Conceptualist Films
Ideas in Images

Casablanca as Filmic Prophecy for Today February 8, 2018

The dream of escaping oppression is no less real now than it was during WWII. “Casablanca,” one of our most beloved films, is still very real and relevant today, offering us a film that combined a modern romance with fighting the Nazi regime for a new start in the free world. Taking a look at his own personal history in Communist Cuba, and the stories of the aspiring actors “Americanizing” their immigrant names to further their careers post -wartime, Francisco takes us down a creative road (in Hollywood), as the process of creating films adapts and grows through the decades.

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Categories: Media and Meaning

The Despite Factor February 5, 2018

As we close out January, Francisco has a podcast to enjoy –
The Despite Factor

How often are we defeated by obstacles? In 35 incantatory minutes, Francisco makes a case for redefining challenges as much less than they seem, using as context the prodigiously difficult life of artist Max Ernst.

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Categories: Media and Meaning

On Morrissey and the End of the 1980’s January 24, 2018

At the end of the 1980’s, Reaganism in the U.S. and Thatcherism in the U.K. left young people with a sense of unusual vulnerability and loss. Morrissey and The Smiths gave the world the most serious and honest reflection of that alienation. Enjoy this new episode inside the Mind of Francisco Ricardo.

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Categories: Media and Meaning

Radio Weekend! November 17, 2017

Hello! We’re at the weekend, and I’m happy to report that Francisco will be LIVE on the radio on Sunday, 19 November, discussing social media with Roshini Rajkumar on WCCO radio. Listen on at 3.05pm Eastern time. Have a wonderful and safe weekend.

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Categories: Media and Meaning

Karl Lagerfeld interviews Karl Lagerfeld November 9, 2017

In the unrecognized genre of self-interview, artists have long been revealing a trove of personal biases about how their work relates to their identity. This continues my work on reflective aesthetics – not merely art that is self-referencing but which probes itself in a way that reveals something not previously seen by outside inquiry.

Karl actually tests himself on himself, in a bit of witty theatrics showing the need to reconcile the ego with the internal superego, pretense against essence:

I have the vision of me in front of me,
but I would like you to describe you,
and I will tell you if you are really that way.

And as he is examining his double, I think of how the world of fashion is one enormous, fascination projection of Lacan’s mirror stage, and why the search for visual fulfillment in this mode of self-expression can never be complete (see Lacan’s classic essay, “The Mirror Stage”).

Lacan, from “The Mirror Stage”, p. 508.

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Categories: Media and Meaning

Beyond Hashtag Culture September 27, 2017

Francisco has been heard on hundreds of radio stations (e.g., WTOP FM, Washington, DC; KOGO 600 AM, San Diego) speaking about a darker side of social media, namely, how it creates an environment reducing language and thought, how it encourages the “follower” phenomenon aggravated by the need for users to seek excessive approval, and how it makes users oriented toward and sometimes obsessed with others, including celebrities, rather focusing on themselves and their own thoughts. He addresses solutions to this in his newest book, “Beyond Hashtag Culture” due out in the next month.

If you would like to comment on this cultural phenomenon, or have any questions, or would like information on how to purchase the book, please enter information below along with your email and we will reply promptly. Thank you.


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Categories: Media and Meaning

Mirror Deal September 9, 2017

Corrected: Hello and Happy weekend! To those of you in the path of the current rash of hurricanes near the Caribbean an the U.S., please take all necessary precautions to be safe.

In today’s web show, Francisco reads us a letter from an old friend who finds himself in some artistically murky waters, trying to help himself and a friend. Enjoy!

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Categories: Media and Meaning

TBT March 16, 2017

Hello! I know it’s supposed to be Throwback Thursday, but I prefer Thoughtful Thursday, and Francisco playing guitar in the early morning is just the thing to start or end one’s day. Enjoy!

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Categories: Media and Meaning

To Make Your Mark August 30, 2016

Happy Media Monday on Tuesday! Today’s film is about art. What would you risk to make the art you want to create? Being ridiculed instead of recognized? Wondering if anyone will ever see in your art what you see in it, rather than enjoying the fruits of your labor while you are still alive? Shot on a blustery day in Copley Square, Boston, MA, Francisco tackles the question most artists grapple with in pursuing their passion. Enjoy!

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Adding and Subtracting to Find the Singular Within February 10, 2016

Welcome to Wordsmithing Wednesday! I’ll try to do some smithing, anyway. I’m very excited to announce the release of Francisco’s third album, A Singular Within. This time, his creative talents have yielded a gorgeous meditative album, more quiet and peaceful than the first two albums. Adding and Subtracting focuses your energy on whatever it is you’re doing – studying, working, driving – you name it. Groove Morphisms will have you Grooving to a more complex beat than you’ll find at any club. A Singular Within, however, will invite you into its waves of music – at times delicate; at others, haunting. Every track is distinctive, and I’d like to share one with you now. This is Kaivalia – have a listen on Soundcloud by clicking on the album cover:
FJR_SingularWithin_FrontCover 1400x1400
and buy it here:

The album is available digitally by the track or the album:

Physical CDs are on the way,but owing to the time constraints of a CD, we’ve had to remove two of the tracks. The Call and Till Then are only available digitally. Perhaps they’ll pop up on another album? Enjoy!

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Categories: Media and Meaning