Monday, February 17, 2014

"Ground Control to Major Tom": THE LONELY ASTRONAUT Movies


...with Music Player!






2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and SOLARIS redefined modern cinematic Science Fiction, and their influence is as strong as ever.

The first decades of the 21st century are full of such films, helping to launch the phenomenal success of GRAVITY.

4-Intro
3-Films
2-Short Films
1-Music Player




4- Commencing Countdown...


Early Golden Age sci-fi was rollicking space opera, from John Carter to the Gray Lensman. But in the Silver Age 50's and New Wave 60's, the challenges of modernity made sci-fi more reflective and philosophical.

The practical lessons learned in the first space flights (weight, design, expense, safety) ran parallel with the spiritual turmoil of the Space Age (humanism, politics, wars, existentialism). All of our dreams of the future now lay in a fragile space between hope and heartbreak.

Of course, from Odysseus to Robinson Crusoe
>, all travel tales had explored the sea and the self; asking, what was our place in the natural world, and the natural order? But speculative writers of the rocket era expanded this to its widest, deepest possible range; what are we really, and what is our place in the universe?



2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968), by Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, legitimized science fiction in the world mainstream by crafting speculative fiction into fine art; asking, our tools have led us to progress, but are we too flawed as a fledgling race to take our place in the cosmos?



SOLARIS (1972), Andrei Tarkovsky's adaption of Stanislaw Lem's book, explored the spiritual gulf between revelation and ruin; will we actually fail at comprehending the abstracts in alien life and in our own minds?


The concept of the existential explorer, at the mercy of environment and emotion, thus permeated culture: from STAR TREK (1966-'69, etc.), SILENT RUNNING (1972), DARK STAR (1974), and SPACE: 1999 (1975); to David Bowie's "Space Oddity", Harry Nilsson's "Spaceman", and Black Sabbath's Supernaut".

STAR WARS (1977) brought Golden Age fun back, and greenlit decades of action spectacles instead. (In truth, STAR WARS is subversively as deep as 2001 and SOLARIS, but with more swing.) But in recent years, film students and cinephiles are bringing back the elements of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and SOLARIS: spaceflight procedurals, vérité practicality, desert landscapes, Ron Cobb set designs and Trumball miniatures and Moebius messiness, along with social critique, solipsism and alienation, and the bold struggle between fruition and ruin.

Here's a shortlist of recent films, and then short films, that reflect the influence of 2001 and SOLARIS.





3- Now It's Time To Leave the Capsule
If You Dare


Have substance, will travel.
Independent creators are countering the CG spectacles with bigger ideas on smaller budgets.


(Note: these are existential explorer/cosmic fruition films in the stylistic mode of 2001 and SOLARIS, as distinguished from general explorer/survival films like ROBINSON CRUSOE ON MARS or ENEMY MINE. Some listed are both, but the imprint of the former is too clear to disqualify them.)





STRANDED (2001)
A Spanish production, with some wooden acting but interesting ideas, about astronauts marooned on Mars; from star/director María Lidón, with Vincent Gallo.




SOLARIS (2002)
A streamlined remake by Steven Soderbergh, with George Clooney.




THE FOUNTAIN (2006)
Darren Aronofsky's subjective meditation on One Life vs. All Life, with Hugh Jackman.




SUNSHINE (2007)
Danny Boyle's moody thriller that plays like a far better version of EVENT HORIZON.




MOON (2009)
The full-blown return of the lonely astronaut with Sam Rockwell. Director Duncan Jones deliberately used the styles, techniques, and themes of Space Age-era films in homage.




UP IN THE AIR (2009)
Jason Reitman's indie comedy has an ambitious sequence, where George Clooney dreams of his alienation by drifting through Las Vegas in a spacesuit, that was unfortunately cut for time.




APOLLO 18 (2011)
A fictional moon flight and imminent disaster, told in found footage.




LOVE (2011)
A crowdfunded, impressionistic indie about the last man floating in his tin can far above the world.




THE EUROPA REPORT (2012)
As a sly riff on 2010: ODYSSEY TWO, this stunningly realized indie uses found footage to tell an ill-starred trip to Jupiter's moon, Europa.




THE COSMONAUT (2013)
A crowdfunded abstract indie about a lone cosmonaut roaming the world but cut off from everyone.

Watch it free here.




GRAVITY (2012)
The astronaut at the mercy of space and spirit becomes a worldwide smash, a rousing cinematic triumph, and a moving soul fable. By Alfonso Cauron, starring Sandra Bullock and the ubiquitous George Clooney.





