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Political art and music

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I’ve been listening to music and watching videos that are political and culturally critical, to see how ideas are disseminated through art and also to better understand other narrative styles. Here’s a listing of some of what I’ve seen in the past few weeks.

Il Deserto Rosso, by Michelangelo Antonioni. A critique of industrial society, beautifully shot and articulated through a gripping personal story. Aesthetically beautiful shots of industrial production and decay coupled with individual psychological distress.

Slingshot Hip Hop, directed by Jackie Reem Salloum. Provides the history of Palestinian hip hop, and its political dimensions. Features DAM, Palestinian Rapperz, Mahmoud Shalabi, and female artists Arapeyat and Sabreena Da Witch (Abeer).

A clip from the film:

Visual art, music, and performance from the Slovenian artists’ collective Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK). Group members include the musical band Laibach, theatre group Noordung (aka Red Pilot), and the New Collective Studio, IRWIN (painting and visual art), Retrovision (film), and the Department of Pure and Applied Philosophy (theory). The collective has set up its own virtual state, NSK State and has an interesting though sometimes dry documentary made about them called Predictions of Fire. One of my favourite works by the collective is their use of a working mine in a small industrial town as the venue for an art exhibit.

Here’s part 1 of an 8 part YouTube video of Predictions of Fire (view the entire playlist here):

What About Me? is a political and philosophical musical documentary by 1Giant Leap.

You can view the entire series here.

Here’s a video of one of the sections:

Jadugaran, Iranian hip hop. Its members are Changeez, Taymoor, Deev, Fardaa, Raavi. Here’s there’s video, Tasavvor:

A Zed and Two Noughts, by Peter Greenaway. This is a beautiful and thought provoking film, experimenting with the limits of the visual medium as a narrative tool.

Here’s a trailer of the film:

L’Homme Orchestre, by a stage magician turned filmmaker, George Melies. A film from 1900, very clever, and groundbreaking introduction to special effects.

Here’s the video:

Les Biches, by Claude Chabrol. A film from 1968 with two female protagonists. A beautifully shot film that explores gender. You can view the film here.

Here’s a clip:

Peter Greenaway lectures at the European Graduate School on painting and cinema. Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4; Part 5; Part 6; Part 7; Part 8.

Part 1:

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