Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Werner Herzog needs to eat too

I'm glad that Werner Herzog gets directing movies in Hollywood with their star cast. Hopefully he gets paid for his engagements and some money will be left for his personal projects. His latest film Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call: New Orleans is more like work to pay bills than one of real Werner's creations. Films in Hollywood are made by producers and technical people, very little left to directors input. W. Herzog's touch in this case was to get job for Brad Dourif to play bookie (single interesting character here) and Peter Zeitlinger to put his name on credit roll as DP. Movie itself looks like directed by any nameless LA director, overproduced, simplistic a moralizing script. Camera man Peter Zeitlinger managed to snuck a couple more organic visuals with alligators, but movie has TV show look. Nicolas Cage tries to act and overacts like Robin Williams. Good movie associated with N. Cage name is a rare accident to happen, not this time either. Script idea ripped from gritty Abel Ferrara's 1992 film The Bad Lieutenant. In order to look more original Port of Call: New Orleans was added. Total lack of imagination. Besides a couple exterior shots and flooded prison scene rest of the story has nothing to do with New Orleans or Louisiana. What the point to use 50% of name for location then.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Great Bleep Forward

Like electric guitar before, invention of synthesizers and samplers unleashed creativity in people who not necessary had credentials to be musician. Synth driven music peaked in mid eighties with unsurpassed abundance of great tracks and ground breaking sound.
BBC's 3 part program, The Great Bleep Forward presented by Andrew Collins explores the development of electronic music from Theremin in the beginning of XX century to samplers and computer based music today. Series filled with great musical illustrations and interviews with key players in the development of electronic music. Dense, BBC at its best.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Yucca ginger & curry pancakes recipe

2 medium size yucca (other names is cassava or manioc) roots
1 cup of flour
1 egg
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 inch long ginger root
pinch of Cayenne pepper
pinch of sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder.
1-1.5 cup of water

Boil cassava roots until soft, put aside to cool.
Chop ginger and garlic and put it to food processor, add pepper, curry powder, salt and 1/4 cup of water. Blend it good.

Remove fiber like strains from the center of cooked roots.
Add cooled yucca, egg and rest of the water to processor. Mash it.

Transfer mix to the large bowl, add flour until it gets to dough like look and feel.

Fry it on frying pan with coconut or olive oil as little pancakes.
Serve the way you like, sour cream, butter, Flax seed oil or chutney.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Analog Cool

With advance of digital technology supply of cool gear gets depleted. Ipod, cell phones or new digital cameras are as cool as bar of soap. Most of them are ugly disposable items manufactured to be sold and junked as quick as possible.
Same with everything what dumped into the consumer market, be it cars, fashion or so called luxury items. It's more marketing tricks and catchy word game.
It was trend in advertising for while, to warm up and spice junk with old, almost century old but timeless engineering and cool design objects. Obviously, air brushed model with vacant stare is not enough anymore. Obscure, pre II WW or Leica cameras, reel to reel tape recorders, vinyl and even cassette players dominate those adds just because they are single product what worth to pay attention and lust for. In the end these adds is reminder for times when people took pride in producing something what has lasting life.

And totally, trend pushed to extreme, Bruce Weber with his cameras...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Singing happened by chance

All interesting New York summer concerts this year held in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. The best shows not even by rock bands. Goran Bregovic & His Wedding & Funerals Orchestra delivered speedy Balkan vibe to the delight of numerous Eastern Europeans in the audience. Another wonderful act came from South Asia, Bollywood composer and singer Kailash Kher with his exotic band performed modern indian music. Traditional Indian sound blended with Spanish guitar and rocking drum set very accessible to non Indian ear. Kailash started singing career after failing business. Good luck!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Camera Style

As majority pictures around the world taken with digital cameras of different incarnations, old school analog film cameras becoming fashion accessory and personal creativity statement. In the streets of big cities hip characters sporting old Leicas, Nikons, Canonets, Pentaxes and other obscure cool looking image taking machines. Most digital cameras produced today are ugly and lack of tactile appeal. Like cars on the street, all brands look like they came from the same assembly line. Film cameras is total opposite: they are heavy and solid tools, fruits of passionate engineering. Produced in Japan, Germany or Sweden, countries with reputation for attention for details and craftsmanship, they easy outlast any today's soap dish shaped gizmo.
Most film Leicas are sold in Japan. Most film camera cultists roam streets here.
Take a look to Tokyo Camera Style, site devoted to analog cameras in use.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Bailout According to Gospel

