Category Archives: Film

More Stray Dogs

Tsai Ming-Liang – Stray Dogs at the Museum

Entry to MoCAD

Entry intoTsai Ming-Liang’s ‘Stray Dogs at the Museum’ exhibition at MoNTUE; totally overrun by fragrant foliage

Stray Dogs at the Museum by Malaysia-born, Taiwan-based film maker Tsai Ming-Liang was a stand out show I encountered during my recent trip to Taipei. Tsai’s feature film Stray Dogs won the Grand Jury Prize at the 70th Venice Film Festival in September last year and his exhibition at university space MoNTUE featured vignettes from the film installed in galleries overrun by shrubby off-cuts of foliage, providing not only a dramatic backdrop but a distinctly earthy odour.

A solitary figure condycts simple, eeryday rituals

Simple rituals performed by a solitary figure are split across three screens. Accumulations of leaves pile in the corners of the space.

Each screen in the exhibition was modified by the artist; crushed, rubbed with charcoal, recalling the traditions of scroll painting. The footage featured a solitary figure enacting simple, everyday rituals – sucking on chicken bones, squatting and smoking, staring into the distance – imagery that is at once exotic and resoundingly familiar. This was a beautiful, simple, poetic foil to the earnest, documentary style traditions that seem to proliferate in Taiwanese video art.

Young Lars


This is a creepy little horror film that Lars von Trier made when he was fourteen years old. It’s called Why Try to Escape from Which You Know You Can’t Escape from? Because You Are a Coward! and you can read more about it here.

Sherman on Franco

Detail from James Franco's New Untitled Film Still 21 (2013); detail from Cindy Sherman's Untitled Film Still 21 (1978)

Detail from James Franco’s ‘New Untitled Film Still 21′ 2013 (left) and detail from Cindy Sherman’s ‘Untitled Film Still 21′ 1978 (right)

Art world darling (and certified creep) James Franco recently launched a new and appallingly bad photo series at Pace Gallery, New York, that riffs on Cindy Sherman’s iconic film stills. “Cindy is an artist who used cinema as a source for her work; she ‘played’ at being an actress” says Franco. “I am an actor who inserts himself into his work. I am fully embedded in Hollywood, but these photos allow me to take a step to the side, look back, and refashion the work I do in Hollywood. I am at the same time actor, critic, artist, and character.” Hmm. When asked about Franco’s appropriations last week, Sherman said: “I was flattered, I can only be flattered. I don’t know that I can say it’s art, but I think it’s weirder that Pace would show them than that he would make them.” Not exactly a glowing endorsement then…

Raymond Pettibon, film-maker


LOL’s just discovered a suite of early films by Raymond Pettibon, all shot by the artist in 1989 using home video equipment. The tapes address various elements of West Coast American subcultures from Charlie Manson and The Family (in Judgement Day Theatre: The Book of Manson) to the kidnapping of Patti Hearst by militant group The Symbionese Liberation Army (in Citizen Tania). The last of these videos, Sir Drone (above), focuses on the emergence of the American punk movement, to which Pettibon was intrinsically linked though his work with Black Flag and SST Records.  In it, Mike Watt of the Minute Men and the late Mike Kelly (formerly of Destroy All Monsters) play teen punks trying to start a band.  Pettibon himself also makes an appearance, as a character called Vomit.  Shot over two days, Sir Drone contains a rambling script read awkwardly from cue cards.  Despite their crudeness, Kelly later claimed that “Raymond’s tapes are strangely moving: he is a brilliant script writer”.  LOL leaves you to be the judge of that…

More Yelling


This time care of the late Polish artist Wojciech Bruszewski
(via A Sound Awareness).

Jarman’s Broken English


How is it that Leg of Lamb has only just discovered Derek Jarman’s ode to Marianne Faithful’s 1979 album Broken English?!  Made in the same year as the album’s release, the short, 12 minute film features 3 songs from the record:   ‘Witches’ Song’, ‘The Ballad of Lucy Jordan’ and ‘Broken English’ accompanied by a mix of found footage superimposed with strange, ritualistic scenarios and clips of the singer – imagery made all the more haunting given Faithfull’s contemporaneous descent into addiction.