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John Carpenter: The Man and His Movies

This is great wee documentary on one of cinema’s finest directors, John Carpenter: Fear Is Just the Beginning…The Man and His Movies, which examines the great man’s work over 4 decades.

Carpenter is an auteur in the style of Hitchcock, Hawks, Walsh and Fuller, who has managed to maintain his independence and singularity of vision against the fickleness of box office audiences and public taste. He also has a tremendous grasp of film history, which he references in his work: from Donald Pleasance’s doctor in Halloween taking the name of Samuel Loomis from Hitchcock’s Psycho, to re-interpreting Howard Hawks’ Rio Bravo via George A Romero’s Night of the Living Dead in the classic Assault on Precinct 13.

John Carpenter: Fear Is Just the Beginning…The Man and His Movies interviews the maverick director and has contributions from Jamie Lee Curtis, Kurt Russell, Adrienne Barbeau, Debra Hill, and includes a look at the making of such favorites as Escape From New York, The Thing and The Fog.


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Revealed: The Mystery Woman who was ‘The Chinese Girl’


Abhorred by art critics, but adored by the public The Chinese Girl (aka The Green Lady or The Blue Lady, depending on the quality of reproduction) has been a favorite painting of many a suburban household over the past fifty years. Painted by Vladimir Tretchikoff in 1950, the picture became one of the world’s biggest selling prints in the 1960s, and its popularity has endured ever since. Part of the portrait’s great attraction has been the mystery over the identity of the painting’s model. Now, the girl who sat for Tretchikoff all those years ago has been revealed as Monika Sing-Lee. Tretchikoff met Sing-Lee in a laundry in South Africa, not in San Fransico, as he later claimed, as the Mail and Guardian reports:

“When I met Tretchi, I used to work at my uncle’s laundromat in Sea Point,” said Sing-Lee. “I was taking parcels, writing out invoices and the like. That was in 1951. I was in my late teens.

“We were introduced by a popular Russian dancer, Masha Arsenyeva. She used to teach young girls ballet and hired a studio close to the laundry. She was a regular customer.

“Tretchi and Masha were good friends. At the time, he also stayed in Sea Point. He rented a bachelor flat with his wife and daughter. He hadn’t got that posh house in Bishopscourt yet.

“One day Masha told me that Tretchikoff was always looking for models to paint. He visited her classes almost every day and sketched her pupils. Eventually, Masha said to him: ‘You never seem satisfied. Why don’t you go to Hen Lee laundry in Main Road? Look at that girl in the reception, come back and tell me what you think about her.’ That’s what he did.”


He painted Sing-Lee for more than a month, twice a week. Every Saturday he picked her up in his yellow convertible. On the way to his studio in the Gardens the pretty, raven-haired girl sitting next to the elegant 37-year-old man turned heads. The embarrassed Sing-Lee wished she could sink down in her seat to hide from view.

It was the time when Tretchikoff still ran an art school at his studio. While he worked, his students gathered around to watch him. When Sing-Lee sat for Tretchikoff, he put her on a little raised stage so that the pupils—15 or 20 men and women—could paint her as well.

“He treated me so nice. I nearly fell in love with him. Tretchikoff was very jovial, always cracked jokes and made everybody laugh. One night, when I was sitting, we all burst into hysterical laughter. I don’t remember what started it. Probably one of his jokes. His assistant Jean went red with laughter. We couldn’t stop. My goodness, it was funny.”

Tretchikoff did two paintings of Sing-Lee, each of them called Chinese Girl. In both portraits the woman is dressed in a Chinese tunic. In the famous painting it is golden and in the lesser-known one blue.

“The true colour of the beautiful top that I wore for the sessions was blue and pink,” said Sing-Lee.

“He made up the yellow. It was a delicate silk gown that he had brought from China.”

She also believed that the lower part of the figure, from below the neck, was done with a different model. “I never had such broad shoulders. The chest is also not mine. They look more like Jean Campbell’s [Tretchikoff’s assistant and later a painter in her own right]. I suppose he first painted my face and then may have coupled it with the upper part of her body.”

