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Jean Luc Godard: One Plus One at MOCA

Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Obodo (Country/City/Town/Ancestral Village), 2018, adhesive vinyl, courtesy of the artist, The Museum of Contemporary Art,  Los Angeles, and Victoria Miro, London / Venice, photo by Elon Schoenholz. Used with kind courtesy of MOCA, all rights reserved.

One Plus One, more commonly known as Sympathy for the Devil after it was re-edited by its producer, is one of the most complex and provocative films of 1968.  Director Jean-Luc Godard intercuts footage of the Rolling Stones working on the song “Sympathy for the Devil” with other scenes examining capitalism, activism, and political conflict. Godard’s original edit, which was screened in its first year but not regularly distributed in the United States since, has been restored by ABKCO and made its Los Angeles premiere at MOCA. The film was shown on a 4K projector with Dolby sound. This program is part of Filmforum’s 1968: Visions of Possibilities, which presents films that reflect on the turbulent global events of 1968 fifty years later.  (source: MOCA)

The film screened on Thursday, Nov 8, 2018, at 7pm at MOCA Grand, Los Angeles, to a nearly sold out theatre. Legendary 1+1 Cinematographer Anthony B. Richmond was present to introduce the film, who has also lensed such classic films as; The Rolling Stones: Rock and Roll Circus, The Beatles: Let It Be, The Man Who Fell to Earth (David Bowie), Heart of Darkness, Indian Runner (Director; Sean Penn), the classic Clive Barker horror film Candyman, and countless more.

Blending rare, compelling footage of the Rolling Stones in a large, rough studio working on take after take of “Sympathy for the Devil,” Godard and Richmond bring unforgettable shots of the Stones in unpredictable, entertaining compositions, compelling for any Rolling Stones fan.

With dynamic, outstanding sound that soared beautifully in MOCA, the music of the Rolling Stones brilliance, with their rare cuts here, are boldly juxtaposed with Godard’s sporadic and notorious enfant’ terrible aggression upon the audience with an occasional blasted reverb feedback, and the political philosophical musings by bands of outsiders.  Revolutionaries including Black Panther-esque militants, an actress wandering in a UK forest who answers nothing but “yes” or “no,” and a radical voice-over narrator whose audio track is generally overlaid directly on top of the other vocal track of the scene the viewer is watching, makes the foley track of this film as daring as the motion picture itself.

This technique, mastered by Godard, results in the colliding voices of a devious, hallucinogenic, audio assault upon the viewer / listener, that while at times dreadfully annoying, is simultaneously brilliant.  Godard at times moves the microphones from one scene closer and farther away, creating a parade of sound coming and going, as the narrator track fades in and out, signaling not only time and space, but the destruction of space-time, and form itself.

A car graveyard, filled with the beautiful destruction and decay of chipped and smashed colors of metal, stacked and lined beautifully in rows of life and death, blend into the dirt of the Earth, as Richmond pans back and forth as revolutionary black brothers throw each other machine guns ready to take down the man.  A montage of art itself, the wasted vehicles symbolize a dying industry;  a broken and collapsing society, re-appropriated by revolutionaries ready to take back their power by any means necessary, yet later talking it out and discovering–after a few sacrificial deaths–violence is “not” the answer.

As notable Hollywood Sentinel art and literature critic Moira Cue comments, “Godard exemplified in One Plus One the fact that rock music had become the new form of political revolution to get the message to the masses.”

While Godard’s fleeting brush with Communist Marxism is exemplified in the film; the message that “all progress is rooted not in the industrialized masses controlled by the state, but rather in those achievements by the  individual,” may not be accurate in  literal interpretation; as one ponders the creation for example, of Egypt’s great pyramids made by the dreadful toil if the Egyptian slaves; and yet, we can irrefutably agree, that all good “moral progress” is rooted ‘not’ in the coercive exploitation of the ruling political class, but rather;  is found in the egalitarian ideal of the freedom of the individual to pursue his or her own unrestrained creativity, without regard for the whims, wishes, or commands of the tyrannical powers that be.

