1520 – Havoc in Heaven (1963, Wan Brothers)

Sun Wu Kong or Monkey King is probably and globally the most recognizable character of Chinese animation, legend, folklore. There is tons of movies, animations, gaming, Peking Opera, theme parks based on his exploits. Havoc in Heaven is one of his best and most memorable apparitions -the first Chinese feature length color animation, made by all of the 4 Wan brothers Wan Laiming (1900-1997) considered the Walt Disney of China, his twin brother Wan Guchan (1900-1995), and their younger brother Wan Chaochen (1906-1992) and a team of 30 members. The Wan’s were pioneers of animation, all originally based in Nanjing and then later Shanghai. in 1963, Havoc in Heaven was released practically one year before the Cultural Revolution shut down basically all studio activity in China. It is considered the last major animation of the Second Golden Age of Chinese Cinema. It is pure pleasure for its vivid colors, its Peking Opera hi-hat rhythm, non stop action and Chinese music score. It features incredible depiction of other worldly Chinese realms, peach gardens, clouded landscapes. It was fhe first chinese animation to break with either the Soviet or the early Fleischer or Disney studio models.

The Monkey King is initially both a folkloric as well as literary figure based on a Indian (Hanuman from Ramayana) and Chinese cultural cross-over, the best of the best but one csn go back to even pre Buddhist times. Gibbons were sacred monkeys to the people of the powerful independent states of pre- unification China like the southern Chu state of the Zhou dynasty era. In Buddhist metaphysics, the monkey came to symbolize the uncontrollable and restless mind while retaining the character of the archetypal trickster-an iconoclastic figure, akin to the Raven or Coyote, Br’er Rabbit, Spider Kwaku Anasi – a demiurge integrated and ‘domesticated’ into other ‘newer’, religious systems. In Journey to the West it became the protector spirit of Buddhist tradition, that still retains an indomitable, anarchistic and carnivalesque spirit.

I consider Journey to the West a life changing discovery for me (and many others I am sure) in terms of visual style, tempo & underpinning cultural background. The West is not the West and the East is not the East in its Eurocentric geographical perspective. It felt very important to switch the cardinal signs, the first time a major journey was in the other direction, from East to the West, not the usual Marco Polo story, and what a story or series of adventures!

Sun Wu Kong also goes down into the Dragon’s King of the East Sea Lair to retrieve a weapon worthy of himself

Secondly the West is not the West, but India. The anonymous 16th c fictional classic relates the much older legendary travels and descriptions by Xuangzang( 玄奘; fl. c. 602 – 664) to the Indian subcontinent, a 17 year long overland pilgrimage of a Buddhist monk from the late Sui and early Tang period in search for the original Buddhist scriptures in order to correct the existing translations. Clearly distances in Asia were something else compared even to the Journey to the Holy Land or their Christian Compostela variants. Historical journey to the famous Buddhist University of Nalanda was itself made into a recent Chinese movie.

The Monkey King exiting the Taoist alchemical crucible

Monkey King is a sort of embodiment of the masses, of the subjugated other or the iconic symbol of the new Communist China but also a sort of Utopian rebellious King in a state of natural plenty and constant dionysian raving, dancing and drunken celebration. He is an incredible admixture of so called low or alchemical Taoism and esoteric or dirty Buddhism. In particular in this Havoc in Heaven episode he is being enticed and corrupted by dignitaries sent to attracted him into a lowly position, the lower rungs of heavenly ignominious jobs still quite humiliating position, basically just an empty title. At the same time, like a Eastern Prometheus but with much more obscene humor and less heroic Western machismo, he gets drunken after crashing a dinner party he is actually not invited to, and eats the most precious attributes of Heaven: Lao Zi’s immortality pills as well as the peaches of the Heavenly Garden that take hundreds of years to ripen and are destined only for the select few. Just to ponder more at his powers of transformation (he is a changeling and shapeshifter supreme) he is condemned to be incinerated in the 8 trigram furnace (the alchemical laboratory of the immortality pills) at the suggestion of old grumpy Lao Zi, who wants his pills back and hopes to distill them back from the body of the monkey. Well, as suspected by some of you, it does not work. Not only does the Monkey King survive his ordeal, but he is fortified by it, in his hiding place, after smoldering in the crucible he becomes practically indestructible. Neither blade or fire can cut or hurt him any longer. All the banishment and excommunication is being dialectically reversed and instead produces the most incredible enemy the heavenly hierarchy has seen. Ultimately Uproar in Heaven or Havoc in Heaven is an unabashed work of materialism – as the vicissitudes of physical existence and marxism – as suggested by MacKenzie Wark in Molecular Red – the view from below, looking unseduced at the abstractions of power (Alexander Galloway).

