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Friday, March 29, 2013

Ram Dass ◦ Fierce Grace ◦ Full Movie (2001)



Mickey Lemle's documentary Ram Dass, Fierce Grace is a portrait of Ram Dass (Richard Alpert), author, 60s guru, spiritual teacher, cohort of Timothy Leary, & author of Be Here Now, one of the most influential books of the 1970s. The film begins in the present, as Ram Dass deals with the effects of a massive stroke he suffered in February 1997 that left him physically incapacitated, & with impaired memory & speech. Interweaving current conversations, interviews with people in his life, & archival footage, Lemle then looks back at his childhood, the controversy surrounding his research with Timothy Leary in psychedelics at Harvard, his studies in India with Neem Karoli Baba, who renamed him Baba Ram Dass (Servant of God), his work with the Seva Foundation in social action projects dedicated to relieving suffering in the world, & his impact as an author & guru to millions of followers.

Several examples are shown of his compassion & his ability to feel the pain of others. In an early sequence, his beautiful "Rachel's Letter" comforts a family after their daughter was murdered. In the final sequence, Ram Dass listens to a young woman struggling to overcome her grief at her boyfriend's violent death. She brings him to tears when she tells him about a dream she had in which her boyfriend speaks to her from beyond with a reassuring message.

When Ram Dass received the "fierce grace" of being "stroked," he admits he did not have any unusual spiritual epiphany. He recalls, "Here I am, Mr. Spiritual, & in my own head I didn't orient toward the spirit. It showed me I have some work to do." He has written about the stroke in his latest book, Still Here in which he talks about slowing down, & finding out about the "everything" that is out there. For Ram Dass, aging has become a gift. "I was galumphing through life before the stroke," he says. "I'm at peace now more than I've ever been. The peace comes from settling in to the moment."

Enhanced by the music of Krishna Das, the documentary is more than just a bio-pic or a meditation on the process of aging, it is an inspiring portrait of a man whose life can be summed up in one word -- service. Ram Dass has said, "What one person has to offer to another is their own being, nothing more, nothing less." In Ram Dass, Fierce Grace, Lemle has given us Ram Dass's being, nothing more, nothing less. That is a gift of love.

Beyond Life with Timothy Leary (full documentary)


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Footage of 1950s Teenagers Dancing to New Wave Dub Punk Freak Classics


Songs:
Run, Run, Run - The Velvet Underground
Rule The Nation - U- Roy
DJ’s Choice - Dennis Alcapone
Warm Leatherette - The Normal
Why Can’t I Touch It - The Buzzcocks
Too Many Creeps - The Bush Tetras
Love Song - The Cure
B.O.B. - Outkast
America Drinks And Goes Home - The Mothers Of Invention

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Jackson Pollock 51


My painting does not come from the easel. I prefer to tack the unstretched canvas to the hard wall or the floor. I need the resistance of a hard surface. On the floor I am more at ease. I feel nearer, more part of the painting, since this way I can walk around it, work from the four sides and literally be in the painting.
I continue to get further away from the usual painter's tools such as easel, palette, brushes, etc. I prefer sticks, trowels, knives and dripping fluid paint or a heavy impasto with sand, broken glass or other foreign matter added.
When I am in my painting, I'm not aware of what I'm doing. It is only after a sort of 'get acquainted' period that I see what I have been about. I have no fear of making changes, destroying the image, etc., because the painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through. It is only when I lose contact with the painting that the result is a mess. Otherwise there is pure harmony, an easy give and take, and the painting comes out well.
—Jackson Pollock, My Painting, 1956
The ten-minute film, simply called Jackson Pollock 51 (the 51 being short for 1951), lets you see Pollock painting from a unique angle — through glass. The film achieved Namuth’s aesthetic goals, but it came at a price. Apparently the filming taxed Pollock emotionally, and by the evening, the painter decided to pour himself some bourbon, his first drink in two years. A blowout argument followed; Pollock never stopped drinking again; and it was downhill from there…

Black Block - (full documentary)

Black Block from Cantelyngrado on Vimeo.


Carlo Augusto Bachschmidt | Italy | 76min.

