Fly on the wall footage of the world’s greatest rock and rock band rehearsing in Montreux on May 21st, 1972, prior to their world tour of that year.
More after the jump…
Fly on the wall footage of the world’s greatest rock and rock band rehearsing in Montreux on May 21st, 1972, prior to their world tour of that year.
More after the jump…
Oh that this were true…
Utah-based maverick filmmaker Trent Harris, who we recently covered on Dangerous Minds when we posted about his cult film The Beaver Trilogy, shot this forthright interview with psychedelic guru Timothy Leary in 1978, still railing against the powers that be even after his time spent in federal prison.
Happy Birthday John Coltrane, musician, composer, innovator, artist and space traveler, who rocketed “off the surface of the earth towards more specialized, little explored, and potentially dangerous atmospheres”.
Born today in 1926, Coltrane has been described as “the last great figure in the evolution of jazz”, who opened jazz up into a language of possibilities. He progressed from Be-Bop to Hard Bop to Free Style, and brought a spiritual sense to his music the culminated in his genius work Love Supreme.
Coltrane didn’t question his innate talent or technical brilliance, he allowed it to develop organically, seeing himself as part of a larger creative community as he descibed in a letter to Don DeMichael, in 1962:
The “jazz” musician (you can have this term along with others that have been foisted on us) does not have to worry about a lack of positive or affirmative philosophy. It’s built in us. The phrasing, the sound of the music attests this fact. We are naturally endowed with it. You can believe all of us would have perished long ago if it had not been so. As to community, the whole face of the globe is our community. You see, it is really easy for us to create. We are born with this feeling that just comes out no matter what conditions exist.
Truth is indestructible. It seems history shows (and it’s the same today) that the innovator is more often than not met with some degree of condemnation.; usually according to the degree of departure from the prevailing modes of expression or what have you. Change is always hard to accept. We also see these innovators always seek to revitalize, extend and reconstruct the status quo in their given fields, whatever is needed. Quite often they are rejects, outcasts, sub-citizens etc. of the very societies to which they bring so much sustenance. Often they are people who endure great personal tragedy in their lives. Whatever the case, whether accepted or rejected, rich or poor, they are forever guided by that great eternal constant - the creative urge.
Here’s Coltrane playing “My Favorite Things” - the crossover track that broke free of Be Bop, brought him a mainstream audience, and demonstrated complex harmonies and repetitions into “a hypnotic eastern dervish dance”.
Police in the Buffalo area are weighing whether or not to file criminal charges against the students who allegedly bullied 14-year-old gay teen Jamey Rodemeyer into killing himself. I hope they do. I think this story, as sad as it is, has a chance to educate conservative people who were on the fence about how to deal with gay bullying. There is a chance that some minds can be changed here.
The thing is, of course—despite what Michel Bachmann and her cronies might think—there should be a zero tolerance policy in the schools where this sort of behavior is concerned by the administration and teachers, but you can also point the finger at the students who knew this was going on and didn’t put social pressure on the bullies to stop what they were doing. Had a few of his classmates stood up to the jerks, or had they been ostracized for their behavior, Jamey might be alive today. It might have actually gotten better for him. I’m sure it would have, but he never got a chance to find out…
I can’t imagine what his pain felt like. I can’t even go there…
Police have opened a criminal investigation in the suicide death of Buffalo, N.Y., 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer, who was bullied online with gay slurs for more than a year.
The teen’s parents, friends and even Lady Gaga, who was his idol, have expressed outrage about what they say was relentless torment on social networking websites.
The Amherst Police Department’s Special Victims Unit has said it will determine whether to charge some students with harassment, cyber-harassment or hate crimes. Police said three students in particular might have been involved. Jamey was a student at Heim Middle School.
Jamey had just started his freshman year at Williamsville North High School. (Both Amherst and Williamsville are just outside Buffalo.) But the bullying had begun during middle school, according to his parents. He had told family and friends that he had endured hateful comments in school and online, mostly related to his sexual orientation.
Jamey was found dead outside his home Sunday morning, but Amherst police would not release any details on how he killed himself.
Below, Diane Sawyer on ABC News, discusses the tragic death of young Jamey Rodemeyer:
More terrific footage of early Soft Machine. Robert Wyatt on drums and vocals, Kevin Ayers on bass and Mike Ratledge on organ. Killer, brutal take on “We Know What You Mean.”
For a band that were never that commercially successful, there certainly was a great deal of visual documentation of the group made throughout their existence and various incarnations. Not that I am complaining!
There is a bootleg DVD called Dada Was Here that I highly recommend looking out for on the various torrent trackers if you’re a Soft Machine fan. It’s the best anthology of their early performances as you are ever likely to find.
Previously on Dangerous Minds
Mind-blowing Early Soft Machine footage, 1968
“I command you to come back to life in the name of Jesus!”
