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  #1  
Old February 20th, 2007, 02:19 PM
traveltoad traveltoad is online now
Aaron Shrier
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Restoring analog-era sound

An interesting story on NPR on 2/19.

All Things Considered, February 19, 2007 Robert Siegel talks to Jamie Howarth about the next step in audio restoration: ridding analog-era sound of its inevitable speed variations by writing software that virtually recreates the original device on which a recording was made from the existing tape.

The sound is then digitally fed back through that machine to correct the errors due to azimuth, capstan bumps, tension in reels, etc. To say the least, it's a complex algorithm.

Pretty cool stuff.

You can listen to the story, including before and after sound bites HERE
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  #2  
Old February 20th, 2007, 05:11 PM
parantaeyang parantaeyang is offline
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I love "All Things Considered". One of my favorite programming on NPR.

Me, I was interested doing things the opposite way. Making digital music sound more analog.

Check these out. It is a tube amplifier system for iPod. I like it.
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File Type: jpg iTube-w-speakers-Set-Up-LG.jpg (16.8 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg iTube_Set-Up_W4.jpg (24.5 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg iTube-Dock-Front.jpg (10.0 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg iTube-Valve-Amp-Str.jpg (10.3 KB, 4 views)
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  #3  
Old February 21st, 2007, 10:12 PM
nosivad_bor nosivad_bor is offline
Rob Davison
 
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More NPR Love

Aaron,

I heard this as i was comming home and I got home before it aired. I was astounded at the preview and intended to check it out online and forgot all about it. I think its pretty amazing thing, though, I agree in some part with Won that I like soul of that old time warped sound.

Another NPR interview today I found interesting was the piece on poet W.H. Auden's 100th birthday today.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=7519773

you can listen to the interview by clicking the "listen" button near the title of the article.

What struck me was the part about how Lyndon Johnson used and excerpt of Auden's poem "September 1, 1939" in a political add.

I when straight into the house and looked for it on youtube. Sure enough I found the controversial political add:



That has to be one of the most BAD ASS political ads i've ever seen.

I also thought I recognized the little girl's counting sampled in the Boards of Canada song "Gyroscope" which starts about 40 seconds into the song. I'm still not sure if its her but I'd day it was at least an influence. This is an electronica song, hope you all enjoy it.

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  #4  
Old February 22nd, 2007, 10:35 AM
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Jack Quinlan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nosivad_bor
That has to be one of the most BAD ASS political ads i've ever seen.

For the United States, I agree wholeheartedly.

I think it pales in comparison to the poster art and film media of the Soviet Agitprop styled machine, but "too important to stay at home" is both haunting, stylish and powerful.
I dig it the most.

Here's a neat intro to a recent compliation of animated soviet propaganda film:


On the topic of Auden, the NPR.org article also featured his Funeral Blues poem and the operetta performance composed by Benjamin Britten.

I couldn't find a performance clip of Benjamin Britten Funeral Blues, but here's a reading in the film Four Weddings and a Funeral:

good stuff.

The subtitles really make me want to hear a reading in portuguese, because that can improve even that which was previously believed to be perfect.
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  #5  
Old February 22nd, 2007, 10:57 AM
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Jack Quinlan
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Rob,

Here is a very brief clip from the work of THE master, Sergei Eisenstein.

I really can't choose among his works, but anything and everything he did is superior and definitive so I really don't have to sweat it.

Here's Lenin's arrival at the train station from OKTOBER:


Eisenstein, mastered film when it was still in it's infancy and he didn't fuck around. He knew the power and the might of film and he didn't waste his time with trivial entertainment.
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  #6  
Old February 22nd, 2007, 10:59 AM
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Jack Quinlan
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If you know any Eisenstein you will know this, the Odessa stairs massacre from BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN:



Holy shit.

What a visionary.
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  #7  
Old February 22nd, 2007, 11:10 AM
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Jack Quinlan
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Eisentstein's Стачка or STRIKE (1925):


Sergei's work makes me feel as though film has followed the progression of modern revolvers.

It has only gone backwards.

