Goddamn these are great! Sculptor Adam Beane says, “The excellent art directors I’ve worked with have been instrumental in my growth as a sculptor, a communicator and a businessman. They have frequently allowed me to push projects beyond expectations and as a result, I have become known for dynamic compositions, action poses, nuanced drapery work and my ability to capture likenesses with expressions.
Richard Metzger interviews Ondi Timoner, two time Sundance Grand Jury Prize winning director of DiG! and the new doc We Live in Public about Josh Harris, “the greatest Internet pioneer you’ve never heard of.” A dotcom millionaire known for throwing wild parties, Harris had a desire for ever more elaborate social engineering events, culminating in Quiet: We Live in Public, a month long party held in December of 1999. Quiet saw more than 100 artists and weirdos under one roof in lower Manhattan in a Japanese style capsule hotel and captured the results with over 100 cameras. Nothing was off limits, not showers, not the bathroom, not sex, nothing. The participants also had to submit to fascistic psychological interrogations. Fun! After this, Harris and his girlfriend did a similar experiment which saw them webcasting their lives 24/7, ending the relationship and resulting in Harris’ nervous breakdown. Shot at Mahalo Studios, special thanks to Jason Calacanis and Alex Miller. Cut live by Alex Miller. Edited by Bradley Novicoff. Produced by Bradley Novicoff and Tara McGinley.
While the world mourns the death of that champion of misfits, John Hughes, we should also note the passing of On The Waterfront scribe, Budd Schulberg. I say “note,” which should not at all be confused with “mourn.” Schulberg did after all, under HUAC pressure, squeal on Bertolt Brecht, prompting the playwright’s unwanted return to Europe. Shameful politics aside, though, Schulberg was responsible for such edgy-for-its-time fare as Ben Stiller’s pipe-dream project, What Makes Sammy Run, and the screenplay for A Face In The Crowd. Of that film, which Slate‘s Troy Patterson calls “The Best Movie About Television You’ve Never Seen,”
Andy Griffith played Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes, a garrulous Arkansas hick who becomes a star of radio and television by laying on the down-home charm. The Mayberry-type charisma curdles once he goes on up to New York City and becomes a demagogue, something of a hybrid of Will Rogers, Glenn Beck, and Sweet Smell of Success’ J.J. Hunsecker.
The above clip features one of Griffith’s more unhinged moments. In it, Lonesome Larry shills, rockabilly-style, for “Vitajex,” a stimulant for men whose sole aim, it seems, is to “fill your gal with ‘oooh,’ and ecstasy!”
The Beat Hotel, a new film by Documentary Arts, goes deep into the legacy of the American Beats in Paris during the heady years between 1957 and 1963, when Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky and Gregory Corso fled the obscenity trials in the United States surrounding the publication of Ginsbergs poem Howl. They took refuge in a cheap no-name hotel they had heard about at 9, Rue Git le Coeur and were soon joined by William Burroughs, Ian Somerville, Brion Gysin, and others from England and elsewhere in Europe, seeking out the freedom that the Latin Quarter of Paris might provide.
The Beat Hotel, as it came to be called, was a sanctuary of creativity, but was also, as British photographer Harold Chapman recalls, an entire community of complete oddballs, bizarre, strange people, poets, writers, artists, musicians, pimps, prostitutes, policemen, and everybody you could imagine. And in this environment, Burroughs finished his controversial book Naked Lunch; Ian Somerville and Brion Gysin invented the Dream Machine; Corso wrote some of his greatest poems; and Harold Norse, in his own cut-up experiments, wrote the novella, aptly called The Beat Hotel.
First shown on Channel 4 in the UK, Bombin’ chronicles the journey of NY artist Brim through the UK media, as well as meeting a young Goldie, who in turn travels to NYC to meet Afrika Baambaata. This was filmed at the times of the Birmingham riots and shows the parallels of life in the inner city on both sides of the Atlantic.
Vanishing Point (1971): An excellent road movie. An excellent drug movie. An excellent movie about America. And one of the great Man vs. the World and All Odds films (up there with Cool Hand Luke).
OK, it’s actually kind of cheesy and terrible in the way that only post-Easy Rider grindhouse flicks could be. But the sentiment at the core of the movie is so righteous that you might as well have this on in the background next time you have your shady friends over. Also, I’m surprised Robert Rodriguez or, for that matter, Michael Bay hasn’t remade this.
Plot? Oh, a crankhead drives a supercharger across the country while being pursued by the hounds of hell, all while being egged on by a blind radio DJ named Super Soul. That’s about all you need for two hours of Awesome.
For the smart people at Criterion, summers of late usually mean Godard, and today fills in some gaps in the Jean-Luc oeuvre with the simultaneous release of Made In U.S.A., and 2 Or 3 Things I Know About Her. Like my personal Godardian favorite, La Chinoise (also made in ‘67), 2 Or 3 Things is another (I know, some of you are sighing, yet another) Critique of Consumer Culture. But, unlike Chinoise, where Godard seems to waver between scorn and sympathy for the revolutionaries and their urge to rip things up and start from scratch, 2 Or 3 seems to make no bones about the absolute futility of such exercises to begin with. Consumer culture, in short, is inescapable. That being said, the film is a treat to behold, with typically gorgeous cinematography from Raoul Coutard (for his famous “swirling espresso,” see below). Whether you appreciate mid-era Godard or not (and Romanian new wave aside), the days of directors pairing “film” with “consumerist critique,” seems very far away to me now. The days of even talking about it seem farther.
Jon Rawlinson, producer, cameraman and editor based in Vancouver, Canada, shot this beautiful piece of video at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in Japan. Jon says:
The main tank called the “Kuroshio Sea” holds 7,500-cubic meters (1,981,290 gallons) of water and features the world’s second largest acrylic glass panel, measuring 8.2 meters by 22.5 meters with a thickness of 60 centimeters. Whale sharks and manta rays are kept amongst many other fish species in the main tank.