In any case, Sing-Lee didn’t see the final result then. Tretchikoff refused to show her the work while she was sitting. His pupils could watch the progress but not the model. She respected that and didn’t interfere. What was more, he didn’t even have titles for the two paintings at that stage.

“If I tell you how much he paid me, you won’t believe me. I sat for six weeks. He squeezed in a second painting. For that, I got £6.50, or just over R20 at the time. ‘Here, Monika, there’s a nice cheque for you.’ But all in all, he was a very nice man. I have no grudge against him.”

She finally got a chance to take a look at the paintings a few months later when she visited Tretchikoff’s show at Stuttafords in Adderley Street. He preferred to exhibit at department stores rather than at more conventional venues. His public hardly ever went to art galleries.

“When I approached him, he said to me happily, ‘Ah, Monika, I’m displaying two of your paintings!’ I said: ‘Oh. So what did you title them?’ And he replied: ‘Chinese Girl.’

“What a disappointment. I thought it would be something more imaginative. Anyway, I felt honoured that he had two of my portraits on display. Usually, he’d have one work per model.”

Soon after the exhibition, Sing-Lee married and moved to Johannesburg with her husband. She and Tretchikoff lost touch and she never posed for another artist. A mother of five, she had no time for “such folly” any more.

The Daily Mail also reports on the story, explaining how Sing-Lee didn’t like the painting:

‘To be honest, I didn’t like that green face,’ she said. ‘I thought it made me look ill.’

Sing-Lee married a commercial traveller Pon Su-Suan, with whom she had 5 children. They separated forty years ago, and while Tretchikoff became exceedingly rich from the painting, Sing-Lee spent much of her life in poverty, working in a fish-and-chip shop and as a seamstress.

Read more here and here.

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Sam Fuller auditions for ‘The Godfather II’ with Al Pacino

A moment of cinema history - legendary film director Sam Fuller auditions for the role of Hyman Roth in The Godfather Part II. He reads alongside Al Pacino, as Michael Corleone, and the pair are superb together. The part eventually went to Lee Strasberg (who was nominated for an Oscar for his interpretation), but Fuller’s Roth has more genuine menace, and a surprising warmth, which Strasberg’s depiction lacked. You sense Fuller’s Roth could stab you as much as smile at you, and Pacino’s Corleone seems genuinely awed.

Previously on Dangerous Minds

Director cameos in their own and others’ films

With thanks to Christa Fuller

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Eric Bogosian interview from 1982: ‘They’ll never put me on a TV station saying this kind of stuff’

In the Fall of 1982, Eric Bogosian traveled to Britain, where he performed in his two solo shows Men Inside and Voices of America. His tour took him from London’s ICA, through Cardiff, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Middlesborough, to Glasgow and Edinburgh, during the months of October and November , traveling with just one small suitcase of clothes, a black wool overcoat, and a selection of paperbacks to keep him company. Quite a feat at a time when things were organized without the advantage of the internet, emails, texts or mobile phones. It reveals much about Bogosian’s ambition and self-belief, as it does about his talents. 

Bogosian had opened Men Inside and Voices of America that Fall, at the Martinson Hall in New York, where he was hailed as “the best performance artist I’ve yet seen,” by Valentin Tatransky in Arts Magazine. He had also been described as like “a man possessed, a medium,  a schizophrenic,” by Sally Banes in the Village Voice, and as someone who could “perform the performer, and out-perform the performance artist,” in Flash Art.

At the time, I was a student, avoiding studies while editing the university magazine. How I’d heard about him, I can’t recall, a press release or flier most likely - my life back then seemed lived from the inside of an aquarium - knowledge, happiness, love and success were always beyond the glass. This disengagement with the external world might explain why I turned up late after his first show at the Third Eye Center, on Sauchiehall Street. Understandably, he was pissed, but I made my excuses and walked him back to his hotel on Cambridge Street, with arrangements to see and meet the following night in Edinburgh. These then are extracts from that interview.

Bogosian performed in a small stage area, surrounded by raised seating. He was imposing, for such a compact figure in black shirt, black pants. A bare stage except for one chair. Everything was suggested, created, from Bogosian’s physical presence. He walked onto stage and became a small child flying as Superman, talking to his father, mimicking adult bigotry before, shockingly, breaking into a stutter. So began the darkly comic Men Inside a carnival of souls from a troubled America - dysfunctional men, unable to interact with the world because of their bigotry and hate.

