Shadows of the Unseen (7)

The seventh installment of Shadows of the Unseen features pieces by familiar names such as Delia Derbyshire (an assemblage of works she produced for the BBC that still sounds incredibly fresh, more than half a century after its making), Frans Zwartjes (this time a fragmented composition structured around a haunting sing-a-long melody) and Henning Christiansen (part of fluxorum organuma, a wonderful piece he did for a collaborative event with Joseph Beuys at Wide White Space gallery in Antwerp, where it was also recorded on film).
But there’s also a few new discoveries, starting with Mireille Kyrou, an Egypt-born French-Palestinian composer who studied with Olivier Messiaen before joining the GRM (Groupe de Recherche Musicale) in 1958. Unfortunately she only spent three years at the GRM, after which she married filmmaker/critic Ado Kyrou and devoted herself to family life. There seems to be only piece available of her time at GRM, which was published on the compilation ‘Musique Concrète’ (1964) and can be found online. The other remaining track is the soundtrack she made for La chute d’Icare (1965) by Gérard Patris, who was at that time starting to work with Luc Ferrari on a series of filmed intimate portraits of great musicians such as Olivier Messiaen, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Cecil Taylor.
Another discovery is Violeta Parra’s soundtrack for Sergio Bravo’s Mimbre (1958), filmed during visits to the home workshop of wicker craftsman Alfredo Manzano (aka Manzanito) in Santiago. The score was improvised and recorded during a silent screening of the film, showcasing the unique guitar stylings of this Chilean composer, who is often called the “Mother of Latin American folk”.
Also of note is the score of the Hungarian animation film Fehérlófia (1981) by the Illustrious Unknown István Vajda. Robert Beatty, to whom I owe this discovery, rightly described the soundtrack as “a dense, alien, claustrophobic electronic mass that wouldn’t sound out of place now on a label such as Editions Mego”.
A few new releases on the horizon are referenced here: Takashi Inagaki’s music for the films of Takashi Ito will be out on, and Finders Keepers Records continues its mining of Suzanne Ciani’s archives with the release of her score for a skiing documentary (which we believe to be Joel H. Schroedel’s 1974 Denali traverse). In this mix, however, you’ll hear a fragment from a Ciani score that has not been released yet, for Lloyd Michael Williams’ psychedelic reverie Rainbow Children (1975).
For the electronic dance aficionados: do check out the proto-techno soundtracks by Erkki Kurenniemi (1964), Gershon Kingsley (1970 – yes he’s the guy who did ‘Popcorn’) and Bernard Parmegiani (1977), which suggest that cinema might have offered the necessary experimental playing field leading up to techno’s development.

1. Ed Emshwiller – Carol (Ed Emshwiller, 1970)
2. Carnival of Souls (Herk Harvey, 1962)
3. Mireille Kyrou – La chute d’Icare (Gérard Patris, 1965)
4. Takashi Inagaki – Thunder (Takashi Ito, 1982)
5. Alain Clavier – Ceci est un message enregistré (Jean-Thomas Bédard, 1973)
6. Zdeněk Liška – Et Cetera (Jan Švankmajer, 1966)
7. Eric Wetherell – Sky (ITV TV series, 1975)
8. Paddy Kingsland – The Changes (BBC TV series, 1975)
9. Stephan Wittwer – Der rechte Weg (Peter Fischli & David Weiss, 1983)
10. Delia Derbyshire – Pot Au Feu (assembly of pieces created for various BBC programmes, 1965-1968)
11. Tristram Cary – Sebastian (David Greene, 1967)
12. Gershon Kingsley – Pixillation (Lillian Schwartz, 1970)
13. Erkki Kurenniemi – Hyppy [The Jump] (Eino Ruutsalo, 1964)
14. Bernard Parmegiani – Versailles… peut-être (Michel Sibra, 1977)
15. Michi Tanaka – Sado [Third] (Yôichi Higashi, 1978)
16. Suzanne Ciani – Rainbow Children (Lloyd Michael Williams, 1975)
17. Dave Ball, Genesis P. Orridge, William S. Burroughs – Decoder (Jürgen Muschalek, 1984)
18. Tom Recchion – Lost Motion (Janie Geiser, 1999)
19. István Vajda – Fehérlófia [Son of The White Mare] (Marcell Jankovics, 1981)
20. Adrian Corker – Die Habenichtse [The Have-Nots] (Florian Hoffmeister, 2016)
21. Pauline Oliveros – Bent Time (Barbara Hammer, 1983)
22. Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar – Dhrupad (Mani Kaul, 1982)
23. Vijay Raghav Rao – Abid (Pramof Pati, 1972)
24. Jonathan Halper – Puce Moment (Kenneth Anger, 1960 version)
25. Acanthus (Daniel Buffet, Gérard Sallette) – Le frisson des vampires (Jean Rollin, 1971)
26. Frans Zwartjes, Towe Zwartjes, Rudolf Zwartjes – Behind Your Walls (Frans Zwartjes, 1970)
27. Valentin de las Sierras (Bruce Baillie, 1971)
28. Violeta Parra – Mimbre (Sergio Bravo, 1958)
29. Pierre F. Brault, Geneviève Bujold – Rouli-Roulant (Claude Jutra, 1966)
30. Spirit – Model Shop (Jacques Demy, 1969)
31. Gaslight (George Cukor, 1944)
32. Fred Karlin – Up the Down Staircase (Robert Mulligan, 1967)
33. Nora Orlandi, Paolo Ormi – Lo strano vizio della Signora Wardh [The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh or Blade of the Ripper] (Sergio Martino, 1971)
34. Gene Moore – Carnival of Souls (Herk Harvey, 1962)
35. Georges Delerue, Cora Vaucaire – Une aussi longue absence (Henri Colpi, 1961)
36. Jean Wiener – Voici le temps des assassins (Julien Duvivier, 1956)
37. Luciano Berio, Carmelo Bene – Il canto d’amore di Prufrock (Nico d’Alessandria, 1967)
38. Henning Christiansen – Eurasienstab (Joseph Beuys & Henning Christiansen, 1968)
39. Europa ’51 (Roberto Rossellini, 1952)

