{ feuilleton }

Avatar

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

Archive for January, 2016

 

Weekend links 294

napoleon.jpg

Painting by Alex Tavoularis. • There are silent films, and then there is Abel Gance’s Napoleon (1927), a five-and-a-half hour historical drama following the emperor’s life from boyhood to the invasion of Italy. The word “epic” is overused but Gance’s film demands the description: in addition to the recreation of huge battles and scenes from […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {music}, {occult}, {photography}, {politics} | 1 comment »

 


The Making of an Englishman: Emeric Pressburger

pressburger1.jpg

After Powell & Pressburger together, then Powell solo, here’s a biographical portrait of Emeric Pressburger by his grandson, Kevin MacDonald. Pressburger wrote the scripts of the films made under The Archers name, and Powell was the director, of course, but the pair always insisted on a shared credit for writing, production and direction. The Archers […]

Posted in {film}, {television} | Comments Off

 


The South Bank Show: Michael Powell

powell1.jpg

This is the other great TV documentary about The Archers, the focus being on Michael Powell alone this time. The first volume of Powell’s autobiography, A Life in Movies, was published in 1986 which prompted this episode of The South Bank Show. Powell got to direct this one so there are many playful visual moments […]

Posted in {film}, {television} | 2 comments »

 


Powell & Pressburger: A Pretty British Affair

archers1.jpg

“It’s the only thing that fulfils its promise…magic,” says Martin Scorsese, referring to a shot of an arrow thudding into its target at the beginning of a feature film. A pierced target accompanied by the words “A Production of The Archers” heralded the films made by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger from 1943 to 1957, […]

Posted in {film}, {television} | Comments Off

 


Cosmic eggs

dali1.jpg

1: The Metamorphosis of Narcissus (1937) by Salvador Dalí. 2: Geopoliticus Child Watching the Birth of the New Man (1943) by Salvador Dalí. 3: The Crack in the Cosmic Egg: Challenging Constructs of Mind and Reality (1971) by Joseph Chilton Pearce.

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {music}, {painting}, {science}, {surrealism} | 4 comments »

 


Edmund Dulac’s Tanglewood Tales

dulac23.jpg

Another Dulac I’d not seen before, and what an exceptional edition it is. Tanglewood Tales is Nathaniel Hawthorne’s retelling of Greek myths, a popular book for children that’s been through many reprints. Dulac’s edition dates from 1918, with the illustrations combining some of the stylisation of Greek art with Dulac’s own derivations from Persian miniatures. This […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {illustrators} | 2 comments »

 


Edmund Dulac’s Tempest

dulac02.jpg

This is a copy of The Tempest that I managed to miss when I was looking for illustrated editions a few years ago. When Edmund Dulac is away from his beloved (and mythical) Arabia or Persia his work tends to resemble that of Arthur Rackham, and that’s what you get in this volume from 1915, […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {illustrators}, {occult}, {theatre} | Comments Off

 


Weekend links 293

meyohas.jpg

Red Petals by Sarah Meyohas. • “For MMoB, I want it to be like a [Werner] Herzog movie, so at our concerts the people on stage aren’t necessarily people who are named. We’re trying to create an entity that is beyond music and relates visually and sonically with everything in a way that’s different.” Randall […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {music}, {occult}, {painting}, {technology} | Comments Off

 


Jumping, a film by Osamu Tezuka

jumping.jpg

Osamu Tezuka is best known as a prolific manga pioneer and the creator of Astro Boy. He also found time to direct several short animations which play with the form a little more than is allowed in big commercial productions. Copyright restrictions have been keeping these away from YouTube but Jumping (1984) is an exception. […]

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

 


Standing stones

stones07.jpg

Standing Stones (recto) (1960) by Jonathan D. Cramp. The Uffington White Horse is famously best viewed from the air which not only prompts continual speculation about its creation but also explains why there aren’t many paintings of it. White horses in British art are either the physical creatures or the much later chalk figures that […]

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

 


The Song of the White Horse by David Bedford

bedford.jpg

Many of the old TV documentaries I link to are ones I saw when first broadcast and wanted to see again, but this edition of the BBC’s Omnibus from 1978 is one I missed. The late David Bedford is a familiar name in British music: in the 1970s he was as much known for his […]

