Backstage Magic

10 05 2010
I always believed performance is about sincerity shared in the confidence of warm intimacy. Where better to find this sort of thing then in the back-stages and green rooms scattered thoughout the history of the world? That’s where the real magic happens. Here are a few examples
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STEVIE NICKS  (Wild Heart)
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From a Rolling Stone photo session, presumably around 1983/4 in which a camera catches Stevie Nicks and band perform ‘Wild Heart’ from the heart. Very real, very beautiful.
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Leonard Cohen (Bird on a Wire)
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After a nervous and uncertain Cohen walks of stage and retreats to the dressing room, resolving not to perform, his friends and co-performers urge him on with a version of ‘Bird on a Wire’. This footage is magic, not just for the reality of the situation which is conveyed but for the beauty of such a real moment. Watch for Bob Johnson (Simon and Garfunkel’s producer) as he performs the second verse. The sight of a broken Cohen on the floor of the tour bus at the end is really something. Despite the encouragement he did not go back out to finish the set.

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BBC Panorama: Daylight Robbery

19 04 2010
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BBC Panorama: Daylight Robbery
58:22 – 1 year ago

Daylight Robbery: BBC One 9pm Tuesday 10 June 2008. Panorama investigates claims that as much as $23bn (£11.75bn) may have been lost, stolen or not properly accounted for in Iraq. When the US goes to war, corporate America goes too. There are contracts for caterers, tanker drivers, security guards and even interrogators, many of them through companies with links to the White House. Now more than 70 whistleblower cases threaten to reveal the scandals behind billions of dollars worth of waste, theft and corruption during the Iraq war.

The US justice department has imposed gagging orders which prevent the real scale of the problem emerging. Jerks? You decide for yourself.





The Neo-Conservatives

19 04 2010

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The War Party
49:29 – 2 years ago

The War Party is a BBC ‘Panorama’ documentary, first broadcast on Sunday 18th May 2003. The programme investigates the Neo-Conservatives in America. Bit touchy due to the Zionist views of some neo-cons but that’s beside the main point I think. More important is the fact that the policies of the US are strongly influenced by people of diverse faiths who believe in an everlasting battle between good and evil (you know, ‘War Mongers’.)





The History Of Hacking (Discovery Channel 1994)

16 04 2010

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Covering the pre-PC phone phreaking era through invention of the home computer by hackers and the eventual and inevitable industrialisation of the home computer. Good times.





Chelsea Hotel (Arena, BBC 1981)

15 04 2010

1981 BBC documentary on the famous New York hotel and its colorful inhabitants. The documentary is incomplete here but still a worthwhile watch. Some highlights include Andy Warhol and William Burroughs having dinner; Quentin Crisp pontificating in a blue rinse hairdo on his balcony and Nico performing “Chelsea Girls”.





Frank Gehry: From 1990, defending a vision for architecture

10 04 2010

Speaking at TED in 1990, the not-yet-legendary architect Frank Gehry takes a whistlestop tour of his work to date, from his own Venice Beach house to the under-construction American Center in Paris. In this 50-minute slideshow (before TED’s 18-minute limit), Gehry explains the site-specific nature of his buildings — context he felt was lost in the discussions of his then-controversial work. In this candid and funny talk, he exposes his own messy creative process (“I take pieces and bits, and look at it, and struggle with it, and cut it away…”) and the way he struggles with problems (“This model on the left is pretty awful. I was ready to commit suicide when this was built … If any of you have ideas on it, please contact me. I don’t know what to do”).





Douglas Adams – Hyperland (1990)

30 03 2010

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Hyperland is a 50 minute long documentary film about hypertext and surrounding technologies written by Douglas Adams and produced by BBC Two in 1990. It stars Douglas Adams as a computer user and Tom Baker, with whom Adams already had worked on Doctor Who, as a software agent.  Very prescient.