Sunday, 15 December 2013

Even as a Genesis fan...

The best thing I can say about Sting is that if it came down to the choice between pushing either him or Phil Collins down a lift shaft, he would live to record another Elizabethan lute concept album.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Gucci Do the Dishes...

This is going to be the last post before I start up the reviews again. Rejoice.

For my final post in regards to the topic of film and all things video I want to offer a wee consideration of why archives are bloody important!

I've been working towards compiling a list of No Wave cinema releases that are still in existence/not lost. Vivenne Dick's work has mostly been archived by LUX - brilliant! Richard Kern's stuff is a nightmare to find and no one seems to really know where it is and if anyone has access... I have two of his films on an external hard drive but there's not much textual analysis that can be carried out on such a tiny sample of work. I managed to locate the "film" made by Clint Ruin and Lydia Lunch. That was a pretty bad find...

I shoot stuff myself and I have two back-ups of everything I do. I also have a very close friend hold digital copies and copies of my master tapes. This same friend holds dubs for the master tapes of any Wreath of Decay release that isn't on a label. I think he has a copy of No Sleep... Catatonic from when Side-A dropped it for me. I digress.

Any content creator: Please see if you can find someone to hold copies of your work. Imagine you manage to get recognition in future and some poor film student wants to review your body of work only to find the entire first half of your formative career has vanished. Also if you keep copies and hit it big imagine the amount of money you could make from doing private run DVDs of your seminal early work (A model that seems to keep David 'hack' Lynch in business...)

TL;DR - Archive your material both physically and digitally if possible. That way a future me wont have to pull his beard out when trying to analyse your work.

Monday, 25 November 2013

No Wave Cinema

This is less of a coherent post and more me gathering some thoughts and ideas for a presentation I plan to give. You can probably ignore this post.

No Wave

Teenage Jesus & the Jerks
Bush Tetras
Jim Jarmusch
Sonic Youth
Lydia Lunch
Beirut Slump

Space? Lack thereof?

Vivienne Dick

Cinema of Transgression?
Cinema of Walking?

Punk > Post-Punk = No Wave?

British vs. American - Americana, parody? Satire? Condemnation?

Thursday, 21 November 2013

As a quick addition to the musicians in film post I upped earlier this week I decided to do an appendix of the best shot/choreographed/thematically driven etc. music videos, be they official or fan made. This wont feature director credits as whilst the info exists for some videos it doesn't for others. It will include artist and track titles.

Burial - 'Street Halo'
I love this video due to its stark contrast. The fact that it wears its influence on its sleeve. How well it meshes with the music to form a visual representation of Burial's music... I could go on and on.

DJ Khaled - 'Out Here Grindin''
There's a fair amount to say about this video. The main reason it's here is because I've been thinking about the idea of cult/camp and the intersection between the two. This video is without a doubt camp: Bad greenscreen, terrible SFX etc. There's also the idea of star when considering the featured artists and even the rappers that appear in the video that aren't actually part of the track.

White Lung - 'Take the Mirror'
Mise en scéne makes this video and ties well with the atmosphere of the track. Once again a very stark black and white helps with the overall aesthetic.

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - 'I See a Darkness' (EP Version)
I apparently really like black and white. This video has a really playful edge, especially when you know the surroundings he's inhabiting. It also helps that I want to marry Will Oldham. 

16 Horsepower - 'Black Soul Choir'
Yup, more black and white... I have a really intense appreciation and interest in religious iconography which is a pretty strong feature in this video. 

There's plenty more but I'll post them some other time. Might try to band together some more vids in colour too...

Monday, 18 November 2013

Musicians in Film

Thought I'd go for something a tad out of leftfield. Going to do a wee run down of scenes/clips of musicians featured in films. I'll post the clip, list the band/artist, the director, year and title of the film. Onwards!

Artist: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
Director: Wim Wenders
Year: 1987
Title: Wings of Desire

Artist: Lydia Lunch
Director: Vivienne Dick
Year: 1978
Title: Guerilla Talks

Artist: Cannibal Corpse
Director: Steve Oedekerk
Year: 1995
Title: Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls

Artist: Gucci Mane
Director: Harmony Korine
Year: 2013
Title: Spring Breakers

Artist: Blixa Bargeld (of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds/Einstürzende Neubauten etc.)
Director: Uli M. Schuppel
Year: 1987
Title: Nihil Oder Alle Zeit der Welt

Artist: Michael Pitt (of Pagoda)
Director: Gus Vant Sant
Year: 2005
Title: Last Days

:Artist: Eminem
Director: Curtis Hanson
Year: 2002
Title:  8 Mile

Artist: Jimmy Cliff
Director: Perry Henzell
Year: 1972
Title: The Harder They Come

Additional (those who I couldn't find clips of): David Yow (of The Jesus Lizard & Qui), Ikue Mori (of DNA), Method Man (of Wu-Tang Clan), Kim Gordon (of Sonic Youth, Free Kitten, Body/Head etc.), Tom Waits, David Bowie, Yoko Ono etc.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Wee reading of Alien

I'm not going to beat around the bush here, there have been myriad readings of Ridley Scott's Alien. Many of these focus on psychoanalysis, specifically Barbara Creed's seminal work with her chapter on the film in her book The Monstrous Feminine. What I want to propose today is a little different from any of these readings whilst still drawing on psychoanalysis. This is a reading that I originally wrote in an exam, meant to expand upon but never did. I'd like to post it here so I actually have a written record of it.

 Freud makes mention, within The Interpretation of Dreams, of the man with the idea of having seen his parents copulation whilst he was in the womb. Combine this with Lacanian suggestions of the mirror stage (tied to cinematic space and restricted movement).

From here I propose a reading of the famous chestbuster scene. The phallic chestbuster violently ripping free of its host's body, for the audience, is seeing penetration (misread as a violent act) from within the womb.

I'm surprised I did so well on that exam. I'm leaving this post as a monument to how much I can over analyse things and why being on these meds is probably a good idea.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Why No Revolution?

I was discussing film with a friend recently and as I am wont to do I was lamenting Hollywood as being nothing more than a distraction. Sure, sometimes it's an enjoyable distraction but to lose sight of that is to submit to a system intended to deceive. My friend wasn't quite so sure about this matter.

"Ah, Armagreth [not going to use my real name any more], you're forgetting films like Inception. I came out of that loaded with thoughts and questions. I was actively thinking in the cinema!"

 This is actually why I'm willing to argue that Inception is one of the most insidious movies in recent memory. As Adorno and Horkheimer suggested the cultural industry is basically mass deception and is one of the key reasons that there has yet to be Marx's foretold revolution. Stuart Hall (cultural critic, not the child molester) went so far as to suggest that the culture industry was "the opium of the people", something with which I really can't disagree. Of course this raises the question of where Inception fits and why I've labelled it as insidious.Whilst I can't disagree that Inception makes you think you must question what it makes you think about. All the while that the audience are stepping outside wondering if Cobb's totem fell or not is time that they are blinded to the social plight and massive inequality. The more they think about this movie the less they think about areas that could effect social change. Inception is problematic because it makes you think, it makes you think about something as a distraction from the real issue.

 I expect we'll see this trend more and more in the coming years. As audiences get smarter they edge ever closer to breaking the blinkers that Hollywood have placed. Hollywood can't be having that.