The World's Greatest Sinner (1962)

Timothy Carey as GOD, from The World's Greatest Sinner

Most often, I spend the night with myself blushing in the shadows and small lights (I try fetching Bosco Chocolate Syrup but I am out; addictions are sleepy, sometimes like an adventurous song, but my breathing defiance keeps me company in the robes of my meditation, like some heavenly muse) which, the other night, I wasn't. The flaming sepulchres of "karma" lead me towards other routes on my way to the small town where I was born (the Nostalgia still lingers throughout my soul like an undisputed passage, as if my soul could've been lifted from the Earth (comparitely exhausted from Divina Commedia), and several nights ago, partially quieted in the solitude of late night experimentations/observations/film-watchings, &c. in my uncle's room, I was struck by a film that has resonated with me since those nightly-dashings. The "Brilliant, Hypnotic, Startling" The World's Greatest Sinner. I knew that I was rightfully in for a treat when I saw the opening scene of weirdness.

From absolutefilms: (Timothy Carey's) magnum opus, The World's Greatest Sinner, has been called "the best underground movie ever made." Actor-director John Cassavetes said the film had the "emotional brilliance of (Russian pantheon director Sergei Eisenstein)."

"The World's Greatest Sinner is an amazing, love-it-or- hate-it kind of film," says experimental filmmaker Gerry Fialka.

"It's definitely bizarre and in some ways ahead of its time, anticipating the Jim Jones cult many years before it happened. Martha Graham really put it well when she said: The great artists aren't ahead of their time. They are their time! Tim was just reflecting what his times (the late 1950s and early 60s) were all about." The stifling conformity of America in the '50s—the era of the "man in the grey flannel suit"—was giving way to a new, more liberated and permissive society, heavily influenced by the world's first-ever teen culture, with its own music, movies, and values. A rebel himself and no stranger to the Beat Generation, Carey could sense that big societal changes and radical counterculture that would soon shake it's foundations.

It is the story of the mysterious transformation of insurance salesman Clarence Hilliard into a "rockabilly messiah." Clarence quits his job, changes his name to God, and exhorts his followers to become "superhuman beings," working the crowds at his pep rallies into a frenzy! Urged on by a sinister image-maker, God Hilliard parlays his rock stardom into a career in national politics, founding the Superhuman Being Party. His followers wear jet-black uniforms with God's name inscribed on their arm bands. At this point, Sinner becomes a souped-up, low-budget version of All King's Men (1949), a fictionalized account of the rise and fall of Louisiana Governor Huey Long.

Before The Rage of Pricking It With A Needle
attempting to make it bleed (which it eventually does
but much much later that one would expect it to!)

"Sinner was 20 years ahead of its time," says Timothy's brother George Carey, associate-producer of the picture and had a bit part as a follower. Timmy showed it in screening rooms to studio heads, trying to get them interested, but the religious aspect upset them. People who could have advanced the film thought the public would condemn it as blasphemous. But Sinner does conclude with a miracle, a church scene where Clarence Hilliard begs for forgiveness. He has remorse for the type of person he has become, and seeks redemption. The problem was with the blasphemous stuff that came before. Not too many people could handle that."

"My personal opinion is that Sinner is very unusual," Barreto observes. "Nobody else but Tim would have dared to make a movie like that. Very controversial, especially when Tim pierces the host (to make God cry out in pain and reveal Himself).Tim's acting was good, but it was very strange."

I am quite certain that David Lynch saw this film at some point or another before he began making films (or perhaps afterwards -- either way, the influence is obvious). For 1962, as mentioned above, this film was way ahead of its time, and reminds me of many other Black Comedies like The Loved One and Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb to name a couple, but this has become my all-time favorite "underground film" which reaches astronomical measures in my opinion and reigns above its past and present successors. To endure the blaze of this masterpiece is one thing, but to actually endure it without pains in the stomach (and partially the brain) is something else. I think I now know those distinct contrasts.

Timothy Carey as GOD from The World's Greatest Sinners


Sir Thomas Browne's "Pseudodoxia Epidemica, or, Enquiries into Very many Received Tenets, and commonly Presumed Truths"

Sir Thomas Browne (1605 - 1682)

"Vulgar errors," anyone? [Wiki]: "Browne's Pseudodoxia Epidemica contains evidence of his adherence to the Baconian method of empirical observation of nature and her properties. Although often overlooked as an example of the genre of encyclopaedia, Browne, in the preface to Enquiries into presumed Truths, quite specifically defines his written work as an encyclopaedia in the statement,

and therefore in this Encyclopaedie and round of knowledge, like the two great and exemplary wheeles of heaven, we must observe two circles.

