utorak, 27. prosinca 2016.

Gus Péwé - My Favorite Planet

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Premlad da budeš mlad.

My Favorite Planet   2011
A surreal story of two estranged lovers, as one is left behind with only memories.

Written, Directed and Edited by Gus Péwé

Cinematography by Kylie Clark

Starring Ahtra Elnashar and Yaron Lotan.

Official Selection - 2012 Ann Arbor Film Festival

Official Selection - 2012 San Francisco Frozen Film Festival

This Vacuum is Too Loud   2012

The story of a man who finds himself lost on Earth, determined to return home.
Written, Directed, and Edited by Gus Péwé
Music by Tommy Colangelo
Starring Merlin Bell
with Lauren Adejumo, Sindy Ortiz Pimentel, Xavier Vargas, and Tierney Wiles
Winner of the Visions Film Festival and Conference 2013
Official Selection - New Orleans Film Festival 2012
Winner of the Hammer To Nail Short Film Contest: June 2012
Official Selection - The Wexner Center's 2012 Ohio Shorts Festival

(***Winner of the Hammer To Nail Short Film Contest: June 2012!*** Visit the official website of filmmaker Gus Péwé to learn—and watch—more.)
In my personal experience, just about every director I’ve spoken to or read about has pretty much always looked back on his or her earliest work with cringing and embarrassment. Even at their best, these early films tend to fall short of their marks. The reasons for this are multitudinous and obvious—the primary one being that making movies is actually a very difficult thing to do. But in many cases, the problem starts before production. It begins with the basic concept. So many young filmmakers are too busy copycatting other filmmakers to forge a path of their own. While that’s understandable, it doesn’t make this work any less painful to sit through.
But here comes Gus Péwé from Denison University with This Vacuum Is Too Loud. Though this endearing just-under-six-minute short film is far from perfect, it manages to accomplish something that should have Péwé’s instructors feeling very optimistic. Made while a freshman undergraduate, Péwé’s film is a super-duper example of a class assignment made on a tiny budget that has something many professionally produced films at more widely heralded film schools are often missing: a truly distinct voice. Péwé’s film is as far from a “calling card” as you could possibly encounter—thank God for that—and though that makes it easier to forgive its shortcomings, as the film builds to its stirring conclusion, those shortcomings no longer even feel like shortcomings.
This Vacuum Is Too Loud tells the story of a non-earthling who has been stuck on our planet with no ability to return home. Only this non-earthling doesn’t look like an alien. He looks like a regular old Denison University undergrad. You might be thinking that this was lazy writing/casting on Péwé’s part, but I ask you, would you rather this alien look more like an alien in the silvery sci-fi sense? Especially if it meant breaking out the tin foil from the kitchen cupboard? Fortunately, Péwé doesn’t try to reach beyond his limited production means with this early class assignment. Had he done that, he would have lost this viewer immediately.
Our tender alien hero does like some things about living on Earth—orange soda in a big Dixie cup and “the part of the year when the trees fall apart”—and he even found himself falling for a pretty girl, but when she paid more attention to a kid who had no decent values or respect for other people, he decided that he was officially over Earth. Now he just has to build a homing device that will enable him to travel back to the land where he belongs.
To us, that life might seem less than ideal. Yet for this alien, that is his home. He goes on to wax defensively poetic about how misguided it is for people to talk smack about outer space, about how empty and boring it must be. “Some planets are empty as the emptiest parts of space,” he says, as the camera drives past an unflattering—and seemingly unending—strip of suburban American sprawl. Right you are, shunned alien.
Though This Vacuum Is Too Loud is ultimately about loneliness, it’s about homesickness too. Incorporating animation into his otherwise scrappy digital video aesthetic, Péwé transcends his limited production means and delivers a strangely affecting conclusion. Moments after the credits have rolled, This Vacuum Is Too Loud remains there hovering like a weird planet in the nighttime sky.— Michael Tully

The Big West  2012

Territory and Hombre, two friends working together as bounty hunters, are out on the hunt for a tiny-hat-wearing psycho named Chicklets.
Written, Directed, and Edited by Gus Péwé.
Produced by Robert E. Hoxie
Starring Tommy Colangelo, Kyle Stacks, Trevor Cochran, and Chelsea Vandenburgh, with Cat Bailey, Sophia Rogers, and Travis Lockwood.

Same Ghost Every Night  2013

After moving into a new home, a young man deals with his feelings for an employee at the local grocery store. Meanwhile, he keeps seeing a bicycling bear, and meets a ghost that lives inside the food in his kitchen.
Starring Sawandi Johnson, Yamma Danfa, and Sophia Rogers.
Written, Directed, and Edited by Gus Péwé
Produced by Robert E. Hoxie
Official Selection - New Orleans Film Festival 2013
Featured on Directors Notes

Fight City: Shaolin Throwdown 2015

The Three Vivid Dreams  2010

Three friends share the vivid dreams they all had the previous night with one another. Discussions of lunar-cats, profound wrestling experiences and unattainable iced teas ensue, as well as Nietzsche quotes that don't appear in Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
Written, Directed, and Edited by Gus Péwé
Starring Gus Péwé, Kyle Stacks, Tommy Colangelo, and Carl Péwé.
Winner of Best Narrative at the 2010 Future of Cinema International Film Festival

Featured on Jacksonopolis.com

Brent Green: Gus Péwé is something like a young Steve Buscemi or Richard Linklater. His films are impossibly charming and moving, and he makes them out in rural Michigan with a gaggle of incredibly talented friends. This is what middle America looks like. Things will get good again.

četvrtak, 8. prosinca 2016.

Heinz Emigholz - Schindlers Häuser (2007)

Image result for Schindlers Häuser (2007)Heinz Emigholz
Film kao apstraktna temporalna konstrukcija.
I kako arhitekturom izraziti ljubav, mržnju, brigu, gubitak.


Die Basis des Make-Up aka The Basis of Make-Up I-III (1974-83/1995-2000/1986-2004):


D'Annunzios Höhle (2005):

D’Annunzio’s CAVE shows fifteen rooms of the Villa Cargnacco in Gardone on Lake Garda, where Gabriele d’Annunzio moved in 1921 and lived until his death. The villa is part of the “Vittoriale”, a museum-like theme park honoring d’Annunzio that d’Annunzio himself and his personal architect Giancarlo Maroni spent almost two decades designing and furnishing. In 1997, Heinz Emigholz began documenting various rooms of the villa on 35mm film (some of this footage can now be seen in the film The Basis of Make-Up (III)), but he interrupted this project. In 2002, he took it up again in connection with the production of the film Goff in the Desert.
On June 24, 2002 a cinematographic jam session ensued in the Villa Cargnacco; four friends — camerapeople and filmmakers (Irene von Alberti, Elfi Mikesch, Klaus Wyborny, and Heinz Emigholz) — documented the villa’s rooms and inventory at the same time, but temporally staggered and in their respective very specific styles. The film D’Annunzio’s CAVE resulted from the wealth of material thus produced. A DVD edition of the film will show, along with the completed film, the footage of each cameraperson individually, to enable the viewer to study their quite disparate camerawork.
Heinz Emigholz sees his two films on Gabriele d'Annunzio and Bruce Goff in close relation to each other. To quote the project description: “Unlike GOFF IN THE DESERT, D'ANNUNZIO'S CAVE not only depicts its object, but also places it in the context of political monologues about lifestyle as an effort to police taste. The reason why the two films have such different forms is the difference between the phenomena shown.
Bruce Goff's architecture is clearly related to a recognizable use and a graspable logic of the material, which can be 'read' in the executed work without translation. His designing relates to the individual and promotes a free, human spirit. His buildings do not live from being impressing; they impress precisely with freedom. To allow them to be experienced, one merely has to present them as precisely as possible in their compositions and their relationships to their surroundings.
The world erected by Gabriele d'Annunzio, in contrast, consists primarily of nothing but projections and backdrops that, if no interpretations are provided, reveal their existence as hodgepodge. He designed a sequence of rooms to which he allotted feelings and activities by fiat. Interior architecture measures attempt to create the ideal surroundings for a writer. The concentration of ‘writing’ is thereby supposed to be objectified in a collection of books, objects, cult objects, and fetishes. Like little shocks, these objects are supposed to keep awake the constant flow of memories and the timeliness of culture. They become the plenipotentiaries of authorship. This representation of the human spirit is not conceived as 'private', but stands for a political offensive into the world of those who are to be enlightened. D'Annunzio's 'private sphere' becomes a political space and a vehicle of propaganda for a particular way of being. This way of being is derived from a sphere of political power — an unambiguous interpretation of reality born of and becoming violence.”
D'ANNUNZIO'S CAVE is structured according to the sequence of rooms in the Villa Cargnacco: vestibule, mask merchant's room, music room, globe room, Zambracca, Apollinian veranda, Leda's room, blue bath, leper’s room, reliquary room, Dalmata Oratorium, the maimed one’s writing room, workshop, room of the Cheli, kitchen.
“Gardone, June 24, 2002. An abyss of the state of the art. Considering this spectacle, my hate began to recede, covered by my satisfaction at the dust that had settled like acid on everything and the chatter of the guide who had taken over D'Annunzio's empire and had to present culture to astonished tourists. I felt as if I were on the inside of an embalmed corpse whose intestines and brain had been shunted away because they had begun to stink. Now the state has to take care of this empty husk, because the poet wants to communicate with us through it. What the collection shouts out is the recognition that museums are useless and only a method of doubly losing life. The fate of modern art, which begs for patronage, is inscribed in it. Every kind of aimless filth would be prettier than this treasurehold of loot owned by one who, in the name of art, robbed people of language and flushed it as lotion into his own mummy. The thousand-year empire of house dust; house dust mites and those in flakes of skin take command.”
From: Heinz Emigholz: Das weiße Schamquadrat (White Square of Shame — unpublished)
“Valletta, February 25, 2003, a Tuesday. I'm sitting on the stone tiles of my room, looking out over the cities of Senglea and Vittoriosa on the other side of Grand Harbour. Eleven days ago, the film Goff in the Desert had its world premiere in Berlin. A film about American design; I love every bit of it. D'ANNUNZIO'S CAVE will show one consequence of European design, a culture that isn’t one and only pretended to be one, the rummage of a storehouse of booty. The name of the collector and decorator of the displayed rooms is Rapagnetta, the turnip, also known as d'Annunzio, the announcer: “My name alone is an honorific for contemporaries and successors. For my whole life has proven the Providence that my Christian name announces. I can and must not wish anything. The government and the nation have the compelling duty to finally recognize me, independent of my own wishes or my wrath.” The Italian state confiscated the house, including an extensive library, from the art historian Heinrich Thode after the First World War and gave it to d'Annunzio. D'Annunzio designated his activity there as an act of “de-Teutonification. Having arrived at the zenith of his career as state artist, he makes constant designing efforts to remodel the immediate surroundings of his dwelling into a cult site. Interior decoration becomes an act of asserting Being. The stolen collection of every kind of art object, rearranged in layers, becomes an externalized “brain” revealing his thoughts and associations in the form of fetishes. Things are granted meanings like medals, sense becomes power, meaning becomes kitsch, dialogue a decree. D’Annunzio stages an intricately interlocking drug den whose branchings postulate virtual cultural achievements. With his furnishing aria and insistence on pomp, he becomes the precursor of a “lifestyle” movement in which fetishes, cultural theft, and staged squirreling-away function as a substitute for thought: The Fabulous World of d’Annunzio. Every generation has representatives of this species. Society recurrently banalizes itself into a playing field for the strategic goals of individuals. Its Olympus regenerates via self-appointment. One would like to be Lenin, of course not seriously, but a little bit of arbitrary rule ought to be allowed, at least on the playground of “art” and its markets. This then calls itself “political art”, but is really only the aestheticization of the political. Roles for various art stars as would-be dictators, a reasonable, post-facto “only joking” included. D’Annunzio is the archetype of this species, and our celebrities ought to blush in shame at the level on which he plotted out and executed his crimes, which are theirs as well."
From: Heinz Emigholz: Das weiße Schamquadrat (The White Square of Shame – unpublished)

While I’m sort of a novice in regard to his life and work, decidedly decadent dago dandy and ‘proto-fascist’ poet Gabriele D'Annunzio (1863-1938) is certainly someone I can respect as a true Renaissance man who, not unlike Japanese novelist Yukio Mishima, was one of the few artists to be a true master of pen and sword. In other words, D'Annunzio was not merely a sedentary scribbler of flowery bullshit nor passive dreamer, but an active artist whose art far transcended the written word and real-life Übermensch who managed to go from being a mere literary figure to a national war hero whose style, aesthetic, and politics Benito Mussolini ripped off (indeed, among other things, D'Annunzio became the ‘Duce’ of the short-lived nation Italian Regency of Carnaro in Fiume between 1919 and 1920). After someone tried to assassinate him in 1922 via defenestration, D'Annunzio permanently relocated to the villa in Gardone Riviera overlooking Garda lake in the province of Brescia, Lombardy where he would create what was arguably the crowning achievement of his life. Indeed, with the help of his architect Giancarlo Maroni, D'Annunzio would spend the rest of his life (17 years!) meticulously pimping out his Villa Cargnacco and building a museum, ‘The Vittoriale degli italiani’ (aka The Shrine of Italian Victories), which he would donate to Italy and what would ultimately become an official Italian national monument (the poet’s birthplace in Pescara would also become a museum). Naturally, when I discovered that a German filmmaker directed a documentary about D'Annunzio’s Villa Cargnacco, I could not resist, even with a title so brazenly derogatory as D'Annunzios Höhle (2005) aka D'Annunzio's Cave. Directed by a seemingly stereotypical ethno-masochistic German intellectual named Heinz Emigholz (Schindler's Houses, Goff in the Desert) who specializes in experimental documentaries about architecture and who is a Professor of Experimental film at Berlin University of the Arts and at European Graduate School (in Saas-Fee, Switzerland), D'Annunzio's Cave is essentially a failed pseudo-avant-garde agitprop piece that juxtaposes cockeyed shots of the Villa Cargnacco with intentionally annoying and dissonant computer sound effects. In short, D'Annunzio's Cave makes for an unintentionally dichotomous work that demonstrates the stark contrast between D'Annunzio's exceedingly elegant architecture and priceless knickknacks and the unhinged ugliness of a particularly pompous left-wing filmmaker who would not know true beauty if it buggered him in the bum like a Red Army grunt in post-WWII Berlin. 