Various demons, fantastic beings, beings more powerful and bigger than the Monkey King are bested one after another

Another power of his is multiplication (or cloning if you prefer the more biotech reading). He uses his hairs, and magically blows them into copies of himself that have the same capacities and powers. All the armies and all the generals, all the all mighty creatures of heaven sent to teach him a lesson, find themselves an equal match, not only that, he is able to outwit and teach them a lesson in strategy, the art of being invisible or being gigantic at the same time, or of being humiliated by the unruly, disruptive and the disrespectful. He is a communist hero but maybe more so a satire of tyranny & Maoist Communist Hero, both a paternalist care giving ruler but also a sort of peasant revolutionary that is coming totterms with his agrarian background and somehow riots against the rules of the sky, against the transcendental structures, the abstract hierarchies and titles that seem to dominate over there.

Monkey King and his miraculous weapon, the actual Ur-geo-engineering tool used by Yu the Great to change the course of rivers and flatten the mountains

Although would not use lightly the word disruptive as it has been transformed into a Californian Tech Schock Doctrine, the disruption is actually reversed, the monkey is the one that is being interpellated, awoken and brought from the wild into the bureaucracy of the Heavens that is an exact copy of the earthly one. It is a very humorous, satiric take on the state apparatus, advantages & luxuries and especially the meritocratic hierarchy of the learned functionaries aka Scholar-officials, also known as Literati, Scholar-gentlemen or Scholar-bureaucrats (Chinese: 士大夫; pinyinshì dàfū)- the key class that made the difference between Europe and China and contributed to the economic revolution of the Song dynasty, although a system that was not immune to the abuse of power.

the Jade Emperor palace floating on clouds wad actually based on a visit to the Forbidden City by the Wan Brothers, Yan Dingxian, Lin Wenxiao and other members of the team in 1959

You could also say that Havoc in Heaven is one of the most anti-Confucian animations and pieces of media there is, still it is clearly much more complicated than that. Also there is an crypto-anarchist but also strange counterpart or a foreshadowing of Mao’s return to power, his anti-bureaucratic ‘rustification’ campaigns of technicians and scientists during the Cultural Revolution. In fact many of the makers suffered during the Cultural Revolution during which this animation eas locked away, original drawings destroyed, exiled toto the countrysid. IIt came to be celebrated and rediscovered in the west afterwards and even transformed into a 3D version, although the original has a charm of its own.

the Nezha confrontation is one of the most memorable, Nezha is a Taoist entity also known as the Marshall of the central Altar, a child god very popular on his own, sent by the Jade King to combat the Monkey King

In an even more recent take, we may regard Sun Wu Kong as the Migrant Laborer on whose back and precarity the whole of neo Capitalist China is being built. As such he has a big role to play, he is both fooled and fooling as he can, mercilessly exploited he is both victim and touted as essential alchemical element of growth, dreaming of prosperity and an active disturber of the orderly city bourgeois life and business CEO hierarchies.

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1490 – No Gods, No Masters (2016)

  • documentary in 3 parts directed by Ramonet (Tancrède)
  • produced by Arte France and Temps Noir

This is the story of Anarchism. By going back over the key events of the last two centuries of social history, the series reveals, for the first time, the origins and destiny of a political trend that has been fighting all gods and all masters for over 150 years.

