Weekend links 433

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Cover art for Six Correlations, a solo album by Emptyset’s James Ginzburg which is released later this month. Photo by Clayton Welham.

• “Every single leather S&M club in London was raided by the police at least once, but they couldn’t get any convictions because juries wouldn’t convict us.” Ed Siddons on the death of London’s gay leather scene.

• I’ve been listening to a lot of Stereolab this week so this post from Dangerous Minds last year was useful: “The intriguing origins of ‘Cliff,’ the cartoon character that’s all over Stereolab’s early album art”.

• Available for pre-order: Performance – The Making of a Classic, a book by Jay Glennie celebrating the 50th anniversary of Donald Cammell & Nicolas Roeg’s cult feature film.

• Out later this month from Strange Attractor: The Haunted Writings of Lionel Johnson, the Decadent Era’s Dark Angel, edited by Nina Antonia.

• Mixes of the week: Rosemary Hill – an Autumn Autobiography by cafekaput, and Secret Thirteen Mix 267 by Drew McDowall.

The top 100 albums of The Quietus’ existence, as picked by tQ’s writers.

RC Harvey on the 50th anniversary of (American) underground comix.

• At Haute Macabre: An enigmatic baroness and her collection of skulls.

Miyu Kojima creates miniature replicas of lonely deaths.

Scratches in Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Richard Thompson’s favourite albums.

Wrong Airport Ghost by Sam Slater.

Mark Valentine’s 3 Wyrd Things.

• 4/4 In Leather (1981) by Eurythmics | The Girl With The Patent Leather Face (1981) by Soft Cell | Leather Bound (1982) by Patrick Cowley

Ron Hays Music Image: Odyssey

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More of an oddity than an odyssey, discovered while browsing YouTube. Ron Hays Music Image: Odyssey is a 45-minute collection of video-synth graphics, animation and other effects made for Pioneer’s LaserDisc system in 1979. Among the visuals there’s slit-scan work from Con Pederson, creator of some of the effects for 2001: A Space Odyssey, animation by John Whitney, rudimentary computer graphics, and some very of-their-time dance sequences with glowing women working out in a cosmic void.

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Each sequence is set to a different piece of music provided by Wagner, Pachelbel, Frank Serafine, and Larry Fast aka Synergy. It’s difficult to imagine anyone paying money to watch this unless it was the only disc on sale; more likely it would have been playing in television shops as a promotional tool, although you can also imagine it being piped into the rooms of inmates of the Arboria Institute in Beyond the Black Rainbow. I used to own Games, the Synergy album from which Delta 1 is taken. Hearing that piece again makes me regret getting rid of the album several years ago.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Power Spot by Michael Scroggins
Heliograms by Jean Piché
Matrix III by John Whitney

Somnambulists, a film by Mieczyslaw Waskowski

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This 9-minute film by Polish actor and director Mieczyslaw Waskowski was made in 1958. At that time Waskowski’s swirling blobs of paint in oil or water would have seemed merely abstract; a decade on and they would have unavoidable psychedelic or even cosmic connotations. Stanley Kubrick used similar effects for some of the shots in the Star Gate sequence of 2001: A Space Odyssey only at much higher resolution and camera speed.

Previously on { feuilleton }
The Flow III
Chris Parks

The edge of coherence: On the Silver Globe

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Science-fiction cinema has always suffered in comparison to its written counterparts; sets and special effects have to work hard to create believable worlds or futures, while the need to recoup enormous costs has often meant that film scenarios aren’t much better than those being written in the early days of the pulp magazines. Simplistic adventure stories yield bigger audiences and greater revenues. Computer technology has helped the effects problem but production expenses ensure that inventive or unusual SF films are scarce and invariably low-budget works. Anything too ambitious or challenging is unlikely to be funded.

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On the Silver Globe is an unfinished science-fiction film by Andrzej Zulawski that even in its incomplete state is that very rare thing: a film with a fantastic premise that doesn’t appear to have been staged for an audience at all. The film is long—over two-and-a-half hours—and much of it so disregards the conventions of commercial cinema that the immediate reaction is amazement that it exists in any form. Zulawski has a cult reputation outside his native Poland for Possession (1981), a unique horror film made when he was living in exile in Paris. On the Silver Globe was one of the reasons for his leaving the country; after two years of work in several countries, and with the film almost finished, the production was shut down in 1977 by a new vice-minister of cultural affairs who perceived a metaphoric subtext directed against the Polish authorities. The existing footage was supposed to have been destroyed but Zulawski and his production team hid the film and costumes hoping one day to shoot the missing scenes. After ten years of waiting it was decided to present the film as it was with the missing scenes filled by shots of Polish streets and countryside. A voiceover by the director describes the missing content.

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Continue reading “The edge of coherence: On the Silver Globe”

Weekend links 198

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Bum (1966) by Pauline Boty.

Eleanor Birne on Pauline Boty, “the only prominent female Pop artist among a generation of famous men”. Ken Russell’s Pop Art documentary, Pop Goes the Easel (1962), which features Boty, may be seen here. Two years later Boty was back with Ken Russell playing the part of the prostitute from The Miraculous Mandarin in a film about Béla Bartók. That’s something I’d love to see. There’s more about her painting, and the work of other female Pop artists, here.

• Why Are We Sleeping? Mark Pilkington on the music world’s recurrent interest in the philosophy of GI Gurdjieff. Pilkington’s most recent Raagnagrok release with Zali Krishna, Man Woman Birth Death Infinity, was reviewed by Peter Bebergal.

• Cinematic details: Frames-within-frames in The Ipcress File (1966), and the typography of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).

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A Jay Shaw poster for Ben Wheatley’s forthcoming film of High-Rise.

• “…a large cavity must be dug in the bird’s shoulder and filled with ball bearings.” Christine Baumgarthuber on the dubious delights of The Futurist Cookbook.

• Why Tatlin Can Never Go Home Again: Rick Poynor on the difficulties of finding a definitive representation of an artwork online.

Jay Parini reviews Inside a Pearl: My Years in Paris by Edmund White. At AnOther Donatien Grau talks to White about fashion.

• At Bajo el Signo de Libra (in Spanish): the homoerotic and occasionally Surrealist art of Pavel Tchelitchew.

• At 50 Watts: Kling Klang Gloria: Vintage Children’s Books from Austria.

• The motorbike girl gangs of Morocco photographed by Hassan Hajjaj.

Geoff Manaugh on how LED streetlights will change cinema.

Stylus “is an experiment in sound, music and listening”.

• Mix of the week: Secret Thirteen mix 106 by Senking.

• At Pinterest: JG Ballard

This Is Pop? (1978) by XTC | Pop Muzik (1979) by M | Pop Quiz (1995) by Stereolab