Thursday, 16 September 2010

Xerox Art

A few years back my good friend Joe Sidek from Penang in Malaysia,  introduced me to an elderly gentleman who apparently was the instigator of Woodstock back in 1969.

The excitement around Elliot was that the director Ang Lee was going to make a film about him which I thought was exciting though my full knowledge of the event was limited to cultural references and dare I say, a good friend of mine talking about a guy on stage at Woodstock alerting the attendees to avoid the 'brown acid'. Chris chose a bad trip to invoke this piece of history and while it seemed of little comfort at the time, in retrospect it was a kind thing to support the notion that maybe our distress wasn't entirely due to repressed psychological emotions that are the challenging hall mark of the psychedelic experience. Put it this way if you're curious about that last statement. It's near impossible to take that particular voyage without being fully confronted with the infinite beauty and/or ugliness of who we are but don't let that scare you off. You've your career to think of.

I like Ang Lee. I'm more into Asian interpretation of this trip than Hollywood. There's a good reason for this....It's called bias. But if you can park my bias next to the Lexus for just a few minutes, I'm obliged to point out that I struggle to fall in love with anyone who isn't moved by the compartmental spotlight of social roles in Chungking Express, the operatic opressive futility of And the Spring Comes or say the longest uncut fight scene in the Korean Palm d'Or winner Old Boy

Looks like me in that fight doesn't it? 

Naaa I thought not. 

The give-away is I didn't get up off the floor. I also didn't have a knife in my back but hey, I was just grateful I hadn't been thrown off the balcony; spinal injuries scare me a lot more than a good kicking.

That's enough about me. Have you ever tried Octopus? It's tasty...... It's just that I hear Octopi have an IQ with the chutzpah to start questioning how smart Dolphins are. 


Old Boy is borderline genius. It's so full of life and joyous, gutsy film making that there are a few trying errors which are either confusing or hard to ignore. Which one you suffer, is largely dependant on how much you trust yourself. A topic, believe it or not which loops back into that trip I mentioned earlier.

I can see I'm shirking my duty in this post. I'd love to fill it up with cheeky Asian film references but that's not going to do is it? OK, one more before I spill the beans.

I wanted to use the example of John Woo's Hardboiled because of his clear influence on Tarantino in Reservoir Dogs but as I can't find the exact clip, I'll leave you with 'In the Mood For Love' by Wong Kar Wai.

The definition of a good movie for me is when I ache to be part of that time and like Taking Woodstock this movie throttles my aorta to the point where I don't believe I know how beautiful life is unless I've witnessed white collar Asian girls in 1950's (ish) Hong Kong for real. Which I haven't but I do know it exists from film like this. It's almost intolerable how stylish Wong Kar Wai splashes his Pollock like proclivity to portray the female form in ....In the Mood for Love.

Getting back on track I should reveal my hand. I don't think the digitally duplicated form of anything is fair game for IP or intellectual property. Anybody with half a brain would challenge me on that but as I've spent a few years thinking, there's no more room for me to wiggle so.

If it's on the net. It's free.

I'll come back and polish off that statement and the usual spelling/grammar later. But my friends who champion the rights of artists to earn the same as CEO's (or more). They're wrong. The artist is uniquely privileged to understand why. Look at what fame and wealth does to the artist.

Apologies for the rough nature of this post. I'll edit when time permits.