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The blog of author Dennis Cooper

4LANGUAGES by STEVEN PURTILL

 

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Steven Purtill @ tumblr
Steven Purtill @ Vimeo
Steven Purtill @ Twitter
BROTHER/SISTER, two zines by Steven Purtill

 

 

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p.s. Hey. I’m especially thrilled today to have the blog serve as as host to this work by the artist Steven Purtill, who’s possibly best known around here by his commenting moniker MANCY. I guess everyone knows how fascinated I am by the animated gif as a possible vehicle/language for making a more ‘serious’ kind of work than gifs are generally thought to be able to embody, and in ‘4LANGUAGES’ Steven has employed and even constructed gifs in order to make a work that advances the art/lit/gif premise or medium or what have you in an amazing and beautiful way. I’m mesmerized and studious, and I hope you’ll find fascination or interest in his work. And please let Steven know what you think of the post/work, whatever that may be, briefly or more lengthily, in the comments today. Thank you very much. And big respect and thanks to you, Steven, for the pleasure, the challenge, and the inspiration. ** Wednesday ** Todd Grimson, Hi! Yes, the door slam, Nicky Hopkins’ piano banging, and, for me, one of the most innovative and exciting uses of the mellotron ever. High five, man. ** Dóra Grőber, Hi! So glad the post/book interested you, awesome. And cool about the interviews. I totally agree with you about the strength of in-person interviews. Back when I was doing a lot of journalism and interviewing bands and actors and writers and so on, I always tried to insist that they be in-person for that reason. And it’s the same when people interview me. It makes such a difference. Even doing interviews by Skype is aways far more interesting than by email or over the phone. My back is almost, not quite, but nearly okay again now, whew. So, yesterday we caught that early train to Normandy. It was scary at first because I got the train station wrong and then had to rush via taxi to the right one, and even then the train was literally starting to pull away when I ran madly to the departure track, but I managed to look so desperate that they paused it to let me inside. The meeting was much better than the prep session, but it was tricky and far too short (25 minutes) to be able to give an adequate presentation. The committee were considering six finalist film proposals in a row with the goal of funding two of them. The committee had a lot of questions, and they seemed quite skeptical that we could pull off the ambitious and unusual things we want to do with the film. We were told that we would know their answer by 8:30 pm last night. When we left, Zac and our producer and I were not feeling much hope. Then we trained back to Paris and waited anxiously, preparing for the worst. But … we got the funding! Not only that, but we were the only film they decided to fund, and the vote to give us the money was unanimous! So we’re extremely happy, and, with that money, we now have enough of what we need to go ahead and start working on the film because we know that we’ll for sure be able to make it. So yesterday was a very good day, and I’m still feeling pretty blissed out. I hope yesterday had, at minimum, some real bliss for you. How and what was it? ** Steevee, Hi. I already told you how much I like and agree with your review. Thank you! Everyone, Steevee has reviewed the new JT Leroy documentary ‘Author’, and I’m personally happy to say that he didn’t like it and for very excellent and smart reasons, so, of course, I recommend you read it, especially if you’ve been thinking if seeing the film. Here. ** Tosh Berman, Hi, T. I’d never heard of him until very recently. Thanks! I get you on feeling like something happened after ‘Let It Bleed’. Still, I think they initially albeit briefly did something quite strong with that riff rock area, but I think they blew their creativity therein out by the last track of ‘Exile’. ** Dadoodoflow, Thank you a bunch, man. ** David Ehrenstein, Ha ha, thanks! ** Bernard, Hi, B. Really? Well, on second thought, yeah, I even have a hard time persuading people that Walt Disney himself was a great artist, much less his fumes filtered through the workings of his empire. Those people do sound strangely or irksomely tight-minded, which, duh, is odd, at least from here aka far away, given, you know, dreams. ** Kier, Kierini! Yes, we’re going to officially make our new film. It’s so exciting! I have a lot of really interesting projects in the works, but Zac’s and my new film is by far the thing I’m most passionate about and most full of belief. So, yay! Wow, your classes now and your foreseeable future classes sound great! I think I did get to see your poster over on Facebook, didn’t I? I love it, if so, or I loved whatever you posted. You in Oslo does my heart and the entirety of my brain very good! Whoa, well, you definitely have to come to Paris then. I even insist, if that’s not fascist of me. Tusenfryd is really good. We liked it a lot. And I see they’re doing a special Halloween themed thing! You should go on ‘Thor’s Hammer’ and let me know how it is. It wasn’t open yet when we were there, and it looked potentially really cool. ‘Nightmare’ is pretty fun. It’s a nice park. Cool, lucky you! So great to see you, pal!!!!! Mega-love from moi. ** Nemo, A whole lot of people even in France haven’t come across that guy, so it’s pretty understandable. ** Ferdinand, ‘Zooey’, wow, I liked that when I read it weirdly long ago. The ‘Frisk’ movie soundtrack is the single good thing about that stupid film. Having to experience from as far a distance as possible the current ass-kissing of Laura Albert is one of the more depressing and grotesque things I can remember. She’s weirdly a fair amount like Trump. ** Bill, Hi, Bill. Thanks! It’s cool. The Normandy meeting went extremely well. Victory! Thank you! ** Oliver, Oliver! Holy shit, I was literally thinking about you two days ago and wondering how you are these days. It’s awfully nice to see you! I