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Shocking shower scenes shot before ‘Psycho’
10.18.2018
08:30 am
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Janet Leigh in Psycho
 
They are perhaps the most iconic few minutes of film in cinematic history—the “shower scene” in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic, Psycho. The segment continues to shock audiences, and film scholars have written about the brilliance of its construction and effectiveness for decades. It’s an astonishing, groundbreaking moment in cinema, yet this shower scene wasn’t the first of its kind. 

The 7th Victim is a 1943 cult film about a young woman named Mary, who, while looking for her missing sister, stumbles upon a satanic cult. The picture was produced by the legendary Val Lewton, remembered for the mysterious horror pictures he supervised in the 1940s.
 
The 7th Victim
 
Mary is portrayed by Kim Hunter, in her first film role. In one scene, as Mary is taking a shower, another figure walks in the bathroom. In a suspicious, not so vaguely threatening tone, this person encourages Mary to leave town. The scene is largely shot from behind Mary, as she faces the person through the shower curtain. The moment is made even more tense, as all we ever see is a strange shadow of the intruder.
 
The 7th Victim shower scene
 
It brings to mind the shadowy shots in the Psycho shower scene, in which the killer’s face is never seen clearly.
 
Psycho 1
 
Psycho 2
 
The 1958 film noir/exploitation movie, Screaming Mimi, concerns an exotic dancer, Virginia, who is severely traumatized after she is attacked while taking a shower.
 
Screaming Mimi
 
During the opening minutes of Screaming Mimi, Virginia, played by Swedish model/actress Anita Ekberg, is bathing in an outdoor shower, when a man brandishing a large knife approaches her. Though the scene is clumsily staged, as viewers we recognize that, like Marion (Janet Leigh) in Psycho, Virginia is largely defenseless in the shower setting, which adds to the terror.
 
Screaming Mimi shower scene
 
Of course, these previous shower scenes take nothing away from what Hitch accomplished in Psycho, though I can’t help but wonder if they influenced his most famous movie moment. Either way, the scene still makes us wary, from time to time, of taking a shower when home alone….
 
Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Bart Bealmear
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10.18.2018
08:30 am
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The must-see documentary on the extraordinary, one-of-a-kind cult film classic, ‘Beaver Trilogy’
10.12.2018
08:19 am
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Poster
 
In 2011, we told you all about Beaver Trilogy, a one-of-a-kind collection of three short films. Ostensibly, director Trent Harris’s Beaver Trilogy is about a chance meeting with a charming teenage kid from Beaver, Utah, who also happens to be an Olivia Newton-John impersonator, but the picture is so much more than that. A 2015 documentary examines the trilogy, the director who couldn’t let the story go, and the alluring, mysterious teen known simply as “Groovin’ Gary.”

Beaver Trilogy touches on a range of topics, including serendipity, celebrity, reality vs. fiction, small town life, exploitation, manipulation, obsession, regret, guilt, and fate. Part of the cult surrounding the film has to do with the fact that when Harris made fictionalized versions of the “Groovin’ Gary” story (parts two and three of the trilogy), he cast two future stars in the lead role: Sean Penn and Crispin Glover.
 
Gary
The original “Groovin’ Gary” (the documentary tells us his real name is Richard “Dick” Griffiths).
 
The 2015 documentary, Beaver Trilogy: Part IV, is a must-see, even if you’ve never had the pleasure of viewing Harris’s movie. I’m hesitant to go deeper into the Beaver Trilogy, as we’ve covered the film, but I also think anyone who’s intrigued will really enjoy it and the doc, so why go any further? I will say that the documentary reveals there is redemption for both Harris and the kid from Beaver he’s forever connected to.
 
Part IV
 
Trent Harris has uploaded a few clips from Beaver Trilogy to YouTube, but the full film isn’t currently streaming anywhere. A DVD can be purchased directly from the director. It’s how I acquired the disc, and it’s always fun to spring on friends who are totally unaware of its existence.
 
