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

Archive for the ‘Jan Svankmajer’ tag

 

Weekend links 306

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• The Midian Books Occulture catalogue launched this week sporting a cover that I pieced together for Midian’s Jonathan Davies. The design pastiches the look of the Process Church magazines of the early 1970s; inside there’s a haul of Process material on sale together with COUM/Throbbing Gristle ephemera (that’s Cosi Fanni Tutti on the right, […]

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Jan Svankmajer, Director

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As I have always said, my aim is to make Surrealist documentaries. I want to show that our world is imaginative by nature, that you can look at it imaginatively. It has something that escapes the quotidian gaze. And it is possible to reveal it through the technique of animation. Animation thus becomes a sort […]

Posted in {animation}, {art}, {film}, {surrealism}, {television} | 4 comments »

 


Don Juan, a film by Jan Svankmajer

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I’ve been reading Thomas Ligotti for the past week so here’s something Ligottian: a short film performed by life-size wooden puppets. Svankmajer’s production from 1969 conveys the Don Juan legend with actors masquerading as traditional Czech marionettes, the proceedings being scored by music from the great Zdenek Liska. No English subtitles on this one so […]

Posted in {animation}, {books}, {film} | 2 comments »

 


The Cabinet of Jan Svankmajer, a film by the Brothers Quay

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A busy week here (for a change) so this is a bit of a lazy choice but there is a Wunderkammer present. The Quays made this in 1984 for a Svankmajer documentary, and it’s still one of my favourites: Svankmajer as subject, lots of Prague references, and wonderful music (borrowed from Svankmajer’s own films) by […]

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Animated Self-Portraits

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Another animated anthology, this one being a brief collection of self-portraits of around 10 to 20 seconds each. Like yesterday’s short film, Animated Self-Portraits (1989) was produced by David Ehrlich who contributes a portrait of his own. I’m not enough of an aficionado to recognise all the names involved but the contingent from Czechoslovakia (as […]

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Dunsany’s highwaymen

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The Pledge. As mentioned last week, the BFI’s DVD of Schalcken the Painter includes as extras two short films by other directors. Edward Abraham’s The Pit (1962) is an adaptation of Poe’s The Pit and the Pendulum which is creditable but lacks the sustained malevolence of Jan Svankmajer’s version. The second film is The Pledge […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {fantasy}, {film}, {illustrators} | 1 comment »

 


The Pendulum, the Pit and Hope

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The Pendulum, the Pit and Hope (1983) is the third and best of three Gothic shorts made by Jan Svankmajer, the two earlier works being Castle of Otranto (1973–79) and The Fall of the House of Usher (1980). Svankmajer combines Poe’s famous tale of Inquistion torment with A Torture by Hope by Auguste Villiers de L’Isle-Adam, […]

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Two sides of Liska

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Et Cetera (1966). A little more on the music of Czech soundtrack composer Zdenek Liska (1922–1983). Liska seems to stand in relation to Czech cinema as Ennio Morricone does to that of the cinema of Italy, being similarly prolific, highly regarded, and idiosyncratic to a degree that makes his work immediately recognisable. Both men could […]

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Liska’s Golem

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The Last Golem from The Nights of Prague (1969). Since watching The Cremator I’ve been listening to Zdenek Liska’s music from the early Svankmajer films, and following leads to the composer’s other work. One film with a Liska score that I’d not previously come across is Prazské noci (The Nights of Prague, 1968), one of […]

Posted in {fantasy}, {film}, {music} | 1 comment »

 


The Cremator by Juraj Herz

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The Cremator, a film directed by Juraj Herz, missed out on the attention given to other Czech films in the late 1960s, something the Brothers Quay note in their enthusiastic introduction to the Second Run DVD. Unlike other films made during the Czech New Wave, Herz’s film premiered in 1969 then was promptly banned, and […]

