~JONAH HILL . . as JOSH.

J.H. meet J.H.

JONAH HILL as JOSH HARRIS.
you may as well just fall off your chair, now.

You can just see Jonah as Josh, looking up at the Livingston apple orchard, wondering where the hell, did all the . . money go,
and wtf, just happened.


JONAH HILL in . . .
‘DON’T WORRY, HE WON’T GET FAR ON FOOT’, directed by GUS VAN SANT.

watch: ‘DON’T WORRY, HE WON’T GET FAR ON FOOT’ – OFFICIAL TRAILER – YouTube

see: ‘DON’T WORRY, HE WON’T GET FAR ON FOOT’ – NYT / JAN 18, 2018




~BEN STILLER: ‘WE LIVE IN PUBLIC’ & ‘THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES’ . . . yes !!!!!!

if BEN STILLER . .

can do his just announced, upcoming feature adaption . ..
of ‘WE LIVE IN PUBLIC’, the Sundance winning documentary about JOSH HARRIS, the so-called Andy Warhol of the web, and art world bad boy . . .

just as gently; but really funny in parts, all too human, bitter-sweet, sad and even harsh in others . . .
as is the tone of the recent ‘THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES’ (2017) . . . where he plays older brother to a failed bro (musician), and successful son (wealth management for rich hipster clients) to an oppressively narcissistic forgotten artist dad,

then things are looking good for a Hollywood re-make.

though of course, ‘THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES’, though it often hit very close to home, and sometimes even . . too close to home, is a fictional though very accurate portrayal.

it kind of makes you realize just how delicate a task it might be to come up with a great, funny, sad serious, twisty, biopic on Josh, esp as ‘WE LIVE IN PUBLIC’ . . moves very fast through a time frame of several years, and is characterized by Josh’s interactions with many different, but all high-octane ‘players’, who though individually brought a lot of wild antics, collectively imploded with great gusto, along with some hard knocks, . . within the so-called ‘social experiment’, that Josh said he made, but that really – made him !!

ADAM DRIVER, has a wild cameo . . in ‘THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES’.

he plays a young wannabe rock star, who is maybe going through his first cash payday – a little bit too fast. Ben Stiller in his role as Matt, the older Meyerowitz bro – who runs a budding, start-up celebrity wealth management for hipsters business, has come in, to put a lid on the money action, but still stay .. cool af.

in that fast-paced, tone-perfect scene, I could definitely see the potential . . for a perfect storm . . of a JOSH HARRIS / ‘WE LIVE IN PUBLIC’. BIO-PIC.

they should try to find a equally brief, in & out, cameo role for Driver . .
in the ‘WE LIVE IN PUBLIC’ project.

maybe: as ALEX ARCADIA, lol.
he built that Nazi-like, real goldfish swimming in pond / moat . . ran around a 3D temple, that Alex reportedly got $80K to build, & where Josh like some the mad leader of a futuristic cult, often gave his . . ‘mission’ speeches.

with JONAH HILL . . already on-board to play . . Josh, & I can just see it, come to L-I-F-E.

it could be real big win.

‘WE LIVE IN PUBLIC’ – HELLO, H-O-L-L-Y-W-O-O-D.

‘THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES’,
came out last fall, directed & written by NOAH BAUMBACH.
it stars BEN STILLER & ADAM SANDLER (in very tapped-down comedic modes – hurray), as the very different, almost equally damaged grown (half !!) sons of the cranky, semi-seedy self-obsessed old school NYC artist, played by DUSTIN HOFFMAN, and he’s . . nailing it. performance-wise.
you know, or you will, one day . . . the grumpy guy who never made it, won’t be the faculty group show, and his best friend is having a retrospection at the Whitney.

‘THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES’ . . won the PALM DOG award at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.

COMEDY-DRAMA ?!!!

REAL LIFE / DOCU-DRAMA ?!!!

JOSH HARRIS & CREW / ARE IN YOUR HANDS, . . . BEN STILLER !!!!!


BEN STILLER, as MATTHEW MEYEROWITZ . . . in ‘THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES’.

def, def def !! watch the trailer: ‘THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES’ – OFFICIAL TRAILER / YouTube

in fact, you can watch the entire film right now, it’s now on . . NETFLIX !!

more background . . .
see: ‘THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES’ – Wikipedia

here’s how that wiki post / re: Plot . . begins:
“After separating from his wife, unemployed DANNY MEYEROWITZ (Adam Sandler) moves in with his father, HAROLD (Dustin Hoffman), a retired Bard College (!!) art professor and sculptor, and his 3rd wife, MAUREEN (Emma Thompson) . . .”
and btw:
DANNY has a daughter (Grace Van Patten) who is just starting film school, at Bard College, who makes . . “sexually obsessed” art films.
and, we can all . . relate.




