Lars von Trier's Antichrist

Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg. Two people worthy of a great deal of love, yet two people who don't put themselves out there to be loved.


Suzanne Vega's classic Luka is such an addictive and catchy tune and although I've liked it for years and years, I never really ever reflected on the lyrics being particularly about domestic violence until quite recently. I found this terrific description made by a critic of the song: the 'happy' music is a metaphorical denial, making this seem beautiful and serene while discussing something terrible and devastating. It is a wonderful use of tune as a metaphor for how many abuse victims also deny their abuse, and is a profound classic.

My name is Luka
I live on the second floor
I live upstairs from you
Yes I think you've seen me before
If you hear something late at night
Some kind of trouble. some kind of fight
Just don't ask me what it was
Just don't ask me what it was
Just don't ask me what it was

I think it's because I'm clumsy
I try not to talk too loud
Maybe it's because I'm crazy
I try not to act too proud

They only hit until you cry
And after that you don't ask why
You just don't argue anymore
You just don't argue anymore

Yes I think I'm okay
I walked into the door again
Well, if you ask that's what I'll say
And it's not your business anyway
I guess I'd like to be alone
With nothing broken, nothing thrown


To kill a child
(Att döda ett barn) is the name of Stig Dagerman's supposedly most famous short story. It's a haunting and thought-provoking little piece of writing which stays in mind once having read it. It was adapted into short film a few years ago by the Skarsgård clan with the oldest son Alexander producing, Stellan narrating the story and starring the youngest of six children, Valter as the child who is killed. It's a pretty good effort and featured below the following excerpt of the ending is a link to the short film.

Because it's not true that time heals all wounds. Time does not heal the wounds of a killed child, and it heals very poorly the pain of a mother who forgot to buy sugar and who sent her child across the road to borrow some. And it heals just as poorly the anguish of a once-cheerful man who has killed a child.

Because the man who has killed a child does not go to the sea. The man who has killed a child drives home slowly, in silence. And beside him sits a mute woman with a bandaged hand. And as they drive back through the villages, they do not see even one friendly face-all shadows, everywhere, are very dark. And when they part, it is in the deepest silence. And the man who has killed a child knows that this silence is his enemy, and that he will need years of his life to conquer it by crying out that it wasn't his fault. But he also knows that this is a lie. And in the fitful dreams of his nights he will try instead to gain back just a single minute of his life, to somehow make that single minute different. But life is so merciless to the man who has killed a child that everything afterward is too late.

the short film:


Man With Baby, 1960, by Larry Clark

A disturbing yet striking image by controversial film director/photographer Larry Clark from his published Tulsa. Parts of his work featured in Tulsa and Teenage Lust are currently on display in a good photo exhibition, Reality Revisted, at Moderna Musset in Stockholm until September 20. Featured are also Hasselblad Award recipients Nan Goldin and Swedish photographer Christer Strömholm.


Dillon Freasier and Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood

I'm always rushed by a sense of enjoyment by the sight of fathers taking care of their small babies and young children and spending time with them without the presense of the mothers (when there presumably are ones in the picture) who may be busy at work or spending time elsewhere doing whatever. There's a part of me ready to attack the other part for reacting this way to seeing a father wearing a baby carrying sling or pushing a baby stroller down the street on a Saturday morning. Thus, there should not have to be a novel or surprising factor in this sight and rather should shared responsibility and taking equal parts in terms of raising children be a certainty for everyone. However, that's not always the case in society.

There's an interconnection between equality in domestic life and in public/work life, why equal equities in the social reproductive sphere between men and women have an impact on equality in society at large. One has to keep in mind that there is an inevitable tie between money and power and therefore also withhold that a traditional household situation of women where they remain the main care-taker of the home and children and not a provider of economical resources through labor force, puts them in a weaker position socially and domestically in regard to men.

It's sure as hell easier to become a father than to be one, but it's not rocket science. Having sex will reproduce. Did you miss a meeting?


Stills from Simon Staho's short film NU starring Mads Mikkelsen, Mikael Persbrandt and the great Elin Klinga. The following synopsis found online previews what is likely a very intriguing and worthwhile piece of work. Too bad, it's so hard to get hold of. It's amusing though; the idea of it starring both actors, whatwith their being each others' Danish/Swedish counterpart.

