Thursday, April 28, 2005

Serge Gainsbourg - DVD

Finally all of Serge Gainsbourg's video clips have been officially released on DVD.

The copy reads:

"'D'autres nouvelles des étoiles' présente, dans un coffret 2 DVD, l'anthologie des chansons filmées de Serge Gainsbourg. Musicien, compositeur, interprète, peintre, écrivain, réalisateur, immense mélodiste et auteur de génie, il savait manier la langue avec un humour légèrement amer. Longtemps décriée et admiré mais constamment à l'avant-garde de la musique, son œuvre est inspirée par un souffle sauvage et romantique. Il laisse un répertoire d'une grande richesse touchant plusieurs générations de fans.
Un travail minutieux de restauration a été réalisé sur l'image et le son grâce aux dernières techniques numériques, nous permettant de redécouvrir cet extraordinaire répertoire dans des conditions optimales, en Dolby Digital 5.1 et 5.1 DTS.
Sont inclus l'intégralité inédite du tournage mythique de l'Histoire de Melody Nelson en 1971, deux documents inédits ("Adieu créature" et "La nuit d'octobre"), 12 interviews filmées en France et en Suisse entre 1965 et 1982, 11 duos (avec Jane Birkin, Brigitte Bardot, Philippe Clay, France Gall, Anna Karina, Catherine Deneuve, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Eddy Mitchell), deux clips ("Lemon Incest" et "Charlotte For Ever"), la bande-annonce inédite du film Charlotte For Ever, un trio ("Les roses fanées" avec Jane Birkin et Jacques Dutronc), 5 extraits de concerts donnés au Casino de Paris et au Zénith, "Requiem pour un con" tiré du film Le Pacha, un livret détaillé avec ses repères biographiques...
Toutes les chansons sont livrées dans leur intégralité et présentées chronologiquement par décennie.
Ce coffret réunit environ 4 heures 40 de musique accompagnée d'une sélection d'images choisies pour leur qualité artistique, leur charge émotive et leur caractère exceptionnel... de 1958 à 1986."
more details here:

vitaminsforyou + montag in Cambridge

June 12, 2005: montag (carpark recs), vitamins for you @ zeitgeist

I am very excited about this show. Two Canadian electronica artists are finally coming to Cambridge for a show. Montag ( works with French label Gooom Disques ( and his prior relases are on that label. He makes keyboard based laptop tweaked instrumentals that are short and sweet.

Vitaminsforyou is the work of Bryce, originally from Winnipeg, he had a radio show called "free range radio" in Manitoba. He records for the excellent Montreal based label intr_version ( He makes laptop oriented sound collages that incorporate electro-acoustic sounds and found recordings. I have been playing his work on my radio show since his album "I'm sorry for ever and for always" was released. Expect to hear more of his work in the weeks to come.
also check:

more details later. ahhh such is the ephemeral nature of life...

Montag with vitaminsforyou
10/06 • Toronto @ NXNE festival
11/06 • Montréal @ venue TBA
12/06 • Cambridge, MA @ Zeitgeist Gallery
13/06 • New York @ Rothko
14/06 • Washington DC @ Warehouse Next Door
15/06 • Baltimore @ The Talking Head
16/06 • Pittsburgh @ Garfield Artworks
18/06 • Lansing, MI @ Mac's Bar
20/06 • Chicago @ The Empty Bottle

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Benjamen Walker's theory of everything

Citizens! Let it be known that my friend Benjamen Walker is the guy who encouraged this project.

He does a weekly radio programme that is broadcast on three coasts! And it is podcast to many many more. Hell, I've known the guy since his homeless days in the 1990s when he was stony broke. Now he's got a great apartment in Cambridge and travels the world giving the travel journalists and backpackers a hard time.

