Wednesday, 30 September 2009


Interesting side commentary over Polanski's furore. i recommend reading the whole of it, but here a quotation:

go here

Yet just as Polanski was a victim of alleged Sixties excesses, so he was a rapacious product of those excesses, too. Any sympathy for Polanski quickly dried up following his conviction for unlawful intercourse in 1977. This, too, conservatives argued, was part of the degeneracy of the open-minded, open-trousered culture of the American West Coast in the mid- to late-twentieth century; it sprung from Polanski’s and others’ determination to ‘push back the boundaries of sexual liberation’, as one report said this week (4). Some American law enforcers and right-wing commentators seem to imagine that having Polanski returned to the US will finally bring to an end the odious influence of the 1960s on contemporary society and morality. Under the headline ‘Why we dislike the French’, one conservative American columnist asks how ‘liberal’ Europe can ‘support a child rapist’ (5).

Yet if this attempt to write off 1960s sexual liberation and experimentation (some of which was progressive, some of which was solipsistic) on the back of Polanski’s past is bad, then the defence of Polanski by European government officials and commentators is even worse. They are motivated not by anything remotely related to legal norms or questions of justice, but by a snobbish and opportunistic anti-Americanism in which Polanski (who is probably a bit of a creep) becomes recast as a paragon of European decency against hung-up America. So determined are some liberal observers to use L’Affaire Polanski to get one over on America that they have even forgotten about their normal role of stoking up hysterical panics about paedophiles and have re-depicted Polanski’s encounter with Gailey as just a somewhat over-exuberant heavy-petting session.(...)

For many American and British commentators this is all about Samantha Gailey, whom they have transformed into the archetypal and eternally symbolic victim of the alleged great evil of our time, Child Abuse. ‘Remember: Polanski raped a child’, says a headline in Salon, in an article that provides sordid, misery-memoir-style details of what Polanski did with his penis to Gailey’s vagina and anus (9). For European observers, by contrast, Polanski’s actions can be explained by his own victimised past, especially during the Holocaust. We have to understand his ‘life tragedies’ and how they moulded him, says one filmmaker (10). Anne Applebaum, the American commentator who spends much of her time in Europe, says Polanski fled America in 1978 because of his ‘understandable fear of irrational punishment. Polanski’s mother died in Auschwitz. His father survived in Mauthausen. He himself survived the Krakow ghetto.’ (11) (Applebaum fails to disclose that she is married to the Polish foreign minister, Radoslaw Sikorski, who is actively campaigning against Polanski’s extradition.)

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

You're not my Wonderwall

Another treasure found (and lost) somewhere between the 60s psychedelia and and fashion/drug culture. Starring the starlette of the day, Jane Birkin. film is about music, colours and atmosphere, not about the plot. Just enjoy your eyes.
from Dangerous Minds website

Wonderwall is probably the ultimate “swinging London” film and what a pedigree it has. The film stars the lovely Jane Birkin and featured Anita Pallenberg and Dutch design collective The Fool (who art directed the film and were well-know for their work with the Beatles) in cameo roles. The soundtrack was by George Harrison and featured Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, some top classical Indian players in Bombay and an uncredited banjo performance by Monkee Peter Tork. There is one song called Ski-Ing that features one of the single most ferocious guitar riffs that Eric Clapton ever laid down and most of his biggest fans have never even heard it. Made in 1968 by first time director Joe Massot (who would later direct the Led Zeppelin concert film The Song Remains the Same and work on the psychedelic western Zachariah with the Firesign Theatre), Wonderwall was released on DVD in an elaborate package by Rhino in 2004 that now goes for top dollar to collectors.

George Harrison's music in it is great. I resist embedding too much of clips - you can easily found it on the net. And imagine those f***in' tarts Gallagher bros, while releasing their mediocre hit Wonderwall, ekhm, tried to channel the Beatles. I'm no a die hard fan of the Fab Four now, as I know tons of the equally (at least) great bands from the 60s, but this should really be prohibited. And George did say "" to Gallaghers.

And I'm looking for some other spectacular films of this era, like, Who are you, Polly Magoo? check this one out.

Un peu des rhythmes diverses

Just a bunch of links, since I have to do some serious work now. While looking for some, excusez le mot, non-european idiom and thank to my friend, DJ and a versatile person at all accounts, Jacek Staniszewski, I come across some rap from RPA from a collective called Die Antwoord. Not only the arfikaner language makes it completely unusual and sorta alien to our own Western idiom. of course, you can syill recognize some common, mutual rhthms and articulations. but as a combination totale it is a new sonic and cultural experience to me. ie it's actually great:

"Die Antwoord is a zef rap-rave crew from Cape Town, South Africa.

