Jodorowsky's "Holy Mountain" on DVD.

Jodorowsky’s two most famous films, the original ‘midnight movies’ on DVD, fully uncut and presented in their correct screen ratios, along with an informative book makes this the essential cult movie boxset release.

El Topo is Jodorowsky’s unique spiritual western, which takes on the ritual violence of Sam Peckinpah and the grotesque humour of Sergio Leone to roughly sketch an apology on the oppression and arrogance of power. This film is a journey through tragedy and anarchy, myth and revolution, paganism and holy scripture, classicism and surrealism, artistic performance and cinematic action. El Topo remains an essential, raw work of instinctive, visceral power created by one of the most visionary filmmakers in cinematic history.

The Holy Mountain (aka La Montagna Sacra), Jodorowsky’s tantric masterpiece is presented here on DVD, in undoubtedly the best condition ever on any home video format, thankfully at last losing the cursed ‘fogging’ that ruined the old Japanese home video editions. Cinema for Jodorowsky is none other than great magic, an elaborate alchemical process. The Holy Mountain is probably the film that best represents the idea of art as an inner quest, a journey of initiation but also artifice and boundless illusion. In the cinema, surrealism has perhaps never achieved such expressive, almost explosive, power as in the work of this remarkable filmmaker who knows Holy Scripture like the back of his hand. Poised between erotic delirium and political satire; the cabala and cartoons; catastrophism and salvation; Catholicism and heresy; horror and cinema verite; violence and spirituality; performance and narration, The Holy Mountain is utterly essential for anyone who claims to love cinema.

El Topo Special features:
Academy ratio
Spanish language soundtrack in Dolby Digital 2.0
Optional subtitles in English or Italian
Interview with Jodorowsky expert Massimo Monteleone

The Holy Mountain Special features:
2.35:1 widescreen
English or Italian language soundtracks in Dolby Digital 2.0
Interview with Jodorowsky expert Massimo Monteleone

COURTESY JOHN COULTHART!

Please explain this deal to Pakistan in a way that makes any sense.

A Con Job by Pakistan’s Pal, George Bush
Robert Scheer
March 29, 2005 Los Angeles Times

Trying to follow the U.S. policy on the proliferation of nuclear weapons is like watching a three-card monte game on a city street corner. Except the stakes are higher.

The announcement Friday that the United States is authorizing the sale to Pakistan of F-16 fighter jets capable of delivering nuclear warheads ‚Äî and thereby escalating the region’s nuclear arms race ‚Äî is the latest example of how the most important issue on the planet is being bungled by the Bush administration.

Consider this dizzying series of Bush II-era actions:

We have thrown away thousands of Iraqi and American lives and billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars after crying wolf on Iraq’s long-defunct nuclear weapons program and now expect the world to believe similar scary stories about neighboring Iran.

We have cozied up to Pakistan for more than three years as it freely allowed the operation of the most extravagantly irresponsible nuclear arms bazaar the world has ever seen.

We sabotaged negotiations with North Korea by telling allies that Pyongyang had supplied nuclear material to Libya, even though the Bush administration knew that the country of origin of those shipments was our “ally,” Pakistan.

Now, Lockheed Martin has been saved from closing its F-16 production line by the White House decision to lift the arms embargo on Pakistan and allow the sale. The decision, which ends a 1990 embargo put in place by the president’s father in reprisal for Pakistan’s development of a nuclear arsenal, is especially odd at a time when we are berating European nations for considering lifting their arms embargo on China.

The White House says the F-16s are a reward to Islamabad for its help in disrupting terrorism networks, despite a decade of Pakistan’s strong support of Al Qaeda and the Taliban government in Afghanistan.

Yet Pakistan’s ruling generals could be excused for believing that Washington is not seriously concerned about the proliferation of nuclear weapons. How else to explain invading a country ‚Äî Iraq ‚Äî that didn’t possess nukes, didn’t sell nuclear technology to unstable nations and didn’t maintain an unholy alliance with Al Qaeda ‚Äî and then turning around and giving the plum prizes of U.S. military ingenuity to the country that did?

