All this Mayhem : A Film Review

imageBrothers Beyond
This is the story of skateboarding brothers Tas and Ben Pappas who reached the pinnacle of their sport in the nineties.
There never hold back testing themselves and their own endurance.
From an early age the sons of a Greek father – Australian mother, parents who frequently rowed and hit each other, frying pans et al passed on the franchise of violent behaviour. Dad Pappas also taught martial art classes and took them, learning Aikido amongst others where the pressure points can be used to snuff out a life. They became experts in the more block violence aspects strands of Martial Arts by putting opponents six levels above them on the floor so often they were banned.
Getting Wood
So they turned to an oblong of wood with twin castors either end and found it also was so much fun they scorched every opponent and skateboarder they encountered in the suburbs of their home city Melbourne through sheer natural ability and darker who gives a ….. attitude.
Off their Heads
The place was full of energy and escapism through unconventional sports and border like punk meets rock star hedonism. Not much is detailed about the treatment of the women around their early days and from what we see it was almost a practically male bondage motive that led to the dangerous behavior especially around readily available drugs, first cannabis then Cocaine in what seemed like very pure form unadulterated by headache tablets or other digestion powders etc.
Teenage Nirvana
Two years separate Tas and Ben. Ben is two years younger born 02/09/75.
The rise and record of their supremacy was all put down on the camcorder VHS tapes, mini tapes of the day. The footage was the prime source of their sporting bravado and the ultimate proof of the moves practiced day after day and the collective self worship of this fringe freelancer sport.
Seeing themselves in these visual acrobatics off of the half pipe came up extraordinarily Frank and honest when seen on tape.
That was the pure side of the tape. On the other side of the tape was the hard knocks and intensity of competition but with it at least in the domestic Australian scene everyone looked out for each other’s backs and the more ounces of illegitimate and let’s face it body destroying herbs and narcotics inflicted and deepened addictions and connections between the highs of the skateboarding and the after glow effects of partying with stacks of drugs blurred their ability to distinguish which was responsible for which high.
I will repeat that one another way – doing drugs and sports adrenaline where each delivering especially inconceivable unrealities.
Half Stoked
It was a low and a basement they would find it very hard to climb out of.
From the bottom of the half pipe if off your board and off your mind you have to climb those steps again to reach the adrenaline peaks craved.
The push was the adulation and validation they got.
Videos wold show their intense liberating skill set and it was and seemed real and a pure buzz. Wicked, Stoked, all mannerisms and actions had what we now call tags. One which cropped up a lot was ‘Barnes it’ a totem for not giving a …. when push came to shove when confronted with a challenge and going for it regardless.
America Calls
Lots of money could be made from the marketing and sales of merchandise so it was one brother followed by the other who decided to rock up in America with little other than a dream.
The Pappas brothers went on acid trips and lived in a skateboard park in a room that would trip out a celibate monk or temperance loving priest.
Either way they became junkies of the highest order. High being the witless word they described as. The aim was to topple the top skateboarder in the world, Tony Hawk represented in the cauldron of the US and skate city San Diego. Hawk was the apogee of the sport and dominated to such an extent he wisely bought into ESPNs franchise of the rights and it all became a very serious set of propositions and the circuit of skateboard lifted off with its high octane freedom of expression and obvious skill set easily followed and stupendously in keeping with the superficiality of the era.
A nightmare of addictions, business fault lines and personal challenged all kicked off.
As Tas says near mid point in the documentary ‘That’s the day it all kicked off’. The pipe was bored out to churn them up and deliver things neither could imagine. Also very early on Tas says regarding looking back, ‘Theres my side, there’s your side and there’s the truth.’ Simple as.
For a man looking back on things his brain is capable of remarkable things given what he’s been through.
You watch this documentary and you will see what he and Ben went through
There are times when it just seems so stupid and ultimately screaming don’t do it momements. Their gauges are way off the meter with the cocktail of indulgences they gather in however and this cocktail overflows with disastrous results.

Australia and St Albans
When they cover each other’s backs each has a personal life rarely spoken of until it enters into and screws up alongside the choices made in business as well as drugs which is always, always their biggest liability.
The return to Australia happens frequently with the return becoming more bringing back their home St Albans up front again. The memories are their but this too has change since they’ve been away and they return individually with one making a bad call which ensnares him.

Eighties still the Seventies
The early days were a kind of backdraft of the seventies kitsch and pomp with a poorly expressed hard rock/punk invention that was feed on a diet of Australian self preposterous framed identities. It was the embodiment of Who we are – This is the ……. who we are! The country basing itself on its sports as an identity to wear. Into the bargain a Marsupial gets to be used as a play thing. It looks like a Wombat which is bigger than a badger does not eat meat apparently but don’t tell the boys that. It is by a small margin and the vegan tendencies of the Wombat that their knackers don’t get caught between its front teeth. It still need s to chew and it chews on something less fragile.

Conclusion ###3
Who knows what cans of videotape, reels of mini video camcorder recent history of people’s lives are stashed away. Rock music? WaterSports? Climbing? Drugs, Sex and Rock and Roll lives? Or endless footage of building Garden sheds or landscaping the field out the back? Some have emerged to small acclaim but this will interest youth and those of the era alike.
It is a harrowing story which needed to be told and was there for the telling.
Ably edited and drawing on practically all resources available to illustrate it we see a never before shown unadulterated record of the lives of these two brothers spanning from their elastic youth up to their mid twenties and just beyond.

Footnote

Australian Crawl

James Reyne
I remember an Australian band; I for one who found INXS too Australian and derivative. I heard them once while at a party a mile away while they performed at Wembley and it sounded like a concert definitely only for folk who liked their pop rock simple. The Australian band I remember, and who were better in my mind, was fronted by a singer called James Reyne, an Irish surname, who you would cheerfully throttle as he had the looks you knew would draw a crowd of very attractive and no doubt smart Sheila’s. It only became tolerable as he had a tendency to wear a mullet at one point.
The songs good songs I remember were songs that could be written for skateboarders at a stretch.
There is an anthem about 5 minutes long called Reckless which I won’t forget easily and another celebratory song called The Boys light Up. Very typically Australian and of the time, the eighties and the band summed up their Homeland better than INXS with James Reyne more typically, if that is not to pejorative a word, a truer son of Australian than most. Some of the output was pretty ordinary though. It may have been James Reyne got caught up in the hedonism of his fame, I don’t know the story.

Two Days, One Night : A Film Review

imageDeux Jours, Une Nuit. Directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne -Belgium/Italy/France, 2014. 1hr 35mins. Drama. Cert. 15.
Cast. Marion Cotillard, Fabrizio Rongione, Pili Groyne. Simon Caudry, Catherine Salée, Baptiste Sornin, Olivier Gourmet.

French Blue Collar Cotillard
Here is the European Community giving everyone a nervous breakdown to meet the targets set by the technocrats and consumer narratives made plain by the ethics and (im)morality of the likes of Germany and GDP GB.

In order to bail out bond holders each of the contributing countries listed above, workers have faced austerity and a collapse in living standards which is so diverse and indiscriminate it makes vultures, hedgehogs, moles, wolves and peacocks plus out of the populus churning out the next thing needed.
Societies Malaise
This is apparently shot mostly in Belguim. Marion Cotillard as Sandra is in practically every scene. She is the everywoman whose shoes you have to walk a mile in and take the walk she does, catches buses, and goes all round this everytown – it is a mix of urban suburban environments with life and the everyday happening all around her. This invisible secret we encounter everyday. How is that person or this person coping and caring in their lives that you pass and know only by sight? What sorrows and what happiness is carried unbeknown to you? That is a powerful strategy of the film. For no outside contact to take place and the the story to walk through the seemingly ordinary but extraordinary counterpoints is surely part of the orbit of the vision.
She may stop a stranger to ask directions but then is is done in such a mannerly way as to fit those anonymous people right beside Sandra in terms of their own narratives and ongoing concerns and focus. A shared existence.

She has to reverse the ballot which went against her return over one weekend so setting in train a gamut of different levels of dignity.
She as we learn has been thwarted from going back to her old job in a vote that precedes were we arrive.
She must also retain her own recovery from depression which saw her absence over a stretched period from work.
Engrossing
This is a strong social narrative entirely believable and very well constructed and delivered through realistic dialogue (subtitled) and a superbly executed performance of vulnerability and stream of emotions by Marion Cotillard.
It is wrong to rave above acting when the point of the film is to expose the social matrix which is at play in contemporary France/Belguim.
Nevertheless she gives a bravado engrossing performance making a viewer immerse in her complex dilemma. If she returns how would she be treated having made those she works alongside forego their ‘bonus’ sweetener? One of many thoughts to arise.
Vision and Bite
The Dardenne brothers open the film as Sandra rests. She has taken an afternoon nap and it appears she relies on anti-depressants which slow her down and cut out the rawness of the life in front of her.
The hand held camera in the house she lives in with her husband Manu, Fabrizio Rongione, and preteen daughter and son reveals a nice home with an economic dilemma and desire not to succumb to the prospect of not returning to her job.
Manu also reveals in his support and driving her to some of the addresses the support Sandra has needed and he has given unquestioningly.
In the workplace labour relations and unionised personnel were jobs are clearly defined sits the small business at the heart of the story – Solwal – solar panel production, which like manufacturing throughout Europe is dependant on the structures in place throughout the union now weakened and which also protect the CAP of the farming communities which amounts to the bulk of EU expenditure to put cheap food on each’s plate.
Conditions of Labour
Sandra has overcome her latent depression and ventured to return to work only to find the work environment changed. That change is the factory can now operate as 15 not 16 meaning she is no longer able to be accommodated unless the additional ‘bonus’ to those covering for her absence and making those remaining, work with ‘recalibrated’ attitude and with fear of falling into a place like Sandra agree to forfeit the bonus.

Workplace representation in these countries still hold sway but is extremely localised, there is an arrogant foreman who tends to take the figures of production as a small token of the workers capability so pushes their work into strictly controlled roles with little latitude.
This is workplace stress of a kind the brothers Dardenne wish to point the arrow at and unleash the drama of the effect on people’s lives the routine work coupled to austerity in the scheme of things affects almost everything they do. So perverse, it is treating the product ‘Solar Panels’ as a life force which must not fail at the cost of diminishing lives meaning.
Faith in People
Sandra has a hunch circumstances conspired against her and she is encouraged by a colleague who agrees a fresh ballot is possible, so they seek out the factory manager Mr Dumont, Baptiste Sornin, to ask for a new vote. He takes the concerns of earlier possible influence outside accepted practices used by the foreman as plausible and he agrees.

The priori am of the film is the real form of humankind when placed in a position to, and it occasionally is made reference to, to love thy neighbour so in their hour of need can you deny any help you can give the,?
The boundaries are different for each individual on which we given clear evidence as this is the engagement of the film.
Obduracy and Insight
We also are given an insight to our obduracy and fickleness in degrees. What happens though is that through it all Sandra finds for us deeper meaning. She carries on whatever the outcome forgiving and loving without question every single one of her fellow workers. The intensity of the overwhelming love she, everywoman, has for ordinary people and their lives is striking and godlike. She hears them and takes away their sin. It is the cost her own resurrection and vital for her well being that she is willing to pay the price for giving that love.

Sandra chooses with total loving support of Manu, to put the supposition to her former workmates of either relinquishing their bonus to let her be able to return to her job or for them to hold onto it thereby voting against her return. Manu has held things together for her and the children and Sandra has that to adjust too as well as the reversal confronted.

How would you feel if something which has arrived in your hand, through it would appear, your good work, not through the disposal of a former employee and it is a mere reward not incentive? It incentivised each to feel valued and to not be liable for redundancy presumably so being much more productive.

