28 May 2010

27 May 2010

Dried Up

Dried Up from Cecil on Vimeo.

Three student animators from the Kansas City Art Institute are up for an Academy award for this.

26 May 2010

Zombies and Matsui


Japanese theatre director and writer Shu Matsui

“For me, it’s not so much a question of ‘emptiness.’ I prefer the image of a zombie. Why? Because zombies represent the future of mankind: they have no soul, no interior, no emotions. They wander about with no purpose, they respond to stimuli — for example if there is an escalator at a shopping center they’ll go up and down — but that’s all they do. Their form to me somehow represents what humans are heading toward.”

Bestiality and rape appear in Mr. Matsui’s work, but the violence serves a cautionary purpose. He cites the intense interest among his generation in the “otaku murderer,” Tsutomu Miyazaki, who between 1988 and 1989 mutilated and killed four young girls, molesting and cannibalizing their corpses. “He said before his execution that he was told to do so by someone in his head, and that it was not his fault,” Mr. Matsui recalled. “Ever since then I’ve been fascinated by his comments. His thinking is different from thinking up until now. He has no interior life, no feelings. We want him to express remorse and show his feelings — we think this is part of being human — but maybe that’s not the case, and maybe we are all heading in his direction.”


Some video:

Ano Hito No Sekai from Roberto Maxwell on Vimeo.

 Zombies are the key emblem of our time. They infest our imaginations. We see them walking among us. Something powerful is working to take our souls away.

We are more than eyemeat  and fingertips.

24 May 2010

William Stockman

William Stockman, Thursday, November 5th, 2009 (detail), 2009, conte on paper with debossed date stamp

Michaël Borremans

Image: Michaël Borremans. Ghost (III) (detail), 2009, oil on canvas. Photo by Peter Cox.

Flat's hard. Flat can just be . . . flat, deflated, affectless. Stillness, the same issue. Stillness can be everything, pregnant, full, ready, tense. Or boring.

The expressiveness of the nape, the back of a head.

Also with scenes. Sometimes, it really works when a major line, speech, reaction is played with the viewer only seeing the back, not the face. Brando, of course. But also Emily Watson in The Proposition.

21 May 2010

Got it all

Jacques Magazine presents Tori from Jacques Magazine on Vimeo.

Jonathan Leder for Jacques Magazine

White Sands

White Sands, Mexico by Ernst Haas

High School

19 May 2010

Innocence ends

“Innocence ends when one is stripped of the delusion that one likes oneself.”

— Joan Didion, On Self-Respect

Lise Safarti

Eva-Claire Lise Safarti

interview & more photos here

Lise Safarti

Eva-Claire by Lise Safarti

Gas station

photo by Bryan Shutmaat

The robots have become self aware. . . .

Joan A

M&Bs introduced me to Joan Armatrading. Which just shows how honest to her own taste she is, a great quality in anyone.

I used to spend time pretending to like things because I felt I ought to, and rejecting music, in particular, that didn't fit in with my sonic politics or persona or some bullshit like that.

What an idiot. Happily, that was a short stage.

Anyway, a terrific singer, musician and voice. (And I'll just ignore the lesbians in the first 500 rows.)

Dr. Pepper

photo by Dennis Hopper.

17 May 2010

Danses apaches


Ava says. . .

“I’m one Hollywood star who hasn’t taken an overdose of sleeping pills. I haven’t been in jail, and I don’t go running to the psychiatrist every two minutes. That’s something of an accomplishment these days.”

-Ava Gardner, 1960


14 May 2010


It's because I quit that it's okay

Pole dancing in the Olympics

TOKYO -- For Japan's Mai Sato, watching all those gold medals being handed out in Vancouver is a bittersweet experience. Sato knows the demands of being the best. In her world, blisters are the rule, bruises a way of life. And the training -- five hours a day, five days a week.

Sato, the world champion in her sport, is as athletic, dedicated and competitive as the Olympians representing their nations at the games. And she thinks it's high time her discipline, too, got some real recognition.

Still, pole dancing? In the Olympics?
Absolutely, say thousands of pole dancers and the rapidly growing number of international and national federations transforming what was once the exclusive property of strip clubs and cheap bars into a respectable -- and highly athletic -- event.

