Tuesday, February 28, 2017

How genocides begin': Internet stunned by Trump plan to set up VOICE program targeting immigrants

RAW STORY OVERNIGHT FOR FEBRUARY 28, 2017
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Veterans Administration under fire after horrifying photos of neglected vets go viral

Read the entire text of President Donald Trump's speech to Congress

How genocides begin': Internet stunned by Trump plan to set up VOICE program targeting immigrants

Shep Smith rips into fellow Fox host Chris Wallace for defending Trump media attacks

White Florida police chief resigns after making racist comment to department’s only black officera

‘This is insane’: Trump blasted for parroting same anti-Jewish conspiracy as white supremacist site

BOMBSHELL: FBI offered to pay British spy to continue investigating Trump Russia connections

Here are 5 of the worst things Steve Bannon has done since Trump took office

Robert Reich urges media to ‘stop mincing words’ and call Trump out on his lies

Bannon purposely timed travel ban for maximum protests — but the White House lost control of narrative

Olbermann: Trump's 'bullsh*t' anti-immigrant campaign is designed to 'terrify Americans into submission'

John Oliver: ‘Who gives a sh*t’ if Trump goes to ‘bullsh*t’ White House Correspondents’ Dinner?


 President Donald Trump makes first address to both houses of Congress
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TONIGHT AT 9...GRAND GUIGNOL (http://www.grandguignol.com/history.htm)



