Film for NZ Book Council Produced by Colenso BBDO Animated by Andersen M Studio
Nov 29, 2009
The Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra arrives in Israel to play at the opening of an Arab Cultural Center. Dressed in full regalia and observing all military police protocol……perhaps it is time to breathe in the existential sadness of the world, while acknowledging the universal forces that bind us together: Our unfathomable yearning for love, acceptance and deliverance. This is highly recommended.
Nov 28, 2009
twt.fm / a silver mount zion [he has left us alone but shafts of light sometimes grace the corners of our rooms] -- "blown-out joy from heaven's mercied hole"
Download Song: Amazon
Nov 27, 2009
“They end up working in extremely dangerous conditions for years, just to pay back their initial debt. They are ringed-off in filthy tent-cities outside Dubai, where they sleep in weeping heat, next to open sewage. They have no way to go home. And if they try to strike for better conditions, they are beaten by the police.”
Dubai is finally financially bankrupt – but it has been morally bankrupt all along. The idea that Dubai is an oasis of freedom on the Arabian peninsular is one of the great lies of our time.
Yes, it has Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts and the Gucci styles, but beneath these accoutrements, there is a dictatorship built by slaves.
If you go there with your eyes open – as I did earlier this year – the truth is hidden in plain view. The tour books and the bragging Emiratis will tell you the city was built by Sheikh Mohammed, the country's hereditary ruler.
It is untrue. The people who really built the city can be seen in long chain-gangs by the side of the road, or toiling all day at the top of the tallest buildings in the world, in heat that Westerners are told not to stay in for more than 10 minutes. They were conned into coming, and trapped into staying.
In their home country – Bangladesh or the Philippines or India – these workers are told they can earn a fortune in Dubai if they pay a large upfront fee. When they arrive, their passports are taken from them, and they are told their wages are a tenth of the rate they were promised.
They end up working in extremely dangerous conditions for years, just to pay back their initial debt. They are ringed-off in filthy tent-cities outside Dubai, where they sleep in weeping heat, next to open sewage. They have no way to go home. And if they try to strike for better conditions, they are beaten by the police.
I met so many men in this position I stopped counting, just as the embassies were told to stop counting how many workers die in these conditions every year after they figured it topped more than 1,000 among the Indians alone.
Human Rights Watch calls this system "slavery." Yet the Westerners who have flocked to Dubai brag that they "love" the city, because they don't have to pay any taxes, and they have domestic slaves to do all the hard work. They train themselves not to see the pain.
But Dubai's bankruptcy does not end there: it is ecologically bust. This is a city built in the burning desert, where everything shrivels up and blows away if it is not kept artificially cold all the time. That's why it has the highest per capita carbon emissions on earth – some 250 percent higher even than America's. The city has to ship in desalinated water – which is more costly than oil. When it runs out of cash, it will run out of water.
Today Dubai will be bailed out by the United Arab Emirates, the oil-rich country of which it is only one state. But the oil will not last forever. More importantly, there is no Bank of Morality that could provide a bailout for this sinister mirage in the desert.
Nov 26, 2009
1962, 22 Minutes, Black and White, 35mm
It is the only film from Forough Farrokhzad, possibly Iran's most noted and controversial female poet. A look inside a leper colony, the documentary short has been called "the greatest of all Iranian films" by Jonathan Rosenbaum, and is (now) frequently referred to as one of the lynchpins of the Iranian New Wave. Following an opening statement accompanying a black screen that simultaneously warns and invites viewers to gaze upon that which society has deemed horrifying, Farrokhzad trains her lens insistently on the decay of human faces in bleak honesty, observing the lepers' flaccid eyelids (incapable of doing the biological job of protecting the eyes behind them from flies), the crusty, flaking stumps that used to be their feet, and their exposed nose cavities completely devoid of cartilage (one of them casually and surreally exhales cigarette smoke from the orifice). While showing the leper community forging an ersatz societal representation of normalcy. Old gents playing board games, women dressing up and donning make-up for what appears to be a wedding march (and once you've seen a woman apply mascara to the inside of her eyelid, the image will not soon leave your head), kids tossing a plastic ball around the courtyard.