This is a strong depiction of human dignity under pressure. It is replete with tales of conflict at each employee reached and constantly challenges your line of thinking will creating a precipice looming and the prospect of failure always coloring the encounters. Drama comes in spades with the purpose of living questioned in a modern fable. We are beyond conditioning ourselves or is that a lie we construct to protect ourselves from the ever near strike of fate.

The film comes with advanced modern invective of our present 21st century sense of European purpose. It reinvents the social model and is a mirror back on society and the limits of ethics, morality and origins of expectations.

Conclusion ####4+
A living harrowing question about our modern lives is luminous in the screen we look up to and we engage through the ever present spiraling roller coaster of emotions brilliantly expressed and it is the single most important element in delivering its complex twists, by the imaginative way Marion Cotillard takes on board this role.
The complete cast are in tow with this in a story of a team collective.
There are lessons to be learnt through this purposeful film and it will offer different outcomes in keeping with the expressed individuality which shines vividly. The Dardeene brothers have actually made our understanding by the gifted handling of a subject which in other hands could have bombed without producing context and meaning.
Do not let the brightness lure you into thinking a shining brilliant tale is to be laid before you. For all the light darkness provides a contrast.

Art : Object with Image

Here are a selection of photographs from a Gallery trawl described in the previous blog Art :Object.

beginning with Graham Gingles work

The construction attains an experimental form of evolution during and after the work is realised.

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Between the rooms

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On Terra Firma once more

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The piece as ‘ground.’

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Parameters

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More baggage

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The impossibility of  recovery from loss

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Inside the spirit lives

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False  society

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Oil narrative

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Sean Guinan    Image from Platform Arts website.

 

John Graham

15 August. 2014

 

 

 

 

Art : Object

We are the object. Nandos or Art.

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Lots of Art to see One Night Only
except for some of the lesser works.
UPPER LEVELS IN THE FRAME
KEYNOTE
The currency of the Platform Arts exhibition Keyframe suggests we take a journey or pathway separately and Sontag like we also cross into other realities.
Susan Sontag ‘when crossing spatial borders, the photographer becomes “a tourist in other people’s reality” and eventually in his own.’
quoted in Colin Martin’s leaflet where the writer attempts to introduce us to this and asks further how reliant a capture of the time and place it actually is? How repeatable it is? Both these questions entirely subjective but for the individual normally answered negatively – another unexplored film meaning. Then axiomatic.
These key topics in the installation are enticed out on 5 floor mounted screens with sequenced cycle of the same film are according to the above reading of the leaflet, its own little film synopsis page, complete with actors, the room, subject , the Irish Film archive, the jeopardy, the unknown behaviour of you the viewer, the money shot, the key frame. As a film show the leaflet is meandering on the content and does little other than outline objectives. Not the artists fault but the editorial of the film is very narrow and unchallenging.
Why chose 5? 100 +- is theoretical as are worn images the archive presumably obtain.
It might even have worked in a supermarket. Or even Rita Duffys pop up shop an archive of experience packaged and all for sale POA.
Do you think any other significant variables are missing from your consumption equation according to standard consumption theory?
Estimate using what you consider to be a more corehensive formulation of the consumption function.
Give reasons for the inclusion of additional variables and discuss the economic and econometric results.

Piled dated goods. Content labeled, commodity presumed, entirely disposable and incomplete and removed from the marketing effect the label induces. Recycling. Packaging. Semantics?
Supermarket as archive, not so strange. Our consumption is cultural, produce is repeated and reinvented, contains such laden baggage dating back to its invention. Labels are King. Experience.
The installation is extremely dull and un reaching towards the supposed goal.
It was minimalist art at a minimum.
Posed as being derivative of the Michael Snow Wavelength, given the gravestone token of seminality, from the vesicle sak, as if any one has a clue what that actually is – highly original? Influential certainly hence the laboured reproductions and mis treatments, very much this a case in point.. So it shall rest. It is untechtonic, unexpressive, unmachineness, pure rolling – and most likely as Wavelength, planned to be shot un chronologically. When did anyone perceive the eye cannot be duplicated even in watching film?
You might draw a distinction through this being ‘film’ of ‘film’ but that is a lame derivative adventure.
The film is itself an archival work without a reach into the organic processes of the room. Taking and making a film into another technology unseen, unsaid, its at the rooms most inert functionless time, when it is without the archivists, time locked, it merely depicts the room, dimensions though partially, the wall and door furniture, it’s shelving, nostalgic nods to library of reels, names of series adored in CinemaScope once again.
Of course reactions and memorial will be different and Keyframe lacks that acceptance everyone of us has when they lift a camera point and shot. Unlike Sontag who never made films but participated in others as an act of disturbing her own biography by performing within, you have got to believe it entirely within her own set limits for the filmmaker who however appears in these works on Sontag to have enabled freedoms. Like hell she has, it is impeccably orchestrated by the photographer who knows what the lens pointed towards her produces. Sontag gorgeously commits this part of herself, her own skill, knowledge and mercurial image onto the film big time.

Sontag was aware and Colin Martin presumably endorses the leaflet writers take on it – uses the word ‘parlance’ implying reading the huge difference instructing the course of ‘transition.’ Film is of course transitory. The frames shown could also been retaken on different days, where are the rough cuts, the trial runs, the debris of EDITORIAL on the floor?, instead we get the lifeless materials of the front and back – meaningless, perhaps that is an out, – keyframes. The film or leaflet is titled Thousandfold it seems.

PEPPERED DOTS
by Sean Guinan also at Platform Arts is a small display of paintings gathered under this title.
They are intensely worked oil both texturally and conceptually. Sean Guinan begins his painting without a motive but placing a mark as artists will assert begins the unfolding of motive, direction, intent, time, statis, act, turmoil and then that word again employed here as a jolt, transition.
Everything changes as the cliche tells. The Mac exhibitions also going off at the same annoying time are time referenced with transition dealt with hugely. More on the Mac later.
Sean Guinan has produced art intentionally bordering the figurative.
Nature, that then – it has since altered – complete evolution , is stuck to the canvas (some appear canvas I assume all are) in developing spiraling only occasionally dots and in the process what emerges is a graceful very calming set of works.
The sleeping giant without being aware of the title did evoke in me a conscious of religious repose. It is an ‘element’ at rest, animal or spiritual with a skin of many colours.
Spiritual Presence
I had a sideline conversation on the place of spirituality which in the frame of God, does not go down in artistic circles, except for the binding relation with patronage through the progress of art. It didn’t strike accord.
Ruskin put it better than I ‘dramatic circumstances‘ that covers many art ventures, ‘…place of art in the discovery of God.’ Meaning of course the art is the route but is it not also the search of a discovery. Not plain representation mistaken hugely as art. It is a vector to separate and make seem un reachable and beyond mankind. Therefore I maintain, it is the discovery of the artist being conscious of the limitations, only reaching a certain and often ultimately that ceiling, cathedral like?, which signals the end of that artworks mark physically. Transition as Sean Guinan ‘Signals’ to me a viewer that stretched moment. A fixity in time.
This work is certainly worth seeing in its confined space.
Had a bit more imagination been shown the risk could have been taken in giving the larger space to Sean Guinan. He may have formulated a connection with the room. Keynote discards this and uses only a quarter of the space which in my mind is not an artistic or curation choice but bad choice or a lack of communication. Sean Guinan has the challenges of his occupation and is very, very, commissionable. Many Platform works are responsive to the space, the main gallery, Top level I call it. The art therefore grows and the space adds its proportional strengths and proprietorial genus loci – its exhibitions always seem to have something to say of the ethos of the gallery.
The work produced by Sean Guinan is heavy on the medium used and unless the work of artists – the ability to write off large chunks of materials in their tax breaks – given that proprietorial extension for the work is advanced it will be increasingly difficult here in Ireland to develop the talent that is seen expressed in spiritually maquette form.
This is essential for the advancement of the society we live in.
Understanding art leads to so many levels of understanding which are not simple accumulation of theory, electronic or otherwise but world affirming.

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SETTLEMENT OR SUNKEN
AT TIMES LIKE THESE MEN WHERE WISHING THEY WERE ALL KINDS OF INSECTS
The Mac has an ill considered space, the sunken gallery which attendance is for fit persons or those prepared to once again deign to the discrimination of a elevator especially tee for them.
If you go there thence forth you will see the very surreal piece of commemoration in the work by Graham Dingles. His work also features in the constrained Art of the Troubles (as if we hadn’t the capacity as natives to digest our own lives) and in the sunken space a building of memory is elegantly provocative of the sense of touch, materiality, amber cast
He generously filled in gaps in my reading of the work which were considerably given Graham’s ability to explain the intellectual theory and to offer its expression of limits of the subject and it’s here obituary.

Where I got to was the vase or chamber in which the lilies were decaying and emblematic. The amber context I got from the whites, pale yellows and browns. The amber is the amber of corn fields in which the wind blows and symbolised the dying raked from straw. The smell is intoxicating as the lilies give up their life as cut flowers do. The amber again is the aspic sign of plant forms in behind a glass framed cabinet elongated or in other places more formal with again memorial content. The lily is a relative to the aspidistra of many wartime communal front sitting room gathering to remember a family member whose life was taken and no body sent for burial. The aspidistra almost taking the place as it seems to suggest in Graham Dingles piece the already cut and now decaying person of whom this whole is for.
A tribute it suggests can be made after the style of the deceased or as an excursion of emotions surrounded by artifacts. On further thinking and continued consideration and I wish to go and revisit it, I find it extremely evocative of the crime of war, the irregularity, the disconnection, the disfiguring of the soul, the body rent of life. It is composed to build this formulation as an antidote to war.
When the flowers are – Eurydice – Edith Sitwell (I referred to it before in my last film review) says
‘Love is not changed by Death,
And nothing is lost and all in the end is harvest.’
They will be replaced. Everyday a child, woman and man is killed by war.
There are three. No exception likely ever until we return ourselves to God replacing hate with love.
The exhibit should be toured and placed in the joins between all wars and it has a derivation arising locally and in particular reference but that is the strength of the personal that it carries remarkably poignantly.
It seldom seems fitting to be holden to a memorial as in most cases they are less fragile and more direct in their delivery. When it becomes a cause for our concern through its immediacy or it’s greater and greater obscenity of human depravity it is necessary to, in lieu of reflecting through the God given emotions and life’s instinctive ness from the one source, these pieces are an act of courage and exclamation against lies and myths creating such wars.

The main gallery at the Mac , again an Upper level gallery, is below the children’s section. The children’s area and sometimes corporate recruitment hot housing days in the space is in a badly designed location.
It has no apparent staircase and no apparent means of escape in case of fire. It instead looks out from the ivory tower into the courtyard below with its gaudy po-regency fronts. Its rear backs onto the dual carriageway of Victoria Street, all car park and no design giving away its preposterous facsimile architectural conceit.
If ever two new buildings were juxtaposed opposites this would feature highly.
The upper gallery is an immense space with generous ceiling heights and well lit. It is evening when the opening of the exhibition of and sunlight has passed light is softly caught in the roof glazing openings set in the west side of the room.

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Colin Darke : GROTESQUE MEDIOCRITY
That theory is contained in text is a theory; that it can be made pretty by transposing it on a medium that intensifies or subverts its meaning is superficial. The he superficiality of this work is that relation.
Possibly that is an avenue to be explored in this very large and handwritten version of Marx’s treatise, a small book on Bonepartes Revolutionary ideals.

