Donald Cammell with Anita Pallenberg on the set of “Performance.”
Though he only directed two films that are truly extraordinary, Donald Cammell will always hold a special place on my list of the all-time great cinematic mindfuckers.
Dangerous Minds readers will undoubtedly be familiar with the hugely influence Performance, but Cammell’s last film, the darkly witty and perverse Wild Side, deserves to find a wider audience. It was butchered by its original production company and released in a bastardized form that so depressed the already mentally fragile Cammell it sent him over the edge and he killed himself in 1996.
Wild Side was re-released in 2000 in a version that comes close to Cammell’s original cut. Cammell’s close friend editor Frank Mazzola managed to gather together the “lost” footage from Wild Side and reconstruct it in a form that approximates Cammell’s vision. It is available here as an import DVD. For some unfathomable reason the director’s cut has never been released in any form in the USA. I did manage to see it years ago at a Cammell film fest in NYC. It features one of Christopher Walkens’ best and most bizarre performances in a career of bizarre performances. Trust me when I tell you, you’ve never seen Walken at his weirdest until you’ve seen him in a kimono and a long black wig.
Wild Side is cut from the same dark cloth as David Lynch’s Blue Velvet. But I can’t stress enough the fact that the butchered version available on Amazon and elsewhere is worthless. Avoid it like a bad case of the clap.
Here’s a clip from Wild Side with Anne Heche, Steven Bauer and Walken to whet your appetite. “Off with the Calvins.”
Cammell got his professional start in the arts as a painter and photographer in the swinging London scene of the 1960s. He lived the life of a rock star, looked the part and was prone to the hedonistic excesses of the times as well. He worked with filmmaker Nic Roeg to create the greatest head movie of all time, Performance. Artistic recognition led to a series of disappointments in Hollywood and Cammell’s life quickly veered toward a sad end. His story is compelling and tragic and in this documentary his fascinating life unfolds like one of his movies.
Donald Sutherland is one of those rare actors who is not only wonderfully talented, but is gifted with a damn fine head of hair. It’s hard to think of any other actor who has made his follicles work so hard in every performance. I first became aware of this phenomenon, when in the mid-1970s Mr Sutherland opened the envelope at, I think it was, a BAFTA Award ceremony in London, where the tall, elegant Canadian, walked up to the podium and revealed a shaved hairline at odds with his long flowing locks. Sutherland was about to appear in the film Casanova, and remarked to audience’s gasps:
“When Fellini says get a haircut, you get a haircut.”
Though Sutherland started as a clean-cut co-star of Dr Terror’s House of Horrors (alongside Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee), and had appearances in The Saint and The Avengers (and even the voice of the computer in The Billion Dollar Brain), there was always this sense he was a geeky straight in a tight suit desperate to try some acid and, maybe if he liked it, wear beads and grow his hair long. Which is kind of what i thought when I saw him as Hawkeye Pierce in M*A*S*H and of course, most memorably as Sgt. Oddball in Kelly’s Heroes.
More from Donald Sutherland’s hair after the jump…
Jiving nicely with my feedback-obsessed episode of the Dangerous Minds Radio Hour today is this marvelous and engaging sound art/performance piece entitled Diptych by Michelle Temple & Aiwen Wang-Huddleston. There’s a lot to love here but mainly it’s the sense of fun that recalls the best of the Fluxus artists and especially that it doesn’t involved any laptops, iPads or iPhones. It’s a really nice vocabulary of sounds in that combination of materials as well.
With thanks to Dave Madden
The sheath of certain erotic death.
Kiss Kondoms are made from premium latex and meet all the highest international standards for testing and reliability. However, one look at these revolutionary rubbers and you’ll quickly see that using a KISS Kondom is the surest way to Rock and Roll All Nite long!”
This should be in some kind of sexist “hall of fame”! Honor House Products Corp. was responsible for Sea Monkeys, X-Ray Specs, Jet Rocket Space Ships, Polaris Nuclear Subs and apparently “stuffed” female heads… ugh.
In honor of this horrific vintage ad, here are The Animals performing “It’s My Life” with a stage set consisting of mounted female heads.
(via The J-Walk Blog)
Daniel Craig as the international symbol of machismo, James Bond, goes through a dramatic transformation to help send a message about the inequalities that exist between men and women.
Directed by Sam Taylor-Wood and scripted by Jane Goldman, the video Equals was created for the Equals partnership, a coalition of charities brought together by Annie Lennox to celebrate the centenary of International Women’s Day on March 8th.
“Together we’re stepping up the call for an equal world. And we want you to join us.”
The voice-over is Dame Judi Dench reprising her role as “M.”
For a minute there, I thought that someone must’ve hacked into The Washington Post’s website and hijacked George Will’s latest column, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich and the spotlight-chasing candidates of 2012.
Why do I say this? Because for once I actually agreed with something that George Will wrote. And if it wasn’t a hacker, does this mean that I woke up this morning in Bizarro World?
Let us not mince words. There are at most five plausible Republican presidents on the horizon - Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former Utah governor and departing ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, former Massachusetts governor Romney and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty.
So the Republican winnowing process is far advanced. But the nominee may emerge much diminished by involvement in a process cluttered with careless, delusional, egomaniacal, spotlight-chasing candidates to whom the sensible American majority would never entrust a lemonade stand, much less nuclear weapons.
He’s right. Mike Huckabee is a genial idiot & admitted Creationist. He’s got exactly zero chance of carrying a single blue state and probably well aware of this himself.
Newt Gingrich? Why waste even a second contemplating this loud-mouthed, oafish grifter’s chances at the Presidency? He’s impossible to take seriously
Sarah Palin? Next
Haley Barbour? Barbour could win a few Republican primaries in the South, but that’s about it. Think he could take a single blue state or much of anything above the Mason-Dixon Line? Haley Barbour against Obama? Child, please!
Tim Pawlenty doesn’t have an ounce of charisma, he inspires no one and he’s a horse’s ass to boot. I doubt he could win a primary anywhere outside of his own state, except for the presence of all the even shorter midgets who might join in the race. (You can picture Pawlenty doing the electoral math in his head: “These guys (and Palin) suck, but I suck less!”)
Jon Huntsman? Well, Huntsman’s not an idiot and he’d be by far the Republican most Democrats and independent voters sour on Obama could vote for without holding their noses. It should go without saying that this salient fact makes Huntsman a certified no-hoper! He’d never get through a GOP primary season. Not worth serious contemplation for this reason alone. What’s the point, then? There is none. Look for Huntsman to drop out first, unless he thinks he can pull a John Anderson.
Mitch Daniels? Daniels is very, very popular in his home-state and has a competent record for the most part. He received more votes for a re-election than any candidate ever in the state of Indiana. His national profile is still too low to be able to say much about him this early in the game (a plus). Regarding Mitt Romney, the teabaggers and evangelical Christians will never, ever warm to the guy. The more he tries to court them, the more unelectable he will become. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place.
So did George Will sell his townhouse in Bizarro World or what? When even he can’t deny the obvious when it’s this… obviously obvious it doesn’t speak well to the GOP’s chances of taking the White House in 2012. It will be interesting to watch how other establishment Republicans and conservatives react to the anticipated field of such tepid GOP presidential candidates.
This made it to my inbox today.
Approximately 26” x 22”
Designer Andrew Hartzell says, “Yes, this is real. And they’re very nice. I use one myself.”
The Wu-Tang Bath Mat is available for $20.00 over at Hartzilla.
Update: It appears the price is now $25.00.