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V. VALE MAY 2014 NEWSLETTER. RE/SEARCH: FILM ISSUE. Ralph Steadman, Jodorowsky, monochrom’s “Die Gstettensage” feature!

Welcome To V. Vale’s RE/Search Newsletter #126, May 2014

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1. MESSAGE FROM YOUR EDITOR: Filmmaking should be made by ALL?!?


2. The Counter Culture Hour: Sat May 10, 6pm

3. Forthcoming events

4. Our past life

5. RECOMMENDED LINKS (send some!)


7. Letters from readers

8. Sponsors (Check ‘em out! – they make this possible!)

1. MESSAGE FROM YOUR EDITOR: Filmmaking should be made by ALL?!?

This past month has brought us more thought-provoking “filmic” experiences than usual. We produce THE COUNTER CULTURE HOUR, which is filmed interviews which sometimes we turn into books. The most difficult part is editing in other images to relieve the “monotony” of watching two humans at a table talking. Still, nothing captures a living person more than watching him (or her) talk in real time, answering unscripted questions and extrapolating about “the meaning (and humoristic implications) of life.” We’re grateful that documentaries were made featuring Luis Bunuel, Rene Magritte, William Burroughs (now, where is the J.G. Ballard documentary?!?), Andre Breton, and other sources of permanent inspiration…

In the past month we saw “Jodorowsky on Dune” (Jodorowsky is alive and well at age 85 in Paris, and dresses very sharp. Local musician Kurt Stenzel did the soundtrack music) and “For No Good Reason” about U.K. artist Ralph Steadman (unexpectedly, this documentary showed William S. Burroughs making art with guns). We highly recommend supporting these “doc films.” We also recommend supporting San Francisco’s own Documentary Film Festival (produced by Jeff Ross) which happens June 5-14, 2014:

We also spent a couple days with German independent filmmaker Peter Sempel who presented two recent documentary films, “Jonas in the Jungle,” and “Animals of Art” at the Goethe Institute Wed, April 30. We sent out a last-minute notice to our “local” list (if you want to be notified of RE/Search-recommended events, sign up by writing “local subscribe” in the subject head and sending an email to: . Marian Wallace wrote a little review:

“Peter Sempel’s films are experimental documentaries. You can’t try to follow too tightly.
“You have to just let the films wash over you, impressionistically.
“Watch them again (& again) !
One fun and interesting part of watching the films has to do with being in the many and various subjects’ personal space(s) without affecting what is actually happening. It is not your usual cinematic presentation, but is actually “super-realistic” in that the frame jumps and jitters, like YOU yourself looking around, glancing here and there.

“The films are both demanding and un-demanding at the same time. If you can manage to let go of your logical brain, you can let the images, music, and dialog flow and gain unexpected, usually non-verbal insights. Such that as David Carradine points out, it really becomes YOUR film. It is not what Peter Sempel is trying to tell you, but more that he presents so much visual and auditory information that you eventually come to your own thoughts. These are not ‘fascist’ films, leading you to think or feel what Peter Sempel thinks and feels. So see them with an open mind and ‘don’t try too hard.’ ”
—Marian Wallace

Our genius friends at, an art-technology-philosophy collective based in Vienna, Austria, just sent us their feature film which they produced on an incredibly low budget. Heedful of their monetary constraints, we watched the film and thought, “So… maybe genius is always enough?!?” They made a fiction film that made US want to make fiction films; we instantly coined the (obvious) phrase, “Filmmaking must be made by all.” Then we thought, “Why not write our own ‘guide’ to making a feature film with the lowest possible budget (a la George Kuchar). So here’s our mini-guide:

1. Make a STORY BOARD. Sit down with pencil (or pen) and storyboard paper (like blank comic strip pages), and envision EVERY SCENE (image, dialogue) on paper before you even pick up a camera. In other words, write a kind of “comic book”. You could come up with a “road movie plot” or “picaresque adventure” which takes advantage of whatever free “locations” might be nearby (or within driving distance for a cast and crew). PLOT-WISE, there must be daunting adversities to overcome, very dark humor, mythological dimensionality, and unexpected epiphanic solutions suddenly improvised. (Read plot summaries of ancient Greek plays for ideas!). BLACK HUMOR IS YOUR FIRST PRIORITY. ALSO, the storyboards with a voice-over can serve as quick and easy introductions or plot clarifications for the final film!

