Karen Lillis is currently serializing a memoir about working at St. Mark’s Bookshop called Bagging The Beats At Midnight: Confessions of an Indie Bookstore Clerk over at Undie Press. Her recent installment, titled “People Who Led Me to Self-Publishing,” discusses the inspiring and energetic figures she encountered, people who took artistic matters into their own hands by making sloppy, lo-fi xeroxed booklets that were sold on a special consignment rack at St. Mark’s. Karen reminds us that writers such as Anais Nin, William Blake, Walt Whitman, Kathy Acker, Gertrude Stein, and others all self-published at one point. There’s a certain magic about it—the immediacy of it, the openness, the way any wing nut or fanatic or obsessive outsider can be given an equal hearing on the consignment rack. No filtration or editorial process—just print, copy, distribute.
In a recent email I sent to Al Burian, I wrote that I was interested in bridging the gap between the small press/indie publishing world and the self-publishing/zine world. Al is kind of a cult figure in the self-publishing world, but is probably virtually unknown to small press and indie lit readers (although he did get some kind of honorable mention in The Best American Nonrequired Reading series one year). I’ve been reading his zines since I was 13 and I’m still totally obsessed with them. Since Al Burian was my favorite zine writer, over the years I let everyone I knew borrow his writings—teachers, friends, family. Some instantly became obsessive fans of his work as well. Since last month Al’s out-of-print collection of early zines, titled Burn Collector, is finally back in print after being republished by PM Press. (You should check it out—I’ve probably read it more times than any other book in my life.) Al’s zine Burn Collector and others like his inspired me to start self-publishing when I was 15.
In theaters tomorrow and On Demand on the 29th. Don’t miss this film. Some more whet:
-Steve Erickson interviews Noé: “I saw “Lady in the Lake” on mushrooms and became fascinated with the idea of depicting a character‘s perspective while he’s on hallucinogenic drugs. I also read about astral projection, and the afterlife. I don’t believe in it, but as a collective dream, like flying saucers, I wanted to depict it properly.” and “I want to make a movie that will be very sentimental and sexual. I have a long treatment now. It’s a love story. I want to film sex as I’ve experienced it, which I haven’t seen accurately represented in erotic or pornographic films.”
Following up on my post about how much I liked Korine’s latest, Trash Humpers is now about to be released on September 21st on DVD, VHS (in limited edition of 300, handmade cases by Korine), and on 35mm (in an edition of 5). Pick up yours here.
Here’s a sample of one of the original VHS cases:
The posthuman is merely the subhuman that results whenever people aspire to the superhuman.
- Garret Keizer (On ‘postmen’ in this month’s Harper’s)
Dick Cavett: What psychology do you use on a seagull?
While we’re on the Harmony Korine again, there is a new short film called Act Da Fool by him on the Proenza Schoulder site. It is retarded gorgeous. In a related Q&A on the site he refers to it as his version of The Ten Commandments. [Thanks to Mike Kitchell for the point.]
1. Also officially out today, the amazing The Orange Eats Creeps by Grace Krilanovich, which truly lives up to its hype: it’s enormous and insane + magic. Full review forthcoming.
3. @ the Guardian, Harmony Korine has a list of things he knows, including: “When I hear the song “Sippin’ on Some Syrup” by Three 6 Mafia, it’s like listening to the gospels…” & “I didn’t really research anything for my film Trash Humpers, I just did it – just lived like a homeless person and it was great.”
Watched Trash Humpers last night. Had little to no expectations of how it’d feel. The previews online make it look like it could be a big mess in the badmess way rather than the glorious mess of Harmony Korine’s first two films, Gummo and Julien Donkey Boy, both of which I hugely love. If Mister Lonely felt less prismatic in that way for me in full, it remains unquestionably still engorged with images I will never forget (the black kid riding the pig around? the Uncle Sam spinning basketballs and cackling!), which seems to be Korine’s greatest talent, and one too many forget: putting shit on screen no one else ever would in ways no one else ever would.
Trash Humpers seems to take Korine’s ghetto by way of backyard by way of incidental by way of watch-it-rattle aesthetic to the furthest extent thus far. Made in the light of wanting not to have to play the “make a budget for this movie” game by milking and meeting others’ eyes, Korine turned instead to ghetto-film roots of weird bedrooms, alleyways, parking lots, apartments, the rooms of some invention.
First off, the going rumor that Korine claimed to have edited the film by dubbing between two VCRs is apparently true. Literally scenes transition by showing the crackle and verbiage a VCR displays when switching from Play to Rewind and even some tracking adjustment. The scenes between play mostly like the cream takes of a bunch of huffers wandering around looking for new ways to get off. The central crew here is three people, friends of Korine’s, including his wife, done up in bad old-person make up masks and weird clothes. Korine films and appears various times himself from behind the camera looking like Jim Jones made of plastic. True to the name of the film, they spend a lot of time humping trash. They put their groin on the bin and bang at it in weird silence, as the film has no score, or sometimes while the man behind the camera squawks weird sounds of hack-giggling or sings small lines or screeching Get it Get it, which at first might seem annoying, eekish, but as the film goes on becomes a hobbling refrain.
This is rad [via Harmony-Korine.com]
Harmony Korine is one of 42 contributors to the project ONEDREAMRUSH, a creation of the New Zealand vodka company 42Below that invites various individuals to create 42-second videos exploring dreams. Other contributors to ONEDREAMRUSH include Kenneth Anger, David Lynch, Leos Carax, Larry Clark, Jonas Mekas, and Gaspar Noe. In time all of the films are to feature on the project’s website here. Korine’s part, titled Crutchnap, has already been made public and can now be found here (.mov/56MB).
Also notable is the information that: The Toronto International Film Festival will host the world premiere of Trash Humpers, a new feature film by Harmony Korine. Trash Humpers has been described as a “handheld video of a loser-gang cult-freak collective who do antisocial things in a non-narrative way, except for the song-and-dance numbers.”