So Colin Darke takes the bourgeois artifacts of the everyday. Fine China, White Fashion boots, highlighter pens, cutlery of the finest quality and de seminaries the books across the variety of objects into or is it out of, well in reads inward but you can never be certain. Rather tedious to read the book in this manner even if it is pretty and the handwriting is carefully and meticulously imprinted.
It struck me as having the ‘hallmarks’ of a Turner Prize wannabe exhibit.
Marx’s own middle class background affected his own outlook and the academic in him thought through theorizing on historical materialism.
The book in its beginning chapters and even from the outset call the 1848 revolution a recasting and playing out of Bonapartes revolution.
We are without any other context.
The subsequent revolutions which saw the end of monarchy and the Church’s hold over France is another story. In
Centripetal and Centrifugal
So why this one and told in such a way? I have no idea. It is another exercise in mortality. The centre is a disintegrating set of we are told 666 apples. He forgets the tragedy of the the first and that Engels said of the second revolution it was a farce the line appears on the first tiles but the meaning is unresolved through this piece. The mould of a spiral is always the centre.
What Colin Darke is creating is in fact the idiom of centrifugal politics. The Marxist theory, never expressed by him or subsequently through the so called Marxists is that it seeks a model of centripetal politic reform.
The prognosis of the book is that it again highlights the people are vexed with the economics and factors of that time the revolutionary instinct for radical change sets in is in fact Parker’s practical needs.

The liberal set we know today are in charge or so they believe though essentially they are in concert with the capitalist few in order to maintain a live above the proletariate.
Revolution Stall Holders
Under the socialist fusion of democracy and Marxist theory came a Jewish Socialist Leader, Leon Blum, who refused to join the Left Governments in 1924 and 1932, on the intellectual basis of denouncing any Communist led revolution for its failure to recognise the necessity to educate the people politically without which a dictatorship would arise.
An all important clear message that under the Claude Peguy expression, ‘socialism will be moral or it will not be at all‘.

He also perhaps recognised that the ‘imagination‘ of the people was a fantasy climaxing in the theatre of what in many countries are myth shaped marches and commemorations, the habit forming of attacking the Chamber.
The Veterans (nationalists and ‘Great War’ veterans) March of 6 February against the Third Republic was highly significant and marked the beginning of 10 years of instability. On Bastille day 1935 ‘Revolutionaries’ linked arms and marched in an orderly way down the Champs Élysées then were joined by a vast crowd from all parts of Paris. When it came to Government though the Communists they declined being a part of it preferring to (and destabilising progress) criticise and avoid any responsibility. Their position was strong enough to have the ‘ruling class’ – the Freemasons, propertied people, Factory owners become concerned and strikes ensued.
The reforms these obtained did nothing for the economy of France however and the German rearmament was to prove even more concerning.
Demands
The causes of Marxism and a new phase were subsequently hoisted by election into the programme. The ‘Popular Front’ with the communists having taken over the unions were seeking : Defence of Liberty, Defence of Peace, Economic Demands, these incorporating a forty hour working week, an employment fund with extensive investment in public works. International relations were a divisive element with the German rearmament under Hitler threatening all of the above.
Emblematic
Colin Darke is expressing in a grotesque form that theory which Marx’s cuts down his own revolutionary concept that need not ideas drive mankind.
Or something to that order. In Marx’s search for a system for all he takes the element of exchangeas the key ingredient.
What followed was a massive uplift in the capacity of mankind to produce through incredible advances in design and engineering; the location where ideas where the currency every capability was pushed culminating in a political act of landing on the moon.

What happens on this floor is pure grotesque bourgeois art canonised.
For it to be of an inconsequential book, even in Marxism is a poor outcome.
Marx and Newman
Francois Mauriac and others politicised France and led it collectively into the twentieth century which was also actually the cut off point for the pre-held grand order of art.
He said of Marxists that they forego the rendering of consciousness as dealt with, for example, by Newman in Apologia pro vita sua?
He even relates the most important thing of all which Newman famously raises, and raising it is, …’confirming me in my mistrust of the reality of material phenomena, and of making me rest in the thought of the two, and two only, absolute and luminously self-evident beings, myself and my Creator.’ Francois Mauriac uses this to show a large part of society has this philosophy or faith ‘fetichism’ which largely Markism extirpates is ever here. He realises the complexity that is ‘The Kingdom of God is within us’ and indestructible. Francois Mauriac despairs of the – (he says nothing of the other religions Sufism, Muslim, Judaism, others which constricts his thesis) – Protestant and Catholic ‘impossibility of communication between the two spiritual families.’ but he is fundamentally ‘prophetic’ as his time defined it.
Then he follows this immediately with the sentence which has for me summed up Marx and Newman.
‘I imagine Marx reading the Apologia, Newman reading Das Capital, and each heaving a sigh, amazed that any man should be so blind and so absurd.’

The projection being Marxists have refused to confront the that which every man born with and which Newman summed up in four words – ‘myself and my Creator.’
At that time the art world and creative talent of France became inward and self analytical to the extent new wave cinema and some elements of jazz – Einstein’s theory – became the principle higher means of expression. ‘I often think in terms of music’ and
‘As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.’
Prettiness and Picasso
Prettiness with persistence only goes so far and in France it is signified along with the Marxist failures in perhaps one element. Picasso escaping fascist Spain brought his sense of art to Paris at a time when it had foregone the stimulus and direction as a centre of significance.
The Guernica piece being that recognition of all war. No artifice there.

This Upper Gallery is to have this work until October and it is not by any stretch anywhere near the attached hype surrounding it mainly postulated by the Gallery and not the Artist. It is a case of SO WHAT Miles once sowed.
Bicarbonate of Soda should remove the text and the letters can be reassembled to form a mist to then become part of another element.

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TERRA FIRMA
The Ps2 space is a counterbalance to art that is a triviality and of inconsequential ideas presented with hubristic intent.
This time Rachel Campbell-Palmer has location and the perception reached through process that is repetitive, creating that place for each of us to inscribe in our minds, the effectiveness of the formulation conceived.
It is extremely and significantly embedded in the ‘construction’ task and the architectural outcome is the choice allowed by the constraints of site.
It is the same process undertaken to achieve all ‘good’ architecture.
As landscape architecture is dependent and this is both realised independently – inside/Ps2 – outside/people.
The fact is it is protected by the gallery walls and its containment which will bring little elemental damage.
Only the people will alter it.
It turns out – the methaphor of a cast mould – as a beautiful work. Never are each piece alike with the – in architecture and construction they are known as tolerances – specification of material and its method of casting being intuitive in the first instance, based on research and then in the act of using a cement mixer and creating each via, a mould. Terra Firma is a horizontal concept withstanding mountains which are adverse to buildings. It does not readily support human life forms.
The scale of the each element is perfect for the human to handle and the place. It is perfect in its engineering limits being neither over massed or slim to be in-durable. The diamond is capable of expressing width or length.
It is straight out of the move away from the orchard of design that dwelt in nature and of the machine contemporaneous structural forms which knocks influences, F.L.Wright Japanese, C.R.Mackintosh, Art Noveau, V.Horta, Naturalism, and previous decorative motifs into a consigned historical narrative with no value in repeating.
Those were of their time yet we continually see mediocrity emerge with all the collected misunderstood elements of the decorative age. I once worked on a project which was a lasting reminder of the Post-modern period which I dislike and like in equal measure. It was conceived in a global context with work concerns remodeling cities. Not a bit like The Titanic Building which I destest and detest in equal measure. Likewise there is an awful foot bridge in Omagh which defies beauty and design. It is a metalworkers dream.
I saw about twelve hard hats watch the ugly bow bridge being set in lace.
Beauty Fusion
F.Leger ‘Purist’ once said ‘ when Renaissance artists began to paint their mistresses because they are beautiful, art was betrayed.
An argument of sorts but without free expression of those artists, patronized or not, we would without the beauty of those paintings.
It does not explain either how it relates to the prolific works of homosexual artists whose work more or less would not have been as involved in that arena and it is trivial to make that as a point for art to suffer.
Where Dadaists could not build they captured shapes and technology combining the place and people within their art.
Forms and Formula
The works of architects such Walter Gropius made connections of forms which were poetic and beautiful. Le Corbusier as well saw nothing new in art merely that machines could extend the composition of beauty poetical and rhythmically, a thing also recognised by Leger.
Vers une architecture by Le Corbusier collects a fusion of influential buildings and objects to produce his narrative of thought for the evolution of the forthcoming Modern Movement. More readily he would have used the analogy of DNA had that organisation of organisms been as prominent.
In my mind it, design and architecture, need be associated in this mathmatical way (health is a great element in his thinking) with the combination of geometric shapes always conscious of their visual appearance and foremost their functionality – the justified means.
Justified and Ancient!

That it seems, is the realm of Rachel Campbell-Palmers piece operates, in that it again uncovers that collective of beauty – the scale as I mentioned above being human, liftable, – plain and regular is beautiful and the act of that theory is measurable in people reacting to it warmly and delightedly.

The texture is variable! the constraints not pushed into it or by the factory process of production is also illuminating.
The bubbles of trapped air on some fully filled blockswhen cured appear as the Italian specialist plaster Marmorina.
The Venetian plaster Marmorina (the word derived I think from of or like marble: skin of marmoreal smoothness.) is a beautiful grained finish which again is seen by the artist as an expression of the process. I love the finish and its variations are very something sought over in many an interior.

This work is very well accomplished and is combining the relations sought imaginatively and almost as importantly, as well as any sculptor may have worked on a similar piece in a Smithsonian way.
I loved the work and it will prove up to the exposure to people as it welcomes and invites you to walk on it.

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EX TALK
Catalyst Arts. Jonah King, Frank Wasserstein, Ian studio director.
The words spoken are below noted. They have others in between but for reasons of uncertainty, intended, I write those which appeal most.
One word was added. Rehearse. It replaces the actions of the third component The Gallery.
In order to use space created by the list I have written alongside some.

I have also not stayed on the discussion, taking each word as it comes outside of discussion to form my own narrative.  This will also allow the artists an artist to use the   Words as I give them for their own point of departure.  It seems a natural way to act

