ponedjeljak, 16. listopada 2017.

Nikos Nikolaidis - Euridice BA 2037 (1975)

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Starogrčko ludilo prevedeno na novogrčki nadrealizam.

Euridice BA 2037
Euridice in Hades, code number ΒΑ 2037, is waiting for Orpheus to free her and lead her to the Upper World. She’s waiting for orders that will allow her to move out of her prison/home. Her destination is not mentioned.A voice from a computer orders her to move out.The man leaves her bed every morning. Their relationship is vague… There are is an aura of familiarity. People in the skylight, living around the prison/home, trying to get inside.A man on the phone claims to have been her lover many years ago and to have evidence surrounding Vera’s death.Vera never appears. She was killed in an amusement park. An undercover policeman questions her.Orpheus is a hit man, free to roam the city...

The Wretches Are Still Singing
Five friends in their forties today, representative of the fifties generation, meet up again after many years of silence. One has just been released from prison for the umpteenth time; the other has just committed a series of blind murders; the third has left his wife and child; the fourth one has been living the life of a drifter, and the fifth friend – the only girl in the group – has broken out of the loony bin where she’s been hiding for years… All of them are up in the air; tormented by barren love; marked by the deaths of beloved peers; betrayed by the politics of their times, they are trying – in vain – to put together the old gang of their teenage years.The revolution has been lost. Each one will now head towards his own death, thus opening a new chapter in the history of his generation.

Singapore Sling
Singapore Sing is one of those guys with no money, no home and no friends, who chases after lost causes with women’s names and gets mixed up in affairs that lead nowhere. His lost cause goes by the name of Laura and he hasn’t seen her for some years. Even though he has a hunch that the girl he’s looking for has been dead for years and that he’s in love with a corpse, he goes on searching for her and one rainy, stormy night, wounded and with nothing more to lose, Singapore Sling arrives at a house because he believes that Laura might be there. In the darkness of the night and around an open hole in the garden, two women are trying to bury a dead man but Singapore Sling, with hot lead in his shoulder, can’t do much right now. Engulfed by the shadows and his memories, he waits for daybreak before going into the house...

Sweet Bunch
The film is the diary of the life and death of a group of “amoral” young people, who have reached the point of no return and seek something to believe in and to die for.Their behavior draws the attention of the State; they are placed under discreet surveillance.A vigilante group encircles their house, headed by a nameless blond man... and waits.The film is a study of the new face of world fascism. It is a story of joy and tender love; a music of death, an evocation of colors, sweet violence and laughter.The story of four people who might be your neighbors, who choose to die senselessly behind their stolen shotguns, flinging their harsh, mocking laughter in your face.

Loser Takes All
The story of a group of misfits living on the fringes of society.A rebel in his forties, with his luggage full of memories from the “years of cholera,” an alcoholic, a stripper from Senegal, another one buried behind the bar of the “Decadence” and a young one hiding behind his guitar.All of them share a common dream, a journey of no return from “Here no more!” to an island off the coast of Peru.Armed only with their unorthodox behavior, their sense of humor and two stolen handguns, they will plunge into a nighttime world of stool pigeons and parastate media and proceed to prove, in the most marvelous way, that which common sense abhors, i.e. that, in the end, Loser Takes All.

Morning Patrol
A woman is walking alone through an abandoned city. She approaches the forbidden zone and tries to cross it to get to the sea.There are traps everywhere and the Morning is watching her.The city itself is functioning but uncontrolled. Computerized voices warn the non-existing inhabitants to leave the city. The communication system works, the cinemas are showing films, familiar faces of a bygone era flash across TV screens.The woman is confronted by one of the few survivors guarding the city.They will come close; they will try to recall the past.Together they will unravel their tangled memory and decide to cross the forbidden zone together.
- tiff.filmfestival.gr/default.aspx?lang=en-US&page=638&SectionID=26

The marriage of fantasy with reality in the works of Nikos Nikolaidis resulted in one of the most comprehensive and homogenous oeuvres in Greek cinema. The director, who died in 2007 at the age of 68, had previously told Kathimerini in an interview: ?Ever since I was a kid I knew that if my imagination and reality never clicked I would be unhappy. So I did the only thing I could do: I made my fantasies reality.?
Comfortable with being an outsider and also with the five awards he received over the course of his career at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, Nikolaidis liked to be on the outside looking in as it gave him a better view of the world and kept him out of a ?system? of which he was critical.
Nikolaidis?s world is the subject of a full retrospective of his work, organized by his friends and family, at the Greek Film Archive from May 26 to June 1, and coordinated by Marie-Louise Bartholomew, his companion since 1970, mother of his two children and producer of his eight feature-length films and some 200 television commercials. One can even say that Bartholomew was his creative partner, as she served not only as producer, but also as costume designer, editor or any other discipline that was necessary. She spoke to Kathimerini recently about her relationship with Nikolaidis, the contradictions of his character and her admiration for him, which never waned during their 40 years of living and working together.
Would he have liked the idea of a tribute to him?
I don?t think he would. Initially he had turned down a tribute proposed by the Thessaloniki Festival. Despina Mouzaki, then the director of the event, insisted and Nikos agreed but only after writing down 10 conditions on a piece of paper. He never got a chance to see it though, and in the end, when we saw that his terms were being respected, we agreed for it to go ahead. The tribute at the Greek Film Archive is different. It is being put together by friends and by his son. The purpose is to introduce young people to his work. I realize now that over 30 years have gone by [since he started making films] and he made reference to things that are happening right now or have yet to happen. I think his films are timeless; they haven?t aged and I don?t believe they will.
Nikolaidis has an image of being both very hard and cynical, but also very tender and beloved. How did these traits blend?
Nikos was very hard when he worked. He was perfectionist and would conduct rehearsals for a year, teaching and talking, and he demanded that there were no questions afterward or that he be made to repeat things he?d already explained. He could be very hard; there were times when he was hard with me as well. But with friends, over dinner, at parties, he was a wonderful friend; he was romantic and sensitive. At work he was a different person: tough, but also fair.
To what do you attribute the love expressed for him by friends and by fans?
A lot of young people love him very much, because he represents a free spirit and camaraderie. They look at him as a mentor and continue to watch his works because they agree with his opinions, his lines, his obsession with revolt, his fearlessness. He did exactly as he wanted. Of course only as far as the establishment allowed, because he took a lot of beatings. I believe that if he had lived he would have made another film. He had a lot left to say, but he seemed to know that he didn?t have much time left.
What disappointed him?
Mostly his audience, which began to leave him after ?Sweet Gang,? when he started making the films he wanted to make. But, the people who had grown to love him through his work also felt that he was abandoning them. The critics had a hand in this. He was disappointed too by the state of Greek cinema because there was a time when filmmakers were a gang and they fought together.
How did he react to negative criticism?
He would laugh and use it to his advantage. He did it with ?Sweet Gang? and with ?The Thrushes Are Still Singing.? He didn?t need the critics or the confirmation. He knew exactly who he was, even if this could be construed as snobbery. What he wanted most was to connect with his audience, and especially with young people. He loved his audience, but when he saw them starting to leave, he turned his back on them as well.
Did commercial success irk him? He once said that the success of ?Sweet Gang? made him sick.
He felt exposed. He wanted to woo his own kind, those who loved his work and wanted it. ?Sweet Gang? was a film that had an impact on the 40-somethings of the time [1983] and the fact is that we were not hurt by its commercial success. We had had to borrow to make it so getting some money helped. What bugged him most, I think, is that it was on the brink of becoming mainstream and that he was expected to continue in this direction afterward.
He once said that you belong ?to a different world? and that you?re a very positive person. Were you so different from him?
Not at all. We were both equally romantic, otherwise I wouldn?t have been with him. I was just more grounded. His mind was like a nuclear bomb set to go off. And his work a film, a book, an ad expended just a fraction of the energy he had. That?s why he could have done so much more if he had been given more time and if it hadn?t been made so difficult for him. - Panagiotis Panagopoulos  http://www.ekathimerini.com/133582/article/ekathimerini/life/nikos-nikolaidis-in-retrospect

Greek director of extreme movies that are part art-house, part filth. His characters are often inexplicably immoral and murderous, and his character arcs shift with unpredictable changes of motivation, making even his more conventional crime movies feel somewhat surreal. These movies involving groups of criminal acquaintances include 'Sweet Bunch', 'The Loser Takes All', and 'Wretches Are Still Singing' where a group of insane friends from the 50s get together for a reunion, except one has adopted a habit of raping and murdering women. He also made twisted and bizarre films with perverse and imaginative titillation, the most famous one being 'Singapore Sling', as well as a post-apocalyptic trilogy involving both bizarrely insane people and governments. The only one of these not reviewed here is the more relatively conventional 'Morning Patrol', a mood piece with amnesiac survivors randomly killing other survivors in a world where the powers-that-be try to track and control murders. His movies are so uniquely odd, they always leave you wondering what the movie was really about. Died in 2007. 

