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John Carpenter: The Man and His Movies

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This is great wee documentary on one of cinema’s finest directors, John Carpenter: Fear Is Just the Beginning…The Man and His Movies, which examines the great man’s work over 4 decades.

Carpenter is an auteur in the style of Hitchcock, Hawks, Walsh and Fuller, who has managed to maintain his independence and singularity of vision against the fickleness of box office audiences and public taste. He also has a tremendous grasp of film history, which he references in his work: from Donald Pleasance’s doctor in Halloween taking the name of Samuel Loomis from Hitchcock’s Psycho, to re-interpreting Howard Hawks’ Rio Bravo via George A Romero’s Night of the Living Dead in the classic Assault on Precinct 13.

John Carpenter: Fear Is Just the Beginning…The Man and His Movies interviews the maverick director and has contributions from Jamie Lee Curtis, Kurt Russell, Adrienne Barbeau, Debra Hill, and includes a look at the making of such favorites as Escape From New York, The Thing and The Fog.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Dam Funk: King Of The Boogie
06.04.2011
05:36 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
funk
Soundcloud
synth
mix
dj
Dam Funk
LA
boogie


 
It’s a Saturday night and I’m feelin’ alright… and this excellent dj mix is just too damn good not to share!

“Boogie” is an often overlooked subset of disco and funk. It peaked in the early 80s when many of the acts from the disco era looked for a new dancefloor style, swapped their guitars for synthesizers and modified their syncopation to suit the popular roller disco phenomenon. Though relatively short lived and with no major artists representing the style in the mainstream (outside of funk-pop acts like Cameo or the more P-Funk-y Zapp) it managed to be hugely influential. It reared its head again for a while in the 90s when many of the original records found themselves being sampled in hip-hop and in particular g-funk, courtesy of producers like Dr Dre. It’s a very West Coast sound, and when it comes down to it nobody knows boogie quite like Dam Funk.
 
Dam Funk - “Hood Pass Intact”
 

 
This native Los Angelino’s name should be familiar to music cognoscenti, as he has released a string of records to much critical acclaim on San Francisco’s Stones Throw label, including the mammoth 2009 5-LP set Toeachizown. A man with a strong fetish for original FM and analog synths, his sound is definitely heavily influenced by early 80s funk and disco and 90s hip-hop, while maintaining a singular sound and atmosphere.

But Dam Funk is not just a talented producer, he is also an excellent DJ, as this awesome set proves. Although he hosts a weekly funk shindig in Los Angeles called Funkmosphere, this recording is taken from the first birthday party of the London night Deviation, and uploaded to Soundcloud by the BBC Radio 1 DJ Benji B. Dam is what is known as a “personality DJ” who is not afraid to get on the mic, give shout outs to the audience, and tell us the names of the tunes he is playing. And damn are those tunes hot - I just keep playing this mix over and over, it’s that good.. You can find more info on Dam Funk (including tour dates, merch and downloads) on the Stones Throw website. But for now just hit play, blaze, boogie and have a great Saturday night: 
 

 
 
Thanks to Kelvin Brown for the link.
 
Bonus!

The original video for Dam Funk’s DJ staple “Dangerzone” by Midnight Express (whose dancing zombies theme possibly pre-dates “Thriller”):
 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Revealed: The Mystery Woman who was ‘The Chinese Girl’

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Abhorred by art critics, but adored by the public The Chinese Girl (aka The Green Lady or The Blue Lady, depending on the quality of reproduction) has been a favorite painting of many a suburban household over the past fifty years. Painted by Vladimir Tretchikoff in 1950, the picture became one of the world’s biggest selling prints in the 1960s, and its popularity has endured ever since. Part of the portrait’s great attraction has been the mystery over the identity of the painting’s model. Now, the girl who sat for Tretchikoff all those years ago has been revealed as Monika Sing-Lee. Tretchikoff met Sing-Lee in a laundry in South Africa, not in San Fransico, as he later claimed, as the Mail and Guardian reports:

“When I met Tretchi, I used to work at my uncle’s laundromat in Sea Point,” said Sing-Lee. “I was taking parcels, writing out invoices and the like. That was in 1951. I was in my late teens.

“We were introduced by a popular Russian dancer, Masha Arsenyeva. She used to teach young girls ballet and hired a studio close to the laundry. She was a regular customer.

“Tretchi and Masha were good friends. At the time, he also stayed in Sea Point. He rented a bachelor flat with his wife and daughter. He hadn’t got that posh house in Bishopscourt yet.

