Mahler (1974)

, 1974

Representations of human behavior (failing inductive regulators? - Oh, my) and the unique substance of a mad composer (Insanity! - a Mandrake herb laced with argot, perhaps), it's no bowing head of some Roman Pontifical (certainly those "gibbering specters of the dead" have arisen here, out of Mr. Russell's brilliant mind), but the eclipse continues to darken once the film carries on. It's no wonder this rare film has become a "cult classic" (with scientific evidence, of course) amongst the efficacy of certain seeds that have been shaken over time.
If the "opening scene" isn't an indicator that you're in for a dynamo-burning (your head will look like a ''Pharaoh's serpents'' ash - [blinkblinkblink]), then perhaps you should turn it off, otherwise you won't want to miss this trippy concoction of cinematic strange-mesh. "Would you like to say something before you leave - perhaps you'd like to state exactly how you feel - we say goodbye before we say hello"-type polyphase circuits; if even one's psychological torment could be some shred of evidence, occassionally changing directions.

Robert Powell as Mahler

This may very-well be one of Robert Powell's most underrated perfomances. His brilliance (retaining all reflections of administered affection) here is what makes me plant myself into the tangled result.

Personally, I wasn't aware that Mahler was a tormented soul, until my eyes glared thru this film. To a certain degree, it's a symbol of procreation and new life, or the expectancy of how life will take a turn for the better. Though, when the pickings are invited in one's misfortune, the disease of deterioration can only be seasoned through emergences of "outer" stimulation, in which (like so many other people) are the result of unknown personal reactions and "choice." Perhaps Gustav had too many induces of abnormal "potions"...? Even for a moment, like the poet Lucretius, perhaps all he needed was a Bob Dylan-like Shot Of Love! (but even his wife resented his fame! - which, perhaps, may be a formidable indication of a percentile of the mind-set in which he often engaged)

Ken Russell is known for his masterpiece-films about various composers (16 or 17 of them, of which include Strauss and Elgar, to name a small collection. . .), and if Mahler is any indication of how his cinematography envelopes throughout the entirity of such films, I think I may have to dig a little deeper in my wallet and obtain each and every one of them (if they all exist). Then again, with Mahler, the potions of such weirdness is only naturalistic.

Below I've provided a 'clip' from the film to give one a meridian of celestial taste of this bundle of eclectic vapor. . .Do enjoy.

Georgina Hale Mahler 1974 Ken Russell

Certainly one to add to the 'weird film' collection - this is only 7 minutes of a 111-minute film that is quite bizarrely-delicious the entire way thru. Thank you Ken Russell.


Ron Geesin

Vigorous laughter. A "Cough Symphony." Munitional musical weaponry of mass (Con)Instruction! Crackling firescapes. Hums. Sounds. Noises ("rubbed out", back "in", "parade", "decayed"/decade, "divine sandwiches with a frenzied sinew of scattercusp"), poems about strange people and objects—Rest assured, you will feel the electric charge and experimental capacitive over-loads of Mr. Ron Geesin! One of the most underrated artists/musicians/composers in the History of Music (no question in my mind!); not to mention of the Avant-Garde "genre" (a group with a lesser infinite ratio of their contemporaries in the world of common-place "Classical Music" [John Cage: Listen to Beethoven. Or, Mozart. It all sounds the same!])

He co-wrote Pink Floyd's Atom Heart Mother (which was basically his own to a certain degree) and went on to work with Roger Waters on the wonderfully-bizarre, The Body. He has plenty of records for one to eargasm over. Check out his delightful website for more:

http://www.rongeesin.com/ - Ahh... It's You!


The Chess-Playing Turk (Machine or Midget?)

The Chess-playing Turk

I play lots of chess. I am a fan of chess. Here is a delightful "story" about. . .an ingenious robot or elaborate joke?

Baron Wolfgang von Kempelen was a mechanical genius who intrigued 18th-century Europe with his automation, which - dressed as a turk -could not only play chess but win every match it played. It was never revealed at the time that the Turk was a fake - and the baron a trickster with a dazzling sense of the outrageous to match his considerable mechanical ability.

The Turk was built in Vienna in 1769 and sat behind a chest, four feet long, two feet wide, and three feet high. In front of him was a chessboard on which he challenged all comers, shifting the pieces with unerring movements of his left hand.

Touring Europe's courts

Before each game the baron would open all the chest's compartments revealing levers, gears, drums, and cylinders.