Die Antwoord is a lovable, mongrel-like entity made in South Africa, the love-child of many diverse cultures, black, white, coloured and alien, all pumped into one wild and crazy journey down the crooked path to enlightenment.

All DIE ANTWOORD's next-level rap-rave tjoons are downloable FOR FREE off:"

and here some other treasure from Africa, Duda dj Txiga, actually I don't know anything about them apart from what can be heard & seen on the clips I found on YT. here some more familiar african rhythms, but having in mind of how tremendous significance african rhythms were to the development of western popular music, we may say that they are now familiar, we internalized it, but did we also appropriate it?

and here an example of the appropriation totale, but at least done by one of the most legendary french rappers MC Solaar, appropriating also some Eastern influences. Even though I can't imagine anything more commercialized than this, at the same time Solaar inscribes into a very long tradition of mixing. So Inch'allah, indeed.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Free Roman

and the Genesis P-Orridge text goes:

Are You Free? Are You Really Free?
Is It You? Is It Me? Or Is it Simply History?
Is It You Or Is It Me Or Is It Simply Jealousy?
Sharon lies on a Hollywood beach
Sharon sees all her hopes are in reach...
Sharon knows all the Hollywood names
Sharon plays all the Hollywood games
Sharon walks alone as your wife
Sharon gives her life for a knife
Sharon floating high up above
Sighing, crying, dying for "LOVE"

Oh Oh Roman, Oh Roman, Roman P

Are You Free? Are You Really Free?
As You Hide Away In Gay Paris?
Life of money, life of sex
Life of honey, life of hex... Więcej...
Little girls drinking and eating cupcake
Little girls cause you
your grestest mistake
Flesh of the flesh of insidious flesh
Little girls wearing their Hollywood dress
Corrupter you are, corrupter you be
Corrupter you are, the corrupter you see

Oh Oh Roman, Oh Roman, Roman P

Roman you are, Roman you be, Roman
you are in your history
Roman in your victory
Roman in your destiny

Are You Free? Are You Really Free?
Is It You? Is It Me? Or Is it Simply History?
As You Try To Keep Your Liberty?
Are You Really Free?
Or Are You Simply Roman P......


and sentimentality

Les Valseuses

Memoirs des films continued. I simply love Les Valseuses by Bertrand Blier and this is probably the funniest scene in this film and also maybe in the history of cinema

and this one too

couple of fragments

and for the good beginning of teh week, the defloration of Isabelle Huppert ;-))

I have to finish here, because I can't stop laughing right now.

ENJOY![more on the film later, as I post already TOO much]

Sunday, 27 September 2009


Partisan Songspiel. Belgrade Story from dmitry vilensky on Vimeo.

[taken from Chto Delac, Partisan Songspiel, love it!]

Just attended a very inspiring and productive seminar w/ Gerald Raunig, whose book Art &Revolution. Transversal Activism in the Long Twentieth Century, published at semiotext(e) was quite a revelation for me, when I read it when it was published 2 years ago.

Organised as a part of Free University of Warsaw, curated by Kuba Szreder, seminar was conducted by Ewa Majewska, who gave a compelling introduction on some key Deleuzian terms and notions, such as war machines and various meanings of the "body" in Deleuze/Guattari diptych, Anti-OEdipus and Mille Plateaux, then with lots of ideas coined by Raunig himself and then an interesting exchange between the attendants, including Jaroslaw Lubiak and Daniel Muzyczuk. It was an intense afternoon indeed. for now I can send you to the text of Gerald we were discussing, like this one

the themes of productivity/nonproductivity, free time/labour, exploitation and going on strike, resonate in me since some time ago; especially since I can call myself a part of so called "prekariat", as I am a rather low paid freelancer occupied with writing on art, attending meetings, doing a lot of research all the time; and now starting this blog, which is projected as a training ground for variety of ideas I have, which I'm ferociously update'ing. Of course I'm doing it, because I need it, want it, but it's also a pleasant, and as I discovered lately, quite exhaustive, and of course absolutely non paid extra "job".

I had the pleasure of attending Martin Kaltwasser's, very interesting Berlin-based artist dealing with the notions of public space etc., Picnic of Creative Leisure in June in Warsaw, where Martin gave a very interesting open air lecture, which I translated then; and the interview with Kuba Szreder i also translated.

