, Nikolai Grinko; Music by: Eduard Artemyev; Distributed by: Mosfilm; Release date: August 1979 (Soviet Union); Running time: 163 min; Language: Russian; Subtitle: English; Description: Near a gray and unnamed city is the Zone, an alien place guarded by barbed wire and soldiers. Over his wife's numerous objections, a man rises in the dead of night: he's a stalker, one of a handful who have the mental gifts (and who risk imprisonment) to lead people into the Zone to the Room, a place where one's secret hopes come true. That night, he takes two people into the Zone: a popular writer who is burned out, cynical, and questioning his genius; and a quiet scientist more concerned about his knapsack than the journey. In the deserted Zone, the approach to the Room must be indirect. As they draw near, the rules seem to change and the stalker faces a crisis

Those damn beatniks...

Wizz Jones, one of the first British Beatniks, and noted folk-blues musician, performs two of his songs and talks about his life in this documentary from 1960, which provides an illuminating glimpse of the media's view of alternative lifestyles at that time. The interviews are conducted by veteran reporter Alan Whicker, looking very much like a Monty Python parody of himself. Wizz's two songs in this clip are interesting. Both were versions of older songs, but rewritten by Wizz to mock the Burgermeisters of Newquay. The first was based on "Down on Penny's Farm" by the Bently Boys, a white country duo who recorded it in 1929. The track was reissued on Harry Smith's groundbreaking "Anthology of American Folk Music" LP set put out by Folkways Records in 1952. This was one of the most influential releases in the history of folk music, and spread like wildfire through the folk communities on both sides of the Atlantic. So it's no surprise that Wizz Jones knew of the original recording in 1960 and used it as the basis for a protest song of his own. The other song Wizz sings is based on Elizabeth Cotten's "Oh Babe It Ain't No Lie", which appeared on another Folkways LP release "Folksongs and Instrumentals with Guitar" in 1958. Elizabeth Cotten used the same kind of alternating bass finger-picking style, complicated by the fact that she played a standard six-string guitar left-handed, i.e. upside-down!
(read more...)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Saragossa Manuscript ( Полный пиздец )

"Head movies" — those mind-bending epics like 2001 or El Topo that are supposedly best viewed under the influence — frequently require drugs just to get through them. In the case of The Saragossa Manuscript (1965), the equation is reversed; anyone going into this three-hour mind-fuck straight may well come out feeling stoned. Those who like a challenge and can handle a dizzyingly dense structure that’s more puzzle than plot will be well rewarded. A great score by Krzystof Penderecki and gorgeous cinematography (black-and-white Cinemascope) keep the ear and eye riveted even while the brain is in meltdown.
Directed by the well-regarded Wojciech Has, the film is an adaptation of at least part of a legendary, massive novel by Count Jan Potocki (1761-1815). Potocki’s resume would take almost as long to read as the film takes to watch. Sources say he was a noted travel writer, "novice king of Malta" (whatever that is), Egyptologist, occultist, historian, balloonist, linguist, melancholic, and eventual suicide at age 54. The Manuscript Found in Saragossa (1813) was his crowning work, favorably compared by aficionados to The Decameron and The Arabian Nights for its rich folkloric elements, supernatural motifs, bawdy humor, and surreal touches. It also contains heavy doses of Jewish mysticism and scientific theory of the day (including discussions of mathematics and philosophy). Like its predecessors it has a very modern, labyrinthine, story-within-a-story structure, but it’s even more multilayered, so much so that a slide rule and a scratch pad are advisable for keeping track of who’s who and what’s what. If the movie is any indication, there are as many as five levels of drilldown in some sequences, with one person telling a story about another person, who then tells another story about someone else, who then — you get the idea.
(read more...)

Part one

The painter and portraitist Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828), whose folkloric depictions of the horrors of witchcraft, warfare and a host of non-supernatural but thoroughly evil human tendencies were an inspiration to the Impressionists, hailed from the countryside around Saragossa, capital city of the former Kingdom of Aragon in northeast Spain. Although Goya has never been cited as a direct influence on Manuscrit trouvé à Saragosse (A Manuscript Found in Saragossa), the novel by Jan Potocki (1761-1815) is Goyaesque in the extreme. Goya knew Potocki and was commissioned twice to paint the Polish aristocrat and career soldier’s portrait.