For dialogue, remember: Show by GESTURE and P.O.V. (Point of View). Be Succinct. Be Poetic. Above All, BLACK HUMOR!

2. CASTING (FREE). Pick “photogenic” friends and their/your acquaintances who are “perfect” for each character. Be sure to include “flaws” in the characterizations; perfection is Not of This Earth. These days, young women heroines offer a lot of not-done-to-death potential (a la Hunger Games, Divergent, etc). Consider including animals (real or stuffed) or puppets! George Kuchar occasionally used puppets at a closer range acting with real people in the distance, so they seemed the same size!

3. LOCATIONS & SETS (FREE). Pick the most beautiful, unusual, memorable, striking settings you can discover (exterior, interior) including friends’ apartments, workplaces, funeral homes, etc. Tour thrift stores and garage sales (in cities, often there is much free “stuff” on the streets, especially at the end of the month when people move). With a very small crew (you, the actors and possibly one helper) you can get away with this — using natural lighting of course.

4. COSTUMING (FREE or CHEAP). Make sure each costume STANDS OUT against whatever backgrounds you film, and augments the characterization of each “actor.” You can IMITATE (with cheap materials) other archetypal characters from your favorite higher-budget films in your memory, like King Tut. Look at George Kuchar movies for ideas on thrift-store (or free) costumery.

5. DIALOGUE SOUND. Shoot without the pesky necessity for “good” location sound recording; it can be much faster (time is money) and less nerve-wracking at the location to plan to add dialog later in the quiet of your home recording studio. ALSO you will be able to add plot elements to sort out any confusing moments … or even change the plot entirely! Fellini famously had his actors say “whatever” during the shoots, even just count, and dubbed in dialog later.

6. MUSIC & SOUND EFFECTS. Find a musician friend to record in his home studio the necessary audio to add emotional range (in your storyboard, write which “emotion” you want.) Or, find music on old soundtrack vinyl albums (e.g., classical recordings by little-known Eastern European orchestras) and just USE it the way George & Mike Kuchar score their films! Grand music adds immensely to your emotional impact. Also, SOUND EFFECTS are very important. The ominous sound of a buzzing fly (or mosquito about to nose-dive you) can be subtly impactful in building emotional tension. Make (or find) your own library of “sound effects”!

7. LIGHTING. Get a large collapsible “light reflector” to bounce light into the faces of your actors when needed. Like Kuchar, you can use clamp lights, extension cords (long), the brightest light bulbs you can find (300, 500 watt?) and ladders to rig up interior lighting to dramatic effect. If you can borrow or buy discounted some of the new compact LED light sources, so much the better. (Research low-budget, portable lighting).

8. SCRIPT and SHOOTING. Everybody needs a copy so they can understand what everyone else is doing. (But, “as in Hollywood” do not necessarily “shoot the film” in plot order). Everyone has their own secret source of low-priced photocopies…

But BE OPEN to opportunities that present themselves unexpectedly at the sets or in the form of “mistakes” in acting, camera work, lighting, etc. Some of these may not be noticed until you are editing.

Be sure to get lots of extra cutaways, scene-setting- mood- and location-specific shots to help with editing. And gather plenty of sound from the locations also. Shoot the back of each actor on location so you can dub in necessary but forgotten dialog later!

After all, you’re making your film to give your audience NEW IDEAS, NEW THOUGHTS, A CRITIQUE OF THE STATUS QUO. Why make a film like Hollywood Studios would make—sanitized, safe, and calculatedly “commercial”? NO! MAKE AN INDEPENDENT, EXPERIMENTAL FILM! TAKE RISKS! DARE TO BE “SURREAL” and “ANTI-AUTHORITY”!

