Monthly Archives: March 2019

RIP Larry Cohen (1941 – 2019)

Full version of ‘Q’

Larry Cohen was an American film director and screenwriter.

He is best known as a B-movie auteur of horror and science-fiction films such as It’s Alive (1974), God Told Me To(1976), Q (1982), Special Effects (1984) and The Stuff (1985), which were full of satirical social commentary.

Later in his career, he concentrated mainly on screenwriting, most successfully with the very interesting Phone Booth (2002).

RIP Scott Walker (1943 – 2019)

Scott Walker was an American-born British singer-songwriter, composer and record producer.

First active with the band The Walker Brothers, Walker evolved from sappy and catchy recordings with an edge of sadness (“Make It Easy on Yourself“, 1965; and “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)“, 1966) to more experimental work (Nite Flights, 1978).

He would continue this course of experimentation in his solo work, culminating with albums such as The Drift which was as scary as it was gentle, luckily not at the same time.

RIP Andre Williams (1936 – 2019)

Andre Williams was an American musician best known for the hit records “Jail Bait,” “Greasy Chicken,” “Bacon Fat” (1956) and “Cadillac Jack” (1966).

He was also the co-author of the R&B hit “Shake a Tail Feather”.

Surprisingly, his track “Bacon Fat” can also be found on the DJ Mix album How to Kill the DJ Part 2 (2004).

RIP Dick Dale (1937 – 2019)

Dick Dale was an American guitarist best-known for his 1962 arrangement of the Eastern Mediterranean classic “Misirlou“, the use of which in the 1994 Quentin Tarantino film Pulp Fiction gained him a new audience.

“Miserlou” was originally a hit for Jan August in 1946 …

… but is believed to be first recorded in 1927.

On the ‘making of’ of a surrealist ‘cult of ugliness’ documentary

Yesterday 14/3/19 I watched Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles (2018) at CinemaZuid.

The film is interesting for its details on the ‘making-of’ of Land Without Bread (1933).

It reveals how Buñuel staged several scenes of his documentary: killing a donkey to be ‘eaten’ alive by bees and killing a goat to be eaten by the locals who would otherwise never eat meat.

While showing a dwarf in the style (or maybe it is that same dwarf) as depicted in fig. 44 of Las Jurdes : Étude de géographie humaine (1927), the book that was the inspiration for the film, the narrator says:

“Dwarfs and morons are very common in the upper Hurdanos mountains. Their families employ them as goat herders if they’re not too dangerous. The terrible impoverishment of this race is due to the lack of hygiene, undernourishment and constant intermarriage. The smallest one of these creatures is 28 years old. Words cannot express the horror of their mirthless grins as they play a sort of hide and go seek.”

‘Dwarf’ from ‘Land Without Bread’

Another scene shows a sickly and very thin girl lying in the street:

“In a deserted street, we come across this child. Our guide tells us that she has been lying there for the last three days … but no one seems to know what her ailment is. One of our companions examines her. The child’s throat and tonsils are terribly inflamed. But unfortunately, we could do nothing about it. Malady and infestation is their lot. Two days later, they told us that the child had died.”

After watching the whole Land Without Bread film, I got the impression that Buñuel wanted to go for a lost tribe effect, since the opening title card reads:

The Hurdanos were unknown, even in Spain, until a road was built for the first time in 1922. Nowhere does man need to wage a more desperate fight against the hostile forces of nature.”

And a little bit further, when showing a baby covered in trinkets:

“Though actually Christian, these trinkets are amazingly like the charms of African natives.”

On the Hurdanos walking barefoot:

“Shoes are a rare luxury and the roads are cruel to naked feet.”

Graham Greene, in a review of the movie for Night and Day magazine, called it “an honest and hideous picture.”

And ugly it is.

Land Without Bread is reminiscent of Misère au Borinage (1934), both are political films in the tradition of the cult of ugliness which can be traced to The Potato Eaters(1885).

RIP Carolee Schneemann (1939 – 2019)

Carolee Schneemann was an American artist who flourished in the 1960s and 1970s with her “body art

Her best-known piece is Interior Scroll (1975), a performance in which she produced a scroll from her vagina while standing.

Her films include Fuses (1967) in which Schneemann and her then-boyfriend James Tenney are having sex, a reaction to Stan Brakhage’s Window Water Baby Moving (1959) which shows Brakhage’s wife giving birth.

Above are fragments of Fuses set to an educative narration made as a school or university assignment.

RIP Keith Flint (1969 – 2019)

Keith Flint was an English vocalist and dancer associated with the electronic dance act The Prodigy.

He contributed to “Out of Space” (1992) which sampled the classic reggae track “Chase the Devil” (1976) by Max Romeo, which was produced by Lee Scratch Perry.

That track featured the Afrofuturist lines “I’m gonna send him to outa space, to find another race.”

RIP Gillian Freeman (1929 – 2019)

Gillian Freeman was a British writer best known for her book The Undergrowth of Literature (1967), a pioneering study of pornography.

At first I thought I’d not pay her death any attention, since I do not own a copy of The Undergrowth of Literature, the reason I discovered Mrs. Freeman in the first place. But I changed my mind when I found out that the Hendrik Conscience Heritage Library had a copy of this book in its warehouses, so off I was.

Leafing through the book (200 pp.) one finds references to other studies of porn from that era but most of all one is struck by the female point of view. Mrs Freeman is one of the first porn researchers to put forward that female sexual fantasies can be found in women’s magazines:

“I have merely made a survey of current fantasy literature which overtly or covertly, supplies the stimulus which so many people need, from the romance of Woman’s Own to the sado-masochism of Man’s Story” — p. 1

As always the negative criticism is most amusing:

“[the book is] nothing more than a collection of quotes, précis, paraphrases and photographs from current pornographic publications and glossy magazines … there is no love like the liberal prig‘s love for perverts and perversions”. –Stephen Vizinczey,The Times, 4 November 1967

Since Undergrowth is not in Google Books, I thought I’d give you the index. This may be useful to the aspiring pornosopher  although apart from its focus on herstory it does not come near the qualities of Sex in History (1954) and Eros Denied (1964).


Gillian Freeman also wrote the thought sequences dialogue for The Girl on a Motorcycle (1968).

I wonder who is inheriting Mrs. Freeman’s library.