MAY
REALM       There I was in the room with an expectation of hearing of the work
REACT            of Frank Wasser and Jonah King. The talk was begun by Frank.
REJECT
REHEARSE
EMBRACE
WATER    Font is needed by the writer of tales in text. A5 notebooks
IN
QUEUW   were never mentioned. Especially Fjall.
COMPLIANCE     I wonder if I have complied. I have I believe.
VERVE
VERB    I have remained silent listened to every word. Johan has a
SEARCH ME    subtext in mind.
OUTFIT    Later a security detail will be deployed in the Gallery.
PALPABLY           actors act the part. No one is suspected or targeted.
SEMBIOTIC    I don’t remember the context. Maybe semiotic, signs.
UNIFORM                Sembiotic is unreal but it comes from the
INVISIBLE    vesicouterine pouch which is where semen is lubed
MANIFESTATION
LONDON    This is late rain is falling
MARINA                        Oh what happened
ABROMOVITCH                        lights the night sky which illuminates the
RAIN                            carpet of cut grass making up the soft spaces between
SERPENTINE    lake the buildings cafe restaurant and paths
WAVESECURITY       Bob. B.   water spills and breaches are security on hand
SENSITIVE
OH
FIRE
KATY
STATUS
VOCABULARY
FONTS
FRANKLIN
INACCURATE           Words cannot describe what just went on.
CURATE         I take home a leaflet EX. It is white A5. 4no. A4 120gsm.
CRITICAL                          It appraises the work without becoming the main
EXHIBITION.                words to be spoken of the collection.
PROJECTS.       I hate the fact I miss the Nothing Happens. The
OPPOSITE                         Is true for some. Google your life to see if you have a
SLIM           chance of survival without scrutiny by someone.
TEXT                              Definitely. I caress text. I adore words. They must have
REASONS    to exist. Communication without the body is word based.
RATIONAL                  Sublimity overcomes subtlety sublimely.
UNDERLINED     It simply does no need to underline.
FULL             Happens.
STOP             You notice a change from a dot telling you to finish
KURT                              Reading his dairies.
SANDYCOVE                     The walk is over past Nora and green snot. O’Casey.
COBAIN                                         Is lost on an island
SLICE                    of torture fills inside veins
CUT                                knowledge comes with deaths release is only a song turn
OFF                                           start
WRITING
NOT.         writing but singing inside your head Einstein thinks in music.
COLLUSION              Of the garden of Gods angels overcoming Marx.
ATTEMPT             Thought, allow it in as truth
STATIC                             Lives do not exist. A Security detail has seen you standing.
INTERDEPENDENT                 Is the rule which must be satisfied so sex is
UTOPIAN          Narcissism encroaching outside the body onto another.
EXCLUDES.                    hate and crushes complacency. All else is
ANTAGONIST                       born. Settlement will take an age.
EDGINESS          Is a fear of the negative Jonah library of angst.
TENSION        Is essential our bodies are elastic our buildings plastic.
RECONVIGURATION              Happens to each individual and is sucked in to
REEVALUAAE        ‘ted so much by others they say, lie its every generation.
LLFET
PROBLEMS
BUROCRACY
GEOGRAPHICALLY
POLITICS
DISSATUSFACTION
TOTAL
CAPITALISM                Is harmful. do no harm.
IDEAOLOGIES      are a cornucopia of Utopias underestimated.
1977
PUNK     Is remastered rebellion in sonicses with copious drugs
SUBLIMATION
JUBILEE.                              2012 Is gone.
JESSIE J
POP                        art never became mainstream so how is it popular art.
CHARTS      of colour are handed out like chits giving access to emotion.
HOW.                            To acquaint your neighbours with Farrow and Ball
DIY                is bricolage and cant.
MANTLE.                                                              Is a lintel in a wall over a fire
VOCABULARIES                 can explain things more clearly but use poetry.
FISHER
MARK
JOY.       begins with the wonder of children knowing nothing of our ways
DIVISION.                                     Is a lane between the fields.
BEATLES                            negate the need for hardback books that
FUCKED
OVER.              writers in exaggerated respect for the subject they wrote on.
TIME         Is uncoupled from the past and future.
WORK                                         happening without planning becomes waste.
BIG.         Is not good an invention for self manipulation of Edmund Burke
SOCIETY                                which he thought empty.
FEED                the hungry of all races and denounce war done in your name
SWEEP
STATE.              meant truth but gave us lies
IDOLISES
STRANDS
FASHION.         A room into a domicile to escape the rain of frogs and
ULTRA.                           swings in climate and live close to soil that richness of earth.
ANARCIST                     Is really Anarchist but it is so like Antichrist I must
ARGUE.             Christ is that anarchist we need believe.
WITHIN            The word is the word. The word is like jazz the music of life.
RELIGIOUS.    Apathy brings sectarianism and looses out on loving God.
MYTH                           replaces truth see F.Ni.Mh piece hanging at St Mary’s right now.
CHICAGO            Is full of northern bigots despising southern bigots              TOTALITARIANIBM     Alister Cooke said much the same of  this

ESCAPE      From hype and rely on your own

POSITIVITY           and when you learn to distrust
SCHOOL
NEGATIVITY                  turns to a positive and a critical mass
TOOTHPASTE         Only enhances the smile of realisation.
CHANGE
POPULIST
FEAR
CHRONOLOGY               is realising words have as numbers set relation only visible
WEALTH     through reading will enumerate the
BUSINESS                   of communication while prose contains poetry in
ODD.      inexhaustable fresh recognition making it a place of
FACT      belonging outside reality with a mind to envision
PARADISE
RECREATE     first in your mind
INTERUPTING    societies reliance on regularity replacing
NOSTALGIC                     notions of culture. Culture is
BLACK                                              without art.  The
FLAG        of the White Star hangs over our arrogance.
DEFENSIVE
SHRIVES
CONTEMPORARY     art is full of resolutions on this
ART     as distinct from that
MARKET                           which is our
WORLD
NOTHING exists without God.

EX on Thursday 7 August opened with the escalating security piece Nothing Happens by Jonah King and I missed the experience entirely. It was to be the orderly of controlled space with the response of the viewer bearing the surveillance and tension of the presence of ‘protection’ of the almost empty space. It was intended to stir emotions of self infringement and the growing authoritarian elevation of security as an everyday fact. I am very disappointed not to have experienced this valued piece.

The above is opinion only it has limitations of access and monitors a reaction that is a personal reflection.
If it happens to fit aspects of your own views, literal and experienced it is very welcome. I hope you are inspired in some way.
The writing follows a night of consumption which was as a day full of unsettled weather. Elmore Leonard has a rule. Never start a book with the weather. It is impossible to avoid it as words are as amorphous as clouds.

The sun provides the light be it from the elements captured in the earth.
For ever and ever we gather light.

As the work of Graham Gingles reflects on the War Diaries of Robert McGookin from Larne his chosen title speaks of and is the strongest perceptive art seen to breach the minds boundaries. It is indescribable ultimately.

At times like these men where wishing they were all kinds of insects.

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John Graham

11 August 2014

Belfast

Lilting : A Film Review

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Director: Hong Khaou, cast: Ben Whishaw, Cheng Pei Pei, Naomi Christie, Andrew Leung, Peter Bowles, : 1hr 31mins
Six Characters Bound Together.

Around Grief
This film is a chamber piece in the sense it contains its story in a tightly bound cast.
Pivotal is Kai (Andrew Leung) who is killed by a car as he is walking to meet his mother, the Chinese-Cambodian mother Junn (Cheng Pei Pei)
Richard (Ben Whishaw) is introduced as the partner of Kai.
This unsettling event turns everything upside down.
Grief is overwhelming to Richard as he dresses in some of Kai’s clothes and draws himself closer to his unknown almost, nemesis Junn whose own world is now without family or domestic reference with her still being in the sheltered manor house chosen as a temporary refugee.
The three had shared a house, Richard as a housemate. Kai has placed his own imprint on.

It is a split level cut back to the brick Camden Lock type location. Kai is confident hence the imprint which is only partially Chinese in character with line drawing prints.
His identity is sharply European Chinese while Richard relies on his sense of self and internalises his British character. His way with things is however intense and some have called this magnetic.
It so happens the confines of this MICROWAVE budgeted film, apparently made for £120,000, are life as bonsai.The BBC Films might account for some lead funding. Few locations are used and the pace is very sedate.
The cast is strong and Kai’s mother Junn has an awful time with this strange country the family arrived in many years back.
Language is a silent barrier
Unbeknownst – language is the most infuriating part of their lives, all of their lives, it is intensely suffocating in a lot of the film – Junn has no inkling of her sons predisposition which itself is not normal but possibly cultural.
To Junn, Richard and Kai’s relationship is not the “best friends” tag used often.
England as Pastoral.
The home she stays in is semi rural with a sweeping drive and lawns.
It actually could be off Hanger Lane or up to esturial Essex is so Manor House pastiche.
Hong Khaou insists on showing several quite still frames of frosted fields and trees linear and controlled edging a sweet comforting vision of this England. Junn mentions how Kai’s father thought the NHS and clean water were heaven sent. There is this adoration but this is a frozen picture of life here and it is for Junn almost a vacuum.
The saxifrage family of plants are touched upon again symbolic.
Like the aspidistra is symbolic of Lancashire house plants in seedy lodgings run by lacey landladies.
Mixed Flashbacks
With Kai having died the story has to make him the central character in absentia and the relationships with his mother and Richard are frequently revisited. The effect to begin with disturbs the progress of elements often making it ‘stilted’ and a broken cadence which only improves as pieces of the small number of characters bring tone and their own presence after the first cluster of pieces. Kai has temporarily moved his mother into a sheltered time shifted, 50’s, shared manor house savouring the period of the occupants youth with G plan furniture and few modern signals.
Junn is like a Koi fish swimming in circles around surreal features and odd people doing crosswords and reading pat fiction.
Lothario in Flannels (those trousers with a permanent crease)
Time hangs heavy and when Kai visits Junn’s dislike of the best friend is strongly divisive in their already troubled relationship it exposed the isolation felt by Junn.
Kai has no real answer except the promise of this arrangement being temporary. She mentions the fellow house mate, an Englishman, Alan, (Peter Bowles) one oddly sympathises with this fulsome actors appearance as a nearly empty vessel plodding through an ill-fitting part, others may disagree depending on their familiarity with his other more suave manifestations. The Lothario sends her flowers and she is genuinely grateful of the attention.
Cheng Pei Pei
She in a former film life known as the Queen of Chinese Martial Arts in Hong Kong at least, which the intensely demure inactive or her playing is remarkably at odds with here given the Crouching Tiger identity.
Junn is an elegant fresh faced creature of a settled disposition, a kind of Judy Dench, distinctly not Helen Mirren coquettish phenomenon or a Joanna Lumley (whose age remains the same?) Junn is a soft kitten who dislikes the more physical side of Alan’s attention. She puts up with it and Richard has found a young Chinese Interpreter. Vann (Naomi Christie), who acts instantly as the joining go-between. Her work in this side story is entwined with Richards own need to communicate and show his willingness to help.
Vann (Naomi Christie), has no emotional baggage but becomes involved in the hallucinosis grief brings into the life’s of those touched by the loss of Kai.

For young people grief can be very, very, challenging to put into place.

 

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Has it happened for a reason is the main question asked by them and all ages. Is it my turn next? Invincibility exists in films only or the books and stories they trace and depict.
For youth it seems so meaningless and arbitrary. IT has no value but every value ever present. All life is defined by it and to say it is ever present is to state its obvious cocooning of us in a human relation with others whose fragility we recognise and see reflections in.
Currently what do we see? We see murderers walk the streets, we see death visit the house nearby or in someone we are close to pressing on the mirror.
Noticing their breath appear. Then moving off to a funeral to pay tribute to the person past. We see the taking of the lives of children, of young soldiers rounded up and summarily executing while pleading for their lives. We see musicians, entertainers, actresses and scientists et al leave the stage of dreams and leaving us a legacy.
All in the end is Harvest
Nations do not distinguish death but poets and writers can and do celebrate the inhibition filling the mind before it laments into memory.
Eurydice by Edith Sitwell has the above line.
Love is not changed by Death,
And nothing is lost and all in the end is harvest.

Junn experiences loss and cannot express it.
In Eurydice Edith Sitwell places a conjecture on the continuity of love. Her sense of the immensity of love in the person tends to put affection, touch, compassion, companionship locus in quo. It was, now the love carries on without the physical body and the mind must expand into the newness and reshape that love to actually produce feelings of consequence.
It is how Edith Sitwell grasps the concept so simply.

The prolonged life beyond times measure.
One of the finer writers on this for me happens to be the philosopher Bertrand Russell. His logic consists I think of the immeasurable infinite reach of death. He Does not draw the afterlife as the bible prophesies of an oracular kind. Being a non-sententious person he knows no less than anyone so celebrates the portion that brings last breath. Where the life was and where it began is all that matters truly. The infinity of truth is the widest dream.
The Word is wise beyond our realm. It is summoned from the old world.
The ancient forms of life that drew life short replaceable but not renewable.
Edith Sitwell envisages us as cells that disintegrate, become parts of other things, remain elemental. The name Edith has as its derivation Old English of a conflicted triangle – meaning Happy, Rich and War.
Back on the subject of language William Morris described being bereft of your ‘speech-friend‘ harrowing to the extent holding a conversation with someone was like asking a favour.
Shakespeare’s words from Macbeth proclaim
Give sorrow words. The grief that does not speak
Whispers the o’erfraught heart, and bids it break.