would utterly and absolutely love a guest-post from you, yes! Please do, and thank you. And I will eventually restore your previous guest-posts and relaunch them, but each post from the murdered blog requires hands on tinkering, so it might be a while. Anyway, Oliver, how are you? What have I missed vis-à-vis you and yours in the months and even years since I last got to talk with you? Welcome back! ** Chris, Hi, Chris. Oh, fantastic that you’re into Augiéras! I’m a relative newbie, like I said, and I don’t know why it took me so long to find him given the fact that he’s not only French but has concerns of great interest to me. I fully intend to read a lot more of him now, and I’m hoping to hit the English-friendly bookstores today even in search. Thank you, Chris. Your comment was a total joy! ** Thursday ** Kier, Hey and yay again, Kier-stier! ** Mattias, Hi! Oh, thank you very, very much! ** Slatted Light, Electrical Slatted Light Parade! My pleasure. I figured that post could be useful, so I wanted to get it back online soon. We did, in fact, and surprisingly, manage to convince the committee to fund us. In addition to cementing our ability to make the film, it’s very heartening because our film is very ambitious and unusual in its intentions/goals, and the actual experience in front of the committee only reinforced that because they were quite skeptical, and yet they decided to take a chance and support us in our unusual quest, and that’s kind of amazing really. You know, I have indeed had that exact waking experience a number of times. For me, it’s like a very, very loud sonic boom kind of sound. Bizarro for sure. But you’re not alone. Fine day to you, maestro! ** Corf, You can’t fool me with that rather nice, language fetish-activating new moniker, Rigs! Hey, buddy! I was hoping you would eventually find your way into the new location. I’m going for force, you know me, so I’m happy I hit it. What’s up, buddy boy? Love, me. ** Bear, Hey, man! It’s so nice to see you and to see you in these new digs. I hope your travels went really well. Safe trip home, or safe trip in retrospect, probably. I’m very good, and I hope you are too, and I look forward very much to catching up. ** Sypha, Hi. I can find out for you. All the old comments are there, and when I put the first version of that post back online, there they’ll be. ** Steevee, I’m with you on what’s happened to queer cinema. Zac and I have learned first hand because a lot of queer or gay film festivals have rejected our film for being too experimental and too ‘inaccessible’ to the queer/gay audience. It’s boring and depressing. Look forward to the interview, natch. Everyone, you can and should probably read Steve’s interview with Kirsten Johnson about her new documentary CAMERAPERSON, and doing so is as easy as this. ** Damien Ark, Hi, Damien. Thanks, man. ‘Happy Together’ is great, yeah. Sorry about the insomnia. It is up there with the worst kinds of torture. I think my day will be pretty good, all in all, and I hope yours follows suit and brings some actual, lengthy sleep to the party. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi, D. Yes, RIP: Lady Chablis. That’s sad news. ** Bernard, Hi. Well, thank you muchly. (I guess muchly isn’t a word because spellcheck was just relentless in its effort to make me type muckily instead). Are the Washington Blade archives online? Doubt it, right? I would be very curious to read your ‘LoD’ reviews obviously. I want to see ‘Julieta’. I think it has come and gone, theater-wise. I didn’t see that Ozon. I’ll try it. I’m pretty so-so about his stuff. Oh, cool, you will be there for LCTG! Awesome! I think the screening info will be announced pretty soon. Zac and I will be there, probably only for a day or two ‘cos we need to be in NYC for, like, possibly, ten days straight in November. ** Schoolboyerrors, Hi, D! Thanks, sir! ‘Holy cow’ is a rich reaction. In my book, at the very least. I’ll remember not to say things of too critical a nature about Araki’s films around Jacob. Whew. Guy Maddin is great, I’m totally with you. ‘The Forbidden Room’ blew me totally away. And, yes, about the Ashbury poem. Maddin’s a really nice, open, generous, funny guy too. The ‘Postcards from America’ isn’t very good. Well, I should say wasn’t because it could have aged well. ‘Superstar’ is fantastic. I’m not a huge fan of a lot of Todd Haynes’s films, but ‘Superstar’ is really great. Our film pitch worked like a hugely surprising charm! We got the dough! We’re going to make our new film! We’re over the moon! ** _Black_Acrylic, Hey, Ben! You really, really do need to see ‘Serial Mom’. Really. I read a piece about the closing of Fabric and about the creepy real reasons it was shuttered. Ugh. ** Chris dankland, Whoa, I didn’t think to duck, and I got your Ferrigno punch right in the kisser. It felt good though. Hey! Our little trip went spectacularly, it turns out, and we did get everything we wanted, Hooray for us! The Var song is ‘Pictures of Today / Victorial’. The stolen lyric/title is, like, right near the beginning of the track. I’m really glad you like Var. I listened to that album about a million times the year it came out, and I’m still sad that they broke up so quickly. I asked Elias about that when I hung out with him, and he said it was the usual, I guess, ego clash problem. Shame. I love them. Very good that you feel good, I can feel it in your text. I love your sources of inspiration, you won’t be surprised to hear. And I’m very happy that you’ve transitioned into compulsive writing. Let’s face it, that state is as good as life and the body and the brain, etc. have to offer anyone, I think. The high of highs. I’m so excited to get to read your book-in-progress of short stories! I’m going to live another batch of months partly knowing that shining light is out there. Make Friday yours! ** Ferdinand, Hi. ‘Head On’ … Do I know that? I’ll find out. Thanks a lot, man! ** Caught up. Please, as already written about above, luxuriate in Steven Purtill’s ‘4LANGUAGES’ and use the commenting arena to specify what today’s post offering made you think, etc. on his behalf. Thank you! See you tomorrow.