 Part of Emigholz’s ‘Architecture as Autobiography’ series (the director has also made films on Bruce Goff, Adolf Loos, Robert Maillart, Rudolph Schindler, etc.), D'Annunzio's Cave is the seemingly aesthetically autistic result of what happens when a little man goes in a dead big man’s home and thrusts his impotent jealousy and scorn all over the place with the sort of inane irrationality one would expect from a kindergartner throwing a temper tantrum after not being allowed to watch their favorite TV show. On June 24, 2002, director Heinz Emigholz and three of his filmmakers buddies—Irene von Alberti (a xenophile filmmaker/producer who likes directing films about brown people, Elfi Mikesch (a lesbian cinematographer/filmmaker who is best known for shooting Werner Schroeter’s films), and Klaus Wyborny (an old school experimental filmmaker who Werner Herzog once paid tribute to by using some of his footage in The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974))—go to the Villa Cargnacco and separately shoot footage in fifteen different rooms of D'Annunzio's singularly lavish and delectably decadent home. Despite utilizing four different cinematographers with handheld cameras (Emigholz only opted taking the four-camera ‘cinematographic jam session’ approach so he would not have to pay location fees for multiple days of shooting), the documentary seems like it was shot by a single seemingly stoned/spastic tourist who has yet to learn how to use their camera properly before going on vacation. Indeed, while it is impossible to tell which cameraman is which, virtually all of the footage in D'Annunzio's Cave was shot in an intentionally erratic and waywardly framed manner so as to induce abject disgust in the viewer. Fortunately, the glorious aesthetic majesty of D'Annunzio's fasci poet pleasuredome is too aesthetically pleasing to be completely molested by shoddy, limp-wristed left-wing camerawork. Ultimately, the most grating and equally redundant aspect of the documentary is asinine atonal sound effects and computer-generated voices, which quote the words of D'Annunzio, Mussolini, Joseph Conrad, kosher commie Joseph ‘Red Roth’ Roth and apparently some pissy film producer. Indeed, while Emigholz attempts to elicit cognitive dissonance and metaphysical horror in the viewer as if he was attempting to mimic the sound design of a David Lynch flick, the whole thing comes off as a patently pretentious, if not preposterously pathetic, joke as if he wants to conjure evil where evil does not reside. Overall, I do not think it would be an exaggeration to say that D'Annunzio's Cave makes an infinitely more interesting and captivating documentary with the sound turned off and some neofolk music playing in the background. 

 Among other strategically calculated tidbits, one learns while watching D'Annunzio's Cave that the decadent Duce indulged in degenerate jazz, especially songs sung by Josephine Baker. Of course, Emigholz attempts to establish a link between fascism and murder/evil by including the following D’Annunzio quote, “I have created this alcove in purple, beautiful color of blood.” Undoubtedly, my favorite quote included in the documentary is, “I imagine the dead feel no animosity against the living. They care nothing for them,” as it expresses what D'Annunzio would think about a loser like Emigholz, who is not even fit enough to shine the shoes on the poet's corpse. Of course, nothing is more intrinsically fascistic than mother nature, so I could not help but smile after hearing the following quote, “A hill so green with small meadows with plain trees—cypresses, laurelin chestnut oaks—while help the Latin race rediscover her past greatness.” In a scene shot in the most esoteric and religiously-themed room of D'Annunzio home, Emigholz demonstrates his respect for the dead by including a sound clip of some less than eloquent vulgarian yelling things like, “fuck you” and whatnot. The last five minutes or so of the documentary features the Brian Eno & David Byrne track “The Jezebel Spirit”, which features a sound clip of an actual exorcism. Indeed, leftist true believer Emigholz goes so far as to attempt a cinematic exorcism of atheist D'Annunzio, thus demonstrating the quasi-religious perspective he is taking in his rather corny crusade against the ‘demonic’ decadent poet. If nothing else, D'Annunzio's Cave proves that Francis Parker Yockey was right when he wrote, “A moment's reflection shows that Liberalism is entirely negative. It is not a formative force, but always and only a disintegrating force,” as left-wing choirboy Emigholz’s documentary only attempts to defile and negate that which is beautiful, yet it even fails in that regard, as the shitty camera work and calculatingly contrived sound effects of the documentary are no match for D'Annunzio’s classic aesthetic prowess. 

 Despite auteur Heinz Emigholz's metapolitical intentions with the film, D'Annunzio's Cave only made me respect Gabriele D'Annunzio and his irreplaceable legacy all the more. Had Emigholz actually constructed an artistically interesting film out of D'Annunzio's Cave with the same cliché anti-fascist message still intact, I would give credit where credit it due, but ultimately the documentary—with its contrived computer noise, pseudo-disturbing heavy breathing, and pathologically crooked camera angles—seems like an overextended power electronics music video gone awry. Another glaring flaw of D'Annunzio's Cave is that even Emigholz's hatred seems rather misguided and even contrived, as if he made the documentary to impress his academic buddies and wanted to prove that antifascist sentiments can still be ‘edgy’ and ‘provocative.’  Of course, Emigholz was not the first Teutonic filmmaker to direct an experimental documentary on the aesthetics of fascist architecture, as German auteur Alexander Kluge's first film Brutalität im Stein (1960) aka Brutality in Stone—a poetic 12-minute short co-directed by Peter Schamoni (No Shooting Time for Foxes, Hundertwasser's Rainy Day) that takes a sort of contra Riefenstahl approach and utilizes montage as a means to critique some of the neo-classical architecture of the Third Reich—predates D'Annunzio's Cave by nearly a century and is infinitely more effective. The only crumb of credit I can give to Emigholz is that he did not attempt to obscure his hatred nor complete and utter lack of objectivity regarding D'Annunzio, as an agitated little man who even went so far as posting the following words on the official site for D'Annunzio's Cave, “Gardone, June 24, 2002. An abyss of the state of the art. Considering this spectacle, my hate began to recede, covered by my satisfaction at the dust that had settled like acid on everything and the chatter of the guide who had taken over D'Annunzio's empire and had to present culture to astonished tourists. I felt as if I were on the inside of an embalmed corpse whose intestines and brain had been shunted away because they had begun to stink. Now the state has to take care of this empty husk, because the poet wants to communicate with us through it. What the collection shouts out is the recognition that museums are useless and only a method of doubly losing life. The fate of modern art, which begs for patronage, is inscribed in it. Every kind of aimless filth would be prettier than this treasurehold of loot owned by one who, in the name of art, robbed people of language and flushed it as lotion into his own mummy. The thousand-year empire of house dust; house dust mites and those in flakes of skin take command.” Indeed, D'Annunzio's villa might have a little dust, but D'Annunzio's Cave is infected with a metaphysical disease that glorifies grotesquery and slavishly mocks aesthetic majesty, as if the film was directed by a jealous lumpenprole who lacks the cultivation to take in what he sees, with his philistine brain overheating as a result. Ultimately, D'Annunzio's Cave is a piece of inverse fetishism where the director projects his irrational hostilities on D'Annunzio, though it is quite clear that the director is hopelessly infatuated with his subject, sort of like how Spielberg is obsessed with Nazis. As for D'Annunzio's villa, I think the Poet said it best when he stated regarding the legacy of his museum that it is “not a fat inheritance of lifeless riches, but a naked heritage of an immortal spirit.”  - Soiled Sinema