DVD
 

 
Beaver Trilogy: Part IV is free to watch if you have Amazon Prime. You can also rent or buy a digital copy here.
 

Posted by Bart Bealmear
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10.12.2018
08:19 am
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Indie rock and new wave hits reimagined as pulpy 1950s ephemera


 
There’s a fellow out there named Todd Alcott who has put together an enchanting series of prints reimagining popular songs by some of the most vital musical artists of the 1970s through the 1990s as various graphical items mostly dating from before the rock era—e.g., pulpy paperbacks, “men’s life” mags, lurid sci-fi posters, and so on. They’re quite wonderful and you can procure them for yourself in his Etsy store. Each print will run you £19.78 (about $26) for the smallest size and prices escalate from there.

One endearing thing about Alcott’s images is that they are so clearly driven by the most beloved albums in his own collection—and his taste is excellent! So he transforms multiple songs by King Crimson, PJ Harvey, Radiohead, Talking Heads, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, the Stones, David Bowie while also hitting a bunch of other faves (NIN, Nirvana, Fiona Apple) just the one time.

Alcott told Ayun Halliday of Open Culture that “these are the artists I love, I connect to their work on a deep level, and I try to make things that they would see and think ‘Yeah, this guy gets me.’”

My favorite thing about these pop culture mashups is Alcott’s insistence (usually) on working in as many of the song’s lyrics into the art as possible. That does admittedly make for busy compositions but usually in a way that is very true to the pulp novel conventions or whatnot.

According to his Etsy site, Alcott is also available for custom jobs should inspiration strike you! Here
 
More of these marvelous images after the jump…...
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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10.10.2018
08:57 am
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Fangoria editor’s amazing collection of classic trash horror film ads
10.04.2018
11:37 am
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The ongoing triumph of digital is pushing into the grave many art forms once so ubiquitous (and tethered to low commerce) we hardly think of them as arts. Packaging art dives into decline as physical media formats become obsolete; screen printed concert posters become a pricey commodity-fetish item as Facebook becomes every promoter’s kiosk. Somehow, and encouragingly, event postcards continue to thrive, but really think about this—when was the last time you decided to see a movie or buy recorded music based on a newspaper ad?

Longtime Fangoria editor Michael Gingold remembers when the local daily was THE way to keep up on movies, and in fact, it was the lurid daily print ads for trash horror films—rendered all the seedier by the way cheap black ink used to block up on cheap pulpy newsprint—that sparked his lifelong interest in the horror genre. Gingold even kept a scrapbook of them, and eventually published them in a xeroxed ‘zine called Scareaphenalia.

Arranged on a desk in the back of my junior high homeroom was the communal stack of Daily News for teachers to pick up. There were always a couple of ’em left over, and the first Friday of that month I grabbed one and flipped through to the movie section. There they were: boldly arresting ads for Richard Franklin’s Patrick and David Cronenberg’s The Brood, both opening that day. I was vaguely aware of Cronenberg’s name, but otherwise, these films were a mystery to me. All I knew for sure was that I wanted to see them both.

Although I didn’t get to, at least not at the time, I was so enthralled by those ads that I cut them out of the paper and saved them. And every Friday thereafter, I’d grab a leftover Daily News edition and scour it for whatever lurid gems might be advertised in its pages. Any that I found, I clipped and added to my growing collection, and soon I was doing the same with the occasional bigger genre movie announced in The Times. By the end of the year, assembling those ads had become an ongoing passion project.