Martin made me even more conscious about the notions I'm unwillingly dealing with every day: the division between work and non work, leisure and labour, that has been completely erased in my life. The recurring question will be, which model I will choose and whether I have any choice at all.

The interview w/ Martin can be found at the 6-Weeks-notebook and Bec Zmiana Foundation website on the right from this post.

and here some e flux Liam Gillick's articles I'm reading at the moment:


and here

and a wonderful piece by Nina Power and Alberto Toscano on Badiou and May '68

Toscano and Power - The Philosophy of Restoration - Alain Badiou and the Enemies of May


Three films on which I'm going to write short notes these days:

Roman Polanski, who will probably never get rid of this sale histoire until his death, has been arrested today in Switzerland, which collaborates veri nicely with American justice administration. the new category of wtf, indeed.

The Tenant, a film which I saw 1st time in my childhood in TV and was fascinated ever since, found in a whole at some Japanese website

go here

Chabrol's apparently classic adaptation of Madame Bovary, in 15 parts on youtube, with this delightful "Charbovari" scene:

Marat/Sade by Peter Brook, famous adaptation of Peter Weiss play

and Wajda's Danton, one of my fave by this too often humourless director, shoot during the Martial Law in Poland, great cast, music and interesting interpretation:

And I'm still thinking about Eustache. A strange, cameral, even performative movie by Eustache, Une sale histoire, is the one that sort of encapsulates all the anxieties and despair of this director. With a wonderful performance by Michael Lonsdale, who tells the title "dirty story", interpreting a man addicted to pornography and a voyeur, who actually finds himself detesting women. In a arresting monologue he pushes the boundaries of the story over and over

go here

here some lucid quotation from Senses of cinema:

In both these early shorts, relations between the sexes is a matter of resignation and empty distraction rather than connection or genuine feeling-there's no love or tenderness, only groping and conquest. For all Jean Nöel-Picq's storytelling skill and wit and Eustache's exhilarating experimentation, Une Sale Histoire expresses the same conviction. Nöel-Picq clearly gets a kick out of pushing his story to the limits of what is socially acceptable, testing his audience, daring them to be offended. But that's not to say that he doesn't mean what he says. After spending hours and hours at his post before the spy-hole, he observes that "all the hierarchies about the body had been overturned" so that he had come to believe that "the mirror of the soul is the pussy," and this seems to me to be as blunt an expression as possible of the state to which the relations between the sexes, in Eustache's view, have been reduced. The frankness in Une Sale Histoire or The Mother and the Whore is not a sign that Eustache condones this new freedom-he's not enthusiastically pushing the envelope even further but rather wallowing in the human wreckage he sees it as having produced. It's not that sex has been elevated to a spiritual level but that religion, morality, and love have been reduced to the physical plane. Later in Une Sale Histoire, Nöel-Picq complains that he's sick of taking women to movies, talking to them, learning about them-"That's the part I hate most." It's not that "the mirror of the soul is the pussy," but that the pussy is the soul now, as close to it as most men care to get anyway. Eustache seems to believe that sexual liberation has drained male-female relations of any mystery and emotion they might once have had, that sex has become so central that a great emptiness has washed over society.

Saturday, 26 September 2009


I cordially invite you to read the current issue of 6-Weeks-Notebook, a publication of Bec Zmiana Foundation , with which I cooperate. There you can find my interview with Nasty Brutalist aka Owen Hatherley, "Nothing is Too Good For Ordinary People". Owen is a young & very talented critic of architecture, and the author of one of my favourite blogs, Sit Down Man, You're Bloody Tragedy and others, that may be found on the right from this post, where he writes also on music, politics & culture.

And Foundation's website offers the whole pdf of this issue, unfortunately for the PL language people only, but you may always try the Google translator, at least for some kind of amusement.

go here


Women's (and men's) narcissism is probably the greatest inspiration for creative work of all sorts. I'm not saying it is necessarily an inspiration for any kind of creation - I mean rather the kind of self-consciousness or over-coensciousness, that can come with writing, especially self reflective writing. In couple of next posts I will try to dwell on the notion of narcissism in women's eroticism and creativity; then - on men's. For a good beginning, probably the most openly narcissist photo that was taken of me, from a project of a friend artist Alexandra Hirszfeld, a Repetition of Warhol's Marylin at the icon's 82nd birthday last year (and the book I'm holding is Fragments of Lover's Discourse by Barthes, no less. I have a strange feeling that it is at the same time a nice excercise in submitting oneself to derision ;-)

Friday, 25 September 2009

Strange Attractor

I'm kinda fascinated by this Bettina Rheims photo. I'm not going to refer to her other work, just would like to focus on this particular one.

