Saul Bass’s Phase lV is an underrated sci-fi film that has in recent years started to gain a richly deserved cult following. It was released on DVD in 2008 and has subsequently been discovered by fans of cinematic psychedelia. There are segments of Phase lV that are genuinely trippy and have influenced latter day head films like the newly released Beyond The Black Rainbow. Considered by some to be the greatest movie about killer insects ever made (a small but pesky genre), I would add that it is one of the most beautifully photographed films, of any genre, ever made.
Bass is famous for his iconic credit sequences in many of Hitchcock’s films, among others, and for his striking movie posters. Phase lV was his one and only directorial effort and died a quick death at the box office in 1974. But it is a film that, despite some amateurish elements, has a significant wow factor. Ken Middleham’s (The Hellstrom Chronicle) cinematography is absolutely stunning and there are moments in the film that are truly visionary.
Here’s Phase lV in its entirety. I suggest to fully appreciate the film, you pick up the DVD. There are new copies selling for less than $5.
If you’re in the L.A. area, you should get your ass over to Cinefamily this Sunday (the 24th) to see a rare screening of a 35mm print of Phase lV. According to a reliable source, Cinefamily will have a surprise for the folks who attend the screening that will make the event an absolute must-see for film lovers and fans of Saul Bass. Trust me, it will be a historic night for movie freaks.
Muhammad Ali is a riveting storyteller and has undeniable presence in this entertaining, gutsy and inspiring interview conducted for Irish TV on July 1972. Interviewer RTÉ’s Cathal O’Shannon does a fine job of navigating the enormous personality of Ali and much of what the boxer has to say is painfully true and often way ahead of its time.
The interview took place while Ali was in Dublin to fight Al “Blue” Lewis 16 months after suffering his first defeat at the hands of Joe Frazier.
“If you hunt or just like shooting guns, the 2nd Amendment will always be a good thing. History also tells us it’s our last line of defense in the face of an out-of-control government. And killing fruits and vegetables is… what? Better watch the video to see…”
If you look at the number of views this numskull is getting for his YouTube channel, obviously it’s not even worth the effort to continue making them. Clearly Wurzelbacher is a man who knows how to waste time and effort for no payoff. The only way he can get any attention anymore is when he’s being especially stupid. That’s fucking pathetic.
Given the current Neanderthal state of the Republican party, it’s no surprise that the best candidate they can find to run against veteran Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur is a befuddled moron who doesn’t seem to know his ass from his elbow, let alone anything about history.
But Joe loves America! What more does America need to know about Joe, anyway? Joe is one of us!
“One of us! One of us! One of us! One of us! One of us! One of us! One of us! One of us! One of us! One of us! One of us! One of us!”
Debbie Neon (Petra Jokisch) had a brief career as a German disco queen before settling into minor roles in films like Wolf Gremm’s stylish mess Kamikaze 1989, which stars Rainer Werner Fassbinder as a hard-living alcoholic cop perpetually clad in an ultra-groovy, sweat-stained, leopard-print suit. A new-wavish noir, Kamikaze 1989 will never be mistaken for a good movie but it does feature Ms. Neon and provided me with a hook to lure you into listening to her 1979 cover of Talking Head’s “Psycho Killer,” which as covers go ain’t all that bad.
As many DM readers know, Boing Boing’s Xeni Jardin, who is a very dear friend of mine and Tara’s, has recently been treated for breast cancer (and she is doing GREAT. Expect her to be back at Boing Boing fairly soon, I’d imagine).
I just got an email from her alerting me to this and I am absolutely speechless…
“Time becomes plastic. Your experience of time morphs… And when you come out of it, on the strong days right before the next scheduled infusion, all of that time compresses into blurry waves of noise.”
Time is defined by and within the human experience yet the dominance of ‘linear’ time prevails. We are inextricably linked with time, ‘Life’ is measured in time.
Depending on particular situations our experience of time can be elusive, appear stretched, accelerated, and on occasions all too specifically in synch with defined parameters. Audio recordings, film, Internet, and photography are some of the means by which we choose to mark ‘times’. Such documentary methods signify our need to externalise particular events and also to activate memories.
‘Bioschismic’ is created solely from audio and photographic documentation of Xeni’s time spent receiving chemotherapy. The repetitive drip drip rhythm of the toxic chemicals measured in precise doses over a specific period of time provide the prospect of extending (life) time. Time is the dominant force yet the effects of the drugs change the experience of time to a space that is other worldly - a different time zone - a schism within and for life itself.
—Cosey Fanni Tutti
‘Bioschism’ - inspired and made possible by Xeni Jardin.
This is THE.NICEST.THING.EVER.
So sweet. Such a moving gesture of solidarity from one of the hippest, coolest women on the planet to another.
Wow. Just wow.
(I should probably add that it’s a really great piece of music!)
Xeni and I interview Throbbing Gristle backstage in Los Angeles, for Boing Boing Video in 2009. A lot has changed since then.
Dazed Digital has an interesting back and forth between Atari Teenage Riot’s Alec Empire and “AnonyOps” from online hacktivist group Anonymous:
Alec Empire: What do you think about all these new laws that are being put in place around the globe right now? Sopa (the US Stop Online Piracy Act), Acta (the international Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) and all the variations of them in various countries? I was shocked that almost everyone I spoke to in the independent music industry welcomes those laws.
AnonyOps: The companies pushing for laws like Sopa and Acta are trying to protect their profits, but these laws aren’t really about protecting intellectual property. They’re about making sweeping laws that give governments broad powers to take down anyone’s website and/or business.
New communications technologies have always been a threat to people and institutions in power; they have responded with repression and restriction. It took 100 years for kings to clamp down on the printing press, and 30 years from the invention of radio to the creation of the Federal Communications Commission at the behest of the US Navy and commercial broadcasters. We forget how young the internet is – most of us have only had access for 15 years. We believe that because it’s always been open, it always will be.
We’re losing our ability to communicate, and all the while governments are attempting policy laundering. They recycle the same tired, unpopular bills and this happens because corporations are only too happy to fill the pockets of politicians. Acta, for example, has been characterised by an astounding lack of transparency, negotiated in secret while excluding civil society and non-government organisations. For many years, we only knew what was in the Acta text because of WikiLeaks.
In short, this shit is bad news. We need a new paradigm in politics. One where we demand transparency, and when we find that backroom deals are done, we kick them out on their asses. We need public will in our favour for this to happen.
Alec Empire: I thought of pirate radio in the UK in the early 90s. I had my first record deal back then and we recorded in London. At night we would listen to pirate radio – yes, that was before it was easy to stream music via the Internet. Huge raves were happening in the country at the time and because the major record labels weren’t a part of that the official radio stations weren’t, even though so many kids were listening to this music. Most of the records DJs played were distributed on white labels, and there was a lot of ‘copyright violation’ because sampling technology offered so many news ways to manipulate sounds, beats, voices, basically everything. Another reason why most radio stations could or wouldn’t play it. Most producers of those records stayed in fact anonymous.
Two decades later, nobody can deny that those times were key to what followed. Pop music wouldn’t be where it is today without that huge influence of early rave and electronic music. So the enemy of the major record labels back then became their life saviour. Because the majors had to adapt. What I am trying to get at here is that isn’t it true that when the time has come for an idea that will bring change, nobody can stop that? Not even a country’s army?