Monthly Archives: April 2007

Enoch Soames and proto-pomo-lit

My brother’s recommending the short story “Enoch Soames“, and the anthology above looks like a nice place to read it in. The story is well-known for its clever and humorous use of the ideas of time travel and pact with Faust. Another good place to read it would be The Book of Fantasy (1940), an Argentianan anthology edited by Jorge Luis Borges, Adolfo Bioy Casares, and Silvina Ocampo. A site dedicated to Hunter S. Thompson has this:

Published in 1979 by St. Martin’s Press, this collection edited by Duncan Fallowell contains a number of stories, including “The Dinner” by Thomas Love Peacock, “Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe and “Enoch Soames” by Max Beerbohm. Hardly the kind of works you would expect “The Heat Closing In” by William S. Burroughs to be surrounded by. HST [Hunter S. Thompson’s] part is called “A Night on the Town” , the part from FFLV [Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas] where HST describes his encounter with an acid guru, when he lived near Michael Olay. —

More on Duncan Fallowell:

Over the years he has worked extensively with the avant-garde music group Can whom he first met in Cologne in 1970. It was in St Petersburg that he recently wrote the libretto for the opera Gormenghast, inspired by Mervyn Peake’s trilogy, the music for which has been composed by Irmin Schmidt, Can’s specialist in keyboard and electronics. They have also written many songs together. —source

See also drugs in literature.

Taxidermia (2006) – György Pálfi

Taxidermia (2006) – György Pálfi

It’s difficult to write much about Taxidermia in a blog that my parents read! The film, directed by György Pálfi, is visually and thematically grotesque. It’s full of startling, transgressive images. (Even the original poster had to be obscured, though the poster used for the Cannes Film Festival premiere is uncensored.)

György Pálfi’s grotesque tale of three generations of men, including an obese speed eater, an embalmer of gigantic cats, and a man who shoots fire out of his penis.

Taxidermia is a 2006 film about three generations from Hungary, including a taxidermist, starting during the Second World War. The film is surreal in nature with dark comedy. The director is György Pálfi. The film is a Hungary / Austria / France collaboration and the language is Hungarian. The film is based on short stories by Lajos Parti Nagy.

Aside from his albums and collaborations, Amon Tobin has also produced the composition to the Hungarian film, Taxidermia.

György Pálfi est un réalisateur et scénariste hongrois né le 11 avril 1974 à Budapest.

German language trailer at YouTube:


Hungarian trailer at YouTube

French trailer at YouTube:

Amon Tobin soundtrack excerpt of same

The breeding of money

Donald Kuspit on contemporary art in Artnet:

By way of introduction, I want to quote some lines from the tenth and final Duino Elegy of Rainer Maria Rilke. Describing the “booths” in a fair — let’s call it an art fair — “that can please the most curious tastes,” he asserts that there’s one “especially worth seeing (for adults only): the breeding of Money! Anatomy made amusing! Money’s organs on view! Nothing concealed! Instructive, and guaranteed to increase fertility!”

I will suggest that the irrational exuberance of the contemporary art market is about the breeding of money, not the fertility of art, and that commercially precious works of art have become the organ grinder’s monkeys of money. They exist to increase the generative value and staying power of money — the power of money to breed money, to fertilize itself — not the value and staying power of art. —Donald Kuspit

Headpress Guide to the Counter Culture

Headpress Guide to the Counter Culture : A Sourcebook for Modern Readers (2004) – Temple Drake, David Kerekes [] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Subject matter will appeal to a broad cross section of interests, and includes cult film, outsider music, graphic art, photography, adult comics, fiction, eroticism, crime and the occult.

This is a collection of zine and book reviews that previously appeared in the Headpress zine during the nineties. Most of the material was familiar to me. Some pleasant surprises were Daniel Clowes (Ghost World, Google gallery, and this, his work is similar to fellow American Charles Burns), mentions of Colin Wilson, a portrait of the work of Roy Stuart, (Google gallery who put narrativity back into erotic photography by making use of vignettes).

Most of the books/mags reviewed are from the nineties and early 2000s.

I am very much intrigued by this:

Bechamp or Pasteur: A Lost Chapter in the History of Biology (1997) – Douglas E. Hume
[FR] [DE] [UK]

This book claims that virtually every serious and minor ailment known to humanity has been linked to vaccine damage, and there’s an “unaccountable” connection between the AIDS epidemic in Central Africa and the massive vaccination campaigns that occured there. — Mikita Brottman via Headpress Guide to the Counter Culture (2004). See also anti-vaccination.

And thankful for turning me on to this:

The Art of the Nasty (1999) – Nigel Wingrove, Marc Morris
[FR] [DE] [UK] […]

Conclusion: I liked the non-fiction reviews the best. In that field, Adam Parfrey (Apocalypse Culture) is somewhat a central figure.