Farrokhzad soundtracks her images with an alternating narration. A male voice (whose detached matter-of-factness brings to mind a contemporary Jean-Luc Godard at his most bemused) unpacks the medical implications of the condition, gently reminding the audience that leprosy is a treatable condition, provided the proper expediency, in what constitutes the film's most salient instance of activism. But between the clinical dialogue (in every sense of the definition) are snips of poetry by Farrokhzad, read by the author herself, that elevates the colony's plight to the level of that Old Testament paragon of unanswered and cruel kismet: Job. If Farrokhzad's poetic sensibilities were said to be both preoccupied with Eastern mores and influenced by Western modernism, then The House is Black authoritatively clears the path for such aesthetic dilettantism.
-- Eric Henderson
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- Directors of the Decade: Ramin Bahrani (filmexperience.blogspot.com)
Nov 25, 2009
Don’t expect much in the way of explanation or background, but simply sit back and enjoy as this master illustrator rolls out sketches and storylines from some of his greatest published and unpublished hits.
Nov 24, 2009
The three gossips from The Ghosts of Versailles at the Wexford Opera Festival, Ireland, 2009 (wexfordopera.com)
Wexford is a small town on the sea in the south-east of Ireland and an unlikely place to host an opera festival. Yet since 1951 in late October the town has organized what has become for many opera-lovers an essential date in the calendar. The reason why it has remained important is not merely the intimacy of the setting, the general air of welcome and the strange sea-washed beauty of the old town, but the policy since the early 1970s to program three operas that have fallen beneath the radar, that are seldom or never performed.
Thus if you wanted to see Cornelius’s Der Barbier von Bagdad, you had to come to Wexford in 1974; so too with Tiefland by d’Albert (1978) or Edgar by Puccini (1980) or Le Jongleur de Notre-Dame by Massenet (1984). The opera house, down a side street, was old and uncomfortable, but that seemed only to add to the general specialness of the occasion. Last year however, a brand new opera house, built on the same site, was opened. The seats are more comfortable, the acoustics are wonderful, and the building itself has managed to lose nothing of the old intimacy.
Usually, there is much debate about the quality of the operas……
Nov 23, 2009
Nov 22, 2009
Nov 21, 2009
slave labor, personal freedoms limited to the right to shop and the right to fornicate (with foreign-national prostitutes – women excluded of course), no elections whatsoever, and world’s new center for arts and culture?
Premiere Guggenheim Exhibition Opens in Abu Dhabi under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces.
Willem de Kooning, Composition, 1955. Oil, enamel, and charcoal on canvas, 201 x 175.6 cm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York 55.1419. © 2009 The Willem de Kooning Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
On November 17, 2009, The Guggenheim: The Making of a Museum opened at Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, as part of a program of art and cultural development leading up to the opening of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Museum in 2013. The exhibition features more than fifty paintings from the collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, including Paul Cézanne’s Bend in the Road Through the Forest (1873–75), Willem de Kooning’s Composition (1955), Vasily Kandinsky’s Decisive Rose (1932), Piet Mondrian’s Composition 8 (1914), Robert Motherwell’s Elegy to the Spanish Republic, No. 110 (1971), and Jackson Pollock’s Untitled (Green Silver) (ca. 1949). On view through February 4, 2010, the exhibition is presented in collaboration with Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), and under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces.
A rich roster of educational programming, including the panel discussion “From Private to Public: Patronage and the Museum in the Modern Era,” moderated by Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Museum, accompanies the exhibition. Additional programs include a lecture on the early history of the Guggenheim Museum with Karole Vail, Assistant Curator, Guggenheim Museum, and a conversation with The Guggenheim: The Making of a Museum co-curators Susan Davidson and Valerie Hillings.
Finnish born American Photographer, (1945- ) in his own words:
Jeremy Noel-Tod reads the letters of TS Eliot and discovers the inner turmoil of the author of The Waste Land
By Jeremy Noel-Tod
Published: 6:30AM GMT 06 Nov 2009
"Practically, one crucifies oneself and entertains drawing rooms and lounges.” This sentence by T S Eliot on the reception of his extraordinary, agonised poem, The Waste Land (1922), is a thrilling moment in the long-awaited second volume of his letters. It rings like a line from one of his earlier poems, in which suffering figures suddenly see themselves in the absurd light of polite society. “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons,” rued Eliot’s alter ego J Alfred Prufrock in 1917. Eight years later, he might have added: “and headed notepaper”.