House of Horrors

by Agnes PeirronFacadeIn 1897, the French playwright and chien de commissaire*, Oscar Metenier, bought a theater at the end of the impasse Chaptal, a cul-de-sac in Paris' Pigalle district, in which to produce his controversial naturalist plays. The smallest theater in Paris, it was also the most atypical. Two large angels hung above the orchestra and the theater's neogothic wood paneling; and the boxes, with their iron railings, looked like confessionals (the building had, in fact, once been a chapel).
The Theatre du Grand-Guignol--which means literally the "big puppet show"--took its name from the popular French puppet character Guignol, whose original incarnation was as an outspoken social commentator--a spokesperson for the canuts, or silk workers, of Lyon. Early Guignol puppet shows were frequently censored by Napoleon III's police force.
Oscar Metenier was himself a frequent target of censorship for having the audacity to depict a milieu which had never before appeared on stage--that of vagrants, street kids, prostitutes, criminals, and "apaches," as street loafers and con artists were called at the time--and moreover for allowing those characters to express themselves in their own language. One of the Grand-Guignol's first plays, Metenier's Mademoiselle Fifi (based on the novel by Guy de Maupassant), which was temporarily shut down by police censors, presented the first prostitute on stage; his subsequent play, Lui!, united a whore and a criminal in the enclosed space of a hotel room. Metenier was Guignol grown up, or grandi... The Theatre du Grand-Guignol was an immediate success. Without realizing it, Metenier had laid the first stone in the edifice of the Grand-Guignol repertoire, which was to last for over half a century. Little by little and almost accidentally, a new genre was born.
Production photoMetenier was succeeded as director in 1898 by Max Maurey, who was unknown in artistic circles but had hands-on experience in the theater. It was Maurey who, from 1898 to 1914, turned the Theatre du Grand-Guignol into a house of horror. He measured the success of a play by the number of people who fainted during its performance, and, to attract publicity, hired a house doctor to treat the more fainthearted spectators. It was also Maurey who discovered the novelist and playwright Andre de Lorde--"the Prince of Terror." Under the influence of de Lorde (who collaborated on several plays with his therapist, the experimental psychologist Alfred Binet), insanity became the Grand-Guignolesque theme par excellence. At a time when insanity was just beginning to be scientifically studied and individual cases catalogued, the Grand-Guignol repertoire explored countless manias and 'special tastes': Andre de Lorde and Leo Marches's L'Homme de la Nuit (The Man of the Night), for example, presented a necrophiliac, who strangely resembled Sergeant Bertrand, a man sentenced in 1849 for violating tombs and mutilating corpses. L'Horrible Passion (The Horrible Passion), by Andre de Lorde and Henri Bauche, depicted a young nanny who strangled the children in her care. (Like Metenier, de Lorde was often a target of censorship, particularly in England where scheduled touring productions of two of his plays were canceled by the Lord Chamberlain's censors. The theater of the time, which delighted in vaudeville and bourgeois settings, could not abide the sight of blood or corpses on stage.)
Fear of 'the other' appeared at the Grand-Guignol in countless variations: fear of the proletariat, fear of the unknown, fear of the foreign, fear of contagion (for all the blood spilled, sperm ejaculated, and sweat dripped there, the Grand-Guignol had to feel some degree of nostalgia for cleanliness). The heroes of Paul Cloquemin and Paul Autier's Gardiens de phare (Lighthouse Keepers) and of Robert Francheville's Le Beau Regiment (The Handsome Regiment) had rabies. Leprosy decimated the passengers of Max Maurey's Le Navire aveugle (The Blind Ship), and the servants in Roland Dreyfus's L'Auberge rouge (The Red Inn) fell prey to a mysterious malady. In several plays, among them Maurey's La Fosse aux filles (The Girls' Den), a brothel visitor was exposed to syphilis.
But what carried the Grand-Guignol to its highest level were the boundaries and thresholds it crossed: the states of consciousness altered by drugs or hypnosis. Loss of consciousness, loss of control, panic: themes with which the theater's audience could easily identify. When the Grand-Guignol's playwrights expressed an interest in the guillotine, what fascinated them most were the last convulsions played out on the decapitated face. What if the head continued to think without the body? The passage from one state to another was the crux of the genre.
MaxaCamille Choisy, who directed the theater from 1914 to 1930, brought with him a score of special effects in both lighting and sound. Under his direction, staging overtook text. Once he even bought a fully equipped operating room as a pretext for a new play. In 1917, he hired the actress Paula Maxa, who soon became known as "the Sarah Bernhardt of the impasse Chaptal." During her career at the Grand-Guignol, Maxa, "the most assassinated woman in the world," was subjected to a range of tortures unique in theatrical history: she was shot with a rifle and with a revolver, scalped, strangled, disemboweled, raped, guillotined, hanged, quartered, burned, cut apart with surgical tools and lancets, cut into eighty-three pieces by an invisible Spanish dagger, stung by a scorpion, poisoned with arsenic, devoured by a puma, strangled by a pearl necklace, and whipped; she was also put to sleep by a bouquet of roses, kissed by a leper, and subjected to a very unusual metamorphosis, which was described by one theater critic: "Two hundred nights in a row, she simply decomposed on stage in front of an audience which wouldn't have exchanged its seats for all the gold in the Americas. The operation lasted a good two minutes during which the young woman transformed little by little into an abominable corpse."
To allow the audience some release from the tensions inspired by fear and insanity, an evening at the Grand-Guignol alternated drama with comedy to create a kind of hot and cold effect. Thus, after 'experiencing the horrible,' the audience was able to recompose itself with the likes of Ernestine est enragee (Ernestine is Furious), Adele est grosse (Adele is Fat), or Hue! Cocotte! (Hey! Cocotte!). If the Grand-Guignol was a popular theater in both meanings of the word--it was frequented by neighborhood locals as well as the higher-brow audience of the Comedie Francaise--it was not a public affair. Going to the Grand-Guignol was less a social act than a private one and certain audience members preferred not to be seen. Some witnesses reported that the iron-grilled boxes in the back of the theater encouraged a certain 'extremism,' especially during Monday matinees when women often prepared themselves for adultery by throwing themselves, half-dead with terror, into their neighbors' arms: flirtation, Grand-Guignol-style. The cleaning staff would often find the seats stained.
SkeletonWith the arrival of Jack Jouvin, who directed the theater from 1930 to 1937, the repertoire shifted from gore to psychological drama. Wanting to have complete control over the theater, Jouvin ousted Maxa, who, in his opinion, was stealing the spotlight. Jouvin's lack of talent and his personal ambition triggered the eventual downfall of the Grand-Guignol. Birth, evolution, death: the genre sowed the seed of its own decline when it began to parody itself. The abundance of terrifying elements in the later plays became so overwhelming that they were no longer believable. By the Second World War, the theater was beginning to vacillate, carried away by its own excess. The war dealt it its final death blow. Reality overtook fiction, and attendance at post-war performances dwindled. In the spring of 1958, Anais Nin commented on its decline in her diary: "I surrendered myself to the Grand-Guignol, to its venerable filth which used to cause such shivers of horror, which used to petrify us with terror. All our nightmares of sadism and perversion were played out on that stage. . . . The theater was empty." In an interview conducted immediately after the Grand-Guignol closed in 1962, Charles Nonon, its last director, explained: "We could never compete with Buchenwald. Before the war, everyone believed that what happened on stage was purely imaginary; now we know that these things--and worse--are possible."
"Commissioner's dog": the French term for a police employee who spends the last moments with prisoners sentenced to death.
This history of the Grand Guignol was originally published in the journal GRAND STREET (Summer, 1996). If, after reading it, you're interested in a more detailed study of the theatre and genre, we suggest moving on to this article.
Translated from the French by Deborah Treisman
Photos added by GrandGuignol.com

 

Trump just told the Pennsylvania AG that anti-Semitic threats may be false flag operations

