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Keith Haring and Grace Jones: flesh graffiti and the Queen Of The Vampires

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In the mid-1980s Grace Jones’s body became the flesh canvas upon which Keith Haring created some of his most striking images. In the process, Haring contributed to Jones’s reputation as an innovator of cutting edge style and fashion. She wore Haring’s body paint in the video for her song I’m Not Perfect and in live performance at New York City’s Paradise Garage.

Body painting was a natural extension of the ephemeral nature of Haring’s art. Like subway graffiti and street art, it isn’t intended to last.

I remember the days before Haring became famous, when his “Radiant Baby” graffiti was as ubiquitous on the streets of New York as the smell of urine and the sound of ghetto blasters. For awhile, Haring was New York.

In the above photo we see Haring preparing Jones for her role in the 1986 movie Vamp, in which she portrays Katrina the Queen of The Vampires.

The music in this clip from Vamp is by Jonathan Elias who produced Jones’s Bulletproof Heart album.

 
for more photos pull up to the bumper

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Machete Maidens Unleashed: A look at ‘70s Filipino Exploitation Flicks

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Mark Hartley—the man who brought you Not Quite Hollywood, the documentary on ‘70s and ‘80s Australian action, suspense and horror b-movies—is back to lay the same treatment on the Philippines. Machete Maidens Unleashed shows how that country became the shooting locale for tons of American-funded monster movies, jungle prison movies, blaxploitation and kung fu hybrids—along with better known shoots like Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, which apparently left the land strewn with sets that got repeatedly reused.

Adding to the genre-crazy atmosphere was Prime Minister Ferdinand Marcos’s harsh and corrupt Bagong Lipunan (“New Society”) program of martial law, during which he and his family ruled with the kind of impunity that eventually led to his downfall in the mid-‘80s.

Check the trailer—it’s quite wild—and look for this ‘un soon at yr local movie establishment.
 

 
Thanks to Mark Turner for the heads-up!

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment
Elizabeth Taylor meets David Bowie
08.04.2010
08:02 pm

Topics:
Pop Culture

Tags:
David Bowie
Elizabeth Taylor

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Elizabeth Taylor and David Bowie at their first meeting in Beverly Hills, 1975. Photographs by Terry O’Neill. Scanned from the book Legends by Terry O’Neill.

Via Glamour-a-go-go

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Is it any wonder people are afraid of technology?
08.04.2010
07:54 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Science/Tech
Television

Tags:
technology
Brass Eye

 
Technology in your face! BAAAAAM!
 
(via Dooby Brain)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Banned Captain Beefheart TV commercial: 60 seconds the networks did not want you to see

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In 1971 Los Angeles television station KTTV refused to air this 60 second commercial for Captain Beefheart’s album Lick My Decals Off, Baby.

Conceived by Beefheart and directed by Larry Secrest and Jon Fizdali, the ad was considered to be ‘crude and unacceptable” by KTTV management. They also deemed the album obscene and refused to air the spot on that basis as well.

The National Association of Broadcasters banned the ad on their member stations, stating the commercial didn’t fit into their standards, which were to…

[...] enlarge the horizons of the viewer, provide him with wholesome entertainment, afford helpful stimulation, and remind him of the responsibilities which the citizen has towards his society.

Beefheart’s record label, Warner/Reprise, stood by the Captain and declared the spot…

[...] really different, it does everything a commercial is supposed to do. It begins with a cigarette flipping through the air in slow motion several times with Beefheart singing ‘Woe-is-a-me-bop.’ There are long silences, Beefheart finally appears doing his famed Hand and Toe Investment. Rockette Morton, one of the guys in Beefheart’s Magic Band, crosses the screen with a black sack over his head working an egg beater. The Captain kicks over a bowl of white paint in slow motion. It is non sequitur stuff that’s funny, attention getting, and pure Beefheart. It’s unfortunate that the station should be so frightened by it.”

In watching the commercial, one has to think that David Lynch had to have seen it at one point in his early development as a filmmaker. It’s a bold and surreal piece of film making that would have certainly baffled and spooked American audiences of the time. It’s still provocative.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
And now, a bit of celebratory Prop. 8 satire…

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Now that this country’s judicial system has again inched a bit closer to its enlightened ideals, why not enjoy a bewildered chuckle courtesy of Peter Barber Gallagher-Sprigg via wakingupnow.com?

