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‘Peyote Queen’: Storm De Hirsch, the woman who made movies without a camera
08.26.2014
08:14 am

Topics:
Animation
Art
Drugs
Movies

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Storm de Hirsch


 
Storm De Hirsch is one of those avant-garde goddesses without much name-recognition outside of underground film circles, but her influence and dynamism has always been lauded by peers. Jonas Mekas, for example (often referred to as the “godfather of American avant-garde cinema”), called her psychedelic classic, Peyote Queen, “among my favorites ... beauty and excitement.”

De Hirsch was actually a published poet before transitioning to film, and as such didn’t have ready access to a camera early on. Her first improvisational techniques were innovative manipulations of whatever film was just lying around at the time, making her as much a “sculptor” of celluloid as a filmmaker. The results of her experiments are now recognized as foundational films in avant-garde cinema. In an interview with Mekas, she spoke of her early work, like Peyote Queen, saying:

I wanted badly to make an animated short, but I had no camera available.  I did have some old, unused film stock and several rolls of 16mm sound tape. So I used that—plus a variety of discarded surgical instruments and the sharp edge of a screwdriver — by cutting, etching, and painting directly on both film and [sound] tape

 

 
De Hirsch continued making films into the 1970s, and though she eventually got ahold of a camera, it’s what she accomplished without one that most baldly represents her creative drive. She was dedicated to the work and its preservation, even hand repairing the raw film itself, (which one would assume was left very delicate after her initial artistic mangling). One of her former intern even remembers her hand-coloring the fading frames of Peyote Queen with magic marker in 1973, restoring the splashy, electric feel you see below.

 

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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‘Marlboro Boys’: Indonesia’s child smokers
08.25.2014
09:52 am

Topics:
Art
Drugs

Tags:
tobacco


 
Canadian documentary photographer Michelle Siu records “vulnerable people and disenfranchised cultures.” In the past that has meant the First Nations people of Lake St. Martin in Manitoba, who have been displaced from their land by flooding, or the destruction wrought upon the Philippines by Typhoon Haiyan. In her series, “Marlboro Boys,” the disaster is man-made.

With the fifth largest tobacco market in the world, Indonesia fosters a large portion of their economy on addiction, both at home and abroad. Liu’s portraiture of young boys smoking is both lovely and startling, but rather than presenting her work without comment for transnational rubbernecking, she contextualizes her subjects within the unique political conditions of the country. From her website:

Indonesia’s relationship with tobacco is complex. Cheap cigarettes, ubiquitous tobacco advertising, a powerful tobacco lobby, inadequate information about health risks and lack of enforcement of national health regulations helps fuel a national addiction.

67% of men in Indonesia smoke and they keep getting younger. In 1995, around 71,000 children aged 10 to 14 were smokers and in 2010 that figure increased to more than 426,000.

International efforts at quelling Indonesian tobacco usage have been completely fruitless. In 2003, The World Health Organization adopted the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control as their first ever internationally negotiated treaty. Of the 179 countries participating—representing almost 90 percent of the world population—Indonesia has yet to join.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Via Juxtapoz

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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The return of the ‘Drugstore Cowboy’
08.25.2014
08:26 am

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Drugs
Literature
Movies

Tags:
James Fogle
Drugstore Cowboy


 
Gus Van Sant’s 1989 film Drugstore Cowboy, based on author James Fogle’s autobiographical novel about his lifelong addictions, adventures, and crimes, was an unexpected cult success. However, it did not lead to the publication (authorized, anyway) of Fogle’s other works or more films. 25 years later there is a sequel in the works, Drugstore Cowboy (Backside of a Mirror), written by Drugstore Cowboy screenwriter Daniel Yost with input from Fogle during his last years.