If you ever bump into him, be sure to buy him a beer and ask if "freedom is on the march"!

further details are found at:

Antena on Tour

Antena is supporting Andrew Bird on some dates.
(see my review posted here last month or on
These are the dates so far:
Thu 05/12/05 Milwaukee, WI Onopa Brewing Company
Fri 05/13/05 Chicago, IL Hot House
appearing with Andrew Bird
Sat 05/14/05 Newport, KY Southgate House
Sun 05/15/05 Columbus, OH Little Brother's
Mon 05/16/05 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop
Tue 05/17/05 Pittsburgh, PA Club Cafe
Wed 05/18/05 Washington, DC Eighteenth Street Lounge
appearing with Andrew Bird
Wed 05/18/05 Philadelphia, PA World Cafe Live
Thu, May 19 Tonic, NY Midnight Antena $5
MAY 20 //New York, NY, Knitting Factory Antena to Support Andrew Bird
MAY 22 //Brooklyn, NY, Southpaw Antena to support
MAY 24 //Arlington, Virginia, Iota Antena to support
MAY 25 //Baltimore, MD, Funk Box Antena to support
MAY 26 //Chapel Hill, NC, Local 506 Antena to support
MAY 27 //Charleston, South Carolina, Village Tavern, Antena to support
MAY 28 //Atlanta, Georgia, The Earl, Antena to support

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

François Schuiten - Birthday

He was born around this time in April.

If your curious as to how this blog got its title-- some of the responibility is attibuted to Schuiten's work and these books.

François Schuiten
in English:

en Français:

on his collaborator Benoît Peeters:


last day of iffb

Ok. On Sunday I saw the following films:

A Whale of a Tale - Canadian director Peter Lynch's sprawling documentary about his journey tracing the origins of a whale bone that was found by a construction worker in Toronto in 1988. The film is more about the director's personal quest to discover how the bone got there. It is a funny tale of obsession and history.

The Future of Food - Deborah Koons Garcia's documentary on the history of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO's) and their impact on the environment. She brings you up to date on the history of the debate. In fact, it has been used less in the classroom and more by farmers all over the world (Indonesia, France, India...) to educate themselves on the nature of these crops and current patent law. Although it really did feel like a horror film to me at times, it is an important and well thought out documentary. She give you some suggestions as to how you can work to change the situation, different models of farming and farmer's markets etc. for more information check:
and also:

The Fall of Fujimori - an unprecedented look at Alberto Fujimori's reign in Peru during the 1990s, I can't believe how close the director got to her subjects. A very scary film. One thing of note is that this primarily focusses on Fujimori's family -- rarely are any Peruvian citizens allowed to explain their perspective on the situation from a local level, this is probably the single most glaring fault of the film.

Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story - light, silly comedy starring Rob Corddry from the Daily Show. I needed some levity after a day of informative but scary documentaries.

Monday, April 25, 2005

cinema-scope interview with Jem Cohen

this is a decent interview with Jem Cohen, the director of "Chain"

Cinema-Scope is a Canadian Film Magazine. It is one of the best English language film publications out there today.

1984 - the Opera

The world premiere of 1984 - the Opera starts May 3 at the Royal Opera House in London.

The production is directed by Robert Lepage with music composed by Lorin Maazel.

I'm sure it will be unique and innovative.

Robert Creeley (1926-2005)

you'll have to forgive my ignorance on this one-- I literally just noticed he passed away on March 31, 2005.

His poetry is pretty unique and amazing.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

iffb full day two

what I saw:

Chain by Jem Cohen -- an excellent exploration into contemporary consumer spaces (not necessarily urban) and how similar they are (the film was shot in Malls all over the world). It is both a documentary and a narrative feature. Somehow it bridges the two in a decent fashion. The composition of the shots reminded me of Patrick Keiller's London and Robinson in Space (which I just noticed is due to be released on DVD by Facets in the USA -- this is very exciting news!!!). While Patrick Kieller considers the "problem of England" in his work, Jem's film is much more global in context -- the images are edited together such that a scene from Australia is next to one from New York State, USA next to one from Warsaw, Poland and you can't tell the difference. The only other film I can think of that is made in this style is William Klein's "le Messie" (the Messiah), which is partially a millenial film (shot in 1999/2000) and partially a meditation on religion and consumerism in the USA, set to a performance of Handel's Messiah. Chain is a much needed and thought provoking film.

