Sunday, May 13, 2007

Power Couple Double Bill: Bjork & Matthew

An appendix to the release of Bjork's new album Volta, and a taster for Matthew Barney's September show at The Serpentine, when Drawing Restraint 9 will finally come to London (despite the film's commercial release in various countries last year).
First: A scene from Matthew Barney's Drawing Restraint 9. Accompanied by Bjork's rhythmic soundtrack to ritualistic construction, these 7 minutes unfurl a choreographed building site, where structures are being both created and venerated. A little like watching the un-dead perform both manual labour and parade, in an industrial heaven decked out in clinical ice cream colours.

The images below take you to two further scenes from the film:

And for Bjork: A video of her performing a rousing cover version of a well known eurodance hit to a piano accompaniment. Sing along.

More Nouveau Réalisme

An extended trailer for a two-episode reality TV series, that screened on Fox (who else..?) in early 2004. The Littlest Groom takes the Bachelor Seeks Bride format and twists it into a surreal parallel world of Dani Behr narrated 'little people.' Like an Endemol remake of Even Dwarves Started Small perhaps? The series takes on an interesting flirtation with eugenics in a twist of statuesque proportions. If you missed this media event, here is a chance to see it again. A nice comparison to the post below perhaps...

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Reality TV - Iraqi Style

What would Baudrillard say? A clip from the documentary, TV Iraqi Style, which screens 06/05/07 at the Curzon Soho in London. Previously aired on More 4, the film looks at the birth of a new media following the end of Sadam's broadcasting monopoly (outlined well in a 2004 New York Times article here) as a result of which the country now has its own simulacra Pop Idol, and most poetically, its very own version of Extreme Home Makeover (with a conscience), entitled Materials and Labour and hosted by 'The Iraqi Oprah.'

As the director of Materials and Labour states; "In the rest of the world reality TV is a kind of entertainment...This is reality TV with the flavour of Iraqi pain."

An amazing phenomenon and an important piece of journalism. See a further 10 minute excerpt from the film here.

As a morally corrupt counterpoint, the campest element of the US military's atrocities in Iraq yet, can be viewed by clicking on the image above, in a piece of renegade spoof film making from the most sophisticated fighting force on the planet. Ethically highly dubious.

A Musical Catsuit Double Bill

Awaking CoutureTV from its temporary slumber at the hands of other commitments, comes this Italo Disco riposte to Chan Marshall's whimsical Southern lilt below. Lovingly posted as a comment on the previous post by an unidentified internet-er, Rose's 'Magic Carillon' suddenly turns this section of the blog into a Musical Catsuit Double Bill. Enjoy. With many thanks to 'M'.

If you still need more Italo audio-visual stimulation and are download savvy...Try this.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Harmony Korine For Cat Power

The Harmony Korine directed video for Cat Power's single, Living Proof. Like an play upon the competition suggested by her album title, The Greatest, Korine creates a 3 minute short that watches Chan Marshall race a gaggle of DIY-burka wearers, whilst carrying a crucifix and sporting a red pvc catsuit - surreally integrating the crusade on terror in an All American dream.

Something to chew over before Korine's Mister Lonely (which looks incredible) sees the light of day...Production stills, here/here.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Beuys Goes Pop

Joseph Beuys turns his hand to agit-pop (1min 58secs, 1982).

'Sonne Statt Reagan.' Playing on the acoustic similarities in German of regen (rain) and reagan (Ronald), 'Sun instead of Reagan(/Rain)' stands as a protest against the 40th President of The United States' armament policies, executed through guitar, bass, drum and vocals. Featuring particularly fetching footage of Beuys swirling his microphone around his head, as his shamanistic-prophet-self finds a populist stage.

You can download the song itself, here. Speak German? Have some lyrics.

Interestingly, Olafur Eliasson has created a piece entitled, 'Sonne statt Regan,' which reverses the pun and uses it as a title for a typically Eliasson piece of perception hedonism instead.

Annika Larsson - Pirate

Annika Larsson departs from her usual staged tableaus of eroticly charged maschismo, to create a video piece from documentary footage. Still sleekly full of erotic adolescent mannequins and Tobias Bernstrup's electronic camp-ery, though here with a more directly political undertone. Almost like an advert for the end of products...
"PIRATE was filmed on the 1st of May 2006 during a manifestation (sic) by the Swedish anti-copyright movement (Piratbyrån and the Swedish Pirate Party) in Stockholm, Sweden."
Piratbyrån being the representatives of the Sweden-based bittorent tracker Pirate Bay, which is currently trying to buy its own island..whilst continuing to allow you to download things for free, like this.

