Amoeblog

The Up Series: Give Me a Child of 7 and I Will Show You the Man

Posted by Miss Ess, March 11, 2008 12:30pm | Post a Comment
I spent much of the lthe up series michael aptedast week immersed in Michael Apted's Up Series on DVD.  This documentary film series is fascinating-- each film offers a close look at how one becomes an adult, how certain decisions form and create a life, and how one's idea of one's self effects one's eventual place in the world. 

In 1964, a group of 7 year old English children were interviewed about their views on life, love, and the future.  Apted has revisited tthe up series dvdhe children every 7 years-- so there are films for 14, 21, 28, 35, and 42 years old that all come in one handy box for your viewing pleasure. I've heard there's at least one more film, for 49, out there too.

It seems like these films were the precursor to reality tv in a way, for better or worse.  I think the project was started to see what effect class has on a British child's future, but it really offers much more than that.  The class system in Britain is still in effect in certain ways, although you can see over the years of the films that it breaks down quite a bit.  More importantly, the films capture real lives, real issues, real triumphs, real failures.

Watching the idealistic, blunt and hopeful children become independent, challenging, full adults is completely absorbing.  Who wants to think about getting old?  I mean, no one really,  but it's pretty interesting to watch people age before your eyes and to see and hear about the changes that they are going through.

One child, Neil, just broke my heart.  At 7 you can easily see the brightness and humor in his eyes.  He says that when he's older he doesn't want any children because they are naughty and dirty the house.  You can see plainly on his grinning face that he is guilty of this crime and has been scolded for it many a time. By 14, his eyesthe up series michael apted have already grown deadened and his front teeth have been busted out at sharp angles, never to be repaired (at least not by 42-- very British!).  The light never returns to his face either.  He has been raised in a Liverpool suburb and by adolescence feels misunderstood by just about everyone.  By 21 he's living in a squat in London and Neil continues to meander on, homeless and fairly destitute.  It's striking to see his life begin in such a hopeful way and spiral off and downward, and it's interesting to try to think about why.  By 42 he's finally starting to look for real employment and trying to make his way toward a career in something close to his heart.  His journey is a rough one to watch, at least for me.

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THE ULTIMATE ACT OF ANARCHY AND CAPITALIST REBELLION

Posted by Billyjam, March 11, 2008 12:02pm | Post a Comment

In Jerry Rubin's most famous speech, the one that the Yippie co-founder made in Chicago in 1968 during the Democratic National Convention,  he encouraged people to incorporate theater into their anarchy and stressed how an act such as throwing a bunch of cash money up in the air in the stock exchange and watching the pandemonium that would most likely ensue would be a much more profound statement than the stereotypical anti-capitalist protest of that era. 

Although they were not there in Chicago, USA in 1968 (they would have been only kids across the sea in Britain) it seems that the two founding members of the K Foundation, Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty, truly heeded the true meaning of those anti-establishment words uttered by the Yippie leader, and accordingly carried out a major public act involving throwing money away that would catch the public's attention and confuse most people with their destructive anti-capitalist act that the two carried out on the early morning of August 23rd, 1994.

On that day fourteen years ago the two former members of the successful British pop band KLF burnt      one million pounds sterling in hard cash bills (about two million dollars) on an island off the coast of Scotland. It took exactly one hour and three minutes for the cash  - in 50 UK pound note denominations, packed in suitcases - to completely burn up. 

The two unique (crazy?) individuals who undertook this unprecedented act of rebellion and/or performance art used the money they had earned from the profits of their successful hip-hop & sample based electronic-rock-pop group the KLF (formerly known as the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, aka The Jams, and also for a short time The Timelords). They had deleted their entire back catalog of music in 1992 and then set up the K Foundation with the intention of subverting the art world - just as they had done with the music world.

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Can't Hardly Wait For Saturday !

Posted by phil blankenship, March 11, 2008 12:39am | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music and Phil Blankenship are proud to present some of our film favorites at Los Angeles’ last full-time revival movie theater. See movies the way they're meant to be seen - on the big screen and with an audience!


Saturday March 15

10 Year Anniversary !
Can't Hardly Wait

New Beverly Cinema
7165 W Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 938-4038
Midnight, $7

A rare screening celebrating the 10th anniversary of this teen classic! Several cast members will be in attendance!


 

Leon Greenman 1910 - 2008

Posted by Whitmore, March 10, 2008 09:01am | Post a Comment


Leon Greenman
, the only Englishman sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp, has died this past Friday, March 7th. He was 97.

Greenman was one of six children born in Whitechapel, in the East End of London. His family’s background was Dutch-Jewish. His paternal grandparents were Dutch and when his father remarried, Greenman’s mother died when he was two, he moved the family to Rotterdam in the Netherlands. By the 1920s, Leon had returned to London apprenticing with a barber in Forest Gate. During the 1930s he joined an amateur operatic society where he met Esther "Else" van Dam. In 1935 they married and in 1940 their son Barnett was born. Meanwhile, he commuted between Britain and Holland, working for his father-in-law's book business.

Greenman believed that being a British citizen, his family would be protected from the Nazis.  But by late April 1942, the Nazis had enforced the wearing of the yellow Star of David on Jews in the Netherlands. Leon, meanwhile, gave his family's savings and passports to non-Jewish friends for safe keeping. Scared of reprisals for helping Jews, his friends burned the documents.

On October 8, 1942 the entire family were rounded up and taken to Westerbork, a Nazi concentration camp in the Netherlands. In mid-January 1943 they were told they were being deported to a Polish "work camp."  His wife Esther and three-year-old son Barney perished there at Auschwitz. Greenman survived the war and committed the rest of his life to teaching and reminding the public what he had witnessed at Auschwitz and the five other camps he was sent to. He believed that if he could tell enough people about the horrors of the camps and Nazism, perhaps it would never happen again.

He published a memoir, An Englishman in Auschwitz, and continued to lecture well into old age. In 1988 he received the prestigious Order of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II for his work fighting racism.

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MOVING VIOLATIONS PART ONE: GRAFFITI ON THE GO

Posted by Billyjam, March 10, 2008 08:25am | Post a Comment
      

New York City subway cars of a bygone era, where graffiti started and was once most prolific, or freight trains in the US or passenger trains in Italy and other European countries where graffiti is currently commonly seen, are not the only types of vehicles or moving objects that graffiti can been found on.   Trucks and sometimes cars in cities are also quite common targets for graffiti artists to tag up. Generally these are commercial vehicles since the code (albeit not always a strict one) among graf artists is to exercise respect for private property - but to hell with businesses and city owned property, especially when you can get away with the illegal act.

Always fascinated with this aspect of graffiti done on moving vehicles - oft times really rushed tags since the truck or van is only parked temporarily for as short a stop as a traffic light - I have been snapping pictures of what I have named this "moving violations"  part of graffiti.  Taken over the last few years in various cities including San Francisco, Oakland, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, and New York City they include a broad spectrum of graffiti from some intricate pieces to some very basic and obviously rushed tag jobs - kinda like the one above on the truck with Santa Rosa plates parked in the Mission District of San Francisco.

One truck owner in Chinatown in New York told me that he had long stopped trying to erase the tags on his once white van that he used to transport garments all over the city in. Other vehicle owners said that they actually commissioned artists to paint their trucks because then they knew that most other graffiti artists out of respect would then leave the vehicle alone. This way at least they could pick the art themselves.  There are also some shots (including immediately below) of a graffiti'ed barge on a canal in Amsterdam, a city rife with graffiti everywhere, even along its waterways.

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