Monday, May 31, 2010

haiku: reflection in your eyes

lying here restless 
your visage hijacked my core
consumed by love

political cult[ure]

nested in an old stores bunker deep within the carved cockatoo mountain lies a dark encased tomb filled with sweet straw bales inviting the seat. 

and this: two screens. two fundamentalist cocks. misogynist dualism personified. polarized political rhetoric captured from one medium & transported into another. right back into the exploitive gospel from whence it came. spiritual satire.

richard grayson
sydney biennale
cockatoo island
may 12 - august 01, 2010
[free ferry every hour from the MCA

Friday, May 28, 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

park view

channel 7 & pacific magazines may have taken over my hood but the walk to redfern train station is still as stunning as it always was.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

monkey magic marathon

it all started here... [sick days don't have to be completely unproductive depending on the definition]

this is one of my fondest memories of eighties TV & has become the accidental theme of today whilst i'm in sick-bed mode. 

monkey, the awesome dubbed cult version of japanese TV series "saiyuki" based on the chinese novel "journey to the west" by wu cheng'en. the chinese answer to C.S. lewis dispensing chinese mythology in enlightened narrative form. but with camp kung fu. hilarious special effects. kitsch monsters instead of fauns. and karmic sutras.

i had a massive crush on the innocent youthful monk tripitaka ["remember, no violence mon-kee"] as a kid, who was actually played by sublime model/actress masako natsume who sadly died of leukemia in 1985 at 27 years of age.

CharacterActorDub actorOriginal Chinese nameJapanese name
TripitakaMasako NatsumeMaria WarburgXuanzangSanzō hōshi (Genjō Sanzō)
MonkeyMasaaki SakaiDavid CollingsSun WukongSon Gokū
Pigsys1: Toshiyuki Nishida
s2: Tonpei Hidari
Peter WoodthorpeZhu BajieCho Hakkai
SandyShiro KishibeGareth ArmstrongSha WujingSa Gojō
"Horse"Shunji FujimuraAndrew SachsYu LungGyokuryū
[thanks wiki]

Friday, May 21, 2010

any last requests?

copyright amnesty international

all this talk of death penalties in the name of freedom of/or creative expression led me down the gallows path. it's so not very pretty. according to amnesty international statistics: china, iran & saudia arabia commit 90% of all world executions. quite the record to be proud of. texas the traditionally bloodthirsty US state, pales in comparison. they just mostly don't like black people. no wonder michael jackson was dermatologically nervous.

“according to iranian human rights campaigners, over 4,000 lesbians and gay men have been executed since the ayatollahs seized power in 1979. altogether, an estimated 100,000 iranians have been put to death over the last 26 years of clerical rule.” -- outrage campaigner peter tatchell, 2005.

copyright ISNA: two gay teens are hanged for their "crime"

iran & capital punishment have a long close relationship. it's not a regime which encourages leniency or tolerance. the bastardisation of islam continues [would you like my address intelligence gooks?].

internet censorship map: copyright the nut graph

meanwhile in australia we're dealing with issues of internet police state & ridiculous censorship controls which are potentially only a step away from these extremities. it's important to protest it now.

iran is in the internet black & users can't access any sites which have any "western cultural influence" or ridicule religious or political figures. while it might seem worlds apart it's only a few shades away.

 copyright: luvatious skull

spare a thought for the iranian bloggers who are next on the chopping block. yes, bloggers are about to join the death penalty ranks. but only if they write something the state doesn't like.

weirdly all this talk of death makes me hungry. what better way to break than with a delicious snack? it's a death row custom after all.

final US meal requests have a 40USD upper limit: copyright james reymolds

although the tradition of taking final meal requests for death row prisoners is age old with jesus' last supper being a mere historical dip in the ocean. he was preceded by the romans, greeks, chinese giving the condemned a final meal. a forced yet accepted complicity. the aztecs took the whole thing a step further by feeding their captive human sacrifices for up to a year before killing them. way to work up an appetite.

