The Girl Who Knew Too Much has been awarded a 2012 Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Initiative grant. I am extremely grateful and honored for their support.
“Taking the horror film as our guide we can and should begin to rethink the nature of ‘influence’ and ‘imitation’ and the meaning of ‘genre’ and ‘formula’ in contemporary popular culture – in so doing we inevitably rethink our own understanding of horror as well” – Gregory Waller
Toronto-based artist, filmmaker, writer, and photographer Bruce LaBruce is currently in production for his 8th feature film, Gerontophilia, and he needs/deserves your support. You can learn more about the project and donate funds here.
While it might not in any conventional sense be considered science fiction, Gerontophilia is at its heart a time travel movie. It takes as its subject a love affair of sorts between an eighty year old man and an eighteen year old boy: two old souls who, had they met each other somewhere else along the space/time continuum, might have become the perfect couple. The old man, Mr. Peabody, lost the love of his life, Smitty, when they were both in their twenties in a swimming accident. Alone for most of his life, and finally abandoned in a nursing home, the old man succumbs to the cruelty of the institution where he is confined, overmedicated with psychotropic drugs and sometimes tied down with restraints. His only consolation is the memories he has of Smitty that come to him almost like hallucinations as he drifts in and out of consciousness, particularly one in which the couple spend a summer’s day on the beach at the Pacific Ocean. Here it’s almost as if he’s time traveling, too.
Bruce LaBruce was a contributor to the third volume of Incognitum Hactenus, Living On: Zombies. Click here to read the original script for his amazing genre film, Otto…Or Up With Dead People.
When Amos Vogel (co-founder of the New York Film Festival and Cinema 16) passed away in April at the age of 91, I felt a great loss for culture. Perhaps though, with a re-emergence and re-interest in his legacy, we might now have the chance, with distance, to think about how his actions might inform the way we change and develop the future not just of film but of visual art as well.
In small ways this is already happening. This essay by Douglas Fogle on the Frieze blog (a must-read remembrance of Mr. Vogel) is part of this start:
Vogel’s philosophy was that in a democracy it was crucial to offer the public a range of films that would question, enlighten, and enervate with the goal of undermining previous ways of thinking and feeling. Disruption was the path to building new realities and new truths in his mind and his programming rigorously followed this critical methodology throughout his career.
Related: in 2009 LUX initiated a special project at the Zoo Art Fair where they presented artist films that respond to the idea of subversion and the moving image.
The recent You Killed Me First: Transgression of Cinema exhibition (of 1990s New York filmmakers) at the KW Institute of Contemporary Art in Berlin is perhaps one of the most relevant exhibitions that has happened in recent years. While the -innials in New York attempt to foresee the future, You Killed Me First looks back hard at a group of New York artists who quite literally said fuck you in their life, production, and work. It may not all be good or pretty but frankly, we need more of this in art and film. And if we need to look back to do this, then so be it. This exhibition needs to be in New York and Los Angeles anyway.
We propose…that any film which doesn’t shock isn’t worth looking at. …We propose to go beyond all the limits set or prescribed by taste, morality or any other traditional value system shackling the minds of Men. …There will be blood, shame, pain and ecstasy, the likes of which no one has yet imagined. – Cinema of Transgression Manifesto
Exhibition ‘zine courtesy of Cliff Lauson who said the show was “relevant to my research”. I quite like that others consider sex, violence, blood, and experimental film in relation to me. Win.
Joseph Conrad’s novel Heart of Darkness tackles a real horror, one in both the wilds of the jungle and deep inside of man. Imagine, in the eyes of artist Fiona Banner with select designers, if Orson Welles had made the film adaptation in the 1930s through fictionalized posters. The mind wonders and the eye gawks at these stunning representations of a thing that never fully existed. It plays on notions of the unseeable but knowable, a familiar trope in the horror genre.
Orson Welles wrote a screenplay based on Joseph Conrad’s novel Heart of Darkness in the late 1930s. It would have been his first film but it was rejected by the studio RKO, and he went on to make Citizen Kane instead. At the time the script was considered too political, too expensive, and too uncompromising artistically, not to mention narrative parallels with the rise of fascism in Europe. Today other parallels are drawn. – from Artangel’s “A Room for London” program, watch the performance of the script here.
Here are some of my favorite mages from her current exhibition Unboxing: the greatest film never made at 1301PE Gallery in Los Angeles:
The Greatest Film Never Made (Fiona Banner and Name Creative), 2012
Graphite on paper
View more images along with installation images here.
I pretty much can’t wait for this opening tonight:
The Birmingham art space TROVE has put out a call for short film works based on the catalogue of legendary filmmaker James Whale. Side note: my favorite Whale film is The Old Dark House from 1932 (see image – that’s Karloff’s hand!). See the call below and also see a previous post on The Girl Who Knew Too Much about Spanish experimental filmmaker Ivan Zulueta’s seminal time-based work Frank Stein (1972).
TROVE call out for shorts film
TROVE is an independent art space in Birmingham, UK. They run a monthly changing programme of contemporary art.
This August (5th-7th August 2011) TROVE will be holding a mini film/performance festival based on the works of James Whale. A film Director born in the Black Country (Dudley, West Midlands) who moved to Hollywood, USA, and made several of the worlds most famous horror films, including Frankenstein (1931), The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and The Invisible Man (1933).
TROVE are inviting you to submit either proposals for or examples of finished short film pieces that fit the themes James Whale explored in his film back catalogue.
Please send DVDs, CV and a short personal statement by July 15th 2011 to
c/o 229 Dolphin Lane
For further info please contact TROVE on info@TROVE.org.uk
And see our website http://www.TROVE.org.uk
Thanks Darren for the heads up!
While recently in Los Angeles I had the pleasure of taking a sneak peek at the insanely big and beautiful Vincent Price Art Museum as well as meeting with Director, Karen Rapp. You’ll find out all about the museum, its first series of exhibitions, and Price’s infectious mission to get art into the public arena on my piece for Rue Morgue – Vincent Price Art Museum set to re-open.
UK artist Jamie Shovlin ongoing installation on Jesus Rinzoli’s 1981 Hiker Meat is the best slasher film never made. Featuring scripts, posters, drawings, and thousands of culled horror clips, Hiker Meat is a celebration of a memory that didn’t happen except for in our generation’s joint enthusiasm for campy killer classics.
Hiker Meat has been shown in various incarnations recently in London at IBID Projects, New York at Horton Gallery, and will be at MACRO this fall. However this Thursday Milton Keynes Gallery will be showing the film’s ‘rough cut’, along with a live performance by Lustfaust, as part of their Scratch Nights series.