Emporer Joseph II of Austria sent the Turk on a tour of Europe's courts where it duly beat its royal opponents, including Empress Catherine of Russia and Napoleon - whose chess does not seem to have equaled his military strategy.

A widely held belief was that the chess was played by a series of talented midgets!

The truth was that a man squeezed into the chest and manipulated the Turk. He kept in touch with the game through a series of magnets attached to the base of the pieces. Below the board small iron balls were suspended by threads. The balls stuck to the roof of the chest because of the magnets above them. When the chessmen were moved, the hidden accomplice could follow the game by watching the balls also moving.

The facts about what the baron always regarded as "mere trifle" to amuse the Austrian court were not known until after
von Kempelen died in 1804, and the automaton was taken to the United States. It was eventually bought by the Chinese Museum in Philadelphia, where it was destroyed by fire in 1854.


Dick Smith - The Greatest Make-up Artist of All-Time

Not only is he the greatest make-up/special effects artist of all-time, but he's one of the most influential make-up artists ever (he helped Rick Baker get started, to name one of the many). His two videos on make-up are "how to" showcasings, in which you can follow his step-by-step guide to creating various make-up procedures (including projects from well-known films). In 1965, he released "Dick Smith's Do-It-Yourself Monster Make-up" which gained instant fame, and is still in print to this day (which has easily sold millions world-wide).

"Count Dracula" (1977 BBC Production featuring Louis Jourdan) and misc.

Louis Jourdan as "Count Dracula" (1977)

After holding my breath for so long, I was thrilled to find out that the greatest film adaption of Bram Stoker's classic book, Dracula, is finally coming out on DVD (thank you BBC!) in September.

This brilliant, definitive version of the story was first air'd in the United States as a three-part extravaganza that televised for three days (three parts). Not many films actually "stay true" to the original book (the other, Herman Hesse's Steppenwolf), but this particular version is easily the best version of Dracula filmed to date (and thank God someone wanted to do it right for once! - Now if only someone could get Mary Shelley's Frankenstein right!).

What makes this film stand out from the others, in my mind, is not only the following of the story and events, but also the fact that the crew went to the exact locations described in Stoker's book to shoot the scenes, and you basically can't get any better than that. Must-see, Must-see, Must-see!


And, since the topic of Bram Stoker's Dracula has entered into my consciousness yet again, I suppose I shall go on to recognize another Early Victorian Vampire story that was written fifty years before Dracula was ever conceived: VARNEY THE VAMPIRE or THE FEAST of BLOOD, which left its imprint on British bookshelves in more ways than one. I find it to be rather intriguing (especially to the historical contexts) and a must-read (relatively short, and readable online) for fans whom are interested in "cause and cure" of vampires from country-to-country.

Varney The Vampire

Stan Brakhage - Water for Maya Deren

And, voila! It's unfortunate that both are dead now. If you pause the video at exactly 59 seconds, you can see Van Meegeren.

Stan Brakhage

One must also see his tributes to Maya Deren.

The Beauty, The Ugly

The Beauty. . . . . . . . . . . . . .The Ugly

Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate. It's a state of mind, really.

Peter Tscherkassky


About My ''Self Portrait IV'' Patois

Spectral Slime Self-Portrait, Alex Alien, 2006

The effects of being constructed by pieces of "creation", is it not, narratively unarrangeable, although self-referential? A contractive-emblem of self; ponder Henri Poincaré's hypothesis:

"(. . .) Then more exact experiments were made, which were also negative;
neither could this be the result of chance. An explanation was necessary, and
was forthcoming; they always are; hypotheses are what we lack the least. . ."

An arrangement, devouring. I won't strait-jacket my attempts, explain'd or not "fully" explain'd (perhaps I could trap myself in a Corbridge Lorica), my ("those") self-portraits[s] from last year, but the self-sextant measurements may be included. Fascinations with dead skin and the illusion of "ugly" and "pretty", fails in the attempt to justify it. I've been asked about them, and how they "relate" (inaptly, I'm thinking) to the effects of one's choices.

I began a fascination (or, it just came upon me like giggles in a brain-washed crowd) with Alex Alien's unexpected (for myself, at the time) self-portraits/paintings/experiments with the contortions and meaty'd proportions of sheer artistry (with a little 'shadow factor' intertwined) and the allowance of unbridled self-experimentation.

