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La folie d'ours, Grizzly Man.

19 oct. 2016
Un dément, un fou qui veut devenir un ours parce que la société ne lui convient pas. Soit. 
Son choix est respectable, mais sur sa mort, je préfère le silence du pilote d'avion aux pleurs de ses amis. Un voyage dans la nature sauvage d'un homme, dérangé. Passionnante exploration des ressorts psychologiques de celui qui s'échappe de la société pour se trouver une autre mission, dénuée de tout sens mais auquel il s'accroche par besoin de survie.
Ce n'est pas les grizzlys qu'il cherche à sauver, mais son âme, en se donnant une raison de vivre, n'importe laquelle, à savoir sauver la peau de l'ours. 

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C'est un documentaire de Werner herzog sur un illuminé, un gentil qui s'auto proclame gardien des grizzlis, protection dont n'ont nul besoin ces colosses à en écouter un expert sur place.

Non, pris d'une mission divine, Timothy Treadwell, en sait plus que tous, puisqu'il est sur le chemin de devenir cet animal qu'il chérie.
Ces petits moments devant la caméra où il replace ses cheveux au dessus de ses lunettes pour sa 4ème prise révèlent le désespoir d'un homme qui cherche à plaire, à trouver sa place, à se filmer pour se montrer en héros, en sauveur d'un peuple qui ne peut pas lui dire d'aller se faire foutre, à par grogner, voir finalement le manger.
En effet je peux aussi devenir le protecteur des manchots du monde entier, être le porte parole de ceux qui n'ont pas de voix, mais peut être que s'il pouvaient parler, ils me diraient que je suis un con et que ma place n'est pas sur la glace...

Car elle est peut être là l’explication de sa fin, un ours qui en a eu marre d'entendre cette voix nasillarde sur son territoire et a juste répondu présent à l'appel de la nature, ce simple besoin de nourriture, qu'elle soit à tête blonde ou à écailles.

En vain, il va terminer dans le ventre d'un grizzly affamé. Quête et succès ultime pour ce doux timbré et sa voie d'enfant innocent. Oh pauvre idiot, tu auras vécu heureux sans antidépresseurs.
A entendre l'enregistrement audio de ta mort, ça a du piquer de se faire croquer par la bête, mais tes cris resteront à jamais dans ma mémoire comme la voix d'un homme qu'on libère.
Entre les cris d’horreur et la jouissance d'accomplir ce pourquoi il a vécu.
Mais il y'a aussi là les animaux eux mêmes et leur indifférence vis à vis de cet homme dont ils n'avaient nullement besoin, cet imbécile heureux qu'ils ont accueillit assez longtemps sur leur territoire pour finalement s'en nourrir.

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Herzog de conclure : "…dans leurs visages, il n'y a pas de reconnaissance, de lien ou de compréhension. Aucune pitié."
Pas de pitié pour cet humain présent sur la chaîne alimentaire empruntée par le grizzly l'ayant dévoré. Lui qui voyait en l’ours le salut, n'était pour eux qu'un simple morceaux de viande blonde.
Mourir et renaître en ours, Avoir vécu heureux et imbécile. 

Samuel T. Herring is a beast.

I don't really care that much for Future Islands, I mean by that I am not a huge "hardcore everlasting fan", one or two songs I play on my phone and that's it, because they are easy to like, with a tune that sticks, "catchy" as you'd hate to admit.  They stay there, as a ghost, haunting me when I walk the streets of London, playing the lead role in the movie, but the song is not the reason it holds on, it's the man with the voice inside. 

Samuel T. Herring is the thing that I really look up for, his Live performances with the band. That's a knock out, a sucker punch I received, with the stinging pain that settles in, long after the fight. 

He's a boxer, giving it all, smashing the stage in order to transcend the song he plays. I have an utmost admiration and I stay hypnotised by some of his acts on stage. There is a level of emotion I never reached before, watching a live music show, even in reality, and I only saw him on youtube yet. It still resonates way stronger than all the things I witnessed in the real world, outside. 
It’s hard to express the passion it awakes, like a spark of fire reaching deep. Each time I hear Tin Man or Ran in my earphones, walking in Fuckin'L, I see the Tin Man on stage, this thing screaming his heart out, torn, removing the mask at the end, the sweat, the distortion in the voice. A beautiful monster he is then, this creature holds my hand every time and I never let go.

