Prom It’s a Pleasure: Etiquette Film From1961

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The Prom It’s a Plea­sure is a well-produced color film that stars the 1961 Coca-Cola Junior Miss Pageant win­ner as the guide to a well-mannered prom night.

From the phone call ask­ing Junior Miss for the date, to the drop-off at the end of the night, this film details prom eti­quette for the curi­ous and uncouth teenager. It also explains that the boy should call his date’s mother before the dance to find out the color of her dress so he can match the cor­sage to it.

Whole­some six­ties movies often dealt with Amer­i­can morals, and this prom night film is a clas­sic exam­ple. At the high school dance itself, the film shows how to dance, how to ask some­one to dance, ways to ask some­one to dance, how to fill out a dance card, and how to nav­i­gate the refresh­ments, which con­sisted mostly of Coca-Cola, not sur­pris­ingly. In addi­tion to all the prom do’s and don’ts eti­quette tips, this film fea­tures great footage of a typ­i­cal six­ties prom.


The Everyday Lives Of Furries Photographed By Tom Broadbent

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Zuki, a Gar­goyle at home. Zuki lives in Mil­ton Keynes and works in IT. Zuki owns a few suits, the gar­goyle is just one of them.

First rule of Fur Club: don’t reveal your iden­tity. Sec­ond rule of Fur Club: don’t talk to journalists.

British pho­tog­ra­pher Tom Broad­bent has been get­ting to know var­i­ous “Fur­ries” through­out the UK for the last few years. Fur­ries are every­day peo­ple, from bank man­agers to project man­agers to actors, who dress up in elab­o­rate furry ani­mal cos­tumes and meet up to chat and hang out. Furry groups have been spot­ted walk­ing around London’s St. Paul’s Cathe­dral and Mil­len­nium Bridge.

At Home With the Fur­ries is Broadbent’s ongo­ing project, born from a desire to cap­ture the per­sonal, every­day side of their lives with­out break­ing that first Furry rule. Broad­bent plans to exhibit and pub­lish this unique series, so keep an eye out for that.

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John Waters Introduces ‘The Girl Can’t Help It’

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The Girl Can’t Help It is the gar­ish acme of Cin­e­maS­cope and DeLuxe Color, mon­u­men­tally loud and bla­tantly exploita­tive —a ver­i­ta­ble Parthenon of vul­gar­ity and a supremely unfunny com­edy that is pure eau de Fifty-Six. This satire of Elvis and Mar­i­lyn (or rather, of their clones) shim­mers with radioac­tive pinks and cobalt blues; at once stri­dent and sta­tic, the movie defines the atomic-Wurlitzer chrome– tail­fin Fontainebleau-lobby look. Producer-director-co-writer Frank Tash­lin is one of the very few Hol­ly­wood direc­tors who broke into movies as an ani­ma­tor and, like the Dean Martin–Jerry Lewis come­dies that pre­ceded it, The Girl Can’t Help It is some­thing like a live-action Looney Tune.

Appro­pri­ated by John Waters some 15 years later as the only suit­able way to intro­duce his 300-pound gender-blur Divine in Pink Flamingos.

Grotesque stereo­types col­lide with billboard-sized car­i­ca­tures. This proto Pop Art pathol­ogy might be too painful to con­tem­plate were it not for the exotic life forms flour­ish­ing around its periph­ery. Cli­max­ing with a rock show per­formed for an audi­ence of teenage white zom­bies, The Girl Can’t Help It is pop­u­lated by all man­ner of failed honkers and would-be cool cats—as well as Fats Domino, the Plat­ters, a gospel-shouting Abbey Lin­coln.

The coolest pres­ence ever recorded by a Hol­ly­wood cam­era may be Lit­tle Richard, first seen stand­ing entranced before a piano—as if won­der­ing whether to pul­ver­ize or incin­er­ate it.

In Alba­nia, is any­thing so bad it’s good?” “Lit­tle Richard was “…the King of Rock ‘n Roll, and the Queen of Rock ‘n Roll.“
Here, our beloved Pope of Trash intro­duces Frank Tashlin’s gem­stone for every­one to enjoy.…

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Degaussing | Wobbly distortions, discolorations and frame overlaps.

