November 28, 2010
[don't worry playlist icon disappears after a minute or so]
80 minute documentary from 2003 which chronicles the life and work of Alan Moore, author of several acclaimed graphic novels, including From Hell, Watchmen and V for Vendetta. A portrait of the artist as contemporary shaman, someone with the power to transform consciousness by means of manipulating language, symbols and images. The film leads the audience through Moore’s world with the writer himself as guide, beginning with his childhood background, following the evolution of his career as he transformed the comics medium, through to his immersion in a magical worldview where science, spirituality and society are part of the same universe.
November 13, 2010
November 09, 2010
"They'll do anything to keep you on their line. They pit the lifers against the new boys, the old against the young, the black against the white - ANYTHING to keep us in our place."
The directorial debut of screenwriter Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver). Starring Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel and Yaphet Kotto. Both a critique of union practices and an examination of life in a working-class Rust Belt enclave, the film concerns a trio of Detroit auto workers: Zeke Brown (Pryor), Jerry Bartowski (Keitel), and Smokey James (Kotto). Fed up with mistreatment at the hands of both management and union brass, and coupled with financial hardships on each man's end, the trio hatch a plan to rob a safe at union headquarters. They commit the caper, but find a few scant bills in the union safe. More importantly, they also come away with a ledger, evidence of the union's illegal loan-lending operation and ties to organized crime syndicates. They attempt to blackmail the union with the information, but the union retaliates strongly and begins to turn the tables on the three friends. Meanwhile, a federal agent attempts to coerce Jerry into informing on the union's corruption which could make him enemies with his co-workers as well as the union bosses. wiki
November 06, 2010
Half hour documentary from 1967 about the great Bluesman by Les Blank ...notes
"...A short film about the Texas blues singer Lightnin' (Sam) Hopkins. Built around what I gather was the return of Hopkins to his home town for a visit sometime in 1967, as much a celebration of a mode of life as it is a study of a kind of music. It is also fairly conventional film making (the conventions of documentary poetic realism), but in Hopkins and his friends it has a quality of life rather than a fabricated group image for a subject. Almost everybody in "Blues Accordin' to Lightnin' Hopkins" seems to be a performer. But Hopkins himself controls the film's moods. Not so much in his exposition of the meaning of the blues as in what he makes of them when he sings and plays his guitar." New York Times, 1967
November 05, 2010
November 02, 2010
SPACE IS THE PLACE
featuring Sun Ra and his Arkestra
(1972, released 1974)
Stream VHS 63' version HERE
In 2003, the movie was re-released in its entire 82-minute format on DVD, after a heavily-edited 63-minute version on VHS. The original cuts were requested by Sun Ra, which director John Coney attributed to Sun Ra's prudishness.
The scenes indeed follow a racy "pimps and hos" narrative that is not entirely congruous with the rest of the film, and there was a notable backlash from fans of the original film.
The fact that the director inserted these scenes without the consent of Sun Ra does in fact leave room for scrutiny, considering the absence of Sun Ra in the scenes themselves. [wiki]