* Though not Lonely Astronaut films specifically, these recent films also implicitly reference the themes, scope, and style of 2001:

-THE TREE OF LIFE (2011)
-PROMETHEUS (2012)
-OBLIVION (2013)





2- And I Think My Spaceship Knows
Which Way To Go


The Lonely Astronaut also wanders through a landscape of recent short films.

Space suit? Check. Desert? Check? Abstraction? Check.
Blast off!



"Eclipse" (2012)

Link



"Grounded" (2012)

Link



"Voice Over" (2013)

Link



"Expo" (2013)

Link



"You Only Live Twice" (2013)

Link



BROKEN BELLS -"After The Disco: Part 1" (2013)

BROKEN BELLS -"After The Disco: Part 2" (2013)

Link



"Reveille" (2012)
(A film by Grant Howard based on ANDREW OSENGA's concept album,"Leonard The Lonely Astronaut".)

Link



And, as an extra on the GRAVITY dvd, a short film showing the other side of a conversation.

GRAVITY Short Film: "Aningaaq" (2013)
That's a photo, Watch Here.




Orbiting full circle, here's the real thing.

Chris Hadfield- "SPACE ODDDITY" (2012)







1- Can You Hear Me, Major Tom?
A LONELY ASTRONAUT Music Playlist




Surf the spacewaves with DAVID BOWIE, PINK FLOYD, BLACK SABBATH, THE B-52's, PIXIES, MARS VOLTA, and more! It's full of stars!


This is a Spotify player. Join up for free here.







Here am I floating round my tin can
Far above the Moon
Planet Earth is blue
And there's nothing I can do.






See Also:

BEST MOVIES & TV: 2013

How STAR WARS Is Changing Everything!

THE CANON: 50 Books That Created Modern Pop Culture

The Roots and Branches of Lee & Kaluta's STARSTRUCK

TWIN PEAKS: Its Influence on 20 Years of Film, TV, and Music!, with 5 Music Players!

How SPAGHETTI WESTERNS Revolutionized Rock Music, with 3 Music Players!




Thursday, January 30, 2014

BEST MOVIES & TV: 2013









"And...Action!"


FAVORITE MOVIES:



EROS




-BEFORE MIDNIGHT
✭✭✭✭✭
After the warm-up of BEFORE SUNRISE (1995) and BEFORE SUNSET (2004), this brave film bristles with a bold maturity that is wondrous, bruising, and deep.


-BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR (France)
✭✭✭✭✭
One of the most resonant and engaging romance stories that I've ever seen.

-HER
I didn't think this would work, but it is excellent and inspired at every turn.







THINK




-12 YEARS A SLAVE
✭✭✭✭✭
THE movie, of any year.
Required viewing for anyone with a brain and soul.



-KILL YOUR DARLINGS
The true story of the murder that brought Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Burroughs together.



-THE EAST
Brit Marling scores again; the star/co-writer/co-producer (ANOTHER EARTH, SOUND OF MY VOICE) fights the power with this smart thriller.


-DALLAS BUYERS CLUB
Harrowing true story of a man's battle against AIDS,
and the corrupt government and drug companies that let it run rampant for profit.

-THE FIFTH ESTATE
An interesting, generally well-rounded drama about Wikileaks.
Benedict Cumberbatch.
{see also documentary, "We Steal Secrets" (2013)}


-MANDELA: Long Walk To Freedom
Idris Elba and Naomie Harris.
A fast-paced highlight reel of an important life, with just enough character.


-THE BUTLER
Broad strokes overview of the Civil Rights struggle told through one man's family, with strong moments.

-MUHAMMAD ALI'S GREATEST FIGHT
The behind-the-scenes story of how The Greatest's conscientious objection to the Vietnam War nearly tore up the Supreme Court.


-FRUITVALE STATION
✭✭✭✭✭
An excellent film, devastating.
The true story of a struggling young man in Oakland and what the Law did to him.

-TO THE WONDER
No to defeatist existentialism.
Yes to epic visuals, a majestic score, and a truly wondrous Olga Kurylenko.

-MUD
A coming-of-age thriller in the Southern swamps. Great cast.


-CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
Gripping, intense, multi-sided.

-A HIJACKING (Denmark)
A Danish parallel to CAPTAIN PHILLIPS;
Instead of action, this focuses on the Corporate nickel-and-diming of the hostages' lives, and its toll.

-ALL IS LOST
Redford; the elder man and the sea, or, The Naturalist vs. Nature.




