35 years and still rocking, Motorhead has indeed become an institution. Who woulda thunk they’d be doing TV commercials for beer in 2010.
From the Kronenbourg website:
On October 4th 2010, we took Lemmy and his band Motörhead to a French bar. Here, inspired by the laid back atmosphere and a slow, cold Kronenbourg 1664, they played their legendary manic song, The Ace of Spades, at half the normal speed.
Shan Nicholson, who directed the stellar documentary on New York nightlife of the late 1970’s, Downtown Calling, screened his latest film on NYC street gangs tonight at the Austin Film Festival. Rubble Kings is a fascinating and ultimately uplifting look at the boogie down Bronx when it was at a pivotal point between self-destruction and transformation. Combining rarely seen archival footage with recent interviews with former gang members, Nicholson brings us face to face with the The Savage Nomads, Devil’s Rebels, The Ghetto Brothers, Harlem Turks, Seven Immortals, and many more of the dozens of gangs that ruled New York’s ghettos. This is the real ‘Streets Of Fire’ and a fucking powerful film. Highly recommended.
Here’s some footage of cops in the Bronx on night patrol dealing with members of The Royal Javelins and The Supreme Enchanters about an impending gang war with the Savage Skulls from 1977. Plus, a trailer for Rubble Kings.
From 1968 to 1975, gangs ruled New York City. Beyond the idealistic hopes of the civil rights movement lay a unfocused rage. Neither law enforcement nor social agency could end the escalating bloodshed. Peace came only through the most unlikely and courageous of events that would change the world for generations to come by giving birth to hip-hop culture.
In the late 1970s, while Dudley Moore was off starting his career in Hollywood, Peter Cook entertained himself and a new generation of fans by hosting one of British TV’s first Punk Rock music shows, Revolver.
Produced for ATV by famed impresario, Mickey Most (best known for producing Herman’s Hermits, Suzi Quatro and Jeff Beck) Revolver had Cook introducing acts like Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Buzzcocks, The Jam, Ian Dury and the Blockheads, who all played live in front of a studio audience. There was also a twat of an in-house DJ, but the less said about him the better. Of course, there was the occasional roster of crap record company acts, but this was the 1970s, when there were only three TV channels in the UK, and the national anthem ended proceedings every night on two of them. It was a new style of program-making, chaotic, rude, funny and at times required viewing - as the BFI explains:
Revolver‘s most innovative element was designed to evoke the confrontational atmosphere associated with punk gigs. Peter Cook was invited to guest on the programme on the strength of the notorious Derek and Clive recordings, which shared with punk a kind of adolescent, deliberately puerile nihilism. In the guise of the seedy manager of the rundown nightclub rented out to the TV company, Cook would appear on a video screen, sneering at the acts and antagonising the studio audience. One guest, Buzzcocks’ Pete Shelley, recalled Cook distributing porn magazines, which he encouraged audience members to hold up during sets to put off the bands. Not surprisingly, Cook’s contribution is better remembered than that of nominal host Les Ross.
For all its punk credentials, the show’s music policy was often bewildering - appearing alongside the likes of X-Ray Spex, Ian Dury and Siouxsie and the Banshees were Kate Bush, Lindisfarne, Bonnie Tyler and the avowedly anti-punk Dire Straits.
Revolver‘s engagingly chaotic presentation makes it perhaps an ancestor of Channel 4’s controversial The Word (1990-95), but in 1978 it drew critical derision and failed to impress ITV managers. Unpromoted and buried in a late night Friday slot (ironically the exact post-pub slot in which The Word thrived), the series was starved of an audience and was pulled after just seven editions.
Bonus clips of Siouxsie and the Banshess, The Jam, Ian Dury and The Buzzcocks, after the jump…
William Eggleston is one of America’s most important and influential photographers, who “secured color photography as a legitimate artictic medium for display in galleries.”
This candid interview with photographer William Eggleston was conducted by film director Michael Almereyda on the occasion of the opening of Eggleston’s retrospective William Eggleston: Democratic Camera, Photographs and Video, 1961-2008 at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
A key figure in American photography, Eggleston is credited almost single-handedly with ushering in the era of color photography. Eggleston discusses his shift from black and white to color photography in this video as, “it never was a conscious thing. I had wanted to see a lot of things in color because the world is in color.” Also included in this video are Eggleston’s remarks about his personal relationships with the subjects of many of his photographs.
Michael Almereyda is director of the film William Eggleston and the Real World (2005).
Before the artist Ming Wong re-located to Berlin in 2007, he decided to learn German by immersing himself in the country’s culture. The result was a 10-minute performance tape, where Ming learnt the lingo from Rainer Werner Fassbinder, loosely autobiographical film, The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant.
Believing that one of the best ways to get insight into a foreign culture is through the films of that country, the artist has adopted one of his favourite German films as his guide, The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (1972) by Fassbinder, about a successful but arrogant fashion designer in her mid-thirties, who falls into despair when she loses the woman she loves.