Mutual Appreciation -- a light hearted comedy, indie-style, about kids in Brooklyn and their social lives, it was a very plesant film and the cast was great.

Abel Raises Cain -- a very informative documentary about culture-jammer Alan Abel, who has consistently pulled off hoax after hoax on the US media since the 1950s. It is a very funny and important film. Alan is the only person in history to have his obituary retracted from the New York Times (they published his obituary and then realized that he was still alive)

Saturday, April 23, 2005

iffb full day one

Yesterday I saw:

Finnish Experimental Shorts - a decent 53 minute program of primarily recent 'experimental' short films from Finland. Some were fairly standard, others annoying, and some innovative.

Stolen - this is the documentary about the art heist at the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum, it focuses on the significance of the Vermeer (the most expensive stolen painting in the world), and the art detective, Harold Smith, who is a very interesting and likable character. It is a well made and thoughtful documentary about this, as yet, still unsolved crime.

Childstar - Don McKellar's film about an american child actor who goes to Canada to make a horrible Hollywood type action movie. This is one of the funniest films I've seen in quite a while. The dialogue skewers so much of american culture. If you get a chance to see it -- do so immediately! It also has one of the best endings of a movie I've seen. I even clapped at the end.

Peau Blanche (White Skin) - decent Quebecois vampire movie, ostensibly dealing with race issues, the movie degenerates by the end, which kind of left me with a "that didn't just happen" feeling.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Crammed Discs has a Blog

its worth monitoring for your music needs.

upenn press - annual inventory sale

check it out! sale ends June 30, 2005

my schedule for the film festival.


Lonesome Jim
87 minutes | Director: Steve Buscemi
East Coast premiere
Attending: Steve Buscemi, Producer Galt Niederhoffer, Writer James Strouse
Screening #1: 7pm - Thursday April 21 Somerville

Mutual Appreciation
109 minutes | Director: Andrew Bujalski
East Coast premiere | New England Focus
Attending: Andrew Bujalski
Screening #2: 3:30pm - Saturday April 23 Somerville

99 minutes | Director: Gregg Araki
New England premiere
Screening #1: 10:45pm - Saturday April 23 Somerville

99 minutes | Director: Jem Cohen
New England premiere | Co-presented by the Balagan Film Series
Screening #1: 12pm - Saturday April 23 Somerville
Screening #2: 6:30pm - Sunday April 24 Somerville

White Skin (La Peau Blanche)
99 minutes | Director: Daniel Roby
East Coast premiere
Screening #1: 11pm - Friday April 22 Somerville

The Fall of Fujimori
84 minutes | Director: Ellen Perry
New England premiere
Screening #1: 2:15pm - Friday April 22 Somerville
Screening #3: 7:30pm - Sunday April 24 Somerville

The Future of Food
89 minutes | Director: Deborah Koons Garcia
New England premiere
Screening #2: 3:30pm - Sunday April 24 Somerville
85 minutes | Director: Rebecca Dreyfus
New England premiere | New England Focus
Screening #1: 6:30pm - Friday April 22 Somerville

#1: 1:30pm - Friday April 22 Somerville

Possibly a few others but that's what looks good to me right now.


iffb starts tonight!

Opening film is Steve Buschemi's latest "Lonesome Jim" at 7pm

I'll be at the Somerville Theatre all weekend.

also -- I can't get "Jess + Bart" by Thick Pigeon out of my head today.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Umbrellas In the Sun

This just in -- I'll let you know my thoughts after viewing -- needless to say I am extremely excited!