Repression is part and parcel of democracy a power system that, while it needs legitimacy, also requires control, and redefining the limits within which being "free citizens." It is often necessary to counter the enemy to the point of making it inoffensive. Genoa's G8 Summit in 2001 demonstrated this in the fiercest of ways.Through Lena, Niels, Chabi, Mina, Dan, Michael and Muli, the film aims to restore the testimony of those who experienced the violence in the raid on the Diaz school and the torture at the Bolzaneto detention centre.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Braidotti: Nomadic Feminist Theory In A Global Era


Braidotti: Nomadic Feminist Theory In A Global Era from bkm on Vimeo.

This lecture addresses the so-called ‘post-human’ turn in contemporary feminist theory in the light of three main considerations: firstly the shifting perception and understanding of ‘the human’ in the Life sciences; secondly the effects of globalization as a system that functions by instilling the process of ‘timeless time’ and perverse, multiple time-lines. Thirdly, the impact of wars and conflicts in contemporary governmentality and the new forms of discrimination they engender on a planetary scale. Last but not least this talk examines the implications of this historical context for progressive, affirmative politics in general and gender issues in particular.

Rosi Braidotti, who holds Italian and Australian citizenship, was born in Italy and grew up in Australia, where she received a First-Class Honours degree from the Australian National University in Canberra in 1977 and was awarded the University Medal in Philosophy and the University Tillyard prize. Braidotti then moved on to do her doctoral work at the Sorbonne, where she received her degree in philosophy in 1981. She has taught at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands since 1988, when she was appointed as the founding professor in women’s studies. In 1995 she became the founding Director of the Netherlands research school of Women’s Studies, a position she held till 2005. Braidotti is a pioneer in European Women’s Studies: she founded the inter-university SOCRATES network NOISE and the Thematic Network for Women’s Studies ATHENA, which she directed till 2005. She was a Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professor at Birkbeck College in 2005-6; a Jean Monnet professor at the European University Institute in Florence in 2002-3 and a fellow in the school of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton in 1994. Braidotti is currently Distinguished University Professor at Utrecht University and founding Director of the Centre for the Humanities.

La Commune (Paris, 1871)



La Commune (Paris, 1871) is a 2000 historical drama film directed by Peter Watkins about the Paris Commune. It is a historical re-enactment in the style of a documentary, and was shot in just 13 days in an abandoned factory on the outskirts of Paris. The large cast is mainly non-professional, including many immigrants from North Africa, and they did much of their own research for the project.
As Watkins says, "The Paris Commune has always been severely marginalized by the French education system, despite - or perhaps because - it is a key event in the history of the European working class, and when we first met, most of the cast admitted that they knew little or nothing about the subject. It was very important that the people become directly involved in our research on the Paris Commune, thereby gaining an experiential process in analyzing those aspects of the current French system which are failing in their responsibility to provide citizens with a truly democratic and participatory process."

Like many of Watkins' later films, it is quite lengthy - a long cut runs 5 hours and 45 minutes, though the more common version is 3 and a half hours long. The long version is available on DVD.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Dirty Girls - Riot Grrrls 1996



Shot in 1996 and edited in 2000, this is a short documentary about a group of 13-year-old riot grrrls who were socially ostracized at school by their peers and upperclassmen. Everyone in the schoolyard held strong opinions about these so-called "dirty girls," and meanwhile the "dirty girls" themselves aimed to get their message across by distributing their zine across campus. Directed by Michael Lucid. Music: "Batmobile" by Liz Phair.

UPDATE: A follow-up interview with Amber and Harper has now been posted on Vice.com! Now you can see and read what they're up to! I'll also be shooting some video interviews with Amber and Harper in the next month or so, and posting them here as well. Thank you for the 147,000+ views!! Amber, Harper and I are so excited about this wonderful response to the documentary! xoxoxo

http://www.vice.com/read/i-talked-to-...

UPDATE: Thank you so much for the wonderful response to "Dirty Girls"! I am so happy that people are watching the short doc, and enjoying getting to know the "dirty girls." The #1 request I keep seeing in the comments is that people want to see an update on where the "dirty girls" are now, and what they're up to. I think I very likely will do this sometime very soon! In the meantime, I can tell you that all of the dirty girls are leading happy, healthy and creative adult lives, at least as far as I can tell from their Facebook photos. Amber left that school 1 year after I shot this documentary, and she was much happier at her new school, an arts high school in LA. I did shoot some follow-up footage with the girls in 2000, but I never used the footage. I may start a follow-up project by going back to the 2000 footage to make the first follow-up video! I'll keep you posted...

