disassemble [2021)

Way behind on Pauly Deathwish.

Right off with XTRMNTR.

Shoot speed.

Kill light.

Spirit of rock and roll.

His most popular track at this time.

Straight rock.

Bad boy.

Drugs flowing through the veins.

Overdose of light.

God is the ultimate drug.

Coming back from depression.

Girlfriend goes on a date with another bloke.

Big depression.

Drugs consume.

Always creative.

From London to Paris.

Vintage keys like French band Air.

Every touch from two tracks imbued with Radiohead experimentation.

Pink Floyd bass.

Waters lives.

Here come the warm jets.

Camera clicking photos.

Virgin suicides.

Tomita.

Amazing groove.

Levon and Robbie Robertson.

Rhythm of the saints.

This bloke has nothing to live for.

His girlfriend is a total fucking bitch.

Alone in the world.

Short circuit.

Trying to overcome.

She don’t give a fuck.

Melancholy.

Info op birthed.

Suicide Girls.

Anti-Antifa.

Bloke has sophistication in attack.

Philosophy.

Wars back started BLM.

Kept powder dry.

Amazing hip hop.

Stevie Wonder.

Shaft.

The Sea and Cake.

Jazzy Jeff.

Fresh Prince.

Young MC.

Stereolab as always.

Trump supporter smart.

Assessment of coup against Deep State.

Progress report.

Situationism.

Velvet Underground.

The balls to review his own albums.

Balls?

Toxic relationship.

Electronic music.

Chemical Brothers.

Dark side of the moon.

Fever dream.

Of the wall.

Oasis.

Noel feeding back.

Liam blowing harp.

Ringo’s son on drums.

Don’t believe the truth.

Soundtrack music.

Hanna.

How she lives now.

Soylent green…2022.

Beastie Boys.

Nigel Godrich as always.

Big Star Third.

Kanga Roo.

As important as the Velvets.

Drug withdrawal.

Big Star early albums.

Chiming.

Like The Byrds.

Phil Spector lives in the glockenspiel.

Lester Bangs lives here.

Lavage.

Many disappointed patriots.

Lamenting the shitty U.S. military.

While honoring the 13.

And Colonel Scheller.

A handful of gems in a culture of shit.

Astrology.

Drag balls.

Berlin.

I love faggots as much as anyone.

David, Lou, Iggy.

Heroes.

God is the only hope.

So I prayed tonight.

Twin peaks.

Nobody loves me.

Keeping real.

Mercury Rev.

See you on the other side.

Rolling the dice.

So long, Charlie.

I’m guessing you got the vaccine.

Poor bastard.

BBC.

AstraZeneca.

Elvis.

Gene Vincent.

Eddie Cochran.

Happy Hairy (?) Hardon Q.

QAnon Christian Slater.

The first of a long succession.

The Verve.

Anthemic melodies befitting Handel.

Air.

Matrix done right.

First song to mention Event 201?

“Follow the White Rabbit”.

Shhh/peaceful.

Very Jefferson Airplane.

Psychedelic march.

Woodstock.

Altamont.

Power to the people.

Pro-Trump psych rock.

Fucking awesome!

AMERICA!!!

Be a rebel.

Kanye poser.

No vaccines, asshole!

Good job.

Adapt.

Drozd.

Great snare work.

Verging on adrenochrome.

Hefner and Monroe.

Sexy dead bodies.

Pay to grind for eternity.

Absolute Flaming Lips.

Transmissions from the satellite heart.

Keith Cleverley.

What is God gonna do for America?

What is America gonna do for God?

Nation falling apart.

Amnesiac.

Hail to the creep.

Rollerskate Skinny.

Darth Vader.

Lloyd Austin.

Scorsese Glass Kundun soundtrack.

Well-done!

Carl Stalling project!

Helmut Lachenmann.

Deserter’s Songs.

Underture.

This is a SOPHISTICATED FUCKING RECORD.

Violent Femmes.

Tom Waits.

Bobby McFerrin.

AUSTRALIA, WAKE UP YOU CUNTS!!!

Invading Sydney!

Give me ANZAC!!

Let’s go!!!

ACK-ACK!!

Fucking awesome return to Bobby Gillespie.

Great fucking song!

“Australia, Here I Come!”

Even uses the comma correctly ūüôā

Riot city blues.

“Nitty Gritty”

MC5.

Baby won’t ya?

PERTH!!!

BON SCOTT!!!!

Love and Rockets.

Bitch who dumped me.

How?

By not giving a fuck.

By proxy.

By not participating.

By being a selfish cunt.

Q Team, come in!

How many years?

Second American Revolution.

Miles Davis.

There’s a Riot Goin’ On.

Late-Godard.

Second Pauly Deathwish song to mention Jean-Luc.

Who the fuck is this nigger?!?

Def Leppard.

She’s a fucking black hole.

I take it all back.

A pathetic bleeding vagina.

Money soothes all pains.

Paul Simon.

She’s a loser.

Jack Nitzsche all the way.

Rips your heart out.

Fucking hell.

I will die lonely.

Having given it all away.

Hear the typewriter click.

Are there two people?

Or one?

QAnon stylometric analysis.

Switzerland.

Obvious split in styles.

Who?

Final track.

Primal Scream.

Manchester.

Manchester City.

Gimme the rain, the rain, the rain, the glorious rain!!!!

Luton.

I got close.

Freezing your tits off.

Seeing your breath.

We coming for the sexy bitches.

With stellar boob jobs.

Jazz funk.

Acid.

Trip hop.

Acid house.

World party.

Factory Records above all.

Baggy as fuck.

Gimme them saggy titties.

Real better than fake any day.

Ain’t returning my messages.

Would love that bitch like Cleopatra.

Suck her toes.

Conspiracy theory king and queen.

Blew it several times.

Because heartless bitch usurper.

Same birthday as Lester Bangs and Nostradamus.

Ends with Pocket Symphony.

Everybody hertz.

Ya feel me?

iTunes.

Spotify.

-PD

Bronson [2008)

Three hospitals.

Three towers.

Alan Franey running Broadmoor on recommendation of Jimmy Savile.

From 1968 onwards, Jimmy Savile had his own room at Broadmoor for his “charity” work.

Savile had a personal set of keys to Broadmoor from 1968 till 2004.

Or 2009.

Unsupervised access to some wards.

Mad max.

Black hawk down.

Tom Clancy.

I got close to Luton.

In the rain.

Wandsworth.

Gary Glitter.

James Earl Ray.

Julian Assange.

Oscar Wilde.

Pete Doherty.

Broadmoor 1982.

With that fucker Jimmy Savile on the loose.

Who’s the real criminal?

Wormwood Scrubs.

Babyshambles.

True romance.

She’s marrying Brian.

Brixton.

Mick Jagger.

Glenn Danzig.

New Jersey.

Bristol.

Rock and roll part II.

Belmarsh.

GITMO as a verb.

WikiLeaks.

Tommy Robinson.

Budgie.

Motorboating.

Nicolas Winding Refn.

Christina Hendricks.

Lively and Reynolds in New Orleans.

Honoré soon gun-grabbing again like in Katrina.

Most certainly masterpiece.

Birds.

Pajaros.

Magritte.

Un Chien andalou.

Bronson Salvador.

Jung death wish.

Verdi.

Refn Jewish Dane.

Wagner.

Little-known Attila.

It was my destiny like Rachmaninoff.

Ring cycle.

Stolen.

Richard Strauss.

Bruckner 4.

Delibes.

Deliberate.

Puccini.

Watch for Bregenz.

Q ear piece.

Lapel.

-PD

zenith [2021)

Jesus and Mary Chain.

Black tar.

Caramelized sugar.

A dangerous confection.

Hit to Death in the Future Head.

Summer is here.

I hear.

Vacuum cleaner solo.

Theremin.

Race cars.

Boys peel out.

High-speed boats.

And again with the UPC scan.

Breaking up on reentry.

Serious audio fuckery.

And from this right into kung fu.  Peter Sellers on Bowie’s Low.  Trance.  But really what we have here is excellent counterpoint.  Lunatic Harness.  Polyrhythms.  Album breaks down soon.  Fast.  Abruptly.  Mental block regarding Wuhan origin.  Harmonic outline you would never find in China.  Terry Riley.  A Rainbow in Curved Air.  Eno.  Visconti.  And the others involved.  A beauty that inspired Philip Glass.  This is what we have.  Low and heroes.  Symphonies.  Glass.  Riley.  Minimalism.  Album called zenith.  Track two already hits “Nadir”.  What’s the arc here?  Arc-en-ciel?  Arkansas?  Immediately pensive.  Very unnerving.  Pop rock track.  Into existential oblivion.  Abrupt modulation.  Uncomfortable.  Eccentric.  Was there a thought process behind this?  Commerce ruins everything.  Imperfect masterpieces.  The rules of the game.  Radiohead.  Joseph Arthur?  Sparklehorse.  The Magnetic Fields.  Gay baritone.  Sad sack confessional poetry in the world of Berryman’s Dream Songs.  Brian Jonestown Massacre.  The Verve.  Strung out in heaven.  J. Spaceman shooting up while praying.  Don’t knock it…  Drug addiction is real.  Mental problems are real.  Here we are.  2020 fucked us up.  And now we wait for the next shoe to drop.  Smashing Pumpkins.  “Silver Fuck”?  Into Sonny Rollins?  Epstein.  Gene Ammons.  Hard to tell it’s (not) real.  Which parts?  Yes.  No.  Fooling the ear with Dave Fridmann.  A totally schizophrenic record so far.  Here we go!  “Belgian Lace, Pale Black Mascara…”  This is more like it.  Rollerskate Skinny.  Martin Rev.  Lots of counterpoint here.  Fux me up.  Disney xylophones.  Internal rhyme-sanity.  Dylan puking up brilliance.  Always Roger Waters with the bass.  Always The Wall.  Pompeii.  Hail to the Thief.  Again and again.  Trying to break new ground.  And it does.  Yerself is Steam.  Album starts to make sense after five tracks.  1 & 5.  This is not bullshit.  I don’t know about the jazz.  I don’t know about the monotonous instrumentals.  Absolutely “Car Wash Hair”.  Suzanne Thorpe would be proud.  Seems to be talking about tits.  A good ride.  Drum machine chugging away.  Can still have a good groove.  Wild Acoustic Chamber Orchestra.  W.A.C.O.  Woodwinds and glockenspiel.  Boces.  What the fuck is this shit?  O.K. computer.  Sounds like some QAnon stuff.  I feel Carlos Santana coming on.  This is what Assange jams out to.  Lots of plays at Fort Meade.  Salsa.  James Brown.  Puerto Rican funk.  As AOC goes to jail.  Serious national security issues for lyrics.  Fictional charges?  Tracers everywhere.  This theory involves an actual conspiracy.  Criminal conspiracy outlined.  By players.  Event 201.  Short circuit.  Johnny 5 is alive.  Legalistic funk.  QAnon wet dream.  FISAgate.  “Spy Gate”.  Somebody send this to Sean Hannity.  Obamagate.  Where is John Durham?  Ryan Dark White knows the truth about Rosenstein.  How many coup attempts by the Left?  Back to Billy Corgan.  Ok, so we have an Alex Jones connection.  Early-’90s goodness.  Butch Vig.  Dream pop.  James Iha.  Bet this guy knows the real story about the Standard Hotel(s).  Great lyrics!  Must be some inside jokes here.  But HOLY FUCK!  He nailed the “Holes” trumpet solo.  Deserter’s Songs.  God damn it.  How did they do this?  The liner notes say Pauly Deathwish has also produced all four of these albums.  Kind of a Jimmy Page thing going on.  Great drum sound.  Yo La Tengo.  “Mayonnaise”.  Siamese Dream.  Benjamin Britten reference?  Slick!  So this guy basically had a music education on par with Jack Nitzsche.  And then went for scumbag rockroll like Phil Spector.  Gotta respect this weird marriage.  This fascination with grunge.  Dinge.  And the facility to clean it up like a chandelier.  Very fucking impressive.  No record label.  Kinda sounds like no funding.  No budget.  The Delgados.  Hate.  The Great Eastern.  More Spiritualized telephony.  The Wall.  Which is to say, Bob Erzin.  And as dark as Berlin.  Which is to say, Bob Ezrin.  Neil Young vibe.  Tonight’s the Night.  Some dark-ass shit.  Nick Kent, where y@t?  IV Thieves.  Coulda done this.  What if Chris “Frenchie” Smith had produced this?  This kid like a protege.  I hear the moniker (stage name) was bestowed by Frenchie Smith.  Strings good.  Eastern European orchestra.  Must have cost a small fortune.  Arcade Fire.  French cinema.  Romantic-era harmony.  But pierced.  Sophisticated.  Absolutely Floyd.  “In The Flesh”.  Last track on Harvest.  Words between the lines.  The promise of the ’60s went to shit in the ’70s.  Where’s QAnon?  Where’s Nakasone?  Where’s CYBERCOM?  Keith Alexander on Amazon board.  Velvet Underground feeding back.  Les Rallizes Denudes.  Primal Scream.  “Swastika Eyes”.  ADAT.  DAT machine.  Sampling.  Stereolab.  Back to another standout track.  “Chaconne”.  Will Smith in the summertime.  Some slick shit.  Messiaen.  Jonny Greenwood.  Lyrics world-class.  All those sand paintings.  Write and destroy.  Suicide girls.  Thom Yorke’s brain doesn’t have this facility.  He’s a great stylist.  Definitely an homage.  And to Godard.  Snow white and psycho.  Heavy shit for Laetitia Sadier and Tim Gane to check out.  Not far from Faust IV.  So sweet.  John Paul Jones.  Ramble on.  Charlotte Gainsbourg.  Keren Ann.  Last track noisy as fuck.  Lo-fi.  Tom Waits.  Sticks together.  Some sad shit.  Music from Big Pink.  Mournful trombone(s).  John Simon.  “Bird on a Wire”.  They don’t make records like this anymore.  David Bowie not dead.  Great phrasing.  Sinatra.  Mark Linkous.  It’s a Wonderful Life.  Believable bass.  Upright citizen.  Bayou curious.  Noise floor drops out.  Some perverse humor here.  An “album”.  It is.  Ten songs.  Ten different directions.  Some tracks stick together.  Like a deck of cards shuffled.  Lots of variety.  Circus peanuts.  The orange ones.  Pure sugar.  Chewy.  Strange texture.  Lots of melancholy here.  What’s this bloke so sad about?  Tell Thurston Moore.  You gotta hear this shit.  Pauly Deathwish’s 4th album (this summer!).  Is this guy trying to set a Guinness record or something?  And he already has a 5th one out.  Christ!

