When Saints Go Machine is a Danish band with an unique and international sound – that much I have learned in the past couple of weeks. In an attempt to keep up with everything one is inevitably doomed to miss out on great things, and admittedly I haven’t listened much to WSGM before. So I was quite curious to hear what they had to offer at the one-off concert CPH:DOX had arranged in collaboration with The Royal Danish Playhouse, Saturday 10th of Nov. Re-using the impressive three-level scenography created by Christian Friedländer for an ongoing play based on The Possessed (or Demons) by Fyodor Dostoyevsky – made for a visually breathtaking backdrop. And as for a band consisting of four rather scawny looking boys, they had absolutely no problem lifting the wait of a big room full of expectations. Their insisting energy led by lead singer Nikolaj Manuel Vonsild’s mesmerizing voice (somewhat similar to Antony Hegarty’s from Antony and the Johnsons), butterfly-effected from the stage, making people bend over backwards in their seats. They are truly a good live band, so if ever you get the chance – do youself a favor and go see them. Enough said, let the music speak for itself:
When Saints Go Machine „Mannequin“ Official Video from When Saints Go Machine
Here a small snippet from the concert I recorded with my phone:
The cover from their latest album release: Infinity Pool
Nan Goldin has a special place in my heart. I got to know her work when I in 2004 studied in London at Middlesex University. Tucked away in the library corner I sat for hours gazing at the intimate, intense and vibrantly colorful night-portrayls of her life and loved ones. I was in awe of how no tragedy or personal failure was too private for her to share. The way in which she seems to stand by her every choice in life, the brutal honesty in documenting how she’s been abused, been hurt and humilated, but also celebrated life with every fiber in her body. And experienced love, equally as uncompromising, as she has felt loss. To me she embodies integrety in her own completely anarchistic way. I had absolutely no money at the time, and was inches from stealing the book. But the better half in me kindly reminded, that if I did that, then someone else wouldn’t have the same mindblowing experience. So I coughed up some pennies, took a couple of photocopies, went home and hung them in my room.
When I saw CPH:DOX13 had the documentary ‚Nan Goldin – I Remember Your Face‘ on the program, needless to say I was very excited. And even if the documentary is a fairly small story, it’s a straight up pleasure to walk down memory lane with Nan Goldin and all her old flames (she only falls in love with gay men), in Paris and Berlin where she also lived for a long time. It always surprises me, how a patron of the night like her, whom surely has done as much drugs as Ozzy Osborne, still can capture riddles of life and make observations that are so spot on.
Whether the documentary will hit a broader distribution and many theaters I kind of doubt. But fortunately because Nan Goldin is a succesful, contemporary artist, I think a lot of museums will have it on DVD. And also the tv-culture channels around the world hopefully will broadcast it eventually.
Here is the trailer:
Older photos taken by Nan Goldin
Mini bio: Nancy „Nan“ Goldin, was born 1953 in Washington D.C., and grew up in Boston Massachusetts to middle class Jewish parents. In 1965, Nan’s older sister Barbara Holly committed suicide 18 years old. The loss of her sister had a tremendous effect on Nan and later the course of her work. In the late 70’s she moved to NYC and started photographing the Bowery’s hard-drug subculture and gay/drag scene.
Pine Ridge was one of the first documentaries I saw at this years Cph:Dox film festival. I deliberately never watch the trailers first, because I don’t want to have any presumptions, just an open unbiased mind. That way I find the movie (or documentary) has a much stronger impact. When looking at the trailer for Pine Ridge, it seems that Swedish director Anna Eborn, thinks a bit the same way. The Pine Ridge trailer reveals very little about what awaits you as viewer.
Personally I tend to romanticize the epic story about the Native Americans, probably because I’ve seen to many Hollywood productions, so when I saw there was a documentary on the Cph:Dox program, about the Pine Ridge reservation, I knew I had to see it. I am so curious to know more, and very little information is available about what life is really like in the reservations in America. Even though the story about the Native Americans is far from over, it already shows signs that it might not have a happy end. Rather than being a traditionally build documentary, fact driven and with a plot-oriented narrative, it’s highly poetic, slow-paced and somehow quite uninformative. In the beginning I was a little dissapointed by that, I wanted to know more about them, get to know them. But Anna Aborn has succeeded in making a documenatry that stays true to, and at eye level with, the young people that she depicts. By just hanging out with them in the present, the past becomes irrelevant. It doesn’t matter how old they are, where their parents are, why their teeth are broken, clothes dirty, what their addictions or diagnoses might be. But it’s also a little disheartning, because all of those questions would have been relevant. While biking home late that night, I couldn’t forget their faces, I’ve never seen faces like that. So unforgettably beautiful, but also with such lost looking eyes.
Last week CPH:DOX13 took over the entire city with an array of documentary screenings, Q & A’s, concerts, seminars and conferences. It’s been a blast to cover this unique and very generous festival for This is Jane Wayne, and now it’s finally time to process the many impressions and type them down in here. Over the next days, one after the other, I’ll introduce you to the documentaries (and concerts) that made my mind travel and in some cases left a lasting imprint on my memory.