Friday, December 31, 2021
Saturday, January 16, 2021
HAPPY AS LAZZARO: Beautifully done modern Italian realism exploring sainthood and the potential good of humanity. Visually stunning 16mm and thematically rich material from Alice Rohrwacher. (I think this was released the year previous but I only saw it in the spring).
LOVERS ROCK: My favorite part was when the toaster enters the party dancing hard and is handed the mic. He sets the party off and into a magical sequence that expresses the ferocity, range and power reggae music can have when properly amplified. Tremendous!
HEAVEN'S GATE: Fascinatingly empathetic deep dive into inexplicable minds of madness. The new standard-bearer for cult documentaries.
ALEX WHEATLE: A young reggae fan navigates his youth in this powerful and direct plea for education. After Lover's Rock, this is the second entry on this list from Steve McQueen's Small Axe series.
NOMAD IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF BRUCE CHATWIN: Lovely new Herzog documentary about his twin flame adventurer. Elegant and compelling work as always from Werner.
CORPUS CHRISTI: Religion and violence collide in an intense trip into the heavy faith of Polish juvenile delinquents. The ending was wild.
THE SCHEME: Excellent documentary about FBI corruption told through the world of college basketball shenanigans.
STRUGGLE THE LIFE AND LOST ART OF STANISLAUS SZUKALSKI: Fascinating portrait of a brilliant artist processing the horrors of WWII from an apartment in Burbank.
PIECES OF A WOMAN: A very, very intense and bravado first act mellows out and into a fairly standard yet potent exploration of grief with amazing performances from Shia LaBeouf and Vanessa Kirby.
FIRST COW: Another rich fantastical submersion into the Pacific Northwest from Kelly Reichardt.
SORRY WE MISSED YOU: Two masters of cinema take on the gig economy. What a blessing to have another film documenting the people's struggle from Paul Laverty & Ken Loach.
Tuesday, January 7, 2020
AN ELEPHANT SITTING STILL: Held moments and intricate thoughts from a suicidal soul. Wonderfully dark poetic realism from 29 year old Chinese author Bo Hu, in his first and final film.
LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT: As soon as I stopped trying to follow the story, and think linearly, I loved it. Bi Gan is trying to do something new in filmmaking. Like Bo Hu, he was Chinese and 29 when he made this, though he lives to tell the tale. The theater scene and title card were particularly amazing.
TRIPLE FRONTIER: A macho study of the male ego executed perfectly by J.C. Chandor and a great cast. Chandor is a real talent, looking forward to what he does next.
BORDER: When diversity goes wrong: From somewhere deep within the collective human psyche comes a dark cinematic vision of deformity. Timely & utterly unique.
LUCE: A engrossing story about expectation and minority experience, revolving around one of the more complex and intriguing characters in any film this year.
COLD CASE HAMMARSKJOLD: A gruesome reality is revealed in this captivating trip through the halls of an almost unbelievable conspiracy. A truly fascinating documentary.
LEAVING NEVERLAND: Very hard to watch these two men coming to terms and grappling with going public about the abuse. Complicated, sad, compelling, heroic. The final nail in the coffin of Michael Jackson’s personal legacy.
SEA OF SHADOWS: The folly of human ego is on full display in this National Geographic documentary on the totoaba fish trade in the Sea of Cortez. Great footage; tragic and sad.
THE AMAZING JOHNATHAN DOCUMENTARY: A dying magician wills a class A documentary into his life that manages to make poignant commentary on art, the nature of reality and methamphetamine.
ELVIS PRESLEY THE SEARCHER: Enlightening deep dive into the life and mind of a pioneer. Skews drug/food addiction for a focus on his musical inspirations and achievements. Refreshing.
ABDUCTED IN PLAIN SIGHT: A set of abominable parents feed their daughter knowingly to a peado to protect their reputations; a crazy, wild, often genuinely shocking story featuring some of the worst people I’ve come across in a documentary in quite some time.
Thursday, December 26, 2019
New album from Rinpoche, out on cassette and digital on Australia's Altered States Tapes.