Browne's three determinants for obtaining truth were firstly, the authority of past authors, secondly, the act of reason and lastly, empirical experience. Each of these determinants are employed upon subjects ranging from the cosmological to common folklore. Subjects covered in Pseudodoxia are arranged in the time-honoured Renaissance scale of creation, the learned doctor assaying to dispel errors and fallacies concerning the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms before moving to errors pictorial, to those of man, geography, astronomy and finally the cosmos."

"Religio Medici" from Sir Thomas Browne's "Pseudodoxia Epidemica"

As another reader commented, as I've researched . . . I, myself, did not come across "Browne's works, by way of the enigmatic final sentence of Borges’s celebrated Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius, in which the tale's narrator announces his intention to continue revising 'an uncertain translation in the style of Quevedo […] of Browne’s Urne Buriall.'" But, instead, I came upon the works via a reference from Plinies Book of Naturall Histories, in which was spoken of the placement of the human heart in one's chest. From Chapter II:

Of the Heart.

"THAT the Heart of Man is seated in the left side, is an asseveration, which strictly taken, is refutable by inspection, whereby it appeares the base and centre thereof is in the midst of the chest; true it is, that the Mucro or Point thereof inclineth unto the left; for by this position it giveth way unto the ascension of the midriff, and by reason of the hollow vein could not commodiously deflect unto the right. From which diversion, neverthelesse we cannot so properly say tis placed in the left, as that it consisteth in the middle, that is, where its centre resteth; for so doe we usually say a Gnomon or Needle is in the middle of a Dial, although the extreams may respect the North or South, and approach the circumference thereof.

The ground of this mistake is a general observation from the pulse or motion of the Heart, which is more sensible on this side; but the reason hereof is not to be drawne from the situation of the Heart, but the site of the left ventricle wherein the vital Spirits are laboured; and also the great Artery that conveieth them out; both which are situated on the left. Upon this reason Epithems or cordial Applications are justly applied unto the left Breast; and the wounds under the fifth Rib may be more suddenly destructive if made on the sinister side, and the Spear of the Souldier that peirced our Saviour, is not improperly described, when Painters direct it a little towards the left.

The other ground is more particular and upon inspection; for in dead Bodies especially lying upon the Spine, the Heart doth seem to incline unto the left. Which happeneth not from its proper site; but besides its sinistrous gravity, is drawn that way by the great Artery, which then subsideth and haileth the Heart unto it. And therefore strictly taken, the Heart is seated in the middle of the Chest; but after a careless and inconsiderate aspection, or according to the readiest sense of pulsation, we shall not Quarrel, if any affirm it is seated toward the left. And in these considerations must Aristotle be salved, when he affirmeth the Heart of Man is placed in the left side, and thus in a popular acception may we receive the periphrasis of Persius when he taketh the part under the left Pap for the Heart; and if rightly apprehended, it concerneth not this controversie, when it is said in Ecclesiastes; The Heart of a wise Man is in the right side, but that of a Fool in the left, for thereby may be implied, that the Heart of a wise Man delighteth in the right way, or in the path of Vertue; that of a Fool in the left, or road of Vice; according to the mystery of the Letter of Pythagoras, or that expression in Jonah, concerning sixscore thousand, that could not discern between their right hand and their left, or knew not good from evil.

That assertion also that Man proportionally hath the largest brain, I did I confess somewhat doubt; and conceived it might have failed in Birds, especially such as having little Bodies, have yet large Cranies, and seeme to contain much Brain, as Snipes, Woodcocks, &c. But upon trial I find it very true. The Brains of a Man, Archangelus and Bauhinus observe to weigh four pound, and sometime five and a half. If therefore a Man weigh one hundred and forty pounds, and his Brain but five, his Weight is 27. times as much as his brain, deducting the weight of that five pound which is allowed for it. Now in a Snipe, which weighed four ounces two dragms, I find the Brains to weigh but half a dragm, so that the weight of body (allowing for the Brain) exceeded the weight of the Brain, sixty seven times and an half.

More controvertible it seemeth in the Brains of Sparrows, whose Cranies are rounder, and so of larger capacity: and most of all in the Heads of Birds, upon the first formation in the Egg, wherein the Head seems larger then all the Body, and the very Eyes almost as big as either. A Sparrow in the total we found to weigh seven dragms and four and twenty grains; whereof the Head a dragm, but the Brain not fifteen grains; which answereth not fully the proportion of the brain of Man. And therefore it is to be taken of the whole Head with the Brains, when Scaliger objecteth that the Head of a Man is the fifteenth part of his Body; that of a Sparrow, scarce the fifth."

