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The Year of the Diamond Dogs: David Bowie TV commercial from 1974
09.19.2010
08:57 pm

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Found randomly on YouTube: An actual television advertisement for David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs album circa 1974. I wonder if this ever aired anywhere?
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘A Day In The Afterlife’: Philip K. Dick documentary, watch it now
09.19.2010
03:13 am

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A Day In The Afterlife: BBC documentary on Philip K. Dick in its entirety (57 minutes).

A Day in the Afterlife  focuses on the man himself, in all his crazy, drug-addled, paranoid glory. The mind behind some of my favorite books is fascinated by the constant bombardment of advertising, the effects of giant media conglomerates, and the overwhelming feeling that the world in which we live exists only in the glowing vacuum tubes of countless television sets. It is an ode to one of the most creative minds in science fiction, and another step in the crusade for a wider recognition of his accomplishments.” Ross Rosenberg

 

 

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Drinking wine with Henry Miller: a glimpse into the mind of one of life’s great provocateurs
09.18.2010
12:09 am

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Dinner With Henry is exactly what the title suggests. Over a plate of food and glass of wine, the 87 year old Buddha of Brooklyn enthusiastically riffs on his hero Blaise Cendrars, D.H. Lawrence, Rimbaud and the surrealists. Shot by Richard Young and John Chesko in 1979, this “lost’ documentary has recently surfaced and it’s a wonderful peek into the life of one literature’s great provocateurs.

Henry Miller, along with Charles Bukowski, Rimbaud and Richard Brautigan, inspired me to buy a typewriter and attempt the life of a writer. Oh, what I would have done to have had a glass of wine with the great man.

Brenda Venus, the last great love Miller’s life, wrote about the filming of this dinner in her 1986 book Dear, Dear Brenda: The Love Letters of Henry Miller;

Two filmmakers had requested to film Henry speaking freely about wine. When they arrived at Henry’s home, he was in “an ill temper” explains Venus, who guessed that he’d had a bad sleep. When dinner time arrived, Henry was asked to “speak frankly and spontaneously.”  At first, his comments seemed negatively focused on the meal. It’s unclear who prepared the meal, but Henry does not spare anyone’s feelings by calling it “pitiful” and refusing to eat certain things, or complaining about the order of courses. With some coaxing from Brenda, Henry is finally set on track to various personal commentaries. Although he does offer some comparison between French and American wines, he doesn’t offering any real opinion of the wines set before him, which had been the whole point of the film. “I kept encouraging Henry to say something about the various wines he was sipping,” write Venus, “but he pointedly ignored me while regaling the camera with his powers as a raconteur”

 
Henry Miller reads from Black Spring  and is interviewed on French TV after the jump…

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Jack Kerouac reads from ‘Visions of Cody’ on The Steve Allen Plymouth Show, 1959
09.17.2010
09:54 pm

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Jack Kerouac reads from Visions of Cody on The Steve Allen Plymouth Show in 1959. This clip is taken from the documentary film, Whatever Happened to Keroauc? It’s often mislabeled as being a reading from On The Road, but it’s not (to add further to the confusion, there is a close up of On The Road’s cover as Steve Allen is speaking).
 

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Andy Warhol shills for VIdal Sassoon
09.15.2010
11:35 am

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During the 1980s, Andy Warhol occasionally walked the fashion runways and did product endorsements, represented by the Ford Modeling Agency. This print ad for his friend Vidal Sassoon hair products was a frequent sight in trendy magazines circa 1985.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Allen Ginsberg: Howl’s Echo
09.14.2010
08:02 pm

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Noted scholar of Beat Generation authors, Professor John Tytell writes at the Chronicle of Higher Eduction on the flurry of activity revolving around the Beats and Allen Ginsberg this season, including the James Franco-starring Ginsburg biopic Howl (released September 23), the publication of several new books on the Beats and the photography show at the National Gallery of Art, “Beat Memories: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg.”