From Superman, Bogosian became a young man masturbating before declaiming his loneliness by saying “I love you” to a centerfold. Then on to a bored teenager, a stud, a bully, a sleaze-ball, a down-and-out, a Blood and Sword evangelist. It was loud, noisy and funny. Bogosian’s performance was as brilliant as his characters were low:

“Each character, each scene, flows into the next presenting different aspects of man gone wrong: his sexism, his racism, his hate.

It’s my effort on my part to try to communicate from a man’s point of view, trying to be sympathetic to men, saying this is how it happens, this is how a man ends up with these perspectives about women, about life - what can we do about it?

The thing I’m trying to lay out on women is the whole discussion of Women’s Liberation, Feminism, and the like, is all very complicated and that’s the first thing - it’s a complex issue, it’s not black and white. Women are perfectly justified in complaining about their situation, however, in different times men have also been put into situations that are not so great, the biggest one I can think about is certainly war.

War is Hell on Earth, and nobody should ever have to go through that. And of course, now, here in Great Britain people are thinking of the Falklands thing. I mean, it has to be thought about, if anything is sexist, it’s men should have to go off and die, that is sexist thing too.  All I’m saying, we’re all people, let’s try and be a little sympathetic to each other, while we try to find out what exactly is going on.

I was in a restaurant on a Sunday morning in Vancouver, on tour, and I came in and had my breakfast around 10 o’clock in the morning, and there was all these men in the place, all by themselves: smoking a cigarette, reading a paper, eating a breakfast, looking kinda glum, kinda down. And these two couple came in, both in their sixties, and each guy was very dapperly dressed with his wife. And the women were happily chatting with each other and the men were sort of ushering their wives in. And you had a very strong feeling that these women were in some way protecting these guys, they were giving them something to do with themselves, yeah know. They weren’t like every other guy in this place, and you got the feeling that these guys were kinda looking across at these two couples, how these guys’ clothes were clean, their clothes were pressed, and how, how they had something to fucking do.

And all those other guys were just crumpled up pieces of paper. And here are these two guys, who because they stuck it out with a couple of marriages, now that they were in their sixties, had something to do. And somehow I wish people would admit this: that mean and women are different, and that for whatever reasons, whether they’re cultural or whatever, they are complimentary aspects of one another.

Bogosian was concerned that some of the Scottish audience was offended by certain aspects of his performance thinking they may have confused the views of the characters with the performer’s. After all, this was dangerous stuff to bring to a city more attuned to the Royal Lyceum’s revival of Noel Coward, than an act billed as a cross between Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor.

“I don’t expect anyone to be so critical about performance or experimental theater as I have been. I mean, it’s my life, it’s all I’ve been doing for the past 12-13 years, it’s all I’ve been doing - working in theater and complex theater. I don’t expect everyone who walks in off the street to understand about that - they’re taking it at face value, and they may not even notice the technique I’m employing.

For instance, the exotic dancer and the Led Zeppelin thing seem very alike, but their movements are very complex. You just can’t jump out and do that stuff, it’s all choreographed, and all rehearsed a lot, it’s just subtle. Someone might watch and go, ‘Hmm, not bad, that’s good movement.’ But not everyone’s going to understand that, what it’s about. They’re going to go ‘Ha-ha. look at that, he’s playing guitar,’ you know?

I can’t say if that’s something formal or theoretical in my work, it’s just something I’ve always done as an actor. It comes through from the inside. I don’t think any good actor can explain what happens when they become Someone. I become them totally and I know I’m inside them, and somehow it reads, and that’s the funny thing because at acting school they teach you how to relate what’s going on inside your head to what you look like outside. I don’t know what I look like, I’ve seen photos and stuff, but somehow what I look like is corresponding to what I’m feeling.

In a way that’s very direct and without any real training on it, I just hit the stage and it starts happening to me. But that’s just me, it’s like something I’ve got to my advantage, that I should make the best use of.”

