Tag Archives: Los Angeles

Meat Screams: An Attempt at Johannes Gorannson’s Haute Surveillance

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prettypuke.com

“The sound the body makes is akin to the sound toys make when they burn.” I sent a letter to Rudolf Eb.er, infested as I was by his Hate Operation and cut-up, assemblage, shrieks, psycho-acoustic shamanism. He wore meat on his face, a white shirt and black necktie: screaming meat. There were sealed vomit tubs in the closet, an unfinished painting by the bedroom. We listened to a live recording from Taipei, smoked Japanese to death. Pictures of unknown bodies. Pictures of the insides of bodies. My autopsies went unanswered–that defenestration from Austria, somewhere in Osaka (not the Overlook or the Shining Mansion on the Hill).

“This novel is written like a fashion show dedicated to the rioted body.” For a noise act in Tokyo, I took a cheap white shirt, a shirt and smeared it–dirtied it red, made it better. The photographs that were taken on the were tinted in the screams and shrieks, moans and anti-language of the foreigner. It yellowed and hardened until it turned fashion. Lesson: sometimes the body can be tearing apart a fish with contact mics, a folk loop.  

“The erotics of writing reminds me of the needle on a record player.” A needle scrapes vinyl, a radio broadcast in a foreign language. There are blurred faces, the way a woman undresses in a hotel room, you are always woman. David Lynch practices Transcendental Meditation. I have heard that in Iowa or Indiana there are people who float, people who meditate until they float as if the body, numbed by transcendence, becomes lighter, becomes Nothing. The final scene of Takashi Miike’s Audition is the slow torture of a producer who is needled numb and sawed to a state of anti-levitation. I remember being fascinated by this scene. Years later I would buy Inland Empire at Walmart.

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“Language is like candy. It rots my teeth. It makes me spazzy.” E.M. Cioran quipped something like: “Writing in a foreign language is like writing a love letter with a dictionary.” I was a mute foreigner, unpredictable as outsider. One who knows how to screw a fork. There are areas in Tokyo, in Seoul, in Beijing where foreigners are allowed to be foreign, allowed to tongue foreign, act foreign: needles, erotics, vomit. These are the areas where we grind chains in underground cabarets, McDonalds drunk with military officers, a man who said, “as an American, it is my duty to protect you.”

“I want us all to wear kimonos. And sharp words.” The kimono as corset, how it flattened the breasts, restricted the gait in a way that made women walk slow, walk in hare-steps, small steps like floating worlds. This was a point of sexual interest for men. I received the male version of a kimono, the yukata, from a friend in Kyoto whose Japanese was too much the birth of who I would become.

“In B-movies the human body becomes more beautiful and less a subject.” Even a gaze, a transformation. Sherilyn Fenn losing her limbs in front of the Warlock’s mansion. I will keep you here to look how things look from where I see them. You can see them, too.

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“You were in the house, on your knees, in a state of wild terror.” It is a rocking chair and the way the face comes stubbled. Maybe it’s Isabella, my meat grinder, white stripped to the neck, covering neck, but this is not Japan–it’s Berlin. She shrieks in a tunnel, murders detectives in the apartment and all for the monster, all for the lack of her being able to feel.

“Go to Los Angeles, go to Los Angeles.” A friend of mine speaks of the feeling of Los Angeles as everything. I watched Mulholland Drive in Kichijoji. They brought concert-sized speakers to the theater. As the sedan crashed over a Los Angeles skyline, I heard American noise. I caught a slice as if I were other and America from where I was sitting was a fiery wreck of charred bodies, sexual blood, and a beautiful starlet wandering dazed down the hill back into the filthy light.

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Vincent Gallo: “Johnny 316” Trailer

Vincent Gallo and Erick Ifergan are artists that I admire. I found this trailer via the Quiet Earth website. (NOTE: Vimeo has taken down the trailer)

The synopsis, from the film’s official website is:

“A modernized version of Oscar Wilde’s ‘Salome”, JOHNNY 316, directed by Erick Ifergan, unfurls in the boulevards of Hollywood, California. Vincent Gallo plays a penniless street preacher who spends his days giving out pamphlets and spreading the word of God. One day, he meets Sarah, played by Nina Brosh, a beautiful bereft hairdresser who lost her job. For Sarah, it is love at first sight. She follows the preacher home and tries to seduce him.

Despite his deep attraction to her, he pushes her away. Oblivious to his rejection, Sarah continues to pursue the preacher, convinced that she can win him over. Poetic and violent, this impossible love story explores the themes of spirituality, intimacy and loss, set against the backdrop of the harsh unforgiving reality of the streets.”

Here is a direct link to the trailer, from the film’s official website: Johnny 316 trailer

If you have any news of this coming to DVD, please get in touch.