Just watch this whole performance below and feel the heat:

I have never, in the last years, seen something as strong on a live performance as what Samuel T. Herring delivers. The stronger the lyrics, the deeper the transformation.
His physique makes it more of a treasure, he’s not the fittest, he’s not the best looking guy, but he has a presence, a charisma that makes him the greatest when I see him perform, move and live. It’s like a demonic possession, this body, random, a bit chubby, acting and dancing on stage, exorcism of the story he's telling, expressing the words with his being and more.

I mean just check these lives, the level of sweat and energy he puts in these are really exceptional, just compare this to the clean acts we see on stage all the time.
It all started in 2014 on Letterman where, on their first national TV appearance, Sam's moves brought a lot of attention to the band and since then continued to improve his act. 
On the same level, I laughed at Albert Hammond Jr. Live on Conan recently for the absence of it all.

Mac DeMarco, who's forever in our hearts, finishes his Live naked or with his pants only on but he’s always relaxed, cigarette in the mouth, beer in the hand and I love him for that because he looks like my friend just went on stage for a karaoke session and I have a smile on the whole time, but still, I don't feel as much as I feel Samuel. The reason might be the lyrics, being french, I need an act, a presence to enhance the story.
Sam Herring would crush Mac's beer in his hands and swallow it whole if it ever finds itself there. He just throws himself on stage, in the song, and just for that I am in owe. The acting is fantastic and it’s even more interesting to realize he’s a rapper, his real passion being hip hop and rap.
But in his performances with Future Islands Live he creates this vessel for the songs that I simply adore. Moving strangely, almost inventing his own, as a Ian Curtis once did and is still remembered not only for the songwriting but also for the trance he'd get into. 

Samuel T. Herring is a Live Performance, he acts, moves, dances, sings and we are the audience of something raw and authentic happening, a scene of emotions, feeling it all.  

Watch these videos and then listen to the songs. His face, his moves will haunt you for the following days and never leave you alone with the music. You’ll always have the beast dancing around in your head as Tin Man or Ran plays. A beautiful beast.

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George Carlin is not funny anymore, comedy's ghosts and monsters to come.

Comedy is a beautiful craft, being able to make me laugh with the dark truth of us all, as people and society, its flaws and lows. I love the way comedians make me question us as a whole, human beings, our twisted minds, habits, and laugh at the same time, laying down the pain for everybody to look at and make fun of, sharing.
The worst is still to come though and it might not be that funny at all in the end... at least we'll be real. 
Will the future of comedy be blunt truth, not looking for laughter but just pure honesty, as it is, saying the darkest truth and having the courage of honesty ? Just a thought. 

Louis C.K. was the first to put the light on this craft for me and many aspirant comedians. I deliberately mention him and his recent fall was a big punch in the stomach but not a surprise, weirdly I did not need a lot of convincing to accept it when I learned the truth. Deep down I believe he could do shit like that, how can you make me laugh so much with such dark shit if you are clean ? Do you have to fall low in order to dig up the gold, so low that moral has disappeared? There is some darkness and twisted mind for sure there but that's where I wanna look. 
I have this question in mind:  "Can happiness make us laugh?" I tend to prefer darkness. Comedy is a martial art, turn drama into laughter. 
Latest example of bad comedy was Kevin Hart show on netflix "what now?"... Just the intro made me cringe of sadness and when he started talking about his huge house, long driveway and wealth I did not laugh, nor connected to that. He is wearing a gold chain and trying to make me sympathise with his life and "struggles", him being too successful ? Well it failed, spectacularly, with special effects, fireworks and a whole stadium... That his audience could connect to that and laugh so hard was for me mind blowing, I understood why LeBron James could though.

That's not the point here. George Carlin is. 

It's been 5 years I dig deep into comedy's whole universe, listening to WTF podcast with Marc Maron non stop, diving into the brains of guys like Robin Williams, watching specials and stand up shows, I naturally looked into George Carlin as he was referred and looked up to by many of the funny geniuses I cherished.

