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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.

Archive for December, 2014

 

William Heath Robinson’s Rabelais

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Ending the year with some Heath Robinson illustrations I’d not seen before, probably because their grotesque qualities set them apart from the rest of his whimsical drawings and fairy tale illustrations. Illustrated editions of Rabelais are rare owing to the coarse and scatological nature of the novels. Gustave Doré‘s robust and bloodthirsty character made him […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {fantasy}, {illustrators} | 2 comments »

 


The Talking Thrush and Other Tales of India

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British illustrator William Heath Robinson died in 1944 which means that 2015 will see his own books fall into the public domain in many countries. The books he produced during and after the First World War established his reputation as a creator of impromptu contraptions, to such a degree that the term “Heath Robinson” has […]

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The Importance of Being Oscar

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Picking up where we left off, I was thrilled to find that Micheál MacLiammóir’s one-man dramatised biography of Oscar Wilde had finally made it to YouTube. The Importance of Being Oscar was MacLiammóir’s 100-minute magnum opus, an acclaimed condensation of Wilde’s life and work first performed at the Gate Theatre, Dublin, in 1960. Hilton Edwards […]

Posted in {books}, {film}, {gay}, {television}, {theatre} | 2 comments »

 


Return to Glennascaul, a film by Hilton Edwards

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Another return, and another short ghost story. Return to Glennascaul (1951) has been presented at times as Orson Welles’ Ghost Story even though it was written and directed by Welles’ friend, Hilton Edwards. Welles is the narrator, and plays himself in the framing section. The story is a version of the old “Vanishing Hitchhiker” urban […]

Posted in {film}, {theatre} | 1 comment »

 


The Return: a ghost story

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Another obscure film, The Return (1973) isn’t a television drama, more a miniature for the cinema, and as such may have been produced as a double-feature short. Director and co-writer Sture Rydman only has one other film to his credit but the music for The Return is by film composer Marc Wilkinson while the photography […]

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To Kill a King by Alan Garner

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This is a very curious short film I’d not come across before, the final entry in Leap in the Dark, a series of half-hour supernatural dramas and documentaries broadcast by the BBC from 1973 to 1980. To Kill A King could be viewed as a supernatural piece although it’s more of a psychodrama with writer […]

Posted in {film}, {television} | 3 comments »

 


Weekend links 239

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The Crystal Gazer (or The Magic Crystal, 1904) by Gertrude Käsebier. • “I had to resort to extreme violence”: how Hipgnosis revolutionised the album sleeve. Aubrey Powell, last surviving member of the design team, talks to Joe Muggs. • Mixes of the week: Radio Belbury: Programme 14; The Conjurer’s Hexmas by SeraphicManta; Secret Mix 139 […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {comics}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {horror}, {music}, {occult}, {photography}, {politics}, {science fiction}, {technology} | 1 comment »

 


Carabosse, a film by Lawrence Jordan

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Collage animators may not be as plentiful as collage artists but this branch of filmmaking has attracted a number of heavyweight talents including Harry Smith, Jan Lenica, Walerian Borowczyk and Terry Gilliam. Lawrence Jordan worked for a time as an assistant to Joseph Cornell but he’s been making short films since the 1950s, many of […]

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MMM in IT

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“Are you your own master? Or are there forces beyond reason that shape your actions?” This full-page ad appeared in issue 72 of International Times, Jan 28, 1970. The part-work encyclopedia, Man, Myth & Magic, was launched at the best possible moment, capitalising on the late-60s’ resurgence of interest in the occult and unorthodox spirituality. […]

Posted in {magazines}, {occult} | 2 comments »

 


Donald Cammell and Kenneth Anger, 1972

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Another resurrected article. Cinema Rising was a short-lived newsprint film magazine that ran for three issues in the UK in 1972. I have a few pages from the rare first issue that was part of a batch of old underground newspapers I was given a few years ago. (The Frendz Hawkwind strip is from the […]

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Gay slang from the 1970s

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Browsing through the available back issues of Oz magazine recently I noticed a guide to gay slang which I didn’t recall seeing before. The underground magazines and newspapers of the 60s and 70s were a lot more tolerant of the nascent gay rights movement that their “straight” (ie: non-freak) counterparts. Oz magazine published pieces about […]

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Walter Ruttmann’s abstract cinema

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Histories of abstract cinema often begin with Oskar Fischinger, a filmmaker and animator who was certainly a pioneer of the form. But these four silent shorts by Walter Ruttmann (1887–1941), Lichtspiel: Opus I, II, III & IV (1921–25) predate Fischinger’s work, and also prefigure Fischinger’s own animations of swooping shapes, blooming circles and stabbing triangles. […]

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Moorcock: Faith, Hope and Anxiety

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Photo of the author by Linda Moorcock. I mentioned a few days ago that I had another new piece of work to reveal, and this is it, a poster/promotional piece for Russell Wall’s forthcoming documentary about Michael Moorcock. The main challenge with one was to create something that would give a sense of Moorcock’s extensive […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {fantasy}, {film}, {magazines}, {science fiction}, {work} | 3 comments »

 


Weekend links 238

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We Are The Water – Snow Drawings Project, Colorado (2014) by Sonja Hinrichsen with 50 volunteers. • I don’t do end-of-year lists but Dennis Cooper does. My thanks to Dennis once more for including this blog among his selections. Also there is Jonathan Glazer’s film of Under the Skin, an adaptation of Michel Faber’s novel […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {electronica}, {film}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {music}, {occult}, {photography}, {science fiction}, {typography} | 2 comments »