20 Comments

  1. dearest dennis… thanks for the intro to steven’s gifart… exceptionally invigorating, stimulating and smart… though i guess not to epilepsy sufferers. looking forward to your brighton visit. big love from the 3 by the sea – chainsaw xxxxxx

  2. Hi!

    I understand it, totally. Psychologists tend to use lots of questionnaires and things like that and though they can be useful in certain diagnostic situations, I don’t like using them when I explore a subject. When I sit face to face with someone and I actually talk to them, there’s so much more than just what they say. So yes, that’s how I’m gonna do it.
    I’m really glad about your back! It’s great that it’s almost back to normal!!
    Wow, such insane luck with the train! I mean that you managed to catch it the very last minute! It must’ve been an awful stress, this ‘well, this starts well…” feeling… But God, I’m so so so happy for you!! You’re awesome! I’m really glad they decided to fund your film and that this way you can finally start working on it the way you wish! Congratulations!!
    Yesterday was a relaxing day for me. I met a friend and then had some time to just read and listen to music. Today, I’m mostly packing and trying to sort out my stuff because in a few months I’m about to move and it’s horrible what I’ve hoarded here these last ten years or so, haha…
    I hope you have a really lovely day today, too!

  3. Congrats on the funding!!! Had fingers crossed all day.

    Steven’s gif art…Right now I like it because someone is trying to make something, and it is posted here. It feels flat in the way some video art from the 80s feel (like Dara Birnbaum-who I grew to appreciate). This is not a negative, the lack of an obvious hook keeps me interested actually and I think that that it is brave to not make it sexy (am I digging a hole? I just want to accurate in my approach- I will be returning to them throughout the weekend to think about them).

    How do we talk about gifart? I tend to revert to video art criticism/theory. Is that appropriate? Functional? I don’t know. Anyway thanks for the brain bomb, Steven.