Who exactly are they? Where do those who have always called themselves anarchists come from and what is their line of thought? Why do we consider their thinking to be confused and their history such a cause for concern?
Featuring previously unseen and forgotten archive footage, in addition to outstanding documentation and accounts by world experts, this documentary series recounts the history of a movement that from Paris to New York, and from Tokyo to Buenos Aires, has constantly imbued the world with its freedom and revolt.

the various directions of socialism and their preferred methods

Long version in French NI DIEU NI MAITRE VERSION LONGUE COMPLETE 3h34

Episode 1 : PART ONE: THE PASSION FOR DESTRUCTION (1840-1906)

Episode 2 : PART TWO: LAND AND FREEDOM (1907-1921)

Episode 3 : PART THREE: IN MEMORY OF THE VAINQUISHED (1922-1945)

While not immediately visible, I’m sure the anarchist movement has taken new forms in Romania and has recognized its own rich if misunderstood history. I am sure now it will be not as easily be transformed into a caricature as during the NATO summit in Bucharest, when the majority of TV broadcasting channels immediately rallied behind the repressive powers of the Romanian government, castigating any anti-NATO protester or any suspicious persons as terrorists or trouble makers.

It is by no means a homemade documentary, it is made with a budget and also uses a lot of visual documentary and archival material as well ss historians and researchers. This is truly another history of known social movements, different from the history as written or thought ib school by the liberal establishment, social democracy and one that clarifies its sometimes embittered relation with communist/Marxist tradition although always in conjunction and often intertwined with it. A history that has to be understood in its relations to the Marxist school of thought and to the larger Revolutionary movements worldwide such as the Mexican, the Russian Revolution, the Paris Commune or the Spanish Civil War.

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

In an especially bitter chapter it is revisiting the anti anarchist reprisals in Soviet Russia against its former political allies, Russia being one of the historical hotbeds of world anarchism (Bakunin, Kropotkin etc). But ot does not stop there – on a map one cam see Anarchism springing up everywhere in Italy, Germany, South America, Australia, China, Japan, Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Greece) etc It also gives exemples about how much the monarchies and repressive governments of the world felt the anarchist threat – the very first terrorist movement of proportions using bombs and even cars in their exploits. Anarchists invented and experimented withwith both peaceful meansmeans as well ss violent ones. They responded to the brutality of police and the armed attacks against the striking masses in kind. Tutorials with artisanal bombs in anarchist mags abounded and the assassinations of presidents and monarchs made them infamous, the Propaganda of the Deed drew both admiration & ire of theof the public. Interpol was basically founded to counter act the anarchist global threat as perceived during the 1890s. This was the first war on terror before the Bush retoric took it on again. The follow-up was always a regrouping from direction action into the fold of cooperatives and going one more time grassroots and trying to built things from base up.

the Magón brothers

It is also in my knowledge one of the first historical documentaries to accord such an importance to the Mexican Revolution as the first truly anarchist revolution as well as its relationship to Emiliano Zapata. This was also one of its biggest stumbling blocks – the suspicion, common to all world proletariat revolutions against the peasants leading the way, with the possible exception of the Maoist or Ho Chi Minh revolutionary struggles in Asia. Zapata and his peasant Christian anarchist troops got a cold welcome in the city.

Very important the early role of industrial city of Chicago in the early workers rights movement, a proletarian city par excellence, at the epicenter of railway and meat processing industry. Chicago was the place of the Haymarket affair and also had an incredible anarchist press largely conducted by immigrants (including esoterica Jewish Kabbalah bookshops according to Erik Davis), paving the way to the celebrations of the 1st of May.

