Weekend links 464

picaud.jpg

13 Circles by Julien Picaud.

• The 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon landing is only two months away so it’s no surprise that Brian Eno’s Apollo: Atmospheres And Soundtracks is being reissued. The latest release will include an additional disc of new music by Eno with his collaborators from the original sessions, Daniel Lanois and Roger Eno. Related: the Apollo 11 Command Module as an explorable (and printable) 3D model.

• From the real Moon to the presence of the satellite in myth and history, the next book from Strange Attractor will be Selene: The Moon Goddess & The Cave Oracle, a volume which is also the final work by the late Steve Moore. With a foreword by Bob Rickard, and an afterword by Alan Moore.

• Guitar-noise maestro Caspar Brötzmann released a handful of thrilling albums in the 1990s then disappeared from view. Spyros Stasis talked to Brötzmann about his hiatus and his recent resurfacing on the Southern Lord label.

• A year late, but I didn’t know Paul Schrader had written an updated introduction to his 1972 study of Ozu, Bresson and Dreyer, Transcendental Style in Film. I love the idea of “The Tarkovsky Ring” as a directorial event horizon.

• “Nothing written is utterly without value, as I proved to myself by reading two random works.” Theodore Dalrymple on the lasting worth of “worthless” books.

Cinemagician: Conversations with Kenneth Anger, a documentary by Carl Abrahamsson about the director/writer/magus.

• Mirror, Mirror: When Movie Characters Look Back at Themselves by Sheila O’Malley.

• From Susan Sontag to the Met Gala: Jon Savage on the evolution of camp.

• Mix of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 289 by Mondkopf.

• Portrait of the Artist as a Consumer: Anne Billson.

• A video by IMPATV for Religion by Teleplasmiste.

Obscure Sound ~ Cosmic: a list.

Mira Calix‘s favourite records.

Transcendental Overdrive (1980) by Harald Grosskopf | Transcendental Moonshine (1991) by Steroid Maximus | The Transcendent (1999) by Jah Wobble

White Lady by David Rudkin

whitelady1.jpg

Amy: Dad? What’s a parable.

Gil: Parable? A sort of story, with something in it…strange. To help you remember it. And think. About something important.

I first heard about David Rudkin’s White Lady (1987) from Grant Morrison during a conversation about Penda’s Fen, Morrison having been a Rudkin-head as far back as the original screening of that TV film in 1974. This was at a time when you couldn’t call up details of somebody’s entire career in a couple of seconds, so all I knew of Rudkin’s television work aside from Penda’s Fen was Artemis 81 (1981) and his adaptation of The Ash Tree (1975) by MR James, one of the BBC’s Christmas ghost stories.

vampyr.jpg

Vampyr (1932).

All of those films feature sinister, possibly supernatural events taking place in the English countryside, and this theme is continued in White Lady, a 45-minute drama which Rudkin wrote and also directed. In dramatic terms the film is a minimal piece concerning a divorced father trying to set himself up as a farmer while also taking care of two young daughters. In the fields surrounding the farm pesticides are being used, although we see little direct evidence of this. More overt are the disturbing interjections and animated graphics which show photographs and X-rays of laboratory animals suffering from pesticide exposure. Rudkin’s dialogue tells us at the outset that this is a parable, hence the deadly effects of the pesticide being embodied by the White Lady of the title, a spectral figure who carries a scythe.

whitelady2.jpg

The first time I saw this I thought the scythe was a heavy-handed device, despite its obvious farming connections; watched again I realise that Rudkin would have been alluding (if only for himself) to the scythe-bearing ferryman in Carl Dreyer’s Vampyr (1932), a film Rudkin subjected to very close scrutiny in 2005 for the BFI’s Film Classics series. In his book Rudkin notes a shot in which a sleeping figure is menaced by the shadow of a scythe on a wall; that shot is recapitulated in White Lady.

whitelady3.jpg

It’s unfair to compare this to the eerie, intellectual masterpiece that is Penda’s Fen, but White Lady is still worth a look for anyone interested in Rudkin’s dramas, especially with it being his sole directing credit. If the dire warnings of genetic mutation haven’t come to pass there’s relevance in our present concern about the effects of nicotinoids on bee and bird populations. The White Lady still has plenty of work to do.

White Lady: part one | part two

Previously on { feuilleton }
The Horror Fields
Robin Redbreast by John Bowen
Red Shift by Alan Garner
Children of the Stones
Penda’s Fen by David Rudkin
David Rudkin on Carl Dreyer’s Vampyr

Weekend links 100

bedini.jpg

How to become a mermaid and dissolve into sea foam in just seven surgical operations (2010) by Carla Bedini.

D.I.Y. Magic was a regular feature in the late Arthur Magazine that’s now become a book by Anthony Alvarado: “Think of it as jail-breaking the iPhone of your mind. Teaching it to do things that its basic programming was never set up for. Advanced self-psychology.” A first edition letterpress silver foil cover is limited to 1000 copies. | More magic: Jimmy Page’s unused soundtrack for Kenneth Anger’s Lucifer’s Rising finally gets an official release on March 20th.

Julia Holter‘s tremendous new album, Ekstasis, has been rocking my world this week. She’s interviewed at FACT where you can also hear the opening track, Marienbad, which receives extra points for being derived from that film. And there’s more: Ritual Music, a live performance at Sea & Space Gallery in Los Angeles, and Fur Felix, a film by Eric Fensler.

Brute Ornament, an exhibition of new work by Seher Shah and Kamrooz Aram opens at the Green Art Gallery, Dubai, on Monday. While the UAE is out of reach for most of us, the gallery site has samples of the work on display.

• This week’s mixtape arrives courtesy of BUTT magazine: Rock Bottom Mix by Cesar Padilla, a blend of acid, glam, grunge, punk, surf and stoner rock. Elsewhere, Richard Norris lists his 20 favourite UK psychedelic records.

the name is BURROUGHS ? Expanded Media at ZKM, the Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, is a comprehensive exhibition presenting for the first time in Germany the artistic output of William Burroughs.

Boneland by Alan Garner will be published in August, a new novel that concludes a narrative thread begun with The Weirdstone of Brisingamen in 1960.

• Coming soon (so to speak) on BFI DVD, The Erotic Films of Peter de Rome, more gay obscurities receiving quality attention.

The Northampton Chronicle reports on Alan Moore’s forthcoming novel about the town, Jerusalem.

Susan Cain is playing my tune (again): Why the world needs introverts.

• Techniques of terror: Carl Dreyer‘s Danish Gothic dissected.

• NASA has the latest map of Everything.

The male sex toy revolution.

Lucifer Rising Sessions (1972) by Bobby Beausoleil.