The foregoing quotation is from Ad Nauseam: Newsprint Nightmares from the 1980s, a new book that reproduces Gingold’s collection, with his annotations, and excerpts from contemporary reviews. His annotations are insightful, naturally, but the inclusion of reviews was a wonderful choice—it’s interesting to be reminded that while gore-operas like The Driller Killer, The Evil Dead, and Friday the 13th are regarded as classics which boast undying (sorry) cult followings, such films were excoriated in their day by critics who practically tripped over each other in their rush to condemn the films’ violence and lord their self-presupposed moral superiority over the genre’s fans. Even A Nightmare on Elm Street received mixed reviews that grudgingly praised its creative premise, wit, and atmospherics, as they went ahead and condemned it anyway, because a slasher film simply couldn’t be offered unqualified praise. (By the time its sequel came out, critics seem to have figured out the point.) Interestingly though, of all the reviews reproduced in Ad Nauseam, astonishingly few take the genre to task for its notorious misogyny—this was the era, after all, in which the murder-as-punishment-for-female-sexuality and “final girl” tropes were codified, and while young women’s suffering was typically dwelt-on in mortifying detail, the psychotic killers themselves sometimes went on to become the “heroes” in long-running and profitable franchises.

Ad Nauseam’s publisher, 1984, were extremely cool about letting us reproduce a generous sampling of Gingold’s collection. We’ve eschewed the bigger-name films in favor of the book’s more endearingly trashy offerings—you’ve seen the poster for Halloween a million times by now anyway, right?
 

 

 

 
Many more after the jump…

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Posted by Ron Kretsch
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10.04.2018
11:37 am
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‘Urban Struggle’: Classic documentary on Black Flag and the Orange County punk scene
10.03.2018
11:04 am
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The first show Henry Rollins ever played in the Los Angeles area as a member of Black Flag took place at the Cuckoo’s Nest in Costa Mesa, on Friday, August 21, 1981. It was a 3 p.m. show, as the flier above indicates. Black Flag were the headliners, with Wasted Youth and Circle One, two hardcore bands from the O.C., serving as openers.

Purportedly the location of the first-ever slam pit, the Cuckoo’s Nest was open from 1976 through 1981, and even that run was only possible because owner Jerry Roach was constantly in court trying to keep the joint open. Every L.A. punk band of note played there, as well as a large number of notable acts passing through (The Ramones, Bad Brains, Violent Femmes, et al.).

In 1981 Paul Young released a short documentary about the club called Urban Struggle: The Battle of the Cuckoo’s Nest. Much like the club, the movie has also had its share of turmoil in the legal system. In 2010 Young sued Jonathan W.C. Mills’s documentary We Were Feared, which is also about the Orange County punk scene.
 

 
An important aspect of the Cuckoo’s Nest was its hatred-fueled relationship with the bar next door, named Zubie’s, which catered to suburban cowboy-wannabes. The place actually had an electric bull! The intense fights between the Zubie’s shitkicker crowd and the punks at the Cuckoo’s Nest became the stuff of legend. The Vandals immortalized that conflict in a song called—not coincidentally—”Urban Struggle.”

According to Stevie Chick’s Spray Paint the Walls: The Story of Black Flag, Dave Markey filmed the show when Rollins made his SoCal debut and took some footage with his 8mm camera: “Everyone was like, ‘Black Flag’s coming, they got a new singer, some kid from D.C.’ Henry had gotten the Black Flag bar tattoos done the day of that show, and when you looked at his arm, you could see how fresh the ink was.” Unsurprisingly, the great photographer Glen E. Friedman was also at the show—any sweet b/w pics you find of Black Flag at the Cuckoo’s Nest come directly from him.

Urban Struggle: The Battle of the Cuckoo’s Nest is a terrific document of one of the country’s most important punk scenes. It features killer footage of Black Flag playing “Six Pack” (you can even see Henry’s new tattoo) as well as performances by Circle Jerks and T.S.O.L.
 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider
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10.03.2018
11:04 am
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Program your own grindhouse film festival with these sleazy cult favorites!
10.02.2018
08:52 am
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‘Pets’ poster for sale 40% off at Westgate Gallery

There’s never been a better time to add a multi-region Blu Ray player to a 65” flat-panel TV and program your own private repertory theater/grindhouse. Along with medical marijuana, the avalanche of uncut, HD-remastered transfers of formerly obscure cult titles available to subject your friends and houseguests to, or obsessively watch and rewatch alone in total silence, almost makes up for nothing else today being as good as it was in the 1970s and 80s.

