Monday, August 30, 2010

bug watch!

i'm conducting an entomologist hunt... who knows what these are?

they're dotted around en masse in the bush at the moment. some kind of ancient writhing larvae which operate as a universal hive mind. a choreographed euphoric bug mass, they move as an interdependent entwined mob. primarily black bodies with some yellow on their heads. 

i have video of their captivating dance somewhere from last summer. they communicate as a writhing rhythmic pulse. oh, and they spit.

Friday, August 27, 2010

a good day in the office...

Ah Victoria
last night you n me lookin at
  Queer Street -  
  me wanting to tell
gleamin gratitude
hallowed homage
   i hold
 her great
 pale green
  on her 
moon struck flesh

 in the broken courtyard
 the white oyster shells
     sing of the sea
     leaves we plucked

- Christina Conrad [Homage to Victoria]

Thursday, August 26, 2010

sun sets on the mish

the mission. a name which inspires jeremy irons & robert de niro on movie screens & rabbit proof fences closer to home. a shameful collective history of hoards of indigenous people the world over shepherded into reservation like communities on the hub outskirts by whatever colonist flavour of the day accompanied by justifications in triplicate.

euphemistically renamed "willow bend village" this precinct of condo is one of many littered all over regional australia as a reminder of the not so recent segregation of black & white in australia. in condobolin only fifty years ago an impenetrable chain in the local cinema separated the aboriginal patrons from the rest. do not feed the animals.

now affectionately known as "the mish" by locals, i was privileged to drive through & walk around under the auspices of film location scouting what is now essentially a quiet outer rim suburb adjacent to the winding river known as the coogee & a preferred haunt of indigenous youth in the summer months. the place of escape, return and coming of age. 

although the street pot holes are reminiscent of district 9 there were no barricades here, but a quiet semblance of supportive community & people just getting on with life. still it was hard to take photos, mostly my phone stayed where it should. in my pocket.

the church is long since deserted. government installed solar panels gleam like sulking hot coal soldiers all in a line on the identical roofs quietly harvesting the ample sunshine which the residents flock hungrily to block out the winter cold, shunned with ironic pumped-up air con inside. 

faceless walls with no windows salute the rising sun to peer over fences into the undeveloped wasteland where errant eucalypts gallantly grow like weeds in the scorched earth. noone can see from inside. the beginning has been witnessed already, it is to the setting sun in the west the houses look.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

world famous in condobolin

copyright: condobin argus

so here's a really unflattering pic of me & a handful of talent lurking in the depths of the outer regional rim of NSW. my students. we were thrown together under an intensive timeframe & created a film together a week ago for the play now act now programme [it will be up on the site from september 01].

it was a lot of fun, they blew me away with their passion for story telling and we made the local paper. not a lot happens in this small town.

there is actually something that looks like tumbleweed blowing down the mainstreet but it has massive prickles. the scarred indents in my legs & arms bear testament to this fact after scrambling along the ground, mobile phone in hand with jack [on the far left] under the blustering sky like a paratrooper in search of the perfect shot. which we got.

i'll update when the film officially goes live. we could use your votes. if you like it.

stop sticky fingers

[a nervous mother's mantra]

Friday, August 20, 2010

condo casks

last week i was in condobolin, or condo as the locals call it, rural NSW about seven hours west of sydney as the crow flies.  this is the drink of choice when they get thirsty. often on the street in groups on squashed cartons for seats. a sense of community of sorts in a small interbred town full of stories & insurmountable pride.

there's a lot of social issues in this place which mostly revolve around drug & alcohol abuse. unemployment & school dropout rates are high. high school stats indicate that 48% of the population are aboriginal but the census tells a different story. another renegade town on the edge of the regional abyss. there are different rules out here. shades of cyberpunk satellite towns: gateway to the wild badlands.

