31 December 2009


Gnossienne n° 1, an avant-garde composition for piano by Erik Satie, a curious French composer and pianist (the 1890s). The composition is here performed on piano by one Pascal Rogé.

30 December 2009


A video for Ta Douleur, a song by Camille Dalmais (from Le Fil, her 2005 album). Note that hum that resonates, uninterrupted, throughout the album.

29 December 2009

Black desire

Le Vent Nous Portera official video, by a French band Noir Désir (from a 2001 album des visages des figures).

28 December 2009


Tékitoi, by Rachid Taha (Tékitoi album, 2004).

24 December 2009

If that's all there is, my friends...

P.J. Harvey's original (to say the least) take on Is That All There Is?, a song most famously recorded by Peggy Lee in 1969.
No merry bloody Christmas carols on this blog.

23 December 2009

Just one of those things

Bryan Ferry's take on Just One of Those Things, a song written by Cole Porter (1935). The cover is from the As Time Goes By album of Bryan Ferry (1999).

22 December 2009

The Man I Love

Kate Bush's and Larry Adler's take on The Man I Love from Gershwin's songbook (recorded for the Glory for Gershwin album, 1994).

21 December 2009

Ode to Billie Joe

Ray Charles' take on Ode to Billie Joe (originally written and recorded by Bobbie Gentry in 1968). The lady singing is apparently one of the Realettes.

19 December 2009


A magical screen test of Audrey Tatou for Amelie in Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain, a French film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (2001).
Another screen test that cought my attention is this one, with Paul Newman and James Dean.

18 December 2009

The Welshman

Richard Burton narrating (first voice) the original production of Under Milk Wood, a radio play written by Dylan Thomas (1954). Can you resist the enchantment, the lure, the invitation in Burton's voice?
This week we featured the most impressive actors there ever were and are. The actors that actors themselves are awed by.
Is the general public as awed by them?
Spencer Tracy with his unforgettable performances in movies such as Bad Day At Black Rock (1955) or Guess Who's Coming To Dinner (1967), despite his truly monumental talent for acting, never made it 100 percent.
In Hollywood, physical beauties are a girl's best friend.
Marlon Brando, an undisputed physical beauty, crossed over to an excellent actor when much older. James Dean may have outdone him in the Rebel Without A Cause, but nobody could ever match Brando in Godfather. Brando's imaginative creation of the character entered popular culture head-on and to such an extent that the public nowadays knows of the character before it knows of Brando. The character of Godfather, put simply, leads a life of its own.
Zero Mostel is a brilliant, superb actor, who was blacklisted at the height of his career. He gave us a mere trifle of his promise, yet the trifle is bedazzling to no end.
This last one was a toss-up between Richard Burton and James Mason, the two actors whose voices enchant, bewitch me. Both are born narrators and storytellers. I give you Burton only because I posted a narration by James Mason earlier (and we are, after all, speaking about Under Milk Wood here).
But my heart... my heart each time goes to James Mason.
As for the rest, I deliberately chose unusual performances. Spencer Tracy in Adam's Rib acts substantially above the demands of the movie and the slapstick standard; Marlon Brando in the screentest acts out a pansy character for the benefit of (undoubtedly) female or gay selectors; and Zero Mostel's Tevye shines, bedazzles us despite the fact that Tevye wears a tie and sings.

17 December 2009


The unsurpassable Samuel Joel Zero Mostel, performing If I Were A Rich Man as Tevye and reasoning with God in the Fiddler on the Roof, a musical that began showing in 1964 in the Imperial Theatre on Broadway.
And indeed, the unreasonable God who made the lion and who made the lamb:
Would it spoil some vast eternal plan,
if I were a wealthy man?

16 December 2009

Marlon without a cause

Marlon Brando doing a screentest for A Rebel Without A Cause, a film directed by Nicholas Ray who cast James Dean in the lead role instead (1955).

15 December 2009

Actors' actor

A fantastic scene from Adam's Rib, a film directed by George Cukor and starring Spencer Tracy (1949). Two attorneys married to each other appear as opposing attorneys in court. See the scene to the end or, if you are really impatient, fast-forward to 8:40.

14 December 2009


Yet again insanely busy with that other thing I do daily.

12 December 2009

Needles or pins

An underground cult classic. This Little Red Riding Hood is a short film directed by David Kaplan and narrated by Quentin Crisp. It premiered in 1997 on the Sundance Film Festival.
The film follows the storyline of The Story of Grandmother rather than Little Red Riding Hood (Perrault) or Little Red Cap (Grimm). The Story of Grandmother is a record made by Paul Delarue of a pre-Perrault tale that was retold for centuries by the camp fires in France.
The story is very short. Maria Tatar recapitulated it as follows:
“This Gallic heroine escapes falling victim to the wolf and instead joins the ranks of trickster figures. After arriving at grandmother’s house and unwittingly eating “meat” and drinking “wine” that turns out to be the flesh and blood of her grandmother, she performs a striptease for the wolf, gets into bed with him, and escapes by pleading with the wolf for a chance to go outdoors and relieve herself.”
In the context of its time, this was no tale for children. This was adult entertainment, a running storytelling performance delivered with suspense and crude humour.
For the listeners knew then as they know now that it is completely inevitable. Little Red Riding Hood will get to the Grandmother’s house and encounter a wolf, regardless of whether she takes the path of pins or the path of needles. The duel between the wolf and the little red is expected as soon as we followed her into the woods.
Always the bets are taken and we always play, hoping against hope that she will be more like Sheherezade.

11 December 2009

Werewolf justice

Don't forget that the wolf never got to tell his side of the story.
In the revolting rhymes of Roald Dahl (1995):

"That's wrong!" cried Wolf. "Have you forgot
To tell me what BIG TEETH I've got?
Ah well, no matter what you say,
I'm going to eat you anyway."
The small girl smiles. One eyelid flickers.
She whips a pistol from her knickers.
She aims it at the creature's head
And bang bang bang, she shoots him dead.
A few weeks later, in the wood,
I came across Miss Riding Hood.
But what a change! No cloak of red,
No silly hood upon her head.
She said, "Hello, and do please note
My lovely furry WOLFSKIN COAT."