It’s the best way to learn about the Internationalist dimensions of Anarchism, it’s past popularity and future promise, be it trough its magazines, newspapers and a lot lives lived fully by such historical figures such as:

Emma Goldman

Emma Goldman, Voltairine de Cleyre, Peter Kropotkin, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Itō Noe, Ōsugi Sakae,

Liu Shifu, Li Shizeng, Sacco and Vanzetti, Ricardo Flores Magón, Buenaventura Durutti, Nestor Makhno and many others. Roughly it is the tumultuous, exalted, incredibly bloody and diverse history from 1840 to 1945 comprising all sort of directions, splinter groups and innovation brought by and with the help of anarchists, be it in the frame of collectivist, mutualist, Propaganda of the Deed, utopian socialism, libertarianism, radical individualism, anti-authoritarianism, nihilism, Russian nihilist movement, anarcho-primitivism, platformism, Christian anarchists, separation of state and church, atheism, eco-anarchism, anarcho-feminism or anarcho-syndicalism.

Peter Kropotkin

I am glad the current and future generation have this documentary to look and learn from. Although there is a lot of stuff happening after 1945 being also complicated by the rise of anarcho-capitalist direction (or coup – depending) lead by Murray Rothbard (1925-1995), but that I guess is the task of another documentary maker.

Dybenko the Soviet emissar and Nestor Makhno

It is mind blowing to realize how wide spread or popular were these ideas around 1900, of gaining or loosing popularity, being transformed or playing a leading role in social movements and emancipatory avant-garde. Truly they are never disappeared and in a sense became permanent taken for granted nowdays. Even if somehow written from the end, these exceptions have never been forgotten, nor completly negated but integrated and absorbed into official history, while their initiators got mostly imprisoned or killed, it also remains a living proof that something like this existed and influenced the most basic things from the strike to the 8h working day or the weekend pause. All these examples of cooperative organization, labor movement, autonomy, of inventing and trying out alternative and experimental anti-authoritarian pedagogy models and lots of practical experiences and historical examples were basically preparing the entire society for a jump into an alternate, future post-capitalist world. Many thanks to Felix P for pointing it out to me.

Buenaventura Durutti

1311 – Southland Tales (2006)

Southland Tales is a 2006 science fiction comedy-drama thriller film and the second film written and directed by Richard Kelly. The title refers to the Southland, a name used by locals to refer to Southern California and Greater Los Angeles. Set in the then-near future of 2008, as part of an alternate history, the film is a portrait of Los Angeles, and a satiric commentary on the military–industrial complex and the infotainment industry. The film features an ensemble cast including Dwayne JohnsonSeann William ScottSarah Michelle GellarMandy Moore, and Justin Timberlake. Original music was provided by Moby. The film is an international co-production of the United States, Germany and France.

Southland Tales postertimespace coordinates: On July 4th, 2005, in a fictionalized United States alternate history reality, two towns in Texas (El Paso and Abilene) were destroyed by twin nuclear attacks, killing thousands and triggering a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions, sending America into a state of anarchy and hysteria, as well as a Third World War (a fictionalized version of what the nation may have become under the War on Terror), with the US government re-introducing the draft. The PATRIOT Act has extended authority to a new agency known as US-IDent, which keeps constant surveillance on citizens—even to the extent of censoring the Internet and requiring fingerprints to access computers and bank accounts. In response to the recent fuel shortage in the wake of global warfare, the German company Treer designs a generator of inexhaustible energy, which is propelled by the perpetual motion of ocean currents, called “Fluid Karma”. However, its inventor Baron von Westphalen and his associates are hiding the fact that the generators alter the ocean’s currents and cause the Earth to slow its rotation, and that the transmission of Fluid Karma to portable receivers (via quantum entanglement) is ripping holes in the fabric of space and time.

In near-future 2008, Los Angeles (referred to as “The Southland” by locals) is a city on the brink of chaos overshadowed by the growth of an underground neo-Marxist organization. The film follows the criss-crossed destinies of Boxer Santaros, an action film actor stricken with amnesia; Krysta Now, a psychic ex-porn star in the midst of creating a reality TV show; and twin brothers Roland and Ronald Taverner, whose destinies become intertwined with that of all mankind.