Zach Galifianakis’s “Visioneers” Screening Dates (October/November)

If you are near Austin, Los Angeles or San Francisco, you may be interested in checking out director Jared Drake’s film, “Visioneers” starring Zach Galifianakis. If you have already seen this film, would like to hear your thoughts. I admire the work of Galifianakis and this film looks promising.

The synopsis, from the Visioneers website is as follows: “George Washington Winsterhammerman lives an ordinary life. He has a wife, a kid, a house, and a boat. Every day George gets in his minivan and goes to work as a Level Three Tunt at the Jeffers Corporation, the largest and most profitable corporation in the history of mankind. It is an utterly comfortable life, but when people around George begin exploding, he fears he might be next. George visits his doctor and learns that the dreams he’s been having are a symptom of impending explosion. Unfortunately, George can’t stop dreaming, and as the explosion epidemic worsens, he is forced to question the life he’s been living.

October 17th
San Francisco
Anti Corporate Film Festival
http://www.countercorp.org

October 18th
Austin, Texas
Austin Film Festival
http://aff.bside.com/2008/films/visioneers_aff2008;jsessionid=18A2D6CF69CE25D86271FD8FCEDF637E

November 1st and 3rd
Los Angeles
AFI Fest
http://filmguide.afifest.com/tixSYS/2008/filmguide/eventnote.php?notepg=1&EventNumber=2884

The Cobrasnake: Creating Culture

The Cobrasnake (Mark Hunter) takes photographs and makes T-shirts. His brand has expanded; he has infiltrated the clubs and the streets of the world. A casual glance at his website shows only the latest T-shirts available for purchase and a dense archive of Cobrasnake’s photographs. Said simply: the man is busy. The people caught in the lens of his camera are not models, posing professionally, but seemingly random people, musicians(or people who happen to be wearing Cobrasnake T-shirts). Through the photographs, a new culture is created and takes form. Cobrasnake is not simply taking pictures, he’s creating cultural identity. Take note.

In this developing age of openness to personal branding, the Cobrasnake’s idea of selling limited runs of handmade T-shirts and hitting the clubs to snap the young and the restless works well. Everyone, it seems, these days is using some kind of social media as an extension of their daily life. What Cobrasnake goes is gives people a base from which to view the blossoming of club culture, the fashion of a certain party or event and so on. As he says in an interview with MediaTemple, “When i started shooting nightlife it was funny because people were not used to having their photo taken by someone that wasn’t their friend. Now most people want as many people as possible to take their photo.”

Gazing at the pictures on his website, we can see a myriad of “beautiful” people, enjoying themselves or at least being out, being seen. They do not possess the lifeless “looking past the camera” gaze that many professional advertisements rely on, but offer a more personal view of the scene. Some of them are almost inviting, comforting. After spending enough time clicking through the photo albums, you, too, may be enticed by the idea of joining the social enterprise that Cobrasnake offers. Or…

One Twitter user, wrote, “Not sure if he hates the Cobrasnake due to hatred or jealousy.” as his tweet. Perhaps this is the feeling that many viewers of the brand experience. The Cobrasnake, by showing you what is fashionable, what is happening in the “hot spots,” may make you realize how actually detached you are from those scenes. Wanting to leap into the scene, but unable to press beyond the computer screen. Meanwhile, somewhere, maybe right now, The Cobrasnake is plotting, working, selling, and enchanting folks with an invitation to transform themselves into a new person.

Links for more information on this enterprise:

The Cobrasnake (Official)
Cobrasnake Interview
Cobrasnake on Wunderbuzz
Cobrasnake Interview on The Brilliance

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Dave Naz: Transformation of the Erotic

Photographs taken by Dave Naz have a tendency to resonate in the mind and spark an erotically haunting urge to want to experience more of his work…and more…and more. His photographs pull at the insatiable, that which cannot be satisfied, while giving us more than just the intensity of a nude body. You may find yourself sucked into the mind of Naz through the moving picture as well, through films such as “Circa ’82,” “Skater Girl Fever” or “L.A. Lust.” Let’s just say that you won’t find these films in the “Family” section of your local video store. You will have to traverse the void and move into the forbidden “back room” for adults. If you are a collector of the carnal or a dilettante of the delightful, then I hope that you can search out and appreciate the work of photographer/film maker Dave Naz.

Upon seeing his photographs, I am drawn into the space between the body and the setting, into the uniquely Californian backdrop of modern minimalism and sunny, almost “suburban” cheer that ushers into some of his work. The stark clean rooms, living rooms for instance, in which some photos are snapped, interestingly compliment the model, add a new kind of beauty to her physical beauty, set her in a context that almost can “throw off” the sole attention that could be given to her. One is enraptured by the total overall presentation of the photograph, of the styling of a great artist at work showing us a side of human sexuality, showing us a side of beauty captured.