And that's not all, by far:

He dialled as quickly as he could
The number of Red Riding Hood.
"Hello," she said. "Who's speaking? Who?
Oh, hello, Piggy, how d'you do?"
Pig cried, "I need your help, Miss Hood!
Oh help me, please! D'you think you could?"
"I'll try of course," Miss Hood replied.
"What's on your mind?" ... "A Wolf!" Pig cried.
"I know you've dealt with wolves before,
And now I've got one at my door!"
"My darling Pig," she said, "my sweet,
That's something really up my street.
I've just begun to wash my hair.
But when it's dry, I'll be right there."
A short while later, through the wood,
Came striding brave Miss Riding Hood.
The Wolf stood there, his eyes ablaze
And yellowish, like mayonnaise.
His teeth were sharp, his gums were raw,
And spit was dripping from his jaw.
Once more the maiden's eyelid flickers.
She draws the pistol from her knickers.
Once more, she hits the vital spot,
And kills him with a single shot.
Pig, peeping through the window, stood
And yelled, "Well done, Miss Riding Hood!"

Ah, Piglet, you must never trust
Young ladies from the upper crust.
For now, Miss Riding Hood, one notes,
Not only has two wolfskin coats,
But when she goes from place to place,

10 December 2009


Little Red Riding Hood is really a tale about a bzou (a werewolf). It all began much earlier than our imagination can grasp. For Little Red Riding Hood belongs to the world in which werewolves were believed to roam among us.
Where we find metaphor, our ancestors meant it literally. Little Red Riding Hood, as it was told in France and Italy in the 1300s, does not differ significantly from indictments and judgments rendered against individuals accused of being werewolves. In the 1600s, belief in werewolves was completely backed up by theology. Tens of thousands of werewolf trials took place in the 1500s and the 1600s. Judges believed that accussed werewolves wore their skin turned inside out (with the coat of fur hidden on the inside).
According to the confession of one Stumpp in 1589, he had been given a magical belt by the Devil that enabled him to shapeshift into "the likeness of a greedy, devouring wolf, strong and mighty, with eyes great and large, which in the night sparkled like fire, a mouth great and wide, with most sharp and cruel teeth, a huge body, and mighty paws."
The better to grab you with.

09 December 2009


A tiny peek into a Little Red Riding Hood, a photobook by Sarah Moon (2002).
Don't overlook the soundtrack under the photograph: Werewolf by Cat Power (the song appeared on the album You Are Free, 2003).
Press here, if you wish to see and hear Werewolf performed live by Chan Marshall aka Cat Power.

08 December 2009

Howling tales

An excerpt from The Company of Wolves, a wicked film rendition of Little Red Riding Hood directed by Neil Jordan (1984).
Jordan chose to base his rendition of Little Red Riding Hood on a tale - The Company of Wolves - written by Angela Carter. It was Carter that co-wrote the screenplay of the film as well.
As a child, I wondered about that hunter. Honestly, killing the wolf in a horrible (not to mention backstabbing and sneaky) way, and without a fair trial.
In this story, however, the hunter and the wolf are one and the same.
See! sweet and sound she sleeps in granny's bed, between the paws of the tender wolf.

07 December 2009


James Spader in Wolf, a film directed by Mike Nichols (1994). The wolfy character of James Spader is - as one critic put it - "a roguish delight".

05 December 2009

It's four in the morning

Famous blue raincoat, a letter sang by Leonard Cohen (1971), recorded for the Songs of Love and Hate album.
Tori Amos arranged and recorded an excellent rendition of this letter-song. Indeed, it is hard to believe that it is not hers.

Dear reader,

It's four in the morning, the end of December
I'm writing you now just to see if you're better
New York is cold, but I like where I'm living
There's music on Clinton Street all through the evening

I hear that you're building your little house deep in the desert
You're living for nothing now, I hope you're keeping some kind of record

Yes, and Jane came by with a lock of your hair
She said that you gave it to her
That night that you planned to go clear

Did you ever go clear?

Ah, the last time we saw you you looked so much older
Your famous blue raincoat was torn at the shoulder
You'd been to the station to meet every train
And you came home without Lili Marlene

And you treated my woman to a flake of your life
And when she came back she was nobody's wife

Well, I see you there with the rose in your teeth
One more thin gypsy thief
Well I see Jane's awake -

She sends her regards

And what can I tell you, my brother, my killer?
What can I possibly say?
I guess that I miss you, I guess I forgive you
I'm glad you stood in my way

If you ever come by here, for Jane or for me
Well, your enemy is sleeping, and his woman is free

Yes, and thanks, for the trouble you took from her eyes
I thought it was there for good, so I never tried

And Jane came by with a lock of your hair
She said that you gave it to her
That night that you planned to go clear


L. Cohen

03 December 2009

Leonard Cohen songbook

This week ends where it began. You are looking (or about to look) at the official video of Dance me to the end of love. This song from Leonard Cohen songbook first appeared on his own album Various Positions (1984). Quickly becoming a standard, it has since been covered by many artists in various arrangements and styles.
According to Cohen himself, Dance me to the end of love is not about a passionate surrender to a beloved, but instead about a passionate surrender to death.
Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin...
Cohen stated that death represented a consummation of life, and poetry an evidence to life. "If your life is burning well," he claimed, "poetry is just the ash."
He explained that he was inspired to write and compose Dance me to the end of love by the string quartets in WW2 concentration camps.
Be that as it may, I find it difficult to connect with this reading of the song. My preference goes to the laid-back cover by Madeleine Peyroux as posted at the beginning of this week.
Other Cohen songs, posted earlier this week, were I'm your man (as performed by Nick Cave), Hallelujah (as performed by Jeff Buckley) and The stranger song (as performed by Leonard Cohen in McCabe and Mrs. Miller).
The choice of songs and artists was arbitrary. There were many excellent covers to choose from that were performed by artists such as Jarvis Cocker, Suzanne Vega, Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Tori Amos, John Cale, k.d. lang and Laurie Anderson, to name only a few.
Can you imagine a more fitting crowd of performers?
A tower of song.

A man

I'm your man, as performed by Nick Cave (2005). Admittedly, the video is no winner. The song on the other hand is just that.

