AN EMPIRE OF ONE

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Archive for January 2010

The Narcissist

Click on the above image for a larger view.

This is a sculpture I did around 1979. It’s made from wood, wire, mirror, styrofoam, tape, etc. It was originally called “Man Helping Man,” but “The Narcissist” is probably a better title.

Ingredients:

Part Marcel Duchamp, especially “The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors.”

Part myth of Narcissus.

Part perpetual motion machine.

Part Zeno paradox, like Sisyphus.

Part Michelangelo parody.

Here’s a guide to the parts:

Click on the image above for a larger view.

Bonus: Here’s the sketch that was the basis for the image-on-wood in the background of the first photo in this post. The wood engraving was never finished and was lost long ago.

Click on the image above for a larger view.

Written by David Kilmer

January 27, 2010 at 5:31 pm

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Sisyphus

This is a ceramic sculpture that I made a long time ago.

Ingredients:

Part myth of Sisyphus

Part Sisyphus cartoon

Part Marcel Duchamp (especially Nude Descending a Staircase)

Big part Zeno Paradox, especially Achilles and the tortoise

Part mystery, as in the mystery of life, the universe and everything

The following concept sketches and pictures are all that remain of this piece.

Click on the image above for a larger version.

Written by David Kilmer

January 26, 2010 at 8:41 pm

Haunted House?

This was our house in Tivoli: b. 1964, d. 1980.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by David Kilmer

January 21, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Favorite Quotes

Even though I call this post “Favorite Quotes,” these quotes are really  best described as examples of the detritus that my head has accumulated throughout the years and which swirls and drifts through my mind, day after day, much like the increasingly large amount of debris, left over from spent satellites and space shuttle missions, that orbits the Earth.

Ronald Reagan, 1988 Republican National Convention

St. George and the Dragonet, Stan Freberg’s parody of Dragnet

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/The_rules_of_the_game

Octave, played by Jean Renoir, in La règle du jeu (The Rules of the Game)

Abbas Kiarostami

Yi Yi (A One and a Two)

Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Shakespeare

William Goldman, Adventures in the Screen Trade

Dario Argento (watching an especially bad film?)

Charlie Chaplin

Major Amberson in The Magnificent Ambersons

Henri Langlois

Theodore Sturgeon formulating what’s become known as Sturgeon’s Law

“Bartleby the Scrivener” by Herman Melville

John Donne


John Ivan Simon

Adolfas Mekas told me this. I wish he’d have said something like, “A script is not a film,” which would have made me happy, but I have to work with what’s given.

William Blake

Paraphrasing Bill Morrison, Simpsons comics writer, at a recent Eisner Awards ceremony at San Diego Comic-Con

Guillermo Del Toro (NOT an asshole!); San Diego Comic Con 2011

Guillermo Del Toro, San Diego Comic-Con 2011

“To his coy mistress,” by Andrew Marvell

Francois Truffaut, Los Angeles, 1980

From Journey Beyond Tomorrow by Robert Sheckley

Grant Morrison in a 2011 Rolling Stone interview

Who pumps the Batmobile’s tires?

Jeff Goodman, editor for Myron Fass

Anonymous

Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy

Peter Bogdanovich and Orson Welles on the set of Catch 22

Studs Terkel

This is actually from a BBC article (click on the picture), not an Einstein quote.

Pierre Rissient

Mike Mignola

 

Melville_02

Written by David Kilmer

January 20, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Autobiographical Cards

I made these autobiographical cards in the late eighties as a prelude to an animated film that has yet to be made.

Earliest memory? Possibly Disney's Pinocchio at the Drive-In.

Dancing to Chubby Checker's "Peppermint Twist," I hit a table. The scar's still there.

The cinema was next to our apartment in Wappinger Falls, NY.

My babysistter's son had an Ideal Robot Commando which both frightened and fascinated me.

For years I remembered the drive to my grandparents' as being nothing but trees.

My first friends in Tivoli were Catherine and her brother Gregory.

I climbed the Tivoli water tower to see if my mother was coming home from work. Age? 5.

I climbed the Tivoli water tower to see if my mother was coming home from work. Age? Five.

First day of school.

First day in school.

Stomach pains kept me out of school, but the doctors were stumped.

I had speech therapy at Red Hook School through second grade.

Neighbor Topper, one year older and much bigger, terrorized me for years. The chestnuts came from a tree in the mayor's yard across the street.

Uncle Bill's cannon, that I knew only from his description, shot a variety of large corks. I wanted it to use against Topper.

Susan and I: Tivoli's trapeze artistes of the swing-set crowd. We especially liked to do our stunts near dusk when huge flocks of birds flew overhead on their way to the river cove.

Susan's brother Kenny and I, twirling together on a rope in our yard. It was a special moment that was never repeated, despite our repeated attempts.

The tree was scarred, but still lives today.

Mr. Wicks was Susan's dad. He was tired of hearing us kids bickering over the tree.

Our parents told us not to talk to each other and, even on the bus, we did not.

I missed half a year of fourth grade, diagnosed with arthritis. I exaggerated the pain.

When I returned to school in fifth grade, my best friend avoided me. Trying to find out why, he replied with a gut punch.

Alone on the playground as the other kids play football.

This image could be from just about any of my school years, but especially fifth grade.

I wanted to be Spiderman. I made a costume from old wash cloths and tried to climb the house walls.

I had next to no contact with Kim Schwamb, and just barely remember her name, but I still remember this.

Hearts, Blackjack, Spades, Canasta, Pinochle, Bridge, and a little Poker.

I was actually on the team for a few weeks. The coach explained it this way: I thought I could carry an extra man, but he insurance company said no. My dad, who played high school basketball, was there to hear this.

The Christ Complex stage.

Ninth grade, New Year's Day late night, WOR TV from New York, Citizen Kane.

This isn't really an exaggeration.

No one knew that while I was supposed to be in church, I went into the nearby woods.

This "moment of enlightenment" actually occurred while mowing the lawn.

First: my father's Disney book; then PBS' "International Animated Film Festival" with Jean Marsh.

Another "moment of enlightenment" thanks to Immanuel Kant.

Making a film frame by frame for a year really does change the way you see.

A Perseid meteor shower in August. September meant college.

Written by David Kilmer

January 19, 2010 at 11:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Andrew

Andrew, circa 1988

In the winter of 1980 I got the idea to do a film about my friend, Andrew, but I never got beyond doing a 40 minute interview. (At least, not yet, as I still hope to do the film.)

Here’s the interview. A few seconds are missing from the start, due to the age of the cassette tape, but otherwise the interview is unedited.

Besides Andrew and I, the other person who is heard briefly is his father who is still alive (in his nineties) and being cared for by Andrew.

Andrew, charcoal sketch, 1975

Wall behind the wood stove that heated the room where the interview took place, 1976

Written by David Kilmer

January 19, 2010 at 1:19 pm

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Ghost Town?

These are pictures of Tivoli, New York, circa 1980. I used a cheap Bell & Howell Super 8 camera to take one or two frames as I rode my bicycle through the town. Then, just recently, I used a digital camera to record the images off the screen of a Super 8 editor. I think the hazy image quality is appropriate. The lack of human figures makes it  resemble a ghost town, a place and time that no longer exist.

Below is a slide show of the pictures. Each picture can also be viewed individually below the slide show. The slide show has no audio, but the best music to accompany it may be Elton John’s “Funeral for a Friend,” a link to which is currently available here.

Written by David Kilmer

January 16, 2010 at 9:31 pm