Elias Petropoulos: An Underground World – Documentary

Watch the film with english subtitles here

Elias Petropoulos, who died in 2003, was the first Greek folklore researcher, author, and historian to document underground cultures and figures shunned by official history. A restless, inquisitive spirit, he was the enemy of academicism and the establishment.

Kalliopi Legaki’s Elias Petropoulos: An Underground World meets the author at his study in Paris, where he spent his last thirty years in self-exile. Taking the shape of a final interview, it was filmed only months before Petropoulos died of cancer. By then, he was disillusioned with Greece’s politics, tired of the prosecutions and prison terms. An active member of the Greek resistance to Nazi occupation and later an outspoken critic of repression and censorship, he had fled the junta for Paris in 1974.

Petropoulos takes us into unfamiliar realms of tradition and “Greekness” and acquaints us with all the persecuted and despised characters that fill his books. Rembetika songs, musicians, bums, spivs, prostitutes, homosexuals, convicts—all those he described as an “underground world”—meet before the camera as they once met in his writing.

Eminent artists and intellectuals—“the world above ground”—who had met and befriended him give their own account of the man. They admire his unique ability to converse with these different, hidden worlds.

The camera reveals a man who never lost the passion for his work, gleaning information for his books and subverting established views and values. Until the end, Elias Petropoulos was an unrepentant, anarchic idealist and one of the last romantics of our times.

Kalliopi Legaki, director and Maria Gentekou, producer of Elias Petroupoulos: An Underground World

Text from documenta14.de

Image from ERT

Video from www.cultureunplugged.com


Saul Williams – The Stone Bench

By Chryde

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It was Saul that came to us with something specific in mind: he wanted to do a movie under the city, in the catacombs of Paris. The “real ones”, the ones that are hard and illegal to access. The ones without guides or stacked up skulls simply there for show. He hoped we were crazy enough to follow him underground. And we were.

You might as well get in the mood. Close the windows of your office, disable your notifications, and start loading the video. You can even dim the lights. Set the video in full screen mode, put on a good set of headphones, and immerse yourself in the music for 30 minutes.
No doubt you will then feel the intensity of the experience. Those eight hours spent underground with Saul Williams. Off we go.

It was Saul that came to us with something specific in mind: he wanted to do a movie under the city, in the catacombs of Paris. The “real ones”, the ones that are hard and illegal to access. The ones without guides or stacked up skulls simply there for show. He hoped we were crazy enough to follow him underground. And we were.
François recruited one of his catacomb-lover friends and we bought the required equipment. François and Colin went off on a half a day of spotting and preparing the location and tried to figure out how the crew would survive… We were alas ready to take Saul and his musicians with us.

Those galleries sure are unwelcoming. They are cold and as damp as they get. Most of them are flooded, others are just wide enough to thread your way through. You need to climb, to duck, to bend yourself, walk for hours knee high in water with your frontal flashlight for only guide.
You need to fight cramps, get your equipment through an opening before painfully following it in, walk in pitch black and when you eventually discover a larger room, take a deep breath… and play.

In this claustrophobic, dark atmosphere, the build, the presence and the voice of Saul Williams are enhanced. His howling echoes, his gaze is penetrating, his voice is composed when he goes into an impro as powerful as a sermon. When only the dimming light of a mass of candles remains, when the crew is beat and embarks in the peaceful conclusion of this journey during a calm and restful song, the power can still be felt. It is diffuse. Saul inspires rest.

Voilà, show’s over. 30 minutes. Freedom. They had been there for eight hours.

Translated by Helena Kaschel

Taken from blogotheque.net/

Dan Witz – mosh pit series


DAN WITZ – MOSH PITS, RAVES AND ONE SMALL ORGY – MARCH 24, 2016 – at Jonathan LeVine Gallery – NY

I’m an academic realist painter, but I’m living in the 21st century, so I’m not going to be painting Roman soldiers invading, or some gothic baroque composition…The highest aspiration of an academic realist painter are these big group figure paintings, and I’m using the hardcore scene as my subject.

Taken from vna

Dan Witz

Ilias Petropoulos – An Underground World

The documentary An Underground World is about Ilias Petropoulos a  folklorist with a main focus on Greek subcultures like Rebetiko. The video is in Greek.

«Παρουσιάζω τον κόσμο με ένα διαφορετικό βλέμμα, από ό,τι μας έμαθαν στο σχολείο ή στο στρατό. Πιστεύω πως ο καθένας έχει δικαίωμα να βλέπει την κοινωνία με το δικό του βλέμμα. Προσωπικά με ενδιαφέρει περισσότερο ο Διάβολος παρά ο Θεός» Ηλίας Πετρόπουλος: Πνεύμα ανήσυχο και ερευνητικό, πολέμιος των ακαδημαϊκών και του κατεστημένου, ο Πετρόπουλος ήταν ο πρώτος λαογράφος στην Ελλάδα, που ασχολήθηκε με το περιθώριο και κατέγραψε πρόσωπα και πράγματα περιφρονημένα από την επίσημη ιστορία της χώρας του. Σκηνοθεσία: Καλλιόπη Λεγάκη Διάρκεια: 61′

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March of the Gods: Botswana Metalheads

The idea of March of the Gods: Botswana Metalheads  was conceived when one day in spring 2011, Raffaele, the director of the project, came across Frank Marshall’s photographs from his project Renegades on Vice Magazine.  Frank’s work presents a considered vision of Botswana’s heavy metal subculture and portrays the unique local metalhead aesthetic which combines elements of British heavy metal of the eighties, cowboy fashion and biker elements creating an interesting anthropological study of a subculture like no other.