The first volume of Eliot’s letters, which covered the period from early youth up to both “Prufrock” and The Waste Land, appeared 21 years ago. It was edited, as he requested, by his second wife, Valerie Eliot, formerly his secretary at Faber & Faber. The sequel only covers another three years, up to Eliot’s professional move from Lloyd’s Bank to the publishing house. But it was evidently proving an overwhelming task, and she has now been joined by the scholar Hugh Haughton, who has also revised and expanded the first volume by about 200 pages.
Eliot’s original wish to leave his letters unpublished was unrealistic. The world’s most eminent man of letters could hardly expect his correspondence to be buried with him, not least because this would have required the excavation of a small churchyard. By asking his young widow to oversee their appearance, however, Eliot presumably hoped for some discretion, such as he had already exercised by burning his early letters to his parents. The problem this created was a widespread suspicion that the most revealing material – especially in relation to his unhappy first marriage, and his debated anti-Semitism – was being suppressed.
Nov 18, 2009
Shelley Lane, The Child Poet
jesus and the poet
jesus and the poet sat down together
one morning and the poet shared
how she wanted to start a church just for poets
how there would be black moleskins in the pews
and pens in the collection baskets and the high priest poet
would give them all a blessing from shakespeare or
akhmatova or oliver and with a final flourish
the air would be electric with the buzz of inspiration
muses would come forth from holy water fonts
poets writing the perfect line would be slain by the blood
of whitman right in their chairs and others would rush
to read and clap and be renewed in their faith
that writing poetry truly was a spiritual toil
and one might feel as low as low can get
but in a single stroke the dead would come to life
and all would cry
and jesus called it the church of the suffering poor poet
for lack of anything better he said
but she knew he was right of course he was right
the beholder of all things immortal
who never held a pen in his life but with words
and desperate love wrote of many things seen and unseen
the church is open every day rain or shine
but especially on days of rain
there is no commitment
only that you fall in love at least once while reading neruda
to a stranger on a park bench
Regina Green’s poems have appeared in The Human Genre Project, A Little Poetry/Voracious Verses, Cahoots Magazine, Breadcrumb Scabs, Physiognomy in Letters and the on-line poetry blogs Bolts of Silk, This Zine Will Save Your Life, Thirteen Myna Birds and A Handful of Stones. She is also published in Spiraling Volume 1 and Spiraling Nature, two collaborative Lulu pressed poetry compilations. Regina is a therapist living in Marietta, GA and is celebrating her first real Fall and Winter since moving after twenty years in south Florida. Some of her favorite poets include Martin Espada, Anne Sexton, Saul Williams, Jane Kenyon and oh, so many others. Poetry is the blossom on her stem. You can find her at Red Bird Chronicles.
Read more on Regina Green | Escape Into Life
Nov 17, 2009
posted November 12, 2009 11:12 am
Wars come home in strange, unnerving ways -- as Americans have just discovered at Fort Hood. Even before Major Nidal Malik Hasan went on his killing spree, that base, a major military embarkation point for our war zones, was already experiencing the after-effects of eight years of war and repeated tours of duty. The suicide rate at Fort Hood was soaring (with 10 on the base in 2009 alone). Divorce rates were on the rise, as were mental health problems, drug and alcohol use, domestic abuse (up 75% since 2001), and murders among war-zone returnees. Even violent crime in Killeen, the town that houses the base, was up 22% (though it was down, according to the New York Times, "in towns of similar size in other parts of the country"). In an era in which our last president urged Americans to support his Global War on Terror by shopping and visiting Disney World, it often seemed that, except for soldiers and their families, our wars abroad affected little in this country.