Heinz Emigholz

From the beginning to the middle of the seventies, I produced a series of films containing a complicated interplay between abstract temporal compositions–that is, film movements–and selected urban and rural landscapes.
The films–ARROWPLANE, TIDE, and three episodes of SCHENEC-TADY–range in time from 19 to 40 minutes and consist of thousands of photographs, taken frame-by-frame with a Bolex camera on 16mm film according to a previously established score. The camera’s position was precisely chosen. Markings on the tripod and on the camera’s zoom lens allowed me to determine all the possible shots from this position in a system of coordinates. Before shooting the films, scores were written into this system–compositions for images to be photographed individually, which would then create a particular film event when they were projected later. I take the following description of the score from a letter to Birgit Hein from January 31, 1977, which I wrote in preparation for an installation of my films at documenta 6:

Kreidler videos:

The Airstrip (2014): the no. 1 atomic bomb loading pit, now the Northfield Memorial, on Tinian, Northern Marianas

Heinz Emigholz: building in time
Over the past two decades Heinz Emigholz has made a remarkable series of filmic monuments to the Modern age through careful studies of the best of its architecture. With his new film The Airstrip, he drops the bomb on the whole thing…

“Film is an imaginary architecture in time,” says 66-year-old German filmmaker Heinz Emigholz. “Architecture is the most popular mode through which to express human life. With it you can show all possible breeds of human activity: love, hate, care, loss. You just have to look carefully.”
Emigholz is speaking about The Airstrip (2013), his most recent feature, the latest in a series of films devoted to architecture that took more than 20 years to make. The film begins with an offscreen female narrator (voiced by Natja Brunckhorst, once of Christiane F fame) suggesting the image of a bomb in flight and proposing an exploration of the time between its release and its landing. The viewer then takes an around-the-world trip, visiting architectural sites connected by the theme of how the human race keeps records of its past.
They include Western European structures preserved after the Second World War and buildings constructed in Latin American countries where Modernism migrated while Europe rebuilt itself, as well as depopulated former Pacific Theatre sites on the Northern Mariana Islands, where empty buildings stand alongside memorials commemorating the dropping of the atom bombs. 
read more here

The fact that I suffer from flights of fancy has been well established since my film NORMALSATZ in 1981. After all, they were analyzed in the film. The film also documented my attempts to work against them by using memorization and recording techniques. Later, forgetting was added in, which also extended to the artifacts that I had collected by using these techniques. There was no time to scour through them, especially since a certain obsession with production got in the way of any kind of reflection. If you look back, society will take revenge on you, so just look forward as long as you can. Always be a few blocks further along and always where you’re not expected, and don’t let the spectators get ahead of you on your way. Who or what falls by the wayside is clear.
In the context of Living Archive – Archive Work as a Contemporary Artistic and Curatorial Practice, a project by Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art I wondered where and at what point in time I might have been able to change courses, or even should have. The first change of course was a good one: The filmmaker Larry Gottheim had seen my film SCHENEC-TADY in 1973 at the Hamburger Filmschau and invited me to the US, where I lived in NYC starting in the middle of 1974. The core of my circle of friends consisted of students and ex-students of Larry Gottheim and Ken Jacobs, who had founded the Collective for Living Cinema there in 1973. This was to become a crystallization point for artistic work with film over the next ten years, at various locations. Even back then, Anthology Film Archives had become something of a fossil under Jonas Mekas, primarily concentrated on protecting and maintaining the heroic status of the stale New American Cinema. There was very little living to be expected there.
Second change of course, 1977: For me, the film DEMON designates the end of a fundamental, experimental engagement with the energetic possibilities of film form and the transition to very open, even documentary, quasi-narrative constructs, in which I wanted to thematize my own existence and its garbled conditions and entanglements. The film NORMALSATZ, produced from 1978 to 1981 in Manhattan and Hamburg, was such a film. The fact that I would continue the epistemological cinematic interests that I had begun in previous films holds for me to this day.
NORMALSATZ would not have come to be at all without the interaction with American friends. The filmmaker and actress Sheila McLaughlin and the writer Lynne Tillman acted in it, as did Marcia Bronstein, Peter Blegvad, Carla Liss, David Marc, John Erdman, Martha Wilson, and others. One sequence of the film is based on Lynne Tillman’s text The Interpretation of Facts, another sequence, the one on soaps and sitcoms, is based on the text Specimen of Table-Model Talk which David Marc und Daniel Czitrom had written especially for the film. The poet Hannes Hatje, the film’s main actor, later translated Lynne Tillman’s first novel Haunted Houses for the same German publisher for which I had translated Art Spiegelman’s Breakdowns.
The loose, free production form of NORMALSATZ also inspired the beginnings of COMMITTED by Lynne Tillman and Sheila McLaughlin and the ensemble film MACUMBA by Elfi Mikesch. NORMALSATZ and MACUMBA were both premiered in 1982 at the 12th International Forum of New Cinema. The bourgeois press, which had fallen in love with impact films to the point of idiocy, criticized us as “bourgeois flâneurs.” Sheila McLaughlin then also acted in films by Elfi Mikesch. Elfi in turn took over for me at the camera in COMMITTED during the scenes where I was acting. I had dismounted the quartz from a blimped Bolex Pro camera that I’d brought from Hamburg, which added to the period look that Jim Hoberman praised so much. For Sheila McLaughlin, the film, which premiered at the Berlinale Forum in 1984, got her contacts at the Kleines Fernsehspiel, which at the time was not yet suffering from its self-inflicted provincialism. And the American Independent Film was not yet the idolized scene that it later degenerated into, with the aid of West German production support.
Third change of course, 1985: Lynne Tillman had written a script after Jane Bowles’s novel Two Serious Ladies, which she wanted to shoot with Carola Regnier and Magdalena Montezuma in the lead roles. I was supposed to do the camerawork and I would have liked to. Unfortunately the project fell through, despite Paul Bowles’s support with the rights, because a German production company had in the meantime raised funds for a film by Sara Driver based on the same novel. The film was never realized. Lizzie Borden, who had acted in Sheila McLaughlin’s INSIDE OUT, was planning the film WORKING GIRLS with Miramax, after the success of her 1983 film BORN IN FLAMES, in which Sheila McLaughlin and Kathryn Bigelow had participated, and I was supposed to be director of photography. “Going pro” was being talked about. At this point I had to make a decision. The laws of the division of labor and the reigning practice in the US, as opposed to West Germany, of a strict division between “professional” and “experimental” cinema, meant that deciding for a career as a cameraman in the US would have impeded any possibility of me making my own films there. The experience of John Erdman, who had been refused a role in a feature film by the “industry” because he’d worked in films by Yvonne Rainer, was warning enough for me. So I declined and worked in Germany on DIE BASIS DES MAKE-UP (with John Erdman in the lead role) and on DIE WIESE DER SACHEN. Then I took on doing the camerawork for the “film in a film” in Sheila McLaughlin’s 1987 film SHE MUST BE SEEINGS THINGS, in which Kyle deCamp plays “Catalina.” Kyle, in turn, acted with John Erdman in my film THE HOLY BUNCH in 1990.
Petra and Uwe Nettelbeck published a text about working on SHE MUST BE SEEING THINGS in September 1986 in Die Republik Nr. 76–78 that begins: “Camera, on May 16, 1986. Woke up in the afternoon in a windowless room. The night before I had almost continuously had the hand-held camera in front of my right eye, while the left one was blocked by a patch. And now I couldn’t get my head around the furniture in the room. The work from the day before seemed to me like a state of trance, a cavern of dreams, in which I only existed as a person in the function of the eye in the geometrical space that it projected into the landscape. Communication with the film team, based more or less on descriptions of images, had broken down because of the hand-held camera, which shut everyone else out from seeing. The team no longer knew what I was doing. The production floated in darkness. The images on the retina shot their invisible rays of construction into the artificially lit shooting location. This process cannot be conveyed in the moment when it is emerging. Usually this fact is hidden by the production lie that images are something that you can securely store away in the camera. Everyone knows those images where nothing is reflected but the desk of the one who thought them up…” It was the scene where Catalina duels with a man in the night.
My original idea for Living Archive was to bring out the films COMMITTED and NORMALSATZ on a double DVD as an example of a 30-year-old, transatlantic cooperation. Now it seems more pertinent to provide access to the three films by Sheila McLaughlin and Lynne Tillman, together with the video interview that Stefanie Schulte Strathaus and I recorded with Sheila McLaughlin at the Arsenal on December 21, 2012, and the interview that I carried out by email with Lynne Tillman in January 2013. In our project, the films stand for a development of experimental film that took place in the seventies and eighties–away from a radical, material-oriented, self-reflexive film form and towards a narrative strategy of Independent Film, in which new forms of film representation and documentation were worked out. My Trilogy of the Seventies, which includes NORMALSATZ and appeared due to a similar impetus, will appear with Filmgalerie 451 shortly thereafter.
April 2013
Biography of Heinz Emigholz