Euridice BA 2O37  
Nikolaidis first film is like a much more surreal Repulsion with underlying allusions to mythology. Euridice is stuck in a hell waiting for her Orpheus, except that, in this movie, she is unaware of her situation. The hell is an apartment surrounded by ominous dangers including gunfire sounds, mysterious visitors, and various shadows and people that taunt her through the windows and cracks under the door. Via dream-logic, there may or may not be another person in the apartment who may be her alter-ego, or simply a time-loop shadow of herself. There is an ambiguous lover (Orpheus), and a lover on the phone looking for the previous tenant, with stories that haunt her vague memories and that intrigue her. While she waits for a transfer from a hopelessly bureaucratic hell, she passes the time with strange games involving doll-sex, suicide and self-molestation by her own hand. A mysterious movie full of dream-logic and puzzling images of goat-heads and evisceration. Leaves you with questions and dreams even though it doesn't really gel together or reward the audience.

Singapore Sling  
Brings to mind the demented and perverse sex from Thundercrack blended with film-noir, and twisted comedy that only the insane would find funny mixed with some John Waters trash. The plot concerns an insane girl and a demented person whom she calls her mother who may be a hermaphrodite or just a mad woman with a strap-on that speaks half her sentences in French. Together they kill and eviscerate maids, play kinky S&M sexual games and role-plays with each other, often involving the mother sexually abusing this insane girl with a decisively kinky sense of pleasure, and re-enacting their murderous triumphs, some of which may have involved their deceased father. One day, an obsessed detective comes looking for a missing girl and falls into their hands. Normally I would just categorize this as pointlessly bizarre and twisted, seeing as it involves insane people having vomit sex, food sex, a golden shower while being electrocuted, hermaphrodite sex, kink involving intestines, and rape with a knife. But the performances here are so gripping, convincing and amusing in an insane way you could swear the actresses were recruited from a real mental ward. For the twisted only.


See You in Hell, My Darling  
This feels like Nikolaidis's follow-up to Singapore Sling. Although it isn't as extreme, it also features two insane women role-playing acts of murder and sexual depravity. The difference is that this one is surreal in both its imagery and its constant shifting to different story-lines. There's a body in the pool that may or may not be dead, they talk about murders and suicides that may or may not have happened, murders appear to have happened but then the story shifts again to another melodramatic tale, whether it is betrayal between siblings, implied incest, rape, poison, etc. Using dream-logic, a mysterious man may be a stranger, or a lover, or a husband, or their father, and scenes in a pool that turn into an ocean with an ubiquitous dead body, rapidly become very surreal. As opposed to a Robbe-Grillet creation though, this one doesn't really take apart the mechanics of a melodramatic pulp murder-mystery, so much as hop from one implied pulp story to another, as role-played by two women that remove their clothing every chance they get, as well as vomit constantly (which seems to be a Nikolaidis fetish). This is a confusing parade of sleaze and surreal melodrama, but an unrewarding one.

Zero Years, The 
The third in a post-apocalyptic trilogy by Nikolaidis dealing with women surviving under governments that have become so insanely twisted as to be surreal. The first was Euridice, the second was the more conventional and moody Morning Patrol, and this one completes the trilogy named "The Shape of the Coming Nightmare". In this one, he seems to have spliced the 'political sci-fi' with his more perverse outings of random twisted titillation to the point that it's impossible to see this as a political statement. Four young women are chemically controlled by the government, made to become sterile or forced into experimental impregnations, and then forced to perform sexual services that include putting on a show, or severely beating up men for some government sponsored S&M. Nikolaidis injects his usual fetishes of vomit, and adds other twisted touches such as punishment with raw eggs, invisible rapists that are called 'children', 'over-beating', practicing cross-eyed fake orgasms, and weekly fake births involving blood. I don't believe anyone can interpret this one with anything resembling a political reality that we know. Bizarre dystopia filth with unfunny, black, strange humor reminiscent of Singapore Sling.
- thelastexit.net/cinema/nikolaidis.html

Fotiou, Mikela (2015) The cinematic work of Nikos Nikolaidis and female representation. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
This thesis examines the work of Greek postmodern filmmaker Nikos Nikolaidis with a specific focus on female representation. I examine Nikolaidis as an auteur and I trace elements throughout his oeuvre that contribute to the formation of his authorial signature. Nikolaidis’s work is autobiographical and highly political. Nikolaidis’s cinema does not abide by the traditional theories of ‘Greekness’, and his main influences are American cinema, and specifically for film noir, rock ‘n’ roll culture and his antiauthoritarian ideology. All these elements are combined together within his work through the use of pastiche. I examine Nikolaidis’s work according to Richard Dyer’s notion of pastiche. Through pastiche he expresses nostalgia for rock ‘n’ roll culture and film noir, but also he expresses his concern for the future. Nikolaidis pastiches a selection of film genres and specific films in order to appropriate the elements that interest him. His pastiche work shows that the filmmaker addresses cineliterate audiences that would ideally understand his dialogue with the different genres and films he pastiches. With regards to female representation in Nikolaidis’s films, women are given leading roles, exhibit varying degrees of agency, and are presented as stronger and more powerful than men. However, their representations remain paradoxical, complex and misogynistic. While on the one hand, women are portrayed as powerful, independent, and able to subvert patriarchy, on the other hand, they are often used as props, rendering their representation inconsistent and problematic. Nikolaidis differentiates and juxtaposes two types of women throughout his work: the powerful women versus the unimportant women. Those who do not conform to the powerful female characteristics are characterised within the second category. Since Nikolaidis was highly influenced by film noir, his female protagonists pastiche the classic film noir figure of the femme fatale.
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Yorgos Lanthimos, Nikos Nikolaidis and the tradition of Greek shock cinema

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petak, 13. listopada 2017.

Oldřich Lipský - Limonádový Joe aneb Konská opera aka Lemonade Joe (1964)

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Neki su filmovi važni već zbog samog naslova.

