23 March 2011

William S. Burroughs : A Man Within

William S. Burroughs: A Man Within investigates the life of the legendary beat author and American icon. Born the heir of the Burroughs Adding Machine estate, he struggled throughout his life with addiction, control systems, and self. He was forced to deal with the tragedy of killing his wife and the repercussions of neglecting his son. His novel, Naked Lunch, was one of the last books to be banned by the U.S. government. Allen Ginsberg and Norman Mailer testified on behalf of the book. The courts eventually overturned the 1966 decision, ruling that the book had important social value. It remains one of the most recognized literary works of the 20th century.

The film features never-before-seen footage of William S. Burroughs, as well as exclusive interviews with his closest friends and colleagues including John Waters, Genesis P-Orridge, Laurie Anderson, Peter Weller, David Cronenberg, Iggy Pop, Gus Van Sant, Sonic Youth, Anne Waldman, Hal Willner, James Grauerholz, Amiri Baraka, Jello Biafra, V. Vale, Wayne Propst, Diane DiPrima, Dean Ripa (the world's largest poisonous snake collector), and many others, with narration by actor Peter Weller, and soundtrack by Sonic Youth.

William Burroughs was one of the first to cross the dangerous boundaries of queer and drug culture in the 1950s, and write about his experiences. Eventually he was hailed the godfather of the beat generation and influenced artists for generations to come. But his friends were left wondering if he had ever found contentment or happiness. This extremely personal documentary pierces the surface of the troubled and brilliant world of one of the greatest authors of all time.

Yony Leyser is a 25-year-old filmmaker living in Chicago, Illinois. He has directed several short films. After being kicked out of film school, he moved to Lawrence, Kansas, and began shooting William S. Burroughs: A Man Within, his first feature film.

12 March 2011

Valentino: The Last Emperor (2008)

Short, majestically coiffed, with hooded eyes, an orange-tinted tan and the peevish impatience of an absolute monarch: that is Valentino Garavani, the Italian couturier known simply as Valentino, as he appears in Matt Tyrnauer’s documentary portrait, “Valentino: The Last Emperor.” Watching the movie is a little like gorging on chocolate and Champagne until that queasy moment arrives when you realize you’ve consumed far too much.

01 March 2011

In 1907, Schiele sought out Gustav Klimt.

Egon Schiele (German pronunciation: [ˈʃiːlə], approximately SHEE-leh; June 12, 1890 – October 31, 1918) was an Austrian painter. A protégé of Gustav Klimt, Schiele was a major figurative painter of the early 20th century.

Schiele's work is noted for its intensity, and the many self-portraits the artist produced. The twisted body shapes and the expressive line that characterize Schiele's paintings and drawings mark the artist as an early exponent of Expressionism, although still strongly associated with the art nouveau movement (Jugendstil).

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Mohandas K. and Kasturba Gandhi at Eternal Gandhi Multimedia Museum, Gandhi Smriti (Birla House), Tees January Marg, New Delhi.