A man and a woman meet in 1960. They marry because that's what you are supposed to do. But something goes wrong on their wedding night. They have no idea what to do with each other. Sexually. Emotionally. The husband meets a man who knows what to do with his sexuality. Suddenly a hand can do something no hand has done before and lips something no lips have ever done. The two men have a secret love affair. But there is a problem: The woman. And she has something up her sleeve. Will she act? Yes, she will. What happens? Nobody knows. Until now.


Cleansed by late playwright Sarah Kane at Elverket, Dramaten

You know what it's like; how every party you were an inch away from attending but for whatever reason didn't in the end, turned out to be the best bash of the year or how everything comes across as better and more fun back home when you're not actually around yourself. It seems what fate has in store for yours truly. Ever since I saw Sarah Kane's controversial play Blasted (Bombad) at the Royal Dramatic Theatre (Elverket) in Stockholm 3 years ago I've been much eagerly anticipating and hoping for the chance to see yet another one of her great plays being picked up by the theatres in Stockholm.

Blasted is
 such a fierce piece of work and despite the ostensible "impossibility" of staging it due to its graphic violence (there's pivotal scenes of brutal rape, male sodomy, a man's eye being sucked out and a dying newborn baby being eaten on), it was aptly executed by Elverket's Creative Director Stefan Larsson. Taking on roles in a play by Kane surely proves a challenge for any skilled actor and with Blasted Noomi Rapace and David Dencik put out fine perfomances in the prinicpal roles. The press more or less unamiously hailed against Kane upon her debut at the Royal Court Theatre's Upstairs in London in 1995, classifying her writing as filth and unjustifiedly obscene and yet Kane was very educated, both drawing inspiration from and referencing Greek mythology, Shakespeare and the Bible, as well as late and living peers such as Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter. Notably, the latter came to her defense when the British press launched its attack, many members of which were later to recognize her work and her status as an important playwright after her death in February 1999.

was written in the early 90's amdist the reportings of the brutalities of the war on Balcan and has to be viewed in that light. Kane's intentions was supposedly to shock her audience into an awareness of the "emotional continuum between domestic brutality and the rape camps of Bosnia". Kane notoriously committed suicide at age 28 by hanging herself, after a failed attempt swallowing 150 anti-depressants and 50 sleeping pills. She left behind a body of work consisting of five plays including Blasted, Cleansed, Crave, 4.48 Psychosis and Phaedra's Love (a modern take on Racine's Phèdre). Kane herself believed that if theatre could change the lives of people, then theatre in turn could change society as we are all apart of it.

Having already missed Kane's Cleansed (Befriad) starring Torkel Petersson at Elverket six years ago, though it was before ever knowing of her, it kills to have to miss out on her Crave (Törst) being played at the Royal Dramatic Theatre this upcoming theatre season, which seems very promising. Tickets are currently on sale and the premiere is due September 17. As a sidenote the stage version of Bergman's fantastic Autmun Sonata  and Scenes From a Marriage will also see daylight next season...Kill myself already, why don't I?! So unfair.



Less known than his famed peer Helmut Newton, yet equally bold, imaginative and riche en couleurs, Guy Bourdin surely paved the way for the imagery of today's visionnaires like David LaChapelle.


Rilo Kiley- Love and War (11/11/46)

All is fair in love and we're in love
Now that everybody's dead we can finally talk
can vanity and happiness co-exist?
All the lovers we've taken in direct view of the enemy
And we shift each others body to accept the bullet
And continue the pleasure, the treasures of battle
Its only for the for the wounded and purple hearted

Why must you try to ruin my peace of mind
And they were only words and I never meant them
I never loved you even in my weakness you were
fuel for the fire cannon fodder

Steven Klein

(Rilo Kiley and Jenny Lewis. Damn, what a nice reminder they are of an other era, some good years back in time)



Am I feminist or a womanist
the student needs to know if I do men occasionally
and primarily if I am a lesbian

Tongue twisted in cheek I attempt to respond with honesty

This business of sexual dykes and dykery I tell her
is often messy-with social tensions as they are
you never quite know what you're getting
some girls can only be straight at night
-hardcore butches be wearing dresses between nine
and six during the day
sometimes she is really a he trapped
by the limitations of our imagination.

