An Array of Utopian Flowers
- The US Shame of My Lai in Vietnam
Posted on March 17, 2018 | No Comments
- The Lucrative and Violent Curse of Coltan Mining in Congo
Posted on March 3, 2018 | No Comments
- Iannis Xenakis and the Notion of a Cosmic Utopia
Posted on February 21, 2018 | No Comments
- Anthropocene Arrives, Climate Collapses, and No One Cares
Posted on February 17, 2018 | No Comments
- Jean Jacques Dessalines and the Women Warriors who Liberated Haiti
Posted on January 24, 2018 | No Comments
- The US Shame of My Lai in Vietnam
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Twittering From the Trees
- Posted on August 9, 2017 | 1 CommentWatch the 1967 supernatural horror story "Viy" based on the 1835 novella by the Russian writer Nikolai Gogol, where a student philosopher from the Christian seminary encounters a young woman with dark powers who can summon the ogre, King of the Gnomes, which the author claims comes from Ukrainian folklore tradition.
- Posted on May 22, 2017 | No CommentsMatthew Anthony Stokes solo show Camouflage opened in Los Angeles, which illustrates his unique multi-disciplinary background in performance, corporeal dramaturgy, dance, sculpture, assemblage, film, photography, and poetry. Multiple videos from the experimental MAQUETTE Theatre, which he co-founded, create a visionary alternative universe replete with silent dances and visual poems that "unveil" ephemeral sculpture, including costumes, sets and masks.
- Posted on October 25, 2016 | 2 CommentsBattleship Potemkin is a 1925 Soviet silent revolutionary propaganda film directed by Sergei Eisenstein and produced by Mosfilm. It presents a dramatized version of the mutiny that occurred in 1905 when the crew of the Russian battleship Potemkin rebelled against their officers.
- Posted on August 17, 2016 | No CommentsCassavetes' Shadows "improvises" Beat Generation Manhattan, where two brothers and a sister, black but inexplicably played by two white actors, careening off track to scaled-back sketches of Charles Mingus' saxophone jazz yearnings. Black and white neon signs blink and the old Times Square looms like the otherworld, naturalistic cordial racism separating the chosen from the downtrodden, both dreaming of making it, of creating something.
- Posted on July 7, 2016 | 1 CommentInternationally acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami's "realist parable film-making" expanded the artistic history of world cinema. Called "an icon of change in Iran," his death this past Monday has challenged critics to find ways to fully describe the distinctive nature of his cinematic mastery.
- Posted on April 11, 2016 | 2 CommentsEthnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes, one of the most important plant explorers of the 20th century, served as a key inspiration in a recent film called "Embrace of the Serpent." In December 1941, Schultes entered the Amazon to study how indigenous peoples used plants for medicinal, ritual, and practical purposes. After nearly a decade of fieldwork, he made significant discoveries about the sacred hallucinogen ayahuasca. In total, Schultes would collect more than 24,000 species of plants including some 300 species new to Western science.
- Posted on February 6, 2016 | No CommentsCarlos Reygadas, the Mexican surrealistic filmmaker known for confounding audiences with somnolent landscapes and stark visions of humanity melding among the wily breeze, the flow of a silent river, and the meander of children wandering through tall grass. He has created a subtle masterpiece with his 2007 film Silent Light.
- Posted on April 25, 2015 | 2 CommentsIn the sobering aftermath of World War I in Zurich, Dada preached a radical-yet-whimsical philosophy of creativity, a self-styled anti-art. Random and meaningless by definition, calculatedly irrational by design, for a short time the movement spread like revolt to the US and across Europe, voicing the bizarre protest of a brave new community of artists and writers.
- Posted on August 30, 2014 | No CommentsChampion of the disinherited of postwar Italy, Pier Paolo Pasolini's masterworks prefigured his country's fall to a consumerist Heart of Darkness, an uncompromising vision that may have led to his own wretched death. A biopic by Abel Ferrara that premiered at the Venice biennale reconstructed the last hours of the Italian film director, who was murdered in 1975.
- Posted on July 3, 2014 | 2 CommentsOrson Welles, the cinematic genius who ended his days selling cheap wine, was both noble and feeble, titanic and pathetic, sacred monster and profane clown, says Peter Conrad. We take samples from his oeuvre, his noir thriller The Stranger and his stylistic fragmentation, Othello.
- Posted on May 2, 2014 | No CommentsWalkabout, vision quest, walking in Dreamtime, all of it refers to a particular rite of passage from the indigenous Australians, but also in evidence in animist cultures throughout the world. The 1971 film of the same name narrates a young woman and her brother's journey beyond their Western frame, but never quite able to follow the ancestor paths, or songlines, of the land.
- Posted on September 7, 2013 | 3 CommentsThe Mexican film Macario (1960) weaves a tale of magical realism - with special appearances by God, the Devil and Death. It all begins on the Day of the Dead, when a campesino named Macario goes on a hunger strike. B. Traven, the mysterious German writer exiled in Mexico, wrote the story, inspired from indigenous folk tales.
- Posted on August 17, 2013 | No CommentsFilm and music of shimmering yet jarring beauty play together on a South Seas beach in "Legong: Dance of the Virgins." It's a rarely screened 1935 silent movie, shot entirely in Bali with a Balinese cast, mixed with a new score by Club Foot Orchestra and Gamelan Sekar Jaya. Presented in a crude but rich two-strip early Technicolor process, one of the last silent films made by Hollywood, it depicts Bali as Westerners idealized it at the time.
- Posted on August 2, 2013 | No CommentsBicycle Thieves (Italian: Ladri di biciclette), also known as The Bicycle Thief, is director Vittorio De Sica's 1948 story of a poor father searching post-World War II Rome for his stolen bicycle, without which he will lose the job which was to be the salvation of his young family.
- Posted on April 25, 2013 | 2 CommentsRobert Pinsky on Sylvia Plath: "Thrashing, hyperactive, perpetually accelerated, the poems of Sylvia Plath catch the feeling of a profligate, hurt imagination, throwing off images and phrases with the energy of a runaway horse or a machine with its throttle stuck wide open."
- Posted on March 11, 2013 | 3 CommentsAlmost forty years after his violent death, Pier Paolo Pasolini, filmmaker, poet, journalist, novelist, playwright, painter, actor, and all-around intellectual public figure, remains a subject of passionate argument. Best known for a subversive and difficult body of film work, loaded with Renaissance and Baroque iconography, he championed the disinherited and damned of postwar Italy, mingling an intellectual leftism with a fierce Franciscan Catholicism.
- Posted on January 26, 2013 | 2 CommentsGillo Pontecorvo's 1966 masterpiece, "The Battle of Algiers," as a study of the brutality of urban guerrilla warfare, serves an Arab-street-level counterpoint to Kathryn Bigelow's US-imperialism-centered, torture-driven war propaganda film, "Zero Dark Thirty."
- Posted on January 22, 2013 | 3 CommentsThe Seventh Seal (Det Sjunde Inseglet) is a 1957 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. Set in Sweden during the Black Death, it tells of the journey of a medieval knight and a game of chess he plays with the personification of Death, who has come to take his life.