This is from a series of women (but Rheims only photographs women) (un)dressed like some mythology/historical heroines, often referring to religion, obviously in a campy blasphemous way.
This one reminds me of the Bible woman "dark characters" - Lilith, Dalilah, Mary Magdalene or the harlot, who, though pardoned and praised by the Christ, has always remained in my head as a somewhat not entirely happy with her salvation. And the Rheims' model IS Lilith, as she takes away and reverses the power of the Snake by writing it, permanently, on her breast.

Why did the woman do the tatoo? did someone convinced her or made her to do it? did she do it for esthetical/religious reasons? Was it painful? People do far more harsh stuff to their bodies, but it fascinates me, why women decide on the mutilation of breasts, probably the most delicate part of our body. And tremendously powerful in symbolic sense: motherhood, feeding the baby, preserving life. In the Bible there is this passus about a woman, who blackens her breast to repel the baby from it and let it learn to eat other things, i.e. grow up. And this is obviously one of our greatest attractors, isn't it? which woman would deliberately get rid of one of her most indisputable powers? of course, lesbians, transgender women etc. Women that have no choice and try to survive cancer. Amazons, militant mythology women.

We sometimes find attraction in disgust and it is even to well documented.
And the round form of it, around the round nipple, at the same time embellishes and outrages from it.
I'm not even going to touch the snippet of the breast symbolism here, I just found this image strangely attractive and couldn't understand it. And when I can't understand, I have to find out.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Cria Cuervos!

Distraction w/ Miranda July & Blonde Redhead

Une sale histoire

La Maman et la Putain (1973) by Jean Eustache (1938-1981) is one of those rare, incredible coincidences in the social, cultural and art history, that aside from having strictly artistic features, manage to capture the most tremendous aspects of the moment, the Zeitgeist in every sense - and in this case, though it's a very Parisien film indeed, it is a post-'68 sexual revolution impass and existential void of its heirs.

Eustache, who commited suicide after being disabled from a car accident at only 43, never revealed details from his youth or life, and was always saying that "The films I made are as autobiographical as fiction can be.” which make us think they are autobiographical. But even if Eustache really was in a threesome portrayed in the film, as Alexandre, played by Jean Pierre Leaud in a compelling post-Doinel maniere, living between The Mother figure and The Whore figure, trapped, mean, cynical, faible, ridiculously self-centered, stupid, naive, charming bluebird between two women in a sado-masochist relation, this only partly explains the phenomenon of this film.

I happened to see it on my first really independent vacation, somewhere between 17 and 18, in a small cinema in Quartier Latin in Paris, Studio des Ursulines. I remember lots of details of this event, because the film was so unusual and left an everlasting impact on me, even though my French was not so good at the time and it's 3 hrs 40 minutes long. I remember getting back home, walking a dark street, Boulvard de Montparnasse and passing the Balzac statue, questioning and reasoning in my head, what had actually happened.

Until today I don't know any more authentic and moving rendering of male/female toxic relations (apart from maybe Japanese cinema and Bergman is to me a piece of cake compared to this), with such investment of humanity at the same time. The visceral aspects of sexuality; graphique sex; vomiting; quasi-rapes; love; passion; humiliation; humanity - everything merging on the plan of two small dirty flats, 2 cafes in Paris and some few hours from the viewers lives.

and some quotation on Eustache from a critic:

In the thread of the desolate 70s, his films succeeded one another, always unforeseen, without a system, without a gap: film-rivers, short films, TV programs, hyperreal fiction. Each film went to the end of its material, from real to fictional sorrow. It was impossible for him to go against it, to calculate, to take cultural success into account, impossible for this theoretician of seduction to seduce an audience.

Films in (re)watching

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Une demoiselle de Varsovie

I'm absolutely delighted by Les Demoiselles de Rochefort by Jacques Demy I've just seen today and will definitely post something around it in couple of days. What a Joy! What sheer, pure bliss of cinema!