Various | Umbrellas In The Sun - Crepuscule/Factory Benelux 1979-1987

Umbrellas In The Sun borrows its title from the 1982 video compilation of the same name released by Les Disques Du Crepuscule (TWI 099), and features selected clips from that project as well as clips from A Factory Complication (FACBN 7), A Factory Video (FACT 56) and A Factory Outing (FACT 71) plus previously unreleased material. Among the best known artists and tracks featured are Josef K, New Order, A Certain Ratio, Tuxedomoon, Cabaret Voltaire and Durutti Column. The New Order clip, a live track from Brussels May 1981, is the earliest concert material so far released by the band, and captures one of the first live performances of this electro classic.
Umbrellas in the Sun has a running time of two hours and fifteen minutes and features detailed sleevenotes. The audio soundtrack to all studio clips have been digitally remastered. The disc is Region 0 (multi-region), NTSC format. The jacket features original artwork by Crepuscule design genius Benoit Hennebert.

details at:

The Fat Duck

Upon further research, I found this extremely fascinating ---
Heston Blumenthal's articles in the Guardian UK are now a must!,,1462820,00.html

Top 50 places to eat
1 The Fat Duck Bray, Berkshire
2 El Bulli Montjoi, Spain
3 The French Laundry Yountville, California
4 Tetsuya's Sydney
5 Gordon Ramsay London
6 Pierre Gagnaire Paris
7 Per Se New York
8 Tom Aikens London
9 Jean Georges New York
10 St John London
11 Michel Bras Laguiole, France
12 Le Louis XV Monte Carlo
13 Chez Panisse Berkeley, California
14 Charlie Trotter Chicago
15 Gramercy Tavern New York
16 Guy Savoy Paris
17 Restaurant Alain Ducasse Paris
18 The Gallery at Sketch London
19 The Waterside Inn Bray, Berkshire
20 Nobu London
21 Restaurante Arzak San Sebastián, Spain
22 El Raco de Can Fabes San Celoni, Spain
23 Checcino dal 1887 Rome
24 Le Meurice Paris
25 L'Hotel de Ville Crissier, Switzerland
26 L'Arpège Paris
27 Angela Hartnett at the Connaught London
28 Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons Oxford
29 Le Cinq Paris
30 Hakkasan London
31 Cal Pep Barcelona
32 Masa New York
33 Flower Drum Melbourne
34 WD50 New York
35 Le Quartier Francais Franschhoek, South Africa
36 Spice Market New York
37 Auberge de l'Ill Illhaeusern, Alsace
38 Manresa California
39 Restaurant Dieter Muller Begisch Gladbach, Germany
40 La Maison Troisgros Roanne, France
41 The Wolseley London
42 Rockpool Sydney
43 Yauatcha London
44 The Ivy London
45 Gambero Rosso San Vincenzo, Italy
46 The Cliff St James, Barbados
47 Le Gavroche London
48 Enoteca Pinchiorri Florence
49 Felix Hong Kong
50 La Tupina Bordeaux
Background on Heston Blumenthal:

This is a remarkable achievement for a restaurant that is only in its 10th year and whose chef/proprietor, Heston Blumenthal, is self-taught.
Blumenthal's story is an extraordinary one. He left school with six O-levels and worked as a photocopier salesman and credit controller for his father's business.
Some 14 years later he lectures Nobel prize winners in physics on the science of food and taste, or molecular gastronomy as it has come to be known; corresponds with the likes of Harold McGee, the author of Science and Lore of the Kitchen, Charles Spence, a professor of experimental psychology at Oxford University and Tony Blake, the vice-president of research at Firmenich, the world's largest flavouring company; and creates some of the most remarkable and delicious food in the country.
from Matthew Fort’s article:,3858,5174015-103690,00.html

Friday, April 15, 2005

weekenders - schedule

Starting with the HFA:

Screening on April 15 (Friday) 7 pm
Not on the Lips (Pas sur la bouche)
Directed by Alain resnais
France/Switzerland, 2003, color, 115 min.
With With Audrey Tautou, Isabelle Nanty, Sabine Azéma
French with English subtitles

Screening on April 16 (Saturday) 7 pm
Je t’aime, je t’aime
Directed by Alain Resnais
France, 1968, color, 91 min.
With With Claude Rich, Olga Georges-Picot, Anouk Ferjac
French with English subtitles
A poetic work of science fiction akin to Chris Marker’s La Jetée, Resnais’s film is a tightly wrought, mesmerizing exploration of memory and time. A man (Rich) is rescued from suicide by scientists and sent traveling in time, accompanied by a charming mouse who has been previously used in such experiments. The man becomes lost as fragmentary episodes from his past take over in a chaotic series of unordered events. Beautiful, tranquil, but increasingly menacing moments point to a love affair with a girl the man may or may not have killed.

