Friday, January 19, 2007

"Kit Bashing" Exhibition at Western Bridge - Christian Marclay and Others : Jan 16 - May 5


Link to Western Bridge Gallery site

Post holidays-season and the arts are happening again in this city. Group show at the Western Bridge Gallery of visual arts, video, installation and soundwork titled "Kit Bashing" - involving these notable names:

Christian Marclay
Gretchen Bennett
Steve Brekelmans
Carsten Holler
Ryan Gander
Steve Roden
Paul Morrison
Ben Rubin

The Marclay is the same audio/video installation piece that showed at SF MOMA a couple years back and was briefly at SAM last year. Certainly worth witnessing again, even if you've already had the privilege. Holler's work tends to be synthetic installation/sculptures and Steve Roden has amassed a large body of excellent sound-art and installation/visual art works in the past decade. Looks to be a diverse group of artists who's work is all of a consistently engaging depth and quality.

From the Western Bridge Gallery:

"Christian Marcay, Video Quartet, 2002. Four channel video installation with sound, 14 minutes. Image courtesy of the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery.
Western Bridge begins 2007 with Kit Bashing, a group show on appropriation and archives, and Christian Marclay's Video Quartet, 2002. These exhibitions conclude a series of three collection hangings built around Paul Morrison's commissioned wall painting mesophyte.

Marclay's synchronized four-channel video installation is one of the treasures of the William and Ruth True Collection. The southernmost gallery at Western Bridge, was designed to accomodate the spatial requirements of Video Quartet, whose forty linear feet present an inventive and rich audiovisual collage of quick cuts drawn from the broad history of sound cinema. Working with film clips as a DJ does with sound samples, Marclay finds music in cacophony.

Kit Bashing looks at Paul Morrison's mesophyte as the product of a specific kind of use artists make of archives. Kit Bashing casts the artist not as archivist, but as a disruptive force within the categorical order of the archive. The title is derived from Steven Brekelmans' Drums (Kit Bashing), 2006, named after the practice of repurposing existing scale model kit parts to create novel designs."

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Bong Joon-Ho's new film "The Host" opening at Landmark Theatres : Jan 24 - Mar 23


Here's the trailer:

Link to unrated US Trailer for The Host

And the release schedule:

Link to Theatrical Release Schedule

Yeah... incase you didnt know, I'm a lifelong sucker for Kaiju Eiga (yep, Monster Movies). "The Host" being even more atypical for the genre for having a decent 'human element' and a odd sense of political awareness to it. In essence its a weird combo of social consciousness/family values/mutant tadpole-monster eats picnickers as monster flick... which even more oddly was really well received at film fests all around Europe last year. And was on the cover of ARTFORUM (??) last month.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

"Long Take on Mizoguchi" Film series at NWFF : Jan 26 - Feb 28


Mizoguchi series at the Film Forum running Jan. 26 - Feb. 28 spanning his most well known and considered films. Including the war tragedy/ghost story "Ugetsu" and the rarely seen in the west "Sisters of the Gion", the latter being an (atypical for the time) examination of the life of the geisha and a criticism of the social position of women in the then-changing Meiji period. Beautifully shot black and white tragedies that delve into the depths of human experience often through the themes of societal and personal injustice. These themes more often than not, explored from the perspective of female protagonists - seriously tragic and beautiful stuff by turns.

NWFF "Long Take in Mizoguchi" site

From the Northwest Film Forum:

"Born impoverished in 1898 Tokyo and exposed first-hand from an early age to the systematic oppression of women in Japanese society - his sister was sold as a geisha and his father abused his mother and sister - pantheon film director Kenji Mizoguchi had numerous influences molding his worldview. From early silent films such as A PAPER DOLLS WHISPER OF SPRING (KAMI NINGYORU NO SASAYAKI, 1926), to his first sound masterworks OSAKA ELEGY (NANIWA EREJI, 1936) and STORY OF THE LAST CHRYSANTHEMUM (ZANGIKU MONOGATARI, 1939), to such final treasures as UGETSU (1953) and SANSHO THE BAILIFF (SANSHO DAYU, 1954), Mizoguchi created a sublimely timeless body of work that transcends the aggression and exploitation of the world-at-large. A painstaking attention to period detail, lighting, frame composition and long takes, coupled with his intuitive outlook and empathy for his characters, reveal a simple poetry of supernatural power. Along with Akira Kurosawa and Yasujiro Ozu, Mizoguchi remains at the pinnacle of not just Japan's motion picture legacy, but of international cinema. All films in Japanese with English subtitles. Seven New 35mm Prints!