~STUDIO GHIBLI . . ‘THE WIND RISES’ / and the human spirit, soars & twists in the wind

‘THE WIND RISES’, JAPAN, 2013
STUDIO GHIBLI – DIRECTED BY HAYAO MIYAZAKI

it’s not far-reaching to expect an imaginary fable to lift off – through the magic of animation.
with ‘The Wind Rises’, a fictionalized biography of JIRO HORIKOSHI (1903-19820) the young man who designed fighter aircraft . .
used by Japan in WWII . . .
it’s absolutely wondrous !! and stirring . . to behold.
it becomes a story about the beauty of design, and the poignancy of life. how we artists, have no control over how our work is used, or sold,
just we humans have no control over our lives and . . destiny.

a most gorgeous production, a big part of the compelling emotional depth of this film, which is in essence a medley . . on an industrial design !!
and a fighter jet one – at that . . by our enemy at the time (!!)
comes from the wistful and haunting music.
the soundtrack, composed and conducted by JOE HISAISHI is performed by YOMIURI NIPPON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA.

see more facts: ‘THE WIND RISES’ – Wikipedia


JIRO . . and his dream of the famous Italian aircraft designer . . GIOVANNI BATTISTA CAPRONI.
(gorgeous retro styling, bye the way.)

watch: ‘THE WIND RISES’ – trailer on YouTube …. !!!!!




~STUDIO GHIBLI: ABOUT . . ‘170 QUESTIONS’ / CHANNEL FREDERATOR

STUDIO GHIBLI . .
was founded in 1985, by some . . very very cool people.
except for a tiny crowd sequence in one film, all the Studio Ghibli films are hand-drawn.
they have made over 20 . . amazing & visionary films.

here’s a great, fact-packed intro . . . by ChannelFrederator !!
incl. where that one & only, super brief CGI sequence . . happened !!

watch: STUDIO GHIBLI – 170 QUESTIONS – BY FREDERATOR

read more about: CHANNEL FREDERATOR – THE ONLINE CHANNEL NETWORK FOR . . INDEPENDENT ANIMATORS & ARTISTS !!

see: CHANNEL FREDERATOR OFFICIAL WEBSITE !!

see: CHANNEL FREDERATOR – WIKIPEDIA




~’TOP 10 STUDIO GHIBLI FILMS’ . . WatchMojo sampler


‘WHISPER OF THE HEART’, STUDIO GHIBLI, JAPAN 1995.
Directed by: YOSHIFUMI KONDOU
screenshot: WatchMojo/YouTube

here’s a great sampler:

see: ‘TOP TEN BEST – STUDIO GHIBLI MOVIES’ / WatchMojo.com on YouTube




~THE COMPLETE STUDIO GHIBLI . . IFC CENTER, DOWNTOWN NYC

THE COMPLETE STUDIO GHIBLI / DEC 1, 2017 – JAN 11, 2018
IFC CENTER, 323 6TH AVE, NYC

see: STUDIO GHIBLI – IFC CENTER

see: SCHEDULE BY DATE




~’A QUIET PASSION’ . . EMILY DICKINSON FILM / TERENCE DAVIES

EM & me . . .

yesterday, May 16 . . was the day Emily died – in 1886, at her home in Amherst.
the Ghost – is in the room !!!!!

Emily-Dickinson---A-Quiet-Passion---poster

besides the current exhibit on Emily Dickinson, ‘I’m Nobody! Who are You?’ at the Morgan Library, up only til the end of the month / don’t miss it.

a feature length film . . on EMILY DICKINSON, titled, ‘A Quiet Passion’ / opened last week, here in NYC.

between the two of them / one can begin begin to feel closer to the austere Emily.
her times, her family and friends, her upbringing, and her life’s work . . with each endeavor, the museum show and the feature length film – dovetailing with the other, to fill in the blanks.