Self-Portrait IV, Derrick Tyson, 2006

Finding out his fascination with Bacon, the stretch couldn't have been better. Mr. Alien states: "Yes. Images always already suggest other images as echoes, memory traces; images mutate and breed off other images; one merely makes the marriages between one image and another in the hope of breeding another image, another alien form; like a form of species hybridisation." A shebot-shebang-shebing of things occurring here!

Francis Bacon's Miss Muriel Belcher, 1959 [a personal favorite]

Not only are these particular images/artists the detonating foliage that was influenced by my own creation[s] for layer'd proportional self-portrait[s], but by "skin's width", they are the Entropy in which consistently remain.

Loie, Loie!

"Loie Fuller in her Serpentine Dress"

Maybe I'm just a drone for theatrical lighting, but why then do I find myself always balancing from the O'H' horizon—perhaps adjective-objective pile-up and smut and to place my noticeable nose (ears, too) into the historical aspects of such "roundness", that even when I've pranced around after a Betty Davis or Veronica Lake showing, I either become pillar-like erosional remnants, or one who sits and flips thru the end-credits to see if I can find any familiar names that may ring a bell? (if you're reading this Gene Wilder, perhaps I could have hot soup poured on me and get my thumb lit on fire!) - "Touch the iron, touch the iron", said the sneaky snake to the 4 year old! . . .

Verbiage, from an unknown play in ACT III [Monmouth College]:

#1: Yes, of course. If I’d wanted to be a dancer, like Loie Fuller intends to be, I’d have studied French.

#2: Loie’s just a child; she’s what, three years old? How can you even talk about her?

#3: She lives right across the street. Everybody knows how wild Loie is about dancing.
(Optional: to have an appropriate child dance across the edge of the stage; note: Loie Fuller invented modern dance; she was the rage of Paris around 1900.)

#2 (almost pouting) Monmouth College students don’t dance. (With a smile) Or they aren’t supposed to. But I know some who do. Sin or no sin, I like dance music.

#3: Loie’s dancing isn’t sinful. She doesn’t touch anybody. (Waves arms) Just goes round and round, with her silk scarves fluttering in the air. (Demonstrates) And jumping!

#2: I don’t see how that would be any fun.

#1: Well, she does. All she talks about is Paris. One can dance there, she says, even dance the way she wants to.

#3: What’s the point? Who takes a child seriously? Besides, no one with a name like Loie Fuller can be famous. Besides, it’s not as though a future president was living right down the street.
(note: Ronald Reagan lived a block from campus when he was in grade school.)

"Again I Die!"

"Robert Coates - or, The World's Worst Actor"

One's that say, "pull my leg", I read that it meant that "ham can be jam" (otherwise these eccentrics and prophecies would knuckle under). Once placed under this, what-I-can-imagine, hilarious human being, gives hope to anyone interested in wanting to be an actor/actress; further-on and so-forth:

So bad an actor was Robert Coates that he became the star of London in
the early 19th Century
[and I thought that label went to Sherlock Holmes! - even
tho not an actual person]. People traveled from far away to see if he really was
as bad as they had heard. He did not disappoint them. His incompetence amounted
almost to dramatic genius.

In one play, where Coates had to die, he drew a silk handkerchief from
his pocket, spread it carefully on the stage, and then laid his elaborate
headdress upon it so that he might expire in style. This so enchanted the
audience that they demanded encores and had him die several times over.

Coates was born on the West Indian island in Antigua in 1772, the son of
a rich merchant and plantation owner. But it was in England, where he was
brought up, that he acquired a passion for the theater. For years he wore a
bejeweled Romeo costume without ever getting an invitation to play the part.

Finally, his opportunity arrived, and on February 9, 1810, he made his
first stage appearance - as Romeo. His debut was in Bath, England, then a center
of the rich and fashionable world.

His acting was so appalling that he became an overnight hit.

Before long he had moved on to still greater success in London. There he
rewrote Shakespeare, ad-libbed outrageously, and addressed the audience in the
middle of the scenes, often threatening to cross the footlights and fight those
who laughed too loudly.

But the laugh was really on the audience. Coates continually played to
packed houses, which included such personalities as the Prince Regent. He became
so prosperous that he could flaunt himself in a carriage shaped like a
kettle-drum, painted in brilliant colors and drawn by two white houses. On its
side was emblazoned a heraldic cock with his motto: "While I live I'll crow."

And so he did to a robust 75, when he came to a dramatic end. Crossing a
London street to retrieve his opera glasses from a theater, he was struck by a
passing cab and died soon afterward.


