Film-maker who paired pop art visuals and yakuza hitmen in Tokyo Drifter leaves behind a singular, surreal body of work that gained international acclaim
Jannis Kounellis was born in 1936 in Piraeus, Greece. In 1956, Kounellis moved to Rome and enrolled in the Accademia di Belle Arti.
“One needs to consider that the gallery is a dramatic, theatrical cavity… My work is not surrealistic, the effect is theatrical, it is Baroque.” – Jannis Kounellis
Sergei Eisenstein died on 11 February 1948.
“Outside [Eisenstein] was a Soviet Russian[;] inside, according to some, he was a Christian, to others he was a Jew, to yet others a homosexual….” In fact, he was all those things. Eisenstein was an obedient Communist throughout his life. He did have a very Christian education in his native Riga, and through his otherwise Russified father he had some Jewish blood. An abundance of religious—and antireligious—imagery was present in all his films. And in addition, there are reasons to believe that in Eisenstein’s creative drive homosexuality played a very important role.
Peter Greenaway on Eisenstein
Statue for giant panda who lifted wartime spirits
Ming the panda arrived in London as a cub in 1937 and was a huge hit among children, including two princesses
Some Panda photos by Fung Lin Hall here too.
Necessary Angels (Hyperallergic)
François Truffaut was born on February 6, 1932, in Paris, France. With the identity of his biological father later becoming a mystery, François’s mother, Janine de Monferrand, wed Roland Truffaut, with her husband giving his surname to her son. Yet the couple ultimately never allowed the boy to live with them; he was looked after by a wet nurse until, as a toddler, he was taken in and raised by his maternal grandmother and grandfather.
Les Miston (see youtube)
Truffaut simply called it “my first real film”.Moreover it was Bernadette Lafont’s film debut. She was at that time Gérard Blain’s wife. It was shot at her hometown Nîmes.
(Truffaut and Jean Cocteau)
via Silent and Talkie blog
André Gregory and Wallace Shawn’s Top 10 – read what they have to say about Jules et Jim.
Truffaut (previous post – his search for love & language, cinema & books)
NYtimes Dore Ashton who embraced and inhabited moernism dies at 88.
Ashton took her notes from Franz Kafka who believed that an “artist was a man of many lives, many potential personalities, and many different relationships.” This outlook on artists is a uniquely modern one. Many artists in the Pre-modern era fit this description, but it was of very little consequence, before the Impressionists, how artists adjusted themselves to fit into society. According to Ashton, it was Arshile Gorky who, upon landing in New York in 1925, made it not only fashionable but acceptable for other New York artists to feel a real sense of liberty and experimentation, to wear different masks when it suited them.
“He was,” wrote Ashton, “at once, a painter who refused to put a face on his forms and a painter who, at times – moved by sentimental memories – assigned associations to certain paintings.” These meandering tendencies were not those of an artist without direction or focus, but of a man who fully recognized the wealth of form available to the imaginative eye. Ashton believes that Gorky set the bar for those younger New York artists who during the pre-WWII years did lack direction and focus.
Tammam Azzam (above)
6 Inspiring artists from Middle East
Saudi Arabia top 10 artists (where to find them)
Ben was in Perfume and Cloud Atlas. Ben appeared as a hologram/cameo in Hologram for the King.
Tom Tykwer adapted based on a novel by Dave Eggers.
Illusions in the desert – Tom Tykwer’s Hologram for the King.
Although Clay is trying to sell a hologram, he himself is more attached to tangible things, says Tykwer. “He once sold steel. He stands for a world that is ceasing to exist the way it was, but has to present something that belongs to the virtual future.” Therefore, Clay’s way of working reflects his character.
By the way, Tom Tykwer did get to see the holy city of Mecca during his travels to Saudi Arabia: “I actually went to Mecca during my research tour – but not intentionally. My guide had taken a wrong route and couldn’t turn back, so we drove through Mecca.” This involuntary stay of Tykwer in the holy city is reflected on in the film.
“A Hologram for the King” is a movie about the clash of two cultures that is told with subtle humor – and it is a film that reflects on how people deal with two totally different worlds.
(image via Telegraph)
“I don’t think either of us believed we’d be in the finals,” Federer said afterwards before paying tribute to Nadal. “I’m happy for you. I would have been happy to lose, to be honest. The comeback was as perfect as it was.”
The pointy end of this tournament taught us that sometimes the fountain of youth is actually a mirage. When the favourites Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray stumbled to shock losses in week one, it really should have been a newer-generation top-10 player such as Milos Raonic, Kei Nishikori or Dominic Thiem seizing this moment – or more likely battled-hardened Stan Wawrinka. Yet none had it in him. None had this in him.
All the while Federer and Nadal were essentially playing from memory but what temples of sporting genius their minds and bodies are. Nadal has beaten Federer so many times over the years some hesitate to call it a rivalry. Here the only shame, as ever, was the need to split them. Performing at this level in your prime is one thing; doing it as the lights dim is the mark of untouchable greatness.
A day earlier tickets were being hawked for up to A$16,000 – more than it cost to buy a house in Melbourne when the guest of honour, Rod Laver, won his last title and quite a premium on their original price range of $413 to $662.
Happy Chinese Lunar New Year of the Fire Rooster!
Map of China as Rooster .. by Jurgen Trautwein
Funny Rooster on youtube .
Red Rooster 1996 by Edward Ruscha
Ed Ruscha archive here.
Year of Monkey
(see Frida Kahlo, Audrey Hepburn and Katharine Hepburn playing with monkey)
Year of Goat (Zubaran, Marguerite Yourcenar, etc)
Year of Wood horse (Turin Horse, Leonardo etc)
Then there’s the Pathé rooster, who’s been going strong for more than a hundred years and still turns up in silhouette at the end of the current Pathé “mobile” logo. So far as I know, that rooster has had the longest life of any movie symbol, in part because he originated with the Pathé Frères in France during the late 1800s, was registered in the U.S. in 1902, and adorned a record label (“I sing loud and clear” was the original slogan) as well as newsreels and feature films over the decades. It’s nice to see the company still respects its longtime mascot.
Named after author ‘Herman Melville’ by his mother. (via IMDB)
Slant Interview(discusses his new film the Great Game)
Although he may be too introverted to gain status as an international superstar, Melvil Poupaud admits he’s content to let independent and auteur-driven films shape his career. He made his screen debut in Raúl Ruiz’s City of Pirates at age nine, after which his maturation on screen came at the hands of some of world cinema’s most accomplished directors, among them Eric Rohmer (A Summer’s Tale), François Ozon (Time to Leave), and Arnaud Desplechin (A Christmas Tale), and Xavier Dolan (Laurence Anyways). Even in his work for American filmmakers like Zoe Cassavetes (Broken English) and Angelina Jolie (By the Sea), there’s a sense that his aura, a charismatic mix of intelligence and apprehension, is a kind of inspirational force.
Melville as a child actor made his first film “City of Pirates” directed by Raul Ruiz
A Summer’s Tale by Eric Rohmer
(documentary of the making of A Summer’s Tale showed Rohmer’s interests in local music and culture).