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

:::: ALBUMS OF 2006 ::::



FM3 "Buddha Machine" (Staalplaat)
Tim Hecker "Harmony in Ultraviolet" (Kranky)
Alog "Catch that Totem" (Melektronik)
Mountains "Sewn" (Apestaartje)
Modern Institute "Excellent Swimmer" (Expanding)
Alva Noto / Sakamoto "Insen Live" DVD (Raster-Noton)
Triosk "Headlight Serenade" (Leaf)
Sickoakes "Seawards" (Type)
Mono "Palmless Prayer/Mass Murder Refrain" (Temporary Residence)
Francisco Lopez "Untitled 2005" (Aneoma)
Gruppo Di Improvisazione Nuova Consonanza "Azioni" -Reissue (Die Schachtel)
Sunn O))) / Boris "Altar" (Southern Lord)
Machinefabriek "Marijin" (Lampse)
V/A "OHM - Early Gurus of Electronic Music Box-Set" - Reissue (Ellipsis)
3/4HadBeenEliminated "Year of the Aural Gauge Operation" (Hapna)
Chihei Hatakeyama "Minima Moralia" (Kranky)
Toru Takemitsu "Complete Edition - Music for Movies Box-Set" (Made the list eventhough I can't afford the darn thing, but I've heard it all and its a amazing collection of soundtrack work from the 50's-80's) (Shogakukan)

Another pretty darn explorative year in sound, there were many works that took the ears to exciting places (especially appearing this past fall) that did so in distinct, expressive and adventurous ways. Oh and hey, where's that new Supersilent album anyway?!!

Here's a sub-list for the hip-hop as it certainly does get play/listening time alongside all that avant/dissonant/brainy/abstract stuff:

Lady Sovereign "Vertically Challenged" (Chocolate Industries)
Ghislain Poirier "Rebondir" (Big Dada)
Spank Rock "Yo Yo Yo" (Big Dada)
Mr. Lif "Mo'Mega" (Def Jux)
Clipse "Hell Hath No Fury" (Re-Up Gang)
Dabrye "Two/Three" (Ghostly)

:::: FILMS OF 2006 ::::


Lucile Hadzihalilovic "Innocence" (France)
Hou Hsiao-Hsien "Three Times" (China/Taiwan)
Cristi Puiu "Death of Mr. Lazarescu" (Romania)
Jean-Pierre Melville "Army of Shadows" (France)
(Rereleased classic noir from '69 with new print/subtitles
and given the Criterion treatment)
Yoji Yamada "Hidden Blade" (Japan)
Nuri Bilge Ceylan "Climates" (Turkey)
Mikio Naruse "Flowing"/"When A Woman Ascends the Stairs"/
"Repast"/"Sound of the Mountain" (Japan)
(Late 50's/Early 60's tokyo dramas - first time in the west
subtitled and given the Masters of Cinema treatment)
Bong Joon-ho "The Host" (South Korea)
Pen-Ek Ratanaruang "Invisible Waves" (Thailand)
Michel Gondry "Science of Sleep" (France)
Victor Erice "Spirit of the Beehive" (Spain)
(Another rerelease, this rarely seen Spanish film from the 70's
gets the new print and Criterion treatment as well)
Pedro Almodovar "Volver" (Spain)

And there were a number of films I've been anticipating from a handful of rather exceptional directors that have yet to see stateside release/ distribution - that I'm pretty darn sure would have otherwise made the list had they shown. So here are those in the 'Not Seen but much Anticipated' category:

Tsai Ming-Liang "I Don't Want to Sleep Alone" (Taiwan)
Jia Zhang-Ke "Still Life" (China)
Abderrahmane Sissako "Bamako" (Mali)
Apichatpong Weerasethakul "Syndromes and a Century" (Thailand)

A couple of you have asked and yes, the docus should have been included on there. So Here'r those as another sublist:

James Longley "Iraq in Fragments" (US/Iraq)
Davis Guggenheim "An Inconvenient Truth" (US)
(Less for the delivery than its profile and overall message)
Spike Lee "When the Levees Broke" (US)
Hubert Sauper "Darwin's Nightmare" (Austria/Tanzania)