An outrageous parody of classic Hollywood westerns, this musical comedy from Czech director Oldrich Lipsky draws on his previous work in animation to spoof and exaggerate the genre. Set in Stetson City, the story opens with a brawl in the Trigger Whisky Saloon. Silver-clad Lemonade Joe rides into town, bringing law and order-and lemonade-to the frontier, while rescuing Winifred Goodman from the clutches of Hogo Fogo. Throughout the film, characters burst into song at the slightest provocation, regaling audiences with such memorable tunes as "Do You See My Moist Lips?" and "When The Smoke Thickens in the Bar." One of the most novel films from the Czech New Wave, LEMONADE JOE is a comic gem and a clever homage to early Hollywood westerns.
- https://www.filmaffinity.com/en/film704452.html
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Once, when I was very young, my father used to bring home films to show on his 9mm projector. Alongside Steamboat Willie and Anna May Wong, there was an unnamed western. What amazed me about it was the scene in which both the hero and his horse disappeared behind a small tree (the hero peeped out again but the horse apparently vanished into thin air). There was also an extraordinary bar scene where one punch would down about five villains simultaneously. This all came back to me while watching the new video release of Oldřich Lipský's Czech western Limonádovy Joe aneb koňská opera (Lemonade Joe, or to give the full title, Lemonade Joe or a Horse Opera). Made in 1964, it reminds us that the central and east European nationalised industries did not only produce "socialist" propaganda or films for the festival market.
Of course, a peculiarly central European fascination with the American West has been long standing. The novels of German writer Karl May were a key influence and in the 1970s, in Czechoslovakia, Harald Reinl's 1960s West German films about Winnetou and Old Shatterhand (adapted from May and featuring stars like Stewart Granger, Lex Barker, and Pierre Brice) were very popular. The Czechs themselves also made a couple of adaptations of Jack London stories.
Limonádovy Joe is an attractively naïve musical parody whose references are really to the tradition of western stars like William S Hart and Tom Mix through to singing cowboys like Gene Autry (the yodelling references make that clear). The screenplay was written by Jiří Brdečka, who wrote his Lemonade Joe stories for magazines in the early 1940s, and subsequently adapted them into a stage play in 1946. It is a tribute to an era of innocence before directors like Anthony Mann, Sergio Leone and Sam Peckinpah turned westerns into something altogether more disturbing.
Soft drinks vs the hard liquor
Set in the town of Stetson City, it charts the triumph of good over evil as the protagonists fight over the right to promote whisky or lemonade and compete for the hand of the delectable Winifred Goodman. The film begins with a brawl in the Trigger Whisky Saloon (owned by Doug Badman). Dressed like a member of the Salvation Army and representing the Arizona Revival, Winifred and her father enter the saloon and campaign against the demon drink. In the meantime, the brutish Old Pistol has been getting legless and Doug Badman is shown reading about the legendary exploits of Hogo Fogo: Master Criminal of the Wild West.
Roughly at this juncture, Lemonade Joe appears at the swing doors dressed in white from head to toe. Apart from demanding lemonade ("Kolaloka"), he reveals himself to be a superb marksman, dispensing with a fly and Old Pistol's trouser belt with consummate ease. Joe is nothing if not simpleminded, but is still able to foil a bank raid with his casual under the arm shooting. He incidentally hides behind a water butt and gets his white horse (and Winifred) to lie there with him.
Having dispensed justice and converted the townspeople to lemonade, Joe quits town, threatening to return with the law. But the town is soon faced with a new arrival, wearing a black cape and hat, with the sinister appearance of a refugee from Victorian melodrama. This is the legendary Hogo Fogo (in reality, Horace Badman, brother of Joe), who soon turns the town back to its whisky-drinking, card playing ways and has less than honourable intentions toward the virginal Winifred.
Joe returns to rescue Winifred as Hogo Fogo pursues her round her mother's grave, but this is by no means the last of their confrontations. Hogo Fogo is also a magician and a master of disguise, appearing in black face playing a trumpet, as a blind old piano tuner and a family doctor. Besides his battle with Hogo Fogo, Joe is also distracted by the charms of the brunette bar singer, Tornado Lou. He is captured, humiliated and apparently killed but, due to the restorative powers of Kolaloka, returns to kill off his rival.
At this point, he discovers that he is related to Doug, Hogo Fogo and Tornado Lou—they are brothers and sister, orphans who have been raised separately. Kolaloka ensures that they are all brought back to life and the ending is presided over by Joe's father, president of the Kolaloka company. Joe and Winifred go off on the next stagecoach and, in true capitalist fashion, a new company and a new drink are created: Whiskykola, which can be drunk by both teetotallers and alcoholics.
Tributes to Ford and parallels with Leone
If all this sounds like a cartoon, it is not surprising, as Brdečka was a leading writer and director of animated films and had scripted Jiří Trnka's earlier puppet Western parody Arie Prérie (Song of the Prairie, 1949), as well as Trnka's first postwar film Pérák a SS (Springer vs the SS, 1946). The film contains quite a few ideas from animated films: smoke rings providing secret clues in a card game, dotted lines to represent Joe's bullets, frozen shots as he appears at both ground and roof level, an image of the threatened Winifred reproduced in the sky. There's even a scene in which he passes a sign advertising the Acme Tool Company.
The long sequence in which Hogo Fogo (as blind piano tuner) sings about his life to Winifred, is accompanied by a montage of dime magazine illustrations and the sinister turning of his superimposed head in many disguises. We are not far from the Feuillade serial (Hogo Fogo even has false arms in one scene) and the Arizona connection provides a fairly explicit link to the early silent Arizona Bill—and perhaps even the Arizona Jim of Renoir's Monsieur Lange.
There are also apparent Fordian tributes: Winifred by her mother's grave, Doug Badman balancing his feet on the hitching rail like Henry Fonda's Wyatt Earp. Tornado Lou has many precedents of which Dietrich's Frenchy (Destry Rides Again) is just one. Interestingly, given the fact that the film was made the same year that Leone directed A Fistful of Dollars, there are even extreme close ups that seem like a parody of Leone's style. But the wide screen close up down Joe's throat as he practices his characteristic yodelling is quite without parallel, past or present.
The golden voice of Prague
The cast is headed by Karel Fiala, a star of operetta, as Joe. Miloš Kopecký, fresh from his role as Zeman's Baron Prášil (Baron Műnchhausen, 1961), plays the villain with suitably theatrical menace, while Olga Schoberová plays Winifred. Schoberová also appeared in the West German westerns Gold-diggers of Arkansas and Black Eagles of Santa Fe, both of which were filmed in Czechoslovakia. She was later to appear in the Lipský/Brdečka feature Adéla ještě nevečeřela (Adela Hasn't Had Supper Yet aka Nick Carter in Prague, 1977), as well as in Juraj Jakubisko's banned Slovak film Dovidenia v pekle, priatelia! (See You in Hell Fellows!,1969, completed 1990). Under the more pronounceable name of Olinka Berová, she appeared in Hammer Films' The Vengeance of She (1968) and became a Playboy covergirl.
Besides being a comedy, the film is also a musical with key songs for most of the characters: Tornado Lou (When the Smoke Thickens in the Bar; Do You See My Moist Lips?), Winifred (Arizona, Where All Good Men Come From), Joe (Oh, ye gods, what a dime drink!)—but, perhaps, best of all, Hogo Fogo's life story. The film begins with honky tonk piano but soon finds an excuse for plenty of traditional style jazz and popular Czech singers. The voice of Joe is provided by Karel Gott, "The Golden Voice of Prague," and there's even a song for Waldemar Matuška (in the small role of the Coyote Kid).
Worth it just for the title
The director, Oldřich Lipský, who died in 1986, was a specialist in comedies, and worked with a number of leading Czech comic writers, including Miloš Macourek (Zabil jsem Einsteina, pánové/Gentlemen, I Have Killed Einstein, 1969) and Zdeněk Svěrák, author of Kolya (1996), Jáchyme, hoď ho do stroje (Joachim, Put it in the Machine, 1974) and Marečku podejte mi pero (Mareček, Pass Me a Pen, 1976). He also worked with Brdečka on Adéla ještě nevečeřela and Tajemství hradu v Karpatech (A Mystery Castle in the Carpathians, 1981).
Despite the originality of many of these scripts and the filmic references inLimonádovy Joe, Lipský was a rather orthodox director. But his is an idiosyncratic vein of comedy, and one hopes that other titles may become available. Adéla ještě nevečeřela, which features a man-eating plant named Adela, created by Jan Švankmajer, has already acquired something of a cult following. Its alternative title Nick Carter in Prague refers to the prototype detective hero of US dime magazines, who was immortalised in the French silent series of 1908.
I'd also like to put in a plea for two other 1960s parodies on popular heroes, Superman and 007, both of which were directed by the still active Václav Vorliček: Kdo chce zabít Jessii? (Who Wants to Kill Jessie?,1966), scripted by Macourek and featuring Schoberová as Jessie, and Konec agenta W4C prostřednictvím psa pana Foustky (The End of an Agent by means of Mr Foustka's Dog aka End of an Agent,1967). Of course, the titles deserve a prize in themselves, rivalled only perhaps by Jindřich Polák's Zitra vstanu a opařím se čajem (Tomorrow I'll Wake Up and Scald Myself with Tea, 1977).
- Peter Hames     www.kinoeye.org/02/15/hames15.php
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utorak, 10. listopada 2017.