  4. Wonderful work today. And congrats on getting funding for the film. That’s big news! Great.

  5. @Mancy: this stuff is really great. Wow. I really enjoyed the trailer you did for Mark Gluth’s book a while ago but these are something else. Shit I don’t know anything about GIF art but I just love the way you’ve played around with the timing of the reps so that they drag and spin and jump and burp. The way the typefaces try to imprison adolescent exuberance with flatness. Second series is my fav. Bravo!

    @Chris Dankland (& DC): Ta for the heads up about Vår — been listening to them all day. Amazing stuff

    @DC: WHOOP COOP! Well done to you and Zac on getting funding. Wow man, what a rush that must’ve been. Looking forward to hearing all about it anon… I suppose you’ve been floating around much of today? while I’ve been slaving over a hot Fulbright application 😉

    w/love

    D xx

  6. Congrats!

    Surprised you’re not more of a fan of Todd’s I should think that I’m Not There is right up your alley.

    As for the egregious Albert Creature, HERE

  7. I’m really happy you got funding for the film. Maybe this one will get more exposure in the US?

    After seeing a “MCU vs. Terence Malick” argument on Facebook yesterday – most people argued for the superiority of CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR over KNIGHT OF CUPS – I’d like to see you write a superhero movie and Zac direct it in the style of late Malick.

  8. Are you a Charles Burnett fan? I’m seeing THE GLASS SHIELD, with Burnett present and doing a Q&A afterwards, tomorrow evening. I’m still adjusting to the change in my medication, with lingering tiredness and mood swings, but I hope I’ll be awake for this.

  9. @ MANCY, I love this work. I’m getting something psychedelic and soulful from it.

    @ DC, congratulations on your funding bonanza! Cannot wait to see how it all bears fruit x

  10. I’ll have a lot more time to write over the weekend, but before I crash out for the night:
    Steven – this is fucking awesome. I’ll write more tomorrow but for now – beautiful, exciting stuff, my friend. Xx

    And Dennis and Zac: Congratulations!!!xx

  11. Amazing post today. Great!

    Dennis, congratulations on the funding! Exciting.

    Nothing to report today from here. Just trying to get more work done this weekend.

  12. @Mancy:
    the gif art today is so great — i like the look of all the different fonts & how (to me) the gifs get more & more intense & scary as they progress. i also checked out yr tumblr & vimeo & i’m definitely a new fan of yours, i particularly liked the ACCEPT? video. very affecting. i like how you’ve nailed such a unique aesthetic & look

    @Dennis:
    thanks for all the support & encouragement, as always. i’m very excited about the new film !! can’t wait to see what ya’ll have up yr collective sleeves

  13. Dennis! Hey a belated , welcome to yer new digs. What a great piece of Steven’s, right? And congrats on the superb film news. I’ve been kinda living off line for a bit so I’ve not been up on what’s up, but it seems stuff if going well? I’m busy with a bunch of stuff, much of which I assume you know about via Monsieur Salerno… and Steven and I also have this thing…, a kind of spoken word collaboration. It’s hard to describe but exciting. Oh, I should tell you… a while back I got contacted about the film/tv rights for TLWOMK. It was an agent at William Morris. Weird, right? Steven and I are hanging tomorrow, I can’t wait to talk to him about his gifs. I hope you have a great weekend man.

    Mark

  14. Jonathan Parker-Bryant

    September 10, 2016 at 4:11 am

    Hello Dennis!
    Very interesting entry on “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”. I’ll be picking it up with my monthly book buy. The author’s own background is intriguing in its own right.

    Anita Pallenberg is a handsome woman. I remember her from “Barbarella”, a movie of which I am inordinately fond. Watching it as a child, it blew my young mind. Sex and science fiction? Wha? I hesitate to watch it now that I’m older. I don’t want to lose that youthful memory/feeling of “Wha?”

    Queer Cinema I remember from it’s original posting. Since then I’ve seen one more movie from the list, “Happy Together”. Enjoyed it very much, sort of a sad film. The main characters could have been happy, as per the title, but kept messing themselves up. The pursuit of happiness getting in the way of and damaging their chances at happiness. Then again, maybe close is good enough. I’ll go over the list with my s/o and have a weekend festival. Sometime. Likely after we’ve digested the end of Mr. Robot and we have a viewing slot open…

    I do enjoy very much the posts of movies, music, and books. It’s always neat to see what’s new and strange and wonderful out there. Or old, strange, and wonderful.