utorak, 6. prosinca 2016.

Charles Arsène-Henry - Metafiction #1: The Prismatic Subdivisions of an Idea

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Charles Arsène-Henry: arhitektura ideja za ontologiju koja dolazi. 


Series: AA Tutor Lecture

Date: Friday 5 February 2016

In 1897 Stéphane Mallarmé discovers the multiverse in the form of a poem. In 2014 Grant Morrison gives shape to DC comics’ 52 versions of earth. Both draw the possiblity of superhabitable scapes. An architecture for the ontologies to come.


Longplayer Live: Lewis Wolpert and Charles Arsene-Henry:

Dîner Noire and The Library is on Fire 1(c): Haunting Glyphs

Charles Arsène-Henry is a London-based editor and writer. He is the co-editor of the forthcoming second volume of Hans Ulrich Obrist’s Infinite Conversation, a range of 70 interviews with prominent artists, writers, architects, philosophers and scientists. In 2009, he founded the agence de pensée White Box Black Box whose first project is a series of Knowledge Capsules, both printed and digital, conceived for specific individuals or institutions, made as an edition of one. Past and current themes: Images of the Brain, Texture of Dreams, Structure of the Night and Infinity.

Predictive Art Bot - An invisible robot undermining the credibility of internet culture

Predictive Art Bot 🔮

Još jedan izvrstan algoritamski random generator intelektualnih fraza.



An independent propaganda revealing the secrets of female identity

A post-internet body modification uncovering the invisible territory of global warming

A speculative costume to temporarily forget techno-utopia

A survivalist novlangue to ruin the aura of late capitalism

A disruptive tarot on the mental universe of online dating

An invisible robot undermining the credibility of internet culture

A synthesized garden casting a magical spell on resource distribution

A critical body modification exposing the side effects of interspecies communication

A crowd funded interface as a symbolic graveyard for the NSA

A collective costume to disrupt late capitalism

A musical strategy exploring the dark side of gender inequality

A collective sex toy exposing the political dimension of digital colonialism

A humanistic startup hiding easter eggs in techno-utopia

A feminist selfie as a memorial of whistleblowers

An illegal dating app exposing the ideology of anti-piracy systems

An augmented internet bot for spamming the Chtulucene

A synthesized tracking system exposing the ideology of the Chtulucene

A critical kickstarter on the language of digital colonialism

A cryptographic tarot deconstructing the dogma of Bitcoin

A humanistic cookbook exposing the contradictions of Silicon Valley

A deviant weapon to physically experience viruses

A political net-art project for hacking technocapitalism

A generative database revealing sensitive data about wikileaks

A meditative facebook group unmasking the full effect of digital colonialism

An activist art performance exposing the hidden agenda of Amazon

A narrative NGO mapping the outlines of the Internet of things

An invisible weapon exposing the alienating power of technological fetishism

A utopian drone uncovering the invisible territory of big corporations

A virtual facebook group exposing the alienating power of centralized communication

An augmented website exposing the hidden agenda of neurohack

A humanistic projection mapping the outlines of Neural Networks

A wearable viral marketing software divulging confidential information about the art of nostalgia

A psychedelic device exposing the political dimension of deep dreaming

A cyberpunk cartography mapping the outlines of the Snowden era

A conceptual interface exposing the political dimension of drone strikes

A virtual internet bot shaking up the codes of quantum physics

An interactive headset collecting random facts about multinational companies

An illegal facebook group challenging the ideology of terraformation

A psychedelic projection revealing sensitive data about accelerationism

A synthesized tracking system deconstructing the dogma of stock market

A wearable 3D model exploring the darkside of Amazon

An activist drone mocking the Snowden era

A crowdfunded NGO scanning predictive policing

A political website analyzing the rhetoric of the NSA

A radical public installation collecting random facts about the Terminator movie

A meditative art cooperative shaking up the codes of online dating

An absurd art platform uncovering the invisible territory of the anthropocene

An algorithmic secret art piece exposing the political dimension of drone strikes

