Tuesday, April 24, 2018

la nuit américaine



On Page 100 Godard tells Losique (and the audience) that he and Truffaut have "completely, definitely fallen out...in part over money." One Page 101, Godard says:

We no longer have any contact. But it's not by chance that Day for Night won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film, because it's a typical American film. "Day for night" is a technical term, it's an effect, the Americans often shoot night scenes during the day with a filter that makes the sky look dark blue. They call that day for night [la nuit américaine] rather than really filming at night. At the same time, I think this film won the award because it did a good job of concealing, at the same time as it made people believe it was revealing what cinema can be. Something magic about which nobody understands a thing but which at the same time attracts a kind of wizardry, luminosity, people moving about in every direction, a world both very pleasant and not. This makes people happy both not to be a part of it but also to pay five dollars to regularly see a film.

Here is another history, not of cinema but of warfare.



Monday, April 23, 2018

People's Co-op Bookstore



A book launch last month for George Stanley's West Broadway and George Bowering's Some End. Both published by New Star, both in the same book -- a flip-book bound by an image from a painting by Jack Shadbolt entitled Encounter (1995).

The picture up top was taken by Renee Rodin.

Stanley read first, and for a brief second it looked like this:


Then Bowering read, and something similar happened, except the picture I took was tilted, so I had to re-frame it, making Bowering bigger, which is true -- he is. Bigger than Stanley. But now he is way bigger than Stanley and getting in the way of the event!


But this event -- it was something. Renee to my left, Jill to my right, with Fred and Pauline in front. Peter and Meredith were there. Daphne. Maria was there, not Gladys. (No one's been called Gladys for how many years now?) Scott was there, and as I watched him listen I thought of that picture of him and Stanley in San Francisco, 1970, when Scott was twenty.

There were others there, but in poems. Jamie was there. Gerry. Phyllis. Al. Peter. These were names Bowering brought with him, including James, who he claims not to know of, but he knows. He didn't read the poem "Please write a poem about James Franco", but I was hoping someone might call out: "Please read a poem about James Franco!"

Stanley brought names, but his entered the room quietly, like he does.

Rolf was there, our host. Jean was there. Someone said Jean was the youngest person in the room, and Jean protested, "No way, Michael's younger than I am. Not by much -- but he is younger!"

There were other younger people there, much younger than me, but I didn't know them. Grad students, I think, which warmed me, made me look at them in ways motivated by a desire to see these Georges read into the next century.

Will these youngers encourage that? I kept looking at them, imagining them lecturing to us, telling us something we are excited to know, asking us how our essays are coming, and no, none of these poems will be on the test.


Sunday, April 22, 2018

Capture Photography Festival



Vancouver's Capture Photography Festival runs from April 1-28. I have seen none of it thus far, which is a difficult thing to do, given that it is everywhere.

The picture up top is Adad Hannah's An Arrangement (Polka Dots) (2018). The picture is reminiscent of Herb Gilbert's Ditto performance (below), which was part of the Vancouver Art Gallery/Intermedia co-produced Electrical Connection exhibition of April, 1969, except Hannah's "performance" is a picture that highlights objects (pottery) as still-life over authorship (performer) as portraiture?


Saturday, April 21, 2018

Xmas 2016



Two Xmases ago, while flipping through a New Yorker magazine at the old Shadbolt house on Hornby Island, I found this AT&T ad from the early 1970s. I showed the ad to Hassan, who works in what was once called telecom, and he laughed, took its picture and returned to the kitchen to help Scott with the pasta.


Friday, April 20, 2018

Voice of Fire (1967)



Only when a painting speaks to me can I tell for sure if it talks.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Headline Writing



American Precedent Trumps Republic; Land Return Awaits Zymr App 


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A Day at the VAG



With my yearly membership about to expire, and a couple hours to kill before the 6:50 screening of The Black Panther, I visited the Vancouver Art Gallery to tour its shows.

On the third floor, John O'Brian's Bombhead -- a nice and spare and fitting companion to the ecstatic vomitorium that is the Murakami exhibition below it.

Bombhead highlights include Adolph Gottlieb's Untitled (1968), Robert Rauschenberg's Pages and Fuses (Page 1) (1974) and David Hockney's Picture of a Landscape (from A Hollywood Collection) (1965) together on one wall, and a series of five Nancy Spero gouache, ink on paper works from 1966-1968 on another

On the ground floor, The Herman Levy Legacy: A Cultivating Journey  -- a portrait-heavy exhibition that features work from the Impressionists to the Neo-Expressionists of the 1980s.

Is it me or does Portrait of the Painter Richard X (v.1916-1917) by Chaim Soutine


look a lot like this portrait of the critic Aaron Peck by Stephen Waddell?