The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Author: DC (Page 1 of 873)

Juliet Berto Day


‘Against a white background, in a red worker dress and charcoal gray newsboy screwed to her head, she stares at the camera and raises her fist, pouting, ready to follow the march of the revolution alongside her Maoist comrades (Anne Wiazemsky and Jean-Pierre Léaud ). This severe, constricted image, taken from La Chinoise (1967) by Jean-Luc Godard, could not be further from the roles in which we will see Juliet Berto later – yet it is one of those through which she is best known. After meeting with the Franco-Swiss filmmaker, at the end of a projection of Carabiniers (1963) Godard will hire her in particular for Week-end (1967) and Le Gai savoir (1969).

‘What links this young worker to the provocative and whimsical Céline of Céline and Julie Go Boating by Jacques Rivette (1974), or to the passionate and empathetic barmaid crossing the night in Montmartre alongside drug dealers, heroin addicts, of a grumpy Hungarian boxer (Jean-François Stévenin) and a generous West Indian pastor (Robert Liensol) in Neige? A face, appeared in about fifty films, but not much more. The films of Godard having been screened in major festivals, Juliet Berto could have embarked on more lucrative projects, less jaw-dropping. But, very early in her career, she showed that she was not made for that.

‘What she liked was for the outside to hit the inside, for the off-screen to extend the frame. On the phone, Patrick Chesnais remembers the filming of Neige, in which he plays the role of a cop: “I had to defraud and shoot in the back of a young drug dealer. I had said to Juliet “Mostly, no sound of bullets” – they were blank, of course. I found it very risky in the neighborhood at night. The camera was far away, we were filming in long focal length, we didn’t have a projector. Juliet insisted that we hear the sound of bullets. And there people thought I was a killer. They would run, throw themselves on the ground, it was impressive. Juliet was looking for those risks.”

‘Distributor Jane Roger, daughter of director and cinema teacher Jean-Henri Roger (collaborator and companion, for several years, of Juliet Berto), must have been 7 or 8 years old on the Marseille set of Cap Canaille (the second film co-directed by Berto and Roger, released in 1983). She remembers passers-by dumbfounded in front of Patrick Chesnais (who this time played a mobster) coming out of a bank, pistol in hand. “Juliet and Jean-Henri wanted there to be no border between fact and fiction. I have the image of a very energetic shoot, with a lot of love, tears, laughter and noise.”

‘For Neige, Berto absolutely wanted people from the neighborhood to appear in the film. In 2013, at Le Louxor cinema in Barbès, during the inauguration of a room dedicated to the duo, an unrestored copy of the film was shown. Jane Roger remembers many spectators who came to see her to tell her that their grandfather or their cousin appeared in the film. Always in search of a collective synergy, Juliet Berto carried within her an ideal of communion.

‘In the documentary Juliet Berto, where are you? (2012) by Jean-Claude Chuzeville and Sophie Plasse, Stévenin says he went from assistant director to actor thanks to her. It was decided quickly on the set of Out 1. Noli mi tangere (1971) by Jacques Rivette, who was looking for an actor to play a thug [he had previously appeared in La Chamade by Alain Cavalier and L’Enfant sauvage by Truffaut , editor’s note]. Juliet Berto suggested to her the one she nicknamed Marlon (because she thought he looked like Marlon Brando). Attracted by new authors, she joined the castings of promising young filmmakers (Comrades by Marin Karmitz (1970) – founder of the company mk2 – or Un amour à Paris by Merzak Allouache, selected for the Perspectives du cinema français in Cannes in 1987).

‘In videos shot in a collective room and shown in the document, we hear her say, in her clear and cheeky voice: “Me, I’m against closed houses, I’m for the tribes. “She was not from Paris but she had this titi side, Poulbot, clever and human”, summarizes Chuzeville. As an actress, it was with Rivette that she found the abolition of the hierarchies she sought – she becomes his co-writer with full involvement. They will combine their magical powers several times, Céline and Julie go boating perhaps marking the peak of their common expression. In each scene, Berto invests herself physically in her head-in-the-air, nervous, elusive character – and on closer inspection, it is perhaps this role that best conveys the nature of this sensitive and imaginative artist. .

‘Discreet and modest, Juliet Berto – who will disappear from breast cancer at the age of 42 – has rarely given up on her private life. But, in her way of playing, we notice her tendency to push back a rebellious lock, to hold her chin by a tense index finger. Lively gestures which are the visible sign of a rich inner world, to which her texts, numerous and scattered, give us partial access. At the top of the pile, The Girl with Clay Heels, the only book she published in 1982.

‘Over the course of a fragmented writing, marked by the use of the pronoun “she” to speak of her, the same desire to escape transcends her words, coming from childhood, a territory of intimate suffering as much as a motor. “She’s elsewhere… At school and at boarding school, she was told ‘Jamet [her maiden name, editor’s note], get off the moon”… Yet here on the Barbès side, the colorful and warm crowd… She doesn’t just walk down a few streets and she’s on the sidewalk mingling with everyone… ” All in motion, Berto escapes all fixation, definition, label – she hated being stamped “Nouvelle Vague” or “feminist ” (although it was natural). And that’s what makes her forever so fascinating.’ — Josephine Leroy





Juliet Berto @ IMDb
Juliet Berto page @ Facebook
In the Moment: Juliet Berto in Duelle (1976)
Juliet Berto : une force vive et incorruptible
Portrait chinois d’une Chinoise, paraît-il mangeuse de frites
Juliet Berto, figure secrète et rêveuse du cinéma français
Juliet Berto @ senscritique
Juliet Berto @ MUBI
Juliet Berto @ letterboxd
Juliet Berto, Actress, 42
[JULIET BERTO] Fume, c’est du Rivette!
HBD, Juliet Berto!



Juliet Berto (1984) by Gérard Courant – Cinématon

Juliet Berto et Bertrand Van Effenterre – Erica Minor (1974)

Juliet BERTO tourne au Havre

hommage a Juliet Berto (1947/1990)


Jacques Rivette interviewed about Celine and Julie Go Boating
by Jonathan Rosenbaum, Lauren Sedofsky, and Gilbert Adair


JONATHAN ROSENBAUM: How was Céline et Julie vont en Bateau prepared? What was the initial motive?