From the article:

Ginsberg’s ride on that wave has perhaps ebbed and flowed since his death 13 years ago, but it is cresting once more, with the recent publication of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters (Viking) and The Typewriter Is Holy: The Complete, Uncensored History of the Beat Generation (Free Press), by Ginsberg’s archivist and biographer, Bill Morgan; an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art, “Beat Memories: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg” (with an accompanying catalog, published by Prestel); and the movie Howl, starring indie heartthrob James Franco, about Ginsberg’s most famous poem and the 1957 obscenity trial challenging its publication in the United States. That trial, along with the simultaneous publication of Kerouac’s On the Road, catapulted the Beats into literary and cultural history.

The intense, candid letters that Ginsberg and Kerouac wrote to each other capture the emergence of that literary and cultural moment when America, and American literature, would change irrevocably. The letters are often elated with aspiration, extravagant—even hyperbolic—with language sometimes soaring for its own sake; at other times, they plunge into despair: “God knows what oblivion we’ll wind up in like unpopular Melvilles,” Ginsberg ponders.

The correspondence begins in 1944, when the two young men met in New York City, where Ginsberg was an undergraduate at Columbia University and Kerouac a dropout living nearby, and continues until 1963, six years before Kerouac’s death, in 1969. Although they were greeted by American media as barbarous buffoons at the cultural gates—“I go rewrite Whitman for the entire universe,” Ginsberg boasted—the letters demonstrate a committed literary perspective. Allusions to Melville, Balzac, and Dostoevsky, Pound and Eliot, Joyce and Henry Miller establish the tradition they were committed to continue.

Some of the letters describe the daring literary ambitions they had for their friends, especially Ginsberg’s for William S. Burroughs, whom he regarded as a genius. Others, written from Mexico in the early 1950s, reveal how their views were deepened by living in a country “beyond Darwin’s chain,” as Kerouac put it. Fortified with tequila and peyote, Kerouac praised pastoral Mexico, and both men saw it as a foil to an American obsession with acquisition and consumption. Occasionally the letters crawl with dense Buddhist philosophy; inevitably they race again with reports of the latest recklessness of friends like Neal Cassady and Gregory Corso. Later letters, more ominously, are full of the hysteria that overwhelmed Kerouac after the notoriety of On the Road. As he reported to Ginsberg, with some of the cascading presumption that galvanized his prose—repeating what he had announced in a television interview—“I am waiting for God to show his face.”

Read more: Howl’s Echo (Chronicle of Higher Eduction)

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On This Deity: Timothy Leary’s jailbreak, September 13, 1970
09.13.2010
03:14 pm

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Noteworthy entry today at Dorian Cope’s great On This Deity blog:

Today we remember Timothy Leary’s daring and ingenious highwire escape across the highway from his Californian jail – a middle-aged Harvard professor yet symbol of the psychedelic revolution, Leary was assisted to freedom by members of the righteous terrorist organisation, the Weather Underground, and ably financed by those idealistic drug-dealing bikers, the Brotherhood of Eternal Love. Despite the negative outcome of this escapade – kidnapping, a brush with the Black Panthers, even more jail time for the good doctor and the selling out of revolutionary comrades – at least its high aims of uniting disparate radical groups ultimately failed only because of the extraordinary thoroughness with which members of the CIA, FBI, Police, Customs and IRS had managed successfully to infiltrate the Underground. That this gang of unmitigated government bastards had felt compelled to join forces in order to discredit and destroy Hippy Society is, however, merely evidence of how seriously they were being forced to take the actions of Radical America; and of how seriously their authority was being challenged. So today let’s not dwell on how the ‘60s Revolution turned in on itself, but instead remember that brief moment of unity when such disparate groups as the Black Panthers, the Weathermen and the leader of the psychedelic movement came together to confront the MAN.