The second half of the show was Voices of America a relentless tour of America’s airwaves, where every speaker, no matter how cheery or inane, seemed obsessed with death:

“If you had a choice to die from a nuclear holocaust (oh no!) or, a heroin overdose (oh wow!), which would you choose?” - ‘Voices of America’

This was all very much a hint of Bogosian’s Barry Champlain in Oliver Stone’s Talk Radio.

Voices of America started out as a sort of finger exercise, so I could practice my voice, and it ended up as a piece.

At the time I was trying to get into advertising, so I made this demo tape of adverts and jingles and stuff, but the company thought it too cynical.

It’s very black. I’m interested in the way society’s fascinated with the lives of its stars and superstars, with its violence and consumption, its decadence.

Like how Keith Richard’s habits became published or how real death and real suffering are treated. How things are mass produced indifferently, and people’s suffering doesn’t come through, but is just forgotten.

Though I don’t think my philosophy or my ideas about anything are social or profound or anything, they’re just basic, mundane, liberal ideas, what we call liberal in America. It’s just like everyone else should be nice to everyone else, and how you can do it and go vote and I’m against the death penalty and for social programs. It’s just dumb stuff - I don’t mean these things are dumb - I mean I’ve got nothing to tell anybody that they shouldn’t already know. I’m just making stuff I’m interested in, it’s the piece I’m interested in - how can construct them and how can I act them out, it’s just all that stuff is in my head and it all might as well come out in the show, it might as well be there, as not be there.

And I know they’ll never put me on TV for saying these things, that’s the funny thing about it: I don’t think there’s anything radical about what I’m saying or doing, but they’ll never put me on a TV station saying this kind of stuff.

The current comedians in the States are just zany, they’re just crazy guys. Comedians with a conscience are not wanted in the mass media.

It’s just intuitive, a whole set of things are interesting to me, things that operate in my life. It’s like my face, if I get a nose job, and get my nose to be straight and my chin to be stuck out and stuff like that.

If I’m eloquent in expressing my particular set of perameters in my frame of mind they start to seem universal, or interesting or something like that, or, somebody at least might identify with them. I don’t start off with a theory and try to work it all out, it’s just that I try to express myself as best I can.”

Later, we walked out into the Georgian cobbled streets of Edinburgh’s New Town. It was late and cold, and the evening’s silence reminded us of our own past experiences of walking around empty streets at night listening for parties to crash.

Bonus clips of Eric Bogosian in performance, after the jump…

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‘I shall die, and my friend will die soon’: Sid Vicious interview with Judy Vermorel from 1977

A revealing interview with Sid Vicious conducted by Judy Vermorel in August, 1977. In it Vicious rails against “grown-ups” and “grown-up attitudes”, TV host Hughie Green, insincerity, and why “the general public are scum” (his opinion about “99% of the shit” out on the street).

Vicious sounds incredibly young, perhaps because he was, and claims he “doesn’t like anything particularly” and that, “Nobody has to do anything”. There is some interesting thoughts on Russ Meyer’s plans for a Sex Pistols’  movie, which Sid dismisses as a “cheap attempt to get money.”

At the end, he rails against Malcolm McLaren, slightly incredulous to the information that Johnny Rotten and Paul Cook thought McLaren was the fifth member of the Pistols:

The band has never been dependent on Malcolm, that fucking toss-bag. I hate him..I’d smash his face in…I depend on him for exactly nothing. Do you know, all I ever got out of him was, I think, £15 in all the time I’ve known the fucking bastard. And a T-shirt, he gave me a free T-shirt, once, years ago. Once he gave me a fiver, and I stole a tenner off him, a little while ago, and that’s all. I hate him.

..But he’s all right. I couldn’t think of anyone else I could tolerate.

This is the interview where Vicious famously made an eerie prediction:

“I shall die when I am round-about twenty-four, I expect, if not sooner. And why my friend will die soon.”

His friend was “that girl” Nancy Spungen, who can be heard in the background of this interview.

