When formula becomes so obvious.
When formula becomes so obvious.
I just learned of this from Naj, Jafar Panahi an acclaimed filmmaker and his family have been detained-
Iranian security forces have detained Jafar Panahi, one of the country’s most internationally celebrated film-makers, as part of a continuing crackdown on supporters of the opposition Green movement.
Panahi was held with his wife, daughter and 15 guests on Monday evening, according to Kalame, the website of Mir Hossein Mousavi, who claims he won last June’s disputed presidential election.
In the first official comment on the high-profile arrest, Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi was quoted as saying that Panahi’s detention was “not political” and was linked to another case that was already under investigation.
The manner of arrest and all the other people and his support of protests does make this look like some very repressive mass arrests, it’s possible he is legitimately suspected of an actual crime but as yet the prosecutor has given no specific information. His film ‘The Circle‘ is a masterpiece (and ignore the simplistic characterisation in the linked Guardian article) when a government persecutes such artists rather than treasures them I see very little validity in that establishment. Of course the malign tactics used by our and other Western governments are not helping this situation at all, I see a lot of good people being crushed between the desires of competing tyrannies.
Wherein we learn Hollywood marketing, film ‘criticism’ and religion make a heady brew of AWESOME! I challenge you not to laugh, also only 4 out of 10 in the US accept the theory of evolution and they say Avatar was successful, it’s got nothing on this ‘Bible’ franchise!
Mind Flu while not a serious illness if left untreated can lead to drug resistant ennui, depression and self termination. Happily there is both a regime of effective symptomatic relief and longer term measures that can minimise its effects & occurrences. Symptoms are many and varied but if you find the following indicators you may have Mind Flu (Brainius Lurgiitis)- inability to sleep, constant racing thoughts leading to conceptual leaps that occur too fast to record, disgust, hot & cold fugues, aches and diarrhoea (or other very hard to spell digestive ailments). Once you recognise these symptoms you must rapidly apply the following treatment- put down the computer and move away from the internet, have a nice bath or shower, bed rest, light reading, the company of pleasant albeit lethally be-clawed furry creatures, drink lots of water/stay hydrated, chocolate and/or baked goods in moderation, light sexual activity. Once a good 16-24 hours of this treatment has been applied the patient may be ready for the more intense phase leading to recovery- loud and rhythmic music that satisfies the requirement of- CHOOOOON!, another nice bath or shower, casual and comfortable clothes that do not restrict movement, some light dancing, further CHOOOOON-age. Contingent on continuing recovery the patient may return to the internet with the understanding that just because many people are neurologically, emotionally, spiritually, morally impaired does not stop them from publishing any old horseshit about how great war & torture is. So darlin’ just don’t put down your guns yet, if there really was a god here, he’d have raised a hand by now…
And when you are up to it- L’armée Du Crime
The Red Poster by Louis Aragon
You demanded neither glory nor tears
Nor organ music, nor last rites
Eleven years already, how quickly eleven years go by
You made use simply of your weapons
Death does not dazzle the eyes of partisans.
You had your pictures on the walls of our cities
Black with beard and night, hirsute, threatening
The poster, that seemed like a bloodstain,
Using your names that are hard to pronounce,
Sought to sow fear in the passers-by.
No one seemed to see you French by choice
People went by all day without seeing you,
But at curfew wandering fingers
Wrote under your photos “Fallen for France”
And it made the dismal mornings different.
Everything had the unvarying colour of frost
In late February for your last moments
And that’s when one of you said calmly:
“Happiness to all, happiness to those who survive,
I die with no hate in me for the German people.
“Goodbye to pain, goodbye to pleasure. Farewell the roses,
Farewell life, the light and the wind.
Marry, be happy and think of me often
You who will remain in the beauty of things
When it’s all over one day in Erevan.
“A broad winter sun lights up the hill
How nature is beautiful and how my heart breaks
Justice will come on our triumphant footsteps,
My Mélinée, o my love, my orphan girl,
And I tell you to live and to have a child.”
There were twenty-three of them when the guns flowered
Twenty-three who gave their hearts before it was time,
Twenty-three foreigners and yet our brothers
Twenty-three in love with life to the point of losing it
Twenty-three who cried “France!” as they fell.
Vous n’avez réclamé la gloire ni les larmes
Ni l’orgue, ni la prière aux agonisants
Onze ans déjà, que cela passe vite onze ans
Vous vous étiez servi simplement de vos armes
La mort n’éblouit pas les yeux des partisans.