If you want a lover
I'll do anything you ask me to
And if you want another kind of love
I'll wear a mask for you
If you want a partner
Take my hand
Or if you want to strike me down in anger
Here I stand
I'm your man

If you want a boxer
I will step into the ring for you
And if you want a doctor
I'll examine every inch of you
If you want a driver
Climb inside
Or if you want to take me for a ride
You know you can
I'm your man

Ah, the moon's too bright
The chains too tight
The beast wont go to sleep
I've been running through these promises to you
That I made and I could not keep
Ah, but a man never got a woman back
Not by begging on his knees
Or I'd crawl to you baby
And I'd fall at your feet
And I'd howl at your beauty
Like a dog in heat
And I'd claw at your heart
And I'd tear at your sheet
I'd say please, please
I'm your man

And if you've got to sleep
A moment on the road
I will steer for you
And if you want to work the street alone
I'll disappear for you
If you want a father for your child
Or only want to walk with me a while
Across the sand
I'm your man

If you want a lover
I'll do anything you ask me to
And if you want another kind of love
I'll wear a mask for you

02 December 2009

Baffled king

Hallelujah, performed by the late and dearly missed Jeff Buckley. This song also appeared on his debut album Grace (1994). And it was Grace that David Bowie named as one of the 10 albums he would take with him to a desert island.

Well, I heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do ya?
Well, it goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall and the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Well, your faith was strong, but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to her kitchen chair
And she broke your throne and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Well, baby I've been here before
I've seen this room and I've walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew ya
I've seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

Well, there was a time when you let me know
What's really going on below
But now you never show that to me, do you?
And remember when I moved in you?
And the holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

Well, maybe there's a God above
But all I've ever learned from love
Was how to shoot somebody who'd outdrew ya
And it's not a cry that you hear at night
It's not somebody who's seen in the light
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

01 December 2009

McCabe and Mrs. Miller

The opening scene of McCabe and Mrs. Miller, a western (one of the best there are) directed by Robert Altman (1971).

It's true that all the men you knew were dealers
who said they were through with dealing
every time you gave them shelter
I know that kind of man
It's hard to hold the hand of anyone
who is reaching for the sky just to surrender
who is reaching for the sky just to surrender

And then sweeping up the jokers that he left behind
you find he did not leave you very much not even laughter
Like any dealer he was watching for the card
that is so high and wild
he'll never need to deal another
He was just some Joseph looking for a manger
He was just some Joseph looking for a manger

And then leaning on your window sill
he'll say one day you caused his will
to weaken with your love and warmth and shelter
And then taking from his wallet
an old schedule of trains he'll say
I told you when I came I was a stranger
I told you when I came I was a stranger

But now another stranger seems
to want you to ignore his dreams
as though they were the burden of some other
O you've seen that man before
his golden arm dispatching cards
but now it's rusted from the elbow to the finger
And he wants to trade the game he plays for shelter
Yes he wants to trade the game he knows for shelter

Ah you hate to watch another tired man
lay down his hand
like he was giving up the holy game of poker
And while he talks his dreams to sleep
you notice there's a highway
that is curling up like smoke above his shoulder
that's curling up like smoke above his shoulder

And then sweeping up the jokers that he left behind
you find he did not leave you very much not even laughter
Like any dealer he was watching for the card
that is so high and wild
he'll never need to deal another
He was just some Joseph looking for a manger
He was just some Joseph looking for a manger

30 November 2009

Dance me to the end of love

Dance me to the end of love, Madeleine Peyroux
Careless Love (2004)

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic 'til I'm gathered safely in
Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love
Let me see your beauty when the witnesses are gone
Let me feel you moving like they do in Babylon
Show me slowly what I only know the limits of
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love

Dance me to the wedding now, dance me on and on
Dance me very tenderly and dance me very long
We're both of us beneath our love, we're both of us above
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love

Dance me to the children who are asking to be born
Dance me through the curtains that our kisses have outworn
Raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn
Dance me to the end of love

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic till I'm gathered safely in
Touch me with your naked hand or touch me with your glove
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love

27 November 2009

Walking around

by Pablo Neruda (1971)

It so happens I am sick of being a man.
And it happens that I walk into tailorshops and movie
dried up, waterproof, like a swan made of felt
steering my way in a water of wombs and ashes.

The smell of barbershops makes me break into hoarse
The only thing I want is to lie still like stones or wool.
The only thing I want is to see no more stores, no gardens,
no more goods, no spectacles, no elevators.

It so happens that I am sick of my feet and my nails
and my hair and my shadow.
It so happens I am sick of being a man.

Still it would be marvelous
to terrify a law clerk with a cut lily,
or kill a nun with a blow on the ear.
It would be great
to go through the streets with a green knife
letting out yells until I died of the cold.

I don't want to go on being a root in the dark,
insecure, stretched out, shivering with sleep,
going on down, into the moist guts of the earth,
taking in and thinking, eating every day.

I don't want so much misery.
I don't want to go on as a root and a tomb,
alone under the ground, a warehouse with corpses,
half frozen, dying of grief.

That's why Monday, when it sees me coming
with my convict face, blazes up like gasoline,
and it howls on its way like a wounded wheel,
and leaves tracks full of warm blood leading toward the

And it pushes me into certain corners, into some moist
into hospitals where the bones fly out the window,
into shoeshops that smell like vinegar,
and certain streets hideous as cracks in the skin.

There are sulphur-colored birds, and hideous intestines
hanging over the doors of houses that I hate,
and there are false teeth forgotten in a coffeepot,
there are mirrors
that ought to have wept from shame and terror,
there are umbrellas everywhere, and venoms, and umbilical

I stroll along serenely, with my eyes, my shoes,
my rage, forgetting everything,
I walk by, going through office buildings and orthopedic
and courtyards with washing hanging from the line:
underwear, towels and shirts from which slow
dirty tears are falling.

It so happens that some poems - the best ones - stand best on their own. Just as they are, built of letters, oozing ink.
When I was small I would cut out, or glue empty pieces of paper to cover, the impossibly incorrect illustrations that horrible people put into my beloved story books. These illustrations puzzled me. At times, they even scared me.
Above all, they failed to match the moving pictures that ran along with my reading. This film behind my eyes was exactly what made it for me. The most beloved of my books had a magical gate hidden in them. Illustrations were a mechanical forest, an illusion that obscured the path between me and the gate.
This poem by Pablo Neruda has such a magical gate hidden in it.
As for the video or two that were made of it...
An illusion.
An obstruction.