Bertrand Mandico - Our Lady of Hormones (2014)

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Nema granice između žicih i neživih objekata. Anorgansko-organski viskozni kič.


La chanson du jardinier fou
Tout ce que vous avez vu est vrai
Monsieur Flupersu
C’était le chien d’Eddy…(extrait)
Mie (extrait)
Sa majesté petite barbe (extrait)
Living Still Life (trailer)
Prehistoric Cabaret (trailer)
Burlesque et froid (extrait)
Le cavalier bleu
Il dit qu’il est mort…(extrait)
Essai 135 / essai 136s
Lif Og Daudi Henry Darger (extrait)
Boro in the Box (trailer)
Notre-Dame des Hormones (bientôt)

The Intersex Objects of Bertrand Mandico

The cinema of French filmmaker and animator Bertrand Mandico is unique in its approach to depicting the human body.
The cinema of French filmmaker and animator Bertrand Mandico is unique in its approach to depicting the human body. For Mandico, the body’s status as a film subject is comparable to and interchangeable with that of any other film subject. That is, ‘animate objects’—such as human characters or animals—occupy the same cinematic roles as ‘inanimate’ ones—such as housewares or artificial structures, collapsing the binary that exists between the two. Mandico’s films time and again blur the line between binaries—animate and inanimate, male and female—and in doing so demonstrate their arbitrary nature as film subjects.  
Bodies and objects in Mandico’s cinema often appear abstracted and juxtaposed vis-a-vis each other, such as when women portray lamps and men portray statues in Our Lady of Hormones (2014). At first glance, the use of bodies in this way suggests the works of Jean Cocteau (such as the candlesticks in his Beauty and the Beast from 1946), though it’s necessary to view Mandico in light of the connective tissue—thematically and structurally—that exists between himself and the Polish filmmaker Walerian Borowczyk. The subjects of both directors’ films include the emulation of the Middle Ages, burlesque, antiquarianism, and frank depiction of sex and sexuality. Like Borowczyk’s oeuvre, one might view Mandico's similarly in that his live action films form a part of a larger corpus of work, including still photography and animation, and like his predecessor, Mandico trained originally as an animator, studying at the École de l’image Gobelins. Mandico also wrote and directed a biopic of sorts on Borowczyk, Boro in the Box (2011), which is arguably his best-known film.  
But what distinguishes Mandico’s cinema from Borowczyk’s or from the work of other mixed media artists? While his approach to the portrayal of bodies is not unlike Borowczyk’s—the body forms part of a larger landscape of forms—one of several distinguishing characteristics of Mandico’s films is his recurring conflation of the biological sex of bodies. To this end, it is also necessary to view Mandico’s oeuvre as inseparable from the onscreen persona of the Romanian actress Elina Löwensohn, who appears in and occasionally co-writes nearly all of Mandico’s films. In Souvenirs d’un montreur des seins (2014), Löwensohn portrays a man, informing the audience directly that she the actress—and, the viewer discovers, he the character—is “not the type that you think I am.” In addition to her role as Borowczyk's mother in Boro in the Box, Löwensohn narrates the film as Walerian Borowczyk, referring to “la mère” in the third person. Further, the names of characters in Mandico’s films are often arbitrary: Lune and Lautre in Our Lady of Hormones are a French play on words of “l’une” (one) and “l’autre” (other), and Löwensohn’s character in Prehistoric Cabaret (2013), while not referred to by name, is credited as “the earth.” 
The viewer will notice the spectrum of bodies and objects and of biological sex reflected in the mechanics of the filmmaking itself. Consider Mandico’s use of rear projection images, which can be diegetic, extradiegetic, or both at once. In Prehistoric Cabaret, a camera is inserted into the body of a figure whose insides are then projected onto a screen, which functions as part of a stage performance. In Our Lady of Hormones, the viewer sees rear projection used to convey the movement of figures through a forest. In Y a-t-il une vierge encore vivante? (2015), the viewer sees a figure standing in front of a rear projection image of a man’s mouth periodically sticking his tongue out, as if to hit the back of the figure’s head, conflating the literal and the figurative in one image. Like these diegetic and extradiegetic images, the distinction between animate and inanimate and between male and female are binaries that Mandico will often undermine.
Mandico’s Living Still Life (2008) provides the viewer with a ‘thesis’ for cinema’s interchangeability between bodies that move and objects that remain still. The film’s protagonist photographs animal carcasses and arranges the photographs in stop-motion animation reels, recalling Eadweard Muybridge’s photography and early animation techniques, being in a sense an animator who ‘brings objects to life.’ In viewing cinematic images in this way, one might also recall Amos Vogel’s opening statement from Film as a Subversive Art, wherein he insists that there is no discrepancy between still images and moving images, as the latter are merely a collection of the former arranged in a certain order. 
The implicit portrayal of sex and sexuality in Mandico’s films often alludes to taboo subjects, specifically incest and bestiality. Our Lady of Hormones opens with a shot of the elderly figure of Oedipus being pummeled with mud from off-screen, which recalls one of Catherine Deneuve’s sexual fantasies in Buñuel’s Belle de jour (1967). Y a-t-il une vierge encore vivante? depicts an imagined life of Joan of Arc where, instead of having been executed, was blinded. The film uses iconography similar to Sophocles' Oedipus Rex in showing Löwensohn’s face with two bloody eye sockets, a buried conceit of Sophocles’ play being a male character carving out a cavity in his body in response to entering his mother’s cavity. Y a-t-il une vierge encore vivante is in certain ways distilled from Borowczyk’s The Beast (1975) in its portrayal of bestiality using many of the conventions of erotica. The narration in Mandico’s film blithely refers to Joan of Arc having been “deflowered by an English stallion, ever so gently,” while Joan discovers a virgin woman bound to a tree. It is revealed a moment later that the tree raped the woman, revealing a phallus covered in tree bark. Trees do not reproduce sexually of course, and therefore have no sex organs, yet here Mandico views the human figure and the tree as interchangeable: The tree copulates as humans do, and the virgin is kept as a personal possession by Joan—she never speaks and moves only when Joan controls her, as if she were her horse or face mask. 
In Prehistoric Cabaret, Löwensohn performs a sex show for an audience of men in a nightclub. This show involves her inserting a novelty camera probe inside her and photographing her insides. The camera itself straddles the line between animate and inanimate in that it seems to move on its own without Löwensohn’s manipulation. There is an obvious sexual connotation where the probe functions as a phallus, and, according to dialogue, the camera is able to photograph what cannot be seen: “This camera is a unique model. Its development was cut short because it is much too dangerous. This camera lets you see the inside of things even beyond the organs. It lets you plunge into the individual’s original stratum. It goes all the way back to the cradle of humanity.” After the show, the probe writhes on the floor between her legs, as if alive.
In Souvenirs, Löwensohn delivers the same monologue twice. On the first delivery, she speaks directly to the camera. On the second, the viewer hears it in voiceover while images become more and more abstracted: false teeth, jewelry, fishnet stockings, photographs, and other objects that recall Borowczyk’s stop-motion animated works such as The Museum and Renaissance (both 1964). While the monologue remains, Mandico eventually supplants the human figure of Löwensohn—very much animate in that she scowls at the camera, drinks, and so on—with inanimate objects that at once imply the human figure and extrapolate its arbitrary status as a film subject.
There is often little distinction between the sexes in Mandico films, as he routinely conflates the binary between male and female characters. This not only extends to the conventional portrayal of male and female by actors and actresses, but also confounds the very appearance of biological sex, effectively portraying bodies as intersex objects. In Souvenirs, Löwensohn plays a man who suddenly grows breasts “…like sap in spring time,” delivering a monologue describing his and others’ fixation on them as objects that seem to have been superimposed on another object arbitrarily. As in Souvenirs, an actress in Hormones portrays a male character. The director (Agnès Berthon) arrives on a motorcycle in a leather jacket and boots—in a shot that recalls one in Robbe-Grillet’s La belle captive (1983)—and is dubbed in a man's voice. The film also suggests that the director is homosexual, as Lune refers to him later as a ‘faggot.’
Our Lady of Hormones depicts two actresses, Lune (Löwensohn) and Lautre (Nathalie Richard). The film implies that the two are a romantic couple (they share a bed, and a scene reveals Lune reading Les sociétés secrètes féminines by lesbian author and playwright Marianne Monestier) and the narrative involves jealousy between the two women over third parties, namely an anamorphic organism of ambiguous sex which they call ‘the thing’ and the homosexual male film director. Early in the film, the two women discover an organism with a visible phallus. Because the organism is largely amorphic with neither ‘masculine’ nor ‘feminine’ traits, the phallus doesn’t necessarily register as such until Lune tells Lautre to lick it, implying the act of fellatio. The two later dress the thing in costume jewelry and throughout the film refer to it as ‘her,’ ‘him,’ and ‘it’ interchangeably. 
Even in scenes where Mandico does not use principal performers, he will use several objects—such as flowers, ripening fruit, blood, and saliva—or invert the image of the human body to create visual allusions to biological sex, and by extension, human sexuality. Consider a shot from Our Lady of Hormones, which frames Löwensohn’s head sideways and focuses on her closed mouth, visually suggesting a vagina. Two shots appearing later in the film suggest the thing’s intersex status: one where it sprouts flowers and draws the attention of the male statues, suggesting puberty or a metaphorical ‘blossoming,’ and another where its phallus appears superimposed in front of a woman’s spread legs.
Bertrand Mandico
Mandico draws the viewer’s attention to the bearing of hormonal change on both physical appearance and its relation to standards of physical beauty. Lautre in Hormones stands in front of a mirror, watching a patch of hair move across her arm. The figure of Oedipus bookends the film, where he appears first with elongated nipples, and later with the actresses’ faces supplanting them, suggesting the development of breasts. Finally, Mandico’s characters allude to the intersexual spectrum through dialogue. Hormones and Souvenirs both feature descriptions of reproductive organs as either a “hormonal euphoric landscape” or an “intoxicating hormonal landscape,” the use of ‘euphoric’ and ‘intoxicating’ here denoting a liberation of the body from a biological binary.
Such an interpretation of Mandico suggests that his cinema exists merely to be deconstructed by the viewer. This is possible, but not by necessity, given that his own simultaneous construction and deconstruction of binaries and film elements together are, rather than being an interpretive exercise for the viewer, done to explore the subject of biological sex. Making no distinction between live action and animation, as Borowczyk did, Mandico approaches subjects as one working in collage might: it is through juxtaposition and conflation that new forms emerge. Like the probe in Prehistoric Cabaret, the images “move beyond the organs, to the source of all origins, deeper and deeper into the meanderings of life.” - Henri de Corinth   mubi.com/notebook/posts/the-intersex-objects-of-bertrand-mandico

