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A Complete Disorientation of the Senses: William Burroughs’ and Antony Balch’s ‘Cut Ups’
12.16.2010
03:43 pm

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It caused nausea and vomiting when first shown at the Cinephone, Oxford Street, in London. Some of the audience demanded their money back, others hurled abuse and shouted “That’s sick,” and ““Its disgusting.” This was the idea, as writer William Burroughs and producer, Antony Balch wanted to achieve a complete “disorientation of the senses.”

Balch had a hard-on for the weird, unusual and sometimes depraved. It was a predilection born from his love of horror films - one compounded when as a child he met his idol, Bela Lugosi, the olde Austro-Hungarian junkie, who was touring Britain with the stage show that had made him famous, Dracula. Film was a love affair that lasted all of Balch’s life.

He also had a knack of making friends with the right people at the right time. In Paris he met and hung out with the artist Brion Gysin and druggie, Glaswegian Beat writer, Alexander Trocchi, who was then writing porn and editing a literary mag called Merlin, along with the likes of Christopher Logue. Through them, Balch met the two men who changed his life, Burroughs and Kenneth Anger.

Anger helped Balch with his ambitions as a cinema distributor, getting him a copy of Todd Browning’s classic Freaks, which was banned the UK, at that time. Balch paid Anger back when he later released his apocalyptic Invocation of My Demon Brother as a support feature.

Burroughs offered Balch something different - the opportunity to collaborate and make their own films.  This they did, first with Towers Open Fire, an accessible montage of Burroughs’ routines, recorded on a Grundig tape recorder, cut-up to Balch’s filmed and found images of a “crumbling society.” Put together stuff like this and the chattering classes will always take you seriously. But don’t doubt it, for it was good.

But it was their second collaboration, Cut Ups which for me is far more interesting and proved far more controversial. Cut Ups was originally intended as a documentary called Guerilla Conditions, and was filmed between 1961 and 1965 in Tangiers and Paris. It included some footage from Balch’s aborted attempt to film the unfilmable Naked Lunch. The finished material was collated and then conventionally edited - but the process didn’t stop there, no. For Balch divided the finshed film into four sections of equal length, and then...
 

 
Bonus clip of ‘Bill and Tony’ after the jump…
 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

William S. Burroughs’ The Junky’s Christmas


 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The Ded Dave Show: A show about what zombies do when they are not eating you
12.16.2010
02:51 pm

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Television

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The Ded Dave Show is a local TV/webcast comedy show from the Detroit area that’s “about what zombies do when they are not eating you.”

The Ded Dave Show really pushes the envelope of how good an “amateur” production can be. In fact, its very existence goes to show how the line between the two gets erased further with each passing year due to better video equipment finding its way into the hands of eager and talented young filmmakers who don’t feel that they need anyone’s permission to make what they want to make. About the only thing separating “amateur” from “professional” these days seems be getting paid… which can still be an issue of course! Let’s hope Hollywood notices the talents on display here.

In this special Holiday episode—a yearly classic for the entire (Manson) family—join Ded Dave, Bog and a host of undead characters in their X-mas adventures in the land of the dead!

On Christmas night of 2009, The Ded Dave Show aired its very own Holiday special. Broken into two separate segments, the episode began with a gruesome telling of the “true” story of Santa Claus. The second half showed one of The Land of The Dead’s most sacred of ceremonies for Jesus’ birthday, its annual X-Mas Pageant.

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Anonymous sets the record straight with an open letter to Glenn Beck
12.16.2010
12:55 pm

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Current Events

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Read larger letter here.

 
(via BuzzFeed)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
As dry as a bone: New unseen photos of Niagara Falls without water
12.16.2010
11:11 am

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Environment

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Wild! Seldom seen photographs of Niagara Falls from 1969 when engineers diverted the flow of the river from the American side to remove loose rock.

From Daily Mail:

Their plan was to remove the large amount of loose rock from the base of the waterfall, an idea which they eventually abandoned due to expense in November of that year.

During the interim, they studied the riverbed and mechanically bolted and strengthened a number of faults to delay the gradual erosion of the American Falls.

The team, made up of U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, blew up their temporary dam in November 1969 and six million cubic feet of water once again thundered over the falls’ sides every minute.

Now, after lying unseen for more than four decades, a set of images showing the eerie calm at the American Falls that year have been unearthed by a man from Connecticut.

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Below is a video of a barren Niagara Falls shot in November, 1969.

 
More photos after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Christmas with Gwar
12.16.2010
10:56 am

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Amusing
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Yes, it’s that season again when thoughts turn to chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Christmas elves and GWAR!