And she's Scottish.

Sara Gries

The Three Stages of Woman

The Three Stages of Woman, Edvard Munch

11 May 2010

Now that's the life for me!

A mobile solar powered 'micro-cinema', commissioned by Undercurrents, will be touring the UK this year. The 1960s two berth caravan, which was converted into a cinema using recycled materials, will help bring the work of progressive film makers to diverse audiences.

Inside, Sol Cinema will comfortably accommodate eight people, yet it caters for outdoor audiences of up to a hundred. Power comes entirely from the sun, via two solar panels and is stored in state of the art lithium batteries ready for late night screenings.

I want to load one of these suckers up with my films and maybe some other faves and hit the road.

"The map is not the territory"

Painting by Rene Magritte

"The map is not the territory is a remark by Polish-American scientist and philosopher Alfred Korzybski, encapsulating his view that an abstraction derived from something, or a reaction to it, is not the thing itself. For example, the pain from a stone falling on your foot is not the stone; one's opinion of a politician, favorable or unfavorable, is not that person; and so on. A specific abstraction or reaction does not capture all facets of its source — e.g. the pain in your foot does not convey the internal structure of the stone, you don't know everything that is going on in the life of a politician, etc. — and thus may limit an individual's understanding and cognitive abilities unless the two are distinguished. Korzybski held that many people do confuse maps with territories, in this sense."

How I judge a screenplay writing contest

If I was appalled by the writing of these scripts, I was impressed by the stories. All of these writers had stories to tell that were worth telling. However, this made their writing problems tragic because they had become their own worst enemies. Every screenwriter here had committed the cardinal sin of letting the writing get in the way of the story. As a reader for a production company, I wouldn't have stayed with any of these scripts long enough to appreciate the story. These writers were thinking like fiction writers, not screenwriters. In fact, they didn't seem to comprehend that a screenplay is a blueprint for a movie -- that is, unless they were directing the movie themselves. 


10 May 2010


Dylan Thomas, the great Welsh poet, in the full glamor of talent and youth, before the booze puffed him up. The picture that lit a thousand nails.

Belmondo, French and cool. After nine months of not smoking, I saw Breathless (yes, the irony of the title doesn't escape me). I believed in magic. I went out and bought a pack, and smoked for another three years. Jean Seaberg did not betray me. I did not stage any robberies. I just led my life. And smoked. We remain very distinct, Jean-Paul et moi, despite our shared addiction.

How stupid does that sound: you want to write well and look cool, so you smoke? You want to flirt with death because he passed you by, but when you're young, you're stupid with health and life and so, Death, you look pretty, just like a young Sharon Tate. Worth flirting with, yes, with an angry cherry burning at the end of my cig.

Amy Winehouse, the beautiful mess who sings, suffers, bleeds and surfs the edge so we don't have to.
Preiz pour nous.
At 24, she's contracted emphysema.
Life speeds up. So does death, never a slacker.

Emphysema: your lungs drown themselves. Nature, what a joker: black humor, but clever how cancer turns health inside out and emphysema poetically reverses air for water.

It's incurable. Oh, you might get a lung transfer, but by the time you need one that badly, you probably can't stand the operation.

One of the hard parts of quitting and staying away from the damn things is that you have to move to the Other Side -- the puritans and healthniks, the clean of life, the chaste and the boring. You risk, also, becoming tedious on the subject.

Rather than dwell on it too long, I'll let M. Brynner -- acrobat, singer, gypsy, actor, friend of Picasso and Cocteau, lover of beautiful women -- tell you.

Joseph Koudelka

France, 1973

Kamila Kulik

06 May 2010

Kansas City state of mind

Like this elegant young woman -- or is she a widow? -- I, too, will be in Kansas City, primping and wearing basic black.

Wolf woodcut


Cinco de mayo, a little late

It's the Texas flag in the window doubling as a shade that really makes this for me. Texas is filled with crazy brilliant kids who perfect some skill. Intensely. Like Van Cliburn. Or Jerry Hall.

And, besides the obvious reasons to like the top photo, the empty water glass. The TV.

(c) Bryan Schutmaat