long ago, mid way through the 20th century, people used this odd thing to make noise with, until the Germans declared, “no more”. this artifact, a relic now, resides in the corner of middle aged men throughout the 7 kingdoms.
It’s been a busy couple weeks, and unfortunately, the preoccupied knife sliced through those extra fatty hours, which were then tossed to the ravenous dogs. That time, reserved for strategic enjoyment, better known as, MOVIE WATCHING, chowed down upon by life.
What does this all mean man! It means I could only get through a few films.
1. Yakuza Papers - Deadly Fight in Hiroshima - Kinji Fukasaku
2. Yakuza Papers - Proxy War - Kinji Fukasaku
3. Yakuza Papers - Police Tactics - Kinji Fukasaku
4. Yakuza Papers - Final Episode - Kinji Fukasaku
Boy oh boy, what a goddamn cool experience this is. I had seen Battles Without Honor and Humanity several years ago, and then re-watched(yes, this is a word) it a couple weeks back. But I had never gone through the whole series.
This is filmmaking so cool, that no matter how fucking hard Western cinema tries to appropriate it’s style, the real thing is always, always better, more interesting and certainly, original. Straight from the source baby. I don’t give a goddamn what your budget is, or how many VFX you can stuff in a scene, this shit is just straight up cooler. The end. Argument over.
Although, I am well aware that “cool” was not the intention as this is not a glorification piece, but a social critique. Unfortunately, that is an absolute impossibility as far as cinema and gangsters are concerned. Crime always pays.
Also, as it’s an unbending, pure piece of genre work, you can be critical of many elements of it if you are a bore, but what’s the purpose of that? You are a bore. Let it go. I’m done debating.
Go see this series. This is the definitive Yakuza set and a testament to how modern Japanese cinema was.
I recently picked up footage from a shoot we did over a year ago. We had some hiccups immediately during post, mostly because the world we were going to build in the box was a bit too complicated and time consuming without a larger team. This was an in-house production, so we aimed high, but the cost analysis did not add up. A little after that realization we actually continued forward with some progress, but life got busy and other important priorities took over.
Now, this happens now and again. Personally, I just move forward without the burden of the past. If the ship is moving, why hit the brakes?
However, deep down, I’m often bothered by projects left to burn in their own ashes. Mostly because other people put in the time.
This is different than long term projects that are continuous and take time because of aesthetics, strategies or just out of necessities. I’m specifically talking about projects abandoned. Nine times out of ten, these are just scripts, treatments or half baked ideas that get pushed aside for newer scripts; but every once in awhile, its actually raw footage being tossed. You took the time to write something, got people together, and you shot the damn thing, and without any hesitation, you just threw it away.
But here is where everything gets tricky. We are in the throes of “content world” now. Everything counts. The golden goose, and the piles of trash. They all have utility, serving the purpose of fulfilling the highs and lows of our culture. The stream of life is not historical. The origin story is now. Do you have enough material to feed this voracious monster?
With that in mind, I just salvaged some visuals locked away in harddrive hell. Conceptually, the idea has changed, I’ll be honest. But, the adjustment actually makes more sense now, since it’s more in line with a certain creative process I’m dealing with, NOW.
Here is a still from the upcoming MIRS TAKE AWAY visual. The record is two years old and the footage, recently rescued from the depths of a harddrive in Burbank California, is over a year old. Who the fuck would know if I didn’t say anything anyways.
I’m on day 13 of my single channel video work, DROPS IN THE STREAM. My web-host Squarespace is helping to trouble shoot a minor glitch in the page that I’m hosting my project on. It seems that the videos sometimes skip ahead or move around at odd times. The easiest fix so far is to go back to the previous video that skipped ahead, and play it again. However, it should be resolved shortly.
But, aside from this little UI blip, and the fact that a Youtube Channel and Playlist exist for it without any glitches(along with Tumblr), I am excited about its strange development. We got a long way towards our Dec 31st completion, so please subscribe here, or bookmark here.
The original post with the only hint of info can be found here:
My pops sent me this. I’m like, pops, this is Harmony Korine homie. Make me better looking. He’s like, I can’t son, you are what you are, b. #reallife
This last few days I’ve been on one of my periodic pop culture rendezvous, where I survey a specific landscape that I feel my touch slipping away from.