front entrance of evin prison: copyright fariba amini

i'm not sure that happens here. noone really does. one thing for sure in the infamous iranian evin prison there'll be no thickshake & cheese hamburgers on a sun-kissed orange dish. in any normal circumstance i'd argue that this is not necessarily all bad. but this really shouldn't be normalised. not even in states run by islamic extremists [no wonder i hate religion, all religion]. 

this jail is where the majority of the condemned prisoners in iran end up [if they're lucky] before their very public humiliation. 

guantanamo bay: copyright denver anarchist black cross

it makes guantanamo bay look like a ski resort. the CIA borrowed some of their interior design blueprints but added stylin' jumpsuits. prisons are a growth industry. perhaps the controllers of state know something we don't. sure as hell there's a great calling for failed airline designers who want to move on from bad staff clothing lines.

studying eating habits via last meal requests as per what US death row prisoners deem to be comfort food or treats is interesting. perhaps if they'd grown up on non antibiotic ridden fruit & vegetables they might have led healthier lives? that's a whole lot of fried yellow. still being poor limits choice. irresponsible use of statistics  could argue that "fried chicken made them do it."

if i'm ever in evin prison or simiar i think that will be my defence. after all, nothing else seems to make sense. whether i can keep my food down though is an entirely different question.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

lesbian filmmaker faces death

still from cul de sac

in a questionable case of life imitating art or art imitating life: out lesbian iranian filmmaker kiana firouz has been refused asylum in the UK following the london premiere of her autobiographical documentary film "cul de sac" illustrating her quest to seek protection from iranian law where homosexuality is a crime punishable by death. 

the british home office are aware that her open sexuality will most likely result in the most severe reprimand from iranian authorities. her following appeal was overturned & the decision of her future now hangs in the balance based on an appeal of the judge's decision.

her gamble was a brave one where she has courted publicity for her cause potentially at her personal peril. many insiders & objective commentators believe that she will die if forced to return to iran where segments of her film have been leaked to national intelligence. not only does her film illustrate the sexuality issues considered to be an affrontery to iranian beliefs but it also criticises the regime. not a traditionally good combination...

the punishment for lesbian sex in iran is death by hanging, following three sentences of 100 lashes. just to make sure.

please sign the petition to help her voice be heard.

UPDATE: kiana firouz's full statement is here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

amnesty toasts shell

amnesty international has just had the anti-shell ads designed & paid for in the financial times pulled [by the financial times]. the ads were the culmination of a hugely successful media campaign by the organisation to highlight the harsh realities of the petro-chemical giant's exploitive international operation & practices strategized to coincide with the shareholders AGM.

according to amnesty international, their organisation was informed only the night before the full page advertisement was due to run that it would not be going to print.

a spokesperson for the financial times cited legal assurances rather than content issues were responsible for the last minute decision. amnesty international disputes this claim.

shell in the niger delta from amnesty international on vimeo.

the answer is not 42

"fame is rot; daughters are the thing" 
- james matthew barrie

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

but where are all the pretty horses?

BTS with AWOL MONK: - talking to steven kastrissios about the horseman

extract from #KSZ 01 [first issue sold out may 2010]

steven kastrissios is a man of immense paradox. BEHIND THE SCENES he’s gentle, humble & wry. we’ve become great friends since we met in 2008 at a night of horror international film festival.

but his multiple award-winning accolade ripping feature film THE HORSEMAN which he’s just sold for international distribution reveals a guy ritchie on steroids meets early rolf de heer auteur. his characterisation brutal. bad boy bubby has left the building & moved into pest control. *sideways look*

the horseman story is one of fairytales. the kind with blood, sweat & tears. lots of blood. this is no holds barred action with gritty realism. steven envisaged it & succeeded. in the cinema i’ve seen people leave. in horror. i did some quiet gut wrenching of my own.

made on the wings of a short prayer based on his feature screenplay to garner interest, the brisbane exile then made this, his first feature in true blue indie fashion.

instead of a big fat greek wedding his parents invested their house against the now defunct 10BA cert [since replaced by the producer offset] to support his dream & his sisters eloped. well almost.

the gamble paid huge dividends since the end of 2006 when a small multi-tasking crew used one location in oh so many ways to stretch budget till the lycra was all spent & producer rebecca dakin could cook no more after a brilliantly choreographed 4 week shoot for what is technically a no-budget film. by australian standards.

as the awards rained down, steven returned to newly adopted sydney from a successful session at texas’s SXSW 2009 to wrap the marketing material for distributors & consider the calm before the prevailing storm.

we discuss the current climate for making films. “noone returned my calls before either” he says as we ruefully discuss my plans for his shiny new 5D mark II & share fantastical post-apocalyptic visions for future projects.

he leaves after drinking wine to catch a plane for his sister’s engagement party. like the prodigal son/brother he is, he has returned & she got her dowry back.

