Monthly Archives: November 2007

The Two Animal Spirits of Mary

What would the animal series be without Mary’s favourites? So without further ado, the first blog entry by Mary Messhausen:

Growing up as a little girl in an alternative universe (Newfoundland), I used to gaze out of my frosty window to the cliff across the pond. One day I noticed little creatures fluttering about. I thought they were fairies, so I decided to have a closer look. When I reached the top of the cliff, I was surrounded by hundreds of little flying mini penguins… also known as the puffin.

The puffin stands at about 30 cm (1 foot) tall and I have a weak spot for them because they have bright clown coloured faces, their tiny flappy wings bring them all over the world and year after year they return home and breed in the same hole.

Puffins be cute

Fast forward to when I was 16. I went back to the motherland aka The Philippines. One night I was asleep in my family home when I awoke to the sound of a bird like twill. Curious to see where the sound was coming from, I strolled through the Chocolate Hills and ventured into the forest. With my trusty flashlight, I quickly found the source of this mysterious sound. High in the treetops I spotted the Mawmag, known locally as the Koboldmaki or Philippine Tarsier.

As it looked down upon me with its enormous eyes, I figured that it could fit in the palm of my hand. It was really the cutest animal I had seen since my brush with the puffin. I always wanted the people here to see this sleepy and shy monkey, so I’m going back in February to bring a bunch home to live with me in my cozy new shack.

That being said, I’m delighted to introduce you to the two animal spirits of Mary.

Mawmag be cute

Is The Quagga Coming Back?

The other day, I got mail from Bobs & Bitz. It was a spread from a weekly German newspaper about extinct animals. The lovely Beaverhausen ladies had sent it to my attention because of the animal series at produzentin.com.

As my favourite extinct animal the Tasmanian Tiger (aka Beutelwolf) was featured in the article, I thought I should feature it too. But then, I saw the quagga:

OMG, how cute: the quagga
One of only 5 existing pictures of a living quagga (source)

I already hear you saying: produzentin, are you kiddin’ us? This is just an okapi with the stripes on backwards! Or it’s a zorse! Don’t be foolin’ us, please!
Hold on, hold on, dear readers: The quagga is fo’ real. It has a close relation to the zebra, whereas the closest relative to the okapi is the giraffe. We have to get that family tree straightened out, right?

Anyways, the quagga lived in South Africa and is extinct since 1883. But this is not the end of the story. The Quagga Project aims to reproduce the quagga through back breeding of specific zebra stock. I can’t wait for the quagga to come back.

More on the quagga.

Zing

Thanks for coming out last night. Fun times.
Mary’s dress by Vanessa. Vanessa’s and my dress by Mary Messhausen.

I wish I remembered all lyrics to Gartina’s songs. Yesterday, during “Vogue For Me” she sang about how she wants to travel to Africa to adopt black African babies. At the end of the song she chanted: Madonna, we forgive you for stealing Vogue.

Mary, Vanessa, me, Luis

Gartina

Oliver

Israel

Continue reading

Roisin in Cologne

I feel very honored to have a post by my friend malo, who runs the (I would like to say: amazing) blog malorama.de:

As everybody knows, Produzentin is the leading Roisin Murphy promoter in Canada. Last Saturday night, The House of Produzentin Headquarters sent me to Roisin’s concert in Cologne, to write a little report about it.

There is no doubt that the adjective to use for any description in combination with Roisin (body shape, voice, clothes, songs, dancing style) must be “amazing”, pronounced in a very stretched and queer way. Her show was amazing! The concert started with “Cry Baby”. Roisin wore slim black trousers, of course high waist and not this old fashioned slim waist Fergie shit, and a white tight shirt that showed all of her upper body muscles including the pectoral ones (quite small if anyone should be interested).

During the concert she changed her look, adding little fashion ingredients she picked from a trashy coat tree on stage. For example, a pink top with big shoulder pads, a black biker jacket with long fringes, a black hat, mirrored sunglasses or a pink feather boa, just to name a few. Well, all the gay standards, just look in your own wardrobe.

The next songs were all from her new album. She sings so perfect and with an incredible easiness – I mean with an amazing easiness – that first I suspected her to lip sync to a playback tape because the songs sounded identical to the album. But she sang really live, that was so amazing! Roisin is also the best female dancer I’ve seen for a long time. Not in this ridiculous Beyonce style, more in a very British way, sometimes a bit masculine and sharp, really fantastic. It was so much fun to see her dancing.

She also sang some songs from her last album and I especially liked a very nice version of “Forever More” from her Moloko times. Surprisingly, I wasn’t very convinced of “Overpowered”, the last song before the encores, but maybe I just heard this song too much during the last weeks. The concert lasted nearly two hours, the audience went crazy almost all the time and I’m not getting tired to be amazingly impressed by this night.

Here’s the setlist she sang in Frankfurt on Friday, as far as I remember it’s the same as in Cologne: Cry Baby ““ You Know Me Better ““ Checkin”™ On Me ““ Dear Miami ““ Primitive ““ Sow Into You ““ Footprints ““ Pandora ““ Movie Star ““ Scarlet Ribbons ““ Forever More ““ Let Me Know ““ Overpowered ““ Tell Everybody ““ Ramalama (Bang Bang).

Here are a couple of pictures from her show in Frankfurt.

The Giraffebu

Today produzentin.com is bringing you another guest blogger in the favourite animal series, please welcome Alex W. (meet Oppebu after the jump):

When Ms Produzentin asked me for my favorite animal, I wasn”™t sure what to say. My favorite species I knew, without question, was the giraffe ““ what”™s not to love, their long necks, spotted fur, and understated attitude. My favorite creature however is my cat, Oppebu, not at all a giraffe, but also with spotted fur. Which would I choose, especially as Oppebu has problems with peoples and species from North Africa or the Middle East, the home of my beloved giraffes?

I thought I”™d do a test and put some of my giraffe memorabilia together with Oppebu, and see who came out on top?
First, here is a small sample of the giraffe paraphernalia that I decided to use as the test:

Giraffebu

Item: Giraffe three-touch lamp (broken).
Item: Giraffe toys (four plastic, one wooden, of various shapes and sizes).
Item: Giraffe pillow.
Item: Giraffe hand-puppet.
Item: Giraffe over-sized t-shirt.
Although I had left out some of my favorite giraffe broaches, reading materials, and other such stuff, I still thought it would do fine.

Continue reading

Going Shopping

Mary and I are at a department store, just strolling around. Looking at a few tops I suddenly discover a Bernhard Willhelm label on one of the sweaters. Mary and I get super excited, why do they sell Bernhard here? The sweater is really beautiful, lots of patterns and nice colours. It looks like it would fit me. I discover the price tag on the lower back: $695. That seems to be OK.
Out of curiosity, I turn the sweater inside out. By doing so it becomes obvious that the sweater is made out of two towels, just sown together at the top and the sides. Some tailoring on the sides provides fitting. Mary and I are exited by the simplicity. I try to put the sweater on, but I can’t get in. It’s too small. Someone in the back of the store yells at us: “This sweater is overpriced and ugly”. (woke up)

Half Cheese, Half Bunny

Yummy Bunny

We’re continuing with animal week at produzentin.com, here are Oliver’s most cherished creatures:

My favourite animals are cheddar bunnies. And my favourite bunny is Bernie, the Rabbit of Approval. Do I love cheddar bunnies because of Bernie, the Rabbit of Approval, or do I love Bernie because of the Cheddar Bunnies he approves? Yes and Yes! Plus I secretly identify with Bernie.

Want it: Rabbit of Approval

p.s.: My other favourite animal is the Giant Peccary, a new forest pig discovered in Brazil in 2004.

Old Compass – New Kate

“there is a world
where witches rule the northern sky
where ice bears are the bravest of warriors
and where every human is joined with an animal spirit
who is as close to them as their own human heart
this world is dominated by the majesterium
which seeks to control all humanity
and whose greatest threat is a golden compass
and the one child destined to posses it”

Obviously, this is taken from the trailer to the movie The Golden Compass. I just watched 2 min of the Daemon featurette (youtube), focusing on the animal spirits that live with every person. Nicole Kidman has a golden monkey.
Now I want my dwarf manatee to float right beside me.

Anyway, Kate Bush has recorded a new song for the soundtrack of The Golden Compass, called Lyra, named after the child that wants to posses The Golden Compass. (source)

What up, Doc Nancy?

Doc Nancy on the phone for you

After I got my PhD I was ready to enjoy the experience of a daytime job. I felt my duty upon society and started working at a film production company. At the beginning it was all fun. It gave me the chance to wear all those lovely office outfits I always dreamed of, the internet connection worked great and I didn’t have to pay for my phone calls. But after a while I found out that they wanted me to do some serious work.

Don’t get me wrong, Doc Nancy is a hard working woman and knows how to deal with the struggles of life but this office hell was just too much. Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines. Thus, I quit the job and live on unemployment benefit now. This is great because I have enough time again for another mathematical life counseling session.