A conceptual junk art piece fighting against neurohack

A bioengineered tumblr account denying access to unmanned filmmaking

A smart lolcat video divulging confidential information about handheld devices

A conceptual database against international politics

An interactive artist program exposing the alienating power of neurohack

A utopian secret art piece revealing the intentions behind Amazon

A minimalist science-fiction narrative mocking wikileaks

A collective computer virus against unmanned filmmaking

A musical lolcat video revealing sensitive data about quantum physics

A synthesized autonomous zone unmasking the full effect of anti-piracy systems

A disruptive street art piece against global warming

A wearable tumblr account divulging confidential information about augmented devices

An experimental cartography deconstructing the dogma of psychological warfare

A hacktivist cartography exposing the alienating power of speculative future

An apocalyptic interface on the language of accelerationism

A diy computer virus exposing the contradictions of resource distribution

A narrative facebook group unmasking the full effect of artificial intelligence

A meditative art platform revealing sensitive data about quantum physics

An anonymous flashmob disrupting the language of Neural Networks

A musical drone uncovering the scandals behind corporate exploitation of resources

A minimalist boys band fighting against digital rights

A real-time paper against anti-piracy systems

A deviant trippy trailer revealing the hidden side of centralized communication

An experimental game divulging confidential information about global warming

A bioengineered public installation uncovering the scandals behind the aesthetics of hacking

An activist paper dealing with digital rights

An experimental NGO mapping the outlines of ecology

utorak, 29. studenoga 2016.

Nico B. (Nico Bruinsma) - Sin + Pig + 1334

Religiozna tijela ubojica.

From the Director of PIG and BETTIE PAGE DARKEL comes the erotic, surreal, film SIN. Three episodes, staged in the 1920-1940s, where each story tells the duality of a female protagonist; the belly/frolic dancer (with Angelita Franco of Tinto Brass’ Kick the Cock), the sculpture model versus the nun (with Caroline Pierce), the legless aristocrat and the maid (with Dahlia Dark).
Director: Nico B

1334, a ghost story, that reveals the haunting disturbances than began to plague the ones left behind following the completion of PIG and the death of R.W., where reality turns into darkness, with the effect upon no return.
Director: Nico B

PIG (1998), a film depicting the relationship between a killer (Rozz Williams) and his victim (James Hollan), where all lines are crossed, blending fantasy and reality, in a transformation of the subconscious mind of a killer, graphically showing the manifestation of itself into abstract forms and material, all deriving from his suffering and desperation. PIG is an exploration of the subconscious thru underground film making. PIG was the last project of Rozz Williams (who died 4.1.1998), formerly known from the rock group Christian Death among others. R.W. spoke of the film as a form of exorcism & transition of his personal demons.
Director: Nico B

Until relatively recently, I do not think there has ever been an occasion in my life where I felt a certain overwhelming nostalgia for a film that I had never actually seen, but such is certainly the case with the apparently long ago completed but only just released cinematic work Sin (2005-2008) directed by Dutch-born auteur Nico Bruinsma. I first heard about the film in 2008 but did not become obsessed with seeing it until early 2013 after interviewing director Nico B, whose latest film 1334 (2012) became somewhat of a personal obsession of mine. At the time, my lady friend had become extremely sick with some mysterious illness and joked that she was ill with “1334,” thus the film name became a brief but nonetheless memorable inside joke of sorts between of us (given that both of us are also longtime fans of Christian Death/Rozz Williams, the dark origin of the name was not lost on us). In short, early 2013 was a very happy period in my life and I cannot help but associate the enigmatic film Sin with it, so naturally I have been dying to actually see the film in all its sexually sacrilegious splendor, especially considering that I eventually began to suspect that it might not ever be released.

A partially pornographic, silent black-and-white avant-garde triptych with an innate timeless quality starring both literally and figuratively dark dames with deadly and thankfully wholly organic fleshy curves that should remind any sensible heterosexual man why fake tits are aesthetically repugnant and nothing short of the erotic equivalent of fool's gold, Nico’s rather refined 30-minute celluloid experiment in stylishly sinister eroticism is arguably his most personal and, in turn, auteur oriented, film to date. For those familiar with dark-haired Dutchman, it is no secret that Nico B is arguably better known as a film distributor and owner of the great company Cult Epics than as a filmmaker, hence his fairly small yet nonetheless notable oeuvre. Of course, Nico pretty much always intended to be both an entrepreneur and auteur as he saw it as a practical means to not succumbing to the starving artist cliché that has more or less become synonymous with his famous countryman Vincent van Gogh. In fact, as the filmmaker stated in an interview with proud belligerent dipsomaniac Gene Gregorits in regard to his one-time film professor and mentor Babeth Mondini’s absolutely imperative early influence on his career, “She took me to school every day, because we both lived in Amsterdam. After one month, she said, ‘Okay, I like what you’re doing but the films you want to make are not going to make any money.’ Or, ‘No one’s going to invest money in these films.’ I thought, Well, I’ll make money first, and then I’ll do films. She gave me the best advice of my life.” Ultimately, Nico would return the favor by releasing Babeth’s feature Kiss Napoleon Goodbye (1990) starring Lydia Lunch and Henry Rollins under his Cult Epics label. 

Not unlike his one-time friend, legendary experimental filmmaker Kenneth Anger, Nico B is an auteur that might not direct many films, but when he does they tend to be seemingly immaculate in their esoterically erotic ‘evil’ splendor as singular celluloid works that surely transcend time in terms of both cinematic technique and subject matter. Also, like his one-time professor, Dutch experimental master Frans Zwartjes (Living, Pentimento), Nico seems to have nil interest in appealing to any sort of audience as a perennially underground filmmaker that rarely makes full-length features and is only concerned with exploring his own distinct personal obsessions, especially of the carnal sort. In that sense, Sin is, in many ways, the quintessential Nico B film as a sort of instant cult classic that will only be truly appreciated by those select loyal few that have the will and good instincts to find it.  Somewhat ironically, despite being rampantly heterosexual as demonstrated by his virtually lifelong obsession Bettie Page and the promotion of her bondage films, Nico’s best known film is the homo serial killer meditation Pig, which was co-written and co-directed by legendary deathrock prince(ss) Rozz Williams and thus less geared towards the Dutchman's own sexual proclivities (for starters, the film not only features no unclad female bodies, but not female characters at all). As his early Super-8 student film Slime (1990) rather blatantly reveals, Nico has been long obsessed with many of the same themes, especially in regard to the so-called fairer sex, sacrilege, and the sometimes strangely complimentary relationship between sex, death, and religion.  In many ways, Sin, much like Rozz William's art, is a deceptively spiritual cinematic work in that sense that it feels like it was created by a heretical believer who subscribes to an inverted form of Christianity where sin and human misery are worshiped, as if Nico lost the faith due as a result of living in such a dark, dispiriting, and dystopian realm that he could only bring himself to believe in hell and sinfulness.  Indeed, not unlike much of Zwartjes' films, Sin feels like an aesthetically pleasing expression of hell on earth, thereupon making it all the more notable that the director hails from a literally puritanical Calvinist nation where telling jokes was even considered subversive only a couple of generations ago.

