Thursday, October 27, 2005

Carnets de Lettonie by Christophe Blain

French comic book artist Christophe Blain, known for his work on Le Réducteur de vitesse (published by NBM in the USA as 'the Speed Abater') and his Isaac the Pirate series, has come out with a new book. The European publisher Casterman just released a graphic journal of his trip to Riga, Latvia for a comic art festival.

Carnets de Lettonie
Auteur(s): Christophe Blain
Date de parution : 24/10/2005
Dimensions : 19 x 26
Pages : 80
Prix : 14,50 €

Interesing and moody landscapes from his visit there last March and June.

DjDurutti on Rosa Parks

Respect to DJDurutti for this excellent post.

Look it up.

Members of Pulp and Radiohead in the new Harry Potter film

I know I'm behind the curve on this one, still its pretty cool.

Canadian band Wyrd Sisters filed a lawsuit delaying the release of the new Harry Potter movie due to confusion over a certain band's name that appears in the film.

Apparently this is true the band in the film remains as follows:

Jarvis Cocker .... Band Lead Singer
Jonny Greenwood .... Band Lead Guitar
Phil Selway .... Band Drums (as Philip Selway)
Steve Mackey .... Band Bass Guitar

As for the rest, the usual suspects are involved along with the addition of David Tennant as Barty Crouch Junior. Tennant isn't that well known to audiences in the United States. I know him from his role as the inspector in Blackpool and he is now the new Dr. Who. He is a first class actor, to his credit I hope this brings him more exciting opportunities.

David Tennant

Here's looking forward to this one.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Emile de Antonio - finally on DVD!

Home Vision Entertainment is finally distributing excellent prints of Emile de Antonio's films on DVD. Most of his films are only available to watch in various university film archives across the country. A few of the prints available are in mediocre condtion-- so it is with great pleasure that I look forward to the release of a number of his works on DVD. Due in November is "Point of Order", his look at the McCarthy hearings, a welcome accompaniment to George Clooney's latest effort "Goodnight and Goodluck", which cronicles the mind-numbing, middle-american, tactics that Joseph McCarthy used during his witch hunts. Emile de Antonio's work "In the Year of the Pig", describes Chi Minh Ho as a hero in the Marxist mold, and deftly chronicles the madness of war and government corruption. His films will leave you thirsting for some kind of contemporary equalivalent to his expert use of the documentary form.
The copy reads:

In the Year of the Pig

Home Vision Entertainment
Directed By: Emile de Antonio
Starring: Harry S. Ashmore, Kenneth P. Landon, Gerald Ford, Robert McNamara, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, George S. Patton IV, Joseph Buttinger, Chi Minh Ho, Joseph McCarthy, Madame Nhu

“One of the most powerful antiwar films ever made.”

–One World Film Festival, Czech Republic


Produced at the height of the Vietnam War, Emile de Antonio’s Oscar®-nominated 1968 documentary chronicles the war’s historical roots. With palpable outrage, De Antonio (Point of Order, Underground) assembles period interviews with journalists, politicians, and key military personnel and international newsreel and archival footage to create a scathing chronicle of America’ escalating involvement in this divisive conflict. The savage and horrific images speak for themselves in perhaps the most controversial film of de Antonio’s career, and the film he cites as his personal favorite."

Friday, October 21, 2005

A new retelling of ancient myths

I noticed this item of interest thanks to our friends at the CBC today.
Margaret Atwood, Karen Armstrong, A.S. Byatt, Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe and Chinese writer Su Tong are also working on the series.

The article begins:

The story of Penelope, as imagined by Margaret Atwood, is among the first titles to be released in an international series of books that retell ancient myths.

Publishers from around the world are collaborating on the open-ended series, in one of the most ambitious projects undertaken by the industry.

The first five books of the series were released at the Frankfurt Book Fair Friday. Prominent writers from around the world have been recruited to write for the series.

The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus by Atwood is a retelling of Homer's story from Penelope's point of view.