‘A QUIET PASSION’, (2017) . . . a feature film on EMILY DICKINSON,
directed by TERENCE DAVIES & starring CYNTHIA NIXON as Emily Dickinson – is now playing,
at the Quad Cinema . . here in NYC.

unlike the press I saw online just now, I would say, no – it is not a brilliant blockbuster, lordy.
what-ever . . are they thinking ?
it’s really only for . . diehard Dickinson fans; and perhaps some diehard poetry, and early Americana religious & history buffs / or . . . . ,
those with stressed-out jobs in, say . . the fashion world, who are just dying to veg-out on a pretty & yet informative / sensitive & delicately . . spaced-out 2 hour, period docu-drama, with . . good costumes.

speaking of which:
the various, period-correct / hand-tatted lace collars, seem to be authentic museum pieces ?!!!

PASSION ?
did somebody say: passion, albeit . . quiet ?

turns out, at the beating heart of the Emily Dickinson real life drama / lies a most passionate & most illicit, yet apparently hardly hidden . . love affair; that between her brother Austin, and his mistress . . MABEL LOOMIS TODD /
while of course, wouldn’t you know: EMILY and his proper wife, SUSAN . . were best friends.
go figure !!

it gets even more complicated by the evil woman Mabel’s apparent utmost devotion to Emily’s poetry, if not to Emily herself, but who really knows ?
. . turns out, it was MABEL who first edited, preserved and published Emily’s poems, after her death !! and a most interesting facet of the whole tale – and which is more fully addressed in the Morgan Library exhibit.
and, in fact not mentioned here at all. the publishing. the devotion to Emily’s work.

instead, this film’s focus, is to try / to fill us in on, cinematic-ally . . on how hard it was, for the contrarian Emily, so rebellious, and yet in her own way / so very rigid . . to come to terms with her brother’s absolute flaunting of convention / to live and to work . . amidst a very complicated betrayal of her life, on all levels.

it’s a long meandering road, but we do get . . how Emily’s stubborn, questioning & contrary views – the depth of which gave rise to her inward / haunting voice, and which followed closely nevertheless upon the strict & repressed Protestant / Puritanical upbringing she had been raised in; and whose conventional practices she upturns & questions at all turns . .

and which clearly has its own individualist / stubborn yet undeniably ‘passionate’ set of narrow beliefs, . . how that ‘QUESTIONING’ . . . is thrown right back at her, to rationalize and ask her to accept Austin’s deviant behavior.

as in: doesn’t everyone have a right to find their own path, passion, and way / and, most importantly to ber to be . . forgiven ?

there is some gentle alluding – to the fact that the long suffering wife, Susan . . might be lacking in the passion department / or else, ‘why did she resist Austin’s proposals of marriage – so many times ‘?

there’s also some ‘alluding’ to some ‘acceptable’ veneer for the affair; as to the fact that ‘Mabel’s husband might be compromised by . . venerality’/ or, as we say . . std / and in those days, it was quite a devastating situation, re final solution ‘surgery’.

at any rate, unlike the Morgan museum exhibit, which keeps a petty tight pace attuned to the intellectual & ‘literati-life’ / whirl of passion, that complicated Emily’s life, and I guess made her akin to a contemporary reality star – in her own little village, no ?
college town, or not.

‘A Quiet Passion’ . . treats us to a physical, lustful . . . scene of Emily actually walking in on Austin and Mable, getting it on, while innocently on the way to the kitchen – for a midnight snack !!!
oh my !!!!!

you know, and then all that Protestant – faith questioning /comes on-board / so you see them all argue it out – from both sides of the ‘righteous’ ledger / or any side, actually.
back & forth endlessly !!
one thing’s for sure, Mabel does not get kicked out.

but, my question is: is it ever directly addressed in the poems, or in any of the huge correspondence she is supposed to have kept up ? how Emily felt about this affair ?
what was the low-down ?

what’s in the real . . archive / and, what was . . re-imagined by these filmmakers ?

a poem is narrated overhead, after the ‘outing’, to the effect that: ‘why has my world spun out of my control’ ?!!

I don’t think there is much mention, either on paper, in letters or diaries / or at least in ones that haven’t been long burnt (!!) by now . . . because there’s absolutely no portrayal in this film, on how that relationship / the between Emily and her brother’s mistress, Mable – evolved over the years. though it seems it did, re the Morgan exhibit.
and that’s one reason I would like to read the poems – now.
searching for references . . to the ‘goings-on’ / between the . . lines !!

though, that’s where the Morgan Library pipes in again, letting you know how MABLE was a big fan of Emily’s work, and sent her letters, and Emily sent her poems.
in fact, it was red letter ‘Capital A’ MABEL LOOMIS TODD, and not wife/ friend Susan, who was to publish Emily’s poems after her death . .

the Morgan does give us some tantalizing facts, but with very little emotional detailing.
again, I guess none exists on record ?

but still, who knew . .