Leyland Kirby - We, so tired of all the darkness in our lives (2017)

Noć te ne gleda mrakom.

These days it feels like it's at an all time low for positive outcomes.
The music here is free for you to download or to pay for. It's your call. It's not free because I place no value on this work. It's free because I mean it.
It shows a slightly different side and production value to previously released works. These are the tracks I've personally revisited most in the past four or five years. They have all helped me out. I'd like to think you don't see this as throwaway work. It's been collated carefully.
Production wise I think it's more in focus and it gives some... indications to early influences. It goes somewhere, it goes nowhere, there are drawn out synths, drums, piano and drift. It's about the fact that not everything need be angry, distorted or bombastic to show defiance. It's every bar stool I've sat on and am yet to sit on. It's me throwing myself down stairs again and again because I'm as sick of things as you are.
If it's not released now then this work just sits on a drive for even longer gathering digital dust which I feel is a shame. Maybe you will find some solace in the sounds if your mood is right or you need them. Maybe one track hits home, maybe more do. Hopefully it can help here and there.
I still greatly believe in the value of music and of true independent music. This is in spite of the constant devaluing of music by big business and streaming services. I'm not creating work to help push cans of energy drink or to look for cheap clicks on playlists or to get involved in scenes.
The bottom line here is if you have no coin right now then this one is on me with pleasure. If you can support the work then this is great too. It's always a lot of hard work and a dream.
I've been hard at it lately with The Caretaker work so now I afford myself a night out finally sinking the odd whisky or two down at my favourite Krakow bar, Propaganda. It's been a good while since the last time.
I'll raise the whisky glass in there for us all. You know the score. - Leyland Kirby

I'll admit that for years I was utterly perplexed by Leyland Kirby aka The Caretaker aka V/VM (and so on). I once saw him play live, rolling around on the floor and singing along to pop hits, like St Vitus karaoke. No matter how much people might have told me of the brilliance, I struggled to understand what he was about - this, it transpires, was my loss. It was my Quietus co-pilot John Doran's interview with Kirby last year that changed it all. One of my favourite articles we've run on the site, the sport of darts suddenly opening up Kirby's rare, wonderful world for me. I felt like a fool for having neglected it for so long. If all the critical quacking on about hauntology etc had fogged things for me previously, that cleared in the face of the profound emotional hit of his music, especially in The Caretaker's final Everywhere At The End Of Time dementia series of albums, or the ribald piss-taking of po-faced peers with V/VM's Mrs Mills' Piano.
Indeed, this new album, given away for free on Bandcamp yesterday (accompanying Everywhere At The End...'s imminent third instalment - buy from our Norman here), comes accompanied by a beautifully-put and direct piece of text on Kirby's motivations for doing what he does. "It's not free because I place no value on this work. It's free because I mean it," he writes. The full text (on the Bandcamp page) is the antithesis to the pseudo-academic art speak PR guff that accompanies so much electronic music these days - a practice my learned pal Uncle Music off Twitter calls “CV inflation”. Similarly We, So Tired Of All The Darkness In Our Lives for all its 16 tracks of languid, wandering piano, electronics, drums like eyelids fluttering off into a doze is a strange, instantly overwhelming and moving listen that fits its title. It has, even in the past day, managed to alter my head drastically at a particularly troubling time. However hazy this music might superficially be, there's a powerful undertow of emotion and integrity the likes of which one tends to hear these days only around the fringes. I can't think of another record that has moved me so quickly, and unexpectedly, this year. That it's a free download and self-released says much about the tech-obsessed, ironic, mainstream-indebted cynicism of a lot of supposedly leftfield electronic music right now.
Apparently put together from Kirby's prodigious archive of tracks, lurking in his Krakow HQ, it's like an assemblage of all the best moments of album interlude music you've ever heard drunk, wept over, grieving and bleakly euphoric, like rolling over onto the other side of a bed still warm from a lover just departed for good. I've always admired and been drawn to music that can at one moment give a great sense of unease and the next act as balm, and Kirby has that down pat in this emotionally generous album. The melancholia of the sonics contrasts with the twisted wit of titles 'Rotten Rave Tropes', 'Clickbait' and 'Sickly Strawberry Nostalgia', amusing yet gothic juxtaposition echoed in the cover's still life of old 90s phone and a grubby cut bloom.
Like all the greatest artists, Kirby is able to deploy maximum humour while taking things very seriously indeed and without being, well, a smug twat. Praise be upon him. "These days it feels like it's at an all time low for positive outcomes," Kirby writes on the Bandcamp "sleevenotes". That's as maybe, but it's records like this and the generosity of spirit of the likes of Kirby that'll help us through this rum age. - Luke Turner

Out Of Time: Leyland James Kirby And The Death Of A Caretaker : an interview by John Doran

Paul Dolden - Histoires d’histoire (2017)

Muzika kao pozadinsko kozmičko zračenje našeg trenutka.
"Apokaliptični zvukovni hipermodernizam."