 


Max Ernst album covers

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The Road To Ruin (1970) by John & Beverley Martyn. Art: Un Semaine de Bonté (1934). Having already looked at cover art featuring the work of Salvador Dalí and René Magritte, a similar post for Max Ernst seemed inevitable. I did search for Ernst cover art after the Dalí post but at the time there […]

Posted in {art}, {design}, {electronica}, {music}, {painting}, {surrealism} | 10 comments »

 


Enki by Melechesh

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Another album cover, and this time the artwork is my own, being my third cover for metal band Melechesh. The album won’t be released until February but the record label, Nuclear Blast, revealed the cover earlier this week so I thought I may as well post it myself. See a larger copy here. Note that […]

Posted in {music}, {religion}, {work} | 2 comments »

 


Bomb culture

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The Atomic Mr Basie (1957) by the Count Basie Orchestra. A few more examples and this would have been part of the ongoing Design as virus thread. A recent post at MetaFilter led to this piece about the use and misuse of photos of nuclear tests. The Count Basie album above appears there, a cover […]

Posted in {design}, {music}, {photography} | 4 comments »

 


New blade

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The Men with swords thread has been rather moribund of late but I did manage to make at post at the beginning of the year. This new addition, a suggestion by Clive (thanks, Clive!), was irresistible so it can help see the year out. Don’t ask why there’s a katana on the bed, I doubt […]

Posted in {eye candy}, {gay}, {photography} | 2 comments »

 


Philippe Caza covers

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As usual, one thing leads to another. Research for yesterday’s post turned up a Caza book cover I’d not seen before. Les Miférables was published by Éric Losfeld in 1971, a year after producing Caza’s eyeball-searing psychedelic comic book Kris Kool. The author sounds like a character, a friend of André Breton who wrote a […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {comics}, {fantasy}, {illustrators}, {science fiction} | 2 comments »

 


Saga de Xam by Nicolas Devil

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Saga de Xam, a large-format comic book published by Éric Losfeld in 1967, is another example of French erotic psychedelia that remained off my radar until I got my hands on the exhibition catalogue for the Musée d’Orsay’s Art Nouveau Revival show in 2010. The glorious drawing below was used as the background for the […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {comics}, {gay}, {psychedelia}, {science fiction}, {surrealism} | 4 comments »

 


Weekend links 237

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Le Palais des Merveilles, 1907 – 1927 – 1960 by Clovis Trouille. • “Why is it OK to show a male ejaculation but not a female one? What are the qualifications of those who cobble together these rules?” Suzanne Moore on the latest batch of discriminatory restrictions against porn production in the UK. Porn laws […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {electronica}, {fantasy}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {music}, {occult}, {painting}, {photography}, {surrealism} | 4 comments »

 


December

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December (1732) by Jacob van Huysum. Paintings of December often resemble Christmas cards so this small selection is an alternative to views of snow-covered fields. John William Buxton Knight’s painting does a better job of evoking the more common damp and dreary British winter. Between Veneux and By – December Morning (1882) by Alfred Sisley. […]

Posted in {art}, {painting} | 2 comments »

 


The Captive, a film by René Laloux

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The feature films of French animator René Laloux are the closest thing to cinematic equivalents of comics magazine Métal Hurlant. Laloux’s collaboration with Roland Topor, Fantastic Planet (1973), is familiar to Anglophone audiences but fewer people are aware of Time Masters (1982) and Gandahar (1988), two more science fiction films made with Moebius and Philippe […]

Posted in {animation}, {comics}, {film}, {science fiction} | 2 comments »

 


Papillons de Nuit, a film by Raoul Servais

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From Homosurrealism to Belgio-surrealism. Papillons de Nuit (1997) is a short homage to the Surrealist painter Paul Delvaux featuring a handful of familiar Delvaux motifs including nocturnal tramcars and large-eyed, bare-breasted women. Raoul Servais had already borrowed some of Delvaux’s imagery for his feature-length fantasy, Taxandria (1994), but that film doesn’t sustain itself over its […]

Posted in {animation}, {art}, {film}, {surrealism} | 1 comment »

 


Homosurrealism

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Untitled (2012) by Brian Oldham. Jack Sanders was in touch recently about his online art showcase Homosurrealism, a gallery of homoerotics, the surreal and the occult. The fourth issue has just gone live, and the contents could just as well be described as Homo-occultism given the predominance of esoterica. Jean Cocteau and Kenneth Anger are […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {gay}, {lovecraft}, {painting}, {photography}, {work} | Comments Off

 


Jean de Bosschère’s The City Curious

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“…it’s a shame there isn’t more of [Jean de Bosschère's] idiosyncratic work at the Internet Archive,” I wrote in 2012. The reason that Bosschère’s books aren’t immediately to hand is that the Internet Archive has misspelled his name in many of their tags, not the first time that searches there are thwarted by errors or […]

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Atmospherics

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Listening to Joy Division over the weekend prompted another of those idle speculations that are immediately answered these days (so to speak…) by a few seconds of web searching. While Atmosphere was playing I’d remembered a conversation with a friend about the identity of the painting of a cowled figure that appears on the original […]

Posted in {art}, {magazines}, {music}, {painting}, {science fiction} | 4 comments »

 


 




 

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