Vous aviez vos portraits sur les murs de nos villes
Noirs de barbe et de nuit, hirsutes, menaçants
L’affiche qui semblait une tache de sang
Parce qu’à prononcer vos noms sont difficiles
Y cherchait un effet de peur sur les passants.
Nul ne semblait vous voir Français de préférence
Les gens allaient sans yeux pour vous le jour durant
Mais à l’heure du couvre-feu des doigts errants
Avaient écrit sous vos photos ” Morts pour la France”
Et les mornes matins en étaient différents.
Tout avait la couleur uniforme du givre
À la fin février pour vos derniers moments
Et c’est alors que l’un de vous dit calmement:
“Bonheur à tous, bonheur à ceux qui vont survivre
Je meurs sans haine en moi pour le peuple allemand.”
“Adieu la peine et le plaisir. Adieu les roses
Adieu la vie. Adieu la lumière et le vent
Marie-toi, sois heureuse et pense à moi souvent
Toi qui vas demeurer dans la beauté des choses
Quand tout sera fini plus tard en Erevan.”
“Un grand soleil d’hiver éclaire la colline
Que la nature est belle et que le coeur me fend
La justice viendra sur nos pas triomphants
Ma Mélinée, ô mon amour, mon orpheline
Et je te dis de vivre et d’avoir un enfant.”
Ils étaient vingt et trois quand les fusils fleurirent
Vingt et trois qui donnaient le coeur avant le temps
Vingt et trois étrangers et nos frères pourtant
Vingt et trois amoureux de vivre à en mourir
Vingt et trois qui criaient “la France!” en s’abattant.
Professional footballers have refused to appear in a campaign video against homophobia because they fear being ridiculed for taking a stand against one of the sport’s most stubborn taboos,The Independent has learnt. Both players and agents declined a request by the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) to take part in a video which was to use high- profile players as figureheads in the association’s drive against anti-gay prejudice.
Because a hotel and shopping mall will have so much richer a cultural value…(and they say Britons don’t value the arts, some small irony that if the de-polticised strain of artists had not been so successfully neutered by the likes of Tory Saatchi this might not be happening, still you pays your money and you get fucked, capital is always scheming)
Beloved centre of London’s alternative art scene for a decade is set for demolition, but six-metre Banksy mural to be preserved
Pete Doherty used to host its poetry nights, the band Hot Chip formed there, and artists from Banksy to Gavin Turk have adorned its walls and propped up its bar.
But now the Foundry, an east London gallery and pub that for more than a decade has served as a focal point for the area’s alternative art scene, seems set to be demolished after the site’s owners drew up plans for an 18-storey hotel and retail complex.
Hackney council was today expected to approve plans to pull down the building which houses the much-loved if rather ramshackle space in Shoreditch close to the edge of the City, despite protests from the gallery’s founders that it performs a vital artistic function in the London borough.
In what its supporters regard as a particularly ironic twist, the council intends to salvage a wall painted with one of the biggest Banksy murals in Britain, even as the remainder of the building is demolished. The planned redevelopment, part of the Art’otel chain, will also incorporate gallery and retail space and a spa.
Foundry founders Tracey and Jonathan Moberly expect to be evicted by April, when the site will be cleared for the construction of a circular tower block by award-winning architects Squire and Partners. The Moberlys said they were “pretty resigned” to the fact that the art space would close, and had no objections to the conduct of the architects or the developers, Park Plaza hotels. “That’s fair enough. This isn’t our building, we’ve been renting, and they have been supportive in helping us look for another premises,” said Tracey Moberly.
But the couple are angry with Hackney council, which they accused of refusing to designate the Foundry as an artistic space, which they say would require the council to seek to resettle it in other premises, preferring to refer to it in planning documents only as a pub.
The council has also specified its intention in the planning officer’s report for the “safe removal and retention of ‘Banksy’ art work” – a six-metre high painting of a rat with a knife and fork over which the building’s owners have constructed a protective wooden covering. A spokeswoman for Squire and Partners said: “The aim of the client and design team is to permanently locate the artworks on site, in one of the public galleries at ground floor – this is to be agreed with Hackney council.”
Well done to Chris Morris for overcoming the obstacles and achieving the film. Warp Films Four Lions site.
Not just Tom Waits but the wonderful Mark Eitzel of American Music Club fame/infamy has a new album out Klamath, no free tracks but you can Spotify here and buy direct in the US or EU (scroll down) or the usual Amazon, iTunes (UK) suspects. His voice and poetry are as scintillating as ever, the music a warm friend complete with hopes, failures and dreams, heartbreak and wit. And I haven’t even been sent a free review copy (hint)!