True to the zeitgeist and alongside her gallery's cyber promotion of her, Annika also has her own MySpace page, which generously allows you to watch more of her videos.

David Lynch - Guardian/NFT Interview

Clip i

Clip ii


More Lynch. It's the season. David Lynch talks to Mark Kermode about Consciousness, Art, Poland and Inland Empire, from the Guardian/NFT interview at the beginning of February.

His recent interview with Vice, here, for good measure. His coffee, here, to caffeinate that measure further.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Do Androids Dream Of The Design Museum?

The full length Honda commercial featuring Asimo the robot curiously exploring all manner of museums (1min 30sec). Set to Goldmund's beautiful Ba, which runs in its entirety as a complete soundtrack to the ad, and narrated by Garrison Keillor. A bit like Stanley Kubrick and Chris Cunningham collaborating on a promo for the V&A, but without the menace...(With thanks to Chelsea)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Gilbert & George - Celebrity Mantelpiece

In commemoration of the opening of their Tate retrospective, coultureTV presents Gilbert and George talking on the contents of their mantelpiece in a 1993 BBC program.

As George says, "It's always very interesting to look across from the Jesus sculpture to the photographic portrait of Oscar Wilde. One can see many connections in a way."

An archived Tate webcast for a G&G Q&A with Matthew Collings, and screening of 1969's The World of Gilbert and George, here.

Nate & Matt Meet David Lynch (and a cow)

A supreme piece of drive-by-reportage, documenting David Lynch as he lobbies for a Laura Dern Oscar nomination for her (multiple) roles in Inland Empire. Sitting on the curbside with a cow, a 'for your consideration' banner, and a brief exegesis on cheese, it almost looks like it could have been scripted and shot at Lynch's own discretion. Or perhaps more a David Lynch and Richard Linklater collaboration. Inland Slacker...?

Another video of Lynch's stint on the corner of Hollywood Boulevard, here, this time without Nate and Matt, but with a touch of lonely voyeur instead. More information on the surreal curb-side promo spot, here. (With thanks to Pierre)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Drone Fischerspooner?

Perhaps fast accidentally becoming the drone-Fischerspooner, an interview with metallic overlords Sunn o))) from the BBC Collective (6min 29sec). Pyschedelia-Goes-Doom in monk-ish paraphernalia.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Trailer for the Film Of The Year - Die Grosse Stille

January is a little early to be announcing these things, but it has become apparent that Philip Gröning's Die Grosse Stille (Into Great Silence) is a sublime achievement that will be difficult to top. Although it has been playing the festival circuit for the last couple of years, it has only just received UK distribution. A 3 hour largely dialogue-less portrait of a community of Carthusian monks in an Alpine setting, the film's delicacy and observational serenity turns the movie going experience transcendental, as the audience's participation in a 'vow of silence' and period of extended contemplation forms a solidarity with the monks on screen. Shot over four months, 16 years after Gröning originally submitted his proposal to the order, when the monks decided they were ready. Featuring some of the most beautiful use of video noise, within the edit, and some of the most pointedly joyous moments seen on screen in an age - senses are heightened watching this silence, so that on the rare occasions the monks are able to convene, the significance of their communication is all the more pronounced. And funny. The scene in which the monks are captured tumbling down a snowy hill in abandon, as a bemused hiker looks on, is one of the most euphoric things you will witness. And quite Herzog-ian.

“There’s no such thing as being out of your own time,” says Gröning. “This is why I moved away from language, because language is completely based on time: you have to remember the beginning of the phrase to get to the end of the phrase. It’s always cutting you off from that pure present.” From a review at

Thursday, January 18, 2007

MOMA does Drive In

The 1 minute trailer for Doug Aitken's MOMA project, 'Sleepwalkers,' which can be found projected on the facades of mid-town Manhattan; turning the big apple into a big drive-in until February 12th. Showcasing a cast of celebrity night owls (Tilda Swinton, Donald Sutherland, Cat Power, Seu Jorge) alongside the unkown Ryan Donowho, which animate the architecture with their gestures, both physically and metaphorically, as their somnambulant presence starts to theactricise urban life.

