It’s nearly impossible to find film adaptations of Thomas Pynchon novels anywhere. I frankly don’t know why anyone would even try to film such books. It seems almost suicidally foolish. But this plucky fellow, Jeff Hoyt, has at least given it a small go. He’s filmed a sort-of version of the opening pages of Pynchon’s silly little lightweight piffle of a book, ‘Inherent Vice.’ This is where the lead detective/loafer/drug user/hippie/surfer/beach lounger/semi-retired permanent loser character, Doc, encounters his mysterious ex who presents him with a strange possibility for detective work. I like this little piece of film because it really tries to do Pynchon. The actors are Orien Longo and Rachel Kadison. The role of Doc is a very difficult thing to tackle because it really seems to require little effort. Actors who aren’t solid in their experiences always want to work at getting it down. You can’t do that with a character like Doc. If you aren’t him, you can’t play him. Simple as that. But the role of Shasta as played by Ms. Kadison is a sweet surprise. She’s damn good. She can do this work.
Krystal Cannon (PersonTV) made this short documentary about the Beat Generation in which she not only narrates as Queen Elizabeth, but also plays various roles including Allen Ginsberg, Joan Vollmer, Bob Dylan, Jack Kerouac, John Lennon, Edie Sedgwick and Abbie Hoffman. She gives a clear account of the Beat movement then moves into the general social reaction. She also makes some very interesting points about how women were sidelined even though many of them made great contributions to Beat culture. I think that what the Beats were working on is in very fine hands indeed with Ms. Cannon at work.
Thanks to Marc Campbell at Dangerous Minds.
MATURE CONTENT – NUDITY:
The great American writer, Henry Miller, walks into his bathroom in 1973 and talks about all the fascinating pictures on the walls. Here’s a guy who can kill zombies with his words. I’ve always considered him to be an antidote to the lifeless people one must engage with on a daily basis. The people who get into cars and make their way to offices, then return to relax with a television and cook at the barbecue built into the island on the patio. You can reconnect with life by reading Miller’s books. You can once again feel that the world is actually a place where art and passion exist. Miller excites imagination. He makes you want to live harder and better. Listen to him talk in his bathroom! Anyone who can be this fantastic in his bathroom has got something marvelous going on. The film was shot and directed by Tom Schiller.
My latest artwork is an image that is never quite the same twice. I worked hard on it. Framed it. Hung it in a gallery. Now you come along with your paints and markers and mess it all up. I’m curious to see what you decide to do. So when you deface my best work ever just hit the ‘upload art’ button to send your artwork to me. You can get a copy for yourself by clicking the ‘download’ button. You get 3 uploads, so try to make it count.
Have fun destroying one of my proudest creations!
B. Traven was the mysterious best-selling author of the novel, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, which was made into a classic film by director John Huston in the 1940s. But who was B. Traven? The mystery surrounding his identity remains fascinating to this day. There have been many theories about who he was, whether he was several people, whether he was an expatriate German or perhaps even the President of Mexico. People in the film world apparently thought they would have meetings with him, but were then informed that a representative would show up. But was the representative actually B. Traven?
When an artist hides his or her identity many theories develop. Modern figures who have cribbed from Traven’s playbook are the novelist Thomas Pynchon and the painter Banksy who really have no reasons for remaining anonymous beyond the artistic jolt that a secret identity personally gives them. It’s not the crooks that interest Batman after all – it’s the secret identity. A secret identity makes you better in every way because it turns you immediately into a work of art. All artists should be mysteries. At the very least, they should tell lots of lies.
I present this post and its excellent documentary as part of my preparations for an upcoming film. Getting the right mood.
Parts 3 – 6 after the jump.
Oh boy have I found a great book! Poet Jim Carroll was finishing this thing up when he passed away in 2009. I have only read 73 pages so far but I recognize this as one of the greatest novels I have ever read. A New York painter reacts strongly to some paintings by Velazquez, stumbles into Central Park and winds up in the looney bin where he finds some time to think straight. Simple and magnificent. What a damn great writer! I think this will actually be the first novel I write a review of. Now back to reading.