All together now:

Crush, kill, destroy, crush, kill, destroy, destroy!
I was first and shall be last, slaying all who cross my path
Toppling your gleaming towers, bathing you in golden showers
I crush you as I would a fly
I Kill you and I watch you die
Destroying all I find offending, devastation never ending

 
Via Mu

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
The Beautiful & The Damned: Photos of LA punk rock 1978-84
12.16.2010
10:42 am

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Art
Books
Music

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If you are looking for a great Christmas present for one of your rock snob friends, you could certainly do worse than picking them up a copy of Ann Summa’s new book of classic Los Angeles punk photos, The Beautiful & The Damned. I look at a look of books like this and turn my nose up at them, usually for the fact that most punk-era photographs have become way overfamiliar, but this is certainly not the case with Summa’s work, as much of the work here is previously unpublished.

Taken from 1978 to 1984, the images are mostly of L.A.‘s original punk bands such as The Germs, The Screamers, X, the Cramps and the Gun Club, and some of the more avant garde “art stars” of that scene like the Kipper Kids and Johanna Went. Visiting groups from the UK are represented, too in Summa’s book and include The Clash, PiL. Magazine, The Fall, The Slits, Bow Wow Wow and the Pretenders. New Yorkers like Lydia Lunch, Television, James Chance, Laurie Anderson and Talking Heads are also included as well as a few “elder statesmen” who influenced the Los Angeles punk scene: Captain Beefheart, David Bowie and Iggy. What amazing work on display here.

The Beautiful & The Damned was edited and has an introduction by Kristine McKenna, a mark of quality and distinction itself in this household. You can’t go wrong with this one for certain “types” on your holiday shopping list, that’s for sure.

Buy The Beautiful & The Damned at Amazon.

A gallery of Ann Summa’s work on Boing Boing

The Beautiful & the Damned website

Ann Summa website

Below, one of the greatest (and sadly unrecorded) bands of the original Los Angeles punk scene, The Screamers, performing “Vertigo,” live at Target Video.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Lou Reed, Miles Davis and Grace Jones selling Honda Scooters and TDK tape in the 1980s
12.16.2010
10:07 am

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Advertorial
Music

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I owned one of Honda’s flashy red scooters. It didn’t last long in Manhattan. Stolen.

The Lou Reed commercial captures a certain nitty gritty New York vibe, the kind of place where scooters disappear.
 

 
Grace and Miles after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Seefeel: Dead Guitars
12.16.2010
08:21 am

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Music

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That’s what I’m talking about!  A stumbling, ham-fisted stop/start beat, deep dub bass, some truly distressed guitars and just a wee lil’ hint of pretty lady singing. Voila: it’s a great new track from the newly back-from-the-dead Seefeel. This will be playing on repeat all morning in the Laner household. New album comes out on Warp in February, it says here.
 

 
via Surfing on Steam, thanks !

 

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
Will Terrence Malick’s ‘The Tree Of Life’ expand the collective conscience of the Planet?
12.16.2010
01:02 am

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Movies

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I used to wait for new music from The Beatles and The Stones with an almost unbearable anticipation. The same was true of films by Kubrick and Scorsese. Now there’s little music or film that puts me in that state of heightened expectation. The only film maker that conjures the sense that maybe there are new mystical cinematic vistas on the horizon is the alchemist of celluloid Terrence Malick. And Terrence has a new film coming out in 2011. My serpent power is humming.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
In memory of Jean Rollin we present ‘The Grapes Of Death’ for your viewing pleasure
12.15.2010
10:37 pm

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Movies

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French film maker Jean Rollin has died (Dec. 15). He was known for his erotic, surreal, blood-splattered horror films. While I found some of Rollin’s movies an uneasy and often tedious mix of high and low art, there is no denying that Rollin had a poetic touch and transgressive sensibility that transformed even his lesser films into compelling experiences of varying degree.  Imagine a collaboration between Bergman, Radley Metzger and Herschell Gordon Lewis. There was always something memorably bizarre in all of Rollin’s work.

Film enthusiast and former member of legendary punk pioneers The Flesheaters, Chris D. posted this brief eulogy for Rollin on the New Texture blog:

Director Jean Rollin died today. He was responsible for many incredibly beautiful, poetic images in French films and was looked down on/ignored by the French film industry for decades as only a purveyor of trash. He didn’t direct any unqualified masterpieces, but he was a poet and a visionary and deserves to be remembered fondly for creating some of the most beautiful, simultaneously melancholic, creepy, haunting images of pure poetry in French cinema from the mid-1960s to the present.”

While Rollin’s best films, in my opinion, involved vampires, The Grapes Of Death (1978) is an unusual approach to the world of zombies. Unlike most zombie flicks, Rollin has crafted a film in which zombies are emotional creatures who actually feel remorse for their actions.

As is usually the case with any film directed by Jean Rollin, The Grapes Of Death has sumptuous cinematography and sexually charged imagery. Enjoy.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
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