    @Steven Purtill, I can’t comment on the gif movies you offer. For some reason, I don’t seem to be able to make heads or tails of them. I feel rather provincial for that shortcoming of mine. I’ll check back on them with a fresh mind over the weekend, but thus far, they baffle me. Hmmm. Studying them again as I write this, I sort of feel like they’re Rorschach-like in their ability to be interpreted differently by each viewer. Weird to me to feel sad that I can’t understand someone’s art. Sorry? Is that appropriate? I guess I could comment after all.

    All else goes mostly well. Finished a chapter on something old and weird and so not suitable for polite company. I think I’m set to get back to work on something more normal, a gay coming of age story set against the background of an apocalyptic end to society. Or I’ll get drawn into something bizarre on commission. Either way, it’s writing I guess.

    Life apart from writing? Romance goes well. Just celebrated a six month milestone. Use of the “L” word. Yeah, it’s still in the anniversary for everything phase. Love it! Baseball season is winding down, although as an A’s fan it wound down for us in June. I’m dreading the last broadcast of Vin Scully and hope, pray that he gets to do a World Series game. Thus, I’m a Dodgers fan for the rest of the season. Well, because of Vin and my A’s who were traded to LA, Reddick and Hill.

    Congratulations on your funding! I hope the project goes well, and as easily as such undertakings can go. BTW, is your music video for Sparks? It should be for Sparks. If it’s not, you should fix that when their new album comes out next year. Sparks, man. Go for it!

    Oh, I remember the whole JT Leroy thing as it happened. It was the talk of the gay internet at the time, such as it was. I remember the vitriol spraying as if people were trying to stop the zika virus. I never liked her work, something about it felt off to me, but expressing that at the time opened one up to such viciousness. It felt like I was being put on trial for treason against the young gay population…Bad times, bad memories. Decorum prevents me saying more.

    Best wishes for an enjoyable weekend to one and all!
    Jonathan B.

  15. MANCY, Thank you for the languages. They’re new to me, though they seem primitive some respects. I have a feeling I’m just not getting the complexity, which is pretty normal for me.

    Hey Big D, Congrats on the funding. It’s nice to see the good guys win.

    I actually make some good zucchini muffins too.

    I guess you’ve seen that the Jacob Wetterling case has been solved. Or that the perpetrator finally confessed. I don’t know, I think I’m glad that it’s finally over.

    You know, there are still two guys -totally unknown to each other at the time- who still swear they saw Dahmer walking Adam Walsh out of that mall. John Walsh discounts their accounts and is pretty sure the dude who died in jail did it.

    I’ve been busy the past two days. Just the same old shit. And falling asleep early doesn’t help re: posting here and getting on FB and writing emails. Zzzzzzzzz…..

  16. Hey man, thank you so much for this, it looks fantastic here. And I so appreciate your support and interest, beyond words.

    billychainsaw – thanks for that. I think an epilepsy sufferer could maybe enjoy a slowed down version. I would make it for them!

    dadoodoflow – thank you for giving the work so much thought – your comments are really interesting to me. I do in some ways come from a video art perspective.

    Tosh Berman – thank you

    schoolboyerrors – thank you so much, especially for pointing out the rhythmic elements, I worked hard on that! ‘The way typefaces try to imprison adolescent exuberance with flatness.’ I love that, thank you.

    _Black_Acrylic – thank you, I consider that a huge compliment!

    Thomas Moronic – thank you T! I’m so excited for your incredible new book to come out. Talk soon!

    h – thank you

    chris dankland – thanks for looking into my work, and consider your fandom mutual, as I also love your stuff!!

    Mark Gluth – looking forward to coffee tomorrow my friend.

  17. Jonathan – thanks for trying to engage and for sharing your thoughts – I couldn’t ask for anything more.

    Misanthrope – it’s not necessary to ‘get the complexity’ I like that you see them as primitive, and you’re not wrong.

  18. Congratulations on getting the funding, Dennis and Zac! The whole trip sounds like a movie in itself.

    Great seeing the New Queer Cinema post again, of course. My network for some reason is crapping out, so I’m still waiting the languages to load. But soon…

    Bill

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