9. EDITING (PICTURE & SOUND). This final, post-production SOLITARY ENDEAVOR is the Most Important phase. Editing is where your vision “comes together” intellectually and emotionally. Editing is (almost) Everything. See what you have to work with from your location shoots and fill in any holes with voiceover and cutaways.

10. PUBLICITY. Make a logo (very important), soundbites, publicity flyers, You-Tube trailers, T-shirts, posters, stickers, and try to create a viral buzz. And remember: if your final film is NOT available on DVD or free on the Internet, then you have an opportunity to TOUR WITH YOUR FILM, present it in person, answer Q&As live to audiences, et al. This travel potential may be your only “monetary” reward, but it can definitely be “fun.” And, the main reason you made the film to begin with, is to HAVE FUN. As someone once said, “HAVE FUN…AND THEN YOU DIE.” Leaving beautiful black humor behind is perhaps the most lasting form of immortality (think Buster Keaton, Luis Bunuel, Nelly Kaplan (“A Very Curious Girl”), and films like Mad Max 2, La Jetee, the Seven Voyages of Sinbad, certain Twilight Zone episodes, etc. AT LEAST YOU DID SOMETHING…

Okay, this rant was inspired by a couple viewings of the monochrom feature film “Die Gstettensage,” written by Johannes Grenzfurthner and Roland Gratzer; directed and location-scouted by J. Grenzfurthner, and all-in-all produced and made possible by a great alliance of monochrom friends and supporters. We were struck by the beautiful imagery and sound, mythological plot dimensions, memorable moments, and lots of IDEAS which will appeal to all who sense an impending global financial-political-social “apocalypse”—the likes of which we have not yet seen. No wonder the favorite genre of “young people” appears to be dystopian/zombie/vampire films… HUMOR is the best response to the prevailing emotional climate of uncertainty and insecurity. So, Let Humor Show Us The Way…

Now, speaking of “independent” vs. “commercial,” one of our favorite artists, Mark Pauline (founder, Survival Research Laboratories aka SRL) is opening up his metal-fabrication shop for commercial jobs. Email us for more information, if you’re in the market for a machine shop: write,


That warehouse move happened — it’s not quite over, but … don’t ask! (as they say) So now this newsletter is also late.

NOTE: Our latest book is ED HARDY ( , available from ( – please buy this compendium of ideas, insights and wisdom spoken by (possibly) the world’s greatest tattoo artist. We are also offering a ValuPak of (3) books by the techno-futuristic Austrian collective monochrom – write us at & in the subject line write “monochrom ValuPak” and we will send you your own secret coded discount offer, just for YOU!

2. Counter Culture Hour – Sat May 10, 2014 6pm

Hector Penalosa of The Zeros, including performances! Part 2.
Watch for it this month as Channel 29 reairs our shows frequently.

The Counter Culture Hour (aka RE/SEARCH TV) is also simulcast ON-LINE as well as on cable access San Francisco Channel 29 – 6pm Pacific Time, Sat May 10, 2014. See this link at broadcast time:

You need a fairly decent internet connection and computer to “get it.”
USA west coast: 6:00 PM Saturday, May 10, 2014
USA east coast: 9:00 PM Sunday, May 11, 2014
Tokyo: 10:00 AM Sunday, May 11, 2014
If you cannot get this online email us at

See RE/Search channel on youtube: “researchpubs”
V. Vale interviewing Rudy Rucker is now on Vimeo:

3. FORTHCOMING EVENTS (San Francisco unless otherwise noted)

() $ – our favorite local Grand Guignol Theatre Company at the Hypnodrome — now showing: “Pearls over Shanghai” — a hillarious musical, Thursdays through Sundays each week. We saw the new production and it grants renewed amazement, what with the huge cast, elaborate bigger-than-Carmen-Miranda’s headgear, super-detailed costumery, incredibly elaborate make-up, new material, and classic songs that embed themselves deep into your backbrain. We particularly liked the old silent B&W documentary film footage of pre-World War II Shanghai — this is where J.G. Ballard spent his childhood, and it looks like a wild Western urban city, but with Chinese everywhere in the streets. There is so much going on this 2-part production that it makes your head spin… but you almost wanna go LIVE in this stage set. Ben Wa’s preview video

