“This biography is truly exceptional in its prose and subject matter. If you are an avid movie fan, you’ll enjoy the wealth of information about a truly brilliant director. If you simply enjoy non-fiction material, this will be a great read as the writer presents a beautifully written story on so many levels. It’s the type of book you never want to finish.” — Hope Goldsmith
This short movie evokes the rich heritage of humankind’s creative responses to the natural environment over millennia. The creators of “water stone words” — filmmaker Ed O’Donnelly, sculptor Kenny Munro, and writer/poet Malcolm Ritchie — made the movie over a period of six days.
“Canadian-born multimedia artist and writer Clayton Patterson has lived through, and broadly documented, more of outsider culture and the evolving history of New York’s Lower East Side than anyone else of his generation. The virtually unseen archive of VHS and 8mm videos he shot there between 1986 and 2001 numbers over 2,000 tapes of astonishing diversity. … Always resolutely on the fringe, as a videographer he is best known for recording the battle between New York City police and protesters in the streets around Tompkins Square Park on the night of August 6, 1988, an event that led to multiple court appearances and appearances with Oprah and others on the talk show circuit.” — Ron Magliozzi, MoMA Curator Department of Film
Have you ever seen a more revealing photo of Brion Gysin than the one on the cover of “His Name Was Master: Texts; Interviews”? It shows a profound sense of dislocation, something Gysin often talked about but rarely showed in his demeanor—which was characteristically grand and worldly and often laced with humor. This sprawling book by Genesis Breyer P-Orridge with Peter Christoferson and Jon Savage offers Gysin in talking mode. It is Gysin uncut. Having already been comprehensively reviewed in The Brooklyn Rail, it needs no review from me. More interesting than anything I might have to say is Gysin’s account of his brief, teenage involvement with the Surrealists. The disappointment, not to say trauma, of that experience was a harbinger of later ones.
When a book begins like this, notice must be taken: “I woke up, New Year’s Day 1970, in a straitjacket. I had no memory, of anything, at least not at first. I was in an asylum on Long Island after taking an overdose of some pills a shrink gave me. Slowly awareness arose. … I asked to have the jacket removed and they did. Bit by bit memories came back. I could recall details of my childhood. I remembered I’d married Cathy, my girlfriend, months ago when she turned eighteen … In a few days I felt normal.”
Although Albert Camus does not come up in WHO’S YOUR DEATH HERO? — a conversation between the filmmaker Richard Kern and the writer who goes by the name of Supervert — he would be my candidate in answer to the title. Camus’s declaration, “I want to keep my lucidity to the last and gaze upon my death with all the fullness of my jealousy and horror,” conveys precisely what this book is about as if he’d read it himself.
Readers wanted to know all about their celebrities, or at least about my encounters with them. From A-listers and B-listers right down to Z-listers. The whole stupid alphabet top to bottom. Names to be forgotten one day. They needed the publicity and I needed the job. I wasn’t a star fucker—I’ll say that, having come from the newsroom with no more interest in celebrities than any routine reporter. I was a stand-in for star fuckers.
Three Rooms Press has just published RAY BY RAY, a combination memoir-biography by Nicca Ray, daughter of the maverick Hollywood director Nicholas Ray, with an introduction by Samantha Fuller, daughter of another Hollywood maverick, the screenwriter/director Sam Fuller. The publisher will present a livestream book launch Saturday afternoon—May 9 @ 2pm-4pm EST — featuring the […]
. . . when it seems that everybody is looking back over their shoulder more with nostalgia than disgust. I am not immune. Scrolling through some old emails, I came across this one called “from NELSON ALGREN’S LETTERS TO RAJAH.” Rajah was Roger Groening, a friend of Nelson’s and later of mine. Roger died in 2015. I think of him often. He and Nelson became friends, initially by mail, when Roger wrote him a fan letter. They remained friends for some 20 years until Nelson’s death, in 1981.
“This worldly, richly layered adaptation of Sinclair Lewis’s 1929 novel is one of the triumphs of the storied career of director William Wyler—and that’s saying a lot.” (New York Film Festival.) The chapter about the making of “Dodsworth”—and what went on behind the scenes—also was among the most pleasurable to write for my biography of Wyler.
Meet Jim Haynes in a documentary. As I’ve written before: “I’ve never met Jim. We’ve only corresponded by email about the strange case or Orwell’s typewriter. But I know that he is a man for all reasons — pleasure, food, sex, mind, books, theater, life — and that to meet him in person all you have to do is show up at his door in Paris for dinner.”