Zeena and the Admins wish you a very Happy New Year - 2016! To celebrate the transition from this year to the next, Zeena curates a day of programs for New Year's Eve, reflecting the symbolism, reality, speculation and metaphysics of Death.
Tune in to Network Awesome anytime after midnight tonight for an unconventional New Year's Eve fest.
1. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EXAMINES WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DIE
Life After Life: What happens when we die? Is there an afterlife? Does consciousness survive physical death? These are some of the most baffling questions known to us
2. Doc - The Tibetan Book of the Dead (2004)
LEONARD COHEN NARRATES A DOC ON AN ESSENTIAL PART OF BUDDHISM, THE BOOK OF THE DEAD
Death is real, it comes without warning and it cannot be escaped. An ancient source of strength and guidance, The Tibetan Book of the Dead remains an essential teaching in the Buddhist cultures of the Himalayas. Narrated by Leonard Cohen, this enlightening two-part series explores the sacred text and boldly visualizes the afterlife according to its profound wisdom.
Part 1: A Way of Life reveals the history of The Tibetan Book of the Dead and examines its traditional use in northern India, as well as its acceptance in Western hospices. Shot over a four-month period, the film contains footage of the rites and liturgies for a deceased Ladakhi elder and includes an interview with the Dalai Lama, who shares his views on the book's meaning and importance.
The Tibetan Book of the Dead: Part 2 - The Great Liberation), 2004
Part 2: The Great Liberation follows an old lama and his novice monk as they guide a Himalayan villager into the afterlife using readings from The Tibetan Book of the Dead. The soul's 49-day journey towards rebirth is envisioned through actual photography of rarely seen Buddhist rituals, interwoven with groundbreaking animation by internationally acclaimed filmmaker Ishu Patel.
3. The Storyteller: The Soldier and Death (Jim Henson, 1987)
JIM HENSON'S BRILLIANT 1987 SERIES STARRING JOHN HURT IN THE TITLE ROLE
The Soldier and Death
Taken from an early Russian folk tale retold in English by Arthur Ransome and is also inspired by Godfather Death.
A soldier returns home after 20 years of war, with three biscuits in his knapsack. On his way he meets three beggars to whom he gives the biscuits; in return one gives him a ruby whistle, one the jolliest dance, and the final man, who gets the last biscuit despite the soldier being hungry himself, in return gives him a pack of magic playing cards and a musty sack that has the power to trap anything ordered into it. Using the sack, the soldier manages to trap a flock of geese, and so manages to feed himself. Upon arriving at an abandoned castle overrun with small devils, he plays them in a game of cards, winning 40 barrels of gold, and when they try to kill him, he captures them in the sack only letting them go when they promise to never return. He makes one of them swear to serve him and keeps its foot as leverage. Quickly becoming rich and famous because he removed the devils from a palace that is owned by the Tzar, his luck runs short when his son becomes deathly ill. Calling upon the devil, the soldier is given a glass goblet that allows the owner to see Death. If Death is at the foot of the person's bed (as was the case with his son), he or she will recover if sprinkled with water from the goblet. If Death is at the head of the bed, nothing can be done. Then the Tzar becomes ill and the soldier, seeing Death at the head of his bed, makes a bargain with Death: his life in exchange for the Tzar's. Death takes his offer and gives the illness to the soldier, curing the Tzar. Lying in his death bed, he summons Death into his sack, and stops death from happening everywhere. But as time goes on, he sees people everywhere who are waiting for death that will not come. So he frees Death, who fears the soldier and his sack so much that he refuses to take the soldier's life. The soldier, old and weary of life, seeks out a way to die. He travels down to the underworld, forcing the devils at the gates (the same ones from before) to give him two hundred souls and a map to heaven. Terrified of the sack, the devils agree to his demands. Upon reaching the gates of heaven, he asks to be let in with the souls while begging for forgiveness from God, but he is denied by thegatekeeper. He gives the sack to one of the souls, asking the soul to summon him into the sack when he has passed through the gates. But since there is no memory in heaven, the soul forgets and the soldier is condemned to live forever upon the Earth. In closing, the storyteller remarks (with a smile) that the soldier is still probably about his business. As the Storyteller tosses the bag aside, a devil emerges from the bag unnoticed by the Storyteller, but noticed by the dog who dismisses it as his imagination.
4. Doc - The Egyptian Book Of The Dead
A LOOK AT THE SACRED TEXT OF THE EGYPTIAN BOOK OF THE DEAD
The Book of the Dead is an ancient Egyptian funerary text, used from the beginning of the New Kingdom (around 1550 BCE) to around 50 BCE. The original Egyptian name for the text, transliterated rw nw prt m hrw is translated as "Book of Coming Forth by Day". Another translation would be "Book of emerging forth into the Light". "Book" is the closest term to describe the loose collection of texts consisting of a number of magic spells intended to assist a dead person's journey through the Duat, or underworld, and into the afterlife and written by many priests over a period of about 1000 years.
