Kisses from Paris: Two Young Lovers Kiss Their Way Around Paris

Kisses from Paris: Two Young Lovers Kiss Their Way Around Paris

Kisses from Paris is a dreamily sexy three-minute short film by the French filmmaker Yvan Attal, a tribute to Paris, its young lovers and its street life.  The film’s a journey off the beaten track, taking in sights tourists tend to miss: there’s a rock concert in the Château de Vincennes, as well as footage shot around the Bibliothèque Nationale, the Palais du Tokyo and the flea market at Saint Ouen.

It shows the multi-cultural side of Paris, its art and music scenes, and the actors are young, beautiful and appealingly scruffy.  They meet, fall for each other, and spend the day wandering around with their hormones raging, while Rufus Wainwright sings a melancholy tune in the background.  “I don’t want to leave Paris,” moans the young woman in between passionate kisses.

Kisses from Paris: Two Young Lovers Kiss Their Way Around Paris

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Jeff Buckley and Rufus Wainwright: Songs of Measured Lament

Jeff Buckley and Rufus Wainwright: Songs of Measured Lament

Jeff Buckley was born in California in 1966 and died at the young age of 31 in a tragic drowning accident in Memphis, Tennessee. He had emerged in New York City’s Lower East Side avant-garde club scene during the early-1990’s as one of the most remarkable musical artists of his generation, acclaimed by audiences, critics,and fellow musicians alike. Buckley performed a version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah on his 1994 debut album Grace. By 1997, Buckley had moved from New York City and settled in Memphis, where he continued to work on what would have been his newest album. His last public show was a solo performance at a small club named Barrister’s in Memphis on May 26, 1997. Buckley died three days later, drowning in Memphis in the Wolf River on May 29, 1997.

Everybody Here Wants You: A Documentary of Buckley’s Life

Jeff Buckley: Halleluja

Rufus Wainwright met Jeff Buckley in the 1990s when Wainwright was an up-and-coming act. By then, Buckley had already released his first album (Grace), and was well on his way to stardom. Wainwright is said to have felt somewhat exasperated that Buckley often played at Sin-é, a café on New York’s Lower East Side, while he had been rejected three times by the club. The two met several months before Buckley’s drowning, during a show that Wainwright was playing. Buckley supposedly helped out with some technical problems, and the two talked over beers for a few hours.

In Wainwright’s 2004 album Want Two, his song Memphis Skyline was written as a tribute to Buckley, a loving elegy for another beautiful boy blessed with more than mere attitude and exhibitionism. “Always hated him for the way he looked/in the gaslight of the morning,” Rufus sings about Buckley, for whom this is a sweetly homoerotic tribute: “So kiss me, my darling, stay with me till morning…” That song also mentions Hallelujah, the Leonard Cohen song that Buckley had notably covered, and which Wainwright later did likewise.

Rufus Wainwright: Hallelujah

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The Remarkable Rufus Wainwright: A Revered Diva and Flawed Hero

The Remarkable Rufus Wainwright: A Revered Diva and Flawed Hero

Rufus Wainwright has been nominated for best International Male Solo Artist at the Brit Music Awards to be held at Earls Court in London on Wednesday night, February 20, 2008. He has been nominated for the single Going to a Town, from his album, Release the Stars (2007). Described by Robbie Williams as “the talent I want to turn into,” he comes from an acclaimed family of folk musicians (his mother is Kate McGarrigle and his father is Loudon Wainwright III).

He has been befriended by artists ranging from Elton John to Debbie Harry and Neil Tennant. However, relatively early in his musical career, expressions of intense, flamboyant extravagance and narcissistic self-absorption drove Wainwright to the very edge of self-destruction. His career almost ended abruptly because of his substance abuse, which led him to enter rehab in 2002. Recalling those days, he has described how the journey back to sanity, back to normality, has been pretty tough for him.