Statues Also Die (Les Statues meurent aussi)
Directed by Alain Resnais and Chris Marker
France, 1950-53, b/w, 22 min.
French with English subtitles
This collaborative film, banned for more than a decade by French censors as an attack on French colonialism (and now available only in shortened form), is a deeply felt study of African art and the decline it underwent as a result of its contact with Western civilization. Marker’s characteristically witty and thoughtful commentary is combined with images of a stark formal beauty in this passionate outcry against the fate of an art that was once integral to communal life but became debased as it fell victim to the demands of another culture.

Screening on April 16 (Saturday) 9 pm
La Guerre est finie
Directed by Alain Resnais
France, 1966, b/w, 122 min.
With With Yves Montand, Ingrid Thulin, Genevieve Bujold
French with English subtitles
Directed by Alain Resnais and Robert Hessens
France, 1950, b/w, 13 min.
French with English subtitles

Screening on April 17 (Sunday) 9 pm
Directed by Alain Resnais
France/Italy, 1974, color, 120 min.
With With Jean-Paul Belmondo, François Périer, Anny Duperey
French and English with English subtitles

And also this at Kendall Square:
Director: Park Chanwook
(1:30 4:15) 7:00 9:45
Dolby Digital, No Passes

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

a few items of note

French press Albin Michel has recently put out a comic book called
"Il faut tuer Jose Bove". It is a satire that looks fairly amusing (review above is in French).

One of my favorite Canadian publications, Maisonneuve, has a few essays that are worth reading:

The End of American Abortions

The Sting of things too sweet

and a gaggle of others that are worth exploring.

on the air - tonight

I'll be on the air from 7-10pm EST tonight. WZBC 90.3fm for streaming media and playlists
I am subbing for Brian Carpenter, who is normally on at that time.

This will be the only chance to hear me on the air this week.


Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Vini Reilly on Mark Radcliffe (Tonight)

Vini Reilly is making a guest appearance on the Mark Radcliffe Show on
BBC Radio 2 tonight from 10.30pm BST. Vini will be playing a special set
on Spanish guitar.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Zizek's wedding

this is the scoop on Zizek's wedding.

Salvador Dali, Fascist

My friend Tom brought this to my attention:

December 6 / 7, 2003

The Jackboot of Dada
Salvador Dali, Fascist

"The year 2004, the centenary of Dali's birth, has been proclaimed "the
year of Dali" in many countries. Led by the Spanish establishment,
with the King at the helm, there has been an international
mobilization in the artistic community to pay homage to Dali. But this
movement has been silent on a rather crucial item of Dali's biography:
his active and belligerent support for Spain's fascist regime, one of
the most repressive dictatorial regimes in Europe during the twentieth

If you are going to Philadelphia to view the exhibit, keep this in mind.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

So Young But So Cold

So Young But So Cold (French Underground Music from 1977-1983)

This well-constructed compilation, is significant not only for opening up these sounds to a larger audience but also for putting a definite perspective on a music scene that was all too short. It is the late Seventies in Europe. The political tensions of the Sixties are now manifest in the extremes of hedonism and direct action. Youth feels alienated once again, this time its worse with constant violence on the television and industrial uphevals at home. Urban decimation and Postmodernism at its height, further isolating people from their surroundings. European identity has been eradicated in shame and frustration. But something is happening. Punk Rock in the United Kingdom has shown kids all over the world that its easy for them to release music on independent labels. Current technological trends make access to new electronic instruments (ARP and MS10 among others) easy. In France a new youth culture is born. So Young But So Cold illustrates that trend brilliantly.