that under all that carefully crafted, minimalist phrasing, a questioning, troubled emotional ‘storm’, based on a most purple love triangle, though not of her own making / but one sibling step away – was a-brewing,
all along . . confounding & confusing her ????

no wonder, she looked so outward for order – in the world.

but the singular, most important aspect of this film, and one that fills in a big void at the Morgan exhibit, is not an emotional ‘coloring’, of her life, but an actual . . DEMONSTRATION !!

of EMILY, at work on her famous ‘fascicles’ / or hand-sewn tiny packets of poems, small folded paper pages stitched together / or, in other words . . as we would say today, DO-IT-YOURSELF-BOUND !!
at the ‘spine’, or fold.

although the Morgan exhibit speaks of these ‘fascicles’, or ‘packets’ – there are no photos or reproductions, let alone a precious archival one. turns out Mabel, who actually gave the name ‘fascicle’ to these little hand-sewn packages of poems, and the other early editors . . dismantled them !!
oh. no !!!!!!!!

wow, that’s a whole other story, somebody else – has to write.

A quiet passion . . ?
indeed !!!!!!!

Emily-Dickinson---A-Quiet-Passion
CYNTHIA NIXON, as a pretty good, very believable . . EMILY DICKINSON, first stabs a few holes, clear through a few leafs of folded paper, upon which she has scribbled her poems / to ready them for hand-stitched sewn binding, or DIY, as we would term it today !!

and that’s another reason, Dickinson is seeing a sudden revival, & relevance today.
her shaped pages, scraps, collages . . and DIY binding !!
are allowing us to see her / through the magic of modern digital / photographic reproduction, not just the old typeset printing of yore, as the singular poet – artist / she really was !!
the times, they just be a-catching up . . to her.
rebel, outsider. visionary. self-driven.

Emily-Dickinson---fascicle
Emily pulls the thread – through the holes, to hand-bind the tiny books into packets, the easier to store the poems.
or . . what we would call today, self-published ZINES !!!!!!!

Emily-Dickinson-stitching-poems
a priceless moment in the film . . ‘A Quiet passion’.
EMILY stitches . . a hand-bound – ‘fascicle’.
you can see how good CYNTHIA NIXON is, too.

all 3 images: screen grabs / via a short clip on the @aquietpassion / Instagram page

how strange / funny, well actually sad:
that although, as the Morgan gets it . . Emily is now being seen through new eyes as a poet-artist, and they, the filmmakers . . did make a point of re-creating this well-informed scene of her hand-binding her little books, and it’s produced so well, and so lovingly . . .
the footage doesn’t make the . . commercial trailer ???

I guess they forget, that in the end, probably . . it would be only artists and writers, in effect the scholars . . who know, and are desperate for this kind of historical detail / that would be the ones who would be watching the trailer, and they should have included it.
they should not never have dumb-ed it down, for the masses.
a ‘Hallmark’ film, despite the illicit affair – this is, not.
a cross-over film / this is . . not !!
why not revel in what it – is.
it definitely has its moments.

see: ‘A QUIET PASSION’ – OFFICIAL WEBSITE / TRAILER

A-Quiet-Passion




~TOMMY MALEKOFF . . ‘PERENNIAL SHADOWS’ / JEFFREY STARK

10 DAY SHOWING . . .

‘PERENNIAL SHADOWS’ – a film by TOMMY MALEKOFF
DEBUT SCREENING: THURS FEB 9, 2017 / 8 PM
the exhibit will run thru SUN FEB 19, 2017
JEFFREY STARK, 88 EAST BROADWAY #B11 / basement level / / LOWER EAST SIDE, NYC
HRS: see gallery website

‘Perennial Shadows’ features original music by JOE WILLIAMS & a reading by PROJECT PAT.

TOMMY-MALEKOFF---Perennial-Shadows

from the press release:

“‘Perennial Shadows’ is a film that surveys kudzu, a plant native to eastern Asia & which is considered an invasive species in the United States.

THE FILM was shot over Fourth of July weekend throughout various small towns in North Carolina and explores different ways in which kudzu can consume the landscape of a town, as it is seen in fields, on roadsides, in parking lots and other affected areas. The plant is ubiquitous, but it is unclear whether it is considered a menace or accepted as part of a regional heritage.

KUDZU was introduced from Japan into the United States in 1876 at the World’s Fair Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. It was presented as an exotic, ornamental plant that could decorate porches in the form of a vine. In 1935, as dust storms began to damage American prairies, Congress declared war on soil erosion and KUDZU was hailed as the miracle plant that would combat it. Farmers were encouraged and even offered money to plant the vine on properties in hopes of making Southern farms “live again.”

