Photo by Roger Phillips, 1977.
• “…these films seem decidedly more modern than the films that followed close behind them.” Pamela Hutchinson on pre-code Hollywood.
• Space travel is time travel: NASA shows us galaxies as they were billions of years ago.
• Reverb Machine explains how Brian Eno created Ambient 1: Music For Airports.
• At Dennis Cooper’s: Spotlight on…Yukio Mishima Confessions of a Mask (1949).
• Mix of the week: The Chill Out Tent Kosmische Mix by Tarotplane.
• Old music: The Glastonbury Experience (Live 1979) by Steve Hillage.
• Deep Space 13: Stephen Mallinder’s favourite soundtracks.
• Sex and pathology: David Robb on 80 years of Cat People.
• New music: Expo Botanica by Cosmic Analog Ensemble.
• Behind The Mask (1979) by Yellow Magic Orchestra | Red Mask (1981) by Cabaret Voltaire | A Ritual Mask (1983) by Peter Hammill
While writing Monday’s post I came across this series of new cover designs for the most recent Faber editions of Genet’s novels. I hadn’t seen these before but I liked the way they look as a set. Jonathan Pelham is the designer. At first glance the covers infringe one of my personal rules for cover design, that you should try and create something that couldn’t easily be used on another book by a different author; this is more of a challenge when a design is minimal or tending towards abstraction as these are. But Genet’s covers from British publishers have veered from the featureless (the Anthony Blond hardbacks of the 1960s) to the bizarrely random (the 1971 Penguin edition of Miracle of the Rose with a detail from Max Ernst’s Europe After the Rain—see below), so anything that looks this smart and consistent is a plus. I still like the series of paperbacks that Panther published in the early 1970s (also below) but they only did three of the books, with the Rubens typeface being a carry over from the Grove Press hardbacks designed by Roy Kuhlman. The new editions from Faber also feature new introductions by Neil Bartlett (Funeral Rites), Terry Hands (Miracle of the Rose), Jon Savage (Querelle of Brest), and Ahdaf Soueif (The Thief’s Journal).
Continue reading “Covering Genet”
Querelle de Brest (1947) by Jean Genet. Cover design by Jean Cocteau.
This weekend’s viewing was Fassbinder’s Querelle (1982) which is marvellous in its new Blu-ray transfer, and a great improvement on the muddy picture of the earlier DVD release. The film is still only the briefest sketch of Genet’s novel (although Genet biographer Edmund White enjoyed it) but I like the overheated atmosphere, the phallic set designs, Franco Nero (hey, it’s Django Gay!), and the film as a whole is a fitting memorial to Brad Davis, everyone’s favourite sweating matelot. So in honour of all that, here’s a small collection of Querellerie past and present.
Querelle de Brest was published in a limited edition of 525 copies illustrated throughout by Jean Cocteau who didn’t avoid the pornographic details. Even though copies were seized by the authorities, and the author fined, Cocteau’s involvement did little to harm his public reputation, something that’s impossible to imagine happening elsewhere. A few of the illustrations follow below, many more of the series can be found scattered across various websites.
Continue reading “Querelle de Brest”