Monday, October 05, 2015
Sunday, September 27, 2015
Markus Brunetti spent almost a decade travelling on a 'grand tour' of Europe photographing cathedrals and other sacred buildings. In each case he shoots them from hundreds of different angles over a period of weeks or even years and then digitally assembles them to create as hyper-realistic image. Born in Bavaria to a family of builders and architects, the prints he produces are often up to three metres high.
Turned on to TeamLab by an article some weeks back by Jan Dalley in the Financial Times. Founded in 2001 by engineer/physicist Toshiyaki Inoko, it's a group of some 300 collaborators from a huge range of disciplines. This group of 'ultra-technologists'. says Dalley, 'use digital media to create artwork that aims to rattle our perceptions and generally blow our minds. Not to mention dissolve the borders between science, technology, design and art. Loads of beautiful videos including this one: 'A Blackboard where Little People live'.
Friday, September 18, 2015
Sunday, November 17, 2013
This is a real picture by Lewes' very own Steve Arch of Leonard Cohen enjoying our first issue.
First we take Lewes, then we take Berlin.
Act locally, think globally
Spread the word
'Police found Vicious wandering the hotel hallways, crying; he was immediately taken into custody and charged with second-degree homicide, although Virgin Records put up the money required for bail shortly afterwards. Vicious' mental state became even more erratic following his arrest, and an attempt at suicide by slashing his wrist was made several days later, resulting in a two-week internment at the psychiatric ward at Bellevue Hospital. Another arrest followed in December due to an assault on Patti Smith's brother Todd at Max's Kansas City; after serving two months in jail, Virgin supplied his bail for a second time, and he was released once again pending his trial for Spungen's murder. That trial would never take place: Vicious was found dead of what is speculated to be a deliberate heroin overdose on February 2nd at the home of his new girlfriend Michelle Robinson.'
John Lydon has spoken about his admiration for Mick Jagger, who paid Sid Vicious' lawyers when the Sex Pistols bassist was arrested for the alleged murder of girlfriend Nancy Spungen.The full interview was in The Daily Record and can be found here.
Sunday, August 04, 2013
It is with great sadness that THE GENERALIST reports the death of Mick Farren, a long-time friend and elder brother figure to me, who was a key figure in the British underground scene in the 60s and 70s. Founder and lead singer of The Deviants, one-time editor of International Times, noted NME writer, prolific author, great blogger, Mick had a big heart often hidden behind a tough troublesome front. Possessor of a big ego and an afro to match, he over-indulged in life with great abandon and pushed the pedal to the metal right up his final dramatic act - his death on stage at the Borderline in London.
Mick grew up in Worthing and us younger Worthing lads looked up to him as an iconic freak. We were the ground crew who helped create the stage and site for Phun City – the first great British free festival – which featured the first-ever performance in the UK by the legendary MC5.
Later I worked on the underground press, hung out in the Grove and saw Mick at gigs, parties and demos on a regular basis. Mick got me into the NME and I was regular writer for Thrills which he edited.
Lost touch with him during his long sojourn in New York and LA but reconnected when I helped get a flat in Brighton for him (and the cat). Fortunately I promoted one of the last Deviant gigs at the Con Club in Lewes in Dec 2012.
I very recently reviewed his last publication – a fat anthology of his writings from Head Press here. This post has links to several other Previous Posts on Mick.
Mick was a stand-up guy, always looking out for me and always buying me a beer when he knew I was virtually penniless. Fortunately I was able to tell him in person how much that meant to me before he died.
Mick was a tough nut, unafraid of speaking his mind and difficult to impress, who evolved a unique journalistic style that was pithy, sharp and dark. He loved bourbon, speed, smoke, leather jackets, cowboy boots, Gene Vincent and Elvis and he stood up with great courage to both the Establishment and his own demons. He was no angel and had no room for sentimentality. He created his own legend and in his version of events he was always centre stage.
Like many others, I miss him badly. He was a true rebel spirit.
Unpublished photos by yours truly of Mick doing a reading from ‘Give The Anarchist A Cigarette’ at Waterstones in Brighton in 1998. Top picture is the after-show party in a room above a gay club off the Steine. Mick improvises whilst Tim Rundall (I think) plays guitar and son Louis tinkles on the piano!!
Thanx to Richard Adams for sending over this pic of Mick at the Inn on the Green in Ladbroke Grove, snapped 28 May 2009. Richard comments: ‘I think he’d just arrived in England after America had taken its toll.’
Two great pictures taken by the legend that is Joe Stevens – one of them is a beauty of a colour shot of Mick and Ed Barker – together with a pithy tribute from Joe.
This is the uncut version of an article that appeared in The Guardian by Charles Shaar Murray: ‘Mick, we hardly knew ye…’
The pic, recently unearthed by Chalkie Davies, shows Miles, CSM, Micky and Chalkie in Brighton,summer of 1976.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Things have been quiet on the blogging front as I have been flat out producing a new free micro music paper to coincide with the Mumford & Sons festival in Lewes last weekend.
I wrote, edited, produced, financed and distributed the paper (5,000 copies) in just 10 weeks. It can be done.
You can read it on-line at www.lewesmusicalexpress.com
Sunday, June 23, 2013
Have just had my mind blown by watching ‘To The Wonder’ – the latest movie by Terrence Malick – one of the great filmmakers working in cinema today. You can read up on him on IMDB and Wikipedia. Also: a lengthy essay ‘Waiting for Terence Malick’ by Michael Nordine on the Salon site.