And finally Bertrand Russell from The Conquest of Happiness…’ Surmount all misfortunes by the emergence after each blow of an interest in life and the world which cannot be narrowed down so much as to make one loss fatal. ….all our affections are at the mercy of death, ….our lives should not have that narrow intensity which puts the whole meaning and purpose of life at the mercy of accident.

Conclusion ### 3
For the film to take on the subject is very commendable. The problem arises in not being connected with the drama emotionally. Playing with distractions of editing and vocal speakover fragments and disorientates without sufficient forward story telling it became irratatingly. Frame on frame an stop frame content was a bit mind numbingly tedious.
A death of film took place at times. I am reminded of the question asked by Levi-Strauss (Claude) ‘Is mine the only voice to bear witness to the impossibility of escapism.’ Hence Liltings trap. His world of remnants as Edith Sitwell similarly adjudged. He also wrote ‘all cultural forms are ‘necessary illusions’, systems of signification substituted for experiences that cannot be communicated, cannot be known directly, however they are lived. Lilting leaves us bereft of the filling of the void and only through the personal experience shall reality seem present and that through indirectness being conceived. The dilemmas are convincing and generously portrayed with a slight shortfall in atmosphere; the cinematography is a mix of designed approaches maybe imposed through direction but it lacked a cohesive feel. I would recommend this film purely on the basis of the very present subject infiltrating everyone’s lives and this assured story, the film less obviously delivering it, takes us along the path of awareness and sympathy for the grief accompanying the people of all nations.
It is partially subtitled and principally played in English.
It should be received well in China if the generalisations are not to great to be acceptable.

 

John Graham

8 August 2014

Belfast

QFT from Friday 15 August (@6.40pm) also on earlier on the Saturday/Sunday @5.40pm then back to 6.40pm on the Monday then to the following Thursday 21 August 2014 all remaining @ 9.00/9.10pm.
Can’t believe I flagged up the times! See QFT for further details!

Also expect a screening by the BBC but everyone KNOWS how superior the Cinema experience is and it is even more comfortable in the newly refurbished Screen 2.

Be sure to mix your screen experience between the above more somber and more esoteric – The Deamers, Two days One night, Bad timing, The Shout, Naked Lunch and Kon-Tiki to name a few coming soon to QFT.

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Joe : A Film Review

imageDirector:David Gordon Green, USA, 2013, 1hr57mins, Drama, Cast:Nicholas Cage, Tye Sheridan, Gary Poulter.

Deep South Hotheaded Guy New cards please.

Are you after ‘residually serious moments’ for contemplative special insight delivered at a slow pace? A critic suggests this is a return to a promising style of direction by David Gordon Green after a detour into the wider audience diet of comedic films and TV.

The critic, – (I don’t class myself as a critic, being more interested in unravelling the morality tales and seeing life inflections in cinema having the nerve to expose things we normally eschew and fail to confront) – tells of this film as ‘slow cinema is no more real than fast cinema.’ Having taken cinema wholly to heart as unreal I guess that is why I cannot become a critic. The critic goes onto elaborate – ‘It is another artificial convention.’ Getting it both ways is a critics preserve.

The detour took David Gordon Green away from needless comparisons with Terrence Malik and Tree of Life a 12a was also set in Texas with a male figure from a fractured background. It was intimate and epic while this is Intimate and constrained. Would you say Brad Pitt and Sean Penn carried that film! Such is the limitation of markers. I would also say it is good for a director to put himself between other film gates by trying other very different film ‘topics’.

The Masterstroke

The first thing to rave about in this film is the placing of the fine actor Nicholas Cage in the central role as Joe, a man who looms over his own shadow brooding about what he sees in himself. What he sees is more instinctively reached as he had time previously in the penitentiary for accidentally on purpose putting a hole on a knee-cap of someone. His physicality is in good shape which fits the part perfectly. So much is played out through the ‘moves’ and body language. He has learnt of to express exactly how he feels. Only when he is within snapping distance of exacting violence does he conceal the red hot fire inside. There is a formative scene well into it that has him giving improvisation lessons to his unsentimental nurturing of Gary, Tye. His co-star described below. The dialogue seems to be off the cuff every now and again which gives the spoken word authenticity and the scenes slip accordingly smoothly on.

Texas Tapestry

He is cast as the ex-criminal reformed and in and out of potentially settling into the rural Southern normal not so routine lives many find their reward in. This is rural rolling Texas we guess, with him living the woodsman’s life in a illegal scheme for cutting down trees. It is kind of legal to remove them as they have to be dead and well he and his gang of around eight easy going black workers have the method worked out. The lack of racial tension is nuance against disadvantage.

Bad Moves.

David Gordon Green sets about interleaving the live of Joe with another group based around Gary, Tye Sheridan, a 15 year old whippet of a lad with quicksilver thought and imbued respect of his place in the order of things ingrained by self preservation perhaps through living with his family of drifters who are homed up as spent cartridges empty and alcoholic. Tye Sheridan is equal to the acting of Cage which is saying something. Joe becomes aware of the abusive father, literally a drafted in hobo Gary Poulter, cleaned and set into bat redirtied as a thoroughly hateful a vengeful father.

I wonder how the interview and screen test went for that. What an exploitative ex-homeless story this casting is given the performance is formulaic and shows little in the way of acting ability sadly.

Watching a hobo play a hobo is like watching iron fillings scratching across a plate towards a magnet. Simple as.

Weave.

Gordon Green layers the separate lives on top of each other as the book may have done. It is very compelling with each spoken off screen thought of Joe mirrored in the figurative actions in Gary’s home struggles. Joe is seen flat out on his couch complete with a hound dog ‘throw’ across its back where he lies after the graft and the King size bourbon bottle has dispensed a few measures.

He coughs as an ex prisoner with nothing to do all day but roll a few ounces. A recurring weakness which his box zippo adds amusement to. The interweave is handled remarkably well, not over played, nothing is, everything is straight up in your face material. It is accomplished deftly and the filmography places each location on message and directorilly astute. Joe is a sociable guy and can’t give up his whorehouse calls nor his dogs dependancy on him. It is an American Bulldog Bitch that lives under the stoop on a chain of only so many links and is a loud doorbell when any visitor calls

It seems this scarred dog is the only female he doesn’t treat like shoes. An ex-girlfriend re-friends him and he kind of puts a marker down for her not to get to homey.He is not in the least unkind except the whole nine yard misogyny.

What makes this film exceptionally compelling and challenging is that it deals with the cockamamey nutcases around the next boardwalk and on the junked veranda in a frame of Joes normal life. He has to sit on, rationalise his new found controllable framework. It is key and is on the edge always. In his own words, again a self intelligent diagnosis, he craves restraint. Having the job, the team working for him is the day time restraint.

Where does this film go?

Texas has a lot of road and we are on that road often as the circles and tailgated jobbing careworn people carrier – it is a lodestone for the film – I loved it and Gary loves it – is has the wheels to go the dirt track route, the backwoods homestead route and a well visited Madison County type river crossing bridge. Except this has seen better days. The types and suspension look too well cared for though as it throttles over various terrain and has the survival qualities like the dog.

The film is totally about Joe staying out of trouble while he leads the life he is dealt with little rancour. There are several black twists in the closely held script with a very, very, Texan (apologies ye all) twist close to the end. The darkness enters and is played out in headlights.

David Gordon Green holds this film together cohesively with a fine acting performance with few flaws. The creative storytelling marks out Joes life as close as imagined in a contemporary social depression. The metaphors in use closing this film are practically kitsch irony and heavily laden with bathos of a black comical kind. it would be wrong to put the film down as a misanthropic dilettantes Texas black art film. It may even ratchet it up a notch or two. It does it for me on reflection.

Trees grow on you when your not looking. Be prepared for the odd placement of social piraña psychology and screen central satire. Gary becomes a focal point with his pathological father becoming jealous of Gary’s independance and wear-withal. The forest is where the gang, the deforesters, Joe, Gary’s world becomes isolated and the team act as a team. A few more minutes could have been spent as a few of the team in the odd scene were clueless at the job.

Deforestation

The clearance and ruthless finality raising these trees in the forest and seeing his orders followed by his team gives him this overbearing pseudo spiritual presence over the small kingdom that is the forest. The workers stick a poison to kill the tree which also signifies their subsequent uprootedness. The trees are a useless species and they make way for standard pine. Pinewood. Are we near Pseuds corner yet.

A mid review aside!

A weird sideline, Saturday I learnt the local go to shop Gardening wise no longer stocked stump removal chemical. I hadn’t know such a destructive thing was on sale. It does and is not stocked as the shop 50 or so years on the particular road has to close as corporate supermarkets are killing their business so relocation is deemed the answer. The life of that tree is uprooted to be planted elsewhere.

Cage

For this film to work Nicholas Cage has to render himself into this brooding soul whose moral equipment goes missing frequently. The shoring and misogyny is ever present and he feels at home in the forest. Of his formative background we know little and the director one suspects might be having a bold look at another pasture in The Tree of Life.

Only metaphorically I suspect but none the less David Gordon Green is establishing a reputation once again in the same mould. Raising the formative years question relates to a core element of the story. A young man comes to him with only a sharpness of attitude but Joe gives this troubled youngster a job as he is conscious of the difference it could make to Gary, acted assuredly and convincingly (real!) by Tye Sheridan.

He proves invaluable and hard working straight away with this proving an asset to Joe whose underlying paternal guidance and protection skills kick in. The critic (PB) for aficionados lamely says Nicholas Cage ‘carries’ the movie. For the sake of points accreditation of the film you could say Joe is level with David’s directorship without which the performances would not command our immersion in this beautifully dark at most times melancholic of spirit but invigorates me with once again a feeling of the importance of environmental balance which is reverentially foremost here. Gary is also on this level and commanders his own place in the story and responds to the old hand that is Nicholas Cages robust actorial confoundingly convincing dynamic. Leaving Las Vegas has been mentioned as his last best performance. Maybe so.

I think it was a brilliant film which Mike Figgis realises (sic) a dream like operatic semi human performance from Nicholas Cage. It was like an ensemble performance almost of the recently late lamented namesake John Cage in its singular epoch visionary take of the US depicted. Elizabeth Shue was the angel at his side and a vision of unreal womanly beauty. I remember broken glass as the defining watershed. Reality behaves like unreality in our world and unreality turns on us. They say, cliche?, that each perceived view is different, making it a blessing when the lines converge sufficiently for a common value to be obtained and shared.

Conclusion.

This is a terrific powerful film with very strong performances also from the supporting cast.  The police and gang leader for example.  The hobo is not a good depiction as it is derivative and hackneyed even though Poulter knows exactly what he conveys.  He has a golf swing he practices often and Ian Poulter need take no tips from him.  Apart from the mess he inhabits it is electric and harrowing with twists, as I say very Texan right up to the off the wall, road end.

 

Worth seeing a few times Cage and Tye are brilliant except one bit I wasn’t convinced by of Cages very near the end. Can’t tell.  Good viewing.

 

John Graham

30 July 2014

Belfast

QFT begins in August and they may rebook it as I think it will be popular.

See latest programme.

 

Freedom for Palestine

Belfast

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Palestine
Also called Holy Land. Biblical name Canaan. an ancient country in SW Asia, on the E coast of the Mediterranean.
A former British mandate (1923–48) comprising part of this country, divided between Israel, Jordan, and Egypt in 1948: the Jordanian and Egyptian parts were occupied by Israel in 1967.