Southland Tales was initially planned to be a nine-part “interactive experience”, with the first six parts published in six 100-page graphic novels that would be released in a six-month period up to the film’s release. The feature film comprises the final three parts of the experience. A website was also developed to intertwine with the graphic novels and the film itself.  The idea of six graphic novels was later narrowed down to three. The novels were written by Kelly and illustrated by Brett Weldele. Kelly wrote them while making the film and found it very difficult as it pushed him “to the edge of my own sanity”, as he remarked in an interview. 

They have been collected together into one single volume:

The titles of the parts in the film are:

  • Part Four: Temptation Waits
  • Part Five: Memory Gospel
  • Part Six: Wave of Mutilation

The film remains enigmatic to many viewers and even some of its makers. In a 2011 interview, Justin Timberlake himself said, “To me, Southland Tales is performance art. I still don’t know what that movie is about [laughs].”

In a 2013 interview, Kelly said he considered this work as “the thing that I’m most proud of, and I feel like it’s sort of the misunderstood child or the banished child.” (wiki)

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[Southland Tales Soundtrack] tracks Aerial/Snowball -Moby / Southland Tales – Full Soundtrack (Score & Songs)   /   Sarah Michelle Gellar – Teen Horniness is Not a Crime

1147 – Captain Fantastic (2016)

timespace coordinates: 2010’s Washington wildernes / New Mexico

Captain Fantastic is a 2016 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Matt Ross and starring Viggo Mortensen. The story centers on a family that is forced by circumstances to reintegrate into society after living in isolation for a decade.

[plotBen Cash and his wife Leslie and their six children live in the Washington wilderness. Ben and Leslie are former anarchist activists disillusioned with capitalism and American life, and chose to instill survivalist skills, left wing politics, and philosophy in their children – educating them to think critically, training them to be self-reliant, physically fit and athletic, guiding them without technology, demonstrating the beauty of coexisting with nature and celebrating Noam Chomsky‘s birthday instead of Christmas… (read morewiki)

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651 – Manifesto (2015)

Manifesto is a 2015 Australian-German multi-screen film installation written, produced and directed by Julian Rosefeldt. It features Cate Blanchett in 13 different roles performing various manifestos. A 90-minute feature version premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2017.028The film integrates various types of artist manifestos from different time periods with contemporary scenarios.

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Manifestos: 
Karl Marx / Friedrich Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848)
Philippe Soupault, Literature and the Rest (1920)

Situationism
Lucio Fontana, White Manifesto (1946)
John Reed Club of New York, Draft Manifesto (1932)
Constant Nieuwenhuys, Manifesto (1948)
Alexander Rodchenko, Manifesto of Suprematists and Non-Objective Painters (1919)
Guy Debord, Situationist Manifesto (1960)

Futurism
Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, The Foundation and Manifesto of Futurism (1909)
Giacomo Balla / Umberto Boccioni / Carlo Carrà / Luigi Russolo / Gino Severini, Manifesto of the Futurist Painters (1910)
Guillaume Apollinaire, The Futurist Antitradition (1913)
Dziga Vertov, WE: Variant of a Manifesto (1922)

Architecture
Bruno Taut, Down with Seriousism! (1920)
Bruno Taut, Daybreak (1921)
Antonio Sant’Elia, Manifesto of Futurist Architecture (1914)
Coop Himmelb(l)au, Architecture Must Blaze (1980)
Robert Venturi, Non-Straightforward Architecture: A Gentle Manifesto (1966)

Vorticism / Blue Rider / Abstract Expressionism
Wassily Kandinsky / Franz Marc, “Preface to the Blue Rider Almanac” (1912)
Barnett Newman, The Sublime is Now (1948)
Wyndham Lewis, Manifesto (1914)

