Ah Pook is here

William S Burroughs is on target!

William S Burroughs is on target!

Who knows why founding Beat poet and professional reprobate William S. Burroughs chose to fixate on the minor Mayan death god Ah Puch (which he spelled “Ah Pook” probably because it sounds like a dirty phrase in his native Midwestern dialect), but once he did, Ah Pook was resurrected from his sojourn in Limbo and elevated to the Pantheon of immortals, thanks to this bizarre prose poem, now immortalized as an unforgettable, gruesome, beautiful, award-winning animated film.

Ladies and gentlemen, brace yourselves. Ah Pook is here.

AH POOK IS HERE – This 1994 stop-frame interpretation of recordings by the late William S. Burroughs, was crafted around a selection of tracks from the album “Dead City Radio” produced by Hal Willner & Nelson Lyon – and featuring music by John Cale.

AH POOK received Ten international film awards, was archived in the Goethe institute, and was part of the Burroughs retrospective PORTS OF ENTRY. AH POOK was also voted ‘BEST OF THE BEST’ at the 2010 Stuttgart International Trickfilm festival.

The Guardian review:
“Phillip Hunt’s gorgeous, grisly animation mates William Burroughs’s gravelly narration of Ah Pook The Destroyer’s death-dealing parable with music by John Cale at his creepiest. Hunt’s deliberate and disgusting illustrations of Burrough’s monsters of the mind are a revelation; delicately articulated puppets riddled with revolting detail. Turn down the lights, get out the headphones, and give yourself over to The Master’s ghastly visions and sonorous warnings (“The world cannot be controlled, except by accident”) for six gut-churning minutes.”
-Kate Stables / The Guardian

Director Philip Hunt
Producer Eddel Beck
Music Hal Wilner & John Cale
Produced at the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg
Distributor BFI & The British Council

PS (still reading? eh?)

You might like the following story ( spoiler alert!):
The final scene of the film is an unbroken take wherein Pook puts the gun in his mouth and we pull back until we hear a gunshot and see a red flash, cutting back into the stars… and the spirit of Pook intoning ‘falling in Love again’ among the Heavens…
The original intention was to pull the camera all the way back a good respectful distance and show Pook’s body flinch backward etc.. But we had a small problem while shooting. Now, back in the day (‘94) we did this part on film and in-camera without video assist etc. and the entire sequence was one continuous camera track made frame by frame …all adjusted incrementally by hand.
When we were nearing the end of the shot we realised the focus had messed up & we were shooting blur. We had no way of knowing how long we had been shooting blur either.. The simple shot had taken us all day to shoot due to the awkward nature of the set up and we despondently wrapped for the day and sent the film off for processing ( a 2 day turnaround due to the location we shot in at that time). Now, the films audio was pre edited, the master mix already had the gunshot set as part of the audio track. So, after 2 days we got the processed rushes back & synched them up to the audio and played out to see how much of the animation had been captured before the accidental focus pull screwed it all up…
By some bizarre co-incidence.. The moment of blur synched up EXACTLY with the gunshot.. And so that’s how we left it.
Still freaks me out even now…

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Two Christmas Stories

Darwin and Charlie Brown

Darwin and Charlie Brown

It’s a Christmas Tradition on the ol’ raincoaster blog to re-post this, the greatest Christmas story ever told (sorry, Jesus!): A Christmas Story, by Sarban. It is long, but if I can spend several hours typing it in, you can take an hour or less to read it. I recommend accompanying it with a bottle of Zubrowka and a box of Kleenex.

UPDATE: here is a link to the story that actually WORKS!

A Christmas Story
By Sarban (John W. Wall)

I will tell you a Christmas story. I will tell it as Alexander Andreievitch Masseyev told it me in his little house outside the walls of Jedda years ago one hot, damp Christmas Eve….

For our second selection, we have the entirely awesome Simon Callow reading one of Charles Dickins’ non-cloying stories, “The Christmas Tree,” a marvellous, metaphorical memoir. I’ve stolen this one from the Guardian.


Cypherpoetry

Cypherpunks captured

Cypherpunks captured

Cypherpunks are a movement, a couple of episodes of Julian Assange’s television show, and a new book which I am going to review for Slate. They are, as well, poets (who don’t know it; or didn’t, until they read this post right here).

I know it only because I took their Manifesto (and y’all will recall how fond I am of Manifestii) and ran it through the Haiku Finder (and y’all will recall how fond I am of the Haiku Finder). And these were the surprisingly evocative result:

- it needs rewriting,
but for historical sake
I’ve left it unchanged.

+ Why is this so?
Why have these dominated?
What else is needed?

How this is achieve
is what most of the features
here are all about.

Tort law, threats of grant
or contract removal, all
are limiting speech.

- Statements from senior
intelligence officials
reflect this concern.

Niches will be filled.
12.3.4. The deep nature of money
is unclear to me.

12.15. Outlawing of Cash
12.15.1. “What are the motivations
for outlawing cash?

Perforce, people will
engage in contracts only
voluntarily.

- (For those of you who
think such bypasses of laws
are immoral, tough.

With liquid markets
for liquidations, things may
change dramatically.

Dealing with Such Things:
+ never link physical
ID with pseudonyms!

from records that were
public and that I am now
selling access to?

But pretty clearly
some amazing new structures
will be built this way.

“What role, if any,
will MUDs, MOOs, and Virtual
Realities play?

That, my friends, is a question I ask myself every day. And then I google to find out what it means.

The Poetry Book of Mormon

Emo Jesus sez it's okay. He's still got his poetry.

Emo Jesus sez it’s okay. He’s still got his poetry.

Anybody who’s read the King James version of the Bible knows there’s poetry in it. But is there poetry in the “Other Books” like the Gnostic Gospels, the Kabbalah, and the famous Book of Mormon? We dunno.

But thanks to WikiLeaks, we have The Church Handbook of Instructions for Mormons, and we can confirm, yea verily, that there is poetry within, at least according to the Haiku Finder. And here is that poetry.

He should be careful
not to embarrass members
who need assistance.

 

Stake leaders may give
instruction and assistance
during these meetings.

 

However, they may
pay tithing through their home ward
if necessary.

 

He also consults
with other stake presidents
as appropriate.

 

This clerk also should
know how to order garments
and temple clothing.

 

This clerk also should
know how to order garments
and temple clothing.

 

Prayers in Church Meetings
Men and women may offer
prayers in Church meetings.

Hey Moroni, don’t quit your day job!

Roy Henry Vickers’ The Elders Are Watching

Roy Henry Vickers is quite simply one of the greatest living artists. The web doesn’t do justice to his work, because some of the images are rendered in such a way that the totality of the work cannot be seen from every position; you can’t just stare at them straight-on and expect things to reveal themselves. His work was the inspiration for my own logo, which was created for me by my friend Shahee.

He’s gotten into social media in a big way recently, with Facebook and Twitter, and now YouTube as well. One of his most famous works is called The Elders are Watching, and he’s done it beautifully and movingly in video form. You will like this.