Palestinian
A native or inhabitant of Palestine.
Also called Palestinian Arab. an Arab formerly living in Palestine who advocates the establishment of an Arab homeland there.
Protests
Today in Belfast another gathering marched in Solidarity with the Palestinian people to the American Consulate. In the leafy Stranmillis area near our river Lagan. People of all backgrounds except religious extremists, bigots and right wing supporters of the Israel occupation of the land between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea joined the march of

The West and Israel particularly the rich ruling class elite now fear the threat a mass movement in support of Palestine and a revolt Hamas nor Fatah can control. Such a movement would inspire the oppressed and poor working class, the youth across the Arab world throughout the Middle East.
The. Israel regime like many states in the Middle East hang on to power through harsh repression and lack of rights.

Protest against the proxy war waged against Muslims and in particular the support for the Israeli war machine which has up to the record in today’s newspapers caused the following deaths since they began their warfare in response to attacks by groups not under democratic control in Gaza.

Infanticide and Genocide by Israel
800 + Palestinian dead. Mainly civilians and 120 + Children.
33 Israeli Soldiers have been killed in 18 days mainly in Palestine

Around 150,000 of the Palestinians seeking refuge from bombing in Gaza have been placed in territory itself under bombing and attack.
Including 15 people killed awaiting transport from a school by UN.
Destroying a Region and a Community of 1.7 million
Half of Gaza City is like an Tsunami hit it. A Palestinian living in Belfast is in regular contact with his family and passed on the widely held view by independent observers that the Ceasefire in action for 12 hours is worthless. Operations continue and the plight of recovering bodies from the destroyed half of Gaza is extremely harrowing as well as dangerous.

The Israel war on Palestine comes as they try to effect their own rule on this part of the contested Middle East.
Hamas
The right wing Islamist leaders of Hamas and their allies of the secular Fatah are all pro-capitalist who will NOT advance the Palestine cause so giving Israel an excuse to slaughter innocent people in the pursuit of the uncontrolled.

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Abstentionists
The Israel Government is supported by Great Britain, United States of America who abstained in the vote calling for a long cessation of the violence. While USA provides Humanitarian aid it hypocritically in the shape of Obama ignores the right wing USA citizens bankrolling and proliferating the ghastly Fascist power of The Israel regime. Within Israel there are many, many against this form of action, of the very land occupation on which Israel treats the rest of the worlds judgements with contempt.
Lebanese reaction
In the Lebanon there is no concerted support for Palestine despite the Muslim majority. They closed down their TV broadcasters (8) for one day in solidarity with Palestine and broadcast as one a debate and wide discussion.
It was as ineffective as an Arab League meeting. Full of wild promises and no outcomes. Palestinian refugees in Lebanon live without rights of living conditions and welfare.
Millennial Communities and Settlements in Concert
Since the Syrian war caused such upheaval in Lebanon which still has three years later not equipped its people with democracy able to confide in its own moral tide. They are aware that Palestine is undergoing the eradication of millennia of historical communities. They are aware of the same situation in Iraq where the extremists have thrown the Middle East back into Damdani Taksai and the factioning into the charismatic.
Dhumma
The faiths Sikh and Hindu are not as one and the latter has every right and belief to practice what is known as blind faith. The practice of religious faith is for each individual to be guided through God not through man.
He or she must respond to their inner God given strength
Similarly the driving out of Christians from Iraq and other parts of the Middle East defies their own basic Religious beliefs and defies God in being tolerant and to love all humanity.
Sectarianism as normality
The Lebanese are in a mire of media whose one day joint solidarity retreats, and that is what it is back to factions of sectarian hatred and debased rhetoric of fellow human beings. This more is very similar to our own dog days here in Northern Ireland. The living standards of Lebanon vary greatly with a population of immigrants from Sri Lanka and Syria oppressed by many citizens of Lebanon exploiting their lack of access to the same priveliges and rights of education and equality through displacement.
Following the war in Syria Lebanon has lost its ancient ways.
If it does not retrieve its sense of self identiy for better or for worse it stands to be implicated in continued Middle Eastern malfunction.
Not Anti-Semitic
Today the people who came out to support the Palestinian cause for its re-established state of it people for its deserved and purposeful future were of all religions. Quite possibly there were a few of the few Jewish here in Belfast there.
Condemn Religious Hatred.
The first speaker spoke for all of us in fulsomely condemning the attack on two nights of the Belfast Synagogue. The movement of people for Palestine is not a movement of anti-semitism. All faiths have their faiths and their belief systems and we surely and clearly exist under one God. That God is divided equally among the 6 billion and rising people of this earth. those to follow will know the ultimate outcome of war is death and destruction and that we need continue in every way we can to eliminate violence of all kinds.
Not in our Name
From wrongful imprisonment to destructive corrective and detention systems to the segregation of races as a means to rule and divide we need to continue the struggle against these sins of humanity in Gods name.
Not in our name called Americans attending today.
Reporting Losses
The losses in Palestine are added to with around 3,700 being injured.
At one point the figures concerning the Palestinian death toll reported that of 492 dead there were 406 of whom were civilians. There were in this number 129 Children and 69 Women.
Reporting Without Truth Analysis.
The BBC have in Northern Ireland in particular portrayed this conflict in a manner which belies the truth of the overwhelming brutality of Israel in its quest to eradicate the Palestine they do not occupy from the Palestine they do occupy and have aborted the very wishes of God in the place of Jesus’s birth and crucifixion. They have obliterated any connection with God in seeking the annual action of the people neighbouring land that fled original from theirs own annexed lands.

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How could the USA act so immorally in supporting Israel?
Bring on an Intifada throughout the world
There will come an intifada of the Palestinian people who will receive the support akin to the support for Nelson Mandela in the struggle for freedoms in South Africa which continue to be stymied by the people whose selfish needs come first. The people are stricken with politicians of hypocrisy unfit to follow in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela.
The people of Palestine deserve our support.
Actions
Sanctions against Israel should be employed by every citizen of the world.

Boycott Israel Goods.

Protest to the BBC.

Protest to the USA.

Support the Palestinian cause.

You must be the change you wish to see in the world
Mahatma Ghandi

Do anything you can to bring peace.

Do anything you can to bring this occupation to an end.

Read the top banner line under which this blog was first established.

Be at One with the One God.

John Graham

26 July 2014

Mood Indigo : A Film Review

20140723-150334-54214920.jpg A romantic fantasy.

Directed by Michel Gondry based on the book

Froth on the daydream by Boris Vian. French. 2013. Cert. 12am. 1hr 34mins. This version is the reduced one. Less 30mins. It seems audiences were considered in some locations to have insufficient capacity for a possibly more extended film.

Cast. Romain Duris, Audrey Tatou, Gad Elmaleh, Charlotte de Bon, Michel Gondry. also Aissa Maiga as Alise, Sacha Bourdo as La sour is, Natacha Regneir as La marchande de remedies, Philippe Torrenton as. Jean-Sol Parte, Alain Chabret as Gouffe.

French avant-garde surrealism internalised.

Obvious Deception

When I see an image I believe in it or reject it. The above image I saw fully equipped as a part of a narrative we know nothing of. We do not know the associated story if there is one. I remade, copied it and made it less dark than the original Yet it remains placed in the kind of time frame, era, as Mood Indigo I think. I read the light flickering as moonlight and the woman deep in solitary reflection. The Incline of the steps seems to be a natural balancing place when we should be expecting her sitting on a level surface. This I believe is what subverts the consciousness with us believing in the story from the start BUT on closer inspection something odd and still more unelained is in front of our eyes but we cannot see it for looking. The artist may know.

Enclosed Mind So is this film undirecting us to the internal story? Eternal ….spotless mind… Sleeping are the directors comfort zone and this peculiar auteur omnibus is nothing more than a book rendered into drawn images, sketches of the expectation of the written word. Then the special effects are to be expected. Executed. Animated. Some of the sketches may have made it to the screen. Is there another way of presenting this love story that would rely less on trickery and be through time shift, location being totally surreal and more like the Parisian emigre Beckett an approach? How was the Japanese version (Kuroe 2001) approached, I haven’t seen it or read about it?

Nature marvels before us.

The auteur is of course the writer and his developed story is of the limits of pleasure in the most sublime of circumstances and the narrative literally unravels into small elements. No control of the natural world is possible. It is as Jean Rhys observation in Wide Sargasso Sea on the part of the pubescent Antoinette – of all things natural being better and at a level above us.

She opens her thinking on Jamaica -

“And if the razor grass cut my legs and arms I would think ‘Its better than people.’ Black ants or red ones, tall nests swarming with white ants, rain that soaked me to the skin – once I saw a snake. All better than people. Better. Better, better than people.”

That in 1966. On pre-war colonialists. Boris Vian has imaginably, consciously as other artists did, must have formed art by re-telling our ancient placation with animals when they were given as the bible once proposed joint dominion or was that Jesus and the bible elevated us. It would not surprise me if that is part of the logic, if is can be so called, that is driving the book, therefore the film; the imagined takeover of the superior forms organic and innate Garden of Eden universally prodded, cajoled and capitulated too, there is fundamental sadness in the foibles of humanity as the film iterates.

Pacifism Left Bank

The plainer style of filmmaker has no mainframe reference of philosophy or even more the intensity of daydreams or preternatural functions of he human being. To a writer whose output is not confined to the literature of his own kind Boris Vian is a satrap of the College of Pataphysics – (a version of imagination indulged as counter psychology to the philosophy of the cuckoldry of JPS who is the target in the film of arch mockery) – in which the imagination is King. It is enchant savage on the Rive Gauche. Whether he was a subordinal of any kind when he died aged only 39 he was never aware of it. More evidently he would appear to attend to the modifications he sought to make WITHIN the SYSTEM. The songs he wrote chiefly Le deserteur lamented on the hypocrisy and futility of war and he cleaned up the world musically by endorsing jazz and co-producing concert performances of Duke Ellington – enter Mood Indigo – and the impossible to define preternatural talent Miles Davis.

When I saw Mlles Davis play in London he was at the tightest of tight in playing sublime occasion filled music and it was very possibly fueled by a little cocaine. Of the trumpet and the cocaine both required the lips to be licked incessantly to obtain the note sought inside or out, we were none the wiser! A Mrs Davis appears as well as the good director himself as a quack Doctor when a malady strikes and Nicholas who is connected everywhere recommends him. Still the same breakdown of instinct to a level obtained no where else was the kind of thing Boris Vian would have experienced by his extraordinary reach and it informed his writing as others informed their art. That Paris era was drenched in a polyphonic saturation of ideas we now incorporate at leisure and unwittingly into our own life’s as a cultural narrative.

Grimm

The animation of this film together with its digital effects are very drawn from Alice in Wonderland as are the nuances of the sexual liberty found on an edge of fantasy and the reaction the author draws from his own disaffection given the interpretation of JPS. It is beseeching a mortality on one railtrack or another. Boris Vian has deep condolences for his own musings of his soul. Where is it and it is in that branch of Pataphysics he became in thrall to? Morality has its kingdom and this breathing living love story is the quintessence of faultless love. In other words it is as a Grimms fairy tale amidst the horrors of reality

Grimm never saw television, nor saw a picture except the Dantesque paintings and mind altering folklore told in a canon of religiosity. Never content with simple things Vian paid homage to his surrealist imagination in ways he could not indulge visually which is where the filmmakers he worked with up to his untimely death never reached the vision as he saw it. When the animation is less dominant when the love story enters its sense of wonder the film gives us some respite from the over vexed visual orgy of indulgence that is delivered by a vast team and not the bricolage handle given. Thankfully this saves the treatment of the book. It is not to be savaged to morte after all.

