Today:

  • Picked up my bulk order of 20-minute VHS tapes
  • Started duping screening copies of the movie (eight and counting, so far)
  • Prepped entry packets for the Int'l Short Film Festival Berlin, the AFI Fest in LA, and the Mill Valley Film Festival in the Bay Area. All these festivals are in Oct./Nov., after the NY Film Festival, the ideal/dream festival for Souvenir (November 2001).


    Also, because I've been remiss in my Steven Soderbergh references lately, I finally found out what Itchy and Scratchy said on their DVD commentary in a recent episode ("The Bart wants what the Bart wants") of The Simpsons. A fan on a message board posted the comment as "There's no pleasing Steven Soderbergh."

  • For those who think weblogging is now too mainstream, there are alternative outlets for creative expression. Some, like Amazon reviews (of Ping, for instance, or the been-around-the-web-and-back Family Circus) are persistent. Others, like ebay auctions, are perishable. Follow the money, of course. Since I'm more interested in clearing out space in our apartment, recouping the cost of the film, or just making a quick buck, I've mostly opted for the perishable.


    Here is a sampling of my ebay auctions. Read them for their scintillating entertainment value; of course, bid only if you're really interested. Believe me, some of the old ones were HI-larious:

  • The Visionaire Bible, a limited edition art/design/fashion magazine/objet. Very big in the 90's
  • A rare Kozmo.com messenger bag prototype/sewing sample. Don't worry, I bought the only two known to exist. I'm keeping the other one.
  • A limited edition album from Matthew Barney's last movie, Cremaster 2. I have a couple of these, too. I'm much less into hoarding than I was in 2000-2001.
  • A USB PCMCIA adapter, purchased because I didn't notice my laptop already had a USB port.

  • Ricci Albenda, an artist friend had a party to memorialize his installation at PS1, which will be taken down tomorrow (the installation, not PS1). I went early to see "The Short Century," Okwui Enwezor's extremely far-reaching show of contemporary African art.


    The most engrossing piece was actually a film Ousmane SembČne, the first and greatest of African filmmakers. One of his first films was a 20-minute short titled, Borom Sarret, a realistically shot portrayal of a day in the life of a poor Senegalese horse cart driver. Here is the NY Film Forum's page on their Sembene festival. Here is some info on Sembene from a film course at Emory University. Here is some info on Borom Sarret from an American U. course.


    THEN, I got home and immediately turned around to see Abbas Kiarostami's African AIDS documentary, ABC Africa. Interesting. More later, but I'm beat.

    It's hardly ever a pleasure to read Orwell, or Christopher Hitchens, for that matter, but after you do, you're annoyed at how worthwhile you find it. (Unless, of course, you're a huge Henry Kissinger fan. Or Henry Kissinger.) To wit, Hitchens' writing on Orwell in the LA Weekly. Having just barely finished cleaning up the piles and bills and invites and life that accumulated during the editing of Souvenir, this excerpt from Orwell's "Confessions of a Book Reviewer," pulled me right in (just find and replace "cigarettes::red vines" and "tea::diet coke"):


    In a cold but stuffy bed-sitting room littered with cigarette ends and half-empty cups of tea, a man in a moth-eaten dressing gown sits at a rickety table, trying to find room for his typewriter among the piles of dusty papers that surround it. He cannot throw the papers away because the wastepaper basket is already overflowing, and besides, somewhere among the unanswered letters and unpaid bills it is possible that there is a cheque for two guineas which he is nearly certain he forgot to pay into the bank. There are also letters with addresses which ought to be entered into his address book. He has lost his address book, and the thought of looking for it, or indeed of looking for anything, afflicts him with acute suicidal impulses.

    (Oh, and find and replace "acute suicidal impulses::self-doubt and recurrent calculations of the income I'm forgoing by not working for The Man.)

    Brought home a couple of video works to screen/consider by the artist Gabriel Orozco, and they're amazing. It's been about five minutes, and already I'm taken. The artist made five videos as part of Recordings and Drawings, a 1997 show at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. They are 40-60 minute streams of things Orozco sees through his video camera on the streets of New York and Amsterdam. The title for each video is comprised of the first and last images on the video. [I'm watching From Flat Tyre To Airplane right now. From Dog Shit to Irma Vep is next.] Here is an excellent discussion of Orozco's use of video and the genesis of this project. The museum finally got around to publishing a book based on the work.


