Dr. Cornel West is a prominent and provocative intellectual. He is a Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice at Union Theological Seminary and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. In this interview, Dr. West argues that the blues is not so much about triumph as it is about resistance and survival. He educates the viewer on the pain that became Blind Willie Johnson’s blues. West claims that at the center of the blues is an individual yearning to find one’s voice.
Blind Willie Johnson. Old blues singers led the wildest lives. He was blinded by his mom throwing lye in his face as a punishment, dirt poor since birth, he lived in the burned remains of his family home, preached and played on street corners during the day, and no one is sure where he is exactly buried.
The first question that the mention of a documentary about Kathleen Hanna prompts is usually, Why hasn’t one already been made? Credited as a founder of the third wave of feminism and Riot Grrrl – Hanna has been a seminal radical activist, musician, lead singer of the punk band Bikini Kill and dance-punk trio Le Tigre, and cultural icon for over twenty years. She’s also been a lightening rod for controversy, and a famously private person. Five years ago, she disappeared from the public eye, and is only now re-emerging.
The Punk Singer combines twenty years of archival footage and an intimate look at four consecutive seasons of Hanna’s present life, to tell the story of what happened, and who she is now. Through archival footage and intimate interviews with Hanna, “The Punk Singer” takes viewers on a fascinating tour of contemporary music and offers a never-before-seen view into the life of this fearless leader.
An interview with filmmaker, poet, artist and film critic Jonas Mekas, renowned co-founder of Anthology Film Archives. In his films, he strives to capture the essence of fleeting, ordinary moments — the poetry of everyday life. Now 90, he still films every day, and he never throws anything away. Over time, he has amassed an extensive archive of both film and video, which he edits into lyrical, diaristic films and also re-prints as photographic artworks. In this interview, he explains why and how he films, and shows us around his home and workspace.
Released alongside major presentations of his work at the Serpentine Gallery, BFI Southbank and Centre Pompidou, this exclusive interview with Jonas Mekas was shot in October 2012 in the Brooklyn loft where he lives, works and stores reels 60 years worth of film and video footage.
Majical Cloudz is Montreal-based songwriter Devon Welsh, with producer and live collaborator Matthew Otto. Their introspective brand of synth-driven music is characterized by an almost architectural desire for balance, crafting songs that are as sonically minimal as they are emotionally complex, equally reliant on negative, hollow space and lush, warm textures. Welsh bares his soul through carefully articulated stories, oriented around themes of death, patience, family and desire. Their live performance is deeply expressive and raw, Welsh’s rich baritone woven into intricate stories amidst washes of white noise, filtered synths and sparse thuds.
Synth-driven music at it’s worst, can sound soulless and impersonal. However, Majical Cloudz is everything you’d ever want from this genre. Anytime a musician references Minor Threat, in discussing his approach to music, we’ll sit up and listen. The sparse beauty of his music envelops you in a haze of emotion and nuance. Having first drawn our attention thanks to his collaborative work with Grimes muse Claire Boucher, it’s not surprising that Matador has signed him and will release his next album.
Juliet of the Spirits was directed and co-written by Federico Fellini in 1965, and is one of the wildly imaginative visual narratives that solidified his reputation as a world-class pioneering film director. It stars Giulietta Masina as a betrayed wife whose inability to come to terms with reality leads her along a hallucinatory journey of self-discovery. Haunted by, among other things, the infidelity of her husband, a problem that is solved with insights from, for starters, a friendly prostitute. Masina was Fellini’s wife, making her nakedness here – emotionally, that is – all the more intimate.
Cinematographer Gianni di Venanzo’s masterful use of Technicolor transforms Juliet of the Spirits, Fellini’s first color feature, into a kaleidoscope of dreams, spirits, and memories.
