Saturday, July 11, 2009

LOOK: Tripped out folk icon, from Kiev

The Blessed Virgin of Pechersk, mid. 19th century

I added this one to the collection today. It is from a Kiev school of folk painters; they used funky curve-linear lines, explosive colors and floral patterns vs. the stolid aesthetics of traditional Orthodox iconography.

...currently researching patterns of fungi ingestion in the region.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Hütz homecoming, Gogol Bordello in Lviv

I am into Eugene Hutz and his music. His life story is the stuff of movies. From the Chernobyl evacuation and gypsy wanderings to his performances at Tate Modern, Whitney and the Venice Biennial. What shitty, marginalized band doesn't look up to him? And the music... so rich. 

Last week, Gogol Bordello was in Lviv... Hutz tossed frisbees, broke a few mic stands and spoke Ukrainian to his fans from the homeland. The sets were inspired and it was a great show. From various U-tubers:

Start Wearing Purple, everyone bounces @ 1:51

The beautiful insanity 

Tribal Connection w/extended dub break at 2:10

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Friday, July 3, 2009

WATCH: Arthropoda animation, "The Cameraman's Revenge" (1912) by Wladyslaw Starewicz

Killing bugs for the screen

Another regional cinematic obscurity, Russian-born Wladyslaw Starewicz: etymologist-filmmaker and stop motion pioneer.

Yes, bug vs. camera... something had to give for this guy. And his method of animation was pragmatic genius. Stymied by an inability to control his shelled subjects, eureka was found in the form of stop-motioned dead. He in fact removed the limbs of grasshoppers, beetles, dragonflies and the like and then supplemented them with wax prosthetics, which were manipulated between takes. The results were singular, effective and influential (if not more than a little creepy). 

"The Cameraman's Revenge" (1912, 13 minutes) is his first short with a narrative. And it is as cynical as you would expect when having dead bugs as the players: 

"It is about infidelity among the insects, a topic which dare I say has never before or after been attempted on film.

It opens with Mr. Beetle going to town "on business," to stop at "The Gay Dragonfly," a burlesque parlor.

He meets a dancer who he takes to a hotel room... the grasshopper at left wanted her too, though, and he is mad at the beetle's rudeness... he's also got a movie camera!"

There is a shrewd plot twist that I won't reveal:

WATCH: Freakish Soviet horror film, Viy (1967)WATCH: Surrealist stop motion, Street of Crocodiles (1986) by the Brothers Quay