Putting himself in the mould of German actress Margit Carstensen in the role of Petra Von Kant - for which she won several awards - the artist attempts to articulate himself through as wide a range of emotions as displayed by the actress in the climactic scene from the film, where our tragic lovesick anti-heroine goes through a hysterical disintegration.
With this work the artist rehearses going through the motions and emotions and articulating the words for situations that he believes he may encounter when he moves to Berlin as a post-35-year-old, single, gay, ethnic-minority mid-career artist - i.e. feeling bitter, desperate, or washed up. („Ich bin im Arsch”)
With these tools, he will be armed with the right words and modes of expressions to communicate his feelings effectively to his potential German compatriots.
Since then, Singapore’s foremost artist Wong has continued with his examination of “the performative veneers of language and identity, through his own World Cinema,” going on to use Douglas Sirk’s Imitation of Life to question ethnicity and identity.
Life of Imitation was commissioned by the National Arts Council for the Singapore pavilion in the 53rd Venice Biennale. Re-staged at SAM with a new design and additional works, it will thereafter tour other cities.
Re-inventing a Hollywood drama on racial identity by Douglas Sirk, the film — set up with two screens showing the same film simultaneously — evokes a peculiar sense in the viewer.
The film’s main protagonist are a black mother and her mixed race daughter who denies her mixed origins and pretends she is white. Initially denying her visiting mother an intimate meeting, she eventually breaks down in her mother’s arms.
Through the powerful images and execution of concept, Wong also attempts to erase the different ethnicities by having three male actors from three ethnic groups in Singapore take turns playing the black mother and her mixed-race daughter, with the identity of each actor changing after each shoot.
This year, he re-visualized, Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Teorema in the work called, Devo Partire, Domani (I Must Leave, Tomorrow). The title is taken from one of the few lines spoken by Terence Stamp in the film, whose arrival into the home of an upper class Milanese family, alters their lives.
Produced by Napoli Teatro Festival Italia 2010 and Singapore Biennale 2011, Devo Partire. Domani is a 5-channel video installation inspired by the cult arthouse 1968 Italian film ‘Teorema’ by Pier Paolo Pasolini. In this work the artist plays every character of a bourgeois Italian household which goes through an identity crisis after the visitation of a mysterious Stranger.
Ming Wong has adapted the story to contemporary times and to the setting of Naples. Entirely filmed on location, the work makes extensive use of the Neopolitan landscape - including the Scampia drug ghetto, the failed industrial desert of Bagnoli, the volcano of Vesuvius, the archeological museum and the vibrant streets of Naples – to offset the attempts by the Singapore-born artist to pass off as archetypal Italian characters inhabiting these genuine spaces. Ghosts of the past revisit their lives; statues of Gods come alive. Visions of an apocalyptic future, references to Italian cinema and cinema history enter the picture, recalling not just Pasolini’s work but also his persona and legacy.
Dressed like a cross between Ed Grimley and Quentin Crisp and looking surlier than Joan Crawford with a wire hanger up her ass, Bowie has never appeared less like a rock star than in this woefully executed video. The song ‘Be My Wife’ is from Low, one of the only Bowie albums I actually like, but this really stinks.
Never in the history of the world have the merchants of obscenity, the teachers of unnatural sex acts, had available to them the modern facilities for disseminating this filth. High-speed presses, rapid transportation, mass distribution: all have combined to put the vilest obscenity within reach of every man, woman, and child in the country.
Perversion For Profit, narrated with lascivious zeal by news reporter George Putnam, is a 1965 propaganda film bankrolled by savings and loan criminal Charles Keating. The film was part of Keating’s fervent anti-porn crusade. In 1969 he was appointed by Nixon to the President’s Commission on Obscenity and Pornography. Among his many targets were Gays (who he wanted imprisoned), Russ Meyer, Playboy and Oui magazines, the Ramada Inn for offering adult entertainment on cable TV, Larry Flynt, and virtually anything on two legs that possessed any form of sexual energy. “Keating kept a large supply of pornographic examples in his law offices in Cincinnati, to show to any visitors who seemed skeptical about the nature of the problem.”
This same type of rot and decay caused sixteen of the nineteen major civilizations to vanish from the Earth. Magnificent Egypt, classical Greece, imperial Rome, all crumbled away not because of the strength of the aggressor, but because of moral decay from within. But we are in a unique position to cure our own ills: our Constitution was written by men who put their trust in God and founded a government based in His laws. These laws are on our side. We have a constitutional guarantee of protection against obscenity. And, in this day especially, we must seek to deliver ourselves from this twisting, torturing evil. We must save our nation from decay and deliver our children from the horrors of perversion. We must make our land, ‘the land of the free’, a safe home. O God, deliver us, Americans, from evil.”
It’s amusing to watch Putnam rail about porn while the camera lovingly pans across photos of gloriously stacked gals in girly magazines. Fucking hypocrites.