Category Archives: film

The Cut-Ups is World Cinema Classic #108

The Cut-Ups is World Cinema Classic #108

The Cut-Ups

Yes, hello. Yes? Hello! Yes, hello.
Yes? Hello! Yes, hello. Yes? Hello!
– Look at that picture – Yes, hello.
Yes? Hello! Yes, hello. Yes? Hello!
Yes, hello. Yes? Hello! Yes, hello.
Yes? Hello! Yes, hello.- does it seem
to be persisting? – Yes? Hello!
Yes, hello. Yes? Hello! – Good!
– Yes, hello. Yes? Hello! – Thank
you – Yes, hello. Yes? Hello! Yes,
hello. Yes? Hello! Yes, hello. Yes?
Hello! Yes, hello. Yes? Hello! Yes,
hello. Yes? Hello! Yes, hello. Yes?
Hello! – Look at that picture – Yes,
hello. Yes? Hello! Yes, hello. Yes?
Hello! – Does it seem to be persisting?
– Yes, hello. Yes? Hello! Yes, hello.
Yes? Hello!Yes, hello. Yes? Hello! Yes,
hello. Yes? Hello! – Good! – Yes, hello.
Yes? Hello! Yes, hello. Yes? Hello!
– Thank you!

The Cut-Ups[1] is an experimental film by British filmmaker Antony Balch and American writer William Burroughs, which opened in London in 1967. It was the second time Balch and Burroughs had collaborated after their earlier Towers Open Fire. The Cut-Ups was part of an abandoned project called Guerrilla Conditions meant as a documentary on Burroughs and filmed throughout 1961-1965.

The film contains 19 minutes of someone saying “Yes, Hello?”, “Look at that picture,” “Does it seem to be persisting?,” and “Good. Thank you,” accompanied by a repetition five or six basic film clips shot in New York City and featuring Brion Gysin.

Inspired by Burroughs’ and Gysin’s technique of cutting up text and rearranging it in random order, Balch had an editor cut his footage for the documentary into little pieces and impose no control over its reassembly. The film opened at Oxford Street’s Cinephone cinema and had a disturbing reaction. Many audience members claimed the film made them ill, others demanded their money back, while some just stumbled out of the cinema ranting “its disgusting”.

Included in The Cut-Ups are shots of Burroughs acting out scenes from his book Naked Lunch. The idea of bringing Naked Lunch to the big-screen was Balch’s dream project. First developed in 1964, a script was completed in the early 1970s which would have adapted the book as a musical. Personal differences between Balch and the film’s would-be leading man Mick Jagger caused the project’s collapse.

For an indepth description of the films of William Burroughs, Brion Gysin, and Antony Balch, see brightlightsfilm [1] by Rob Bridgett.

Herschell Gordon Lewis @80

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJ2t0et8wWc]

“Ladies and gentlemen, you are about to see scenes from the most unusual picture of all time. We urgently recommend if you have a heart condition, or if you are with a young and impressionable child, that you leave this auditorium.” –trailer for Blood Feast

Blood Feast, a 1963 film directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis, is an American exploitation film often considered the first “gore” or splatter film.

RIP David Carradine (1936 – 2009)

RIP David Carradine (1936 – 2009)

via www.andyland1point5.com “RIP David Carradine (1936 - 2009)”.

David Carradine (December 8, 1936 – June 3, 2009) was an American actor best known for his work in the 1970s television series Kung Fu and more recently in the movies Kill Bill.

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGhu5Zl5ry8&]

A typical scene from one of my fave “small” American films: Death Race 2000

During the heyday of the B-movie, he starred in Paul Bartel‘s hilarious Death Race 2000 and Cannonball.

One of his more interesting roles was in Boxcar Bertha (Scorcese) together with then real-life partner Barbara Hershey.

Other of his appearances worth checking are Mean Streets (Scorcese) and Q (Larry Cohen) in the eighties.

Carradine once commented on Roger “never lost a dime” Corman‘s career that “It’s almost as though you can’t have a career in this business without having passed through Roger Corman’s hands for at least a moment.”

Death Race 2000 is World Cinema Classic #105.

RIP Mort Abrahams (1916 – 2009)

Mort Abrahams (born 1916 – died 28 May, 2009) was an American film and television producer.

Among his credits are nine episodes of spy series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and, as associate producer, Doctor Dolittle (1967), Planet of the Apes (1968), Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969), Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970), co-writing the story of the latter.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. theme[1] by Space Age Popper Hugo Montenegro

Pam Grier@60

via here.

Pamela Suzette Grier (born May 26, 1949) is an iconic American actress. She came to fame in the early 1970s, after starring in a string of moderately successful women-in-prison and blaxploitation films, and has generally remained in the public eye, starring in B-movies such as 1974’s Foxy Brown, and in mainstream films such as Quentin Tarantino’s 1997 film, Jackie Brown.

