David Thompson made this 40-minute Ennio Morricone documentary for the BBC in 1995. I taped it at the time but haven’t watched it since so it was good to find again. The highlight is the lengthy interview with the man himself but there are also contributions from Christopher Frayling, Brian de Palma, Bernardo Bertolucci, Gillo Pontecorvo and others.
La femme et le pantin (1909) by Ángel Zárraga.
• RIP John Berger. Berger’s essential TV series on art, Ways of Seeing (1972), is at YouTube and Ubuweb; “Such freedom is unthinkable today,” says series director Mike Dibb; the book of the series was designed by Berger and Richard Hollis; ways of seeing Ways of Seeing; Geoff Dyer, Olivia Laing & Ali Smith on Berger; M. John Harrison on Berger.
• The beginning of January means the LRB posting Alan Bennett‘s diary for the previous year. In related news, Network DVD will be releasing Six Plays by Alan Bennett next month, a collection that includes a favourite of mine, Me! I’m Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1978).
The acre of suburban lawn surrounding our house became like the Paramount lot for my feverish theatrics. I graduated to building “spook houses” in the family garage out back. Inspired by the ride-through Trimper’s Haunted House in Ocean City, Maryland, designed by Bill Tracy (and it’s still there in operation), I remembered excitedly wheeling through this attraction in these rickety little coffin-shaped cars and dreaming of befriending the crudely built, motorized corpses, cannibals, and skeletons who lived inside. I fantasized the cars breaking down, the panicked, chickenshit children screaming, bolting from their seats, tripping over live wires, and electrocuting themselves. I wanted to take this imagined fear, this frightened happiness, back to my own house where I knew I could preserve, protect, and stylize it on my own adolescent terms.
John Waters on his childhood home
• Strange Flowers‘ latest reading recommendations include books on lesbian decadence, occult Paris, flâneurie and the queerness of the Benson family.
• Where Evil Dwells (1985), a 28-minute preview of a longer piece of weird cinema (now destroyed) by Tommy Turner and David Wojnarowicz.
• Francis Ford Coppola and Brian De Palma having a conversation about Coppola’s The Conversation.
• The Edge Question for 2017: “What scientific term or concept ought to be more widely known?”
• Simran Hans suggests where to begin with the films of Todd Haynes.
• More decadence, this time among the Mexican Modernists.
• Moon Wiring Club at Bandcamp.