“He was an isolated person. As a young man, he stretched out his hand to Beauty and Love and they thrust it away. Gradually he reduced reality to exclude all but his work, filling the gaps with alcohol. He was also a solitary person. Years of traveling alone around the world with his juggling act taught him the value of solitude and the release it gave his mind. He abhorred bars, nightclubs, parties, and other people’s houses. He seems to have left no diaries, letters, no serious autobiographical material. Most of his life will remain unknown. But, as Ruskin said, the history of no life is a jest.” -Louise Brooks on W.C Fields in Lulu in Hollywood (1971 &1982)
That’s a pretty amazing Ruskin quote at the end of a pretty amazing and insightful paragraph by Louise Brooks
In the novel or the journal you get the journey. In a poem you get the arrival.
I am free and that is why I am lost.
AH POOK IS HERE - This 1994 stop-frame interpretation of recordings by the late William S. Burroughs, was crafted around a selection of tracks from the album “Dead City Radio” produced by Hal Willner & Nelson Lyon - and featuring music by John Cale.
AH POOK received Ten international film awards, was archived in the Goethe institute, and was part of the Burroughs retrospective PORTS OF ENTRY. AH POOK was also voted ‘BEST OF THE BEST’ at the 2010 Stuttgart International Trickfilm festival.
The Guardian review:
“Phillip Hunt’s gorgeous, grisly animation mates William Burroughs’s gravelly narration of Ah Pook The Destroyer’s death-dealing parable with music by John Cale at his creepiest. Hunt’s deliberate and disgusting illustrations of Burrough’s monsters of the mind are a revelation; delicately articulated puppets riddled with revolting detail. Turn down the lights, get out the headphones, and give yourself over to The Master’s ghastly visions and sonorous warnings (“The world cannot be controlled, except by accident”) for six gut-churning minutes.”
-Kate Stables / The Guardian
Director Philip Hunt
Producer Eddel Beck
Music Hal Wilner & John Cale
Produced at the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg
Distributor BFI & The British Council
PS (still reading? eh?)
You might like the following story ( spoiler alert!):
The final scene of the film is an unbroken take wherein Pook puts the gun in his mouth and we pull back until we hear a gunshot and see a red flash, cutting back into the stars… and the spirit of Pook intoning ‘falling in Love again’ among the Heavens…
The original intention was to pull the camera all the way back a good respectful distance and show Pook’s body flinch backward etc.. But we had a small problem while shooting. Now, back in the day (‘94) we did this part on film and in-camera without video assist etc. and the entire sequence was one continuous camera track made frame by frame …all adjusted incrementally by hand.
When we were nearing the end of the shot we realised the focus had messed up & we were shooting blur. We had no way of knowing how long we had been shooting blur either.. The simple shot had taken us all day to shoot due to the awkward nature of the set up and we despondently wrapped for the day and sent the film off for processing ( a 2 day turnaround due to the location we shot in at that time). Now, the films audio was pre edited, the master mix already had the gunshot set as part of the audio track. So, after 2 days we got the processed rushes back & synched them up to the audio and played out to see how much of the animation had been captured before the accidental focus pull screwed it all up…
By some bizarre co-incidence.. The moment of blur synched up EXACTLY with the gunshot.. And so that’s how we left it.
Still freaks me out even now…
I mean if I don’t answer
I don’t answer, and the reason is
that I am not yet ready to kill you
or love you, or even accept you,
it means I don’t want to talk.
I am busy, I am mad, I am glad
or maybe I’m stringing up a rope.
One more poem from yesterday’s World Poetry Day Challenge, by Lauren L.
Birthday of M. Surréalisme himself: André Breton (Feb. 18, 1896 - 1966)…
André Breton: Five Ways to Kill a Man
There are many cumbersome ways to kill a man.
You can make him carry a plank of wood
to the top of a hill and nail him to it. To do this
properly you require a crowd of people
wearing sandals, a cock that crows, a cloak
to dissect, a sponge, some vinegar and one
man to hammer the nails home.
Or you can take a length of steel,
shaped and chased in a traditional way,
and attempt to pierce the metal cage he wears.