Demy did some wonderful stuff with the musical genre, introducing his very own cinematic esthetics and being faithful to it ever since. A husband of equally arresting director, Agnes Varda, one of my favorite directors actually, together they created a one of its kind cineaste duo. She - more inclined to documentary and inventing a unique way of articulation - very literary and personal mode of filmmaking, him - seemingly with his head in the clouds, a fairy tale storyteller, of lighter-than-creme, completely disrupted from 'real life' sugary sweet colorful n'importe quois. Of course not entirely true and his inventiveness was probably never rightly understood. Just give you this fragment at the moment, a wonderfully amusing caricature of some vile "contemporary artist" juxtaposed with some "naive" daubster of "L'ideal feminines"; later will write sth at length about the incredible world of Demy. Enjooy!! as it is a keyword here.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Lust for truth

Okay, if you thought it's a "civilised", "cultural" blog, now it's the time you find out you're wrong! I knew that blogosphere includes all kind of stuff, and this is a wonderfully terryfying feature of the net: all kinds of abnormalities, which actually can teach us more about life, ethics and humanity that anything else. actually at the moment I can't imagine myself without this experience of a unbelievable variety of humanities if it wasn't invented. I'm fully aware how bluntly and naive it may sound, so to make more clear what I mean, let me introduce to you....Suzannah and her world of a rare quality

This is Suzannah (a pseudonyme naturally) who writes about her experience as a sex worker and a girl who simply likes sex. of course, you may say, that we had actually a lot of this kind of stuff, some tenth washings after or pitiful careerists of the worst sort, with their kitschy nymphomania and whatever comes after it. but Suzannah is different. she's first of all, a good writer. At least since Sei Shonagon and her treatise The Pillow Book and tons of books of all sorts, from Bataille to Pauline Reage and Catherine Millet, we know that the pleasures of literature and the pleasures of sex can go together and that the letter is not the opposite of ectasy.

Actually sometimes I think "The Pillow Book" is Peter Greenaway's best film; of a rare beauty and great sense of aesthetics, even though rather shallowing the infinite possibilities of clashing writing with sex, when we think of it beyond its lush, sensual atmosphere and exquisite visual beauty.

But Suzannah. let's take the first accidental section:

It’s funny how people are labeled in society. People who work for charity are good, drug dealers are bad. People who cheat on their spouses are bad, single mothers raise eyebrows.
I was brought up to believe such righteous judgments and am still working to rid some of them from the far reaches of my subconscious.A few weeks ago I entered the subway, passing a homeless man who was trying to move his worldly possessions from the bottom of the stairs to the top. He was struggling and it crossed my mind that he needed help. I watched the struggle as I waited for my train, and I watched as another commuter came by and moved the bags for him.

There aren’t a lot of people who would have moved those bags. I’m trying to be one more often. I became friends with a bag-mover recently, someone quite selfless and truly empathetic, whose gift for appreciating the hidden good in others is unique. In theory, she should be bad, like me. We inhabit a questionable place on the fringes of society. I should add here that I am also good, when I work at a reputable and elitist corporation and have sex within the confines of a relationship. Sometimes I’m between good and bad–let’s say questionable–such as when my dog, who isn’t neutered, raises the ire of a fellow canine on the street. I was definitely bad last week when asked by a couple of missionaries whether I believe in Jesus.

What follows is usually a very lucid and true analyzis of - no, not sexual behaviours, but the society and the individual self in it. not to mention that this is a woman's experience. i admire the way Suzannah is dealing with her feelings, how she's totally open to the experience and the generosity of sharing it. it's a lesson of some type of humanity i'm equally fascinated with. so, do not ask, what is it, but read, read, read.

Monday, 21 September 2009

News from the Netland

A quick morning mindwipe in the net and here we are, a bunch of treasures, that only this culture enabled to come up, such as:

Bigozine 2 is a somewhat self-appointed watcher of some priceless lost&found bootlegs and radio registrations that there are.

here's the access to a Brian Eno's soundtrack for derek Jarman's Glitterbug, a combination that brings me some pleasant cramps in the heart

sir George Martin in studio, tens or perhaps hundreds of hours to listen, a studio orgasmatorium for recordphiles

and The Who concert in 1969 Minneapolis

if it's not enough, here's some collection of Polish classic book cover design, from a great blog on books from a real bibliophile I've been following for some time

it's a quite great example of Polish design of posters also, proving that the esthetics of Cieslewicz and Tomaszewski was not an alone phenomenon and how splendidly design was developing during the communist years.