Shadows of the Unseen (6)

The sixth installment of the Shadows of the Unseen series once more offers an adventurous voyage of discovery through the landscape of cinematic sound and music. Some influential sound studios mentioned in the previous post are represented again: The Polish Radio Experimental Studio (Krzysztof Penderecki), Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center (Vladimir Ussachevsky and students Alice Fields and Pril Smiley, as well as Ilhan Mimaroğlu), BBC Radiophonic Workshop (Delia Derbyshire and – associated – David Vorhaus) and GRM (François-Bernard Mâche’s only and superb soundtrack to L’annonce faite à Marie, which comes highly recommended by Stephen O’Malley – but is unfortunately out of print).
Brian Gascoigne, David Briscoe and David Vorhaus’ justly celebrated OST for Saul Bass’ only feature film Phase IV makes several appearances to celebrate its release (in restored version) on BluRay (via Carlotta).
Also just released: Ron Geesin’s soundtracks for Stephen Dwoskin (just out on Trunk Records) – which reminded me of the great music that Gavin Bryars’s made for the same filmmaker (never released, but you can find a taste here).
Shout out to Finders Keepers Records who made me discover the wonderful music that Andrzej Korzynski composed for Andrzej Zulawski, Andrzej Wajda, and others, but also the soundtracks for Jean Rollin’s films, amongst others by François Tusques (an influential figure in the French free jazz scène, who often worked with Barney Wilen, who made an appearance in the previous mix) and Pierre Raph.
Another shout out to Shinjuku Thief who meticulously collected countless obscure musical fragments of Japanese films – many I hadn’t heard of before, so thank you! – some of which are present in this mix.
Some musical pieces might ring a bell, as they have been sampled or appropriated in recent years (already in earlier mixes, notably François de Roubaix’s Dernier Domicile Connu, as sampled by Kendrick Lamar), most famously Gianfranco & Gian Piero Reverberi’s music for Django, Prepare a Coffin (by Gnarls Barkley), but also Carter Burwell’s OST for Psycho III (by Aim, but it could just as well have been DJ Shadow or, why not, Burial). And I’m pretty sure the Radiohead band members have been intensively listening to Giovanni Fusco (as they have done to Penderecki).
While working on this mix, I have been enjoying unearthing some obscure horror and mystery films, like The Premonition, The Ballad of Tam Lin, Let’s Scare Jessica to Death and, especially, William Dieterle’s thrilling Portrait of Jennie, whose soundtrack was originally commissioned to Bernard Herrmann who only finished one (all-too forgotten but terrific) song (while the title song by J. Russell Robinson, for its part, went on to become a hit for Nat King Cole). Every mix seems to stir up the joy of discovery, and I hope you feel the same!

1. Vladimir Ussachevsky, Alice Fields, Pril Smiley – Line of Apogee (Lloyd Williams, 1968)
2. Henry Mollicone, Pril Smiley – The Premonition (Robert Allen Schnitzer, 1976)
3. Delia Derbyshire – The World About Us / The Last Caravans (BBC TV series, 1967)
4. Andrzej Korzynski – Diabel [The Devil] (Andrzej Zulawski, 1972)
5. Nobuhiko Ôbayashi – Honjin satsujin jiken [Death at an Old Mansion] (Yôichi Takabayashi, 1975)
6. Toshiro Mayuzumi – Ningen jôhatsu [A Man Vanishes] (Shôhei Imamura, 1967)
7. Ron Geesin – Chinese Checkers (Stephen Dwoskin, 1965)
8. François Tusques – Le viol du vampire (Jean Rollin, 1967)
9. Włodzimierz Kotonski – Labirynt (Jan Lenica, 1963)
10. Krzysztof Penderecki ‎- Rekopis znaleziony w Saragossie [The Saragossa Manuscript] (Wojciech Has, 1965)
11. François-Bernard Mâche – L’annonce faite à Marie (Alain Cuny, 1991)
12. Ilhan Mimaroğlu – Fellini – Satyricon [Fellini’s Satyricon] (Federico Fellini, 1969)
13. Teizo Matsumura – Chi no mure [Apart from Life] (Kei Kumai, 1970)
14. Franco Battiato – Brunelleschi (Roberto Cacciaguerra, RAI TV film 1978, unused)
15. Giovanni Fusco – La guerre est finie (Alain Resnais, 1966)
16. Gianfranco & Gian Piero Reverberi – Preparati la bara! [Django, Prepare a Coffin] (Ferdinando Baldi, 1968)
17. Marianne Faithful – Made in U.S.A. (Jean-Luc Godard, 1966)
18. Pierre Raph – La rose de fer (Jean Rollin, 1973)
19. Andrzej Korzynski – Possession (Andrzej Zulawski, 1981)
20. Toru Takemitsu – Tôkyô sensô sengo hiwa [The Man Who Left His Will on Film] (Nagisa Ôshima, 1970)
21. Toshi Ichiyanagi – Erosu purasu gyakusatsu [Eros + Massacre] (Yoshishige Yoshida, 1969)
22. Egisto Macchi – Nucleo centrale investigativo (RAI TV series, 1974)
23. Bernard Herrmann, Jennifer Jones – Portrait of Jennie (William Dieterle, 1948)
24. Hikaru Hayashi – Kôshikei [Death by Hanging] (Nagisa Ōshima, 1968)
25. Brian Gascoigne, David Briscoe, David Vorhaus – Phase IV (Saul Bass, 1974)
26. Bo Harwood – The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (John Cassavetes, 1976)
27. Orville Stoeber – Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (John Hancock, 1971)
28. Joel Haertling – I… Dreaming (Stan Brakhage, 1988)
29. Carter Burwell – Psycho III (Anthony Perkins, 1986)
30. Gavin Bryars – Central Bazaar (Stephen Dwoskin, 1976)
31. Light Forms (Music For Light Bulbs And Churches) (Steve Roden, 2002)
32. Alone. Life Wastes Andy Hardy (Martin Arnold, 1998, based on the Andy Hardy film series (George B. Seitz et al., 1937–1958) + rework by Christian Fennesz (2001)
33. Gino Marinuzzi Jr. – Terrore nello spazio [Planet of the Vampires] (Mario Bava, 1965)
34. David Vorhaus – The Ballad of Tam Lin (Roddy McDowall, 1970)
35. Vladimir Ussachevsky, Alice Fields, Pril Smiley – Line of Apogee (Lloyd Michael Williams, 1968)
36. Brian Gascoigne, David Briscoe, David Vorhaus – Phase IV (Saul Bass, 1974)

