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| blogging since Oct '01
This is Gordon Osse's blog.
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"He who does not at some time, with definite determination consent to the terribleness of life, or even exalt in it, never takes possession of the inexpressible fullness of the power of our existence."
all faces followers of
All colors, beams of
-- Akhenaton, "Hymn to the Sun"
Opt your children out of Pentagon harassment
WHO I WORK FOR: Mount Hope Wholesale
Wholesale nuts, grains, fruits and spices (and more) shipped from Cottonwood AZ
(Tell them you heard about them on Gordon's blog!)
WHAT I'VE SEEN LATELY:
(r) = re-viewing
God Told Me To (1976, Cohen)
Whispering City (1947, Otsep)
Times and Winds (2006, Erdem)
Dirty Money (Un flic) (1972, Melville)
10th District Court (2004, Depardon)
RFK Must Die: The Assassination of Bobby Kennedy (2007, O'Sullivan)
The Furies (1950, Mann)
In a Lonely Place (1950, Ray)(r)
The Adjuster (1991, Egoyan)(r)
Mad Men The Buddha of Suburbia Intelligence (2006, Haddock) Family Guy
SUGGESTED VIEWING: The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear (2004, Curtis) [available for streaming/download here]
When asked why he made movies, Luis Buñuel said "to show that this is not the best of all possible worlds."
Looks like a classic week at TCM: Sergio Leone's Colossus of Rhodes Monday night at 11:00, part of their salute to Rory Calhoun(!), John Barrymore in what sounds like a fun film I've never heard of, The Great Man Votes, and a not-to-be-missed 5-film celebration of Luis Buñuel best Mexican films on Cinqo de Mayo Thursday, as part of their May salute to Mexican cinema
If you haven't seen Los Olvidados, his movie about street kids in 1950 Mexico City, it's the one I've seen and is essential viewing for anyone (IMHO). Though many fans love Viridiana (I've seen it but so long ago I don't remember it well) and each of them is worth seeing at least once, I'm sure.
However, Los Olvidados is not solely a social document, but also an extension of Buñuel's surrealist aesthetic. This is most apparent in his use of Freudian psychology and his symbolic use of animals, especially chickens. Pedro's and Jaibo's dreams, with their haunting use of slow motion, undoubtedly influenced Andrei Tarkovsky's approach to dreams in films like Ivan's Childhood (1962) and The Mirror (1975). Buñuel claimed that he originally wanted to include additional surreal imagery in the film, including a brief shot of a full size orchestra in the scaffolded building and a top hat in the kitchen of Pedro's home, but the producer Dancigers objected. Buñuel does, however, toss in an homage to Fritz Lang's M (1931) during the pantomimed scene, photographed through a shop window, in which a wealthy older gentleman propositions Pedro. Buñuel was a great admirer of Lang's work and was first drawn to the cinema as an art form after viewing Lang's Destiny (1921).
There are good essays on each Buñuel film at the TCM site, the link to Los Olvidados above has a list at the left with links.
If you don't know the name: Buñuel is one of my favorite directors, and very influential -- Hitchcock said he was the best director ever. But there is no definitive page on him (in English anyway) on the Web that I can find.
The "human-animal" part is unsettling of course -- but so is the "lesser beings" phrase, which has a Creepy Christian feel to it.
Drawing ethical boundaries that no research appears to have crossed yet, the National Academies recommend a prohibition on mixing human stem cells with embryos from monkeys and other primates.
But even that policy recommendation isn't tough enough for some researchers.
"The boundary is going to push further into larger animals," New York Medical College professor Stuart Newman said. "That's just asking for trouble."
Newman and anti-biotechnology activist Jeremy Rifkin have been tracking this issue for the last decade and were behind a rather creative assault on both interspecies mixing and the government's policy of patenting individual human genes and other living matter.
Years ago, the two applied for a patent for what they called a "humanzee," a hypothetical -- but very possible -- creation that was half human and chimp.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office finally denied their application this year, ruling that the proposed invention was too human: Constitutional prohibitions against slavery prevents the patenting of people.
Newman and Rifkin were delighted, since they never intended to create the creature and instead wanted to use their application to protest what they see as science and commerce turning people into commodities.
And that's a point, Newman warns, that stem scientists are edging closer to every day: "Once you are on the slope, you tend to move down it."