“The original film is almost all Fogle (though, of course, beautifully directed, acted, and photographed), as it came from a novel he sent me with the story intact and lots of dialogue,” Yost says. “The sequel started with an idea that came to me when I woke up one morning and couldn’t resist. I wrote it, then asked Jim to send me a couple of things, one being the experience of going through withdrawal. On screen this will be harrowing, rivaling what Gene Hackman’s character went through in French Connection II.”

It was Yost who first introduced then-fledgling filmmaker Van Sant to Fogle’s work and he has been an ongoing champion for its publication and development ever since. Over the years Fogle sent Yost several novels and short stories, but prior to meeting Gus Van Sant Yost was unable to get Fogle’s short stories published anywhere, even after editing and tidying them up himself.

Fogle could have become a Burroughs-like anti-hero or even a triumphant artist like Jim Carroll in 1989 upon Drugstore Cowboy’s release. He certainly had the opportunity to makeover his existence and enjoy the rewards of minor celebrity. But despite multiple attempts at clean living, his self-destructive streak remained. Much to the frustration of his friends and family, Fogle became something of a folk hero in the Northwest, with multiple arrests for (of course) expertly robbing pharmacies, with the last two times occurring in Redmond, Washington and Seattle in 2010 and 2011. All of his stories and novels were written in prison, where he spent nearly fifty of his seventy-five years, and he found it impossible to write elsewhere. At the time of his death in prison in 2012 he had been writing another novelized autobiography.
 

            
In an email interview Daniel Yost recently answered a few questions for Dangerous Minds about his experiences working with James Fogle and his plans for Drugstore Cowboy (Backside of a Mirror).
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Kimberly J. Bright | Discussion
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This anti-drug PSA might actually encourage kids to take drugs
08.08.2014
11:55 am

Topics:
Amusing
Drugs

Tags:
PSA
MDMA
Molly


 
This—let’s face it, kinda hilarious—anti-drug PSA is supposed to discourage people from taking drugs (MDMA) at this year’s Labor Day weekend Electric Zoo (New York’s Electronic Music Festival).

In fact, the festival is planning to make “all concertgoers watch a short PSA before attending.”

Now I’ve watched this PSA several times and I don’t think it’s going to have any effect on anyone. At all. It may even encourage more of “pass me the Molly, please.” The guy is just full of love. I could see lots of folks wanting to feel exactly this way. Besides, he just wanted to touch the lady’s hair. I mean, she does have nice hair.

At the end it says “Don’t miss the moment.” Are they talking about this guy? He’s so in the fucking moment that it hurts.

 
via Village Voice

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Hunter S. Thompson’s typical daily intake of drink ‘n’ drugs
08.07.2014
07:58 am

Topics:
Books
Drugs
Literature

Tags:
Hunter S. Thompson

hstdrugdrinkpic.jpg
 
Hunter S. Thompson once said:

I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.

If E. Jean Carroll’s biography Hunter: The Strange and Savage Life of Hunter S. Thompson is to be believed, then drink and drugs certainly did work for HST. Carroll begins her memoir with a list of Hunter’s daily intake of drink and drugs:

I have heard the biographers of Harry S. Truman, Catherine the Great, etc., etc., say they would give anything if their subjects were alive so they could ask them some questions. I, on the other hand, would give anything if my subject were dead.

He should be. Oh, yes. Look at his daily routine:

3:00 p.m. rise

3:05 Chivas Regal with the morning papers, Dunhills

3:45 cocaine

3:50 another glass of Chivas, Dunhill

4:05 first cup of coffee, Dunhill

4:15 cocaine

4:16 orange juice, Dunhill

4:30 cocaine

4:54 cocaine

5:05 cocaine

5:11 coffee, Dunhills

5:30 more ice in the Chivas

5:45 cocaine, etc., etc.

6:00 grass to take the edge off the day

7:05 Woody Creek Tavern for lunch-Heineken, two margaritas, coleslaw, a taco salad, a double order of fried onion rings, carrot cake, ice cream, a bean fritter, Dunhills, another Heineken, cocaine, and for the ride home, a snow cone (a glass of shredded ice over which is poured three or four jig­gers of Chivas.)