26 November 2009


What are you doing, son?
I am dreaming, mother. I am dreaming, mother, about how I sing,
and about how you ask me, in my dream: what are you doing, son?
What, in your dream, are you singing about, son?
I’m singing, mother, about how I had a house.
But now I haven’t got a house. This is what I’m singing about, mother.
About how, mother, I had a voice, and my own language I had.
But now I haven’t got a voice, also a language I haven’t got.
In a voice I haven’t got, in a language I haven’t got,
in a house I haven’t got, I sing a song, mother.

Mustafa Nadarevic reciting Nightmare, a poem by Sidran Abdullah, a Bosnian writer and poet. The scene is taken from Perfect Circle, a Bosnian film directed by Ademir Kenovic (1997).
Sidran Abdulah wrote distinguished screenplays for some of the best Yugoslav films from the 1980s: When Father Was Away On Business (directed by Kusturica), Do you remember Dolly Bell? (directed by Kusturica) and Kuduz (directed by Ademir Kenovic).

25 November 2009

Fade out

Is it a video of a melody? Is it a melody of a poem?

"Street Spirit is our purest song, but I didn't write it. It wrote itself. We were just its messengers; its biological catalysts. Its core is a complete mystery to me, and, you know, I wouldn't ever try to write something that hopeless. All of our saddest songs have somewhere in them at least a glimmer of resolve. Street Spirit has no resolve. It is the dark tunnel without the light at the end. It represents all tragic emotion that is so hurtful that the sound of that melody is its only definition. We all have a way of dealing with that song. It's called detachment. Especially me; I detach my emotional radar from that song, or I couldn't play it. I'd crack. I'd break down on stage. [...]
It's why we play it towards the end of our sets. It drains me, and it shakes me, and hurts like hell every time I play it, looking out at thousands of people cheering and smiling, oblivious to the tragedy of its meaning, like when you're going to have your dog put down and it's wagging its tail on the way there. That's what they all look like, and it breaks my heart. I wish that song hadn't picked us as its catalysts, and so I don't claim it. It asks too much. I didn't write that song."

So speaks Thom Yorke about Radiohead's song Street Spirit (Fade Out) (1995). I always believed that the lyrics of Street Spirit appear weak against the subtle beauty of the video and the haughty echo of the song. As strange as it may sound, for this poetry, for it is poetry, you need to tune out (abstract) the lyrics and listen to what's left. And then watch these mini stories flash before your eyes in rhythm rather than in rhymes. Is Yorke right? Does it drain? Does it shake? Does it break? Did you fade out? Are you still there? Are you one? Are you more?

24 November 2009

Poema 20

Another video poem from the Moving Poetry Series (Four Seasons Productions). The setting is a tango bar in Argentina in 1922 and the poem is Poema 20 by Pablo Neruda.
I can write the saddest lines tonight.

23 November 2009

Stealing sugar from the castle

We are poor students who stay after school to study joy.
We are like those birds in the India mountains.
I am a widow whose child is her only joy.

The only thing I hold in my ant-like head
Is the builder's plan of the castle of sugar.
just to steal one grain of sugar is a joy!

Like a bird, we fly out of darkness into the hall,
Which is lit with singing, then fly out again.
Being shut out of the warm hall is also a joy.

I am a laggard, a loafer, and an idiot. But I love
To read about those who caught one glimpse
Of the Face, and died twenty years later in joy.

I don't mind your saying I will die soon.
Even in the sound of the word soon, I hear
The word you which begins every sentence of joy.

"You're a thief!" the judge said. "Let's see
Your hands!" I showed my callused hands in court.
My sentence was a thousand years of joy.

From My Sentence Was a Thousand Years of Joy: Poems (2005), by Robert Bly.

20 November 2009

The Three from Prostokvashino

Russian children love Eduard Uspensky, who wrote for them such unforgettable books as Crocodile Gena or Uncle Fedor, Dog and Cat.
Yesterday, I posted Cheburashka, a unique and charming animation series based on Uspensky's book Crocodile Gena.
Today, however, I am in the mood for Uspensky's djadja fjodor - a beloved animation series The Three from Prostokvashino.
Russians love poetry and children. Charming, playful and witty, Russian animation for children survives and stands unparalleled.

19 November 2009


This is the first episode of Cheburashka (in English: Topple), an unforgettable and beloved Soviet cartoon (1969).
For the last few seconds that end the first episode (and which are certainly worth the extra effort) press here.
Cheburashka wakes up in a crate of oranges in Russia. Feeling lonely, Cheburashka answers a personal add and befriends a crocodile Gena, who works in the zoo as the crocodile.

18 November 2009

Le Piaf

Le Piaf was my beloved cartoon. Each day, I ran home in order to catch it at 7 p.m. Just in case, for one did not know what the daily cartoon would be.
Being that this cartoon was very short, it was more often than not broadcast prior to the cartoon of the day. Only on a good day they would broadcast three or more episodes of Le Piaf. Today’s post recreates just such a good day.
The episode with the smoking teddy bear – the very first one – was my favourite.

17 November 2009


Remember Gustav, the Hungarian cartoon (1964)?

16 November 2009

Nu pogodi!

The first episode of Nu pogodi! (originally "Ну погоди!" and in translation You just wait!). The series of these animated shorts began in 1969 and became enormously popular in the Soviet Union and the countries of Eastern Europe. These cartoons are almost wordless, albeit full of grunting, laughing, singing, waltzing and such. It is, however, the trademark of the series that at the end of each episode the Wolf, having failed to catch (read: eat) the Hare, will utter the fatal words announcing how inevitable the next encounter is:
"Just you wait, Hare!"
Nu pogodi!
An Eastern variation of Tom and Jerry?
Perhaps, insofar as Tom is a hooligan that abuses the minors, breaks the laws, drinks, smokes, plays the guitar and rides a motorbike.