Part two

Sorry,no english dub for few minutes)
Perhaps during those long and tedious sittings, the local artist and the world traveler swapped tales of the grotesque and arabesque, with the result leading to what is now commonly referred to as The Saragossa Manuscript.
(read more...)

Будучи офицером французской армии, я принимал участие в осаде Сарагосы.
Через несколько дней после завоевания этого города, оказавшись в одном из
отдаленных его кварталов, я обратил внимание на домик довольно изящной
архитектуры, который - это было сразу видно - французские солдаты еще не
успели разграбить.
Подстрекаемый любопытством, я подошел к двери и постучал. Она оказалась
незапертой, - я слегка толкнул ее и вошел внутрь. На мой зов никто не
откликнулся; поиски не дали результата: в доме не было ни души. Казалось,
что из дома вынесли все ценное; на столах и в шкафах остались одни
ненужные безделицы. Только в углу на полу я увидел несколько исписанных
тетрадей. Перелистал их. Рукопись была испанская; хоть я очень слабо знал
этот язык, но все же понял, что нашел что-то интересное: рукопись
содержала повествование о каббалистах, разбойниках и оборотнях. Чтение
необычайных историй казалось мне прекрасным средством рассеяния среди
походных трудов. Решив, что рукопись навсегда утратила законного
владельца, я без колебаний взял ее себе.

Ян Потоцкий
Рукопись, найденная в Сарагосе

אלפונס, קצין בלגי בצבא הספרדי, נקלע לפונדק בעיצומה של המלחמה ומכאן ואילך שוקע לתוך שלל של הרפתקאות פנטסמגוריות המוליכות אותנו עימו בשובל של קסם. הוא מתאהב בשתי נסיכות מגרות, פוגש בקבליסט ובמתמטיקאי המנסים להשתלט על נפשו - הראשון בשם האמונה והשני בשם ההיגיון - ועובר עוד כהנה וכהנה עלילות קסומות ופיקארסקיות. וויצ'ך האס מתרגם לשפת הקולנוע את הרומן שכתב יאן פוטוצקי ב־1814. האקסטרוואגנצה הזו היתה להצלחה גדולה בארה"ב של אמצע שנות ה־60‘ בזכות המסרים החתרניים, חוסר הכניעה למגבלות ההיגיון, ההומור השחור והאבסורדי; משהו שמזכיר ברוחו שילוב בין ‘אלף לילה ולילה‘ לבין ‘עליסה בארץ הפלאות‘ (היו גם מי שבחרו לאפיינו כשילוב של מונטי פייטון ו‘בארי לינדון‘). את הפסקול המוסיקלי תרם כז‘ישטוף פנדרצקי. בעיות של זכויות ועריכה מחודשת העלימו את ‘כתב היד מסרגוסה‘ מעין הציבור למשך שנים ארוכות עד שג‘רי גרסיה, איש ה‘גרייטפול דד‘ - זמן לא רב בטרם מותו - החליט לתרום מממונו כדי לשחזר את העותק ולהפיץ את הסרט מחדש בגירסתו המקורית. למותר לציין שבשנות האלפיים הצליח ‘כתב היד מסרגוסה‘ למצוא דור חדש של אוהדים.

"What we want is rest," said Harris

HERE were four of us - George, and William Samuel Harris, and myself, and Montmorency. We were sitting in my room, smoking, and talking about how bad we were - bad from a medical point of view I mean, of course.
We were all feeling seedy, and we were getting quite nervous about it. Harris said he felt such extraordinary fits of giddiness come over him at times, that he hardly knew what he was doing; and then George said that he had fits of giddiness too, and hardly knew what he was doing. With me, it was my liver that was out of order. I knew it was my liver that was out of order, because I had just been reading a patent liver-pill circular, in which were detailed the various symptoms by which a man could tell when his liver was out of order. I had them all.

