1491 – Worlds of Ursula K. LeGuin (2018)

a documentary by Arwen Curry

Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin is a feature documentary exploring the remarkable life and legacy of the late feminist author Ursula K. Le Guin. Best known for groundbreaking science fiction and fantasy works such as A Wizard of Earthsea, The Left Hand of Darkness, and The Dispossessed, Le Guin defiantly held her ground on the margin of “respectable” literature until the sheer excellence of her work, at long last, forced the mainstream to embrace fantastic literature. Her fascinating story has never before been captured on film.

Produced with Le Guin’s participation over the course of a decade, Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin is a journey through the writer’s career and her worlds, both real and fantastic. Viewers will join the writer on an intimate journey of self-discovery as she comes into her own as a major feminist author, opening new doors for the imagination and inspiring generations of women and other marginalized writers along the way. The film features stunning animation and reflections by literary luminaries including Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, David Mitchell, Michael Chabon, and more.

Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin was created with the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, California Humanities, the Berkeley Film Foundation etc (description taken from the original website of the documentary)

The documentary is truly one of the best I have seen dedicated to an author, the more to such an incredible and inspiring one such as Ursula K LeGuin. Take some time to explore her website https://www.ursulakleguin.com/

One of the best documentaries about Sci-Fi indeed and one to carefully and attentively thread along and listen to one of its most cherished authors. It wanders elegantly from personal life, the landscapes that shaped her novels, the childhood memories, her rise and response in Sci-fi fandom and canon, her relation, acknowledgment and understanding of the first nation people genocide in the Americas and in particular her knowledge of indigenous peoples of California.

It also combines some really great animation work that blends in very well with her world building. There are in fact very few movies based on her actual work.

To her previous mentioned works I would like to add The Lathe of Heaven about dreaming and the universe (also a movie) and the wonderful short story The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas. Also mentioned in the documentary is her 1985 experimental work Always Returning Home written and situated in the Napa Valley, a speculative anthropology works and tapes made by a future ethnographer and anthropologist Pandora with the rituals, the musical instruments, chants and language of a post-apocalyptic people named the Kesh, a sort of anarcho-primitivist tribe that combines elements of hunterer-gatherers, agricultural and industrial civilization while rejecting city building.

1469 – KUSO (2017)

Kuso 2017

KUSO is an incredible, metaphysical splatter and body horror movie by Steven Ellison aka Flying Lotus.

Kuso means ‘shit’ in Japanese.

Steven Ellison has been a long time admirer of Japanese extreme directors Takashi Miike, Shinya Tsukamoto and Takeshi Kitano, as well as lots of anime such as Cowboy Bepop, Evangelion, Dragon Ball, that he openly mentions in his interviews. But instead of mentioning Tokyo Gore Police of Meatball Machine Kodoku one should go see it without any list of references or any direct references.

Probably one of the most over the top, original, gory, splattery significant movies of the early 21st century. It abounds in the resplendent hideous and the manically scatological, lavishes in all things festering, pustulant, always brimming on the ecstatic, experimental and transformative also due to its music video affiliations. There were mass walkouts at its release at Sundance festival. It has been all too easy to hail it as the ‘grossest movie ever made’. It is definitely a superb example of WEIRD AESTHETICS and slime dynamics nowadays and it is relentless. It definitely does not settle into the old sublime/beautiful binome, but ventures into the territory of new aesthetic categories such as the icky or the ‘zany’ explored by Sianne Ngai in her seminal text (Our Aesthetic Categories: Zany, Cute, Interesting 2015). This is also an afro-body horror that makes clear what are the stakes here – full hybridization, exploding all the codes of racial science and white fear, those panic buttons of asepsis and so-called ‘miscegenation’ that did seek to actively separate, contain, incarcerate and experiment upon non-white bodies.

ri3A0M1

It also makes clear there can allow for incredible pockets of abstractness even in the midst of all things squishy, oozing, overwhelming thingness, overripe wetware imagery. There are dozens of scenes that are filled with incredible tenderness, nonhuman, and inhuman eroticism, beauty and exuberance for the unruliness of matter and information, the normality and mundanity of the strange and at the same time does not cease to take one by surprise, to be completely unpredictable. A relentless channel surfing seems to transect the whole movie and tap into the virality of pay-per-view ads, broadcasting enormities and deformities, diving into an attention ecology modulated by the appetite for mindless violence and remorseless voyeurism.

An increasing portion of current media abounds in the biohazardous, the panic-stricken, horrifying, the untouchable, impure, the dirty, repulsive or what was even considered previously as evolutionary blasphemic and maladaptive – here cherished in its most unruly and in your face forms. It also draws on avant-garde Berlin Dada photomontage artists such as Hannah Höch(see her Knife Dada through the Beer-Belly of the Weimar Republic 1919 for example) seeking to upend and agglutinate existing dichotomies and gender roles.