Saturday, November 16, 2019
Yoshtoyoshto (2015) Live Performance at VIDEOEX from Peter Mettler on Vimeo.
"Gaining knowledge from modified consciousness is an old human trick"
Thursday, November 7, 2019
A song taken from the 1977 LP Into The Shrine by Jove. Never Say Never written by David Jove and Ed Ochs. Ochs wrote the liner notes for the album and later wrote a book titled Freedom Spy about the enigmatic psychedelic shape-shifting cultural pioneer, David Jove. This upload is a recording of the first play of a sealed vinyl copy of the album I was lucky enough to find. No effects, compression, EQ, etc have been added.
Thursday, April 4, 2019
Sunday, March 31, 2019
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
This is the second track on the CD included the DVD/CD release Karkowski did with his wife Atsuko Nojiri, titled Continuity, for Asphodel in 2007. It's one of his darkest, most psychedelic works and exemplifies the skill and power he had over sound. Please put some time aside to disappear into this piece while playing it loud through good speakers. "All materials on this release developed and composed at The Compound and at Recombinant Media Labs, San Francisco. Mixed and mastered at Asphodel Studios, San Francisco." "Where langues ends, music begins" - ZK
Sunday, December 23, 2018
Wednesday, January 3, 2018
LOVELESS: Andrey Zvyagintsev brings us another searing indictment of humanity; a tragically relevant portrait of narcissism within a disintegrating family. It's an intimate, dour film largely told through colors and atmosphere - a poignant and powerful work as always from arguably the finest filmmaker working today.
VOYAGE OF TIME: A profound, all encompassing, pagan masterpiece that tracks the evolution of Earth from before time until it's end. This is a bravado, ridiculously ambitious big picture from the singular Terrence Mallick. The confounding beauty of the images seamlessly integrating the macrocosmic and microscopic were unutterably sublime – but it was the narration that I found even more astoundingly poetic. While watching the film I assumed it was sourced from holy texts from throughout history, I was amazed to find out Mallick had written it all. “Oh Mother, abyss of light, all beholding...”
I, DANIEL BLAKE: Ken Loach and Paul Laverty savagely attack the corporatization of public services and the maddening banality of hostile bureaucracies. It makes sense that this simple, direct call to action - with such a powerful ending - caps off the most important and radical filmography to ever emerge from the United Kingdom. Thank you Ken.
TWIN PEAKS THE RETURN: Beyond film; an 18 hour journey into Samsara, where time is looping and the immaterial prevails along further explorations into impermanent non-self reality; so subtly illuminated in the physical realm by the atomic bomb motif – as above so below, atom to star. The final episode with the two characters driving through the night together was as a magnificent distillation of Lynch's inner world realized that I have come across. David pulls out all the stops and transcends limits in what may be the culmination of his vision.
PERSONAL SHOPPER: An extremely rare movie: a ghost story that is actually sort of realistic and also at times genuinely scary. If you smoke weed, watch it stoned. Kristen Stewart is amazing.
ONE MORE TIME WITH FEELING: I shed a couple tears during this portrait of Nick Cave in mourning by Andrew Dominick. Some of the looks on his face as he is trying to elucidate his feelings on the death of his son will be with me for a very long time. It was also cool to see Warren Ellis working in the studio. Powerful stuff.
BLADE RUNNER 2049: In sure form once again, Denis Villeneuve utilizes his control of cinematic language to create a visceral psychedelic darkness that flows effortlessly throughout a subversive story of a slave awakening.
THELMA: A Qigong witch explores the potentials of consciousness in this visionary tale for a New Age from Norway's finest dramatist, Joachim Trier. It starts slow but evolves into a unique, trippy thought provoking work.
THE SUNSHINE MAKERS: "Those that say, don't know; those that dont know, say." This mantra of the psychedelic underground is apparently no longer relevant for a certain generation. I never thought I'd find out who was making our acid all those years but here we have a straight forward look at the once secret world of LSD manufacturing - in particular, chemists Nick Sand and Tim Scully, two heroes that profoundly changed world consciousness. It's done in the standard, unremarkable, talking-head style documentary format but the topic is an important one. It's difficult to truly fathom the number of lives these men enhanced.