The addition of color, sound and other technological miracles has done nothing to improve upon what this man gave us with the most rudimentary techniques.
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  #8  
Old February 22nd, 2007, 11:22 AM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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Eisenstein?





Here's the real deal:





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  #9  
Old February 22nd, 2007, 11:31 AM
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Jack Quinlan
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Riefenstahl?

Fucking pathetic in comparison.

Here's what Eisenstein had to say about the Germans in 1938 when he make Aleksandr Nevsky:






Leni had moments, but was a fucking joke compared to the mastery of Eisenstein.

Last edited by JSQ : February 22nd, 2007 at 11:34 AM.
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  #10  
Old February 22nd, 2007, 11:41 AM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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Please. That Eisenstein stuff is so base.


More Riefenstahl :



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  #11  
Old February 22nd, 2007, 11:57 AM
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Jack Quinlan
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Leni was selected by Goebbels and Hitler because they thought she was the only person who could come close to touching the mastery of Eisenstein.

They already knew what the best was and all they could hope to do was imitate it.

Leni's technical skill and use of telephoto is very good, but the mark she made was a singular instance. The body of her work is pretty much captured in Triumph of the Will and Olympiad which John posted above. Eisenstein's omnipotent catalogue is everpresent. His work dominates the history of film and no student can progress without examining it. Leni shot TOTW creating a historical account of the Nuremberg Rally. Eisenstein shot OKTOBER as a recreation of the October Revolution. Both relayed historical events, but Leni had the benefit of first hand account and footage, while Sergei could rely only upon the power he could conjur up. At best she "captures" the force of the moment whereas he "creates" it. That is what makes him the superior artist. TOTW will forever ring hollow and sinister while OKTOBER is so genuine and so forceful that it is actually used time and again as stock historical footage of an event that occured years before the film.

Furthermore, Eisentstein committed himself to a movement which would long outlive not only himself but the Thousand Year Reich which Riefenstahl glorified. Riefenstahl would spend the rest of her 101 years trying to distance herself from her own work and explaining away her role in it. She didn't even believe in what she was doing, or if he did she retracted it with all the convincing logic of a discoweb "I don't care". She was no artist.

John's love of Riefenstahl is laughable like his nazi-worship of the FG42.

You can try your best to extoll their virtues, but in the end, the careers of both were shortlived and neither of them mattered in comparison to those who truly penned history.
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  #12  
Old February 22nd, 2007, 12:49 PM
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Jack Quinlan
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Here's an account of part of the Riefenstahl hypocrisy (second letter in the right-hand column):

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Last edited by JSQ : February 22nd, 2007 at 04:52 PM.
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  #13  
Old February 22nd, 2007, 01:04 PM
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Jack Quinlan
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Here is a good essay on the enduring power and influence of Eisenstein and his revolutionary development of montage and biomechanic synthesis in film. While certainly he struggled with his own artistic development like any philosophe and idealogue he was not tainted by the direct contradiction that characterized the life and work of Riefenstahl. You will note, the essay ends with an acknowledgment of Riefenstahl's technical skill, but points to her relative insignificance.

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  #14  
Old February 22nd, 2007, 01:37 PM
Mike_Rupp Mike_Rupp is offline
Mike Rupp
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Quote:
As a propagandist, none of Eisenstein's efforts are as viscerally effective as Triumph of the Will, where Leni Riefenstahl demonstrated that many of his cinematic innovations could be put just as easily in service to fascism as to Communist liberation. In that sense, charges of formalism from his contemporaries were accurate, if ideologically misconstrued. One could say that Eisenstein was too much of an artist to make a good ideologue. His cinematic art will long outshine the work of the Nazi propagandists who learned so much from him.

None of the Eisenstein videos that you posted were able to invoke emotion the same way that Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will. When the youth were playing the drums, it gave me chills.
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  #15  
Old February 22nd, 2007, 02:11 PM
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Jack Quinlan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_Rupp
None of the Eisenstein videos that you posted were able to invoke emotion the same way that Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will. When the youth were playing the drums, it gave me chills.

Does it give you chills because of the cinematic moment or because of the ahorrent social and historical reality that you can't help but juxtapose against the purpose and design of the film?

