This is Alan Rogers page.
Alan's description of himself is:
"I have led a happy sheltered life with the love of my life. I have just turned 50 in December and can reflect back with some honesty. In my mind though I am a pure rock and roll twentysomething and sleeping in the gutter with Dylan, Kerouac, Liz Phair and Marilyn. Imagination is something I have too much of. Experience, not enough of"
After every film is released, Alan takes the time to send through a detailed de-construction of each film, bringing his eyes and history to the project.
Alan has been a long term supporter of this project, and his reviews are filled with insights, intelligence and humour, as well as his life experience.
We hope you enjoy his reviews as much as Max and I do
(photo representations of Alan may vary according to circumstances)
Missy Jubilee. 031.2 Weapons
We are all shaped by experience. Sometimes it is the immediate reactions to the sound of a poem/lyric/song, sometimes it is the slow realisation of a relationship building up/breaking down.
I have been told that the ego competes with the soul for supremacy. In the real-time movie that is our existence, we are the main actors, we have the lead part, so deserve the best dressing room and the occasional party favours. We do not mean to be mean. We just are, It goes with the territory. All that we have, we deserve. Want not need. Greed is good, or so it is said.
Personally though; I do not buy it. I cannot subscribe to the notion that I am worth more to this world than nearly everyone else I meet. I stumble around my nondescript existence, no different to any other commuter on the Central Line (tube); packed in with the coughing, spluttering, tinny earbud singing, masses. Off to work with the unimpressed and dim witted, to cajole and discombobulate (did you see what I did there?) my colleagues with my ideas. But with the nagging doubt that it is they not me that has the lead role, and that I am merely an 'extra' on this soundstage.
So imagine what it is like when an extra like me views a real artist through the window.
If you had no sound or words to your video's it would be different; I would stand like a schoolboy across the road looking in on you watching you undress, or dress, or even just walk about taking it all in. It would be voyeuristic and joyful to my juvenile mind. I would be scared of getting caught, of you suddenly spotting me and slamming the curtains shut. Or worse.
But you add words and a narrative. Now it is more like watching a foreign film, I am in a sticky floored cinema, watching a film where the actor frequently disrobes and the eyes strain to keep reading without scooping in the visual feast. The words come and go too quickly to take it all in.
But more. You add music. Now there is a bombardment of the senses. A Cirque du Soleil magashow of lights, sound and acrobatics (and in the case of GWB and TB, the occasional clown).
But there is more. These are not mixtapes of my youth. This is not the cassette tape I made for my wife when I was 18; a playlist of songs I poured my heart into and most of which she had never heard of (or as it turned out, even liked). This is a mash-up of media soundbites and music chosen by collaborators and experts in their field. This is soul tearing melodies and dancebeating sequencing that synchronises the heart and sets your watch to missytime.
But there is even more. The story unfolds about others, about situations, about politicians and artists. About Poets and Songwriters. About influences and influencing, about sex and drugs and rock and roll. I am lost.
I will not compete with your words or your ideas. I will remain puzzled by some, and applaud others. Simply said; I am a fan. You can do no wrong. I have had the embarrassing sudden realisation that I have continued my feedback of your videos beyond their usefulness. Carried on into something more personal to me. I am not a confidante, I am a fan. A very long distance fan. I had (and I confess have even done so here a bit) added some of my life to the words. That was wrong of me. We bask in the light you shine.
Missy Jubilee. .031.1 Requiem. Long version
This is without a doubt your most accomplished work yet. I watched it as soon as I saw it, then again and again. It needs watching several times, like a lot of your videos. Once is never enough.
Part one. Who. Who you are, exposition as you so neatly put it.
Gillian Welch - Revelator, just lovely. so sad and bewitching. So right for the atmosphere of a requiem.
Excuse the mess in my mind, I am renovating some memories - this is how the Missy I have created in my head talks all the time. Now I have got to figure out if I can continue - this is not the Missy I created for myself and I am scared of this one.
The 'no one would die for you' quote, not sure I get the gist of what you are trying to say. I have thought long and hard about it from a selfish perspective and I would definitely die for my wife. I hope it never comes to that but I would fight to the death for my family if they were ever threatened. I am not sure anyone would die for me, but I would not want them to. See what I mean about me being selfish?
Did you make the George Bush/Imagine/walk on the wild side video/audio link? That is beyond excellent. So good I would have to invent a word for it but it would only sound cheesy if I did.
Fear of failing. Fear of not being good enough? - now you have lost me completely. You could fill the next 220 films with stories of drug addiction and stories of inspirational people in your life or people who have just been idiotic or nasty and it will never grow old. You have created 20 very individual video's that are starting to look like the best thing Vimeo has ever hosted. You state that the first 30 was just an introduction. Well that was some introduction girl.
If these videos are to be your confessional, then never apologise, never fear, never let negative feedback concern you or modify your behaviour. For every dozen fans, there will be 11 good women and men out there and one asshole who thinks it is clever to contradict or tease or goad. Most of the 11 fans never speak up or write to you because they do not think they have to, or think that by speaking up and praising it will be misinterpreted. I have feared that too, as you have seen in my previous emails. Believe me your work is loved. Even the dark deep stuff.