5. Doc - A Certain Kind Of Death (2003)
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PEOPLE WITH NO NEXT OF KIN DIE?
Unblinking and unsettling, this documentary lays bare a mysterious process that goes on all around us - what happens to people who die with no next of kin.
Dead bodies in various stages of decomposition are seen, but not played for shock factor. Instead, you learn a little about each person, both what they were before death and what will happen to them afterward. They are followed from the discovery of the body to the final disposition of the remains, and each step in between.
6. Movie - A Matter Of Life And Death (Powell & Pressburger, 1947)
A JAW-DROPPING FANTASY OF A DOWNED PILOT WHO MUST JUSTIFY HIS EXISTENCE TO A HEAVENLY PANEL BECAUSE HE FELL IN LOVE WITH AN AMERICAN GIRL WHEN HE REALLY SHOULD HAVE BEEN DEAD.
Also known as Stairway to Heaven, A Matter of Life and Death is the remarkable British fantasy film that became the surprise hit of 1946. David Niven stars as Peter Carter, a World War II RAF pilot who is forced to bail out of his crippled plane without a parachute. He wakes up to find he has landed on Earth utterly unharmed...which wasn't supposed to happen according to the rules of Heaven. A celestial court argues over whether or not to claim Carter's life or to let him survive to wed his American sweetheart (Kim Hunter). During an operation, in which Carter hovers between life and death, he dreams that his spirit is on trial, with God (Abraham Sofaer) as judge and Carter's recently deceased best friend (Roger Livesey) as defense counsel. The film tries to have it both ways by suggesting that the heavenly scenes are all a product of Carter's imagination, but the audience knows better. Among the curious but effective artistic choices in A Matter of Life and Death was the decision to film the earthbound scenes in Technicolor and the Heaven sequences in black-and-white. The film was a product of the adventuresome team known as "The Archers": Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger.
posted by: Admin
Through the Feminine Lens - Women Behind the Camera
Zeena curates a day of programs for Network Awesome on Saturday 12/12/15, dedicated to the famous and infamous female photographers and filmmakers who have inspired and influenced Zeena's own photography.
The stream of programs will remain in the archives at: http://networkawesome.com/2015-12-12
1. Masters of photography - Diane Arbus (documentary, 1972)
Diane Arbus (March 14, 1923 – July 26, 1971) was an American photographer and writer noted for photographs of marginalised people—dwarfs, giants, transgender people, nudists, circus performers—and others whose normality was perceived by the general populace as ugly or surreal.
In 1972, a year after she took her own life, Arbus became the first American photographer to have photographs displayed at the Venice Biennale. Millions viewed traveling exhibitions of her work in 1972–1979. Between 2003 and 2006, Arbus and her work were the subjects of another major traveling exhibition, Diane Arbus Revelations. In 2006, the motion picture Fur, starring Nicole Kidman as Arbus, presented a fictional version of her life story.
2. Interview: Charlie Rose - Annie Leibovitz
Annie Leibovitz, considered one of America's best portrait photographers, developed her trademark use of bold colors and poses while at Rolling Stone.
Photographer Annie Leibovitz was born October 2, 1949, in Waterbury, Connecticut. In 1970 she took a job at Rolling Stone magazine. In 1983 she began working for the entertainment magazine Vanity Fair. During the late 1980s, Leibovitz started to work on a number of high-profile advertising campaigns. From the 1990s to the present, she has been publishing and exhibiting her work.
3. The Films of Maya Deren (3):
Ritual in Transfigured Time (1946)
Witch's cradle (Maya Deren , M. Duchamp - 1943)
Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) Soundtrack by Seaming (Commissioned by BIrds Eye View)
Maya Deren (April 29, 1917 – October 13, 1961), born Eleanora Derenkowskaia (Russian: Элеоно́ра Деренко́вская), was one of the most important American experimental filmmakers and entrepreneurial promoters of the avant-garde in the 1940s and 1950s. Deren was also a choreographer, dancer, film theorist, poet, lecturer, writer and photographer.
The function of film, Deren believed, like most art forms, was to create an experience; each one of her films would evoke new conclusions, lending her focus to be dynamic and always-evolving. She combined her interests in dance, Haitian Vodou and subjective psychology in a series of surreal, perceptual, black and white short films. Using editing, multiple exposures, jump cutting, superimposition, slow-motion and other camera techniques to her fullest advantage, Deren creates continued motion through discontinued space, while abandoning the established notions of physical space and time, with the ability to turn her vision into a stream of consciousness.
Perhaps one of the most influential experimental films in American cinema was her collaboration with Alexander Hammidon Meshes of the Afternoon (1943). She continued to make several more films of her own, including At Land (1944), A Study in Choreography for Camera (1945), and Ritual in Transfigured Time (1946) – writing, producing, directing, editing, and photographing them with help from only one other person, Hella Heyman, as camerawoman. She also appeared in a few of her films but never credited herself as an actress, downplaying her roles as anonymous figures rather than iconic deities.
