RIP Helmut Berger (29 May 1944 – 18 May 2023)

May 18th, 2023

Conversation Piece directed by Luchino Visconti

RIP Helmut Berger passed away.

Helmut Berger was an Austrian actor, known for his portrayal of narcissistic and sexually-ambiguous characters. He was one of the stars of the European cinema in the late 1960s and 1970s, and is regarded as a sex symbol and pop icon of that period.[1]

He is most famous for his work with Luchino Visconti, particularly in his performance as King Ludwig II of Bavaria in Ludwig, for which he received a special David di Donatello award, and his performance in The Damned for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award. (via wiki)

(Luchino Visconti, Helmut Berger and Romy Schneider on the set of Ludvig, 1972)

Documentary Portrait of Visconti’s Greatest Muse, Helmut Berger


An Appreciation of Itami Juzo on His Birthday, May 14, 1933

May 15th, 2023
  • “I am trying to discover who I am through making movies. I see myself as being confined in a cage of Japanese culture and the cage of being a man. I have to look at myself from an outsider’s point of view when I make my films.” Itami Juzo.

    Nobuko Miyamoto and Juzo Itami, NYC, 4/12/88

    Itami and Nobuko Miyamoto, Creative Marriage

  • Itami was the brother-in-law of Kenzaburō Ōe and an uncle of Hikari Ōe.

    A Quiet Life – Criterion based on a novel by Kenzaburo Oe, directed by Itami Juzo.

  • Itami Juzo was cast in “Lord Jim” acted with Peter O’Toole. When Peter O’Toole visited Japan, Itami took him to meet Akira Kurosawa when he was
    filming, “Red Beard”.

  • Spotlight on Juzo Itami

    Movies & TV Spotlight: Juzo Itami — The Revered Tampopo Director Who Died in Mysterious Circumstances

  • Itami Juzo Museum

  • Juzo Itami vs The Yakuza

  • Does Your Mother Know?

    May 13th, 2023
  • Happy Mother’s Day

  • Gordon Lightfoot – Nous Vivons Ensemble

    May 12th, 2023
  • Gordon Lightfoot – Nov 17, 1938 – May 1 2023
    (See photo of Gordon and Bob Dylan + listen to his songs)

  • The title comes from a section of Arizona State Route 74 in north Phoenix. Said Lightfoot, “I thought it would make a good title for a song. I wrote it down, put it in my suitcase and it stayed there for eight months.”[2] The song employs “Carefree Highway” as a metaphor for the state of mind where the singer seeks escape from his ruminations over a long ago failed affair with a woman named Ann. Lightfoot has stated that Ann actually was the name of a woman Lightfoot romanced when he was age 22:[2] “It [was] one of those situations where you meet that one woman who knocks you out and then leaves you standing there and says she’s on her way. (via wiki Carefree Highway)

  • RIP – Philippe Sollers

    May 6th, 2023
  • Philippe Sollers passed away

  • (Philippe Sollers and Julia Kristeva)

    Derrida’s closest intellectual comrade in the late 1960s and early 1970s was the writer and editor Philippe Sollers, who published a number of Derrida’s early essays in Tel Quel. But the friendship soured. Sollers wanted Tel Quel to become the cultural journal of the French Communist Party (PCF) and enforced strict obedience to the Moscow line. At a dinner with the Derridas, one telquelian launched into a passionate defence of the Soviet invasion of Prague, where Marguerite’s relatives lived. It did not go down well. Sollers was also worried that Derrida’s reputation might eclipse his own, suspecting that Derrida’s essay in praise of his novel, Numbers, was a covert ‘attempt at appropriation’. In 1967 Sollers had secretly married the Bulgarian literary theorist Julia Kristeva, whose career he was also keen to promote over Derrida’s. Rebuffed in their efforts to capture the cultural apparatus of the PCF, in the early 1970s Sollers and Kristeva converted to Maoism. This led to a deepening estrangement from Derrida, whose friend Lucien Bianco, a distinguished Sinologist, had disabused him of any illusions about revolutionary China. When Derrida gave an interview to La Nouvelle Critique, a PCF literary journal, Sollers and Kristeva protested by ‘boycotting’ a dinner in his honour. Derrida’s Tel Quel years were over. Years later, in her novel The Samurai, Kristeva would mockingly depict Derrida as Saïda, founder of ‘condestruction theory’, a man who was so attractive to American feminists that they ‘all became “condestructivists”’.)(Via Not In the Mood – a review of Derrida’s bio..)
    In the Mood for Julia Kristeva – June 24, 2013

  • Gordon Lightfoot (November 17, 1938 – May 1, 2023)

    May 2nd, 2023

    Bob Dylan and Gordon Lightfoot

    I can’t think of any Gordon Lightfoot song I don’t like. Everytime I hear a song of his, it’s like I wish it would last forever.
    -Bob Dylan


    Here are 10 popular renditions.  (A great documentary film –  a must see).

    Holy Spider -A Courageous Film about Iran

    April 30th, 2023

  • Holy Spider

  • An amazing film about Iran, great performances from two leading actress and an actor.

    Interview with Abbas and
    Zahra Amir Ebrahimi.

    (Spider Duo, on why Iran Protests have made the film more resonant)

    Sad News, RIP Harry Belafonte

    April 25th, 2023

    2 photos when Harry met Marlon and Chomsky. (repost)

    RIP Mary Quant (11 February 1930 – 13 April 2023)

    April 13th, 2023

    Photo by Armstrong Jones / Lord Snowdon

    “Live and Become” – 2005 Film Directed by Radu Mihăileanu

    April 11th, 2023

    (Via MUBI Live and Become )

    Live and Become (French: Va, vis et deviens) is a 2005 French drama film about an Ethiopian Christian boy who disguises himself as an Ethiopian Jew to escape famine and emigrates to Israel. It was directed by Romanian-born Radu Mihăileanu. It won awards at the Berlin and Vancouver film festivals among others.  (Wiki)


    Tony Cragg

    April 9th, 2023

    Happy birthday Tony Cragg  (wiki)


    See more sculptures by Tony Cragg from here,





    Tyranny of Design? Or Chairs as Characters

    Good bye Ryuichi Sakamoto

    April 2nd, 2023

  • Ryuichi Sakamoto homepage

  • His nickname is Kyoju, which means Professor in Japanese.

  • Listen to Ryuichi Sakamoto playing “Bring Them Home” (Sakamoto was an activist for peace- scroll down) (Previous post)
    Kitano Takeshi and Ryuichi Sakamoto