 Notably, nearly a decade ago in 2008, Nico B confessed in an interview in regard to the cryptically semi-autobiographically nature of his film, “My new film SIN is a collection of 3 stories told from my own personal experiences with women I have been with. I put the protagonist of each film in a different time and changed their professional ambitions. All three I shot on Super 8 to get that early century artistic feeling. All three are also very surreal and erotic (and of course controversial). In one story a nun gives an on camera blow job to a priest. I believe this is the first art film to show this on screen. The scene is a tribute to Rozz of Christian Death (both of us being brought up with Christian beliefs). Also, the religious ending of BETTIE PAGE: DARK ANGEL is also a reference to the scene in SIN.”  As Nico's own words more or less express, his film is a sort of amorously abstract three-part cinematic anti-love letter to seemingly mostly dangerous and mentally unstable ex-lovers from his past.  In a second interview that I conducted with Nico in 2013, he demonstrated an almost ambivalent attitude to the act of filmmaking by stating, “I never intend to ever make any film, unless I see no way out,” thus underscoring the internal pain, sorrow, and despair that is at the very core of the film. Of course, judging by the fact that virtually all of the male characters in the film meet a grisly or tragic end, it is easy to see what Nico means as Sin is a fairly forebodingly forsaken cinematic work that, despite featuring unclad busty babes flaunting their entrancing flesh, is clearly the agonized express of a haunted and internally wounded individual that sees sex as an oftentimes deadly affair, at least spiritually speaking. An elegantly gritty three-part Super-8 tone poem fueled by pathos of perversity and full of big and highly suckable milky white tits and nicely trimmed beavers, Nico B’s strikingly beauteous dark romantic cinematic confession thrives on unabashedly laurelling the lethally lustful and sexually neurotic in such an effortlessly confident and reassured fashion that most filmgoers, including thoroughly desensitized gorehounds, will be simply stunned and dumbfounded by what they see to the point where they will only remember the big bosoms and cross-in-the-cunt. Far too moodily aesthetically exquisite to be confused with actual pornography and too politically incorrect and just plain incendiary to be accepted by the more spiritually castrated members of the Criterion Collection crowd, Sin is sinema for the decidedly romantically damned. 

 A modern day mythopoeic silent flick featuring a musical score made up entirely of Impressionist compositions by Claude Debussy that thankfully does not seem masturbatorily cinephiliac in a Guy Maddin-esque fashion nor obnoxiously anachronistic like the sickeningly silly shot-on-video neo-vintage Lovecraft adaptation The Call of Cthulhu (2005) directed by Andrew Leman, Sin begins in a striking fashion that seems like what might happen if someone attempted to reconcile the classic Golden Age Hollywood biblical epics of Cecil B. DeMille with Kenneth Anger’s classic psychedelic Thelemite micro-epic Lucifer Rising (1972). After beginning with an ancient Egyptian princess having her throat slit by some random Egyptian gentleman, the following inter-title appears, “In ancient Egyptian mythology the panther Bastet is the God of pleasure, dancing and music, also know as . . . LADY OF THE EAST.” Literally roaming with black panthers as a child, the Lady of the East grows up to be a sort of archaic stripper and while she is doing one of her exotic dance routines she is ‘bought’ by a wealthy American (Pipo) who brings her back to the United States where she becomes the headliner in a Chicago burlesque cabaret act called “Dance of the Pharaohs” where she exploits her exotic ancestral roots in a fittingly kitschy fashion. Leading a lurid life of potentially deadly vice, the Lady of the East has a traumatic childhood flashback in regard to the murder of her father whilst in an opium haze and subsequently shoots her man dead with a handgun after he gets the gall to attempt to steal her precious whoring money. As the ‘Lady of the East’ segment seemingly unintentionally reveals, America has the power to even debase tough third world whores.  Of course, the segment also reveals that it is never a good idea to get involved with a girl that has daddy issues, especially if said daddy issues began at an early age before any sort of emotionally maturity could have been reached.

 In what is arguably the most intricate and indubitably the most controversial segment of the film, ‘Le Modèle,’ one watches with erotic intrigue as porn star Caroline Pierce—a seemingly forsaken woman that now regularly appears in extremely amateurish ‘mandingo’ porn—portrays a dual role as both a Catholic nun and a lecherous model in a provocative performance that features a devilishly dichotomous look a female sexuality and spirituality. Undoubtedly, one could argue that the model is the nun’s sort of Jungian shadow and vice versa, as both characters seem to reflect the other’s unconscious longings and compulsions. Despite being total opposites in virtually every single way (for instance, the nun is followed by a white cat while the model is followed by a black one), they are merely inversions of one another, with one suffering from sexual repression and the other spiritual repression. Of course, as Nico B more than hints in the segment, the sexual is oftentimes intertwined with the spiritual and vice versa, with a crucifix being arguably the ultimate figurative (and, in the film’s case, literal) dildo and/or phallic symbol. While ‘Le Modèle’ oftentimes feels like a hypnotic hodgepodge of Jean Cocteau’s The Blood of a Poet (1930), Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid’s Meshes of the Afternoon (1943), and John E. Schmitz's The Voices (1953), it also owes a little to the Catholic carnality of Walerian Borowczyk’s classic Nunsploitation flick Interno di un convento (1978) aka Behind Convent Walls. While the nun sucks the cock of a swarthy Jesus-esque priest with great grace, the model seductively stabs her cunt with a wooden crucifix, which she eventually mutilates herself with after adding a crown of thorns to the makeshift holy dildo. After their sexual experiences, both women become somewhat haunted in their own ways, with the nun being obsessed with destroying a statue modeled after the model and the model being preoccupied with the horrors of being seen naked in public by finger-wagging nuns and priests. In the end, the nun stabs the statue in the heart and causes to magically bleed and the model strips her clothes and enters a large church, which immediately becomes consumed with flames of passion.  As to whether either women achieves salvation or eternal damnation, one can only assume, but considering the model seems to worship herself and her own body (hence why she is a model) instead of Christ like the nun, it is probably safe to say that she will become one of Satan's sluts.

