Weekend links 522

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Self-Portrait (1935) by Johannes Hendrikus Moesman.

• At Bibliothèque Gay, René Bolliger (1911—1971), an artist whose homoerotica is being celebrated in an exhibition, Les Beaux Mâles, at Galerie Au Bonheur du Jour, Paris, next month. There are more beaux mâles in a new book of photographs, Hi, Hello!, by Roman Duquesne.

• The summer solstice is here which means it’s time for Dennis Cooper‘s favourite fiction, poetry, non-fiction, film, art and internet of the year so far. As before, I’m flattered to be listed in the internet selection. Thanks! Also at DC’s, Michael Snow Day.

• “I hope Roger Corman is doing okay,” I was thinking last week while rewatching one of Corman’s Poe films. He’s been overseeing the production of three new features during the lockdown so, yes, he’s doing okay. I loved the Cries and Whispers anecdote.

• “Unsettling and insinuating, fabulously alert to the spaces between things, Harrison is without peer as a chronicler of the fraught, unsteady state we’re in.” Olivia Laing reviewing The Sunken Land Begins to Rise Again by M. John Harrison.

The original Brain label release of Aqua (1974), the first solo album by Tangerine Dream’s Edgar Froese, had a different track list and different mixes from the Virgin releases. The album has never been reissued in this form.

• New music at Bandcamp: Without Thought, music for an installation by Paul Schütze; and Hatching Under The Stars, songs by Clara Engel.

Deborah Nicholls-Lee on Johannes Hendrikus Moesman (1909–1988), “the erotic Dutch surrealist you should have heard of”.

Kate Solomon on where to start with the Pet Shop Boys. I’d also recommend Introspective.

• Dalí in Holographic Space: Selwyn Lissack on Salvador Dalí’s contributions to art holograms.

• At Spoon & Tamago: An obsession with retro Japanese round-cornered windows.

John Boardley on the “writing mistresses” of the calligraphic golden age.

Mark Duguid recommends Michael Reeves’ Witchfinder General (1968).

• The favourite music of Crammed Discs boss, Marc Hollander.

• Occult/erotic prints by Eleni Avraam.

Aqua: Every Raindrop Longs For The Sea (Jeder Tropfen Träumt Vom Meer) H2O (1973) by Achim Reichel | Aqua (1979) by Dvwb | Aqua (1981) by Phew

Weekend links 385

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• It won’t be out until late January—and then in the UK only—but the blu-ray premiere of The Mystery of Picasso (1956) by Henri-Georges Clouzot was announced this week. The initial run of the discs (there’s also a DVD) will include a booklet containing my essay about the film, something I was very pleased and honoured to be asked to write. Clouzot’s remarkable study of Picasso drawing and painting for the camera was made immediately after his masterwork, The Wages of Fear (also newly available on UK blu-ray), and this new edition will include two short extras, one of which, A Visit to Picasso (1949) by Paul Haesaerts, is an excellent precursor/companion to the main feature. More on this subject later.

• At the Internet Archive: an almost complete run of The Twilight Zone Magazine (1981–1989). While masquerading as a TV-series spin-off, TZ under the editorship of TED Klein was an excellent periodical devoted to horror and dark fantasy. In addition to running original fiction by major authors (Stephen King was a regular), the magazine contained features about older writers such as Lovecraft and Machen along with book reviews by Thomas Disch, film reviews by Gahan Wilson, interviews and more.

• “Bram Stoker was gay,” says Tom Cardamone in a review of Something in the Blood: The Untold Story of Bram Stoker, the Man Who Wrote Dracula by David J. Skal. I’ve not read Skal’s book so can’t comment on its claims but his earlier Hollywood Gothic (about Dracula on page and screen) includes some discussion of “sexual ambiguity” in Stoker’s work.

• Mixes of the week: FACT mix 625 by Elena Colombi, Secret Thirteen Mix 235 by Rhys Fulber, and XLR8R Podcast 514 by Tommaso Cappellato.

Help, Help, The Globolinks! is a previously unreleased electronic soundtrack by Suzanne Ciani, out next week.

La Région Centrale (1971), Michael Snow’s epic of landscape gyrations in two parts, here and here.

Alexander Calder and the Optimism of Modernism: Jed Perl in Conversation with Morgan Meis.

• Illustrations by Lynd Ward for The Haunted Omnibus (1935) edited by Alexander Laing.

Daniel Dylan Wray on the gay-porn music of disco pioneer Patrick Cowley.

• It’s that man again (and his drawings): Ernst Haeckel: the art of evolution.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Steve Erickson presents A Black Psychedelia Primer.

Bootsy Collins‘ favourite albums.

Picasso (1948) by Coleman Hawkins | Pablo Picasso (1976) by The Modern Lovers | Picasso Suite pt. 1 (1993) by David Murray Octet

Wavelength

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Thanks be to YouTube for once more resurrecting moments of underground cinema which would otherwise be very difficult to see. Wavelength (1967) is Michael Snow’s experimental masterwork, a 45-minute zoom across a New York loft that ends on a photograph of waves that fills the screen. This recipe for ennui is not without incident: we see a bookcase being installed, someone plays a Beatles record—Strawberry Fields Forever—a man breaks into the apartment and collapses. (He may be dead but we never find out.) Throughout this, the film is subject to flashes of colour filtering, moments of negative inversion and sudden flares of light. For at least half the running time the sound is replaced by a droning oscillator tone which rises inexorably the closer the camera brings us to its destination.

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Between these events there’s plenty of time to meditate upon the meaning of the title: the various wavelengths of sound and light, the distance across the room to the view of the waves, the waves themselves. It’s a fascinating film which is linked for me (and may have influenced) two other takes on the long take: JG Ballard’s short story The 60 Minute Zoom (1976), in which a man monitors his wife’s infidelity from a hotel balcony, and the celebrated shot at the end of Antonioni’s The Passenger (1975) when Jack Nicholson’s character is assassinated off-screen in another hotel room while the camera floats miraculously through the iron bars of the window. You can see Wavelength in full here. I’d recommend watching it full-screen, it requires immersion.

Previously on { feuilleton }
() by Morgan Fisher
La Région Centrale
Downside Up

La Région Centrale

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I would have posted this yesterday if it hadn’t been for the news about Ray Bradbury, Michael Snow’s La Région Centrale (1971) and Tony Hill’s Downside Up being related in my head if nowhere else. For anyone interested in experimental cinema Michael Snow occupies a key position with a pair of films that aspire to a kind of epic formality: Wavelength (1967), his 45-minute zoom into a photograph at the opposite end of a room, and La Région Centrale which is shots of the Canadian landscape (and the sky above it) filmed by a continuously moving camera attached to a robotic arm. Since the the latter runs for three whole hours it’s not the kind of thing you’ll find on TV or even at at most arts cinemas. Consequently all I’ve ever seen are extracts like this but it fascinates all the same. The electronic noises are the sound of the camera arm in operation. Snow apparently said that he wanted the effect to be that of an alien probe exploring a new planet; given this you could probably class La Région Centrale as a piece of science fiction formalism along with Chris Marker’s La Jetée.

YouTube is the worst venue for films intended to absorb the viewer’s intention but for the curious there’s a rough copy of Wavelength here.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Downside Up
Expanded Cinema by Gene Youngblood