And on Quietus a very nice article on David Bowie's acting career, something I quite never decided about, since even Dame's failures tend to be quite splendid and interesting.

on this last topic I may express myself at length in the future, as I just got access to some earlier unknown stuff and stare at Mr. Bowie ever since.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

The all too human world of Kazuo Hara

Only about two years ago I've read for the first time about Hara Kazuo, one of the most important Japanese New Wave directors, together with the likes of Nagisa Oshima and Shohei Imamura. His films include the most extraordinary documentaries you would ever see, like The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On(1987) about the atrocities of the IIWW in Japan and the most outstanding rendering of cinema-verite docu-autobiography, and somewhat the strangest travelogue there is, Extreme Private Eros: Love Song 1974 (1974), centering on his ex-girlfriend Miyuki Takeda, not long after their breakup.

She leaves him and goes to Okinawa island with their child. He follows her as a somewhat the strangest and humiliating way to preserve their relationship. Miyuki is a militant feminist, a pioneer of women's liberation in patriarchal Japan: she lives exactly as she wants and nothing will stop her before realizing her decisions. the sado-masochistic drive is obvious; but behind that stands a non-deniable, authentic love, as he documents her relationships with other women, black American GI's and her work as a go-go dancer. not only his voyeristic masochism is totally moving; his extreme naturalism as well. we observe two births in nearly real time.

I couldn't find any fragment of his proper work as a video on the net, but here's a fragment of Barbara Hammer's documentary on artistic-productive collective of directors, called Ogawa

Devotion, A Film about Ogawa Productions by from barbara hammer on Vimeo.

here some biographical stuff:

Kazuo Hara born in 1945, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan. Studied photography at the Tokyo Academy of Photography. Together with Kobayashi Sachiko, Hara founded Shisso Productions in 1972 for making documentaries. After debuting with Good-bye CP, Hara made Extremely Private Eros, Love Song 1974, a film featureing Takeda Miyuki. Takeda who had a child with Hara, took the baby and left him to live with a black American soldier in Okinawa. Later in Okinawa she gave birth to a racially mixed child. Hara and Kobayashi Sachiko ( Hara's present wife) documented this very private episode in a 110 minute, 16mm independently produced film. Besides receiving tremendous audience response, the film won an award at the International Independent Film Festival in Thonon les Bains, France. In 1975, hara directed a teledoc on women's liberation: Women Now…History Begins Here. The Emperor's Naked Army Marches on (1986) is hara's most sensational work till now. The film is about a Japanese Imperial Army soldier Okuzaki Kenzo, who appeased the death of his fellow soldiers at the end of the Pacific War. Inspite of the recognition the film received in Japan and abroad, major film distributors in Japan refused to show it because of its inherent criticism of the Japanese imperial system and cannibalism among Japanese troops.

and some useful links:

Friday, 18 September 2009

more on this later...

Collapse with China and Michel

Collapse Magaazine was so kind to share its out of print issue for free. and you get China Mieville with Michel Houellebecq in it. as the blurb of the publisher says:

'The fourth issue of Urbanomic's "journal of philosophical research and development," Collapse, focuses on the relationship between modern philosophy and horror fiction and features essays by and about authors such as Thomas Ligotti, China Miéville and Michael Houellebecq and of course H.P. Lovecraft. Having sold out its print edition, Urbanomic has made the issue available for download as a 200 + page PDF. Some disturbing images (and ideas) within the download.'

[btw, I have a problem with giving clickable links on blogspot, any advice for a freshman like me is more than welcome!)

Happy Moscow?

Since two days I'm haunted by those photos. They were made by a Czech photographer around 1896 and some of them somehow managed to survive. I'm no expert on photography techniques, but apparently they are not really colorised, but they were in fact IN COLOR at the moment they were made, as my more learned friend-photographer is saying. this would be all very interesting to investigate anyway.

But looking at them I'm more excited about the image of, let's say, Dostoyevski's heroines, who still (the autor of Karamazov Brothers died in 1881) could've walked on the streets like this (though seldom, as their creator preferred his familial St Petersburg than Moscow). Nor could Moskva, the heroine of Andriey Platonov novel Happy Moscow, walk exactly the same streets, since she was a child of revolution, that took place 21 years later.