NB. "the horseman" images [including production shots] are copyright kastle films. thanks for letting me use them steven. the rest are copyleft/creative commons courtesy of yours truly.

for details re: the horseman australian theatrical release later this year please check kastle films.

BTS with AWOL MONK is a regular behind the scenes segment which can be found in every issue of
kino sydney's zine produced by punk monks clare devlin-mahoney, alexander papasavvas & kate taylor with contributions from other kino lovers. [#ksz]

Monday, May 17, 2010

A list: sydney film festival

epic sydney film festival kicks off in just over a couple of weeks. my tix thus far:

last address :: wed jun 02
beautiful darling :: wed jun 02

long live the flesh :: wed jun 02
possessed :: wed jun 02

i killed my mother :: fri jun 04
life during wartime :: fri jun 04 [i ♥ todd solondz]

a woman under the influence :: sat jun 05 
the loved ones :: sat jun 05
joan rivers- a piece of work :: sun jun 06

colony :: mon jun 07
space tourists :: mon jun 07

exit through the gift shop :: jun 07
heartbeats :: tue jun 08
uncle boonmee who can recall past lives :: wed jun 09

the game of death :: fri jun 11
henri-georges clouzot's inferno :: sun jun 13

wasted on the young :: mon jun 14
the most dangerous man in america :: mon jun 14

watch this space.

this mortal coil

photo: andrew curtis

mortal engine: more than just a few shades of elias merhige's brilliant "begotten" this fusion of dance, sound, light & exploration of positive and negative spaces, self & the other powerfully imprint on the psyche. chunky move's mortal engine evokes emotion & stirs the physical & psychological waves. 

the resonance undoubtedly utilises science in the derivative application with its cerebral meets corporeal invasiveness. hello infrasonics. 

photo: julieta cervantes

use of sound waves oscillating at a certain frequency occurs widely in nature but also since time incarnate where human inherited antediluvian knowledge is said to have smashed down the walls of jericho with the complex combination of metallic vibrations. in this case a combination of instruments [trumpets], an amplifier [ark of the convenant] space and time. sonic warfare has been a reality for thousands of years. 

galileo repopularised this physics theorem way back when & chunky move exploit the power of resonance beyond the metaphorical in conjunction with light & movement to titillate our senses. for entertainment purposes. but possibly not for those prone to seizures.

the dance troupe has been reinventing the anti-ballet sculptural dancescape since 1995 when gideon obarzanek first conceived it. classically trained, his passion culminates in the execution of intricate movement which collude & contrast simultaneously with the artifices of the arguable mother form. chunky moves is raw, real, and unconfined by boundaries.

a world without limits. this metamorphosis demonstrated through a customised digital interface engineered specifically by chunky move for chunky move in sync with performance which fluctuates between the simplicity and amoeba-like conflict to the friction & fusion following cell division. micro & macrocosmic dimensions become one. and another. seeing/listening is believing.

photo: julieta cervantes

a little labored at times the production felt like it could have benefited from an editor's eye & escaped the deliberate vehicle of repetition but the argument for losing consciousness of the vibe would ultimately reign.

thanks for reinitiating my love in the form [HT. carmel england]. dance is valid in this age. mortal engine was the recent recipient of an honourable mention at the prix ars electronica.  please see this if you can [the season just ended at sydney theatre] but the arguably superior prequel "glow" is at the seymour theatre centre later in the year. i will be there.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

put a ring on it

from the 1950s idyllic family photo files... 

i just love the perspective of the path & the quite conscious pose of my auntie proudly pushing her pram.