 Undoubtedly, the third and final segment of Sin, ‘The Maid,’ is the most understated and enigmatic as a sullen and quite literally pathetic story that centers on a vaguely handsome and independently wealthy legless dope fiend (Mark Lee) that hires an inordinately busty broad (Dahlia Dark) to supposedly clean his humble abode. Indeed, the eponymous cleaner has what might be sensitively described as ‘jumbo jugs’ and she certainly knows how to use them as indicated by the fact that her crippled employer is regularly voyeuristically gazing at her fine fleshy goods. In fact, the perverted cripple even finds himself masturbating with one of his stubs whilst admiring the maid’s absolutely mesmerizing carnal meat, as if her ample sized body parts are all the more of a turn-on for him since he is missing some of his own appendages (whether or not he has a cock remains to be seen). A man that seems to have come to the conclusion that he is nothing and that no healthy sane woman would ever be genuinely interested in him as a romantic partner, the visibly lonely legless wonder seems determined to degrade himself and does so by kissing and gently placing high-heels on his rarely clothed employee’s feet.  The relationship between the man and his maid is innately infantile and almost seem like that of a mother and son as demonstrated by his tendency to crawl around his house like a baby and stare at his employee's fine fuck-udders like he is desperately thirsty for mother's milk.  As an individual that seems to have lived a seemingly unbearable life of pain and discomfort as hinted in haunting childhood flashbacks where he receives large injections from a doctor while be watching by a little girl that may or may not be his sister, it is certainly no surprise that the man is a morbidly morose and melancholic masochist that lives solely to further his own self-debasement despite the fact that he is wealthy. In a bittersweet conclusion that really sums up many of the themes of the entire film, the well endowed maid gives the man an injection that provides him a most permanent form of solace that could not be more ideal considering his extra precarious predicament in life.  As all three of the chapters of Sin make quite clear, sex and death are the only things that make life truly worth living, especially if you are a whore, cripple, or nun.

In the introduction of his text Erotism: Death and Sensuality, French Nietzschean Georges Bataille wrote, “Eroticism, it may be said, is assenting to life up to the point of death. Strictly speaking, this is not a definition, but I think the formula gives the meaning of eroticism better than any other. If a precise definition were called for, the starting point would certainly have to be sexual reproductive activity, of which eroticism is a special form. Sexual reproductive activity is common to sexual animals and men, but only men appear to have turned their sexual activity into erotic activity. Eroticism, unlike simple sexual activity, is a psychological quest independent of the natural goal: reproduction and the desire of children. From this elementary definition let us now return to the formula I proposed in the first place: eroticism is assenting to life even in death. Indeed, although erotic activity is in the first place an exuberance of life, the object of this psychological quest, independent as I say of any concern to reproduce life, is not alien to death.” Undoubtedly, Bataille’s words in regard to erotic passion, as opposed to sexual reproduction, having to be imagined by the individual are indubitably relevant to the entire essence of a film like Sin where sex takes a truly transcendental and otherworldly form that entirely eclipses bodily functions, so it is only fitting that the frog anarchist concludes his introduction to Erotism with the remark: “Poetry leads to the same place as all forms of eroticism—to the blending and fusion of separate objects. It leads us to eternity, it leads us to death, and through death to continuity. Poetry is eternity; the sun matched with the sea.” Of course, in a way, cinema is also eternity, thus making it all the more fitting that Nico B’s film has an innate timeless quality as a cinematic work that even transcends the truly bygone era(s) that it recreates, hence its similarities to the films of Cocteau (who Nico paid tribute to with his ‘travel film’ Ville Jean Cocteau (2003), which is included with the BD/DVD combo of Sin released by Cult Epics). 

 Sometimes feeling like an avant-garde porn-snuff flick documenting three real-life cases that were excised from Kenneth Anger’s classic piece of highbrow toilet reading Hollywood Babylon (1953), Sin is nothing short of an orgasmically oneiric celluloid gem that was made for the sort of dark seeker cinephile that looks at hunting down rare and arcane films as a sort of spiritual quest. As a successful film distributor and cinematic poet that clearly only makes films for himself, Nico B is like both Vincent van Gogh and his brother Theo van Gogh combined. Certainly, I cannot think of another mensch that I respect as both an artist and businessmen that releases obscure European arthouse films that no one else would dare to release. While set in an idealized past that seems like a schizophrenic universe as dreamed up by the black sheep stepson of Judaic pornographer Irving Klaw and surrealist poet Cocteau, Sin is certainly most potent if viewed from the perspective of a cryptically autobiographical film that is based on three events from Nico B’s life, hence why the filmmaker seemed so reluctant to release it. Of course, as a film with a strangely erotic crucifix masturbation scene that makes the infamous unholy preteen Onanist scenario in The Exorcist (1973) seem like outmoded child’s play, one can only speculate how literal the film is in terms of its autobiographical depiction of the auteur’s sexual life, though one can pretty much assume that Nico B has had his fair share of unhinged girlfriends with humongous hooters.  Naturally, as art history has unequivocally demonstrated, crazy cunts with addictively delectable carnal-traps and devilish curves always make for a great source for artistic inspiration, even if one would rather forget the mind games and violently neurotic tendencies that tend to plague many members of the so-called fairer sex.  Undoubtedly, after watching Nico's film, I could not help but be reminded of Friedrich Nietzsche's poetic words, “The true man wants two different things: danger and diversion. He therefore wants woman, as the most dangerous plaything . . . Man must be trained for war, and woman for the relaxation of the warrior: all else is folly . . . Too sweet fruits — these the warrior does not like. He therefore likes woman — even the sweetest woman is bitter [...] Thou goest to women? Do not forget thy whip!”

In his 1963 article ‘The Camera As A God,’ film theorist and experimental filmmaker Charles Boultenhouse (Handwritten, Dionysus) provocatively wrote, “The good film-maker is he who is engaged (consciously or unconsciously) in preserving and perfecting the demon in the camera; the very best film-maker is he who is engaged in transforming the demon into the god. I am sure you will see that an idea so theological as this will probably make out experimental film to be positively sacred in character and commercial film rather blasphemous. You will be right..” In the same article, Boultenhouse also states, “Hollywood is the tease of all time [...] The teenagers of all ages who worship its fetishes will never be satisfied; nor will the Demon of the Camera, bored almost cross-eyed by the miles of Nothing passing before it into Oblivion.”  Of course, whereas Hollywood gives you nothing more than the a wholly artificial pseudo-blonde silicone-fueled tease that has plagued vulnerable American youth with a sort of collective metaphysical disease that has caused them to confuse love with lust and eroticism with animalistic bodily function, Sin—a delectably demonic film where, in the Nietzschean sense, god is long dead and has been replaced by a sort of Dionysian goddess of erratic eroticism—is a three course orgy that reminds the viewer that sometimes the sight of a certain pussy evokes serious pathos.  As someone that counts virtually all of the great loves of my life as voluptuous women with killer curves and delectable derrieres, I can certainly understand the misery, melancholy, and lovelorn lunacy that the unclad female form can provoke in men, hence my admittedly somewhat perverse personal obsession with a film like Nico B's where a woman's best assets are elevated to the level of spectral archetypes that stir the collective unconscious and penetrate the psyche like a pulsating love truncheon plowing into a fresh hymen-intact prick-purse.  In short, Sin is the sort of romance film that you hope to see from a friend of Rozz Williams and ex-student of Frans Zwartjes. - http://www.soiledsinema.com