Film Bricolage

This film is misunderstood firstly as a book of 1949 that has become cult reading.

Therefore film directors, Michael Gondry – has been described as a bricolage director – have a hill and trough to transcend into a pictorial spree. It is distinctly misleading to term a director as bricolage unless they pear isolated as a few who do their own thing. Bricolage – DIY or DYOT. Each Director needs to do his own thing in order to deliver the film. He has not written the story The plot is entirely transposed and the draft of visual effects are, and this is where realisation might provide invention, the outcome is a brocade of embroidered surface. Very little depth develops and as a love story it is carried by the narrative which only just shows, is revealed awkwardly and incoherently as a montage of colour washing out of the lives encountered as it becomes that much darker as it progresses from its lighthearted opening scenes.

Actors Sublime

In this we have a rich man servant, the same modality in a new century of master servant with Colin, Roman Duris aided by the brilliance of his entrusted, Duke Ellington lookalike, Omar Sy. Is it racism abhorred? The friend Colin takes his cue from is Chick, Gad Elmaleh. Colin is very rich and as well as being handsome – Boris Vian was himself a very attractive Parisian appearing as the Cardinal in ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ so he couldn’t be more defining of the dominion in a ‘Godlike’ role! He seemed unconscious of this through neglect of himself and became so fraught with intellectual burden and drive he summoned his death it would appear. The love appears on Colin’s list of needs; it became so when Chick found himself a girlfriend, in the coquettish subtle beauty of Chloe, Audrey Tatou. How do you do AT justice as her acting is delicious and a convincing panoply of emotion almost always. The meeting part is delivered well, withstanding the super animation found necessary by the director and entourage.

It has in it the introduction of a party host whose art of being a gem amongst pebbles Isis, Charlotte de Bon is bristling with witty entertaining playful hospitality. In a further later part she morphs into another this time an intelligent purveyor of Colin’s floral needs. The love becomes as full and promising as ever can be imagined. Then tragedy appears. The world or the Gods have played a cruel trick on Chloe to the most unfathomable depths of humanities conction. The unexplained phenomonen takes their future lives on an inconceivable journey as a counter to the love and adoration of each other. It is so well configured as a proposition – the novel clearly pushes the reader into new realms of understanding themselves and humanity – it requires any filmmaker to take that journey forward not only by rapier emotional depiction of the splendid cast but less for want of a better word gratuitous indulgence in mimicry with objects and the domestic life. Normal is not the default state and it is a reliance on creating a vision of normality and then subverting it where Michael Gondry lacks vision or creative license. The only blessing is his budget might have drawn in his unconscious behaviour after the indulgent overplaying of extravagance, in an overcooked first part. Creative propping, set building displays of collected montages of tried and tested decadence, photographic ‘pleuritic’ disgorgement, taxidermy and sensual stock period truth is one thing but as other it fails to convince as. I return to the requirement for you to suspend any annoyance with trickery and obvious CGI and relate to the proximity of the other in your own minds eye. Get a Chemical reaction? I hope so. Films not only pour visuals into the visual cortex indeed, they stimulate the nerve ends of memory and perceptions of accumulated thought the person who is you relies on.

image The film takes us around memorable parts of Paris and the Saint Germaine and bohemian lanes. There are more trees than ever in the beautifully planted central Paris and surrounding adroissments. Part of the over cultivation of nature having taken over as the love story extends. We see the machines of offices where life goes to waste and a compositors inter web thing as a unfunny long joke. We see cretins on the wood pile. Through a fence amusingly we see the new roots of Paris at the awful but now demolished Le Halle. The hyped lift up to the sky takes in Notre Dame and continues wearisomely as another piece of bonding. The authors take? Few methods of digital merriment are overlooked while the mouse in miniature within Colin’s household keeps a mousicum of order while scuttling hither and tither on across the Rue Balzac or wherever in the train like 4th floor compartment. Upper deck is poop deck for sleeping and it is amorphously engaging after most trickery subsides.

 

Conclusion ###3 had it the extra 1/2hr who knows? Not this time around. Mood Indigo is not inaccessible. It requires something of a visual submersion, maybe less immersion in the constant over developed imagery and reliance on your own approximations of the unseen but underlying concepts and human patterns of behaviour. It asks how we savour life and extend ourselves a carefree indulgent indifference to our outside with the consequences always coming back and with the inevitably destructive revisiting of our expectations fantasied. By seeing it in the Cinema, even given the dimensions of Widescreen HDTV it will be more than worth taking the trip to see it at a Cinema. Primarily you may delight in the visuals in the beginning and throughout.

The book is apparently one for adolescents which also has not come across as it is a French passage of life book savoured and imagined in a myriad of ways. The Froth of the Daydream takes us into our subconscious. Last night I had a dream, a small element in glorious technicolor and correct elaborate detail, of which a trip involving touching down in a 747 cargo plane which was piloted by Mick Jagger and he and I were the only human passengers on board. Instead of the usual calling with Airport Security etc, not that we were hiding anything, he decided to drive home in the plane which was to Farnham. As we got near Farnham corridor of Hedges loomed in over the narrow road and Mick steered a down the middle with the wings cutting evenly and as a municipal hedge cutter would trimming the hedge. A lorry with a huge painting roped to the trailer behind stopped at the opposite end where we were headed. Mick said ” Thank Christ for that” and on we went.

Several other totally different scenes we dreamed continuing the story. Everyone has bizarre dreams and hopefully they are as vivid and as up disturbing as can be. The Froth is sometimes in the daydream but even stranger things are imagined and appear in separation from everyone else. By show don’t tell rules this Film is explicitly harbouring on the margins of that idiom. Where is the don’t tell? It may not make you one with nature and may have a lasting divergent affect on any horticultural ambitions you may hold.

Provocatively we are given sumptuous interiors, they also become smaller.  The Hausmann ideal Paris and the boulevard acquaintance with the order that town planning brought an already astere correctness with a modicum of socialist racism intensely disliked by the likes of Francois Mauriac (Therese). Read Memoires Interieurs if you haven’t for a sublime insight to the French and this mans self deprecating non autobiographical account of his genus loci. To think my French teacher put me off French by his airs and failures of communication in his native language.

 

John Graham

23 July 2014

Belfast

QFT beginning in August.

Check new programme – issued last week in July for times and dates.

The Orange

imageThe Long Road 12 July 2014

While I watched the parade at a stall for teas, coffees under a Gazebo, where funds for under resourced groups mainly in West Belfast were raised, there had gathered people who have been coming to the same spot for decades to see the Orange pass.
Tradition
Much of it is Heritage and Tradition. A lot of it is politically charged with the swipe taken at Protestant culture by the traditions of the Catholic faith. Except the faith has in a lot of cases on both sides died and is far removed from the early days of marching.
The occasion is for some the only day of the year when God comes into their thinking. The detachment from the Church – the Orange is not a faith – has been due to the paradoxically poor expression of brotherhood in God.
Respect
The Orange could and should be respected as an organisation which if a foundation of Protestantism did not exist until a political reason arrived onto which allegiance could be forged around the principles of Protestant faith. In doing so it usurped the separatist forged differences of the spasmodic dogmas of Protestantism by forging a cross credal union.
Its fault still lies in its failure to note its own origins yet it must be given respect for its remembrance to things still not comprehended but which are dormant awaiting leadership.
Unrecognised Soldier
Both sets at other times of the year celebrate using military insignia, often as memorial attached to the recent troubles and warfare. The present use of uniforms for example of the Somme soldiers and Home Rule personnel have a clinical, sanitised, mythical presence which when they fall out leaves a bitter taste of the real soldiers deaths being used in this political role. Many died for God knows what. Of those who came back so many lies were spoken about the war, many no longer knew not only about the war but about life. Many avoided the Easter Rising because they were alongside other, the greater number of Irishmen aiming to bring the war to conclusion. The fact is the Irish Government denied the loss of numbers who fought for Britain until last year and now the Queen and the Irish President can’t wait to commemorate all dead in memorial gardens.
These times being so removed from then they cannot agree on the present.
Currently an estimated 250,000 ‘British’ citizens live in Ireland while around 425,000 ‘Irish’ citizens live in Britain. Both Governments treating the population with long accustomed arrogance and concealing the truth they hold witness to.

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Identity
The Twelfth is a unique celebration of identity found grounded in the Ulster plantation which has a pronounced Scottish dimension. Why is that one asks? Surely there were many Scottish here before the Plantation. Many supported as a hired fighting force the Earls and Kings of Ireland. They traded as the Welsh did as fellow Celtic kinsfolk.
The trading was essential and it attracted the English and as it was to prove it was a fertile ground for exploiting rich lands by conspiracy with the Church of Ireland and under the direction of The English Pope Hadrian I the instruction was given to Henry III to invade Ireland and take possession of the lands so they would obey Rome and use the Roman coin which was beginning to lose its currency due to trades without coinage and settlements without proper jurisdiction.

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Theft of Land
The force of English Rule was founded on theft of land and Church rule which prospered through tithes and taxes which they imposed for the principle of Religion and God. The more so when the Church of Ireland drew up doctrines based as they considered the tenets of God. The Church of England was the superior voice and it led the tyranny which affected ALL parts of Ireland. Some parts of the Orange are stuck in the preissuance of the New Testament and still consider text such as Leviticus 6 in reference to being hurtful to a neighbour that follows atonement in the order of the burnt offering, the grain offering, the sin offering. Blood need no longer be splashed on the alter inside or outside the Church. Truth atones.
Revolutionaries
Compared to the devastating denial of self governance; Daniel O’Connell among the first to fail achieving the goal of removing the yoke of Religious control which was a conspiracy of both Churches and which remains to this day, the Plantation was a land grab which split Protestants who in many a number left Ireland unable to expect rule of equality for all.
In the main they went to America and as the Ulster proud Scots and Anglicised Puritan Protestants will have you believe they went as pioneers not asepple getting out of a cruel regime and colonial part of England’s spread across the globe.
Even the English left and among them Thomas Paine and together these new Americans redefined God and strived and achieved the goal of an end to slavery while the likes of Abraham Lincoln had to be brought to the table under Gods will.
Impestuousity harbours hate
I had to listen to an impetuous commentator address some people not used to the Parades and with his crystal ball; I really think he believed what he was saying, he told the group there would be violence to stay away from areas particularly the Ardoyne. He advised them that anyone with black skin would likely be a target. Such unwarranted and frankly offensive comments were intolerable then and even with the benefit of hindsight are accusations against the Orange which the commentator has no particular insight to offer. A middle class reactionary voice was heard and allowed to offer particular advice. I was disgusted and hold no sway with this complete mis guidance being allowed to perpetuate without question.

He also put the whole marching occasion as anti-catholic which shows an ignorance of history if not a quick method of assigning disapproval of the Protestants of 1690 who are unrepresentative of Protestants today. We were not in for a lecture thankfully but to describe it collectively as Anti-Catholic misses on several levels the pre-Darwinian, pre-enlightenment and pre-self rule in these islands that still do not have self rule.
Sovereign Rule
Sovereignty reigns and the USA is a republic with the development being attributable to people of Ireland which includes the visionary philosopher from the North, Thomas Hutchenson. Influential on Thomas Paine, Adam Smith, David Hume and the forefathers of Americas republic itself.

The commentary of some fails to realise the delusion under which Protestantism is today manipulated to provide the powers of the realm with their autocratic rule. In the same position is Catholisism which despite the dreadful godless Machiavellian devil conspired leadership is today asking its people to subscribe to sectarian politics through their religious portal.
Thinkers and God
Albert Einstein was not afraid of God and profoundly as Galileo did and his own words are as revelatory as his science it would seem.
‘I want to know how God created this world, I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element.
I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details
.’