As an aside, a 2004 interview between Doug Aitken and Werner Herzog, here, from Index magazine. Containing the immortal Herzogian line; "Theatre is dead...just let it expire like food in the supermarket."

How's Your News?

How's Your News? (1999, 82 mins). Moments of both hilarity and absurd beauty create a tender travelogue and skewed guide to the USA's psychogeography, through the eyes of two men with cerebral palsy, two men with down syndrome and a legally blind and mentally disabled woman (whos microphone manner is second to none). Directed by the writer and friend of McSweenys Arthur Bradford (whose surreal collection of short stories, Dogwalker, shares a similar tone of absurdity and poeticism) and produced by Trey Parker and Matt Stone (creators of South Park). As the Village Voice states;

"The stars seem to bring out the best in the people they meet. Soft-spoken Costello sums up Texas with a poetic specificity hewn from cultural memory ("a good place to have cowboys, guns, boots, and hats"); Bird's unintelligible speech, far from signifying nothing, becomes a Rorschach test for his interviewees, and his imitation of a Texas livestock auctioneer might as well be the real thing. Soap opera connoisseur Simonson (whose nightly prayers include David Hasselhoff) regales people with celebrity impersonations, the better joke being that they all sound more or less the same. And Harrington has absorbed the dramatic imperatives of news presentation ("We are live in an Arizona auto repair shop," she announces, investigating the status of their busted RV) and the inalienable right to be Aretha. Unleashing "Respect" in a Vegas karaoke booth, she careens from note to note while virtual-reality non sequiturs morph on the screen behind her."

Wonderful. As if that weren't enough, you can join the team on myspace in their current incarnation as a band, and listen to their wonderful songs.

(NB. If viewing on an Apple, you may need to download the free Flip4Mac application to get the windows based player to work...Then you will have the joy of all of FourDocs at your double click...)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Fashion Flashback - Kate Moss Hologram for Alexander McQueen

Kate Moss' ethereal conclusion to Alexander Mcqueen's Paris runway show for AW06, debuted March, 2006. Created by model-turned-filmmaker and friend of Leigh Bowery, Baillie Walsh, (Massive Attack's, Unfinished Sympathy, Kylie's Slow, that Levis commercial with the transvestite...), and art-directed by McQueen. Kate emerges from an Aurora Borealis like cloud to flail in organza ruffles before disappearing into a point of light, to conclude a show of what appeared to be a parade of the ghostly elfin remnants of a decadent 18th century highland ball. Spectacle.
A separate video of the collaboration here, at McQueen's website. A video on the whole show, here. How ? : here / here.

Todd Haynes: Superstar - The Karen Carpenter Story

Todd Haynes' (Velvet Goldmine, Far From Heaven...) 1987 biopic of Karen Carpenter (43 mins), in which the wholesome pop starlet's demise and descent into anorexia nervosa is played out by an ensemble cast of Barbie Dolls. Managing to twist an incrediably ironic onslaught of bittersweet lullabies out of The Carpenters' back catalogue, the film deftly weaves Barbie theatrics with TV footage, public information, spanking flashbacks, and images of the holocaust. (Thanks Ted).

Fear On Film - Landis, Carpenter, Cronenberg Discuss

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

(A somewhat) smug John Carpenter (Assualt on Precinct 13, Halloween, The Thing..) on not having been scared of movies. Ever. (A very Jewish) John Landis (Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf in London, Thriller...) on film ratings and his conversion to gore after Monty Python. And (a most articulate) David Cronenberg (Videodrome, Crash...) on how very happy he is with his work being symbolised by an exploding skull. And all of them on the nature of Horror films, sex vs gore, and learning from audiences. A 26-minute roundtable discussion from 1982 between the filmmakers. Magic. (Thanks Ted).

Sunday, January 14, 2007

William S. Burroughs, etc

William S. Burroughs
cut up films made between 1963 and 1972. The Cut-Ups, consisting of sharply edited versions of the original films, with a repeating voice soundtrack, remind me of some of Bruce Nauman´s work. Revolutionary, annoying [or perhaps simply a symptom of artistic response to the spectre of mass (re)production. ed.]