Shadows of the Unseen (5)

Here’s the fifth installment of the “Shadows of the Unseen” series of cinematic mixtapes. This one includes some obscure film soundtracks by the likes of Bebe and Louis Barron, Philippe Arthuys and Ivo Malec, Barre Phillips and John Surman, Martin Cooper and David Hughes, and many more.
While Bebe and Louis Barron are rightly celebrated for their electronic score for the MGM movie Forbidden Planet (1956), their other work remains obscure, not in the least their collaborations with Anaïs Nin, including their recordings of her prose poem House of Incest and four stories from Under a Glass Bell (released on the Barrons’ Contemporary Classics record label under the Sound Portraits series), as well as the scores for three films by her partner Ian Hugo, of which Bells of Atlantis (1952) is included here. They also scored one version of Shirley Clarke’s Bridges-Go-Round (1958) – a second version, included here, was made by Teo Macero.
The mix also features other early avant-garde work, notably Włodzimierz Kotoński’s score for Jan Lenica & Walerian Borowczyk’s Dom (1959) – although I could as well have chosen his score for Lenica’s 1963 film Labyrinthe. The experimental tradition cultivated by the Polish Radio Experimental Studio is furthermore represented here by Krzysztof Penderecki, whose contributions to Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Shining (to the detriment of Wendy Carlos’ score, which went largely unused) and William Friedkin’s The Exorcist (another history of rejected soundtracks, particularly involving a commission from Lalo Schifrin) have largely overshadowed other films in the production of which the composer was more actively involved, notably in Wojciech Has’ The Saragossa Manuscript (1965) – which will undoubtedly pop up in future mixtapes, what a score it is! – and Szyfry (1966). Here I chose for the haunting vocal piece ‘I Musici Cantanti Di Varsavia’, written for Alain Resnais’ Je t’aime, je t’aime.
At least three other illustrious sound studios cultivating adventure and experiment are represented here: GRM (Groupe de recherches musicales), Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Related to the latter, you’ll find a short piece that workshop members Delia Derbyshire and Brian Hodgson made for the cult movie The Legend of Hell House (John Hough, 1973) – one of their collaborative projects in the aftermath of the first legendary White Noise LP (a group project with another pioneer of electronic music in Britain, David Vorhaus, whose work can be heard, for example, in the soundtrack of Phase IV – featured in other Shadows of the Unseen mixes).
Two composers who were at one time associated with The Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, which was for several decades the most important electronic music studio in the US after its founding in 1959 by Otto Luening and Vladimir Ussachevsky, are featured here: Bülent Arel (with student Daria Semegen) and Wendy Carlos, whose work is now slowly but surely getting the recognition it deserves (check out the excellent mix at MUBI). I’m sure other one-time members of the Music Center – like İlhan Mimaroğlu, Halim El-Dabh, Pril Smiley, or Alice Shields – will find a place in future editions of this series.
Quite a few members of the GRM Group are featured in previous mixes, amongst whom Bernard Parmegiani, Beatriz Ferreyra, Yannis Xenakis, and Luc Ferrari (Another adept of GRM, Jean Schwarz, who made some great work for Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville, needs rediscovery). Here you’ll find pieces by Robert Cohen-Solal (mostly well known for his invigorating soundtrack for the animated TV series Les Shadoks (1968-1974), which was recently brought to light by WRWTFWW Records) and Philippe Arthuys in collaboration with Ivo Malec. The latter – a riveting soundtrack for Jacques Rivette’s Paris nous appartient (1961) – is just one of the many Rivette scores which sadly remains unreleased. Others include The Nun (1966) and L’amour fou (1969) (both OSTs by Jean-Claude Eloy), Out 1 (1971, OST Jean-Pierre Drouet), Duelle and Noirôt (both 1976, with contributions by Jean Cohen-Solal, Robert Cohen-Solal and Daniel Ponsard), and Merry-Go-Round (1980), whose playful score by Barre Phillips and John Surman is featured here (note: Phillips also played with Ornette Coleman on the Naked Lunch OST, presented elsewhere in the series).
More unreleased music here that deserves to be brought to notice: Gottfried Hüngsberg fantastic electronic score for Fassbinder’s World on a Wire (lauded by Lucrecia Dalt), the pre-Oval atomic cut-ups that one-time Kraftwerk member Klaus Röder (whose work partly resurfaced on PLANAM records) made for Andreas Strach’s series of Stop-Trick films (1980), or the pieces composed by Max Roach and Gideon Nxumalo for Dilemma, filmed clandestinely in apartheid South Africa by Henning Carlsen (1962).
A few of my favorite masters of collage are included here: Arthur Lipsett (find his films on Youtube and his soundtracks on Global A Records), Étienne O’Leary (find his films on Re:Voir and his soundtracks on TenzierRecords), Jeff Keen (his films are released by British Film Institute, some of his compositions by Trunk records. The piece here has whispered abstract vocals by Bob Cobbing and Annea Lockwood) and Henry Hills, whose marriage of language poetry and the NY downtown music scene (John Zorn, Arto Lindsay, Christian Marclay, and many others make their appearance in this film), as Ken Jacobs has noted, “places audiovisual particle energies in combustive arrangements… taking synesthesia further.”
The mix finishes with a bang with one all my all-time favorite Morricone compositions and a radical reworking of sorts that is equally brilliant.