I watched 5 of his shows : On location, George Carlin at Phoenix (or George Carlin Again !) 1978, Carlin at Carnegie 1982, Jammin' In New York 1992, Life is worth Loosing 2005 and It's bad for Ya 2008. 
There is still a lot to watch from him but I believe it's enough to start writing about. 

The last one I just watched is On Location: GC at Phoenix (also referred as George Carlin Again !), taped in 1978. 

I DID NOT LAUGHED ONCE. And I can assure you I was on it 100%. I don't do something else, I don't watched my phone all the time (just a bit of Instagram) and I tried to be fully focused, in the present. But it was too much of the past already...
This type of observational comedy doesn't do it for me, at all, or the observations are too dated. I especially didn't like when he observes random life stuff like people asking him :

- "Do you have time ?"
- "Not one me, I don't own time !"

and then proceeds to read funny news headlines : "A 107 year old woman in Florida is reported to be pregnant. Physicians claim that because of her advanced age she will have a grown up." 

or weird stuff he thinks of like: "Do you think directors dreams end with credits ?". It's smart and witty but doesn't make a crowd die of laughter now anymore, but believe me it did back in 1978. People are loving it, he is a real rock star, slick with his blue pants and shirt. Cheers of the crowd are huge. I wanted to be on his side, stylish and smart like he was, but hell I did not enjoy it and I feel terrible for that. 

Surely it was at the time mind blowing but now it's just  "kids play" with words, puns and imagination openly expressed, funny headlines like I can see a thousand on social networks in 2017... Nothing worth a 2 hours special. And I am amazed by that, 40 years later it's becoming real useless and tasteless comedy. No one of my generation would laugh hard to these and I find it fascinating. On a positive note, his energy, anger and denunciation of everyday bullshit, politics, society and flaws is to me truly inspirational, he says it blunt and gives the finger to them all, me first. He is the perfect Conscientious Objector, and for me it's the highest and most respectable thing to be, anytime. 
For that I look up to him. He would hate me and be right to. 

 You're welcome. 

You're welcome. 

On the same period, as a devil's advocate, Richard Pryor's: Live in Concert, 1979 is on my top list of comedy stand up show... The year doesn't explain everything. I remembered being in south of France and watching Live in Concert with my brother and an American guy and I was dying, he was killing me and I loved it, especially thinking of the 40 years gap, the magic still being there and strong. Gold.

At that early age of stand up, puns and observational comedy, "weird shit thought of and said out loud" was the highlight and the material. Nows it's old uncles jokes. Or if you think weird shits, you tweet it, you have to fly real high because everyone is in space now. Being funny and original is not enough anymore, the level is way higher, or way deeper, darker... We dig nowadays, into our brains and minds, our pain, and it doesn't look good, but hell it's funny ! 

I like C.K. and Bill Burr because they show me their darkness, sadness, share it with me, and turn it into gold. That is real. Bill Burr I believe would be a serial killer if not that genius of a comedian. His anger is huge and he turns it into art. That sparks light in me, it's pure beauty.

When I watched Carlin latest shows (Life is worth loosing 2005, It's bad for ya 2008) first I was appalled, "How can this old grumpy man be my heroes' hero ?". These shows are 2 hours of an old 6O yo man's runt : "I don't like that and that" "THIS IS SHIT !"... Wow really.

Times change, and comedy fades away and it made me very sad not being able to appreciate the comedic genius of this man.
I respect him because I understand that at the time it was never seen, never heard and mind blowing. But when I watched these 5 shows I was nodding my head thinking: "This is not possible, I am not laughing once nor smiling AT ALL". And trust me it was not a challenge or forced.

He was a comedic genius that does not make me laugh. I'm sure I would have been a groupie in 1978 though...

I don't think George Carling is funny anymore. Good thing is, I don't matter to him and he will never give a fuck ! For that I love him sincerely and deeply. 

I hereby engage, will you marry me?  

 

 

 

The masterpiece of The art of the steal.