I contend that you are haunted by the painful sacrifice of innocents that you know Riefenstahl's image contributed to and that's why you have "chills". It's unsettling.

In her day, amidst all the endless flag-waving, TOTW simply didn't elicit that response because it was seen without the dark overtones of the movements legacy. I'm guessing that if you saw similar footage centered around a movement that has proven to be less sinister, you might find it stirring, but it wouldn't give you chills.

I'm moved by the Soviet propoganda, both because I relish it's ironic logical failures and untruths, recoil at it's dangerous mythology AND because the imagery evokes a stirring emotion.

In comparison I see Riefenstahl as a Eisenstein montage knock-off which draws most of it's effect on modern viewers from being creepy.
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  #16  
Old February 22nd, 2007, 02:28 PM
Mike_Rupp Mike_Rupp is offline
Mike Rupp
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Jack, I think its a bit of both.

I watched a clip from Triumph of the will and then immediately watched Lenin's arrival at the train station. I thought Riefenstahl did a better job of building suspense before Hitler came into the scene than Eisenstein did with Lenin. Being as objective as I can, I still think the propaganda effect was better with Riefenstahl. You could definitely argue either way, but Riefenstahl is not "fucking pathetic in comparison."
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  #17  
Old February 22nd, 2007, 02:29 PM
greghirst greghirst is offline
Greg Hirst
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Jack, have you ever watched "Das Blaue Licht" or "Tiefland"?
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  #18  
Old February 22nd, 2007, 02:39 PM
parantaeyang parantaeyang is offline
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sure.....

but, who needs direction and camera work when you can do these "LIVE" with kids?



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  #19  
Old February 22nd, 2007, 03:07 PM
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Jack Quinlan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greghirst
Jack, have you ever watched "Das Blaue Licht" or "Tiefland"?


Absolutely.

Parts of Tiefland are actually on youtube, but I've never seen clips of Das Blaue Licht on the internet.

Das Blaue Licht is really just a continuation of the mountain fetish that she picked up from Arnold Franck. Unoriginal and unimpressive.

Tiefland's main claim to fame, or should I say notoriety is that she utilized Gypsies obtained from concentration camps for color as extras and then sent them back to their deaths. The fact that she began this film in 1941, continued it in 1944 and ultimately finished it in 1954 is particularly disturbing. One "might" be able to argue some sort of ignorance of the nature of the camps in 1944, but it would be a stretch. To try to plead the same innoncence when completing the film in 1954 is ludicrous. By that time Leni would have been well aware of the fate of her "extras". It's pretty disgusting that she even finished the film.
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  #20  
Old February 22nd, 2007, 03:23 PM
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Jack Quinlan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parantaeyang
sure.....

but, who needs direction and camera work when you can do these "LIVE" with kids?


Won,
Thanks for posting those clips.

I seriously love that shit. I think that while I have spent considerable time studying the more significant propoganda efforts of the 20th century, whatever emotional connection I try to extrapolate with historical context can't compare to the visceral experience of modern reality. For me North Korea is the ROSTA and Agitprop of my lifetime. The fact that it's going on right now today and people are following it is so incredibly powerful.

The fact that "The Dear Leader" fancies himself a filmmaker on the scale of Eisenstein and Riefenstahl seems laughable, but he's put out some seriously strong stuff. Of course, I can't put him with Sergei, but I think his copycat style shows he is reaching for Leni.

Predictably, it's hard to get the straight story on anything coming out of North Korea, but this film has been attributed to Kim Jong IL's cinematic efforts


I think that video is the shit.

Here is an article describing The Dear Leader's passion for film.
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  #21  
Old February 22nd, 2007, 03:36 PM
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Jack Quinlan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_Rupp
You could definitely argue either way, but Riefenstahl is not "fucking pathetic in comparison."


Oh but she is.

I feel this way because Riefenstahl is admittedly a copycat and in denial a hypocrite. Her montage and subject elevation are all mimicing Eisenstein. The political nature and purpose of her films are directed attempt by the NSDAP to copy the Soviets. Thsese qualities make her inferior as an artist, but they don't make her "pathetic".

