Author Archive | JoeNolan

Lynch and Burroughs Release Best Photo Books of 2014

BurroughsLynch

In 1963, William S. Burroughs wrote down his photographic manifesto: “Take. Rearrange. Take.” For Burroughs, photography wasn’t an art form so much as it was a weapon he employed to disrupt time.

Ideas about the interactions between time, space, words and images will be familiar to any reader of Burroughs’ works, but it’s less likely that those same readers will recognize the camera-created images on display in Taking Shots: The Photography of William S. Burroughs. Published by Photographers’ Gallery of London and Prestel, the book is co-edited by Particia Allmer and John Sears who curated a show of Burroughs photographs at Photographers’ Gallery earlier this year. The new book also features an essay by erstwhile Beat biographer Barry Miles.

The Taking Shots title refers directly to Burroughs’ no-nonsense approach to the camera, but also to the artist’s famous addictions to heroin and guns. Among Burroughs’ visual creations, his shotgun paintings are much more familiar than these pictures, but his collaged images created by re-photographing arrangements of photographs often burst and scatter with the same energy.… Read the rest

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Nikola Tesla Meets Orson Welles

Tesla

While David Bowie’s portrayal of Nikola Tesla in The Prestige is still my favorite on-screen depiction of the famous mad scientist, this 1980 production from Yugoslavia is an ambitious attempt at bringing Tesla’s tale to the cinema, and Orson Welles’ turn as J.P. Morgan is worth the price of admission. Here’s the Wiki…

The Secret of Nikola Tesla (Serbo-Croatian: ‘Tajna Nikole Tesle’), is a 1980 Yugoslav biographical film which details events in the life of the discoverer Nikola Tesla (portrayed by Serbian actor Petar Božović). Tesla was born to ethnic Serb parents in 1856 Croatia (at the time, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire). He arrived in New York in 1884, became an American citizen in 1891, made immense contributions to science and died in Manhattan at age 86 during World War II in 1943.[1]

This biography includes references to his amazing abilities of detailed mental visualization as well as the slowly intensifying personal habits, indulgences or eccentricities for which he became nearly as well known.Read the rest

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Harlan Hunts Trolls

Harlan Ellison

Harlan Ellison is one of the greatest authors of science fiction and fantasy. He’s written more than 1,700 short stories, novellas, screenplays, comic book scripts, teleplays and essays as well as criticism covering literature, film, television, and print media. He edited and anthologized two groundbreaking science fiction collections, Dangerous Visions (1967) and Again, Dangerous Visions (1972). Ellison has won multiple multiple Hugos, Nebulas and Edgar awards.

In 1993, Ellison was tapped by the then-nascent SciFi Channel to provide commentary on the science fiction scene during its “Sci-Fi Buzz” segments. In this seventh installment, Ellison rails against internet trolls on “PC bulletin boards” three years before I had my own desktop computer. The man has always been ahead of his time…

A few weeks ago Ellison suffered a stroke that left him partially paralyzed. According to this Los Angeles Times story, he’s already improving and complaining and ranting the way only he can.… Read the rest

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Batman at 75

Batman

While I’ve been posting all year about the William S. Burroughs centenary, I have yet to mark this illuminated text with the dark shadow of Batman who is celebrating his 75th anniversary this year. “The Caped Crusader,” “The Dark Knight,” “The World’s Greatest Detective,” first appeared in Detective Comics #27 in 1939.

Batman earned his own storylines. He was unique among comic book heroes in that he never had any super powers. Batman honed his intellect and built his body into a crime fighting machine fueled by his vow to avenge the homicidal death of his parents and restore justice to Gotham City. Batman’s lone vigilante origins also contributed to recent, noir interpretations that blur the line between the good and evil in the Batman universe. Questions like “Is Batman insane?” are common to the telling of his tale in a way that they could never be in the pages of Superman or Captain America.… Read the rest

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Coincidence Control Network: Episode 75

Sorry for the delay this week, kids. I (the all seeing Ken), have been stricken with evil germs. What are you going to do, huh? This week: I actually don't know...it's all in American...But I think they talk about Black Eyed kids again...or was it the Black Eyed Peas?, Something about Pigeons being terrorists?, How Twin Peaks is an all American cherry pie of a show?, Going to war again?...I dunno you listen. PersonnelJoe Nolan, and Frater Isla
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Halloween’s Origin Story

Halloween

For this latest spooky October post, I wanted to cut to the chase. I’ve grown a little bit impatient with the month. So, here’s a nice little primer on the Celtic roots of the Halloween holiday and its evolution through the ages to the seemingly silly, scary celebration we know today.

