Weekend links 527

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Poster art by Bob Peak.

• Sidney Lumet’s 1977 film of Peter Shaffer’s Equus receives a limited blu-ray release by the BFI in August. Richard Burton’s performance has always received a mixed response (I’ve never been in the anti-Burton camp) but the film is serious and well-made. And, as with The Offence (1973), there’s the thrill of seeing Lumet turn his attention away from his beloved New York City to examine British lives.

• “Astronomer claims to have pinpointed date of Vermeer’s View of Delft.” Yes, but how long did it take Vermeer paint the view? Speaking as someone who used to paint a lot, I’d say two or three days at least. Then there’s that awkward thing known as “artistic licence”…

• “I was taken aback by the antic side of Borges. He was irreverent, funny, insistent on his ways, and brilliantly talkative.” Jay Parini on Jorge Luis Borges, and his experience as the writer’s chauffeur in the Scottish Highlands.

• Strange Islands: Benjamin Welton on a favourite cinematic micro-genre I explored here a few years ago: the mysterious tropical island that’s a home to fearsome beasts and outsized (often deranged) personalities.

Greydogtales on The Sapphire Goddess of Nictzin Dyalhis, the Weird Tales writer with a name like a character from one of his stories.

• “I came for the giant phalluses and stayed for the joy of being a gay person.” Eight artists on the influence of Tom of Finland.

Tamsin Cleary on Nobuhiko Obayashi’s House (1977) which she calls “the world’s most demented haunted house film”. It really is.

The Gone Away, a short film by Sean Reynard for the forthcoming album from Belbury Poly.

Moorcography: the beginnings of an online Michael Moorcock bibliography.

• “Our sound engineer got a death threat”: Andrew Male on Olivia, a lesbian record label.

Bajo el Signo de Libra explores the art of Aubrey Beardsley.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Hans-Jürgen Syberberg Day.

The secret drawings of Great Britain’s UFO Desk.

Wyrd Daze Lvl.4 is here.

The Four Horsemen (1971) by Aphrodite’s Child | All The Pretty Little Horses (2004) by Coil | When The Horses Were Shorn Of Their Hooves (2018) by Dylan Carlson

Weekend links 244

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MMOB :: Far West (2013) by Alison Scarpulla.

• “…although same-sex love is as old as love itself, the public discourse around it, and the political movement to win rights for it, arose in Germany in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This message may surprise those who believe that gay identity came of age in London and New York, sometime between the Oscar Wilde trials and the Stonewall riots.” Alex Ross reviewing Robert Beachy’s Gay Berlin: Birthplace of a Modern Identity. Beachy talks about his book here.

• “I was in a room with tube synthesizers, where you had to tune them up to play them. It was unbelievable.” John Carpenter talking to Joseph Stannard about composing with electronics. Carpenter’s album of new music, Lost Themes, may be previewed here.

• From 2010: John Ridpath on Mervyn Peake’s illustrations for Lewis Carroll’s Alice Through the Looking Glass and Alice in Wonderland. Related: “The most twisted version of Alice in Wonderland you’ll ever see.”

I was brought up in a world where art was something owned and insured—usually inherited: but seldom if ever made by anyone one I knew.

I had an early inkling that there was fun to be had over the hill, like the feeling when faced with a sunset that someone’s throwing a mega awesome party just beyond the nearest cloud, and I set off to join the caravan. Let’s just say I was in search of company, headed towards the glow, and I found it.

Tilda Swinton‘s speech at the Rothko Chapel

• “Her art often touches on alchemy and magic; and in her memoir of insanity she writes of misreading an Imperial Chemicals sign as ‘chemistry and alchemy’.” Charlotte Higgins on Leonora Carrington.

Shadows Over Main Street, an anthology of small-town Lovecraftian terror, is out this week from Hazardous Press. 20 stories and poems plus interior illustrations including a contribution of my own.

• “With Fantastic Planet, I felt torn about using it, because it’s…the title of an animated film.” Guitarist Sarah Lipstate, aka Noveller, talks to Ned Raggett about her new album.