The selection of posters here are for sale at Westgate Gallery which has a 40% sale going on right now!
 

‘Last House on the Left,’ Italian 1-sheet poster for sale at Westgate Gallery

The last word on Wes Craven’s 1972 debut The Last House On the Left is the massively loaded 2-disc/3-cut Arrow box-set of the first post-Manson/Vietnam War horror classic, which cribbed the basic plotline of Bergman’s Virgin Spring for an amalgam of Nixon-era parents’ worst nightmares — hippies, rock concerts, reefer, slutty bad-influence BFF’s, NYC — personified by the shockingly well-acted trio of villains (David Hess, Jeramie Rain, Fred Lincoln) whose blood-soaked antics still pack a queasy punch.
 

‘The Killing Kind’ Italian 4F poster for sale at Westgate Gallery

B-movie cult director Curtis Harrington is at his overheated, dysfunctional, fagnificent best in The Killing Kind, a 1973 psycho-biddy treat in which cuddly paroled sex-offender John Savage moves back into overbearing mom Ann Sothern’s L.A. boarding house and runs afoul of ballsy judge Ruth Roman and ingenue trio Cindy Williams, Luana Anders and Faster Pussycat Kill Kill’s Sue Bernard… Vinegar Syndrome has a limited edition out for Halloween
 

Rare Japanese ‘Sisters’ poster for sale at Westgate Gallery

The two best conjoined-twin horror films make a great BD double-feature (we suggest as a warm-up an episode of the bizarro reality show about that poor precious two-headed girl in Minnesota):  Brian DePalma’s witty, twisted Sisters (1973, Criterion) with underrated Margot Kidder as separated sibs Danielle and Dominique and American Horror Story/Nip Tuck writer Jennifer Salt as the spunky columnist from the Staten Island Panorama out to solve a murder mystery and Frank Henenlotter’s 1982 Basket Case, a valentine to the Deuce at its scuzziest, this outrageously endearing Skid Row sickie is that rare gem from childhood that’s even better than you remember in a great stacked Arrow release… 
 

‘City of the Living Dead,’ Italian 2F poster for sale at Westgate Gallery

Arrow’s also about to unleash majorly upgraded special editions of two beloved Italian frightfests, Lucio Fulci’s splatter-classic dress rehearsal for The Beyond, City of the Living Dead aka Gates of Hell (1980) — don’t go in looking for logic, narrative sense or competent dubbing, just immerse yourself in 90 minutes of visually ravishing wacked-out waking nightmare, crammed with unforgettable macabre imagery and still-eye-popping makeup effects…
 
More grindhouse sleaze after the jump…

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Posted by Christian McLaughlin
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10.02.2018
08:52 am
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You Don’t Say!: Nicolas Cage’s face on pillows, bedding, & wallpaper
10.01.2018
10:09 am
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A shirtless Nicolas Cage lying inside of a banana peel. Get it here
 
I’ve seen Cage’s latest cinematic masterpiece of WTF, Mandy at least three times since its release last month. If we have learned anything from Nicolas Cage during his long acting career it is this—never count the man out. Cage has been everything from hero to anti-hero, and even had a short run as a tasty Japanese snack. He’s been a loser, a winner, a punk, a prisoner, a terrifyingly authentic drunk, and most recently a relentless backwoods lumberjack out for revenge.

Of course, a large part of society’s younger members became acquainted with Cage’s incredibly emotive face thanks to a legendary meme of the actor giving us his best crazy face in a scene from the 1988 film Vampire’s Kiss. The Nic Cage “You Don’t Say!” meme is almost as famous as the actor himself and to prove this point, many of the items featured in this Cage-centric post use this image of Nic as well as a variety of others for pillows, bedding and yes, even wallpaper. If you’ve ever wanted to hug a pillow with a photo of a shirtless Nic Cage sitting inside a banana peel (gloriously pictured at the top of this post), then goddammit this is your lucky day.