It is with the beauty of that such anarchist ideal, with the celebration of freedom at its core, that Jean Luc Godard ascended to his heights of greatness, and forever stays as one cinema’s most stunning, innovative, daring, and brilliant voices of all time.

A very special thanks to the vision of MOCA and FILMFORUM for bringing this masters work to the museum, along with Anthony B. Richmond.

MOCA’s New Board Members 

The Board of Trustees of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA),  announced Monday the addition of five new members: Dr. Adrian Cheng, Marina Kellen French, Simon Mordant, Sean Parker, and Julia Stoschek. The members bring an international outlook, various industry backgrounds, and deep commitment to the arts. They each add strength to an expanded and invigorated MOCA Board.

“I am thrilled and proud to welcome such an esteemed group of new trustees,” said MOCA Board Chair Maria Seferian. “Each of our new trustees is a leader in his or her industry and a deeply dedicated philanthropist who has contributed to many important causes around the world. MOCA is embarking on a new chapter, and we are all very excited about what’s to come.”

“I am humbled and grateful to welcome five extraordinary philanthropists, leading art specialists, and pioneering supporters of the arts and social causes to the board of MOCA,” said Klaus Biesenbach, the Director of The Museum of Contemporary Art. “Each, in their own way, brings a unique knowledge and experience to the Board that will broaden and strengthen the growth of the museum going forward.”

Dr. Adrian Cheng joins the MOCA Board from Hong Kong. Mr. Cheng is an internationally-renowned businessman. He is currently the Executive Chairman and General Manager of New World Development and the Executive Director of the Chow Tai Fook Capital Limited. Mr. Cheng is also the founder of the K11 Art Foundation (KAF) and has been awarded the prestigious officier de l’ordre des arts et des lettres. Mr. Cheng is active in contemporary art; he is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Museum of China Foundation, Director of the China Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum (CAFAM) Funds, and a trustee of the Royal Academy of Arts, is a member of TATE’s Asia Pacific Acquisitions Committee, among others.

Marina Kellen French joins the MOCA Board from New York City. Ms. French is an internationally-recognized, lifelong philanthropist and avid supporter of the arts. She has been a trustee of the Metropolitan Opera and on the trustee council The National Gallery in Washington, D.C. for thirty-eight years. Ms. French is also on the Board of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall, The Hospital for Special Surgery, and The American Academy, Berlin and is a Life Trustee of both the Morgan Library and of WNET, Channel 13. She is the Vice President of the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation and the President of the Marina Kellen French Foundation. Ms. French was awarded the Officers Cross of the Order of Merit from the Federal Republic of Germany for all she has done for German American relations.

Simon Mordant AM joins the MOCA Board from Sydney, Australia. Mr. Mordant is Executive Co Chairman and co-founder of Luminis Partners, a leading corporate advisory and investment banking firm associated with Evercore. Mr. Mordant is a decades-long, passionate collector of contemporary art. He is Chairman of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA), a Trustee of the American Academy in Rome, a director of MoMA PS1, a member of the Tate and MOMA International Councils and was twice Australia’s Commissioner at the Venice Biennale. Mr. Mordant was awarded an AM, being made a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia for Services to the Arts.

Sean Parker joins the MOCA Board from Los Angeles. Mr. Parker is an internationally-renowned entrepreneur with a record of launching genre-defining companies and organizations. Together with his wife Alexandra Parker, he is an avid collector of contemporary art and committed philanthropist. The Parkers founded the Parker Foundation in 2015 with a focus on large-scale systemic changes in life sciences, global public health and civic engagement.

Julia Stoschek joins the MOCA Board from Berlin, Germany.  She is the founder of the Julia Stoschek Collection, which is a leading international collection of time-based art. The collection is based in Dusseldorf and Berlin and includes more than 800 works of time-based, performance and installation art from the 1960s onward. She is a world-recognized philanthropist and affiliated with many institutions, including the Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, where she serves as Vice Chair. Furthermore, she is a member of the acquisition committee at Kunstsammlung NRW, Duesseldorf, Tate Council, London and Committee of Performance at the Whitney Museum, New York.

