Weekend links 510

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• Saul Bass’s cult science-fiction film, Phase IV, has received a very welcome (Region B) blu-ray release from 101 Films. Everything is a metaphor for the unavoidable just now, but a film about a group of scientists besieged by a tiny and insidious biological threat can’t help but have additional resonance. The new release includes the original (and seldom seen) cosmic ending plus another disc containing several of Bass’s short films. Previously: Directed by Saul Bass.

• Music at the Internet Archive: Live at Metro (2007) by Sora, and three rare cassette releases by French synth-rock duo Fondation: Metamorphoses (1980), Sans Etiquette (1980), and Le Vaisseau Blanc (1983).

• Mixes of the week: a Manu Dibango (RIP) mix from Aquarium Drunkard, and Industrial Synth Rave Isolation Mix by Moon Wiring Club.

We must talk about Nightwood. The novel that sits between those early and late phases of her writing life, the tale of Felix Volkbein, Robin Vote, Dr Matthew-Mighty-Grain-of-Salt-Dante-O’Connor and many others, caught between world wars and each other, in the decadent cities of Europe. The novel follows the journey of Robin Vote, who is more “earth-flesh, fungi, which smells of captured dampness” than person. Sleepwalking through life, she nonetheless wakes up her fellow characters Nora, Felix and Jenny, who each try and pin her down, to no avail. It is a novel that defies synopsis. It is unsurprising that this remarkable book has attracted a “burgeoning body of interpretations”, as Tyrus Miller here notes; yet it seems that there are still new ways to approach it. Julie Taylor offers an affective reading, for example; Joanne Winning concentrates on Nightwood’s collaborative origins, exploring the fruitful and often overlooked creative relationship between Barnes and her partner, Thelma Wood. This is not just a case of considering that relationship as source material for the novel, but unpacking what Winning describes as their “lesbian modernist grotesque”. It is particularly welcome that Winning treats Wood as a silver-point artist in her own right.

Jade French reviews Shattered Objects: Djuna Barnes’s Modernism

• Ben Beaumont-Thomas on where to start with Kraftwerk, and Jennifer Lucy Allan on where to start with Alice Coltrane.

• The BBC’s Culture page discovers Tom of Finland but can’t bring itself to show much of his artwork.

• The art of Asterix: illustrator Albert Uderzo (RIP) at work.

Clive Hicks-Jenkins on “a marvel of clockwork ingenuity”.

• The films Wes Anderson is watching during isolation.

Greydogtales on six more strange tales that linger.

Adrian Searle‘s favourite online art galleries.

• The Ghost Box label is now at Bandcamp.

Twin Flames (Edit) by Lustmord.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Flamboyant.

Phase By Phase (1976) by Peter Baumann | Phase 3: Agni Detonating Over The Thar Desert… (1995) by Earth | Phase Draft (2003) by Bill Laswell

The poster art of Raymond Gid

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Dresch (1928).

This weekend I was rewatching Henri-Georges Clouzot’s superb thriller, Les Diaboliques (1954) after which I went searching for the equally superb posters by Raymond Gid (1905–2000). I hadn’t really looked at the rest of Gid’s work before so this post remedies the situation with a selection from some of the many examples available online. Gid was something of a French equivalent to Saul Bass, working as a poster artist for feature films while also producing designs for advertising; like Bass he took charge of the typography as well as the illustration, always a useful thing for a poster artist. Typographies (1998), his book on the subject, is still in print.

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Vampyr (1932).

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Dr. NG Payot (1938).

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Quelque part en Europe (1948).

Continue reading “The poster art of Raymond Gid”

Weekend links 253

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A painting by Stephen Mackey.

• “Creativity is visual, not informed thought. Creativity is not polite. It barges in uninvited, unannounced—confusing, chaotic, demanding, deaf to reason or to common sense—and leaves the intellect to clear up the mess. Above all else, creativity is risk; heedful risk, but risk entire. Without risk we have the ability only to keep things ticking over the way they are.” Revelations from a life of storytelling by Alan Garner. Related: Tygertale on Garner’s Elidor (1965), “the anti-Tolkien”. The BBC’s 1995 adaptation of Elidor remains unavailable on DVD but may be watched on YouTube.

• “One of my revelations was to reverse everything I’d been taught. Making lettering as illegible as possible falls into that way of thinking.” Psychedelic artist and underground cartoonist Victor Moscoso talks to Nicole Rudick about a life in art and design. Related: “I’ve gotten a lot of bad write-ups in newspapers over the years and they like to refer to my stuff as ‘kitsch’…Well, my stuff is way fuckin’ kitsch. It’s kitsch to an abstract level, you understand. It’s fuckin’ meretricious.” I love it when Robert Williams kicks the art world.