Nobody – but nobody – makes music that sounds like Paul Dolden. His work typically exhibits unchecked exuberance, both his instrumental and electronic (and electroacoustic) music not merely firing on all cylinders, but with their inner workings ludicrously pimped and their processors absurdly overclocked, sounds and timbres piled on top of each other in extremis. His latest disc, Histoire d’histoire, on the Canadian acousmatic label empreintes DIGITALes, is therefore interesting as in many respects it shows considerable restraint. Much of the disc is devoted to Dolden’s five-movement work Music of Another Present Era, completed last year, in which he sets out to create a kind of deliberately inauthentic ethnographic artefact. Dolden uses our lack of knowledge about the music of ancient cultures to construct a free-wheeling flight of fancy, employing a “metaphoric use of myths” as inspiration rather than seeking to fabricate a pointless (and impossible) ersatz ‘reconstruction’. This imagined historical survey perhaps accounts in part for the demonstrable delicacy shown in this piece. Yet even from the opening moments, it’s unequivocally Dolden: microtonally unique instruments – implying the lack of a coherent, codified tuning scheme – wheeze into life as though summoning up their energy only with considerable effort, presenting a unified but ‘doddery’ demeanour. This is how first movement ‘Marsyas’ Melodies’ begins (evoking the Phrygian Satyr who was supposedly the first to create music for the flute), eventually restarting in order to find some clarity, whereupon Dolden’s characteristic dense polyphony swells up, leading to Zappa-esque florid percussion and strangely agile stodge. Flutes are featured even more in third movement ‘Entr’acte’, in which a solid chorus of them is created, so compacted that they constantly clash and jostle and scrape against each other to the point where they can hardly move.
The ‘doddery’ demeanour i previously spoke of, the result of both density and microtonal confusion, continually rears its head, resembling the effect of amateur musicians struggling with both their instruments and their ideas (think of the Portsmouth Sinfonia, sight-reading), resulting in by turns amusing and charming acts of weird articulation that sound more than a little the worse for wear. As such – particularly in ‘The Cosmic Circle Dance’, one of the most exhilarating movements – there’s a joyous sense of music that needs several attempts from different directions or angles, crossed with a Harry Partch-like weird and wonderfulness that causes things to unexpectedly break off into a solo, or a twanging group of Jew’s harps. We speak of performers ‘playing’ their instruments, and a quality of play (in all its meanings) permeates every aspect of this disc, as it does with Dolden’s work in general. Yet while uproariously unhinged it may be, there’s an earnestness that keeps the music real, makes it more than just an extravagant piece of melodramatically theatrical nonsense. In a manner not dissimilar to Jennifer Walshe’s equally fictitious Aisteach project, one is caught up in the zeal and gusto that’s entirely genuine and leaves one wishing that these really were, in fact, the sounds from a long-forgotten age. - Simon Cummings, 5:4

Unusually for this genre, the press release on “Histoires d’histoire” is sparse- a simple list of titles, durations, dates and credits. There’s no written rationale or post-justification with heavy use of adjectives- the music will justify itself. And it really does.It’s a collection of long, expansive and ambitious avantgarde classical pieces that combine ‘proper’ modern classical in the style of Lygeti or Bartók with a range of more Eastern-sounding percussive instrumentation, and gentle and occasional use of post-production, re-processing and resampling at unexpected moments. The histories being squared here are not purely Western, not purely any tradition, perhaps a history from a universe parallel to our own.
“Music Of Another Present Era” is the main work, in five distinct and individually named parts. After the warm overture of “Marsyas Melodies”, “Shango’s Funkiness” is a percussive workout, at times sounding like an improvised drum workshop descending into either confusion or ennui before repeatedly recovering. Shortest piece “Entr’acte” is the most Lygeti-esque, bursts of long and then short string sustains flirting with cacophony, segueing into “Air Of The Rainbow Robe And Feathered Skirt” which has a similar attitude with a broader, more operatic palette. It evolves further as “The Cosmic Circle” treats the same ingredients with an extra spark of spontaneity, before twisting into a kind of bizarre alt-jazz in the final third- an obtuse way to wrap up.
Two further long pieces, each a few years old, fill the CD almost to its brim. The eighteen-minute “BeBop Baghdad” is, despite the name, practically prog rock- long noodling guitar notes playing over sporadic percussion, like a kind of subdued and Eastern-influenced Yes or Robert Fripp piece in parts. The sixteen-minute “Show Tunes In Samarian Starlight” is similarly adventurous, but with the central instrument switched from Maurizio Grandinetti’s electric guitar to ukasz Gothszalk’s layered-up B-flat trumpet, bringing proceedings back into the weirder suburbs of out-there jazz.
It’s an extensive 80-minute journey through a whole heap of ideas, sounds and moods, a real patchwork quilt of organic ideas arriving and departing with plenty of energy and a hint of frivolity. That playfulness and slight shortage of coherence disempowers it somewhat from being a really ‘wow’-inducing listening experience, but it’s a very out-there listen.  - Stuart Bruce, Chain DLK

"A fascinating and intriguing release… A great addition to the quirky but ever interesting catalog of Starkland [that] is consistent with the high sonic standards by which Starkland is known… Highly recommended." - New Music Buff

"Extraordinary creativity… creating phantasmagorical universes… One of the most consistently interesting and inventive electro-acoustic composers-assemblers today." - Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review

"Who Has the Biggest Sound? [offers] an incredible amount of information very well organized and reproduced… The Un-Tempered Orchestra… grows more beautiful within its murky dissonances with each listen." - The Wire
Paul Dolden’s Who Has the Biggest Sound? CD is the first recording in over nine years from this electroacoustic wizard. The album premieres two major works that feature the surreal blending of up to 400 layered studio tracks.

Dolden's music has been widely praised:
All Music Guide: "A leading figure in sound art."

Village Voice:  "Dolden’s apocalyptic hypermodernism so transcends what the 20th century had in mind that it opens up a whole new realm."

The Wire:  "Using studio electricity to jolt music way beyond the realms of musicianly possibility, Canadian composer Paul Dolden’s lush, bizarre concrete recordings have finally come of age in the speed-soaked digital era."

New releases from this Canadian composer are rare because of the extraordinary amount of time Dolden takes to build up his richly dense pieces. To create the CD’s major work, the 52-minute Who Has the Biggest Sound, he worked full-time over a 3-year period from November 2005 to December 2008, logging over 6,000 hours in the studio. The CD’s other work, the 18-minute The Un-Tempered Orchestra (2010), required about 1800 studio hours.