Creepy Pentecostal kids minister Becky Fischer, as seen in the documentary Jesus Camp, was somehow allowed into the Republic of Singapore recently where she offered her “special” Christianist skull-fucking to a group of defenseless children. Seen here, Fischer teaches children how to raise the dead!
Fischer, whose ministry has been described as fundamentalist “brain washing” or “child abuse” by many people, believes in speaking in tongues, exorcism, battling everyday “demons” and THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. She’s a brainless bigot who should not be allowed near children. Imagine what the parents of these kids must’ve thought seeing this video after the fact… Oddly, after all the mockery, abuse and criticism aimed at Fischer after Jesus Camp, these videos were posted on her own YouTube channel. You’d think she’d be more circumspect about how she shares “the good word.”
This is all kinds of wrong. You really have to see it to believe it. At around 6 minutes in this Christian, uh, liar, basically, tells the children that she knows kids who have prayed dead pets back to life.
Dangerous Minds is once again covering the action at Fantastic Fest, the best damn movie festival in the known universe.
The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) had its world premiere tonight at Austin’s Fantastic Fest and director Tom Six was there to take questions at the end of the screening. I filmed the Q&A and you can watch it below. But first I’ll share my thoughts on the film.
I have not seen The Human Centipede (First Sequence) which was released in 2009 to mostly scathing reviews and howls of disapproval from cultural watchdogs all over the globe. Roger Ebert called it “depraved and disgusting. (It) occupies a world where the stars don’t shine.” Both the original and the sequel have been banned in England.
The new film is certainly graphic in more ways than you can imagine, however I think the outcry has less to do with violence than the fact that people simply cannot handle anything that subverts all notions of order in an increasingly disorderly world.
Since the first film got a shitload of press, most of you probably know what it’s about, but for those who don’t, here’s how the film’s distributor, IFC, describes The Human Centipede (First Sequence):
During a stopover in Germany in the middle of a carefree roadtrip through Europe, two American girls find themselves alone at night when their car breaks down in the woods. Searching for help at a nearby villa, they are wooed into the clutches of a deranged retired surgeon who explains his mad scientific vision to his captives’ utter horror. They are to be the subjects of his sick lifetime fantasy: to be the first to connect people, one to the next, via their gastric system, and in doing so bring to life ‘the human centipede’.
The sequel has a pretty nifty premise: A demented and delusional fan of The Human Centipede named Martin perceives the film as an instruction video and sets out on a mission to create his very own multi-legged monstrosity made out of hapless victims he lures to a warehouse under the pretext of conducting a casting call for the next Quentin Tarantino movie. Played with maniacal abandon by Laurence R. Harvey, who resembles a pudgy and bleached Peter Lorre, Martin performs all kinds of primitive surgery on his captives to create his centipedal masterpiece. This includes the removal of kneecaps, teeth, tongues and employing a staple gun and duct tape to attach mouth to ass to mouth to ass. You get the idea. It’s a particularly messy affair because, unlike the original mad doctor in First Sequence, Martin has no skills as a surgeon. His tools consist mostly of kitchen utensils and stuff you’d find in a tool box. The results resemble an explosion in a butcher shop.
Now I know for most of you this all sounds kind of tired. Torture porn is so 2005. But there’s something more going on in Six’s mad brain. First of all, the film is shot in stunning high definition black and white video by David Meadows. It has the stark glistening dankness of George Franju’s 1949 masterpiece Le Sang des bêtes which was filmed in a slaughterhouse. The scenes where Martin is at home with his deranged mother are clearly inspired by David Lynch’s Eraserhead, both in psychological tone and visually. Six is very skilled at controlling atmosphere and using camera angles to create a sense of disorientation and dread. The perspective is often from the point of view of something hovering in the corner of a ceiling like a ghost.
As to the film’s extreme transgressions, I may be going out on a limb here, but I think Six is up to something that is consciously political, a culture bomb dropped in the popcorn with the intent to detonate in the lap of the the status quo, to fuck with peoples’ heads, to dislodge the repressed from the dead formulas that no longer equate with freedom of thought and expression. The sight, in Centipede, of a throng of naked bodies lashed together, covered in blood and shit, and writhing on a grimy warehouse floor brought to mind films and images from the 1960s and 70s of the Vienna Actionists who were using violence to comment upon and mirror the carnage in Vietnam and sex and nudity as a tool to pry open those repressed areas of humanity’s collective psyche that keeps us domesticated like neutered poodles. I get the sense that Six’s provocations may actually be, like the Actionists, a deliberate attack on the new puritanism that is restraining our freedoms with the rusted chastity belt of religion and the uptight, politically correct, social standards that keep us civilized but miserable.
I also wonder if Six might not be using the torture porn genre to let us not forget, particularly Americans, that we do indeed torture people. There are moments in Centipede 2 where one is reminded of photos taken at Abu Ghraib. The piles of bodies, duct-taped mouths and hands bound by barbed wire.