15 November 2009

Make way for tomorrow

Make Way For Tomorrow is a film that was praised by Orson Welles, who reportedly said that this film "would make a stone cry."
The film was made in 1937 and directed by Leo McCarey.
The story is originally simple. An elderly couple loses a house. The adult children refuse to take both in. Consequently, the couple has to permanently separate.
Carefully avoiding to touch the subject, the husband and wife spend their last day together.
A farewell that takes place could indeed make a stone cry. Just like the farewell from dreams that never came true (Jagode u grlu), the farewell from the love of your life (Five evenings), the immediate farewell from a lovely stranger that you will never forget (yet never see again) (Two cars, one night).
Or the farewell from the only emotion that was safe and kept you sane (Disco Pigs).
If Make Way For Tomorrow could make a stone cry, Disco Pigs could make a stone die.

12 November 2009

Pig and Runt

That precious - fatal - moment of realisation. This scene is taken from a precious - fatal - movie Disco Pigs (2001). This film was directed by Kirsten Sheridan. The screenplay was written by Enda Walsh, who also wrote the (original) play. Cillian Murphy made magic on stage and on screen.

11 November 2009

Two cars, one night

two cars, one night from kofe on Vimeo.

Taika Waititi's awarded short film Two Cars, One Night (2003, New Zealand).
Two Maori children, one magic moment.

10 November 2009

Five evenings

This is a beautiful scene from Mihalkov's film Five evenings (1978). In the movie, the man (that you hear singing) - after being gone for 18 years - rings the bell of the woman (who unhappily wears curlers exactly at that time) and reenters her life as if only 18 days had passed.

09 November 2009

Bane Bumbar

Old friends agree to meet after 15 years on a Belgrade raft. A wild party ensues. After a lot of drinking and unsuccessful recoupling, the raft is untied and drifts aimlessly – with the last men standing - down the river.
This is the ending scene of the Yugoslav (Serbian) film Jagode u grlu (1985). The film itself is an ending epilogue to a superb Yugoslav (Serbian) cult series Grlom u jagode (1975).
In the film, the youthful freedom of the characters reemerges as aimlessness.
The series and the film were both directed by Srđan Karanović.
This song about lost youth, O mladosti - here performed by the Orkestar Jovice Nikolića Lepog - ended many a party in my day.
The rafts with live music on Sava and Danube are an old Belgrade institution. One should certainly do this prior to one's death – though the raft owners generally much prefer that the dying part is done at a certain distance.

06 November 2009

The darker brother

Harlem Renaissance Art

Scruffmouth | MySpace Video

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody'll dare
Say to me,
"Eat in the kitchen,"

They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed--

I, too, am America.

("I, too", a poem by Langston Hughes)

05 November 2009

Back in 1929

Bessie Smith mourning for her man - blacker than midnight - who left New York for St Louis (he done left this town). A truly stunning performance.
The excerpt is taken from a short film St Louis Blues (1929).
The short was filmed in Astoria, Queens. Bessie was accompanied by the Fletcher Henderson orchestra, the Hall Johnson Choir and, on piano, by James P. Johnson.

04 November 2009

Weary blues

The Weary Blues, a video poem narrated by Dr. Allen Dwight Callahan. The poem was written by Langston Hughes (1923).

03 November 2009


An excerpt from Hellzapoppin', a 1941 film adaptation of an earlier (and more successful) staged musical of the same name. Lindy hop is here performed by Whitney's Lindy Hoppers, a professional performing group of Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, New York.

02 November 2009


A scene from After Seben, a 1929 sound short set in a Harlem nightclub, featuring also George Snowden doing the lindy hop. You won't have any trouble figuring out which dancing couple George Snowden, the Shorty Stump, belongs to. To the one that must have won.

30 October 2009


Poetry, music, paintings and dance moves from the Harlem Renaissance, the period between the end of the Great War and the beginning of the Great Depression in which Harlem blossomed like never before. Louis Armstrong, W.E.B. DuBois, Langston Hughes and Ella Fitzgerald were just some of the main players who would make the Manhattan neighborhood famous worldwide.
The poem is "The Debt" by Paul Laurence Dunbar; the song, "Star Dust" by Hoagy Carmichael.

29 October 2009

"There is no why"

One night, a man named Philippe Petit hid in the World Trade Center with some friends, and the next day, somehow rigged a steel cable between the Twin Towers, and then walked across. This is a CBS news report about the event from August 8, 1974.

28 October 2009

These vagabond shoes

A Public Service Announcement for the homeless.

27 October 2009

New York was his town, and it always would be

Woody Allen's ode to New York in the opening scene of "Manhattan" (1979). The music you hear is "Rhapsody in Blue" by Leonard Bernstein who, while not originating from New York like Brooklyn-born Woody, was the conductor of the New York Philharmonic for many years.

26 October 2009

A gentleman in New York

Nobody can be out of place in New York City.
Except Quentin Crisp, to whom Sting dedicated this song.
Englishman in New York.
Quentin Crisp, his naked civil servant highness, appears in the video.
I don't drink coffee, I take tea my dear.
We oh so wish that Quentin wrote the lyrics.
Yet, Quentin Crisp... he is one of those men who need not write. Other people's stories will find him. And no city is so full of characters around which we spin our stories as New York.

24 October 2009

Saturday bonus story: Where are you headed?

A Chinese folk tale, Heaven and Hell, as related by Eth-Noh-Tec. A bow to Dare Varka and his guest blogging during the past two weeks.

23 October 2009

Wordless Story

Our trip around the 5 continents (the Americas, Africa, Europe, Asia and Oceania) concludes Down Under with this animated story of the Australian aboriginals about a song man who must decide between living underwater with the mermaids, or in the outback with his family.
This animation is part of an ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) project called Dust Echoes. Go there to see more videos of folk tales from Australia.

22 October 2009

The Rabbit and the Moon

Part I:

Part II:

Sister Unity Divine proves that looking at someone who tells a story doesn't have to be boring. Here, Sister Unity tells us a tale from India about the Rabbit and the Moon. This image explains the ending of the story.

21 October 2009

Tony and the Donkey

An Italian folk tale over 400 years old, told with a New York Italian accent by author Norah Dooley. The audio more than makes up for the lack of video.

20 October 2009

The Spider Man

Anansi, also known as the Spider Man, is a well-known character in the stories of West Africa and parts of the Caribbean. This is the story of all the stories, and how Anansi freed them from their golden box, so that they could spread out across the world. All the stories --including this one.
The accompanying animation is an American-Czech coproduction, done by Krátký Film studios in Prague, in 1973, and directed by one Gene Deitch, an American animator who moved to Czechoslovakia in 1960, where he directed, among others, a number of Krazy Kat cartoons.