1. Madame Sin (David Greene, 1972) – Featuring sounds by Hugh Davies
2. Louis & Bebe Barron, Anaïs Nin – Bells of Atlantis (Ian Hugo, 1952)
3. Robert Cohen-Solal – Délicieuse catastrophe (Piotr Kamler, 1970)
4. Jeff Keen, Annea Lockwood, Bob Cobbing – Marvo Movie (Jeff Keen, 1967)
5. Joan LaBarbara – Dance Frame (Doris Chase, 1978)
6. Le gai savoir (Jean-Luc Godard, 1969)
7. Włodzimierz Kotoński – Dom [House] (Jan Lenica & Walerian Borowczyk, 1959)
8. Philippe Arthuys, Ivo Malec – Paris nous appartient (Jacques Rivette, 1961)
9. Very Nice, Very Nice (Arthur Lipsett, 1961)
10. Day Tripper (Étienne O’Leary, 1966)
11. Money (Henry Hills, 1985)
12. Bülent Arel, Daria Semegen – Out of Into (Irving Kriesberg, 1972)
13. Klaus Röder – Unendlichkeit Nr. 1 (Andreas Strach, 1977)
14. Terminals (Sandra Lahire, 1985)
15. Howard Shore – Videodrome (David Cronenberg, 1983)
16. Wendy Carlos – The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
17. Krzysztof Komeda, Mia Farrow – Rosemary’s Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
18. Toru Takemitsu, Beverly Maeda – Tanin no kao [The Face of Another] (Hiroshi Teshigahara, 1966)
19. François de Roubaix – Le samouraï (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1967)
20. Shadow of a Doubt (Alfred Hitchcock, 1943)
21. Brian Hodgson, Delia Derbyshire – The Legend of Hell House (John Hough, 1973)
22. Gottfried Hüngsberg – Welt am Draht (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1973)
23. Gil Mellé – The Andromeda Strain (Robert Wise, 1971)
24. The Last Man on Earth (Ubaldo Ragona, Sidney Salkow, 1964)
25. Krzysztof Penderecki – Je t’aime, je t’aime (Alain Resnais, 1968)
26. Stephan Wittwer – Der rechte Weg (Peter Fischli & David Weiss, 1983)
27. C-Schulz – Flicker (Christina von Greve & Carsten Schulz, 2006)
28. Fabio Frizzi, Giorgio Cascio – Zombi 2 (Lucio Fulci, 1979)
29. Daniel Lentz – Luminare (John Sanborn & Dean Winkler, 1985)
30. Philip Glass – Candyman (Bernard Rose, 1992)
31. Tim Krog, Jan Bartlett – The Boogey Man (Ulli Lommel, 1980)
32. Vince Tempera, Franco Bixio, Fabio Frizzi (Magnetic System) – Godzilla (Luigi Cozzi, 1977)
33. Martin Cooper, David Hughes – C.H.U.D. (Douglas Cheek, 1984)
34. Audre Lorde – Die Berliner Jahre 1984-1992 (Dagmar Schultz, 2012)
35. George Lewis – A Visual Diary (Shirley Clarke, 1980)
36. Teo Macero – Bridges-Go-Round (Shirley Clarke, 1958)
37. Barre Phillips, John Surman – Merry-Go-Round (Jacques Rivette, 1980)
38. Max Roach, Gideon Nxumalo – Dilemma (Henning Carlsen, 1962)
39. Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (Melvin van Peebles, 1971)
40. Child of Resistance (Haile Gerima, 1973)
41. Ennio Morricone ‎- Maddalena (Jerzy Kawalerowicz, 1971) + rework by Peter Rehberg aka Pita (1999)