Below, my interview with Nicholas Schou about his book, Orange Sunshine: The Brotherhood of Eternal Love and Its Quest to Spread Peace, Love, and Acid to the World:
 

 
Dorian Cope’s On This Deity

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Blood into Gold: The Cinematic Alchemy of Alejandro Jodorowsky
09.13.2010
02:51 pm

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I’m sure many Dangerous Minds readers in the New York area will be excited to hear about this unique opportunity to take a “master class” with the great cinematic magician, Alejandro Jodorowsky:

With his infamous cult films Holy Mountain, El Topo and Fando y Lis (which caused a riot upon its premier) Chilean-born Alejandro Jodorowsky altered the visual language and philosophy of cinema.

Breaking from conventional approaches to filmmaking, Jodorowsky worked with hermetic alchemy, symbolism and complex rituals to create a profound and transformative experience designed to heal one’s mental wounds.

Beginning on the autumn equinox, the Museum of Arts and Design is proud to present Blood into Gold: The Cinematic Alchemy of Alejandro Jodorowsky, showcasing the complete body of film work as a core component to a series exploring the broad influence of this groundbreaking auteur.

Master Class with Director Alejandro Jodorowsky, Saturday, September 25 at 3:00 pm, tickets | more info.

El Topo, The Holy Mountain, Fando Y Lis, Santa Sangre, La Cravate, La Constellation Jodorowsky and Rainbow Thief will be screened the last week of September and first week of October.
 

 
Thank you Kim Cascone!

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A discussion with William Gibson
09.13.2010
01:10 pm

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In a wide-ranging talk, novelist William Gibson discusses his affection for Twitter, wonders if there is still a mainstream media, reveals about how he views America as an ex-pat living in Canada and gives some insight into where his ideas come from. William Gibson is currently in the midst of a 36-city promotional tour for his latest novel, Zero History.

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‘Ah Pook is Here’: Fantagraphics publishing William S. Burroughs graphic novel from the 1970s
09.13.2010
10:52 am

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During my guest blogging stint at Boing Boing in Spring of 2009, when I posted about the traveling exhibit of the unseen and unpublished William S. Burroughs/Malcolm McNeil graphic novel, collaboration Ah Pook is Here, I suspected that a publication of the work would be announced shortly thereafter. It’s taken a while, but Fantagraphics will finally be putting it out in 2011, as Carolyn Kellog reports at the Los Angeles Times:

The project began with a Burroughs-and-McNeil collaboration in the 1970s on the comic strip “The Unspeakable Mister Hart,” which appeared in the British magazine “Cyclops.” The magazine folded, and the two decided they wanted to turn their work into a full-length project—at the time, Burroughs was 56 and McNeil was 23. What they conceived was so new that they weren’t sure what to call the form, and settled on “a Word/Image novel.” They worked for seven years but never found a publisher.

Fantagraphics, which included some spectacular images from the book in its announcement, describes the story of “Ah Pook Is Here”:

John Stanley Hart is the “Ugly American” or “Instrument of Control”—a billionaire newspaper tycoon obsessed with discovering the means for achieving immortality. Based on the formulae contained in rediscovered Mayan books he attempts to create a Media Control Machine using the images of Fear and Death. By increasing Control, however, he devalues time and invokes an implacable enemy: Ah Pook, the Mayan Death God. Young mutant heroes using the same Mayan formulae travel through time bringing biologic plagues from the remote past to destroy Hart and his Judeo/Christian temporal reality.

McNeil’s story of working with Burroughs on the project is sure to be interesting. “Fictional events in the text would materialize in real life. Very specific correspondences, not just similarities,” he told the website Big Bridge in 2008. “Such events might suggest that things are already in place and that with the right combination of words they can be made to reveal themselves ahead of time. That’s what Bill’s ‘Cut ups’ were about: ‘Cut the word lines and the future leaks out.’”

William S. Burroughs’ lost graphic novel coming in 2011 (Jacket Copy/LA Times)

Ah Pook is Here website (with samples of the artwork)
 
Below, Ah Pook Was Here in the form of a quite amazing short film made in 1994 by Philip Hunt, with Burroughs’ narration.
 

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