Saturday, April 09, 2005
Yoshitaro Nomura -- apparently a pioneer Japanese director of noir -- has died at 85
Hard to find anything definitive about his career, though Zero Focus (Zero no shoten) & The Demon (Kichiku) are available from netflix, and 4 of his other films (The Castle of Sand, The Incident, Village of Eight Gravestones, and Writhing Tongue) are available in Region 3 coding here, as a boxset or individually.
I'm sure Midnight Eye will post an obit eventually. Here's their review of Nomura's Harikomi and reviews of the DVD release of Zero Focus from TCM and a site called Gusto.
Been watching a lot of Asian films lately (by directors Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Hou Hsiao Hsien, Shinya Tsukamoto, Tsai Ming-Liang & Pen-Ek Ratanaruang), which I'll get to talking about soon.
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Thursday, April 07, 2005
Added Paul Shrug's mp3 blog to the music list -- worth a look...
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Hunter Thompson's ashes will be shot from a cannon, as per his wishes
The cannon will be set inside a 53ft Gonzo fist statue on his property, which you may know was also his idea if you've seen the Fear and Loathing on the Road to Hollywood BBC doc from the 70s on the Criterion edition of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
Last links: Steadman's obit and William McKeen's.
9:19 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
R.I.P. Robert Creeley
"The figure of Outward", as Olson named Creeley, would go on to take full advantage of the possibilities open to poets of the Beat epoch, the foundations of which were laid by his mentor's pivotal essay Projective Verse, and the clearing of an academic orthodoxy based on tired metrics, smug irony, the self-regarding ego and its iambic thuds. Creeley's homepage with links to other obits, poems, interviews (print and media), etc.
In 1954, fired by his dynamic synthesis of speech and perception, Olson invited Creeley to edit the Black Mountain Review and teach at the college. The institution had acted as a catalyst for American developments away from social realism, representing for the abstract expressionist generation what the Bauhaus had stood for in interwar Europe: a dialogue between art and the spectrum of human acts.
To Creeley, Olson was "the last of Black Mountain's defining persons", who wanted "to have the human be again a freshness, not merely an echo of whatever it might once have been". The college prospectus declared a "consistent effort to teach method, not content; to emphasise process - a grammar of the art of living and working in the world".
* * *
Tree adamant looks in
its own skin mottled with growths
its stubborn limbs
stick upright parallel
wanting to begin again
looking for sun in the sky
for a warmer wind
to walk off pull up
roots and move
to Boston be a table
a chair a house
a use a final fire.
from "Four Days in Vermont"
The Metafilter post from the day of his passing, March 30.
12:49 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
France's place on the cultural map not what it once was -- even among the French
The salon is the real French tradition to which the country's current intellectual class belongs. And in a salon, ideas are not judged according to their truth but their pragmatic use in the business of managing and sustaining a career. At least Sartre showed how truth should castigate power - whether it was Stalinism in the late 40s or the US in the 50s. This failure of the post-Sartrean philosophers is just one aspect of a wider, generational collapse. Among historians there's no successor to Fernand Braudel, and literary criticism knows no genius equal to that of Roland Barthes. And a visit to a French Left Bank bookshop is depressing, with all those rows of Gallimard books so beautifully produced and so full of vacuous wordplay. Vanity publishing with an intello twist has buried real thought and elevated the bogus. Which is why, even in the early spring sunshine, Paris is a city of the dead - a beautiful tomb for a dead culture.
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Cable operators plan 1600% Net speed increase
"The sky's the limit," says CableLabs CEO Dick Green. "There are a lot of high-data-rate services lurking out there — including a lot that we haven't even thought of."
While cable operators now usually transmit broadband at 3 million bits per second (3MB), a download of "a billion bits per second is completely doable," Comcast CEO Brian Roberts told the industry's annual convention here this week. "The network could do this quite easily."
That could dramatically affect how people use the Internet when the new modems to handle the speeds arrive, which is expected to be in 2008.
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Sunday, April 03, 2005
Funny that Rigorous Intuition posts about Gerrard Winstanley & the Diggers when I was just looking up the Kevin Brownlow docudrama about them the other day, after finding it on Jonathan Rosenbaum's Top Ten of 1975
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The formerly reclusive-to-the-point-of-never Jandek will appear in the UK again next month
The link above is to viewropa, a collaborative European blog inspired by the metafilter model. Though the posts need to be Euro-related, you don't have to live there to contribute.
11:05 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Talk about overdue...
Old news for Eno fans no doubt, but Astralwerks has put out "gently" re-mastered editions of 12 albums
Found Another Green World at my local library (!) yesterday, but I've only listened to "Sky Saw" so far. The changes seemed subtle but beneficial on first listen, allowing the track a more sinuous feel.
What a trip it was to hear it for the first time back in '75...
Anything's better than the old EG discs, vinyl or CD. The Instrumental and Vocal anthologies on UK Virgin back 10 years ago (and long OOP) were 20-bit whatevers, and sounded better too. But they disappeared quickly.
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BBC on the "power of bloggers"
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