I get the feeling the run of videos are therapeutic in some kind of cathartic confessional way. Of course the term 'confessional' sounds too juicy, too titiillating. What you choose to reveal to us, and what you decide not to is not in question. We all have secrets, we all have pasts. But the past is just that; the past. We all deal with the highs and lows differently. There will be a price to pay. This is geo-polotics not couples therapy. It is intensely personal but strangely familiar.
Of course financially I also feel you could turn this into a subscription based service. Everyone has to eat, but there is a juxtaposition. Will people pay to hear a confessional? I will (if I can afford to). Does that even make sense? I am rambling. ignore me.
I am currently listening to an audiobook by Ekhart Tolle - The art of presence (Ekhart seems to be a kind of Danish Zen Buddhist and the audiobook are the lectures he gives at his 'retreat'). I listen to a chapter every Sunday morning. Here are some of his words that struck true with me last week:
"Most humans are noisy minds. It is very challenging to meet another human because they do not know who they are. They think they are their story and they think they need this and that to fulfil themselves. And they fear all kinds of things. And they interpret you through the eyes of their conditioning."
"So you should meet human beings without past. Not that you cannot remember certain things they did, but not to bring the past as a basic intracting principle into the now."
Part Two. Where. Where do your inspirations come from?
Charlie Bukowski again. Lyrical. Proving me wrong. Again. It's ok. I am used to being wrong. Nice touch putting the credits here too.
Techno Viking. Norse God Vs Missy Dance off. Missy Wins every time despite your protestations. Viking needs to lose his shorts for it to be a fair contest, no?
Slight reprise of Revelator made me stop and buy the album on iTunes. You should get royalties.
Why is there such a link between good writing and alcoholism? I mean I love Dylan Thomas (Under Milk Wood is other worldly in its lyrical prose in my humble opinion) - Alcoholic. Henry Miller. Another drunk that writes like he owns the language and we are just borrowing the words.I could go on. I like a drink. Warm English ale preferably. But no way does it enhance my thinking. I just do not understand.
And troubled pasts. This is your story, and you have confessed to some past problems and issues. But rare is the family that has had none. I too had a step father that was big on corporeal punishment. Enough said. Never dwell on the painful past too much.
Happy Happy Joy Joy. As said all life is impermanent. I have no fear of death. Nor do I consider what comes after. I had an operation recently and experienced general anaesthetic. I assume it to be like that. Except for the waking up in terrible pain part.
Part Three: Where? Tin Can Alley.
In London we have Tin Pan Alley (is that where you took the name from?). I work round the corner. Dumb City, no bloody history. Except of course we have a little (I was being a little sarcastic - Pintrest has some truisms; there really should be a sarcastic font). And every City in every State in every Country has blood on its hands if you dig deep enough.
Your observations on Motzart and his ruminations whilst ill and composing the work are troublesome. Motzart may well have been ill and predicting his own demise, but that is not unusual. If he had recovered it would still be a good story though.
My brain has too many tabs open. My macbook fan kills the battery when that happens.
Goodnight. Amen. Don't try.
Missy Jubilee. 033. Frank
Frank Moore. Yes I remember stumbling around the interweb one slightly tipsy night a few years ago, elbowing my way into websites and back out again until I fell into Franks. It was like a big top experience with sideshows and messages. Intrigued I followed some links ("ooh I like the name 'shamans den'") and watched some footage of Frank sitting in his wheelchair directing some sex play in front of him. I was unsure what to make of it to be honest, it felt a bit like I had popped into the secret location of a off grid cult (have you ever watched Martha, Marcy May, Marlene?). I clearly did not 'get' it. I was, to be honest, slightly creeped out. I made my silent apologies and edged out backwards. It was not Frank's disability that put me off, I have known plenty of disabled people. I guess I perhaps just cannot make the mental leap into eroticism from that standpoint; it felt too 'clicky', too abstract, for my pre-conditioned expectations of what I perceive to be erotic.
When I started following your journey it was because I had started using Vimeo and had been warmed (if that is the word) up by '030' by The Good The Bad (Uncut) and wanted more so started nosing around the site. I found you and because the music was edgy and well mixed, and there you were strutting your sunkissed, frankly gorgeous bod to a narrative (and who doesn't like a good story) I was hooked. so started a journey that has turned more cerebral than I initially expected, but one of which I am very grateful for. (as an aside have you seen Calvato's 'Lucid Dreams' on Vimeo?...omg). Anyway, I want to be more open minded, and this is your lesson to me at the moment; Stop, look, learn, accept, roll with it.
On your website I noticed a link to Frank Moore's site and it rang a bell so I went with it with new (and hopefully more 'open') eyes. There was the website as I remembered it, but with a sad message saying Frank had passed. I remember writing to you at the time saying that it was sad we had lost both Reed and Moore as clearly they were both influences on you, and therefore are secondary influences on me. But I confess Frank was not on my radar like he was yours. I also said something along the lines of you are entering stage right as they exit stage left. Though, If I am honest, I prefer your work to both.