Elsewhere on DM

Sid Vicious’ handwritten list of why Nancy Spungen is so great

Sid Vicious does it his way, after the jump…

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Bob Dylan talks about life and art on the set of ‘Hearts of Fire’, 1987

An interview with Bob Dylan dating back to when he was working on the Hollywood movie Hearts of Fire, in which Dylan played a retired rocker called Billy Parker. Hearts of Fire co-starred Rupert Everett, Ian Dury and Fiona, and was written by overblown Hollywood scriptwriter, Joe Eszterhas. The film bombed, and was sadly the last feature from director Richard Marquand (best known for Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Jagged Edge and Eye of the Needle), who died not long after completing the film.

This interview with Dylan formed the basis for a rarely seen BBC Omnibus documentary called Getting to Dylan (1987), directed by Christopher Sykes.

More from Dylan, after the jump…

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Legendary Film Director & Artist Tony Kaye sings!

It’s been thirteen turbulent years since Tony Kaye’s controversial first feature American History X nearly finished his career. Now the man who once described himself as “the greatest English director since Hitchcock,” is continuing to confound, surprise and impress with his latest film, the powerful and uncompromising Detachment, starring Adrien Brody, Marcia Gay Harden, Christina Hendricks, Lucy Liu, James Caan, Blythe Danner, Tim Blake Nelson and William Petersen.

Detachment chronicles:

three weeks in the lives of several high school teachers, administrators and students as seen through the eyes of a substitute teacher.

It will hopefully be on national release soon.

When not making his excellent films and documentaries, or painting and campaiging, the bearded, Biblical-looking Kaye has been recording and gigging at various venues in LA and NY over the past few years with his own distinct and original songs, of which these are just a selection.

More songs from Tony Kaye, after the jump…

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‘Sonic Boom’: short comedy with Keith Moon, Ricky Nelson and Sal Mineo

Made by UCLA students in 1975, Sonic Boom is a short comedy starring George Kennedy, Ricky Nelson, Keith Moon, Jonathan Winters and Sal Mineo. Directed by Jeff Mandel, the associate producer was Eric Louzil, who went onto make a successful career as a writer, producer and director of low budget horror films. In an interview with Chris Radcliffe, Louzil explained how he had two ideas for his student film:

One was about killer bees coming to California either to be called Deadly Buzz or Deadly Hum to star David L. Lander and Michael Mckean a.k.a. Lenny and Squiggy before they had been cast in the hit television show Laverne & Shirley (1976-1983) and the other was Sonic Boom, a comedy short about a supersonic jet that lands in a small town and creates hysteria over an impending sonic boom that never happens. The former project got scrapped because Landers And Mckean wanted too much creative control over it.

“The way they cast Sonic Boom was simply this: they would get together at production meetings, take out the entertainment section of the Los Angeles Times and find out who had made it into press. Then they would essentially stalk these performers and ask them to help out with their student film.

Mandel and Louzil wanted either Keith Moon or Elton John to appear in the film, as Radcliffe explains

Elton John was in town playing at the Troubadour so it was a toss up between Keith or Elton. They chose Keith because he was a bigger name at the time. They began hanging out at the clubs he was know to frequent until they caught up with him and he agreed to appear in the film for $1,400 In cocaine and a television, though the one page agreement signed between the producers and Keith read for “One Case Of Coke And A Television” - to which one can only assume that the latter he used to throw out of some window.

“There was something of a scene when the Director and some other guy went down to Palm Springs to get the cocaine and were afraid they would get busted on the return trip. In any event Keith’s scene was filmed at the Burbank Court House where he played the part of a professor wearing a cotex on his upper lip for a mustache. He arrived on the set in a gold limousine (which at that time was extremely rare and impressive) and left in a different one. The short film was eventually released theatrically in 1975 where it was shown before the feature film of the evening Man Friday (1975) starring Peter O’ Toole and Richard Roundtree. Man Friday was a retelling of the Robinson Crusoe story with a strong social message.”


Also on DM

The incredible friendship between Oliver Reed and Keith Moon


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Derek Jarman’s film for Marianne Faithfull’s ‘Broken English’

This, as DM pal, film-maker Alessandro Cima, writes: “might be the most beautiful film you will see all year.” It’s Derek Jarman’s Broken English, his superb interpretation of three tracks by Marianne Faithfull -  “Witches Song,” “The Ballad of Lucy Jordan” and “Broken English”.