Victory: Court Strikes Down Keystone Pipeline

In Blow to Pipeline Project, Court Invalidates Trump Administration’s Keystone XL Environmental Review, Blocks Construction

A federal judge ruled last week that the Trump administration violated bedrock U.S. environmental laws when approving a federal permit for TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline project. The judge blocked any construction on the pipeline and ordered the government to revise its environmental review.

The decision is a significant setback for a pipeline that investors are already seriously questioning the project. TransCanada has not yet announced a Final Investment Decision on whether to move forward and build Keystone XL should it receive all the necessary permits.


On November 16, 2017, TransCanada’s Keystone 1 pipeline reportedly spilled more than 200,000 gallons of tar sands ( the world’s dirtiest oil) in South Dakota. This spill has now contaminated the environment and threatens local communities.

U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris found that the Trump administration’s reliance on a stale environmental review from 2014 violated the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act and the Administrative Procedure Act. This ruling follows the court’s previous decision on August 15 to require additional analysis of the new route through Nebraska.

The court required the U.S. Department of State to revise the proposed project’s environmental impact statement to evaluate the extraordinary changes in oil markets that have occurred since the previous review was completed in 2014; to consider the combined climate impacts of approving both the Keystone XL and other tar sands pipelines; to study the many cultural resources along the pipeline’s route; and to examine the harmful risks of oil spills on nearby water and wildlife.

The State Department must also provide a reasoned explanation for its decision to reverse course and approve the permit, after the Obama administration denied it just three years ago on the same set of facts.

Based on these violations, the court ordered the State Department to revise its environmental analysis, and prohibited any work along the proposed route — which would cross Nebraska, South Dakota, and Montana — until that analysis is complete.

Keystone XL would have carried up to 35 million gallons a day of Canadian tar sands — one of the world’s dirtiest energy sources — across critical water sources and wildlife habitat to Gulf Coast refineries.

Plaintiffs Northern Plains Resource Council, Bold Alliance, Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council and Sierra Club filed the lawsuit in March 2017 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana.

Quotes

“Today’s ruling is a victory for the rule of law, and it’s a victory for common sense stewardship of the land and water upon which we all depend. Despite the best efforts of wealthy, multinational corporations and the powerful politicians who cynically do their bidding, we see that everyday people can still band together and successfully defend their rights. All Americans should be proud that our system of checks and balances can still function even in the face of enormous strains,” said Dena Hoff, Montana farmer and member-leader of the Northern Plains Resource Council.

“Farmers and our Tribal Nation allies in Nebraska, South Dakota and Montana celebrate today’s victory foiling the Trump dministration’s scheme to rubber-stamp the approval of Keystone XL. This now ten-year battle is still far from over. We’ll continue to stand together against this tar sands export pipeline that threatens property rights, water and climate at every opportunity, at every public hearing. People on the route deserve due process and the Ponca Trail of Tears must be protected,” said Mark Hefflinger, communications director for Bold Alliance.

“Today’s ruling makes it clear once and for all that it’s time for TransCanada to give up on their Keystone XL pipe dream,” said Sierra Club Senior Attorney Doug Hayes. “The Trump administration tried to force this dirty pipeline project on the American people, but they can’t ignore the threats it would pose to our clean water, our climate, and our communities.”

“This is a complete repudiation of the Trump administration’s attempts to evade environmental laws and prioritize oil company profits over clean water and wildlife,” said Jared Margolis, senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Keystone XL would devastate species and put communities at risk of contamination. There’s simply no excuse for approving this terrible project. We need to move away from fossil fuel dependence, not support more devastation.”

“Keystone XL would be a disaster for the climate and for the people and wildlife of this country,” said Jackie Prange, senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “As the court has made clear yet again, the Trump administration’s flawed and dangerous proposal should be shelved forever.”