at less than one dollar a litre it's easy to imagine a lot of late night soul searching at the bottom of the shimmering bladder. cheaper than petrol: which is sniffed at epidemic proportions further to the west and north. nothing down there but broken dreams.

rose coloured glasses

these were in the mailbox the other day when i returned to sydney from my various adventures out of town. rose coloured glasses. just in time. depression is a debilitating & dangerous thing, especially in my secretive skilled hand[s]. i wonder if i should put them on now?

sadly when i did so the first time & headed obediently to the website as directed, i found a rather unsavory & anti-climactic sight... insurance pimping. one of my greatest ires.

to the agency who wants me to whore out your "lifewise" fear concept on my blog: you'll just have to do better. i will not advocate or support the continuation of these subversive campaigns to undermine what beauty & freedom to be reckless there is left in this world. but sure i'll blog what i think about this.

fuck you and your "what if" & risk calculations [you make me want to eat broken glass and defenstrate] and the ever increasing safety margins that encroach the ability to live dangerously in this world. i want to walk to the edge of the cliff and look up AND down. fuck your barriers. fuck your nana mentality. if i fall and die i promise not to posthumously sue your company. or the council. or myself. and nor will my daughter or cats.

so australia is under-insured. according to who? the financial services council. according to them 95% of australian families don't have enough cover. i'd rather have my family sell our meager chattels, whore themselves on the street in the wake of my untimely death than being enslaved to another unnecessary bill designed to promote reliance on a centralised system rather than self-responsibilty. there's plenty of pink bits there. porn keyboard cat: now there's a market.

oh and i'm keeping the glasses. is that OK?

election farce

with this election being a mediocre mini tornado in a cup of diverted issues of meaninglessness buoyed by multiple campaigns of slogan driven fear, this is all i have to say: love your country/world in colours other than red & blue.

we can burn flags & make history together. a shame that the fear mongering campaigns are so powerful [yet inherently ridiculous and illogical] the happy place people reach for is the place illuminated as safe via propaganda. 

tomorrow the people of this nation will vote. sadly sheep are more adventurous. the grass really is greener on the other side of the fence.

you call that a sign?

now this is a sign. from once when cockatoo was sydney's answer to roswell. perhaps.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

the benefit of hindsight...

sydney biennale: photo by john hooke

is often dubious indeed.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

mother's milk

SUFF is just around the corner and this week they released the 2010 program & series of inimitable trailers. it's great to see a film festival run by wicked filmmakers who didn't just revert to the film festival genre because their films aren't good enough to stand alone in others.

stefan popescu & katherine berger have proven that they're brilliant filmmakers in their own right with a third experimental feature film currently in post-production. here's one of the new trailers featuring our punk monk propaganda project hybristo honeymooners made for the 48 hour international film project. since recut & given a quickie grade. written, designed, directed and co-produced by yours truly. my inspiration was the banjo duel off in deliverance & the eroticism of serial killing constrained by the timeframe, whilst fusing with my wonderful muse the heavenly cat davies whilst working within some classic signature items provided by the festival at the time:

48HR film project parameters for 
script to screen short films

1. genre - femme fatale
2. object - a torch
3. character - jemma gordon, a writer

4. line of dialogue - "one of these days you're going to realise i'm right"

this is the film i literally broke my back on [skydiving is sadly now permanently off the menu] and almost killed two of my friends/cast via hypothermia. an opiate onslaught really makes one somewhat insensitive to others' pain. 

we've managed to elicit a couple of awards for the film thus far. i'm very excited to be screening at this wonderful festival for the third year in a row. an incredible honour. sad not to have the beloved germans [felix & michael] here who were key to the production this SUFF season.