It is because of those harrowing past experiences that Wainwright is desperate not to waste his chances all over again. Reviewers who have watched him get ready to perform now have remarked that looking at him prepare you see a diva, but you also see a perfectionist. One of the reasons other musicians have come to like him so much is because he is a flawed hero. At London’s Brit Awards ceremony, Wainwright will be in his element. Mika, who is expected to walk away with several awards, is one of Wainwright’s most dedicated fans.

Rufus Wainwright: Going to a Town

The music video presented below is a version of Hallelujah, which was originally performed by Leonard Cohen. It was recorded live at the Tribute Concert for Leonard Cohen that was held in Australia at the Sydney Opera House in 2005. The recording features Rufus Wainwright, his sister Martha and friend, Joan Wasser. This particular performance of Hallelujah is remarkably touching for its candid emotional tone of simple, natural dignity.

Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright, Joan Wasser: Hallelujah

The final video shown below is from a documentary that aired on England’s BBC Channel 4 in 2005. This particular clip from the documentary focuses largely upon the period of time related to Wainwright’s substance abuse difficulties, the people who helped him get through that wearisome phase, and his re-emergence from the dark and deadly pit of escape back into the real world.

All I Want: A Portrait of Rufus Wainwright

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Recognizing Our Changing World

Recognizing Our Changing World

“The avoidance of reality is much the same everywhere, and has much the same consequences.  The Russian people were taught for years that they were better off than everybody else, and propaganda posters showed Russian families sitting down to abundant meal while the proletariat of other countries starved in the gutter.  Meanwhile the workers in the western countries were so much better off than those of the U.S.S.R. that non-contact between Soviet citizens and outsiders had to be a guiding principle of policy.  Then, as a result of the war, millions of ordinary Russians penetrated far into Europe, and when they return home the original avoidance of reality will inevitably be paid for in frictions of various kinds.  The Germans and the Japanese lost the war quite largely because their rulers were unable to see facts which were plain to any dispassionate eye.  To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.  One thing that helps toward it is to keep a diary, or, at any rate, to keep some kind of record of one’s opinions about important events.  Otherwise, when some particularly absurd belief is exploded by events, one may simply forget that one ever held it.  Political predictions are usually wrong.  But even when one makes a correct one, to discover why one was right can be very illuminating.  In general, one is only right when either wish or fear coincides with reality.”

George Orwell, 1946.

A World of Change

Rufus Wainwright: Across the Universe

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A Small Memorial to Fred W. McDarrah (1926-2007)

Veteran Village Voice photographer Fred W. McDarrah died in his sleep at home in Greenwich Village early last Tuesday morning at the age of 81. Over a 50-year span, McDarrah documented the rise of the Beat Generation, the city’s postmodern art movement, its off-off-Broadway actors, troubadours, politicians, agitators and social protests.

Fred captured Jack Kerouac frolicking with women at a New Year’s bash in 1958, Andy Warhol adjusting a movie-camera lens in his silver-covered factory, and Bob Dylan offering a salute of recognition outside Sheridan Square near the Voices old office. Not just a social reporter, McDarrah was a great photo-journalist. He photographed the still-smoldering ruins of the Weather Underground bomb factory on W. 12th Street.

For years, McDarrah was the Village Voice’s only photographer and, for decades, he ran the Voice’s photo department. He helped train dozens of young photographers, including James Hamilton, Sylvia Plachy, Robin Holland and Marc Asnin. His mailbox was simply marked “McPhoto.”

The Photography of Fred McDarrah

Music Audio: Going to a Town

The Photography of Fred W. McDarrah: The Village Voice

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A Chelsea Rhapsody: Chelsea Mournings

A Chelsea Rhapsody: Chelsea Mournings

Jedd Giles has published a long article on Ed Hamilton the legendary blogging chronicler of the life and times of the Chelsea Hotel, and about the continuing demise of The Chelsea Hotel on West 23rd Street in today’s edition of The New York Times, which begins:

“The Chelsea Hotel describes itself as a rest stop for rare individuals, a euphemism that still manages to pass the truth-in-advertising test if you take “rare individuals” to mean artists and addicts, and “rest stop” to mean possible death. Have sober, productive people ever bedded down for the night at the famous ghost ship on West 23rd Street? Have they even moved in permanently? Of course. One of the strangest rumors to emanate from the place over the decades is that some people actually raise children there. Still, it’s not the upstanding folks whose stories have echoed down the years and drawn generations of tourists and bohemians, it’s the legacies of giants who could barely stand up.