All of the items in this post can be yours for about twenty bucks or so depending on how deep your love for Nicolas Cage is. I’ve included links below each image in case you just realized how incomplete your life is because you don’t own a fleece blanket with Cage’s mug eerily photoshopped with the Declaration of Independence. Some images might be slightly NSFW.
 

Nicolas Cage mashed up with the Declaration of Independence fleece blanket. Get it here.
 

Nicolas Cage hugging a rainbow. Squeee! Get it here.
 
More Nic Cage merch, after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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10.01.2018
10:09 am
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Keychains and Snowstorms: The Soft Cell Story
09.28.2018
04:38 pm
Topics:
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I’m a huge Soft Cell/Marc Almond fan and I have been ever since “Tainted Love” was a hit and their memorable 1982 Solid Gold TV appearance—where Marc beat the stage with a leather belt and generally camped it up bigtime—caused my father to become visibly agitated and angry. It was an incredibly subversive thing to see on such a goofy middle-of-the-road disco hits program—one that usually followed The Lawrence Welk Show or Hee-Haw on Saturday evenings, depending on where you lived—and I wholeheartedly approved.

From that point on, I had every Soft Cell album, EP, 12” remix, book, VHS, fan club issue, bootleg, you name it. I still have them all along with practically every Marc-related release, Dave Ball’s solo album, everything by The Grid and many things produced or remixed by Dave Ball. I even own the entire discography of Vicious Pink Phenomena. In short, I am not only qualified to properly evaluate their new career-summing box set Keychains and Snowstorms: The Soft Cell Story, I am squarely within the fanboy Venn diagram that this exhaustive compilation is meant to appeal to. Truly I am the target audience for this product by any metric.

Admittedly after the above preamble, it will probably come as no surprise to anyone who has read this far to find that I’m absolutely unashamedly nuts about this compilation. If you’ve only ever heard “Tainted Love” and are intrigued enough to still be reading, this box set might be for you. I’m admittedly biased but I think it’s the best thing I’ve heard all year. Let me count the ways…
 

 
Soft Cell were—and still are—practically unknown in America. However true that statement might be, everyone in this entire country aged nine to 99 knows “Tainted Love” as it’s still played on oldies radio and in drugstores, shopping malls and supermarkets nationwide on a daily, even hourly basis. It’s playing in a CVS or a Walgreens location somewhere in America—if not several of them—right this very second. “Tainted Love” has never left the outer periphery of popular awareness since it first hit the American top ten in 1982. That song has a uniquely ubiquitous pop culture persistence, a staying power rivaled only by the likes of something by Fleetwood Mac or the Beach Boys, even if virtually no one on this side of the Atlantic has ever heard a second song by the duo who recorded it or could name the group themselves. (The more culturally savvy might have noticed the heartbreaking use of quite a long swatch of “Say Hello, Wave Goodbye” in the big final scene of series two of Master of None.) Anyway, think of that as an opportunity. If you are looking for something “new” to listen to, look no further.

It’s TEN discs. Freaking TEN discs from a band who have only released four proper albums in their career and if you already own those albums—and every Soft Cell fan does—almost nothing from those albums is repeated here. (The exception is that their 2001 reunion album, the annoyingly overlooked Cruelty Without Beauty—one of the finest “comeback” albums I can think of—is excerpted heavily here with the strongest tracks present plus three great numbers left off the album that would have made it an even better release. As few heard this album, I agree with this approach. Those songs are worthy and should be heard.)

There is very little (none really) overlap with last year’s similarly packaged Marc Almond career box. Speaking of, the packaging is glossy, sturdy and first rate. The design, by Philip Marshall, is elegant and slick. The extended essay by Simon Price is terrific, even someone who has followed the duo from the start will find much new information and insight into the creation of their music and the insanity of being shoved to the forefront of the global music industry the way these two were. It’s a great story, well told and a thoroughly good read.
 