JACQUES RIVETTE: Simply the desire to make a film. To get out of the dumps that we all felt we were in, make a film for as little money as possible, and, we hoped, amuse people. Because the adventure of Out didn’t turn out very well, from the point of view of public reception—there was no reception. It was almost impossible to show the film. Meanwhile, there had been another project [PHÉNIX] which we couldn’t do because it was too expensive, which Juliet Berto was also involved in. When we realized about a year ago that we couldn’t bring this project to fruition, I spoke to Juliet one evening and we decided to do something else. Something which would be on the contrary very cheap, as easy to make as possible, and fun to do. The first idea was to bring together Juliet and Dominique, who were already friends: I’d often seen them together.

ROSENBAUM: There seems to be a Hollywood aspect to Céline et Julie that’s quite different from your earlier films.

RIVETTE: Yes—but Hollywood twenty years ago, certainly not today. We thought of it in reference to certain things, such as everything concerning the house. Contrary to what some critics at Cannes thought, our ambitions weren’t along the lines of parody, but rather a pastiche of an old-fashioned sort of cinema. For instance, the use of wide angles and deep focus. I thought during the shooting that the film was a little bit like an RKO movie of the ’50s, but in color—those films that more or less successfully imitated Wyler’s. There was a fad between 1945 and 1950 to use mise en scène in depth, particularly at RKO—the Gregg Toland influence. In the film’s details, we thought of several American movies. At the end, for example, the idea was to have a slapstick finish. In fact we were thinking a bit of Hawks, although we did it quite differently from the way Hawks would have. One of Hawks’ favorite remarks is that when he’s found a subject, he first of all tries to make a comedy out of it; then, if he doesn’t succeed, it’s a serious film. So we decided that the end would be completely open; it could be very dramatic or whatever we wanted. I wanted to have a slapstick finale because it seemed more amusing.

There are several scenes in the film which I had to edit a lot because they played on looks and reactions— I had to do much more editing than in L’Amour Fou or Out. And from the moment you start editing, you’re obliged to think about what Hitchcock would have done in similar circumstances. But it’s only in three or four sequences that we frankly attempted to follow the principles of Hitchcockian editing. For the first 15 minutes, we wanted to have the imaginary Montmartre of a studio, like the Montmartre of An American in Paris—which is why we used the second title, Phantom Ladies Over Paris, which is also the title of the interior film, if you like.

ROSENBAUM: Were cartoons an influence?

RIVETTE: Oh, yes. Definitely. But it was important as an idea only at the beginning. If we’d had more time and money we would have pursued it more systematically. Although it might not have changed anything. And the actresses had this in mind all the time, especially Juliet. Everything she does is always very visual, physical. Her movements are very staccato—the way she walks, the way she eats the candy.

GILBERT ADAIR: And Feuillade?

RIVETTE: Not at all. I don’t find the film very Feuillade-like. The scene with the girls in black tights was just a gag, lasting only 30 seconds.

ADAIR: But the whole idea of fantasy in the open air…

RIVETTE: Yes, but that’s because we were broke. It wasn’t at all a theoretical position. When we were looking for the house, we wanted it to be very homey; in fact, it’s a completely normal house, but we filmed it in such a way that it seems a little unnatural. And we were lucky to find the cats there. We didn’t bring them. All the cats are in the film simply because they were there.

ROSENBAUM: When was script writing introduced into the project?

RIVETTE: There never really was a written script. What is a scenario, after all? If it’s a project for a film, or, on the contrary, something written and then shot, I don’t do that any longer—not since L’Amour Fou—and I have no desire to do it again.

We began by elimination: we didn’t want to make a serious film; we didn’t want to make a film about the theater because we’d done that too often; we didn’t want to make a film about current events or politics. But we did have the desire from the very beginning to do something close to comedy, and even frankly commedia dell’arte. And the first thing we did after two hours of conversation was to look for the characters’ names. And we stopped there that evening. So finding the names Céline and Julie was our starting point…

The first stage consisted of conversations with Juliet and Dominique, when quite quickly the two girls organized their own characters. Then came the idea of their meeting, how the two connected. But then there was a stage—after the first half hour of the film as it now stands—where we didn’t have a clear idea, where there were all kinds of possibilities. We hesitated for about two weeks with Eduardo [de Gregorio], who had joined us by that time. We already felt that a second story was necessary within the first, for which I wanted Bulle [Ogier] and Marie-France [Pisier], in order to have another feminine pair, both in opposition and in relation to the first. But we didn’t know at all either what the second story would be or the mechanism between the two—that’s what took the longest to organize. It was by approximation, groping. It was Eduardo who suggested the Henry James novel [The Other House] which we started from, which he hadn’t read himself but had heard about. In fact, none of us has read it because we couldn’t find it. Eduardo read only the dramatization, which is apparently very boring; and I don’t read English well enough.

We didn’t want this to be a realistic investigation—we sought a less realistic principle. We thought of lots of things, like Bioy Casares—Morel’s Invention. The day when we were really happy, when I felt we’d found the trigger, was the day we had the idea of the candy. Because that was what permitted us to bring everything together.

ROSENBAUM: When did you shoot the scenes in the house?

RIVETTE: In the middle of the shooting. At first we thought of doing it later, and then for all sorts of practical reasons—because both girls had to talk about the house in their scenes together—we had to shoot it earlier. On the whole, the shooting was in three parts: first we shot more or less everything corresponding to the first part of the film—all the exteriors (the chase, etc.) and the “annexes” (like the cabaret); then the scenes in the house; then everything taking place in Julie’s apartment.

ROSENBAUM: Why did you decide to use a scriptwriter and not depend completely on improvisation after the experience of Out?

RIVETTE: Out and Céline et Julie are related, but in the end quite different. In Out there was a canvas, but inside the canvas was raw improvisation. But even in this case I wasn’t alone: I did it with a friend who was also my assistant director, Suzanne Schiffman. I like having someone by my side, anyway, as a kind of referee, not an arbitrator but someone who has other ideas. So Eduardo was there almost from the start. But I didn’t ask him to come as a scriptwriter. I asked him just to come and talk with us on the same level, and he was present during all the shooting.

ADAIR: It wasn’t that you wanted someone to write the dialogue in the house?

RIVETTE: Not really. Maybe a little. When you’re having discussions like that, it’s always useful to have several people to toss out ideas. Eduardo had already worked with Suzanne Schiffman on the Phénix project, and we were used to discussing things together very informally. It wasn’t at all work. In fact, during the shooting, Eduardo wrote two scenes in their entirety; everything else was done with us. The scenes in the house had to be written; those between the two girls were largely written by the actresses themselves. Their dialogue wasn’t definitive, but a sort of canvas on which we improvised afterward. After all, there were many precise things that had to be said; it couldn’t be totally improvised. And there was a whole system of repetition in the house, so that had to be completely written. Marie-France, Bulle, Eduardo, and I wrote out the principal scenes. But Bulle’s monologue when she’s bleeding and the scene just after, between Marie-France and Barbet [Schroeder], were done only by Eduardo.

ADAIR: In Out there are explicit references to “The Hunting of the Snark,” and the whole of Céline et Julie is saturated with the spirit of Lewis Carroll. What role did Alice in Wonderland play in the conception of the latter film?

RIVETTE: We thought of it in the first scene. We wanted Juliet’s dash in front of Dominique on the park bench to remind one a bit of the White Rabbit. The idea was that Dominique would chase her and they would both fall, not into the rabbit hole, but into fiction.

SEDOFSKY: Can we say, perhaps, that the theme of the search in your earlier films has become, in Céline et Julie, a formal problem?

RIVETTE: It’s purely a question of film construction. Let me add that for me it’s the same in the other films. Because even in Paris Nous Appartient and Out (L’Amour Fou was an exception) we went through the same process: beginning with a certain number of characters, with certain relations between them, and then arriving at a stage in the preparation of the project where there was very little dramatic action. The characters have relations, they meet and so on, but they really belong to different worlds. And then there’s a stage—which was the same for Céline et Julie as for the others—which comes later, sometimes very late, that involves using a kind of fiction which I always see at first as a background and a mechanism, not the underlying motivation. Purely a narrative mechanism. It simply happened that when I wrote Paris this mechanism became too important: this fiction of the Organization, which was really there only to connect all the elements, became more important than I had planned.

In Out, I was already more careful, because the idea of the “thirteen” came rather late. For a long time we thought that the characters might never meet; perhaps there would be five or six completely different stories. We just didn’t know. Still, I had the idea that something should bring them together, and so it was Histoire des treize. But it was just a mechanism. In Paris and, even more, in Out, I don’t take the whole idea of the search for meaning seriously. It was a convenience to bring about the meetings, but it didn’t work with either film, because they were taken to be films about a search. I tried and failed to make people understand, as the film progressed, that this search led to nothing: at the end of Paris, we discover that the Organization doesn’t exist; and the more Out progresses, the more evident it becomes that this new organization of the thirteen which appeared to have been formed never really existed. There had only been a few vague conversations between completely idealistic characters without any real social or political roots. In each case there was a first part where we assembled a story of a search, and a second part where little by little we wiped it out.

For me, Céline et Julie is not very different, except insofar as the decision to make a comedy is more emphasized. To my mind, Out is also a kind of comedy. It’s less obvious in Spectre, because the condensation dramatizes it much more. And even the fact that we improvised led to an atmosphere of psychodrama, and was more likely to create a situation of aggression and violence. It’s very difficult to arrive at something more subtle. Because violence is the simplest way: this is what’s been happening in the theater for the past fifteen years. The easiest thing in the world is to roll on the ground.

So in Céline et Julie we made a great effort to control that, after the experience of Out, and remain as much as possible within a comic framework. Certain scenes between Dominique and Juliet became much more dramatic than we anticipated—which is just as well, because they were only moments. But there’s no more “truth” in this film than in the others. The only truth is that of the filmstock and the actors.


16 of Juliet Berto’s 62 roles

Jean-Luc Godard La Chinoise (1967)
La Chinoise is a pop-art masterpiece by Jean-Luc Godard that both channels and parodies the revolutionary energies of Paris in 1967. Disillusioned by their suburban lifestyles, a group of middle-class students, led by Guillaume (Jean-Pierre Léaud) and Véronique (Anne Wiazemsky), form a small Maoist cell and plan to change the world by any means necessary. After studying the growth of communism in China, the students decide they must use terrorism and violence to ignite their own revolution.’ — Kino Lorber

Trailer 1

Trailer 2


Jean-Luc Godard Week-end (1967)
‘An unhappily married bourgeois couple, each with a plan to murder the other, sets out on a weekend road trip, only to have it interrupted by the apocalypse.’ — MUBI



Claude Miller Juliet dans Paris (1967)
‘A young student, alone in Paris, is engaged in strange and bloody experiences of which she is both the authorizer and the victim.’ — Lio

the entirety


Serge Bard Destroy Yourselves (1968)
Détruisez-vous takes its title from an oft-repeated ’68 slogan (“Aidez-nous, détruisez-vous”) and its lead from Godard’s La Chinoise, Warhol’s Factory, and the French Revolution. A drop-out from Nanterre University, Serge Bard returned to the school to shoot his film in April ’68, just a month before the student protests erupted. Incidentally, Anne Wiazemsky, who stars in La Chinoise, was also a student at Nanterre at that time. Bard’s muse, the English fashion model Caroline de Bendern, plays a confused member of an agit-prop cell led by Alain Jouffroy, cast as a professor proselytizing revolution to a near empty classroom. Juliet Berto, who also appears in La Chinoise, is another member of the cadre but offers no sisterly love to de Bendern, who grows increasingly uncertain and fragile in light of all the militancy.’ — quinzaine-realisateurs




Jean-Luc Godard Le Gai Savoir (1969)
Le Gai savoir is a 1969 film by Jean-Luc Godard. The shooting started before the events of May 68 and was finished shortly afterwards. Coproduced by the O.R.T.F., the film was upon completion rejected by French national television, then released in the cinema where it was subsequently banned by the French government. The film is an adaptation of Emile, or On Education, Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s treatise on education, and its title is a reference to Nietzsche’s The Gay Science. — Wikipedia



Jean-Daniel Verhaeghe L’araignée d’eau (1971)
‘Bernard, an entomologist, moves to the country with his wife to write in peace and quiet. When he brings home a water spider their lives change irrevocably as the insect transforms into a beautiful young woman.’ — IMDb