Jim Jupp of Belbury Poly and the Ghost Box record label answers 15 questions.

• A DeLorean driving through a Tron cityscape: Retrowave by Florian Renner.

• Powell & Pressburger’s Tales of Hoffmann (1951) has been restored.

Music from Forbidden Planet (1956) by Louis & Bebe Barron | The Four Horsemen (1972) by Aphrodite’s Child | Assault on Precinct 13 (Main Theme) (1976) by John Carpenter

Weekend links 11

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Panneaux decoratifs (1900) by Manuel Orazi at NYPL.

Ghostsigns: “a collaborative national effort to photograph, research and archive the remaining examples of hand painted wall advertising in the UK and Ireland.”

• Golden Age Comic Book Stories posts some Alphonse Mucha.

Voyage Fantastique – An illustrated guide to the body and mind at A Journey Round My Skull.

The gallery of the International Exhibition of Calligraphy.

Trevor Wayne Pin-Up Show, a new photo collection of the tattooed Mr Wayne which includes photos and a foreword by Clive Barker.

Phallophonies, a gallery exploring the penis in religious art. Related: “Churchgoers are outraged over a crucifix in a Catholic church that they say shows an image of genitalia on Jesus.”

Hollingsville: “Expect live and unscripted wanderings around voodoo science parks, examinations of cities as battle suits and thoughts on pods, capsules and world expos.”

Phantom Circuit #33 is a Ghost Box special featuring an interview with Jim Jupp (Belbury Poly) and Julian House (The Focus Group). Related: Ghost Box films at YouTube.

Eldritchtronica and Wyrd Bliss, a mixtape by Simon Reynolds.

• Avant garde music and cinema meet at The Sound of Eye.

• Make your own newspaper with Newspaper Club.

Drawdio: A pencil that lets you draw music.

Yoko Ono collects rare books.

KittehRoulette.

• Song of the week: The Four Horsemen (1972) by Aphrodite’s Child.

Salvador Dalí’s apocalyptic happening

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The oft-despised concept album of the 1970s doesn’t come more demented than 666, a double disc set by Greek group Aphrodite’s Child released in 1972. The group featured Vangelis and Demis Roussos among their number (Roussos later turned up on Vangelis’s score for Blade Runner) and this is about the only thing they’re now remembered for, a post-psychedelic fantasy based on the Book of Revelations. So far, so heavy. Searching for information about the album turned up a proposal by Salvador Dalí for a celebratory “happening” to be staged in Barcelona for the album’s world premiere (lyricist Costas Ferris having met Dalí in Paris shortly after the recording):

The main concept:

1. Martial Law shall be ordered on a Sunday, in Barcelona. No one shall be allowed to walk in the streets, or watch the event. No cameras, no TV. Only a young couple of shepherds will have the privilege to witness the event. So, they can later describe it to the people, by oral speech.

2. Giant loudspeakers shall be put in the streets, playing all day the work 666, by Vangelis, Ferris and the Aphrodite’s Child. No live performance.

3. Soldiers dressed in Nazi uniforms, will walk in military march in the streets of Barcelona, arresting who-ever wants to break the law.

4. Hundreds of swans will be left to move in front of the Sagrada Famiglia, with pieces of dynamite in their bellies, which will explode in slow motion by special effects. (real living swans, that should be operated for putting the dynamite inside their belly).

5. Giant Navy planes, will fly all day in the sky of Barcelona, provoking big noise.

6. At 12:00 sharp, in the mid-day, those planes will start the bombardment of the great church, throwing all of their munitions.

7. Instead of bombs, they shall throw Elephants, Hippopotami, Whales and Archbishops carrying umbrellas.

No, it didn’t happen, but if you do hear the album try and think of swans exploding in slow motion while elephants and archbishops rain down from the sky.

Previously on { feuilleton }
The apocalyptic art of Francis Danby
The music of Igor Wakhévitch
Dalí Atomicus