-PD

MZFPK [2021)

Breakfast cereal video game.

Pauly Deathwish’s 3rd album.

I am behind.

I can’t keep up with this guy.

Out of the gates like Flaming Lips.

30,000 feel of despair.

The gash.

Right into Isao Tomita.

Doing Debussy.

Marching.

Martial.

Fantastic noises.

Like first Stereolab album.

Here Come the Warm Jets.

Cheyenne Mountain jams.

I can no longer see what I’m typing.

  • What if I type in white? ¬†Ahh, yes. ¬†That does the trick. ¬†But it ruins my style. ¬†Louis-Ferdinand would not be happy. ¬†Totally Air. ¬†Pocket Symphony. ¬†Who is Kevin? ¬†Shields? ¬†Ayers? ¬†Fairlight. ¬†Synth clouds. ¬†Rich chords. ¬†Very sophisticated harmonies and arrangements. ¬†Cornelius from Japan. ¬†This sounds very modern. ¬†OH FUCK! ¬†Groove is in the motherfucking heart. ¬†Vogue! ¬†So on track two, we are straight up on a catwalk. ¬†But it could be Alan Vega or Martin Rev. ¬†Kinda Sun City Girls. ¬†Zoviet France. ¬†Fridmann never gets this crazy with bass. ¬†Wayne is driving it weirder. ¬†This was, from what I hear, done with ZERO budget. ¬†Is this a dance album? ¬†First you have poetry. ¬†Then you are prose. ¬†Amateurs. ¬†Into¬†Odelay. ¬†That was a good drum break. ¬†The Strokes. ¬†Fuzzy vocals. ¬†Paliament/Funkadelic. ¬†Sly Stone! ¬†Later Stereolab. ¬†Tim Gane processing. ¬†Counter melody! ¬†For fuck’s sake. ¬†Somebody listen to this bloke. ¬†Whoa. ¬†What is up with this chorus? ¬†Roland Kirk? ¬†Like in Switzerland? ¬†Definitely hitting some Os Mutantes twee. ¬†Lo-fi as fuck. ¬†Great Godard tongue in cheek. ¬†Apparently about Neil Young and Rick James being in a band together when they were young and still in Canada. ¬†Yonge Street? ¬†Beats. ¬†Drake needs to hear this. ¬†Bit crusher lisp. ¬†Spiritualized at the grocery store. ¬†Swipe barcode. ¬†Song peaks at end. ¬†Masterful mix. ¬†A true climax. ¬†Savage mastering on every album. ¬†Whole mix jumps. ¬†It works. ¬†Needle skipping. ¬†American Supreme. ¬†Claustrophobic. ¬†COVID. ¬†Sad. ¬†Scared. ¬†Apocalyptic. ¬†The concept of the gaze in cinema. ¬†Bass drops in. ¬†Feel it in your sex organs. ¬†A sexy song. ¬†“Cobra Strike”. ¬†This is unequivocally a dance album. ¬†EDM all up in here. ¬†Lots of panning. ¬†Spliff it. ¬†Micro gestures. ¬†Pandemic planning. ¬†How long will it last? ¬†Soul-crushing. ¬†Zombie metaphor. ¬†Shaun of the Dead. ¬†Masterpiece. ¬†Beatle drums. ¬†First Velvets album. ¬†Rat trails. ¬†“Black Angel’s Death Song”. ¬†“The New Pollution”. ¬†Dr. No. ¬†Walther PPK. ¬†What does this kid know? ¬†He can’t possibly know, can he? ¬†Pure phase. ¬†Visconti. ¬†Lanois. ¬†Acid jazz. ¬†Nick Cave. ¬†Montage, mon beau souci. ¬†Flaming Lips. ¬†Jeff Tweedy drawl. ¬†Jesus and Mary Chain team up with The Cure. ¬†Disintegration. ¬†Heartbreak here. ¬†Who broke his heart? ¬†Bleeps and bloops. ¬†Robot noises. ¬†Heartbeeps. ¬†Jazz funk ’70s experimental upright. ¬†Great lyrics. ¬†Superimposition. ¬†Steenbeck! ¬†Fucking great lyrics on “Snip Snip”. ¬†Oh, damn. ¬†Glockenspiel at just the right time! ¬†Icy. ¬†Air. ¬†Virgin suicides. ¬†Dazed and confused. ¬†Blonde. ¬†Braids. ¬†Like glazed bread. ¬†German. ¬†Texas. ¬†Floating world. ¬†Old world. ¬†No one to smoke a doobie with and stare up at green trees. ¬†No tits. ¬†What is wrong with this world? ¬†Rambo. ¬†Fort Bragg. ¬†Delta. ¬†Boykin. ¬†Intelligence Support Activity. ¬†Send me. ¬†George Crumb. ¬†Black angels. ¬†Jungle echoes. ¬†4thPOG. ¬†Ghosts. ¬†PSYWAR op. ¬†Make it loud. ¬†Romeo foxtrot. ¬†Shall we dance? ¬†Charlie don’t surf. ¬†Death on the dance floor. ¬†Public Image Ltd. ¬†Modes of limited transposition. ¬†Messiaen. ¬†Primal Scream. ¬†Standing with Johnny Rotten. ¬†#Trump2021 . ¬†But this is more about big tits. ¬†Giant opals. ¬†Garth Hudson. ¬†Telegraph. ¬†Total loss. ¬†Persona non grata. ¬†Window still missing. ¬†Swastika eyes. ¬†Paul Weller. ¬†XTRMNTR. ¬†Shoot speed. ¬†Kill light. ¬†Eyes owned 2020. ¬†The ugly had a chance. ¬†Masks work…if you’re ugly and need to get laid. ¬†Back with another block rocking’ beat. ¬†Private psychedelic reel. ¬†War metaphor. ¬†Is this about election? ¬†No. ¬†Too early. ¬†Look at liner notes. ¬†Living in COVID times was like a world war. ¬†War just beginning? ¬†Got my pina colada. ¬†Fuck it! ¬†Arizona. ¬†Living boldly. ¬†Masks