Who Has the Biggest Sound? features tongue-in-cheek questions such as: Who Can Play the Fastest? Who Has the Biggest Noise? Who Has the Nicest Melodies? Beyond these queries, however, Dolden develops some highly refined, imaginative, cultural-geographic intersections, such as linking howling dogs with country music and crickets (whose slowed-down chirps emerge in a 6/8 meter) with Spain’s flamenco. Along the way, we hear the Tremolo Trailblazers perform “The Saddle Song,” as well as a Tonic Tango. The work was commissioned by New York’s Diapason Gallery and Montreal’s Réseaux des arts médiatiques.
Noting the composer is “an unparalleled master of digital studio techniques,” Lawrence Joseph remarks that this work “displays Dolden’s talent for mixes that are dense in content yet retain transparency even when layering hundreds of tracks. His unique gift is the ability to imagine and then painstakingly realize orchestrations where the sum is not only greater than the parts, but the results are completely unpredictable from the parts.”
In The Un-Tempered Orchestra, a juxtaposition to Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier that explored the new equal-temperament tuning system (the basis for nearly all Western music since), Dolden uses non-tempered tuning systems to create a fresh multicultural space, where Western and non-Western musical practices can co-exist. Dolden first wrote simple diatonic melodies and chord progressions, then recorded Eastern and Western musicians performing these in their native tunings, finally retuning and editing all these together into an asymmetrically tuned whole. At one point, for example, jazz-like solos were retuned into ancient Greek, Babylonian, and Chinese tuning systems, thereby reflecting today’s style back to us altered by ancient tuning systems. The work was commissioned by Germany’s Sinus Ton Festival.
While at times listeners often think they are hearing electronic sounds in these two works, Dolden stresses that all the original material is purely acoustic. Elements may sound electronic because of Dolden’s complex layering, such as a section consisting of 10 dilrubas (an Indian violin), 4 western violins, and 7 Irish folk flutes, which slowly crossfades into 10 suonas (an oboe-like Chinese instrument), 4 western oboes, and 7 neys (Middle Eastern flute), all of which may be digitally retuned. Dolden was first heard on Starkland with his work Twilight’s Dance, in our first-of-its-kind Immersion DVD, for which Starkland commissioned Dolden and 12 other composers to create high-resolution, surround sound compositions exclusively for this DVD-Audio release.
about Paul Dolden
Canadian electroacoustic composer Paul Dolden began his career at age sixteen as a professional electric guitarist, violinist, and cellist. After extensively exploring the possibilities of recording technologies, he arrived at his unique approach of concocting otherwise impossible musical performances. The resulting compositions are characterized by a maximalist aesthetic, in which hundreds of digitally recorded instrumental and vocal performances are layered in up to 500 tracks, to create a new, virtual orchestra, conducted by Dolden with as much sensitivity and finesse as he desires.
Dolden was recognized as a composer of note when, at age 29, he won the first of over 20 international awards he has received, in a career now spanning over thirty years. Dolden has written over 30 commissioned works, including those for: orchestra (Esprit Orchestra, Canada; Phoenix, Switzerland); chamber ensemble (Stockholm Saxophone Quartet, Sweden; Bang on A Can All-Stars, New York); virtuoso soloists (Rivka Golani, Stefan Osterjo, Nancy Ruffer, David Brutti, Francois Houle); and pure electroacoustic music (Groupe de musique électroacoustique de Bourges, France; Réseau & Association de creation et recherché électroacoustique du Québec, Canada; and Starkland, USA).
Dolden’s 2-CD set “L’Ivresse de la Vitesse” (Intoxicated by Speed) from empreintes DIGITALes, widely regarded as a landmark recording, was selected by The Wire as “one of the top 100 recordings of the 20th century.”

L'Ivresse De La Vitesse

In the late 1970’s I started to write and produce music involving hundreds of parts or tracks. In the early days, the analogue recording medium was very noisy when bouncing (or premixing) tracks together. Things improved throughout the 1980’s and ’90’s, but a large multitrack digital tape recorder was still out of my financial reach. By the late 1990’s the new computer and hard drive speeds finally provided me with an affordable multitrack solution. For the first time in my life I was able to achieve the balance between individual voices that I had so carefully notated in the original scores. I achieved further musical clarity and a new depth of sound by using quality compression, equalisation and reverb. To remaster, I went back to the individual tracks. This was a huge undertaking. For example, a piece like Dancing on the Walls of Jericho (1990) may be only 16 minutes and 15 seconds long, but it is a large tape work comprising eighty hours of original recorded materials.
Recordings always ‘freeze’ or crystallise musical and spectral meaning for the listener. An odd sound combination that you have grown fond of in the old master may not appear in the same way in the new one. However, I think you will agree that I have stayed true to the original compositions. I changed some musical moments and transitions in Dancing on the Walls of Jericho, Beyond the Walls of Jericho, and the tape components for Physics of Seduction. Invocations #2 and Physics of Seduction. Invocations #3, all originally released on the L’ivresse de la vitesse CD in 1994. These changes were motivated by compositional concerns and were created using the musical materials from the Walls Cycle. The only new recordings made for the remastering process were the drum parts (performed by Philippe Keyser) in Physics of Seduction. Invocation #2 and Physics of Seduction. Invocation #3.
I invite you to discover many new levels of meaning and clarity in the new masters, which are much closer to my original artistic intention. - Paul Dolden

Canadian electroacoustic composer Paul Dolden (Canada, 1956) specialized in "maximalist" music for a computer-generated orchestra of instrumental and vocal snippets, a technique first documented on the cassettes Sonarchy (Underwhich Audiographics, 1986) and Sonarchy II (Underwhich Audiographics, 1988), that contain the early versions of Veils (28 minutes) The Melting Voice Through Mazes Runnning (21 minutes), and Caught In An Octogon Of Unaccustomed Light (18 minutes). Two of those collages surfaced again on The Threshold Of Deafening Silence (Tronia, 1990), namely Caught In An Octagon Of Unaccustomed Light and The Melting Voice Through Mazes Running, and the album added Below The Walls Of Jericho (14:33) and In The Natural Doorway I Crouch (14:56). Below The Walls Of Jericho is one of his terrifying apocalyptic visions: an ominous drone leads to an escalating explosion, but just when the world seems to come to an end silence happens, almost absolute silence; and then the vacuum begins to populate again with forms of life, which again quickly self-multiply and generate another protracted firestorm; and then quiet resumes, but this time as a more disturbing cyclical pattern that evokes industrial machinery; and robotic voices begin to populate the factory-like soundscape, shouting all at the same time until manic confusion reigns supreme, and that is when a grotesque dance begins that seems to involve every possible machine tool until it self-disintegrates. The double-disc album L'Ivresse de la Vitesse (Empreintes Digitales, 1994) contains collages composed in different years. The 16-minute L'Ivresse De La Vitesse is used as the manifesto for his "cut and paste" audio art that diverges significantly from traditional musique concrete because it embraces the whole instead of dissecting the parts. Where early scholars of sound manipulation favored an agonizing analysis of sound properties, Dolden does the exact opposite creating catastrophic hyper-percussive hyper-kinetic music according to a principle of endless apotheosis.
Dancing on the Walls of Jericho and Beyond the Walls of Jericho, complete the triptych that Below the Walls of Jericho started. Childish percussion chaos is the "theme" of Dancing On The Walls Of Jericho (16:14), peaking eleven minutes into the piece with a manic collective march and turning into a hysterical orgy.
Suspense and post-nuclear angst pervade the even more poignant Beyond The Walls Of Jericho (16:25), whose chamber cacophony rises to hurricane dimension with industrial/punk ferocity.
The three-movement suite Physics Of Seduction "remixes" material from the Jericho triptych. A feeling of string chamber music pervades Physics Of Seduction - Invocation #3 (18:28), that repeatedly implodes in pauses of quasi silence, but that feeling also comes with a parallel feeling of extenuating physical effort.
Physics Of Seduction - Invocation #2 (13:18) peaks with a swarm of staccato plucking, after which the harpsichord is used like a hammer; but then, about halfway, it gets too brainy and basically restarts from silence. Physics Of Seduction - Invocation #1 (15:47) is another piece split in two or more parts. At one point it is the most overtly "rock" segments of the album thanks to the use of the electric guitar. It also competes for the title of most violent (and loud) composition.
The two-movement suite Resonance is ostensibly a remix of L'Ivresse de la Vitesse. Surprisingly, Revenge Of The Repressed. Resonance #2 (7:10), driven by a saxophone, delves into a circus atmosphere with jazz overtones; and In A Bed Where The Moon Was Sweating - Resonance #1 (9:02) stages a clarinet trying to make sense of percussive and vocal madness.
The album also recycles the old composition Veils (28:30), this time divided into three sections: a massive spectral drone of instruments and voices, a slow but steady crescendo of metallic droning and clanging noise, and a less organic but occasionally more brutal third part, with sharper, and occasionally shrieking, wildly vibrating timbres. Delires De Plaisirs (2005) contains the 49-minute four-movement Entropic Twilights (composed 1997-2002), one of his most solemn works, and two "resonances": The Gravity Of Silence - Resonance #5 (1995) and The Heart Tears Itself Apart With The Power Of Its Own Muscle - Resonance #3 (1995). Who Has the Biggest Sound? (Starkland, 2014) contains two electroacoustic compositions that demonstrate Dolden's meticulous assembling method. The 52-minute suite Who Has the Biggest Sound (composed in 2005-08) employs music performed in different tunings (and often re-tuned at the computer). It is broken down into short segments (nine minutes the longest one, one minute the shortest one), a format that seems to betray the episodic nature of the composition. It is, however, a multi-genre experience, even more so than on previous albums: The Village Choir Asks the Important Questions of the Day evokes thundering choral religious music, The Village Wind Orchestra: The Answer Is Blowing in the Winds is trivial Michael Nyman-esque minimalism, Who Has The Biggest Noise borders on prog-metal, Who Can Play the Fastest crosses over into punk-jazz and drum'n'bass mayhem, The Village Wind Orchestra - More Blowing in the Wind mixes ethnic folk and cartoon soundtracks, etc. The least interesting sketches are the ones that sound like mere imitations (whether post-modernist or not), and there are too many of them. Even the longest piece, Who Has The Nicest Melodies, disappoints in that it doesn't exhibit any of the beastly insanity of his masterpieces. Frank Zappa's influence is stronger than ever on verbal and orchestral gags such as Who can Talk Faster Crickets or Man? (and its comic coda The Village Orchestra: Tonic Tango). The whole album is a lot of fun, but Dolden without his genocidal pathos is like Wagner without a choir.
The 18-minute The Un-Tempered Orchestra (2010), a reference of sorts to Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier, is also fragmented and relatively relaxed. Dolden is more interested in "conducting" his orchestra according to his algorithms than in triggering the end of the world. - www.scaruffi.com/avant/dolden.html