If you like Headpress you may also enjoy Dalkey Archive PressAtlas PressJörg SchröderJohn CalderSylvia BeachCreation BooksEdmund CurllLawrence FerlinghettiMaurice GirodiasGlittering ImagesGrove PressEric LosfeldHeadpressNew DirectionsObelisk PressOlympia PressJean-Jacques PauvertRE/Search publications (V.Vale and A. Juno)Barney RossetTaschen and Semiotext(e).

Headpress elsewhere: at giallo fever.


Tarantino’s take on the grindhouse phenomenon opens tonight



Grindhouse (2007) – Rodriguez and Tarantino

As I’ve pointed out before here, Greencine is serializing Eddie Muller’s 1996 non-fiction book Grindhouse: The Forbidden World of “Adults Only” Cinema on the grindhouse phenomenon. From Greencine’s latest entry:

“I’m almost surprised that Tarantino and Rodriguez didn’t convince their patrons, Harvey and Bob Weinstein, to coat the floors of the theaters themselves with the very special shoe-sole-sticking gunk that was an unavoidable aspect of the real grindhouse experience,” writes Premiere‘s Glenn Kenny. “Death Proof offers ‘thrills’ that are deeply unpleasant and deeply unwholesome, and it’s here that Grindhouse comes closest to achieving the ‘climate of perdition’ that another surrealist critic, Robert Benayoun termed the hallmark of ‘authentic sadistic cinema.’ A lot of people associate a taste for grindhouse movies with the tiresome condescension of the ‘so-bad-it’s-good’ ethos, but Tarantino understands the aesthetics of aberrance that animated the explorations of so-called trash hounds.” —Greencine

Returning to Glenn Kenny’s review, I am intrigued by his opening lines mentioning Ado Kyrou and by the mention of Benayoun. I quote:

“…[G]o and learn to see the worst films; they are sometimes sublime,” the surrealist filmmaker and critic Ado Kyrou advised in 1963. While neither Robert Rodriguez nor Quentin Tarantino are (to my knowledge) disciples of Kyrou, they carry his ethos in their bones.

And it’s here that Death Proof offers “thrills” that are deeply unpleasant and deeply unwholesome, and it’s here that Grindhouse comes closest to achieving the “climate of perdition” that another surrealist critic, Robert Benayoun, termed the hallmark of “authentic sadistic cinema.”

I am especially interested in where Benayoun supposedly talked about the “climate of perdition” and “authentic sadistic cinema.”

Anyone know more?


Just a quick note to tell you that the 25th Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival starts today. Here is the program. The festival is a unique oportunity to see some out of the ordinary films. Scheduled today for example are a tribute to Enki Bilal as well as Lunacy (see also here), the latest feature film by Jan Švankmajer.

… But the Brussels International Festival of Fantastic Film is no ordinary film festival. It’s a multidisciplinary event with a unique atmosphere. For 13 days it will present the very best in genre cinema from all over the world and open to all audiences and tastes…. Even though the BIFFF will move most of its activities to Tour & Taxis, the outstanding collaboration with Cinema Nova – home of the cutting-edge 7th Orbit Section – and with the Film Archive will be continued ! —

In case you are wondering what type of festival the BIFFF is, you can best compare it to

Trailerboy has this:

