Saturday, 23 August 2014

The Kate Bush Story: Running up That Hill (2014, BBC4)

Very much enjoyed this 1 hour primer on the music and art of one of the great mavericks, Kate Bush, from her prodigious teenage days (writing and demoing close to 200 songs including Man With the Child in His Eyes) right thru to her 2011 record 50 Words For Snow. Very few revelations here for seasoned fans but there was plenty of great footage of Kate, performing (sometimes reminding me of another great sensual beauty Anna Karina) and in conversation (culled from archive interviews) and among the celebrity testimonials (Elton John, Tori Amos and some young pop whipper snappers I didn't recognize), I particularly enjoyed contributions from Dave Gilmour, Brett Anderson and in particular Lindsey Kemp... I love this pic of Kate as Eisenstein...


Sunday, 10 August 2014

John Waters on Pink Flamingos

Continuing a series recalling little nuggets heard on film maker commentaries. In this installment John Waters remembers filming the most infamous scene from his most infamous film. Waters once said that even if he had discovered a cure for cancer, he would still be best remembered for the scene where Divine samples a little... present left by Pat Moran's dog...
How can I tell this story in a new way ? We just waited and waited and waited. He wouldn't go. Somebody, I can't remember who gave the dog an enema with a hair applicator and dye bottle...and he did it - once. Later that night they all got together and Divine said "Oh God, am I gonna get sick from this?" They were all smoking pot and hash and they called Hopkins hospital and Divine pretended he was a mother and said "I have a retarded child and he just ate dog shit" And they said, "Well he'll be alrite. He could get the white worm, check for that". And they all howled on in a hashish frenzy !
John Waters, Pink Flamingos (New Line DVD, commentary index point 91:18)


Saturday, 2 August 2014

Ah Bill Was Here...

I can just about fit this in before the day slips away... On this day 17 years ago the great William Burroughs passed away due to complications from a heart attack he sustained the previous day. I've been reading Burroughs since I was a teenager - I can't quite remember if it was Cronenberg's film that led me to Burroughs, but any seeker of strange worlds will inevitably discover his most famous work Naked Lunch. It's a novel I re-read every year and it remains one of the most astonishing works of 20th century literature. For this post I wanted to share one of my most prized possessions, which is a Burroughs autographed copy of his 1977 book The Third Mind written in collaboration with Brion Gysin. The signing of the book comes with an interesting story - in 1979 Michael Butterworth to whom the book is dedicated to was looking to publish Burroughs' next novel Cities of the Red Night in the UK under his Savoy publishing company. Butterworth and his Savoy partner David Britton met with Burroughs at his home at The Bunker on Manhattan's Lower East Side, where the copy of The Third Mind was signed. This story was told to me by Michael Butterworth himself who sold me the book to raise funds for a new Savoy venture. And without further ado, here's one object I would run back into my burning house to save...