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The Hipnagogic Horror Of Hausu

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Hausu (House), directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi, is the kind of movie that sends a writer scrambling for adjectives in an attempt to christen a new film genre. You pound your frontal lobes in the hope that you’ll dislodge some electrifying catchphrase that will be absorbed into film geekdom’s lexicon. I’ve been trying to come up with something hooky to describe the virtually indescribable mindbender that is Hausu. It’s not a J-horror film, it’s not a head film, it’s not some avant-garde psychological torture test, it’s not a cult film with an ironic smirk, it’s not…Well, I’m telling you what it is not. Let me try to wrap my brain around this and tell you what I think it is: Hausu is to cinema what a dream is to reality. It’s not just a simple record of events, it is the event itself. Hausu refers to nothing outside itself.

Though a mashup of pop memes, Hausu exists in a world of its own, devouring “reality”  and puking it back up in glorious Technicolor. It’s a mixtape compiled by a demented Carl Jung -  immersive, repellent, hysterical and visionary - forging a new consciousness composed of scraps of dead worlds.

Hard as it is to believe, Hausu was made in 1977. It feels as fresh and looks as startling experimental as anything being made by David Lynch or Guy Madden…except wilder.
 

 
Oh, the plot is about a demon possessed house, but that’s not important.
 
As for my new catchphrase, it’s a play on hypnagogic, that state between being awake and falling asleep. Hausu is hipnagogic.
 
Hausu will be released by Criterion in August on DVD.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
I-Dosing Exposed! Suburban High School Kids Plagued by That Hi-Tech Sound Drug Thingy!

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Thanks to XLR8R staff writer Cameron Macdonald for the heads-up. No, that’s not Cameron above.
 
In a heartland drenched in booze, Oxy, Xanax, sugar, and TV, it only makes sense for parents to take action on the hugely important issue of their kids listening to mind-altering sounds, right?

We’re back here again, are we, Mr. and Mrs. America?

The whole thing seems to have started this spring when KFOR NewsChannel 4 reported on a letter that Mustang, Oklahoma school administrators sent to parents about the “new and dangerous fad…called I-Dosing, or digital drugs.”
 

More after the jump…
 

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment
Roman Polanski birthday card
07.14.2010
03:26 pm

Topics:
Amusing

Tags:
Roman Polanski

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“You’ll always be a little girl in my eyes.”
 
Apparently, champagne and Quaaludes are not included. Purchase from Heeb Magazine for $5 each or 10 for $30.

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Minipops Pet Shop Boys: Two young boys lipsync ‘Go West’ as Neil and Chris!
07.14.2010
03:24 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Pop Culture

Tags:
Pet Shop Boys
Minipops

 
This is so wrong on so many levels that it’s positively right…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The gentle VHS madness of Robert Ashley’s Perfect Lives

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Electronic and text-sound music pioneer Robert Ashley‘s video opera (developed over a period of time from the mid 70’s to the early 80’s) is, in retrospect, the kind of VHS artifact you might find deconstructed at Everything is Terrible or parodied on Tim & Eric. Only thing is, this piece comes pre-deconstructed ! it’s already one of the most fragmented and inscrutable pieces of “TV” you’re ever likely to stumble upon. Following the narrative is an experience akin to being stuck inside Ashley’s mind for a long stretch. That he also happens to suffer from a mild form of Tourette’s only serves to make that mind a very interesting place.

 
More info about Private Lives
 
Get Robert Ashley’s Private Lives on DVD

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
Peter Murphy shills for Maxell cassette tapes
07.14.2010
10:07 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Bauhaus
Peter Murphy
cassettes
Maxell

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Here’s a classic British TV commercial from the ‘80s starring Peter Murphy from Bauhaus. You can read on the Internet that he was on the label, seen above, and in the print ads, too, but was that really Peter Murphy, too? I think it’s someone else.

Peter Murphy’s birthday was July 11. He’s 53 now and still looks like this. I guess drinking the blood of vestal virgins keeps you young, eh?
 

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Be a true pal, give ‘em an evil fortune cookie
07.14.2010
09:35 am

Topics:
Amusing
Food

Tags:
pranks
Evil fortune cookie

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A perfect “gift” for the narcissistic buddy in your life:

You’ve stuffed yourself full of noodles and wontons and spicy bits of fried chicken. Oh, and egg rolls and dumplings and those crunchy soft things that you’re not sure what they are, but dang are they good. And then the bill arrives - with fortune cookies. The fortune cookies serve to remind you how nice can be as you are parted with your money; a reminder of the delicious meal you just ate. Cracking the cookie, you read the fortune inside: “You will die alone and poorly dressed.” It’s at that moment, when you are stunned and your friends laugh at you, that you realize you’ve been slipped a Cookie Misfortune Evil Fortune Cookie.

Cookie Misfortune Evil Fortune Cookie
 
(via Nerdcore)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
The Frogs - Kurt Cobain’s Favorite Band?
07.14.2010
12:36 am

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Tags:

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It’s Bastille Day, so let’s celebrate The Frogs!
 
Love them or loathe them, The Frogs, brothers Jimmy and Dennis Flemion, are undeniably one of the most outrageously tasteless bands in the annals of rock and roll. While no group will ever equal the exalted standard of rock depravity set by G.G. Allin, The Frogs have definitely earned a spot near the throne.
 