But for this you need white horses,
English trees, men with bows and arrows,
at least two flags, a prince, and a
castle to hold your banquet in.
Dispensing with nobility, you may, if the wind
allows, blow gas at him. But then you need
a mile of mud sliced through with ditches,
not to mention black boots, bomb craters,
more mud, a plague of rats, a dozen songs
and some round hats made of steel.
In an age of aeroplanes, you may fly
miles above your victim and dispose of him by
pressing one small switch. All you then
require is an ocean to separate you, two
systems of government, a nation’s scientists,
several factories, a psychopath and
land that no-one needs for several years.
These are, as I began, cumbersome ways
to kill a man. Simpler, direct, and much more neat
is to see that he is living somewhere in the middle
of the twentieth century, and leave him there.
Photo: Henri Manuel
At least some of the stuffy poetry-canon-making gestures of the past are starting to look hopelessly old fashioned.
When you talk to yourself, you talk to the things
and of the things that are so bitter,
no other conversation is possible;
both bear death, both end blind.
Here the east sings and the west sinks pints,
fruit explodes with ripeness,
ooze from palm and rubber tree,
even the orchid runs with individual justice.
You all over, you once again open to all,
the final hour, and you soar and soar,
then one more song, and you sink, transfixed,
you know existence, and you hold your peace.
—Gottfried Benn, from “Despair”
Art Credit Zdravko Mandic
Don’t use the phone. People are never ready to answer it. Use poetry.
Merry Scientology Christmas!
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the org
every creature was audited, even the clams.
The PTS were locked up in RPF with care,
in hopes that the psyche would never get there.
The children were brainwashed all snug in their beds,
while visions of L Ron Hubbard danced in their heads.
And David sat on his throne, with Tom in is lap,
I can’t say what they were doing, but it wasn’t a nap.
When outside rose a noise in an enturbulating manner,
I rushed to the door to investigate this EnTheta Matter!.
Away to the window I rushed in a dash,
and swiftly closed the shutter, To hide away from the anonymous flash.
The news on the net from the recently blown
gave the lustre to truths didn’t we want known,
when, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but an officer to put scientology ethics in on me!
With an E-meter interrogation, so lively and quick,
I knew at that moment we really are pricks!
of omites and witholds, the accusations came,
I insisted I’d done nothing wrong and called them some names
They asked If believed all those anonymous lies,
and then I was asked if I was some psychiatrist’s spy
I was even asked if I contacted a friend who’d just blew,
Could it be, that the claims of the protesters are true?
And then, a twinkling, I saw in their eyes
the needle was floating much to my surprise
I was all just because those anons were around,
Their suppression had sent our stats cascading down.
Now for a pause from this holiday rhyme
That’s all I’ve got done and I’m a bit short on time
I’ve done my part, as much as I can do.
If you want it finished that last five paragraphs are up to you…
‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through Flag,
Not a creature was stirring, not even an anonfag.
The cans were hung by the e-meter with care,
In the hopes that LRon would reincarnate there.
The Sea Orgers were not all snug in their beds
they were continuing their work day with visions of freedom dancing in their heads
DM with scotch bottle and his dog in a sailor cap
Anticipating their mandatory gifts with Laurisse in his lap
And up on the roof there rose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter…
Ah, just another sea ogre up there with no safety harness…
I suppose if they start now it should be finished for summer opening.
The moon on the poop deck of the cling of asbestos
Gave the smell of poison to the Sea Cadets below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appease,
But a Rolls Royce vehicle, and eight beaten staffies,
With a little short midget, so hot-tempered and average,
I knew in a moment it must be Miscavige.
More vapid than L. Ron his tantrums they came,
And he whined, and shouted, and cursed them by name;
“Now, faggots! now, bitches! now, worthless to cinder!
On, Moxon! on Tom! on, Rathbun and Rinder!
To where Shelly is held! let someone else take the fall!
Now dash away! cash away! cash away all!”
I ripped open his envelope and pulled out the card,
Upon it was written “You suck cock on Hollywood Boulevard”
Page 1 of 4