So still imperial Russia, a bleak place to live indeed, comes back to life on this by all means exquisite photographs, waiting for a great change to come..

and here some article on more contemporary Russia, a review of The Red Flag: Communism and the Making of the Modern World by David Priestland, an analyzis of ever-recurring Russian despotism, that seems unshakeable there. as it's also a 70th anniversary of Russian agression on Poland, that destroyed completely our hopes for winning with Germans after 17 days of war, and the absolutely loathsome behaviour of most of russian politicians towards Poland even nowadays, I guess it's somewhat worthwhile to give it some thoughts

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

just not to forget about this site: lots of material to be studied. ads that got banned, usually for explicit sexuality or seeming abuse of morality, but sometimes for strictly political reasons. not to mention that quite often suffering just from utter stupidity. nevertheless, worth watching.

I'm so lost, Leonard

One of my planned posts was a comment on Two Lovers by James Gray, with a lovely clumsy and unattractive Joaquin Phoenix just before he went mad and dropped acting - but I found something I'm kinda stupefied how it matches with my opinions

I'm by no means and will never be a Jewish boy, but always wanted to marry one.
The film is a bit modernized version of Portnoy, that even now quite powerful and universal Philip Roth's story of a Jewish bachelor's infinite problems with his desires for shiksas. And if the shiksa is played by that mistress of acting and versatility, Gwyneth Paltrow, wearing her usual Calvin Klein/Ralph Lauren/what have you outfit, we are more likely to shrug our shoulders (or is it just me?).

But we shouldn't this time. I enjoyed how this film, using so many cliches ("I loved you ever since I saw you asking your mother to dance.") remains somewhat moving. Maybe exactly because of the cliches. We have Leonard, an ageing Jewish son, living with his parents (mother played by still stunning Isabella Rosselini) after he cut his veins when some improbable girlfriend from non-Jewish milieu left him. So he sits in his hovel full of old comic books & VHSes, and only because of a strange whim of the screenwriter, cherishes a completely ridiculous dream of black and white photography making.

Gwyneth is the troubled beauty he meets in curious cirsumstances, Sandra is the good Jewish girl nearly pimped to the hero by both his'n'hers families.

From the beginning we know of course that nothing will come out of this odd couple: women like Paltrow's character never quite fall for troubled boys without careers, and Sandra is a pharmaceutic company employeer, who bores Leo to death.

I was wondering, how come I care about this film? It's no match with so many masters of man/woman flirt/romance: Rohmer, Cassavetes. the shameful truth is probably the incidentally (and accidentally) sharp image of our own images of love and the seeming choices we have in life.

I also recommend you this blog's fantastic exchange between Wes Anderson, a cherished "niche" director and a journalist, who discovered, how Anderson pushed the Parkinson ill Pauline Kael, a legend of film criticism, to praise his movie:

and have a look at the collection of mp3 he always give under the post. I have to think about sth like this here, when i will cross this pain-in-the arse infantile initiatory period.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Irresistible instinct of playing Jews against Nazis Pt.1

I promised a German series, but something interrupted me – I got this

We would like to stress that there is a crucial difference between "an important writer" and "a great writer"; the latter is at this time our sole interest.

An apparently anglo-saxon-favourite-list –of –the one-hundred-best-fuckin-writers-of –all-time. So Faulkner before Shakespeare? With Ashbery at Fifteenth and Homer two stances below? Euripides together with Stendhal and Orwell? And where the fuck is Celan? Have they heard about sth like postmodern literature? Oulipo? Nah. There is something genuine American in this whole lists business and this one is no different: to have all epochs together, in order, measure Blake and Kafka by the same, objective categories… But cut off the irony and look in the list the second time: are there any serious absences? Do we miss anybody severely? Can we in fact construct the canon as we do the shopping list? I come from a notoriously neglected country, speaking a notoriously difficult and marginalized language…so: no Bruno Schulz, no Mickiewicz, no Slowacki…but hello, there he is, Czeslaw Milosz, florid as ever, hand in hand with no other, than….JP2, the Pope. We can obviously see a certain method in the list: even though its authors do not claim it’s decisive, but look: no fucking surprises.

My personal favorite (though repressed one), T. S. Eliot, would be proud of an attempt to hold a certain tradition and individual talent tendency in this list: a bunch of originals, usually struggling with private crises, nervous breakdowns and societal acceptance. Ok, so they are repressed gays & lesbos, religious renegades, blind lunatics, drug addicts, alcoholics, eccentrics, dissidents. Dead in loneliness, despair, misery or forgetfulness. But they are our tradition! Little or nearly no compromise for so called other traditions: Western canon all the way, our own carnival without limits! But am I outraged by the presence of Walter Benjamin – hardly a writer per se

No! I rather cherish the barenaked chest of Ezra Pound in the flourishing of his own madness and the sinister look of the great adherent of disdain, Mr. Jonathan Swift.