Click above for the full article.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

we have a plan

Jon Henley in Paris reports in the Guardian UK (full story click above) today that UNESCO is doing someting to protect culture! This is exciting news!

" A commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation late on Monday voted overwhelmingly in favour of the text and the body's general assembly, meeting in Paris, is expected to follow suit tomorrow.

The US, supported only by Israel, filed 27 amendments in an unsuccessful bid to water down the resolution, criticising it as "flawed", "ambiguous" and "protectionist". France, which has long defended its right to a "cultural exception", could barely conceal its delight. "We are no longer the black sheep on this issue," said the culture minister, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, adding that the text was "a clear recognition" that cultural goods such as film, TV programmes and music are not "merchandise like any other" and should be treated separately in world trade talks.

Even Britain has abandoned its traditional allies in Washington by backing the majority line on the 40-page convention. This states that cultural goods and services have a "distinctive nature" and that states have a right "to maintain, adopt, and implement policies and measures they deem appropriate for the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions on their territory"."

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Passenger (Professione: Reporter)

The best of Michelangelo Antonioni's English-language films is finally seeing the light of day. Apparently a new distributor has rights to the film. The first time I saw this masterpiece was in the mid-1990s in Brussels, Belgium, under its original title "Profession: Reporter". Marxist Film Theorist, Peter Wollen, wrote the screenplay, based on Mark Peploe's story. Searing stuff about loss of identity, the media and gun running. It is a somber tale of a man who's life falls apart. The film starts in Northern Africa, with flash backs to Germany and London, then its second-half filled with beautiful landscapes of Northern Spain, and Gaudi's park in Barcelona.

This film has been next to impossible to see and/or acquire in North America as distribution here was embroiled in some kind of legal hold up. (If anyone knows the inside story on this, I'm all ears. Perhaps it had to do with the sex scenes between Jack Nicholson and Maria Schneider?)

The film is an utterly sublime statement on the decay of modern life.

It is one of my favorite films period.

The copy from the link above reads:
The last, and in many people's opinion the best, of the three English language films made by Antonioni for MGM release, The Passenger has been out of circulation for many years and was not available for the National Film Theatre's recent Antonioni season. This newly-restored print, however - from new owners Sony - is well worth the extra wait, not least because it is Antonioni's original cut, previously unseen. The script offers up a story which is almost Hitchcockian, but of a kind adaptable to Antonioni's very different metaphysic. David Locke, a journalist, impulsively decides to take over the identity (or at least the passport and diary) of a stranger called Robertson who has mysteriously died in a shared hotel room somewhere in Saharan Africa. Following Robertson's itinerary, he meets up with a girl (the 'passenger' of the English title) and the pair are pursued across Europe by the police and some shadowy Africans for whom Robertson had been a gun runner. Characteristic Antonioni themes, such as the instability of identity and the fragility of relationships, are explored with unparalleled subtlety, and the film's finale is simply sublime - spectacular as in Zabriskie Point and emotionally intense as in L'avventura or The Eclipse.

Geoffrey Nowell-Smith
Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni
Written by Mark Peploe, Peter Wollen
With Jack Nicholson, Maria Schneider, Jenny Runacre
Country Italy-France-Spain
Year of Production 1975
Running Time 125 minutes
Sponsored by TCM

Friday, October 14, 2005

The Durutti Column - "Keep Breathing"

My favorite band has a new album in the works...and many other goodies!

Press Release From The Durutti Column

Durutti's new LP " Keep Breathing"
`A musician of unassailable daring and integrity.' The Independent

'The best guitarist in the world.' City Life, Manchester

'Vini Reilly is just a great guitarist full stop.' John Frusciante,
Red Hot Chilli Peppers

Next Saturday, 22nd October The Durutti Column, featuring guitarist
Vini Reilly, drummer Bruce Mitchell and multi-instrumentalist Kier
Stewart, will be playing their first gig including material form the
soon to be released album "Keep Breathing".

The gig is a "near home" performance at Bury Met Arts Centre. More
tour dates are listed below.