The Chelsea is where Dylan Thomas was living when he fell into a fatal, whiskey-induced coma. Where William Burroughs wrote Naked Lunch. Where Leonard Cohen rolled around with Janis Joplin, he recounted her kindly ministrations in his song Chelsea Hotel No. 2, and where drug-addled Sid stabbed drug-addled Nancy, then couldn’t remember if he had done it or not.”

The Chelsea Hotel on West 23d Street in Manhattan is an elegantly shabby Victorian-Gothic hotel, which is registered as a national historic landmark. The Chelsea has a long history of serving as a sanctuary for the the avant-garde. Through the years, those who lived at the Chelsea have included Jack Kerouac, Thomas Wolfe, Arthur Miller, Sam Shepard, Tennessee Williams, Edith Piaf, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Jean-Paul Sartre, Leonard Cohen, Willem de Kooning, Jane Fonda, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Milos Forman, Jimi Hendrix, Dennis Hopper, Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith, Vladimir Nabokov and Wes Klein. Dylan Thomas drank 18 straight whiskies there. His last. Arthur C. Clarke wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey while living there.

Recently, a corporate-style management team has taken over running the Chelsea, and its artist-residents are worried that the hotel will be transformed into a posh New York “boutique” hotel. A national grassroots protest is underway, and this posting is in support of that protest. This article presents a recent documentary about the hotel prepared by Michael Maher of the Australian Broadcasting Company, a music video of Rufus Wainwright (a former resident) performing Leonard Cohen’s Chelsea Hotel #2, and a beautiful photo-gallery that presents photographs of the Chelsea, as well as of some of the artists and celebrities who have lived there.

Living With Legends: A Documentary on the Chelsea Hotel by Michael Maher

Rufus Wainwright Sings: Chelsea Hotel #2

To learn more about The Chelsea Hotel, please visit: Living with Legends: Hotel Chelsea Blog

Also see this brief article from today’s edition of The New York Observer here.

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My Articles for Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Quoted: Photo of the Day: Peony Photography by: Katinka Matson Technorati: Photo of the Day, Photograph of the Day, photo, photos, photograph, photographs, photography, Katinka Matson, flower, flowers, floral, peony, blog, blogger, blogging, weblogs, photo-blogs Be Social:

[tags: blogs]

Following a stormy season with the abrupt exit of Rosie O’Donnell, ABC’s talk show, The View, is bringing aboard a new outspoken co-host: comedian Whoopi Goldberg. Barbara Walters, announced today that Whoopi has been named moderator of her Emmy Award-winning morning talk show. Biography, Annie Leibovitz photograph and video included.

[tags: Whoop Goldberg, Barbara Walters, The View, television, Annie Leibovitz, photograph, video, YouTube]

“Photo of the Day: Water Lily Leaf and Flower.” This is a beautiful, high-resolution photograph of a water lily resting in its leaf. A quietly elegant floral photographic study.

[tags: Photo of the Day, Photograph of the Day, photograph, flowers, floral, water lily]

The Wall Street Journal starts down the road to becoming a second-rate business rag, falling into the grasp of Australian billionaire Rupert Murdoch this morning. WSJ will now join a tarnished media nest, inhabited by such unsavory news organizations as Fox News. He also owns Twentieth Century Fox, MySpace, and newspapers in Australia and England.

[tags: news, Rupert Murdoch, The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones, celebrities, photograph]

See the Rest of My Articles at Blue Dot

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