WHITNEY CAN I BE ME: A tragic, human portrait handled with class by Nick Broomfield.
THE MEMORY OF JUSTICE: The best film I saw this year was actually from 1976 - an epic documentary from marcel Marcel Ophuls that has been beautifully restored by HBO. It's a brilliant, profound, complex, 5.5 hour deep dive into the Nuremberg trials and an examination of the bureaucratic excuses the Nazi scum attempted to hide behind. If you haven't seen Ophuls' other films they are well worth seeking out, especially A Sense Of Loss (on the ground in Belfast, 1972) and Hotel Terminus (Klaus Barbie and CIA activity after WWII).
Addendum: Just caught up with a few movies from last year that are as good or better than the ones above: the very entertaining art-word satire THE SQUARE, dystopian horror IT COMES AT NIGHT and the ultra-heavy documentary on emotional healing work in a prison THE WORK FOUR DAYS TO REDEMPTION which will probably stay with me longer than all the other films mentioned.
...and this Q&A from after a performance of Empty Words in 1978 is full of inspired wisdom:
John Cage 1978 from Larson Associates on Vimeo.
Monday, March 6, 2017
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
So there we are.
FOUR CRITERIA OF ELECTRONIC MUSIC:
Friday, January 6, 2017
Tony Robbins I Am Not Your Guru
Heaven Knows What
Who Took Johnny
Only The Dead See the End of War
Sunday, January 3, 2016
realms of freeform electronic soundart experimental psychedelic ambient drone noise electroacoustic and so on and so forth."
(I didnt make the mix with that filmmaker in mind but after submission it was titled after the name of the party)
Nocturnal Emissions - Sealing a Phase
Francis Dhomont - Le Flux Des Sons
Ulf Bilting & Zbigniew Karkowski - T Tex
Rashad Becker - Dances 1
Maja Ratkje - Acid
LST - Lewd Strewth Truth
Killing Sound - Eight Methods
Wolfgang Voigt - Rückverzauberung 6.2
Alvin Curran - Canti Illuminati
SPK - In Flagrante Delicto
This Mortal Coil - FyT
Black Dice - Trip Dude Delay
Oake - Nihnin ned Bargund
SPR - Concubine
Chris Watson - El Divisadero The Telegraph
Time Machines - 4-Indolol, 3-[2-(Dimethylamino)Ethyl],Phosphate Ester: (Psilocybin)
Nurse With Wound - Soliloquy for Lilith
Pauline Oliveros - Horse Sings From Cloud
Vanessa Amara - King Machine
Nocturnal Emissions - Blended Senses
Heavy immersion into death camp extermination realized with unprecedented vision by Laszlo Nemes, a first time filmmaker that studied under Bela Tarr. A brave, important exploration of the Sonderkommandos' hell on earth in 1944 Poland. I saw a 35mm presentation with Nemes in person and the man definitely knows what he is doing. Best film in years.
Probably the best movie about drug wars ever made. The two double climaxes, especially the table scene, were truly thrilling. Immorality reigns supreme. Intense.
3. It Follows
A visionary nightmare in a timeless dream state. An amazing follow up from David Robert Mitchell after his incredible teenage study Myth of the American Sleepover. Brilliant, refreshing and genuinely scary.
An authentic, emotional portrayal of growing up with house music and probably the first film to take the culture seriously. Amazing soundtrack too of course.
5. Jimmy's Hall
Set within a lush Irish countryside, master filmmaker Ken Loach explores a 1939 land rights struggle that rings poingently true in today's climate. The summation on many of Loach's themes- the destructive nature of the church, workers rights and the power community- are all represented here. If this is truly the final film from Loach he has ended on a beautiful high note. Thank you Ken!
6. A War
Moral complexities haunt this timely and relevant film on the human cost of politics. Tobias Lindholm and Pilou Asbaek have done it again.