The Last Days of Emma Blank by Alex van Warmerdam

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFGrA1KCfEo]

The Last Days of Emma Blank[1] by Alex van Warmerdam

Chances are slim that you come across this film if you live outside of Europe or even Dutch-speaking countries, but if you see this film playing near you, don’t miss it. Warmerdam is the best director of The Netherlands and has been for some time now. His palmares includes Abel (1986), The Northerners (1992), Little Tony (1998), Grimm (2003)  and Waiter (2006).

The Last Days of Emma Blank (Dutch original: De Laatste dagen van Emma Blank) is a Dutch film by Alex van Warmerdam released in May 2009. The film is co-produced with La Parti Productions in Belgium and is the story of Emma Blank, a rich woman who is incurably ill and who is living her last days. She is surrounded by personnel who patiently await her death, which takes longer that originally envisioned.

RIP Lucy Gordon (1980 – 2009)

RIP Lucy Gordon (1980 – 2009)

via upload.wikimedia.org RIP Lucy Gordon (actress) I’m skipping Arthur Conan Doyle @150,  Arthur Cravan @120 and Carl Craig &@40 to announce the sad death of British actress Lucy Gordon, a couple of days before her 29th birthday. Sad because she chose to end her life violently. She was set to play Jane Birkin in Joann Sfar’s Serge Gainsbourg : vie héroïque, scheduled for release in 2010.

May 2007 photo of Lucy Gordon by David Shankbone[1][2]

I’m skipping Arthur Conan Doyle @150, Arthur Cravan @120 and Carl Craig &@40 to report the sad death of British actress Lucy Gordon, a couple of days before her 29th birthday. Sad because she chose to end her life violently. She just finished shooting Jane Birkin in Joann Sfar‘s Serge Gainsbourg : vie héroïque, scheduled for release in 2010.

James Fox @70

James Fox @70

James Fox (born 19 May 1939) is an English actor best-known for his portrayal of Chas in Performance (1970, directed by Donald Cammell and Nicholas Roeg).

Chas (James Fox) is a “performer,” an ultra-violent enforcer for an East London gang who begins to enjoy his work a little too much, culminating in the murder of an associate. He goes on the run, both from the police and from his former colleagues and finds himself a hideout in the house of a reclusive, eccentric rock star named Turner (Mick Jagger) who lives there with his female friends. Chas and Turner are initially repelled by each other, but come to see that the worlds of the rock star and the gangster are not as different as they first appear.

His previous cult film was The Servant (1963, directed by Joseph Losey) in which Tony (James Fox), a wealthy young Londoner, hires Barrett (Dirk Bogarde) as his manservant. Nothing being what it seems, the characters manoeuvre around each other until roles reverse and Tony emerges enslaved to his butler.

Both Performance and The Servant are WMCs.

James Mason @100

James Mason @100

via img.youtube.com James Mason @100

James Mason (15 May 1909 – 27 July 1984) was an English actor who attained stardom in both British and American films. He acted in such films as Madame Bovary (1949), The Tell-Tale Heart[1] (1953) (animated short subject) (voice), 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954), North by Northwest (1959), The Trials of Oscar Wilde (1960), Lolita (1962) and Mandingo (1975).

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4s9V8aQu4c]

To me the man is remembered by his voice, there are even spoken word albums by him. Listen to it in the Youtube clip of The Tell-Tale Heart, the cinematic animated adaptation of Poe‘s story about the compulsion to confess, a psychological complex first described by Theodor Reik in The Compulsion to Confess in 1925.

La Merditude des choses (2009)

De helaasheid der dingen will premier at Cannes[1] this Saturday as La Merditude des choses.

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FxKWAuf-4E]

The De helaasheid der dingen (French title: La Merditude des choses) is a 2009 film by Belgian director Felix van Groeningen (co-written by Christophe Dirickx), based on the eponymous novel by Dimitri Verhulst. The film stars Koen De Graeve, Johan Heldenbergh, Gilda De Bal, Pauline Grossen and Wouter Hendrickx.

Felix van Groeningen (1978) is a Belgian filmmaker. Van Groeningen came to the attention with his debut Steve + Sky which starred former model Delfine Bafort (his girlfriend at the time) and the Flemish actor Titus De Voogdt. He studied at the KASK in Gent and graduated in 2000. He also directed short subjects and theatrical work.  In 2007 he released Dagen Zonder Lief, with An Miller and a soundtrack by Jef Neve.

His latest project is De Helaasheid der dingen (2009), is a film adaptation of De helaasheid der dingen, a novel by Dimitri Verhulst.