4. Leni Riefenstahl - The Immoderation of Me (2002)
The journalist Sandra Maischberger meets Leni Riefenstahl in this documentary about the controversial director and German actress. In 1926, Leni Riefenstahl began acting and quickly becomes a silent film star. Fascinated by the power of oratory Hitler, she joined the Nazis to become the official documentary of the propaganda films of the Third Reich. After World War II Riefensthal resumed making documentaries, that are authentic masterpieces, on African cultures and marine biology. In 2002 she released her latest film: "Wonders underwater". (Biography by RaiStoria)
5. The lives of Lee Miller
Model, muse, photographer, artist, war correspondent & gourmet chef.
Born: 23 April 1907, Poughkeepsie, New York, USA.
Died: 21 July 1977, Farley Farm House, Muddles Green, Chiddingly, East Sussex, England.
Lee MILLER first entered the world of photography in New York as a model to the great photographers of the day such as Edward STEICHEN, HOYNINGEN-HUENE and Arnold GENTHE.
In 1929 she went to Paris and worked with the well known Surrealist artist and photographer Man RAY, and succeeded in establishing her own studio. She became known as a portraitist and fashion photographer, but her most enduring body of work is that of her Surrealist images. She returned to New York in 1932, and again set up her own studio which ran for 2 years and was highly successful. It closed when she married a wealthy Egyptian businessman Aziz ELOUI BEY and went to live with him in Cairo, Egypt. She became fascinated by long range desert travel and photographed desert villages and ruins. During a visit to Paris in 1937 she met Roland PENROSE, the Surrealist artist who was to become her second husband, and travelled with him to Greece and Romania. In 1939 she left Egypt for London shortly before World War II broke out. She moved in with Roland PENROSE and defying orders from the US Embassy to return to America she took a job as a freelance photographer on Vogue.
In 1944 she became a correspondent accredited to the US Army, and teamed up with Time Life photographer David E. SCHERMAN. She followed the US troops overseas on D Day + 20. She was probably the only woman combat photo-journalist to cover the front line war in Europe and among her many exploits she witnessed the siege of St Malo, the Liberation of Paris, the fighting in Luxembourg and Alsace, the Russian/American link up at Torgau, the liberation of Buchenwald and Dachau. She billeted in both Hitler and Eva Brauns houses in Munich, and photographed Hitlers house Wachenfeld at Berchtesgaden in flames on the eve of Germanys surrender. Penetrating deep into Eastern Europe, she covered harrowing scenes of children dying in Vienna, peasant life in post war Hungary and finally the execution of Prime Minister Lazlo Bardossy.
After the war she continued to contribute to Vogue for a further 2 years, covering fashion and celebrities. In 1947 she married Roland PENROSE and contributed to his biographies of PICASSO, MIRÓ, Man RAY and TÀPIES. Some of her portraits of famous artists like PICASSO are the most powerful portraits of the individuals ever produced, but it is mainly for the witty Surrealist images which permeate all her work that she is best remembered.
Lee Miller died at Farley Farm House in 1977.
6. Movie - The Hitch-Hiker (Dir. Ida Lupino, 1953)
A film noir directed by Ida Lupino about two fishing buddies who pick up a mysterious hitchhiker during a trip to Mexico.
The movie was written by Robert L. Joseph, Lupino, and her husband Collier Young, based on a story by blacklisted Out of the Past screenwriter Daniel Mainwaring (who did not receive screen credit). The film is based on the true story of psychopathic murderer Billy Cook.
It is regarded as the first mainstream film noir directed by a woman; in 1949 Norwegian director Edith Carlmar made the lesser known "Døden er et kjærtegn". The director of photography was RKO Pictures regular Nicholas Musuraca.
In 1998, The Hitch-Hiker was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant."
BONUS FILM (NOT in the Network Awesome program)
NEGATIVES (1968) ; Glenda Jackson, Diane Cilento
The almost forgotten British drama Negatives (1968) was the first feature film directed by Peter Medak, whose name was later made by the likes of The Ruling Class (1972) and A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (1972). It's one of those intense and wordy pieces, scripted by Peter Everett from his own novel, which have a respectable amount of visual flair as well.
Theo (Peter McEnery) and Vivien (Glenda Jackson) are a bickering and dislikable couple who spend their evenings in bizarre role-playing games. He takes on the persona of notorious cellar murderer Dr. Crippen, while she alternates between playing his doomed wife Cora and his mistress Ethel Neave. A morbid state of affairs which is bound to end badly, the catalyst being the arrival of glamorous photographer Reingard (Diane Cilento).
Eccentricity turns to outright insanity when Reingard suggests Theo finds himself a new hero - WW1 fighter ace Baron von Richtofen!
*Because the YouTube uploader disabled viewing this film on other sites, you will need to WATCH NEGATIVES directly from the YouTube channel that posted it.
Zeena highly recommends it in conjunction with the theme of female photographers!
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Thank you for your support of Zeena's work!