19 October 2009

I saw a Hole in the Man

Storyteller Espiridion Acosta Cache tells an ancient Mayan tale.

16 October 2009

An innocent victim of circumstance

Captain John Joseph Yossarian of the 256th Squadron of the US Army, stationed in Pianosa in Italy in the Second World War, was a man who was cursed with common sense in a time and place where nonsense and absurdity reigned supreme. Consider this conversation with one of his fellow officers, Clevinger:
'They're trying to kill me,' Yossarian told him calmly.
'No one's trying to kill you,' Clevinger cried.
'Then why are they shooting at me?' Yossarian asked.
'They're shooting at everyone,' Clevinger answered. 'They're trying to kill everyone.'
'And what difference does that make?'
Yossarian spends his days trying as hard as possible to stay as far away as possible from the people who want to kill him. If that means that the bomber plane he flies in drops its bombs in the Adriatic Sea, he's perfectly fine with that.
Fortunately for Yossarian, some people around him agree with him on the important point that people are, in fact, trying to kill him, but unfortunately for Yossarian, those people are not the people who can get him out of this war. The only way to get out of it (other than getting killed), as far as Yossarian knows, is to be insane. But there's a catch: men who are insane would never want to leave the army, as it is the perfect place for them. Everything Yossarian experiences confirms this idea.

15 October 2009

Walker is my name and I am the same

Riddley Walker was born in 2335 OC (Our Count) in the area known as the Barrens. He and his tribe live in a world devoid of technology or convenience. There are no cars or doctors or digital watches. All of that has been lost when Bad Time happened, in some distant past. And although Bad Time was thousands of years ago, Riddley and his people still know the ancient tale known as the Eusa Story. It tells of Eusa and Mr Clevver (pictured above), and of the Littl Shynin Man the Addom, and how they brought the world as we know it to an end.
Riddley has been taught from childhood that it's dangerous to be 'clevver', but when his father dies just a few days after his naming day, when he turned 12, he leaves his group to roam the country and find out what he can about the world's past and make the best of the future. He finds friends and foes, lies and the truth, and in his own small way manages to make sense of it all.

14 October 2009

One Hep Kat

Krazy Kat is the most hopelessly romantic inhabitant of Coconino County, an area full of vast plains, occasionally interrupted by a majestic mesa. The sky and landscape seem to be in a constant state of flux, with day turning into night in the blink of an eye, and rock formations jumping into existence in an instant.
The object of Krazy's affection is a mouse by the name of Ignatz. Ignatz knows only one response to the Kat's incessant advances, which is to throw a brick at Krazy. Krazy, however, considers these brain-bashing brick bouquets tokens of love, and always pleads with the local arm of the law, a dog called Officer Pupp, to have mercy on poor Ignatz. To no avail; Officer Pupp inevitably takes the rock-throwing rodent into custody. Such is the strange triangle in which these animals are forever trapped.
They are surrounded by secondary characters such as Joe Stork, purveyor of progeny to prince and proletariat; Kolin Kelly, the bricklayer who benefits so handsomely from Ignatz' unquenchable thirst for fresh bricks; and Don Kiyote, a local nobleman.
Reports about Krazy are sketchy. Is Krazy male or female? We do not know. The last tales about the Kat date back to the first half of the 20th century. But there is no reason to think that somewhere out there in Arizona, a brick isn't still whizzing through the air, about to make the acquaintance of Krazy's kranium.

13 October 2009


Truman Burbank was born in 1968 on the island known as Seahaven. He was raised by loving parents, and from a young age, had a strong desire to travel the world; a desire that somehow never materialized. The loss of his father at sea and his subsequent fear of water may have contributed to this.
Instead, Burbank went to high school in Seahaven and met the love of his life, Lauren, but lost her when her parents took her away to Fiji, claiming she was mentally unstable. Instead, he settled for Meryl, the girl who always seemed to be around when he was around. They married; she became a nurse, he became an insurance agent.
Then, suddenly, a series of strange, inexplicable events made Truman begin to doubt his own sanity. He confided in Marlon, his best friend, who tried to reassure him that he was imagining things. Marlon even produced Truman's long-lost father, who had not drowned but instead had been in a coma for many years.
But even this shocking event could not silence the voice of revolt in Truman's head, and after a series of near-escapes from the island, he finally managed to commandeer a vessel and sail off into the sunset. Said sunset turned out to be made of plywood, the background of a humongous television studio in which Burbank had lived these thirty years. The producer of the show, one Christof, desperately tried to convince him to stay on, but instead, Truman walked off the set, into the real world, finally a free man.

12 October 2009

Gaston The Blunder

In 1957, a strange young man arrived at the offices of Spirou, a popular Belgian comics magazine. When asked what he was doing there, he said he'd been told to come, but didn't remember by whom or why. Puzzled, the editors decided to hire him as a mailroom boy, spelling their own doom.
Over the decades that followed, Gaston LaGaffe, literally Gaston The Blunder, blew up the offices several times with his experiments in chemistry and/or cooking (the two were often hard to tell apart), caused two of his bosses to have a nervous breakdown, shattered all the windows with his self-designed Gaffophone musical instrument, and in countless ways prevented a very important contract from being signed.
The local fire department made it a sport to beat their previous record getting to Spirou. Gaston was an inventor, a hippie, an animal lover (his seagull and his cat became much hated office pets), and a punk. He never meant any harm but he left a trail of destruction in his wake nonetheless, while the unanswered mail piled up.

09 October 2009

Guest blogger

I am concluding this week with Nina Simone's unique take on My Man's Gone Now (from Gershwin's songbook). In the coming two weeks Dare Varka will be guest blogging in my place. As for me, I am off to Bryant Park. Or was it Patriarch's Pond?

08 October 2009

Her Highness Bessie Smith

Ms Bessie Smith (1892-1937), a contemporary of Louis Armstrong, was nicknamed 'The Empress of Blues'. Here she sings the song 'Muddy Water' (1926), not to be confused with the musician Muddy Waters.

07 October 2009

Checking in

When you listen to 'Heartbreak Hotel', the song that made Elvis Presley famous, the tempo and beat can easily make you forget what the lyrics are about. John Cale, formerly of the Velvet Underground, here turns the evergreen blue again, putting the Heartbreak right back in the middle of the Hotel lobby.