The art of the Steal is a 2009 documentary made by Don Argott and his 9.14 Pictures production company. It portrays the story of Dr Barnes' personal art collection, a breath taking hall of beauty, turned into a big pile of money for some men trying to get a piece of it, not for the art but for the dollar signs they see when staring at masters' pieces. It is a beautiful and moving story. 

I just want to tell you to watch it for it's delicate, true romantic vision of Art.
I won't say much as the movie is deep, intimate and philosophical in it's way, personal as art should be. How this culture around the world should be seen, made and shared to the eyes, I believe it's up to your own interpretation. 
The art of the steal raises amazing questions about the spread of art, shows and exhibitions around the world, not for art itself but for money and power purposes. How greed and men can destroy the vision of artists and lovers of the arts. 

I really found this fascinating here: should the most beautiful collection be kept to a small amount of art lovers, plumbers to students to enjoy, study and inspire or, should it be spread all over the world for the many masses to see, treated as a blockbuster.

Well, there is a little more to this simple equation in this documentary, you'll see that art, even if shown to the masses, which is a good will, can be sadly turned into a mass consumption product cashing up money for people with no sense of beauty, destroying the purity of it all. It's essence.

Deep one.
I hereby engage, will you marry me ? 

Sebastian Maniscalco, comedy's blacksmith.

Aren't you Embarrassed ? To like this type of comedy ? I could be... The guy is far from what I normally seek. 

At first I was sceptic, never heard of the guy and I am really looking, searching, into comedy, stand up and all, trying to watch as many specials as possible because I love the art and I often need the laugh. Sadness a blessing. 

Just received an email update from Conan youtube channel, a bit of interview with the guy, saying his on the Forbes list of top earning comedians, I’m like “what ?!”... First time I ever see the guy's face. 
Then I do some basic google, read the Forbes articles, “from waiter to Forbes” and the guy seems authentic, a real working man, been a waiter for years to keep his passion going, doing as many shows and open mics as possible, everywhere touring, in between shifts at the four seasons Beverly Hills if necessary. Here I kneel, I respect the love and dedication this dude shows toward his craft. Knew no one in LA, never had a tv show or a movie to shine the lights on him, just been standing up in front of people for years, enduring, performing, improving. For that I start looking into him. 

I watch the first 15 minutes of his only show on Netflix “aren’t you embarrassed ?” And at the beginning my scepticism hits back, he’s a doing the “Italian American Chicago” stereotype, the accent, the look, the hair, the tan, the muscles, the clothes, etc. Almost too much for me and I am ready to hate this act. He's playing on this line and I don't like clowns comedians. Usually the more you're doing the less you're saying to me. If you put on an "act" so much, it means to me you are not true and I want authenticity in comedy, realness and emotion to bring me the laughter. 

 Sebastian Maniscalco

Sebastian Maniscalco

 Tony Danza,  Who’s the Boss.

Tony Danza, Who’s the Boss.

But that’s where the magic operates, once I tell myself: “Ok ! So he is indeed an act and he’s doing loads to prove he’s this Italo-Chicago character”, but it’s show-business, and it’s a reality. You have to differentiate yourself and this role he’s doing comes from his life, he’s from an immigrant Italian-sicilian family (here he scores to my heart), so he’s no fraud. He just chose a role close to him and developed it to perfection.

So I just accept the act and the "over-doing" in character of this Italian Chicago Americano Macho type of dude and I keep watching for the sake of it

And that’s where the epiphany stroke, once you put aside this character, the guy is a pure comedy gold, the way he speaks, moves, describes and analyse the situations shows years of improving this craft, finding his voice, his moves and his style. Just assuming what he is, probably less in reality, but still, deep down it’s him. This traditional upbringing, old education, tough, but fair with strong work ethic and values. Sharing about this strange vision of things this gave him.

Great comedian ! I really liked his style and act, the way I never seen a comedian like that, the body, the face and all the moves along with his jokes. There is a big part of femininity during the show, when he's shocked, surprised or mad, it's assumed and goes perfectly in balance with the appearance of the Italian male type he "looks" like. There is intelligence and art in this alone. It's been long time I haven't really laughed by myself like that watching a special.