BY 1946, it was estimated that three million acres of Kudzu had been planted in the United States. The plant thrived in the climate and environment of the American Southeast and began to grow at an uncontrollable rate of nearly a foot per day. Kudzu supports itself by killing and growing on top of other plant species, making it completely capable of smothering anything form small grasses to mature trees. Killing kudzu itself is nearly impossible – it grows back almost immediately after being cut down and it can take up to 10 years for herbicides to effectively contain it. By the early 1950s, promotion for the growth of Kudzu had come to a halt.

THE PLANT that was once regarded as a miracle was now considered “the vine that ate the south”. Kudzu became a staple in southern literature as a way to establish a setting, but also as a metaphor for topics such as racism, politics and poverty. In ‘Kudzu’, a well-known poem by the novelist JAMES DICKEY, the plant provokes horror amongst a community that shuts their windows at night in fear that snake infested kudzu vines wil creep into their homes. Myth began to take over science as southerners speculated a world completely covered in the invasive vine.

KUDZU continues to spread throughout the southeast at an estimated rate of 120,000 acres per year . It consumes buildings, destroys power lines and kills native vegetation in its path. Although the plant is intrusive and not native to the United States, it is well adapted and widely established in the regions where it thrives. Kudzu has settled as a force of nature that remains essential to the landscape and culture of the American South.”

so:
and, I guess it’s inedible, and not a ‘fuel’ source . . . ???
and I guess if it shows up on your property, you have to devote a dedicated amount of labor – to keeping it at bay ??
damn, it’s the veritable terrorist . . weed.

TOMMY MALEKOFF (b. 1992) is an artist from North Carolina. He currently lives and works in New York City.

TOMMY-MALEKOFF
TOMMY MALEKOFF, at the recent ANDREW KASS / JIM JOE installation,
a downtown pop-up . . . titled: ‘VACANT POSSESSION.
which ran JAN 28 – FEB 4, 2017.
PHOTO: NANCY SMITH

hmmm, Vacant Possession . . to Perennial Shadows, and back again, NO DOUBT !!!!!!

FLASHBACK: FEB 20, 2016

I first really noticed TOMMY MALEKOFF, at his first pop-up NYC screening, which took place just about a year ago, FEB 20, 2016.
the short film was called, ‘THE OUTDOOR WORLD’, and it blew me – away.

check out the artlovers review: TOMMY MALEKOFF – ‘THE OUTDOOR WORLD’ (2016)

JOE-WILLIAMS---PHOTO-NANCY-SMITH
musician, composer, & DJ JOE WILLIAMS . . .
who writes & produces the original music for Tommy Malekoff’s films.
at the pop-up screening of ‘THE OUTDOOR WORLD’, Feb 20, 2016. Lower East Side, NYC.
PHOTO: NANCY SMITH




~’CHASING TRANE: THE JOHN COLTRANE DOCUMENTARY’, feat. artwork by RUDY GUTIERREZ

A LOVE – SUPREME . . . !!!!!

YES . . . !!!!!

I caught the new, and totally engrossing . . JOHN COLTRANE DOCUMENTARY – ‘CHASING TRANE’, directed by JOHN SCHEINFELD on the very last night of the superb DOC NYC 2016 FESTIVAL – last Thursday.

totally wonderful experience, the film’s director, JOHN SCHEINFELD attended & we, the enraptured audience . . had the intimate opportunity to hear many sweet stories from behind-the-scenes & to have many of the powerful, inspiring & esp spiritual moments of this talented, beyond-the-beyond ‘spiritual’ man’s life & music journey – brought even closer to us.

the film brings the music and the man to life – what more can you say.
a film that fills the venue with Coltrane’s music, richly accompanied by many many archival clips, even some . . just found . . early color (8MM?) DIY home movies. a long lost old recording studio clip, many various voice-overs, and profound, seriously: inserts/clips of the few surviving jazz era musicians, who knew and played with John Coltrane – were among my personal fave.

to help ‘tell’ the story, DENZEL WASHINGTON reads emotionally – from old John Coltrane interviews (which had been published in magazines throughout the years) . . as if he were the ghost come back. and then, there were some surprises. some very moving, archival, black & white video . . of when John Coltrane, and his ‘deep waters’ / wife ALICE COLTRANE, went to Japan on tour – and stopped in Nagasaki to honor the victims of the horrific atomic bombings.
and even fast forward, an amazing snippet . . of: one-helluva-crazy . . ‘super fan’ in Japan, today.
does this movie ‘catch the Trane’ – no doubt about it.
as much as a man of this stature, can be . . caught.
it tells the story, and it plays . . the music.