“One day Masha told me that Tretchikoff was always looking for models to paint. He visited her classes almost every day and sketched her pupils. Eventually, Masha said to him: ‘You never seem satisfied. Why don’t you go to Hen Lee laundry in Main Road? Look at that girl in the reception, come back and tell me what you think about her.’ That’s what he did.”

 
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He painted Sing-Lee for more than a month, twice a week. Every Saturday he picked her up in his yellow convertible. On the way to his studio in the Gardens the pretty, raven-haired girl sitting next to the elegant 37-year-old man turned heads. The embarrassed Sing-Lee wished she could sink down in her seat to hide from view.

It was the time when Tretchikoff still ran an art school at his studio. While he worked, his students gathered around to watch him. When Sing-Lee sat for Tretchikoff, he put her on a little raised stage so that the pupils—15 or 20 men and women—could paint her as well.

“He treated me so nice. I nearly fell in love with him. Tretchikoff was very jovial, always cracked jokes and made everybody laugh. One night, when I was sitting, we all burst into hysterical laughter. I don’t remember what started it. Probably one of his jokes. His assistant Jean went red with laughter. We couldn’t stop. My goodness, it was funny.”

Tretchikoff did two paintings of Sing-Lee, each of them called Chinese Girl. In both portraits the woman is dressed in a Chinese tunic. In the famous painting it is golden and in the lesser-known one blue.

“The true colour of the beautiful top that I wore for the sessions was blue and pink,” said Sing-Lee.

“He made up the yellow. It was a delicate silk gown that he had brought from China.”

She also believed that the lower part of the figure, from below the neck, was done with a different model. “I never had such broad shoulders. The chest is also not mine. They look more like Jean Campbell’s [Tretchikoff’s assistant and later a painter in her own right]. I suppose he first painted my face and then may have coupled it with the upper part of her body.”

In any case, Sing-Lee didn’t see the final result then. Tretchikoff refused to show her the work while she was sitting. His pupils could watch the progress but not the model. She respected that and didn’t interfere. What was more, he didn’t even have titles for the two paintings at that stage.

“If I tell you how much he paid me, you won’t believe me. I sat for six weeks. He squeezed in a second painting. For that, I got £6.50, or just over R20 at the time. ‘Here, Monika, there’s a nice cheque for you.’ But all in all, he was a very nice man. I have no grudge against him.”

She finally got a chance to take a look at the paintings a few months later when she visited Tretchikoff’s show at Stuttafords in Adderley Street. He preferred to exhibit at department stores rather than at more conventional venues. His public hardly ever went to art galleries.

“When I approached him, he said to me happily, ‘Ah, Monika, I’m displaying two of your paintings!’ I said: ‘Oh. So what did you title them?’ And he replied: ‘Chinese Girl.’

“What a disappointment. I thought it would be something more imaginative. Anyway, I felt honoured that he had two of my portraits on display. Usually, he’d have one work per model.”

Soon after the exhibition, Sing-Lee married and moved to Johannesburg with her husband. She and Tretchikoff lost touch and she never posed for another artist. A mother of five, she had no time for “such folly” any more.

The Daily Mail also reports on the story, explaining how Sing-Lee didn’t like the painting:

‘To be honest, I didn’t like that green face,’ she said. ‘I thought it made me look ill.’

Sing-Lee married a commercial traveller Pon Su-Suan, with whom she had 5 children. They separated forty years ago, and while Tretchikoff became exceedingly rich from the painting, Sing-Lee spent much of her life in poverty, working in a fish-and-chip shop and as a seamstress.

Read more here and here.
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Rolling Stones promo clips for Music Scene TV show (1969)


 
Amazing and hilarious, especially the clip with the mother and child. Here are The Rolling Stones at their satanic peak doing promo clips for the 1969 ABC-TV show Music Scene. Wikipedia had this to say about this odd phenomenon:

Existing promos initially used to sell this show to ABC affiliates featured the improvisational group The Committee, which featured actor Howard Hesseman (then using the name Don Sturdy), as well as the Rolling Stones. The promos implied that the Stones would be appearing with some regularity on the program. However by the time The Music Scene went on the air, the Committee was nowhere to be seen and the Stones never appeared on the show.

 

 
This of course sent me scurrying about finding clips from the actual show. Richard previously posted this one of Sly and the Family Stone. Here are a few other great ones for your weekend viewing pleasure:
 
Three Dog Night doing Laura Nyro’s “Eli’s Coming.” Heavy Hollywood/ Satanic/ pre-Manson/ Rosemary’s Baby vibe going on here.