have lost. ¬†Two weeks. ¬†Could have been a contender. ¬†Circuit bending. ¬†Talking about big titty schizophrenic. ¬†All footwork ruined. ¬†Toys. ¬†Falling apart gremlin workmanship. ¬†Awkward line about Thora Birch. ¬†Explicit warnings a little lazy. ¬†Getting a bit Lenny Bruce up in here. ¬†Russ Meyer. ¬†Second line. ¬†Double time. ¬†Crazy drums. ¬†Smooth as Sade. ¬†Tambourine is the star. ¬† One organic element. ¬†Wrote a song. ¬†She didn’t care. ¬†Wrote her 200 songs. ¬†She didn’t care. ¬†One has zero plays globally. ¬†She never bothered listening to it. ¬†Some things not meant to be. ¬†Liberals and conservatives. ¬†Go and create. ¬†Lobster. ¬†Work wasn’t. ¬†Bought her every flower imaginable. ¬†Thousands of dollars on flowers. ¬†Yoshimi laser warfare. ¬†A piano not standard. ¬†Some Tori Amos bullshit. ¬†Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli. ¬†Only the finest pianos. ¬†Internationally famous. ¬†Neither deserve it. ¬†Pulled the plug at the wrong time. ¬†Would he have still kept the same track listing? ¬†Maybe so. ¬†Heartbreak to rehash. ¬†Goes by quick. ¬†Good drum programming. ¬†James Bond future theme. ¬†Brian Wilson. ¬†Phil Spector. ¬†Absolute Nigel Godrich. ¬†Cinematic. ¬†The album that never was. ¬†But this one is worldwide, motherfuckers. ¬†Third this summer. ¬†And a fourth already out. ¬†I can hardly keep up. ¬†I need to review movies. ¬†Doesn’t Pauly Deathwish know I don’t have time for Galaga? ¬†Falling apart. ¬†Short-circuit. ¬†Charlotte Gainsbourg. ¬†Flashback to Bucolic. ¬†
  • -PD

Histoire(s) du cin√©ma {Chapter 2(a): Seul le cin√©ma} [1989]

So here we go again.

They told Beethoven it was a horrible way to begin his 5th Symphony.

With a rest.

It’s unheard.

Of.

Unheard.

Only the players see it.

Only the conductor pays it much mind.

So the first “note” (beat) is silent.

The conductor must give it.

But there are at least two schools of thought on how this is to be done.

First, a conductor might do as they always do and swiftly move their baton downwards to indicate visually that the first (silent) beat is occurring.

The only problem with this is that the symphony players must then abruptly jump onto the very next beat (which is an “upbeat”).

They happen in very quick succession.

Nothing/Everything.

The whole orchestra.

Tutti.

And they get one shot.

To come in together.

Like an attack.

[rest] da da da daaaaaaaaaa

[rest] da da da daaaaaaaaaa

The second school of thought is more practical.

It advises that, in this particular situation, a conductor giving a downbeat is not particularly helpful to the orchestra (because no sounds occur on that downbeat).

Therefore, the conductor motions the orchestra that the UPBEAT is happening.

When the baton (or hand(s)) come down, that is the precise time to make noise.

It is not hard to see why this might lead to a more successful outcome.

For the goal is to have the orchestra stick together.

An orchestra of individuals who are a mere microsecond off from one another creates a sound which is generally not highly-valued in Western music (at least not in the performance of Beethoven).

But this STILL leaves a problem.

The conductor of this second school, whose job it is to try and lead his orchestra to a faithful rendition of this masterwork, is thereby IGNORING what Beethoven wrote (or, more precisely, HOW Beethoven wrote it).

The beginning.

Godard comes back more fit and trim in this episode of his greatest work.

1a is probably the nuke.

1b is a psychological warfare manual (perhaps)

2a returns us to kinetic warfare.

More or less.

With some lulls.

But there is genuine artistry within these 26 minutes.

Like a symphony by Beethoven or Bruckner.

The beginning is weighted heavily.

1a = 51 mins. (the longest of all eight parts)

1b = 42 mins. (the second longest “movement” of the bunch)

The entire first section is, therefore (carry the zero), 1 hour and 33 minutes.

That’s the first quarter of this “ring cycle”.

And it is truly operatic.

So now we are into a bit of a scherzo.

26 minutes.

Now you can see the influence of television.

The “producers” of this film.

Canal+ (French TV channel)

CNC (part of the French Ministry of Culture [and Godard is Swiss!])