() FREE **LONDON, U.K.** Now through June 27: FAY BALLARD ART SHOW! (J.G. Ballard’s daughter)

() FREE Now through May 10: “The Populist Camera” show at Jessica Silverman Gallery, 488 Ellis/Leavenworth St , SF

() FREE Thur May 1, 6-9pm Chuck Sperry Installation Opening, Firehouse 8, 1648 Pacific Ave/Polk-Van Ness, SF

() $ Thur May 1, 6:15pm New People’s Cinema, SF. SFIFF premiere: “20,000 Days on Earth” Nick Cave documentary, w/the Bad Seeds.

() $10 Sun May 4, 8pm, Vortex 1082 Howard/6th St, Club Foot Revisited, will premiere a Tom Wheeler video documentary of the Club reunion performances which transpired back in 2010. Featured are Bay of Pigs, Alterboys, Longshoremen, Matt Heckert, Mr. Lucky, & the Club Foot Orchestra. $10 donation to pay doorman and defray some of the video costs. Hosted by Dave D Og Swan who says, “If you were involved w Club Foot and have anything you’d like to contribute: art, a performance, a video, etc., please do!”

() $ Sun May 4, 8pm at INdependent, Divisadero/Fell St, SF: EL VEZ (Robert Lopez of the 70s Punk Band The ZEROS) with his Punk Rock Revue. This was one of the most inspiring, improvised, amazingly fun, Punk-History-Lesson “concerts” we have seen lately, augmented especially by guitarist DIANA DEATH (the female Johnny Thunders, dueling guitarist Pat Beers; Diana has her own band called CHINESE ROCKS) and (female) drummer Lety Mora Beers, part of the Schizophonics, a great San Diego band. (

() $ Mon May 5 & Wed May 7 @ Sundance Kabuki Cinemas as part of the SFIFF.

() FREE Mon May 5 All Day Opening of Urban Putt (miniature golf course, etc). 1096 So.Van Ness/22nd-21st St, SF.

() $ Thu May 8, **OAKLAND** Fox Theater: Brian Jonestown Massacre

() $ Thu May 8, Impossible LIght – film on the Bay Lights project as part of SF International Film Festival

() $12 Thur May 8, 830pm Bottom of the Hill, SF: Acid Mothers Temple! & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O., Perhaps, OGOD

() FREE Thu May 8, 8pm: Adobe Books, 3130 24thSt/Folsom, SF: Party for Don Pyle’s Out-0f-Focus Talking Slideshow: A photo document of Punk in Toronto 1976-1980. RE/Search plans to attend! Other openings: Fri May 2, 7-10pm, 1234 Go! Records, 420 40th St, Oakland. Exhibit runs from May 2-10th, 2014. (Thanks to Scott Moore for sending us this!)

() $ Fri May 9, The Chapel, SF: Nels Cline Singers

() FREE May 13 7pm City Lights Books presents Ken Knabb & his new translation of The Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord.

() FREE May 15 City Lights Bookstore, 7pm: Gabrielle Selz presents Unstill Life about her father Peter Selz and the art world

() FREE May 22 7pm Chris Felver shares his new book of photography, American Jukebox (musicians he has photographed)

() $ May 23 on: Opera Plaza presents AI WEIWEI THE FAKE CASE… (RE/SEARCH recommends…)

() $10 Fri May 30, 7pm/8pm Steven Wolf Gallery/Stranded presents Richard Pinhas w/Matt Baldwin