On the other hand, maybe Six is just an exploitation film maker with a good measure of skill and no agenda beyond titillating a bunch of mouth-breathing teenagers. If so, he may have accidentally made an art film.
As an entertainment Centipede is about as much fun as diving into a tub of razorblades. Although I did find myself laughing out loud at certain scenes, most likely causing the people around me to question my sanity, the movie is not the kind of comedy that most so-called well-adjusted people will enjoy (which is probably the point). It’s too sick. As a horror flick , the plot has the slimmest of narratives is devoid of tension and not even remotely frightening. And it’s unimaginable as a date movie unless you’re dating Casey Anthony.
Ultimately, The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) is not a very good movie movie, but as pure cinema it is a force to be reckoned with. It will probably be shunned by a majority of film goers, disappear, and be resuscitated years from now as some kind of transgressive masterpiece. Or maybe not. The one thing I know for sure is that people are going to hate it. Which may be exactly what Tom Six is aiming for.
The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) opens October 7 in select theaters in the USA. If you live in England, forget about it.
The New York Times reports:
When it, The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) , was presented over the summer to the British Board of Film Classification, the equivalent of the Motion Picture Association of America, the board refused to give it any rating at all, meaning that the movie cannot be shown or sold legally in that country. Explaining its decision, the board said: “There is little attempt to portray any of the victims in the film as anything other than objects to be brutalized, degraded and mutilated for the amusement and arousal of the central character, as well as for the pleasure of the audience.” It added that any further editing of the film would not make it acceptable for presentation.
Tom Six and cast members interviewed by Fantastic Fest founder Tim League and members of the audience:
I’ve practically been an evangelist for Snuff Box for these past five years, so I’m happy to report that at long last one of the decade’s hidden comedic gems will finally be coming out on DVD stateside. Snuff Box will be released in the US by Severin Films on October 11th.
What is Snuff Box? It’s the legendary BBC series written by and starring Britain’s Matt Berry (The IT Crowd, Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place) and American Rich Fulcher (The Mighty Boosh, The Sarah Silverman Program) that only aired once yet instantly entered cult infamy. It’s a combination of depraved sitcom about a pair of jovial hangmen and twisted sketch comedy ala Monty Python, filled with bad first dates, time travel, sex, whiskey, awkward moments, random beatings, snappy musical numbers, one very long white hall, rampant swearing and other pleasures. It’s the show critics have called “one the best kept secrets in the history of British comedy,” now on DVD for the first time ever in America!
Featuring commentaries from Berry, Fulcher and director Michael Cumming, “testimonials” from well-known fans of the show, behind the scenes featurettes and outtakes. There’s even a separate CD of Matt Berry’s striking original Snuff Box soundtrack music, a treat in itself.
Have a look at the new trailer featuring Simon Pegg, Paul Rudd, Noel Fielding, Rob Coddry, Rob Schrab, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Paul Scheer and yours truly. What Paul Scheer says at the end is, of course, totally true…
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Snuff Box: The Best Sketch Comedy Show You’ve Never Heard Of
Those lucky enough to grow-up in Blighty during the 1970s will remember the joys of The Kenny Everett Show (aka The Kenny Everett Video Show), with its mix of anarchic comedy, essential music, and heavily suggestive dancing from those naughty bods, Hot Gossip. The show was a must for those of a punk sensibility, who were bored with Top of the Pops and its hideous preference for anodyne, day-time television music from The Nolans, 5000 Volts and Paper Lace.
Everett’s show was outrageous, unpredictable and guaranteed to delight. A comedy genius and a brilliant radio DJ, Everett started on Pirate Radio before being chosen by The Beatles to cover their US tour. He joined the newly formed Radio 1 in 1967 and became famous for his incredible radio shows, where he multi-tracked himself in sketches and songs, creating his own distinct and unforgettable comedy.
In the 1970s, Everett helped launch Queen’s career by pushing for the release of “Bohemian Rhapsody” when he played a demo of the song 14 times on one program. Indeed he had a very close friendship with Freddie Mercury, until they fell out over cocaine. Everett, as radio pal Paul Gambaccini once said, lived an interesting life with his drugs, bondage, 2 husbands, classical music and hoovering. But it was his unforgettable TV show which I will certainly always be grateful.
One of his most memorable guests was David Bowie. Here the Thin White Duke performs “Boys Keep Swinging” and “Space Oddity”. Now how fab is that?
“Boys Keep Swinging” from The Kenny Everett Show 1979
“Space Oddity” from The Kenny Everett Show 1980
With thanks to Alan Shields
Courtesy of Dangerous Minds reader “Tiny Penguins” who left this in the comments, some utterly fucking phenomenal footage of King Crimson from 1974 (and in stunning quality, too).
The line up here is Robert Fripp, John Wetton, David Cross, and Bill Brufford. Setlist: “Larks’ Tongues in Aspic Pt II,” “The Night Watch,” “Lament” and “Starless.” If you’re a Crimson fan, and you’ve not seen this before, then Christmas just came early this year.