It is a most extraordinary thing, but I never read a patent medicine advertisement without being impelled to the conclusion that I am suffering from the particular disease therein dealt with in its most virulent form. The diagnosis seems in every case to correspond exactly with all the sensations that I have ever felt.
(read the book...)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

"San Francisco Bay Blues" in Queens without Fotdella

Steve Suffet performing "San Francisco Bay Blues" by Jesse Fuller at the Kew Gardens Music Festival in Queens, New York City. March 7, 2009
The fotdella was an instrument invented and constructed by Jesse "The Lone Cat" Fuller, an American one-man-band musician, who needed an accompaniment instrument beyond the usual high-hat (foot-operated cymbal) or bass drum favored by street musicians. Dreaming it up in the early 1950s, while lying in bed, he set about constructing a foot-operated bass instrument. It ended up as a large upright box with a rounded top, vaguely shaped like the top of a double bass, with a short neck on top. Six bass strings were attached to the neck and stretched over the body.

To play the instrument, there was a homemade set of foot pedals, each one bringing a padded hammer to strike a string when depressed, like the action of a piano. With these six bass notes, Fuller could accompany himself on the 12-string guitar in several keys.
The name "fotdella" was given to the instrument by Fuller's wife, who took to calling it a "foot-diller" (as in the then-current expression, "killer-diller", meaning exceedingly good); later, it became shortened to just fotdella.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Kin-Dza-Dza! A Russian Steampunk Epic Кин-дза-дза!

At first glance, Kin-Dza-Dza!, a science fiction epic about two Soviet men transported to a desert world, seems anything but subtle. Stranded in a world where everyone can read minds but the local language has only a few words (a dozen or so technical terms plus "kew" - a curse word and "koo" - every other word), where a single sulfur match is worth a fortune, and where wearing yellow pants is a sign of great status, the two must survive by learning to hang a bell in their noses and to squat the appropriate number of times when a superior walks by. This is a scenario that would have been easy to mishandle, to say the least.

The script by Georgi Daneliya and Revaz Gabriadze is masterful, however. At times biting, at times gentle, it pushes the surface plot forward relentlessly while each scene, each conversation, each exchange rings with hidden truths. Reserved direction and dry-yet-deep performances by such superstars of Russian cinema as Stanislav Lyubshin, Yuri Yakovlev and Yevgeni Leonov combine to result in a film of unexpected poignancy.
This film, with all its outlandish props and crude special effects, is chock-full of insights into society and human nature. It's also one of the funniest films I have ever seen, even if the laughter sometimes hurts.

Слово «ку» совпадает с португальским непристойным словом «cu», которое можно перевести как «задница». Интересно, что комедия «Кин-дза-дза!», где это слово употребляется весьма часто, участвовала в показах на кинофестивалях как раз в португалоязычных странах (Бразилии и Португалии), где, несмотря ни на что, (а может — именно по этой причине) получила призы.
A large number of quotes from the film have instant recognizability throughout the former Soviet Union even today. Western viewers may miss some of the humor (and some of the hurt) by having never lived in the USSR, but that is no excuse to pass up this gem.(read more...)

From Heebster to Hipster

The first dictionary to list the word is the short glossary "For Characters Who Don't Dig Jive Talk," which was included with Harry Gibson's 1944 album, Boogie Woogie In Blue. The entry for "hipsters" defined it as "characters who like hot jazz."[5] Initially, hipsters were usually middle-class white youths seeking to emulate the lifestyle of the largely-black jazz musicians they followed(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
The song was "Handsome Harry the Hipster," and the performer was Harry 'The Hipster' Gibson. Harry sang of things I had vaguely heard discussed by my ex-hipster elders - "chicks," "mellowness" (being stoned), and of that mysterious thing called "jive." That's the way I had been told that "vipers" (drug users) talk. "Handsome Harry" - described in the song not only as a "hipster" but as a "flipster" and a "clipster" - "digs those mellow kicks." He's a gangsta who'll "hype you for your gold," is "the ball with all the chicks," and is "frantic and fanatic, with jive he's an addict." And with an addict's natural evasiveness, Harry ended each verse with a shrug and verbal denial: "Well, I don't know, I
was only told."

I learned later that Harry, like my own relatives, was a Jewish New Yorker who discovered and melded with the jazz-fueled world of hipsterdom. His guide into that alternate reality was supposedly saxophone great Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, who played with such greats as Basie, Louis Armstrong, Cootie Williams, and Lucky Millinder. Harry started playing piano at a speakeasy run by Lockjaw, who became his jive mentor.