06 October 2009

Blues in the Night

A man is a two-face
A worrisome thing
Who'll leave you to sing
The blues in the night

This blues classic, originally written for the 1941 movie of the same name, was intended to be sung in a jail cell. It was recorded by just about everybody in the jazz and blues world, from old-time favorites like Ella Fitzgerald to trendy kids like Katie Melua. Here is a version by Anne Shelton, as featured in the TV series "The Singing Detective".

05 October 2009


I'd rather go blind boy
then to see you walk away from me, child
You see I love you so much that I don't want to watch you leave me, baby
Most of all, I just don't want to be free, no

I'd rather go blind, as first recorded by Etta James in 1969.
The song was written by Ellington Jordan and has been since praised for its poetic qualities.
While I've always loved this song, I never cared much for the lyrics.
But then, I may be blind to poetry.
Besides, women from Balkans don't do sentences like that.
If you have to see them go, Etta, at least make them run in fear.

02 October 2009

Pro Eto

Alexandr Rodchenko, a photograph of Mayakovsky and a maquette (photocollage) for Mayakovsky's Pro Eto.

01 October 2009

Futurist storm

This is a 2009 video clip for Storm (Буревестник), a song of Lyapis Trubetskoi(Ляпис Трубецкой), an interesting group from Belo-Russia. Gem has already featured another excellent video of this group here.
Sergei Mihalok, the group's leader, appears as the poet of the poets: Vladimir Mayakovsky. The other members of the group enact Pushkin, Gorky, Tolstoy, Gogol and Jesenin.

30 September 2009

Blek end uajt

A political animation film, directed by Ivan Ivanov and Vano Leonid Amairik (1932).
The film was inspired by Mayakovsky's drawings and words. In 1925, with a permission to travel abroad, Mayakovsky took a boat to the United States of America. His poem Black and White came about as a direct attack on racism that he observed in Cuba (where he landed first).
Only fragments of the film were found, without restorable sound. It was decided to underscore the fragments with excerpts from Sometimes I feel like a Motherless Child as recorded by Paul Robeson in 1949 in Moscow.
Robeson, a son of an American slave who taught Russians to sing Ol’ Man River in Russian, was of course not an incidental choice.

29 September 2009

Welcome to Radio Mayakovsky

Mayakovsky's Instead of a Letter, as sang and interpreted by a Russian group Splin. This song emerged as a part of a Living Mayakovsky project.
The same project gave birth to a live online Radio Mayakovsky - a never-ending listing of Mayakovsky's poems that are being made into songs.

Tobacco smoke
has consumed the air.
The room
is a chapter
in Kruchenukh's inferno.
Remember –
beyond that window
in a frenzy
I first stroked your hands.
You sit here today
with an iron-clad heart.
One more day –
you'll toss me out,
perhaps, cursing.
In the dim front hall my arm,
broken by trembling won't fit
right away in my sleeve.
I'll run out,
throw my body into the street.
I'll rave,
lashed by despair.
Don't let it happen
my dear,
my darling,
let us part now.
After all
my love is a heavy weight
hanging on you
no matter where you go.
Let me bellow a final cry
of bitter, wounded grievance.
If you drive
a bull to exhaustion
he will run away,
lay himself down
in the cold waters.
Besides your love
I have
no ocean
and your love won't grant
even a tearful plea for rest.
When a tired elephant
wants peace
he lies down regally
in the firebound sand.
Besides your love
I have
no sun,
but I don't even know
where you are and with whom.
If you tortured
a poet like this,
he would berate his beloved
for money and fame,
but for me
no sound is joyous
but the sound
of your beloved name.
I won't throw myself downstairs
or drink poison
nor can I put a gun to my head.
No blade
holds me transfixed
but your glance.
Tomorrow you'll forget
that I have crowned you,
that I burned my flowering soul
with love,
and the whirling carnival of
trivial days will ruffle
the pages of my books...
the dry leaves of my words
force you to a stop
gasping for air?

At least
let me
pave with a parting endearment
your retreating path.

26 May 1916, Petrograd

28 September 2009

Лиличка! Instead of a Letter

Vladimir Mayakovsky - a personal bias.
Recitation (in Italian) begins at 1:46. Turn captions on for English translation.
A poem was written in Petrograd on 26 May 1916. It is read against Sunrise, the notorious silent film answering only to F. W. Murnau (1927).
If you find yourself wearing wings, you may fly off a completely new creature.

25 September 2009


An original and cartoonish sequence from Zazie dans le métro (translation: Zazie in the metro), a French film directed by Louis Malle (1960). The film is based on Raymond Queneau's novel.
Zazie in the metro.
That novel.

24 September 2009

Stepping through Moscow

The ending scene from the beloved Russian film Я шагаю по Москве (translation: I am walking through Moscow), directed by Georgi Daneliya (1964).

23 September 2009

No pants day

900 New Yorkers, ad hoc performers for un unsuspecting subway audience, participated in the No Pants Day Subway Ride, organised by Improv Everywhere (2008).
As usual, the agents in underpants never break out of character.
Improv Everywhere is a public performance group based in New York City, aiming to cause scenes of chaos and joy in public places. To date, they have caused scenes of chaos and joy in over 85 missions.

22 September 2009

Ticket puncher of Lilas

Le poinçonneur des Lilas, one of the earliest songs by Serge Gainsbourg (1958).
I make holes, little hotles, still more little holes
Little holes, little holes, always little holes

It sure comes to one's mind at 2 a.m. when searching for holes, little holes, always little holes in little belittling legal documents.

21 September 2009


Merci!, a short awarded film by Christine Rabette (Belgium, 2003).

18 September 2009

Peek or play table

This product came about in connection with the Droog Design project Me, Myself and You. Objects created were to influence the social behaviour of users and enable them to both withdraw and to interact.
The table cloth - a little theatre tent - was an astonishing contribution by Moniek Gerner from Bless ,a small fashion company from Berlin.
While adults use the table, the children can hide underneath the table tent, they can play or prepare for dangerious and secret expeditions to the outside world. They can peep through the lace ribbon window and, if they really feel like it, open it completely to form a little stage and perform a puppet play for the giant people outside.