Rapture (1965)

"Patricia Gozzi and her Scarecrow in Rapture"

. . .Entered my consciousness (and still does from time-to-time), this, this, that film, years ago, in the sedimentation of my solidifying Swedish releases (French/English, or otherwise Unknown), otherwise to exterminate the distinct mentality of character build-up/study(ies), or the spaces of appearance, as if I could handle it (unbeknowest at the time) without needing my hanky to help squeeze out the poignance from my eyes, from my veins and thru my . . . well, something cribbed from the dictionaries of my protoplasmic display, or dismay, could have chewed on Crayola, could have been a fuselage, a rope tangled in an old rosebush - or else it's the allure at ease, that premature brooming swept over us as if we were definitely associated with the "forces that apply" - the "droid", "oid", not ever needing the Seebeck Effect, into the leakage of eyes, past the shaft gland packings, the dummy pistons ("you dummy!" - Three Stooge effect not in affect!), diaphragms and blade-tips of unsubsided falling-in-loveness. Georges Delerue's soundtrack will make the concentration of such superstructure crawl up your spine, and linger there forever, ever, ever. Heartbreaking, heartbreaking. Oh, Patricia. . .Oh, that rupture of Rapture. . .

The World, The Flesh and The Devil (1959)

"Harry Belafonte on the abandonedly-plagued streets of NYC"

The simmering, the boiling, the glaring and the "sexual frustration" of a world that has been given the Paraldehyde treatment; Harry Belafonte's masterful performance (given to the herky-jerky amusements of the time)—admist the evolution of The Twilight Zone—makes you flail in his personal (and quite "believable") malodorousness (''hindsightopia"), proceeds as he's one of three cityfolk roaming around the deserted plague of New York City (but don't think of Vincent Price in The Last Man on Earth) after an eruptive plague of atomical poison while inspecting a mine (in which he becomes "trapped").

In the twinkling turn, Matheson's I Am Legend forms itself within the psyche' (for those one's whom are aware), tho not at all as rompous and compressed; this Where-is-everyone turn-of-the-tide may be synonymous with past 'pastes', but the solitary confines (a part that would reflect a scenario of progressive pronouns in today's malcontentious World News hoaxes) is a wavelength apart from the flame and fury (making space for something different), the amusement at which the sun hangs up the phone on the moon. Timing. Assets. And, for the era, the evaluations and psychology of the tensions of Race and the rivalries of the two man "one woman" rivalry (think Corman's The Last Woman on Earth versus the demagnetizing effects of the ''crowning touch'' of some roadside family irate at one another, but cling to one another during incidents of unripened fruition!).


The Loved One (1965)

"Liberace as Mr. Starker"

I gulped down sweetened tea while this film play'd on the television set while my uncle read about "Classics Illustrated" comics from the 1940's, but only for the first few minutes.

A gargantuan Black-comedy (may very-well be the darkest comedy of all-time), weirdly penetrable, but it'll make your tea-cup fall apart; and believe me, this isn't Beauty and The Beast. I've been captivated many times, and he[a]re, he[a]re! (This isn't the "House of Commons" by any means!), how could one ever forget the bizarre exhuberance of Mr. Joyboy who rocked the isotope of all of this cinematic uneasiness (without "clear danger") and his screaming-for-food Mother who gets excited while watching television commercials about food (Timed perfectly on each station, on-the-dot, directly and haphazardly grotesque and comically-unwobbling!) - My ear-to-ear monitor was at it's Maximum height.

Momma's little Joyboy got lobster, lobster, Momma's little Joyboy got lobster
for Mom!

Memorable quote after memorable quote. Tickle-me-pink, like:

"I'm saving up for Mom's big tub."

"The foot curls a bit you know, when rigmo sets in"

"Not merely waterproof, nor moisture proof Mr Barlow, But DAMPNESS proof"

"Rayon chafes you know"

"The police here have developed new methods of dealing with hooligans
like you. Dogs and Cattle Prods."

"You think everything is silly! This house is silly! I'm silly! The
President's silly!"

And, the mastics continues:

They told me Francis Hinsley,
They told me you were hung,
With red protruding eyeballs
And black protruding tongue.

I wept as I remembered
How often you and I
Had laughed about Los Angeles
And now 'tis here you'll lie.

Here, pickled in formaldehyde
And painted like a whore.
Shrimp pink, incorruptible,
Not lost but gone before.

The cableway to film, here we come (but be careful - don't let your Yerba Mate' do all of the prognosis!)