Just as the Orange and Republicanism Memorials enact the history of the past the prevailing element lies within realising Gods need for us not to be divided and that by creating division through religious differences, themselves a sham on truth, that discovery is not made by embracing a culture to oneself as a self required affirmation of identity but in fact the opposite is infinitely more revelatory in realising all others are you.
The you exists outside yourself as you treat others.
that relation you have with ever living human being is actually more God affirming than relating to a dead human being.
How ever hard it is to detach the mind from your actual antecedents it is in the body. The vessel carrying your soul and informing your mind that carries those parts of ancient heritage.

Einstein is asking and thinking what is the antecedent? who is the thought if us?

Take another thought relating to the war, this time the Second World War.

The words of Alexander Solzhenitsyn in 1983 in London explained a lot
‘Since I have spent well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have already collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have contributed eight volumes of my own toward th effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not have put it more accurately than to repeat: “Men have forgotten God; that is why all this has happened.
Despicable Leaders
This present society has memories of hate driven violence and loss of life.
There are thousands who have died and many, many injured and a society traumatised through their collective witness.

If you have one vision of the so called factions leaders the crowd turn up braying acclimation to a howling man not knowing where solid ground is and casting lies out as new thought.

Having been subject to the hate filled rhetoric fuelling at his will and sanction violence against fellow human beings of another faith Ian Paisley has been another demicloth, so too the opposite despots and the crisis of identity precurors such as Martin McGuinness and Gerard Adams both creatures of wild hatred born of insolvency in civil liberty within their evil conceived dogma of killing as a method to raise mankind. They are like hunched dogs with spinosa of a primeval forgotten urge left bereft of meaning and conjoined in ignominious hurt laden values.
They do not require our forgiveness only God can forgive. We are asked by God to realise this is their only act of contrition and is in need of public witness.

The preceding deaths of Irish and as Solzenitzen points out the irreproachlessness of violence when confronting God, the deaths are colossal in comparison with this era, even with the population numbers on the planet being much smaller in previous eras.

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Reflection
The strange reflection has to be the suppression of truth by forces which control and make choices. No one doubts the hegemony of the very few who have secured their wealth through centuries of greed and misrule but it remains an area few actually regard as what makes them make their own choices on creating division. They are fed a history which few if any understand or care to understand yet God is in their mind if they would simply listen for the true word.
The Orange need find purpose in stopping government fracturing of city neighbourhoods brought about by insufficient investment in schools – there is an obvious lack of investment within Belfast in certain areas leading to poor standards – and a move away to other areas outside together with Planning policies which mothball areas then set about preferencing schemes which cater for the cash rich and non of which is affordable for people with long attachments to an area. The schools are no longer strong educationally and cater for mainly immigrants and newcomers whose expectations are not yet matured.

Where the areas are worst hit are in the failure to address neglect and produce structured replacement, instead the piecemeal ensures upheaval and transition to an identity free zoning.
No-one would be wise in suggesting more mixed housing, in the terms used here, would not benefit us but when there is a wholescale breakdown through neglect of housing need; it should be remembered in the past many families of each religious faith lived in close proximity without the rancour devised by terrorists, the divisions are emphasised by huge empty spaces and road, peace wall divisions. The task of the Orange is to represent the aspirations of hope and faith not resentment.
Remembering Battles is one thing but the heart of the Orange is widespread expression of freedoms and joining with others who likewise do not adhere to the creed of one religion. The rural communities know the freedoms involved and long were witness to their neighbours religious authority exploiting them and producing the vile doctrines of division while behaving atrociously under the protection of their Church hierarchy concealing criminal abuse and debased practices. They also need be aware the nature of their own and mediate for truth in all parts. That is what did set Protestantism apart but do any recognise this?
The Field
The cry across fields, and they can be from either persuasion, is of fighting for liberty and freedom. The Protestants acclaiming ‘the sacrifice made for freedom and democracy.‘ AGMGL while recalling the division of the nearby border known for ‘suffering and heartbreak down the years, along with the sickening glorification of terrorism with the parade last year in Castlederg..’
Both sides repudiating the other and remaining bigoted and divided with their own fellow countrymen. They claim a loyal gathering under loyalism to Unionism which shares power with terrorists and convicted killers all in the name of freedom and democracy while supporting the continued repression of the truth. In the name if God. An uncontested lie being told.

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Religious Dogma
What is the Orange? It is hard to tell because its origins which recognised the tryranny of Roman Catholism, regarded religious faith with a primacy based in the Bible allowing freedom of thought and conscious while being respectful and considerate to their neighbour. It also abhorred achohol and gambling and sinful occupations. There are sermons during the Second World War locally which underlines the connection to a sovereign nation without considering how that link was founded and maintained. It became obvious and in common view it was a Unionist conspiracy to maintain its lucrative dealings with the crown and use gerrymandering to maintain its rule. That is never discussed of expressed by the commentators.

They are too rapped up in the conceit of themselves and of the local current politics to offer any worthwhile implement able advice. So far removed from equality and bearing they cause the embitterment to continue as it is another days news.

On a day when a highlight of a FGM was to lambast the PSNI for not prosecuting an MLA for hanging onto the grill on the front of a Police vehicle, name checked always as Land Rover, that Chinese vehicle, instead of admitting there was just cause to stop the progress of the vehicle as it had not forewarned of its actions and that a stupid driver carelessly and criminally drove the vehicle on. The FGM was considerate of the Queen traveling up the Crumlin after visiting the jail this year to see for herself how the Queens highway functioned. The lack of Catholic residents and the briskness or otherwise of trade in the shops would have been eminently thrilling he might have thought. Very important issues for working class and culture defining for the Orange also key to education.
Absurd Commentary
The commentator, another, who regards himself not so much a NUJ member, far too political that but holds the card of as an independant thinker beholden to no one, and an incursion on independent thought, has obliged us with his joy unconfined, well he has one gripe, later, in trouble being absent in 12th Marches.
He misses the point that the clear purpose of the peacefulness of the parades, also missed by the crystal ball gazer, violence ensured practically, how good to be wrong – no harm – except a so called adviser called it before foreigners as a practice of hate to be played out before them. The gripe of the latest commenter not journalist was to demand an apology for the burning of placards of politicians and of terrorists, except he called it burning of flags and election posters.
‘Stop all this nonsense!’ He clearly is a radical thinker and again defuses the main picture admirably, draws a wage and creates a place for the next set of standard renditions taught in the school of mediocrity.
The narrow path
A road home is a road home and any prelatic announcements from bigots has a shameful ignorance of their fellow human being.
When no Offence is given no Offence can be taken.
Ditch the joint Sovereignty
The Orange is possibly defined by a medicoracy led by the Black.

John Graham

14 July 2014

Belfast

Paws for Thought

Belfast

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Skin of different colour
Dedicated to Gunner and Eliot.
Ministers of Dog in developing countries, England and Ireland respectively.
Hot Dogs
This week has been hard for those unused to the heat. Working in this weather and many have to outdoors can bring tiredness and mild heat exhaustion.

You will know that this work and I am thinking of work in the fields so well executed through years of practice bears fruit of some kind.

‘Abide in Me, and I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.’ (John 15:4)

We as friends of all things human can be consoling and a companion when too much self reflection is going on, You can usually tell by grumpiness or a raised voice and nothing seems to be going their way.

As we know as the master and sent by the Chief Kennel Carer the world for them is a complicated place, poor souls. Never a day goes by without a fresh worry. That is when I act calm and hope they too take the hint.

The Lord is always there and is there for everyone. All you have to do is whistle and The Lord will be at your side. I was worried myself the other day when I heard about a new dog that might be coming here.

Firstly it is MY patch and the scruff may not even be related, may take up loads of room and eat all the food. Mariel thought there is enough to go round and if it didn’t wash or was uncouth then she would soon tell it it was unladylike.

My ears pricked up when I heard it might be a Lady and there was me prejudging the situation. Most I have known have smelt so sweet have doey eyes and are easy to romance so a smooch works out both ways. I call it validation but some call it love.
Both of us could be the others kind.

The point is you see if you jump to conclusions, to digress – I jumped in the air 10′ 6″ last week caught a soggy ball and all to impress the ladies who weren’t best pleased as my breath stank – then you can be badly hurt and hurt others.

By refusing to allow someone to live in your community, to bring the variety if their own habits to a place you clearly don’t OWN you are only making things worse for yourself. Why for yourself? I hear you ask. Well simply because you are denying yourself a new vision and also denying yourself the opportunity to share each other’s vision of GODs creation.
This is GODs universe and we are here but a short while so getting along is only a problem if you make it one.

All bring things you cannot
The creation like the pooch I was fearful of may have a different coat or skin than me and may not be able to leap 10 ft like me but can run twice as fast but not for so long, it becomes clear the only vision needed is the vision of GOD.

Many colours and varieties of people as us Dogs have different skin.
We might have suffered by having the Dog eugenisists try and screw up
various races of us Dogs forgetting Huskies like the cold and dislike Barnes Common racing, whippets hate running in circles and greyhounds at Wimbledon, how pointless is that and as for mastiffs only looney air guitarists like them.

Whatever the colour the blood runs through us all the same colour.

We look to GOD sometimes to repair our road. Damage always occurs with traffic up and down a road used by many. By allowing each to use it and that means groups to march up and down freely singing their songs so long as they are unhurtful it is their right. The Notting Hill Carnival is now well fixed and multi cultural.

In that place Belfast there is no tolerance of others just a victim hood to be asserted.
Every time annual parades occur they get territorial. The Ardoyne formed by Thomas Andrews Linen Mill was to provide jobs instead of war. It symbolised the peoples induction with modern means of living.

The symbolism is not unique and from the Andulucian horse trail I memory of Jesus and the celebrations along the way to the more secular and at the same time religious affirmation of Mexico’s All Souls’ Day to Maypole pagan festivals all culture needs expression. It’s diversity is what is us.

Blimey we were able to turn around the mass eugenic experiment of the dictator and ethnic killer Hitler and return to our path, our road yet deranged people think their religion is more important ant they are right and more important than GOD ever made us. When no offence is given none can be taken.

It is clear to us Dogs that we have these differences as humans do but they refuse in many places and at many times to abide with GOD.

Simply GOD asks us to go the way of loving thy neighbour and giving your thoughts over to Jesus to show you they way. Reading, reflecting, talking, acting, all the fellowship of ALL mankind is the redemption from the world that provides us with our living.

When we refuse to do harm we have reached a goal and can say to others it is the way without fear. Fear is within.
The soul is in you and when the world has reached the point when ‘Our Kingdom Come’ the soul will have done its job.

The job of the soul is to be your witness here on earth. Should you reach the highest goal and be at one with GOD the soul will have done its purpose. It will have been with you as GOD is and the light will not fade.

Listen. Observe others. Hear. Love.

So be it.

Amen

Paw note

Eliot and Gunner are real Dog but they are usually too occupied to sit down and write about their thoughts though are being to do so. These views are my own and I have only the inferior understanding of a human beung therefore can only put these views across as insights from observing these fellows. They are as wise as us it would appear and have no inclination to make an atomic bomb thank goodness as we may be in serious trouble. The thought never crossed their mind which makes me think of them as superior.
Pity they are so hard to train and wash.

Written from and idea inspired by
the Reverend Elizabeth Hanna
Writer, Photographer, Theologian extraordinaire, Wise (owl) peace maker, friend maker. And her actual dog called Eliot.

John Graham

10 July 2014