punk monk propaganda 48 hr team was

catherine davies
mischa chaleyer-kynaston
dave cheng
ky-lee menzies

andrew berman
mischa chaleyer-kynaston
dave cheng
ky-lee menzies
dermot mcguire
felix pflieger
michael prechtl
kate taylor
victoria waghorn

dan simmonds
the lurkers

hybristo honeymooners is part of the mother's milk [wonder women] program & despite playing opposite one of my favourite film directors [harmony korine's new feature trash humpers [which also plays the following day -- whew] i will be in the fusebox: "a[sic] outrageously diverse and imaginative session of films made by talented female directors. what woman wouldn't make a film about seductive monks or a serial killer wedding?

screening FRIDAY 10 SEPT 19:45 – 21:15
sydney underground film festival
thursday sep 09 - sunday sep 11, 2010
the factory theatre

Friday, August 6, 2010

monochromatic poetry of death

Polytechnique is a delicately restrained lyrical artwork addressing the nonsensical horror of the historical 1989 Montreal Massacre. It is nothing short of a visual virtuoso of powerful drawn-out imagery in slurries of soft black & white which gently lap on the edge of consciousness, blurring illogical brutality into a shadowy poetic containment simultaneously addressing life and death. And the fine line of perception which divides them. Both the before and aftershocks.
The combination of Director of Photography Pierre Gill and Director Denis Villeneuve is potent, resulting in a tangibly unreal dreamlike state, stark yet lucidly streaming in theta wavelike fashion. The cinematography is exceptional not just in composition and movement but in the inherent subtlety which does not detract from the surreality and first person RPG sense of realtime connection. A multi-faceted viewfinder into the quiet chaotic space. Serial killer meets gamer POV sans sensationalism.
Eerie but not, as some detractors have argued, irresponsible. A potential mass murderer will already self-glamorise the act played out in the instant play/rewind of the mind, it's unlikely - just like marijuana - to lead onto the harder drug. The psychopath comes first, not the cartoons on TV. Or politically current in Australia, the child pornography without an internet filter.
The film is factual but centres on fictionalized characters with detailed attribution to actual events within the massacre. What happened that fateful day when a jaundiced twenty five year old, Marc Lepine entered the Ecole Polytechnique armed with a legally obtained semi-automatic rifle, a hunting knife, several rounds of ammunition and a suicide note, carefully written prior, inside his jacket. All retrospective the what-ifs.
He went on to hunt down and slaughter feminists ie. women, like wild animals within his perceived sacred manly domain which was Engineering School. During his psychotic rampage which he began by systematically separating the "girls from the boys" in a classroom he then executed the nine women after delivering a short anti-feminist tirade. Three actually survived after playing dead.
His insane rampage continued throughout the school targeting women. In twenty minutes he famously killed fourteen women and injured ten before turning the gun on himself. He also shot men but it was clear throughout that these were unfortunate incidentals and not the object of his unfathomable obsession. Countless students suffered extreme post-traumatic stress syndrome and subsequently had emotional distress peppered with a large number of suicides. over the years which followed. His hate crime fallout, immense.
The Montreal Massacre went on to become an incredible totem of violence against women. A terrible symbol of misogyny which served as an illustration of immobilisation and gender paralysis. The anniversary [December 6] is now known as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. For years after the event police would not release the full details of the suicide note for fear of creation of anti-feminist backlash. The incident resulted in tighter gun controls in Canada.
Perhaps the most frightening aspect of the event which is poignantly painted by the film is the reflective portrayal of the accessibility of the moment. It could be anytime anywhere. The killer lurks within us all. With the increased popularisation of 1st person shooter games there's an acknowledgement of power outside of the permitted constructs of civilisation. We're bursting at the seams to marry our inner monster caged by socratic logic to fit the idealised societal code. Which strangely echoes Marc Lepine's own words from his hate literature: "For why exist just to please the government?" Babies need not be thrown out with the bath water.
In understanding any of this, control ultimately cannot be exacted by outside legislative forces but must come from within. As respectively illustrated in the film the power to believe and act is born for all of us there. It must overcome fear [we are not Orwellian Big Brother's children quite yet]. Otherwise life has no meaning, the motions just that. Which is liberating indeed. 
Australian Premiere TONIGHT [Friday August 06] at Possible Worlds Canadian Film Festival.

