Then came Nichols the film director. Saw two of his theater productions, and although both were critically heralded, it seemed as if the shows could have been directed by anyone with any level of solid craftsmanship.
He evoked superb performances and had an identity as a director. Byall that identity went out the window and he became a mainstream mulch-meister. He was simply another Herbert Ross. Or Arthur Hiller.
Or Gene Saks. Some of their best-remembered bits focus on bureaucracy and a theme also explored by Berman the way that one clings to any ounce of humanity one can find when dealing with bureaucracy.
Nichols and May were a giant success in their day, and radically different from all that had come before them — thus my noting that they deserve a Mark Twain Prize, as do Sahl, Dick Gregory, and the Smothers Brothers. For the most part, Mike and Elaine played incredibly quiet characters, so many of their routines — especially the ones on their Improvisations to Music LP and their appearances on the radio show Monitor — are master classes in deadpan humor.
Onto Nichols the filmmaker. Camelie - Vid (3) - Camelie (Vinyl) had evident skill working at actors, while not demanding too much of them in the last three and half decades with Harrison Ford, Tom Hanks, and Julia Roberts, only so much can be given in the first place. Altman, however, was able to imbue the non-stellar material that endless football game at the end! It is time, however, to reappraise Catch Nichols' first two features are considered his most important, but Carnal Knowledge is probably his best film, as it combines a tight, character-driven script, razor-sharp performances, and a modern, identifiable visual style an element Camelie - Vid (3) - Camelie (Vinyl) from Nichols' work after this.
From that point on, his visual style is nondescript barely there, just spotlight the actors and let 'em rollthe scripts are standard-issue Hollywood mulch, and the performances are a mixed bag of intensity with accents Meryl Streep, who I do think is marvelous even in absolute crap like Heartburn and Postcards and likeable nothingness the aforementioned Ms.
So Nichols shed his filmmaking identity in the early Seventies and never looked back. Even the best of Nichols' post- Dolphin movies — say, a taut, meaningful drama like Silkwoodwhich is superbly acted — could have been directed by any of the skilled Hollywood craftsmen who made such message dramas.
For instance: James Bridges could've directed Silkwood and Nichols could've made China Syndromeand the results would have very likely been the same. At times, Nichols' films have seemed identical to those of Rob Reiner. Now that he's left us, I'll choose to remember and enthusiastically celebrate the Mike Nichols of Nichols and May, who broke new ground in comedy and was extremely versatile and inventive.
Their routines might be dated in certain regards, but the majority of them like all well-crafted humor are timeless. Most of them are cartoons for Jax and Narragansett beer. One of the most elaborate is this amazing piece trumpeting GE Refrigerators. One of their best ad campaigns was for the IRS. As with their other ads, they created tiny little sketches Camelie - Vid (3) - Camelie (Vinyl) which they embodied melodramatic stereotypes and put the pitch for the product directly in the dialogue as here.
A very peculiar IRS spot in which Mike can't stop shaving the couple's dog:. Mike and Elaine only released three albums, but each one is a classic.
The bits from the albums have been reissued in various permutations. As with Nichols and May Examine Doctors :. The tracks from all three albums can be found on this YouTube poster's account. One of their best audio concept pieces is from the album Improvisations to Music. As with a lot of TV rarities, the only access the public has had to some of the best Nichols and May clips was through documentaries, like this great American Masters tribute to the team.
Thankfully, some of the best bits have been posted on YT independent of the talking heads and in their entirety. Here the pair play a dentist and his patient in a parody of hammy Hollywood romances:. A bit that has to be seen to be enjoyed in fact, I don't think it's on any of the records. Mike tries to put the moves on Elaine, as the duo play teenagers on a date. This is one of their most physical bits, as the characters try to figure out how to make out and keep smoking.
I wouldn't go so far as to accuse Nichols of becoming this character in his later life, but a quick scan of his filmography will show he made some films that could've qualified him for the award. In any case, this bit is just brilliant:. Nichols and May reunited a few times after their breakup, but their only major collaborations were the films The Birdcage and Primary Colors she wrote the scripts, he directed the films.