Shadows of the Unseen 1 – 4


In these Corona stricken times I have been enjoying compiling some mixtapes based on sound and music originally made for, related to, or part of cinematic works. I have particularly, but hardly exclusively, been delving into the work of – in desperate lack of a better word – “leftfield” composers and sound artists related to cinema, a beloved area of interest that I was happy to revisit and expand on this occasion. Amongst the pieces assembled here you will find some fragments of soundtracks that, unfortunately, have not yet been given a proper release, notably work by Basil Kirchen (although a lot of his music has been released or reissued lately, this is not yet the case for his excellent soundtrack for Jack Cardiff’s The Freakmaker), Jack Nitzsche (for Greaser’s Palace and by extension all the work he did with Robert Downey Sr.), Mario Nascimbene (especially for Shadi Abdel Salam‘s Al Mummia and Roberto Rosselini’s Socrates – although some parts were released on the compilation LP Psycorama), Brian Eno (most of his early soundtrack work can be found on his Music for Films LP’s, but not for Kostas Karagiannis’ Land of the Minotaur – or Malcolm Le Grice’s Berlin Horse, for that matter), Philippe Arthuys (in particular the thrilling organ score for JL Godard’s Les Carabiniers, but also the pieces he made for Rosselini or Rivette, amongst others), Jôji Yuasa (notably for Toshio Matsumoto’s Funeral Parade of Roses), Barney Wilen (score for Caroline de Bendern’s A l’intention de Mlle Issoufou à Bilma – a kind of twin project to his great Moshi LP – but also his collaboration with Sunny Murray for Serge Bard’s Fun and Games for Everyone), Horace Tapscott & The Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra (for Larry Clark’s films), Trevor Mathison (his wonderful work with the Black Audio Film Collective), Phil Kline (for Sara Driver’s films), Meredith Monk (especially for her Ellis Island), Steve Reich (for Lutz Mommartz’s 3 Gläser but also some of Robert Nelson’s films), Beatriz Ferreyra (for Fiorella Mariani’s under-appreciated Homo Sapiens), Krishan Mueller and José Maceda for Kidlat Tahimik’s Perfumed Nightmare, and much more. Some of these soundtracks were released in limited edition and have been long out of print, for example Toshi Ichiyanagi’s music for Yoshishige Yoshida’s Eros + Massacre, Günter Schickert’s compositions for a film by Sabine Franck-Koch, or Richard Landry’s pieces for Lawrence Weiner’s A First Quarter (and what on earth happened to the soundtrack for Weiner’s A Bit of Matter and a Little Bit More, scored by the all too forgotten Marzette Watts?)… Others have only very recently seen the light of day, such as Sam Waymon and Carman Moore’s compositions for Bill Gunn’s films Ganja & Hess and Personal Problems (thanks to Strange Disc records and Reading Group), Delia Derbyshire and Elsa Stansfield’s work for Circle of Light (Trunk records) or Henning Christiansen’s pieces for film (Penultimate Press), just to name a few.

In any case, the pleasure of discovery has all but subsided and a Belgian edition is in the works, so stay tuned!

Thanks to Sabzian for publishing!

1. Mario Nascimbene – Socrate [Socrates] (Roberto Rossellini, 1971)
2. Toru Takemitsu – Moetsukita chizu [The Man Without a Map or The Ruined Map] (Hiroshi Teshigahara, 1968)
3. Phil Kline – Your Are Not I (Sara Driver, 1981)
4. Henning Christiansen – Eftersøgningen [The Search] (ABCinema, 1969)
5. Alan R. Splet, David Lynch, Peter Ivers – Eraserhead (David Lynch, 1977)
6. Frans Zwartjes – Living (Frans Zwartjes, 1971)
7. Otomo Yoshihide – Yûheisha – terorisuto [Prisoner – Terrorist] (Masao Adachi, 2007)
8. Trevor Mathison – Expeditions (Black Audio Film Collective, 1983-1984)
9. Cabaret Voltaire – Chance Versus Causality (Babeth Mondini, 1979)
10. Sally Smmit (Timms), Pete Shelley – Hangahar (unknown, 1979)
11. Psychic TV – Pirate Tape (Derek Jarman, 1987)
12. Mika Vainio – Mannerlaatta [Tectonic Plate] (Mika Taanila, Mannerlaatta, 2016)
13. Vittorio Gelmetti, Giovanni Fusco – Il deserto rosso [Red Desert] (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1964)
14. Meredith Monk – 16 Millimeter Earrings (Robert Withers, 1966)
15. Pierre Henry – Maléfices [Where the truth lies] (Henri Decoin, 1962)
16. Jean Prodromides – Et mourir de plaisir [Blood and Roses] (Roger Vadim, 1960)
17. Pierre Barouh, Francis Lai – Un homme et une femme [A Man and a Woman] (Claude Lelouch, 1966)
18. Victor Young – Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray, 1954)
19. Walter Schumann – The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955)
20. François de Roubaix – Les lèvres rouges [Daughters of Darkness] (Harry Kümel, 1971)
21. Can – Tote Taube in der Beethovenstraße [Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street] (Samuel Fuller, 1973)
22. Haruomi Hosono – Paradaisu byû [Paradise View] (Go Takamine, 1985)
23. John Carpenter – Assault on Precinct 13 (John Carpenter, 1976)
24. Klaus Schulze – Next of Kin (Tony Williams, 1982)
25. Jack Smith, John Cale, Tony Conrad – Silent Shadows on Cinemaroc Island (1964)
26. Mike Ratledge – Riddles of the Sphinx (Laura Mulvey & Peter Wollen, 1977)
27. Terry Riley – Lifespan (Alexander Whitelaw, 1976)
28. Neil Young – Dead Man (Jim Jarmusch, 1996)
29. Nouvelle Vague (Jean-Luc Godard, 1990)
30. Bruce Langhorne – The Hired Hand (Peter Fonda, 1971)
31. Star Spangled to Death (Ken Jacobs, 2004)
32. Albert Marcœur – Deux lions au soleil (Claude Faraldo, 1980)
33. Idea Fire Company & BRRR – The Terrible Comet Salt (Timothy Shortell, 2000)
34. Star Spangled to Death (Ken Jacobs, 2004)

1. Putney Swope (Robert Downey Sr., 1969)
2. Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore (Mark Leckey, 1999)
3. Coil, Simon Fisher Turner – Blue (Derek Jarman, 1993)
4. Jim O’Rourke – Kaien Hoteru burû [Kaien Hotel Blue] (Kôji Wakamatsu, 2012)
5. Alessandro Alessandroni (1972, from library music collection)
6. George Auric, Isla Cameron and The Raymonde Singers – The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961)
7. Brian Gascoigne, David Briscoe, David Vorhaus – Phase IV (Saul Bass, 1974)
8. Goblin – Tenebre [Tenebrae] (Dario Argento, 1982)
9. Coil – Blue (Derek Jarman, 1993)
10. Conrad Schnitzler (1975, from ‘Filmmusik’ collection)
11. Bernard Parmegiani – Rock (Michel Treguer, 1982)
12. Edvard Graham Lewis – All Under (Gunilla Leander, 2003)
13. Steve Reich – 3 Gläser (Lutz Mommartz, 1967)
14. Jim O’Rourke – Not Yet (Jim O’Rourke, 2003)
15. Jim O’Rourke – Kaien Hoteru burû [Kaien Hotel Blue] (Kôji Wakamatsu, 2012)
16. Ennio Morricone – Un uomo da rispettare [The Master Touch] (Michele Lupo, 1972)
17. Toshi Ichiyanagi – Eros + Massacre (Yoshishige Yoshida, 1969)
18. Little Murders (Alan Arkin, 1971)
19. Claudio Gizzi – Blood for Dracula or Andy Warhol’s Dracula (Paul Morrissey, 1974)
20. Vladimir Ussachevsky (1960, from educational audiovisual ‘Music Appreciation Series’)
21. Jack Nitzsche – Cutter’s Way (Ivan Passer, 1981)
22. Nino Rota – Il Casanova di Federico Fellini [Fellini’s Casanova] (Frederico Fellini, 1976)
23. Nico, Ari Boulogne – La cicatrice intérieure (Philippe Garrel, 1972)
24. Beatriz Ferreyra – Homo Sapiens (Fiorella Mariani, 1971-1974)
25. Sun Ra and his Solar Arkestra – The Magic Sun (Phill Niblock, 1966)
26. Bernard Parmegiani – Je, tu, elles (Peter Foldes, 1969)
27. Frans Zwartjes (unknown, from archival collection)
28. Charley Cuva – Putney Swope (Robert Downey Sr., 1969)
29. Jack Smith – Star Spangled to Death (Ken Jacobs, 2004)
30. The Velvet Underground – Walden: Diaries, Notes, and Sketches (Jonas Mekas, 1964)
31. Angus Maclise – The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda (Ira Cohen, 1968)
32. Popul Vuh – Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (Werner Herzog, 1979)
33. Terry Riley – Lifespan (Sandy Whitelaw, 1975)
34. Franco Falsini – Naso Freddo [Cold Nose] (Filippo Milani, 1975)
35. If There Be Thorns (Michael Robinson, 2009)
36. Krishan Mueller, José Maceda – Mababangong Bangungot [Perfumed Nightmare] (Kidlat Tahimik, 1977)

1. Basil Kirchen – The Freakmaker or The Mutations (Jack Cardiff, 1974)
2. Alice in Wonderland (Jonathan Miller, 1981)
3. Delia Derbyshire, Elsa Stansfield – Circle of Light (Anthony Roland & Pamela Bone, 1972)
4. John Cage – Dreams That Money Can Buy (Marcel Duchamp segment) (Hans Richter, 1947)
5. Meredith Monk – Ellis Island (Bob Rosen & Meredith Monk, 1981)
6. Meredith Monk, David Byrne – True Stories (David Byrne, 1986)
7. Joe Hisaishi – Sonatine (Takeshi Kitano, 1993)
8. Tangerine Dream – Risky Business (Paul Brickman, 1983)
9. Kurt Stenzel – Dune (Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1974, film never realized)
10. Günter Schickert – In den Zeichen (Sabine Franck-Koch, 1981)
11. Ash Ra Tempel – Le berceau de cristal (Philippe Garrel, 1976)
12. Eugeniusz Rudnik – Szychta (Jerzy Kalina, 1988)
13. Bruce Gilbert – Swamp (Charles Atlas, 1986), based on Do You Me? I Did (choreography by Michael Clark, 1984)
14. Why Do Things Get in a Muddle? (Come on Petunia) (Gary Hill,1984)
15. Luc Ferrari – Chronopolis (Piotr Kamler, 1983)
16. Don Cherry, Karl Berger, Anthony Braxton – Don Cherry (Jean-Noël Delamare, Nathalie Perrey & Philippe Gras, 1967-1969)
17. Ornette Coleman, Marianne Faithfull – Who’s Crazy? (Thomas White & Allan Zion, 1966)
18. Keithe Waithe, Martin Carter – The Terror and The Time (Victor Jara Collective, 1977)
19. Ornette Coleman – Who’s Crazy? (Thomas White, Allan Zion, 1966)
20. Howard Shore, Ornette Coleman, The London Philharmonic Orchestra – Naked Lunch (David Cronenberg, 1991)
21. La rabbia [The Anger] (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1963)
22. Trevor Duncan – La jetée (Chris Marker, 1962)
23. Minnie and Moskowitz (John Cassavetes, 1971)
24. Sandro Brugnolini (1972, from library music collection)
25. Masahiko Sato – Kanashimi no Belladonna [Belladonna Of Sadness] (Eiichi Yamamoto, 1973)
26. François de Roubaix – Dernier domicile connu [Last Known Address] (José Giovanni, 1970)
27. Jack Nitzsche – Greaser’s Palace (Robert Downey Sr., 1972)
28. Jack Nitzsche – Moment to Moment or Two Tons of Turquoise to Taos Tonight (Robert Downey Sr., 1975)
29. David Shire – The Conversation (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)
30. Mario Nascimbene – Al Mummia [The Night of Counting the Years] (Shadi Abdel Salam, 1969)
31. Brian Eno – Land of the Minotaur or The Devil’s Men (Kostas Karagiannis, 1976)
32. Sam Waymon – Ganja & Hess (Bill Gunn, 1973)
33. Kevin Drumm – In Order Not To Be Here (Deborah Stratman, 2002)
34. Stephen O’Malley, Randall Dunn, Jóhann Jóhannsson – Mandy (Panos Cosmatos, 2018)
35. Basil Kirchen – The Freakmaker or The Mutations (Jack Cardiff, 1974)
36. Delia Derbyshire, Elsa Stansfield – Circle of Light (Anthony Roland & Pamela Bone, 1972)
37. Ravi Shankar – Alice in Wonderland (Jonathan Miller, 1981)