To him who hath nothing, nothing will be given; to him who hath, more will be added to.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Barefoot Biopirate

Fascinating and at the same time sad story in WIRED magazine about Brazilian biologist Marc van Roosmalen, originally of Dutch birth living in Manaus in Brazil. Scientist who spent most of his research time in the field, deep in the jungle instead of library or lab. His nontraditional work methods and fight for preservation of rain forest made him enemy of jealous colleagues and corrupt Brazilian bureaucrats, who accused him in biopiracy. Roosmalen, voted a Hero of the Planet by Time magazine in 2000, was sentenced for 15 years for trying to protect the Brazilian wilderness and many still undiscovered creatures. Rain forest is cut for shortsighted agricultural use. Exports of soya for cattle feed, mostly to China and Europe, are being put ahead of the environment. Just remember fate of activists Chico Mendez in 1988 and Dorothy Stang in 2005.
Read also interview with Marc van Roosmalen on Aquatic Community's site.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Brain in the Gut

The most innovative and daring ideas lately coming not from philosophers, artists or academia. They come from the kitchens around the world. Wonderful interview with celebrated cooks Chef Ferran Adrià & Chef Jose Andres from Spain just proves that statement. Fantastic.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


My brother's Tomas Andrijauskas photo show UNREALx36 opens at Photography Museum of Siauliai (Lithuania) on March 20. Pictures taken with snapshot camera, without any thinking at parties and all kind of encounters with friends in Siauliai between the late 90's and 2003. Raw and unpolished.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Frontal Truth of Alberto García-Alix

Considering how conservative Spanish society is, photographer Alberto García-Alix deserves double respect and attention than he receives. For some reason he is not very well known and represented beyond Spain. His raw and sensitive portraits of human soul materialized from the drops of the artist's blood and sweat, soaked in wine and cigarette smoke. He lives his images and photographs people alike, friends who balances danger, self destruction and lust for life. Alberto García-Alix's images very Spanish, Latin. When I look at his images it reminds me films of Argentine film director Jorge Polaco, who is even less known, yet makes wonderful and strange movies. Blend of machismo of corrida with passion and sexuality of flamenco serves more like shell and temporary safe place for naked bodies with vulnerable faces and sad wondering eyes.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Album Art of Hipgnosis

You can't judge music record by the sleeve, but in most cases it works. Smart and talented musicians has good enough taste to pick right visuals. Sometimes record artwork much better than music it contains. Many wonderful vinyl album covers from 70's stuck in my mind, but I can hardly recall music of quite a few. Artwork alone was enough to enjoy record as an object. At that time I was not aware that majority of them was produced by single creative unit called Hipgnosis. Founded in 1968 by Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell in London, this company created packing for the best albums of Led Zeppelin, Genesis, UFO, Black Sabbath, Peter Gabriel, Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Paul McCartney, Syd Barrett, Scorpions, Styx and The Alan Parsons Project among others. Storm Thorgerson was responsible for the imagery of Pink Floyd stage shows. Based of photographic image, playful and daring ideas rather than gimmicks of Photoshop, Hipgnosis work remains unsurpassed by this day and most likely will never be, since Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell still in business and full of fresh ideas as ever.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Beauty of the Yasujiro's Ozu frame

Film director Yasujiro Ozu known for his distinctive visual style. Use of normal lenses, static low angle camera placement, geometrically balanced compositions and subtle color coordination creates beautiful images. They can live itself outside of film's context and carry strong emotional and aesthetic energy projected by master filmmaker.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Safe House

While I was wondering in Kyoto my attention attracted buildings with small, deep-set windows with heavy cement shutters. Windows of this design called takamado are unique to the kura (storehouse). Build as separate structure of the machiya, or city merchant house, they was used to protect valuables from fire, in particular.

This distinctive architectural form based on the unit of single tatami mat (around 90cmx180cm) emerged in Edo period, which spanned more than 250 years from 1603 to 1867.