Paul Dolden begins his career at age 16 as a professional electric guitarist, violinist and cellist. Excited by the possibilities offered by recording technologies, Paul Dolden turns to contemporary modes of production and dissemination in the creation of his music. At age 29, he wins the first of a string of European awards that establish him as a composer. Now the winner of over twenty international awards, Paul Dolden’s music is performed in Europe and North America to wildly enthusiastic audiences.
In a career spanning over thirty years, Paul Dolden has perfected his unique approach to audio technology, using it as a platform from which to launch or capture otherwise impossible musical performances. In this way, he makes his computer behave like a new, virtual orchestra and manipulates it with as much sensitivity as he would a traditional one. His compositions are characterised by a maximalist aesthetic in which hundreds of digitally recorded instrumental and vocal performances are combined in multiple layers.
Paul Dolden’s music has been described as the “missing link” between jazz and rock and the high-brow concert tradition. Critics have called it “music for the information age, enlisting noise, complexity and beauty in its quest for excess,” and characterised it as “apocalyptic hyper-modernism.”
The early works employ a unified approach to timbral and harmonic variation. Under the influence of post-modernism, Paul Dolden’s concerns have shifted to include the juxtaposition and superimposition of disparate musical styles evident throughout the Resonance Cycle of works (1992-96). Always working to surpass himself, with the Twilight Cycle of recent years Paul Dolden boldly investigates the forbidden fruit of contemporary new music: melody and dance rhythms.
Since 2003 Dolden’s compositional approach has included detailed study of different musical styles and nature sounds to uncover their relationships. Dolden then recombines their unique properties to create an auditory bacchanal of otherworldly textures, polyrhythms and microtonal melodies. For example in the Who Has… Cycle of works (2005-09), nature’s handiwork is everywhere, from the massive swarms of insects to the busy sections of brass and winds which model the same intense microtonal and polyrhythmic patterns.
Dolden considers the relation between culture and geography and takes it to its logical extreme. He first recognizes it is no coincidence that country music sprang to life alongside the howling hounds of the open plains, and that Spain begat Flamenco alongside crickets that chirp in 6/8, and then complements these naturalistic sounds with live performers who accompany and comment on the musical circus. Throughout this cycle unity is maintained by recurring melodic themes, presented by a choir, shredded on guitar, barked by dogs and generally embedded and transformed throughout.
While listeners have always concluded that Dolden “has the biggest sound,” he instead suggests that it is nature itself. Scratching the surface behind the tropes and humor within the Who Has… Cycle reveals a desperate cry for both musical and environmental relief. If nature has the biggest sound, nicest melodies, and biggest noise, then it must be respected and protected.
Since 2010, in a series of works for soloist and tape, and in Music of Another Present Era (2013-16), Dolden is inspired by mythologies. Myths are featured in every culture and continue today in urban legends and in the expansive fictional mythoi created by movies and popular music. The works of this period play freely with our historical imagination, specifically, our ability to imagine another time and culture through its mythological stories. At the same time this imagining is always conditioned by our time and the current state of our own music. For example, Dolden imagines that the myth of Marsyas was like our Battle of the Bands, that Shango, the African God of Storms, had a laid back funky groove, that the original Moon festivals had Girly Songs, that the original Cosmic Circle Dance was like a big band swinging in 5/4, and that the Samaritans in the West Bank during Babylonian times performed Show Tunes.
In short, in Dolden’s most recent music, myths from the past collide with present musical styles in a quest for pure musical beauty. - https://www.electrocd.com/en/artiste/dolden_pa/Paul_Dolden

What is the speed of music? At what point does music red shift to ultrasonic velocity like all those spectral objects before it, break the sound barrier and then follow an immense curvature towards that point of incredible sound density, where music can finally move at such violent speeds that it can no longer be heard, even by mutant membranes. The final point, that is, where music breaks beyond the speed of light, falling onto a deep and immense silence.
In this wonderful world, as we drift aimlessly across the mediascape, floating among the debris of all the seductive objects of desire, voyeurs in the cultural boutiques of which our bodies are only random and transitory terminal points, we can finally know the terminal blast of music to be our very own lost object of desire, the field across which bodies are coded, tattooed and signified in an endless circulation of spectral emotions.
If music is so seductive today, that is because it finally delivers on the catastrophe that is our last historical illusion. Music as interesting, therefore, only in its dark and implosive side, in that impossible space where music prefigures our own dissolution into a spectral impulse in the circulatory system of the mediascape. The fascination with music today lies in its violence as a force-field that scripts bodies, codes emotions, processes terminal identities, and rehearses our own existence as crash bodies, by its violent alternation as a scene of ecstasy and inertia.
Sounds appear from nowhere and they decay rapidly. They move across the field of our bodies, and then disappear. They have no real presence, only a virtual and analogical presence. Sounds without history and without a referent.
The brilliant musical compositions of Paul Dolden are an emblematic sign of the times. Dolden is the high priest of crash music for the fin-de-siècle. A ‘DAT’ musician whose music is at the forward edge of the ’90s, Dolden hardwires us into the sounds of terminal culture. His crash music operates like a violent force-field: an oscillating field of energy where rolling walls of sound can achieve such maximal density that they suddenly fold back into perfectly eerie silences. Paul Dolden actually creates the crash sound of inertia and ecstasy.
(A fragment of this introduction is excerpted from The Possessed Individual: Technology and the French Postmodern (St Martin’s Press, New York City, 1992), a theory that parallels Paul Dolden’s crash music.) - Arthur Kroker

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