I think the narrative is the element missing in Frank's work to me. They stand as concepts and performances, but I do not get the full interplay of the characters. By the time I had first seen Frank (on that wine fuelled quest around the interweb many nights ago) he was struggling to make himself understood. Looking at his Vimeo channel today; the last few videos he seemed more of a prop (albeit a very willing one) to performances being carried out around him. What creative input he has given to these performances is missing to me, although I suspect if you know his work and are influenced by it then you would tell me it is all his work and that the performances are his ideas being put into practice?
Anyways, as always girl you have created a beautiful tribute in words that vibrate in their honesty.
"Basquiat Pretentions: - leapt out at me. I had never heard of him. Looked him up now of course, pretentious? moi? I guess New York had Reed, London has Bowie. New York had Basquiat, London has Banksy. There are always two sith' a master and an apprentice'.
Bukowski is a fine poet indeed; however I like my poetry to be more lyrical, and here is one I love on the current subject of 'warm impermanence':
Never hides your broken bones
And I don't know why
You want to try
It's plain to see you're on your own
Oh, I ain't blind, no
Some folks are crazy
Others walk that borderline
Watch what you're doing
Taking downs to get off to sleep
And ups to start you on your way
After a while they'll change your style
I see it happening every day
Oh spare your heart
Everything put together
Sooner or later falls apart
There's nothing to it, nothing to it
And you can cry
You can lie
For all the good it'll do you
You can die
But when It's done
And the police come, and they lay you down for dead
Just remember what I said
Paul Simon 1972
Of course Bukowski is more Dylan than Simon, but I seem to gravitate towards the warm crocheted duvet of Simon's work than the hard rain soaked pavement of Dylans even though I love them both. Lay Lady Lay moves me to tears in its simplistic honesty.
"And Sex Certainly Isn't Neat - Well Mine Isn't" - Sex suffers linguistically. It is used as a noun and a verb. You mean verb; and I agree. If it is not messy, awkward, and at times uncomfortable, you are not doing it properly. Or enough.
"Like an idea in a straight jacket" - This is a great analogy that invokes Moores physical condition whilst carrying the narrative into the psychological, then political.
"And this is what mainstream society does, all day long, every day, blink, a lot, while saying what the fuck?" - Think me a couple of years ago. Yes that was me. Maybe still is me. But Socrates said 'the unexamined life is not worth living': I have to challenge even the alternative viewpoint, even if it is so off the chart 'out there' that only 5 people in the world understand it.
"You got the look and smell of a Houdini about you - I couldn't restrain that homeboy either" - Genius. You wrap the tale of affliction that Moore endured and note the canon of his work outstrips a perceived expectation...
The bit about you hiding your face is interesting. I noted the fact in the early days. We are animals that look first for the eyes (before surreptitiously checking out other parts of the body).
I draw a bit. My life would have turned out very different if we had had money, but I had to go to work at 16. Not art college which I yearned to do. Recently I decided to go to adult art class with my sister, and the first night we had a life model; a lovely girl of about 19 or 20, who the lecturer made stand right in front of my desk. As it was my first day, I was told to only sketch her face in pencil. My eyes had to travel up and down that body from paper to face without stopping at her large breasts, flat tummy, lightly furred pussy or shapely legs at all. It was very hard. I managed it, I think. I was left with a quite intense looking drawing of her face. She was looking into my eyes the whole time. I tell this story to emphasise the fact I know that you know that I know that you know that society has preconditioned most of us to find it hard not to stare at nakedness. The face is king until the clothes come off, then you need a sign saying 'hey! the face is up here!' round your neck.
But nakedness is not porn. Not even close. Showing your face was a brave move though and I understand your misgivings. The anonymity must have been comforting. You do not have a silly face. It is a rather beautiful one. Look after it. Wear sunscreen.
I chatted to the model at break time and she told me that she used to model for a photography class too but stopped after the lecturer had told her to put her hands on her head then jump around like a lunatic whilst they took photographs of her bouncing breasts. She refused saying that she was there to model not to pander to some perceived male fantasy. Bingo. She wasn't. She was prepared to shed her clothes. Be posed in an all male testerone fuelled room, but was not prepared to pander to any freakiness. She wasn't adventurous or enlightened, but I fully understand her decision. It is one that you have pointed out before; society has drilled into her, but It is also her right to set her own limits.
My Art class was more like a doctors waiting room than the erotic shutter snap of a life photography class, mostly ladies and gay men painting fruit. But I loved the life classes as a glimpse into that 'forbidden journey' of the free and expected ogle at the body. What a pervert I am. Or is it pervart?
Your conversation with God (Freeman is God, whoever cast him in Bruce Almighty was Genius) made me smile.
As a thought provoking tribute you are bang on girl. This is a statement. A reference in your chapter to the bibliography of experience.
I have asked you to forgive my naivety before. I have led a happy sheltered life with the love of my life. I have just turned 50 in December and can reflect back with some honesty. In my mind though I am a pure rock and roll twentysomething and sleeping in the gutter with Dylan, Kerouac, Liz Phair and Marilyn. Imagination is something I have too much of. Experience, not enough of.
Which is why I thirst for your shared knowledge.
With Kindest Wishes,