Jacques Rivette Out 1 (1971)
‘Rivette often spoke in paradoxes about his creative, collaborative process. These paradoxes had a very similar shape – tracing a path from an original assumed openness to, ultimately, something more closed and finite. He started the making of Out 1 in 1970 with the idea of exploiting a wildly “heteroclite and heterogeneous” casting – an assortment of actors with completely different styles and methods of performance – but ended up realising that “this heterogeneity is much less flagrant than I’d originally planned”. Likewise, juggling various types of material from the troubled, stop-start shoot of Merry-Go-Round (Maria Schneider had abandoned the project mid-way, to be replaced, completely visibly, by Hermine Karagheuz), Rivette hoped to make it the avant-garde, meta-document of a film that “searches for itself three times, three times searches for a way out” – but, even here, the thread of a story ended up imposing itself and making everything more coherent and unified than he actually intended.

‘Many of Rivette’s actors, it would appear, absorbed this selfsame type of paradox. In a colourful career interview with Cinéma magazine in 1985, Juliet Berto (who died of cancer, tragically young, in 1990) looked back on her collaborations with the director and asserted that, while her initial intention was to defy and subvert this “old man” who had evidently cast her as a “Godardian actress” in Out 1, she eventually grasped that “the portrait was right-on, he had won”. Bulle Ogier has often testified that what at first seemed like very open, free and democratic processes of improvisation and collaboration on the sets of the films were often underpinned by Rivette’s stealthy manipulation of the psychologies and proclivities of all involved (and thus not so far removed, on this level, from a filmmaker such as Rainer Werner Fassbinder).’ — Adrian Martin



Jean-Luc Godard Schick After-Shave (1971)
‘During the height of his rabidly Marxist/Maoist cinematic phase (1968-1972), French film director Jean-Luc Godard formed the Dziga Vertov Group film collective with Jean-Pierre Gorin. The collective was fiercely anti-capitalist and anti-auteur, yet this didn’t stop them from producing television commercials for large multinational corporations or working for an advertising firm like Agency Dupuy-Compton (which became part of Saatchi & Saatchi in 1986). Amusingly, in this instance Godard and Gorin took money from arch-Republican conservative capitalist Patrick Frawley, who was kind of the Koch brother of his day. Godard and Gorin—who would collaborate on their anti-consumerist masterpiece Tout Va Bien the following year—spent Frawley’s Yankee money on a Schick aftershave commercial with a couple arguing loudly over a news broadcast about Palestine as “He” shaves. “She” is frequent Godard actress Juliet Berto. I’m not quite sure who “He” is.’ — Richard Metzger

the entirety


Jacques Rivette Celine and Julie Go Boating (1974)
‘Whiling away a summer in Paris, director Jacques Rivette, working in close collaboration with his stars and coconspirators Juliet Berto and Dominique Labourier, set out to rewrite the rules of cinema in the spirit of pure play—moviemaking as an anything-goes romp through the labyrinths of imagination. The result is one of the most exuberantly inventive and utterly enchanting films of the French New Wave, in which Julie (Labourier), a daydreaming librarian, meets Céline (Berto), an enigmatic magician, and together they become the heroines of a time-warping adventure involving a haunted house, psychotropic candy, and a murder-mystery melodrama. Incorporating allusions to everything from Lewis Carroll to Louis Feuillade, Céline and Julie Go Boating is both one of the all-time-great hangout comedies and a totally unique, enveloping cinematic dream space that delights in the endless pleasures and possibilities of stories.’ — Criterion Collection

Trailer 1

Trailer 2


Glauber Rocha Claro (1975)
‘In the words of the director, a movie about ‘the colonizers in the view of the colonized’, the movie presents a series of disconnected happenings throughout Europe and Brazil emphasizing the perception of human life as trance-like experiences and thus offering a view of the human history as a connection of symbolic behavior.’ — IMDb



Joseph Losey Mr. Klein (1976)
‘Occupied Paris, 1942. Alain Delon’s Catholic Robert Klein seems to be sitting pretty, with attractive mistress Juliet Berto, and an apartment crammed full of expensive paintings, sculpture, tapestries – and mirrors – most of which he’s bought at fire sale prices from Jews eager to emigrate/flee. But then he finds a Jewish newspaper delivered to his doorstep, and the protests and desperate search for his Aryan heritage begins, so desperate that his attempts to establish his identity start to come second to a frenzied search for his doppelgänger, a search that comes to an unforeseen, but perhaps inevitable end.

‘An indictment of French complicity on the eve of the infamous Vélodrome d’Hiver roundup, with Claude Levy (one of the chief interviewees in Marcel Ophüls’ The Sorrow and the Pity) as historical consultant, MR. KLEIN was received coldly by French audiences, who objected to its depiction of wartime collaboration. Yet it still went on to represent France for the Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or and would win three Césars (French Oscars) for Best Film, Director, and Production Design by the legendary Alexandre Trauner, whose remarkable credits include everything from Marcel Carné’s Children of Paradise and Jules Dassin’s Rififi to Orson Welles’ Othello and Billy Wilder’s The Apartment.’ —



Jacques Rivette Duelle (1976)
‘Rivette counter-intuitively couches this florid fairy-tale material in a hard-bitten film-noir framework, going so far as to toss in explicit visual references to The Lady from Shanghai and The Big Sleep. There’s even a callback to Celine and Julie when trenchcoat-clad taxi dancer Elsa (Nicole Garcia) inexpertly trails Viva through the streets. Duelle achieves its most surreal and poetic effects through the cognitive dissonance of this sort of generic juxtaposition.

‘The strength of Berto’s performance comes from the intersection of this non-naturalistic line of acting with a silent-era quality she bears naturally: her photogénie. And in her case, the photogenic energy is even more original because it is freed from the male gaze of yesteryear. Berto attacks that dominance with a character that is distant, queer, and unpredictably powerful.’ — Film Comment




Luis Armando Roche El cine soy yo (1977)
‘After practicing various professions, Jacinto becomes a movie projectionist. This versatile man converts his truck into an audiovisual whale in order to show films on the street.’ — IMDb

the entirety


Pierre Zucca Roberte (1979)
‘Based on a novel by Pierre Klossowski and featuring a screenplay (as well as a short appearance) by Klossowski. In her 50s, Roberte is still an attractive woman who has kept her figure. She is married to Octave, a substantially older man. His twisted fantasies require that Roberte seek out other men while he follows behind and keeps track of her activities with them.’ — MUBI

the entirety


Robert Kramer Guns (1980)
‘Following a series of films questioning commitment and politics in America and culminating with Milestones (1975), and a 1977 documentary on Lisbon’s Carnation Revolution, Scenes from the Class Struggle in Portugal, Robert Kramer moved to France with his family. The first film he made there was Guns, an intricate feature which echoed the paranoid films of 1970’s Hollywood. With Guns, Kramer continues his exploration of the militant psyche, while at the same time experimenting with different forms of narration.’ — Re:Voir



Juliet Berto & Jean-Henri Roger Neige (1981)
‘An illustration of the more or less weird people in the nightlife of the revel region of a French town. In the center of the (almost non-existing) plot are barmaid Anita and a reverend. Anita cares for the Caribbean dealer Bobby like a mother, but he’s too cool to listen to her warnings. When he’s caught by the police, Anita has pity for her friends who are without “neige” (snow, probably cocaine) now, and tries to help them out.’ — Tom Zoerner





p.s. Hey. ** Dominik, Hi!!! Ha ha, great description of your pained dog. It painted the world’s best thrift store painting in my imagination. Poor PE teacher, but I often wished my PE teachers seriously ill fates. Love turning the earth into a stack of pancakes and turning Budapest into a pad of melting butter (and giving you a helicopter just before that happens), G. ** David, Me too, obviously. I think Battersea is being turned into luxury condos or a mall + sports complex some other extremely boring shit. Lucky you. Mine bit the dust. It was probably shit, but still. 11 mile run, man. Serious. You’re gonna live for-almost-ever, I reckon. ** Shane, He didn’t, as far as I know. ** Maria, Isabella, Camila, Malaria, Gabriela, Hi. Whores are usually a good bet. I think I was too adult by the time Marilyn Manson came along. He just seemed like a novelty act. But I know he was an entrance to finding much better stuff for a lot of kids, so that warrants him, I suppose. ** Misanthrope, Good, I’m happy to feed your need. ‘Cargo 200’ sounds kind of standard fare? Maybe it’s has good style or something. Great luck getting through the swamp of must-dos, man. You’re a trooper. ** David Ehrenstein, I’m interested in Magick as font for sometimes pretty great art by believers. And I was quite interested in Chaos Malick when I was writing my novel ‘Guide’ to the point that it’s a sigil. But it’s true I’d rather go to the Magic Castle than a ritual. ** _Black_Acrylic, Ooh, it really would, wouldn’t it. I’m surprised no artist has used that gig of making a big temporary piece in that big main hall to build a roller coaster. Maybe I should propose that? Happy birthday to your dad a little late. I’m glad there’s a doctor looking after him, and I hope he’s more at peace today. Love, me. ** Jeff J, Hi. I think it’s safe to say that there is no city, town, hamlet, etc. on earth that would not be improved by a roller coaster. Or at least a day ride. I did a Pedro Costa post here a couple of years ago, yes. Ah, I see, it’s to be a studio visit kind of thing. Obviously, I hope that curator gets excited by it. The short fiction collection would be new or at least newer things, yes. I pretty much emptied my storage for ‘Ugly Man’. There are a few older things that I never finished that I’m thinking of going back to and working on to see if I can shape them into something. And there was a lot of material I wrote for ‘I Wished’ that I didn’t end up using that could possibly be salvaged and transformed maybe. Happy you’re starting up the fiction again, and I trust the slow start is just what that work needs to turn over like an engine. ** Okay. Today the blog focuses on the work of the wonderful French actor Juliet Berto, muse of both Godard and Rivette among others. She’s terrific, as I hope you’ll find out. See you tomorrow.

Roller coaster futures

Battersea Power Station Roller Coaster
‘An abandoned power station that has been an iconic part of London’s skyline since 1933 is transformed into a playground and museum in the proposal by Atelier Zündel Cristea. The concept makes use of the Battersea Power Station, which was decommissioned in 1983, preserving its history while making it both an educational and recreational attraction.

‘The former coal-fired power station (which has been featured in a number of films and music videos) is notable for its original Art Deco interior fittings and decor, but throughout the thirty years of its abandonment, its condition has deteriorated severely. Former owners considered making the station an indoor theme park in the 1987, and work began on converting the site, but lack of funding brought the project to a halt.

‘The new proposal revives this idea, making it even more grand with a roller coaster that winds around the building itself, making it the center of attention during the ride. Paths created by the scaffolding-like support of the roller coaster offer opportunities for walking tours.

‘“Our project puts the power station on centre stage, the structure itself enhancing the site through its impressive scale, its architecture, and its unique brick material. Our created pathway links together a number of spaces for discovery: the square in front of the museum, clearings, footpaths outside and above and inside, footpaths traversing courtyards and exhibition rooms. The angles and perspectives created by the rail’s pathway, through the movement within and outside of the structure, place visitors in a position where they can perceive simultaneously the container and its contents, the work and nature. They come to participate in several simultaneous experiences: enjoying the displayed works, being moved by the beauty of the structure and the city: river, park, buildings.”’ — Web Urbanist


The cantilevered coaster #1
‘This ride is conceived and designed by Nick Weisenberger and based on an incredible invention by John Hogg. For a future theme park ride, the cantilevered roller coaster (CRC) could revolutionize the industry by taking the thrill ride to the next level of unpredictability and excitement. The CRC system uses two tracks, each with a chassis on it, one above the other. A support arm is mounted to the lower chassis and runs up through a gimbaled, sliding bearing in the upper chassis. The guests ride in the themed portion of the vehicle mounted to the top of the arm above the upper track and chassis.

