Les Mysteres Du Tarot De Marseille: French Tarot Documentary

TarotDocumentaryFrance

This is a fascinating French documentary exploring the artistic connection between the oldest deck of Tarot cards known as the Tarot de Marseille and 15th century art. The documentary travels to Italy where Tarot was born to follow various leads and look at examples of the oldest Tarot decks and Italian art.

The work of Sandro Botticelli features prominently, as does Plato’s philisophical cave allegory which deals with the nature of reality and whether what we see is just a rough projection of reality. The connections between this idea and the Tarot’s Devil card are fascinating.

The documentary is entirely in French without English subtitles, so you’ll probably need to speak French to enjoy this.

Tarot Documentary Narrated by Christopher Lee

TarotDocumentary

In preparation for the upcoming Tarot section of this blog, complete with a brand new online Tarot reader, here is a television documentary on the history of Tarot cards. It’s narrated by the super-hammy Christopher Lee!

The best thing about the documentary is its brief outline of Tarot history. Its explanations of card meanings and interviews with Tarot readers are superficial and absurd. The interviewees tend to be of the type who predict actual events and make foolish assumptions rather than focus on what the cards suggest to a person and what they represent as possibilities in that person’s thinking. Most of the unfortunate people featured in this documentary are of the variety that the Tarot tradition should avoid at all costs. Pay no attention to them.

Enjoy the film for what it is and remember that if you have an interest in Tarot you won’t be disappointed in the new app which will be a very deep resource of information about the entire Tarot de Marseilles deck and will give full 10-card Celtic Cross readings with explanations and card details.

Coming soon!

1980 Documentary on the Making of Punk Zine Guttersnipe in Telford, England

GuttersnipeZine

Councillor Mrs. Mary Potts described the magazine as ‘decadent’ and ‘utter filth.’

I can’t imagine a better compliment for a zine really.

This is a 1980 television documentary produced by the BBC’s Community Programme’s Unit which specialized in what amounts to local access television. This one is a very down to earth look at a small town British punk zine called ‘Guttersnipe.’ What’s great about this film is how it lets the people do the talking. It doesn’t make the mistake that a lot of television made back in the seventies and eighties when they tried to define the punk movement in rather stilted terms which only served to expose the terror of the producers themselves when faced with something they didn’t understand.

The young people in this film speak with honesty, frustration and great humor. They weren’t willing to accept boring so they made a culture with what was at hand. We can learn a lot from these Telford punks today when we seem so in the spell of technology corporations that it is hard to imagine ever creating a culture again. How do you ever feel unsatisfied when you have an iPhone in your hand and can read anything written anywhere on earth within seconds? How do you muster the energy to stop twiddling thumbs and print something? Or play a guitar?

Sure, I love computers as much as anyone else. I find them incredibly inspiring and empowering. Perhaps it’s really the Web that’s the problem. Not the machines.

The Web has become a nearly unusable up and down scrolling mechanism so burdened underneath the weight of endless and intrusive advertising that I personally dread visiting nine out of ten web sites. There is very little pleasure in browsing anymore. It’s not a nice environment. Things pause, pop into your face, jump around the screen, go inexplicably black, stop mid video, suddenly rewind, jump left, jump right, go totally blank and infect your computer. It’s basically hell. The Web as a reading experience stinks now. No question about it.

Makes one want a zine in one’s hands to sit back and read like humans were meant to read.

Enjoy the documentary.

Flying the Airplane of Tomorrow in 1948 Popular Science Film

PlaneOfTomorrow

Northrop’s Flying Wing was a spectacular monoplane built in 1947. Apparently, people had visions of putting bars into these things and flying lots of comfortable passengers around. Too bad flying never became this luxurious at all. This promotional film from the Popular Science series has some gorgeous make believe shots inside the aircraft.

Monsanto House of the Future in 1957 Tomorrowland

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This is more interesting than it looks. Monsanto – yes, that evil company that takes dirt and turns it into a lawyer – worked with Disney to build a house of the future in Disneyland. It was intended to show how plastics would revolutionize home building. Apparently, the house was so strong that when Disney tore it down at the end of the sixties they could not break the outer shell with wrecking balls.

My primary interest in the film, aside from the mentally challenged smiling morons that inhabit Monsanto’s future vision, is the fascinatingly awkward focus on comfort as the primary aspect of life in the future. I think a great new science fiction film could be made by some nutty director who would look at the future of industrial films like this one for inspiration. It could be the antidote to the completely bleak, dystopian, post-apocalyptic dumb soup being offered by witless filmmakers like Neill Blompkamp. The thudding incomprehensibility of such work must eventually be counteracted by a house of the future and people who think they are happy!

 

 

 

Blank City: Documentary About a Time When New York Had Artists

Celine Danhier's 2010 documentary covers a time in the late 1970s when New York was exploding with music and filmmaking energy. Young artists were unafraid to take to the streets without budgets. They were paying low rents and had a community to thrive within. Watching this makes one wonder what exactly New York is for today. It seems more corporate than creative. More trendy than artsy. I think the cops shoot people who don't have budgets now. That's if they aren't too lazy to strangle them to death. Where are young artists going now? Detroit? Newark? Or do they just decide to look down, keep walking and go buy a latte?