I saw a double feature of the original, 1964 Godzilla and its 2014 counterpart last night. Minor spoilers within these notes:
- mother about to be destroyed with her kids: “We’ll be with papa soon!”
- so political!
- clear roles defined for scientists, journalists etc. especially scientists
- photograph of Godzilla used for presentation of evidence to the government (although it actually looks more like a painting)
- male parliament member argues in favor of keeping information from the public because it would “incite panic”; female parliament berates him
- film ends with scientist saying, “if we don’t stop those h-bomb tests, another Godzilla may come…”
American 2014 version
- 1999 nuclear accident - something like “自然とともに” (together with nature) written on the power plant control room wall, would have to watch it again to see
- pretty convoluted as far as its relation to Fukushima. the meldown was a cover-up, OK, but otherwise nothing to say
- as Godzilla makes his triumphant exit, two fighter jets fly behind him across the screen - he’s an American military hero!
- the image of Godzilla swimming together with American battleships
- really American-centric, even the parts in Japan
- no moral/political stakes associated w/ use of nuclear weapon, unlike in the original where Serizawa sacrifices himself so that it could never be used again (“humans are weak animals,” he says). just a strange reminder from the new Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) who shows the American general the watch stopped at 8:15 AM, 8/6/1945 - of course there is Hiromi Tsuchida’s photo of the same thing…
September 15 2014 2:48 am • • 2 notes
Teebs - Holiday (feat. Jonti) by BRAINFEEDER http://ift.tt/1emjRy7 (autopost from Soundcloud)
September 8 2014 4:51 pm • • 1 note
“From the very start, though, I cannot comprehend why “obscenity” is a crime. In our mature society, it is undeniable that a naked body possesses absolutely no destructive power. In another similar case which resulted in an arrest, I do not understand at all what the government was up to. I only know a bit about this work, but it looks to be entirely human, not at all destructive. If we are going to talk about expressions that “harm society,” there are any number of more serious examples, yet the expressions that the government continually tries to expunge are entirely proper manifestations of human desire.
In any case, one thing is clear: the government is asserting its presence forcefully through the exercise of such power. If the government deviates from its stated purpose, i.e. to temporarily borrow authority from its citizens, and instead makes a display of this power, that act is far more grotesque than something like the display of genitalia. Once a violence that is not locatable to a specific person begins, it is difficult to stop.”
— From Ryudai Takano’s statement about the police intervention in his exhibit at the Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art
August 22 2014 6:33 am • • 3 notes
Image © PICA
Over a previous weekend I saw Hitoshi Toyoda’s slideshow NAZUNA at Yokohama Trienalle. He uses several projectors to project his ‘visual diaries’. Travelling to America and then to different parts of the world, including Japan, his documentation play out less like dry and factual but drama, the life of someone never ‘in frame’ but clearly close by. Some of the people he, and in turn we, follow either disappear or pass away.
Alone, each image tells of an incidental and ancillary moments when seen separately do little to prepare you for how they work when threaded together. When stitched together in the projector carousel, a theme rises albeit slowly to the surface. An accumulation over the years of reoccurring figures and vistas. Overgrowth surrounding the quiet structure of old buildings advances and then recedes through the reoccurrence of places photographed over and over again.
Toyoda works exclusively in slideshows. They are the only way of seeing his work. There are no books to speak of or shows to visit. You see them communally. With other people. The cinema is probably an easy example to draw in comparison but both are different with Toyoda, silently translating the slides that feed narrative structure intermittently giving particular context; the war in Afghanistan; The discovery of an Amish village in rural Japan. He swaps carousels when he needs to elevated above everything and everyone else but not in an authoritative sense, purely functional.
Whats particularly amazing is NAZUNA’s length. Filmic, they hold the attention from beginning to end, drifting here and there in the meantime. Each slide holds the attention as projector focus is pulled back and forth. Its clever in so much as your waiting for that moment, anticipating the on-screen shift as things wildly out of focus remain so and things nearly legible are vividly pulled back into view. The screen and the image, if only briefly, contain depth and the sense that your no longer looking at something flat but something alive.
He spoke at the end of how the timing changes each time. The decision he makes on how images get stitched together carry with them a resolutely personal narrative that is perhaps harder to unpick and makes sense of but then that is what makes his approach unique to him and how he decides upon the images he chooses. Its an intensely personal piece of work made pubic and the setting of theatre only makes that experience of tress-passing through the more intimate parts of someones past more affecting. With an intimacy and focus of using slide-film with a projector whose focal length is temperamental, the ‘traumatic’ is experience through the sobering lens of his camera.
I hope I get to see his other films soon.
August 19 2014 2:21 pm • • 11 notes
Kool & The Gang - Get Down On It (Rocco Raimundo Edit) by Rocco Raimundo http://ift.tt/xNnCqJ (autopost from Soundcloud)
July 15 2014 4:11 am • • 2 notes
Kate Peters - Selections from the series Stranger than Fiction and Home
Rinko Kawauchi, put through a filter of Americana.
July 11 2014 12:13 am • • 3,258 notes
As the world has slowly woken up to the genius of W.G. Sebald’s project there’s been an explosion of critical interest in his work, and the use of photographs in his work. I’ve read most of it and all I’ll say is that I’d much rather watch Max talk about it himself. Thank goodness for the existence of this very short clip, found and yanked out of the stream of history just like Sebald’s photos.
July 7 2014 12:50 pm • • 52 notes