1, 2, 3, Whiteout – James June Schneider
2010 – Peter Hyams
The 4th Dimension – Tom Mattera & Dave Mazzoni
Aachi & Ssipak – Bum-jin Joe
The Abandoned – Nacho Cerda
Aliens – James Cameron
A.P.T. – Byung-ki Ahn
Attack Of The Mushroom People – Ishiro Honda
Black Sheep – Jonathan King
Blade Runner – Ridley Scott
Broken – Simon Boyes & Adam Mason
Bugmaster – Katsuhiro Otomo
The Butcher Boy – Neil Jordan
D@bbe – Hasan Karacadag
The Dark Hour – Elio Quiroga
Day Watch – Timur Bekmambetov
D-Day: Roommates – Eun-kyeong Kim
Dead In 3 Days – Andreas Prochaska
Death Note – Shusuke Kaneko
Death Note II: The Last Name – Shusuke Kaneko
Disturbia – D.J. Caruso
Dog Bite Dog – Pou-soi Cheang
Dragon Tiger Gate – Wilson Yip
Electric Dragon 80.000 Volts – Sogo Ishii
End Of The Line – Maurice Deveraux
The Entrance – Damon Vignale
Espectro – Juan Felipe Orozco
Eternally Secure – Santosh Sivan
Exit – Peter Lindmark
The Ferryman – Chris Graham
The Girl Who Leapt through Time – Mamoru Hosoda
The Glamorous Life Of Sachiko Hanai – Mitsuru Meike
Gomeda – Tan Tolga Demirci
Gruesome – Joshua & Jeffrey Crook
The Hills Have Eyes 2 – Martin Weisz
The Host – Bong Joon-Ho
Hot Fuzz – Edgar Wright
How To Get Rid Of The Others – Anders Ronnow-Klarlund
I.D. – Kei Fujiwara
Immortel – Enki Bilal
In The Name Of The King – Uwe Boll
The Invisible – David S. Goyer
I Spit On Your Grave – Meir Zarchi
Jade Warrior – Antti-Jussi Annila
Kaw – Sheldon Wilson
The Kovak Box – Daniel Monzon
Like Minds – Gregory J. Read
Lunacy – Jan Svankmajer
The Machine – Joao Falcao
Maniac – William Lustig
Marmorera – Markus Fischer
The Messengers – Danny & Oxide Pang
Mug Travel – Aaron Lim
Mulberry Street – Jim Mickle
Nightmare Detective – Shinya Tsukamoto
Nos Amis Les Terriens – Bernard Werber
Offscreen – Christopher Boe
Plane Dead – Scott Thomas
Poultrygeist: Night Of The Chicken Dead – Lloyd Kaufman
Primeval – Michael Katleman
Re-Cycle – Danny & Oxide Pang
The Reflecting Skin – Philip Ridley
The Restless – Dong-ho Cho
The Return – Asif Kapadia
Return Of The Killer Tomatoes – John De Bello
Retribution – Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Roman – Angela Bettis
Shadow Puppets – Michael Winnick
Shattered Soul – Mustafa Altioklar
Short Circuit – John Badham
Shrek – Andrew Adamson & Vicky Jenson
Silk – Chao-pin Su
Simon Says – William Dear
Special – Hal Haberman
Star Trek: The Motion Picture – Robert Wise
Strange Days – Kathryn Bigelow
Sunshine – Danny Boyle
The Sword Bearer – Philipp Yankovsky
Tripping – Yiwen Chen
Tron – Steven Lisberger
Unholy Women – Keita Amemiya Takuji Suzuki & Keisuke Toyoshima
Unknown – Simon Brand
The Unknown Woman – Giuseppe Tornatore
The Unseeable – Wisit Sasanatieng
Wicked Flowers – Torico

No trailer available:

Tykho Moon – Enki Bilal
Le Dernier Homme – Ghassan Salhab
Vampire Cop, Ricky – Si-myung Lee
Bunker Palace Hotel – Enki Bilal
Don’t Deliver Us From Evil – Joël Séria
Unman, Wittering And Zigo – John McKenzie
The Ugly Swans – Konstantin Lopushansky
Brand Upon The Brain – Guy Maddin
The Ungodly – Thomas Dunn

Such is the state of feminism that it forces one to defend lame movies

… post in progress …


I watched My Super Ex-Girlfriend with my kids and liked it. Probably too lame to be called a sleeper, which is a term that Danny Peary uses to define a future cult film, in his Cult Movie Stars. Although lame, you may enjoy the allegorical representation of early 20th century Western sexual mores. Part of the fun was watching it with my daughters after my eldest (12) had picked it up at our local video rental store. Its interesting connections are movie ratings around the world and issues of contemporary feminism. Be warned though, some of you may find this an incredibly stupid film. To start the discussion, here is an article by

My Super Ex-GirlfriendWhen I read Slate “reviewer” Dana Stevens’ deranged put-down [this tale of male sexual panic, you breathe a sigh of relief: Thank God we don’t really live there. Or do we?] of My Super Ex-Girlfriend as “grim misogyny“, I knew I would have to see the comedy that inspired her grim diatribe. And yet I also knew that the movie probably wasn’t going to be any good. Such is the state of feminism that it forces one to defend lame movies. —

Regarding the film certification on its adultness: In the United States the film was rated PG-13 (children under 13 can attend but need special guidance by parent or guardian) but in Germany and the Netherlands is deemed suitable for children aged 6 and above. American mainstream film critic Michael Medved noted that the “PG-13 rating” was inappropriate (due to several sex references and depictions) and that the movie should have had an “R rating” instead.

On its potential cult status (a financial disaster at the box office is a criterium of a future cult hit):

The film has been viewed as a financial disaster according to Box Office Mojo, as the film took in a mere $8.6 million on its opening weekend and has made $22,530,295 domestically, and $54,882,045 worldwide as of November 19, 2006.

As an allegory of early 21st century sexual mores:

  • portrait of Jenny as a needy, desperate, bitchy and clingy woman
  • depictions of zero-tolerance policies of sexual correctness at work

P. S. You may have noticed that I finally learned how to insert YouTube films into my pages. Some of you may have had problems with inserting the films (I know I’ve had). Here is the code:

“open square brackets youtube=paste youtube link here close square brackets”.