You just KNOW this is going to be good from the title alone, right? And it is, OH it is.
Team Marx, as always!
Ah, GPOY right there. I often feel like the smartest person in the room, but some days I literally feel like the only smart person in any room or even outdoors, all the way to the sky and including any spelunkers or snorklers currently under the surface of the planet. And then I go to Facebook, where I receive confirmation of this.
Yesterday I went to a meeting of people interested in a particular do-gooder nonprofit where the project lead spent FIFTEEN MINUTES defining the words in the title of the talk. If he didn’t think we knew what those words meant, why did he think we were there?
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…
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
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
– (For those of you who
think such bypasses of laws
are immoral, tough.
With liquid markets
for liquidations, things may
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
That, my friends, is a question I ask myself every day. And then I google to find out what it means.
And so, with a paraphrase from 1984 and a quote from Star Wars, that concludes our sermon for today.
True believers are wonderful, right up to the point where they subjugate their individual moral responsibility to their loyalty. At that point, it’s time for a revolt. If they are part of a revolutionary, empowering movement and they suddenly start casting aspersions on one another’s loyalty, of all things, then you know something’s rotten in the state of Cyberia. They may or may not be acting on orders from above; in fact, I find fandoms do this spontaneously at a certain point, particularly those which perceive themselves as beleaguered.
It is possible to resist them at the same time as you pity them.
Up with thoughtcrime!