 
Here’s a rundown of what’s on each disc.

Disc #1 has each of the 12” extended versions of their Phonogram singles. With most acts, this sort of thing holds no interest for me, however with Soft Cell the opposite is true. Their extended mixes had additional verses, and new instrumentation. Ball didn’t merely slice and dice their music like everyone else, he resculpted it and redid it in a radically different fashion from the 7” and album versions. I tend to hate remixes and find them generally speaking pretty useless as a listener, but not here.

Disc #2 has the B-sides from these 12” singles. They might have only released three albums during their first incarnation, but they actually did release a fair amount of material during their brief run, issuing several extended EPs and their B-sides were never throwaways… (“Tainted Dub/Where Did Our Love Go?” which leads off this disc is included in the Spotify playlist below selected by yours truly, along with several more tracks from this disc. Note the two John Barry compositions—“You Only Live Twice” and “007 Theme”—and Barry’s obvious influence on Dave Ball and the Soft Cell sound.)

Disc #3 consists of new extended mixes of less obvious tracks by Ball that utilize, with rare exception, solely the original master tapes from the era. I didn’t expect to like this disc as much as I did, but I did like it, very much. It also made a lot of sense in the overall sequencing of the set. It might seem like a daft comparison but the way the music is broken down into its component parts and reassembled throughout this entire set reminds me of Yabby You’s Conquering Lion album in the way that the constant repetition of certain themes and phrases start to sound almost like a symphony of sorts. The mixes here sounds “analog” and not like something some smartass did on a laptop.
 

 
Disc #4 is the “curios” collection and includes the early classic “The Girl With the Patent Leather Face” along with things like their incredible “Hendrix Medley” (“Hey Joe”/“Purple Haze”/“Voodoo Chile” done ala Soft Cell will fry your mind) and the harrowing “Martin” based on the George Romero creepy loner vampire film. All of these, and the 7” edit of “Numbers”—AS IF a song based on a John Rechy novel was going to get played on the radio!!!—are included in the playlist below.

Disc #5 collects demos, early punky DIY experiments, some things recorded with MUTE’s Daniel Miller and their first release the Mutant Moments EP.

Disc #6 collects various radio sessions and the strongest tracks from their 2001 reunion album Cruelty Without Beauty. Also included are three additional tracks from those sessions that were not selected for the album, but perhaps should have been. “God Shaped Hole” is one of the best Soft Cell songs, period, so why was it left to languish on an obscure Some Bizarre compilation? (Listen for yourself as it’s included, along with their excellent cover of Frankie Valli’s “The Night,” in the playlist below.)
 

 
Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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09.28.2018
04:38 pm
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‘The Monkey’s Teeth,’ French cartoon written by patients in a mental hospital


 
Les dents du singe (The Monkey’s Teeth) is the directorial debut of René Laloux, the animator who made Fantastic Planet and Time Masters. This, his first short, came out of the experimental La Borde clinic at Cour-Cheverny. As supervisor of artistic activities at La Borde, Laloux staged therapeutic puppet shows with the resident malades mentaux during the years before he gave them their big break in the motion picture business. 

According to his obit in Positif, Laloux and his patients were aided in writing the screenplay for Les dents du singe by Félix Guattari, later the co-author of a number of influential books with the philosopher Gilles Deleuze; the group’s screenwriting method was something like a combination of “automatic writing, exquisite corpse, and Jung’s tests.” In 1960, Guattari was working at La Borde as a therapist. He had been drawn to the clinic by its founder, the Lacanian psychiatrist Jean Oury.