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Choose a monster theme and add lands! Xasthur - "Nocturnal Poisoning" from the cd with the same title; and finally Posted by valter at PM No comments:. Sunday, January 14, Gas - Zauberberg. Like The Third Eye Foundation and Svarte Greiner after him, Gas approaches very Continental-European darkly romantic themes from an unusual angle, in his case from a techno background Voigt's other projects are much more dancefloor-oriented than Gas.
The easiest way to describe his music is as a union between the foggy, throbbing minimal techno of the Berlin Chain Reaction record label on the one hand and dark late-romantic classical music on the other.
It is more revealing however to point to the many intersections between the trajectories that this particular album and the work of German painter Anselm Kiefer trace through the landscape of German culture: the scale of Gas's music is huge, as big as a primeval forest, as massive as the dimensions of Kiefer's works; many of Kiefer's paintings and "Zauberberg" share the theme of the Waldso deeply rooted in German history; both artists have been inspired by Richard Wagner - Voigt using Wagner's sound world as raw material, Kiefer exploring Wagner's mythical world; 'Gas' - the sinister nom de plume Voigt employs - and much of Kiefer's work points towards the German Third Reich.
Both artist's work generated intense debate over it's relationship to German nationalism; the atmosphere prevalent in both artist's work is one of immense desolation, of ominous tragedies, of foreboding, of brooding over some loss; both artists thematize the materiality of their art, Gas through the use of vinyl hiss together with Coil's 'Music To Play In The Dark' one of the early instances of clicks and cuts and Kiefer's through the thickness with which he applies paint to his canvasses.
Vinyl hiss, crackle and pop are for me the most beautiful aspects of the album On "Zauberberg" the hiss, crackle and pop, the sound of decripit vinyl, is also the sound of the Waldthe ancestral forest, slowly eaten by fire Posted by valter at PM 1 comment:.
Labels: Electronica. Saturday, January 06, Performance II. What little time I had for myself this week, I spent on making the playlist in my previous post, on reading Michel Surya's biography of Bataille and on thinking about Donald Cammel's and Nicholas Roeg's cinematic masterpiece ' Performance '. In a previous post hereI already ruminated on the listlessness of the eccentric, decadent, bi-sexual rockstar character played by Mick Jagger in the film - mr.
I think Turners artistic impotence is one of the key issues of the film, one that is often downplayed in reviews. In the previous post on Performance, I ascribed Turner's passivity to the possibility that from being a destabilizing, rejuvenating transgressive force, his hippiedom had already become a stabilized force.
Why had his hippiedom stabilized? I think it is important in this regard to observe that the sequestered little world mr. But Turner's sexuality is not that of Bataille. Turner's is a 'liberated' Camelie - Vid (3) - Camelie (Vinyl), the sexuality of a libertine, a sexuality which does not see sex as "the darkest and most bloody part of yourself" but Camelie - Vid (3) - Camelie (Vinyl) a naive, optimistic pleasure which must be freed from interdictions and taboos.
Speaking of sex no longer provokes the same reaction: sex is legal, only death is pornographic. Society, having 'liberated' sexuality, progressively replaces it with death which functions as a sacred rite and fundamental prohibition. In a previous, religious phase, death was revealed, recognized, while sexuality was prohibited.
Here we have the key to 'Performance'.
A Musical Joke: Presto - Sky (4), Mozart*, The Academy Of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Sir Neville Marr, Jawbreaker - Judas Priest - Defenders Of The Faith (Cassette, Album), All Through The Night - Various - Anything Goes (Vinyl, LP, Album), Я Знаю Ты Не Любишь Меня (Tony Yayo Instr) - SD* / Underwater (5) - Улицы Должны Знать 2 MP3 (CDr, A, Gallop Slope - Red Go-Cart - Skip And Make It Flower (CD, Album), Nasstasia Yard - For Someone Else (Cassette), Whats Love Got To Do With It - Tina Turner - Private Dancer (Vinyl, LP, Album), Soul Pressure (Paradise Long Haul Mix) - Harlem Zip Code - Soul Pressure (Vinyl), Les Nocturnes - Emile PrudHomme - La Valse Et La Java (Vinyl, LP, Album), Canggih - KRU (3) - Canggih (CD, Album)