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

Archive for the ‘Leslie Megahey’ tag

 

Bluebeard’s Castle, 1981

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Filmed performances of Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle continue to find their way to YouTube. Clips of this film from 1981 have been around for a while but not the entire opera which I hadn’t seen until now. On a theatrical and cinematic level this performance isn’t as successful as the superb version Leslie Megahey made for […]

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The Complete Citizen Kane

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The Orson Welles centenary approaches so the posts this week will be devoted to one of my favourite film directors. The Complete Citizen Kane was an especially generous BBC documentary—comprehensive, authoritative and 90 minutes in length—screened in 1991 for the 50th anniversary of Welles’ most celebrated film. Christopher Swayne and Charles Cabot were the producers, […]

Posted in {film}, {television} | 2 comments »

 


The Tractate Middoth

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The recent interest in the BBC’s Ghost Story for Christmas series has been a thing of mixed blessings, as is often the case when nostalgia fuels a reappraisal. On the one hand aficionados such as myself no longer have to hoard and swap rare tapes or video files now that the BFI has made all […]

Posted in {books}, {film}, {horror}, {television} | 2 comments »

 


Schalcken’s paintings

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Self Portrait by Candlelight (1695). One additional pleasure of Le Fanu’s story and Leslie Megahey’s film is the way they draw attention to the work of an artist who might otherwise have remained overshadowed by his more famous contemporaries. Ever since seeing the meticulous chiaroscuro of Joseph Wright’s An Experiment on a Bird in an […]

Posted in {art}, {film}, {horror}, {painting}, {television} | 4 comments »

 


Schalcken the Painter revisited

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Illustration by Brinsley Sheridan Le Fanu from The Watcher and Other Weird Stories (1894) by J. Sheridan Le Fanu. The stranger stopped at the door of the room, and displayed his form and face completely. He wore a dark-coloured cloth cloak, which was short and full, not falling quite to the knees; his legs were […]

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Weekend links 172

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Complete Stop (2008), an oil painting by Gregory Thielker from his Under the Unminding Sky series. • For Halloween last year I watched a very poor copy of a BBC Play For Today production, Robin Redbreast, a piece of rural horror by John Bowen which received a single screening in 1970. That poor copy—black-and-white, timecoded, […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {cormac}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {lovecraft}, {music}, {painting}, {television}, {typography} | 4 comments »

 


Michael Powell’s Bluebeard revisited

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Yesterday’s post prompted me to look again for one of Michael Powell’s scarcest films, his television version of Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle made for  Süddeutscher Rundfunk in 1963. Sure enough, it’s now on YouTube in a watchable copy taken from VHS tape. Herzog Blaubarts Burg (to use its German title) was made post-Peeping Tom when the […]

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Schalcken the Painter

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Next week the BFI releases a box set of the BBC’s Ghost Stories for Christmas, a series of hour-long TV films broadcast during the 1970s, most of which were adaptations of stories by MR James. One film that isn’t among them, unfortunately, is Leslie Megahey‘s superb Schalcken the Painter, a 70-minute drama based on Strange […]

Posted in {art}, {film}, {horror}, {painting}, {television} | 7 comments »

 


Le Grand Macabre

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Yesterday I mentioned Leslie Megahey’s Ligeti film, All Clouds Are Clocks, an hour-long documentary based around an interview with György Ligeti filmed in 1976. A unique feature of that film was that Megahey returned to film Ligeti in the same room in 1991 where they discussed the composer’s work during the intervening period. Of these, […]

Posted in {design}, {music}, {television}, {theatre} | 1 comment »

 


Leslie Megahey’s Bluebeard

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Back in the days when the BBC’s television output challenged its audience rather than pandered to it, Leslie Megahey was a name I always looked out for. During the 1970s and 80s, Megahey was one of the corporation’s outstanding producers and directors, and since his tastes often ran very close to mine seeing his name […]

Posted in {design}, {film}, {music}, {television}, {theatre} | 10 comments »

 


René Magritte by David Wheatley

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René Magritte as portrayed by Patrick McDonnell. René Magritte died in 1967, the year Eric Duvivier’s La femme 100 têtes appeared in French cinemas. Magritte is even less visible cinematically than Max Ernst, IMDB lists a couple of documentaries and nothing else. There are trace elements elsewhere, notably the Magritte and de Chirico influence in […]

Posted in {art}, {fantasy}, {film}, {painting}, {surrealism}, {television} | 6 comments »

 


Powell’s Bluebeard

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The subject of yesterday’s post, The Tales of Hoffmann, was the closest Michael Powell came to realising his concept of the “composed film”, a work which would combine performance, music, lighting and set design to create something which was unique to cinema. The central ballet sequence in The Red Shoes is another example of this, […]

Posted in {design}, {film}, {music}, {television}, {theatre} | 3 comments »

 


The Watcher and Other Weird Stories by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

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Irish writer J. Sheridan Le Fanu (1814–1873) has long been a favourite of mine since I first discovered his weird tales in ghost story collections, still the place you’re most likely to find his work. His ghost stories are frequently superior to the more celebrated MR James (who edited a Le Fanu collection), they’re less […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {television} | 2 comments »

 


Chiaroscuro

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Heavenly Love and Earthly Love by Giovanni Baglione (1602–1603). Chiaroscuro\, Chia`ro*scu”ro\, Chiaro-oscuro\, Chi*a”ro-os*cu”ro\, n. [It., clear dark.] (a) The arrangement of light and dark parts in a work of art, such as a drawing or painting, whether in monochrome or in colour. (b) The art or practice of so arranging the light and dark parts […]

Posted in {art}, {horror}, {painting}, {television} | 5 comments »

 


 



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