Stridentism / Creationism
Manuel Maples Arce, A Strident Prescription (1921)
Vicente Huidobro, We Must Create (1922)
Naum Gabo / Antoine Pevsner, The Realist Manifesto (1920)

Suprematism / Constructivism
Kazimir Malevich, Suprematist Manifesto (1916)
Olga Rozanova, Cubism, Futurism, Suprematism (1917)

Dadaism
Tristan Tzara, Dada Manifesto 1918 (1918)
Tristan Tzara, Manifesto of Monsieur Aa the Antiphilosopher (1920)
Francis Picabia, Dada Cannibalistic Manifesto (1920)
Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes, The Pleasures of Dada (1920)
Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes, To the Public (1920)
Paul Éluard, Five Ways to Dada Shortage or two Words of Explanation (1920)
Louis Aragon, Dada Manifesto (1920)
Richard Huelsenbeck, First German Dada Manifesto (1918)

Surrealism / Spatialism
André Breton, Manifesto of Surrealism (1924)

Pop Art
Claes Oldenburg, I am for an Art… (1961)

FluxusMerz 
Yvonne Rainer, No Manifesto (1965)
Emmett Williams, Philip Corner, John Cage, Dick Higgins, Allen Bukoff, Larry Miller, Eric Andersen, Tomas Schmit, Ben Vautier, George Maciunas, Fluxus Manifesto (1963)
Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Maintenance Art Manifesto (1969)
Kurt Schwitters, The Merz Stage (1919)

Conceptual Art / Minimalism
Sol LeWitt, Paragraphs on Conceptual Art (1967)
Sol LeWitt, Sentences on Conceptual Art (1969)
Sturtevant, Shifting Mental Structures (1999)
Sturtevant, Man is Double Man is Copy Man is Clone (2004)
Adrian Piper, Idea, Form, Context (1969)

Film
Stan Brakhage, Metaphors on Vision (1963)
Jim Jarmusch, Golden Rules of Filmmaking (2002)
Lars von Trier / Thomas Vinterberg, Dogme 95 (1995)
Werner Herzog, Minnesota Declaration (1999)
Lebbeus Woods, Manifesto (1993)

620 – The Last of Us (2013 Video Game)

spacetime coordinates: 2013, suburbs of Austin, Texas  2033 quarantine zone in the North End of Boston, Massachusetts >  post-pandemic  Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania > fortified settlement in Jackson, Wyoming > 2034  Salt Lake City, Utah1c9d1463ba1aba9cbd8018464a357451The Last of Us is an action-adventure survival horror video game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. It was released for the PlayStation 3 worldwide on June 14, 2013. Players control Joel, a smuggler tasked with escorting a teenage girl named Ellie across a post-apocalyptic United States.

The game is considered one of the most significant titles of the seventh generation of video games, and has been included among the greatest video games of all time.

The Last Of Us Remastered Walkthrough

the_last_of_us__original_soundtrack_cover_by_benikaridesigns-d7s1zoo

The Last of Us Original Soundtrack

Adaptations   Sequel   imdb

575 – Sweet Movie (1974)

“Don’t stay here. This boat is full of corpses.” // “It doesn’t matter. The whole world is full of corpses.”

Sweet Movie is a 1974 avant-garde comedy-drama film written and directed by Yugoslavian director Dušan MakavejevAn international co-production of companies from France, Canada, and West Germany, the film follows two women: a Canadian beauty queen, who represents a modern commodity culture, and a captain aboard a ship laden with candy and sugar, who is a failed communist revolutionary.

Sweet Movie2The film created a storm of controversy upon its release, with scenes of coprophiliaemetophilia, (a performance by Otto Muehl and his commune of Vienna Actionists) implied child molestation, and footage of remains of the Polish Katyn Massacre victims. The film was banned in many countries, including the United Kingdom – it is still banned in many countries to this day. Because of her role in the film, Anna Prucnal was exiled from her native Poland for 7 years.

Mühl later renounced the film in an interview as being “downright kitsch” :p

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