You want 8 free tracks off Tom Waits new album Glitter and Doom Live? Then Mr. Waits can help you.
In other words, there are conditions under which we can be more altruistic, more generous, and more aware. But those conditions are killed by the act of purchase, of engaging with the world and its problems as if those problems were commodities, rather than political challenges that will be solved not by shopping, but by civic engagement.
I so enjoyed this film I have to pass on how good it is. An absolutely brilliant performance by Nina Kervel-Bey as Anna who is the centre of the story as we view through her 9-year-old eyes her parents becoming increasingly politically engaged and the confusion and obstinacy it inspires in her, until she too grows and becomes her own person. But hey don’t let that worthiness put you off, it really is entertaining, with some very funny moments and some touching ones, the mise-en-scène is virtually faultless from the non stereotype 70’s period detail (something British films usually fail at) to the understated yet strong lighting design. Hilariously right-wing critics misconstrue it is a critique of the left rather than a warm and human story of a little girls bewilderment at her parents awakened consciences and activism. It’s directed and co-written by Julie Gavras daughter of Costa Gavras–
I kept the basis of the story, about a wealthy family with a conservative daughter. The father’s from Spain, his sister arrives, and the little girl’s life is shattered. Although I was more at home with Paris than Rome, what struck me was the way the writer talked about that period of the early ’70s from the perspective of a little girl. In the book, the father’s an engineer who becomes a union leader. I changed him into a pro-Allende activist, because my father made a film about Chile called ‘Missing’ , which was the first of his movies that I actually understood. For many French people, Allende represented the hope of a new political system, because he said he wanted to make a revolution within the bourgeois laws. It was something that caught the imagination of the French intelligentsia and a lot of French people went to Chile.
It’s also notable as a female empowered production-
Based on the novel by Domitilla Calamai and written by the film’s director Julie Gavras, it was produced by Sylvie Pialat (widow of Maurice Pialat), shot by Nathalie Durand, edited by Pauline Dairou, costume-designed by Annie Thiellement, cast by Coralie Amedeo, and acted by two splendid leads, Julie Depardieu (daughter of Gérard Depardieu) and first-time actor, little Nina Kervel.
It’s even more enjoyable when you have an awareness of the history as the interpretation through Anna’s experience and family circumstances give it a unique human colour and warmth. Perhaps a perfect accompaniment to this would be Machuca, two boys experiencing the bloody coup against Allende. It’s a while since I saw it but like Fidel it pays some attention to the comfortable middle class lifestyle and the very prosaic reasons why some people might support a fascist dictator just as long as they keep their lifestyle and they can live in denial of the atrocities committed by the government to keep them in fashionable clothes and servants. Machuca does this fairly directly by comparing the two boys, one from a poor slum the other from a bourgeois family who have their friendship tested as the coup unfolds. The Catholic school which brought them together again provides for an examination of the involvement of conservative religious intuitions in the coup and the individual efforts of some clergy to fight the criminal takeover. Unlike Fidel it is not at a remove in Paris so the experience is bleaker, so maybe Machuca first then Blame It On Fidel to leave you a better night’s sleep.
Machuca is also maybe culturally different in terms of national cinema, examining the Pinochet years in mainstream cinema is clearly a loaded issue (although a much earlier film Gonzalo Justiniano’s ‘Amnesia‘ is excellent but almost impossible to see, my knackered VHS copy would be happy to hand over the task to a DVD but none is apparent, please let me know if you have a lead on that), Machuca perhaps uses the children’s story as a way to get to some truths that adults resist admitting. Whereas Fidel does not have that issue and the children’s story illuminates other aspects of resisting dominant paradigms, how doing the right things is not easy on you or those around you. For Anna is Paris it means a smaller apartment and being taken out of divinity class, both of which piss her off mightily which is made very funny through Nina Kervel-Bey’s performance. For Machuca simply his poverty and darker skin gets him in trouble while his richer friend escapes and his family enjoy the fruits of the repression, even the guilt middle class Gonzalo feels is a luxury not afforded to the repressed barrio dwellers.
What both films do is provide rewarding entertainment with real weight to it and …if you can get English speaking children to watch subtitled films they will also give a vitally different view of the world than the Hannah Montana movie, while giving them stories from children’s viewpoints which they can relate to. For adults, the deeper meditations on the costs and rewards of being concerned with social and political justice will gain nods of recognition.
Meanwhile if you fancy Norwegian comedy zombie movies with living dead Nazis erm, there is one- Dead Snow, not great but worth some popcorn, it’s like BNP on Ice!