-WADJDA (Saudi Arabian)
✭✭✭✭✭
A must-see. A young Saudi girl is determined to get a bike, even though only boys can have them.
Youthful hope vs. the stranglehold of religious sexism in Saudi Arabia, by female director Haifaa al-Mansour.


-THE GRANDMASTER (Hong Kong)
A Wong Kar-wai (IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE) epic with Tony Leung and goddess Zhang Ziyi.
Gorgeous martial arts epic interlaced with war, revenge, and heartbreak.

-MUSEUM HOURS (Austria)
Understated story of new friends bonding over discussions of life and culture in an art museum.

-THE SELFISH GIANT (U.K.)
Brutal dramedy about two hardscrabble boys doing all the wrong moves to survive.

-THE LAST MATCH, a.k.a., 'La Partida' (Cuba/Spain)
Two young Cuban men discover their attraction to each other, and the dangers of others' reactions.


-THE PAST, a.k.a., 'Le Passe' (France/Iran)
✭✭✭✭✭
The director of A SEPARATION scores again.
An effortlessly complex human drama more gripping and surprising than any suspense thriller.






SMILE




-IN A WORLD
Lake Bell (writer/director/star) wants to be the first great female Movie Trailer narrator.


-SAVING MR. BANKS
Emma Thompson, practically perfect in every way!

-INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
Coen Brothers; a shaggy dog story with left-field moments and stunning music by star Oscar Isaac.

-THE WORLD'S END (U.K.)
Never watching spoiling trailers has served me well again!
This seemed like a routine buddy comedy, until 30 minutes in when everything suddenly went... insane.

-THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
Or, 'A$$hole Chic (A Satire)'.
The most fiercely absurdist Scorsese has been since his cult flick AFTER HOURS.

-GIMME THE LOOT
A couple of graffiti artists need money and manage to goof up everything they touch.
Interesting cast, odd turns, and zany moments.







DREAM




-GRAVITY
✭✭✭✭✭
A quantuum leap forward in cinema, as seismic as 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and STAR WARS.
And a beautiful rebirth parable underneath.



-STAR TREK: Into Darkness
Excellent. I love this movie.
Naysayers are fools.

-THOR 2: The Dark World
The only Superman film done right this year.



-ELYSIUM
This is how most of us live right now; mass poverty with no healthcare, overlorded by The Rich on high.
This is real life.

-PIERCING BRIGHTNESS (UK)
Experimental indie; thin story with good craft.

-PACIFIC RIM
I haven't been a Kaiju movie afficianado, but this Del Toro film is magnificent!



-THE HOBBIT: The Desolation of Smuag
Tauriel!




Underrated, Dept.:

-OBLIVION
Like reading a good SciFi short story. I enjoyed all the homages to certain SF film classics.

-AFTER EARTH
Some wonkiness, but in general I enjoyed it well enough.






NIGHTMARE




-UPSTREAM COLOR
✭✭✭✭✭
The creator of PRIMER returns with a sharp film that demands every moment of your concentration and imagination.
Excellent craft, mindbending smarts, and the ever-versatile Amy Seimetz.


-EUROPA REPORT
"All these worlds are yours except Europa. Attempt no landing there."
-Arthur C. Clarke, "2010: ODYSSEY TWO"


-CARRIE
There are two films interpreting Stephen King's book; both are worth your time.
Director Kimberly Peirce (BOYS DON'T CRY) skips DePalma's Hitchcock stylings in favor of focusing new nuance to characters and actions in every scene.


-THE TRUTH ABOUT EMANUEL
Thoughtful, twisty psychological Indie by writer/director Francesca Gregorini.


-SIDE EFFECTS
Soderbergh's quietly subversive homage to a particular Hitchcock film, with merit all its own.


-STRANGER BY THE LAKE (France)
At an isolated cruisers beach, a man sees the guy he cares for murder someone.







GRAPHIC IMAGES




-BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR (France)
✭✭✭✭✭
This brilliant film is based on Julie Maroh's graphic novel, "Le Bleu est une Couleur Chaude (a.k.a., Blue Angel)".


-IRON MAN 3
Fun but uneven mix of IRON MAN and KISS KISS BANG BANG.
Shifting character time from Gwyneth to the kid was a stupid mistake.


-THOR 2: The Dark World
An antidote to MAN OF KILL.


-AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. (TV)
The best DOLLHOUSE writers combine the better parts of MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE and ALIAS with the Marvel mythos.






ARTFLIX




-STEVEN UNIVERSE
Pop zaniness!