The Frogs count among their fans Eddie Vedder, Billy Corgan and the late Kurt Cobain, they are USDA grain fed rock and roll dadaists, improvising their songs and recording them on the fly in their home studio,utilizing genres as disparate as Appalachian ballads and glam rock to satirize pop culture and subvert sacred cows. They pissed off the Gay community with their hilariously insincere celebration of homo love, It’s Only Right And Natural (1988), which featured campfire singalongs like I Don’t Care If U Disrespect Me (Just So You Love Me) , Been A Month Since I Had A Man and Hot Cock Annie. And when The Frogs brought their record label, Homestead, the uber politically incorrect Racially Yours (2000), the label refused to release it even though the album had sure fire hits like Darkmeat 4 Sale and Two Blacks Don’t Make A White. These suckers were radio ready.
 
Actually, The Frogs did release an album that was radio friendly, the stunningly hip Marc Bolanesque Star Job, which contains two of the best rock songs of the past 15 years: I Only Play 4 Money and Weird On The Avenue.
 
I put together a crude little video (in keeping with The Frog aesthetic) featuring 4 tunes from my personal favorite Frogs album My Daughter The Broad (currently selling on Amazon for $133.00). I ‘m also sharing a video that was a big hit on Nirvana’s tour bus, a home movie that Jimmy and Dennis made titled Toy Porno. I hope you enjoy it and, if not, go fuck yourself. This is what we do late at night at Dangerous Dreams Minds.
 

 
Endless traveling on a tour bus can rupture…
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Peter Tscherkassky’s Cinematic Shock Treatment
07.13.2010
08:16 pm

Topics:
Art
Movies

Tags:
Outer Space
Peter Tscherkassky

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If you weren’t familiar with Peter Tscherkassky’s films and just happened to stumble into a theater screening one, you might mistakenly think you’ve discovered an old surrealist film by Bunuel or Cocteau - a lost sequel to An Andalusian Dog or Blood Of A Poet. But, you’d also have to presume that the film was being projected at the wrong speed, 96 frames per second. Tscherkassky’s reconstruction of existent films is the visual equivalent of a Brion Gysin cut-up, fragments of information that operate at the borderline between the conscious mind and dream.
 
Tscherkassky, an Austrian avant-gardist, manipulates found footage, which he edits using a moviola rather than computers. In the short film Outer Space, Tscherkassky deconstructs Sidney J. Furie’s The Entity, a cheesy knock-off of Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist, and re-constructs it as a feverish, psychotic, mindfuck.  Filmmaker Guy Madden describes Outer Space thusly:

“shards of frightened eyes, trembling hands, and violent outbursts of self-defense, presented in multiple exposures too layered to count, too arresting to ignore. Each frame is further entangled with details revealed by a jittery effect (a primitive traveling matte?) which spills fluttering ectoplasmic lightpools from one cubist aspect of the woman to another. The filmmaker mimics the action of nightmares by condensing the original imagery of the feature and displacing it into a new narrative—as in dreams, a narrative not explicitly linked to actual events, but emotionally more true than any rational explanation. Tscherkassky’s shorts are actually considerably more terrifying than the original material.”

 

 
Note to B-movie fans: Barbara Hershey plays the woman under assault.
Outer Space is the second film in Tscherkassky’s Cinemascope trilogy.
 
Turn out the lights and watch.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
The creativity crisis in American children

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When I was a kid in the 1970s, I took the Torrance test three times, so I am well-acquainted with what it is and probably many of you reading this are as well. The idea that Torrance test scores, which measure ingenuity, problem solving and creativity, have fallen, dramatically, has very poor implications for the planet. Are we raising a generation of spectators with short attention spans, more interested in downloading Internet porn and playing video games than the arts and sciences? There’s been a lot of discussion in the culture of late, about older folks having a dim view of the “entitled” or “bratty” attitude of many of today’s twenty-somethings. Whether you buy into that or not (I can’t decide personally if this is an accurate perception/legitimate observation, but anecdotally speaking… well, maybe it is) this seems to indicate that a trend towards something not altogether positive might be accelerating, and that an evolutionary epigenetic change might be in the works. Not a good one.

High IQ parents, it’s up to you!

Like intelligence tests, Torrance’s test—a 90-minute series of discrete tasks, administered by a psychologist—has been taken by millions worldwide in 50 languages. Yet there is one crucial difference between IQ and CQ scores. With intelligence, there is a phenomenon called the Flynn effect—each generation, scores go up about 10 points. Enriched environments are making kids smarter. With creativity, a reverse trend has just been identified and is being reported for the first time here: American creativity scores are falling.

Kyung Hee Kim at the College of William & Mary discovered this in May, after analyzing almost 300,000 Torrance scores of children and adults. Kim found creativity scores had been steadily rising, just like IQ scores, until 1990. Since then, creativity scores have consistently inched downward. “It’s very clear, and the decrease is very significant,” Kim says. It is the scores of younger children in America—from kindergarten through sixth grade—for whom the decline is “most serious.”

The potential consequences are sweeping. The necessity of human ingenuity is undisputed. A recent IBM poll of 1,500 CEOs identified creativity as the No. 1 “leadership competency” of the future. Yet it’s not just about sustaining our nation’s economic growth. All around us are matters of national and international importance that are crying out for creative solutions, from saving the Gulf of Mexico to bringing peace to Afghanistan to delivering health care. Such solutions emerge from a healthy marketplace of ideas, sustained by a populace constantly contributing original ideas and receptive to the ideas of others.

It’s too early to determine conclusively why U.S. creativity scores are declining. One likely culprit is the number of hours kids now spend in front of the TV and playing videogames rather than engaging in creative activities. Another is the lack of creativity development in our schools. In effect, it’s left to the luck of the draw who becomes creative: there’s no concerted effort to nurture the creativity of all children.

Read the entire article:
The Creativity Crisis: For the first time, research shows that American creativity is declining. What went wrong—and how we can fix it. (Newsweek)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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