Do the souls of the dead roam free during this time of the year? Are the ghosts friendly? What should I do as someone who lives on a former plantation just off the Trail of Tears in the South?

This video illuminates the evolution of the Roman Catholic Church in its relationship to the frustrating tradition of Samhain in the weird, old magickal world.

The story ultimately comes home to America where our current holiday finds youngsters and adults embracing both the macabre and the sexy. This piece even gets into the arson-crazed Detroit “Devil’s Night” bombings that I grew up with in the Motor City.… Read the rest

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King of Horror

Stephen King

For this spooky October post I found a little gem on YouTube. It claims to be the first ever television interview with Stephen King and since I couldn’t find an earlier one on the site, I’m gonna take their word for it.

The interview takes place one decade into King’s career after he’s written horror classics like Carrie, The Shining and The Stand. It’s filmed nearly ten years after King’s graduation from the University of Maine Orono and is produced by the school’s public access channel.

I’m not a big fan of King’s books, but I’m a big fan of King and his spectral success story and his crazy work ethic. However, the scariest thing here might be the ancient computer that he was producing those early bestsellers on…shudder…

Stay Awake!

Please subscribe to my YouTube channel where I archive all of the videos I curate at Insomnia.… Read the rest

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Groening VS Kubrick

Simpsons Kubrick

Casting about for another spooky October post, this one didn’t take long.

The Simpsons annual “Treehouse of Horror” episodes have become an American Halloween television tradition given the show’s ridiculously long run and the intense creativity highlighted in these seasonal creep-fests. Often, the “Treehouse” episodes are among the best of a given season and if you’re wondering why the show is still on the air, a glance at their most recent tribute to Stanley Kubrick proves that the show continues to have relevance — and references — to spare.

Here’s the episode’s big scene courtesy of Vulture— it incorporates nearly the entirety of Kubrick’s weighty oeuvre. How many references can you catch?

I wonder what Rob Ager will have to say about this?

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Please subscribe to my YouTube channel where I archive all of the videos I curate at Insomnia. Click here to check out more Cinema posts.… Read the rest

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Vampire’s Kiss, Uncaged!

Vampires Kiss

This scary October post recalls a subject many of you likely find terrifying: the career of Nicolas Cage. Cage has done a lot of cash cow trash since he won the Oscar for Leaving Lost Vegas. That said, he’s also brought the wild edge to films like Bad Lieutenant, reminding me of the strange brilliance that illuminated his earliest roles.

One of my early Cage faves is the fang-toothed film Vampire’s Kiss, which is celebrating a 25th anniversary this year. Here’s an outrageous collection of crazy Cage scenes from the movie…

Stay Awake!

Please subscribe to my YouTube channel where I archive all of the videos I curate at Insomnia. Click here to check out more Cinema posts.

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Coincidence Control Network: Episode 74

This week: The great Idaho chicken heist of 2014, stoner mice, Boffins discuss aliens, Michael Bay’s already done it, Titantastic titillation, Dracula News: The new craze sweeping the nation, Edgar Allen Poe’s wet dream, Colombian cons his way into Isla’s heart, and much more.

PersonnelJoe Nolan, Frater Isla, Kim Monaghan, and Ken Eakins

Links:

  • Nice job – Link
  • Marty The Marijuana Mouse Link
  • NASA gets boffins into talk Aliens Link
  • Diary date – Link
  • What is this strange object in the ocean on Titan? – Link
  • Dracula News: Vlads prison discovered Link
  • Some Lady Might Have Possibly Been Buried Alive Maybe Link
  • Colombian Con Man is Isla’s Hero Link
  • Missing the point Link
  • Ghost News: Black Eyed Child is back! – Link

Music:

Dan the Automator – Ganges A Go-Go

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