-TOY STORY HALLOWEEN (TV special)
Every time they sequel TOY STORY, it only improves!

-MONSTERS UNIVERSITY
Pixar makes films for adults who remember the wonder of being a kid.

-FROM UP ON POPPY HILL
Studio Ghibli. Nuff said.

-ERNEST AND CELESTINE (France)
Exquisite watercolor film that warms you like a splendid meal.








FAVORITE DOCUMENTARIES:



-THE AFRICAN AMERICANS (PBS mini-series)
✭✭✭✭✭
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. gives an excellent and always timely overview of the crucial history and contributions of Africans in the United States.


-WE STEAL SECRETS: The Story of WikiLeaks
An admirable journalistic attempt to show all sides of the Julian Assange and Bradley Manning controversies.

-INEQUALITY FOR ALL



-ROOM 237
We bring our own meanings to everything;
revel in these unique interpretations of Kubrick's THE SHINING (1980).

-MUSCLE SHOALS
Rival to Motown and Stax, the Muscle Shoals studio made many of the greatest Rock and Soul songs ever.

-SOUND CITY
A seedy studio, a magic mixing board, and a history of great music.









FAVORITE TV:



(The season number follows each title.)



DRAMA




-RECTIFY 1
✭✭✭✭✭
The Best.
Has a zen understanding of human joy and pain that is often breathtaking.



-MASTERS OF SEX 1
✭✭✭✭✭
How Masters & Johnson liberated the libido! Lizzy Caplan.


-BREAKING BAD 5
✭✭✭✭✭
A shattering and elegant close for one of Television's greatest shows.

-THE KILLING 3
Grim, ambitious, fearless performances, Amy Seimetz.

-LOW WINTER SUN 1
Mark Strong.

-THE BLACKLIST 1
THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS meets ALIAS. James Spader.

-MAD MEN 6



-BATES MOTEL 1
The co-runner of LOST remakes PSYCHO as TWIN PEAKS. Works for me.

-TOP OF THE LAKE (mini-series)
Jane Campion does TWIN PEAKS in New Zealand.

-HANNIBAL 1
At last, the spotlight shifts from Hannibal Lecter to the game-changing and very first empathic investigator, Will Graham (RED DRAGON, 1981)!
Now Moriarty has the Holmes that disappeared from the subsequent books.









WONDER



-THE RETURNED (a.k.a., Les Revenents/ They Come Back) 1 (France)
Parallels the spirit of Stephen King in poetic depths that the bubble-dum UNDER THE DOME never will.

-GAME OF THRONES 3
Brutal.

-AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. 1
It'll never beat Kirby or Steranko, but I like it.

-ALMOST HUMAN 1
Formulaic, but good leads.

-SLEEPY HOLLOW 1
Crazed fun.
With more retcon backstory than Supergirl.






UK



-ORPHAN BLACK (Canada/BBC)
✭✭✭✭✭
Tatiana Maslaney.


-DOCTOR WHO 7
Matt Smith was a blast.

-MISFITS 5
Final season. The first two mattered most.

-THE FALL 1
Gillian Anderson.

-BROADCHURCH 1
David Tennant.

-RIPPER STREET 2
COPPER is good, but RIPPER STREET is great.




-BLACK MIRROR 2
The acidic anthology 'five minutes in the future' tops itself with another trio of brutal, cautionary speculative fictions.


-"DOCTOR WHO: An Adventure in Space and Time"
A splendid take on the making of the original First Doctor serials (1963-'66).
David Bradley is marvelous as Willam Hartnell.






COMEDY



-ENLIGHTENED 2
Destroy evil corporations. Save your soul.

-ELEMENTARY 2
The fine American parallel to SHERLOCK hits its stride, with more mythos and exponential depth.

-ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT 4
From wobble to stand to jog to sprint; an odd season that regains its original glory full-on by the end.

-STEVEN UNIVERSE 1
Always have fun!








THINGS TO CATCH UP ON, Dept.



Hey, who has time to see everything?