France 3 (a French TV channel)

Gaumont (a French film studio)

La Sept (a defunct French TV channel)

Télévision Suisse Romande (a defunct, French-language Swiss TV network)

Vega Films (Godard’s production company at the time)

26 minutes.

Enough time for eight 30-second commercials.

Arriving precisely at a sum total of 30 minutes’ programming.

It’s generous (no doubt owing to the fact that this was educational programming).

If you look at the true running time of an American half-hour sitcom these days, it is roughly 21 minutes of what you want to see.

The other 9 minutes are reserved for at least 18 30-second commercials.

In the tradition of James Joyce.

The pun.

Which Hitchcock so admired.

…and the Oscar goes to.

Oscar Wilde.

Irishmen in France.

The recurring scene from¬†Sal√≤…

Julius Kelp.

Literary history vs. cinematic history.

Godard has a curious frame which reads, “Your breasts are the only shells I love.”

It is a line from the poet Apollinaire.

[tes seins sont les seuls obus que j’aime]

But I must say, the exciting parts here are the “booms”!

The fighter jet exploding in midair.

Bernard Herrmann’s music from¬†Psycho¬†juxtaposed with scenes from Disney’s¬†Snow White…(1937).

The agitation of Stravinsky.

Cluster chords on the piano.

Godard’s voice fed through an Echoplex.

And, just as in 1a, world-class editing!

Let me be clear.

EDITING is what makes Histoire(s) du cinéma the greatest film ever made.

It’s what makes¬†F for Fake¬†the second-greatest film ever made.

And what makes Dog Star Man the third-greatest film ever made.

It is more pronounced in Histoire(s) and Dog Star Man.

Orson Welles’ “editing” (montage) in¬†F for Fake is done more at the story level.

It is a juxtaposition of content.

The Kuleshov effect with ideas rather than images.

[more or less]

Godard’s camera-pen makes some of its boldest strokes in this episode.

It rivals the 1a excerpt involving Irving Thalberg.

Which brings us to a very important point.

Godard CHOSE to use the concept of “double exposure” (two images–one on top of the other–but both seen to a greater or lesser extent) to ILLUSTRATE the subject and title of his greatest film.

Though it runs 266 minutes, that amount of time STILL wasn’t enough in which to lay out the history of cinema.

So images needed to be doubled up.

Tripled up.

Simultaneous to that, words needed to be spoken.

And furthermore, DIFFERENT words than those being spoken NEEDED TO BE WRITTEN ON THE SCREEN.

If you are not a native French speaker, you will probably need to have the subtitles on when viewing this film.

Which gives you A-N-O-T-H-E-R visual stimulus which must be taken into account.

Yes.

This film should be mandatory viewing for fighter pilots.

Practice your OODA loop here.

Observe.

Orient.

Decide.

Act.

Constantly looping.

If you want to survive in this jungle of meaning.

Night of the hunter…

Klimt.

Fred Astaire.

James Dean.

Burt Lancaster.

It’s all true.

That weary look.

From Hollywood.

It’s all true.

Which brings us to value (that thing which capitalism so gloriously creates…far more efficiently and in much greater abundance than with any other economic system).

“What is the value of knowing how to read this film,” you ask?

Just this.

It allows you to know how to read the complexity of the world.

It is a brain teaser.

With an infinite layering of meaning.

Like Finnegans Wake.

Joyce’s masterpiece should be the only required reading for a codebreaker.

Or a codemaker.

Take heed, National Security Agency.

Your curriculum needs adjusting.

Assign only Finnegan.

And reap your gains.

And what of Histoire(s)?

Its most direct application would be for analysts.

Whether they be Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency, or  INSCOM.

Know how to read the image.

Know how to analyze the video.

You must think outside the box.

Sudoku the fuck out of your employees.

And thereby fight crime and keep hostile actors in check.

Which is where we musicians come in.

To analyze the phone call.

To make sense of the audio…from the video.

It cannot be taught in a bootcamp.

It has to be loved.

Nurtured.

If you had one analyst like Godard, you would have a super-soldier equal to an entire special forces unit.

The trial of Joan of Arc.

Not to be confused with her passion.

Laurel and Hardy.

Gustave Courbet.

Marcel Duchamp.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Which brings us to a very delicate situation.

What is the President planning this weekend?

And with whom is he planning it?

If Ronald Reagan was an actor (and he was), then how much more talented is Donald Trump in getting a reaction with his lines…and his gestures?

HIS lines.

HIS gestures.

Accordion music.

Munch’s vampire.

A President who has been attacked from ALL sides UNRELENTINGLY for nearly four years.

And now finds himself in the midst of the hottest biological/psychological/economic war in recorded history.

Where complexity reigns.

As globalization magnifies each twitch of activity.

And this same President STILL finds himself under attack from the same “bad actors” who have unremittingly assailed him.

As in peacetime, so in war.

These enemies of the state.

Masquerading as journalists.

And their masters above them.

Straight from the latest conclave.

“…two if by sea.”

 

-PD

 

Till det som √§r vackert [2009)

This is a perfect, imperfect film.

Like Russell’s paradox.

And I hope director Lisa Langseth won’t go all Frege on me and jump out a window.

Ah!

You know…

I have spoiled nothing.

And my words are almost completely inconsequential.

But similar things have been said about La R√®gle du jeu.

And I disagree with that.

In 1939, Jean Renoir made an unqualified (perfect) masterpiece with that film.

I qualified it only to distinguish from my initial example.

And so Pure (the title of this Swedish film which is currently on Netflix in the U.S.) is much like Asia Argento’s almost-masterpiece Incompresa.

I will be quite blunt.

Lisa Langseth stretches in almost the exact same dimension that Argento did with her fine film.

But the real similarity is acting perfection.

For a young child, Giulia Salerno was magnificent (really!) in Argento’s film.

And so Ms. Argento had the secret weapon.

A (very young) actress capable of cine-magic.

Ms. Langseth was blessed with more-or-less the same thing.

But even better.

[perhaps because the actress was a little older and more experienced]

Alicia Vikander makes Till det som √§r vackert go.

I mean, really…this is an acting performance unlike any other.

And so my only gripe with Ms. Langseth, the director, is that she stretched the story TOO FAR.

But that’s ok.

Because, you know what?  Maybe I’m wrong.

Langseth and Argento both seem to be trying to tell every story they’ve ever lived…IN ONE FILM.