Posted in {music}, {television} | 1 comment »

 


The art of Frantisek Kobliha, 1877–1962

kobliha05.jpg

Untitled. Another unfamiliar name, Frantisek Kobliha was a Czech Symbolist whose output includes a great deal of monochrome work in a variety of media: woodcuts, lithographs and the like. This may explain why he doesn’t make the larger Symbolist studies despite the quality of his work. Among his series of prints there’s that Symbolist perennial, […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {symbolists} | 2 comments »

 


The art of Willem Arondeus, 1894–1943

arondeus06.jpg

Salomé (1916). “Your eyes are like black holes burned by torches in a Tyrian tapestry.” This marvellous Salomé design is by a Dutch artist I hadn’t heard of before, Willem Arondeus, who might have had a longer career had his life not been cut short by a Nazi firing squad in 1943. Arondeus helped with […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {gay} | 1 comment »

 


Pierrot in Turquoise, or The Looking Glass Murders

pierrot.jpg

A final Bowie post included here as much for its connections to Derek Jarman. Pierrot in Turquoise was a pantomime by Lindsay Kemp based on the characters of the Commedia dell’arte, and broadcast by Scottish Television in 1970. David Bowie is “Cloud”, a non-commedia character who provides songs while perched atop a step-ladder. The smaller […]

Posted in {gay}, {music}, {television} | 1 comment »

 


Weekend links 292

splendor.jpg

The Black Sun from Splendor Solis (1582) “attributed to the legendary figure Salomon Trismosin”. Topic B predominates this week. The Black Sun of alchemy was the first thing I thought of when the title of David Bowie’s final album was announced late last year. The Black Sun symbolises the nigredo stage of the alchemical process […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {film}, {music}, {occult}, {science fiction} | Comments Off

 


The Image, a film by Michael Armstrong

image.jpg

The image in question is a certain David Bowie making his first (non-speaking) film appearance as “The Boy”, a figure from a painting come to life. The only other character is an artist played by a young Michael Byrne, later a familiar face in many British film and TV productions. Bowie was 20 at the […]

Posted in {film}, {music} | Comments Off

 


Language of the Birds: Occult and Art

laffoley.jpg

Astrological Ouroboros (1965) by Paul Laffoley. Language of the Birds is an occult-themed art show at 80WSE, New York University, that opened this week and runs to 13 February, 2016. Curator Pam Grossman has assembled a stunning collection of work by artists, occultists, and occult-artists old and new: Kenneth Anger * Anohni * Laura Battle […]

Posted in {art}, {occult}, {painting} | Comments Off

 


Neutron designs

neutron2.jpg

The Bowie overload this week had me thinking again about Derek Jarman’s unmade science-fiction film, Neutron, an apocalyptic work that would have starred David Bowie if the finance had been forthcoming. Jarman’s description in an earlier post about the film remains tantalising: There are six published manuscripts of Neutron, which zig-zag their anti-heroes Aeon and […]

Posted in {design}, {film}, {science fiction} | Comments Off

 


Cracked Actor

cracked1.jpg

This is one of those TV documentaries that it’s tempting to think everyone must have seen by now, but if it’s over-familiar to me it’s undoubtedly new to others. Cracked Actor: A film about David Bowie was broadcast by the BBC in their Omnibus arts strand in January 1975. Director Alan Yentob followed David Bowie […]

Posted in {music}, {television} | 1 comment »

 


Strange fascination

bowie.jpg

Another single sleeve (and missing the “?” in the title). Released 22nd June, 1973. Music reinforces memory, and an enduring memory is of discussing the lyrics to Life On Mars? with a friend in the blissful summer of 1973, when the song was in the charts after being released to capitalise on Bowie’s success with […]

Posted in {music} | 5 comments »

 


Single sleeves

singles01.jpg

A septet of 7-inch single sleeves from Eastern Bloc Songs, a small but well-selected repository of sleeve art from the record labels of the Eastern Bloc. I’d looked at the album art before but had missed the singles, some of which feature more impressive designs than their 12-inch counterparts. Of special interest are designs that […]

