August 2004

warp art. great galleries of kitschy collages. via collagemania.


last night i finally found the time to sit down and watch tsai ming-liang‘s goodbye dragon inn. it’s been a long time since i’ve seen his early films, but my feeling is that tsai’s eye has really improved. just about every scene in this film is exquisitely shot. most of the film takes place in a theater while dragon inn plays. in the film there is a lot of gay cruising going on in the theater. peter told me this is a real theater known for just that sort of thing.

after seeing this i understand why this was packaged with the missing. this is really a film within the missing, as those that are missing in the missing show up in this film(lee kang-sheng touches on this in this interview, and now i’m not certain if they are just companion films or if it really is a film within a film). of the two films i prefer goodbye dragon inn though.

two documentaries from zeitgeist films i’d love to have:

in the mirror of maya deren:

Deemed “Fellini and Bergman wrapped in one gloriously possessed body,” Maya Deren is arguably the most important and innovative avant-garde filmmaker in the history of American cinema. Using locations from the Hollywood hills to Haiti in the 1940s and ’50s, Deren made such mesmerizing films as AT LAND, RITUAL IN TRANSFIGURED TIME, and her masterpiece, MESHES OF THE AFTERNOON, which won a prestigious international experimental filmmaking prize at the 1947 Cannes Film Festival.

Starting with excerpts from these films, IN THE MIRROR seamlessly and effectively interweaves archival footage and observances from acolytes and contemporaries such as Stan Brakhage and Jonas Mekas with an original score by experimental jazz legend John Zorn. Documentarian Martina Kudlácek has fashioned not only a fascinating portrait of a groundbreaking and influential artist, but a pitch-perfect introduction to her strikingly beautiful and poetic body of work.


From 1952 until his death in 2003, Stan Brakhage created almost 400 films. Working completely outside of the mainstream, he consistently redefined cinematic art with such celebrated pieces as WINDOW WATER BABY MOVING (his first wife giving birth) and MOTHLIGHT (leaves and butterflies taped to celluloid), as well as a host of films hand-painted in shockingly brilliant color including DANTE’S QUARTET and BLACK ICE.

Juxtaposing archival footage spanning 35 years, as well as rare film excerpts and vintage and contemporary interviews with Brakhage, his friends, family, colleagues and critics, BRAKHAGE is the perfect complement to the Criterion Collection’s BY BRAKHAGE DVD. Executive produced by Ron Mann (GRASS, TWIST), Jim Shedden’s stunning, bittersweet portrait explores the depth and breadth of Brakhage’s genius and the exquisite splendor of his films.

speaking of brakhage, i recently finished watching the two dvd set by brakhage. i found i liked his films where he painted and scratched or collaged on film the best. the films with people in them for the most part didn’t interest me that much. but having said that, there was one film of actual autopsies that may be the most disturbing thing i’ve ever seen. it terrified peter and our roomates who would cover their eyes while passing by the tv and i’m in no hurry to watch that particular film again.

today after work, i broke down and bought that dv camera i’ve been drooling over. unfortunately, it does appear that the japanese version doesn’t contain an english menu(every shop we went to told us so), which meant that i had to buy the american version of the camera which is more expensive.

the battery is still charging so i haven’t had the chance to play around with it much. i have taken a good look at the manual that came with it, which seems to be lacking in certain details(ie no mention of what format things shot with the camera are in, though at the shop we were told that the tape records as avi and the disc as mpeg4).

it looks like i’ve got six more gmail invites to give away. so if anyone’s been itching to have a gmail account, just drop me a line.

edit: one down, five to go.

note: you must email me to recieve the invite, just leaving a note in the comments isn’t the same thing.

in the past,my friend cindy and i have discussed a problem we both have when taking photographs. mainly, fear of taking pictures of people. cindy once said to me that it would be easier for me to take pictures since i look like a tourist(ie white skin) and she looks like a local. but do i really want to look like a tourist? so how to get over this shyness of taking pictures of people? well, this site has some advice. i’m not sure if it’ll get me over my shyness, but it may at least get me to try harder.

a/v geeks. old educational films and film strips galore! this reminds me of the prelinger archives, except with prelinger you get the goods for free, whereas here you have to pay. still i’m a bit tempted by their luched box set(four dvds in an actual lunchbox). via the exoticalist.

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