The former Harry Raab was soon cranking out tunes like "Get Your Juices at
the Deuces," "Stop That Dancing Up There," and the future Dr. Demento favorite, "Who Put the Benzedrine in Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine." To think of him as just a novelty act, however, is to do him an injustice. He was, like many artists, a breaker of taboos and a shatterer of invisible walls. His life was part of his art, and excess was part of that life. It wasn't just the tunes that made Harry Gibson a star, it was the new and fashionable anarchy they - and he - represented.(read more...)

Mrs. Murphy couldn't sleep
Her nerves were slightly off the bean
Until she solved her problem
With a can of Ovaltine
She drank a cupful most every night
And ooh how she would dream
Until something rough got in the stuff
And made her neighbors scream. OW!
Who put the Benzedrine, in Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine?
Sure was a shame, don't know who's to blame
Cause the old lady didn't even get his name
Where did she get that stuff?
Now she just can't get enough
It might have been the man who wasn't there
Now Jack, that guy's a square
She never ever wants to go to sleep
She says that everything is solid all reet
Now Mr. Murphy don't know what it's all about
Cause she went and threw the old man out, Clout
Who put the Benzedrine, in Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine?
Now she wants to swing, the Highland Fling
She says that Benzedrine's the thing that makes her spring.

This is the second chorus you know
The name of this chorus is called, "Who put the Nembutals in Mr. Murphy's overalls?
I don't know
She bought a can of Ovaltine, most every week or so
And she always kept an extra can on hand
Just in case that she'd run low
She never never been so happy, since she left old Ireland
'Till some one prowled her pantry, and tampered with her can. Wham!
Who put the Benzedrine, in Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine?
Sure was a shame, don't know who's to blame
Cause the old lady didn't even get his name
Where did she get that stuff
Now she just can't get enough
It might have been the man who wasn't there
Now Jack, that guy's a square
She stays up nights making all the rounds
They say she lost about 69 pounds
Now Mr. Murphy claims she's getting awful thin
And all she says is, "Give me some skin." Mop!
Who put the Benzedrine, in Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine?
Now she wants to swing the Highland Fling
She says that Benzedrine's the thing that makes her spring.
Spring it now, Gibson

Note: This song is Harry's adaptation of the old Irish folk song "Who put the
overalls in Mrs. Murphy's Chowder." Two different versions of it can be found at:;ttMRPHCHOW.html

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ray Hanania for President

Ray Hanania is a compassionate and, in fact, delightful person, with rare insight into the aspirations and failings of Palestinians and Israelis. In the eyes of many, that alone ought to disqualify him from consideration as a leader in the Holy Land.
Add to that, the fact that the acclaimed journalist also happens to be a first-generation Palestinian-American married to a Jewish woman, as well as a stand-up comedian who has appeared alongside Jewish comics, and the self-destructively polarized electorate of the Holy Land will need to expend not a whiff of thought in dismissing him out of hand.

1. I support two-states, one Israel and one Palestine. As far as I am concerned, I can recognize Israel's "Jewish" character and Israelis should recognize Palestine's "non-Jewish" character.

2. I oppose violence of any kind from and by anyone. I reject Hamas' participation in any Palestinian government without first agreeing to surrender all arms and to accept two-states as a "final" peace agreement. But I also reject allowing Israeli settlers to carry any weapons and believe Israelis must impose the same restrictions on them.

3. I can support some settlements remaining - given the reality of 42 years of time passing - in a dunam-for-dunam land exchange. If Ariel is 500 dunams with a lifeline from Israel, then Israel gives Palestine 500 dunams in exchange.

4. Jerusalem should be a shared city and Palestinians should have an official presence in East Jerusalem. The Old City should be shared by both permitting open access to the city to all with a joint Palestinian-Israeli police presence.

5. Palestinian refugees would give up their demand to return to pre-1948 homes and lands lost during the conflict with Israel. Instead, some could apply for family reunification through Israel and the remainder would be compensated through a fund created and maintained by the United States, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the United Nations.

6. I also think Israelis should find it in their hearts to show compassion and offer their apologies to Palestinians for the conflict.

7. I support creation of a similar fund to compensate those Jews from Arab lands who lost their homes and lands, too, when they fled.

8. I think the Wall should be torn down, or relocated to the new borders. I have no problem separating the two nations for a short duration to help rebuild confidence between our two people.

9. All political parties, Palestinian and Israelis, should eliminate languages denying each other's existence, and all maps should be reprinted so that Israeli maps finally show Palestine and Palestinian maps finally show Israel.