‘The CRC was conceived as a way to get the ride vehicle up and away from the main track system. It’s similar to those those ride systems that employ a multi-axis simulator sitting on a tracked chassis (e.g. Indiana Jones Adventure, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey), but without all the complex hydraulics, servos, and electronics of those systems, plus the ability to move on an undulating coaster track.’ — Theme Park Tourist


Rings of Saturn
‘Why is Thomas Casey’s Rings of Saturn amusement ride not available to ride at an amusement park near me? I’m very excited about the possibility of throwing up on strangers and being thrown up from multiple angles upon this ride. Ideally, this ride would have three or four or even five rings with vomit just showering down upon riders from all angles.’ — The Sly Oyster


‘Phantom is a Vekoma Flying Dutchman shuttle coaster designed to be set partially inside an old castle or cathedral and is part dark ride, coaster and drop tower. Riders will be pulled to the top of the first tower whilst viewing scenes in front of them before light, sound and air blasts signal the first drop. Here riders plummet back down in the style of a drop tower, shoot back through the station at 53 mph and into the first half of the coaster section. The second tower is much quicker and simply speeds the train up the tower before releasing it quickly to go forwards again, reaching 52 mph. The train is slowed by the station brakes and allowed to roll into the first tower again before it is then brought to a complete stop in the station.’ — Tower Street


Extreme Stairlifting
‘You must be over 60 to ride/’ — m00ch


G3 RoboCoaster
‘KUKA Robotics is currently working on the G3, a high-speed version of the G2 robotic system in use on the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride in Orlando. The new version will be a thrill ride running at 30km/h, improving on the G2’s 7.2km/h. Riding in automatically-guided vehicles (AGV) would provide each passenger with a unique entertainment experience, as the robots would be reactive. Instead of having one frontal wheel, or two wheels steering, four traction wheels would be integrated at the corner of each vehicle and kinematically mapped together. This would allow the AGVs to navigate safely at high speeds, simulating a variety of effects such as slides and skids.

‘Vehicles could work together in platoons, with a combination of ground vehicles and drones interacting and acting out role plays with the passengers inside. The whole system is also completely trackless, giving a wider creative scope. I think that AGVs will eventually have more of an impact on the amusement industry than robotics already has.’ — E&T;


John Wick: Open Contract
‘The ride, which will be called “John Wick: Open Contract,” will open to the public in late 2022. One exciting component is the ride’s interactive experience, where visitors can choose to either help the assassin or hunt him. In addition, guests will be able to queue in an area modeled off the Continental Hotel while they wait to board the 10-story high roller coaster.’ — Screen Rant


Brainstorming for E=mj2 Roller Coaster Project


Collar Coaster
‘The Collar Coaster is a concept for a new form of thrill ride combining elements of a steel coaster and a traditional free fall ride. Traditional free fall rides position passengers outward on a car from a center track. The ride experience then becomes more personal as each passenger has minimal view of other passengers and ride mechanics. Traditional free fall rides, however, are limited to a vertical motion. The Collar Coaster allows for all motions of standard steel coaster with the personalized experience of a free fall ride. By leaving a section of the circular car open, the track is capable of additional support structures to provide car motions that are not vertical. Each set is hinged so if the collar spins on the track, the seats will pivot.’ — Wonder Barry


‘Sub Sea Systems is the world leader in aquatic innovation. SSS has introduced more non-divers to the underwater world than any other company. Currently in development is what’s planned to be the world’s first entirely underwater roller coaster which will reach speeds up to 50 mph and create bodily effects no land based coaster can physically achieve.’ — Theme Park Tourist


Aerobat Coaster
‘Would that be too many negative g forces if you were exactly 180 degrees banking away from the banking of the track on the turn. I think that would be a lot of blood to the head. Other than that looks like a cool concept.’ — Dane U


The Return of Jigsaw Coaster


Inception Park
‘The warm air of sunny downtown Buenos Aires is suddenly pierced with screams as a roller coaster zooms along the side of the building. In mid-air. With no tracks. Film director Fernando Livschitz of Black Sheep Films has created a strikingly realistic video in which this exact scenario occurs, a surreal spectacle that bends our perception of reality.’ — Web Urbanist


Roller Coaster Tycoon glitch?
Q: As an massive fan of RCT1 and 2 (3 I played a small amount) I don’t remember a scenario where you had a rival park. I remember one where your park was split over a highway in RCT2 but nothing described like this. Was there a park with this mechanic in any of the RCT PC games? A: I highly doubt there was a scenario like this. Programming AI is hard and they would not have spend the time for a single scenario. I can’t remember something like this either. And the launching people into the rivals park seems ridiculous, not sure about the mechanics but you would think the dead’s get count to the owner of the coaster where they died in.


Roller Coaster Water Slide Hybrid Concept by Wiegand Maelzer
‘A water slide that uses ACTUAL coaster track to shoot riders down an LSM launch track in their rafts to the top of a huge wave.’ — Coaster Studios


Ice Age
‘Proposed “Ice Age”-themed family roller coaster ride conceived for Twentieth Century Fox’s long planned, ever delayed theme park in Malaysia. The “ice” mountain would be transparent, built out of a new synthetic material recently developed in Russia that is allegedly as strong as steel. Visitors to the park could watch the coaster’s riders when they were both inside and outside the see-through mountain, but their views of the interior portions of the ride would be warped by the building’s undulated surface. Riders would experience similar although stronger disorienting effect as the outside work would be fully visible but constantly rippling, something like the landscape at the bottom of a river.’ — Them Park Outsider


Roller coasters in the city
‘These heady manipulations are the work of Robert Jahns, a 26-year-old art director from Hamburg, Germany. Jahns started in the digital arts 15 years ago with Photoshop, but technology has advanced so rapidly that he now makes his stunning images with just an iPhone 5s and a few apps (ArtStudio and Filterstorm, for instance).’ — Guy Cookson


Elevator Ride
‘We designed and built a service elevator simulator for a collaborative project between MIT course 2.744 Product Design, 5-Wits Entertainment, and The International Spy Museum in Washington, DC. The elevator simulator is now part of Operation Spy, the museum’s new interactive, role-playing adventure. The elevator “connects” a technical operations room on the ground floor of a building with a secret tunnel passageway several stories underground while not actually displacing vertically.

An assortment of effects, including scrolling walls, floor vibrations, sounds, and lighting contribute to the sensation of actually descending multiple stories. The following showcases the design evolution of the service elevator.’ — Wonder Barry


Aliens the Ride
‘The original Alien movies were definitely rollercoaster rides in their own right, but now you can go for a ride on an amazing Alien themed thrill ride, courtesy of Hin Nya. He built the elaborate ride using amusement park construction and management simulator Planet Coaster.