Even as the Bush administration continues to confront Iran over its alleged nuclear weapons program, Islamabad has admitted that Pakistani nuclear weapons trafficker Abdul Qadeer Khan ‚Äî the father of his nation’s nuclear bomb ‚Äî provided Iran with the centrifuges essential to such a program. Further, new evidence reveals that Khan marketed to Iran and Libya not only the materials needed for a nuclear bomb but the engineering competence to actually make one.

Pakistan President Gen. Pervez Musharraf insists Khan was running his nuclear smuggling operation under the radar of the military government that brought Musharraf to power. And although this is a highly implausible claim given the reach of the military’s power and the scope of the operation, the White House has found it convenient to buy it hook, line and sinker ‚Äî all the better to remarket Pakistan to the American people as a war-on-terrorism ally.

While Pakistan was receiving such heaping helpings of benefit of the doubt, North Korea became the Bush administration’s scapegoat for the rapid nuclear proliferation happening on its watch, according to the Washington Post. “In an effort to increase pressure on North Korea, the Bush administration told its Asian allies in briefings earlier this year that Pyongyang had exported nuclear material to Libya,” wrote the Post. “But that is not what U.S. intelligence reported, according to two officials with detailed knowledge of the transaction.” Sources told the paper that “Pakistan’s role as both the buyer and the seller [of uranium hexafluoride] was concealed to cover up the part played by Washington’s partner.”

One result of the United States shortsightedly pulling this fast one has been the collapse of multilateral nonproliferation talks with Pyongyang. Yet in the long term, the cost is much greater: a dramatic erosion of trust in U.S. statements on nuclear proliferation.

From Iraq to Iran, North Korea to Pakistan, the Bush administration has pulled so many con jobs that it is difficult for anybody to take it seriously. Unfortunately, though, the proliferation of nuclear weapons is as serious as it gets.

Springtime in the New Millennium.



Avant Gardening: Ecological Struggle in the City & the World

by Peter Lamborn Wilson (Editor), Bill Weinberg (Editor)

“They” are buying and patenting the DNA of every lifeform. They will design your baby, and they will design the E-Coli in its colon. They will make the word “organic” mean what they want it to mean. They will use 100 times more energy than you because they know better. We can take our ‘community gardens” and move somewhere else if we don’t like progress. Yeah, go somewhere where the sun of Global Capital don’t shine. And stay there. Okay, Then. This book is headed in that direction. Want to tag along? Edited by Peter Lamborn Wilson and Bill Weinberg, with texts by Miekal And, Bernadette Cozart, Jack Collom, Sarah Ferguson, Joe Hollis, Lyx Ish, Bernadette Mayer, Carmelo Ruiz, Bill Weinberg, Peter Lamborn Wilson, and John Wright. A collection of passionate and polemical essays against the invasive development of the Lower East Side of Manhattan and elsewhere. Focused especially on the destruction of individual and community gardens, AVANT GARDENING also chronicles the triumphs and defeats of eco-resistence.

This collection of writings, assembled at a time of crisis for NYC community gardens, imagines the radical possibilities of urban gardening. Bringing together NYC history, political analysis, utopian schemes, poetic accounts of what gardening can create, and investigations into the dynamics of sustainability, community, high and low technologies, and power, this book challenges the “Supermarket to the World” ideologies of global capital. Includes work by Sarah Ferguson, Jack Collom, Carmelo Ruiz, the editors, and others.

Quality vandal Banksy!


From last week’s New York Times:

Need Talent to Exhibit in Museums? Not This Prankster
By RANDY KENNEDY

It was not nearly as dangerous as the time he sneaked into the elephant pen at the London Zoo and scrawled a graffiti message from the point of view of an elephant: “I want out. This place is too cold. Keeper smells. Boring, boring, boring.”