10. A subway system should be built linking the West Bank portion of the Palestine state to the Gaza Strip portion of the Palestine State. Palestine should be permitted to build a seaport access to strengthen its industry, and an airport to permit flights and too and from the Arab and Israeli world.

11. I would urge the Arab World to renew their offer to normalize relations with Israel if Israel agrees to support the creation of a Palestinian State.

12. And I would ask both countries to establish embassies in each other's country to address other problems.

13. While non-Jewish Palestinians would continue to live in Israel as citizens, Jews who wish to live in settlements surrendered by Israel could become Palestinian citizens and they should be recognized and treated equally.

14. If Jews want to live in Hebron, they should be allowed to live in Hebron and should be protected, just as non-Jews. In fact, for every Jewish individual seeking to live in Palestine, a Palestinian should be permitted to live in Israel. In fact, major Palestinian populations in Israel could be annexed into Palestine (like settlements).

15. Another concept is to have non-Jews living in Israel continue to live there but only vote in Palestinian elections, while Jews living in Palestine would only vote in Israeli elections. A special citizenship protection committee could be created to explore how to protect the rights of minorities in each state.

16. Israel and Palestine should create joint-governing and security agencies working with the United States to monitor the peace, and establish an agency to pursue criminal acts of violence.
(read more...)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Janco's Fake or Ben-Ami ad.

The painting, supposedly attributed to Marcel Janco - a prominent founder of the DaDa movement and a renowned 20th century Israeli painter( and ein hod founding daddy) - was brought to Hammersite's gallery for examination not long ago. After careful inspection, Hammersite's expert and appraiser Michael Ben-Ami revealed it as a sophisticated forgery.
The painting in question was an almost impeccable copy of Janco's 1945 "A Burnt Village," which was a notable part of the Histadrut's collection and was auctioned by "Ben-Ami auctioneers" (now known as Hammersite) in 1996. The painting had been executed on an original old canvas, which was scraped off to reveal the lower surface and thus instill a feel of authenticity.
Despite its deceptive appearance of genuineness, it had been signed in English, as apposed to the original signed in Hebrew. It was also evident by the minor color variations and lines indiscrepancies, that the forger had attempted to create an "authentic" variation of Janco's "A Burnt Village."
However he wasn't sophisticated enough to realize no artist paints exact replicas while making versions of the same piece. Moreover, it was obvious the forger could not imitate Janco's robust and rich brush strokes, leaving the fake pale and muted in comparison to Janco's dramatic work.
(read more...)
פורסם ב - 00:00 02/10/05

הוחזרו שתי יצירות גנובות של ינקו
שתיים מתוך ארבע היצירות של מרסל ינקו שנגנבו לפני כשבועיים ממוזיאון ינקו דאדא בעין הוד נמצאו והוחזרו למוזיאון. ביום רביעי הגיע אדם לבית המכירות הפומביות "בן עמי" בתל אביב והציע למכירה את הציור "דיוקן עצמי" של מרסל ינקו. הוא סיפר שהוא מתווך מטעם אדם אחר, שקנה את הדיוקן העצמי וכן קולאז' דאדא. בעל בית המכירות זיהה שמדובר ביצירות שנגנבו ממוזיאון ינקו ושיכנע את הקונה לפנות למשטרה.
לדברי רעיה זומר ממוזיאון ינקו דאדא, נראה שאותו אדם שילם תמורת שתי העבודות כ-35 אלף דולר, סכום הגבוה מערכן האמיתי. העבודות נמסרו אתמול בבוקר למשטרת זכרון יעקב ומשם הוחזרו לתצוגה במוזיאון. זומר מאמינה שעתה ימצאו את שתי העבודות הנותרות: העבודה "בית חרושת לזכוכית" מ-1917 ותבליט הגבס "ארכיטקטורה קטנה" מ-1917, שאותו הגדירה זומר כאבידה הגדולה ביותר. (read more...)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

"Cinema is for us the most important of arts"- Lenin

"Man With a Movie Camera" was an effort to show the breadth and precision of the camera's recording ability, and similar films were produced in a few other European countries. The film is a succession of images supposedly showing the audience what the camera eye is seeing. Vertov's brother, Mikhail Kaufman, is the cameraman, and at times another movie camera follows "Man With a Movie Camera" on the street and in other places. In one sequence some women in a cab notice the cameraman smirk and gesture at the camera as they ride through the streets of Moscow.
Vertov explained his actions with profound statements such as, "Construction must be understood as the co-ordinating function of Constructivism. If the tectonic unites the ideological and formal, and as a result gives a unity of conception, and the factura is the condition of the material, then the construction discovers the actual process of putting together. Thus we have the third discipline, the discipline of the formation of conception through the use of worked material. All hail to the Communist expression of material building."
Dziga Vertov, born Denis Arkadievitch Kaufman (1896-1954), was the son of Jewish intellectuals who moved to Moscow to flee the invading German armies during World War I. He trained as a musician and neurologist, and he had studied at the Moscow Psycho-neurological Institute. He was also a poet, fiction writer and journalist. He was conducting experiments in synthetic sound before the outbreak of hostilities against the Czar. During the revolution he was in charge of photographic work in a partisan army fighting the Czar, and in 1918 after the Communist takeover, he was placed at the head of the Cinema Department of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee. It was there that he met his future wife and collaborator, Elizaveta Svilova (1900-1976), who began her film career with Pathe Freres in Moscow. He abandoned the name of Denis Kaufman and adopted Dziga Vertov which was derived from the verb which means to spin and Dziga is the repetitive sound of a camera crank turning
(dziga, dziga, dziga ... ).(

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Carefree Jordanian Gerbils

The series of studies, which have been carried out in cooperation with Jordanian researchers, has examined a variety of reptile, mammal, beetle, spider and ant lion species on either side of the border in the Arava region. The Israeli team includes Dr. Shanas and research students Idan Shapira and Shacham Mitler, who set out to reveal whether the border -- unknown to the species -- could affect differences between them and their numbers on either side of the frontier, even though they share identical climate conditions.
According to the researchers, the differences between Israel and Jordan are primarily in the higher level of agriculture and the higher number of agricultural farms in Israel as opposed to Jordan's agriculture that is primarily based on nomadic shepherding and traditional farming. The agricultural fields on the Israeli side of the border not only create a gulf between habitats and thereby cause an increase in the number of species in the region, but they also hail one of the most problematic of intruders in the world: the red fox. On the Jordanian side, the red fox is far less common, so that Jordanian gerbils can allow themselves to be more carefree. The higher reproduction rate of ant lions on Israel's side is also related to the presence of another animal: the Dorcas gazelle. This gazelle serves as an "environmental engineer" of a sort, as it breaks the earth's dry surface and enables ant lions to dig their funnels. The Dorcas gazelle is a protected animal in Israel, while hunting it in Jordan is permitted and compromises the presence of the Jordanian ant lions' soil engineers.(read more...)

«Homage Сергею Дягилеву»

XVI Международный фестиваль «АРТ-ноябрь»
Работы израильтянки Лоры Верховской. Уникальные картины на коже, выполненные по эскизам выдающихся художников — сподвижников великого импресарио.
Произведения Льва Бакста (эскиз костюма «Еврейский танец» к балету «Клеопатра»), Наталии Гончаровой (эскиз костюма св. Иоанна к балету «Литургия»), Константина Сомова («Маскарад») и Пабло Пикассо (эскиз костюма китайского фокусника к балету «Парад») Лора Верховская перенесла на кожу.
Художница работает в старинной технике интарсии. На Западе слово «intarsia» (intarsio — ит., разновидность инкрустации) употребляется много чаще и шире, чем в русском языке. Самые древние интарсии — итальянские. В них соединенны рисунок и графика, стилизация и декоративность, естественная необработанная фактура материала и высокое художественное мастерство. Как живописец красками, так Верховская «пишет» картину кожей, будто обладая особой врожденной связью с этим природным материалом. Поражающие своей материальной роскошью и декоративностью — великолепные картины Лоры Верховской не только дань памяти и преклонение перед гением Сергея Дягилева, но и обращение сразу к нескольким музам искусств: к Евтерпе, Терпсихоре, Эрато, Талии и Мельпомене.(via vashdosug )

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Marshal law in Jerusalem : Sir Edmund Allenby

I entered the city officially at noon, December 11th, with a few of my staff, the commanders of the French and Italian detachments, the heads of the political missions, and the Military Attaches of France, Italy, and America. The procession was all afoot, and at Jaffa gate I was received by the guards representing England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Australia, New Zealand, India, France, and Italy. The population received me well.
Guards have been placed over the holy places. My Military Governor is in contact with the acting custodians and the Latin and Greek representatives. The Governor has detailed an officer to supervise the holy places.
The Mosque of Omar and the area around it have been placed under Mostlem control, and a military cordon of Mohammedan officers and soldiers has been established around the mosque.
Orders have been issued that no non-Moslem is to pass within the cordon without permission of the Military Governor and the Moslem in charge.