(Drama)

-NO (Chile)
-THE HUNT (Denmark)
-BIG BAD WOLVES (Israel)
-RENOIR (French)
-WAR WITCH (Canada/Congo)

-MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
-GREETINGS FROM TIM BUCKLEY


(Comedy)
-THE SEARCH FOR SIMON (U.K.)
-R100 (Japan)


(Documentary)
-PERVERT'S GUIDE TO THEOLOGY
-FIRE IN THE BLOOD
-FAR OUT ISN'T FAR ENOUGH
-STORIES WE TELL


(Animation)
-RIO 2096: A Story of Love and Fury (Brazil)
-A LETTER TO MOMO (Japan)


(TV)
-ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK 1
-AKTA MANNISKOR 2 (Sweden)








See also:

BEST MUSIC: 2013


BEST MOVIES & TV: 2012
BEST MUSIC: 2012
BEST COMIX: 2012

BEST MOVIES & TV: 2011
BEST MUSIC: 2011
BEST COMIX: 2011

BEST MOVIES: 2000-2010
BEST COMIX: 2000-2010
BEST MUSIC: 2000-2010




"Cut!



Wednesday, January 1, 2014

BEST MUSIC: 2013, with Music Players!








Nevermind those suburban-angst
"Best Music" lists that taste like paste!

These tunes will rattle your brain
and shake your butt!


Shortcut to Music Players:
BEST ALBUMS: 2013
COOL SONGS: 2013
BEST RE-ISSUES: 2013






FAVORITE NEW ALBUMS: 2013

This is a Spotify player. Join up for free here.

BEST ALBUMS 2013:
This music player has songs from the following albums,
in the same order.



-Octopus-E, "Rock Candy Funk Party"

-Paul McCartney, "NEW"

-Calibro 35, "Traditori di Tutti"

-Janelle Monae, "The Electric Lady"

-Colleen Green, "Sock It To Me"

-Charles Bradley, "Victim of Love"

-The Julie Ruin, "Oh Come On"

-Popecitelji, "Sijalica"

-Elvis Costello & The Roots, "Wise Up Ghost"

-Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band, "Take Me To the Land of Hell"



-La Femme, "Psycho Tropical Berlin"

-The Liberators, "Power Struggle"

-White Fence, "Cyclops Reap"

-Unknown Mortal Orchestra, "II"

-The Delfonics, "Adrian Young presents The Delfonics"

-TECLA, "We Are the Lucky Ones"

-The Oh Sees, "Floating Coffin"

-Red Baraat, "Big Talk"

-Queens of the Stone Age, "...Like Clockwork"

-VV Brown, "Samson and Delilah"



-Franz Ferdinand, "Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action"

-Valerie June, "Pushin' Against a Stone"

-White Denim, "Corsica Lemonade"

-Jacco Gardner, "Cabinet of Curiosities"

-The Woggles, "The Big Beat"

-Willy Moon, "Here's Willy Moon"

-Wire, "Change Becomes Us"

-The Computers, "Love Triangles, Hate Squares"

-The Relatives, "The Electric Word"

-F#ck Buttons, "Slow Focus"



-The James Hunter Six, "Minute By Minute"

-Jagwar Ma, "Howlin"

-M.I.A., "Matangi"

-Savages, "Silence Yourself"

-David Bowie, "The Next Day"

-Mikal Cronin, "MCII"

-Bleached, "Ride Your Heart"

-Youth Lagoon, "Wondrous Bughouse"

-Pretty Lights, "A Color Map of the Sun"

-Yeah Yeah Yeah, "Mosquito"

-Alice Smith, "She"




-The Beatles, "On Air: Live At The BBC, Volume 2"









COOL SONGS: 2013





Funk! Spaghetti Western! Psychedelic! PostPunk! Electro! Riot Grrrl! Insanity!



This is a Spotify player. Join up for free here.

COOL SONGS 2013


8 hours of kicking music, featuring:

Franz Ferdinand, Anna Calvi, Black Sabbath, Savages, David Lynch, The Delfonics, Colleen Green, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Goldfrapp, Os Mutantes, The Bots, Shannon & The Clams, Pigbag, Latasha Lee, Lucky Jim, and the impossibly cool Rodion G.A.!








FAVORITE MUSIC RE-ISSUES: 2013





Quality is timeless.



This is a Spotify player. Join up for free here.

BEST REISSUES 2013:
This music player has songs from the following albums,
in the same order.