It begins with the most poppy tunes and gradually goes back in time, as more instruments are added to each song and the experts (mostly influenced by and creating progressive rock) take over. The first half of the disc the instrumentation is sparse, consisting of drum machine or keyboard and vocals primarily. By the end of the disc the tracks get more (analog) synthesizer oriented and denser in construction.

Here are a few that immediately leap to mind:

-NINI RAVIOLETTE suis-je normale, The disc opens with the slow steady synth pulse of this starkly produced track. It sets the tone for the rest of the disc and is almost the declaration of a manifesto as Nini sings "suis-je, suis-je normale?" (am i, am i normal?) in a very slow and delibrate manner.

-J.J. BURNEL euroman, Off the solo album Euroman Cometh by Stranglers bassist (and only true French member) J.J. Burnel, the song begins by him naming a succession of European leaders, becoming more and more sinister as the list goes on, "Je suis descendent de... Charlemagne, Cromwell, Bonaparte, d'Adolf suis Euroman" If a single song could express the frustration and helplessness of the time it would be this one. After a succession of a world ruled by madness and failure and recognising that same identity is yours, what can one do but assume that identity? But its too late, by the time you realize this, its already happened (deja commencer). This track captures the mood perfectly.

-RUTH Polaroid Roman Photo, This one begins with a steady drum pulse and the sound of a polaroid camera working, it is a steady meditation on the domination of technology in everyday life. The lyrics discuss the easy production automatic photo novels--homemade nostalgia. It was produced by Thierry Muller aka Illlitch (a major influence behind Nurse With Wound and Legendary Pink Dots among others)

-METAL BOYS Carnival, Metal Urbain's electro-pop project, with female vocals, its short, sweet and very poppy

-THE (HYPOTHETICAL) PROPHETS person to person/wallenberg (produced by Karel Beer and Bernard Szajner) Specifically, Person to Person, such a brilliant song, with a man and woman's voice reading personal announcements from various publications. The repetition of each advertisement for a new relationship creates a funny but also disarmingly pathetic context for the packaging of one's sexual desires and plans for life. It ends with the line "Looks are not important: its your soul I want".

-KAS PRODUCT . So Young But So Cold – Put together a venezuelian-american jazz female singer and a french psychiatric hospital attendant and you have Kas Product. So Young But So Cold is a synth-punk anthem. Both of their albums have recently been reissued on CD.

-ARTEFACT M.A.E., the first really synthy-disco funk track on this disc, the band was created by extreme Right Wing theorist Maurice G. Dantec, who later went to work with Richard Pinhas and write Science Fiction novels.

TIM BLAKE Lighthouse, the first really crazy sci-fi kitsch track on here, it gets better as it goes along to be sure, it was released on EGG Records, the brainchild of Fabrice Cuitade, who is represented on this disc with The Droids. Tim Blake was a former member of Gong and soon to be member of Hawkwind.

BERNARD SZAJNER Welcome (to Death Row), the solo work of a French sound engineer, this track is an excellent synthesis of analogue electronics, processed guitar and acoustic piano.

RICHARD PINHAS Iceland, The disc closes with this lengthy blissful and somewhat cold track from a solo release of the Heldon guitarist. This is purely electronic progressive sound at its finest. The track takes you on a journey across an icy wasteland. Its release in 1979 was particularly apt.


1 Suis-Je Normale Nini Raviolette 00:04:03
2 Euroman J.J. Burnel 00:03:29
3 Roman Photo Ruth 00:05:02
4 Disco Rough (Ivan Smagghe Edit) Mathematiques Modernes 00:04:00
5 Carnival Metal Boys 00:01:45
6 Person To Person The (Hypothetical) Prophets 00:06:09
7 Wallenberg The (Hypothetical) Prophets 00:06:18
8 So Young But So Cold Kas Product 00:03:00
9 Synchro Charles De Goal 00:04:00
10 MAE Artefact 00:03:18
11 Switch On Bach Moderne 00:03:08
12 Triangle Jacno 00:03:29
13 Lighthouse Tim Blake 00:06:47
14 The Force (Part I) Droids 00:03:26
15 Welcome (To Death Row) Bernard Szajner 00:06:14
16 Iceland Richard Pinhas 00:09:38

Special Thanks to: DJ Gilles and Francoise for endless cups of coffee.

for more information:

Monday, April 04, 2005

Shake Hands with the Devil - April 28

Harvard Book Store Presents...