I am concerned about young women
who are raped on college campuses
in cars
after poetry readings like this one
in bars
bruised up and broken heart
you will forgive her if she does not come
forward with the truth immediately

Everyone will think she asked for it
dressed as she was she must have wanted it

The words will knock about in her head
horny bitch
slut-harlot tease
loose woman
some people cannot handle a woman on the loose
you know those women in silk-ties and pin-striped shirts
women in blood-red stilettos and short pink skirts
-these women make New York City the most interesting

and while we're on the subject of diversity
Asia is not one big race
and there is no such country as the Islands
and no-I am not from there

There are hundret ways to slip between the cracks
of our not-so-credible cultural assumptions
and other peoples' interpretations of race and religion
Most people are surprised by my father is Chinese
like there's some preconditioned look for the half-Chinese lesbian poet
who used to be Catholic but now believes in dreams

By Staceyann Chin


Richard Nixon

"The country runs better with a goodlooking man in the White House. Look what happened with Nixon...no one wanted to fuck him, so he fucked everyone."

(Quote displaying the genius screenwriting of Sex and the City)

Photo: Philippe Halsman


Q: Why this? A: Free interpretation

While going through a stack of magazines bought the last couple of five years, I found this extremely amusing little piece in an issue of Stick (No 5, Fall 2004) which unfortunately no longer is in print. Just like the late Swedish publication SEX, it possesed that very rare quality of featuring heterogenous and diversed content, skillfully penned on subjects that were sometimes far more interesting than the things one knew and held as interesting. Cutting to the point, in this particular issue of Stick, columnist Isabella Englind presented the result of a little analysis she did on Sweden's most well-known publication targeted to a demographic of  teenage girls; Veckorevyn. Featured below is her witty writing in Swedish:

Numrets konstigaste omslagspuff: 'Vems rumpa?! Kända bakdelar!' Man ska gissa vilken rumpa som tillhör vilken kändis. Till sin hjälp får man små ledtrådar: "Ett är säkert- du får inte en sådan här rumpa av att bara hänga i ditt 'block'..." (hajar ni? hajar ni?). Numrets ni-måste-skoja-aprillo-med-mig-är-detta-vad-tonårsbrudar-vill-läsa: "Svettigt värre!" Bilder på kändisar med svettfläckar på kläderna (fläckarna har ringats in) och raljerande texter i stil med: "Om jag bara vinkar lite så kanske det inte syns...Tyvärr, Alicia Silverstone...", "Grå t-shirt är fel om man är varm, Drew Barrymore!", "Sångerskan Rachel Stevens har inte lärt sig att dölja svettringarna vid fotograferingar." Kom inte dragandes med "Vi vill visa att kändisar också svettas, Silvia pruttar ibland, Britney är finnig precis som du osv." Inte fan verkar det vara okej att svettas. Man ska lära sig att dölja det. Helst ska man helt enkelt låta bli, och om man ändå är så äcklig att man svettas får man för guds skull inte ha grå tisha. (...) En annan underlig grej i det här numret är redaktionschefen Kicki Normans krönika som handlar om hur hon längtar efter och tigger om att få hamna på Cafés lista över Sveriges 69 sexigaste kvinnor.

(...)"Kändisarnas sommarproblem- celliliter och acne....Bilderna kändisarna helst vill glömma!" Bilder på kändisar som råkar visa upp sina rakade kön när de kliver ur bilar, kändisar som råkar tappa ut sina tuttar ur klänningar eller har apelsinhud/finnar.Smaka på följande bildtexter: "Nicole Kidman visar upp hela härligheten, "Victoria Silvstedt klarar inte av att klappa händer och hålla ihop benen samtidigt", "Modellen Sophie Anderton visar upp sin lilla kussemurra". Är det Slitz? Är det Moore? Är det månne svenska Hustler? Nix, det är Veckorevyn. (...) Hej då, nu ska jag gå och spy upp en romantisk middag iförd stringtrosor och kankse skära mig lite i armarna med Gillette-blad.

If this is the horrendous shit, girls (and boys) are being fed, then no wonder obsession with celebrity culture and body standards are what they are today. It just hit me; someone should pick up on Isabella Englund's idea and do a similar study on the male equivalent of this aforementioned rag. That would have to be Swedish Café Magazine; "the modern man's best friend". I'm on it, stay tuned.


