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Abel Ferrara’s ‘Go Go Tales’ with Asia Argento gets an American release and it’s about fucking time
01.05.2011
01:27 am

Topics:
Movies

Tags:
Asia Argento
Abel Ferrara
Go Go Tales

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Abel Ferrara doesn’t get alot of respect these days. New York City’s most uncompromising rebel film maker has made some of the most outrageously pleasurable and transgressive films of the past 4 decades, including streetwise masterpieces The Bad Lieutenant and The King Of New York and grindhouse classics Driller Killer , MS. 45 and Fear City. But in recent years his cinematic output has been greeted with either outright disdain or complete neglect. The Funeral was the last Ferrara film to get a proper theatrical release and that was in 1996. Subsequent films R Xmas, New Rose Hotel and Blackout went straight to DVD or had very limited theatrical releases, mostly in Europe or NYC. Shabby treatment for one of America’s true originals.

But there is good news for Ferrara fans. His 2007 film Go Go Tales is finally getting a theatrical run, albeit a very limited one, as part of New York City’s Anthology Film Archives tribute “Abel Ferrara in the 21st Century.”

J. Hoberman’s ripe description of Go Go Tales in the current issue of the Village Voice has me frothing at the mouth:

A highly personal movie, Go Go Tales finds Ferrara in a frenzied yet pensive mode. Virtually the entire movie is set within the tawdry NYC confines of Ray Ruby’s Paradise, an institution that equally suggests an off–Wall Street titty bar and the magic theater from Steppenwolf (and was constructed for the movie in Rome’s Cinecittà studios). Paradise’s nonstop sweat-perfumed hubbub is immediately established with a blast of Archie Bell & the Drells to herald the contortions of a hula-hooping stripper. The beat goes on for some 90 minutes of choreographed pole-writhing, lap-dancing, and flamboyant backstage catastrophes—notably a tanning-bed fire—interspersed with the machinations of club proprietor and compulsive gambler Ray Ruby (up-for-anything Willem Dafoe) as he dodges his numerous creditors and schemes to game the Lotto.

Shtick runs rampant. Sylvia Miles’s foul-mouthed harridan landlady installs herself at the bar and channels Joan Rivers, shrieking about the Bed Bath & Beyond she’s going to bring in to replace the Paradise at $18,000 per month with a 99-year lease. Midway through, Asia Argento—the Queen of I-Don’t-Give-a-Shit—coolly erupts into the proceedings for a show-stopping number that involves the exchange of bodily fluids with her pet Rottweiler. Not to be outdone, Dafoe (so deadpan in his hamming as to function as a one-man Wooster Group) follows up with a ludicrously sensitive lounge song, delivered amid a phalanx of writhing strippers.”

And Anita Pallenberg is in the film!

I’m hoping that Go Go Tales gets a run beyond Manhattan, but I doubt it. In the meantime, Ferrara fanatics (and Asia Argento devotees) can pick up an import DVD here.

This clip from Go Go Tales should get your juices flowing.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
‘That wasn’t in the script’
01.04.2011
05:59 pm

Topics:
Art

Tags:
Barnaby Barford

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Amusing piece from artist Barnaby Barford’s Private Lives series, 2007.

Via Flash glam flash

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Bill Hicks’ Seldom Seen ‘Ninja Bachelor Party’
01.04.2011
05:58 pm

Topics:
Amusing

Tags:
Movies
Comedy
Bill Hicks

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He was the best comedian of his generation, and seventeen years after his untimely death, Bill Hicks is still greatly missed. It’s hard to believe he would have only been fifty this year, which is not old when compared to some of the aged reptiles who hold power in politics, the media and banking. But we were lucky to have had his talents for the short time we did.

Ninja Bachelor Party was written, co-directed and co-produced by Hicks and Kevin Booth, and shot over ten days in Texas for $5,000 in 1990, as a parody of martial arts movies. It isn’t his best work, and falls apart here and there, mainly because Hicks and co. allegedly didn’t take the filming too seriously. Even so, it does have enough to make it that little bit special. And no, there is no bachelor party.
 

 
Part deux of ‘Ninja Bachelor Party’ after the jump…
 
With thanks to William Baird
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Amazing footage of blues legend Son House
01.04.2011
04:05 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Jack White
White Stripes
Son House

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Pioneering American singer and slide blues guitarist, Eddie James “Son” House recorded in the 1930s and again in the 1040s for Alan Lomax and the Library of Congress, but he retired from music to work for the New York Railroad. The legend of Robert Johnson selling his soul to the devil for his guitar prowess is alleged to have started with Son House. House was an obscure figure before a renewed interest in the blues saw a career revival in the 1960s and performances before audiences worldwide.

A Son House performance in Leicester, England, was described by Bob Groom in in Blues World magazine in 1967:

It is difficult to describe the transformation that took place as this smiling, friendly man hunched over his guitar and launched himself, bodily it seemed, into his music. The blues possessed him like a ‘lowdown shaking chill’ and the spellbound audience saw the very incarnation of the blues as, head thrown back, he hollered and groaned the disturbing lyrics and flailed the guitar, snapping the strings back against the fingerboard to accentuate the agonized rhythm. Son’s music is the centre of the blues experience and when he performs it is a corporeal thing, audience and singer become as one.