() $ but worth it!! Fri June 6 on, Opera Plaza, Cinemas, SF: Scandinavian Punk Film by Lukas Moodysson: “WE ARE THE BEST! ” It’s the early 1980s in Stockholm and everyone says punk is dead—but that doesn’t stop two rebellious 13-year-old girls from starting a punk band. Tomboyish, bespectacled Bobo (Mira Barkhammar) and brassy Klara (Mira Grosin), who sports a mohawk, are outsiders and best friends. On the spur of the moment, to claim the rehearsal space from an annoying heavy-metal guy band who forgot to sign up for it, they announce that they are forming a punk band. They have no instruments and no musical talent—so what? Attitude is all. Their first song is the heartfelt “Hate the Sport!”—an energetic attack on their school’s P.E. policy, combined with naively expressed Cold War anxiety. Eventually it dawns on them that at least one member of the group should have some musical talent, so they recruit another outsider, shy but talented guitarist and devout Christian Hedwig
(Liv LeMoyne) to join the band. Sweet and appealing, WE ARE THE BEST! earns its exclamation point with a hilarious yet honest and touching portrait of the spirit of youth. Based on a graphic novel, WE ARE THE BEST! is a paean to DIY culture and the power of rebellion.” RE/SEARCH will see this PUNK ROCK film!! “A JOYOUS TIME CAPSULE. Captures the DIY empowerment of punk rock and the bond of female friendships in one blissful swoop. For those of us who’ve been hoping that Lukas Moodysson would return to the tender touch of early movies like Show Me Love and Together, the wait is over.” – David Fear, Village Voice
“OVERWHELMINGLY COMPASSIONATE. A joyous celebration of youth, friendship and rebellion. There is boundless joy to be found in watching the girls’ thunderously confident first steps towards punk superstardom.” – Tom Huddleston, Time Out
The running time is 102 minutes; it is not rated. In Swedish; fully subtitled in English. Digital images are at: (
Landmark’s Opera Plaza Cinemas, 601 Van Ness, San Francisco (415)771-0183
Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas, 2230 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley (510) 644-2992

() $ June 24 DEVO! Fox Theatre, Oakland – Probably the Most Original, Conceptual, Quirky “Punk” band of all time, so…

() FREE Mon June 30, 7pm: filmmaker Doug Wendt film show/Q&A at Canyon Show, 16 Sherman St.

() $ July 7-8, Warfield, SF: NICK CAVE & The Bad Seeds… ‘Nuff said!

4. What We’ve Attended or WANTED to Attend / What We’ve Been Reading/Seeing/Listening to / What We’ve Been Sent / Given, or Seen

() If someone would send us a copy of CAPITAL in the 21st Century, we would be happy to Review It! This book has inspired a “perfect storm” of commentary, criticism and contributory-augmentation-to-his-theory… Google it!

() John Sulak, our partner in putting together the RE/Search MODERN PAGANS book, recently had his book THE WIZARD AND THE WITCH published by Press. Sadly, MORNING GLORY, a “star” of this book, recently entered a hospice. (Sing a Pagan song for her!)

() Jon Savage, who sent us interviews from the U.K. for V. Vale’s SEARCH & DESTROY magazine (11 issues, still available from ( ) recently had a film made of us book, TEENAGE – here’s an article: (

() We would like to check out the gi-normous fiction work by Karl Ove Knausgard: a 6-volume work titled MY STRUGGLE. Or, at least the first volume!

() IMPOSSIBLE LIGHT about the “Bay Lights” project played outdoors on the roof of the Exploratorium last night, where you could see the actual Bay Lights on the Oakland-Bay Bridge while viewing the film. It was a very special San Francisco experience. Filmmaker Jeremy Ambers, project instigator Ben Davis, project manager Amy Critchett (with family Mark Pauline & son Jake Eddie in tow), Timothy Childs of Tcho Chocolate fame (who engineered something ingenious to help make it all work), and others involved in project were in attendance. We see the artistry of Leo Villareal every evening on the bridge. You can see the film at the Roxie May 8th.

5. RECOMMENDED LINKS (send some!)

Visit the RE/Search Publications website ( to view our recommended links ( for May 2014.