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Weekly Zizek: Don't Act Just Think



Zizek delivers the good yet again. Sure, you want to smash capitalism, but what then? Where you going to get your iPod and retro designer clothes?

Transcript

Slavoj ZizekCapitalism is . . . and this, almost I’m tempted to say is what is great about it, although I’m very critical of it . . . Capitalism is more an ethical/religious category for me.  It’s not true when people attack capitalists as egotists.  “They don't care.”  No!  An ideal capitalist is someone who is ready, again, to stake his life, to risk everything just so that production grows, profit grows, capital circulates.  His personal or her happiness is totally subordinated to this.  This is what I think Walter Benjamin, the great Frankfurt School companion, thinker, had in mind when he said capitalism is a form of religion.  You cannot explain, account for, a figure of a passionate capitalist, obsessed with expanded circulation, with rise of his company, in terms of personal happiness.

I am, of course, fundamentally anti-capitalist.  But let’s not have any illusions here.  No.  What shocks me is that most of the critics of today’s capitalism feel even embarrassed, that's my experience, when you confront them with a simple question, “Okay, we heard your story . . . protest horrible, big banks depriving us of billions, hundreds, thousands of billions of common people's money. . . . Okay, but what do you really want?  What should replace the system?”  And then you get one big confusion. You get either a general moralistic answer, like “People shouldn't serve money.  Money should serve people.”  Well, frankly, Hitler would have agreed with it, especially because he would say, “When people serve money, money’s controlled by Jews,” and so on, no?  So either this or some kind of a vague connection, social democracy, or a simple moralistic critique, and so on and so on.  So, you know, it’s easy to be just formally anti-capitalist, but what does it really mean?  It’s totally open. 

This is why, as I always repeat, with all my sympathy for Occupy Wall Street movement, it’s result was . . . I call it a Bartleby lesson.  Bartleby, of course, Herman Melville’sBartleby, you know, who always answered his favorite “I would prefer not to” . . . The message of Occupy Wall Street is, I would prefer not to play the existing game.  There is something fundamentally wrong with the system and the existing forms of institutionalized democracy are not strong enough to deal with problems.  Beyond this, they don't have an answer and neither do I.  For me, Occupy Wall Street is just a signal.  It’s like clearing the table.  Time to start thinking.


The other thing, you know, it’s a little bit boring to listen to this mantra of “Capitalism is in its last stage.”  When this mantra started, if you read early critics of capitalism, I’m not kidding, a couple of decades before French Revolution, in late eighteenth century.  No, the miracle of capitalism is that it’s rotting in decay, but the more it’s rotting, the more it thrives.  So, let’s confront that serious problem here. 

Also, let’s not remember--and I’m saying this as some kind of a communist--that the twentieth century alternatives to capitalism and market miserably failed. . . . Like, okay, in Soviet Union they did try to get rid of the predominance of money market economy.  The price they paid was a return to violent direct master and servant, direct domination, like you no longer will even formally flee.  You had to obey orders, a new authoritarian society. . . . And this is a serious problem: how to abolish market without regressing again into relations of servitude and domination.

My advice would be--because I don't have simple answers--two things: (a) precisely to start thinking.  Don't get caught into this pseudo-activist pressure.  Do something. Let’s do it, and so on.  So, no, the time is to think.  I even provoked some of the leftist friends when I told them that if the famous Marxist formula was, “Philosophers have only interpreted the world; the time is to change it” . . . thesis 11 . . . , that maybe today we should say, “In the twentieth century, we maybe tried to change the world too quickly.  The time is to interpret it again, to start thinking.” 

Second thing, I’m not saying people are suffering, enduring horrible things, that we should just sit and think, but we should be very careful what we do.  Here, let me give you a surprising example.  I think that, okay, it’s so fashionable today to be disappointed at President Obama, of course, but sometimes I’m a little bit shocked by this disappointment because what did the people expect, that he will introduce socialism in United States or what?  But for example, the ongoing universal health care debate is an important one.  This is a great thing.  Why?  Because, on the one hand, this debate which taxes the very roots of ordinary American ideology, you know, freedom of choice, states wants to take freedom from us and so on.  I think this freedom of choice that Republicans attacking Obama are using, its pure ideology.  But at the same time, universal health care is not some crazy, radically leftist notion.  It’s something that exists all around and functions basically relatively well--Canada, most of Western European countries. 

