Sergei Polunin’s improvised dance to “Take Me To Church” by Hozier, as directed by David LaChapelle from David LaChapelle Studio.
goodbye 2014: I am a shadow as the world moves on
I try to post something beautiful every year on the last day of the year. Quite often my choices are haunting, as befits the ghost of time’s passage, like the forgotten circus, or sweet, like this optimistic relationship post, or mischievous, (I really have to find a copy of that file again), or something personal, usually a bit of writing, but this year started roughly and ended the worst it’s ever been, so I’m just going with HERE IS ART THAT SPEAKS TO ME. It is more bleak than usual, but such is fitting, given my broken life and devastated heart, that I would bid goodbye to 2014 with a such a twisted thing.
Type until the red dot appears, then click it. NSFW.
my only christmas tradition: rare exports and the official safety instructions
Rare Exports Inc. (2003) from Woodpecker Film.
“Not meant for the public eye, this film reveals the dark reality of what’s wrong with company’s product. With its primitive instincts triggered by bad behaviour of people around it, the seemingly tame Father Christmas will forget the intensive training and turn into a brutal beast. You better watch out, you better not cry, there’s no room for mistakes.”
Rare Exports: The Official Safety Instructions (2005) from Woodpecker Film.
Cirque du Soleil’s dance of drones and a road-trip proposal
SPARKED: A Live Interaction Between Humans and Quadcopters
Bonus: Cirque du Soleil, ETH Zurich, and Verity Studios also posted a behind the scenes video that goes into the progeneration of the film.
Kurios, the newest Cirque show is going to be playing the west coast this winter. In my quest to see EVERY Cirque show, I have seen an unlikely number of Cirque productions – five or six tent shows (in Vancouver, Seattle, and Montreal), and four of the eight shows permanently installed in Vegas – and Kurios is easily one of my very favourites, right up there with “O”. (I saw it in Montreal during it’s opening run while I was there for ReCon.) It’s a clockwork time-travel, turn-of-the-century bit of deliciousness, dipped in retrofuturistic science fiction and with an undeniable City of the Lost Children vibe. Very brass, electricity, and polished wood, but bright and colourful and sweet.
It’s playing Seattle from January 29th, 2015, to February 22nd and I would very much like to go with as many of you beautiful people as possible. (Unlike the majority of my road-trips, this is being proposed far in advance.) So, with that in mind, who would like to come with me? Let’s plan!
Howdy, Vegas, your new narrators are on their way.
The Gunfighter from Eric Kissack.
you only see the stars when they fall like rain
TODAY’S REQUIRED WATCHING: the shock when their lips meet
FIRST KISS from Tatia Pilieva.
Filmmaker Tatia Pilieva asked twenty people to kiss for the first time. It sounds simple, but the effect is incredible. I am overwhelmed by how sweet it seems.
The cast includes models Natalia Bonifacci, Ingrid Schram, and Langley Fox; musicians Z Berg of The Like, Damian Kulash of OK Go, Justin Kennedy of Army Navy, singer Nicole Simone, and singer-actress Soko (of the indie music that accompanies the short); and actors Karim Saleh, Matthew Carey, Jill Larson, Corby Griesenbeck, Elisabetta Tedla, Luke Cook, and Marianna Palka.
“It never gets better and you never get used to it.”
I spent a week in the Bay area in January. I wanted to break myself open against it. Sink my teeth into life there. Accept its sly smile as a promise. It felt like the glossy magazine promise of the future is possible, obvious, and true and laid out in front of you, and even though there are many shadows, the core of everything seemed welcoming.
(It was a harder visit than it would be usually – a dear friend to many of my dear ones took his own life the day I arrived, scattering chaos and grief and anger in every direction, cutting my community down at the knee. So while I danced along streets, declaring, “I’m here!”, friends and friends of friends were coming together, many meeting for the first time, to clean away bone and blood and hair and mourn and grieve and scatter his ashes by the ocean. I was hopeless against the wave of sorrow that infected my community, (some of the people affected, oddly, were tied together by only me and him), so though I regret their absence, I was satisfied that I would see my friends when they were able to see me. Security fellow, burner, goth type, black nails and a brilliant, but depressed mind, I am extraordinarily sorry not to have met him. He must have been splendid, given the company he kept. I love them, after all, and they loved him, so he must be worth near anything.)
San Francisco was slightly more beautiful than I could easily bear. The planes of the bones of the city reminded me of fire, especially from above, while the bridges were splendid hooks that tugged at my heart, magnificent as fuck, the sculpture of lights like a good rhythm that urged on my footsteps as I walked, nudging me into dance, pushing me to sing. I only flinched away from thoughts of Canada, of returning North, so I avoided it as much as I could. I wanted the city to be everything, fill my entire field of vision from the inside out. The rows of bright buildings, the windows a hundred thousand eyes gazing out upon the hundred thousand people walking by, that’s what I wanted inside my head and heart. (The crowds were especially welcome after the sepia deserts of New Mexico.) It was like being in the middle of a massive, sparkling bubble bath where every bubble is another human life.
I forgot my wallet at home, I was cat-called while I walked through bad parts of town, a bottle was smashed from a passing car at my feet, but it was all part of the flow, all part of being there. Present, relaxed. Whatever the future held, it would be better for having done this trip, to have more context to hold up against the darkness of my life to the North, have evidence that there is better, that it exists. If I could have, I would have brought San Francisco to my lips for a kiss.
Andrew Solomon: Depression, the secret we share.
“The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality, and it was vitality that seemed to seep away from me in that moment.”
Andrew Solomon is a poetic, eloquent writer on politics, culture and psychology. Does anyone have his book The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression? I would very much like to read a copy. It seems like it would help.