What makes her lame in comparison to Sergei is that she is either a non-believer or she is a revisionist and an apologist. While Eisenstein was forced to write self criticisms of Old and New (also known in one version as The General Line) and Bezin Meadow he was willing to do so because of his unending commitment to the revolutionary ideals. He gave himself up for his art and his belief. Leni tried to take it all back.

That's pathetic.
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  #22  
Old February 22nd, 2007, 03:43 PM
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Jack Quinlan
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Here's a crude but interesting propoganda piece from North Korea that turned up a few years ago.


I love the basic pop punk street appeal of this clip. It reminds me of the very early ROSTA posters that were rolled out from concept to plastering within hours after receiving directives from Moscow. They were simplistic and crude, but they got the point across to the lowest common denominator.
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  #23  
Old February 22nd, 2007, 03:52 PM
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Jack Quinlan
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Someone has been watching Tag der Freiheit over in North Korea.

Riefenstahls NSDAP:




The DPRK's offering:



Maybe ALL Koreans like Riefenstahl?
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  #24  
Old February 22nd, 2007, 05:46 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
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One of my beefs with Eisensteins work is that it's largely the glorification of a degenerate culture. I daresay the time between the Russian Revolution until the downfall of communist rule was the darkest period in Western Civilization since the Dark Ages. Eisenstein's work glorifies that. Here's that Oktober again:




Look at the crowd waving their hands like apes. It's so primal. They remind me of the crowd at a rap concert or an NBA game. Such degenerates. That's not drama. It's a mob. He glorifies that.

Let's look past subject matter. I agree wholeheartedly with Mike about the drama surrounding Hitler's arrival in Triumph of the Will:




Look at the people on their toes. Look at the necks craned upward to catch a glimpse of Hitler. People are saluting; they're not waving their arms like apes. You can see and feel the love and admiration on their faces. You may say that Riefenstahl merely captured the excitement of the moment, but I cannot agree. Look at the trumpet close-up. Look at the movement of the camera through the various shots. Look at the beautiful faces she chose to close-up on. It's not just standing there and filming what's going down. It's much more than that.

And what's this stuff about Eisenstein being better because he made films of events at which he wasn't present? Please. So are you telling me that Tom Wolf is less of a writer than someone who writes fiction? Please. And of course Eisenstein's Oktober is used as historical footage of the Russian Revolution. What other footage is there?

As for your "abhorrent social and historical reality" being inextricably intertwined with Riefenstahl's work, that's true to some degree. However, I think Riefenstahl's work is much more than that. The Nazis are gone but her work remains, glorious as ever.

The drama is certainly there. The close-ups of the drums. The artful editing. The artful angles from which the footage is shot. In Olympia, the cameras were placed on rolling carts for additional effect in the running races. The shadows of the fencers seemingly move faster than the fencers themselves and add drama without being corny. The artful reverse shots of the divers don't look fake at all. Just as she chose to close-up only on beautiful German youth, she also chose to close-up only on beautiful human bodies. Her capturing of the beauty of the human form is something Eisenstein never did nor could do because it would clash with his ideology about the glory of the common man. Riefenstahl's work is much more than mere filming what is happening.

And this North Korea stuff is just horrible. The mass gymnastics scenes in the stadia are just so "more is better". They're crap. It's so lame. It's supposed to show grandeur or something. It falls way short of this:




And comparing Eisenstein's work to a Triple Lock is a joke. Eisenstein's work is so dated. It reminds me of Charlie Chaplin and the Keystone Cops. It's not timeless, the way a Triple Lock is. If we're going to compare Eisenstein's work to a pistol, here's a more accurate comparison:




Eisenstein's work is interesting only when viewed as a stage in the development of the film arts. Nothing more. In contrast, Riefenstahl's work is not dated at all. It's much more timeless than Eisenstein's work. And I'm not talking about the film quality or sound.
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  #25  
Old February 22nd, 2007, 05:56 PM
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Jack Quinlan
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There is NO more degenerate culture than Nazi Germany.

Sooner or later you're going to have to come to terms with that.
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