    They're quite rough, raw, really, edited solely in the camera. As such, though, they get pretty close to the "eye of the artist," especially in the case of Orozco, who makes a specialty of working with the most mundane, unprecious materials possible (his last show at Marian Goodman Gallery included works made of dryer lint, plastic bags, and rubber balls with dried palm fronds). I'm not sure which way it works: 1) either Orozco points out the art/beauty we overlook everyday in objects and situations around us, in which case he's extremely self-effacing and magnanimous, or 2) through his art made out of these commonplace objects and concepts (reflections, circles/spheres, leaves, etc.) he takes over the world, or at least our vision/viewing of it (now everything looks like an Orozco!), in which case he's a megalomaniac. Do those options have to be mutually exclusive? I mean, I plan on stil being nice to people when I take over the world...

    May 1, 2002

    that said, look up

    that said, look up "albert maysles rides the bus" on google. Jussec, i gotta search this bus for filmic moments.

    (in any case, riding the crosstown bus just got less boring. For me, anyway... )

    May 1, 2002

    so now i can post ...

    so now i can post to my web log from my cell phone. Can i be worth reading in < 140 char.?

    April 30, 2002

    So I finally got at

    So I finally got at least one production still off the Mac and onto the web. Here is the first of about 20 or so images from Souvenir November 2001, the one which accompanys all the press kits and festival applications (so far).

    It's a scene of the New Yorker and the caretaker of Lochnagar Crater, a site that the film's protagonist stumbles across while searching for the Thiepval Memorial. (None of this makes the remotest sense to you? Welcome to my weblog. Check out the background links, script, and storyboard at the top of the lefthand column.) In this scene, the caretaker and his colleague explain the crater's origin and history. Read about the crater at the Friends of Lochnagar site. And read an account of the 1998 discovery of Private George Nugent's remains at the crater, an incident the caretaker discusses in the movie.

    April 29, 2002

    It was moving day, or

    It was moving day, or moving around day, anyway. Traded weeks of keyboard-based work for overhauling the art in our little NYC house. Out with Roe Ethridge's landscapes (his great show just opened at Andrew Kreps Gallery, so we'll ALL be seeing more of his work for a while.), Anne Chu's watercolor landscapes, and Stephen Hendee's ink/gouache futuristic landscapes (see a theme here?) In with Vern Dawson and Olafur Eliasson (now that winter's over, it's safe to put up pictures of Iceland). And the kicker: a Wade Guyton sculpture that has a table-like object as its base. Looks so much like a table, I'm typing at it right now, in fact, until Wade comes to help set up the mirrored plexiglass column element that sits on top.


    Since it's only table-LIKE, I stacked some books and magazines under the leg-LIKE elements to bring it to table height. Here's the list:

    Godel, Escher, Bach; The Invisible Man; the last two issues of Vogue; Air Guitar by Dave Hickey; First They Killed My Father : A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers; Bret Easton Ellis' Glamorama; Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell (french version, which is hilarious, btw); Collected Fictions: Jorge Luis Borges; Projects for Prada Part 1 by Rem Koolhaas' publishing elves; an old Wallpaper*, a new Artforum, a Vanity Fair, Departures, an old art/text, and a beat-up New Yorker.


    Then I looked at the finished piles, and I was reminded of the stylists at "shelter magazines" who artfully arrange erudite-seeming/trend-driven book spines for photoshoots (Remember that summer when everyone seemed to have Infinite Jest on his/her coffee table?). I couldn't find any articles about it, meaning 1) such magazine machinations may be an urban myth (unlikely), 2) I'm not hip to the right stylist-related search terms, or 3)people in the shelter magazine world don't use the internet for self-critique, just for hookin' up. I did find this excerpt from Marjorie Garber's Sex and Real Estate, which talks about the business of "propping" a for-sale house (using wood fires, apple pies, aromatherapy, flowers, etc.) to hit the prospective buyer's "romantic soft spot."


    So what can we glean from our collection of titles? Is it the display window of my soul? I see two breakdowns:

  • Deliberately chosen books and "whatever's left within reach; can I put this table down now?"
  • Very thick books (4), and shims (the rest).

  • Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

    Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

    comments? questions? tips? pitches? email
    greg [at] greg [dot ] org

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