So the beauty is to select a topic which touches the fundamentals of our ideology, but at the same time, we cannot be accused of promoting an impossible agenda--like abolish all private property or what.  No, it’s something that can be done and is done relatively successfully and so on.  So that would be my idea, to carefully select issues like this where we do stir up public debate but we cannot be accused of being utopians in the bad sense of the term.


Directed / Produced by
Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Blackbeard - Terror at Sea



The original and colorful story of this fearsome pirate who preyed on Caribbean trade routes. In addition to colorful drama and incisive insights into its complex subject, "Blackbeard: Terror at Sea" unfolds against the tapestry of America's infancy and explores the surprisingly democratic life that pirates experienced at sea.

With the new Assassin's Creed 4 annouced:



Interest in piracy and pirates should be on an upward swing (no pun intended). Piracy was an early form of democracy as this shows, from Captain John Phillips, captain of the Revenge, code set for his men in 1724:
I. Every Man Shall obey civil Command; the Captain shall have one full Share and a half of all Prizes; the Master, Carpenter, Boatswain and Gunner shall have one Share and quarter.

II. If any Man shall offer to run away, or keep any Secret from the Company, he shall be marooned with one Bottle of Powder, one Bottle of Water, one small Arm, and Shot.

III. If any Man shall steal any Thing in the Company, or game, to the Value of a Piece of Eight, he shall be marooned or shot.

IV. If any time we shall meet another Marooner that Man shall sign his Articles without the Consent of our Company, shall suffer such Punishment as the Captain and Company shall think fit.

V. That Man that shall strike another whilst these Articles are in force, shall receive Moses’s Law (that is, 40 Stripes lacking one) on the bare Back.

VI. That Man that shall snap his Arms, or smoke Tobacco in the Hold, without a Cap to his Pipe, or carry a Candle lighted without a Lanthorn, shall suffer the same Punishment as in the former Article.

VII. That Man shall not keep his Arms clean, fit for an Engagement, or neglect his Business, shall be cut off from his Share, and suffer such other Punishment as the Captain and the Company shall think fit.

VIII. If any Man shall lose a Joint in time of an Engagement, shall have 400 Pieces of Eight ; if a Limb, 800.

IX. If at any time you meet with a prudent Woman, that Man that offers to meddle with her, without her Consent, shall suffer present Death.
  Set sail for freedom, adventure and danger lads and lassies!


Thursday, March 07, 2013

Advice from Monk






T.MONK'S ADVICE (1960)

    JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT A DRUMMER, DOESN’T MEAN YOU DON’T HAVE TO KEEP TIME.

    PAT YOUR FOOT & SING THE MELODY IN YOUR HEAD, WHEN YOU PLAY.

    STOP PLAYING ALL THOSE WEIRD NOTES (THAT BULLSHIT), PLAY THE MELODY!

    MAKE THE DRUMMER SOUND GOOD.

    DISCRIMINATION IS IMPORTANT.

    YOU’VE GOT TO DIG IT TO DIG IT, YOU DIG?

    ALL REET!

    ALWAYS KNOW... (MONK)

    IT MUST BE ALWAYS NIGHT, OTHERWISE THEY WOULDN’T NEED THE LIGHTS.

    LET’S LIFT THE BAND STAND!!

    I WANT TO AVOID THE HECKLERS.

    DON’T PLAY THE PIANO PART, I’M PLAYING THAT. DON’T LISTEN TO ME. I’M SUPPOSED TO BE ACCOMPANYING YOU!

    THE INSIDE OF THE TUNE (THE BRIDGE) IS THE PART THAT MAKES THE OUTSIDE SOUND GOOD.

    DON’T PLAY EVERYTHING (OR EVERY TIME); LET SOME THINGS GO BY. SOME MUSIC JUST IMAGINED. WHAT YOU DON’T PLAY CAN BE MORE IMPORTANT THAT WHAT YOU DO.

    ALWAYS LEAVE THEM WANTING MORE.

    A NOTE CAN BE SMALL AS A PIN OR AS BIG AS THE WORLD, IT DEPENDS ON YOUR IMAGINATION.

    STAY IN SHAPE! SOMETIMES A MUSICIAN WAITS FOR A GIG, & WHEN IT COMES, HE’S OUT OF SHAPE & CAN’T MAKE IT.

    WHEN YOU’RE SWINGING, SWING SOME MORE!

    (WHAT SHOULD WE WEAR TONIGHT? SHARP AS POSSIBLE!)

