Now Here’s One Really, Really Fierce Tranny Mess!!

So You Think You Can Dance: Tranny Mess Betty (a.k.a. Jason) Loony

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Madness: Tricked and Twisted

Madness: Tricked and Twisted

Twisted: A Balloonamentary

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Decades of Musical History: A Tribute to Legendary Musicians

Sly Stone with Reel-to-Reel Tape Player

Johnny Cash Deep in Thought

Most of the photographs of the legendary musicians in this video, representing decades of musical history, might be familiar to a number of music fans: Johnny Cash deep in thought in 1959, Bob Dylan sitting at a piano wearing his Ray-Ban sunglasses in 1965.  Others have rarely been seen, including the 1973 picture of Sly Stone in front of a tape player and the dramatic 1963 photograph of Muhammad Ali, then known as Cassius Clay, recording his spoken-word album I Am the Greatest! Photographs of other major musicians that are included in this music video include pictures of Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the late folk-singer Steve Goodman, Willie Nelson and many others.

The music accompanying the video is The Band’s Tears of Rage.

Decades of Musical History: A Tribute to Legendary Musicians

Music by The Band: Tears of Rage

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Sex in the Lower East Side: The 100 Lovers of Jesus Reynolds

Sex in the Lower East Side: The 100 Lovers of Jesus Reynolds

The 100 Lovers of Jesus Reynolds, directed by Ilya Chaiken, is a short film that was shot on a shoestring budget, but it’s marked with a sense of gritty, tenacious elegance. In 2004, the film was an Official Selection of The Sundance Film Festival.

The film begins with a humorous, but bittersweet meditation about an East Village girl’s many, many love affairs. It then focuses on a particular one-night stand, which unfortunately happened to take place the night before the annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade. The tryst seems to become a poignant portrayal of an important event in the young heroine’s life. Yes, it seems to be, but one is left with an ending that is both beautiful, yet at the same time hauntingly elusive: One senses that something has changed, but we’re not quite sure what.

The 100 Lovers of Jesus Reynolds

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Women in Film: The Wish for Recognition

This piece is a counterpoint to the composition that I published yesterday about Men in Film. There are times when the need to be noticed, or rather to be recognized by another, comes to the forefront of our strivings. It is remarkable how astonishingly different the cultural displays of that need can seem from a distance, especially widely public expressions of that wish. However, regardless of the differences in appearance, when people make a gesture, a public gesture, it reveals the hope that someone will recognize their need so that they could know it, so they might discover what really matters to themselves. It is encouraging to realize that it’s possible for a few well positioned wise comments or thoughts to break through deep and complex differences, or our impressions of them.

Yesterday, I published the composition about actors, Men in Film: As Time Goes By. Seeing the passage of celebrity faces over time in that video initially led me to focus upon thoughts of mortality: that nothing lasts forever. However, from a different perspective, one which emphasizes the here-and-now, performers on the silver screen embody, epitomize the more benign wish described above, the need for attention, to be noticed, to be recognized by others. And the prospect of mutual recognition with others evokes a capacity for loving relationships.

Women in Film: A Wish for Recognition

Rita Coolidge and Kris Kristofferson: Help Me Make It Through the Night

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Men in Film: As Time Goes By

Men in Film: As Time Goes By

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The Cannes Film Festival Premiers “Chelsea on the Rocks”

The Cannes Film Festival Premiers “Chelsea on the Rocks”

Noted in The Huffington Post

Chelsea on the Rocks, the new documentary about New York City’s Chelsea Hotel, premiered last Friday at the Cannes Film Festival. Director Abel Ferrara (Bad Lieutenant) threaded together archival footage and interviews with many of the artists, writers and actors who have lived there, in typical documentary fashion.

He also hired actors to play Janis Joplin and Sid Vicious, both of whom battled drugs and demons during their stays there. Leonard Cohen wrote a song about a sexual encounter with Joplin on an unmade bed there. And the Chelsea is where Vicious’ girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, died of a stab wound. The Chelsea has been a mecca for bohemia for decades, attracting brilliant, often desperate and doomed artists. Dylan Thomas, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix, Andy Warhol, Arthur Miller and Arthur C. Clarke are just a few of the greats who spent time there.

Actor Dennis Hopper, who stayed there early in his career, told reporters at the Cannes festival, “We were all living on the edge, the edge of what, I’m not sure, but we were living on the edge of it. A number of us fell in the hole, and some of us stood on the rim, and some of us got out of there,” he said. “But it was a really special, exciting time, and I’ll always cherish it.”

Ferrara’s film includes interviews with actor Ethan Hawke, who sings a song he wrote during a stay at the hotel, Hopper, director Milos Forman and cartoonist R. Crumb. Another important figure is Stanley Bard, who ran the hotel for nearly five decades, helping many artists along the way. Bard was pushed aside last year in a management change that has left residents worried that the Chelsea Hotel is destined to quickly become just another standard Manhattan boutique hotel. Bard’s departure, and fears for the hotel’s soul, are the backdrop for the documentary.

Chelsea On The Rocks: A Documentary by Abel Ferrara

Rufus Wainright Sings Chelsea Hotel#2

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