Sunday, January 31, 2010

Rite of Spring

Yesterday afternoon I saw a DVD of a dance performance (R0S Indexical) created by Yvonne Rainer that sourced this BBC film - Riot at the Rite. The film is a tad over-wrought, but I think maybe it might be aware of that. Hmm. Feeling a ROS obsession coming on. I watched the Pina Bausch ROS last summer and it's quite stunning and disturbing. The one I saw yesterday is equal to it, but with more of a sense of humor.

Anyway, the film.

100% Pure Adrenaline: Kathryn Bigelow Wins the DGA Best Director Award

First woman to win - ever. According to Roger Ebert, there's only been "six times in 60 years" that the winner of the DGA awards has not won the Oscar for Best Picture.

Let's watch some Point Break to celebrate, shall we?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

5 Things: Kathryn Bigelow Edition

Yeah. Forget Avatar. There are so many reasons to get behind the girl.
  1. The Work of War, at a Fever Pitch - Manohla Dargis
  2. The Director's Guild Preview - Sasha Stone
  3. The PGA Unlocks the Hurt Locker, Rocks Oscar Race - Scott Feinberg
  4. Why We Fight: The Hurt Locker and All Quiet on the Western Front - Zay Amsbury
  5. Kathryn Bigelow Interview - The A.V. Club
  1. Q & A: Kathryn Bigelow - Men's Journal
Favorite Quotes:
A master's in film criticism from Columbia left her in love with foreign directors such as Passolini and Fassbinder. Then one night she went to a double bill of Mean StreetsThe Wild Bunch, and had an epiphany. "It took all my semiotic Lacanian deconstructivist saturation and torqued it," she says. "I realized there's a more muscular approach to filmmaking that I found very inspiring."
''I really, really love her,'' says actress-director Sarah Polley (Away From Her), who starred in The Weight of Water. ''A huge problem with trying to become a female filmmaker is that you don't have a lot of role models. Kathryn was so encouraging, trying to include me in the process, showing me what she was doing.'' Bigelow also gave Polley a bit of advice. Some of it was practical — never go over budget — but some of it revealed the drive that lies beneath Bigelow's vision and intelligence. ''I'll never forget it,'' Polley says. ''She said, 'As a woman, you have to be like a dog with a bone. Everybody is going to try and take the bone away from you. You have to be a dog.'''
Oh. It's so true.

Let's talk a little bit about the I.E.D. Bigelow talks about U.S. troops confronting a faceless enemy and how disorienting and frustrating it can be. My father was in the Gulf War and he told me after his troops captured an Iraqi general that this man kept saying "how can you fight an enemy when you can't see him?" This in reference to how out of depth the Iraqis were in the face of U.S. military technology. The I.E.D. seems to be their answer. It certainly levels the playing field.

Here's what Bill Hicks had to say about the weapons used in the Gulf war:

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Clay Shirky: Looking For the Mouse

This ties nicely into my thesis - how the medium shapes content and how participatory impulses can be subverted by authority or perceived authority (and why). This is a gross oversimplification to what I'm actually writing about, but it's the main take-away. Shirky gives it a more positive spin and voices what I had hoped my research would show.

h/t Theatre Ideas

Best Performances Ever

The late 80's were a very hazy time for me and even hazier now, so don't hold me to some of these dates.
Charles Busch, Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, NYC 1986
Violent Femmes, San Francisco, 1988?
B.B. King, Circle Square Auditorium, Redwood City, CA 1989?
Stevie Ray Vaughn, Great America, Santa Clara, CA 1989?
Van Morrison, Greek Theater, Berkeley, 1990?
Penn and Teller, Las Vegas, 1995
Siti Company, The Medium, Louisville, KY 1995
Sten Rudstrom, Theater of Cruelty, San Francisco 1996
Forced Entertainment, Club of No Regrets, San Francisco 1997
Siti Company, Small Lives, Big Dreams, NYC 1997
Siti Company, Bob, SF, 2001
Siti Company, Death and The Ploughman, Davis, CA 2004 (Best performance by an actor - Will Bond.)
Grand Kabuki Theater of Japan, Boshibari (Tied to a Pole) and Sonezaki Shinju
(The Love Suicides at Sonezaki), Berkeley, 2005
Elevator Repair Service, Gatz, TBA Festival Portland, 2007
Pina BauschTanztheater Wuppertal, Ten Chi, Berkeley, 2007
Robert Wilson, lecture/performance 1. Have you been here before? 2. No. This is my first time., Stanford, 2008