Behold the new video for “Mad Truth,” the first single in 35 years from the reformed Pop Group, directed by Dangerous Minds pal Asia Argento. There’s a warning for all the stroboscopic effects, so beware of that before you press play.
The Pop Group’s new album, Citizen Zombie comes out on February 23rd. Argento’s most recent film, the autobiographical coming of age story Incompresa (Misunderstood in English) was the single best movie I saw last year.
See the Pop Group on their US tour:
March 11th San Francisco CA – Great American Music Hall
March 12th Seattle WA – Neumos Crystal Ball Reading Room
March 13th Chicago IL – Levitation Festival, Thalia Hall
March 17th New York NY – Bowery Ballroom
March 10th Los Angeles CA – Echoplex
March 14th Toronto ON – Lee’s Palace
March 16th Brooklyn NY – Rough Trade
March 19th – 22nd Austin TX – SXSW
Firmeza , a new short film directed by Asia Argento for Ludovica Amati’s Spring/Summer collection of 2013, draws in viewers emotionally with a scenario involving an ayahuasca ceremony and then manages to slip in an entire fashion show without them realizing it. I loved it. Super clever idea to display clothing. Breathtaking visuals and cinematography.
I can’t say for sure that she actually took ayahuasca during the shooting, but knowing the Scarlet Diva, I wonder…
German TV program Durch die Nacht mit (into the night with) puts together a couple of artists/celebrities and lets the cameras roll as they hang out together and shoot the shit. It’s all rather loosey goosey.
In this show, Asia Argento visits Joe Coleman’s home in New York City and together they take a trip to Coney Island, visit magician David Blaine and eat at Keen’s Steakhouse. The show includes a clip of Coleman in Scarlet Diva which starred and was directed by Argento.
This episode was directed by Berlin’s infamous Jörg Buttgereit, known for his early experimental films and splatter fests like Necromantik. Argento, Coleman and Buttgereit constitute a triad of some the art world’s most fascinating provocateurs.
I noticed that one of the first DVDs the company put out when I was with Disinformation has now made its way to UbuWeb. From the DVD copy I wrote in 2002:
Rest in Pieces is director Robert-Adrian Pejo’s intimate portrait of painter Joe Coleman, who is known around the world as a shamanic, moral voice diagnosing the ills of 21st century America. Coleman holds nothing back, telling us of a world wracked with tumorous cities, perversion, divorce, violence, atomic bombs, and a human race destroying itself “simply because we were born.”
I also saw that the film was online at Snag Films, sponsored by Goldman Sachs(???) except that they oddly chose to put the DVD extras—including an interview I conducted with Joe and actress Asia Argento and outtakes of Joe performing an autopsy on a real human cadaver—before the film.
Watch (and download) at UbuWeb or scroll forward about 20 minutes in to watch at SnagFilms, below:
Abel Ferrara doesn’t get alot of respect these days. New York City’s most uncompromising rebel film maker has made some of the most outrageously pleasurable and transgressive films of the past 4 decades, including streetwise masterpieces The Bad Lieutenant and The King Of New York and grindhouse classics Driller Killer , MS. 45 and Fear City. But in recent years his cinematic output has been greeted with either outright disdain or complete neglect. The Funeral was the last Ferrara film to get a proper theatrical release and that was in 1996. Subsequent films R Xmas, New Rose Hotel and Blackout went straight to DVD or had very limited theatrical releases, mostly in Europe or NYC. Shabby treatment for one of America’s true originals.
But there is good news for Ferrara fans. His 2007 film Go Go Tales is finally getting a theatrical run, albeit a very limited one, as part of New York City’s Anthology Film Archives tribute “Abel Ferrara in the 21st Century.”
J. Hoberman’s ripe description of Go Go Tales in the current issue of the Village Voice has me frothing at the mouth:
A highly personal movie, Go Go Tales finds Ferrara in a frenzied yet pensive mode. Virtually the entire movie is set within the tawdry NYC confines of Ray Ruby’s Paradise, an institution that equally suggests an off–Wall Street titty bar and the magic theater from Steppenwolf (and was constructed for the movie in Rome’s Cinecittà studios). Paradise’s nonstop sweat-perfumed hubbub is immediately established with a blast of Archie Bell & the Drells to herald the contortions of a hula-hooping stripper. The beat goes on for some 90 minutes of choreographed pole-writhing, lap-dancing, and flamboyant backstage catastrophes—notably a tanning-bed fire—interspersed with the machinations of club proprietor and compulsive gambler Ray Ruby (up-for-anything Willem Dafoe) as he dodges his numerous creditors and schemes to game the Lotto.
Shtick runs rampant. Sylvia Miles’s foul-mouthed harridan landlady installs herself at the bar and channels Joan Rivers, shrieking about the Bed Bath & Beyond she’s going to bring in to replace the Paradise at $18,000 per month with a 99-year lease. Midway through, Asia Argento—the Queen of I-Don’t-Give-a-Shit—coolly erupts into the proceedings for a show-stopping number that involves the exchange of bodily fluids with her pet Rottweiler. Not to be outdone, Dafoe (so deadpan in his hamming as to function as a one-man Wooster Group) follows up with a ludicrously sensitive lounge song, delivered amid a phalanx of writhing strippers.”
And Anita Pallenberg is in the film!
I’m hoping that Go Go Tales gets a run beyond Manhattan, but I doubt it. In the meantime, Ferrara fanatics (and Asia Argento devotees) can pick up an import DVD here.
This clip from Go Go Tales should get your juices flowing.