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 101

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Kraken from Ernie Cabat’s Magical World Of Monsters (1992) at Monster Brains.

“I think for a lot of people who don’t read pulp growing up, there’s a real surprise that the particular kind of Pulp Modernism of a certain kind of lush purple prose isn’t necessarily a failure or a mistake, but is part of the fabric of the story and what makes it weird. There’s a big default notion that ‘spare,’ or ‘precise’ prose is somehow better. I keep insisting to them that while such prose is completely legitimate, it’s in no way intrinsically more accurate, more relevant, or better than lush prose.” China Miéville at Weird Fiction Review expressing an opinion that few in the literary world ever articulate, never mind agree with. Far more common is (to pick a recent example) Ursula K Le Guin dismissing Cormac McCarthy for “pretentious prose”.

• “Militant feminist scientists brainwash a research subject to assassinate the Welsh Minister of Prostitution. Meanwhile World War III is being fought and the USA has been invaded.” The IMDB précis for Taking Tiger Mountain (1983), a feature film directed by Tom Huckabee from a script by William Burroughs, and featuring a 19-year-old pre-Aliens/Near Dark Bill Paxton. The director discusses the film’s production at Screen Slate and attends a rare screening at Spectacle, Brooklyn, NYC, today (March 25th). YouTube has a three-minute clip. Surprising this has remained buried for so long. When can the rest of us get to see it?

• Prestel have published the catalogue for In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States. AnOther previewed some of the contents. The exhibition runs at the LACMA, Los Angeles, until 6th May.

…gays only make up about 3% of the population so we spend our whole lives “translating” straight movies, books, ballets into gay terms and studying the heterosexuals around us—we know much more about them than they know about us, just as blacks know a lot about whites but whites know virtually nothing about blacks.

Edmund White (again) interviewed by Frank Pizzoli at Lambda Literary Review.

• New on Caroline True Records: Jon Savage’s “Fame”, Secret History of Post-Punk 1978–81. “Some of it doesn’t sound like anything that has happened since,” says Savage. Indeed. FACT has the track list which I was pleased to see includes Chrome among the usual suspects. Hear a 12-minute promo mix at Soundcloud.

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The Colossi of Memnon by Jules Guerin. From Egypt and its Monuments (1908) by Robert Hichens at Golden Age Comic Book Stories.

Gay Life Stories, “a colourful compendium of same-sex love through the ages” by Robert Aldrich. Reviewed here. Related: Alice Dreger asks “Are straight people born that way?”

• Clive Hicks-Jenkins created a series of designs for a Washington DC performance of Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale. Follow their evolution in reverse order at his blog.

• Hocus Pocus: Margaret Eby on the brief epistolary relationship between Harry Houdini and Arthur Conan Doyle.

Rick Poynor on more cover designs for JG Ballard’s Crash.

London, city of dreams and rivers, caught on Polaroid.

• Photo prints by Thom Ayres for sale at Society6.

B*tches in Bookshops

• Meet You In The Subway (1979) by Chrome | New Age (Version III) (1980) by Chrome | Danger Zone (1981) by Chrome | Firebomb (1982) by Chrome.