There is nothing bad to say about anyone we list here, except in some cases that they were anti-Semitic or racist, hated women or hated men. Literary crimes are usually relative, the caveats of which we shall enumerate.

True indeed. This list says what every list always say: there is no canon, there is no and will never be anything as closed list of the writers of our “culture”. The reason the lists always bring so much joy is that they prove something else: we are hostages of icons, names, codified phenomena. We are reassured. But let me go to bed with my favourite lecture of these days, a little book by Gaito Gazdanov, An evening at Claire, who lived in Paris in the 20s and 30s. some people say he was even more respected than Nabokov at the time. But Nabokov, how did he rank, let’s check…

Friday, 11 September 2009

Berlin meine Liebe

Planning another short trip to Berlin right now, I endured a whole series of flashbacks, connected with my stays in this city. Fascination, that begun with the reading of Christiane F way too early (around 12 years old) and culminated, when I came there first time around 17 with my high school friends, already residing in Kreuzberg, that has become my usual shelter there (and two times - Friedrischein, around Warschauer Strasse, a place and flat I will never forget for some reasons), since then I tend to visit the city upon Spree at least once a year.

I always nearly unconsciously tended to keep a certain degree of distance to the whole myth of Berlin, perhaps because the very exquisite looks of the city, its scales, distances, architecture – one may say a richer, more spectacular and happier version of my city, Warsaw. I hated the resentimental element in that, but I couldn’t restrain a little cramp within the heart (or sometimes not so little), when I observed the fantastic, unchallenged pace of Berlin’s investments, constructions and apparent flourishing, having in mind, how Warsaw could have looked like, if it wasn’t completely devastated by Germans after the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. But that cramp lasted only a little while, being quickly repressed by the overwhelming fascination and great admiration for the cityscapes & legends Berlin offers.

Since I started to come there, I sucked in completely – music, people, places, with the special space reserved for music, as Berlin was the nearest city, where I could go to a concert of the bands I cherished: Pixies, Blonde Redhead, Sonic Youth, to name few. Along went the explorations of the city’s psychogeography. Watching Berlin Alexanderplatz, a Doblin Weimar era masterpiece adapted by Fassbinder and Ulrike Ottinger’s films, like Bildnis einer Trinkerin (Ticket of no Return) and Freak Orlando especially, I developed a special relation with the city. During a long walk to Treptower Park, with its Soviet Soldiers Memorial monumental park complex last very freezy winter, and then learning about an analogical, though smaller in scale, mausoleum in Warsaw, I felt a real connection with the place for the first time.

This is just to begin something like a series on German music here I’m planning at the moment. Only because I started to correspond with Anja Huwe, an ex-Xmal Deutschland singer lately, I just dig through a considerable amount of her clips at YT and will definitely scribble something around it in the near future. The dreamy atmosphere I announced in my statement will surely mark it.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

absolute beginner

It is me, an absolute beginner in the matter of blogs, despite reading them for quite a long while. I'm starting a blog after being encouraged by friends, who probably had enough of my fbook and non-fbook activity and adviced me to create a space, where I could pour out my never-ending mind-mill-stream-of-conscioussness.

The title of this blog is taken from a little book by Michel Leiris, Nights without night and couple of days without day, a collection of short stories - dream descriptions he had been writing down for nearly 40 years, since early youth till the publication of the book in 1961. Writing down your dreams in a 40 years span always seemed kind of strange activity to me and can you imagine something more banal indeed? Yet, after spending numerous night sleepless, resulting from insomnia I suffer from time to time, I realised this strange non-reality between dream and non-dream took away enough a bit of my life to take a closer look at it.
I like the idea Nerval expressed, that "Dream is our alternative life" and in this life we live equally intensely and this is also the way we perceive reality.

At the beginning of the Pervert's Guide to Cinema Slavoj Zizek repeats the famous scene form Matrix and seated in front of Morpheus instead of Neo, demands the "third pill", that is: neither the blue one, by which he goes back to the reality; nor the red one, which will take him "as far as the rabbits burrow leads", that is the Matrix. He doesn't want to take away the fiction from the reality, because we need fiction to put an order on the reality, so he's asking for the third pill.

The third pill enables to see not the reality behind the behind the illusion, but the reality of the illusion itself. if my inquiries, capriccios or musings have any "goal", let it be experiencing the intense reality of wonderful illusions of daydreaming.