I think I got used to the comedians like C.K., just standing up and delivering the material, so much that it’s been great to see something different and in another comedic style. Opens new dimensions to the craft I didn't thought I'd be interested in. Really appreciated this one, I see the stand up “purists” saying that he’s doing too much of a clown, that it's too simple, but for the clown I hated Jimmy Carr the English but I loved Sebastian, because he's real despite the make up.

Keep laughin’. 

Jimmy Carr, Not Funny Business 

Just saw this show, Funny Business, an English friend of mine told me about this guy once, when I arrived in London and was keen on discovering UK stand up or so. I’ve been wanting to check on him for a long time... Boy what a disappointment ! Just a terrible forced laugh used as a joke to his audience. 

I’ve done some research and his laugh is not as high as the one during his show, but he clearly emphasis on it to get more reaction from the public. What a sad point for a comedian to go this far for a reaction, au laugh. 

His jokes are just bits and pieces, puns and word plays that can be funny at a dinner party, once. But one hour of it as a full Netflix show is for me a disgrace to the art of stand up writing. 
The bit where he just perform his own laugh shows how good he is to pretend at doing it. My real laugh is not something I can pretend, and even watching this show I couldn’t have.

You are supposed to tell me about you, your life, your pain, your drama and turn it into comedy gold. Here you just look around in the car, the plane or the street and you pick up ideas like a one pound coin lost on the pavement. This mask you put on is spotless, there is no flaw, except for this laugh. Because I see nothing of you, I can't stand what you having pretend of given me. 
There is no honesty and truth here, just a fake. 

Jimmy Carr, just in case you did not got it, I don’t like your comedy. 

Marc Maron - Thinky Pain, good podcast doesn't stand up.

It’s been 5 years now I’ve been listening to Marc Maron’s podcast, WTF. I remember discovering stand up with Louis CK and thinking this guy was a pure genius and wanting to know more about this craft, this art of talking shit while making people think deep and laugh hard. 

I listened to as much WTF episodes as I could, wanting to know more about the psyche of comedians, the behind, and that's when WTF became my source of knowledge. 
I would go running with music when I was younger, I’d put some motivational tunes in my ears and I’d be really tired because I’d get pumped up on the rhythm and the sound, picturing myself as a good looking young dude running in slow motion in a movie, with rap music playing in the background. The reality was that after one lap around the small lake, I’d be willing to die and wanting to kill every single runner that would pass me, especially the 50 year old ones. That was when I started listening to podcasts for my run: it was a great thing, walking fast like an old man but at my own pace, not overdoing it, just listening to people talk, slowly. Now I do two laps. 
I continued listening to the podcast on any given occasion, painting the family home or riding the lawn mower.

I realised the success this podcast had when a few years ago Obama went in Maron’s garage to record one episode. It opened my eyes on the number of listeners that Marc had and the quality of his show. The way he doesn't like to prepare too much and just goes on with a fascinating talk.  Another big step between WTF and I was when Robin Williams killed himself in 2014. This guy was the clown of my youth, the funny guy, Jumanji, no the "Kurt Cobain kill yourself" man, no, not Jack. And so I realised the darkness that even (or especially ?),  a comedic genius like him had, the struggles, the addictions and the pain. And this tragedy made me feel good, just to know that Williams was also subject to this pit of despair, this black panther that you need to get tame. That it strikes everyone, everywhere and that you are not alone, especially when your idols share your struggles. 

That’s why after numerous WTF episodes, I started to watch one of Marc Maron's stand up on Netflix. I have to admit something first: I tend to not listen to the preliminary rants of Maron before and after his radio shows. He usually speaks for 10 minutes about his life, his fears, what happened this week, etc… and I have to say that I fast-forward this part of the podcast most of the time. I just go straight to the talk because I want Marc to speak with someone I am interested in. I am used to the way he talks about his problems and I am not a fan of this, don’t know why. I know it’s a big part of comedy and Louis does the same but I appreciate Louis' vision and twist where I just see anger in most of Marc’s, even if the guy has a real skills for analysing himself, people and his demons. He is definitely a self aware man and knows how he works, or how he doesn't, but maybe that’s this perfection about knowing yourself too well that I don’t like. When the analysis is too clear and you still play on the edge without the danger of the fall. 