Dendy Opera Quays
9/2 East Circular Quay
Sydney, Australia
20:30 - 22:30

longer lasting bigotry in politics

fiona patten of the australian sex party: copyright EPA

when i first saw the video below yesterday it made me angry and i curled up with tight illness gripping my stomach [but it won fiona patten as pictured above a very big fan]

for a moment i visited the polarized world where two wrongs don't make a right but it doesn't matter & then deigned to position myself above on a floating white carpet of light above the murderous eugenics gutter where i wanted to reside. then i laughed. before proceeding to rant... 

aaah, wendy francis & family first political party. sadly this narrow mindedness reaches beyond the vineer operating in this country primarily peopled by conservative bigots. remember the cronulla riots? pauline hanson? and their wild "success" as followers crawled out from barely hidden cracks. southern cross tattoos and australian flags.

what i love is that the family first party are crowing about winning the live debate versus the sex party on sunrise. something about subjective realities.

now, if you argue about the proposed internet filter which will effectively throw australia into the internet dark ages, you're a child pornographer. that's brute political logic. meanwhile civil liberties rapidly shrink into some malevolent new world order where freedom of speech is rewritten like george orwell's napoleonic cardinal laws, like the bible in a shadowy beveled representation of the original words.

australia first/one nation & family first are unarguably throwbacks to reduced aryan principles dumbed down to the needs of fearful, religiously pious & uneducated. another reinterpretation of the bible for lawful thugs. ironically a bunch of losers who can't win at anything else. ants [to which i do a disservice in the analogy] incapable of acknowledging that beyond their own pitiful egos in a much greater world at large.

wendy francis: for longer lasting free society sex 

wendy francis although an ignorant small-minded idiot who is incapable of the fundamentals of logical argument or obviously retaining or absorbing any information outside of her secularized good book version scarily represents a hidden majority. 

if you look closely you can see her ku klux clan robes beneath her fabricated mediocrity. the witch hunters live. wendy francis with her marriagable backbone and thwarted concept of free society is not just salem's lot but ours.

i celebrate her freedom of speech. the more she says the more ridiculous they look. but i am the all-seeing minority, a "radical green" whose very existence and lifestyle undermine the core principles of this nation.

if family first were ever the government my bi-partisan choices would undoubtedly be the stake or the gas chamber. as would the majority of my friends. and it's only one degree of separation, perhaps two before they hold the balance of power between the two dominant parties. religion and state. the ultimate marriage.

an elusive 16% of undecided voters hangs over this nation's fate. a country too afraid to change the system & look beyond the artifices of political dualism and weekly mortgage repayments to the much bigger issues which truly bind us all. in the face of the dire comic nature of the state and system it seems any wonder that anyone bothers to vote anymore. while the sheep flock the ever alienated shepherds look longingly to the hills. 

but the citizens must vote. regardless of whether the system works or not the illusion of choice must be broken through and wielded at all cost. 

when all else fails we should just have lots of pre-apocalyptic sex. eloquent fiona patten of the australian sex party [who practices more than she preaches - take note sunday schoolers] was a shining paramour of logical sensibility and decorum] & bob brown of the greens are welcome to the entire collection of my fertile eggs. 

let's make a clone army of well considered free speaking environmental loving social deviants & bring george lucas along for the cinematic ride. he's all about defeating storm troopers. people fuck for jesus don't they? just don't try explaining it to wendy's four year old.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

social satire or schlocky pulp?

There’s a hybristophile in all of us waiting for the right social triggers to release our inner beast...

Reginald Harkema’s much anticipated film, Leslie, My Name is Evil investigates this premise via real life character Leslie van Houten known as Lulu by her friends in the family. The Manson Family that is. Although uncharacteristically Charlie, himself never deigned to give her a pet name.

