Latest Entries »

TWIN PEAKS : FIRE WALK WITH ME directed by David Lynch (USA, 1992)

If Dune is David Lynch’s prize turkey, Fire Walk With Me, follows as a close second. It is significant that neither are included in the ‘select filmography’ in ‘Catching The Big Fish’, Lynch’s collection of anecdotal reflections on meditation, consciousness and creativity published in 2006.

After two seasons of Twin Peaks on TV, the plug was unceremoniously pulled by the network in 1991 to leave a sense of unfinished business. But much as I loved the show, the recent announcement that a new Showtime miniseries with Lynch at the helm is in the pipeline fills me with more trepidation than excitement. 25 years on, it will be tough to replicate the subtlety and surreal humour that made the small screen version so compelling

Further cause for concern stems from the dire movie spin-off of Fire Walk With Me. The wayward plot focuses on the events leading up to the murder of Laura Palmer leaving a trail of loose ends in its wake.

The movie substitutes cheap horror and seedy sex for anything more considered. Overall, you are left with the distinct impression that it is little more than an elaborate cut and paste job of half-conceived ideas. A bizarre cameo by David Bowie is one of many sequences that serve little purpose. View full article »

GIRL IN A BAND – A MEMOIR by Kim Gordon (Day Street Books, 2015)

The somewhat reductive title is surely intended to be ironic since Kim Gordon’s autobiography is most certainly far than that of just another  ‘girl in a band’.

This is evidenced by the fact that the postscript defines her as an “artist, musician, producer, fashion designer, writer and actress”. Not only that but she is even a little dismissive of her musical prowess : “I’ve never thought of myself as a singer with a good voice or even as a musician”, she reveals.

Most of the time her desire to be a name in contemporary art world seems more important than being a rock star.

Despite this, Gordon is best known as founder member of post No Wave , pre-Grunge and super cool experimental rockers, Sonic Youth. This is a band who, she writes,“could only have come out of New York’s bohemian downtown art scene and the people in it”.

But anyone seeking a straight bio of the band will be disappointed by her non linear recollections. What dominates the plot is her relationship and marriage to Thurston Moore, the rise and fall of which parallels that of the band they founded together. The first chapter is entitled ‘The End’ and refers both to Sonic Youth’s final concert and the messy marital breakdown. View full article »

A PSYCHEDELIC GOAT

GOAT Live at Bronson Club, Ravenna, Italy 8th May 2015

goat bronsonMasks can have a transformative power. They can help mere mortals turn into superheroes, they can embolden the sexuality inhibited to initiate erotic games or they can help transform a modest Swedish psychedelic band into a charismatic stage act.

In concert all the members of Goat wear non-matching masks or burkas.

The focus of the live performance is on the two vocalists impressively decked out in full witch doctor regalia. Their voices are screechy, high-pitched female chants – although one of the two was (if I’m not mistaken) a man. The all-singing, all-dancing duo jump, strut and strike shamanic poses while the five-piece band stand stoically behind them grinding out a relentless set of rhythms. View full article »

A CUP OF SAKE BENEATH THE CHERRY TREES by Kenkō (Translated by Meredith McKinney)
kenko1

Yoshida Kenkō at work – just to prove that he didn’t just sit around all day doing nothing!

Kenkō was a Japanese Buddhist monk who was probably born in 1283 and probably died in 1352 (nobody knows for sure).

This pocket-sized book is one of eighty 80p  ‘Little Black Classics’ and is a much reduced version of his Essays In Idleness.

Despite its 14th century provenance it has a remarkably contemporary application. It illustrates that the vanity of human wishes change little from century to century or from country to country. View full article »

KURT COBAIN: MONTAGE OF HECK directed by Brett Morgen (USA, 2015)

€12 is a bit steep for the price of a cinema ticket but this was billed as an ‘event’ rather than a straight movie so in the spirit of the theme I thought ‘What the heck!’

The montage of the movie’s title comprises a plethora of mostly unseen home movie footage. This gives the dubious privilege of watching Kurt Cobain grow up in public, starting out as a cute kid and ending as a jaded junky.

Debates will rage about when it all started to go wrong. Was it when his parents divorced?, Was it all down to his addiction to hard drugs? Was it his inability to cope with Nevermind’s overnight success? or Was it mitigated by his relationship with Courtney Love?

You could make a strong case that it was all or none of these.

The reality is that Cobain seemed to be born with a suicidal gene and the images essentially serve as a chronicle of a death foretold. You only have to see the scrawled writings and drawings to see how he lived and died as a tortured soul that those around him witnessed but were incapable of curing. View full article »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 637 other followers

%d bloggers like this: