A young David Lynch makes a brief appearance on New Wave Theatre sometime in the early 1980s.
New Wave Theatre‘s host, Peter Ivers, wrote Eraserhead‘s “In Heaven,” the number sung by the “Lady in the Radiator,” for Lynch in 1976. Ivers was found bludgeoned to death in his Los Angeles apartment in 1983 and his death remains unsolved.
As a fan of Harmony Korine’s over-the-top, raunchy, apocalyptic fun fest Spring Breakers and Lena Dunham’s brilliant TV series Girls, I unreservedly dig this mash-up put together by The Hollywood Reporter. By bouncing the unselfconscious, anything goes, fuck you approach of Korine’s film off the the over-analytical, to the point of paralysis, psycho-babbling Girls we end up with a third entity: hipster gangsta angsta.
They’ll be plenty of people hatin’ on Spring Breakers. I say ignore them. The movie is pure trash of a very sublime sort (purity is in short supply these days). Imagine a Girls Gone Wild video directed by Gaspar Noe and Godard. Harmony Korine’s critique of reality TV, gangsta shit and pop culture’s commodification of tweenybopper celebs is as scattershot as the gunfire at the movie’s climax, but when it hits its target it draws blood. Beach Blanket Bingo for the comfortably numb.
Since when did THP get into the mash-up business? I had no idea they had this level of coolness in them.
In this French TV special from 1965, Francoise Hardy goes to London, sings songs and looks ravishing.
Narrated in French. But for our non-French speaking readers, with Francoise singing 11 songs, who cares about narration?
“Tous les garçons et les filles” (in English)
“Tout ce qu’on dit”
“Il se fait tard”
“Ce petit coeur”
“Le temps des souvenirs”
“Non ce n’est pas un rêve”
“All Over The World”
Film director, writer and actor, Peter Bogdanovich gave critic Michael Billington a brief introduction to his father, Borislav Bogdanovich’s art work in this short clip from 1979.
Born in 1899, Borislav Bogdanovitch was a Serbian Post Impressionist / Modernist artist, who was one of Belgrade’s leading artists, and exhibited alongside Jean Renoir and Marc Chagall. Prior to the outbreak of the Second World War, Borislav relocated with his family to New York, where he continued to work, though less successfully, until his death in 1970.
Before his death, Borislav saw Peter’s first major movie—the modern urban horror, Targets:
‘I don’t think he said more than 4 or 5 words about it, but he had obviously been very moved by the experience. It was a heavy movie, it was a tough movie, and it wasn’t very pretty about life in Los Angeles, or America, and he felt it was a tragic picture. I could see it on his his face what he thought about it—he didn’t have to say much.’
The film, which starred Boris Karloff, marked the arrival of Peter Bogdanovich as a highly original and talented film-maker, who was exceptional enough to direct, co-write and occasionally produce films as diverse as the superb The Last Picture Show; the wonderful screwball comedy What’s Up Doc? with Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal; to the excellent Ryan and Tatum O’Neal comedy/drama Paper Moon; and the the greatly under-rated (and hardly seen on its release) Saint Jack with Ben Gazzara.
But Bogdanovich is magnanimous in his praise for others (see his books on Orson Welles and John Ford) and claims, at the start of this interview, that it was his father who was a considerable influence on developing his film-making skills:
‘I think it is unquestionably true that whatever I did learn, in terms of composition, or color, or the visual aspect of movies, I certainly learned from my father through osmosis—it wasn’t anything he sat down and taught me. The thing that my father was extraordinary, he had this way of influencing people—getting things across without saying, “This is what I am trying to teach you.” It wasn’t like that at all. My father wasn’t didactic in anyway, he was casual.’
From being one of the most interesting and original film-makers of his generation, Peter Bogdanovich has rarely had the opportunity to make the quality of films he is more than capable of producing. Last year, in response to the Aurora shootings, Bogdanovich wrote an article for the Hollywood Reporter in which he lamented the loss of humanity in films:
‘Today, there’s a general numbing of the audience. There’s too much murder and killing. You make people insensitive by showing it all the time. The body count in pictures is huge. It numbs the audience into thinking it’s not so terrible. Back in the ’70s, I asked Orson Welles what he thought was happening to pictures, and he said, “We’re brutalizing the audience. We’re going to end up like the Roman circus, live at the Coliseum.” The respect for human life seems to be eroding.’
Miloš Forman discusses One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest with Denis Tuohy from 1976, where the multi-award winning director explains his views on Politics, Art and Film-making.
Tuohy appears not to be aware that One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was based on the novel by Ken Kesey, instead, he digs for some personal, East-West political subtext that relates to Forman’s past life in Czechoslovakia. (Though it’s not mentioned here, Forman’s parents died in Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War—his mother in Auschwitz in 1943, his father in Buchenwald, 1944; while after the war, Forman lived under the country’s brutal Communist rule.)
Was the film a metaphor about society? asks Tuohy. To which Forman replies, it was more ‘a metaphor for any kind of modern society today,’ as it revealed ‘how far has the power the right to crush an individual who is questioning the rules.’
‘The power has Politics on its side. Let the Art be on the side of individual.
Forman, who had left Czechoslovakia in 1968 to make films in Hollywood, describes himself as ‘apolitical’ and believes there is a division between Art and Politics.
‘I like to tell the stories of the society I live in. I don’t have an ambition to give advice, of how the society will be transformed or changed—probably because I have seen so many disappointments.
‘I am apolitical person. For somebody that is trying to make so-called Art that is political—is crippling. Because Art is always, should be objective, should be trying the best of being objective. Once you adopt a political doctrine that, well, you can call Art, but it is propaganda type of Art.’
Let’s Go: The Swinging Camera is a 1967 musical directed by Enzo Regusci, Gigi Grisons and Grytzko Mascioni. It was one of the first color programs created for Italian television and featured a mindblowing cast: Sonny & Cher, Fracoise Hardy, Caterina Caselli, Sandie Shaw, Dionne Warwick and Nini Rosso.
I have scoured the Internet looking for the show in its entirety. But so far, I’ve only managed to come up with this clip. Anybody out there have info on this great slice of pop culture?
As seen on The History Channel mini-series The Bible last night. It’s interesting to note that while the popular show is taking a lot of heat for the way they cast all of those white European-looking actors to portray the olive-skinned desert-dwelling people of biblical times, Satan isn’t just a black guy, he’s a ringer for a very specific black guy…