Weekend links 350

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Transition H50 (2016) by Jessica Eaton.

• One of my weekend posts in 2012 contained details about Taking Tiger Mountain, a low-budget feature film put together in 1983 by Tom Huckabee using footage originally shot in Tangier and Wales in the 1970s. Huckabee’s film is a strange “experimental” work of science fiction, based in part on William Burroughs’ Blade Runner script (no relation to the Ridley Scott film apart from the title), and described here as “a psychotropic apocalyptic odyssey”. The most notable aspect of the film for many will be the presence of a young Bill Paxton in the lead role, something I was reminded of when Paxton’s death was announced earlier this week. Five years ago there was only a short clip of Taking Tiger Mountain available on YouTube but since then a full copy has appeared; watch it here while you can. (The widescreen frame is cropped, and the sound is all in one channel but it’s still watchable.) Tom Huckabee talked about the film’s production (and the Burroughs connections) to Beatdom. A curio that deserves wider attention.

• “With Biller, the references come thick and fast. In The Love Witch, she channels, among others, 50s Hitchcock, Douglas Sirk’s lurid lushness, Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s deadpan gaze, Nicholas Ray’s poetry, Sam Fuller’s tabloid style and Todd Haynes’s revisionist sexual politics. […] Then add the Technicolor, widescreen, haute-Hollywood “women’s pictures” of the 50s, a touch of Hammer Studios, The Wicker Man, Rosemary’s Baby and any number of studio melodramas and musicals.” John Patterson talks to director Anna Biller about her new film, The Love Witch.

• Mix of the week is the Anxious Heart Mix by Moon Wiring Club, another excellent blend of electronica, industria and dialogue samples from the outer limits of the televisual sphere. Also of note this week: VF Mix 83, an Adrian Sherwood selection by Pinch, XLR8R Podcast 479 by Chris SSG, and Secret Thirteen Mix 213 by -N.

• “Anthropologically, this was going on all around me: it was amazing and nobody was dealing with it like that, so I just went for it.” Hal Fischer on his photo-art series, Gay Semiotics, which is on display at Project Native Informant, London, until 1st April.

• Coming in May from Luaka Bop, World Spirituality Classics 1: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda, the first-ever compilation of Alice Coltrane’s scarce releases on the Avatar Book Institute label.

Cinephilia looks back at Robert Wise and Nelson Gidding’s film of The Andromeda Strain (1971).

• Psychedelic Speed Freak: Remembering the blistering experimentalism of Hideo Ikeezumi.

• More witchery: S. Elizabeth talks to Pam Grossman about art, film and hex power.

• At The Quietus: Harry Sword on the strange world of Surgeon.

Leonor Fini playing cards

The Feathered Tiger (1969) by Kaleidoscope | Taking Tiger Mountain (1974) by Brian Eno | Plain Tiger (1985) by Cocteau Twins

Weekend links 317

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Alphonse Mucha’s Le Pater, a book of mystical Symbolism written, designed and illustrated by the artist, was published in a limited edition in 1899. The book has been out of print ever since but Thomas Negovan at Century Guild will be reprinting it later this year.

• “Five axioms to define Europe: the coffee house; the landscape on a traversable and human scale; these streets and squares named after the statesmen, scientists, artists, writers of the past; our twofold descent from Athens and Jerusalem; and, lastly, that apprehension of a closing chapter, of that famous Hegelian sunset, which shadowed the idea and substance of Europe even in their noon hours.” George Steiner explores his idea of Europe.

Journey To The Edge Of The Universe by Upper Astral, 43 minutes of cosmic ambience, is a cassette-only release from 1983. The album has never been reissued so secondhand copies command excessive prices but it may be downloaded here.

• Mixes of the week: Three hours of ambience by Gregg Hermetech, XLR8R Podcast 446 by [Adrian] Sherwood x Nisennenmondai, and Secret Thirteen Mix 190 by Shxcxchcxsh.