The very rich score by Nino Rota, composer of many of Fellini’s films has done an exquisite job here. The uptempo, 60’s jazzy music has an ethereal feel as angelic sopranos are singing in the background. Nino Rota has a certain trademark style which is his compositions utilize very heavy eclectic organ sounds alongside the conventional instruments. Alot of his music sounds weird and mysterious which is complimentary to the films scenes. The circus style music is a staple in many of Fellini’s films and here it is used when Juliet is flashbacking to her childhood when they went to the circus and the grandfather takes a liking to Fanny, a beautiful circus entertainer. There’s music to symbolize Juliet’s coming to terms with herself; ripping the bondages in a childhood play where she was the martyred saint– as if she was finally freeing her soul and realizing she doesn’t have to be intimidated by her mother ever again.
Humans since 1982 are based in Stockholm. Their claim is to arouse curiosity by creating material hints of how the world might be. Both born in 1982, Per Eman (Sweden) and Bastian Bischoff (Germany) founded their studio in 2008 during their Master graduation at HDK Gothenburg.
Their “Surveillance Light”, was initially shown at Stockholm Furniture Fair in 2008. It was well received not only in the design and art press but also in political blogs and magazines. The presence in media brought Humans since 1982 together with Brussels based gallery Victor Hunt.
During their graduation thesis in 2009 they developed their projects, “Celebrating the cross” and “The clock clock”. Whilst “Celebrating the cross” was perceived ambiguously and polarized journalists and reader on religious and political blogs, “The Clock clock” evoke unanimous positive reaction. For their thesis, Humans since 1982 received a price for the best graduation work at HDK and were received by Wallpapers graduation Directory. With “Celebrating the cross” they were nominated by Li Edelkoort for Designhuis’ “European Talent”.
“A Million Times” is a new project by humans since 1982. It’s similar to their The Clock Clock project, this time they’ve used 288 clocks which can be controlled by an iPad. Humans since 1982 will present their kinetic work “A million times” at Design Days Dubai / Victor Hunt Gallery from 18. — 21. March 2013.
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.
In this work, Cardiff and Miller engage directly with the political. “The Killing Machine” (2007) is drawn from the artists’s strong views against capital punishment, complete with a soundtrack full of cinematic dissonance and an eerily roboticized chamber and drew the participant into the work through their activation of the installation via pushing a red button.
The Killing Machine, is inspired by Kafka’s well known short story The Penal Colony. This work is an open, scaffold-like structure. Installed in a darkened space, a spotlight shines on a sinister-looking dentist’s chair with thick leather straps, draped with a dirty pink fun fur. The action begins by pressing a red button: A megaphone circles, while a flashlight on a robotic arm seems to inspect an invisible body in the chair. Another robotic arm appears with pneumatic needles that shoot out and prod the thin air, assaulting the absent body, while a mournful accompaniment of strings is interrupted by a drumstick bashing o an electric guitar. A disco ball twirling overhead completes the solitary spectacle. Like a cellar-bound lunatic’s appalling invention, dragged straight from a sci-fi horror flick, this piece is riddled with literary or cinematic analogies.
But, whereas previous works of this type seem to stage a site of memory or historical incident, The Killing Machine is a spectacle for its own sake, creating a timely allegory both of the continued use of the death penalty in the USA and of the obscene banality of torture.
“Just have a seat and lie back. There there, just relax. This won’t hurt a bit. Let me just fasten up these straps.”
Jamaica has a notorious reputation for homophobia and violence against gays. Taboo…Yardies goes beyond the headlines to look at what life is like for Jamaica’s LGBT community, and the origins of the country’s attitudes towards homosexuality. Interviews with gay and lesbian Jamaicans both on the island and in the diaspora, as well as gay-rights activists and prominent Jamaicans, form the basis of this brave, important film.
‘We hope to give viewers an opportunity to decide for themselves whether to view Jamaica as a homophobic/homo-intolerant culture is perception or reality. More importantly, we hope Taboo…Yardies becomes a vehicle that spurs an open an honest conversation that ultimately promotes respect and tolerance for all people regardless of sexual orientation.’
“Black Up” is a short film that portrays a fever dream induced by the music of Shabazz Palaces. The film features songs from Shabazz Palaces’ album Black Up on Sub Pop Records, as well as various pieces of unreleased material.