‘It’s a 15-minute nightmare, but one that I would love to take a ride on. If a theme park built this for real they would make millions on ticket sales. It is visually amazing. The coaster is packed with cool and creepy imagery based on scenes from the movies. It definitely keeps you watching, because you want to see what comes next. The ride starts out slowly, but picks up speed, and eventually comes to a fitting climax featuring the Alien Queen. How else would you end it?’ — Techabob


‘In 2017, after a fifteen-year hiatus in designing roller coasters, I began to wonder whether aspects of simulated roller coasters could be mapped onto or translated into musical material. I asked double bassist Dominic Lash to experiment with performing my (failed) realistic roller coaster design as a score. Dominic asked me whether it would be possible to make a roller coaster that defied realistic building specifi- cations. With a few clicks, I created a complex tangle of track. Lash commented that this new impossible roller coaster was filled with musical potential. Unknowingly, I had created a surface texture, rather than a discrete entity that was traceable by the eye. This interaction highlights the creative potential made possible through cross-talk between the domains of music and roller coasters. What once seemed like an undesirable result—an impossible roller coaster—became a site for expanded possibilities.’ — Luke Nickel


The Centrifuge Brain Project
‘People go on amusement park rides not because they’re amusing, or fun. Board games are fun. Amusement park rides are meant to be thrilling. Whatever’s on your mind is temporarily displaced by acceleration, gravity and G-forces. As your body is hurtled through space in completely unnatural ways, your mind is temporarily set free; no one can calculate a mortgage payment while upside down doing 100 miles per hour at 2.7 Gs.

In his mockumentary The Centrifuge Brain Project, digital artist, designer and filmmaker Till Nowak posits that amusement park rides actually increase brain function. We see a fictional scientist/ engineer (brilliantly played by Les Barany) explaining his research—and showing video of mind-bendingly fantastical rides—at the fictional Institute for Centrifugal Research.’ —


Golf Roller Coaster
Concept by Concept/Object, Boulder, Colorado


The Great Cosmic Roller-Coaster
String theory is the leading candidate for a fundamental theory of nature, but it lacks decisive experimental tests. Cosmic inflation is the leading description of the universe’s first instants, but it lacks an explanation in terms of fundamental physics. Might string theory and inflation be the solution to each other’s problems? As parallel universes postulated by string theory bump into one another or higher dimensions of space get reshaped, the space within our universe may be driven to expand at an accelerated rate.


Ezra Bloom’s The Doomsday Ride


Drag Racing coaster concept
‘A drag racer inspired coaster patented by coaster company S&S in the late 1990s. Every person who test-rode the prototype fell unconscious during the testing and the project chief engineer was in a coma afterwards for a year’ — Three Wise Monkeys


The interactive flat ride
‘Imagine a new breed of flat rides, catering specifically to you. Heart rate monitors, audio input, and individual touch-screens could design your premium experience in mere seconds. Select an intensity level and grab onto the heart rate bar in front of your seat. Through the ride, it will measure your body’s response to flips, spins, and twirls and re-evaluate its path in real time to get your blood pumping (unless, of course, you prefer to keep a nice resting rate)! Measuring audio, words like “stop” could calm the cycle in your individual car; conversely, a few too many seconds of silence could urge the ride to do something to earn a laugh or a scream.

‘Connect this concept to RFID bracelets and the ride could track your preferences and even present one or two post-ride questions on its touch screen as you wait to disembark, storing all its findings for your next visit to any other equipped ride. Retaining their massive range of styles, shapes, and sizes, flat rides of the future could be universally united and yet individually tailored. With your personal amusement information stored securely in the cloud, you could have increasingly perfect experiences on the great-great grandchildren of today’s carnival classics.’ — Brian Krosnick


The Cantilevered Coaster #2
‘The Cantilevered Coaster System, or CRC is the first roller coaster ride system that truly places the ride vehicle and its passengers away from the track system, and at varying distances and angles. We are sure that as you read more about the CRC you will agree that it is one of the most radical ride systems ever conceived, even though it makes use of economically simple mechanical principles to get there. We at Cantilevered Coaster systems believe that attractions based on the CRC system will be the next innovative step in the roller coaster and dark ride world. Concealment of the track with the ability to have “flying” vehicles is the obvious ideal in ride teechnology. Other systems have tried to achieve this ideal, but the CRC system concept can actually reach it.

Example: The Turbine: The CRC themed as “The Turbine” a ride that takes you both across water and over land. Lauched using a LIM system or a similar system, the vehicle heads out over a lake, skimming and bouncing over the water surface like a low flying aircraft.The track system is concealed in a channel below the water. After reaching land, the Turbine charges up the shore and in to a rockwork landscape reminiscent of a race track on some alien planet. In the land-based portion of this outdoor ride, the CRC track system is concealed by scenic rockwork, landscaping, and below-ground channels.’ — CCS


‘Constructed into a fabricated mountain spire, this high speed coaster’s marquee attribute is the peak departing world’s highest vertical loop. At ground level, the themed inclined queue mimics a base camp that leads the rider up the slope to a boarding tent. The car then travels along the face of and throughout the mountain and is hurried towards the peak using a drive tire slope that releases back into the mountain and then out into the vertical loop. The car then scrapes the face of the mountain, once again returning inside for a conclusive vertical loop which exits from the interior and returns the car to the ‘base camp’.’ —


Freefall Roller Coaster
This is an animation for my Degree Show at Coventry University. This concept, and animation are copyrighted by Richard Irvin. It’s an inverted roller coaster with an extreme twist. It was influenced by sky diving and bungee jumping. I modeled it in Maya and Vue, animated it all in Maya, and composited it in Adobe Premiere.