Similarly, in his film work, one is drawn to the stylization, to the attention to detail that is brought forth and, interestingly, to the music that is used, the soundtrack. While watching one of Naz’s films, I was not sure who the musicians were, but I found myself being drawn into a trance through the melding of music and image; my attention pinballed between the beauty of the scene and a conscious attention to the music: a sludgy groove, stripped down and thick. I knew that the person who selected this particular music, deliberately selected it, made sure that it fit into the aesthetic of the film, that it brought the film to life – opened the film up in a different way. It is not often that upon watching an adult film, one wishes one could buy a copy of the soundtrack.

Upon perusing his online bio, we find the following observation: “When one looks beyond the surface, the [sexy imagery] is seen as much more: a cultural artifact giving clues to the sexual identities and persona of our time (http://www.davenaz.com).” Perhaps, it is this uncovering of a “sexual identity” that was exposed to me, through the viewing of his art. It is easy to say that there is something “more” which comes through his work, something playfully erotic, yet subtly transformative, something utterly beautiful. For this writer, the world of the erotic has not been the same since.

Dave Naz was kind enough to lend us some time and appease our request to “pick his brain” regarding music and film. The following five questions will hopefully satisfy you and give you some insight into the taste of the man behind the camera:

1. What artists have you been listening to recently?

The new Wolf Parade, Smashing Pumpkins & The Dirtbombs albums

2. How concerned are you with the music that is used in your films? Do you personally select the artist or track?

It’s VERY important to me. I pick out all the artists and songs.

3. What do you think is your most accomplished piece of work thus far in your artistic career?

Books: Legs & L.A. Bondage. Movie: Circa ’82

4. What musicians or artists in general would you like to work with?

Musicians, bands: The Replacements, Lou Reed. Artists: Larry Clark, Nan Goldin

5. What film directors or cinematographers do you admire or emulate?

Larry Clark, Roman Polanski

Thank you, Dave Naz for doing what you do and for taking the time to answer the above questions. If you are interested in Dave Naz, please visit the following link:

Dave Naz Official Website
Dave Naz Myspace
Carnality Circa 82

Related:

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Japanicity: Three Questions w/ Ken Tanaka (田中けんさんとミツの質問)

sakura lomo

“Three Questions” is a song by the Kentucky based musician Bonnie “Prince” Billy from his “Master and Everyone” album. This haunting and beautiful song has been with me since winter 2004 and today I would like to incorporate the idea of “three questions” into The Eyeslit-Crypt. It is really quite simple. I choose one person and ask them three questions. Since this is my first experiment with this kind of blogging format, I kept the questions very simple and accessible. The honorable person whom I chose for this first endeavor is none other than Ken Tanaka…three questions were asked and this evening a response was received. As the beloved “Hero” Hiro Nakamura may say, “Yattttttta.”

If you are not familiar with Ken Tanaka’s video work, I suggest the following links:

Ken Tanaka on Youtube
Ken Tanaka on Myspace
The Japanicity of Ken Tanaka

THREE QUESTIONS with Ken Tanaka

Q: What kind of adventures have you been up to these days?

A: I recently have been traveling to a few locations searching for my parents…I just got back from Hawaii today. I am hoping to put up a video soon, but I am having some bad technical difficulties. I will also be returning to Japan sometime in May, hopefully. I hope to do some more videos about life in Japan if I can get my camera fixed.

Q: Any musical or literary recommendations from Ken Tanaka?

A: I have recently been reading some American authors. I like Kurt Vonnegut Jr. He seems like a very nice man. I have also been enjoying traditional American Blues and folk music by Leadbelly, Robert Johnson and Woody Guthrie. I recently heard a song at a vintage clothing store in Los Angeles by a New York folk/punk singer called Adam Green. I hope to listen to more of his music soon.
As far as recent manga, I am reading Gantz and 20th Century Boys (20seiki shonen).

Q: What are some of your favorite things about your home country, Japan?

A: Well, here are the things I miss most about home. Onsen and ofuru. It’s very hot in Los Angeles and I often wish I could go to a nice onsen for refreshment. There are Korean style spas in LA but they aren’t quite the same. When I arrive in Japan, I will go straight to a Sento. I also miss the quality of food. In the Japanese countryside, there is lots of tasty food everywhere. I have found that it is quite hard to find good food here, even in the city. There is very good food in Los Angeles, but you must do research in order to find it.
I also miss Game centers. Sometimes I want to play video games but it is hard to find them in Los Angeles. I miss trains and subways, and bento and sakura and anmitsu and matsuri and depa-chika and yakiimo too.

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Thank you for reading the first installment of “Three Questions” and I hope you learned something new about Ken Tanaka.