Calling Duncan X iconic within the tattoo world could seem like an understatement to some, as an integral part of Alex Binnie’s Into You shop in Clerkenwell Mr X has been turning out some of the most abrasive black work tattoos since before the shops inception.His severe appearance is completely authentic to his own art work and lifestyle. The completely original trademark style of tattooing that Duncan has so perfectly translated is solidly black and overwhelmingly brutal in its imagery. Reading almost like a cliche, stories of his progressive and intense life have quite literally been imbedded into his skin.To explore more about this fascinating man director Alex Nicholson has created an absorbing short film with Duncan revealing accounts of his life. The sophisticated nature of the film has meant that through special effects the director has let Duncan’s tattoos slowly appear and crawl over his skin as the film progresses.The film was revealed on Tuesday so to celebrate this we’ve created a short interview with the director to find out more..How did you come about making this film?Well I just wanted to make a beautiful looking short for my reel initially. Shooting an interesting a subject as possible.
Who has this film been made for? Who do you want to be watching it?It wasn’t made for anyone really. Me I’d say at a push. I want everyone to watch it. I didn’t want it to be just for people who like/have/want tattoos or people who know Duncan, I wanted it to be as accessible as possible for all viewers..How involved are you as an individual in tattooing?Not at all really. I do have quite a few and will continue to get more, as long as Duncan promises to be gentler next time.
What is it about Mr X that you find so fascinating?Everything! Ha! – Its more to do with the fact that as you get to know him over time, these stories leak out. The fascinating tales of a thousand lives lived within one mans life. Its the fact that he’s highly intelligent, very eloquent, a delightful personality and looks like a Barber-surgeon from the 1900′sA great mix.Was there a particular stance that you wanted to take with the film?If I was pushed, I’d say that you should never judge a book by its cover.
How did the decision to have all of Mr X’s tattoo re-appear through editing occur?I wanted his tattoos to slowly emerge during the film. For him to start naked of tattoos and end as he is, covered. When we got into edit, myself and my editor (David Stevens @ the Assembly rooms) simply pieced together the best story that we saw in there. The animations and tattoos suddenly became secondary to the fascinating Duncan X.
The one and only Pink Narcissus will be playing at the ICA on the 7th of August. James Bigood’s cult homoerotic film was famously almost completely painstakingly created in his apartment over seven years on 8mm.
This hallucinatory film follows the varying evolutions of the fantasies of a gay male prostitute of being a bull fighter, a belly dancer and to a roman slave boy. Overtly visually opulent the attention to detail in every single mili-second iscompletely commendable and overwhelming especially in regards to it all being made in one apartment by one individual.
Originally released anonymously in 1971 many guessed that Kenneth Anger or Andy Warhol had created the film after a lengthy and complicated release. Although Bigood responded to this by saying that “Pink Narcissus doesn’t look anything like Warhol. First of all, he would never put that much effort into anything.” Thought of as a moving poem with no real dialogue or structure the film unfolds into one of the most gorgeously satisfying mixture oftextures, colours and images which has gone onto to have amassed an endless amount of inspiration to film makers and photographers ever since (most notably with the likes of Pierre et Giles). The erotica in the film may now appear kitschy and slightly dated but rules of censorship on its release were far harsher making this film truly important.
You can book tickets here
Wednesday the 7th of August, 7pm,
Institute of Contemporary Arts
The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH
Dirty Girls is an amateur documentary made by Michael Lucid following a small group of girls embracing the riot grrl scene around their high school in 1996. Premiering on youtube a while ago now its been celebrated by many. The film starts with a quote from the director explaining that:“In Spring of 1996, my senior year of high school, I documented a group of 8th grade girls who were notorious for their crass behavior and allegedly bad hygiene….” The film is set within a small friendship group of girls against the enormity of their homogenised high school. The director flips to interviews with teenagers from the school and asks them about their views on these girls (with words such as ‘hideousity‘ used against them) which is as horrible as it is important. Understanding why riot grrl hasn’t been deserved more attention as a subculture always seems so strange as it is SO progressive! Its crossover with grunge usually means that its sadly sidetracked in to any larger discussion. Besides from the film showing us a great example of this subculture, seeing girls that young being so passionate and quite frankly brave about understanding their gender is completely uplifting. How they create their own zine considering how young they are is also really interesting, a contemporary version of teenagers resonating with these feelings pretty much only expands within the anonymous walls of tumblr. Most peoples wider knowledge of riot grrl rarely delves any further than knowing about Bikini Kill so seeing its impact on such a microcosm like it does here defines its importance. It is also quite fascinating that these girls used concept of hygiene as a way to communicate their ideals through their body image rather than material stylistic signifiers like most other subcultures. It is also filmed in quite dreamy resolution which only adds to the overall film. Enjoy.
Read a very good article about John Samson’s work from Sight and Sound magazine here
Closing t o m o r r o w!
Skopia Art contemporain
Involving 18+, Adrian Wilson, Aimée Mullins, Alix Lambert, Aza Shade, Char Alfonzo, Cottweiler, Darri Lorenzen, Dan Hoy, Daniel Feinberg, Dominic Johnson, Douglas Gordon, Duane Pitre, Florence Tétier, France Fiction, François Bouret, Harry Griffin, Henda Giarratano, Ilja Karilampi, Jason Farrer, Julia Kasprzak, Lukas Goretta, Marylin V.B., Marti Domination, Mike Fleisch, Odile Bernard Schroder, Peggy Nelson, Ron Athey, Rodrigo Morales-Pomarat, Ryan Whittier Hale, Stefan Ruitenbeek, Telfar Clemens, Tyson Parks & Zana Bayne.
The remastered version of the 1965 classic Repulsion is playing almost everyday throughout January for the Polanski season at the BFI.
Check the dates and book your tickets here!
Lake is an unusual boy: he is a young man with an old soul who discovers he has an odd fixation on the elderly. Although Lake has a girlfriend his own age, named Desiree, he wonders sometimes if his fixation on old men is unnatural and unhealthy – perhaps even sexual.
When his mother, who is a nurse, takes on a management job at an old folks home, Lake jumps at her offer of a summer job as an orderly there. Gradually, Lake comes to discover that the old people in the institution are being given psychotropic drugs to keep them in a catatonic state. Lake befriends one old man in particular, Mr. Peabody, who still seems to have some fight left in him. They begin to form a strong bond. Mr. Peabody charms Lake with romantic stories of his youth and confesses his dreams of seeing the ocean one last time. Avoiding the vigilant eye of Nurse Stonehenge, who administers shots and pills to the old folks, Lake starts to wean Mr. Peabody off his medication.
Eventually, Lake springs Mr. Peabody from the institution. Together they embark on a road trip telling everyone they meet that the old man is his grandfather and that they’re driving to the ocean. After numerous life- changing escapades, Lake is finally ready to accept his true feelings for Mr. Peabody, but everything changes when the trip takes an unexpected turn.
Donate here to Sang Bleu 6 contributor and iconic film maker Bruce Labruce’s new film! There are now 23 days left to help this film flourish in all of its exceptional potential!