Toho Godzilla Roller Coaster
‘Japan’s cinema giant Toho and leading real estate developer Mitsubishi Estate are saying they’re determined to build the country’s tallest building complex, the Tokiwabashi, in the heart of Tokyo’s central business district. Although Towers A to D are expected to be completed by 2027, Toho has stated that plans for a Tower G are already underway. According to the project’s website, Tower G will incorporate the same (and very real) Godzilla frozen back in 2016’s Godzilla: Resurgence, with its long tail wrapped around one side of the building. As if that wasn’t surprising enough, a roller coaster is pictured running along the terrifying monster’s serpentine tail and spiky back before thrusting through its head, promising to be a heck of a ride for thrill-seekers.’ — Sora News


Zero Gravity Roller Coaster
‘BRC drew its concept from the “Vomit Comet,” the plane NASA uses to train astronauts. The KC-135A aircraft flies a looping parabolic path, creating about 25 seconds of microgravity each time it zips up and over the parabola’s camelback hump. BRC’s proposed theme-park ride would travel a somewhat simpler trajectory—up and then back down a soaring steel edifice, similar to the existing “Superman: Escape from Krypton” coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain in California. But unlike Superman and other open-car coasters, the vomit-comet ride would be fully enclosed. Rather than the thrill of hurtling forward to one’s perceived doom, riders would enjoy the illusion of floating within a stable chamber.

‘To create that illusion, a linear induction motor system would speed coasters up the track with unprecedented precision. As the coaster approached a top speed of more than 100 mph, it would suddenly and ever so slightly decelerate—just enough to throw the passengers up from their seats, like stones from a catapult—and then quickly adjust its speed to fly in formation with and around the passengers. (The ride’s calculations would correspond to the unique heft of any particular group.) As the coaster reached the top of the track and began to drop back down, the computer system would continue to match its speed to that of the falling passengers, extending the sensation of weightlessness for several additional seconds, and finally rapidly decelerate to a stop back at the base station.

‘Roller coasters typically cost no more than $30 million, but Bob Rogers, BRC’s founder and chief creative officer, says the zero-gravity ride would cost $50 million or more, in large part because the precision-response propulsion system is so complex. But if someone were to write a check today, Rogers says, his company could be sending riders on weightless journeys by the end of 2013—and the new owners could make money on the side by renting the coaster after hours to scientists who wanted to perform the tests they now run using NASA’s original Vomit Comet. Simply by heading over to the amusement park, they too will be able to experience the equivalent of eight seconds in outer space—which, Rogers says, “will feel like forever.”‘–




p.s. Hey. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, Ben. Oh god, Ben, I’m so incredibly sorry to hear that. You remember I met your dad in Glasgow when we showed ‘PGL’ and he seemed really lovely. Are there possible treatments available to him that might reverse course? My mother had cancer, and it was so hard for everyone. I hope something can be done, and I wish for strength and comfort for your dad and you, and if there’s anything at all that I can help with, please let me know. How is he, and how are you today? Love, Dennis. ** David Ehrenstein, I don’t find him tiresome at all, and I’m not even very into mysticism. Anger is still alive. I saw a recent photo shoot with him somewhere. Other than just being alive, I’m not sure what else he’s up to. ** Dominik, Hi!!! I always imagine that dogs must get confused by humans all the time. We’re so weird. No funding news, still just waiting to see if we’ll get the big donation or not. Stress city. Let me know if love figures that out, I’m curious too, ha ha. Love, having figured out Gerard Way’s lyric, turns his attention to what exact ‘stuff’ Jim Reid wants at the end of the JaMC’s ‘Some Candy Talking’, G. ** Tosh Berman, Hi, Tosh! Mm, I don’t know if he knew Colin Wilson. You would think, right? Big hugs to you, my friend. Is life getting any easier? I love seeing the photos you’ve been posting on FB. ** David, Hi. I knew Dale a little, socially, writer to writer, and maybe in the early 90s era, I can’t remember. Oh, shit. One time I accidentally left the only copy of a novel I was writing on the sidewalk at a bus stop in NYC, and it practically killed me. Writing novels by hand, as I used to do, is very dangerous. ** Sypha, I knew you knew Spare, but I didn’t know if you still owned him. Yeah, from what I could tell, if you can’t deal with mere pdfs of Spare’s books, you’re going to be outa small fortune. ** Misanthrope, I can only imagine they do. ‘Cargo 200’, nope, news to me. Obviously I’ll go decipher that clue a little later on. ** Bill, My pleasure, big B. You probably won’t get to see ‘Vitalina Varela’ in a theater, but, assuming you don’t, turn off the lights and pretend you’re in a theater because it can cast quite a spell. ** Steve Erickson, Ah, yes, I remember it being on your list now that you mention it. It has only just opened in theaters in Paris now, and I have no idea why in the world it took so very long. Pandemic issues, I guess. I’ll go hear what you think are 2022’s early best musical attractions. Everyone, Mr. Erickson harkens you thusly … ‘I’ve made a Spotify playlist, “Soaking in the Grey,” featuring the best new music I’ve heard in January.’ Amazing if you can get some quotes from Lora Logic, obviously. Ha ha, maybe that Houellbecq book you propose will finally get him off the best seller list. ** Jeff J, Hi, Jeff. Mm, no, I don’t think I ever saw ‘As Tears Go By’ unless I’m spacing. Huh, interesting. I got so turned off by his work starting with ‘In the Mood for Love’ that I haven’t gone back and (re-)experienced his great early films, and I really should. Having just seen it the other night, I super highly recommend Pedro Costa’s ‘Vitalina Varela’ if you never saw it. Great that you’ve had time to concentrate on your visual work. Any ideas about showing it? Creatively, I’m mostly working on the further development of the Haunted House ‘video game’ project at the moment. I have fiction ideas in my head percolating wildly, but they’re still imbedded there. I’m toying with maybe assembling a book of short fiction, but we’ll see. And, you know, I’m waiting/dying to start making the new film, as usual. How’s the writing on your end? ** Billy, Hi, Billy. Thanks! I’m really happy to be of help to your reading. ‘Castle Faggot’ is nutsy great. I’m doing all right, and I’m glad you are as well. I hope Wednesday only ups the ante. ** Maria, Isabella, Camila, Malaria, Gabriela, I would have loved watch Maria, Isabella, Camila, Malaria, Gabriela spread like margarine. No, I don’t know the latest on the Marilyn Manson thing. I’m not a huge fan of his, I hesitate to say. Massive Attack, thank you! I hope you’re greater than great. ** Right. Today I indulge my amusement park obsession whilst looking for fellow fans and/or your kind indulgence. See you tomorrow.

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