 

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment
Giving the Holocaust an R-Rating: The Strange Case of “A Film Unfinished”

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“…Disturbing images of Holocaust atrocities including graphic nudity.” These are the elements cited by the Motion Picture Association of America in giving an R-rating to Israeli director Yael Hersonski’s intense-looking documentary, A Film Unfinished, which opens widely this month.

Produced and distributed by Oscilloscope Laboratories, A Film Unfinished centers around the making of the unearthed last reel of Ghetto, a Nazi propaganda film shot in the Warsaw Ghetto and proffered as a document of life there. The reel contains multiple takes of staged, exoticized footage of Jewish life, including a fictionalized depiction of the contrast between “rich” and poor ghetto dwellers.

The R-rating ensures that the film can’t be shown in public school classrooms, a situation ludicrous enough to be called out by Oscilloscope owner and Beastie Boy Adam Yauch a.k.a. MCA. From what I understand, the “graphic nudity” that the MPAA cites refers to female ghetto dwellers entering a mikvah, or Jewish ritual bath. As for the atrocities, well, kids seem to be exposed to plenty of gratuitous and stupid violence on TV, movies and video games. Maybe it would be worth whatever trauma they may go through watching and discussing A Film Unfinished to not only viscerally understand genocide, but also get a classic lesson in media manipulation.

Nice work, MPAA.
 

 
Oscilloscope Laboratories will also release the Allen Ginsberg biopic Howl and the doc William S. Burroughs: A Man Within this fall.

 

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment
Bobby Hebb who wrote and sang one of pop music’s biggest hits ‘Sunny’ has died.
08.04.2010
01:24 pm

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Tags:

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Bobby Hebb died yesterday at the age of 72. He had been suffering with lung cancer. Bobby is best known for his hit ‘Sunny’, which is one of the most performed songs in pop history. It was covered by Sinatra, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and countless others.

Hebb performed in a number of bands over the years and, significantly, once headlined a tour featuring the Beatles. In the early 1950s, he became one of the first black artists ever to appear on the Grand Ole Opry.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Hair-raising and amazing version of ‘Paint It Black’
08.04.2010
11:54 am

Topics:
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:
Karel Gott
Paint It Black

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Karel Gott’s version of ‘Paint It Black’ reminds me of Arthur Brown’s ‘Fire’. The screams, the apocalyptic urgency, the sheer mania. Amazing. I’d love to hear him take on Zeppelin’s ‘Immigrant Song’ and Deep Purple’s ‘Child In Time.’ I can imagine him fronting Rammstein.

Known as the ‘the Golden Voice Of Prague, Gott released ‘Paint It Black’ in 1969 on his album In einer Welt für uns zwei.

Gott is a huge star in Czechoslovakia and throughout Central and Eastern Europe and he’s still performing.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Raquel Welch in campy 70’s TV variety show (with space dancers)

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Raquel Welch photographed by Terry O’Neill. Available at the SF Art Exchange.
 
Raquel! was a multimillion dollar 1970 TV variety special starring Raquel Welch, Tom Jones, John Wayne and Bob Hope. It’s a camp time capsule full of Bob Mackie dresses, Paco Rabanne spacesuits and Bob Hope singing Rocky Raccoon wearing a Davey Crockett hat. It was shot all over the world, in Paris, London, Mexico City, Los Angeles, the Big Sur coast and elsewhere. 

A treat for the eyes (in every way) it was. For the ears, not so much. Welch sings a number of pop standards of the day, often with dancers in fully choreographed production numbers. There’s often a thematic disconnect of the material to the visuals, such as when Welch croons California Dreamin’ with the Eiffel Tower behind her. This contributes greatly to the “offness” of the proceedings. One reviewer compared Raquel! to “a community college production of Barbarella.” A highlight is Tom Jones lip-syncing I Who Have Nothing as he gazes longingly at the jaw-dropping sex bomb in front of him.

This first came out on VHS in the early 90s and I used to give it frequently as a gift. I gave one copy to Pizzicato Five’s Maki Nomiya and she later told me that she had a dinner party in Tokyo when she screened it for a group of friends and it went down a treat. That’s how this it should be viewed, in a group, with at least 2 or 3 drag queens in the mix, and a lil’ herbal “entertainment insurance.” It’s a guaranteed recipe for party success! It’s out on DVD now.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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