RIP Jean-Paul Belmondo (1933 – 2021)


Jean-Paul Belmondo was a French actor known for his boxer’s nose and rubbery lips.

Breathless (1960)

He is famous for breaking the fourth wall in the nouvelle vague film Breathless (1960); for his stunts and bravado in That Man from Rio (1964); and for painting his face blue in Pierrot le Fou (1965).

Pierrot le Fou (1965)

In the beginning of his career, he played in both art films and commercial films, later on he only followed the money and the popularity, flat out saying:

“I really prefer making adventure movies like Rio to the intellectual movies of Alain Resnais or Alain Robbe-Grillet.”–Jean-Paul Belmondo, The New York Times, 1964

RIP Mikis Theodorakis (1925 – 2021)

Final scene in Zorba the Greek in which lust-for-life Anthony Quinn teaches bookworm Alan Bates how to dance.

Mikis Theodorakis was a Greek composer famous for writing the sirtaki for the film Zorba the Greek (1964). This piece of music is has become the embodiment of Greece, it is the most archetypal Greek music. More than that, it is definitely one of the most famous melodies of the 20th century, recognized — I think — by the majority of people in the world, wherever they live. On that last point, I have no evidence.

He was an opponent of the Greek junta, which like Salazar in Portugal and Franco in Spain, put Greece under the rule of a fascist military dictatorship until the mid 1970s.

Z (1969), trailer

I give also you the trailer of Z (1969), the music you hear is Theodorakis’s. Z is a work of political fiction, an indictment of the then-fascist Greece.

RIP Quentin Fiore (1920 – 2019)

This happened two years ago but I only just found out.

Quentin Fiore was an American graphic designer best-known for The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects (1967) which he made with Marshall McLuhan, being a rumination on the adagium the medium is the message.

1967 recording based on the book, part 1
1967 recording based on the book, part 2

RIP Lee “Scratch” Perry (1936 – 2021)

Bucky Skank (1973)

Lee “Scratch” Perry was a Jamaican composer and producer known for such songs as “Bucky Skank” (1973).

He died and the last member of the holy trinity (Lee Perry, Sun Ra and Fela Kuti) of 20th century black musical “auteurs” is no more.

Perry was an Afro-futurist, Afro-humorist, Afro-dadaist and Afro-surrealist. He taught the world that a mixing desk could be used as a musical instrument.

There was a period in my life he was all I listened to. Album such as Blackboard Jungle Dub (1973), Super Ape (1976) and Return of the Super Ape (1978) were a on repeat and albums such as Cloak and Dagger (1973), Black Board Jungle Dub (1973), and Revolution Dub (1975), were, along with the work of King Tubby, the foundation of dub music.

My brother at one time owned nearly all of his albums.

An issue of Grand Royal by the Beastie Boys was dedicated to Lee.

His flying cymbal sound is as notorious as that of Bunny Lee.

He claims to have part in the authorship of many of the early Bob Marley and the Wailers songs.

What a loss. Not only for the reggae world but for the musical world at large. He was a visionary, the Sun Ra of reggae, saying stuff like:

“I see the studio must be like a living thing, a life itself. The machine must be live and intelligent. Then I put my mind into the machine and the machine perform reality. Invisible thought waves – you put them into the machine by sending them through the controls and the knobs or you jack it into the jack panel. The jack panel is the brain itself, so you got to patch up the brain and make the brain a living man, that the brain can take what you sending into it and live.”

He was a mad genius who wrote, how many songs? Many of them recorded on a four track system, but an incredibly spacious sound.

RIP mister Perry, this feels like a personal loss.

I wanted to do a more thorough write-up, but I only came up with this mixtape: Judge Dread (1967), People Funny Boy (1968), Pop Corn (1970), A Place Called Africa (1970), 400 Years (1970), African Herbman (1971), Mr. Brown (1971), Sun Is Shining (1971), Bucky Skank (1973), Justice to the People (1973), Kentucky Skank (1974), “Curly Locks” (1974), Doctor on the Go (1975), Woman’s Gotta Have It (1975), Chase the Devil (1976), Croaking Lizard (1976), Hurt So Good (1976), Super Ape (1976), White Belly Rat (1976), Zion’s Blood (1976), Big Muff (1977), City Too Hot (1977), Groovy Situation (1977), To Be a Lover (1977), Bafflin’ Smoke Signal (1978), Soul Fire (1978), Throw Some Water In (1978), Huzza a Hana (1978), I Am a Madman (1986).

RIP Jean-Luc Nancy (1940 – 2021)

Jean-Luc Nancy, le corps du philosophe (2003) by Marc Grün

Jean-Luc Nancy (1940 – 2021) was a French philosopher known for such works as The Inoperative Community (1982) which starts like this:

“The gravest and most painful testimony of the modern world, the one that possibly involves all other testimonies to which this epoch must answer (by virtue of some unknown decree or necessity, for we bear witness also to the exhaustion of thinking through History), is the testimony of the dissolution, the dislocation, or the conflagration of community.