John Waters slammed it without seeing it which has to be a red flag for those who adore offending camp sensibilities. In retrospective horror he has gone to the lengths of apologising for his infamous comic references in his own past films to the related murders citing irresponsibility in the name of shock value. And that's what this film potentially does. With equal measures of less and more subtlety than some of Water’s notorious graphic asshole acrobatics, and canine faecal sampling [that’s eating dog shit for the uninitiated].

Leslie, a lost disenchanted girl at nineteen teetering on the status quo borderline was arguably seduced by the dark side in a polarized world of 1950s artificial Christianized sensibilities versus the freedom offered by dropping out and drifting into the sexual revolution. Today, she is still incarcerated for her part in the laBianca slayings, conducted when she was still a teenager desperately trying to prove her merit to the all powerful Manson who constantly overlooked her. A wayward princess ironically trying to fit in via the classic gang initiation rite.

A visually juxtaposed film effectively mixing iconic video and audio stock footage with new produces an exaggerated stylized Lichtenstein larger than life caricature effect loosely based on the Charles Manson trials focussing on Leslie, one time cheerleader, prom queen then murdering nymphomaniacal acolyte. A snapshot of her journey and the representation of worlds colliding as she luridly exploits her sexuality and forces one frustrated juror to question his morality in the face of hypocritical demonization.

Despite the camp OTT delivery this film is much more social satire than schlocky pulp but it’s happy to flippantly traverse both worlds. It does ask important questions and raises problematic Hobbes-like contextual comparisons.

Who does have license to kill, in a world where right wing moral crusaders under Nixon’s leadership espouse the mass murder in Vietnam and the protection of the righteous white path? If the nature of man is the nature of war [in search of peace] when is murder wrong when its being publically pimped as socially, politically, and religiously acceptable. When is a person a gook and not a pig?

Leslie, My Name is Evil has its Australian Premiere at Possible Worlds Canadian Film Festival followed by a special "Fight the Power" party this Saturday. A must see/do.

the feast of trimalchio

indulgent. blatantly hedonist. the erotic fetishised commodification of ancient gaius petronius arbiter's satyricon paradise. 

an advertiser's wet dream offering glimpses of the idealised shimmering carrot, billions of have nots slave from nine to five for 70% of their lives, whilst moneyed darlings in abstract boredom luxuriate in the unsustainability of consumptive heaven in the guise of a superlative timeless hotel, languidly dipping their toes into the perfectly manicured hands of equally flawless slaves. and the tidal waves roll in... 

what's not to love about the ironic stylized feast of trimalchio served up on a hyper-angelic aryan/nubian platter of perfection with a superficial glossy embrace?

AES+F's satirical homage was the piece de resistance of my last day on cockatoo island to soak up sydney biennale's twilight hour. a technicolor riefenstahl-esque nine channel 360 degree video installation in an expansive industrial building at the back of the old shipyard on cockatoo accompanied by a symphonic orgasm which is beethoven's 7th, allegretto.

mind blowing for all the senses picking up where united colors of benetton left off & david la chapelle meets pierre et gilles continue in some sort of age-old new world order offering of aesthetic material perfection. the empire which gave us cosmonauts takes it up into the next level. beautiful, entrancing, captivating, terrifying. epic.

A arzamasova, tatiana
E evzovlich, lev
S svatsky, evgeny
F fridkes vladimir

cmon, take a bite eve.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

birds of a feather

i am obsessed by gulls. amongst other things. 

the abandoned industrial wasteland which is cockatoo island provides a perfect backdrop for these birds living in symbiosis with the waves of tourist foot traffic which passes on through.

Monday, August 2, 2010

walking through hyde park

walking with stevie on the way to matt's birthday dinner on friday night. 

hyde park was filled with a picturesque plethora of dandelions begging to have their spores wished upon & released into the gentle night breeze. so we did.