ANNIE CLARK (ST. VINCENT) AND THE SLIPPERY ROAD TO THE NEXT THING

Sometimes we learn more from what disappoints us than from what excites us. For instance, there is a pop music phenomenon, recently lauded by the Smithsonian Magazine (and awarded, by them, an America Ingenuity recognition, in Performance Arts), who calls herself St. Vincent and fetchingly distributes a melange of lush melody and abrasive, often cornball jingles.

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The Archers’ I Know Where I’m Going “It never stays fine long in the Islands”

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© 2014 by James Clark

Emeric Pressburger, of the British filmmaking team, along with Michael Powell, known as the Archers, has been quoted as emphasizing that a film should have “a little bit of magic…” Though their team name implies precision, straight to the point, shooting, there was from out of their shooting range (so long ago) one memorable treatment of the seemingly crystal clear subject of romance, namely, I Know Where I’m Going (1945), that can, I’m sure, validly lay claim to conjuring real magic.

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JACQUES DEMY’S A SLIGHTLY PREGNANT MAN “Never think for too long”

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© 2014 by James Clark

      I notice that, in an interview with Slant Magazine, filmmaker, Jonathan Glazer, claims not to have seen Her. Also, he says, “I’m very bad at detecting themes in my work… I suppose it’s [the affinity between Her and Under the Skin] in the air or something…” This, hardly unique to him, penchant for misrepresentation brings us to some necessary infill, perhaps, though, especially pressing in the task of charting where Glazer’s films go and where that leaves us. Disclaimers aside, the three feature films he has brought forward over the past fourteen years are discernibly steeped in strivings central to a filmic avant-garde, as rooted in a wider showdown with conventional rationalist securements. Equivocation is “in the air” and we have to care enough to get a handle on its roots and the kind of fruition being allowed to see the light of day.

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Rather Have the Blues turned 4 today! Way to go, Jim!!

This photo above with Springtime Publisher’s 6th book(the 5 previous authored by Jim)—published in December 2009 and making lots of ripples as seen worldwide over the last 5 years through springtimepublishers.com , RHTB and Wonders in the Dark Blog!

A masterful writer and thinker and the best partner anyone could ever hope to share one’s life with. And everyday more amazing writings at our I Desire Vintage Posters Blogs and daily IDVP facebook offerings.

A very special day in more ways than one. Lots of love Valerie

KATHARINE HEPBURN AND GEORGE CUKOR’S ‘THE PHILADELPHIA STORY’ “The time to make up your mind about people is never…”

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© 2014 by James Clark

     Whereas (in Italy, in 1962) Anna Magnani would capitalize, on the leverage stemming from her indispensability, to hijack Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Mamma Roma, for her own reasons, Katharine Hepburn would shape to her liking the 1940 film romance, The Philadelphia Story, to an outcome unsurprisingly very different from the former project—but, nevertheless, quite amazingly within the same galaxy where disinterestedness becomes palpably crucial. In 1939, Hepburn helped herself to her ex-boyfriend, Howard Hughes’ film rights to Philip Barry’s stage play, The Philadelphia Story (in which she starred); and, ever the shrewd media player, bought out her contract with RKO and signed on with MGM mogul, Louis B. Mayer, on condition that he finance her film property, starring herself (of course) along with a cast and production team of her devising, including her friend, director, George Cukor. Her coming, from out of such high-finance scheming, to navigate along a flight-path which Magnani broached with a wave of instinctive, emotive poetics, is one of the great enigmas of supposedly mainstream, Hollywood “entertainment.”