The album features 12 brand new tracks, recorded and written by Vini
Reilly and arranged by Ben Roberts.

Reilly famously, has criticised his previous recordings, claiming, "
It's all rubbish". This album though has received his own critical

"It's a great album", he says " For the first time in 25 years, I'm
pleased with my own album, I want it to succeed, and feel its good
enough to do that".

Whilst " Keep Breathing" will be released on a major label, The
Durutti Column also release their own material on Kooky Discs. Most
recently the classic Amigos Em Portugal Live album, was re released on
CD for the first time. The 2004 album Tempus Fugit has sold out its
initial pressing of 2,500, Both albums and more Durutti Column
rarities are available through the bands own website
(click above)

In total The Durutti Column have released over 20 albums, numerous
singles and are currently editing their first DVD which will be
available next year.

LIVE DATES for 2005 so far are:
22- Oct The Met Bury 0161 7617107 tickets £10 advance
26-Nov Cabaret Voltaire Edinburgh 0131 220 6176 tickets £12 advance
27-Nov The Arches Glasgow 0870 2407528 tickets £12 advance
28-Nov The Lemon Tree Aberdeen 01224 642230 tickets £10 advance
02-Dec The Cluny Newcastle 0191 2304474 tickets £10 advance
04-Dec Ronnie Scott's London 08700 600100 tickets £16 advance
05-Dec Komedia Brighton 01273 647100 tickets £10/12 advance

Thursday, October 13, 2005

2005 Nobel Prize for Literature goes to Harold Pinter

The gritty playwright finally did it.

In my book, his work on the films "The Servant" (1963), "Langrishe, Go Down" (1970), and, especially "The Homecoming" (1969) is excellent.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Maisonneuve - Media Scout --- Taster

Below is a sample of MEDIA SCOUT, the daily news briefing of Canada's Big Six, provided as a service from Maisonneuve. Maisonneuve, Canada's Eclectic Curiosity magazine, is a publication defies description but is always full of excellent and thought-provoking articles.

Click above for the Maisonneuve Media Scout FAQ.


by Philippe Gohier
October 11, 2005

In an exclusive interview in today’s Ottawa Citizen, Industry Minister David Emerson concedes that there have been serious problems in the enforcement of the rules that govern lobbyists at the Federal level. Lobbyists are supposed to register and to publicly disclose their business dealings with the government. Despite steep punishments, from up to a $25,000 fine to jail time, what’s apparently missing, at least according to Emerson, is an independent agency to actually enforce these rules. The seriousness of the problem was highlighted when it was discovered that former Royal Canadian Mint president, and former Chrétien cabinet minister David Dingwall had worked as an unregistered lobbyist five years ago. This revelation, along with allegations of luxurious spending on the taxpayers’ dime, forced Dingwall to resign from the Mint recently. Of course, neither revelation was enough to prompt the government to withdraw its commitment to seeing Dingwall off, generous severance package in hand.

In Emerson’s comments is the tacit acknowledgement that the culture of entitlement that seems to be commonplace in Ottawa is threatening to undermine the government’s legitimacy. After all, Dingwall was just one example. Along with the Dingwall incidents (it really was two separate breaches of ethics, despite the Liberals’ attempt at blending them into one), there is, of course, the well-publicized sponsorship scandal, and the less publicized misuse of government Challenger jets by MPs, as revealed last week by CPAC and Le Devoir. Should the government want to peer into the future, and witness the rot that results from cozy lobbyist-legislator relationships, they need not look any further than Texas. The Tom DeLay/Jack Abramoff scandal that is rocking the Republicans on their home turf should be proof enough that enforcement of strict lobbying guidelines is smart long-term policy.