Argento is the guiltier party.

For most of Pure, Langseth sticks to a taut plot.

Buttressed by Vikander’s exquisite acting, the sum total is ecstasy.

And so, I find myself reacting against the Hitchcock tendency in two films.

Some directors NEED a good dose of Hitchcock.

Wes Anderson, for example.

That guy is so saccharine…that when the fingers come off in Grand Budapest, we finally have a filmmaker.

But Langseth and Argento are telling GRUELING stories throughout (in Pure and Misunderstood, respectively).

And so the heavy bass note…the one which when slammed births the 9th harmonic…it doesn’t work here.

Because the tritone.

To progress through the harmonic series.

And resolve on a tritone.

It takes a special auteur to do such.

And these two ladies are not the dodecaphonists to do so.

They have not worked out a coherent system to justify their heart-ripping atonality.

But fear not.

Pure is so, so, so worth watching!

This is as close as a film can get to masterpiece while still being flawed.

And it’s so very close, I’m wondering whether the flawed one is me.

[no doubt]

Let me correct the record (ouch…David “Scumbag” Brock)…

We get noodles with ketchup.

I mean, this film is Gummo real.

So I want to give some BIG compliments.

Till det som √§r vackert is the best Swedish film ever made by anyone not named Ingmar Bergman.

In fact, it’s BETTER than several of Bergman’s films.

Shall I name names?

Pure is worlds (WORLDS) better than Fanny and Alexander.

Bergman was in poseur mode.

That flick is so overrated.

And Lisa Langseth totally smokes (eats the lunch of) Bergman.

Further, Till det som √§r vackert is (in my humble, masculine opinion) the greatest feminist film since 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days…and in some ways EVEN BETTER than that timeless masterpiece.

And so, in general, I bow down in worship to Pure.

We have homelessness.

We have mental illness.

We have resilience.

Naturalism.  Grit.  The bird-soul of music…

The only thing we needed was an editor.

To say.

Cut.

About 20 minutes before the end.

Because Ms. Langseth wants to give us redemption.

She just seems to have her Raskolnikov in the wrong pocket.

It’s ok.

I’m the daftest son of a bitch on the planet.

One last thing…

This movie moved me so much.

The bulk of this film.

Did something to me.

Therapeutic.

And sublimely enlightening.

And so I thank God for Lisa Langseth and Alicia Vikander.

God bless you.

Thank you for making this kind of art.

As Nick Cave sang,

“It’s beauty that’s gonna save the world now”.

-PD

Seymour: An Introduction [2014)

Big gigantic balls.

It took Ethan Hawke.

Whom I formerly mistook for a hack.

To not even dabble in détournement.

But rather.

Straight-up.

Call it.

Seymour:  An Introduction

After Salinger.

But let me dispel all uncertainly early on.

This film, directed by Ethan Hawke, is a masterpiece.

The premise seemed interesting.

On Netflix.

“This should,” I thought, “be an easy one to jettison after a few painful minutes of shabby¬†mise-en-sc√®ne…[after ignoring it on my ‘list’ for quite some time]”

And though there is no Liszt (ha!), Ethan Hawke tells one of the most touching stories I’ve ever seen.

Yes, that is the correct verbiage.

In the synesthesia of cinema.

It is the story of Seymour Bernstein (and not, as the title might lead one to believe, that of Seymour Glass).

Seymour did not become the supernova which his fellow Bernstein (Leonard) became.

No, Seymour Bernstein stepped away from the stage early.

As in, curtailed his career.

As a performer.

A pianist.

[but always a son–a man]

And so what makes Ethan Hawke’s film particularly special for me is the synergy created from two colliding ideas of great power: ¬†music and anxiety.

Ah, to perform…

It’s hard (really, very fucking hard) for me to recall the good times which make me sad.

Those would be my four short years as a professional music performer.

[three of which coincided with a parallel mini-career as a studio (recording) musician]

Why did I step away?

To paraphrase Bogart in The Big Sleep, I must rank pretty high on insubordination.

I’m a rebel.

And though I pray that I never follow in the darker footsteps of Phil Spector, I was very much in what one would term popular or pop music.

But it wasn’t from a lack of training.

My bachelor’s degree, from an esteemed institution, is almost exclusively due to courses in Western classical music.

Though I am but an amateur pianist compared to Mr. Bernstein, I have a deep appreciation for what he is doing all throughout this film.

As a trained music theorist (my specialization).

And a trained composer (the activity to which I dedicated the bulk of my undergraduate hours).

But there is something more.

Seymour:  An Introduction is very much about hard work.

About craft.

What I’m doing right now.

What you are reading.

It is my craft.

Now.

Music has flown…like a fleeting bird.

And I have had to transpose my urge to create from “EveryGoodBoyDoesFine” by way of copious vicissitudes to “PleaseExcuseMyDearAuntSally” and other far-afield mnemonic devices.

Yes, dear friends…I identify with Ethan Hawke’s struggle.

And it is painful to watch him.

But he has redeemed himself with this film.

Through great doubt we travel…

What the fuck am I doing in business school?

Does my acting mean anything whatsoever to ME anymore?

To weave it, my problems were/are different than those of Mr. Hawke.

He is standing on the stage…[places, everyone]…on the X where I wish I was.

Directing a film.

You need a producer.

An “executive” producer.

You need a law firm.

Legal counsel.

[for all those archival clips you want to interpolate]

Yes…there is a long list of credited individuals at the culmination of¬†Seymour: ¬†An Introduction.

It doesn’t just say “Ethan Hawke”.

Those are the realities of film.

Godard has illustrated it as a process of check-writing.

$50 here.  [more like]  $3,000 here.

And again.  And again.

But it is obvious this was a project of love for Ethan Hawke.

And it worked.

Mr. Bernstein is 89 and still (apparently) teaches at NYU.

And what a gifted soul!

Ah…

This documentary reminded me of so many beautiful, important things!

It all moves too fast…

The pictures with Nadia Boulanger…

But Korea sticks.

At the front lines.

As jaw-dropping as Messiaen in his prison camp.

But let me speak to the choir now…

Friends of Deutsche Grammophon et al..

It’s important.

That extra dot.

To point out.

No pun intended.

A service.

PRACTICE in front of your audience (Warhol advised).

Dear Messrs,

[and scholarly, epicurean (?) womenfolk]

We have, in these minutes, footage of the great Glenn Gould.