I then saw Thinky Pain, the 2013 special and I didn’t like it, I was not surprised, after 15min I was already annoyed, but I wanted to see all of it to be sure. Very quickly I noticed the “you know" being repeated every 5 minutes, when Marc, unsure of the laughing matter of his show, knowing that his podcast/stand up audience should already know his life and all, and then be ready to laugh because they do “know”. 
The whole audience is his audience, 80% of it I'm sure are WTF listeners. It’s already a win, but it’s not. Here transpires the subjectivity of a podcast groupies listening to the voice they are used to. And I am too, but I can be critical. I had the same problem with Maron, his tv show, I felt after 2 episodes I knew already everything, because I listened to the podcast and already heard the anecdotes behind the scenes of each episode. 

Even the way he sits on the stool annoyed me, like an old grumpy man not even able to stand correctly, sitting on the edge, not fully on, like his show, not stable, unsure. 
As he does for WTF, it’s almost like he didn't prepare too much his stand up routine and that works great for the talks, not so much for a show. 
To me, he makes one hell of a podcast but a mediocre stand up. 

Louis and the nazis

 

Here in UK, they love Louis Theroux. He's a national hero. Lots of English friends told me about this guy and his documentaries, gonzo style with a funny twist. This goofy dude asking straight question to dangerous people like they are best friends on a school trip to Disney world, except one his a gangster, the other a nerd, and the bus is stolen. 

I watched two of his documentaries, the first one was “America’s most dangerous pets” and “Louis and the nazis”. I didn’t like the first one I saw months ago, I though it was too much scripted, like a Vice documentary, playing on the edge of reality and fiction. “Oh it’ dangerous but we are filming, the pressure is building but finally nothing happens”. The character was interesting and moving but the format was too trashy.

I listened to the WTF (with Marc Maron, my favorite podcast) episode with Louis Theroux and decided to give it another shot. I just finished the one about the Nazis, I believe it’s one of the most famous. I felt the same, a big sensationalism and emptiness, big talk and words for a dull experience, a love at first sight turning into a one night stand. 

The mother of two is interesting, deep and human, the rest is really superficial and blunt. Tom Metzger bit is worthless, no taste, no investigation, it can be summarised as: Louis goes to his house, hear him curse on blacks and jews, argue softly on races, going to a rally and scream 3 sentences about white revolution to finally get drunk in Mexico. Like a very bad trip with two elderly racist dudes. There is nothing. Nada. Maybe that's the point though.

I see the success of this guy Theroux on his documentaries, he choose a subject, a bit edgy, dangerous or unconventional and goes interview the people, all the entertainment resulting from the clash between this tall goofy-nerdy guy and his interlocutors, dangerous, strange and often criminal people on the opposite spectrum of clean and polite Louis.

As fun and weird it is to watch, once you get the idea, I can’t understand how people could watch more of it. The subject is treated superficially, there is no depth, no information, nothing to get out of it except saying to your friends: 

- Haha you saw when Louis asked the nazis “What if I'd tell you I’m Jew ?"

Well that’s not investigation journalism, it’s just clownery, and people like that. 

 

Monster 4/10 the never ending anime

c'est long, trop long...
il me reste 6 ou 7 épisodes et c'est insupportable. A chaque fois qu'une personne s'apprête à en tuer une autre, rien ne se passe, cette personne finit toujours par reposer son flingue. Tant de fois je vois un personnage déterminé à arriver à ses fins pour finalement abandonner devant l'objectif qui lui semblait si essentiel, finalement pris de remords...

Chaque moment de suspense, je le sais désormais, sera désamorcé : la musique augmente, le rythme s'accélère, on nous fait croire que l’action va enfin se passer, LA MOINDRE CHOSE... puis rien.

Comment peux-t-on tenir 74 épisodes et aimer cela c'est un mystère mais ce n'est vraiment pas pour moi... peut-être est-ce propre au format "anime" japonais.

Monster est une véritable torture.