Romaeo Dallaire
Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda

In Shake Hands with the Devil,the legendary Canadian general recreates the awful history the world community chose to ignore. He also chronicles his own progression from confident Cold Warrior to devastated UN commander, and finally to retired general struggling to overcome posttraumatic stress disorder—the highest-ranking officer ever to share such experiences with readers.

Event Information
DATE: Thursday, April 28th
TIME: 6:00 PM
LOCATION: Carr Center for Human Rights Policy
JFK School of Government
Rubenstein Building, 2nd Floor
Harvard Square

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Brainstorm - this Tuesday

I will be DJing at RiverGods, 125 River Street, Central Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, this Tuesday, April 5, 2005. Its an early 2 hour set, from 8pm to 10pm.

Please come and enjoy.

Friday, April 01, 2005

the new pornography

Frank Miller's Sin City -- this is the Libertarian dream.

Although it is pseudo-stylish and formally slick you need look no further than these reviews to realize the new Sin City movie is the new pornography:

and on the books from Philadelphia Weekly:

Tomorrow Land

The sin city books might portend what's in store for Philadelphia.

by Steven Wells

sin city, Frank Miller's seven-volume gratuitous-sex-and-mindless-bloody-violence-spattered graphic novel series, has been rereleased to coincide with the movie adaptation (see Film, p. 35). The books are must-reads. This is noir on crack-Raymond Chandler's 1940s L.A. updated, degraded, force-fed steroids and stripped of all moral purpose.

Here all power lies in the hands of an unholy triumvirate of mobsters, corrupt cops and heavily armed whores. Here bipolar lugs-reeking of cigarettes and cheap whiskey, and caked in physical and emotional scar tissue-hunt down misogynist serial-killer rich kids. The characters die miserable, bitter, lonely deaths, crucified by a socioeconomic/criminal justice system rigged to funnel all wealth into the warty claws of a vengeful and evil elite.

These graphic novels are, in short, a chilling glimpse into the future of Philadelphia. There is, for example, no SEPTA in sin city. The poor rot in their homes, trapped in their neighborhoods, their children easy prey for the pedophilic spawn of the city's ruling families.

There's no smoking ban in sin city. The wheezing yellow-skinned troglodyte denizens of its strip clubs, brothels and titty bars stab, shoot and pummel each other with gay abandon, liberated by the knowledge that secondhand smoke has handed them a death sentence anyway.

There's no gun control in sin city. Democracy is in a persistent vegetative state. Gambling is legal.

The result is a much to be desired and thoroughly attainable Never Never Land-a veritable libertarian paradise-where the rich and powerful don't just exploit the poor. They rape, torture and (on occasion) eat them as well.

Imagine Peter Pan rewritten so that Peter's a 7-foot-tall psychopathic gun-monkey, the Lost Boys are an incredibly well-armed, self-regulated and drop-dead-gorgeous prostitute militia, and the pirates are a sadistic crew of swastikaed punk mobsters led by a cyclopean voodoo behemoth.

Now imagine the scantily clad whores have led the gangsters into an ambush (using a dead cop's head as bait) and are busy blasting the bad guys into scraps of shrieking offal (book three, The Big Fat Kill ). Ask yourself: Doesn't this sound like the kind of city you'd like to live in? Damn straight.

In short, sin city is the American dreamscape. It's a vision of a Philadelphia that's not only within our grasp, but-as long as we keep the Republicans in the White House and the screw-ups in city Hall-almost inevitable.

I, for one, can hardly wait.

article source: