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'SOME YOYO STUFF
'
(an observation of the observations of) don van vliet

film by ANTON CORBIJN
england 1993

contains original van vliet compositions
1969 EVENING BELL piano demo 0:57 ice cream for crow 1982
early80s WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO WITH YOU? a capella 0:58 unreleased

part 1 - THIS is PART 2



WHAT THEY SAID THEMSELVES...

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ANTON CORBIJN

THE SPOTLIGHT KID
from world art #19 011098 usa

don van vliet is an elusive artist, both geographically and intellectually. the short film piece i have done on him doesn't tell you where he lives or give away too much about the 'whys',  but it does draw you closer to him and his world, without ever invading or losing a certain mystery and respect. we are all too obsessed with the capital 'why' in this world and expect answers for everything, which is a great thing where it involves companies, governments and so on messing with people's lives, but not when we deal with beauty. the subtitle for 'some yo yo stuff' is 'don van vliet - an observation of his observations'.

captain beefheart / don van vliet - anton corbijn 'some yo yo stuff' film 1993 - magazine 'world art' 011098

i love don. i knew very little about him when we first met in 1980, but after our meeting and subsequent photo shoot i went back home and started listening to his music, and soon started looking at his drawings and paintings. my respect for him grew as the years went by; we kept in touch, and i visited him and his wife jan a couple of times. these visits and the death of frank zappa were essential for me in terms of thinking about making some sort of film piece on don.

for shortly after zappa died, i was in a bookshop and realized how many books and bits of writing existed on him, and when i then went looking for anything similar on don i left the shop empty-handed. i felt that he deserved everyone's attention and as i am not a writer, i figured i could maybe put something on film with him. it took me a while, but i did finally manage to say: 'if you ever want me to make any sort of record or film about you, just let me know 'cause i would love to do that'. he said: 'yes, please', and apparently had been waiting for years for me to ask, turning away others.

it was a simple affair to make the film: his mother sue opens the movie with the photograph that i took when don and i first met, saying: 'this is don, my son', and, apart from david lynch (famous film maker - t.t.) asking him a few questions via projected film, it is all don's thoughts on various matters. some funny, some serious, but all sharp, poetic and beautiful. you really want to hear every single word he says - whether it's about paint, miles davis, an ear ('nice sculpture') or the desert.

i recorded his words separately. and then filmed him sitting in front of a film projection i had made in and around the desert and edited it all together in a way that i hoped was in keeping with his world. he supplied me with two never-used bits of music (anton doesn't seem to have checked the credits - teejo), one of which is an instrumental that i made into a one-minute music-video without don, using a mackerel instead. this was the first bit of the film i showed him, and he was rolling around with laughter, and it was after that i dared let him see the rest.

apart from showing the world at large what a unique man and artist don is, i really wanted to make it great for hím, as he is also a warm and funny guy and i do think the film brings that across.

captain beefheart / don van vliet - anton corbijn 'some yo yo stuff' film 1993 - magazine 'world art' 011098

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DON VAN VLIET

outtake from
ANTON CORBIJN if i could be a camera
q #100 010195 england

(interviewer mark ellen:) what did you think of the movie?

it's like a horror picture, a horror movie! anton is awfully good. i think he's the best i've ever seen. the fish looks cute. it's incredible. he got the timing with the expressions on the different mackerel's faces.

how did he do that?

smart! (laughs) he's réal smart!

*

notes
* as mentioned, my report dates from august 1996 - when the 'late show' still seemed to be living...
* the video stills in these pages have been taken from the 011098 magazine 'world art'
* the film also includes a picture with two young donnies



HURRAH ! HURRAH !

on august 19th 1997 the second channel of the british broadcast company showed the 'some yo yo stuff' film in / after the really stunning documentary the artist formerly known as captain beefheart.

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FINAL HURRAH & DISCOGRAPHY !

england 2000 pal video 'SOME YOYO STUFF' state ltd state 482 'waving hand' picture on back
england 2000 ntsc video
'SOME YOYO STUFF' state ltd state 482 'waving hand' picture on back

captain beefheart - 'some yo yo stuff' don van vliet by anton corbijn - front video issues

nobody knows why it lasted so long, but in february 2000 this film finally was released as an official VIDEO! 'state video' made two versions: for the pal system (most of europe, and australia among others), and the ntsc players (north-america). the box in which it comes is the same for both of the releases and features two pictures of don van vliet by anton corbijn.

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canada 2003 ntsc veedee region 1 'SOME YOYO STUFF' state ltd / mvd dr 4354 deformed front picture 'in front of painting' picture on back picture plate
england 2003 pal veedee region 2
'SOME YOYO STUFF' state ltd / mvd dr 4354 deformed front picture 'in front of painting' picture on back picture plate

captain beefheart - 'some yo yo stuff' don van vliet by anton corbijn - front dvd region 1s

three years after the vhs releases, new technologies had created an alternate sound and image carrier: the VIDEO DISC (dvd). so the film was brought out again for people who never had video players. but as if we hadn't gone mad about the three 'old' video formats that existed, the manufacturers decided to create more confusion by producing the 'movie ceedee' for séven different regions!

which means that the (ntsc) veedee which was made in canada and brought out in spring 2002 is for region 1, and the one made in england in summer is meant for region 2 (pal)....

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later re-releases:

usa 2004 ntsc veedee region 1 'SOME YOYO STUFF' rhino handmade artist ink editions (no cat.no.) in design case part of art set DON VAN VLIET * RIDING SOME KIND OF UNUSUAL SKULL SLEIGH limited numbered edition 1500 copies not sold separately manufactured in italy

captain beefheart - 'some yo yo stuff' don van vliet by anton corbijn - plate dvd 'riding some kind of unusual skull sleigh' art set
the dvd from the art set

england / usa 2005 veedee ANTON CORBIJN * the work of director ANTON CORBIJN with book with pictures and hand-written notes bonus material includes excerpt
(see complete discography)

in september 2005 a mixed bag about corbijn and his art was brought out, which mainly is a compilation of the music clips he made as well as all sorts of background information. the bonus material contains an excerpt from the 'some yoyo stuff' film. the cut and paste version lasts four and a half minute and includes the piano demo and a part of the a capella piece, the three 'dialogues' with david lynch and a few short fragments (and the complete credits!). as an extra service people looking at the region 2 veedee can activate subtitles chosen from six languages....

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[updated 170108]


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