1960's

-Dan Penn, "The Fame Recordings"

-Various Artists, "Los Nuggetz: 60's Peru Punk, Pop, and Psychedelic from Latin America"

-Honey Ltd., "The Complete LHI Recordings" (1968)

-Sly & The Family Stone, "Higher!" box set (1965-1975)


1970's

-Various Artists, "Music For Dancefloors: The KPM Music Library"

-Swamp Dogg, "Total Destruction of Your Mind" (1970)

-Stark Reality, "The Stark Reality Disc" (1970)

-Apple & The Three, "Free And Easy" (early 70's)

-Elvis Presley, "Elvis At Stax" (1973)

-Piero Umiliani: Digital reissues only, buy them at the iTunes links...
"The Disco Funk Sessions, vol. 1
"The Disco Funk Sessions, vol. 2" (70's)
"Synthi Time" (1973)

-Various Artists, "Cosmic Machine: French Cosmic & Electronic Avant Garde 1970-1980"

-Graham Central Station, "Ain't No 'Bout-A-Doubt-It" (1975)

-Fleetwood Mac, "Rumours" (1976)

-Alessandro Alessandroni: Digital reissue only, buy it at the iTunes link...
"Inchiesta" (1977)

-Ndalani 77 Brothers, "Kenya Special"

-The Clash, "Sound System" box set (1977-1982)

-Marianne Faithfull, "Broken English" (1979)



1980s

-John Carpenter, "The Fog" soundtrack (1980)

-Willam Onyeabor, "World Psychedelic Classics: Who Is William Onyeabor?" (1978-1983)

-Rodion G.A., "The Lost Tapes" (late 70's-early 80's)

-Various Artists, "Change the Beat: The Celluloid Records Story"

-Gunter Schickert, "Kinder in der Wildnis" (1983)

-Various Artists, "Mutazione: Italian Electronic & New Wave Underground 1980-1988"

-Thee Mighty Caesars, catalog reissues (1985-'86)

1990's

-The Breeders, "Last Splash" a.k.a., "LSXX" (1993)

-Nirvana, "In Utero: 20th Anniversary" (1993)









"A splendid time is guaranteed for all!"






See also:

BEST MOVIES & TV: 2013

BEST MOVIES & TV: 2012
BEST COMIX: 2012
BEST MUSIC: 2012

BEST MOVIES & TV: 2011
BEST COMIX: 2011
BEST MUSIC: 2011

BEST MOVIES: 2000-2010
BEST COMIX: 2000-2010
BEST MUSIC: 2000-2010











Friday, December 27, 2013

Wise Up, Ghost, and Howl!: Allen Ginsberg> Elvis Costello and The Roots


Here's the paperback cover of Allen Ginsberg's poetic masterpiece, HOWL (1956).





And here's Elvis Costello and The Roots giving tribute (2013).





"angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection
to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night"


Allen Ginsberg, 1955





Sunday, December 22, 2013

Electric Ladyland: Peggy Moffitt > Janelle Monae





Janelle Monae's new album, THE ELECTRIC LADY, expands her Sci-Fi opus about an android sent to save humanity. Besides continuing themes from the classic silent film "Metropolis" (1927), the title alludes to the album "Electric Ladyland" (1968) by The Jimi Hendrix Experience.




The cover is a direct homage to a scene from the French film, "Who Are You, Polly Magoo?" (1966). This satirical film by esteemed photographer William Klein was a mock documentary about the fashion world ridiculing its excesses, our voyeurism that empowers it, and the loss of real identity in an exploitative media.

In the scene above, supermodel 'Polly' (Dorothy McGowan, third from left) is lost in a sea of clones of model Peggy Moffitt (far left).




Peggy Moffitt is the most radical fashion model of all time.

In the Mod 60's, she created an andryogyne character in futurist kabuki makeup who, wearing the abstract designs of Rudi Gernreich, came to us from a world and timeline all her own.

Working with her husband, photographer William Claxton, Peggy approached the fashion shoot as a forum of conceptual art, challenging the viewers' preconceptions about gender, identity, consumerism, and modernity.




It's a safe bet that her influence on Rock'n'Roll is incalculable.

From David Bowie and Siouxsie Sioux and Soo Catwoman, to Grace Jones and Annie Lennox and Boy George and Robert Smith (The Cure), to Karen O (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and Chicks On Speed and Janelle Monae, her revolutionary influence continues today.


1) David Bowie, 1972.
2) Lou Reed, 1974; Split Enz, 1976.
3) Siouxsie Sioux.
4) Adam Ant and Jordan, 1977;
Soo Catwoman, 1976 (Ray Stevenson).



Annie Lennox; Grace Jones; Boy George; Robert Smith.



Marilyn Manson; Peaches; Karen O;
Rooney Mara (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)





And here's a video I made about her:

ENNIO MORRICONE / EDDA DELL'ORSO
-"Ma Non Troppo Erotico" (1971)






See Also:

Peggy Moffitt on TUMBLR

Peggy Moffitt on PINTEREST

Mod Color: Peggy Moffitt

"Cultural Touchstone: Peggy Moffitt", LA TIMES