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Star Wars characters modeling fur for Vogue in 1977
04.04.2013
02:10 pm
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Ahhhh, the 70s. A decadent decade chock-full of disco dust, fur coats, Jerry Hall and Star Wars. Here’s a tribute to all of that (and so much more) summed up in a Vogue fashion spread from 1977.
 

 

 

 

 
Via The World’s Best Ever

Posted by Tara McGinley
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04.04.2013
02:10 pm
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‘Vampyros Lesbos’ director Jess Franco, RIP
04.02.2013
11:35 am
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Jesús “Jess” Franco (real name Jesús Franco Manera)  the Spanish cult film director known best for his horror/sex/schlock fare such as The Awful Dr. Orloff, Vampyros Lesbos and The Blood of Fu Manchu has died. Franco passed away at 11:00 AM local time from complications related to a stroke in Malaga, Spain. The director was just a month shy of his 83rd birthday.

The news was posted on the El Franconomicon Facebook fan page, by Frank Munoz, a friend of Franco’s, who had been with him since the stroke, which occurred last week:

“Estoy en el hospital. Acaba de fallecer. Se lo han llevado ahora mismo. Lo siento.” (“I’m at the hospital. He has just passed away. They are taking him right now. I am sorry.”)

Franco is known to have directed 199 films (at least), many that he wrote, shot, edited, and sometimes acted in. His wife and longtime cinematic muse, actress Lina Romay died last year on February 15, 2012. Franco’s final feature is the newly completed Al Pereira vs the Alligator Women.

Below, the trailer for Franco’s Venus in Furs starring Klaus Kinski:
 

 
Thank you Steven Otero!

Posted by Richard Metzger
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04.02.2013
11:35 am
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‘Poor Devil’: Starring Sammy Davis Jr. (and Christoper Lee as ‘Lucifer’!) 1973
04.01.2013
04:33 pm
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If you’re not familiar with the 1973 TV movie pilot, Poor Devil, starring Sammy Davis Jr. as a bungling devil, Jack Klugman as his intended victim and Christopher Lee as Satan, you’re in for a campy, kitschy, somewhat surreal treat. I mean, it’s a cast from Hell, right?

A lighthearted spin on the Faustian bargain, you’d have to assume that this NBC-financed project was inspired by its star’s membership in the Church of Satan—the “Candy Man” showman was inducted as an honorary warlock at the Circle Star Theater in April 1973. (There is a CoS reference in the dialogue when Davis is heard to say “I’ll call the Church of Satan downtown. They’ll know how to contact him.”)

In any case, it’s pretty amusing if you like this kind of thing. TV’s Batman Adam West and familiar-looking character actor Gino Conforti are also featured. This originally aired on Valentine’s Day, 1973.
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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04.01.2013
04:33 pm
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The Big Lebowski toilet set
04.01.2013
12:40 pm
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A custom-made Big Lebowski-themed toilet seat by devientART-ist Valoree. You too, can chillax on yer throne just like The Dude!
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Doctor Who ‘Weeping Angel’ toilet decal

Handy tips on using the toilet

Heil Shitler: Hitler’s Toilet lives (in a New Jersey auto-body shop)

Puzzling set of toilet instructions in India

Via Neatorama

Posted by Tara McGinley
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04.01.2013
12:40 pm
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The impulse to dress as a pirate: Woody Allen talks film-making and ‘Manhattan’
03.30.2013
12:50 pm
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Film-making is about having something to say—something that can only be said in a film and not a short story, or a play, or a novel.

That’s how Woody Allen described his movies—it’s the best way for him to express and explore his ideas, his feelings, and well, because he has ‘to do something for a living.’

It was June 1979, Woody Allen was said to be hiding in Paris. His latest film Manhattan, had opened in New York to overwhelming critical acclaim. As the reviews filtered back to his hotel suite, Woody talked about the movie and film-making to Barry Norman, for the BBC’s Film ‘79.

As Allen explained to Norman, Manhattan was inspired by a dinner conversation with Diane Keaton and cinematographer, Gordon Willis, where they discussed the idea of making a film in Black & White.

‘And as we talked about it, gradually a story spun out in my mind about it. And, you know, it could be anything, it could be a sudden anger over something or, the impulse to want to dress as a pirate. You know, any one of those things could do it.’

But why Manhattan? asked Norman.

‘I live in Manhattan and wouldn’t think of living anywhere else, really,’ said Allen, before going on to explain it’s a great place to live—‘because you know you’re alive.’
 