17 September 2009

Hotel Droog

In 2002 in Milano, a shabby one-star hotel on Via Mercato was temporarily renamed Hotel Droog. The idea of Droog design was to transform the cheap hotel - 12 hotel rooms - into a design experience with but a few additions. The interiors in hotel rooms were not altered, designers instead removed clutter to bare simplicity and added, for little if any cost, a touch of lucid invention.
The first photo is a still of "Sit down Gentlemen - respect the cleaning women!", a video projection by Floris Schiferli. It ran in Hotel Droog toilets: images of a hard working cleaning lady were meant to call on the guest to contribute to keeping the toilet facilites neat and clean.
The second photo showcases one of the 12 hotel rooms and featurs clothes hanger lamps designed by Hector Serrano.
Another room again provided a bulletproof sleeping bag and, on entrance, passports with new identities were offered to the visitors.
Was I there? Not as my current identity.

16 September 2009

Hans Brinker

Hans Brinker Budget Hotel Amsterdam - "for backpackers, students and travellers of the world, without whom there would be no one to abuse, no one to mistreat and no one to accept the reckless abandon and barefaced treachery that has given Hans Brinker the reputation - one which it holds dear, with pride and shame in equal measure - as the worst hotel in the world."
This is a hotel where rooms are so small that chairs are put on the wall - as photographs or drawings. You will, however, find free sleeping pills in the bathroom: "to help drown out the nightly orchestra of shouting, grunting and door slamming."
Rob Penris, a long-time manager of Hans Brinker, wanted "a campaign that doesn't get me any more complaints again in my whole life."
Kessels Kramer owns the idea.

15 September 2009


Having first developed self-sustaining Dutch farming projects for 1 and then 100 persons, Tjep. recently developed a concept for a self-sufficient farm sustaining 1000 people per day. The farm includes a restaurant, a hotel and an amusement park.
In Oogst 1000 Wonderland, all food is to be grown on site and hotel guests are the ones that would do the farming (and earn themselves a free stay).
Waste is to be used to generate more energy through bio-gas; visitors would get to be paid for using the toilet. Visitors' profit? 0.50 euros per visit.

14 September 2009


This is what one thinks of on a Sunday going on Monday.
A prototype of Wieki Somers, a very original Dutch designer.
Distributed by Galerie Kreo, Paris.
Price? On demand.

12 September 2009

Saturday special: Ode to Gedja

This is Milosav (Mija) Aleksić passionately singing about the day his beloved little piglet Geđa went missing.
Moja mala Geđa
šarena joj leđa
okrugla joj njuška
debela ko kruška

From a Yugoslavian film Biće skoro propast sveta directed by Aleksandar Petrović (1968, Serbia).
Abroad, this film is often translated as It rains in my village or (closer to a literal transation) The end of the world is near.

11 September 2009

Kapetan Lesi

Kapetan Leši (transl. Captain Leshi), a Serbian film - the first partizan western - directed by Živorad Žika Mitrović (1960) about successful exploits of Ramiz Leši, a heroic Albanian-Shiptar partisan, in driving balisti forces (a local fascist organisation) out of Kosovo Metohija.
You will not find much that is Albanian in this film - apart from the little white caps and the melody of the song. I remember seeing excellent Yugoslav actors of Albanian origin on stage and on the screen - notably, the excellent Bekim Fehmiu. I would, however, be hard pressed to find Yugoslav films (other than this one and its sequel) that is both set in Kosovo and focused on the lives of Yugoslavian Albanians. Even if they are acted by Serbian rather than Albanian actors; even if they speak Serbian rather than Albanian.
In that as well, an imitation of westerns where Indians were acted by Americans of European origin and spoke English even among eachother.
Departing from the national epic portrayal of partisans, this action adventure film was an absolute hit with the Yugoslavian audiences.

10 September 2009

Krstic and son bus company

This is the opening scene of - the one and only - Ko to tamo peva (transl. Who is singing over there). Everyone from the former Yugoslavia will instantly recognize this film, for it was at the very heart of Yugoslav cinema. Filmed by Slobodan Šijan in 1980 (based on a script by a playwright Dušan Kovačević), this film is equally beloved by filmmakers, elitist film critics and the public. In the mid-nineties, Serbian filmmakers voted it the best Yugoslav film of all time.

The beginning of April 1941. Several characters are waiting for the unpredictable Krstić and son bus driving to Belgrade. These people (with the exception of Krstić and his son) remain nameless throughout the film: a singer, a WW1 veteran, a hunter, a patient and a Germanophile are later joined by a bride and a groom. Two Gypsy singers – the magic people of the Balkans - act as a chorus that sets the pace and the rhythm of this crazy road movie.

Just like in other films posted this week, the characters – at least before they reach Belgrade - have nowhere to escape to. In Život je lep, a train driver stops the train and refuses to take passengers to its true destination. The passengers are forced to make do with a local kafana, where hostile locals hang out. The kafana might just as well be flying through the sky: you either stay or you jump through the window. The desires of Jovana Lukina implode in her village damp with evil. Goluža is forced to stay in a tavern on his way to the seaside. Unable to pay for his stay, Goluža appeals to the good heart of the innkeeper claiming that he chose this village as a venue to kill himself. The word spreads. Just like the dance of Jovana Lukina, just like the singing of Sonja Savić in Život je lep, the suicide-to-be is the event of choice, destined to become village folklore, a fairy tale, a sacrifice.

In Ko to tamo peva, the passengers are for a short time completely isolated from the fatal changes that take place in the real world during the very time that they travel. While a unique comedy from the onset, and on the surface, the real pace of Ko to tamo peva – its captivating rhythm – is driven by the chorus and runs underneath the visible comic layer. The effect is unnerving: the audience wants to laugh its heart out, but the laughter will bring no release as the tension (built up by the Gypsies’ maledictions) rises unstoppably.

Note that the ending scene in Ko to tamo peva is not shot as originally scripted; the scripted scene - a piece of absurd cinema - was prohibited by the Belgrade authorities in the face of Tito’s death. The Krstić and son bus should have, upon its arrival to Belgrade, met with wild animals that escaped from the bombed Belgrade zoo.

This gem of a scene - the true ending to Ko to tamo peva - was borrowed by Kusturica in the beginning scene of Underground, as a (rather poor) homage to Šijan and Kovačević.