notably, the film also features JOHN COLTRANE inspired / illustration / artwork by RUDY GUTIERREZ, who to my total absolute delight was sitting right . . behind me !!

john-scheinfeld-jimmy-heath
on the left: JOHN SCHEINFELD, veteran documentarian (The U.S vs. John Lennon), Director of ‘Chasing Trane’ – who weaves together a visual & truly spiritual portrayal . . of the music and the man.
at the right: veteran Jazz musician, JIMMY HEATH, aka ‘Little Bird’. his cameos in the film are just so off-the-cuff profound, wise and smooth – as to be some of the most memorable ‘living’ moments in the film.
also not to forget: Jimmy’s super snazzy, but low-key style: that hidden front-buttoned, gray shirt, oh my.
JIMMY HEATH: so vibrant, yet calm. handsome. Soho ‘minimalism’- on point . . !!
this man has had some life, and the strength of inner soul – to prove it.

thom-powers-of-doc-nyc
THOM POWERS, the Artistic Director of DOC NYC.
see: DOC NYC

rudy-gutierrez-chasing-trane
RUDY GUTIERREZ . . . artist.

I had noticed Mr. Gutierrez, earlier that evening, when I was standing in line to enter the SVA theatre. he seemed really super-charged and very dynamic. animated. my inner radar went: ping. so when John Scheinfeld, said the artist who had contributed the drawings at the beginning of the film, was in the audience, & gave him a shout out, & asked him to stand up, to much applause – I turned around and there he was, same guy. right behind me. indeed, I got a little spooked.

backtrack slightly: Mr.Scheinfeld, besides using words & interviews, historic photographic footage – and most of all . . plenty of the music itself !!
to get across John Coltrane’s infinite musical ‘universe’ – esp as the music evolved, also tries using visual ‘art’ to engage the viewer more fully with the music. the film opens with the infinite cosmos, the stars and skies. and then at some point Mr. Gutierrez’s raw and powerful drawings, with their African American roots & free-form, sensuous vitality – are called into play.

spiritual, rambling, rolling, evocative – they have the feel & visual depth of black folk-telling, ‘outsider’ art, & ancient/contemporary woodblock design, the influence of the great Black Panther artist – Emory Douglas ? in a word: cultural illustration at its best. they hold in their fluid lines, and honey gold colors the inherent celebration of our country’s black roots / soul, blues and jazz. slavery, gospel, spiritual heartful-ness. America – the whole damn mess & the once invisible, black African cultural attainment – coming forth, poring forth painfully, and yet ultimately: joyfully . . just as John Coltrane’s music surely did. and does.

the colors of these paintings are not just the color of so-called ‘folk art’ but they are radiant, like colored glass. truly: the light they cast is radiant, like that of a stained glass window, in a church.
stained glass windows . . in the Cathedral of Jazz.

see: RUDY GUTIERREZ on FACEBOOK

I don’t want to get too into it, but Coltrane’s music is not just for / or a case for: the ‘initiated’. plenty of the participants, like the wonderful showman / philosopher CORNEL WEST . . knew Coltrane’s life well, and ‘got’ the intent of the music . . but, as he himself readily admitted, Mr. West could not fully ‘fly’ with the sound / that is, some of the initiated, people who loved & admired Coltrane, just could not fully let go & do the free-fall, follow the musical stream of conscious / while others – who might not know his whole life story at all – barely had words for the rapture they felt on just, just: hearing the music.
the art of Rudy Gutierrez danced to the music – and, hopefully opened a sensory pathway.

john-coltrane-trailer
JOHN COLTRANE – SCREEN GRAB from the trailer

DO YOURSELF A FAVOR:
go to the film’s official website . . ‘CHASING TRANE – The John Coltrane Documentary’ . . scroll down a bit & watch the trailer !!

rudy-gutierrez-paints-john-coltrane
RUDY GUTIERREZ, “John Coltrane, Divided Soul’, 2011.
Acrylic and crayon on board. 25.5 x 40 in.
image courtesy: the artist

rudy-gutierrez-slavery-to-jazz
RUDY GUTIERREZ, ‘Slavery, Blues, Church and Jazz’, 2011.
Acrylic, collage, mixed media on board. 30 x 40 in.
image courtesy: the artist

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH, SVA THEATRE, CHELSEA, NYC. DOC NYC FESTIVAL / NOV 17, 2016.
unless otherwise noted.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING – TO ALL.