 
With thanks to NellyM
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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03.30.2013
12:50 pm
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Bollywood Swinging: Hushpuppy’s excellent ‘New Delhi Disco Chicks’ mix tape
03.29.2013
02:07 pm
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I feel like I have been waiting my whole life for someone to make a mix of the best Desi Disco tracks from 70s/80s Bollywood movies, and finally it has arrived!

Well, perhaps not my whole life, more like the last 5 or 6 years, or certainly ever since discovering the wonderful work of Bappi Lahiri via MIA’s cover of his classic “Jimmy Jimmy Aaja” in 2007. A few years ago I put together a YouTube playlist of some of my favourite Bollywood disco clip, which you can check out here, though unfortunately a lot of those clips have since been removed.

Not “Jimmy Jimmy Aaja”, though, which has since become a staple of my dj sets, and which I am going to post here now for no other reason than it’s awesome, and to say that if you haven’t seen it, then you need to:

Bappi Lahiri & Parvati Khan “Jimmy Jimmy Aaja Aaja”
 

 
As some of the YouTube commenters have pointed out, this track bears more than just a passing resemblance to Ottawan’s “T’es OK” (Bappi Lahiri was well known for his liberal “interpretations” of other people’s music) but I’m willing to overlook that as this version is just so much better.

Bollywood can at times seem pretty impenetrable for Western audiences, but it operates at such a high level of over the top camp that i’s pretty irresistable for lovers of kitsch. I’m still a bit mystified as to why Bollywood isn’t more celebrated within the gay community, but hopefully as the internet gives access to more and more of these films and their soundtracks, the audience will grow.

So praise be to Glasgow dj Hushpuppy then, for putting together an hour of his favourite Bollywood disco/soundtrack moments for all of our ears. Rest assured there’s plenty of Bappi Lahiri on this mix (full tracklisting available here.) This mix is not definitive (which would be impossible, I think) and represents only the very tip of the Bollywood disco-funk iceberg, so I expect to see more djs busting out the Desi Disco in the near future. For now, let’s dig those New Delhi Disco Chicks:
 

New Delhi Disco Chicks - Bollywood Mixtape Vol. 1. by Hushpuppy on Mixcloud

 
There’s plenty more esoteric, exotic excellence on Hushpupppy’s Mixcloud page, including his great Weird Sounds In The Bath House series. Check it out here.

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
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03.29.2013
02:07 pm
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Roy Orbison is ‘The Fastest Guitar Alive’
03.28.2013
08:55 pm
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Now this, I want to see….

Sharp-shooter…

Vagabond…

Roy Orbison is traveling West with 7 of his brand new songs…

The wildness of the times gets into the people themselves, and then…

Anything can happen…

A trunk full of gold…

A wagon full of trouble…

And a head filled with songs makes him…

The Fastest Guitar Alive...

Roy Orbison’s 1967 film saw him star as Johnny Banner, a Southern spy, with a bullet-shooting guitar, who has a plan to rob gold bullion from the US Mint, in San Francisco, with the aid of the Confederate army. This was low budget fodder, scripted by Robert E. Kent (best known for Diary of a Madman and Rock Around the Clock) and directed by Michael D. Moore (who later worked as Second Unit Director with Steven Spielberg on Indiana Jones), and is now best known for its 7 songs performed by the the Big “O”.
 

 

Bonus—‘Pistolero’
 
H/T Tim Paxton
 
More form the 6-string singer, after the jump…
 

READ ON
Posted by Paul Gallagher
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03.28.2013
08:55 pm
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Ed Bland’s remarkable short film ‘The Cry of Jazz’: Real talk on race & music in 1959
03.28.2013
02:03 pm
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Alex the musician breaks it down for the bohos in The Cry of Jazz
 
Ed Bland died on March 14 at 86. Here’s a piece from Dangerous Minds’ archives by Ron Nachman on Mr. Bland’s legendary short film The Cry Of Jazz.

With the supposed “national conversation on race” now devolved into a debate about who’s allowed to use the N-word, it’s instructive to have a look at Chicago musician and historian Ed Bland’s 1959 film polemic The Cry of Jazz

Co-written by Bland alongside urban planner Nelam Hill, novelist Mark Kennedy, and mathematician Eugene Titus, the half-hour-long Cry… is fashioned as an impromptu lecture by jazz musician Alex (backed by two fellow male African-American friends) to two male and two female white bohemians lingering after a jazz appreciation salon. Cut in to the lecture is footage of both Chicago inner-city life at the time, and early performances by Sun Ra and his Arkestra. As you’ll see below, the conversation—though generally civil and high-minded—gets frank and heated in a way that few would imagine it did back in the day.
 