    DON’T SOUND ANYBODY FOR A GIG, JUST BE ON THE SCENE. THESE PIECES WERE WRITTEN SO AS TO HAVE SOMETHING TO PLAY, & TO GET CATS INTERESTED ENOUGH TO COME TO REHEARSAL.

    YOU’VE GOT IT! IF YOU DON’T WANT TO PLAY, TELL A JOKE OR DANCE, BUT IN ANY CASE, YOU GOT IT! (TO A DRUMMER WHO DIDN’T WANT TO SOLO).

    WHATEVER YOU THINK CAN’T BE DONE, SOMEBODY WILL COME ALONG & DO IT. A GENIUS IS THE ONE MOST LIKE HIMSELF.

    THEY TRIED TO GET ME TO HATE WHITE PEOPLE, BUT SOMEONE WOULD ALWAYS COME ALONG & SPOIL IT.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

The Tibetan Book of the Dead: A Way of Life (Narration by Leonard Cohen)


Part One


Part Two

Death is real, it comes without warning and it cannot be escaped. An ancient source of strength and guidance, The Tibetan Book of the Dead remains an essential teaching in the Buddhist cultures of the Himalayas. Narrated by Leonard Cohen, this enlightening two-part series explores the sacred text and boldly visualizes the afterlife according to its profound wisdom.

Part 1: A Way of Life reveals the history of The Tibetan Book of the Dead and examines its traditional use in northern India, as well as its acceptance in Western hospices. Shot over a four-month period, the film contains footage of the rites and liturgies for a deceased Ladakhi elder and includes an interview with the Dalai Lama, who shares his views on the book's meaning and importance.

Part 2: The Great Liberation follows an old lama and his novice monk as they guide a Himalayan villager into the afterlife using readings from The Tibetan Book of the Dead. The soul's 49-day journey towards rebirth is envisioned through actual photography of rarely seen Buddhist rituals, interwoven with groundbreaking animation by internationally acclaimed filmmaker Ishu Patel.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Mahakumbh Mela 2013 | Moksha Ki Kamna - Full Movie (English Subtitles)



The Kumbh Mela, believed to be the largest religious gathering on earth is held every 12 years on the banks of the 'Sangam'- the confluence of the holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati. The Mela alternates between Nasik, Allahabad, Ujjain and Haridwar every three years. The one celebrated at the Holy Sangam in Allahabad is the largest and holiest of them. The Mela is attended by millions of devotees including Sadhus. A holy dip in the sacred waters is believed to cleanse the soul. The Sangam comes alive during Kumbh and Ardh Kumbh with an enormous temporary township springing up on the vacant land on the Allahabad side of the river.


ध्वनि दिल सागर मंदिर

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Harry is Here to Remind You, Life is Short


Harry Dean Stanton (born July 14, 1926 - 86 Years Old) is an American actor, musician, and singer. Stanton's career has spanned over fifty years, which has seen him star in such films as Paris, Texas, Kelly's Heroes, Dillinger, Alien, Repo Man, Pretty In Pink, The Last Temptation of Christ, Wild at Heart, The Green Mile and The Pledge. In the late 2000s, he played a recurring role in the HBO television series Big Love.

Ry Cooder; Paris, Texas.

William Burroughs- Destroy All Rational Thought


Documentary Celebrating the life works of Brion Gysin and William Burroughs

Saturday, March 02, 2013

The Source: The Story of the Beats and the Beat Generation


Disclose.tv - The Source: The Story of the Beats and the Beat Generation - Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs

Traces the Beats from Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac's meeting in 1944 at Columbia University to the deaths of Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs in 1997. Three actors provide dramatic interpretations of the work of these three writers, and the film chronicles their friendships, their arrival into American consciousness, their travels, frequent parodies, Kerouac's death, and Ginsberg's politicization. Their movement connects with bebop, John Cage's music, abstract expressionism, and living theater. In recent interviews, Ginsberg, Burroughs, Kesey, Ferlinghetti, Mailer, Jerry Garcia, Tom Hayden, Gary Snyder, Ed Sanders, and others measure the Beats' meaning and impact.

Notes on and additional segments of the movie can be found on the Allen Ginsberg Project here.

Saturday Night Special: Nirvana Leeds, England (10-25-90)


NIRVANA performed live at Leeds Metropolitan University in Leeds, England on October 25, 1990, a year after the release of their debut album “Bleach”, and a year before the release of their iconic second album “Nevermind”.