RAW STORY EXTRA FOR FEBRUARY 28, 2017
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Sean Spicer threatened to smear reporter before White House anonymously planted bogus story: report

GOP's Obamacare replacement plan spirals down the drain -- and even some Trump voters are worried

Trump just told the Pennsylvania AG that anti-Semitic threats may be false flag operations

Texas Republican caught on video bizarrely berating student who wants to make sure poor kids can afford school

Trump adviser suggests Democrats are threatening Jewish centers to make conservatives look bad

‘Welcome to the Trump plantation’: Historically black college vandalized after Betsy DeVos gaffe

Trump ignored new national security chief’s request not to rant about ‘radical Islamic terrorism’: report

‘Now you know how it feels’: Women crush GOP rep. for saying Obamacare has ‘taken over’ his body

Whoopi Goldberg slams the ‘other president’: Dick Cheney has nothing on Steve Bannon

Major Missouri paper writes scathing editorial blasting Trump’s silence about shooting of Indian man

‘I wish him nothing but failure’: Dallas city councilman slams ‘invalid human’ Trump’s proposed hotel





 
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Nakom Opens Friday at Cinema Village

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Nominated for the John Cassavetes Film Independent Spirit Award, Nakom follows Iddrisu, a talented medical student who is summoned home by his sister after their father’s sudden death. Iddrisu reluctantly returns home to the village of Nakom, buries his father and temporarily assumes the head of the impoverished household and farm, inheriting not only the delicate task of planting a successful crop but also a debt left by the deceased patriarch that could destroy the family. Attempting to maintain part of his studies from the confines of a small hut, Iddrisu becomes increasingly frustrated with the incessant physical and emotional needs of those around him, the demanding toil of the land and lack of rain. A contentious relationship with his uncle Napolean, to whom the sizable debt is owed, is further complicated by the unplanned pregnancy of Napolean’s granddaughter who was sent to live with Iddrisu’s family.

As the new patriarch grapples with tradition and familial duty, he is met with varying shades of contempt by both family and villagers who compare him with his father expecting a resemblance. Iddrisu’s patience and wisdom are tempered by the strange paradox created by his faith in God and desire for control, the latter of which he cannot have so long as he stays in Nakom. As circumstances swell, Iddrisu suddenly begins to realize that no future for him exists in the place where he is needed the most, even despite an offer by the village Chieftain to remain in Nakom to become an elder and marry his daughter.

Tickets available here.
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Trump will continue his losing streak if he keeps Bannon at his side, WSJ says in blistering editorial

RAW STORY TOP STORIES FOR FEBRUARY 28, 2017
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"The Last Laugh" at Lincoln Plaza

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Are we allowed to make jokes about the Holocaust? In this outrageously funny and thought-provoking Tribeca premiere documentary, director Ferne Pearlstein puts the question about comedy’s ultimate taboo to legends including Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Sarah Silverman, Gilbert Gottfried, Alan Zweibel, Harry Shearer, Jeff Ross, Judy Gold, Susie Essman, Larry Charles, Jake Ehrenreich, and many other critical thinkers, as well as Holocaust survivors themselves.

Star-studded, provocative and thoroughly entertaining, THE LAST LAUGH dares to ask uncomfortable questions about just how free speech can really be, with unexpected and hilarious results that will leave you both laughing and appreciating the importance of humor even in the face of events that make you want to cry.


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Last Laugh Movie

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Monday, February 27, 2017

Agnes Varda: Life as Art

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The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) presents
Agnès Varda: Life as Art
Feb 28-Mar 21


Known for igniting the French New Wave, visionary director Agnès Varda has spent the past 50 years making radical films and art at the intersection of fiction, documentary, and autobiography.

Don’t miss this month-long tribute to her perpetually influential and inventive work with three rarely-screened, newly restored films, plus live appearances from Varda herself.

Agnès Varda: Visual Artist*
Artist talk moderated by Oliver Renaud-Clèment
Tue, Feb 28 at 7:30pm

Daguerréotypes
Q&A with Varda and curator Larry Kardish after 7:30pm screening
Tue, Mar 7 at 4 & 7:30pm

Jacquot de Nantes
Tue, Mar 14 at 4 & 7:30pm

Lola
directed by Jacques Demy;
restored by Varda
Tue, Mar 21 at 4 & 7:30pm

Your ticket includes a glass of wine or beer in the FIAF Gallery after the screening.

Location:
FIAF Florence Gould Hall
55 E 59th Street
New York, NY 10022

Click here for tickets.

*Sold out. A stand-by line will form outside of Florence Gould Hall one hour before the event.
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Agnes Varda: Life as Art

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