Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Sound #2

And half of us is lovers losing lovers,
And half of us is lovers losing out.

The heartbroken sound of my town 
beats the heartbreaking sound of your town.

Photo of The Kills performing at The Fox, Atlanta by Wilson Lee
Lyrics from 'Half of Us' by The Kills

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Holy Hell. While trailers for The Hobbit and Dark Knight Rises are flying around the internet, I have to confess that the trailer below is for the blockbuster I am dying to see. Okay, so it's not quite a blockbuster but, in a perfect world, tales of desire, sex and humiliation would be the blockbusters and stories of talking fucking robots would be in some dusty section of straight to DVD releases.

De Facto

"I think by de facto, that the very act of the making of a film, is an act emerging from hope. So questions that surround hopelessness are in contradiction to the actual fact that there is a film"


"I think that cinema, a certain cinema, is a form of resistance. Especially when it is the habitat of a certain moral questioning; of a certain place and pleasure and inspiration of a certain democratic framing, it becomes a form of resistance evidently. The fact that we are trying, we are crossing the boundaries and transgressing these boundaries, we are also trying to communicate to others a form of resistance to stop the regression by itself — by de facto."

Elia Suleiman

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Sound #1

That's how we like
We like what we like
That's what we like
We love which is you
We got an eye
An eye for what's romance
We've got our eyes
Our eyes straight on you
You watch us dance
We dance till we're dying
We dance to free ourselves from the room
We love the sound
The sound is what found us
The sound is the blood between me and you

Photo of Carrie Brownstein/Wild Flag performing at Rock Shop, Brooklyn by Jessica Amaya

Lyrics from "Romance" by Wild Flag

Monday, December 19, 2011

Girls and Cigarettes #6

Love Letter

Dear Middle Aged Couple Kissing On The Park Bench,

thank you for making out like lusty teenagers, legs entwined and hooked over each other. As I rode past on my way home, I felt like everything was right in the world.

Dear Tash and Amiel,

thanks for getting stupidly drunk with me last night and talking about the joy of those films that feel like they are about to fall apart with urgency; that have a heart visible and beating in them, and which have not had all traces of intuition, dreams and mystery beaten out of them by the forensic rationalising of script doctors. It was great, although my sweat smells like Romanian moonshine.

Dear Carlos Reygadas,

thank you for your austerity and rigour, for your ability to create violence from stillness, and for your explosions of visceral humanism, sexual transgression and hybrid bodies at rest and motion. I love you, man, and I think about your films all the time. Thanks also for these sane words:
 "We are all naked when we go to the shower. At least twice or three times a day we are naked. And most of us have sex, once a week or more. It's a thing that occurs often. But it's not represented ever on film. So the normal thing to do would be to ask every other director why they don't have sex in their film and not ask me about it. I am the only normal one."

Dear Justin Timberlake,

thanks for 'Señorita'. It is the greatest single song to select in a closed booth Karaoke session.

Dear Roberto Bolaño,

thanks for writing "Prosa del otoño en Verona". It is sublime, like just about every damned thing you write. I scribbled a dozen pages of swirling, poorly formed prose, inspired like a lovelorn high school poet, after the thrill of reading those few sparse pages.

Dear Cat Power,

thank you for covering 'Silver Stallion'.

Dear Salvador Dali,

thanks for painting this beautiful and strange self portrait and for all those mysterious, labyrinthine sketches that you created years before you painted all that other bloated shit that people go crazy for.

Dear Patricia Clarkson,
you really are great.

Dear Eldest Brother,

thanks for taking it upon yourself to fix my bike on the weekend. To grease the chain, tighten the brake lines, fix the seat and do all the man-shaped things that I refused to do while sitting in front of a random Spanish-themed bar staring at my hands and wondering when a finished film would magically appear in them.

Dear Friends, 

who came across me while sitting in front of a random Spanish-themed bar staring at my hands and wondering when a finished film would magically appear in them. Thanks for coming along when you did, sitting with me, having a drink and talking about weird sexual proclivities. It was getting embarrassing.

Dear Bruce Davidson, Mary Ellen Mark, Abbas, Laura El-Tanawy, Maya Goded, Patrick Zachmann, Jacob Aue Sobol, Joseph Szabo, Jim Goldberg, Jason Nocito, Rachael Cassells, Stuart Franklin et al.

thank you for taking the photographs that I look at most days. They are an epic film of lost love, madness, dawn light, tenderness and burnt fingers that spirals through my mind from one week to the next.

Dear Magaly Solier,

thanks for haunting the recesses of my mind with your strange, piercing eyes and otherworldly presence.

Dear Internet,

thanks for giving me Drunk History, Rick Ross music videos, pictures of giraffes in akward poses, explorations of weird sexual proclivities, PDFs of anarchist treatises and endless videos of cats falling off ledges and people landing on their face. It makes the days and nights float past like a dream. It also allows small moments of transcendental confluence like that which came to pass this morning when I looked at the blog - - and then hours later read of the passing of Kim Jong-Il.

Dear  David Alan Harvey,

thanks for taking this photograph. It hides a special kind of bliss that never ceases to ruin me.

And finally, Dear Carlos Reygadas, 

I forgot to also thank you for reminding us that:

"Everything is touched with absolute grace and disgrace."

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


"Since I'm inarticulate, I express myself with images."
words and image: Helen Levitt

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


I almost always find my favourite photos and my favourite photographers come from the world of essay or journalistic reportage. The ones who approach the world like an observer destabilised by the emotion, events and impulses that pass before their lens are the ones who most directly affect me. The ones who make images of the world that, to abuse Ezra Pound's words on poetry, are "news that stays news". But there is also something to be said for those photographers who exist on the front line, who document those moments that must be seen, must be preserved and must be remembered. The series of images of this kind that never fails to move me is the work done by photographer Charles Moore during the civil rights movement in the deep south of the USA, particularly in Montgomery and Birmingham. His images are justly famous, but viewed as montage rather than in isolation, they embody a force and fury that is impossible to evade.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Delicate World

“You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book… or you take a trip… and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken.”

 Words: Anaïs Nin (Diaries Vol 1. 1931-1934)

Image: mine

The Late Nite Taqueria

It's been a tough month. Facing a bit of an existential collapse in the face of the haunting bureaucracies of Australian film financing I have spent long periods imagining that rather than rewriting draft after draft of scripts and submissions, I am instead running a late night taqueria on the streets of Guadalupe, Guanajuato or Guadalajara. Luckily, we had our christmas party on the weekend and we converted the bottom of our studio into a sleazy taqueria, streaming vaquero radio while I got to live out the fantasy, flipping tortillas on the grill, serving up a friend's black bean goodness and doling out my own slow roasted tomato salsa while beating myself over the head with tequila and beer. It was better than I imagined. Damn the eternal curse of this film addiction or I would forever be a happy, drunk tortilla flipper.