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Naomi


Milanese tv

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The other night I happened to catch a program on the Sky Travel channel about the underground artists in Milan, Italy. It was quite a departure from Sky Travel's typical travel brochure programming - it was a cheap production consisting of nothing more than interviews with artists/photographers/musicians/djs/graffiti artists, etc. and showcasing their work. They were all asked about what they thought about Milan and its status as the fashion capitol of the world and the attitude the Milanese have towards the art community. It was very interesting, one photographer/artist was interviewed in his small flat and showed the interviewer his "kitchen in a closet", saying he didn't cook often because he couldn't afford a better kitchen in such an expensive city. He went on to talk about how ugly he thought Milan was because so much of it was destroyed in the war and rebuilt in a more modern style. Two squatters were interviewed in the old building they turned into a media centre and underground club. They spoke of how the fashion industry is the only thing in Milan that ever gains any attention, that artists and musicians are treated as though they were freaks and it's a real struggle for anyone trying to gain support for their work. "We are regarded as freaks in this city, you know, if you are in fashion and freaky you are `eccentric' and applauded, but we're just freaks." It was good to get a non-glossy account of Milan, I prefer to see a city for what it really is. Next time we go I intend to delve into it further.

I keep going to the Bitz Festival website to listen to the song about Roma. If anyone knows the name of the song, please let me know! And my god, check out the lineup for that festival (Warp, Skam, Fat Cat, Rephlex, Planet Mu, Lex, etc.)! It makes me want to cry. I wish it wasn't during our trip to America in September.

I have a thing about foreign tv. I always have to watch at least an hour of it when travelling, preferably late night when it becomes even more surreal.

Milanese tv (taken while in our hotel):























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On July 25th, 2003 05:14 pm (UTC), nomi replied:
It's certainly entertaining.
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On July 25th, 2003 10:44 am (UTC), foxbase commented:
late night italian tv
He went on to talk about how ugly he thought Milan was because so much of it was destroyed in the war and rebuilt in a more modern style.

maybe why i wasn't so impressed with this city?

i loved late night italian tv! my god is it surreal?!? their talk shows and porn (i guess you would call it) are so strange. thanks so much for posting these images! they are brilliant!
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On July 25th, 2003 06:29 pm (UTC), nomi replied:
Re: late night italian tv
I'm sure Milan isn't Florence, Prague, or Paris in terms of retaining old European charm, but I still found it to be quite beautiful in it's own way. There's a lot to be gained from the city and I am looking forward to going back to explore further and deeper.

Much of London was destroyed in the war as well which has drastically changed the skyline and now more and more modern buildings are being erected. Many films which are set in 19th century London or before are actually filmed in Prague now because it has changed so much.

Yes, Italian tv is very surreal! Some of the most surreal programs I've seen (and I thought Belgian tv was weird). :)
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On July 25th, 2003 11:41 pm (UTC), foxbase replied:
Re: late night italian tv
oooh belgian tv you make me so jealous :p

i didn't mean to downplay you liking Milan (in fact from your posts you have definitely perked my interest - i mean freaks! they use to call me that in the 80s in my hometown) i was merely making a comment of why i might not have liked the city when we visited. we had just come from the lakes when we went there too, so just imagine.
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On July 26th, 2003 03:08 am (UTC), nomi replied:
Re: late night italian tv
hey now, I love Belgium.. just not Brussels. :)

oh no, I wasn't offended or anything. I didn't take it that way. I can see how someone might not get a good first impression of the city.
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On July 25th, 2003 02:06 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
Furin TV
Being in the wacky TV biz here in LA, I am interested in what makes foreign TV seem 'foreign' to you. Is it just the language, or is it the production values, type of shows and 'talent' in them.
I too am fascinated with 'foreign' in quotes TV but cannot put my finger on exactly what it is about it. Even if I can't understand it, I will watch.

The song is by Dean Martin, called On An Evening In Roma (Sott'er Celo De Roma). The lyrics are here:
http://deanmartinlyrics.com/oaeir.htm

(what a geek I am)
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On July 25th, 2003 06:18 pm (UTC), nomi replied:
Re: Furin TV
In what part of the tv biz do you work?

