Don't Think I've Forgotten

15 November 2014 | Permalink

This afternoon, I went to see a screening of John Pirozzi's documentary "Don't Think I've Forgotten", which tells the story of Cambodian rock'n'roll in the '60s and '70s. Through archive footage and interviews, the film does an amazing job of conveying the exuberance of the Cambodian music scene after independence, showing how the young Khmer musicians adopted Western music and adapted it to create their own style, charged with all the same energy but uniquely Cambodian. It's an intensely moving film, because even as it shows the optimism of those early years, you always know what's coming next.

The film focuses, rightly, on the music and the musicians, but it makes good use of newsreel archives and commentary by historian David Chandler to provide context. It also includes a devastatingly poignant sequence in which former US ambassador John Gunther Dean reads Sisowath Sirik Matak's famous letter.

I knew much of the music from the Cambodian Rocks compilations, and through performances by contemporary bands such as Cambodian Space Project and Dengue Fever. I knew much of the history from reading Chandler and William Shawcross. But the film gave a much fuller context for what I knew and it made the stories of the musicians vastly more real, sometimes almost unbearably so.

"Don't Think I've Forgotten" is a first-rate documentary, telling a story that is both fascinating and tragic. It's due for general release in spring 2015: go and see it.

 

Seattle

Seattle, WA, USA -- 04 August 2014 | Permalink
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A small selection of photographs from Seattle, Washington state.

 

Yakima County

Naches, WA, USA -- 02 August 2014 | Permalink
9 pictures
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A small selection of photographs from Yakima County, Washington state.

 

Flying west

Seattle, WA, USA -- 31 July 2014 | Permalink
7 pictures
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A small selection of aerial photographs of Montana and Washington.

 

Sousveillance

New York, NY, USA -- 19 July 2014 | Permalink
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"Come closer," said the cop. "Come closer. You wanna video this? Don't be shy. Come right over here."

I moved forward a few feet, suspecting a trap, making sure not to go any closer than the ten feet that is sometimes considered the magical 'safe distance' for approaching a working police officer. But of course, there is no 'safe distance'. It all depends on the mood of the moment.

Continue reading 'Sousveillance'

 

East Lyme summer

East Lyme, CT, USA -- 13 July 2014 | Permalink
5 pictures
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Photographs of animals and landscapes from East Lyme, Connecticut.

 

Mermaid Parade 2014

Brooklyn, NY, USA -- 21 June 2014 | Permalink
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Photographs from the 2014 Coney Island Mermaid Parade.

 

Pipe burst on Houston Street

New York, NY, USA -- 22 May 2014 | Permalink
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When the flood waters receded after a water main burst on Houston Street this afternoon, they left behind a large amount of sandy mud and a rather spectacular sinkhole that took a chunk out of the westbound side of the street. Houston has been snarled up by roadworks for a number of months; losing half the street is not going to improve matters.

I arrived too late to see the actual flood, but the damage it did is impressive in its own right.

 

VnV Nation

New York, NY, USA -- 11 May 2014 | Permalink
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Photographs of electronic music band VnV Nation at Bowery Ballroom, New York.

 

Easter Parade 2014

New York, NY, USA -- 20 April 2014 | Permalink
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Photographs of people in preposterous hats from New York's 2014 Easter Parade.