April 5th, 2005



Although I've got plenty of background reading material for the Burroughs article, I've still yet to receive the parcel of books I sent back that contained a number of second-hand accounts (or rather primary sources in a second-hand format) of the Bleeding Kansas era [given the DVD stuff later in this entry, there's a film set during this period and featuring Quantrill and others directed by Ang Lee called Ride with the Devil that I should maybe watch for the hell of it] and, more worryingly, a number of WSB volumes that I'd taken with me for consultation and some rare volumes I'd bought whilst there. Some of my own I've had for twenty years or so. Whilst this doesn't prevent the writing of the newspaper article, it does make the process trickier since I've lost the source itself. I hope that customs have just impounded them while they come up wth some punitive taxation to level on them. Well, I hope not, but I'd rather that than their disappearance. Concerned sigh...

One item that I was expecting to have arrived by my return was a DVD of Onibaba which I'm intending to show at a forthcoming domestic cinema event. No, this hasn't come yet. However, I did receive a DVD this morning addressed to a certain R. Patterson that contained a copy of Glengarry, Glen Ross. It's not a bad film, but I'm not sure how well it will fit in a programme of traditional East Asian ghost stories.

I'm a little saturated with DVDs at the moment. I bought around twenty whilst in the States and, since the laptop can only be regionally reset a limited number of times (unless someone knows of a decent Mac region-free player that works around this problem), I've still a fair few to watch. These are:

1. Maya Deren - Experimental Films (I'm not sure she ever made any other...)
2. Suzuki Seijun's Pistol Opera, which is an update/homage to his earlier Branded to Kill. I also bought a copy of his earlier Underworld Beauty which I enjoyed.
3. Andrzej Zulawski's Diabel. He's the same director who made that film Possession I witter on about from time to time. If I can find a third (specifically, a Polish dialogue and English subtitled version of the sci-fi Na Srebrnym Globie (which is itself based on the earlier Jerzy Zulawski's novel - here's the text in Polish. Are they by any chance related?). I might settle for L'Amour Braque with Sophie Marceau. Probably I should go for L'Important c'est de l'aimer with Romy Schneider. Do shut up...) I could show three films by him. Either that or it will be a programme that includes Borowczyk and possibly Wojciech Has' The Saragossa Manuscript. [Readers will be, ahem, delighted to know that I've found a copy of Zulawski's sprawling sci-fi epic during the writing of this entry. It's of rather dubious provenance as are the copies of the 1986 Georgian sci-fi Kin-Dza-Dza and Jogakusei Gerira which I've little idea about, but I presume is a take on Tokyo 60's If-style provocation with the added attraction of short hemlines. The word sugepan (?) appears on this jacket cover, which sounds like something to do with underwear or bread even. Maybe. I'm clutching at straws here. Now I will stop...]
4. The Mansion of Madness. There's a link between its director Juan Moctezuma and Alejandro Jodorowsky.
5. Marat/Sade in the film of the Peter Brook production. Patrick Magee as the Marquis de Sade? You may detect an asylum-themed programme in the making here.
6. Commissioner of Sewers - a WSB documentary.
7. Various extras on DVDs of Pasolini's Oedipus Rex, Tarkovsky's Andrei Rublev in this new 205 minute version, a very lush two-disc Criterion edition of Volker Schlöndorff's The Tin Drum. When will someone start distributing Criterion in the UK? I don't argue they're expensive, but they are the Waitrose of the DVD world.

Once that's done, I can reset and watch Oldboy... (again!)... and wonder when the credit card bill might show up...

That's what I'll be doing tonight then.

The intention of this post wasn't to go on about DVDs, rather it was to remind people that posting will begin from tomorrow on the Radio Orchestrar page so if anyone does want to follow the progress of the album, they're advised to look there. I'm trying to reset the look of it at the moment.

That's definitely it here until May 1st.