1. Jimmy Giuffre – This Island (Leo Hurwitz & Peggy Lawson, 1970)
2. Teresa Luciani (from library music collection, 1972)
3. Suzanne Ciani – Untitled (Ronald Mallory, 1973)
4. Iannis Xenakis – Orient-Occident (Enrico Fulchignoni, 1960)
5. Harry Partch – Windsong (Madeline Tourtelot, 1958)
6. Roy Budd – The Internecine Project (Ken Hughes, 1974)
7. Basil Kirchin, John Coleman, Jack Nathan, Lindsey Moore – I Start Counting (David Greene, 1970)
8. Jôji Yuasa – Bara no Sōretsu [Funeral Parade of Roses] (Toshio Matsumoto, 1969)
9. Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958)
10. Philippe Besombes – Libra (Groupe Pattern, 1975)
11. Philippe Arthuys – Les carabiniers (Jean-Luc Godard, 1963)
12. Henning Christiansen – Skarpretteren [The Executioner] (Ursula Reuter Christiansen, 1971)
13. Jon Appleton – Scene Unobserved (Jon Appleton, Wayne Wadhams, Pierre Payne & John Mellquist, 1969)
14. Vladimir Ussachevsky – No Exit (Tad Danielewski & Orson Welles, 1962)
15. Lejaren Hiller – Pogányok ideje [Time of the Heathen] (Peter Kass, 1962)
16. Mesias Maiguashca – Dort wo wir Leben [The World We Live In] (unknown, 1967)
17. Bernard Herrmann – The Day the Earth Stood Still (Robert Wise, 1951)
18. Lalo Schifrin – THX 1138 (George Lucas, 1971)
19. Edward Artemiev – Soylaris [Solaris] (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1972)
20. Aminadav Aloni – Once (Morton Leonard Heilig, 1973)
21. Charles Wain – The Last Wave (Peter Weir, 1977)
22. Body and Soul (Robert Rossen, 1947)
23. Giorgio Moroder – Scarface (Brian De Palma, 1983 – own wrecked version)
24. None Shall Escape (André De Toth, 1944)
25. Rino de Filippi (from library music collection, 1978)
26. Teresa Luciani (from library music collection, 1972)
27. Dick Raaijmakers – Bekaert: het andere woord voor staaldraad (industrial film, 1966)
28. Tom Dissevelt – Glas (Bert Haanstra, 1958)
29. Jean Guérin – Bof… Anatomie d’un livreur (Claude Faraldo, 1971)
30. Barney Wilen – A l’intention de Mlle Issoufou à Bilma (Caroline de Bendern, 1971)
31. Art Ensemble of Chicago – Les stances à Sophie (Moshé Mizrahi, 1970)
32. Jean-Charles Capon, Baroque Jazz Trio – Midi Minuit (Pierre Philippe, 1970)
33. Horace Tapscott & The Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra – As Above, So Below (Larry Clark, 1973)
34. Bush Mama (Haile Gerima, 1975)
35. Sam Waymon, Carman Moore – Personal Problems (Ishmael Reed, Bill Gunn, 1980)
36. Adele Bertei, The Red Krayola (Susan Carena Whitby, Georgina Mary Birch, Epic Soundtracks, Mayo Thompson) – Born in Flames (Lizzie Borden, 1983)
37. Tell Them Willie Boy is Here (Abraham Polonsky, 1969)
38. Richard Landry – A First Quarter (Lawrence Weiner, 1975)
39. Cyclobe (Stephen Thrower & Ossian Brown) – Death Bed: The Bed That Eats (George Barry, 1977)
40. John Duncan – Move Forward (John Duncan, 1984)

Film criticism: before and after

by Serge Daney

Published in Cinémarabe nr. 7/8, 1978. The articles assembled in this special edition around the theme of “film criticism” were supposed to be discussed in the presence of their writers in Hammamet (Tunesia) and Marrakech (Marocco). Unfortunately, due to a number of reasons this colloquium never took place.

Precaution. There is little to gain from the gargarizing of words. Those used in the introductory text of this edition – words like aesthetics, criticism, culture, struggle, national, forms, popular, dynamics, etc. – have a different meaning depending on me placing myself here (France, or rather Paris) or there (for example the Arab world, the Maghreb, or the little that I know about it). I’m even not quite sure if we know very well what they encompass here, in Paris. For example the expression “film criticism”. Also, before asking oneself how an Arab criticism should demarcate itself from French criticism (Parisian in fact), I would like to describe how I see this criticism function (badly).

Before (television). Film criticism in France is undoubtedly constituted on the model – established in the XIXth century – of pictorial or theatrical criticism. The critic is not a professional spectator. In the best case (s)he lives off writing by contributing to newspapers (freelance or in charge of a column). (S)he has to have culture and a minimum of taste for writing.

