Saturday, July 19, 2008

"Mended Spiderwebs" from Nina Katchadourian

"The Mended Spiderweb series came about during a six-week period in June and July in 1998 which I spent on Pörtö. In the forest and around the house where I was living, I searched for broken spiderwebs which I repaired using red sewing thread. All of the patches were made by inserting segments one at a time directly into the web. Sometimes the thread was starched, which made it stiffer and easier to work with. The short threads were held in place by the stickiness of the spider web itself; longer threads were reinforced by dipping the tips into white glue. I fixed the holes in the web until it was fully repaired, or until it could no longer bear the weight of the thread. In the process, I often caused further damage when the tweezers got tangled in the web or when my hands brushed up against it by accident.

The morning after the first patch job, I discovered a pile of red threads lying on the ground below the web. At first I assumed the wind had blown them out; on closer inspection it became clear that the spider had repaired the web to perfect condition using its own methods, throwing the threads out in the process...

Friday, July 18, 2008

little-seen Faulkner adaptation Tomorrow (1972),which contains an unforgettable performance by Robert Duvall, on TCM tonight at 2115 PST...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

as a former anonymous Publisher's Weekly reviewer (I bailed long before they cut the fee from 50 to 25 bucks--my proposal was bumping it up to 200!) it was interesting to see these other Reviewers Come In From the Cold...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Steve McQueen : Memorializing Britain's War Dead

"The MoD [Ministry of Defence] wouldn't give us addresses of next of kin, so we used a researcher. We wrote to relatives saying what we wanted to do. I was a bit wary. I know grief. I didn't want to upset people. I was sitting on the edge of my bed thinking, blimey, this is up, no one is going to write back. Then slowly but surely all these letters came through the door saying 'thank you very much', 'this is a fantastic idea' and 'we're so happy that you want to recognise our son'. We had a book of letters and images. I remember seeing this book and I had to have a drink. I had to get a bit drunk. You feel the pain, the hurt of so many people. All these young guys who have died: they're 22, 21, 19, 18. But I was up for it," he says..."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Return of The Frontiersman, an interview with Rudy Wurlitzer, writer of manse faves "Two Lane Blacktop", "Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid" etc...

"These days, now that Two-Lane has become part of the
'Seventies', one is aware that the whole nature of aimless travel and being on the 'road' has changed. Given the current state of things, with fuel, cars, travel, freedom, exploration, the film is a more philosophical and melancholy experience. It's also a funnier film now, given its obsession with the unconscious, somewhat adolescent attachment to the myths of freedom and journeys and relationships that lead nowhere in particular..."

up at U B U W E B - Film & Video: Stan Douglas - Television Spots/Monodramas (1987-1991)
In 1989, his first series of short works for television, the twelve Television Spots, were broadcast in Saskatoon and Ottawa amid regular programming, as if they were commercials. Unidentified, the short scenes depicting open-ended, banal activities baffled viewers.

Douglas's "Monodramas," ten 30- to 60-second videos from 1991, conceived as interventions into commercial television, interrupted the usual flow of advertising and entertainment when broadcast nightly in British Columbia for three weeks in 1992. These micronarratives mimic television's editing techniques, but as kernels of a story they refuse to cohere. They are tales of dysfunction and dislocation, misanthropy and misunderstanding. When the videos were aired unannounced during commercial breaks, viewers called the station to inquire about what was being sold, their responses evincing how the media can refocus attention from content to consumption. -- Nancy Spector"

Amongst other things now the surprisingly textured record of a now-vanished Vancouver...

(thx JT)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Cuckoo (She’s a fine bird)

"Oh the cuckoo
She's a pretty bird
I wish that she were mine
She don't ever drink water
She only drink wine..."