THE NATIONAL: No broadcast due to the lockout of employees.
CTV NEWS: “International aid is now pouring into the earthquake disaster zone along the border of India and Pakistan”
GLOBE AND MAIL: “Quake aid balloons”
NATIONAL POST: “'Kashmir is a graveyard'” (not available online)
LA PRESSE: Kashmir desperately waits for aid (not available online)
OTTAWA CITIZEN: Canada sends $20M for quake relief

Ottawa ups its aid to the earthquake-devastated Kashmiri region. Canada threatens to shirk the US by expanding Chinese energy exports. Hundreds, maybe thousands, are buried by mudslides in Guatemala following Hurricane Stan.

Fallout from the devastating earthquake in the Kashmir region dominates the Big Five’s leads. The Globe, The Post (not available online), and the Citizen all front news of a dramatic increase in Canada’s aid to the region. As estimates of the death toll surpassed 30,000, and news of 2.5 million people left homeless by the quake spread around the world, members of Montreal’s South Asian community responded to Ottawa’s initial offer of $300,000 by heckling Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew when he said the feds would wait before sending any more help. Ottawa has since reworked its aid package, and increased it to $20 million.

Sikander Hayat Khan, prime minister of Pakistani Kashmir, has called the devastated region “a graveyard” after the quake that measured a whopping 7.6 on the Richter scale. “We have been either digging ground to recover bodies or digging to bury them,” he said. According the Globe, UNICEF estimates that one in five people affected by the quake is a child under the age of five. For comparison’s sake, the US has donated US$50 million and has diverted military equipment and supplies from the war in Afghanistan to help with the recovery. The oil-rich nation of Kuwait so far leads the pack with a pledge of US$100 million in aid. News of India’s pledge to help the more severely affected Pakistani side of the Kahmiri border has fuelled speculation that the disaster may help to ease border tensions in the region. The Globe reports that there is “hope that the various factions can put aside differences to deliver aid to stricken survivors.” Although, so far, “the ones winning hearts and minds are Kashmiri separatist militants.” Within hours of the quake Kashmiri separatists had begun the most visible and ongoing aid operation in Indian Kashmir.

The Globe, The Post, and the Citizen go inside with news that Canada is looking to shore up its trade relationship with China to put more pressure on the US in the fight over softwood lumber. Revenue Minister John McCallum, who stepped into the natural resources portfolio last week when John Efford went on sick leave, is in Beijing to discuss possible energy exports with Chinese officials. Although McCallum initially denied any linkage to the ongoing trade dispute with the US, he later relented, saying that “it shouldn't be lost on anyone that if the US doesn't respect NAFTA, it does lend urgency for all Canadians to diversify our exports.'' The Globe’s John Ibbitson says that, despite it being popular public policy to expand trade with China at the US’s detriment, such a move would be motivated by “sheer mendacity.” Ibbitson claims that for Canada to follow through on its veiled threat to offer China preferential treatment in energy exports, it would have to withdraw from NAFTA, prompting a reaction that could range from a complaint at the WTO to, Ibbitson suggests somewhat facetiously, outright invasion. A National Post editorial today supports the Federal government’s apparent willingness to “to diversify our customer base if the Americans show they can't be trusted to abide by their trade obligations” but nonetheless laments the damage that’s been done to the NAFTA agreement. Claiming that “there is still time for this breach of faith to be fixed,” the Post hopes the Bush administration will pay attention to Paul Martin’s warnings last week in New York.




CTV News, The Post, and La Presse (not available online) go inside with coverage of deadly mudslides in Guatemala in the wake of Hurricane Stan. There are reports of up to 1400 missing, and up to 2000 are feared dead after ten days of torrential rains turned the towns of Panabaj and Tzanchaj into “mass graves.” Rescue workers have been forced to abandon their efforts, and had little hope of finding any more survivors five days after the towns were buried under several metres of mud. The UN has pledged $22-million in aid to help the recovery effort, and Japan, Mexico, Spain, Cuba and Canada have also promised help to repair damages expected to be in the range of US$800 million. An estimated 3.5 million people were affected by the storm, more than a quarter of Guatemala’s total population. The Globe, meanwhile, publishes a piece about the effects the recent spate of natural disasters, from the tsunami to Katrina to Stan and the earthquake in South Asia, is having on aid agency workers. The aid agencies are “worried that their staffers are burning out and that less publicized crises are being overlooked.”