Today [Angela] Carter is well known, widely taught in schools and universities, and much of what she presaged—in terms of recycling and updating (“old wine in new bottles”, she called it), or gender role play and reversal—has become commonplace in the culture. Despite this, many critics find it difficult to situate her work properly. This is partly because Carter is so sui generis (she has literary offspring but few antecedents), and partly because many struggle with the relationship of politics and aesthetics in her writing.

Kate Webb reviews two new books about Angela Carter

• Words that will forever pursue us: Tim Page on the late Michael Herr, “rock’n’roll voice of the Vietnam War”.

• From 2015: Luigi Serafini on how and why he created an encyclopedia of an imaginary world.

James Campbell on Ginsberg, Kerouac and Burroughs: celebrating the Beats in Paris.

Fragile Beasts, an exhibition of grotesque print ornaments at Cooper Hewitt, NYC.

• Not before time, Guy Gavriel Kay wants to see an end to the plague of writing tips.

• David Bowie and Buster Keaton by Steve Schapiro.

Tom Charity on the films of Michael Cimino.

Alison Goldfrapp: photographer.

Golem Mecanique

European Man (1981) by Landscape | Europe After The Rain (1981) by John Foxx | Trans Europe Express (1994) by The One You Love

Weekend links 316

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Stasis, the second album by Pye Corner Audio for the Ghost Box label, will be released at the end of August. Design, as always, is by Julian House.

• “In the modern internet world you have what I talk about as the ‘War of the Certain’: people insisting that their absolutist viewpoint, in 140 characters, is exactly the right way to think, and anyone who doesn’t agree with them is terrible. If you’ve grown up reading Robert Anton Wilson this is awful. Having all of these certain people with no nuance or doubt, and no understanding of multiple-model agnosticism, is not going to go anywhere good.” Writer John Higgs talking to Ben Graham about RAW, Discordianism and related matters. A related matter: Higgs talks to Alan Moore about virtual-reality mysticism, creating a new counterculture, reinventing magick, and the eternal nature of time.

• Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon is out this month so features and interviews are proliferating. I’ve been avoiding them for the usual spoiler-shunning reasons, but this was worth noting: Refn’s mood-establishing playlist for the production. More Neon Demon: Cliff Martinez talks about working with Refn.

• ” ‘Paint me like one of your French girls” takes on a whole new meaning in Nicole G. Albert’s book Lesbian Decadence: Representations in Art and Literature in Fin-De-Siècle France,” says Rachel Wexelbaum.

The decaying low-baroque tableau of conjugal tenderness, features eaten away by the syphilis of time, played so well, on an anvil of whitewashed cement, alongside a municipal bowling green, that it became the provocation for a pedestrian expedition testing the Brexit boundaries of a timeless mead-hall England, before the fleet of plundering Papist Normans came sailing over the horizon. Just as tabloid gangs of Albanian drug-trafficking white slavers were now reputed to be sneaking ashore on Romney Marshes, at Deal and Camber Sands, on their Rigid Inflatable Boats, kayaks and leaking air mattresses. Could anyone bring themselves actually to cast a vote for Brexit, a commodity that sounds like a cereal bowl of Nordic cattlecake manufactured from wood shavings with an added ingredient to purge the bowels?

Iain Sinclair and company head south in turbulent times

• At Dangerous Minds: a video recording of Psychic TV live in Manchester, 1983 (I’m in the audience but up on the balcony so you won’t see me), and an interview with dub maestro Adrian Sherwood.

The Columbia Years, 1968–1969: fabled recording sessions by Betty Davis are to receive an official release by Light In The Attic.

We’re Here Because We’re Here – Jeremy Deller’s silent commemoration of the soldiers of the Somme.

• Inside Las Pozas, Edward James’ Surrealist Garden in the Mexican Jungle.

• The body as amusement park: A history of masturbation by Barry Reay.

Nicholas Olsberg on the mirage of an ideal metropolis.

The Strange World of…David Toop

Static Electrician (1994) by ELpH | Static (1998) by Redshift | Static (2001) by Monolake

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Collage by Jeneleen Floyd.