Ill health sidelined Son House again in the early 70s and he died, at the age of 86 in 1988. In recent years, Jack White’s advocacy for his music—the White Stripes recorded a cover of “Death Letter” and performed it on the Grammy Awards—has led a new generation of listeners to his work.
 

 
After the jump. Son House explains the B-L-U-S-E…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Amazing Home Movie Footage of the Ballet Russes in Australia
01.04.2011
03:09 pm

Topics:
Art

Tags:
History
Dance
Australia
Ballet Russes

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This is amazing: home-movie footage of the Ballet Russes playfully dancing on a beach in Australia in 1938.

After Diaghilev’s death in 1929, a number of Ballet Russes companies formed out of the dissolution of the original Ballet Russe. Between 1936 and 1940, three of these companies visited Australia, in tours orchestrated by the entrepreneur Colonel Wassily de Basil. According to the website Australia Dancing:

The first, a company assembled in London by de Basil and billed as (Colonel W. de Basil’s) Monte Carlo Russian Ballet, toured for nine months between 1936 and 1937. Its sixty-two dancers were drawn largely from the Ballets de Leon Woizikowsky, augmented by artists from de Basil’s own company, and from Rene Blum’s Ballets de Monte Carlo.

The second tour, which took place over seven months between 1938 and 1939, was by the Covent Garden Russian Ballet, presented by Educational Ballets Ltd. In essence, this was the de Basil company of the time. The use of the title Educational Ballets Ltd. related to the need for de Basil to formally distance himself from company management during a legal dispute with the Ballets de Monte Carlo, the company that had been founded by Rene Blum following his split with de Basil in 1935.

By 1938, the Ballets de Monte Carlo was based in America under the direction of Sergei Denham with the financial backing of Universal Art. An attempted merger between this company and that of de Basil early in 1938 ended acrimoniously, with ensuing legal challenges by Universal Art over the copyright of particular works. Prior to this, legal challenges to de Basil over copyright had also been instigated by Leonide Massine during his 1937 move from the de Basil to the rival company as artistic director. Michel Fokine, originally ballet master and choreographer for Blum had, also in 1937, moved in the other direction, joining de Basil. A feature of this second Australian tour was the presence of Fokine, supervising the production of his own ballets.

For the third tour, Colonel de Basil assembled a company that, in addition to his English-based dancers, included a number who were stranded in America on the outbreak of war. These two groups were united in Australia, forming the company that was most commonly referred to as The Original Ballet Russe, although it was also billed as Colonel W. de Basil’s Covent Garden Ballet and Colonel W. de Basil’s Ballet Company. De Basil himself accompanied this tour, which began in December 1939 and, although originally planned to be of ten weeks duration, was, due to the complexities of the war, extended until September 1940.

The Ballets Russes companies brought with them a panorama of choreography, music and design of a kind not previously seen in Australia. Works such as Scheherazade and Le Spectre de la Rose linked directly back to the Diaghilev repertoire, with some, such as Aurora’s Wedding, extending that link back to the Tsarist Russian period. Ballets such as Les Presages and Cotillon introduced Australian audiences to works that post-dated the Diaghilev era. Five ballets, including David Lichine’s Graduation Ball, received world premieres in Australia. In all, a stunning range of forty-four works, most of them Australian premieres, was presented over the three tours.

 

 
With thanks to Henri Podin
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Def Leppard tribute band seeks one-armed drummer
01.04.2011
01:33 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Music

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Def Leppard

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A Dallas Def Leppard tribute band, Pyromania, is looking for a one-armed drummer. No prosthetics!  Authenticity is key in the no-bullshit world of tribute bands.

“Must have flame retardant kit & stick.”

Check out Pyromania’s website here.
 
Via Exile On Moan Street

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Mick Karn, Bass-player with Japan Dead at 52
01.04.2011
01:30 pm

Topics:
R.I.P.

Tags:
Japan
Music
Mick Karn
Synth-Pop

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Mick Karn the former bass-player with highly influential group Japan has died at the age of 52.

An announcement on his website reads:

It’s with profound sadness that we have to inform you that Mick finally lost his battle with cancer and passed away peacefully at 4.30pm today, 4th January 2011 at home in Chelsea, London. He was surrounded by his family and friends and will be deeply missed by all.

Karn was an intrinsic part to the success of Japan which, under David Sylvian’s talents, fused synth-pop with elements of Bowie and Roxy Music. They first came to prominence in the mid-1970s, and went onto produce the highly acclaimed albums Quiet Life, Gentlemen Take Polaroids and Tin Drum; as well as the hit singles “Ghosts”, “Quiet Life” and “I Second That Emotion”. Japan’s music was to prove greatly influential over the next decade.  After the band’s demise, Karn collaborated with Bauhaus singer, Pete Murphy on the seminal album The Waking Hour. He also worked with Gary Numan and Kate Bush.
 

