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

Archive for the ‘Jordan Belson’ tag

 

Heavy-Light, a film by Adam K. Beckett

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In the early 1990s the UK’s Channel 4 still operated as an avant-garde television channel, broadcasting films, dramas and documentaries that the other channels would be unlikely to show. Late nights were often filled out with resolutely uncommercial fare, as was the case when Abstract Cinema was shown in 1993, a 50-minute documentary by Keith […]

Posted in {abstract cinema}, {film}, {psychedelia}, {television} | 4 comments »

 


An Optical Poem by Oskar Fischinger

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Oskar Fischinger’s only successful collaboration with a Hollywood studio was this 7-minute animation made for MGM in 1937. As with some of Fischinger’s earlier films, a piece of classical music is illustrated with dancing shapes of cut-out paper. The music in this instance is Liszt’s Second Hungarian Rhapsody, and this short was one of the […]

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Language of the Birds: Occult and Art

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Astrological Ouroboros (1965) by Paul Laffoley. Language of the Birds is an occult-themed art show at 80WSE, New York University, that opened this week and runs to 13 February, 2016. Curator Pam Grossman has assembled a stunning collection of work by artists, occultists, and occult-artists old and new: Kenneth Anger * Anohni * Laura Battle […]

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Moon 69, a film by Scott Bartlett

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Scott Bartlett was the director of OffOn (1967), one of the key works of psychedelic cinema, and an earlier example of experimental film making use of video effects. Similar effects may be seen in Bartlett’s follow-up, Moon 69, which subjects footage from the NASA archives to a variety of processing techniques, especially solarisation. The copy […]

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Us Down By The Riverside, a film by Jud Yalkut

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More psychedelic freakery from American filmmaker Jud Yalkut. Us Down By The Riverside (1966) is short and sweet: three minutes of acid visuals accompanied by a muddy recording of The Beatles playing Tomorrow Never Knows. Groovy. For a very different take on John Lennon’s psych-out, see the penultimate episode of cartoon show, The Beatles. Previously […]

Posted in {abstract cinema}, {film}, {music}, {psychedelia} | 2 comments »

 


Turn, Turn, Turn, a film by Jud Yalkut

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I’m currently reading my way through Rob Chapman’s lysergic doorstop Psychedelia and Other Colours, a comprehensive study of a cultural phenomenon that’s well-represented on these pages. So expect more posts like this one which concerns another gem of abstract/psychedelic cinema. Turn, Turn, Turn (1966) is a collaboration between Jud Yalkut (visuals) and the Us Company […]

Posted in {abstract cinema}, {art}, {books}, {film}, {psychedelia}, {sculpture} | 1 comment »

 


Mothlight, a film by Stan Brakhage

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One of the common methods of making a no-budget abstract film was to scratch or paint directly onto the film itself, a technique popularised by Len Lye in the 1930s. Mothlight (1963) by Stan Brakhage works a variation on the process by gluing broken moth wings, leaves and other bits of natural detritus to a […]

Posted in {abstract cinema}, {film} | 2 comments »

 


Walter Ruttmann’s abstract cinema

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Histories of abstract cinema often begin with Oskar Fischinger, a filmmaker and animator who was certainly a pioneer of the form. But these four silent shorts by Walter Ruttmann (1887–1941), Lichtspiel: Opus I, II, III & IV (1921–25) predate Fischinger’s work, and also prefigure Fischinger’s own animations of swooping shapes, blooming circles and stabbing triangles. […]

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7362, a film by Pat O’Neill

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This week is a psychedelic one for Londoners: on Monday Britain’s first Psychedelic Society was launched at Conway Hall (the Society uses my Psychedelic Alice artwork in some of its graphics); today (the 4th) there’s an evening of short psychedelic films at BFI Southbank: Jet Propelled Cinema: How Psychedelia Infected Hollywood Sci-Fi. A couple of […]

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Here and There, a film by Andrzej Pawlowski

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I only realised earlier today that the post about The Saragossa Manuscript provides continuity with last week’s examples of Polish cinema; unintentional but it shows where my head is at just now. Here’s another example, and another abstract filmmaker I hadn’t come across before. Andrzej Pawlowski (1925–1986) was also a painter, and his films take […]