I'm sure this research has progressed much farther than they're admitting, of course (remember the scene with the lamb-man in O Lucky Man -- and why isn't this classic on DVD?). And it's doubtful anything will stop it, for now.
The camera is used as an eye (for some odd reason I was reminded of Peeping Tom) recording the moment, taking us all for a ride on the roller coaster, the helter-skelter, and snaking through the mass of dancers in the shadowy ballroom. The plays of powerful beams of light illuminate the dancers, whose pulse and fluid movement resembles that of the sea, which is paradoxically never shown. This film is all about the moment, seizing the day, and having the courage to face the consequences alone, if need be. The camera is as much of a conspirator in this as the actors.
Though I have to admit I don't know that I've heard of any of Elvey's other 189 films he made between 1913 and 1957 .... though I may have seen his version of The Lodger.
In case you're still having doubts about the corrosive effect of BigPharma, maybe you'll believe USA Today
The drug companies' corporate planes have been made available not only to Frist, but also for dozens of trips taken by other powerful lawmakers. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., took at least four trips to GOP fundraising events in the past two years aboard Pfizer's Gulfstream.
Drug companies and their officials contributed at least $17 million to federal candidates in last year's elections, including nearly $1 million to President Bush and more than $500,000 to his opponent, John Kerry. At least 18 members of Congress received more than $100,000 apiece.
The industry also liberally funds think tanks and patient-advocacy groups that don't bear its name but often take its side; the National Patient Advocate Foundation, for instance, receives financial support from at least 10 drug companies. And the industry isn't above playing hardball, according to David Graham, a Food and Drug Administration scientist who got on its bad side.
The element of fear figures largely in the behavior of the Archons and their effect on humanity. In the Old Testament, fear of God is held to be one of the primary marks of religious experience. The possibility that human fear is a kind of nutriment for certain invasive extraterrestrials has been widely argued in the ET/UFO debate. The Second Treatise of the Great Seth says that the agenda of the Archons is "fear and slavery." The Archons wish to keep humankind under "the contraint of fear and worry." (NHLE 1990, p. 367) Other passages also warn against the Archons' use of fear as a psychological weapon.
In another striking detail, the reptilian type seems to be holding a sphere in its jaws, recalling the mythical image of a serpent who offers forbidden fruit: for instance, the Serpent in the Garden of Hyperborea with the golden apple in its mouth. Is the neonate eating from this rounded fruit? Gnostics had their own version of what transpired in the Garden of Eden, events in which the Archons were deeply involved, and so it is perhaps not surprizing to see hints of the Paradise scenario at this primal stage of cosmic activity.
All this activity in the fractal generation of the Archons is imaginal, but it is not imaginary, i.e., not purely made up in our minds. Recreating what Gnostic seers observed is a sober use of imagination, not a flight into make-believe. It takes non-ordinary reason to describe what is happening here, but the scenario so developed is entirely reasonable and coherent on its own terms.
Perhaps this is why the whole idea of organ transplants doesn't work for me -- I just wouldn't be myself if I got one...or someone else would be me
"According to this study of patients who have received transplanted organs, particularly hearts, it is not uncommon for memories, behaviours, preferences and habits associated with the donor to be transferred to the recipient" [The Anomalist]
In 1997, a book titled A Change of Heart was published that described the apparent personality changes experienced by Claire Sylvia. Sylvia received a heart and lung transplant at Yale–New Haven Hospital in 1988. She reported noticing that various attitudes, habits and tastes changed following her surgery. She had inexplicable cravings for foods she had previously disliked. For example, though she was a health-conscious dancer and choreographer, upon leaving the hospital she had an uncontrollable urge to go to a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet and order chicken nuggets, a food she never ate. Sylvia found herself drawn toward cool colours and no longer dressed in the bright reds and oranges she used to prefer. She began behaving in an aggressive and impetuous manner that was uncharacteristic of her but turned out to be similar to the personality of her donor. Interestingly, uneaten Kentucky Fried Chicken nuggets were found in the jacket of the young man (her donor) when he was killed.
