Friday, October 02, 2015

Joy Division - The Documentary

I've been waiting for a guide to come and take me by the hand
Could these sensations make me feel the pleasures of a normal man?
New sensations bear the innocence, leave them for another day
I've got the spirit, lose the feeling, take the shock away
It's getting faster, moving faster now, it's getting out of hand
On the tenth floor, down the backstairs into no man's land
Lights are flashing, cars are crashing, getting frequent now
I've got the spirit, lose the feeling, let it out somehow
What means to you, what means to me and we will meet again
I'm watching you, I watch it all, I take no pity from your friends
Who is right, who can tell and who gives a damn right now?
Until' the spirit, new sensation takes hold, then you know
Until' the spirit, new sensation takes hold, then you know
Until' the spirit, new sensation takes hold, then you know
I've got the spirit, but lose the feeling
I've got the spirit, but lose the feeling

Monday, September 29, 2014

Tibetian Yoga Masters

Tibetian tantra masters. Very rare colore video.

Two masters meet, and touch Milarepa's dorje.

Very rare color video. Tibetian monks in retreat.

The last 3 faces you'll see in the video are:

1) His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche, head of the Nyingma lineage in India

B) Venerable Kalu Rinpoche, great realized master in the Kagyu lineage.

C) His Holiness, the 16th Karmapa! The head of the Karma Kagyu lineage. A legendery realized master, said to have attained the 'rainbow body' feat.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Peter Clifton’s Superstars In Concert

Peter Clifton (born 1945), is an Australian film director and producer, best known for directing the Led Zeppelin concert film The Song Remains the Same (1976).

Clifton was born and educated in Sydney, Australia. He began his career by filming clips for Top of the Pops, and working with record label Immediate Records. Setting up his own film company called Star Films in Kensington, his first experience in film production was a 30 minute documentary short on the Easybeats tour of the United Kingdom in 1967 called Somewhere Between Heaven and Woolworths, with Australian film maker Lee Pearce. Clifton also directed the famous film clip of the Rolling Stones' performance of 'Jumpin' Jack Flash', as well as clips for the Beach Boys, Jim Morrison, and Eric Clapton. Between 1967 and 1969, Clifton began assembling his first feature film, an experiment in colour, music and effects with performances by the Rolling Stones, Vanilla Fudge, the Bee Gees, Joe Cocker, Traffic, the Animals, and Twiggy, entitled Popcorn (1969). The film established Clifton as one of the leading live music film directors of the period. Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant, and guitarist Jimmy Page met Clifton in 1970, in a bid for his services to edit Stanley Dorfman's footage of the band at the Royal Albert Hall, however the project was cancelled due to the below average quality of the print. In 1971 he directed Superstars in Film Concert, shot in 16mm monochrome featuring John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, and Ike and Tina Turner. Released in 1973, Clifton oversaw the filming of The London Rock and Roll Show held at Wembley Stadium on 5 August 1972.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Wild Angels (1966)

The Wild Angels is a 1966 Roger Corman film, made on location in Southern California. The Wild Angels was made three years before Easy Rider and was the first film to associate actor Peter Fonda with Harley-Davidson motorcycles and 1960s counterculture. It was also the film that inspired the outlaw biker film genre that continued into the early 1970s.

The Wild Angels, released by American International Pictures (AIP), stars Fonda as the fictitious Hells Angels San Pedro, California chapter president "Heavenly Blues" (or "Blues"), Nancy Sinatra as his girlfriend "Mike", Bruce Dern as doomed fellow outlaw "the Loser", and Dern's real-life wife Diane Ladd as the Loser's on-screen wife, "Gaysh".

Small supporting roles are played by Michael J. Pollard and Gayle Hunnicutt and, according to literature promoting the film, members of the Hells Angels from Venice, California. Members of the Coffin Cheaters motorcycle club also appeared.

In 1967 AIP followed this film with Devil's Angels, The Glory Stompers with Dennis Hopper, and The Born Losers. Other films by the same group includes The Trip, Freaked Out, and Easy Rider.

Peter Fonda plays 'Heavenly Blues', the leader of Hell's Angels chapter from Venice, California while Bruce Dern plays 'Loser', his best pal. When they both botch their attempt to retrieve Loser's stolen bike, Loser ends up in the hospital. When the Angels bust him out, he dies, and they bury him. Nancy Sinatra plays Mike, Blues' "old lady" and Diane Ladd plays Loser's wife (Dern's real-life wife at the time). The plot is basically a buildup to the last half-hour of the film in which Loser's funeral becomes another wild party.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Pandit Bhimsen Joshi

This is a biographical film on Bhimsen Joshi who is undoubtedly the singer of this century.An exponent of the Kirana Gharana he is equally at ease with lighter varieties such as 'Bhajans' and stage shows. His guru's have taught him not to be gimmicky and therefore he remains one of the most sought after vocalists at most prestigious music concerts.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Immigration Nation - Independent Australia and the Dark History of Immigration

Australia, built on the backs of migrant workers, now claims to be a beacon of human rights and equality. But not so long ago, racism reared its ugly head in the form of the 'White Australia policy' – a policy designed to keep people of colour out.
Australia began the 20th century as a ‘social laboratory’. It lead the world by initiating reforms and innovations that entrenched basic freedoms, fairness and opportunity decades before they were tried in Europe, Britain and the US.
Yet at the heart of this experiment lay a dark racist policy, and it would take more than 100 years to resolve a fundamental contradiction.
"Immigration Nation", a three-part special series on Al Jazeera, is the story of how Australia has met its challenges, and how it still tries to overcome a legacy of social exclusion.
With thousands of immigrants arriving on the shores of Australia, immigration remains a burning issue.