We learn the chair.

How low.

Carry out folded.

Like a shabby parcel of manuscripts.

But Mr. Bernstein gives us the cinderblocks.

And while it is scary (Glenn Gould) in its proficiency.

The ear of God.

We get an even greater surprise.

Yes, most startling.

Clifford Curzon.

And the passion of a boy from Islington.

Precision.

Snap!

Unfurling arpeggios effortlessly.

While the baritone fingers surface the melody.

Just breathing above the water’s surface.

Curzon.

Those glasses.

We fall in love.

1977.

Year after I was born.

By 17 days.

Seymour Bernstein’s eight-year career was over.

As a public performer.

Debuting with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (!) a Brazilian piano concerto in world premiere (the 2nd by Villa-Lobos).

1969-1977

Double my career ūüôā

[in more ways than one, I’m sure]

But as an astute student in the film observes, it was many thousands of hours (of practice and other dedicatory acts) to get to that point.

Mr. Bernstein didn’t sit down with the CSO and sightread the Villa-Lobos concerto.

It wasn’t his first time playing.

And so it comes back to work.

And anxiety.

& music.

Seymour Bernstein:  God bless you for knowing the quadrivium.

That MUSIC was one of the four higher liberal arts.

For the ancient Greeks.

Along with arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy.

What isn’t mentioned is that in which I am currently dabbling.

[dabbling my ass off]

The trivium.

Those “lower” three of the liberal arts.

Grammar, logic, and rhetoric.

And the liberal arts…in opposition to the practical arts.

[the latter being such as medicine…or architecture]

{Footnotes to be provided when hell freezes over}

And so I heartily recommend you watch this documentary.

Appreciate the importance of music.

See Abraham ready to sacrifice Isaac.

[he will laugh!]

Because God gives back.

Even though Mr. Bernstein doesn’t believe.

It makes no difference to me.

I am but human.

And I have a right.

To believe.

In God.

In music.

He just disappeared.

One last concert.

At the YMCA.

Knowing when to end.

When the notes fade.

And if on a good piano,

they almost seem to swell first.

As if by magic…

-PD

Amadeus [1984)

In these waning hours of Christmas, I give you…

a fucking masterpiece.

Indeed, I regret that I cannot express myself at this time without resort to expletive, but this film by¬†MiloŇ° Forman is truly bone-chilling.

And it is especially so for me:  a former composer.

Oh, there is always still time.

To set pencil to paper (or pen, if [like Mozart], you make no mistakes).

And so we shall take under consideration the director’s cut of Amadeus¬†as our subject.

This later, R-rated version is from 2002 and adds 20 minutes to this magnum opus.

Yes, dear friends…we shall consider many things.

The uncanny embodiment of Tom Hulce.

The deft, dastardly thespian skills of F. Murray Abraham.

And even the indispensably aghast facial expressions of Richard Frank.

You might wonder why I have chosen this film to honor God on this day rather than a movie like Ernest Saves Christmas.

I will let you ponder that one for a moment.

But in the meanwhile, we shall press onwards with the young Salieri.

Please remember the pious of Western classical music.

J.S. Bach.

Antonio Vivaldi.

Haydn.  Handel.

Ok, perhaps not so much the latter.

Because he too, like Mozart, was a man of the world.

Of the earth.

A joyful sinner.

A composer with a dirty mouth.

Yes, there are miracles in this film.

Too many to count.

Salieri’s father choking on a fishbone.

For starters.

But let us consider the whole city of Vienna a miracle on assumption.

Wien.

A city in which one could dial the number 1507 and receive an A (435 Hz) with which to tune an instrument.

We have long appreciated this bit of trivia from scholar Norman Lloyd.

It has always endeared Vienna to our hearts.

A place where [it must] music flows through every pipe and connects the city in divine harmony.

But that time period for which we yearn…that “common practice” period is just the era in which Mozart is plopped down with his hilarious little giggle.

Jeffrey Jones is magnificent as the judicious statesman the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II.

Which brings us back to Christmas.

A child was born.  To a woman by the Holy Spirit.

Yet the child had an earthly father:  Joseph II (not to be confused with the Old Testament Joseph).

Mozart was a child.

Childish.

A hellion.

Yet I would choose him over Shakespeare and Einstein when it comes to true genius.

I had heard it.

With my own ears.

In my days of getting my bachelor’s of music in music theory and composition.

I had heard that Symphony #39.  I played it.

I was inside the music.

And it is like none other.

I had discovered the ingenious counterpoint in Mozart’s Symphony #41.

What lightness!  What architecture!

What a vision of the beyond…

It takes memory to succeed.

And we guard our memories.

But it takes observation to create memories.

An eye.  An ear (in the case of Mozart).

Yes, Mozart’s prowess for hearing something once and then playing it back or either writing out all the parts (if a mixed ensemble) is legendary.

His fame grew with these stunts.

His novelty tours with father Leopold and sister Nannerl (not pictured).

I had at least one Harvard/Stanford-trained Dr. of music warn me about the historical inaccuracies in this film.

But this is Hollywood.

Of course there will be changes.

And yet, it is an incredibly moving picture.

To borrow a programmatic description from Richard Strauss, this film becomes (for much of it) a symphonia domestica.

Which, let me just say, happens to grace us with the presence of genius beauty:  Elizabeth Berridge.

But always in life (even into the bubble of music) creeps in business.

Economics.

Finances.

Debt.

Mozart was gifted with a once-in-humanity talent, yet he did not have the self-marketing skills to always position his talent at the best place in the market.

Meanwhile, Signor Salieri activates a little psychological warfare (captured by¬†Forman’s camera lit by little gaslights all around…).

And so it is machinations versus manifestations of God’s glory.

The story is rich.

That a composer might write his own Requiem mass…and that the writing of that mass might just kill him.

We know how cursed the 9th symphony became after Beethoven (Bruckner,¬†DvoŇô√°k, Mahler, Schubert…).

Musicians are subject to powerful forces which attack their necessary imaginations.

Superstitions.

Salieri’s character proves that those closest to us are not necessarily to be trusted. ¬†His disingenuous psyop has Mozart working himself to death.

And that is a scary thing.

To push and push and push.

And yet, who will be remembered?

The expert in psychological warfare?

Or the symphonist?

Times have changed, but it is still the creator who has the benefit of creating goods.