“Today’s ruling is a decisive moment in our fight against the corporate polluters who have rushed to destroy our planet,” said Marcie Keever, legal director at Friends of the Earth. “Rejecting the destructive Keystone XL pipeline is a victory for the grassroots activists who have worked against the Keystone XL pipeline for the past decade. Environmental laws exist to protect people and our lands and waters. Today, the courts showed the Trump administration and their corporate polluter friends that they cannot bully rural landowners, farmers, environmentalists and Native communities.”

Hollywood Sentinel states, “Only an idiot denies global warming and climate change.  And only those with no regard for the Earth, or the health of plants, animals, and human beings on Earth would strive to exploit the planet for more dirty fossil fuels, rather than wisely invest in, develop, and use cleaner energy such as electric,  and even better still; wind and solar. ”

About the Center for the Biological Diversity

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.
This content is (c). 2018 Center for the Biological Diversity, used with kind courtesy for The Hollywood Sentinel.

Oscars® Announce Next Producer and Director

ONNA GIGLIOTTI TO PRODUCE THE 91ST OSCARS®
GLENN WEISS TO CO-PRODUCE AND DIRECT THE OSCARS

Oscar®-winning producer Donna Gigliotti will produce the 91st Oscars®, and Emmy®-winning director Glenn Weiss will co-produce and direct the show, Academy President John Bailey announced today. The Oscars will air live on the ABC Television Network and broadcast outlets worldwide on Sunday, February 24, 2019.

“Donna and Glenn will infuse new energy and vision into this 91st awards presentation, and we are excited about a broad-based creative relationship with these two artists,” said Bailey.

“I’m grateful to the Academy and ABC for entrusting me with this very special opportunity,” said Gigliotti. “I’m sure it will prove to be a humbling, exhilarating and completely unique experience. Thankfully, I will have Glenn Weiss by my side every step of the way!”

“I’m so looking forward to being back to help celebrate and honor the film industry and all the talented people behind this year’s movies,” said Weiss. “And I am ‘co-excited’ to be co-producing this year’s show with Donna Gigliotti!”

“We’re thrilled to work with someone as passionate about the Academy as Donna Gigliotti—an Oscar winner and multiple nominee. She and (the now famous) Glenn Weiss are committed to making the most of the innovations we’ve embraced for our 91st Oscars,” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson.

“Donna Gigliotti has worked on some of the most celebrated films of our time and is uniquely qualified to bring her talent to the most anticipated awards show of the year,” said Channing Dungey, president, ABC Entertainment. “And, thanks to Glenn Weiss, we just experienced the most talked-about moment at the Emmys with his heartfelt onstage wedding proposal. We can’t wait to see how they top that at The Oscars.”

Gigliotti won a Best Picture Oscar for “Shakespeare in Love” and earned nominations for “Hidden Figures,” “Silver Linings Playbook” and “The Reader.” Her other producing credits include such features as “The Fundamentals of Caring,” “Beasts of No Nation,” “Two Lovers,” “The Good Night” and “Emma.” The films she has produced and overseen have earned a total of 43 Oscar nominations.
Returning to direct his fourth consecutive Oscars, Weiss has won 14 Primetime Emmy Awards, including one earlier this year for the 90th Oscars. He has directed and produced numerous televised events, including 18 Tony Awards® shows. His other directing credits include “The Kennedy Center Honors,” “Billboard Music Awards,” “BET Awards,” “Peter Pan Live!,” “Dick Clark’s Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest,” “Primetime Emmy Awards,” “Live from Lincoln Center,” “Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular,” “Garth Brooks, Live from Las Vegas” and the “American Music Awards.”

The 91st Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 24, 2019, at the Dolby® Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscars also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

ABOUT THE ACADEMY

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a global community of more than 9,000 of the most accomplished artists, filmmakers and executives working in film. In addition to celebrating and recognizing excellence in filmmaking through the Oscars, the Academy supports a wide range of initiatives to promote the art and science of the movies, including public programming, educational outreach and the upcoming Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, which is under construction in Los Angeles.

Image and textual content courtesy of AMPAS, all world right reserved. 2018,  Hollywood Sentinel.