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!

Documentary: Los Angeles Meets the Megalith

Artist Michael Heizer’s enormous new work on the grounds of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art required a 340-ton boulder as its centerpiece. The boulder had to be transported over 100 miles from its quarry. At first, I was very interested in this rock. It’s huge! But soon I became more interested in the city’s reaction to the rock. So this film documents the final few miles of the rock’s journey, but it also documents the people who came out to be a part of the great Los Angeles rock transport. The film is part documentary and part personal impression. The simple fact of the matter is that the rock’s arrival is an unusual milestone in the life of this city. You can tell that simply by looking at the faces in my film.

NOVA: An Art Documentary That Entirely Excludes Black Artists

I wanted to like this film. I tried really hard. It was filmed during the Nova Contemporary Culture which happened in July and August 2010, at the MIS-Museum of Image and Sound, and SESC Pompeia, in São Paulo, Brazil.

It put me off with a few too many artist comments about art being a business and branding. There are a few real pretentious twits running through this art documentary. There’s also a lot of very nice, clean, well-behaved, pleasant, comfortable, easygoing, precise, smooth, color-balanced art going on here. I’ll be clear and remind my hesitant readers that I’m really quite the shining example of a creep. When I walk into a gallery I’m looking for the artist who is capable of throwing dirt into my eyes and laughing at me while I wipe it off. Most of the art in this film looks like it has been pre-approved for use by IBM in their next commercial.

I’m not looking for an artist who can tape off their lines straight and make them intersect at the farthest corner of the room. Draw crooked why don’t they? There’s so much goddam masking tape in this film it could wrap the Empire State Building six times over.

But if you watch this thing all the way through you just have to notice that out of all these young up-and-comers there’s apparently not a single black artist involved. I couldn’t find one. Maybe I missed something. But I went back and checked. How do you achieve something like that in 2011? Seriously? Don’t you have to work overtime hours to purposely exclude black artists from a documentary or a major art show like this? Can it be true that there are no black artists capable of sticking masking tape to a museum wall and painting inside the lines? Don’t black artists travel to Brazil?

It may not be director Isaac Niemand’s or producer ROJO‘s fault that the cast excludes black artists, but then perhaps they should have filmed a different art show. Maybe it’s Brazil’s fault.

I feel a little bad about criticizing a documentary film on Vimeo because their service is so based on mutual support and respect between artists. But that kind of thing has severe limits in the world of grownups and serious people.

Art is not preschool. It’s not about support and encouragement of creativity. Self-help bullshit doesn’t have a place in art. Art is about beauty, ugliness and thought that gets up in front of you and is willing to knock you unconscious without apology, willing to scare you, horrify you, enrage you, enrapture you, unsettle you, save you, uplift you, insult you, smash you, whither you, confuse you, ennoble you, or destroy you. But it does not ever want to please you.

Keep the pleasant art in Brazil thank you.

The Penultimate Truth About Philip K. Dick

This is a 2007 documentary produced by Martín Florio on science fiction author Philip K. Dick.  The great author behind the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the basis for the ultimately disappointing Blade Runner film, is portrayed by his many former wives and friends as having been obsessed with images that he perceived as having a divine origin.  I detect a fair amount of condescension on display here from these former close relations, especially from fellow science fiction author K.W. Jeter.  I think the general sort of hand-waving dismissal of Dick’s ideas and visions is foolish and indicates to me that Philip K. Dick made the relatively common mistake of surrounding himself with dimwits.  Decide for yourself as you watch this interesting film.

Watch parts 2 – 9 after the jump.

Continue reading