~’MEN GO TO BATTLE’ . . conjuring up the Ghosts of the sad American story

tomorrow, THURS JULY 13, 2016 . .
is the last day you can catch ‘MEN GO TO BATTLE’ at the Anthology Film Archives, here in NYC. the film then travels to Los Angeles, and eventually it will land on Netflix, where I’m sure it will become a huge sleeper hit.
People will be watching it, every Thanksgiving.

‘MEN GO TO BATTLE’ – A FILM BY ZACHARY TREITZ (2016)
REVIEWED BY NANCY SMITH – JULY 13, 2016.

with a shout-out to the entire crew. gorgeous production, haunting sound, beautiful acting, deep not wordy screenplay, and really . . the cinematography – thank you BRETT JUTKIEWICZ !!
. . . for an indie film, wow.

last week was so heavy, with sad events in the life-blood of this country, apparently ‘civil war’ and the ‘slavery/black/white’ issue have still not been resolved, even though the Civil War took place over a century and a half ago, and brought 1/3 of all the country’s men to their death . . . that I felt I caught a really lucky break, first to be able to act upon the great reviews this sweet young film received in the mainstream press and then, even luckier . . to have the director ZACHARY TREITZ show up, unannounced . . and bring along as well – the 2 lead actors: TIM MORTON and DAVID MALONEY.
my heart stopped beating during the film, and my imagination froze to watch the Q & A in person, up close and personal, afterwards.

Men-Go-To-Battle---WSJ
‘Men Go To War’ . . Conjuring Up The Ghosts of the Civil War, Wall Street Journal. July 6, 2016.

this film is a unique take on the Civil War. yes, it is a war ‘capture’ . . . but even more so, it is a peephole look into the heart of the maelstrom as seen through the eyes of 2 struggling Kentucky farmer brothers. when you are later informed that the director, Zachary Treitz, and the 2 lead actors, David Maloney and Tom Morton, all grew up in Kentucky, you understand why this small indie feature speaks – with such a deep, and authentic voice.

the film, in fact is the inverse of all the action-driven civil war projects you may have seen . . which doesn’t diminish the horror and sadness, but perhaps brings it closer to home. from the very first frames, the brilliant intense sun on the fields, and one man walking, your heart begins to skip beats, as you realize you are entering new cinematic territory. this film is just so intense and so hazy, just like that sun. I want to say it’s ‘new age’, a ‘millennial’ take: ‘hipsters’, ‘artists’, ‘friends’, locals’ . . going back for another deeper look – but, only to alert you to the power and newness of the filmmaking, itself. the story is timeless. but everything in this film is . . close up. singular. silent. and yet still – rewarding. fulfilling, unfolding, and ultimately, moving.

‘MEN GO TO BATTLE’ vs ‘THE REVENANT’ . . . AN INVERSION.

equally powerful, one film is a young, low budget unknown director production, the other as you know: huge $$$. the American landscape, the sun, the trees, the earth itself of this young sweet passionate land . . loom just as large, if not larger . . than the greed, violence, hope, dreams, family love/bonds . . that are used to tell the tale of times – not so long ago.

while ‘THE REVENANT’ indulges in great action & fight scenes, a big budget helps – ‘MEN GO TO WAR’ narrows in on the singular exposure that implodes one brother & sets the other on a very different path, a low budget helps in that, narrow defining . . . too, truth be told. but both films focus on family ‘bonds’, in one case of a father and his half-breed son, and in the other two hard-scrabble farmer brothers . . and use them to show . . what went asunder. what got lost, what kind of terrible growing pains, and biases – and struggle to survive and beat out the other – this country shuddered under, on a very personal scale. in the face of the broader history.
and yet, still . . where are we ?

Zachary-Treitz,-Men-Go-To-Battle,-NYC-July-10,-2016---photo--Nancy-Smith
ZACHARY TREITZ, the young filmmaker behind ‘MEN GO TO BATTLE’.

what can you say, what could be more heart-stopping than to hear an intense, and not least of all innovative filmmaker, who has absolutely captured a dramatic moment in the nation’s collective history . . . and who has just won the TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL – BEST NEW NARRATIVE DIRECTOR AWARD, with his film . . . say hi, and start quietly introducing his film. a young man, who looks out at you, the way he will never be able to from the Netflix platform, and wonders . . . if you will get it ?
will his story unfold, will his film . . travel ?