Interesting site-spaghetti to get started, Here.

from Sir Thomas Browne's "Pseudodoxia Epidemica" ('Browne's skull')


Sol Seppy (my new love)

Sophie Michalitsianos, as Sol Seppy

The Bells of 1 2
is a must-have album. Sol Seppy is my newest addiction. I feel like we know one another. And, well, even in the womb, we are intimately tied to another being, so perhaps we’re merely dancing in the dark in neon red tights.


The Interesting (and eccentrically-bizarre) Life of Charles Waterton

The eccentric Charles Waterton,
("The man who improved on nature")

Pope Pius VII was extremely annoyed. Some young mischievous Englishman had climbed St. Peter's in Rome and left his gloves on top of the lightning conductor. They must be removed at once. But who would dare to carry out His Holiness' wishes? Sadly, only that same young man had the courage. So Charles Waterton, a good Roman Catholic, penitently reclimbed St. Peter's and brought down his own gloves.

That, ladies and gents, was in 1817 when Mr. Waterton was 25 years of age, and this was the first time he caught the public eye. He then went traveling in the West Indies and North and South America, observing wildlife, collecting birds, and eventually writing a bestselling book on his travels in Latin America and the natural history of the region, on which he became the acknowledged expert. Again, he showed his physical courage. In South America, Mr. Waterton caught an alligator by riding on its back and seizing its front legs. Helpless in this judo-hold, the animal was dragged ashore. Later he cut its throat and skinned it.

On one of his expeditions, as an experiment he tried to get a vampire bat to bite his big toe by sleeping with his foot dangling out of his hammock. However, the bat then ignored him, choosing instead to bit his native servant. When he returned home to Yorkshire, he built a 9-foot-high wall encircling 3 miles of his estate, making it one of the world's first wildlife sanctuaries.

His interests as a naturalist had made him an accomplished taxidermist, and he built up a whole museum of stuffed birds and animals. But, of course, he was not content with animals as nature had created them. He took different parts of birds and animals and amalgamated them into his own monsters. In the case of his celebrated Nondescript, he contorted the face of a red howler monkey, convincing many people that he had stuffed a human head (see image below). To many of these homemade monsters he gave the names of some well-known Protestant personalities. But, this was not his only eccentricity: -- One of his favorite pranks was to hide under a hall table until a guest had put down his coat, in which he then leaped out to bite the astonished visitor.

After the death of his wife, he slept on the bare floor with a block of wood for a pillow. He rose at 3am on each day and spent the time before breakfast at 8am reading and praying. Then he would spent the rest of the day studying wildlife. When he was over 80 (he lived to the age of 83) he would shin up trees to examine birds' nests. He scrambled up "like an adolescent gorilla," according to a contemporary.

One of the eccentric squire's projects was the construction of a flying machine. It took a great deal of persuasion by his friends and servants before gave up the idea of testing the machine by leaping from an outhouse roof. It was this kind of unusual activity that brought about his death in 1865 when he fell while carrying a huge log, dying of his injuries 10 days later. He was buried with great ceremony, and a fleet of funeral boats escorted his body across the lake on his estate.

Thanks to Charles Waterton, wildlife preservation societies are going strong today. I've also come to the realization that I would love to someday make Charles Waterton's life-story into a film.

Charles Waterton's famous Nondescript.



Are you alone in the world? Give him time to eat. Nice warm milk makes the body feel so relaxed. A chief disaster of removing. No animal is unnamable. Nothing is innamable.

Innamable / Mammal / Shambles

Ham sandwich / Rubbery / Duckling / Circus

Nonsense! I insist! My, it looks as if it ’s going to storm. A human kindness is all -- that ’s all it is! Would you like to stop your partner ’s snoring?

Works like a charm. I declare! To complete the identification! On the double, let ’s go! There is no truth. The truth, your truth, is nothing more

than an off-the-rail freight train. Something running through the undergrowth. Wasn ’t really wise, either. A lot of high-strung people around here.

Building up grudges. Occasionally ceased by the compulsions, a pathological distortion. Insane, sane, it ’s only Balance. Mischievous child.

She ’s on edge; a particular state of mind. Theories in abnormal behavior. You make the most peculiar compliments. French melodies.

non-Moonlight Sonata. There ’s a sort of non-sorrow in them. Human predicament. Loneliness. Moving about in a region of horror.

It ’s frightening sometimes how you know people. Some people don ’t remember parts of their lives. Liberal exhibitionism.

“Holier than thou attitude.” Bed-ridden. To have a missing button. Signed confessions. Feeble-minded individuals. No obligation.

+ “They only write fairytales to keep children out of mischief.”
+ “Yes, and the children never listen, do they?”


Many things sounding like a Freudian conflict. I ’ve noticed that people ’s hands get heavier when they get married, but often times the weight on those hands take part in newer residences.