And yet for an imperial power past its prime, foreign wars, even ones fought thousands of miles from home, have a way of coming back to haunt. Alfred W. McCoy tends to be ahead of the curve in his writing. In the Vietnam era, he had to fight the CIA to get his book, The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade, published; in the Bush years, he was perhaps the first person to recognize that the photos from Abu Ghraib represented no anomaly but the product of a long history of CIA torture research -- and published a powerful book, A Question of Torture, on the subject.
His latest book, Policing America's Empire: The United States, the Philippines, and the Rise of the Surveillance State, meets counterinsurgency, another topic direct from today's headlines, head on. It ends on these lines: "...a state, like the United States, that rules a foreign territory through political repression and pervasive policing soon finds many of those same coercive methods moving homeward to degrade its own democracy. Such are the costs of empire." In his latest TomDispatch post, McCoy lays out just how that impulse for repression and policing, so vividly and violently expressed abroad in these last years, is now quietly taking aim at us. Tom
Welcome Home, War!
How America's Wars Are Systematically Destroying Our Liberties
By Alfred W. McCoy
In his approach to National Security Agency surveillance, as well as CIA renditions, drone assassinations, and military detention, President Obama has to a surprising extent embraced the expanded executive powers championed by his conservative predecessor, George W. Bush. This bipartisan affirmation of the imperial executive could "reverberate for generations," warns Jack Balkin, a specialist on First Amendment freedoms at Yale Law School. And consider these but some of the early fruits from the hybrid seeds that the Global War on Terror has planted on American soil. Yet surprisingly few Americans seem aware of the toll that this already endless war has taken on our civil liberties.
Nov 16, 2009
Directors: Chen Kaige, Werner Herzog, Victor Erice, Spike Lee, Jim Jarmusch, Wim Wenders, Aki Kaurismaki.
Nicolas McClintock , on the genesis of the film: "I was reading Italo Calvino's collection of lectures, Six Memos For The Next Millenium, that quoted one old Sicilian folk-story-teller saying something that jumped out at me: "Time takes no time in a story." In other words, within a story you been time, it becomes malleable , being a documentary film-maker, I wondered how different directors might view the subject - and approach working in a short amount of time, the title came from two Latvian documentary film-makers, Jury Podnieks and Hertz Frank."
Here is a user comment form IMDB--thanks nestor-13:"This is a very interesting Short film compilation. Seven Directors are all trying to ....bring their view of time on canvas. Kaige Chen (segment "100 Flowers Hidden Deep") This is the story of an old man who returns to the city where he grew up. Even though things have changed he still sees the old neigbourhood (wooden Cabins, Trees...). Workers laugh at him, but then they see the place through his eyes... Not really touching, but I supose its a must see for architechure students.
Víctor Erice (segment "Lifeline")-B&W Scenes in a day (during WW2) on the Spanish countryside. My personal favorite short of them all. Werner Herzog (segment "Ten Thousand Years Older") This one brings us in the Brazilian jungle. It documents the first encounters with an urban trial 20 years ago and shows what happend to them since. Makes you think... Jim Jarmusch (segment "Int. Trailer Night")-B&W We become wittnisess of a short 10 min break in the life of an actress (Chloe Sevigny) Jim Jarmusch proves once more that he is able to create extraordinary characters on canvas, even in the tight frame of 10 min.
Aki Kaurismäki (segment "Dogs Have No Hell") A man is releasd from prison he has 10 minutes to: get a wife, train, and quit his old job. Spike Lee (segment "We Wuz Robbed")-B&W Treats of the "democratic" election of Mr. Bush. very good! Wim Wenders (segment "Twelve Miles to Trona") A middle aged Man overdoses on a drug by accident. now he has to make it to Trona Hospital. suprisingly light for a Wenders but funny and entrtaining.
Directors: Bernardo Bertolucci, Claire Denis, Mike Figgis, Jean-Luc Godard, Jirí Menzel, Michael Radford, Volker Schlöndorff, István Szabó, Bernardo Bertolucci,
Altogether I belive these are both a fantastic Cinema experience!
Nov 15, 2009
psiphon software, developed by University of Toronto's Citizen Lab, people around the world will have access to a free tool enabling t...
Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898-1972) is one of the world's most famous graphic artists. His art is enjoyed by millions of people all ...