I couldn’t help thinking of the first time I encountered & was able to catch a photo of the incredibly talented ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ INARRITU, in the Fall of 2003, at a Julian Schnabel opening, when he was also a young filmmaker wondering if his films would travel. he still wasn’t big in the press, even though ’21 Grams’ had just opened, and he had won a Best Film Drama, Golden Globes award the night before – for ‘Babel’.
that was, what .. 13 years ago ? and of course he swept the Oscars with ‘The Revenant’. such a powerful piece of filmmaking. and here stood this young director, just the same way. so passionate, so driven, so wondering.
like I said, the great . . inversion.
see: ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ INARRITU/artlovers archive

TIM-MORTON,-DAVID-MALONEY-&-ZACHARY-TREITZ,-NYC-July-10,-2016
TIM MORTON (Henry Mellon), DAVID MALONEY (Francis Mellon) and their Director, ZACHARY TREITZ.

I read that ZACHARY TREITZ is now a New York City based writer and director, and I believe he said that the two lead actors were also now NYC based, but that originally they all hailed from Kentucky. so put that in your pipe, and smoke it. that’s so deep, what can you say in a sentence. it’s liking taking one of those old Appalachian Civil War era, patchwork farm quilts, that jump up for a few frames in the movie . . . stitching it up, making it whole again – and sleeping in it, which I do.
the story, and the story-telling . . is in their blood. Mr. Treitz even related . . that his ancestors were on the same trajectory of the successful Small family / Small’s Corner . . . that was depicted in the film, who also had everything taken away by the land burning / men maiming Civil War, and had to go back to the log cabin that their ancestors had first homesteaded in.

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DAVID MALONEY plays Francis Mellon, the older brother.

he looks in person just like he looks in the film, a ‘local’. a wise-cracker, fire-cracker, hard working striver. he reminded of nothing so much as (former New York City) gallerist BILL BRADY. in looks, and in his Kansas City drawl, and easy ways, and the climb. the big climb . . up.

‘MEN GO TO BATTLE’ vs ‘The NIGHT OF’ . . or: THE GAME OF KNIVES !!!!!

oh lord, yes. I was actually going to call this essay, THE TRIFECTA Of KNIFE GAMES, lol but I couldn’t remember if the defining deadly blows in ‘THE REVENANT’ were by blade or bullet. though I know a lot of steel was flashed. but . . if you caught the first installment of HBO’s fabulous ‘The Night Of’ . . . the knife game that Civil War era Francis plays on Henry, (and which sets the whole narrative re the Smalls and the future Francis Mellon marriage – in motion) . . . is focused on a very unlucky, but very probable, and not accidental !! knife wound to his bro Henry’s hand / and ego . . . is very eerily reminiscent of the future world of America, NYC after 9-11, a sinister urban disaster just waiting to happen to the wonderful young actor, RIZ AHMED . . as Queens ‘resident’ and would-be hipster partier/cabbie . . Nasir “Naz” Khan, who he gets his hand sliced in a knife game – gone wrong too.

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TIM MORTON as Henry Mellon, image via WALL STREET JOURNAL.

this was the character I struggled to understand. maybe that’s a metaphor for THE WHOLE DAMN TIME.
it’s not the dominant bro, Francis whose path the film follows, it’s Henry’s. even though it seemed at the beginning, he might be the smarter of the two, or at least about money and mules !! or two are always better than one. his bro, the taller and perhaps older Francis gets increasingly aggressive with frustration, and out of hand, and stabs him in the hand . . in a knife game. which sets him in motion to being rejected by the rich town daughter and so, humiliated, both by wound, sibling rivalry, and girl .. and, plus the farm ain’t going nowhere anyways, he sets off for the Civil War. he just gets increasingly dumb-ed down and zoned out by the horror and loneliness, but then . . he gets smart again (lucky?) (well he wakes up intact under a mighty pile of dead young soldiers) and, when he comes back, sees his bro married (to the girl who rejected him) steals some dough $$$, from a squeaky wooden dresser in the ole cabin . . and rightfully so !! and sets off again, hopefully . . for happier adventures.
but, you just don’t know, because he seems kind of . . well, wounded.
you know: the walking dead.
as American as apple pie.

ghost army.
los dead boys.

see: MEN GO TO BATTLE – OFFICIAL WEBSITE

MEN-GO-TO-BATTLE---TRAILER

WATCH: ‘MEN GO TO BATTLE’ – TRAILER

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH, ‘MEN GO TO BATTLE’ screening, Anthology Film Archives, NYC. Sun July 10, 2016.
unless otherwise noted.