9:00 starts snorting cocaine seriously

10:00 drops acid

11:00 Chartreuse, cocaine, grass

11:30 cocaine, etc, etc.

12:00 midnight, Hunter S. Thompson is ready to write

12:05-6:00 a.m. Chartreuse, cocaine, grass, Chivas, coffee, Heineken, clove cigarettes, grapefruit, Dunhills, orange juice, gin, continuous pornographic movies.

6:00 the hot tub-champagne, Dove Bars, fettuccine Alfredo

8:00 Halcyon

8:20 sleep

Impressive. But as Hunter also said:

Anything worth doing, is worth doing right.

And who can argue with that?

Below the 1978 Omnibus documentary on Hunter S. Thompson.
 

 
H/T Open Culture

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Gordon’s Gin makes Gilbert & George very, very drunk
08.04.2014
09:59 am

Topics:
Art
Drugs
Movies

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Gilbert and George
Gordon's Gin


 
Are Gilbert and George the Ralf und Florian of the visual arts world? As imperfect as that analogy may be, I’m sticking with it. In this 1972 short, titled Gordon’s Makes Us Drunk, Gilbert and George paid homage to their beloved gin & tonics. It conforms to a style one might call “high deadpan”: as sweeping music by Elgar and Grieg plays, the viewer is treated to a single static shot of G&G consuming several G&Ts in front of a stately window, presumably revealing a London thoroughfare; meanwhile the sentence “Gordon’s makes us drunk” is intoned many times (as time passes, the word “drunk” is modified by the word “very” and “very, very,” etc.—perhaps the number of times “very” is said correlates to the number of G&Ts they’ve consumed?).

In 1973, G&G published a multiple in an edition of 200 called “Reclining Drunk” that utilised melted down Gordon’s gin bottles. One of these will typically sell today for around $7000 at an art auction.
 

 
You have to admire the commitment to conceptual rigor here, not to mention to the glories of inebriation. (I love the touch of adding their names to the Gordon’s Gin label.) It might not exactly be as exciting as Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe, but I like it.
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Magic mushrooms inspired Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune’
07.25.2014
07:07 am

Topics:
Books
Drugs

Tags:
Dune
Frank Herbert
magic mushrooms

blueeyesdune.jpg
 
Anyone who has read Frank Herbert’s classic science fiction novel Dune will have pondered on the inspiration for the book’s fictional spice melange—supposedly the most valuable commodity in the universe. This naturally occurring drug can only be found on the planet Arrakis. The spice is much sought after as it can give users heightened awareness, longevity and the ability to see into the future. Melange is also the source of power for the Spacing Guild’s spacecrafts called “heighliners”—the drug allowing users to safely steer the heighliner during a “navigation trance.” It’s a useful drug. The downside? The spice leads to addiction, turning the users eyes a luminous blue. Withdrawal can be fatal.

At the time of publication in 1965, many thought Herbert was making reference to LSD—something director Alejandro Jodorowsky considered when he planned to film the book back in the 1970s, when he claimed his movie:

...would give the people who took LSD at that time the hallucinations that you get with that drug, but without hallucinating.

In fact, Herbert was making a reference to psychedelics in particular his own predilection for magic mushrooms, as Paul Stamets explains in his book Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World:

Frank Herbert, the well-known author of the Dune books, told me his technique for using spores. When I met him in the early 1980s, Frank enjoyed collecting mushrooms on his property near Port Townsend, Washington. An avid mushroom collector, he felt that throwing his less-than-perfct wild chanterelles into the garbage or compost didn’t make sense. Instead, he would put a few weathered chanterelles in a 5-gallon bucket of water, add some salt, and then, after 1 or 2 clavs, pour this spore-mass slurry on the ground at the base of newly planted firs. When he told me chanterelles were glowing from trees not even 10 years old, I couldn’t believe it. No one had previously reported chanterelles arising near such young trees, nor had anyone reported them growing as a result of using this method.” Of course, it did work for Frank, who was simply following nature’s lead.