The biography Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari: Intersecting Lives conveys a sense of life at La Borde:

Oury baptized his clinic as soon as it opened in April 1953, writing a constitution that he dated Year I (a tongue-in-cheek reference to the French Revolution) and that defined the three guiding principles for this collective therapeutic undertaking. The mangers were protected by democratic centralism, reflecting the Marxist-Leninist ideal that was still popular in the year of Stalin’s death. The second principle reflected the idea of a communist utopia whereby each staff member would alternate between manual labor and intellectual work, which effectively made any status temporary. Tasks were assigned on a rotating basis: everyone in the clinic switched from medical care to housekeeping, from running workshops to preparing theatrical activities. The last principle was antibureaucratic, so things were organized in a communitarian way whereby responsibilities, tasks, and salaries were all shared. Although the term “institutional psychotherapy” had not yet been coined, many of its themes were already in evidence: spatial permeability, freedom of movement, a critique of professional roles and qualifications, institutional flexibility, and the need for a patients’ therapy club.

Hollywood has not yet produced many tales about bike-riding simians meting out justice at the dentist’s office, but I expect we’ll see a “reboot” of The Monkey’s Teeth before long.

 
via Reddit

Posted by Oliver Hall
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09.27.2018
07:38 am
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David Cronenberg on Andy Warhol
09.20.2018
05:49 am
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The soundtrack CD from the Art Gallery of Ontario show
 
In between A History of Violence and Eastern Promises, David Cronenberg curated a Warhol retrospective at the Art Gallery of Ontario. ANDY WARHOL/SUPERNOVA: Stars, Deaths and Disasters, 1962–1964, a selection of work from Warhol’s first years at the Factory, also appeared at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, but the AGO show was special in at least two respects.

Only the Toronto iteration of the show presented Warhol’s death and celebrity paintings alongside his early films. For instance, Cronenberg set Silver Disaster #6, Warhol’s silkscreened image of two electric chairs, in the middle of a triptych, looping the movies Kiss and Blow Job on either side. The director also recorded a soundtrack for the exhibition which he narrated himself, splicing in contributions from Dennis Hopper, Amy Taubin, James Rosenquist, and Mary-Lou Green. In a masterstroke, Cronenberg included Elvis’ recording of the title song from Flaming Star on the soundtrack; as he pointed out at the time, the Don Siegel movie that was the source for Warhol’s Elvis I and II is “about racism, and everyone dies in it, including Elvis.”

Recall that the brilliant explosion characteristic of a supernova is the moment of a star’s death. With its Ballardian preoccupations, the show might as well have been called Death Drive. Fittingly, the Guardian marked the fifth anniversary of 9/11 by running an interview with Cronenberg about his contribution to ANDY WARHOL/SUPERNOVA.
 

David Cronenberg at the Art Gallery of Ontario, 2006 (via Seems Artless)
 
The show also provided an occasion for Cronenberg to reflect on the New York underground scene that inspired him as a young filmmaker. He told a wonderful story about Stan Brakhage’s first encounter with Warhol’s movies during a Q&A at the museum:

Stan Brakhage, who was a very hardcore—I think he just died recently, didn’t he—just very hardcore art-art-art-film maker, with work in Super 8 and 16 mm and ultimately in video, but very, very obscure, difficult, you know, not very well known except in his own circle. Andy really knew everything that was going on in New York. He knew the underground, he knew the music, and he produced the Velvet Underground’s first album, I mean, he was into everything. He knew what was going on with underground filmmakers at [Jonas Mekas’] Co-op, and at one point, once he had made a few films, Jonas Mekas told Stan Brakhage he must see this work of Andy Warhol’s.

So he watched about 16 hours of Andy’s stuff, and he came out, and he said, “This is trash! This is ridiculous, this is ludicrous, it’s nothing. I mean, it’s absolutely nothing, it’s bullshit.”

And then Mekas said, “Did you watch it at 24 frames a second?”

And he said, “Yeah.”

He said, “Stan, I want you to go back and watch it at 16 frames.” Which, of course, makes it longer. “Because if you’ve only seen it at 24, you haven’t really seen it.”

Being the hardcore guy that he was, he went back, and he sat there for, you know, 20 hours, came out, he said: “He’s a genius.” True story.

Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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09.20.2018
05:49 am
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