It's not just the language that makes foreign tv interesting, when I first arrived in the UK from the US even UK television seemed new and exciting at the time. It has more to do with the differences, from accents, languages, humor, to even a deeper understanding of a nation's psyche. I think a country's media can tell a lot about the majority of the people living there that you couldn't understand until you actually lived there yourself. Coming from America where television is fairly conservative in nature television in European countries can be especially interesting. Then there's just the plain appeal of the weird and surreal. :)

Thank you so much for the title of that song! I wasn't expecting anyone to know that.
On July 28th, 2003 12:06 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) replied:
Re: Furin TV
I am a producer for those wacky reality shows on FOX - actually they play in about 35 countries around the world.

I agree with your take on TV. They call my shows wacky but some of the European shows are very 'out there'. Unfortunately, we do not get to see a lot of ‘everyday’ TV from other countries and I agree with you that that is where do get a feel for the country.

I am very interested in the foreign feel and what makes it so. Have you seen the film “Monsoon Wedding”? It is a very simple story but it certainly has a foreign feel to it. I am trying to capture that look and feel and do a ‘foreign‘ film made in America.
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On July 28th, 2003 06:05 pm (UTC), nomi replied:
Re: Furin TV
Those reality tv shows are entertaining, I have to admit. For me personally they're entertaining in a watching-a-car-wreck kind of morbid fascination way (yes, that can be a good thing). :)

I've noticed recently that FOX seems to be importing and adapting several British shows or setting shows in London (Banzai, Keen Eddie, a possible Hispanic Kumars at #42 and NBC and HBO with Coupling and Ali G) but they almost always seem so watered down in comparison. There seems to be a reluctance to take British programs wholly, they always have to remade or toned down for American audiences. I sometimes wonder if it's because the networks are unwilling to take chances with new foreign programs, or if the general American audiences really aren't receptive to them. With the cult popularity of older British programs like Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, Red Dwarf and Black Adder in America I would think there would also be a following for some of the modern British comedies broadcast purely, without being toned down or remade (like Men Behaving Badly, which was remade for the states and then flopped).

Anyway, sorry about going on a bit. It's just something that I ponder about occasionally.

Yes, Monsoon Wedding is one of my favorite films. Besides the obvious contrast in cultures, I'm not sure if I can put my finger on what gives it a foreign feel. Living abroad gives me a better idea of what is distinctly `American', but I'm unsure what you mean by a foreign film made in America? I hope you can elaborate on this because it sounds really interesting.
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On July 26th, 2003 09:55 am (UTC), pry commented:
Being in Italy during 9/11, we were very very thankful they carried CNN, the only English speaking channel on our hotel TV. Without that, we would have been lost. We also watched the James Bond film Goldfinger in Italian while getting drunk, that was quite entertaining.
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On July 28th, 2003 05:17 pm (UTC), nomi replied:
Movies in other languages can be very amusing, I remember watching George of the Jungle for the first time in France and despite not understanding French I don't believe any of the plot was lost on me. ;)

I saw Kama Sutra in Belgium and half the screen was taken up by the subtitles for 4 different languages.
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On August 13th, 2003 02:49 am (UTC), gulch replied:
Gill and I went to see a Hindi film in Delhi when we were there - very strange experience, although perhaps not quite as strange as when the film ended, and we left the cinema with about 1000 little Indian men and us the only foreigners, being stared at, pinched and pushed from all sides. We didn't need subtitles - the plot was fairly easy to follow without needing to know the language.
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On August 13th, 2003 04:56 am (UTC), nomi replied:
I'd love to see a Bollywood film in India, but I imagine it would be strange to be the only foreigners. I recently came across this photo essay about Bollywood that gave me an insight into what it might be like.

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On August 13th, 2003 05:56 am (UTC), gulch replied:
It was quite a strange experience and, again, not something I'd do as a lone woman - Gill got seriously groped by the crowds pressing around her, and might have fared even worse had I not been with her.

A friend of mine, David (who now lives in Hornby Island, not too far from where you're from, I think?), actually starred in a Bollywood film - well, not quite Bollywood, it wasn't filmed in Bombay but wherever it is in the South that they make lots of films (Madras?) - they film was about a Western dancing school teaching Indian dance, and they grabbed loads of tourists off the streets to play Westerners, my friend being one of them.
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On August 15th, 2003 04:14 am (UTC), nomi replied:
That's unpleasant, I have heard that the audiences are typically all male so I don't think I would feel comfortable as a lone woman there to start with. My long-time friend, Becca, traveled India alone when she was only 19 but if she ever had troubles with being sexually harassed she never told me but then I don't believe she went to see any films.

That's funny your friend got to be an extra, sounds like fun. :)
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