Degauss­ing is the process of decreas­ing or elim­i­nat­ing a per­sis­tent mag­netic field gen­er­ated by a per­ma­nent mag­net. It is named after Carl Friedrich Gauss, an early researcher in the field of mag­net­ism. Due to mag­netic hys­tere­sis it is gen­er­ally not pos­si­ble to reduce a mag­netic field com­pletely to zero, so degauss­ing typ­i­cally induces a very small “known” field referred to as bias. Degauss­ing was orig­i­nally applied to reduce ships’ mag­netic sig­na­tures dur­ing WWII. Degauss­ing is also used to reduce mag­netic fields in CRT mon­i­tors and to erase mag­netic media.

When a degausser is placed over the VCR as a VHS tape plays, the image and audio are erased and dis­torted in real time. As infor­ma­tion is wiped and rearranged on the tapes, inter­est­ing wob­bly dis­tor­tions, dis­col­orations and frame over­laps occur. The dis­tor­tions are permanent.

Hunter Longe is an emerg­ing San Fran­cisco artist inspired by the visual by-products of mag­netic data era­sure or degauss­ing. He inves­ti­gates the idea of destruc­tion as a medium for cre­ation. Obscu­ra­tion, nega­tion, dis­tor­tion and dema­te­ri­al­iza­tion become the for­mal and con­cep­tual residue of his meta-magnetic, process-reveling cre­ations. Hunter is also a found­ing mem­ber of Drone Dun­geon Col­lec­tive.

Orig­i­nally formed by the spon­ta­neous con­ver­gence of _______ and _______, the group has evolved to include other like-minded indi­vid­u­als such as _______, and _______. Pri­mar­ily har­ness­ing video, instal­la­tion, and new media, their out­put is a con­stant dia­logue between obscu­rity and clar­ity. The col­lec­tive work hints at a new form of Brecht­ian dis­tanc­ing through the appli­ca­tion of a degraded aes­thetic, the destruc­tion of tra­di­tional nar­ra­tive, and removal of orig­i­nal con­text. Based in the San Fran­cisco Bay Area, Drone Dun­geon patiently awaits the day of the union­iza­tion of their minds and your soul (Now).

Com­mis­sioned by The Pop­u­lar Work­shop the fol­low­ing short doc­u­men­tary exam­ines the work of Hunter Longe.


Goverment Control & Gay Sex Witch-Hunt: Tearoom

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Sex para­noia, gov­er­ment con­trol and witch-hunt at its finest. Tea­room con­sists of footage shot by the police in the course of a crack­down on pub­lic sex in the Amer­i­can Mid­west. In the sum­mer of 1962, the Mans­field, Ohio Police Depart­ment pho­tographed men in a restroom under the main square of the city. The cam­era­men hid in a closet and watched the clan­des­tine activ­i­ties through a two-way mirror.

The film they shot was used in court as evi­dence against the defen­dants, all of whom were found guilty of sodomy, which at that time car­ried a manda­tory min­i­mum sen­tence of one year in the state pen­i­ten­tiary. The orig­i­nal sur­veil­lance footage shot by the police came into the pos­ses­sion of direc­tor William E. Jones while he was research­ing this case for a doc­u­men­tary project.

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The unedited scenes of ordi­nary men of var­i­ous races and classes meet­ing to have sex were so pow­er­ful that the direc­tor decided to present the footage with a min­i­mum of inter­ven­tion. Tea­room is a rad­i­cal exam­ple of film pre­sented “as found” for the pur­pose of cir­cu­lat­ing his­tor­i­cal images that have oth­er­wise been suppressed.

This is an excerpt  from the orig­i­nal film (16mm film trans­ferred to video, color, silent, 56 min­utes, 1962/2007).


Drugs Are Like That

Anita Bryant (famous Florida orange juice and anti-gay spokes­woman) nar­rates this film that tries to sim­plify its drug abuse mes­sage with an anal­ogy of kids putting together a con­trap­tion out of Lego blocks.

Although the metaphors often don’t make sense, the visual impact of the film is stun­ning and could eas­ily be quite pop­u­lar with indi­vid­u­als con­sum­ing illicit drugs. Also, like most anti-drug films, this could be a tempt­ing intro­duc­tion to drugs for some youths yearn­ing to escape their “bor­ing” lives or to rebel against their parents.

We’ll laugh about this tomor­row.
It’s times like this I hope will fol­low me.
i hope they fol­low me. i hope they fol­low me. oh oh i hope they fol­low me.