• “…slowly, block-by-block, pedestrians are starting to take back the streets.” Wayne Curtis on the hazards of being a pedestrian in a world of cars.

• Michael Hann looks back at LA’s Paisley Underground, and also talks to some of its key members.

Meighan O’Toole interviews JL Schnabel about her Blood Milk jewellery designs.

My central thesis is that camp was always a kind of signifying practice invented out of necessity (both for survival and for sheer creative pleasure) by “queer” (in the classic sense) outsiders – fags, drag queens, transsexuals, deviants, sexual renegades – and that it was always by its very nature deeply political and committed: Some people dedicated their entire lives to it! Sontag’s interpretation always seemed a bit dismissive to me somehow.

The seldom unprovocative Bruce LaBruce talking to Mark Allen about camp in the 21st century.

• Studiocanal launches an appeal to find the lost materials of The Wicker Man.

• At Flickr: Tales from a Parallel Universe and London’s Lost Music Venues.

Michael Wood tells us what we learn when we read Italo Calvino’s letters.

• Fragments of a Portrait: Francis Bacon and David Sylvester in 1966.

• An extract of a live session from Adrian Sherwood and Pinch.

• In Baba Yaga’s Hut: Amelia Glaser on Russian folk tales.

Buckminster Fuller Book Covers from the 1970s.

A Century of Proust.

The Real World (1982) by The Bangles | With A Cantaloupe Girlfriend (1982) by The Three O’Clock | Medicine Show (1984) by The Dream Syndicate | No Easy Way Down (live in Tokyo, 1984) by The Rain Parade

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Bob Staake’s cover illustration acknowledges President Obama’s statement last week in favour of gay marriages.

• Related to the above: Gay rights in the US, state by state, an infographic and a useful riposte to people like Orson Scott Card (yes, him again) who claim that gay Americans are equal in everything but the right to marry. On the same theme, “Now Obama’s come out on same-sex marriage, maybe so will I,” says Edmund White (yes, him again), and Eric Berkowitz, author of Sex & Punishment: 4,000 Years of Judging Desire, who writes that “In the period up to roughly the thirteenth century, male bonding ceremonies were performed in churches all over the Mediterranean.”

• The fifth edition of A Humument by Tom Phillips will be published soon by Thames & Hudson. The Tom Phillips website has just been relaunched in a form which now incorporates the notes I made in December about Phillips’ album cover designs.

• The Greenfriars are encouraging people to follow their example and get involved with their local communities (the habits are optional). Kudos for the choice of a Dürer knot.

The action centres on the arrival of a man who may or may not be a prophet, or the devil, or just a violent con-man, in a rotting, rain-drenched Hungarian hamlet. This is the “estate”, apparently some sort of failed collective, where all hope has been lost and all the buildings are falling down. It is inhabited by a cast of semi-crazed inadequates: desperate peasants cack-handedly trying to rip each other off while ogling each other’s wives; a “perpetually drunk” doctor obsessively watching his neighbours; young women trying to sell themselves in a ruined mill; a disabled girl ineptly attempting to kill her cat.

Sátántango by László Krasznahorkai is published in a new translation by George Szirtes

• The Quietus interviewed Kevin Shields following the long-awaited reissue of the My Bloody Valentine catalogue.

• The first volume of Russ Kick’s Graphic Canon (to which I’m a contributor) has been sighted in the wild.

Rise of the Living Type: Stylised 17th century floriated letterforms & grotesque mask sprinkles.

Ed Jansen’s Camera Obscura III, a tour of museums, galleries and venues, 2009–2011.

• io9 reports on the new translation of Roadside Picnic by Arkady & Boris Strugatsky.

Shanghai Expression: Graphic Design in China in the 1920s and 30s.

Liberty Realm, a monograph of drawings by Catharyne Ward.

• 100 mins of Adrian Sherwood‘s best dub productions.

Strange Flowers checked into the Chelsea Hotel.

Chelsea Girls (1967) by Nico | Chelsea Morning (1968) by Fairport Convention | Chelsea Hotel #2, Rufus Wainwright sings Leonard Cohen.