As Mr Cima writes:

The montage and superimposition going on in this film is simply stunning.  It’s full of dark pagan ritual, sex, violence, romance, adoration, and mystery.


Via Candlelight Stories

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Qaya: Fabulous cheesy pop from Azerbaijan
04:00 pm


Pop Culture

With the news that Azerbaijan has triumphed at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Running Scared” performed by Ell and Nikki, voted Europe’s favorite, I was reminded of a previous Azerbaijani purveyor of cheesy pop, Gaya, a fabulous singing quartet, who were one of the most successful in Soviet-Azerbaijani during the 1960s and 1970s. Qaya mixed modern beats with traditional Azerbaijani music, and their songs could easily sit (if not win) in today’s Eurovision; or, be piped anesthetically through shopping malls department stores.

More classic songs from Qaya, after the jump…
With thanks to Iya Vinogradova

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Director cameos in their own and others’ films

Alfred Hitchcock made a habit of appearing in his own films, it became such a distraction that the great director ensured his trade-mark profile appeared soon after the opening titles, so audiences could concentrate on the intricacies of the plot rather than play Where’s Alfie?.

Over the years, other directors have adopted the Hitchcockian cameo (M Night Shyamalan being the most irritating), or turned it into a memorable scene - Martin Scorsese’s creepy cameo as a cuckolded husband in Taxi Driver is a small film all of its own. There have also been the directors who give cameos to the film-makers who influenced or inspired their careers - Jean-Luc Goddard’s homage to the genius Sam Fuller in Pierre le Fou, where the legendary director of The Steel Helmet, Underworld USA, The Naked Kiss and Shock Corridor expounds on cinema:

“Film is like a battleground. Love. Hate. Action. Violence. Death. In one word . . . emotion.”

Here is just a small selection of some notable cameos by directors in their own and in other director’s films.

Legendary director Sam Fuller appears in this party scene from Jean-Luc Goddard’s ‘Pierrot le Fou’ (1965)
More directors in front of the camera, after the jump…

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Bob Dylan wants You to write his biography
06:23 am


Pop Culture
Bob Dylan

On a May 13 note to all his fans and followers, Bob Dylan concludes his blog with a clever idea :

Everybody knows by now that there’s a gazillion books on me either out or coming out in the near future. So I’m encouraging anybody who’s ever met me, heard me or even seen me, to get in on the action and scribble their own book. You never know, somebody might have a great book in them.

Mr. Dylan has certainly tapped an excellent source of publicity (as if he needed any more), while at the same time inspiring other’s to use their talents. Good idea. In the same spirit of enabling others, we at DM thought it would be fun to hear your tales of Bob or any other celebrated Musicians, Writers, Actors, Celebrities or, even (dare I say it?) members of the DM team, who you’ve met, heard or seen.

Bonus cartoon of Dylan meeting The Beatles, after the jump…

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High Tech Soul - The Creation of Techno Music
04:04 pm


Pop Culture
Techno Music

Described as the first documentary film on the creation of Techno Music, High Tech Soul is also an examination of the cultural history of Detroit, its birthplace.

From the race riots of 1967 to the underground party scene of the late 1980s, Detroit’s economic downturn didn’t stop the invention of a new kind of music that brought international attention to its producers and their hometown.

Featuring in-depth interviews with many of the world’s best exponents of the artform, High Tech Soul focuses on the creators of the genre—Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson—and looks at the relationships and personal struggles behind the music. Artists like Richie Hawtin, Jeff Mills, Carl Craig, Eddie Fowlkes and a host of others explain why techno, with its abrasive tones and resonating basslines, could not have come from anywhere but Detroit.

With classic anthems such as Rhythim Is Rhythim’s “Strings of Life” and Inner City’s “Good Life,” High Tech Soul celebrates the pioneers, the promoters and the city that spawned a global phenomenon.