• “…a cerebral, challenging, visually stunning piece of 1970s American science fiction that enweirds the human perspective by challenging it with a nonhuman one.” Adam Mills on the inhuman geometries of Saul Bass’s Phase IV.

• “[Delia Derbyshire] taught me everything I knew about electronic music.” David Vorhaus talks to David Stubbs about White Noise and why he prefers the latest technology to old synthesizers.

• Costumes from Alla Nazimova’s film of Salomé (1923) have been discovered in a trunk in Columbus, Georgia.

• Mix of the week: The Ivy-Strangled Path Vol. I, “music for a residual haunting” by David Colohan.

• At Dangerous Minds: Queer, boho or just plain gorgeous: photographs by Poem Baker.

Grimm City, a speculative architectural project by Flea Folly Architects.

Mad Max: “Punk’s Sistine Chapel” – A Ballardian Primer.

In Search of Sleep: photographs by Emma Powell.

Drains of Manchester

Road Warrior (1985) by The Dave Howard Singers | Warriors Of The Wasteland (Original 12″ mix, 1986) by Frankie Goes To Hollywood | Drive It Mad Max (Super Flu Remix, 2009) by Marcus Meinhardt

The poster art of Akiko Stehrenberger

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W.E. (2011).

Being someone who enjoys adopting and pastiching different art and design styles for different projects I naturally like to see other people doing the same. American illustrator and designer Akiko Stehrenberger is very adept at using this approach for her film posters. Without knowing the identity of the person responsible you wouldn’t guess that they were all the work of the same person.

The Madonna and Polanski posters are the two most overt pastiches, being based respectively on the paintings of Tamara de Lempicka, and the posters by Jan Lenica for Polanski’s Repulsion and Cul-de-Sac. Good as the poster for W.E. is, it seems the studio preferred a more cliched “romantic” treatment for their international sales. Stehrenberger’s Mac desktop design for Burn After Reading was dropped in favour of yet another Saul Bass pastiche. (As a sidenote I’d suggest a moratorium on imitating Saul Bass for the time being; it’s getting boring.) The Lost Highway design isn’t a poster but I added it here since it’s a surprising take on David Lynch’s noir piece. I like the way the dotted line can be taken either as road markings or a line signifying the division in the film between the separate storylines and the separated characters.

Akiko Stehrenberger talked to Adrian Curry earlier this year about her favourite film posters.

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Burn After Reading (2008).

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Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired (2008).

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Lost Highway (Spanish Blu-ray cover).

Previously on { feuilleton }
La Belle et la Bête posters
Dr Mabuse posters
The poster art of Frank McCarthy
Repulsion posters
The poster art of Vic Fair
Petulia film posters
Lucifer Rising posters
Wild Salomés
Druillet’s vampires
Bob Peak revisited
Alice in Acidland
Salomé posters
Polish posters: Freedom on the Fence
Kaleidoscope: the switched-on thriller
The Robing of The Birds
Franciszek Starowieyski, 1930–2009
Dallamano’s Dorian Gray
Czech film posters
The poster art of Richard Amsel
Bollywood posters
Lussuria, Invidia, Superbia
The poster art of Bob Peak
A premonition of Premonition
Metropolis posters
Film noir posters

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 Earthshaker, a collection of previously unavailable recordings from the Virgin period.

• It’s that book again: Design Observer has the preface from Lolita — The Story of a Cover Girl: Vladimir Nabokov’s novel in art and design, a book by John Bertram and Yuri Leving. At The Millions John Bertram talks to designer John Gall about the problems Lolita poses for cover designers.

• Jerry Lewis’s The Day the Clown Cried (1972) has acquired legendary status over the years for the apparent tastelessness of its subject matter—a clown in Auschwitz—and the fact that its director/star has never allowed the film to be seen in public. This week some footage arrived on YouTube.

Candy Bullets And Moon (1967), a one-off psychedelic collaboration between Don Preston and Meredith Monk.

• What’s the collective term for many bookshops? Whatever it is, there’s a lot of them in this Pinterest collection.

• At Dangerous Minds: Artist Gail Potocki’s exploration of Alice in Wonderland and the passing of time.

Anne Billson on the late Karen Black and why horror movies deserve our respect.

Tobias Carroll on the Surreal life and fiction of Leonora Carrington.

More details emerge about The Wicker Man – The Final Cut.

• Issue 35 of Arthur Magazine is now available for order.

• Graphics, drawings and collages by Jan Svankmajer.

• Every film poster designed by Saul Bass.

• Cabaret Voltaire: Just Fascination (1983) | Sensoria (1984) | I Want You (1985)