Posted in {design}, {music}, {psychedelia}, {typography} | 1 comment »

 


Weekend links 291

brooks.jpg

Femme avec des fleurs (1912) by Romaine Brooks. • This week’s anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo murders was noted by some of those who defended the magazine last year. “I don’t write about Charlie Hebdo in France,” said Robert McLiam Wilson, “they have plenty of people who can do that. But I’ll do almost anything […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {cities}, {electronica}, {film}, {horror}, {magazines}, {music}, {painting}, {photography}, {politics}, {science fiction}, {work} | 1 comment »

 


Hollyhock House

house1.jpg

The Hollyhock House in Barnsdall Art Park was the only Frank Lloyd Wright house I got to see up close when I was in Los Angeles. The park on that occasion was the venue for the Arthurfest music festival so the house was omnipresent but was closed to visitors. After renovation the building was opened […]

Posted in {architecture} | 1 comment »

 


MMMM

batty.jpg

Post number four thousand coincides with Roy Batty’s birthday, so happy birthday, Roy. Best not wish him many happy returns… It’s also David Bowie’s birthday and album release day but he’s receiving enough attention for that already. WordPress always sends a statistics summary at the end of each year. The stats for 2015 looked like […]

Posted in {film}, {gay}, {miscellaneous}, {science fiction} | 3 comments »

 


Vintage Mishima

vintagemishima01.jpg

Penguin reprinted several volumes of Mishima in their Vintage line in 2010 with covers designed by Anna Crone. Seven of the covers are shown here although there are one or two more, not all of them available as large images. (Not for the first time I wonder why major publishers don’t make their new covers […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {gay} | Comments Off

 


The Strange Case of Yukio Mishima

mishima.jpg

This is another of those excellent television documentaries that I have imprisoned on a video tape somewhere so it was good to find on YouTube. The Strange Case of Yukio Mishima (1985) was directed by Michael MacIntyre for the BBC’s Arena arts strand. This was the year that Paul Schrader’s Mishima: A Life in Four […]

Posted in {books}, {film}, {gay}, {television} | Comments Off

 


Samarkande by EA Séguy

seguy10.jpg

Another portfolio of pochoir prints by French artist EA Séguy, Samarkande dates from around 1914 (online sources aren’t certain). The portfolio contained 20 prints of which 10 are shown here; a few more may be seen on this page. Pochoir was a stencil process popular with French artists of this period. It’s often alluded to […]

Posted in {art}, {design} | Comments Off

 


Vilmos Zsigmond, 1930–2016

vz1.jpg

McCabe & Mrs Miller (1971). Watch enough films from the 1970s and you’ll eventually run across something photographed by Vilmos Zsigmond. And if you were watching on TV, video or even DVD there’s a good chance that his subtle grading of light and shade would have been spoiled or, in low-light scenes, reduced to murk. […]

Posted in {film} | 1 comment »

 


Weekend links 290

coin

The Royal Mint celebrates 400 years of William Shakespeare with new £2 coins. The “Tragedies” design gives Britain the Gothiest coin of all time. • “I hate successful films that travel on an easy wave of ‘good taste’: for me, that is simply anti-culture.” Cinematographer Luciano Tovoli talks to Alexandra Heller-Nicholas about photographing Dario Argento’s […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {cities}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {horror}, {music}, {science}, {theatre} | 2 comments »

 


The weekend artists, 2015

hermes.jpg

Fathomless Sounding (1932) by Gertrude Hermes. This should have been the last post of the year but Ken Murphy’s film made a more fitting end. This is still the laziest post of the year, however, being a review of the artists/designers/photographers from 50 or so weekend posts. Scroll down to see what caught my attention […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {collage}, {design}, {illustrators}, {painting}, {photography}, {sculpture} | 2 comments »

 


02016

brancusi.jpg

Princess X (1916) by Constantin Brancusi. Happy new year. 02016? Read this. The Melancholy of Departure (1916) by Giorgio de Chirico. Merry-Go-Round (1916) by Mark Gertler.

Posted in {art}, {miscellaneous}, {painting} | 1 comment »

 


 


 

tracker

 


 

“feed your head”