The Hunger (1983)

Vampires seem yet again to be all the rage, whatwith the succes of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series which seemingly gives even Harry Potter a run for his money in regard to popularity with certain demographics. Add to the franchise, a film adaptation by director Catherine Hardwicke which fed rookie Robert Pattinson to hungry legions of teenage girls (pun intended), leaving others puzzled as to who the fuck Robert Pattinson is...Other very recent emissions of vampires include the HBO series True Blood which has had its fair share of creating buzz and furthermore the critically acclaimed and visually stunning Swedish film Let the Right One In (based on John Ajvide Lindqvist's novel).

Apparently there's yet more to come, both for the silver screen and small screen, including screenwriter Diablo Cody's follow-up to Juno, Jennifer's Body starring muy caliente Megan Fox. No wonder vampires are rising again from wherever they were hiding, whatwith their being sexier than ever and being given more substance in the writing and material than in a good while, making them more accesible to the masses. Let's not get into the très ugly mess that was yesteryear's Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a favourite among the freaks and geeks on the surface of this earth.

It will be interesting to see how long it will take for this wave to ride out. The thrill with vampires is nothing novel though; think only of Bram Stroker's Dracula, a character that transcends more literary and film genres than any other. A lot of the credit for making vampires the sexy and erotic creatures that they are occasionly portrayed as, is due fiction writer Anne Rice for her efforts with The Vampire Chronicles. When her Interview with a Vampire was adapted into motion picture in 1994, the task of filling the shoes of the characters Louis de Pointe du Lac and Lestat de Lioncourt was given to the likes of Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise. Thus, hardly any repulsive specimens envisioned by Rice.

Amidst all the vampire references, I'd like to point out the cult classic, The Hunger  from 1983 starring royalties Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie as a vampire power duo. The film really just is the epitome of ultra-cool and whatever flaw it has and it does, it compensates by the mere presence of its two leads and their chemistry as well as by  aesthetically very pleasing visuals. As a sidenote the great costumes in the film were all specifically designed by the late Yves Saint Laurent, giving the film a high-fashion layout. The film also caused some controversy for a particularly steamy lesbian scene between Deneuve and Susan Sarandon.


The artwork for Fleetwood Mac's massively succesful Rumours album from 1977 may very well be the all-time greatest, all categories. It's actually flawless if you ask me. I just don't seem to ever get bored looking at it.


Knut the Polar Bear and his faithful keeper Ragnar Kühne. (Photo: Annie Leibovitz)

At birth little Knut was rejected by his mother, Tosca, who is said to be a retired east German circus bear. Despite the laws of nature according to which his faith would have been death, he was taken in by the Berlin Zoo for rescue where he now is a key player. His story has achieved him great recognition in the public eye in Germany and supposedly polar bear merchandise of all sorts is being sold beside his enclosure at the zoo to the large number of his admirers.Knut even has his own podcast and webcam.While some animal rights activists argue that it would have been better to have Knut killed at birth, he has become an important symbol of the losses from global warming and is to be adopted as the mascot for next year's international environment conference in Berlin. Knut also recently graced the Leibovitz shot cover of Vanity Fair's Green issue together with activist Leonardo Di Caprio.


Enter the Void

French cinema's bad boy. or rather the current bad boy of all cinema, Gaspar Noé, will hopefully have his latest outing Enter the Void screening at theatres very near us. Noé's previous effort Irréversible in which he directed real-life spouses Monica Belluci and Vincent Cassel stirred a great deal of controversy for its graphic depiction of (ultra-)violence. As with its predecessor, Seul Contre Tous (I Stand Alone), Noé has never been the choice for the faint-hearted. Together with Catherine Breillat, Noé is among the few regular provocateurs in contemporary cinema right now. Surely Enter the Void will prove an interesting watch, whatever the outcome of it is.

Featured below is a link directing to Noé's short film Eva, starring model Eva Herzigova. Seemingly about a woman and her precious cat, it's subtext bares lonliness. Starting with the title credits, several of Noé's trademark features are seen in this short, which may as well be the most interesting with it.



