Czech film posters


I wouldn’t be surprised if these have been linked all over but I hadn’t come across this site before, Czech posters from the Cold War period when promotional material for Hollywood films was home-produced. This makes for some surprising results as with the psychedelic confection for Dumbo shown above. Elsewhere there’s a Piranesian collage for Raiders of the Lost Ark, a peculiar mangling of Richard Amsel’s poster for Hello Dolly, something for Death in Venice which seems to have nothing whatever to do with the film, and plenty of good solid design such as this piece for Pasolini’s Oedipus Rex.

In a similar vein there’s the extensive Polish Posters site which features some really great work from artists like Franciszek Starowieyski.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The illustrators archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
The poster art of Richard Amsel
Bollywood posters
Lussuria, Invidia, Superbia
The poster art of Bob Peak
A premonition of Premonition
Perfume: the art of scent
Metropolis posters
Film noir posters
Czech book covers

The art of Nebojsa Zdravkovic


Windy Day.

More of Zdravkovic’s beautifully-coloured paintings at Miss Magnolia Thunderpussy‘s Flickr pages while the Adonis Art Gallery, London, has originals for sale.

Nebojsa Zdravkovic was born in Belgrade in 1959, he trained in the best art schools and graduated with a Masters Degree. He is now a member of the Association of Serbian Fine Artists.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The gay artists archive

Mary Ellen Bute: Films 1934–1957


Mary Ellen Bute.

Last week I noted the appearance at Ubuweb of Mary Ellen Bute’s little-seen Passages from James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. News comes this week of an exhibition of her abstract films at sketch, London.

sketch presents the first gallery survey exhibition of abstract film by Mary Ellen Bute (b. Houston, Texas 1906, d. 1983).

From 1934–1957 Mary Ellen Bute made fourteen short films pioneering techniques with light, sound and the moving image. Her work involved collaborating with artists, musicians, inventors and others who adopted a scientific experimental approach to creating sound and optical effects. In addition to sampling hand processes such as drawing and painting directly on film the work features imagery created automatically by a custom-built, cathode-ray oscilloscope. She can one of the first woman artists to experiment with the medium but unlike contemporaries Hans Richter (b. 1888), Len Lye (b. 1901) and Oskar Fischinger (b. 1900) her work remains largely unknown. This exhibition brings together a complete chronology of her abstract films, most of which have never been shown in Britain and for the first time will present her work as a multi-screen installation using sketch’s twelve projectors. This exhibition has been curated by Michelle Cotton who has included Bute’s work in survey of artist film distributed by the Independent Cinema Office. Essentials: Modernity will be released nationwide later this year.

A publication featuring essays and previously unpublished material will be published by ALMANAC to be launched in September 2008. ALMANAC is curatorial studio and independent imprint run by Andres Bonacina, Victoria Brooks, James Lambert & Anne Low.

The exhibition runs from 26 July to 13 September, 2008.


Synchromy No. 4: Escape.

For those of us not in London, there’s always YouTube which has a small selection of Ms Bute’s work and in decent quality for once. The two later colour films are especially worth watching; Tarantella was a collaboration with Norman McLaren while Synchromy No. 4 used Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor two years before Disney’s similar sequence in Fantasia.

Mary Ellen Bute on YouTube:
Rhythm in Light (1934)
Dada (1936)
Synchromy No. 4: Escape (1938)
Tarantella (1940)

Previously on { feuilleton }
Passages from James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake
Norman McLaren
John Whitney’s Catalog
Arabesque by John Whitney
Moonlight in Glory
Jordan Belson on DVD
Ten films by Oskar Fischinger
Lapis by James Whitney
Expanded Cinema by Gene Youngblood

Word games


Wordle is a Java-based web toy which generates random arrangements of words from any text input. This is the result after pasting in the opening of the “Sirens” chapter of Joyce’s Ulysses and playing around with the colour and font settings. Fun, but as far as web-based toys go I prefer the abstractions of Bomomo.

While we’re on the subject of word-scrambling, Weird Tales magazine has announced a writing contest: write a story— 500 words or less—based on a spam headline you’ve received. The spam waiting to be purged in my trash folder doesn’t offer much in the way of inspiration: “Paris Hilton charges for pussy”, “Tyra to go undercover ass a man iin a rapper’s posse”. More interesting is the recent comment spam I received (none of which you ever see here, thanks to Akismet), a funny conflation of Bible quotes, porn links and stray words from a novel. Once the links are removed, all the text runs together and the result looks like this:

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