Raffaele’s curiosity about the metal scene in Botswana led to an intensive research and a series of attempts to contact various local bands. Two years later, in April 2013, a team of three filmmakers decided it was time to spend their savings in a meaningful experience and landed in Gaborone, the capital of Botswana. The crew chose to focus the documentary on one of the most predominant local bands, Wrust, and it was offered hospitality by its singer, Stux Daemon.

The following weeks were an experience of intense immersion into the local metal brotherhood. The team interviewed several local bands, fans, musicians and people who offered anthropological insights into the subculture and its history. The crew also filmed and experienced the madness of the local metal gigs and spent enough time with the local people to understand the country’s uniqueness through its contemporary culture but also its problems and contradictions.

Upon leaving Botswana, the film crew and the band shared a common vision: Wrust had just got an invitation to play at one of the most respected metal festivals in Italy, SoloMacello, headlined by Red Fang. Although Wrust had opened for famous bands such as Sepultura and Carcass in South Africa before, that was their first chance to take a step outside their continent. SoloMacello would be the opportunity to put Botswana on the world map of metal music for the first time in history – and it did. Thanks to the crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, Wrust managed to cover an important part of their travel expenses and be the first metal band from Botswana ever to play outside Africa.

Wrust are currently performing in a number of African countries as part of their tour March of the Gods  (the film has actually been named after the tour). The film started hitting the festivals in 2014 and has already won the award of Best International Documentary at People’s Film Festival in New York.

Taken from marchofthegods.com/

SILK ROAD by Eileen Ormsby

silk road

It was the ‘eBay of drugs’, a billion dollar empire. Behind it was the FBI’s Most Wanted Man, a mysterious crime czar dubbed ‘Dread Pirate Roberts’. SILK ROAD lay at the heart of the ‘Dark Web’ – a parallel internet of porn, guns, assassins and drugs. Lots of drugs. With the click of a button LSD, heroin, meth, coke, any illegal drug imaginable, would wing its way by regular post from any dealer to any user in the world. How was this online drug cartel even possible? And who was the mastermind all its low roads led to? This is the incredible true story of Silk Road’s rise and fall, told with unparalleled insight into the main players – including alleged founder and kingpin Dread Pirate Roberts himself – by lawyer and investigative journalist Eileen Ormsby. A stunning crime story with a truth that explodes off the page.

Buy the book

Check out her blog

The Mystery of the Creepiest Television Hack


Right up until 9:14 PM on November 22nd, 1987, what appeared on Chicago’s television sets was somewhat normal: entertainment, news, game shows.

That night, as usual, Dan Roan, a popular local sportscaster on Channel 9’s Nine O’Clock News, was narrating highlights of the Bears’ victory over the Detroit Lions. And then, suddenly and without warning, the signal flickered up and out into darkness.

In the control room of WGN-TV, the technicians on duty stared blankly at their screens. It was from their studio, located at Bradley Place in the north of the city, that the network broadcasted its microwave transmission to an antenna at the top of the 100-story John Hancock tower, seven miles away, and then out to tens of thousands of viewers. Time seemed to slow to a trickle as they watched that signal get hijacked.

A squat, suited figure sputtered into being, and bounced around maniacally. Wearing a ghoulish rubbery mask with sunglasses and a frozen grin, the mysterious intruder looked like a cross between Richard Nixon and the Joker. Static hissed through the signal; behind him, a slab of corrugated metal spun hypnotically. This was not part of the regularly scheduled broadcast.

Finally someone switched the uplink frequencies, and the studio zapped back to the screen. There was Roan, at his desk in the studio, smiling at the camera, dumbfounded.

“Well, if you’re wondering what’s happened,” he said, chuckling nervously, “so am I.”

Within hours, federal officials would be called in to investigate one of the strangest crimes in TV history—a rare broadcast signal intrusion, with no clear motive, method, or culprits. It may as well have come from another dimension.

To many clued-in TV viewers that night, the face of Max Headroom would have been unmistakable. “The world’s first computer-generated TV host,” as he might have proudly boasted, was a sharp-tongued character inaugurated in 1985 as the veejay for a British music television show. His sarcastic wit and stuttering delivery—along with an ad campaign for New Coke, a late-night talk show on Cinemax, and a few TV specials—had made him a cult personality even before he finally earned his own hour-long TV show in the US.

Max Headroom, which featured the exploits of a TV journalist living in a dystopian future, with a digital alter ego in the form of the title character, debuted on March 31, 1987. In Chicago, it aired on the ABC affiliate Channel 7, and would last for 11 episodes and into a brief second season that fall, before it was canceled, beaten in the ratings by Miami Vice.

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Taken from motherboard.vice.com