I was wondering how to explain what makes this film so special when I cam across this wonderful quote which nails it:
‘Those rambling philosophical voiceovers; the placid images of nature, offering quiet contrast to the evil deeds of men; the stunning cinematography, often achieved with natural light; the striking use of music – here is a filmmaker with a clear sensibility and aesthetic who makes narrative films that are neither literary nor theatrical, in the sense of foregrounding dialogue, event, or character, but are instead principally cinematic, movies that suggest narrative, emotion, and idea through image and sound.’
This quote comes from a great essay by Chris Wisniewski on www.reverseshot.com which discusses ‘Days of Heaven’ and ‘The New World’.
Malick directed ‘Days of Heaven’ in 1978 - five years after his debut film ‘Badlands’ - after which he didn’t direct a film for 20 years – though he did produce and write scripts. ‘The Thin Red LIne’ came out in 1998 and then there was a seven-year gap before ‘The New World’. ‘The Tree of Life’ and ‘To The Wonder’ came out in 2011 and 2012 respectively.
He apparently shot two new films back-to-back in 2012: Lawless starring Ryan Gosling, with a supporting cast including Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara and Haley Bennett and Knight of Cups which will star Bale, alongside Blanchett and Isabel Lucas.
Chris’ essay says arguably that its the editing that distinguishes Malick’s work on these two films (and others) but the contrast is the first was edited using analog technology, the second used digital.
This most interesting. Sometime back THE GENERALIST flagged up the existence of the documentary ‘Side by Side’ – produced and narrated by Keanu Reeves which skilfully examines all aspects of the film-making process and contrasts the analog and digital production methods. Its an absolute must see for anyone interested in the future of cinema. Saw a cinema screening a month or so back and now await my DVD copy from Lovefilm. Will chew on this bone further in a separate post.
Back to Malick and ‘To The Wonder’. It principally follows a love story – shot in Paris, Mont St Michel and Oklahoma – but has another level featuring Javier Bardem as a priest.
The camera is always on the move and, in this film, the main female character dances her way through it creating another level of movement. A third is movement in nature – rippling leaves and branches, grasslands, undersea swirls, lakes & waterfalls. Everything flows.
The framing is partial. People half in and half out of the frame. Dialogue is scattered as if blown by the wind which seems to be another character throughout. Ben Affleck is humanised in the process.
The relativity of when you watch a film has an effect on your perception of it. The screen I was watching it on sits in front of a window behind which is an elder tree in flower and other trees behind. They were being whipped by the wind at the same time as I was watching the wind on screen. Had to stop the film so as take a walk before the light disappeared. Slipped over on wet grass and bashed my head. Finished watching the film.
This film touches you in many places and on many levels. For some reason it kept reminding me of Godfrey Reggio’s films which form the second half of this post.
There’s a lot in Mallick’s films that suggests he is a man of belief – if not a Christian per se then perhaps someone who is absorbed by spiritual and philosophical questions.
I’d always thought that Reggio was a Jesuit priest but, according to Wikipedia, ‘Reggio spent fourteen years in fasting, silence and prayer, training to be a monk within the Congregation of Christian Brothers, a Roman Catholic pontifical order, before abandoning that path and making the films.’
The titles come from the Hopi language. ‘Koyaanisqatsi’ means ‘Life Out of Balance’ ‘Powaqqatsi’ means "life in transformation," and Naqoyqatsi means "life as war." They are poetic/ symphonic documentaries which, in a powerful way, brings home the extent to which we are damaging the earth and alienating ourselves from the natural environment.
A hallmark of these films is some extraordinary cinematography - mainly shot using slow motion and time lapse. Ron Fricke, the cinematographer who shot these films subsequently made two films of his own - ‘Baraka’ and ‘Samsara’ both of which I watched recently.For these he built his own 65mm equipment. Back in the day I had lunch with Fricke (and my young son) after a morning press screening of ‘Baraka’ in London.
The trilogy have soundtracks by Philip Glass which makes a major contribution to their success. My son and I saw Glass and his mini-orchestra play live as the films were screened at the Festival Hall in London.
Its exciting to discover that Reggio and Glass have been working on a new film ‘Visitors’ which will premiere at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival.
Steven Soderbergh, who is one of Reggio’s great supporters says:
Reggio’s “pure cinema” works are hard to sum up in a sentence, and the new film is no different. “It’s connected to the other Qatsi films in the sense it’s Godfrey’s wordless take on a certain subject, but he’s changed his game here,” Soderbergh said. “There’s more directing in it, more things he’s specifically staging for the camera than he’s done before, and there are performers in the film. He’s taken what he does and pushed it into a new area, which was really exciting for me to watch. It’s thirty years ago this year when Koyaanisqatsi came out. I watched it again, and there just isn’t a single, visual idea in that movie that hasn’t been ripped off, assimilated, regurgitated, built upon. Actually I watched all three films again, and it made me laugh how other directors just took his language and just ran with it. Here, he’s moved the goal post as if to challenge others and say, ‘Alright, let’s see what you can do with this.’ It’s so striking, but not necessarily immediately applicable to what everybody else does. They’ll have to work to steal this one.”
See: http://www.koyaanisqatsi.com/ [not updated since 2005]
"...The crisis that we are approaching today is of yet another order. For it entails the transition, not from one form of society and power to another, but to a new environment...The present crisis...is a total crisis triggered by transition to a new and previously unknown environment, the technological environment....The present change of environment is much more fundamental than anything that the race has experienced for the last five thousand years."
- Jacques Ellul