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Power Spot by Michael Scroggins

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I was going to post this anyway but there’s a coincidental connection with yesterday’s post in the person of Richard Horowitz whose keyboards can be heard on the soundtrack. The music is Power Spot, the opening number on the album of the same name released by ECM in 1986. Also present on the album are […]

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OffOn by Scott Bartlett

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Another gem of experimental filmmaking, Scott Bartlett’s short from 1967 hits all the buttons of psychedelic imagery: disembodied eyes, moiré patterns, solarisation, dancing figures, naked women, oil effects, oversatured hues, and superimposition. The difference between this film and others of the period is that OffOn is largely a product of video techniques, some of which—video […]

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The Flow III

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A short motion study by David Vigh for Bose Collins. Sometimes the simplest tricks are the most effective, as with these shots of coloured inks dropped into water and mirrored at their vertical axis. The resulting symmetry effortlessly prompts our pareidolia. Bose Collins has some additional experiments in this series, including one exploring the weirdness […]

Posted in {abstract cinema}, {film} | 3 comments »

 


The art of Yoshi Sodeoka

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Violet Dark Spring of the Numinous Orb (2011). Those for whom Enter the Void wasn’t enough (I know you’re out there) are advised to direct their attention to the prints and videos of Japanese artist Yoshi Sodeoka. The website has numerous screen grabs and examples of the prints while the artist’s Vimeo channel has the […]

Posted in {art}, {film}, {psychedelia} | 3 comments »

 


Enter the Void

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It’s taken me a while to see this but the long search for a genuinely psychedelic feature film is over. That’s genuinely psychedelic not in the debased sense of a handful of garish or trippy visuals, but in the full-spectrum expanded-consciousness sense for which Humphrey Osmond invented the term in 1956: I have tried to […]

Posted in {abstract cinema}, {books}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {film}, {music}, {psychedelia}, {religion} | 23 comments »

 


Weekend links 75

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Eternal Pain (1913) by Paul Dardé. (And also here) Rain Taxi caused a stir this week with its savaging of Hamlet’s Father by science fiction writer Orson Scott Card. The book is another of Card’s blatherings about the hell of being homosexual dressed in garments stolen from the unfortunate William Shakespeare. Rain Taxi made the […]

Posted in {abstract cinema}, {art}, {books}, {borges}, {design}, {electronica}, {fashion}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {painting}, {photography}, {science fiction}, {science}, {sculpture}, {technology} | 5 comments »

 


Chris Parks

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Chris Parks created effects sequences for The Fountain and The Tree of Life. His showreel can be viewed here. Previously on { feuilleton } • Len Lye • Matrix III by John Whitney • Symphonie Diagonale by Viking Eggeling • Mary Ellen Bute: Films 1934–1957 • Norman McLaren • John Whitney’s Catalog • Arabesque by […]

Posted in {abstract cinema}, {film}, {psychedelia} | 4 comments »

 


Len Lye

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Rainbow Dance (1936). Fortunate Londoners can see a BFI screening of early film shorts by Len Lye (1901–1980) this Friday at the NFT. (Details here.) Lye is one of the pioneers of abstract cinema and his work still astounds for its inventiveness and playful interaction between synchronised image and music. Many of his works were […]

Posted in {abstract cinema}, {animation}, {film} | 1 comment »

 


Matrix III by John Whitney

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Another great piece of abstract cinema by John Whitney. The soundtrack is an extract from Poppy Nogood and the Phantom Band by Terry Riley. Previously on { feuilleton } • Symphonie Diagonale by Viking Eggeling • Mary Ellen Bute: Films 1934–1957 • Norman McLaren • John Whitney’s Catalog • Arabesque by John Whitney • Moonlight […]

Posted in {abstract cinema}, {film}, {music} | 2 comments »

 


Symphonie Diagonale by Viking Eggeling

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This early piece of abstract cinema from 1924 is available for viewing in several locations—YouTube and Ubuweb have copies—but the best version can be seen at Europa Film Treasures. The film was originally silent so don’t feel too bad about watching with the sound off or with your own score to replace those which were […]

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