Super-warriors aren’t even creating bads. ¬†They are creating nothing.

But, it might be argued, that they are doing the most good in this world which no longer appreciates the music of its heritage.

Yes, European classical music is on life-support.

But we return to Mozart, who is in not-much-better condition.

Part of me longs for the treatment of Ingmar Bergman in his underappreciated film version of Trollflöjten (The Magic Flute in Swedish).

But¬†MiloŇ° Forman does everything else right.

The scene in which Mozart and Salieri are working on the Requiem is masterful!

And still…Mozart doesn’t realize that his greatest enemy is posing as a friend to help him compose his own death from exhaustion.

It’s only when they’re throwing the lime on you that you get real perspective.

But by that point, you’re wrapped up.

It is thus a fitting Christmas story…that hatred and jealously are futile.

And that a naive genius had the keys to the musical kingdom.

For his 35 short years on Earth.

Perhaps Mozart was not a pious man, but Salieri (who burned his own crucifix in the fireplace) consistently recognized the voice of God in Mozart’s music.

I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season and that your hearts will be filled with melodies which could make the heavens weep.

-PD

The Imitation Game [2014)

When I started this site, I focused a considerable bit on “spy spoofs” (which I cheekily filed under “espionage”).

But now we return to espionage in a more serious tenor.

Cryptography, to be exact.

Keep in mind, signals must first be intercepted before they can be decrypted.

Encryption–>Key–>Decryption.

Cipher, rather than code.

[or something like that]

And this story of Alan Turing hits all the right settings of the heart.

Indeed, the seeming Asperger’s case Turing makes a particularly prescient observation in this film.

Namely, that deciphering secret messages is very much like linguistic deconstruction.

Or even like its predecessor, structural linguistics.

Finnegans Wake, by my reading, is largely a sensual text of transgression written in a sort of code language which can only be decoded by a sort of Freudian mechanism inherent in minds similarly repressed by circumstances such as censorship.

There were things which James Joyce could not just come right out and say.

Else he would have ended up like Oscar Wilde (or Alan Turing himself) [though Joyce was pretty evidently heterosexual in excelsis].

And so The Imitation Game is a very fine film indeed about Bletchley Park (and, by extension, its successor the GCHQ).

It makes one reconsider that great piece of British classical music the “Enigma Variations” by Elgar.

Perhaps it was Edward’s premonition.

That a homosexual savant would save many lives through dogged determination to solve what was arguably the ultimate puzzle of its time.

Enigma.¬† James Bond fans will know it as the Lektor Decoder (a sort of substitution…a cipher…le chiffre…a metonym if not a MacGuffin).

“the article appears to be genuine” [stop]

“go ahead with purchase” [stop]

Smooth jazz on the weather channel…heil Hitler.

It’s true.

In Nazi Germany one was to begin and end even every phone call with “Heil Hitler!”.

Stupidity has its drawbacks.

Donald Trump has been skewered roundly by nearly every globalist publication on the planet, but there is power in the words, “You’re fired.”

Turing very soon realized that breaking the Enigma code was not a job for linguists.

It was purely mathematics, applied with imagination.

One of the most crucial actors in this film, Alex Lawther, plays what might be referred to as Boy With Apple.

There is something befitting of the “agony columns” mentioned by Simon Singh in his tome The Code Book about Turing’s backstory.

In the grown-up Alan Turing, we see the affection that man can have for machine…much like a struggling record producer naming his tape machine.

In the rotors there is music…and plenty of calibration to be done.

But the machine must be allowed to work.

And we must help the machine along by giving it hints on those entities which are “safe to ignore” (a sort of semiotics of limiting the fried pursuit of completism).

Love, as it turns out, sinks the Nazis.

Because even among the rank-and-file (or, perhaps, especially among them) there was a humanity which was not snuffed out.

It’s not because Hitler was a vegetarian who loved his dog.

The machine becomes predictive.

Because we tread the same path daily.

In some way.

In most ways.

Few of us are psychogeographical drifters–few bebop our infinitely-unique situations.

And even Coltrane has some signature licks.

Some runs.

Mystical fingerings.  Scriabin arpeggiated.

Then come statistics.

And megadeath notebooks seem less cynical.

Its the same discipline which made W. Edwards Deming a saint in Japan as he resurrected their economy.

The blowback was the quality revolution.

The next in that manga pantheon perhaps Carlos Ghosn.

Yes, we Trump voters are morons.  No doubt.

You must hide the victories among losses.

Where the chess player comes in.

Hugh Alexander.

Twice.

“You could be my enemy/I guess there’s still time”

Or is it NME?

“I’ve got a pi-an-o/I can’t find the C”

Or is it sea?

I salute thee, old ocean.  A quote by Lautreamont.

Or is it Ducasse?

Perhaps it’s why Ezra Pound was institutionalized.

On the grounds of the future Department of Homeland Security?

St. Elizabeths.  Washington, D.C.

When he spilled the beans about the Federal Reserve “System” to Eustace Mullins.

Finnegans.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley share a truly touching moment of love.

A passion of minds.

Platonic.  Immortal.

But the breaking is IX.¬† “Nimrod”…

That austere moment of British greatness.

One of only a handful of UK classical strains which really matter.

Sinopoli does it nicely.  With the Philharmonia.

Only a moron like me would vote for Trump.

To suffer for one’s art.

To turn off the lights and watch the machine come to life.

A miracle of whirligigs and glowing vacuum tubes.

Director Morten Tyldum expresses this ineffable humming solitude in the seventh art.

Cinema.

This dedication.

Dedicated.

And this love.

Which leads both telegraph operator and polymath to tap out the letters of their beloved.

Forever.

 

-PD

Twin Peaks “Masked Ball” [1990)

Air Force.

Twenty-Fifth Air Force.

25 AF.

Hello.

Important to note two Scriabin piano sonatas.

No. 7.  White Mass.

And No. 9.  Black Mass.

Extending the board.

Very much chess.

Rockabilly vortex.

Alfa ROmeo.

Bravo, Charlie!

Foxtrot Tango Macarena.

Romeo Juliett.

Kilo Charlie (Duchovny in drag).

Mike.

Hotel Tango Quebec.

[Oh dear, Miss Morse!]

Godard had maybe only finished 1a and 1b by this point.

The cigar.  And the loving gaze.

Two lodges.  And soul obliteration.

The theater of cruelty and its double.

 

-PD