When the Czech communist and anti-Nazi agitator Egon Kisch attempted a speaking tour of Australia in 1934, the Lyons Government tried everything to stop him achieving landfall, bouncing him in Fremantle, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. When – in desperation – he leapt off the boat in Melbourne, breaking his leg in several places, he was taken into custody and processed under the Immigration Act, which at the time required new arrivals to take a dictation test in a nominated European language. He passed tests in several languages, but flunked when asked to write out the Lord’s Prayer in Scottish Gaelic. Later, the High Court overturned the decision. Not because of the situation’s utter absurdity, but because Scottish Gaelic was not a European language.

In more recent times, we have Liquid-Papered whole chunks of our coastline out of our migration zone, so that people arriving in Australia cannot be said to have actually arrived; tried to tackle the people-smugglers’ trade in human beings by … organising a people-swap with Malaysia; and now, we make boats disappear by ignoring them.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Barfly (1987)

Barfly is a 1987 American film which is a semi-autobiography of poet/author Charles Bukowski during the time he spent drinking heavily in Los Angeles. The screenplay by Bukowski was commissioned by the French film director Barbet Schroeder – it was published, with illustrations by the author, in 1984 when film production was still pending. Barfly stars Mickey Rourke and Faye Dunaway, with direction by Schroeder, and was "presented by" Francis Ford Coppola. The movie also features a silent cameo appearance by Bukowski himself.

The Kino Flo light, now a ubiquitous tool in the film industry, was specially created by Robby Muller's electrical crew for a scene in this film which would have been difficult to light using the conventional lampheads available at the time.

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Life of Juanita Castro (1965)

I have always thought Andy Warhol's films were better than his paintings. Warhol filmed The Life of Juanita Castro about a week after Suicide.  Ronald Tavel appears in the film seated amongst the unrehearsed actors on chairs facing the camera, feeding them lines as well as directions (“Everyone think hard now about the fate of the guajiros, and stare solemnly into the camera.”).  The cast included Ultra Violet (known for her amorous liaisons with Salvador Dali and John Graham) as a member of the chorus or “Family” and a drunken Marie Menken as Juanita Castro. The real-life Juanita Castro was the sister of Fidel Castro who had defected to the United States and spent much of her time publicly criticizing her brother and other members of Castro’s extended family. Life magazine had reported her comments in an article published August 28, 1964 titled “My Brother Was a Tyrant.” Time magazine had reported on her defection in their July 10, 1964 issue in an article titled “The Bitter Family.”

The idea for the film originated at a dinner that Warhol and Tavel went to at the home of Fidel Castro’s brother-in-law, Waldo Dias-Balart. Gossip at the dinner veered toward the in-fighting amongst Castro’s siblings, particularly the comments of Juanita, and Warhol suggested they make a film about her life. Tavel was well-placed to write the film having visited Castro’s Cuba prior to the U.S. travel ban and having also written poems about the country. Many of his friends were Cuban and he had recently had a Cuban lover.  He wrote the script for The Life of Juanita Castro on February 20, 1965 which was filmed by Warhol in mid-March, 1965 and first shown on March 22, 1965 at Jonas Mekas’ Cinematheque.

From Andrew Sarris, “Films,” The Village Voice (December 9, 1965):
“The creative force behind Juanita Castro is not so much Warhol, actually, as Ronnie Tavel, who wrote the script, and acted the key role of the stage manager, and very good he is in both capacities… Tavel reads off lines to be repeated in turn, by Fidel Castro, Raoul Castro, Juanita Castro and Che Guevara. Fidel, Raoul, and Che are played by relatively pretty, Latin-looking girls, Juanita Castro by Marie Menken, an independent film-maker, who in this context, comes over like a lady longshoreman… The whole thing is outrageous… making a comment on a revolution that has long since been consigned to camp. The whole show was given away when word got out that Fidel Castro wanted to be played on the screen by Marlon Brando and Raoul by Frank Sinatra. From that point on, Cuba became the property of Andy Warhol and Ronnie Tavel, and they have made the only valid statement I have seen on the subject in the past several years.”

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Last Movie (1971)

The Last Movie is a 1971 drama film from Universal Pictures. It was written and directed by Dennis Hopper, who also played a horse wrangler named after the state of Kansas. It also starred Peter Fonda, Henry Jaglom and Michelle Phillips. Production of the movie, which cost $1 million, took place in the film's major setting, Peru.

The film's initial failure led to Hopper's virtual exile from Hollywood, one that lasted well over a decade. Nonetheless, Hopper later announced he was very proud of the film, and hosted many screenings. While he had disparaged the film in the past, Hopper said it was ahead of its time, and only now had audiences and critics started to understand his artistic vision.

Hopper told Playboy in 2006 that he had re-acquired the rights to the film and was planning a DVD release. The magazine even mentions at the time that Hopper held a screening of the film at the Playboy Mansion for Hugh Hefner and several Playmates. Hopper did not realize his plans to release the film on DVD before his death in May 2010.

Hopper appears on The Merv Griffin Show in 1971 just after the release of The Last Movie. More on the film and this interview here.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Voices of Black Panther women (October 26, 1990)

A panel discussion of women who are members of the Black Panther Party in which they relate their personal struggles and experiences as "Panther women" engaged in civil rights activism. This event was organized by the Graduate Assembly, University of California, Berkeley and took place on October 26, 1990 at Booth Auditorium, Boalt Hall, University of California, Berkeley.