Just let me know if you have any problems. No matter if they are work, family, love life or sexual issues. I can give you a mathematical answer for all of those. Just post your questions in the comments. No matter how deep your problems are, Doc Nancy can help.

Doc Nancy loves Pi

The Cutest Manatee

Manatee: Want it

While I was on vacation in Florida I took a stop at Homosassa Springs, a wildlife park where you can observe manatees (some just call them sea cows). Sadly, this was before the digital camera age and the photos are now tucked away in a storage room in Germany. Anyway, I adore manatees. And these are just a couple of reasons why:

“Manatees are gentle and slow-moving. Most of their time is spent eating, resting, and in travel. They eat aquatic plants and can consume 10-15% of their body weight daily in vegetation.” (source)

Check the manatee cam

Just recently, I found out about the dwarf manatee, which was discovered in the Brazilian Amazonas in 2002 through a skull. 2 years later, the first living dwarf manatee could be photographed. With only 130 cm in length they are the smallest sirenas. The species was named Trichechus Bernardi after the late HRH Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, founding father of the World Wide Fund.

Get your dwarf manatee fix over here.

Cutest manatee
by Marc Van Roosmalen

Okapi Bebe

Okapi Bebe
Source: Berliner Zeitung

I’m not sure if I ever told you about one of my favourite animals, the okapi. My dear friend Sabs sent me the newspaper clipping above. That reminded me on how bad I want to see an okapi baby.

Need to know facts about okapis (source, source):

  • The tongue of an okapi is long enough for the animal to wash its eyelids and clean its ears: it is one of the few mammals that can lick its own ears.
  • Until the beginning of the 20th century, okapis were known to the native people only
  • The okapi was known to the ancient Egyptians; shortly after its discovery by Europeans, an ancient carved image of the animal was discovered in Egypt. For years, Europeans in Africa had heard of an animal that they came to call ‘the African unicorn’.
  • The okapi is the symbol of cryptozoology – the search for animals that are rumoured to exist, but for which conclusive proof is missing.

Don’t you wish you had a tongue as long as an okapi tongue? You could lick some nuts off of the table with minimal motion. Evenings on the couch would never be the same.

Have a look at a long okapi tongue in action.

Okapi
I took this photo of an okapi at the Frankfurt Zoo.
Supposedly, there was a baby but it was too shy to come out. I was smad.

Berlin Alexanderplatz

Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s television miniseries Berlin Alexanderplatz is based on the Alfred Döblin classic 1929 novel of the underclass in Berlin during the Weimar Republic. Fassbinder details a mammoth portrait of a common man struggling to survive in a viciously uncommon time. It was first broadcast in Germany in 1980.

RWF had a longstanding obsession with the novel. For instance, in his 1975 movie Fox and his Friends (Faustrecht der Freiheit), the main character played by Fassbinder himself, is named after the Berlin Alexanderplatz protagonist, Franz Biberkopf (Frank Beaverhead).

Remastered in 2006, the series is finally available as a DVD box set from The Criterion Collection with English subtitles or through SZ Cinemathek in Germany.

PS1 in New York is screening the more than 15-hour epic in 14 screening rooms – one for each episode of the film through January 2008.

Further reading:

Berlin Alexanderplatz

Fassbinder on Berlin Alexanderplatz:
“Beim zweiten Lesen also wurde mir von Seite zu Seite mehr und mehr klar, staunend erst, dann mehr und mehr beängstigt, so betroffen zuletzt, daß ich beinahe gezwungen schien, Augen und Ohren zu schließen, zu verdrängen also, wurde mir klarer und klarer, daß ein riesiger Teil meiner selbst, meiner Verhaltensweisen, meiner Reaktionen, vieles eben, das ich für mich, für mich selbst gehalten hatte, nichts anderes war, als von Döblin in ‘Berlin Alexanderplatz’ Beschriebenes.
Ich hatte also, ganz einfach, unbewußt Döblins Phantasie zu meinem Leben gemacht. Und doch, es war nicht zuletzt dann doch wieder der Roman, der mir dabei half, die folgende beängstigende Krise zu überwinden und an etwas zu arbeiten, was zuletzt, wie ich hoffe, relativ sehr das werden konnte, was man eine Identität nennt, soweit das in all dem verkorksten Dreck überhaupt möglich ist.”
aus “Filme befreien den Kopf”, Essays and Arbeitsnotizen von RWF (#)