Kino Keeno

"Film is not the art of scholars, but of illiterates…"

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Is Werner Herzog a Radiohead fan?

by Ben Diamond

My first thought, as I imagine everyone else’s was too, when I saw the new trailer for Werner Herzog’s next film, The Connected World, was: Did the Wern-Dogg just use Radiohead’s Kid A/Amnesiac era font?

Here’s the trailer in question:

And here’s some text from that trailer if you’re too lazy to watch it all –

Herzog Trailer Font

And here’s the font Stanley Donwood, one half of Radiohead’s art department (the other being Thom Yorke, under various pseudonyms ‘Dr. Tchock’, ‘The White Chocolate Farm’, etc (I’m not making this up)), used around the turn of the millennium –

Donwood Font example

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The font, my research tells me, is called ‘BT Plakatbau’ and was created by the graphic artists’ collective ‘Büro Destruct’ (a very Donwoodian-sounding name), who formed in 1994.

Where am I going with all this?  I don’t know.  The font isn’t even the same. Herzog’s is chunkier (and I think his font has a bit more girth to it as well).  But it’s similar enough.  I’m calling Herzog out on this one.  I think he’s a long time ‘head fan.  I’m going to go further than this and speculate that he tolerates the Bends/OK Computer-era stuff but comes into his métier with the b-sides from the fruitful Kid A recording sessions.

His thoughts on The King of Limbs are unknown.

I suppose this is my long-winded way of saying that I’m looking forward to the next Herzog doc, like everyone else is.  The internet, and the connected world, and all that, is a concern of Thom Yorke’s too, so that adds some minor weight to my theory.

Here’s Thom Yorke talking about us being the commodity on the internet, within the context of his having seen Adam Curtis’s 3-part documentary All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace (well worth a watch).  Our content is the commodity being bought and sold.  Much like this blog post.  (Full interview here): –

In the days before we meet, he has been watching a box set of Adam Curtis’s BBC series, All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, about the implications of our digitised future, so the arguments are fresh in his head. “We were so into the net around the time of Kid A,” he says. “Really thought it might be an amazing way of connecting and communicating. And then very quickly we started having meetings where people started talking about what we did as ‘content’. They would show us letters from big media companies offering us millions in some mobile phone deal or whatever it was, and they would say all they need is some content. I was like, what is this ‘content’ which you describe? Just a filling of time and space with stuff, emotion, so you can sell it?”

Having thought they were subverting the corporate music industry with In Rainbows, he now fears they were inadvertently playing into the hands of Apple and Google and the rest. “They have to keep commodifying things to keep the share price up, but in doing so they have made all content, including music and newspapers, worthless, in order to make their billions. And this is what we want? I still think it will be undermined in some way. It doesn’t make sense to me. Anyway, All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace. The commodification of human relationships through social networks. Amazing!”

And here’s one last Radiohead quote, this time courtesy of Jonny Greenwood, because it’s hilarious, fucked-up, and I couldn’t resist: –

We used to go into the IRC rooms and pretend to be us. But at the end of the session, we would say ‘I confess, my name is Steve and I am from Ottawa, I’m just sitting here with all my Radiohead books’. Then someone would come in the room and pretend to be Colin, even though Colin was downstairs playing bass. It got very twisted.

Incidentally, God bless whoever made the Radiohead site where that quote came from.  It’s very Web 1.0, but I’m glad it’s still standing.  It’s a goldmine of Radiohead quotes that I haven’t found elsewhere.  In many ways, OK Computer was very Web 1.0, too.  And props to Radiohead for going on IRC chat rooms in the ’90s.  Men ahead of their time.  Men ahead of their time.

I am aware that I’ve gone from Herzog to Radiohead, without any hope of coming back full circle.  Things often wind up Chez Thomm round these parts…

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Top 10 films of 2015

by Ben Diamond

 

It’s the anal-retentive’s most cherished of Christmas presents – The End-of-Year List.  In reverse chronological order of viewing…

10. Taxi Tehran (review)

taxi_tehran

I loved all the formal and meta-tricks going on in this one.  Very philosophical, very political, very accessible, funny and charming.  The idea of driving around in a taxi lent this film a mixture of claustrophobic confinement and a nervous energy, a very literal momentum.

9. By Our Selves (review)

by_our_selves

Admittedly, not as good as Kötting and Sinclair’s last adventure, Swandown, but I commend these two for going on a psychogeographical jaunt around Albion, retracing the steps of our forgotten national treasure, the poet John Clare.  These images are what Stewart Lee sees when he closes his eyes after he’s drunk his last ale of the evening.

8. 45 Years

45years

Perhaps, perhaps, a film for older people, older couples.  But the idea that things you do in the early days of a relationship come back to haunt you decades later stayed with me.  As a person in their mid twenties, I took this film as a challenge to look at my life and try to spot the seeds of destruction I’m already sowing…

7. The Falling

the_falling

I remember sitting through this and thinking halfway through that it had descended into silliness, but The Falling stayed with me for months after, especially the orchestrated faintings, en masse.  Grand choreography.  So much strangeness.  The possibilities for drawing parallels between the central mass-hysteria metaphor and all the other incidences of mass-hysteria in our daily lives are endless.

6. Wild Tales

wild_tales.jpeg

Six unrelated Argentinian shorts, all directed by Damián Szifron, stitched together into one anthology film.  Not entirely consistent in quality, but there’s enough humour, invention and savagery to see you through to the end.  My favourite was ‘El más fuerte‘, one of the funniest and most violent things I have ever seen.  The spirit of Bottom and Rik Mayall was looming large over that one.

5. Appropriate Behavior

appropriate_behavior

Featuring the most awkward threesome scene you’re ever likely to see.  Desiree Akhavan – just as funny and talented as Lena Dunham.  Perhaps less annoying, too.

4. It Follows

it_follows

I don’t go for horror films – but I went for this, massively.  The creepiness factor here was absolutely nuts.  Fantastic soundtrack, too.  A sudden noise can scare you, but a threatening person walking towards you in a long take from a distance will scar you for weeks.  Also love this one because it reminded me of the power of the multiplex after midnight on a Friday when you’re the only one watching in the cinema.  On the walk back to the car after, I kept looking from left to right.

3. The Duke of Burgundy

duke_of_burgundy

Even writing this annoys me, as it reminds me that I’ll probably have to wait another few years until Peter Strickland’s next film.  Both this and Berberian Sound Studio are amazing and unique.  Stan Brakhage and Belle de Jour are just some of the influences on display.  Deeply sexual, deeply unsettling, hats off too to Cat’s Eyes for lovely weird music to accompany the whole thing.

2. Leviathan

leviathan

If you want to try and understand modern Russia, you need to do two things.  The first is to read Emmanuel Carrère’s book Limonov, and the second is to watch this.

1. Whiplash

Whiplash

J. K. Simmons.  Terrifying.  It’s not really about the music.  Exhausting to watch.  Won’t be taking up the drums any time soon.  Will probably stick to the stylophone for now.  Anyone want to form a skiffle band?

The Creation

by ftilbyjones

Michelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam” (c.1512)