Opinions about the plausibility of cellular memory were sought by William Novak, the co-author of the book. Pearsall proposed that the immunosuppressant drugs could conceivably lower the threshold for patients to potentially register cellular memories stored in the transplanted organs . Schwartz and Russek proposed that the rejection process might not only reflect the rejection of the material comprising the cells but also the systemic information and energy stored within the cells as well.
Glazer's films are full of arrivals and birth canals. There's an undeniably amniotic sequence in Sexy Beast in which Winstone and his gang break into a flooded tunnel. Elsewhere a dead Kingsley threatens to struggle up through the floor of Winstone's swimming pool, a fear realised from his dreams, slouching towards metempsychosis. The motif of different worlds, different rooms, suffuses the film. And look: here's a young boy too, a dark, semi-naked youth who cleans Winstone's pool, a creature of the sun-cracked Spanish soil, almost a sprite. One also remembers the stripped-to-the-waist boy in [the video for Radiohead's] 'Street Spirit' - an uncanny white child who watches chairs fly through the air as Thom Yorke warbles. I'm not surprised when Glazer tells me he's interested in archetypes; he often deals in a cracked version of Jung's Puer Aeternus.
In the opening shot of Birth - conducted by Steadicam inventor Garrett Brown in one of his rare returns to the technique he pioneered - a man dies in a tunnel in New York's Central Park while out jogging in the snow. The man, barely seen, is Anna's first husband Sean. The tunnel seems familiar from other movies, and its location gives a clue to what's to come. Central Park has been a key character in many New York films, often used to suggest escape and transformation: think of Louise Brooks on a day out in Love 'Em and Leave 'Em (1926), of Cat People (1943) or of Jack Nicholson turning into a wolf in Wolf (1994). This is the world of fairytale - an important word in my conversation with Glazer.
"[Comedy] demands more timing, pace, shading and subtlety of emphasis. It is difficult to learn but once it is acquired it can be easily slowed down and becomes an excellent foundation for dramatic acting." [Bombshells.com]
Comedy is very difficult, and underappreciated by Oscar (don't get me started) as well as critics in general.
In the worshipful words of the Conservative Caucus, this historic legislation will "RESTORE OUR CONSTITUTION!", mainly by barring ANY federal court or judge from ever again reviewing "any matter to the extent that relief is sought against an entity of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer or agent of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official or personal capacity), concerning that entity's, officer's, or agent's acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government."
In other words, the bill ensures that God's divine word (and our infallible leaders' interpretation thereof) will hereafter trump all our pathetic democratic notions about freedom, law and rights -- and our courts can't say a thing. This, of course, will take "In God We Trust" to an entirely new level, because soon He (and His personally anointed political elite) will be all the legal recourse we have left.
This is not a joke, a test, or a fit of libertarian paranoia. The CRA already has 28 sponsors in the House and Senate, and a March 20 call to lead sponsor Sen. Richard Shelby's office assures us that "we have the votes for passage." This is a highly credible projection as Bill Moyers observes in his 3/24/05 "Welcome to Doomsday" piece in the New York Review of Books: "The corporate, political, and religious right's hammerlock... extends to the US Congress. Nearly half of its members before the election-231 legislators in all (more since the election)-are backed by the religious right... Forty-five senators and 186 members of the 108th Congress earned 80 to 100 percent approval ratings from the most influential Christian Right advocacy groups."
A proper single soon becomes broadcast across enough networks, airwaves and channels that it enters the mass unconscious. It exists not as discreet occurrence, but as a rhythm, and repetition, a virus even, a sonic that can only be avoid through active effort. It exists in a completely different social space from the average song. A song stays discreet, it generally takes action on the listener's part to here the average song. They need to hunt it on Soulseek or buy it off iTunes, then manually insert it into their sonic rotational medium of choice. The song is more or less a deliberate consumption, although there is a complex micropolitics and microeconomy of songs in which they can take on certain elements of a single within localized contexts. For instance a song played everyday in your local coffee shop or in on endless repeat by your next door neighbor is as potentially infectious or noxious as the latest Ashlee Simpson single. For the purposes of the single versus song distinction then its important to note that a single must achieve a degree of broadcast over a relatively broad space with a decent amount of speed. In other words it needs to propagate over networks.
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.
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.
"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.
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"
Creeley's homepage with links to other obits, poems, interviews (print and media), etc.
The Metafilter post from the day of his passing, March 30.
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.
"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.
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.