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FEDERICO FELLINI’S AMARCORD “I want one of those encounters that last a lifetime”

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© 2014 by James Clark

I don’t usually refer to other critics in pursuing these film entries; but here it seems to make a lot of sense. The esteemed film observer, Jonathan Rosenbaum, produced (in 1982) a review of Amarcord (1973) that was both typically cogent and typically half-hearted. Seeing clearly that Fellini’s outreach about an Adriatic town in the 1930s comprises “community rituals and seasonal changes,” he describes the longings of many of its residents, for something more than that often charming inertia, as “dreams and other fantasies,” which is to say, a type of reflexive inertia veering away from reality. Smoothly disarming any traces of abrasiveness in this finding to be quite futile any challenge to mechanics and orthodoxy, the appreciation identifies the auteur’s evolution as an increased trusting of “imagination over ‘realistic’ observation.” “Fact and fancy are never far apart” in Fellini’s work. But that proposition does nothing to sustain that what he calls “fancy”—in its sense of the “more” that is remarkably new to history—could be a mature, serious form of consciousness. Rosenbaum concedes that “… it is precisely the domain of privacy that the town’s collective dream life feeds upon…” But I can’t help reading between the lines here that “the town’s collective dream life” amounts to some kind of sad little joke. He declares, “…the film charts the lot of provincial dwellers everywhere;” and with that the unwelcome whiff of sociology begins to fill the air.

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MAKING A BEAUTIFUL MESS—KONTAKTHOF BY PINA BAUSCH

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© 2014 by James Clark

One of the most magic moments of the fare provided by the Toronto Luminato Art Festival every June came our way a few days ago, in the form of the Pina Bausch Wuppertal Dance Theatre performing one of their classics, namely, Kontakthof (Court of Contact [1978]), concerning making the case for truth in interpersonal actions. The late Pina Bausch was a choreographic innovator, obsessed—like filmmaker Federico Fellini—with figures ardently hoping to bring to light the primal power implicit in human interactions, but proving to be far from coordinated enough to succeed. (Fellini featured our dance star, in the role of a blind princess, in his 1983 film, And the Ship Sails On.)

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JONATHAN GLAZER’S SEXY BEAST “I swear…No risk!”

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© 2014 by James Clark

It could well be that one of the surest ways to identify a modern film’s holding a strong hand is its linkage to that metaphor of Beauty and Beast tracing back to the tiniest flames of revolt on a violently subdued planet. One filmmaker who seems to know where the loot is hidden is Jonathan Glazer, a rock video and TV commercial alumnus. Glazer, from what I’ve seen, is a past master of edifying desperation, acutely obsessed about our being implicated in a monstrous struggle for sensuous equilibrium, a struggle with the odds heavily stacked against making the merest go of the merest advances.

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SURREALIST GRAPHIC ART—BIGGER THAN YOU THINK!

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© 2014 by James Clark

We’ve gotten together before, on this blog site, to mutually marvel at the impact of original vintage poster art with a Surrealist twist, as an ardent exponent of some of the most incisive reflections upon the subject and lifeline of dynamic power. Here the difference can be summed up in two words, Jonathan Glazer.

Glazer can be described in many ways—rock video writer/director; writer/director of superb graphic art-based TV ads; pop music expert/historian; feature filmmaker (with a graphic arts priority). But the heart of his activities, it seems to me, is recycling the high tide of Surrealist excitement, from the early and mid-twentieth century. “Recycling” might seem a boring notion—but not the way he does it!

Pictured here from Glazer’s film, Sexy Beast (2000), is a boulder having fallen into the swimming pool of a couple, Gal and Dee Dee, living the soft life on Spain’s Costa del Sol.

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JONATHAN GLAZER’S ‘UNDER THE SKIN’ “Hill Walkers Are Welcome Here”

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© 2014 by James Clark

      Under the Skin (2013) fires toward us a maelstrom of visual and aural stimuli. Much of it pertains to electrodynamic frontiers vastly complicating the human component of such motion. Thus we have an introductory passage wherein startling confluences of astronomical light in blue, gold and red play out upon the infinite darkness of a cescendoing cosmos. A musical accompaniment of lacerating and seductive pulsating ringing, clatter, grinding and thundering presses the tension and makes very clear we have come to a history having forever turned its back on the venerable and sedate gratifications of the music of the spheres.

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