The film features: Juan Atkins, Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson, Eddie (Flashin) Fowlkes, Richie Hawtin, Jeff Mills, John Acquaviva, Carl Cox, Carl Craig, Blake Baxter, Stacey Pullen, Thomas Barnett, Matthew Dear, Anthony “Shake” Shakir, Keith Tucker, Delano Smith, Mike Archer, Derrick Thompson, Mike Clark, Alan Oldham, Laura Gavoor, Himawari, Scan 7, Kenny Larkin, Stacey “Hotwax” Hale, Claus Bachor, Electrifying Mojo, Niko Marks, Barbara Deyo, Dan Sordyl, Sam Valenti, Ron Murphy, George Baker, and Kwame Kilpatrick.

The film’s soundtrack includes: Aux 88, Cybotron, Inner City, Juan Atkins, Mayday, Model 500, Plastikman, Rhythim Is Rhythim, and more.

“Bredow’s cast of alumni—the holy trinity of Atkins, May & Saunderson at the front—fill out this tale with passion, pride and, oddly for music of the future, nostalgia too.”
- Dazed and Confused

‘An enjoyable education into the music, the city and the main players past, present and future.’
-DJ Magazine

‘Defines the myths and the magic of Detroit techno from its beginnings right up to how it has evolved to become High Tech Soul.’
-Derrick May



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Dalek6388: An exhaustive, if bonkers, history of Daleks props 1963-88

I recall as a child that the Daleks were as popular as The Beatles. TV, cinema, candy stores and toy shops were crammed with Dalekmania. One Christmas I received a stocking-filled with assorted Dalek paraphernalia: a toy, an annual and a Daleks costume, which consisted of a grey plastic hood, attached to a red plastic tent, and covered with white polka dots. It was through this that I poked the sink plunger and drum-stick to intimidate all who crossed my path.

Now for those who still have a love for those dastardly creations, there is Dalek6338, the ultimate site for all things Dalek

Described as “An exhaustive - if bonkers - work of genius”, Dalek6338 was originally started by Jon Green as “a resource for fans who wanted to learn about the origins of the Dalek props built for Doctor Who.” Through trial and error, and a fortuitous collaboration with Gav, another ardent Dalek fan, the site has developed into the definitive Dalek resource - an excellent treasure trove for those who love, like or are mildly interested in the history and derivation of the Daleks.

Bonus clips of Doctor Who and the Daleks after the jump…

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Upside Down: The Creation Records Story

Upside Down: The Creation Records Story is a roller coaster of film, which tells the incredible tale of one of the most important independent record labels of the past fifty years - Creation Records

This excellent film reveals how the gallus Glaswegian Alan McGee started the label with a £1,000 bank loan in the 1980s, and went on shape music in the 1980s and 1990s, as he made Creation home to such talents as The Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream, Medicine, The Pastels, Teenage Fanclub, BMX Bandits, Super Furry Animals, The Boo Radleys, Saint Etienne, Momus, My Bloody Valentine, 3 Colours Red and Oasis - who were signed for £40,000.

McGee originally thought Liam Gallagher was the band’s drug dealer, as he told the Sun:

“I was up in Glasgow seeing my dad and I wasn’t sure I’d even go to the gig. I got there early by mistake. Oasis were on first, before most people arrived. There was this amazing young version of Paul Weller sat there in a light blue Adidas tracksuit. I assumed he was the drug dealer and that Bonehead, the guitarist, was the singer.

“It was only when they went on stage I realised it was the lead singer Liam Gallagher. I knew I had to sign them.

“Noel and I talked after the show and just said ‘done’ and he turned out to be a man of his word.

“I was lucky to be there. We didn’t send out scouts. Most of my signings were because I happened to see new bands. That couldn’t happen any more. If a new band as much as farts it’s all over the internet.”

Upside Down: The Creation Records Story brilliantly captures the creativity that came out of the chaos of the legendary McGee’s drug-fueled reign as President of Pop.

“I was on one continuous bender from 1987 until 1994. Until Oasis came along the Creation staff were more rock and roll than the bands we signed. Then Oasis came along and things got even crazier.

“I was permanently off my head on cocaine, ecstasy, acid and speed. We’d be awake for three days.

“We went one further than having dealers hanging around. We just employed them instead.

“But they were different times. If you behaved now like we used to people would phone the police.”

Upside Down: The Creation Records Story is now available on DVD, with a short cinema release, details here.


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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