 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Hunter S. Thompson: Fear And Loathing In Gonzovision

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Hunter S. Thompson portrait by Curt Makes Pictures
 
BBC Omnibus documentary from 1978.

A fascinating, 30 year old BBC documentary on the Good Doctor and Ralph Steadman, five years after Nixon’s resignation, and on a road trip to Hollywood (to work on what would become “Where the Buffalo Roam“).

Includes an interesting scene of John Dean chatting with Hunter about his Watergate testimony (at about 32 minutes), the birth of the “Re-Elect Nixon Campaign” (with a Bill Murray cameo), and a remarkably eerie scene with Hunter and Ralph planning Hunter’s final monument and his ashes being shot into the air, long before the actual fact.

Via Documentary Heaven
 


Fear & Loathing in Gonzovision 1 of 3

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Gilda Radner’s Patti Smith parody, ‘Candy Slice’
01.04.2011
12:28 pm

Topics:
Amusing

Tags:
Patti Smith
Gilda Radner
Candy Slice

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Gilda Radner as “Candy Slice,” her Patti Smith-like character from SNL’s glory days of the 70s. In hindsight, “Candy” seems much more like Amy Winehouse, of course, than Patti Smith, who was never much of a “rock-n-roll animal.”

The clip below is from Gilda Live, a document of Radner’s 1979 Broadway show. “Candy Slice & The Slicers” perform “Gimme Mick.” (Didn’t SNL’s writers know that Patti far prefers Keith???)

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Gilda Radner: Let’s Talk Dirty to the Animals

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Singer/songwriter Gerry Rafferty has died
01.04.2011
12:21 pm

Topics:
Music
R.I.P.

Tags:
Gerry Rafferty

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Scottish singer/songwriter Gerry Rafferty has died at the age of 63. Rafferty was best known for “Stuck In The Middle With You,” a 1972 hit for his band Stealer’s Wheel and later for his solo smash “Baker Street,” which made him a millionaire overnight.

The Beatleesque “Stuck In The Middle With You” was used to hilarious effect in Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs. And the haunting sax riff of “Baker Street” is an indelible part of 70s rock and roll. A great hook.

Through the 80’s and 90s, Rafferty continued to write and record critically well-received albums, but health problems related to alcoholism got in the way of any sustained success.

Drink drove him into fits of depression and he’d disappear for periods of time. Angry, garrulous and unpredictable, Rafferty sabotaged his musical career until it simply didn’t exist anymore.

He died of suspected liver damage.

In his 1978 Rolling Stone review of Rafferty’s album “City To City,” Ken Emerson wrote what might serve as a fitting eulogy for Rafferty’s career and life:

Even in his mother’s womb, Gerry Rafferty must have expected the worst. This Scotsman entitled his melancholy 1971 solo album Can I Have My Money Back? (the answer was “No!”). And when Stealers Wheel, the group he subsequently formed with Joe Egan, became an overnight success with the hit single “Stuck in the Middle with You,” only to lapse into morning-after obscurity, he probably said, “I told you so.” On City to City, his first LP in three years, Rafferty sticks grimly to his guns. Not only does he use the same producer (Hugh Murphy) and several of the same musicians, but a similar un-self-pitying fatalism pervades the record.

However, there is a slight but significant change for the better that makes City to City as eloquently consoling as the spirituals Rafferty echoes in “Whatever’s Written in Your Heart.” Indeed, there’s a prayerful quality to the entire LP, a quality reminiscent of the dim dawn after a dark night of the soul. “The Ark” begins as a Highland death march, complete with doleful bagpipes, but swells into a stirring hymn to love. And, after etching a relationship stalemated by the inability of two lovers to express their feelings, the somber “Whatever’s Written in Your Heart” (whose only instruments are a piano and a hushed sythesizer) concludes with a coda of vocal harmonies that sing of sublime forgiveness.

Hope, in almost all these songs, lurks on the horizon. And when it springs fully into view—as on “City to City,” with its rollicking train tempo, and on the jaunty “Mattie’s Rag”—the music almost burbles with anticipation.

Gerry Rafferty still writes with the sweet melodiousness of Paul McCartney and sings with John Lennon’s weary huskiness, and his synthesis of American country music, British folk and transatlantic rock is as smooth as ever. But his orchestrations have acquired a stately sweep. For all their rhythmic variety—from the suave Latin lilt of “Right down the Line” to the thump of “Home and Dry”—these are uniformly majestic songs. The instrumental refrain on one of the best of them, “Baker Street,” is breathtaking: between verses describing a dreamer’s self-deceptions, Rapheal Ravenscroft’s saxophone ballons with aspirations only to have a sythesizer wrench it back to earth with an almost sickening tug. If City to City doesn’t rise to the top of the charts, its commercial failure will be equally dismaying. And our loss will be greater even than Rafferty’s. After all, when was the last time you bought an album boasting more than fifty minutes of music? And great music at that.”

- Ken Emerson, Rolling Stone, 1-15-78.
 

 

 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
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