Happy birthday Fatih Akin -
“The funnier it is in the beginning of a story, the more dramatic it can become. Because when an audience is laughing, that’s opening their souls somehow, and when you have an audience with an open soul, it’s much better to hit them with a knife.” MUBI/Fatih Akin
The film stars the French-Algerian actor Tahar Rahim (“A Prophet”) as an Armenian blacksmith who travels around the world — from Aleppo to Havana to North Dakota — in search of his two daughters, with whom he lost touch after the outbreak of systematic violence that would eventually claim the lives of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians.
Commencing with his own personal inspirations, he referred to Bruce Lee as a key formative influence, although he admitted that he hadn’t yet made a film in direct tribute to Lee.
For his first major international breakthrough, “Head On” – that won the Berlinale Golden Bear in 2004 – he says that he was inspired by Soderbergh’s “Traffic,” especially in terms of the freedom of camera work, and by Lars von Trier’s “Breaking the Waves.”
Another key influence for “Head On” was Patrice Chereau’s “Intimacy.” Akin wanted to explore the boundaries of showing sex -scenes in the context of a hard-hitting drama and wanted a Turkish female lead, but this proved to be difficult because of the nude scenes. He ultimately cast former adult film actress Sibel Kekilli.
“I have to fall in love with my actors,” he said. “Filmmaking is a war, a holy war. It’s my own private jihad. When you’re in a war, you’re in the trenches. You create a brotherhood and you depend on each other for your lives.”
Roger Ebert – review of Edge of Heaven here .
Happy birthday A.S. Byatt
See a trailer here (youtube)
A.S. Byatt’s essay on Sigmar Polke
Sausages and potatoes, fairytale images and the dots of newspaper photographs – Sigmar Polke explores modern reality through an extraordinary range of imagery. The novelist A.S. Byatt sings his praises
“None of this, however, was what the Olympic Organizing Board wanted,” continues Richie. “Not only had Ichikawa refused to monumentalize the games, he had humanized them. In the uncut version (never publicly screened), the camera turns time and again from the major events to capture details: the spectators; athletes at rest; those who came in, not first, but third – or last. Japanese victories are not favored. At the end, the celebrations over, the stadium is empty. A man with a ladder crosses the field, from far away comes the sound of children at play. The games were, after all, only games. They are over and life goes on. Much of this footage has never been publicly screened, and among examples of film vandalism, the case of Tokyo Olympiad must rank as especially regrettable.”
I remember Ernest Hemingway telling me once that the unnoticed things in the hands of a good writer had an effect, and a powerful one, of making readers conscious of what they had been aware of only subconsciously. A parallel adage suggests that a great photographer can take a picture of a familiar street and tell you something about it you never knew before. After watching the 1964 Tokyo Olympiad, one can surely say that Ichikawa is of that tradition. (Geoorge Plimpton)
11 Things I Learned from the Hieronymus Bosch – by David Byrne
5. He was among the first to paint what he imagined
Bosch was considered among the first to paint things that were wholly out of his imagination. Previously there were standard demons as described in the Bible and elsewhere, but his figures went beyond that. His landscapes were fictional, too—a conflation of traditional Dutch elements and imagined versions of somewhat spectacular Middle Eastern holy lands.
7. Humanity is, for the most part, wretched
Hieronymus Bosch painted sheet music on man’s butt and now you can hear it.
Detail from The Garden of Earthly Delights
Previous post – Porcille and Earthly Delight
The Mystery of Hieronymus Bosch by Ingrid D. Rowland
Doris Lessing archive here.
Herman Hesse - The Glass Bead Game
A CAT/A FUTURE
A cat can draw
behind her eyes
alters in the stare
itself but she’s
not there. Likewise
a future can occlude:
still sitting there,
doing nothing rude.
Hillary Clinton didn’t win the Democratic Party nomination – she simply won the game of trickery, collusion and fraudulence that modern politics in this country has devolved into. And while Sanders’ bid to clean house ultimately failed, it opened the eyes of many millions of voters to show just how corrupted that system has become.
Uncounted (Youtube) Documentary of Corrupt California Primary includes proof of fraudulent voting machine counts.
Joint studies from Netherlands and Stanford. Statistically impossible that Hillary won primaries.
In a biographical note he wrote for An Anthology of New York Poets (edited by Ron Padgett and David Shapiro in 1970), Berkson paid tribute to O’Hara’s deep influence on him:
General ‘cultural’ education through friendship with Frank O’Hara: the Stravinsky-Balanchine Agon (and Edwin Denby’s essay on it), Satie (we created four-hand ‘annoyances’ at various apartments, once played for Henze in Rome), Feldman, Turandot, a certain Prokofiev toccato, Virgil Thomson (I had heard a recording of Four Saints at Harry Smith’s, Providence, 1957), movies … we read Wyatt together, recited Racine, skipped through galleries, collaborated on The Hymns of St. Bridget 1961-64, a note on Reverdy for Mercure de France 1961.
As he later told Brad Gooch, “I listened hard to what he said about poetry, about all the arts, about people, about living.”
Read For the Chinese New Year & for Bill Berkson by Frank O’Hara here.
Hymns Of St. Bridget begins simply enough in October 1960 as the first collaboration between Bill Berkson and Frank O’Hara — from there it multiplies energetically into an ongoing exchange between Berkson and O’Hara that includes the FYI poems, The Letters of Angelicus and Fidelio, and Marcia: An Unfinished Novel.
Bill Berkson (1939–2016)
Interestingly, his greatest inspirations are Modigliani’s poetic paintings and the Italian Neorealist movies of Roberto Rossellini, Vittorio De Sica and others. “[The style’s] not chichi, but real and direct, which I hope I’ve manifested in my photos,”
One of his books is titled. Son of Bitch, 1974. Photographs of dogs.
Elliott Erwitt wiki (b. 26 July 1928 Paris, France)
Erwitt served as a photographer’s assistant in the 1950s in the United States Army while stationed in France and Germany. He was influenced by meeting the famous photographers Edward Steichen, Robert Capa and Roy Stryker. Stryker, the former Director of the Farm Security Administration’s photography department, hired Erwitt to work on a photography project for the Standard Oil Company. He then began a freelance photographer career and produced work for Collier’s, Look, Life and Holiday. Erwitt was invited to become a member of Magnum Photos by the founder Robert Capa.
As a documentary filmmaker he made “Arthur Penn the director“.
“This painting shows your future,” Seikichi said, pointing to the woman under the cherry tree — the very image of the young girl, “All these men will ruin their lives for you.”— “The Tattooer” by Junichiro Tanizaki
(Ayako Wakao, Funakoshi, Kyoto Kishida)
Manji directed by Masumura.
The Key to Junichiro Tanizaki
(See a trailer of Berlin Affair, and Makioka Sisters and film still of the Key – previous post)
Baron Raimund von Stillfried, also known as Baron Raimund von Stillfried-Rathenitz, was an Austrian photographer.
(See more photos )here.
Japan times book review of Baron Raimund von sillfried – a pioneer photographer.
Baron Raimund von Stillfried, a 19th-century pioneer of photography in Yokohama, was the first in Japan to recognize the new medium’s potential as a global marketing tool. Adept at producing theatrical souvenir photos, Stillfried also took the first ever photograph of Emperor Meiji and shocked Vienna when he imported Japanese teenage girls to the city to work in a mock teahouse.
Portrait of Emperor Meiji by Von Stillfried
More about Enigmatic Emperor by Donald Keene here.
Baron Raimund von Stillfried, Furniture Shop, hand-coloured albumen silver photograph, c. 1875,