Kuso-Full-Width

760120275_1280x720

636355443086551349-kuso2-1-

There is no way one can summarize this movie and this is its best proof of not bowing to matters of taste, plotline narrative rule or formal rigeur. There are incredible collage animations as well as tableaux vivants – real outer world (exo biological?) ecosystems, mutant dioramas and curious and explorative human -non human relationships. Meanwhile, all the body fluids run their course.

On TV or in a bedroom reality welcomes the bubonic, the chronic carrier state of patient zero becomes the rule. There is no quarantine for the realness of constant touch, smear, sporulation. The epidemic is somehow a state of matter, it is as it is, nothing can hide it, disinfect it or banish it to the pathological. There is always a sort of teratogenesis as world-building going on. There are interdimensional furries stoners on a couch, there are alien jungles with anal flesh flowers and sentient sphincters.

kuso-SMEAR-forest-still01

kuso

Openings are important in KUSO and lead to revisiting what we have considered a final story – the evo-devo metanarrative of why we bipedal vertebrates are here, why we have an up and down or a clear separation btw the excretory and all the plurivocal portals of bodies that have multiple backs and unknown forwards, not just an up mouth and a down mouth.

Cast: Iesha Coston, Oumi Zumi, Zack Fox, The Buttress (Bethany Schmitt), Tim Heidecker, Hannibal Buress, Regan Farquhar, Shane Carpenter, David Firth

here is a more in-depth review  by addictedtohorrormovies.com

Here’s what IMDB has: “Events unfold after a devastating earthquake in Los Angeles.” Events indeed. The movie is broken up into three segments. The biggest segment, “Mr. Quiggle,” is the story of couple Kenneth and Missy, who have their active love life interrupted by Missy’s secret shame. Also, Manuel is scared of breasts, so he enlists the help of Dr. Clinton (George Clinton); his treatment involves singing into Dr. Clinton’s butthole and…I won’t spoil it for you. Further also, The Buttress and her alien buddies deal with her situation of being impregnated by a crazy stalker guy.

shudder-exclusive-kuso-movie-review-3

imdb

1432 – Greener Grass (2019)

Greener Grass is an 2019 American comedy film, written and directed by Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe in their feature directorial debuts, based on the 2015 short film of the same name (YOUTUBE). It stars DeBoer, Luebbe, Beck BennettNeil CaseyMary Holland and D’Arcy Carden. (wiki)

DeBoer and Luebbe explained that the films of David Lynch, John Waters and 1960s and 1970s landscape photography was an influence. Visually the film is reminiscent of 80’s-music-video aesthetic / fashion aesthetics / 90’s infomercials.

imdb   /   rt

1420

«The Romans stole the alphabeta system from the Greeks through war», explains Rammellzee. «Then, in medieval times, monks ornamented letters to hide their meaning from the people. Now, the letter is armored against further manipulation.»

New York graffiti artist and B-boy theoretician Rammellzee (the artist encases himself during gallery performances in Gasholeer, a 148-pound, gadgetry-encrusted exoskeleton inspired by an android he painted on a subway train in 1981. Four years in the making, Rammellzee’s exuberantly low-tech costume bristles with rocket launchers, nozzles that gush gouts of flame, and an all-important sound system.)

«From both wrists, I can shoot seven flames, nine flames from each sneaker’s heel, and colored flames from the throat. Two girl doll heads hanging from my waist and in front of my balls spit fire and vomit smoke… The sound system consists of a Computator, which is a system of screws with wires. These screws can be depressed when the keyboard gun is locked into it. The sound travels through the keyboard and screws, then through the Computator, then the belt, and on up to the four mid-range speakers (with tweeters). This is all balanced by a forward wheel from a jet fighter plane. I also use an echo chamber, Vocoder, and system of strobe lights. A coolant device keeps my head and chest at normal temperature. A 100-watt amp and batteries give me power.»

«slanguage» – a heavily encrypted hip-hop argot – is the linguistic equivalent of graffiti «tags» all over the mother tongue. In an essay on English as the imperial language of the Internet, the cultural critic McKenzie Wark argues for the willful, viral corruption of the lingua franca of global corporate monoculture as a political act.

Black to the Future: Afrofuturism 1.0

Mark Dery


1390 – The Universe of Keith Haring (2008 documentary)

univers of kh poster“The Universe of Keith Haring“, one of the most popular and significant artists of the 20th century, whose mantra was “Art is for everyone!” features interviews and archival footage of Fab 5 Freddy, Jeffrey Deitch, Kim Hastreiter, Grace Jones, Madonna, Yoko Ono, David LaChapelle, Kenny Scharf, Carlo McCormick, Andy Warhol, Ann Magnuson, Tony Shafrazi, and Junior Vasquez. Audio excerpts from original interviews with Keith Haring were conducted by Haring’s biographer John Gruen. (rt)

The Universe of Keith Haring is a 2008 documentary by the filmmaker Christina Clausen.

imdb