This round happened to be hip-hop, it’s new culture and the first wave of OG’s reflecting on where the form has gone. Just a footnote before I get labeled; my youth was spent listening to rap and hip-hop and my roots are that of B-Boy. My crew, OSB used to battle at malls, schools, clubs and anywhere else little dudes could roam the streets and engage in rhythmic warfare. Violence hardly ever broke out, but occasionally a dance battle would turn into an actual battle.
This was during the second wave of breakdancing. I experienced the first wave as well, but I was too little to understand the culture. From spreading out cardboards to keeping PLEDGE in my backpack for lubricating linoleum, this was one of my true teenage passion. I’ll provide visual evidence at the end. But alas, i grew out of favor with hip-hop, mostly as a result of new hobby’s and experiences. Still however, I am a fan to this day.
One particular note of interest in my recent cultural prowling was promo videos featuring the new kids on the block in hip hop. This being the social media age, the youngsters are all savvy of the technology of promotion. You don’t need to fork over big bucks of your advance to do elaborate music videos or smart campaigns, because in essence, you are doing it all the time. Always on twitter, always on instagram, and tumblr, the homies have some form of capture device on them at all times.
It’s not hard to come by a 5d, or a Red Scarlett, or a slew of semi-professional camera’s these days (and hell, what is professional anyways anymore). Everybody, including your momma has them. And shit, on a 1080 screen, an iphone is good to go. So, everybody is shooting something all the time. Now you just package that extra footage into “promo’s” that end up going on youtube as a way to diversify.
The flow of content is a stream. And to not participate is death to an up and comer. In fact, it’s death to everybody except a very select few who’ve managed to keep those giant, top down, middle of America careers of yesteryear.
One thing that struck me odd about these promos is that the subject of the piece often, if not incessantly, would be looking down at their phones. This was a very common thread. It’s jarring watching videos of somebody who spends an inordinate amount of time looking down at their phones. They’re not even fully present through the prism of something that is trying to capture them in the present. And this becomes self reflexive. You ask, “do I do that, because, it looks really dumb”. In fact, you might. I know I’m guilty at times.
Further, the subjects would often use their phones to capture another fleeting moment through a picture (instagram) or video. Always looking at a screen, or through a screen. Contextualizing everything through pixel.s
Now, granted I was looking mostly at Hip Hop promos because that’s where pop culture is now. I don’t think there are 17 year old rock and roll kids getting 6 million dollar 360 deals. And they too probably spend time staring into the abyss of electronics. It’s an age thing. It’s a culture thing. But, my guess is that there is more to this story.
Which brings me to my theory that our phones, through technology serve some strange psychological need to stare at moving things through light, while desperately trying to hoard moments, and store them away; basically trying to capture a life that’s always slipping away, ungraspable.
There is no doubt that our second life in digitalism will be our preferable choice in a very near future. It’s an extremely effective opioid, creating the distance from the dirt and grime of reality. You can break up a relationship without direct conflict. You can insult someone without consequence; you can be a sexist, a misogynistic creep, all without even a cold stare from the other end. However, it comes with many consequences. Chief among them, loneliness and detachment. That might not sound so bad, but when added up, the results are terrifying.
And with all that talk; here is some breakdancing in a living room, featuring your’s truly and some ol school homies.
Films spanning the days between 9.20.14 - 10.2.14 (almost finished with my Japanophile life stage:
This list was a bit tricky for me. A good test of my anime threshold. I feel like I have a pretty good grasp now of the elements I enjoy, and those idiosyncrasies of that world which I can never relate too.
Pom Poko was a second play. I’d seen it years earlier. This round, I watched it twice in consecutive days. The tone is so well executed, and after learning from the BBC today, that we’ve lost roughly 50% of the planets wildlife in 40 years; it’s lesson, a painful reminder of our impending doom, partly out of sheer boredom with the world we’ve managed to manifest. without animals in them. In religious terms, our act of destruction of Gods creatures, a mortal sin punishable by nothingness.
I do appreciate the fact that despite all adversity and hopelessness, the Tanuki where still enjoying life.