Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Seventh Issue includes: Trashy Gridic by Soledad García-Saavedra, Mapping the Gap between Olympism and the production of the Olympic Machine by Margit Neuhold, Phantastic Pessimism
by Niki Weitzer, Holography for Beginners by Lisa Skuret, New York 1989 Paris is Burning, A tribute by Jacopo Miliani, 56th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen by Veronika Hauer, Adeena Mey, Horizons (Tableau) by Florian Zeyfang, On Helmut Heiss by Robert Muller, The Artist Is Present (and Gives an Audience) by Astrid Peterle, 0K – A Play in Five Acts by Per Huttner, Fatos Üstek.
Cover is commissioned by Veronika Hauer.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
When the filmmakers who comprised the “Junger Deutscher”, or New German Cinema came into prominence in the late sixties, it was not surprising that they frequently turned their cameras inward – and backward. Hitler-era Germany and the post-war state of German society have been examined numerous times by the New German generation, most notably by Rainer Werner Fassbinder.
The film that really got the ball rolling, however, was Volker Schlondorff’s Young Torless, from 1966. Based on Robert Musil’s turn-of-the-century novel about an Austrian boys school, it is a chilling evocation of how evil puts roots down.
The film opens with the title character being dropped off at the Gasthaus School by his parents. Torless, upon first meeting, is a blank slate. He says little to his parents or to his classmates, but there are a couple of small clues about him very early on. He makes chaste, yet lengthy glances at a couple of young women, and this seems to establish that he is not a sexually confident young man.
The classmates who seemed so upstanding and responsible at the opening of the film start to reveal themselves as much less so. A classmate gambles away a large sum of money. Torless is dragged along to a visit to a prostitute who performs the services desired of here, but also manages to put her finger on the hypocrisy of these affluent youngsters. They would seek her out for sex, but would probably spit on her in public.
Torless eventually falls under the influence of the classes’ leader, a charismatic youth named Beineberg. Beineberg is intelligent, confident, and carries a nasty streak of sadism within him. The gambling classmate, a boy named Basini, makes the error of stealing some money from Beineberg’s locker, and Beineberg decides that nothing short of total degradation will suffice as punishment. Torless finds himself drawn to Beineberg as he sets out to destroy the other boy.
The retribution starts out reasonably benignly, with Barini being pushed around a bit, but it gradually evolves into something is much darker. The most distrurbing scene in the film is of Beineberg hypnotizing Barini, and piercing his skin with a huge needle. The constant soundtrack to all this is of Beineberg and his cronies lashing the pitiful teen verbally.
Barini, for his part, is subservient to his tormenters. He doesn’t fight back, and when told to show up in the attic for another beating, does what he is told. Schlondorff is making a strong statement with the character of Barini in this film. The teen puts conformity to the majority ahead of his own humiliation, and Beineberg and his brood know this. Thus, the treatment grows more and more abusive.
Torless is a party to all of this, and although he never takes an active part in the physical debasement of Barini, he is strangely passive to the escalating abuse heaped upon the other boy. It’s only when events reach a pitch in the gymnasium, and the entire class attacks Barini that he acts. It’s instructive to watch the behavior of the other boys in this scene. Everyone, even some obviously younger boys, attack Barini, and when Torless tries to intercede, one of them lashes out that he is a homosexual. The security of the mob frees them to commit behavior that none of them would consider alone.
The novel “The Confusions of Young Torless” was published in 1906, decades before the rise of Hitler, but the events of the book anticipate him. The Criterion DVD features an interview with Schlondorff, in which he speaks of the message of the film, and the influences that he brought to it. (Such as the neo-Nazi characters of Fritz Lang in his German era.) A point made my Schlondorff in the interview echoes those made by Torless at the end of the film – That evil is not cleanly marked for our convenience. It lives amongst us, and sometimes, the closer you stand to it, the harder it is to see.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Alfred Matthew "Weird Al" Yankovic (English pronunciation: /ˈjæŋkəvɪk/; born October 23, 1959) is an American singer-songwriter, music producer, actor, comedian, satirist, and a parodist. Yankovic is known in particular for his humorous songs that make light of popular culture and that often parody specific songs by contemporary musical acts. Since his first-aired song parody in 1979, he has sold more than 12 million albums—more than any other comedy act in history—recorded more than 150 parody and original songs, and has performed more than 1,000 live shows. His works have earned him three Grammy Awards among nine nominations, four gold records, and six platinum records in the United States. Yankovic's first top ten Billboard album (Straight Outta Lynwood) and single ("White & Nerdy") were both released in 2006, nearly three decades into his career.
In addition to recording his albums, Yankovic has written and starred in his own film, UHF, and his own television show, The Weird Al Show, and directed music videos for himself and other artists including Ben Folds, Hanson, Black Crowes, and The Presidents of the United States of America. He has also made guest appearances on many television shows, in addition to starring in his own Al TV specials.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
BEFORE WE DISAPPEAR
While not the “official” voice of the SAA Performing Arts Roundtable, this blog is a place where archivists and others with an interest in performing arts archives can meet. We help to document the most ephemeral of arts. Are we in danger of disappearing too?
URLA IN FAVORE DI SADE
(Hurlements en faveur de Sade, 1952, b/n; 57’)
Scritto e realizzato da Guy Debord.
"E’ un lungometraggio completamente privo di immagini, il suo unico supporto è costituito dalla colonna sonora. Durante la proiezione dei dialoghi, lo schermo è uniformemente bianco. I dialoghi, la cui durata complessiva non supera la ventina di minuti, sono a loro volta dispersi per brevi frammenti in un’ora di silenzio (di cui ventiquattro minuti consecutivi costituiscono la sequenza finale). Durante la proiezione dei silenzi lo schermo resta assolutamente nero" (Guy Debord)
L’opera prima (ma sarebbe meglio dire “zero”) di Guy Debord, morto suicida nel 1994, azzeramento (oltrepassamento?) totale dell’immagine. Versione originale con sottotitoli italiani.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Works of creative expression don't lend themselves to a one-size-fits-all preservation solution. Yet the number and complexity of preservation options can confuse even the most informed conservator or archivist.
The Variable Media Questionnaire can help by recording opinions on how to preserve creative works when their current medium becomes obsolete.