More interesting, is the 1981 collaboration between Burroughs, Laurie Anderson and John Giorno, You're the Guy I Want to Share My Money With. Released as a double LP, one of the the sides was a triple groove getting an Anderson, Giorno or Burroughs piece depending upon where the needle fell.
Further real life hyperlinking, John Giorno was the subject of Warhol´s Sleep and The Cut-Ups tapes were apparently found on a skip by Genesis P-Orridge, from Throbbing Gristle fame.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Fishing With John - Tom Waits

A little of the Tom Waits section of 'Fishing With John' - a 1991 semi-parodic TV show in which John Lurie, of (Down By Law/Paris Texas fame) hosts a program devoted to him dangling his bait with notable celebrity friends such as Jim Jarmusch, Matt Dillon and Dennis Hopper, whilst professing to know nothing about fishing itself. Existential. John's other talents become apparent upon closer inspection elsewhere. Not only did he star in Jarmusch's Stranger Than Paradise, Down By Law and Permanent Vacation. He also composed music for all of them. As well as Mystery Train. And Get Shorty. And he makes Art, that both sells at Basel and shows at PS1. And his jazz troupe the Lounge Lizards featured Arto Lindsay for a couple of years...etc...

More John and Tom on a fishing trip, here. And in prison together with Roberto Beningi, here. (With thanks to Ted).

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

David Lynch Shoots A One Minute Film On the Original Lumière Brothers Camera

David Lynch's contribution to a 1995 project, 'Lumière and Companie,' in which 40 international directors (including Kiarostami, Rivette, Haneke, Wenders...) were asked to shoot a short film using the original Cinématographe camera invented by the Lumière brothers. Shorts were edited in-camera and abided by three rules:
1. A short may be no longer than 52 seconds. 2.No synchronized sound. 3.No more than three takes.
The short itself can be consumed by clicking on the image above; a slightly longer video with soundbytes from Lynch on the project can be found, here. On a different note, Lynch speaking on 'Consciousness, Creativity and the Brain' can be found here, (1hr 49mins) in a lecture given at UC Berkley, which you can even download to watch on an iPod to enlighten a journey on public transport.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Hollywood And All That Jazz

Woody Allen playing clarinet together with a studio band as part of an interview with Dick Cavett in 1971 (2mins 8sec).

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Chalayan - One Hundred and Eleven Collection (Robotic Couture)

The final six looks from Hussein Chalayan's S/S '07 show, the 'One Hundred and Eleven Collection,' as revealed in Paris, October 2006. A show that has had extensive coverage on the internet, but demands repeated viewing for its combination of technological innovation, fashion critique, and spectacle. Culminating in a series of robotic dresses, which transform iconic historical fashion silhouettes in a mechanised instant - from the hourglass Dior New Look to the Paco Rabanne metal-link shift, for example. Listen out also for the highly sophisticated sound design of the runway show, taking in Reich-ian handclaps, ambient military-industrial noises and a slowed down phrase from 'Anarchy in the UK' . A 2o minute 'making of' video exploring the project's fruition can be found here, courtesy of SHOWstudio. Click here for the complete collection in photographs, and here for the (roboticless) first part of the collection in video.

O Superman

The beautiful video for Laurie Anderson's ethereal minimal odyssey, 'O Superman (For Massenet),' (1982, 8mins 25sec). It is always a pleasure to watch films which blur the boundaries between MTV and art so gracefully - as is the want of the woman dubbed 'America's Multi-Mediatrix,' by Wired magazine. Avant Pop

Thursday, December 21, 2006

BBC Documentaries Galore

The Power of Nightmares

Documentary film making at it's best; an extensive look at the origins of religious fundamentalism, in both it´s Christian and Islamic form, and it's growing political influence. An examination of the necessity of a binary value system of good and evil, with an enemy figure ever present (being the Soviets or Al-Quaeda) to succeed in maintaining the masses in a state of permanent fear.
Part 1 - Baby, It´s Cold Outside
Part 2 - The Phantom Victory
Part 3 - The Shadows in The Cave

Root of All Evil?

Richard Dawkins, evolutionary biologist super-star and author of the seminal book "The Selfish Gene", makes the case for the dangers of tolerating religion. An atheist manifesto, his approach may occasionally be somewhat tactless but nevertheless it´s an important and timely reminder of why God is passé.
Part 1 - The God Delusion
Part 2 - The Virus of Faith

Fear and Loathing in Gonzovision

1978 documentary on Hunter S. Thompson where he performs his usual antics, shooting things, taking drugs and mixing chlorophyll with his whisky.