 
CSN&Y kicking out a potent “Down By The River.”

 
More clips after the jump…

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
Sam Fuller auditions for ‘The Godfather II’ with Al Pacino

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A moment of cinema history - legendary film director Sam Fuller auditions for the role of Hyman Roth in The Godfather Part II. He reads alongside Al Pacino, as Michael Corleone, and the pair are superb together. The part eventually went to Lee Strasberg (who was nominated for an Oscar for his interpretation), but Fuller’s Roth has more genuine menace, and a surprising warmth, which Strasberg’s depiction lacked. You sense Fuller’s Roth could stab you as much as smile at you, and Pacino’s Corleone seems genuinely awed.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Director cameos in their own and others’ films


 
With thanks to Christa Fuller
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Twin friars expire on same day
06.03.2011
11:53 pm

Topics:
Belief
Current Events

Tags:
Dead monks


 
Twincronicity.

The Buffalo News reports:

From the moment of their birth in Buffalo 92 years ago, twin brothers Julian and Adrian Riester rarely left each other’s side.

They played together, went to school together, as young men traveled cross-country together—and, in their 20s, joined the Franciscan order together.

And on Wednesday, after 65 years as identical twins wearing the identical brown robes of the Franciscans—mostly at St. Bonaventure University—Brother Julian Riester and Brother Adrian Riester died together at St. Anthony Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla. Julian died Wednesday morning, followed by Adrian in the evening.

Dead ringers.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Your weekend dose of Orange Sunshine


 
Here’s your weekend dose of psychedelia.

Visuals: loops from the Joshua Light Show, Mark Boyle and Joan Hills’ liquid lights for London’s UFO club, Jerry Abrams, Robert Breer and Derek Jarman.

Music: Country Joe and The Fish, Nico, Soft Machine, Docdail and Exitmusic. The Abrams clip says Blue Cheer, but it’s Country Joe in this mix.
 

 
Thanks to Gary for the UFO loop. Animated gif from Lysergioacid

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
The Dutch National Ballet in naked fat suits
06.03.2011
04:07 pm

Topics:
Art

Tags:
fat suits
Groosland
The Dutch National Ballet


 
Het Nationale Ballet (The Dutch National Ballet)  perform “Groosland” in “naked” fat suits. I’m assuming this is safe for work, right? Any way, this lovely ballet was choreographed by Maguy Marin. I betcha Bach would have loved it. I read somewhere that he was a chubby-chaser…

 

 
(via WOW Report)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
The Monkees FBI File
06.03.2011
04:07 pm

Topics:
History
Music

Tags:
The Monkees
FBI


Instamatic photo of The Monkees in June, 1966, taken by then 12-year-old Bruce Sallan

In April, the FBI released an amusing file on its website that was kept confidential for three decades regarding a 1967 Monkees concert which featured (according to the memo’s author) “subliminal” and “left wing” messages.

“This series, which as been quite successful, features four young men who dress as ‘beatnik types’ and is geared primarily to the teenage market.”

A lot of it is still redacted, but here is the pertinent description of the concert from the file:

“…that ‘The Monkees’ concert was using a device in the form of a screen set up behind the performers who played certain instruments and sang as a ‘combo’. During the concert, subliminal messages were depicted on the screen which, in the opinion of [redacted] constituted ‘left wing innovations of a political nature.’ These messages and pictures were flashes of riots in Berkeley, anti-U.S. messages on the war in Vietnam, racial riots in Selma, Alabama, and similar messages which had received unfavorable response from the audience.”

There is a second Monkees-related document that remains classified!
 

 
Below, “Daily Nightly,” thought to be the first use of the Moog synthesizer in a pop song. Micky Dolenz saw one demonstrated at the Monterey Pop Festival and was amongst the first people to own one.
 

Thank you Nate Cimmino!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Dating Do’s and Don’ts’ from 1949
06.03.2011
03:19 pm

Topics:
Amusing

Tags:
History
Film
Sex
Education
Teenage

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Dating Do’s and Don’ts is a classic educational film on dating etiquette from the 1940s, which looks rather like a series of Norman Rockwell paintings interpreted by David Lynch.

The film follows teenage-virgin-about-town, Woody, who after receiving an invite for “one couple” to the Hi Teen Carnival, has to decide through a series of multi-choice options, who ask out, how to ask them out, and finally, how to say goodnight. I flunked on all three questions, see if you can do better.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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