Jörg Buttgereit’s Nekromantik & Der Todesking

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Today’s Jorg Buttgereit’s Birth­day, and we cel­e­brate by revis­it­ing  two of his great classics.…

With Nekro­man­tik, Jörg Buttgereit mixes cheap gore, trans­gres­sive imagery, and cos­mic dread into a cult-classic exam­i­na­tion of sex, death, and bore­dom among the youth of pre-reunification Ger­many. Pas­sive, blank-faced Rob (Dak­tari Lorenz) spends his days col­lect­ing human road­kill from the side of the Auto­bahn and his nights enact­ing a qui­etly macabre domes­tic­ity with girl­friend Betty (Beat­rice Manowski, cred­ited here as Beat­rice M.) in their autopsy/industrial/Nazi-themed apartment.

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Rob is a dis­turbed morgue atten­dant who depends on his job for more than a pay­check. His girl­friend Betty loves him madly. When a cadav­er­ous third fills out a ménage à trois from beyond the grave, the mad­ness pro­pels Nekro­man­tik to its ghastly, razor-edged con­clu­sion! Oddly though this is s love story too. Fea­tur­ing some of the dark­est, most stom­ach churn­ing scenes ever com­mit­ted to cel­lu­loid, direc­tor Jorg Buttgereit’s Nekro­man­tik has been lauded by crit­ics as the first post-modern hor­ror film. But to hard­core gore fans it’s much, much more. A care­fully crafted tale, throb­bing with sick honesty-never cut­ting from per­ver­sity. This is almost the real thing.

One day Rob delights Betty by bring­ing home a decom­posed corpse dredged from a swampy road­side lagoon; with a sawed-off bed­post in place of its rot­ted gen­i­talia, the body serves alter­nately as a vile wall dec­o­ra­tion and the third mem­ber of a grotesque and quite graphic ménage à trois. When Rob loses his job, mate­r­ial girl Betty hoofs it, and her divorce set­tle­ment includes the couple’s favorite sex aid. An alien­ated Rob soon turns to hor­ror movies, ani­mal tor­ture, pros­ti­tutes, and grave­yard sex in his quest to find the unique com­bi­na­tion of utter degra­da­tion and total accep­tance he shared with his one true necrophile love.

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Mean­while, the haunt­ing image of a rab­bit being skinned plays like a car­toon in the young man’s imag­i­na­tion, per­haps a child­hood mem­ory, per­haps an exis­ten­tial dream. Ulti­mately, this slaugh­ter­house motif leads Rob to enact a painfully final solu­tion to his deadly eroti­cism; his jour­ney would nev­er­the­less con­tinue in Buttgereit’s Nekro­man­tik 2 a few years later. Although it received its Ger­man pre­miere in 1988, work on Nekro­man­tik started in late 1986, when Buttgereit, the vet­eran of sev­eral shorts, began fash­ion­ing the corpse that would fig­ure so heav­ily in the story; the direc­tor knew that with­out a realistic-looking prop, the project wouldn’t be worth film­ing in the first place.

As Nekromantik’s cult fol­low­ing grew slowly in Ger­many, then abroad, rumors abounded that the film­mak­ers had used actual dead bod­ies dur­ing the shoot. In fact, the film’s main corpse was largely syn­thetic, although real pig eyes from a slaugh­ter­house filled its sock­ets — and, in some scenes, the char­ac­ters’ mouths. Manowski would go on to appear in Wim Wen­ders’ Wings of Desire, while composer/co-star Lorenz would largely give up act­ing in favor of his musi­cal activ­i­ties, which included sev­eral more col­lab­o­ra­tions with Buttgereit.

Der Tode­sk­ing (aka The Death King) is a 1989 Ger­man hor­ror film directed by Jörg Buttgereit. This exper­i­men­tal style movie which does not use cen­tral char­ac­ters explores the topic of sui­cide and vio­lent death in the form of seven episodes, each one attrib­uted to one day of the week. These episodes are enframed by the vision of a human body, slowly rot­ting dur­ing the course of the movie.


The Religious Experience of Philip K.Dick by Crumb.