And it was not quite as elaborate as the stunt last year in which he spirited a stuffed rat wearing wraparound sunglasses into the Natural History Museum in London and mounted it on a wall.

But over the last two weeks, a shadowy British graffiti artist who calls himself Banksy has carried his own humorous artworks into four New York institutions – the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum and the American Museum of Natural History – and attached them with some sort of adhesive to the walls, alongside other paintings and exhibits. Similar stunts at the Louvre and the Tate museum have earned the artist – who will not reveal his real name – a following in Europe, where he has had successful gallery shows and sold thousands of books of his artwork. But his graffiti has also landed him in legal trouble.

Elyse Topalian, a spokeswoman for the Met, said that museum officials believed that a painting found there – a small, gold-framed portrait of a woman wearing a gas mask – was hung surreptitiously on March 13. Guards noticed it and removed it from a wall near other paintings in the American wing, she said. Ms. Topalian added that no damage had been done to the wall or to other artworks.

The museum does not look kindly on such unauthorized additions to its walls. “I think it’s fair to say that it would take more than a piece of Scotch tape to get a work of art into the Met,” Ms. Topalian said.

Sally Williams, a spokeswoman for the Brooklyn Museum, said a painting – in this case, of a red-coated colonial-era military officer holding a spray-paint can, with antiwar graffiti in the background – was discovered and removed on March 16. The painting was hung between two others from the museum’s permanent collection in the American Identities galleries on the fifth floor. She said that the painting was now sitting in the museum’s conservation lab and that its fate was uncertain.

“I think the immediate issue was just to get it out of the gallery and tucked away somewhere where it couldn’t be seen,” she said.

An official at the Museum of Modern Art said that a painting of a can of cream-of-tomato soup was found hanging in a third-floor elevator lobby and taken down on March 17. A spokesman for the Museum of Natural History, where the graffiti artist apparently hung a glass-encased beetle (a real one) equipped with fighter jet wings, missiles and a satellite dish, confirmed the incident by e-mail but did not say when the work was found.

Asked whether the incidents raised security concerns for them, officials at the institutions said no, adding that they believed that they had sufficient numbers of guards and other monitoring systems.

Pictures of the illicit art installations, apparently taken by an accomplice of Banksy, were posted yesterday at woostercollective.com, a site that has become a repository of pictures of graffiti and other street and urban art. Some of the pictures show a bearded man in an overcoat and hat, looking a little like Inspector Jacques Clouseau, hanging his paintings in the museums.

Marc Schiller, a founder of the Web site, said the pictures were sent to him yesterday along with a statement from the artist that said: “This historic occasion has less to do with finally being embraced by the fine-art establishment and is more about the judicious use of a fake beard and some high-strength glue.”

Mr. Schiller said the artist had returned to London and would not consent to a telephone interview. But in an e-mail exchange yesterday afternoon, conducted with Mr. Schiller’s help, Banksy – who prefers to be called not an artist, but a “quality vandal” – said he decided to invade those four New York museums for a simple reason.

“I’ve wandered round a lot of art galleries thinking, ‘I could have done that,’ so it seemed only right that I should try,” he wrote. “These galleries are just trophy cabinets for a handful of millionaires. The public never has any real say in what art they see.”

He said he had entered all of the museums during normal visitors’ hours. Asked how he was able to hang his works without being noticed by museum guards or security cameras, Banksy responded rather opaquely. “You just have to glue on a fake beard and move with the times,” he said.

He added that he had thought about storming the Guggenheim, but was too intimidated. “I would have had to appear between two Picassos,” he wrote. “And I’m not good enough to get away with that.”

 

New Greene.

celebrate matt greene’s upcoming exhibition WE ARE THE DEAD
sunday march 27, 5-7 pm
beer, etc.
the women’s building
1727 n. spring st.
(east of chinatown at the base of the spring street bridge, parking on side of building)

"A living link between French Surrealism and the American counterculture at its beginnings."