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Weekend links 173

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Icarus (1974–75) by Lili Ország. • The Cabaret Voltaire albums released on the Virgin label in the 1980s have suffered the same shoddy treatment on CD as other Virgin reissues, a situation to be rectified in November with an extensive revisiting of the CV back catalogue. The long-overdue reappraisal will also include the release of […]

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Dom by Walerian Borowczyk and Jan Lenica

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Dom. Having referred this week to individual animated films by Borowczyk and Lenica here’s their ten-minute collaboration from 1959. “Dom” means “house”, with the house in question providing a vague framing device for otherwise disconnected episodes, some of which repeat themselves. It’s more of a curio than anything, most interesting (again) for the moments that would […]

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The Torchbearer by Václav Svankmajer

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Svankmajer? Yes, Václav is the son of Czech Surrealists Jan Svankmajer and Eva Svankmajerová, and The Torchbearer (2005) is the third of three short films he’s directed. Like the celebrated films of his father this is an animated piece in which a faceless warrior navigates a ruined labyrinth where lethal traps are prepared by a […]

Posted in {animation}, {film} | 9 comments »

 


Weekend links 92

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Untitled etching by Briony Morrow-Cribbs. • An interview with author Paul Russell whose new novel, The Unreal Life of Sergey Nabokov, concerns the gay brother of the celebrated Vladimir. • Joseph Cornell turns up again in a report at Strange Flowers about Locus Solus, an exhibition in Madrid devoted to the work of Raymond Roussel. […]

Posted in {animation}, {art}, {books}, {cormac}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {illustrators}, {music}, {occult}, {painting}, {sculpture}, {surrealism} | 7 comments »

 


Weekend links 88

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Typographic Composition (1924) by Teresa Zarnowerówna from a post about Polish graphic design at 50 Watts. • “Direct action is a matter of acting as if you were already free… [...] …the link between military and money systems remains the dirty secret of capitalism.” A lengthy and essential interview with “anarchist anthropologist” David Graeber, author […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {comics}, {design}, {fantasy}, {gay}, {horror}, {magazines}, {music}, {occult}, {photography}, {politics}, {sculpture}, {surrealism} | 4 comments »

 


Weekend links 77

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Art by Tessa Farmer. • An exhibition of Tessa Farmer’s art is running at Viktor Wynd Fine Art, London, until October 30th. On Saturday, October 1st, Strange Attractor hosts Good Neighbours: Faeries, Folklore and the Art of Tessa Farmer also at Viktor Wynd. • Unearthing The Psychedelic Harp: “David Moats talks to harpist and songwriter […]

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Further oddities

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Another of my Lambshead title pages. A slight return to that book. Co-editor Jeff VanderMeer posted a page of Lambshead links which he’ll be following up with extracts from some of the contributors. He’ll also be having a draw to give out signed copies to people who write something about the book: Bloggers (non-contributors) who […]

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

 


The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities

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Cover design by James Iacobelli. The sequel to The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases is published next week in the US but we have permission to write about it before the official release. The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities is a chunky hardback of 320 pages with a host […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {fantasy}, {illustrators}, {sculpture}, {work} | 5 comments »

 


Miwa Yanagi’s fairy tales

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Rapunzel (2004). Emphasising the “grim” in the Brothers Grimm is what Japanese artist Miwa Yanagi achieves with Fairy Tale, a series of staged photos. It’s a familiar approach, of course, mining childhood for a darker subtext, and the effect is reminiscent in places of earlier explorers of this disturbing territory such as David Lynch and […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {fantasy}, {horror}, {photography} | 2 comments »

 


Weekend links: Apocalypse not now

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The Kurtz compound prior to destruction. An Apocalypse Now storyboard, one of a number which will be included among the extras on the Blu-Ray release of Francis Coppola’s film when it appears in the UK next month. The film is given a new cinema release on May 27th. Radio broadcaster Harold Camping, a man denounced […]

Posted in {animation}, {art}, {books}, {burroughs}, {cities}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {fantasy}, {film}, {gay}, {illustrators}, {music}, {painting}, {religion}, {science fiction}, {science}, {surrealism} | Comments Off

 


 



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