these days little girls her age are gyrating to beyonce & britney spears videos played on oversized plasmas in unconscious masturbatory bliss against domayne lounge suites in a suburb near you.

now, that's progress. or is it so really so different?

hearing it for all the single ladies & the subversive sexualised programming which we are all privy to...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

pick me up at the lounge

i was feeling a bit down so daniel my good samaritan friend & usual suspect at large played knight in shining armour & took me out drinking. philanthropy comes easily to him.

as we both know the answer to your problems can be found at the bottom of the bottle. preferably in one of your favoured hang spots, in this case unpretentious boho cocktail bar meets underground restaurant in one. 

this is cafe lounge. dark, kitsch, safe, funky, red. i've been coming here for years. it's still just as good [although it was sexier before they put the outdoor roof on]. damn those natural elements.

and yes, i did feel a lot better after.

cafe lounge
277 goulburn st
surry hills
[02] 9356 8888

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

urban warriors underfoot

dandelion -- taraxacum officinale F. asteraceae

not only do dandelions give us faeries to make a wish on with their magnificent seed pods & a light breath of fresh air [usually your own] as they float into the blue ether but they're an incredible resilient herb rich in vitamins A to C with some E thrown in for extra measure, not to mention plentiful calcium & iron [toss the leaves into a salad or dice them into an omelette as you would spinach]. 

fat metabolising dandelions also relieve bloating, aid in the expelation of urine, detox liver, treat skin conditions including eczema, relieve breast tenderness in women and are brilliant for a myriad of complaints. cup of tea or room anyone?  

just gather the leaves... use fresh or dried. or the root is also used. preferably harvested away from major streets where they've been exposed to lead. use the juice to help heal wounds and fight nasty bacteria. it is rumoured to also eradicate warts. like all naturalised plants they also tell us a lot about the earth they set seed in. being a daisy they do love the sun but also cope well in the shade.

this one is on my street. as we hurriedly walked into erskineville for saturday morning breakfast for stevie's birthday the morning after the great cornercabana cocktail party clean-up, i couldn't help but stop and wonder at it's beauty under mass protest.

please think twice about pulling one up next time you see it. weeds are merely plants which grow where some humans have determined they shouldn't. they're brave little urban warriors nestling in hostile concrete gaps to enrich our lives with some oxygenising green. in fact dandelions actually exude another type of gas as well as converting carbon dioxide into useable air. they emit ethylene which can aid the early ripening of surrounding crops.

but the best part is the flowers can be made into wine. which brings us back to faeries... 

*skips off into morning sunshine to breakfast*

Monday, May 10, 2010

you say po-tah-to, i say po-tay-to

no film reversal used above. it is 100% legit.

getty images: the ross sisters in london

the ross sisters: a texan triplet phenomena spawned from an age-old vaudeville family tradition which peaked in the mid 40s when they featured in hammerstein's "broadway rhythm" & died a slow natural death after they hit the revue circuit in post war europe [piccadilly hayride] where presumably they did a very similar act. maybe with another farm vegetable for good measure.

i guess with such hits as "solid potato rock" [penned by gene paul whose other credits involve raging bull track "cow cow boogie"] maybe they should have hit up ireland instead, for more lyrical longevity. have to say though it's not surprising as a dance movement it didn't take-off, the moves are a litle difficult to follow for your normal non-incestual mortal.

their pre-emptive wish song "five minutes more" was later sung by frank sinatra & maybe struck a chord with andy warhol as he was fashioning his populist fame meets time philosophy. i wonder what position the girls were in when they wrote the song... and whether circus freaks suffer from back trauma later on.

funnily enough contortionism was standard fare back in the early to mid 20th century where it was known as tumbling & acrobatics offered alongside ballet in small towns. it didn't necessarily offer the same erotic connotations it does today. no vanessa lanes or cassidy morgans [who i can't link to as there's no definable links featuring less than three "X"s...] here. *coy blush*

incidentally when interviewed contortionists unilaterally cite a preference for standard sexual positions. dare to dream.

i'd like to see madonna or britney do what the camp ross's briefly popularised. talent in their era was unfathomable & largely unrecognised by the masses unlike today's 24/7 celebrity machine whose whirring cogs never stop spinning.