Frank’s discovery has now been confirmed in the mushroom industry. It is now known that it’s possible to grow many mushrooms using spore slurries from elder mushrooms. Many variables come into play, but in a sense this method is just a variation of what happens when it rains. Water dilutes spores from mushrooms and carries them to new environments. Our responsibility is to make that path easier. Such is the way of nature.

Frank went on to tell me that much of the premise of Dune — the magic spice (spores) that allowed the bending of space (tripping), the giant worms (maggots digesting mushrooms), the eyes of the Freman (the cerulean blue of Psilocybe mushrooms), the mysticism of the female spiritual warriors, the Bene Gesserits (influenced by tales of Maria Sabina and the sacred mushroom cults of Mexico) — came from his perception of the fungal life cycle, and his imagination was stimulated through his experiences with the use of magic mushrooms.

You can find a PDF of the book here.

Meantime, here’s a rare clip of the sci-fi bard on television.
 

 
Via the Daily Grail

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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De Stijl-styled wine bottles inspired by ‘The Simpsons’
07.24.2014
07:44 am

Topics:
Art
Drugs
Television

Tags:
De Stijl
Piet Mondrian
wine


 
Russian designers Constantin Bolimond and Dmitry Patsukevich have created these awesome wine bottles depicting Marge and Homer Simpson in the style of Piet Mondrian—arguably the most recognizable artist of the De Stijl movement. However, the kitschy appeal of the bottles is part and parcel to the suspicious beverage inside, which is described as “wine, or maybe not?”

The drink was brought to life together with the cartoon characters in 1987. Maybe it is wine, maybe not. We are inviting you to find out yourselves. The contents have been kept secret for already 26 years now. While the ingredients remain the same, their proportions differ from time to time. That is why you will never get bored from this drink! We can assure you that you will not be left disappointed.

No information is given beyond that, but there’s a website given that both leads to nowhere and misspells Marge’s name (www.homer&mardge.com)—mysterious, huh?. Twenty bucks says this is just 26-year-old malt liquor in a cleverly wrapped bottle, but the appeal of the project is the novelty, not the “wine” within.

I’m not above a little gross booze, but I definitely drawn the line at “mystery booze,” Simpsons-themed or otherwise. Besides, wouldn’t beer be the proper beverage for a project like this? Then again, the secret-Simpsons booze is 13% alcohol, and you can’t argue with… efficiency.
 

 

 
Via Juxtapoz

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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Gorgeous psychedelic handbills and posters from Detroit’s Grande Ballroom, circa 1967-68


 
Simply stunning vintage handbills for Detroit’s historic live music venue The Grande Ballroom. The majority of these trippy handbills and postcards were designed by Gary Grimshaw (who died in January of this year) and Carl Lundgren. Historically significant, yes, but from a design perspective, these are just jaw-droppingly, face-melting goodness, aren’t they?


 

 

 

 

 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Smoking is ‘The Drag’ in this ultra-groovy 1966 anti-smoking PSA
07.17.2014
08:03 am

Topics:
Animation
Drugs

Tags:
smoking


 
God bless those Canadians and their national arts funding—even their public service programs are some of the loveliest little vignettes ever committed to animation. Take “The Drag,” an anti-smoking PSA from 1966. Sure, it’s a bit of a preachy cautionary tale of peer-pressure, but the swingin’ soundtrack and groovy animation makes for a great little cartoon. The animator, Carlo Marchiori is now a muralist, and you can see how he gravitated toward lush graphics early on.

Funnily enough, as a public service announcement, “The Drag” is actually a bit of a flop. Our nicotine-addicted protagonist (who refers to cigs as “the drug”) avoids lung cancer but instead blows himself up on account of a gas leak? Huh?

Got that kids? If you don’t wanna quit, just make sure you’ve got an electric stove!
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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