I was just reminded of the commercials for Coke Zero and it hit me how blatantly this product primary is targeted as a lighter version of Coke towards males of the world's population. Whatever advertising agency orginally handled the Coke Zero account did a hell of  a job trying to establish Coke Zero as rad and manly. It makes sense I suppose. The epithet of "Light" in Coke Light, which has been around forever, is likely a hard sell with men considering that it makes one think of feminine traits such as dieting and watching calories, like real sissies. There's nothing light about how males are supposed to be. They should be anything but and rather be bulky and brawny and unhibitedly indulge in greasy burgers and juicy steakes. Thus, a real hombre would never want to be associated with "Light" and having his manliness taken a pothsot at. So, instead we get commercials filled with testosterone according to the usual formula of explosions, tits and ass for the Fast and the Furious audience.

I found this one, where this random dude enters a late-open convenience store only to find himself face-to-face with his ex-girlfriend accompanied by a bigger dude (It has to be a bigger dude, quite naturally. Words, redudant). With a smug look on her face the ex asks; So, how have you been...? The neanderthal man unable to speak, responds by drinking the bottle of Coke Zero in his hand. A sudden change in ambience ensues as in comes this kick-ass scantily clad chick who stops beside the neanderthal to ask: Baby, whipped cream or chocolate sauce? A quick image of a woman covered in these two toppings makes the decision easy: Both, he replies. An explosion arises and a chain attached to a helicopter appears down the roof. Grabbing onto it, the two flees off into the air with the end credits stating: Great taste. Zero sugar. As it should be. 

Compare this to the Coke Light commercials that are no better, of lusting women on the verge of ecstacy by the zip of Coke Light and the mere sight of a hunky male.

Coke Zero:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-afxWoalDc
Coke Light:: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozmqZVxrF-A


One true legend from the silver screen, Paul Newman; is seen here at a political pep rally for the Democrats. Newman's political activism and public outspokeness against the Vietnam War landed him a spot on President Richard Nixon's list of enemies. Number 19 to be exact. One has to love the candidness of this photograh and wonder what exactly Newman is shouting so engrossingly. Notice also the Tootsie looking butch woman (man?) to his right in that hideous blouse of hers.

Known for his very piercing blue eyes, Newman was the star of numerous screen classics such as Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, Cat on Hot Tin Roof, The Hustler and Cool Hand Luke. Joking about his eyes he once said: "I picture my epitaph. Here lies Paul Newman, who died a failure because his eyes turned brown" Other testiments of the man's humour is his classic remark about why not submitting to the temptation of other women than his wife Joanne Woodward ; "Why fool around with hamburger when you have steak at home? ..."  Newman founded a food brand in his own name (Newman's Own), selling salad dressing, pasta sauce and salsa etc with his picture on the label, from which all profits (post-tax) are donated to charity. Up until last year the proceeds exceeded astonishing $250 million. When Newman passed away the other year, his former co-star Sophia Loren said about his death upon learning the news: "When such important personalities die, one dispairs and thinks that, little by little, all the greats are disappearing."


M. Antonioni + Monica Vitti + Alain Delon
= L'eclisse.


Hugh Laurie

So, how's this for a fun, yet simple, idea? Photographer Howard Schatz was assigned by Vanity Fair to shoot strips of actors displaying different emotions and enacting dramatic situations by making faces for a feature called "In Character, Starring...." Out of the bunch I found the strip of actor Hugh Laurie, known these days rather as Dr House (I confess to never having seen the show), to be the absolute favourite. He is so spot-on with each of the task descriptions that he just makes it look all too easy, as though he wasn't even trying and yet he manages to nail it. Anglophiles will insist on remembering Laurie as Bertie Wooster alongside Stephen Fry in Jeeves and Wooster and indeed he was emotive in that series. Here are the task descriptions:

Left: You are a dedicated father who, with your wife, has just sat down to dinner with your 15-year-old daughter, who is defiantly announcing that she's pregnant.

You are a fashion designer on the morning of your big runway show, realizing that nothing in the collection is ready or fabulous

Right: You are a blustering, pompous member of the British Parliament, giving a speech that is being broadcast on the BBC, and you're thrilled at the sound of your own voice.

The rest of the strips featuring Golden girl Chloe Sevigny and John Malkovich et alia is found on the Vanity Fair website.

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