(S)he sees the same films as the average spectator. Simply because (s)he sees almost all of the films, (s)he is the instance who distinguishes (or should distinguish) the good from the bad, the well-done from the failed, the fake from the authentic, the new from the old. (S)he takes on the role of conductor and regulator. (S)he gives to readers advice for “enlightened consumption”. It’s a time (before the “crisis” hit) when the whole world sees a lot of films, but when films are created according to a limited number of narrative and representational codes, tied to serial production in the Studios of Hollywood, Misr or Mohan. Characteristic of this time was that there was an ideological consensus, guaranteed by the natural adhesion to codes. Divergences can only bear on their application (more or less talented, rigorous, artisanal). The role of the critic is not make cinema loved (which is spontaneously adopted and loved by the people), but to make it accepted by those who regulate the Bourgeois Culture. This situation lasts until the 1950s. At this time the appearance of television, a medium that has an even more pronounced mass (and massifying) vocation, will gradually topple cinema into culture (via the movement of ciné-clubs). The generation of critics-filmmakers of Cahiers du Cinéma, for example, is contemporary to this mutation.

In the old-fashioned cinephilia, there was, in the connivance and the anonymity of obscure cinema spaces, a provisory coincidence between the mass audience and petit-bourgeois cinema lovers who preferred the anonymous, established, a bit prostitutional space of cinema (the prostituted image: the star) to the stilted space of theatre, place of social representation and bourgeois prestige.

After (television). This situation will change bit by bit. This will result in the “crisis” of cinema (magic word that doesn’t explain anything), which is traditionally attributed to television. We observe two things.
1. Cinema ceases to be the dominant audiovisual medium
2. Film criticism ceases to be the only discourse about cinema. Let’s expand on this.

What is in crisis in cinema, since 20 years, is not talent or the avant-garde, it’s the grand (serial and industrial) cinema, which leads to cinematic “yogurts” like Taxi Mauve (Yves Boisset, 1977). Why? Because cinema is no longer a privileged means of ideological impregnation and control of the masses. It’s no longer with films that the French bourgeoisie stages its consensus (except, by way of the US, with Walt Disney or catastrophe films, as means to reaffirm the consensus in extremis). Inversely, it’s in cinema that the crisis of consensus reverberates the most.

Cinema becomes a sensitive plate for all the debates of opinion which are already delineated by the press. Thus, decrease of popular consumption of films and increase of (intellectual and non-intellectual) petit-bourgeois consumption, in search of general (and vague) ideas. The codes that bore on the ideological consensus run out of steam, which allows for a certain room for maneuver and which makes for formal innovations (Bresson, Tati, Rosselini, Antonioni, Godard) finding their way into industrial cinema and producing small ones. This desegregation of codes, the disqualification of work in the framework of a distraught industry, are still essential phenomena today, that need analyzing.

A grave rupture is produced between the remnants of mass – or “popular” – cinema and an “art & essai” kinda cinema (“cinéma d’auteurs”). The new cinema audience accepts (which is new) being in default of a film (disappointed, shocked, bored – up until a certain point). It also accepts that a film no longer suffices to itself and requires a debate (hence a very sharp loss of acuity and spontaneity in the reaction of “enlightened” spectators). Cinema encultures itself by increasingly playing a role comparable to that of theater yesteryear. In the face of this, the remnants of “popular” audiences are heteroclites and never meet one another: remainders of family (Disney, French comedians, catastrophes, animals), gangs (karate), atomized, migrated individuals (porno).

What happens to criticism and the profession of critics?
1. There is no effect whatsoever on this popular audience which doesn’t read and which is already staged by publicity
2. There is a – limited – influence on the average cinephilized layers (young and urban audience mostly)

What influence? Paradoxically: at a time when criticism has less and less effective action (as it is replaced, both up- and downstream, by distributors, managers, publicists, etc.), the circle of cinema – films to see, to think about, to make known, to criticize – is considerably widened. Especially in Paris (privileged city). The films arrive on new media (broadcast, video, super8) and moreover, they arrive from the whole world (every political regime understands, even if out of suspicion, that one has to take the audiovisual into account – see cases à la Moustapha Akkad or Mohammed Lakhdar Hamina). A critic can no longer be the common measure of everything (s)he sees. The critical activity enters into crisis as well.

Before judging one has to inform, before informing one has to inform oneself. There are no longer communal codes linking the producer to the critic and to the consumer. A film is seen. Who has made it? Where does it come from? What with, against what does it exist? Very rare are the critics who try to see from up close by themselves.

More prevalent are the critics who find everything prepared for them in pressbooks, which hey copy while adding their own signature or writing effect. The critic comes dangerously close to the “masquerade of culture”, as described by Straub. Finally, critics are transmuted into dealers of their discoveries and become press agents.

Which is fair. But there is a risk that the critic confounds the work of pre-chewed information-publicity with the work of criticism. (S)he runs the risk of becoming a sociologist specialized in cinema (in committed or African cinema perhaps) who unceasingly refers the product back to context and the context back to the product. And who, not at all knowing what the artistic work consists off, ends up despising it.

There is no evidence that activity of criticism is viable, interesting, evident today, here in France. No evidence that it is the lever which, in the Arab world, would allow for the advancement of those who love cinema and who do something with it. One has to start from something else: criticism has largely become a simulacrum, it is only a discourse on cinema amongst others. There are others. For those who continue to be mobilized by it, there is one sole weapon: the independence of thought.

(Translated by Stoffel Debuysere)