Philip K. Dick, between Feb­ru­ary and March 1974, expe­ri­enced a series of visions and audi­tions includ­ing a chap­ter with an information-rich “pink light” beam emit­ted by a golden fish that trans­mit­ted directly into his con­scious­ness. This expe­ri­ences were doc­u­mented by R. Crumb in the 1986 Comix: Weirdo No. 17 and is one of the themes treated in VALIS. You can see the Crumb comix by click­ing on the cover image above.


Shit Glitter

Gold Pills are part of the INDULGENCE range designed through the col­lab­o­ra­tion of Tobias Wong and Ju$t another Rich kid (Ken Court­ney) in 2005, who sug­gested “Like an addict, all I want is more. Like celebrity and celebrity cul­ture, demand for lux­ury items is com­pletely cre­ated.” As an exten­sion of our obses­sion with fame, celebrity, and com­modi­ties, they designed a line of lux­ury objects: INDULGENCES (for the man who has absolutely every­thing). INDULGENCES addressed the cre­ation of and demand for the unnec­es­sary, directly com­ment­ing on the ever-expanding mar­ket of lux­ury items in our culture.

This Christ­mas why don’t you get your loved ones a lit­tle gold pill that will make them shit glit­ter. Yes, this lit­tle pill is dipped in gold and filled with 24-karat-gold leaf. It’s sup­posed to make your caca all glit­tery and shiny. Too bad it costs $425.

If you’ve got so much money that you’re just look­ing for new ways to waste it, we bring you the Gold Pill for you. It’s a pill dipped in gold and filled with 24-karat gold leaf. You’re sup­posed to eat it “to increase your self-worth.” That would be funny if it didn’t cost $425 for the joke. Sup­pos­edly an added ben­e­fit is that it will make your poop sparkle, but no one seems to have proven that part yet (and if you do, please don’t send us the pic­tures). This is either genius social com­men­tary or a bril­liant way to bilk rich peo­ple out of their money.


Seapunk

There’s a new sub genre emerg­ing from the remains of Grunge-punk, which goes by the name “Sea­punk”. It is hard to say where exactly it came from as it started on the Inter­net; but the clues seem to trace back to a DJ named Lil Inter­ent in Brook­lyn, NYC… most street fash­ion does trace back to NYC so I would say it’s a safe bet (Seat­tle may have given birth to grunge-punk but New York made it cool).

Now you’re prob­a­bly won­der­ing what in hell is Sea­punk exactly and how is it dif­fer­ent from nor­mal punk. Well (and I am not jok­ing, I did men­tion this was a sub genre; like MICRO sub) it is quite lit­er­ally punk with a nau­ti­cal theme.Started online last year by a tiny sect of social media geeks, sea­punk gath­ered momen­tum as it echoed on Twit­ter, Face­book and espe­cially Tum­blr. It has occa­sion­ally sur­faced, in the real world, with seapunk-themed par­ties and bands, but the real joy remains in tag­ging and shar­ing the trippy nau­ti­cal images.

That’s right, so think the Japan­ese Kawaii mixed up with the bad ass, shock of punk.

The sur­pris­ing thing is that it really was cohe­sive,” Lil Inter­net said by iChat; he declines to use his legal name, say­ing he is now known solely by his Twit­ter han­dle. He also described seapunk’s vibe as “Venice Beach Acid Rave 1995,” and cited surf-wear logos, yin-yang sym­bols and round holo­graphic sun­glasses as part of its look.

Sea­punk has also given rise to a tiny music sub-genre, although the “punk” ele­ment would not be rec­og­nized by Joey Ramone. The spacey elec­tronic dance music bor­rows from Witch House, Chip­tune, Drum & Bass and south­ern rap. Some tracks remix songs from R&B acts like Bey­oncé and Aaliyah.

Musi­cally, artists like  Zombelle and Grimes and Coral Records Inter­nazionale. If you go on the Zombell face­book page (which is where my link leads) you can get a free stream to their album, which is actu­ally pretty rad.Embrace your inner mer­maid and see where the cur­rent takes you – why not turn that fish­ing net you got for your 14th birth­day into a sea-worthy dress? New Age fairs are great places to plun­der for booty – I mean, crystal/seashell jew­ellery – and your lit­tle sister’s dolphin-print pil­low­case would make a great pair of sea­punk shorts! If you’re REALLY keen, you can always take a trip to the beach and embrace nature’s bounty – just don’t be sur­prised if you get com­plaints about the smell com­ing off your new sea­weed dreads…