Philippe Gohier is a Montreal-based MediaScout writer for Maisonneuve Magazine.

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Friday, October 07, 2005

Playlist from September 30, 2005

Dead Hollywood Stars “dreamland's burning (fnga mix)” from masonic: hymen records (Hymen Records 2002)
Desormais “Broken Images and Packets of Light” from Iambrokenandremadeiambroken... CD
Peter Principle “scissors cut paper” from Idyllatry CD ALBUM
The Durutti Column “Red Square” from Vini Reilly CD ALBUM (Factory Once 1996)
Jay-jay Johanson “Rush” CD SINGLE (EMI Sweden 2005)
Pascal Comelade “valse de la demoiselle aux yeux verts” from el primitivismo SINGLE
Francois De Roubaix “Le Saut de l'ange” from Anthologie Vol. 1 (Play-Time 1999)
Ultramarine “geezer (remix by sweet exorcist)” from Companion
David Kristian “Owl Howl With Hoots” from Sweet Bits CD ALBUM (2004)
Twine “Strobe” from S/T CD ALBUM (Ghostly International 2004)
Steven Brown “Modern Times” from composes pour le theatre et le cinema LP ALBUM
Eric Random “Dow Chemical Co.” from Subliminal 1980-1982
Legowelt “Chokolectrik” from Deep Tics
Martial Canterel “Ascent” from confusing outsides LP ALBUM (genetic music 2005)
The Passage “drugface” from seedy (Cherry Red 1997)
John Foxx & Louis Gordon “concrete, bulletproof, invisible” from Shifting City (Metamatic 1995)
Tuxedomoon “In the name of talent (Italian Western II)” from Ten Years in One Night (live) LP ALBUM (Materali Sonori 1989)
Peter Principle “Desolate Idyll” from Idyllatry CD ALBUM
Steven Brown “Chinatown” from composes pour le theatre et le cinema LP ALBUM (Les Disques Du Crepuscule 1989)
Coti “sine shadows” from [metamoria\> (vibrant music 2001)
Skipsapiens “compresion infinitesimal” from eco (Mutek 2005)
Vitamins for You “Luxury and Hope” from Saturday Morning Empires CD COMP
Hans Appelqvist “gumman” from Starving But Happier! CD COMP (2003)
Koji Asano “Spring Estuary II” from Spring Estuary CD ALBUM (Solstice 2005)
Pascal Comelade “your labios as tulips” from el primitivismo
Opto “11.45 p.m.” from 2nd CD ALBUM (hobby industries 2004)
Susuma Yokota “The Plateau Which the Zephyr of Flora Occupies” from Symbol (2005)
Arbol “Summer and You” from Acuarela Songs 3 CD COMP
David Sylvian “a fire in the forest remixed by readymade FC” from the good son vs THE ONLY DAUGHTER CD ALBUM (samadhisound)
Yann Tiersen “Quimper 84” from la valse des monstres
Jay-jay Johanson “time won't heal” from Rush CD SINGLE (EMI Sweden 2005)
Harold Budd “Children on the Hill” from From Brussels with Love (Les Disques Du Crepuscule 1981)
Eric Random “sense so lightly” from Subliminal 1980-1982

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Alena Akhmadullina - printemps - ete 2006

Fashion designer Alena Akhmadullina's latest comprises a unique runway show with animal masks and outfits inspired by Russian folktales.

dignity with a sense of humor.

Haruki Murakami at MIT - TONIGHT

This should be interesting. I've never seen him speak in person. I have read a majority of his texts. I also own Jay Rubin's metatext "Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words" that Harvill Press put out a few years ago in the UK. He is a fascinating author of contemporary fiction that tells odd stories of investigations into modern life in Japan.

I'd recommend arriving at least an hour early.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Amateur d'art - lunettes rouges

The above blog gives an interesting perspective on contemporary art.

en francais!