In his recent introduction to a screening of the film, critic Armond White contends that Cry of Jazz has been “lost” because it’s retained its provocativeness. He also contended that it was a response to the romanticism of Norman Mailer’s essay “The White Negro” and a dramatized snapshot of the “tension and fractiousness” inside the bohemian community of the time.
 

Jazz is dead because the experience and suffering of American life on the Negro have to die. The spirit of jazz is alive because the Negro’s spirit must endure.

—Alex, from The Cry of Jazz

In strictly musical terms, Bland’s pronouncement of the death of jazz is both trenchant and puzzling. In one way, it seems literally true—the year 1959 saw the passing of Sidney Bechet, alongside the deaths under more tragic circumstances of Lester “Prez” Young and Billie Holiday. But Bland’s death warrant is also rather undercut by the release that year of canonic albums like John Coltrane’s Giant Steps, Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue, and—ironically enough—Ornette Coleman’s The Shape of Jazz to Come.

“Jazz is dead because the experience and suffering of American life on the Negro have to die,” says the Alex character. “The spirit of jazz is alive because the Negro’s spirit must endure.” With the Montgomery Bus Boycott and Little Rock in the background and the Woolworth sit-ins and Civil Rights Act in the offing, Bland outlines key sono-sociological points that would inform the freedom principle behind the soundtrack of both the civil rights and black power struggles.
 

Through melodic improvisation and the ever-present conflict in rhythm, the Negro makes an artform that insists on a deification of the present, and which—among other things—is an unconscious holding action until he is also master of his future.

—Alex, from The Cry of Jazz

There are tons of other highly memorable quotes in The Cry of Jazz. Do yourself a favor and check out this little-known but significant piece.
 

 
Thanks to Mixmaster Morris for the heads-up on this…

Posted by Ron Nachmann
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03.28.2013
02:03 pm
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Orson Welles explains how to gamble, 1978
03.27.2013
07:51 pm
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Since he was so often forced to finance his own work, Orson Welles was a man who didn’t tend to turn down a lot of paying gigs, even if that saw the storied director of Citizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons participating in utterly embarrassing shit that was way beneath his dignity. How else to explain The Late, Great Planet Earth and Nostradamus: The Man Who Saw Tomorrow, films that aren’t even mentioned on his IMDB page?

But certainly a career lowpoint was reached in 1978 when the deep-voiced Paul Masson wine spokesman hosted Caesars Guide To Gaming with Orson Welles, an industrial film for Caesars Palace, where one of Hollywood’s greatest cinematic geniuses provides tips and insights into playing blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat, and even slot machines, for prospective guests of the hotel casino. Orson Welles and Caesars Palace, what could be classier?
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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03.27.2013
07:51 pm
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Vincent Price talks Art and Acting: A scintillating interview from 1974
03.26.2013
08:25 pm
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Vincent Price started collecting Art at the age of 12.

‘It was just one of those things. I’d read so many books on Art that one day I walked into a little art store, downtown St. Louis—mainly a framing place—they were having an exhibition of Rembrandt etchings, and there was one that really took my fancy.

‘I said, “How much is it?” And the man said, “It’s thirty-seven dollars, and fifty-cents.”

‘Well, I had $5 in my pocket, so I said could I put that down on it? And he said, “Yes.” I think he knew my father was good for the other thirty-two dollars and fifty-cents.

‘I paid for it myself, and from it, I learned a tremendous amount about the importance of the ownership of Art. The importance of buying a recording, of owning a work of Art, so you could study it, and live with it, and make it really your own, rather than just a thing you pick-up at a cursory glance in a museum. And [Art collecting] lasted all my life.’

Alas, Mr. Price had to sell his Rembrandt when he was broke, but his love of Art and Art History never left him.

It was in London, while working as an Art Historian at the Courtauld Institute, that Mr. Price’s love of theater began. As the theater was cheap in London, he saw as many productions as he could, before taking the plunge. He quickly moved form bit part to lead, and was on Broadway by 23.

A fascinating, and thoroughly enjoyable interview, in which Vincent Price relishes discussing those things closest to his heart—Art and Acting. From the public access TV series Day at Night, April 1974.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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03.26.2013
08:25 pm
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