Friday, September 14, 2007

Polis Is This: Charles Olson

"From director Henry Ferrini and writer Ken Riaf, Polis Is This is the best film about an American poet ever made. Given travesties from Hollywood’s Tom and Viv to actors impersonating poets like Hart Crane and William Carlos Williams in public-television documentaries, that is not high enough phrase. Ferrini and Riaf present the complex American literary figure Charles Olson (1910–1970) in a clear way by focusing not on the facts of his life but on the facts of his work.

Ferrini exploited the great advantage he brought to the project: he lives in and knows Gloucester, Olson’s home, and the polis and place of the film’s title. His images are a visual analogue to Olson’s words, lit by the bracing clarity of Gloucester’s incomparable light. Some of these images illustrate Olson’s poems, but they do so in a way that might naturally occur to any reader. The interview subjects — students, friends, readers — are wide-ranging. Harvard Professor of Landscape (!) John Stilgoe encapsulates Olson’s thinking brilliantly, and poet Robert Creeley illuminates his friend’s work by referring to Miami Dolphins fullback Larry Csonka. In voiceovers, John Malkovich avoids speaking Olson’s words like an actor. Olson himself is seen in excerpts from a 15-minute documentary produced by NET in the 1950s, talking in his kitchen, walking Gloucester’s slushy streets. “Polis is eyes,” he wrote, and Ferrini gives his viewers the eyes to see Olson in Gloucester..."

Book launch for ÆTHEL by Donato Mancini
Friday, September 14, 2007

Time: 8 PM to 11 PM
Location: Helen Pitt Gallery 102-148 Alexander Street near Columbia

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

good BBC film on The Life and Death of Steve Biko murdered by police on this day in 1977...

Part 2

Part 3

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

in the TLS--HUGH MACDIARMID (1977):

"The Black Rainbow Over the Minch

A black rainbow owre the Minch
Needna mak' onybody flinch.
It means juist aboot the same
As gin the usual colours came..."

farewell Joe Zawinul, here with an augmented, early Weather Report...

Monday, September 10, 2007

yet more on Bolaño

"Whole crowds of minor characters and passersby shuttle through those many scenes, and yet nearly everyone in those crowds, a few gangsters excepted, seems to share an unquestioning reverence for Mexican poetry—a sacred cause for which any sane person would gladly sacrifice his life. Not to mention the insane people, who seem to bring out Bolaño's keenest sympathies."

Sunday, September 09, 2007

today's YouTube - Jimmy Giuffre - The Train And The River
support our troops?

"Soldiers don't have a monopoly on work that involves risk, physical danger and courage. In 2005 in B.C. alone, 43 loggers were killed in accidents on the job in what was a black year for the forestry industry. Total Canadian combat deaths for 2006, our bloodiest period in Afghanistan, was 36.

So why no stickers for our loggers, who are also essential to the economy?

It may be because they don't wear uniforms. Graham's stickers represent the romanticization of all things military that's crept through Canada in past years. It first appeared when we started getting sentimental about the dying out of the generation who saw us through the Second World War. The shock of 9/11, and the resulting commitment of Canadian troops to war in Afghanistan, intensified our feelings for anyone in boots.

Now military man-love has become part of the national consciousness. Think of how even peacenik Vancouver has shifted culturally. In the 1980s, city council declared Vancouver a nuclear weapons-free zone, thus frustrating the plans of the federal government of the time to put nuclear missile launchers in Mount Pleasant. (How the East Side roared at that one.) Now we're doing Tony Orlando and Dawn to public emergency vehicles..."

Duke Snider Gallery