From the New York Times:

Philip Lamantia, 77, Surrealist Poet, Is Dead
By CHRISTOPHER LEHMANN-HAUPT

Philip Lamantia, the rapturous San Francisco poet who embraced Surrealism and later associated himself with the West Coast Beat community, died on March 7 at his apartment in San Francisco. He was 77.

The cause was heart failure, a spokesman for his publisher, City Lights Books, said.

“Philip Lamantia’s poems are about rapture as a condition,” the poet Tom Clark wrote in a review of Mr. Lamantia’s “Selected Poems, 1943-1966″ (City Lights, 1967) in The New York Times Book Review. “They are spiritual and erotic at the same time. Bright and dark, the enclosed polarities of devotion. St. Teresa and Rimbaud.”

Mr. Lamantia’s path to these poetic extremes was serpentine. Born in San Francisco on Oct. 23, 1927, to Nunzio, a produce broker, and Mary Tarantino Lamantia, both of whom immigrated from Sicily as children, he began writing Poe-like poems in elementary school and promoting social revolution in junior high, from which he was briefly expelled for “intellectual delinquency.”

In his freshman year in high school, he saw a retrospective exhibition of Dali and Mir?ɬ?, which made such a powerful impression that he embraced the fantastical artistic and literary movement Surrealism.

At 16, Mr. Lamantia dropped out of school and moved to New York City. He worked as an assistant editor at View: A Magazine of the Arts, which had published poems he had written at 15, and he continued to write and publish. He met several expatriate Surrealists, including Andr?ɬ© Breton, the prophet of the movement, who declared Mr. Lamantia “a voice that rises once in a hundred years.”

After publishing his first book at 19, “Erotic Poems” (Bern Porter, 1946), Mr. Lamantia grew disillusioned with the New York scene and returned to San Francisco. He completed high school and enrolled in the University of California, Berkeley, where he became part of the revolutionary left and studied subjects pertaining to Gnosticism, mysticism, eroticism and heretical thought. All the while he continued writing and publishing poems and articles.

He never graduated from Berkeley. In the 1950’s, he began to explore altered states of consciousness through hallucinogenic drugs, attending peyote rituals with various American Indian tribes. He traveled in France and Morocco, returning now and then to the United States, where he plunged himself into urban night life. He became associated with the Beat movement, although his work remained distinct from the Beats’ concerns with homosexual themes and everyday minutiae, continuing his own quest for the heterosexually erotic and the mystical.

By the time his “Selected Poems, 1943-1966″ was published, he was living in Spain, fighting depression, studying mathematics and writing intermittently.

In the remaining decades of his life he returned to San Francisco, lectured on poetry at San Francisco State University and San Francisco Art Institute, and took up American Indian and environmental causes.

In 1978, he married Nancy Joyce Peters, who became his editor at City Lights and who survives him.

His distinctive surrealistic poetry was collected in four more volumes “The Blood of the Air” (1970), “Becoming Visible” (1981), “Meadowlark West” (1986) and “Bed of Sphinxes: New and Selected Poems 1943-1993″ (1997), making a total of nine published in his lifetime.

His work commanded respect for inhabiting the realm of what he called “King Analogue/Queen Image/Prince Liberty. …” And he was, as Yves le Pellec, a French critic, put it, “a living link between French Surrealism and the American counterculture at its beginnings.”

COURTESY M. SIMMONS!

A walking house, by genius artist Marjetica Potrc.



Next Stop, Kiosk

Building materials, energy and communication infrastructure, 2003
‘Next Stop, Kiosk’, Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana, Slovenia

A palafita — a South American house on stilts (sometimes called “a walking house”) – is balanced on top of a group of intersecting city kiosks. The K-67 kiosk was originally designed in the late 1960s as a mobile dwelling unit by the Ljubljana-based architect Sasa Maechtig.