To the Inhabitants of Jerusalem the Blessed and the People Dwelling in Its Vicinity:

The defeat inflicted upon the Turks by the troops under my command has resulted in the occupation of your city by my forces. I, therefore, here now proclaim it to be under martial law, under which form of administration it will remain so long as military considerations make necessary.
However, lest any of you be alarmed by reason of your experience at the hands of the enemy who has retired, I hereby inform you that it is my desire that every person pursue his lawful business without fear of interruption.
Furthermore, since your city is regarded with affection by the adherents of three of the great religions of mankind and its soil has been consecrated by the prayers and pilgrimages of multitudes of devout people of these three religions for many centuries, therefore, do I make it known to you that every sacred building, monument, holy spot, shrine, traditional site, endowment, pious bequest, or customary place of prayer of whatsoever form of the three religions will be maintained and protected according to the existing customs and beliefs of those to whose faith they are sacred.
Guardians have been established at Bethlehem and on Rachel's Tomb. The tomb at Hebron has been placed under exclusive Moslem control.
The hereditary custodians at the gates of the Holy Sepulchre have been requested to take up their accustomed duties in remembrance of the magnanimous act of the Caliph Omar, who protected that church.
Sir Edmund Allenby on the Fall of Jerusalem
(read more...)


Porter Wayne Wagoner (August 12, 1927 October 28 2007) was a popular American country music singer known for his flashy Nudie and Manuel suits and blond pompadour. He introduced a young Dolly Parton on his long-running television show, and they were a well-known duet team throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s. Wagoner charted 81 singles and is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Wagoner was honored on May 19, 2007 at the Grand Ole Opry for both his fifty years of membership and his 80th birthday. It was telecast on GAC's Grand Ole Opry Live that day with artists such as Parton, Stuart and Patty Loveless. Grand Ole Opry Live host Nan Kelley was part of the birthday celebration as well.
On June 5, 2007, Wagoner released his final album called Wagonmaster. The album was produced by Marty Stuart for the Anti-label. This album received the best reviews of Wagoner's career and briefly charted on the country charts. He also toured during the summer of 2007 to promote the album. One of these was to open for the rock group The White Stripes at a sold-out concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

I'm an asshole and proud of it!

Denis Colin Leary (born August 18, 1957) is a Golden Globe- and Emmy Award-nominated American actor, comedian, writer and director. He is known for his often angry comedic style, and his chain smoking. As of 2009, Leary is the star and co-creator of the television show Rescue Me.
Leary was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, the son of Irish Catholic immigrants. His mother, Nora, was a maid. His father, John Leary (deceased), was an auto mechanic. Since both of his parents are from Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland, Leary holds both Irish and American citizenship. He graduated from Saint Peter-Marian High School, in Worcester. Through marriage, Leary is a distant cousin of talk show host Conan O'Brien and has jokingly said on Late Night with Conan O'Brien that, "All Irish people are related." His name is often misspelled as "Dennis" instead of the correct "Denis."

In his 2008 book Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid, Leary made a statement about autism that has angered many people.
“ There is a huge boom in autism right now because inattentive mothers and competitive dads want an explanation for why their dumb-ass kids can't compete academically, so they throw money into the happy laps of shrinks... to get back diagnoses that help explain away the deficiencies of their junior morons. I don't (care) what these crackerjack whack jobs tell you — your kid is not autistic. He's just stupid. Or lazy. Or both. ”
In response to the controversy, Leary stated that the quote was taken out of context and that in that paragraph he had been talking about the trend of overdiagnosis of autism, which he attributed to American parents seeking an excuse for behavioral problems and underperformance. Later, he apologized to parents with autistic children whom he had offended.((read more)...)