() “Technology is outpacing morality, and our ability to deal with it. We’re not in a position to control it; it controls US.” —George

() “A tsunami of social and technological change is making everybody uneasy.” —Lawrence

() “Life is Time Management and then you’re dead.” —V. Vale

() “Fast, Dirty and Cheap” —filmmaking quote from Peter Sempel

() “The [Battery] Library: Spirituality and Honesty in the Age of Evolutionary Theory and Neuroscience.” Hmm…

() “The New ‘Rapture’: Waiting for the Internet to DIE…” —unknown improv idea

() ” ‘inspiring’ is a word used by people who aren’t doing too much.” (Who said this?!)

() “Your subconscious is your best friend” —V. Vale

() “…shocked, amused, impressed, and sickened—in that order.” [typical reaction to snark-culture]

() “Music reminds me why I live… so do people, children, animals, art and writing!” —Felice T.

() “How fast can you do QUALITY work?!” —unknown

() “You identify with something arcane, and it gives you distinction.” —unknown

() songs performed by Carol Doda: “All of Me,” “Witchcraft,” “That’s Life!”

() “That’s genius of you—to recognize genius!” —unknown

() “Most crimes are crimes of opportunity.” —a North Beach policeman

() “The chief enterprise of Human Nature is crime.” —Gerald V. Casale

() “Those were the days, my friend/We thought they’d never end.” —song lyric, favorite

() “We’re here to change…” —Danielle Neu

7. Letters from readers

() “Vale, Good to see you at the … Sorry to hear you didn’t much like “The Man in the High Castle”. But, nice nab on the paperback copy with the original cover art!
In the early 60’s Philip K. Dick was trying to break out of the SciFi ghetto into mainstream fiction. He had tried (and failed to succeed) with a number of other mainstream novels in the 10 years prior. I think he didn’t want to make TMitHC too fantastic for fear it would not be marketed as mainstream. The publisher Putnam called it “an electrifying novel of how our world might have been”. So, he pioneered the whole category of “alternate history” novels. 2 of my favorite PK Dick novels are: “Ubik” and “Martian Timeslip”. Neither have been mined by Hollywood yet. You might also enjoy the epic poem “Moderan” by David R. Bunch. But… It is hard to find in print —
—Matt S.”

8. **SPONSORS** (Without them you would NOT be receiving this newsletter – Please go to their websites!)

If you would like to be a part of the R/S newsletter please email or call.

1. DIANE DI PRIMA! The Beat Legend sponsored us for 6 months – THANK YOU, DIANE! [x10/14)

2. 47 Canal Street (Gallery w/events, NYC) – go visit & say RE/Search sent you!

3. Emerald Tablet (Gallery w/events), Fresno Alley (100 feet from RE/Search! in North Beach). Lots of free or low cost local community events; check out their schedule! ( – they’re open during First Fridays North Beach Art Walk…

4. Dave S. – Thank You!

5. METASONIX: Since 1999, the world’s only maker of vacuum-tube music synthesizers.

6. From our friends Amy and Brian – they have a new software in the works, watch for it!

7. V. Vale’s RE/Search Newsletter is cordially sponsored by “Beyond the Beyond.” Information Wants To Be Free WE MEAN IT MAN! $0$0$0$0$0$0$0$0$0$0

8. “fine art about equal human rights worldwide”

9. Charles H. Kerr Publishing Company – Penelope Rosemont, Chicago Surrealist Group founder.

10. Kevin O’Malley+Christie Dames, the High-Heeled Anarchist: TechTalk/Studio: + Commonwealth Club, San Francisco.

11. Emily Armstrong/Pat Ivers’ pioneering 1st generation NYC 1975-80 punk videos! see ’em yourself @ NYU Fales Library Downtown Collection, debut: Oct 2013

12. The doomfiles:

The end, for now

May 2014 RE/Search Newsletter #126 written by V. Vale & other contributors. RE/Search website powered by Laughing Squid ( .

RE/Search Publications
20 Romolo Pl, Suite B
San Francisco, CA 94133-4041
Tel: (415) 362-1465

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